Cold Confusion

This is a page that will accumulate common confusions about cold fusion, Rossi v. Darden, and other related issues.

Many people get their news from social media, discussion fora, etc., and memes arise and propagate. There are some that I have seen repeatedly, so here is one place to cover them and, hopefully, clear up some confusion, amid a profusion of rumor and misinterpretation. As always, comment is open and notice of errors is appreciated, or even error about errors! After all, if a reader thinks something is wrong, it either is incorrect or I, quite possibly, have poorly expressed what I know or think I know.

Did Industrial Heat demand that Andrea Rossi provide them with IP at the same time as they were declaring it worthless?

I have seen this several times. In a recent incarnation, on Lenr-forum, kevmolenr wrote:

Why did IH countersue to get Rossi’s IP if it was worthless?

IH did not do that. There is a  “prayer for relief” from the final version of the Answer and Counterclaim. There is nothing there about “getting IP.” Kevmo also asks:

IH countersued asking for his IP. Did they or did they not obtain transfer of the IP after it was Validated according to that first report?: They obviously paid for it. What IP was IH countersuing for?

The “prayer” is where a plaintiff asks the court to determine and order something. This is it:

WHEREFORE, Counter-Plaintiffs respectfully request that the Court enter judgment in
their favor and against Counter-Defendants and Third Party Defendants as follows:
i. For compensatory and expectation damages and/or restitution in an amount to be
determined at trial;
ii. For costs of suit and for attorneys’ fees and costs;
iii. For pre-judgment interest; and
iv. For such other and further relief as this Court deems just and proper.

Others have explained the sequence of events. “IP” refers to “intellectual property,” and has two aspects: knowledge (“know-how”) and licensed rights. Industrial Heat was not happy with the conditions of the Validation Test, but it appears to me that they had decided to pinch their nose and go ahead, because they very much needed to know if Rossi had a real technology, Rossi’s claims were depressing investment in other LENR research. Why fund something that might produce a few watts if Rossi was producing kilowatts?

It is quite clear that IH essentially gave Rossi what he wanted, including allowing his friend Penon to be the “Engineer Responsible for Validation.” So though the Validation test stank, they accepted it, and the escrow transfer took place, which included an alleged transfer of what was needed to make the technology work.

IH claimed that, following instructions, and with the active assistance of Rossi, they were never able to show confirmed positive results.

In the settlement that ended the trial, reached after opening remarks and Rossi’s attorneys were setting up to begin their presentation, IH walked, giving up the IP, and no further exchange of funds either way. Often Planet Rossi has wondered why they had not accepted Rossi’s (alleged) offer, before he sued, to return the $10 million paid for the IP, to cancel the Agreement.

First, it is not clear that there ever was an offer. Second, they had invested, not just the $1.5 million for the reactor and $10 million for the IP, but perhaps a total of $25 million, including what they had paid Ampenergo, if I’m correct, as part of that, $5 million to surrender the U.S. rights. They considered it possible that Rossi did, in fact, have a technology, but had not disclosed it. If the technology were real, it could be worth a trillion dollars. Even a very small possibility of that would be worth holding on to the licence.

However, it appears that Rossi’s attorney convinced Rossi to walk as well, and then he could point out to IH that it was going to cost them millions of dollars to win, if they could win, and they might not recover their expenses. The $10 million payment was a done deal, Rossi’s attorneys would have argued estoppel , and to prove actual fraud in that validation test would have been difficult. The fraud that IH was claiming was over Rossi’s machinations to create the Doral fake guaranteed performance test, the fake customer, etc.

IH needed to decide to go ahead, very likely losing money (even if they “won”), or accept their losses and move on in LENR research with Woodford support. If they had believed there was even one chance in a thousand of Rossi Reality, I don’t think they would have let go of the license,  they would have negotiated some compromise.

They concluded, I infer, that there was not even that much chance that the technology was real. In mercato veritas. The real market decided that Rossi’s E-cats were, with high certainty, worthless.

Many have claimed that they were foolish. I don’t think so. They needed to know, it was important to them, and they paid to find out, and they found out, to their satisfaction. My sense is that their boldness in investing in Rossi impressed Woodford Fund, and they obtained $50 million, so they doubled the money they could put into LENR research, and Woodford committed another $150 million if needed.

Rossi was angry that IH was investing in other approaches, calling them “competitors.” IH was actually interested in the science, and has funded research, including LENR theory. IH had no obligation to work exclusively with Rossi. Rossi also believed that they were disclosing his “secrets” to others. In fact, they had the right to do that, there was no non-disclosure agreement by IH. (The settlement agreement cancelled that right.) But Rossi’s secrets were worthless.


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6 thoughts on “Cold Confusion”

  1. Interesting on LENR forum. The thread about IH offering Rossi a buyout elicited a “not unusual” thumbs up for Rossi and a bit of shade for IH from Alan Smith. My “to the point” response to him, but not derogatory or insulting, got me a threat of a ban if I did not drop the subject. Again, no insult nor derogatory language or intent was involved in my post.

    I had been previously informed that I was not to broach the subject of Alan’s refusal to provide a report on his visitation of the Stockholm event. His visitation that was at least partially funded by contributions from posters, albeit donations Alan did not ask for, but none the less did accept.

    So when this threat of ban was given me, for reason far exceeded and abused by others on the forum, I was a bit shocked and considered the subject must be very fragile. I did not agree to be censored and in a polite reply requesting exactly why the threat of ban was given, I was banned.

    No statement has been given that I was banned (or reason) so several posts have been made by others in response to my last posted statement. I am now unable to respond to those due to the ban and so now it will appear I have disappeared or am ignoring respones.

    This is quite sad. My posts had factual foundation and were logical. Even admitted so by the mod who evidently banned me. The only reason given was that I had been given a warning and that
    “We just can not have that anymore from you. I suggest you move on permanently as you suggest.”

    They cannot have that from me? Really? There are literally hundreds of posts far, far worse, more insulting, baseless, clearly without fact and trollish than mine. Yet “they cannot have that from me”! I am truly amazed.

    So alas, LENR Forum is morphing into another ECW clone. You follow what the mods want or get banned. They want to stoke silly debate to keep up the post count. But apparently one thing the mods do not want, is to be held accountable for their own posts! The very thing I was posting about was hypocrisy and this is a prime example.

    I just wish they would man up and state that I was banned so others do not think I am ignoring them. Oh well! If this is the worse thing that happens to me today, it has been a good day!

    So I join you in the banned from LENR Forum Club! :0

    1. Welcome to, that has, as a goal, the creation of genuine community, not yet another private, secretly-dominated star chamber that hosts apparently open discussion, that isn’t. At least you were warned, though.

      For reference, Bob’s last two posts on LF. His member name is shown with a lock. is Shane D.’s warning.

      When I was banned, no explanation was given.

      I’m not going to allow fully-anonymous administration here, and posts and pages created by anonymous users will require approval, but people who are willing to stand by what they write, may be granted author privileges and more. At this point, I’m the Owner, so I am ultimately responsible for what I allow here. I do allow anonymous comments, but there is no promise that all will remain visible. I will protect privacy, but there are also limits (it’s really the same with Wikipedia). I will look at what happened on LF. Your story is not surprising, though.

      You are better off. LF cannot be used to build useful content. It’s like hanging out in a bar, having “meaningful conversations” — or arguments about “important issues” — with the other habitues. There are far better ways to spend time that can actually build value, extend education, and support engaging others in supporting LENR research, building genuine consensus or at least clarifying issues.

      Alan Smith is to be congratulated for getting his hands dirty with real work, but never should have been allowed to dominate moderation at LF. He is radically unsuited for it. But positions like that attract people like that, and the real responsibility is with the Owner, who would see him as a valuable asset. And there you go. If the community tolerates it, it succeeds, for a time.

      1. The full text of Shane D.’s comment:

        Bob wrote:
        Is truth to be squelched or should it speak for itself? If truth is to be censored here on this forum, then I will move on permanently. I have no desire to live on Planet Rossi such as at ECW. Is this forum to become “Planet Atom Ecology”? Yes, Ackland banned me from ECW for the very same reason… not insulting nor baseless posts, but posts with supporting evidence that was critical of Rossi and could not be offset. It appears the same law is being applied here to A.S.

        I am equally disappointed in you Bob, for putting me in this situation. All I asked was to lay off a fellow Mod. He has been a good sport about it, even after repeated dredging up of the same two complaints you have against him. Yes, when first mentioned, they were legitimate. Just regular conversation. Even the second time, but you admittedly are well past that, and added yet another just now. It is at a point where it is no doubt personal. You seem to want to want to martyr yourself over this, as some type of champion of free internet speech.

        We just can not have that anymore from you. I suggest you move on permanently as you suggest. I am willing to leave this as a soft ban, where you exile yourself. You will be able to stay a member, but no longer comment on Stockholm, Alan S., directly or indirectly. If those conditions are unsatisfactory, I can make it an official ban. Your choice.

        My opinion. I did this many times on WMF wikis. If I had seen the conversation, usually I would see it after the user was blocked, I advised the user to realize:
        1. common allowance of relatively free speech does not indicate that it is always free, nor should it be, there are better ways to support reality and honesty than through blatant defiance of authority.
        2. full expression can be better found in another place (for example the Wikipedia critique sites, though most of them suffer from arbitrary censorship as well.)
        3. if you want almost total freedom, start a blog. And if you want to lose the blog, if the host asks you to remove material, argue with them without developing rapport.
        4. if you want to be unblocked, in your unblock request, never argue that the block was wrong. It is a losing argument, always! Instead, identify the behavior that was considered offensive, show that you understand the issue, and commit to avoiding the behavior. And keep the commitment.
        5. then follow process to gain consensus for what you want to do, if process exists. Support others. Better: do it and connect off-site. Warning: free speech is dangerous to the speaker.

    2. One more suggestion: create an alternate account on LF, and do not use it in any way that can be considered disruptive. In fact, best if you do not post with it at all. But you can use it to contact other members whom you believe would welcome contact. (They can detect IP, but I don’t suggest hiding at first. They are unlikely to even notice, if they care. What most moderators will care about is disruption and they are unlikely to go after you with a vengeance, but if they do, you can repeat it using an open proxy or library or other independent access.) The LF structure is primitive, compared to, say, MediaWiki. WordPress is not all that sophisticated, either, but I am committed to the creation of genuine community, which requires freedom of association. As with any assembly of people, if the group grows, unrestricted speech can and will create noise problems, but there are ways to deal with that without becoming fascist.

      1. Thank you for your thoughts.
        I believe it best for me, at least for now, is to put this whole subject and blog participation in LENR behind me.

        I see nothing on the brink of significant discovery in the near future. At one time, the project Alan Smith was involved in appeared to be significant.
        However, it now appears to be smoke. Russ George exhibits many traits of Rossi and after some reading of his history, does not appear to be viable in this area. Alan Smith has proven not to be trustworthy in reporting negative findings or presenting scientific reality in certain situations. I predict that the project will fade just as his others have.

        I was facinated by the wide variance of views associated with the Rossi drama. A seemingly clear case, several intelligent people were taken in by Rossi’s machinations or refusing to admit they were fooled. This was fascinating

        Then this last ban, when Shane, a relative new moderator on LENR Forum banned me, it made me realize little benefit was to be gained in staying.

        Shane is a long time LENR follower and former Rossi believer. He seemed to be a level and open minded thinker. But now being a mod, evidently he has either been pressured by Alan and/or LENR staff or has had his vision clouded by the position.

        The ban I was given (and reasoning) is laughable compared to the large volume of direct insult, attack and guile posted by others. The difference was that my posts called out Alan and they could not be disputed. If one cannot defend ones position, ban them!

        This was unexpected from Shane. He compromised his integrity of truth and trust of logic.

        While sad, it made me realize there is little on LENR Forum that has value. The continuing Rossi blather, while a bit of entertainnent, is of almost no value. I believe the Atom Ecology project is delusion. Little else is reported.

        So, no, at this point I believe my time is better spent on other interest. Life is too short to spend time on Rossi or LENR Forum. Especially if it causes people to lose thier objectivity such as Shane.

        “People do not want to hear the truth because they do not want thier illusions destroyed” – Neitzsche

        A rampant example is the LENR saga in many cases.

        Best wishes on your pursuits. Your commentary over the past few years on LENR and the Rossi fiasco was appreciated and highly superior to 99.9% of other posts on the forums. Job well done!


        1. Thank you. I must say, however, that in his shoes, given what I saw, what I’d have done you might not also have liked. (I probably would have repeated the warning. But admins dealing with many disruptive users have a tendency to lose patience.) Basic rule, for forum survival, when an administrator or moderator says “Shut up!”, STFU! I understand that it seems (and probably is), “unfair.” But what would be the harm in simply stopping? and letting the smoke clear? If you want to write about the situation, do it elsewhere! You don’t know what is going on behind the scenes.

          The Forum has an Owner. It is obvious that the Owner supports Alan. Should Shane blow the whistle! I don’t know and it is not my decision to make. As to Alan reporting on the Stockholm demonstration, he did. He saw nothing worth reporting on! He was not impressed, obviously. What did you want, for him to wax eloquent on Andrea Rossi’s socks? It’s is privilege to report more than that or not.

          Alan Smith has certainly been an asshole, and he’s never cleaned up the mess, but, I’m going to repeat this, LF is not owned by the community, it is owned by Nyberg, and he has ultimate authority. The admin and mods do all the work for him. Few people are willing to do what it takes to create a forum, and LF has inertia. It’s horrible, always has been, it’s a terrible way to build content of value. But that’s not what it is. As I wrote, it’s like the neighborhood bar. If the owner of the bar says “Shut up!”, argue with him or her and you will be out on your ear.

          It’s that simple. When I was banned, I made inquiries. I was simply told that the situation was hopeless. As a result of the first ban, I created this blog, and with the second, I put much more energy into it. All that was good news for me! Instead of focusing on how unfair those assholes were, focus on why you might have created the ban? What would be the purpose for it, if we imagine you have some guiding force. How is the ban Good News?

          All this says nothing about the field of LENR. People I trust say that we are likely to see some very good news this year.

          Meanwhile I am also expanding into nutrition and health, a field also covered by Gary Taubes (and attacked by some of the same people), it is where he went after writing Bad Science. This is another example of an Information Cascade, where bad science propagated socially, not through definitive controlled experiment or clear and unbiased analysis.

          In any case, thanks for your support.

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