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'[OT]:: Power Panda - save 15%-40% of every domesti'
2011\01\17@174345 by RussellMc

face picon face
As Bob B adumbrates - OT looks like a good place for this - for as
long as it can be made to last.

>> The claims being made here are blatantly untrue on several counts BUT
>> it would take a substantial amount of techmnical understanding to be
>> sure of finding the truth.

> No Russell. It would take a 10 second google search to determine this
> product doesn't work. No technical knowledge required.

No Herbert ...  :-)

ie, no, I've already noticed that Gargoyle exists and am moderately
aware of its utility, as you are probably aware :-) - so you can
assume that I made my statement with full awareness of the resources
that are POTENTIALLY available to people.

As I know (or hope) you know, a significant proportion of internet
users would have significant difficulty in using the internet to
obtain certainty re such claims. And the comments in the Q&A show that
people who SHOULD have a far far better idea than they do have very
little clue at all in such things. *

But, you having had you comment on what I should think, and me having
had direct response, there is little chance that any further "free
exchange of ideas" thereon is liable to move either of us from our
current positions. I'm happy enough to discuss such things ad nauseum,
as you will have noticed :-) - but it almost instantly becomes a
matter of social perspective, personal rights, personal property and
more. If we start down hat track we'd both have to put ourselves on
moderation, and probably end up taking lin, Vitaliy, Gus, Joe and bob
with us. Hmmm. Maybe the idea has merit. ... :-).

But, let's just say that we are sure to disagree where such lines
should be drawn and that you'd be liable to find my ideas manifestly
ludicrous, and I ... :-).

No?


         R

* One could and SOME certainly will argue that such people ...
{various options with various degrees or none at all of of ought-to
ness / eugenic undertones /  harden up / Darwin / other  ... } ..

2011\01\18@173825 by Bob Blick

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flavicon
face
Beware, admin three-way ahead :)

> > I guess what I'm saying is this: consumers should NOT rely on the
> > "authorities" to control what products they can buy, they should do
> > their own research and make their own decisions.

Hi Herbert,

Somehow I think you are blurring together several completely different
things:

1. truth in advertising.
2. consumer protection.
3. consumer choice.
4. liability.
5. warranty.
6. enforcement.

The one that really upsets me wrt your position was said earlier and I
don't have it in this window to be quoted, where you said that an
occasional "fleecing" was good for suckers.

I have real trouble with that. There are companies that all they ever do
is fleece people.

How can you defend that? I'm not asking that consumer protection
agencies become our nannies, but what is wrong with making what con
artists do illegal? Isn't civilization what we all participate in and
strive for? A nation of laws? Just because you are smart enough to
recognize the Power Panda scam for what it is doesn't mean you should
cheer when someone else gets taken in by it. Yes, you said an occasional
fleecing was good, I remember it. Sorry, I'm not doing any cheering.

Speaking of treading fine lines, this thread has been pushing the line
for a while. I think we all agree that Power Panda's claims about cost
reduction are fraudulent and they are lying. That was the original
point, right Russell?

Best regards,

Bob


-- http://www.fastmail.fm - mmm... Fastmail...

2011\01\18@175348 by Bob Blick

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flavicon
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On Tue, 18 Jan 2011 14:38:25 -0800, "Bob Blick" said:

>
> The one that really upsets me wrt your position was said earlier and I
> don't have it in this window to be quoted, where you said that an
> occasional "fleecing" was good for suckers.

Hi Herbert,

I looked back and it must have been someone else who used the word
"fleecing", sorry.

I realize that we all have positions that are more nuanced than can be
easily put in print, this is not the forum for that kind of stuff.

Bob


-- http://www.fastmail.fm - Same, same, but different...

2011\01\18@195149 by RussellMc

face picon face
> ... I think we all agree that Power Panda's claims about cost
> reduction are fraudulent and they are lying. That was the original
> point, right Russell?

Not really.
I said, and i think it (may be?) worth repeating:


I put this in EE because the comments and discussion make the
otherwise ludicrous snake oil claims worth thinking about. Doesn't
stop them being snake oil, but worth being able to deal with them.

    http://bit.ly/YRPandaPowerSaver

Deep in the Q&A discussion are two interesting comments. I leave the
examination of the validity of these as an exercise for the student:

1. Comment on power factor measurement by home meters
2. Comment on power factor of non-heating domestic load.

ie, apart from the obvious scam nature or the product, there were
recnical claims being made which IF TRUE may have given some credence
to the device. And, here were people who claimed to have some
electrical knowledge arguing in the Q&A both for and against the
device. Such people had far more likelihood of technical discernment
than herbert's demographic, and they were divided and confused and
confusing.

So, I saw it as an exercise in wading through technical material and
sorting sheep from goats. (Maybe the Sheep go "VAR" and the goats go
Watts that about? :-) ?) (Double deep groan)


        Russel

2011\01\18@211501 by Herbert Graf

picon face
On Tue, 2011-01-18 at 14:38 -0800, Bob Blick wrote:
> The one that really upsets me wrt your position was said earlier and I
> don't have it in this window to be quoted, where you said that an
> occasional "fleecing" was good for suckers.

As you said, I didn't say exactly that, but I did give the impression
that sometimes a little "fleecing" is necessary.
Is this such a horrible position? Humans are creatures that often learn
best from their mistakes. If they don't make mistakes, they obviously
don't learn from them. Being "fleeced" will likely teach the person who
was fleeced to in the future be more critical (assuming of course they
find out they were fleeced, some never do, in which case no lesson is
learned).

>From a "society" perspective there is some value there, vs. the
"government should protect me so I don't have to use my brain at all"
sort of mentality that many strive for these days.

> How can you defend that? I'm not asking that consumer protection
> agencies become our nannies, but what is wrong with making what con
> artists do illegal?
How do YOU define "con", and how does that differ from me, or the person
sitting beside you on the bus?

A "con" isn't a con to everybody. "magnetic bracelets" are a MAJOR con
in some people's eyes, other swear by them.
Holistic medicine is a MAJOR con to some peoples eyes, yet to others
it's a life saver.

As for what you are asking, yes, you ARE asking consumer protection
agencies to be our nannies. That's what a consumer protection agency IS.

> Isn't civilization what we all participate in and
> strive for?
No. Civilization is what MANY of us participate and strive for, but
certainly not all. Some people have no interest in participating in a
civilized world, many don't actively "strive" for it, they just go with
the flow.

> A nation of laws? Just because you are smart enough

Smart has nothing to do with it. It's taking responsibility for your
actions and doing your due diligence before dropping $500+ on a product
that we're talking about here.

>  to
> recognize the Power Panda scam for what it is doesn't mean you should
> cheer when someone else gets taken in by it. Yes, you said an occasional
> fleecing was good, I remember it. Sorry, I'm not doing any cheering.

OK, that's too far. I NEVER said I'd "cheer". That is cruel and vicious,
and I'd like you to show me where I even inferred I would "cheer" if
someone was taken in by that product?

2011\01\19@022534 by Bob Blick

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On Tue, 18 Jan 2011 21:14:54 -0500, "Herbert Graf" said:

> OK, that's too far. I NEVER said I'd "cheer". That is cruel and vicious,

You decided to share your views, not me. You later clarified them.

> and I'd like you to show me where I even inferred I would "cheer" if
> someone was taken in by that product?

You said they'd deserve to be fleeced if they were taken in by the
product's marketing, or something very close to that with those words.
You didn't say "cheer". I'm sorry I took liberties with your
expressions. Saying they deserved it implies that it's the right
outcome.

A product that will not save them anything on their electric bill, and
maybe cost them a little more because of losses.
A sucker has been matched up with a con artist. Perfect. Nothing to see
here. Just life. Yep. No problem. It happens.

If they had gone to a casino and put $500 on red, at least they'd have a
chance of not losing.

If there was a Power Panda employee on the Piclist he would get the
third degree, because the marketing has the big lie "save 15%-40% of
every domestic power bill".

Having a business model that relies on tricking people with lies like
that is not good. I hope you can agree with me on that.

Best regards,

Bob


-- http://www.fastmail.fm - Choose from over 50 domains or use your own

2011\01\19@055634 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Bob Blick wrote:

> On Tue, 18 Jan 2011 21:14:54 -0500, "Herbert Graf" said:
>
>> OK, that's too far. I NEVER said I'd "cheer". That is cruel and
>> vicious,
>
> You decided to share your views, not me. You later clarified them.
>
>> and I'd like you to show me where I even inferred I would "cheer" if
>> someone was taken in by that product?
>
> You said they'd deserve to be fleeced if they were taken in by the
> product's marketing, or something very close to that with those
> words. You didn't say "cheer". I'm sorry I took liberties with your
> expressions. Saying they deserved it implies that it's the right
> outcome.
>
> A product that will not save them anything on their electric bill,
> and maybe cost them a little more because of losses.
I'm not sure about what exactly you are talking here.

- It is not clear (to me) whether or not this product saves on the
electric bill. Even if there's no technical bill reduction, there may be
the "Joe effect" :). Joe brought up the possibility that installing such
a device may enhance conscience about reducing power, leading to
behavior changes that may lead to reduced electric bills. In such a case
it is not impossible to make the case that buying the product was
essential for the behavior change that reduced the bill.

- It is not clear (to me) whether or not this product saves (indirectly)
on the electric bill by correcting the power factor and helping reduce
load on the distribution system. You of course can say that what's
outside your meter doesn't concern you, but I would argue that it could
concern you -- and in fact does, because even though the cost outside
your meter doesn't influence your meter reading, it influences what you
pay per metered unit.

- Given that there may be both individual and collective advantages to a
product that looks like a scam, should it still be forbidden by a
government agency? Wouldn't that prevent the people who want this for
one of the above reasons -- which, if they in fact are true, look te me
like perfectly legitimate reasons to buy such a product -- (or for any
number of other reasons I may not find valid) to get what they want?

> A sucker has been matched up with a con artist. Perfect. Nothing to
> see here. Just life. Yep. No problem. It happens.
See, the problem is to determine what is a con. As Herbert wrote, one
person's con is another person's life saver. I had a life-changing
experience with something that is called a total scam by many others. I
/really/ wouldn't prefer a government agency having prohibited the event
before I could participate. This despite the fact that I don't buy what
many others who participated said about it, and I think if you take
this, you could easily get to the conclusion that it is a scam (for
them). But for me it gave me something that I don't think I'd easily
could have gotten elsewhere. So please let people make their own
experiences.

> If there was a Power Panda employee on the Piclist he would get the
> third degree, because the marketing has the big lie "save 15%-40% of
> every domestic power bill".
Maybe. But what does this mean or show? A few things, but little that
would indicate that this should be prohibited.

I agree with the "truth in advertising" part of this conversation, and I
think that at least the "every" in the claim is probably over the top,
and I agree it would be good that a consumer agency validated that claim
(which I think is probably wrong) and if they don't have sufficient
evidence for it make them remove it. But I don't think that this is
enough to prohibit the sale of the product.

> Having a business model that relies on tricking people with lies like
> that is not good. I hope you can agree with me on that.
Not good for whom? It is generally acknowledged that this is our
collective "government business" model. Remember the Wikileaks thing? It
was said and generally agreed upon that it's normal that in
international relations (and I'm certain that this can be and is
extended to intranational relations) the players don't say in public
what they say in private, and that it is important for the whole system
to function that this difference can be maintained. Which is just a
fancy description of "lying in public". It seems this modus operandi has
a large majority, and this time it's really bipartisan (or
multipartisan, if one leaves the USA).

Aside from this more general point, there's still the "Joe effect" that
sometimes needs some trickery. Some people even use it on themselves,
fully consciously, and to their benefit. "I know I don't need this, but
I also know that if I spend so much money on this, I will do that --
which is what I ultimately want." Where "this" is a con product with no
direct benefit and "that" is an action beneficial for the subject. Who
are you (or a government agency) to tell this guy that he's wrong in
doing so?

Of course, if somebody else buys "this" and thinks it might help him
without him doing "that" he might find out that it doesn't. That may be
the "sucker meets con artist" situation. And making sure there is a
reasonably level playing field is IMO the responsibility of the "truth
in advertising" mechanisms (which I support). But other than that, it's
IMO /really/ difficult to determine whether a product is not worth
buying, under any circumstances. (Think hard about this "any"...) "This"
may have been helpful for the first guy, but isn't for the second guy...
should we really take the first guy's chance away just to protect the
second guy? My sympathy is with the first guy.

Gerhar

2011\01\19@083933 by Ruben Jönsson

flavicon
face
> Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
>
> See, the problem is to determine what is a con. As Herbert wrote, one
> person's con is another person's life saver. I had a life-changing
> experience with something that is called a total scam by many others. I
> /really/ wouldn't prefer a government agency having prohibited the event
> before I could participate. This despite the fact that I don't buy what
> many others who participated said about it, and I think if you take
> this, you could easily get to the conclusion that it is a scam (for
> them). But for me it gave me something that I don't think I'd easily
> could have gotten elsewhere. So please let people make their own
> experiences.
>
Would you mind sharing what this was?

/Ruben


==============================
Ruben Jönsson
AB Liros Electronic
Box 9124, 200 39 Malmö, Sweden
TEL INT +46 40142078
FAX INT +46 40947388
spam_OUTrubenTakeThisOuTspampp.sbbs.se
==============================

2011\01\19@103306 by Herbert Graf

picon face
On Tue, 2011-01-18 at 23:25 -0800, Bob Blick wrote:
> On Tue, 18 Jan 2011 21:14:54 -0500, "Herbert Graf" said:
>
> > and I'd like you to show me where I even inferred I would "cheer" if
> > someone was taken in by that product?
>
> You said they'd deserve to be fleeced if they were taken in by the
> product's marketing, or something very close to that with those words.
> You didn't say "cheer". I'm sorry I took liberties with your
> expressions. Saying they deserved it implies that it's the right
> outcome.

Bob, you are bending my words to further your argument and malign me, I
don't appreciate that, and I won't stand for it, and I do not react well
to this sort of game play.

My words were:
When I'm considering a product I don't for one second rely exclusively
on the claims the marketing material has. IMHO, anyone who does so
deserves to be fleeced once in a while.

So, what I'm saying since obviously letting people understand what I say
once isn't enough in this case: is that if someone relies exclusively on
the marketing material released by the vendor, that the person who falls
for the marketing material deserves to be fleeced once in a while.

This is VERY far from "cheering" that someone is fleeced. This is very
far from hoping people get fleeced. This is stating that someone who
does ZERO research and ONLY reads what the marketing material states
"deserves to be fleeced once in a while".

My intent with this statement, as later clarified, is it's better for
society that a person is allowed to make a mistake, since that is a
mechanism that most humans learn best by.


> Having a business model that relies on tricking people with lies like
> that is not good. I hope you can agree with me on that.

With regards to "a business model that relies on tricking people with
lies", whether I think it's "good" or not isn't black and white. The
point I've made MANY times is that what is "tricking people" varies
depending on who you ask.

2011\01\19@110945 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
Herbert Graf wrote:
> Bob, you are bending my words to further your argument and malign me,
> I don't appreciate that, and I won't stand for it, and I do not react
> well to this sort of game play.

Since the subject is squarely political anyway, I suggest both of you take
it outside.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000

2011\01\19@141604 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Ruben Jönsson wrote:

>> Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
>>
>> See, the problem is to determine what is a con. As Herbert wrote,
>> one person's con is another person's life saver. I had a
>> life-changing experience with something that is called a total scam
>> by many others. I /really/ wouldn't prefer a government agency
>> having prohibited the event before I could participate. This despite
>> the fact that I don't buy what many others who participated said
>> about it, and I think if you take this, you could easily get to the
>> conclusion that it is a scam (for them). But for me it gave me
>> something that I don't think I'd easily could have gotten elsewhere.
>> So please let people make their own experiences.
>
> Would you mind sharing what this was?

It was a seminar held in Europe by a descendant of a Native American,
about some things that could be called Shamanism, Witch Doctoring, New
Age Crap, Scam, outrageous... depends on who you ask. For all I
understand, this guy doesn't have a good reputation with most Native
Americans who care about such matters, because they think that what he
does isn't really about their beliefs, but rather a mixture of several
ideas.
In any case a quite controversial event, and I went there for a cure. I
didn't find the cure in the way I thought I might find it, but found
something else that was just as, or maybe more, valuable. I don't think
that my experience can easily be transferred to someone else getting in
touch with something like this, and I'm pretty sure it can't be put in
terms that would a government agency let this happen as "healing event".

There are a number of good reasons to classify such an event as "scam"
and, in the cited logic, prohibit it to protect the consumers that may
lose their money and time attending.

Gerhard

2011\01\20@082927 by Michael Rigby-Jones

flavicon
face


> -----Original Message-----
> From: .....piclist-bouncesKILLspamspam@spam@mit.edu [piclist-bouncesspamKILLspammit.edu] On
Behalf
{Quote hidden}

say
> once isn't enough in this case: is that if someone relies exclusively
on
> the marketing material released by the vendor, that the person who
falls
> for the marketing material deserves to be fleeced once in a while.

What does the business who publishes the misleading marketing material
deserve?

Mike

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2011\01\20@084836 by RussellMc

face picon face
> What does the business who publishes the misleading marketing material
> deserve?

The attention of at least 4 NZ Professional engineers* plus an
electrical inspector, all of whose attention they have gained through
their ad :-). The inspector was one of the early lead bidders but
dropped out when bidding went from silly to bizarre. I'll be
attempting to track down the lead bidder - harder than it was to track
down the EI for various reasons.

Various options are being discussed and stuff may or may not happen. We'll see.



                  Russell

* 2 x ME, 2 x BE, possibly another ME.
Say 5 x PEs.
Combined industry experience of almost 200 years plus 5 eyes** between them..
Plus the electrical inspector.
Not good guys to get interested in one's  EE scam :-)
** Figurativel

2011\01\20@094831 by N. T.

picon face
Herbert Graf wrote:
> This is VERY far from "cheering" that someone is fleeced. This is very
> far from hoping people get fleeced. This is stating that someone who
> does ZERO research and ONLY reads what the marketing material states
> "deserves to be fleeced once in a while".

Well, nobody can live without doing "ZERO research" actions from time
to time, a person just have no resources to be in expertise mode
permanently about everything.

That's the Justice (Canada edition), a person deserves extra-judicial
punishment just for "doing ZERO research and ONLY reading what the
marketing material states". Things must be getting tough in Toronto
:-)  Do I need visiting it at all

2011\01\20@103855 by Robert Csaba Molnar

picon face
I think the solution is somewhere in between. Doing a certain amount of research in a field that you have nothing in common with is OK. People should be thought (in school maybe) to always do some research when new products with outlandish claims are marketed.
But there is the other side of the coin: what if the research the consumer is supposed to do is beyond her/his level of understanding/knowledge? Shouldn't that consumer be protected against such fraud?
For example suppose a bio-tech company came around and told you that they have a snail for you that cleans your fishtank/pond of algae and also secrets some kind of nutrients that makes the fish healthier or something. Suppose that you bought X of those snails for Y dollars, put them in your fishtank and all the fish died within an hour because the snail actually secreted some sort of poison.... or if the fish just ate all the snails...
Now would this go in the "do your research next time" category?

I think that the marketing of products should be regulated. The language used in the claims of products should also exclude any vague or incomplete sentences and such.
If the producer of the panda put this on the sticker "It will reduce your power bill if you consume less", than I pity the fool who buys that kind of junk :-)



--- On Thu, 1/20/11, N. T. <.....ntypesemiKILLspamspam.....gmail.com> wrote:

From: N. T. <EraseMEntypesemispam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTgmail.com>
Subject: Re: [OT]:: Power Panda - save 15%-40% of every domestic power bill [Walker]
To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <piclistspamspam_OUTmit.edu>
Date: Thursday, January 20, 2011, 4:48 PM

Herbert Graf wrote:
> This is VERY far from "cheering" that someone is fleeced. This is very
> far from hoping people get fleeced. This is stating that someone who
> does ZERO research and ONLY reads what the marketing material states
> "deserves to be fleeced once in a while".

Well, nobody can live without doing "ZERO research" actions from time
to time, a person just have no resources to be in expertise mode
permanently about everything.

That's the Justice (Canada edition), a person deserves extra-judicial
punishment just for "doing ZERO research and ONLY reading what the
marketing material states". Things must be getting tough in Toronto
:-)  Do I need visiting it at all

2011\01\20@104144 by Robert Csaba Molnar

picon face
I'd say that's a great effort to serve the community. My only remark is how comes 5 people have only 5 eyes? :-)


--- On Thu, 1/20/11, RussellMc <@spam@apptechnzKILLspamspamgmail.com> wrote:

From: RussellMc <KILLspamapptechnzKILLspamspamgmail.com>
Subject: Re: [OT]:: Power Panda - save 15%-40% of every domestic power bill[Walker]
To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <RemoveMEpiclistTakeThisOuTspammit.edu>
Date: Thursday, January 20, 2011, 3:47 PM

> What does the business who publishes the misleading marketing material
> deserve?

The attention of at least 4 NZ Professional engineers* plus an
electrical inspector, all of whose attention they have gained through
their ad :-). The inspector was one of the early lead bidders but
dropped out when bidding went from silly to bizarre. I'll be
attempting to track down the lead bidder - harder than it was to track
down the EI for various reasons.

Various options are being discussed and stuff may or may not happen. We'll see.



                   Russell

* 2 x ME, 2 x BE, possibly another ME.
Say 5 x PEs.
Combined industry experience of almost 200 years plus 5 eyes** between them..
Plus the electrical inspector.
Not good guys to get interested in one's  EE scam :-)
** Figurativel

2011\01\20@110145 by Herbert Graf

picon face
On Thu, 2011-01-20 at 13:29 +0000, Michael Rigby-Jones wrote:
> > So, what I'm saying since obviously letting people understand what I
> say
> > once isn't enough in this case: is that if someone relies exclusively
> on
> > the marketing material released by the vendor, that the person who
> falls
> > for the marketing material deserves to be fleeced once in a while.
>
> What does the business who publishes the misleading marketing material
> deserve?

An obviously loaded question. The "issue" I see is the definition of
"misleading". This isn't as cut and dry as many people think it is.

Obviously, if public safety is at issue then some regulatory control is
necessary (even there though the lines are not clear). If no-one is
getting hurt, then things are a little more murky.

I'd go so far as to say that the definition of "marketing material" is
"misleading". ALL marketing trumps up it's product more then it should.
Look at hair shampoo ads for a great example. Is the fact that your hair
will NEVER look as good as the model's hair in the ad, no matter how
much of that shampoo you buy, reason enough to label the ad as
"misleading" and require government control? Where is the line drawn?
Weight loss ads? What about internet ads that claim certain speeds that
you KNOW you'll never get in real life?

So, to answer your question: it depends. If the business is malicious
about it's marketing, i.e. harming people in some way (like a product
promising to cure cancer that results in the patient forgoing proven
treatments), then I'd say criminal proceedings should occur. If there's
no harm (other then people buying something that might not work exactly
as stated) then I'd lean much more to no government intervention. I can
see that in some cases though things might get far enough to require
intervention, but that should be on a case by case basis.

TTYL

2011\01\20@141144 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
On 1/20/2011 9:00 AM, Herbert Graf wrote:
{Quote hidden}

The safest thing is to use common sense.

If something is too good to be true, it probably isn't.

I always wait at least a year before using a new electronic device. This gives
the makers time enough to eliminate the bugs. Saves a lot of grief for everybody.
It doesn't mean that the new device maker is trying to defraud anyone, its just the
way people ARE in general; they get excited about something new, and while
excited overlook things.

I was not impressed by GW, "no-down" mortgages, cold fusion, or about a thousand
other amazing things of the last decade. Maybe I am just getting old....

--Bob A


2011\01\20@144848 by IVP

face picon face
> If the producer of the panda put this on the sticker "It will
> reduce your power bill if you consume less", than I pity the
> fool who buys that kind of junk :-)

You'll notice that, in the fine print, TV ads for weight loss or a
better body include something along the lines of

'results not typical / results may vary, weight loss achieved with
a calorie-controlled diet and exercise'

IOW, to achieve the results seen on screen, *YOU* will probably
have to do a lot of life-style thinking

(and have worked out in a pro gym for 10 hours a day if you want
a job as a background wide-smiled himbo in an ab cruncher ad)

The difference with the PowerPanda is the claim that *IT* does
all the wor

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