Android vs iOS updates, the great debate!

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Draconian Guppy    12,427

@dragontology

So inspired by this comment, in spoilers as it's long, but it's worth a read: (This from https://www.neowin.net/news/apple-ceo-tim-cook-says-iphone-x-at-999-is-a-value-price  I have no idea how to link comments from front page article.)

Spoiler

 won't be getting one. The iPhone X (and iPhone 8, for that matter) is a great phone for someone looking to get their first iPhone, or their next one, if they need a new phone. For someone who has a working iPhone, like I do, it's exciting to see where Apple is going, but I don't need to replace my 6s. It still works just as good as it did the day I powered it on.

Anyway, the age old Android vs iPhone debate doesn't hinge on the $999 iPhone. Hell, the Note 8 is going to be $969 and the Pixel 2 XL is reported to be $950. The difference is chump change, when you factor in Apple Care or an SD card, a case, a tempered glass screen protector, and all the other fun stuff. Not to mention app purchases if you're changing platforms.

No, the crux of the Android vs iPhone debate is in the iPhone 5s. This phone was released in 2013, and it got iOS 11 yesterday. The iPhone 5s is going to continue to get updates through next summer. The last iOS 11 update is expected to be its last update, though we won't know until iOS 12 is officially announced. So this iPhone 5s... let's talk about it for a second. First 64-bit iPhone, first iPhone with Touch ID. Second widescreen iPhone after the 5, also second 4" iPhone. Also the first iPhone carried by US Cellular. Anecdotally, the first iPhone I considered. Now let's talk about the Android phones that came out that same year. The Samsung Galaxy S4. The LG G2. The first Motorola Moto X. The HTC One M7. Are any of those phones getting Android 8.0 Oreo, Google's 2017 OS? I can easily answer that question. No, they are not. Now let's look at their successors, that came out the following year. The Samsung Galaxy S5. The LG G3. The Moto X2. The HTC One M8. Are any of THEM getting Oreo? Again, easy answer. No, they are not. Let's go another year forward, shall we? Galaxy S6. LG G4. Moto X Play. HTC One M9. How many of those phones are getting Oreo? I'm actually less sure here. Honestly I don't think any of them are. Some of them got Nougat. Now we go back to that first set of phones. iPhone 5s, Galaxy S4, LG G2, Moto X. Flagship smartphones in the US, Class of 2013. Which one got an update this year? Only the iPhone.

Apple generally makes good stuff. Yeah, I remember antennagate and "you're holding it wrong." I also remember LG and HTC bootloop issues, and HTC spreading money around to keep blogs silent about it. Talking about HTC's bootloops was off limits, but they did it, and so did LG. All phones have had issues. You can't blame them all. Hell, you can't even blame all the Note 7s for catching fire, but Samsung did and handled that recall pretty well. So never mind the fact that Android phones, by design, more or less crap out after a year, year and a half. Nobody cares if YOURS doesn't, because enough do. The exceptions don't matter too much, not to the smart guy who's looking at the numbers. So enough about anecdotes and exceptions. Assume all the phones are basically good as long as they're supported. If you get an iPhone X 64GB for $1000 (let's round up for brevity's sake), you're getting at least five years of support. That's $200 a year. Google offers 2 years of software updates and 3 years of security updates, but they run concurrently. So you're getting 2 years of OS updates and security updates, then you're getting 1 year of no OS updates, but you're getting some of the monthly Android patches. Now take the cost of a Google Pixel and divide it by 3. That's its yearly value. Take the cost of a Samsung phone and divide it by 2. Ditto LG and HTC. They rarely stray from the magic 2 years. Moto's been bad, and recently capped some of its devices to 15 months. We'll be generous and say divide the cost of a Moto by 1.5 (should be like 1.3, but brevity again). Take any flagship, and you can't get 'em under $200.

Let's talk about phones that offer a better value than the iPhone X. They exist. They're called Moto E4. The Moto E4 is a $100 phone you can get on Amazon.com, and it comes with lock screen ads (by Amazon). The phone will probably last nine months to a year, maybe a little more if you take care of it. It is, by far, the best value in smartphones, and it runs Android. Then there's the Moto G5. This baby's about $230, and you'll probably get a little more mileage out of it. I probably sound like a huge Apple guy right now. You might not know, but I used to be one of the biggest iPhone haters out there. But I also refuse to compromise on tech. I use Verizon because it's the biggest cell network here. I use an iPhone 6s because, in April 2016 when I needed a new phone, it was the best choice. My first iPhone, and I hated myself for it, but I went with the pragmatic choice. Hell, it burned in my throat saying "128GB iPhone 6s, Space Grey" in Verizon. I nearly choked on those words. I stared at the thing on the way home, at stop lights, cursing it and myself. I felt like I betrayed my HTC One M8, even though it corrupted every couple weeks and needed a full RUU flash (factory reset). When it worked, it was great. And Android was what I knew. Anyway, I grew to appreciate the iPhone. It's... not bad. It works. It hasn't screwed up yet. And 17 months later, it works just as good as it did day one. If I bought a phone today, if my iPhone 6s [crapped] the bed, I'd more than likely grab a Moto E4 straight away. I don't like the smartphone class of 2017. LG, Samsung, and Apple all went with these new displays, and I think the 2018 generation will be better in every way. Google is using HTC and LG for the Pixels this year, and I'd like to avoid them. The iPhone 8 is probably the best choice this year, but I'd prefer to wait, and it would be nice to have Android again. If I was feeling spendy, I might go G5. If I could hold out until June 2019, I could probably get a 2018 iPhone in a dads/grads sale at Verizon, and save some money.

In short, yes, $1000 is a good value for an iPhone — if you keep it for five years. If not... well, then it's no different from Android phones that cost the same. And lest we forget that these are personal computers we're talking about. We used to pay how much for a computer? And now they go in our pocket? Obscene.

 

 

 

So to that comment I would like to add:

 

actually have to disagree a bit. I too am an avid "omg apple supports IOS further than google android", while this is true to some extent, it is also true for android, while I hate android fragmentation and to further enrich this discussion, I did some research and I think we can have a friendly discussion!

Comparing iOS updates to android updates is -I consider-, no longer a valid comparison in the sense that:
1. As of kitkat, android is more "modular" than ios: all major components get updated to the latest version: as an example:
this crappy phone from 2013, with lousy specs http://www.gsmarena.com/blu_dash_5_0-5661.php , a sub $100 phone,  just got updated to the latest playstore version, while not a good technical explanation, as I am in no way an expert, this update now has app scanning and protection from malware ( i know, a android problem, but still).   on iOS, no OS update, no appstore update

 So the same applies with other play "services"  Google Play Books, Google Play Games, Google Play Movies & TV, Google Play Music, and Google Play Newsstand. 

Eg. all these "apps" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Google_apps_for_Android   get updated regardless of a major OS overhaul, whereas in iOS they are baked in and get updated only with OS updates, say from 11.0  to 11.1

And some sauce for my ignorant bum:
https://developers.google.com/android/guides/overview
"The Google Play services APK is delivered through the Google Play Store, so updates to the services are not dependent on carrier or OEM system image updates. In general, devices running Android 2.3 (API level 9) or later and have the Google Play services app installed receive updates within a few days. This allows you to use the newest APIs in Google Play services and reach most of the devices in the Android ecosystem. Devices older than Android 2.3 or devices without the Google Play services app are not supported."
Android 2.3 was released in December 6 2010, 
So what does this mean, if google play books gets a revision with new features, any device, from 2010 (granted spec wise it's ok...) it will get those features! (Yes, I also know some features are hardware limited, same goes for iOS though). 
Now, compare this to say iBooks app, which since iOS 8, is an integrated app, what does this mean, no OS update, no iBooks update!
2.  On a hardware level,  this graphic, while from 2015, is still relevant:

 

Spoiler

HTC-Anatomy-of-an-Android.jpg



There are a total of 12 steps (which are probably more) including carrier and 9 steps for google devices. Comparing this to iOS is my wildguess 5 steps at most?   

3. Some OEM add their bloat, I mean skins via their own app store, which is crazy! (LG and Samsung being the most guilty here), so then how is this comparable to iOS app store? Like some oreo "features" were already present, because of OEM bloat, I mean skin, say on kitkat, like window within window or floating window.
  But what I mean to say is, because some "features" are already added and in some cases updated by OEMs, are OS updates really that necessary if the feature is already present? ( Obviously low level implementation is preffered)

 

4. Then i'm willing to bet some OEMs have priority over others as to how fast they get their quircks worked out with android?

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+warwagon    9,683

I do respect iOS and Apple iPad and iPhones as they are kept current for years.

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Draconian Guppy    12,427
1 minute ago, warwagon said:

I do respect iOS and Apple iPad and iPhones as they are kept current for years.

"The Google Play services APK is delivered through the Google Play Store, so updates to the services are not dependent on carrier or OEM system image updates. In general, devices running Android 2.3 (API level 9) or later and have the Google Play services app installed receive updates within a few days. This allows you to use the newest APIs in Google Play services and reach most of the devices in the Android ecosystem. Devices older than Android 2.3 or devices without the Google Play services app are not supported."
Android 2.3 was released in December 6 2010, 

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+warwagon    9,683
3 minutes ago, Draconian Guppy said:

"The Google Play services APK is delivered through the Google Play Store, so updates to the services are not dependent on carrier or OEM system image updates. In general, devices running Android 2.3 (API level 9) or later and have the Google Play services app installed receive updates within a few days. This allows you to use the newest APIs in Google Play services and reach most of the devices in the Android ecosystem. Devices older than Android 2.3 or devices without the Google Play services app are not supported."
Android 2.3 was released in December 6 2010, 

Referring to the monthly security updates. Looked at someones LG Treasure smartphone and had a December 2015 Patch Level with no updates available.

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Draconian Guppy    12,427
1 minute ago, warwagon said:

Referring to the monthly security updates. Looked at someones LG Treasure smartphone and had a December 2015 Patch Level.

Agreed, BUT if that phone has the latest play store, guess what, THAT play store has : http://www.androidauthority.com/google-play-protect-rolling-out-788614/

 

Which is basically what i'm talking about! 

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adrynalyne    7,896
7 minutes ago, warwagon said:

Referring to the monthly security updates. Looked at someones LG Treasure smartphone and had a December 2015 Patch Level with no updates available.

So basically it never received a single update since release, considering it came out in 2016.

Though I am unsure why anyone would be surprised with a sub 100 dollar phone.

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+warwagon    9,683
5 minutes ago, Draconian Guppy said:

Agreed, BUT if that phone has the latest play store, guess what, THAT play store has : http://www.androidauthority.com/google-play-protect-rolling-out-788614/

 

Which is basically what i'm talking about! 

Would play protect update her phone to secure it against BlueBorne 

1 minute ago, adrynalyne said:

So basically it never received a single update since release, considering it came out in 2016.

Though I am unsure why anyone would be surprised with a sub 100 dollar phone.

Or it shipped with old updates seeing how it came out in 2016.

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adrynalyne    7,896
1 minute ago, warwagon said:

Would play protect update her phone to secure it against BlueBorne 

Or it shipped with old updates seeing how it came out in 2016.

I didn't mean to imply it shipped with the latest anything in 2016.

Its a throw-away prepaid phone.

 

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+warwagon    9,683
Just now, adrynalyne said:

I didn't mean to imply it shipped with the latest anything in 2016.

Its a throw-away prepaid phone.

 

It's funny, the person who had that phone bitched about how slow the phone was, after leaving an iPhone 5 and going with this piece of crap :D

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Nick H.    7,970
14 minutes ago, warwagon said:

I do respect iOS and Apple iPad and iPhones as they are kept current for years.

I agree, I've got a fair amount of respect for Apple in this regard. I know Google say that it is out of their hands as it is the service provider that pushes updates to Android, but that really shouldn't have been the case to begin with.

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adrynalyne    7,896
2 minutes ago, warwagon said:

It's funny, the person who had that phone bitched about how slow the phone was, after leaving an iPhone 5 and going with this piece of crap :D

Wow.

2 minutes ago, Nick H. said:

I agree, I've got a fair amount of respect for Apple in this regard. I know Google say that it is out of their hands as it is the service provider that pushes updates to Android, but that really shouldn't have been the case to begin with.

What you are seeing is a big flaw of OSS.

 

Apple has full control, Google does not.

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Draconian Guppy    12,427
9 minutes ago, warwagon said:

Would play protect update her phone to secure it against BlueBorne 

Or it shipped with old updates seeing how it came out in 2016.

No, not really, but that is the point of the "modular" part of android, eg. security patches on one side, OS "niceties" in another.

Also does the average Joe even care about blueborne or that his device has a certain "feature" available to him?

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+Zag L.    304
3 minutes ago, Draconian Guppy said:

Agreed, BUT if that phone has the latest play store, guess what, THAT play store has : http://www.androidauthority.com/google-play-protect-rolling-out-788614/

 

Which is basically what i'm talking about! 

But that's not really the same as the security updates.  The security updates impact exploits that are not things that Play Protect are necessarily going to catch.  You are correct that Play Protect is a good step in helping to mitigate the security update issues however. Things like Stage Fright are not something Play Protect can do anything about.  The real core issue is that Apple only has one set of hardware to update and does it outside the carrier. Android has hundreds of hardware permutations that are then subjected to carrier code on top of android. Android will always lose here. A good first step is the carriers get out of the way and allow the device manufacturers to directly update the hardware. That solves some of the problems. The second one is harder. 

 

Since Apple only has a handful of device models to update they can more easily code the next OS to be compliant on a given set of them. iOS12 for instance may no longer run on an iPhone 5s due to the hardware not supporting some new code. Samsung however has nearly 90 devices going back before Gingerbread that are still in use. Android hardware is a scattered mess even for a single manufacturer.  For Samsung (the largest Android handset manufacturer) to modify/test for all those platforms - or even 20% of them is an enormous effort. Now, the fix would be Samsung starts only making 2 or three devices and that's all there are but that will grossly cut off their market share in developing nations.   

 

Android fragmentation and security are never going away. I still willingly go 100% Android for my phones because I just do not support Apples core business strategy of creating a false demand for something I really do not need. Its a brilliant strategy, don't get me wrong and they do make wonderful, secure, beautiful things. I just don't need any of them to fulfill some missing part of my life.  I except the security failings of Android and to that end, ensure that my usage is in line with those expectations (I carry almost zero personal data on my phone). 

  

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Draconian Guppy    12,427
15 minutes ago, Zag L. said:

But that's not really the same as the security updates.  The security updates impact exploits that are not things that Play Protect are necessarily going to catch.  You are correct that Play Protect is a good step in helping to mitigate the security update issues however. Things like Stage Fright are not something Play Protect can do anything about.  The real core issue is that Apple only has one set of hardware to update and does it outside the carrier. Android has hundreds of hardware permutations that are then subjected to carrier code on top of android. Android will always lose here. A good first step is the carriers get out of the way and allow the device manufacturers to directly update the hardware. That solves some of the problems. The second one is harder. 

 

Since Apple only has a handful of device models to update they can more easily code the next OS to be compliant on a given set of them. iOS12 for instance may no longer run on an iPhone 5s due to the hardware not supporting some new code. Samsung however has nearly 90 devices going back before Gingerbread that are still in use. Android hardware is a scattered mess even for a single manufacturer.  For Samsung (the largest Android handset manufacturer) to modify/test for all those platforms - or even 20% of them is an enormous effort. Now, the fix would be Samsung starts only making 2 or three devices and that's all there are but that will grossly cut off their market share in developing nations.   

 

Android fragmentation and security are never going away. I still willingly go 100% Android for my phones because I just do not support Apples core business strategy of creating a false demand for something I really do not need. Its a brilliant strategy, don't get me wrong and they do make wonderful, secure, beautiful things. I just don't need any of them to fulfill some missing part of my life.  I except the security failings of Android and to that end, ensure that my usage is in line with those expectations (I carry almost zero personal data on my phone). 

  

Yeah I agree  play protect is not the greatest example, but the idea behind security patches is failed as warwagon clearly pointed out. But like I said also, ask my mom or girl what stage freight is and all they care about is if the pdf they download will open without having to download another app.

 

I'm not saying security is not important, rather, user priorities in regards to what needs to be updated? And yes I know apple does away with this by simply updating all of their devices, hence my point, are these things really comparable in the sense of android vs ios update path?

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+warwagon    9,683
25 minutes ago, Draconian Guppy said:

I'm not saying security is not important, rather, user priorities in regards to what needs to be updated? And yes I know apple does away with this by simply updating all of their devices, hence my point, are these things really comparable in the sense of android vs ios update path?

1

Your mom and girl not knowing what stagefright is isn't an excuse for it not being fixed. Why don't you explain it to them and see if they care?  Tell your mom ..

 

"Hey mom how would you feel, if your phone could be charging next to your bed, which gets a text message in the middle of the night while you are sleeping, which is automatically previewed on your phone. A virus is then installed on your phone from that text message and then the virus deletes the original text message. You wake up, never knowing your phone now has a virus on it. What do you think about that mom?

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Draconian Guppy    12,427
4 minutes ago, warwagon said:

Your mom and girl not knowing what stagefright is isn't an excuse for it not being fixed. Why don't you explain it to them and see if they care?  Tell your mom ..

 

"Hey mom how would you feel, if your phone could be charging next to your bed, which gets a text message in the middle of the night while you are sleeping, which is automatically previewed on your phone. A virus is then installed on your phone from that text message and then the virus deletes the original text message. You wake up, never knowing your phone now has a virus on it. What do you think about that mom?

Oh I  completely agree, i'm just pointing out why it's not fixed, because OEMs know people don't care.

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+Mando    3,356
1 hour ago, adrynalyne said:

Wow.

What you are seeing is a big flaw of OSS.

 

Apple has full control, Google does not.

Which is why, to the layman and professionals in the industry, where Apple have google licked. rightly or wrongly.

 

and this is coming from a major Android fan. 

 

My LG G3 got MM upgrade to 6 then a security patch in august last year for it, hasnt got a sniff of anything since. Now its a 3 yr old flagship i doubt it will see anyhting else.

 

Thats where "android" falls over, bigger android becomes, the more fragmented its userbase is. thanks to carriers and vendors not supplying the patches.

 

The new play protect is a marketing ploy, it scans your apps from the playstore....errr it wouldnt be needed if Google kept tighter controls on submissions to begin with. android as we know it, is a victim of its own success.

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+Mando    3,356
1 hour ago, warwagon said:

Referring to the monthly security updates. Looked at someones LG Treasure smartphone and had a December 2015 Patch Level with no updates available.

or our G3 as an example ,mate ;) 

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+warwagon    9,683
4 minutes ago, Mando said:

or our G3 as an example ,mate ;) 

Correct, My mom, dad, Girlfriends G3, show a patch level of March 2017. Since then I've upgraded to an S7 to hopefully get more frequent security updates. I think at a minimum they will be 1 month behind.  Heck they are are still pushing out a security update for the Note 4.

 

 

Also 

Verizon updates the 3-year old Galaxy Note 4 with the Blueborne security patch

http://www.androidpolice.com/2017/09/20/verizon-updates-3-year-old-galaxy-note-4-blueborne-security-patch/

 

When doing my research was torn between LG G20 and the S7. But wasn't impressed by the LG updates.

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oldtimefighter    2,502

What's the debate? I have no interest in the Apple platform so updates to it are irrelevant.

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+Mando    3,356
15 minutes ago, warwagon said:

Correct, My mom, dad, Girlfriends G3, show a patch level of March 2017. Since then I've upgraded to an S7 to hopefully get more frequent security updates. I think at a minimum they will be 1 month behind.  Heck they are are still pushing out a security update for the Note 4.

 

 

Also 

Verizon updates the 3-year old Galaxy Note 4 with the Blueborne security patch

http://www.androidpolice.com/2017/09/20/verizon-updates-3-year-old-galaxy-note-4-blueborne-security-patch/

 

When doing my research was torn between LG G20 and the S7. But wasn't impressed by the LG updates.

you have left G3dom for Samsung :o Kept that quiet!! and their G3s are showing March 2017 patch level...ffs mines august 2106 sec patch, G3 international edition unlocked on EE

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+warwagon    9,683
2 minutes ago, Mando said:

you have left G3dom for Samsung :o Kept that quiet!! and their G3s are showing March 2017 patch level...ffs mines august 2106 sec patch, G3 international edition unlocked on EE

Not as bad as the V20 unlocked. It was Horrid as far as updates, which is embarrassing because the unlocked version had no carriers to answer to. They can push updates straight to the phone.

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+Mando    3,356
2 minutes ago, warwagon said:

Not as bad as the V20 unlocked. It was Horrid as far as updates, which is embarrassing because the unlocked version had no carriers to answer to. They can push updates straight to the phone.

yep same with my G3, i blame LG 

 

tbh mobile comms and "smartphones" bore me rigid these days. i never use 4g data, i have oooh 3 apps installed from playstore and rarely attach it to wifi at home. its a device to make and receive calls & SMS. everything else id rather do on my laptop or desktop. 

 

same with work Iphone 6S its there to take calls, receive email and use Skype for B when on the move.

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Draconian Guppy    12,427
2 hours ago, adrynalyne said:

Wow.

What you are seeing is a big flaw of OSS.

 

Apple has full control, Google does not.

Which is exactly my point to this discussion

1 hour ago, Mando said:

Which is why, to the layman and professionals in the industry, where Apple have google licked. rightly or wrongly.

 

and this is coming from a major Android fan. 

 

My LG G3 got MM upgrade to 6 then a security patch in august last year for it, hasnt got a sniff of anything since. Now its a 3 yr old flagship i doubt it will see anyhting else.

 

Thats where "android" falls over, bigger android becomes, the more fragmented its userbase is. thanks to carriers and vendors not supplying the patches.

 

The new play protect is a marketing ploy, it scans your apps from the playstore....errr it wouldnt be needed if Google kept tighter controls on submissions to begin with. android as we know it, is a victim of its own success.

Google play store is one  example on how google services ARE updated regardles of OS update

1 hour ago, oldtimefighter said:

What's the debate? I have no interest in the Apple platform so updates to it are irrelevant.

a simple comparison on why android update time and apple update time aren't comparable and how they differ from each other in the way that cool updates its core services without having to update whole OS

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oldtimefighter    2,502
24 minutes ago, Draconian Guppy said:

a simple comparison on why android update time and apple update time aren't comparable and how they differ from each other in the way that cool updates its core services without having to update whole OS

I understand that but that but my previous comment is a simpler response. I don't care about one's iPhone has a better SoC or gets updates for 5 years because the platform itself (iOS) is not acceptable to me.

Edited by oldtimefighter
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