April 2009
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Top 10 Tech April Fool’s Gags

Black crows in the meadow
Across a broad highway.
Though it’s funny, honey,
I just don’t feel much like a
Scarecrow today.

It’s been yet another busy April Fool’s day. Sites like Techcrunch and Slashdot have enormous lists of tech related scams, but my favourite are listed below. There isn’t any particular order.

Warner Bros. Acquires The Pirate Bay
Maybe I shouldn’t, but I just love those guys at The Pirate Bay. Following the lawsuit has been pretty funny, and I seriously hope nothing happens to them. Their home page now has a “Warner Brothers Heart Pirate Bay” image on it. And if any of you have some downtime, reading the letters on their Legal Page is quite possibly the best way to fill it. Be sure to read their response to the various takedown notices.
Introducing Joopal
Finally, the difficult decision for Open Source CMS implementers is over. Drupal and Joomla! have finally decided to collaborate and have brought us Joopal. It has “the power of Joomla! with Drupal configurability”. Some of the comments on the thread are also pretty fun, with fans of both CMS systems having digs at one another. Now I’m eagerly awaiting Tridignette and Docuwoven.
Pay and Get Back your Original Facebook
I’m one of the many that really doesn’t like the way FaceBook keeps changing things. It’s like supermarkets that keep moving products around to make you buy more. In fact, I’ve pretty much given up on FaceBook now. While I appreciate the fact that they’re extremely agile, it is also annoying as hell if you’re an old dude like me that fears change. Not only that, their last API change broke my first FaceBook App! But the good news is that “beginning today Facebook users will have an option to pay a yearly sum of $24.99 and get back their favorite Facebook“.
FaceBook Back
Twitter switch for Guardian, after 188 years of ink
Now this is something that could actually happen one day. This time last year, we could have had an April Fool’s joke saying “Skittles Ditches Corporate Site For Twitter”. Anyway, not only are The Guardian becoming a Twitter-only publication, they’re also converting their entire archive into Tweets. My favourite is probably “JFK assassin8d @ Dallas, def. heard second gunshot from grassy knoll WTF?“. Read the article, and the history at the bottom. A classic.
Gmail Autopilot by CADIE – The easiest email could possibly be.
This one got a lot of publicity of course. The world’s first Cognitive Autoheuristic Distributed-Intelligence Entity (CADIE) has been released, and Google are kind enough to let you use it for free to automatically reply to emails. Looks extremely useful, and will make you rich by automatically closing multi-million dollar deals with Nigerian bankers.
Introducing Opera Face Gestures
The browser wars are hotting up. Using Face Observation Opera Language (FOOL!), they are able to “recognize pre-determined facial expressions and match them to commands on the Opera browser.” The video of the idiot operating the browser is awesome, and the handy guide to the gestures is pretty fun too. Nice one.
Internet Explorer 8.1 Eagle Eyes Leaked
Maybe spurred on by Opera’s announced, Smashing Magazine have leaked news of Microsoft’s new browser – IE 8.1. aka “Eagle Eyes”. They actually did this quite early yesterday, and I know a few people that fell for it. It unveils a host of new features that actually look quite real. Eagle Eyes will even support Mozilla based add-ons and those tested “worked flawlessly (some of the developers even claim that – in terms of performance – they work much better under IE 8.1 versus Firefox 3).
ECM Vendors Throw in the Towel at Philadelphia Summit
Love this. And maybe even a hint of truth in it. Combining April Fool’s and the G20 summit, the guys at CMS Watch announce the death of ECM. The twenty main ECM vendors (the E20) declare the whole concept a waste of time. My favourite quote:
“I can totally understand it,” says CMS Watch principal Alan Pelz-Sharpe, “hell, we can’t even manage our own documents.” CMS Watch recently reverted to its f: drive after a failed, four-year effort to implement a commercial document management system.
Up, Up, and Away – Cloud Computing Reaches for the Sky
If, like me, you’re sick to death of hearing about Cloud Computing, this is the one for you. I’m just going to re-quote the intro and hope you’ll read the rest:
For a while the cloud was simply a metaphor meaning “a bunch of computers somewhere else.” Until now, somewhere else meant good old terra firma, the Earth itself. After extensive customer research we found that this rigid, antiquated way of thinking just won’t cut it in today’s post-capitalist world. They need locational flexibility, the ability to literally instantiate a cloud where they need it, when they need it.
SlideShare Rockstars
Let’s end on a slightly controversial one. To summarise, SlideShare made every presentation look like it had been viewed 100 more times than it had in reality. They then mailed users telling them that “they must have done something right” and that they should tweet their success to #bestofslideshare. They’ve had a bit of a backlash from users that didn’t find it funny. They say on their blog: “We sincerely apologize if we annoyed you … we notice from the reactions on twitter that some people are not amused.” Personally, I think it is hilarious. It’s April Fool’s people. Live with it. People still falling for it too.
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