back to article Oz skeptic offers prize if Rossi’s E-cat works

Australian entrepreneur, philanthropist, skeptic, aviator and eccentric Dick Smith has offered $AU200,000 for proof that the Andrea Rossi “energy catalyzer” actually works. With a local in the town of Mullumbimby hoping to pitch the E-cat to locals as an attractive investment, Smith has offered to send along Australian …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. miknik
    Facepalm

    You will need 3 keyboards

    if you want to read the Sydney Morning Herald "article" all the way to the bottom. This was my favourite bit:

    "A community group will gather to discuss the work of an Italian inventor who claims to have developed a machine that can produce large amounts of energy from almost nothing."

    I'm sure the first law of thermodynamics will put a reasonably swift end to that discussion, then I assume it will be time for the snake oil auction.

    SMH seems an appropriate acronym...

    1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
      Coat

      You misunderstand...

      That's not a "scientific community" group, it's probably on the agenda just after the discussion of the next church bazaar. The third law holds no sway over such a discussion.

  2. Yeik

    LENR is probably real

    http://technologygateway.nasa.gov/media/CC/lenr/lenr.html

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Three challenges for you

      1) Describe an experimental setup demonstrating LENR that gives results others can repeat.

      2) Measure significantly more decay products than the background level.

      3) Measure significantly more heat output than calorimeter calibration errors.

      If you ever achieve all three, I will apologise for saying LENR is an investment scam.

      1. charlesfrith

        Why don't you wait for the ECAT to hit the market first?

    2. MacroRodent Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Worthless

      That video is worthless, basically some guy telling how great it would be to have a machine in your home that can output energy cleanly. Oh it tells shooting neutrons at a nucleus transmutes it to something else and generates energy. Great, I did that at a 2. year physics labs at my university 30 years ago... the trouble is making enough of those neutrons without running a conventional nuclear reactor (and having neutrons flying around is not exactly harmless anyway). Hard to believe NASA hosting such crap. Is there more substance somewhere?

      1. gammell

        I have never seen such a bizarre attempt to discredit something.

        You seem to hold NASA in a position or respect yet when you watch a video with one of their top researchers discussing this technology you refer to him as 'some guy'

        Some guy?

        And you talk about doing scientific experiments in days gone past but the way you talk shows you do not have a scientific view of the world. You declare a theory crap because you could not overcome the same problem yourself or theorise how it could be overcome?

        Until I see the working unit in stores or peer reviews I will remain sceptical on e-cat, however the very fact that numerous scientists including some at NASA have enough interest in LENR technology for NASA itself to make a 'statement video' supporting it shows it is something that should at least be given fair consideration don't you think?

        1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          Without verifiable, replicatable proof ...

          ... it is as worthy of consideration as Harry Potter's magic wand. It is nothing but faith and persuasive words until hard science proves it to be something real.

          The fact that this man has, for no reason at all, not shown anything but a black-box so far *very* strongly suggests he is at least innocently mistaken and at worst just another fraud.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @gammell Just because it's NASA doesn't mean they can't be fooled

          This post reminded me of a talk that James Randi gave a few years ago. In it he discusses physicists at Lawrence Livermore labs being fooled by a fraud performing a simple trick with a matchbox. It's worth watching:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbwWL5ezA4g

  3. Wombling_Free
    Mushroom

    Nickel to Copper

    IANAP, but I seem to recall from high-school physics that Nickel is the most stable of all elements - Ni62 in particular. To 'fuse' Ni to Cu you have to ADD energy - you certainly don't get any back! You would probably also get some hard gammas and a beta-particle up your cloaca for your troubles, too.

    1. David Hicks
      Pint

      err, that would be Iron

      Iron is at the bottom of the energy curve, Anything lighter will give some energy for fusion, heavier and material will give off energy on fission.

      That's probably also wrong as it's been a while.

      Either way I'm pretty sure the energy rewards were greater at the extreme light and heavy ends, and that most atomic nuclei are more than happy with their weight...

      1. Gannon (J.) Dick
        Joke

        Forget Physics ...

        "...that most atomic nuclei are more than happy with their weight..."

        Try gently telling your spouse this without an outbreak of Cold Fusion.

  4. T J
    Mushroom

    Oh not AGAIN

    Oh ffs. We forgave Brocky (Peter Brock) when he temporarily went insane and started peddling this snake oil. He came back to the fold of sanity and had the good grace to say the project had been all rubbish. The trouble is, there are always hippies (which these days stands for Hipster Ignoramus) who think there is merit in this crap.

  5. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    "wide-eyed, breathless and clueless"

    Pro tip: such an introduction is unnecessary for anything printed by the Sydney Morning Herald.

  6. Flat Phillip
    Flame

    Mullumbimby

    I don't think a device that gives out free energy would take off much up in Mullumbimby. Now if it was a machine that gave out free grass (and free cornchips sometime after) then it would be a roaring success.

    I think Dick is pretty safe from writing that cheque.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Devil

      "Damn I lost my singularity, it fell through the floor."

      > I don't think a device that gives out free energy would take off much up in Mullumbimby

      OTOH, a device that produces Copper from Nickel would probably blow up much of Mullumbimby.

  7. Brad Arnold
    Thumb Up

    LENR Primer

    There is a new clean energy technology that is one tenth the cost of coal. LENR using nickel. Incredibly: Ni+H(heated under pressure)=Cu+lots of heat.

    This phenomenon (LENR) has been confirmed in hundreds of published scientific papers: http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/RothwellJtallyofcol.pdf

    "Over 2 decades with over 100 experiments worldwide indicate LENR is real, much greater than chemical..." --Dennis M. Bushnell, Chief Scientist, NASA Langley Research Center

    "Energy density many orders of magnitude over chemical." Michael A. Nelson, NASA

    "Total replacement of fossil fuels for everything but synthetic organic chemistry." --Dr. Joseph M. Zawodny, NASA

    According to Forbes, electricity will be "too cheap to meter" if Rossi's Oct 28 demonstration succeeds: http://www.forbes.com/sites/markgibbs/2011/10/17/hello-cheap-energy-hello-brave-new-world/

    Here's the latest, according to MSNBC it passed the test: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45153076/ns/technology_and_science-science/#.TrNo9rJqwe4

    By the way, here is a current survey of all the companies that are bringing LENR to commercialization: http://www.cleantechblog.com/2011/08/the-new-breed-of-energy-catalyzers-ready-for-commercialization.html

    1. Chemist

      "LENR Primer "

      Are we supposed to take any of this cr*p as evidence ?

    2. Mike Richards Silver badge

      Unlikely

      Not just because of physics, but nickel + hydrogen under very high pressures is a staple part of modern chemistry for making everything from margarine to hydrogenating coal. If copper was a result - even in very small quantities - it would poison the catalyst and this would have been recorded in the chemistry texts.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I liked this quote about another so-called power generation from hydrogen

      "The company is therefore dependent on investors with deep pockets and shallow brains.""

    4. Schultz
      Thumb Down

      Swarm idiocy

      According to the statistics in your reference ttp://lenr-canr.org..., the field of LENR is slowly dying out (continuous drop in papers since the thoroughly debuked 1989 cold fusion hype). Three cheers for science, which once again scores a - slow - win against swarm idiocy.

  8. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Checked the metal prices?

    Is the claimed energy output enough to cover the $ loss of converting nickel to copper? Nickel's price is currently over twice copper's, and it would become even more expensive if this worked.

    Flying in the face of the laws of physics AND economics simultaneously!

    1. Chemist

      Well actually ...

      Rossi is claiming in his provisional patent that 56 g ( 1 mole) of nickel will produce energy equivalent to 30000 tonnes of crude oil so I guess the economics would be favourable.

      However I think the whole thing is nonsense

  9. Robert Heffernan

    Forget Investment...

    If this was real, forget trying to find investors, you would have the Nobel committee throwing millions of dollars in prize money at you!

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      @Forget Investment...

      Considering the millions-billions that governments spunk on useless projects (think UK failed ID cards) I think it is worth the odd few £100k to conclusively prove or disprove such schemes. It would provide a public display of the scientific method which one might hope would make them more critical of marketing claims, and might just occasionally turn up a fabulous new discovery.

      A lot of 'science' suffers from the same human failing of dogmatic belief that religion has, that a new idea must be wrong because its not fitting to established theory. Often that is true, but every so often we get something major that initially is dismissed as crank theory (e.g plants having sexuality, relativity vs Newtonian mechanics, quantum vs classical physics, maybe something new with the pro-ported FTL neutrinos...).

      So lets support this prize and see if we can get proof one way or another.

      1. The Jase

        "I think it is worth the odd few £100k to conclusively prove or disprove such schemes"

        Science changes. As we get new data and learn new techniques, things may change. We could disprove it for now, but things may be different in 20 years. Its why I love science, if you can back up what you claim, and others can reproduce your results, your ideas will be accepted.

        Cold fusion seems to be the same thing as Homeopathy. Its had a long time to prove itself and constantly fails.

        1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

          @The Jase

          There are two issues here: the first is what might explain such a generator. That could run for years...

          The second is much simpler, Andrea Rossi claims to have built such a machine, so it should be simple to set up a controlled experiment to establish if it produces more power than is input, and for sufficient time to not be explained by internal chemical means.

          If so, then the first issue merits more serious work.

        2. charlesfrith

          A hundred years is not a long time my friend. The ECAT is real. Wait for it to hit market before you cast judgement.

          1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

            @charlesfrith ...

            ... without proper proof (scientific method, replicated by others, etc) this thing has as much chance of coming to the market as my cat's hairballs. No proof, no investment, no coming to market - all very simple. It is beyond all reasoning that, if this effect is real, it has not been demonstrated for other scientists to examine properly, and to replicate in their own labs.*

            Don't get me wrong - I would dearly love this thing to real. However, there is nothing to suggest this is any more real than the imaginings of sc-fi writers.

            * Please don't tell me that you are frightened that the idea would get stolen, or suppressed by "big business", because that would make sure that I could not take anything you say seriously.

      2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Holmes

        > lot of 'science' suffers from the same human failing of dogmatic belief that religion has

        This B.S. is repeatedly professed as truth by "soft" science academics, "truthers" and people how think that math has been invented by The Man to put down the peasants. But it's just not true. You may have to *wait* thirty years for attitudes to be reoriented until the egos occupying the ivory tower have died, but compare this to the 4000+ years that humanity has been plagued by abrahamic religions.

        > dismissed as crank theory

        > e.g plants having sexuality

        WAHT!

        > relativity vs Newtonian mechanics

        history shows that it wasn't dismissed as "cranky" AT ALL, indeed it gave a fresh look at the problems that others tried to crack with unwieldy and bizarre ideas given EXPERIMENTAL EVIDENCE. Hard-core Newtonians weren't happy. They were wrong.

        > quantum vs classical physics

        history shows that it wasn't dismissed as "cranky" AT ALL, indeed it gave a fresh look at the problems that others tried to crack with unwieldy and bizarre ideas given EXPERIMENTAL EVIDENCE. Hard-core Classicists (like Einstein) weren't happy. They were wrong.

    2. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Sadly you wouldn't

      The Nobel science prizes tend to be awarded 5-10 years after the work was done.

    3. charlesfrith

      No you wouldn't. You don't understand how the world works at all do you?

  10. amanfromearth
    Flame

    Here's a link to a proper refutation of Rossi's nonsense by a proper physicist.

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2011/11/andrea-rossi-pressure-and-boiling-point.html

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And here's a link to a potential explanation by an even more proper physicist:

      http://www.physics.purdue.edu/people/faculty/yekim/BECNF-Ni-Hydrogen.pdf

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ah that wonderfully peer reviewed journal blogspot

      1. Adam-the-Kiwi

        re: peer-review

        To be fair, peer-review isn't possible until Rossi releases some information on how it works. He's not going to do that until he can get it protected by patents (he claims). Patents aren't going to be granted (except in Italy) because the "invention" breaches the currently-understood laws of physics.

        This is not a comment on whether Rossi's claims are true or not - BUT: he is acting exactly like a man who (believes he) is telling the truth, (believes he) has a world-changing invention and wants to protect it. I suspect a knowling fraud would not be making his "invention" so public, where it falls under the scrutiny of people who know what they're talking about.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          breaches the currently-understood laws of physics.

          No explanation is necessary for patents. Just describing a mechanism in sufficient detail that "those skilled in the art" can replicate it is sufficient.

          1. Adam-the-Kiwi

            re: No explanation is necessary for patents.

            From physorg:

            Rossi and Focardi have applied for a patent that has been partially rejected in a preliminary report. According to the report, “As the invention seems, at least at first, to offend against the generally accepted laws of physics and established theories, the disclosure should be detailed enough to prove to a skilled person conversant with mainstream science and technology that the invention is indeed feasible. … In the present case, the invention does not provide experimental evidence (nor any firm theoretical basis) which would enable the skilled person to assess the viability of the invention. The description is essentially based on general statement and speculations which are not apt to provide a clear and exhaustive technical teaching.”

            1. Fred 4

              Not taking sides here - but -

              >“As the invention seems, at least at first, to offend against the generally accepted laws of physics and established theories, the disclosure should be detailed enough to prove to a skilled person conversant with mainstream science and technology that the invention is indeed feasible..."

              so-- a person with a 2nd grade education, through what ever means, invents a device that does something. S/he has no idea how the device works, from a physics or any other 'learned profession'. Yet the device does work, and it does do what the inventor says. Does this mean he cant patent it? as he cant explain how it works??

              for a simple example:

              meat goes in here -> I turn this handle -> sausage comes out there ->

              it is possible, has happened in the past, will probably happen in the future, person wants to do something, doesnt know "Its Not Possible", through trial & error, and blind luck, they actually *do* the 'impossible'. After which the theorists come in look at said device and figure out how it happened.

              1. Chemist

                "Not taking sides here - but - #"

                No, if you show evidence that it works and describe how to make one AND it's a novel device you'll get a patent. After all why not esp. as if it doesn't work or turns out to be uncommercial no-one will want to license it anyway

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re:re: No explanation is necessary for patents.

              They rejected this because there was no evidence presented of this device working and insufficient information to enable people to check it's extraordinary claim. The point about the "laws of physics" is the usual one that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof - if he provides more evidence and detail the patent is likely to be granted.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          >"he is acting exactly like a man who (believes he) is telling the truth"

          He is /also/ acting exactly like a man who is fraudulently hyping a worthless snake-oil-powered perpetual motion machine, and when we've had people acting in this way in the past, they've always turned out to be deluded cranks or conscious frauds, so I won't be playing against the odds by investing.

          1. Adam-the-Kiwi

            re: /also/ acting exactly like a man who is fraudulently hyping...

            Yes, possibly, although I'd tend more towards deluded crank than conscious fraud - as I said, if he knows he's being fraudulent, then he's doing a pretty bad job of keeping his head sufficiently below the parapet to get away with it when it does all prove to be less than he claims.

      2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Holmes

        Well, it *is* Lubos. If he isn't doing defending String Theory by Vociferous Attack or commenting on politics, you should be able to trust him.

  11. Shane 4
    Facepalm

    Grow up!

    The world is flat too and we revolve around the sun, Stupid people sigh..... ;)

    Wether it turns out to be bullshit or not at least he is trying to make something what is everyone else doing except whinging and bitching about it.

    No matter how rediculous it may seem now, Maybe something can be learned from just doing it instead of talking about how not to do it. Got to start somewhere otherwise you get nowhere!

    If even just a minute little thing can come of this it opens new paths that can be experimented on,And if it turns out to be a scam then his credibility is over and will be rideculed, Until it is proven either way grow up and give the man a chance, The applause or mocking can come afterwards.

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge
      FAIL

      "The man" is his own worst enemy

      Yes, you are correct that there might be something to look at (I'm not sufficiently au fait with physics to know), but unless he actually lets other people look at the thing, he deserves no applause, and only mocking. Exceptional claims demand exceptional evidence, and the loon is giving no evidence at all.

  12. anarchic-teapot
    Thumb Up

    Well, done El Reg

    I've been despairing at just how bad even supposedly serious newspapers are at engaging their critical faculties when it comes to reporting fantastical claims. The worst is probably health and medicine, with expensive, useless (and sometimes dangerous) "advice" being promulgated, often to the financial advantage of a named charlatan.

    It's is bullshit, call it bullshit. Rock on.

  13. charlesfrith

    I would waste my time with every pseudo sceptical ass hat debunker

    Debunkers are without fail a bunch of time wasting pricks. The man is changing the world and doesn't need a debunkers approval. Why don't people wait for it to hit the market. Then do your debunking.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Boffin

      Debunk first, not afterwards

      Because, until the device "hits the market" (if ever) the "inventor" will need Lotsa Money[TM] which will come from people gullble enough to believe him, some of whom may not be able to financially absorb the non-return of their "investment".

    2. Dr Dan Holdsworth Silver badge
      Stop

      Steorn are over *there*

      Rossi, Steorn, Fleishmann+Pons; they're all very much the same grade of moron. Until the reaction can be demonstrated in a properly controlled and reproducible scientific experiment, then it remains merely an unsubstantiated claim and nothing more.

      There is a set procedure for new, revolutionary claims. Do the work quietly in secret then quietly patent the process. Then, once again quietly you get a number of scientific colleagues to try the method themselves and see how they get on, working independently of yourself. Then you expand this process, by which time if the process really IS revolutionary you'll have all the publicity you actually need or could ever desire.

      What you don't do is put out press releases before going to the scientific community. Assuming there's a good deal of healthy competition in the sector of science you're working in, as is the case for 95% of the scientific community (note that I am excluding the wilder climate change bunch here, as their funding depends on repeated doom-saying), then one's scientific colleagues are going to be mostly honest and decent folk. This is how scientific review of papers works; you assume honesty in the community, and any complete crap tends to get called before it is published.

      Every so often though, highly respected journals like Nature and Science and their ilk get a yen to shake up the scientific community by publishing some highly controversial but interesting paper. Nature published a paper by Beveniste which claimed that immune system cells could be affected by even minute dilutions of certain chemicals; essentially a demonstration of homeopathy in a controlled environment. The paper drove the medical world wild (as Nature hoped it would) and a full investigation was called, involving proper respected scientists and a respected stage magician (a person who makes a living fooling people is ideal for preventing said foolery taking place). The investigation repeated the work, imposing very strong double-blind controls and rather large sample sizes to reduce statistical error. The reported effects disappeared completely.

      This sort of investigation wants doing on all these "free energy" claims; proper scientific investigation. Going public, looking for investors and generally trying to circumvent the scientific process is a red flag, and usually indicated a scam artist at work.

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The man is CLAIMING to change the world

      What we actually need are MORE skeptics not fewer !

      The present deluge of illogic and pseudo-science is a sad testament to the lack of scientific education and the inability of many people to cope with reality or indeed think for themselves

      1. SeeSider
        Stop

        You're' 'aving a laugh aren't you? How old are you? Leaping on the bandwagon, eh?

    5. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge
      WTF?

      What the hell ...

      ... does "pseudo sceptical" mean? That someone is not really sceptical?

      Believe me, I am very, very really sceptical.

      The time-wasting is being done by people like you claiming an effect that stretches the laws of physics, but without going through the proper procedure.

  14. Mage Silver badge

    Oh noe

    Someone has kidnapped the Hogfather and there is excess belief sloshing about,

    E E "doc" Smith's original 1930s books more believable, and they were meant to be fun gobledegook

  15. Charles Augustus Milverton

    The how comes later

    Somewhere at the back of my mind is the idea that there was one (or more) battery that was in common use before it's exact chemical workings were fully understood (lead-acid ?).

    The problem that this, or any other cold fusion device, may seem to break or bend what is currently doctrine about physics should be no bar to it's use. Either it works or it's a sham. If it works, use it, and explain how it works later.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Read and think before spamming this forum with your negative bile

    http://www.mail-archive.com/vortex-l%40eskimo.com/msg59278.html:

    This applies to most of you too. Read about things properly, stop being so arrogant.

    "You say that, and I think you are sincere. But your actions prove you are deceiving yourself. You despise cold fusion. You are working tirelessly to prevent funding and destroy the field. Whenever it is mentioned in the mass media, you go to the comment section and fill it with unfounded, ignorant blather, technical mistakes about papers you have not read, guilt by associations, and baseless accusations of fraud. You and hundreds of others like you poison the well and destroy people's lives and careers with your reckless accusations. You think it is all a game, and words have no consequences. You pretend this does not matter.

    Ask yourself: Have you ever once, in the mass media, mentioned that there is quality work out there, or 'I favor funding for cold fusion'? You say it here, to this audience. Have you written at Time magazine, or Fox News? I doubt it.

    You remind of elderly white bigots in Georgia who say they got along well with black people and loved them like family. Yet these people were in charge until the 1970s, and they maintained race divided schools in Atlanta, where the black schools had no books, no laboratory equipment, filthy bathrooms with backed up toilets, and such crowded classes that half the kids attended in the morning, and half in the afternoon, and most dropped out. This was a machine intended to destroy lives and keep people in dire poverty. The older people deny that is how things were. They say

    they didn't know, they never saw it. They deny it was their fault. But it was their fault."

    If you've bothered to read any of the history in this field since 1989, you'll see that Robert Park (notably silent on this very topic) has been responsible for destroying many careers due to his arrogance.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      FAIL

      And your point is?

      The "they laughed at Columbus" argument doesn't make unscientific twaddle any more plausible, and socio-demographic stuff is a totally different kettle of fish, with no bearing whatsoever on the hard sciences that chemistry and physics are.

      Repeatable experiments are what lend credence to new developments, however implausible they may seem. Comments like yours do not.

  17. SunVerTech
    Alert

    Up the ante

    So how do we add to this prize money ?

    We have innovative products that could go into limbo if such devices turn from very unlikely to probable.

    I for one would gladly part with say $10000- of my money for some certainty.

    How would we formally increase it to $AU210000-.

    1. Winkypop Silver badge
      Devil

      One word

      Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence

      OK, maybe five...

  18. charlesfrith

    Don't waste time with the pseudo sceptical debunkers. They are in the way of progress.

  19. Brian Miller 1
    FAIL

    "pseudo sceptical debunkers"? What does that even mean?

    A few things I would like to say.

    @ Amanfromearth vs AC "peer review". - Neither of the links come from peer reviewed journals. The Purdue Uni paper is unpublished. Also it doesn't have any mathematics in it at all to back up anything that is written. The author makes bold statements without reference to the actual calculations used to predict temperatures where reaction could occur for example. The blogspot article has maths to back it up and relevant observations of misleading/misunderstood basic scientific principles from the inventor.

    As per title, what the hell is a pseudo sceptic? somebody who doesn't believe, but really they do because they are faking their disbelief? And if they are a debunker that implies some form of historical success at debunking, meaning that they have already achieved their goal.

    If anything it is the attitude and fanaticism of the supporters that make me think this is a hoax. When people bring emotions into physics you know that they are either clueless or fraudsters.

    1. SeeSider
      FAIL

      Hmm

      Like your emotions, perhaps?

  20. Anonymous Coward 15
    Joke

    Maybe the ancient space lizards

    will come and show us how *they* did cold fusion!!1!

    (Joke alert, because it sounds like some people in this thread would otherwise think I'm not just serious, but correct.)

    1. Gannon (J.) Dick
      Happy

      I know you asked me not to ...

      ... but where does "Calm down and let the Ancient Space Lizards do their investigation" fit in the "Fair and Balanced / Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes ?" spectrum ?

      Is this how IT's hand feels at dinner time, El Reg ?

  21. Jim Hague
    Thumb Down

    Par for the SMH course

    Back around '97 the dear old SMH reported breathlessly on a homegrown talent who had apparently produced a codec capable of sending full screen full motion video and audio over a dialup modem link.

    Of course no technical details could be disclosed or anything seen other than a staged demo with no opportunity to kick the tyres offered, because of pending patent applications and confidential talks with potential investors etc. etc.

    15 years later I'm still waiting for this technology to arrive. Funny, that.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Holmes

      Nah

      That happens about every 5 years. It happen in '92 too with compression below the theoretical minimum, but I can't find the "ZOMG GREAT" and "LOL SCEPTICAL" articles from Byte back...

    2. Toastan Buttar
      WTF?

      There was an outfit offering broadband rates over dial-up in the UK called Juice Boosted.

      http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/52121

      Such fun!

    3. Vic

      > a codec capable of sending full screen full motion video and audio over a dialup modem link.

      H.324 was designed to do exactly that task - although I'd have to get a marketroid to make the "full screen full motion" claim.

      But I certainly achieved 15fps QCIF over a V.34 modem. And that was my goal.

      Vic.

  22. Graham Bartlett
    Boffin

    Wired article

    http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2011-11/06/cold-fusion-heating-up?page=1

    The really interesting part, as Wired says, is that Rossi isn't asking for random investors to put money in. Instead he's selling them on approval. If the buyers find they don't work, they hand them back and don't pay for them, and all they've lost is some engineering time. This isn't your typical scam behaviour. Of course the early buyers could be shills, or perhaps there are no early buyers at all (we can't see Rossi's bank accounts, after all). Still though, if it's a con then he's working on the scale of global megacorps or national governments, who (a) can afford the losses, and (b) have the resources to nail him to the wall if they find they've been screwed over.

  23. wheel

    Patents...

    Here's what I'm confused by. If Rossi won't allow peer review before he gets a patent, why is he happy to sell units before he gets a patent. Surely there is ample scope for reverse engineering?

    If the US Navy was indeed his first customer, I would imagine the unit is already in little bits, being scrutinized by their top people.

  24. sueme2
    Black Helicopters

    free shit

    You will get free energy by pissing in the wind. Give it a try before they ban it and close it down..

  25. Rogan Paneer

    Oh Mullumbimby

    Mullumbimby? a great little town, once famed for growing the disastrously potent strain of dope known as 'Mullumbimby madness'. Think of an semi-tropical combination of Midsomer and Royston Vasey populated by ageing hippies. No wonder it's the target for this scam.

  26. Tim Worstal

    15 years back

    Someone tried an LENR scam on me. Said he could make gold from lead.

    Yeah, yeah, I know.

    Then one question he didn't answer was "If you can turn something worth $400 a tonne into something worth $12 million a tonne then why do you need investment?"

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Coat

      @Tim Worstal

      Maybe he wanted to do it by throwing something worth $11.999.600 a tonne at the tonne of lead, akin to the old millionaire's adage "the best way to make a million is to start with a billion". In which case he would quite need a bit of investment.

  27. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    SMH's follow-up

    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/energy-smart/more-fizzer-than-fusion-so-dicks-not-energised-20120114-1q0fv.html

    "Sol Millin, a local retiree and founder of The Byron New Energy Charitable Trust, spoke first, hoping to convince investors. But when it was time for the link-up, the phone didn't ring. And it didn't ring.

    Mr Millin told The Sun-Herald: ''I thought it was better if Dr Rossi rang us. He is a very important man and a very busy man and I didn't want to keep him waiting.''

    But they had their wires crossed, their timing out of sync. Each was expecting the other to call."

    Hahaha.

  28. TeeCee Gold badge
    FAIL

    Thought experiment.

    If you had a "makes energy from nothing" box that you'd invented would you:

    a) Keep it close to your chest and work your cobs off touting for a bit money from punters for "futher development" of it.

    b) Demonstrate it working under scientifically controlled conditions, show how it works, become overnight the richest and most famous man on the entire bloody planet and never have to work again?

    So he's either very stupid or a con artist then. As very stupid people don't tend to come up with astonishingly clever inventions, Occam's razor says con.

  29. Arfur Phuquesaque
    Stop

    LENR is real

    I'm amazed that no one has mentioned THE go-to website for all things LENR and an intelligent, reasonably skeptical investigator named Steven Krivit. If you want science, rather than ill-informed opinion and blathering egos, this is the place to go. He has extensively investigated Rossi and shown him to be a fraud.

    The website is http://www.newenergytimes.com/ and is a must for anyone seriously investigating this, very real, phenomenon. Its not cold fusion, but that doesn't mean there's not something very interesting happening.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019