Saturday, March 20, 2010

Bob Park screws up in What's New on Global Technical

Bob Park's 19 March 2010 WN has a discussion of fake drug detectors being bought by the Mexican government. Earlier, one had fake explosive detectors [look on YouTube for the ADE 651: British Security Fraud Sells 50 Million Pounds Sterling of Fake Bomb Detectors To Iraq ]

Bob Park derived his post from the New York Times (as is noted in the WN post), which NYT story by Marc Lacey had reported:

Mexican military officials say the black plastic wands, known as the GT 200 and manufactured by the British company Global Technical Ltd., are widely used nationwide at checkpoints to search for contraband inside vehicles as well as to canvass neighborhoods in drug hotspots for drug and weapons stash houses.

As of April 20, 2009, the army had purchased 521 of the GT 200 detectors for just over $20,000 apiece, for a total cost of more than $10 million, according to Mexican government documents. Police agencies across Mexico have made additional purchases, records show.

“We’ve had success with it,” Capt. Jesús Héctor Larios Salazar, an officer with the Mexican Army’s antidrug unit in Culiacán, said recently. “It works with molecules. It functions with the energy of the body.”

But the British government, which is considering legislation to stop exports of the device, notified Mexico and other countries around the world last month that it may not work. That followed reports in The New York Times and on BBC that a similar product used in Iraq and Afghanistan, the ADE 651 manufactured by ATSC Ltd., another British company, was considered ineffective.

Unfortunately, Bob got some of the facts wrong. Although the New York Times identified the British company as Global Technical Ltd., Bob wrote: Global Technologies Ltd and posed the question: Could Global Technologies and ATSC be the same company, switching names and locations to avoid exposure. Separately, although Bob wrote about the ADE 650, the NY Times and You Tube are talking about the ADE 651.

But Park's error illustrates a point about copying and plagiarism. Generally, in plagiarism, one has a complaint that someone copied accurate information from someone else without giving proper attribution. The recipient of the information gets TRUE information, but is confused about source. One has a different situation when INACCURATE information is conveyed. That's a lot worse.

Here, there REALLY is a Global Technologies Ltd. and there is even a "Global Technologies" right in Bridgewater, NJ on Chimney Rock Road
[Of Chimney Rock, see online reputation management]

On a separate point, Bob Park has yet to comment on the use of the term "voodoo science" in ClimateGate.
Ironic use by IPCC's Pachauri of term "voodoo science"
: The irony here of course is that it was Dr. Pachauri did not "help the public separate the scientific wheat from the voodoo chaff." Arguably, as to the "2035" number, Dr. Pachauri propounded voodoo chaff. One wonders if Bob Park will say anything about this incident.]

On a separate technical note, observe US patent 6,067,167 , ILS sensors for drug detection within vehicles.

**UPDATE on 12 June 2010

Bob Park talked about the matter in his 11 June WN and correctly referred to to the device as an ADE 651, rather than the incorrect ADE 650, perhaps showing him to be more adept at copying in June than in March. The mistake about "Global Technologies" remains. Park's silence on Pachauri's "voodoo science" remains.


Blogger Woof said...

Bob seems to have realized his mistake. From his blog 6/11/10:

According to a story in The Independent (UK) on Tuesday, the investigation into the sale of fake bomb detectors has been expanded to a number of firms in the UK. It seemed comical fourteen years ago when we learned that golfers were buying fraudulent golf-ball finders (WN 12 Jan 96). The Quadro Tracker was nothing but an "antenna" mounted on a pistol-grip with a swivel that was free to rotate 360°. An almost imperceptible deviation of the swivel from horizontal would cause the antenna to rotate under the force of gravity to its lowest point. To a credulous observer it might seem to be controlled by some mysterious external force. Quadro soon began marketing them to law enforcement agencies and the Department of Defense for $995 each to search for drugs and weapons. It failed a simple scientific test. Sandia National Labs took one apart and found it contained no internal parts. The FBI shut Quadro down and arrested its officers (WN 26 Jan 96). However, the device soon reappeared in the UK as the ADE 651, sold by ATSC for prices as high as $48,000. At least 1,500 were sold to the government of Iraq as bomb detectors at a cost of millions of dollars, as WN reported in January (WN 29 Jan 2010). The fake bomb detectors have reportedly contributed to hundreds of bomb deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, including British and American troops.

3:13 PM  

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