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Intel Launches Self-Encrypting SSD

niftymitch Re:Intel has worked with the NSA (91 comments)

If I actually cared about the Government breaking into my encrypted files I'd be using a One Time Pad. ....snip....

I think this is a place where a big "Woosh" applies.

Someone does not understand the way one-time pads work.
Using a one-time pad is a blunder. To get your files you must also have the pad. For a disk this would be one monster pad.
Since it is a one time pad you use it and toss it (special flushable paper) -- now the data is lost.

One-time pads between two friends are interesting but require a physical exchange of pads.

The Intel trick has one big value in the context of repair, redeployment and intentional abandonment of content.
There may be many at the IRS that wish their devices all had this feature to invoke.

The current case of the IRS is interesting... and points out a need to manage data. Preserve it, wipe it, recover it.
When the dogs of war knock down the front door.. wiping data locally only needs a key wipe not a
full disk wipe that might take hours or weeks (central Utah disk farm). Should management make copies
of the keys recovery of a remotely wiped device may be possible.

This technology has no obvious place on a device like a flight data recorder but does represent a signature
to validate the data is on the device you expect iff logged back someplace safe.

3 days ago

'Just Let Me Code!'

niftymitch Re:"Just let me build a bridge!" (367 comments)

Engineering any complex system requires a significant amount of planning and management overhead. ........

Engineering vs. building is an interesting distinction.

Most complex products mandate long term maintenance, long term liability and multiple people including management and oversight.

Sadly companies seem to invoke a one size must fit all process.... we have all seen the camel designed by committee of platypuses jokes.

Worse some products like Android are big thunk monolithic update piles when they look and masquerade as small elegant Unix like programming problems to developers of olden days.

Then there are bridges over puddles and other bridges over 1000 foot canyons. In one case
you get wet feet and soggy shoes...

4 days ago

Microsoft Is Testing Developer Biometrics To Predict Software Bugs

niftymitch Baby Brother is watching .... (1 comments)

Baby Brother is watching ....

But how does this fix bugs. Managers invoke stress on purpose to meet deadlines.
Terrible lighting in offices make a normal person blink and need to shift they eyes
a lot.

Caffeine the fuel of most high tech companies does less to make you alert than it
does to keep you awake. Recall the comment about alcohol and coffee... "you are
just a wide awake drunk". Wide awake with reduced inhibitions ....... sure check that
code in... I am wide awake and buzzing like an alarm clock.

And as for 84.38% accurate... do you want your automobile software to be 84.38% accurate?

Interesting, sure... value, hardly any in the world as we know it.

5 days ago

Amazon Isn't Killing Writing, the Market Is

niftymitch Get a card... (192 comments)

Get a card... yes a library card.
Donate the 12x Amazon fee to the local friends of the library
and have at it.

about a week ago

Point-of-Sale System Bought On eBay Yields Treasure Trove of Private Data

niftymitch Re:I hope this surprises no one,.. (68 comments)

Restaurant fails to pay the lease.

Landlord slaps a new lock on the door.

Equipment is sold to a restaurant supply reclamation company, of which any city of any size has.

Supply company puts their crap on eBay.

This tells me that the point of sale equipment is flawed to a
degree that risks civil action. As bad as they are modern
routers must be reset if the password is lost and as a minimum

Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards need to
address this. Please call your IEEE favorite standard person....

about two weeks ago

Chicago Red Light Cameras Issue Thousands of Bogus Tickets

niftymitch The primary witness is software... (229 comments)

The primary witness in all this is software.
As such the software needs to be available for cross examination the same as
any other software. Perhaps not open source but clearly open and testable

Further any revision and change must be subject to audit. The obvious issue
is bogus citations because code did not operate as per specifications in the
law. All citations issued while the bogus code was "live" would then need
to be reviewed.

A contract service should not be able to adjust anything not specified in
the law.

With a robot the notion of enforcement priority makes no sense. i.e. allocation
of staff and resources can justify priorities but a machine should simply
operate against a specification and within tolerances that make sense.
Anything else would be a legislative action and not allowed or empowered by law.

Tolerances that make sense would include normal reaction time expectations (not average).
Tolerances need to include sane and honest error parameter stackups.
Tolerances need to be population sensitive.... some are kids some have gray hair.

Consider any regulation that uses the word average is a regulation that
begins with an assumption that 50% would fail. Further average is not
a sufficient statistical metric to do anything with.

Contractors and contracts that share revenue need to be open to audit and
need to have a legal presence and legal liability in the same venue that the citations
are to be issued. Fraud and abuse should incur greater penalty than those cited.
i.e. it is not OK to simply say "my bad, here is your ten bucks back" when abuse and
fraud are involved.

about two weeks ago

Peer Review Ring Broken - 60 Articles Retracted

niftymitch Re:Wish I could say I was surprised (178 comments)

Wrong. [...] It should be publish or die.

I belive the phrase you're looking for is "publish or perish."

Either gets the point across.

I would like to see some data that outlines the potential
number of authors and the potential number of papers
as limited by page count.

It seems to me that this is a rigged game with rules
drawn from childhood agony playing musical chairs only
to the extreme.

With the modern internet page count is no longer the issue
but it is because that is how the game rules are written.

Qualified reviewers are few and far between as science,
literature, history and all of the academic world have carved
thing up into such fine narrow specialized fields that only
one researcher in the universe has any knowledge of the

Compound that by the rampant insertion of tenured staff names
in the author list of all papers coming out of institutions that
new science is all done by Mr Et Al.

The only process in the US that comes close to this foolishness is the process
in place for US patents where the contents of a whiteboard can be edited never
implemented and turned into a process patent. There is however overlap
where the whiteboard might be a class project or lecture note taken off line
and refactored into something apparently new but stolen outright.

Consider that if you are in a design meeting, and make a suggestion and
are not later credited as an inventor you are the victim of intellectual and
professional theft. Keep a notebook....

about two weeks ago

Peer Review Ring Broken - 60 Articles Retracted

niftymitch Re:The Good News? (178 comments)

It's just the new strategy ........ It's called the self-peer-review.

Amazingly articles can get released on the same day as submission with this method.

Not unheard of here on /. as well.

Multiple accounts on multiple virtual machines at multiple coffee shops
perhaps gatewayed via VPN thanks to co conspirators to present
a global view.

Watch how quickly someone, not I, mods this up and down...

about two weeks ago

Here Comes the Panopticon: Insurance Companies

niftymitch Re:A company saved on its health insurance plan (353 comments)

by distributing FitBits to employees.
Did they also provide FitBit winders?

No but a FitBit worn 7x24x356.25 smells a lot like
a lot of overtime to me.

If they want to monitor you 7x24 it seems like they
need to compensate you 7x24.

And more importantly the employee pool profile as
well as the FitBit data reflects on age and sex which
are "parameters" that enable discrimination against
groups based on sex and age.

Someone mentioned Stephen Hawking in jest but
again a FitBit program monitored by the company directly
or indirectly by rate changes is very much in violation
of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

It is one thing to give and encourage... it is another
to monitor, track and make financial decisions that
negatively affect any of these protected groups which is
clearly the intent.

Sad, sad, sad....

about three weeks ago

Australian Police Use Telcos For Cell "Tower Dump" of All Connected Users' Data

niftymitch Re:Postal Dump (60 comments)

The US Postal Service already does this... ...snip...

Meta-data is not secret, not private, not protected. .....snip...

False military meta-data is classified secret or higher.
Its classification is a study in why meta data is interesting
and I suspect shows why it is both an invasion of privacy and a powerful tool.

The document that contains the COLLECTED set of meta data that
maps units, individuals, locations and postal delivery information is classified.

Anyone with family in the service knows that they can sent to
PFC Joe Soldier APO/FPO/DPO and it gets delivered.

Also see:
And see:

The classified document is classified not because of the the individual line entry
it is "the collection of meta data entries" that gets stamped. Apparently some of
the locations of some of the units are classified a little or a lot. Layers of routing contain layers
of security management for each of the associated documents.

Unlike SMTP mail there are no progress stamps.... for good reasons.

The analysis of the security risks associated with these documents predates
modern large data analysis tools. And may need to be reconsidered in light
of modern statistical analysis. i.e. Local agencies that have the tools to collect
meta data could use that equipment under the guise of training to spy on family
of active duty service and pose a national security risk. This risk IMO is inherent
in both phone and other digital connection data.

To speculate further is foolish for me....

about three weeks ago

Amazon Sues After Ex-Worker Takes Google Job

niftymitch Re:Non-compete agreements are BS. (272 comments)

wait until you are over 40 and in the software field. you'll find that you MAY get one offer in 6 months of searching.

ask me know I know... ;(

Lucky you... six months just wait till you are 50 or 60...
There absolutely is a bias.

about three weeks ago

Amazon Sues After Ex-Worker Takes Google Job

niftymitch Re:Non-compete agreements are BS. (272 comments)

Just scrawl 'I don't agree' on the signature line. Let them enforce that.

Better to scrawl -- "non compete and other limitations on employment post separation or termination must be compensated."
i.e. If they enjoin you from working at a $500,000.00/year job they must compensate at that level.

Or scrawl "below signature is without the advice of legal counsel".

It is interesting that in a divorce it important to pay for legal advice for both sides.

about three weeks ago

Autonomous Trucking

niftymitch Re:alternative already exists (142 comments)


The advantage of the cars in this model is that they speed up unloading. Go and watch a freight train being unloaded some time, it's a massive endeavour. Now imagine if each of the trucks could just drive off along the roads on its own as soon as the train arrived at its destination.

Consider extensive automation of the loading and contrast with the extensive automation and risks of
automated trucking.

Scheduling driver pickup and routing is the nut none have cracked yet.

about three weeks ago

Oklahoma's Earthquakes Linked To Fracking

niftymitch Re:Okay, so this has what to do with fracking then (154 comments)

A majority of them are too small to be felt, but we have had 5.9's and 4.0's before. .....
The big deal is that it's starting to damage buildings. ......

Historic building codes in OK are not seismic risk aware.
Only recently have the codes in the hot spot around New Madrid
been partly addressed. In Calif there is a major industry
retrofitting buildings. It is costly and it is being driven by
an industry that profits from it. It is a good thing to reinforce
buildings, it is less good when the invoice arrives.

The cost of seismic retrofit in the Midwest could bankrupt
many states... and for the same reason tornado shelters
are not part of all schools, offices, shopping malls and homes
are not going to happen over night.

First building codes for new construction need to
be considered. Trailer houses like many single
story wood frame houses have less risk from quakes
than they do from tornadoes.... I hope regulators do
not bankrupt the Midwest....

about three weeks ago

Oklahoma's Earthquakes Linked To Fracking

niftymitch Re: Okay, so this has what to do with fracking the (154 comments)

So what this has to do with fracking is that they thought that just pumping fluid back in would hold things up, but clearly that's not true.

That's not at all how it works. The fluid exists to create hydraulic pressure. They put sand or tiny ceramic balls in the water to fill the voids created by the fractures to "hold things up."


And the interesting part is that there are quakes and there are QUAKES.

Not just energy but location. The serious risk of quakes involves some darn
deep structures. Deeper than any well and with vastly greater risk to
life and property.

Hydraulic fracturing and pumping waste to include CO2 into deep wells
can be expected to generate measurable seismic events. Some might
be felt without instruments.

Recall the coal fire and collapse in Utah generated a 3.9 on the Richter scale.

This is a far cry from the New Madrid quakes.
with magnitudes of 7.0 to 8.1.

The seismic risk of the central US is not well understood and is not well considered in
building and construction codes. Also no large quake is well considered in disaster
planning. Worse the impact of a large mid-west quake has much larger geographic
reach than a similar quake in Alaska or California.

Sadly the fracking fools will take this as a reason to stop fracking at any depth.
Most of the New Madrid seismicity is located between 3 and 15 miles (4.8 and 24.1 km) beneath the Earth's surface.
Most fracking in OK is shallow by comparison (1-2 miles).

Some believe that shallow releases of energy is a good thing and minimizes the
size and impact of deeper quakes. I am of the opinion that injecting fluids
does not increase the energy of natural quakes but might alter the
timing and energy dispersal profile. My opinion like most is not supported
by experimental facts and is just that opinion.

Hidden in the report is a disclosure of many seismic sensors and
plans to obtain funding for more. More science is good but the
social media and news outlet ignorance is being manipulated by
a plethora of interests one of which is network ratings where facts
are not an issue.

about three weeks ago

Qualcomm Takes Down 100+ GitHub Repositories With DMCA Notice

niftymitch I want to know more (349 comments)

Taking down a project repository requires taking down
content from many sources with many copyrights.

For Qualcom to take down CyanogenMod and Sony Xperia
tells me that the take down could involve hundreds of OTHER Copyright holders
not Qualcom. I expect to see copyrights from Netscape, Texas Instruments,
Free Software Foundation, University of Illinois, Nokia, Intel, Red Hat, Carnegie Mellon
University, University of California Regents, Imagination Technologies, Samsung,
Apple, Torch Mobile and hundreds of individuals.

It is one thing to specify individual files but to reach out and assert ownership on
the Copyright of hundreds of others is theft on a grand scale. As a minimum it
is denial of service which is covered by modern internet law.

about three weeks ago

Android Leaks Location Data Via Wi-Fi

niftymitch Mitigation would be easy... (112 comments)

It is possible on an unlocked device to spoof this data by
collecting data from other phones in passing or from a
mesh of friends that pull data from their device and share
it with others.

i.e. should my WiFi device hear such a broadcast.
It could save parts of it, format those and insert the data
randomly into the list of devices my device appears to know about.

After anyone publishes enough to prove the possibility
then the information can no longer be used with impunity against
an individual because data stamps could be changed and
data inserted.... by a third party.

As we know from Snowden papers, TLAs do exploit flaws
and coerce vendors to insert and unlock side doors in devices .
Further all such activity is classified so any jury can
now be presented with reasonable doubt that the evidence
of this type on a phone or laptop has any validity.

Scan recent history for "surveillance equipment is known as a Stingray, an innovative way
for law enforcement to track cellphones used by suspects and gather evidence.
The equipment tricks cellphones into identifying some of their owners’ account information,..."

I am reminded of a plugin to firefox that did much the same thing by randomly
making HTTP connections hither and yon triggered by a chain of "interesting" words.
The intent was to pollute the search history etc.... again to add uncertainty
that the individual was doing anything "of interest" to the prosecution.

On occasion I still fire it up from time to time not because I wish to hide anything I did but because
I wish to protect myself from those that would hide stuff on my system via tricks like
a 1x1 pixel display of a high resolution image download or mouse over abusive
use of JavaScript or modern HTML5 canvases and many many more abusive things.

about three weeks ago

Shark! New Sonar Buoy Will Warn Beachgoers When Large Sharks Are Near

niftymitch What about false positives... (55 comments)

Consider the actions if a cretan like Rush Limbaugh was to paddle

How would the sensor decide if it was a cretan, a cetaceans or a chondrichthyes?

about a month ago

Netflix Could Be Classified As a 'Cybersecurity Threat' Under New CISPA Rules

niftymitch Re:Ob (125 comments)

...p2p caching...

Not a good idea if there are caps on your service. The one and only solution is to elect politicians who will turn the ISPs into common carriers and make the internet a public utility (and defund the NSA, bring the troops home, and legalize weed, etc) Everything else is lipstick on a pig and polishing turds.

Good point about capacity limits, but my thought is that the local modem being property of the service would have
local memory or flash and tools to manage bandwidth billing. i.e. the p2p bandwidth your modem
generates is not covered by your service cap. Download service caps likewise can be
adjusted because the expensive long haul links are not involved. AND the p2p channels
are fully managed (and sold as service, see also Akami) by the ISP.

Have you ever noticed that on a phone or IPV6 link that your location can move half
a continent away... Why because the network is not well meshed and well connected.
This lack of mesh and connections is one of the big problems.

about a month ago

Netflix Could Be Classified As a 'Cybersecurity Threat' Under New CISPA Rules

niftymitch Re:no, it's not true (125 comments)

According to the bill a threat is anything which is anything which is part of an unauthorized effort to deny access. Netflix streaming which inadvertently leads to a denial of access would not be part of an effort to deny access.

Here is the bill.


Thanks for the link....
I think Feinstein is missing a detail.
A better approach might be to reserve bandwidth for demand use by state
and local government. Sure this is a glass half full/ half empty thing but
it is important to identify what services we wish to protect from denial of

I have not checked the math and details but "sbrook" on a forum noted:
"Remember that through that same cable you have to push a lot of TV channels and
Radio channels, Digital phone and internet.

"The top frequency is about 900 MHz, so that gives you just shy of 1500 channels
times 42 Mbps would be the theoretical max down a single coax ... absolutely
stunning! But you've got to share upstream channels.

"Now depending on the company, you might have about 100 to 500 customers passed
by a single coax. (More TV etc channels, few customers) But in theory you could
have 600,000 customers on one coax ... wouldn't work too well though!"

My point is the cable providers give themselves almost 1500 channels to deliver their content
and only eight or so for other content providers like Netflix.

A law needs to look at the 1500 channels as a single pool and if bandwidth is
to be throttled the eight that the likes of Netflix use can only be throttled
if the 1500-(8+4) used by my provider for their content are throttled in a like

Yes behind the cable is optical and other hardware but no one discusses
the fundamental lack of cross sectional bandwidth possibilities that modern
network provides. All conversations are centered on the one to many service
model where the internet design was many to many with multicast tossed
in later for the one to many case.

This single minded power centric ego centric flawed thinking by regulators
and legislators needs to be changed (by education) and IMO is
at the heart of most of the stupidity we see.

about a month ago



A Polygraph is not private, OH MY....

niftymitch niftymitch writes  |  about two weeks ago

niftymitch (1625721) writes "

"TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) – WIAT 42 News has obtained a copy of Justin “Ross” Harris’ personnel file from the time that he was employed as a dispatcher with the Tuscaloosa Police Department. The documents detail Harris’ employment history, some drug use, and the results of a polygraph test that was conducted before his hire. Harris was hired as a tele communicator basic with the police department in June of 2006. He was promoted in his second year with the department, and then in May 2009, he resigned."

This is a tangle of astounding reach. A polygraph is a process to coerce "honesty" from individuals... But there is no US constitutional protection and no privacy as this release demonstrates."
Link to Original Source


SF-fire-chief-bans-helmet-cameras BUT WHY?

niftymitch niftymitch writes  |  about a year ago

niftymitch (1625721) writes "San Francisco's fire chief has explicitly banned firefighters from using helmet-mounted video cameras, after images from a battalion chief's Asiana Airlines crash recording became public and led to questions about first responders' actions leading up to a fire rig running over a survivor."
Link to Original Source

Like this cannot be hacked...

niftymitch niftymitch writes  |  about a year ago

niftymitch (1625721) writes "Like this can never be hacked.... One can hope.

"A high-tech startup is wading into the gun control debate with a wireless controller that would allow gun owners to know when their weapon is being moved — and disable it remotely.

"The technology, but not an actual gun, was demonstrated Tuesday at a wireless technology conference in Las Vegas and was shown to The Associated Press in advance. It comes at a time when lawmakers around the U.S. are considering contentious smart gun laws that would require new guns to include high-tech devices that limit who can fire them.""

Link to Original Source

Should health departments relax in emergencies?... radiation did it...

niftymitch niftymitch writes  |  about a year ago

niftymitch (1625721) writes "State health officials said several vendors have set up in Moore to help provide food to residents and workers in the area, but some are failing to follow basic health guidelines. Cleveland County Health Department officials say there have been reports of numerous vendors in the area giving away or selling food for people living and working in the area.

The director of the state health department's consumer health service, K.C. Ely, says that while they appreciate that people want to help, they are finding "multiple food safety hazards."

Ely said a check of several vendors found no means for washing hands, water, screening, overhead protection or other basic food safety requirements."

Link to Original Source

Man Jailed in UK 4 fake detectors.

niftymitch niftymitch writes  |  about a year ago

niftymitch (1625721) writes ""A British judge on Thursday sentenced a businessman who sold fake bomb detectors to 10 years in jail, saying the millionaire had shown a cavalier disregard for potentially fatal consequences.

"James McCormick made an estimated 50 million pounds ($77.8 million) from the sales of his non-working detectors — which were based on a novelty golf ball finder — to countries including Iraq, Belgium, Niger and Saudi Arabia."

Now will the purveyors of the of those body scanners to the TSA be next?"

Link to Original Source

CNN anchor Deb Feyerick opened with a rather odd question

niftymitch niftymitch writes  |  about a year and a half ago

niftymitch (1625721) writes "The fifth branch of the US gvment needs an education!

On Friday, an asteroid will come within 17,000 miles of the Earth—“a very close shave” by space standards, as my colleague Phil Plait puts it on Bad Astronomy. Recently, Bill Nye the Science Guy went on CNN to discuss the phenomenon—and anchor Deb Feyerick opened with a rather odd question: “Is this an effect of perhaps global warming?”

BTW: The fourth branch is special interest groups."

Link to Original Source

Moo, Tracking School Children With RFID

niftymitch niftymitch writes  |  about 2 years ago

niftymitch (1625721) writes "Just as the U.S. Department of Agriculture mandates Radio Frequency Identification Device chips to monitor livestock, a Texas school district just begun implanting the devices on student identification cards to monitor pupils’ movements on campus, and to track them as they come and go from school.

Tagging school children with RFID chips is uncommon, but not new.

The risk is in the abuse. Merchants and many many more locations can deploy readers and track these passive ID tags. The result is that it is not only the school that can track the students."

Link to Original Source

The clairvoyant patent.. OMG #7,958,388

niftymitch niftymitch writes  |  about 2 years ago

niftymitch (1625721) writes "And I quote from US patent 7,958,388
United States Patent 7,958,388
Bullen , et al. June 7, 2011
"The above description of the preferred embodiments has been given by way of example. From the disclosure given, those skilled in the art shall understand the invention and its advantages, but will also find apparent various changes and modifications that can be made to the methods and structures disclosed. We seek therefore to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the spirit and scope of the invention, as defined by the appended claims and equivalents thereof. Thus, it is intended that the specification and examples be considered as exemplary only, with a true scope and spirit of the invention being indicated by the following claims."

Which I take to claim that anything a workman like programmer discovers as missing is included even if they have not thought of it yet.


It is illegal to talk.

niftymitch niftymitch writes  |  more than 2 years ago

niftymitch (1625721) writes "Apparently it is illegal to talk about the superbowl. .....descriptions are a violation of copyright. Listen closely right before the commercials and you will find yourself being told that not only are unauthorized reproductions a no-no, but so are..."
Link to Original Source

Zappos - zapped

niftymitch niftymitch writes  |  more than 2 years ago

niftymitch (1625721) writes "Zappos tells us.

"First, the bad news:

"We are writing to let you know that there may have been illegal and unauthorized access to some of your customer account information on, including one or more of the following: your name, e-mail address, billing and shipping addresses, phone number, the last four digits of your credit card number (the standard information you find on receipts), and/or your cryptographically scrambled password (but not your actual password).""

Link to Original Source

How to file a friend of court brief?

niftymitch niftymitch writes  |  more than 2 years ago

niftymitch (1625721) writes "What is unique and novel in Patent number: 7822816 System and method for data management J. David Payne...

This claim sounds like BSD "learn" to me:
      "creating a questionnaire comprising a series of questions" or even the SAT tests. With swizzled bubble .vs. question mechanism to make shoulder surfing near impossibe.

Another sounds like classic bubble test read by a machine and even Myers brigs tests.
  "tokenizing said questionnaire; thereby producing a plurality of tokens representing said questionnaire".

This is hitting the courts in MacroSolve, Inc. v. Whoop, Inc.; U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas; Civil Action No. 6:11-cv-00523

The whole thing reads like: "I patent the use of the following things when used in the manner that they were designed for and intended to be used." i.e I patent any method where when you have a hammer and you hammer nails.

The mention of XML is interesting because the design of XML was to address difficult to maintain compact data encoding methods. i.e. compact encoding predates XML.

Another claim reads like the "dragon book" where compact intermediate tokens are designed to be used as input for another program.

Anyhow the captcha for this is :retard: which makes me wonder if /. is a magic eight ball in disguise. Is it the patent or me.."

Obama Tax Plan implemented at ATT

niftymitch niftymitch writes  |  more than 2 years ago

niftymitch (1625721) writes "AT&T announced that it will reduce the data throughput speed of its biggest data users on the unlimited data plan. The company stated it's responding to the explosive growth in data usage and the network congestion that comes with it. ......
Instead, it's targeting the top 5 percent of heaviest data users on the unlimited plan, who use 12 times more data than other users, according to AT&T."

Link to Original Source


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