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Vintage 1960s Era Film Shows IRS Defending Its Use of Computers

nmb3000 Original Source (146 comments)

For those not interested in helping useless middle-man ad farms, here's the original source on the National Archives website (including the YouTube video):

How Computers Changed the Tax Game

3 days ago

Seagate Releases 6TB Hard Drive Sans Helium

nmb3000 Re:~1000 *Bits* per square inch? (147 comments)

1 Mbit per square inch makes a lot more sense

Oh, derp. Make that 1000 Gbit per square inch. Worst part of no edit on Slashdot is all the simple math mistakes irrevocably left for posterity :)

about two weeks ago

Seagate Releases 6TB Hard Drive Sans Helium

nmb3000 Re:~1000 *Bits* per square inch? (147 comments)

I thought that in 21st century we are talking about Gbits/inch^2, not just bits...

Paul B.

That caught my eye as well. Assuming 1000 bits per square inch, we're talking about:

6 * 1000 * 1000 * 1000 * 1000 * 8 / 1000 = 48,000,000,000 square inches to store 6TB at 1000 bits per in^2.

1 Mbit per square inch makes a lot more sense, putting it at 48 square inches, or about 8 square inches per platter.

about two weeks ago

Dyn.com Ends Free Dynamic DNS

nmb3000 Re:Alternatives (240 comments)

A quick search reveals http://www.noip.com/ [noip.com], and I'm sure they'll be more

No-IP is dishonest and doesn't deserve your support.

Way back in mid 2004 I spent about $20 to buy No-IP's "Lifetime" dynamic DNS service which gave me (IIRC) 5 of their "enhanced" subdomains which would never expire and never cost me additional money. I was very happy with them and recommended them to several people.

Then suddenly in 2008 I got an email saying my service was about to expire. When I emailed them about it, they said:

Date: Mar 10, 2008 (1:18am PDT)
From: No-IP Support

3 months after you had completed this purchase, this service was changed to a yearly service. As a courtesy to existing users, we provided them with 3 years of service. I'm sorry for any confusion this caused with the renewal of your service.

I don't really care what sneaky leagalese was in their TOS that justifies them legally. They explicitly sold this service as "lifetime", and I feel this was a completely underhanded move. I've had nothing to do with No-IP ever since and I discourage everyone else from supporting that kind of dishonestly.

about two weeks ago

Firefox 28 Arrives With VP9 Video Decoding, HTML5 Volume Controls

nmb3000 Re:I'm still alive (142 comments)

Installed the update and it didn't turn my laptop into a smoking crater on my desk; so far, so good..

Are you on Windows 7 with IE 10 installed? Or Windows 8.1?

It boggles my mind that they released the browser with this bug unresolved. Almost 500 comments on the Bugzilla entry and the end result was "ship it!" I mean, look at some of these screenshots:


Who gives a damn if a large number of users can't even read the text on a page because, OMG!, we've just gotta have an HTML5 volume control! Someone probably should mention to Mozilla that just ripping off Chrome's look and release cycle doesn't really work if you don't also have Google's engineering and QA teams.

I don't think we need any more evidence that nobody is left steering the Firefox ship these days besides the cabin boy "designers".

about a month ago

Interview: Ask Theo de Raadt What You Will

nmb3000 Trying too hard (290 comments)

Slashdot interviews for Richard Stallman, Eric Raymond, and now Theo, all in the last week?

What happened? Did someone at Dice push Slashdot management to try and "reclaim technical roots"? Is someone a little worried about http://soylentnews.org/? Or maybe this is part of a last-ditch effort to increase revenue^W^W reclaim reader loyalty?

Slashdot Media was acquired to provide content and services that are important to technology professionals in their everyday work lives and to leverage that reach into the global technology community benefiting user engagement on the Dice.com site. The expected benefits have started to be realized at Dice.com. However, advertising revenue has declined over the past year and there is no improvement expected in the future financial performance of Slashdot Media's underlying advertising business. Therefore, $7.2 million of intangible assets and $6.3 million of goodwill related to Slashdot Media were reduced to zero.


Perhaps not, but really, you guys are still trying way too hard now. I'd have thought you realized by now that successfully running a site like this is a marathon, not a sprint. Throwing up a few half-baked interviews with prominent open source figures isn't the answer.

about a month and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: What Games Are You Playing?

nmb3000 Re:BSG? (669 comments)

So you're playing a video game version of Battlestar Galactica? I shall have to learn more....

There's more truth to this than you might think :)

But I agree with the OP; FTL is a lot of fun, especially if you enjoy space + rougelikes.

about 2 months ago

Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

nmb3000 Re:The Why (2219 comments)

As an aside, how about you fix simple 2-year old bugs in this site's CSS so that things like lists work?

li { list-style: none }

That's not very helpful.

It's hard to feel comfortable with the drastic changes being proposed (or shoved down our throats) when the old new site still doesn't render correctly.

about 2 months ago

Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

nmb3000 The Why (2219 comments)

communicating about the How and the Why of this process

I think this is one of the biggest reasons you are getting such negative pushback. A very large part of the active and vocal Slashdot audience (the "community") probably share a similar viewpoint when it comes to change. Change for change's sake is bad, and if you want to change something that works just fine then you'd better be able to give me a good, objective reason. So far that just isn't something we've seen. What I see is a site that's been redesigned with two goals in mind:

  • Jump on the current web design bandwagon. For example: poor text contrast, gradients and transparency that slows things down, etc.
  • Water down and weaken the commenting system. The original beta made it clear that the drivers of this change felt that the Slashdot comment system was too complex and should be "simplified". Taking it to a flatter model with less information about posts and their relationships, in addition to "lazy" loading comments just says that your target audience must feel like "comments are hard, let's go shopping!"

We want to take our current content and all the stuff that matters to this community and deliver it on a site [that is] more accessible and shareable by a wider audience.

What exactly is it about the current site that makes it inaccessible? Which audience are you trying to reach? I'm quite serious -- knowing this may make it easier for people to accept change (assuming that the audiences you're reaching out to aren't "advertisers" and "market analytics"). Just going based on what you've said it sounds like you want to make Slashdot Yet Another generic news aggregator. Don't you remember Digg? That sad story should have taught you a few lessons about the value of a generic news aggregator and the results of alienating a community.

Will the new site finally support (even a small subset of) Unicode? Just adding support for that would probably make Slashdot accessible to more people than this absurd proposed redesign. No, I'm not kidding.

about 2 months ago

HTML5 App For Panasonic TVs Rejected - JQuery Is a "Hack"

nmb3000 Re:Quite possibly indeed! But still... FUCK BETA! (573 comments)

Also, fuck beta.

Interestingly enough, they've also removed all/most of the fuckbeta tags that had been put on 20+ stories earlier. It looks like most other variations such as "betasucks" have also been removed.

Remember when tags used to be an open and fun way for the community to micro-comment on a story? 90% of readers here realized that Slashdot's tags were completely and utterly useless (they still haven't dumped the pointless story tag**), so using them as a platform for humor or community feedback was both clever and fun. Oh, yeah, all that was before abortion that is Dicedot.

Fuck beta.

** Wow, that page is screwed up. Not only did it take almost a minute to load for me (what the hell are you guys running these newage bullshit pages on, Ruby?), but after all that it only displayed about 50 links, and most of them are duplicates (dupes, on MY Slashdot!? Inconceivable!!).

about 2 months ago

Google Fiber Launches In Provo — and Here's What It Feels Like

nmb3000 A wild competition appeared (338 comments)

An interesting side effect of Google's fiber offering is the sudden competition it's putting in some places where it hardly existed before, and allowing us to examine the results.

I have a friend who lives in Provo (about 10 miles south of me) and will be eligible for Google Fiber when they open it up in his area this March. He has had Comcast Internet service for a couple of years now and is planning on switching to Google when he can. However, about a month ago a Comcast representative came directly to his home, unscheduled, to talk about a "new and improved" service level he was now eligible for.

This Comcast rep told my friend that, effective immediately (all he had to do was call Comcast), he could change his current ISP service to a package that offered 250 Mbps down / 150 Mbps up, no bandwidth cap, for $25 / month. To compare, he was currently getting 25 Mbps down and paying $75 / month. A couple of weeks ago he made the switch and has been very happy with the order of magnitude speed increase and 66% price drop.

I understand the concept behind competition and the magical invisible hand, but this sort of behavior sickens me. If Comcast can drop their prices and increase their service offerings so quickly in response to new competition, it just goes to show how badly they are screwing over most of their other customers. And, of course, when I called them to inquire about this amazing new Internet service they were offering, I was told it was a "not available" in my area and that different "geographical regions" have different prices.

There's a real argument here for municipal/state owned and funded fiber networks being leased out to various commercial (or otherwise) ISPs. If Google and Comcast can both offer this kind of bandwidth for these prices, the current state of affairs in most of the rest of the country is completely unjustified. I'm sick and tired of a few "elite" corporations getting an effective monopoly on Internet service offerings in vast areas, able to charge anything they please because people have no other option.

about 3 months ago

Apple II DOS Source Code Released

nmb3000 Re:Game disk images in licensed emulator bundles (211 comments)

Hoarding things is bad, even for the Horde.

Then why does the Horde auction house suck, on a server where the Alliance auction is a house of plenty? No. The Horde hoards bigtime.

I'd guess there's a disparity between the number of Horde and Alliance players (Blizzard just hasn't done much to try and balance them out). Perhaps merged^Wcoalesced realms might help with that somewhat if they choose the right ones to join.

That, or Alliance just bots more.

about 5 months ago

OS X 10.9 Mavericks Review

nmb3000 Re:Whoah! Battery life (222 comments)

Timers of all programs are synchronised so they are fired right after each other so that there are longer periods processing and longer periods of idle. This means that frequency throttling up and down happens a lot less often.

That sounds a lot like the timer coalescing added in Windows 7, and it did have notable improvements in power usage over XP. So while the idea isn't new or innovative on the part of Apple, it does help them maintain their lead over Windows when it comes to lower power consumption.

about 6 months ago

Full Screen Mario: Making the Case For Shorter Copyrights

nmb3000 Re:Innovation? (361 comments)

The original intention of copyright was so encourage people to build stuff, get benefit from the work, then release the work out into the public domain for this precise reason! It wasn't put in the Constitution so people could have cash cows for long periods of time, it was put in there so the work could could go out into the wild after a brief period of time and be built upon.

I've always wondered why there's so little real public outcry at the perpetual extension of copyrights and their increasing overreach. But now, after reading the comments on that story, it's no wonder corporations have yet again been able to run roughshod over the public, and it's the same reason as usual -- the public is willingly bending over for them:

Also, how can the world demand Nintendo to give them freebees

I see nothing wrong with this. Yeah, it sucks the site has to be taken down, but that was the risk he ran. Its an awesome idea, of course, but it belongs to Nintendo. [...] I, personally, only think something should fall into the public domain after the company it once belonged to is no longer around.

Someone forgot why Video Games crashed in 1983. The video game industry was like the wild wild west. Anybody could create or steal what they wanted and it just over saturated the market with crappy games.

Apparently this person forgot the reasons behind the Video Game Crash as well...

So if I create a game and it becomes mega famous, everyone is buying it and playing it, and that gaming product is a source of income for me...

Here's a crux of the issue and what republicorps rely on for the public's support -- "When I am rich and famous some day, I want these laws around to protect me!"

I really think it is you who doesn't understand [copyright]. Since you think [using something owned by someone] is okay, please give me your address so I can come move into your house and use your car. Hey they benefited you enough, time for someone else to make use of them.

It shouldn't be a time limit, it should be a lifetime benefit for the creator(s). Miyamoto has every right to make as much money off his product for the rest of his life

Ignoring, I suppose, the fact that he doesn't own any copyright -- Nintendo does.

I don't get this article. Couldn't someone pay a licensing fee if they really wanted to?


about 6 months ago

Security Researchers Want To Fully Audit Truecrypt

nmb3000 Re:Best encyption ever (233 comments)

the algorithm would produce a file exactly as long as the input, but entirely filled with zeros.

Haha -- not only that, but in order to "decrypt" the ciphertext, you need to supply the original plaintext as the key!

about 6 months ago

Come Try Out Slashdot's New Design (In Beta)

nmb3000 Re:Debate club (1191 comments)

Very nicely put. There's a big difference between Slashdot and a news site or even your average news aggregator, both in audience size and professional makeup, and that's what has made the site so successful for so long. You did a great job expressing that -- now hopefully a corporate suit somewhere will read this and (more importantly) understand it.

I'm not hopeful :(

about 7 months ago

Come Try Out Slashdot's New Design (In Beta)

nmb3000 Re:Link broken? (1191 comments)

Slashdot's biggest selling point, as it's always been, is the conversation the stories generate.

Exactly. And how does the new design reflect this?

On the new design it looks like you cannot link to a specific comment or thread. Check out your user page and look at your comment history. No links to comments, no comment scores.

I suppose comments are simply an unsightly appendage in their new "modern" design (they must clash with all the bullshit social media icons everywhere). Just think of all the "old cruft" they could get rid of if there were no comments: threaded layout, moderation, meta-moderation, karma, all users with a UID less than 7 digits, etc. Replace all that with a flat "top 20" comments listing and a little "Like this on Facebook!" button and it'll be nirvana.

about 7 months ago

Come Try Out Slashdot's New Design (In Beta)

nmb3000 Re:Link broken? (1191 comments)

It makes the comment section - which is a large part of the slashdot experience - seem like something tacked onto the end of a news article where people post one line responses.

I hope to hell someone with a say in the matter reads this and understands what it really means. I'll give you a hint:

If you make this change, you will kill Slashdot.

I'm not exaggerating even slightly. Many people spend time here to read and participate in the commentary. By shoehorning the comments into that tiny space beneath the article you're saying "comments aren't important", something which will in all likelihood be soon followed by "comments are a liability" and then "comments now require moderation before being posted". People tolerate the Slash-Bi(sexual) crap now because it takes a second seat to the real meat of the articles and commentary. By reversing those roles you're telling 85% of the active userbase that they're no longer welcome.

Whatever site is left after this change takes effect -- maybe it will make enough advertisement and tracking money to satisfy Dice, but it won't be Slashdot and it won't last a year. Remember what happened to Digg? Yeah, I didn't think so.

By the way, if anyone hasn't gone and looked at the comments section on an article, go look now and then tell me I'm wrong.

about 7 months ago

Learning To Code: Are We Having Fun Yet?

nmb3000 Re:Ugh, I hated Why's Guide... (226 comments)

Seriously? I hated Why's Guide... it was stupid. I'm sorry. Just get to the point.

As someone not interested in learning Ruby I actually enjoyed reading Why's Guide. It's very creative and clever and fun. Why clearly has a talent for creative writing (and for drawing cute little foxes).

That said, would I use it as a way to really learn how to program in Ruby? Absolutely not. I'd much rather have something closer to an O'Reilly animal book, or Learn Python the Hard Way.

Lua's reference guide is great, but I prefer a bit more than just a language's grammar since part of learning a new language is understanding its "why" and "how" as well as the "what" (for me, at least).

about 7 months ago



nmb3000 nmb3000 writes  |  about 7 years ago

nmb3000 writes "Apparently some schools and teachers in the United Kingdom are more concerned about offending their students than teaching them history. Specifically, schools are dropping subject such as the Holocaust to avoid "upsetting students whose beliefs include Holocaust denial." Other parts of history some schools are removing are the Crusades, and the conflict-filled history of the state of Israel. If "those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it", what does that mean for future generations who never learned of it?"

nmb3000 nmb3000 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

nmb3000 (741169) writes "There has always been a separation between PC games and their cousins on game consoles, and one of these defining barriers has been the inability to play networked games that mix PC and console clients together into a seamless cross-platform experience. It seems, however, that this may be about to change with a new lineup of games coming of Windows Vista in 2007. Microsoft recently announced at CES that games for Vista utilizing DirectX 10 will be able to connect and participate fully in Xbox Live's services. This includes online game play and all related features such as voice communication. This means popular online games such as Halo 2's multiplayer will no longer be limited to console owners; from the article: "In addition, "Halo® 2" for Windows Vista (Microsoft Game Studios/Bungie Studios) will also support Live, including enabling Windows gamers to communicate with Xbox Live gamers and earn Achievements in the famed "Halo 2" campaign — a first for any "Halo" title on any platform.""

nmb3000 nmb3000 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

nmb3000 writes "Raymond Chen of the Old New Thing points out that disaster was recently averted due to international time zones. Yisrayl Hawkins, the leader of The House of Yahweh, predicted September 12th 2006 as the day of nuclear war between North Korea and the United States. Now three days later, Hawkins explains that "a nuclear war between the US and North Korea only failed to kick off Tuesday as expected due to difference in international time zones." Unperturbed as always, Hawkins' website now warns, "-3 days remaining before the start of nuclear war". I don't know about you, but I'm stocking up on Twinkies and Bawls."

nmb3000 nmb3000 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

nmb3000 (741169) writes "CNN is reporting that Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin was killed by a string ray off Australian coast. While filming a new movie about deadly creatures, Irwin was swimming along the coast when a stingray hidden in the sand thrust it's barb into his chest, and through his heart. Only 44, Irwin was killed almost immediately by what's been described as a "freak accident". When considering his life and work at his zoo and the Australian outback, it is ironic to note that deaths from stingrays are incredibly uncommon, with only 17 recorded fatalities in Australia since 1969. Included with the article are several videos detailing the incident and public reaction."



Mod Points Gone Wild

nmb3000 nmb3000 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

So this is odd enough I figured I'd make a note of it. I'm aware that the way the Slashdot moderation gremlins decide who gets points how often is veiled in secrecy, but still, does anyone have any ideas about this?

I've had an active Slashdot account for a while now. At the beginning I got mod points now and then, no big deal. When my karma hit excellent, I got them a little more often maybe. Okay.

Then about two years ago, they just stopped dead. My karma stayed the same, my posting, site visitation, and metamod habits stayed the same. I have notifications on to tell me about metamods who disagree with my mods and never saw very many of those. For some unknown reason I just stopped getting mod points completely.

Now, all of a sudden last Thursday or so (the 15th), out of the blue, I see that I have 5 mod points. Wow! I spent 4 of them I think and let the last one expire. The day after they expired, 5 more points. I spend all of them I think. The day after they were set to expire, today, bam! -- 5 more points.

It's just odd. I get blacklisted from moderating (I assume) and then out of nowhere get 15 points in some 9 days dumped on me. Did I piss off an editor (I have made fun of a few... it's too easy sometimes) and get an arbitrary 20-ish month ban on modding which has run its course? Seems unlikely, but...



Autism Quotient

nmb3000 nmb3000 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Saw this in Kymermosst's journal.

I find it hard to believe anything a 50-question test tells me, but here's the idea:

Psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen and his colleagues at Cambridge's Autism Research Centre have created the Autism-Spectrum Quotient, or AQ, as a measure of the extent of autistic traits in adults. In the first major trial using the test, the average score in the control group was 16.4. Eighty percent of those diagnosed with autism or a related disorder scored 32 or higher. The test is not a means for making a diagnosis, however, and many who score above 32 and even meet the diagnostic criteria for mild autism or Asperger's report no difficulty functioning in their everyday lives.

I scored a 35.

Sure it's clichéd, but clichés usually have basis in fact: I'd guess that most people on Slashdot score slightly higher than average. Based on the questions, it seems many people interested in technology and engineering may be slightly autistic, being detail-oriented and slightly to largely unsocial.

Or it's just me.


Slashdot's 1337 new look

nmb3000 nmb3000 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

I posted this in another discussion, but figured I'd copy it here for kicks.


if you don't like it then tell us some specifics on why you don't like it!

Very well. Here's what I've got so far.

    - First up: Big pages load and render SLOW. Pages with a large number of comments like this one [slashdot.org] make IE crap it's pants
    - I don't want it to blockquote something when I explicitly use <i> (like in this entry--it didn't use to do that, did it?)
    - Score and 'Read More' on the right away from other relevant information.
    - The 'Sections' link is worthless and annoying.
    - Spacing in IE is flunky. Various elements don't line up with others. Yes, it's probably IE's fault, but you can't ignore IE.
    - Links in the navigational menus (left and top) have different colors for visited/not visited. Looks better if they are the same and it doesn't really matter if you've clicked them before.
    - Comments are not indented enough.
    - Arrows on left-hand menu get out of sync easily.
    - Method of changing item color (gray/green) in left-hand menu is slow in IE.
    - Element spacing on User page blows in IE.
    - YRO is still ugly as sin.
    - The menu that opens when you click 'Sections' is a nasty kludge. It's way too slow to open, closes by reloading the page (real stupid).
    - The boxes containing "what is this" blurbs in Preferences are too big and conspicuous. They're supposed to be a subtle help, not obfuscate the main content.
    - IT is still puts Janet Reno to shame.
    - Comment headers (containing the subject) seem too big and waste space.
    - It'd be nice if there was some indication the little arrows were clickable (like using the pointer cursor).
    - The 'Sections' section closes after going into a section, regardless of its previous status. Annoying if you're browsing sections.
    - An old bug still exists where the content of a page will sometimes start a full page lower than it should in IE. Stories and user pages are affected.
    - Bad things usually happen if you click the Sections header after IE starts navigating to another page.
    - Simple Design option + the Sections header box = nasty.
    - Too much whitespace. Reduce it or perhaps go with a real light gray in areas.
    - I miss OMG Ponies! Really.

Personally, I think we should get the option to use the old template.

George Lucas raped my childhood and CSS raped Slashdot *cry*


The new design does feel a little 'cleaner' but I think the problems significantly overshadow the advantages. And I know that plenty of people will proclaim "to hell with IE, standards are all that matter!" The problem is you can't just ignore a browser with it's market share.

Anyway, fun fun.


Slashdot Moderation at Work - Part II

nmb3000 nmb3000 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

So perhaps it wasn't the most Slashdot-friendly thing to say, but I said it anyway. What do I get in payment? Some dumbass with mod points decided that my comment was soooo inflammatory that they used their points marking my last 5 comments "Overrated". I suppose I should be flattered that I got the troll to spend all their points on little old me.

In the end they accomplished nothing, so I'm not sure if I really should be irritated. The only thing that bugs me about it is that while I've had Excellent karma for over a year now and I metamoderate on a regular basis, I haven't seen mod points for the last 6 months, yet morons like this apparently still get them. I suppose it comes down to hoping that there is some system (there certainly should be) that monitors moderations and takes some action if a user uses all their points on negative moderations. This goes double for Overrated mods which bypass review by metamoderators.

Oh well.


Slashdot Moderation at Work

nmb3000 nmb3000 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Don't bother with the journal much, but thought this was worth noting.

I love the Slashdot crowd's perdictable nature. I posted this comment about 30 hours ago knowing very well that it's score would bounce around some, and would probably come to rest either at 1 or 0. I had no idea how much it would really move.

Right now it's at +2, Funny without a karma bonus, however it's not been an easy ride having been at both +4 and -1 two different times each. I decided to watch it as close as I could for a while and from what I was able to tell, it's moderation went about like this:

1 (Initial posting)
2 (+1 Funny)
3 (+1 Funny)
4 (+1 Funny)
3 (-1 Overrated/Troll)
2 (-1 Overrated/Troll)
1 (-1 Overrated/Troll)
0 (-1 Overrated/Troll)
-1 (-1 Overrated/Troll)
0 (+1 Funny)
1 (+1 Funny)
2 (+1 Funny)
3 (+1 Funny)
4 (+1 Funny)
3 (-1 Overrated/Troll)
2 (-1 Overrated/Troll)
1 (-1 Overrated/Troll)
0 (-1 Overrated/Troll)
-1 (-1 Overrated/Troll)
0 (-1 Overrated/Troll)
1 (+1 Funny)
2 (+1 Funny) (current)

It's bounced around a fair bit and based on the age of the article I bet it won't move much more. What I thought was interesting was that in the course of all this 21 mod points have been spent just to juggle a sarcastic comment about Bush around.

Anyway, I just found it interesting.


Page 23 Continued

nmb3000 nmb3000 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Just saw this in Kymermosst's Journal and figured it was reason enough to post for the first time in my /. journal.

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Turn to page 23.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.


"The Times."

I've got a shiny nickel for anyone that can tell me what book that came from. I'll post the name in a while I guess.

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