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Cellphones Handhelds Iphone Stats Upgrades Apple Hardware

Early iPhone 6 Benchmark Results Show Only Modest Gains For A8 208

MojoKid writes: Historically speaking, we typically see impressive performance gains each time Apple releases a new custom processor for its mobile products. Certainly that was true of the A7 SoC, the world's first 64-bit smartphone processor. So, can we expect the same kind of performance bump from the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, both of which sport the new custom A8 SoC? Maybe not. The iPhone 6 recently surfaced in results for the Basemark X benchmark and armed with a dual-core 1.4GHz Cyclone CPU and A8 GPU, the iPhone 6 scored 21,204.26 and a earned a place at the top of the chart, though not by much. By comparison, the iPhone 5s scored 20,253.80 in the same benchmark. In other words, the iPhone 6 is currently less than 5 percent faster than the iPhone 5s, at least as far as the Basemark X benchmark is concerned.
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Early iPhone 6 Benchmark Results Show Only Modest Gains For A8

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  • power consumption? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 12, 2014 @11:22PM (#47895501)

    Who cares about performance anymore. Fast enough is fast enough. Which one lasts longer on battery?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Who cares about performance anymore.

      The people who own the phone that does better on the benchmarks, that's who.

      • no, the people who do the benchmarks.

    • by bennomatic ( 691188 ) on Friday September 12, 2014 @11:34PM (#47895549) Homepage
      Well, I'd suggest the right question is, how much does this one benchmark matter? Fast enough isn't necessarily fast enough, as people will come up with more and more powerful applications.

      That said, the primary CPU isn't the only thing that governs speed. My understanding (and I could be totally wrong, but here goes) is that there's a separate and very fast GPU. Apple's done a lot of work with Grand Central Dispatch (is that the right technology?) to help developers offload as much as possible to the GPU, so what looks like a 5% gain on the CPU might in the real world be 10 times that in a performance increase. And at least Apple claims that the 6 is 50% faster than the 5s (again, IIRC), so if they're telling something that's approaching a reasonable truth, it's not just based on CPU, but on other metrics as well.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by godrik ( 1287354 )

        Well, I'd suggest the right question is, how much does this one benchmark matter?

        Well, the article does not even convince me that the benchmark was properly executed. When going from a 32-bit to a 64-bit architecture, you certainly need the code to be properly optimized for the new target architecture. For instance, if you do not use the new instructions, it is unlikely you will see a major performance improvement. If you normalize the benchmark result to clock speed and number of cores there is not much difference between the 2 processors.

        So my guess is: they did not properly compile t

        • by xushi ( 740195 )

          iPhone 5s is also 64 bit, so weren't they comparing x64 x64 with that ~5% increase?

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

          Here's a more relevant test: http://youtu.be/vZjurCN521U [youtu.be]

          It's the 5s but still interesting. Real world tests with real apps. The iPhone 5S is about as fast as a Nexus 5, a fraction slower in many tests and a fraction faster in others.

      • by countach ( 534280 ) on Saturday September 13, 2014 @12:00AM (#47895623)

        Well... in most circumstances the GPU will only help graphics related performance. That's only impressive when you wanted better graphics performance, and not general performance. You can't offload anything onto the GPU. Only certain specific types of things, and certain math.

        Anyway, this whole article is premature. The benchmarks may not even be iPhone 6, they may be spoofed. They are only one benchmark. Let's wait see what real analysis reveals. Whatever the answer I doubt it will hurt sales.

        • You can't offload anything onto the GPU. Only certain specific types of things, and certain math.

          It's not very specific, it's pretty broad. The Accellerate framework includes quite a lot of stuff...

          We could offload more still if OpenCL was on iOS (which contrary to another post I jet put up, it is not quite yet - it's just lurking under the public API surface).

      • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

        Apple's done a lot of work with Grand Central Dispatch (is that the right technology?) to help developers offload as much as possible to the GPU ...

        You're probably thinking of OpenCL. GCD is a pipelining engine for enqueuing work.

      • Apple's done a lot of work with Grand Central Dispatch (is that the right technology?)

        GCD helps manage tasks across multiple cores pretty well.

        The GPU leverage though, is handled either by writing OpenCL code, or normal code that uses the Accellerate framework to do a variety of math, which internally hits the GPU when it makes sense.

        OpenCL is kind of involved to get into but it's often very easy to fix up the math in heavier calculations to use Accellerate.

      • by jon3k ( 691256 ) on Saturday September 13, 2014 @09:17AM (#47896763)
        It's why I never understand comparing Android and iOS benchmarks. We run benchmark software on them, compare the two, then run completely different operating systems and applications on top of them. Android benchmarks routinely show better performance than IOS. But everytime I use an Apple iPhone it "feels faster" and is completely stutter free.
    • by grouchomarxist ( 127479 ) on Saturday September 13, 2014 @02:00AM (#47895879)

      According to Apple, the A8 draws 50% of the power of the A7. So it is a significant improvement. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A... [wikipedia.org]

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by gl4ss ( 559668 )

      fanboiz care.

      in the way that they like to mention how it has a new processor. since uh, there's not that much to mention about the iphone6 except nfc.

      it's a budget phone for premium pricing... and that's where apple is going now. budget in the sense that it costs less for apple to make the 6 than what it cost for them to make 5 when 5 came out. much less.

      battery life? about the same. it's about the same thing after all. it's 600 bucks + device and marketed partially with having a faster cpu so that's why y

      • by swb ( 14022 ) on Saturday September 13, 2014 @05:40AM (#47896271)

        in the way that they like to mention how it has a new processor. since uh, there's not that much to mention about the iphone6 except nfc.

        Not much except a much larger screen size, which is obviously the big new feature for iPhone users.

        The smartphone as a concept across any brand hasn't done anything new and different since the iPhone first came out. It's all been incrementalism -- faster CPUs, more pixels, bigger screens, faster wifi, etc.

      • by Bogtha ( 906264 )

        there's not that much to mention about the iphone6 except nfc.

        That's a ridiculous thing to say.

        it costs less for apple to make the 6 than what it cost for them to make 5 when 5 came out. much less.

        What's your source for this? The profit margin on the iPhone 6 is lower than for earlier iPhone models at the time of release [qz.com].

    • Ops per joule is a performance figure, too.
    • by gnupun ( 752725 ) on Saturday September 13, 2014 @06:24AM (#47896353)

      Who cares about performance anymore. Fast enough is fast enough.

      If you upgrade your phone frequently, it doesn't matter. But if you want to use it as long as possible, high performance is a must. Let's say iphone 7 or 8 is 2x-4x faster than iphone 6. Apps developed for iphone7/8 will lag heavily on the iphone 6 forcing you to upgrade your phone. That's what's happening today -- latest apps don't work on iphone two generations behind.

      • I'm still using an iPhone 4, which is now four generations behind. I've had no problem with app performance outside of (of course) 3D games. This thing's aging better than my Nokia 3310 did.

        Most apps aren't all that technically demanding.

    • If the watch works w/ my 5s, I'll get it after a while.
    • by cyn1c77 ( 928549 )

      Who cares about performance anymore. Fast enough is fast enough. Which one lasts longer on battery?

      Probably people who own an iPhone 5 and are debating upgrading to the new one.

      Especially so if they like the smaller form factor of the iPhone 5, but would be willing to trade it for increased performance.

  • Okay, so... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 12, 2014 @11:36PM (#47895557)

    It's like 3D Mark, for iOS?

    Something tells me Basemark X doesn't take advantage of any of the Apple specific APIs. We've been seeing a solid ~30-40% increase in FPS when using Metal over the iPhone 5S. Everything else feels about the same though, but then again I haven't had access to our test units for any extended length of time to actually benchmark stuff (they've been kept in a locked up room with no windows chained to an unmovable desk bolted into the floor for the past two weeks). The hardware definitely is faster, but it seems like one of those things that won't matter unless you're targeting iOS specifically and writing Apple proprietary code, so I kinda question how that is going to play out in the future (especially when everyone wants their shit to run on Android and iOS and Blackberry and WinMo all at once).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 12, 2014 @11:37PM (#47895563)

    We already know the gains are less from the keynote. If you look at the graph Apple showed of CPU speed it shows an exponential increase in speed until the 5, but then a noticeable levelling off to the 6.

    What they're focussing on now is different. CPU is obviously almost good enough, battery is more important. Instead they're offloading functionality. The motion coprocessor and the GPU. Compare the GPU graph to the CPU one and you see much greater gains.

    • by FlyHelicopters ( 1540845 ) on Friday September 12, 2014 @11:56PM (#47895615)

      What they're focussing on now is different. CPU is obviously almost good enough, battery is more important.

      This... I want a longer battery, lighter weight, etc...

      It is already fast enough and it will be awhile before apps catch up.

      They will, but not for a few years, then we'll need another jump.

      • by Savage-Rabbit ( 308260 ) on Saturday September 13, 2014 @03:45AM (#47896091)

        What they're focussing on now is different. CPU is obviously almost good enough, battery is more important.

        This... I want a longer battery, lighter weight, etc...

        It is already fast enough and it will be awhile before apps catch up.

        They will, but not for a few years, then we'll need another jump.

        Yes, longer battery life would be nice but it's the bigger screen size and the fingerprint sensor that are motivating me to trade my iPhone 4S in for an iPhone 6+, I've decided that I want a phablet. It takes more effort to crack the fingerprint sensor than it takes to just sitting in your couch and punching in four digit pin-codes until you unlock the phone. I could put a password on my phone but punching in a password every time I get an e-mail is way too bothersome and I can't read Google maps in landscape mode on my iPhone 4S anymore because the display is just too small. As long as the device has adequate processing power to run the latest apps and games for the next 5 years and gets OS updates (which previous experience with Apple devices tells me it will) I don't really care that much about whether it has benchmarks and a processing speed that trumps those of the latest offering from Samsung, LG, HTC et al. In fact the majority of the features that I really value the most are software features ranging from the 'Continuity' OS X integration, 'HealthKit', App services and Universal Touch ID authorization for all apps to the little stuff you almost don't notice like, the revamped keyboard, built in phone calls over wifi, an overview over which app is using the most power, reply notification for especially important messages, ... the list goes on. Now if they'd only get around to putting a folding bookmarks menu in the little wizard you use when you add a bookmark in Mobile Safari... this is iOS version 8 for Christ's sake and Apple still hasn't gotten around to fixing it.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

          Sounds like what you want is a Nexus 5, or wait a bit and get a Nexus 6. Consider this:

          The PIN code weakness seems odd, as most phones have some kind of rate limit that makes it basically impractical to do before you notice someone has stolen your phone. As for everything else, the Nexus 5 does it pretty well, and costs less than half the price. In fact the 32GB model is 1/3rd the price of an equivalent iPhone 6+. With the massive saving you can easily replace any apps you paid for on iOS. Updates should ke

          • by Karlt1 ( 231423 ) on Saturday September 13, 2014 @07:51AM (#47896523)

            Updates should keep coming for years, although realistically 5 years is a stretch. Apple tend to release crippling updates after a couple of years so that you either get stuck on an old version or are "encouraged" to upgrade your device.

            Google only promises upgrades for 18 months. Apple provided security updates for 3GS released 6/2009 in 2/2014. The iPhone 4 released 6/2010 will have the latest OS until 9//2014. I used iOS 7 on an iPhone 4 and it works fine.

            • Google only promises upgrades for 18 months. Apple provided security updates for 3GS released 6/2009 in 2/2014.

              There is something to be said for that. :)

              When I buy a phone like a Galaxy, it rarely gets updates and for sure doesn't get them for 5 years.

            • I woudn't say "fine", it runs fairly slow and laggy on my iphone 4.
              O well with the iPhone 6/6+ coming out, the market will be flooded with used 5 and 5s. Probably pick me up a 5.

            • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

              Google keeps providing security updates for older devices. I'm not sure how far back it goes but Gingerbread still occasionally gets patches, so that's 2010. They are provided via the Play Store app, and can patch OS level issues just like iOS updates.

              Unlike iOS you are not forced to upgrade the OS to a version that cripples your phone with slowdown just to get these updates. That's why Google doesn't always port new versions of the OS back to older devices - they consider them unable to run the new version

              • Google keeps providing security updates for older devices. I'm not sure how far back it goes but Gingerbread still occasionally gets patches, so that's 2010. They are provided via the Play Store app, and can patch OS level issues just like iOS updates.

                That only helps for frameworks and API's that are covered by Google Play services. Anything else is up to the vendor/carrier to actually send updates to your phone. How many vendors would send a security update to a phone released in 2009 four years later?

                • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

                  Can you point to a security issue that hasn't been mitigated by a patch from Google?

                  FWIW my Galaxy S3 is still getting updates, three years after it was released.

            • Apple provided security updates for 3GS released 6/2009 in 2/2014.

              There is a bit of a lie in what you say: As soon as the 4 was released, the updated to IOS pretty much killed the 3GS off by making it unusably slow. I "restored" it to an earlier version and never updated it anymore. What was that, IOS 3.2 or somesuch? Yeah. You can claim updates but that is essentially a lie.

          • Unless you are absolutely set on an iOS device it's hard to justify an iPhone 6.

            What is wrong with that?

            The Apple App Store is well developed and more or less everything is on it.

            The iPhone 6 Plus is $300 on contract, but since the price of on or off contract is more or less the same, then that is what it is. (Verizon or AT&T are my only two real choices, the service of Sprint and T-Mobile suck where I live, I've tried both)

            I currently have a pair of Galaxy S4 phones, but my wife and I are finally looking at iPhones. We already love our iPads, but the iPhone 5's screen is too sma

            • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

              It doesn't make financial sense. As I pointed out, you can buy a similar to better phone for less than half the price even after you re-bought your apps. Even on contract it's expensive, since the contract itself will be more. I can buy a Nexus 5 for 40,000 yen and then the contract is 1000 yen/month, or I can get an iPhone on contract for 30,000 yen plus 8,000/month for two years. With the latter I'd be locked in to that carrier as well.

              • Depends on your local carrier situation... Sounds like in your case, all else being equal, the Nexus 5 makes more sense.

                Where I live, it really doesn't make much of a difference in the monthly cost. The low cost carriers suck, the service sucks, the signal is terrible, etc...

                What I need out of a phone is it to work all the time, every time, everywhere.

                Verizon and AT&T do that, Sprint and T-Mobile do not, at least in the North Texas area.

                My Galaxy S3 phones were from Sprint, the service was almost usel

          • Sounds like what you want is a Nexus 5, or wait a bit and get a Nexus 6. Consider this:

            The PIN code weakness seems odd, as most phones have some kind of rate limit that makes it basically impractical to do before you notice someone has stolen your phone. As for everything else, the Nexus 5 does it pretty well, and costs less than half the price. In fact the 32GB model is 1/3rd the price of an equivalent iPhone 6+. With the massive saving you can easily replace any apps you paid for on iOS. Updates should keep coming for years, although realistically 5 years is a stretch. Apple tend to release crippling updates after a couple of years so that you either get stuck on an old version or are "encouraged" to upgrade your device.

            Unless you are absolutely set on an iOS device it's hard to justify an iPhone 6.

            My friend does it as a party trick, he checks where the fingerprints or slide marks are and surprisingly often he manages to guess the the pin or symbol on Android phones.

    • by grouchomarxist ( 127479 ) on Saturday September 13, 2014 @02:01AM (#47895881)

      Yes, Apple is claiming that the A8 only draws 50% of the power of the A7, so the emphasis was probably on power reduction as opposed to performance. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A... [wikipedia.org]

    • That sucks. I love the warm fuzzy feeling in my pocket after the CPU on my phone got a good workout.
    • Instead they're offloading functionality.

      God. How long before they introduce a "Twitter" or "Facebook" coprocessor (which they provide for a significant fee of course)?
      How long before we will be having the "cpu neutrality" discussion?

      • I guess you'd rather be back in the days when all system graphics had to go through the CPU instead of being offloaded to things like graphics and sound cards. Offloading to coprocessors is what enabled Amigas to run Mac OS faster than the Macs using the exact same CPU .
        • by hawk ( 1151 )

          toggling the speaker by poking a memory address was good enough for the Apple ][, and it should be good enough for, uhh, . . . :)

          hawk

      • Moores law is hitting a wall - and sharply limits the possibility of simply improving the speed of increasing the performance of single-core processors.

        Interestingly however, one alternative - in addition to magical as-yet-unthought of technology is single purpose cores that remain switched off most of the time, and are only powered up to do a specific task very efficiently.

  • by Nyder ( 754090 ) on Friday September 12, 2014 @11:43PM (#47895585) Journal

    I'm guessing Apple didn't get modest gains, I'm sure they are making money hand over fist.

    • I'm guessing Apple didn't get modest gains, I'm sure they are making money hand over fist.

      Pre-orders are large. Seems iPhone owners do want a large screen, despite years of Apple saying they didn't.

  • by dnaumov ( 453672 ) on Friday September 12, 2014 @11:56PM (#47895611)

    If you are comparing A8 performance vs A7 (as the title would imply you are), then you need to take into account the different screen sizes and pixel counts. The iPhone 6 has a fair bit more pixels that have to be pushed by the GPU.

    • by AaronW ( 33736 )

      The problem with phones and tablets is they're pushing more and more pixels despite the fact that they're already smaller than what you can see. The drawbacks of having more pixels are that less light passes through and it takes more processing power to manage all of those pixels. My 7" tablet does 720P resolution. I can't see a discernable difference between a tablet with more pixels. The differences I see are things like how well they display color and viewing angle and brightness.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

        I'm in my mid 30s and wear glasses, but I can see a difference. I'm one of those people who can see a difference between 1080p and 4k too, so maybe I'm lucky.

        One thing I've noticed varies a lot between phones is how well motion is rendered. Some phones are very clear when scrolling, especially AMOLED displays but also some LCDs. Others are just a smeared, blurred mess.

  • iBrick (Score:5, Funny)

    by dprimary ( 215604 ) on Saturday September 13, 2014 @12:16AM (#47895653)

    I though the real race was to be the first company get their phone back up to the size of the analog Motorola bricks with a bonus for a 12" whip antenna.

  • what about more ram? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Joe_Dragon ( 2206452 ) on Saturday September 13, 2014 @12:29AM (#47895677)

    1gb is low next to other systems.

    • iphone users have no need for multi tasking

      • by roc97007 ( 608802 ) on Saturday September 13, 2014 @01:48AM (#47895843) Journal

        At least, that's what apple tells them.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Android apps each need to have their own VM running the Java interpreter. I would expect it to require memory for that overhead. iOS on the other hand runs native code. At least that is my understanding of the scenarios.

  • by roc97007 ( 608802 ) on Saturday September 13, 2014 @01:47AM (#47895841) Journal

    We're reaching the flat end of the curve. It'll all be marketing from here on out.

  • Apple has absolute control of the software ecosystem and can probably gain significant performance from appropriate optimizations. The android landscape is much more heterogeneous and probably less optimized for each individual device. Think consoles vs PC.

    Raw benchmarks like this one may not properly reflect user's perception of performance when different ecosystems are compared. In the end, I expect the iPhone 6 to feel at least as fast as the fastest Android devices in real use cases.

    • According to this: http://results.rightware.com/b... [rightware.com]

      The iPhone 5S, with a dual core 1.3Ghz, is performing comparably to 2.3 Ghz quad cores, coming in at #8.

      Can you imagine what the phone market would be like if Apple decided to say "eff the lot of you" and doubled their clock speed and then double the number of cores...?

      All of a sudden, that 1019 will turn into 4000. Wonder how the other phones will even try to keep up...?

  • If the 5S and 6 have comparable performance, it means the 5S remains a long term option across OS upgrades. No need to keep a tablet in your pocket...

    • If the 5S and 6 have comparable performance, it means the 5S remains a long term option across OS upgrades. No need to keep a tablet in your pocket...

      Is that a tablet in your pocket or are you just moving higher on the Mohs Hardness Scale?
  • Top of what? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Shag ( 3737 ) on Saturday September 13, 2014 @04:28AM (#47896173)

    Basemark X results across all vendors are at http://results.rightware.com/b... [rightware.com]

    The iPhone 6 is around #17. iPhone 5s, #21.

    Of course, everything else in the top 25 is running quad-core CPUs at 2+ GHz.

    iPhones? Dual-core at 1.3-1.4 GHz.

    That's some crazy math right there.

  • I'd never buy an iPhone, sorry, I don't like the idea of being locked into the Apple way... but I've seen little mention of how the camera compares to current flagship Android phones
    • I'd never buy an iPhone, sorry, I don't like the idea of being locked into the Apple way... but I've seen little mention of how the camera compares to current flagship Android phones

      I'll take the Apple way over the Malware Range that passes for an app ecosystem in Droid land. It's either that or apps that don't free memory when they're not working. At idle, my Samsung Galaxy is still using 75 percent of it's built in RAM. And that's AFTER running the garbage collection application.

  • by Ronin Developer ( 67677 ) on Saturday September 13, 2014 @09:05AM (#47896723)

    Okay Fanboys and FAndroids - what is the point of this discussion?

    I am a survivor of the PC Wars, the Clone Wars and the OS Wars. I saw the evolution of the mobile phone - starting with a Panasonic Bag phone myself.

    We are talking about smartphones and which is faster, better. We are talking about putting down people who like the way does things because we don't agree with their priorities or policies.

    The fact is, we are talking about a device that is, inherently, a phone. What do most of you use your smart phones for? Email reading? Sending messages? Gaming? Watching video? Productivity? Solving world hunger?

    It's a phone with two different ways of approaching the world. Android is free for download. It works until the software can't keep up with the hardware evolution. Same goes for iOS. It's free (comes with the phone and updates are free) and it works until the software can't keep up the hardware evolution.

    The choice between Android and Apple is a personal one. I am not a gamer and don't watch videos on my phone. My kids are. They are quite happy with the iPhone 5s and, until now, the 4s. iOS 8 will probably not work well, if at all, on a 4s. So, they may be getting an upgrade.

    We have Apple devices in our household. They just work. We have Windows devices as well. My boys' Windows laptops continue to get viruses and malware despite having taking all the necessary "precautions". I spend several days every few months fixing their Windows devices. So, tell me...is Windows better than Apple? I would say "yes" when considering which has more productivity applications or in wider use for business. But, for what I do and need, Apple is perfect. I design systems for a living.

    Yes, I used to code down to the metal and build my own PCs. No time for that now. I want something that just works.

    All this applies to these Apple/iOS and /Android battles. It doesn't matter.

    I use my smartphone, an iPhone 5, to do the things I need to do. I am not rendering games so I don't care about rendering rate. I take pictures, but most can't see the difference between 8 and 16 megapixels anyway...unless you are creating posters. I send and receive email and texts (from time to time). I use it to handle my calendar. I like the way iOS behaves and how to develop for it. Maybe, you don't. That's your choice. I also like the way Apple focuses on fit and finish. Until recently, Android devices were plastic.

    A year ago, Apple came out with their Gold finished iPhone. All the FAndroids made fun over this. A year later, Samsung is pushing a gold finished phone like it's all the rage. WTF?

    They are phones with the ability to help us get other things done. Android has found its way into embedded systems. iOS isn't ever going there. And, if I start programming embedded systems again, I will worry about it. I can code native Object-C and Java. But, I use other tools to develop across both iOS and Android platforms rather than getting down to the metal.

    For me, a phone is little more than a phone right up until it makes it me money and helps put food on my table and roof over my head. If it means I have to code to make money and I *actually* make money. That's good. If it is smart enough to make money for me by watching the stock market and buying and selling for me automagically so I get rich? Well, I am all for that. I won't care what platform it's on..I will want one. I bet you will too (unless you're earthy crunchy).

    Until then, stop worrying about what Apple does if you don't like Apple.

    Buy what you like. If you have to discussion over the devices, do so in a civil tongue. If not, I can get as much discourse and hatred reading the political posts on CNN.

Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened. -- Winston Churchill

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