From The Erbo Files
Monday, April 1, 2013

It's time once again for the only universal holiday of the Internet, April Fool's Day.  Here are some of the pranks for today, for your enjoyment:

  • Why should grownups have all the fun of project tracking? Atlassian introduces JIRA Jr. to track all the important stuff about being a kid.

  • Google once again breaks new ground, with Google Nose. Why scratch-and-sniff, when you can click-and-sniff? (Don't get too used to it though...after the whole Google Reader thing, you never know what they'll shut down next...)

  • And another improvement from Google, this one to its Gmail service (which, lest we forget, was launched on an April Fool's Day): Gmail Blue. Like the Gmail you know and love, only bluer!

  • YouTube reveals its big secret: it's actually been an 8-year-long contest all along to find the best video on the Internet. Now they're shutting down to start judging all those videos. Expect to find out who the winner about 10 years...

  • Not to be outdone, Google Maps now offers a treasure mode.

  • The hits just keep on coming from the Googleplex: Google+ allows you to attach real emotions to your pictures. (Insert joke about Google+ being the real April Fool's joke here...)

  • Twitter is becoming a two-tiered service. The free version, "Twttr," will only let you use consonants. If you want vowels, upgrade for only $5 a month. Hey, Vanna, pick me a letter!

  • Virgin Atlantic announces a new innovation: the world's first glass-bottomed plane.

  • Check out some of ThinkGeek's latest products, such as the Batman Family Car Decals, Adventure Time BMO Interactive Buddy, Aliens Chestburster-in-a-Can, Eye of Sauron Desk Lamp, Play-Doh 3D Printer, and MinecraftCreeper Body Pillow.

  • President Obama announces a plan to try to pay down the national debt through crowdfunding. I guess it's no stupider an idea than anything else that's come out of the White House recently...

  • What Obama has actually done (and this is not actually a joke, but it might as well be) is to proclaim April "National Financial Capability Month," in which he wants to "teach young people how to budget responsibly." I'm withMichelle Malkin on this: would you take financial advice from an Administration that has racked up more debt than all previous Administrations in American history, and whose own budget is two months late?

  • Nokia announces a microwave oven...which, given the way they've been sucking out in the mobile phone market recently, might actually be a viable business plan for them.

  • Slashdot announces that, to encourage users to log in, they will be encrypting all stories with ROT13. Click one button to decrypt the story...but anonymous users will just need to watch an interstitial ad first.

  • Also on Slashdot, a true battle of the Computing Titans. Who will win...the Radio Shack TRS-80 or the Commodore 64?

  • No more secret sauce! Introducing the Open Sauce Foundation, sponsored by McIlhenny (the Tabasco sauce people), Huy Fong Foods (who make Sriracha Rooster Sauce), and Kikkoman.

  • Linus Torvalds is jumping ship from the Linux Foundation to head up Microsoft's Windows 9 project. After the debacle of Windows 8, this could only make things better.

  • Fermilab chooses a new director...who thinks bow ties (and fezzes) are cool.

  • Meanwhile, over at CERN, they're running a lottery. Ten lucky winners will each get their very own Higgs Boson! (How much will those go for on eBay?)

  • Coming soon to Broadway: Shadow War of the Night Dragons - The Musical! Based on the work of John Scalzi, who addresses the rumors here.

  • Meanwhile, Charles Stross is becoming a producer; read about his first project.

  • Apple finally introduces their much-rumored iWatch...but it's not what you might think. (But it'll still be a better product than their Maps app on iOS!)

  • Your new RFCs for today: RFC 6919, "Further Key Words for Use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels," and RFC 6921, "Design Considerations for Faster-Than-Light (FTL) Communication." The former is slightly silly, but the latter actually has some decent science-fictional content to it.

  • Introducing "Take Your Computer To Work Day." Can I bring my Raspberry Pi?

  • And speaking of which...Erbosoft Enterprises announces its intentions to take on Microsoft, Google, Oracle, and in fact most of the computer industry. watch this space...

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The only universal holiday of the Internet is April Fool's Day, and this is when many sites bust out their best jokes. Here's a rundown of some of the stuff I've seen today. This is by no means an exhaustive list.

  • Google is no slouch at April Fool's Day Jokes, and have turned out some of the best...and at least one project that was introduced on April Fool's Day that turned out not to be a hoax. Today they introduce Google Racing, a partnership with NASCAR for autonomous race cars (!). Also check out their Really Advanced Search.

  • Oh, and check out Google Maps for the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System. Blocky goodness!

  • introduces FARK.mag, "The Magazine by Drew Curtis's's Drew Curtis." Help save a dying business model today, with their offer of 72 issues for the price of -72, or 200% off the cover price!

  • YouTube has put a lightswitch next to all their videos. Turn the lights off to get a dark background, then turn 'em back on! Also, order The YouTube Collection, all your favorite videos on actual DVDs, the way God and the MAFIAA intended, for one low, low price of $2,448,693 plus tax! Oh, and delivery may be somewhat delayed...

  • TechCrunch introduces TechCrunch Drama, the channel for all your drama needs. I have a feeling they're only partly joking here... :-)

  • TVTropes has been randomly redirecting people visiting its home page to the translated versions...including the "Lolspeak" version. "O hai. U can has descripshun of tvtropes? Dis wiki iz lolcatalog of trix of traed four riting fikshun." If you can't understand it, ask your cat. :-)

  • Tyler Durden on Why Regulation Is Good For Growth. "The biggest problem with 'free' markets is the stupidity of the common people. How can they possibly know what they want, or what they want to achieve when they have not attended prestigious universities like Oxford, Harvard, or Yale?" ZeroHedge on April 1 = HuffNPuffPost, Daily"ScrewEm"Kos, or Democrappic Underpants the other 365 days of the year (since 2012 is a leap year).

  • Facebook, according to some sources, may be considering adding a "Hate" button. Truth here, people: Wouldn't you buy that one at a black-market price right now?

  • From the IETF, we have two new standards: RFC 6592, "The Null Packet," and RFC 6593, "Service Undiscovery Using Hide-and-Go-Seek for the Domain Pseudonym System." This is a longstanding tradition, and I'm pleased to see it has continued.

On a sad note, April 1 marks the end of Francis W. Porretto's long-running conservative blog Eternity Road, due to various technical difficulties and "personality differences with his Webmistress." However, he continues blogging, for the present, at Liberty's Torch. Make sure and follow him there.

Copyright © 2012 Eric J. Bowersox, All Rights Reserved.
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