The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Technology
Car by Ikea — 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…
Posted: Mon Mar 23, 2009.   Comments (6)

Fake Calls — 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…
Posted: Wed Feb 11, 2009.   Comments (28)

Computer Tan — 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"…
Posted: Thu Feb 05, 2009.   Comments (6)

How Man is Made Invisible — 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…
Posted: Thu Dec 04, 2008.   Comments (7)


Magic Power System — 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…
Posted: Tue Nov 18, 2008.   Comments (10)

Anti-Theft Lunch Bag — 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…
Posted: Fri Sep 12, 2008.   Comments (6)

The Olympics So Far — 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…
Posted: Tue Aug 12, 2008.   Comments (6)

$1000 iPhone App Does Nothing — 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…
Posted: Mon Aug 11, 2008.   Comments (13)

Farting iPhones — 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…
Posted: Fri Jul 18, 2008.   Comments (4)

The Smell of Fake Cigarettes — 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…
Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008.   Comments (10)

Holotext Messaging — One day I'm sure it'll be possible to receive holographic messages on your iPhone. But not yet. Which means that this video showing (what appears to be) an iPhone displaying Holotext messages is a fake. I kept expecting Princess Leia to pop up and say, "Help me, Obi-Wan. You're my only hope."
Posted: Sun Jun 29, 2008.   Comments (5)

Tribal Laptop — I saw this image posted on Gizmodo (who got it from pixdaus). They claim to know nothing about it, except that it shows the Dani people of Papua, New Guinea. Is it real, or has the Sony Vaio been photoshopped in? My hunch is that it's real. I'd guess that the laptop belongs to a photographer or researcher who handed the laptop to the guy with the big headdress in order to show him a picture. But that's just a guess. I debated whether the image could be considered "not safe for…
Posted: Wed Jun 25, 2008.   Comments (38)

Cell Phones Cook Popcorn — A youtube video purports to show popcorn popping when placed in between cell phones all ringing at once. Clearly fake. It's a new spin on the old joke about cooking an egg with two cell phones. The only question is how they got the popcorn to pop. My guess is there must be a heating element beneath the table.
Posted: Mon Jun 09, 2008.   Comments (14)

KaleCoAuto — KaleCoAuto offers a variety of automobile parts and accessories you're unlikely to find anywhere else. For instance, they sell "seasonal air" for your tires, so you can make sure the air inside your tires is at the correct temperature for the season outside. Other products include porcupine seat covers, a car-to-tank kit, and (my favorite) the "Round Tuit" (pictured) -- a multi-functional tool that is "a requirement to finish all those hard jobs that you keep putting off." According…
Posted: Mon Jun 02, 2008.   Comments (6)

The Perfect Woman — Ai Robotics claim to have developed the "Perfect Woman." Her face is shiny and her movements jerky, but she does housework. From perfect-woman.com: The company AI ROBOTICS was founded 2 years ago by Etienne Fresse and Yoichi Yamato, both robotics specialists working on developing cutting-edge technologies. During the last 3 years the two founders have dedicated all their time and energy to their project “robot woman LISA” which thanks to the support of numerous foreign investors will…
Posted: Thu May 29, 2008.   Comments (18)

Padded Lampposts Protext Text-Messagers — A few weeks ago a story was going around about a street in London where the lampposts had been padded in order to protect text-messaging pedestrians. Neo posted about it in the forum. The story sounded pretty ridiculous, and sure enough it turns out to have been a publicity-stunt hoax. The padding was placed on the lampposts by a pr firm, and it was only there for a day and a half. The Press Gazette reports: Journalists across the world reported that Britain’s first “safe text” street…
Posted: Tue Mar 18, 2008.   Comments (4)

Gravity Lamp — About two weeks ago it was announced that a U.S. grad student, Clay Moulton, won second place in a "Greener Gadgets Conference" competition for inventing a floor lamp powered by gravity. The concept was that a person would place a weight (about ten pounds) at the top of a four-foot column. Over the course of the next four hours, the weight would descend down the column, causing a rotor to spin that would produce a gentle light (about the strength of a 40 watt bulb). Moulton's concept…
Posted: Mon Mar 03, 2008.   Comments (10)

Lego Halo — Rumors have been floating around suggesting that Bungie Software might be coming out with a new game called Lego Halo. It would be the same as the Halo series, except everything would look like it was made out of lego. The rumor is based on a scan of an article from an upcoming issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly which describes this game. There really is a Lego Star Wars game, so there's a precedent for this concept. However, Lego Halo appears to be a hoax. Gaming Today reports:
Posted: Mon Mar 03, 2008.   Comments (3)

The Air Poo — Airpoo.com launches with a splash screen that says, "Going to the bathroom used to be... Boring... Quiet... A loss of productivity. Introducing the Air Poo™. Poonovation. Available Summer 2008." Basically the Air Poo is a high-tech toilet. It has a heated seat, a "multi-touch flusher" that allows you to choose between a light or heavy flush, an iPod Dock to listen to music, an integrated surround sound system, and a MacBook Air docking slot. The MacBook Air docking slot is the only…
Posted: Mon Mar 03, 2008.   Comments (1)

Death-Threat Elmo — Back in January 2006 I posted about a "Who Wants To Die" Talking Elmo book. When the book's buttons were pressed, the book said, "Who wants to die?" It was supposed to say, "Who wants to try to go potty?" (I'm not sure which is worse.) Now another Elmo is in the news for making bizarre death threats. TBO.com reports: A Lithia family says a cuddly, programmable Elmo doll revealed its dark side yesterday after fresh batteries were installed. Instead of singing songs or reciting the…
Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2008.   Comments (11)

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