March 31st, 2011
07:30 PM ET

April Fools’ Day Pranks – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Let me start by clearing a few things up:

  • Scientists have NOT proven the existence of the Loch Ness Monster
  • Abba are NOT reuniting to perform ‘Dancing Queen’ at Kate and William’s reception
  • Snoop Dogg has NOT been neutered
  • Charlie Sheen is NOT a nice person 

At this time of year, news outlets revel in their readerships’ gullibility. But the art of media foolery is so rampant that an increasingly skeptical public is starting to doubt the veracity of stories long before April 1.

Take Rebecca Black for example. We almost needed to believe that ‘Friday’ was a hoax, despite its mid-March emergence. So indescribably offensive was this autotuned iniquity, the conspiracy theorists flooded online forums within hours. Sadly, we’ll have to chalk that down to wishful thinking.


March 31st, 2011
06:01 AM ET

Gold rush for Chinese internet stocks

Oh, if only we could predict the future, then we might be millionaires today.

This week News Stream, CNN International’s news and tech show, is focusing on some of China’s hottest tech stocks. The business segment I suggested for them: how much money would you have made if you were smart – or lucky – enough to have invested early on and cashed out today. The answers might make you shake your head and wish you had put up some money. Or they might make you smile a bit broader as you head out for your steak and lobster dinner.

Five years ago, share prices for Baidu, Tencent and Sina were affordable to many more investors, ranging between $5 and $30. Today that range has rocketed to the $100 to $200 level – and out of reach to the casual buyer.