* Posts by Jimmy2Cows

459 posts • joined 6 Feb 2015


One MEEELLION users download Facebook-pwning droid game

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Seconded. I don't want a constant data connection active, so spent a while researching the alternatives, and CoPilot came out on top for my needs. Got it on my phone, in my cars. Offline maps, regular updates, lots of features.

Smart meters set to cost Blighty as much as replacing Trident

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Re: Control the language, control the debate...

Sadly, you've nailed it.

Will a data centre be driving your car in 12 years' time?


What he said

^^^^ exactly this ^^^^

There are enough terrible drivers around as it is, and they drive manually every day.

Will there be some mandated annual retest of drivers with automatically piloted vehicles to ensure they can safely take over if and when needed? Or will they just be left to go "Oh FUCK!!!" and hit some innocent bystander because they forgot what to do?

Whilst the mechanics of driving are not so easily forgotten, the skill, the reaction times, the ability to predict what other drivers are likely to do, not panicking when the slightest unexpected thing happens, even just the feel of the pedals under your feet so you aren't stalling the motor each time you take your foot off the clutch or pressing the brake so hard you face-plant the steering wheel - these are things that require constant practice to maintain.

There are other questions too, like: will it be legal to "drive" (ok this is the wrong word - be in the driver's seat of?) a piloted car without a licence if it were to only shut down and park itself in the event of a data connection failure? Since the occupant isn't actually driving and cannot if the car won't let him/her, does this mean we could legitimately see kids behind the wheel of daddy's prized motor?

UN corruption cops commence probe into domain-name and patent body WIPO


Just to say about ignoring cheaper bids...

He is also accused of overruling an IT procurement decision in favour of a bid from an acquaintance, despite cheaper bids being on the table.

Not making a judgement about whether or not the deal was... questionable... but the cheapest bid is not always the best one. The sensible choice looks at the value of each bid, and the cheapest bid rarely offers the best overall value.

The guy seems bent as a nine-bob note, and given his position of power there's a good chance he is, but overriding the cheaper bid isn't necessarily dodgy and the fact it went to an acquaintance may be irrelevant.

Bank of England CIO: ‘Beware of the cloud, beware of vendors’


Sounds like a bigoted, stereotyping git to me

“Particularly in technology we want to recruit people who we wouldn’t normally recruit – specky, geeky kids hacking in their bedroom,” he said. The philosophy is fresh thinking and ideas will flow from diversity and cause disruptive change for the Bank.

Why, because all your staff are handsome, strapping and athletic? Not the best way to attract the kind of people you obviously need, resorting to passive-aggressively offensive stereotyping of your target employees.


Oi, UK.gov, your Verify system looks like a MASS SPY NETWORK


Not a flaw...

Government “identity assurance” programme Verify contains "severe privacy and security problems" including a major architecture flaw that could lead to "mass surveillance" – according to an academic paper.

That's not a bug. That's a feature. A very much intended, planned and designed feature.

Danezis questioned the reason behind why the system was designed with a single point of failure, but said no explanation has been provided.

The reason is simple. It is entirely deliberate. No way they're going to change it though, or admit it even could be a design flaw. The best you'll get is a canned statement about how it has been designed to be entirely secure with end-to-end encryption, and there's been no evidence of any compromise, intrusion or security breach in the system since it began operations.

Interestingly, the American version of an identity system, the Federal Cloud Credential Exchange, shares similar design flaws, according to the paper. But Danezis said there is no evidence the systems have been deliberately designed in this way by intelligence agencies.

Of course there's no evidence. This common "flaw" is a deliberate feature allowing spooks to compromise the system at will and will have been planned to leave no trace. Hard to imagine it isn't being abused in exactly this way, given the Fed's thirst for privacy invasion and mass data collection.

Are ALIENS hiding on Jupiter's Europa? Let's find out, cry NASA bods


RE: why does it cost $120K per hour to fly a B-2?

It's a big expensive plane that needs a lot of fuel, lot of crew and support both in the air and on the ground, and a metric fuck ton of maintenance per flight hour.

I know Wikipedia isn't always the most reliable source, but it gives it pretty good rundown of costs.

Scroll down to Program costs and procurement, last paragraph.


AT&T fined about 3 days of profit ($100m) for limiting 'unlimited' plans


Re: what is The Reg

@AC: Dude... really!?!

Version 0.1 super-stars built the universe – and they lived all the way over there, boffins point


Re: Question

Fair point, my last sentence perhaps wasn't worded as clearly as it should have been.

Obviously you can't create hydrogen-1 via nuclear fusion. I should have said there would be no Population IV stars because the necessary elements for Population III already existed immediately after the big bang. Thus no need to synthesise hydrogen, or fuse hydrogen into helium.


Re: Question

Big Bang Nucleosynthesis theorises that hydrogen, helium, some deuterium, less helium 3, and a relatively tiny amount of lithium formed immediately after the big bang itself, along with unstable isotopes tritium and beryllium that decayed to more stable variants of helium and lithium.

As hydrogen and helium already present form the Population III stars, there's no need for Population IV stars to create them via fusion.

US Air Force drone pilots in mass burn out, robo-flights canceled


Re: Higher wortking conditions

IMO it makes sense either way, since my understanding is you can have poorer pay and lower working conditions.

That said I expect grammar purists will disagree, so I'm donning my flame-proof suit in readiness :p

Testing Windows 10 on Surface 3: Perfect combo or buggy embuggerance?


Leave you longing for Windows 8...

Never ever thought I'd hear that said.

British banks consider emoji as password replacement

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@ Robert Helpmann?? Re: Great Idea!

Well done sir, I was thinking the exact same thing.

Have an internet.

Zionists stole my SHOE, claims Muslim campaigner

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Re: Does anyone listen?

Idiots listen to idiots. Always have, always will.

There's gonna be a ton of people stupid enough, paranoid enough, or otherwise religiously/politically enraged to pay attention to this prat.

Is he going to retract this when he finds his shoe down the back of the shoe rack or under the dog bed? Fuck no. After all, the only thing worse than looking like a twat, is looking like a twat twice.

Vauxhall VXR8: You know when you've been tangoed


Re: If I had the cash

So get a 2009 model. They're around the £15k mark at the moment. Or the rarer 2012 and later E3 models which run at around £30k and are slightly better equipped. Nearly as much fun for a lot less outlay.

0-60 in 4.9 instead of 4.2, but realistically you're never going to be able to put the power down without spinning the wheels to see 4.2...

With the change send it to Walkinshaw or Monkfish and ask them for cams/headers/OTRCAI and a remap, or a charger in whatever size takes your fancy.


Re: I'd still rather have the Merc than this Westie-wagon given the choice

I'd rather have the VXR8 and still have enough change left over to buy, oh I dunno, another car with...?


First rule of owning a VXR8...

...never let it near a Vauxhall dealership.

There are specialists who know these cars backwards and inside out, and will treat them with the respect they deserve. Most of the staff own these or similarly powered cars themselves, and have no need to be a twat in them, unlike your local grease monkey who's never so much as seen a V8 motor let alone worked on one.

Find a specialist that knows the engine, you'll have a much better experience.


Re: Out of dat, maybe. Effective, though.

Well said. You'll have to pry my VXR8 keys from my cold dead hand. There's no way in hell I'd go back to pathetically - dangerously - underpowered "eco" cars of any kind. If you want to be eco, don't have a car. Anyone who claims to be eco-friendly yet drives a car of any sort is a hypocrite, in my personal and humble opinion.

YMMV. Especially in a 6.2L V8 :D


Re: Chevy SS

This sounds like the Chevy SS - a Holden Commodore with a Corvette V8. It isn't supercharged, so it only has 415 HP.

You obviously don't have a clue what you're on about.

These have supercharged LSA 6.2L motors chucking out around 576bhp.

The original E1 VXR8 came with a LS2 6.0L motor that produced around 415bhp.

The later E1 VXR8 and E3 VXR8 GTS both came with LS3 6.2L motors producing 431bhp.

Later E1 models also came in supercharged Bathurst and Bathurst S specification, both styles converted from N/A to blown by Walkinshaw Performance at the behest of Vauxhall. The difference between the two is size of the charger.


Re: Are the dealers willing to remove every trace of Vauxhall badges from it though?

Typically no, but us owners tend to pluck them off as soon as we get the car :D

Cortana threatens to blow away ESC key

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Re: Ah, the mysteries of the keyboard in the 21st century.....

+1 internets for the Homer Simpson reference.

Reminds me, must get a nodding bird toy for working from home. Not connected to any nuclear power stations so we should all be safe from catastrophic meltdown. Should be...

NHS blows £5 MILLION on delayed Care.data


No issue

The issue is how do we sensitively attune to issues around patient data confidentiality.

I must be missing something. What "issue"? This is private, personal medical data. There is no issue. It must be kept private, within the NHS only.

Not the NHS and carefully chosen affiliates.

Not sold to any old mucker with a wad of cash that comes asking.

Not passed to insurance companies.

Not innumerable other questionable practices that I can't think of right now.

If an individual's records are pertinent to some private pharma's reseach, private pharma must seek permission to use that data from the individual concerned, via the NHS so the individual can remain anonymous at all times unless they agree. There can be no direct communication between pharma and individuals until consent has been granted.

And, if said individual consents, that information must be given freely, never sold. In fact, it should be illegal to sell it. And the recipient must be legally bound to keep that information private, not sell it on. This needs to be backed with threat of serious prison time. At least try to take steps to remove any incentive to be a twat.

I am not against the centralisation of patient medical data. It seems a no brainer, that you can find yourself in any hospital in the UK and that hospital has instant access to your medical history, treatments, investigations, test results, medications, allergies and so on.

But it is not a cash cow that can be used as some kind of prop for NHS funding.

Swordfish fatally stabs man after man stabs, fatally, swordfish

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Re: Hmmm...

In my head, that's translating as "he was a obnoxious prick", but I'm sure that's just me.

Nope, not just you. Reckon you nailed it.

The rare metals debate: Only trace elements of sanity found


Re investments

If we'd invested the hundreds of billions currently wasted on green energy projects on the space programme instead, we'd perhaps be on our way to having lunar colonies making interesting things, including science and lunarcrete sections for a Mars vehicle. It's not like there's any shortage of resources in our solar system.

Better yet, if we'd invested those hundreds of billions in Gen4+ nuclear plant, we'd now have genuine energy independence, zero carbon emission electricity production that we could flog to anyone and everyone in UK for a flat rate £30 a month. Forget meters and meter readings. Any surplus sell it to France. No wait, they don't need it because they already have a massive nuclear build-out. Germany then. Oh, the irony.

Once we have these clean, cheap unrelenting energy source, everyone has more money, and more energy to devote to other problems. Like investing in a proper space program to get our colonising arses off this rock.

Trial halted as Kartoon defence attorney arrested after warrant discovery


"There’s going to be smarter lawyers out there, but no one’s going to work harder than I will."

Thought the trick was to work smarter, not harder...

Ah wait, we're talking lawyers... working hard for the sake of it keeps the billable hours up. Working smart gets the job done in half the time, and that's a problem they don't want.

Android M's Now on Tap cyber-secretary is like Clippy on Class A drugs


Re: Upgrades !

Pretty simple really... MS owns Windows and PC manufacturers don't modify it. Sure, they may install bloatware and crapware when they build a PC, but they cannot modify the underlying operating system. This means MS can freely update the OS at any time without (generally) obliterating whatever the PC manufacturer has installed.

Android phone manufacturers are free to modify the operating system to add their own bloat/crapware and other "features" that you can't remove without rooting and reinstalling a clean OS.

Because of this direct change, Google cannot simply release an update an have it install on your phone. Chances are a lot of things will break.

Instead, your phone manufacturer gets the updates from Google and decides if they can be arsed to go through the modification, testing and deployment hassle all over again with the new version.

How much they can be arsed depends on the age and probably cost of your phone i.e. newer flagships are more likely to get an upgrade, older/landfill can forget it.

The simple answer is Google should make it a condition of using Android that manufacturers cannot modify it, at least not in any way that prevents Google applying OTA upgrades directly.

There's probably a dozen or more contractual and incentive-based reasons that will never happen.

Crafty fingering could let Apple Watch thieves raid your bank account


Fixed delivery addresses?

Does ApplePay only allow purchased items to be shipped to a registered address a la PayPal? Or can they go to any address?

For the former, it'd be mildly irritating that a load of stuff turned up on your doorstep when you didn't buy it, but at least you could return it. So not such a big deal.

If the latter, and any delivery address can be specified without supplementary checks then sure, this is potentially a big problem.

NASA's Jupiter moon mission becomes acronymathon


Re: Sadly no Europa orbit

Glad it's not just me wondering why they aren't parking it Europa orbit. Pity. They could obviously do a lot more science from there than on a measly 16 flybys.

Since it's not planned to last indefinitely I wonder if some kind of budget constraint meant they didn't send it with enough fuel and thrusters to do a proper job.


Re: from HAL

It'll be ok, they're only doing flybys. This time.

WOODEN computer chips reveal humanity's cyber elf future


Have they actually thought this through?

Sound like accelerated planned obsolescence. No need to worry about your non-removable battery dying, your circuit boards will biodegrade long before that happens. What controls when this stuff begins to degrade?

And microchips are generally a very small part of most electronic systems, so while they go green and eat themselves the rest of a product by volume - say >>99% - still needs to be recycled the old fashioned way. What's next? Go back to making everything out of wood?

Dunno about anyone else, but I like my electronics to last, not start biodegrading after a couple of weeks/months/years. When - if - they do eventually die I take them to be recycled. What happens beyond that point is out of my control.

Build stuff to last, make sure it can be properly recycled when it does eventually pop its clogs. Being biodegradable is fine for shopping bags. Please please please don't apply it to electronics.

NASA picks tools for voyage to possibly LIFE-SUPPORTING moon Europa


Again with the solar power...

The mission would send a solar-powered spacecraft into a long, looping orbit around the gas giant Jupiter...

At that distance the solar panels are going to have to be truly gargantuan to provide a decent amount of power to keep everything from freezing and run all the sciencey stuff.

Since we aren't assembling stuff in orbit yet, that means making them foldable to fit in the launcher fairing, and adds to the complexity, weight etc. Sure we've done it before but each moving part is added risk of mission failure. Not like we can just pop up there with a space helmet and a rocket pack and fix it.

Nuke power is always the better option. We use if for the deeper-space probes. More warmth, greater energy budget for the size of the probe. I know there's a need to radiate waste heat which requires radiators, but I can't imagine they'd have to be as big as the area of solar panels needed to generate the same power.

No more concerns about freezing every time the probe goes being Jupiter and can't see the sun.

But no, whopping great solar panels or a tiny power budget always seems to win.

Queen's Speech: Snoopers' Charter RETURNS amid 'modernisation' push



Provide the police and intelligence agencies with the tools to keep you and your family safe.

By doing what they say, when they say it? My family is safe enough without this "feature" thankyouverymuch. No amount of snooping on everyone's comms is going to improve that.

Intelligence agencies have already proven they can't (or won't...) act on the information they do have. For fuck's sake don't give them more.

Elon Musk's SpaceX: Now we help do SURVEILLANCE for the SPOOKS


All depends on your point of view...

If you're a US citizen it's capitalism. Be a patriot. Live the American Dream.

If you're not a US citizen it's evil, unpatriotic, corruption and so on.

Win Phone to outgrow smartmobe market for next four years


potholes volume <= road volume

The amount of tarmac used to create just the UK road network - how big a pile would that that be, and would it be enough to fill in all the potholes?


Well, yeah... even if potholes made up 100% of the UK road surface - and they pretty much do round my way - by very definition potholes volume must be less-than-or-equal-to road volume.

Assuming you are generalising about use of tarmac of course, since roads aren't just made of tarmac and potholes can penetrate the substrate.


Icon = pedantic git


...rare earths aren't that significant individually...

Nor actually "rare". Relatively abundant, just not usually concentrated like other ores...




and many other sources...


Re: Ringtones

To play devil's advocate for a sec...

To be honest, you shove on a MP3, WMA or M4R file into the ringtones folder (either via the file browser, OneDrive, plug it into a PC and use Windows Explorer etc.), then the ringtone is in your list.

Given the maturity of most smartphone OS this "copy it to the ringtones folder" should not be a necessary step.

If Android (don't know about iOS so can't and won't make assumptions of it) can list all a user's music files without having to first assign them to specific folders, and allow selection of any one of those tunes to be either a ringtone for a specific contact or a general ringtone, why can't WinPhone do that?

Why should users have to put a file into a specific folder before it can be used as a ringtone?

Note that I am not saying this is complicated or difficult, just that to do it, you have to know this is a required step. On other OS it is not necessary, suggesting other OS have matured further.

User-friendliness and OS maturity are about making things easier for the user, allowing them to find what they are looking for faster, and use what they find for common tasks as efficiently as possible.

If WinPhone still needs users to put specific files in specific folders to perform common tasks, whereas other OS do not impose that requirement, that cannot help the perception WinPhone still has some growing up to do.

Creationist: The Flintstones was an accurate portrayal of Dino-human coexistence


Re: How many sources?

Yeah but he's not a scientist, so he won't follow scientific method.

As a creationist he will do exactly what you say it sounds like he's doing - looking for evidence that supports his idea. Anything that doesn't support it will be ignored. There will be no possibility of him being wrong because he will only find evidence that supports his view.

He's already proven this in saying existing scientifically established views cannot be correct because the authors of those views were not present at the time applicable to their theories.

Therefore, there's no point in peer review of his "paper", as any contradictions raised will be discarded.

Creationism and science are polar opposites. Amazing how these nutjobs have the stones to call themselves scientists.

Skype hauled into court after refusing to hand call records to cops


Kinky kops

The police cannot just come in to my house and expect to go through all the draws without first getting the ok from a judge

Why would they want to go through all your underwear? Got unusually pervy rozzers round your way?

Geofencing: The ultra-low power frontier for the Internet of Things


Re: Why does this stuff need to update ?

Maybe security should be designed, not into the IoT thingamabobs, but into the router/switch/hardware that talks to them. Let me clarify : a light bulb may be able to talk over the Internet, but only if there is hardware from an ISP connecting the household to the Internet. Yes, I know about the WiFi Ethernet attempts. One thing at a time.

If IoT can only work with a hardware portal to the Internet, then it is those things that can handle the security.

No no no no no no no no no no no no no! NO!!

Might as well not bother. We all know full well how (in)secure most routers are, and that only seems to be getting worse not better.

The only way to do security is design it in from the ground up. That requires protocols for shared interaction, time taken to research, develop and do things properly. Dare I say it even committees and working groups (argh!).

But no, have to rush to market with some pointless IoT-connected leaf mulcher just to beat the other guy who is also making a pointless IoT-connected leaf mulcher. Security by assumption someone else will deal with it higher up the chain is not security.

You might be happy enough for anyone to be able to turn on your lights and sky-rocket your electricity bill because you were reliant on your router to not let them into your IoT network. I doubt many other people would be so pleased.


I await the dawn of smart cutlery, where a fork can scream for help if ...

...it's put next to the wrong piece of cutlery on the table. Never again will we have to suffer the insult the main course fork being placed on the outside of the appetiser fork. Thank our stars those days are finally behind us.

Bank-heist malware's servers phone home to Russian spookhaus


fleeced $7.3 million through ATM withdrawals

That's what you get for allowing 10 grand a day to be withdrawn... (assuming $7.3 MEELION over 2 years that is).

If only they'd stuck with the standard 250 a day limit. Would have taken 80 years at that rate.

Banks still wouldn't have spotted it though...

Seriously, who doesn't notice that kind of ATM withdrawal rate over 2 years? Is the accounting team high?

2.8 million victims squared up by malicious Minecraft apps


(7) virus SOON damage your SIM card and canceled your contacts...

Hmm... well, with such a sophisticated presentation it's easy to see why so many fell victim.

Come on! Seriously? Wording like that should be ringing the BS alarm loudly.

Illiterate messages, bad grammar, crap spelling; these are always a solid clue they are bogus. Sadly too many people seem to be illiterate these days... but then con artists have always preyed on the stupid, the uneducated and under-educated.

Whatever happened to critical thinking? Seems like it isn't taught any more. I tend to question everything, especially if it feels wrong. Useful skill to have, though it annoys some people - especially those with an agenda of their own. My kid's teachers don't like it very much. They seem to think they can tell me how to raise my child, and get quite agitated when I don't accept their views on certain things.

Learn to question anything that doesn't look right. It probably isn't right. That does mean knowing the difference between what looks right and what doesn't, rather than just blindly clicking "OK get the hell out of my way".

Wheely, wheely mad: Petrolheads fume over buggy Formula One app


@AC Re: Hmmm?

"vital data" in the sense of "essential, indispensable, integral, imperative, mandatory, requisite, urgent, pressing, burning, compelling, high-priority, life-and-death, of the utmost importance" data?

My my, aren't you a pedantic little twat.

Just because something is considered "vital" to one person does not mean vital to everyone. Stop being so literal.

Just asking. It's sunny outside, I think I'll ride my bike. Enjoy your sport.

So what? Not everyone likes what you like, and you don't have to like what anyone else likes. Get over it. Why are you even commenting here?

Google DOG WHISTLING fails to send URLs across the room


Re: What about the microphone that has to be constantly on ?

Good point. They say the mic is only used while the Tone extension is "active" but that could mean anything from "Hey Jimmy, turn on your tone thing I wanna send you this URL" to it starts when Chrome does and stays on until Chrome is shut down - which if you're anything like me and your browser is open all day means yeah, el Goog gets to hear everything trivial and pointless going on in my life. Well, they would if I used Chrome.


Re: Google Tone temporarily stores a URL on Google’s servers

Yeah I thought that. I have a feeling it doesn't broadcast the URL at all, but some unique code that other Chrome browsers with the active Tone extension can use to lookup the shared URL. Otherwise why bother committing the URL to a server at all?

Face it, it only needs to be a GUID or some other kind of fixed-length unique identifier. Fixed-length makes it much easier to pluck the codes from background noise. Broadcast-starting tones, ID, broadcast-ending tones. Keeps the message down to a short audio burst, and is more reliable than missing part of the URL in the broadcast. At worst Chrome can't find the URL corresponding to the code and reports this.

This way they get to track every URL shared this way and feed it into their advertising machine along with the IDs of everyone who viewed the shared URL, and where they went from there etc. But to be fair to Google, when do they not try to do that?

Boffins have devised TERMINATOR style LIQUID METAL – for an antenna



Reminds me a Culture novel where, near the end, one of the characters had a polymorphic tooth that turned into a hand-held plasma gun. Forget the title...

Driverless cars deal death to Detroit, says Barclays


Re: Bollocks...

Why not?

Driverless cars mean that you can commute to work. Once you're there the car THAT YOU OWN can then head home and pick your kid up and ferry said child to school.

That works until you have to commute to work and the kids have to go to school at the same time.

You've tried to address this obvious situation though...

What will happen in time is that companies/schools/whatever will get a little more flexible with their start and finish times to allow this to happen.

Realistically, they need to anyway, have reception and year one start at 8:45, year 2 and year 3 start and 9:45 and so on, with obviously altered ending times. That would ease a lot of the congestion around schools simply because everyone isn't turning up at the same time. You could probably reduce the offset to 40-45 minutes without overlapping traffic patterns too much. Work times would have to alter to allow for the legal requirement of your kids being in school. Again this would not be a bad thing as we'd avoid the morning and afternoon peaks, spreading them out across the day so on average there's less traffic at any given time.

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@JimmyPage - sorry for plagarising

We had the same thought about the American Dream angle at the same time and now it appears that I have blatantly copied you. Pure coincidence I assure you. Funny how these things happen.



...was my immediate thought just from reading the first line:

Shared driverless cars will kill off the multi-car household...

Taxi's haven't. Buses haven't. No form of public transport has for the simple fact it is generally inconvenient, overcrowded, can't accomodate your luggage, isn't available to fit your schedule, and myriad other reasons.

People have a car precisely because they don't want to share with other people, don't want to wait for a taxi or a bus to arrive, don't want to conform their schedule and priorities to someone / something else's conditions and conveniences.

Multi-car families extend that rational by having two or more people that need a vehicle at the same time for different purposes with different destinations.

That is not going to change just because there are driverless cars.

Never mind that people don't know who has been in the car before them, and if there's no driver there is zero obstruction so some passengers being disgusting assholes and leaving all sorts of nastiness for the next passenger.

The other point the "analyst" seems to completely overlook is the personal pride and status symbol aspects that are all part of the American Dream of wealth and success. I don't see many Americans giving that up any time soon.

So.. bollocks.


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