Eagle-eyed readers may have spotted some of the pranks being pulled on today’s April Fools’ Day – here’s a round-up of the some of the jokes doing the rounds.
Google debuted its latest feature, Treasure Maps, a pirate-style design complete with 2D hand-drawn landmarks and hidden treasure chests.
The map uses a spyglass to zoom in for Street View, with a rounded telescopic frame and old-school filter.
To access, visit Google Maps and click on the ’Treasure’ picture icon in the right-hand corner. Instructions for the ’beta technology’ warn: "Your system may not be able to display at higher resolutions than paper print."
The Telegraph reports that the government has created a taskforce armed with binoculars, and headed up by a dedicated ‘Lights Tsar’, charged with switching off the country’s lights in a bid to cut Britain’s energy usage ahead of a looming power crunch.
Thousands of employees will be tasked with going door-to-door to businesses and homes to manually switch off unnecessary lights. Staff at the agency will be able to issue penalty notices to repeat offenders and will be kitted out with binoculars and other equipment to allow them to ascertain whether rooms are empty or in use.
The policy was described by energy expert Olaf Priol as a “win-win-win” for the Coalition. A DECC source said: “We are committed to making these lights go out.”
The Telegraph also has a story on Sir Cameron Mackintosh agreeing to stage The Coalition – the Musical, which he believes has the potential to be his biggest hit since Les Misérables.
The Coalition – the Musical had originally been conceived by the German composer and lyricist Olaf Dyliparos as a “modest chamber piece” for this summer’s Edinburgh Festival, but Sir Cameron has persuaded him to re-work it as a major West End musical.
“It focuses very much on the relationship between David Cameron and Nick Clegg and it has a big, operatic feel to it – I mean, it’s a sort of love story that’s gone wrong,” said Dyliparos.
The Guardian has launched ‘augmented reality’ glasses designed to offer wearers immersive liberal insights and filter out bigoted views.
The groundbreaking Guardian Goggles will beam its journalism directly into the wearer’s visual field, enabling users to see the world through the Guardian’s eyes at all times.
The motion-sensitive spectacles overlay the wearer’s view of their surroundings with a real-time stream of specially-curated opinions from the paper’s reporters, critics and commentators, letting users call up features such as a ‘Mini-Monbiot’ app.
The spectacles also feature optional built-in anti-bigotry technology, which prevents exposure to non-Guardian opinions by blacking out columns by Melanie Phillips or Richard Littlejohn, among other writers, as soon as the user attempts to look at them.
The Sun says that the Rolling Stones spent the chilly Easter weekend camping out in preparation for their stint at Glastonbury this year.
Sir Mick Jagger and Ronnie Wood braved biting winds to slum it in a £70 Blacks tent.
Mick immediately tweeted: “Can’t wait to play Glastonbury. I have my wellies and my yurt.”
BBC Radio 4’s Today programme reported that from April 1, Northern Rail is replacing train numbers with barcodes that trainspotters can photograph and then upload to the web via their smartphones.
The barcodes are specially elongated so that trainspotters can snap them as the train speeds past, and also means they can help inform commuters about whether the trains are running on time.
However, pop impresario and keen trainspotter Pete Waterman is leading the charge against the barcodes, saying: “It’s not the same thing. It’s like email – you can’t beat meeting people.”
The Daily Mail carries the news that experts at an animal sanctuary have trained their owls to deliver the internal mail – just like the birds do at the fictional Hogwarts School in Harry Potter.
Kirkleatham Owl Centre in North Yorkshire introduced the feathered posties after budget cuts forced it to reduce staff numbers, leaving a backlog of mail.
Eight of the centre’s 45 owls have been specially trained since the ‘Roy-owl Mail’ project began last week.
The Mirror has announced it has become the first website to trial Instagram-style filters, letting readers view MirrorOnline’s homepage written backwards or as they would see it if they were drunk.
One of the filters lets you see the Mirror’s content by pretending your modern computer is a cumbersome 1980s processor.
The drunk filter recreates those magic moments on a night out when you’ve caught the last train home but are struggling to focus on the newspaper you found left on the seat next to you.
YouTube has announced it will be shutting down after eight years and will no longer accept videos, and will be selecting the best video ever uploaded onto the site.
Tom Liston, communications director at YouTube, says in a video: "We are so close to the end. Tonight at midnight, YouTube.com will no longer be accepting entries. After eight amazing years, it’s finally time to review everything that has been uploaded to our site and begin the process of selecting a winner."
The video features cameos from YouTube celebrities such as Antoine Dodson, David After Dentist and Charlie and his brother (from the video "Charlie Bit My Finger" video), all talking about their efforts to be named best clip on the website.
Twitter has announced that starting today, it is shifting to a two-tiered system: a basic free service, Twttr, which uses only consonants, and a premium service which also includes vowels for five dollars a month.
The social networking site said on its blog that they’re doing this because by eliminating vowels, it is encouraging a more efficient and “dense” form of communication.
However, users will be able to use the letter ‘y’ for free, with early adopters like comedian Joan Rivers quickly adapting to the vowel-less way of typing.
Virgin Group founder Richard Branson has posted on his blog that his airline will be launching the world’s first glass-bottomed plane.
This technological innovation coincides with the start of Virgin Atlantic Airways’ first ever domestic service to Scotland, enabling Little Red passengers see birds-eye views of the country.
The Times reports the discovery of the writings of Captain Jasper Speedicut, a Victorian officer stationed in India and the near East, which has been hailed by historians yesterday as the greatest such find in 50 years.
Elspeth Morrison, Professor Emeritus of Sexual Relations in British Regimental History (1821-75) at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, said: “They provided an extraordinary insight into the life of a real soldier who somehow, against all plausibility, fought in all the major expeditions of the period.”
Speedicut found himself at the centre of 19th century Britain’s military adventures — not least in his work countering Russian espionage in Central Asia, a campaign referred to as the Great Game. However, historians believed that Speedicut — who was at Rugby School with Flashman — had left no written record of his activities.
Metro has turned the April Fool’s spoofs on its head by doing its own round-up of the best jokes and hoaxes – which is a spoof in itself.
None of the pranks in its round-up actually appeared on the websites it mentions, such as a BBC story about Nasa’s Curiosity rover quitting Twitter after abuse from trolls or Tesco creating a Tesco Value 3D Food Printer.
Metro said: “Too lazy and unimaginative to make up their own April Fools’ jokes, this year Metro simply decided to fake ten entirely fictional pranks other people didn’t do instead."
It continued: “Meanwhile on Twitter, others vented their frustration: ‘I really thought this was the year they’d pretend they were going to start charging for the paper. Trick missed,’ said @KingBants77.”
Agency National News is reporting that legendary RAF pilot Biggles really did exist, according to new research.
On the 95th anniversary of the creation of the Royal Air Force, the RAF Museum has found evidence that the famous literary hero was indeed a real pilot and not a fictional character created by W. E. Johns.
A combat report by Major James Bigglesworth was recently discovered in a collection of W E Johns’ manuscripts and typescripts that had been in the Museum’s possession since the early 1980s but are only just being catalogued.
Hotels.com has announced that from April 1, its customers will be able to book the Belgian Suite in Buckingham Palace.
Costing upwards of £10,000, the suite has previously welcomed guest including former President Ronald Regan and most recently, President Obama.
Butler service is available on request at an additional cost, while dogs - especially Corgis - are welcome