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back to article What work? Tablet owners prefer to slack off with their slabs

Tablet owners love their fondleslabs, but hardly anybody thinks of them as tools for business, according to a new report from JD Power and Associates. The study, based on a survey of 1,857 tablet owners that was conducted in February 2013, found that just 20 per cent of them admitted to using their devices for "business …

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FAIL

yeah we support corporate ipads and yet wierdly there is no work app use by our coporaste users just time shifted TV and kids games. twats

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Anonymous Coward

And I can see you're working hard to find tools that would help them and facilitate greater work place use.

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Anonymous Coward

I have a tablet I for work, but I'm so busy I never get five minutes to use it.

However, when at home it is invaluable, I can disappear into the far reaches of the house and avoid the wife and kids................

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Holmes

not ready for any work

I tried taking a slab on a few plane trips to work on documents and spreadsheets - complete waste of time.

My 5-year old eeePc destroys any tanlet in terms of getting work done.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: not ready for any work

Actually, they are not even ready for decent browsing either: all the so-called mobile browsers are a joke that don't support the most basic features (or they claim to support them but fail miserably). I honestly don't find any use for it except as a glorified ebook or email reader (but I'd rather phone someone than try to type an email on this unusable "keyboard").

If this is the future of mobile computing then it's terrifying. Now I'm glad I bought a netbook before they went off the shelves, I guess I'll have to take extra care of it in fear of not finding anything decent enough to replace it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Agreed

Good for delivering a presentation, but other than Office on surface RT, I've not seen any office software that floats my boat. Trouble is, the lack of everything else makes Surface RT a bit of a one trick pony.

Even Google Docs seems crippled (in browser or Google Drive app) on Google's own tablets!

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Re: Agreed

Office on Win8. Or actually any other Windows software running on a full featured tablet pc. For some jobs even the Ativ500, the worst of the bunch in many ways, beats a notebook (not just a netbook). And for all others it is a high end netbook with decend screen size and all.

Granted, some people are disappointed when they hear "we get tablets" and instead of a shiny iThingy they get workmanlike Dell L10 or Lenovo TPT2. The ConsulTicks with one of our customers last week where. IT, their bosses and Finance OTOH liked it. And since THEY pay us/handle the contracts that's the way we go for the mobile workers (They get L10s since it is a "Dell" using customer)

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Re: Agreed

@mmeier - did you type that on a slab? I can't figure out what you are saying.

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Happy

Re: Agreed

"I've not seen any office software that floats my boat."

Have a look at Kingsoft Office from Google Play - not too bad, and also free.

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Megaphone

Re: not ready for any work

They were not meant to be for work. They are web browsing, fecesbook status updating, bird shooting, media consumption money vacuums.

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Re: Agreed

I (as a former compliance officer) am a little concerned by the "give it to the rest of the family" point. Surely most people with one of these will have access to commercially sensitive and potentially confidential information, so giving it all to your children/whoever breaches your terms and conditions of working? How comfortable would you be with your lawyer's children/spouse having access to your divorce papers? Many parents seem to frequently claim they have less IT savvy than their children, so how do you know what they are doing?

Especially as the "business case" most of my previous bosses gave was that an iPad was much more convenient than paper for reading documents when out of the office, and gave unspecified and unjustified confidentiality advantages. At the time it was an obvious case of wanting the shiny, but bosses will be what bosses are.

I know children probably won't be mis-using the information, but the breach has happened. It could be an uncomfortable time in Court for someone explaining just how many people had been granted access to confidential information in the event it all goes wrong.

I'm not saying that employees never gave their work laptops to their children, that too was a breach, but these devices seem to positively encourage it.

As an aside many years ago I was curious what the firm that removed our confidential waste ( fanfold green/white paper. Yes, that long ago) actually did with it. After quite a tedious investigation we discovered that the company destroyed most by burning, but donated a significant amount to a local primary school for children to draw on the blank side. Very eco-friendly, but a tad concerning that stuck to fridges across the county were our confidential reports.

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Re: Agreed

@Andy Prough:

No on relatives Penguin infested netbook shortly before shooting the Penguin that a PFY Gnuliban had put there using the "it's free" fosstard special AND telling my relative that this time it will cost him since I have "no more free Windows licence" and he badly needed some Windows software to do taxes :) . Hope the 50€ he paid will keep the PFY away until he gets a UEFI enabled Win8 notebook in Q4.

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Re: Agreed

@YAC

One more reason to use Windows on a tablet. Multiple user accounts work just fine there and IT can even set them up for the PHB. And it supports stuff like disk encryption OOB in the Pro version.

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Joke

Re: Agreed

@mmeier - plus the kids won't want to use a Win8 slab anyway!

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WTF?

Re: Mmeier...

Don't drink and type...

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Re: Agreed

'Good for delivering a presentation, but other than Office on surface RT, I've not seen any office software that floats my boat. Trouble is, the lack of everything else makes Surface RT a bit of a one trick pony.'

Quite.

Although doesn't surface rt use the ARM compiled edition of Office 2013?

If so can't you use any Windows 8 x86 tablet and buy Office with it?

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Re: Agreed

Yes, presentations on a Windows tablet (W7 or W8, does not matter) works nicely. The core-i units are even better currently since quite a few support WIDI. PP presentation wireless to the beamer, directly adding customer comments on the "to be done" forms (or giving the penable to the customer and have him annotate himself) works great.

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Re: Agreed

That's why I waited for the Nexus 10 cos it has multiple user accounts.

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Re: Agreed

I expect that you're joking about your experience with Linux on a netbook. You don't get Windows for 50 euro unless you buy a PC that's got it, and it's not transferable.

I take it that your Dell L10s are the Latitude 10 tablet. I don't know if I've already told you this, but I have a Dell Latitude ST with Windows 7 and a habit of various parts of the software for about 60 seconds every few minutes. Have you seen anything happen like that, and do you know the cause or the remedy? At the moment, I'm planning to buy a Samsung tablet with Window 8 and a more powerful processor, and cashback - but I don't know if cashback deals are a bad idea, too. I'm afraid that my Dell slate may be not fixable.

As for the original story, it claims that "nobody" is using tablets for work but then says that 20% of tablet users are. That's more than "nobody". I'm a bit worried that a further 11% have got a tablet from work and aren't using it for that.

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Re: Agreed

The Latitude ST is a single core Atom while the Latitude 10 is a dual core Atom. The single core tablets (LST, Q550 etc) had this lag problem in certain situations, one of the reasons was that the CPU did not "throttle up/down" and another was the GPU. The forums at http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/windows-tablet-pcs/ /(tabletpcreview) might help there. Was a reason back then not to introduce the Q550 wide scale.

As for the Samsungs - Ativ 500 or 700? The 700 is a core-i with a limited endurance (4+ h) but more than enough power (I use a similar Asus unit), The 500 is a dual core Atom and IMHO the "worst of the breed". Big screen (11.6'') and Wacom but otherwise not up to the quality and endurance of the L10 or TPT2. The dock had problems and the unit was reported as "too slick" requiring a sleeve for tablet use(3). Both have the "no user replaceable / non upgradable" problem that many current tablet pc have.

As for Windows - no I am not joking. I was tired to undo the damage various relatives let a cousing second degree. a 19year old PFY Gnuliban(2) that would make Eadon look sane did with the "it is free" and "it runs faster" lies allowing them to install Linux. Each time so far something did NOT work and his "skills" are not good enough for WINE etc (nor is his Debian). So typically either my brother in law (1) or I get the "panick" calls and have to spend the weekend driving home (200+ km) to rebuild the for all practical purposes unusable box. Last time I had to do it I claimed that "I have no more Windows licences, new ones cost 50€" and hopefully that money will teach a lesson. It's not as if the relative knows the price. It's a bit "electricity based teaching"

(1) Who ironically is a Solaris Admin

(2) By now I have the urge to solve the problem like our ancestors did and "show him the bogs".

(3) Since it is the same plastic as the N80x0 I believe that

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Re: Agreed

But sadly no inductive digitizer. That would be a nice piece not only because the Nexus get updates a bit longer but also because there would finally be a stable OpenSource driver for at least one of the stylus based digitizers,

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Re: not ready for any work

I used to regularly take notes with my iPad. That was until my boss wanted it back to beat his high score on some zombie game.

Now I have a load of handwritten notes I can't access.

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Re: Agreed

Thanks for the forum tip. There's at least one huge discussion on the Latitude ST. I've only seen the start (Waiting for delivery) and the end (How to install Windows 8) so far. And some complaint that the pen doesn't work in Win 8. That was the other problem that I had, pen working sometimes or never. (I know to change the battery.) There's also quite a weird bug; when using the VLC video player - whose Qt component apparently causes this along with the presence of NTrig digitiser - an empty file named win32dll.txt is created in the same folder as the video file. So, regardless, I'm unlikely to look back on this tablet with nostalgic fondness, unless I get really sick of Windows 8.

Misco is offering Samsung Ativ Pro (also called Series 7) with docking clamshell keyboard for £1,067.28 Inc VAT but then you claim £100 cashback by mail (offer ends 30/04/13), which I don't see the point of unless (1) they don't pay or (2) your company pays £1,067.28 and you pocket the cashback yourself - neither of which I like. The other gotcha, which I may ask about, is if April 30th is the deadline for claims, not orders. It's not a bad price anyway, compared to others, if the dock-keyboard is indeed included. It appears to be not the same as the Ativ Smart PC (Series 5) keyboard, but is probably not so much superior. I also don't know if Misco is good for personal shopping, but according to price comparison services, not many other retailers in the United Kingdom are offering this product.

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Re: Agreed

Oh - and I seem to have misunderstood about the Linux situation, sorry. Probably the only thing worse than having Windows to support on a relative's PC is not having Windows to support. So how about a family round-robin letter explaining that support for a Linux system is a specialist skill, and is how Linux suppliers make their money since the software's free. In fact, Linux can be okay for non-technical users, particularly if they treat the machine as an appliance. After all, Android works. But if they want Windows or want to use Windows apps, then they'd better have that. Or have system restore backup discs, anyway. Or dual-boot, but then it's getting too complicated for casual computer users.

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Re: not ready for any work

Should have used Evernote then, or some other cloud based note app.

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Re: not ready for any work

Evernote and other cloud stuff can be dicey in a company environment since you can not be sure where the data is stored. OneNote + Company Sharepoint + VPN solves the problem a lot better

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I have to fight my son everytime I want to use my playbook. He's too young to play with apps but watches lots of videos.

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<i>"...I have to fight my son everytime I want to use my playbook. He's too young to play with apps but watches lots of videos..."</i>

Not really a problem. If he's that young, you should be able to beat him pretty easily in a fight.

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Anonymous Coward

Work Use

I'm sorry, but I really don't get the netbook crowd defending them so hard and heavy. As a (relatively) early adopter in the netbook scene, I saw no need for a tablet for years. Yet, my HP2140 with wicked cool 720 vert resolution (everyone else was doing 600) that I upped to 2gb of RAM, got a 500gb hard drive for, and set as a dual boot linux/windows machine sits unused for months at a time. My best battery life with the extended battery when it was new was about 5 hours of on time doing basic stuff with very little video. I paid as much for it out of box as I did for my ithingy, then dumped a fair amount more into upgrades, etc.

My tablet, on the other hand, is used with keyboard. I don't play with plugins, so don't rant about browsers. As a jailbroken device, it is a simple matter to change the browser to look like a desktop browser when so inclined. Should I discover a gawdawful website requiring Flash, there are plenty of browsers like Skyfire and Puffin that can handle any issues there. Even without changing to a desktop browser, the ability to see most sites in full browser mode is easy enough.

And I even used it for work today. With PCoIP, I can vmware view into my windows 7 box and get most things I need to done. On a netbook, the limitations of the resolution make it almost unbearable. I also used the tablet for taking hand written notes on pages, flipped to a proposed vendor's website during his presentation and am typing on a very nice bluetooth keyboard as we speak.

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Facepalm

Re: Work Use

Netbooks were crippled by the tiny screen resolution. Whoever it was that decided netbooks should have a max. of 600 vertical pixels was either an idiot or deliberately trying to kill the form factor.

Had they gone the same resolution as tablets (1080p), they would be considerably more popular - certainly all our engineers would have them!

That said, I actually use tablets for work pretty often as they make great remotes for our equipment.

(Such as a building... You remember the Star Trek segments where somebody wanders down the corridor with a PADD controlling the starship? We do that today with Win7/8 tablets for ships and buildings.)

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Happy

Extraordinary

20% use them for business, however you define that. 31% of people got help to buy from their employers! In a long working life with various firms in various countries, the most I ever encountered was getting help with the bill for an Internet connection, so I could be on standb y at home out of working hours. I think this is an astonishing success for a consumer device.

As for the fans of the failed net books. What are such inflexible dinosaurs doing here?

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WTF?

Re: Extraordinary

Netbooks didn't fail, they got bigger.

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Re: Extraordinary

I think we need photographs to sort this out. I think El Reg has quite a useful one of an eee PC with a human using it for scale purposes. Perhaps that could be used as a start?

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Re: Extraordinary

"As for the fans of the failed net books. What are such inflexible dinosaurs doing here?"

Mostly complaining about their aching joints and telling us how they remember when 'all this were fields'.

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Childcatcher

Re: Extraordinary

"What are such inflexible dinosaurs doing here?"

Trying to explain to the young'uns how severely limited dumb terminals really are and that the current crop of wireless touch driven GUI units with considerable processing power are even more limited, because of the surrounding MicroGoogApple walls, than the old VT52s we used when this was all open fields. Not that the chitlins will listen mind you. After all, they've got their heads in the cloud.

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Re: Extraordinary

Inflexible? Thing is, youngster, we've already gone the centralized computing route, where "the man" ruled all. We actually prefer equipment that WE control, not Big Bidness. Why? Glad you asked ... Because it's actually MORE flexible than the iFad/Fandroid/Fadlet bits of kit.

The way things are going today, before too much longer we'll be submitting card-decks to the glass-house, and getting results a couple days later.

(Nice post, Eddy Ito!)

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Re: Extraordinary

Actually "Cloud" can be a nice solution for some problems. Has been for a long time. There are quite a few ways to run a cloud "inhouse" by leasing dedicated rackspace with two big providers and use that. Keeps the date in your hands, secures it well AND allows mobile users access to the stuff without the "change and email" procedure.

Just like the old "big iron" systems where and basically still are a good solution for many jobs. Many banks/insurance agencies have most software running very thin (or web) clients and keep the data and logic on the server. Works well and keeps the data nicely where it belongs while still allowing customer visits even with 3G data connection.

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WTF?

Re: Extraordinary

VT52 !!!

Clear off grandad, the cool kids use VT220, as for these new-fangled "tablets" so what?

I've had tablets for years now, the nice lady keeps giving them to me

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Re: Extraordinary

Wyse 30s and IBM 3151s here, both with model M keyboards. I always plug a so-called "dumb" terminal into a serial port on any new Linux or BSD installation, and send it a login prompt. Kinda hand when the GUI goes tits-up. Also handy to be able to redirect stderr to a dot matrix printer & fanfold paper hanging off it. Might be old-school, but can you come up with anything that works better?

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Facepalm

What did they expect?

What did they expect when they purchased fashion toys instead of laptops? Might as well have given out a bunch of Nintendo 3DS, those would've been awesome for those 3d presentations.

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Anonymous Coward

Useless for business, OK as a toy.

My employers gave me a shiney new iPad about a year or so ago. I don't know why, I didn't ask for one. Anyway I was hooked from day one, less hooked on day 2, even less hooked on day 3 and by day seven I gave up and shoved it into a draw in my study - it's been there ever since.

The only thing good about it was surfing the web (although numerous sites didn't display or work properly). For my business use I need a device to collect notes when I am auditing customer sites and interviewing various IT bods. The virtual keyboard would drive me around the bend, always at the wrong angle and because I normally touch-type on a normal keyboard I found myseld reverting to two-finger typing and watching the keyboard rather than my interviewees - and typos were still epic. Editing the (large) reports I need to produce was a disaster - taking me three times as long as normal.

I dragged out an old-ish Acer Aspire 1 netbook, junked the MS Vista on it and installed openSUSE and LibreOffice and I now use this for my mobile computing needs. Just the job, not much bigger than an iPad, has all the facilities I need, has a proper keyboard and the battery lasts for ever.

I'd give the iPad to one of my kids but they have all grow up an left home!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Useless for business, OK as a toy.

One of the cleverer features of the Playbook, and one I occasionally use, is that you can use a BB phone as a Bluetooth keyboard. But this assumes you can touch type on a BB. This is a rather exclusive group of people, but they do get most of the functionality for which people buy netbooks in about half the weight and with an 8 hour battery life.

I tried the Asus Transformer - which looked like a low power long battery life replacement for a netbook - and found that it really didn't do that. In fact, the keyboard was pretty useless. So I tend to agree with you. At the 10 inch size, the netbook was a very good idea while the tablet is really not worth the space it takes up. Once down to 7 inches, Blackberry nailed it but nobody much wanted it. But the 7 or 8 inch screen is fine for reading or viewing stuff.

I think what we have now seen is that product development is outracing the ability of people to adapt to it. And, possibly, that Americans are now so big that 10 inches diagonal over there is equivalent to seven inches in Europe.

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Stop

Re: Useless for business, OK as a toy.

7" is OK for watching a video or as an e-reader, or for playing Angry Birds or Fruit Ninja. It's total crap for editing a long Word document, reviewing a spreadsheet, or editing Powerpoint slides.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Useless for business, OK as a toy.

Actually, nowadays I find anything under 1920 by 1080 inadequate for the sort of spreadsheets people create. I would prefer 1920 by 1200, but you can't get the monitors.

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Re: Useless for business, OK as a toy.

Actually, nowadays I find the people creating spreadsheets that require 1920x1080 to be totally inadequate to business needs. When called in as a consultant, they are in the second wave of dismissal, after powerpoint "experts".

HTH, HAND.

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Duh-Oh

Speaking as someone typing on a clacky £4.50 keyboard hooked up to a one core MHz, rescued off someone else's doorstep with no experience of such devices it would seem the 'survey' has nailed the 'demographics'.

A) You use your 'fondleslab' to play 'angry burds' during someone else's 'power presentation'.

B) They use their 'fondleslab' to play 'angry burds' during your 'power presentation'.

C) After a hard days work. You give the kids the 'fondleslab' so you can ignore them as well.

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Trollface

Funny that...

I have no problems whatsoever using an iPad for work. Mind-mapping, working on straight-up documents (not the ones with fancy templates etc), memos, notes, drawings... yep, works for me. Granted, it's not always easy, but it's better than sitting there annoyed because you can't make the notes/memo/change you want because you don't have the laptop with you. And I definitely don't want to lug the >3 kg of 17" laptop with me just for the off chance.

Nope... the 1.5 lbs and 10 inches will do me nicely, plus instant-on and ability to browse when I'm in a hotel without needing the whole shebang works for me. I don't have games on the iPad (I don't play anything), but I do have video and music (and lots of books).

Yeah, yeah, downvote it already.

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Remember the good ol' days when 14" laptops weighed in at 15kg ? And it took eons to get them started, not to mention they crawled along like asthmatic slugs ?

You remember those days, don't you ? And if you do, you do realize that you're complaining about 17" laptops that weigh only 3kg ?

Pff. Never happy, are we ?

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"Not surprisingly, Apple ranked highest among tablet makers – as it has done in previous JD Power surveys – with an 836 satisfaction score, categorizing it as "among the best."

The next three runners-up – Amazon, Samsung, and Asus – were only rated "about average," with satisfaction scores of 829, 822, and 818, respectively. Lumped among "the rest" was Acer, with a comparatively unsatisfying score of 784."

Let me get this straight: 836/1000 is "the best", 829/1000 is "about average". That's 0.7 percentage points difference. And another 1.1 percentage points separates the "average" three. So what we are saying is that the difference between the best and average is less than the difference between average and average.

A more honest reading of these statistics is: "Apple, Amazon, Samsung and Asus tablets are all similarly satisfying to customers, with differences that are not statistically significant. Acer is crappier, but not by much."

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