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MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

maple_shaft Re:Here we go... (454 comments)

The decision to maintain the war with the Palestinians and spend crazy money on defense systems with a 5% success rate, as well as not just wiping them from the planet is that their economy is intrinsically linked to their defense and security industries. These defense and security industries which are a large part of their economy maintain their reputation across the world as leaders in defense and security systems precisely because of the ongoing conflicts that ensue to this day.

Considering that a large part of their economy, many large employers of high skilled workers in Israel, have an intrinsic bias in the continuance of the conflict, it wouldn't be a far fetched idea to assume that they have some kind of lobbying influence in their home country as well as the US to ensure that pro-war candidates get elected to public offices. Again, walling in the palestinians, burning their homes, targeting schools and hospitals indiscriminately, not allowing them to leave and suppression of their economy are the exact policies that one should enact on a people if they are counting and hoping on breeding terrorism, which in turn creates a market for their industries products.

I am not absolving the palestinians from their actions, but when you remove all hope from a people, then they burn with anger and are willing to go to extreme measures to lash out.

about 2 months ago

Physician Operates On Server, Costs His Hospital $4.8 Million

maple_shaft Re:Healthcare IT in the US (143 comments)

Thank you for giving your input as a physician. It is nice to hear from your perspective. I admit that I was unfairly categorizing all physicians into this category of being disrespectful to other professions. It is a real thing though but admittedly small in the grander scheme of the problems at play here.

IT departments in hospitals are rampant with nepotism, incompetence, and wastefullness. The heads of the security, network, and support divisions have no clue when it comes to support clinicians including physicians, nurses, LPNs, or any other staff that requires using the computer for any health related work.

I see this in health systems big and small. You recognize the problem too, but you didn't really address my theory as to why this is, easy money and low accountability. Why in your opinion do you believe this is? I am very curious about your perspective.

about 4 months ago

Physician Operates On Server, Costs His Hospital $4.8 Million

maple_shaft Re:Healthcare IT in the US (143 comments)

Allow my rebuttal...

The doctors are IT's customers not the patient. The patients are the doctor's customers not yours. It's the doctor's job to care for the patients. It's IT's job to make sure the computers doesn't get in the doctor's way while remaining secure and HIPAA compliant. I can see why the doctors would disrespect an IT department that doesn't cater to the customer's (as in doctors) needs.

If you haven't noticed, the nature of healthcare is changing because of IT. With analytics, data warehouses and artificial intelligence like IBM's Watson diagnosing patients with stunning accuracy, the role of doctor centric patient care is going the way of the dodo. Granted we are not there yet but in the next 20 years we will see computers diagnosing patients, medical breakthroughs occurring through the use of analytics as opposed to traditional medical research, and doctors just basically being delegated to QA on patient care. The point is that all of this will be patient-centric where IT begins to see the patient as the client.

In 80 some years of cardiac medicine, about the single most effective treatment that all doctors agree on is Aspirin. Healthcare breakthroughs move slowly if you haven't noticed. Now with analytics, doctors, researchers and analysts will be able to interpret correlations in a way never allowed before.

Really? Their budgets have been shrinking for well over a decade. With medicare payouts being lowered, unfunded mandates to provide "life saving" care to indigents which includes triaging cold and flu cases in ERs, increasing budget reserves in order to offset the growing malpractice risks (self insured hospitals) or paying higher premiums (non-self insured hospitals), and increase labor costs for staff I'd like to know where this easy money is coming from.

You make it seem as if the non-profit centers see this charity care as a bad thing. To the contrary, they are allowed to write off this "free" care that they are required to give mind you, as charity towards the requirements for them to maintain non-profit tax status. I promise you the cost of free care is a pittance compared to the corporate taxes they otherwise must pay as well as state and local property taxes and the like

Your arguments about malpractice risks and insurance for that are negligible.

In my region the nonprofit medical centers tend to be the regional charity or university based hospitals and they are outnumbered by the growing number of for-profit medical centers that offer specialized care. In plain english this means that the high-markup services are being performed by for-profit outpatient centers leaving the hospitals with convalescence services and indigent care.

This for profit, non-profit line is increasingly blurry though as I see the large non-profit health systems continue to act in ways that are increasingly similar to for profit companies. The chair-persons at such health systems often encourage for-profit ventures to be incubated in the healthsystem and with the support of it so that they have vehicles to move profits into investments towards these for profit institutions. Guess who the board of directors tend to be at these for profit institutions that operate under the non-profit umbrella? Profits find their way into the chair-persons hands in a very indirect way. You may not realize who is really calling the shots and who actually owns these for profit institutions but I do and you would be surprised.

This doesn't sound like any of the hospitals that I know about. I have friends and colleagues that are in the medical software business or an employee of a hospital throughout the southeast. My graduating class of engineers took advantage of the changes that HIPAA brought and a large portion of them work in the industry. We stay in touch and some of them are known to vent their frustration but none of it involved nepotism, mostly it involves having to manage tech school graduates and heroes.

I will grant you that medical software businesses have less of this good ol' boys club that I speak about but it certainly is a real thing in all three health systems in the north east that I have worked for directly or indirectly. Perhaps it is a regional thing?

about 4 months ago

Physician Operates On Server, Costs His Hospital $4.8 Million

maple_shaft Healthcare IT in the US (143 comments)

Having worked in IT and software development for a number of different health systems some common themes run true.

1) Over emphasis on the needs of the physicians over the needs of the patients and the other areas of the healthsystems. Many important IT choices are made by doctors and not the professionals who were hired to be experts in these areas. That and the physicians are notorious for having almost no respect for other professionals who are not a doctor.

2) Easy money. Money comes easy to these organizations. This plus...

3) Non-profit tax status and requirements to spend or invest profits earned. This creates an environment of plentiful budgets where waste runs rampant, and concern over things such as nepotism and incompetence aren't as important as they would be in other companies.

Of course with nepotism you get politics so thick you couldn't cut it with a carbide blade. This causes a technical brain drain to the point where you have a bloated IT department with 20 incompetent people for every person who knows what they are doing and is always taking the role of the Hero. The Hero can get things done and keep things secure despite all of the problems but eventually like everybody else, the Hero is a human being and has flaws like a human being. The Hero occasionally makes a mistake.

about 4 months ago

Time Dilation Drug Could Let Heinous Criminals Serve 1,000 Year Sentences

maple_shaft Re: Ridiculous. (914 comments)

People know that only a handful of criminals get caught and punished. If I know that I have a pretty good chance of getting away with it and I make enough money to feed my family and have some nice things in an environment where I had grown up in rampant poverty and all I have ever known was poverty, then I would probably do the same thing and just hope for the best.

about 6 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Can an Old Programmer Learn New Tricks?

maple_shaft Re:what you need them for? (306 comments)

I love how the OP is asking about how to stay current with new languages and technologies that employ the programmers of today and tomorrow, and the best you can come up with is some working-class hero grey beard defamation and unfair characterization of the "bloated inefficient framework". You sound like a person that tried one framework with little guidance that turned out to be bad, or it turned out that you didn't like not having fine control over every byte of memory so you wrote them all off as being a bane to proper programming.

It is sad and makes you sound really old and out of touch. Nothing in your post will help an older programmer stay current and will in fact do more to separate him from the rest of programmers and software developers that are gainfully employed and networking together. I would not hire you for my company, not because I don't think you are indeed a talented programmer which no doubt I am sure you are, I am sure you could teach a guy like me a number of things. I would not hire you because you sound like every prima donna perfectionist cowboy coder that refuses to compromise technically and quite frankly doesn't mesh well with a team. That one guy that is still coding in Vi and is still writing clever (hard to maintain) code when others are utilizing IDE's, writing explicitly clear and easy to debug code in a generation of cheap hardware. It is always better to use standard frameworks and accept a few limitations of those when you can find somebody off the street relatively quickly who can hit the ground running on a team and frankly not have to spend months deciphering a custom low level module for a specific OS.

But that is okay if you feel the way you do after all. Walmart always needs more greeters.

about 6 months ago

The Tangled Tale of Mt. Gox's Missing Millions

maple_shaft Re:Spaghetti code? (191 comments)

I love this quote.

about 6 months ago

Indian Hustle: How Fraudsters Prey On Would-be US Tech Workers

maple_shaft Re:Why the exodus ? (124 comments)

Can't They just live and work in India?

Why in the world would they want to do that if given a choice? Sure they have a growing middle class and an Indian software developer lives pretty well considering he is living in India. He/she can afford to live in a reasonably furnished apartment without rats or vermin, afford to feed their family and eat well, and even achieve the pinnacle of middle class success in India, possession of your very own A/C unit to keep you cool in the sweltering summers (as long as the power actually works).

The one thing they will always live with however is the gross overpopulation, the crumbling infrastructure and the graft fraud and bribery that becomes a part of just daily living. A friend of mine from India told me to imagine your day, you get stopped by a cop for a minor infraction, pay a bribe or go to jail. You wait 8 hours in line to get your drivers license renewed unless you bribe the guy at the door to be queued ahead. Somebody can break into your home and steal what little you have and the cops just don't care.

He told me Americans are spoiled not because we are wealthy, but because we don't see Justice as the luxury it really is. Until you live in an overcrowded country that has 400 million starving people in the streets and has rampant corruption and a generally low value on human life, then you will never truly understand how valuable Justice in a society really is. He is slightly amused watching our countries political battles and scandals.

I appreciated his perspective and where he came from in life, and I wouldn't begrudge anybody who would want to come live here if they didn't care for that life anymore.

about 7 months ago

Healthcare Organizations Under Siege From Cyberattacks, Study Says

maple_shaft Re:Simple solution (61 comments)

That doesn't work in many areas where many of these healthcare systems have a practical monopoly in their respective regions. There is often no other choice for customers (Let it be known I find that term offensive, they are really patients). They really aren't broken up because they are also "non-profit" which is lately becoming an ethically dubious term for many health systems.

about 7 months ago

Healthcare Organizations Under Siege From Cyberattacks, Study Says

maple_shaft Re:Why is C# .Net used for medical devices? (61 comments)

Right now their big push is adding Business Intelligence to their software.

If you ask any IT upper manager or executive in a US health system what Business Intelligence is then if they can give you any answer at all it is some recited drivel fed them by the plethora of vendors selling snake oil at the last HIMS conference.

Having nearly a decade of experience working as a software engineer for healthcare ISV's and healthcare systems, I have earned a bit of a perspective to why healthcare IT struggles behind nearly every other industry. To understand why things are dysfunctional and why such organizations are teeming with incompetence you need a bit of history into how many of these healthcare systems came to be.

These large non-profit organizations didn't spring up overnight, they usually started as a loose agreement between a university medical school in need of bright medical professionals for research and teaching, and a number of different hospitals that always have a need for top medical talent. These resulted in a loose confederation of hospitals. When healthcare became big business then the ranks of many of these healthsystems started to be run by MBA's and other executives with more of a business background. At this point things began to be more centralized and federated by consolidating all of the IT resources in the different facilities into one place. Many of these people though used to be nurses or were self educated kids who really knew nothing about IT outside of installing software on a doctors workstation in a small community hospital. Through tenure many of these people rose through the ranks and became the very managers and executives that run many of these healthsystems today.

So now we have a world today where non-profit health systems reaping MASSIVE profits and having MASSIVE budgets need reasons and excuses to spend so much of their money or else they risk losing their non-profit status. Incompetent management that is in over their head, highly political system of rank and advancement, duct-taped together legacy systems from a number of different hospitals with medical records, money-hungry vendors cashing in on easy sales for "Business Intelligence" and "Analytics" software packages that either don't work or aren't needed, and grueling death march projects that at times seem like a government jobs program with no other reason to exist than to spend money because the board of trustees in these health systems can only take so much of the profits.

This is all really a massive bubble propped up by massive amounts of money that must be spent, run by people who don't know what they are doing.

about 7 months ago

Your 60-Hour Work Week Is Not a Badge of Honor

maple_shaft Re:American poor (717 comments)

Making some bad choices when you are younger in life in America can ruin any chances of making something better of yourself. A friend of mine was charged with a felony and did jail time because he happened to be in a car that his friend had stolen unknowningly. He was poor and his parents could not afford a good lawyer. He got a very callous and uncaring public defendent who didn't even believe that he was innocent.

He is college educated and still can't get more than a job delivering pizza because he has a felony on his record. He is being punished for not even bad choices but just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Society shouldn't fail you on a few points. There should for non violent crimes always be a path to redemption or a path to recovery. To believe otherwise shows how callous and out of touch from your fellow man that you really are. You should be ashamed for believing such things.

about 7 months ago

Your 60-Hour Work Week Is Not a Badge of Honor

maple_shaft Re:American poor (717 comments)

Yes, if you're living on the edge, then small calamities become disasters. One hopes those are the circumstances where your community (church, neighborhood, or government) pulls together and helps you through.

Typical libertarian safety net of praying for a miracle. Thats not so much a net but more of falling from a tree and hoping a branch catches you on the way down.

about 7 months ago

Star Trek Economics

maple_shaft Re:Yeah, that was about 75 years ago (888 comments)

And yet given the choice to be a French citizen or a Chinese citizen, I as would a vast majority of people if I can speak for all people in this one area, would still rather be a French citizen. Hell most people would rather be a Venezuelan citizen than a Chinese citizen. Happiness and contentment studies show Venezuela being one of the happiest places in South America despite not being a terribly rich country.

Why do you think that is? The safety net in France is a sure thing. If I get sick I know I can be taken care of. I have more personal freedoms and liberties. I have peace of mind in knowing that which is something that in capitalistic nations you need to spend or save an exorbitant amount of money to guarantee. Hell personal freedoms and liberty, freedom of speech and assembly, a non-corrupt justice system (for the most part...) are things that simply can't be bought on any market that I am aware of. Nobody can afford that in China unless you are politically connected.

In a socialist country you start out 10,000x as wealthy as you would in China by default because of the very popular government programs in place. So China's middle class has unprecedented growth. Cool whatever, I can show you a bunch of penny stocks that have had over 100% growth but they are still risky as hell. I could get rich on them but more than likely I will lose most of my money on them. Some people would rather buy a blue chip stock that tend to be much safer.

about 7 months ago

Florida Arrests High-Dollar Bitcoin Exchangers For Money Laundering

maple_shaft Re:Fuck beta (149 comments)

Stop spamming the boards with your irrelevant arguments. Beta is built on HTML5 and Javascript. It was designed in typical modern fashion with a focus on usability and responsiveness to various user agents. In no world does this have anything to do with Microsoft Windows 8 and Live Tiles. Beta is pretty fucking cool if you ask me.

about 7 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Why Are We Still Writing Text-Based Code?

maple_shaft It is a symptom of the industry and human nature (876 comments)

There have been a number of attempts at making coding easy enough that non engineering types will be able to conceive their requirements in software then communicate these through a tool, usually in a visual manner and turns this into functional software. This has come in many different forms over the years, Powerbuilder, FoxPro, Scratch, BPEL, etc...

The fundamental flaw is one of the software development industry, especially when it comes to line of business applications. Analysts writing requirements have been and always have been an inefficient and flawed model as most requirements documents are woefully incomplete and tend to not capture the true breadth of necessary functionality that ends up existing in resultant software. Analysts are business oriented people and they will think about the features and functionality that are most valuable and tend to miss or not waste time on what are deemed as low value or low risk items. Savvy technical folks have needed to pick up the slack and fill in the gaps with non-functional requirements (Architecture) or even understand the business better than the analysts themselves for quality software for the business to even be realized.

I have seen this song and dance enough. True story, IBM sales reps take some executives to a hockey game, show them a good time, tell them about an awesome product that will empower their (cheap) analysts to visualize their software needs so that you don't need as many (expensive) arrogant software engineers always telling you no and being a huge bummer by bringing up pesky "facts" like priorities and time. So management buys Process Server, snake oil doesn't do it justice, without consulting anybody remotely technical. Time passes, and analysts struggle to be effective with it because it forces them to consider details and fringe cases. Software engineers end up showing them how to use it, at which point it just becomes easier for the software engineer to just do the work instead of holding hands and babying the analysts all day. Now your company is straddled with a sub par product that performs terribly, that developers hate using, that analysts couldn't figure out and that saved the company no money.

about 7 months ago

Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

maple_shaft Idiot Masses? Laughable! (2219 comments)

Idiot masses? How about you go be condescending elsewhere buddy. Not everybody who likes the new beta is an idiot. The usability is a vast improvement and if you can't see that then you are too blinded by your fear of change.

about 7 months ago

Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

maple_shaft I like it! (2219 comments)

I am amazed at the huge negative response this beta is getting. It is very nice and elegant and solves many of the usability problems that have plagued this site for a long time.

Regardless of how you feel about the beta, we all agree that the Slashdot mobile site was fucking terrible. This site redesign solves that problem by embracing responsive design. It looks decent on my wide screen monitor as it does on my tablet and also my phone.

Commenting is much easier too.

Slashdot is trying to reinvent themselves because they ARE going the way of the dinosaur and all of you grey-beard engineers resistant to any and all change are dragging them down. Fuck Beta? You are bitching about Ajax and Javascript being required? Get the fuck out of the 90's and install a modern complete browser you sad paranoid old men! If you don't want ads or to be tracked then just install adblock and Ghostery like the rest of us. You are throwing the baby out with the bath water.

I have been following this site for over a decade, and I approve this beta. Stop pretending like you have a fake universal consensus and stop flooding every other story with your pathetic Fuck Beta campaign

about 7 months ago

If I Had a Hammer

maple_shaft Re:Isn't this the ultimate goal? (732 comments)

Partially what I meant in my post above is not just natural talent but also humanities limits on ambition, persistence and drive to succeed. Studies are coming out that are finding many genetic indicators that make a person more likely to possess personality traits like ambition and persistence. Maybe at best 1/3 of people will have the attitude necessary to overcome their own internal and external barriers to succeed in life. Another third perhaps are the type of people that wish to do the bare minimum to get by and are happy or resigned to a lesser life. The final third are people that have no ambition or desire to take care of themselves and would rather be a burden on society, take advantage of others or just be an outright criminal.

about 8 months ago

If I Had a Hammer

maple_shaft Re:Isn't this the ultimate goal? (732 comments)

Why don't we have 95% of the population exploring one branch of science or another? Why can't more books be written? More movies be done? More people help those who need help?

With the exception of helping others, I think the real problem is that the remaining work to be done requires significant training, natural talent, or high intelligence. Most people don't possess these skills and are incapable of obtaining them with any amount of effort or drive. As sad as it sounds I very much believe we are reaching the upper limits on the capabilities of humanity as a whole.

We see it plain as day in the software industry. Probably 8 out of 10 software developers or business analysts are completely incompetent and even with years of education and multiple certifications seem to be unable to not only be productive, but instead be a net drain on productivity and quality of software as a whole. Many of these people are doing this job because the demand for even mediocre software talent is so high and the lack of mindless blue collar work forces people into IT fields that they have no natural talent or ability for. Fifty years ago many of these people would be pushing brooms in a steel mill.

about 8 months ago

Tech's Gender and Race Gap Starts In High School

maple_shaft Re:In other news (489 comments)

Too bad it's not untrue.

In which you provide no objective evidence or studies to back up your anecdotal experiences. You shouldn't use such strong language.

An eye-opening experience for me was a co-worker I had a while back. She was kind, hard-working, and fair. She wasn't afraid to let me know when I was wrong about something and she didn't fly off the handle when I told her she was wrong about something. Then again, I don't recall many times other than when she was new that I had to let her know her perception of how something worked wasn't accurate.

Unfortunately, she get pulled down by the drama and decided to find another job.

It must be difficult working as a woman. Every other woman sees you as a target, somebody to claw down. The heartbreaking thing is watching this happen to somebody, watching things that are wrong and things that aren't even wrong or are sheer lunacy get thrown around just to smear somebody. Sometimes when it gets really bad I'll see things like official documentation get surreptitiously screwed with. One thing one has to be careful about in a workplace that's dominated by womyn-born-womyn is when one woman asks you to make one change to some software and then another woman asks you to make a very similar but different change.

Hoo boy, I've learned attempting to reconcile the two individuals requesting different things from me is a complete mistake when they're both womyn-born-womyn. I have a feeling that's what got the co-worker I liked working with in over her head. The most frustrating thing is that attempting to bring this to the attention of both individuals invariably is seen as picking sides. Sure, guys do this from time to time (just like having a vagina does not make one above sexism, having a penis does not make one above pettiness), but with a womyn-born-womyn you can count on it. It's not honest, but I've found the best way is to work through each nuance of the request, implement the parts of each that seem most correct, and then just tell both requesters it's all set. I don't know if they ever go back to check if I did what they asked, but the important point to a lot of womyn-born-womyn is that you were asked to do something so you did it without involving them in the details.

What you described is common workplace pettiness typically demonstrated by business stakeholders and analysts in a dysfunctional software development company. Lower level business analysts and project managers might have a much higher propensity to being female in many industries, Eg. Healthcare, where many of the domain experts and business experts used to be nurses or technicians that already have a higher propensity for being women. Your presumptions about the natural state of women are based on a painfully small subset of professional women as a demographic. Keep in mind as a software developer I have seen the same behavior as you describe but based on a more worldly view I am not jumping to such big conclusions as you describe because I have also certainly seen pettiness in the same subset comprised of men. Perhaps it is something about non-technical people being under the gun and stressed about something they don't truly understand that causes people to lash out and bring out the claws.

It's not important to be objectively correct to womyn-born-womyn. They have other priorities, values, and ways of knowing. There's a lot of what that article calls "Subjective Knowledge: The inner voice" going on. Unfortunately that "way of knowing" simply doesn't lend to success when you're writing a computer program. For many womyn-born-womyn, it's just simply unimportant to move to another "way of knowing," and why should they? What benefit would using "Procedural Knowledge: Separate and connected knowing" or "Constructed Knowledge: Integrating the voices" that incorporate both personal subjective knowledge and external objective knowledge have to a Mother?

In what ways have you incorporated external objective knowledge to form your negative view of women?

That I think is a big problem. I cannot have children, and being trans I also have no family or any other way to influence a child with a reproductive system on the inside to have other aspirations than getting rich in sales or medicine or being Mother. Instead, it seems they continue to be influenced by Mothers and the increasingly womyn-born-womyn dominated elementary school.

The only solution I can think of is that we have to stop giving entitlement benefits to womyn-born-womyn solely on the basis that they got themselves pregnant. Require them to have a career or some other way to support a family before they choose Mother. Unfortunately, I think a lot of womyn-born-womyn would continue to limit themselves to being a Mother, but at least maybe they'd just be a lower-case mother and there might be a father involved instead of wage garnishment.

Welfare and the choice to be a mother isn't about supporting a womans right to be a leech on society, it is about protecting children. The only thing you solve by not assisting single low income mothers is making it harder for them to care for their children and causing those children to suffer and not have a fair shot at life.

I look at you cisgendered people, and a lot of times I'm at a loss for many of the ways objectivity goes out the window when it comes to gender. Do I want women "back in the kitchen?" No, but I struggle to see any other outcome as long as all we do is blame anyone and everyone assigned the male gender at birth for life choices and the drawbacks of those life choices that individual womyn-born-womyn make. It takes two to tango; it's time to start putting some accountability for the lack of womyn-born-womyn in CS and STEM on the individuals who are making the choice to pursue other interests.

I'll tell you what I hear and see. I hear a lot of men who are saying they'd love more womyn-born-womyn especially in CS. I see girls interested in engineering and CS right up until they find out they can make twice as much and retire at 35 if they pursue erotic dancing for example or else decide to start a family before they've even gone to college.

No other choice but to go back in the kitchen... that women would rather pole-dance than pursue a more dignified career because money is the only thing important to them... Your bias is showing.

I see a lot of kvetching from feminists and white knights about the outcome of these facts of life. I hear women who are seeking careers in CS complain about how they get job offers simply because they're the only woman who was interviewed for the position and, thanks to the white knights and feminists, the interviewers are too scared not to offer her the job. I also know a number of womyn-born-womyn who believe that I can program computers because of my assigned gender!

This is where I had to stop reading. As soon as you pulled out those lame misogynistic 4chan derogatory terms you showed your true colors not as somebody trying to make a valid point but somebody so hopelessly deluded by their own wrongheaded world view. Resorting to derogatory name calling as a means to control the debate and debase a series of arguments or thought that conflict with your worldview where you have no objective evidence to the contrary to refute. This is a classic logical fallacy.

You are blinded by hatred, so much so that what little evidence you do have has been cherry picked to support your worldview that you find most palatable.

about 8 months ago


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