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Editorial Science

News Media Scammed by 'Free Energy' Hoax 928

Posted by michael
from the not-even-free-beer dept.
Dozens of submitters, some of them quite credulous, have written in pointing to this Reuters story about an anonymous inventor who claims to have solved the universe's energy woes. It's amazing that Reuters ran this story. It's even more amazing that news media across the country are running it too. Check your local newspaper, see if they were taken in. Update: 01/24 16:38 GMT by M : Contest is over; see below.

The General Electric corporate empire was scammed - they modified the story with a skeptical headline but otherwise left it alone. The AOL/TimeWarner corporate empire didn't have any problem with the story. The Environmental News Network, which probably should know better, didn't.

Now I know that wire stories are often run with minimal verification - each paper or website assumes that Reuters, or UPI, or AP has checked the story for veracity before it went out. And I know that reporters and editors can't be experts on every field of endeavor that they report on.

But this is Basic Science. The Three Laws (everyone loves the Second Law[1]) are not a new thing, and they're not going away any time soon. This should have been taught in junior high. There's a simple, well-known test that Reuters could have applied to this story: "Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof". This claim is the most extraordinary of all - free energy, perpetual motion, whatever you want to call it, and it demands proof beyond question. Reuters is running this story based on an anonymous inventor. Is that extraordinary proof?

But wait, I said perpetual motion. The phrase "perpetual motion" is one which sets off alarm bells in people's heads, so the anonymous inventor was quick to head off that thought process:

"But he is keen to head off the notion that he has tapped into the age-old myth of perpetual motion. ``Perpetual motion is impossible. This is a self-sustaining unit which at the same time provides surplus electrical energy,'' he said."

This quote is simply embarassing. It parses to "Perpetual motion is impossible. This is a perpetual motion unit." The inventor must be snickering in his Guinness right now to have snuck that one past.

The story gets better when you read it several times. Three 100 Watt light bulbs created a drain of 4500 Watts, according to the nameless inventor. That would be an impressive feat all by itself, except that it's total nonsense.

The piece would have made a good humor article. A properly skeptical and properly educated Reuters reporter could have examined these claims, poked holes in them, and published a story that simultaneously reported on the claims and educated the public about why they are a load of hogwash. Too bad that's not what happened.

Maybe you'd like to take a crack at evaluating their claims? You think you can examine their device a little more critically than Reuters? Give them a call.

And I have a second task as well. Slashdot is occasionally criticized for getting a story wrong, even though we diligently correct ourselves when necessary. My theory is that the difference between Slashdot and other media is that they never correct themselves, no matter how inaccurate, so readers are left with a false picture of accuracy. To test this claim, I'll send a Thinkgeek t-shirt to the first person who finds a retraction of this 'free energy' story published by Reuters or any of the newspapers/media outlets that ran the original story. *Any* of them. I don't expect to pay out.

Update: 01/24 16:38 GMT by M : CNN has updated their story with a new headline and several new paragraphs at the end, which qualifies. A couple of people also noted that ZDNet appears to have taken their copy of the wire story down. Lucas Garsha was the first to email, so he gets a t-shirt. I wasn't clear whether the claim should be email or in the comments, so I'll also send a t-shirt to the first commenter noting this, which appears to be skia.

[1] This is a fine world that we live in, where I can find a website devoted to the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

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News Media Scammed by 'Free Energy' Hoax

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  • by eAndroid (71215) on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @07:59PM (#2891199) Homepage
    Not only did he scam most news agencies, he drinks Guinness.
    • by redcup (441955) on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @08:20PM (#2891356)
      In other news...
      In a trailer park on the shores of the Mississippi, a local man has claimed to have invented a perpetual motion human.

      To prove his claim, he hooked a car battery up his wife/cousin for 10 minutes while she held a 100 watt light bulb in each hand. After removing the car battery, she proceeded to twitch for more than 37 hours.

      Aleady companies are clammoring for the device, known as the "shockway," claiming it will revolutionize the world. "We could have our employees work 24 hours a day," said one business owner. "This could be the most important invention to come out of Mississippi since... since... paternity tests"
    • He may have isolated an unstable isotope of Guinness.

      It is a VERY heavy beer.

  • by Ethelred Unraed (32954) on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @08:00PM (#2891204) Journal
    "Irish Inventor on Crack Says World Needs His Energy"

    cya

    Ethelred [grantham.de]

  • How quickly we are to jump to wondrous conclusions. I doubt this is a real application of the zero-point effect. I guess all the news media personell who were working 12 years ago when cold fusion came out have moved on and weren't around to lend caution where it was needed?

    max inglis
    • They mention cold fusion, which contributes to the irony!

      Whoever got Reuters to carry this must've been dealing with some pretty ignorant people, when it comes to science, and common sense. I wonder if Reuters will notice their error and make some sort of statement. Glad to see /. has higher standards (well, for somethings) than the 'professional' news.

    • How quickly we are to jump to wondrous conclusions. I doubt this is a real application of the zero-point effect. I guess all the news media personell who were working 12 years ago when cold fusion came out have moved on and weren't around to lend caution where it was needed?
      I think it tends to support the criteria used by the 'new media', ie internet or cable news:
      (1) No need to use history or past events or have any knowledge of them;
      (2) Don't bother about using journalists with any background in the subject;
      (3) Don't bother with attempting to get knowledgable source when you don't know anything about the subject being reported;
      (4) If the story was carried by any other organization online or on cable, assume it's totally accurate and don't bother checking it out, no matter how far fetched it may seem (if they can figure out it really is far fetched).
    • by d.valued (150022) on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @09:19PM (#2891685) Journal
      I don't know how many of you know about Mancow [mancow.com], a nationally syndicated broadcaster beaming out of Chicago, but he did a better job of messing with the media.

      He sent out a press release stating that, to publicize his program, a set of billboard ads depicting the Juniors from last years' election (that would be Al Gore, Jr. and George Bush, Jr.) sparking up the large-sized blunts, to steal a line from Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie.

      He watched the media report on this; to his amazement, Fox News Channel, CNN, and all the local network affiliate newscasts all repeated, word-for-word, this news release.

      Problem was, of course, it was untrue.

      Now, before you say 'it's another cold fusion insident', think about fuel cell technology. I wouldn't be in the least surprised if any of the scientists who are currently working on fuel cells at least had a pilot light under their ass because of the concept of cold fusion. After all, fuel cells create energy from hydrogen and run cool, right?
  • It wasn't just the big players, who I didn't expect to know any better - the readership of Kuro5hin [kuro5hin.org] was taken in as well.

    Someday, I'll live in a world where every child grows up with a decent science education and critical thinking is encouraged...

    OK,
    - B

    • by Planesdragon (210349) <slashdot@NOSpaM.castlesteelstone.us> on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @08:09PM (#2891279) Homepage Journal
      Someday, I'll live in a world where every child grows up with a decent science education and critical thinking is encouraged...

      Bah. Science at its most basic *does not* say that the laws can never be changed. It just says that you're probably better off not trying to break them.

      A real scientific mind would be intriqued by the concpet of such a shakeup, and could at least spare such a grand hypothesis enough time to think up a suitable experiment or twenty.

      Just because magnets are the domain of quacks doesn't mean they don't attract.
      • I'd be intrigued as all hell if evidence were presented. None was. A lot of hand-waving and some blather about zero point energy were all I got.

        (Yes, I know zero-point energy is real. No, I don't think this crank from Ireland could even explain the concept.)

        OK,
        - B

    • by Raetsel (34442) on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @08:32PM (#2891446)

      Thanks for reminding me about K5... I hadn't visited them much since their server problems back in December. Now, about the K5 readers being "...taken in...", allow me to quote the first comment -- I think it sums things up perfectly.

      Perpetual Energy or Hoax? (3.72 / 11) (#1)
      by greyrat [kuro5hin.org] on Tue Jan 22nd, 2002 at 03:28:12 PM EST


      Hoax. Next!


      -- END OF LINE.

  • by Saint Aardvark (159009) on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @08:03PM (#2891228) Homepage Journal
    But the *$!? lameness filter won't let me type it in.
  • Laws (Score:5, Funny)

    by gandalf_grey (93942) on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @08:03PM (#2891230) Homepage
    Young Lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!

    -- Homer Simpson

    • Re:Laws (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Raetsel (34442) on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @10:44PM (#2892072)

      In Stephen Hawking's Cambridge Lectures [britannica.com], he points out that the Second Law of Thermodynamics is a statistical, rather than absolute, law. It applies in most cases that we have observed, yet we can not prove it applies to all cases.

      The relevant part; tape 2, side 2:

      "...The Second Law of Thermodynamics. It states that the entropy of an isolated system never decreases with time. Moreover, when two systems are joined together, the entropy of the combined system is greater than the sum of the entropies of the individual systems."

      (He gives an example)

      " The Second Law of Thermodynamics has a rather different status to that of other laws of science. Other laws, such as Newton's Law of Gravity, for example, are absolute laws. That is, they always hold.

      On the other hand, the Second Law is a statistical law. That is, it does not hold always, just in the vast majority of cases."

      Damn those black holes. Or gravastars. Whatever you want to call them.

      Zero-point energy probably does exist. There certainly is something there, we have managed to prove that much. I just don't believe that a single person, working alone, with a mechanical background, is going to 'suddenly uncover' the secret. I believe we are, unfortunately, beyond that point in our scientific development.

      Almost all of these supposed 'perpetual motion' devices have some mechanical component. Something moving, some clockworks, something. There was even one instance where the reporter noticed the speed of the device was rather random. Upon closer inspection, a small cable was found, leading to the next room. The device was, in fact, powered by an elderly man in a rocking chair!

      "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain", huh?

  • by Synistyr (529047) on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @08:04PM (#2891233) Homepage
    I don't know about that assumption that the media/news outlets never do retractions. If you do read an actual physical newspaper, you'll see that usually on the editor's page they do print retractions and corrections.

    It's quite possible that a) they don't even know that the story is wrong, b) no one has read and analyzed some tiny newstory from AP/Reuters/etc.. and c) no one has told them it's wrong.

    Why don't you write your local paper that ran the story, and let them know? How else are they going to know to print a retraction/correction?
  • incredulous (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Perdo (151843) on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @08:04PM (#2891236) Homepage Journal
    "If the Jasker men really are onto something, it could be the most important Irish invention since Guinness."

    Nothing is more inportant than Guinness. Nothing.
  • If you're going to draw the line, please finish it.

    If you require "extraordinary proof" to refute science, why not define what you need? I agree that running a light bulb for three hours isn't that impressive, and this is probably a scam of some sort.

    But on the same time, science demands that we ask "what if this is true?". If he really has a free energy device, what amazing thing could he do to prove that it works?

    My own suggestion: go to an ivy-league school (heck, any college) and set the darn thing up powering something that causes a healthy drain. (*not* a lightbulb... well, maybe a strobe light or something that really sucks up the juice) and let it go until it stops.

    Once the bulb stops, plug it into the wall and see if it starts. If it does, the invention's probably not free energy. If it doesn't, plug in another bulb and see how long THAT one lasts.

    A year or so of healthy drain would be enough to prove free energy, don't you think? Or at least, enough to get the damn patent and immortalize the freakish invention.
  • Arthur ? (Score:2, Funny)

    by WndrBr3d (219963)
    Well, doesn't this bring us one step closer to the Infinite Improbability Drive ?? Hmm ??
  • by MagikSlinger (259969) on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @08:05PM (#2891244) Homepage Journal
    I wonder if the inventor will prove NP=P and provide a 2 terraherz processor that can be overclocked indefinitely with zero waste heat.

    Personally, I think this story is a hoot! :-)
  • Oops. (Score:5, Funny)

    by chrisserwin (448761) on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @08:05PM (#2891245)
    "The 58-year-old electrical engineer, who lives in the Irish republic and intends -- for ``security and publicity-avoidance reasons'' -- to keep his identity a secret, has spent 23 years perfecting the Jasker Power System."

    Ummm... Mr. Jasker... I think we let the cat out of the bag.
  • by gnovos (447128) <{ten.deppihc} {ta} {sovong}> on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @08:06PM (#2891249) Homepage Journal
    Next time you are handed one of those promotional AOL CDs with a "free 70 hours", here is your new retort:

    "So is that Free as in Beer, Free as in Speech, or Free as in Energy?"
  • Hmmm (Score:4, Funny)

    by sulli (195030) on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @08:07PM (#2891257) Journal
    Maybe that Mendocino guy could use this to power the town without all that nasty electromagnetic radiation?
  • Boy does this story take me back ... when I was in 5th grade this concept was the basis for my science fair project. I was *convinced* that I could make it work somehow ... some of my prototypes were combination wind tunnels (powered fans) and windmills (turbins/fans generating power) with my hopes of somehow using the right combination of equipment to generate more power from the turbins than it required to operate the wind tunnel and tapping into the surplus. Boy was I a dumb naieve kid! I didn't know much back then ... but I knew I loved experimenting. I still remember being absolutely *crushed* and hating my science teacher when he tried to explain to me that it was impossible -- laws of conservation of energy and all that jazz. I just did not want to believe him.

    Ah well, to be young and inquisitive and stubborn :) I guess the folks at Reuters are about par on my mental development at 5th grade ... sheesh.
    • Maybe we all need to keep such open minds...

      For me, it was grade 4 when I came up with the brilliant idea of coupling a generator to a motor and using the power from the generator to run the motor, and draw off the "excess".

      However, in a true feat of stubborness, I actually built a small prototype. Well, needless to say, it didn't work. But it would spin for a while before stopping (clearly much longer than just coasting).

      Now that I'm all grown up and aware of such scientific limitations, I think I'll built a small, unlicensed, nuclear reactor..... :)
  • by enkidu (13673) on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @08:09PM (#2891278) Homepage Journal
    A long while back the U.S Patent office got so many of these "perpetual energy" machines that the office head put down the policy that the inventor had to submit a working prototype. The office would then set it going and if it was still running a year later, they would consider the patent application. This cut down on the number of applications considerably.

    A two hour test run is bullshit. Let's see it run for 2 years in an empty room, then we'll talk.
  • by Jafa (75430) <jafa@markantesBOYSEN.com minus berry> on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @08:11PM (#2891290) Homepage
    Wouldn't it be ironic, the one time slashdot takes a high headed journalistic stand, it's for a some crazy story that some time from now turns out to be true.

    J
    • Wouldn't it be ironic, the one time slashdot takes a high headed journalistic stand, it's for a some crazy story that some time from now turns out to be true.

      Given that ironic roughly means perversely unexpected, this would not be ironic since it would be well in the trend of Slashdot getting basic stuff wrong.

      I'm glad michael was there to explain to us why he's smarter than Reuters though.

    • by Robotech_Master (14247) on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @09:48PM (#2891788) Homepage Journal
      I just can't help thinking of this quote from Carl Sagan as I read about this story:

      "They laughed at Einstein. They laughed at Newton. Of course, they also laughed at Bozo the Clown."
  • by Logic Bomb (122875) on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @08:11PM (#2891291)
    The CNN article that's linked to here is the one I read. While it seems silly they even bothered to run this story, they at least offered significant skepticism and the words of several expert-types who said it was probably a big load of crap. In other words, they don't need to correct themselves, because they never said "this is true".
    • by lythe (105666) on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @10:42PM (#2892054) Homepage
      The Reuters story doesn't once say "this is true," either. In fact, they go to great lengths to explain why the guy is probably a crackpot.

      I'd like to see a retraction from Slashdot on this one - since, unlike the Reuters story, the Slashdot story is actually false, in that it claims Reuters was wrong. But Reuters was scrupulously accurate - quoting the man's claims, then quoting experts, then explaining the claims and why they're unlikely to be possible, while never once stating that he's legit or even that it's very likely he's legit.

      Can I get my T-shirt now? I'd like it signed from Michael, "I admit I was wrong, and futhermore, I don't understand the first thing about journalism. I expected all journalists to take my side in stories rather than presenting a balanced viewpoint. Now I see what an idiot I was."

      Thanks.
      • I disagree. From the Reuters article:

        "Not surprisingly, this topic is red hot with controversy -- sharply dividing a world scientific community still on its guard after the ``Cold Fusion'' fiasco of 1989"

        and

        "Experts contacted by Reuters were wary, citing the first law of thermodynamics which, in layman's terms, states that you can't get more energy out than you put in".

        The experts were anything but "wary"! Touting this 'invention' as a "red-hot controversy" and stating that the scientific world is "sharply divided" on the question of its legitimacy both strongly imply that scientists believe it might be true. Complete rubbish.

        The popular press has a really nasty habit of trying to sensationalize science and pseudoscience alike, and they often fail to distinguish between the two (as we see here so blatantly). Michael's criticism of this story is legitimate, IMO.
  • by bakes (87194)
    There have been a number of people working on 'free energy' for some time, and some have had a good degree of success. Check out http://www.nexusmagazine.com/freeenergy.html for a summary of some of them, and some links.

    And this 'three laws' thing? How many other laws of science have been revised, updated or completely discarded after new discoveries were made? How about the phlygisten theory? Earth is the center of the universe? The single shooter theory? Perhaps these laws of thermodynamics are only valid within a particular context, and the free energy comes from outside that context?
    • of course it's possible, just run a long power extention from your neighbor's house (=
    • by Fantastic Lad (198284) on Thursday January 24, 2002 @02:23AM (#2892965)
      Just run a story on Free Energy on Slashdot to see 600+ posters come out with their denial horns blaring. You can tell just how important a secret is by how loudly people are programmed to auto-react.

      While I don't know about the story in question, ZPE is not only proven, but Bell Labs and Lucient Technologies announced a couple of weeks ago that they're actually employing it in the manufacture of experimental nano-tech. You can read the press releases. You can see those three letters, "ZPE". So anybody who doesn't "believe" in free energy is now officially ignorant. Which means 60% (or more) of the posters on this thread can just shut their programmed gobs now, please & thank you.

      Second. It's FREE energy. NOT perpetual motion. ZPE is based on ambient energy which has been previously un-advertised, (it's been part of human knowledge since around Tesla's time), and has remained untapped by the general public. (Of course, today it's only been given a status of working on the quantum level, and only because its the only fucking way nano-tech is going to work; industry needed the knowledge to become declassified. But there ARE working large scale versions of free power sources. Trust me on this.

      --For fuck's sake! Why do you think Tesla, the inventor of AC power generation has been black-balled from history and science for the last half century? Use your massively over-rated nerd brains for half a second.)

      Next point: Cold Fusion, (which does indeed work, btw), is again, NOT perpetual motion. It's simply a low temperature system of creating a fusion reaction. It's not magic. The logic behind the process is not wishful in any way. It makes solid sense. The only reason Cold Fusion has been so heavily resisted is that those in power don't want you to have it. --M.I.T. purposely fudged their results of a working Pons & Flieshman model during the big hoopala after the cold fusion paper was published. Several big institutions got the set-up working. M.I.T. fudged their results and used their clout to kill Cold Fusion and to maintain support for their hot fustion research programs; this was researched, documented and aired by one of the big news outlets. (CBS, I believe, made the hour documentary back in the early 90's.)

      But the programming still sticks. It runs deep, and tech-geeks are prime targets, because even though they are only pawns, they remain in many ways, the engineers and keepers of today's reality.

      As such, you can always count on the brain-mush factor in people. Slashdot is living proof. Tell them it's not 'cool' to believe in Cold Fusion and the low-ego morons around here will drop the idea like a hot rock in order to jump back into the safety of the modified truths sold to them since birth. --Why do you think you were fed so much 'science' learning channel crap when you were kids? It's because kids are easy to program. Most of the idiots here will argue till they're blue in the face to defend their childhood programming, which makes you no better than kids brought up in hard-core Christian communities. You insist that you choose through free will, but the truth is you've been brainwashed since birth.


      -Fantastic Lad

  • Undaunted, the inventor says that once powered-up, his device can run indefinitely -- or at least until the parts wear out

    Isn't that what a (non rechargable) battery does?

  • I have invented this awesome technology. I call it "battery bootsrapping". Just take any ordinary battery operated electrical device and start it up with the batteries in place. While the apparatus is running, remove the batteries. Voila! YMMV, but my palm operated for exactly 0.00013 seconds before dying... zero point energy!
  • by smallpaul (65919) <paulNO@SPAMprescod.net> on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @08:15PM (#2891325)

    And I have a second task as well. Slashdot is occasionally criticized for getting a story wrong, even though we diligently correct ourselves when necessary. My theory is that the difference between Slashdot and other media is that they never correct themselves, no matter how inaccurate, so readers are left with a false picture of accuracy.

    All of the reports said "So and so CLAIMED to have done X and Y." Reporting a claim is not the same as getting a story wrong. I'm not saying that they SHOULD have published it but I don't see why they should publish a retraction...

    • All of the reports said "So and so CLAIMED to have done X and Y." Reporting a claim is not the same as getting a story wrong. I'm not saying that they SHOULD have published it but I don't see why they should publish a retraction...
      So what? By publishing something like this it gives it credibility. It's like someone makes a new PI=3 proof and gets newspaper coverage. Or, like someone claims that they "solved" the pigeonhole principle or that the moon landing was a hoax. They should not give space to these absurd claims in the first place, they should simply ignore them. Unfortunately, the truth doesn't make for good, sensationalist news.
  • by Muerte23 (178626) on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @08:18PM (#2891341) Journal
    First, you connect the three car batteries (12V each) to the machine for an "initial power source". Those of you who have read "Stone Soup" might know where I'm going with this.

    Then you power three 100W light bulbs for an hour. That's only 0.3kWh, or probably close to $0.05 worth of electricity.

    Upon demonstration to the reporters, the three batteries on the outside are left with an "increased charge". The machine put out more than it took in *.

    The secret: Four car batteries are in the box. It's self repleneshing! Demonstrate this to enough reporters, using nwe external batteries each time, and it will run forever!!!

    Sigh.

    *Editor's Note: If only more women were like that.

  • It has been a pipe-dream of inventors since Leonardo da Vinci...

    ... and, apparently, it still is.
  • great! (Score:4, Funny)

    by amarodeeps (541829) <dave.dubitable@com> on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @08:18PM (#2891344) Homepage
    that means I'll never have to stop to charge my Segway Human Transporter!!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @08:20PM (#2891353)
    Quite frankly, in my experience at least half of the Slashdot stories about physics are incorrect, whether due to hoaxes, a submitter who didn't understand what he was talking about, or an editor who just had to stick in that sentence of his own to prove how smart he was.

    When it comes to science news, I don't trust Reuters to get it right, but I do trust them a hell of a lot more than Slashdot. So stop crowing so loudly over someone else's embarrassment.
  • by blamanj (253811) on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @08:21PM (#2891358)
    I wouldn't say that Reuters was completely scammed. They did, after all, put this page not in the Science,or Tech categories, but in the "Lifestyle" category, note that the link directly after the title is to "Ann Landers."

    Their view of the thing seems to be along the lines of "Hey, some guy claims he saw the Loch Ness Monster and he's building a submarine to search the lake."
  • by coyote-san (38515) on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @08:23PM (#2891362)
    *snicker* According to the CNN report, part of the "evidence" that the 4 12V car batteries were recharged while powering 3 100W light bulbs was the fact that the voltage actually increased from 48.9V to 51.2V.

    Could there be any other reason for the voltage (and voltage alone, not power) to increase?

    Surely it couldn't be something as trivial as the batteries warming up.... or would that only occur to someone who knows of the (really dangerous) way to deal with a dead battery in cold weather - hook up the jumper cables then short them. If you don't succeed in blowing up the battery, you may have warmed it up enough that it will have enough juice to turn the starter.
    • by Phil Karn (14620) <karn@Nospam.ka9q.net> on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @09:44PM (#2891763) Homepage
      There's another possibility. Lead-acid batteries exhibit a phenomenon called the "coup de Fouet" (French for "crack of the whip"). When you start to discharge a fully charged Pb-A battery, the terminal voltage initially drops and then recovers after a few percent of the battery's capacity has been discharged. The voltage then resumes a slow decline as the battery discharges further.

      This is not necessarily what's going on, but I thought I'd mention it. It's even more likely that the external batteries were mostly discharged, and connecting them to the device simply allowed them to be topped off by some fully charged batteries hidden inside the device. The open-terminal voltage of a healthy, charged "48V" Pb-A pack at room temperature is typically 52-53V, and an external pack voltage of 48.9V would indicate a pack that was mostly discharged (or had some weak cells). Parallel it with a fully charged pack inside the device at 52-53V, and it would be entirely reasonable to expect enough charge to transfer from the internal pack to the external one to bring the latter's terminal voltage up to the 51V range.

      Judging from the size and shape of the device and its reported performance, I think it quite reasonable to file this "invention" in the "hidden battery" subcategory of perpetual motion frauds.
  • by AtomicBomb (173897) on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @08:23PM (#2891365) Homepage
    A multimeter reading of the batteries' voltage before the device started up showed a total of 48.9 volts. When it was switched off, a second reading showed 51.2 volts, indicating that, somehow, they had been reimbursed.
    Just similar to magic show, we all know it is a hoax. How to uncover the ground truth is the interesting part right now.

    This is just my wild guess. The voltage reading looks really dubious to me. I suspect that the system consists of 4 lead-acid battery connected in series and connected to an external power sources.
    48.9/4 => 12.2 (voltage before)
    51.2/4 => 12.8 (voltage after)
    These figures are typical for lead acid for such a charging regime.

    He may hide the external power connection through non-cable charging solution (e.g. IPT: inductive power transfer). Probably the only truth in this article is that cheater is (was) an electrical engineer.
  • So this guy claims to have made a perpetual motion machine? Here are some examples of other "revolutionary" perpetual motion machines--which of course don't work. (from the website [york.ac.uk] of Professor R.P. Feynman.)

    The underwater spinning donut [york.ac.uk]
    A pulley-based system [york.ac.uk]
    and a piston-based machine [york.ac.uk]
  • by seldolivaw (179178) <me@@@seldo...com> on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @08:24PM (#2891379) Homepage
    The article is a factual account of what the reporter saw, what the "scientist" claimed, and it includes a lot of balancing views pointing out fairly obvious things like the laws of thermodynamics, etc.. The chances of this guy breaking the laws of thermodynamics are infinitismal, but the article doesn't claim any more than that. It is clearly written with tongue planted firmly in cheek ("the most important Irish invention since Guiness"?), and maybe if Americans understood the concepts of "sarcasm" and "subtlety" more people would have got the joke.
    • by skoda (211470) on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @09:06PM (#2891634) Homepage
      Thanks for saying the sensible. The news agency reported the news: some guy claims to have invented a revolutionary idea. Experts are skeptical. Demo was performed. Reporter reported it.

      Michael comments on the 4500W drawn by three 100W bulbs. That's not how I understood it. Rather, the "Jakster" drew 4500W, with which it powered the three 100W bulbs and "created" at least 4500W to resupply the batteries. Thus: it acted as a "free" energy device.

      Though I don't understand why a free energy machine needs a power source. That seems a bit counter-intuitive ;)
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @10:23PM (#2891957)
      Michael boasts that Slashdot corrects errors, while other media do not. I challenge him to correct or defend his mistakes that I point out in this post.

      Sims claims that the second law [of thermodynamics] makes such a wonderful machine impossible. If as he says this "should have been taught in junior high," then I guess he did not go to a good enough junior high school. The experts quoted in the Reuters article are much more correct, "citing the first law of thermodynamics" instead.

      An explanation, for those of you who also went to the wrong junior high: The second law states that the total entropy of any closed system cannot decrease. This limits the efficiency with which engines can convert heat transfer to work, and requires that heat transfer can only flow from higher temperatures to lower temperatures. These facts are sufficient to rule out a mechanical perpetual motion machine -- that is, a machine which recycles its energy continuously, never ceasing its motion. But this inventor does not claim to have built such a device.

      What this inventor does claim is to have found an unknown source of energy. Such a device need not violate the second law. What it does violate is the first law of thermodynamics, which states that the total amount of energy in a closed system remains constant. I am not being pedantic here. A 19th century scientist looking at the plans for a nuclear power plant would say that it violates the first law, not the second law. In science, these details are important, and it is vital that you get it right!
      Reuters: 1 -- Slashdot: 0

      When Sims says that the device is indeed desibred as a perpetual motion machine, he is more-or-less correct. Possibly what the inventor tries to say is that his machine is not a perpetual motion machine of the second kind,which operates without energy input, thus violating the second law. But it is clearly a perpetual motion machine of the first kind, which has some magical energy input, and thus violates the first law. I'll give Sims the benefit of the doubt here.
      Reuters: 1 -- Slashdot: 1

      Next Sims states that three 100 watt light bulbs cannot possibly use 4500 watts of power. In fact, he calls this "total nonsense." But the truth is, we know practically nothing about these bulbs and the way they are run. Are they incandescent? Fluorescent? Neon tube? We simply don't know. They don't appear in the picture Sims linked us to. But in any case, 100 watts is the power consumed by the bulb run at some particular voltage, such as 110 VAC, or whatever they use in Ireland. The bulbs could well be run at a higher voltage, and would consume more power that way. Obviously a filament bulb would burn out. Even a neon lamp might run into breakdown voltage! But there is a simpler explanation -- the inventor just has some other load in parallel necessary to the functioning of the machine (a wormhole generator, subspace stabilizer, or whatever wacky thing he uses to get his energy from). Sims is not totally in the wrong here, but he really cannot to call the inventor's claim "total nonsense" when we have no idea what the experimental setup was.
      Reuters: 2 -- Slashdot: 1

      Finally, Sims claims that Slashdot is different from "other media" because Slashdot "diligently correct[s] [itself]." Well, here is his big chance to prove this. If he doesn't want to change the bit about the wattage, that's okay with me. But his clear misapplication of the second law of thermodynamics is a glaring error which demands satisfaction.
  • by anticypher (48312) <anticypher@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @08:27PM (#2891403) Homepage
    I was just forced to watch 10 X-files episodes in a row. Every single one of them had the "extraordinary evidence" vanish just before the end of the episode.

    They wouldn't have filmed the X-files if these stories weren't true. Reuters wouldn't have printed this story if it weren't true.

    Maybe this inventor not only invented a perpetual power source, he also invented HEAVY electricity. Three 100 watt light bulbs for two hours is normally only 0.6kwh, but if he has discovered HEAVY electricity, then perhaps 0.6kwh of light electricity == 4.5kwh of HEAVY electricity. Maybe this machine can convert HEAVY electricity into light electricity. Imagine replacing the engine in your car with a big, shiny dishwasher and a bunch of 12 volt HEAVY electricity batteries. You could charge it up every night, and each day you could drive to work and not use any mains energy or petrol. Wow! What a dream this guy has had, I can't believe nobody ever thought of this before.

    Being stuck at home with the flu and 15 DVDs of the X-files can be an enlightening experience. Open your minds, slashdotters.

    the AC
    You can tell this is a joke, when they say this may be a more important invention than Guinness. Ha!
  • really... (Score:4, Funny)

    by schwap (191462) <beauh@ s c h woogle.org> on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @08:31PM (#2891435) Homepage
    Money does not abide by the laws of thermodynamics.
  • This is an old scam (Score:3, Informative)

    by seizer (16950) on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @08:37PM (#2891485) Homepage
    Try Googling for two wonderful gentlemen - Dennis Lee, and Joseph Newman.

    Both run highly profitable businesses, marketing a, um, nearly-complete free energy machine.

    Dennis Lee has been to prison a couple of times, Joseph Newman has married his secretary and her 8 year old. (Google for it, you'll find it). Yet, to this day, they both run multi million dollar businesses on this free energy idea. Why? Because people WANT to believe. And you can be 100% confident that Mr Anonymous Irish Inventor will be sitting on a nice cash pile any minute now...
  • by fleener (140714) on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @08:39PM (#2891492)
    A retraction by Reuters is not necessary unless the story is not true. I'm pretty sure this hoaxter made the claims, and Reuters merely reported the claims. Corrections are fine, like if Reteurs made a math error or spelled someone's name incorrectly. Wild claims are not a retractable issue because they are just that - claims. Not facts.

    If this hoaxter who got national attention, too bad. But the job of a reporter is to report. Reuters did not make an extraordinary claim. The hoaxter did. Yes, Reuters looks stupid when reporting a hoax. Yes, if Reuters regularly reports hoaxes, people will seriously question whether it's worthwhile to read Reuters reports.

    If you want analysis of the report, read a science publication. This report is no different than other legitimate reporting. Every day we hear about a *real* scientific study that tells us X causes cancer or X is good for you, and it's up to the public to interpret the news. A prudent person doesn't rush out to the grocery store to begin eating lots of X (or stop eating it) until the evidence is so overwhelming that it's accepted as fact.

    A prudent person, when reading this Reuters energy article, would simply say, "OK, come back and tell me again after the invention has undergone peer review and the whole world is excited. Until then, I'll stay connected to the grid."
    • However, journalists have a responsability to try to print the truth. There are many hucksters out there selling some form of snake oil. Check out James Randi [randi.org] and the work that he has done to counteract these flim-flam artists.

      This might be a case of a non-harmful hoax. However, this is the same type of person who claims to have a cure for AIDS, or can talk to your dead relative for $900/hr. People get suckered in by this stuff, and Reuters has a DUTY to check out the story with some experts.

      A single witness does not a credible or reportable new story make.
      • by fleener (140714) on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @09:43PM (#2891761)
        No, not really. Journalists do not have a responsibility to print the truth. They have a responsibility to not knowingly print a falsehood. There is a big difference.

        Example:
        1. You utter the words, "John Doe robbed a bank when he was a teenager."
        2. I publish your quote.
        3. John Doe sues both of us for libel.
        4. I do some research and determine John Doe is correct. I print a retraction.
        5. I likely get absolved of wrongdoing, while you have to prove in court that you did not lie. Truth is the defense for libel. However, journalists do have special rights above regular citizens and printing a retraction goes a long way toward protecting me from litigation.
        6. Yes, a good reporter does his research beforehand to know you are lying. Bad reporters quickly lose their jobs or their readership. But John Doe would have to prove gross negligence (say, a specific intent) in reporting to get a judgement against me in court.
  • by Chairboy (88841) on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @08:40PM (#2891498) Homepage
    I suspect that the person is Peter Chambers, and I offer the following evidence:

    1. The administrative contact for jasker.com is Peter Chambers.
    2. A search on Google.com identifies a Peter Chambers as an alumni of Brunel University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, issued 1972. This is 29 years ago. If he got his degree when he was 29, not unlikely, that would make him the 58 year old unnamed inventor.

    Just a thought, and it all hinges on the assumption that the two are the same Peter Chambers and that he got the degree at 29.

    If it's bollox, I'm at my Karma cap anyhow, so I can afford to lose the points. With a cap of 50, there's no real reason to make every comment super insightful, seeing as how there's no reward once you get to 50.
    • But peter chambers is also in the contact info for causewayonline.com -- the people who claim to have designed the jasker site. And he's listed as a contact for one of their other clients: bikeworksni.com. Also, peter's address is the same as that for Diy Internet Ltd:
      54 High Street
      Bangor, Bt20 5BZ

      The registrant and webmaster of diyhousesales is:
      Peterprint
      54 High Street
      Bangor, Down bt20
      UK

      So, he's got his name all over a bunch of seemingly unrelated sites. Chances are that the connection is what he claims it is: website designer with causewayonline.

      Google address search for the curious [google.com]. It seems he shares the building with the chamber of commerce (unless causewayonline [causewayonline.com] is a total fake). From this link [bangor-local.com]:
      Organisation:-Chamber Of Commerce
      Where:-54 High Street BT20 5AZ
      Contact:-Alan Freedman
      Phone:-028 91

      Anyone want to call the chamber of commerce?
  • hey (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nomadic (141991) <.nomadicworld. .at. .gmail.com.> on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @08:54PM (#2891575) Homepage
    And I have a second task as well. Slashdot is occasionally criticized for getting a story wrong, even though we diligently correct ourselves when necessary. My theory is that the difference between Slashdot and other media is that they never correct themselves, no matter how inaccurate, so readers are left with a false picture of accuracy.

    Now wait just a minute. Every paper has a retractions section, and are usually very prompt in retracting things they get wrong. Your theory with all due respect, is completely and utterly wrong.

    Slashdot occasionally will retract things, but I think "diligent" is going a little overboard. And the retractions slashdot DOES print are usually very vague and defensive (when was the last time you saw "We made a mistake and didn't research this enough"; it's usually "Uhh this may not be totally accurate").

    Secondly, what exactly would they retract in this case? This is the story: "Irish engineer claims to have invented free energy machine". Which is totally accurate. Now most people here would agree that they shouldn't have even given this guy any attention, but the article does cast a lot of doubt on whether it works.

    FINALLY, as someone who has worked with newswire feeds, I can assure you that they often DO run retractions, but these take the form of advisories along the lines of "Article portrays incorrect information; it should read ". It's up to the individual newpapers to decide how to handle it, whether to withdraw the article, correct it, or print a retraction.

    I know I'm kind of going on a rant here, but this was a ridiculous claim. I like slashdot, but I really don't think the editors are entitled to take a high-handed position on editorial fact-checking. Look how often stories are summarized inaccurately, or old news is portrayed as new, or stories are repeated, or incendiary editorial comments are thrown in to skew the story.
  • by Sanity (1431) on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @08:55PM (#2891580) Homepage Journal
    ...when our planet is constantly bombarded by more energy than we could ever need? The radiation (heat, light, and other forms) that hits our planet daily from our Sun could, when captured, easily satisfy our energy needs. In effect, we are already using that energy since most natural resources that we consume are simply stored energy from the Sun, locked up millions of years ago by biological organisms.
  • Parts Wear Out (Score:5, Insightful)

    by paulywog (114255) on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @09:00PM (#2891603)
    The article states: "the device can run indefinitely -- or at least until the parts wear out, adding that he has supplied all his own domestic power needs free for 17 months."

    But, hold on... What causes parts to wear out, typically? Friction, or the heat energy that is associated with friction. At the very least, "wearing out" indicates a change in the physical or chemical characteristics of something. Change can only come through the transfer of energy. So, either the device is able to create not only enough power to light bulbs and keep itself running, but also extra power to wear out its own parts!! I guess it's too efficient for it's own good.

    Holes in the story ALL OVER the place!
  • Battery powered? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by evilrunner (307040) on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @09:22PM (#2891692) Journal
    Ok. We have three 100W (watt) lightbulbs, and a drain of 4500W durring a two hour run. This means that the lightbulbs used 600W of power durring that time leaving 3900W used by the machine its self. There was a ten minute "startup" time using four 12Volt car batteries. A decent car battery has a capacity of 50Ah (amp hours, which is "is the amount of energy charge in a battery that will allow one ampere of current to flow for one hour"). So unless I calculated wrong, the "free energy" machine was able to take in about 3600W per battery (assuming the battery fully discharged, provided all of its rated charge, maintained a voltage of 12V and ignoring any internal resistance in the battery. And yes I know this is kinda a bogus number). A more likely/realistic output would have been about 1500W per battery. Multiply that by four batteries and you have "!gasp!" 6000W. Subtract the 4500W the machine consumed and you are left with plenty of energy. I'm not entirely sure about my calculation method here so prove me wrong. If the machine ran for a longer period say, a few days, and without the startup batteries, I might be impressed.
  • by Mr. Flibble (12943) on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @09:23PM (#2891698) Homepage
    I think Hawking would say this. [mchawking.com]

    Thanks to the crew at www.mchawking.com [mchawking.com] we now know how Stephen feels about the second law; and by extrapolation, how he feels about "Energy from nothing".
  • by Lethyos (408045) on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @09:26PM (#2891707) Journal
    At the end of this story, michael notes how major news sources do not correct themselves as the righteous Slashdot does.

    What exactly is this, however:

    "Dozens of submitters, some of them quite credulous, have written in pointing to this Reuters story about an anonymous inventor who claims to have solved the universe's energy woes. It's amazing that Reuters ran this story. It's even more amazing that news media across the country are running it too."

    The first part of this statement reflect upon Reuters with neutrality. Michael says the story is about an inventor who claims. Following this, Michael makes it seem like Reuters had placed their endorsement on the story by calling their posting of it "amazing". It's not so "amazing" that even reliable news sites post stories of claims. Reading the artcile shows its not so amazing. Reuters doesn't believe the scientist. Slashdot thinks Reuters does.

    Michael whines about how people attack Slashdot editors' journalistic integrity, but here's an obvious example. Reuters was not scammed. Their integrity is intact because they retained bipartisanship in regards to the story. It's not their place to judge the claim as true or false. It is however their position to report the claim. News sources must be neutral so that the public can draw their own conclusions. Of course, the editors at Slashdot don't seem to understand this. They are extremely biased, and instead of letting the readers decide for themselves by simply reporting on the fact that news sites are themselves reporting such a claim, michael has drawn the conclusion that everyone believes it.

    So keep whining about how we all flame you for not having integrity of the journalistic sort. It won't change how Slashdot does its reporting.
  • Junk Food News (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SirSlud (67381) on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @09:27PM (#2891709) Homepage
    You people are just prooving that "Dog Bites Man" (which is real news, but happens often) does not make good news, while "Man Bites Dog" (the infrequent type of news that has no bearing on your life) is news.

    Junk Food news is the weapon of the large media conglomerates. After all, if you're busy laughing at "Man Bites Dog", you're liable not to see the dog about to bite you, sneaking up, unreported, from behind.

    Which is to say, if this story is so incredulous, why support and motivate the desire for the APs and Reuters of the world to print this kind of stuff? Do you think they are interested in bringing you news that affects your life, or more interested in bringing you news you lap up, laugh, argue over, and dis, and ultimately has no direct bearing on your life (until this thing hits mass production, of course).
  • Wonderful math... (Score:3, Informative)

    by pridkett (2666) <slashdot@@@wagstrom...net> on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @09:29PM (#2891724) Homepage Journal
    ``The draw on the batteries was estimated at more than 4.5 kilowatts. With any existing technology the batteries would have been drained flat in one and a half minutes,'' the inventor said
    And yet the machine only "powered" three 100 watt light bulbs. Now, IAAEE (I am an electrical engineer) and that doesn't add up to more than 300 watts. Maybe they got watts and watt-hours mixed up I thought...but then they would have to run for 15 hours, a lot more than the 2 or so stated. Well, it's a nice humorous read for a wednesday evening.
  • by Remik (412425) on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @09:44PM (#2891765)
    ...but, it's old news...

    It's called the Integral Fast Reactor (IFR). It can run for years on a single supply of fisile material, augmented by uranium filtered from sea water. Not only is it, "an energy source that is unlimited," to quote its head of the project, Dr. Charles Till, but it is possibly the safest nuclear reactor ever designed. Unfortunately, anti-nuclear power activists bringing false claims before Congress in 1994 lead to the decommissioning of the project by then President Clinton.

    The unofficial IFR site [berkeley.edu]

    A wonderful interview with Dr. Charles Till [pbs.org]
    • Well score one for the luddites. It is disheartening that "progressive" people are so anti-science as tp destroy things that they do not understand like taking witches to the stake. The entire ecological movement has spun out of control and is in dire need of guidance. This return to eden mentality is delusional at best.
  • by SirSlud (67381) on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @09:44PM (#2891766) Homepage
    Two quick and probably easy-to-obliterate points:

    1) If the machine requires energy (my interpretation), then .. well, you need energy to set up winmills and to maintain them. That doesn't mean that they arn't able to collect more energy than it took to set up in the long run from a source that seems limitless (if inconsitant, in this case.) My point being, there's nothing in the laws of physics that says that this machine can't use energy to allow it to collect energy from other source (neutrinos? heat from the sun? i know, its a long shot .. ) that is so near being limitless that it might as well be, with such a small amount of energy required to get it going such that the energy required to maintain it or get it going is insignificant compared to the energy it creates due to it's ability to harness the yet-to-be-identified energy from an energy source that is 'outside the box' of conventional science.

    2) Don't forget how many scientists/explorers were ridiculed in their day, unknown until years later, for thinking 'outside the box'. Gallileo, Columbus, yadda yadda. Some were jailed for their claims.

    It's definately a long shot. Really long. The Segway was claimed, in its early days, to be an invention that 'revolutionizes' the world. Whatever. My only point is that society honours its live conformists (all the naysayers) and its dead troublemakers (Gallileo). I'm interested in knowing more. Calling it a hoax because you read a Reutors story (in which your whole issue is that Reutors knows nothing, so it's kind of a self-defeating judgement) only does a disservice and perhaps delays an important discovery in a world where we will only believe the crazy stories from institutions and people who've already gained our trust.

    I'm only saying ... we've alot to gain by saying "Well, I'm skeptical, but I'll hear you out", and very little to gain (other than an evening's chuckle) from rediculing it before we're filled in on the details. Cell phones were invented 30 years before they became insanely well ingrained in society. This is in part due to people's perceptions and lack of desire to believe in anything that has the potential to significantly alter their world in ways they cannot fathom.
  • New idea? (Score:5, Funny)

    by zjbs14 (549864) on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @09:54PM (#2891817) Homepage
    Here's the quote from the jasker.com website [jasker.com]:

    "THIS INVENTION EFFECTIVELY GUARANTEES THE CONTINUITY OF MANKIND".

    No, that would be sex.

    No sig, sorry.

  • by debrain (29228) on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @09:59PM (#2891850) Journal
    We, the "wise", and "in the know" of the world, quickly punish the "stupid" and "ignorant" media corporations and people that let this travesty of fact slip through. And yet, we will never reward, few ever even considering, those in the mass media who instantly saw and dismissed this as the rubbish it is. More media will dismiss this than acknowledge it, precisely because they can see it is clearly not something of merit.

    Yet, in this system, where intelligence in the form of denial is never rewarded, how can we ever expect the mass media to churn out the truth, in any extravagant form? Look at how we, on this forum, are lashing out at the media that fell for this dup (presuming, of course, that it, in all likelihood, is), yet we will turn around one day and ask "Why does every reputable media corporation cover the exact same material?"

    Every media entity that has published this will get attention; I have noticed some magazines mentioned that I would never otherwise have known existed. They are being rewarded with advertisement for their folly. And yet, the media that sensed this folly and avoided it, are relatively punished.

    Or so goes my rant. :)
  • by LichP (549726) on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @10:21PM (#2891943) Journal
    I have a standard trick to writing essays, and it involves writing complete b*llocks. And I'm quite good at it, so I can spot it when I see it. Looking at the Brief Description [jasker.com] on the official Jasker website [jasker.com], I spotted rather a lot. I quoth:
    This [electricity genreation] is accomplished, by utilisation of existing and proven state of the art technologies, combining novel features and innovative assembly techniques.
    Which are what?
    The credibility of the system is definitively established and can be interpreted and demonstrated as being "the practical application of accepted techniques".
    By whom, and which apps and techniques?
    There are no stages in the operation of this invention that require any constituent component to perform at anything other than that being, within its capability or in accordance with its specification.
    This is grammatically broken imo. If it holds any meaning, then I think it says "Nothing does anything it shouldn't."
    All the parts for this invention are in practical and productive everyday use. The methodology technique is accomplished by the innovative application in logical sequence of specifically selected constituent components whose performance compliment each other and function in co-operation.
    This has to be one of the single-most badly constructed paragraphs of complete cr*p I have ever seen for quite some time. My translation: "It uses bog-standard components which work together."
    Attainment is determined by the systematic mathematical application in the defined mode, of the accurately selected operational segments.
    Again, broken. First question that springs to mind is 'What is the defined mode?' Try dropping the comma and it makes slightly more sense. My translation: "We use maths to work out how to make this thing gain energy." Being a Maths undergrad, I am a little insulted.
    In reality the achievement of this invention adheres strictly with known, accepted and proven physics principles. It is emphasised there are no new discoveries disproving accepted physics laws. To reiterate there are no physics heresies, no physics contradictions and no ambiguous claims.
    In short, this is a lie, as has been previously pointed out by other /.ers.
    This invention is achieved by the application and utilisation of a capital energy source to create a prolific income energy system, with the consequential composition being a "controlled loop, self-generating module", that produces instant and constant mechanical drive power and or instant and constant electrical power.
    More b*llsh*t, although slightly better crafted than previous paragraphs, imo. My translation: "We put in energy, it uses it, but spits out more. So we get surplus."
    This invention is mankind's first income energy reservoir from a capital energy source.
    To be taken with a handful of salt. My translation: "We think it works, and we think it's the first one to work." In summary, a load of badly-formed b*llshit, about as insubstantial as a pea in the path of a steam-roller. -- From Phil Mod me to death if you like, but I'll die a martyr. At least in my dreams. OK, so I won't but I like to pretend ...
  • by MillionthMonkey (240664) on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @11:37PM (#2892259)
    NO Gimmick........REAL SCIENCE!
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    Simply try this Amazing machine for 30-days and if after 30-days you do not experience both a huge increase in the amount of energy produced along with longer lasting more intense kilowatt-hours, simply send the machine back to us and we'll refund you 100% of the cost including shipping. With this guarantee, our product must work for you... or we'll lose money on every sale!

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  • by Animats (122034) on Thursday January 24, 2002 @02:50AM (#2893029) Homepage
    The shiny metal case [jasker.com] it comes in looks like an overclocker's wet dream.
  • by Ogerman (136333) on Thursday January 24, 2002 @05:09AM (#2893340)
    Somebody needs to ship this brilliant Irish guy over to California to meet the "Wireless Free" wackos. Certainly his incredible new device wouldn't release any harmful radiation. I mean.. that might break the second law of thermodynamics or something! Hell, this amazing machine absorbes all the deadly cell-phone radiation within a 100 mile radius and simultaneously renders aspartame harmless! How? Sorry, I can't tell you. It's a secret. But honestly.. it does work! Hypochondriacs everywhere can attest to this. Just ask 'em!
  • Wow (Score:3, Funny)

    by Deanasc (201050) on Thursday January 24, 2002 @09:54AM (#2893906) Homepage Journal
    Sounds to me like this guy belongs in the "Duff Book of World Records".

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