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Welcome to the April 2018 edition of the DaniWeb Digest
Those of you who have long been part of the DaniWeb community will know that it is something of a tradition that the April newsletter be devoted to rounding-up some of the April Fools' Day tech-related pranks. It is a tradition we have no intention of giving up upon. So, without any further waffle, here's what has made us smile or facepalm...
Let's start with a smiler, although those on the receiving end of this prank suggestion from our very own rproffitt might well have been facepalming. It's a great idea for an educational IT April Fool: "Need to remind a coworker to lock their machine? Press Shift+Alt+Printscreen and answer yes."
Amazon always dip the corporate toe into the funny waters for April 1st, and this year was no exception. As you might have expected, Alexa was front and center of the gags. Indeed, Alexa was actually dishing them out. In response to a user asking "Alexa, sing a song" the 'intelligent' speaker would randomly either Rick Roll them or start yodelling.
However, if you want a real tech tradition of trolling on April 1st, then you need look no further than Google. As usual, Google produced some of the best gags for the day. How about the Google Maps division which came up with a playable 'Where's Waldo?' game for 2018? Anyone who pressed play when Waldo popped up and waved could then try and find him, and follow him and his friends around the world on Google Maps.
We all know that Google is investing deeply in the whole AI sector, so it should come as no surprise that this was used for comedic leverage on April 1st. The gag was a simple, and like all the best gags believable at first, one: Google Cloud Hummus API. Google Israel posted a video that suggested it had developed a 'taste' API that, when combined with a hummus big data warehouse in the cloud, would find the best hummus for any individual. Not to be outdone, Google Australia rebranded itself as 'Googz' including a new logo.
We rather liked the Chrome OS prank, mainly because it would have been pretty cool were it for real. The Chrome OS Team posted that it had developed some ideas on renewable energy sources for Chromebooks. How about using your Chromebook as a solar panel, and by just holding it up to the sun for 10 minutes getting a five hour battery top up. But perhaps the most relevant of the Google gags for the day came out of the 'Files Go' group which claimed to have added a free-up space feature that could detect and delete bad jokes from your devices.
Outside of Amazon and Google there were plenty of other tech pranks being played upon a largely suspecting public. Take Netflix, for example, which announced that the actor Seth Rogen had been acquired by the company. "Seth Q. Rogen has entered into a lifetime deal to transfer full ownership of his personal autonomy to Netflix, Inc." the release read, continuing "Seth Rogen’s Hilarity for Charity is the first project where Netflix was able to successfully extract comedy directly from the actor’s mind. It will stream April 6."
Logitech was not be out-pranked, and announced the latest upgrade for video conferencing users in the shape of a BS detector. That's a 'Business Speak' detector, in case you wondered. "We are seeing less and less BS happening across the organization – from knowledge workers to the C-Suite. And we’re confident that BS Detection will also change the way your company collaborates."
T-Mobile announced a new 'smartshoephone' in the shape of the Sidekicks range. The shoes have a screen on the sole and the laces act as earphones. Not to be outdone, Roku gave us 'Happy Streaming Socks' instead. These come complete with motion sensors to enable swipe navigation with your feet.
Budget-hotel chain easyHotel, meanwhile, published a press release for easyGotel. A fleet of driverless hotel 'vrooms' to enable guests to book in Glasgow and check out in London the next morning. "Vroom service drones will deliver food and drink, collected from motorway services, while guests are en route" we were promised "an integrated solar-powered trouser press is one of several eco features built into the new vrooms" it went on...
But one of the best smilers had to be the toungueprinting biometric technology announced by Pindrop with the strapline of "biometrics never tasted so good." Forget fingerprint or iris recognition to identify yourself and unlock your phone, just lick the screen instead. "Tongueprinting technology analyzes thousands of tiny bumps called papillae, as well as factors such as shape, size, and temperature to accurately identify yourself by licking your phone."