Dan's Data letters #151Publication date: 1-Oct-2005.
Last modified 03-Dec-2011.
Since the price of fuel is a heated topic around the globe and not just in America, I was searching for methods to increase gas mileage on the Net. I found this site, which seems to tout the use of acetone in your gas tank to get quite measurable increases.
I know you like debunk false claims, so I was wondering if this page is just full of hot gas so to speak, or if using acetone/gasoline mix is a viable working solution to getting better gas mileage. I also wonder if it will in any way harm your/my car. Your thoughts?
The US petrol price increases have been pretty darn impressive. When last I checked, the best US prices were about 80% of what we're currently paying here in Australia, which is a remarkable increase. Australian fuel prices have traditionally sat somewhere between cheapest-outside-Saudi-Arabia USA prices and holy-crap-I'm-buying-a-one-litre-diesel Europe.
I'm tempted to say this is karmic retribution for that whole categorising-V8-pickups-as-trucks-not-cars thing that exempts the USA's most popular vehicles (and anything else that weighs enough...) from gas guzzler taxes, but Australia has some similar legal dodges - people using giant 4WDs as family vans in the inner city here benefit from tax breaks aimed at farmers who buy the same vehicles.
The LubeDev site says there's a Conspiracy to stop knowledge of the greatness of acetone from reaching the public. Amazingly, this Conspiracy has prevented all of the independent bodies and universities and so on that could verify the claim scientifically from doing so, even though people have been tinkering with Otto cycle engines pretty much since they were invented 129 years ago. What's left is just the usual flurry of testimonials.
You can download every secret book Scientology's ever created, McDonald's failed to smack down two penniless environmentalists, but as for solid evidence of the effectiveness of zillions of allegedly surefire fuel miser devices and strategies... zilch.
Acetone in the petrol is another atomisation/vaporisation scheme, and works no better than any of the others.
(There's now a dedicated page on fuelsaving.info about acetone. Oh, and MythBusters couldn't make it work either - season 3, episode 16.)
At least you don't have to buy any bolt-on devices to try it, though.
It probably won't harm your car, either. Acetone will eat various plastics, and it's bad for your liver if you spill it on your hands or inhale the fumes (of course, petrol's no picnic either). Acetone's considerable toxicity means that whenever I find myself stuck after a job with a cloth soaked in the stuff, I for the sake of the environment set the cloth on fire, to convert the nasty substance into relatively harmless CO2.
No, really. It's nothing. Stop it, you're embarrassing me.
Fuel lines and engine components should be fine with a moderate amount of acetone; I think there's a lot of acetone in various fuel injector cleaning cocktails, and they don't eat engines or anything else. But, you might note, they're also not renowned for suddenly boosting mileage.
I bet acetone would do a number on your paintwork if you spilled it, though. It's also perfectly possible that some vehicles have acetone-susceptible fuel lines or other important components. Anyone who's dealt with the "Hitler's Revenge" cloth fuel lines in various old VWs and BMWs and such will know that anything's possible.
Only if you can hear it in your teeth
Was wondering if you could provide some insight into the claim that you can unlock a car by using the key fob remote over a mobile phone? I can't try it myself (don't have remote central locking), and figured testing the alarm transmitter I do have would have no relevance to proving/disproving the claim.
I suspect some bored kid made the claim up, to get some sort of kick out of seeing the simplicity of social engineering replicate his e-mail around the world, but it does seem plausible.
Car alarm/lock remotes can exhibit some odd behaviour, mainly to do with their tiny little antennas which (by design) often don't have enough gain for the remote to work more than a few paces away from the car. Various voodoo rituals, like pressing the remote to your head, can allow the thing to work from considerably further away; sometimes it's just getting the thing higher into the air and/or away from some body capacitance, but I can believe that greater capacitive coupling to the body might in some situations cause the transmitter circuit to be a bit better tuned. Everything to do with antennas tends to explode into chaotic complexity once it hits the real world, as anybody who's ever leaped around their living room holding an indoor TV antenna while staring at the screen knows.
As far as the remote-over-phone thing goes, though, it's definitely a myth. Even if some circuit in the phone at one end somehow managed to pick up the RF from the remote, and even if the other phone was able to retransmit it, they're connected to each other through a system that's mathematically incapable of transmitting anything beyond audio frequencies. The bit rate to encode RF just isn't there.
I thought you'd get a kick out of this link. I guess this guy has never heard of "static electricity".
"And I say, bounce a graviton particle beam off the main deflector dish,
That's the way we do things, lad, we're making shit up as we wish.
The Klingons and the Romulans pose no threat to us,
'Cause if we find we're in a bind, we just make some shit up."
-Voltaire, U.S.S. Make Shit Up
Indeed - though "the greatest antigravity discovery ever", assuming the site is at all serious, may really be a new trick to do with plastic cups and bits of styrofoam. I wouldn't, however, be surprised if some elementary school teacher's class has previously found it for themselves, in the course of the usual fiddling with the above items, plus pie-pans, aluminium foil, nylon rags and so on.
I love how the two guys in the background of the animated GIF are just tinkering with that computer, oblivious. "Antigravity. Uh huh. Great."
And, to his credit, the site does tell you how to do it for yourself without paying five bucks for his super deluxe plastic cup kit!
I took a look at your site a couple of hours ago...
and I want to tell you that I'd really love to trade links with you. I think
your site has some really good stuff related to my site's topic of heat
and would be a great resource for my visitors as it deals with some great
aspects of heat that I'd like to give my visitors more information about.
In fact, I went ahead and added your site to my Heat Hub Resource Directory at
Is that OK with you?
Can I ask a favor? Will you give me a link back on your site? I'd really
appreciate you returning the favor.
Thanks and feel free to drop me an email if you'd like to chat more about
Heat. This boilerplate link farmer wants people to believe he got up one morning and decided what the world needed was a site about... heat.
Because sites that link to pump shotguns, industrial crude oil pumps and penis pumps just aren't unfocussed enough.
No, we need a place that links to the Chained Heat movies, the Cold Heat soldering iron, LPs of Martha and the Vandellas performing "Heat Wave", chocolate tempering systems, information about sunstroke, and, uh, some Senator's site, which I guess has the word "heat" on it somewhere.
I'm not sure why these people are bothering to pretend their sites have topics at all, any more.
I'm writing because I'd really like to link to your site from mine. I have a site dedicated to locating cat sitters all over the United States. The URL is:
Each page has a "Related Sites" section where reltaed [sic] links go. Your link will go in that section.
You can add your link to all 16,000+ pages of the site by filling out the form located here:
[form URL redacted]
PLEASE do not share that URL with anybody, since I am very particular about which sites get added to my related sites section and I don't want that form to get abused by link spammers.
I appreciate the hard work you're doing on your site!
Keep it up!
These wastes of skin are getting better at running their scams.
At first glance, this e-mail almost looks genuine. He's "very particular" and hates "link spammers"! And heck, maybe "a site dedicated to locating cat sitters" could have more than 16,000 pages, if it was broken down finely enough.
One look at the darn thing, of course, reveals that it's the usual machine generated pseudo-content that's meant to bubble undeservedly up in the search rankings, and make ad money for its creator. Not, I emphasise, accurately described content punctuated by the occasional ad for something vaguely relevant.
I drilled down randomly to one page and found three entries for places that might do catsitting (actually two; one of them was duplicated), followed by the usual random link forest. The links don't seem to be quite as random as they are on most link farms - there are no entries I can see for Caterpillar excavators or catfish recipes - but readers are still treated to links to a site for a cat breeder here in Australia, an author whose cat-related fantasy romance idea appears to be so staggeringly crappy that not one sad sack on the Internet has ever made a fan page for it or posted about it to Usenet, a site that sells bullion coins (including Isle of Man cats...), a mildly suspicious site about castles, and two sites, probably related, but not what you'd call intimately related to the subject of cats. And this site, and this one... you get the idea. On and on it goes.
So far nothing really worth mentioning here, except that the mail server Jon sent me his message from is at his main domain (Wow! He's dreamy - though he's since removed his picture from that page, leaving me forced to find it again here, via, rather unexpectedly, here, which led me entirely unsurprisingly on to here...), which he registered from his email@example.com address.
What's Blog Burner, I hear you ask?
Why, it's a "blog and ping" tool; another way of artificially inflating the apparent value of blogs that actually have no value at all (or of making real blogs more search-engine-visible than Google thinks they deserve to be). But unlike various other ways of pulling the blog and ping scam, Blog Burner costs money. How nice.
What was going through my mind as I dug this info up (though, because I'm a dreadfully nice person, not when I came back to update this page with the link to his new Stereotypical Very Long Page That Usually But Not Always Indicates A Worthless Product; maybe Adsense Gold's perfectly legit!) was "God, the lengths some people will go to to avoid doing an honest day's work."
I'm not holding myself up as some kind of work ethic exemplar, here, but Jonathan can afford to live in the USA and own a computer. He probably even owns a car. Can't he think of anything better to do with his days than trying to get rich quick by dropping steaming manure all over the Web?
Nigerian scammers are a pain, but they're apparently often pretty close to dirt poor, and just dreaming of being able to make more than a dollar a day (and, possibly, get the heck out of a country with a life expectancy under 50 years and 2.5% of the USA's GDP per capita). No car, no computer, possibly no indoor plumbing, and mildly lucky that they even know how to read.
Astounding though it is, a significant fraction of these guys are apparently sending each spam individually from Internet cafes, possibly not even copying and pasting the text each time.
They're therefore doing roughly one hundred million times as much work per person annoyed as the average spoiled Western spammer/scammer like Jonathan.
So, Jonathan: You're a sad excuse for a human being.
The next "...I am very particular about which sites get added..." message I got, by the way, was from Jonathan again, this time pimping onlylockpicking.com. Whose front page "Lock Picking Related Sites" included a place that sells flags and fireworks, presumably on account of the America and apple pie nature of compromising locks. Persons on the Linux crypto list were also favoured with this missive.
Honestly, it's getting so that I look forward to getting the invitations to visit petrochemical conferences in Kuwait, send abstracts about things such as "High and Long-Lasting Foam Production", and, of course, visit a "New Forum Exclusively About Dentist's Money and Wealth" (which dentist?).
And a special shout out goes to my spamtastic homies at AsOnTV.com, whose "best As Seen On TV Products" include some which lead me to think that the only way any other As Seen On TV Products could actually be worse is if they created a crack in reality that propagated supraluminally, causing all conscious life to plunge screaming into a Different Place.
My name is Stephanie Tom, and I work for Cydoor Desktop Media, a leading Internet advertising and technology firm. Not only do we deal with online creatives on behalf of numerous companies, but also exclusively represents some of the biggest names in the Internet world, such as Xanga.com, Kazaa, Imesh, and Travelot. Altogether, we deal with over 7 billion impressions a month, and believe that Dan’s Data would work perfectly within our demographic of 36 million unique users per month.
I am interested in the US/Canada inventory that you might have as well as some available international inventory. Cydoor also does not deal with any adult, ActiveX or spyware related advertisements, which would fit perfectly with your company’s desire to stay on top of today’s Internet marketing trends. You’ll also find that our clients represent a whole range of user demographics, from computer makers, car manufacturer and travel services to smaller giveaway services. All of which can be customized to your network with our newly-implemented efficient and easy to track ad-server system.
I would appreciate if you could send me a rate card and contact information, and I’m sure that we can work out a great deal between our two companies. We deal mostly with 468x60, 728x90, 120x600, 300x250 and pops, but we do have a few other sizes available. I’m looking for a RON/ROS deal to start off, just to see what kind of statistics we’d come up with. Most likely, I’d want to start off with either a CPM or Rev Share deal with a limited amount of impressions as a test, and then we can work out something even better once we see how great our campaign will be. I think that we can definitely work out a fantastic opportunity to work hand in hand.
Thanks, and hope to hear from you soon,
Business Development Associate
Cydoor Desktop Media
Cydoor does not deal with spyware ads, eh? I bet you chuckle a bit every time you send that to someone, don't you?
Oh, and congratulations on getting the first couple of Google hits for "Cydoor" to point to your own site (well, when she sent me this message, anyway; things have changed as I write this). The next 20 or so results and most of the remainder are about you-know-what, of course, and so are the "Sponsored Links", but I guess you can't have everything.
If you're thinking of responding to this with "No, wait, I know we used to be the scum of the earth, but now we're just mildly disreputable!", don't waste your time. Kindly get a real job, or drop dead. Either is fine with me.