* Posts by Charlie Clark

5475 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Tesla launches electric truck it guarantees won't break for a million miles

Charlie Clark
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Re: Impressive

The cost of fossil fuels will need to treble at least before that happens, or some process to be invented or discovered that makes the production much more efficient.

In some situations it's possible to imagine closed loop systems that produce CH4 from excess power and use it as storage instead of batteries. In this case it's competing with the inefficiency of the battery charge / discharge cycle. But it has to be closed loop to prevent arbitrage or downright illegal profiteering.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Interesting

I dont know why they cant electrify the bigger roads - just put wires overhead , Tram Style , for cars and trucks to attach to.

Imagine the cost! And a maintenance nightmare. What is already being trialled is induction charging for buses and taxis.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Impressive

Petrol or LPG are great ways of storing energy. If we ever get a way of making them from renewable power, water and air (CO2) that is cheaper than digging them out of the ground then we solve a lot of the problems associated with batteries.

Electric vehicles are currently popular because they are effectively subsidised by not having fuel duty.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Interesting

The obvious solution is to make batteries easily swappable.

Not really. Electricity itself is far more fungible than battery packs. Not only do you have to devise simple, safe and quick ways of doing the swap, you're going to have non-trivial infrastructure for charging and storing them – protected from theft – and probably the need to ship them around. I think the company that wanted to do this for cars folded, but I could be mistaken. Much easier to build charging points even with dedicated MW lines.

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Charlie Clark
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@Voland don't forget the tyres.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Interesting

Who needs drivers for these things? Sounds like they'll be limited to plugging and unplugging at charging stations.

What's the load of these standard units?

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Apple whispers how its face-fingering AI works

Charlie Clark
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Apple copies Google: customers are just lab rats

Looks like this is mainly a way of testing the technology before selling it to interested parties: facial recognition for Starbucks, Walmart (fanbois don't shop there, Whole Foods, …

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Intel drags Xeon Phi Knights Hill chips out back... two shots heard

Charlie Clark
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Uhh. RISC has been around since like the mid 80s? It's been an option since Intel was churning out 386s.

Not RISC versus CISC, but real RISC designs from MIPS, I think.

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Charlie Clark
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Sounds like some kind of Nervana to me...

From Wikipedaia: the Sunway TaihuLight uses a total of 40,960 Chinese-designed SW26010 manycore 64-bit RISC processors based on the Sunway architecture. ARM and RISC give customers options they didn't have a few years ago. Even Intel has started making noises about custom silicon and FPGAs…

PS. I think you mean Nirvana…

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Charlie Clark
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To recap the Xeon Phi line: it's not for your common or garden server, workstation or desktop. It's aimed at supercomputer gear with machine code instructions to dash through operations on matrices and other blobs of data at high speed in parallel

So give them what they really want: GPUs and FPGAs.

Meanwhile, as the article notes at the end, China is now building its own supercomputers using its own silicon.

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The Quantum of Firefox: Why is this one unlike any other Firefox?

Charlie Clark
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Re: I went for the mobile version

Most people won't give a damn about a theoretical 30% speed increase

Not possible on my mobile install. Hoping it will become available in a patch release.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: The Quantum of Firefox

But I - nor most people I dare say- don't use all browsers.

APIs are for developers and there care a lot about this sort of thing.

Most people won't give a damn about a theoretical 30% speed increase

People care a lot about perceived speed which for websites can be as little as 10% (0.1 second speed up for a 1 second page is notcieable). More important in Firefox are the changes in the threading and memory use. These changes are far more important than notional rendering speed. Quantum isn't perfect but after a couple of years chasing UX unicorns the Firefox team turned their focus back on the browser and I think they got most things right and will probably move back to Firefox from Vivaldi which now seems to be chasing unicorns…

You don't like it? Then fork the old code base.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: The Quantum of Firefox

The legacy plugins can *NOT* "just be rewritten". They CAN! NOT! BE! DONE! ANY! MORE!!!

And for good reasons that were all explained at the time. Sorry if you want 2000 back again but the rest of the world has moved on.

Still, it's open source so you're free to write your own XUL-based piece of crap: XUL was always a bad idea.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: I went for the mobile version

Mobile is very nice. Apart from the non-removable Pocket crap!

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Charlie Clark
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Re: The Quantum of Firefox

Whatever improvements they deliver, it shouldn't have given them a licence to kill add-on compatibility.

Why not? The change in the add-on API was announced well over a year ago. It actually makes things easier for developers to provide add-ons for all browsers.

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Amazon to make multiple Lord of the Rings prequel TV series

Charlie Clark
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Re: Turin Turambar Dagnir Glaurunga

They would also require very, very good scriptwriters to make the most of things without downgrading them into unwatchable pap.

Wot he said.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Turin Turambar Dagnir Glaurunga

Hasn't the BBC already done this? There's definitely stuff in Unfinished Tales that could be done. But it would be difficult not to repeat what's already been done. Think of what an awful mess Jackson made of The Hobbit by turning it into an extended prequel of Lord of the Rings.

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Mm, sacrilicious: Greggs advent calendar features sausage roll in a manger

Charlie Clark
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Re: Tesco ad with Muslims

Not a problem per-se, as 99.99% of Christmas is secular.

But what if you're allergic to secular? ;-)

Christmas – the festival of the winter (or summer for those downunder) solstice lends – itself conveniently to all kinds of interpretation but best of all, and in my best Frank Gallagher impersonation, it's a great excuse for a party!

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Makes a change from chocolate

Gin - John Lewis.

Very tempting, even though I don't like gin and shipping here would be extortionate…

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Assuming the OP is a Christian...

> you are not the OP

I am.

And I'm Brian and so's my wife…

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Charlie Clark
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Makes a change from chocolate

But my favourite advent calendar would use miniatures… strictly for playing draughts with, of course.

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Charlie Clark
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I see you lot still find religion-bashing amusing.

It's the gift that keeps giving…

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Silverlight extinguished while Angular wins fans among developers

Charlie Clark
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Re: Or M?

What?

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Samsung shows off Linux desktops on Galaxy smartmobes

Charlie Clark
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Re: I hope by Linux they don't mean Tizen

Tizen's raison d'être is it needs less RAM to run.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: So in theory, it'll run Slackware?

In theory, yes. As with all phone hardware a lot of the drivers are only available as binaries.

Want a phone that promises to be able to run Linux? Then look at the Gemini.

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Charlie Clark
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While I don't think Samsung gives much of a toss about Linux on their phones, they're very keen on DeX because it's something that nobody else has. And I think they're also smart enough to see that the developers market is big enough to keep the proof of concept going. If they get the volumes then they can expand the DeX eco-system.

If they pull this off then Samsung will be the company that killed the company laptop.

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Snap: We've blown $3bn this year and Tencent wants to give us more

Charlie Clark
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Re: The company works just like their app...

The IPO gave investors a much bigger payoff than previous offers.

With anything "webscale" nowadays only an offer > $ 10 bn seems to get VCs interest. You could have an app that counts farts (or something even less interesting) and as long as you have enough users (> 200 million seems about the threshold) then investors will be desperate to hand over somebody else's pension pot to get a bit of the action.

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Charlie Clark
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If they were on the open market then they weren't from Snap. That kind of sale would have to have been accounted for in the balance. Just goes to show how poorly most people understand the stock market.

Looks much more like TenCent is taking advantage of Snap's weak shareprice to move capital to the US. An inversion at some point is possible.

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Give us a bloody PIN: MPs grill BBC bosses over subscriber access

Charlie Clark
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Conditional access is also not really reconcilable with universal access which the BBC is required to provide.

The comparisons with Netflix, HBO, et al. are completely erroneous. They are competing in different markets and often arbitraging back catalogues in order to conquer new markets. Yes, they produce some great stuff, and yes they're trailblazing new methods of distribution but in doing having to sign up for Netflix to be able to watch Dr Who in English in Germany is an example of market failure.

Location dramas are hugely expensive but so is maintaining a series of local studios bringing the news (and other stuff) from across the country. 24 hours news cycles and international news channels are increasingly dominated by American stories. Whether it's the whether or some more of the morons shooting each other.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: News

That's fine if it agrees with your own viewpoint but I prefer more balanced coverage myself not that you can get that.

You do realise that you're asking for an oxymoron? If you think coverage is balanced then it's almost certainly biased towards your opinions.

Some degree of bias is unavoidable but I can live with that as long as facts are checked and are, well, facts. The dumbing down of the news to little more than a series of quotes to try and show balance is what erodes news broadcasting.

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Pixel-style display woes on your shiny new X? Perfectly normal, says Apple

Charlie Clark
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Re: OLED FTW?

I much prefer OLED screens: black is black, wider colour range, etc.

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Charlie Clark
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No, no, no: the problem is quite obviously with "viewing angle hue shift and god awful Pentile layout." because the poster knows better and can make better screens with his toaster… Obviously, Apple's geniuses could easily develop better screens themselves but they're too bus at the moment adding notches to them that people didn't know they needed until now…

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Broadcom confirms $103 BEEELLION slurp offer for rival Qualcomm

Charlie Clark
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Silver Lake Partners, one of Broadcom's private equity backers, has offered $5bn in debt financing for the transaction

… so we know the whole thing is being driven by wizzy financial engineering from the same people that took Dell private and who, I'm reliably informed, sell magic beans.

The whole thing is $ 130 bn and that's at not even a 30% premium over Qualcomm's stock price, ie. we can expect the offer to go up. This is stock market froth at its frothiest!

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ATM fees shake-up may push Britain towards cashless society

Charlie Clark
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Re: But ...

Oh, wow! How did you stand the noise made by all the millennials suddenly unable to pay, or more likely, moaning about the local wifi being out?

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Charlie Clark
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Can't use it on my phone 'cos I rooted it to keep it up to date…

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Look out, Pepe: Martha Lane Fox has a plan

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Off-brand tablets look done, but big players are growing

Charlie Clark
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Re: Value for money?

were good value for money

Sort of depends on what you need. If all you want is a media player with a big screen then go cheap and cheerful.

If you want waterproofing and good stylus support then you should be prepared to pay quite a lot more. For devices of this size squeezing as much into a light package is not easy.

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Subsidy-guzzling Tesla's Model 3 volumes a huge problem – Wall St man

Charlie Clark
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Re: Guzzling?

If that doesn't prove that renewables can provide for a non-trivial amount of a nation's needs, I don't know what can.

The problem that still needs to be solved with renewables is providing sufficient power all the time. I'm a big fan of renewables but, as your example shows, we're moving into the problems associated with over-production. Negative market prices indicate that the market is failing. This is typically on sunny and windy days in spring and summer, because renewables producers are paid for every kwH the produce. But the grid has to be built to provide enough power also on cold, dark and still winter days.

We need storage options that are both big and resistant to manipulation so that excess generating power isn't wasted. You can, of course, use excess power to convert CO2 and H20 to methane and other hydrocarbons but you can't do it for less than the current cost of extracting them from the ground so they wouldn't be competitive unless you were able to sell them without duty. That would be an invitation to abuse. But we already have plenty of those: one of the reasons that electric cars are so cheap to run is that they're produced from duty-free fuel. The renewable gravy train has also opened a lucrative but ludicrous subsidy for oil because the fertiliser for subsidised maize that gets turned into E10 is itself made from oil…

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Guzzling?

Frankly, I think that electric cars deserve a subsidy.

Your logic is, for anyone outside the US, somewhat perverse. Car engine sizes in the US are somewhat analogous to motor sizes in vacuum cleaners in the EU: a bigger motor used to be seen as correlating with a more effective cleaner. Cheap energy has become a holy cow in America and has led to perverse pricing: the duty levelled on fuel that is supposed to pay for motorway maintenance has not been raised for years because would mean people having to pay more for their gas guzzlers, which are kept popular by tax breaks. There is simply no incentive to drive something with a smaller engine and meanwhile road maintenance lurches towards bankruptcy. Of course, more gas sales means bigger profits for the oil majors and extra helping for all those on the gravy train.

So, what's the solution in the land of free enterprise and small government™? That's right, more subsidies.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Musk, the new Jobs?

I'm a moderate fan of Tesla, the car, a doubter of Tesla's, the company, financials and an opponent of excessive electric car fiscal carrots.

Got to admire Musk for his real entrepreneurial spirit and often putting his money where his mouth his. The conventional wisdom was always against the Model 3 and the financial engineering only seem to have confirmed this. The initial Tesla's were based on getting a Toyota car plant cheaply and the subsidies continuing to flow. This was always going to be difficult to repeat for the mass market.

Still I suspect it's a win-win for Musk even if it fails: he'll easily be able to sell Tesla to another manufacturer, though I suspect some investors might well find themselves out of pocket.

And he's bound to be back with another idea. Might be more shit like hyperloop but could also be something magical and revolutionary and personally I'd rather see a hundred more Teslas than another Facebook.

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For fanbois only? Face ID is turning punters off picking up an iPhone X

Charlie Clark
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Devil

Smart Lock rulez

Just thought I'd get some trolling in early. Face ID is a solution in search of a problem, Google's nudge-based approach is much better.

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OK, we admit it. Under the hood, the iPhone X is a feat of engineering

Charlie Clark
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Small battery?

Maybe I'm reading it wrong but 2500 mAh sounds a bit small for this size phone.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Hell froze over

It's Andrew Orlowski. As he has got to know Apple better…

Long before Andrew was writing puff pieces for Windows Phone or the copyright industry he had latched onto the good things that Apple does and produces. His phone reviews, even the Windows Phone ones, are always worth reading. I think most of the team uses at least one Apple device and has done for years.

Tim Yong Eun's beef with El Reg seems to be, that unless you always gush about Cupertino's toys, then you won't get an invitation to any of the shows.

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Donald, YOU'RE FIRED: Rogue Twitter worker quits, deletes President Trump's account

Charlie Clark
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Re: viva freedom of speech..

I object in principle to the use privileged use of any media outlet for government communication.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Interresting question: Do people have a right to a twitter account?

Is the typo deliberate?

Robot Wars, innit.

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Charlie Clark
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I can't wait…

… until someone hacks the account, assuming they haven't done so already!

But, if they do, would anyone notice? I guess it's probably easy enough to write a Trump-bot…

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Apple hauls in $52.6bn in Q4, iPhone, iPad and Mac sales all up

Charlie Clark
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Re: What is the point of the cash pile?

They're already using clever accounting tricks to issue debt for share buybacks. They'll just do more of this when they're allowed to repatriate the cash. Shareholder value and all that jizz.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: "the Mac had its best-ever full year for revenue"

I thought people were buying the 2015 models with an escape key and a proper collection of ports. At least that's what I did.

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Charlie Clark
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Quite funny really.

Must be a barrel of laughs in your house.

IIRC the rise in sales in China follows a similar dip a year ago. If so, then that is an impressive feat in the face of increased competition in the market. Elsewhere sales do seem to have plateaued though at a high level and with lovely margins.

Apple deserve credit for breathing new life into the I-Pad market with the pro as it seems that otherwise the tablet market peaked a while back.

As for the Mac's I notice it's awfully quiet about that awful touchbar…

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HTC U11: U-hoo. Look over here! Two new phones! We're Not Actually Dead

Charlie Clark
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Re: "entitled fanboi."

Ah, the ad hominem approach - first resort of those without a decent counter argument.

haha, focus on the throwaway remark after I presented the counter-argument.

We know you have a beef with Google because, for you, IOS users are much more profitable.

But markets segment: Walmart and Cartier both make lots of money.

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