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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Technology
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)
Holotext Messaging
Posted by The Curator on Sun Jun 29, 2008
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."
Categories: Photos/Videos, Technology Comments (5)
Tribal Laptop
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jun 25, 2008
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 work." But then I figured, No, it's too "National Geographic" to…
Categories: Photos/Videos, Technology Comments (38)
Cell Phones Cook Popcorn
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jun 09, 2008
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.
Categories: Food, Photos/Videos, Technology Comments (14)
KaleCoAuto
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jun 02, 2008
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 to uwhois.com, the KaleCoAuto.com site is registered to Ronald McPothole who lives on 1986 Corvette Lane. I'm sure that's a real name. (Thanks, Jerry)
Categories: Technology, Websites Comments (6)
The Perfect Woman
Posted by The Curator on Thu May 29, 2008
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 be presented to the public on June 11 2008. The company’s philosophy is…
Padded Lampposts Protext Text-Messagers
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 18, 2008
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 had…
Categories: Places, Technology Comments (4)
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