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4/1/2013
02:41 PM
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12 Google April Fool's Day Jokes

Google Nose, Gmail Blue and the shutdown of YouTube show that the search giant has a sense of humor.

Google's 10 Best Gags, Pranks And Easter Eggs
Google's 10 Best Gags, Pranks And Easter Eggs
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Google for years has observed April 1st with a variety of humorous announcements and 2013 is no exception. The company has published at least a dozen April Fool's jokes, some of which you might wish were real.

Google Nose

Take real technology -- chemical sensing -- and wrap it in ridiculousness. The result is Google Nose, a scent-based search system that includes a mechanism for scent sharing.

Gmail Blue

"How do we completely redesign and recreate something while keeping it exactly the same?" asks the presumably fictitious Google product manager Richard Pargo in a YouTube video. "The answer is Gmail Blue." It's Gmail, but it's blue. Surely, it's just coincidence that the next version of Windows is called Windows Blue.

[ What do you know about Windows Blue? Read Windows Blue: What We Know. ]

Google Maps Treasure Mode

The value of Google Maps for treasure hunting has already been argued, but Google is making a joke of it. The company has asked for help finding loot hidden by infamous pirate Captain William Kidd. To help willing treasure hunters, the company is offering Google Maps Treasure Mode, an alternative skin for Google Maps. It's more appealing in many ways that the regular look of Google Maps.

Google Apps Levity Algorithm

Google pitches its Levity Algorithm as a way to spice up boring work days. The ostensible algorithm replaces humdrum calendar entries like "Employee reviews with Consultant team" with an alternative label, such as "Peanut butter jelly time." And it re-titles email messages, turning a subject line like "HR Memo" into something along the lines of "The New Hotness." This should be mandatory in every company.

YouTube Shutdown

In a YouTube blog post, "Tim Liston" explains that YouTube is finally ready to pick a winner and wrap up its eight-year video contest. At midnight tonight, the hugely popular video website will stop accepting contest submissions and will then deliberate for the next ten years before announcing a winner, who will receive a clip-on MP3 player and a $500 stipend for a follow-up project.

Google+ Photos With Emoticons

In a Google+ post, software engineer Erik Murphy-Chutorian (a real person this time) reveals a new Google+ Photos feature: The ability to add emoticons to pictures. He writes, "So starting today, we will give you the option to add stylized emotions to your photos. To give it a try, simply open one of your pictures in the lightbox, and click the 'Add emotion' button at the top left of the screen. We will plumb the emotional depths of everyone in the photo, then summarize their feelings with a beautifully crafted, emotion icon. Click on the button again to return to the original version of your photo." Don't be surprised if you find that this service actually works.

Google SCHMICK

SCHMICK stands for Simple Complete House Makeover Internet Conversion Kit, a supposed Google Maps Street View add-on from the Google Apps team in Australia. It allows users to enhance images of their homes with graphical bling, or it would if it worked.

Google Maps In Russia Gets New Voice

Google's office in Russia has announced that Google Maps is now available with turn-by-turn directions spoken with the voice of Ivan Ohlobystina. In case you're not familiar with his work, Google Russia has provided an audio sample. It won't make much sense if you're not fluent in Russian, but it sounds as if it could be funny.

Google Fiber Poles

Taking fiber to the curb a bit too literally, Google is promising to add Internet access points to utility poles that carry Google Fiber. The video of people camping out next to telephone poles for Internet access is worth watching. If you've ever attended a technology conference, you may have seen something similar in the way that people gather around limited electrical outlets to recharge their laptops.

Google Wallet Mobile ATM

Google's latest smartphone add-on dispenses paper currency on-demand. Apple has come up with an alternative scheme that isn't supposed to be a joke: an ad-hoc cash dispensing network that uses people as ATMs.

Google Analytics Legacy Export

Google Analytics' idea of April Fools humor consists of new export and send options for analytics data. The forthcoming media export options include: 3.5" floppy disk, CD-ROM, papyrus and sticky notes. And additional data transmission schemes include: carrier pigeon, fax, telegram and telegraph.

One-Button Japanese Keyboard

No need to be befuddled by the complexity of typing Japanese characters. Try the new Japanese input device. It has just one key.

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Randy Smith
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Randy Smith,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/1/2013 | 8:07:54 PM
re: 12 Google April Fool's Day Jokes
My google analytics data has 42 users on my website over Europe (It was Australia earlier) with the label "International Space Station". Click the entry and it goes to another screen that claims the website is named April Fools Day.
jc
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jc,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/1/2013 | 10:12:15 PM
re: 12 Google April Fool's Day Jokes
I also get the Google Analytics 42 real time users from ISS on a site I monitor. Why 42?
jc
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jc,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/1/2013 | 10:14:14 PM
re: 12 Google April Fool's Day Jokes
Also, I see Bing has a joke too. Type "google" into Bing search
PJS880
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PJS880,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/8/2013 | 6:39:20 PM
re: 12 Google April Fool's Day Jokes
I am always game for a good prank that gets laughs, and these are some pretty good ones that I will probably be using. The fiber pole one is a great one and had me going pretty good. I think that combine d with the Google wallet will surely get anyone involved with the prank. I would love to see some video footage of people falling for these pranks.

Paul Sprague
InformationWeek Contributor
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