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The 7 best online April Fool's jokes

  • Jokes include a mini-nuclear reactor and Morse code for Gmail
  • Want to simplify video chatting? Try Skype for String
The 7 best online April Fool's jokes

Zelda would recognize this Google Maps version of America. And Link could get directions to find her too.

The Internet is full of skeptics. (And kittens, but more on that in a moment).

Sunday was a great day to be among those who question the legitimacy and accuracy of anything online.

That's because Sunday was April Fool's Day and the Internet has essentially become lighter fluid to the old school April Fools' pranks: ratcheting up their scope, intensifying their collective awesomeness and, you know, making it all too easy for people to get burned.

Here are the seven best pranks the web gave us:

Google Maps in 8-bit

Satellite images are cool and all, but making everything look like The Legend of Zelda is even better. Google Maps gave an 8-bit makeover to entire planet, releasing a fully functional version of Maps called Quest. Apparently the Zelda-like layout was no accident. Be sure to try it out for Street View too. Your house just became a psychedelic, original Nintendo-style glowing landmark.

Skype for String

Video chatting is fantastic. "But boy is it so darn complicated!" We hear you, grandma! So here's a way to simplify things from Skype: Two cups and a string. With Skype for String, the company says "All that you'll need is two cups and a piece of string with a minimum bandwidth of 5mm." Still too tricky? Check out their handy user guide.

Kodak's kitten printer

"Select a breed ...  Wait 90 seconds ...  And fall in love." That's the promise from Kodak, who fake-launched a line of photo print kiosks which will print live, fluffy kittens instead of pictures. This is pretty much the perfect online combo package, because as we know if there's one thing the web loves more than pranks -- it's cats. Kodak also fake-promises their new product line will be "producing a wide range of small mammals and reptiles, all perfectly suited as small pets."

Virgin Volcanic

Having already conquered the skies and outer space, Virgin's next venture targets Middle Earth. Frodo, meet Mr. Branson. Virgin Volcanic "will be capable of plunging three people into the molten lava core of an active volcano" via what appears to be the world's longest screw. And already, a celebrity endorsement! "Seth Green commented: "Ever since filming Austin Powers, I’ve had this obsession with underground layers. I've waited patiently for Sir Richard to make the dream of traveling to the Earth's core a reality."

Gmail Tap

Frustrated by keyboards with so many keys? Admire the work of Samuel Morse? Friends, we think you'll love Gmail Tap, which replaces the QWERTY with just a dot and a dash. Two keys. For all communications. And as LL Cool J (as "Todd Smith, Product Lead) explains in the video below: "You can tap it in the morning. You can tap it at night. You can tap it in the bathroom."

World's First Home Mini-Nuclear Power Generator

Among all the usual complaints nuclear power, one tends to get overlooked: Those generators are just too big. Right? Well problem solved. The new Kube X-15 from can "power an entire city (the size of Dayton, OH) for 50 years." And yes, Doc Brown -- there's a tube of Plutonium already included.

AdBlock becomes CatBlock*

The only thing better than software that blocks out online ads with a big white space? Software that blocks online ads with pictures of cats. As detailed in this very LOLCats-y introduction, CatBlock will fill your browser will adorable, playful kittens anywhere there's an ad. And you may notice the asterisk up there next to the title. Yup, that's because this April Fool's joke seems to have gone over so well that CatBlock may become a reality. The developer says he's already making a version of it.


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