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Wednesday, April 1, 2009
YouTube flipped Barack Obama and co upside down for April Fools' Day 2009
The internet rarely offers respite from the raft of April Fools' Day jokes doing the rounds and today was no exception as YouTube went upside-down.
Users of the video-sharing site were left bamboozled this morning when upon arriving at the YouTube homepage and clicking on a video they were turned upside down.
The footage and the related text links all went through a 180 degrees rotation, leaving the watcher feeling distinctly unnerved.
It meant news videos like the arrival of US president Barack Obama at Downing Street ahead of the G20 summit in London took on an all-together different hue.
In true April 1st fashion, YouTube tried to convince its users that the change was a deliberate attempt to improve the viewing experience.
"At YouTube, we're always looking to improve the way you watch videos online," site bosses wrote in a related post.
"As part of that, today we're excited to introduce our new page layout. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your new YouTube viewing experience:"
YouTube then went on to detail three ways – complete with descriptive diagrams – users could maximise the new 'feature'.
It said "internal tests have shown that modern computer monitors give a higher quality picture when flipped upside down" and advised users to either i) turn their monitors upside down, 2) tilt your head to one side or 3) move to Australia.
For users who want to experience the upside-down world post April Fools' Day, YouTube have helpfully enabled any video to do a 180 just by adding the code &flip=1 to the end of the required URL.
Elsewhere on the web, YouTube parent company Google had its annual hoax at our expense – this year it unleashed DENNIS ("Dimensional, Elastic, Non-Linear, Network-Neutral, Inertial Sequencing") on the world.
In a post on its Australian blog, it claimed engineers had developed a gBall – a ball for Aussie Rules Football which had GPS and a motion sensor inbuilt.
Apparently the ball could automatically measure kicks, offer playing tips and even vibrate if there were talent scouts wanting to speak to you.