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.
Featured Video

Leaked photos show off the actual Samsung Galaxy S7

Galaxy S7 pics are in the wild, the S Pen could bring something new, and Google is working on Android VR

by Brian Tong