Sorry to spoil the fun, Googlers, but one of your own just sneaked us a peek at your April Fool's Day prank: Google Jail. That or, um, Google is far more sinister (and naive) than we ever imagined ... Nah!
This all came to us from, let's say, a trusted source connected to Google. Perhaps most surprising is the sense of humor and amount of leeway to goof off apparently given to Googlers. (We figured the Eric Schmidt-Steve Jobs man date was the end of shenanigans). Still, there's part of us that wonders whether this is any crazier than, say, Google investing in a genetic research company.
Here's how the "launch" was planning to be announced, according to a screen shot:
Google Jail for Communities
Google is planning to launch an experiment that we hope will make prisons better for everyone. We plan to test ultra high-tech incarceration facilities in one or more trial locations across the country. We will deliver Googleplex-quality services 100 times better than what most American prisoners have access to today, including fiber-to-the-cell connections. We'll offer service to at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 inmates.
From now until June 1st, we're asking interested municipalities to provide us with information about their prison infrastructure and crime rates through a Request for Information (RFI), which we'll use to determine where to build our jails.
There was even a video attachment (a video of a video, actually), which we've shared below. It fits Google's usual awkward amateurish presentation style—does this come natural or are these guys really this self-actualized? (Also, this kid's the "project manager?!" What is he, 12?!)
Our favorite part of the FAQ page:
Why would prisoners need robot toilets and Swiss exercise balls? If the Internet has taught us anything, it's that the most important innovations are often those we least expect. In the same way that the transition from dial-up to broadband made possible the emergence of online video and countless other applications, next-generation, high-amenity prisons will capture new innovations in real-time search and rescue, high-definition security video, metal stamping, laundry, and others that we cannot yet imagine.
And, of course, there's the Project Overview. Jesus, how much time do these people have to kill?