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Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

gbjbaanb Re:Surprise? (556 comments)

except it hasn't gone that way.. however the junkets and freebies.. that's true.

From an ArsTechnica comment its just some remark by the Mayor who has been involved in Microsoft's decision to move its HQ to Munich.

yesterday
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Is Storage Necessary For Renewable Energy?

gbjbaanb Re:"Dance" = rolling blackouts (431 comments)

Only to a point, if all you have is solar for example, then any demand after sunset isn't going to help, no matter how much you attempt to manipulate demand.

As it is, solar helps with businesses during the day, though you still have to manage the difference between peak output and cloudy days, plus wind that might work best on the coast at around sunset and sunrise. We do need more renewable energy sources that are always-on, wave for example (the moon disappears or we stop rotating, we've got bigger problems). The trouble is that it is way more expensive than wind or solar which is probably why its not been implemented in any large scale system.

2 days ago
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Companies That Don't Understand Engineers Don't Respect Engineers

gbjbaanb Re:Engineers that Don't Understand Companies? (365 comments)

I think you're getting engineer confused with self-opinionated hipster who wants to pretend they are businessmen and engineer without having the skill or talent to be either.

See "Startup" for more details.

3 days ago
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Web Trolls Winning As Incivility Increases

gbjbaanb Re:Name and Shame (447 comments)

Unfortunately, not, none of the idiots who spout rape and death threats against someone would actually do it in reality. When you see them finally prosecuted you see them for what they are: sad little individuals who obviously find an outlet for their internal impotence by being "big men" on the internet and making these threats.

So that's the definition of a troll in my book.

Now I imagine the police and authorities already have the powers to ask for the details of anyone on the web already, its just a time consuming process that many just don;t bother - not unless it gets really bad, and/or affects someone in the public eye (ie us ordinary plebs will not get the cops to do anything about online abuse). Making the process easier doesn't affect anyones rights as the police already have that power. I just hope that making it easier would make them use it more effectively (not forgetting that any prosecution still has all the judicial checks in place to go anywhere) or at least remind the trolls that they can be held accountable for what they say online just as if they'd said it to someone's face.

4 days ago
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Web Trolls Winning As Incivility Increases

gbjbaanb Re:Well duh (447 comments)

I got it wrong though, the original quote I was recalling is:

Over the Internet, you can pretend to be anyone or anything.
I'm amazed that so many people choose to be complete twats.

4 days ago
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Web Trolls Winning As Incivility Increases

gbjbaanb Re:Name and Shame (447 comments)

I assumed the trolls we're talking about are the ones who are a bit more obnoxious than just saying "Bing is the best search engine ever, I use it and so should you". The ones who are issuing rape and death threats on twitter, for example.

5 days ago
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Web Trolls Winning As Incivility Increases

gbjbaanb Re:Name and Shame (447 comments)

maybe moderation tools for all is a good thing, and meta-moderation too (to stop the trolls from abusing their moderation powers). If there's one thing slashdot gets right, its this.

Notice how mr PC World has disappeared, as has the GNAA.

The alternative is to allow trolls, but ensure the police have easy access to the 'source' metadata for all accounts. It wouldn't be hard for Twitter (for example) to provide special user accounts to all police forces that can show the IP address and date and time, plus linked accounts (eg those used from the same IP) and similar. Then instead fo having to ask the site ops who someone was, the police can look it up themselves and then ask the relevant ISPs for that IPs account details.

If we allow all but the most obnoxious trolls to hide behind anonymity, then they'll stick around and continue to harrass the sites with enough anti-social behaviour that the site becomes a chore to use.

5 days ago
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Web Trolls Winning As Incivility Increases

gbjbaanb Re:My 0.02 (447 comments)

Unfortunately that doesn't quite work either - look at the Twitter trolls, who spew forth such abuse that several high-profile twitter users cancelled their accounts. The trolls didn't give up, but simply moved on to another part of the web (or different twitter users). So we can ignore them, but only by ignoring the sites and services we want to use.

Of course, I'd say the trolls did those users a favour by getting them to stop using twitter!

5 days ago
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Web Trolls Winning As Incivility Increases

gbjbaanb Re:Well duh (447 comments)

"On the internet it is possible to be anyone or anything you like. It amazes me that when presented with this wonderful opportunity, so many people choose to be assholes."

5 days ago
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Interviews: Ask Bjarne Stroustrup About Programming and C++

gbjbaanb Re:Header files (417 comments)

all true, and if you look at alternative languages *such as C# for example) you'll find developers are creating their own version of header files (I refer to file containing an Interface that is to all intents and purposes close enough to the concept of a C++ header to make little difference).

However, C++ headers also contain private stuff. I think a good advance would be to allow private declarations to the cpp file instead, but doing that would mean the public stuff could also be moved too and so headers would become obsolete. Maybe this would be a good thing, but then you'd need some way to extract the public definition from your binaries (as today to compile a shared C++ dll you need a lib/so to link, and the header to compile). So this would have to be changed too, and as C++ doesn't have an ABI, you pretty much can't do it.

I suppose it might be nice to have the IDE generate the headers, but then, you'd be restricting your coding to those IDEs that support this- no more writing a bit of C++ in notepad or vi. So I guess that's out too.

5 days ago
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Interviews: Ask Bjarne Stroustrup About Programming and C++

gbjbaanb Re:Is the complexity of C++ a practical joke? (417 comments)

Ah, but the "won't get used much" means "will be quite a surprise when you see it being used". I guess a smaller language with fewer features is a good thing, because you just can't remember all the bits n bobs that are possible.

I agree rvalue references are not pretty - but maybe they could have used the ^ symbol and screwed Microsoft's C++/CLI over :-)

C with classes - I haven't got a problem with this, but many people do. You see some code written like C and some people shout out "write it in C++" meaning use stl algorithms and suchlike. I think C with classes is a good thing as it introduces the best bits of C++, but then I also think it means learning the better bits won't get done as people will have learned to think in a procedural way, rather than the more functional way the best STL aspects provide.

Maybe its all an intractable problem, and only solvable by removing the few ugly bits around the edges. Things that you can say "but that's only a small problem" but add upto being a mess in the whole.

5 days ago
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Interviews: Ask Bjarne Stroustrup About Programming and C++

gbjbaanb Re:Is the complexity of C++ a practical joke? (417 comments)

actually, I agree with this too - some of the stuff added to C++ is just not pleasant. Its like someone wanted a relatively specialised addition, got it in the standard, and there it is - for all to see and think "did we really need this?!".

I'd like to think the language should be 2-tiers, the easy stuff and the "advanced, specialised" stuff, but maybe that's just promoting the C++ style of "C with classes" that some people code. (not that its necessarily that bad a thing, C is good, RAII is good, together with some pre-rolled STL bits they're great).

Maybe a better question is to ask how much of the C++11 features he expects will actually be used by the majority of C++ developers. I can see for ranges being used a *lot*, but delete functions (ie you put =delete after a declaration to stop it being accessed, like you do with pure virtual functions set to =0), ro some of the other things. What about move operators - good idea, but it'd going to take a long time to get all the documents about C++ updated to include the 4 default constructors for example (ie ctor, dtor, copy ctor, move ctor), not to mention the nasty syntax for using them.

5 days ago
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Interviews: Ask Bjarne Stroustrup About Programming and C++

gbjbaanb ABI (417 comments)

Do you think that one thing holding C++ back is the lack of a standarized binary interface?

Currently if I want to make a module that can be consumed by others (whether than is others using a different language, or a different C++ compiler, or even just to use a pre-built module without sources) I have to export everything as C and use its (de-facto if nothing else) binary standard.

I think an ABI for C++ would increase its "real world" attractiveness considerably with little, if any, overhead. Do you agree, or are there issues around this that make it a significant challenge (apart from vendor adoption of course).

5 days ago
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The IPv4 Internet Hiccups

gbjbaanb Re:Yes, Please (245 comments)

then maybe that's it - when the option comes to upgrade to a superfast fibre connection, you should be getting a IPv6 capable router at the same time. Generally the cheapass routers given away with home broadband can't even do fibre speeds, let alone have the fibre connections.

I'd have thought its an opportunity for ISPs to sell more stuff "upgrade to the new internet, faster and more reliable etc", but no - they still drag their heels and don't offer IPv6 at all. Mine is *still* doing a trial, going on for 2 years now.

about a week ago
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Oracle Hasn't Killed Java -- But There's Still Time

gbjbaanb Re:"Anything more than a runtime and a language" (371 comments)

I thought it was clear - it has fuck all to do with the merits of the various bits and types of java - its lost the battle for popularity. Its seen as insecure and slow.

Nobody wants the runtime on their systems, so any java app will not be as popular as any written in a different system.

about two weeks ago
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Oracle Hasn't Killed Java -- But There's Still Time

gbjbaanb Re:Java EE is dead (371 comments)

for this week....

about two weeks ago
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Oracle Hasn't Killed Java -- But There's Still Time

gbjbaanb Re:"Anything more than a runtime and a language" (371 comments)

Could be that was the start of the decline, but I think the real killer blow was when all the browsers decided to put it on the equivalent of a 'do not fly' list.

Everyone and his dog now knows its not to be trusted, its a security nightmare, in addition to being dog slow and having really poor UIs.

(whether that is true or not, doesn't matter).

So now.. who wants to be a Java developer? Its akin to admitting to work for Walmart in the personal hygiene section.

about two weeks ago
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Oracle Hasn't Killed Java -- But There's Still Time

gbjbaanb Re:Oracle Forms (371 comments)

Nothing stopping the open source community from implementing a 100% compatible .NET library. Other than not giving a shit about it.

you want .NET on Linux, go ahead and port it yourself. If its so easy then you should have it done by teatime. Nobody in the FOSS community wants it to be ported, and they don;t want to use it either, so there is no expectation of such things happening.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft's Olivier Bloch Explains Microsoft Open Source (Video)

gbjbaanb Re:"we have lots and lots of open source around he (101 comments)

you forget... it'll never be released. Its job is to garner support, "hearts and minds" and then get all the best bits subsumed into the core of Microsoft closed-source products where you'll never see it again.

then Roslyn will not be needed, can be left to die while they produce another open source project.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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So black you can't see it.

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  about a month ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "A British company is developing a new material that’s so black it absorbs all but 0.035 percent of the visual light, making it the darkest material ever created.

Of course, apart from making album covers, it conducts heat 7 times better than copper and is 10 times stronger than steel.

the pictures are the best, it looks like its sitting on some foil, but its grown on the foil which is all crinkled and bent — only people who have seen it say that it looks smooth because so little light is being reflected."

Link to Original Source
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AMD's new gfx API Mantle offers 40% framerate improvement over OpenGL and Dx

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  about 7 months ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "AMD has a new low-level graphics API to take on OpenGL and DirectX. It works by reducing the amount of overhead involved in most graphics operations and getting closer to the metal which results in some substantial frame rate improvements, especially on CPU bound systems.

AMD have been talking about the possibility to hand over control to Khronos Group in the future and that they have a SDK scheduled later this year which will make it possible for Intel and Nvidia to start working on support for Mantel if they want to."

Link to Original Source
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Fight ash dieback disease.. on facebook

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  1 year,7 days

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "Remember folding@home and similar massively distributed programs that tried to get enough computing power to help fightr diseases, the latest one is a little different. In the UK, Ash Dieback disease is has been imported from the continent and is killing all the native ash trees, so researchers have created a crowd-sourced game to match genetic sequences of resistant trees.

Computer systems to match thousands of sequences are difficult to do, but humans are very good at pattern matching, which is why the game was created.

And released on Facebook to reach a wide community, who can play an entertaining puzzle game without having to pay for a single f*** sheep (or leaf). About time."

Link to Original Source
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Interplanetary Internet tested on the ISS

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  about 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "At last — we have a new Internet protocol (eat your heart out IPv6) — called DTN (for disruption tolerant networking).

This "interplanetary internet" has been used by an astronaut at the International Space Station (ISS) to send commands to a robot on Earth and will be used primarily for communication with distant nodes."

Link to Original Source
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Windows 7 finally overtakes XP

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  about 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "Microsoft Windows 7 has finally overtaken the 11-year-old Windows XP operating system on web-based market share figures from Netmarketshare

So what does this mean for Windows 8? Another 5 years before it has as many installations as Windows 7, does that mean that writing Metrp-only apps on a OS that doesn't have critical mass will be as successful as Silverlight?"

Link to Original Source
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Nokia sells Qt to Digia

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  about 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "Finnish software company Digia announced today that it is acquiring the Qt software business from Nokia. Digia plans to pick up where Nokia left off, continuing Qt development but renewing the toolkit’s focus on cross-platform support."
Link to Original Source
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Apple assisting the trade in stolen iPhones

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "Need a new iDevice? Simple — first steal one, then 'accidentally' break it and take it to your nearest Apple store and present it for warranty repair, and an Apple 'genius' will hand you a brand new one, no questions asked.

So Apple could help make stolen iPhones useless to the thief by locking them, or they could be encouraging thieves who know they'll get a brand new one to sell on. More worryingly, this will invalidate your insurance:

Charlie Durrant was a victim of iPhone theft. After her handset was stolen last year she reported the theft to Apple and her insurer. However, when she requested a replacement phone, her insurer told her that one had already been issued in her name. The thief had taken advantage of Apple's lack of checks. ... "someone had just gone in and got a brand new one, making my insurance invalid.""

Link to Original Source
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European eID announced

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "On Wednesday, the European Commission published a strategy document aimed at setting up systems to protect children online. In the document — but not in the accompanying press release nor the citizens' summary — the Commission mentioned that it will soon propose a "pan-European framework for electronic authentication", full details will be announced on 30th May.

The launch of the strategy follows a push to strengthen internet security in the EU. It also outlined legal measures to make it easier for people to use a single e-ID for online services across borders, which would underpin a move toward a pan-European framework for electronic identification, authentication and signature (Pefias) framework."

Link to Original Source
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Amazon accused of bullying small firms, and inflat

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "Online shopping giant Amazon has been accused of artificially inflating prices by banning firms that trade on its website from selling goods more cheaply elsewhere on the internet.

Amazon has ordered them to ‘maintain parity between the terms on which you offer or sell each item through Amazon’ and the amount they charge for the same product on other sites."

Link to Original Source
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Nokia sells 12 phones per second

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "no, don't worry Windows Phone hasn't taken over the world... this is the S40 "burning platform" success story.

What surprised me: To make S40 phones attractive to them, the software — and the hardware it runs on — now supports a wide range of apps, from the wildly popular Angry Birds game to instant messaging and apps to connect with social networks. Ms McDowell says that "a lot of work is being done to get such marquee apps" on to the S40 platform, to boost its attractiveness.

So why run a smartphone when a 'dumb' phone can do everything you want, including 3.7 million app downloads per day.

Last year, this low-margin business contributed about half of Nokia's profits."

Link to Original Source
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Spanish bank BBVA to use Google's cloud

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "Spanish banking giant BBVA is switching its 110,000 staff to use Google's range of enterprise software.

The bank told the BBC it would use Google's tools only for internal communication, but the deal can be seen as a breakthrough in corporate adoption.

The customer and bank data will still be held on internal systems, but all communication will be via Google services, mainly driven by a need to serve the bank's increasingly mobile workers."

Link to Original Source
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Winner of Microsoft Excel World Championship

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  about 3 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "The world of competitive computing has another winner to add the the honour-rolls. This time its UK student Rebecca Rickwood who has beatuen 78 other finalists to be crowned best user of Microsoft's spreadsheet software, Excel 2007.

Sincere congratulations to Miss Rickwood, but please — find out about boys soon."

Link to Original Source
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the Longhorn dream reborn

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 3 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "Early this month, Microsoft dropped something of a bombshell on Windows developers: the new Windows 8 touch-friendly immersive style would use a developer platform not based on .NET. Cue howls of outrage from .NET developers everywhere, but here Ars Technica descibes what's more likely to have been going on and why Microsoft is finally getting its act together for developers."
Link to Original Source
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New runtime for native Android apps on Windows

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 3 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "A startup called BlueStacks has developed an Android runtime environment for the Windows operating system.

BlueStacks has overcome the performance barrier by building a native x86 Android runtime that doesn't have to rely on emulation. The company says that Android applications running on its stack will be highly responsive on Windows and won't suffer from the kind of lag that developers are accustomed to experiencing when using Google's emulator.

No product is availablefor download to the great unwashed, but partner Citrix showed a demo of the system at Citrix Synergy conference. An alpha of the runtime will be available for download in July."

Link to Original Source
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Skylon spaceplane passes key review

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 3 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "A revolutionary UK spaceplane concept has been boosted by the conclusions of an important technical review.

Skylon is a design for a workign spaceplane that uses revolutionalry engines that work as normal jets near the ground and switch to rocket propulsion in the upper atmosphere. The concept means the plane will not have to carry as much fuel and so will not need disposable stages.

Its estimated the cost of delivering payloads to orbit will drop from $15000 per kilo to $1000 making this the best prospect for commercialisation of orbit."

Link to Original Source
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Web standard gets EU funding

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 3 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "The BBC is reporting news of project Webinos, an initiative to provide a common platform for web applications that would sidestep current operating systems and allow devs to create web-based apps that would run anywhere — PCs, TVs, cars, mobiles.

The project aims to sidestep operating systems and proprietary app stores by providing a web-based approach.

The idea would enable a given app to work, for example, on a web-ready television, in a car and on a mobile, no matter the makers of the devices... Companies can afford to have an app on two or at most three platforms — they're extremely costly to develop and ensure the user experience..


Makes sense for all, except companies that thrive on having their own, proprietary systems to 'differentiate' themselves from the other proprietary systems."

Link to Original Source
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ISP's top data hog gobbles 2.7TB of data in a mont

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  about 4 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "In a rare turn of events, a Belgian ISP has released figure for its "super users" by bandwidth usage not to demonise them, but to show how good their network and plans are! 1 User downloaded more than 2TB, 7 others hit the 1TB mark.

Its only a matter of time before there's a competition for who can clog this network up with the most traffic :)"

Link to Original Source
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Want HiDef DrWho? Now its DRM only

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 4 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "The BBC has been granted provisional approval to introduce copy protection for Freeview HD after they resubmitted an amended plan.

Quote:
"In view of the fuller submission provided by the BBC, Ofcom is currently minded to approve its request for a multiplex licence amendment subject to consultation responses, on the basis that in principle, content management is a justified objective which ensures that the broadest range of HD content is made available to citizens and consumers," said Ofcom's statement.
However, its not too late yet — you can submit your comment and tell them you'd like to be able to record broadcast HD TV.

I'm sure the 'content providers' will continue to sell content to the BBC, ITV etc if this is not implemented. They'll still take our licence fee money (or advertising) and sell us the content, but refuse to let us record or copy it, hoping we'll go out and buy the DVD/BluRays as well."

Link to Original Source
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An x86 smartphone? - here comes the LG GW990

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 4 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "I love stories about new smartphones, it shows the IT market is doing something different than the usual same-old desktop apps, maybe one day we'll all be using super smartphones as our primary computing platforms.

And so, here's Intel's offering: the LG GW990. Running a Moorestown CPU, which gives 'considerably' better energy efficiency than the Atom, it runs Intel's Linux distro — Moblin.

"In some respects, the GW990 — "which has an impressive high-resolution 4.8-inch touchscreen display — "seems more like a MID than a smartphone. It's possible that we won't see x86 phones with truly competitive all-day battery life until the emergence of Medfield, the Moorestown successor that is said to be coming in 2011. It is clear, however, that Intel aims to eventually compete squarely with ARM in the high-end smartphone market.""

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