Toyota had a dedicated lab in France that worked with cold fusion for two years! There are countless other groups that have done so as well.
The biggest problem is that the results are not predictable. Many groups can get excess heat from water, but not consistently. We need to know how and why it works before it can be marketed. We need to know how and why it works so it can be reproducible 100% of the time. Even if we don't really figure out how/why, if we can get the numbers up to 90% reproducible...it can be marketable. But no one can.
There is a huge missing piece that no one has figured out. Major companies and universities have invested a large amount of time and money into this. But I have a feeling this will come down to a group or individual having an eureka moment and discovering the missing part of the equation. The potential for energy is staggering. It would literally change everything.
I hate the tone of the Slashdot article because it makes this seem like a stupid/lost cause/hoax situation when it's anything form that.
Watch "Fire from Water." It's a bit sensational, but it's a decent documentary that does accurately portray the cold fusion debate.