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Following April Fool's Day Around The World? 168

Posted by Cliff
from the we-just-couldn't-resist dept.
Time is a funny concept, and on the Internet, this can be used to one's advantage. Take April 1st for example: just because April 1st may have ended where you are, doesn't mean that it may not be April 1st somewhere else in the world. Since this is the internet, everyone online lives in all time zones simultaneously (of course, for many of you, it's your local time zone that matters the most). So if I have the math right, this article will go live on midnight, April 2nd, 2001, in the timezone immediately east of the international date line. So I hope those of you west of Alaska and east of GMT will appreciate the extra dose of humor. With that, what were some of the better April Fool's pranks that you've experienced (or helped to create)?

Here are some other questions that were submitted along the same vein:

David the Drunk asks: "Well this year, with people being much more comftable with the internet, the bogus stories were thick and heavy. I suspect my favorite is from The Age newspaper in Australia, citing The UK Guardian in an article of some humor claiming that Superman is communist and Batman should be a terrorist. Apart from the Slashdot postings (they don't count) what else was good. Pity the Age article is dated on the 2nd, but the Guardian article is from the 1st."

...and this one from mcdade: "Being Sunday and all it wasn't a good day to pull pranks on coworkers, but i'm sure some people have some good stories out there. Mine goes something like this:

A few years back I worked at a University for a small spin-off IT group put together to implement Lotus Notes across campus. So for april fools day, the developers wrote an email with a button to "optimize" your computer, telling people to click it. It would give a bunch of random terms and junk, run a percent meter then report to the user that the computer was optimize anywhere from 1 to 1000 percent (based on random number). It did absolutely nothing, besides report back to our db who had clicked it (and how many times, yes, people were clicking it multiple times to see if they could get bet optimization). Well those that figured out that this was a joke found it refreshing, those that didn't, well they complained to IT, who inturn went to the VP.

So we were all summoned to the VP's office, figuring we were on a death march, and it turned out that he found it funny and figured that people on campus should lighten up. He even told us a story about how his daughter and her friends really got him one year.

Time for everyone else to share."

For the record, all of the Ask Slashdot's that were posted during April Fool's stretch were all actually submitted to the bin, with the names changed to protect the victi-..er...guilt...I mean, innocent parties.

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Following April Fool's Day Around The World...

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    This story in the gaurdian is not a lie! It relates to marvel hiring a scottish comic writer(something Nico), who made his name writing alternative superhero stories for DC. These included Superman being found in russia in 1938, instead of Kansas and becoming a commie implement of war. He also portrayed Batman as being a terrorist. His new work at marvel has included beefing up the Hulk, to have tattoos and two pitbulls with him, and various other projects in an attempt to inject new life into some of their older formats. I say rock son, why not!

  • I did that once to. The bad thing, the NT admin on site see _ALL_ servers BSOD, flipped the fuck out and 'HARD_POWERED' then entire fucking room, routers, switches, other people's unix servers...

    The admin thought their had been a massive electical discharge coming from the main circuits, cause _ALL_ devices (atleast all his servers) to go "hay wire"

    He called _everyone_, even consults... Entire site down... hunderds of people called in at 2:00 in the morning...

    Needless to say they found it quite humorous...they even gave me a _long vacation_ in fact I havn't been back their since (2 years ago)...

  • by Anonymous Coward
    My favorite is to 'adjust' the autocorrect feature on someone's copy of MS Word. Your average Word user just knows that certain commonly mispelled words are automagically fixed for them, but has no idea that the feature is completely customizable.

    For one coworker, I *corrected* all of the critical english declarative verb forms to their opposites. As soon as she hit the space bar at the end of one of these words, is became isn't, was became wasn't, isn't became is, etc. I got her admin in on it too, so that when the victim asked me to look at her machine and I said, "I think you have a virus", her admin exclaimed "Yeah! That's JUST what they do!"

    The only limit to your evil imagination on this one is that you can't match or substitute very long strings, but there is room for short sentences...

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I saw that ad after the 'Files last night and even while it was running, I was going "HUH???" Then I looked at the website (thetruth.com) and I was stricken by the way that our attention can be grabbed like that - and then to point all that attention to a "dirty little secret." Katz, take note: the Internet IS making this a very different world. It's not all Shatner and sock puppets.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 02, 2001 @05:11AM (#321145)

    The worst April Fool's joke by far was on e2 [everything2.com], mentioned a while back in slashdot.

    The e2 gods write a Perl script to convert write-ups in to l33t-speak, or backwards, and that was funny.

    Then they started playing with the buttons and the XP, and that was funny.

    Then they created troll accounts, and turned the chatterbox in to an AOL chat-room which was funny. For about three minutes.

    Then they pretended e2 had been rooted, and while it was a little funny, people started getting seriously panicked.

    Then they started flaming/impersonating users' who had left the system(respected noders in one case), which wasn't funny.

    And their trolling continued for fourteen hours. Which was not funny.

    As a result, at least one furious noder has left, and the reputation of the e2 Gods has become, well, a little tarnished.

    Granted, it's their database, etc., but it relys on noders, and it relys on noders respecting the power structure of e2. To quote a node on the subject: "Ack! You've lost the trust of the noders!"

    Posted as AC because I have an acct. with the same nick on e2, and and the e2 Gods have already displayed more than a little bad judgement when nuking write-ups.

  • Go to lng.sourceforge.net

    Get LUNIX! (I'm not making this up. :)
    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [ncsu.edu].
  • by Masem (1171) on Monday April 02, 2001 @04:59AM (#321147)
    I've been on the net longer than most, and I know what *good* Internet-based 4/1 jokes used to be like. Unlike your typical practical joke approach that one takes in the physical world, the virtual April Fool's gag is meant to be subtle and a surprise. For example, when the Simpsons used to be good, a few of the more predominate members would put together a fake episode list for the upcoming season. Thing is, the fakes were usually never outlandish, but just had a hint of "Wow, would they take the show that far...?", so many people believed them, though the skilled reader would always be able to recognize it. The fake RFCs as well, tended to be more subtle than an obvious gag. A few years ago, all the Gamespy Planet's sites were rendered in ASCII 'due to some technical glitch', they claimed. A lot of fake but nearly-realistic news bites that spread along USENET as well.

    This year was weak; Slashdot's attempts fell flat because, well, most were way too obvious (eg the Dalnet being bought by X has been done *every* year somewhere on the net). The online cartoonists didn't appear to band together this year to do much as they did in the prior two. Usenet posts that were in the 4/1 flavor were also too obvious.

    I think that like how USENET and other parts of the web have suffered from the masses being introduced to it, so has the internet tradition of 4/1's. It's not some jokes were well planned, but the majority of what I saw was certainly not in the flavor of how it was done years ago.

  • by slim (1652)
    The Observer (the UK Guardian's sister Sunday paper) had a story about a project to print harcopy versions of all the classic literature available on the Web, bind them into volumes, and lend them out from "Cyber-Libraries"...

    On TV, "On The Record" had a topical pre-election piece about proposals to increase voter turnout by giving voters lottery tickets and free sherry just for turning up... also advertising on voting slips (Coca Cola ads were okayed, but a Wonderbra "Hello Voters" ad was supposedly vetoed)....


    --
  • And it seems Sun has a sense of humour (and the budget) to pull stuff like...

    As I remember, that was paid for by the folks doing it, not by Sun.

  • This [manbeef.com] is either the most elaborate, professional-looking prank Web site I've seen yet, or it's rather disquieting, to say the least. It gives new meaning to the name "Internet gag."
  • Hey, if you're not eating six doughnuts a day, you aren't a Real Canadian!

    --
  • Same in Canada, except that the division is more supposedly along the lines of "essentials of living" versus "convienence food." It applies to a *lot* of things, beyond food.

    What's most perturbing, though, is that it'd so damn illogical. Toilet paper: deemed essential and therefor not taxed. Tampons/pads: deemed *non*-essential, and taxed!!

    It's fucking stupid.

    --
  • Yeah, right! That's the clock that rolled over to 19100 last January.
  • Truth [thetruth.com] is the name of Florida's campaign to keep kids from smoking. They may have spread nationwide by now; their commercials are reportedly pretty effective.
  • Really, the best practical jokes/pranks are done when they are least expected. Not on April 1st. They would be funnier if they just popped up at random dates such as March 17th or maybe October 26th. Then people might actually believe more of them. Most of us know to be skeptical of anything out of the ordinary being announced on April 1st.
  • He is already writing Ultimate X-Men, IIRC. However, as you state it seems like part of a Grant revamp of the X Continuity, which is convoluted to say the least.
    I think Millar was picked up for the X gig on the strength of a 'Marvel Elseworlds' about a year ago, which was an alternate take on this and various other Marvel characters. This isn't Millar's first Marvel work though, you need to go back to Skrull Kill Krew co-written by Grant Morrison.
    With Earth2, I think it was Frank Quitely's artwork that rounds it all off, it looks wonderful. I might be biased though, I used to live with a stone's throw of all of the aforementioned. That Grant Morrison is a weird looking guy...
  • by stx23 (14942) on Monday April 02, 2001 @04:52AM (#321157) Homepage Journal
    Blockquoth Dave The Drunk:-
    I suspect my favorite is from The Age newspaper in Australia, citing The UK Guardian in an article of some humor claiming that Superman is communist and Batman should be a terrorist.
    Sorry, it's real. Mark Millar has been working on the Red Son storyline for what seems like several years, but it is an 'Elseworlds' tale for DC with Superman as a Communist and as mentioned, Batman as a terrorist.
    Currently Millar is working on the ultraviolent Authority & Ultimate X-Men. That's a pretty elaborate April Fool.
  • But wait! It gets better. Wait until you want to search past /. articles for something "useful" that matches one of these pranks.

    Hopefully the editors will add updates to the front pages of each of these stories once they get stale, stating that they are AF gags. That way people using /. as a reference won't be fooled in, say, September, when they aren't expecting it.

    What am I saying? This is /. after all.... Who in their right mind will use it for reference ? :-)

  • If it weren't for some of the obligatory silliness surrounding Squant, it could be taken as fact, since there allegedly really are some women who do see a fourth primary color [redherring.com]. This story was posted on /. a while back.

    Truth is as strange as fiction, just with a less whimsical name?

  • by alienmole (15522) on Monday April 02, 2001 @07:20AM (#321160)
    The problem is that the funniest stuff on /. is always generated not by the editors, but by the participants, in reaction to real stories.

    Forcing comedy is like the government issuing an edict: "This material is intended to be funny. Under section 314(d) of the Lighthearted Material Act, under penalty of imprisonment, you are now required to laugh."

    I will say, though, I enjoyed the Python/Perl merger. I still think it would be a good idea!!!

  • Whoa, flashback to reading Schroedinger's Cat...

    "If ignorance is bliss, may I never be happy.
  • Hawaii, Guam, and all those other little islands in the Pacific Ocean.

    "I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"
  • on April 1st *every* *single* article on /. for the last 48 hrs has been utter tripe.

    No, not every article. The article about the keystroke capturing dongle was actually not an April Fools prank. There really are [slashdot.org] devices like this.

    That's the problem with having so many April Fools stories. Legitimate stories don't get taken seriously.

  • Sunday Morning on CBC Radio, Michael Enright of CBC's This Morning program conducted an interview with Jimmy Carter regarding the softwood lumber dispute between Canada and the USA. He got really snippy quickly, and told Mr Carter to hurry up his answers, and called him a "washed-up peanut farmer from Hicksville". Mr Carter shot back that Enright himself was washed up, as he was once on the radio five days a week, not just on Sundays. Carter also expressed fear that "subsidized Canadian lumber producers will use two-by-fours to pound into submission U.S. border guards."

    Of course, the whole thing was a joke, and Mr Carter's part was played by an actor. It was not really very funny. However, this little bit slipped past BOTH of Canada's national newspapers, and they reported it as real front-page news this Monday morning.

    Now, THAT'S the mark of a successful April Fool's joke.

    I don't seem to be able to load the Globe's article [theglobeandmail.com] from their website [theglobeandmail.com], but I am not sure why.

    It seems to have disappeared from their website while I was typing up this comment. Hmmm...
  • With that, what were some of the better April Fool's pranks that you've experienced (or helped to create)?

    Anything Slashdot didn't do yesterday. That was god awful.
  • This is an extract from a book called Apollo, The Race to the Moon which I'm currently reading

    Chris Kraft's console in the Mercury Control Center included a screen showing a live television shot of the launch pad. During simulations, the Redstone or Atlas of course just sat there but the camera was nontheless always turned on. One day a controller names John Hatcher substituted a tape of a launch for the live picture. Hatcher synchronized the tape with the simulated countdown and waited for the moment of the pretend launch. As always during Mercury, Chris Kraft was the flight director. At T-0, as Kraft pushed the lever that started the clocks, the Redstone on the screen belched smoke and fire and lifted of the pad.

    The lever wasn't connected to anything that could have conceivably have launched a rocket but the sight was too compellingly realistic to be discounted. "Look at that!" Kraft yelled in dismay to Kranz, who was sitting beside him at the assistant flight directors console. "Did you see that?!" Kraft cried again, pointing insistently at the screen.

  • by matth (22742) on Monday April 02, 2001 @04:07AM (#321167) Homepage
    Ok, One April Fools joke was funny, but then we started getting a bit out of hand, in my opinion, when like every story on slashdot was an A.F. joke *sigh* hehehe

  • It used to work this way in France: a reduced tax on foodstuffs, but normal tax on restaurant meals; so (for example) a Big Mac would not cost the same on a plate or in a paper bag.
  • That's why you need a Tivo!

  • Yes, the Concorde is perhaps a case of regional one-up-manship subsidized by oppressive British and French governments. If all the common people ever gain power back within Britain and France, there'll surely be serious hell to pay: new gibbets and new guillotines, that's the order of that year! How long can people put up with such high taxes, poor services, declining economies? When will all you poor sods have had enough of it? Class system, my fuckin ass! Obsolete! When's _your_ revolution, suckahs?

    Okay, maybe that was a bit over the top, but you get my drift. Socialism doesn't work! It devolves into statism. Read Hegel, pay attention! Try real democratic capitalism.

    Reaching beyond the bounds of Earth, however, is a worthy endeavor, not at all to be confused with subsidizing a couple dozen people with more money than sense per trip across the Atlantic supersonic, mainly for the glamour / cachet of merely having done it, a few thousand times (less the unfortunate losses). Bunch of self-important rich assholes, that's all. Exploring space is a very worthwhile endeavor, though. We can have no higher ambition than to get off this little rock eventually, if we're really going to survive long term. Explore and grow, or die. That's the imperative for intelligent species, which we may be approaching. The jury's still out, but I have to hope we're worthy.

    And the Moon missions were the highlight of our many thousands of years of evolution. It is tawdry and tragic that they were cut short by a stupid little losing war (Vietnam costs killed NASA's funding). That a space program still exists at all is simply a reflection that scientists still have some voice in politics, and that some politicians are not the dolts we assume (and are right about, mostly). It is an imperative that we continue to expolore, and to question. The alternative is stagnation and a host of concomitant evils you can barely imagine. You won't want to live on an Earth that gave up on exploring science, and space. That's the threatened Armageddon, last days, everyone dies!

    I reject your major views, in the strongest terms. If we have no surplus for science, for space exploration, then we are just animals, and we will die and fade away, forever.

  • by Mignon (34109) <satan@programmer.net> on Monday April 02, 2001 @04:31AM (#321171)
    I sat next to a couple on the subway last night. There was a pause in their conversation and she said to him, "Remember when we were talking about having kids?"

    "Mmm hmm..."

    "Well, I sort of stopped taking the pill a few weeks ago."

    "<Stammer>"

    Unfortunately the train arrived at my stop and I couldn't stay to hear whether she was messing with him or not.

  • by Stavr0 (35032) on Monday April 02, 2001 @06:10AM (#321172) Homepage Journal
    I woke up sunday morning and someone had set all my clocks 1 hour back.
    ---
  • Worst April Fool's Day. Ever

  • For my April Fool's joke, I think I'mm going to write a cron job to change the bridge priority on our acting root bridge every 5 minutes. ie, every 5 minutes our entire campus network will respan. :-)

    --

  • Well, for this year's april fool's joke, I cut a Q-tip in half, and stuck one in my ear. (So it looked like it was almost all the way in) I then put ketchup (actually a mixture to make it a bit more real) and put it around my ear, and down my neck.

    I then walked out of the bathroom yelling, "Heather, I think it went in too far!"

    She was not amused...

    Rader

  • hehehehe - everytime I hear a truth ad, I find myself having an overwhelming urge to smake another cigarette. Maybe i'm just sick and twisted.
  • "The fake RFCs as well, tended to be more subtle than an obvious gag."

    IP over Avian Carriers?
    TELNET RANDOMLY-LOSE Option?
    The Naming of Hosts?

    And the rest aren't any less obvious. No, you're just nostalgic... or you didn't look in the right places. I thought E2's was pretty cute, and I had fun with TinyTIM's (although there was some animosity that could have been prevented).
  • by EasyTarget (43516) on Monday April 02, 2001 @04:18AM (#321178) Journal
    This [bbc.co.uk] BBC article lists some april fools from around the world.

    It includes a excellent Russioan one where a news program reported that the government was to make April the 1st a National holiday to reduce inefficiences resulting from dealing with April Fools jokes. The story was, of course, a Joke.

    EZ
  • http://totl.net/HonourSystem/ [totl.net]

    That one had me worried for a while.

  • We pulled a good on my boss there. Me and the other Linux admin in our office spent the last few months cooking this one up.

    We filtered all of his incoming email through a redneck filter we wrote in Perl. That is we translated all of his incoming mail from english to redneck english (ie 'computer' becomes 'new-fangled-computatin device' etc...)
    What we did was write a little perl script that contained about 30 substitutions from english to redneck. We then wrote a .procmailrc that would redirect all of his incoming email through redneck.pl (and keep originals copied safely elsewhere) A root cron job was setup to swap this with his real .procmailrc at midnight april 1, and move them back at midnight april 3 (we wanted to make sure we got him on a workday too ;-> ) It worked wonderfully, I got a call this morning from the boss laughing hysterically asking me to please turn it off now.
  • The official Star Wars site [starwars.com] has news on the upcoming Episode V, tentatively titled "The Empire Strikes Back". There's a still of the new movie, but these things are just so gosh darn hard to make out on these monochrome monitors.

    Oh, also, Lucas announced that he WILL make episodes 7, 8, and 9. CNN has the story [209.142.3.23]. Like a friend of mine found out, you should probably read ALL of this article before you start celebrating.

  • That one had me believing too. I was fixing to freak out over it, until I reliezed what day it was and how good of a prank that'd be.

    It's funny, the jokes about AOL accquiring things (like DalNet one or GAIM) are the ones that sound the most plausible. I'm not sure if it's because even mentioning AOL kills brain cells (aka it infects my brain to make it like an AOL user), or if it's because it's so easy to see AOL/Time Warner accquiring things left and right.
  • Here in Florida prepared foods are taxed, others are not. If you buy a pre-made burrito (Taco Belch, grocer deli) - taxed, buy the makings and do it yourself - not taxed.
    ---
  • ThinkGeek (I think (hope)) has a nice April Fools page up right now. Up for sale are peices from Mir, caffeinated meatloaf, an Atari 2600, a set of black boxes and a Cisco 1000 (a dog).
  • Especially ironic is the fact that the ad was paid for with Tobacco industry money (TheTruth is funded by the Americain Heritage Foundation, that was set up as part of the settlement between the Tobacco industry and the States in 98).

    Teeheehee Oops!
    --
    Remove the rocks to send email
  • Hey cool, I'm glad to see my .sig is living on in another form. (Mine was: reverse the letters between the two "e"s, remove the letters in "sticky", and ROT13 the rest.)

    I had to remove that sig, though, because of an AC who likes going around un-obfuscating people's addresses and posting them repeatedly. And once your e-mail address is out in the wild, there's no getting it back.

    So beware.
    --
    Obfuscated e-mail addresses won't stop sadistic 12-year-old ACs.
  • Damn, that's some serious tax... Here in Maryland (eastern U.S.) the rate is 5%, and the highest state sales tax I'm aware of in the U.S. is 8.25%.

    --
  • Lets not forget Comcast's smoldering Fiber optic cable in College Park, MD leaving 30,000 w/o the tube and being forced instead to stare at Slashdot all day...
  • One of my coworkers at a previous job, grabbed a screen capture, of our Network Monitioring Machine. It was running What's Up Gold in full screen mode. Anyway this joker got the image into adobe or paint shop pro, or some image manipulator and changed all the green icons on the image red. The way we'd have WuG set up was Green was all clear, red was all services down on that device.
    Then he set it up with ACDSEE I believe with another image that just stated: April Fools! and set the images to repeat every 30 seconds or so. WuG was still monitoring in the background so he didn't jepordize any services or anything. If an Alarm went off it would have been taken care of.

    Anyway the CEO was walking one of his suit friends around the office around 8:30 that morning, giving his usual drawl, "And around this corner we have our Network Monitoring Machine. As you will see if everything is red we have a major issue...." At that point he walked around the corner and nearly died, until the screen changed to April Fools. Someone still had to explain to him that at no time was the network actually fully down. That the person who set up the prank didn't down the whole network just to get the image etc..

    Runestar
  • The best way to get someone with a mac is an INIT called Gravity Mouse. At random times it will cause the pointer to drop down to the bottom of the screen. I had a co-worker going nuts with that one for a week before one the techs figured out what was going on.
  • I observed this also.

    The two best jokes I've seen on the net this year were the color Squant (I even fell for it, albiet with a lot of questions in my head), and The Register [theregister.co.uk]'s announcement of a $20 million advertising deal between them and Micro$oft.

  • Haha, I'd have loved to hear that one. Sorta reminds me of a retouched photo I once saw of a billboard. Imagine a B&W photo of a pretty woman lost in thought, with the following words in the foreground:

    Pregnant? For free information and advice, dial 1-800-YER-WHAT?!
  • by Eil (82413)

    That was why I believed it at first. I was just sorta thinking they had given it an official name.
  • There was a cute message sent out about the computer club (YUCC) at my former university being shut down:

    Dear YUCC members,

    It is my sad duty to tell you that after the 2000-2001 academic year YUCC will cease to exist.



    During the past year we have had our share of problems. The venture that the YUCC executives had invested heavily in, spatulaXchange.com, has died a gruesome death at the hand of current economic conditions. Not only that, but several of our executives have become addicted to caffinated meatloaf (http://www.thinkgeek.com/stuff/things/looflirpa/m eatloaf.html [thinkgeek.com]) and have embezzled all of our funds to support their addiction.



    Likewise, discussions with the computer science department for funding ended when department chair Prof. Jenkins said "You have no chance to survive make your time. Ha ha ha" and faded from our view screen.



    What is left of YUCC will be sold to AOL, since they own everything else and we will be auctioning off the patents that we received on hamster-powered computers that is so desperately needed in second world countries such as Elbonia.



    On a personal note, I would like to thank everyone for their continued support - especially my agent Brian Eno and the good folks at RedMeat. YUCC will surely live on in each any every one of our hearts.



    Sincerely,


    Alex Anglin

    YUCC President.
  • ...I announced that I was closing down my site. It is a pretty popular tropical fish discussion board, and at midnight I put up a completely serious announcement that replaced the main page [oscarfish.com] with this page [oscarfish.com]. People started panicking at once. Some good information on how they felt can be seen on this BBS thread [oscarfish.com].

    I had planeed this out since mid-February and only a few other people (most not associated with the site) knew about it. I think it's pretty funny given the current dot-com climate.
  • here is our AF article [visorcentral.com]. I got plenty of emails from people saying how good it was and a few from people wanting more info on it. :)
    ------
    James Hromadka
  • same in north dakota. for example, at the 'we make you bake' pizza places like papa murphy's, there is no tax if you take it home and bake it, but it is taxed if they bake it for you

    ---

  • Jesus Christ...why don't you move?

    Because, believe it or not, tax dollars actually come back to citizens in the form of services. The more socialist the system, the better off the poor are, and the worse off the rich.

    ---

  • There was a good one a few years back on PlanetQuake [planetquake.com], where they'd redirected the site to a mirror on geocities, with a news item that they couldn't pay the hosting bills any more. It was very funny, especially with all the popups etc. Geocites must have taken an extra hammering that day :P.
  • So I hope those of you west of Alaska and east of GMT will appreciate the extra dose of humor.

    I bet my next month's paycheck, that everybody in Alaska appreciated the extra dose of humor. :)

    Riiiggghhhhht.

  • Forgive me for asking, but being an American and educated in my American public school system, I must ask:
    What in the hell is west of Alaska???

    Sadly, this thinking is so true to some here in the US...
  • Traditionally, April Fools jokes can only be played until 12 midday dimwit.

    Rich

  • It works this way in the UK. Hot food is taxed, cold food isn't. This is not an April Fools, it's for real and it sucks.

    Rich

  • Not a bad idea. But it's zeroed over Swatch HQ so I realy don't see how it's "internet" time. Perhaps if it were centred over the birthplace of the internet or something. I don't really see anyone moving off GMT anytime soon though.

    Rich

  • The internet is not the World Wide Web, dumbass.

    Rich

  • Very true... however there may be a place for it in backend/server solutions where having a ubiquitous global time might be useful.

    As the above poster said, there is already a ubiquitous global time, UTC which is pretty much the same as GMT. Why would you need anything else? The French tried to introduce metric time after their revolution and it failed.

    Two things I would like to see change in the time systems we use though. 1)Daylight Savings. If you want an extra hour of sunlight in the evenings, just get up an hour earlier and 2)Lose the AM/PM thing. military time makes much more sense.

    Rich

  • OTOH, it means that it's a lot more visible. In the UK, the government has managed to keep it creeping up (now at 17.5%) because it's effectively invisible as a tax. In the US, when you take something to the checkout that's $5 and they charge you $5.40, at least it reminds you that the government is a bunch of crooks.

    Rich

  • The governemnt has to get involved somewhere. You can't just have people go around building roads, laying lines, running pipe, building power plants wherever they want. So the government has to either do it themselves (leading to inefficiency) or licence it out (leading to unbridled greed if effective regulation is not in place which it isn't for nearly all of the UKs privatised industries)

    Rich

  • I am 99% sure this is an April Fools joke, and if it isn't, well, life if going to start sucking:
    http://www.npr.org/programs/watc/features/2001/010 401.lunar.html [npr.org]

    Basically, Weekend All Things Considered ran this story about a company called LunarCorp projecting ads on the moon with a laser. Except LunarCorp is the former name of a GE bone density company, and *no one* else had the story.
  • Steve Jackson Games [sjgames.com] pulled a brilliant one. First, they spread a (true) rumor about an upcoming product. Then, on April 1, they announce that the rumor was an April Fool's joke. Then, on April 2nd, they announce that yesterday's announcement was the real joke.

    It's clever, because people think of claims, not denials, as being the usual April Fools day fodder.

    The only "intuitive" interface is the nipple. After that, it's all learned.

  • by nordicfrost (118437) on Monday April 02, 2001 @04:05AM (#321219)
    The newspaper I work for, ran a story about taxation on food services. Basically, if you eat at the restaurant, the tax is 24% if you decide to take it with you, its' 12%. This has the funne effect that when you order a latte grande mocca etc. etc. with a lid, it's 12% tax. Without a lid it's 24% tax. 79% of the people taking the poll on sunday voted "April fool?" in a web poll...

    It wasn't!
  • by wcspxyx (120207) on Monday April 02, 2001 @06:31AM (#321220)

    I did this one last year.

    I was working at a large company in their web development group. They had a small server farm that the web group used for testing new stuff and for new development. I was not really in charge of the farm, but people would always come and bug me when they needed help with it. The servers were almost entirely NT.

    SysInternals [sysinternals.com] has this really spiffy NT screensaver that looks like the WinNT BSOD, along with a fake reboot, which will then go into a fake disk check, which finds fake errors, and repeats. So, the night before, I wrote a little script that made the BSOD screensaver the default on all of the servers.

    The next morning, people kept coming to my cube and...

    PERSON: All the servers crashed!!!!
    ME: Really? (clickity clickity) I can still ping them. Are you sure they're dead?
    PERSON: They look dead. I'll go look again.
    Minutes later...
    PERSON: Really! All of them! BSOD!
    ME: ROFL

    I caught 3 different people that morning.

  • Sorry, but public services in the UK are in the process of being sold off to private enterprises, and have been for the last couple of decades. I won't discuss subsidised coal-mining and stuff like that - that's not a service. But of the others:-

    (1) Busses. If you can find a free parking space in town, it's a damn sight cheaper to use your car. It costs me £1.20 for a 10-minute bus journey, which isn't exactly an incentive.

    (2) Trains. As a single national network, they could plan nationally. Split into multiple companies running different sections of railway, and yet another company responsible for maintaining tracks, the result is chaos. And when anything does go wrong, they just play "pass-the-blame" around the various companies instead of actually fixing it.

    (3) Telecoms. Instead of providing a service to the ppl of the UK, BT (the national carrier) charges way over the odds, and is busy screwing all the country's ISPs as hard as it can. This has gone to the extent that the government regulator is having to step in and tell BT what to do. As an example, BT is doing its level best to stop anyone installing ADSL, simply bcos it's got a monopoly on ISDN lines. If it needs the government to tell them what to do, why not have the government running it in the first place and cut out the middle-man?

    The only reasons private enterprise can work better than publicly-funded government departments is (a) where there are economies of scale, and (b) where the expertise is seriously esoteric. When the government itself has the economy of scale (as it often does), there's no point contracting out; and when the expertise required is merely that of running a business effectively (as with the railways), there's no skills required which any manager anywhere couldn't do. I'll grant you, government departments may be inefficient, but that's just due to poor management and the "corporate style", not to any inherent feature of the job, so all they need is training on how to do it properly. Long-term, training is always cheaper than getting "hired guns".

    Grab.
  • by Therlin (126989) on Monday April 02, 2001 @04:52AM (#321224)
    April Fool's is not on April 1st everywhere in the world. It many countries it is called "innocent's day" which is on December 28th. And I am sure that other countries celebrate it on different days. So for some of these people, reading these odd news on April 1st makes absolutely no sense and it may take them a while to realize that they are not for real.
  • Thank you! I'm so glad it's over. Ever time I came to slashdot on 4/1 I felt like I was in 5th grade again - horrible corney jokes that not even the dumbest readers could completely believe.
  • User Friendly [userfriendly.org], a hilarious internet comic strip, had a practical joke played on the cartoonist by the techies who run the site. They had uploaded photographs showing one of his main characters being abducted while requesting a ransom from his recent IPO funds.
  • by tubs (143128) on Monday April 02, 2001 @04:12AM (#321231)
    The bank of England told one bank that it couldn't go ahead with thier April fools stunt.

    Basically the banks web site was going to have an online ATM that printed money, so that really lazy people didn't have to go to the hole in the wall.

    Money coming out of your printer .... I wonder how many people would have tried it - I know I would have :-)

  • A local newspaper reported that in one area, drivers would not be checked for driving under the influence because the nearby brewery was emitting alcoholic fumes!

    .sigsigsigsigsig

  • god knows it's expensive to make this wreck fly nowadays

    Because one Concorde had a fatal accident (because a part fell of a crappy old DC-10 onto the runway), does not make it a wreck!

    We Brits are proud to have a hand in the only Supersonic passenger airline, and the day they stop Concorde we may as well shut up the Commonwealth and elect a president!

    Anyway: what was the Pilot wearing when Concorde crashed?

    Blazer and flares

  • by doctor_oktagon (157579) on Monday April 02, 2001 @05:05AM (#321238)
    It many countries it is called "innocent's day"

    The definition of "innocent's day" on slashdot should be updated to read:

    Innocent's Day: the first time a newcomer clicks on the g0atse link from behind his corporate websweeper proxy"

    Doh!!

  • Or if you're really good, you hide NO April Fools pranks among a list of *true* news items that all look like they aren't.
  • by Pentagon13 (166309) on Monday April 02, 2001 @04:09AM (#321243)
    Head on over to http://gaim.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net] and tell me that isn't one of the sickest April Fools Jokes of the day. It had me fooled immediately, until about half an hour later when I was rereading it more carefully that I realized it could all be a prank. It just seemed weird that Mark and Rob would pack up and go work for the enemy.

    So is it a joke or not?!?

    "Well, your story seems very compelling, Mr. Jackass, I mean, uh, Simpson. So I'll just type it up on my invisible typewriter. Dum dee dum dum." -- Chief Wiggum

  • I work for Circuit City in Richmond, and as a corporate employee, I have access to the company's internal news site. It's usually a bunch of reports about a new store or corporate earnings. Today I was greeted with a stock of April Fools stories, and one definitely takes the cake:

    Napster Adopts Divx Encryption System

    In a move that shocked everyone in the music and electronics industries, Napster announced today that it has arranged to purchase the multi-layered encryption technology behind Divx, the now-defunct pay-per-play DVD platform from electronics retailer Circuit City. "We've been aware of the Divx technology for quite a while," said Hank Barry, chief executive. "But it wasn't until fairly recently that we knew how it could help solve [Napster's] copyright infringement issues."

    It goes on to say that people will pay $.25 for each download and will only be available on your hard drive for 48 hours, at which point you pay again. I especially like the part where it says that when you sign up, you'll be sent a "coin recognition box" that connects to your USB port, thus requiring you to pay cash: "It even takes Canadian coins."

    I had a pretty good chuckle.

  • Internet for life for Rs 300 (6 $ approx.)

    They carried a story which said that there was a new box, which can be put onto your telephone, and which will download all the webpages onto your hard drive, so that you can browse offline. and then it went ahead to say that it uses some kind of latest wireless technology that there is no telephone bill for you ;-)

    sadly, the link is gone with time...

  • by Erasmus Darwin (183180) on Monday April 02, 2001 @05:41AM (#321255)
    Slashdot's attempts fell flat because, well, most were way too obvious

    In addition to being too obvious, they were also a little too prolific. If you tell someone, in quick succession, that there's a spider on their back, aliens have just landed, and Elvis has just come out of hiding, then they aren't going to believe you when you claim something vaguely plausible, such as George W. signing an executive order mandating prayer in school as a means of dealing with school violence.

    Besides, as I pointed out in this post [slashdot.org] in the "Slashdot During War?" thread, a number of the "legitimate" AskSlashdot's have been more absurd than the April Fool's Day ones.

    Hell, if it weren't for the fact that the "What isn't on the Internet?" question claims "I have *never* not found anything I've searched for" (with a few exceptions), I would've pegged it as a normal, legitimate question (especially given that it got at least one serious, insightful reply here [slashdot.org], talking about the lack of scientific papers that're available. It's just hard to peg a legitimate question with a legitimate answer as an April Fool's joke.

  • A cooked and still warm BBQ chook is taxable under the GST, an cooked but now cold chook is not taxable - at what temperature does the chook become cold?

    I think you may have this wrong, the cooked whole chook is GST free, the cooked chook that they cut in half for you is subject to GST

    Interestingly frozen fried rice is GST free as it is not considered a complete meal.

  • What in the hell is west of Alaska???

    Technically, part of the Aleutian Island chain (which belongs to Alaska) crosses over 180degrees and is, therefore, in the eastern hemisphere. This oddity of geography actually makes Alaska both the easternmost and westernmost of the United States.

  • I heard this too ... best joke of the weekend in my opinion (though Star Wars and FC were pretty good).
  • Yup same here in Australia. When they were planning the introduction of the GST here there was a huge arguement about exactly when a BBQ Chicken is taxable and when it is not.

    A cooked and still warm BBQ chook is taxable under the GST, an cooked but now cold chook is not taxable - at what temperature does the chook become cold?

    I don't think anyone actually knows...

    [a detailed list of which foods are taxed and which aren't under the GST can be found here [ato.gov.au]]

  • Ever wonder how campaign finance reform has gotten this far? Both parties see the legislation as a threat to incumbency, so what gives?

    This morning as Senators assembled in the chamber, somebody yelled out "April Fools!" and John McCain burst into tears. He knew at once what had happened. A vast conspiracy of 100 senators and 400+ house members worked dilligently to keep him in the dark, all the while adding amendments to ensure the bill's unconstitutionality (i.e. harmlessness).

    The full story can be found here. [ridiculopathy.com]

  • by Trivial Sublime (218946) on Monday April 02, 2001 @04:47AM (#321268) Homepage
    A company called "truth" (no joke) ran an ad on several major networks (quicktime movie here [thetruth.com]) with a "tobacco industry spokesperson" on it, saying that every cigarette had been recalled due to "health concerns" and that cigarettes would not be back on the shelves until there were absolutely no health risks..."because if there's two things the tobacco industry cares about, it's your health, and your trust. Thank you." The ad then flashed "april fool's" and the URL.
  • Except that those goverment services are usually very inefficient, bourocratic and sometimes corrupt. A much better way to re-distribute the generated wealth of a country would be for that country to pay dividends to his taxpayers.

    Yeah, that's what the rich are always saying.

    Strange, then, how in most northern European countries people live longer and report themselves to be happier than in the US and other less compassionate places.

    The fact is, corporations with large advertising budgets spend an awful lot of money figuring out how to effectively manipulate people into spending their money on crap they don't need. If I had to choose between the "freedom" to buy 15% more crap, or safe streets and guaranteed health care, well, you can have my crap.

  • actually, they do help (are effective).

    I had been a smoker for 7 years and had thought about quiting before, but I just never put forth the effort.

    Then Truth started their ad blitz. While it didn't really give me more information, the constant bombardment of ads made me think about the negatives more than I had previously.

    The result: Been smoke free for almost a year now.. :)
  • by deran9ed (300694) on Monday April 02, 2001 @04:42AM (#321286) Homepage
    I've actually caught many people aside from the typical April fools pranks. Using obfuscated URL's I've spoofed everything from Slashdot [antioffline.com], ABCnews [antioffline.com], Napster [antioffline.com], CNET [antioffline.com], Republican National Committe [antioffline.com], and others.

    Aside from the typical Slashdotter, or other geek for that matter, I've managed to fool many people into thinking these some of the things were real.

    So slashdot went a little overboard for one day... So what?! Its one day out of the year where anyone can be silly just as you were when you were a kid telling someone his shoe was untied then yelling APRIL FOOLS! Get a grip and stop bitching if April fools pranks offended you, its one day out of the year, and no one was hurt by it. (well maybe someone precious ego)
  • FuckedCompany.com [fuckedcompany.com] getting hacked by idealab! [fuckedcompany.com] employees angry at the beating and ridicule their company has taken on Fucked Company's news and message boards.

    Classic!

  • It's also the most northernmost, obviously.

    What people don't realize is it's also the most southernmost state because scientists have discovered the Aleutian chain goes under the earth's crust, popping out again just south of South America, all the way down to the edge of Antarctica.

  • by GreenEggsAndHam (317974) on Monday April 02, 2001 @04:16AM (#321297)
    The whole idea of an April fool's prank is to hide it among other *true* news items and make it so *nearly* credible that people will get caught out. The Slashdot "editors" couldn't have shown what a childish bunch of idiots they are any better if they'd *tried*. So, to show how funny you guys are and what a wonderful sense of humour you have you decide that you're gonna give us a special gift : on April 1st *every* *single* article on /. for the last 48 hrs has been utter tripe. And now here you are just rubbing it in : "Haha ! by playing on the time zones we can extend April 1st to a 48 hours day, haha ! We rule !" Now you've got a year to go away and figure what makes an April fool's joke *good*. It's gonna be hard but 364 days may just be enough. Get clue or grow up.
  • ircII EPIC4-1.0 was released on april fools day. Teh fact that it was april fools day and the release number is 1.0... well I assume it's a real release, and am using it now. If it's a joke, well I guess I am a person who fell for it. Just feeling very paranoid at the moment :-)
  • I would love to have sent this one [2meta.com] around my office over the weekend. I can see the people on the third floor desperately unplugging everything on Friday for the big Internet Cleaning.

    And it seems Sun [sun.com] has a sense of humour (and the budget) to pull stuff like "This year the wall between Scott and Bernie's office was removed to make a lovely 15 yard dog leg right golf hole. Complete with elevated tee and green. The green is protected by two sand traps and yes there is a small pond. It is completely turfed and a golf cart sits out front with a bumper sticker reading. "Honk if you are a Sun VP". (More here [2meta.com].)

Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves. -- Lazarus Long

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