Sunday, April 04, 2010

Google's April Fool Tricks 2010

From the year 2000 onwards Google has been upto some tricks or the other in April 1st. It started with Mentalplex in 2000 and since then Google has come up with a series of hoaxes for April 1st. Personally I came to know of this in 2002 when they put up their Pigeon Rank technology.

So this year also Googlers have gone out of their way to put up some April Fool jokes. Being a fan of Google, I tried to collect the set for 2010. Initially it was in the form of a April Fool buzz, with only the links. Then I thought of putting up this article.

Chrome with 3D

We all know about Chrome, a browser from Google that claims to renders "web pages and applications with lightning speed". This year Google put up a page for a 3D version of Chrome, dubbed as Crome 3D, there was a official post in the Chrome blog about this release . Users had to run the application on their normal screens and they would need a special set of glasses to enjoy the 3D effect.
Chrome 3D
The next day they have put up another post to indicate that it was just another hoax. In this post the engineer who coded Chrome 3D explained the kind of trouble that Googlers go through to put up these.
Googlers testing out Chrome 3D

Vowel Outage

The official GMail Blog reported a vowel outage at 0649 hrs on April 1st. The post says:
... during routine maintenance at one of our datacenters, the frontend web servers in that particular datacenter started failing to render the letter 'a' for a subset of users.

... we're experiencing Gmail’s first temporary vowel outage.
This was very funny. Some of my friends upon receiving this link from me me even replied that they kind of felt something wrong with the interface ! Two of them replied whether this was technically feasible !

Google changes its name to Topeka

This was not as elaborate in execution as the Chrome 3D joke which involved someone actually coding and testing the whole thing and then putting it up. This was limited to just a simple blog post titled "A different kind of company name" in the official Google blog. Apparently Google was changing its name to "Topeka", for some weird reason.
New Company Name

They even published a guide to the proper usage of the word Topeka.
Proper usage of the new name Topeka

Capability to Store Physical Objects in Google

Google is offering to store any physical items with them for a charge of $0.10 per kg. This was put up in the main Google site as a coming soon stuff. The page also includes a few user testimonials. This is one of those things that would be great if it happened in real life. This hoax was also put up in Google Docs blog on March 31st.

Translate Animal Speech


Google UK put up this awesome joke as a web page for a futuristic application that could Translate Animal Speech. This was complete with tours and video demos of the application.

Conclusion

This year Google seems to have gone out of their ways to create so many of these jokes for April Fool's day. I am sure there were a few more which I might just have missed. Personally the Chrome 3D was the most gullible one. I managed to convince one of my friends to install Chrome 3D and take a print out of the glasses.

If you come across some of the other things that I might have missed, do drop me a line.

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