Did you spot these techie April Fools’ gags?

Lucy Carey

From a subversive Git to Comic Sans at CERN, a roundup of our favourite tech pranks from around the web.

Yesterday was an odious day for tech editors.
Every April 1st, trusted sources turn rouge, breaking news reports
are tinged with suspicion, and by 3pm, even the most convincing
pieces start to look fishy. For everyone else though, it was an
internet joy ride (well, aside from anyone who had their Pokémon hunting
dreams cruelly dashed by Google. Yet another black mark on my list
there for you, Chocolate Factory).  From wacky physicists to
the unexpected return of a nineties icon, here’s a roundup of some
of the best witticisms from around the web.

Zero Turnaround get SASS-y

There were trying  times for the Zero Turnaround
crew yesterday when a hapless engineer was almost hospitalized as a
result of a colleague’s reckless IDE hopping, more formally known
as ‘Sudden Application Switching Syndrome’ (SASS). Speaking from a
recovery centre deep within the mountains of Estonia, traumatised
Oleg Shelajev commented,
“When I came in, I saw that Michael’s IDE background, color scheme
and font size was completely different than usual. The double-take
nearly gave me whiplash…I was like, what the f*ck, is he using

JetBrains knows what you want

JetBrains were quick to step up to the mark with their
own personal brand of April tomfoolery. With a 14th birthday
approaching, the team wrote that they were mulling over solutions
to continue driving the platform forward over the next five to ten
years, and had hit upon the idea of a third version of the
Commercial IDE: IntelliJ IDEA Lite. Now in its teens, JetBrains is
fairly wise to what’s hot right now, so naturally they gravitated
towards in-app purchases for the IDE  (which the kids love,
FYI), paid for by special JetBrains feature credits (JFC for short,
or even better, JetCoins), which can then be spent on premium
features like refactoring or new color schemes. And if that wasn’t
enough, they announced that they’ll be introducing an awesome
looking IntelliJ Game SDK, which will make it easy for everyone to
embed their favorite games within IntelliJ-based IDEs. But put away
the cake and balloons people – this is yet another bitterly
disappointing con.

CERN gets Comic

Watt’s that I hear you say? Physicists aren’t funny?
The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), who rocked
the scientific community to its very core by declaring that
henceforth all communications would be written
in ComiSans,
would like to refract that opinion. An announcement appeared on the
official CERN website yesterday explaining that going forward, the
team believe the most effective way to communicate their research
into the “fundamental structure of matter at the very boundaries of
technology” was by changing their font to the most jovial typeface
of all time. CERN Head of Communications James Gillies affirmed
that “’This is a serious laboratory, with a serious research
agenda…And it makes the letters look all round and squishy.”
Other mooted suggestions for revamping the organization’s image
include inserting a Justin Bieber selfie into the CERN logo, and
giving the Large Hadron Collider a triangular makeover.

Subversion migrates to Git

The world of version control was thrown into turmoil
on Tuesday when an Apache Issue was raised for the migration of
Apache Subversion into the Git repository. It sort of makes sense
when you consider all the discourse that was swirling around a few
years ago pushing Git as a natural successor to Subversion – but
don’t worry, it was all just a big elaborate
! Subversion project founder Greg Stein has now closed the
ticket with the comment, “Resolving as “Not a problem”. We sure as
hell don’t want to do this. :-)”.  So that’s OK then.

brings some serious wearable game

Wearable tech jokes were a recurrent theme this year,
from the Twitter Helmet to Reddit’s
headdit’ gag. Aussie software company Atlassian
got on board by posting a supposed crowdsourcing campaign for the
‘BitBand’ – the company’s first ever incursion into the world of
hardware. Inspired by the popular FitBit gadget, the BitBand will
‘gamify’ your work by tracking and then comparing all your
activities to your colleagues. It’ fits everyone from Starving
Interns to Overpaid Hipster Foodies, has an intuitive UI that
delivers praise or threats according to personal preference, and
has a helpful vibration feature to remind you when it’s time to
interact with your fellow human beings. Just watch out for the
OKCupid monitoring guys.   

And finally…

An icon

Elder statesman Microsoft may have lost some of its
lustre in recent years – but remember the glory days? When you
couldn’t sneeze on your mouse without an anthropomorphised bit of
stationary jumping to attention on your screen? Office.com users
were able to luxuriate in a warm blanket of nostalgia this April
1st when little Clippy made a triumphant return to their screens,
greeting Word, Excel and PowerPoint users with his trademark
perplexed expression and classically unhelpful suggestions. One
lucky office was even treated to a unique hardware Clippy update
when a single employee went rogue with an army of paperclips. According
to the prankster, it took some time to craft 77 real life Office
Assistants, but the reactions in the office were priceless, with
presumably delighted co-workers exclaiming, “THEY’RE EVERYWHERE!”

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