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How Siri Could Ruin Apple's iTV

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An Apple TV -- not just a set-top box, an honest-to-goodness Apple-branded television set -- has been rumored for years. Naturally, when the company's mastered the computer, the phone, the media player, and the tablet, what other major appliance could Cupertino rationally develop next? (Though I'd be certainly intrigued by an Apple vacuum, if only for the inevitable iSuck parody.)

But amidst rumblings of vaporware, rumors and secondhand evidence seem to be mounting and point to an imminent release of an iTV.

There was that Steve Jobs' quote -- courtesy of his biographer Walter Isaacson -- wherein Steve proclaimed he's "cracked" the TV merchandizing puzzle. And the New York Times' Nick Bilton does everything but guarantee its release and references prototype parts floating around, which indicates something big. (Minyanville's Michael Comeau breaks down four reasons why an iTV would be a huge success for Apple.)

Perhaps the most anticipated -- but still rumored -- feature of the iTV is also a huge selling point of the iPhone 4S: namely Siri. Bilton claims the Cupertino boob tube will nix the remote and allow viewers to control the set with voice commands.

"It's the stuff of science fiction," Bilton writes. "You sit on your couch and rather than fumble with several remotes or use hand gestures, you simply talk: 'Put on the last episode of Gossip Girl.' 'Play the local news headlines.' 'Play some Coldplay music videos.' Siri does the rest."

That's all well and good -- not to mention quite fun -- but we've already seen what a disaster a voice-controlled TV could be on a little NBC program called 30 Rock. Sure, Apple may solve the problem of a television character inadvertently controlling your set from within, but who's to say Richard Belzer doesn't sound exactly like you?

You’re watching A New Invention on '30 Rock' 02/03/11 - TV Replay. See the Web's top videos on AOL Video

(See also: Google Engineer Calls Google+ a Complete Failure and How to Use Siri on Apple's iPhone 4S)

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