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April Fools Wrap Up 381

Thanks for the usual April Fools Day flame- every year people fall for it. It never ceases to amaze me how angry and venomous, yet utterly clueless a few people can be despite the blatant obviousness of the joke. Lastly, jfengel sent us the annual April Fools RFC: RFC3251 describes "Electricity over IP" and RFC3252 on "Binary Lexical Octet Ad-hoc Transport" reformulates IP to work over XML."
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April Fools Wrap Up

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  • In summary (Score:5, Funny)

    by sllort ( 442574 ) on Monday April 01, 2002 @08:01PM (#3268110) Homepage Journal
    S:Dear CmdrTaco, I was wondering if you could
    T:What's the best High Tech Toilet?
    S:AAAaaaahhh That hurt, please stop! I was just wondering if
    T:Do programming languages affect your Sexual Performance?
    S:AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGHH! Did I do something wrong? I jus
    T:IP replaced Avian Carriers! It's funny, get it!
    S:AAHCGH gurgle, moan. Pleash, stop the pain, I can
    T:AOL is buying up useless Blog sites! I'm important! Get it?
    S:AAAAAAGH! No more! Kill me now, someone, please kill m
    T:Google is ranking with pigeons! Get it? Pigeons?
    S:AGAHAGHAGHAGAHGa gurgle. whimper. AHGHH I'll give you anything. I'll stop plea
    T:Slashdot's advertisers have demanded that we run stupid stories!
    S:Ok! Ok! You fiend, I'll never troll again, please, you can have whateve
    T:Mac OsX is l33t!
    S:AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIEEEGGGH! No! No! Please just break my knees! Please, no don't..
    T:Check out this Debian Rootkit!
    T:Yo, Hemos, did we kill all of 'em?
    H:Ya, but better post a few more to make sure.
    T:nVidia and AMD are gonna merge! Get it? MERGE.
    Cowboy Neal: I feel a great disturbance in the force, as if thousands of Slashdot posters
    just comitted suicide. Get it? The Force?

    • Get a life! At least Taco and Co. are trying to do interesting stuff. All you guys every talk about is how bad Slashdot is. Boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, BORING!!!!!!
    • I must say that being subjected to a day of mostly poor and incredibly obvious /. jokes has been significantly worse than listening to a days worth of Vogon poetry!

      Thank the diety-of-your-choice that it is coming to and end!

    • I know I kept coming back to check for the next post. I laughed my ass off more than a few times at both the stories and the posts. A number of the post didn't move me to laugh but its hard to knock `em all out of the park. All in all I liked it and hope it becomes a sucessful tradition.
    • Re:In summary (Score:2, Informative)

      by shaji ( 32462 )
      How about having a slashdot poll for the best joke, I guess the award should go to Qt-Console [], at least it got some people compile and run it ..
    • Angry and clueless? OK, now that I know what CmdrTaco thinks of me, I won't post anymore. This just goes to show how ignorant [] some web site operators can be. (Read the linked editorial. As a media organization, Slashdot undermines the trust it has worked to build.)

      (My take on /. today: it is idiocy to place fake stories. They don't fool, at least not me, and they don't amuse. They just annoy and get in the way. Then CmdrTaco insulting his users, well, that takes the cake!)
  • So... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Burgundy Advocate ( 313960 ) on Monday April 01, 2002 @08:01PM (#3268111) Homepage
    ...ya wanna turn on anonymous posting again?
  • First Post! (Score:2, Funny)

    by bc90021 ( 43730 )
    Or is it the last first post?
  • Wait... (Score:5, Funny)

    by gabec ( 538140 ) on Monday April 01, 2002 @08:01PM (#3268117)
    Does this mean Wil Wheaton won't be in Enterprise?? Damn!
  • by Emugamer ( 143719 ) on Monday April 01, 2002 @08:02PM (#3268119) Homepage Journal
    or is this some April Fools day joke?

    *runs away in dispair*
  • by Joe U ( 443617 ) on Monday April 01, 2002 @08:03PM (#3268122) Homepage Journal
    The picture speaks for itself. []
    (CmdrTaco seen far right.)
  • get a clue.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GoNINzo ( 32266 ) <> on Monday April 01, 2002 @08:03PM (#3268123) Journal
    The majority of the flaming during the day wasn't just for the 'slashdot' april fools post. It was because you posted so goddamn many april fools jokes in a row that it was annoying as hell. Yeah, that's great, the occational one is nice. maybe a 'wrap up' like a quickies or something. but not EVERY DAMN POST. Your marketing change, that was okay, and if you hadn't done any other april fools day posts, it might have truely fooled some more effectively. as it was, it was just dumb.
    • by Peyna ( 14792 ) on Monday April 01, 2002 @08:08PM (#3268151) Homepage
      You missed the point. They do it to annoy the hell out of all of you. They get to post a bunch of crap, which is so obviously not true that you all will flame it and whine and complain like little babies, which, will make it all the more likely to happen in the future. It might have been dumb to you, but I'm sure they were all laughing their asses off at you.
    • Re:get a clue.... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by jcenters ( 570494 )
      Yeah, but what would have happened if the "slashadvertisments" was the only fake story? Everyone would have been freaking out.

      While the whole thing was a waste of time and resources, it helped to insure that real stories weren't confused with AFs.

      And besides, its a bit of Monty-Pythonish humorous irritation. :-)

    • Re:get a clue.... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Foehg ( 48006 )

      I'm getting pretty sick of a lot of these complaints. Everybody still thinking about complaining, or even modding up a complainer-- Stand up for a second, step away from the keyboard, and ask yourself if this isn't going to be humonguously redundant-- more so than beatings with bad april-fool jokes. Then (still standing up) carefully step outside, (outside? you know, the "blue room" with a zillion polygons and rockin antialiasing?) and get (for one small day) a life of some sort. Seriously. Stop complaining about slashdot, and do something else for just a little while. If you think you're going to miss something, you can come back in a week and check it. But there's really no point in just complaining that you miss your usual tech&linux news fare. Because slashdot really turns into a different sort of place on april 1.

      Well, maybe not THAT different :-)
    • Calm down a little.. you might have noticed that nearly all the jokes posted today were just references to other april fool's jokes on the net... this only happens once a year. To paraphrase slashdot itself, "It's funny. Laugh."
  • by donutello ( 88309 ) on Monday April 01, 2002 @08:03PM (#3268127) Homepage
    Otherwise all of CmdrTaco's stories would be at -1 after today from his karma being beaten to the ground for all the troll stories that were posted today.

    Interestingly, I noticed one story (about the retiring carrier pigeons) that was a true story posted today. Any others?
  • by Lendrick ( 314723 ) on Monday April 01, 2002 @08:04PM (#3268129) Homepage Journal
    ...does this mean that you'll retract the Wheateon story if it turns out he's telling the truth?
  • by Malc ( 1751 ) on Monday April 01, 2002 @08:06PM (#3268143)
    "Thanks for the usual April Fools Day flame- every year people fall for it. It never ceases to amaze me how angry and venomous, yet utterly clueless a few people can be despite the blatant obviousness of the joke."

    They were repetive, unimaginative and unfunny. The best jokes are subtle - making it blatantly obvious makes it extremely unfunny. That is why you were flamed.

    The BBC documentary way back in B&W TV days about spaghetti growing on trees is/was funny because it was original and completely unexpected. Unlike anything seen on /. today. Somebody needs a lesson in humour. It won't be from me either because today's beating of a dead horse has bored me to tears.
    • but not so bored that you couldn't stop reading them? or post about them?
      "They were repetive, unimaginative and unfunny. "
      to you.
    • They were repetive, unimaginative and unfunny. The best jokes are subtle - making it blatantly obvious makes it extremely unfunny. That is why you were flamed.

      And with the exception of the Slashdot advertising changes, they were all from other sites.

      And with that one, even despite the blatantly obvious, some people still fell for it hook, line, and sinker. Although I didn't laugh at any of the posts, I did have some fun at the expense of the people who were fooled.
    • by kzinti ( 9651 ) on Monday April 01, 2002 @08:37PM (#3268274) Homepage Journal
      They were repetive, unimaginative and unfunny. The best jokes are subtle - making it blatantly obvious makes it extremely unfunny.

      Good points. Ever read the old Games magazine? Every issue had one fake ad buried in amongst the genuine adverts. That's another element of a good fake: you bury it in among the genuine articles. In that context it has a much better chance to fool people - and to amuse those who are alert enough to get it.

      The RISKS Digest is now publishing an entire issue devoted to this April phenomenon, and has for several years. But it was much funnier back when Mr. Neuman published just one fake item in the issue.

      But the blatantly obvious can be funny. Spaghetty growing on trees is pretty bleeding obvious, but it's still funny. Like the foolishness over at Freshmeat today: the new color scheme "inspired" by the X-Box. Obvious, but still funny.

      • by kaisyain ( 15013 )
        This was the 50s. No one ate pasta at the time. It would be like me telling your average American that rambutans grow in the ground like carrots or potatoes. It is only obvious in retrospect because in the 70s pasta was the nouveau cuisine and has now become a deeply entrenched part of our culture.

  • 1. Conventions used in this document

    The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "DO", "DON'T", "REQUIRED", "SHALL",
    and "OPTIONAL" in this document do not mean anything.
    replace this document with this editor and add a few 1000 more words and that pretty much sums it up :) Sorry Taco not usually a troller but you bring out the best in me
  • by MrP- ( 45616 ) <> on Monday April 01, 2002 @08:07PM (#3268149)
    I bet this story itself is an april fools joke, and he's still going to post more! I'm scared and confused :(
  • He's Sober (Score:2, Funny)

    by Daveman692 ( 558544 )
    Finally CmdrTaco has stopped drinking today.
  • by Masem ( 1171 ) on Monday April 01, 2002 @08:08PM (#3268153)
    Scroll back to 1995, or the like. Good April's Fool jokes on the net were subtly masked along with real news or announcements, such as the IP over Avain RFC. The idea is that as you read through the group, you'd see real posts, and then a post that seems odd, weird, or out of place; at that point, you'd have people falling for it and otherwise responding negatively towards it until you give the user a subtle hint to check the date.

    Today, every story you posted was fake. There was no subtly. In addition, there was little originality; most of what's posted has been done already in one form or another. One subtle 4-1 joke, such as the advertized story of the day at /. , would have been good. Having a Slashback with a summary of 4-1 jokes around the web including the Google one and the Debian one would have been a nice evening wrapup. But having every single story for a 24hr period as fake is not funny, particularly *if* certain real stories happened today (I didn't see any, so consider yourself lucky).

    Next time, take it easy. Make it subtle and find something that you *know* will get a humor-filled response by those that don't read the story, and you'll get much fewer flames and many more smiles.

  • it never ceases to amaze me how angry and venomous, yet utterly clueless a few people can be despite the blatant obviousness of the joke.

    Uhhh, hate to break it to you, but none of the "jokes" seemed to actually work this year. I mean, most people catch them each April 1, but this years' were even less successful than usual.
  • by Wakko Warner ( 324 ) on Monday April 01, 2002 @08:12PM (#3268172) Homepage Journal
    The key thing you forget is that a joke needs to be funny. What was funny about disabling AC posts (something slashdot has defended vehemently in the past was basically thrown in the garbage today.) What's so funny about turning a service that people now pay for into a day-long shitfest of fake, dubiously humorous stories? A few here and there peppered throughout the day is one thing, but it was a nonstop barrage of crap today. So, yes, you got flamed for it. You deserved to.

    - A.P.
    • by ralian ( 127441 ) on Monday April 01, 2002 @08:17PM (#3268198) Homepage
      Hrm. I personally really liked the time they posted the stories in all sorts of Dialectizer-ed dialects. Although the best would be to redirect to Suckdot []. :)
    • by sllort ( 442574 )
      In Taco's defense (OMG!) I have to admit that the story about their advertisers removing AC posting, and actually removing AC posting, was funny. It WAS funny. It was funny because it was outrageous but people still bought it.

      Now if they'd just made that the only tip-off of the day, it would have been a good practical joke. Instead, they beat us over the head with the unfunny bat till our skulls bled.

      Oh well.

  • It was great... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by baptiste ( 256004 ) <> on Monday April 01, 2002 @08:13PM (#3268176) Homepage Journal
    Let me counter all the whiners by saying I enjoyed this Slashdot April Fools just like I have in the past. It was great for a good laugh and as it does everyday, /. brought together many of the cool pranks across the Internet that I'd have never seen.

    So Taco et all, keep up the great job!

    • While just about everything on /. was a little too obvious for my April Fools tastes (I like to be actually fooled), I'm amazed just how much blowback I've seen all over various sites regarding the jokes this year (moreso than in past years). Maybe it's because people are using the net more and more as a primary newssource that they have less tolerance for this stuff.

      I do have to say, though, that fake April Fools stories are much more effective in print than online, just because folks implicitly trust it more.
    • Likewise -- I didn't realise most (if not all) the day's stories were April-Fools until the 3rd or 4th one, but somehow that made it get funnier every time I'd check back and find a fresh one!!

      As to the people it upset -- Chill, guys. Sometimes it's more fun to just go with the flow, rather than getting your knickers in a twist because it wasn't what you expected.

  • by tuxlove ( 316502 ) on Monday April 01, 2002 @08:16PM (#3268192)
    ...the fake stories weren't too far from the usual sort of stuff you see here on a daily basis.
  • by hyacinthus ( 225989 ) on Monday April 01, 2002 @08:21PM (#3268210) wondering whether what the news was that was _not_ getting reported on Slashdot because its powers that be were busy running one joke story after another. I read Slashdot for many reasons--wasting time is probably the chief reason, but another reason is that I'm genuinely curious to know what important events are going down in the high-tech world, and what people think about them. I was hoping, for example, that there'd be an item about the HP-Compaq merger and HP's decision to kick Walter Hewlett off the board, but no--I guess reporting fake stories about Linus Torvalds quitting and Google using pigeons to rank their pages was more important. Hey, I've got an idea--instead of wasting everyone's time, why not post an item linking to several of these gag stories (you know, like a Slashback post) and then get on with the real news. The world doesn't grind to a stop because it's the first of April.

    • ... the news is still going to be around on April 2nd. Don't be a victim to "now" culture. Cultivate some patience.
      • This is a valid point, and one that occurred to me after I wrote what I did. I guess I'm just as much a victim as many people of the urgency of the Internet--the Internet is there to gratify the _immediate_ desire to satisfy one's curiosities (about current events or anything else) and when I don't get the instant gratification, I get annoyed. You're absolutely right in that it doesn't particularly matter whether I learn about HP today, tomorrow, next week, or never.

    • I agree wholeheartedly with this poster.

      In the past Slashdot has managed to mix the jokes with real stories. But it seems that as Linux becomes important, it seems to have been declared completely irrelevant one day per year.

      The thing that pisses us off isn't (just) the remarkably lame stories, it's the deliberate decision to suppress all other stories.

      But life doesn't play by our rules, and some news is too important to ignore.

      As a horrific example, imagine some stalker killed Bill Gates today. Or Sen. Disney (Fritz Holling) died in plane crash. It could happen, and the universe is perverse enough to make it happen on April 1st. This would certainly be newsworthy enough to warrant breaking the "jokes only" rules, yet imagine the inevitable response as many posters mistook this news as a joke.

      In fact, I'm not absolutely sure some of these "jokes" were intended as such. The Debian rootkit, in particular, is a reference to a very real problem that both Red Hat and Debian developers have been struggling with for some time - how do you protect users from compromized binary packages? Get a compromized core package on the Debian or RedHat website and the automated installers will install that rootkit on a *lot* of systems. If this doesn't keep you awake at night, you don't understand the problem.

      Yet now most people will be unable to see any discussion of this issue without thinking of the April Fools submission.
  • by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Monday April 01, 2002 @08:21PM (#3268211) Homepage Journal
    My favorite April Fool's media prank occurred back in 1988. NPR solemnly announced that the Reagan administration had found a very creative way to balance the federal budget: Arizona had been sold to Canada.

    Not just a brief item either. They did a whole half-hour segment on the "news", including interviews with Reagan administration staffers (not actors or impressionists, real staffers who were in on the joke) and with "acting provincial Governor-General" Bruce Babbitt. Really over the top stuff. I've always wondered why it never raised more of a fuss than it did.

    • A few years ago NPR (I don't actually think it was on 1-April though) did an interview with Spinal Tap. They played it completely straight. The interview was funny, but what was really funny was the comments from the listeners the following week! I d*mn near cried, I was laughing so hard. And they still didn't let on that it was a joke.

  • 3251 (Score:3, Informative)

    by Foehg ( 48006 ) on Monday April 01, 2002 @08:27PM (#3268231)
    Slashdot effect hits hard.
    Fetch hits harder :-)

    Electricity over IP

    Status of this Memo

    This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does
    not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of this
    memo is unlimited.

    Copyright Notice

    Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2002). All Rights Reserved.


    Mostly Pointless Lamp Switching (MPLampS) is an architecture for
    carrying electricity over IP (with an MPLS control plane). According
    to our marketing department, MPLampS has the potential to
    dramatically lower the price, ease the distribution and usage, and
    improve the manageability of delivering electricity. This document
    is motivated by such work as SONET/SDH over IP/MPLS (with apologies
    to the authors). Readers of the previous work have been observed
    scratching their heads and muttering, "What next?". This document
    answers that question.

    This document has also been written as a public service. The "Sub-
    IP" area has been formed to give equal opportunity to those working
    on technologies outside of traditional IP networking to write
    complicated IETF documents. There are possibly many who are
    wondering how to exploit this opportunity and attain high visibility.
    Towards this goal, we see the topics of "foo-over-MPLS" (or MPLS
    control for random technologies) as highly amenable for producing a
    countless number of unimplementable documents. This document
    illustrates the key ingredients that go into producing any "foo-
    over-MPLS" document and may be used as a template for all such work.

    1. Conventions used in this document

    The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "DO", "DON'T", "REQUIRED", "SHALL",
    and "OPTIONAL" in this document do not mean anything.

    Rajagopalan Informational [Page 1]

    RFC 3251 Electricity over IP 1 April 2002

    2. Pre-requisite for reading this document

    While reading this document, at various points the readers may have
    the urge to ask questions like, "does this make sense?", "is this
    feasible?," and "is the author sane?". The readers must have the
    ability to suppress such questions and read on. Other than this, no
    specific technical background is required to read this document. In
    certain cases (present document included), it may be REQUIRED that
    readers have no specific technical background.

    3. Introduction

    It was recently brought to our attention that the distribution
    network for electricity is not an IP network! After absorbing the
    shock that was delivered by this news, the following thoughts
    occurred to us:

    1. Electricity distribution must be based on some outdated technology
    (called "Legacy Distribution System" or LDS in the rest of the
    2. An LDS not based on the Internet technology means that two
    different networks (electricity and IP) must be administered and
    managed. This leads to inefficiencies, higher cost and
    bureaucratic foul-ups (which possibly lead to blackouts in
    California. We are in the process of verifying this using
    simulations as part of a student's MS thesis).
    3. The above means that a single network technology (i.e., IP) must
    be used to carry both electricity and Internet traffic.
    4. An internet draft must be written to start work in this area,
    before someone else does.
    5. Such a draft can be used to generate further drafts, ensuring that
    we (and CCAMP, MPLS or another responsible working group) will be
    busy for another year.
    6. The draft can also be posted in the "white papers" section of our
    company web page, proclaiming us as revolutionary pioneers.

    Hence the present document.

    4. Terminology

    MPLampS: Mostly Pointless Lamp Switching - the architecture
    introduced in this document.

    Lamp: An end-system in the MPLampS architecture (clashes with the
    IETF notion of end-system but of course, we DON'T care).

    LER: Low-voltage Electricity Receptor - fancy name for "Lamp".

    Rajagopalan Informational [Page 2]

    RFC 3251 Electricity over IP 1 April 2002

    ES: Electricity source - a generator.

    LSR: Load-Switching Router - an MPLampS device used in the core
    electricity distribution network.

    LDS: Legacy Distribution System - an inferior electricity
    distribution technology that MPLampS intends to replace.

    RSVP: Rather Screwed-up, but router Vendors Push it - an IP signaling

    RSVP-TE: RSVP with Tariff Extensions - RSVP adaptation for MPLampS,
    to be used in the new deregulated utilities environment.

    CRLDP: for CRying out Loud, Don't do rsvP - another IP signaling

    OSPF: Often Seizes-up in multiPle area conFigurations - a
    hierarchical IP routing protocol.

    ISIS: It's not oSpf, yet It somehow Survives - another routing

    OSPF-TE, ISIS-TE: OSPF and ISIS with Tariff Extensions.

    COPS: Policemen. Folks who scour all places for possibilities to
    slip in the Common Open Policy Service protocol.

    VPN: Voltage Protected Network - allows a customer with multiple
    sites to receive electricity with negligible voltage fluctuation due
    to interference from other customers.

    SUB-IP: SUBstitute IP everywhere - an effort in the IETF to get
    involved in technical areas outside of traditional IP networking
    (such as MPLampS).

    ITU: International Tariffed Utilities association - a utilities trade
    group whose work is often ignored by the IETF.

    5. Background

    We dug into the electricity distribution technology area to get some
    background. What we found stunned us, say, with the potency of a
    bare 230V A/C lead dropped into our bathtub while we were still in
    it. To put it simply, electricity is generated and distributed along
    a vast LDS which does not have a single router in it (LSR or
    otherwise)! Furthermore, the control of devices in this network is
    mostly manual, done by folks driving around in trucks. After

    Rajagopalan Informational [Page 3]

    RFC 3251 Electricity over IP 1 April 2002

    wondering momentarily about how such a network can exist in the 21st
    century, we took a pencil and paper and sketched out a scenario for
    integrating the LDS network with the proven Internet technology. The
    fundamental points we came up with are:

    1. IP packets carry electricity in discrete, digitized form.
    2. Each packet would deliver electricity to its destination (e.g., a
    device with an IP address) on-demand.
    3. MPLS control will be used to switch packets within the core LDS,
    and in the edge premises. The architecture for this is referred
    to as Mostly-Pointless Lamp Switching (MPLampS).
    4. The MPLampS architectural model will accommodate both the overlay
    model, where the electricity consuming devices (referred to as
    "lamps") are operated over a distinct control plane, and the peer
    model, in which the lamps and the distribution network use a
    single control plane.
    5. RSVP-TE (RSVP with Tariff Extensions) will be used for
    establishing paths for electricity flow in a de-regulated
    6. COPS will be used to support accounting and policy.

    After jotting these points down, we felt better. We then noted the
    following immediate advantages of the proposed scheme:

    1. Switches and transformers in the LDS can be replaced by LSRs,
    thereby opening up a new market for routers.
    2. Electricity can be routed over the Internet to reach remote places
    which presently do not have electricity connections but have only
    Internet kiosks (e.g., rural India).
    3. Electrical technicians can be replaced by highly paid IP network
    administrators, and
    4. The IETF can get involved in another unrelated technology area.

    In the following, we describe the technical issues in a vague manner.

    6. Electricity Encoding

    The Discrete Voltage Encoding (DVE) scheme has been specified in ITU
    standard G.110/230V [2] to digitize electrical voltages. In essence,
    an Electricity Source (ES) such as a generator is connected to a DV
    encoder that encodes the voltage and current, and produces a bit
    stream. This bit stream can be carried in IP packets to various
    destinations (referred to as LERs - Low-voltage Electricity
    Receptors) on-demand. At the destination, a DV decoder produces the
    right voltage and current based on the received bit stream. It is to
    be determined whether the Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP) can be

    Rajagopalan Informational [Page 4]

    RFC 3251 Electricity over IP 1 April 2002

    used for achieving synchronization and end-to-end control. We leave
    draft writing opportunities in the RTP area to our friends and

    7. MPLampS Architecture

    7.1 Overview

    In an LDS, the long-haul transmission of electricity is at high
    voltages. The voltage is stepped down progressively as electricity
    flows into local distribution networks and is finally delivered to
    LERs at a standard voltage (e.g., 110V). Thus, the LDS is a
    hierarchical network. This immediately opens up the possibility of
    OSPF and ISIS extensions for routing electricity in a transmission
    network, but we'll contain the urge to delve into these productive
    internet draft areas until later. For the present, we limit our
    discussion merely to controlling the flow of electricity in an IP-
    based distribution network using MPLampS.

    Under MPLampS, a voltage is equated to a label. In the distribution
    network, each switching element and transformer is viewed as a load-
    switching router (LSR). Each IP packet carrying an electricity flow
    is assigned a label corresponding to the voltage. Electricity
    distribution can then be trivially reduced to the task of label
    (voltage) switching as electricity flows through the distribution
    network. The configuration of switching elements in the distribution
    network is done through RSVP-TE to provide electricity on demand.

    We admit that the above description is vague and sounds crazy. The
    example below tries to add more (useless) details, without removing
    any doubts the reader might have about the feasibility of this

    Example: Turning on a Lamp

    It is assumed that the lamp is controlled by an intelligent device
    (e.g, a (light) switch with an MPLampS control plane). Turning the
    lamp on causes the switch to issue an RSVP-TE request (a PATH message
    with new objects) for the electricity flow. This PATH message
    traverses across the network to the ES. The RESV message issued in
    return sets up the label mappings in LSRs. Finally, electricity
    starts flowing along the path established. It is expected that the
    entire process will be completed within a few seconds, thereby giving
    the MPLampS architecture a distinct advantage over lighting a candle
    with a damp match stick.

    Rajagopalan Informational [Page 5]

    RFC 3251 Electricity over IP 1 April 2002

    7.2 Overlay vs Peer Models

    As noted before, there are two control plane models to be considered.
    Under the overlay model, the lamps and the distribution network
    utilize distinct control planes. Under the peer model, a single
    control plane is used. A number of arguments can be made for one
    model versus the other, and these will be covered in the upcoming
    framework document. We merely observe here that it is the lamp
    vendors who prefer the peer model against the better judgement of the
    LSR vendors. We, however, want to please both camps regardless of
    the usefulness of either model. We therefore note here that MPLampS
    supports both models and also migration scenarios from overlay to

    7.3 Routing in the Core Network

    The above description of the hierarchical distribution system
    immediately opens up the possibility of applying OSPF and ISIS with
    suitable extensions. The readers may rest assured that we are
    already working on such concepts as voltage bundling, multi-area
    tariff extensions, insulated LSAs, etc. Future documents will
    describe the details.

    7.4 Voltage Protected Networks (VPNs)

    VPNs allow a customer with multiple sites to get guaranteed
    electricity supply with negligible voltage fluctuations due to
    interference from other customers. Indeed, some may argue that the
    entire MPLampS architecture may be trashed if not for the possibility
    of doing VPNs. Whatever be the case, VPNs are a hot topic today and
    the readers are forewarned that we have every intention of writing
    several documents on this. Specifically, BGP-support for VPNs is an
    area we're presently eyeing with interest.

    8. Multicast

    It has been observed that there is a strong spatial and temporal
    locality in electricity demand. ITU Study Group 55 has studied this
    phenomenon for over a decade and has issued a preliminary report.
    This report states that when a lamp is turned on in one house, it is
    usually the case that lamps are turned on in neighboring houses at
    around the same time (usually at dusk) [3]. This observation has a
    serious implication on the scalability of the signaling mechanism.
    Specifically, the distribution network must be able to handle tens of
    thousands of requests all at once. The signaling load can be reduced
    if multicast delivery is used. Briefly, a request for electricity is
    not sent from the lamp all the way to an ES, but is handled by the
    first LSR that is already in the path to another lamp.

    Rajagopalan Informational [Page 6]

    RFC 3251 Electricity over IP 1 April 2002

    Support for this requires the application of multicast routing
    protocols together with RSVP-TE shared reservation styles and the
    development of MPLampS multicast forwarding mode. We are currently
    studying the following multicast routing protocol:

    o DVMRP: Discrete Voltage Multicast Routing Protocol - this protocol
    works over existing voltage routing protocols but the danger here is
    that electricity is delivered to all lamps when any one lamp is
    turned on. Indeed, the switching semantics gets annoying - all lamps
    get turned on periodically and those not needed must be switched off
    each time manually.

    Other protocols we will eventually consider are Current-Based Tree
    (CBT) and Practically Irrelevant Multicast (PIM). An issue we are
    greatly interested in is multicast scope: we would like support for
    distributing electricity with varying scope, from lamps within a
    single Christmas tree to those in entire cities. Needless to say, we
    will write many detailed documents on these topics as time

    9. Security Considerations

    This document MUST be secured in a locked cabinet to prevent it from
    being disposed off with the trash.

    10. Summary

    This document described the motivation and high level concepts behind
    Mostly Pointless Lamp Switching (MPLampS), an architecture for
    electricity distribution over IP. MPLampS utilizes DVE (discrete
    voltage encoding), and an MPLS control plane in the distribution
    network. Since the aim of this document is to be a high-visibility
    place-holder, we did not get into many details of MPLampS. Numerous
    future documents, unfortunately, will attempt to provide these
  • by Seth Finkelstein ( 90154 ) on Monday April 01, 2002 @08:28PM (#3268238) Homepage Journal
    I wrote the following piece for today, which at least I thought was funny. It's currently bouncing around the story queue in Kuro5hin [], but it doesn't look like it'll get to post.

    Given What Happened To The Censorware Project ( [], I don't think submitting it to Slashdot as an article is even worth the e-mail.

    I'll post it here just for reader enjoyment. I think it's better than many of the stories which WERE posted!


    Spam "protection" - a modest proposal

    by Seth Finkelstein []
    April 1 2002

    The problem of Spam [], i.e. junk e-mail, has been plaguing the net for years. This article makes a modest proposal for spam "protection", in terms of a novel economic analysis leading to the benefit of all concerned.

    In economic terms, let's consider why there's profit in spamming (sending large numbers of unsolicited emails). This is due to the "cost-shifting" nature of the spam process. It takes very little effort to send a large number of e-mails. But e-mail is not free (as in beer). In effect, the spammer shifts the expense of the advertising campaign, from the seller, onto ISPs and users:

    1. The ISP must pay (in resources) to distribute the spammer's ads
    2. The user must pay (in time) to delete the spammer's ads
    So this is, literally, the price of free (as in speech) speech - the ISP and the user must bear the costs of the spammer's ads. Now, a frequent "technological solution" is that, once the ISP has paid to handle the spammer's mail, the user can avoid the further payment of time, by paying cash to another organization, which will perform the task of sorting out the spam. This approach is exemplified by services offered by, for example, Brightmail Inc. [] or SpamCop Email System []

    But what does this sorting organization do? Its only task is to try to identify spam from real mail. That is, it is paid to try to identify mail sent from spammers []. However, since it is in an adversary relationship to the spammers, the spam-gangs [] have every reason to try to avoid such identification.

    There have been some proposals [] to facilitate identification of spam by legally requiring labels. But that involves government and law. In fact, it's compelled speech! Instead, since the free market is the solution to all problems [], the only proper course of action is to provide spammers with an economic incentive to identify themselves. After all, spam identification is the exact product being sold by third parties, so why pay a middle-man? If one is going to pay, for maximum market efficiency, why not pay the source?

    In this scheme, the user pays a mailbox "protection fee" to an umbrella group, let's call it the "Spamafia". In return for this "protection", the "Spamafia" provides the user with a simple mailbox checking system which can be run over mail messages. Because this system works in a manner akin to passing items over a net barrier, it might be termed a "racket". So, the "racket" tests each piece of mail. Those mail messages which originate from members of the Spamafia each contain a certification token. In the process of testing the mail, this token is sent back to the Spamafia, and so redeemed to the individual spammer for a small fee, say a penny or so. In return, the user is given assurance that this message is certified as spam, and so can be automatically deleted without fear of losing legitimate mail. In essence, the spammer is given an incentive to also obtain a small amount of money from each smart user by being straightforward, rather than only trying to obtain a larger amount of money by fooling just a few suckers (and annoying everyone else).

    The beauty of the system is that everyone has an incentive to participate. The spammers get more money, as the spams can generate income now from both the suckers, and the nonsuckers paying mailbox protection fees. There's no reason to evade spam-detection, in fact the opposite. The more people signed up to the protection racket, the more certification tokens are redeemed. The smart users get to have a workable mailbox, rather than one filled with junk. And they have the "peace of mind" that the mail being deleted is not important. It's the magic of the market at work.

  • by pyramid termite ( 458232 ) on Monday April 01, 2002 @08:32PM (#3268251)
    The world's gotten so flakey these days, it's getting increasingly hard to tell the difference. Or to say much of anything except "so it goes". Let's face it, the digital protection legislation would have been an April Fools joke 3 years ago. You guys are getting too much competition from the real world.
  • Wrap up. (Score:2, Funny)

    by gnovos ( 447128 )
    You couldn't fool your mother on the foolingest day of your life if you had an electrified fooling machine!
  • Gullible (Score:2, Funny)

    by surfcow ( 169572 )
    ... every year people fall for it. It never ceases to amaze me how angry and venomous, yet utterly clueless a few people can be despite the blatant obviousness of the joke. Doesn't surprise me at all. But please don't describe them as "gullible", that's not even a real word. If you don't believe me, look it up. =brian
    • Hrmmm.... my Random House Collegiate These Aren't Really Words Dictionary says the following on page 587:

      gul-li-ble (gul'e bul) adj. easily deceived or cheated. Also, gul'la-ble.

      Come again partner.

  • Coming so soon on the heels of the controversial subscription policy, the Slashvertisement story was a really well done April Fools gag. It was built up to ahead of time, they disabled anonymous posting -- Good Lord, that was some funny shit! And the people who fell for it!

    Okay, maybe they could have gotten more mileage out of the Slashvertisements thing if they hadn't posted links to other AF gags, but on the whole, making all the stories part of April Fools while not commenting one way or another with smileys or "It's funny laugh" left the readers to decide whether any of it was real or not.

    Overall, I found this to be quite the amusing day, and a somewhat welcome relief from normal, day-to-day ... um ... stuff. :-)

    Way to go, guys!
  • by CMiYC ( 6473 ) on Monday April 01, 2002 @08:35PM (#3268262) Homepage
    Does anyone remember the first year all of the major geek-sites got together for a April Fool's joke? I barely remember what happened (AKA: This account maybe somewhat off from what really happened). I think Segfault annouced that Microsoft was bascially shutting them down through legal action. So Freshmeat (I think) and Slashdot played along. I couldn't believe it, because they pratically fooled everyone. They lead up to it over the course of a week or so. Quite funny and original.
  • Only one? (Score:3, Funny)

    by sharkey ( 16670 ) on Monday April 01, 2002 @08:38PM (#3268276)
    Thanks for the usual April Fools Day flame- every year people fall for it.

    Only one flame? Didn't you READ the comments atached to your stories?
  • by donutz ( 195717 ) on Monday April 01, 2002 @08:41PM (#3268285) Homepage Journal
    How is it that real news, the "Stuff that matters", as it were, seems to completely dry up on April 1? What real, interesting stories were eschewed to bring us all this "fun" April Fools entertainment? Where is the News?

    • The real news, I can tell you that:

      1) People are killing each other in the middle east
      2) People are killing each other in America
      3) Americans are killing people in Afghanstan
      4) Various groups are killing each other thorough Asia and Eastern Europe
      5) The chinese government has now made killing chinese-muslims part of its contribution to international war on terrorism.

      All in all, it's a pretty normal day on planet earth. Same thing has been happening more or less for the past 20,000 years.
  • by TrixX ( 187353 ) on Monday April 01, 2002 @09:15PM (#3268382) Homepage Journal

    After getting chocked up with /. nonsense and other similar stuff today, I decided to give up and use my computer for some playing. I wanted to play some oldie, so I reinstalled Master of Orion 2. A few turns into the game, I read into the turn summary:

    Citizens demand a stadium. (There is no stadium building in MOO2, so I was puzzled). And more cream of celery soup. I stared for a while at the screen, and then laughed.

    Still unsure if this was some 4/1 joke, I checked google and found a page saying that there's actually that easter egg in the game that shows that message.

    That was the only thing today that left me with the jaw open. I hope there are still some places where I will be off guard on next April Fools... Slashdot hasn't one of them for a long while.

  • Bye Slashdot (Score:2, Redundant)

    by NavelFozz ( 33778 )
    Well I've finally reached my limit. How many years of bad jokes have I put up with? Slashdot is turning too much like newsgroups there is just way too much noise to bother with anymore, and since slashdot doesn't have any porn like newsgroups I will not be visiting here anymore. Maybe just maybe if the editors were more professional, run spell check, check over their posts before posting it on the front page I wouldn't mind so much. I don't really think the ads have anything to do with me leaving. Slashdot has to make money some how. Heh. And I even have 5 mod points saved up. Oh well. See you all later, its been fun(well not really lately).
    • Good one! h0h0
    • No one cares. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by kannen ( 98813 )
      Quite frankly, I don't really understand why people think anyone will care if a few users leave, 'cause we won't. Yes, that's right, you will not be missed. We are not going to cry. We aren't going to beg you to stay. We aren't even going to try to explain the merits of the site, because, you know what - you don't get it and you won't get it.

      Let's be honest - this is a website for people that are wasting time - either by not studying, or by not working. It has semi-interesting articles, but it is most definitely not NPR, the Washington Post, or CNN. It's a geek site, run by a few guys who thought it would be a cool idea. I don't even understand why they stick around (CmdrTaco and Hemos) because quite frankly, I would think that they'd be tired of all the flames they get day in and day out. Do you get as attacked at your job as they do everyday?

      If you don't like the site - don't come to the site. If you don't like the site on AFD, don't come to the site on AFD. It's one day. (Ok, kindof two days, but there are now legit articles up, so I'm still going to count it as just one day.)

      And furthermore (as I stand a little straighter on my soap box) I don't understand all of the flames about spell checking stories and whatnot. It's not like Taco was a BETTER speller 3 years ago! Nothing has changed. If you didn't like it then, you shouldn't have set up camp in the first place. It hardly makes sense to flame away for flaws that have been here since the beginning.

      I know I may well pay painfully for this post, but so be it.

  • No Sense of Humor (Score:4, Insightful)

    by eander315 ( 448340 ) on Monday April 01, 2002 @09:47PM (#3268481)
    What's really not funny about today is how little a sense of humor most slashdot readers have. Maybe you didn't think the stories were funny, and sure, some of them weren't, but that doesn't mean you should yell and scream at Taco and the rest. If you're so worried about tech news that you can't go a whole day without it, you've got issues.
  • On 1 April 2004, Kathleen Malda receives letter from the Holland, Michigan, "divorce court". The letter, however, is completely blank, except for a single line:

    April Fools! Get it? GET IT???

    On 2 April 2004, Rob Malda receives a letter from the same court. The letter is not blank, however...

    Rob, things are funny only up to a certain point. I hope you've been reading the comments.

  • by TheFrood ( 163934 ) on Monday April 01, 2002 @09:55PM (#3268505) Homepage Journal
    Thanks for the usual April Fools Day flame- every year people fall for it. It never ceases to amaze me how angry and venomous, yet utterly clueless a few people can be despite the blatant obviousness of the joke.

    Ohhhh, I see. You posted one April Fool's story after another, abondaoning all subtlety and thus destroying all the humor intentionally? You did it just so you could sit back and watch people flame you?

    Internet culture has a word for people like you. The word is "troll."

  • by gilroy ( 155262 ) on Monday April 01, 2002 @10:16PM (#3268557) Homepage Journal
    is actually manifold but can be summed up as
    • The more like a legitimate news site you try to make slashdot, the less valid -- and less funny -- randomly placed, intentionally wrong stories are
    • A lot of awfully weird crap is happening these days -- ASCII Quake, free-form case mods, CBDTPA -- and it's getting harder to tell what's been made up
    • People subscribe to slashdot and expect some return, not a lost day
    • Not everyone has the time or inclination to go slogging through an entire day's worth of fakery to see if there's a nugget of truth anywhere
    • As Josh Lyman might put it, you forgot to bring the funny... the "humor" simply wasn't humorous, for most of the "articles". Of course, YMMV -- but don't tweak people in an area as subjective as humor and then be angry if people flame you

  • by IdleTime ( 561841 ) on Monday April 01, 2002 @10:57PM (#3268634) Journal
    By using flags in the tcp/ip header, it should be possible to specify if you want the packets to be 110V or 220/230V, if it should be AC or DC. It should even be possible to request various other forms of electricity like, 1.5V, 3V, 6V 9V etc. If you add this to a wireless system, electrical cars would never run out of juice. Billing would easily be solved using GPS coordinates, so that you would receive a bill from the county, state, country you are currently driving in. Ahhhhh... I love April... It smells soooo good!
  • Moderator points (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ralphb ( 15998 )
    I usually use my moderator points within a few minutes after I notice that I have them. Not today. I think I'll wait until tomorrow and moderate posts about a real story. Maybe I'll even moderate some AC comments.

  • by Kris_J ( 10111 ) on Monday April 01, 2002 @11:24PM (#3268685) Homepage Journal
    Observe the datestamp on this;
    • 13 Updated Slashdot Advertising Policy by CmdrTaco with 320 comments on Tue April 02, 0:13
    For anyone ahead the US AF "pranks" clog up everything for about 48 hours starting from our April 1st.

    Seriously, limit next year's AF coverage to one internal /. admin related post plus a "Quickies" that reports on other pranks. Having a homepage full of stupid lies does not a happy surfer make.

    Oh, yeah, much of the rest of the world doesn't "get" Halloween either, but at least the Simpsons Halloween specials are actually funny. Even if they are played around xmas.

  • "Kathleen Fent, will you marry me?"

    No wait, that wasn't today...
  • Another April fool's, another day on Slashdot. I have to say that I enjoyed it. It gave me several laughs - from both stories and posts. There were some grimaces too, but one thing that put it in perspective was today was a co-worker's birthday.

    Don't worry, I'm not going to get all corny and weepy. Yeah, the guy really was born on April 1st. If you met him, you'd know how well it fits. Happy Birthday, Kurt!

    For the groaners: waah. Slashdot isn't Democracy Now [], The Progressive [], and sure the hell isn't CNN [], NPR [], MSNBC [] or whatever "hard news" site you've been looking for. It's a pretty cool blog - it keeps me (and you) coming back.

    Anyway, at least there's one day a year everyone can act a fool - even better if it's your birthday!

    As for the other 364 days...

  • Last year there were MORE april fools jokes on the /. frontpage as I recall. . . .

    bah. Just more whiners this year. :P

    The net was actualy pretty slow for april fools stuff, and A LOT of it has come down early (excuse me folks, uh, 4 hours to go. . . . at least here on the west coast). Last year was better. ^_^
  • Disabling anonymous posts was kind of interesting actually. (It had better just be one day though!) Wonder how many new accounts were created today vs other days?

    The whole thing was different this year. In the past there have been a few mixed in with the regular news, but today nothing but crap. If the plan is to do this every year then it is the beginning of something lame. If the plan is to do something different each year then the whole thing is the beginning of something interesting to look forward to.

    I did wonder about what I was missing when I realized that every story was going to be a joke, but then realized that perhaps I should take a day and just miss out! Probably got more work done today than usual. Hmmm...

    My favorite was the change in ad policy. Actually was pissed for a moment until I realized what day it was.

    The editors should post a best of the clueless collection for comment. After the load of crap today, I'll bet they have some pretty good and totally useless rants to show off.

  • by Turing Machine ( 144300 ) on Tuesday April 02, 2002 @01:27AM (#3269062)
    A lot of people at UIUC got this message this morning, disguised as a "Massmail" (read: pointless drivel from the administration). Note the name of the doctor and the lot number on the condoms.

    Date: Mon, 01 Apr 2002 07:36:04 -0600
    From: "Dr. Ivana Fukalot, MD Asst Dir.McKinley Health Center"
    Subject: MASSMAIL - Emergency Condom Recall
    Precedence: list
    X-Massmail-Tag: 20020401097950-543798
    X-Bulk mail: 2.05
    X-UIDL: j3*#!%g:"![aO"!UHH!!

    To all University students:

    It has recently come to the attention of the McKinley Health Center
    Staff that a recent batch of condoms purchased and already in partial
    distribution on campus may be defective. According to Trojan, the
    manufacturer of the condoms, several thousand condoms distributed to the
    University of Illinois may have inappropriately passed the quality
    control tests at their production facility.

    The recall affects all Trojan brand condoms of the normal, non-ribbed,
    variety. If you have received such condoms from McKinley or the McKinley
    Resource Center since February 3rd, you are strongly advised to take the
    following actions:

    If you have used such condoms there is small probability that
    microscopic holes may have prevented the condom from performing
    effectively. To determine if your pack of condoms was part of the batch
    that inappropriately passed the quality control tests, please take the
    following steps immediately:

    1.) Remove an unused condom from its wrapper.
    2.) Fully unroll and stretch the condom and rotate it looking for the
    lot numbers imprinted near the base of the condom.
    3.) Alternatively, place your mouth on the condom and gently exhale,
    inflating the condom to reveal the lot numbers.

    If the beginning of the lot numbers starts with:
    you may have a condom from the defective batch.

    Trojan has requested that we collect all unused condoms from this batch and
    return them immediately for testing and disposal. If you are unsure as
    to whether the condom pack you possess is affected or not please follow
    the return instructions below.

    Drop points have been conventiently setup at McKinley Health center and
    the McKinley Resource Center. For your convinience we have also arranged
    for the tuition drop boxes both in the Illini Union and the Henry
    Administration building to be opened for condom collection.

    We deeply regret this incident and we realize this situation may have
    many serious implications. If you have any further questions we urge you
    to contact the McKinley Health Center.

    Dr. Ivana Fukalot, MD
    Asst. Director of McKinley Health Center
    This mailing approved by:
    The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

    This message sent via MASSMAIL.

Nondeterminism means never having to say you are wrong.