Updated Register staff - and quite a few other hacks we know - were provoked to panic this morning by news that Korean electronics company 911 Computing will be bringing a deviously efficient portable lie detector to the UK.
According to its inventor, Israeli Amir Liebermann, the Handy Truster Emotion Reader plugs into a phone - cellular or land-line - and can spot eight out of ten whoppers.
So, no longer will an 'I'm working on the story now' do when a bibulous journo really ought to be saying 'I'm down the pub'.
Well, eight times out of ten...
Liebermann developed the device while under the employ of the Israeli military and claims it's far more effective than the old polygraph lie detectors, according to theDaily Polygraph
The Handy Truster detects stress-induced changes in the low frequency registers of human speech typical of spoken falsehoods. People can't hear such fluctuations but Liebermann's machine can, allowing users to spot almost any fib, from lesser falsehoods to total lies. Its LCD apparently shows a partially eaten apple - the more bites, the bigger the whopper.
Liebermann says the Handy Truster was tested on the recent US presidential debates. It scored Dubya at 57 fibs, and Al Gore at 23. Is that all? And they call themselves politicians...
The Handy Truster Emotion Reader costs £35. ®