398 posts • joined Thursday 20th September 2007 15:24 GMT
I am under the distinct impression that a growing number of people, of all genders and ages, are becoming sh*t at parking. That and refusing to take a shopping trolly back to the correct repository and instead choosing to leave it in the middle of the adjacent parking bay. When I park I like to consider the person(s) already parked, or who might park, next to me. They may for instance be elderly, have need of pushchairs and tons of baby-related equipment or just require that they can open a car door more than 2.5 inches for reasons of ingress/egress. I accept that in may cases car park layout with bays that are patently too narrow must take some of the blame, but generally a lot more consideration for others wouldn't go amiss.
Bloomin' Pols, coming over here and muckin abhart wiv our magnetisms!
As a youngster, at the dawn of television, I played Monopoly ™ at least twice a day, almost every day, for many, happy years. I've since become CEO of a massive private banking corporation - I take unbridled risks with vast sums of money every hour of the day, enjoy massive annual bonuses and stomp on little plebs with their grandiose plans for establishing ethical / green businesses that create worthwhile jobs and contribute to social development. I therefore defy anybody to claim that such worthwhile youthful activities led me astray in any way whatsoever.
How nice of them
Will they be offering loyalty points next?
Sign up to our crypto-bot-net offer now - infect 1000 machines in the next month and we will be giving away sheeple bitstuff free!
Come on, tell us the truth
This one is carrying the pilau rice and poppadoms that the Indian delivery vehicle forgot.
Don't worry there's still time to take out an extended warranty plan and have it replaced 'new for old' in the event that your super fast lump of rock and ice does fragment unexpectedly. What's that .... wrong Comet, doh!
Recycling - More bits of crud in orbit
It apparently started it's final decent at c.80Km altitude. If, as is predicted, only some 25% of it's overall mass survives, how much of the charred remnants will remain in low earth orbit, floating around about up there, perhaps not unlike the vast mat(s) of plastic down here in the Pacific ocean?
I am aware that there is ongoing research into how to deal with all the other potentially dangerous crud we have hoisted above us and would ask if any better qualified Regaunauts might have answers to above. Thank you.
Mirror mirror on the wall
The internet is just a great big digital mirror to all humanity, (well something approaching 90% of it anyway). As such pretty much all human life is there; kittens galore, snuff movies and everything in between. Most people are inclined towards searching out their preferred particular 'niche'. We have abundant tools to find the stuff we want to and we can all choose to 'click' on whatever we want - accepting that some may not be adequately mentally or intellectually equipped to make an 'informed' choice. Trying to hide it all away and hand out digital rose-tinted glasses to the masses isn't the answer - education about what materials are available is.
I would assert that there is a large amount of 'rubber necking' that goes on and it is this which makes the headlines and shapes political response. If you stumble across a video of a beheading you can cancel it with pretty immediate affect. Or perhaps there is a built-in human morbid curiosity that compromises avoidance reaction. If I pass an accident on the road my instinct is to concentrate more on the actions of other road users around me, not gorp at the wreckage. I know driving can be a seriously dangerous activity, so I try to be alert to that and modify my behaviour accordingly. I know there is material I don't want to view on the internet and I also know that there are some pretty appalling things humans can do.
Censorship doesn't make the nasty things vanish into the digital ether.
Is it not better that the 'mirror image' is clear and accurate for all to see, however bad some of it is.
Educate those who are more susceptible to what they might encounter so that they can make better and more informed decisions when using the internet, that's what I say.
Perhaps every browser start-up should begin with an in-your-face billboard carrying a warning about what lies beyond?
Noooo no no
Shhh will you or you'll give Steve Ballmer ideas about where to use his touch-screen OS magic next ! After all, he'll have a bit more spare time on his hands now won't he.
As a youngster I enjoyed building very simple circuits with the older (or should that be antique), Bread-Board style electronics kits, the ones which came with a printed resistor color-guide (very handy). I later graduated to Varistrip boards, IC sockets and soldering irons, which was a huge step forward. I am gobsmacked at today's equivalent Learn & Play technology. I really ought to spend less time at the Derby & Joan club tea dances and get on with a miss spent golden age. Ah! the memories - time for a beer.
Don't worry Anon (15:35GMT)
Nature will reduce human population all in good time. It won't be a very nice Pay-Back to live through but it will happen, if, as you point out, we fail to seriously address the matter ourselves.
BTW - I understand that throughout large parts of Africa and Asia it remains very difficult to obtain family planning and the taking of such responsibility is still largely frowned upon anyway. All that good effort and funding gone to waste, really sad.
It remains to be seen who might prevail, in terms of race and ethnicity, when things settle back down again though. Who has the best chance do ya think.
(Enjoy a cold beer, it's Friday)
IT bloke / Sheep . . . .
Maybe he was simply trying to locate the Ewe S B port ?
Helps to take ones mind of what banks and mega corporations get up to I suppose.
I know shop lifting and petty theft can be really, really hard on small business but I would much rather more effort be put into combating the rich bastards who continue unabated to rip people off. All depends how close and on which side you are relative to the law I guess.
Tethering and Security?
And how long before a little DIY, blue-tooth gizmo arrives that infiltrates that tethering, trawls your phone for data and leaves it quietly calling premium rate number(s), all because you came within 2m of said gizmo in the pocket of some evil perp intent on all of the above ? Just asking - you know how totally secure all this kit is these days (?).
Re: It's a sad truth of the world sadly...
I agree 110% with your last statement - the women I have worked with in IT and other areas have, in my view, all been better in their approach to understanding the client's needs and problems and not just imposing a solution without further ado. More than that, sharing information about how they will go about resolving the client's problems - where they feel the client will benefit from using that information, in order to perhaps avoid precipitating future problems etc.
Which, to my mind at least, would indicate that both men and women have a lot of knowledge and experience to share in IT - let's look past gender and get on with a learning experience together.
Have to agree with the suitable work-wear statements echoed above though. But as to 'pack' animals, women have just the same propensity you know.
Is it me, or, does the Microsoft thingy look a bit like the old navy 'dazzle' camouflage from many years ago !?
I just can't see humans, the way we know them now Jim, ever leaving Earth further than say a jaunt to Mars, possibly. Sure we have made a trip equivalent to the front door step (Moon and back) but we are suitably adapted to this planet and any Earth II candidate is simply too far distant for our little legs to carry us.
I can imagine that machines we build could travel those distances and, perhaps, take with them the genetic material required to then reconstruct humans on a habitable planet, but that's about it. That would be more of a delivery system for genetic / bio-chemical material - but somewhat more sophisticated than the chance happening that kicked off life here on Earth I. In fact, given that scenario, I just can't see humans, the way we know them now Jim, being around at all when the machines embark on such a voyage. By that time the remaining, dominant, humans will be hardly visible deep inside their techno-exo-skeletal-mecha-whatsits.
That's not to discount the tremendous efforts born out of human curiosity to learn more about our home planet, it's near neighbors and it's, somewhat, precarious situation as a, relatively, big floating ball of hot iron and stone crust. Just saying.
The age of trolls - everywhere
It doesn't help that so much 'entertainment medja' is full of such utter trollish crap. Such delights as The Voice and The X Factor are exactly that - public engagement in trolling on the Big Screen. Viewers delight in taking a like or dislike to individuals on these shows and would seem to put greater energy into trashing those they dislike. They then share their venom with those who hold similar views and magnify their 'group' dominance when the voting comes along. Of course, it's all done in the best possible taste and wrapped up in the 'magic' of television. I mean, it's entertainment and it's right there in your living room, so what could possibly be bad about that! Sadly, it amounts to teaching the virtues of en-mass public trolling / bullying and the masses love it they do. Is it not, therefore, inevitable that such behaviour quickly takes root in such a fertile medium as the internet where anonymity and message 'reach' amplify it's effectiveness.
It's all a bit of an enigma to me ....
Ah! Well ........
Many, many, years in the future
Will the search will be for signs, amongst all the debris, of the whereabouts, history or fate, of the life form responsible for conducting a search for signs of life with such quaint mechanical devices. And, or, a search for signs of life from the debris of previous searches for signs of life amongst the debris left behind from the searches for signs of life amongst the debris of previous searches. I dunno, but the search goes on.
Re: Down the tubes we go (again)
Exactly, well said sir. Whereas Norway (and others?) decided to have a bit more of a of LONG TERM term thinking hat on and stuffed a percentage of revenues away for a rainy day and or research on replacement technologies / energy sources when the oil and gas dries up. We can but dream that our politicos might have a similar approach this time. There's a lot more oil and gas in the north sea yet, but it's very, very costly to get at just now, so, please, let's create a wee fund to assist us in getting to that in the near future.
What if .....
We are in the midst of a battle between natural forces, which are all ready to herald the arrival of the next glacial period, and human / industrial GHG emissions. The conflicting forces are embroiled in a battle of wills right up there above our heads and we are simply suffering the fallout of all this turmoil. Demonstrating that we really have managed to bung a reasonably large stick in the spokes of mother natures wheels, that's my take on it. We see increasingly shorter, more extreme, weather events, (both hot and cold) which, I would say, indicate such turmoil.
Inevitable problem ?
Wasn't there a certain inevitability about all this? I'm not excusing any cover up but we all knew from the very beginning that an increasingly digitally connected world would mean more and more of our holiday snaps, emails, rants and other digital missives would remain where we put them, on internet facing servers etc. Further to that we all seem happy with increasing amounts of our 'personal' data being trawled / shared by all manner of commercial establishments etc. Therefore I am not very surprised myself to find that security agencies want to take a peek at it all as well. We, perhaps blindly, make the choice to entangle our lives digitally, therefore that's now the best place to find out who we are and what we are up to. Because things in the real world can happen so fast, aided by light-speed communication, I can't see that relying on steaming open letters and hear-say would be a very good information channel when tracking down potential criminals or terrorists etc. Both the good guys and the bad guys increasingly rely on and use the internet and other accepted forms of digital communication.
The real shame is the lack of clarity and truth on the part of governments that this is indeed the case. Over the years there has been no end of sound advice aimed at children to keep themselves and their personal information safe from miscreants, so did we somehow feel that being adult meant that it was all right for us to ignore similar advice. Not really, perhaps, but it gets in the way when you which to digitally connect to the big wide world.
Inevitably I suspect that those security agencies involved will no doubt have realised that at some point details of their underhand peeking would come out and I have no doubt that they will have planned for this. In such a 'connected' world it would be difficult to image that any such activity, especially if it entailed employing out-sourced personnel, would remain secret for long. More so, perhaps, with the growing number of people prepared to blow whistles who are making the headlines.
Are not these revelations then a good thing, to be welcomed, and do they not mean that at last we are starting to talk about our connected, digital, lives and what they mean to us all as individuals, security agencies, groups and miscreants. We therefore also have to accept that the lack of inherent security in all things digital will mean that others can gain access to our little bits of data as they fly down the wires and across the disk platters.
Many I suspect would boil down what I have said above into the phrase 'If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear', and that is kind of where I am going, but, I remain convinced that the most important thing to come out of this is the chance to discuss where we go from here. What forms of oversight, control and independent analysis do we want to see governing this kind of surveillance, because it's not going to go away very soon is it.
The internet is a reflection of all things good and bad about being human, but, it also has the potential to break down cultural barriers that have kept us apart, as a unit, for millennia. I welcome that 'sharing' of experience and knowledge, even if it comes at a somewhat detrimental price to our overall digital liberty.
We may certainly argue that we need to wrest back control of our personal devices and stop-up the back doors of data flow that track all most everything we use those devices for, but, whilst we continue to use digital data traffic the ease with which that traffic can be monitored must be accepted.
So let's see if we can find an acceptable solution to this inevitable problem shall we, after all, the speed of such digital communication also enhances the speed with which whistles can be blown.
... does the author also contribute to The Onion ?
Re: Tech & Trading... My own expose about a Trading Desk that was more geeky than IT...
I like what you wrote there. It's all testosterone fueled willy waving playground activity through and through. Not a care in the world and not related in any way shape or form the 'real' world. Once the spotty mathematicians from Berkley campus, or where ever, got their 'modern' trading formulas noticed we were all doomed. Banking does not need any of it.
Remember RBS - in days of yore, c.1980, twas a gold-standard, rock solid investment, nothing fast and fancy, just steady as you go, long term growth. Then that sh**head Goodwin and a bunch of hangers-on got involved and trashed the legacy that had taken so many dedicated staff so many years to build.
Any bank that screws around should fail as a result without any recourse to tax payer funded bailouts etc, just FAIL. But, first we need to do two things; 1) Completely separate retail banking from investment banking and, 2) Dramatically increase the number of retail banks. Since deregulation UK banking has condensed itself into a hand full of mega-banks (not good for Mr & Mrs Smith, but dandy for high-flying greedy gits with an uncontrollable urge to gamble with big bucks). Granted the financial sector of the UK generates significant income, but these banking giants are not what said Mr & Mrs Smith need or want. Bring back many, many, more mutual and smaller retail banks - who take smaller and more calculated risks on local businesses and enterprise. Yes, these have to be allowed to fail as well if they mess up. The more banks you have in the sector the smaller the hole they punch when one does fail. Bring back local banking for local people, where you get to meet and know the manager, or at least the deputy-manager and staff, of your local branch. I am conscious that I sound like a ranting old git sometimes, because I am just that - but in my day you had to put on a suit and talk, face-to-face, with bank staff, not phone an 0800 number and wait while some spotty youth clicked some buttons. You took away a sense of the responsibility of the financial agreement you had just signed up to from such meetings as well. Money has just got too free and easy these days that's the root of it all.
All in all I wouldn't mind large brokerage bonuses so much if what I have just outlined above meant that investment bankers had to work a bit harder for it. Fair play and just rewards to the IT staff who back them up too, but please, keep your big bucks deals out of the way of my little piggy bank.
IF $rant over goto $have a lie down.
Re: Obituary for The Internet
Well said sir! - money and greed corrupts.
(here, have a beer)
Just thinking out loud - while it's still possible.
Dear Minister for Web Truth & Global Censorship, I inadvertently miss-typed a search for the TV show, “Robson Green's Extreme Fishing”, the letter 'T' being only some 12mm top left above the 'H' it was an honest mistake guvn'r, I promises never to let it happen again I does.
Seriously though, is it not true that the internet is a pure and simple reflection of the human race that developed it, what else could it possibly be. Therefore pretty much everything that is nasty about we humans is going to make it's way onto said medium. Along with pretty much everything that is soft and fluffy and nice about us. So I would argue that we either make a FAR greater effort to EDUCATE folks that this is indeed the case or just don't bother please.
Scenario: young lad on verge of adulthood with sexual awakenings – parents / society just need to talk to the lad and say “How would you feel about internet porn if you knew that some of the media content you can access involves one, or more, of the following people; Your Baby Sister, Your Older Sister, Your Mother, Your Granny”
It's really like trying to ban guns and ammo, it's need is there already inside (some) of us and now we've invented it you can't magic it all away again with your smoke and mirrors.
Just admit it, the internet is going to host all that is good and bad about all of us – so access it, use it, with due diligence, caution and a heavy pinch of salt. It can't be that difficult to either talk to our children and or raise awareness through campaigns, as with drug awareness, to get this message across can it, really?
Sexual and violent deviancy has been around since our ancestors were hominids, if not longer, and it's not going to go away any time soon. Better to fess up to this reality than trying the old blinkered approach. Hate speech – look around you – mmmm.
Young peeps are going to access the net and they are quite likely to see nasty violent and sexual material. So, as has been repeated here so many times already, click “Close Tab” and tada! it's gone away again. If however said 'nasty' stuff holds you attention for a little while longer just think about who is involved, what it might take to be involved and the moral values those contributing the material hold; do words like money, drugs and depravity spring to mind – because they should and you should know that.
This wonderful 'connected' age we live in
We had such a lovely email last week from a gentleman in Lagos who pointed out such vulnerabilities to us. (So kind and thoughtful in this day and age). We took his advice accordingly and clicked on the link he so kindly supplied to enable him to 'patch' the building systems for us. We must have done something wrong, however, or misunderstood his instructions, none of us being exactly 'technically' minded, as now the lift call buttons would appear to control the ventilation, the third floor coffee machine, (the wonky one by the loo, behind the green door), controls the lighting on the first, second and fourth floors and all the networked printers now send instructions to the heating system, which constantly demands A4 paper feed into the boiler room furnace by the ton!
Ah well, if it doesn't sort itself out, as sometimes these things do on their own, I think we will have to call and engineer out or something.
Re: George Santayana had a point...
Indeed, history would imply that humans are continually very good at war, conflict and weapons development throughout the ages. Even if we grew up enough to drop the 'race', 'tribe' and 'creed' things I'm not convinced humans wouldn't be able to find altogether new and exciting reasons to continue in that vein.
Imagine if, in the far off distant future, these legions of mechanoid warriors decided it might be fun to recreate 'meat bag' life forms, just for the fun of it, feeling the need for a little respite from continually blasting each other to bits. I mean, if we create them, then they will be made in out 'image' won't they.
But I wouldn't worry unduly, there will be all manner of safety devices and fail-safes built into these systems. After all we are so good at securing digital systems are we not.
Re: Where exactly is the warming happening?
In short bursts and sometimes prolonged periods in America, Australia, Africa, Middle East, India and Indonesia et al. Some parts of the globe will experience more heat generally and reduced rainfall whilst we will experience the reverse. Then throw in some short periods of the opposite in each case. It all needs to balance out in the end, but the 'middle ground' is getting smaller. If global warming means a continued decline in the strength of the North Atlantic Conveyor our (UK) weather will continue to be much wetter and colder than it is now. Add to this the shift(s) in our local bit of the jet stream, which have played the biggest part in altering our rainfall / weather patterns over the past 10 years, and quadruple glazing specialists will be all the rage, as well as flood-risk managers. We are likely to see short heat waves, rather extreme in nature, as well. It's all rather bizarre and perhaps counter intuitive but in all likelihood that's what is in store for UK and northern Europe. I don't give a toss whose data set is cobbled together from what kind of readings, or how much anthropological input has played a part, we are all heading for some rather radical changes. Globally, farming and fishing, ecological systems and bio-diversity will all alter because of this. How much this will precipitate a decline in human population is difficult to say, but globally, and gradually, there will be millions of peeps in migration-mode that's for sure. So 'April' showers in May / June don't seem quite so bad right now do they. Everywhere the 'squeezed middle' is in decline, be it in terms of wealth, health, politics, climate or conflict, extremes are growing in strength. That is all.
Presumably they want to turn them into DeWine bars instead ?
I second that. What better way to bring a smile about on such a rain-sodden Friday morning. Sorely missed.
Advertising pays the way
All such projects need do is to plop a load of advertising hoardings down on said planet, asteroid or lump of stuff, just before mission touch-down. That way when the pictures and movies are beamed back to our very own tableture slobbering mind-set devices, we get to see those lovely fluffy big corporate names, right up there, in lights, on whatever destination the mission has chosen, awesome dude.
Remove all street signage, speeds signs and marker lines etc. Replace plastic dashboards with metal ones - with sharp edges. Replace plastic steering bosses with pointy metal ones. Remove all seat belts. Then - we might all drive with a little more care and consideration - for ourselves, our passengers and other road users.
Oh!, before I forget, include riding a bicycle for some 20-hours or more in a busy town / city center in the driver training, and include driving a car in same situation for those that wish to ride bicycles.
I believe the Dutch have experimented with 'shared' urban road space, were everybody, including folk who wish to cross the road (sorry, shared-space) needs to slow down and look out for each other more. I understand it has a calming effect on all forms of traffic. It's not the answer for every situation but its a brave start at re-thinking how we all use urban thoroughfares.
No, it's not really a joking matter ....
... but will peeps become scada flying.
Re: "returning to long term normality" (Primus Secundus Tertius)
I beg to differ, "normality", or rather the mean state of our planet is well forested and relatively wet equatorial regions with relatively extensive polar ice caps. But we must consider that ice is more than just 2 dimensional; it's depth and salinity being as important as area coverage. Right now it appears that polar coverage may not have diminished quite so dramatically as some would have us believe, but it would also appear that both thickness and salinity are far from satisfactory when compared with the record. Yes, ice ages are exceptional, it is estimated that more than 1km of ice covered Birmingham during the last glacial period and that was a relative tiddler as far as glacial periods go. I am also looking further back in time than the epochs you mention.
The degree of anthropological contribution to the current state of this is an on-going debate that does little to assist human kind to solve the bigger question of adaptability. We need to concern ourselves more with applying technological solutions to climate adaptation, rather than squabbling over who said what and with what kind of data.
I am optimistic that if our ancestors survived by successfully adapting to both glacial periods and the arrival of some pretty barren savannah on their doorsteps, then we can as well. Such research as is discussed in this article can only help.
"returning to long term normality" (Primus Secundus Tertius)
I think you will find that it is generally well understood the "normality" you speak of is, in fact, lots of ice capping both north and south poles. Quite the opposite of what we currently experience. The other "opposite" being glacial periods when those ice sheets extend further north and/or south.
What fun ...
Place a "Same Day" order for something with Google Express from an Amazon distribution center, then place another "Same Day" order with Amazon, for the same item, from a Google Express distribution center, get pop corn ready and sit back whilst you watch delivery vehicle carnage :)
Whose to know if the same machine(s) aren't being used at the same time by another dodgy geezer(s), and would it be worth hiring out a botnet in order to monitor who is using them for nefarious purposes. Could crims be found stealing information from other crims in this manner ? Surely there's an exploit to exploit the exploit there somewhere ?
Dig deeper !
Isn't there a mission planned, or perhaps completed, to unearth the remains/core of the lump that fell at Tunguska? The theory behind this being that the heat from the air-burst/core melted the permafrost below the surface and it's remains slipped, gracefully, down into the depths of an ancient marshland/swamp, where, after a time, the permafrost froze again and encapsulated it for posterity. Given the shallow angle of attack in this recent incident, one imagines that there should be a trail of debris, along with a still rather warn to the touch, core, resting at some depth, in, or below, the bottom of said lake/lakeside. Russian engineers are no slouches when it comes to drilling in sub-zero environs, but constructing a robust platform for that purpose might pose a problem. Good luck peeps.
Re: Am I missing something?
My thoughts exactly. Isn't there plenty at that scale that leaks out anyway, just wire it up across earth and neutral shirley ?
Perhaps in this instance RFID stands for ....
R - Really
F - Fed up
I - In
D - Dismal Land
Re: DIY Build policy
@Ole Juul - I suspect you may be correct, although, what with growing efforts to encourage younger generations to tinker with stuff like the Raspberry Pi etc and the economic climate where peeps might want to reduce costs with some DIY, the niche for those 'speciality products' may be fairly strong, if still small, compared to the mainstream.
It really all comes down to how much the markets can cram into the wide open beaks of the all consuming masses. It would appear that the lust for the newest 'shiny shiny' maybe waning as folk tire of such force feeding.
Perhaps we should all look harder at our habits of consumption for digital goodies, rare minerals and safe disposal methods, instead of just blindly ripping things out of their packaging, only to throw them away a year or so later in favour of the next must-have.
When I do have to retire a very old box that's still in working condition, it is either handed down to relatives or given to charities who recycle them to help less fortunate peeps experience computing. I am sure that I am not alone in this regard.
DIY Build policy
I've always built my own system choosing components that are at least one, two or even three or more years old. In that time prices have normally fallen to something I find acceptable and the revisions / bugs have also been ironed out. I still get an "Upgrade" feeling, without the "must have the latest" hankering. I couldn't care less if my kit is seen as below par with the very latest, I'm more than content with my choices. So I'll consider tinkering with W8 and tablets when the time comes thank you very much. I understand that the market would look very different if we all did this. I wonder how many other Reggers follow a similar strategy ? Got to go, the cob webs need sand blasting of my wallet again ;)
My pink half of the worm hole
Jolly good, I'm glad to hear it. Obviously it is a true clone of earth. On the plus side, I am looking forward to potentially more exotic jams and cakes at the annual Universal Neighborhood Watch jamboree - there's only so much that can be done with quince and greengage you know. But, hang on a minute, as it's an annual jamboree, is it still our annual, or theirs, or somewhere in the middle ? Would this mean we get more than one jamboree a year ? I'll email the vicar and see if there's a conflict with the steam rally. TTFN.
Universal suburban neighborhood watch
I am rather concerned that such proximity will have a negative affect on the current market value of our home planet. Given the vastness of space this potentially makes us semi-detatched, or, at the very least, end of terrace. We should be very careful during the initial phase of contact with anybody who is in at the time and see just how many shiny new space stations they have parked in orbit first. Perhaps if we asked to borrow some sugar it would help to encourage harmonious neighborly relations. Close the curtains now!
Too much information
The image on the left in the Independent bears remarkable similarity to what I image my own inner and outer rings look like when too much hot gas arises in my own system. Which I personally attribute to way too much spicy food. Funny that, cos they say the universe is a chilli place init ;)
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