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Segway UK Boss Dies After Driving Off Cliff

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the dead-mans-curve dept.

United Kingdom 413

necro81 writes "Jimi Heselden, the British multi-millionaire defense contractor and philanthropist, who bought the Segway company last December from inventor Dean Kamen, died yesterday after an accident while riding one of the machines. While using a ruggedized X2 version of the two-wheeled balancing scooter at his estate in North Yorkshire, he apparently drove over the edge of a precipice and into the River Wharfe. He was found later by a passerby and declared dead on the scene."

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413 comments

The Poor Guy! (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711948)

He was last seen at the plant arguing with one of the engineers who had assured him the latest Segway was "uncrashable." He rode off muttering something about having the last laugh. Clearly he was a business and marketing genius but a bit of a lemming in day-to-day life.

But in all seriousness, I'm very sorry for him and his family. If I didn't constantly encounter the damned things on sidewalks and in pedestrian spaces on the National Mall in DC I wouldn't be so quick to lampoon their maker's untimely demise.

Re:The Poor Guy! (5, Informative)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712044)

Note that the inventor of the Segway is Dean Kamen. This article is about Jim Heselden, the guy that bought the Segway company.

Re:The Poor Guy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33712100)

Note that the inventor of the Segway is Dean Kamen. This article is about Jim Heselden, the guy that bought the Segway company.

So Heselden had manufacturing halted when he bought the company?

Re:The Poor Guy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33712524)

When did Pojut say that he did? He was merely pointing out that this guy is not the inventor.

Re:The Poor Guy! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33712336)

It seems slashdotters have also stopped reading the summaries. Perhaps we need some kind of chapta system to check if posters have at least read that!

Re:The Poor Guy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33712486)

Note that the inventor of the Segway is Dean Kamen. This article is about Jim Heselden, the guy that bought the Segway company.

Where did the OP say that Heselden is the inventor?

Inventor: yes/no. (5, Informative)

Slartibartfast (3395) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712676)

The Personal Transporter's *actual* inventor is this engineer I've bumped into -- I work with his brother. DK was "merely" the person who put money and PR behind it. Dean gets a lot of credit -- but really, *his* biggest invention was the insulin pump.

Re:Inventor: yes/no. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33712758)

The Personal Transporter's *actual* inventor is this engineer I've bumped into

Surely he bumped in to you?

Re:The Poor Guy! (4, Informative)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712134)

I initially didn't care much -- they call him a "defence contractor". But it seems he made his money from selling crates of earth to use in actual defences, rather than the rest of the "defence contractors" who make guns and bombs, and should really be called "offence contractors".

Re:The Poor Guy! (-1, Offtopic)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712198)

Probably o/t, but you just reminded me of 'Masters of War' by Bob Dylan:

Come you masters of war
You that build the big guns
You that build the death planes
You that build all the bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks.

You that never done nothin'
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it's your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly.

Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
You want me to believe
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain.

You fasten all the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion'
As young people's blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud.

You've thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain't worth the blood
That runs in your veins.

How much do I know
To talk out of turn
You might say that I'm young
You might say I'm unlearned
But there's one thing I know
Though I'm younger than you
That even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do.

Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul.

And I hope that you die
And your death'll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I'll watch while you're lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I'll stand over your grave
'Til I'm sure that you're dead.

Wached out Sports (0, Redundant)

deodiaus2 (980169) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712244)

I guess he won't be show on "Wacked Out Sports" next to the guy who tries a jump and almost has a 800lb snowmobile come crashing down on him.

Man. (2, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711980)

...what a way to go out. Fitting, but jeebus...

Before anyone says it: (2, Funny)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711992)

Please look up the definition of irony [reference.com] before posting anything with that particular word in it.

(This especially includes all Sheryl Crow fans)

Thanks in advance.

Re:Before anyone says it: (5, Funny)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712028)

Please look up the definition of irony before posting anything with that particular word in it.

(This especially includes all Sheryl Crow fans)

Ironically, you probably meant Alanis Morissette.

Re:Before anyone says it: (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712094)

D'oh!

Fair cop... my bad. :)

Re:Before anyone says it: (1)

matt_wilts (249194) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712106)

Could have been worse, he could have been a spelling pedent.

Re:Before anyone says it: (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33712226)

But it's important to uphold the principals, and not set a bad president.

Re:Before anyone says it: (4, Funny)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712712)

Must ... not ... correct. Know it ... was ... intentional, must NOT ...

Where's the duc[tk] tape? My head's gonna blow.

Re:Before anyone says it: (1)

lul_wat (1623489) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712690)

Verb
pedent
1. third-person plural present active subjunctive of ped.

Yes it could have been a lot worse

Re:Before anyone says it: (1)

hamburger lady (218108) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712058)

is it ironic that you got the musician wrong?

Re:Before anyone says it: (4, Funny)

tom17 (659054) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712200)

Not in itself. But if he was seriously trying to be ironic by doing so, then the fact that it was not ironic and in a post requesting correct usage of irony, was itself ironic.

Re:Before anyone says it: (4, Funny)

Trepidity (597) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712654)

If you imagine watching him post in slow-motion in a stage production, then the part where he started typing "Shery..." was a scene with dramatic irony, because the audience knew he was about to complete a tragic error, whereas the character himself was unaware.

Re:Before anyone says it: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33712074)

What about Alanis Morissette fans?

Re:Before anyone says it: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33712108)

I see what you did there.

Re:Before anyone says it: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33712136)

If reference.com indicates that we cannot call this ironic, then so much the worse for reference.com.

  (Dictionaries and the like do NOT define what words mean, and the only people who think they do have just never thought about the question that seriously)

Re:Before anyone says it: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33712138)

Please look up the definition of irony [reference.com] before posting anything with that particular word in it.

(This especially includes all Sheryl Crow fans)

Thanks in advance.

"an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected."

It's ironic, because a multi-millionaire defense contractor is expected to know the danger of cliffs.. right?

Re:Before anyone says it: (1)

Tacvek (948259) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712310)

That is pretty stretched logic. One might try to claim irony in the person who makes a device being killed by it, but although unexpected, these sorts are things are not actively contrary to expectations, at least when we don't expect the guy to have special knowledge that makes the device safer.

Re:Before anyone says it: (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33712168)

The word they shall all be looking for, is apropos [reference.com] .

Isn't a Segway more aluminumy than irony? (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712208)

I know - Blackadder got their first.

Re:Before anyone says it: (1)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712214)

And yet people will probably continue to misuse the word as expected despite your efforts. Ironic isn't it?

Re:Before anyone says it: (4, Informative)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712228)

Hi. This is ironic and certainly contrary to what was expected. I don't see how you can claim otherwise.

I buy the rights to a product. I intend to manufacture it and have it make me wealthy. Instead it kills me. This is irony.

Re:Before anyone says it: (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33712456)

Irony is subjective. Almost anything can be considered ironic or not based on a point of view.

English is not a programming language.

Re:Before anyone says it: (1)

qoncept (599709) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712482)

Wow, I don't understand the difficulty with this word. I'm not sure in what context you expected it, but this scenario could VERY easily be described, in several ways, as ironic. Correct definition and all. I'll give you one example to get you started. If you can't think of any more, you definitely don't need to be judging anyone else's intelligence.

Man killed by the very product he tried to breath life in to.

Ironic Quote of the Day... (1)

microcars (708223) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712526)

at the bottom of this page right now:
Good news is just life's way of keeping you off balance.

Re:Before anyone says it: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33712548)

See! That was the point! The ironic part is their is no irony in the song!

Re:Before anyone says it: (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712746)

I just LOOOOOOOOVE the fact that I can click anywhere on that site other than the text of the definition itself and find myself at the sponsor's site!

must've fallen for the hype (4, Funny)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712024)

He must have fallen for the pre-launch hype, where the inventor and a variety of major tech figures were claiming that cities would be designed around the things. Maybe he thought it levitated?

Re:must've fallen for the hype (4, Funny)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712114)

He must have fallen for the pre-launch hype

really?

Re:must've fallen for the hype (1)

CityZen (464761) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712552)

"It's got a more powerful battery. This new model will *fly* !!!"

I guess the top secret (5, Funny)

ravenscar (1662985) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712036)

amphibious assault Seguay couldn't keep its head above water

Not the inventor (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33712040)

Just so everyone knows this wasn't the inventor of the Segway, Dean Kamen. This was just a guy who got rich off of the military industrial complex.

Re:Not the inventor (0, Flamebait)

QuadEddie (459328) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712126)

Ok, cool - that makes the death easier to handle.

Re:Not the inventor (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33712262)

It does make it easier to handle. You see Dean Kamen invents in order to hopefully improve humanity while this guy invents things to help kill other humans. I'm really sick of the military industrial complex. You should be too. No big loss here.

Re:Not the inventor (5, Informative)

Lazareth (1756336) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712532)

Did you check your facts before you opened up the floodgates of your arse? The guy may have been a defence contractor, but his company made FORTIFICATIONS. Not in the sense of point-defence systems, but in the sense of freaking walls.

Re:Not the inventor (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33712696)

More specifically, he was the chairman of HESCO bastion [wikimedia.org] , a company that makes large cube-shaped wire & cloth baskets you fill with sand. They are used for flood control as well as by the military for defensive walls.

Re:Not the inventor (5, Insightful)

nibbles2004 (761552) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712752)

why don't you fall off a cliff, this guy left school at 15, become a miner , apparently gave millions to charity, provided defensive fortification's for the armed forces, i suspect he did a lot more in his life, to help and protect people than you ever will in your un-important existence. Your lack of respect and humanity says more about you , your values, your upbringing than anything else.

Testing new... (1)

qsqueeq (586979) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712048)

air bags?

inb4 people making jokes of this (4, Insightful)

Lazareth (1756336) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712050)

My condolences to his friends and relatives.

Re:inb4 people making jokes of this (1)

Lazareth (1756336) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712112)

wow, seems like I was too slow. Love how people can get a laugh out of everything..

Re:inb4 people making jokes of this (1)

Codename Dutchess (1782238) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712378)

lol

Re:inb4 people making jokes of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33712630)

Yeah - I wish I had mod points to 'funny' the OP.

Re:inb4 people making jokes of this (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712730)

wow, seems like I was too slow. Love how people can get a laugh out of everything..

Indeed. inspiteof your inb4...

That sucks (4, Insightful)

bigredradio (631970) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712060)

I'm sure there will be a lot of smart-ass comments making fun of this guy. The fact remains that a person lost his life in a tragic accident. Thoughts go out to his family.

Re:That sucks (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712154)

I'm sure there will be a lot of smart-ass comments making fun of this guy.

Can you blame them? This story belongs in Idle, not Technology.

Re:That sucks (1)

Lifyre (960576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712586)

How do you figure? He was the owner of a fairly innovative technology company. It's much more relevant and news for nerds than most things that make the front page.

Re:That sucks (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33712256)

Thoughts go out to his family.

Really? A few dozen people you didn't know died just while you were typing that post. And if you take the time to give thought to those, then even more will have died and you could never keep up.

Re:That sucks (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33712376)

Furthermore, how is he relevant? Noone here probably knew who he was beforehand. And in a few days, noone here will remember who he was.

I mean, yeah. That sucks. He died. I'm sure it's a tragedy to the people close to him. In the same regard, I saw a 2 car pileup on my way to work this morning. I'm sure that someone died in that wreck.

I'd argue that the single mother who just lost her primary bread winner is a bigger tragedy than a dying venture capitalist.

Segway (1, Informative)

the_kanzure (1100087) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712066)

I guess he bought a segway... to his coffin.

*sigh* I'll show^W^W^W^W segway myself the door.

Where's the camera!? (0, Flamebait)

M1FCJ (586251) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712070)

Look ma! No hands!

Alas poor segway, I knew him not so well (4, Insightful)

cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712078)

This will just be another clump of dirt on the corpse of Segway. It actually sucks in a way. It was invented to try to radically mix up society and how we travel, change the way we travel in cities. Use less gas, get people moving, less space for parking, all that cool stuff. Instead it became a toy for Segway Polo, jokes for Mall Cops, and t tours. Never getting the impact it was intended for..

Re:Alas poor segway, I knew him not so well (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712142)

The inventor is still alive and well, this guy was just who he sold his company to for big bucks.

Re:Alas poor segway, I knew him not so well (5, Insightful)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712288)

Bicycles do at least as much as a Segway does for most people, and they're a lot cheaper. The Segway tried to fill a niche that didn't really exist -- it isn't the lack of a small, exposed personal transport machine that keeps people in their cars.

Re:Alas poor segway, I knew him not so well (4, Insightful)

GiveBenADollar (1722738) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712528)

Segway didn't try to fill a niche, they tried to create one. Just like microwaves, or velcro. They just didn't have a game changing device, or more to the point, it didn't change the game.

Re:Alas poor segway, I knew him not so well (1)

Lifyre (960576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712494)

It would have if it had been affordable. When your product costs as much or more than many other products that go farther, faster and with greater comfort you have issues with providing an incentive for the general populous to buy. It works for cops (real and rental), tours, and some other niche applications (moving around large campuses comes to mind) but not for everyday travel.

Re:Alas poor segway, I knew him not so well (1)

Tacvek (948259) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712592)

Part of this may have been the fact that it was looked at almost like a motor scooter. Like those, it cannot remain balanced with power off, and has similar speeds, but unlike them, they take up far more room and cost much more.

Interestingly adding a third wheel to the front, but mounting it on a spring with little resistance would allow the device to remain balanced when the power was off, without interfereing with the lean to drive feature.

But generally people are satisfied with the existing options like motorized scooters, mopeds, bicycles, and motorcycles.

Damn. (1)

hkdm (1721140) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712098)

The only guy I've ever known to fall off of a segway is the man who owned it. Shit sucks bro.

Re:Damn. (1)

arivanov (12034) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712516)

No, he is the second. The first was GWB aka Dubia.

I'm sorry but... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33712122)

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! (deep breath)

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA!

Shameless Marketing Stunt... (5, Funny)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712128)

This has to be the worst way to get free press for your product. But I'll give it to the man... He's dedicated.

Re:Shameless Marketing Stunt... (4, Funny)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712598)

This has to be the worst way to get free press for your product. But I'll give it to the man... He's dedicated.

Correction: deadicated.

unfortunate (3, Funny)

slshwtw (1903272) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712140)

He was a real stand-up kind of guy

ATVs are dangerous too (3, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712170)

simple fact:

if you combine

1. off road conditions
2. high speeds

you are basically deciding to do a passionate tango with death

a ruggedized segway? obviously in the same category as an ATV when it comes to "one dead me, please"

Psst. (3, Informative)

Slartibartfast (3395) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712716)

Just an FYI, the XT and X2 lines have been out for years; *IF* that's what he was riding -- and there truly is no other "off-road" Segway -- then it is what it is... but it ain't new.

not the usual segway death (3, Funny)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712174)

Usually segway riders only die from humiliation.

And yes, I know I'm going to hell.

Killed by... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33712182)

... his own invention... that's harsh.

I fokking love it ! ;) =D

Re:Killed by... (3, Informative)

Lazareth (1756336) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712240)

Read the article. It was not the inventor that died, but the owner of the product.

Re:Killed by... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33712520)

Well, he did own the invention I guess.

This is news for nerds? Stuff that matters? (4, Informative)

PatPending (953482) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712188)

So what's the point? Blame (ban?) the Segway?

And, oh, by the way:

In the UK, it is illegal to drive a Segway on the road or even on pavements or cycle paths. They can only be used on private property, despite campaigns to let them be used on cycle paths.

Re:This is news for nerds? Stuff that matters? (1)

curado (1677466) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712422)

I wish cyclists had to watch out for Segways as much as cars have to watch out for cyclists.

Re:This is news for nerds? Stuff that matters? (1)

GiveBenADollar (1722738) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712546)

Have you ever ridden a bike on the street?! Cars do not watch out for you, unless maybe it's to aim for you!

Re:This is news for nerds? Stuff that matters? (1)

PatPending (953482) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712700)

Have you ever ridden a bike on the street?! Cars do not watch out for you, unless maybe it's to aim for you!

And it's getting more dangerous with the proliferation of personal electronic devices, texting, and young drivers.

Nowadays I only ride on bike paths, or off-road mountain biking.

(I'm not trying to eliminate risk, just minimize it.)

Re:This is news for nerds? Stuff that matters? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33712742)

I know, there's nothing worse than having to pay attention when you're driving a vehicle.

Proof that eating dogfood (-1, Offtopic)

js3 (319268) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712204)

This is proof that eating dog food can kill you.

Bunch of comment nazi's here HAHA. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33712238)

Watch out that delete button might kill you someday ! ;) :)

This website is shiit.

First death? (5, Interesting)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712318)

Is this the first confirmed death while operating a Segway?

Wow... (0, Flamebait)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712322)

And I thought Wharfe was a pussy...

Anyone considered ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33712328)

This could just be an extremely geeky suicide?

Question (4, Funny)

2names (531755) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712350)

What is the British equivalent to "Hey, Ya'll, watch this!"

Re:Question (5, Funny)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712490)

What is the British equivalent to "Hey, Ya'll, watch this!"

"Tally-ho!"

My favourite UK Segway... (1)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712392)

...goes something like this:

And now, for something completely different!

More info (2, Informative)

necro81 (917438) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712428)

More info about the guy and the accident is available at the Daily Mail [dailymail.co.uk]

Don't call it a Segway... (5, Funny)

clickety6 (141178) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712500)


Call it a Segw
              a
               a
                a
                 a
                  a
                   a
                    a
                     a
                      y
This ground is a way to get round the stupid whitespace filters

The UK should do something about this (3, Informative)

slshwtw (1903272) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712502)

Ban gravity.

Testing prototypes can be hazardous (4, Insightful)

CHK6 (583097) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712510)

I'm recovering from testing a weed eater attachment that broke my leg after it sheared off the end of the shaft. It was a beta design and the failure was due to the combination of high torque and metal fatigue. The attachment flew off cut half way through my tibia and the break spiraled up the bone. Very close the amputation. This is what many inventors risk. I'm saddened by this loss and only heightens the awareness of testing and safety.

Hoverboard Option (1)

jacobsm (661831) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712512)

Methinks he should have ordered the hoverboard option for his Segway.

Segways still don't kill people (1)

simong (32944) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712538)

Driving them around on sandstone cliffs overlooking a fast flowing river does that. As sad as it is, it's definitely a contender for the Darwin Awards.

Giggle (1)

wcrowe (94389) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712568)

I'm sorry to have giggled at this story. But it's like a Robot Chicken episode come to life. Can't help it.

The device was easily found... (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712608)

...standing upright in the river.

Chlorine for the Gene Pool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33712718)

This.

True to its name... (1)

vortex2.71 (802986) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712756)

True to its name, the Segway provided a segue into the next stage of life.

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  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
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