April Fools Day 2011: The hilarious, the not so funny and the even unfunnier

Angry Birds, Apple's tight control on iPhones among targets of techie April Fools' pranksters

Don't get fooled by the flood of April Fools Day pranks today in the technology sphere and beyond.

Here's a roundup, which I'll update throughout the day.



The Helsinki-based security company's researchers have made their most frightening find yet, according to a blog post titled: Hacker Group Changes Millions of Passwords to "password"; Only 38% of Users Notice


The group buying site has announced a buy of its own: a patent on April Fools' Day itself. "Now, when you think of Groupon Presents April Fools’ Day™ (the holiday's officially sanctioned title), you'll think of Groupon—because you and your favorite corporate entities are barred from creating or participating in any April 1 prank without the express written consent of Groupon."


While you might think there's a Starbucks on every corner, there are still a few barren ones. For this untenable situation, Starbucks introduced on April 1 its Mobile Pour service, where you can dial up instant service via a barista on a scooter.


Everyone's encyclopedia honors fools by highlighting the definition of Fanny Scratching on its homepage and featuring as its image of the day the most fetching portrait of a duchess you'll ever see.


The ever-so-serious and professional social networking site loosens up for April 1 by notifying users that they might know a more eclectic group of people than they think, including Sherlock Holmes, Albert Einstein and the Wizard of In (a LinkedInsider joke).


The photography company's new Relationshifff Automated Person Purge let's you gracefully erase icky people from your photos and videos. "Kodak is pleased to announce a new app that helps you take managing your relationships to a new level. We protect precious memories of the places you have been and the people you shared them with, minus the person with whom you just changed your relationship status - we call it Relationshiffft. "

Thecus Technology

The Taipei NAS company used April 1 to give storage pros a wake-up call with a combination NAS device and coffee maker called the AFD42000 Deluxe Coffee Edition. "Thanks to the new smart coffee device, the TTCDE is able to deliver 3 cups per minute. RAID function is also available, allowing your coffee to be fresher or faster, depending on your needs. "

Paradox Interactive

The gaming company concocted a vision of two eras clashing in its April Fools Day release of a brand spankin' new roleplaying game called King Arthur II: Vietnam.


The TV streaming company introduces the very fishy Roku Remote, which it says addresses the problem of the big squeeze on TV screen real estate for advertising purposes. "We decided to take that interest [by advertisers] and propose to them an opportunity to advertise on something physical that our customers are using just about every day, the Roku Remote.

Branded Roku


It's always a little tough to tell what's real or not at this geeky gift company, but they're recognizing April 1 with an especially absurd collection of goodies, including an Apple Store PlayMobil set and edible gummy iPhone cases. Plus, the obligatory video.


As usual, Google has a boatful of kneeslappers to celebrate the big day, including its job advertisement for  "autocompleters." Here's a whirlwind tour of everything from YouTube 1911 to Gmail Motion.


The U.K.-based cloud storage and backup company has announced "its use of innovative, unique, patent-pending technology that backs up customers' digital data by printing it onto A2 paper. Like most online storage providers, Livedrive stores data in multiple data centres on multiple servers across the globe. The company has today announced its new third tier level of protection which involves actually printing customer data onto paper and storing it in a secure facility in a secret location in the UK." But wait, there's more: The oh-so-cheeky video.

Life is Good

The feel-good clothing and merchandise retailer is offering up an assort of April 1 specials, but gosh darnit, they're all sold out! No peanut butter and jelly cologne, always half-full coffee mug or stringless guitar for you.


The social media aggregator greeted users with a pop-up this morning promoting Happy Owls, the latest in what's becoming something of a booming business in Angry Birds spoofs.  The promo for this game with 48 levels of "fowl play" reads: "Tired of Tweeting all day? Social media can really wear you out, which is why we've created a new game for hours of in-dash diversion. Introducing Happy Owls from HootSuite. Launch these happy hooters into the stratosphere to earn points, get to challenging new levels and unlock new Owls. It's fun for all ages!" The game even includes a faux Tweet review from Charlie Sheen: "#Winning at Happy Owls"

Not to be outdone, Atlassian Games introduced Angry Nerds, featuring The Outsourced, The Hacker and The Dev Manager, among other characters.


The masters of tech gadget teardowns spoofs its own revelation from earlier this year that Apple had a "diabolical plan" to swap out the regular Philips screws in iPhones and other devices with tamper-resistent screws designed to keep you from mucking around with insides of Apple's products. The iPhone 4 Oppression Kit, marked down from $99.95 to $9.95, is purportedly designed to protect you from Apple's prying eyes: "We've known for a while that the carriers know where you are at all times-and could be sharing your every move with Cupertino. Recent reports indicate that Apple and their confederates know far more about what you're doing with your phone than previously thought. What if Apple finds out that you liberated your phone? You're risking the vitality of your phone every minute that passes without the safe, secure Pentalobe screws in place. Don't jeopardize such a beautiful creation with your negligence and ignorance. Buy the Pentalobe Oppression Kit today - if you swap your screws back fast enough, your family will still be there when you get home to thank you!"

Meanwhile, you can also read about 35 years of "Apple" Fools Day fun

Maine-based mapping software company

Because they broke the rules by issuing a press release on March 31 dated for April 1, they get no free publicity here. But here was the shtick: Our executive is trying to set a World Record for longest webinar ever, at least 12 hours.  "This seminar will be an extremely detailed look into the need for proper use of punctuation within metadata," according to the release.  If you ask me, the company could talk about its business for about a minute and it would seem like 12 hours anyway.

MORE PRANKS: 10 funny April Fools' pranks - Web style 

6 outrageous office pranks

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