Yes, it is April 1st, the day that you have to read the news with just a little more skepticism than usual as the pranksters roll out their made up stories. Some are so close to the truth that it is hard to actually tell they are gags at all, of course. The best April Fools' Day pranks to have emerged this year, in my opinion, are the ones that combine both a hint of possibility with a dash of stupidity and in so doing ensure the reader has to do a double take. Here are my IT related favourites for this year.

A special mention has to go out to DaniWeb writer Ken Hess who managed to publish a new story revealing that "IBM Buys Linus Torvalds" which is patently, obviously wrong but such a great headline that you are drawn into wanting to read more. When you do, you discover a very well crafted piece of writing that is just full of the kind of subtle with that much AFD writing lacks. I loved the line that informed us how "Novell and Hovespian made an unsuccessful bid for Richard Stallman earlier this year" for example and how Torvalds will "be required to appear in IBM commercials and promotional materials" as well. Nice one Ken.

But my favourite AFD gag so far this year, as someone who specialises in IT security issues, has to be the official news release that arrived in my mailbox this morning which carried the headline "ElcomSoft to Recover Passwords with a Tambourine."

This is a classic piece of PR agency pranking, and because companies in the realm of IT PR so often send out genuine releases which are very hard to believe it adds a certain inevitable stamp of possibility to such nonsense. I say nonsense because the Password Recovery Tambourine of which it talks is said to be a "supernatural amulet to recover lost passwords with a 100% guarantee."

My favourite excerpts from the press release? How about "The new tambourine is produced with genuine deer skin and requires training supervised by a qualified Yakutsk shaman" or how the company went on "a quest to develop a universal cryptanalysis method that is at least as effective as rubber-hose, but comes with no penalty of being inhumane or restricted to exclusive use by government agencies" for starters?

Of course, as the day unfolds I confidently expect some even better AFD pranks to be revealed. So, go on, tell us your favourite for 2009.

As Editorial Director and Managing Analyst with IT Security Thing I am putting more than two decades of consulting experience into providing opinionated insight regarding the security threat landscape for IT security professionals. As an Editorial Fellow with Dennis Publishing, I bring more than two decades of writing experience across the technology industry into publications such as Alphr, IT Pro and (in good old fashioned print) PC Pro. I also write for SC Magazine UK and Infosecurity, as well as The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Along the way I have been honoured with a Technology Journalist of the Year award, and three Information Security Journalist of the Year awards. Most humbling, though, was the Enigma Award for 'lifetime contribution to IT security journalism' bestowed on me in 2011.

9 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by allangering

Hahaha, very funny indeed. My favourite one is the YouTube upside down vide & page layout. Even the text is backwards. I literally thought I had messed up my browser setting somewhat!!


Here's another good press release that has just emerged:

"Opera Software today unveiled its newest innovation to be included in Opera 10--Face Gestures. Opera Face Gestures enable anyone with a Webcam to control their browser moving only their face. Based on the same architecture as Opera's Mouse Gestures, Face Gestures makes surfing the Web as easy as smiling, batting an eye lash or flaring a nostril."


And another that has been sent my way:

Guardian newspaper to switch from ink to Twitter after 188 years of publication. "Experts say any story can be told in 140 characters."


The manager of our local post office here on the Isle of Wight put up a poster on 1 April announcing the launch of a 65p coin. And to remind us that fact's often sillier than fiction, our local rag has been busy calming fears inspired by a story in the Mail on Sunday.
Aumento De Senos

Have something to contribute to this discussion? Please be thoughtful, detailed and courteous, and be sure to adhere to our posting rules.