April Fools' Day prank roundup (2015)

April Fools' Day means three things: Pranks, pranks and more pranks. Here are some of the best from around the Web this year.

Computerworld April Fools Day Prank Round-up 2015

Happy April Fools'

It seems everyone is in the April Fools' spirit today, with pranks coming from Samsung, Virgin and, of course, pretty much every Google business unit there is.

We've rounded-up some of the best online pranks we could find, but there are surely some we've missed. If you find a good one worth including, let us know in the comments -- we will continue updating this throughout the day. But in the meantime, enjoy!

Related: The best April Fool's pranks of 2014
April Fool's prank roundup (2013)


Introducing Smartbox by Inbox by Gmail by Google.

Really, it was time for ordinary snail mail to be brought into the 21st century, and with Smartbox, it has been. The mail itself is no different, but how your home mailbox works, well, that's where the big changes are happening. 

The Smartbox is connected to your phone, which will tell you if you have any new mail or if it is empty. It is temperature controled, and learns from your habits just how warm or cold you want your mail to be. It has folders and will automatically organize your mail upon receipt. And it has a strong filter, which will administer a non-harmful but still surprising electric shock to anyone trying to deliver spam to the Smartbox.

And if that wasn't enough, the Smartbox is detachable from the actual mail post, so you can bring your mail with you wherever you go. So go ahead, free your mail.

Motorola's selfie stick

If there is one area in mobile development which has been largely neglected, it is the selfie stick. No more, thanks to Motorola. 

The company has been developing premium selfie sticks, hand-crafted by talented artists in either wood or leather. No longer will President Obama be forced to use generic, metal selfie sticks -- he, and the rest of us, will be taking selfies in style from now on.

Because a selfie stick is not just an accessory. It's an extension of who you are.

Virgin moves to Branson, MO

When Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, discovered he had long-lost relatives in Branson, Mo., he couldn't resist relocating the U.S. headquarters and part of the UK operation of his multi-billion dollar business to the town of just over 10,000 people. 

All of Virgin's operations are jumping on-board. Virgin America has already announed a flight between San Francisco and Branson, Virgin Active is introducing a work-out regimen that involves tossing hay bales and wagon wheel rolling, and Virgin Pure is triple filtering the water supply so that Richard Branson can always have a perfect cup of tea when he is in town. And those are just a few of the efforts underway to Virgin-ize Branson.

So hop on Virgin's newest plane, named Jolene in honor of Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede, a dinner show with "thrilling horse riding stunts," and make your way to Branson to paint the town red. Just be sure to swing by the local Walmart when you're there to pick up a "Welcome to Branson, Branson" t-shirt -- if there are even any left. 

MS-DOS Mobile

Microsoft has been struggling for years to make a big splash in the smartphone market, and with its new phone, I think they finally have.

With MS-DOS Mobile for Lumia, Microsoft has gone back to its roots, to where people were first truly productive with Microsoft, and created a simple, yet beautiful, operating system. Black and white text has never looked so good.

Google Maps

Google PAC-Maps

For years, people have depended on Google Maps for turn-by-turn navigation to get them where they need to go, but those helpful maps have been missing one very important thing: where not to go. 

Now, with an ambitious update, Google Maps is introducing PAC-Maps, which tells users roads to avoid based on where dangerous beings, such as Pinky, Blinky, Inky and Clyde are lurking. You will also be able to spot ghosts (who you'll want to steer clear of) and delicious fruit like cherries (which you'll want to eat) along your route.  

galaxy blade edge

Galaxy Blade Edge

With so many products doing double-duty these days, it was only a matter of time before a smartphone could be used as a kitchen knife. And what better company to create such a product than Samsung, which has come out with the Galaxy Blade Edge.

The Blade, offers all the features of the Galaxy S6 and sports a ceramic body and a razor-sharp diamond edge that can cut through everything, from tomatoes to lobster tails. But don't worry -- even with its super sharp blade, you won't accidentally cut yourself. Samsung's Knox security feature will recognize human skin and retract the blade before an accident can happen. And if someone tries to use the Blade in a purposefully violent way, the phone will automatically call the authorities. 

Both water- and fire-proof, you will be able to wash and sanitize the Blade as you would any other kitchen utensil. The handle is available in olivewood, ergonomic ceramic, stainless steel and mammoth tusk, for which no mammoths were actually harmed. 

And with everyone taking pictures of their food these days, what could be more convenient than always having a smartphone on hand in the kitchen?

Google Fiber dial-up

Google Fiber is fast. And that's great, right?

Well, not always. For the times when you want a break from it's superfast speeds to get a snack, go to the bathroom or hug your kids, there is now Google Fiber dial-up mode.

By incorporating a dial-up technology into the fiber lines, Google managed to slow down the photons by 376 times. Just think of all you can accomplish while you wait.



If you had to guess, how many hours would you think Chrome users lose everyday having to exit Chrome just to take a selfie?

Up to 6 hours.

If you ask me, that's far too much time wasted. Think of all the selfies you could take if you didn't have to exit out of Chrome first! Well, now, thanks to Chrome's innovative team, we will become a more efficient selfie- taking society because with #ChromeSelfie, you can take pictures right from your mobile browser.

If you are thinking sadly about all those times you texted a link to an article without a picture of your reaction attached, or posted a selfie to Instagram without the context of the website you were reading, cheer up and strike a pose. Those days are officially behind you. 

T-Mobile's Pets Un-leashed

Family plans have been ignoring very important members of our families up until now, but T-Mobile is going to change that.

With it's new Pets Un-leashed plan, you can add your pet to your family plan for only $5/month. Because as T-Mobile tells us, your carrier hates puppies, so switch to T-Mobile, where your four legged companions won't be relegated to the mobile sidelines. 

Now your pets can stream their favorite content without using up your data. And with apps like Fetch Freedom, Fit Pet and Pet Tindr, your entire family will enjoy hours of entertainment. 

Google Panda

For those who have wanted a product so brilliant you can ask it anything but so cute that you will want to hug it, Google brings us Google Panda.

Google Panda has three main functions: The cute function makes Panda inviting, so you will want to ask it questions; the mobility function gives Panda that ability to grasp your arm tightly during a run or other activities (goodbye awkward arm bands!); and the shockproof function means that Panda's fluffiness will absord the shock of any fall.

Google Panda will come in two sizes, the regular Google Panda 5 and the larger Google Panda 6. So move over Google Now, Panda is about make you obsolete.

com google


For far too long, Google's famous search engine has been geared towards those of us who read English from left to right. But it has been completely ignoring those who read it from right to left.

No more. Now, with com.google, people who read English just a little bit differently no longer have to adapt to the reading style of the masses. It is a huge step, and one in the right direction. Or should that be left direction? 

Google Actual Cloud Platform

That cloud computing is called cloud computing has long been a source of frustration for technologist who find the metaphor imprecise, with data being stored in actual data centers. Well, all that is about to change with Google's Actual Cloud Platform.

The Actual Cloud Platform is run off servers in the troposphere, inside, you guessed it, actual clouds. With new features like Stormboost, which harnesses the electrical power generated by thunderstorms, Actual Cloud can supercharge read/write performance on all persistent disks and offer 50% higher IOPS.

These non-terrestrial data centers are the wave of the future -- and the sky's the limit.

r android

r/android? r/apple

Finally, Reddit is coming round to what Apple has been telling us for years: People don't want Android, they want Apple. And to make it official, the Internet front page has changed the /r/Android subreddit to an /r/Apple subreddit.

It may take subscribers a little while to catch on, though -- they are still submitting Android related links and questions for the time being. But once they do, we won't have to deal with those bothersome Android versus Apple debates anymore. Reddit has made the decision for us: It's Apple all the way.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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