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Funny Business on April Fools

Google kills it again with digi-hoaxes, as others try to get in on the gag action. Plus, the rest of the day's (real) news for entrepreneurs.
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Each day, Inc.'s reporters scour the Web for the most important and interesting news to entrepreneurs. Here's what we found today.

Google is hiring. Are you interested in launching a start-up but lack the know-how? Try learning from the best with a once-in-a-lifetime employment opportunity. Google has announced—yes, another April Fool's day post—that it's hiring for the position of Autocompleter at its Mountain View, California, headquarters. As a part of the Product Quality team, you'll be responsible for predicting the future by siphoning the thoughts of Google users, typing suggestions into in their search bars via remote access before they have time to lift a finger! The successful applicant will be bilingual, willing to travel and/or relocate to Nauru or Tuvalu, will possess certification in a discipline of divination, and has a 32,300 WPM typing speed. Applicants can submit applications directly through the Google job board.

The Times tastes its own medicine. In a response to The New York Times establishing a subscription plan to view its content, The Huffington Post has retaliated by erecting a similar paywall that applies only to Times employees. From now on, all New York Times employees have a choice of two subscription options: they can either access one Huffington Post article for free per month, or, in the most popular plan, Arianna Huffington writes that "Times employees can view the first six letters of each word at no charge (including slideshows of adorable kittens). After six letters, we will ask you to become a digital subscriber."

Reinventing e-mail. Again. Today, Google also announced its newest "creation," Gmail Motion. The new product redefines how we interact not only with e-mail but with the computer itself. By using your webcam, Gmail now recognizes specific body gestures to fulfill all the commands in the e-mail software. Cue video:

Can't get enough of the jokes? We also love RyanAir's faux introduction of "child free" flights, a fake deal site, Deals 4 Hipsters, and Hulu's retro redesign.

In real news... Google's not impressed with Microsoft's lawsuit. Google has been taking heat from all sides about antitrust complaints. For the past year, Google has been under investigation for one reason or another and nothing incriminating has stuck yet. So Microsoft's antitrust complaint against Google in Europe isn't fazing the company at all. The New York Times reports that Al Verney, a spokesman for Google in Brussels said, "We're not surprised that Microsoft has done this, since one of their subsidiaries was one of the original complainants." Nevertheless, the European Union has started its investigation, though still in the preliminary stages, of Microsoft's claims that Google's "anti-competitive practices" are stopping other rivals from examining information that Google controls.

Food retail chains combat rising food prices. Looking for ways to trim costs by making their supply chains more efficient, some eateries are switching to new systems, such as buying just what they need, rather than what they expect to sell, the Wall Street Journal reports. Such methods, to be potentially used by chains like Starbucks and Olive Garden, could help restaurants afford more expensive ingredients without raising prices, and could limit unnecessary waste. New strategies include automating the supply chain, using multiple vendors, and buying produce directly from farmers.

The risks of firing. Admittedly, this story is over the top. But it's also true. If you've ever been worried about laying off someone with the skills to take down a significant portion of your company's work, wealth, or products, you might want to read on how a programmer wiped out an entire season of a TV show by hacking his data-hosting company post-termination.

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Last updated: Apr 1, 2011




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