Google changes name? Don't be fooled

Thu Apr 1, 2010 5:36pm EDT
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By Edward Krudy

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Naming rights on sale for New York's Central Park, Google changing its name, Starbucks launching giant-sized coffee cups, the Boston Marathon changing its qualifying standards. It must be April Fools' Day.

In keeping with tradition, newspapers and websites around the globe played various tricks on their readers on Thursday, ranging from the faintly believable to the absurd.

Internet search engine Google joined the fun by saying it was launching "Translate for Animals," a new animal translation service, and renaming itself Topeka - a tribute to a town in Kansas, which has temporarily changed its name to Google as it aims to become a Google fiber optic trial community.

"Google employees once known as "Googlers" should now be referred to as either "Topekers" or "Topekans," depending on the result of a board meeting that's ongoing at this hour," Google said on its web site.

In a bid to close the city's budget deficit, New York's mayor's office announced on its Twitter feed that Mayor Michael Bloomberg had decided to sell naming rights for Central Park, the East River and even ubiquitous former mayor Ed Koch.

"I appreciate the honor bestowed by the mayor when he included me with two of the city's major assets," Koch told Reuters by telephone. "I urge the bidding start at $25 million for me and $200 million for Central Park," he added, joining in with the frivolity.

Coffee shop chain Starbucks announced it was launching the "Plenta", a giant 128 fluid ounce (3.8 liters) cup of coffee and the Micra, a tiny 2 fluid ounce (0.06 liters) cup, saying it would meet customer demand for "more and less coffee."

A spoof website identical to the Boston Athletic Association's official site showed new, tougher qualifying standards for the city's annual marathon, as well as a much smaller total field of runners planned for 2011.   Continued...

<p>AC Milan's David Beckham looks on during the Champions League soccer match against Manchester United at the San Siro stadium in Milan February 16, 2010. REUTERS/Paolo Bona</p>