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It's funny.  Laugh.

Slashdot:Mark 2 140

I, like all of you, am really sad to see the closing of several of my favorite sites today. User Friendly was a regular place for me, and Bedope often provided me with a good laugh. So I've decided to convert Slashdot to a pure humor site in their abscense. This is firstly because so many readers wrote in to flame me about the lack of integrity in several of the stories we've posted today. But mostly its just because Segfault always stunk. Wesley Crusher. Bah. Rest in Peace.
Please have a sense of humor people. I can't believe I'm actually getting flame over April Fools Day! Some people just have no sense of humor.
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Slashdot:Mark 2

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Excuse me, but the last time I checked, /. was a privately-run site made available because Rob, et al., wanted to. It is not a public company. It doesn't sell anything. It is *not* being run by journalists, nor is it a geek-equivalent of AP, Reuters, or Knight-Ridder. It's an interactive website run by a group of great guys because they feel like it!

    If you want a news-oriented website that is always 100% serious, blah, blah, blah, then I highly suggest you start your own. Otherwise, shut up. You don't own /., you don't run /., therefore, you shouldn't be telling the /. operators how they should run their site.

    Furthermore, I recall an April edition of Car & Driver that did a full-scale review of a snow-plow! They did it in the same format as their writeups on exotic sportscars and the latest truck, including top speed (10 MPH), acceleration (0 to 10 MPH in ~65 sec.), braking distance (this baby could stop on a dime!), and slolom capabilities (instead of going around the cones, it pushed 'em out of the way.) The article even included the base price and the price fully-loaded with options (leather seat, CD player, heat, and a larger plow blade.) It was an interesting article, and it was also amusing because C&D was poking fun at itself. Those guys don't take themselves too seriously. Why should CmdrTaco, or Hemos, or anyone else involved with /.?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    SLASHDOT CAN POST WHATEVER THE HELL IT WANTS TO POST. THEN END.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    These frivolous attempts at levity are disgusting! We the readers of Slashdot will NOT be distracted from our mission of holding Cmdr Taco (and Hemos/ESR/RMS/Scoop/Perens/Kernighan/Ritchie) accountable for EVERYTHING wrong with life, the universe, and the open source movement. It is the moral duty and great challenge facing every Gen X-er to ensure a safe future for Generation Y. By God, we must not and will not develop a sense of humor! These are grave and urgent concerns and flamage is the ONLY effective way to bring bring about positive change.
  • Yo! Taco! Check out what happened [fool.com] when the Motley Fool ran an April Fool last year [fool.com]. Some of the flamage they got (and posted) was just priceless...
  • All Hail Discordia!

    Kallisti!

    fnord

    ttyl
    Farrell
    (another POPE, and Druid as well!)
  • The brilliant part of this elaborate prank is that it was _so_ well carried off, it had people taking it seriously, just like the War of the Worlds hoax! I myself wasn't certain that somebody hadn't sued Illiad. It's interesting to look at this in context and ask 'WHY was this wicked prank so very credible? You didn't have to be stupid to fall for it- there were some smart and sensible people who weren't ready to lightly dismiss the possibility that Microsoft was overturning amendments to the Constitution... indeed, MS suits reacted to the suggestion with a seriousness that implies they, too, were running around to see if it was TRUE, and they'd theoretically be the first to know it wasn't, right? Yet it fooled the MS suits as well, and yanked their chain. There was some scrambling going on in Redmond as Microsofts ran around going 'What did we do? Who did it? Get the lawyers, we want some answers! What are we sanctioning here?'
    For this reason especially, I nominate the Siege of '99 as the Great Bastard Joke from Hell, or BJFH, not to be easily outdone. Brilliant, wonderfully evil, and ya got even Microsoft suits to run around in a panic trying to figure out what had gone so horribly wrong :)
    *APPLAUSE*, and thank god it wasn't real!
  • We are talking Jape of the Decade...
  • At least I thought so. I really liked the Linux Riot and Salon peices. The User Friendly was the first I noticed this morning, and it elicited a distinctive, and quite vocal, "What the fuck!?" from yours truly. Neat way to start the day. I was focused on rotating my logs this am, so I completely forgot the AFD aspect. Heh, way to go Rob!
  • Holy sheepshit, Batman!

    Lighten up folks, it's not the end of the world!

    Man, I can't wait until Y2K. I'm sitting on a tall mountain with a shotgun and a case of baked beans to watch the ensuing fun... ;>

  • On April 1, 1984, an announcement that kremvax now had a connection to the usenet, with a cleverly forged retuirn to kremvax. In a parody of typical soviet propoganda of the time, it explaind that this was a peace initiative.

    Many were taken in, in spite of april 1 or 4/1 appearing in several locations, and the silliness of the idea. Several of them became angry at the mocking of peace/lost opportunity/lost chance/whatever.

    While UF wasn't *as* easy to detect, it is just as clearly a hoax; the legal positions cannot be real (without an even less probable coincedence of incompetence). I explained more fully at http://www.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=99/04/01/1 225225&cid=1995
  • which the article states is used in the design.
  • On April 1, 1984, an announcement that kremvax now had a connection to the usenet, with a cleverly forged retuirn to kremvax. In a parody of typical soviet propoganda of the time, it explaind that this was a peace initiative. Many were taken in, in spite of april 1 or 4/1 appearing in several locations, and the silliness of the idea. Several of them became angry at the mocking of peace/lost opportunity/lost chance/whatever. While UF wasn't *as* easy to detect, it is just as clearly a hoax; the legal positions cannot be real (without an even less probable coincedence of incompetence). I explained more fully in another comment [slashdot.org]
  • sure, it fooled people at first (when the conspiracy started > 1 week ago with the 'litigation'), but then it became MORE than obvious that it was a joke yesterday when all three of them went down.

    elaborate prank yes, funny no.
  • C'mon, Rob, think about it: "Stuff that matters." That's what most people come here for. Sure, one or a couple jokes are OK, but there's something that you're forgetting and yet are plugging into users' arses: moderation. If people want jokes, they can always find other websites to satisfy their humour.
  • Freshmeat also ran its own AFD joke. The difference? It was more subtle, didn't run for so long, and was thus enjoyable.

    Heh, who would've known, someone did actually register freshmeat.de and slashdot.de, and had them running...

    ^D
  • Ok, so next time, nobody go to Slashdot, Segfault, UF, BeDope, etc...

    So yes, it got me mad. But not the fact that they were just jokes, but because they went on for so long. I wanted real news, dammit!

    ^D
  • Well, it is known where I come from, but just about no one does it, not daring to risk being pummelled to a pulp. You see, sometimes it goes too far off hand (a good example is here on /.).
  • AFD's jokes were:

    • Funny
    • Not funny
    • Dumb
    • I wiped my ass with them
    • Hank, the Angry Drunken Dwarf
    • Eh?
    • "/. sux!" && "CT sux!" && "AFD sucked!"
  • Cookies? You actually accept cookies? :)
  • Lucky. They got my dog's name and the dimensions of my Guinea Pig.
  • by Fastjack ( 2009 )
    Segfault should RIP, Tacohell is much funnier than anything I've ever read on segfault... Even with the typeos :)
  • I think you're missing the obvious point. Car & Driver did a review of a snow-plow, and *actual* review - as a joke. However that review sounds like it was still *real*. Slashdot is contriving news, and propogating lies. There is a difference between funny news and lies.

    Anyways Malda and others have made it clear that they want user input, so asking someone to shut up is clearly out of line.

    If slashdot wants to portray itself as a joke site to the world, by all means they can. But, we have been given the opportunity to submit our feedback and try to help shape slashdot into something it wants/isn't.

    I think it's important to differentiate between taking yourself seriously and actually lying to people. I'm all for a good joke. I laughed when this morning I reached for my mouse and it didn't work - only to find that someone put a sticky on the ball that said "april fools".

    Rob Malda, of all people, should understand that posting lies on the slashdot page could also be called "flamebait".
    Joseph Elwell.
  • I also have mother's maiden name, IQ, and "income bracket".
  • Why not accept cookies? Its not like someone will try to jU&&^^&))

    Lost Carrier
  • Yeah... absolutely right. While this was a carefully planned plot just think about how easy it would be for sites with an even bigger reputation than /., UF, segfault or whoever.

    We've been had by this prank and we could've been by anything else...

    So we gotta be careful... but I'm still laughing. Man did they have us... ;)
  • What's your problem then? I mean, it's just one day in a whole year where the keepers of a (after all) private site have a little fun with us.

    I think we all should be able to think twice about the news we get in those 24 hours...
  • Who forced 'em to offer money? Was there a plea for money and/or legal help on the web page?
  • Think about what would happen if CNN suddenly announced that they had a source that reported that we had started dropping nuclear missiles on Serbia in response to the three missing Americans

    That has got to be one of the most asinine statements I've run across in a while.

    First of all, CNN would never do that, that would be equivalent to inciting a panic and they would get there a**es sued off.

    We're talking about a friggin' comic strip here, not a war. It's just a couple of websites...I'd strongly suggest taking a walk outside and getting some perspective on life.
  • ....is reading all the indignant flaming comments from people here about the April Fools jokes.

    yikes! what a humorless bunch of folks. I pretty much expect most websites to have numerous April Fool's pranks, and bring an appropriately sized grain of salt to work with me on this day.
  • The thing that I didn't like about these April Fool's jokes were the fact they could have been true

    uhh...isn't that the point? If no one believed it could be true, no one would be fooled. It's got to be believable enought to take you in. In fact, the more believable, the better the April Fools' joke.

    April Fools jokes are meant to be light hearted and generally pretty obviously a joke

    I disagree. If it was obviously a joke, you wouldn't be fooled, now would you?

  • it's kind of the equivalent of someone telling you they're dying from cancer for a few days, fishing for sympathy, and then telling you they were just kidding

    Don't be so ridiculous. Cancer is a matter of life and death. User Friendly is a comic strip. There's a big difference in importance between the two.
  • by Lamont ( 3347 )
    ...and what's even funnier is all the indignant postings whining about it.
  • one should always think twice about ANY news article, instead of just blinding accepting it as fact. Not just today, but any day.
  • PLAY the little shockwave thing and see if you still think it's real.
  • uh, i wanted to post a simple comment only in subject (and puting the [NT] at the end in the subject) and /. told me:
    Cat got your tongue?
    :O)
    --
  • The thing that I didn't like about these April Fool's jokes were the fact they could have been true (well at least some of them). The whole bit about UF and segfault closing could have been very real. That would have not made me a happy camper. April Fools jokes are meant to be light hearted and generally pretty obviously a joke.

    Historic sidelight:
    I believe that April Fools day was started by the Christians playing a joke on the Celts. The tradition for the Celts was that April 1 was the new year and they exchanged gifts. Well, the Christians gave them all gag gifts since the Celts were obviously wrong. Thus began the first April Fools Day.

    Gordon
  • This is a message I posted at Segfault in response to the whingers...
    ----

    Christ, get a grip... The people who are getting do uptight about this really ammuse me... As April 1st drew close I was excepting that I would have my chain yanked by at least on of the sites I visit often, and at work - But I never expected this. It was brilliant...

    But people have such trouble stepping over the ego to admit they were sucked in that they get all nasty about the whole thing... It reminds me alot of a 'Mockumentry' that was screened on New Zealand TV a couple of years back, made by Peter Jackson (Director of The Frightners and the upcoming Hobbit movies), about a New Zealand who developed a cine camera earlier than alot of other people and among other things caught Richard Pierce flying before the Wright brothers (A New Zealander, Richard Pierce was attempting to fly about the same time the Wright brothers were, and there are reports that he was infact first by a matter of days, however they are hard to prove), this had so many people sucked in that when it came out a few days later that it was a fake there were so many 'letters to the editor' about it and so on that it received huge (even some international) media attention.. He, I believe even got death threats...

    The point was that people felt betrayed on issues they cared strongly about... If it had just been a thing about a crafty Kiwi that made moving pictures before on his on, then people would have felt ripped off, but still seen the humor, but the fact that it seemed to prove that Richard Pierce *was* the first to fly angered many, who obviously would have liked alot to have history re-written to accomidate a New Zealander in a role so pivotal...

    Step back, review the whole thing, forget that you were ready to march in the streets, and admire Scott, Illiad, et al. for their staging of this trick...

    It is funny... You can't always take yourself so seriously.
  • It's not necessarily the -UF prank- that was funny, it's the reaction to it that we see from people like you. Agitated, indignant, self-righteous, and serious, for absolutely no reason; no one was murdered, tortured, or otherwise harmed, only duped and misled. We're laughing at -you-, the people who cannot stand to admit that you didn't figure out what was going on till it was too late.

    That's what April Fool's Day is all about: the Fools.

    Just wait till next year, Charlie Brown!

  • It's amazing how many people can't handle having their noses tweaked. Suck it up and move on, and be glad they only do this to you once a year...

    If there's childishness in the Linux 'community', it's all of the whiners acting like Rob and Illiad were torturing small children instead of playing a prank.

    Heh, well.. I guess they are, after a fashion..
  • http://www.userfriendly.org/static/

    Can we say, not funny?

    - Darchmare
    - Axis Mutatis, http://www.axismutatis.net
  • When the ACLU stopped defending liberty and started demanding that the majority pay enough that all the poor could afford to go to circuses they lost my support.

    As far as humor goes, who better than a humor site to play an April Fools joke? It's funny. Borrow a dollar people and go rent a clue!

  • Look around you people! The Constitution was written NOT to protect politically correct speech that was certain to never offend anyone, but rather to protect the speech that many did NOT want to hear.

    In this day and age, we can't even say "Bitch, bitch, bitch!" without losing our jobs! I asked an attorney that was briefing our company on what we could say what the hell happened to free speech?! She said that this speech type (ie. "bitch" or anything that could be interpreted as negative) was NOT protected. End of discussion.

    This was funny to some of us, not funny to others, and terrifying to a few. So which group is right? Doesn't matter! Because each of us is entitled to hear this or read this and to decide on our own whether or not we liked it. It is certainly okay to say you didn't like it, or to say it wasn't funny, but for the love of Pete, don't ask that it be stopped because YOU cannot pigeonhole this into a "funny" category!

    Benny
  • I used to get pissed off when "serious" magazines etc. posted fake stories for April Fools Day (and I got taken in). But it's a GOOD thing, when you think about it. We should be questioning the news that's fed to us EVERY day, not just on April Fool's day. Maybe some of the people (like me) who got burnt will learn something. This is important, especially with the low quality of journalism in general, journalists' repeated failure to correctly interpret statistics, etc.

  • slashdot should have replaced there main page with one of the MS database query error pages that you see so often from sites running MS web server + database....

    now that would have been funny!

  • Which brings up a good point... because everyone knows hackers can't spell (or maybe it's just me?), It would be cool if slashdot had a spell checker for articles submitted.

  • As I said, free speech protects all jokes, even really bad ones. All I meant was that this was an elaborate and _UN_funny joke about a matter that we might not be able to make jokes about someday. Chill, I can manage. Enjoy? It would have to be funny first. BTW, now that UF is back up, today's strip [userfriendly.org] is a riot.
  • You are, on some points, right. We have to do things in the here-and-now to avoid such a bleak future. Again, I must stress that what I found totally unfunny about these pranks was that it could very well happen. And in the future, it may not be because of big money lawyers threatening litigation. It may be the "authorities," and they may do far worse and shut down a web site. The line between what the joke was about, and the dark and terrible future that may yet exist is an infinitessimally small one. What I could (and should) have said in far fewer words is "Let's be thankful it was just a harmless, if ill-conceived, prank."

    But there are still some things too important to make jokes about. At the least, they are too important to make jokes about in such a public forum. Whether you agree with me or not on that point, I do not care. It is my opinion, and you are entitled to your own. You may also purchase a copy of my opinion for the low, low price of either a BeOS or Open BSD CD for my next box.

  • You have a valid point. There may come a day, however, when we _CAN'T_ make jokes about freedom of speech/press because there won't be any. You know where I'll be then? Me and ESR and Jesse Ventura will be in a bunker with food, guns, and our families. And it may come to that sooner than we can imagine. That's what makes today's jokes a lot less funny. As far as your list of things we shouldn't joke about, making a list like that comes way too close to censorship for me. Self-imposed common sense about what is and isn't funny ought to work a lot better for what should be a fairly intelligent community like ours.
  • Stunningly enough, they actually contain my proper IQ (5901736) and GPA (7887591).

    I take a lot of AP classes, especially for a six year old.
  • Oh don't be such an ol' stick in the mud. I got duped as well (until all three sites went down at once, on this of all days). Still...it was funny. It's good for slashdot to have a sense of humour...it'd be horrible if Rob & Co started taking all of this too seriously.

    :)

    Two thumbs up to everyone involved with the joke. It was brilliant :)

    - deb
  • Actually, I'm all for news sites celebrating April folls day -- I think it helps to illustrate the fact that far too often, we automatically accept what news sources tell us, be it from /., CNN, NYTimes, Uncle Joe Bob's House 'o' News, or .
  • Lighten up!!! It is April Fools. The only people who get worked up over pranks today are the FOOLS!!!!! Chill and enjoy!!

    Sheeesh =)
  • Wit h all these obvious April Fools Jokes, it's like being bombarded with so much disinformation that you can't tell what's real and what's not, even though it should be obvious.

    Uh, this happens everyday. You always should take the news with a grain of salt or silicon and use your best judgement. How many times have we had these 'disinformation' type discussions here at Slashdot alone on non-April Fool's days?

    Treat the news as Flame Bait.
    ~afniv
    "Man könnte froh sein, wenn die Luft so rein wäre wie das Bier"
  • I think it's high time that slashdot evaluate it's goals.
    When I saw these articles, I just thought "Wow! It's April Fools Day again!"

    I think it is a good sign for a "news" site like Slashdot to not take itself very seriously. Letting their hair down, so to speak (does that translate in the 90's?).

    Evaluate it's goals? I don't really think it's necessary. I think Slashdot does a fine job of keeping its finger on the pulse of the geek community... and that includes everything including geek pranks.

    I remember a fine geek-oriented magazine, Computer Language that dedicated its April, 1984 (is that the correct year?) to joke articles about programming... takeoffs of Jerry Pournelle's columns, amusing anectdotes and other stories... even a CENTERFOLD.

    I, for one, had gotten used to searching the April issues of Byte for joke articles and reports (not always very obvious).

    What happened? Well, Computer Language never did any more prank articles after that issue. And Byte started phasing out their joke articles after a time. And I think that this was/is a loss.

    Remember, April Fools jokes are a real tradition here in the States. USENET has had its share of prank postings on this date (I've perpetrated a few of them myself). Even National Public Radio usually has one or two prank reports on this day (and you really can't get any more news-oriented than that source!).

    C'mon, develop a sense of humor with the rest of us geeks and nerds and enjoy the day.

    --
  • I can't hold back....

    Must.... Not..

    Ah. Forget it.

    Hail Eris. Fnord!

    The Pope.
  • How anyone can hold any reasonable expectation of actually getting reliable news on April 1st is beyond me.

    Let's remember, APRIL FOOL'S DAY is for playing practical jokes. Our favorite websites are run by people who will never see even a small fraction of the people who's lives they influence on a daily basis. Every one of these people also has a sense of humor, usually as twisted as our own. It is only natural that they indulge in a joke of their own on this day.

    If you can honestly state that you would never play a joke on the public, were you in the position to do so (like those at UserFriendly [userfriendly.org], SegFault [segfault.org], SlashDot [slashdot.org], etc...) Then you are either lying through your teeth, or you're someone who should never be allowed to BE in that kind of position.

    Peace,

  • by Enthrad ( 11463 )
    I thought it started in France when they switched calendars?
  • its gone now =o)


    APRIL FOOLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • oops :) missed that part.
    -lx
  • I said KIND of like. It's the closest thing I could think of. I just think it was kind of abusing people who bothered to voice their support, offered money, etc.
    -lx
  • Thought yall might want to know.

    -lx
  • That one didn't seem like a joke - it's on an official compaq site, and has a little shockwave thingy...I guess it could be, though. From someone inside Compaq. Lot of work to go through for april fools. :)
    -lx
  • Hey mine too, except for the decimals!

    IQ 59.01736
    GPA .7887591
  • http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/99ap r/19990401.html
  • Please make a post saying what's real and what's
    fake, thanks. Maybe make a filter for FAKE news.

  • Seriously, I don't come to slashdot for humour. I come here to see what's happening in the geek world. Sometimes I even read the comments. That's enough humour for a site like this :-) Wit h all these obvious April Fools Jokes, it's like being bombarded with so much disinformation that you can't tell what's real and what's not, even though it should be obvious.
  • Ok, enough of the jokes.

    Lets get something worth reading, eh? I must admit, the first 5 or so were funny (I really liked the one about the mouse by COMPAQ), but now it's getting a little old.

    Of course, even if there actually was some real news, no one would believe it. That's the problem with overdoing it on April fools day.


  • Visa and SSN? Mine aren't in there! I do have my religion and my "sexual orientation", tho. I wonder what other ones are out there...
    --
  • *laugh*

    It's the disinformation that makes this all so great. It just adds to the humor value.


    -Rich
  • I guess I would feel better about it... if any of them were funny. Or believable. Or interesting.

    I think the UserFriendly/Segfault joke was beliveable. If you look at User Friendly daily you know that they have been talking about this for about a week. UserFriendly readers organized a site for Illiad's defense, made logos to link to your web page, etc.. It was very well played out. Rob even posted a legitimate (or so we thought) link a few days ago discussing it. It wasn't until this morning that those who had been following it realized they had been taken, and it some of them still dont get it :-)

    And I dont see how anyone could have not laughed at the Linux Riot story.

    -Rich
  • Nifty prank, Rob, but we can all tell it's you because things are misspelled. :)

    Just like the Katz column posted earlier on the "demise" of UF's probably neither his nor yours: There are no spelling problems.

  • I've got as much of a sense of humor as the next guy, but, come on! Some people don't take matters like freedom of speech as a joking matter.

    I'm sure Bill Gates doesn't find a pie in the face funny, either. Practical jokes are rarely funny to their victims.

    But, you're right; we should make a list of all the things that shouldn't be joked about: the Holocaust, France, dead babies, freedom of speech, Jesus, Chernobyl, embarassing personal problems, etc. None of these things could ever be considered funny, not by folks with as much sense of humor as the next guy.
  • I admit, I didn't get all of the jokes right away. (I still think a gyro-mouse is a pretty good idea...). But it didn't make me mad when I found out they were jokes. So what, if you don't think it's funny, then move on! Don't flame Rob, or post some drivel about how you thought Slashdot was supposed to be a "legitimate" news site. Read under Slashdot in the title - it says "News for _Nerds_." Nerds used to have a sense of humour. Like the cruiser on the MIT dome, the USSR joining the (then-young) Internet, toplevel domains for other planets, and so on. It seems like there are a lot of whiny posts about "It's not real news! It's a travesty!" If you want real news 365 days a year, read Jesse Berst's Anchordesk Alert or something. If you have a sense of humour, then read Slashdot. I'm glad at least some nerds still have a sense of humour.
  • Go to their Static [userfriendly.org] page and read the news blurb they got set up there. Turns out Rob was in on it. Bad Rob, bad! :o)

    It's sad to live in a world where knowing how to
  • Ah, so you also noticed that nearly every article posted today are, to say the least, quite unbelievable :-)

    Think of it this way: they have to hold back all the true stories of today, so we will get a double dose tomorrow!

  • Not necessarily true. I agree, it went a bit far, but some organizations do like to have fun with April Fools. For example, the college which I attend, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, did up a remake of the web page for April Fools. However, they were smart enough to make it so that only IPs from within the wpi.edu and wpi.net domains actually were redirected to the parody page. Normal users still see the normal page (although they can get to the parody one).

    For anybody who wants to see a whacked out college on crack for April Fools, check it out:

    Make sure to reload many times, as the page actually changes when you reload it (the normal one does too). Also, the link on the left of the main image that is to a story about the college does work, and they are quite funny :)


  • I personally liked the User Friendly joke. The coordination effort involved was impressive and it had just enough panic about it to be believable. When you expanded it to other cartoons, though, it lost some credability. Nicely done. When I read it I was upset for a few seconds before I realized it was April Fools. I wonder how many more people would have paniced if you had said that Slashdot was closed due to legal actions brought about by the some anonymous user comments. Then again, that may have hit a little too close to reality. 8^)
  • Three popular sites just _happen_ to close all because of "litigation" and _all_ on April 1st? C'mon people...
  • The world could end on April Fools, and we'd all go down laughing. That's a beautiful thing, IMHO.
  • Hey after this story was posted the rest of the stories on the main page are now bolded... !?
  • if any of them were funny. Or believable. Or interesting.

    The soul of a good AFD prank is that you believe, up to the point where you hit a wall and realize that you were taken in all this time.
    Also, humor almost always involves something that is funny, and the soul of wit is brevity. Even the most banal of jokes, if it involves guts and originality and sheer hutzpah, can work, provided there is a herd of sheep just in your office, not in every single room you walk into all day.

    Sorry, but 15 dozen very obviously fake stories, overdone and shoved in your face on april the first just seems like a waste of bandwidth. Now the soothing voice of an NPR reporter, explaining calmly as you slowly wake up, that Caregie Hall is now Amazon.com Hall, now that is more like it. (Admittedly being half-alseep helps).

    NPR knows how to do it. Every year, they have 1, One, only a singular story which is fake, and -almost- believable. Their reporters are smooth, calm, and carry the full wieght of NPR newsworthiness, even while demonstrating the new silent keyboard to be used in Amazon.com Hall's seatback computer terminals.

    I worry more about the sheer failure of humor, originality and ingenuity this AFD than I do about people confusing the real news for the fake. Is this the best we can do?

  • Its really depressing to know that the online linux community would do something as lame as this for the kicks of their webmasters.

    I doubt anyone truly found this funny, i certainly didnt.

    BOOOOOO to all of you who orchastrated this "joke".

    And for anyone who missed it.. check the annoucement at userfriendly [userfriendly.org].

    But i'll keep reading it, cuz im dumb that way.

    CG
  • by drwiii ( 434 )
    You mean Slashdot wasn't a humor site beforehand?

    :-)

  • We would all be better off if our citizenry were equipped with functioning bullshit detectors. Celebrating AFD is a great way to install them. :-)
  • Holy hijinks people! Lighten up, get into the spirit of things and start the annual flogging of the slashdot/segfault/uf/bedope teams!

    Naa, but really. This ties in with ESR's recent writing "Understand-my-job-please". We need to find a organised and calm way to discuss matters rather than "HOLY SH|T F#@&* MICROSOFT and INTEL IS TAKING DOWN MY HAPPY WEB SITES." Ok? Lighten up. Go pull a prank somewhere. Dont break the law. Lets all just get along.
  • I hope all this UF stuff isn't a coordinated joke - it's kind of the equivalent of someone telling you they're dying from cancer for a few days, fishing for sympathy, and then telling you they were just kidding. If this is a joke, UF has exhausted a good part of their support from its fans. If this were a joke, it would abuse all UFies' trust and concern.

    -lx
  • Nifty prank, Rob, but we can all tell it's you because things are misspelled. :)

    Just like the Katz column posted earlier on the "demise" of slashdot's probably neither his nor yours: There are no spelling problems.

  • Mr. Bill, you suggest that many of us may be mad about the UF April Fool's Day prank because we couldn't see through it. I didn't see through it until today, because until today all the data suggested that we were looking at a genuine Legal Problem.

    Microsoft taking legal action against UF, while braindead and destined to backfire, is not inconceivable. The joke took so long to play out that I'm afraid I can't find much humor in it now that I know it for what it is. All I feel is a profound sense of relief that we aren't going to have to beat down Microsoft after all to get our cartoons back. :)

    Sorry to rain on anyone's parade. For the most part I've enjoyed the 1Apr posts--the Katz parody had me rolling. I have no problem with news sites playing along with April Fools'--my only caveat is that it should be clear to anyone reading with half an eye open that they're being had. :)
  • Is a practical joke a tearse gag? Is it a lame cut-down or silly "Funniest Video's" kick in the crotch? Or is it something that is so terrifyingly real you're glad it's over?

    Practical jokes (no really they are "practical" aren't they?) have to be believable don't they? What is more real than getting your pants sued off for trademark infingement? (or whatever else this cockamame society has cooked up and called a crime)

    Sometimes the funniest jokes are those that hurt like hell, but then in retrospect make you chuckle allong even if you are the victim!

    Case in point, this morning I recieved from a friend an e-mail message "here's the document you asked for... don't show it to anyone" sent to myself and 49 others. I instantly freaked and replied to all warning about the "melissa virus" (this was on my work machine, which runs winblows ;- ). So I thought, "hey wait a minute" checked the properties and found out that the author was my friend and the title was "April FOOL".

    I chuckled allong and explained to him the available resources for smurfing someone's computer off the net (including his IP ripped from the header), just to give him something to chuckle about ;->.

    Needless to say I got over it... and well that's the point of April Fools Day: some harmless practical joke, that you should be expecting anyways!
  • >There may come a day, however, when we _CAN'T_ make jokes about

    >freedom of speech/press because there won't be any. You know where
    >I'll be then? Me and ESR and Jesse Ventura will be in a
    >bunker with food, guns, and our families.

    And I'll be bemoaning the fact that the efforts I was making to safeguard free speech, back in the 20th century, came to naught.

    For all I know, you may be doing the same, so this is not aimed at you personally. But while planning what you'll do when civil liberties fall has its constructive uses, it's no substitute for actively working to prevent that fall from ever occurring. I hope everyone here who's commented that "free speech is not a laughing matter" is doing things to defend it. Even just sending some money to the ACLU or your equivalent organization in your country of residence is a great start.

    Personally, I'm a card-carrying member of the ACLU (and proudly broadcasting that fact is another thing I do -- raising respect for the ACLU and its mission is something I think this country really needs, especially after Dukakis' sellout in the 1988 election!). I think freedom of speech is crucially important.

    But I also think that when we designate something as "too important to joke about", that's also going too far. While it chilled me to the bone, this prank also made me chuckle, and it made me impressed with the amount of planning and coordination that had gone into it.

  • I'll admit, I was taken in as well. When I realized this morning that is was a hoax, I was relieved. But I had a smile on my face.

    The whole point of April fools is to 'fool' someone into believing something is real. When you find out that you were had, and look back, you realize that all the evidence was there in front of your face all the time. That is when you have to laugh at yourself for not reading between the lines.

    Here are some of the things that I remember reading in the last while that should have told me (and anyone else) that this was a hoax:
    - Why won't they tell us who it is
    - These sort of things are public information, so the documents should be on record
    - Parody is not illegal
    - The negative publicity from this would be hell on MS or whoever else may have been behind it.
    - UF is in Canada and Segfault is in UK (I think?)
    - the fact that these sites deal with HUMOUR :)

    There were probably many other tidbits of info that would have pointed to this being a hoax.

    Anyway, I don't believe that Iliad or Rob (and everyone else involved) intended any malice in this prank. It's just that you have to be very devious to 'fool' a bunch of intelligent geeks that question everything they read (not that I consider myself an intelligent geek.) This is the only prank that had me fooled. The other ones that appeared on SlashDot were obvious (yet still funny) pranks.

  • I saw the reference to UF being shutdown on /. this morning, but I might have very easily seen it on the site itself since I read it every day.

    Either way, it didn't occur to me that it was a joke given the kind of thing that's been happening to Dave's Classics and others lately.

    The fact that I did not immediately dismiss this story as a hoax because of it obviously being totally against the laws and traditions in this country only demonstrated to me how jaded I've become to the erosion of those rights. I didn't think, "Holy Cow! That could never happen, we have free speech in the U.S", but rather "Yet another example of speech not really being free, especially when expensive lawyers or bureaucrats are around."

    Far from being a silly and pointless prank, I saw the UF shutdown hoax as a grim reminder of how out of control some things are in this country.

    On the other hand, the cold fusion story was hilarious.

    Rick
  • Oh foo! Go to CNN if you can't take one day of senseless siliness! Then come back tomorrow, for crying out loud. I fully expected not to read anything credible today on anything but CNN or Reuters.

    All you who are crying foul at a pile of steaming AFD stories are too thin-skinned, or you take things too-seriously (which is rather the whole point, eh?)

    So go get a coke, read the paper or get back to work. Maybe ponder a little why a few prank stories upset you so much. Gaze at your navel for a while and maybe you will finally get this whole thing.

    Or don't - see if I care. Rob, don't change a thing, its great!
  • by A well known coward ( 2835 ) on Thursday April 01, 1999 @11:46AM (#1953325) Homepage
    Those who haven't done it yet, please take a look at the slashdot entries in your cookies file.

    :)

  • by MrSpock ( 5029 ) on Thursday April 01, 1999 @11:49AM (#1953326) Homepage
    I don't think news sites should celebrate April fools day, because it makes even real news suspect for a day. Though I've really gotten a kick out of some of today's articles, I'm seriously concerned about User Friendly (who was (supposedly?) experiencing the leading edge of legal troubles before today happened to hit, and now this). I hope the UF stuff is just an incredibly well perpetrated coordinated joke, but there's really been no indication to me that it is. I hope you guys enjoy your AFD stunts, because those of us who are legitimately interested in unbruised information are certainly already displeased with how this news site is handling the holiday. Think about what would happen if CNN suddenly announced that they had a source that reported that we had started dropping nuclear missiles on Serbia in response to the three missing Americans.

    Lest you all think I'm just a spoil sport, be assured that I'm celebrating AFD like crazy, but not with respect to news. There's a difference between practical jokes, and practicing improper journalism.
  • by Superdave ( 8390 ) on Thursday April 01, 1999 @12:04PM (#1953327) Homepage
    If all these site "shutdowns" are an April Fool's Day joke, it's in poor taste. I've got as much of a sense of humor as the next guy, but, come on! Some people don't take matters like freedom of speech as a joking matter. I'm all for freedom of speech on the internet as well as our day-to-day lives. But this kind of thing is _almost_ like the radio broadcast of "War of the Worlds." I nearly freaked when I hit my Daily Static bookmark, and there was nothing there but a legal statement. I was angry as hell. A good practical joke does not make people angry or scared about their own freedom! Granted, free speech allows really bad practical jokes, but if this is what Illiad and the other webmasters find funny.... Well, I'd be very disappointed. And /. is now a portal/news/communtiy/HUMOR site? heheh Methinks not. Rob's idea of funny is "Duckpins."
  • by Mr Bill ( 21249 ) on Thursday April 01, 1999 @12:13PM (#1953328)

    Come on people, I can't believe there are this many tight-asses around... There were enough hints today (and in the last week) that this UF thing was a hoax. A joke is a joke, and this was a rather well-organized one. I think you guys are just mad because you couldn't see though this one.

    And comparing a silly little cartoon disappearing with dropping nuclear bombs on a country is a little harsh don't you think. UF disappearing wouldn't be the end of the world you know (pun intended)

    And anyway, it is up to Rob (and the other 'post'ers) to decide what appears on SlashDot. If I get sufficiently annoyed with what I see here, I will probably start up my own site (and anyone else here can do the same thing)
  • by remande ( 31154 ) <remande@bigf o o t.com> on Thursday April 01, 1999 @12:52PM (#1953329) Homepage
    ...is that it allows us to calibrate our bogometers.

    A well-calibrated bogometer helps us get through life. People throw bogons at you day-in and day-out, and you have to separate the wheat from the chaff. Can you trust the news today? Can you even take Slashdot for gospel? IMHO, anyone who takes an uncorroborated report from a hacker bboard gets exactly what they deserve.

    Then, one day a year, many of us take an opportunity to crank up their own personal bogosity, all for the sake of fun. Some think it's fun, others don't.

    But we all come out of it wiser.

    If you don't like AFD as a big set of jokes, think of it as a one-day challenge to your ability to separate fact from fiction. It'll help you out when the talking head on the 6:00 News is jawing off about our latest military endeavour or somesuch...
  • by paulbort ( 9372 ) on Thursday April 01, 1999 @12:03PM (#1953330)
    Gang,

    Any source of information is filtered by the people that run it. CNN doesn't care about InstallFests, and CmdrTaco doesn't care about how much money went into 401(k)s nationwide last month. You, the reader, get to pick which sources you like, or make up your own if you wish. If you don't like how someone does their thing, don't read it. And /. is even nice enough to let you filter out the topics you don't like. Web sites are like the people behind them, and you choose who (or where) you hang out with (at). Personally, I think it's one of the best info sites on the web.

HELP!!!! I'm being held prisoner in /usr/games/lib!

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