Who's The Real April Fool? Whirlpool, NineMSN or Google?

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It's April 1st, which means half of the stories you see here could be nothing more than an elaborate hoax. They're not, but they could be.

A couple of tech companies have actually put in a heap of effort to come up with some fairly elaborate April Fool's jokes. Google sent out a press release this morning about their new gDay technology, which allows users to Google search into the future.

Meanwhile, Whirlpool posted a press release on their site this morning announcing that they had been purchased by nineMSN for an undisclosed sum and would be integrated into the nineMSN family.

Of the two, the Whirlpool announcement was a lot more convincing (although some commenters on the news.com.au Google story were taken in by the joke). Hit the jump for the full April Fool's releases, if that kind of thing interests you...

Looking ahead: Google announces technology that searches tomorrow's web, today

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, 1 April 2008 - Google Australia today announced the launch of gDay™, a new beta search technology that will search web pages 24 hours before they are created.

View the gDay™ page for more information, user testimonials and Q+A.

gDay was developed in Google's Sydney engineering centre and can accurately predict future events and internet content. It does this by using machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques from a system called MATE™ (Machine Automated Temporal Extrapolation).

Using Google's index of historic, cached web content and a mashup of numerous factors including recurrence plots and fuzzy measure analysis, gDay creates a sophisticated model of what the internet will look like 24 hours from now - including share price movements, sports results and news events. Plus, using language regression analysis, Google can even predict the actual wording of tomorrow's blogs and newspaper columns.

Then, to rank these future webpages in order of relevance, gDay uses a statistical extrapolation of a page's PageRank, called SageRank.

Only Australian websites are included in the beta.

"Google's Australian engineers have a history of major technological innovations, from Google Maps™ to Mapplets™ to Traffic for Google Maps. Giving humankind the ability to see 24 hours into the future is just a natural progression – of sorts," said Alan Noble, Head of Engineering for Google Australia & New Zealand.

"Users – particularly those who like a casual flutter – will really benefit from this feature. Maybe you want to see tomorrow's rugby scores. Maybe you want to see tomorrow's lotto numbers. Maybe this is the greatest freakin' product ever."

See today's post on the Google Australia Blog.

gDay, MATE, SageRank, PageRank, Google Maps and Google Mapplets are trademarks of Google Inc.

And Whirlpool:

Sydney, Australia — ninemsn today announced the full acquisition of Australia’s leading online broadband and technology discussion site, Whirlpool.

The acquisition demonstrates the strategic importance of user-powered content to ninemsn’s vision of delivering content and services to customers, where, when and how they want it; and connecting advertisers with a broad, engaged audience wherever they are accessing these services.

According to Tony Faure, ninemsn CEO, Whirlpool represents the changing face of media and technology in Australia. “More and more consumers are turning to sites such as Whirlpool for up to date information, research and discussion. Whirlpool will provide us access to a diverse and technologically aware user base, and allow us in turn to provide our clients with an innovative and cutting-edge marketing solution.”

“We've recognised the expertise of the Whirlpool team in nurturing the largest discussion forum in Australia. Certainly though there are new opportunities to combine Whirlpool with the strength and depth of the ninemsn brands and services. We intend to position the site towards a more mainstream audience, while retaining many of the technical aspects for which it is currently renowned.”

“There are also opportunities for synergy between Whirlpool and Windows Live Spaces. Both sites let you stay in contact with your friends, explore and discover new people, or share with your friends and family. Spaces also has a powerful user profile system with themes, layouts and colors. Whirlpool will really benefit as we integrate the ninemsn user experience into the site.”

Simon Wright, founder of Whirlpool, said “Whirlpool has gone further than I ever imagined. It’s been great to see it become what it is today — the premier resource on broadband and technology-based discussion in Australia. Now, as it moves into its next phase, I’m looking forward to seeing ninemsn apply their proven track record to the Whirlpool concept.”

Preview“Both teams are excited by the opportunities to combine their resources on new projects in technology and broadband content.”

Also unveiled today was a new design for the Whirlpool website. The design, scheduled to be implemented in the coming weeks, brings the site into line with other ninemsn network sites, and includes a new colour scheme and advertising positions.

Financial terms for the acquisition were not discussed.

About ninemsn
ninemsn is Australia's number-one interactive media company. Over 8.6 million people visit ninemsn each month, representing 73 per cent of active Australian Internet users. Formed in 1997, ninemsn is a 50:50 joint venture between the Microsoft Corporation and PBL.

Were there any other April Fool's jokes that we missed? Tell us about them in comments.