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AOL & NSI To Team Up 64

kettch wrote to us with a recent story on CNet about AOL and NSI teaming-up to offer "co-branded service". If I remember correctly, at one point AOL was going to compete with NSI in offering domain registrations, so it's interesting to note that they have decided to play nice with each other.
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AOL & NSI To Team Up

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  • seams we have 2 of these.
  • alright! screw competition! horah for packs between evil corporations! Next thing you know, AOL/Time Warner/Netscape will be acquiring NSI.
  • Why, Hemos, why is it good that anyone teams up with AOL?

    First off, I was under the understanding that competition is good for a healthy economy, quality, and choice-making process.

    Second, why is it good that ANYONE works with AOL? I wish everyone would work against em!

    Oh well.. now i should go read the article :)

    Mike Roberto ( [mailto]) -GAIM: MicroBerto

  • And soon the _mega_monopolies will control every aspect of our lives. AOL will provide me with all of my life needs just based on their fantastic profile developed in cooperation with all your favorite corporations. yippee...
  • Janet Reno today announced that while she was busy battling for the safety of all against the evil Bill Gates, she has allowed another monopoly to form. But since the government no longer owns any of the .gov extensions she is unable to email any of her minions to go after this new monopoly. On a side bar Mr Case of AOL has changed his email address to He has also warned if Bill Gates and any other home ISP does not cease and turn over all accounts they will be forced to lose their .com name.
  • This is wonderful, as if screwing up my Netscape Browser with their fancy little "keyword" crap wasn't enough, now they want to get into the domain name buisness. Personally, AOL is a headache I would rather not deal with. The more I can keep them out of my day-to-day routine the better. I had a customer that screwed up their IP stack just because of AOL's instant messanger. If they can't get simple crap like that right, I don't whant them messing around in more important areas.
  • Somehow this doesn't strike me as a good thing for competition.
    Now if they would team up with MS!

    "Two of my favorite things are sitting on my front
    porch smoking a pipe of sweet hemp, and
    playing my Hohner harmonica."

    Abraham Lincoln - 1855

  • Why, Hemos, why is it good that anyone teams up with AOL?

    The use of the words "interesting" and "play nice with" wasn't exactly an endorsement of the deal. The way I read the comment is that it is interesting, in much the same way that the recent alliance between the Klingons and Romulans is interesting. Whether it is good or bad depends entirely on whether they are shooting, and at whom. But the situation is clearly worth watching.
  • I think that all of these companies merging
    is a bad sign. It will only serve to create
    one giant corporation controlling everything. Forget about a little monopoly like Micro-
    soft's, a new one could own all of the market
    for everything! It seems like AOL is more
    than willing for this to happen, considering
    all of the recent merges that they've done.
    The loyal members of the /. community must
    band together and stop them!
  • AOL is pure evil.

    NSI is pure evil!

    Sounds good to me.

    Now give me my copy of Netscape 6, don't screw it up this time, and pardon me if I get my web pages and ISP service elsewhere....
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [].
  • Now AOL can bring all their benevolence to the whole internet. Everyone will be protected from whatever Steve Case deems to be obscene. And of course lets not forgot their wonderful proprietory protocals!
  • That is a wonderful way of saying 'collude.'
  • by Shin Elendale ( 132746 ) on Monday May 08, 2000 @10:55AM (#1084765) Journal
    Today, following news of AOL and NSI's teamup, Steve Case has made an official public announcement:

    "Thank you all for being here today. I am officialling taking over the internet. All non-aol approved websites will lose their domain names effective immediately. My new address will be the White House as I've sued the governments of the world out of existance for all their .gov sites (which I own) and other infringements upon my legal rights. My new title will be 'The King: Lord Case, May He Live For A Thousand Years'. That is all, thank you."

    Bill Gates and his new company, LinuxSoft, declined to comment.
    In unrelated news, The two Microsoft halves continue a long and ugly legal battle to untie Windows and decide who gets what. Unfortunately, the current judge was found dead today of what looks like a self-inflicted knife wound.

    -Elendale (no longer will I flame AOL mindlessly, I will now make fun of them with fake news posts)

  • "The companies said the alliance will provide members of the AOL and CompuServe online services, numbering more than 24 million worldwide, and visitors to AOL's Web-based properties with easy access to NSI's domain name registration services, Image Cafe Web site superstore and idNames country-code registration services."

    In other words, AOL users will now be spammed with offers from NSI so they too can over pay for domain registry.
  • Ah, very good. Take a company like MS (which has a clueless user base and an even more clueless development team), and combine them with a company like AOL (who has a spectacularly drool-prone user base, but had enough sense to hire sharp technical people).

    The user bases combine. The companies annihilate one another in a vast cluon-anticluon chain reaction. We're left with nothing but a bleating herd of people almost capable of operating a mouse without benefit of a "For Dummies" book.

    None of the survivors can successfully program a VCR or a microwave oven.

    All die.

    Oh, the embarrassment.
  • On one hand, it's good to see a powerful company playing nice with others. This kind of thing sets a good example, although it would be far niftier if AOL were working with some small startup.

    On the other hand, there's the obligatory paranoid wild prediction. This could lead to the sort of teamup that spawned such funny names as "Wintel."

    Dammit, my mom is not a Karma whore!

  • by Lextext ( 121217 ) on Monday May 08, 2000 @11:07AM (#1084769)
    AOL is already an ICANN-accredited registrar [], with the ability to register names in .com, .net and .org. Aside from the ability to register names in ccTLDs, this co-branding deal seems to add little of value.

    The only thing I can think of is that AOL has not been able to make the registration process work, so it's turned to NSI for help. The AOL domain name registration page [] has always been closed to non-AOL members, so I don't know if it was actually offering this as a service prior to today's announcement.

  • I'm surprised that AOL didn't just eat NSI. Judging from the posts, I don't think I'm the only one worried about these mega-corps. AOL already controls a HUGE chunk of all media markets, Internet access, browsers, etc (you know what I mean) and now this??? I don't mean to sound apathetic, but this is just the way the world is going, and has been for a long time. Corps just get bigger and bigger. I'm not a big fan of government intrustion, but where does this end? And to think, I thought it would be the oil companies that took over. Then came along this Internet thingy... - Horis
  • Whatever you're thinking Hemos:

    BZZZT! You're wrong!!

    This is AOL and Steve Case. They would not do anything that might undermine their strategic advantage, as purveyor of more newbies than any other ISP-alike, to crush NSI at a later date. We see it all the time in Microsoft's Embrace and Extend philosophy: Jump in bed with the enemy, and once you figure what makes him/her so stellar, jump right back out and offer your bastardized version for less. Perhaps after AOL figures the game out, they'll offer domains that can only be seen by AOL subscribers, and that walk over the outside DNS. Or they figure that they can con NSI into giving them enough of the buck off the newbie domain regs to run them into the ground with sheer volume. Or perhaps they just want to make an 'easy to use' domain registration proceedure for AOL users, in an effort to turn the rest of us into drooling sycophants and unable to use anything more complex than AOL.

    What did I do with that bottle of Zanax?? Steve Case is coming for me!!!
  • Why, Hemos, why is it good that anyone teams up with AOL?

    Obviously, so that NSI can now screw Joe Sixpack on domain registrations. The esoteric registration process had left NSI screwing only the Internet geek demographic.

  • There has been Microsoft like monopoly talks by many people, not many business adults, but some, and discussion of investigations and stuff. This is incredibly stupid for AOL, if they do what I think they may do (what we're probably all thinking), frontlining NSI as a register directly on AOL. Even if they don't do that, this is incredibly stupid and AOL's shoulder will be looked over just that much more. I can respect Bill Gates' intellectuality (amazing isn't it?)and him as a business man, Steve Jobs' as well, Jeffrey Bezos' as well, Jerry Yang's (isn't that the yahoo guy?) as well, but honestly, I think Steve Case is not an intelligent man, and does not have what it takes to headline AOL/Time Warner, nor AOL itself by himself actually...
    I'm sorry Steve Case, but I think you're stupid =)

    "spare the lachrymosity when the fulminations have inveighed"
  • I recently registered . Am I now going to have to change it to ROBERTELLIOTT.ORG?
    And what about the universities? Will be changed to HARVARD.EDU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?

    We're obviously gonna have to set some sort of standard for exclamation marks, now. I suggest 5 for a .com^H^H^HCOM, seven for a .ORG and nineteen for a .EDU. This has the added benefit of making life more difficult for spammers; they'll no longer be able to catch your attention via tasteful XXX PICS HERE!!!!!!!!!!; they'll have to use lower case and good grammar to differentiate between themselves and the masses.

    Spammers are the future!
  • Here come some new top-level domains from the AOL/NSI alliance:

    .aol = arrogant online litigants .bs = business systems .fu = federal use

  • actually, isn't it a Chinese curse? "may you live in interesting times" Hemos, people all over the world read slashdot. Be more careful about what you say.
  • I think it is a method for AOL to be everything to everyone. If you've happened to *try* to work with the service (some customers made me do it), you'll notice that there's a few features that REALLY seem to push the buttons of the AOLidiots who use it.

    1)That you can do almost everything you could ever imagine you wanted to on AOL WITHOUT GETTING ON THE INTERNET. I know that makes YOUR SKIN CRAWL, but to people who have little or no understanding of the net, this is an attractive feature (and please, don't get into the arguement of "if-you-don't-know-what-the-internet-is-you-should n't-own-a-modem" I know, I know, I know)

    2)It is proprietary as hell. What a pain it is to try to configure third party software to work with AOL. And try telnetting, HAH! 3) One of their big selling points is the "free" 6MB of web space they offer their customers. I am sure that they are trying to integrate domain name registration and this service together. I also am wondering how much the registration fees will be (probably higher than most services?).

    4) For some odd reason, the idea of domain name registration really resonates with AOLidiots. I wish I had a dime for the numbers of times I have been asked in the past few months if I "I thought it was a good idea to register my personal name with a .com". Apparently there's been a spate of newstories lately about people registering their name, registering grandchildren's names, etc.

  • I'm happy now. Now I can buy a domain name when using AOL, Compuserve, or even when using WINAMP!

    This sounds like another anti-trust suit to me. Not only does AOL have the largest number of IM users(and own another large one!), one of the largest ISPs, and a whole bunch of other monopolies... they're going to probably buy out the whole domain name process. When I heard of this around a year ago, it was five different companies that were going to be able to this, one of which was AOL. Although, its very concerning to learn that AOL will have an exclusive agreement with NSI.

    This begs the question, can AOL buyout the process of selling domains too?
  • Well, old Stevey's gonna have some trouble getting the internet from it's inventor, Al Gore.
  • by Wntrmute ( 18056 ) on Monday May 08, 2000 @12:11PM (#1084780)
    "You've got a domain name!"

    "Register your domain now, and get 300 free hours of AOL!"

    "With Instant messaging, email, the Internet, and domain names, no wonder it's number one!"

    But seriously this bothers me... Why do I forsee this:

    A few years down the road, my company, (an ISP) calls up to find out why their domain has not been renewed on the company credit card...

    Phone Rep: "AOL-Time Warner-NSI-General Motors-RJ Reynolds, how may I help you?"

    Me: "Yes, I was calling to see why my domain, was not renewed."

    Phone Rep: "Ahh, I see that you provide Internet service through that domain?"

    Me: "Yup, have for several years now."

    Phone Rep: "Well, we have adopted a new domain registration policy for ISPs. Your domain will now cost a percentage of your annual profits. This number will..."

    Me (interrupting): What?!?

    Phone Rep: "Yes, it's our new policy. Now, if you get 1 OC-3 through us, your cost falls to a 25%, but if you get 2, then..."

    Me (interrupting again): Are you kidding me, I'm not giving up my profits for a domain name!"

    Phone Rep: "Well, you don't really have choice, see. We own the system. We won't let you transfer the domain. Now, if you give each of your users a copy of Instant Messenger and our Time Warner movies-on-demand service, you cost drops to a mere..."

    Me: I wonder if anyone wants to buy an ISP?

  • Checking the cnet story against the release [] posted at AOL's corporate site, seems that other aspects of this agreement weren't covered by cnet:

    • "...AOL will promote a number of VeriSign services across its business channel."
    • "The AOL/NSI co-branded sites will also provide access to a variety of services tailored to small-to-medium sized businesses. This will include the opportunity to register for free listings in the Netscape Business Directory, which will include data from NSI. The Business Directory is designed to help users quickly locate, research and do business with companies on the Web."
    • "NSI will also distribute a co-branded version of Netscape Instant Messenger, enabling businesses and consumers to initiate online, real-time communications with business colleagues, friends and family."

    The same (unedited) press release [] is available at NSI's corporate site.

    Might as well get all the information, no matter how trivial.

  • I don't like the idea of network solutions and AOL getting cozy. AOL's market cap is 126 billion, whereas NSOL is capped at 10 billion. I see the opportunity of a merger here. And although ICANN has opened up the registrar business Network Solutions still has a virtual monopoly in this space. I do not like the idea of AOL controlling this very important piece of internet infrastructure.

    -- Greg
  • by DrEldarion ( 114072 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [0791uhcsm]> on Monday May 08, 2000 @12:47PM (#1084783)
    eek, did anyone else misread that and think it said that AOL and the NSA were teaming up? Now that would be scary...

    -- Dr. Eldarion --
    It's not what it is, it's something else.
  • They could institute that in order to register a domain name, you'd have to sign on through AOL. shudder - Well... I guess I won't be needing this computer anymore!
  • When will the federal government get off Bill, and start barking up AOL/Netscape/Time Warner/The World's tree. You want to talk about monopolies, and dangerously large companies? Now there's one to talk about.
  • why would they even bother teaming up? AOL could usurp the market by expanding their use of "keywords". they already control something like 45% of the dialup market, so what's to prevent them from trying to define the standards? just type in "amazon", and maybe you'll find yourself at B&N if they paid enough for that right.

    don't like it? what exactly would you do about it?

    yeah, its a little far-fetched (but not that far) and the legal wrangling would be a headache, but anytime a company has outlandish market share like AOL does, their "innovations" tend to push the envelope of legality.

  • My main concern (stemming from the etoy/etoys debacle 01/25/2049214.shtml [] ) is that AOL is increasing its leverage in the domain world to be able to shutdown websites easily. Is there a website with some nonsanctioned use of Looney Tunes characters? Shut it down. Got a website that posts rumors and reviews of upcoming WB tv shows? Cease and desist. Website owners don't like it? Sorry, we've got lawyers and money and -control-. Even if you do get your website back it'll take -your time and effort- to prove your innocence. (and if some other company doesn't like your website who do you think AOL/NSI will side with?).

    It's just one step in increasing influence and dominance. Welcome to the age of the MegaCorp.
  • Has anyone had a similar problem:

    You fax an authorization form to NSI to get your administrative contact changed. Yet, you never hear back from NSI?

    You send an email inquiring as to whether or not they even received the fax, yet you never receive a reply?

    You attempt to call NSI to speak with a human, yet you receive a recording. Not the usual recording, but rather a recording telling you all Cust. Reps are busy, and to call back tomorrow between 7 and 9 am... WTF
  • AOL has a long-standing deal with former senior NSI officers to offer long-distance service to AOL subscribers through a company called The deal is exclusive, operates AOL's long distance service.

    It's particularly interesting given the amount of revenue has been generating, on the order of US$516mil+ in 1999.
  • They've been screwing up jello with a spoon for years. I had some respect for Verisign until they acquired NSI. Throwing AOL into the mix almost makes sense, in a sardonic sorta way. If you're gonna screw things up, you might as well do it right. Looks like they're headed down the right road for that.
  • With utmost respect to the owners of all such copyrights, I recant any and all statements I have ever made which contain material with might be deemed the intellectual property of any individual, whether alive or deceased.

    Further, I wish to amend my previous post to read as follows: "For Cretins"

    Better, hmm?
  • Ye gads! That's quite a lot of CDs they're gonna have to mass mail out to every address in the NSI database.

    #147 - Lawn edger blade
    #148 - Wind chimes
    #149 - Air hockey puck

  • For years, I figured I was unable to properly operate a fax machine. Out of the five times I have been required to fax NSI a form (whether it be a RNCA, or simply a nameserver-change approval), each one has required a followup call .. and a repeat fax directly to the representative.

    One on transaction, I actually had to fax my RNCA in *THREE TIMES* before the deal was finally closed. When it finally did, it happened without my knowledge; I never received an email alerting me of the situation, although I was told I would.

    I think you're lucky to get the "call back tomorrow" recording; I've always gotten a busy signal, believe it or not.

    I'm not the kind of guy to just bash a company for no reason, but NSI truly has been a joke over the past few years ... and the scariest part is they haven't been getting ANY better. Same old, same old.

    I guess I'm the lazy one for not looking in to and using any NSI's competitors.
  • According to the article they registered I checked and nobody has or yet. Anybody wanna snap them up first?
  • Say Goodbye to NSI []
  • i am never able to find anything with the slashdot-search-engine.
    how can i find what slashdot-terminal wrote ?

    kind regards philippe,
  • I see this whole argument as sort of like the fight against Micros~1, until someone else can provide all of AOL's good features without the bad ones, AOL will continue to get even more customers and other ISP's will keep getting taken over. Good things about AOL: -Very easy to use, relatively simple to configure -AOL's keywords and channels make things relatively easy to find. -AOL has the same standard interface for any computer with AOL installed on it. -AOL supports some major open source projects -AOL comes preloaded with windows communication and multimedia software. -It's relatively easy for the main user to censor the other accounts, slightly harder to avoid this filtering. Bad things about AOL: -AOL's spam , esp. its special deals with advertisers. -AOL's crippled standard browser (even though you're forced to get IE 5.0, it runs outside the main window so most AOL users don't know about it.) -E-mail is not sent to the recipient immediately. -Frequent busy signals and poor speed. -AOL's monolithic interface takes huge amounts of resources, running very slowly on older computers. -and all of the other stuff about AOL being an evil corporation and trying to control the media, etc. so does anyone want to create a better isp for clueless newbies?
  • Oops! You used the trademarked term, "For Dummies" (tm) without acknowledging the trademark holders. I'm telling! ;-)

    (The "For Dummies" phrase is a registered trademark of the good kind folks at IDG Books.)
  • Just saw one of the other replies. Great, now I'm gonna get a Redundant (and another one for this follow-up). :^)

    Well, at least I've never been accused of being a karma whore. Ki ni suru chunen!
  • Then the FBI, then the CIA, and then the world!

    muahahahahahahahahahahahaha !
  • Really, who cares whether AOL has created an influx of Newbies in the last decade or so. Let them have their "private community" with their cute, proprietary browser. Let them solicit one-another for purposes childish and wanking. Let them soil themselves, catching the excretia in the trunk or caboose of their matching day-glo outfits while strolling hand-in-hand with one another at the local Mall.

    Why? Because, unless I am in close contact with these people, I should not be bothered with their superfluosity and worthlessness. If they so choose to educate themselves and change their ISP, I would readily welcome them with open and loving arms.

    With regards to NSI, fuck 'em, I have nothing nice to say... Except this. []

  • First, there was a big telephone company who taught the world how to be a monopoly in the technology era. Then, other corporations have been competing for who could be the largest monopoly in the world. Does anyone else see this as a problem? AOL has amassed far too much control of communications in this world. Not only do they own a large percent of cable TV service, they own a piece of every part of the internet.

    Red flag! Stop the Monopolys! What was it that allowed AOL to become so large, those damn coasters they send me once a week? Yes, that and name recognition. They don't even offer any good services. They are the McDonalds of the internet and should be treated as such. If McD's decided to buy every national resturaunt chain, would they not be prosecuted for it?

    One of the basic rules used against Rockefeller's steel industry years ago is that because of thier size they were able to profit from every part of the production of steel and steel products. The result was that nobody could compete because thier costs for materials were so much greater than that of Rocefeller. If I wanted to start up an ISP, it would cost me a lot of money to get bandwidth, but if I owned the fiber, my costs would be greatly reduced.

    Isn't this what we see here? This is no different than AT&T, no different than Rockefeller Stell, and quite different than microsoft. I am still not convinced that microsoft was a TRUE monopoly. They didn't control all of the production of computers, and they definately did not control all the computer markets.

    M$ does servers ... Yeah Right! If I was forced to administer a winNT server, I would just pull the plug, it'd work better that way.

    Oh, yeah, AOL will have a monopoly in the webbrowser market if the DOJ has thier way. Wasn't that what this whole thing started with?

  • "The person your spying on got mail!"
  • When I used to work ISP tech support, we hated and dreaded the words "but it always worked on AOL" so much that we took out our frustarations on the only aspect of AOL we could touch, namely their coasters that they sent out every week.

    The AOL-CD-as-coaster joke having been used to many times that it was no longer a joke, we had to come up with a more creative game to play. Other then Frisbee, one of my favorite to play was to wedge the CD into the slots where our desks joined together, and then, while one person held them back, to throw a small item at it, and then to release the disc, sending said small object richocheting around our cubicle.

  • There won't be so many fuss about two different people scrambling for one domain name. For example, Integrated Billing Mechanics can become and Associated Textiles and Tyres can be ...the possibilities are endless.

  • sure did... had me sweating bullets for a few picoseconds!
  • Okay, flame me for the Star Trek analogy. I went for something obvious and politically neutral, or so I thought. As for the brown noser comment, think whatever you want. I spend a lot of my time at work translating ideas between groups that are talking about the same things and misunderstanding each other. Being a programmer, I am familiar with the impulse to be exasperatingly precise. It comes from being deliberately misunderstood too often. So I have developed a habit of seeing, and commenting on, the underlying meaning of what the people around me are saying. If that is brown nosing, get me a can of brown paint and a brush because my nose isn't dark enough yet.
  • I think AOL and TW should be broken up; after they are not allowed to merge. Maybe its time we make mergers illegal, and break up companies automattically once they reach a certain level.
  • I didn't have a problem with AOL before. Time Warner merger? Heck, that just means we'll get better content (maybe), that's all.
    But this? AOL owning nearly every domain name? That's the last draw. When I buy a domain name, I don't want it to have ANYTHING to do with AOL. PERIOD. O.K., DOJ, STEP IN NOW!!!
    (I mean heck, would you want your webpage known as having anything to do with the most laggy ISP known to man? Not to mention the most offensive???)
  • In a related announcement, Our Lord King Case announced that he would immediately initiate a hostile takeover of MCIWorldComSprintUUnetTheInternetAsWeKnowIt. He expects to have subdued the entire Internet by the end of the Federal, err, Imperial fiscal year on June 30. Once the American Internet and its global subsidiaries are conquered, His Majesty expects to complete World Domination by the Feast of Bacchus on 26 December, after which he intends to go after Mars, probably some time in April when everyone has sobered up.

    We now return you to your regularly scheduled Slashdot.

  • bmicomp asks:
    >This sounds like another anti-trust suit to me. Not only does AOL have the largest number of IM
    >users(and own another large one!), one of the largest ISPs, and a whole bunch of other
    >monopolies... they're going to probably buy out the whole domain name process. When I heard of
    >this around a year ago, it was five different companies that were going to be able to this, one
    >of which was AOL. Although, its very concerning to learn that AOL will have an exclusive
    >agreement with NSI.
    > This begs the question, can AOL buyout the process of selling domains too?

    In a word, no. Domain registration is controlled by <a href="">ICANN {Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers)</a> by international agreement, which has final authority over most TLDs (Top Level Domains). Any qualified company may become an accredited registrar, equal to NSI. Most important is the ability to become a reseller; many ISPs now do this for a small fee, and the end-user has no idea whether their registrar was NSI, CORE, or any of the other dozens of accredited registrars.

    This is why NSI is partnering with AOL. AOL -- which is <a href=" ist.html">already an accredited registrar</a> -- has a guaranteed audience larger than anyone else, and NSI needs to continue pushing their brand name; otherwise they'll disappear into the morass of equivalent companies selling a commodity.
  • Where in his post do you see "windows user?" Goddamn morons, what the hell are they doing here, anyway?
  • This will include the opportunity to register for free listings in the Netscape Business Directory, which will include data from NSI.

    Umm, maybe I've been living under a rock, but WTF is the Netscape Business Directory?

    If it is their Business "channel", that is merely a slick repackaging of the Open Directory Project []. There is no fee to submit URLs to the ODP. As far as I know, Netscape doesn't charge a fee to keep sites listed in ODP's Business section when Netscape repackages the data.

    Or is this perhaps a future service? The utility of a FREE listing in something promised Real Soon Now is unknown. Could turn out to be vapor, for all we know. Or a vehicle that no self-respecting person would use anyway.

FORTUNE'S FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL: A giant panda bear is really a member of the racoon family.