The Other Side

Because I’ve been studying Rossi v. Darden, I often am writing about Rossi’s blatant deceptions, which have come to be more than the raving of a yellow journalist about con artists and felons, they are now clearly evidenced in presented exhibits, and, as well, in the arguments Rossi has presented in his pleadings.

However, there is another side, and today, looking at something mentioned by Dewey Weaver, I came across this 2011 video, of Sergio Focardi‘s TedX talk, that presents it, clearly. The CC button will present subtitles, for me in English. I don’t know about other languages.

May he rest in peace.

Thanks to Frank Acland and for a written translation and then the later link to the captioned video.

I intend to write, here, about the implications of this talk, but I first wrote a specific critique of the talk, based on the translation, on a page for that.

Here, I will start with a word for those who have “believed in” Rossi or who decided that his work was worth serious investigation.

I do not wonder at that; I already understood, and this video nailed it.

More will be revealed.

Author: Abd ulRahman Lomax


17 thoughts on “The Other Side”

    1. Nice. Standard business advice about renegotiation. Rossi seems to believe that he already understands everything he needs to know about business, but then made claims in his lawsuit of being deluded in ways that any attorney would have prevented, such as believing that he had a deal with Cherokee Investment Partners when the Agreement had an Entire Agreement clause, imagining that Cherokee was a guarantor when no unwritten agreement like that, extending more than a year into the future, could be enforced (Statute of Frauds), things that any attorney would have told him. Rossi, explicitly, rejected renegotiation when I was allegedly suggested by IH. All really poor business moves.

    1. I think you are asking if IH could use Rossi IP to assist other developments. To understand this, it may be necessary to understand a contradiction in Rossi’s thinking. He believes his technology is protected by patents. If the patents do not disclose what is needed to create a practical application, the patents are invalid, unenforceable. However, there are trade secrets. Rossi’s Agreement with IH did not prohibit IH from disclosing his trade secrets. My opinion is that IH was allowed to sublicense the technology, and they could do this with anyone they chose. Rossi cannot prevent it, unless the License is invalidated, which will be very difficult for Rossi to accomplish if IH does not agree. IH is generally claiming or implying that Rossi IP is worthless. However, if someone applies Rossi’s patented IP, and makes functional devices, and if the patents are valid, Rossi would have a right to a licensing fee if they are operating in his territory. Not in the IH territory.
      Bottom line, if Rossi technology is applied and if his patents are valid, he could quite legitimately make a lot of money. But so can IH. Rossi’s reliance on trade secrets, however, may prove his undoing even if the technology is real. Rossi said he would sell his secret for $100 million. IH called his bluff, or appealed to his greed, whatever. They gave him what he wanted, and now he complains that they were unfair, even intending to defraud him. He appears to be going down fast.

  1. Sergio is the person A.R.
    was put in touch with to study
    the data from his test on the
    According to A.R. if he had
    given the data a thumbs down
    that would have been the end
    of the Ecat.

    1. Unfortunately, Sam, whatever is filtered through Rossi Says is unreliable. Focardi, as an aging researcher, now seeing what looked like confirmation of his earlier research, may have been inadequately skeptical. There are many possible artifacts in measuring heat. Sometimes there is an assumption that Big Heat must be real. There are measures of Big Heat that could not be easily faked, but my position in 2011 became that if fraud was possible, no measure was foolproof, which is why fully-independent confirmation is considered necessary for Breakthrough Science, particularly breakthroughs that conflict with ordinary expectations. Rossi always avoided that, until IH waved $100 million under his nose.

      Rossi was, from 2011, claiming he had one or more 1 MW reactors for sale, and he claimed to have sold them. From a study of Rossi Says, we know that Rossi will state some idea of a purchase, under negotiation perhaps, not actually delivered yet, nor necessarily paid for, as if it were a realized sale. He is not at all careful about creating misleading impressions, at the least. At the other end of the possible scale, he deliberately creates them, sometimes also setting up plausible deniability.

      In fact, Rossi sold a 1 MW Plant to IH, and was paid for it, with the License Agreement,, dated October 26, 2012. This Plant sat in Ferrara until delivery in August of 2013. From then on, as to what we now know, he could say that he sold a Plant. Did he sell any others? It seems unlikely. Why did he blow off Hydro Fusion? The License Agreement did not prohibit his relationship with Hydro Fusion. It simply required him to give IH a right of first refusal.
      Hydro Fusion was shown as a licensee in the IH License Agreement. The HF License, then, predated the IH License, and would not be voided by it. I see nothing that would prohibit a sale of a reactor to HF.

      I think that Focardi was innocent of all this, and possibly not aware of it. Krivit was beating the Fraud Drum, easily ignored. IH, on the other hand, would be very aware of the whole situation, I’d expect. My general assumption is that they did, in fact, do “due diligence,” and were fully aware of the risks. They wanted answers to questions that could not be answered without something like what they did, or some miracle.

        1. Thanks, Sam. I hope that those who post links, particularly to videos, will also show briefly what the linked source is about. Here, the posting comment was “Uploaded on Nov 16, 2011
          Filmed in Bologna October 6 by ECAT.COM. Prof. Focardi talks about why he think Rossi succeeded where others failed.”

          Something useful would be a transcript.

          We now know much more than was known then. The assumption that Rossi “succeeded” has become murky and much of it untenable. In October, 2011, Rossi first showed his “1 MW Plant.” Over six years later, there is still no clear independent confirmation that this Plant works, where Rossi is not heavily involved in the testing. Whether or not there is any excess energy at all from Plant operation remains murky and contaminated by evidence of fraudulent representation.

          (There could be some excess energy and also fraudulent — or deluded — representation, they are not mutually exclusive. Proof of no energy would be very difficult. Those who have tested Rossi devices might say, “we could not verify claims of excess heat,” honestly, but that is not proof there was none; rather they could set an upper bound, applying to that particular test or, better, set of tests.)

      1. Some things A.R. says I believe and somethings not.
        He said Focardi taught him
        safety precautions he had to
        take in his work or he might
        have been dead.
        The Italian and Swedish
        scientist A.R. worked with
        might have been fooled or
        made mistakes but they
        sure had the Education too
        evaluate his work.
        The $100 million was a stupid agreement and is the
        root problem of the mistrust
        between the two parties.

          1. The Agreement did not contemplate conflict. It was naively written. I assume that IH did consult an attorney and some of the provisions may reflect that, but were written so as not to trigger Rossi’s suspicions, I suspect. From aspects of the Rossi Complaint, he signed a $100 million Agreement without consulting an attorney, and sailed past his exit point (his acceptance of $10 million) without consulting an attorney — because up to that point he could have bailed, all he’d have had to do would be to return the $1.5 million and not deliver the Plant, and it would return to status quo ante. If he did consult an attorney, the attorney was incompetent or he did not listen. By the way, the Escrow Agent was, I think, Johnson. The Agreement was clearly dominated by Rossi’s demands. So he wrote what got him into trouble. That’s life, we do that. IH was likely warned, took some minimal precautions, and went ahead, knowing the risk. That is not the same as accepting fraud. Rather, their goal was to test the waters, to discover if the Rossi Effect was real or fraud. They needed to know for their long-term goals. If it was real, then they could support it with their massive fund-raising skills. And if fraud, their losses would be limited. I don’t see a snowball’s chance in hell of Rossi prevailing, and it is highly likely that the Rossi claims will be totally dismissed upon completion of Discovery and a Motion for Judgment.

        1. The professors had education, but that education was not focused on what would be needed to thoroughly understand possible artifacts and to avoid them. There tends to be an assumption that a “professor” would know everything. It is rare for a professor to be ignorant within their speciality, but common that a professor would not be solidly grounded in other matters. As Jed Rothwell has often pointed out, what is needed to study excess energy, at high levels as claimed by Rossi, is engineering expertise in HVAC. Further, with Rossi, there is the possibility of direct fraud, something deliberately misleading about the test set-up. Expertise in that is often confined to magicians (hence “The Amazing Randi”) — the problem with Randi is that he is scientifically ignorant, but he will think of possible ways to deceive, since deception, the creation of illusion, is the specialty of magicians.

          What science requires is not “expert observation” of demonstrations, but actual independent confirmation or disconfirmation, where the tester has full control of conditions and is not just being led by the nose by a possibly expert manipulator. There were obvious possible flaws in early demonstrations, which became well-known. A “possible flaw” is not a known thing, proven. Rather it shows some incompleteness, and that incompleteness, I was arguing in 2011, is always possible in an inventor-controlled demonstration. Rather, independent confirmation can be done, even without major risk to secret IP. (A “black box” can be tested independently). Rossi actively avoided that, shutting down any attempts to confirm his results that probably showed to him that the person did not completely trust Rossi Says.

          Some of those same flaws were present in the Doral testing. That these defects continued showed that Penon did not take precautions, but repeated the Rossi approach. Penon is reputed to be a nuclear engineer, and some of his training might be relevant — more relevant than that, say, of a physics professor — but as a nuclear engineer, he would have been dealing with massive power release, where the power itself is not at all controversial. Some of what Penon did would have been intensely and dangerously incompetent if done in a nuclear power plant. To be sure, we do not know exactly what he did. We know what he planned to do, shortly before actually setting up his instruments in Doral. We don’t have his “cover sheet,” or the rest of the “Full Report,” which might explain what his figures signified, how the measurements were taken, etc. Because of the history, as well, considering Penon “independent” would be quite problematic.

            1. This is incorrect. Hanno Essen was chair of the Swedish Skeptics Association or Vetenskap och Folkbildning as you link to. Sven Kullander was a member of the Academy, highly reputable. No connection I have found between Kullander and the Skeptics. Essen appears to have been President in 2011, and there is an article in Swedish on his impressions. What is obvious to me is that Essen knew almost nothing about cold fusion, and seems to have been totally naive about the possibility of fraud. Odd for someone who was President of the Skeptics Society. Being open minded, one thing. Essen goes into his own “idea” about what is happening with cold fusion, and it is essentially something common for physicists: that some condition “overcomes the Coulomb barrier.” However, that would produce hot fusion products. It is quite inconsistent with the experimental evidence for LENR. With the very notable exception of Focardi, Rossi only invited observers with no experience in cold fusion, nor in calorimetry, he actively excluded Jed Rothwell, who really wanted to help and who, for a long time, in spite of being excluded, promoted Rossi’s claims as plausible, because he had friends he trusted who had seen undisclosed tests.

        2. “The $100 million was a stupid agreement.” Stupid for whom? Stupid does not exist in reality, it is a judgment. (Put another way, reality itself may be stupid, but who says so? A better stand is that “stupid” is a story we make up, based on incomplete knowledge.)

          Who wrote that agreement? Whose concerns were most reflected in it? What assumptions were involved? This much seems relatively clear: the Agreement was written to, on the face, give Rossi what he wanted ($100 million, he had said that, for his “secret”) while avoiding actually giving him $100 million immediately, which would have been completely impractical and easily foolish. They could not have raised the funding for that without causing massive harm to themselves. If Rossi had performed on the Agreement, as apparently intended, they would all be, by now, rolling in billions of dollars. But people operating on this level (i.e,. the level of Cherokee Investment Partners) hedge their bets. They set them up so that if they bet on a horse that falls, their losses are limited. In the Cherokee business, ventures often fail. But a few make a lot of money, so, overall, Cherokee benefits and grows. Those who lose are mostly investors — including Cherokee, which typically invests about $25 million — who knew what they were doing and who also typically diversify. This is not their “life savings.” This is more a game of “win a few” (big time) and “lose a few (small loss, relatively). It is about probabilities, not certainties. Those outside this world seem to expect certainties.

          They were face with Rossi, in 2012, known to be hostile to corporations and highly suspicious, and quite willing to walk away from multi-million dollar opportunities at the slightest hint that he wasn’t fully trusted. He proved willing to sign the Agreement, and then to attempt preliminary performance on it, so, instead of seizing on flaws in early performance (which are now being brought out), they went ahead. They created an appearance that they fully trusted him, but that was not deceptive, it was merely not the whole story. They also “tied their camel.” It is highly likely that it was Rossi who prevented the originally contemplated GPT, but it could also have been IH, which wanted to see successful technology transfer — not merely the appearance of it, handing over some documents and an alleged secret formula — before going ahead with the GPT, because if they were required to pay $89 million more without having independent test results to represent to investors, forgeddaboudit.

          So the Second Amendment was signed. There were signature defects in what Rossi showed as his Exhibit B. It is easy, as to that, to argue estoppel, that the parties behaved as if the test was legitimately postponed. However, they had a major protection in place, the requirement for a signed agreement of all the parties, to the starting GPT test date. The Agreement was horribly written, if we think of it as an Agreement at arms-length between parties that don’t necessarily trust each other. However, in a more normal business environment, it would have been acceptable; still, I’d think, any lawyer would have advised Rossi, in particular, to write conflict resolution into the agreement. Instead, Rossi used a single person to make the decision, and dominated that choice. If IH had refused, early on, Rossi would simply have bailed. Rossi only began clearly hostile behavior when IH started to push him.

          1. The $100 million was too
            much to put on the line
            for technology that might
            not work properly.
            Both A.R. And T.D. should
            have realized this and
            T.D would probably still
            been fair to A.R. but old
            type A.R. business thinking that a deal is a deal likely prevented this.

            1. What IH agreed to is what was necessary to induce Rossi to disclose his technology so that it could be independently tested. This was really an $11.5 million deal, but reached the $100 million figure Rossi had said he wanted if a GPT was performed and passed. Yes, not a great idea, it had many intrinsic problems. Rossi has claimed (after he filed suit) that IH offered him money to not do the GPT, and he refused. A sane businessman would have negotiated. Rossi does not know how to negotiate, it is his way or the highway. These habits have taken him down. He might never get up again.

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