Mountain View (Mars) – Google and Virgin have joined up to settle on Mars by the year 2050, Sophos can now recognize hackers based on their webcam videos and Gmail has managed to create an e-flux capacitor to send e-mails to the past and future. April Fools!
April 1 in the technology industry is always fun. Who can forget Opera’s 2005 press release about a “short- and medium-range interpersonal communication” technology “enabling users to communicate in real- time without the use of computers or mobile phones”? Or how about the time that giant video game community GameFAQs turned into Xbox-exclusive GameFAX?
Perhaps the most notorious, though, is Google, and this year they really went out of this world. Terrible and high overused puns aside, Google’s home page today lists a link to information about “Virgle”, a new venture between Google and commercial spaceflight pioneer Virgin. Virgle’s goal is to start colonizing Mars.
Those who think they are qualified candidate to jump-start the project can take a bogus application with questions like “If I was unexpectedly confronted with the emergence of a bewilderingly alien and frighteningly advanced Martian life form which appeared bent on killing me if I failed to quickly and effectively communicate my peaceful intentions and potential value to its civilization, I would…”
In addition to that goof, Google also unveiled “Gmail Custom Time,” which allows users to send e-mails up to four years in the past, so they don’t appear as though they forgot someone’s birthday or to reschedule an interview. Google jokingly added that it “utilizes an e-flux capacitor to resolve issues of causality.”
Google’s not the only one cashing in on the holiday spirit, though. Security software firm Sophos has created a bogus facial recognition technology that can use a webcam to determine if a computer user is a hacker, based on distinctive facial traits.
“With our new solution that can identify key physical characteristics, we can literally see when someone has hacker written all over them,” said technology consultant Graham Cluley. Users can view a video of the concept, called RAPIL, in this Youtube video.
The most pathetic April Fool’s joke we found came from Techware Labs, which created a press release that Intel has acquired AMD. Really? That’s the most clever thing you can come up with? A big yawn goes to Techware this year.
Share your April Fool finds
Did you locate any other great (or miserable) April Fool’s Day jokes, pranks, hoaxes or scams today? Share your finds in our comment form below.