by Tim Enloe, Accessmilton.com
As April 1st, 2011 rolls into the past, we take a look around the web and locally for pranksters who caught others in their annual "Fool's Day" shinanigans this year as well as time's past:
Gmail goes on auto pilot -
Already viewed as one of the most innovative e-mail systems in the world, Gmail got even easier in 2009, when Google “launched” Gmail Auto Pilot. It was purported to be a service that saved you the trouble of responding to e-mails by doing it for you. Google, of course, never launched such a program, but they did provide screen shots of how it would work.
In one example, an Auto Pilot user receives a classic African prince scam email, the type in which a foreign prince has $25 million in frozen assets, and only needs your bank information to help access it. Rather than deleting the e-mail like most people would, the Gmail Auto Pilot responds cheerfully to scam e-mail, and provides its user's bank account and social security numbers.
Google has a history of April Fool's high jinks. Last year, the company changed its name to Topeka for the month of March, a nod to the Kansas capital that had changed its name to Google as part of its campaign to win super high-speed Internet access.Flight of the penguins
Penguins can’t fly, unless you believe BBC filmmaker Terry Jones. In 2008, the BBC released a video of penguins which, thanks to convincing CGI, were shown flying to South America for the winter. The video became a YouTube sensation, and some YouTube commenters still admit to being fooled until the video's end.
Doggie Highchair.For 2011, Scandanavian furniture company IKEA introduced a highchair for your pooch. The HUNDSTOL, promised to let your favorite pet eat at the table alongside the rest of the family. The chair included special bowls for food and water and hole through which the dog can wag its tail, "for maximum comfort."
Locally, Accessmilton.com has enjoyed it's own fun when it comes to the annual pranksters day...
Council To Approve Millage Rate Increase.
In 2010, a story was posted announcing the purchase of various properties at the corner of Mayfield and Bethany Roads. The assemblage, so the story goes, was made by none other than big box retailer Wal-mart.
Needless to say, the story quickly spread with worry and concern, even going so far as to have Alpharetta's government contact the mayor of Milton. To view that story, go here=>http://miltonga.blogspot.com/2009/04/new-walmart-to-be-built-at-mayfield.html
Not to be out done in 2011, various participants created a story so believeable in light of recent topics that Milton City Hall fielded numerous irate calls. Even though the confirmation of the spoof was right in front of the readers eyes, most did not see it:
MILTON- A recent impromptu city council meeting was called last night to discuss covering the unexpected costs hitting the city for the new high school among others.
Prompted by citizen concerns regarding traffic flow through the Cogburn / Bethany Bend intersection,members were left with no choice but to approve a tax increase. "Regardless of what some might think, this was a very difficult decision, " commented one elected official who spoke to Accessmilton.com on the condition of anonymity.
"Immediate action is required now to make sure that the school opening in 2012 doesn't become a logistical nightmare for citizens and students alike,"commented another.
Location of the school was originally planned for Freemanville north of Redd Road but several active citizens fought that proposal with the BOE eventually relenting due to environmental concerns at the site.
Frustrations as of late have been a plenty when it comes to the Fulton County Board of Education. Ongoing meetings have taken place throughout North Fulton questioning numerous redistricting proposals.
Originally promised to be a "rural community" with no tax increases in sight, Milton has continued to sway away from that initial pledge. Little has been offered by council to give the open roads residents of Milton a voice to insure protection of that unique feel their properties provide.
Suggestions by citizens were not heard at the time of the meeting.
For those who enjoyed a good prank, we hope some well needed laughs came with it. For others who were angered and bothered... even going so far as to claim the story had been a "waste of tax payer money" and "city resources", then so be it. There are many other things that have been far more a "waste of tax payer money" in Milton than a simple April Fool's Prank, but that discussion is for another day.
Maybe such a story would not have been so trusted if council spoke out on the various issues regarding the Board of Education's actions over the last few years instead of remaining idle. Maybe such a story would not have garnered calls if residents received city emails on topics that truly impacted them instead of talking about how exciting bulky trash day can be. Maybe such a story needed to be written to address that potential reality of what could be.
Then again, some have stated that Accessmilton.com is "just a blogg" and not worthy of reference. After all, only six people visit the site on a regular basis anyway, right?
See you next year...