Here we are again: April Fools Day. Only this time around it’s 2013 and no one is safe. We start, as is tradition, with Google’s masterful pranks. It’s all after the break…or is it. (Click here for more…)
Following the tradition of selecting an annoying teen sensation to take over their website, Funny or Die has chosen Rebecca Black (of “Friday” fame) for this year’s April Foolery. The site is designed all around young Rebecca; there’s even a calendar explaining that Friday is the day to be “so excited”, that Thursday comes before it, Saturday is tomorrow, and Sunday comes afterwards. Speaking of the day that starts the week, there’s a new featured trailer starring Rebecca called “Sunday Comes Afterwards” that’ll surely bust your gut with pain. And then there’s the excruciating “Which Seat Should I Take” PSA. There are more than a handful videos featuring Rebecca and you’ll find them all starring you in the face when you load up the redesigned site. But first, make sure you check out the video embedded above. In it Rebecca Black analyzes the lyrics to the genius song that made her popular in the first place. “Gotta have my bowl, gotta have cereal. That line is about consumerism. I gotta have my bowl, I gotta have my cereal.” And who knew they were so politically-bent? “The choice between the front seat and the back seat is actually a metaphor for American foreign policy.”
[Via Funny or Die]
Not sure if this year’s ThinkGeek prank products top last year’s Dhrama Initiative Alarm Clock, but they certainly come close. Pictured above is the Apple Store Playset from PLAYMOBIL. For $179.99 you get everything you see here: entire store with figures and over 60 accessories; the Store comes fully staffed with Apple Store associates; Ground floor of Apple store features product demo tables, software shelves and kids corner; Top floor includes Genius Bar and Keynote Theater with mini Steve Jobs figure; and you can even use your own real iPhone 4 as the screen behind Steve Jobs in the Keynote Theater. For an additional $49.99 you can buy the Line Pack to stage your own Apple Device launch party, a tiny Woz on a tiny Segway included! The Apple Store Play Set aims to introduce children to the magic of Apple technology, check it out in more detail right here.
And that’s not all. ThinkGeek is offering a wide range of new products today only and they include Angry Birds Pork Rinds (delicious crispy pork rinds made from dead pigs), Star Wars Lightsaber Popsicles, and the insanely popular Minecraft USB Desktop Nether Portal. Shop at the source link.
You might think that a Starbucks exists on every corner of every street in the universe, but you know what’s just not true. So the company has decided to formally introduce Starbucks Mobile Pour to combat the problem of not being able to find a Starbucks location when you really need your fix. The new service puts baristas on scooters so that they can hand deliver your coffee order to you no matter your location. You can download the Mobile Pour app on your smartphone and it will pinpoint your location, allow you to select your coffee order, and keep on your merry way until a barista politely informs you on the street that your coffee has arrived. The first phase of the initiative involves sending out two scooter baristas per every square mile to ensure speedy service in seven of the largest cities around the country. Eventually they plan on bringing the service to malls where baristas will don rollerblades to quickly make their way to shoppers. See how Mobile Pour works at the source link below.
In honor of April Fools Day the team at Hulu has redesigned the video streaming website to show what it would have looked like if it existed way back in the dial-up days of 1996. Notice the basic text, HTML frames, the page counter (stuck at 54), a ”Sign our Guestbook” button (that brings you to the Simpsons episode “April Fools Origin”), shoutouts to Netscape Navigator, Internet Explorer, and the currently under construction Geocities neighborhood notice. Shows like The X Files and Sliders take center stage at the top of the page. And I won’t tell you what happens when you go to play a video. Find out for yourself at Hulu.com.
ABC is adding shows like White Castle, Mr. Sunsheen, and Brick Swan to their (faux) primetime lineup. Check ‘em all out after the break.
Just signed out of Gmail and was prompted to check out a new feature in beta called Gmail Motion.
Gmail Motion uses your computer’s built-in webcam and Google’s patented spatial tracking technology to detect your movements and translate them into meaningful characters and commands. Movements are designed to be simple and intuitive for people of all skill levels.
Head over to the elaborately detailed website Google has dedicated to this fun prank. There you’ll find more information about the technology behind Gmail Motion and hear what a “paralanguage expert” and “movement specialist” have to say about it. In due time, the search company plans to expand Motion into Google Docs (creating a pie chart is a riot).
Update: Looks like Google’s pulling a handful of pranks this year. Hop after the break to see what they’re all about. (Click here for more…)
Photographer Steph Goralnick took these “alternate reality gravity” photos to celebrate April Fool’s Day. Pretty neat perspective shots, huh? Check out some a couple more in the gallery below, and head over to Steph’s Flickr page for even more.
On April 1 word got out that Felicia Day’s web series The Guild was to expand its dominance to the television with a children’s program called Lil’ Guildies. The opening segment for the animated series was put on YouTube and it received a ton of positive buzz. Greg Aronowitz co-created it with Day, and Paul and Storm came up with the catchy theme song. The miniature Guild members even included an embryonic version of Bladezz, since he is the youngest of the group on the web series. That little nuggest of information should have made me roll my eyes and figure that this was an elaborate April Fool’s hoax. But it didn’t. And now I’m disappointed that it’s not real. It all started at Tubefilter and it came to a screetching halt when Day screamed April Fools on Twitter.
The dudes at the online shop ThinkGeek bring us the Dharma Initiative Alarm Clock. Our Dharma Initiative Alarm Clock is conveniently programmable to go off only once every 24 hours, and at a time convenient to you. But if you don’t get the numbers right before you see the hieroglyphs, there’s no guaranteeing what will happen. All you gotta do is type in the numbers 4 18 15 16 23 42 to stop an electromagnetic cataclysm…er, turn off the alarm. It requires 2 x AAA batteries and comes with a 23-year warranty, “or until your house implodes.” Now that’s some extra motivation to get up in the morning, now ain’t it? Only $49.99. Check out the video below to see it in action.
The fellas at ThinkGeek asked themselves, “How cool would it be to slide your iPad into a desktop-sized arcade cabinet and rock it old school with some Pac-Man or Space Invaders?” Enter the iCade, an iPad arcade cabinet. It’s simple, really. Slide your iPad into the built-in docking cradle, plug in the included 10-watt USB power adapter for extra power, and load up a classic arcade game using the iCade app (available in the App Store on iPad launch day). The handcrafted wooden cabinet somehow stuffs 2.1 Dolby speakers and a subwoofer! Look in the gallery below for some game screenshots. Future iPad buyers, get your iCade today for $149.99.
Today Starbucks announced two new cup sizes to debut this fall in the US and Canada.
Plenta™ (128 fl oz) and Micra™ (2 fl oz) cups arrive in Starbucks stores this Fall. Derived from Italian word for plentiful or small, the Plenta™ delivers coffee lovers record amounts of the world’s finest coffee beverages while the Micra™ delivers a quick and satisfying morsel of goodness.
Starbucks recommends “several subsequent uses” for the cups: “…options [for the Plenta] include popcorn receptacle, rain hat, perennial planter, lampshade or yoga block. The Micra also serves as a convenient milk dish for kittens, soft boiled egg cup or paper clip holder.”
Now there’s a size for everyone!
CNET UK is reports: “Eloi Cole, a strangely dressed young man, said that he had travelled back in time to prevent the LHC from destroying the world.” If you have been keeping up with the news lately, you should know that the scientists at CERN recently had the Large Hadron Collider successfully collide particles at record force. Their aim is to smash together atoms, create mini-black holes, and attempt to discover what exactly happed during the birth of our univierse, the Big Bang. Ever since its inception people are worried that the Switzerland-based LHC experiment might go awry and cause a huge black hole on Earth leading to instant worldwide death. Time-traveller Cole was at one point captured by Swiss police and explained why he came to stop the LHC from continuing its work: “Countries do not exist where I am from. The discovery of the Higgs boson led to limitless power, the elimination of poverty and Kit-Kats for everyone. It is a communist chocolate hellhole and I’m here to stop it ever happening.” According to the latest reports, “Mr. Cole was taken to a secure mental health facility in Geneva but later disappeared from his cell. Police are baffled, but not that bothered.”
[Via CNET UK]
Hulu Confidential – For Internal Use. Super-secret. Narrated by Alec Baldwin. Watch it here.
The next installment of Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is here! The narrative jumps abot 80 years into the future from lasy year’s “Century: 1910″ to League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: 1988. Is that Dr. Emmet Brown front and center? Synopsis, people:
When war-hero-turned-handyman Kesuke Miyagi is found drained of blood, it becomes clear that the occult gang known as the Lost Boys are targeting the only individuals that can stop them from complete domination of America. It’s the perfect case for the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen–except that their government contact, Oscar Goldman, disbanded the team in 1979 after they defeated Mr. Han’s army of the living dead.
Now, disgraced scientist Emmet Brown has to put together a new team to combat the growing threat of the Lost Boys and their leader, a newly resurrected vampire kingpin Tony Montana: Transportation specialist Jack Burton, ex-commando B.A. Baracus, tech wizard Angus MacGyver and the mysteriously powerful femme fatale known only as “Lisa.” But will Brown be able to stop the Lost Boys before time runs out?
1988 is written by Moore, but, according to ComicsAlliance, one Rusty Shackles will fill in for illustrator O’Neill “due to the latter’s crippling addiction to “Pokemon SoulSilver”.”
As I am sure many of you noticed today, Google changed its name to Topeka. But why, you ask? Well because the town of Topeka, Kansas changed its name to Google for the month of April. Topeka, Kansas is one of many communities that have entered a pool of contestents to vie for a fiber-based 1 gigabit broadband network to be provided by Google sometime in the near future. To get Google’s attention, Topeka Google’s Mayor Bill Bunten changed the town’s name and this is how Google pays it forward. Though it’s quite a gesture of gratitude, Google has this to say: “We want to be clear that this initiative is a one-shot deal that will have no bearing on which municipalities are chosen to participate in our experimental ultra-high-speed broadband project, to which Google, Kansas has been just one of many communities to apply.” And that’s why you see Topeka at www.google.com today.
“Google Translate for Animals” does just what you think an app with that name would do. Check it out in action in the video above.
The latest addition to YouTube is TEXTp, a text-only mode way of watching (most) YouTube videos. Once you flip the switch (found in the same place to select SD/HD modes) the YouTube video will playback in ASCII code, or a dumbed down jumble of letters and numbers. It’s pretty neat! The Lego Matrix stop motion video was made to be dressed in ASCII code, and Trololo (the Creepy La-La-La Guy) looks downright funky.
Google on the new addition: “TEXTp is the result of months of intense transcoding efforts by our engineers, who toiled for weeks to ensure that a large chunk of videos on the platform could be reduced to their most basic elements.” “For every person who selects TEXTp and keeps it on while you watch a video, you save YouTube $1 a second, resulting in potentially billions of dollars of savings for us.”
Head over to YouTube to check out your favorites in TEXTp mode, or add append &textp=fool to the end of any video URL to enable the feature. This better not be a one-day deal, Google!
And lastly there’s the new Google Wave wave notifications. They’re real time, real life notifications from a human male in a lab coat who literally waves at you when your Wave account receives a new message. To enable the new notification system, access the the drop down menu that appears in the Inbox Navigation panel. There you can choose from four levels of loudness: Silent, Medium, Loud or Vibrate. Now see what it’s all about in the video above.