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Your 2012 April Fools' Day Prank Spoiler

April Fools’ Day is officially over in Australia, but we’re still seeing fake news stories and new product announcements trickling in from the US. Here’s a catch-up on the main tech-related pranks that did the rounds.

In the Google-verse

  • Google 8-Bit Maps for NES: Dust off your 1980s Nintendo Entertainment System and connect to Google Maps via a proprietary dial-up modem inside the Google Maps cartridge.
  • The YouTube Collection: “When my Internet went out, I used to have to wait until it came back on to watch my favorite videos. NO MORE. Receive one truckload per week of pallet-stacked YouTube videos on DVD.”
  • Google Street Roo: “Today, we’re happy to announce that Google has found an innovative way to capture a special collection of images from the back of beyond to include in Google Street View. Over the next four weeks, more than a thousand Big Red kangaroos will be equipped with a 360-degree head camera that will automatically capture images when the marsupial is on the move during daylight hours.”
  • Chrome Multitask Mode: “We realised that anytime you’re browsing you’re only using 50% of your hands. Why? Because you only have one mouse. Chrome multitask mode changes that by giving you access to not just one, but two mice at the same time.”
  • Google Racing: “Our autonomous cars have now been test-driven (or rather, test-ridden) for more than 200,000 miles without a single machine-caused mishap. And today we’re moving the project one great leap forward with Google Racing, a groundbreaking partnership with NASCAR to help self-driving vehicles compete in the world of stock car racing. We think the most important thing computers can do in the next decade is to drive cars-and that the most important thing Google Racing can do in the next decade is drive them, if possible, more quickly than anyone else. Or anything else.”
  • Google Voice for Pets: “The secret is in our special Voice Communication Collars. The collars fit around your pet’s neck and use a series of sensors to record audio directly from your dog or cat’s vocal cords, using technology originally developed for NASA spacesuits. With a little training, your beloved Fluffy will be able to let you know exactly what she wants every minute of every day. Wherever you go.”

Notice the lack of Google+ pranks; maybe that one’s too close to an actual joke in the first place. Though we do like this: “Recreate Google+ by getting 3 friends to stand in different coloured hula-hoops.”

Everywhere Else

  • Shapes by Toshiba: “Toshiba is announcing a new line of oval, rhombus, and heart shaped tablets.”
  • Adblock Becomes Catblock: “The popular Chrome extension to block ads today replaces those ads with photos of cats. This is so popular that they’re actually making a subscription version of Adblock to do this after April Fools’ Day.”
  • Kodak Offers ‘Print Your Own Live Kitties’ Kiosk: “Select a breed…wait 90 seconds…and fall in love.”
  • Reddit Timeline: “Reddit Timelines let you see what the popular memes were in the late-Creataceous period and allow communication with peoples of distant lands and times.”
  • Virgin Volcanic: “Only 500 people have been to space, only three people have been to the bottom of the ocean, but no one has ever attempted to journey to the core of an active volcano. Until now. Using patented carbon-carbon materials pioneered for deep space exploration, Virgin is proud to announce a revolutionary new vehicle, VVS1, which will be capable of plunging three people into the molten lava core of an active volcano. Sir Richard Branson will go on the first expedition along with Tom Hanks, Academy Award winning actor and star of Joe Versus the Volcano; Black Eyed Peas recording artist and science enthusiast Will.i.am; actor/producer Seth Green; and two-time Academy Award winning documentary filmmaker Barbara Kopple.”
  • Electronic Hungry Hungry Hippos for iPad: “Just like when you were a kid, only iPad-ier!” $US29.99

Spotted others? Share them in the comments.