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Thanks that's a better article. It repeats and adds a twist to the claim that
Steorn's 'day job', it seems, is as an engineering consultancy devising systems to help companies like banks fight credit card theft and other forms of electronic fraud.
A few years ago, Steorn was working on a novel CCTV system to spy on cashpoint machines. Instead of powering the cameras with batteries or from the mains, the cameras were to be powered by tiny wind-generators.
Right. I want someone to talk to the bank that signed off on the windmill powered camera system. Is there a way to contact the author MICHAEL HANLON?
I doubt John whether the journalists will have checked any of the background material on Steorn that you are querying in your post. You're getting involved in the thorny issue of 'factchecking' which Tim Worstall sometimes mentions on his blog as being a significant difference between US and UK news media. The idea behind factchecking is that anything that could be construed as a fact written in an article needs to have, as far as possible, some supporting reference. In the UK the attitude towards factchecking is much more lax than in the USA and they only tend to put any effort in to backing up 'facts' where the newspaper could be sued for libel. The Guardian has a reputation as one of the worst UK newspapers for factchecking, and there's even a blog called "Factchecking Pollyana" which points out inaccuracies in articles written by the Guardian's well-known columnist Polly Toynbee.
My view on Steorn is that they look like they're running a scam designed to appeal to Green ('ethical') investors. There's been a tendency in the past couple of years for the more avant-garde energy ideas to be picked up by Green investors, for example the Canadian renewable energy firm Solar Energy Ltd ( http://solarenergylimited.com ) bought the cold fusion research company D2Fusion this year. Cold fusion was officially killed off back in 1989, but in spite of this, the sincerity of the people advocating cold fusion has still managed to attract some funding from quirky investors for 17 years. Steorn may be hoping to create a similar situation with their free energy device. As far as Green investors are concerned, being well-intentioned is a more desirable quality than actually being competent and having a device that works.
Various things which make it look like they are trying to appeal to Green investors include the background story where they claim to have stumbled on the effect after experimenting with wind turbine powered CCTV cameras. That's unlikely - a CCTV camera normally operates 24/7 making it a strong candidate for requiring mains electricity, but a Green investor might actually believe that you could run such a camera from an intermittent power source. In their press releases (http://www.steorn.net/en/news.aspx?p=2 ) they include a release where they announce they have cancelled the Steorn 2006 Christmas party in favour of donating the money to the Chernobyl Aid Hope charity. This kind of anti-nuclear power gesture would appeal to Green investors. In addition Steorn have decided to break the story and demonstrate the device to just the sort of newspaper that Green investors might read, the Guardian.