April-fools

Every year at this time, a strange phenomenon takes place: Typically dead-serious companies and heavy-hitting news sites go bonkers with the bizarro fake stories. And if you’ve been online recently, you might’ve run into a few of these gags.

Time to put your skeptismo hat on, boys and girls, especially if you’ve come across certain tidbits from a particular well-known Mountain View–based tech company, Twitter’s bold new money-making initiative, or some feline-focused fake products and services. Here’s that and more of what has been flying through the webs lately.

Twitter-april-fools-joke

Behold Twitter’s innovative new pricing initiative: Twttr. You can still tweet 140-characters for free — as long as they’re all consonants. Vowels, however, will cost you extra, to the tune of $5 per month. Since you, the user, always come first, the service is making sure that ” ‘Y’ should always be free to everyone — today and forever.”

Virgin_Atlantic_glass-bottomed-airplane

Nothing like jetting off in a glass-bottomed plane, to really bring home the point that you’re shooting thousands of feet in the air in a metal and glass box. We bet Virgin Atlantic will even offer genuine “Depends” brand airline seat cushions (though it would probably be for Premium Economy and Upper Class only).

It’s about time the search giant forged into the last frontier of human experience — scent. With Google Nose, you can now search by aroma. Ah yes, the Internet — so real, you can smell it.

But Google’s not done yet. Among its exciting new phony offerings is Gmail Blue, which answers the question of how to “completely redesign and recreate something, while keeping it exactly the same?” (The solution: Make everything blue!) Then there’s Google Maps’ Treasure Mode (below), for the treasure-hunting old-school pirate in you.

Not to be outdone, the YouTube division had its own big announcement: The whole service was actually just a big competition to find the best online video. And so, after eight years, it has collected enough to start judging the millions of entries. Of course, it needs to shut down to assess them all, but don’t worry. It will be back online in 2023, when it announces the winner and king of all online videos.

sony_cat_cans

Sure, you’re walking around with some lame $10 crapbuds, but doesn’t Felix doesn’t deserve to purr along to some sweet sounds. Enter Cat Cans, the pet audio tech from Sony. He’ll love them so much, he might even stop licking himself long enough to acknowledge your presence. Awesome!

vimeow

Speaking of cats, maybe Vimeo’s latest push for online videos ought to be real: Meet the all-new, all-feline Vimeow video service…because, otherwise, cat vids are just going to swallow the interwebs. Vimeo[w] can make sure that doesn’t happen.

itchy-scratchy

Hulu is featuring some “sorta real, but not” TV shows, including “The Itchy & Scratchy Show” — the fictional program of choice for Bart and Lisa on The Simpsons.

digg-prank

Digg pays homage to a classic gaming trick: Website visitors who enter the Konami cheat code (up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A) fall victim to one of the Internet’s most universal pranks — they get Rick Rolled. Now you too can experience the joy/horror of triggering Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

Have you spotted any especially awesome gags or fake news? Tell us about it below in the comments.