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April 1, 2008

April 1st Pranks on the Web, and Some That are Not

April 1st is marked across the web with little practical jokes.  Google gets into it in a big way and gets a lot of publicity out of their good humor.  This year's edition has the links to the Gmail custom time feature which allows backdating email timestamps.  Had this feature been real it would have saved Steve Jobs a lot of trouble over those back dated stock grants.  Google's other  April Fool's prank has the company partnering with Virgin to colonize Mars.  The combined Virgin-Google logo (Virgle) is hilarious.  Even YouTube gets into the act with all the featured videos linking to Rick Astley's Never Gonna Give You Up.  Yahoo! seemed to limit their prank to announcing higher financials that will lift the stock price.  Oh wait, that's not an April Fool's joke.  On that note, Microsoft has indicated that it won't raise its bid for the company as no one else is bidding against them.  So much for Yahoo's white knight strategy.

Among other things that aren't April Fool's jokes is the report that Sony, defender of content rights is pirating Windows administrative tools on its servers.  PointDev, the software maker, found out when Sony employees called to ask for customer service.  The license Sony supplied turned out to be bogus.  PointDev's software was installed on four Sony servers and there are allegations that other software found at Sony could also be pirated.  Where is the Business Software Alliance when you need them?  This is another reason why I shudder when I think that the winning high definition video standard is stewarded by a company such as Sony.  I'm expecting that they will screw this up even without competition from Toshiba and HD-DVD. 

The other item that caught my eye came via the Chicago Sun-Times.  Columnist Zay N. Smith started his QT column today with the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Hawaii seeking to delay the start-up the the Hadron Collider in Europe.  The suit claims there is some minuscule potential to create a black hole that could swallow the earth, and that might be bad.  Smith notes that the Collider is scheduled to start in May, while the initial conference between the parties is scheduled for June.  A more telling sign of the impending end of the world would more likely be the Cubs making it to and winning the World Series this year.  We have to get to at least October for that to happen.  If it does, bring on the singularity!

April 1, 2008 | Permalink


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