* Posts by ckm5

266 posts • joined 24 Aug 2013

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Sacre bleu! Apple's high price, marginal gain iPhone strategy leaves it stuck in the mud

ckm5

Re: £1,149

It's easy to laugh, but for people like me a phone is a business expense and I don't really pay for it. And as a primary computing device, I don't mind spending $1000 on it - that's 1/2 of what I would have spent on a laptop 5 years ago. Having a larger screen in a smaller form factor is a huge plus when working in the field. Never mind that most people will just buy it on credit for ~$35/mo.

Is the price point outrageous? Not really. Not when you consider a Palm Treo was ~$600 in 2004 (about $800 today) and Blackberries were $800 15 years ago. Even a modern top-of-the-line phones are $700-$800, this is only $200 more. If $200 is an issue for you, then you should be rethinking your priorities and buy a much cheaper or second hand phone.

I think these will sell out easily - Apple will be laughing all the way and walking away with all the profits....

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Google to kill its Drive file locker in two confusing ways

ckm5

Re: Time to Migrate?

AWS, Rackspace or Backblaze would be better choices....

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Wonder why Congress doesn't clamp down on its gung-ho spies? Well, wonder no more

ckm5

My "representatives"* are Pelosi & Feinstein

And they have already decided that "intelligence agencies" should put cameras & microphones in every single house in the country for "national security" reasons. /s

Short of a revolution, nothing is going to change if the two representatives from the most liberal place in the country are all for surveillance....

* representative is a word to be used only loosely, it's been a long time since either party has actually represented anyone not giving them $$$

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HPE waves bye-bye to 36 years of executive experience

ckm5

HP destroyed by a complete lack of vision

And it started with selling off Agilent and ended with missing out on cloud by not capitalizing on all the work they did for Amazon.

The eccentric, engineering focused company from this old commercial is no more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3XwTq_BPKM

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Oracle finally decides to stop prolonging the inevitable, begins hardware layoffs

ckm5

Re: Someone please...

That's not entirely true - I pitched the Sun exec team on licensing Solaris so that it could merge with Linux and create an uber-open source OS. Instead, they decided to create the CDDL.....

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US military gets authority to shoot down citizens' small drones

ckm5

" It is illegal to fly a consumer-grade drone within 400ft of a US Army base in April"

Only in April? Good thing it's August....

Edit - Ninja'd apparently.... Twice even.

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VCs to Trump: Don't lock out our meal tickets! Save startup visas!

ckm5

Re: H1B visas

Well, as someone who has been hiring engineers for 10+ years, I can tell you for sure there just are not enough engineers in the US. More than once I have advertised for a position at a competitive salary (in several markets) and could not fill it. And I'm not particularly picky, just need someone capable of doing X job, regardless of background/education/etc.

Also, the stats for H1Bs pretty much show otherwise https://qz.com/1041506/new-data-on-h-1b-visas-show-how-it-outsourcers-are-short-changing-workers/ - despite the clickbait title, the average salary for an H1B is $91k/year, which is $20k higher than the average IT salary in the US (around $78k - http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Industry=Information_Technology_(IT)_Services/Salary).

Not saying that certain H1B abusers aren't awful sweatshops, but the data speaks to a much murkier picture than 'H1B depress US salaries' which is simply not born out by the data.

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ckm5

Re: Big Idea: The Internet!

That may be so, but having lived in 1/2 those in your list plus another 3-4 not mentioned, I can def. say that the startup ecosystem in Silly Valley is unique and very, very hard to replicate. If you believe in the startup myth and you want to follow that route, few other places in the world will do.

This might change with the sunset of American influence/power/money, but for the moment, it's still where it's at. Anyone saying otherwise is just wishful thinking.

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Trump-backed RAISE Act decoded: Points-based immigration, green cards slashed

ckm5

Re: Tech giants hate it

Probably not. "Tech giants" are paying way over market rate for talent and also subsidizing housing & transportation for employees*. Yelp, for example, pays interns $9000/month here in Silly Valley. Starting salaries at most tech companies are well into the six figures and retention bonuses can be completely insane.

If you are underpaid or underemployed there are probably a few of reasons:

1. Wrong geography - where you live has a huge impact on salary & opportunity

2. Wrong skillset - modern & rare tech skills pay a lot more, typically

3. Bad presentation - BTDT, getting professional help for resumes & linkedin profiles is a huge help

4. Not represented - sounds crazy, but having a recruiter represent you can be a big help in finding stuff

5. Not networking - only 30-40% of tech jobs are advertised, if you don't network with your peers, you'll never know about good opportunities

6. Public visibility - being active in meetups, in industry specific forums and on Github leads to a lot more people contacting you about jobs (see 5 above as well).

Make no mistake, all this is a lot of work, but, having been on both sides of the fence (looking for work and looking for people to hire), it's frustrating all around.

* if you look at this list https://qz.com/1041506/new-data-on-h-1b-visas-show-how-it-outsourcers-are-short-changing-workers/ it's clear that the H1B program is being abused by outsourcing companies providing cheap labor, not tech giants.

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ckm5

Re: I think a points-based system is a good idea in general.

Most of what you want is already the case.

1. It's already the case an H1B can only be allocated if you can't find local talent

2. More people were deported under Obama than any previous president

3. Kinda like 5 year planning? That worked so well for the Soviet Union..... Besides, that actually already exists, it's called either an H2A or H2B.

That said, I agree that an H1B should be independent of the employer and should require some sort of realistic salary calculation - Silly Valley is full of dorm-like housing that caters to low-wage H1B workers. But nowhere in this discussion do people point out that there is a real skills shortage in tech, something which needs to be solved if we want to continue to grow the tech sector....

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Microsoft won't patch SMB flaw that only an idiot would expose

ckm5

Re: the problem is Microshaft's design

Pretty much every Un*x ever designed does the same thing for most network services, at least until very, very recently.

It's very unfair to blame MSFT for this - they did, after all, just copy Un*x including the entire TCP stack (from BSD nach)

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ckm5

Re: "the Linux Kernel was only created in 1991"

Interesting - I guess all those commercial Linux deployments I did in 1998 must have been a result of time travel....

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'My dream job at Oracle left me homeless!' – A techie's relocation horror tale

ckm5

Re: If he had been in the UK

Hate to tell you, but even the Dutch government refers to the Netherlands has 'Holland' c.f. http://www.hollandinthevalley.com/

The Consulate in SF has a giant 'Holland' sign on the front door....

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Well, that escalated quickly: Qualcomm demands iPhone, iPad sales ban in America

ckm5

Re: "Apple will no longer use any Qualcomm chips in future products"

Yeah, that's what Adobe thought too, so did Nokia and Motorola.

I'm sure that their shareholders will cheer when markets knock billions off their valuation.... IMHO, we've just seen peak Qualcomm, esp. with the Feds largely agreeing with Apple.

Everyone in the industry hates Qualcomm, they've been dicks for years, and would be happy to see them taken out.

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ckm5

"Apple will no longer use any Qualcomm chips in future products"

== game over c.f. Imagination & PortalPlayer

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Extreme trainspotting on Britain's highest (and windiest) railway

ckm5

Re: 1,097m (3,599ft)

I've hiked up Mt. Washington a number of times, stopping for some time to ski at Tuckermans. It's a strange feeling coming up to the top and finding a bunch of tourists in a parking lot....

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Gartner confirms what we all know: AWS and Microsoft are the cloud leaders, by a fair way

ckm5

Re: Gartner what do they know ?

Gartner has never been right about anything - it's a tool for executives to justify spending a boat load of money on useless crap.

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IBM's contractor crackdown continues: Survivors refusing pay cut have hours reduced

ckm5

Re: Abuse, plain and simple.

What happens is all the best people leave - basically the ones who were propping up everyone else. Because only C/D players are left, contracts are lost or not won.

It's basically a death spiral. IBM is circling the drain.

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Toshiba draws back from fab foundry lock-out foolishness

ckm5

Foxconn is Taiwanese

Taiwanese != Chinese (at least not in the vernacular sense)

"Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., trading as Foxconn Technology Group, is a Taiwanese multinational electronics contract manufacturing company headquartered in New Taipei City, Taiwan." source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxconn

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For now, GNU GPL is an enforceable contract, says US federal judge

ckm5

Breaching copyright would be far worse

The penalties for breach of copyright are statutory and are per violation. And they are far worse than breach of contract. If I were Hancom, I would be very cautious about try to turn this in to a copyright case. Give the potential value of that and the potential criminal liability, it could be the end of a company (c.f. MegaUpload)....

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Facebook in the dock: Web giant faces trial for allegedly ripping off data center blueprints

ckm5

Re: Here's the most astonishing part

"American corporations generally) base much of their business models (and cost of business) on stealing other company's inventions" - show us some stats or it's just pure 'bash 'Mercains cause that gets the masses to rise up (or upvote as the case may be)' - e.g. bullshit - or more likely someone who works for the aggrieved company....

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Transatlantic link typo by Sweden's Telia broke Cloudflare in the US

ckm5

Not just Cloudflare

A huge chunk of transatlantic traffic was affected. I understand it might be hard to grok for commentards but the Reg hacks have no excuse....

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ckm5

To be fair, I got a notice from Pingdom

Their network was affected as well, so was Stackdriver.

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AWS v Oracle: Mark Hurd schooled on how to run a public cloud that people actually use

ckm5

Re: AWS infrastructure Boss is Ex-Car mechanic.. says it all.

Maybe it's because fast-growing, real world global scale businesses don't give two sh*ts about artificial benchmarks or pay-to-play shills like Gartner. Call us back when Netflix moves from AWS to Oracle cloud. Oh, yeah, they tried that old skool vertical scaling and declared in 2014 (!) "it doesn't work" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uH8T7JMzloM

All the comments here are very correct that modern businesses don't need Oracle at all. Google, Netflix, Apple, Uber, AirBnB have all figured out how to achieve huge scale with globally distributed, redundant and scalable databases. And, by-in-large, they have made those tools cheaply or freely accessible to everyone. And no one who is serious about large scale systems will ever run anything bare metal ;-)

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Nuh-uh, Google, you WILL hand over emails stored on foreign servers, says US judge

ckm5

Re: Yeah, but...

Hmm, the two places with the highest number of wiretaps as a percent of the population are the Netherlands and Italy. http://www.npr.org/2013/07/28/206231873/who-spies-more-the-united-states-or-europe

It's nice that the EU governments are so much better a propaganda than the US, but that doesn't they are any better - probably much worse, actually.

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Super Cali goes ballistic, Uber drivers are stocious (allegedly!)

ckm5

Raiser is a subsidiary of Uber, not the parent...

https://s3.amazonaws.com/uber-regulatory-documents/country/united_states/RASIER%20Technology%20Services%20Agreement%20Decmeber%2010%202015.pdf

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FYI anyone who codes outside work: GitHub has a contract to stop bosses snatching it all

ckm5

Just say no

I've been presented with contracts attempting to own everything I do or have done in the past and have always refused. I have also refused to license software I created on my own time, before I was employed by a company, to said company for free with expansive re-licensing terms.

Sometimes just saying no is the best thing - if they really want you to work for them, then will modify the terms. If not, perhaps they are not an employer you want to work for....

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In colossal shock, Uber alleged to be wretched hive of sexism, craven managerial ass-covering

ckm5

Re: Bad Uber

https://www.uber.com/drive/insurance/

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ckm5

Re: Careful there...

Except that no one in Silly Valley uses Uber anymore, largely because of shit like this. People use other services or car sharing.

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IBM's Marissa Mayer moment: Staff ordered to work in one of 6 main offices – or face the axe

ckm5

The exact opposite of what 'West Coast rivals' do....

Unfortunately, this is the exact opposite of what most SV/West Coast companies do. Maybe, instead of being so heavy handed, you should actually trust your employees and give them even more responsibility with even more aggressive targets.....

But, hey, what do I know, I only work for 'West Coast' companies.

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Why does it cost 20 times as much to protect Mark Zuckerberg as Tim Cook?

ckm5

Re: Um why is this filed with the SEC?

It's very normal for companies to provide security for key people - they even insure them and part of the insurance clauses often require them to make sure these people are safe. C.f. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Key_person_insurance

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ckm5

The author is wrong - the CEO doesn't decide security

It's rarely the CEO that decides the level of security needed. Typically, there is either an internal threat assessment team or the assessment is done by an outside consultant. Often this is mandated by either the board or clauses in key man insurance, but not always.

Rarely does the CEO actually have much input in how much or how security is provided for him. Yes, as CEO they can approve or refuse security, but in my experience, most security teams/consultants will do their best to present the worst possible credible scenario and rarely get refused. Typically, kidnapping is the biggest worry, even if it's exceedingly rare in Western countries.

For years Mark Z. had no security, I actually ran into once in downtown Palo Alto - he was getting coffee for a bunch of people in his team (this was when FB had it's offices downtown). I guess the threats have become greater since then.

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Google's Grumpy code makes Python Go

ckm5

Re: Calling BS

Why would you want a 'private version of python' when you have Go? If there is anything nefarious here is that Google wants to migrate all python code to go.... Which is not surprising.

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ckm5

Yes, its you.

I can't speak for Swift, but I've written a bunch of stuff in Go. It's very fast (running speed and compile wize), portable across platforms, the syntax is sane and it's very easy to learn.

But it's biggest 'party trick' is built in concurrent processing. Until you've used this, it's hard to explain just how useful this is in modern mobile/web applications.

I evaluated a bunch of 'new' languages for a project a few years ago. Among them Go, D, C#, Closure, Node (not a language but still), Scala, Erlang (and it's derivatives) as well as more traditional languages like Python.

Go was easily the easiest to learn and had the most useful optimizations. It's pretty obvious that whoever was the driving force behind it had modern async, massive scale internet-based applications in mind. Def. my favorite language now, although I wish it had better dictionary/list/array handling as it not as simple to build complex multi-dimensional data structures compared to some other languages.

If you are doing anything on a large scale (mobile, web, big data, etc), then Go is a fantastic language.

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Not OK Google: Tree-loving family turns down Page and pals' $7m

ckm5

Re: Translation

Despite what you think, some people really don't need the money and they find more value in things other than money.

Plus, if it's the same family Martinelli's that has the apple juice empire, then they really don't need the money. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martinelli's

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Uber to Cali DMV: Back off, pal, our 'self-driving cars' aren't self driving

ckm5

Re: Huh?

Not defending them, but there is a clue in the article. The permit requires reporting on various usage and other metrics, which then become part of the public record.....

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Violin Memory shares collapse as it files for chapter 11

ckm5

Re: Presumably Chap. 11 was obvious to management two weeks ago...

To be fair, the CFO is probably the one guy you need to stick around if you are going Ch 11.... I'm guessing that was a upfront payment for his services as he is unlikely to get his salary or bonus after filing....

(edit - someone else wrote a similar comment, but didn't reply to this thread....)

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If you bought a dildo in Denver, the government must legally be told

ckm5

Re: IT IS NOT A LAW

I used to work on the Starbucks website and tax tables are a nightmare. Because of Starbucks' presence virtually everywhere, the tax tables would change on a near daily basis.... I don't even know how they kept track of them, we just got a dump from their backoffice systems.

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Oi, you, no flirting, no touching in the back of our rides, sniffs Uber

ckm5

Re: Maybe Uber needs to have...

Well, knowing how Uber treats privacy, they probably already have that for internal use....

http://www.whosdrivingyou.org/blog/ubers-deleted-rides-of-glory-blog-post

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Nest Cam: A compelling piece of hardware-software

ckm5

NetGear Arlo - no wires!

I've got a NetGear Arlo and am surprised it doesn't get more attention. The key feature is that the cameras don't need any wires at all, they are battery powered.

I've had a bunch of other IP cameras, but really this is the best solution as you can just stick them anywhere.

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British jobs for British people: UK tech rejects PM May’s nativist hiring agenda

ckm5

Re: Cost

Well, I hire people and have P&L responsibility, I can say categorically that your assumption is false, at least in high-tech. We used to have an overseas team in a 'low cost' location. We fired all of them and hired local staff at almost 10x the cost.

Why? Because the talent we needed was not overseas and the overhead of managing different cultural expectations was killing us. I've seen this over and over again in tech, both in the financial & pure tech sectors.

If you are trying to actually build something, hiring 'the worlds least capable resource' is a sure fire way of going out of business.

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ckm5

Re: @qwertyuiop

That's not possible. Once you invoke Article 50, there is no going back.

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ckm5

Re: The elephant in the room - stagnant wages because of the free movement of labour

I live in Silly Valley, where we have insane salaries for anyone in tech (eg. interns getting $9k/month) and enormous demand. I'm also responsible for tech hiring in my company and we have an office in the EU (not UK). I'm not sure what upside down world the thread starter lives in, but salaries in tech are def. not going down anywhere we are recruiting.

They are actually going up in unaffordable ways for small companies like ours. Not just in SV, but also in our EU location. Competition for candidates is fierce, with salaries going up double digit percentages in just the past few years.

So, my reaction when I here 'my tech job is being outsourced' or 'I haven't gotten a raise in years' is to wonder what that person has done to keep their skills current or why they are stuck in their current position. Because the only jobs I see being outsourced are things like tech support and non-critical operational roles. Critical devops, developer, UX/UI designer/builder and data-centric jobs are in HUGE demand, but you must keep your skills relatively current.

Everywhere I look and every single statistic I read say there is a huge shortage at every level of tech, so something just doesn't sound right. Yes, I know, the hiring process sucks (it's no better on the inside) but there really is tons of work out there.

From my point of view, Brexit looks like a disaster all around for any tech company in the UK. The best thing to do would to move to an EU country, like Ireland or the Netherlands, which both have pretty good tech scenes. I also think there will be a massive move of financial firms to the continent if the UK really adopts a hard line. There is literally no reason for these business to stay - another poster pretty much nailed it with the three reason outline.

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French programmers haul Apple into court over developer rules

ckm5

Re: Good luck to them

Must be nice living in your perfect world....

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RethinkDB closes

ckm5

That's a bummer, it was way better than Mongo....

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Super Cali: Be realistic, 'autopilot' is bogus – even though the sound of it is something quite precocious

ckm5

Re: self driving in Europe != success

A few years ago I rented a car in France with lane departure correction (e.g. it steers to stay in white lines) and traffic sign recognition w/cruise control. While not in any way autonomous, it did just fine staying between the lines and at the speed limit on most roads while in cruise control mode.

I suspect that, since Tesla's European assembly is in the Netherlands, what you saw was actually a test vehicle, not a normal driver.... Probably testing the car's ability to switch sides.

Edit: or a customer test drive as stated above....

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Happy Anniversary: What’s new, what’s missing in Microsoft’s giant mobile update

ckm5

Who cares

Seriously, is anyone still interested in Windows Phone? It just looks like MSFT abandonware....

I was hopeful it might be an alternative to the duopoly, but at this point it's just a dead end. I guess it's nice that they are doing an update, but one wonders why they even bother expending engineering resources on this...

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Cisco security crew uncovers bug in industrial control kit

ckm5

Firewalls

Anyone who doesn't have PLCs and other controllers firewalled deserves to get hacked. Just look at the Tritium/Jace mess.

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Tim Cook's answer to crashing iPhone sales: More iPhones

ckm5

Re: Their control freakery drives you mad

Funny, I just had the same thing with an Android phone. Migrating all the data is a nightmare, much easier on an Iphone. Just backup the old phone & restore to the new phone. On Android, you have to use a 1/2 dozen flaky apps and even then, not all the data migrates....

While I do understand the Apple hate, their shit does work, often better than competitors.

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Tech firms reel from Leave's Brexit win

ckm5

Re: WTF?

Hmm, I've been a executive at a bunch of tech companies and have never, ever heard of any decision being made solely on the basis of taxes, it's not even a topic of discussion. Prime focus is availability of talent, then access to markets & capital. Brexit means loosing access to both a giant talent pool and a giant market. At this point, Amsterdam, Berlin or Dublin would be far better choices for any tech companies and I know a large number of high-profile tech companies are seriously rethinking where to focus their European efforts.

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