I always liked the one from around 1995 about Microsoft buying the Vatican.
Also, some years ago the Motley Fool had a rather entertaining one about a company called e-Meringue and taking it public, and the stock going through the roof only to crash and be de-listed as the SEC investigated the CEO and he ran and tried to hijack a cruise ship with meringues or some such. It was utterly ridiculous, and the Fool site was posting press releases and stock quotes through the day, with the ticker HAFD (Happy April Fool's Day).
It has come to my attention that there is a crying need for a place for
people to express both their emotional and technical natures simultaneously.
Several people have sent me some items which don't fit into any newsgroup.
Perhaps it's because I recently posted to both comp.lang.perl and to
rec.arts.poems, but people seem to be writing poems in Perl, and they're
asking me where they should post them.
Today brought the official announcement that many of us in the Perl and Python
communities had been awaiting and expecting for some time now: the culmination
of the year-long collaboration between Larry Wall and Guido van Rossum, and
the establishment of a period of joint development between the developers of
Perl and Python.
I really liked www.linkedin.com's semi-subtle approach. I didn't even notice at first, except that I got one of their legitimate emails saying an old colleague wanted to connect. Among the 'people you may know', I got:
Werner Heisenberg - physicist. this *may* have been his profile
Ernest Hemingway - Author
Sherlock Holmes - Detective
You get a different list every time. This was the first year I noticed.
I loved the way the dangerous water *hoax* proved the point of the lack of very basic scientific understanding, due diligence in lawmaking circles and the appalling lack of intellectual curiosity on the part of the average American.
This hoax is common in product labeling as chemicals/ingredients are given different, often misleading names to help fool consumers into buying products other than what they are really looking for - legally.
What the heck are you talking about??? cold fusion and Brown's Gas power my house, my cars, my lawnmower, and of course, all my computers. For $199.99, I'll sell you my plans and do-it-yourself kit for 'getting off the grid'.
I voted for a hoax on the list, but I do have to mention the 1988 NPR All Things Considered story reporting on Canada's purchase of Arizona. The benefits included balancing the U.S. budget, and of course Canada's acquisition of a warm water port.
They had interviews with then-Governor Babbitt and the Canadian ambassador (sorry, don't recall his name) both of whom delivered a straightforward analysis of the consequences of this historic moment. It was wonderful.
Unquestionably my favorite was Dihydrogen MonOxide...
The favorite prank that I pulled though was when I worked for Bell Laboratories. I sent a memo around that stated:
"On 4/1/92 we will be clearing out all of the unused bits that are laying about in the Datakit®, RS-232, and LAN cabling throughout the facility. This will entail the injection of 150PSI compressed air into all these lines. As a result some of the bits and loose dust will be forced out of the lines and may be emitted with some great force from your workstations and terminals. If you want to prevent this please stop by the SAG office and pick up plastic bags which we will be issuing for this event. "
Mind you, with all the very intelligent people working there I figured that everyone would see through the gag and just laugh it off as the attempt at humor that it was. However, on April 1 when the air compressors were to allegedly do their thing there was a line going for quite a way up the hallway of people looking for their SAG issued plastic bags. Fortunately I had the foresight to bring a box of landscaper sized plastic bags with me to work that day. I ended up going to pick up more at the hardware store at lunch time. The topper for the day was the woman who had left work already who came running back in her workout clothes in a panic wanting to know if was too late to pick up her bag.
Peter L. Berghold -- Unix Professional
Peter -at- Berghold -dot- Net; AOL IM redcowdawg Yahoo IM: blue_cowdawg