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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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Lukstr
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[NEW|SPEC] Steorn.net claims Infinite Energy, ARG? Hoax?

I've been talking to folks in #unfiction for the past few hours and it was suggested I post this.

http://www.steorn.net (.com or .org) is the website of a company who claims they have invented and are currently patent pending a machine that has more than 100% efficiency, thus defying the laws or thermal dynamics and proving things like perpetual motion and infinite energy, as well as monopoles. This is all very interesting because on the website they merely talk about their invention, but never explain any details. The site is seemingly meaningless. There is a forums and a registration page for scientists and interested human beings. The combination of: A counter; an introduction to a unexplained technology; unreleased details; user info, emails etc.; gives the illusion that it may be an ARG as this info could be used to contact people. I randomly came across this site in my regular web browsing and thought I'd ask the folks in #unfiction if it seems ARG-like. I didn't mean to cause any trouble, honest! Razz

Anywho, the following links (and more that are not here) proved useful:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steorn

http://www.steorn.net/media/downloads/steorn_webmovie_high.mov (Warning, very large and slow download, search google videos for a lower quality faster one)

http://whois.domaintools.com/steorn.net

http://www.dit.ie/DIT/industry/studententerprise/

Searching Yahoo! brings up many news articles.

http://news.teamxbox.com/xbox/11584/Irish-Company-Claims-to-Have-Discovered-Free-Energy/
As to why teamxbox is reporting this is a mystery to me.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060817/sc_nm/technology_energy_dc

There are several phone numbers (all based in Ireland) that may be leads.

The general consensus amongst the #unfiction folks participating in the discussion is that it generally appears to be fake at least, and with a possibility of being a viral/ARG. I therefore bestow upon you, the humble unfiction populat, to investigate further into this mysterious scientific or even social company and see if anything comes of it.

My opinion, however, is that this is a real company that is unsure of what they have in their hands, and have decided to blow it out of proportion. I ran across a site where they (The company) had sponsored a university contest, and several sites reviewing past technology from this company bringing me to the conclusion that they are legitimate. However, this is not to say that it is unpossible for this to be an ARG.

This is their patent on the project

Appears to have been started on the 18th: http://www.steorn.com/coming_soon.gif

Anything I missed?

PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2006 3:24 am
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Ehsan
Entrenched

Joined: 09 May 2003
Posts: 992

Thanks for posting that Lukstr, great summary.

I'm still confused about this because it's pulling itself in different directions...

Why this is not a game:
- It's a real company
- Real phone numbers and address
- Real patent application
- Steorn.com registered in 2000, matched the copyright notice and already had content from 2001.
- AFP Press Release and interview with company CEO
- What seems to be real people (or very good acting). Their names are in the domain registrations, all over the site, and even in the company incorporation filed September 2005 for the patent declaration on April 2006.
- Nobody goes into so much effort to make a game appear like it's not a game. Even the best games we've had in the past go for a simple Domains by Proxy and leave it at that.
- If it's backed by a corporation (or if it's an xbox thing), they won't fake things so much and ask for personal information without a disclaimer. Too much of a legal liability and could easily backfire.

Why this is a game:
- Very clear and specific "launch" date (Aug 18th), nothing happened before that.
- ARGish website. Just launched before the announcement (no archive). Has your typical "player registration". Incomplete areas such as the translation.
- Their PDFs were create in Adobe InDesign, an application an outsourced design firm might use. A scientific research firm would buy something cheaper to create PDFs.
- Steorn.net only registered in 2004. Could be using an old registered domain as a way of blurring the lines. The old (real?) steorn.com company had a different agenda.
- Evidence shows work on this started end of 2003. That's more in-line with an ARG team trying to get their act together over the years, as opposed to a one shot viral/fake/scam site which takes a month or two to create.

Why this is not real:
- There's no such thing as perpetual motion machines. It defies every single law of physics we've known since the dawn of science. This just can't be real. No way.
- If someone did make that discovery, it won't be announced on a website seeking public awreness. It will be funded by millionaires and published in thousands of journals before you even heard about it.
- It's not the first time someone came up with a crazy claim for free energy based on electromagnetics. See patents 4151431, 4074153, 6246561, and 6362718. All granted, but lacking utility.

Why this is real:
- Umm.. free energy! Woo!!!!!! And don't say there isn't such a thing -- <Rowan>: there is if you tap into your neighbors power supply Smile

PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2006 5:17 am
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Jas0n
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Joined: 19 Aug 2006
Posts: 244

Now it appears that advertisement for this site was placed in the economist magazine to introduce the general public to the process. This seems like a load of *** to me, sounds more like an ARG posting something eye catching somewhere to draw interest.

I'd have to admit that it does appear xboxish with the swirls everywhere in the logo and many of the page header images - with the exception of the registration page which is honeycombed and the forums which are two hand prints in the sand - curious as to a perceived meaning there - the honeycomb can be assumed to point to Joining the HIVE or ILB.

from http://www.steorn.net/en/about.aspx?p=4

Quote:
For many years Steorn has developed technology to help combat counterfeiting and fraud in the plastic card and optical disc industries.

Steorn is a word translating as 'to guide, direct and manage'.

The company has been instrumental in the development of core technologies that address counterfeit crime in areas such as plastic card fraud and optical disc fraud. The company has also provided forensic and expert witness services to British, Irish and international law enforcement agencies.


I was curious about this so I began digging in a good bit and found more information.

I did find the Steorn is a gaelic word pronounced shtyorn and means exactly what they said it does...

Now for the meat of my research:

Spoiler (Rollover to View):
11:10 am: Commercial anticounterfeit products using machine vision, P. J. Smith, P. O'Doherty, C. Luna, Fraudhalt Ltd. (Ireland); S. McCarthy, Steorn Ltd. (Ireland) [5310-25] _______________________________________________________
Apparently the S. McCarthy (Sean) is a real guy who gave a breifing in 2004 to a counterfeiting convention-- http://electronicimaging.org/program/04/conferences/index.cfm?fuseaction=5310 I find it hard to believe that someone gave permission to Microsoft or anyone to use their personal likeness.


and more links to contradict this being an ARG - now I'm backtracking on some things I mentioned earlier - but will keep that there for reference.
Spoiler (Rollover to View):

http://www.imaging.org/store/epub.cfm?abstrid=31863
(from Harvard) http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2004SPIE.5616...40S

Ok - so they started designing web portals to help companies manage their e-commerce development. Between 2000 and 2001, I guess this is when tech stocks started a downfall - they ran into trouble keeping up with technology with internet development. They then began developing technologies for various companies and became a "go to" company for tech development. I guess this is how they transformed from what I thought was a start with counterfeit technologies into an energy company looking to push a new technology.

http://archives.tcm.ie/businesspost/2006/05/21/story14326.asp


Looks like a legitimate company - doesn't look like an ARG to me after doing some research, but could have made for a great ARG. It does seem Viral to the extent that by not denying the connection to ILB it is drawing a ton of attention. It appears that part of their technology has to do with Microgenerators - I'm not 100% sure how that would work, but it seems as though they would likely generate electricity with movement(like those shake to light flashlites). I won't say that I think the technology works or is perpetual, but hey it's interesting.

PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2006 6:54 am
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colin
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Joined: 13 Oct 2003
Posts: 810
Location: Australia

Jas0n wrote:
It does seem Viral to the extent that by not denying the connection to ILB it is drawing a ton of attention.
Why would they deny it? They probably don't even know what it is. The world of wierd websites does not revolve around ILB, bungie, or microsoft. Flaming Nutter

PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2006 7:19 am
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Jas0n
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Joined: 19 Aug 2006
Posts: 244

er let me rephrase that -

viral to the extent that they haven't denied theories of their website being something other than what it is.

Non-intentionally got into the arg limelight, but keeping quite about it keeps it floating out there - thus somewhat viral

PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2006 7:25 am
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rowan
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Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Posts: 1966

But then again, this whole thing just started yesterday (the 18th). I don't see how they would have any time to deny theories of their website being something else (aka viral) with all of the other questions from more legitimite sources that they've been getting. If you're supposedly this small company, and all of a sudden everyone wants to talk to you, do you go through and answer every last post on the forum you've set up, or do you pick and choose which agencies/people you talk to? Even if they choose to answer every last question, they might be so overwhelmed at this point that they haven't even seen people asking them if this could be a viral campaign for something else.

Personally, I'm split on just what this is. Ehsan made pretty much all of my points for me. If this is viral, it's the most fleshed out one I've ever seen involving an established backstory. If this is real, it will be a huge turning point for human civilization. If it's a hoax, these people are gonna be hunted down and strung up by the news media. All of which should be pretty interesting to watch.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2006 12:24 pm
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Saevitia
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Location: Rochester, NY

*is mystified*

I'm not sure whether to hope its an arg, or hope its genuine. (Hope its not just a plain hoax though)
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2006 2:19 pm
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oxdeltaxo
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Location: Canada EH?

Go to the sites forums and see that everyone thinks its either a halo3 or xbox 360 ilovebees wanabe.

Personally I think that free energy, if it is infact real, should be distributed without cost....otherwise the tech would be pontless.

PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2006 6:01 pm
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Paulzilla
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Why? Not everyone is as fluffy as the UF people. If I were a major corporation with access to free, or seemingly free, energy, I'd undercut all the opposition knowing I'd still be raking in the profits Twisted Evil

This site has been puzzling me for hours though... surely no ARG would splash out on a full - page advert in the Economist, much less actually file a patent application, but no legitimate research of this nature would be announced first on a web site. And yet, as far as scams or hoaxes go, this one doesn't seem to be asking for anything - just a name and email. I'd expect a scam website to ask for investment. Perhaps they are mistaken, as I refuse to believe that flywheel-contraption in their press-pack is over 100% efficient. As far as I can tell, even 100% efficiency is next to impossible.


Wierd, whatever it turns out to be.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2006 8:06 pm
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oxdeltaxo
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Location: Canada EH?

Anyone else think the team xbox news article is shifty?

http://news.teamxbox.com/xbox/11584/Irish-Company-Claims-to-Have-Discovered-Free-Energy/

Personally I think this is reason enough to believe it's an ARG.

Yeahyeahyeah trout, but microsoft is speling it out here.


http://www.pdc.ie/contact/ <<<<<<<a company that occupies the same block as them! Anyone have the balls to spend $5 on longdistance to ireland to confirm the legitimacy of steorn?

I think I went a lil too far with my research here but luckstr just wasn't indepth enough.

PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2006 9:19 pm
Last edited by oxdeltaxo on Sat Aug 19, 2006 10:21 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Saevitia
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Joined: 30 Mar 2005
Posts: 688
Location: Rochester, NY

Quote:
Anyone else think the team xbox news article is shifty?


I agree. I mean, why would xbox even be posting this as news?
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2006 9:43 pm
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Paulzilla
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Joined: 16 Apr 2005
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Location: Canterbury, UK

That XBox article is a bit dodgy, isn't it. God, but I don't know what to make of this. Why oh why would any company go into this much depth with viral advertising?

If I still have any Skype credit (and am feeling especially brave), I might give them a ring on Monday, when they're likely to be about. And Steorn, too, while I'm about it. Normally, though, I fear telephones, so if someone else wants to beat me to it, by all means, do so, and save me the terror :S
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2006 11:09 pm
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Saevitia
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I'd love to call, but sadly, i don;t have any way of calling overseas.

On another note, I think its worth observing that the company had a *different* Dublin address when they were but a humble consulting frim.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2006 11:17 pm
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oxdeltaxo
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Location: Canada EH?

Be a lil cloak and dagger about it when you call....ask if they know of anyone establishments that fit steorns mo without actually naming steorn. I think they may be working together if you read more about pcd.

PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2006 11:25 pm
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Delusional
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Joined: 16 May 2005
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I don't know what this is, but I'm 100% sure it's not what they claim.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 1:16 am
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