I couldn't miss this now, on all SE sites:

quack

What are the duck powers? Was anyone able to make it do or say anything other than "Quack"?

  • @Quant no kidding! See tags... :-D (i.e. I know what it is, just wondering if I missed any cool feature of it) – Shadow Wizard Mar 31 at 10:13
  • Best part is at the end ... – rene Mar 31 at 10:14
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    I enjoyed the part where random stuff turned up on my site unannounced, tried to gain access to my microphone and then was difficult to get rid of. – Richard Mar 31 at 10:30
  • Oh joy. It also makes stupid noises. Great – Richard Mar 31 at 10:32
  • when this features is introduced ? – Harshil Kotecha Mar 31 at 10:35
  • @Richard It doesn't actually use the microphone. – Something Bad Happened Mar 31 at 10:35
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    @READandSee-It'sNotaDupe - I know funny, and this isn't it – Richard Mar 31 at 10:38
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    The duck has definitely a bug. Even if I say that I do not have a microphone, it tries to listen. – Paul Mar 31 at 10:47
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    @Ooker April 1 mate. – Rishav Mar 31 at 11:07
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    Where I am it is middle of the day 31 of March. Rather far away from 1 April. – Oldfart Mar 31 at 11:23
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    I don't see it on the Portuguese StackOverflow. – Rosário Pereira Fernandes Mar 31 at 13:55
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    Why did they put such a rude feature on the SE? "Signing off all *.stackexchange (for quite a while)" Can't say that I blame them. – Bread Mar 31 at 20:56
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    I hate the duck. I think that SO engineers could use their time fixing bugs and improving things instead of producing such useless annoying crap. – Victor Stafusa Mar 31 at 22:57
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    @VictorStafusa as you see from comments around here, some people do like it. It is nice funny distraction from the daily routine. It shows SE still got some humor and is not made of robots. Humor is healthy, and this one day a year is used to distribute humor all around the world. I bet it took few hours of a single dev time, not something that is nearly enough to fix even minor bug. – Shadow Wizard Mar 31 at 23:05
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    The duc% suc&s. Sorry to say – AliceD Apr 2 at 20:40

It is not exactly a feature but is a merely a legend (I don't have a better word). They basically want you to listen to your self twice and they believe that you will have your answer sometimes in the question itself. Go to Confused Retriever for more info.

Ask So why a rubber duck?

According to wikipedia

A rubber duck in use by a developer to aid code review In software engineering, rubber duck debugging or rubber ducking is a method of debugging code. The name is a reference to a story in the book The Pragmatic Programmer in which a programmer would carry around a rubber duck and debug their code by forcing themselves to explain it, line-by-line, to the duck.

It does not matter if you have a mic or not. If you select "Yes" it will ask you to speak naturally but if you select "no" then this happens:

enter image description here

No matter if you say something out loud and clear it always gives the same output. It will ask you to speak louder and then do the silly "Quack" in the end.

Quack

Quack Overflow says,

Whenever you’re stuck, rubber ducking is a powerful method for solving even the most difficult problems. Insights are often found by simply describing the problem aloud.

You can then either select the option "I have another problem", which repeats the same thing over again, or you could select the "I hate this duck" option, which will display the message below and a button with the text Goodbye,duck.

The duck is sorry to hear that, but it understands.

GoodBye

But don't do this. It makes her cry :(

Cry baby

When does this duck appear?

I don't know. No matter how many times I hit refresh, go though questions or do anything it isn't coming back once I said "I hate this duck". :P

For really a technical point of view regarding this you can read this answer.

BUT again, you never know April 1.

How to get the duck back once you hated it?

According to @Simon's comment and this answer I found out that a cookie is being stored once you hated the duck. Deleting the cookie gets the duck back.

Cookie

  • How to bring the duck back again after you've said that you hate it? – Simon Forsberg Mar 31 at 11:20
  • @SimonForsberg As I said in my answer I have no idea how to get it back once you hated it. But i tried logging in from another account and it is there. – Rishav Mar 31 at 11:22
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    Nevermind, I found it!. Unfortunately I had to solve that problem myself as I had no duck to talk to. – Simon Forsberg Mar 31 at 11:24
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    @SimonForsberg Surprisingly I tried switching to an incognito window and the duck is back in the same account in that window. Also works with another browser as long as you don't hate it there as well. My guess is it's storing some account+Browser combination on the machine on whereas to display the duck or not. – Rishav Mar 31 at 11:25
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    The duck is terrorizing me again. It's in the corner of my monitor at this very moment. It's creepy. I don't like jokes and I don't like April Fool's Day. – Bread Mar 31 at 21:00
  • @Bread Just hate it once or twice and don't clear your cookies. You can always adblock it btw. – Rishav Apr 1 at 3:29
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    Do make a mention about the duck shedding a tear when you click "I hate this duck" – ADTC Apr 1 at 4:10
  • I did hate it once already (I'm afraid to go near it again, once is enough), and I rarely ever clear my cookies anyway. My adblocker is up and running as always. If the thing is harmless, I don't care, it's kind of funny and cute if that's the case. It has had me laughing a few times, if uneasily. The problem is that 'pretending' (?) to turn a mic on is creepy, and then the rude "quack" is really offensive. Also, adults don't talk to ducks :D If this is an April Fool's joke, I forgive you, but I really hope ya'll aren't serious with that thing. I don't do Cortana either, btw. – Bread Apr 1 at 9:09
  • @Bread this thing is just a prank. And note that it doesn't even ask u for your mic permission. It is never listening. U can adblock it manually. Right click and block. – Rishav Apr 1 at 10:13
  • Who wanna play duck duck goose..? – Arun Vinoth Apr 1 at 15:24
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    @Bread are you just afraid the ducks will eat you? – Nick T Apr 2 at 22:31
  • @NickT Im sure ducks are herbivores. :P – Rishav Apr 3 at 14:49
  • @Rishav I commonly see people feeding bread to the ducks and geese at a local pond. – Nick T Apr 3 at 15:06

Some issues (problems?) get resolved by just being patient "a bit". Pretty sure this "duck" is related to indeed (as per one of the tags you also used in your question). So it'll be interesting to see what will happen to it in about a day from now (the bets are open ...).

And even though SE sites appear to always enforce that any user around the world is operating from the same time zon (i.e. UTC, e.g. for review queue stats, rep rankings, etc), it might be that in this case this special feature is an exception to it. As it seems to have been activated around the time that April 1st started in the very first real timezone (somewhere in the Pacific?).

  • Timezone-sensitive stuff is traditionally buffered with +/- 24 hrs before & after. Was the case for previous years' April fools stuff, and every timezone-sensitive hat in any Winter Bash I've seen... nothing new here. – Mathieu Guindon Mar 31 at 23:07
  • I never clicked on it, and therefore had no opportunity to "hate ducks" but it stopped appearing anyway. – WGroleau Apr 12 at 15:15

Recently, I spotted a little "duck" at the bottom right of my screen:

Duck

I clicked on it, and it asked me if I had a microphone:

Ask the duck!

I clicked "yes", and it then started listening to me:

Quack Overflow is listening...

I then whispered it a very personal question, and it had a bit of trouble listening to me:

Speak up

Eventually, it got through, and it responded with a loud...

Quack!

And left me with some wise advice:

Advice

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    Wait, you started posting this as a question and hit submit as answer by mistake? ;) – Shadow Wizard Mar 31 at 10:13
  • @ShadowWizard Not per se. I was typing this up as a question, but keeping careful watch to make sure no one beat me to posting it. You did, so I immediately copied it and posted it as an answer here – Sonic the Inclusive Hedgehog Mar 31 at 10:14
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    lol... so better remove the last sentence... :-) – Shadow Wizard Mar 31 at 10:15
  • @ShadowWizard Searchability – Sonic the Inclusive Hedgehog Mar 31 at 10:15
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    The duck behaves identically if you say you don't have a microphone. – Henning Makholm Mar 31 at 10:40
  • @DonaldDuck no that would be too radical change. – Shadow Wizard Mar 31 at 10:41
  • Why is this being downvoted all of a sudden? – Sonic the Inclusive Hedgehog Mar 31 at 10:44
  • @HenningMakholm If you click that you have a microphone, it says "Explain your problem out loud.", and if you click that you don't, it says "With the magic of the internet, you can just explain your problem anyway!". – Donald Duck Mar 31 at 10:44
  • @SonicWizard - Perhaps non-programmers don't get the joke. – Richard Mar 31 at 10:47
  • @Richard What joke? I'm a programmer. – Sonic the Inclusive Hedgehog Mar 31 at 10:47
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    @SonicWizard - The whole "rubber duck programming, explain it to a duck" thing is really only funny if you're a programmer. If you're not, it's just a duck that says weird stuff until you get rid of it. – Richard Mar 31 at 10:49
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    @Richard Huh, never heard of that until now, as a programmer. – Sonic the Inclusive Hedgehog Mar 31 at 10:50
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    @SonicWizard - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubber_duck_debugging – Richard Mar 31 at 10:51
  • @READandSee-It'sNotaDupe The OP of this question said he doesn't want it there. That said, now that it's in another answer, I removed it here. – Sonic the Inclusive Hedgehog Mar 31 at 11:03
  • Rubber ducking has never been seen as a joke for those who understand it. – Willtech Apr 1 at 7:37

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