April Fool’s Day 2011 Around The Web

by on April 4th, 2011 1 comment

The Internet has become the home of an increasing amount of April Fool’s jokes and pranks thanks to its wide viewing audience. Many popular website such as Google have routinely played pranks on their users, and they did not disappoint this year. A lot of big names played jokes on their website visitors this year along with Google, including Hulu, Toshiba, Kodak, Blizzard, and even NPR. Many communities also ran their own little jokes that amused many members, but would not be fully understandable by the public. Therefore, here’s a rundown of many of the public April Fool’s jokes that appeared on the internet on April 1st, 2011.

Google offered a handful of pranks and jokes this year. Their funniest one was “GMail Motion“, a supposed service that allowed users to control GMail with their bodies, similar to Microsoft’s Kinect controller.  One of the “promotional” videos even shows someone typing emoticons with their hands. Google also had a joke on YouTube involving the year 1911. There was a 1911 button on videos for US viewers that turned the videos they were watching grainy and filled with sepia tones. There was also a top of 1911 YouTube Videos compilation that was done in the same style, and was a take on 5 highly popular YouTube videos. When using Google instant Search, searchers would see a link that said that the company was hiring auto-completers. If they followed the link, they could watch a video that featured Michael Taylor giving an account of his journey from just a spell-checker to an auto-completer. Chromercise was another Google create prank that was a supposed finger exercise program done by browsing the web through Google’s Chrome browser. They even touted Chrome branded finger sweatbands. For AdWords, they claimed to be offering great ways to get your ads clicked on including things like LOLcats, and even multiple pop-ups (only up to 20, though). The web service giant also claimed to be migrating all of its pages to the Comic Sans font, and even made a Chrome extension for it, which is rather laughable.

Hulu also brought their video site back in time, just not near as far as YouTube. They went back to the 90’s with grainy pictures, scrolling text, frames, and even a guestbook. The website was literally straight out of the 90’s and is a great example of what not to do in web design anymore.

With 3D becoming more and more prominent in technology, there were a couple of jokes about it. Toshiba announced their 3D moncle, called the Toshiba Spectacle, for people who didn’t like to 3D glasses when taking advantage of their 3D TVs. One Thinkgeek product was a pair of de-3D cinema glasses, which, when worn at the movies, got rid of all 3D effects. Comic website XKCD also made a joke about 3D things giving headaches with a person not wanting to take a bike ride because it was in 3D.

Angry Birds was also parodied by Atlassion with Angry Nerds. This was an actual playable game that has the same game play properties as Angry Birds, but involves throwing nerds at viruses that are guarded by giant 1’s and 0’s off a computer chair.

Thinkgeek, as mentioned in the paragraph above, also put up a couple other fake products. One was a Playmobil Apple Store set. They also “offered” Angry Birds Pork Rinds, and a Minecraft USB Desktop Nether Portal.

Blizzard offered up two jokes this year. One was called “Crabby” that would help World of Warcraft players in dungeons. It would be just as annoying as Microsoft Office’s paperclip. Users would also not be able to remove the AI helper, who could “predict what you needed to do”, and then give you tips in a pop-up bubble. The game company also announce the return of StarCraft to consoles with it coming to the XBox 360 and being controlled by the Kinect controller only.

AdBlock joked about a new service coming out in beta form called AdBlock Freedom, which would block advertisements in the real world, such as: TV ads, billboards, and more. This would actually be a great thing to have, and is probably the most useful, yet ridiculous joke this year.

The Pirate Bay, a notorious torrent website, ran a joke blog post stating that they had won an auction for an auction website. This website was non-other than eBay itself. They stated in the post that the domain (eBay.com) would eventually redirect to their homepage. The move is to decrease the amount of effort to fight a supposed lawsuit over the trademark of the domain name, since eBay is included in the name The Pirat(e Bay).

LinedIn joked around with users in their “People You May Know” section on the site’s homepage on April Fool’s Day by including people such as Robin Hood, J.R.R. Tolkien, Albert Einstein, and even more hilarious suggestions. This people are certainly important to network with for you business, especially Robin Hood, who is listed as an “activist/chief fundraiser at Nottingham.”

Kodak got in on the jokes by offering a way to get a permanent tattoo of any photo you wanted. So, instead of your current girlfriend’s name, you could just get a grainy cell phone picture, or high quality photo, of her tattooed right on your butt. This would serve as a constant reminder of her beauty.

This is only a fraction of the jokes and pranks played on websites across the internet. There are quite a few more out there, but these are a majority of the larger, more public ones, that website put on for April Fool’s day 2011. What was your favorite joke played by a website this year?