It’s April 1st, also known as April Fool’s Day. While I, unfortunately, haven’t planned any pranks or jokes myself this year (I guess I’ve just been too busy), I always try to find as many of Google‘s jokes as possible. Despite being a behemoth, and raking in billions of dollars, they still seem to keep an excellent sense of humor, both for everyone and at a very technical level.

Here’s what I found this year (updated as I find them):

  1. topeka Google name change to Topeka - blog post, CNN Money
    • Topeka, Kansas changes name to Google, Kansas. Google changes name to Topeka.
  2. Search result timing - A Google search for “Jason Antman” was completed in “2.00 shakes of a lamb’s tail”.

On a side note, I’m quite sad that the Store Anything beta test form (local copy)doesn’t work. When they asked what object I wanted to store, I checked “other” for “exotic matter”, and entered the following description of why I should be allowed to test the service:

Luckily for google, the exotic matter that I intend to store has a negative mass. Not only is it much simpler for me to let Google’s massive engineering team (the same one that figured out how to run their search engine on SkyLab and the WOPR) figure out how to store such a substance, but it also means that I should be able to receive storage for free. In fact, my collection of negative mass matter should be large enough (no pun intended) to offset the entire cost of Store Antyhing!

Of course, Google has a history of April Fool’s pranks that goes back to the earliest days. Much can be found about them online. But by far my favorite was last year, when (in an apparent showing of how easy it is for them to make changes to GWS and roll them out over their entire infrastructure) they changed the Server HTTP header to a number of random and humorous names, including Microsoft IIS/3.0, Apache/0.8.4, HAL 9000, WOPR, CERN, and SkyNet.


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