* Posts by Keller Drozdick

30 publicly visible posts • joined 24 Jul 2007

Mars rover Opportunity shuns dodgy flash chips, relies on RAM

Keller Drozdick


Er, "...laser-armed, nuclear powered Opportunity.."? I think you got a little used to writing articles about Curiosity. It's the laser tank with nuclear power, thus the picture showing solar panels of Opportunity.

Post-pub nosh deathmatch: Haggis pakora v huevos rancheros

Keller Drozdick


Uh, if you wanted to use corn tortillas, why did you use flour ones? Significant difference in taste and texture; even a Yank knows that.

Ten... Star Wars videogame classics

Keller Drozdick
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I definitely want to second (sixth?) the comments on Tie Fighter, whihc improved on the already good X-Wing, but what about Dark Forces: Jedi Knight? admittedly not the first FPS for Star Wars, but a terriffic game, goof FPS, getting to properly wield a lightsaber AND force powers for the first time, choice of light and dark paths throughout the game, etc. etc.

So, what IS the worst film ever made?

Keller Drozdick


Random Hearts, 1999 - Harrison Ford, Kristin Scott Thomas

LOHAN fires up sizzling thruster

Keller Drozdick

Good test, questionable units

Nice test, and I was impressed by the rocket performance, particularly compared to my long ago experience with amateur rocket engines in the US (Estes), which put out huge volumes of smoke.

However, thrust in grams? Really? Can you not use an anglocentric unit like the Newton at the test center in Spain? Or did you try to compose the video after a trip to the pub, forgetting mass vs. force?

New 'supercritical' generators to boost nuclear output by 50%

Keller Drozdick

Unnecessary technical correction

No quite right on " 'supercritical' carbon dioxide, which is just at the point between being a gas and being a liquid". Actually, being superctitical places the material in a temperature/pressure region beyond its critical point, where it behaves in some ways like both a gas and a liquid. For CO2, that means any combination of pressures and temperatures above 31C and 79.2 atm. So, it's more properly "beyond the point where it behaves as only a gas or a liquid".


Keller Drozdick

Even made the news in the US

Just heard a summary of PARIS on the morning national news program on National Public Radio (NPR) here in the states. So we are a bit late to the party, what else is new. Looking forward to LOHAN, which perhaps our news folk can start to cover before it is finished.

Organ banks on horizon as boffins prep tissue-freeze tech

Keller Drozdick
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Thanks for the Niven refernce

Just wanted to pass along thanks for the Larry Niven reference. One of my favorite hard sci-fi authors, and always wish he was more widely read.

Silicon Valley hypegasm for miracle shoebox powerplants

Keller Drozdick


Thanks for the first rational reporting on the box I've seen. I looked a while yesterday, and everyone was repeating nonsense like saying the box could use solar and wind energy as fuel to generate electricity (?!?!?). Bottom line is at best it's an efficiency improvement on converting hydrocarbons to electricity, which can be a significant advance, but nothing revolutionary, and certainly not zero emissions. Clever implementation, including waste heat utilization for secondary generation or direct use would help a bit, but we're still talking an incremental efficienty improvement, not revolution.

And it amazes me that this stuff continues to get grafted along, and supported/reported by "technology" groups. When exactly it the "technology" area exclude basic science?

Google Energy gets OK

Keller Drozdick


"...datacenters are vast generators..." Er, methinks you meant consumers, perhaps?

Android 2.0: what to expect

Keller Drozdick

Meeting specs of Palm Pre?

Glad to see they are learning something from my Palm Pre, regarding the multiple e-mails, contacts, and calendars. It did include syncing with mutliple calendars, right?

Net hasn't isolated Yanks - they've just misplaced their friends

Keller Drozdick

Linguistic violation

"Mobe"? I that was banished to the hinterlands.

El Reg receives message from planet 'Female Pigeon'

Keller Drozdick

Let's keep things straight

I am all in favor of using fictional universes for sources of names (practical problems of finite names and a much bigger finite number of plantes). However, if you're going to use Tatooine, Dantooine, et. al. for celestial bodies, shouldn't those actually be the names of stars? That would require mythologies to be restricted to individual galaxies instead of solar systems, but that makes more sense anyway. Paticularly if the galaxy is far, far away.

P.S. I second the suggestion of "Lave"

Japan's first lady visits Venus

Keller Drozdick


I'll be the first to nit-pick: I seem to recall that venus was continually envelloped by thick clouds, clouds of acid in fact, that continually block direct sunlight. So while undoubtedly hot and unpleasant, I don't believe sun scortched is correct. I'd buy sweltering, though.

Yes, there was a viable liquid bomb plot

Keller Drozdick


Excellent article

Parents plant spyware to snare sex predator

Keller Drozdick

Misplaced spy concerns

I am completely against government monitoring activities, and am regularly shocked at what I see happening in the UK (I'm a 'merkin, so we've got our own issues to deal with here...).

But, the girl was 15. I'm not saying it's ok to monitor all activities of a 15 year-old covertly, but it is the job of parents to monitor their kids to keep them safe, as well as to, over time, teach them to live on their own without monitoring. Anyone have a problem with parents monitoring, overtly or covertly, the computer use of an 8 year-old? Or the use of scissors by a 4 year-old?

I don't know the specifics of the situation, but I see nothing in the story that looks like the parents were using appropriate montioring, and on the face of it their actions were reasonable. They appear to only have acted AFTER they had very reasonable grounds to suspect their underage (I assume for the UK) daughter was in a relationship with someone in appropriately older.

(anonymouns 'cause I don't want my daughter finding this post :-)

eBay sues Craigslist as family squabble goes public

Keller Drozdick

@ delaware?

It is relatively common for corporations in the US, whatever their actual location, to be technically incorporated in Delaware; apprarently favorable corporate tax schecule, etc. I worked for a company with only two locations, both industrial plants in Texas, and no historical ties outside the state, but the company was incorporated in Delaware.

Gilligan's bomb: Is it time to panic yet?

Keller Drozdick
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A the risk of being repetitive, many thanks for the well presented article. As you note, not only are the frequently presented attacks largely unrealistic, even if they worked their success depends on our reaction.

Santa putting children's information at risk, warn experts

Keller Drozdick

Unfair application of laws

I'm certainly no expert on EU regulations, but it seems to me that data protection should not apply, at least in regard to the submitted wish lists.

To my knowledge, none of the alledged gift bringers, (e.g. Father Christmas, Santa Claus, Papa Noel, etc.) has ever requested a list of desired gifts. Just because he is sent unsolicited personal information should not then mean he is automaticaly obligated to protect that info. It is an unfair burden, particularly when this gift delivery activity is merely a hobby. (1. method of transport is clearly not the most efficient or cost effective and 2. anyone ever NOT gotten something on their list? I thought so, highly unprofessional)

Judge rules Gore's film an inconvenient catalogue of errors

Keller Drozdick

For Anon, Meh

I am an American, but I don't "dogmatically refuse to admit to anything that might be interpreted as threatening the American Way of Life." Sorry, but just because the loudest and/or most promoted voices in the media from over here are admittedly dogmatic, that doesn't mean we all are.

However, I suppose it would take someone who was dogmatically opposed to folks from over here to assume that.

Sun to blame for yin-yang Moon's dark side

Keller Drozdick

re re tidelocked

Perhaps being tidelocked with Saturn caused deposition of dust on the leading edge, and whenever that leading edge faces the sun (or the part that faces the sun) experiences the evaporation/sublimation explained. So you have a continual deposition on one face due to tide lock, and a second cyclical process that reinforces the apparent contrast through shifting the moisture.

Or they are full of crap. :)

Apple iPhone

Keller Drozdick

@buddypepper 2

Gotta agree w/ buddypepper. The iPhone sounds like a solid incremental improvement from my Treo (palm OS, not MS). Which it should be, as my Treo is what, 3 years old? Cleaner UI as expected from Apple, and more improvement in multimedia. Of course, then again, I've regularly utilized spreadsheets and word documents on my Treo with no problems, so it seems the iPhone doesn't help productivity as much a enable media consumption.

Boffins challenge shape of neutron neutrality

Keller Drozdick

Clarification please

From Adam: "Neutrons are composed of quarks (two down and an up). But so are protons." I assume by you mean that protons are composed of quarks like neurons, not that they are composed of two down and an up quark like neutrons.

My grasp of quarks is tenuous at best, so I hope that is correct.

Ratings volunteers to be spied on by mobiles

Keller Drozdick

US variation

I know of a US variant; lower tech but possibly more robust. You wear a beeper like device, which (according to the folks who run the program) "listens" for codes in broadcast media, particularly the commercials themselves. You drop the beeper in a charger/communicator when you go to bed, and it uploads whatever it registered via land line. The way they make sure you use it is a) you get paid for having it on a minimum number of hours a day and b) there's a motion sensor to detect if it is on someone or not.

Not always necessary to complicate things by adding in bluetooth, cel networks, etc.


El Reg protests North Korean internet domain

Keller Drozdick

Americans and Jokes

Americans are less likely tospot a jokes? Really? And after all we've done to elect one of the most laughable national leaders in recent memory..... bloody limeys...

You colonial bretheren,


Yangtze river dolphin is an ex-cetacean

Keller Drozdick

RE: Adaption failure

Yes the dolphin "failed to adapt". And yes, many species have gone extinct. And yes, we are highly self-centered and conceited if we think we can define what a "normal" ecology is, and what is "good" for nature.

Unfortunately, we are equally self-centered and conceited if we think we can take whatever action is convenient at the moment regardless of the impact on anyone or anything else.

The tragedy here is that a species was rendered extinct because of people being ignorant of (or more likely ignoring) the impact of their actions. They could have modified their behavior slightly and probably protected the species in question. It's not a question of trying to dictate nature, it's just thinking the impact of your actions beyond your own immediate convenience.


The terrorists I party with

Keller Drozdick


I second the applause, though with more raucous applause and cheers, not to mention foot stomping. I am an American after all...


A handy guide to growing your own spaceship

Keller Drozdick

Niven Corrections & a question

- Niven referred to Ringworld as a suspension bridge in the context of a mathematical model. In actual construction, it had to invent a material that would be categorized as "magic wand"

- Niven also utilized biological spacecraft (sort of): Stage Trees. And until the more distant future his universe relied on the multiyear travel that you had dismissed

- How come the engineered, god like spaceship you are describing doesn't fall under the "magic wand" category?


Gmail: a short, sharp rant

Keller Drozdick

I'll second that

I'll pile on with the others:

- Every now and again, exercise some data-management and log in to delete e-mails you've already downloaded (I believe gmail won't let you delete when accessing via POP).

- And yeah, they could and should have provided a way to give warnings of full mailboxes, even if they are big, both for POP and web access.

Me, I let it pile up in gmail and then download to my personal computer and at that point clear out whatever I downloaded. I certainly have reservations about Google, but don't think they are above average evil, and like that I can have my Treo automatically check my gmail account free.


NASA preps robots for future fake moon landings

Keller Drozdick

RE: American's and Idiots

Nice to see some note there's a difference between the two groups. Harder to find these days in some quarters....