April Fool's Day Predictions

Fake News written by James Baughn on Wednesday, March 31, 1999

from the al-gore-invented-april-fools-day dept.

April 1st is only hours away. What kinds of pranks will webmasters pull on their unsuspecting visitors tommorrow? What tomfoolery will Taco Boy inflict on countless Slashdot junkies? Will some website be acquired by Microsoft? Is the Segfault/UserFriendly/BeDope litigation a hoax?

We have the answers. Well, maybe not answers. But we do have some predictions. Okay, fine. We don't have a clue. We've compiled some wild, unscientific guesses about what may happen tommorrow. Maybe we'll get lucky.

  • Slashdot - Last year CmdrTaco customized Slashdot for optimum viewing on 35 inch monitors. What prank can we expect in the coming hours? One word: Crashdot. CmdrTaco will replace the entire site with a bogus error message page: "Server Too Busy Due to Meta-Slashdot Effect". Of course, such an error will entice Dotheads everywhere to reload the page every 0.0001 seconds to see if they can access the site. Therefore, Slashdot really will fall to the dreaded "Meta-Slashdot Effect".

  • GNU Project - Richard M. Stallman shocks the free software community by announcing that the GPL is booby-trapped. "A provision, in fine print just barely larger than an atom, in the GPL states that I, RMS, own all rights to any GPL-covered license after April 1, 1999. My moral crusade all these years has been a lark. I now own Linux, and the GNU C compiler, and Emacs, and every other software project that bears the GPL license. I have now achieved World Domination. Suckers!"

  • Linux - An easter egg buried deep within the Linux kernel source code by Linus Torvalds will activate on April Fool's Day. When booting the system, the usual parade of boot messages will be replaced by the Windows 98 splash screen. The system will return to normal -- for awhile. However, at regular intervals during the day, the system will behave like Windows. The Blue Screen of Death will occasionally appear. Sometimes the system will grind to a halt for several minutes, and then the error "Out of system resources" will appear. In addition, at random times a pop-up message will ask, "Have you registered your copy of Microsoft Linux yet?"

  • TMC Litigation - The Mystery Company's (TMC) threats against Segfault, User Friendly, and BeDope will be exposed as a hoax. However, on April 2nd, it will be revealed that the news that the pending litigation is a hoax, will turn out to be a hoax itself! It will be a meta-April Fool's joke! TMC's lawyers really are out for blood, but the webmasters of the three sites will mistakenly breathe a sigh of relief tommorrow -- that is, until they receive a court summons on April 6th.

  • Humorix - No comment.

  • Red Hat - Red Hat will announce a major company reorganization, a la Microsoft. In a surprising press release, Red Hat will describe their company's reorganization into three departments: Portal Website Development, Investor Relations, and Linux Development. The Linux Development branch, making up 5% of the company, will focus on improving, marketing, and selling the Red Hat Linux distro. The Portal Development branch, comprising 45% of the company, will focus solely on improving the Red Hat portal website and selling advertising space. The Investor Relations branch will handle all of the money being invested into Red Hat by other companies (Intel, SAP, Netscape, etc.)

    As can be expected, the Portal and Investment departments are expected to be the most lucrative. "In the past, we've made the mistake of thinking that money can be from selling free software," the press release will boldly state. "The real money comes from maintaining portals and suckering investors and venture capitalists into giving you boatloads of cash."

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