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Unboxing a 5G Protection Device (quackometer.net)
59 points by jackpea 11 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 56 comments

Sort of related: had a customer with a problem where data on a serial line got corrupted which is usually resolved by applying proper shielding all around the cable, i.e. standard Faraday cage principle. So English not being my native language I wanted to explain this in correct terms and entered the term 'emf shielding' in a search engine just to doublecheck. I think 90% of the results on the result page were all like this, 'protect your family from dangerous EMF'-style. Image search: the same, images of entire iron curtains meant to be put around your bed etc. Since this was using Duckduckgo, which as far as I know does not suffer from the typical 'search bubble' like on Google, I'm afraid this is an accurate representation of.. what actually? The internet being flooded by companies wanting to make easy money? There being serious amounts of people with a misunderstanding of EMF, it's sources and effects?

Unrelated: was thinking how it would be possible to truly prove uniqueness eg. by DNA but it seems everything can be spoofed. One way to avoid it is computation eg. captcha but yeah sucks. This thought related to online voting.

I do find it interesting the desire to harm/screw other people over and feel no remorse. Like those scams getting busted in certain places eg. fake virus support. People show up to their actual office and do the scam like their 9-5 haha... Idk crazy. I sometimes wish I had that malintent vs. just being a passive people pleaser. Like I'm sorry of my existence. Meanwhile guy jaywalks across traffic to me and asks me for some money so he can go to McDonalds... Idk. Conversely I see a legitimely homeless person and I offer them money, they refuse.

I do find it interesting the desire to harm/screw other people over and feel no remorse

I'm not sure this is the driving force here, especially when your description sort of fits the worst psychopaths, and I can think of other principles these people live by which aren't necessarily driven by such 'evil' forces. E.g. desire to survive (==food/shelter) which in modern society usually translates to desire to earn money, see an easy way to do that, feel remorse but ignore it.

Alos, after having talked to so-called tinfoil hatters, it seems that a large part of them genuinely believe all these theories (well, or were extremely good in tricking me into believing they believe) and as such also believe they can actually help people so from their point of view it's not a desire to harm or screw over but rather to help. As crippled as that might seem to others. I.e. do not underestimate the power of the human mind to play tricks on itself, or mental problems in other words.

> actually help people so from their point of view

Hmm I did not think of that. My rant was mostly about scams where you know it's a lie eg. a fake virus and then you proceed to convince someone they have to pay you money to fix this problem you made up.

But yeah I see your point about the need to make money too in this particular situation(what I'm talking about) it is a fast way to make a lot of money.

Agreed. For various reasons I often interact with (or befriend) people who seem to be into the typical weird beliefs that I know about (anti-vax, 5G, EMF, homeopathy, fluoride-in-the-water) and quite regularly I have the displeasure of being introduced to new ones.

A number of these people made a business out of 'helping' others who believed the same things. Most of the time my impression was that they really did do it from an honest conviction.

It makes sense, of course. If you believe something is true, making a business out of helping others within this belief system is pretty much what many of us do. If anything, it's at the very least more admirable than selling shit you know won't help others. It's just maddeningly misguided.

For example, a couple I met tried to sell some expensive woo-woo device to another friend of mine. Some other friends approached me to pool money so that we could buy this device for her birthday.

I'm convinced these friends meant well, the sellers meant well, and possibly the 'manufacturer' meant well too. It's quite possible that making this custom device was expensive.

I deflected by buying a nice book for her instead, but it was really difficult to keep from criticising. Thankfully, I was pretty sure enough of my other friends wouldn't participate and the gift wouldn't happen, so it was easier to just let things be.

On the subject of placebo technology. How well do HN think placebo software would work?

An example would be a productivity app that only has a flip switch for High or Low productivity. Whenever you need to be extra productive, just open the app and set it to High.

This has actually been researched and the science is pretty clear on this one: the placebo effect is very real and does work. As a matter of fact IIRC (sorry, can't find the paper) some experiments with the principle as you describe have been done and came to that same conclusion.

It’s less common now, but I do remember helping multiple people in the past who had installed malware masquerading as “PC Optimiser” software. Usually these would contain big green buttons labelled something like “Optimise system RAM” and show lists of many problems it was helpfully fixing for you.

Some users were utterly convinced that their machine was running faster than ever before, when in reality the malware did nothing other than begging for cash payments. Often the opposite by slowing down the machine with continuous pop-up advertisements and other nasties.

Would it add a slight matrix-style effect of symbols streaming down the screen? Or at least set the cpu fan to high?

Make the display brightness higher. Or rather sharpness, maybe?

It wouldn't be just placebo though. Clearly separating time when you want to be productive vs playing around is an old and effective trick.

Placebo apps that make your Internet faster are as old as the Internet itself though. I am guilty. In my defense, that was 20 years ago.

I'm not 100% certain of how the medical/psychological community would define 'placebo', but I'd argue it's not as simple as this not being a placebo because it's an effective trick.

The fact that placebos are effective is precisely /because/ they're effectively tricking whatever badly-understood connection there is between our thinking and our body. I imagine that there are degrees to this: 'tricking' ourselves to be productive by deciding to clean our house instead would generally not be called a placebo, whereas taking a sugar pill that lifts us out of depression probably would.

But fundamentally they're just the same thing on a spectrum: an improvement as a result of something that we /know/ should not be effective by understood, biological pathways.

Guilty as in you developed one of those apps? I'd be really curious to hear about the product timeline in that case. Did it get any traction? Was it monetized somehow? I've always been curious.

There used to be an entire industry of "performance boosting" products, only some of which actually did anything. Placebos are certainly an effective way to get people to give you money.

> How well do HN think placebo software would work?

Would work at what? Make people 'happy'?

The software would have to make a claim. For example, improve your posture.

Very well. The Pomodoro technique is essentially this.

Pomodoro is a way to gamify and time box your working hours into effective chunks. I wouldn't call that "placebo".

What a lazy job! The least they could’ve done was to throw in a low frequency oscillator, to give it some credibility. Fighting high-frequencies with low. :)

OTOH, the reasoning for poor construction of these devices is probably similar to the reasoning for poor English in 419 scam emails.

Having an oscillator on radio frequencies would require FCC stamp of approval.

The FCC doesn't have jurisdiction in the United Kingdom.

Considering the same people who sell this crap online also sell stuff to force you to inhale ozone and carry radioactive materials on your chest as health items I do not think they care much about FCC approval

Free money from them. $50k per device.

There was an ancient scam about this. Machine for $50k was preloaded with real $10k. Free money production was slow and when last real bill went out, seller was gone and in safety :-)

Well if they never said who the free money was for... They never even lied!

I wonder if there would be a market for actual electromagnetic shielding products, such as some sort of conductive paint for walls and ceilings? Of course, you could not use your phone or other devices, but it could be useful for the bedroom. A good way to have a guaranteed "do-not-disturb" zone as well!

The market is there, schools would love this technology. The problem is that simple thin coat of aluminized paint is super expensive, as is a big mesh. And phones are very effective at getting the low signals through any available hole in filter coverage.

I wonder if it would be possible to install a 4G network extender [0] then implement IP route rules on the ADSL router, to forbid access to Facebook and co?

[0] https://www.verizon.com/support/4g-lte-network-extender-faqs...

Those extenders typically backhaul the traffic over a VPN back to the telco, so your router would never see the true destination (e.g. Facebook).

And will ramp their transmit power up to do so.

AFAIK this already exists. It's used for segmenting frequency ranges in places with a lot of wireless pollution. For example; if you have a large building with a ton of access points and networks you might want to limit the interference by stopping certain frequencies going through select floors or walls.

Then you discover how hard it is to get a really good shield. Walls and ceilings? Maybe you lose one "bar" of reception. You need the doors and windows as well.

Also a guaranteed way to be unable to call emergency. You better have a stationary wired phone line in there.

Of course. Although if one couldn't walk/crawl a few feet out of a bedroom for an emergency, they are probably unconscious or have a very large bedroom. I'm assuming the marketed consumer would have minimal usage of a cell phone anyway if they are concerned about electromagnetic radiation.

I was thinking more of a whole living space. It's actually not that bad if you have a phone within a walking distance and the area is safe.

But then it's more about self discipline. You can always shut down the devices yourself instead of relying on a curtain measure for that which might prove annoying.

Oh, I thought it would about some kind of mechanism against vandalism. How naive of me in the early hours...

Surrounding yourself with a strong electromagnetic field should help you shield against electromagne... forget it.

> Surrounding yourself with a strong electromagnetic field...

Clearly you haven't read the advert, it's a 'nano-layer of quantum holographic catalyzer technology'

"...the slideshow will take you through my discoveries..." - I'm being dim, but where is the slide-show?

How is it not illegal to sell these?

My guess is the illegal bit is in the claims, not the device itself.

They probably are, but it’s unfeasible for law enforcement to prevent all crimes.

"These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA^H^H^H MHRA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease."

Radio waves are under the purview of FCC not FDA. (Unlike laser light.) MHRA has absolutely nothing to do with anything. Regulatory body in UK for radio waves is also separate from MHRA. I might be wrong there but I think it's CAA, while spectrum allocations are UK parliament.

It does not directly claim any health benefits. If this is illegal then it would be illegal to sell "healing" crystals and goop would not exist.

Really it's not much different than selling a wooden cross that will "protect you against satan".

It does claim, however, removing 5G waves. Which if true, would fall under radar jamming in FCC and be highly illegal. $50k fine.

(Unless it is passive - aluminum foil or a mesh cage, which is perfectly legal.)

Therefore it's false advertising.

Does it? All I can see on their site that implies blocking/jamming is "balance and harmonisation of the harmful effects of imbalanced electric radiation", which seems vague and pseudo-science-y enough to not break any laws.

But does it do that? If I put the device near test rats subject to really excess SAR, will it prevent them from being cooked?

Are "balance and harmonisation" exact enough terms that you can disprove them? Can that sentence even be called a technical or medical claim considering how vague it is?

Vitaminwater has some drink called "balance", would that fall under the same thing? They also have something called "revive" but I don't think you can call it illegal just because it won't revive people from death.

Well, it does claim a specific noxious agent it does something against. Much like you couldn't say something balances and harmonizes your body against cancer or say heavy metals when it does not do such a thing.

It says it does something about something.

Neither "balance and harmonisation" or "imbalanced electric radiation" are precise enough terms to disprove I'd think. Then again, I'm in no way an expert on quack healing devices or RF engineering.

I had this idea of starting a business selling homeopathic antidotes to vaccines. If anyone wants to partner up...

What would you want to treat?

Excess of money combined with lack of sense. (Or non-existent side effects of vaccines.)

Being proper homeopathic antidotes I assume you'd be using trace amounts of the active, supposedly harmful, substance in vaccines?

That would be on the order of one molecule of vaccino-poison to each liter of distilled holy water. Don't be disappointed if you never find that molecule, it's all about the vibrations ;-)

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