I’ve been posting a bit about pranks of various kinds, mainly geeky ones. But so far I’ve only covered real pranks, rather than the much funnier imaginary ones.
The classic of that genre, of course, is a certain database-oriented xkcd comic strip. (If you haven’t instantly guessed what I’m talking about, you must see that strip.) And in a similar vein, I further offer six examples of xkcd’s “My Hobby” strips. (The last two are not for the sexually squeamish, but the others are pretty G-rated.)
One thing I just learned about xkcd — if you mouse over the strip, you get another joke. Some are almost as funny as the main strip. So even if you have already seen the database-classic xkcd linked above, you might want to revisit it.
In a very different vein is Dadhacker’s list of real or imaginary past shenanigans, (Edit: The original link is fried, but here’s a partial replacement) which starts:
I am not permitted to replace a coworker’s reference books (including his Knuth, Sedgewick, and C++ reference manuals) with several linear feet of steamy hardback romance novels.
I will not name my variables after nasty tropical diseases, or executives who are under indictment for fraud.
Elevators are not toys, nor should they ever be wired into the corporate net.
Funny and vaguely prankish (and not for the language-squeamish) is this non-xkcd comic about NoSQL. And finally (definitely also for the non-squeamish), see the first long comment in this Reddit thread, which seems to have successfully pranked a whole lot of readers.
Last month, Bob Zurek asked me to give a talk on “Big Data”, where “big” is anything from a few terabytes on up, then moderate a panel on cloud computing. We agreed that I could talk just from notes, without slides. So, since I have them typed up, I’m posting them below.
A Microsoft Answers message board got the question:
I’ve noticed that as I copy data/install programs on my Laptop, the weight of the Laptop increases. I have a bad back and am medically limited on the amount of weight I can carry so I need to be very carefull not to inflict injury upon myself.
I have also noticed my XBox feels heavier as well (the more games I save or purchase from arcade). I generally don’t travel with my XBox so that is not an issue for me, but note the I am having the same results.
My ask, what is the weight/file ratio? So for example, how many GB’s = 6oz? I dread the day I need a dolly to commute to work with my Laptop.
Expressor Software is putting out a ton of press releases to the effect that it has signed up another reseller/systems integration partner or, in some cases, sponsored a webinar. Less clear is whether Expressor is selling much of anything, delivering product people care about, and so on. The one time I visited, Expressor told me that user interface was its strength, then showed me something very primitive and explained — as the famed joke* would have it — how good it was going to be.
*That would be the Thrice-Married Virgin, although I’ve recently seen versions in which the poor unfortunate was married 12 times. The last husband on the list is always a computer or software salesman, who keeps telling her how good it is going to be. I first heard the joke from Flip Filipowski. I decided it must not be too terribly sexist after hearing Sandy Kurtzig tell it to a group of stock analysts.
Am I missing anything major?
Edit: I emailed the company on May 8, asking what Expressor had in the way of customers. There has been no response.
I heard a different version of the same idea at Boskone once, but here is a pretty good send-up of what might occur at a customer review session. (Warning, however: Low production values.) Also, in case you missed them, considerably funnier are a couple of classic Star Trek filksongs, especially the first.
While I’m on the subject, a couple of more serious filksongs I really like are:
Other great serious filksongs are “Queen of Air and Darkness” (Poul Anderson lyrics) and Jordin Kare’s “When the Ship Lifts, All Debts Are Paid”, but I can’t find recordings of those now.
There’s a long list of Chuck Norris Java jokes. Most are pretty lame, but I liked a few, including:
- Code runs faster when Chuck Norris watches it.
- Garbage collector only runs on Chuck Norris code to collect the bodies.
Donald Farmer has an excellently-crafted April Fool post about a revolution in business intelligence. Look at the character names, for example.
I wonder whether Donald learned operations research from that textbook where two main decision-making characters were Mark Off and his father Pop, an example company was Edifice Wrecks, and an example CEO was Dawn Shirley Light …
Amazon says it’s taking “cloud” computing to new heights, as it were.
Derivative funds and large government-subsidized entities will be especially interested in FACE’s transmodal operation. They can allocate a dedicated FACE, load it up with data, and then send it out to sea to perform advanced processing in safety. The government will have absolutely no chance of acting against them, because they will be too busy trying to decide which Federal Air Regulation (FAR) was violated, not to mention scheduling news conferences.
First excellent April Fool’s joke I saw this year was from The Guardian. The best so far is from Expedia. Others are linked in my Twitter feed. And personally, I’m encouraging the concept of April No-Fooling Day.