Don’t be fooled! The fake tech stories you’re not going to read about

April Fool’s Day can ensnare the canniest of nerds – here are some samples to tune your BS detector.

april fools 1

Oh, it’s that time of year again…

It’s hard to put too much of your back into what’s mostly an online media quibble, given that eastern Massachusetts is finally starting to become visible again as the snow melts, but we’ll flex our kvetching muscles here – the tech world does just get awfully pleased with itself on April Fool’s Day, doesn’t it? Everybody’s got to have a clever little gag on their site, a funny prank – or a fake news story. As the most serious journalists in the tech world (C, TM, etc), we thought it would be a public service to inoculate you, the reader, against the jokery and mirth to come on Wednesday, so here is an extended sample of the sort of nonsense you’ll have to slog through. Don’t be fooled!

april fools 2

Blackberry bought by aliens whose only contact with Earth is 10-year-old radio signals

The aliens, who landed at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport Sunday, reportedly expressed their desire to own a controlling interest in Research In Motion, and were startled to learn that the company had been renamed, and had lost almost all of its market position to other firms.

“Our system for faster-than-light travel makes us incapable of receiving radio transmissions,” said spokesalien Splikpof-303. “Not even a BBM message would have reached us. But we’re still excited to see what the latest iPod model looks like.”

PLAUSIBLE?: In that these would be the only aliens interested, yes. Otherwise, not so much.

april fools 3

Steve Ballmer reportedly in talks to buy the Harlem Globetrotters

Having purchased the Los Angeles Clippers in the wake of the Donald Sterling scandal in 2014, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is attempting to expand his budding basketball empire by purchasing Herschend Family Entertainment, the current owners of the famed Harlem Globetrotters exhibition team.

“I’d be honored to have the stewardship of a team with such a glorious history,” Ballmer said. “I mean, a .985 winning percentage? That’s unprecedented!”

PLAUSIBLE?: Absolutely, right up until Steve realizes that many of the Globetrotters’ games are fixed. Ballmer needs COMPETITION! COMPETITION COMPETITION COMPETITION COMPETITION!

april fools 4

Kanye West and Marissa Mayer record duet to support internet access and connectivity in Africa

Yahoo will partner with Apple and Kanye West to release an online-only single entitled “Africonnections.” Proceeds will go towards supporting efforts to build out broadband access to underserved areas of sub-Saharan Africa, and purchasers will receive a free ringtone and 5GB of Yahoo Mail storage.

PLAUSIBLE?: Obviously not, but it does have that faint ring of “weird enough to appeal to Kanye” to it, doesn’t it?

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Stephen Glauser, Flickr Creative Commons

John Legere asks Verizon and AT&T if he can move back in for a few months

Rebellious T-Mobile CEO John Legere, reportedly low on pizza money and with his band suffering from creative differences, has asked Verizon and AT&T if he can move back home for a few months “to plan my next adventure.”

“I was thinking about being the un-something,” he said, in a statement delivered via Skype from a wood-paneled basement room. “People really liked 7-up, right? That stuff’s pretty rad.” He then called loudly upstairs, asking Verizon if there was any 7-up in the house.

PLAUSIBLE?: Obviously not – at least with T-Mobile continuing to gain subscribers.

april fools 6

Rush Limbaugh launches his personal line of ‘Two-Time-Tasty-Taser Meals’

An innovative design that can render assailants unconscious and also heat up delicious frozen meals is the latest brainstorm of far-right radio host Rush Limbaugh, famed for his enthusiastic embrace of gastronomy and the use of dangerous weapons for self-defense. It’s expected to go on sale via Skymall in the third quarter of 2015.

PLAUSIBLE?: No less than Alton Brown says that multi-use devices are key in the kitchen, but yeah, no.

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Samsung rocks automotive sector with release of Galaxy Car S, plans 102 further models this year

South Korean electronics giant Samsung announced today that it would release the Galaxy Car S, its first entry into the automotive market, to a worldwide market next month. The Galaxy Car S will feature tight integration with Samsung’s existing web of mobile services, a hypersophisticated fuel cell engine, and an innovative plastic body.

The company also announced plans for more than a hundred future iterations, including the Galaxy Car S II, Galaxy Mini, Galaxy S Car Mini Sport, and Galaxy Semi 35’.

PLAUSIBLE?: If they were making a car, this is definitely how they’d go about it, but probably not.

april fools 8

Amazon releases its Amazon Web Services contract as a downloadable podcast recorded by Sir Patrick Stewart

Amazon’s user agreement for AWS is, let’s face it, a bit outsized, weighing in at more than 5,900 words. Unless it’s your job to slog through it, who would bother? And even then, it can’t be much fun.

Thankfully, Amazon appears to have realized this, releasing an audio version of the agreement as a podcast, read by none other than Sir Patrick Stewart. Boldly finish the agreement that no one has finished before!

PLAUSIBLE?: I mean, if you had to have someone read out the entirety of the Amazon Web Services contract…

april fools 9

Satya Nadella: Next Windows version only updates if you wait patiently and don’t ask for it

Saying that we all need to be patient and wait for things to come to us, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella will announce Wednesday that the next version of Windows will refuse to download and install new versions of itself if users try to manually update it.

“Have faith in the system,” said Nadella in a brief statement. “It’s not really about asking for the update, it’s about knowing that the system will actually give you the right update as you require it.”


april fools 10

Jony Ive takes down Airbnb listing after guests leave mess

Apple design guru Sir Jonathan Ive has pledged never to rent out his San Francisco apartment via Airbnb again after a recent guest disturbed his painstaking arrangement of furniture and left magazines scattered around the place.

“Did these people not appreciate the work that went into making this place the work of art that it is?” Ive fumed in a Facebook post. “No such Philistines will ever darken my door again.”

PLAUSIBLE?: IF Jony Ive did Airbnb, we’re sure this would irritate the hell out of him.

april fools 11

Comcast abducts the Internet, climbs to top of nearby skyscraper in last-gasp effort to avoid Net Neutrality regs

As New York emergency personnel and the National Guard looked on, Comcast scaled the Empire State Building with the Internet clutched tightly in one hand, desperate to escape the pending imposition of new Net Neutrality regulations.

“Send the riot squad and ambulances,” an NYPD patrol officer was heard to say over the radio, “King Com has escaped!”

PLAUSIBLE?: No. Lawyers generally don’t climb tall buildings without safety equipment.

april fools 12

Bitcoin exchange not hacked

Bitcoin exchange CoinHoldr sent a notice to users Wednesday that hackers had not penetrated its defenses, and that users’ wallets remained safe from both outside attackers and inside fraudsters.

“Unexpectedly, all Bitcoin accounts hosted on our site are presently uncompromised and contain their full expected values,” the company said in a statement. “We’re as surprised as you are.”

PLAUSIBLE?: Of course not, be serious. (H/T: Colin Neagle)

april fools 13

Bowling alley manager gets fired for buying IBM

A long-standing truism of the IT industry took a big hit today as Larry Walcott, a day manager at East Side Party Lanes in Baltimore, was fired for buying IBM.

“We wish Larry well, but there was really no need for an IBM z13 mainframe server at the East Side Party Lanes facility,” the company said in a statement.

PLAUSIBLE?: Most bowling alleys probably use the cloud these days, we surmise.

april fools 14

Elon Musk closes $330 million series A round on ‘I dunno, Internet of Drones, or something?’

Super-entrepreneur Elon Musk pronounced himself pleased to have closed a $330 million series A round on his latest project, which he described as being focused on “uh, the Internet of Drones, I guess. Yeah.”

Techcrunch and The Verge both praised the as-yet-unnamed startup as “visionary” and “potentially revolutionary,” and predicted a still-larger series B round to come.

PLAUSIBLE?: We’re pretty sure Elon Musk could get venture funding for a hot dog cart, so yes.