Hoax Museum Blog: Technology

Who is the Hot Abercrombie Chick? — If you're a regular reader of Blogdex, as I am, then you'll recognize the name Hot Abercrombie Chick (aka Amanda Doerty). For some reason her weblog keeps rising to the top of Blogdex's index. I've never been able to figure out why. Her posts just don't seem that interesting or relevant. To be honest, I find them boring. Apparently other people have had the same thought, because now she's being accused of gaming Blogdex. But that's not all. Julia Set reports receiving an inside tip…
Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2004.   Comments (4)

The Way Things Were: Overpriced Web Host — BoingBoing linked to this webpage, 1c4.net, advertising a 1995 web-hosting service. Back then you could apparently get a website hosted for the bargain price of $250 a month. That may seem a lot, but when you figure that you got a whopping 3mb of storage space with that, it suddenly seems more reasonable. Times sure have changed, but actually I don't think that this overpriced web host was ever real. First of all, did they have .net suffixes in 1995? Maybe they did, but I don't remember…
Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2004.   Comments (9)

Virtual Trader — Wired News has an article about a guy, Julian Dibbell, who almost succeeded in making a living from trading in imaginary goods, namely virtual items from the game Ultima Online. Of course, it doesn't seem that extraordinary to me that someone could earn a good living from trading imaginary things. After all, isn't there a trillion dollar industry devoted to just this... i.e. the financial derivatives market? I mean, options and other financial instruments may have real value to people,…
Posted: Sun Apr 18, 2004.   Comments (1)

TV on your Mobile — In an update of the Instant Color TV prank from 1962, Sweden's largest newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, is reporting that mobile phone users can watch movies on their phone screens, simply by pointing the phones at a tv and punching in the appropriate access code.
Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2004.   Comments (0)


BMW Offers New Way to Cook — BMW has announced a cutting-edge innovation for commuters that allows them to prepare dinner, while driving home in the car. It's called SHEF, which stands for Satellite Hypersensitive Electromagnetic Foodration. Basically all your oven controls are built into the dashboard of your car, and they communicate wirelessly with your actual oven back in your home. You can monitor the progress of your meal via a built-in oven-cam.
Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2004.   Comments (1)

iPod Muggings — There have been tales going around recently of iPod owners being targeted by muggers who then demand their iPods. For instance, there's this recent story of an iPod mugging in the British West Midlands, as well as a story from a month ago. Apparently it's the white color of the headphones that are making the owners prominent targets. About which an Apple representative reportedly said, "There are guys who�d rather be robbed than change the colour of the headphones." Now Engadget is…
Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2004.   Comments (3)

WiFi - SM — Are you guilty about living a life of comfort while others around the world suffer? Do you want to 'feel their pain'? Now you can, thanks to the WiFi-SM. This is a wireless device that "automatically detects the information from approximately 4,500 news sources worldwide updated continuously and analyses them looking for specific keywords such as death, kill, murder, torture, rape, war, virus etc.. Each time the text of the news contains one of these keywords, your WiFi-SM device is…
Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2004.   Comments (1)

Wired = Overloaded Server — Wired published an article about net hoaxes today, for which I was interviewed. The increased traffic it brought promptly melted down my web host's servers, which has been causing quite a headache for me. But regardless, it's nice to get the visitors. Perhaps a few of them were even able to view some of the site's content.
Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2004.   Comments (1)

The Mini Cooper Autonomous Robot — Colin Mayhew, an engineer at a British division of BMW, decided to convert a mini cooper r50 into an autonomous biped robot. The results are quite impressive. In particular, check out this video. The no-frills design of the page makes it seem quite believable. But sleuths on Slashdot have determined that it's a hoax. The url is registered to an ad agency working for BMW. (via Things Magazine)
Posted: Mon Mar 29, 2004.   Comments (80)

ChatNannies Last All Summer Long — This story has been growing in size for the past week, and now it seems definite. It's a hoax. It began with a story in New Scientist last week describing an artificial intelligence program designed by Jim Wightman, an IT consultant from Wolverhampton. This program, called ChatNannies, supposedly scours internet chat rooms pretending to be a child and luring pedophiles into conversation with it. Once it identifies a pedophile, it reports them to the authorities. Sounds great, but if it…
Posted: Fri Mar 26, 2004.   Comments (6)

Lazy Guide to Net Culture — Stewart Kirkpatrick of Scotsman.com presents the Lazy Guide to Net Culture: Hoax, Line and Sinker. "Idiotic hoaxes abound online, and are taken very seriously indeed by people who are not usually idiots."
Posted: Thu Mar 18, 2004.   Comments (0)

Mobile Phone Birth Control — This one had me going for a while before I figured out it was a joke. The EETimes reports on a small Belgian company called Prophy-Lectric that has developed a cellphone add-on, dubbed the Nippit 3000. This remarkable device "projects a high-intensity ultra-sonic electromagnetic 'sound cone' that is inaudible to the human ear but fatal to any sperm cell within a range of six meters, or about 18 feet." In other words, just place it next to the bed during moments of intimacy, and that's…
Posted: Thu Mar 18, 2004.   Comments (0)

Fake Background Noise — Liars and chronic excuse-makers now have a new weapon of deception at their disposal. SounderCover will add fake background noises to a cellular call. So if you're sleeping in late, but you want your boss to think that you're stuck in traffic, just play the sound for background traffic while you lay happily in bed. You can even create and use your own sounds. Ingenious.
Posted: Tue Mar 09, 2004.   Comments (0)

PC — The hoax that everyone was linking to last week was an article on overclockers.com written by a guy who claimed that he had received a brand new dual-processor Apple G5 for Christmas, but because he had been hoping for a PC, he gutted the computer and installed a cheap PC motherboard into it instead. For those who don't know computers, that's a little like getting a Ferrari and replacing its engine with that of a Geo Prism. The Mac community hit the roof when they heard about what this…
Posted: Wed Feb 04, 2004.   Comments (0)

Rewind Your DVDs — Digital Velocity wants to rewind your DVDs for you. Just enter your credit card information on their website (Just $1 per DVD), then insert the DVD into the CD tray of your computer, and fifty-nine seconds later your DVD will be rewound. (Thanks to Tracey for the link).
Posted: Tue Feb 03, 2004.   Comments (4)

Phantom is not a Hoax — Back in August I noted there were rumors that the Phantom game console was just a hoax. Turns out it's real.
Posted: Wed Jan 14, 2004.   Comments (0)

Mario 3 Time Attack Video — A 'time attack' video has been going around that appears to show someone completing every level of Mario 3 perfectly in 11 minutes. If you're a fan of Mario 3 it's apparently quite impressive. Unfortunately, the video is a fake.
Posted: Thu Jan 08, 2004.   Comments (2)

Vixen Love — If you're ever instant messaging on AOL and strike up a conversation with a 19-year-old female from California named Vixen Love, watch out. You're not really talking to a teenage girl. Vixen Love is actually a computer program. Quite a few people apparently have failed to realize this.
Posted: Tue Jan 06, 2004.   Comments (0)

Hold the Button — Talk about sheer useless stupidity... Holdthebutton.com challenges you to see how long you can hold down the button of your mouse while keeping it positioned over a small rectangle. I managed exactly seven seconds, though they say that the average time is 4 minutes (do people really have nothing better to do?). But this is the part that I'm convinced must be a hoax. They claim that the record is over 13 days. Unless someone wedged something over their mouse button and then left it there…
Posted: Tue Nov 04, 2003.   Comments (2)

AMD Crop Circles — Last month Advanced Micro Devices debuted its new 64-bit micro processor. Apparently it helped promote the launch of this new processor by hiring a group of crop-circle experts to create circles throughout the UK and America. Pictures of their efforts can be seen here (Thanks to Geoduck for the link).
Posted: Sun Oct 19, 2003.   Comments (0)

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