April Fools 2017: All The Online Gags And Pranks You Missed This Weekend

April Fools 2017: All The Online Gags And Pranks You Missed This Weekend
Image: James Squire

The first day of April is always a difficult 24 hours to navigate if you want to avoid being tripped up by some zany product or service announcement from the likes of Google, Microsoft or, as we’ve seen today, Uncle Tobys and James Squire. To help you stay ahead of the game, we’ve selected the delicious (and not-so-delicious) fake stuff and put it all in the one place.

Turns out, a fair few local companies are adept leg-pullers, so you’ll see a mix of international and Australian gags below. Now, let’s get started…

Lubricate Your Facial Hair With James Squire

Everyone knows how hard it is to keep that hipster beard in check, so why not try a bit of James Squire’s “Brewer Dry Hopped Beard Oil” to tame that mane. As the company’s Facebook page explains, the oil “has been carefully dry hopped using Simcoe and Citra late in the emulsification process by a heavily bearded and tattooed brewer, so you know it’s good”.

We’ll, uh, take your word for it.

Unlock Your PC With Stack Overflow’s Funky Junky

Programmers are good for a laugh, as long as you don’t interrupt them while they’re in the coding zone. Or, as it happens, trying to log into their computer using Stack Overflow’s fancy new security system “Dance Dance Authentication”. No matter if you’re into tango, waltz or break, you can craft your own, customised moves to lock others out of your accounts. Might get tiring if you’re in IT support though.

Google Pacs It Up

April Fools 2017: All The Online Gags And Pranks You Missed This WeekendImage: Google

Google has used its maps service as a proving ground for April Fools’ jokes since the beginning of time (well, electronic cartography anyway). Just hit up Google Maps, click the “Insert coin” button at the bottom-left and the roads and laneways of whatever town or city you happen to be looking at will be transformed into a game of Ms. Pac-Man, complete with ghosts, pills and cherries.

Google Gnome Questions Your Existence

Retro gaming isn’t the only gag Google has running today. Meet the Google Gnome, the outdoor companion to the Google Home. It comes complete with weather forecasting, water hose control and a troubling love of all things Nietzsche. If you’re keen to ponder the meaning of life while sorting the compost, the Gnome is the talking automation gadget for you.

USB-Powered Gaming, Courtesy Of NVIDIA

April Fools 2017: All The Online Gags And Pranks You Missed This WeekendImage: NVIDIA

3D graphics vendor NVIDIA has concocted the world’s cutest dongle — if you think tiny video cards are adorable. Plug this sucker, called the “GeForce GTX G-Assist” into your PC and it’ll do anything and everything, from playing games while you’re AFK, boosting your stats to defeat difficult enemies and it’ll even “purchase gifts for your significant other” with its “NVIDIA Nurture” feature.

Yellow Octopus’ Danger Ranger: GPS And DNA, Together At Last

April Fools 2017: All The Online Gags And Pranks You Missed This WeekendImage: Yellow Octopus

Australia is the world’s deadliest continent, according to anyone who hasn’t visited the country. That’s if we even exist! Existential crises aside, we do have a few nasty creepy-crawlies one would prefer not to meet beside the campfire, so why not just avoid them with Yellow Octopus’ “Danger Ranger”.

A “Dangerous Wildlife GPS Scanner”, the Ranger is essentially a Star Trek-style tricorder packed with “67 DNA profiles of dangerous creatures”. With its “quad helix” antenna and 16-hour battery life, you’ll never have to worry about getting unintentionally romantic with a king cobra again! Which is a tricky thing to do in the first place, considering they’re not native to Australia.

Pets Are People Too, Says Amazon

Why should humans get all the home automation fun? What if your dog wants to order snacks online? It’s Amazon to the rescue with “Petlexa”, the Alexa substitute that caters to the needs of your furry (or scaled) friends. I’m sure it works great, until your Labrador buries it in the backyard (or worse).

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s Manufactured Gags

Robots will eventually take all our jobs, including those in creative fields. And that transition starts today. Comedy is under assault, with the first cybernetic grenade being tossed by the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. This year’s event will feature the “world’s first” AI comedian called LOL-BOT.

Despite the fact such an invention would likely go against the MICF’s best interests, it’s pretty keen on the metallic joke-slinger, which uses facial recognition software and “stochastic modelling” to come up with its material. I’m guessing it also has a backup mode where it relies on Rodney Dangerfield’s stuff if the crowd’s a bit on the chilly side.

Unlocking The Secrets Of Oat Power With Uncle Tobys

April Fools 2017: All The Online Gags And Pranks You Missed This WeekendImage: Uncle Tobys

Looks like Allure Media’s own Mark Serrels will never have to eat a spoonful of oats ever again, thanks to Uncle Tobys’ “O Energy” batteries.

By harnessing “the natural oat energy source” that “creates a thick oat puree which generates a superior reaction”, the batteries promise clean, renewable energy for all your appliances and if you’re brave enough, your stomach too. OK, so they’re probably not edible, but that has more to do with the fact that they don’t exist.

OnePlus Enters The Energy Drink Business

April Fools 2017: All The Online Gags And Pranks You Missed This WeekendImage: OnePlus

OnePlus has Dash Charge for its phones, but what if it could distil this technology into some sort of energy drink so one could “Dash Charge” their life? Well, taking a page from Uncle Tobys above, the smartphone company has managed this impossible feat! With customer quotes such as…

“Back in my day, you were expected to get married, buy a house, and sleep for 8 hours each night. Now I see sleep was a lie created to sell sleep aids and special mattresses. Thank you, Dash. You have changed a life.”

…how could you resist this specially-formulated miracle tonic? There’s even a bizarre ad to go with it!

Ford Australia’s ‘Active Thanks Assist’ Tech

April Fools 2017: All The Online Gags And Pranks You Missed This WeekendImage: Ford Australia

Apparently, being able to express emotions via your car’s rear window can have a positive impact on the temperament of drivers around you, especially if you have the wheel skills of a burrito-wielding Ron Burgundy. It’s surprising that it’s taken this long for a car manufacturer to offer this built-in, with Ford Australia first off the rank with its “Active Thanks Assist” technology.

There’s also “Active Sorry Assist” for when you cut someone off, but no “Active Middle Finger Assist” when it goes the other way. Still working on that one, I suppose.

National Geographic Offers Animals A Thread Of Hope

April Fools 2017: All The Online Gags And Pranks You Missed This WeekendImage: Harryy Whittier Frees, Library of Congress

It’s about time animal photographers treated their subjects with dignity. All these “natural” shots are utterly uncouth in 2017. As such, National Geographic has declared it will no longer publish “nude animal pictures”. Instead, enjoy this super-cute clothed still from a simpler era, more of which can be found at Neo Geo.

Netflix Live, Making The Ordinary… More Ordinary

With nothing but a gravely-voiced Will Arnett and the tagline “Toasters toasting. Grass growing. Fans blowing. With Netflix Live, you can experience life’s biggest thrills, right from the comfort of your couch”, Netflix gave us a sneak peek at… nothing, actually. If you want to see Netflix Live, you’ll have to watch it, well, live.

Other than a couple of poor-quality smartphone recordings on YouTube, those without Netflix subscriptions will remain in the dark. Though I guess that’s the point.

The gist? Arnett narrates everyday life.

eHarmony Australia Combines Physics With The Physical

April Fools 2017: All The Online Gags And Pranks You Missed This WeekendImage: eHarmony

Good looks and charming personality not enough? eHarmony Australia has decided to take a literal approach to the attraction game by adding “magnetism” to its dating apps. The app will turn your phone into “an incredibly strong magnet” making you difficult, if not impossible, to resist. Perfect for all those single robots out there.

I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream With Contiki Australia

I’m starting to notice a trend with these April Fools’ pranks — the elimination of humans in customer service roles. Ignoring the somewhat disturbing subtext, Contiki Australia will soon provide tours personally tailored by “Artificial Intelligence Trip Managers”, or ATITA. According to Contiki, ATITA can adjust its personality to “suit each traveller” using its “data mining capabilities” to know “everything about you”. I’ve always wanted to be stalked by my tour guide for that authentic “horror film” holiday. Now, I finally can.

ING DIRECT Debuts My First Forgery

April Fools 2017: All The Online Gags And Pranks You Missed This WeekendImage: ING

Using its patented counterfeiting technology, ING has come up with the “iTM”, a phone with a built-in 3D printer than can produce “cash notes on demand”. The iTM promises to eliminate “the need to use traditional ATMs” while at the same time giving your derriere a first-class ticket to the gloved hand of a federal police officer.

According to ING, it’s also compatible with the likes of Android Pay and Apple Pay. Committing overt felonies has never been easier!

Moshi, Breaking Universal Constants

Moshi is upping its accessory game by going superluminal. Forget USB Hi-Speed or SuperSpeed — why not try Moshi’s Speed of Light? Going by the promotional video, USB-SL can solve every single computer problem. Heck, it can even make your notebook battery charge higher than 100 per cent. Magic? Science? Or a combination of both? Only Moshi’s techno-sorcerers know the secret.

Sausage Refunds For All, Thanks To ME Bank

The boffins at ME Bank have been hard at work on SmellWave technology. Its first application? Cashback on all your sausage purchases. All you have to do is tap ME’s Snag debit card on your barbecued meat tube and $2.50 will be deposited into your account. With careful use, you could eat free forever, if you don’t mind a tiny, tiny case of atherosclerosis.

Old School, Yoyo Fun With Virgin Mobile

April Fools 2017: All The Online Gags And Pranks You Missed This WeekendImage: Virgin Mobile

We have lanyards for our glasses to stop them wandering into open toilets and other nefarious places. Can’t phones have a similar convenience? While the science behind anti-gravity remains elusive, Virgin Mobile have gone with a simpler solution — the “Pho Yo”. No, this isn’t a clash of smartphone tech and Vietnamese cuisine, rather a the combo of yoyo and phone.

Not only do you assure the safety of your mobile, but you can twirl it around while you wait for the bus. Is it a good idea? That depends on how much disposable income you have.

Taste The Bicarbonate With RedBalloon

April Fools 2017: All The Online Gags And Pranks You Missed This WeekendImage: RedBalloon

If you’re always up for exciting and unique experiences, RedBalloon has some choice selections available starting from today. Bore your palate with the company’s exclusive “Water Tasting Masterclass” or if you’re chasing rare Pokemon, check out the Pokemon Day Tour.

My personal favourite however is the Naked Paintball, if only for the gag-filled product page, which includes such witticisms as “unlimited balls” under the supplies section. Above and below body armour is also provided, which while necessary, would mostly cancel out the naked part.

Deliveroo / Huxtaburger, Your Beach Burger Specialists

Push bikes and motorcycles can only go so quickly, so food delivery service Deliveroo, with some help from Huxtaburger, has branched out… or should that be branched up? If you’re keen from some grub and can’t wait 30 minutes, Deliveroo will go to extreme lengths to get your order to you, even if it involves the expense of a parachute and plane rental.

My only question: How does the poor delivery guy get back to the restaurant-post airdrop? Someone certainly isn’t skipping leg day.

Houzz, Blowing Up Unsightly Couches Since 2017

eBay and Gumtree? Why bother selling your old stuff when you can just blow it up? Home improvement site Houzz has supplemented its mobile app with augmented reality munitions, allowing one to simply explode unwanted furniture and unsightly trinkets. All you have to do fire up the “Hide From My Room” tool, crop the subject and tap. Try to avoid targeting your neighbour’s annoying dog… or kids. Definitely keep it away from kids.

The Great Reddit Experiment

April Fools 2017: All The Online Gags And Pranks You Missed This WeekendImage: Supplied

The folks behind Reddit decided to harness the site’s massive audience for a creative social experiment. If you hit up /r/place you’ll find a scrollable canvas where users can place a single coloured block once every 10 minutes. It appears the delay was shorter at some point, allowing users to craft coherent images. For example, part of the image includes a picture of Wally, of Where’s Wally fame.

Unfortunately, in typical internet style, Wally now has his own, uh, little Wally. Cool?

Move Over Glad Wrap, Try Primo Smallgoods’ Bacon Wrap

April Fools 2017: All The Online Gags And Pranks You Missed This WeekendImage: Primo Smallgoods

Bacon is the perfect complement to any meal. Sandwiches, pasta, salads, ice-cream — if you can eat it, you can eat it wrapped / sprayed / infused with bacon. Primo Smallgoods has the ideal product to make adding bacon to your diet easier, taking a page from Glad with its Bacon Wrap.

Sure, it’s terrible for protecting your food and will actually attract pests to your picnic, but doesn’t it look scrumptious?

Samurai Punk Announces Screencheat 2… For the N-Gage

April Fools 2017: All The Online Gags And Pranks You Missed This WeekendImage: Samurai Punk

Aussie developer Samurai Punk made a name for itself with Screencheat, a split-screen competitive shooter where your opponents are invisible, forcing you to peek at other players’ screens in order to win. Well, the studio has announced a sequel, exclusive to Nokia’s N-Gage phone / handheld console.

No idea what the N-Gage is? Best to change “is” to “was”; the gadget died a fast, horrible death many years ago.

GrabOne NZ Providing Discounts On One Tree Hill’s Zipline

April Fools 2017: All The Online Gags And Pranks You Missed This WeekendImage: GrabOne NZ

Here’s one for our New Zealand readers. Group deal site GrabOne NZ is offering discounted rides on the newly erected One Tree Hill zipline. According to the deal, One Tree Hill “has stood idle for too long” and thanks to AJ Hackett Bungy, are giving users the “once in a lifetime opportunity to zip over Cornwall Park as you laugh in glee at the slow-moving joggers and dog walkers below”.

I get the impression some interested parties thought this was an actual thing, given the massive April Fools’ warning. Obviously, clicking the “Buy” button immediately takes you to a page revealing the joke.

Travel Insurance Direct, Helping You Avoid Bad Tattoo Decisions

April Fools 2017: All The Online Gags And Pranks You Missed This WeekendImage: Travel Insurance Direct

You’ve almost certainly heard (or sadly experienced) a tattoo horror story where that foreign-language inscription doesn’t mean what its owner thinks it means. Travel Insurance Direct has you covered with its Tattoo Spell Checker app, which is great and all, except you’ll want to use it before the fact, not after as illustrated in the promo picture.

If you don’t want to bother with the app, Google Translate should do the job just as well.

Smell Like A Rabbit With Ubisoft’s New Odour

April Fools 2017: All The Online Gags And Pranks You Missed This WeekendImage: Ubisoft

Game publisher Ubisoft is getting in on the April Fools’ action with its fictional scent “Viril”. Anyone familiar with the company’s Raving Rabbids franchise will recognise the telltale ears on the top of the bottle. Described as “a perfume for the real manly man”, Viril is a “ground-breaking” eau de toilette, made by smelling “countless rabbits”.

Fair enough, but it’s no Sex Panther.

Travelodge Dreams Of Bacon

April Fools 2017: All The Online Gags And Pranks You Missed This WeekendImage: Travelodge

And we’re back to the bacon gags! Travelodge has a new “anti-snooze service” it’s cooked up, called “Rise & Sizzle!”, where a professional chef will break into your room with a smoking pan of freshly-fried bacon and waft it under your nose.

For everyone who can’t afford this personal touch, you’ll have to make do with bacon-emitting alarms, courtesy of Sensorwake. Actually, Sensorwake’s olfactory alarms are a real thing, though they don’t appear to provide bacon as an option. Chocolate, toast and espressos yes, charred ham, no.

Drop The Bass On Your Foot With Master & Dynamic

April Fools 2017: All The Online Gags And Pranks You Missed This WeekendImage: Master & Dynamic

Your current headphones heavy on the bass? How about just heavy? Screw all those new-age materials, let’s get back to basics — like, building basics — with Master & Dynamic’s MH40C1 cups made entirely from concrete.

Weighing 4.81kg, they’re the epitome of comfort, but only if you’re the bulkiest member of the Fantastic Four. Can’t say how successfully they’ll be with non-superheroes, but you have to experiment. As M&D CEO Jonathan Levine explains:

“Master & Dynamic has consistently chosen the road less travelled. As of today, that road is paved with concrete.”

Pornhub’s Nasty Social Surprise

April Fools 2017: All The Online Gags And Pranks You Missed This WeekendImage: A_Chief420 / Reddit

Pornhub made pretty much everyone’s worst nightmare come true — the accidental sharing of your porn habits on social media.

To trigger this message, all you had to do was click on one of the site’s salacious videos and well, you’d soon be scrambling for the power cable, or even just a small cupboard to contemplate the possibility of deleting yourself from reality.

Fortunately for all involved, it was just a joke, but you might want to double check you’re in Incognito Mode next time… just in case.

Nab The Deal Of The Century With The Wikipedia Humble Bundle

April Fools 2017: All The Online Gags And Pranks You Missed This WeekendImage: Humble Bundle

Sweet Christmas! Talk about value! Usually offering massively discounted games, Humble Bundle has decided on a more educational route for its latest deal — the sum of human knowledge. Well, whatever’s on Wikipedia anyway.

Pay anything from a dollar to thousands and you too will be granted access to this illustrious online repository of information. With over five million articles spanning thousands of topics, what’s not to like?

World of Tanks Goes To Mars

The developers behind the competitive, World War II-themed online game World of Tanks figured out that Earth is only so interesting. Why fight on regular old soil, when you could be shooting shells on a completely different planet… say Mars? Complete with lasers and gravity-defying machines of metal death, World of Tanks can now be called, uh, Solar System of Tanks? Might need to work on that name.

Google Wind Controls Clouds… With The Cloud

So this how we get SkyNet. A literal SkyNet. Google’s Netherlands outfit has come up with a way to harness the country’s unused windmills to banish rain from the skies. As the video puts it: “Google Wind … uses Machine Learning to recognise cloud patterns and orchestrate the network of windmills when rain is approaching.” Finally, Google’s master plan for its Cloud platform has come to fruition.


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