Thursday, April 1, 2010

Tempers Flare As Patently False 'Pulls A Watterson'

Patently False News
Satire Valley, CA
April 1, 2010

Protesters took to the streets today, in reaction to the news that Patently False will cease its successful run of Twitter headlines. In a terse press release, PF claimed "it was not a recent or easy decision" and that "we have not yet decided on future projects".


Throughout the crowd, reactions were uniformly resentful and upset. One geek was quoted, "In the first place, this is a 'Patently False' announcement on April Fool's Day, so who the hell knows what they are doing. I have put a lot of time and energy into re-tweeting those damn headlines, and frankly I'm pissed that we weren't consulted."

Said a software developer, "You know, PF was the voice for the common geek, trapped in the gray landscape of a dreary day gig. PF let us laugh at ourselves; it was uniquely tuned to our hopes and fears, an oasis in the desert of our day."

"And the worst part," chimed in another, "is that the press release is just a rip-off of Bill Watterson's retirement announcement. I mean, I thought PF was innovative, and loved it, but WTF -- Calvin and Hobbes?! Come on, now. That's some pretty pretentious bullsh-t right there."

The Future

When asked where they might go from here, the group admitted they would still read full news articles by Patently False. However, most said that they will return to The Onion, where "the writing is better, anyway".

One young woman sniffed into a tissue, wiping away a tear, "I just hope The Onion taps into monads or catamorphisms. I really like functional programming."

The protesters chanted for several hours until, finally, local police brought in staff from JetBrains to hand out free licenses for the Ultimate Edition of IntelliJ's IDEA.

Stop The Presses: End Of Headlines

Dear Readers,

We will cease Patently False headlines on Twitter, effective immediately. This was not a recent or an easy decision, and we leave with some sadness. Our interests have shifted, however, and we believe we've done what we can within the constraints of daily deadlines and small tweets. We are eager to work at a more thoughtful pace, with fewer artistic compromises. We have not yet decided on future projects, but our relationship with Blogger will continue.

That so many people would RT @patentlyfalse is an honor, and we've greatly appreciated your support and indulgence over the last year. It has been a privilege and a pleasure: thank you.

the staff at Patently False

Monday, June 29, 2009

FAQ: Can I Contribute To Patently False News?

Can I Submit Ideas To Patently False News?

Yes. Email ideas to codetojoy at

Why Should I Submit Ideas?

We could offer you an Amazon gift-card, or a t-shirt, or cash. But being a Twitter-centric phenomenon, our currency is vanity.

Starting in July 2009, if you submit a successful idea, Patently False will follow you on Twitter for one week. (Previously, PF only followed TechCrunch and The Onion).

Because of this exclusivity, readers will know immediately who has made a contribution to Patently False. This, in turn, will give you greater exposure in the Twitterverse. A win-win all around! Narcissism FTW!

Why Haven't You Used My Idea?

The most likely answer: it sucks. Or it isn't quite prime time. For every tweet, there are dozens that don't make the cut.

Here are some tips to improve your chances:
  • Rather than writing a vague idea, try to write a true headline, using the style conventions as used on the feed. (It's harder than it seems, but not excessively hard.)
  • Read your new headline out-loud: does it make you laugh? If not, refine the idea.
  • Aim for the sweet-spot of cynicism that is funny, but not egregiously offensive.
  • Brevity rocks: the most successful headlines are tiny, compared to Twitter's 140 characters.
  • On subject matter, the idea is to find the intersection between absurdity and tech/computer science. It is true that PF News occasionally sways into mainstream, but only rarely. A mainstream idea will have to be golden.
Note: Ideas do not necessarily need to be in headline form! The above items are guidelines. A brilliant idea can work even if vague.

A Final Note

PF News reserves the right to modify the idea for style and humor. You will still get credit, if the essence of the idea was used.

Patently False News is grateful for all submissions! Have fun, and start creating today....

Monday, April 20, 2009

Introducing Patently False

Tech News: Distilled

Patently False is your primary source for tech headlines that are distilled to the essence, beamed in via satellite from an alternate, satirical reality.

This is banzai-Zen tech news: we provide the headlines; your mind fills in the rest.

The Symbol

The symbol above is the interrobang: an iconic representation of the desired effect. (Image used from Wikicommons)

Twitter Only

No images, no video, no text: just headlines, found over at our Twitter feed (@patentlyfalse). Join today!