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April Fools’ roundup: Our favorite jokes of 2011

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It’s that day of the year again. Everybody on the Internet is writing fake stories to try and trick the innocents who don’t remember that it’s April Fool’s day. Some jokes are hilarious, some are bad, and some are almost believable. We here at Digital Trends are immune to humor, but we realize you might enjoy it, so here are a few of the better ones we’ve seen today.

Gmail Motion Beta

Our own Andrew Couts reported this earlier, but Google is launching a new service that uses your computer’s Webcam like an Xbox Kinect. Instead of using the ancient, outdated keyboard and mouse to write emails, Google has invented an entire language of complex, full-body motions (think full-body sign language) that can replace typing completely. Sound awesome? It is.

Support for spreadsheets, powerpoints, and other Google Docs are coming soon. We’re guessing the spreadsheet app comes with colored shirts.

Livedrive backs up all data…to paper

Earlier today, Livedrive issued a press release detailing its new plans to back up all 20 petabytes of data it stores onto barcodes printed on sheets of paper. The new program makes it the largest user of paper in the United Kingdom as it prints more than 2 billion sheets of paper. I spoke with Andrew Michael of Livedrive and he tells me that users need not fear about floods or sorting issues. All paper is stored in water-proof containers and is hand sorted, by robots.

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PC Magazine has seen the writing on the wall. PCs are out, tablets are in. And so PC Mag will now become “Post PC” Mag. Pretty smart, really, but it’s only a stopgap until we figure out what will take over for PCs. Is it tablets? Crazy laser retina displays? We just don’t know yet. will also have social media functions: “You can take a picture of your tablet or other Post-PC device, name it, buy apps for it, make friends with other post-PC devices, and even buy outfits for it. I know the last idea sounds silly, but have you ever seen an iPad 2 in a suit? Neither have I, but the Post PC world demands it.”

WolframAlpha becomes BieberBeta

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I feel bad for the Wolfram guys. They really want to be funny and this joke is harmless. Sadly, it’s more adorable than it is funny. This joke is a riff off of Funny or Die’s April Fool’s joke last year where Justin Bieber bought the site and made it Bieber or Die. Funny or Die was taken over by a new girl named Rebecca Black, another overnight sensation.

As I searched up April Fool’s on BieberBeta I learned that it is the 91st day of the year, Susan Boyle was born this day 50 years ago, and tonight we’ll see a waning crescent moon.

Deals 4 Hipsters

Image used with permission by copyright holder launched a Groupon clone called Deals 4 Hipsters today. The top deal is for “a pair of lenseless frames guaranteed to make you more attractive to the opposite sex embuing the wearer with incredible hipster credibility.” And they’re only $19. Deals 4 Hipsters says that the glasses will look “amazing with your thrift store inspired fashions, crushingly tight jeans, and circa 1960 jagger haircut. What a deal.

YouTube 1911

YouTube went back in time today, showing us what some popular videos would have been like a hundred years ago, had the Internet existed. With a click of a button, any video on the site can be given an old timey look.

Hulu goes 90s

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Hulu’s April Fool’s prank is a bit more fun, but also suspiciously similar in concept to YouTube’s. Do video sites think alike or were they in collusion? We’ll likely never know. Anyway, Hulu has shown us what it would have looked like in the 1990s, before flash and fancy Internet graphics existed. Yes kids, this is actually what the Web looked like as little as a decade ago. We can’t be happy enough that windowed Websites are gone though. Ick.

Toshiba 3D monacle

Now that’s the spirit. Toshiba, a huge corporation, also joined the fun today, unveiling the Toshiba Spectacle, the world’s first 3D monacle.

“They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” writes Toshiba. “And with the Toshiba Spectacle 3D, this has never been more true. It’s the ideal accessory for everyone, espeically for those who don’t like the bulky 3D glasses but just can’t wait for glasses-free 3D.”

Google puts out ad for an “Autocompleter”

In its jobs section today, Google put out a request for an Autocompleter. What does an Autocompleter do, you ask? Well, he’s the guy who predicts everybody’s searches and types out what he thinks they’ll want to search for. If you’re thinking of applying, the requirements are stiff. You have to be able to type 32,000 words per minute and know how to spell…everything.

“Are you passionate about helping people? Are you intuitive? Do you often feel like you know what your friends and family are thinking and can finish their thoughts before they can? Are you an incredibly fast Google searcher? Like, so fast that you can do 20 searches before your mom does 1?”

Huffington Post erects paywall for NY Times employees

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Riffing off the New York Times’s decision to put its online content behind a paywall, the Huffington Post has put itself behind a paywall, if you’re a NY Time’s employee.

ThinkGeek sells an Apple Store Playset

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People seem to have so much fun waiting in line for Apple products, why not let them do it at home? ThinkGeek invents fun fake products each April Fools’ day, but this year they took it up a notch with an Apple Store Playset, Lightsaber Popsicles, The Original Shirt Plate, Angry Birds Pork Rinds, and a Minecraft USB Desktop Nether Portal, which allows you to file “important” documents where they belong. Cool stuff. I’m hoping the shirt plate becomes a real product.

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Jeffrey Van Camp
Former Digital Trends Contributor
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