* Posts by JC_

435 posts • joined 9 Mar 2011

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Bankrupt Aussie Hells Angel scoops £750k lottery jackpot

JC_
Boffin

Re: Tautology?

I've gotta ask: what was the bike and how did the mobile home brake?

I can see a Goldwing getting even a decent sized trailer moving, but getting it to stop quicker than the Queen Mary would be the fun part.

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JC_
Stop

If I had a winning ticket, I'm not sure I'd sell it to someone for four-times its face-value. The kind of person who'd offer to buy it is the same kind of person who'd hit me over the head, sooner or later, and just take back their money.

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National ID cards might not mean much when up against incompetence of the UK Home Office

JC_

The people who arrived under Blair/Brown were EU citizens using their "freedom of movement"; luckily for them, they didn't have to deal with the Home Office.

If you think there are open borders, then head to an airport. The UKBA really does exist.

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JC_

Presumably my down-voters haven't had experience of dealing with the Home Office under Theresa May.

In my case, they kept my passport for seven months for a single visa application, leaving me unable to travel when a family member was hospitalised. In that time they refused to give any information about the status of the application. That was no fun for me or my family, but it doesn't begin to compare to the Windrush victims.

These problems are the predictable result of slashing staffing and creating a "hostile environment". May got what she wanted - a Home Office that's not fit for purpose. It doesn't have to be that way. Governments around the world are competent and in the case of the Home Office, the previous Labour government really was more competent and compassionate. That doesn't mean I want Jez for PM, just a decent Home Office.

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JC_

there is the simple fact that our government is completely and totally incompetent when it comes to anything that involves computers.

It doesn't have to be this way. Government departments can be (and are) competent and efficient, however, it often serves the purposes of those who would remove all regulation for government to appear incompetent. Hence underfunding and mal-administration.

As an immigrant I dealt with visas at the Home Office and can assure you that the process was fine under a Labour government and became hellish afterward.

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Year-old vuln turns Jenkins servers into Monero mining slaves

JC_
WTF?

It's not been a problem in the years we've been using Jenkins and I've not seen mass reports of any years-long drama. Perhaps it's the fault of the plugins your using?

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Ecuador tried to make Julian Assange a diplomat

JC_

Re: It's a weird world...

"Sadly, history has shown that the human female sometimes lie about these things."

Rather a creepy thing to say about women. And yet you're an Assange supporter? Inconceivable!

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Euro ransomware probe: Five Romanians cuffed

JC_

Re: 'For instance, keep offline backups of your files'

"How many users even keep offline backups anymore?"

Since you're talking about Git repositories, then every other developer that has a given repository is also acting as a backup for it. If GitHub goes titsup then our small office will lose ticket history at most - no big deal, and a lot less than we'd lose if we tried to replicate GitHub ourselves and stuffed up.

Cloud-based backup such as CrashPlan is immensely useful. It runs automatically while the user forgets about it, until they need to recover something. Local backup requires the user/company to know what they're doing and actually do it well - when you look around (and at yourself) you can see that that is asking a lot.

(We have internal backups, too, of course; to follow the 'rule of three' and because there's more than just source code that's worth backing up.)

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The UK isn't ditching Boeing defence kit any time soon

JC_

Good luck to Bombardier!

No surprise that Boeing is fighting dirty - the 737 is out of date compared to the existing A320 family, and for passengers the 737 Max won't particularly improve the situation.

The piddly 737 cabin width means that (in economy) seat width is only 17 inches, compared to 18 1/2 in the A320s and C-Series. Windows are small and low, overhead compartments cramped and the plane is noisier than the competition. The 737 fuselage won't be getting any wider, just longer.

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Dyson to build electric car that doesn't suck

JC_

Re: Solve this at the source

Yep, that last comment in the article was a complete clanker. It's far easier to inspect one power plant to ensure that its filters are effective and operational than it is on millions of vehicles which may have worn out, modified or non-existent (VW!) mechanisms, every one owned by a voter who might get pissy being informed that diesel exhaust is poisonous.

The UK has had times recently where no power comes from coal generation - it's clearly on the way out.

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London Mayor backs talks with Uber after head honcho's apology

JC_

Re: ...for rich people.

Personally I am quite happy with the concept that I can't afford to take cabs very often

You can't afford to take them very often, yet you subsidise them: black cabs are allowed to use bus lanes and exclusive parking zones, which imposes a small cost on every other road user with no collective benefit.

Black cabs are not efficient - they frequently drive with no passenger in search of a fare - and are foul polluters. A form of transport that is dirty, privileged and unaffordable for most Londoners isn't worth defending.

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Unloved Microsoft Edge is much improved – but will anyone use it?

JC_
Windows

Re: The interface is terrible

The biggest irritant with Edge is that if you use a Microsoft account, it's next to impossible to get it to not sign you in by default. You have to switch to private browsing mode after starting

Set the opening (launch) page to "about:inprivate" and there's no need to switch.

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Boeing's 747 to fly off the production line for the foreseeable future

JC_

Trump wants to use his own planes so that he can make money off it.

Seriously, WTF does Trump know about what is required to build these one-off* planes? Bespoke-anything is expensive, let alone gigantic aircraft, and this is just another stupid populist stunt from the corrupter-in-chief.

(Yeah, okay, there are actually two of them.)

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JC_

Re: even if its role has changed to a cargo-hauler.

Ha, you'll have to pay for her ticket as she recently changed industries - much better pay, but no staff tickets anymore, sadly :)

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JC_

There isn't that much difference in weight for passenger and cargo configurations. I've been off-loaded from a 747 in Hong Kong because the plane was at the weight limit. It left with 5 empty seats and a bunch of unhappy staff on the ground.

Also, the plane still needs to meet the various safety ratings. If an engine is lost during takeoff the plane still has to be capable of safely getting off the ground, which a 747 won't on one engine. It's also an old plane and when it was developed it didn't have the advantage of decades of proven performance that allow modern twin engine planes to be allowed to cross (say) the Pacific.

There were 3 engine concepts for the 747 where the third engine was at the tail, but that's basically a different plane. Five engine 747 configurations do occasionally happen, though.

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Re: even if its role has changed to a cargo-hauler.

"Cathay [argued] that boarding and (crucially) disembarking was speedier from downstairs"

And it avoids the awkwardness of parading down the stairs past the queue of economy-class passengers being held back for your convenience.

(Excruciating when you're only up there because your wife works for an airline and the tickets are almost free.)

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Bank robber reveals identity – by using his debit card during crime

JC_

Re: Natural selection at it's finest.

Classic! Isn't prison rape just a hilarious joke?

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Twas the week before Xmas ... not a creature was stirring – except Microsoft admitting its Windows 10 upgrade pop-up went 'too far'

JC_

Re: M$ Long History

Anything else available from Microsoft maybe... But that doesn't say much for Windows 95.

The same capability had been available for UNIX systems for quite some time. And had mostly left it as the menu system is a rather stilted interface.

The 'Start' menu is literally a Microsoft invention, right down to the (lamentable and inevitable) patents, so I don't see how UNIX had had it for quite some time.

If you mean menus in general, what has replaced them since for mouse & cursor? Microsoft's own 'Ribbon'?

If you meant that a shell is better than the GUI, that's indefensible for the vast majority of users, but the command line was in Windows 95, too, of course.

Really, what you say makes no sense at all unless you take the attitude that everything from Microsoft is either crap or already invented. They've come out with plenty of crap & thievery without making some more up.

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JC_

Re: M$ Long History

The GUI of '95 was good. The rest of it was garbage compared to their own NT3.5 and less stable than a properly installed WFWG3.11

Adding a new GUI, plug & play, an actual 32-bit API and pre-emptive multi-tasking while still maintaining backwards compatibility with all the 16-bit applications and the crappy hardware they ran on was a minor coding miracle. Check out some of Raymond Chen's columns for a bit of insight into what it took.

Of course Win95 was 'garbage' compared to NT - NT was a clean-sheet design that didn't have to deal with the compromises of 15 years of DOS. Windows 95 did and was still massively successful because of that work done to keep backwards-compatibility.

What was a "properly installed WFWG3.11"? One that didn't crash because it didn't run anything but Minesweeper?

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Ransomware scum infect Comic Relief server: Internal systems taken down

JC_

Re: On charities...

Crooked ones: Clinton Family Foundation (enough said).

No, not enough said. Please provide evidence for your assertion that the Clinton Foundation is "crooked".

Charity Navigator reports the following:

• Overall Score & Rating 94.74

• Financial 97.50

• Accountability & Transparency 93.00

In comparison, the Red Cross gets an overall score of 85.01.

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Plusnet broadband outage: Customers fume as TITSUP* continues

JC_

Re: No problems here...

It was flaky in West London this morning. Some sites - e.g. BBC, wherever Logitech SqueezeBoxes point to - wouldn't resolve at all - while others were unaffected. If I hadn't turned on the radio and also tried to check the weather forecast, I wouldn't have known it was happening.

Their 'Service Status' site was misleading as it reported nothing except routine maintenance this morning, so they lose respect for fibbing.

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It's OK to fine someone for repeating a historical fact, says Russian Supreme Court

JC_

Re: Fact-checking, we've heard about it

That preface before the broadcast of 'Ida' is loathsome, but I think it is due less to lying than it is to the nationalist bent of the Kaczynski government and their manipulation of the state broadcasters.

I have some sympathy for Poles feeling prickly about how they are represented - 60 years of hearing "Polish death camps" in publications that really ought to know better would infuriate me, too. But reacting as if every gentile Pole behaved unquestionably behaviour is absurd and diminishes the vast majority who were brave and did not collaborate with the Nazis, let alone participate in the Holocaust.

That said, Poles are free to have these discussions. Under Putin, Russians aren't.

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Robot cars probably won't happen, sniffs US transport chief

JC_

Re: Teleporting trucks

That automated truck will be able to communicate with the automated vehicles around it, to let them know what it's planning on doing and take away the surprise.

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Did Donald Trump really just ask Russia to hack the US govt? Yes, he did

JC_

Re: Giving them aid and comfort - no.

Depends if you consider Putins Russia to be an enemy of the US, does it not?

Putin certainly considers the US to be an enemy of Russia. The little man is paranoid, but I guess he has to live with the constant fear of defenestration.

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JC_

Re: Treason

Trump was calling for the Russians to supply evidence of Hillary's crimes.

What crimes? It's always smoke and never fire from the Clinton-haters.

Trump, on the other hand, is a proven racist, lying fraud.

Forget any claims of false equivalence, too; Trump is a threat to democracy and the world. Clinton isn't.

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Huawei: Our fake phone camera pic shame

JC_

Re: There oughta be a law!

I'm a little surprised you got down-voted for promoting truth in advertising. That recent bus-based advertising campaign that had a whopper of a lie deserved a few prison sentences.

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Time to re-file your patents and trademarks, Britain

JC_

"So any company producing goods in the UK may start looking to relocate - it won't be a sudden thing but it will certainly start weighting decisions on where companies invest in the future."

Anyone want to hazard a guess about how long it will take Airbus (EADS) to decide that manufacturing wings in Wales and then flying them to Southern France is rather more hassle than simply manufacturing them in Southern France? It won't be the toughest sell to get a few key people to swap Flintshire for le Midi.

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Brexit government pledge sought to keep EU-backed UK science alive

JC_

Re: brexit government?

"Anyone know who can initiate article 50?"

Here it is:

1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.

2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention.

It's vague, but given there's been a referendum I'd imagine the PM in his role as "head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom" could simply send a letter. Passing a bill or a motion might be the way they actually do it.

I'd expect that if the remaining EU members feel they're getting jerked around with the UK govt. delaying then they might come up with a creative interpretation of "notify" and get the ball rolling.

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Brexit: More cash for mobile operators or consumers? Pick one

JC_

Re: Roaming is a very minor point

Finally, if we do vote to leave, this will split up the UK. Scotland will want another referendum, possibly Wales as well

Not to mention Northern Ireland - it'd be a case of ripping out the stiches of an unhealed wound.

Border controls would have to be reintroduced (or else the whole line about protecting the UK's borders would be meaningless); I can't imagine the local constabulary or the British Army being too keen on handling that horrible mess again.

My local shopping centre was bombed by the Real IRA only 15 years ago. It'd be nice if the peace process wasn't destabilised.

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JC_

Re: Not capitalism as we know it, Jim

I think you will find that roaming charges are basically socialist.

Wait, you're seriously suggesting that the mobile operators offer PAYG service out of the goodness of their hearts and not for profit?

The 'capitalism' answer was a bit smart-alecky but still on the money - the operators will charge whatever they can get away with it. That is unfettered capitalism in action. It doesn't matter if one thinks it's good or bad, it's a fact.

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JC_

Re: Scaremongering

More worrying is how the remain campaign official economic reports all seem to support leaving as fixing the housing market, better economic growth, bank of england interest rate rise (something we have all been waiting for) and while assuming awful trade policies as we currently have.

You are clearly confused. The Remain campaign - and 10 Nobel Prize winning economists - are all predicting a drop in GDP if the vote is to leave. If Leave is chosen then the trade policies will only remain the same if the UK govt. accept freedom of movement, which would make no sense given that that is the source of most of the complaints. No freedom of movement, no right of access to the common market. Lower house prices would be good, but the current govt. could do that just fine by introducing, say, land-taxes.

As for Turkey joining the EU: not in the foreseeable future and perhaps never if Imam Erdogan continues on his path. They meet exactly 1 of the 35 criteria and Cyprus and Greece are not afraid to use their vetos.

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JC_

Phone operators have a target of money they want to make from their customers. They'll find a way, if one door is closed another will be nudged open.

Yeah, but it would be nice if that way is making something so awesome we all say "take my money, please!" rather than just extortion.

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France POPs €800k fine on 'illegal taxi service' Uber's windshield

JC_

Re: Good

They are amongst the worst offenders for avoiding paying any taxes.

Thanks, a good answer to a genuine question. In that respect they're very similar to Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Starbucks etc. I'm all up for taxing them properly and making the field as even as possible.

That said, it's hard not be sardonic about Black Cab drivers being used as an example of paying taxes :)

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JC_

Re: Good

Out of curiousity, what subsidy do Uber get that other cab operators don't?

Uber certainly have their share of shady practises, but taxis in France are well overdue for a shakeup. Every over-blown cliché about the French work habits - strikes, laziness, arrogance, extortion, unreliability, etc. - actually do apply to them.

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Disk death: Three-quarters of PCs will run SSDs by 2020

JC_

Re: Gartner?

I'm reading this thread on those Windows Phones we all have now.

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Ireland's tax arrangements are as clear as a pint of Guinness

JC_

Re: Just get rid of corporation tax

In fact, once it is offshore the horse has bolted, there is bugger all you can do short of blanket taxing 40% any financial transaction coming from Panama, Virgin Islands, etc.

Sounds like a solid idea to me!

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BT hauled into Old Bailey after engineer's 7-metre fall broke both his ankles

JC_

Re: More than reported here?

I miss the good old days when personal culpability was the rage and if you acted the idiot and got hurt it was your fault.

When the 'hurt' is abstract then it's easy to be a bit heartless, but see it up close and it's hard to keep that attitude. An uncle of mine was squashed by a shipping container while working at a port; it was partially his fault and partially the port-operator's, but the death was entirely his.

One of my lecturers at uni showed the class a series of pictures of industrial accidents - the one that sticks was the girl with a pony-tail who was scalped when her hair was caught up in the engine of a go-kart - and the point was clear: health and safety laws are there for very, very good reasons.

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How to not get pwned on Windows: Don't run any virtual machines, open any web pages, Office docs, hyperlinks ...

JC_

Re: An easy (pragmatic) solution

"God Mode"? You mean, the Control Panel view that lists the various helpers and utilities?

Next you'll be getting all breathless telling us how you hacked into Google using tracert.

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Pothole campaigner sprays Surrey street with phallic paintings

JC_

Re: Councils

"it is slow and you worry for the fuckers"

It's kind of you to worry about people on bicycles, AKA mums, dads, friends, colleagues, children and other assorted fuckers.

The fact is that traffic here in London moves no faster than horse-drawn carriages did a century ago; in fact, a running chicken out-paces drivers and bicycles certainly do as well.

You may feel that cyclists are holding you up, but they aren't, other drivers going nowhere fast in their cars are.

As Chris Boardman says, cycling is just a means to an end: space (and time) efficient, reliable, cheap and healthy urban transportation. It should be supported because it's the best way to achieve this goal. You may disagree, but if you do, what is your alternative plan?

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JC_

Re: Councils

Aberdeen City Council has cut £900k from the sport and elderly care budgets, but found a million to put in a cycle lane no-one will use.

No-one? The count of cyclists in Aberdeen was up 23% in 2014; decent cycling infrastructure results in more cycling, which means less pollution, fewer road deaths, and a healthier (and wealthier) population.

It's beyond ironic to bitch about cycling on an article about potholes when road damage caused by a vehicle is proportional to the the fourth-power of the vehicle axle weight.

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Toshiba rolls out PC-busting monster: 1 terabyte TLC flash SSD

JC_

One thing's also not noted: the PRICE ... in terms of mass market adoption, they're going to have to do something about the price first

Not really, since the value of HDDs only applies when users want and use huge drives. If they're satisifed with 256GB it's already cheaper to buy the SSD; the more that production shifts to SSDs, even the wee ones, the harder it is for HDDs to maintain economies of scale.

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Boeing just about gives up on the 747

JC_

Nearly all jet passenger panes these days look so similar and boring, thank heavens for the A380.

The A380 has all the elegance of a beluga whale. It's certainly nice to fly on and is probably the most practical design possible, but no charm at all.

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Obama: What will solve America's gun problem? What could it be? *snaps fingers* Technology!

JC_

Re: Stats for comparison

And the rabbits, wallabies, possums etc are out of hand so I'm glad I'm moving into town later this year.

The wallabies really are getting out of hand if they're ravaging sheep...

If Australian gun laws prohibit gun-owners from lending out firearms to unlicensed people, then it's hard to see a problem with that. If you want a gun, get a gun license.

Laws prohibiting shooting around dwellings are also quite sensible. Most people would prefer that there are no bullets flying anywhere near their house and family. Possums and rabbits are easy to trap and as for wallabies, they're native and cute, so let them be.

In any case you're setting up a straw man arguing about farmers when farmers would be completely unaffected by a prohibition on Glocks, AR-15s and pump-action shotguns.

Australia implemented gun control after Port Arthur and there hasn't been another massacre since; who would want to go back to the slaughter that the US experiences. Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Columbine High - none could have happened in Australia, thankfully, and hopefully one day they won't repeat in the US.

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JC_

Re: Stats for comparison

No, people I mean.

That's a really weak counter-point you've made. Guns have a place as a tool on farms, but show me a farmer who would shoot a sheep rather than cut its throat and I'll show you a gun-nut.

Hunting and pest-control are legitimate uses for guns; neither requires a Glock, nor an AR-15, nor a pump-action shotgun. All of those are for killing people.

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JC_

Re: Stats for comparison

I guess it boils down to whether you are happy to accept a higher chance of being shot in exchange for the freedom to own a gun

When gun-nuts talk about their rights, I always wonder why they ignore the right to not get shot.

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VW's Audi suspends two engineers in air pollution cheatware probe

JC_

Re: Interesting justification.

NOx is only a problem when ... when idling ... during normal driving they wouldn't encounter the situation where the cheating was required

In what way is idling not part of normal driving? In the city, that's what cars are doing much of the time.

Imposing standardised tests is rather more useful than non-standardised tests; at least with standards, VW knows what cheating is 'required'. Other manufacturers might attempt to actually meet standards because people's health is important.

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JC_

Re: Interesting justification.

If true by some law of physics then all manufacturers will be equally affected.

This is the only flaw in your otherwise spot-on post; some manufacturers tried different ways of meeting the regulations, especially by selling petrol-engined cars and/or hybrid transmissions.

This is perhaps the fundamental problem: European manufacturers have committed hugely to a technology - diesels - that just can't meet the necessary standards. Saying 'tough luck' to pedestrians getting asthma and heart-disease isn't acceptable when there are superior alternative technologies in use right now.

They're right up shit creek with regulations now in the public eye, thanks to this scandal, they'll have an awful lot of trouble getting out.

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JC_

Re: 85'000 vehicles in toto?

Maybe, but the more improtant (political) point is that its 85,000 cars that aren't from good ole USofA manufacturers

About half of US auto sales are from imports and VW even have a factory in Tennessee, so nationalism doesn't seem a likely cause. The simplest explanation is that VW tried to sell an unsuitable product - diesel-engined small vehicles - and cheated so egregiously they had to be prosecuted.

On the other hand, German civil servants have done there damnedest to fudge EU standards so that their national champions can keep selling smoke-boxes, "calling for the tests to be conducted on sloping downhill tracks, and for allowing manufacturers to declare a final CO2 value 4% lower than the one measured"

Regarding the air-quality vs. CO2 trade-off; thinking locally it's understandable to prioritise the air-quality, although ideally both could be helped by promoting electric vehicles and built-environments suited to walking & cycling.

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How to build a city fit for 50℃ heatwaves

JC_

Re: May not be an issue

Do you mean TCO

Yes, because manufacturing is included in the price and installation and removal is not expensive and for small installations may even be 'free' if part of the roof for a new build.

Location is of course important. Here's a headline from Texas: A Texas Utility Offers a Nighttime Special: Free Electricity. It's for wind-generated power.

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JC_

Re: May not be an issue

I'd rather take my chances with climate change. It might or might not kill me. Lack of electricity or any other energy I can afford definitely would.

It's always astonishing that people can decide when it suits them that capitalism will selectively fail. Right now you can buy solar panels at a cost that makes them supply energy at a price more or less equivalent to fossil-fuel power stations.

Yet somehow if fossil-fuels are priced to include their externalities, alternative power sources will neither be developed nor grown, despite the fact that they already exist and are being used right now.

'Greens' have encouraged fuel economy in cars - do you see the complete absence of cars or simply more efficient ones?

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