Techie April Fools’ Day – in pictures

We disapprove of this year’s hi-jinx and chicanery, as rated on a scale of one to five rueful head-shakes.

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The corporate world is serious business

The annual scramble for momentary flashes of attention in the public eye has become an undignified, childish reversion to the mean, and a symptom of the terrible harm the Internet has done to the business world and to the media. It is with regret that we begrudgingly direct still more of your dwindling attention span to the following unedifying “pranks,” of which we hereby express our disapproval, our tongues far from our cheeks.

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Credit: Max Brice and Daniel Dominguez/CERN
CERN confirms the existence of the force

August scientific institution CERN has debased itself with a joke about a mystical energy field from a popular series of science fiction movies, used to perform puerile feats of super-heroism. For shame.

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NSA urges public to use less passive voice in its emails

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, normally a stalwart, responsible voice for the rights of the user, lowered itself to a cheap jeer at the expense of the National Securit…oh, you know what, the hell with it, we loved this one.

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PlayStation Flow

Sony, a giant electronics manufacturer, nudged the public in its collective ribs with this ludicrous fantasy about a wearable device designed to more closely simulate the swimming sections in video games. As though anyone actually liked those parts of the games anyway.

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Amazon Dash (OR IS IT?!)

Retail titan Amazon winks at decorum and good sense with its frivolous announcement of an automatic button that reorders common household goods like detergent and mustache wax. The very idea! Wait, this is real?!

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ASUS ZenFone Zero

Tut! ASUS taunts the world of mobile phones with its spurious digital version of the desktop telephones of yesteryear. Have you made much of a dent in the U.S. smartphone market, ASUS? How funny is that?

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MS-DOS Mobile

Microsoft’s risible jape about replacing its mobile operating system with its command-line OS of yesteryear is a shameful affront to its dignity.

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Tumblr for business

Lighthearted word-and-gif repository Tumblr is the antithesis of productivity, so making it into an “executive suite” in mufti seems like nothing more than nonsensical frippery.

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Selfie shoes

Selfie-related goods are a plague on our society – not a matter for jesting, not least because there are absolutely people (perhaps very flexible people) who would buy these in actuality.

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BMW Motormouth

Oral sports injuries are no laughing matter, German carmaker BMW. Generations of athletes, particularly in Canada, don’t appreciate your mockery.

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Samsung Galaxy Blade Edge

Is it really credible to think that a company in the business of making consumer products would manufacture something that features such a sharp edge being held in the hand? Now, if you drop your phone, you might lose toes, as well as breaking it. They even used a “cutting edge” joke! Fie!

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Amazon retro

Frankly, we don’t understand why this is being considered a prank – who could argue with such a clean, simple and well-designed website layout? Why, it was from this very site that we purchased much of our extensive collection of historical documentary films.

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Vodafone emoji phone

This tacit admission that emoji are an acceptable medium of communication is disappointing to see emanate from Vodafone, an enterprise-focused company that we’d thought of as proof against the shenanigans of the modern age.

Hi-techlarious
Hi-techlarious

Here’s our roundup from 2014 of some of the funnier bits from around the industry, NOT including Google – which got a slideshow all to itself here.

HTC Gluuv
HTC Gluuv

Jeez, the one time HTC comes up with a name for a product that’s at least distinctive, and it’s a gag – feast your eyes on this knock-off Nintendo Power Glove. Readers, remind me – was the glove actually good for anything? Can’t imagine what it would’ve been.

Kayak bathroom listings
Kayak bathroom listings

Travel site Kayak is offering comparative listings for bathrooms – under the headings “on demand,” “extended stay,” and “recurring,” queasily enough – and when you actually click through to an entry, you’re met with, well, this.

Coffee Meets Bagel meets Google Glass
Credit: YouTube.com
Coffee Meets Bagel meets Google Glass

This is exactly the kind of thing that has people worried about Google Glass. I’d like to thank the good people at Coffee Meets Bagel, a dating site that I confess I’ve never heard of, for this chilling cautionary tale. Although big demerits for yet another gag implying that straight men are only interested in women’s bodies and straight women are only interested in men’s earning potentials. Barf.

LinkedIn Cats You May Know
LinkedIn Cats You May Know

Finally, a way for cats to identify each other that doesn’t involve yowling in the middle of the night and peeing on stuff to mark territory. Oh, but of course it’s an April Fools’ joke. Cats can’t use computers.

Na, Br O
Credit: YouTube.com
Na, Br O

The American Chemical Society has gone straight-ahead with their effort, a collection of chemistry jokes (of, um, varying quality) that’s nonetheless worth a look. “It’s just a phase.”

DocuSign Blink
Credit: YouTube.com
DocuSign Blink

“Most of our customers only have two hands,” says DocuSign, so now you can sign a document by saying “DocuSign Blink!” and then, well, blinking. Related – I realize that this is an April Fools’ gag, but aren’t we a little bit worried about future society looking like that Fred Armisen bit on Google Glass?

Headdit
Credit: YouTube.com
Headdit

News aggregator Reddit can use your webcam to track your head, allowing you to scroll up and down by glancing in either direction. Hey, it’s more exercise than many Reddit addicts get in any given day.

In the Kitchen with Hannibal
In the Kitchen with Hannibal

Seems in remarkably poor taste. Really kind of an unsavory gag, for April Fools’ Day. Left me feeling a little sour. Not trying to be salty, about it, just…/runs away from editors carrying experimental anti-pun rifles

Airbnb, except with desks
Credit: http://www.airbrb.com/fools.html
Airbnb, except with desks

Taking something to its logical extreme, well past the point of reason or sanity, is a bedrock fundamental of satire. Airbnb really should’ve gone further with this, if you ask me. There are so many things we use inefficiently. Why can’t we rent out each other’s limbs, or our senses of accomplishment? Desks, psh.

The Nokia 3310 – now with Windows Phone
The Nokia 3310 – now with Windows Phone

The image of a turn-of-the-century candy bar phone running Windows Phone and sporting one of those gigantic 41MP Nokia supercameras is pretty funny, although the comments on the official blog post seem to indicate a surprising number of people would buy one.

Selfiebot
Credit: YouTube.com
Selfiebot

Are you a selfie-happy narcissist? Are you also really lazy? Too bad, because a floating robot that takes selfies of you is just an April Fools’ Day gag. Great video, though – tech ad parodies are getting really tone-perfect, here and there.

Bill Clinton, funny guy
Credit: http://time.com/45157/bill-clinton-parodies-hillary-on-his-twitter-account/
Bill Clinton, funny guy

The former president Tweeted this picture late last night, which is funny because, you know, reasons.

SwiftKey Flow Hard
Credit: YouTube.com
SwiftKey Flow Hard

You might not get this if you haven’t used gesture typing before – the idea is to drag your finger across the letters you want to type and then release, typing a full word with a single swipe. My fingers hurt just watching these people grind their digits across a full-size keyboard, however.  (H/T: Android Central)

PicMonkey artisinal
Credit: YouTube.com
PicMonkey artisinal

Locally sourced pixels, emoji and more. What’s not to like? Great for the Pacific Northwest crowd. Personally, I only use free-range organic filters, and sustainably produced HDR.

Intel’s new “chip”
Credit: instagram
Intel’s new “chip”

From the subtle to the, er, less subtle: here’s Intel’s latest “chip” design. Get it? Because it looks like a Pringle under a scanning electron microscope? Can’t imagine what trying to stick one of those into an LGA1155 slot would be like.

Hootsuite VR
Hootsuite VR

I’m picturing social media through the lens of Tron here – seas of rushing Tweets and towers of lengthy Facebook posts, to be navigated by a virtual avatar. Beware, for a stinging @reply can wound you fatally. #EndOfLine

Delicious new Netflix Originals
Credit: Netflix
Delicious new Netflix Originals

Yep, just a clip of a rotisserie chicken cooking (in reverse), and a 20-minute movie of bacon frying. Man, I’m hungry. And frankly, I’d take the chicken one over the last couple episodes of House of Cards I’ve seen. /ducks