Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Nanotech's real danger is the nano con

You think "Magic Nano" pulled a fast one on the nanotech business community, watchdog groups and anti-nano activists (and the media that cover them)? Well, that was just a simple case of opportunism by all parties -- the company eager to cash in on the hot nano prefix and think-tanks, activist organizations and media outlets too eager to find a "real world" example in what remains essentially a war between competing hypotheticals.

Anyway, that was amateur stuff compared to Biofriendly Corp.'s alleged nano-hustle. And this apparent long con's mark was the entire state of Texas.

A modern-day Sylvester McMonkey McBean rode into town with his nanotech star-off machine (claiming to clean up diesel pollution) and, in a pitch that would make Mr. Haney proud, flimflammed the state with the nanotech equivalent of McMonkey McBean's "new patent process of polar potoxis of the inner subnuclear nusbaum nogotsis," sold the Lone Star State a whole lot of bottles of 98 percent rubbing alcohol.

More background on "Biofriendly's Texas Scam Adventure" can be found here, along with video clips of a local news station's expose of the apparent long nanotech con.

So far, these nano scams are the only "real world" examples of nanotech dangers that I've come across in five years of writing about this stuff.

How low can nano go?
'Crain's-ing' my neck to see the hype
'Nano' for your aura
Dirty diesel done 'nano' cheap?

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