Thursday, April 28, 2011


The bad news is that the Playstation Network is still down; the good news is that Sony won't have to field any flack on their blogs any more because the sign-in uses the same network and the cookies that have been maintaining users identities are expiring.

So you know swings and roundabouts :-)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Around Stourport

Totally non-related stuff that's cropped up around town.

I've mentioned the speed warning sign on the way down Gilgal; seems to be 'broken' now.

The Riverside Amusement Fair, that I still want to just refer to as Shipley's, has a new sign above their old sign welcoming people to the Stourport Market. Que?

The now empty Lloyds Garage in Bridge Street has acquired a shiny new sign complete with artists impression of how it's all going to look - rather minimalist and pastelly by the seem of things :-)

The Esso petrol has caught up with Total at a price of £1.359/litre that's £6.18/gallon for those who prefer that or $8.51/US gallon to make any American readers splutter in disbelief.

Still no real sign of anything happening with Tesco, nor with the big piles o'stuff currently boarded off at the old Shell site on Vale Road.

Allcock's on York Street whose been doing up his street front and blocking one lane whilst doing so now has a bait shop next to it.

Oh and it's definitely Cycles and Skates that opened up in Bridge Street.

Cake testing

Totally off the wall here; but I've been watching someone make cakes and the method they use to determine if they're cooked or not is to slip a knife through it and see if it comes out clean. But that means that a cooked cake has a uniform consistency and an under-cooked one doesn't. So wouldn't that show up on radar?

Take a small hand-held device send a pulse through the cake and report on the first point of change. If the cake is sitting on a tray and is 10cm high than any reading under 10cm would indicate it was undercooked.

In a similar fashion on The Great British Menu one chef was cooking salt-basted trout [?] the whole fish covered in a salt crust and cooked. She had  to rely on timings and temperatures to determine if it was cooked or not because the coating prevented testing.

I don't know. It may be that the change wouldn't show up, but it would be a neat non-invasive sure-fire method if it did.

[Or sonar something like ultrasound that's already used to check some solids for cracks etc. I'm guessing it's not too portable though]

Losing folders in Outlook

While failing to sort out the mess that MobileMe has made to the calendars I noted that one of the systems seemed to be missing the Drafts folder. Oddly although created items were being saved on command Outlook allowed a new folder called drafts to be created. Of course this 'Drafts' folder wasn't the "Drafts" folder so it wasn't accepting the saved items.

A quick search and I discovered them under a folder called Lost and Found as "Recovered Folder nnnnn". You can't move it, you can't rename it because it's the Drafts folder.

Luckily How to Outlook came to the rescue and I used the /resetfolders switch. Drafts reappeared and I copied the contents from the recovered folder to it then ran a test which worked fine. Just a PITA how the hell would someone without any specialised knowledge work this out?

The new MobileMe Calendar

In an effort to migrate from an old system Apple are forcing everyone using MobileMe to switch calendar services by the 5th May.

After making sure the systems were configured I made the switch. It then wiped out the default calendar on one system and added in a new calendar called "Calendar in MobileMe calendars" into which all the synched data now resides.

Except this is a new calendar and not the default one. So what? Well Microsoft Outlook will only read the To-do list from the default calendar; it will only post meeting appointments that arrive via email to the default calendar and it won't allow you to use this new format from Apple as the default calendar.

The 'fanboys' over at the Apple forums are trying to pull a "blame Microsoft" yeah it's Microsoft's fault that they don't support/allow this format in this particular way, it's their crappy coding that's causing the problem not Apple. Except Apple must have known about this; they were beta testing the new system since last year surely someone mentioned that this didn't play as nicely with Outlook.

Despite that not only did they go ahead with the change from the system that worked, but they forced everyone into making it knowing that it would cause some people problems.

PSN what a mess

Six days after Sony took down the Playstation Network they've posted that account information may have been compromised. Understandably some patrons are venting on the official blog while others are defending Sony's actions.

The actions they took I agree with. Shut everything down so you can assess the damage and gather evidence to identify the culprits. Their PR efforts, however, left a lot to be desired. From their own blog entries they state they took the network down on the night of the 20th April however the first official notice of this came at 09:15 via a tweet claiming it was down for maintenance. This tweet has now been deleted!

An hour later the EU blog caught up and posted the same information regarding maintenance. This entry was then modified to state that they were investigating the cause of the "Network outage".

Except we know the cause of the outage you told it us it was for maintenance.

It took until the 23rd to admit that they'd been an "external intrusion".

The night of the 26th we are told that account information may have been compromised.

Now here's the thing according to the latest blog entry they " learned there was an intrusion 19th April and subsequently shut the services down" except as I've just said that didn't occur until the 20th or the early morning of the 21st. Now I can understand that taking the entire network offline is a major decision and needs some time to think about it; but they then lied to us by stating it was for maintenance and then seem to have tried to hide the fact that they lied to us by deletion and modification of such entries.

They should have told us as soon as they knew they'd been an attack. They should have told us that they were currently investigating whether account information had been compromised or not. Instead they waited until they had definite evidence and then told us. Whether true or not it seems that Sony were providing only the minimum of information they needed to and their first instincts seemed to be to 'massage the information'.

Not the best way to engender trust.

[As an aside I'm really not that panicked. The email address I use for the Playstation I don't use for anything else likewise the password. They may have an address and DOB as well as my credit card number but they don't have the security code (supposedly) so there's less they can do with it]

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Cate or Kate

No I really don't want to do anything about the wedding, but it is bloody ubiquitous and driving me mad - it's "Catherine Middleton" therefore the diminutive should be "Cate" not "Kate". Sure it's a Greek derivative that originally started with a Kappa, but I doubt many at the tabloids knew that.

Other than the desire to shunt her name to one syllable and thus make it easier to fit into headlines, are they worried that if they called her Cate we'd get all confused and think William is marrying Catherine "Cate" Blanchett?

Nevertheless despite the fact that she herself has asked to be referred to as Catherine and that no-one in her close circle apparently calls her Kate or even Cate; the media have not only foisted this upon her but had the discourtesy of spelling it incorrectly too.Charming.

Injunctions and superinjunctions

This topic has cropped up once again in the news. I've already made points about it and how as with so many laws made for specific reasons it's being used in a general way, but what's the legal basis behind all this?

Redstone Caves

The Bratii visited on Sunday. Plan A was to take them down the Riverside; a quick recon trip revealed it was packed-out so time for Plan B a trek over the Snipes and down to the Redstone Caves. I'd picked up a copy of the Stourport Guide complete with map and intended to have Minor navigate us there.
"We haven't done that yet in Scouts" he told me.
"Well you'll be ahead of everyone else then won't you" I replied.

PSN still down

Since Wednesday evening it seems every continent's Playstation Network has been down. At first we were told it was maintenance (yeah right) and then Sony finally admitted it was because of an external intrusion. While it's down they have allegedly taken the opportunity to update some stuff. Of course none of us know that because it's still down. That's five days complete shutdown - ouch.

One other amusement is that the one supposedly up-to-date official news source is their twitter feed which can't be viewed using the PS3 browser.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The New No2AV poster advert

Well they haven't quite sunk this low yet but give them time.

Sad Puppy photo used under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic from Clay Hackett

EU PSN down for 'maintenance'

There has been some fun signing in this week and now it's down completely, Just to make note that it was down at 7am this morning and the notification of this came through via the PS3 twitter feed just past 9am. Yeah  'maintenance' right.

I don't think even Sony are stupid enough to down the network on Portal 2's official release date especially without any warning.

Portal 2 for PS3

Released today I got it yesterday. Kind of lucky as it integrates with Steam via the Playstation Network and today it seems the PSN is offline.

First things first - do you need to have played the original Portal to play this? No, but it really helps if you have as some of the cutscenes assume some knowledge of previous events. Play-wise though, no all the elements get re-explained.

For those who haven't played it really is quite simple.There are two portals - blue and orange; walk through one and you come out the other; during the game you get given a gun that can place these portals almost anywhere you like. Use this to solve the puzzle rooms you find yourself in.

I'm going to try to avoid spoilers, which is a shame as some of them are just really funny.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wyre Forest 2005 election under AV

Something from the WFA with regard to a comment made by Jonathan about if the 2005 election had been run under AV.

New Speed Warning sign in Gilgal

Heading down Gigal a flash caught my eye. It seems someone's added one of those 'reminder' signs that monitor your incoming speed and flash up with a warning. I hasten to add that it displayed for the two vehicles pulling away from me in the other lane and not myself.

It will be interesting to see if it slows down any of that traffic swinging around into Mitton Street?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Anti-gravity or gravity shielding - hover cars

An off-topic post, but this sprang fully formed into my head from a combination of movies and SF books. Watch or read about a futuristic setting and one thing that tends to appear are hover cars. Our hero jumps into one, takes off and chases after the baddie. If it's a slightly harder SF setting you might get a word about how this works thanks to anti-gravity engines or gravity shielding and that's about it. I mean who cares they both mean being able to fly so they're both really just the same aren't they?

It is now the future and you're the test pilot for the new hover cars being developed one an anti-gravity model (AG) with the other using gravity shielding (shield). Hop in and take off.

New cycle shop in Stourport

One thing I forgot to mention - the ever-shifting store in Bridge Street has undergone another change. This time it has reappeared as "Cycle and Skates". Not wanting to seem pessimistic, but I wonder how long this one will last?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Proportionalised AV

One of the problems I have with Proportional Representation is that you vote for a Party rather than an individual; ah but that flaw has been addressed. Rather than use a closed list you use an open list, the voters can now rank the candidates within the Party list or heck even outside the list. That's great except that's the system the PR people are asking us to vote against - it's called AV.

Okay not quite. The AV system we're voting about is to elect just one individual, what they're talking about is using it to elect multiple people and this brings me to my second problem with the PR system - it only works for a larger area. We're not going to get two MPs for Wyre Forest, but we could end up with 28 for the West Midlands.

Well so what, same difference isn't it? Not quite, regions differ especially in population. Imagine you have one half of the area highly populated and the other half less so. If each previous district first preference vote their local candidate (if there even is one) those from the more highly populated areas are more likely to get in. As this is proportional if the high population is well split then just the top candidates from each Party may be the only ones to get a seat and that's all from the highly populated side simply by sheer numbers. Again so what they're the majority that's what the majority want.

Now take a look at the West Midlands area. We have 6 MEPs for this area elected by the entire area under proportional representation. Now look at the addresses they give. Admittedly possibly head offices, but hopefully the one they each consider as their 'local'. We see Birmingham, Coventry, and Stratford-upon-Avon; all on the eastern-most border of the West Midlands falling along the major population centres. From a Euro perspective might as well stamp "Here be dragons" on 90% of the area.

Consider what would happen if we declared Wales one large Parliamentary Constituency. Does anyone think that the majority of 'representatives' for the entire area won't fall along the Cardiff/Swansea borders?

This isn't something that only affects PR it's part of FPTP and AV too, but because each of those has been dealing with a smaller area the urban/rural split is far less pronounced. Expand the area, and you expand the difference and with PR you have to expand the area.

PR - less accountable, more isolated.

Surprise car tax increase

Sorting out the tax disc for some of the vehicles; hopped online to the, entered the details and... wait that's more expensive then the price listed on the form.

Now in nice red letters is does state on the form that - "The rates of duty were correct at the time of printing. A different rate may apply following any budget statement". Except the budget statement was the 23rd March twenty-three days ago and we received this in the post yesterday.

So either the DVLA printed this off prior to the 23rd of last month then hung on to it until about Tuesday/Wednesday or they haven't been able to change the figures in the month they've had available to them.

Do anyone think that a business could get away with, say, not applying the VAT change on their invoices for a month and then telling the customer they owe more than stated?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

ESENT Warning

A small blip on my laptop nothing to worry about, but a quick glance at the Event Viewer to reassure myself - yeah no problem. However my eye caught a warning from ESENT

Windows (3404) Windows: A request to write to the file "C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Search\Data\Applications\Windows\Windows.edb" at offset 112828416 (0x0000000006b9a000) for 8192 (0x00002000) bytes succeeded, but took an abnormally long time (3587 seconds) to be serviced by the OS. In addition, 1 other I/O requests to this file have also taken an abnormally long time to be serviced since the last message regarding this problem was posted 441092 seconds ago. This problem is likely due to faulty hardware. Please contact your hardware vendor for further assistance diagnosing the problem.
I look at the time it was posted 13:59:48; hmm 3587 seconds that's about an hour. So "likely due to faulty hardware" or perhaps more likely that the Windows tried to write to this file just as I put the laptop into sleep mode to go out to lunch and didn't finish until I woke it up on my return.

Way to panic people guys :-)

One nation under PR

A comment from Harryurz over at the Shuttle got me wondering about how PR would have affected the 2010 election. As I've mentioned before due to the spread nature of PR the only true system would be to take the entire UK vote and allocate seats by Party with each Party then determining who gets to fill each seat.

It all sounds fair, but how would this be done?

Rejected wedding street party

With the Prime Minister himself stepping in to tell local councils "not to interfere" with street party plans on the 29th April it seems that guidance only applies to pro-monarchy pro-wedding street parties as the Republic group discovered when they applied to hold an anti-monarchy street party in Camden.

From Camden council the statement they've released gives the reason for the rejection being due to

objections from Camden residents and organisations representing more than 140 local businesses. These groups strongly opposed the event as they felt it would negatively impact on their sales, and they also raised a number of public safety concerns as to how the event would be managed.
Yep you can't hold a street party because you won't buy our tat and you'll discourage pro-monarchists from the area and buying stuff from us. As for "public safety concerns" what points did the locals raise that didn't get flagged by the police force who apparently raised no objections?

As for those 140 objections try three. Hey isn't this like someone owning multiple properties in one area getting multiple votes? Doubly odd considering Republic received an email from the Council stating:
We have had replies from all consultees and these have been positive for your event.
Gosh this isn't the property owner decided what his tenants think is it? No I'm sure any letter they sent had a full 130 odd signatures to back it up.

But isn't this all moot given that the Council have kindly pointed Republic to the Lincoln's Inn Fields as an alternative location; why don't they hold it there? Well because they'd have to submit yet another application, possibly another event plan, as well as liaise with a whole other group of locals and local businesses; all in three weeks, at a cost to them, and with no guarantee of approval.

To add to the confusion there's the non-officially published that's cropped up from spokespersons for Camden that added to the reasons for rejection:
  1. Lack of an event management plan; and
  2. Lack of local connection
Except according to the police emails an event management plan was submitted, and according to Republic at least one local business was going to supply the food

So the locals who were asked didn't object; the police didn't object; and no other council department seems to have objected. So why did this application get rejected?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The slow shift in game ownership

Imagine you've bought an ACME brand television; it'll even hook up to the internet and allow you to use various widgets. You happily use this for a year, but now something's gone wrong. You're trying to watch a DVD on the hooked up EMCA DVD player and a message appears on the screen:

This is an unauthorised non-ACME device.
Please connect an ACME device to use this function
Yep ACME have remotely patched your television via automatic update to only allow ACME brand peripherals. This has been done for "security reasons" to protect their brand from an "inferior experience when using non-ACME brands". How annoyed would you be?

The Yes2AV referendum ad

I was less lucky in catching the Yes2AV Referendum broadcast last night fortunately Guido Fawkes has posted it on his site. Is it telling that he posts this with a dollop of vitriol yet posts the No2AV broadcast with no comment? Oh and unlike the Official No2AV YouTube posting you can comment on this one.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The No2AV referendum ad

I was lucky in catching the Referendum broadcast on BBC2 last night from those opposed to AV. Wow what a huge stinking pile of distortion. Note also that comments have been disabled for this "official" video so it's not open to debate on YouTube (or what might pass for debate on YouTube)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Alcohol and cancer

Popped up in the news then pretty much vanished was the story linking alcohol consumption and cancer. My first thought was "Is it the alcohol?" Consider that someone who drinks might often frequent a public house; which until only recently was a smoke-filled area. However a look at the paper shows they've tried to weed all that out.

As such we're left with alcohol causes cancer - how exactly. Who better to turn to then Cancer Research.

The French Burqa ban

Isn't. Despite what the media keeps stating this is a ban on "conceal[ing] one's face in public". There are exceptions on the grounds of safety, medical and festivities or in religious facilities. That means you can wear a motorcycle helmet while riding your motorcycle; you can wear a Halloween mask on Halloween; a surgeon etc. can wear a protective mask in a hospital and a Muslim women can wear a veil in a mosque; but not outside those circumstances.

One could argue that this law came into effect because of the Muslim face-coverings and that its intent was to prohibit them, but the law is not specifically aimed at them. As such those looking to challenge this in the European courts can only state that they have a right to conceal their identity in public; not that this is discriminatory against their religion.

Except how would that play out if a new law was drafted prohibiting head coverings in public. No hats; no caps; no turbans... ah. Would an exception be made on the grounds of religion? No Khalsa Sikh would be able to set foot outside otherwise. So if such an exception were to be made; shouldn't a similar one be added to this law?

It depends. To a Khalsa Sikh the wearing of a turban is mandatory to their religion; it's not open to interpretation; the wearing of a veil for Muslim women is. There is nothing specific stating that one must be worn and as such it can be defined as a non-religious item of clothing. Just as a Christian can wear a crucifix, but doesn't have to.

The way this law is worded I don't think they have a case.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Against PR

In my argument for AV I used the concept of treating it as a restaurant in which everyone orders from the menu I then ended with a brief point about PR, which I've been taken to task over -

"With first past the post the largest group orders chicken so everyone gets chicken; in AV the majority orders chicken, but everyone still gets chicken. Wouldn't it be better if those who ordered chicken got chicken and those who ordered vegetarian got that etc.?"

Well yes except that's not PR. As I said the first group the waiters reach get all the chicken, then the next get the fish the next the vegetarian and so on. However that analogy needs tweaking:

End of Year

It's the end of the financial year, time to print off all the necessary forms for HMRC. Except HMRC don't want you to print things they want you to submit everything electronically. That's fine except a) it's nice to keep your own physical records and b) P60 forms need to be given to employees.

Now P60's can be sent electronically, but only if the employee states they want to receive them this way; if not they need to be printed.

Can anyone guess what one of only two PAYE forms you can't download from HMRC is? Did you say P60? Well done.

Can you order them online - no. You need to ring your office number; HMRC gives you the individual's tax phone number, which gives you the employer's tax phone number, which gives you the employer's tax form order phone number.

And they're out of stock.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

BBC Radio 6 2011 Advert music

Again with the failure that as far as I know has only been handled correctly by Channel 4's Misfits; the BBC have a new advert out for Radio 6 featuring their hosts moving speakers about as they play music. Now try to discover what they're actually playing.

From the comments and elsewhere we get:

Jarvis Cocker - I'll Take Care of U by Gill Scott-Heron & Jamie xx
Lauren Laverne - You've got the Love by Florence and the Machine
Steve Lamacq - Connection by Elastica
Cerys Matthews - ?
Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie -Neat Little Rows by Elbow (thank you Chris G)
Huey Morgan -One Nation Under a Groove by Funkadelic

Bigger laugh is that this is supposedly also promoting their exclusive mixes that can be found here. No it doesn't tell you what they're mixing there either.

Anyway if you can fill in the gaps; I'm sure someone out there would appreciate it.

Fear and loathing in Greek

For reasons I won't go into I was presented with a list of phobias of the x-phobia type and asked what the x part was. This resonated with a few things perhaps most notably the use of Islamophobia being thrown around by the media.

Here's what annoys me - an Anglophile is someone who loves the Angles (English) stemming from philia meaning love as with a philosopher being a lover of sophia (wisdom). However the opposite seems to be stated as an Anglophobe. But the stem for that is phobia or fear; an Anglophobe fears the English.

Except Love and Fear aren't exactly opposites, and in the case of those to whom the term Islamophobe is attached I don't think they fear Islam - they hate it.

So what is hate in Greek? Well if you know what a misanthrope is you've got the answer it's misos. As a suffix it becomes misia. As such someone who hates something is a something-misia or a mis(o)-something. In the previous example an Anglomisia and an Islamomisia hates the English and Islam respectively.

Doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, but at least it's more accurate.

[Update - Just for fun the Escapist has a phobia quiz. 10/10 on my first try in a time of 1:27. I think that's the highest I've ever gotten; ah the useless information rattling around in my head.

I scored 100%, with 10 of 10 correct on The Escapist's Phobias!.
Take this quiz

Filiming in council

As per this comment on the WFA

Fran: The real joke is that a Junior Minister (Bob Neil) has written to Councils asking US to consider "opening up" to Social Media BUT Parliament itself FORBIDS it!
What's sauce for the goose etc.!

FlipC: Good point Fran. I've emailed Mr Pickles regarding this apparent hypocrisy and will forward any relevant reply I receive here.

I sent the following email on the 4th March

Dear Mr Pickles,

It was with some delight that I read about both yours and Mr Neill's stance regarding the filming of local council meetings. This is a great boon to bringing council decisions and ponderings to the people they are supposed to represent and is something that should have been done a long time ago. I was however interested in whether you were planning on extending this move towards rescinding the current ban on 'amateur' photography within Parliament itself beyond the boundaries of Westminster Hall.

Although proceedings are obviously filmed by the BBC it would seem hypocritical to instruct local councils that they should allow members of the public to capture imagery while retaining your own exclusion.

I await your reply with interest and in the meantime remain.

Yours sincerely


I now have a response 6th April [sigh] as a Word document

Access to council meetings

Thank you for your email of 4 March to the Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government, sent in reply to Bob Neill’s letter of 23 February to local authorities encouraging them to allow greater access to council meetings for citizen and other journalists. You asked whether such openness should apply to Parliament.

Thank you for your support for the messages expressed in Mr Neill’s letter. Transparency and openness should be the underlying principle behind everything councils do and modern communication methods can clearly contribute to this.

This Department's remit does not extend to the Houses of Parliament. Proceedings of Parliament are, however, currently filmed and aired on a free to access Parliament TV channel and via the Parliament website.
Yeah nothing to stop you from pointing out the disparity though is there?

Parish elections 2011

The four years is up so those parishes that held elections in 2007 are up for re-election; or perhaps not.

In 2010 I made note that there were some parishes not holding an election because the number of candidates matched the number of seats. The same has happened again as the Shuttle shows.

The unopposed list for 2011 is as follows: Broome, Churchill, Cookley.

The unopposed list for 2007 was: Broome, Churchill, Wolverley.

Of the seven seats in Broome, five will  be retained by the previous incumbents (Don, David, David, Neal, and Nicola); of the three seats in Churchill, two will be retained by the previous incumbents (Pauline and Brian) and of the seven seats in Cookley four will be retained (Dean, Joanne,Carole, and Christopher) with one (Barry) automatically getting a seat after failing in the previous election.

So that's 17 seats in total with 11 incumbents with no election.

Mass Effect 2 tips - things the game doesn't tell you

I'll add to this as I go along, but in essence these are the things that the game doesn't show you in the 'tutorial' section. They may appear in the tips during the loading screens, but those are random; or they'll simply something I noticed while playing the game.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Libyan rebels attacked by coalition forces

It's not funny, but did anyone else at least raise a wry eyebrow at the news of a UN aircraft attacking rebels who were celebrating by firing guns in the air.

Quick tip - people firing guns in the air at an aircraft and people firing guns in the air in celebration are not that easy to differentiate; might want to find a different celebratory method.

Royal Mail Stamp prices

The price of stamps went up yesterday. If you're looking for a nice wallchart for your business with them all listed; good luck. Three pages link to non-existent pages and the only live link tries to download a PDF from the ftp site and requires a password.

Luckily said login is "anon" for both name and password; at which point it will probably tell you it's exceeded its 250 person login limit.

Try again and you might get lucky.

A normal first class stamp has increased from 41p to 46p, second-class 32p to 36p. For Large Letters of under 100g 66p to 75p, and 51p to 58p. That pays for our one collection a day from the estate's single postbox and one delivery around 12pm.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Safe MPs

During a discussion over the pros and cons of AV and FPTP (and PR) someone made the comment that AV was pointless as "it won't affect most MPs, only about a 100 or so". I replied that I didn't think that sounded right.

But it doesn't matter if it doesn't sound right to me, it only matters what the data shows and as it so happens I have the 2010 election results. The statement posed was that the majority of MPs won't be affected by AV as they've already polled over 50% of the vote; the results below show which didn't:

Liberal Democrat46011
Plaid Cymru300
Scottish National Party600
Sinn Fein302
Social Democratic and Labour Party300

That's 433 out of a total 650 MPs whose winning position might be affected by AV.

Friday, April 01, 2011

A studio's vision

What is it that would cause a studio to buy the rights to something and then say "Wouldn't this be much better if we removed all the things that made this copyright recognisable and replaced it with something else?"?

Imagine if Warner Brothers had bought the Harry Potter rights and then said "I'm not sure about all this magic and it seems a bit too British. What if we set it in America and made it about training young kids to be cops? What's Steve Guttenberg doing these days?" -

"You're a cop Harry and a thumping good one to I'd wager considering your parents"
"But I can't be a cop Steve"
"Oh no has anything ever strange happened to you that you just can't explain?"
"Well there was that time I tackled that kid who was shoplifting"
"There you go then"

Quite mad who would do something that bizarre? Why hello Warner Brothers is that a shiny Akira licence you're holding in your hand? Would that be the quintessentially Japanese anime that you're turning into a live-action movie set in New York with all the main character being recast as white westerners? It is; are you insane?

Who's that with you? Oh hello Walt Disney Company what's that you've got there? Oo is that the rights to Agatha Christie's Miss Marple character? You know the one she created specifically to prevent adaptations of her work from removing or youthifying the elderly characters she used. Who are you going to get to play the frail octogenarian? Thirty-eight year old Jennifer Garner; well gosh that makes sense.

Another argument for AV

I've sure I've used this analogy elsewhere; but I'm going to expand it here. Imagine our election system is like going out for a meal with a club or other large group of friends. The menu comes around and on offer are: