See update at post end.
One of the major stories adding to the worry surrounding Andrea Rossi’s eCat credibility centred on National Instruments. While no one should have used their apparent involvement as proof of life, there is no doubt that the giant’s ‘presence’ lent an air of substance that is often lacking in eCat Land. When AR followed a Steven Krivit post with a statement seeming to back him up (a truly rare event) I was dismayed. The discovery of NI’s absence was minor but the concern that there might be more to the story was a genuine blow to my confidence that followed hot on the heels of the unshipped 1MW plant. Did this mean that NI was merely discussing a business deal with Leonardo Corp? If so, what of the oft-implied assertion that they and the eCat were becoming close buddies? If that was not true then how can we believe anything that AR says about anything?
For me, the detail was small in the scheme of things but, like a pulled thread, undermined the tapestry we’d constructed using partial pieces from an unreliable narrator. If the NI thing was BS, what else was?
The need for caution remains and we have to recognise our tendency to use information to reinforce our own beliefs or bolster our dreams. With that caveat in mind, I was pleased to read an article at e-catsite.com.
Guessing there was more to the story than the version written by Krivit, e-catsite contacted Julia Betts, NI’s Corporate Communications and Investor Relations Manager and spokeswoman at the heart of Krivit’s piece. The complete article is well worth reading with the following stand-out:
While Ms. Betts reiterated once again that Leonardo Corp was not currently a customer of National Instruments, there have been ongoing discussions between the two parties. Discussion is the key word here. Many, including myself, have taken this to mean there have been merely some preliminary discussions regarding a business relationship between the two parties. After my conversation with Ms. Betts, it would seem that the word “discussion” as used in this context has a meaning with somewhat more depth, with that meaning being ongoing technical collaboration between the parties. This collaboration has been at the level that Rossi has frequently alluded to in his comments on JONP and, specifically to comments he made earlier this week. Over the past several months he has frequently stated that he was working with National Instruments on E-Cat development. I specifically asked Ms. Betts if these statements were exaggerations or outright lies on Mr. Rossi’s part and she informed me that THEY WERE NOT, and that indeed Mr. Rossi has been portraying Leonardo Corp’s work with National Instruments accurately. She e-mailed me this link specifically as an accurate accounting of the relationship that has existed between the two parties. It of course is Rossi’s accounting that he posted on his blog earlier this week, as it appeared in article on Independent eCat News (it would appear that Ms. Betts is aware as anyone who has followed this story how bloody difficult it is to read JONP).
I did also ask Ms. Betts about NI’s official position on the whole field of LENR, to which she reiterated the sentiments expressed in previously released statements, namely that LENR is intriguing and has potential. I find that view a breath of fresh air in comparison to two decades old (and continuing) calls of fraud and “junk science.”
Seperating the two factors – cold fusion and the eCat – is important. LENR is almost certainly an important energy source of the future and later in the e-catsite piece an NI release appears to specifically agree. That she linked to this site demonstrates an active awareness we all guessed had to be there. NI has no doubt whatsoever about the controversy surrounding cold fusion and its recent incarnation through Andrea Rossi. In supporting AR’s version of the NI affair, she is doing so in the face of extreme scepticism in the wider scientific community. Far from an endorsement, her statements nevertheless indicate a desire to keep close to this developing technology. It would be easy to jump to the conclusion that they think there might be money in this sometime soon. But we won’t do that.
Kudos to e-catsite. The article is here.
[With thanks to Anders F]
e-catsite has updated their article to include a clarification from NI’s Julia Betts. In it she points out that her corroboration is limited to the more general points of AR’s statements regarding their relationship and specifically to the quote linked to above (and on eCatNews.com). In other words the company cannot know or be responsible for everything Leonardo Corp says. I take this as a half step back, demonstrating a little sensibl caution on their part – something I fully understand.
I will let you decide if you wish to read anything more into it or not.
More in the e-catsite.com update.<< Previous Post -- -- Next post >>