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Mar 31 2008   11:58PM GMT

Happy April Fools’ Day 2008: A roundup of the Web’s best jokes, hoaxes and lies

GuyPardon Guy Pardon Profile: GuyPardon

In 2008, April Fools’ Day Jokes are everywhere. Here’s a roundup list of some of the best/worst of the lot.

Gday, MATE, from Google Australia. Future search! A great follow-up from the company that has brought us Google MentalPlex and PigeonRank technologies, along with openings for Googlelunaplex on the moon and a smart-drink called GoogleGulp! MATE™ stands for Machine Automated Temporal Extrapolation.

Google’s prank in the US, Google Custom Time, involves messing about with time as well, utilizing “an e-flux capacitor to resolve issues of causality (see Grandfather Paradox).” Send your emails back in time! Amaze your friends!

YouTube links will RickRoll you. All of the featured videos for YouTube UK and YouTube Australia link to aRick Astley video. If you aren’t familiar with RickRolling – it’s when someone puts a link on website to something, but it actually takes you to a music video of Rick Astley’s ‘ Never Gonna Give You Up.’

TechCrunch sues Facebook for $25 million in Statutory Damages. You have to get to the end before the jokiness shows up. Can you tell Michael is a lawyer?

Shakespeare Ghost Writer. Because everyone needs the bard.

Pay Per Tweet from Problogger. This one spawned some pretty funny reactions on Twitter when it was announc

Even our friends over at CNET are getting into the fun, reporting that TechCrunch has acquired TigerBeat and renamed it CrunchKids.

Watch out, however, as there’s a major backlash brewing in the blogosphere. ValleyWag’s Paul Boutin captured the zeitgeist quite succintly in Your April Fools’ Prank Sucks:

April Fools’ Day in tech has devolved over the past two decades into lazy online hoaxes… Worse, the goal is no longer in-house camaraderie, but Internet publicity. Some companies notify the press of their hoaxes a week early, in hopes of securing coverage. We thought about running their emails as they came in, just to pop their bubbles. But there’s no laugh in giving away an unfunny joke. Look, if you want attention, why not ship a real product? That seems easier.

Anil Dash elaborated further, stating that Your April Fools’ Day Joke Continues to Suck.

Ouch. Ok, guys. We get it. But I’m still laughing. I’ve even posted a prank played upon me from last year on the right, a well-implemented foiling of my desk and everything on it.

If you’re hungry for more, there are some hoary classics out there, like John C. Dvorak’s Drunk Modeming and April Fools’ Phone from Penn & Teller. WhatIs.com’s joke for the day was Electricity over IP , if you missed it. Michael Morisey had some fun at Cisco’s expense over at SearchNetworking.com, too. Make sure to read Cisco re-thinks Layer 8 networking with green components to learn about The Human-Like Network.

Slashdot is having a merry time with an April Fools’ Day Prank Roundup thread that includes a five pranks you can build in the office, Wired’s top 10 practical jokes for nerds, Lifehacker’s Top 10 harmless geek pranks and Jack Shafer’s guide over at Slate.com on how to protect yourself from the media’s prankish habits. Jack linked to the Top 100 April Fools’ Day Hoaxes Of All Time, which shouldn’t be missed.

The folks over at /. did miss a few, however.

Unfortunately, I have work to do (a host of new definitions, naturally) but Patrick Altoft is liveblogging April Fools’ Day 2008. Just check in with him to see what’s new. April Fools’ Day on the Web is doing a great job of cataloging new pranks as well.

UPDATE: I couldn’t resist. Thanks to a tweet from Dan Sandler, I learned about the announcement of a Legend of Zelda movie.

UPDATE: I think this one takes the cake for most chutzpah, given that both parties are publicly traded: Infoworld announces that Microsoft and Yahoo! have agreed on a buyout price.

UPDATE: And as the day comes to a close, Wikipedia’s entry for April 1, 2008 has over 158 different hoaxes and jokes that were made in the news media, in sports, in video games, on websites, on television, in podcasts, and on the radio.

I bet my friend Brian’s favorite is the report from Chicago Public Radio that “Major League Baseball has retroactively awarded the 1945 World Series title to the Chicago Cubs, due to an alleged ineligible playere appearing on the roster of the Detroit Tigers.”

Personally, I can’t wait to get my hands on some Spazztroids to munch on while I queue up my Betamax to HD-DVD Converter to watch old episodes of the Muppet Show. (Thanks, Thinkgeek!) I hope they can distract me from the USB Pregnancy Test I’m giving my PC.

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