April Fools' Day makes for Internet silliness

Google kicks things off a day early this year with a supposed port of Google Maps to the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System. Here's an overview of April Fools' weekend shenanigans.

Google HQ, as rendered in the style of the Nintendo Entertainment System. Screenshot by Edward Moyer/CNET

Fakery on the Internet? You've got to be kidding.

No, no; it's true. Especially on April Fools' Day, when the World Wide Web and mischievous geeks all over the planet celebrate leg-pulls and pushovers.

This year, Google kicked things off a day early with a supposed port of Google Maps to Nintendo's 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System. What follows is a rundown of other 2012 Fools' Day shenanigans, in case you foolishly missed them. (We've tossed in a few related stories for good measure too.)

We'll be updating the list as April Fools' Day rolls along.

  • CNET took a look at how to punk noobs on the special day -- including driving people nuts with an unlocatable beeping noise, and stealthily "borrowing" a friend's iPhone and setting it up so Siri calls the unsuspecting user an unsuspected name.
  • Not all pranks turn out to be pranks. What happens when you get fooled by reality? Take a walk down memory lane with this piece from the vaults, in which CNET's Josh Lowensohn takes a look at six April Fools' stories that turned out to be legit .
  • Google got things rolling for April Fools' 2012 with a fake 8-bit port of Google Maps to the Nintendo Entertainment System . A bogus promo video set the tone, and a link on the Google Maps page let people try out a simulation.
  • Renowned for throwing things out on the Web to see what sticks, Google also suggested a dashing new turn for Gmail -- imagine a two-key keyboard that turns GMail into Morse code .
  • Our own colleagues at ZDNet Australia present a story written by one "Avril Primera" that considers the possibility of China's Huawei buying Sydney Tower and the Harbour Bridge as a consolation for not being able to tender for National Broadband Network contracts.
  • CNET UK, meanwhile, posits The Pirate Bay getting a whole lot more literal with the launch of an actual submarine to host its servers off-shore . And it spots a strange, yet strangely familiar Google Doodle .
  • Google strikes again! This time it's Google Racing, an almost plausible partnership with Nascar that would see Google's self-driving vehicles compete in the world of stock car racing.
  • Roku is shaking up streaming and your remote control with the new Shake Remote, an innovative remote based on the much-lampooned exercise device. The device promises to launch a "Roku-lation" in TV streaming while you cut flab.
  • Media mogul Conan O'Brien announced that he had acquired the tech blog Mashable and ousted site founder and CEO Pete Cashmore. O'Brien explained that the move was motivated by a desire to correct the "atrocious" job Mashable does in covering tech news.
 

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