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Warning: People can make up stuff on the Internet

There are some weird sights on the Web this morning.


Over at Google, a different six-letter sequence graces its home page: "Topeka." A post on the company's blog explains that Google has changed its name to "Topeka" to the city in Kansas. Topeka temporarily renamed itself "Google" to express its interest in being chosen as the host city for the Web giant's broadband-fiber experiment. It also offers some helpful tips on the correct usage of the new corporate moniker.

Google -- er, Topeka -- subsidiary YouTube has its own news for the day, the launch of a bandwidth-efficient video format called TEXTp:

By replacing the images in the video with a series of letters and numbers, the videos are far less taxing on our system -- and have the added benefit of promoting literacy!

Click on any of the videos below that announcement to see this effect in action.

And speaking of video, Hulu now offers a 3-D option at its site -- or, it seems to. But when I clicked that button next to a TV clip, the site began playing a "Training and Orientation" labeled as "Confidential." It revealed some disturbing insights about the nature of TV and that site -- and, as a nice bonus, features a cameo appearance by Mike Musgrove's byline about 6:20 in.

You did check today's date, right? Good. Let me know what other sorts of April Foolishness you've found online this morning.

By Rob Pegoraro  |  April 1, 2010; 10:49 AM ET
Categories:  Digital culture  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Get ready for the 3-D TV sales pitch
Next: Facebook walks into a privacy problem

Comments is awesome today. If you're a true Linux/Unix geek.

Try "apt-get moo" or "find"

Posted by: wiredog | April 1, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Groupon posted this funny business:

I plan to order the crown!

Posted by: abgr | April 1, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

It's a whacky day at Dave Barry's Blog.

Posted by: wiredog | April 1, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: tundey | April 1, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

JUST IN -- The president and congressional Democrats promise their new health care law will reduce medical consumption and lower medical care costs for everybody!!!

--April you know what.....

Posted by: infuse | April 1, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

It's funny - Google Maps also offered up a "3-D" Street View option... the little orange dude is wearing blue/red glasses.

Posted by: keltrue | April 1, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Johns Hopkins University is currently John Hopkins University.

Posted by: dkp01 | April 1, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Eh, the Topeka thing was kinda lame.

Posted by: DontWannaMyPostID | April 1, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

One of our local West Michigan colleges, Calvin College,, put a spotlight on its homepage highlighting one of the faculty members who has a new job-share with his 7 year old daughter! The link includes some really clever vimeos, too.

Last year Calvin had a spoof where they showed people shredding loads of books from the college library to use for mulch!

Posted by: rjrjj | April 1, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Ben and Jerry's has upside-down cows. I hear there's virtual ice cream, too.

Posted by: cfow1 | April 1, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

wikipedia's start page also has some spoof histories and stories, the Wife Selling almost had me, for a moment ...

Posted by: DonnyKerabatsos | April 1, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Reddit made all of its users "admins" for the day. You can edit other people's submissions, ban people, etc. A number of people started freaking out last night when they saw that they were now "admins" and began asking whether there had been a mistake or something. Turns out that no one but you could actually see any of the edits (or bans) that you made so no real harm done, but watching other's reactions was pretty amusing.

Posted by: pete20 | April 1, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

April Fools Gag: On Greg Mankiw's blog (the famed Harvard Economics professor and textbook author), he said that Harvard was auctioning off 100 slots for next year's freshman class to remedy budget woes:

Posted by: remingtonguy | April 1, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Over at The Volokh Conspiracy blog, Prof. Orin Kerr (George Washington Univ. Law School) was taken in by the news that the White House had selected its first official law blogger. Read the comments after the post.

Posted by: phillyreader | April 1, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

National Wildlife Federation released a report and a terrifically bad 1950s B-movie trailer called "They Came from Climate Change". While the topic is no joke, it has a tongue-in-cheek feel that's appropriate for April Fool's Day.

Posted by: bmcdc | April 1, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Google Voice is offering "Standard Voicemail Mode" today. It offers such features as:
- Automatic voicemail deletion: Messages will be deleted after 14 days so that you don't have to listen to them.
- Numeric keypad access: No more web inbox, only access voicemail from your cell phone
- Send a numeric page: Friends will be given the option to send a numeric page

Posted by: stephenwb | April 1, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Conservative 'C Street House' Residents Face Ethics Complaints For Below-Market Rent

The bevy of conservative members of Congress who've resided at the notorious "C Street House" may have violated Congressional gift rules by accepting steeply-discounted lodging, new ethics complaints allege.

The watchdog organization CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington) filed complaints Thursday charging Republican Sens. Sam Brownback (Kan.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), Jim DeMint (S.C.) and John Ensign (Nev.), as well as Reps. Mike Doyle (D-Penn.), Heath Shuler (D-N.C.), Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) and Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.), with accepting "improper gifts" from C Street in the form of way-below-market rent.

Other residents past and present did not make the list -- most notably trail-hiking Gov. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.), who lived in the C Street House while in Congress and helped make the place famous by seeking counseling there in the wake of his affair.

According to reports cited in the CREW complaints, the members of Congress residing at C Street pay $950 per month for rent and housekeeping, versus a minimum of $1,700 per month for nearby one-bedroom apartments, $2,400 per month for adjacent hotels or $4,000 for corporate housing. The CREW data piggybacks in part on similar charges filed earlier this week against the house itself by a clergy group, which complained to the IRS that C Street was improperly using its privileged tax status.

"This situation cries out for an immediate ethics inquiry," CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan said in a statement. "At a time when so many Americans are losing their housing, it is surprising to discover that some members of Congress are lucky enough to have a landlord that charges below market rent for fairly luxurious accommodations ... you can't help but wonder exactly what these members may be doing in return for all of this largess.

It seems the Washington Post will report all the news, except the news in Washington DC

And this is not a JOKE!!

Posted by: austininc4 | April 1, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

I agree that "Topeka" is lame, but the "vowel outage" in Gmail is pretty funny.

Posted by: Janine1 | April 1, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Best April Fool's story I've seen today...

"A would-be saboteur arrested today at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland made the bizarre claim that he was from the future. Eloi Cole, a strangely dressed young man, said that he had travelled back in time to prevent the LHC from destroying the world.",39029552,49305387,00.htm

Posted by: js_edit | April 1, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: nadie1 | April 1, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

"Eh, the Topeka thing was kinda lame."

I guess this can be said of any joke one doesn't find funny. I thought it was clever.

The Johns Hopkins gag is funny but it risks reinforcing the misconception about the school's name. Many people, if not most people, already think it's "John."

Posted by: mypitts2 | April 1, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: js_edit | April 1, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Muddyone | April 1, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Annorax | April 1, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

thanks wiredog, loved it

Posted by: datdamwuf2 | April 1, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

WTOP cooks up 'salt tax'

Posted by: crystal13l | April 1, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Enough with the April Fool's Day pikers. Visit to see today's Bruce Springsteen April Fools Day parodies -- and be sure to scroll down for his new "Pre-Existing Conditions" CD complete with lyrics.


Posted by: dl49 | April 1, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

ThinkGeek ( has the iCade for "sale". It's an iPad dock that turns it into a personal arcade machine, and the app will have MAME emulation built in. If it's actually true, I may have to get an iPad just to have it!

Posted by: Nurseboy | April 1, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for all the links! My favorites:

* the xkcd Unix command-line gag
* Google Voice Standard Voicemail Mode
* The Springsteen parody (especially the bit about the numerous special anniversary editions of "Darkness On The Edge Of Town").

- RP

Posted by: Rob Pegoraro | April 2, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

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