* Posts by Charlie Clark

3086 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Microsoft jolts awake, remembers it still makes Office for Mac

Charlie Clark
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@big_D

Not sure what things work differently on the two OSes in Powerpoint but if it's anything like Excel then a new version won't fix it. An example: charts and images in Excel are positioned using pixels but cells are dependent upon font sizes. The two are not consistent across operating systems and, as the details are part of the ECMA Office OpenXML specification, that has to be changed first.

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Charlie Clark
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before that release ships, however, justifiably impatient users

I don't think you'll find many of those: Office 2011 for Mac is perfectly okay and the ribbon interface less of a problem than on Windows. Why would we want to "upgrade" to some kind of cloudy lock-in?

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Windows XP market share FELL OFF A CLIFF in October

Charlie Clark
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Re: Sounds like a flaw in their data collection

We've been complaining about these numbers since El Reg started using them. The articles are little more than clickbait.

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Samsung launches 'perfect pair' of skinny mid-range phones

Charlie Clark
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Screens

A5 runs at 720 x 1280 pixels to give a 294 ppi pixel density

Fuck that kind of willy-waving! Is OLED or just LCD?

Over 2000mAH should easily give you more than a day's use with those screens.

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Samsung's flagging phone fortunes hit profits hard

Charlie Clark
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Re: Costs....

It's not for me but the Notes seem to pack a lot of functionality into a device. Let's face it, it's the note that convinced Apple of the need for a super-sized phone. I expect Note sales will continue to be good, because most users of them seem to love them. It's other parts of the portfolio which need looking at, where the perceived advantage over cheaper phones doesn't seem to be worth the money.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Analysts

No, the market is getting saturated and, therefore, more competitive. I would be surprised if we don't start to similar quarter-for-quarter comparisons for Apple starting with this quarter (Q4 2013 was the first time Apple released its products around the world at the same time) with tablet sales already following the general trend: many of those who've already got one don't feel the urge to buy a newer one.

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This time it's SO REAL: Overcoming the open-source orgasm myth with TODO

Charlie Clark
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I don't understand this article

Did anyone proofread it? It seems like some clickbait about open source.

There is only one real advantage of open source: peer review. For some of us, for some projects this is a killer feature. The rest is hype.

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This is why we CAN have nice things: Samsung Galaxy Alpha

Charlie Clark
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Re: Aesthetics me arse

No, you're not. But I do think the absence of support SD cards is a bit unusual.

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The NO-NAME vuln: wget mess patched without a fancy brand

Charlie Clark
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Re: Am I the only one who doesn't have wget installed?

I guess it depends on your server. I thought it was installed by most distros by default but I don't know how many people routinely use it for mirroring stuff. I tend to use wget over curl because the incantation is easier. But I might just install fetch for remote downloads.

Your point about code that isn't there can't be attacked still stands but in that case why even have an SFTPd running. Surely, the really safe thing is to be able to read the files from a remote file system under your control? Even then, can you be sure the files aren't corrupt?

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Swedish 'Future minister' doesn't do social media

Charlie Clark
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Re: tax raising monkeys in charge

Yes, democracy's such a shitty thing whenever your lot don't win!

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Hungary's internet tax cannot be allowed to set a precedent, says EC

Charlie Clark
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The European Commission is charged with removing barriers to trade within the EU. Hence, the way it weighed in about roaming charges and it can most probably use the same arguments as it did then about this: such a tax cannot be applied to citizens visiting Hungary and using data on their mobile devices. It can do the same with companies wanting to offer internet-based services in Hungary.

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IP Freely? ECJ to rule on privacy rules for dynamic IP addresses

Charlie Clark
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Re: "if expressly needed to provide the service requested"

It's not just the ISP. It affects all service providers, especially aggregate ones like the advertisers, who can and do associate an IP address with a specific individual rather than using one-way hashes for the value of a session.

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Microsoft has Windows Server running on ARM: report

Charlie Clark
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The main problem is the x86 model. Turns out that context switching is very slow so you put things (networking, printer, etc.) in the kernel to make them run faster. The kernel is architecture-specific. This is why NT 3.5.1 was more stable and secure but slower than NT 4 and later. By then there weren't any customers interested in anything other than x86.

C# and .NET do dive a degree of insulation from the architecture when it comes to apps.

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Charlie Clark
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Most of the HAL was removed in NT 4 to improve speed on x86.

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Netflix and other OTT giants use 'net neutrality' rules to clobber EU rivals

Charlie Clark
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Now it should be remembered that "sender pays" is a founding principle of internet video — video providers can’t use reciprocal free peering swaps to deliver low latency, high bandwidth traffic.

I don't agree with this. At some point NetFlix is attached to one of the big carriers (Level 3) and will be billed by them for the traffic based on the agreements they have with the other ISPs.

Net neutrality can only be about ISPs not privileging their own offerings over those of other companies. Customers should be prepared to may more for higher bandwidth, lower latency, better QoS, etc.

NetFlix and bandwidth costs are being used a strawman by vested interests when the main battle, as always, is about the price charged for content. Most countries in Europe have a pretty healthy VoD market with players like Watchever already well-established and the European Commission pushing to remove preferential, location-specific deals: content in Germany, France or the UK should not cost more (or less) than in Estonia.

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Feathers fly as Twitter squawks of record sales but slow user growth

Charlie Clark
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Re: I know that this sound hopelessly naive..

but where does the money go?

Capex, techies and, apparently, increasingly the salesforce.

They wouldn't by any chance be "licensing" that data to various government agencies, would they?

No, governments don't need to pay. The "licensed data" will be access to the sweet nectar miraculously distilled from the shitpipe full of insights like Twitter users between 30 and 40 in Baltimore like to look at cute pictures of…

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Vulture trails claw across Lenovo's touchy N20p Chromebook

Charlie Clark
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North West slur

I do hope that Alun Taylor will take you outside and enlighten you some more.

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How to hit the top of Google's rankings: 'Use a new dot-thing gTLD'

Charlie Clark
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Stupid taxonomy

A bicycle shop, for example, is significantly more likely to buy a dot-bike domain than, say, a dot-spot domain.

Only in the self-fulfilling prophecies of domain resellers and SEO shops.

What if that bike shop is in Berlin, New York?

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Nokia France leak: Windows Phone DUMPED in Microsoft Lumia revamp

Charlie Clark
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Headmaster

Re: And with that a thousand smartphone backlights just went out...

FWIW OLEDs don't have backlights.

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Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all

Charlie Clark
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Windows 10 versions

Full support for fingerprint recognition is being built into the stack, and there'll also be support for other biometrics

So there'll be the CIA version, one each for the FBI, NSA and FSB and also presumably one for the MPAA!

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DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides

Charlie Clark
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Should be though the related functionality might be missing. Then again OLE is such a fucked up implementation of applications as components that it probably won't be missed.

Then again LibreOffice has enough bugs of its own. I appreciate some of the things the devs are trying to do but I've binned it until it stops crashing so much. I find OpenOffice considerably more stable.

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In dot we trust: If you keep to this 124-page security rulebook, you can own yourname.trust

Charlie Clark
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Re: The rest of the story

I don't see what either .trust or .secure bring to the party and like you, I'm sceptical that the business model will ever fly.

NCC should stick to making security reviews and penetration testing so relevant that every site uses them.

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Charlie Clark
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.trust as a "gated community"?

Sounds just right for China or Saudi Arabia!

On a more serious note: all the new TLDs are a solution in search of a problem. The initial set and the countries providing enough of a taxonomy to work with.

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Hey Apple, we're gonna tailor Swift as open source – indie devs throw down gauntlet

Charlie Clark
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Re: not convinced

Apparently, it was pcc until BSD 4.4 when it was replaced by the gcc presumably as part of the whole AT&T process. Fast forward 25 years and they again start looking around for a new compiler because of problems with the licence.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: not convinced

Hasn't BSD always had its own compiler? As things stand llvm and clang seem to be doing a good job of displacing the gcc.

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Charlie Clark
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Open sourcing either the code or making the specification public are very good ideas for languages. Universities are then likely to pick them up and identify the nice and not so nice parts. I can see a reluctance to do this initially on Apple's behalf as they will want complete control over the first few versions to fit the MacOS / IOS world as good as possible.

Despite Apple's history of serious fuck ups when including open source stuff with the products they do have a reasonable track record with the open source projects they either steward or contribute to (CUPS, BSD, llvm). But WebKit has also shown how company priorities can scupper this: Apple actively resisted a lot of changes in WebKit which is why Google ended up forking it.

Putting a language under GPL is just posturing and helps no one.

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Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes

Charlie Clark
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5 steps to approval

Have they really thought this through? I would have thought 3 would be necessary at most:

build & test

security tests

beta group

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FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for

Charlie Clark
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Why bother?

I don't have any I-toys and so far I've yet to see any reasons for upgrading to OS X 10.10. Are there any?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Is it faster?

If you look at the process manager you'll see that it's the browsers that are eating memory (blame the DOM), the rest should be insignificant.

I still get reasonable performance out of my 2009 MacBook Pro with 4GB memory even with a Windows VM.

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Post-PC era? PAH! Apple says Macs OUTSOLD iPads in Q4

Charlie Clark
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Re: Share repurchase

Apart from the fact that share repurchases almost never make sense for a company, the whole point is to buy them when they are the most expensive as this "returns" the most money in the most tax efficient form to shareholders: repurchases are taxed as capital gains, dividends would be taxed as income.

However, taxpayers should also note: the whole repurchase scheme is debt-funded. The loans used to do the buying can, therefore, also be offset against tax.

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Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?

Charlie Clark
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Return to the mean

With the arrival of the Xperia Z3, it’s now becoming clearer what Sony’s philosophy is regarding its flagship update programme: incremental changes every six months and evolution rather than revolution.

This is the traditional release cycle for consumer electronics, especially in Japan. Tells us a lot about how commodified the industry has become: caveat emptor, caveat vendor.

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Charlie Clark
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Samsung has been getting better but I got fed up of the data grab and went CM anyway.

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Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know

Charlie Clark
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Re: Some interesting possibilities here...

9) We tried to deliver it but some of the local scrotes nabbed the drone and parcel…

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Charlie Clark
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Re: "The idea of Dronecode is for a common, Linux-based software platform"

It's more guff from the expensive but unproductive Linux Foundation talking shop.

Sure there will be drones out there running Linux and they will fly just fine. It's just the top-down stuff which, er, won't fly.

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Google offers sweet new SDK to let Android devs join 'Lollipop' guild

Charlie Clark
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Re: Not sure about this

Personally I'm looking forward to CM based on this. I think Android 5 has a lot going for it and I think Material Design is also very good. The move from Dalvik to ART should should improve battery life and performance by reducing the memory footprint. I've tried it a few times with CM and had not problems running any app but a couple, including the one from my mobile provider, had disappeared and seem to depend upon Dalvik.

If I had a spare device that was compatible I'd certainly be giving this a spin.

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Apple's new iPADS have begun the WAR that will OVERTURN the NETWORK WORLD

Charlie Clark
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Re: Changed my mind, could be lovely

Unicorns are this way, sir.

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Aboard the GOOD SHIP LOLLIPOP, there's a Mobe and a Slab and a TELLYBOX

Charlie Clark
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The Samsun Galaxy Tab S is a similar size will take SD's upto 128 GB, though depending on what you do with the maps you might want to go for one with pen support.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Urgh - I was really hoping they would pull an "Apple"

I may have missed it but when did Apple release a smaller phone?

In any case, Google isn't competing directly with Apple. It uses the Nexus models to showcase Android and its online services but leaves the choice of form factor to the market. This is what led to the oversized phones in the first place, which the market loves.

Now that Android L is out, the next Nexus is presumably going to be a wearable.

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Charlie Clark
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I quite like the idea of using it to stream directly from any Android device, which presumably does have local storage or a DNLA client. If that is how it works then it's added simplicity at the cost of running down the battery of the "remote" faster.

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Charlie Clark
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One survey suggested that 3/4s of iPads rarely leave the owner's house. It seems reasonable to apply this finding to other tablets of a similar size, and surmise that the tablet can call upon media over the local network.

While it's true that most pads never leave to home, wifi in the home is often pretty patchy so local storage is a good idea for many. Can't help thinking Google has missed a trick not going head to head with Apple on storage but with significantly lower pricing. For watching films an 8.9" screen is better than an I-Pad – it's just as wide but doesn't need to letterbox the film.

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Drupal SQL injection nasty leaves sites 'wide open' to attack

Charlie Clark
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WTF?

So wrong

From the report this is the actually executed code:

db_query("SELECT * FROM {users} where name IN (:name)",

array(':name'=>array('user1','user2')));

Why the fuck is the query still not running by preparing the statement first and letting the DB worry about the parameters?

God, PHP is so fucking awful!

PS. sorry for the whitespace but El Reg won't wrap the lines for me.

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Man bites dog: HTTPS-menacing POODLE is 'hard to exploit' – unless you're on public Wi-Fi

Charlie Clark
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Yes, but…

Even if the threat in this instance is perhaps not so great, the almost universal reaction as "it's time to dump SSL v3.0" is welcome. Maybe we'll move onto removing some more long deprecated stuff before they cause problems.

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Intel, Asus charge sneak into US mobe market with ATOM-powered PadFone X mini

Charlie Clark
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Re: If only they made the phone part...

Certainly think that docking stations / combinations have a place but I do wonder about only having a 7" screen on a phone dock, I'd have thought 10" would be minimum for something that's going to be in the house almost all the time.

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Charlie Clark
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Price plans

GoPhone plans start at $40 per month for 500 minutes of talk time and 500MB of data.

Are they taking the piss? I think you get gold-plated bytes for that price in Europe!

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Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE

Charlie Clark
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Re: Misleading Language

The internet is supposed to "degrade gracefully" by providing support for older protocols so that you don't wake up one day and find the internet no longer works for you. That said there are cases (and security is certainly one) where a less forgiving approach is warranted and Google is right to remove support for SSL v3 from its browser.

We now have much better tools and resources for identifying potential weak spots than we did even five years ago.

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LOHAN crash lands on CNN

Charlie Clark
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KARDASHIAN

That's got to be some kind of stocking filler!

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Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says

Charlie Clark
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Rumours about rumours

Journalism at its best!

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Charlie Clark
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Re: @AC I suspect Google will fail

but you still need to shift units

Only as many as you build, which is why Apple makes the profits it does. It may trip up at some point (I think the IPhone 5c's may have gone for some early recycling) but its control of the supply chain is an example for others.

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Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'

Charlie Clark
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Re: Complexity to the point of no return

Do you know that OLE is COM, and COM is "Component" Object Model?

Yes, I know what both the acronyms are and despise them both. I won't dispute that they have utility (in the absence of a proper component model) but this should really be API calls and not executable embedding which is the security risk. OpenOffice for one has a much cleaner implementation of the underlying principles.

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How's that big mobile push going, Intel? Oh a million dollars. In 3 months? Wow (sarcasm)

Charlie Clark
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Mobile and Communications posted an operating loss of $1.04bn in the third quarter

And the company as a whole still managed better results than a year ago! At this rate Intel can easily afford to spunk 1 bn a quarter subsidising this but it might worry whether the kind of competition, and the associated lower prices, are a taste of things to come in the data centre, if/when a 64-bit ARM ecosystem becomes available.

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