Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Letter to Ian Clifford regarding "the science"


I think we had some good discussion yesterday in the area of understanding and/or speculating about what might be the underlying science behind EEStor's proposed innovations. With that in mind, a new thread posted on Google Groups came to my attention. I was wondering if the persons tackling all the science questions could have a read of this letter to Ian Clifford and then comment here on it's merits. My question for those in the know: does it summarize succinctly the scientific concerns or is it merely an aspect of a set of concerns? If you were writing to Ian Clifford to augment this letter, what else would you point out?

Note: the bottom of the thread seems to contain a person unhappy with the way comments are deleted here. Let me shed some light on that. The goal isn't to censor anyone or delete any content containing skepticism towards EEStor. Rather, the goal is to simply keep the discourse professional & respectable while leaving as much room as possible for idiosyncratic personality traits to leak in occasionally. :-) If a posting is deleted, it's probably violated the norms of ordinary social discourse by being highly inflammatory, overtly rude or vulgar. I'm still investigating a system to allow users to report these types of comments...until then, just shoot me a note if you find something distasteful: eestorblog@gmail.com PS. That i included this silly paragraph violates advice I keep getting from interested parties with alot of experience running forums--they advise simply dropping the issue and letting the overall content of the blog comments speak for themselves. Good idea.

45 comments:

Marcus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marcus said...

b, you do realize that the poster, johng, also contributes to this site?

ackkk said...

b,

I'm not the author of the post in question. But I still wonder....why did you delete the post by nullpointer0?

Do you recall?

Marcus said...

Some speculation:

Even if I was under an NDA I might still reply that unfortunately I am under a NDA since from what I understand this letter was written by capacitorman who was an investor in Zenn - so a shareholder.

Putting myself in Ian's shoes again, if these concerns were new to me then at the very least I would have given this letter to my engineers. By this time if EESTor had not explained itself I would be raising serious concerns. This doesn't appear to be the case at least from the outside.

richterm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ackkk said...

Yes Marcus, "from the outside."

I too am an investor. It is killing me that a non-inflammatory post was deleted. I don't get it. I want to get it.

stampergl said...

I had a post deleted today, the only phrase which one could consider inflammatory was "loose reporting", which I felt was critical but not derogatory. I think we need to accept that this blog is not a democracy.

Marcus said...

yes I was just about to bring your name up stampergl, it didn't sound like it would have been a nasty message!

BTW I got a little mixed up above. I don't know whether Ian ever replied to this letter, all I know is he didn't reply to johng's letter. I don't know whether johng is a share holder or not.

nekote said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
OntarioInvestor said...

.

OntarioInvestor said...

.

richterm said...

I really think Zenn should at least come out and say they're aware of the technical issues being raised, have reviewed the issues with Eestor, and have received satisfactory answers from Eestor. That would not violate any NDA.

That said, i still feel they MUST have been aware and reviewed the issue a long time ago.

Speculation..

In the Google posting, JohnG says..

"A couple years ago, I sent a note to Ian Clifford about my concerns
with the BT approach, since I work in that ffield, but did not get an answer. "

Well, there's at least some confirmation that as far back as 2006, someone raised the issue with Ian Clifford. Still, ZMC continued on and even raised more money to take an equity stake in Eestor.

I conclude that ZMC must have received satisfactory answers to these questions unless Ian Clifford himself is still somehow ignorant of the issue (doesn't read email?), or he's trying to artificially inflate ZMC's stock price before an inevitable crash. I personally don't believe that, but it's not unfair for some to think so. That's why ZMC is still trading in the 5's.

ackkk said...

stampergl,

thank you for your reply. I can accept that this blog is not a democracy, but I feel that it's unfortunate that it's not. Why the need to protect the characters of the players? Why give a rat's ass what any of us anonymous posters posts?

When I began posting here there was a poster 'applewoodcourt' (apologies if wrong.) I posted a link showing that Ian Clifford was slowly selling shares of his company. Applewoodcourt responded that there were numerous reasons why Ian might be doing this; and I think we were both somewhat reassured.

Then Applewoodcourt made a big production about selling his shares. I wonder what happened?

Speculating on what the consequences of real eesus in the world is fun. Having a stake and hoping that this works is fun too. But I feel there really needs to be a forum for skeptical debate, and I'm sorry that this is not it. b allows talk of the science, and how experts seem to agree that eestor has taken on an impossible task. But comments regarding the players' other possible motives, psychologies etc. seem to go unacknowledged or are deleted.

I am sorry for that.

aaron said...

I started a blog thread that I feel is necessasary. I guarantee that your comments will not get censored or modified. Please TRY to be nice and remember the goal of it is only finding truths. I will still be follwoing this site for discussion topics but I dont like the idea of all the comment deletions going on, In my mind, the blog looses credibility. Thanks,
Aaron

aaron said...

The blog of course.

http://aaron-allaboutoil.blogspot.com/

nekote said...

aaron,

Please don't do it.
A competing blog, that is.

For one thing, my head will explode! :)

Having one centralized location / hotbed is a better solution, than 1,000 fragmentary sites, IMHO.

I understand the concerns / frustrations, on many sides / aspects of this wonderful blog.

As evidenced by "Installing Intense Debate", b appears to be actively pursuing alternatives to improve the site, in ways that would make competing or ancillary sites un-necessary.

As a favor, please consider deleting your posts? If things don't improve, re-post?

Ken said...

Please re-enable the RSS feed capabilities. This is a huge productivity aid.

b said...

ackkk, i dont remember the post in question. why not ask nullpointer0 to simply repost it? feel free to email me eestorblog@gmail.com

i've been clear that i'm not deleting posts based on opinion of post...but only in regards to manner of speaking.

b said...

ken,
feeds turned back on. email me to let me know it's working for you: eestorblog@gmail.com

aaron said...

Nekote;
"aaron,

Please don't do it.
A competing blog, that is"

Agreed with that point in that we need a centralized location of information, Might I suggest using a forum such as the one I have set up for those that feel their comments would be better placed on a site that allowed them. I jsut dont want to be losing valuable information by indiscriminate deletions,

B; I mean this with the utmost respect and admire the work you have done so far. But Truth knows no morality.....

whatsyourevidence said...

aaron, I admire what you did (creating an uncensored blog).

B, your poor attempts at censorship are self-defeating. Nothing said on this blog is going to help or hurt EEStor's efforts. If it's real, it's real, if not then not.

I am invested in Zenn and hope it all works out. I think y_po is a prototypical troll, and he can't open his mouth without being absolutist and offensive (especially when he ran off niche expert "christine" who we'd liked to have heard more from - and y_po admits he's not an expert in the field, but rather a boring ordinary physics guy - his words, not mine).

But I defend his right to speak his mind. He shouldn't be censored. Shamed, yes, censored no. If "Christine" has no stomach for rudeness, then whatever. A few people here like to get going in personal attacks on each other (steve vs marcus). Who cares. Shame them into cooling down if you want a "polite environment."

I think we are all adults here, nobody needs protecting - especially not Weir. The stuff you said in your mea culpa post about rudeness wearing Weir down is patently ridiculous. As if he reads all this crap. The nullpoint0 post you deleted laid out a hypothesis of how the principals could be pumping the stock price. It wasn't rude or profane. You're doing no one a service by thinking you're protecting them by censoring this blog. It just makes you look like a stock pumper yourself - something you've largely avoided to this point. You lose credibility.

The "marketplace of ideas" rejects the bad and elevates the good (seeks truth) through proof and vigorous debate. Free speech is beautiful that way. I'm a lawyer versed in free speech issues and with years of experience on net forums including running one myself. So I am an expert in the field on this one. Don't be a censor.

Moomipappa said...

What a load of fuss about nothing. B's doing a fine job and the posts he's deleted, which are very few, have not contributed materially to the discussions. No-one will go to another blog and there's no reason to. There's plenty of debate here.

steve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
b said...

whatsyourevidence, as mentioned previously, i dont remember deleting that post. have him/her repost. easy solution.

Lensman said...

whatsyourevidence said...

I think we are all adults here,

But then goes on to say:

I think y_po is a prototypical troll,

Hmmm... well, obviously not *everyone* here is an adult.

seslaprime said...

Ian clifford is not going to blab the secret to EEstor's tech to anyone. all of you who are vigorously trying to pry the secret out will not ever get anywhere. this is the bottom line to all skeptics argument. because the pure BT does not fit the dielectric "box", and EEstor refuses to give out the info, for obvious reasons, some people just refuse to accept this as reality. based on 1 of several patents. the reason we are still talking about this, is because there is just no good info for or against EEStor. the Only serious info out there is the fact that there are many Bid players positioned close to EEstor all saying they are for real. and that their proposed Technology has the capability to revolutionize the entire world wide industry. there is no reason to knock anyone who believes or diss-believes. there are very good points on both sides. no one is an idiot regardless of which side they are on. personaly, I tend to lean towards the positive side because the negative side makes no sense to me. this is a very good Blog B has created, the Best on the subject, internet wide. I think it is very little to ask people to keep the derogatory remarks. we are all friends here.

Tom Villars said...

ackkk,

Why don't you re-post NullPointer()'s post? If you need a copy I have one.

richterm said...

I'm not asking Ian Clifford to blab secrets. I'd just like him to say that yes we've heard the critics concerns with the technology, and we are confident that Eestor has answers to all these problems.

Tom Villars said...

richterm,

Why would Ian want to do that? At most it would cause a minor stir and then it is back to the waiting game. ZENN and EEStor gain nothing and Ian's ability to command attention is diminished. When they're ready I'm sure they'll let everyone know loud and clear.

richterm said...

I think he should do that because he's the CEO of a public company and should be as forthcoming as possible to inspire confidence in his shareholders. He has a responsibility not only to build shareholder value, but also to communicate with his shareholders. They after all own the majority of his company.

I don't agree that it would only cause a minor stir. I'd consider doubling my position in ZMC if he said that.

Marcus said...

Such a statement in my opinion would be a big boost to their credibility, at least for potential investors like me. Perhaps I'm not the usual investor though..

Anyway on another note here is a link to yet another patent on a super duper capacitor with an energy storage capability at least in the same order of magnitude as EESTOR. Y_Po cannot make heads or tales of it apparently though....

Tom Villars said...

richterm,

In the press release from less than a week ago:

"Yesterday's announcement bodes well for EEStor's completion of its third party verified permittivity milestone and is a very strong affirmation of our investment in and the rapid progress of our business plan," stated Ian Clifford, Chief Executive Officer.

Ian obviously isn't an expert in the field so what else can he say? Also how often should he be giving status reports? I'd prefer he spend his time getting organized for the cityZENN and ZENNergy drive train. That is where the money is going to be, not in sending out press release every week.

Marcus said...

Ian can simply say our engineers have looked into the scientific concerns brought up by experts in the field and we are satisfied that EESTOR has met these concerns. This would make a HUGE difference in my opinion to a long term concern, a concern more significant that identifying the exact 6 months in which production will start. IMO people are mainly concerned with slipping production schedules because they are wondering whether it reflects a more fundamental problem with the technology - a problem outlined by the experts.

Marcus said...

regarding the above mentioned patent, zawy corrected an error of mine. Its claimed energy density is actually a lot less than EESTOR.

Book-em-Dano said...

I looked over the Northrop-Grumman patent. I'm not going to get into a debate about permittivity or energy density.

What I will say is that their materials and construction seem to indicate a manufacturing process that is a fusion of thin-film technology and near-microcircuit-quality semiconductor fabrication techniques.

I'm no expert, so a real big spread here: $500k to $10M per finished product matching EEStor EESU "module"performance claims.

In addition to the date of the patent, definitely not a contender - not even on the map. But like I said, I'm no expert.


Dan
daniel_r_plante@hotmail.com

Y_Po said...


I'm not asking Ian Clifford to blab secrets. I'd just like him to say that yes we've heard the critics concerns with the technology, and we are confident that Eestor has answers to all these problems.

Don't want to brag but this is exactly what I suggested in the beginning.

richterm said...

tom -

I know he's not an expert in the technology - he's a CEO. I think marcus laid it out exactly as it should be said. Basically he should be easily able to answer to the one major source of doubt hanging out there - is Zenn aware of the technical hurdles that have prevented the development of ultracaps of this kind in the past, and have they done their due diligence in meeting their fiduciary responsibilities to their stockholders by making sure Eestor has answers for these. He doesn't need to tell us what the answers are.

I'm fairly sure ZNN would see a nice gain off of this type of comment. I'd think he'd be interested in that.

I still think Eestor will deliver. I just think Zenn could handle this better.

Tom Villars said...

richterm,

If ZENN's market cap is going to be determined by the daily utterances of Ian Clifford and his band of engineers, that would make ZENN a day traders dream stock, but not something any sensible person wold want to invest in.

Ian Clifford, Brian Cott, Richard D. McGraw, Stewart Somers, Peter Mackechnie, Stephen Rodgers, & Lawrence Schreiner all have their reputations on the line. These are real people with real histories you can check and most have real money (net worth $10 million+) Do you seriously think these people are going to associate with EEStor if they didn't think it was going work?

richterm said...

tom -

"Do you seriously think these people are going to associate with EEStor if they didn't think it was going work?"

No, I don't. But a lingering question for me is - are these guys on top of the issues? Did they do their due diligence before hitching their wagon to Eestor? They had to do more than accept that purity-permittivity. They had to have experts ask Eestor about the specific hurdles, and get answers. Maybe I missed it, but I don't remember seeing that kind of statement. All I recall seeing have been statements of confidence in Eestor's progress. They leave the possibility of ignorance out there.

Tom Villars said...

richterm,

Read the annual report and see for yourself how much ZENN has already paid EEStor and how much they will pay once the production product is delivered. Then ask yourself if your question of whether they've done due diligence still seems like a reasonable question.

That being said, the annual report also clearly states ZENN is speculative company. There are risk with any start up and with something as new as EEStor the risk are much higher than usual.

This is going to be a six to twelve month journey and unless you are willing to pony up 10 to 20 million to get a seat on the board, you'll have to wait along with all the rest of us non NDA signers.

richterm said...

Yes common sense tells me they must have done due diligence. I just think they should make it clear that they have done so, that's all. Why, along with what they have said so far, couldn't they have done this?

Anyway, time to sign off..

tonon said...

aaron,

I've lurked on your blog and nobody is posting. You've had it going since at least mid-July, and the only 2 posts you got were in response to your posting on B's blog about your new blog.

If this blog sucks so much, everyone will abandon it.

However, they won't because it's the best source of info, not because B is the great overseer, but because he's first done a little investigative work himself--witness his interview with Weir that has been verified by a 3rd party, in fact a journalist, Tyler; and because he lets reasoned debate go and go and go and only removes offensive language personal attacks.

Is it fair to call him a censor when he's allowed your posts to stay?

I had a history professor, who said, "It's ok to disagree, just don't be disagreeable."

B strikes me of the same ilk.

But good luck with your Blog, Aaron.

Perhaps human nature will morph overnight and folks will post at your blog with only truth and goodwill in their hearts.

erkyl said...

I think we'd all love to see Ian step out on the sidewalk in front of Zenn and say, "Well, gee whiz, guys, of course I've seen a working prototype, and now they are setting up thier production line to deliver us product." But that word never comes. I'm invested in Zenn and a fan of Eestor and Zenn. But the absence of those words is louder than F-18 leaping off the deck. Sure looks like nobody has seen one work, and everybody has been shown a promising math equasion. As I've said before, this is quite speculative. I do wish them well.

aaron said...

tonon, I just started the blog (entry) yesterday.
Thanks for the well wishes.
A

Dwight said...

I think we'd all love to see Ian step out on the sidewalk in front of Zenn and say, "Well, gee whiz, guys, of course I've seen a working prototype, and now they are setting up thier production line to deliver us product." But that word never comes. - erkyl

Given the presence of an NDA, I imagine we won't hear Ian ever mention prototypes. But he may have come as close as possible in an interview with evcast.com. After explaining that he was approached by EEStor in 2002 about forming a business relationship, Ian went on to say, "We found that what EEStor had proven to date and were planning to do in the future were dramatically compelling."

"proven to date" seems to me to indicate the presence of a "working prototype". If he can't explicitly say so because of the NDA, then the choice of this particular wording was probably intentional.