April Fools 2012: Google kicks things off with “Google Maps 8-bit for NES” [Update: Gmail Tap, The YouTube Collection, Google Racing & Chrome Multitask Mode]
Google’s at it again, ready to trump all Internet April Fools gags with their latest creation: a new version of Google Maps made specifically for Nintendo’s original home console, the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System. The search giant claims to have developed an advanced cartridge that is compatible with Ninty’s Japanese Famicom video game console; it features a dial up modem that allows the cartridge to be connected to the Internet. Once connected, Google “runs more than a hundred thousand servers to overcome the NES’ technical limitations.” Yeah, they put some effort into this one. The result? 8-bit maps are generated on-screen by Google’s cloud services in real time. Google reminds potential buyers of this unfortunately fictitious product that if the cartridge fails to load, try blowing into it to fix bugs. Just like in regular Google Maps, you can search for specific places and route a course by typing or using your voice. The company says that the 8-bit version of Google Maps will “soon be available” in Google Store. For now, however, you can actually try it out by going to Google Maps in your trusty browser and clicking the new Quest icon. The entire map of the world will go 8-bit, as will Street View. Google has made sure to include detailed icons for major landmarks (Eiffel Tower, Sydney Opera House, Alcatraz, Buckingham Palace, Egyptian Pyramids) as well as plant bizarre Easter eggs like an alien at Area 51 and a dragon at the center of Earth.
Watch the official announcement in the video embedded above, then test out the “trial version” at Google Maps today.
Update: Google has a few more tricks up its sleeves. Skip after the break to see ‘em! (Click here for more…)
During his monologue on Halloween night, Jimmy Kimmel issued a fun challenge for parents: to say that they ate all of their children’s Halloween candy, record their reactions, and upload it to YouTube. Kimmel stitched together a bunch of the most entertaining videos and the compilation sits above. It’s funny; almost every clip involves a young child hearing the devastating news and immediately drooping their heads in tears of sadness and frustration. You’ll want to make it to the end because the final clip involving two brothers might just be the best thing I’ve watched in a while. Enjoy!
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.
Professor Matt Weathers, who teaches a Nature of Math course at Biola University, played an intricately planned trick on his students to celebrate Halloween. Using the magic of pre-recorded video projections mixed with live action, Professor Weathers pulled off the coolest in-class experiment I’ve ever seen. Teacher of the year award goes to Weathers! Look after the break to watch what he did for last year’s Halloween class, and head over to his YouTube channel (coolest teacher ever?) to watch a tutorial and discover the magic behind trick.
Funny or Die approached artist Jewel and asked her if she’d like to have a hand in their latest prank. Like a good sport she said yes. Here’s the setup: Jewel gets disguised as a mild mannered businesswoman and gets encouraged to sing some of her most popular tunes at a local karaoke bar. Her audience is dumbfounded by this amazing voice coming out of a Plain Jane. Not a single person realizes that behind all the prosthetics is the actual Jewel. After some time Karen (Jewel’s alter-ego) leaves the stage and Jewel comes back as herself to perform more songs. To our amazement most of the bar hoppers still don’t realize this is Karen and make the connection. Watch it all go down in the video above.
The folks at Improv Everywhere are really make the world a better place. Their most recent stunt brought Princess Leia, Darth Vader, and a small army of Storm Troopers onto a NYC subway car. Watch the “mission” unfold in the video above.
The folks at Steve Spangler Science have finally shut and bolted the door on the famous prank that if you freeze Mentos inside icecubes and place them in Coke a crazy explosion will follow. Everyone knows that if you put a Mentos by itself in a cup of Coke a chemical reaction will occur. However, the sneakier ploy of freezing them inside icecubes and then dropping them in Coke, waiting for them to melt and create a mess does not work. Check out the video above to see for yourself and find out why.