From Today's Telegraph
A NEW product that's smaller than a five cent piece but powerful enough to shield us from the potentially harmful electromagnetic radiation generated by mobile phones and other electronic devices, has just been released.
The Qlink Mini employs patented Sympathetic Resonance Technology (SRT) which can maintain the strength of naturally occurring protective energy systems within our bodies.
OK, if you can't smell the bullshit already, then your nose is broken.
The product, QLink Mini, is basically a small shiny sticker which you put on your mobile phone to shield you against harmful "electromagnetic rays".
Let's just forget for a moment that those electromagnetic rays are what makes your phone work and that blocking them would make it unusable as, well, a phone
, and look at the product itself, shall we?
Ben Goldacre has already taken on the QLink here
. Skepdic also has a page
It is, of course, nonsense. It contains nothing more than a small resistor [NOTE: a zero-ohm resistor!] unattached to anything. Qlink's global advertising claims research from Stanford, Penn State and Wollongong University. Interestingly, the AU distributor doesn't mention Wollongong Uni, presumably because it's too easy to check up on the empty claim when the University is just down the road.
This is just ridiculous.
What's more ridiculous, it sells for AU$48
What's more ridiculous, it comes as a pendant for $148
What's more ridiculous, there's a gold pendant version for $1598
No, seriously. Over $1500 for a $0.002 resistor on a chain. Which doesn't do anything
So this is just another sympathetic* magic product, like PowerBalance, for which ridicule should be deployed. If you've bought one, you're a sucker. If you know someone who's bought one, they're a sucker. If you see one, point and laugh
Oh, and Stephen Fenech, your byline is on this undisguised piece of quack advertising You're a sucker and a shill and don't deserve the title "technology writer". If your byline is on this without your consent, get it removed. If you actually 'wrote' it, you're a snake oil salesman peddling bullshit.
UPDATE 1:39pm Sydney Time
So, it turns out that QLink is endorsed, presumably for a fee, by Mario Fenech. Mario Fenech is Stephen Fenech's brother.
Downesy is all over this on twitter. It also appears that Stephen himself has been defending the product on twitter, so the byline is consensual.
Basically, Stephen, you've done a very silly thing. As a technology correspondent, you should be aware that the internet knows things and the internet doesn't like it when someone is trying to pull the wool over its eyes.
QLink and Fenech Bros reported to ACCC via Scamwatch.gov.au
I would just like to mention that there IS proven technology that can block electromagnetic waves from your phone. It's called a Faraday Cage, and to use this you'd have to enclose your entire phone inside one, rendering it useless for telecommunications, as it would stop the radio signal it uses to communicate. It's also not very portable.
UPDATE 2:50pm [redacted due to stupid math on my part, and repetition of someone else's mistake] Q-LInk claims to have been working this technology for 20 years. yada yada
UPDATE 5-11, 11:39am
Letter to the Editor submitted on the telegraph website:
Regarding Stephen Fenech's thinly-disguised advertorial for QLink, Telegraph, 4-11-10
Given that Fenech's brother is a paid endorser of Q-Link, and given that Q-Link is a product with no scientific plausibility whatsoever, and given that it's been panned by actual scientists worldwide as nonsense, will we be expecting the Telegraph to have an empty desk in the technology section shortly?
Shilling a quack product in which one's brother has an interest is hardly the pinnacle of journalistic ethics now, is it?
Cameron Reilly and Downesy note that Fenech has shilled for Q-Link before (8/3/2004 and 14/12/2005)
firstname.lastname@example.org - emailed. QLink has a Sydney office. I'll also be forwarding to VIC authorities
Crikey awards Fenech and the Tele a Wankley Award
@HappySinger reports that the Telegraph have pulled the story. I, of course, have a copy saved which I'm sending to the press council. HappySinger has it twitpic'd here. The internet never forgets.
More coverage from Crikey
Dan's Data has coverage here and here
Tim Lambert's Deltoid has it here
YAS has it here
Coverage from The Vine
* it even uses the buzzphrase "sympathetic resonance technology". Will the quackery never end?
posted @ Thursday, November 04, 2010 12:21 PM