Moletech Fuel Saver - the plot thickens!

Four days ago (I forgot to post about it until now) I was surprised to actually receive a reply from the Australian Federal Government's pithily-named Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government about the Moletech (or maybe MTECH) Fuel Saver, an entirely generic-sounding magical fuel treatment device which I blogged about a while ago.

The enthusiastic Sydney Morning Herald piece about the Fuel Saver concluded with a claim that the abovementioned Department Of Having A Very Long Name had published some sort of report on the device, following "a vehicle emissions test report conducted in October last year".

One Craig Stone from that Department, though, did in fact get back to me, as follows:

Thank you for your query. The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, formerly the Department of Transport and Regional Services (DOTARS), is currently looking into this matter.

At no time has the Department endorsed this product or conducted emission testing on it.

Thanks, Craig!

And isn't this a turn-up for the books - it seems that some people selling a magic fuel treatment gadget aren't being entirely straightforward about the validity of their supporting evidence! Say it ain't so!

Oh, and one more thing: The Herald piece, entertainingly headlined "Fuel Saver No Snake Oil", was here and here, but isn't any more. This is odd, because I don't think the Herald (or their sister paper the Melbourne Age, which has done the same thing with its copy of the article) normally retract Web articles - certainly not with a mere "page not found" error, as is the case here.

There's no official notice of retraction that I can see, either. The only mention of the Fuel Saver on the Herald's site right now is in this reprinted AFP piece.

And actually, it gets even weirder. The text of the article as it currently stands, surrounded by all the rest of the normal ads and navigation and so on that surrounds any other article text, now appears to be a standard Internet Explorer "The page cannot be found" 404 error, complete with the bit at the bottom that says

HTTP 404 - File not found
Internet Explorer

That looks pretty bloody odd when you're viewing the page in Firefox.

It's not a frame, or anything; it really looks as if someone's copied and pasted an Internet Explorer 404 page into the Sydney Morning Herald's content management system as the text for that article.

I wonder if we're looking at the handiwork of an embarrassed author, here?

6 Responses to “Moletech Fuel Saver - the plot thickens!”

  1. Kvasi Says:

    That's hilarious. The faux-404 even references, which resolves to a private address (

  2. TimDurnan Says:

    Easily the funniest thing I've read this weekend thus far. Thanks for the chuckle, Dan.

  3. robzy Says:

    Going to a random link (such as where I replaced the last 8 with a 7) shows what a _real_ SMH 404 looks like.

    Is it better emailing SMH or The Age asking about this?


  4. robzy Says:

    Come to think of it... resolving to a private ip address suggests that SMH's webserver is maybe trying to connect internally to a content server?

    God knows why it wouldnt by done by internal DNS though.


  5. robzy Says:

    Sorry to spam, but when you look at the source for the news article you see "<img src="/NASApp/cs/back.gif" ...>"

    NASApp is the default folder used in the iPlanet Application Server according to

    This is not the default IE 404 page, which is interesting.


  6. sockatume Says:

    I'm getting the normal SMH page-not-found right here, right now... on Internet Explorer. Work machine so I can't check to see if it's giving the IE error page on non-IE browsers isntead.

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