9 April Fools' Day pranks from around the web

April 1, 2014 5:35:04 PM PDT
For gullible people, April 1st can be full of land mines — especially online. Below are a few of this year's Internet pranks that have left readers wondering, "Wait, is that real?"

1. YouTube: Clocking craze

YouTube purports to have found the next craze after planking: clocking. Rather than lying face down on different surfaces, "clockers" stand at fun locations with their arms stretched up and out, like the hands of a clock. The longer you do it, the "funnier and cooler it is," says one YouTube producer in a video touting the latest craze.

2. Google Maps: Pokemon HQ

Google Maps announced Monday that it is hiring for a new position: Pokemon Master. The "application process" includes being able to find all of the Pokemon hidden in the Google Maps app. The prank riffs on the old Pokemon GameBoy games, where the little creatures would pop up randomly as you walked around the territory.

3. Rosetta Stone: Klingon edition

If it's been your life dream to learn the Klingon language from Star Trek, here's your chance. From the product description: "Klingon may be a difficult language for humans to wrap their smooth heads around, but it's made even more complicated by the constant threat that saying the wrong thing might accidentally land you in a battle to the death. You never want to find yourself in a position where you're flipping through a copy of Introduction to Klingon Grammar, trying to sound fluent in front of a group of native speakers with photon torpedoes." Sign me up, Scotty.

4. Northeastern University: Text-and-walk lanes

If you are a human being with a smartphone, you've known the embarrassment (and possibly physical harm) that comes from an accidental collision. Northeastern U aims to do away with this problem by instituting text-and-walk lanes, complete with student volunteer guides. It seems they've thought of everything: "To handle sit?u?a?tions in which text-and-walkers are wearing head?phones or show no signs of stop?ping, vol?un?teers will also be dis?patched with air horns and buckets of con?fetti to use at their discretion."

5. The Guardian: Instawindow

In perhaps the most convincing and ingenious prank yet, The Guardian's Oliver Wainwright wrote about a thin adhesive filter you can add to your window, thereby always seeing the view from your room through Valencia or X-Pro. Citing its benefits, a representative says, "it has brought huge cost savings too: why spend money upgrading the built environment, when it can all be brightened up with a simple strip of colored plastic film?"

6. Reddit's newest feature, "Heddit"

Hasn't technology moved along enough that we don't need mice to navigate the Internet anymore? That's the sentiment that social news website Reddit played off of Tuesday. "Heddit" responds to the movements of your head and face, the website claimed, allowing you to use the site by frowning or looking surprised. It even comes with a "cat mode," which we all know is what the Internet is really missing. Oh, if only.
You can "test" the new features with your webcam using a button in the bottom righthand corner of the site's homepage.

7. Hotel Scan's "Inner Dream" technology

This takes those "What's your perfect getaway spot?" quizzes to the next level. On the hotel-booking site's homepage, you can "scan" your finger to determine your inner dream destinations. Bonus points for (fake) functionality, since the process eventually takes you to a real destination. Random road trip, anyone?

8. Netflix's latest original works, Rotisserie Chicken and Sizzling Bacon

The Internet had a field day reviewing Netflix's newest creations, which turned out to be footage of chicken and bacon cooking. The best part is that "Footloose" is listed as a related film to the latter. Another score for fans of the "6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon" theory.

9. Disney's complicated origami instructions

"Do you want to build a snowman?" a blog post asks fans of the film "Frozen." An origami snowman sounds extremely impressive, but when you see the words "crumble the paper" in the last step, that might be your clue to check the date.

The best pranks have a little bit of truth in them, so we'll wait with bated breath for some of these jokes to become a reality.

Image: YouTube


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