* Posts by Christopher Reeve's Horse

71 posts • joined 17 Jan 2008

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Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge: Betting on VR with a dash of Vulkan

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: I'd be tempted, if only...

It's a fair point, but the answer is - I shouldn't have to! I was only tempted to do that to an old phone, I wouldn't want to do that on something brand new, in warranty, and that costs many hundreds of pounds.

Also, I wouldn't particularly care if the phone was 2 or 3 mm thicker and a bit heavier.

I get the earlier points about google's lockdown on the software too... I just find it all frustrating that none of the major manufacturers are willing to side more with the customer in a bid to generate longer term loyalty. Obsolescence design tricks aren't going to earn my respect or my custom.

And another thing (the standard opening for a rant)... I'd be much more likely to buy stuff from any company that would promise not to spend on advertising at all. If there was some accreditation of this, a website listing service for companies devoid of PR, marketing and other c*ntery, I'd actively seek them out.

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Christopher Reeve's Horse

I'd be tempted, if only...

1. There was guaranteed support for timely Android version updates and patches for at least 4 years

2. Pre-installed apps are capable of being uninstalled

3. There was an implementation of permissions privacy control, much like in Cyanogenmod

4. The battery was replaceable.

5. Android had a proper user controllable firewall and system level adblocker

I've had an S3 for 4 years, it's on it's 3rd battery (they degrade over time) and it's running Cyanogenmod 13. Well done Samsung for putting the SD card back in, but I'm still finding it impossible to find a suitable replacement that lives up to my expectations as a consumer.

There is so much choice in the smartphone markets, why is it none of them can create something I want to buy? I'm a willing customer!

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The Mad Men's monster is losing the botnet fight: Fewer humans are seeing web ads

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Yer basic problem is:

I may be stepping in a bit late here, but...

I've discussed this with several people (in the pub, sensibly) and I can't find a reason to ever actually click on an advert. Say, if I was looking to buy a very particular thing, even if sensible and attractive adverts popped up selling that very particular thing I still wouldn't click!

As a consumer I build up a trust based relationship with my preferred sellers of goods. An advert is not going to persuade me otherwise. Not now, not ever.

I'm more likely to trust a company that would willingly state that it doesn't pile money into shitty web advertising. Maybe there should be a consumer label that promises just that?

I can't wait for this web advertising economic bubble to collapse. Ask me if I care about the effect of this on Google or Facebook.

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El Reg mulls entering Robot Wars arena

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: Close range but powerful...

A captive (penetrating?) bolt gun would be powered by compressed gas, similarly to many flipper type robot mechanisms. I'm sure the basic design could be adapted to have more reach and much more punch.

In my head, the design would put it on the end of some sort of scorpion like tail which would be used in combination with pincers or some kind of big claw at the front. It would also shout things like 'GET OVER HERE' and 'FINISH HIM'...

Not that I've spent much time thinking about it or anything...

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Christopher Reeve's Horse

Close range but powerful...

How about a bolt gun like the one in No Country for Old Men?

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So why exactly are IT investors so utterly clueless?

Christopher Reeve's Horse
Coat

Pushing the envelope?

I like the (underhand?) reference to synthesizer filters with 'applying too much sustain'. Thankfully the use of Attack, Decay and Release were left unmentioned...

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Badware in the firmware all over the place

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Consumer visibility

As ever, marketing appears to be part of the problem... You pick up a [generic web device] somewhere, and oooh, look how pretty the box is, and look how well designed the device looks, and wow, 8 megapixels [or whatever], that must be good because it's actually got the word 'mega' in it...

The customer can't visibly know how shoddy the firmware or drivers or software is, and therefore can't select their purchase on this criteria, therefore no incentive for manufacturers to improve. Just keep focusing on design and hardware specs and churning out new products, etc...

What's needed is some kind of certification scheme for tested & hardened firmware and a commitment for driver / software updates over a particular period.

For instance, wouldn't it be good if you purchased say, a new phone, and it was visibly guaranteed to be patched in a timely manner for 2 years. That could then drive competition between vendors. Buy a phone [or printer or whatever today] and you're completely blind to any ongoing commitment for the product's lifecycle from the manufacturer. Welcome to our disposable 'fuck the environment' economy.

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Big Bang left us with a perfect random number generator

Christopher Reeve's Horse

And now for something completely different...

Randomness in images of lava-lamps

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lavarand

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Shadow state? Scotland's IT independence creeps forth

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: Todays message is brought to you by the letters W, T & F.

"Does anyone actually think that this is really necessary? Does anyone think that this will achieve anything of value?"

Short answer; no.

An older article on the subject:

http://www.scottishreview.net/MaggieMellon137.shtml

"More children are in poverty, homeless and hungry. We have not 'got it right' at all. But, rather than focus on tackling the really big obstacles to children's welfare, the focus somehow seems to have shifted to monitoring and intervening in the lives of all children. Put simply, the state seems to be fancying itself as better at parenting than families. In reality the state makes a lousy parent, taking children into care, moving them around, and throwing them out to fend for themselves at 16 or 17 years."

And further articles describing how things don't always go very well this side of the border:

http://scottishreview.net/KennethRoy8a.html

and

http://scottishreview.net/KennethRoy10a.html

"The distressed little boys in Edinburgh were the victims of a system which was unable to cope, poorly led, and in which morale had hit rock bottom. Only an unjust decision by an Edinburgh sheriff – and all that followed it – brought their case to light. And so we are left to wonder: how many other victims were there in the summer of 2013 whose cases never came to light? And how many have there been since, as Children's Hearings Scotland has struggled to sort out its disorganised affairs? We shall never know."

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Volvo eyes kangaroo detection tech

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Vision

If it's Volvo's vision "that no one is killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car by 2020", then the driver safety pack (with radar, assisted braking, and hazard warning HUD etc) wouldn't have been a £2K optional extra that I couldn't quite stretch to, it would be standard spec.

I suppose to be fair, the City Safety thing (and pedestrian airbag) are standard kit, although the City Safety feature only works below 30 mph.

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WhatsApp laid bare: Info-sucking app's innards probed

Christopher Reeve's Horse
Big Brother

Collects whats?

Hold on, all this data and metadata it's collecting... Is it related to the app itself (it's own call making and messaging abilities etc.) or ALL types of calls (and other activities) made from the mobile?

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Tiny Robot Smartphone: Invasion Earth 2016 – prepare to be facially recognised humans

Christopher Reeve's Horse
Pint

Cut out the middle man...

Brilliant! If you're tired of all the 'who's got the best phone' pi$$ing contests, there's now a phone that can just f*** off down the pub and slap itself on the table, all on it's own!

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Chocolate Factory plops Marshmallow on Android slabs

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: Optional security - bah!

I'm sure I won't be the first person to have mentioned it, but Cyanogenmod features Privacy Guard which allows detailed permissions blocking per app.

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Now you can be tracked online by your email addy. Thanks, Google!

Christopher Reeve's Horse
Flame

Re: Nobody likes being tracked, but...

You say that, but where's the sensible alternative? If I could pay El Reg a voluntary fee (perhaps with a suggested minimum) in order to have no adverts and no tracking, I probably would.

I already do the same for another extremely good but lesser known website (Scottish Review), which makes a point of accepting no advertising money whatsoever.

If anyone would like to suggest a high quality paid equivalent of Google services that maintains privacy, then please do...

PS. Just to get a ball park value rolling; I click on VERY few adverts*, in fact generally only by accident. If I didn't block adverts El Reg still wouldn't earn very much from me. If I agreed to pay even £5 a year for access to this site it would be a hell of a lot more than any potential advertising revenue.

PPS. Another benefit of 'your trusted news sites' being free of the scourge of advertising is commercial impartiality!

*Just to make a point. - even if I saw an advert for exactly the very rare specific thing I really wanted to buy, I still wouldn't click on it. I'll find and use my own preferred and trusted retailers, thank you. When will this advertising economic bubble just please f*** off!

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Christopher Reeve's Horse
Unhappy

Multiple Accounts

I admire all the helpful tips and cynicism on offer, but I don't see what the point is for some of the comments advocating the use of multiple Google accounts...

If you log into them from the same place, surely Google are clever enough to associate information from different accounts to the same IP addresses? Even if the account user isn't guaranteed to be the same person, they're part of the same 'household', and therefore a correlation exists that's probably strong enough to allow targeted marketing?

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Nine of the world’s fastest GPU supercomputers

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Something, something, Crysis, something...

Maybe the standard benchmark for GPU enabled HPC's should be the maximum theoretical resolution at which it will still play Crysis at 60fps?

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WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

Christopher Reeve's Horse

"Good Afternoon, you're through to the IT Support department"

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Windows RT gets new Start menu – but no Cortana or Win 10 apps

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Perhaps it's not Windows 7/8 users that deserve the free upgrade to Windows 10, but rather anyone unfortunate enough to own an RT device.

As soon as MS came out with unfortunate 'write once run anywhere' statement their OS 'landscape' has never looked so fragmented or disillusioned.

Something, something... resolving existing customer grievances rather than upsetting everyone else, something, something, something...

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Microsoft backports data slurp to Windows 7 and 8 via patches

Christopher Reeve's Horse
Flame

Cheeky Ba$tards

Why I oughta.... *shakes fists*

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Yahoo! parties! like! it's! 1999! with! retro! billboard! revival!

Christopher Reeve's Horse
Trollface

YaWho?

more like...

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UK.gov makes total pig's ear of attempt to legalise home CD ripping

Christopher Reeve's Horse
FAIL

So...

I should immediately delete my entire archive of ripped CD's and DVD's from my NAS?

HAAAAAHHAHHHAAHHHAHHAHAHAHAHA!!

But seriously. No.

Also, what if I stream my own content to myself, is that a violation too?

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One MEEELLION users download Facebook-pwning droid game

Christopher Reeve's Horse
Coffee/keyboard

TinkerAccountLibrary.dll

Are you shitting me!?

It's 2015 and your OS accepts a library with 'TinkerAccount' in the title?

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Smartphones are ludicrously under-used, so steal their brains

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Burnt Toast

All I want is a toaster that pops when the bread has been toasted to a desired degree, invariant of the input conditions.

Perhaps if phone makers could add thermal protection along with dust and waterproofing, then you could just pop your phone in the toaster alongside a slice of bread, and it would monitor conditions and tell the toaster exactly when to pop?

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Unions call for strike action over 'unusable' Universal Credit IT

Christopher Reeve's Horse

15.8 billion!?

15.8 billion. That's right, just say it again. 15.8 billion. Feel the words come slowly out of your mouth. Think about those words. 15.8 billion...

That's nearly £250k for each of the 65,000 people on the system. They could have just been given that and told to sort their lives out, or start a business or something...

Just for comparative analysis, what else could you get for 15.8 billion, just so we're completely comfortable with exactly how much money this is?

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Get your WELLIES to MARS: Red Planet reveals its FROZEN BOTTOM

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: "the mysterious loss of its magnetosphere"

Yes, it's probably true. And in all likelihood Mars used to have active plate tectonics, the bimodal distribution of land altitude suggests crustal differentiation (continental and oceanic type), but as Mars is so much smaller (heat decay proportionately faster), tectonic activity, volcanic activity and magnetic activity have all ceased. No more water vapour from volcanoes, and no mechanism to retain an atmosphere.

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Vintage Ask toolbar is malware – and we'll kill Jeeves, says Microsoft

Christopher Reeve's Horse
Thumb Up

Re: It's a useful metric

I like it. I like it a lot...

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Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: It's a useful metric

Yes, just like that, but with improved re-installation options too.

Is the Signature Edition only applicable to PC's that MS sell, what about other vendors? The customer expectation should be that every PC should be sold with the OS set up like this, unless requested otherwise.

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Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: It's a useful metric

Frankly, why stop with Ask?

Any toolbar (for any browser) that insidiously re-installs and overwrites the homepage should be identified as malware, removed and destroyed. Full stop.

I don't know why something like this wasn't implemented years ago. MS need to be doing everything they can to make everyone's experience with windows as good as possible.

Another useful step would be a bloatware/crapware free certification system for nice clean new PC's... This would ideally also specify how the drive partitions and recovery options should be defined and set up, and also a windows accessory program that allows the user to create a bootable disk/memory stick with either a clean windows install or a re-installable backup of their current state.

But now I'm wandering far off into a fantasy world... But seriously... what if!? How good would that be!!

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Windows 10 Device Guard: Microsoft's effort to keep malware off PCs

Christopher Reeve's Horse

But what about...

...individuals with legacy 'apps'? Or does this render your back catalogue of purchased software obsolete?

If the solution is to click OK on a UAC type pop up window, then I'm not sure this would really solve anything.

I can't imagine a middle ground, so I'm just going to assume legacy 'apps' are doomed.

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Incomprehensible boffins bring quantum computers a step closer

Christopher Reeve's Horse

At Last!

A quantum solution to the NP problem could be just round the corner, and then we can have satellite navigation with routes!

Oh, hold on...

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Volvo V60 Polestar: Speak softly, carry a big stick, dress like a Smurf

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Isn't it obvious? It's so that you don't instantly look like a cock.

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Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: Doesn't have to be smurf blue

Nope, not true. There's a white Polestar V60 sat in my local Volvo dealership. And very nice it looks too.

Although to be honest, if I was going to spend 50K of my own money I'd go for the D5, get all the specification goodies and have ~10K left over. Also, there's a Cross Country AWD variant of the V60 coming out soon...

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Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge in Vulture's claws: we find looks AND brains

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Let's get this one straight...

"Samsung reckons fast charging mode takes care of the first issue [battery]"

The reason I want a replaceable battery isn't because I'm struggling to find somewhere to charge it up, it's so I can replace it every year or so when the performance has degraded sufficiently.

Two words: Planned Obsolescence.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planned_obsolescence

Frankly, in this day and age of environment and resource awareness I find it repugnant.

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Delving into Office 2016: Microsoft goes public with new preview

Christopher Reeve's Horse
Unhappy

Have they fixed...

...the completely broken trace precedents/dependants for formulae with structure references?

...(in)ability to resize evaluate formula window, forcing you to navigate complex formula (and data arrays in sumproducts) through a tiny TINY letterbox?

...vba that crashes excel when I run it, but inexplicably runs perfectly when using F8 to step through individual lines?

...the inexplicable slow down when using lots of structured tables (listobjects), where Excel can lock up for several minutes BEFORE it starts processing cells (which takes only two seconds)?

Probably not, but seeing as they've been doing the important work of fiddling with the colour of the ribbon, then obviously I can't wait to get my hands on it.

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Nest seeks audio talent to delight … someone

Christopher Reeve's Horse

aren't you thrilled?

I'm not sure how I could easily be less thrilled.

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Phabba-dabba-do: Samsung hypes up Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: Why

Correct. I'm also still using my S3, thanks to the folk at Cyanogenmod. It's on it's third battery, and still does everything I need it to. In fact it's better than ever, I now have Permission Blocking, AdBlock, Greenify, and absolutely no Samsung bloatware. I have a nice big SD card full of lots of music, it's great.

I rarely go anywhere where there's a 4G signal anyway, so that just isn't important. It could maybe do with more RAM, but I can manage. I'm not planning on upgrading until this one has reached end of life. Sweat the asset!

I guess that Samsung (and the others) have realised that removable batteries (and people like me) were a problem to their sales expectations. But as long as I continue to have a functional phone with a removable battery I'm happy for it to remain their problem, and not mine.

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NO ONE is making money from YouTube, even Google – report

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: Babylon 5, season 4, Episode 20: "Endgame"

Babylon 5's a big pile of shit!

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The weirdly-synched life of the Google Nest household

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Don't want the data, just the control...

I'm perfectly happy setting the 7 day timer for hot water and heating as needed. What would be more useful is the ability to remotely (i.e. smartphone app) change the programme and turn on/off as I see fit.

I don't want any other party constantly collecting data, I don't want anything integrated with the cloud, I don't want all that complexity, I just want a simple way of accessing the controls when away from home, and more generally, a better interface for adjusting the programme settings.

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Samsung to boot out Shin after Galaxy S5 tanks – report

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Good hardware... but

I'm sure they'd do a whole lot better if they stopped filling their phones with bloatware. Wouldn't you be much more tempted if the Android installation was kept cleaner like the Google Nexus, rather than trying to push loads of un-removable and crappy Sammy apps? Also, why not put the Android update process in the control of users?

Shazam, instant success follows.

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Samsung slams door on OLED TVs, makes QUANTUM dot LEAP

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Well, yes and no...

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Say goodbye to the noughties: Yesterday’s hi-fi biz is BUSTED, bro

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: I feel so old

It's not how old they are, but rather, are you still happy with them?

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Christopher Reeve's Horse

Blatant Tolling

Is that what this article is?

I too could list my HiFi components and, in considerable detail, describe why they hugely outperform this new kit in almost every metric you can imagine (and there's a LOT of metrics), except perhaps portability.

Hi resolution? Multiroom? Wireless control? Have you tried simply using JRiver from a HTPC or laptop feeding a decent DAC? No need at all to replace superior speakers and amplification, and the results I've got are simply staggering, and amazingly flexible.

Also, there's no need to rely on ongoing subscription costs for inferior quality streamed music... Sure, use it to preview things that you might like, but even having lossless (FLAC) copies of CD's is massively better quality, and any proper high resolution content that you may have (if your DAC can handle it) is a bonus.

Is it just my perception but every new 'advance' just seems to detract from my concepts of quality, ownership and control. I'll stick with what I've got, and you can ram your soundbars up your flange tunnels.

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Tech that we want (but they never seem to give us)

Christopher Reeve's Horse

A paint colour fill that works with REAL PAINT.

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Christopher Reeve's Horse

Less forking in the linux world, more concentration on making one really really really good one.

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Christopher Reeve's Horse

A re-boot of the X-Wing games.

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Christopher Reeve's Horse

Geoff Crammond to make GP5.

And a very large budget with which to do so.

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Christopher Reeve's Horse

Every home (or device) to get it's own proper IP address (IVP6?), or some other such improvement that makes it universally easier to contact and transfer data to and from any of my devices from anywhere else.

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Christopher Reeve's Horse

A button on your TV remote that sends you an email or message identifying the music that's currently part of the program you're watching.

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Christopher Reeve's Horse

A sphere of room temperature air coupled non-reactive stable plasma, operating as the perfect fidelity loudspeaker.

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Christopher Reeve's Horse

1. Shops that sell just sell unlocked sim free phones, with nice a range of OS's.

2. Proper Android permissions manager, including blocking network access to individual apps.

3. Ability in Google to search, edit or delete every bit of information or analysis regarding your account and data.

4. As above for facebook, amazon etc...

5. Windows (or your op of choice) to natively support Sequoia style square tree views of file systems.

6. Tagging of files in Windows documents library (like gmail) rather than folder heirachy

7. If failure of point 3, then an app (or something?) that constantly barrages Google with search terms and fake user behavior that makes it impossible for your user data to be in any way usefully personalised. (I'll admit this might not be possible...)

8. If failure of point 7, a 'paid for' equivalent to Google services that does not collect or sell personal data. (How much money does Google make from my account alone? Is it more then I'd be prepared to pay for the services?)

9. Music stores that sell a decent range of music in 24/96 resolution FLAC files, without overcharging for the privilage.

10. An Excel VLOOKUP function that allows you to lookup against the n-th occurence of your matching reference.

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