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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Technology
Solar Panel Made From Human Hair
Posted by The Curator on Thu Sep 10, 2009
Milan Karki, a young inventor from rural Nepal, claims to have figured out a way to replace the silicon in solar panels with human hair. From the Daily Mail: Milan and four classmates initially made the solar panel as an experiment but the teens are convinced it has wide applicability and commercial viability. 'I'm trying to produce commercially and distribute to the districts. We've already sent a couple out to the districts to test for feasibility,' he said. The solar panel, which produces 9 V (18 W) of energy, costs…
Categories: Technology Comments (11)
Man claims to be allergic to Wifi
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jul 28, 2009
DJ Steve Miller claims that he is allergic to Wifi. Being caught near a Wifi connection causes him agonizing pain. From the Daily Mail: The condition, known as electromagnetic sensitivity, affects two per cent of the population, and this is set to grow as more people opt for wireless internet signals. Steve navigates normal daily chores with the help of a ‘wi-fi detector’ which spots areas he should avoid. But the sensitivity has made moving house a real mission for Steve, who has needed to avoid homes close to a connection. He said: ‘I can’t live within 50 yards…
Categories: Health/Medicine, Technology Comments (14)
No Flesh-Eating Robots
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jul 20, 2009
About two weeks ago, rumors began to spread online about a flesh-eating robot created by the military. The robot, named the Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot (EATR™), would be a reconnaissance droid that could survive for long periods behind enemy lines by foraging for fuel. This fuel would include virtually any kind of biomass: twigs, branches, apple cores, stray cats, or even human bodies. The robot, it turns out, is real, but the claim that it will be able to feed on human bodies is false. The companies building the robot, Cyclone Power Technologies and Robotic Technology Inc., issued a press release addressing the rumor:
Categories: Food, Technology Comments (6)
USB-Powered Chainsaw
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jul 09, 2009
A new hoax website advertises the World's First USB-powered Chainsaw: Current materials used on bodies of chainsaws are too heavy for office use. Lighter materials, however, could cause the vertical axis of the guide bar to shift when pressure is applied onto the saw chain. Research and development introduced several innovations to offer an optimal blend of tough plastic and lightweight alloy. It's said to be shipping in September. The real question is who created this page and why. It's registered anonymously (typical for a hoax site). We'll just have to wait…
Categories: Technology, Websites Comments (12)
Official verdict: Steorn didn’t develop free energy technology
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jun 30, 2009
Back in August 2006, the Irish company Steorn declared it had developed "revolutionary free energy technology." To back up its claim, they ran an ad in the Economist inviting a jury of independent experts to scrutinize its claims. It's been almost three years, but the jury has finally delivered its verdict. The unanimous verdict of the Jury is that Steorn's attempts to demonstrate the claim have not shown the production of energy. The jury is therefore ceasing work. So the whole thing was a big waste of time. The mystery is…
Categories: Free Energy, Technology Comments (11)
Car by Ikea
Posted by The Curator on Mon Mar 23, 2009
A new site (in French), roulez-leko.com, appears to announce the imminent introduction of the Leko, "the car by Ikea". The suspicious part: the car is set to debut right around April 1st. However, it could be legitimate because the first week of April is France's Sustainable Development Week, which the text on the site states that the debut is part of. We'll know soon enough if it's a hoax or something real. If it is real, it serves as a reminder that companies should avoid making major product announcements on or around April 1st. Link: carconnection.com
Fake Calls
Posted by The Curator on Wed Feb 11, 2009
James Katz, a professor of communication at Rutgers University, has studied the phenomenon of people who fake calls on cell phones. He's found that a very high number of people do this (above 90%). Reasons include: to avoid talking to someone nearby, to look important, or to look busier than they are. Katz has been quoted as saying: "They are taking a device that was designed to talk to people who are far away and using it to communicate with people who are directly around them." Two apps available for the iPhone demonstrate the robustness of this trend: Fake Calls will make it look like you just received a call. Similarly, Fake Text
Categories: Technology Comments (28)
Computer Tan
Posted by The Curator on Thu Feb 05, 2009
Get a tan as you sit in front of your computer by logging onto ComputerTan.com: This technological breakthrough is enabled by converting the electrical impulse delivered to your pc into radiated factor-free UV rays. It's Tan-Tastic! The Times Online reveals that the site is actually a hoax created by the UK skin cancer charity Skcin "to raise awareness of skin cancer in the UK." However, within only 24 hours, 30,000 people had registered their interest in getting a "computer tan" before the site was…
Categories: Technology, Websites Comments (6)
How Man is Made Invisible
Posted by The Curator on Thu Dec 04, 2008
Hudson Pace sent this interesting clipping. He writes: Here's a hoax (see attached). Presumably done with double-exposures, but it would be nice to know how many people he fooled and why he did it. It's from 'The Encyclopedia of Modern Wonders for Boys', published by Collins apparently in the 1930s. Googling 'Herbert Winck' gives one reference to the same pictures in 'The Wonder World Encyclopedia' from 1936, also published by Collins. As you'll see from the caption, the pictures fooled at least one person. I assume the pictures…
Categories: Magic, Technology Comments (7)
Magic Power System
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 18, 2008
We've seen quite a few dubious devices that claim to enhance the performance and mileage of automobiles. The BioPerformance pills come to mind. However, the Magic Power System (aka MPS Power Shift Bar) is something special because it's a product that's not even vaguely plausible. It's on sale on eBay UK for the low buy-it-now price of £34.99 (about $52). All you do is plug it into the lighter socket of your car, and here's the improvements you will see: enhance fuel efficiency - saves gasoline (10-30%)increase engine torque - increase power (2-5ps)reduce car emissions - contribute to the environment unconsciouslyimprove car audio soundsthe small device cleans the entire car electrically including…
Categories: Scams, Technology Comments (10)
Anti-Theft Lunch Bag
Posted by The Curator on Fri Sep 12, 2008
Designed to deter sandwich thieves. Green splotches are printed on both sides: "After your sandwich is placed inside, no one will want to touch it." The bag was designed by Sherwood Forlee, who describes himself as "a designer with no design or art education." He also writes that he "calls himself a designer because it sounds hip and no one likes hanging around a nerd at a party." One of his other inventions is a "Vaginal Simulator," which isn't a sex toy. "Rather, it is one of the most advanced and effective tampon testing simulators."
Categories: Food, Technology Comments (6)
The Olympics So Far
Posted by The Curator on Tue Aug 12, 2008
1) The school child who walked at the front of the Chinese team during the opening ceremonies (he was a survivor of the Sichuan earthquake) was carrying an upside-down Chinese flag. Why is debatable. Maybe it was an innocent mistake, or maybe it was a coded message of "great distress" (as upside-down flags mean in nautical convention). Whatever the reason, the Chinese media cropped the upside-down flag out of the photos they showed Chinese audiences. 2) The opening ceremonies included a massive fireworks display. But what was shown to television audiences was a pre-recorded, computer-generated shot of…
$1000 iPhone App Does Nothing
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 11, 2008
Customers at Apple's online iPhone store recently had the opportunity to buy a program called "I Am Rich." True to its name, it cost $999.99. The program, created by Armin Heinrich, a German software developer, displayed a large red ruby on the iPhone's screen. And that's it. Nothing else. The product description read: "The red icon on your iPhone always reminds you (and others when you show it to them) that you were able to afford this. It's a work of art with no hidden function at all." Eight people actually purchased the program before…
Categories: Pranks, Scams, Technology Comments (13)
Farting iPhones
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jul 18, 2008
You've just shelled out a couple hundred bucks for a new iPhone, and now you're paying outrageous monthly service charges in addition to that. So what can you do to show off your new status symbol? How about make it fart? DoApp has introduced a whoopie cushion app for the iPhone: This app includes 10 varieties of gas sounds. The user will be able to choose the right length and power to make the proper sound effect for the moment. In order to use this application, a user has to touch the iPhone once or swipe…
Categories: Gross, Pranks, Technology Comments (4)
The Smell of Fake Cigarettes
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jul 15, 2008
Now that the Dutch have banned smoking in bars, bar patrons have realized they can smell each other, and they don't like it. So a Dutch company, Rain Showtechniek, has created a machine that will create a fake tobacco smell. From The Telegraph: "There is a need for a scent to mask the sweat and other unpleasant smells like stale beer," said Erwin van den Bergh, a spokesman for the company... Unlike the real thing, the artificial tobacco smells do not have any health risks and does not linger in the hair or clothing of bar customers.
Categories: Places, Technology Comments (10)
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