You can’t have missed our article on Wednesday morning on government abandoning South Africa’s digital migration project. There’s no way it could have been true — there’s too much riding on a successful migration — but quite a few people were suckered by it.
The technology world served up some of the best pranks this year.
Microsoft made a great video announcing the launch of MS-DOS Mobile for Lumia smartphones. Featuring the director of digital marketing at Microsoft Mobile, Tom Messet, the video expounds on what it calls “an essential download for those who remember life before Windows, those who want to go back to Basic”.
Samsung, meanwhile, announced a new feature for the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge called Gourmet Mode that allows users to take amazing pictures of their food, or so we’re told. The phone also comes preloaded with 35 000 different meals from around the world and its Auto Food Identification “instantly analyses and improves your dish to replicate those created and styled by five-star chefs”. Watch the launch video here.
And for beer drinkers, Carlsberg said that drones will in future deliver ice-cold beers in 30 minutes directly from its brewery.
Locally, Moneyweb ran a story on the establishment of the E-toll Hawks, a metro police unit set up to arrest motorists who haven’t paid their e-toll accounts. Police officers, it said, will use electronic handheld devices to “read” number plates and show outstanding amounts.
Even Shoprite got in on the 1 April foolishness, issuing a press release about a GPS-enabled shopping trolley to be rolled out at its Checkers stores. A couple of publications even ran stories on it. Fortunately, TechCentral’s BS radar is strong. When Shoprite said in its release that the trolleys will charge shoppers’ phone using electricity generated by their “dynamo wheels” we realised something was off.
Shoprite later admitted that the press release, issued on Tuesday, was a prank aimed at the media. Both Business Report and Times Live published the information as fact. The Times Live article has since been deleted.
They weren’t traditional April Fool’s Day jokes, but we also enjoyed the pranks Google served up this year. Google Maps turned your local neighbourhood into a game of Pac-Man. And the search giant also reversed its URL, creating com.google, where everything, including search results, appeared backwards. — © 2015 NewsCentral Media