Monday, April 02, 2007

April's Fools roundup

Another good April 1st has gone by, with some beautiful stories. Google sits on top of the April's Fool list, as usual. This year everybody's talking about Google's TiSP, a convenient ISP that comes through your toilet, and whose tag is "Want WiFi around? Just Flush it down!" The service works like this:

Finally! They've found uses for their many PhD students!

But my favourite this year is Google's explanation of their ranking system. Did you think that Google's ranking had anything to do with the popularity of links? No! It's all done through millions of pigeons tapping away on computers (as pictured above). Google's patented PigeonRank™ is so succesful because it "relies primarily on the superior trainability of the domestic pigeon (Columba livia) and its unique capacity to recognize objects regardless of spatial orientation. The common gray pigeon can easily distinguish among items displaying only the minutest differences, an ability that enables it to select relevant web sites from among thousands of similar pages."

In other sites, NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the first space quidditch match. In other items, Microsoft's Open Source Software Lab has announced a penguin adoption programme (just in case of doubt, there is such a thing as Microsoft's Open Source Software Lab, it's not part of the joke).

Interestingly, at first I thought that this story about EMI dropping DRMs was also a joke, until I saw it replicated everywhere. This goes to show that truth is indeed stranger than fiction.

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