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Sunday traffic curiosity

> On Apr 1, 2020, at 04:46 , Mark Tinka <mark.tinka at seacom.mu> wrote:
> On 31/Mar/20 23:22, Owen DeLong wrote:
>> From my perspective, anyone born in this century pretty much qualifies as
>> a kid at this point. Maybe even the last 3-4 years of the previous one.
> To a great extent, yes. But I'd say the last 15 years have been very
> telling.
>> Turning consumers into products. Personally, not a fan and I think GDPR is
>> a sure sign that there is a backlash coming. The main reason it is tolerated
>> so far is most people arenâ??t aware of what it really means or even that it
>> is actually happening.
> Right - I'm speaking to the global view, and not a personal one.

I donâ??t pretend to have a global view. I have my own perspective. I do my best
to understand perspectives of others. Claiming to be able to speak from a global
view is beyond my abilities. I am truly impressed that you are able to do so.

Please teach me how to develop such a perspective.

> I do everything to stay away from being surveilled beyond what I am
> comfortable with, but taking a global view, we are the minority.

Yes, but the solution to that is education.

> For as long as I can foresee, I don't see us becoming the majority.

Not so sure about that. I think that GDPR and similar legislation sweeping through
the world is an indication that more and more people are becoming aware of the
issue, even if the tide is not yet turning against the surveillance economy.

>> 4-5 year olds donâ??t define the economy today and likely wonâ??t have significant
>> input into it for at least 10-11 years.
>> My observation is that they are _NOT_ the ones influencing this.
> Ummh - the kids aren't "directly" participating in the economy, but they
> are certainly influencing.

Only among the weakest-minded parents.

> When your kid cries his lungs out because the walk from home to
> grandpa's meant he wasn't on Twitch, it makes you, the parent, re-think
> how you keep them connected between dead zones. What devices you buy
> them to keep them happy. What car you drive to keep them connected.
> Which services you purchase that support that mobility. Which
> restaurants or playgrounds you take them to where they can get free
> wi-fi, and on and on and on.

Actually, it makes me rethink whether the child should be using Twitch at all.
When my child cries her lungs out because sheâ??s deprived of some app or
connectivity for some period of time, the result is that she loses access to
that item for a significantly longer period of time. It only took a few instances
of this for her behavior to shift from temper tantrum to negotiation.

Keeping my child connected is absolutely NOT a factor in an automotive
purchase decision in my household. Itâ??s a byproduct of keeping me and/or
my wife connected, if it is a consideration at all. (So far, not).

Mobility services, again, focus is the needs of the adults in this area. The
child has a wifi-only iPad and a bare-bones unlimited plan on her mobile
that comes with 2GB of LTE high speed data per month and drops to 128k
after she burns through that (usually in the first 5 days of the billing cycle,
though she is getting better about rationing it and paying attention to when
sheâ??s using mobile data vs. wifi.

IMHO, if parents are catering to a greater level of screen addiction in their
kids, theyâ??re not teaching their kids a variety of important life skills.

> The kids don't have to be direct economic contributors to have an
> influence on those that do. That has always been the case since we had
> to raise them, but now more so because of the new economy this Internet
> thing is birthing.

Iâ??m not as convinced of this as you are, but time will tell.

There is definitely behavior in evidence that aligns with your statements. However,
there is less evidence to support your conclusions of the reasons behind that

> For the last 8 or so years, I've resisted my wife's persistent pressures
> to get the kids a phone. They are now going to be 13, and I promised
> them phones when they either turn 20, or go to work and earn their own
> cash to buy their own phones if they want them sooner than that. I feel
> I had a handle on that for as long as I can remember, but in this
> hyper-connected world where school assignments are sent via e-mail, I
> may have to give in sooner than I planned :-\. Ah well, I had a good run
> :-).


My daughter has a phone. Sheâ??s 11. Sheâ??s had a phone since she was 7.
However, she has that phone for the convenience of the adults. It provides
an easy way to track her whereabouts and an easy way for us to get in
touch with her to coordinate things. Any other benefit she derives from
the phone are â??privilegesâ?? subject to restriction (her phone has parental
management on and most of the settings are locked down. She cannot
install new apps without specific permission (enforced via the app store)
and she has a very limited set of apps on the phone.). The web browser
is disabled on her phone. Sheâ??s required to put it in â??airplaneâ?? mode
before school each day and take it out of â??airplaneâ?? mode when she
leaves school each day.

Again, not because she wanted a phone, but for the convenience of the
adults in the household.

>> That rather,
>> it is the very large corporations and their ability to leverage big data and the
>> surveillance economy for fun and profit that are driving this.
> I won't argue with you there.
>> I will admit that 4-5 year olds are probably the most likely demographic to
>> have no inkling as to what giving up their personal data means. I suppose
>> rather like tobacco companies that getting them hooked in young does serve
>> as a competitive advantage.
> Haha, you place plenty of faith in the adult public.

Not at all. I believe that a higher percentage (3-5% or so) of the adult population
understand and actively try to avoid surveillance vs. the 4-5 year old population
(close to 0% even know the word surveillance).

> Almost everyone that I know who has no idea about how the Internet works
> (or cares to), will click "Yes", "OK", "Submit", "Proceed" without
> hesitation, just so that they can start using that app immediately.

Yepâ?¦ As I said, 95-97% of adults are in this camp. But I bet itâ??s closer to 100%
of the 4-5 year olds, given the chance.

> Where you and I may care why Apple will automatically sync. call logs
> between devices signed into the same iCloud account - and maybe even
> detest it - the majority of the adult population will see that as a
> convenience, as they can then remember who they called when, just by
> looking at any device.

Actually, I appreciate the way Apple has done this. They specifically donâ??t use
your data, they just transport it. They encrypt it so that even they canâ??t see it.

Google, OTOH, not so much.

iCloud is the opposite of what I am railing against. Itâ??s rather well implemented
and does contain strong privacy protections. So much so that it has frustrated
multiple governments.

	Subpoena â?? Give us user Xâ??s data.
	Apple â?? Well, we can give you the encrypted stuff we have, but we donâ??t
			have the key, so good luck with it.
	Government â?? Decrypt it for us.
	Apple â?? We donâ??t have the key, we canâ??t do that.
	Government â?? Install a back door.
	Apple â?? Uh, no.

This almost went to a US test case after the shooting in San Bernardino in 2016.


Though that was an iPhone and not iCloud, it showed Appleâ??s commitment to
getting this right. The only reason it didnâ??t become a test case was because the
FBI found a third party that hacked the phone for them (the vulnerability
they exploited was limited to older phones, Apple hardware of the time could
not be broken this way).

Itâ??s not clear how the case would turn out or what Apple would do if they lost.

>> I wouldnâ??t know. Iâ??m not a subscriber and not particularly interested in any of their
>> products.
> Fair enough.
> Again, my view is not a personal one, but rather, what the wider world
> is doing.

Sure, but again, not being in that class of users, I have no ability to view
the world from their perspective.

>> As I said, I wish I could get the local $CABLECO to turn off my â??access
>> to local sportsâ?? and stop charging me a monthly fee for something I donâ??t want.
> Sounds like you should, as some like to say these days, "Cut the cord" :-).

Well, $CABLECO is also $ISP and $ISP+$CABLE < $ISP alone in this
weird world of perverse economic incentives, even after accounting
for that annoying unnecessary charge.

Iâ??d love to switch to a different $ISP, but unfortunately, the choices here are
Comcast ($CABLECO) CMTS and AT&T ($TELCO) DSL. I get 200M/5M
from $CABLECO. The best $TELCO can do is 1.5M/384k (on a good day
when itâ??s dry outside).

As such, Iâ??m kind of stuck.

>> All genders seem to be relatively equally represented. Age range is probably
>> about 7-25. Here, it seems there are as many female sports fans as  male
>> among the younger crowds.
> That's interesting. It's not the sense I get in Africa (or in Asia-Pac,
> when I lived there). Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying women aren't
> into sports, I'm saying my observation on this side is not as much as men.

Oh, gender roles remain much more traditional in Africa and to some extent in
Asia than in the North America, Europe, and Australia, no question about that
based on my observations in fairly wide travel.

LATAM is a mixed bag, with some countries more like NA/EU/AU and some
more traditional.

> I wonder if the female sports lovers in the U.S. mostly gravitate toward
> a single sport, or if that is evenly spread across the sport spectrum.

I donâ??t have data to support this, but it seems to apply equally well to at
least Football and Baseball. Less so to the gear-head sports, but the
female audience for those seemed to be growing there too.

>> Sure, theyâ??re all desperate to try and find a way to preserve their revenue
>> stream.
> Being an F1 fan, Mercedes and Red Bull are now manufacturing breathing
> aids to help with Coronavirus patients. Talk about that ugly "business
> strategy" word I hate to use - pivoting :-).
> No industry is safe.

Ford had to be ordered to do so. First reasonable EO to come from the Orange
Idiot. (though he resisted doing it as long as he could)

>> Perhaps Twitch won the lottery as professional sports may be forced to move
>> to remote competition via gaming consoles. :(
>> I tend to doubt it as I think fans will find other things to do rather than make
>> the migration.
> Yes and no.
> I think traditional fans that like to enter stadia or go to the track
> will find other things to do because they are purists.

Agreedâ?¦ (Hence my second paragraph of the group above)

> But there are plenty of kids that are into gaming, play eSports and are
> used to congregating on Twitch. They'd rather spend ticket money for a
> real live event on a new computer rig to improve their online
> sporting/gaming presence. The kids (and anyone else with an affinity for
> that avenue) will likely be the ones to take sports digital.

Perhaps. The question remains whether that will result in long term economic

> Hard to predict, but will be interesting to watch, as it definitely has
> an impact on network operations, going forward.

Not really. Online games are relatively low bandwidth compared to streaming

Of course the live streaming of video of online game contests could be a different
matter, but I suspect that if the network becomes an issue there, theyâ??ll simply
develop â??watch-onlyâ?? clients for the games in question that take the same stream
from the play server as any other game client. At that point, itâ??s a low-bandwidth
thing again.

Now if youâ??re still operating a high latency or worse, a high-jitter network, then
youâ??ll have some issues youâ??ll need to address as games are very sensitive
to both latency and jitter, but thatâ??s a solved problem in most of the developed
world already.

>> I wasnâ??t the one arguing that they would. Seems your trying to argue both
>> sides of the coin here.
> And there's nothing wrong with that.
> My view of the new economy is not an all-or-nothing scenario. Many
> shifts will happen, but we'd be wise to understand why some either
> won't, or will have a significant lag in doing so.
> My prediction is that those who offer the most basic services, i.e.,
> where your hands, feet, and muscles are required, will always sustain,
> simply because we can't eat bits, or wear them, or sleep in them, or
> bathe them.


>> Well, I donâ??t see the 49ers ever offered value, or product, but thatâ??s just my
>> opinion, obviously.
> Right, but again, the view is a global one, not a personal one.
> Sports is big business because ordinary people are willing to pay good
> money to enjoy it. It gives them value, whether that makes sense to some
> of us or not. Rinse and repeat for every other business out there, and
> its patrons.


But hard to judge relative value when I canâ??t perceive any value.

>> Uh, noâ?¦ Youâ??ve got that ratio way out of proportion and itâ??s not an accurate
>> statement at all, except the last part.
> My example about Google Maps and the atlas was meant to be overarching,
> and not specific.
> My point is that many things we used to either do or pay for in the
> traditional economy have now been simplified and made available online.
> Either via a web site, or most likely, an app.

As much as I criticized the specifics of your example, I didnâ??t actually miss
your point. I thought that would be evident from my subsequent comment.

> When we buy stuff online, the shop down the road suffers. The gas
> stations suffer because we don't drive our cars to that shop. The little
> coffee shop inside the gas stations suffers because we are not at the
> gas station to buy gas. The company that makes the straws that you use
> to stir the sugar in the coffee you would have bought will suffer
> because, well, you didn't buy the coffee.

One of the reasons I tend to buy stuff from the shop down the road whenever
it makes sense. Iâ??m not above letting them know what the price online was
and negotiating something reasonable. (I donâ??t expect them to be able
to match the online price, but I do usually manage to get close enough
that the spread isnâ??t prohibitive). Admittedly, that means the shop down the
road is still suffering to some extent from the online stuff, but, less so than
if I just bought on line.

In my observation, gas stations are not suffering from online business. If
anything, people seemed to be driving more and more prior to the shelter
in place order. The coffee shop inside the gas station here mostly suffers
from the fact that you canâ??t go more than 2 blocks without encountering
a Starbucks and a lot of the Starbucks around here have drive-thru
service as well (which, oddly, the gas station coffee shop doesnâ??t).

In my observation, people are still buying plenty of coffee and not usually
on-line. The proliferation rate of Starbucks shops seems to back up
my conclusion here.

As to straw manufacturers, I think theyâ??re more endanger from the
rabid anti-plastic environmentalists than from any fall-off in beverage

> The newspaper kiosk that is right next to the gas station won't sell any
> papers because you are not going to the gas station anymore, but more
> likely, because who reads newspapers in 2020? When the shopping centres
> start to close because we prefer to buy online, what about the security
> guards that worked there?

Here, I think newspapers are becoming an endangered species for a variety
of reasons. I canâ??t remember the last time I saw a newspaper kiosk
near a gas station. Itâ??s never really been a thing here. Where you do
see them is in high-traffic down-town areas. Those donâ??t seem to be in
danger as they tend to sell a variety of things and newspapers arenâ??t
likely a high fraction of their revenue.

> The bakery that worked out of the shopping centre would close down
> because we buy online, and the airline that used to buy bread from them
> for inflight meals now has to increase prices because they had to switch
> supplier.

Uh, no. First, no airline (at least in the US) is buying their bread from some
local bakery. Second, the bakeries in shopping centers arenâ??t suffering
from on-line sales because people want their baked goods fresh, not
via overnight fedex. In fact, the proliferation of new bakeries that 
was happening prior to COVID clearly indicates otherwise. At least here
in the US, people like their fresh baked goods and are willing to pay
for them in person.

> When you choose to work out with an online session (as many are doing
> now due to the Coronavirus), there is a gym membership that could get
> cancelled. So your gym trainer suffers. The company that made the gym
> equipment suffers. The company that maintains the gym pool suffers. The
> power company that sold electricity to the gym suffers.

Sureâ?¦ But really, I donâ??t think thatâ??s permanent and most people that have
gym memberships are paying for them on autopilot and donâ??t think to
cancel even if they arenâ??t using it. Why do you think gyms never raise
their prices on old memberships? They donâ??t want to do anything to
remind that customer thatâ??s paying and not using about that fact.

> My point, for everything that we used to do in the traditional economy
> that transitions into the new economy, someone out there is suffering.
> Whether that's good or bad, or whether someone is to blame or not is
> irrelevant to Average Jane, because she just sees value in the
> convenience of buying online, regardless of the trickle-down effect.

Sure, but thatâ??s been the case since before the industrial revolution.

Thereâ??s nothing new about this from of economic evolution.

>> I donâ??t blame google or amazon. Just like I have no sympathy for the taxi
>> cartels that were crying â??theyâ??re stealing our businessâ?? about Lyft and the
>> other ride-share companies. In fact, when the taxi cartels were getting away
>> with pressuring cities like Los Angeles to do crazy shit to stop Lyft and the
>> others from doing airport pickups, I rather went to extremes to apply opposing
>> pressureâ?¦
> And the traditional probably will die, unless they find a way to adapt
> and play the game like Uber and the rest. That's the deal, short of
> gubbermint decree.

Well, in many jurisdictions, the taxi cartels tried the gubbermint decree
route. They even got the decrees, until the gubbermint realized that the
backlash was too strong and relented.

There are still various moves afoot to try and cause additional regulatory
burden and/or legislative difficulty for the app-based ride-shares and
the so-called gig-economy.

> In South Africa, the postal company (a gubbermint function) was asking
> for a new law to prevent private delivery companies from handling
> packages under 1kg. I have no sympathy for that... if you have the time
> and energy to spend in keeping yourself afloat through artificial means
> like litigation, then you have the time and energy to adapt your
> business model to the new economy and survive by offering value. Failing
> that, you're welcome to die.

Yeah, you should see the US model. Itâ??s absurd. The USPS was converted
into a government-mandated private enterprise with a monopoly on the
delivery of mail. Others are allowed to deliver freight and small package
express service, but not mail.

Itâ??s an utterly bizarre and byzantine set of regulations.

Then if you really want to go through the looking glass, weâ??ve now got
a president claiming that Amazon is â??abusing the postal systemâ?? by being
one of its largest customers.

>> Iâ??m not in that position, fortunately. Old economy, new economy, either
>> way, they still need pipes to move bits. Iâ??ve always been mostly on the
>> execution side of moving bits.
> I'm not sure any of us can say we are "safe" from the effects of the new
> economy.

Nobody is ever safe, economically speaking.

> Yes, pipes are needed to move the new-economy bits; people still need
> water, food, clothes, electricity, wood, fuel and all the other real
> things necessary for basic human function, despite some idea that all of
> those things can be "automated". We can't eat automation. And we can't
> eat bits.

My favorite version of this was the real estate investor that tried to explain
to me that now that we had virtual servers, the next step would be to virtualize
the datacenter and eliminate physical infrastructure altogether. I wished him
the best of luck with that plan and walked away shaking my head.

> If some large corporation is coming into your backyard offering their
> services for free so you can be their product, and forcing traditional
> companies that offered services for a fee into selling those services at
> or below cost, there will be an impact.

Yesâ?¦ The trick here is consumer education and regulation that requires
fully informed consent by the consumer willing to become the product.

The reason these meet with such high success today is that most consumers
donâ??t realize theyâ??re becoming a product.

> It's difficult to "evolve" away from offering basic pipe, because
> physical infrastructure is the basic need for the new economy to
> develop. However, it doesn't mean that we won't need to make changes to
> how we've operated in the past, as cost and price pressures from "the
> big boys" shave those zero's from our P&L's, and all the pleasures and
> joys that come along with it:

Sureâ?¦ But at the end of the day, someone still needs to deploy that
infrastructure. Hopefully it will be a few years yet before that degrades
salaries too far. Hopefully in about 15 years, I wonâ??t care.
> https://www.euronews.com/2019/03/11/vodafone-plans-1130-jobs-cuts-in-italy

Sure, this is every day news regardless of industry.

>> Mehâ?¦ I think the most clever companies are the ones who have found
>> ways to keep their products hooked to them while delivering their value
>> to their true customers. Unfortunately, I think they are also among the
>> most despicable form of parasite weâ??ve ever seen.
> I don't disagree. We don't have to like them, but we can concede when
> they are "cleverâ??.


>> Market cap is merely one measure. It represents the current market opinion of the
>> legitimate sale price of the company and little else.
> I'm not a stocks guy - I find financial engineering annoying. But for
> those to whom it mattersâ?¦

Did you ever see the movie â??Wall Streetâ??? (Not the recent remake which I havenâ??t
seen, but the original with Michael Douglas)

In the 1980s, this film was intended as a cautionary tale about how deregulation
an inattentive regulation on Wall Street was destroying good companies in the US.

By the early 1990s, it was being treated as a model for the new economy.

Thereâ??s a speech in the movie by Michael Douglas about how â??Greed is Goodâ??.
If you watch no other scene, this is the one worth watching. Most of us viewed
it as a cautionary tale of corruption and how insidious unchecked greed could
be as a corrupting influence. The financial engineers on Wall street viewed it
as a model for success.

>> Nonetheless, even if Netflix turns out to be a better single-studio outlet than Disney,
>> everything I said still holds true.
> Probably, yeah. Curious to see where it goes.
>> Really? Are you sure youâ??re accounting for all that is Disney? 
> I know how large they are.

That wasnâ??t about how large they are, but about how diverse they are.

> Having all these companies is great. Means nothing if you can't harness
> them all to show your customers value. They have a great opportunity
> here, I just haven't yet seen them execute it, globally.

Thatâ??s why I mentioned the specific ones that were global even before
they were acquired by Disney. Disneyâ??s been on  a crazy buying binge
ever since they got rid of Eisner (AKA Lord Farquaad and thank
goodness heâ??s gone).

A lot of their purchases have been aimed at expanding their international

That was my point. Domestically, theyâ??ve been a very effective executor.
Internationally, itâ??s just a matter of time and acquisitions before they find
the right mix. Their domestic performance and conservative cash management
has left them with a pretty strong war chest for international experimentation
until they get it right.

> Also, I'm a patient, observant man :-).
>> So can Disney, Comcast/NBC/Universal, and Time Warner.
> Will the Hollywood legends be happy to release all their content in all
> their territories of business, worldwide, at the same time? They've been
> very keen on region rights, et al.

I think this will eventually evolve over time. If Netflix shows stronger success,
then all they have to do to kneecap Netflix is start doing so.

Why take that risk when you can sit back and see what happens to the other
guy and make a later decision with very little cost and nothing at risk?

> That's where I am saying Netflix - with their original content - have an
> advantage.

But itâ??s a fleeting advantage and itâ??s not clear yet whether itâ??s an actual
advantage over-all.

>> Disney has a lot more of this than I think you realize.
> I'm talking about their own network, not through the use of a 3rd party
> CDN. But if you have more information about this than I currently know,
> would be grateful to hear about it.

Disneyâ??s own CDN is wider spread than I think you realize, but that doesnâ??t
really matterâ?¦ If you want to turn up a CDN overnight in a new territory,
then all that is really required is VPS providers in the territory and the
ability to deploy your CDN onto VPS. Disney definitely has both of those
things. Beyond that, itâ??s just a matter of clicking the GO button for each
territory you want to target. Then for places that show significant demand,
you can deploy actual infrastructure later as a cost reduction measure
to free you from the high cloud fees.

>> Not sure about the international extent of Comcast and/or Time Warner.
> No clue, I haven't seen them feature in many places outside of the U.S.

Yeah, me neither (other than their content). NBC/Universal definitely has
a pretty wide international audience, as does Warner Brothers.

>> This statement tells me that you CLEARLY have underestimated the vast extent
>> of the Disney reach and donâ??t realize how many things you wouldnâ??t expect when
>> you hear the name Disney are owned by Disney.
> On the contrary, as stated earlier.
> Disney do have an opportunity to pull it all together. Will they,
> remains to be seen.
> Where I really think Disney and the Hollywood types have a huge
> advantage over Netflix is in cinema releases. They have, traditionally,
> made movies for cinema, and collect plenty of cash at the door during an
> opening weekend.

Sure, but at this point, it remains to be seen how many cinemas will exist
post COVID-19.

> The new economy (especially one in this Coronavirus era) considers that
> I can enjoy value and convenience without leaving the house. If they can
> adapt their business model to deliver box office cinema movies to the
> home, over the Internet, worldwide, at the same time, it would be a
> windfall of massive proportions, given even the kids don't mind leaving
> their devices and paying for another episode of "The Avengersâ??.

Well, they already have the streaming capability for all of their â??oldâ?? content,
so really, thatâ??s just a matter of making the decision to release new content
through that mechanism. Of course it would also involve either adjustments
to their revenue expectations for that or to their current pricing models for
that service. Maybe something like Amazon Prime where some content is
free and other is available for an additional fee.

> Of course, they'd have to "get over themselves", and that's where I feel
> they may miss the boat, if they don't. Short of that, it will be a
> slug-fest with Netflix.

I doubt that they will miss the boat entirely, but I think theyâ??re watching CBS,
Netflix, and Amazon Prime to see which model wins before jumping all in
on digital.

> I know some movies that have either just left the theatres or still
> there have been brought early to VoD:

Yep. I expect this to be an increasing trend. Netflix put a big finger-in-the-eye
on the other studios when they simultaneously released the same feature in
theaters and on streaming.

> https://www.techhive.com/article/3532460/movies-available-for-streaming-early-to-ease-coronavirus-anxiety.html
> But like I keep saying, every business will suffer:

No doubt. Never said otherwise. I figured this conversation was more about
what would likely succeed vs. likely die as we move forward, not so much
about the extent to which everyone would suffer.
> https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2020/03/coronavirus-movie-release-calendar
> The Coronavirus has merely accelerated and amplified what has been in
> the pipeline for yonks.

Yes and no. I think it is also steering the mole machines
to some extent. (to continue your pipeline metaphor)

>> Again, I donâ??t see every business squirming. I see lots of businesses squirming.
> You seem to think some businesses won't feel the pinch. I wouldn't blame
> you. But every business will be affected, one way or the other.

Sure, but some are actually benefitingâ?¦ Local grocers and warehouse stores
as an example. Panic buying, more restrictive return policies, hoarding have
all led to increased sales and reduced costs for them.

Also, this probably isnâ??t something youâ??re used to, but hospitals are also seeing
an increase in business in the US., as are urgent care clinics, testing labs,
etc. Thatâ??s all big business in the US.

Impacted â?? Yes, but in some cases, positively impacted, not negative.