It's both harder and easier than ever to be punk'd on April Fool's Day, thanks to the Internet. With all of our ways of being connected, alerts warning you not to be fooled are everywhere. But then, so are the pranks — it's now customary on this not-quite-special day for major companies, services and personalities to run outlandish claims of inventions, advances and changes. Taken collectively, what emerges is Internet-wide self-parody that ribs technology's unrelenting forward march and online culture's obsession with product development. If there's truth in every lie, the best April Fool's Day e-pranks are just slightly distorted mirrors aimed back at us in a moderately fun house. Seven examples of truly clever work follow...
Funny or Die's Friday or Die Makeover It's official: Rebecca Black is the new Justin Bieber... in that she's the LULz-y celeb who took over Funny or Die on April Fool's Day this year. The humor site is packed with new content on the simultaneously adored and maligned "Friday" singer, including Betwixt the Music: Rebecca Black, a Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job!-style infomercial, lyrical analysis and the below-posted existential highlight Which Seat Should I Take? That this 13-year-old is so gamely making fun of herself proves that she is worthy of her online-icon status. She really gets it!
ABC.com's Fake Spin-Off Gallery: The Middle's Atticus Shaffer in Black Swan drag makes it worth checking out; the idea of the IBM supercomputer Watson as a Dancing with the Stars contestant makes it amazing.
Kodak's Relationshiffft APP: This "Automated Person Purge" promises to delete your exes from pictures of the two of you that you look good enough in to keep. The thing is that the most recent edition of Photoshop has a very similar background-fill feature, so this is a great case of it's-funny-'cause-it's-true.
Gmail Motion: Gmail meets Wii meets air-traffic control gestures. (For a Fool-ish bonus, click on the "1911" tab on any YouTube video to watch it instantly translated into a 1911-style sepia-tone, silent movie. Just for jokes!)
IGN's The Aurors: Not even going to spoil this one — stick with it till the end and you'll be struck by how genius the seemingly dull setup is...
Starbucks Mobile Pour: Because the only thing more hilarious than adults on scooters is caffeinated adults on scooters.
Toshiba Spectacle: We will one day be so distracted as a species that we can't even bother to watch 3D with two eyes. Also, the monocle is due for a comeback in a big way. This clip isn't a prank, it's a prophecy.
Heard any good April Fool's jokes lately?