April Fools 2011

April first is one of my favorite days of the year. It’s the first day of Script Frenzy, and I’m already a page ahead on my script. (For those surprised by my only being a page ahead, I’ve never finished Script Frenzy before the last day. Maybe this year will be the trend-breaker.) It’s also April Fools’ Day, or the day you should never believe anything you see or hear, and the day when the Internet goes wild. Here are some of my favorite pranks.

xkcd became xk3d. The comics were in 3d, and they moved when you moved your mouse. Here are more details on the joke.

Bryn Mawr announces a partnership with an alien institution. The best part is the opposing article from earthers. They’re also starting a semester in space program. I’d go back to college for that.

HTML 11 was released, now with new SOCIAL, RELIGION, and WIND tags, among many others. Can this come out? Please? I want to use all of these tags.

TechCrunch reports that Spotify, the music company that keeps delaying a U.S. launch, is finally launching the U.S. but is shutting down its services in Europe to fund the U.S. launch. The last line cracked me up. “Europe isn’t cool. You know what’s cool? America.”

Angry Nerds, a spinoff on Angry Birds, is launched. The game is based on developers who squash bugs. I still have a dumbphone and therefore haven’t played Angry Birds. I have been told that this is for the best.

Deals for hipsters is a Groupon parody. Need I say more?

Youtube went back to 1911. They even made a video of the top memes of 1911, all parodies of current memes. There’s a 1911 button on many videos that you can hit to go back to 1911 mode, which features old-timey music and the grainy screen. The meme video was funny, and the 1911 button was funny until I wanted to watch a video without the background music. Still, this was a great prank. On a unrelated note, 1911 was really 100 years ago, wasn’t it? Wow.

Reddit announced Reddit Mold. They actually announced the joke a few days ago so people could prepare for it. It’s a parody of Reddit Gold, the site’s subscription plan. You give spores to other users to infect them with mold, and infected users can use fewer keys and view fewer comments. The results are hilarious. Or should I say, th3 r3sults ar3 hilarious, as e is the first button to go. And yes, you can get infected by mold more than once. That’s when the fun really begins.

Slashdot let users customize stories via a dropdown menu. The result: hilarity.

Let’s not forget ThinkGeek, who presented their usual line of fake products that should be real, like Angry Birds pork rinds, the shirt plate (yes, that’s a plate attached to a shirt), and the Apple store playset. Some real products were past April Fool products, so we can get our hopes up, right?

And Google. Oh, Google. Where do I begin with you?. (I know Youtube is owned by Google, but it gets its own mention because I say so.) We have Google’s autocompleter job position that I’d apply for if I could type 32,000 words per minute. There’s Gmail Motion, which lets you control your inbox with your body. And whatever you do, I hope you searched for Helvetica today. There’s also now a Chrome addon that will let you view everything online in everyone’s favorite font before Google pushes it to everyone. Or doesn’t.

One joke that got less funny after seeing it several times was the fake paywall. Huffington Post did it only to New York Times employees, which was funny. Someecards erected a paywall to every other site on the Internet. But Boing Boing and Mashable’s paywall jokes were more disappointing. Maybe it’s because they were sites two and three I saw of the paywall trick and they had less creative tricks, but this shows that you really do have to be creative on April first. Riding a trend will get you only so far. (Though Funny or Die’s Rebecca Black-filled front page was a good way to top Bieber or Die from last year.)

The Internet will resume its usual state tomorrow. I didn’t play any pranks on anyone this year, sadly. I should have, but I wasn’t in a pranky state of mind for the past few days. Next year, perhaps.

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