Google April Fool’s Day Jokes 2007

Google Introduces TiSP
Google TiSP (BETA) is a fully functional, end-to-end system that provides in-home wireless access by connecting your commode-based TiSP wireless router to one of thousands of TiSP Access Nodes via fiber-optic cable strung through your local municipal sewage lines.
Gmail Paper
For those who like the features of Gmail, but aren’t so keen on email.

Google Maps Trick
This trick produced by Google Maps staff allows you to position one of a number of customisations on a map.

(Thanks to all who sent us these links.)

Pranks Websites

Posted on Tue Apr 03, 2007


I seem to detect a trend away from April Fool's gags that are intended to FOOL people. It seems like most April Fool's pranks this year were silly things that the audience was intended to understand were jokes.

It seems to me that, in past years, more A.F. gags were intended to make you think they were real until they were revealed as pranks.

A possible reason: people are wary of anything that could potentially be interpreted as deceptive, a result, perhaps, of a post-9/11 fear of being suspected of terrorism. I don't think this is conscious, I think people are just more wary in general. I mean, look at Boston and the Aqua Teen Hunger Force fiasco. The city fathers went berzerk over something that was obviously just a promotional stunt.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Tue Apr 03, 2007  at  05:46 PM
I'm with you CMG. I haven't heard of one good april fool's day joke from this year that actually fooled anyone. I hope this isn't a precursor for the future of april 1's.
Posted by Razela  in  Chicago, IL  on  Tue Apr 03, 2007  at  11:15 PM
CMG, I agree that AF pranks are dead, or at least dying, but I think the cause goes futher back. We have so many lawsuits and so many people who seem determined to kill anything they do not approve of that no one wants to risk getting yelled at or sued over a prank. If Orsen Wells tried to do War of the Worlds today, no one would let it air for fear of lawsuits and if he could get it done, various people would scream because he insulted Martians or some such.
Posted by Christopher Cole  on  Wed Apr 04, 2007  at  05:12 PM
You may have a point, C.C. I'm not sure. I just seem to detect a trend toward silly GAGS, as opposed to hoax-like jokes.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Thu Apr 05, 2007  at  01:21 AM
I am doing a disaster recovery plan for our worksite, so I used the google map thingie to put Godzilla next to our building to illustrate one potential hazard :lol:
Posted by oppiejoe  in  Michigan - USA  on  Thu Apr 05, 2007  at  09:58 AM
Now that I think about it, I'm not sure it's fear of lawsuits that's causing April Fool's gags to not actually fool anyone.

Why would THAT have suddenly developed over the past few years (assuming it did, as it seems to me to have)? The 9/11 hypothesis makes more sense to me. I am, of course, open to further theorizing by others.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Thu Apr 05, 2007  at  05:42 PM
I think that both are a factor, but the number of lawsuits has been building over the past forty years or so and has snowballed to the point where the threat is hanging in everyone's mind. The idea that if someone takes a prank wrong they could get sued, or now go to prison as a terrorist, has a definate dampening effect.
Posted by Christopher Cole  on  Thu Apr 05, 2007  at  06:14 PM
Yes, I definitely think the fear of being arrested for disrupting the peace or something else vague like that has put a damper on the "hoax" type of April Fool's joke.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Fri Apr 06, 2007  at  02:42 AM
> I'm with you CMG. I haven't heard of one good
> april fool's day joke from this year that
> actually fooled anyone. I hope this isn't a
> precursor for the future of april 1's.
Well, two of the stories in The Register actually got me going for a whole 15 minutes this April Fools (one was about Apple canceling their iPhone project to join forces with Google to build some unbelievable and useless device called the iD. The other was about CPUs actually getting slower when they're branded as faster. The latter actually got me ranting in my blog about the good ol' days where 3.58MHz and 768kb of RAM with a color display was king). Then again, that's me before I have my morning cup of coffee. Grumpy and gullible.
Posted by RAMChYLD  on  Mon Apr 09, 2007  at  05:55 AM
Orson Wells's War of the Worlds radio play was not intended as a hoax or a prank.
It was broadcast on Halloween and it was announced several times during the course of the show that it was a dramatization of an H.G. Wells novel. At the end of the radio play, Orson Wells gave a little speech saying, in essence, this isn't real, folks.

Whether or not there was really widespread panic over the broadcast is a subject of debate among historians. If so, it must have been among listeners who tuned in late, didn't listen to the end, and didn't pay terribly close attention while they had the program turned on.
Posted by Big Gary  on  Mon Apr 09, 2007  at  02:43 PM
Big Gary, I agree with what you say. My point is that people today would be so afraid of lawsuits that something like War of the Worlds or a real clever hoax would get killed before it happened by the corporate lawyers. I say shut down two-thirds of the law schools and make them medical schools. Everyone would be better off.
Posted by Christopher Cole  on  Mon Apr 09, 2007  at  03:53 PM
Big Gary said:

"Whether or not there was really widespread panic over the broadcast is a subject of debate among historians."

My aunt claimed to me that she remembered people running out into the streets in panic over the Welles broadcast. I don't know if that's true or if it was a redacted memory.

I've actually heard the show (it's available on CD from some "old radio" sites) and it starts off with the standard opening. Then it goes into what sounds like a dance band playing in a ballroom, interrupted by an announcer with the "news" about the space ship crashing in New Jersey.

If you missed the first minute or so of the show, you *might* have thought it was legit, possibly.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Tue Apr 10, 2007  at  01:42 AM
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