An Holistic View of the Quackoblogosphere

3rd November, 2006 0

For a while now, the quackometer has been regularly and automatically scanning various blogs for good writing about quackery. The end result is a twice-daily distillation of what’s hot in the blogosphere about quackery -or as the little black duck calls it, the quackoblogosphere. Now, this digest is available as an RSS feed so that you can see who is writing the best stuff in one easy to find location. [read more…]

QuackSafeTM Surfing with the Quackometer Toolbar Button

13th October, 2006 5

Le Canard Noir is pleased to announce the arrival of the Quackometer QuackSafeTM Toolbar Button for Internet Explorer that will allow one-click access to the Quackometer and QuackSafeTM Search Engine. Click the button to find out if your current page is Quackery. Highlight a name in the text and click the button to find out if they might be a quack. Type a query into the Google Toolbar search button [read more…]

E-mail alerts of Quackery in the Newspapers

30th August, 2006 0

If you would like to receive emails whenever the quackometer finds a quack newspaper article, then provide your email address here. Email alerts will only be sent for the most quacky stories and you can choose which region of the world you want to know about. Your email address will only be used by the quackometer automatic alert engine to warn you about quack stories. The black duck is not [read more…]

RSS Quack Alert Feeds Now Added

9th August, 2006 1

You can now subscribe to RSS Feeds to get all the Quackiest Stories direct to your browser without scanning the news sites and papers yourself. The News Alert Engine is still being thoroughly tested and handheld. Expect a few technical glitches and bad matches for a few days yet. The biggest problems have been keeping down the false positives, that is, stopping stories being flagged as quacky when they are [read more…]

Advances in Quackometrics – News Alerts

4th August, 2006 3

The latest quackometer functionality is now being tested on the quackometer web site. Throughout the day, the little black duck will be reading the news for you and creating alerts if quackery is found. Hoards of quackbusters around the world will be alerted to potential quackery in the newsapers before it starts hitting peoples’ doormats. Together we can expose the worst offending news sources. Daily lists of quack stories will [read more…]

What is Quackery?

11th April, 2006 6

Definitions are hard. You could argue that one person’s quack is another’s health professional. I do not want to limit the definition to just those people who practice Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). Your local GP may, on occaisions, resort to quackery. Also, a CAM practitioner may be very diligent in how they present themselves. I shall take a working definition from the excellent Quackwatch web site. This definition appears [read more…]

The Science of Quackometrics

11th April, 2006 5

So, how does the Quackometer work? The quackometer counts words in web pages that quacks tend to use. The more quack words, the more quackery is suspected. That is Quackometrics. The basic problem is that spotting the suspect words that many sites use, such as ‘vibrations’ or ‘energy’ is just not good enough as ‘good science’ sites are quite at liberty to use them. Even spotting these words in close [read more…]

What is the Quackometer?

11th April, 2006 0

The quackometer is an experiment to see if it is easy to spot quack web sites just from the language they use. The idea for this site came about after various discussions on Guardian writer Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science blog. Several people have noted how quack web-sites use similar language and vocabulary and once you can spot the patterns, spotting quackery is easy. Quack words include “energy”, “holistic”, “vibrations”, “magnetic [read more…]

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