Well, NeuroLogica has a post up about our old friend, the Steorn device. The result of the evaluation by independent scientists is unsurprising: No free energy, and after two years, they're stopping. Apparently some cynics have come out of the woodwork to waggle their fingers spookily about cover ups.
First, let me just say that free energy would be profoundly awesome, not just from an energy policy perspective, but from a discovery perspective. The laws of thermodynamics look to be very firm on a fundamental level. Finding a consistent violation of any sort would tell us there's something we've really been missing out on. That's why it makes absolutely no sense that scientists would attempt to cover it up.
Those of us who live with the wonderful technology of developed nations should have some inkling that we're prospering because scientific knowledge informs us about how we can use our resources. Yeah, the oil companies want to stay on top, but they can't buy off everyone with a physics degree. A violation of the LoT's would have all the physicists stampeding over each other to find out what they can learn. Our understanding of physics would be torn down, and any clever physicist could get his name in the history books alongside Newton and Einstein if he could work out what allows the exception. And, naturally, they'd be able to make a lot of money and put the oil companies out of business.
So, all those woos out there who seriously think there's a cover up: Seriously, why do you consider nigh-infinite cynicism as a superior explanation than the possibility you just backed the wrong horse? Has it ever occurred to you that the people promising sunshine and lollipops are the ones lying and/or being stupid?