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China Gives Microsoft 20 Days To Respond To Competition Probe

gbjbaanb Re:And well they should. (69 comments)

meh., they want their cake.... and they want Microsoft to pay for it, a huge cake, larger than you could ever eat in a lifetime, with cherries on top.

Worked for the EU after all !

yesterday
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China Gives Microsoft 20 Days To Respond To Competition Probe

gbjbaanb Re:And well they should. (69 comments)

usually though its "we need $100,000 for office licences, plus $30000 for unforseen developmental and admin expenses".

However, you're right in that its easier to ask for a budget, and the bigger the budget the more important a manager you are, so therefore, you buy the most easily explained tool that costs the most. And then you pad it out with that office 365 rollout, and the sharepoint site that never gets used.

yesterday
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The Grumpy Programmer has Advice for Young Computer Workers (Video)

gbjbaanb Re:Also terrible advice (119 comments)

Leave and be hired back is exactly what I did but....

there are many who couldn't hack it as developers who now manage outsourced teams(and still can't really hgack it, buit at least now they can cover their incompetence with a mix of blame culture, meetings and emails).

I once interviewed a guy for a dev job and when we mentioned the new outsourced team he piped up with a lot of enthusiasm "do you need someone to manage them" as if it were a career progression (and I suppose to him, it would have been for reasons explained earlier). I didn't hire him but it showed where the useless people headed.

5 days ago
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The Grumpy Programmer has Advice for Young Computer Workers (Video)

gbjbaanb Re:Terrible advice (119 comments)

Its interesting though - so many programmers think that programming is a cool and important job that requires a ton of skill and talent and dedication.... and then they learn at around 40 that is all a load of old bollocks, hence the reason companies have outsourced much of it to 3rd world places. A programmer is just a tech equivalent of a bricklayer.

so to keep being employed in IT, you need to change with it, and learn that programming is less important than the design and architecture that goes into it, those roles (along with managing the 3rd world brickies and customers) are what's important.

Not as much fun though... but since when was work supposed to be fun.

about a week ago
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Choose Your Side On the Linux Divide

gbjbaanb Re:PID1 - A Controllable Master Control Program (810 comments)

this speaks of the new dawn where we might not be able to hack our shell scripts to do whatever, but we can write higher level code to effectively manage their operation.

w00t, no more writing shitty bash shell scripts, now we can write proper code in Python!...

oh no, wait.... we replaced everything for that?

about a week ago
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Choose Your Side On the Linux Divide

gbjbaanb Re:Choosing Sides (810 comments)

1. ok, so it needs a bit of rework to multithread its process-starting system. I that significantly more difficult that rewriting the entire loader?

2. So it needs an extension to monitor services. Technically, I think this is better handled by a different task, one that is more into monitoring rather than blindly just continually-restarting a service that's crashed due to some external dependancy failure. Again, its not much of a task to add this than it is to rewrite the entire loader.

3. Individual services should be the ones to care about their configuration. Why would the loader be the one-stop place for all kinds of stuff that should be part of the OS or part of a processes dependancy tree. This is probably the worst bit, making systemd significantly more monolithic than before.

about a week ago
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Choose Your Side On the Linux Divide

gbjbaanb Re:My opinion on the matter. (810 comments)

Is that the only problem with it? If so, its pretty easy to modify it to have the capability.

I think the problem is more a case of not restarting crashed services because .. well, they've crashed and will probably crash again once restarted.

about a week ago
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Put A Red Cross PSA In Front Of the ISIS Beheading Video

gbjbaanb Re:I forced myself to watch it (300 comments)

There's a bit of a difference between reporting on something, and having it turned into a good-v-evil, or commentary on America foreign policy, or just how evil the West is. The current ISIS video is a lot more than reporting, the reason they did it in the first place is entirely propaganda on their part,

about a week ago
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Munich Council Say Talk of LiMux Demise Is Greatly Exaggerated

gbjbaanb Re: LibreOffice (190 comments)

Hell, at the moment installing the Russian font (well, the rouble symbol) can bluescreen your computer! I'd rather send a word document with bullet points of my junk to employers, I can blame it on Word screwing the formatting and everyone will believe me (snigger)

about a week ago
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If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

gbjbaanb Re:From a users perspetive (508 comments)

oh shit. that means all those devices are stuffed full of unpatched vulnerabilities.

I think you're believing the Oracle hype they sell you in the installer. Most devices are written in C.

about a week ago
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If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

gbjbaanb Re:What's the point? (508 comments)

which is, ironically, exactly how Java got to be so popular in the first place.

about a week ago
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For Microsoft, $93B Abroad Means Avoiding $30B Tax Hit

gbjbaanb Re:Okay... and? (316 comments)

Hey! Can I myself also claim that I paid my share through the taxes paid by the companies who made a profit with my money?

But they don't pay taxes, remember, the argument is that taxes are paid by you because of the money you earn thanks to the companies just being there.

So I rather think that its more like that if I've already paid Microsoft's taxes via my salary then I can consider it perfectly ok to take as much of Microsoft products for free.

about a week ago
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For Microsoft, $93B Abroad Means Avoiding $30B Tax Hit

gbjbaanb Re:tax by transaction (316 comments)

including every transaction made on the stock markets which counts in the hundreds of millions if not billions a day

sure about that? The LSE says about 500,000 transaction per day (about £3bn per day but the proposal was per transaction)

Visa says about 200 million txns per day., with Mastercard (100m) and Amex (14m) you're still way off "trillions".

so overall, I make that less than 400 million - $4m in tax revenue per day, still quite a bit short.

(other stat I found said 26.2 billion credit card transactions per year in the US alone.)

about a week ago
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For Microsoft, $93B Abroad Means Avoiding $30B Tax Hit

gbjbaanb Re:Okay... and? (316 comments)

because they don't pay tax on it there either.

about two weeks ago
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Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

gbjbaanb Re:Here's the interesting paragraph (375 comments)

We do have precedent - Czechoslovakia is now 2 countries, as is Sudan and Yugoslavia.

I just hope Scottish independance goes better than the latter two.

Scotland may have some issue if they decide to get out of the nuclear game, mainly because of the number of jobs that will be lost when the base (and supporting businesses) gets closed.

At that point, Britain will almost certainly move the base to somewhere else in the UK, probably somewhere with lots of unemployed, ex-heavy industrial workers. As a result, they do have very good political value.

There is talk of just scrapping it completely, and relying on nuclear cruise missiles and bombers instead. I'm not sure how practical this is, but given the relatively stable state of nuclear politics (ie who would we potentially nuke today with our deterrent?) it doesn't seem so bad an option. The money could be funneled into traditional forces that end up being heavily used for peace keeping and humanitarian purposes.

about two weeks ago
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Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

gbjbaanb Re:Here's the interesting paragraph (375 comments)

Salmond thinks exactly one thing would change on independence - he'd become king.

I think this is the reason he has zero alternative plans, he's too busy running this wet dream over in his head.

Spain for one will stop Scotland joining the EU, they don't want to give the Basque and Catalan regions any ideas.

about two weeks ago
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Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

gbjbaanb Re:Why focus on the desktop? (727 comments)

Its true, and the reason that happens is (partly) because those devices are pretty fixed hardware, hence pretty fixed device driver requirements.

When you go to most desktops you have to support a lot of different bits of kit, which Linux does support, but the lack of a stable kernel interface for drivers makes vendor support difficult (to them), and as a result, you get sub-standard drivers for a lot of devices

the PC became popular because you could mix and match whatever you wanted to put in there, upgrades for everything. Until you can go to the shops and buy a new graphics card and install the driver that came with it (because the vendor refuses to open source their driver) then Linux will never be fully ready for the desktop.

about two weeks ago
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Interviews: Bjarne Stroustrup Answers Your Questions

gbjbaanb ABI (102 comments)

Well, I'm slightly disappointed he side-stepped the issue of an ABI as I think its probably the most unglamourous but most essential aspects of a platform. Its not a cool language feature, but for big software comprising lots of modules, it would make life much easier and I think C++ adoption more popular.

I work with C# as well, which has such a thing as an ABI, and using libraries is a real doddle - just drop the assembly dll in the bin directory, add a reference to it with a corresponding #import in the source files you want to use it... and you're done. C++ lacks this, though I would be fine having to include a header file too, its the ubiquity of dynamically loaded modules that could be written in any language (or more likely, they calling into my c++ library).

When you have several hundred modules in your program, you realise how nice it would be.

The issue of vendors is a non-issue I think. I recall building a program using Sun's compiler, then we upgraded and nothing would link - because Sun had changed their ABI between versions. I think Microsoft doesn't change it, but only because its stable, not for any other reason. Standardising wouldn't be much of an issue anyway - they'd probably have a flag that said "generate old or new" exports and leave it up to the user if they wanted the old, compatible ones (doubt it, most people recompile everything every time anyway due to the lack of an ABI!).

Meanwhile Microsoft comes up with their own versions (first COM, now WinRT) and they're inferior, being based on a funny sort of C for the first, and a funny sort of C# for the latter, leaving C++ binaries only practically accessible to other C++ programs.

about two weeks ago
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Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

gbjbaanb Re:Surprise? (579 comments)

except it hasn't gone that way.. however the junkets and freebies.. that's true.

From an ArsTechnica comment its just some remark by the Mayor who has been involved in Microsoft's decision to move its HQ to Munich.

about two weeks ago
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Is Storage Necessary For Renewable Energy?

gbjbaanb Re:"Dance" = rolling blackouts (442 comments)

Only to a point, if all you have is solar for example, then any demand after sunset isn't going to help, no matter how much you attempt to manipulate demand.

As it is, solar helps with businesses during the day, though you still have to manage the difference between peak output and cloudy days, plus wind that might work best on the coast at around sunset and sunrise. We do need more renewable energy sources that are always-on, wave for example (the moon disappears or we stop rotating, we've got bigger problems). The trouble is that it is way more expensive than wind or solar which is probably why its not been implemented in any large scale system.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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So black you can't see it.

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  about a month and a half ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "A British company is developing a new material that’s so black it absorbs all but 0.035 percent of the visual light, making it the darkest material ever created.

Of course, apart from making album covers, it conducts heat 7 times better than copper and is 10 times stronger than steel.

the pictures are the best, it looks like its sitting on some foil, but its grown on the foil which is all crinkled and bent — only people who have seen it say that it looks smooth because so little light is being reflected."

Link to Original Source
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AMD's new gfx API Mantle offers 40% framerate improvement over OpenGL and Dx

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  about 7 months ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "AMD has a new low-level graphics API to take on OpenGL and DirectX. It works by reducing the amount of overhead involved in most graphics operations and getting closer to the metal which results in some substantial frame rate improvements, especially on CPU bound systems.

AMD have been talking about the possibility to hand over control to Khronos Group in the future and that they have a SDK scheduled later this year which will make it possible for Intel and Nvidia to start working on support for Mantel if they want to."

Link to Original Source
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Fight ash dieback disease.. on facebook

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  1 year,20 days

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "Remember folding@home and similar massively distributed programs that tried to get enough computing power to help fightr diseases, the latest one is a little different. In the UK, Ash Dieback disease is has been imported from the continent and is killing all the native ash trees, so researchers have created a crowd-sourced game to match genetic sequences of resistant trees.

Computer systems to match thousands of sequences are difficult to do, but humans are very good at pattern matching, which is why the game was created.

And released on Facebook to reach a wide community, who can play an entertaining puzzle game without having to pay for a single f*** sheep (or leaf). About time."

Link to Original Source
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Interplanetary Internet tested on the ISS

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  about 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "At last — we have a new Internet protocol (eat your heart out IPv6) — called DTN (for disruption tolerant networking).

This "interplanetary internet" has been used by an astronaut at the International Space Station (ISS) to send commands to a robot on Earth and will be used primarily for communication with distant nodes."

Link to Original Source
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Windows 7 finally overtakes XP

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  about 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "Microsoft Windows 7 has finally overtaken the 11-year-old Windows XP operating system on web-based market share figures from Netmarketshare

So what does this mean for Windows 8? Another 5 years before it has as many installations as Windows 7, does that mean that writing Metrp-only apps on a OS that doesn't have critical mass will be as successful as Silverlight?"

Link to Original Source
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Nokia sells Qt to Digia

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  about 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "Finnish software company Digia announced today that it is acquiring the Qt software business from Nokia. Digia plans to pick up where Nokia left off, continuing Qt development but renewing the toolkit’s focus on cross-platform support."
Link to Original Source
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Apple assisting the trade in stolen iPhones

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "Need a new iDevice? Simple — first steal one, then 'accidentally' break it and take it to your nearest Apple store and present it for warranty repair, and an Apple 'genius' will hand you a brand new one, no questions asked.

So Apple could help make stolen iPhones useless to the thief by locking them, or they could be encouraging thieves who know they'll get a brand new one to sell on. More worryingly, this will invalidate your insurance:

Charlie Durrant was a victim of iPhone theft. After her handset was stolen last year she reported the theft to Apple and her insurer. However, when she requested a replacement phone, her insurer told her that one had already been issued in her name. The thief had taken advantage of Apple's lack of checks. ... "someone had just gone in and got a brand new one, making my insurance invalid.""

Link to Original Source
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European eID announced

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "On Wednesday, the European Commission published a strategy document aimed at setting up systems to protect children online. In the document — but not in the accompanying press release nor the citizens' summary — the Commission mentioned that it will soon propose a "pan-European framework for electronic authentication", full details will be announced on 30th May.

The launch of the strategy follows a push to strengthen internet security in the EU. It also outlined legal measures to make it easier for people to use a single e-ID for online services across borders, which would underpin a move toward a pan-European framework for electronic identification, authentication and signature (Pefias) framework."

Link to Original Source
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Amazon accused of bullying small firms, and inflat

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "Online shopping giant Amazon has been accused of artificially inflating prices by banning firms that trade on its website from selling goods more cheaply elsewhere on the internet.

Amazon has ordered them to ‘maintain parity between the terms on which you offer or sell each item through Amazon’ and the amount they charge for the same product on other sites."

Link to Original Source
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Nokia sells 12 phones per second

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "no, don't worry Windows Phone hasn't taken over the world... this is the S40 "burning platform" success story.

What surprised me: To make S40 phones attractive to them, the software — and the hardware it runs on — now supports a wide range of apps, from the wildly popular Angry Birds game to instant messaging and apps to connect with social networks. Ms McDowell says that "a lot of work is being done to get such marquee apps" on to the S40 platform, to boost its attractiveness.

So why run a smartphone when a 'dumb' phone can do everything you want, including 3.7 million app downloads per day.

Last year, this low-margin business contributed about half of Nokia's profits."

Link to Original Source
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Spanish bank BBVA to use Google's cloud

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "Spanish banking giant BBVA is switching its 110,000 staff to use Google's range of enterprise software.

The bank told the BBC it would use Google's tools only for internal communication, but the deal can be seen as a breakthrough in corporate adoption.

The customer and bank data will still be held on internal systems, but all communication will be via Google services, mainly driven by a need to serve the bank's increasingly mobile workers."

Link to Original Source
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Winner of Microsoft Excel World Championship

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  about 3 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "The world of competitive computing has another winner to add the the honour-rolls. This time its UK student Rebecca Rickwood who has beatuen 78 other finalists to be crowned best user of Microsoft's spreadsheet software, Excel 2007.

Sincere congratulations to Miss Rickwood, but please — find out about boys soon."

Link to Original Source
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the Longhorn dream reborn

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 3 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "Early this month, Microsoft dropped something of a bombshell on Windows developers: the new Windows 8 touch-friendly immersive style would use a developer platform not based on .NET. Cue howls of outrage from .NET developers everywhere, but here Ars Technica descibes what's more likely to have been going on and why Microsoft is finally getting its act together for developers."
Link to Original Source
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New runtime for native Android apps on Windows

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 3 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "A startup called BlueStacks has developed an Android runtime environment for the Windows operating system.

BlueStacks has overcome the performance barrier by building a native x86 Android runtime that doesn't have to rely on emulation. The company says that Android applications running on its stack will be highly responsive on Windows and won't suffer from the kind of lag that developers are accustomed to experiencing when using Google's emulator.

No product is availablefor download to the great unwashed, but partner Citrix showed a demo of the system at Citrix Synergy conference. An alpha of the runtime will be available for download in July."

Link to Original Source
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Skylon spaceplane passes key review

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 3 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "A revolutionary UK spaceplane concept has been boosted by the conclusions of an important technical review.

Skylon is a design for a workign spaceplane that uses revolutionalry engines that work as normal jets near the ground and switch to rocket propulsion in the upper atmosphere. The concept means the plane will not have to carry as much fuel and so will not need disposable stages.

Its estimated the cost of delivering payloads to orbit will drop from $15000 per kilo to $1000 making this the best prospect for commercialisation of orbit."

Link to Original Source
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Web standard gets EU funding

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 3 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "The BBC is reporting news of project Webinos, an initiative to provide a common platform for web applications that would sidestep current operating systems and allow devs to create web-based apps that would run anywhere — PCs, TVs, cars, mobiles.

The project aims to sidestep operating systems and proprietary app stores by providing a web-based approach.

The idea would enable a given app to work, for example, on a web-ready television, in a car and on a mobile, no matter the makers of the devices... Companies can afford to have an app on two or at most three platforms — they're extremely costly to develop and ensure the user experience..


Makes sense for all, except companies that thrive on having their own, proprietary systems to 'differentiate' themselves from the other proprietary systems."

Link to Original Source
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ISP's top data hog gobbles 2.7TB of data in a mont

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  about 4 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "In a rare turn of events, a Belgian ISP has released figure for its "super users" by bandwidth usage not to demonise them, but to show how good their network and plans are! 1 User downloaded more than 2TB, 7 others hit the 1TB mark.

Its only a matter of time before there's a competition for who can clog this network up with the most traffic :)"

Link to Original Source
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Want HiDef DrWho? Now its DRM only

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 4 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "The BBC has been granted provisional approval to introduce copy protection for Freeview HD after they resubmitted an amended plan.

Quote:
"In view of the fuller submission provided by the BBC, Ofcom is currently minded to approve its request for a multiplex licence amendment subject to consultation responses, on the basis that in principle, content management is a justified objective which ensures that the broadest range of HD content is made available to citizens and consumers," said Ofcom's statement.
However, its not too late yet — you can submit your comment and tell them you'd like to be able to record broadcast HD TV.

I'm sure the 'content providers' will continue to sell content to the BBC, ITV etc if this is not implemented. They'll still take our licence fee money (or advertising) and sell us the content, but refuse to let us record or copy it, hoping we'll go out and buy the DVD/BluRays as well."

Link to Original Source
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An x86 smartphone? - here comes the LG GW990

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 4 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "I love stories about new smartphones, it shows the IT market is doing something different than the usual same-old desktop apps, maybe one day we'll all be using super smartphones as our primary computing platforms.

And so, here's Intel's offering: the LG GW990. Running a Moorestown CPU, which gives 'considerably' better energy efficiency than the Atom, it runs Intel's Linux distro — Moblin.

"In some respects, the GW990 — "which has an impressive high-resolution 4.8-inch touchscreen display — "seems more like a MID than a smartphone. It's possible that we won't see x86 phones with truly competitive all-day battery life until the emergence of Medfield, the Moorestown successor that is said to be coming in 2011. It is clear, however, that Intel aims to eventually compete squarely with ARM in the high-end smartphone market.""

Link to Original Source

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