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Perpetual Energy Machine Getting Lots of Attention 965

Many users have written to tell us about a magnetic machine promising "infinite clean energy". Engadget has the first picture of the device and is reporting that the announcement (along with a short video) of this supposed device will be released later tonight. "CEO Sean McCarthy tells SilconRepublic how it works. Namely, the time variance in magnetic fields allows the Orbo platform to 'consistently produce power, going against the law of conservation of energy which states that energy cannot be created or destroyed.' He goes on to say 'It's too good to be true but it is true. It will have such an impact on everything we do. The only analogy I can give is if you had absolute proof that God wasn't real.'" In my experience if something seems too good to be true it generally is. I wouldn't get your hopes up.
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Perpetual Energy Machine Getting Lots of Attention

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  • As they say... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @01:48PM (#19745831)
    There's a sucker born every minute.

    Seriously, why is anyone outside of Art Bell and George Noorey even giving this guy the time of day?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Yes. This is a disgrace for SlashDot. Someone remove this news item!
      • by DrLov3 ( 1025033 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @02:12PM (#19746125)
        Homer : Lisa, in this house we respect the laws of thermo-dynamics, go to your room!
        • Re:As they say... (Score:4, Informative)

          by g0dsp33d ( 849253 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @02:58PM (#19746667)
          Technically IIRC, this would not violate the laws. There is an outside force acting on it in the form of the magnetic fields. The real test of the devices is if it can create more power before the magnets degauss than it takes to create the machine and magnets.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by samkass ( 174571 )
            This brings up a funny question in my mind. Basically, there are very few fundamental sources of energy for us to use: solar (photovoltaics, oil, gas, ethanol, etc) and nuclear (fission, fusion). But the rotational energy of the solar system and our planet in particular seem more difficult to tap. Some of it might be partially represented by geothermal power, but you can't exactly tie gears to the planets and attach them to a generator. But your comment makes me wonder if the magnetic field of the natur
            • by MDMurphy ( 208495 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @04:26PM (#19747535)
              Tidal power. Massive amounts of water moving towards and away from shore, pulled mostly by the gravity of the moon.
            • Re:As they say... (Score:5, Insightful)

              by immel ( 699491 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @04:42PM (#19747657)
              We do harness the kinetic energy of the larger bodies of the solar system for practical use. One more obvious use of this is tidal power (generated by slowly affecting the kinetic energy of the Moon, IIRC, and harnessed by small turbines in coastal areas). One less obvious use of this is the planetary flyby technique used by spacecraft. By decreasing the velocity of Jupiter by [insert mathematically insignificant number here], a small space probe can go into a Jovian orbit at one velocity and exit this orbit at a significantly higher one in a different direction while using virtually no fuel.

              I'm not sure what you mean by the "energy storage" with natural magnets and rotational kinetic energy (Remember, the vast majority of ferrous material on this planet, and thus the source of the Earth's magnetic field, is in the core, not the crust), but there are techniques for using the Earth's magnetic field to produce energy. I saw a test of an apparatus on the NASA channel (Now that's good television) which used the spacecraft's movement through Earth's magnetic field to induce a current in a tether outside the spacecraft, which they then used to power stuff on board the spacecraft. But this was still not "free energy", because the magnetic field generated by the current interacted with that of Earth and decreased the spacecraft's velocity and altitude (as expected by NASA engineers and the law of conservation of Energy). This was mostly recoverable, though, because feeding current the other way through the cable increased the spacecraft's altitude again. The only way to get current out of a magnetic field is to move charged particles through it, which is convenient, because everything is made of charged particles. Energy must be expended to get those charged particles in motion in the first place, and once the current has been generated, the kinetic energy of the charged particles drops to zero.

              My point is, even by harnessing the kinetic energy or magnetic properties or what have you of the cosmos, you do affect them in a small way. Try that fly-by trick enough, and Jupiter will fall out of orbit. Some energy in space looks "free", but in actuality it's really just "insanely cheap" energy.
            • Re:As they say... (Score:5, Informative)

              by Phil Karn ( 14620 ) <karn&ka9q,net> on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @06:31PM (#19748513) Homepage
              Geothermal power is actually a form of nuclear power. It comes from the radioactive decay of potassium-40, uranium-238 and thorium-232 inside the earth.

              Actually, there is a way to "tie gears to the planets". Tidal power extracts the kinetic energy of the earth's rotation using the moon as a brake.

            • Windmills (Score:4, Insightful)

              by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @11:00PM (#19750389) Homepage Journal
              Windmills harness the power of air moving under force from both solar and the Earth's rotation. One of the oldest transducers known to industry, after the waterwheel.
          • Re:As they say... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by node 3 ( 115640 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @08:13PM (#19749301)

            Technically IIRC, this would not violate the laws. There is an outside force acting on it in the form of the magnetic fields. The real test of the devices is if it can create more power before the magnets degauss than it takes to create the machine and magnets.
            That depends. From the description it sounds like just another impossible machine. The only way it could both operate as described and fit what you are saying is if they are tapping into the Earth's magnetic field and drawing energy from it.

            On a side note, the demonstration has been canceled due to technical issues. I suppose "is impossible" would qualify as a technical issue.
      • by pdbaby ( 609052 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @02:41PM (#19746455)
        People like you make me so mad! You and your perpetual energy smear campaign. Thermodynamics thermoshamammics. For Too long we've been governed by the laws of physics. Energy wants to be free (as in speech), man!
      • Re:As they say... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by dinther ( 738910 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @03:03PM (#19746737) Homepage
        Why would you want to remove a story you perceive as untrue? It sounds just as ridiculous as religious folks wanting to remove posts that God doesn't exist. The statement is made and now you either ignore it or deal with it. Don't call for this statement to be denied to others after you received it.
    • by whopub ( 1100981 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @01:58PM (#19745973)
      I don't know about perpetual energy, but I've been working on perpetual lethargy for years. I wish I could publish a paper on it, but that would ruin years of research.
    • Re:As they say... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by stonecypher ( 118140 ) <stonecypher@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @01:59PM (#19745983) Homepage Journal

      Seriously, why is anyone outside of Art Bell and George Noorey even giving this guy the time of day?
      Because several times, legitimate scientists have said this, really believing what they were saying, and the resulting systems were frequently quite difficult to understand in terms of deciphering the flaw.

      It's a lot like when people used to let high school math coaches claim to have solved Fermat's Little Theorem. We all knew they didn't, but there's a lot to be said for the puzzle of locating the coaches' mistakes.

      Now, like you, I think this guy is a snake oil shill, as opposed to someone making a legitimate error. Nonetheless, I find his device bizarrely fascinating specifically because I don't see his particular cheat just yet. And, as such, I'm glad to have exposure to the nonsense. It's fun.
      • Re:As they say... (Score:5, Informative)

        by asuffield ( 111848 ) <asuffield@suffields.me.uk> on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @03:27PM (#19746963)

        Nonetheless, I find his device bizarrely fascinating specifically because I don't see his particular cheat just yet.

        We don't see anything of his just yet. This guy's made a lot of noise about how many people have been testing it but nobody seems to know anything about it. We don't even know if it really exists.

        On the off-chance that it does exist: from the pseudo-scientific babble that he's been putting out, I'm betting that he's reinvented the magnet engine. People have been mistaking that for perpetual motion for years (it actually turns out to be running on fixed magnets, which become gradually demagnetised by the process, but so slowly that you don't notice in a small lab demonstration that only runs for a few minutes). Magnets are like batteries, just not particularly efficient ones. Magnet-powered engines are sneaky things - all the math looks like you're getting energy for free, because nobody ever remembers to incorporate the energy of the magnet itself into the equation (it's not in any high-school textbooks).
    • >>"The only analogy I can give is if you had absolute proof that God wasn't real."

      There's some really strong evidence that God isn't real. There's no strong evidence that PPM work. In fact, there's a number of things about the universe which strongly suggest that PPM are impossible, just as there's some things which strong suggest God is impossible. Really, even from a 'making an analogy' point of view: this machine is like having proof God exists.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by arth1 ( 260657 )
        Indeed. And, at the risk of burning karma, I'll say there's quite likely a statistically significant correlation between those who believe in god and those who believe in the possibility of perpetual motion machines.

        What's interesting isn't whether either can exist, but what causes some people to believe them, and the belief apparently being strengthened in face of logical arguments to the contrary. I find it fascinating.
      • by Pogue Mahone ( 265053 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @02:48PM (#19746547) Homepage
        God is real unless explicitly declared as integer.

        Sorry --- old Fortran joke.

        (For the youngsters out there: in "traditional" Fortran, variables didn't need to be explicitly declared. Those starting with the letters i to n were integers. The rest were reals.)

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by adrianmonk ( 890071 )

        There's some really strong evidence that God isn't real.

        I've been thinking intently about that subject for about 20-25 years now. I've even changed "sides" once (and haven't changed back). I daresay I've thought about it more than many or even most people. I only feel like I can maybe claim that because of how startlingly ignorant many people on either side of the issue seem to be of the other side. The theists I've known have typically had their minds completely closed to the other point of view, somet

  • Sure. (Score:5, Funny)

    by GWLlosa ( 800011 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @01:48PM (#19745839)
    I hear there's gonna be a demo on the Brooklyn Bridge. It just so happens I have purchased a deed to said bridge. Where's my cut?
  • by SteveWhitty ( 950075 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @01:50PM (#19745857)
    If it draws power from fluctuations in the earth's magnetic field, it isn't perpetual motion any more than a tidal generating station, for example. It draws power from an external source, therefore it doesn't violate the laws of thermodynamics.
    • by Tatarize ( 682683 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @01:56PM (#19745943) Homepage
      If that's true than we can't really use em. Wouldn't that drain off the magnetic field a bit? Wouldn't that get us bombarded with radiation?

      *puts on tin foil hat*

      Must protect myself from radiation! Is there nothing this thing can't do!
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by catbutt ( 469582 )
        In the same sense that windmills change the climate by slowing down the wind, I suppose you are right.
    • No (Score:5, Informative)

      by mnemonic_ ( 164550 ) <jamec&umich,edu> on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @02:05PM (#19746043) Homepage Journal
      Except it doesn't do that, making your comment irrelevant.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Well, like any good crank, they seem to have busily covered all manner of bases while talking about their invention, so that its very hard to interpret what the hell they're actually saying.

        The only clear claim is that it's "magnetic" in nature. They have stated that they've created magnetic fields such that you can traverse them and arrive back at the same point with more energy, which is provably impossible in a static magnetic field. So they need a dynamic field - either through their own creation (whic

    • by Tatarize ( 682683 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @02:07PM (#19746063) Homepage
      Well, really, it would seem that the Earth's magnetic field is probably too weak to really provide much power. However, if this individual managed to convert sunlight (very energy rich) into electric power... that would be amazingly useful and would have near limitless potential.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )
        I have not just one but SEVERAL methods for converting sunlight into electrical energy. I will share plans for these devices with you for a low fee.
  • by TrekkieGod ( 627867 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @01:51PM (#19745877) Homepage Journal
    In this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!
  • by going_the_2Rpi_way ( 818355 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @01:51PM (#19745881) Homepage
    What you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul
    • Re:Mr. Madison... (Score:5, Informative)

      by ZombieWomble ( 893157 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @01:58PM (#19745967)
      That was the impression I got from reading the various blurbs their PR people have put out. I mean...

      "The law of conservation of energy has been very reliable for 300 years, however it's missing one variable from the equation, and that's time," said McCarthy.
      That's just completely incoherent - the law of conservation of energy is that the total energy in a closed system is constant OVER TIME. How can it possibly leave out time?
      • Re:Mr. Madison... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Hoplite3 ( 671379 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @02:23PM (#19746239)
        Mod the parent UP! This is the time when I agree that they should make stupidity more painful.

        "That's just completely incoherent - the law of conservation of energy is that the total energy in a closed system is constant OVER TIME. How can it possibly leave out time?"

        Hell effing yes. dE/dt = flux through the boundary, that's conservation of energy. If the system is isolated, the righthand side is zero, but it is still a statement about energy AND TIME.

        Rock on, you crazy thermo-knowing poster. Rock on.
        • Re:Mr. Madison... (Score:5, Informative)

          by ZombieWomble ( 893157 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @02:51PM (#19746587)
          Even more fun... I did some more research, and found out that they're apparently exploiting some inherent time variation in the strength of something over time - it's not clear exactly what, though. Initially I thought it was the strength of a given magnetic interaction, which was sort of feasible, but then he went on a bit more...

          http://quthoughts.blogspot.com/2007/06/steorn-it-j ust-keeps-going-and-going.html [blogspot.com]

          He gave a talk in UCD the other week, this blog has links to the youtube videos. Check out the second video. About 4 or 5 minutes in, he switches over to talking about some unsolved questions in physics. Turns out, there is no dark matter or dark energy. Apparently it's trivial to fix this problem by incorporating "time variance" in Newtonian Mechanics, which is what they had done with their Orbo deviece. What exactly the nature of this time variance is, or what the nature of the solution is is unfortunately not forthcoming though.

      • Re:Mr. Madison... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Coryoth ( 254751 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @02:31PM (#19746327) Homepage Journal

        That's just completely incoherent - the law of conservation of energy is that the total energy in a closed system is constant OVER TIME. How can it possibly leave out time?
        Worse yet, the law of conservation of energy actually spills out as a consequence of Noether's theorem [wikipedia.org], and the time symmetry of the laws of physics -- that is, the fact that the laws of physics should be the same today as they will be tomorrow. CoE is, in a sense, a consequence of time.
  • by PacoTaco ( 577292 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @01:51PM (#19745885)
    Unfortunately no one is interested in my machine that produces infinite dirty energy. :(
  • Stop It (Score:4, Funny)

    by asolipsist ( 106599 ) * on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @01:52PM (#19745895)
    If these asses are pulling energy from Earth's magnet field (and if it looks like free energy, they probably are), somebody please stop them, we need it.
    • Re:Stop It (Score:5, Interesting)

      by shaitand ( 626655 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @02:18PM (#19746197) Journal
      'If these asses are pulling energy from Earth's magnet field (and if it looks like free energy, they probably are), somebody please stop them, we need it.'

      We need a magnetic field. But isn't like there is a finite amount of energy stored that you are using up like a battery. The magnetic field is powered by a gravity generator and that generator is going to keep running whether you utilize the energy output or not.

      The big question is how much energy would you have to draw from the earth's magnetic field it makes any significant different. When you consider how tiny the global energy demands are compared to the actual energy stored in the stable matter of earth, I have a feeling that the result will be a very substantial amount.
      • Re:Stop It (Score:4, Interesting)

        by asolipsist ( 106599 ) * on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @03:02PM (#19746725)
        I was being slightly facetious and spelled magnetic wrong, however the principal is important. I'm not sure what you mean by 'gravity generator', the magnetosphere is a complex thing and is theorized to be powered by convection of iron in the Earth's mantle and needs three things to operate:
              1. there must be a conducting fluid;
              2. there must be enough energy to cause the fluid to move with sufficient speed and with the appropriate flow pattern;
              3. there must be a "seed" magnetic field.

        The magnetosphere is also the reason we're all still alive, and why Earth has an atmosphere. I can think of almost nothing more environmentally unsound than monkeying around with this field, of course this silly 'perpetual motion' machine will have a de minimis effect, but it's a bad precedent. If the field ever changes enough to endanger reason #3, we're cooked.
  • older story (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @01:53PM (#19745903)
    Here's [slashdot.org] an older story on Slashdot covering the same company and technology.
  • Typo (Score:3, Funny)

    by mhannibal ( 1121487 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @01:54PM (#19745915)
    It's a typo - "allows the Orbo platform to 'consistently produce power" should be "allows the Orbo platform to 'consistently produce revenue".
  • by Dster76 ( 877693 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @02:00PM (#19745993)
    everyone knows that by creating Orbos, the natives of Mars lost their magnetosphere and ensured their civilization's premature demise.

    (fake science makes for fun ingredients for science fiction!)
  • by 3seas ( 184403 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @02:07PM (#19746059) Homepage Journal
    ...from all the criticism and energy people waste their time on generating against this thing.

    See conservation of energy isn't being broken.... and the source is perpetual....
  • If it were real... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chris Snook ( 872473 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @02:13PM (#19746135)
    ...they wouldn't need to convince anyone. They could just sell the energy, use that money to make a bigger device, sell more energy, lather, rinse, repeat. You don't need investors when you can print money.
  • US PTO standards (Score:4, Informative)

    by Zachary Kessin ( 1372 ) <zkessin@gmail.com> on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @02:25PM (#19746259) Homepage Journal
    I think at some point in the 19th century the US Patent Office decicded that to patent a Perpetual motion machine you would have to produce a working demo and have it run for a year and a day (they had a LOT of bogus claims). So if these guys think they can make one, time to build a demo and set it up for review.

    It would be possible to draw some energy from the earth's magnetic field, but not very much its not a very strong magnetic field.
  • Dead giveaway... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LordSnooty ( 853791 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @02:31PM (#19746329)
    The fact it's unveiled in the form of a 10-day exhibition at a 'museum' tells us something about the nature of this 'product'. Have a look at the Kinetica Museum [kinetica-museum.org] (avoiding unnecessary Flash intro)

    Right across the top is their angle on events:

    Between Shows > Our Next Show : starts July 5th, world's first free-energy demonstration

    However, despite it being a piece of entertainment, the company are serious. See this story [www.rte.ie] from Ireland, where they are based: "The company stumbled upon the technology while working with wind turbines to power remote surveillance CCTV cameras for ATM."

    They discovered it by accident! That's how all the best inventions are conceived.
  • The Future (Score:5, Funny)

    by alexgieg ( 948359 ) <alexgieg@gmail.com> on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @02:44PM (#19746501) Homepage
    I know how the story unfolds. The device will work, by extracting magnetic energy from Earths own magnetic field. In a few years, Steorn will be one of the hugest and most profitable companies in the world, causing oil consumption to almost stop.

    Steorn's main geomagnetic extraction complex will, over time, develop into a city, and then into a gigantic megalopolis, which people will call simply "Steorn". The Steorn megalopolis will be circle-shaped, powered by eight gigantic Orbo generators (also delimiters of the city's eight sectors), and divided into two vertical levels, the lower scum one, where low wage workers live, and the high one, were executives, rich people etc. live and work.

    Over time, a quasi-religious movement will develop affirming that Steorn's consumption of geomagnetic energy is actually causing Earth to die, and the most fanatic among these will form an eco-terrorist movement dedicated to the destruction of all Orbo generators. The funny thing is: this movement will be actually correct! Worse: not only will Steorn be in fact slowly destroying the world, but they will have also developed advanced genetics research on an alien found years before, using these discoveries to genetically enhance their own self-defense troops.

    The history of our future proceeds in many details, but I'll make it short. Suffice it to say that one of these troops will discover all about his increased abilities, the alien, the Orbo generators destroying Earth, and will decide to accelerate the process, by causing a meteor to strike Earth. Earth itself, in a move indicating some kind of self-awareness, will fight back by redirecting its own geomagnetic field against the meteor, destroying it. The collateral effect of this, however, will be a magnetic induced disease over humanity, who will slowly start to die. A cure will be found, but not before much damage happens.

    Due to all of this, the world will realize they must stop using geomagnetism as a source of energy, turn off all Orbo generators, and finally turn back to that old means of power generation left behind decades ago: petroleum. So much, in fact, that even the former leader of the anti-Orbo eco-terrorist group will become one of the earliest investors in oil extraction and oil-based energy production.

    Then history will repeat itself.
  • by hellsDisciple ( 889830 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @03:02PM (#19746723)
    These cowboys gave a talk in our University in Dublin. They also wanted to film the talk, presumably so they could chop and change comments by the hostile audience and other learned speakers (experts in Thermodynamics and Magnetics). This quite sensibly wasn't allowed, but the talk went ahead anyway. However there didn't seem to be much behind the flashy powerpoint presentation. I think this is more of a scientifically-fictional pyramid scheme than anything else.
  • What if it's true? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Danathar ( 267989 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @03:29PM (#19746987) Journal
    We all know what will happen if it does not work. That's just plane boring to talk about. Also reading people make jokes about snake oil is boring too.

    What's more interesting is to think of what WOULD happen if it were true. How would the politics of the world change? Would it plunge the world into war? Would peace brake out?

    As a thought experiment independent of this being true how would the world change in 3 months, 6 months, 6 years if unlimited engergy was discovered?
  • Coriolis machines (Score:5, Interesting)

    by flyingfsck ( 986395 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @10:30PM (#19750209)
    The only(?) perpetual motion machines that can be built on a small scale are coriolis machines. Way back in the 19th and early 20th centuries is was a fad to build perpetual clocks with horizontally rotating pendulums that stole energy from the earth's rotation to power themselves. The amount of power extracted is very small though and requires careful leveling of the clock. Also, they won't work in the tropics or at the poles. They only work in intermediate latitudes.
  • Right-On!!! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Fantastic Lad ( 198284 ) on Thursday July 05, 2007 @01:16AM (#19751057)
    Oh, this is just too much fun!

    Everybody is cranking out lots of criticisms and such, but you just know everybody is still going to be paying attention on July 5th!

    Typically with over-unity claims which actually make the news, there is a big press release and gab-fest, and then a few weeks later the inventor vanishes from view never to be heard from again.

    I recall one gentleman in Japan, Kohei Minato, three years back who had managed to garner a lot of positive press with his funky spinning wheels. He had an Irish minister of some sort pay him a visit and descriptions of his free-spinning wheel [rexresearch.com] are really cool. (The coolest item is in the last fifth of the page at the bottom.) He generated some modest interest in 2004 when a journalist was significantly impressed with his work and published an article (copied at the link above). I wonder what happened to Mr. Minato. I've not heard a peep about him since then. If he's in jail, it's not the kind you get put in for fraud, because then there would be some record of his being prosecuted. Perhaps its one of those special prisons they have for people who dare to tap into some forbidden energy source the petrochem companies don't want anybody to know about. There are tales of inventors being kidnapped at gunpoint. I know a guy who worked for an agency whose job it is to kill scientists. But hey, shhhhh. Stuff like is entirely not real. I'm only joking. Really. Joking. Shhhh. Plausible deniablility. Cuz the guy is just gone. There's nothing on the man that isn't three years old.

    Well, actually, I did hear one peep. There was a fellow inquiring after Minato, claiming to have last seen him in Japan in December of 2006. Apparently, Mr. Minato has been offered a production facility in another country. But that could be just the background noise of the grand ol' internet. Who's to say?

    Anyway. . , if this Orbo thing is a scam, you can bet it's a great one. Their showing has been really patient and well-crafted thus far. I'm so happy they're still around a year after their first announcement. I mean, think about how much effort is being expended here; it involves a large number of people who are all towing the line. Scientists, and production staff, and PR people. If this is a scam, it's much, much larger than any other over-unity claim, which usually only involve one or two people working in a garage. According the the wonderful world of wikkipedia, Steorn invited a democratically selected member of a forum to visit their facility, and they wowed her with a bunch of smoke and mirrors. This is so rich! Damn, I'm excited!

    I wonder, if it's all scammy, how they've worked out how to not go to jail for fraud? Is it illegal to lie to your investors? Maybe they'll all claim it was just an elaborate test of the PR abilities, a cosmic joke to see who they could fool, and that really, no money changed hands. Who knows?

    Or if they've got some kind of device on their hands which draws energy from somewhere else, like the Earth's magnetic field as some have suggested, then. . , hey, is that cool or what? They've done enough high-profile press work to perhaps not get vanished. (Though I wouldn't count on it.) Either way, Steorn is putting on a helluva neat show. This is pulp science at its best! It reminds me of my favorite period in fiction; the late 1700's, early 1800's, when steam and flying contraptions and "Watson, get the pistols!" was the way science was conducted. A showing of a revolutionary new technology in an art gallery? Are you serious?! Well, damn, let me get my top hat and cane! These days are sorely lacking adventure in science. Too few pith helmets and too much slick corporate chrome.

    So, rock-on, Steron! I can't wait to see what you pull out of your hat! And if you actually have something genuine, a word of advice: Opensourcing it would keep you from getting killed by the Bad Men. If you don't have

You can do more with a kind word and a gun than with just a kind word. - Al Capone