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Batterylife Activator Reviewed

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the grandly-mocked dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 213

Daniel Rutter writes "Slashdot chewed over the BatMax Battery Life Booster - a nanotechnomagical sticker that's meant to rejuvenate lithium ion batteries - a while ago. Now I've reviewed the strikingly similar Batterylife Activator, and subjected it to actual empirical testing, with automated datalogging and everything. The results confirmed my original suspicion -- that the local Batterylife branch made a serious error of judgement when they decided to send me their product."

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Myself? (4, Funny)

bryan986 (833912) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991975)

If I put it on me will it help me get up in the morning?

Re:Myself? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11992010)

Perhaps you have this product confused with Viagra.

Re:Myself? (1)

hazem (472289) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992357)

This won't, but a nicotine patch might.

Sorry (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11991976)

I have to...

FIRST POST!!!!

ARG! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11991979)

i would have had fp but my batteries were dead!

Duh, even testing this was stupid (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11991986)

Not only this sounds like a valid claim, but while it doesn't really add up for what is in fact a disguised first post.

Interesting topic choices (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11991993)

Now it's in the "It's Funny, Laugh" section? That's odd since the original story was posted as a serious news item. Oh, and Slashdot never officially commented on that story being nothing more than garbage.

Offtopic? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11992106)

Editor covering up another Slashdot editor's crap editing? I think so.

On a related note... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11991994)

So, I guess this Longevity Activator nano-tech rub-on tattoo won't actually keep me alive for an extra 50 years either, huh? Still, I'd like to see some empirical evidence either way...

Hmm.... (3, Funny)

methangel (191461) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992006)

Why even waste time verifying if it's true? What's next, a test of whether penis enlargement pills work?

Re:Hmm.... (1)

Mr.Zong (704396) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992045)

God I hope so. -Dicky Smalls

Re:Hmm.... (1)

buxton4 (849144) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992052)

I can imagine CowboyNeal's disapointment.

Re:Hmm.... (5, Funny)

christopherfinke (608750) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992054)

What's next, a test of whether penis enlargement pills work?
Already been done. [zug.com]

Re:Hmm.... (0, Offtopic)

cgenman (325138) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992343)

Next time warn people if you're going to link to an article with an image like this [zug.com] . Or this [zug.com] . Sweet mother of Jesus some of these are wrong [zug.com] .

already been done (1, Offtopic)

parawing742 (646604) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992093)

It's damn funny too! http://www.zug.com/pranks/penis/

Re:Hmm.... (2, Funny)

deglr6328 (150198) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992158)

DUH the test was a waste of time and everyone here already knew it was BS, but people, have you SEEN the "cow taser" page linked [transbuddha.com] to from the review article?!! I think I just pissed myself from laughing so hard.

Re:Hmm.... (1)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992266)

I can't stop laughing either, and it's upsetting me, because that's just cruel...

Re:Hmm.... (5, Insightful)

badasscat (563442) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992372)

DUH the test was a waste of time and everyone here already knew it was BS, but people, have you SEEN the "cow taser" page linked to from the review article?!! I think I just pissed myself from laughing so hard.

Then it wasn't exactly a waste of time, was it?

Part of the reason people read Dan's stuff [dansdata.com] (just in case anyone missed the main link to his site) is his entertaining writing style. I almost always learn something from his articles, even if it's got nothing to do with what the article's supposedly about. Dan is obviously fully in on the joke himself or he wouldn't even be linking to things like cow tasers in his articles. It's people like you - who think reviews have to be a "waste of time" simply because the products in question are such obvious bunk - who don't seem to quite get it.

In a world where product reviews often offer little or not information at all, and where the strongest and most specific statement you might read is how one product or another is vaguely "generally good" [pcmag.com] , writers like Dan are a refreshing change - he writes pieces that are always entertaining in and of themselves, often more informative than they need to be, and with plenty of useless but interesting trivia to keep you interested when the product in question is less than worthwhile. I only wish he'd review more stuff that I'm actually interested in buying (though I've become interested in buying a few things I would never have even known about but for his review).

As for this particular review, I think it's worth reminding the Slashdot crowd of the dangers of pseudo-science every now and again - pseudo-scientific articles do occasionally slip through the editing process here, and are often accepted as fact.

Re:Hmm.... (5, Funny)

jon787 (512497) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992186)

Sean Connery (reading the categories): I've got to ask you about "The Penis Mightier".

Alex Trebek: What? No. No, no, that is "The Pen is Mightier."

Sean Connery: Gussy it up however you want, Trebek. What matters is does it work? Will it really mighty my penis, man?

Alex Trebek: It's not a product, Mr. Connery.

Sean Connery: Because I've ordered devices like that before - wasted a pretty penny, I don't mind telling you. And if The Penis Mightier works, I'll order a dozen.

Alex Trebek: It's not a Penis Mightier, Mr. Connery. There's no such thing!

Nicholas Cage: Wait, wait, wait...are you selling Penis Mightiers?

Alex Trebek: No! No, I'm not.

Sean Connery: Well, you're sitting on a gold mine, Trebek!

Re:Hmm.... (1)

dj245 (732906) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992445)

Well, such a product exists for Lead-acid car batteries. And it does actually work according to lots of people who have built them. It will actually desulfate dead lead-acid batteries that have been sulfated a while. The best part? Its free- the plans are out free on the internet you just have to buy parts and build the thing.

Free plans doesn't necessarily mean that it definitely works, but if people say it does and the plans are free then it raises my confidence about it significantly since they have nothing to gain by lying.

Re:Hmm.... (1)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992458)

Just because something is obvious bunk doesn't mean you shouldn't test it. Occasionally something is 'obvious bunk' but actually works. The rest of the time, the fact that the maker of the bunk can say that [i]they[/i] can prove it works, means you should probably get a counter argument. Sometimes you even learn something from it.

And sometimes, like in this case, you just like to read the write-up.

They should be in jail (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11992009)


not on slashdot, they are just fraudsters and your local trading standards should be stopping these types of scam companies from operating in the first place and protect the consumer/citizen
truth in advertising should be all they need to shut them down, all of the products are false and provably so

Re:They should be in jail (1)

dsanfte (443781) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992457)

We are not "consumers", we are customers.

Ouija Boards next? (1)

rueger (210566) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992013)

Yeesh. Can't we find something a bit more plausible to test than this? Something that any rational person might think would actually work?

Re:Ouija Boards next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11992105)

Ouija Boards work... I don't know why, but they do :)

Have you tried them first hand already?

PS: I didn't suggest that the spirits communicate with us through this device...

Re:Ouija Boards next? (1)

Traegorn (856071) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992566)

The difference is that Ouija Boards have a higher statistical probability of actually working than this thing. :)

you're missing the obvious question: (5, Funny)

Gunsmithy (554829) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992014)

Does it function well as a sticker?

Re:you're missing the obvious question: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11992237)

Yes, but for some reason it atracts many strange people trying to sell things I have allways wanted (but never known about).

Re:you're missing the obvious question: (1)

bird603568 (808629) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992411)

probally as well as those antenna stickers you stick one your cell phone batter and the stickers that have acid on them. I know stickers were bad.

Hehe (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11992022)

Are these like those magic stickers you put on your car to double your fuel efficency?

There's a sucker born every minute.

Re:Hehe (1, Interesting)

Jurph (16396) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992088)

It can't work any worse than this sticker [detailshere.com] does -- maybe if you put the fuel efficiency sticker on your battery, and the battery sticker on your fuel tank?

Ionizing energy creates sound waves with particle-stripping Gauss fields! It sounds cool, so it must work.

Well, at least this time... (4, Interesting)

tquinlan (868483) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992028)

...they actually did some testing instead of just assuming various things. I'd have to say that it's a step in the right direction, even if the outcome was largely going to be known beforehand.

Re:Well, at least this time... (4, Insightful)

asavage (548758) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992344)

I agree of course the sticker is garbage, but his testing was quite poor. His four tests used 3 different charging times. The first two trials he did an overnight charge. The third test was the official charge time. The only test with the sticker was 2 hours longer than the official charge time. If you look at his test results [dansdata.com] , The battery lasts longer with the sticker than a shorter charge but not as long as with a longer charge. He didn't really prove anything. Just that a shorter charge with the sticker isn't as good as a longer charge without the sticker.

Re:Well, at least this time... (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992413)

In most tests the outcome is largely believed beforehand. Most tests are to confirm or rule out theories. Very few tests are truly exploratory in nature, as the exploratory nature of such tests rules out a lot of controls that one should put on such things.

Silly company. I still prefer (2, Funny)

Man in Spandex (775950) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992031)

A thousand monkeys working on a thousand typewriters. At least they get their energy back unlike robotic monkeys running on batteries with those stickers.

You really should read this article (4, Funny)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992032)

It's worth it just for all the amusing links alone. The author liberally sprinkles links throughout his text, and it's not ads, it's some links to some odd, and often amusing websites. It's worth the read, even if you aren't interested in the actual test.

Re:You really should read this article (5, Informative)

pigpogm (70382) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992136)

I hadn't noticed, until your post made me go back to look, that it was Dan's Data - the source of one of the best reviews I've ever read...

http://www.dansdata.com/kitten.htm [dansdata.com] ...of a kitten. Even compares it against a puppy, a baby, and a new video card - kitten wins, of course ;)

Re:You really should read this article (1)

StaticShock (799939) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992298)

There are numerous benefits to negative charged ions, such as an improvement in productivity, task performance, relief for asthma, wound healing, plus improvement of reaction time and endurance. Numerous scientists from many countries provide the following evidence: 1) Surrey University conducted research at the Norwich Union Insurance Groups Headquarters. Negative ion generators were fitted in the computer and data preparation section. RESULTS Incidence of headaches in computer room were reduced by 78 percent. Task performance improved 28 percent. 2) Russian Scientists studied groups of athletes under laboratory conditions for one month. One group trained with negative ions and the other trained under normal conditions. The negative ion group Reaction time shortened by 22 milliseconds Balance increased 370% - 393% Increased their endurance 240% The unaided control group Reaction time shortened by 11 milliseconds Balance increased by 53% - 132% Increased their endurance 7% - 24% yeah, there's some pretty good x-ion q&a . they talk about why ions are good for you

Re:You really should read this article (1)

FleaPlus (6935) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992317)

I think my favorite of the links was the Doom 3 Voodoo 2 screenshots [firingsquad.com] . They impressed and horrified me.

Re:You really should read this article (1)

dj245 (732906) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992471)

The great thing about Dan is he links like crazy. And when he links to sites that bring him a commission he at least has the decency to tell you so.

"Serious error in judgment"? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11992034)

How can anyone take these things seriously enough to spend any time testing them? Saying that they made a "serious error in judgment" by sending you one for testing is like saying "sending me their perpetual motion machine for testing was a serious error in judgment". Or equivalently, "allowing me to test his psychic abilities was a serious error in judgment."

There are four different kinds of force that we know of in the world: gravity, electromagnetic, strong, and weak. Obviously, this device is not working by means of gravity, strong or weak force, so the only question is, is it working by means of the electromagnetic force? A quick look at it and a little bit of thought about how that could possibly work shows that no, it isn't working by the electromagnetic force. So therefore either it is working by some unknown force (a fifth force) or it doesn't work. It shouldn't take anyone very much time to answer a question like that.

Re:"Serious error in judgment"? (3, Interesting)

pla (258480) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992349)

There are four different kinds of force that we know of in the world: gravity, electromagnetic, strong, and weak.

Would you care to explain which of those causes the Casimir effect?


As an aside, I agree with you that a sticker will not make batteries last longer. However, if someone else has tested it and found some anomalous effect, legitimate science has an obligation to try to reproduce the experiment - Most likely to refute it, but maybe, just maybe, to discover a radically new phenomena that no one noticed before.

Like the shape of the Earth. Or its location relative to the Sun. Or that rocks fall from space. Or the true spectrum of black body radiation.


Most of the time, such rigor will simply unmask charlatans. But to completely ignore reports of an unknown effect reduces science to no less a discipline of "faith" than any mainstream religion.

Re:"Serious error in judgment"? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11992479)

>Would you care to explain which of those causes the Casimir effect?

Electromagnetic. Fewer wavelengths of em radiation can exist between two closely aligned surfaces than exist outside them, leading to an inward pressure.

Re:"Serious error in judgment"? (1)

UltimateRobotLover (806059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992393)

The problem is that people like these flim-flam merchants love to go on about how this is "revolutionary technology" and "people in their ivory towers don't want you to see though their closed-minded beliefs" etc. This doesn't mean that it isn't worth checking that it doesn't work, because then we can get them closed down for advertising snake oil.

Putting used batteries on the fridge (1)

rmsousa (614388) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992035)

Some years ago I used to hear a lot about putting used batteries (non-rechargeable, non-alcaline) on the fridge in order to do what varied between recharging it, extending its charge, etc.

I guess this should work at least as good as the sticker thingy

Re:Putting used batteries on the fridge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11992112)

Some years ago I used to hear a lot about putting used batteries (non-rechargeable, non-alcaline) on the fridge in order to do what varied between recharging it, extending its charge, etc.

I guess this should work at least as good as the sticker thingy


In theory putting a new battery in the fridge slows the rate of chemical reaction, giving them a longer shelf life.

If you want a little bit more charge out of a used battery, you can just wait a while for it to rebuild its "surface charge". I'd assume that putting them in the fridge would actually slow this down a bit.

Re:Putting used batteries on the fridge (1)

jg_elliott (731553) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992120)

I think this can be explained by heat loss.
As we all know, cold atoms move slower than warm atoms, so it stands to reason that cold batteries will hold their charge for longer than warm batteries.

Li-ion hype? (2, Interesting)

grqb (410789) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992047)

It seems to me that there's a lot of hype going on for Li-ion batteries. Remember the breakthrough that increased the power of existing Li-Ion [thewatt.com] batteries by three times and reduce the recharge times to a few minutes rather than hours and all this without compromising price? What happened to that?


I guess in the age of high tech toys where batteries are the real limitations, every body's trying to get a one up on the battery front. I mean, can you have a super PDA that acts as a cell phone, GPS, mp3 player, movie player, connects to the internet etc etc? Sure, they can make it but the battery that powers it will only last for about 5 minutes.


There's a big market for batteries and anything that can make them better but pretty much, I think their maxed out technology wise. Fuel cells are the next big hope for tech toys.

Heavy power (1)

Dog135 (700389) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992144)

Sure, they can make it but the battery that powers it will only last for about 5 minutes.

... And make up 3/4 the weight of the device. Take the battery out of almost any hi-tech device and you can feel a significant difference in weight.

Sure we can power your device for 10 hours per charge. Just attach a car battery to it.

Re:Li-ion hype? (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992429)

I mean, can you have a super PDA that acts as a cell phone, GPS, mp3 player, movie player, connects to the internet etc etc? Sure, they can make it but the battery that powers it will only last for about 5 minutes.

Check out the i-mate PDA2K. With the exception of GPS it can do all of that, as long as you don't mind watching your movies at 320x240 and highly compressed. :) I'm using one to post this reply over a GPRS connection. And the battery life is quite respectable too. The downside is that it's certainly not cheap.

Good job (4, Insightful)

Monkelectric (546685) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992064)

Good job proving this. The real question is why aren't the governments in places where these are sold stomping these people to bits?

Here in the US they just recently started looking into the "Enzyte" (penis growth stuff) people, I knew it was a scam 4 years ago when I saw the first commercial. I read the enzyte people have made 50 million dollars so far (and that was sometime last year). Would you goto jail for a couple years for 50 million dollars? I would.

Re:Good job (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11992210)

I read the enzyte people have made 50 million dollars so far (and that was sometime last year). Would you goto jail for a couple years for 50 million dollars? I would.

When they're finished with their jail term, they'll be working on some Enzyte brand Anal Tightening pills.

Quick! Call the government! (3, Insightful)

DragonHawk (21256) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992241)

"The real question is why aren't the governments in places where these are sold stomping these people to bits?"

Ya know, while I'm not one to worship at the altar of free market and deregulation and all that crap, I really have to wonder at this statement. If people are stupid enough to pay money for something like this, maybe they deserve to loose their money. It isn't like there's a big potential for collateral damage here. Stupid people get punished, smarter people make some money, and maybe with time people will start learning to think for themselves for a change.

Re:Quick! Call the government! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11992276)

False advertising is false advertising. If you bought a camera that claims to hold 100 pictures with batteries lasting for 200 shots (with flash) and it would turn out that it holds 50 and the batteries last for 80 shots would you still hold your free market position?

Re:Quick! Call the government! (2, Insightful)

Monkelectric (546685) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992295)

The government is supposed to provide a fair and safe playing field for companies to do business on. If company A cheats to make a profit, then company B will have to to compete.

Reminds me of when i was in college -- the flunk courses were graded on a curve. And there were these fuckers who were always cheating and I could never score half as well as they did. So i worked hard for C's and D's, while people who were cheating were getting easy A's and B's. Then I realized -- the people who were cheating were *SETTING* the curve which I was being judged by. So I became a cheater to.

Re:Quick! Call the government! (1)

nametaken (610866) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992341)

That's a truly frightening story. Fortunatly, I haven't encountered that yet in school.

As for the gov intervention thing, don't we have false advertising laws that would cover this?

Re:Quick! Call the government! (4, Insightful)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992340)

"Ya know, while I'm not one to worship at the altar of free market and deregulation and all that crap, I really have to wonder at this statement. If people are stupid enough to pay money for something like this, maybe they deserve to loose their money."
I used to feel the same way. When you're dealing with something that is so obviously stupid and fraudulent it's very easy to say "if people are stupid enough to buy this crap then they deserve to get ripped off".

But what if it was something that was fraudulent but not so obvious? Should there be a difference in how they are handled? Obvious or not, fraud is fraud. These guys shouldn't be cut any slack just becasue their fraud is a little more obvious.

Re:Good job (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992578)

Would you goto jail for a couple years for 50 million dollars? I would.

Surely the courts would sieze as much of a person's assets as possible in a situation like this? I don't know about the US, but here in the UK we are (apparently) very keen indeed on seizing a convicted criminal's ill-gotten gains. That is, commit fraud like this and get caught, and you can expect to lose the money and anything you bought with it.

(I say apparently as I've never been through the process myself, so can't testify to it first-hand)

Re:Good job (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992607)

Good job proving this. The real question is why aren't the governments in places where these are sold stomping these people to bits?

Good question. I can only guess for the same reason they don't bust ISPS who offer 'unlimited' internet access and then set limits on it, or the many other amazing and highly unlikely commercial claims made these days.

I'd report the FTC for false advertising, but I'm sure they won't fine themselves either.

John DeLorean is dead :-( (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11992076)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Futuristic car designer John DeLorean was found dead in his Michigan home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to time travel in Back to the Future . Truly an American icon.

But... (0, Redundant)

UserChrisCanter4 (464072) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992077)

Does it boost my cell phone's reception?

Possible typo? (1)

Stephen Samuel (106962) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992080)

that the local Batterylife branch made a serious error of judgement when they decided +not+ to send me their product."

This is, of course, giving the company the benefit of the doubt.
It may have been a packaging problem. (not that I'm suggesting anything to their lawyers (ahem!)).

Cheap is best (5, Informative)

HermanAB (661181) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992082)

Actual tests of batteries always show that the cheapest batteries are the best value for money, in terms of watt hours per dollar.

Re:Cheap is best (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11992194)

Actual tests of batteries always show that the cheapest batteries are the best value for money, in terms of watt hours per dollar. ...For the same composition. For example, non-rechargable carbon ("heavy duty") batteries cost maybe 50% as much as alkaline but only provide about 10% of the electrons.

Also, many modern rechargable batteries and their chargers contain sophisticated circuitry (RTFA) which can vary considerably from mfr to mfr. This probably won't have much impact initially but may greatly increase the life of the battery or simply make it safer.

Re:Cheap is best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11992334)

All I know is the $20 I spent on 8 AA some rechargable a batteries was worth it. They last about as long as cheap alkaline batteries, and they charge in a few hours. I've had the same batteries running in my tape recorder, and cd player for three maybe four years now.

And just like my iPod, they go dead weather I use them or not. Unlike the iPod, these are still working after many many charges and discharges.

Of course it doesn't work! (3, Funny)

syousef (465911) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992086)

Praying to the he-God Nemod on the 3rd day after a new moon, and dancing for him the great triumphant nerd dance of Praytor which involves spinning around in a circle and yelling "hemannamannamanna" at the top of your lungs works much better to bring batteries back to life. Everyone knows that!!!!

Re:Of course it doesn't work! (1)

argent (18001) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992267)

Have you tried storing the batteries under a tantalum-wire scale model of the Great Pyramid ligned precisely 3 degrees off Magnetic North during the vernal equinox?

If not, you better hurry, it's almost over.

Re:Of course it doesn't work! (1)

Captain DaFt (755254) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992399)

Oh come on now! Everbody knows all ya gotta do is take each battery and SQUEEZE it really hard to get the last few drops of electricity out of'em!

Activator :30% longer talk time,40% shorter rechar (1)

Steward5732 (868088) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992089)

Quote "The Activator is supposed to offer "up to 30% longer talk time, up to 30% longer standby time, up to 40% shorter recharging time, and up to 30% longer battery lifetime". As long as all of those "up to" parts aren't taking advantage of the old retailer's "up to 90% off!" dodge ("up to 50%" includes "0%"), the price is not excessive". it is above figure is true then it will be worthed

He didn't test it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11992108)

Save yourself the trouble, he tested his camera battery not a cell phone, so if there was any effect from the radiation from the phone interacting with the sticker, then his test would miss it.

So any debunking he does is worthless, because he didn't have the patience to do a proper test.

how could they be wrong? (5, Interesting)

sachins (833763) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992113)

Well, he says that big institutions like Osaka University, NTT DoCoMo have certified this sticker. How could the BatteryLife people have managed to get this certification. Isnt someone smelling foul play or something? Cant they be sued over this?

In actual news... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11992143)

OpenBSD has dropped support for the Adaptec AAC RAID card, this is after four months of attempts to get the documentation to fix a broken driver.


More on Undeadly [undeadly.org] .

Bit-Tech did reviewed this product days ago (4, Informative)

Quietas (545619) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992161)

http://www.bit-tech.net/review/395

appreciate it (1)

tiks (791388) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992212)


i think coming out with a 'review' posting definitly improves slashdot credibility (hell i started to have doubts about slashdot when i saw that posting in here).

this also work as a warning note to quakes for trying to using slashdot for publicity.

Flawed Results (5, Insightful)

kevlar (13509) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992225)


I hate to say it, but he has flawed results that do not demonstrate that the sticker is a placebo.

He used only one battery to do his test. He should have used two; one with the sticker and one without. By only using one battery, running 3 tests, then putting the sticker on and running a 4th test, he's introduced an additional variable into the equation. It could thereofre be argued that his graph (http://www.dansdata.com/images/batterylife/activa ted.gif [dansdata.com] ) showed that the sticker IMPROVED the battery life (because it WAS an improvement over his 3rd test run).

Re:Flawed Results (3, Informative)

rainwalker (174354) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992321)

Except that, if he used two batteries, then he can't compare the results of the batteries to each other. Using two different batteries, you are introducing a much larger amount of experimental error than serial tests of the same battery. Can you guarantee that the internal chemistries of two old batteries will cause them to perform in *exactly* the same manner? The differences he saw in the runs were very small, less than a standard deviation (at least it looks like it to me, I wish he'd done some statistical analysis).

Re:Flawed Results (2, Informative)

asavage (548758) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992369)

As I said in another comment, he didn't even hold the charge times constant. His test was completely useless. This review doesn't help show the sticker is useless.

Re:Flawed Results (1)

magicclams (778966) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992576)

From the BatMax FAQ: "11 - How could I test BatMax's performances myself ? Proceed to a complete charge of your mobile phone (without BatMax). Install BatMax on your mobile phone as described on the installation page. Check the voltage and discharge time before installation (or see how much time - battery level). Record the results. Measure complete discharging time at full charging condition (Discharge with a 3.8V, 0.5A bulb) or leave the mobile phone on. Measure time (Continuous call is better to accelerate the test) until the mobile phone is out of power. Repeat the test and measure the battery discharging time over 7 days. If you have 2 identical batteries and mobile phones. Perform the test with the 2 batteries (w/ and w/o BatMax installed). Measure each battery over 7 days and compare the results with and without BatMax installed." Thus, the test performed was in keeping with the procedure described by BatMax, and should have produced similar results to those claimed by the BatMax Test Page (http://www.batmax.com/technology-test.php [batmax.com] ), which claims battery life increase of 38-47%.

Homeopathic version.. (4, Funny)

adeyadey (678765) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992238)

Dont worry, I have invented a Homeopathic version of this device - thats right - based on the principle that the more dilute it is the stronger it is, you can place a single-atom sticker on your battery which will yeild UP TO 2000% improved battery life!!! It will extend the working life of your mobile phone by UP TO 1000 years!!!! Not only this, but your erectile function during intercourse will be improved by UP TO 700%!!!!

Yes, just click on the Nigerian PayPal link below, and I will send you that miracle homeopathic atom!

Same ole magic magnet bit (1)

TheHawke (237817) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992254)

I recall seeing something similiar in a Popular Science mag, back in the classifieds for a miracle efficiency improver that uses magnets to clean up the ethane and octane chains in your gas.

Heh.

When you have oceanfront property in Missouri to sell me, let me know.

Checking on bogus claims (3, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992269)

Some months back, I received a spam promoting the stock XLPI. Checking the web site for the company, "XcelPlus", which sells a "lubricant additive", I found this claim of FAA approval. [xcelplus.com] It even had the FAA seal, which they've since removed.

I wrote to the FAA district office that covers Waco, Texas, asking if that endorsement was legitimate.

A few weeks later, I received a call from an anti-terrorism investigator at the Defense Criminal Investigation Agency. Apparently, someone had looked at the claim of FAA approval and the claim of U.S. Army approval [xcelplus.com] , and decided that this might be a case of selling unapproved aircraft lubricants to the Department of Defense. So the case was referred to the sabotage/anti-terrorism investigators.

I'm not sure what happened then. But the spam has stopped, and XLPI is down from $0.50 to $0.04.

Newly relocated headquarters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11992536)

Well, the stock price may be down, but at least the employees got nice new digs at that swanky new 'Guantanamo' resort ...

From the article . . . (5, Informative)

jhylkema (545853) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992309)

Assuming, for the sake of argument, that the Activator doesn't work, how come so many people say that it does?

It's very simple, really. Placebo effect [skepdic.com] and confirmation bias [skepdic.com] . These things drive all manner of quackery (naturopathy, chiropractic, acupuncture, etc.) and other pseudoscience. Confirmation bias is particularly powerful here as people don't want to admit they're stupid enough to have been duped into buying an overpriced sticker, even though they are.

Inconclusive (3, Insightful)

Zebra_X (13249) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992335)

A great piece of writing, but there are a massive number of variables that he failed to control:

1. Charging/Discharge period between inital tests and activator test were completely random.
2. Only one battery was used.
3. The setup was not similar to the conditions under which the activator would be used.
4. The battery type was not similar to a cellphone.
5. The device handling the charge and discharge of the battery was not a cellphone.

I certainly don't think this product is any good but a more controlled test would have been better.

Also, according to his test the activator gave a 3% boost to the battery. What is interesting is that it is 13 discharge cycles away from Run 1. The first three charge/discharge cycles clearly showed a dependency between # of cycles and battery life. To help clarify, it would have been nice if he kept the data from the intermediate 10 runs.

Maybe it did do something? I find it hard to believe though.

I'm amazed they even exist (1)

mattbadass (165861) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992355)

I went and took a look at their website [batmax.com] again and it's as though nothing has changed. And, the info that is there is complete crap. This comment [slashdot.org] in the previous article about them points off some pretty glaring problems with them that just screams SCAM!

Still, it's fun to see this stuff posted tearing this kind of BS apart.

On a similar topic... (2, Funny)

ABeowulfCluster (854634) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992389)

I like to tell electrical engineers that Ferrites on the data cable do jack squat. Always good for a laugh.

saw this in either august or december (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11992397)

A Japanese consumer watchdog type news program did this in either December or August. They sent the stickers to testing labs and tried it on many different cell models. They even went and talked to the marketing guy at the sticker company, and the odd thing was he kept talking to the tv station instead of the usual no comment.

Right to be sceptical, but .... (3, Insightful)

mcbevin (450303) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992422)

The test by no means disproves this device. The tester chops the sticker up so he can use it with his smaller digital camera battery. Something that the manual apparently claims should work, but this is clearly not its intended use, and thus quite possibly not its optimum use either.

He also fails to repeat the experiment at all or do a control experiment, and even the one test run he does isn't exactly thorough. Also, he does appear find some improvement when using the sticker, just not as much as the company claims, so I don't see how he thinks he has shown that it doesn't work at all (except through his scientific arguments with which he apparently convinced himself even before he did the test of the impossibility the thing could work).

Most importantly - according to the company's website the device has been tested by TÜV and found to work! I'm MUCH more likely to believe the results of TÜV certification than some hobbyist's tests (TÜV is a government body which tests + approves almost everything in Germany - cars, buildings etc. People trust it to tell them if their car is fit to drive, so it is presumably capable of sufficiently thoroughly testing in determining whether some battery enhancer works as claimed.

Of course, given the incredibility of the claims regarding the device, I'm still not neccessarily convinced. I'm just saying lets not discard the possibility that it might actually work to some degree so quickly.

Instead of doing some quick hack-up test of the device, it would be much more useful if someone could start by looking at the TÜV and A-U-F tests (A-U-F is another independent body which allegedly found it to give a 31% increase in battery life to an old Nokia phone) and seeing whether they are for real, or whether there were any flaws in their method etc etc.

Re:Right to be sceptical, but .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11992448)

Most importantly - according to the company's website the device has been tested by TÜV and found to work!
So they found that the sticker is not dangerous -- security is all the TÜV tests. What does Stiftung Warentest say?

Re:Right to be sceptical, but .... (1)

mcbevin (450303) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992543)

If you took 2 minutes to read the company website or the TÜV test report, you'd see that TÜV found that the sticker increased the life of batteries by 18%. Doesn't sound like they only tested 'security' to me.

If the main site is slashdotted, just google for 'batterylife TÜV' - heres for example the first site found - a german article summarising what TÜV found (that it does in fact extend the battery life) - http://www.handy-market.com/news/3253/index.php

Re:Right to be sceptical, but .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11992603)

The company website does not respond... I was also unable to locate any other source confirming the claim (all articles are based on a Batterylife press release) and you will surely undersand that I do not trust anything comming from a company that sells battery improving stickers.

Re:Right to be sceptical, but .... (1)

timerider (14785) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992474)

just a quick thought about the TÜV.

while the general idea of having a gouvernment body check everything for security is good, their checking of cars more or less sucks ass.

let me elaborate a bit:
they check following guidelines that might have been ok before the war, but not with todays car.

you wouldn't want your electronic fuel injection, your power steering, your ABS (dunno how that's called in english, it prevents the brakes from blocking on slippery ground) or similar electronic devices go haywire on you while you're crusing down the highway with an excess of 200 km/h, right? Nor would you want to get an airbag flat in the face at such speeds...

yet, the TÜV doesn't even CARE if such devices exist in a car they check...

bye,
[L]

"/. has jumped the shark" (1)

PxM (855264) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992426)

I actually first heard about the slashdot story about the magic sticker when I was reading one of Randi's weekly commentaries [randi.org] where one of the readers comments about certain Slashdotter's inability to seperate reality from fantasy. BTW, the sticker qualifies for the Million Dollar prize [randi.org] along with evidence of psychics, homeopathic medicine, or other bullshit.

--
Want a free iPod? [freeipods.com]
Or try a free Nintendo DS, GC, PS2, Xbox. [freegamingsystems.com] (you only need 4 referrals)
Wired article as proof [wired.com]

There is even one for cars (1)

stm2 (141831) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992442)

It is called MDQ55 (another dealer call it "Fuel Shock"), it is a magnetic tube you put in a specific place on the engine and you will save gas. It "works" by aligning particles before entering in the combustion chamber. You should save up to 30% of fuel. Here is a report (in Spanish) about this fraudulent stuff:
mdq55 [geocities.com] (PDF). I wonder if it is only an Argentiean scam or it is worldwide.

Tin Foil Hat Brainwave Amplifier (2, Funny)

Monf (783812) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992497)

When will you review it?

BS (0, Offtopic)

kff322 (752112) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992559)

Keep it simple

BS

Pathological Science (1)

ChiralSoftware (743411) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992583)

I know, even calling this thing "pathological science" is elevating it over its true status (plain old fraud). I think that a) it is time for Slashdot to create a new category called "pathological science" where people who care about such things can discuss them and laugh at them and b) everyone should read this classic paper about pathological science [princeton.edu] . Pathological science has quite a few recurring themes and hallmarks which would should all be aware of, and when we see them, we should be extra-skeptical. Note that this paper I linked to is a classic, meaning it was published in the days before the concept of nanotech. I think that talking about nanotech in marketing materials should add an extra helping skepticism to any analysis.

Hrm... Looks like the review is borked. (0)

I kan Spl (614759) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992599)

Instead of seeing a review, I get a Norton Firewall popup saying that the resulting page is invected with a javascript virus.

It seems more then just the product is snake-oil.

To hell with the stupid Activator... (1)

Oliver Defacszio (550941) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992604)

... where can I get me some of those Science Nails?

I am still waiting for a call back from NASA's purchasing department.

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