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Power Technology

Bill Gates Sponsoring Palladium-Based LENR Technology 183

Baldrson writes reports that: "Low energy nuclear reactor (LENR) technology, and by extension palladium, is attracting the attention of one of the richest men in the world and a pioneer inventor of new technology... In a recent visit to Italy, billionaire business man, investor and inventor Bill Gates said that for several years he has been a believer in the idea of LENR, and is a sponsor of companies developing the technology... During his trip to Italy he visited the national agency for new technologies energy and sustainable economic development (ENEA) where scientists have made significant progress towards a working design for low energy nuclear fusion. The centerpiece of their design is the same as in Mitsubishi's, palladium. Creating palladium foil with just the right parameters, and managing stress levels in the material was a key issue, one that the researchers at EMEA were able to resolve several years ago."
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Bill Gates Sponsoring Palladium-Based LENR Technology

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 26, 2014 @06:15AM (#48674643)

    It's good that he has a lot of money, because this is going down the toilet.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      A fool and his money... ... lucky for him he has lots and lots of it, so he can afford to part with some of it into losing propositions.
      Although, I'd probably advise him to just go buy one of every state lottery ticket number - at least then he'd get *something* back for his stupid waste of money, rather than the nothing LENR is going to return.

      • TFA calls Gates a pioneer. Well, the covered wagon part is right. Please name something of value that was invented by Gates himself. Give up? Ok, without looking it up.... name something of real scientific or technological value invented by Microsoft Research Labs. That lab allowed Gates to take enormous tax write-offs but never produced any scientific or tecnological break-throughs. But hey, it was all in good tax-dodging fun, right?

        • Pretty sure ClearType came from them. There's also C#, though I suppose some would argue about its technological value. They also did a pretty heavy duty astronomy visualization program that I forget the name of.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            I guess you have made my case. :) Fonts. A minor derivative language. Astronomy visualization. For these the US taxpayer sacrificed $billons in lost revenue that had to be made up from the taxes of hard-working creative folks who actually make useful things. Gates didn't build his monopoly the old fashiioned (and legal) way. Microsoft inherited an OS monopoly from IBM becasue IBM was arrogant enough to think that only IBM could sell operating systems. Microsoft stole their monopoly in internet bro

          • by SpzToid ( 869795 )

            This free Microsoft tool for automatically stiching images together to make a panorama is pretty freaking amazing, and I am no Microsoft fanboi for sure.


            • This free Microsoft tool for automatically stiching images together to make a panorama is pretty freaking amazing,

              Doesn't sound much of an advance on Hugin. Which is available Free and cross-platform []. There are up-to-date portable versions too.

              Since I move from system to system, from client to client, that last point is a mega-killer. If it takes 3 months to get a program installed through the IT department, and the project lasts 1.5 months, portability is an essential.

              • by SpzToid ( 869795 )

                Maybe I'm missing something about Hugin, but it seems like quite a manual and thus rather tedious process to actually do. Please correct me if I am wrong, because I spent a limited time only, reading the documentation.

                The Microsoft tool is fully automatic. Just drop a bunch of images in a window, or a video, and it does the math by itself and it spits out the panorama in seconds. And the result is amazing. This is one reason why I have virtual machines with Windows installed, (I get my Windows VMs as a resu

                • When I first started to use Hugin about ... probably 6 years ago ... it was a very manual tool chain (unlike you, my experience is from using it with very little RTFM). I needed to dive back into it about 6 months ago to bolt together a square array of microscope images into a 5x5 array - for work, and where I needed to be able to explain exactly what had been done - and so why straight lines weren't straight. For that, for confidentiality reasons I had to do the work on the client's computer (windoze), not
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Sub-pixel rendering was invented by Apple. Microsoft only patented there implementation called ClearType, which uses 3 sub-pixels instead of 2 sub-pixels, and is carefully worded around the existing Apple patent. The Apple patent is referenced in the Microsoft patent.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by clovis ( 4684 )

          TFA calls Gates a pioneer. Well, the covered wagon part is right. Please name something of value that was invented by Gates himself. Give up? Ok, without looking it up.... name something of real scientific or technological value invented by Microsoft Research Labs. That lab allowed Gates to take enormous tax write-offs but never produced any scientific or tecnological break-throughs. But hey, it was all in good tax-dodging fun, right?

          Or, you could look up the definition of the word "pioneer".
          Here you go: "among the first or earliest to enter a new field of inquiry, Enterprise, or progress."
          Bill Gates and Microsoft clearly meets that definition regarding the personal computer

        • Gates was essential for three acceptance of software patents. That was innovative for the legal system. Oh wait, you mentioned technology.

        • by Marginal Coward ( 3557951 ) on Friday December 26, 2014 @11:34AM (#48675435)

          I don't know if this was an invention, but it certainly was pioneering: Microsoft 8K BASIC. It was originally written by Gates and his buddy Paul Allen personally. (You've got to start somewhere.)

          MS 8K BASIC came built in ROM with all of the microcomputers of a certain era: TRS-80, the Apple II, and my own beloved (but obscure) Ohio Scientific. Note that Apple's own Integer Basic, written by Woz, wasn't nearly the success on the Apple II, though it had its following. The Apple II wouldn't have been nearly the success it was without MS 8K BASIC to help make it mainstream.

          I learned assembly language originally by studying Gate's and Allen's handiwork. My Ohio Scientific had a 6502 processor, and after reading a book on 6502 assembly language to learn some basic principles, I *really* learned 6502 assembly by studying disassembly listings of 8K BASIC. It was a marvel of clever assembly techniques. It may be hard to appreciate at this point the impact of that little 8K piece of code. It's what made the fledgling microcomputer business viable for hobbyists a few years before the IBM PC made "personal computers" viable for businesses and your grandma.

          Oh, and let's not forget Gate's innovations as a monopolist. I don't know the details, but one can't logically disparage him as a monopolist without recognizing his pioneering innovations in the field of monopoly. For example, his ongoing rant at the time about "Microsoft needs the freedom to innovate", while having built a business on doing nothing but copying the (technical) innovations of others was actually kindda innovative, in a business sense. Of course, John D. Rockerfeller and others had pioneered monopoly a century earlier, but one can't help but recognize that Gates must have pushed the monopolist's state-of-the-art of a bit further. For example, Rockerfeller certainly didn't invent "embrace, extend and extinguish". So, let's give credit where credit's due.

          (Note to moderators: before you down-mod me for saying positive things about Bill Gates here, please note the ironic undertone of the last paragraph.)

          • My kingdom for mod points to rank this comment insightful +1!
        • Didn't he invented EEE (Embrace, Extend, Extinguish)?

        • Well, I can see part of your point, but there can be many kinds of pioneers. If anything, he was a pioneer in the consumer and business software and computing industry. Lots of people take tax write-offs. Not taking advantage of an opportunity like that is certainly laudable, but are we all supposed to become Harrison Bergerons to meet your arbitrary requirements for shared burden?
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mystikkman ( 1487801 )

          That lab allowed Gates to take enormous tax write-offs but never produced any scientific or tecnological break-throughs. But hey, it was all in good tax-dodging fun, right?

          Tax write-off and tax dodging? What the heck? That's like you donating $100 to the Red Cross to get $15 back in tax refund. Not to even mention all the payroll taxes that people working in Microsoft pay. MS would be way better off just stashing the money like Apple does.

          Your post is utterly moronic. What is it about Microsoft that turns otherwise smart people into f**king morons?

        • I wouldn't go so far as to tar Microsoft as being a company that invented nothing of value. However, I don't think Bill Gates himself would qualify as an inventor of note. I mean, we generally don't say the microchip was invented by the stockholders of Texas Instruments?

        • Even if all he did was buy other companies (which initially wasn't the case... he wrote a lot of code in the early years), he had to be shrewd enough more often than not, to find the ones that would benefit Microsoft and be both technically and commercially viable. Just buying other companies wouldn't have cut it. A lot of companies trying this have failed because the people running them weren't smart enough to make good picks. He had to be smart enough to pick the right companies more than the stinkers. Ju
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 26, 2014 @06:19AM (#48674645)

    That sounds like a boondoggle, not something that would be useful in a productive environment.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      "Just the right properties" is not really needed. Simple gas pressure can overcome the need for specially prepared palladium. That is, the classic CF experiments were done at ordinary atmospheric pressure, so it takes a long time for the deuterium to permeate the palladium and, yes, apparently the palladium's molecular structure is important in helping CF to happen (if it happens at all). However, if you simply take a piece of palladium and put it in a pressure chamber, and pump in lots of deuterium gas
    • That sounds like a boondoggle,

      Why? We use vast quantities of things that must conform to very strict parameters, such as every semi conductor. When original research was going on they were extremely time consuming and low yield. Now 2m silicon crystals are commonly grown with impurities less than PPB and virtually zero defects at the molecular level! There's no reason to think this couldn't happen with palladium foil given sufficient resources.

      • by DrJimbo ( 594231 )

        There's no reason to think this [cold fusion] couldn't happen with palladium foil given sufficient resources.

        There is at least one overwhelming reason to think this could not happen regardless of how you prepare the palladium: basic physics.

        The Coulomb repulsion of the deuterons keeps them so far apart that the likelihood of fusion is exponentially small. You can muck about with the palladium until the cows come home but unless do something like replace the electrons with muons, it is unlikely you are going to induce a significant amount of cold fusion.

        It is like saying that by applying sufficient resourc

        • Maybe so. The OP seemed to make it out that the palladium sheet was the limiting factor, hence my comment. Granted I don't know much about nuclear physics.

    • I hate Microsoft as much as all of you, but I think Bill Gates is way too smart to support stuff like this.

      The article is full of shit.

      It claims that Gates's blog post here here [] supports LENR, but it does no such thing (although some people in the comments section do mention it).

  • by BoxRec ( 532280 ) <> on Friday December 26, 2014 @06:21AM (#48674649) Homepage
    I think this story really illustrates the fact the Gates was a very lucky man. He was in the right place at the right time (and with the right mother who was a friend of the Chairman of IBM) to be successful. Under any other circumstance it seems he would be pursuing a career in alchemy.
    • by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Friday December 26, 2014 @06:41AM (#48674679) Journal
      Many of us have had a few good business ideas at some point. The success of many entrepreneurs can be attributed to luck, being in the right place at the right time, and knowing the right people, rather than just having that great idea. But they then also have to recognize the idea as being good, recognize the opportunity presented by Lady Luck (timeliness and the right friends), have the guts to seize the opportunity and stake one's future on it, and then have the wherewithal to build a company around that idea.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        Plus the business ability to make it work financially. Plenty of people have the ability to innovate technologically but no skill at business management - they can try and fail, or they can just go work for an established company and give up the possibility of vast wealth in exchange for a near-guarantee of a moderate income.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Plus the business ability to make it work financially.

          That's doesn't need ability, that just needs money. What world do you live in?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Quite right. And being a bit of a louse like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, who are willing to screw others to any degree for the sake of their own ambition, doesn't hurt either. To make it their level, you need the right mix of luck, technical skills, business acumen, and psychopathy.

    • by jones_supa ( 887896 ) on Friday December 26, 2014 @08:11AM (#48674799)

      Under any other circumstance it seems he would be pursuing a career in alchemy.

      He did say that he might have pursued physics [] if he didn't end up in computer science.

      • by PPH ( 736903 )

        end up in computer science.

        Pretty much the same way I ended up in computer science. A freshman, on the first day of class in the fall. Not knowing my way around the building, I walked into the wrong classroom.

  • Rossi (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Whatever happened to Andrea Rossi []? I was all excited about the E-Cat stuff from 2012, but since then he seems to have disappeared off the face of the Earth...

    • Re:Rossi (Score:4, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 26, 2014 @06:37AM (#48674669)

      An 'independent' group of LENR researchers who were not allowed to 'independently' setup/inspect the equipment nor 'independently' operate it (Rossi did) watched it with ridiculously inadequate measuring equipment for 30 days and said it 'works'.

      I think they also independently claimed that the Brooklyn Bridge was a 'good deal' and they should buy it from me, but I haven't seen any money from them yet.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Back then in 2012 it was already clear Rossi had nothing. In the mean time we got 2 crappy report from his friends at bologna university & lund (so not independendent) and both were rife of so many error as to be laughable. The last one had Rossi remove the "ashes" which turned out to be something else altogether than previously found, and was Ni 62.... By coincidence Rossi had bought Ni 62 a bit before but that was for "calibration" wink wink.
      Bottom line : forget Rossi. There is a good reason he does n

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Visit E-Catworld if you want to read more about the E-Cat. Basically, Industrial Heat bought his business, then refined the E-Cat a lot, then a study revealing that the invention worked amazingly well was released at the exact same date that oil prices started to go down. Then IH installed the first operative plant which will let visitors come and see it, and shortly after that Bill Gates traveled to Italy to heavily invest in his technology.

      • Re:Rossi (Score:4, Interesting)

        by wiggles ( 30088 ) on Friday December 26, 2014 @11:38AM (#48675447)

        Who published this "study" and how was it peer reviewed?

        • Re:Rossi (Score:4, Informative)

          by Baloroth ( 2370816 ) on Friday December 26, 2014 @01:55PM (#48676143)

          Who published this "study" and how was it peer reviewed?

          I'd guess Snake Oil Monthly, peer reviewed by "homeopathic scientists". Obviously. Or (since Rossi is a tiny bit subtler than that... though only a tiny bit) the """Journal of Nuclear Physics"""*, which (in a startling coincidence) is "published" by Rossi himself (if posting something to a blog counts as published). It may well have been peer reviewed, but of course since Rossi is a fraudster, not a scientist, the peers in this case... well, lets just say they probably have more of a theoretical degree in physics than a degree in theoretical physics.

          *As a side note, this is a good example of why simply because something was "published" in a respected-sounding journal does not mean it's actually trustworthy. I could form the American Journal of Renowned Physics Breakthroughs tomorrow and publish the flimsiest of flim-flam in it. Anyone could.

    • The first sentence in the Wikipedia article: "Andrea Rossi (born 3 June 1950) is an Italian convicted fraudster, inventor and entrepreneur." (Though the footnote to "fraudster" indicates he was ultimately acquitted, on what appears to be a technicality, of the major charges relating to an alleged oil-from-trash scam.) The best you can say about E-Cat is that Rossi seems to be doing everything possible to make it look like a scam (Starts with a Bang [].)

      Rossi's E-Cat was the first thing I thought of when I rea

    • Dude. Even Steorn is still around ! Apparently they started re-tweeting or posting some funnay stuff about the new free house heating systems again. Boggles my mind.

  • LENR is not fusion (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 26, 2014 @06:44AM (#48674683)

    LENR means Low Energy Nuclear Reactions, and is most decidedly NOT fusion; the coulomb barrier is not applicable. The mechanism is completely different, the best theory so far is that of Widom-Larsen which explains it using Ultra Low Momentum neutrons. See for details, for the theory .

    • by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Friday December 26, 2014 @06:52AM (#48674699) Journal
      Are there any credible, scientific publications on LENR? Most articles on the subject are on Newenergytimes and E-catworld, which are hardly serious.
    • by BoxRec ( 532280 )
      If it's not fusion and it is definitely not fission then how is it nuclear ? Other than spilt up or join together what else can you possibly do to a nucleus ?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You can change a nucleus other than by merging with another. The Widom-Larsen theory is (as I understand it) that a proton on a metal surface is converted (forced by combined forces of groups of electrons) into a neutron by combining with an electron, and that this no-speed neutron is then easily captured by a nearby nucleus, changing its isotope number. So e.g. nickel would stay nickel but have an extra neutron. This could happens a second time for the same nucleus. If then one of the extra neutrons is con

      • You missed decay, which is the most common form of nuclear reaction on Earth. Proton capture can technically be thought of as fusion (fusing a hydrogen nucleus with something heavier), but it generally isn't referred to as such. Neutron capture is not fusion and a lot of LENR reactions are neutron capture.
    • Many LENR reactions (if not all) are fusion reactions.

      Or how do you call it if a H atom "combines" with another one?

      Low energy fusion in vacuum are researched since the 1890s (yes, eight teen not nine teen), especially japanese, italian and german researchers did stuff like this over 100 years ago. Easy to google btw.

    • by kesuki ( 321456 )

      nuclear reaction. fission is to fusion as a square is to rectangle. they are not the same thing but fusion and fission are both nuclear reactions. just because cold fusion is bunk doesn't mean it's not a 'nuclear reaction' of decidedly low energy.

    • by radtea ( 464814 )

      the best theory so far is that of Widom-Larsen

      Widom-Larsen requires an implausible mix of scales. The effective mass of heavy electrons in the solid state is a collective phenomenon happening over distances and time-scales that are large relative to the nucleus and nuclear time-scales and affect the dynamics of the electron's interaction with the lattice, on those scales. To impute to these large-scale effects efficacy at the nuclear scale is very unlikely to be correct.

      Consider a car analogy: a car moving along a freeway in dense traffic interacts wit

  • Cold Fusion (Score:5, Funny)

    by mentil ( 1748130 ) on Friday December 26, 2014 @06:48AM (#48674687)

    640 Kelvin ought to be enough for anybody.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    A fool and his money are easily parted.

    • by MrKaos ( 858439 )

      A fool and his money are easily parted.

      But not an atom and it's neutron, nosiree!!!

  • There's a sucker born every minute.

    The cold fusion scam rolls on.

  • Scam (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AgentElrond ( 1111199 ) on Friday December 26, 2014 @07:33AM (#48674755)
    This smells like a scam of some sort - I can't find any credible sources that link Gates to LENR, and the linked page also includes predictions by a financial astrologer. All the related links I dig into go nowhere but the same set of fringe / crackpot cold fusion sites. Anyone have anything firm on Gates involvement?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Kitco is very bullish on precious metals - so the source is suspect - have a read of some of their other stories.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      See . Gates visited the Frascati LENR laboratory on 2014-11-12 if I interpret the article correctly. You could check the Enea website if you know Italian :-)

    • by radtea ( 464814 )

      This smells like a scam of some sort

      While I don't disagree on the smell, Gates is richer than God, and the first thing I thought on seeing this was that if I had that kind of money I might spend a bit of it on wigged-out ideas, just in case. It's like me throwing a panhandler a buck just 'cause I can.

  • by scotts13 ( 1371443 ) on Friday December 26, 2014 @08:02AM (#48674787)

    The stopped just short of saying he was going to imbed an arc reactor in his chest. A superhero, he ain't.

    • He has the power of Super Money. Plenty of superhero setting characters have that power, usually in conjunction with a high skill level in another field.

      • Power of Super Money, perviously known for using hyper-aggressive business stratagies often anticompetative and bordering on ilegal, personal interest in developing energy technology, capable of some innovation on his own but more commonly hires more specialised underlings... is this Gates or Luthor?

  • Palladium-based fusion reactor? Hmm... I wonder, is he secretly building an Iron Man suit in his basement?
  • by Capt.Albatross ( 1301561 ) on Friday December 26, 2014 @09:57AM (#48675051)

    The 'Tech Metals Insider' article contains a link to what it describes as another of its articles on Low Energy Nuclear Reactors, but it is actually about the hohlraums used in some inertial-confinement laser fusion research. The author is apparently unaware that this is a very different technology, and so cannot be regarded as a reliable guide on the subject.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Now that gold has tanked, they need to promote the sale of palladium to gullible investors.

  • by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Friday December 26, 2014 @11:24AM (#48675389)
    I was just on Youtube, and they have energy figured out:

    You can heat your house with two tea candles and a couple clay flower pots: []

    Perpetual motion: []

    There is a lot more. These guys and gals have us to the point of completely free energy.

    But while the communist cabal of evil "real" scientists are all busy trying to shackle the world with their hoohaw global warming money and freedom grab when they aren't out killing puppies, and figuring out ways to break Jerry Sandusky out of jail - the true inventors working tirelessly in their garages have solved all our energy problems

    WAKE UP AMERICA! from a cave in Idaho, where men are still men, and the sheep are pretty nervous

  • Inventor? (Score:2, Troll)

    by paiute ( 550198 )
    Someone please tell me something Gates invented other than how to lawyer your way to a billion.
  • This item is simply hyping a press release from a rare metals sales firm. There is nothing to see here folks, move along.

  • he should be investing into thorium companies as well.

Whom the gods would destroy, they first teach BASIC.