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April Fools: Google Fiber Bar, Iowa Foxconn plant and a new ‘Lab’

Labrador retriever puppis now adorn the top of Don’t Panic Labs’ website (top). Kansas City, Kan. Mayor/CEO Joe Reardon and Kansas City, Mo. Mayor Sly James pose with Google’s new product, the Google Fiber Bar (left). A graphic predicts the future of Guthrie Center, Iowa (right).

Three Silicon Prairie cities are the subjects of a couple April Fools’ Day jokes today. First, Kansas City, Kan. and Kansas City, Mo., the cities Google chose in 2011 to be the first to receive its coveted gigabit internet speed later this year, were announced as the launch pad of the internet giant’s first nutrition bar.

“As we started thinking about fiber,” Kevin Lo, General Manager of Google Access, wrote on the Google Fiber blog, “we realized that there hadn’t been real innovation in the fiber world in a very long time.”

“Today, after extensive testing, we’re launching Google Fiber, a nutritional bar with a smarter fiber we’ve coded as ‘Fiberlicious.’ “

The Google Fiber blog post also features a video (below) and a photo of the two Kansas City mayors (above) showing off the new Google product. Full details of the new nutrition bar are provided at google.com/fiber.

This is the second time in three years that a city in Kansas has been a part of Google’s April Fools’ Day antics. In 2010, in reaction to the bold statement made by the mayor of Topeka, Kan. who temporarily changed his city’s name to “Google” to support its campaign to land the Google Fiber project, Google announced it would be changing its name to “Topeka.”

Read the post on the Google Fiber blog: “A different kind of fiber


A little more than four hours northeast of Kansas City, the city of Guthrie Center, Iowa learned that it will one day be converted into a Foxconn plant, the Taiwan-based electronics manufacturing company that has major contracts with Apple.

“After a highly visible meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook,” TechCrunch’s John Biggs reported today, “Foxconn’s founder Terry Gou announced plans to open a sprawling Foxconn factory in Guthrie Center, Iowa, essentially replacing the approximately 2,000 residents of that small town with workers from in and around Iowa.”

The Onion-like news story includes perspective from Iowa’s governor, as well. “Iowa Governor Terry Branstad called the plan a boon to Iowa’s workforce which, along with Google’s data center in Council Bluffs, has turned Iowa into a ‘high-tech hub’ of the Midwest.”

Read the full post on TechCrunch: “Foxconn Plans New Iowa Plant, Will Hire 10% Of State’s Population


‘Don T. Panic Labs’

Last year, a few companies in the Silicon Prairie participated in the April Fools’ Day fun. This year, we’ve had just one pop up on our radar. It appears the Nebraska Global R&D company Don’t Panic Labs is making a major pivot to focus on a different kind of lab, the Labrador retriever.

“We got black labs. We got chocolate labs. We got yellow labs. We got the best labs this side of the Mississippi,” a fake mustache-wearing man says in a featured video on Don’t Panic Lab’s new website.

To carry out the change in business, Don’t Panic Labs of Lincoln, Neb. has changed its name, but in a clever way that it’s able to maintain its URL. “Welcome to DonTPanicLabs.com!!! The ‘T’ stands for TRUST!!!!”, a scrolling banner on the top of the site reads.

The company also released a pair of commercials (below) for its new venture and made sure to – in the spirit of April Fools’ Day, of course – give us a blooper reel to watch, as well.


In case Don’t Panic Labs has updated its website by the time you get around to reading this post, here’s a screenshot of what you missed. The black box features the video above.


More April 1st foolery

For April Fools’ Day pranks from other tech companies, check out TechCrunch’s roundup, “April Fools 2012: We Ruin Every (Tech-Related) Joke On The Internets“.


Did we miss one in the Silicon Prairie?

If you know of an April Fools’ Day joke with Silicon Prairie ties, please let us know in a comment below or email it to editor@siliconprairienews.com.


Credits: Photo of Kansas City mayors from google.com/fiber. Screenshot of Don’t Panic Labs website from dontpaniclabs.com. Graphic of Guthrie Center, Iowa and screenshot of TechCrunch story from techcrunch.com.

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