Thursday, April 1, 2010

Vowels Have Gone Missing in my Topeka Mail!

Well, what would the Internet be without April Fools day. Probably not much, and as usual, Google has employed its numerous creative sources to make April 1st one of the funniest days of the year. (Who knows how long they've been working on coming up with this stuff.) Anyway, for those who missed out, here's this year's pranks by Google, or, should I say, Topeka.

  • Topeka, Inc. - After much debate, Google has decided that it is going to abandon the "brand equity" it has in the name Google, and change its name to Topeka, in honor of the city in Kansas they are so closely related with. The entire day, Google's homepage has had the standard logo replaced with "Topeka", and the Official Google Blog has a picture of the sign at the Googleplex changed over as well. They even provide usage guides for how to say you "Topeka'd" somebody.
  • Gm@)l: G00gle M@)l - Unfortunately, a rendering problem forced all the vowels in Gmail to disappear, leaving users at a loss. Fortunately, common symbols, such as @ for a, could be used as replacements where necessary. While the letter "y" would come back up around 7:30am, it would take until 3:02pm for the problem to be fixed.
  • Standard Voicemail Mode - Users have been getting fed up with the new online voicemail system being pioneered at Google Voice, so Google decided to implement an alternative system, where you could phase back your voicemail to an older, and better, time. They even allow you to send numeric pages (though they don't know what those are)!
  • Saving Money in YouTube - Unfortunately, even though Google has enough bandwidth to be an ISP, the twenty four hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute is taxing their resources, so now you can help Google save money by viewing your video in, not HD, not 720p, but TEXTp. Videos are trasncoded into ASCII characters, so you can save YouTube $1 a second, all the while promoting literacy!

  • Audio Feedback in Chrome - In order to provide for a better user experience, a Google Chrome extensions has been created that uses "Wittaker-Nyquist-Kotelnikov-Shannon sampling theorem, Franssen effects, Shepard-Risset Tones, and 11.1 surround sound research" to provide audio feedback as you browse the web. Notice the URL for the extension when you open it.
Another year of laughs. Everybody have a happy April Fools Day!

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