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Web Technology > Have a Laugh with Google’s 2012 April Fools’ Roundup
April 3, 2012

Did you all get your funny bone fix last Sunday? Because Google sure did. The leader in online search decided that for April Fools’ Day they would lead in pranks as well, and lead they did with their line-up of jokes ranging from the quirky to the hilarious and downright ridiculous. Search engine optimisation and web design news source Search Engine Watch listed down some of these wacky winners, and here they are plus a few more that gave us the giggles.

Google Street Roo

In an effort to somehow give users top-notch imagery of the Australian outback similar to those of the Amazon that Google Maps gave recently, Google announced via their Australian blog that they would be launching Google Street Roo, a project wherein 360 degree cameras would be strapped to thousands of kangaroos in order to capture images of the great Australian outback. According to the blog, the cameras would be powered by solar panels attached to custom-made roo jackets. These jackets would also come with GPS trackers, and a new software “that will smooth over the bouncing effect experienced with the raw data.” Okay roos, lights, camera, and hop!

Google Racing NASCAR with Automated Vehicles

According to a post on Google’s official blog, after having thoroughly tested their self-driving vehicles they have decided to take the next big step with Google Racing, “a groundbreaking partnership with NASCAR to help self-driving vehicles compete in the world of stock car racing.” The news has its very own video on NASCAR’s official website, starring Jeff Gordon and a couple of other NASCAR drivers, as well as Google co-founder Sergey Brin pretending to be Google’s first NASCAR driver (or whatever you call the person “driving” an autonomous vehicle). At the end of the post though, Google admits to the joke but states that they are looking forward to working with NASCAR on future projects.

Google Maps in 8-Bit for NES

Google announced in another blog post that they had “a version of Google Maps for NES, with beautiful low-res graphics, simple and intuitive controls, and a timeless soundtrack” developed by Google Japan. Before any of you hardcore NES fans get too disappointed, the truth is it’s not a total prank. Although a Google Maps NES game isn’t in the works, by simply clicking on the “Quest” button on the upper right corner on the Google Maps official site, the map instantly transforms into an 8-bit version complete with tiny and pixelated versions of landmarks like the statue of liberty, the Eiffel Tower, and many others worldwide.

Chrome Multitask Mode

Wasting precious time online because you only have one mouse to control? In a video Chrome introduced its Multitask Mode, where you can surf the web twice as fast with two mice, or have multiple users with multiple pointing devices all in one PC. If you think your screen is crowded enough when you go online, just imagine what it would look like with two cursors, or two or more users- the thought is enough to make us sigh with relief that this isn’t actually real!

The YouTube Collection

Have you ever wanted to keep and cherish a YouTube video? With The YouTube Collection, you can! The YouTube Collection is a set of DVDs of all the videos ever posted and will be posted on YouTube. All of them. It’s a good thing this collection is nonexistent- considering approximately an hour of video gets posted on YouTube every second, buyers would have to watch YouTube videos all day everyday for the rest of their lives, and still end up watching only a fraction of all the videos in the collection.

Gmail Tap

Morse code gets rediscovered in this new, albeit fake idea from Gmail called Gmail Tap. Gmail Tap eliminates the “overwhelming” QWERTY keypad and replaces it with just two symbols- a dash and a dot.

Other Google Gags:

  • Google AdWords Click-to-Teleport – the button that when clicked, allows searchers to instantly teleport to the business location on a search ad. A dream of business owners everywhere which unfortunately, will have to remain so for the time being.
  • Google Really Advanced Search - Given the detail needed on this search, “really” is a very big understatement. Google’s Really Advanced Search asks for the smallest and most ridiculous of details, like rhyming slang, font and even embarrassing grammatical faux pas. As ridiculous as it sounds though, it’s sure to be the secret dream of every SEO company right now!
  • GoRo – if GoMo lets you optimise your website for mobile, GoRo lets you optimise it for rotary phones. What for, you ask? According to the phoney (pun intended) GoRo site, “technology is cyclical.”

Google has plenty of other pranks including Google Voice for Pets, Google Weather Control (that appears to let you control the actual weather of your chosen region), Google Fiber (it’s no fibre optic network, but an actual fibre bar that claims to have 100 times more fibre than any source of fibre available today), Google Analytics Interplanetary Reporting (why track only human visits when you can track non-human ones from outer space?) and various quirky changes to their search page. With such a plethora of pranks, how will Google top themselves next year? We’ll just have to wait and see!

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