Timezone by timezone, the rest of the world is slowly ticking over to April Fools' Day. Australia, however, is already in the thick of things. To save you the trouble, we've rounded up the less-than-believable local stories (and a few international ones) we've seen across the webs.
Kogan's Move To Bricks-And-Mortar
First off the rank is Kogan, mainly because it managed to rope in The Australian (link is no longer active).
The online retailer fired off a press release this morning announcing the opening of its debut bricks-and-mortar store in Melbourne's Chadstone shopping centre. As you'd expect, the release is packed with excited quotes from owner Ruslan Kogan.
Ignoring the obvious dissonance regarding a successful online business going backwards into traditional retail, it's vaguely believable... until you get to the last paragraph:
Special guests at the opening party of Kogan's first flagship store will be Ellen DeGeneres, Ricky Martin, Ryan Gosling, and Zac Efron, just to name a few.
Unfortunately for The Australian, it was perhaps too subtle. This morning it posted a story complied from the release, bereft of disbelief. It didn't take long for the locals to point out the outlet's faux pas and the story was quickly taken down.
Google Goes All Out With SCHMICK, Treasure Maps, Closure Of YouTube And "Nose Beta"
Unsatisfied with just one April Fools' Day joke, we've found no less than four tall tales from the search giant. The local Google blog delivered a new addition to Street View called SCHMICK (Simple Complete House Makeover Internet Conversion Kit).
The eye-bleeding feature allows one to dress up the externals of their home will all manner of garish bling, from bright-green grass to Photoshopped kangaroos that make North Korea's propaganda department look like professionals.
Here's Google Australia's official pitch:
Forgot to mow the nature strip? Deck it out with some fresh buffalo grass. Front steps falling down? Swap them out for doric columns and a pergola. Graffiti on the front fence? Cover it with so many palm trees people will think they're on the Vegas strip.
On the international front, Google also welcomed "Google Nose" into the world (thanks Gavin). Rather than describe it, I'll just leave the company's own explanatory video here, which is packed with the company's usual array of hilariously-named algorithms.
For the pirates out there (the ye-olde, sea-sailing ones), there's Google Treasure Maps, an extra layer you can enable on Google Maps. I didn't find any buried secrets during my quick perusal, but it sure does look the business.
Finally, it turns out YouTube was just one giant competition to find the best video ever and now that it's been found, Google is closing up shop on the streaming media service.
Last Minute's Interesting Deals
Want to add something special to your next trip? Then you might want to try Last Minute's "Kath And Kim" celebrity package, which offers "all-you-can drink Chardonnay", an "unlimited supply of pash rash cream" and a "looped playlist of Aussie classic rock", among other treats. There's also the "Kardashian", "50 Shades" and the titillating and slightly NSFW "Harry" for royal lovers out there. (via @jendudley)
In Brief: An All-Female OzBargain, Gine Rinehart Is Ten's New CEO, A GPS For Dropbears And Huawei's Tattoo-Based Advertising
OzBargain has decided it wants a more "balanced" community and felt that applying love hearts, ponies and excessive use of the colour pink would be the way to attract more women to the site.
TV Tonight bagged the surprising exclusive that mining mogul Gina Rinehart is taking over the reigns at Channel Ten. As part of the change of hands, Charlie Pickering has been axed from The Project, a new show "Who Wants To Be A Billionaire" will debut and "Prospecting With The Stars" is sure to win the hearts of our, uh, two-speed economy.
Drop bears are a constant problem for Australian campers, so wouldn't it be nice if technology could help us tackle this nefarious local critter? The Conversation reports that the Australian Geographer has proposed we track its prey, rather than the creatures themselves, which are notoriously difficult to see in the wild.
Then, we have Huawei, which has taken branding athletes to a whole new level — why stamp your logo on guernseys when you can convince players to get tattoos instead? The company has plastered its logo on the thigh of Canberra Raiders' Sandor Earl. And I'm sure that's just the start — there's plenty of exposed flesh that's more than suitable for gratuitous advertising.
Oh, and then there's the new programming language BinaryScript, which lets you transform regular code into BS. Hilarious.
Have you seen any April Fools' jokes today? Be sure to share them in the comments!