back to article LG offers BRAIN-SAVING CANCER-BL... er 'good luck charms'

What LG would like us to be writing about is its Knock Code – a system which takes the idea of drawing a shape to unlock a phone and replaces it with a Simon-style pattern of taps. That might have been the case if LG hadn’t chosen to promote the technology by handing out a, ahem, "radiation shield". This will "protect" you, but …

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Finally save

and prevents your harmful electromagnetic waves that cause health problems, such as endocrine malfunctioning, reproductive malfunctioning, cataract and brain tumour

As is the local custom, someone mistook microwaves for hard gamma rays.

then the phone you’ve so carefully "cleaned" and to which you'd attached the well "rubbed" sticker would stop working

UNLESS you applied it homeopathically.

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Re: Finally save

Stick-on phone crap with optional flashy lights is common in Asia, but nobody really believes they do anything any more that we believe Lucky Charms are lucky or Red Bull gives you wings.

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Trollface

Re: Finally save

Or that an iPhone makes you cool.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Finally save

If you are holding your phone where its radiation can cause reproductive malfunctioning, you are either doing it wrong or it is in vibrate mode.

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Re: Finally save

nobody really believes they do anything

The claims on the packet seem to say they do. The Carbolic Smoke Ball Company tried to claim that nobody takes such claims seriously, and it didn't work for them.

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Unhappy

Re: Red Bull

"nobody really believes they do anything any more that we believe Lucky Charms are lucky or Red Bull gives you wings."

WHHAAAAT?!?!?!

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Can these also protect us from...

...the dreaded fan death!?

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Thoroughly discredited.

I went to the MTHR website to take a look at their findings. They seem very clear on who's involved in the research, but less clear on who's paying for it. Googling for "who finances the MTHR" doesn't turn up much, but does have a link to a page on the o2 website that explains this research is paid for 50/50 by the government and the mobile telecoms industry.

Could you find two more trustworthy sponsors?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Thoroughly discredited.

Who else is going to do it? Reputable independent scientists are not going to get funding for a study which will almost certainly turn up no ill effects, and lead nowhere. It's up to the people wanting to do something to fund the research, and up to other people to criticise it.

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Joke

Re: NOT Thoroughly discredited.

Not everything in business is some sort of conspiracy to pull the wool over consumers eyes....

(just most of it!)

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Alien

Re: Thoroughly discredited.

MTHR = Mean Time to Heat Ray

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Anonymous Coward

Re: AC

And it's up to those of us with memories to remember all the research sponsored by the tobacco industry that showed smoking was good for you.

And "funding for research that will almost certainly turn up no ill effects", is that how they tendered? Wanted, researcher who will almost certainly turn up no ill effects?

You're doing a great job cheerleading for blind acceptance.

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Re: AC

There were also at the time a lot of reputable studies showing that smoking wasn't good for you. There aren't many that show mobile phones cause any sort of harm and none that I'm aware of that show lasting significant harm. You can't just deny results because the mobile phone industry may have provided part of the funding, you have to back up your claims.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_phone_radiation_and_health

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@:Fibbles

What claims? That the research is 50/50 funded by the government and the industry? That came from here: http://www.o2.com/cr/resource/independent_research.asp

Whether that information makes you cynical about the results of the research is your call. It certainly makes me less confident of it, but maybe I have a bad attitude.....

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Re: @:Fibbles

"What claims?"

Your implication that the results of that specific research are spurious because a mobile phone company was involved in funding it just seems like an association fallacy to me. If you can't find fault with their methodology or a similar study which attained conflicting results then I see no reason to be cynical (at least no more so than I would be about the results of any other scientific research).

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Anonymous Coward

Glastonbury

I am reminded of the attempt to install free wifi in the middle of Glastonbury. People were complaining of headaches, loss of energy, all kinds of side effects. And this was before it was actually, you know, powered up. Obviously the mere existence of the box created negative ethereal vibrations. Some engrepreneurial person started selling crystals that would prevent the wifi damage to your chakra.

However, the real reason for the complaints may be that the shopkeepers who sell the "alternative" tat crystals, books and candles didn't want people looking at them and then finding out they were a lot cheaper on various websites.

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Re: Glastonbury

I would have thought that headaches and loss of energy are natural side effects of being at Glastonbury... As is coming home with some over priced hippy tat and a band shirt you'd never wear in public.

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Oh dear.

Don't confuse "pilton pop festival" as it's known around here with the town of Glastonbury. You've got a whole load of psychic bad vibes heading your way now!!

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Re: Glastonbury

Engrepreneurial -- I'll use that one, please.

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Bacon sandwiches

A good friend of mine (sadly no longer with us) and his vegetarian friends took over the Meat Society at their university. They then discovered that the constitution of said society bound them to walk around Freshers' events handing out platters of cured meat, which to their credit they duly did.

History does not record if this was productive in terms of Veg Soc membership. But the fennel salami was tasty.

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I've got a rock that keeps away tigers.

I carry it with me everywhere I go in the UK, and I've never seen a tiger.

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Re: I've got a rock that keeps away tigers.

Yeah, I bought an energy crystal from a hippy stall, the guy swore it was once blessed by the Dalai Lama. I got it to repel unscrupulous political types away from my front door when canvassers are doing the rounds prior to an election.

Unsurprisingly, I was ripped off - it only seems to work against principled politicians who know their arses from their elbows, and the bastard hippy didn't tell me the thing had a range of hundreds and hundreds of miles...

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So, let me get this straight; LG have given out stickers with their own logo on telling people that their own products give you brain tumours. Aside from the diabolical scientific knowledge, doesn't this count as a pretty catastrophic marketing own-goal?

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Anonymous Coward

Left hand, meet right hand

So, let me get this straight; LG have given out stickers with their own logo on telling people that their own products give you brain tumours. Aside from the diabolical scientific knowledge, doesn't this count as a pretty catastrophic marketing own-goal?

Son, let me tell you a story.

Back when I worked in one of LG's overseas branches, someone started leaking pictures of new handsets. As a response, management decided to enforce a new set of restrictions: from that point on nobody was allowed to enter the building carrying (I shit you not) "photographic cameras, video cameras, or memory devices".

Of course, no restriction was placed on personal cellphones – you know, those little gizmos that for years now have at a bare minimum included embedded cameras and internal storage? Not to mention that, since we worked in the mobile department, all developers had a drawer's worth of sample handsets in their desks, plus data-enabled SIM cards that were of course not audited in any meaningful way (and tended to be "disappeared" every now and again).

To top the cake, it was later found that the leaker worked not in our offices, but in one of the 3rd party companies that helped us test the handsets. Then again, all management wanted was to be seen as addressing the problem; they never meant their measures to make sense, let alone be effective.

"Face-losing pointless reactions to the wrong problem" could well be LG's internal motto. I can totally picture some executive coming up with the idea that what their handsets needed was something to reassure punters they are safe (because, you know, that's why they're buying Apple and Samsung in droves) and then delegated implementation to someone who couldn't read English, or cared to.

And you wonder why LG's livelihood depends on me-too phones sold in bulk to carriers?

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A sticker?!?

If they were really concerned about the matter, why not embed the "electromagnetic wave absorbing" material into the phone's casing?

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Re: A sticker?!?

They might. Some decades ago I had to use an RF absorbing material in a wireless remote control imported by my then-employer to cut its signal down to legal levels. But I put it INSIDE.

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Come to think of it, since this is apparently applied to the back of the phone, if it did anything at all, wouldn't it more likely reflect radiation back into your head?

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Don't we have laws against this?

While it is not yet a criminal offence to be "a few loops short of a Slinky" or just not suitably informed, it is illegal to use deception to relieve such peeps of their money. It's like the fake bomb detectors or other snake oil.

There's a sports-gear shop in Swindon, probably one of a chain, which sells "hologram bracelets" which claim to improve your balance and perform other miracles. I pointed out to a nearby member of staff that this was fraudulent, but I was 'reassured' that they were very popular. So that's all right then.

I have groaned when friends (actually, all female) told me that they'd bought "powerful" crystals for absorbing harmful energy. One friend actually sells this shite to other people, making it awkward to take her seriously.

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Don't under-rate placebo

There is a great New Scientist book on "Nothing" one of the chapters on Placebo says that in tests where they told people "You are getting a placebo because we've found that although there are no active ingredients, the placebo effect still makes a difference", and it stil worked, even when people knew it was a placebo.

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