Matt Cooper of The Last Word did a follow-up interview today with Sean McCarthy, CEO of Steorn. Sean explains again why the demo failed, but insists that this is a small bump in the road and that we'll be seeing a demo soon. The interview starts around 20 minutes into the recording at lasts for about 5 minutes.
Also today, Sean visited the forum for a while and answered a lot of questions. I've categorized them here:
On the African Pump Situation
JoinTheFun: what's the status of the African pump project?On Dr. Mike
Steorn: The pump I believe is being installed at the moment.
Suomipoika: [asking about the african pump] How is it possible? The device is so fragile that you can't drive one from Dublin to London. Wasn't that the reason you didn't replace the devices with stopstarts from Dublin?
Steorn: As I said we bought three (CM) devices from Dublin in parts, got one working on site (it can take a while to balance the radial loads on the system) and then while under pressure used the parts from the other two systems to try and fix the prime system. It did not work. Thats the facts of the situation, believe it or believe it not.
mrflora: The pump again, Sean... are you saying that now, today, this week, a pump is being installed in Africa that is driven by Orbo overunity technology?
Steorn: The pump is being installed by a local engineering contractor (I do not know the exact schedule), once this is in place we will install the Orbo power supply for it.
FLD: Sean - is the African water pump driven by fuel-less Orbo technology? Yes or no will be fine thanks.
Steorn: It will be fuel-less when the project is completed, at the moment we are only in the process of installing the basic pumping system.
Suomipoika: Do you have a device, which generates OU? Very common opinion here is, that you don't. If you do, why wasn't Dr. Mike able to see that?On the Jury
Steorn: As said the devices that we bought to London failed, that simple, so Mike did not see anything. There is no more to the story.
Suomipoika: Why didn't you take Dr. Mike to Dublin?
Steorn: We had other things that we needed to deal with, again you can spin the matter anyway you want, but these are the facts, we will do the demo soon enough and then lets see where we stand.
observer: Why didn't you invite Dr. Mike to follow the assembly of the device? He would have been in the position to see it working then, even if it was not possible for him to analyze it further.
Steorn: Well I guess that the straight answer is that no engineer wants anyone looking over at them while they work, we where under pressure and having someone looking at our engineers work would not help.
blueletter: What do you say to Dr. Mike's assertion that much of this whole thing lives only inside your head?
Steorn: I guess that in a way I understand his comments, its not true but in the circumstances I doubt that you will believe me.
Suomipoika: Sean! Dr. Mike didn't have possibility to see the device. Who's the next skeptic you're gonna invite and when will this happen?
Steorn: I do not think that we will have a problem finding a credible skeptic next time.
Suomipoika: Sean, you implicate that Dr. Mikes credibility was problem.
1) Are you saying that Dr. Mike wasn't credible?
2) When will this "next time" be? I could come tomorrow, ok to you?
Steorn: Where did I imply Dr. Mike was not credible, seemed like a very smart guy when I met him for the limited period of time that we had.
Suomipoika: I asked you: "Dr. Mike didn't have possibility to see the device. Who's the next skeptic you're gonna invite and when will this happen?"
And you answered: "I do not think that we will have a problem finding a credible skeptic next time."
Of course this implies that Dr. Mike wasn't credible.
But next question is: When can NEXT skeptic-visit happen at earliest?
Steorn: To your mind it may imply that, there is no intent to imply that. The next skeptics visit will be reported on after it happens.
JoinTheFun: Any word of the jury as to when they think they'll be ready ?On the Failed Demo
Steorn: I'm not going to comment on the Jury process.
Speccy: In a couple of Irish newspaper articles last week, it was stated that the jury result was due next year. Is this now the case, or can we still expect a result in 2007?
Steorn: I said that I did not have a timeline for the results, which is the facts of the matter, I have not had a chance to read any of the media stuff yet, so I am not sure what was printed.
SteornTracker: Back in April you mentioned that there would be a second quarter Jury update. Are you still planning on providing an update? When do you think that update will be available?
Steorn: Hi ST, have not even thought about the subject at the moment.
pcstru4: How come you say you have been so busy for the last few months preparing a demo, then pull the excuse that you only gave the engineers three days?Recording their phone calls? I don't understand that comment.
Steorn: Its as simple as stated, we tried to install them in a few hours under pressure, we made some mistakes and the demo did not happen. So few will believe the story, its up to them, its what happened.
couldbe: Sean, why did you attempt to demo a device that did no appreciable work? From what I've read here, a lightweight disk can be made to spin for a long time with very little input. Wouldn't it be more convincing to demo an orbo with its innards hidden, but one that did real work?
Steorn: Well the intention was to show the 'raw' device and then the system doing work, at this point they are just failed intentions so I do not expect anyone to believe it.
JoinTheFun: There are a couple of days left in the Kinetica. Any chance of showing the world a working device these coming days ?
majicmagneticmoment: MALARKY! I am an engineer and have been for over 30 years. I have always have had someone looking over my shoulder and have learned to expect it. Where did you get your engineers? France?
Steorn: I have spent a lot of my engineering life with people staring at me, so I know the feeling. But at the end of the day no one was looking at us while we worked (lots of people taking pics of us and recording our phone calls as we came and went).
buzzlightyear: I could understand if there was to be some nervosity between the investors right now. Do they actively follow the company developments, or do they act as distant financial investors? How are they taking the demo failure?SPDC Questions
Steorn: Clearly no one involved in the company is happy about the failed demo, but despite this we also need to keep perspective - its a failed demo full stop. It has shaken to the core any confidence that people not involved with the company have, and this is understandable. But we know what we have to things are not as dire as people would like to make them. We will do the demo, and then move on.
JoinTheFun: How is the overall mood in your team ?
Steorn: Clearly it was not a good week. But we are 'back in the saddle' and a lot more motivated than we were a few weeks ago, so in a strange kind of way the failure of the demo may in fact speed up our route to market, we will see.
tony: Why are you even attempting to demo before the Jury verdict is out? p.s. I dont understand why you would even try to convince anyone before this. Surely you should be pragmatic, what if the verdict goes against you?
Steorn: It seemed like a good week to put ourselves back on the agenda, we got on the agenda but for the wrong reasons.
blueletter: Did you sir, or did you not, get piss drunk on the very night of both your infamous demo debacle and your wife's foot breaking incident?
Steorn: Nope. And no my wife did not break her foot kicking me around the place, she broke it the day before we went to London.
rosco: Are the public relations company behind your strategy? If so isn't it time to get rid of them as it seems like you've now used up nine lives in public opinion terms
Steorn: Sure it may seem that way to you at the moment, bottom line is that it is a failed demo, embarrasing for sure, but no more than that. We will do a demo, then lets see what happens.
korkskrew: I still don't understand the purpose of a demo. It seems like a lot of expense for no real business reason. Is it just for our entertainment? Seems like a lot of money and effort for that.
Steorn: With a claim so wild we decided that we need to do multiple things to errode the view that we do not have what we claim to have. This event failed, very clearly failed, but we believe that it was worth the effort and will do the demo. Our prime investment was in marketing materials and these will be used for the rescheduled event when we decide to do it.
FLD: This event failed, very clearly failed, but we believe that it was worth the effort errrm...it was an utter failure and made you a laughing stock but it was worth the effort?
Steorn: As in we believe that it is worth the effort doing public demos, this one did not work out but we will for sure do public demos again in the future.
JoinTheFun: Can you tell us how recent events have affected the SPDCites ? Did you meet Babcat ?I find it interesting that Sean is willing to speculate on a pretty significant SPDC event when he hasn't looked into the details of it yet.
Steorn: I had a chance to meet a few of them for an extended period on Friday and Saturday, I have not had a chance to head into the SPDC, but we do consider the SPDC key to the Steorn project and so have a lot of confidence to regain with them. We are pulling together a plan to do that.
Kaiser Jive Albino: How long would it take an engineer at Steorn to build a working unit from scratch, with off the shelf parts? Will individuals be able to replicate it with "minimal" tooling? Thanks for your answers, and great to see you back btw!
Steorn: Good to be back (I think) - the ease of replication for a hobbist has been a concern, however I do believe that one of the SPDC folks got a system running for 8 hours or so with what looks like pretty minimal parts, but I have not had a chance to look into this in any detail yet.
Upcoming Steorn Activity
hugojpinto: Do you realize and believe that doing a convincing demo + technology showcase + providing straight replication access is a critical piece of in gaining confidence in the near future?I think Steorn's new strategy of not announcing things before they happen is a pretty good idea!
Steorn: Yes - and perhaps even a bit more than that.
meta: On openness, in the post cancellation video you mentioned something about being less cryptic and covert, and pushing Steorn into a more open direction. Can you expand on that?
Steorn: We have plans in place to deal with the confidence issues, but I will not be pre-announcing these, they will happen and let people debate them at that time.
prprior: Sean, for the sake of those that don't think this is a lie, hoax, or dilusion, why can't you post a video of at least a partial orbo? Enough to conceal any secrets with the design, but showing enough to ease a dry tongue.
Steorn: As stated we will be doing stuff, I will not be going into what it is or when it will happen but we acknowledge that we do need to some additional things after the failure of the demo.
pcstru4: I'll try once more : How many functional OU devices do you have back in dublin - not test rigs but actual devices which demonstrate OU. Please give a number for Stop/Start & CM.I'm not sure if Sean is saying that he won't answer the question, or no, there are currently no OU devices in Dublin.
Steorn: At the moment no.
Suomipoika: Sean! Are your all OU-devices so fragile that they'll break
a) if transported by car or
b) if lights are too bright?
meta: Sean, I take it you missed my above question to you about calorimetry?
Steorn: I will not go into the specific tests that are going to be conducted, or the testing process in any detail.
meta: Why have you not done calorimetry yet?
Steorn: As I stated before I am not going to go into details of planned tests, however we have tested for thermal 'energy account' balancing and it does not even come close to balancing the energy equation.
/: Sean, we have heard that many actual Orbo-based systems have been made by external companies (like the "validation toys", for the Africa pump, etc.). Can you tell us some rough figure how many third-party engineering companies have been involved so far?
buzzlightyear: Steorn has been open about the marketing and financial partners, but there is no information about technology partners. Can you name one of the technology partners? Like the company that you work with in the Netherlands?
Steorn: Our partners work for us under mutual NDA, so nope I will not be discussing it in the public domain.
jorb: Have the investors seen a working OU device?
Steorn: Again I am not going to get into who has seen what, all people involved in Steorn or working for us are under mutual NDA. So I am just not going to answer questions on the Jury, our tech partners, staff or investors.
aber0der: Sean, do you plan to update the site re the licensing model? "Further details will be made available during the first half of 2007."
Steorn: I will have to follow-up and see where we are at with this.