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December 16, 2009 8:34 AM   Subscribe

They're back! The Irish Company Steorn -previously previously and previously are streaming live feeds of their Orbo device that's going to save us all. Fingers crossed this time lads, eh?
posted by Wrick (61 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Gah! I heard about this yesterday morning and wondered when it would appear here. It's gone from slightly amusing to embarrassing. I'm ignoring these people from now on, they've had enough attention already with their perpeptual promotion machine.
posted by Elmore at 8:37 AM on December 16, 2009


For all those who actually want to watch this travesty here's the link to the actual live feed.
posted by There's No I In Meme at 8:43 AM on December 16, 2009


Kittens give Morbo gas. In later news the city of New New York is doomed.
posted by Babblesort at 8:44 AM on December 16, 2009


Orbo is based upon time variant magnetic interactions, i.e. magnetic interactions whose efficiency varies as a function of transaction timeframes.

It is this variation of energy exchanged as a function of transaction time frame that lies at the heart of Orbo technology, and its ability to contravene the principle of the conservation of energy. Why? Conservation of energy requires that the total energy exchanged using interactions are invariant in time. This principle of time invariance is enshrined in Noether’s Theorem.


So we are stealing energy from the future? Did they just invent a time machine so I don't have to recharge my iPod?
posted by DU at 8:45 AM on December 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


So we are stealing energy from the future?

I call dibs on this for my next novel/comic/screenplay/video game treatment. Thanks DU.

DIBS
posted by poppo at 8:48 AM on December 16, 2009


I'm flying over to Ireland to check this out, on a spaceship powered by an EmDrive.
posted by mullingitover at 8:48 AM on December 16, 2009


Whenever I see their name in print, I feel like a jackass. I feel like the world's biggest tool, because here they are making all kinds of money off the ignorance of fools, and I am completely failing to take advantage of the situation.

So.

Who wants to buy some structured healing water? It has all the best quantum resonances!
posted by aramaic at 8:49 AM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


But...but...it's got a battery right there! They even show it in the diagrams! They're not even being clever about it!
posted by echo target at 8:53 AM on December 16, 2009


Who wants to buy some structured healing water? It has all the best quantum resonances!

Will it balance my humours?
posted by Elmore at 8:53 AM on December 16, 2009


A strange coincidence: Strange Physical Theory Proved After Nearly 40 Years
posted by stbalbach at 9:01 AM on December 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Y'all think you're so fucking clever by talking shit about this AWESOME company making FREE ENERGY out of MAGIC MOVEMENTS and has a name that anagrams for STONER, why don't you try making your OWN perpetual motion machine, huh? Yeah, THAT'S WHAT I THOUGHT.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:04 AM on December 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Perpetual motion is a pipe dream. If we could harness the power of snark though...
posted by never used baby shoes at 9:10 AM on December 16, 2009


If you love perpetual motion, you might like this.
The Conspiracy Skeptics podcast on "Free Energy". [mp3]
posted by JBennett at 9:17 AM on December 16, 2009


I wish I could watch this, but I have lots of things to do today to contribute to the eventual heat-death of the universe.
posted by Eideteker at 9:21 AM on December 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


Will it balance my humours?

Yeah, but it might mess up your chakras, you'll need some bach's floral remedies to clear that up. Unfortunately, floral remedies sometimes trigger vertebral subluxations. Crystal healing works well on subluxations, but the crystal matrices pick up blocked energies, which can sometimes transfer to you and increase the production of yellow bile and ...
posted by sebastienbailard at 9:22 AM on December 16, 2009 [6 favorites]


>>Who wants to buy some structured healing water? It has all the best quantum resonances!

>Will it balance my humours?


Even better, it will align your aura, but only if you sign up for the seminar and workshop. And buy the book! And the talismanic holistic vessel! And the water carrier action figures...
posted by mosk at 9:28 AM on December 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


But will it really mighty my penis, man?
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:29 AM on December 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


this AWESOME company making FREE ENERGY out of MAGIC MOVEMENTS and has a name that anagrams for STONER

Have you ever really looked at a physics textbook?
posted by DU at 9:33 AM on December 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Huh. Looking through those earlier threads... I completely forgot about my plan to build a soul-powered gun to destroy the moon.

But you know how it is; with work, taking care of the pets, trying to be social... you forget about these little side projects.

Still, even as much as I've procrastinated, I still bet I finish before these guys perfect perpetual energy.
posted by quin at 9:33 AM on December 16, 2009


But will it really mighty my penis, man?

Whoa, wait a second. You don't want one of those; having a mighty penis completely bullockses the transaction timeframes. Which is why my zero energy device never works. That's what the ladies tell me, anyway.
posted by sebastienbailard at 9:35 AM on December 16, 2009


But will it really mighty my penis, man?

I thought Angelina Jolie was the perpetual boner machine.
posted by spicynuts at 9:35 AM on December 16, 2009


So what's the psychology of these guys? They're convinced they're onto something, or it's a complex moneymaking scam that they know can only end in their exposure, but they're willing to risk it on a gamble that they can jump on a plane to Rio just before everything collapses completely?
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 9:37 AM on December 16, 2009


> Perpetual motion is a pipe dream.

Steorn manage to stay in business despite the laws of physics and principles of the free market. If that's not proof of perpetual motion, what is?
posted by ardgedee at 9:39 AM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


So we are stealing energy from the future?

Yes. The device accomplishes this by mapping the future to the past.
posted by zippy at 9:39 AM on December 16, 2009


How are they making money?
posted by jeffamaphone at 9:40 AM on December 16, 2009


You're sitting on a gold mine, Trebek!
posted by breath at 9:43 AM on December 16, 2009


"license and membership fees"
posted by Damienmce at 9:43 AM on December 16, 2009


They're convinced they're onto something, or it's a complex moneymaking scam that they know can only end in their exposure, but they're willing to risk it on a gamble that they can jump on a plane to Rio just before everything collapses completely?

If you go to the site, you'll see they sell test equipment that's specifically designed to test things like "magnet motors". Which is to say, they are hoping to become the go-to company for all your perpetual motion scam artistic needs.
posted by DU at 9:44 AM on December 16, 2009


This is just the IKEA "Orbo", as one can plainly see from the assembly sheet. You can rest it on the Norbo.
posted by chavenet at 9:44 AM on December 16, 2009


How are they making money?

They make up the difference in volume.
posted by Babblesort at 9:45 AM on December 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


> How are they making money?

Maybe they planted some of these...
posted by chavenet at 9:48 AM on December 16, 2009


If you go to the site, you'll see they sell test equipment that's specifically designed to test things like "magnet motors". Which is to say, they are hoping to become the go-to company for all your perpetual motion scam artistic needs.

I saw that. I lack the expertise to understand whether the items for sale are themselves claiming to defy any laws of physics, or if it's possible that they are in themselves legit. But either way it makes little sense to try to market them via a massive and expensive cyncism-inducing perpetual motion campaign, all as a con. And these guys have fancy offices in Dublin and the CEO is a pubicity-hound... I guess I just think it all points to them being possibly sincere in their craziness.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 9:49 AM on December 16, 2009


So we are stealing energy from the future?

Wow, I sure am tired five minutes from now.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:52 AM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, but it might mess up your chakras, you'll need some bach's floral remedies to clear that up. Unfortunately, floral remedies sometimes trigger vertebral subluxations. Crystal healing works well on subluxations, but the crystal matrices pick up blocked energies, which can sometimes transfer to you and increase the production of yellow bile and ...

Blah, blah, blah. What I want to know is, will it keep my Thetans in check and Xenu away?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:59 AM on December 16, 2009


From the Steorn website:
How Orbo Technology Works

Orbo is based upon time variant magnetic interactions, i.e. magnetic interactions whose efficiency varies as a function of transaction timeframes.

It is this variation of energy exchanged as a function of transaction time frame that lies at the heart of Orbo technology, and its ability to contravene the principle of the conservation of energy. Why? Conservation of energy requires that the total energy exchanged using interactions are invariant in time. This principle of time invariance is enshrined in Noether’s Theorem.

The time variant nature of Orbo interactions can be engineered using two basic techniques. The first technique utilizes a method of controlling the response time of magnetic materials to make them time variant. This is achieved by controlling the MH position of materials during permanent magnetic interactions.

The second technique decouples the Counter Electromotive Force (CEMF) from torque for electromagnetic interactions. This decoupling of CEMF allows time variant magnetic interactions in electromagnetic systems. [emphasis added]
So if I understand this correctly, this device works by "decoupling" back EMF from an electric motor, which is essentially just restating "it works by violating the law of conservation of energy, specifically as applied to electric motors". Well, I'm glad they've been able to explain themselves without resorting to begging the question. I'm convinced; how soon can I invest? I want in on the ground floor of any IPO.
posted by [citation needed] at 10:00 AM on December 16, 2009


I'm going to take my cynic hat off for a moment but keep my "I did electronics modules at Uni" hat on...

I can understand why they need the battery to start the machine - if you are getting more out than you put in, you need to put something in in the first place. But once it's running, you'd expect that they could remove the battery and put in a direct link instead.

The other problem is that, as they have no way to 'vent' the energy created (by light bulbs or a nifty display unit), surely it's either going to make the battery go 'splody or the magnets on the top will start acting as brakes as they go past the generation points.

As for showmanship, I have to say I do like the all perspex design (complete with table).

So... I just wonder where the trick is hidden. Presumably there's no induction source (no metal close enough by); there's no solar panels and there's no cold side to imply a thermo power source. So... how does it work? Are they just gambling that the little battery will keep the disk spinning for the ten days they're demoing?

If so, why aren't they demonstrating their battery or bearing technology which must be pretty damned impressive by itself...?
posted by twine42 at 10:00 AM on December 16, 2009


Stream just went offline.

I watched it for a little while before, but really don't understand what I'm supposed to be seeing.
posted by roll truck roll at 10:01 AM on December 16, 2009


whether the items for sale are themselves claiming to defy any laws of physics, or if it's possible that they are in themselves legit. But either way it makes little sense to try to market them via a massive and expensive cyncism-inducing perpetual motion campaign

I think the items are legit in that they work, but only of interest to people who are themselves building perpetual motion machines. So the massive campaign makes perfect sense because it's sure to perk up the ears of exactly those who are interested. Best of all, they don't have to succeed at non-conserving energy because their target audience is already very well-practiced at making excuses for that.
posted by DU at 10:01 AM on December 16, 2009


That is a sweet exploded-view diagram, and so I'm calling the experiment a success. I assume the free energy part is the probably in the bushings.
posted by Wolfdog at 10:03 AM on December 16, 2009


I thought Angelina Jolie was the perpetual boner machine.

Not since Hackers.
posted by cmoj at 10:07 AM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think the items are legit in that they work, but only of interest to people who are themselves building perpetual motion machines.

You see, I find it hard to imagine that that's a big enough market to make the whole showbiz of all this worthwhile financially. But I have no evidence for that, it's true.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 10:18 AM on December 16, 2009


Back in the mid-eighties, a man named Joe Newman invented something that he claimed was a free energy device. He applied for a patent, and was denied. He then took the case to court, where the judge ruled in favor of the Patent Office.

Now here's where it gets strange: Joe Newman then got Congressional backing. He demonstrated his machine to Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) by spinning a fan with it; Cochran and Senator Trent Lott (R-MS) then introduced a bill to the Senate which would require the Patent Office to issue a patent for Newman's invention. A similar bill was introduced in the House by Representative Thomas Kindness (R-OH).

Newman appeared for a hearing on the proposed Senate bill before the Energy subcommittee of the Senate's Governmental Affairs committee. Unfortunately for Newman, one of the Senators on the subcommittee was John Glenn (D-OH), former astronaut, who had had a science education.

"It's a simple enough problem," Glenn said to Newman. "You measure the input and you measure the output and you see which is larger." Glenn then asked Newman what lab he wanted to use to do such measurements.

Newman responded that he objected to any such tests, because they would be an insult to all the scientists who were already convinced of his machine's efficacity.

Support for the bill then dried up.

Moral of the story: Thad Cochran is still a sitting Senator.
posted by Flunkie at 10:20 AM on December 16, 2009 [19 favorites]


Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS)
Senator Trent Lott (R-MS)
Representative Thomas Kindness (R-OH)


This is my surprised face.
posted by aramaic at 10:24 AM on December 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


I love how they brazenly quote their mainstream media sceptics... like an implicit - and delightfully stereotypically Irish - stubborn streak.

"Of course it works, you clatty prick - c'mere and I'll knock yer feckin block off!"
posted by CynicalKnight at 10:31 AM on December 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


There has already been enough deconstruction of their "science" in this thread, so I won't continue that. As we currently understand the universe, what they're claiming to do is impossible. Period full stop end of sentence.

Still, part of me (the childish part that still finds wonder in things) hopes they'll be vindicated, and prove us all wrong, and completely redefine the standard model. A future with this sort of technology would be so much better than a future without it. And it's not like earth-shaking revolutions in physics haven't happened before...
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 10:34 AM on December 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


They're not interested in scientists anymore, they tried that and it didn't work out, notice how they've now moved onto engineers?
posted by Elmore at 10:39 AM on December 16, 2009


Still, part of me (the childish part that still finds wonder in things) hopes they'll be vindicated

If anyone ever discovers "free energy" it's not going to be a bunch of scamming hucksters with a gift of gab. It's going to be a bunch of people in a big lab somewhere, and it will be Officially No Fun.

Note: nobody is actually going to discover "free energy", neat though that would be.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:30 AM on December 16, 2009


It's going to be a bunch of people in a big lab somewhere, and it will be Officially No Fun.

And it's discovery will be heralded by the standard scientific remark "Hmm, that's weird..."
posted by quin at 11:56 AM on December 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


If there were free energy to be had somewhere, nature would've cracked that problem long before humans arrived.
posted by mullingitover at 12:16 PM on December 16, 2009


I say we just ask if they'll show us their office electricity bill.

I'm embarrassed to be on the same island as these idiots.
posted by knapah at 12:19 PM on December 16, 2009


Blah, blah, blah. What I want to know is, will it keep my Thetans in check and Xenu away?

That's a tricky one. Have you tried psychiatry?
posted by sebastienbailard at 5:41 PM on December 16, 2009



And it's discovery will be heralded by the standard scientific remark "Hmm, that's weird..."


Quickly followed by the immediate implosion of the physical universe.
posted by tkchrist at 7:43 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


WAVE IF YOU LOVE PERPETUAL MOTION. ...KEEP WAVING...KEEP WAVING
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:42 PM on December 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


OH GOD WHY ARE THE WALLS BLEEDI---
posted by kensch at 9:14 PM on December 16, 2009


And it's discovery will be heralded by the standard scientific remark "Hmm, that's weird..."

I believe this system was replaced in the late 90's. Modern science works on the "What the fuck?" / "Dude, come check this out!" protocol.

The difference between science and a scam is embeded in the "Dude, come check this out!" part.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 10:50 PM on December 16, 2009


HOW DO THEY MAKE MONEY?

They take investors. Also you can become a Special Blueblood Insider Not Part of Disgusting Ingnorant Masses if you pay them a few hundred bucks. They'll tell you secrets, but you sign an NDA.


Some Free Energy scam methods are recent and were pioneered by earlier Free Energy con artists and Zip the Pinhead: never give up, never let your facade slip, keep the con going forever. Perpetual motion con games really work. Victims expect you to suddenly vanish with all money, and if you don't do that, it proves you're legit. Keep having public demonstrations which Finally Prove It's Real ...but where something always is amiss. The demo never quite works. Or it works to convince investors, but outsiders just sneer as always. It's just bad luck following you, and your investors give you the benefit of the doubt. Even if you're jailed by angry investors, just do your time then pick up where you left off. They were after your secrets, and besides, were all paid by the Oil Companies! Never let the mask slip. Act the part of the successful downtrodden inventor (where the big great huge big large success is just slightly in the future, where the in-group will become fantastically wealthy.)

As long as you never come clean about the hoax, and never take the money and vanish, you can keep milking the marks forever. Exponential growth, then high limits. Nothing to sneeze at, sir. You might have some disgruntled customers, but since there's no deadline on releasing the invention, there's no reason they should suddenly decide it's all a scam. There's no reason why a large group of angry investors would ever rise up to attack you all at the same time. Part of the most recent technique is to give genuine refunds, no joke. When the marks hear about that, it proves it's not a scam, and the increased traffic will greatly exceed anything you have to pay back.
posted by billb at 11:14 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


> gambling that the little battery will keep the disk spinning

The rotating bicycle wheel in the fake PM machine displayed in a US science museum was run by four alkaline D-cells. If it it had been just one cell, it would only spin for a bit longer than two months. That's for alkaline.

Oh, and how do you detect a scam? Don't look for dishonesty, since con artists are way smarter than you or me at keeping it hidden. Instead, look for clear solid evidence of honesty. You'll find that it's totally missing. They're not dishonest, but they're also completely non-honest. Or another tip: keep track of how many times you have to give them the benefit of the doubt. They MIGHT be scammers, but they might just be unlucky, or incompetent, or just acting odd. Count up those, and you'll find a large number. You're stubbing your toe on the scam, but ignoring it every time.

Or ...just sit down and imagine how an honest company would actually behave. For example, a straightforward upfront company would know full well that you must use a supercapacitor, not a battery, and you must make your flywheel do some obvious work (like lifting a weight on a thread, pumping water, etc.) No "oops, we forgot about that, coulda happened to anybody, we'll go change it now." No, too late. (Or do we prefer to give them the benefit of the doubt yet again?)

Or more simply: if the subject area is rife with scammers, and has a long history of exposed scams, then you must judge all claimants guilty unless they have very solid proof of innocence. It's like buying from a known-shady used car lot: assume they're ripoff artists, and don't be swayed any differently except by immense evidence to the contrary.

Ooo ooo, I just realized what I should be doing. Jump onto forums and post messages like the above. Now I just have to go and start a company to tap neutrino space power from space. NSPFS! And you'll all trust me, right? The basic con technique is to become the last person that anyone would have suspicions about. I bet I could wait a year until everyone forgets I said this, and then actually start such a company. Hmmm, a challenge ...if I was eeeeeeevil!

:)
posted by billb at 11:38 PM on December 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


"If there were free energy to be had somewhere, nature would've cracked that problem long before humans arrived."

It kind of did, but that method only worked once.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:13 AM on December 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


This principle of time invariance is enshrined in Noether’s Theorem.
They can generate their power by hooking a dynamo up to Emmy Noether who is now spinning in her grave at their abuse of one of the most remarkable theorems in mathematical physics.
posted by Electric Dragon at 3:05 AM on December 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sigh. Strange times indeed.
posted by fcummins at 11:08 AM on December 17, 2009


Still, part of me (the childish part that still finds wonder in things) hopes they'll be vindicated, and prove us all wrong, and completely redefine the standard model. A future with this sort of technology would be so much better than a future without it. And it's not like earth-shaking revolutions in physics haven't happened before...

Same with cold fusion. I secretly hope that a garage scientist will figure out a way to use rapidly oscillating magnetic fields to grab electrons from the electron/positron pairs that pop in and out of existence all the time in quantum foam - getting energy for "free" - while emitting radiation (same idea behind black holes emitting radiation).

Too bad it's a complete fantasy, though. Planck time is 5.39121 × 10−44 s, which doesn't give a lot of time to grab the electron/positron before they pop out of existence. Still, I want my ZPM...
posted by Nquire at 3:52 PM on December 18, 2009


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