April 1st is the one day of the year when vendors and tech writers get to flex their funny bones and be stupendously silly. Usually it's to lackluster effect - which is why none of us have given up our day jobs. Occasionally however, a fake news story or goofy product will manage to raise a smile.
With that in mind, here's a list of the best April Fools gags and headlines of 2011. Did any fool you? Click on the headlines to read the original articles.
The days of your dog begging beneath the table are finally over. The IKEA Hundstol is a highchair and tray combo built specifically for man's best friend. The Hundstol is "suitable for large dogs up to 35 kilograms" and "fits well with other dining furniture." As an added bonus, the dog bowls are included (but sadly, not the dog).
IKEA went all out with this April Fools gag, with a product information page, swathes of photos and a YouTube video with the designer.
ThinkGeek threw a gaggle of gags at the Web, including a T-shirt with an inbuilt dinner plate, glowing Lightsaber popsicles and a Minecraft USB Desktop Nether Portal. But our favourite would have to be the Apple Store Playset.
Designed to introduce children to the magic of Apple, the Mini Apple Store Playset includes the store, assorted figurines and over 60 accessories. The upper floor also features Steve Jobs waxing lyrical at the Keynote Theater. When you consider that iPod babywear already exists, this thing becomes chillingly plausible
"In a bid on Auction site eBay, for the site of eBay.com itself, Pirate Bay (TPB) has come out as the official winner," the Pirate Bay proudly exclaimed in its blog. "TPB will divide eBay up into smaller companies and sell to the highest bidders. We see no use for an auction site since most stuff is available for free."
The majority of comments on the website were clearly in on the joke, but there were a few dismayed individuals ("wait there will be no more ebay wtf man noooooooooooo!!!!!!") as well as some belligerent Americans who insisted it wasn't April 1st yet.
If you're sick of the whole touchscreen fad that's been plaguing the smartphone market, RIM has the perfect solution. The Dauntless is a new breed of Blackberry that does away with the display altogether in favour of Morse code-patterned vibrations.
"Our strengths are email and our keyboard," RIM designer Elliot Pouce explained. A deluxe version with a built-in mini projector is also in the works.
Atlasslan, a maker of software development and collaboration tools, announced it would be entering games development with a suspiciously familiar looking game for mobile phones.
Amusingly, the list of review quotes includes a cease-and-desist letter from Angry Bird's publisher Rovio. Best of all, the 'game' is actually playable!
Introducing the BMW M3 luxury ute. The blue collar worker's automobile of choice meets the executive's status symbol.
The M3 convertible pickup is powered by a 309kW engine and boasts a 450kg load capacity, claims BMW. It's like a mullet: business in the front, party in the back. (We bet this guy probably feels a bit foolish today.)
"Fresh from its massive election win last week, the incoming O'Farrell Coalition Government in NSW has vowed to halt the Federal Government's National Broadband Network in its tracks," reports IT Wire. "Not one strand of NBN fibre will be allowed to reach one home in NSW even if residents choose to opt in to the rollout program."
His objections to the rollout? Apparently, it's too Victorian, which clashes with his hatred of AFL football. We saw more than one premature tweet that took this story at face value - IT Wire later came clean.
Big Head Games announced a new technology that would bring ‘glasses free’ 3D gaming to the Apple iPad, which it created in partnership with Korean tech firm 'Floorpali' (try rearranging the letters). The tech consists of a see-through film overlay that covers the iPad's screen and a supporting SDK. The results purportedly blow the Nintendo 3DS out of the water.
This was one of the few April Fools gags that actually did some fooling, with several major publications running with the story, irony-free. Red-faced victims included CVG, PocketGamer and AppAddct.
Introducing the Artline Tweeter 140: the pen that tweets while you write! "Forget those tiny touch sensitive keyboards", explains the press release. "Write it, tweet it: anytime, anywhere."
Is it wrong that we really, really want one of these?
"The Brisbane Times can reveal amphibious buses are being considered as the next addition to the city's public transport fleet," runs the report. Too soon?
This was an April Fools joke, right? ....Right?