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
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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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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 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.
SaaS As Innovation Driver?Software as a service is the clear No. 1 way enterprises consume cloud. InformationWeek's SaaS Innovation Survey reveals three tips to get the most from SaaS: Make it a popularity contest. Have an escape plan. And remember that identity is the new perimeter.
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 7, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program!