01 April 2011

12 Best of The Web Funny April Fools Day: Pranked, Spoofed and Trashed

From Denny: There are those among us - of a cheeky bent - who look forward to this one day a year when people forgive us for pranking them. Today the web was full of April Fool's Day fun from every angle, a real bumper crop of craziness!

1 - First up: Google leads the fun with their prank about their new feature of "motion-controlled" email. After all, typing on a keyboard is "so last century," right? And Google says it's also "outdated" and "inefficient."

"To open a message make a movement as if you were opening an envelope. To reply, simply point backward with your thumb," Google says in a video demonstration. More instructions? "To reply all, use both hands. To send a message, lick a stamp and place it down."

Well, you too can look like a complete fool by believing this satire and standing up in your office cubicle on Freaky Friday and get elected Fool Of The Day by using various body language to instruct your computer. It's like using cat body language to write an email. Hey, whatever floats your boat.

Best April Fools' Day Pranks - Google motion email is half way thru this clip:

2 - Google had some more fun with the public by putting up this silly video: A YouTube roundup of viral videos from 1911: Funny April Fools Day Video: Google Proclaims YouTube Top 5 Viral Pictures of 1911. It's parked over at one of my humor blogs so knock yourself out for some silly laughs.  I liked the jazz cat otherwise known as Flugelhorn Feline.

3 - Google also decided to trash a well known font today: the much reviled Comic Sans.  The company fooled everyone today by saying they are changing over all their fonts to this groaner of a font that no one in their right mind would use except for a title of a blog.  Can you imagine trying to read an entire post in this font???  Well, Google did. :)

"Following some rigorous user testing of 41 different fonts, investigating how each affected user experience," Google writes, "we discovered one font consistently outperformed all others when it comes to user satisfaction, level of engagement, understanding Web content, productivity, click-through rates and conversion rates: Comic Sans."

When you search for "Comic Sans" on Google - from certain browsers - you will suddenly find all your fonts changed to the bubbly typeface.  Yeah, it looks more like a ransom note written in crayon from your friendly social site neighborhood serial killer.  Boy, Google can get downright cheeky ruthless on a day like this.

Go here for their prank page:  Comic Sans comedy.

4 -  Next in line for Fool Fun was the HuffPost Paywall with their mocking jab at The New York Times paywall. HuffPost demands money from New York Time staffers trying to read the HuffPost and this paywall only applies to them.  Those cheeky devils.  That will teach NYT to take for granted their frequent readers by price gouging them.

"It's an important step that we hope you will see as an investment in The Huffington Post, one that will strengthen our ability to provide high-quality journalism to readers around the world - and especially to our readers inside The New York Times," the company writes in a joke statement.

A down economy is not exactly the smartest time to chase away readers.  In fact, I was so incensed by NYT's online pricing that I decided to start up my own humble version of an online newspaper that is free to read for everyone any time.  Somehow, news and vital information should always be free to the public.  Go here to visit Dennys Online Newspaper.

5 - Royal wedding blog: Well, the Brits, The Guardian, had to get into the act on a silly day like today with a mock "live blog" providing minute-by-minute updates on the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Remember, the nuptials are still a month away.

The Guardian:  "10.24 a.m.: More media news: our US correspondent Ed Pilkington reports that CNN will be sending 632 correspondents and commentators to cover the wedding, with the coverage on the day being helmed by Piers Morgan, sitting on a giant throne suspended from the upper level of Tower Bridge."

I wonder what this says about the British perception of American media...? :)

6 - Angry Nerds:  Riffing off a popular mobile game called "Angry Birds" the software maker Atlassian punked the nerd community.  Players of this tablet-based game get to sling bespeckled geeks across the screen by launching them out of an office chair. Definitely one of those visual jokes you need to see to appreciate.  Hey, it's an easy game where I got to soar high fast.  Nerds are good.  Nerds are good for your self-esteem. Either that or I'm one twisted sister...

"What do you do when you have bugs in your code?" the site says. "Send in the Angry Nerds. Consider these issues ... resolved."

7 -  Job as Autocompleter:  You know it's a good tech company when they feel care free enough to mock themselves.  "Self-loathing can be fun!" must be the Google motto.  Today they decided to have some fun by mocking their own auto-complete feature.

You know it's that feature that likes to anticipate where you are going like your cat walking between your legs getting you tripped up as you try to walk across the room - fast - to catch your ringing cell. I've always found this feature downright annoying and it slows me down when I'm typing. Some people like it when they are typing in a query to the search box.  I don't mind it so much on a search engine as I do on the Google Blogger keyword area when I'm posting.

From the fake job posting:  "As a Google Autocompleter, you'll be expected to successfully guess a user's intention as he or she starts typing instantly. In a fraction of a second, you'll need to type in your prediction that will be added to the list of suggestions given by Google. Don't worry, after a few million predictions you'll grow the required reflexes."

8 -  Hemingway LinkedIn satire:  How many times has that site annoyed you to distraction by demanding you connect with former co-workers?  Hey, there's a reason you left that last job.  Today - and only today -  LinkedIn poked fun at itself by suggesting you recommend dead famous people.

From LinkedIn:  Dear Ernest Hemingway, "I'd like to add you to my professional network." And if you don't know who Hemingway was, well, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" applies here.

9 - Deals 4 Hipsters:  Bored with the lame fake hip Groupon deal ads?  No worries.  Check out the mock site of Deals 4 Hipsters.  It lifts the Groupon format and then offers discounts too trendy for their own good.

"Only $19 for a pair of lenseless frames ... $150 value, $800 if we had lenses in the frame." The deal is applicable only to residents of Inner West, Sydney.

Well, that's one way to deal with really bad advertising.  They might be on to something here.  Who knows? Maybe they will get rich quick.  On April Fools' Day magic is in the air.

10 -  Cobra documentary:  This past week's Twitter sensation was the fake account of a female cobra tweeting her adventures - who really did escape from her confines at the Bronx Zoo Reptile House.  Her keepers could not find her for a good week.  Meanwhile, Animal Planet fake-announced they made a special behind-the-scenes documentary about Miss Cobra's loose lifestyle.

"Featuring never-before-seen footage, this renegade cobra's home movies and personal disclosures about why she slipped town will offer the real story behind the cobra's escape and solo adventures through New York City," the site says. "The documentary will also highlight the cobra's meteoric rise to fame and her interactions with the city's elite including Mayor (Michael) Bloomberg."

11 - The Onion's Apple "Friend Bar":  Come on!  Every day at The Onion is spoof day.  The Onion went after Apples' Genius Bar for special opportunity mocking, calling it the Friend Bar.  They say it's a place where "specially trained" employees will listen to you talk about how much you love arcane Apple features for as long as you can rant:

"Unlike your girlfriend or your co-workers, we're not going to get tired of discussing the wireless networking capabilities of Snow Leopard Operating System. We're here and we're ready to listen," one of the fake workers said about the new feature.

12 - ThinkGeek Playmobil Apple Store Playset:  Just in case you are suffering from iPad2 line withdrawal these guys are here to save your day - and your attitude.  ThinkGeek offers a parody playset.  Wow! You really get to be one of those lame re-enactors who plays with plastic figurines while waiting in line at an Apple store.  O...K... I think it's time we find something better to do with modern society.  We are rotting to the core with pleasure.  (Groaner Alert:  bad Apple pun)

"A quick peek at the miniature Genius Bar and we were feeling a bit woozy. Then we saw the tiny Steve Jobs presenting in the Keynote Theater on the top floor and that was it. Our wallets popped out faster than you can say Jonathan Ive and we plunked down whatever money was needed to own this amazing playset."

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