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Larry Ellison Buys His Own Hawaiian Island

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the volcano-base dept.

Oracle 398

First time accepted submitter nrozema writes "Oracle co-founder and billionaire Larry Ellison is buying the Hawaiian island of Lana'i, the sixth-largest island in the U.S. archipelago. Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie confirmed in a written statement that the current landowner filed a transfer application with the state's Public Utilities commission Wednesday to sell its 98 percent share of the 141-square-mile island to Ellison."

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398 comments

Never thought.... (5, Funny)

Bloody Bastard (562228) | about 2 years ago | (#40396603)

....tsunamis could be a good thing.

What a flake Ellison is (2, Funny)

arcite (661011) | about 2 years ago | (#40396847)

Buying a bare, windswept, island that has long ago been converted into a Pineapple plantation? The place is probably invested with rats. ...or soaked in pesticides. Seems like a waste of money to me. There isn't even a sandy beach.

Re:What a flake Ellison is (4, Funny)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#40396873)

I think Ellison is used to investing with rats, just his kind of folks.

That was mean, rats are actually no where near as bad as this asshole.

Re:What a flake Ellison is (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40397069)

Rats, so long as they aren't starving or frightened, are kind and wonderful creatures. That was mean, very mean.

Re:What a flake Ellison is (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#40397121)

I know, I kept them as pets for years. I had to stop since they don't live long enough for as attached as I got. I trained some to fetch, they liked to be petted, very much like little dogs.

Far smarter and kinder than Mr.Ellison.

I pity him (3, Insightful)

goombah99 (560566) | about 2 years ago | (#40396881)

My own Lanai is in the back of my house, and it has a built in pool and fire pit. I don't have to travel all the way to Hawaii when I want to use. Just pop out there after work. Ellison got suckered.

Re:Never thought.... (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 years ago | (#40396907)

The 3100+ people living on the island might disagree.

Uh-oh. (5, Funny)

RevWaldo (1186281) | about 2 years ago | (#40396617)

Larry Ellison also owns a MIG fighter jet. This cannot be good.

.

Re:Uh-oh. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40396643)

And people in Africa starve to death, ridiculous.

Re:Uh-oh. (3, Insightful)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#40396675)

people in africa have been starving since i was a kid. too bad when you send them food the government takes it

What's the point of your post (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40396799)

people in africa have been starving since i was a kid.

Is that supposed to make it better somehow?

too bad when you send them food the government takes it

I'm having difficulties interpreting that in any way that would make sense... but I guess you could mean that when delivering resources to locations torn by war and ruled by dictators, it's pretty difficult to ensure that the resources go to the people who need them the most. Even though that's true, a blanket statement of "when you send them food the government takes it" sounds pretty ridiculous. And even if such a blanket statement was true, it still wouldn't be all that appropriate response to the criticism of utterly ridiculous wealth disparity in the world.

Re:What's the point of your post (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 2 years ago | (#40396903)

it still wouldn't be all that appropriate response to the criticism of utterly ridiculous wealth disparity in the world.

No criticism about the ridiculous wealth disparity in the world is appropriate if it comes from someone who spends significantly more than his share.

Re:What's the point of your post (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#40397197)

Why not?
In what rational way is it wrong for someone to point out the ridiculousness of a situation even if he benefits from it?

Re:What's the point of your post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40396931)

What is it you would do for them?

Describe how you would provide long term help with a budget equal to Larry Ellison's island fund which we can say is $1 billion USD. You might also mention the where and how of getting the funding.

Re:What's the point of your post (1)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#40396959)

do it like the USA did with China. give them MFN status along with tax breaks for US companies to set up manufacturing and other low level operations there. its already happening in parts of africa

China was like africa not to long ago. except that i think a lot more people starved in china than in africa. tens of millions in the last century. you can thank clinton, foxconn and apple for giving them jobs outside a farm

Re:What's the point of your post (1)

SlippyToad (240532) | about 2 years ago | (#40397141)

Describe how you would provide long term help with a budget equal to Larry Ellison's island fund which we can say is $1 billion USD.

I'm trying to decide if you are being funny here, or a stupid asshole. One billion dollars is the kind of money that a whole city or nation-state could be founded on. So, what we do have here is Larry Ellison being a self-centered asshole, when he could like many wealthy people actually be of some use to the world.

Hey, it's his money, and if he wants to act like the world's biggest spoiled child, then that's who he obviously wants to be. Just don't pretend it's anything else.

Re:Uh-oh. (5, Interesting)

tgd (2822) | about 2 years ago | (#40396909)

people in africa have been starving since i was a kid. too bad when you send them food the government takes it

Right, and beyond that, this implies that the kids our food and money saved in the 80's turned around and had another generation of even more kids... that still couldn't be fed.

Not sure what the end game of that process is.

Re:Uh-oh. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40396939)

people in africa have been starving since i was a kid. too bad when you send them food the government takes it

It's not always the government, in fact it's more usually militia groups and bandits that steal aid goods. The problem is that people in Africa are helped by air organizations rather than being taught to help them selves. But even with 'help yourself' aid programs the development aid packages that are supposed to build up infrastructure and industry in the developing world are so completely crippled by corruption, often in the (western) donor country as well as the developing country, that they are pretty much a waste of money (roads to nowhere, salt factories that can't produce human edible salt because the raw material is too caustic, computerized factories the locals don't have the capacity to operate, irrigation projects that create arable land in one place by drying up a lake or unsustainably pumping up ground water..... the list goes on).

Re:Uh-oh. (1)

SlippyToad (240532) | about 2 years ago | (#40397195)

The problem is that people in Africa are helped by air organizations rather than being taught to help them selves.

No, the problem is that the west is still digging diamonds and other valuables out of Africa's soil, and as long as there's money to be made filching the continent of its riches, we can't afford for any of the nations there to have like an independent or responsible government.

So it is in fact the government. The MANY governments of the world.

Re:Uh-oh. (2, Insightful)

citizenr (871508) | about 2 years ago | (#40397165)

people in africa have been starving since i was a kid. too bad when you send them food the government takes it

No. When you send them food they eat it, turn around and fuck to have some more children, after all food will just appear out of thin air.

Re:Uh-oh. (2)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 2 years ago | (#40397175)

people in africa have been starving since i was a kid. too bad when you send them food the government takes it

We don't send food to Africa. We send them credits to buy food from America. The government there, sells the credits and uses the proceeds to fund their military and line their own pockets. If we actually gave them food, it would do more good as most of the underworld people who buy the credits are quite well fed.

Re:Uh-oh. (-1, Troll)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 2 years ago | (#40396693)

And people in Africa starve to death, ridiculous.

Working as intended.

If you don't like capitalism, propose a better system.

Re:Uh-oh. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40396895)

go fuck yourself, ya greedy infidel!

Re:Uh-oh. (2)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 2 years ago | (#40397029)

go fuck yourself, ya greedy infidel!

Learn to read.

I never said I agreed with capitalism. I'm just tired of people crying about its obvious and direct consequences, and then say it's the bestest system of them all because it promotes competition and excellence.

Re:Uh-oh. (2)

wed128 (722152) | about 2 years ago | (#40397079)

it's the bestest system of them all because it promotes competition and excellence

Most compititions generally have a loser... Capitilism may not be perfect, but it's the best socioeconomic system we've got. Anyone complaining about it can go ahead and invent a new one. Socialism (under any name) isn't it.

Re:Uh-oh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40396695)

So you donate all your excess income to charity?

Re:Uh-oh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40396971)

I do... it's called taxes and (at the end) inheritance....

Re:Uh-oh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40396765)

To make your comment valid, I take it you barely survive on your daily diet. Nothing is spilled. No food is ever thrown away. No energi wasted?!...

Re:Uh-oh. (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 years ago | (#40396947)

I don't want to defend the guy, but don't diss him over the way he spends his money. He gives well over $100 million/year to charity and is also one of the "Giving Pledge" signatories. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Giving_Pledge

We have no idea what he plans to do with this island but it may not be as we all expect. It might be part of some charity scheme. We'll just have to wait and see.

Re:Uh-oh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40397183)

Rich envy, damn 1%ers. I love the welfare scum the won't work in the US, all are fat with cell phones. But that passes for poor now. BS cancels NASA NY bans what they feel like and we have people on welfare and disability who refuse to work. Damn the rich, only the elites in the government deserve to live like kings,. Everyone knows the poor provide jobs as well as the government. yey Go slash dumb.

Re:Uh-oh. (5, Funny)

stevencbrown (238995) | about 2 years ago | (#40396657)

And he looks like Hank Scorpio!

All we need is oracle to open up a germ warfare division, though think he'll have to settle for the western seaboard rather than the eastern, if he's based in Hawaii?

Re:Uh-oh. (1)

wed128 (722152) | about 2 years ago | (#40397097)

And he looks like Hank Scorpio!

Agreed! I never noticed it before, thanks for pointing it out!

Re:Uh-oh. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40396663)

Does he own a fluffy white cat and a Nehru jacket?

Re:Uh-oh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40396665)

An a pretty big yacht too, which may be carrying a hidden sub. I am not saying it does, but I haven't heard Mr Ellison deny it.

Re:Uh-oh. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40396813)

I'm not one of those idiots who whines and bitches about how someone makes more money than other people and how they should somehow give it all back to them or something. However, it's strange thinking that I've worked here for fifteen years and the biggest purchase of my life is my $200k house that I'll be paying off until I die . . . while my boss/CEO is buying fighter jets, billion dollar yachts, appearing in Iron Man 2, buying massively expensive houses all over the place, and buying a 141sq mile Hawaiian island. It's kind of demoralizing to realize that Larry probably spent more in this one purchase than every single person *combined* in my entire division will earn (after taxes) in three or four life-times. Or as much as I would earn in take-home if I continued working from today until the year 17,000.

Re:Uh-oh. (1)

Rei (128717) | about 2 years ago | (#40397139)

The free market treats people the same way it treats commodities. Gold isn't just little bit more expensive than iron, it's *hugely* more expensive. Supply and demand apply just the same to people's salaries as they do to precious metals.

People can choose to accept that as a fundamental truth which we must accept (aka, libertarianism) or as something which it's fair to remedy (or must be remedied) by government action (aka, varying degrees of socialism blended with a market economy). It depends on whether your definition of "Fair" comes from "If the market wants to pay it, it's fair" or whether it's from something more like, for example, "Reward should be proportional to factors such as hard work, intelligence, risk, etc on well-less-than-exponential basis"

Re:Uh-oh. (0)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 2 years ago | (#40396969)

Might prove useful. eventually the 99% will fight the 1% by pure physical means (in the form of accelerated lead). At that point, being in an island with a jet might be the best idea.

Now that I think on it, for the 1%, the zombie apocalypse has already started. Repeat with me "braaaaaaaaaaaains."

Re:Uh-oh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40397109)

Might prove useful. eventually the 99% will fight the 1% by pure physical means (in the form of accelerated lead). At that point, being in an island with a jet might be the best idea.

Now that I think on it, for the 1%, the zombie apocalypse has already started. Repeat with me "braaaaaaaaaaaains."

It's all part of Larry's DR plan.

This will make a fine place... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40396619)

..for a secret base to plan world domination with his minions...

Austin Powers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40396629)

Hollowed-out volcano and white cat time ?

Re:Austin Powers (1)

Lord Lode (1290856) | about 2 years ago | (#40396839)

I don't really know Austin Powers, but isn't the white cat from James Bond?

Re:Austin Powers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40396899)

Dr. Evil has a white cat. It loses all its hair after they're frozen.

Spoiler: Austin Powers is a parody of James Bond.

That's REALLY a considerable ... (3, Insightful)

yvesdandoy (44789) | about 2 years ago | (#40396631)

NON-EVENT ... at all !!!

Thank you, whoever posted this thing.
Really.
It was so important to rellay this non-information ... that I wonder what my day could have been if I hadn't received it.

Splendid! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40396635)

I know where you live, now!

so what? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40396649)

When the law and the market is such that corporate owners can buy whole islands for themselves, it's time to recognise that land ownership is just a piece of paper filed in some cabinet/database, not a natural right. Ellison has no moral right to own an island - indeed, no-one really has any more right to own land than they do to own a genetic patent. It's nature's thing, it was there before you, and it'll be there after you were gone. We must recognise that the only way that this land "belongs" to Ellison is that people in uniform will stop others from using it.

Now it seems right to allow people to lease a limited amount of land under limited terms according to the privileges decided by a democratically elected government. As it stands now for the average person, you pay your land tax and you get control of some land, for as long as your control doesn't act to the detriment of the general public. This has a philosophical basis in geolibertarianism, and receives a nod from communism (though communism's implementation is different). It is also, of course, the system partly implemented by almost every Western government: e.g. in the UK, pay your Council Tax or Business Rates or have your property taken from you. The difference is that the latter have weak recognition of the nature of land, allowing monopolisation of this naturally monopolisable resource. We need to recognise that no land really belongs to anyone - the only thing a man is entitled to is what he has physically made with his own hands, or that someone else has so made and freely traded with him. Even then, there are questions of ownership of raw materials, so it's all just a compromise.

Re:so what? (1)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#40396705)

animals "own" land as well. predators have their own personal hunting territories they will fight for. vegetarians will fight for the best spots. the biggest deer, moose, elk or whatever will push/beat a weaker member of the tribe from any spot he wants to eat at

people just use paper and computer databases

Re:so what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40396777)

Only the most simplistic interpretation of society concludes that an animal's territory is like human land ownership.

Land ownership involves society as a whole protecting a right on your behalf. The human "owns" the land in the sense that an enormous government system exists to react to anyone else's attempt to use it for almost anything.

Animal territory involves an animal - and, in the few cases of social species, its peers - protecting its own territory. The animal "owns" the land only in the sense that it tries to stop others from using it for purposes which the animal wishes to prevent.

Any conception of Ellison's island "ownership" is silly. There is absolutely no reason for society to recognise that Ellison owns an island. We certainly shouldn't be wasting our resources on protecting such an ownership right. Even if, through dishonesty or simple misunderstanding about the workings of the market, one tries to argue that Ellison has "earned" an island, this still doesn't mean that we need to expend resources on protecting the right.

(As a first step, US trespass laws should be much more limited - Scotland and some of the Scandinavian countries have the right idea. For example, my partner's family "own" a lot of land in Scotland, but strangers are allowed to use it for various things all the time. I found it absurd that so much land was "private" in the US in the sense that one actually couldn't even walk over it, even though it was uncultivated and open to the elements.)

Re:so what? (1)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#40396975)

and that's why we sent your ancestors packing back to the UK in the 1700's. to protect private ownership of land

Re:so what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40397025)

And by "protect private ownership of land" you mean "take land from Natives somewhere else who weren't equipped to fight back, and then declare that it's ours for eternity".

If it wasn't already obvious that private land ownership is infeasible then, it's obvious now: the population continues to go up but the amount of land on the planet cannot increase significantly. There is barely any unclaimed land to put your silly flag on and declare as your own. And the Lebensraum policy of C18 was yet more horrific when repeated in C20.

Re:so what? (1)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#40397201)

lets not get into UK colonialism and genocide of native peoples around the world over the centuries

yes it's kind of like the Serengeti where a wandering lion goes into your territory you have to fight/kill it or risk losing your hunting grounds

Re:so what? (1)

mjr167 (2477430) | about 2 years ago | (#40397023)

I have to disagree. A lion eating you because you infringed on his territory is remarkably similar to me shooting you for trespassing. We both mark our territorial boundaries and we both defend them. We can also both lose our territory if we fail to defend it.

Decadence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40396655)

Now it's Larry Ellison versus hawaiikind, with hawaiikind in the underdog position.

Same island Bill Gates chose for wedding (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40396667)

Old story here [nwsource.com]

Units (4, Insightful)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 2 years ago | (#40396671)

the 141-square-mile island

I can't comprehend that size. Could we have the area in asteroid passing distances? Earth radiuses works too.

Re:Units (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40396763)

the 141-square-mile island

I can't comprehend that size. Could we have the area in asteroid passing distances? Earth radiuses works too.

I beleive that the scientific unit for area is football field.

Re:Units (1)

sloomis (1326535) | about 2 years ago | (#40396891)

I beleive that the scientific unit for area is football field.

American or European?

Re:Units (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 2 years ago | (#40397009)

I beleive that the scientific unit for area is football field.

American or European?

American. ...

NO! EUROPEAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Re:Units (2)

goodmanj (234846) | about 2 years ago | (#40396827)

This is not a small island. It's roughly the size of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens put together, or the Isle of Wight.

Re:Units (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40396953)

It's a little over 90,000 acres. It's not actually that much land. Ted Turner owns WELL over 2,000,000 acres of land.

Re:Units (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40397057)

Two "your mom's."

he's like Dr. No (5, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 2 years ago | (#40396689)

With these billionaires also starting their own private space programs too, all we need is a suave british agent and a hot local chick going to raid the compound threatening megalomaniacal schemes

"do you expect me to talk?"

"no mr. bond, I expect no SQL to this movie, I expect you to join that table with this collate, and then drop"

Re:he's like Dr. No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40397047)

You should have said: "No Mr. Bond, I expect you to SQL" ....

(squeel)

Microsoft camp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40397157)

Implying that "S-Q-L" should be pronounced "sequel"? You must be from the microsoft camp.

C'mon Larry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40396703)

If you really want to play in the next James Bond, the best is the Actor studio !

Misleading title? (2)

garatheus (993376) | about 2 years ago | (#40396731)

The title reads like it is a little misleading to me... The way I read it was in the context that he bought an island he already owned (which would not surprise me). I don't know why the /. editor who posted this thought it wouldn't be interpreted this way though... (or why I'm the first to comment on it?)

Surely: "Larry Ellison buys Hawaiian Island" would have sufficed?

While I might not have studied journalism, I did have a job as a journalist for about a year (as well as being made editor of some smaller sections to the online news site), and well, I think my article-editor would have kicked me in the head (or at least shat on me from a dizzy height, as was the norm I guess). Oh well.

Although I very much doubt this will be the last time this happens...

Re:Misleading title? (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 years ago | (#40397135)

It's bad grammar to be sure, but is a common speech construct (in the US). Some people might say "I bought my own car" or "I bought my own house". The meaning is that they bought it for themselves, as opposed to "I bought my mom a house". So the title is basically saying he bought the island for his own use, as opposed to buying it for someone else, for the company, etc.

Is there a volcano on it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40396735)

I assume his purpose here is to create a volcano lair island.

Re:Is there a volcano on it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40396767)

No. The only active volcanos are on the big island, named Hawaii.

Big surprise... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40396755)

The 1% own 99%...

At a bargain price (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40396769)

141 square miles ~= 90,000 acres. Assuming "hundreds of millions" = $500,000,000, this comes to about $5500/acre.

The parcel my house sits on in DC is values at about $3.6 million /acre. (It's much less than an acre!)

I guess I have more expensive tastes then Mr. Ellison.

Reaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40396841)

When I saw the title, I went, "Oh, sure, there's plenty of tiny, 1 acre islands that are separated from one of the main islands by a tiny bit of sea, he probably bought one of those. There's no way anyone could afford to buy one of the.... he really just bought Lana'i. Someone can do that?"

Re:Reaction (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 years ago | (#40397177)

Ni'ihua is another of the eight primary islands that are privately owned. It was originally purchased from the Kingdom of Hawai'i in 1864.

Hawaiian Land Ownership (1)

stevegee58 (1179505) | about 2 years ago | (#40396855)

I thought the Hawaiian royal family owned all the land and you only rented the land from them and paid a yearly land rent.

Re:Hawaiian Land Ownership (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 years ago | (#40397185)

At least one other major island, Ni'ihua, is privately owned after being purchased from the Kingdom of Hawai'i in 1864.

Name change coming soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40396857)

Coming soon to Hawaii: Ellis[on] Island

Interesting.... (1)

erp_consultant (2614861) | about 2 years ago | (#40396905)

Maybe now he's found something large enough to hold his massive ego. Somehow I doubt it though, given his past transgressions. He's hoping that a volcano erupts and takes his sorry ass down.

Next year: Oracle secedes (5, Funny)

AbominousSalad (1774194) | about 2 years ago | (#40396955)

Next year's follow-up story - Oracle secedes, and couches itself as fully as possible in its total reality distortion field.

Then it sues Greece for having had oracles 2000 years ago.

I wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40396989)

If he ran this by George Clooney

My fellow Hawaiians! (3, Funny)

bitt3n (941736) | about 2 years ago | (#40397019)

"Good news! I have just sold one of our islands for half the proceeds from Oracle's upcoming multi-billion-dollar lawsuit against Google! Even if they get only half what they're asking, we will make a killing. I promise a hula hoop around every midriff!"

He's not the first one to do it...but still (2)

erp_consultant (2614861) | about 2 years ago | (#40397021)

Why is it that I feel a lot better about Richard Branson buying an island or David Copperfield buying an island than I do this jackass? When PeopleSoft was still an independent company I used to work there. Best job I ever had. Then Ellison decides to buy it and the whole culture changes. People, including me, are leaving in droves. Couldn't work there. Wouldn't work there. Ellison is the biggest douchbag on the face of the earth.

Larry and the Volcano (1)

scharkalvin (72228) | about 2 years ago | (#40397067)

I hope there is a fucking Volcano on the island and it erupts.
Then I hope someone throws Larry into it.

Consequence? (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about 2 years ago | (#40397085)

What does 'owning' an Island actual mean? Is it part of the state of Hawaii and thus the USA?

Can Larry declare independence, make the island an international tax haven, issue its own currency and move Oracle's head office outside US jurisdiction?

Or is it more just he's now the owner of a pineapple plantation with 3000 worker slaves?

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