April Fools’ Day is a holiday celebrated in various countries on 1st of April every year. The day is marked by the commission of hoaxes and other practical jokes of varying sophistication on friends, family members, and neighbours. On top of that, the ‘victims’ may be sent to run a fool’s errand, in which it aims to embarrass the gullible.
Google, a multinational public cloud computing and Internet search technologies corporation shows their mischievous side during this time. In fact, they have a tradition of perpetrating hoaxes to the public. Let’s take a look at those that are caught my interest from the year 2000 to the more recent ones. What are your favourites?
Google announced a new search technology called “MentalPlex” that supposedly reads user’s minds to determine what the user wanted to search for; simplifying search queries.
Google uncovers the algorithm behind its PageRank systems; the use of PigeonRank. The technology relies heavily on the superior trainability of the domestic pigeon and its unique capacity to recognize objects regardless of spatial orientation.
They announced that they were looking to hire for their research centre on the moon called the Google Copernicus Centre. On top of that, Google announced that they came out with a new operating system dubbed the Luna/X.
Google announced that they will start producing a beverage that would optimize one’s use of the Google search engine by increasing the drinker’s intelligence with the introduction of Google Gulp.
In 2006, Google claims that “Dating is a search problem. Solve it with Google Romance.” It tricks people into believing that from that year onwards they’ll be offering a “Soulmate Search” to send users on a “Contextual Date.”
At about 10:00 PM Pacific Time on 30 March 2007, Google changed the login page for Gmail to announce a new service called Gmail Paper. The service offered to allow users of Google’s free webmail service to add e-mails to a “Paper Archive”, which Google would print and mail via traditional post.
In 2008, Google announces a joint project with the Virgin Group to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars called Project Virgle. The announcement includes videos of Richard Branson as well as Larry Page and Sergey Brin on YouTube, talking about the project.
Google reports that on March 31, 2009 they’ll be releasing a new “Cognitive Autoheuristic Distributed-Intelligence Entity” or CADIE for short. This new technology is implemented into Google Mobile’s “Brain Search”. The instructions are to “Put phone to forehead for brain indexing” and “Think your query”. When you click “Try Now”, a page loads with “Brain indexing” status. When indexing is complete, a button comes up with “search me”. However, after clicking this button, the user is directed to fake search results.
Google wants to bridge the gap between animals and humans with the introduction of Animal Translator BETA. They placed a link on their main page and when users click on it, a new page opens up showing the app for Android phones for the translator.