Author Archive: Quax

Moving the Site

Just a quick housekeeping item:  In order to enable editable comments and because my ad free buy at wordpress.com expires this month, I will move the hosting of this blog.  Wordpress.com offers redirection at a reasonable price, so if everything goes to plan you will not notice much of a difference when coming to this blog, other than that comments will be editable like they used to be on ECN.

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Food for Thought (if you want to believe)

Peter Gluck lays out the up-hill struggle that LENR is facing, based on the premise that the physics holds up.  If you a hard-core sceptic this will of course appear like a long-winded rationalization of the dismal state of affairs with regards to the commercialization of this technology . (h/t spacegoat)

Mea Culpa – spam filter was acting up

My apologizes to all who commented here recently and then had the comments disappear.  The spam filter was acting up and suppressed many comments from ECN regulars.  I restored them all now.

Update: Frank pointed out that his comments started being filtered out at the same time across multiple blogs. Here is what I suspect happened:

If an admin on any WordPress site, rather than deleting your comments, marked them as spam, then this feeds back into the Askimet database. (Askimet being the spam filter software owned and operated by the WordPress makers). Hence you’d be automatically filtered at every WordPress site that has this spam filter enabled (the default setting).

It is one thing to disallow some comments on your own blog, but marking something as spam, when it is not, has wider repercussions and is significantly more sinister.

George H. Miley’s Vision

Too bad that the Dick Smith price expired.  This brain child of George H. Miley seem almost custom designed to pass the Dick Smith test with flying colors. He is entering the commercial LENR field with a bold vision for a LENR reactor, as has been reported at the various LENR sites (e.g. here were I stole above schematics).

So is this finally a serious contender, or just the latest attempt to get some investor money before the LENR believer bubble deflates?

LENR – Call for the Best Papers

Incendiary to conventional wisdom, but also real?

Update:  This overview of the field by Ed Storms presents what he obviously regards as the best LENR work.

Where there is lots of smoke, there isn’t necessarily a “new fire” (the latter a term Rossi emphatically embraced).  The failure of the (supposedly) commercial players to meet a single self-imposed deadline is certainly not helping the field, especially since many of it top proponents haven’t shied away from embracing Rossi.

So where does this leave this (still mostly ignored) fringe science? Any news that mainstream physics’ certainties are less well established than previously believed, e.g. such as the size of the proton, may give LENR enthusiasts hope. They may also take heart in the fact that an US Air Force report on Advanced Launch Concepts mentions LENR.  But in the end all this matters little if unusual LENR effects cannot be rigorously established through repeatable experiments.

To me one of the best aspects of ECN was detailed discussions of LENR papers in the comment sections.  My own limited experimental experiences consist of twenty year old mandatory lab time while pursuing my physics degree, and so it was very instructive to hear from commenters who apparently have quite a bit more experience in this regard.  So I invite anybody who still holds out on LENR to submit what experiments and papers they found most convincing.  My favorites are still Iwamura’s efforts, but I am aware that his papers are rather flawed as they don’t seem to properly account for the null hypothesis.

As to all the papers describing a heat effect, what I would really like to see is a comparison with the theoretical entropic heat that you’d expect if there was no abnormal effect.  Given todays computing powers, numerical simulations (e.g. this thesis paper for hydrogen gas loading) are not cost prohibitive and would go a long way to establish a proper baseline.

If there was a LENR paper out there, that goes this extra mile I’d be happy to learn about it.

And Another Milestone Passed …

Ecantnews regular, Frank, brought this to our attention:

The Dick Smith prize has expired yesterday, and nobody (Rossi, Defkalion, Celani, MFMP, Swartz, no one of Rossi’s secret clients …) has claimed the 1 Million. 

Another regular poster, i.e. DSM, set up Dick’s site and expressed at one point that he had high hopes that somebody would have come forward, but in the end Dick can keep his money and prove a point.

The long and sad death of ecatnews.com

As the ecatnews.com site has been left abandoned, it looks like this site will have to step up as a temporary home for the ragtag ecatnews community that keeps enjoying each others company.

This is a stock WordPress.com blog.  As such it does not allow for the kind of customizations of the comment system that this community was accustomed to.  I.e. here you have to get you comments right the first time, there’s no interface that allows for editing of comments, and since I don’t host the blog myself, I cannot change this.

Hence, if the lively ecatnews discussions will in fact migrate over here, I think this site will be only a stop-gap measure until I find the time to create something better. I.e. to get the comment editing functionality back and maybe also a customization that displays a user’s IP number – to alleviate concerns that the same person may impersonate several different users.

But getting back to the subject at hand: It seems that most posters have thoroughly soured on Rossi and Defkalion, but how is the believe in the reality of a genuine LENR effect holding up?  Maybe another micro poll is in order?

(Oh, and didn’t the general promise another tale?)

New LENR Sentiment Survey

It has been a while since the last survey.  Judging from the traffic on LENR sites interest has somewhat abated, but there is still a captive audience.  If you still pay attention to this story then please take this quick five minutes survey.

Defkalion Survey Results

Only 67 counts this time. Mostly due to massively less participation in the anglo-saxon world (lost just shy of 30 votes – NZ dropped off the map and there was only one UK vote versus 10 in the previous survey).  This makes the poll demographic slightly less centered on the Western 1st world than before. There are also some new nations in the mix i.e. Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Saudi Arabia (although one previous vote from China also went missing).

If you wonder where this data comes from as I did not ask participants about their nationality: This is based on IP identification and an automatic feature of polldaddy.com. I only learned about it after the first survey was completed.  So, to make up an example, if some random Dick Smith from Australia was travelling in Europe, but still partook in the poll, than this shows up as a vote from the country that he resided in at the time.

Although the smaller turn-out can have numerous reasons, I suppose it is due to decreasing interest in the Rossi/Defkalion story in the areas of the world where the story broke first and subsequently less traffic on the e-cat forums where I advertised the poll (mostly ecatnews.com, but also as a first to a limited extend on nickelpower.org).  If any of the site admins want to comment on the traffic trends that they see, I think that’ll be illuminating.

Enough with the tea leaf reading here are the raw count results of the last poll:

Overall consistency is pretty good i.e. the Hyperion can only be truly LENR if Defkalion has the know‑how and if one expects results in 3 months then logically they will also be out within the larger time window.

Despite the bad press fall-out from closing their online forum, Defkalion has still a plurality of the votes in favor of them having LENR skills. But this does not fully translate into believe that the Hyperion is actually a LENR device.  The claimed very short development time for the Hyperion probably takes its toll there.

The believe into Defkalion erodes further when it comes to sharing their test results.  Only 5 voters (less than 7.5%) are certain to see test results within 3 months.  Giving Defkalion three months more time raises this number only fractionally and is balanced equally by the number of hard-core doubters who never expect to see any test results.

When asked to make a black or white call a small majority (55%) votes in favor of Defkalion’s ability to bring a product to the market.

Only members of this group where then asked to render another absolute judgment. The question if Defkalion developed their Hyperion independently of Rossi, is a measure for uncompromising trust placed into the company, as this is what they claim.

Even within the “believer” segment only a small group (slightly larger than those expecting test results within 6 months) believe Defkalion’s claim without reservations.

Knowing how rambunctious the debate at ecatnews.com can become, I humbly submit to not use the knowledge that these true believers are in the minority, as a means to marginalize them even further. It takes a somewhat cynical outlook to recognize as well as assume fraudulent behaviour.  Those who believe without reservation typically do so because they entirely lack the capacity to any such deception, and find it inconceivable that others don’t.

On a somewhat related but personal note:  Although I made age non-mandatory I received one very puzzling entry.  It read: “100 (Sorry)“.

It seems very hard for me to believe that we have a 100 year old, Internet savy individual participating – but then again the world is a large and wondrous place.  If this wasn’t some compulsive joke or misunderstanding, then please leave a comment.

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