April Fools’ 2013 has come and gone, and though the prestigious day was once something the internet handled with aplomb and hilarity, it has now turned into a day of exceedingly ludicrous jokes that you wouldn’t ever believe. What we found more amusing, though, was revisiting news that seemed like it was a joke at the time, but ended up being real. So, instead of recapping April Fools’ jokes, we felt it’d be fun reminding you just how ludicrous real news can be.
Marissa Mayer leaves Google vice presidency to become Yahoo! CEO
Marissa Mayer, Google employee extraordinaire, started off with the company way back in 1999 as Google’s 20th employee. She made her internet bones climbing the ranks of the tech giant, having a hand in the design of Google’s iconic search page, and ultimately rising up to become Vice President Search Products and User Experience, as well as VP of Maps, Local, and Location Services. Perhaps bored with helping to propel Google to the big shot status it has today, Mayer left in July of 2012 to assume the rule of President and CEO of Yahoo!, which seems crazy when you say it out loud.
BlackBerry rises from near-ashes, relaunching smartphone without keyboard
Not content with losing the market that it once pioneered, RIM made some radical changes a few months ago. First, it shed its venerable moniker, RIM — the butt of many hilarious jokes and not-so-hilarious jokes — and assumed the name of its flailing smartphone brand, BlackBerry. If that weren’t enough the newly-named BlackBerry launched a new touchscreen BlackBerry, finally shedding the brand’s iconic tactile keyboard and weird little trackball thing. Not only did RIM rename itself BlackBerry, and not only did the company do this long after opening a “RIM jobs” (haha) section on its website years ago, but they launched a new BlackBerry in 2013. Strange times.
Blizzard announces digital CCG based on WoW IP
Long before PAX East 2013, Blizzard announced that they’d be showing off a new IP at the con, and that it wasn’t the oft-rumored Project Titan. You might’ve expected some kind of MOBA, as Blizzard was indirectly responsible for the genre, which has since taken off with the help of League of Legends and Heroes of Newerth. You saw the subtitle, Heroes of Warcraft, and you immediately assumed that, yep, it’s a MOBA.
A little disappointed that something based on Warcraft wasn’t really a new IP to begin with, you still gave Blizzard the benefit of the doubt because MOBAs are the cool new thing, and Blizzard has some rich lore to infuse into the genre. Then you checked out the gameplay and it turns out it’s a digital card game, based on Warcraft, and you remembered that they already have a real-life card game based on Warcraft. Oddly, Hearthstone isn’t the digital version of that card game, but a new card battler based on the same IP. So, Blizzard’s new IP is based on an old IP and, on top of that, is a digital Warcraft card battler that runs parallel to the company’s tangible Warcraft card battler. Huh?
Asus unveils a smartphone that you shove into a tablet
Smartphones are getting bigger, breaching the 6-inch mark, and tablets are getting smaller, shrinking down to a 7-inch size you can almost palm. If the trends continue, the two sizes will meet, and the mobile industry will be hilarious for one shining moment. Perhaps cognizant of this inevitability, Asus tried to alter the industry’s destiny, and created a tablet into which you dock a smartphone. The Padfone Infinity combines the smartphone and tablet into one singular device, though allows you to separate the two should you realize that lugging around a 10.1-inch phone is a bit irritating. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), the Padfone Infinity isn’t Asus’ clever attempt at social commentary on the tech scene, but is an actual product you can go out and purchase.
Canonical unleashes Ubuntu Touch for smartphones and tablets
Though Ubuntu is the most prevalent and user-friendly Linux distribution, it’s still Linux, and not the most carefree walk in the park. Rather than spruce up the desktop operating system to give it a better chance against Windows and Mac, Canonical announced it would be launching Ubuntu into the mobile space with Ubuntu Touch. On top of that, the OS would morph into whichever type of device on which it is currently running; on a phone, it would tailor itself to a phone, but on a desktop it would become a fully-fledged desktop OS.
If that seemed like wishful thinking for an operating system in which you had to spend a large amount of time mucking about in the terminal, Ubuntu Touch will also allow users to, for example, plug Ubuntu’s phone OS into a TV, then the TV would display Ubuntu’s TV OS. Basically, you’ll be carrying around a little operating system in your pocket that can morph into whatever kind of OS you want, provided you have the proper hardware. No, this isn’t some kind of science fiction future or an educated joke, this is a real thing that’s happening.
There are certainly more instances of actual news seeming like well-informed, precisely planned April Fools’ jokes — they happen all the time — but it’s more fun to let everyone figure it out for themselves.
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