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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Sony Animalia





Samsung Eco Tree

Guardian Goggles

The Pirate Bay server move

SCII Warhound

Dishonored Developer Diary

Razer Naga

Nokia 5AM-TH1N6 Constellation

Glass-bottomed aeroplane

Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon

Drop bears

Every year, companies around the web pull out all the stops to prank web users all over the world. Here are our favourite jokes for April Fool's Day 2013.

You pamper yourself with tech, so why not your pets? Sony's new Animalia line is aimed at the member of the family that has always been left out. The line includes a set of in-cage speakers for hamsters, so they can get pumped while they work out; a pair of M3-OW Kitty Cans headphones for cats, so that they can ignore everyone; and a K9 4K TV without reds or greens along with a set of speakers that only play in the 23-54 kilohertz range for dogs.

Caption by / Photo by Sony

Google went completely crazy this year, with a slew of announcements. The most attention grabbing was that YouTube has been a competition all along. The website, the announcement claimed, would be no longer accepting entries, and a winner would be finally chosen.

The other announcements included:

  • Gmail Blue, a completely redesigned Gmail. Well, a blue Gmail (this one is our favourite)
  • Google Nose, a concept similar to "Smell-O-Vision", a web search for smells
  • Captain Kidd's Treasure on Google Maps, a worldwide treasure hunt using Google Maps and the long-lost treasure map of pirate Captain William Kidd
  • G+ Emotion, the ability to add emoticons to your photos on Google+
  • SCHMICK (Simple Complete House Makeover Internet Conversion Kit), a Sims-like makeover tool for your house on Google Street View
  • Google Apps' Levity Algorithm, a tool that spruces up your emails, events and presentations with the fun you never knew you were missing in the workplace
  • Google Wallet Mobile ATM, a smartphone accessory that dispenses cash on command
  • A one-button keyboard from Google Japan.
Caption by / Photo by Michelle Starr/CNET Australia

Twitter announced that it would be shifting to a paid service; a free service would still exist, but would only allow the use of consonants. To be able to use vowels, users would have to pay US$5 per month for the "Premium" service.

You can try Twttr here.

Caption by / Photo by Twitter

Every year, ThinkGeek pulls out the stops with some fake products that we really, really want to have. We like to optimistically think that the online store is just testing the market to see how well these products would be received, ever since the Tauntaun sleeping bag became an actual, for-real purchasable product.

This year, it has some absolute whiz bangers.

Caption by / Photo by ThinkGeek

Toshiba decided to enter the video-game console wars this year with the Shibasphere, a controller-free gaming experience. Toshiba claimed that the Shibasphere uses 809.3b infrared motion capture to put you directly into the gaming environment.

Caption by / Photo by Toshiba

Samsung's Smart Eco Tree is an eco-friendly air purifier that runs on solar power, converting CO2 to oxygen. They also provide fragrance through blossoming S Buds, as well as environmental cooling. A range of accessories, including tyre swings and ladders, can enhance your Eco Tree experience, and special editions can even provide you with snacks.

Caption by / Photo by Samsung

Having access to The Guardian on your smartphone, according to readers, is no longer convenient or immersive enough. The newspaper, therefore, is proud to announce (via a pretty hilarious video) the Guardian Goggles: a pair of augmented-reality spectacles that delivers a stream of facts, news and "liberal and left-wing opinion".

Caption by / Photo by Michelle Starr/CNET Australia

After a slew of criticism over the removal of its servers to North Korea, the Pirate Bay has announced that it has removed its presence from the dictatorship to "the greatest f***** nation in the entire world. The United States of America, f*** yeah!"

Caption by / Photo by The Pirate Bay

Blizzard usually has quite a lot going on; this year, however, it was on the quiet side. The developer did make one announcement: that the Warhound, which had been removed from the Heart of the Swarm beta, would be returning to StarCraft II.

  • The Warhound has been added for Terran because robots are cool and the art is amazing
  • The Warhound has been added for Zerg to remain competitive with Terran
  • The Warhound has been added for Protoss to keep Protoss players from whining about them on the forums.

Also, the lovable Crabby made a return to the Blizzard home page — this time with fancy hats!

Caption by / Photo by Blizzard

Dishonored co-creative directors Raf Colantonio and Harvey Smith have gone into great depth to explain the mechanics of the game. The developer diary provides incredible insight.

Caption by / Photo by Michelle Starr/CNET Australia

No need, any longer, to purchase a mouse and a phone! With Razer's Naga gaming mouse, the phone is your pwn! All you need to do is install the latest firmware update to transform the Naga into a VoIP phone that keeps your current number.

Caption by / Photo by Razer

Nokia has expanded its collection — with its very first microwave oven! The 5AM-TH1N6 Constellation features a touch display that offers 25 performance levels, as well as a selection of apps and the PureFood camera that automatically shares pictures of your food with family and friends. Nokia said, "More models, including a mini variant targeted towards people with small appetites, and a 10-inch variant aimed at no one in particular, are also planned."

Caption by / Photo by Nokia

Imagine staggering to the bathroom mid-flight, clouds lazily floating beneath your feet, the ground thousands of metres below. Meet Little Red, Virgin Atlantic's first ever glass-bottomed aeroplane. The plane is identical to the Airbus A320 domestic plane except in one regard: along the length of the aisle runs a strip of aviation-standard glass. Services, the website explained, will run between London, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Manchester.

Caption by / Photo by Virgin Atlantic

We don't really know what this is. Well, it's a Far Cry film, taking place in the distant future of 2007:

The year is 2007. It is the future. Earth has been ravaged by a nuclear war and new paths for peace must be found. A US cyborg army may have found a solution: a powerful bio-weapon on a distant island. A Mark IV Cyber commando, Sergeant Rex Power Colt, has been sent over to gather information and figure out what the hell is going on.

There's a trailer, of sorts. And some pretty sweet merchandise. We're looking forward to the arrival of our roller skates.

In all, we don't think we've seen a more epic effort.

Caption by / Photo by Michelle Starr/CNET Australia

Drop bears are no laughing matter. We don't know why Australian Geographic would even try to joke about them. Everyone knows that drop bears will kill anyone as soon as look at them; trying to convince Australians that our accents will keep us safe is only going to lead to a false sense of security. Poor form, Australian Geographic.

You can find more information on drop bears on Taylor & Francis and the Australian Museum website. Stay safe.

Caption by / Photo by Volker Janssen
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