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Ask Slashdot: Linux-Friendly Desktop x86 Motherboard Manufacturers?

EmagGeek Never had an issue with anything (271 comments)

I've never had an issue running Linux (the kernel) on any motherboard I have every tried.

Please try to understand that 99% of angry posts on the Internet about how "this shit doesn't work" are really saying "I can't make it work because I don't know how and I'm mad."


No, a Stolen iPod Didn't Brick Ben Eberle's Prosthetic Hand

EmagGeek Typical of Slashdot (122 comments)

Rush to post a story without even an ounce of research or fact-checking.

Really, I only come here anymore for the profound amusement I get from watching this train wreck continue in super slow motion.

4 days ago

New Windows Coming In Late September -- But Which One?

EmagGeek But which one? (251 comments)

I would say either 2014 or 2015, but more than likely 2014 because why would they announce a windows release more than a year in advance?

about a week ago

13-Year-Old Finds Fungus Deadly To AIDS Patients Growing On Trees

EmagGeek Re:The Tools of Science (134 comments)

It's called Montessori School, and it's wonderful.

about a week ago

Slashdot Asks: How Prepared Are You For an Earthquake?

EmagGeek I don't need to be prepared for an Earthquake (191 comments)

They almost never happen here, and when they do it's a 4 at the absolute most.

There was one this spring about 100 miles away. The sound it made as it passed was fascinating. The feeling was barely perceptible. I feel more shaking when my dogs are playing around the house.

about a week ago

Slashdot Asks: Cheap But Reasonable Telescopes for Kids?

EmagGeek Re:Dobsonian (187 comments)

No. Absolutely not. Alt-az mounts are horrible, especially for beginning astronomers as there is a complete disconnect between the telescope axis and reality. An alt-az mount almost has to be motorized to be useful, and it drives up cost. People hocking dobs love to talk about how cheap the "dollars per inch" of the optics are, but the fail to mention you can look at something under high magnification for a few seconds before it disappears, and then you have to figure out how to track RA with an alt-az mount under high power and find the object again.

There's no better way to get an astronomy newbie to QUIT the hobby than to set them up with a dob.

about two weeks ago

Slashdot Asks: Cheap But Reasonable Telescopes for Kids?

EmagGeek 4.5" Newtonian on an EQ Mount (187 comments)

Get a 4.5" or maybe a 6" Newtonian reflector on an EQ mount. Be sure you spend at least 5x on the mount than you do on the Optical Tube. The mount is 80% of the telescope. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT cheap out on a telescope by getting a shitty mount.

The EQ mount need not be motorized nor have a computer - in fact it's nice to learn about the RA/Dec axes and how to dial them in and track objects manually, but an RA motor would be necessary if you want to do any photography. (An RA motor does not necessarily require a full computer rig)

Eyepieces are also important, and pay no attention to "max power" capabilities, as they are always way overstated. A 4.5-6" Newtonian will be best at powers up to but not exceeding about 60-90X. Make sure you get a range of eyepieces to have variable power, but focus on field of view rather than magnification. Field of view is WAY more important than magnification.

The objects you will look at most with a 4.5-6" scope are the moon, planets, and nebulae. Nebulae are really cool, but you'll need the larger apertures to really appreciate them, or the photography setup so you can collect the light.

If you foresee going far with this as a hobby, you will want to go 8-10" at some point. It's better to decide now as telescopes are utterly worthless on the used market.

Hope this helps..

about two weeks ago

Tor Browser Security Under Scrutiny

EmagGeek Re:Christ..Chrome!?!? (80 comments)

Why the hell would you want to?

about two weeks ago

Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

EmagGeek I've been pleased with LotD (727 comments)

I've been using Linux on my desktop since running AfterStep WM on RedHat in 1996. My current machine is running Mint Cinnamon 17...

about two weeks ago

51% of Computer Users Share Passwords

EmagGeek Re:Android makes this worse. (117 comments)

Both of our Android phones both have multi-user capability.

about two weeks ago

51% of Computer Users Share Passwords

EmagGeek Re:NEWS FLASH!!! (117 comments)

That may be a true statistic, but the subset of 51% of people who are stupid are not necessarily the same as the subset of 51% that share their passwords.

about two weeks ago

51% of Computer Users Share Passwords

EmagGeek Two people have access to my passwords (117 comments)

There are two people who have access to all of my passwords: My wife and my lawyer.

These are the only two people on this planet with whom my communications are protected by legal privilege.

Should the thinkable happen (let's face it, calling untimely death unthinkable is stupid, as it is entirely thinkable), there should be someone left who can access everything to put my affairs in order.

about two weeks ago

Are Altcoins Undermining Bitcoin's Credibility?

EmagGeek Thank you, Captain Obvious (267 comments)

"The editor of a Bitcoin advocacy site believes the proliferation of altcoins (cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin) is harming Bitcoin"

Gee, you don't say?

about two weeks ago

Why the Universe Didn't Become a Black Hole

EmagGeek Explain it like I'm not an astrophysicist (109 comments)

Because I'm not. But, where does the 92 billion light year thing come from? I would think what, 28 billion across if it's 14 billion years old?

about two weeks ago

Samsung Buys Kickstarter-Funded Internet of Things Startup For $200MM

EmagGeek Re:WTF is the extra 'M' for? (107 comments)

People who aren't USAsians who know that MM means 1000 * 1000 which is French for 1,000,000

about three weeks ago

Hemp Fibers Make Better Supercapacitors Than Graphene

EmagGeek How long does it last? (178 comments)

If I put a supercap made of organic hemp into an oven at 105C for 5000 hours, what's left when I am finished? It is still a supercapacitor or is it a small metal can full of organic goo?

about three weeks ago

I'd most like to (personally) explore:

EmagGeek Re:Typical slashdot poll (246 comments)

What is this "female body" of which you speak?

about three weeks ago



Apple Pulls Blockchain from App Store, Leaving Apple Users Walletless

EmagGeek EmagGeek writes  |  about 7 months ago

EmagGeek (574360) writes "Apple this week yanked a bitcoin app from its App Store, prompting an angry screed from the developer, who accused Cupertino of trying to squash a "revolutionary new payment system."

The move is mystifying, Blockchain said, because its app has been in the App Store without incident for two years and secured more than 120,000 downloads. "The only thing that has changed is that bitcoin has become competitive to Apple's own payment system," Blockchain said. "By removing the blockchain app, the only bitcoin wallet application on the App store, Apple has eliminated competition using their monopolistic position in the market in a heavy handed manner."

This move effectively bans Bitcoin on Apple devices, as Blockchain was the only bitcoin wallet app available in the iTunes store."

Link to Original Source

How do you convince an ISP to come bury cable in your neighborhood?

EmagGeek EmagGeek writes  |  about 7 months ago

EmagGeek (574360) writes "I live in a semi-rural micropolitan area that generally has good access choices for high speed Internet. However, there are holes in the coverage in our area, and I live in one of them. There is infrastructure nearby, but because our subdivision covenants require all utilities to be underground, telecoms won't even consider upgrading to modern technology. The result is that we're all stuck with legacy DSL (which AT&T has happily re-branded as U-Verse even though it isn't) as our only choice for wireline access.

There is a competing cable company in the area, also with infrastructure nearby, but similarly they are reluctant to even discuss burying new cable in our 22-home subdivision.

Has anyone been in this same predicament and been able to convince a nearby ISP to run new lines? If so, how did you do it? Our neighborhood association could really use some pointers on this because we hit a new brick wall with every new approach we try — stopping just short of burying our own cable and hoping they'll at least be willing to run a line to the pole at the end of the street and drop it into our box."

Cray-1 vs. AMD 7990, Then vs. Now

EmagGeek EmagGeek writes  |  about a year ago

EmagGeek (574360) writes "In 1976, a Cray-1 supercomputer cost $36M (in 2013 dollars) and could execute floating point math at 160 MFLOP. The supercomputer had a 5.2V power supply that delivered almost 800 amps to the circuitry. The machine was the size of a small Volkswagen and required a refrigeration system to dissipate the 4000 watts of electricity it took to run.

The fastest PC video card on the market today costs $1000 and can execute floating point math at 8,200,000 MFLOP, consumes energy at a rate of just less than 400 watts, and is about the size of a paperback book.

50,000 times faster, 1/36,000 the price, 1/10th the energy, and about 1/5,000 the volume. It's interesting how they had to solve the enormous power requirements of supercomputers at the time, and how they have continued to solve them over the years as power densities have increased."

Link to Original Source

Did Large Eyes Lead To Neanderthals' Demise?

EmagGeek EmagGeek writes  |  about a year and a half ago

EmagGeek writes "Bigger eyes and a corresponding greater allocation of the brain to process visual information is the most recent theory about the reasons that led to the extinction of Neanderthals, our closest relatives. Neanderthals split from the primate line that gave rise to modern humans about 400,000 years ago. This group then moved to Eurasia and completely disappeared from the world about 30,000 years back. Other studies have shown that Neanderthals might have lived near the Arctic Circle around 31,000 to 34,000 years ago."
Link to Original Source

EFF Accepts Chair Endowment to Fight Patent Trolls, Funded by Patent Troll

EmagGeek EmagGeek writes  |  about a year and a half ago

EmagGeek writes "In an astonishing piece of irony, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has accepted an endowment from billionaire investor Mark Cuban to fund a "chair to eliminate stupid patents." One might thing the EFF would have a good system for vetting potential donors for possible conflicts of interest, but apparently missed the fact that Mark Cuban, who reportedly owns a 7.4% stake in patent troll Vringo, is currently embroiled in several patent trolling lawsuits against the likes of Google and Target.

"In March, Vringo merged with Innovate/Protect, which is basically a patent troll. It ended up owning search-monetization patents from Lycos. It's using those patents in lawsuits with Google, AOL, Gannett, Target and IAC, according to a Vringo press release.

Suing Google over years-old patents that aren't being used is absurd. But that might be the appeal to Cuban.""

Link to Original Source

Firefox with NoScript Defeats Wikipedia Blackout

EmagGeek EmagGeek writes  |  more than 2 years ago

EmagGeek writes "So, just for kicks this morning, I loaded Wikipedia to see what the blackout looked like. I saw that the content loaded before a black cover page was added, making it obvious they were just using a script to cover the content after it loaded. So, I enabled NoScript for Wikipedia and voila! I can now see English Wikipedia during the blackout."
Link to Original Source

What's a good Tablet/App Combination for Note-Taki

EmagGeek EmagGeek writes  |  more than 2 years ago

" rel="nofollow">EmagGeek writes "My wife recently started back to school to finish her 4-year degree, and one of the things that we've been considering is procuring for her some kind of tablet that would enable her to take notes in class and save them electronically. This would obviate the need to carry around a bunch of paper, and could even be used to store e-textbooks so she doesn't have to lug 30lbs of books around campus.

At minimum, she would have to be able to write freehand on the tablet with a fine-point stylus, just like she would write on paper with a pen. We've seen what we call those "fat finger" styli and found that they are not good for fine writing.

Having become frustrated with the offerings we've tried so far, I thought I would ping the Slashdot Community. Any suggestions?"

Strategic Domain Choices Yield 20GB in Misdirected

EmagGeek EmagGeek writes  |  more than 2 years ago

EmagGeek writes ""Two researchers who set up doppelganger domains to mimic legitimate domains belonging to Fortune 500 companies say they managed to vacuum up 20 gigabytes of misaddressed e-mail over six months.

The intercepted correspondence included employee usernames and passwords, sensitive security information about the configuration of corporate network architecture that would be useful to hackers, affidavits and other documents related to litigation in which the companies were embroiled, and trade secrets, such as contracts for business transactions."

-- All the more reason to make sure you buy every typo for your domain as well."

Link to Original Source

iPhones found secretly tracking users' locations

EmagGeek EmagGeek writes  |  more than 3 years ago

EmagGeek writes "Apple devices appear to be tracking their owners' locations and storing data about people's whereabouts without their knowledge, according to a report posted Wednesday on a site called iPhone Tracker.

The unauthorized surveillance started in June 2010, when the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system was released, according to two researchers who say they discovered a hidden tracking file and posted it out of concern for users.

Apple has not responded to the allegations."

Link to Original Source

Researchers discover new turbine drive method

EmagGeek EmagGeek writes  |  more than 3 years ago

EmagGeek writes "Recently Ephemeral Chimera Laboratories (ECL), specialists in commercialization efforts for novel and radical technologies, announced they are in the process of commercializing a radical bioelectromechanical power system that promises to end energy dependence worldwide. ECL’s novel BB/CB-DERS combines a biological organism with electromechanical energy-harvesting technology to deliver what may eventually become a major source of energy for home and industry once the company has completed its efforts."
Link to Original Source

9th Circuit: Gov't can track you in secret w/ GPS

EmagGeek EmagGeek writes  |  about 4 years ago

EmagGeek writes "Even Time Magazine Online thinks that it's scary that "Government agents can sneak onto your property in the middle of the night, put a GPS device on the bottom of your car and keep track of everywhere you go. This doesn't violate your Fourth Amendment rights, because you do not have any reasonable expectation of privacy in your own driveway — and no reasonable expectation that the government isn't tracking your movements."

"The court went on to make a second terrible decision about privacy: that once a GPS device has been planted, the government is free to use it to track people without getting a warrant."

I guess if you can't afford to put gates and access control around your property, then you have fewer rights than those who can."

Link to Original Source

Measuring Proficiency in the Engineering Workplace

EmagGeek EmagGeek writes  |  more than 4 years ago

EmagGeek writes "The current and most common paradigm for reviewing employee performance seems to be the standard annual review of accomplishments against the employee's goals and objectives for the review period. In my company, compensation is determined mostly by the outcome of the goal and objective review. However, titles and ranks (and therefore promotions and career advancement — or ending) are determined by a completely separate set of criteria, among them being engineering expertise. We do not currently have an established way to objectively measure employee proficiency, so I was curious if you've experienced being rated for your engineering proficiency, and if so, how was that accomplished, and also whether you have been promoted or demoted or received an adjustment in compensation as a result of it."

Researchers Create 4nm Transistor with 7 Atoms

EmagGeek EmagGeek writes  |  more than 4 years ago

EmagGeek writes "University researchers have created a transistor by replacing just seven atoms of silicon with phosphorous. The seven-atom transistor has very hopeful implications for the future of quantum cryptography, nuclear and weather modeling, and other applications.

"The significance of this achievement is that we are not just moving atoms around or looking at them through a microscope," says Professor Michelle Simmons, a co-author of a paper on the subject that is being published by Nature Nanotechnology. The paper is entitled "Spectroscopy of Few-Electron Single-Crystal Silicon Quantum Dots".

"We are manipulating individual atoms and placing them with atomic precision, in order to make a working electronic device," elaborated Simmons. "We have replaced just seven individual silicon atoms with phosphorus atoms. That is amazing exactness"."

Link to Original Source

Apple recalls iPad due to counterfeit capacitors

EmagGeek EmagGeek writes  |  more than 4 years ago

EmagGeek writes "SEATLLE (AP) — Apple today recalled all of its new iPad tablet computers after learning that it had been sold thousands of counterfeit components that could cause short circuits in the device. A spokesperson for Apple, speaking on condition of anonymity, said "we learned Monday that many of our iPad devices were failing factory test with short circuited capacitors. Upon further research, we discovered that we had received the components from an unauthorized vendor, and that those components were not genuine."

The spokesperson said there could be a delay in the delivery of iPads to many customers for several months while the recalled units are repaired, and that it was very important for all iPads to be returned for repair, because the components could explode if short circuited.

He would not say whether the recall would need to be extended to other Apple products, such as the popular iPod, iPhone, and iMac line of personal computers."

Link to Original Source

US Government Bails Out Tesla Motors

EmagGeek EmagGeek writes  |  more than 5 years ago

EmagGeek writes ""The Obama Administration will lend Tesla Motors $465 million to build an electric sedan and the battery packs needed to propel it. It's one of three loans totaling almost $8 billion that the Department of Energy awarded Tuesday to spur the development of fuel-efficient vehicles. Tesla has long been counting on the loan to help it build the sedan it unveiled in March and had been in discussions with the agency for about nine months. It had sought $350 million to retool a factory to build the car and $100 million to manufacture battery packs and drivetrain components.""
Link to Original Source

DARPA Creates Remote Controlled Insects

EmagGeek EmagGeek writes  |  more than 5 years ago

EmagGeek writes "Attempts by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to create cybernetic insects (hybrids of biological and electronic bugs) have yielded ultralow-power radios to control the bugs' flight and a method of powering those circuits by harvesting energy, according to research that will be reported this week at the IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC)

Electrodes and a control chip are inserted into a moth during its pupal stage. When the moth emerges the electrodes stimulate its muscles to control its flight.

This is creepy beyond all belief. I expect a run on bug lights any day."

Link to Original Source

The Most Advanced Robotic Quadruped on Earth

EmagGeek EmagGeek writes  |  about 6 years ago

EmagGeek writes "BigDog is the alpha male of the Boston Dynamics family of robots. It is a quadruped robot that walks, runs, and climbs on rough terrain and carries heavy loads. BigDog is powered by a gasoline engine that drives a hydraulic actuation system. BigDog's legs are articulated like an animal's, and have compliant elements that absorb shock and recycle energy from one step to the next. BigDog is the size of a large dog or small mule, measuring 1 meter long, 0.7 meters tall and 75 kg weight.

This thing looks truly amazing. I can think of a number of uses for a robot such as this, including search and rescue, hostile package delivery, and more. Let the SkyNet tags fly!"

Link to Original Source

Man Sues Time Warner For Having To Rent Cable Box

EmagGeek EmagGeek writes  |  about 6 years ago

EmagGeek writes "Matthey Meeds, a real-estate agent, was so irritated about having to pay the monthly rental fee that on Tuesday he filed an antitrust suit against Time Warner Cable and its 84 percent owner, Time Warner Inc. The suit alleges that, by linking the provision of premium cable services to rental of the cable box, the companies have established illegal tying arrangements.

"Time Warner's improper tying and bundling harms competition," Meeds' lawsuit states. "Since the class can only rent the cable box directly from Time Warner, manufacturers of cable boxes are foreclosed from renting and/or selling cable boxes directly to members of the class at a lower cost."

I pay Comcast over $25/mo for my two DVRs. I'd love to just be able to buy them or build my own. I can't wait to see how this unfolds."

Link to Original Source

Superconducting Power Grid Launches in New York

EmagGeek EmagGeek writes  |  more than 6 years ago

EmagGeek writes "There is an article in IEEE about a new superconducting power grid that was energized in April in New York State. The lines operate at 138kV and are cooled to 65-75K to maintain superconductivity. These lines are run underground and can carry 150 times more electricity than copper lines of the same cross section (the article didn't say if they meant current or energy). The project is funded with taxpayer dollars through the Department of Energy."
Link to Original Source

EmagGeek EmagGeek writes  |  more than 7 years ago

EmagGeek writes "According to a CNN Article, "Experts argue that if the United States is to remain competitive with other countries in the engineering field, it will have to find better ways to encourage women to join the profession." Apparently, the quality and competence of an engineering class has more to do with its gender composition than the quality and competence of the students.

From the Article:

Women received 18 percent of the 78,200 engineering degrees given out in 2003-04, the latest data available from the U.S. Department of Education. That's the same percentage as in 1998 and only slightly more than the 16 percent in 1996."



Measuring Proficiency in the Engineering Workplace

EmagGeek EmagGeek writes  |  more than 3 years ago

The current and most common paradigm for reviewing employee performance seems to be the standard annual review of accomplishments against the employee's goals and objectives for the review period. In my company, compensation is determined mostly by the outcome of the goal and objective review. However, titles and ranks (and therefore promotions and career advancement - or ending) are determined by a completely separate set of criteria, among them being engineering expertise. We do not currently have an established way to objectively measure employee proficiency, so I was curious if you've experienced being rated for your engineering proficiency, and if so, how was that accomplished, and also whether you have been promoted or demoted or received an adjustment in compensation as a result of it.


Why Kyoto is Unfair

EmagGeek EmagGeek writes  |  more than 8 years ago

At the end of this missive is a list of countries that have commitments under Kyoto. Countries not on this list, including China and India, are completely exempt from any restrictions whatsoever. China, which has a standing army greater than 1 million, and the technology to build enough nuclear weapons to wipe our little country off the face of the planet, and plans to graduate over 600,000 engineers from its universities annually, is somehow a "developing" country. If you think jobs are moving to China and India quickly now, just imagine how fast our jobs would disappear when energy becomes three times as expensive here.

Also note that China is the number-two emitter of CO2, second to the US. How is it fair that the country next-most responsible for emission of greenhouse gases must do nothing to lower its emissions (or improve worker conditions, or human rights, or protect intellectual property, or......) ? I guess the world is afraid of threatening the economy of China. Well, the Kyoto has a provision that blames countries based upon their emissions over all of time. This provision is specifically designed to target the United States and ONLY the United States. The US was the first country to truly industrialize, and was thus the first to start increasing its emissions of industrial gas.

According to the information from the US DOE, China's energy-related usage produced 3,541 million metric tons of CO2, while the U.S. produced 5,796 million metric tons.

Under Kyoto, Annex I countries may trade greenhouse gas "certificates." A country that doesn't emit all of its allocated greenhouse gases may sell their certificates to other countries. I wonder how much deeper in debt we'll have to go to pay the bill? We expend our energy supporting the world economy by being huge consumers of everything. What will happen to the world economy when we have to also pay the bill for expending that energy? The world will essentially be charging us for the privelege of sending them all of our money in the first place... and we won't be able to produce anything here because of the restrictions that would make it prohibitively expensive to build factories.

Kyoto has the right idea - but miserable execution. ALL countries should be included in the requirements, developing or not. Indeed, developing countries might just select alternative fuel sources in the beginning rather than take the cheap oil (cheap because we couldn't buy it) for now and have to convert later. I think it would be far more effective for developing countries to start out using carbon-cycle fuels rather than fossil fuels. Good habits start in infancy, can't teach an old dog new tricks, and so on and so forth.

Unfortunately, though, Kyoto doesn't differentiate between CO2 emitted by carbon-cycle fuels and fossil fuels, so even if a nation did switch to ethanol that came from atmospheric CO2 in the first place, it would still have to count that toward its quota.

Also specifically unfair is the provision that requires the countries listed below to pay for and install industrial gas-cleansing equipment in the developing countries (all countries NOT on that list). How can we be expected to afford the cost of doing so - going into China, to whom we are already sending all of our jobs and our money - and paying for their industrial cleanups?

The correct implementation would be for Kyoto to preempt any country from restricting the implementation or research in alternative energy. Currently, we cannot build new nuclear plants because of the anti-nuclear movement, and we cannot build more refineries for alternative fuels because of the environmental movement (funny how they play both sides here). Injunctive relief in these areas is paramount to exploring alternative sources of energy.

I have the privelege of working with several Indians. From first-hand accounts, I can tell you that gasoline in India is filthy - full of sulfur. They say the air reeks of sulfur in Bombay and Bangalore. Smog is horrific there, only exacerbated by the intense heat and monsoon humidity. On a clear day you can see - a couple of miles. They have no environmental laws to speak of, or very few. No catalytic converters. No industrial pollution controls. They may emit far less tonnage of stuff, but the stuff they do emit, sulfurs, NOx, CO, etc, is far worse that the stuff we emit, which is predominantly CO2. They make their gas from the heavy crude because they have no incentive to do otherwise.

Kyoto certainly has a noble goal, but it is not written with the best interests of the global economy in mind. It selectively benefits the worst polluting countries while penalizing countries that already impose strict emissions controls and develop the cleanest energy technology.

Anyway, on to the list of countries that will have to pay the "we're successful and you're not" tax to the world's worst polluted developing countries. Notice the near-complete absence of just about any country south of the Equator. Australia and New Zealand are the only two.

Annex I Countries
Annex I countries are the 36 industrialised countries and Economies in Transition (EIT*) listed in Annex I of the UNFCCC. These countries have taken emission caps - regulatory devices that set a ceiling on emissions that can be released into the atmosphere from any one country within a designated timeframe.

In May 2005, the following countries were considered Annex I parties:

Czech Republic
New Zealand
United Kingdom
United States

Countries that have signed the Kyoto Protocol have the right to participate in the Conference of Parties (COPs). Since the Kyoto Protocol came into force in February 2005, so-called COP MOPs (Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol) were introduced, which may only be attended by representatives of those countries that have also ratified the Protocol, i.e. not, for instance, by Australia or the United States.

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