'Pranks' for the memories: The best of April Fools 2010

Did you get any work done yesterday? Cringely didn't. He went trolling for April Fools' Day jokes. Here are some of his faves

My head is throbbing, my skin feels like sandpaper, and my mouth tastes like the entire Russian army retreated through it on its way back to Moscow.

No, it was not from those Jagermeister and NyQuil jello shots. That was last week. It's a hangover from overindulging on April Fools' Day pranks yesterday. It's my favorite holiday, and I just don't know when to stop. Here are the ones that stuck most in my memory, or what's left of it.

1. Google = Topeka

Last month, in an effort to show just how desperate it was to get Google to build it a free, superfast, fiber-optic network, Topeka, Kansas, officially changed its name to "Google" for the month of March. Yesterday, Google returned the favor. Per the Official Google Blog:

"Google employees once known as 'Googlers' should now be referred to as either 'Topekers' or 'Topekans,' depending on the result of a board meeting that's ongoing at this hour. Whatever the outcome, the conclusion is clear: we aren't in Google anymore."

Of the many pranks Google has pulled over the years, this may be my favorite, just because it's so simple and perfect.

2. Hulu wants brains

If you visted Hulu yesterday, called up a video, and hit the 3D option, you'd be presented with a pop-up window labeled "Hulu Confidential -- For Internal Use Only." A 10-minute "Lost"-inspired training video featuring Alec Baldwin doing his best Rod Serling imitation:

"The content kept on coming and the channels kept growing, many of them beamed directly from space, culminating in the phenomenon dubbed 'Reality TV.' A scriptless, plotless, pointless, thoughtless, relentless genre that dished up all the experiences humans missed while sitting on their couches: their lives. And yet, no one cared. Why go to the exhausting effort of living a life when you could absorb one on TV?"

The video features some surprise cameos, including one from the Fake Steve Jobs. Yes, TV is rotting your brain -- and that's a good thing, because it's so much more delicious that way.

3. Ben & Jerry's "Ice screen"

Yesterday, B&J's UK division introduced an "amazing new invention [that] allows you to taste a scoop of Ben & Jerry's on your PC just by licking the screen." Given how gullible many Netizens are, you know somebody tried it. Every time I think about this I have to go rinse out my mouth.

4. Wedding Wire's "WedRoulette"

Fans of ChatRoulette would appreciate Wedding Wire's take on the random video chat service, which is a dead-on copy of CR, save for the lack of semi-comatose males typing with one hand (if you know what I mean).

5. Starbucks goes big and small

The Wal-Mart of brewed beverages scored by introducing two new sizes: Micra (2 ounces) and Plenta (128 ounces), along with some convincing PhotoShop work:

"Recognizing the potential impact the Plenta™ presents for municipal waste collection, Starbucks is also suggesting several subsequent uses for the Plenta™ cup post coffee enjoyment. Suggested usage options include popcorn receptacle, rain hat, perennial planter, lampshade or yoga block. The Micra also serves as a convenient milk dish for kittens, soft boiled egg cup or paper clip holder."

Dishonorable mentions

I also liked Google's Gmail vowel outage and its Translate for Animals Android app, eSarcasm's convincing mock-up of TechCrunch, and Qualcomm's video exposing bizarre random butterfly attacks.

Nicely done, everyone. Now get back to work.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert X. Cringely

Show Comments

Cool Tech

Xiro Drone Xplorer V -3 Axis Gimbal & 1080p Full HD 14MP Camera

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

D-Link PowerLine AV2 2000 Gigabit Network Kit

Learn more >

D-Link TAIPAN AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi Modem Router (DSL-4320L)

Learn more >

ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q – Reign beyond virtual world

Learn more >

Crucial® BX200 SATA 2.5” 7mm (with 9.5mm adapter) Internal Solid State Drive

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >


Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

ASUS VivoPC VM62 - Incredibly Powerful, Unbelievably Small

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Best Deals on Good Gear Guide


Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.


Latest Jobs


Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?