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April Fool’s Day 2010

April 1, 2010

April Fool’s Day has been around since the 1500’s. Some of the best jokesters have been BBC, Sports Illustrated and Google.

On April 1, 1957, BBC aired a spoof about spaghetti crops in Switzerland. The story featured people plucking spaghetti from trees. Many viewers called to inquire where they could purchase the spaghetti trees.

On April 1, 2008, BBC did it again with “Miracles of Discovery” where they showed a new species of flying penguins. To perfect the joke, a video of flying penguins accompanied the story.

On April 1, 1985, Sports Illustrated published a story about Sidd Finch, a pitcher who threw a record-breaking 168-mph fastball. According to the story, Finch learned how to pitch from a Tibetan monk. A few days after publishing the story, it was revealed as a joke by writer George Plimpton.

On April 1, 2000, Google introduced MentalPlex, a search engine that read people’s minds to conduct searches. Users were instructed to stare into a swirling circle of colors to run their search. To perfect the joke, Google covered privacy violations in its FAQ section: “While MentalPlex does have the potential of probing your deepest darkest secrets and desires, this information is only used in aggregate and rarely sold to advertisers unless they ask very, very nicely.”

On April 1, 2007, Google unveiled TiSP (Toilet Internet Service Provider) a new service that used toilets and sewage lines to provide free Internet connectivity at a speed of 8 Mbit/s (2 Mbps upload) (or up to 32 Mbps with a paid plan). The user would drop a weighted fiber optic cable in their toilet and flush it. Around 60 minutes later, the end would be recovered and connected to the Internet by a Plumbing Hardware Dispatcher (PHD). The user would then connect their end to a Google-supplied wireless router and run Google-supplied software on their computer. Alternatively, a user could request a professional installation, in which Google would deploy nanobots through plumbing to complete the process.

Today, Google announced that it changed its name to Topeka

Follow the rest of this year’s April Fool’s Jokes at Tech Crunch

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