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Google's 2010 April Fools Day Prank
Don't Believe Everything You Read on April Fools Day
Today is April 1st which, as most people know, is celebrated as April Fools Day.
While this used to be a day, and still is for many people, a day for individual pranks, the rise of the media in our lives has resulted in the media joining in on the fun with humorous pranks of their own.
As I mentioned in my 2007 Hub about that year's April Fools prank by Google, it was the British Broadcasting Corp (BBC) which launched the first media April Fools prank with a 1957 broadcast about harvesting spaghetti on a farm in Switzerland.
In 2007 Google Announced its Invention of Free Broadband via Your Toilet
The advent of the Internet has resulted in more media pranks with the most clever ones, in my opinion, coming from Google.
Log on to Google and you will encounter an unexpected, but somewhat believable, announcement.
Google's 2007 prank was the announcement of its new TiSP service in which a user could order a cable from Google which the user would attach one end to wireless router and flush the other end down the toilet.
When the flushed portion of the cable reached nearest Google TiSP access point, a Google Plumbing Hardware Dispatcher would connect it and the user would have free Broadband access via their toilet.
The service also came with what Google called its In-Commode Package Delivery in which orders for goods placed over the Internet would be delivered instatntly to their toilet via the sewer system.
Joke Linked to Google's Fiber for Communities Project
This year when you access the Google Home Page, instead of the word Google appearing in the familiar red, yellow, blue and green letters, you see the word Topeka in the same colors and font along with an announcement that Google had, as of 1 a.m. Central time on April 1, 2010 changed its name from Google to Topeka.
The reason for this change was the recent action by the city of Topeka changing the city's name from Topeka, Kansas to Google, Kansas for the month of March. Following the city's filing of an application to be a part of Google's planned Fiber for Communities project in February the city attempted to catch Google's attention by temporarily and unofficially changing its name to Google, Kansas.
The Fiber for Communities is an experimental high speed network that Google is seeking to build and test in certain areas. The experimental fiber network will deliver Internet content to homes at the rate of one gigabite per second.
Topeka Changed its name to Google
In February Topeka submitted to Google its application to be one of the experimental sites and to draw attention to that application it temporarily changed its name to Google.
Apparently, not wishing to be confused with a city in Kansas, Google decided to pick up the city's former name and change its name to Topeka - at least for April Fools Day.
Thus, when people typed the URL Google.com the words Topeka appeared on their screen.
Like all April Fools jokes this one ended at midnight and Topeka (the company) went back to being Google (the company) just as the city of Google, Kansas has now gone back to being Topeka, Kansas.
Like the explanations by Google of its other April Fools Day projects, which are still available on its blog, you can still read the Google/Topeka Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt's explanation of the name change on its blog.
© 2010 Chuck Nugent