HumorWorld Expo

Fake News written by James Baughn on Monday, March 1, 1999

from the san-jose-is-too-far-away dept.

ANNA, ILLINOIS -- Bob's Budget Motel and Convention Room is gearing up for the First Annual HumorWorld Conference and Expo, to be held March 2nd and 3rd. The expo will showcase several new products and services aimed towards the exploding online humor market. The Humorix staff is participating in the event by manning a booth and conducting small workshops.

Noah Morals, official Humorix lawyer, will be conducting a workshop entitled "How to Write Funny License Agreements". Jon Splatz is slated to give a presentation about how to add new life to a struggling humor publication by introducing a recurring, fictional character. James Baughn will be manning the small Humorix booth, where he will be giving out free "If it wasn't for Microsoft, we'd all be out of business" T-shirts.

Richard M. Stallman had been slated to give the keynote speech, "Why Humor Should Be Free", but he will instead be speaking at some small, insignificant conference in San Jose, CA. In his place, a founding member of the Free Content Foundation and the GNUmor Project will be giving a speech about the evils of proprietary humor. He will be advocating that writers adopt the new GNUmor General OpenHumor License.

A new venture, HumorCare, will unveil its services at the expo. Starting in April, HumorCare will provide support for budding comedians and humorists. Using a per-incident pay schedule, HumorCare will provide brainstorming and story ideas for humorists suffering writers' block. The company will also provide technical support for grammar and spelling issues, among other things.

Corel is scheduled to unveil a new port of its WordPerfect Office suite to the burgeoning humor market. Dubbed Corel HumorOffice, the software suite will provide writing and publishing tools designed specifically for the needs of humorists. Some of the new features in HumorPerfect, the word processing component of HumorOffice, include:

  • What If? Analysis - Allows the humorist to interactively parody an existing work by changing the setting and characters. For instance, "Bill Clinton" could be changed to "Bill Gates", allowing the writer to create a humorous statement like, "Bill Gates said to the court, 'I did not have anti-competitive relations with that company, Netscape.'"

  • AutoTemplates - A selection of pre-made, commonly used, templates for jokes and articles. For example, the user can enter "Slashdot" and select the "Microsoft Acquires..." template, and the program will automatically generate a funny fake news article titled "Microsoft Acquires Slashdot; Rob Malda Inducted into Re-Education Program". Other templates include "Microsoft Announces...", "Microsoft Sues...", "New Linux Distro Released...", "Richard Stallman's Latest Proclamation...", "Latest News from LinuxWorld Expo...", and more.

  • Barry-O-Matic - A built-in macro that makes the current document sound like a Dave Barry column. Phrases such as "I am not making this up", "Alert reader [fake name] sent in this disturbing article about [some bodily function] out of the [small town newspaper with silly name]...", "I was invited to be the grand marshal of a parade honoring [bodily function] in [some fictional town in the Midwest], and "Ask Mr. Language Person..." will be added randomly to the document.

Free "personal evaluation" copies of HumorPerfect will be handed out to attendees at the Corel booth. Attendees will also be able to register to win a copy of the new CorelCARTOON! program, a port of CorelDRAW! enhanced for cartoonists.

The HumorWorld Expo is open to the public. The conference runs from 10AM to 6PM on Tuesday and Wednesday, with the keynote speech at 2PM on Tuesday. The Humorix booth is positioned inside a small room that says "Maintenance Closet"; you can't miss it.

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