* Posts by Jonathan Lancaster

9 publicly visible posts • joined 19 Nov 2007

You gotta fight for your copyright ... Beastie Boys sue toymaker over TV ad

Jonathan Lancaster

Of course it's parody; updating the lyrics to provide comment on the original is almost the definition of parody. Fair Use doesn't exclude parody for commercial purpose.

HTC ChaCha Qwerty Android smartphone

Jonathan Lancaster


At least it's doesn't have some blatantly 'aspirational' name as other htc variants seem to. Dream, desire, hero, incredible, ace, stallion, marvel, vision... I was fully expecting the next one to be called the HTC ifyoubuythisphoneyourlifewillbebetter - but there again the concatenation of those words does lead to a rather unfortunate ambiguity.

Flight sim site turns over hacker evidence to UK cops

Jonathan Lancaster

Where'd the crime take place?

I'm interested to see how this one turns out- does the Gary McKinnon case not establish that cross border computer crime is under the jurisdiction of the victim's country and not where the perpetrator was, at least in the minds of the British authorities? If they do prosecute this guy over here, I reckon Gary would be fairly justified in feeling hard done by.

Japanese games group to ban twisted 'sex torture' sims

Jonathan Lancaster

@matt donovan

Yes, indeed- how sickening and small minded to regard rape and torture as unacceptable; we shouldn't be so judgemental about other cultures. We should just embrace such ideas as cultural differences- hey maybe we could have a fun cultural exchange event where the sick fucks (sorry, 'those with different cuitural viewpoints') can demonstrate their traditions.

Sarcasm aside, the very point of such classification boards is to evaluate the extent to which a work conforms to societal standards, not determine those standards. You will note that the board's assessment has no legal status, so it would seem your criticisms of their 'censorship' seem in reality to be a call to limit their freedom to express their viewpoint on the matter. That retailers hold their viewpoint in high regard should surely not limit their rights to freedom of expression.

BT cuts phone charges for prisoners

Jonathan Lancaster

@lee Sexton

No, the graduate endowment has now been scrapped. Scottish students studying in Scotland pay no tuition fees. EU students studying in Scotland also pay no fees, it's just those south of the border who end up paying, as usual.

Ofcom confirms Freeview will get HD next year

Jonathan Lancaster


Sky don't charge for BBC HD- they supply you with a subsidised box on the basis that you subscribe to their commericial HD package. You can watch BBC HD without subscription, though. Likewise Virgin media don't charge you for BBC HD itself, rather the rental of the box and probably some array of channels that come with the box.

Iplayer over freeview wouldn't work, just as it's not available on sky, either- no return path for you to communicate with the broadcaster. If you can't find a way to hook your pc up to your tele, i suggest you go and buy a freeview pvr- much the same functionality as iplayer, 'cept you can keep things indefinitely- only downside is you have to tell it what you wanna watch before the broadcast rather than after, but get the season link set up and it's not too much of a problem.

Apple blocks cheaper UK iPod sales

Jonathan Lancaster

@Paul Hatch

"they do exploit the situ by charging the maximum each market will bear."

Indeed- and this is the trouble we face- in spite of how much it pisses us all off, enough people go out and buy this crap all the same for it to make sense for them to charge so much extra.

Just to counterpoint the comments annoyed at parallel import/price differentiation, there are some plus sides to the rules, too (although I don't see how they apply in the case of iPods and Levi jeans). HIV drugs are often a lot cheaper in developing nations than in the west- the price disparity is not pure profit for the GSK; the western price reflects the millions (billions?) of dollars spent on research. Developing nations couldn't afford that price, so it benefits everyone to lower it for them (GSK get some extra income, Africans get HIV drugs). This is price differentiation that benefits society as a whole- I certainly wouldn't want a situation that effectively forced drug companies from supplying discounted drugs to these countries because they'd just get sold on to profit hungry HMOs in the west.

Drink rats' milk, suggests battling Heather Mills

Jonathan Lancaster

Methods of rat milk collection

For the benefit of those without journal subscriptions:


Methods considered include hand milking, and euthanising pups to steal the milk from their stomachs. They eventually settled on using 'soft moulded silicone suction cups' connected to a vacuum pump. The two upper thoratic nipples proved easiest to milk, whereas the other four had too much loose skin around them, making it difficult to get an air tight seal. Proficient milkers were able to achieve similar results from all nipples with practice, however, so there is hope yet. 'The skill in the rat milking procedure was to ensure a constant flow of milk, by pulsing the vacuum and using a gentle 'milking' technique.' This lead to approx. 1.5ml of milk being collected at a time from a single dam.

The original article even has fun pictures!


Practical aspects of milk collection in the rat

C. T. Rodgers

Safety of Medicines, ZENECA Pharmaceuticals, Mereside, Alderley Park, Macclesfield, Cheshire

SK10 4TG, UK

Tories call for mobile phone ban in schools

Jonathan Lancaster

re:fat lazy kids

You also didn't have the same level of concern about kids getting mugged or worse on the way home.

As for payphones- do you really think that those things work a week after they've been installed?