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Perpetual Energy Machine Getting Lots of Attention

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the swimming-in-snake-oil dept.

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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As they say... (5, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 7 years ago | (#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:As they say... (3, Insightful)

TuringBirds (1115401) | more than 7 years ago | (#19745923)

Yes. This is a disgrace for SlashDot. Someone remove this news item!

Re:As they say... (5, Funny)

DrLov3 (1025033) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746125)

Homer : Lisa, in this house we respect the laws of thermo-dynamics, go to your room!

Because Slashdot exists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19745925)

Slashdot greenlights an average of 12 perpetual-motion-machine stories per year. That's in perpetuity.

Re:As they say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19745929)

Wouldn't it be funny if this machine worked? He couldn't patent the thing...

Re:As they say... (5, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 7 years ago | (#19745987)

Here is how you know when a perpetual energy machine is fake (aside from the fact that it is supposedly a perpetual energy machine):

If you invented something like that, you would be in secret negotiations with governments, militaries and major corporations. You wouldn't be wasting your time with youtube demonstrations and internet articles. You'd be involved in secret demonstrations with signed NDAs all around and massive bidding wars.

Re:As they say... (3, Insightful)

shaitand (626655) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746017)

' (aside from the fact that it is supposedly a perpetual energy machine)'

The outlook that makes you put this comment in, assures that governments, militaries, and major corporations wouldn't give you the time of day. They would never know you succeded because they would never look at what you produced in the first place.

Youtube demonstrations and internet articles would likely be the only way you would be able to stir up enough of a buzz to get someone to take you half seriously in the first place.

Re:As they say... (3, Insightful)

MouseR (3264) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746095)

Not only that...

  I bet the total energy output of this device's expected mtbf isn't big enough to cover the machine's construction in the first place. Thus, moot.

Use finesse (1)

benhocking (724439) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746247)

You wouldn't say it was a perpetual motion machine. Rather, you would describe it as using a novel form of energy. Once you demonstrated it, and allowed them the ability to examine it, the product should sell itself.

Re:Use finesse (1)

tolan-b (230077) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746351)

Yeah although people are very negative about Steorn's claims, and with good reason, there's no fundamental reason why they couldn't have stumbled across a way of tapping some source of energy that would in *practice* be perpetual, without it actually technically creating energy out of nothing.

Re:As they say... (1, Troll)

megaditto (982598) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746081)

Well, if you really invented something like this, the thing to do would be to openly publish the specs, and openly exhibit the engine. Also, openly explain how you think the machine works instead of spewing mumbo-jumbo (if you don't know how, say you don't know).

What the scam artists do instead is allow only a very limited observation of the device, and ask for more money to 'develop' the idea. This is exactly what these guys also do: going to allow you to spectate the machine from the pre-defined angles only, and ask for venture capital to continue.

Re:As they say... (1)

gumbright (574609) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746143)

I agree that is the more expected scenario, certainly. But there is a thing called altruism. Somebody could actually try to do something for the common good. That being said, I can't say I expect this to pan out. There are some possibilities that are interesting like perhaps they have stumbled on some new efficiency that is not PM but uses significantly less power, that would still be a good thing. So even if this is a load, perhaps there is some usable nugget buried within. I will give them the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise and only expect the reasonable, though I do disagree with their methodology if for no other reason than it is suspect.

Re:As they say... (5, Funny)

whopub (1100981) | more than 7 years ago | (#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... (1)

cool_arrow (881921) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746031)

lol - I regret I have no mod points, but that's mighty funny.

Re:As they say... (5, Insightful)

stonecypher (118140) | more than 7 years ago | (#19745983)

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.

Flawed... even down to the analogy. God? (3, Insightful)

Tatarize (682683) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746041)

>>"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:Flawed... even down to the analogy. God? (3, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746179)

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.

Endgadget just lost it's geek badge (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746065)

My gagnomometer has pegged.

Ignore Cubic Math at your own peril (1)

JonTurner (178845) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746097)

Woah. It looks like somebody's been hanging out with Dr. Gene Ray, Cubic & Wisest Human.

You see, previous failed attempts at perpetual motion often utilized magnets, but this machine has Magnets AND Time. And Time is cool.
But be warned, you may not be capable of understanding it:

Academia is an accreditation of real
stupidity - deadly to all humanity.
Dumb ass teachers fear Time Cube
and will eat dung before debating it.
Dumb students are educated stupid.

"Wikipedia claim that the Time Cube is non-science constitutes a Grave error by the half-brain bastard who can't think opposite of the lies he was taught.
I was born to think Cubic as in a 4 corner family life, therefore I rise above you. "


http://www.timecube.com/ [timecube.com]

Re:As they say... (0, Redundant)

slazzy (864185) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746279)

I'm not sure sure - if only we could generate power from all the junk email I get...

USA: Also To Good To Be True ! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19745833)

Read how at globaltics.net [globaltics.net] .

Sure. (5, Funny)

GWLlosa (800011) | more than 7 years ago | (#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?

Not really perpetual motion, though. (4, Informative)

SteveWhitty (950075) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.

Re:Not really perpetual motion, though. (3, Funny)

Tatarize (682683) | more than 7 years ago | (#19745943)

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!

No (5, Informative)

mnemonic_ (164550) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746043)

Except it doesn't do that, making your comment irrelevant.

Re:No (1)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746229)

Could you provide a link to back that up? I've been trying to find an explanation of how it supposedly works that denies what the grandparent poster said, but I can't penetrate the techno-babble.

As far as I can tell, it translated magnetic fields into mechanical motion. Sounds like 80% of all previous attempts at perpetual motion devices to me. It's probably just an unbalanced set of magnets, but I can't get at anything that makes any sense to be sure.

Re:No (2, Interesting)

ZombieWomble (893157) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746287)

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 (which, I'm pretty sure, would still leave you in a zero-sum game at best), or through an external field changing like, say, the earth. They have played up the earth angle at times, speaking about fluctuations and comparing it to gravity in an article linked from TFA.

But a big argument against this line of reasoning is that they keep playing up how it breaks physical laws, and if this was the case it would be an extremely easy to understand concept, well in keeping with physical laws. The only catch is that the effect would likely be incredibly tiny, and they probably wouldn't get on the front page of slashdot with such a claim.

Still, it's possible we're all wrong and there'll be egg on our faces tomorrow. But I don't think I'll be putting my bets on that just yet.

Re:Not really perpetual motion, though. (5, Funny)

Tatarize (682683) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746063)

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:Not really perpetual motion, though. (1)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746297)

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.
There's nothing wrong with having a dream.

Re:Not really perpetual motion, though. (0, Redundant)

ParaShoot (992496) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746307)

Isn't that called a solar panel?

if it draws power from external source (1)

randuev (1032770) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746177)

mister president, magnetic energy of earth has almost depleted. Without "so cheap" energy we are doomed to millennium of no electricity!

Re:Not really perpetual motion, though. (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746253)

Exactly, he even said it's powered by earth's magnetic field in the last article. What an idiot to say it violates the basic laws of energy now. Oh and I suppose magnetic compasses run on magic too and that's why they create their own energy to turn all the time.
But more importantly, wouldn't this like stop the Earth from turning or screw with its magnetic radiation shield effect if everyone builds generators powered this way all over the planet?

Breaking the Law (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19745861)

Breaking the Law of Conservation of Energy is a serious offense. One could find themselves in Guantanamo very quickly for breaking this law. The oil companies will not let this stand!

Re:Breaking the Law (1)

SengirV (203400) | more than 7 years ago | (#19745989)

Yep, watch out for that boogie man around every corner.

Re:Breaking the Law (2, Insightful)

Ballinasloe (1123903) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746201)

Someday someone is going to create a real perpetual motion machine and no one is going to believe them.

Wrong month. (1, Insightful)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 7 years ago | (#19745865)

It's the 4th of July not the 1st of April.

Nice try, though.

Lisa, get in here! (5, Funny)

TrekkieGod (627867) | more than 7 years ago | (#19745877)

In this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!

Re:Lisa, get in here! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19746005)

It looks like the fellow(s) responsible for the device are very much aware of the second law of thermodynamics.

to quote their CEO: "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."

Both this invention and proofing the existance/nonexistance of god are logically impossible, so I'm thinking this must be a publicity stunt. Maybe they're fool-bating?

A better analogy (0, Troll)

sanborn's man (687059) | more than 7 years ago | (#19745879)

it is like Microsoft paying you for using Vista...oh! wait

Mr. Madison... (5, Funny)

going_the_2Rpi_way (818355) | more than 7 years ago | (#19745881)

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... (5, Informative)

ZombieWomble (893157) | more than 7 years ago | (#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... (4, Interesting)

Hoplite3 (671379) | more than 7 years ago | (#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... (5, Insightful)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746327)

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.

Re:Mr. Madison... (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746021)

Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it
One of the few times I haven't RTFA, and I find I'm glad...

Re:Mr. Madison... (1)

cool_arrow (881921) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746077)

This is one of those stories that doesn't deserve to be read but folks comments are about it are pretty funny. There are far too many of these kinds of articles on /.

Not the only game in town (4, Funny)

PacoTaco (577292) | more than 7 years ago | (#19745885)

Unfortunately no one is interested in my machine that produces infinite dirty energy. :(

Re:Not the only game in town (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19745949)

I am. I pay these machines in $1 dollar bills.

What a complete waste of everyone's time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19745887)

Do we really need to have a post for every single perpetual machine story that gets out there?

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A PERPETUAL MOTION MACHINE. NEVER EVER EVER NEVER NEVER EVER. Can we, as a species, please get over it?

Let's move onto the next topic, such as cold fusion or man-made global warming.

Re:What a complete waste of everyone's time (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 7 years ago | (#19745955)

At least they seem to have stopped posting things about that Alex Chiu time travel idiot.

Re:What a complete waste of everyone's time (1)

HexRei (515117) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746269)

alex chiu was the magnetic ring guy i thought. maybe you're mixing him up with john titor?

Re:What a complete waste of everyone's time (1)

MrHappy123 (1123835) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746333)

If this way released earlier, there was no need for the Iraq War, another joke!

Stop It (3, Funny)

asolipsist (106599) | more than 7 years ago | (#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 (1)

Egdiroh (1086111) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746091)

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.

But if we don't know any plausible consequences of the technology, the energy is free, clean, and green right?
There is no free energy. If we take energy from the machinery that keeps the planet habitable, we will cause changes. While change isn't necessarily bad it's also not necessarily reversible, so maybe we want to tread a bit more lightly, until we really can plot the changes we are setting into motion. Energy efficiency is more important then energy sources.

Re:Stop It (4, Interesting)

shaitand (626655) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746197)

'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.

older story (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19745903)

Here's [slashdot.org] an older story on Slashdot covering the same company and technology.

Thanks AC (1)

Attaturk (695988) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746145)

I was looking for that and you beat me to it. It seems Steorn's spin week is an annual event.

Two Words (1)

TheSlashaway (1032228) | more than 7 years ago | (#19745909)

COLD FUSION

Re:Two Words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19746215)

HOT GRITS!

Typo (3, Funny)

mhannibal (1121487) | more than 7 years ago | (#19745915)

It's a typo - "allows the Orbo platform to 'consistently produce power" should be "allows the Orbo platform to 'consistently produce revenue".

No Typo (1)

Phase Shifter (70817) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746221)

It's a typo - "allows the Orbo platform to 'consistently produce power" should be "allows the Orbo platform to 'consistently produce revenue".
Their statement is technically correct when you remember that money == power.

Sure. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19745933)

Alright, prove it works and become a billionaire. Go on. Keep everything above board.

As if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19745939)

a chair sized bunch or junk could provide more power than a massive power plant or hundreds of acres of wind mills...

No I didn't RTF Article... (1)

Elbowgeek (633324) | more than 7 years ago | (#19745957)

But really, they should almost have a permanent ban on perpetual motion machine stories. That may be one instance in which free speech can be rightly squashed.

Cheers

Re:No I didn't RTF Article... (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746099)

Eh... people like to bash on the free-energy loons every once in a while. It's a slow news day anyway. Think of it as a kind of puzzle, trying to find the flaw in their theory. It's like Where's Waldo for nerds, except a lot easier.

They get their say about their somewhat novel takes on the laws of physics, and get to call them morons. Everybody wins.

Re:No I didn't RTF Article... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19746113)

ScuttleMonkey, you are a shame for all /.ers

Re:Why don't we keep an open mind? (1)

xwin (848234) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746335)

While I am not sure the invention does work at all, but banning all discussion about some fact does not make the said fact go away, instead it will make sure that we will make no progress.

Let me remind you that until not so long ago every one was sure that the earth was flat and that it was the center of the universe. Today we probably have no proof that that of similar device will work but give it some time and someone will prove it. Even if this device works despite our current theories what is wrong with using it? A lot of medications for example work in mysterious ways but we keep using them. We also used fire for a very long time without understanding exactly how it works.

Why don't we keep an open mind?

How is this not flamebait? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19745963)

So I saw "Orbo" and thought of the stuff from Witch Hunter Robin [wikipedia.org] , which seems to be made from witches ala Soylent Green. Great name, guys.

But, really, this is such flamebait. "The time variance in magnetic fields"? delta H/delta t? Who are you kidding? If it really does work that way, then you're getting your energy from the Earth's magnetic field in much the same way a spacecraft using a planet's gravity to get into a higher-energy orbit is actually decelerating the planet in question.

TANSTAAFL.

Kernel of truth in this (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19745969)

Clearly energy generation systems that turn alternating magnetic fields into energy are possible without violating thermodynmics. I just doubt that they could produce useful amounts of energy or we would be hooking generators to our compass needles.

do we want to end up like Mars? (4, Funny)

Dster76 (877693) | more than 7 years ago | (#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!)

Re:do we want to end up like Mars? (1)

IgLou (732042) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746227)

But it wasn't creating Orbos that destroyed the natives of Mars it was the illegal war that the Cydonias declared against the Tholusians over fabricated evidence that Tholusians were about to produce their own Orbos... Really, brush up on your Martian history!

Now excuse me while I drive off in my car that runs on sea water.

pft (2, Interesting)

do_kev (1086225) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746015)

Anything that truly allows you to get something for nothing would so drastically alter our understanding of reality such that many things we take as absolute truth would become unreliable (predictability and statistics would be meaningless.. we would have to accept the possibility of spontaneous creation of radiation and perhaps even matter..)

I don't know where they're getting their energy from, but I cannot even fathom the possibility that it defies the law of conservation of energy.

Re:pft (1)

KitsuneSoftware (999119) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746119)

While I have no doubt that the stoy is nonsense, isn't the Big Bang an instance of the "spontaneous creation of radiation and perhaps even matter"?

Re:pft (1)

Bottlemaster (449635) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746207)

While I have no doubt that the stoy is nonsense, isn't the Big Bang an instance of the "spontaneous creation of radiation and perhaps even matter"?
We call it the pre-Big-Bang mass because it was made of matter.

Perpetual energy investors! (0)

nodvin (85067) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746033)

I have a Bridge in Brooklyn for sale, cheap!

Young lady... (0, Redundant)

DrXym (126579) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746051)

... in this house we OBEY the laws of thermodynamics!

I'm so glad I'm not an investor [steorn.com] .

Perpetual Traffic (1)

florescent_beige (608235) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746053)

Heres how I see it: stories like this drive traffic to /. so they can stay in business and host real news. It's just embarrassing because /. is the site I tend to gravitate toward.

Despite the fact we had Roswell yesterday and perpetual energy today, I still find if I browse stories with the smartometer set to 5, there are some amazingly intelligent and well informed people who make up /.

Not the ones who believe in this crappolla though.

I know where it gets its energy from.... (3, Funny)

3seas (184403) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746059)

...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....

Don't sink this low, Slashdot! (1)

Bromskloss (750445) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746069)

Mabye they aim to get an investor and run off with the money, laughing at how someone could fall for this, again!

Main stream coverage (1)

nick255 (139962) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746073)

Hummmmm. I wonder why no main stream news outlets seem to be picking up such a ground-breaking story?

Think (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19746075)

Can't believe that 80% of the posters at Engadget think this has merit ... Looks like /. is useful after all!
I guess it is natural to expect that all the believers in scams like this never actually stop and think about it's implications.

You really really do not want to violate the conservation of energy, and especially not be able to create energy without it coming from somewhere else, and not because it would make oil companies unhappy. Hint: Imagine you could destroy energy somehow - what happens eventually? Now, move in the other direction. An ever increasing amount of energy on the planet that does not go away has some pretty serious consequences on our physical existence - think about it.

analogy (1)

randuev (1032770) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746085)

"The only analogy I can give is if you had absolute proof that God wasn't real." That's the worst analogy you could have picked on so many levels. Ontopic wise: Perhaps we will find energy that costs next to nothing in short term and at the end of it's lifecycle has ever increasing prohibitive cost. Again. ducks

A more open technology... (2, Interesting)

mnemonic_ (164550) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746087)

http://www.steorn.com/orbo/licencing/ [steorn.com]

Our free energy technology will be made widely available to the development community immediately after the independent scientific validation process.

Under the terms of a modified general public licence and for a nominal fee, Steorn's intellectual property will be made available concurrently to all interested parties, from individual enthusiasts to larger research organisations. Steorn is taking this bold move to accelerate the deployment and acceptance of its technology for both humanitarian and commercial products.

If it were real... (5, Insightful)

Chris Snook (872473) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.

Free Energy != Instant Hoax (1, Insightful)

camperdave (969942) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746163)

Just because the guy is saying he is generating free energy doesn't mean he's gone off the deep end. I can produce free energy by sticking a specially shaped piece of metal in the air. You say bunk. I say wind turbine. Now who's laughing? Maybe the guy is somehow tapping the ambient magnetic field of the Earth, or has tapped into the tidal forces caused by the planet's rotation, or maybe it is bunk. We'd have to examine the device to say for sure. However do just dismiss it out of hand is unscientific.

Mind you, the guy's website is short on details, and long on hype and begging for money, like most hoaxers. So, I'm not holding my breath.

Re:Free Energy != Instant Hoax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19746277)

> I can produce free energy by sticking a specially shaped piece of metal in the air. You say bunk. I say wind turbine. Now who's laughing?

Me, at your idiotic definition of "free" energy. And "who's to say he's not right" does not substitute for proof in any respectable science.

Solar panels might in fact be the closest thing to it, but that's because we can show that the sun blasts a lot of energy at us. If the magnetic field produced that much energy, every large metal structure on earth would be charged to buzzing.

Re:Free Energy != Instant Hoax (2, Insightful)

PMW (203329) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746305)

If you go to their website they have the following statement:

Our Claim Orbo produces free, clean and constant energy - that is our claim. By free we mean that the energy produced is done so without recourse to external source. By clean we mean that during operation the technology produces no emissions. By constant we mean that with the exception of mechanical failure the technology will continue to operate indefinitely. The sum of these claims for our Orbo technology is a violation of the principle of conservation of energy, perhaps the most fundamental of scientific principles. The principle of the conservation of energy states that energy can neither be created or destroyed, it can only change form. Because of the revolutionary nature of our claim, not only to the world of science but to the world in general, Steorn issued a challenge to the scientific community in August 2006 to test our technology and report their findings. The process of validation that has resulted from this challenge is currently underway, with results expected by the end of 2007.
That's a claim to a perpetual motion machine. To their credit, they aren't hiding the claim, they're throwing the claim right out to the public. The whole thing is obviously a con-job to get money from suckers with more $$$ than sense. I really wish slashdot wouldn't post this kind of nonsense.

Re:Free Energy != Instant Hoax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19746355)

I wasn't aware that wind turbines could be built for nothing. Or didn't require maintenance. Hardly free, I'd say.

Well, the good thing is that (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746169)

you can't patent a perpetual motion machine. That should keep it off the market.

There's no trick to it...it's just a simple trick. (1)

ShagratTheTitleless (828134) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746243)

It's a simple conversion:

Environmental Anxiety ==> Phase 2 ==> Perpetual Clean Energy

Unfortunately it stops working when people realize it has worked and lose their anxiety.

Lighten up (1)

aquabat (724032) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746257)

I see a lot of comments along the lines of "That's impossible, because you can't get something for nothing, so STFU.", but the comments in the link make a bad logical deduction, as follows:

1. The machine consistently produces power from the Earth's magnetic field.

2. Point 1 implies that the machine defies the law of conservation of energy.

It is possible for point 1 to be true without implying point 2. In fact, if you assume that the conservation laws hold true a priori, then you can actually deduce some interesting properties of a device for which point 1 holds true.

Conservation of momentum and energy imply that drawing energy out of this device and using it to move something will cause a change in the Earth's motion. Specifically:

A) If you use it to spin something up, then the Earth's rotation will adjust to compensate.

B) If you use it to throw something, then the earth will be thrown in the opposite direction to compensate.

C) It should be possible to drive this device in reverse and actually put energy into the Earth's magnetic field, instead of drawing it out.

So lighten up a bit, people. This thing might actually be useful, even if it doesn't give you something for nothing.

US PTO standards (3, Informative)

Zachary Kessin (1372) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746259)

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.

Way back when.... (0, Troll)

pfarber (1123907) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746261)

It was scientific LAW that the world was FLAT. 'Science' got that one wrong, to.

Re:Way back when.... (1)

StonedRat (837378) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746357)

"Science" has know the world is spherical for at least 1000 years.

New creation .. (2, Interesting)

foobsr (693224) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746293)

... presumably a 4th July joke, replacing the April edition for obvious reasons.

On the other hand, Rudy Rucker [wikipedia.org] in the 'Edge Question' [edge.org] 2007: "Endless free energy will flow from the subdimensions. And, by using subdimensional shortcuts akin to what is now called quantum entanglement, we'll become able to send information over great distances with no energy cost. In effect the whole world can become linked like a wireless network, simply by tapping into the subdimensional channel."

CC.

Sigh (1)

seaturnip (1068078) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746317)

In my experience if something seems too good to be true it generally is. I wouldn't get your hopes up.

So why are you posting the story then?

Someone remind me why I keep reading this site again?

Displacement of Energy in Time (1)

KiwiCanuck (1075767) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746321)

The majority of perpertual claims I've seen just displace energy in time (storage) and then release it later. The storage part typically not included in the calculations. Thermodynamics states that you cannot creat a perpetual motion machine. This proof is INDEPENDANT of the mechnism, be it electric, magnetic, nuclear, or some form of force/energy we have yet to discover.

What if? (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746323)

No, I don't believe it either. But what if it were true? How would society change given a sudden complete energy independence (ignoring conspiracy theories about Shell or BP shooting the inventor)?

First, we could stop having any involvement with the middle east. Honestly, is there anyone besides the Arabians that would miss dealing with Saudi Arabia? Would global warming stop because CO2 was no longer a necessary byproduct of the most common energy source, or would it go up because every was busy converting their free energy into waste heat ("why yes, I'd love to have an 8-way Pentium 4 in my clock radio!")?

Dead giveaway... (4, Interesting)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.
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