High Tech Foolery
Today is traditionally a day of harmless pranks and hoaxes. Of course, these pranks aren’t limited to offline activity. It seems everyone from Google to Kodak was getting in on the April Fools fun today. Here’s a look at some of the foolishness:
Google showed off CADIE - a Cognitive Autoheuristic Distributed-Intelligence Entity that's a cross between a HAL 9000 computer and a texting teenager. CADIE’s automatically generated homepage speaks for itself.
Google also unveiled Gmail Autopilot that will supposedly help you weed through your inbox by replying to emails on your behalf. The system’s automated responses are supposedly tailored to your preference for emoticons.
Kodak introduced eyeCamera 4.1, which is essentially a camera/eyeglass combination unit. This gizmo has a Facial Recall Assistant that will refresh your memory about acquaintances so you’ll never have to worry about forgetting someone’s name. It also has an image stabilizer that will stabilize photos taken with the camera even if you’ve had a few glasses of wine. The eyeCamera 4.1 also offers Digital X-Ray Vision so you can see through walls and closed doors.
Toshiba showed off the Petbook K9, which the company says is the world’s first laptop for dogs. The Petbook K9 features an organic rawhide casing, built-in DoggyCam for Inter-Canine video conferencing, and Bark-to-Text software.
Expedia is offering once-in-a-lifetime trips to Mars for just $99. With the tour package, you’ll get seven nights at the Colbert Hotel and Casino in Martian orbit.
Amazon Web Services literally put cloud computing in the clouds by installing servers on unmanned helium-filled blimps. Called the Floating Amazon Cloud Environment, or FACE for short, the offering uses WiMAX and laser for ground communication.
The Guardian, a 188-year-old British newspaper, said it would become the world’s first Twitter-only publication today. This means all reports will be limited to 140 characters or less. The company also said it would rewrite the whole of its archive stretching back to 1821 in the form of tweets. Major stories already converted include "1832 Reform Act gives voting rights to one in five adult males yay!!!"; "OMG Hitler invades Poland, allies declare war see tinyurl.com/b5x6e for more"; and "JFK assassin8d @ Dallas, def. heard second gunshot from grassy knoll WTF?"
It’s fun to see the lighter side of companies every now and then. It’s nearly impossible for us to cover all of the Foolery here, but we’d love to hear some of the best pranks you’ve seen or heard today.