Monday, October 7, 2013

It's Been A Long Time

But here I am posting at this old blog. Just like Old Times.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Ning Outage

Check here for updates on the Ning outage producing the 500 errors.

http://status.ning.com


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Ah Yes, The Good Old Days (EEStor Meanderings)

I started writing this blog about EEStor in 2007.  If you look at the article counts each year, you can sort of get a feel for how the EEStory has progressed.   In 2007, I published 8 very brief articles which amounted to little more than link consolidation: basically a summary of what was available on the Internet at the time.  EEStor published one press release that year: basically some crap about chemical handling that neither I nor anyone really gave a shit about.  But it was 3rd party verified by Southwest Research Institute.  This press release was where EEStor made it's first prediction about delivering a fully functioning EESU to Zenn, stating that EEStor

 "remains on track to begin shipping production 15 kilowatt-hour Electrical Energy Storage Units (EESU) to ZENN Motor Company in 2007 for use in their electric vehicles. The production EESU for ZENN Motor Company will function to specification in operating environments as sever as negative 20 to plus 65 degrees Celsius, will weigh less than 100 pounds, and will have ability to be recharged in a matter of minutes."
What a crazy ass prediction that turned out to be but it did build excitement all over the world and caused major media neworks like CNN to take notice.  The story was gold but no one was covering it in the depth that people wanted. There was no central place to gather and contemplate the implications etc.  So I set out to address that obvious need.

By 2008/2009, the EEStor story was heating up and I published 280 articles here (135 in 2008 and 145 in 2009).  (WTF was I thinking?) Readership was pretty hooked on the story.  I noticed from web stats that people not only hit the site but hung around for long periods of time, ie, the site was sticky as it was called back then.   To give readers something to do, I launched some forums in Aug 2008 (based on a ruby on rails app created by Trevor Turk called El Dorado)and resided it at TheEEStory.com.  That site included a blog, chat room, event calendar as well as a place to upload files and headers. During those days,  I was sort of publishing articles in two places: here on this blog you are reading now and there at TheEEStory.com.  There are definitely articles there that you cant find here and vice versa.  Just depended on my mood and the amount of time I was trying to kill.

EEStor delivered two press releases in 2008: one announcing billionaire Mort Topfer was joining the board of directors and another going into some nerdy detail about chemicals, measurements and some guy named Golla who was verifying everything.  While it is certainly true that EEStor's previously
published patent applications caused considerable controversy and skepticism, it is also correct to point out that it was EEStor's press releases that first began to make the story weird.  No one could really figure out what they were about or what they were supposed to be indicating in relation to the underlying basic physics claimed in the patents.  Here's an example passage from the 2008 press release:


EEStor, Inc. has achieved success on one of its most critical technical
milestones and that is the certification of the completeness of the powder
crystallization of the constituents utilized in producing its CMBT powders.
The percent of the constituents crystallized in the CMBT powders ranged
from 99.57% to 100.00% with the average being 99.92%. This level of
crystallization provides the path for the possibility of EEStor, Inc.
providing the published energy storage for present products and major
advancements in energy storage for future products.

The completeness of the powder crystallization!  The completeness!  The result of gems like this were cantankerous debate online on my blog and forums sites.   I actually started to like the debate almost more than the news.   At that stage in the game, after EEStor's patents, press releases and various statements by Zenn, along with Kleiner Perkins and Lockheed being involved, you had to conclude some potentially important signals were being delivered to the world.  The skeptics charge that the underlying physics didn't work seemed ridiculous in the face of a famous venture capital firm financing manufacturing build out.  But the press releases those years, never completely eliminated the basic objection that the technology doesn't work, can't work.  EEStor left it that way: either because they wanted to or had no choice but to do so.  In 2009, EEStor delivered a press release and a correction. This time, the focus was on the parameters of the powders announced in previous years--the suggestion was made that if the permittivity of the powders was certified, then the energy density would be delivered as well.  EEStor said:

The third party certification tests were witnessed by Dr. Edward D. Golla, Ph.D., an independent consultant. The test results were performed on EEStor’s hot pressed dielectric layers produced from both their patented and patent pending Composition Modified Barium-Titanate Powders and their production line. Dr. Edward D. Golla, Ph.D. certificated that EEStor’s hot pressed dielectric layers have met and/or exceeded a relative permittivity of 22,500 over a temperature range of -20 and 65 degrees centigrade.
What was interesting here was the high permittivity and temperature tolerance.  (not time to explain)
Later it was discovered by skeptics that such parameters had been achieved elsewhere in barrier layer type capacitors.  The discussions were pretty heated and yielded little or no certainty if consensus is baked in to your definition of said.

These were the glamor days of the EEStory--attention out the wazzoo and vehement online information warfare.  The Wikipedia article on EEStor became its own battleground. People were gathering together all of the various data points on EEStor such as with GaryB's spreadsheet.  An FAQ was created...a timeline, a video spoof.   The discussion often turned inward--about the discussion itself or the people doing the discussing.  Over time a community began to emerge: representing both pro and con views of EEStor.  Both sides began to get along more or less with occasionally one on one "dust ups" which essentially amounted to two individuals who had finally grown tired enough of each other to just basically declare each other assholes.  It was very entertaining.   Of course, EEStor added to the controversy by predicting again in 2008 and 2009 that they would deliver a pre-production EESU to Zenn.

Ah yes, Zenn Motor Company. Thought I forgot?  That's a story in itself but for the purpose of this article, it is important to point out that Zenn was EEStor's only customer (until another small paper company gave EEStor a million bucks to have license rights to two and three wheeled vehicles).  Zenn basically added to all of the EEStor mystic by frequently commenting on "progress" (pronounced with a long O in Canada).  Everything always seemed to be just around the next corner. But they never got it right--hopes and dreams but never deliveries and proof-- which was embarrassing to them, me and Zenn's investors, EEStor followers but apparently not EEStor.   The dearth of information coming out of Zenn has of course dwindled as missed timelines have taught everyone lessons about predicting EEStor's actions.

So after 2008/2009, my article count started going down.  In 2010, I published 79 articles here and then
in 2011 that dwindled to 42 and then in 2012 it fell to 14 articles.   It's been a long slow boil with information tidbits trickling out. This is actually the first time I've published anything on this blog since August 2012.  It is probably the blog that Dick Weir likes the most as he told me awhile back in an interview.  I think he liked the aesthetics here vs the El Dorado based forums. At some point in 2012 I think, I launched http://theeestory.ning.com to take advantage of Ning's social network features which were far advanced over El Dorado's.  The idea is to make it easy to consolidate content & users from social networks like twitter, facebook and youtube.   If EEStor ever gets its ass in gear, it could be a key place to learn about EEStor.  Oh I know, if you ask Dick Weir they've had their ass in gear the whole time.  Maybe so.

In 2012, despite the let downs, EEStor increased it's press release count to 3 for the year.  Although everyone was burned out, the news was encouraging if perpetually irritating.  So here we are in 2013 and EEStor has claimed that a 3rd party has tested the smallest portion of their technology: the dielectric layer. They say it has properties experts in the field have said, if true, are revolutionary.  Unfortunately, no one had heard of their third party verifier and after the testing, no one was given access to the testers.   Classic EEStor controversy.  One step forward, two steps back.   But people still keep giving them money and many still think eventually they will burp out something that actually works.   Perhaps before the Zenn annual general meeting this month.  I'm not holding my breath.

Overall, the function of the EEStory in anyone's life has been to attack boredom.  To this end, it has served well both skeptic and believer.  But of course, as the years continue to roll by, you gotta wonder what the hell this thing was all about.   The EEStory also has produced some fertile source material for energy storage startups contemplating possible paths forward.  Unless I'm interrupted by actual breaking news, in a future article, I will offer my sense of what energy storage startups like Quantumscape  (or startups in general) can learn from the EEStory.  That is, unless I'm overcome by boredom once again.  Maybe I should just break down and get some tatoos.  NEVER!!!




Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Is Google Purposely Profiting From Your Pain?


Prepare yourself for another round of questions about Google's cooperation with evil practices thanks to a video posted yesterday by Rexxfield founder Michael Roberts.   In the video, Roberts advances a well thought out theory that Google may be intentionally promoting search results which allege misdeeds of the persons being searched for in order to generate more advertising revenue.   So, if someone says something negative about you, especially if it has to do with your professional reputation, Google may be elevating those remarks so that end users decide against working with you so that they will be more like to click related ads.  He offers a few compelling examples which in my mind raise serious questions.

Roberts may be on to something that can be proven scientifically.   Google's search algorithms are based on multiple factors but the one most are familiar with focuses on the number inbound links a webpage has accumulated over time.  This is modeled after the concept of peer review in academic circles: if a published paper is cited numerous times, chances are the claims made in it are interesting.  In other words, academics who cite it likely do so because the conclusions are correct or false or controversial.

If examples of elevated search results could be shown to have few inbound links yet are still found on the first page of search results (where 90+% of clicked results reside), this would provide significant evidence that could lead to a major scandal worthy of a congressional investigation.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Lockheed Self-Powered Ad-hoc Network with "Field and Forget" Energy Storage



This is an interesting video posted on YouTube in February 2012.  Seems like I would have remembered this technology if I had come across it previously.  Check out the description of the technology which I will quote in detail:

"Uploaded by  on Feb 7, 2012A covert, perpetually self-powered wireless sensor network developed by Lockheed Martin could revolutionize how to discreetly monitor one's surroundings. Lockheed Martin's Self-Powered Ad-hoc Network (SPAN) system is a network of "Field-and Forget" ground sensors that provides unobtrusive, continuous surveillance which can support a variety of missions and applications, such as border protection, area surveillance and even bridge, pipeline, aircraft and other structural monitoring requirements.
SPAN is a mesh network of self-organizing, self-healing sensors. Information from this mesh is processed using proprietary algorithms that reduce false alarms, providing intelligent situational awareness for military, border patrol and structural monitoring applications. This smart sensor network can cue a camera or unmanned aerial vehicle to further study an area or call an engineer when a pipeline or bridge structure is in danger of fracture.
Camouflaged and Easily Concealed
With sensors small enough to be fit into one's hand, SPAN sensors can be concealed in camouflage housings, such as those resembling rocks, to be inconspicuously positioned throughout an area.
The SPAN system also operates with extremely low power, thereby making it possible to power it via energy-harvesting technology, such as solar panels. SPAN's innovative power management harvests energy from its surroundings to provide perpetually powered sensors. Its ultra low sensor cost is predicated on the fact that each node within the SPAN network incorporates an energy harvesting subsystem that re-charges itself using simple energy sources in its surrounding environment. This innovation negates typical life and cost concerns of batteries and reduces the manual deployment and servicing. Battery life can be a critical differentiator when determining the safety of those in harm's way.
SPAN's lighter power demand extends operational range, and its inconspicuous sensors reduce the likelihood of discovery and tampering, increasing the realization of persistent surveillance."

I'm not saying this is describing EEStor technology.  But this is an interesting new technology that raises EEStory questions. 


The original press release occurred on October 12, 2011


The Lockheed brochure says "the sensor nodes use thin-film energy storage cells coupled with solar and thermal energy harvesting devices to provide truly perpetual power."  In addition, I happen to know that this energy storage is solid state and rechargeable but only because I read this 2008 Lockheed press release.  The energy storage is likely provided by Infinite Power Solutions (one of my nicknames actually). Their factory is in Denver. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

ZENN AGM: MUAHAHAAHAHAAHAAHA!!!! "It's Coming"

The 2012 Zenn Annual Ge.......MUAHAHAAHAHAAHAAHA!!!.....neral meeting took place today with Zenn interim CEO Jim Kofman laying......MUAHAHAAHAHAAHAAHA!!!....down the law (remember, he is an attorney) about what comes next in the EEStory.  Firstly, some of the revealed facts.....MUAHAHAAHAHAAHAAHA!!!

According to Kofman, who sounded confident and sober(!),  EEStor will make a public reveal of their technology "before summer" due to a recently struck non-dilutive investment agreement between Zenn and EEStor. The non non disclosure agreement "actually has very specific dates in it. And I guess all I'll say to you is we're expecting this before the summer if not well before that time. MUAHAHAAHAHAAHAAHA!!!"

Whatever will be revealed will be certified by a third party expert. Here's how Kofman described that party (who has already been involved in the review cited in the press release yesterday):

They know a lot about the space. We've been very careful choosing a firm that is extremely well known in the space.  Knows what they're doing. Has been looking at this technology for a long time. And was able to be of significant assistance to us and also will be in the future.  But they are a firm that would be very well known to people who know the space. Very reputable and very independent. And were able to be responsive. who knows a lot about the space.  Firm that is extremely well known in the space. Has been looking at this technology for a long time. 

Kofman went on to say "it's coming and it's very specific on what needs to be disclosed.  So we're excited and we think that's probably the most positive development you could look for."

If you've been paying attention, you probably noticed he didn't say what would be revealed.  And T H A T is why we call it TheEEStory.

MUAHAHAAHAHAAHAAHA!!!


In conclusion, it appears that maybe possibly Kofman is making sense.  Very possible.  

Monday, March 26, 2012

Zenn Gives EEStor More Cash For Less Secrets

It's been awhile since Zenn Motor Company has said anything about EEStor Inc.   And even when compelled to say something about EEStor, the topic of timing has been an anathema due to several apparent miscalculations.  The topic of time is the kiss of death at this point in the EEStory saga.  But today, Zenn has made itself ready to tempt fate one more time with yet another prediction related to timing.   Here is the key paragraph:

The Company recently participated as a minority investor in an equity financing completed by EEStor, Inc. While the Company's investment was small, the investment was part of a financing that provided EEStor with additional working capital to further the development of its power storage technology. Importantly, as part of the investment the Company was able to review certain aspects of the technology and obtain a covenant from EEStor regarding a timeline for near term public disclosure of the status of its technological development certified by an independent third party.
Of course, the obvious thing to say at this point is no freaking way. Not again. Not another prediction of something happening soonish.  Statements about timing are dead to me. They have been for at least 2 years.  Everyone who has ever succumbed to thinking maybe it's going to happen this time has always been burned.   Still, it is hard not to be a tiny bit hopefull if only because Jim Kofman is now on board.

But wait a second.  Why does EEStor need this financing?  If they produce the holy grail of energy storage, we've been assured so many times money will rain down on them like Noah's Flood.  So, I will reserve judgement at this point.

The prediction that EEStor is out of cash seems to have come true.  But will we ever get to the finish line?
What do you think?

We can now look forward to tomorrow's AGM...if it can add any flesh to this news.

If you have been under a rock, you may not realize, we're all over at http://TheEEStory.ning.com now.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Forsale: The EEstor Dream?

Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Eestor has officially launched a line of Eestor collectors items?

Or, they are out of....how shall we say.....cash?

Let the debates begin!!!!


UPDATE #1:  So, it looks like EEStor is selling some equipment which they haven't used "in production."

There are 10 pieces of equipment up for bid from EEStor on LabX.com.   The equipment costs range from $2500-$95,000 and include a free Zenn electric car.  The photos appear to have been taken at the end of February.  Most of the items seem to reside in some sort of storage holding area but the Dispensing System seems like maybe it is onsite at EEStor.  In fact, if you look into the glass on the Dispensing System, you can almost see the reflection of a fully operational EESU on a table in the background.  Nah, kidding.  The item description notes:   "EEStor, Inc. was planning on using the system to print capacitor dielectric layers with a set of valves attached to the CNC plate and controlled by the system controller."

None of the items supported the notion that pet rocks were being manufactured at EEStor.



EEStor Inc. Equipment For sale