The Museum of Hoaxes
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Stotham, Massachusetts: the town that didn't exist, 1920
The Great Wall of China Hoax, 1899
Prof. Wingard's Death Ray Hoax, 1876
Swiss peasants harvest spaghetti from trees, 1957
Dog wins art contest, 1974
The Nazi Air Marker Hoax, 1942
Bizarre pictographs of Emmanuel Domenech, 1860
Life discovered on the moon, 1835
Rare planetary alignment decreases gravity, 1976
The Society for Indecency to Naked Animals, 1959
AtomChip Notebook Computer
image You may never have heard of the Atom Chip Corporation before, but you will if they've really built what they claim to have built--a notebook computer that boasts a 6.8GHZ CPU and 2TB of non-volatile Quantum Storage (in place of a hard disk). For those who aren't tech savvy, a notebook computer like this would be years ahead of anything else on the market. The company says that it will present this miracle technology to the world during an upcoming Consumer Electronics Show. However, the pictures it has on its website look strangely amateurish, like pieces of computer hardware glued together. The liberal use of the word "quantum" in its description is also a clue that this thing is totally bogus. The Register states that it's a "trifle sceptical" of the company's claims.
Categories: Technology
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 07, 2005
Comments (90)
(fine print) 'Lap must be ninety-three inches wide'

While 6.8 Ghz is *just* attainable with current technology, and it would almost certainly be *possible* to make a Terabyte flash chip (probably about the size of a pizza box if you do it the easy way...), the cost would be insane. Given the speed of technological advances, it will probably take about ten years for something like that to become available to the general public at a cost that doesn't reflect the GNP of a small nation.

Sounds like an investor trap to me.. Put up a concept that sounds real enough to those who have heard just enough buzzwords to be dangerous, then rake in the money.

Quantum computing is, at this point, totally theoretical, and moreover, scares the willies out of respectable physicists. Seems it may be possible to get signal noise from alternate dimensions with quantum components. Also, a quantum computer wouldn't necessarily be any faster than its current counterpart. It *would* be capable of massive parallel processing, though.
Posted by Bobcat  on  Thu Sep 08, 2005  at  01:58 AM
I've got it! I know how they've managed these incredible technological breakthroughs. It's obvious that they put LifeWave patches directly on the processors. Those small adhesive plastic patches can improve ANYTHING!
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Thu Sep 08, 2005  at  03:13 AM
What the hell would anyone need a terabyte for?
Posted by Citizen Premier  in  spite of public outcry  on  Thu Sep 08, 2005  at  08:45 AM
for such a high tech operation their web site seems pretty crappy. They do have a listing on the CES website which does indicate they have secured a booth at the Jan. 2006 con in Las Vegas as well as listing phone numbers/addresses/company officials and products they intend to display. I, like The Register, remain a trifle skeptical and will discount the companies claims until Jan. 2006.

Citizen, one immediate use for that amount of storage would be in todays high end security DVR's, many of which are expandable to the TB region however this is only through using multiple drives.
Posted by Chuck  in  Rhode Island  on  Thu Sep 08, 2005  at  09:13 AM
I agree about the website - pretty nasty. Plus there is a whole lot of Photoshopping going on. For instance, anything that says, "Quantum," in an image is Photoshop. I suspect a hoax.
Posted by bored serf  in  vitro  on  Thu Sep 08, 2005  at  09:19 AM
Am I the only one who thinks that their picture of the insides of the "AtomChip
Posted by azog  on  Thu Sep 08, 2005  at  10:03 AM
Advances in comuter technology, although constant, are never huge like this. I suspect its bogus.

I've been to the Consumer Electonics Show and computers don't draw that much attention. We expect this year's will be better than last year's so there's no surprises. The biggest draw seems to be car stereo systems. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's the poster girls signing autographs that makes it that way.

A close second for popularity is the Porn Convention that takes place downstairs at the same time. They also have their people signing autographs.
Posted by Captain Al  in  Vancouver Island, Canada  on  Thu Sep 08, 2005  at  11:17 AM
If you still think this is real check this out:

On that page they show a headphone jack and try to convince you that it's computer stoarge.
Posted by Dean  in  Fairhope AL  on  Thu Sep 08, 2005  at  11:22 AM
I think is a joke, check out

The guy sitting in a plastic chair attending a seminar is hilarious!
Posted by swangelok  on  Thu Sep 08, 2005  at  01:34 PM
there is NO DOUBT this is a hoax LOL!!!!!!!

Posted by No Doubt  on  Fri Sep 09, 2005  at  04:18 AM
I would KILL for 1TB of hard drive space... no, really.

This is so obviously a hoax it's not funny. 6GHz? Come on... we're already pushing the boundries of our current CPU technology (consumer level, ie Intel and AMD off-the-shelf stuff) as it is, this just isn't possible. Even if by some miracle it was, the heat generated would be huge, and to then cram it inside a notebook?! You've got to be kidding...
Posted by Soldant  on  Fri Sep 09, 2005  at  06:32 AM
Man, they could've done a better job on the CPU, I mean come on, a CDROM Laser??? I mean, buy some old computer parts and stereo mini plugs and call them memory?

Pay the patent fee and they'll give a patent to anyone who takes the time to obfuscate a fake design. Sigh...
Posted by Shockie  on  Fri Sep 09, 2005  at  08:08 AM
Somebody asked what you could use this for. Well, extreme simulations on a laptop that you would only need if you worked for an "agency" or Los Alamos, or if you (like me) are a mad software developer who likes the idea of running massive data warehouses in terabytes of memory instead of slow hard drives. I had a look at instead and concluded that the laptop must be a hoax. However, other research I have done in the field informs me that by 2012, most enterprise storage will be hologram drive based, or based on the real implementation of NvIOpSRAM, among other rivalling technologies. It would appear the speed I need today for large dataset analysis is just a few years away. Unfortunatley by then, my datasets would have grown exponentially and even a quantum computer wouldn't be enough :(
Posted by RagingInsanity  in  England  on  Fri Sep 09, 2005  at  12:20 PM
Alright, time to shed some light...

First, this website looks like a fledgling company that doesn't have a dedicated webmaster. Seen that more than a few times. Forget the website, it isn't as important as some of you think. Even the headphone hookup doesn't look like a fake as that is simply improvising a new technology out of something old (which isn't such a bad idea).

As for the technology itself, frankly it wouldn't surprise me. To date, at least 3 large firms are openly working on building a quantum processor. They have been since the early- to mid-90s. Who are they? HP(and this may be the real reason that the R&D was hit so hard recently at HP), MIT, and (as far as I can remember, although my memory may be a little flawed) a joint venture of EDS and others. Just read Michael Crichton's book "Timeline" and check the credits. He did his research to write a story based on technology that is "coming soon". As for those that are working in secret? Could be hundreds. The first to have an off-the-shelf, operating quantum processor is going to control the world. Here's a list of reasons:

1. Because of the differences in the processors, your average 1GHz quantum processor would be equal in speed to today's processors running at 10GHz. Why? QuBits. Today's current processor has only two states, on and off, for each transistor. A quantum processor has the equivalent of 4 transistors to each bit (hence QuBit) allowing for a multitude of on/off states and combinations. This allows for processing several orders of magnitude faster than current processing technology.

2. Because of the reason stated above, all current encryption technology would be rendered useless. What good is an encryption that takes a normal computer 20 years to break if a quantum computer can do it in seconds? Scary thought for you there, huh? (it sure scares the crap out of me!)

3. Memory density is getting amazingly high as of late. Of note, the HVD (holographic virtual disc) which is purported (and somewhat verified) to store 1 terabyte of data on a single CD sized disc. See the following links:

The last link is to the credit card sized storage disc that stores 30GB each, with each card costing only $1. The drive costs $1800, which if added up makes for one heck of a deal. For roughly $5000, one could put together a multidisc(CD like) storage system with a total capacity of 96 terabytes. Spend over $20,000 and you could have yourself an exabyte of storage on quick reading, quick writing, removable cards.

If you haven't been paying attention to technology, then everything I have said here should scare the crap out of you. Best part? It is all verifiable from numerous sources, including the companies themselves.
Posted by Techie  on  Fri Sep 09, 2005  at  12:20 PM
How many of you do read the technical sheet before giving their opinion? We are not talking about existing technology. They are using LIGHT. Not electricity. Light doesn't heat. Great advantage. And it goes faster than electricity. Then, the memory is holographic. It means that they are exploiting the 3 dimensions, unlike any other memory device (HD included). That makes sens for me. And they have been at the CES for 3 years. That's something...
Posted by Yannick Dufour  in  Canada  on  Fri Sep 09, 2005  at  07:58 PM
Yannick, I live in southern Arizona and I know for a fact that light does heat. I live through it every summer. (But it's a dry heat - especially with the drought.) Plus, heat is electromagnetic radiation in the infrared spectrum, right next to the visible light spectrum.

As far as the specs on this computer and so forth, being out of electronics for about 20 years, I can't offer an educated opinion. However, nothing I've seen in the printed specs would surprise me.
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Fri Sep 09, 2005  at  10:23 PM
If you guys can't tell that this is so obviously a fake you really need to STFU right now, and quit embarrassing yourselves. In fact some of you are cracking me up even more than the website LOL
Posted by Shockie  on  Sat Sep 10, 2005  at  05:40 AM
1. This company has already been at previous CES and has won a award there for similar technology, including a 4Ghz optical processor and 256GB diskless storage (from the CES website)

2. The technology used in the storage (according to patents that already date back to 1998) is magneto-optical they use light (a single photon wich is also called a quantum of light BTW) to set and read magnetical properties of the storage material wich means their storage cells are actually only a few nanometers wide. That company has also already sold pattents to IBM (one of the few companies in the world that owns microprocessor facilities)

3. The jack you can see on one page is actually an optical jack, a very efficient way of transferring data.
Posted by Seb64  on  Sat Sep 10, 2005  at  08:59 AM
come on people, we would ave heard all about this on the internet by now. And alove the media.
Posted by derek  in  CA  on  Sun Sep 11, 2005  at  06:33 PM
HAHA, this is sooo retarded, LOL, look at this picture (specificly the part that says 512GB)
Posted by Bob  on  Mon Sep 12, 2005  at  12:01 AM
Ooops, this picture:
Posted by Bob  on  Mon Sep 12, 2005  at  12:02 AM
Guys, go onto google and search Atom Chip and you will find a German University where there is a team who has developed such a chip. It hardly suprises me that this could indeed be real.

I'm not saying it could be a hoax, but I'm saying that it could indeed be real. Remember how only a few years ago we were hitting the 1GHz barrier, and the 2, 3, 4, 5, and even 6 with massive OCing of P4s.

Ever heard of a little saying, "Nothing is impossible"? A long time ago people laughed at the idea of 32bit computers, and CD Roms, hard drives that could hold a GB. Welcome to the 21st centery, anything is possible... even meeting aliens! xD
Posted by Jon  in  New Hampshire  on  Mon Sep 12, 2005  at  07:04 PM
Wow, and they even managed to port Windows XP on that new 6.8GHz processor. smile BTW if you have enough fast memory then you don't need to differenciate 'memory' and 'storage'. They claim to use the same technology with two different interfaces (and I doubt if you can address 2TB using ATA IDE bus).

Really, the WindowsXP screenshot is one of the most suspicious thing that gives the whole hoax away. It seems to be a mediahack (instead of an investor trap) and it seems to work. smile
Posted by atleta  in  Budapest  on  Mon Sep 12, 2005  at  08:01 PM
What gets me is that they're actualy registered with CES. I guess we'll have to find out in january if it was a hoax or not. The concept does make sense, but the speed of the optical components would be hindered by the silicon based metal circuts. Imagin a computer with optical micro circuts. The required metal components would be minimum and with the amount of light being used the heat would be far less than todays standards. I do remember reading about crystal circut technology where micro sized crystals containing certian types of gas could filter light in certian directions through the crystal. I can't remember the name of the technology though. I'll try to look it up at work.
Posted by Dizzle  on  Tue Sep 13, 2005  at  02:40 AM
1TB of memory is not enought, that company better get their ass in gear and make something to hold more he kidding? idk haha
Posted by toc  in  nj  on  Tue Sep 13, 2005  at  03:54 PM
What the hell would anyone need a terabyte for?
Posted by Citizen Premier in spite of public outcry on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:45 AM


Bill Gates once said "64k should be enough for anyone"
Posted by Soundboy_Jeff  in  somewhere in San Diego  on  Tue Sep 13, 2005  at  08:14 PM
the scary thing is... all the links work, including the one to CES 2006.

If they actually SHOW this thing, they'd have to use standard benchmarks to prove their rhetoric right? Can any of the current standards even show 6.8ghz processing speed?
Posted by Soundboy_Jeff  in  somewhere in San Diego  on  Tue Sep 13, 2005  at  08:16 PM
Citizen Premier asked what anyone whould need a Terabyte for. Folks, maybe you haven't lived through the individual computer growth but I've watched it and been a part of it to a greater or lesser extent since the late 70's. The first individual computer I ever saw (long before the PC) was a basic motherboard and the user had to enter hex code to do anything. My first computer was a TRS-80 Model 1 with 4K of RAM and the mass storage was a cassette recorder. My present compute is years old but still has 64Mg RAM and a 20 Gig hard drive, almost full. If a terabyte "hard drive" regardless of the technology hits the streets at a decent price, it will get filled up. Governments will use it first, then businesses, then ordinary people. Programmers will fill the space with more complex programs and people will dump more data into storage. With the right removable storage your doctor may have your complete medical history and DNA projections stored in the computer. With the right associated technology the government can keep track of you 24/7 "to prove you didn't commit a crime" or "for National Security" or whatever. Businesses can have your complete comercial history on file "to better serve your needs" and researchers can keep a copy of a digital you to experiment on.

Maybe this is all too paranoid, maybe a 1Terabyte storage device would just get filled with pictures, music and movies. But if this company isn't on the verge of this breakthrough, it won't be long. And any technology can be used to destroy freedom. George Orwell got "1984" wrong but maybe he was just too early.
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Tue Sep 13, 2005  at  09:47 PM
I'm a musician/sound producer and 1TB is not very much. The Vienna Symphonic Library (orchestral samples) is 240GB just for that one library. You can get 500GB Sata II drives today, two of them in a raid 0 array gives you 1TB storage with almost twice the throughput speed. Plus the main drive (another 500GB) and that's 1.5TB you can order today straight from the Dell website. People who do video editing could use up that amount of space easy. What do YOU use your computer for?
Posted by Shockie  on  Wed Sep 14, 2005  at  05:30 AM
I work in semiconductor company.
When i look at ther pictures on the site it's clear that this is a joke.
They've never heard of cleanroomsuits, contamination etc.
In a cleanroomenviroment you weare other clothes than the one on these pictures
Posted by Dr.G  in  holland  on  Thu Sep 15, 2005  at  02:09 AM
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