* Posts by Richard 12

2855 posts • joined 16 Jun 2009

Why is the networking business dozing through Meltdown/Spectre?

Richard 12
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Meltdown doesn't exist on them at all.

There was only ever one vulnerable ARM core and nobody has shipped it yet.

El Reg, of all orgs shouldn't be eating Intel's FUD.

The vector that might exist is Spectre.

So given that Spectre requires running your actual code on-target, it seems that network switches are going to be pretty safe.

Unless they expose a (web?) management interface accessible from a "normal" port that already has an exploitable vulnerability. Then they might also be vulnerable to Spectre, but it was already game over - so who cares?

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Microsoft guts doc on 'limitations of apps and experiences on Arm'

Richard 12
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Re: The OpenGL bits are odd

Vulkan isn't relevant to most people, and isn't supported on any ARM platform I'm aware of.

It's designed for multicore CPUs paired with stunningly powerful GPUs. The USP is multithreaded rendering/GPGPU by giving you really low-level access (which should also mean more consistent driver support, which is nice). However that also means a lot of boilerplate and footguns.

TL;DR: If your GPU feeding is currently CPU-bound or has lots of unavoidable context switches, then Vulkan may be for you.

If not, then OpenGL ES 3 (or OpenCL) is the truly multiplatform option as they're supported on almost everything you can currently buy - Android, iOS, Linux, Windows, macOS, x86, AMD64, ARM...

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Richard 12
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The OpenGL bits are odd

OpenGL 1.1 doesn't actually work on Windows x86/64 anymore either. Hasn't worked properly since Windows 8, and was broken earlier with some drivers/hardware.

Not surprising since it's been obsolete for fifteen years or more.

OpenGL ES 2.0 is fully supported on every relevant ARM platform for years, and OpenGL ES 3.0 on most.

OpenGL 4 is a superset of ES 3 so...

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Kentucky gov: Violent video games, not guns, to blame for Florida school massacre

Richard 12
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Re: Prescription drugs

The article was outright wrong, as the evidence is quite clear that the vast, vast majority of mass shootings are carried out by people who are not mentally ill.

That's a story invented by people trying to come up with a reason that doesn't involve the guns that were used.

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Richard 12
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After Oklahoma, fertiliser was regulated

It's now very difficult to buy. You need a licence, and to get that you need to prove you need it.

Why are guns the only thing the USA refuses to even consider properly regulating the sale, training and use of?

Heck, dogs are better licenced.

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Richard 12
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Re: I know what trump is thinking

Thoigh the fact is that there are more gun deaths per capita in the USA than any other country in the world.

Yes, you're less likely to get shot in Somalia than in the USA.

Heck, some warzones are safer...

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A computer file system shouldn't lose data, right? Tell that to Apple

Richard 12
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Re: New file system

But nobody ever completely fills a drive, they always throw away the machine and give us more money every two years!

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Richard 12
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Re: A former Microsoft boss defends Apple

Neverbefore seen at Apple could also mean more terrible than ever before.

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Astro-boffinry world rocked to its very core: Shock as Andromeda found to be not much bigger than Milky Way

Richard 12
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Re: We're absolutely right. Until we're wrong.

Any new theory must be in agreement with all the observations recorded by humankind, as well as better predict observations at the edges of existing theories.

If the theory predicts that eggs fall upwards, it is wrong because they don't.

The reason why it is really hard to come up with a new theory of anything, is because we've made a rather large number of observations to a really high precision and accuracy over the last few decades.

Your new theory must predict that the measurement apparatus would give the same results that it actually did.

And again for all the other known experiments.

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Oh sh-itcoin! Crypto-dosh swap-shop Coinbase empties punters' bank accounts

Richard 12
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Exactly

It seems that these people made a small, affordable investment in some pink unicorns.

The pink unicorn holder then grabbed a lot more money than the people invested.

That's more generally called "theft".

It doesn't matter whether pink unicorn meat is a good investment or not, Coinbase took unauthorised amounts.

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Richard 12
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Unfortunately a lot of organisations try to capitalise on the fact that most consumers don't know their rights very well.

Also, there are a lot of organisations that set up a "recurring payment authority" because that doesn't offer the Direct Debit Guarantee.

Bastards.

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Helicopter crashes after manoeuvres to 'avoid... DJI Phantom drone'

Richard 12
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Re: It's time...

You're assuming that every one of those unconfirmed sightings was both genuinely an object*, and was a drone**.

* And not a reflection, refraction, cloud, star, planet, or some other confusing visual phenomena that used to be reported as a "UFO".

** And not a balloon, carrier bag etc

If a pilot sees a weird thing these days, is it more likely that they'll report it as a "drone sighting" or a UFO?

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Yes, Assange, we'll still nick you for skipping bail, rules court

Richard 12
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Re: What would happen if Assange stepped out ?

Which is obviously bollocks, because if the USA were willing to do that kind of extra-judicial thing to Assange they would have already done it.

What exactly has stopped the US from walking straight into the Ecuadorian Embassy and bagging him over the last few years?

Or back when he was contesting the EAW?

Or when he flew from Sweden to the UK?

They didn't render him then because they didn't want to. He just doesn't matter to the USA.

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Due to Oracle being Oracle, Eclipse holds poll to rename Java EE (No, it won't be Java McJava Face)

Richard 12
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West, or East of Java?

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Are you an open-sorcerer or free software warrior? Let us do battle

Richard 12
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What's in it for the user?

That's always been the fundamental question that Stallman never really answered in a way users could understand.

Users understand "free as in beer". Free beer is easy to explain.

However, why should the user care about the freedom to modify?

Can you explain that to your CEO?

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Meltdown's Linux patches alone add big load to CPUs, and that's just one of four fixes

Richard 12
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Re: Patches applied yet?

If you never take any CPU core near full utilisation, you will never see this slowdown.

The Meltdown workaround is to make the CPU wait a moment for each context switch.

So if the CPU normally spends much time twiddling its thumbs, the extra context switch time will not have any effect - it wasn't doing anything anyway.

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You can resurrect any deleted GitHub account name. And this is why we have trust issues

Richard 12
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Re: Design flaw?

That would be fine, except for copyright and *spit* software bloody patents.

Github and github customers must be able to remove things when asked, or lawyers will close them.

Eg a company is bought and revokes a patent right, or loses a lawsuit that some troll brought against them.

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Richard 12
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Re: Good.

Buildroot and similar build systems have integrity checks that require the downloaded package to match the expected hash.

So if someone did change it by any means, the download would fail and the new build machine would need to get its copy by another path.

I had presumed everybody did that.

Aside from that, it is almost impossible to create a new git commit with the same hash as an existing commit.

What kind of idiot uses the tip, or a named label without checking it is the same commit?

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Secret weekend office bonk came within inch of killing sysadmin

Richard 12
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Re: It's actually not _that_ dangerous

Yep. Used in the last four safety inductions I endured.

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Richard 12
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Re: Near death experience ?

The "Juliet" doors over a theatre stage have caused many deaths.

They're supposed to be locked properly when there's nothing the other side, yet somehow people still forget to do it.

Laziness kills.

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Richard 12
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And sometimes the flood is concrete

Relay room flood

Hats off to the people who fixed that one.

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From July, Chrome will name and shame insecure HTTP websites

Richard 12
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What about .local?

How does one go about making Chrome happy to talk to my little Raspberry?

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MPs: Lack of technical skills for Brexit could create 'damaging, unmanageable muddle'

Richard 12
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Re: "what a hard brexit would mean - a study..the civil service..failed to undertake. "

Mr Davis appears to have expressly prohibited the civil service from doing any impact assessments.

Of course, it seems that they did then anyway and they recently leaked to the press.

Short version is that the North East is utterly ****ed, while the South East is slightly ****ed.

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Lenovo literally has a screw loose – so it's recalled flagship Carbon X1 ThinkPads

Richard 12
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Seems to happen with new cars pretty often

Car recalls that boil down to "We used the wrong screw/bolt/nut" seem to happen every couple of months.

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MY GOD, IT'S FULL OF CARS: SpaceX parks a Tesla in orbit (just don't mention the barge)

Richard 12
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A big less, I presume.

I'll tone it down next time, I promise.

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Why is Bitcoin fscked? Here are three reasons: South Korea, India... and now China clamps down on cryptocurrencies

Richard 12
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Re: Basic economics killed Bitcoin as a currency

The initial investors receive dividends from later investors...

Yep. That's how Bitcoin has worked.

I suppose you can argue about whether its a pyramid, a boiler room or a Ponzi variant, but the overall result is very similar.

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Richard 12
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Re: I am confused

The "becoming too valuable to trade with" is due to the repeated fundamental design flaw of all cryptocurrencies to date.

Fiat currency is created by borrowing, and destroyed when the loan is repaid.

Until a cryptocurrency allows that to happen, they will not be currencies and can only be assets to be traded in, not with.

And in fact they are and will remain pyramid or ponzi schemes.

The proof-of-work and proof-of-stake stuff is very interesting. I wonder what it'll actually get used for in ten year's time.

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Richard 12
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Basic economics killed Bitcoin as a currency

It's inherently deflationary, and so encourages people to hoard, not spend it.

A store of value that is hoarded is not a currency, it's an investment - like buying old wines, paintings etc that ypu never intend to drink or display.

The underlying blockchain technology is interesting and I am sure will become useful for something or other, but Bitcoin itself is a classic Ponzi scheme.

A lot of people have indeed made a lot of money, and a lot of marks have lost even more.

It's not worthless yet, but it will be - and yes, there will still be more winners - and losers - before the last few are left holding some worthless bytes.

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Assange fails to make skipped bail arrest warrant vanish

Richard 12
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Re: He skipped

The smart thing to do would have been to turn up to the interview in Sweden instead of running away to the UK.

No, sorry, the smart thing to do would have been to not have sex without a condom in the first place.

(As far as I can tell he never disputed that part, just whether the woman had consented to it)

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Richard 12
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Re: Free to leave the Embassy

In point of fact, there was a large financial bond placed which was indeed forfeit.

Turns out that he didn't care about any of his friends very much.

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Morrisons launches bizarre Yorkshire Pudding pizza thing

Richard 12
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Truly a deviant concept

Everyone knows that the Yorkshire is eaten with gravy and nothing else.

Then you have your meat, named or otherwise.

I'd still try it though. See you in Morrisons.

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Ignore that FBI. We're the real FBI, says the FBI that's totally the FBI

Richard 12
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Re: Ignore them.

Blocks the loo, too.

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Crowdfunding small print binned as Retro Computers Ltd loses court refund action

Richard 12
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Yes

You'll get summary judgements now that the test case has gone through.

Small Claims can be done online, just reference this case.

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NASA finds satellite, realises it has lost the software and kit that talk to it

Richard 12
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Re: What exactly is missing that requires reverse-engineering?

I'm sure they do have the source code for both the satellite itself and the specialist mission control software.

What they probably don't have is hardware to run the latter on, as all the "active" missions will have been slowly ported to new hardware platforms over the last decade.

The "dead" missions will have been pruned and archived.

So this one will need digging out of cold storage - probably a stack of tapes somewhere - and then porting to the current hardware.

None of that is likely to be particularly complicated for NASA bods, but will need somebody with time to actually do it.

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Zombie … in SPAAACE: Amateur gets chatty with 'dead' satellite

Richard 12
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Re: Finder's Keeper's

Lick it and it's yours.

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Ever wondered why tech products fail so frequently? No, me neither

Richard 12
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Re: Software testing?

We have an application called "monkey" that randomly* splats mouse clicks and keypresses into the AUT.

It finds so many issues.

So far it hasn't produced a work of Shakespeare, but we live in hope.

* Yes, it logs everything it does and can repeat sequences as needed.

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Google yanks cash firehose from Lunar X Moonshot comp. The actual Moon shot one

Richard 12
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Re: Buy a $63m SX launch to win a $30m prize?

I think the Electron is probably the cheapest feasible one now.

IIRC, that's $5 million for 150kh to LEO.

- but so far Rocketlab have had exactly one successful launch, and I don't think they would be ready for another before the deadline.

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Richard 12
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Re: I could have done it.

Those rockets have a lot of missing bits.

Getting one flight ready would probably cost a lot more than buying an expendable Falcon Heavy.

Would also take much longer than Elon will to fly the Heavy commercially.

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'WHAT THE F*CK IS GOING ON?' Linus Torvalds explodes at Intel spinning Spectre fix as a security feature

Richard 12
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Re: Why we need faster MEMORY!

Memory coherency across the really slow DRAM buses sounds like an even more fun game than coherency between multicore CPU registers and L1 caches.

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Is the writing on the wall for on-premises IT? This survey seems to say so

Richard 12
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Re: Cloud access

The kit is not important.

The people are important.

Your employees are the reason the business exists. If the employees cannot work, the business does not run.

Moving the IT somewhere else doesn't solve the fact that your employees are currently in a disaster relief centre.

The business is still down.

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Richard 12
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Re: What's stopping them? Greed mostly

Dunno about you, but I regularly need to transfer several hundred MB from my desktop to or from my local server.

As do many of my colleagues.

Oddly, our total WAN bandwidth is under a hundredth of our total LAN bandwidth. I know that's a hard concept to wrap your head around, but that's why we need our servers to be on premises - and one reason why we replicate between satellite offices.

The only "cloud" that's useful to most real businesses is a CDN for their public-facing website.

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Stop us if you've heard this one: Apple's password protection in macOS can be thwarted

Richard 12
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My assumption is that macOS won't exist in five years time.

It doesn't make Apple much money directly, they'd much prefer it if it didn't exist and only iOS did.

When they officially let iOS apps be developed under Windows, BSD or Linux, that's the end.

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Richard 12
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So how does one lock a Mac when stepping away?

Genuine question.

There's no GUI element for it, so if it is possible there must be some secret keyboard salute known only to the True Faithful.

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FBI says it can't unlock 8,000 encrypted devices, demands backdoors for America's 'public safety'

Richard 12
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You can have the back door if you bet your life.

Mr Wray, are you happy for us to permanently fit a guillotine around your neck, connected to the Internet and only secured by this broken encryption scheme?

If the answer is yes, then ok. But you'll be dead in a week.

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Meltdown, Spectre bug patch slowdown gets real – and what you can do about it

Richard 12
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Re: Calling BS on the CPU graph

No there isn't.

Look at the scale - the bottom line is 20%, not zero.

The base load has jumped from 20% to 60%. So this is the top end of the estimated impact.

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Richard 12
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AWS customers want x86-64, so moving to ARM is unlikely.

Unless AWS customers start demanding ARM of course.

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Richard 12
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Re: also weird

My wild guess is that python is interpreted and so always loads a lot of files (source dependencies) during startup and possibly during runtime.

A compiled application tends not to load as many files or dynamic libraries (other than the system dynamic libraries, which presumably python also needs anyway)

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Storage startup WekaIO punts latency-slashing parallel file system tech

Richard 12
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Re: Can't be an RTOS either

What a wall of nonsense...

An RTOS makes guarantees about timing. That's what makes it an RTOS.

A "normal" kernel does not make guarantees about timing. It is "best effort" and you'll get your turn eventually.

Claiming RTOS timing guarantees in user space is making a claim of CPU time that you don't have control over. Like you saying you can walk through a business card, but teacher takes away the scissors and the business card, before you can attempt it.

He'll give it back to you tomorrow.

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Security hole in AMD CPUs' hidden secure processor code revealed ahead of patches

Richard 12
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Re: BIOS updates? What BIOS updates?

Trusted Computing* and UEFI happened.

* Hollywood and Microsoft don't trust you with your computer.

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Woo-yay, Meltdown CPU fixes are here. Now, Spectre flaws will haunt tech industry for years

Richard 12
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Re: Stock price

Sure they are

AMD are cheaper, so Joe Average is already leaning that way.

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