Match trees, the g-ball and YouTube

Google really does have something over my hometown newspaper. Although both love their April Fool’s jokes, Google has outlasted the local newspaper.

My hometown daily shut down the pranks after the outrage of an April 1 story that featured the suicide of what everyone assumed was an fictitious columnist. This columnist had a weekly running commentary on events in the community and the extensive story of his suicide was more than people could bear. End of the pranks.

The best one I remember, though, was the discovery of a match farm outside of town. Readers were given close-ups of bushes bearing matches and a lengthy interview with the match farmer. I don’t know how long it took the reporter to tie the matches onto those bushes.

Google, on the other hand, keeps chucking out the jokes.

Here are a few from their archives:

  • Google Australia announced the development of the “g-ball,” a soccer-type ball with GPS technology.  The ball could measure the location, force, and torque of a kick, and “vibrate if player agents or talent scouts want to speak to you.” Google claimed that the ball will cost $10 with a cost-per-kick set of payments in addition to the basic fee.
  • Users were told that Google Docs could upload anything, including things easily lost such as your car keys and remote controls. Using control-F would allow you to search the world and download your item for a small fee.
  • Google proposed a keyboard with a single key for each Japanese character.
  • Scratch and Sniff books were added to Google Book Search. Users were instructed to please place their noses near the monitor and press “Go” which would then load odors.
  • Google Mobile offered Brain Indexing. Users could put phone to their forehead for brain indexing and then simply think their search query.
  • Google became Topeka for a day. Apparently town fathers in Topeka, Kansas had changed the name of their town to “Google” for a day in hopes of capturing a spot on a broadband/fiber optics project. Google returned the honor, replacing their logo with “Topeka” for the day.
  • Google users were offered an option to print life-size cardboard cutouts of all their photos.

But this year may top them all. Google and YouTube have joined together to announce that YouTube has really been a contest and it will disappear for the next decade while judges sort through all the entries. Check out the video:


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