Free Energy

Well, the tour is going pretty well.  I’m just taking a break here for a moment in Buffalo – it’s actually pretty hot, and I just got out of the pool.  I’m not sure what I’d do without it.  If you haven’t been checking, we’ve got more live audio up on the Jack Swift Blog.  Some of it doesn’t sound too bad, considering we’ve been using a single SM57 for many of them.

But anyway, I just checked Slashdot today only to find this story.  Turns out Steorn, the company claiming to have created a free energy machine are at it again.  This time, after the panel of experts they hired failed to determine that their device actually works.  Now, of course, it turns out that they are still confident in their Orbo, and are going to start commercial production.

I’m not sure what to think about this.  I’m inclined to say that they’re just trying to soak up investor money, and that they really don’t have anything.  On the other hand, perhaps they do have something?  Perhaps it could be really practical, and thus be beneficial to society?

I’m not one to necessarily shoot this sort of thing down; people have been looking into free energy for a while – just do some research on Tesla.  And when you think about it, ‘free energy’ doesn’t really mean that you’re just pulling something out of nothing.  (A few Slashdotters brought this up in the discussion.)  I mean, I have a few photovoltaic panels on my house.  The power I get from them is free.  It comes from the sun, but as far as I’m concerned it’s free.  Maybe the Steorn people really did find a new energy source.

Well, I have hopes of two things in this situation: that either they get that thing working, and we can have another source of clean energy and get away from coal etc., or that they fail gracefully and don’t bilk many people out of their money.  I guess we’ll see; I wish that they’d give more detail on their site, like maybe even how to build one.  With something like this, it would be nice if they could, say, allow people to have enough information to build one, for non-commercial use.  Then they could still license the technology out if they wanted to let other companies produce it commercially.  (Actually, this might be a bad idea; I don’t remember what the patent law is like in Ireland, but you see what I mean.)  If I could build one of these in my basement, I think I probably would invest.

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