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 Forum index » Archive » Archive: General » Old News & Rumors
[NEW|SPEC] Steorn.net claims Infinite Energy, ARG? Hoax?
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schummbo
Veteran


Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 106
Location: Ohio, USA

djs4000 wrote:
Hey guys, been watching this for a few days now. Didn't see that anyone posted this, so I guess I will:

http://steorn.com:2082/

Anyone think we are supposed to crack it? Confused


I'm going to go with a BIG no... to me, that looks like the login for their website admin portal, cause if you click cancel, it takes you to cPanel login.

I'd leave it alone personally, especially since we dont even know if this is a game or not.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 2:03 pm
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oxdeltaxo
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Joined: 16 Aug 2006
Posts: 238
Location: Canada EH?

I wouldn't crack it. If this is for real you'd be breaking some laws if you did. Just like steorn says their breaking the laws of physics. Laughing

PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 2:12 pm
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Lukstr
Guest


I'm certainly glad I've sparked some interest Razz

PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 2:29 pm
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CPO Schwartz
Boot

Joined: 16 Oct 2004
Posts: 48

email

Re: The Steorn Challenge

Thank you for expressing an interest in joining the panel of 12 jurors that will be selected to test Steornís technology.

Based on the initial registration details that you have provided we would be grateful if you could forward, by return email only, a synopsis of your academic career, including the following details:

Education/ Degrees (Name of University);
Current position (e.g. University/Institute);
Research areas (On whose behalf it was conducted);
Published papers;
Honours/Awards; and
Contact details (e.g. University/Institute department - email address and telephone number).

We will contact you again once we have had an opportunity to review all the synopses that we are expecting to receive over the next few weeks.

Thank you again for your interest.

Yours faithfully,



Sean McCarthy


Seems more and more like a stunt or a scam. If it's a game it turning out to be kinda sloooooow.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 4:08 pm
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DrBunker
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Joined: 22 Aug 2006
Posts: 233
Location: Southern UK

Maybe noon tomorrow we'll find out. Should be interesting either way, depending on what topics they decide to respond to...

Being a GMT based site I can't imagine much happening before then. Confused

PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 4:54 pm
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oxdeltaxo
Decorated

Joined: 16 Aug 2006
Posts: 238
Location: Canada EH?

Looks likes you gave a convincing application Schwarts.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 5:19 pm
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Randomeis
Unfettered


Joined: 25 Aug 2004
Posts: 426
Location: AL

now the arg community pulls together to create his creds ^_^
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 5:34 pm
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djs4000
Greenhorn

Joined: 17 Feb 2006
Posts: 9

I have no idea what this will turn out to be, but it seems like its gotten way too much publicity to be a scam. That's a plus. But could it be that it's gotten too much publicity to be an ARG? With all the attention its getting, and the number of crowds its attracting (ie: /.'ed) it might seem a huge task to suspend disbelief. It seems like to many people are saying "psssh, its just another ARG, move along." Certainly, that wont be the crowd here, but it may again, it may interfere with the game's mood, at the very least.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 5:53 pm
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Nova Loop
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Joined: 06 Apr 2006
Posts: 132
Location: wherever i go

Warning: LONG freakin' post follows.
While I too am still on the ARG/Not ARG fence, I do am off the real/not real fence and my feet are firmly planted on the not real grass.
There is just too much that doesn't add up to me.
Here is a timeline I have comprised of Steorn:
In March 2001 they were:
Quote:
. . . a specialist service company providing programmme management and technical assessment advice for European companies engaging in e-commerce projects.

Then in Feb. 2003 they add their "HostsMe" web hosting to their services. Spoilered info contains whois info:
Spoiler (Rollover to View):
Sean McCarthy is listed as the Admin and billing contact on the domain hostsme.com, while Mattew Hill of Liquid Web Inc (liquidweb.com) is listed as the technical contact. hostsme.com is the server that hosts steron.com (you can also hit it at http://www.hostsme.com/~steorn) and steorn.org though .com redirects to the .net site and .org was the management login portal that was taken down yesterday.

From hostsme.com in July 2003:
Quote:
*HostsMe.com is the small business service offering from Steorn Ltd. Steorn is Ireland's leading technology management company. For more information on Steorn please visit www.steorn.com

*Steorn has created HostsMe.com to provide businesses with a low-cost, efficient website management service.

Sep. 2003 the site is up with no content really because it is being "redesigned." At no point in 2003 or thereafter does their site make any reference to energy or micro generators. However on their current site here it says:
Quote:
In 2003 Steorn undertook a project to develop more efficient micro generators. Early into this project the company developed certain generator configurations that appeared to be over 100% efficient.

April 2004 (or sooner) the site is back up and now the company has shifted focus to security:
Quote:
Steorn is a privately held company based in Dublin, Ireland. Steorn provides a range of technology centred services and products for organizations operating within the security industry.

Sep 2004 the site is being redesigned again and remains so until at least Feb 2005 which is where the archives for steorn.com stop.

Oct 2005 Steorn appears as a sponsor of Dublin Institue of Technology Student Enterprise Competition. On the page the link is to steorn.com (not .net).

April 2006 the DIT competition winners are announced, but the announcement lists the sponsors as:
Quote:
. . . sponsored by Enterprise Ireland, Ulster Bank and Invest Northern Ireland.
Steorn is not mentioned as a sponsor in the announcement but they do still appear with a link on the bottom right of the page as an "Industry Sponsor."
BTW - Docklands Innovation Park is an incubation facility owned by Dublin Institute of Technology so there is some relationship between them.

June 2006 you can find a google cached page from steorn.com (still not .net) that talks about Steorn being involved in Intelectual Property.
Quote:
Steorn is a leading Intellectual Property (IP) research and development organisation.


Aug. 2006 Stoern.net appears with the wild claim of a perpetual motion machine even though they're still a security company (based on the about section of their current site). They have a video that discusses their "discovery" complete with cheesy company quotes that are displayed as text while Sean talks.
On the "Our Technology" page on their site it says:
Quote:
During 2005 Steorn embarked on a process of independent validation and approached a wide selection of academic institutions. The vast majority of these institutions refused to even look at the technology, however several did. Those who were prepared to complete testing have all confirmed our claims; however none will publicly go on record.


How convenient that no one who has seen it will talk about it. What about the orgs that rebuffed Steorn. Have any of them come out to say "Oh yeah they want me to look at something last year and I said no?" It would be interesting to hear someone verify that they were approached.

There are no archives at all for steorn.net at archive.org.
I point out the .com vs. .net domains because I believe they are significant. Why would a company exist at .com for 6 years, and then at the moment that they make their earth-shattering announcement and challenge they launch a new site under .net?? That just really puzzles me.

To me the dots on Steorn Ltd. just do not connect.

More interesting info. On the Society for Imaging Science and Technology site, Sean McCarthy appears as a co-author of a paper titled "Commercial anticounterfeit products using machine vision" along with members of a company called Fraudhalt Ltd. The site for Fraudhalt Ltd. went down for reconstruction between Mar. 2004 and May 2004. At that time (and presumably now) they reside in the same Business Park as Steorn does. Domain Tools shows changes (but I can't see what) to the whois record over the past few days, similar to what I see when I do a look-up on the steorn.net, .com, and .org domains. fraudhalt.com is also hosted by liquidweb (same as hostsme.com domain). Coincidence? Certainly. Connection? Maybe, maybe not.

[WildAssSpec]Whoever is behind stoern.net "bought out" Steorn Ltd. (steorn.com) and the use of the name Sean McCarthy (and maybe others). This gave them an entity that has existed, has a verifiable history, and a verifiable figurehead (in name at least) which makes them look legit.
DrBunker wrote:
D(ublin) I(nstitute) of T(echnology) seems to be too legit to be involved in a made-up company...Confused

I contend that at what ever point real-Steorn ceased and fake-Steron started, it was transparent to anyone who they didn't want to know that a change had taken place and fake-Steron could have easily sponsored the event without DITs knowledge. In other words the charade is so elaborate as to fake out people/businesses IRL. Or D.I.T. is aware and playing along.[/WildAssSpec]
For some reason they decide to "go live" on the .net domain instead of the .com domain.
What this is all about is still beyond me.

P.S. I just found this article about Steorn and Sean McCarthy from May 2006. Explains a little of the companies jumping around history.
P.P.S. I need to get a life Confused
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 5:57 pm
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DrBunker
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Joined: 22 Aug 2006
Posts: 233
Location: Southern UK

@ImNotNull

Good post, we needed the summary.

One thing about the sponsorship deal
Quote:
April 2006 the DIT competition winners are announced, but the announcement lists the sponsors as:
Quote:
. . . sponsored by Enterprise Ireland, Ulster Bank and Invest Northern Ireland.
Steorn is not mentioned as a sponsor in the announcement but they do still appear with a link on the bottom right of the page as an "Industry Sponsor."


If you click on the link for the adjudicators list at http://www.dit.ie/DIT/industry/studententerprise/ Sean McCarthy's name is there as Steorn CEO. I think it's been mentioned before but I can see how one company might purchase another for credibility but I can't see them getting away with using someone's name as well.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 6:20 pm
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Nova Loop
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Joined: 06 Apr 2006
Posts: 132
Location: wherever i go

DrBunker wrote:
I can see how one company might purchase another for credibility but I can't see them getting away with using someone's name as well.

I agree it would be very unusual and that it is why I labeled it WildSpec, but if the party agreed then who knows? For $100,000 I'd let someone else pretend to be me within reason. I'd allow them to make me insanely proclaim that I have solved the world's energy problems. I would not allow them to make me a rapist.

I wasn't around for any of the "great" ARGs (ILB, Beast) but I am just imagining if a well funded company were trying to do something really different, then they may use extraordinary measures to acheive their goals.
I'm sure someone who has been at this longer than me can stand up here and tell me that I'm taking ARG development overboard in my spec, in which case I will stop the wheels from spinning (they are not powered by Steorn).
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 6:31 pm
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Randomeis
Unfettered


Joined: 25 Aug 2004
Posts: 426
Location: AL

the most interesting thing about well funded args is that before they happen, the things that do sometimes seem outrageos.

if you told me an arg would start calling payphones all over, that i would be buying trading cards ( and if we remember our syzygy days a real catalog company was in on the game ), or someone would be stealing a car from a dealership, i may have said naw that is a little too far.
_________________
Nothing, nothing, my friend; what I have told you: I am not sure of anything, I know nothing . . .
Can you imagine that I not even know the date of my death?
-- Jorge Luis Borges jjj.ybfg.rh/677ps


PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 6:38 pm
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oxdeltaxo
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Joined: 16 Aug 2006
Posts: 238
Location: Canada EH?

If it was staged with an actor I'd blieve someone stealing a car would look reasonable.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 6:49 pm
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Nova Loop
Veteran


Joined: 06 Apr 2006
Posts: 132
Location: wherever i go

Do you wanna know somwthing else that seems odd about Steorn? Well let me tell ya.
Their image. They have a very polished image, from the slick website, to the hi-res media photos, to the highly produced video. They even have a PR agency.
Just something else that makes me go hmmmmm?
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 7:02 pm
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visualclarity
Greenhorn

Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 3

deeper into the looking glass!

Hi. been following this thread.. very interesting.. i've discovered a lot of what has been posted.. haven't seen this yet, tho.. amusing factor 5/10:

whois on steorn.com reveals the phone number (and fax too, ie not a coincidence):
+353 1 4540620 fax: +353 1 4540640
are listed on this page:
http://photonics.arobis.com/directory.asp?id=6&showID=83&ismember=1
which directly links to an employee who works at Fraudhalt (the company which works in the same building, and appears to have the same timeline and now appears to share staff and technology). Nothing new. but it sounds like all the claims made about Steorn were actually done by Fraudhalt. Either that or the companies were started at the same time, and Steorn was for performing pet projects with impunity.

gets better..
whois on steorn.com reveals an admin name "Sean McCarthy"
of contact address of:
Unit 12, Fumbally Court, Fumbally Lane

the address of which appears on this page
http://www.cairde.ie/directory.htm
is listed as
"Gay HIV Strategies"

further in further up!
the phone number on the whois for Steorn.net's phone number is:
+353-1-664-1744 fax: +353-1-664-1809
The fax number of which is the same fax number as:
http://www.bubblegumclub.ie/
The bubble gum club! (address of which is Alexandra House, Sweepstakes)
AND
Capetown Developments
http://www.rte.ie/tv/househuntersinthesun_old/sa_properties.html
(also in Alexandra House, Sweepstakes)

No idea what this means.. but they are some very weird coincidences.. :)

PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 7:08 pm
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