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[#] Fri Nov 20 2020 14:57:28 EST from ParanoidDelusions

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Fri Nov 20 2020 13:47:05 EST from Nurb432 @ Uncensored

Found it. Interesting. At $199 - I wish someone would make a device like this ready to plug a MiSTer FPGA inside. 

 



[#] Fri Nov 20 2020 16:55:29 EST from ParanoidDelusions

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Fri Oct 23 2020 18:02:54 EDT from Ragnar Danneskjold @ Uncensored
It wouldn't surprise me, although I can't imagine why you'd really want to.
They can't even get app developers to optimize for the large screen iPad Pro......

So, the ARM Apple machines are out. Are they able to run iOS apps on day 1, or not? 



[#] Sat Nov 21 2020 14:11:17 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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Actually I'd buy and use a PinePhone with AOSP, just to have a version of Android I can do what I want with. Can it run AOSP or do you have to run stock Linux?

[#] Sat Nov 21 2020 18:51:16 EST from Nurb432

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I dont think so yet, but there is a 3rd party project to bring AOSP 10 to it ( and other pine products ). "real soon now" i think is its status.

Sat Nov 21 2020 14:11:17 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored
Actually I'd buy and use a PinePhone with AOSP, just to have a version of Android I can do what I want with. Can it run AOSP or do you have to run stock Linux?

 



[#] Sat Nov 21 2020 19:24:00 EST from Nurb432

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[#] Sat Dec 12 2020 16:18:17 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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Wow, it looks like the Pine people are really interested in bringing out a whole line of "open" hardware. Their laptops are decent and not too expensive (a problem System76 has). I'd consider their stuff for my next hardware purchase.

[#] Sun Dec 13 2020 07:57:42 EST from Nurb432

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They have been selling SBCs for a while now. Generally regarded as decent in the community.

The pinebook however, sucks. Don't bother as its too underpowered to be useful. IT was a interesting 'opening act' but you dont want one.

The pinebook pro, however i love mine. But its not perfect:

  • I ended up with first gen as i pre-ordered mine some 7 months in advance, so its an ISO keyboard. Not their fault, but annoying as hell. Now they sell both, too bad the case is different so no easy way to swap it.
  • Track pad - overly sensitive.  They have released patches since i got mine to make it 'better' but still not great. 
  • camera is a write off. Donno if they will ever release a better one to shove in there. But its a laptop, is that really that big of a deal?
  • Research the M.2 if you plan on doing that. Some dont fit well inside the case. Others do.   ( found out the hard way, cost of being bleeding edge.  Ended up pulling it and getting a larger SSD instead of experimenting with other brands .. m.2 isnt cheap )
But, if you dont mind running ARM instead of x86 a RK3399 is more than enough for 'average' desktop use, and is solidly built. I have several RK3399 boards around here, a huge fan. 
Sat Dec 12 2020 16:18:17 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored
Wow, it looks like the Pine people are really interested in bringing out a whole line of "open" hardware. Their laptops are decent and not too expensive (a problem System76 has). I'd consider their stuff for my next hardware purchase.

 



[#] Sun Dec 13 2020 08:21:49 EST from Nurb432

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Make that a "larger eMMC".. was looking at a SSD on my desk i need to stick in a server as i was typing. 



[#] Sun Dec 13 2020 23:40:05 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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And this could be the favor that Apple does for the entire industry, not just their own customers. If they can legitimize ARM for general purpose computing, to the point where Microsoft is forced to follow, the albatross of the x86 ISA will finally be gone and the industry will be awash in cheap hardware.
Initial reports about the M1 is that it's "actually pretty good" and it seems like Apple is about to demonstrate that ARM can be made in both "fast" and "low power" varieties.

Obviously it's great for Linux users, because Linux can thrive on any hardware.

Wouldn't you agree that the CPU world is overdue for a shakeup? Could the *true* RISC revolution finally happen, forty years later than expected?

[#] Mon Dec 14 2020 00:35:14 EST from ParanoidDelusions

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Probably not. I'd be really surprised. 

Intel is too powerful for consumer computing applications. 

Want a conspiratorial story? It is long? No? Ok, Imma tell you anyhow. 

Hold on... this is going to take another whiskey... 

Ok... 

In 2014 I moved to Arizona. Chandler. The welcome sign at the edge of town is Intel Blue and features a circuit board pattern. More than Folsom, California - Chandler, Az. wouldn't exist as it does without Intel. 

I worked at Intel Folsom between 2000 and 2003. I did some serious things for them. I was a part of a "black ops" team that worked outside of Intel P-100 restrictions in a special caged DMZ portion of their corporate datacenter HQ, which is in Folsom. We were *special*. They hired guys that were not the traditional Intel IT profile. Mavericks and renegades - I think you've seen enough of me to understand. They had an aggressive plan, and they wanted people who thought that insane risks were holding back. They had no place for a lot of those loose cannons once they got what they wanted. But they knew to get where they wanted as aggressively as they wanted to get there, they had to break with tradition. 

So... I kind of left (I was also kind of asked to leave. That is another story - and it is interesting, too...) and the dot.com economy collapsed and I lived in Northern California and I ended up taking a bunch of tribal knowledge from Intel BKMs (which are among the best in the world,) and making a lot of smaller companies I didn't ever really fit in very happy, until I went to Ohio and made a tech company there VERY happy. I described myself as "finding an older version of enterprise software dusty on the shelf, and it is a little out of date, but it is cheaper than what you can afford and the OLD version is better than the current version of what your budget will allow." The boss liked that pitch, and I got hired, and a few years later, we sold the company, and my job with it...


Which brings me to Chandler Arizona, struggling to find a house in a surging housing market.

And my friend at Intel Chandler tells me, "Wait. Wait until next Spring. They've put EVERYONE who has been here for 14 years or more on CAP, they're going to do a massive house cleaning, I know for sure, I've heard it from inside. There will be all kinds of houses JUST like you want on the market next spring as everyone who is gone relocates to San Jose, Boston, and other technology triangles." 


This guy told me about the Intel Drones and the Intel NFL instant 360 degree replay years before they ever hit the public. So I trusted him. I know *exactly* how that NFL instant 360 replay technology works. It is *amazing*. 

That spring, among a sudden glut of execute live homes, we were walking through our current home, my wife loved it, my kid loved it, it was $200k under top market value, and I opened the junk drawer in the kitchen and it was full of Intel swag. I said, "We'll take it." I figure it was Intel paying me back for some of the ways they wronged me. 


The owner called me and pleaded with me, about how much money he was losing. I was very sympathetic, but in my head I was going, "Don't even talk to me about the costs of working with this company. You're just learning what I've known for over 10 years, and you got off cheap." 


Anyhow. This guy who gave me the tip off - was WAY inside. He designs the gate logic on IA cores. Just a section of it. They're like Phoenix now, an urban core that just spills over into endless subsytems to suburban sprawl - all of it too big and complex to be managed by one single entity - there are dozens of teams that design every Intel core, and they all work independently, and then pull it all together at the end into a single unified CPU. 


HE volunteered to get laid off, after more than 14 years. He had a cap, but they were going to fire a 40 year old white dude who had just had a kid - my friend is East Indian - but born and raised in New Jersey as a 2nd generation immigrant. He said, "it is absolutely racist. If you're white, and over 40, you're done. If they run out of guys who fit that profile, then they look for high paid senior employees that are male, then they go after white women, on down the line..." 

Every other single employee I knew except ONE who were straight white males over 40 got laid off. It was a total housecleaning. I got a nice house out of it. It has appreciated the total value that it lost since I bought it, and then some. 

My friend started his own business with his wife, and now lives in the MORE exclusive neighborhood a few minutes south of me. They burned one of his stores in Scottsdale down during the riot. Way to show the white man, by burning down the self-made Indian immigrant's independent business. People are stupid. 

 
So anyhow, 2003, I get laid off. 2014... *everyone* gets laid off. People who were in the 1st quartile, all expectations met for 10, 15, 20 years suddenly on CAP. Almost all white, almost all over 40, almost all making $80k or significantly more. Across *all* departments. 

Intel was getting out of consumer technology. 

Ok. One more whiskey... 

So, have any of you read "Only the Paranoid Survive? Speaking of that... I'm going to save and post this, and continue in another message..." 


 





We were having trouble finding a house. Prices were going up 2-4% every month, there were severe shortages, we had been looking for two years. 

Sun Dec 13 2020 23:40:05 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

Wouldn't you agree that the CPU world is overdue for a shakeup? Could the *true* RISC revolution finally happen, forty years later than expected?

 



[#] Mon Dec 14 2020 01:03:12 EST from ParanoidDelusions

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Only The Paranoid Survive is Andy Grove's story of Intel's coming up. It is Intel Indoctrination 101. Intel was the first company where I had a clear vision that Fortune 100 companies run their internal operations on socialist governing principles. I'd get into that - but the main point is, the mailroom clerk and the CEO don't live much differently, really, in the company hierarchy. 

Anyhow. Grove, Moore and Noyce, the Intel Holy Trinity - ran the World's Largest Semiconductor Manufacturer in the 70s. Until Taiwan started eating their lunch. They were going to lose their company, their jobs - everything. And Grove claims he came up with this idea, that is like a dogma at Intel, about the "Critical Inflection Point." It is where your industry is changing so fast, so radically, you must adept or die. They decided to rethink themselves as CPU manufacturers. This is important. It worked, and Intel decided, they're not a CPU manufacturer, or a CPU manufacturer, or even a technology company. They are a manufacturer. They'll build *whatever* people will buy. They drill this into your head constantly. "We are NOT a technology company. We could build toilet paper, or potato chips, or car components. We build stuff, we build stuff better than anyone else." 

They make widgets. The widgets have just been called Intel Architecture CPUs for the last 25 years. But if that runs out, they'll build some other widget. Ideally one they already have a big headstart in building better than anyone else. 


Consumer (And Enterprise) technology is running out. ARM and consumer grade electronics that are low margin, low power, low performance are dominating the market. Intel is expert in making high power, big horsepower, gas-guzzling, number crunching, cutting edge tech. Nobody needs that shit in their iPad. We're in a critical inflection point, kids. 

Apple didn't LEAVE Intel. They were told to find something else. 

Now - here is the money shot. In any city, anywhere in the world, where Intel is - their campus has traditionally been *surrounded* by other tech startups and bellwethers. Israel, Swindon, Chile, Oregon, San Jose, Sacramento, Phoenix - wherever. If Intel located there - other big tech companies located there too. 


AND... since 2003, wherever Intel locates, the population of East Indian H1B immigrants swells. Like... a "Star of India" restaurant one very corner in the middle of what used to be Cow-Town/F-150 USA. 

But here is what I've seen in Chandler. Their South Chandler plant was supposed to be a fab - but it is SUPER cost prohibitive to fab in the US because of environmental laws. So they do it in shithole countries who are like, "we don't care about heavy metals in the water - we've got too many poor kids, anyhow!" 


They always blame it on "geological instability" and "undisclosed and unknown faults." We can't build here, it isn't seismically stable. But if the ring of fire made economic sense, they would build a fab on top of Mt. Kilauea during an eruption. 

They're not a dumb company. They're *kinda* classic conservatives. 


The South Chandler plant was *empty*. Their big operations was a development center further north, for a couple of decades, where number crunchers and business analysts and bean counters told IT guys in Folsom what to do. They didn't have a lot of IT, and they had no manufacturing. They were kind of an odd bird in the Intel family. And the Fab out South sat mostly silent, empty, and *sprawling*... a campus at least as big as the Folsom campus, if not as developed. 


Now, living in Chandler... I noticed something. About the time all the older white, straight male Intel Sr. Employees disappeared, there was a sudden stall of East Indian immigrants moving in. They didn't disappear, but they stopped *growing*. 

You know what else? Chinese nationals in Chairman Mao jackets with their wives and daughters walking a respectful difference behind started flooding in. Old Chinese grandmothers doing Tai-Chi started showing up at the park every morning. 

And the tech satellite companies like PayPal started pulling up roots and moving to Texas, leaving office parks with 4 story buildings full of empty office space. 

But Orbitel and other Aerospace/Military Complex companies who had also always been here started expanding rapidly. And then got bought out by even bigger names like Northrop Grumman, who moved in and took over entire office parks. 

None near the North campus. All near the South FAB plant. 

And... after laying off 25,000 domestic employees, Intel increased their global headcount to over 125,000 - and started digging a 3 story basement on the Intel Chandler South campus. It is so deep the crane barely peeks over the top of the hole. Current Intel employees will tell you it is seismic stability for fabrication. None of their other fabs go 60 feet down for a 2 or 4 story building. 

Intel doesn't do consumer electronics anymore. At all. They're a military/industrial contractor. ARM may be all you get going forward... 

Because you don't *need* the military grade stuff that Intel is making now. In fact, you can't have it. You're going to be a second class technology citizen. The State will ALWAYS have better technology than yours. Whatever encryption your ARM processor can deal with, your Government will have Intel technology that can crack it in seconds. 

I *guarantee* you this is what has happened. We're being depreciated. The era of citizen hackers being able to match the NSA, the DOJ, the FBI, InterPol - is over. 

There is computing for US... and there is computing for matters of state. And ARM is for us, and Intel is for The Owls. 

ARM isn't better - not at all. 


 







[#] Mon Dec 14 2020 01:05:56 EST from ParanoidDelusions

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Say it now... 

"ParanoidDelusions did not kill himself." 




[#] Mon Dec 14 2020 01:15:49 EST from ParanoidDelusions

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These old, fat Asian men in Party Wool jackets walk together through the greenbelts of Chandler, talking in traditional Chinese. They walk with their arms crossed behind their backs and their wrists folded over one another - it is a thing. You can' tell what they're saying, but they're just bullshitting like any other older powerful affluent guy. Laughing, arguing about politics, talking about drinks... dudes bullshitting. I totally get it. Then a few steps back are the elder males, and behind that, the women, grandmothers, mothers, and children - they go out for evening walks almost EVERY night. And they always walk in the same order. I sit in my greenbelt home and watch them go by and wonder, "WTF is THAT about?!?" 

And the grandmothers do tai-chi in the park in the mornings... facing East as the sun rises - slow deliberate exercises that focus your chi. 


And if you're walking and you greet them, they look at you, very friendly, and smile and say "hello," in broken English. The women look away demurely and giggle and don't answer. The grandmothers glare at you. 

This is a new reality in Chandler, Arizona. It has risen over the last 3 years. 


They don't wear masks... oddly enough, and they're not afraid of you if you're not wearing one. All the natives and the Indian immigrants walk around you. The Chinese nationals will brush shoulders with you and smile at you cordially as they pass - except the women. They walk head down and behind. 

It is kinda fucking weird. 

 



[#] Mon Dec 14 2020 01:19:07 EST from ParanoidDelusions

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So... 

"Could the *true* RISC revolution finally happen, forty years later than expected?"

No. I don't really think it is that at all. 

I think it is a different kind of revolution that made Apple leave Intel for Arm. Still - a revolution. 

Tin Foil Hats | Know Your Meme



[#] Mon Dec 14 2020 07:18:20 EST from Nurb432

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If it ever runs on Apple ARM it will suck. It will require reverse engineering drivers for their custom hardware. And you run the risk of Apple suing. as they are butt-heads. They also wont sell the chips to other people.

I also hope that it helps the movement of non-intel. but to be honest 99% of apple customers dont care what is in the shiny box. ARM was already moving into mainstream, just look at Amazon, but this may accelerate it.

I think the RISC revolution happened, just look in your hands.. 

Sun Dec 13 2020 23:40:05 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored
And this could be the favor that Apple does for the entire industry, not just their own customers. If they can legitimize ARM for general purpose computing, to the point where Microsoft is forced to follow, the albatross of the x86 ISA will finally be gone and the industry will be awash in cheap hardware.
Initial reports about the M1 is that it's "actually pretty good" and it seems like Apple is about to demonstrate that ARM can be made in both "fast" and "low power" varieties.

Obviously it's great for Linux users, because Linux can thrive on any hardware.

Wouldn't you agree that the CPU world is overdue for a shakeup? Could the *true* RISC revolution finally happen, forty years later than expected?

 



[#] Mon Dec 14 2020 23:11:01 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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I love a good conspiracy theory, but the above was a little out there, even for me. Actually I've heard the story before, but the company was AT&T and the big underground government thing was supposedly beneath their Solid State Technology Center in Breinigsville, PA. Unfortunately for the government, I worked for two different companies that have occupied the space (AT&T itself during a 1993 internship, and the company that built a data center there, which my current employer acquired in 2013). I've gone down as far as one can go and there's no secret government lab.

Meanwhile, here in the world where people buy microprocessors, there's no such thing as "too powerful for you to have." A microprocessor that is overkill for an individual computer is perfect for a cloud server or supercompute node.
Intel Architecture, as much as they have evolved it, is simply an evolutionary dead end. RISC, as I'm sure some of you know, does not necessarily mean that the instruction set is skimpy, but that the registers and pipelines are set up so that it requires fewer clock cycles per instruction. Intel Architecture simply can't get there while dragging acres of backward-compatible microcode around with it.

Apple's ARM is not the end state. It isn't even a giant leap forward. Apple does not perform great leaps forward in technological innovation. They are known for trying new things that no one else in the industry has the cojones to do first. From daring to ship a computer without a floppy drive, to building a keyboardless smartphone, to changing CPU architectures out from under a massive installed base ... Apple does it *first*. Others inevitably do it *better* but not until Apple showed them what could be done.

ARM may not be the "best possible" RISC implementation, but it's a pretty good one, and the fact that it has dozens of licensees fabbing chips that are all optimized for different tasks ... offers some nice possibilities.
We're going to get fast chips, low-power chips, cheap-as-chips chips, and everything in between.

[#] Tue Dec 15 2020 00:20:54 EST from ParanoidDelusions

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I don't think there is an underground government bunker down there. 

I think it doesn't make sense to dig that deep just for a fab. MOST of the building is underground. This isn't conjecture. I live here, I've been out there and seen the construction - and the hole is big enough to support a New York sized skyscraper. Bigger, actually. 

"Meanwhile, here in the world where people buy microprocessors, there's no such thing as "too powerful for you to have." A microprocessor that is overkill for an individual computer is perfect for a cloud server or supercompute node. "

Most of our lives, that has been true. But people haven't really been demanding more computing power since the Intel core series has been released - and lots of people are still happy with an 3rd or 4th generation core i5 - which will run Windows, will run OS X, will run Linux. The same thing is happening in console gaming. Since the Xbox 360 and PS/3 - subsequent generations have really only introduced relatively minor things like... dynamic 3D hair and more complex atmospheric effects. 
Meanwhile, as you like to point out - the web browser has replaced the OS - A Chromebook is as effective as an i9 for what MOST people are using their computing devices for these days - posting what they had for dinner on Facebook. 

The market has fundamentally changed. Consumers are at a technology plateau, and have been for about a decade. Any 64 bit processor will do what 99.5% of the consumer market wants from their PC. Those who want power are an increasingly small niche. 

I'm saying that Intel is becoming a Government Surveillance and Military Industrial Complex manufacturer because of a critical inflection point in consumer electronics purchasing habits. They're not getting driven out of the market - they're leaving it. They've always had a huge presence in that market. I think they've gone all-in and we'll see them disappearing from consumer markets over the next 10 or 20 years. 


Here is the golden thing - there are a bunch of Anti Wintel Linux Acolytes who swear by AMD, ATI, Linux, and RISC - anything contrary to the Intel, Microsoft Windows, Nvidia, paradigm - who will spread the word that it is Intel's *defeat* in the market - which is probably just what Intel wants in this case.  

Everything I wrote last night was absolutely true. Whiskey enhanced, but accurate. There is no embellishment there. 


Mon Dec 14 2020 23:11:01 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

I love a good conspiracy theory, but the above was a little out there, even for me. Actually I've heard the story before, but the company was AT&T and the big underground government thing was supposedly beneath their Solid State Technology Center in Breinigsville, PA. Unfortunately for the government, I worked for two different companies that have occupied the space (AT&T itself during a 1993 internship, and the company that built a data center there, which my current employer acquired in 2013). I've gone down as far as one can go and there's no secret government lab.

Meanwhile, here in the world where people buy microprocessors, there's no such thing as "too powerful for you to have." A microprocessor that is overkill for an individual computer is perfect for a cloud server or supercompute node.
Intel Architecture, as much as they have evolved it, is simply an evolutionary dead end. RISC, as I'm sure some of you know, does not necessarily mean that the instruction set is skimpy, but that the registers and pipelines are set up so that it requires fewer clock cycles per instruction. Intel Architecture simply can't get there while dragging acres of backward-compatible microcode around with it.

Apple's ARM is not the end state. It isn't even a giant leap forward. Apple does not perform great leaps forward in technological innovation. They are known for trying new things that no one else in the industry has the cojones to do first. From daring to ship a computer without a floppy drive, to building a keyboardless smartphone, to changing CPU architectures out from under a massive installed base ... Apple does it *first*. Others inevitably do it *better* but not until Apple showed them what could be done.

ARM may not be the "best possible" RISC implementation, but it's a pretty good one, and the fact that it has dozens of licensees fabbing chips that are all optimized for different tasks ... offers some nice possibilities.
We're going to get fast chips, low-power chips, cheap-as-chips chips, and everything in between.

 



[#] Tue Dec 15 2020 09:20:29 EST from Nurb432

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When i was with GM back in the late 80's we had an on-campus chip fab.  It was an impressive building. However, i dont think it reached down into the earth, other than for stability reasons. ( it was a building within a building. Anchored to bedrock or something to reduce vibration from nearby assembly plants and traffic )

 

Really cool stuff. 



[#] Tue Dec 15 2020 18:54:07 EST from ParanoidDelusions

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They do have to build on bedrock, generally speaking - and they like to be in very seismic inactive locations. 

I just don't know why you would buy a plot of land with 4 stories of sand above the bedrock to build a fab there. 

It seems unusual, even suspicious, to me. The hole is big. Ig doubting me makes me wish I had taken a picture of the crane down in it, with just the tip barely peeking out. 

But it is more the exodus of tech companies and the influx of military-industrial ones that I find curious. 

And the timing of all of these things paints an interesting set of dots to connect - and I think Apple moving to ARM is just one of those pieces. Everyone is acting like Apple moving to ARM is the INTERESTING thing. 

But, I think that it is a convenient distraction. 

 

Tue Dec 15 2020 09:20:29 EST from Nurb432 @ Uncensored

When i was with GM back in the late 80's we had an on-campus chip fab.  It was an impressive building. However, i dont think it reached down into the earth, other than for stability reasons. ( it was a building within a building. Anchored to bedrock or something to reduce vibration from nearby assembly plants and traffic )

 

Really cool stuff. 



 



[#] Wed Dec 16 2020 09:10:36 EST from Nurb432

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Perhaps it really is the underground bunker, for the 'elite' when everything goes to pot next year.  Or where they are going to move the servers that house the copy Steve Jobs' brain, since California is getting pretty scary.. 

 

Or relocation of the Antarctic star-gate so the Russians dont get it first.

 

 



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