April 1 – Anniversary of a Google Joke

Posted on April 1, 2014

Did you know that, in 2010, Topeka, Kansas, unofficially changed its name to Google for the entire month of March?

The unofficial name change was a publicity stunt, of course – an attempt to “re-brand” the city as the capital of fiber optics. I guess someone in Topeka was trying to lure Google to choose Topeka as the chosen one that would work with Google to build a new fiber optic network that is 100 times faster than anything offered before!

We're talking fast. We're talking 3D live video conferencing. We're talking 5-minute downloads of HDTV quality movies.

However, Topeka wasn't chosen; instead, nearby Kansas City, Kansas, will be the lucky city to help bring the next generation of the internet to reality.

Still, on this date in 2010, Google responded to Topeka's pretend name-change with a pretend name-change of its own. If people used the popular search engine on that day, they were presented with this:

Actually, Google has pulled an April Fools' joke every year since 2000, when the search engine asked users to merely THINK ABOUT what it wanted to search the internet for, rather than typing it. After giving users a few moments to send a telepathic message, Google then presented funny messages such as, “Error 001: Weak or no signal detected. Upgrade transmitter and retry,” or “ Error: Insufficient conviction. Please clap hands 3 times, while chanting 'I believe,' and try again.”

In 2008, Google had a lot of different jokes, in different countries and different parts of its growing empire of websites. One of the strangest is, in Google Books, Google presented a new feature: Scratch 'n' Sniff books. Users were asked to place their noses near their monitors and then click “Go,” which then “loads odors.” In a related prank, on April 1, 2013, Google launched a fake product called “Google Nose.” It claimed to search for smells, with a 15 million scentibyte database of smells from all over the world.
Google isn't the only company that pulls April Fools'
pranks. This is what its biggest competition, Bing,
presented on April Fools' Day last year!

Even though I am writing this post BEFORE April 1, 2014, there are already Google pranks listed for 2014 in Wikipedia! See if you can hear or see anything unusual when you enter Google Images, Gmail, and Google Maps? Can you spot any other jokes?

Also on this date:

National Kite Month

Mathematician Sophie Germain's birthday

Sizdeh Bedar – Persian Nature Day 

Plan ahead:

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