April Fool’s Day is an age-old tradition. Pranks are, at this point, a given for April 1st. If you’re interested in a little background (courtesy of Wikipedia)…
The Internet has been buzzing for the past few days over some of the most well-executed pranks – and none are more so than those of the tech community. So, without further ado, here are my top several neekly April Fool’s Day Pranks of 2013! In no particular order…
Twitter announced that it will henceforth be a two-teired service. Anyone can use “Twttr,” but you only get consonants and the letter “y.” Upgrade to the premium service, “Twitter” for $5/month, and get unlimited consonant and vowel usage. Twitter also linked to this tool, which turns regular speech into an incomprehensible, vowel-less mess. Enjoy.
Samsung announces its newest product. “SMART Eco Trees intake CO2 and release oxygen to support a healthier environment. In the process it also uses a natural filtering system to eliminate pollutants. Eco Trees also help keep the humidity at a pleasant level. These features are fully automatic and require only the addition of water and S (Solar) Beams.” I see what you did there, Samsung.
Virgin Atlantic Glass-Bottomed Plane
British Virgin Atlantic customers flying in their newest plane model, Little Red, will be afforded an unparalleled view of the British countryside through the floor of the glass-bottomed plane.
With the unveiling of Google Glass so fresh in people’s minds, augmented reality glasses are in. Guardian upped the ante with their new Goggles, “a pair of web-connected…spectacles that will beam [the Guardian’s] journalism directly into the wearer’s visual field, enabling users to see the world through the Guardian’s eyes at all times.” Though perhaps it’s better to see the world through your own eyes once in a while…
Sarcastically Specific Netflix Categories
Netflix added a new movie or TV show category to all users’ Netflix accounts…but with a twist. These snarky category titles mock the over-specification that Netflix often uses when separating its media. “Surreal Ballets Based on a William Shatner Album” was probably my favorite, containing fifty thumbnails of William Shatner’s Gonzo Ballet. Though “Epic Nick Cage Meltdowns” was also awesome. (Wait, isn’t that…every single Nick Cage movie?)
With Google, it’s hard to know where to start. Let’s jump right in with the shocker…
YouTube Shuts Down
Yep. Re-read that for maximum effect. YouTube announced on March 31st that the website was originally created “as a contest with a simple goal: to find the best video in the world.” Submissions would be closing at midnight of the same day, and YouTube would shut down until 2023 as judges weighed the merits of each and every video that has been uploaded since 2005 – billions and billions of videos. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) (If you’re interested, here is the very first video uploaded to YouTube. Ever.) The site would reopen after the ten years were up with one single video uploaded: the winner of YouTube. Below is the announcement video revealing the news.
Also, here is a twelve-hour video streamed live on April 1st in which two announcers list video nominees for the winner of YouTube. (Just click the “play” button a few times to get it to start.) But seriously. These guys do not stop for the whole twelve hours.
According to Google, smelling is believing. This tool allows users to sniff the screens of their computers and smell…whatever it is they’d like to smell. “In the fast-paced world that we live in, we don’t always have time to stop and smell the roses,” proclaims product manager Jon Wooly. “Now with Google Nose Beta, the roses are just a click away.” Whether the scent of your choice be cookies, new cars, or success, Google Nose. (Or knows. It’s a pun, y’see.) Oh, just watch the video.
Google is radically reinventing Gmail with this spoof on Windows Blue. “How do we completely redesign and recreate something while keeping it exactly the same?” asks the project manager. The answer? Gmail Blue. It’s Gmail…only bluer. The announcement video features a cameo from the Blue Man Group.
Last year, a team from Google uncovered a chest containing the treasure map of Captain Kidd while capturing footage for ocean street view. After digitizing the map, they’ve turned the search for Kidd’s gold – and the decipherment (yep, it is a word, shockingly enough) of the cryptic symbols on the map – into a worldwide treasure hunt.
The world’s most intelligent toaster. This thing needs to happen. Now.
And now for a few non-techy ones…
Yep, everyone’s favorite quasi-evil dwarf is returning this season of Game of Thrones…as Warwick Davis, the actor who played Griphook in Harry Potter. Also, Davis’ face will be digitally superimposed over Dinklage’s in all releases of past seasons. This news caused a huge uproar among fans of the show…before they realized it was an April Fool’s joke.
A Special Message From the White House
Uploaded to the White House’s YouTube channel, our robot overlords have an…unconventional announcement for us.
Everyone loves puppies. Even you, jaded wanderer of the far reaches of the Interwebs. So when you need your puppy fix, just pop online to order unlimited free puppies. Unlimited puppies. What could possibly be better than this?
And by the way, the government has announced that April Fool’s Day is cancelled next year due to an overabundance of silly pranks.
Not to worry, ’twas a simple joke. APRIL FOOLS! 😉