April Fools Day: Google, Tesla, History, & More

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Related: April fools: Toms Brady Says he’s retiring, waits an hour to say it was a joke

Related: Comey Announces 2020 Presidential Run In Apparent April Fools Joke

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Although April Fools’ Day, also called All Fools’ Day, has been celebrated for several centuries by different cultures, its exact origins remain a mystery.

Some historians speculate that April Fools’ Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563.

People who were slow to get the news or failed to recognize that the start of the new year had moved to January 1 and continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through April 1 became the butt of jokes and hoaxes.

These pranks included having paper fish placed on their backs and being referred to as “poisson d’avril” (April fish), said to symbolize a young, easily caught fish and a gullible person.

GOOGLE

April Fools’ Day is upon us, and while companies like Microsoft have told their employees not to participate, Google is as always trying to outdo itself. The company releases all sorts of jokes, ranging from the ridiculously lame to the very clever, spanning the simple blog post or video to the elaborate gag or new feature. It’s a very Google-specific tradition — even other Alphabet companies don’t really participate in the celebration.

Snakes in Google Maps

The Google Maps team tends to have the more intricate jokes — usually playable games –and this year it’s a spinoff the classic Snake. You can play Snake in Google Maps in different locations across the world, including Cairo, London, San Francisco, São Paulo, Sydney, and Tokyo. To play, open the Google Maps app for Android or iOS, tap on the menu icon on the top left corner, and hit “Play Snake.” Pick a city, grab as many passengers as you can, and make sure not to hit anything. Snake on Google Maps will be live in the app for about a week, and even has a standalone site that Google says ill stay up “long after April Foolsss is over.”

Google Tulip

Your Google Home can now talk to tulips (“Hey Google, talk to my tulip.”), thanks to “great advancements in artificial intelligence.” Translation between Tulipish and dozens of human languages means you can finally talk to tulips — they’ll tell you when they need water, light, or more space. Apparently, tulips are not only very chatty, but they’re also great listeners and offer “sound advice.” Google Tulip was largely developed in the Netherlands, a country that produces 12.5 billion flowers a year, and tested in the world-famous flower park Keukenhof. As for the AI part, Google and the Wageningen University & Research built on Neural Machine Translation to map tulip signals to human language. It took two years of training to add Tulipish as a language to Google Home’s recently introduced Interpreter Mode.

Drone Dog Walker

Gadget retailer ThumbsUp is ranging its Drone Dog Walker for today only. It’s one of many pet-related spoofs this year.

Said to cost £199.99, it features a camera, microphone and speaker so you can chat with your dog while the drone takes it for a walk. Leash control technology is built in too. A big thumbs up to, er, ThumbsUp.


TESLA

Trump v Kim Nuclear Foosball Table

When two tribes go to… play table football. Maybe the US/North Korean talks would have been better sorted through a match on Liberty Games’ Nuclear Foosball.

As well as players in the likeness of Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump, you get masks to wear while playing for the ultimate prize: survival.


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