Your April Fools' Day Prank Spoiler

Your April Fools' Day Prank Spoiler

A few of the obligatory April Fools' Day pranks tech firms will roll out today will be funny. Some will be believable. To confirm the jokes, and help you avoid endless "Did you see this" emails, we're rounding them up here. [via lifehacker]

In the Google-verse

Google goes bananas on April 1. Every big department, and some small, gets their shot at adding a "new service" or "killer feature" to their products. If you see something announced on a Google blog today, unless you're in a time machine and it's about Gmail in 2004, chances are, it's not true. Here are the notable Google pranks:

  • Google Voice Standard Mode
    It's funny because when I call my friends' non-Google-Voice numbers, I really do get prompts for "numeric pages"—which just texts that person the number I just called from.
  • Google Translate for Animals
    Funny joke, sure—but Google actually released an Android app in the Market that pretends to listen and provide English translations. It's probably right that my Rubenesque cat is asking, "Please, sir, may I have some more?"
  • Watch YouTube videos in "TEXTp"
    Your April Fools' Day Prank Spoiler
    Certain videos on YouTube have a "TEXTp" option on the resolution picker, which converts the video to ASCII-type text display. As Gizmodo pointed out, the apex of this prank is watching the "Trololo" video in text.
  • "A different kind of company name"
    Google announces their corporate name change to "Topeka," a play on the most notable publicity stunt to draw Google's attention for its gigabit internet trials. Topeka Docs? Topeka Wave? Topeka Translate, actually, sounds like the most fun.
  • Google Wave Wave Notifications

    As in, Dr. Wave will actually stop and wave at you in the real world when you've got a wave. Not bad.

  • Upload and store anything in the cloud with Google Docs
    So, like, if you lose your keys, they could be in Google Docs, somehow. Ha.
  • Google Annotations Gallery
    Rachel writes in with this Google Code tool, the GAG, that lets developers write more descriptive Java code comments—like, say, @LOL and @Facepalm
  • Google Maps: 3D Goggles View
    Your April Fools' Day Prank Spoiler
    Open a location in Street View, and click the little Street View Dude icon wearing 3D glasses. Anyone who's got 3D glasses handy can tell us how this actually looks. Update: Commenters note that it actually kind of works! AgentSmithAndWeston says, "Nothing James Cameron-esque, but it's a bit better depth of field and perspective wise." [Hitched Hiker]
  • Today's vowel outage
    Your April Fools' Day Prank SpoilerReader Mike sends us this screencap of what he saw at Gmail's login page (which I didn't see). [Official Gmail Blog]

Everywhere else

Just because every other company doesn't give their employees one day a week to pursue their pranks and pet projects doesn't mean they can't also get pseudo-serious on April 1.

  • guest@xkcd
    Your April Fools' Day Prank Spoiler
    XKCD wins the April 1 war, or at least ties for second (see directly below), by giving his already geek-tastic comic site a Unix-like interface for the day. Go ahead — type "ls" to list files, and type other commands (like "man next") for loads of little goofs. Update: Want to see the full list of responses? zTnL points us to the full JavaScript file, in which you can hunt down all the little one-liners and marvel at the code.
  • Reddit
    At least as of this morning, everybody is an Admin at the community posting/voting site. No, seriously—everybody is an admin.
  • Hulu Confidential
    Alec Baldwin narrates an internal training video, describing Hulu's not-so-secret plan to mush our brains and use them for alien fuel.
  • Starbucks Listens to Customer Request for More Sizes
    The Plenta offers 128 ounces, the Micra 2 ounces, and Starbucks suggests using the Plenta bucket as a planter when you're done.
  • Dharma Initiative Alarm Clock

    Why couldn't this have been real? This and other pseudo-products abound at the web store today. [ThinkGeek]

  • Apple Tablet Teardown
    Note that they're tearing down an "Apple tablet," not an iPad, in particular. You'll get it when you scroll down a bit. [iFixit]
  • Introducing The Do-It-Yourself CrunchPad Kit
    Because of the way the CrunchPad turned out, it's a good thing to laugh about. [TechCrunch]
  • Slashdot Discussions Now Include Roulette Video Chat
    What would actually happen if Slashdot commenters had to keep a video stream open while they typed out comments? You won't find out here, but SlashRoulette is pretty clever.
  • Introducing Aviary's Bird Store!
    An attempt to explain how, exactly, a now entirely free web-based graphics editor can make a profit. [Aviary Blog]
  • Join the Opera Space Browser testing program!
    Subtle means of taking part in the day, while still pushing the browser.

More noble attempts to round up the April Fools' shenanigans can be found at Search Engine Land and, in particular, TechCrunch's 2010 list, which they plan to update throughout the day. It's quite a scroll already.

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