April Fool's Day Content
April Fool's Day Content
April Fool Categories
April Fool: Recurring Pranks
April Fool: Regions
April Fool: Perpetrators
April Fool's Day Archive, Contents:
|Before 1900:||Origin of April Fool's Day | 1700-1799 | 1800-1899|
|Early 1900s:||1900 | 1901 | 1915 | 1919 | 1920 | 1923 | 1925|
|1930s & 40s:||1933 | 1934 | 1936 | 1937 | 1938 | 1940 | 1949|
|1950s & 60s:||1950 | 1957 | 1959 | 1960 | 1962 | 1965 | 1969|
|1970s:||1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974 | 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979|
|1980s:||1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989|
|1990s:||1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999|
|2000s:||2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009|
|2010s:||2010 | 2011|
A press release issued over Business Wire announced the creation of Webnode, a new company recently granted a government contract to regulate ownership of "nodes" on the Next Generation Internet (NGI). Each of these nodes (there were said to be over 50 million of them) represented a route that data could travel over the NGI. The company was licensed to sell each node for $100. Nodes would increase in value depending on how much traffic they routed. Owners would also receive usage fees for the data that flowed across their section of the internet. However, only individuals could own nodes, and no person could own more than 1,000 nodes. This limit was supposedly made in order to avoid monopolization of the internet by large corporations.
Although Webnode was not yet a publicly trade company, the press release declared that shares in the company could be reserved for later purchase, although no payment would currently be accepted. Because the Next Generation Internet was a real government project, many were led to believe that Webnode was also real (which, of course, it wasn't). Business Wire, however, didn't find the prank amusing. It sued the creators of the press release.
Left-Handed Toshiba (1997)Declaring that "there's nothing looney about the lefties," Toshiba announced the new "Toshiba Tecra F00-LDU" — a portable computer designed for left-handed users:
The F00-LDU is a fully functional notebook packed with all the features you'd expect from the world leader in portable computing — only it fits left handed people like a glove. The major bays and keys are reversed for clarity and there's a stunning left handed screen."
Internet Spring Cleaning (1997)
An email message circulated warning that the internet would be shut down for cleaning for 24 hours from March 31st until April 2nd. This cleaning was said to be necessary to clear out the "electronic flotsam and jetsam" that had accumulated in the network. Dead e-mail and inactive ftp, www, and gopher sites would be purged. The cleaning would be done by "five very powerful Japanese-built multi-lingual Internet-crawling robots (Toshiba ML-2274) situated around the world." During this period, users were warned to disconnect all devices from the internet. The message supposedly originated from the "Interconnected Network Maintenance Staff, Main Branch, Massachusetts Institute of Technology."
The joke was an updated version of an old one that used to be told about the phone system. For many years, gullible phone customers had been warned that the phone systems would be cleaned on April Fool's Day. They were cautioned to place plastic bags over the ends of the phone to catch the dust that might be blown out of the phone lines during this period.
Blue Can Warning (1996)
Virgin Cola announced that in the interest of consumer safety it had integrated a new technology into its cans. When the cola passed its sell-by date, the liquid would react with the metal in the can, turning the can bright blue. Virgin warned that consumers should therefore avoid purchasing all blue cans. Coincidentally, Pepsi had recently unveiled its newly designed cans which were bright blue.
Moore’s Law Rewritten (1990)Intel employees circulated a spoof newsletter revealing historical discoveries related to chip-making, such as the fact that archaeologists had uncovered evidence of the existence of chip-making factories in Ancient Egypt. The newsletter quoted eminent archaeologist Lord Dhrystone as saying, "We never imagined we'd find an active semiconductor industry in a major goat-herding area. Too much dust."
The newsletter also revealed the unknown origins of the famous "Moore's law." Apparently Gordon Moore, Intel Chairman, had once scribbled on the back of a phone bill the phrase 'Buy Intel chips. They'll get twice as big every year or so,' as he brainstormed about ways to get people to buy more Intel chips. It was his secretary, Jean Jones, who rewrote the phrase to the more famous, "The number of transistors on a chip will double every 18 months."
Driver’s Weight Sensors (1989)BMW unveiled a "significant advance in anti-theft technology" — Driver's Weight Sensors:
"DWS stands for Driver's Weight Sensor. A unique system that compares the driver's weight with a pre-programmed value stored in the sensor's computer memory...
The sensor weight reading is then compared to the programmed weight in the memory, and provided this falls to within ±5%, the car will start normally.
If, however, the figure exceeds these tolerances, then a discreet gong sounds, and the entire ignition system is shut down."<
Interested readers were urged to contact Hugh Phelfrett at BMW.
First Photograph Discovered (1987)The camera manufacturer Olympus announced that it had discovered "the first picture ever taken." The picture was supposedly discovered in the Japanese "Outer Fokus mountains." The Guardian, collaborating in the joke, ran an article about the discovery on its front page.
Soybean Computer Disks (1985)Byte Magazine featured a section called "What's Not," instead of its usual "What's Hot" section. Included were technological gadgets such as computer disks made of soybeans:
The MacKnifer (1985)Byte magazine also described a new product called the MacKnifer:
Byte later received a call from a USA Today reporter inquiring about the Transporter.
The 5-megabyte Hard Drive (1982)In its "What's New" section Byte Magazine announced the introduction of a 5-megabyte hard disk for the Sinclair ZX81:
At the time, 5 megabytes seemed like an impossibly large size. Nevertheless, hundreds of readers wrote to the magazine requesting more information.
Erase-Only Memory (1982)Byte Magazine also described an "erase-only memory" circuit in it's "What's New" section:
Debugging Tool (1982)A third April Fool's day product featured by Byte magazine was a Debugging Tool that "Irons Out Circuit Problems":
The Black-Hole Diode (1981)
Byte Magazine, in its What's New column, described a useful new computer component, the 7N-∞ BHD (black-hole diode):
Another new addition in the small-components market is the 7N-∞ BHD (black-hole diode). This device has two inputs and no output. Care must be taken to shield this component appropriately or it may absorb the unit it is placed in. The 7N-∞ will accept any voltage or current value. It is useful for GI (garbage-in) applications. Due to the light-absorption qualities of the device, we could not provide a photograph. Contact Spatial Regression Ltd, POB 463, Paulborough NH 03458.