Author Topic: The uBeam FAQ  (Read 289743 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline georgesmith

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 16
  • Country: us
Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #425 on: May 18, 2016, 09:54:39 am »
Today a friend noticed that Sean Taffler, uBeam's VP of Engineering, was previously the VP of Engineering at HashFast Technologies. HashFast made Bitcoin mining hardware, but never delivered a product and was convicted of fraud in federal court. (Edit: The company and its executives were sued for fraud, and the judge ruled in favor of the plaintiff when the company disputed it. One executive then settled out-of-court, while the other was ordered to personally pay $165,000 in damages. Sources aren't online, but are available via PACER.)

(Edit: Paul Reynolds, former VP of Engineering at uBeam, has said:

Quote
I asked nicely in one of my blog posts - please don't insult any engineer, current or former, at uBeam.

There were several world-class engineers there. He's one of them, both in capability and character.

Thanks to Paul for all the great material he's posted to his blog. I apologize for using an inaccurate source here.)
« Last Edit: May 18, 2016, 07:00:27 pm by georgesmith »
 

Online EEVblog

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 26842
  • Country: au
    • EEVblog
Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #426 on: May 18, 2016, 10:42:55 am »
Today a friend noticed that Sean Taffler, uBeam's VP of Engineering, was previously the VP of Engineering at HashFast Technologies. HashFast made Bitcoin mining hardware, but never delivered a product and was convicted of fraud in federal court.

And he stayed there to switch off the lights. From his LinkedIn:
Quote
Market pressures came to bear on Hashfast and I was fortunate/unfortunate enough to close the doors after a bankruptcy fight.
 

Offline georgesmith

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 16
  • Country: us
Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #427 on: May 18, 2016, 10:57:33 am »
Apple now hiring uBeam engineers (The Verge)
 

Offline georgesmith

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 16
  • Country: us
Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #428 on: May 18, 2016, 11:10:47 am »
Today a friend noticed that Sean Taffler, uBeam's VP of Engineering, was previously the VP of Engineering at HashFast Technologies. HashFast made Bitcoin mining hardware, but never delivered a product and was convicted of fraud in federal court.

Does "A US District Judge has approved claims" mean convicted in a US court? But thanks @georgesmith for providing links to your sources. I wish more people would do that.

Thanks. The judge ruled against them, but the suit was then settled before trial, so you're right that "convicted" isn't fully accurate. Post edited, more details here.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2016, 11:25:55 am by georgesmith »
 

Online EEVblog

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 26842
  • Country: au
    • EEVblog
Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #429 on: May 18, 2016, 11:36:36 am »
Apple now hiring uBeam engineers (The Verge)

Oh dear, now the true believers will say that vindicates the idea of ultrasonic charging  :palm:
 

Offline coppice

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3678
  • Country: gb
Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #430 on: May 18, 2016, 11:42:49 am »
Today a friend noticed that Sean Taffler, uBeam's VP of Engineering, was previously the VP of Engineering at HashFast Technologies. HashFast made Bitcoin mining hardware, but never delivered a product and was convicted of fraud in federal court.

And he stayed there to switch off the lights. From his LinkedIn:
Quote
Market pressures came to bear on Hashfast and I was fortunate/unfortunate enough to close the doors after a bankruptcy fight.
So uBeam has hired a guy with experience of shutting down a failed business? Sounds like good relevant experience. :)
 

Offline amspire

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3633
  • Country: au
Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #431 on: May 18, 2016, 11:45:19 am »
Apple now hiring uBeam engineers (The Verge)

Oh dear, now the true believers will say that vindicates the idea of ultrasonic charging  :palm:
My reaction too. Of course Apple is interested in ultrasonics. Using ultrasonics is a fairly unused method of sensing up to now in phones and tablets so there is a huge of potential. To think that Apple is even slightly interested in 155dB loud charging systems with a 1% efficiency or less is a stupid conclusion.
 

Offline Bud

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2688
  • Country: ca
Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #432 on: May 18, 2016, 12:49:46 pm »
HashFast made Bitcoin mining hardware, but never delivered a product and was convicted of fraud in federal court.

Wow, look who ran their finance (quoted from Reddit):

Quote
The company’s new CFO, Monica Hushen.
This woman is the death of hardware personified.
Her career is amazing. She was with Apple during the time when Apple was for all intents and purposes dead, then she went to Iomega right when Zip drives fell out of favor. Afterwards she went to some B2C solution provider not even Wikipedia remembers that was promptly bought and killed by eBay, then she went to work for the smoldering almost-corpse of Palm Inc, which HP finally axe murdered. Noticing a trend she had a brief stint at ECS Refining, which is a recycling company for dead hardware.
And now she's with Hashfast, a hardware "company" floundering dead in the water before it sold its first product..

Can you make a guess who she is with now  ::)
 

Offline Cerebus

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3300
  • Country: gb
Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #433 on: May 18, 2016, 12:56:30 pm »
Today a friend noticed that Sean Taffler, uBeam's VP of Engineering, was previously the VP of Engineering at HashFast Technologies. HashFast made Bitcoin mining hardware, but never delivered a product and was convicted of fraud in federal court.

Does "A US District Judge has approved claims" mean convicted in a US court? But thanks @georgesmith for providing links to your sources. I wish more people would do that.

Thanks. The judge ruled against them, but the suit was then settled before trial, so you're right that "convicted" isn't fully accurate. Post edited, more details here.

Erm, the judge also ruled for them as well. And "convicted" even if not "fully accurate"? The document you point to is a ruling on a motion to dismiss. It is not a substantive finding of fact, nor a judgement, and nowhere anything like a conviction or finding against any party.

You ought to be a lot more careful before making defamatory statements about someone, particularly about criminal misconduct. Do it to the wrong person and you could find yourself with a big legal bill and some nasty damages. More than that it's just plain unkind unless you've got all your facts right and the person either legitimately deserves it or there's a legitimate public interest in advertising their wrongdoing. I should point out that the person you named (Sean Taffler) is not even one of the individuals cited in the case.
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 

Offline helius

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2463
  • Country: us
Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #434 on: May 18, 2016, 02:27:55 pm »
Saying that someone was convicted when they weren't is "libel per se". It can get you in serious trouble. It's not even possible to be convicted in a civil suit.
 

Offline jurge24pez

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 7
  • Country: us
Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #435 on: May 18, 2016, 03:53:24 pm »
Hash fast was in the news due to its founders so the correlation with ubeam continues.  The bigger question is the choices of a talented engineer to go to the likes of these companies, but it appears he's doing the wise act and looking for his self now as when one googles him he's got his resume posted live "Currently I am looking for my next role." And lists ubeam in his repertoire so it is a current post.http://www.taffler.com/Taffler/Welcome.html  Wonder how many other engineers will be flying the coop now from there? 
 
 

Offline PaulReynolds

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 81
  • Country: us
Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #436 on: May 18, 2016, 06:15:22 pm »
I asked nicely in one of my blog posts - please don't insult any engineer, current or former, at uBeam.

There were several world-class engineers there. He's one of them, both in capability and character.
 

Offline georgesmith

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 16
  • Country: us
Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #437 on: May 18, 2016, 06:54:30 pm »
Saying that someone was convicted when they weren't is "libel per se". It can get you in serious trouble. It's not even possible to be convicted in a civil suit.

The headline of one of the news stories about them was literally "Bitcoin Miner Manufacturer Found Guilty of Fraud" (link). It's obvious (after reading all the court documents) that that wasn't a fair summary, but no, it's never libel to mistakenly rely on an inaccurate source. (Otherwise, any time a media outlet got something wrong, every reader who told a friend something would be guilty of libel.) I'm sorry I screwed up, and didn't check sources carefully enough.

Quote
It is not a substantive finding of fact, nor a judgement, and nowhere anything like a conviction or finding against any party.

It's not online, but PACER shows that there was in fact a large judgement entered by the court against one of the defendants. This isn't really relevant to uBeam, but I want to be sure the facts are straight here.

Quote
There were several world-class engineers there. He's one of them, both in capability and character.

Thanks, I'll go back and edit the post. Sorry that your first post here had to be like this...
 

Online EEVblog

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 26842
  • Country: au
    • EEVblog
Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #438 on: May 18, 2016, 08:14:05 pm »
Hash fast was in the news due to its founders so the correlation with ubeam continues.  The bigger question is the choices of a talented engineer to go to the likes of these companies, but it appears he's doing the wise act and looking for his self now as when one googles him he's got his resume posted live "Currently I am looking for my next role." And lists ubeam in his repertoire so it is a current post.http://www.taffler.com/Taffler/Welcome.html  Wonder how many other engineers will be flying the coop now from there?

That web page has been like that since at lest Feb 19th.
But yeah, Resume shows uBeam, so unlikely he updated his resume and his "currently looking for work" page.
Good chance he's gone.
 

Online EEVblog

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 26842
  • Country: au
    • EEVblog
Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #439 on: May 18, 2016, 08:21:29 pm »
new WSJ article on uBeam sound interesting from the title, but behind a paywall:
http://www.wsj.com/articles/ubeam-vcs-created-hype-cycle-1463484610
 

Offline Howardlong

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4370
  • Country: gb
Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #440 on: May 18, 2016, 09:52:13 pm »
I asked nicely in one of my blog posts - please don't insult any engineer, current or former, at uBeam.

There were several world-class engineers there. He's one of them, both in capability and character.

Welcome to EEVBlog!

A very thought-provoking blog, I downloaded it all the other day for my commute. I certainly couldn't understand why any engineer would want to work at uBeam bearing in mind the claims they were making, but I can see how it would attract some if you get to play with the latest toys.

May I ask, did you, or any of your technical colleagues, ever expect to see the phone charging product deployed and selling in the wild?
 

Offline amspire

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3633
  • Country: au
Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #441 on: May 18, 2016, 10:07:49 pm »
May I ask, did you, or any of your technical colleagues, ever expect to see the phone charging product deployed and selling in the wild?
No. It never made any sense.

It makes as much sense as using tracking high powered lasers to charge a phone. Actually, a laser is a much better idea then uBeam. I can claim it will be totally safe by just saying I will have this software that will turn the laser off the instant before any direct or reflected beam hits an eye. It is very easy saying that.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2016, 10:11:23 pm by amspire »
 

Offline VNFTW

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 5
  • Country: us
Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #442 on: May 18, 2016, 10:24:38 pm »
 

Offline Cerebus

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3300
  • Country: gb
Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #443 on: May 18, 2016, 10:28:16 pm »
Quote
It is not a substantive finding of fact, nor a judgement, and nowhere anything like a conviction or finding against any party.

It's not online, but PACER shows that there was in fact a large judgement entered by the court against one of the defendants. This isn't really relevant to uBeam, but I want to be sure the facts are straight here.


It's exactly that kind of writing that gets you sued for libel. You take a quote that refers exclusively to a court direction on a motion to dismiss and conflate it with "a large judgement ... against one of the defendents". Whether you intend to or not, it looks like you're trying to find some way of ascribing guilt without having the facts available to support that. And that's what matters, at least in English law, that a piece of writing, taken as a whole is likely to be read as defamatory by a "right-minded person" - the appearance in the mind of the reader is what counts. I know wherewith of what I speak, I used to be a journalist and I've had formal training in libel law as my publisher, Felix Dennis, didn't like being sued (you may remember a little thing called the Oz trial).

Editted to add (and correct one literal above): It just occurs to me that the people who did our libel training were very good. It's many years later and I remember all of it. More importantly, while I was writing I got several companies very angry with me, with good justification on my behalf (i.e. I said that crap products were crap), but we never got sued so I think the training paid off. /Edit

... but no, it's never libel to mistakenly rely on an inaccurate source.

Good luck telling the judge that, he will tell you different. There's no need to prove malice in a libel claim, carelessness or recklessness is quite adequate.

(Otherwise, any time a media outlet got something wrong, every reader who told a friend something would be guilty of libel.)

It's not "libel", it's slander and only then when monetary loss can be proven. And not "guilty" as defamation is a tort, a civil wrong, not a crime.

I'm sorry I screwed up, and didn't check sources carefully enough.

The expressed remorse might take a few quid off, but your last five words probably just doubled the damages. Just imagine counsel for the appellant, at your libel trial, saying: "So, Mr. Smith, before you rushed to accuse my client in print of fraud, did you check your sources? Did you bother to find out the truth before blackening my client's character? Or were you so hell bent on doing him harm that you were completely reckless as to the veracity of your claims?".

A public apology, at least as prominent as the original libel, and a retraction, is actually a defense in a libel action. It might be a good idea to cover your arse and issue one.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2016, 10:51:10 pm by Cerebus »
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 

Offline coppice

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3678
  • Country: gb
Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #444 on: May 18, 2016, 10:30:36 pm »
new WSJ article on uBeam sound interesting from the title, but behind a paywall:
http://www.wsj.com/articles/ubeam-vcs-created-hype-cycle-1463484610

Same article I believe, no paywall, just a click-through box
http://www.wsj.com/articles/scholars-doubt-ubeam-claims-pitch-deck-calls-tech-commercially-viable-1463484603
I don't seem to be able to click through on that page. I only get options to sign in or subscribe.
 

Offline Cerebus

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3300
  • Country: gb
Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #445 on: May 18, 2016, 10:42:45 pm »
May I ask, did you, or any of your technical colleagues, ever expect to see the phone charging product deployed and selling in the wild?
No. It never made any sense.

Erm, I don't really think it's your place to answer on behalf of those engineers when we've got one here now who can speak for himself and who the question was directed to.

Mind you, if I was him, my reply might be "On advice of counsel I'm declining to answer that question". <- note, no smiley.

Really, uBeam is the kind of thing that ends in court and while we can speculate as wildly as we like, it might be a good idea for one of the participants to choose his public, on the record, words very carefully. I imply no wrongdoing on his behalf, and you should infer none, but it would be in the interests of some parties to share the blame around and some carelessly chosen words might just be enough to do that, even if that flies in the face of the actual facts.
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 

Offline amspire

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3633
  • Country: au
Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #446 on: May 18, 2016, 11:05:36 pm »
Erm, I don't really think it's your place to answer on behalf of those engineers when we've got one here now who can speak for himself and who the question was directed to.
Fair enough. My mistake in not realising it was THE Paul Reynolds.
 

Offline theatrus

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 344
  • Country: us
Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #447 on: May 19, 2016, 12:27:27 am »
new WSJ article on uBeam sound interesting from the title, but behind a paywall:
http://www.wsj.com/articles/ubeam-vcs-created-hype-cycle-1463484610

Same article I believe, no paywall, just a click-through box
http://www.wsj.com/articles/scholars-doubt-ubeam-claims-pitch-deck-calls-tech-commercially-viable-1463484603
I don't seem to be able to click through on that page. I only get options to sign in or subscribe.

The trick with WSJ articles:

Open incognito window
Go to google.com it's self and paste the URL into the search box
Click through to the article from the search results page
Software by day, hardware by night; blueAcro.com
 
The following users thanked this post: Delta

Offline Bud

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2688
  • Country: ca
Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #448 on: May 19, 2016, 01:07:20 am »
Wasn't it WSJ who catapulted uBeam into the bright future back then

https://m.facebook.com/meredith.perry/posts/10201377478782470
 

Offline edavid

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2596
  • Country: us
Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #449 on: May 19, 2016, 01:07:54 am »
Quote
It is not a substantive finding of fact, nor a judgement, and nowhere anything like a conviction or finding against any party.

It's not online, but PACER shows that there was in fact a large judgement entered by the court against one of the defendants. This isn't really relevant to uBeam, but I want to be sure the facts are straight here.


It's exactly that kind of writing that gets you sued for libel. You take a quote that refers exclusively to a court direction on a motion to dismiss and conflate it with "a large judgement ... against one of the defendents". Whether you intend to or not, it looks like you're trying to find some way of ascribing guilt without having the facts available to support that. And that's what matters, at least in English law, that a piece of writing, taken as a whole is likely to be read as defamatory by a "right-minded person" - the appearance in the mind of the reader is what counts. I know wherewith of what I speak, I used to be a journalist and I've had formal training in libel law as my publisher, Felix Dennis, didn't like being sued (you may remember a little thing called the Oz trial).

You obviously don't understand the US legal system.  Don't worry, you won't be sued for that  :)
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf