The Q-link is a device that purports to protect you from radiation from mobile phones using “A coil connected to nothing“. Ben Goldacre and Orac have comprehensively debunked Q-link’s claims.

Yesterday Sydney’s Daily Telegraph published a story promoting Q-link (the on-line version has now vanished) by Stephen Fenech, their technology writer. Fenech’s story read like an advertisement for Q-link, with their claims for the benefits of the product presented as factual and including the url of their website where you could buy one.

That’s bad enough, but it also turns out that he’s done this before and that Fenech’s brother is paid to promote Q-link.

Update: Here’s Today Show technology editor Charlie Brown promoting the Q-Link on the Today Show.

Your go to blog for coverage of this whole sordid affair is A Drunken Madman. See also posts by Dan’s Data, Chrys Stevenson and Jeremy Sear.

Comments

  1. #1 MFS
    November 5, 2010

    Stephen Fenech’s Q-link article [here](http://twitpic.com/340h01)

  2. #2 cbp
    November 5, 2010

    Well, kudos to Daily Telegraph for pulling it anyway. Someone should really get a journalist black list going.

  3. #3 Dunc
    November 5, 2010

    Someone should really get a journalist black list going.

    A white list would be more efficient.

  4. #4 Paul UK
    November 5, 2010

    A Naturopathic physician?

  5. #5 Marco
    November 5, 2010

    Dunc: with “more efficient” you mean “shorter”, right? ;-)

  6. #6 Tim Lambert
    November 5, 2010

    See update for a video of a clueless “technology editor” promoting the Q-Link on the Today Show.

  7. #7 adelady
    November 5, 2010

    Don’t tell me, let me guess.

    The Q in Q-link stands for ta daaaa! Quantum.

    It does, doesn’t it. (I’ve read enough back pages of New Scientist to see this coming.)

  8. #8 Scott M
    November 5, 2010

    Hmm, not sure how y’all’d phrase this in the Commonwealth countries, but in America the saying is, You can’t make this shit up!

  9. #9 Muzz
    November 5, 2010

    Hey, with actual serious health and fittness stores flogging those stupid magnetic ‘balance’ bracelets for $50 a pop these days we can hardly be surprised by this.

  10. #10 ben
    November 6, 2010

    What? You’re saying that magnetic balance bracelets and the Q-link device don’t work?! Now what am I supposed to do with all these stupid things?

  11. #11 Donkeyotee
    November 6, 2010

    According to Wikipedia, Charlie Brown and Stephen Fenech both appear as regular guests on the Kerri-Anne show, which follows on the heels of the Today show as “featured” above.

    Embarrassing to hear Brown dissembling about this device for whatever reasons. Either it’s killing him to plug something he’s been asked to that’s obviously a scam, or he’s bashful that he hasn’t done his homework on it.

    Everyone feel free to let the ACCC know about this rubbish …

  12. #12 MikeM
    November 7, 2010

    You can buy magnetic balance bracelets for $2 apiece from [Australian Skeptics](http://www.surveymonkey.com/sr.aspx?sm=ONSUsVTBSpkC2f2cTnptR6w2fehN0orSbxLH1gIA03DqU_3d). They are identical to the $50 ones, except that the logo says “Placebo”. Even $2 is a sturdy markup from estimated Chinese manufacturing cost of around 50 cents each.

  13. #13 MFS
    November 7, 2010

    Media Watch will be doing a story on this tonight.

  14. #14 Doug
    November 8, 2010

    According to Media Watch Mario boosts this item because he believes in it not because he is paid for it.

  15. #15 Bernard J.
    November 9, 2010

    Heh.

    Perhaps Mario Fenech didn’t start using the Qlink early enough, and fried his brain…