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April Fool's 2008: Web Roundup

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Love it or loath it, April Fool's Day has become something of a phenomenon in Internet circles. Many of the larger sites now dedicate a considerable amount of time preparing appropriate content for their sites. Here's a small breakdown of the ones that most amused us (or at least caught our attention) yesterday.

Google:

Not content with simply offering one hoax, Google actually had a few running. The most elaborate of these was in collaboration with Virgin: the appropriately named Virgle programme, aiming to establish a human colony on Mars within the next 20 years. Extra credibility was added by having videos from Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin as as well Virgin founder Richard Branson.

Coming from Google Australia was gDay, proposing to allow users to search the web a day in advance. Suggestions for possible search terms include lottery and sporting event results. Bonus points for the use of e-flux capacitors in the time mechanism.

There were actually a few more Google hoaxes but those two I considered the best, Wikipedia has a full breakdown, so check it out.

YouTube

Yes so it's technically still Google, but YouTube gets a special mention for having what in my warped view is the single best April Fool's prank ever. Visiting the UK homepage and clicking on a featured video gives an automatic redirect to a RickRoll. For those not familiar with the term, it's a popular Internet meme whereby in forum and comment threads one posts a YouTube link claiming to be relevant to the topic of discussion but which actually leads to Rick Astley's 1987 number one, Never Gonna Give You Up.

BBC

The BBC posted an absolutely brilliant video, which can be found over at YouTube, under the premise of being a promo trailer for the iPlayer. Sadly as good as the CGI is and as much as we'd like to believe it, there are no flying, migratory penguins.

xkcd, Daily Dinosaur Comics (Quantz), Questionable Content

The last April Fool's Day we'll share with you involves what, in this writer's opinion, are three of the best webcomics on the, well, web. Going to xkcd shows Questionable Content, which shows Daily Dinosaur Comics, which in turn shows xkcd - pure genius.

There were of course plenty more hoaxes circulating, so head over to Wikipedia to check out a (fairly) complete list.

Link:

Wikipedia April 1st 2008.

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