When it comes to setting the Internet ablaze with April Fools’ Day pranks, it’s hard to outdo Google and Twitter, the two tech giants that control virtually every bit of information that courses through the Web. Hence, Google Nose was already trending before most of us woke up this morning, and Twitter’s new vowel-eliminating service was right behind it.
But the Old Guard has a sense of humor, too, and long-established media outlets set out to prove it on Monday with a barrage of April Fools’ Day pranks aimed at their readers and viewers. The International Business Times culled together some of the best.
Riffing on the last few weeks of Google Glass hype, the British newspaper the Guardian announced Guardian Goggles, “a pair of Web-connected ‘augmented reality’ spectacles that will beam its journalism directly into the wearer’s visual field, enabling users to see the world through the Guardian’s eyes at all times.” There’s even a demo video courtesy of the Guardian’s editor-in-chief, Alan Rusbridger.
‘Good Morning America’: The Language Of Gorillas
On "Good Morning America," ABC News correspondent Nick Watt reported on a scientist who deciphered the language of gorillas, making human-primate speech communication possible for the first time in history (or at least since the last “Planet of the Apes” film). Judging from the comments on the GMA blog, the joke got mixed reactions. At least one commenter was “appalled at the unprofessionalism.”
Macworld UK: Apple To Bottle A Steve Jobs-Smelling Scent
A unisex scent that smells like Steve Jobs? That’s how the British edition of Macworld reported on an upcoming product by Apple. Citing a “source familiar with the matter,” Macworld’s Nick Spence observed that the Apple cofounder was known for his fruity body odor. While the idea of a Steve Jobs scent is clearly a joke, there are probably more than a few tech geeks who would actually buy it.
The Daily Caller Lampoons Politico
Satirizing a recent Politico retrospective video -- in which the political-news portal reminisced about its wildly successful first six years in business -- the conservative website Daily Caller responded with a parody video about its own story. Among the video’s big reveals: The Caller will be working exclusively with Newt Gingrich on a new publication dedicated to moon coverage. So conservatives can laugh at themselves? Let that rebranding begin.
Netflix: Totally Random Movie Categories
Entertainment browsers were likely thrown for a loop when they logged on to Netflix on Monday and found that they could scroll through “Movies Starring Actors Who Look Like Zach Galifianakis” and “Movies Featuring an Epic Nicholas Cage Meltdown.” While the random categories were meant to be silly, it was nice to see a website put Danny Boyle’s “Trainspotting” under its proper category: “Movies That Are in English But Still Require Subtitles.”
The Washington Post: Imagining DC’s Underground History
The Washington Post columnist John Kelly started out subtle with this pseudo report on the remnants of Washington’s first subway system. If you read the entire piece, however, you’ll start to figure out -- as Kelly’s readers did -- that this jaunt through Mole Way is a carefully worded put-on.
Incidentally, while April Fools’ Day pranks are common, 68 percent of executives say they don’t appreciate them in the workplace, as USA Today reports. And as evidenced by the following tweet from Derek Schnell, an executive producer at KMBC in Kansas City, not everyone in media appreciates them either:
I do not like April fools' jokes, especially those made by the media. That is all.
â€” Derek Schnell (@derekschnell) April 1, 2013