* Posts by AndyMulhearn

53 posts • joined 3 Mar 2012

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That amazing Microsoft software quality, part 97: Windows Phone update kills Outlook, Calendar

AndyMulhearn

Re: As long is customers put up with it...

There used to be a saying that you shouldn’t take the piss out of Watneys Red Barrel because all you’d have left is water...

It was a very bad rime when that kind of beer was popular. Britain was not a good place...

Brits pay £490m extra for mobes they already own – Citizens Advice

AndyMulhearn

Re: Astonishing isn't it

People are stupid.

There is some of that. But it depends on how the contract is sold. IIRC - I've not had a phone contract for a few years - you get a contract that covers both elements. What I suspect you don't get is a statement either way that says what happens at the end of the term.

With these guys I'd hazard a guess that there's no "And we will carry on taking a payment for the phone even after you pass the end of the contract because we can" so it's not clear to people what happens. And to be frank, most would assume they only pay what they should because that's how most "loans" work.

AndyMulhearn
Stop

Astonishing isn't it

That mobile companies carry on doing this with what seems to be complete impunity. Aside from O2, who separate the loan for the phone element from the services element, they all carry on taking payments for something, in some cases long after the price has been paid in full. It's more than astonishing actually, it beggars belief that they carry on getting away with this.

Aside from the words above, speechless.

The grand-plus iPhone is the new normal – this is no place for paupers

AndyMulhearn

Re: Hoping SE2 Comes later...

Probably just put on the site without an event or much fanfare; I like the 4 inch form factor, although I recognise I'm in the minority with that one (along with a desire for an iPad mini 5; In my mind, Bigger is not always better)

I'm with you on the bigger is not always better. To be honest the 4" screen is a little too small for me to read books on but fine for pretty much everything else. And no one asks me if I have a canoe in my pocket or I'm just pleased to see them any more.

However, not having an air quote "Budget" iPhone seems a bit remiss; £449 for a starting price (As opposed to an almost-reasonable £359 for the SE) is basically cutting price conscious customers off from jumping into the Apple ecosystem, and tempt them to upgrade later.

When I got my SE I looked at Apple then spotted CPW had them for £259 so got one there. Then noticed that JL had them for £230 so shopping around saved me a bit of cash, just not as much as I could have done.

£449 on the other hand is just a bit too rich for my blood, and CPW have the 7 for £549 which is odd when the SE was lower in price.

Still, I don't run a trillion doller company, so I'm sure Apple have a solid gameplan. I just don't fully get it, right now...

Me neither. I now have a family iTunes plan which is another £14.99 a month that I probably wouldn't be bothering without the SE. An iPhone isn't the only reason to get it but it's a strong one. if I were Apple, someone paying £249 for a phone and then another £120 or £180 a year for iTunes makes more sense than someone not paying £449 for the phone.

TSB goes TITSUP: Total Inability To Surprise Users, Probably

AndyMulhearn

Re: Is TSB a canary

The problem is that nowadays, those systems that have been running for decades, and, yes, more recently relying on some gaffer tape (and also gaffers and gaffesses many of whom have now retired or been "rightsized" (hah!))

I was at a large insurer back In 2005 and they were seeing this back then. IIRC their pension system ran on a mainframe and two of the people that supported it had left under circumstances not of their choosing, note I don't mean rightsizing, while most of the rest were heading rapidly towards retirement on a well-stocked final salary scheme.

Windows 10 July update. Surface Pro 4. Working fondleslab. Pick two

AndyMulhearn

Re: This is one of Microsofts biggest failures

Agreed. back in the days of mainframe and mini computing, beta testing actually had some currency and, IMHO, it was applied to releases that had focussed functional change that was important to people/businesses. So people would actually test changes using a professional approach because they didn't want impact to their business.

Now, since Google somewhat amusingly put all of their products into permanent beta, it seems to be more used as a way of releasing shit software and being able to respond to complaints that it doesn't work with "Well it is still in Beta". Even Apple have fallen into this trap with iOS in particular. I'm running betas of iOS 12 but as it's not an iPad I use for serious stuff - I just read books and browse on it - it's not exposed to anything complex and I'm not really testing it as such, just doing some stuff on it. Unfortunately with 10, Microsoft seem to be even worse than that, not even testing it works properly on their own hardware. Twats.

Boss regrets pointing finger at chilled out techie who finished upgrade early

AndyMulhearn

GWR?

It took until the Wednesday afternoon before the site was returned to normal operation\

If I recall correctly GWR went thought this a while ago. Attempts to access their loathsome site resulted in a domain not registered, or some such similar “they fucked up” page.

The last phablet? 6.4in Samsung Galaxy Note 9 leaves you $1k lighter, needs 'water cooling'

AndyMulhearn

Re: Nobody buys Samsung anymore...

Samsung is doing great damage to Android by muddying the waters with its own apps, own (crap) assistant, own payment system, lots of proprietary stuff, slow updates and hostile approach towards Google all while being the biggest selling vendor and being perceived as Apple's main competitor, not the Pixel. Must make the Alphabet people wince.

I've been through the proprietary stuff loop twice now. Only a month ago I was on this forum praising the build and value of an S7 Edge and now I'm back with an iPhone. Upgrading the original Three firmware on the phone to the UK vanilla Oreo version bought with it a whole host of irritating apps that wanted me to sign in and accept terms I wasn't happy with. Including Samsung Pay. And they nagged.

Add to that, when I tried to download the information Samsung have on record for me it came down in an unreadable lump. A support case with them resulted in a "You can download your personal data here" response so I deleted my account.

A real shame as the S7 Edge is a lovely piece of hardware but the last time I looked, Lineage seemed to have dropped it from support so it's Samsung software or another blower.

Wait, did you hear that? That rumbling in the distance? Sounds like... a 16-socket IBM Power9 box shuffling this way

AndyMulhearn

Re: New customers?

Could run Handbrake on it for ripping DVDs. Or so I'm led to believe...

Sysadmin sank IBM mainframe by going one VM too deep

AndyMulhearn

Scientists...

Scientists, not as good at following instructions as you think

Your mistake was not prefixing the instructions with an Abstract, adding a few references to random publications and putting in on arxiv.org for peer review. It may not have made any difference in the long run but they may have actually read it...

LG G7 ThinkQ: Ropey AI, but a feast for sore eyes and ears

AndyMulhearn

Re: May we please stop calling them phones?

I like the German word "Handy"...

I loved the episode of QI where Stephen Fry mentioned this. His slightly camp pronunciation of "Wo ist mein handy" had the audience, and me, in stitches.

That said, when I typed that into the Safari search bar, google proceeded to tell me where my phone is, which was slightly disconcerting.

No one wants new phones – it's chips that keep Samsung chugging

AndyMulhearn

Peak Mobile

I think we hit peak mobile, for the masses which includes me, two years ago. I’m using a bought-used S7 edge and it has plenty of performance for what I want to do. I swapped the battery - £59 in including fitting - and replaced the Three version of android it shipped with with the UK carrier free version of Oreo and I reckon I’ll get another couple of years out of it,

The only fly in the ointment is the parallel data slurping, email, browser and pay apps that Samsung still feel the need to push on their phones. Samsung, stop, just stop. It costs you money, slows your update cycles and no one I know ever uses it. Just stop. And if you must ship it, allow it to die gracefully when people don’t want to use it. As AndrueC says above, some of it refuses to accept you don’t want to use it.

Have I been paid, Sage? Cloudy wage service locks out users

AndyMulhearn

Peter Jones

Well if it’s good enough for Peter Jones (Dragon’s Den) it should be good enough for anyone.

Dixons Carphone profits drop 24% amid hack 'n' high street struggles

AndyMulhearn

Future of the high street

I bought an Apple HomePod from them six weeks ago but only because I happened to be in the area for other reasons and wanted one. Due to the way Apple price their goods, buying from Currys was no more expensive than Apple themselves so a bit of a no-brainer. And yes, Siri is a bit of a no-brainer but works well enough though a HomePod.

Before that I got some SD Cards because we'd left home (on holiday) without extras and didn't like to be short. Surprisingly we got a two for one deal which made them the same price as online which shocked me to my core.

Agree on loads of other comments though, it's hard to see where high streets can go from here. Barbers, restaurants and coffee shops seems to the future with everything else online. Which is a shame because where does someone get their needless and expensive impulse purchases?

AndyMulhearn

Re: RE: Wolfe

Last time i went to Currys the smug twat there blatantly refused to sell me the laptop i wanted and kept directing me to the models above £1000. He made it clear quickly he was on commission.

Well unless he only got commission based on the selling a particular product or if the price is above a certain value then he's not long for that world is he.

Explains to manager "Yeah, I ended up selling him nothing because there was more commission on the other laptop". Manager shows salesman door, inserts boot up arse, salesman joins the long queue of those waiting for Universal Credit payments.

Did you test that? No, I thought you tested it. Now customers have it and it doesn't work

AndyMulhearn

Re: Soldering irons

I remember a friend, some years back, who dropped a mug in the kitchen.

With me it was a china bowl and a shelf while I was washing the dishes. Put the bowl on the shelf, but not completely. Having been a regular participant in a full-speed, full-contact combat sport (OK it was Fencing) my reactions are still relatively quick and in some cases, the body reacts before the conscious mind has a chance to insert a little bit of sanity. So as the bowl started to fall, I put my left-hand out to catch it and managed to smash the bowl and then put my hand through the resulting sharp-edged mess.

As I have no ability to look at my own blood outside the normal meat-bag context, i.e. running down my arm from what looked at the time like a nearly amputated finger, without feeling queasy, I proceeded to faint on the bathroom floor and ended up in casualty having my left middle finger butterflied. What a tw@...

And the root cause of this accident? It was Friday, it was beer-o'clock, the pub was calling and I'd not done my share of the washing up that week. Didn't get to the pub but I did make it to the off-licence...

Your F-35s need spare bits? Computer says we'll have you sorted in... a couple of years

AndyMulhearn

Two for the price of two?

Do we get to buy two so that one can be kept in the air and the other used as a donor for spares to keep the other one in the air?

It's that Friday feeling so I'll get my coat...

Cold call bosses could be forced to cough up under new rules

AndyMulhearn

Having watched a bit of daytime TV recently, this seems like a case for application of the proceeds of crime act. Unless that applies only to criminal cases which as IANAL I don't really have a view on.

Dixons to shutter 92 UK Carphone Warehouse shops after profit warning

AndyMulhearn

Sometimes way too many stores

As well as the general competence, or lack of it, in the staff employed, there's the number of stores they have in some places. Not just those within a couple of miles so different catchment areas but in some cases, as in Bristol, there are two within 100 yards. Running one new and shiny store close to one small and poky store seems to be counter productive.

Ordinarily I'd suggest closing the small one but they both seem to have so few customers on a regular basis that keeping the smaller one open makes more sense - at least it will appear that they're still doing some form of business...

Capita cost-cutting on NHS England contract 'put patients at risk' – spending watchdog

AndyMulhearn

Re: Anonymous cos of reasons

I worked for this company for a time, my experience was that they a had a few competent people who spent >90% of their time fixing the faults caused by the rest.

Yeah, saw that as well on another gig. Key technical people driven to illness or departure if they had any sense due to the stress of carrying everything for too long.

And THIS is how you do it, Apple: Huawei shames Cupertino with under-glass sensor

AndyMulhearn

So when the glass screen inevitably cracks, the fingerprint sensor will probably lock you out of your phone. Definitely one for the flower children.

Except that in the case of my phone, if the fingerprint sensor misreads the print and doesn't unlock, I'm presented with a keypad to enter my unlock code. So yes you may, well probably will, lose the ability to unlock using a fingerprint, you shouldn't be locked out of the phone.

Errr, unless the manufacturer uses an incredibly stupid implementation. Ah well...

TSB's middleware nightmare: Execs grilled on Total Sh*tshow at Bank

AndyMulhearn

Re: the idea of a national bank can't be a bad one.

We used to have one of those, National Savings, you could use your post office to access it. Now with Post offices shutting faster than bank branches ...

Is that the one that became Girobank, got sold to Alliance and Leicester and then finally rests with Santander? If so then I was with them from the point they became Girobank. More years ago than I care to recall...

Apple somehow plucks iPad sales out from 13-quarter death spiral

AndyMulhearn

Re: iPad user here

unfortunate they share the iPad name bit, as it clearly seems to confuse people like you...

Ouch, that stung.

AndyMulhearn

iPad user here

It’s interesting, well two me anyway. The iPad forums at MacRumours are chock-a-block with people telling other people that iPads aren’t proper computers, while those, like me, that do computer-type stuff on IPads and have a largely redundant MacBook Pro at home just sigh and roll our eyes.

The combination of some much more powerful and better specified hardware in the iPad Pro combined with more powerful user apps that make use of that power and IOS 11 which is moving more desktop like has moved the platform on somewhat and I wouldn’t be surprised if that hasn’t pulled through to the rest of the range. Certainly the 2018 model being pencil compatible now won’t hurt.

OK so with the iPad Pro, keyboard and pencil I dropped as much as I did on my Pro but it’s much faster (yes really) editing photos using LightRoom mobile and the pencil combined with OmniGraffle is really quite pleasant to use. Stuff like that makes a difference. Yes there are some omissions, though none that really pain me at the moment, and the ways of working are different to a desktop/laptop OS so you have to learn new tricks but they’re not workarounds as some call them, just different ways of achieving the same goals.

It works for me so I can see why it could be working for others...

Samsung Galaxy S9: Still the Lord of All Droids

AndyMulhearn

Google play download

I've had multiple Galaxy S devices since the original and I've never had to download Google Play Services on any of them. The only time I have downloaded it was on the MS Visual Studio Android Emulator.

The parent comment confused me as well. I've had two separate Samsung phones - a Note 4 three years back and my current S7 Edge - and was never required to download Google Play.

AndyMulhearn

Fingerprint sensor position

I'm sure there are users for whom the back of the case near the camera position works but for me, the position on the S7 is ideal. On the desk, it's easy accessible and taking it out of a pocket it aligns just as well. I just can't see a contortion where the back of the phone is a useful place to have it. Smacks of "we want to use the finger print sensor but we can't do it through the screen and there's no longer anywhere on the front we can put it due to the infinity screen approach".

So I will be using my S7 Edge for as long as I safely can and the reluctantly switch to another brand. It is a lovely phone...

Intel outside: Apple 'prepping' non-Chipzilla Macs by 2020 (stop us if you're having deja vu)

AndyMulhearn

It would come as no surprise, though as has been said, Apple don’t tend to leak stuff like this so far in advance. But as it stands at the moment, Apple has a significant investment in ARM and are doing all kinds of crazy stuff that’s surfacing in iPhones and iPads which says they have the knowledge in-house to take this on. So why be dependant on Intel?

Then the convergence of iOs and Mac OS is something they mooted a while back and rumour of iOs apps running on Mac OS has re-surfaced again recently. This could be something that has an even bigger impact as they can start pushing iOS apps to people that don’t have current iOS devices and start pushing even more app purchasing down the App Store. Removing the complexity of supporting both Intel and ARM for that and the associated toolchains, SDKs and so on could possibly have significant benefits.

Could be interesting, particularly as they fooled Microsoft into trying to converge their PC and Moblie operations and we all know how well that ended...

Did the FBI engineer its iPhone encryption court showdown with Apple to force a precedent? Yes and no, say DoJ auditors

AndyMulhearn

Re: No good deed goes unpunsihed?

I believe the Amy Hess in question may be this one:

https://engineering.purdue.edu/Engr/People/Awards/Institutional/DEA/DEA_2017/Hess

Interesting background and I would be stretching a point if I suggested her integrity could have anything to do with her educational background and possibly her aspiration to be an astronaut, with role models such as Buzz Aldrin.

According to her Linkedin profile - https://www.linkedin.com/in/amy-hess-76aab1116/ - her career would appear to my eyes to have taken a step backwards. Looks like integrity is it's own reward...

UK.gov urged to ensure punters can 'still roam like at home' after Brexit

AndyMulhearn

Re: Brexit wins

No, you're not guessing. You're scaremongering.

Until it's signed into an agreement, any discussion about this is speculation so I fail to see how you can call mentioning the fact it may not continue as scaremongering.

Ah, but of course anything a "remoaner" says about the downsides of brexit is scaremongering while the converse is enlightened truth. My bad.

AndyMulhearn

Brexit wins

Blue passports, taking back control, broken holiday flights, the return of massive roaming charges and (possibly, I'm guessing) loss of reciprocal healthcare.

Makes me wonder why I voted remain.

Farewell, Android Pay. We hardly tapped you

AndyMulhearn

A convenience

I use Android pay in preference to contactless card payments now - I've pretty much stopped using cash.

Android pay works fine and has the added benefit that if your phone is unlocked you can make a contactless payment of up to £100, while the card/phone locked payment is limited to £30. I find that higher limit somewhat more useful. I would to know of some way to remote nuke the phone though, just in case it gets nicked. Hmm, actually since I access company email on it, the remote nuke policy is in place which is about the only benefit doing that brings.

It's not surprising that Samsung Pay hasn't gained traction, given how appalling they are at updating their phones.

Now that Touchwiz has less of the "aarrgghh my eyes are bleeding" look about it, for me It's less about updates and more about me too apps. Duplicated mail, browser and all sorts of other stuff including another payment app? But that's another story.

Samsung pay currently supports my bank and one of my cards but as far as I can see, there's no additional value add so no reason to use it over Google's version...

‘I crashed a rack full of servers with my butt’

AndyMulhearn

Re: Not a crash but

Been there (about an hour away), done that.

This was late one night. Startup was the following day :-(

AndyMulhearn

Re: Not a crash but

Was that in a building known as Commodity Quay by any chance?

It may well have been but I'm saying nuffink.

AndyMulhearn

Not a crash but

Ten years ago I ran a small infrastructure team for a large news/data organisation. We had a bunch of Sun and HP kit in a small comms room in St. Katherine's Dock. One day we get a fire alarm, so we all troop out then back in only for another one to kick off and we all troop out again.

Third time it happens, as we're heading back in my Unix guy calls me saying "Can you nip to the comms room, some of the boxes are reporting over temperature." You can no doubt imagine the conclusion I drew so my response was "Very funny" and I hung up.

He's back on the phone 30s later "No, I'm not taking the piss...". Turns out the outflow from the de-humidifier had blocked so the air con had shut down, or some similar cause. 30 odd boxes had to be shutdown to cries of "I have a demo" and "How can we develop" and me responding to the effect that they should go and get a coffee. Ot something similar related to travel.

Having said that, there was one evening I was manually patching a remote windows box and selected shutdown rather than reboot. It would have been OK but for the fact that box was in a remote data centre and we had no details of the rack. Or in fact an understanding of which of the many remote sites it happened to be in... Fortunately we narrowed it down to one, small, site and a local ops guy was kind enough to push the on button on the one HP DL 380 in the room that had no lights flashing on it.

Happy times.

Proposed Brit law to ban b**tards brandishing bots to bulk-buy tickets

AndyMulhearn

No perfect solutions...

I saw Iron Maiden at the O2 last year and that was paperless so had to take along the card I used for the purchase and photo ID, the latter needing a quick passport renewal as the easier option than getting a photo drivers licence. In practice it worked fine for me, but what would have happened if late in the day I couldn't go? From the Ticketmaster terms, no one else would have gone either. Could I give tickets to that show as a present? Nope, I have to go and actually go in to the show. No other options.

While I can understand the desire to sell to real fans at face value, some of the other aspects of the "experience" seem not to have been thought through.

Hello, Dixons Carphone? Yep, we're ringing from a 2015 handset. Profits down 60%, eh?

AndyMulhearn
WTF?

Call charges

I bought a Nokia 6 from them a month ago. Nice phone and if you enable developer mode and turn off all of the animations madness the performance problems people have mentioned is way less of an issue.

The phone wasn't in stock but delivery was next day so they took my mobile number to call me when it was ready for collection. When I got no call, I called the shop on the number on the receipt to check. I got through three times but never got an answer so Ient to the shop anyway and got the phone, along with leaving a bit of a rant about calling an getting no response.

When I got my next phone bill I found a £5.45 charge on it for three calls. Calls to the shop I'd made to check if the phone was available. While I should have spotted this from the number it was on a receipt so a direct number for a paying customer and it does seem a but scummy to charge someone to do business with you.

It will be a cold day etc.

Intel to slap hardware lock on Management Engine code to thwart downgrade attacks

AndyMulhearn

Next week we’ll find out that the ME has an embedded management engine of its own (MeMe?) and that’ll get hacked too. And the following week... what a complete mess IT has become.

I think you mean Mini ME?

Disk drive fired 'Frisbees of death' across data centre after storage admin crossed his wires

AndyMulhearn

Nova 3

I used a DG Nova 3 when I started at GEC in 1979. Usually a nice, quiet system although taller than me and wider than I was at the time, perhaps not now though. Even when an engineer was checking out the disk it stayed relatively quiet but with the cabinet open and the disk slid out for access, the movement of the heads caused the machine to shake from side to side.

Stop all news – it's time for us plebs to be told about BBC paycheques!

AndyMulhearn

Re: Talent

I find it odd the way these people are all referred to as 'talent': Graham Norton has talent whereas Huw Edwards is just a news reader.

Compared to Dan Walker he is talent.

EE looks at its call charges, hikes a bunch, walks off giggling

AndyMulhearn

And Line Rental?

Intel inside: Six of the best affordable PC laptops

AndyMulhearn

Re: Mid year resolution?

Colour me in complete agreement with the 1366x768 point.

Doctor Who trashing the TARDIS, Clara alone, useless UNIT – Death in Heaven

AndyMulhearn

Reality Dysfunction

Unfortunately the whole story screamed at me ripoff of Peter Hamilton's Night's Dawn trilogy. Nothing more to be said really, other than that the first 15 minutes of the penultimate episode was pretty good but then it all disappeared down the crapper. Capaldi has the look and the skills to carry it off and be one of the better Drs. but not if he's going to be continually fed this kind of drivel.

Nokia Lumia 530: A Windows Phone... for under £50

AndyMulhearn

Re: For the price of a night out

Strange. I've had a Moto G for about six months now and it's been good enough that I bought one for my wife to replace her knackered xperia. The only problem she's had is that the xperia could go a three or four days between charges where the G doesn't but she got used to charging it more frequently and it's been otherwise fine.

Bearing in mind the earache I'd have got if it had been a poor performer, I've been pretty pleased with it.

iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms

AndyMulhearn

Re: One does not replace the Rolls every year!

HKmk23: Now those cheap and cheerful phones with almost no upgrades (Android are you listening?) have become a disposable item.......!

There are a few honourable exceptions, the Moto and Nexus ranges, where the degree of customisation by the vendor is either non-existent or so small that it upgrades are relatively low cost and they do actually arrive. My Moto G went up to 4.4.4 last night with no problems at all and the nexus 7 a few weeks back.

By and large you're completely correct in terms of upgrades although the fact that a phone doesn't receive the latest version of Android OS doesn't mean it stops working overnight, witness the number of people around still using devices running gingerbread.

BlackBerry BLOODBATH! Company warns of nearly $1bn quarterly loss

AndyMulhearn

Re: Shame

+1.

I've been using a Q5 for a week now and I'm wondering why all the negative press. The OS is stable and responsive. Messaging is better than the old Torch I used before the upgrade. Battery life is more than good enough. Apps? Shmapps, it's a phone not a games console. And it's costing me £3 per week for 24 weeks, so a total of £72.

OK, so a BB should have a trackpad and it's taking me a while to get used to it not having one but I'm getting there but aside from that, I'm really struggling to see why people don't like BB10 and the phones.

Microsoft exec: No 'Plan B' despite mobile stumbles

AndyMulhearn

Re: There's the Kool-aid...

The duplicate stuff hasn't made it as far as Office and as far as I can tell is only in stuff like textedit or preview...

Having said that, It's still a broken paradigm IMHO.

Pop tix touts slung in the cooler for 4 years after £3m web scam

AndyMulhearn

Re: What's the world coming to?

Well yes, I'll concede that one. But adjusted for inflation, a 1963 take of £2.6 million is around £50 million current value which split 18 ways comes to £2.6 million each. It must have taken a fair amount of effort to piss the equivalent of that all up the wall in the 60s...

AndyMulhearn

What's the world coming to?

When an ordinary decent criminal can't steal money and hang onto it.

Watching Buster at the weekend I was astonished, and then not surprised really, at how many of the Great Train Robbers actually profited from the robbery, i.e. bugger all of them. Most had the cash nicked by friends who were also villains of one form or another, got nicked with it in hand or blew it on the high life. But then in theory they're not generally the sharpest knives in the drawer...

Dixons and Microsoft haggling over Surface RT Ts&Cs

AndyMulhearn
Meh

Re: why can I hear bells ?

I think they still are one of the major outlets in the UK; it's just that they're not as big or important as they once were.

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