* Posts by Conrad Longmore

394 posts • joined 3 Apr 2008

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Almost all .science malicious, .cricket rigged, boffins find

Conrad Longmore

Re: Don't rely on this so called "report"

Don't a Google search for "site:.science" shows a LOT of sites, and you can tell straight away that a large quantity of them are complete crap.

There is of course a caveat with just counting the number of bad domains.. if you take a worthy domains such as theregister.science then it counts as just one good domain, but obviously the value of that domain is much greater. Thus you can have 99% crap and 1% of actual value. Yes, I'm still minded to block some of these.. but you need to be aware of collateral damage.

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Oracle pulls CSO's BONKERS anti-bug bounty and infosec rant

Conrad Longmore
Coat

Just finished reading the new Maddi Davidson murder mystery..

It turns out that the customer did it.

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Windows 10 is FORCING ITSELF onto domain happy Windows 7 PCs

Conrad Longmore
Facepalm

How to detect and stop it..

All our corporate computers are joined to a domain and are managed by WSUS. However, a small number of laptops (about 0.5%) managed to initiate the download despite having policies to block running the GWX component in place. It looks like the process might have triggered when the laptops were outside of our corporate environment. We spotted the unusual traffic before it became a problem.

If you log your internet traffic, then searching for "10240.16384.150709-1700" is useful to reveal who is downloading Windows 10 components on your network.

Microsoft have some new guidance on how you can block the OS upgrade here:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3050265

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That's not an Ofcom email about your radio licence – it's a TROJAN

Conrad Longmore

If you run the DOC (or DOCM or whatever) through olevba.py (http://www.decalage.info/fr/python/olevba) then it will extract the underlying macro. It will be heavily obfuscated, but the obfuscation itself is a clue that it is bad.

Alternatively, Payload Security's Hybrid Analysis (hybrid-analysis.com) does a very good job with these malicious documents, and will show what network traffic is going on.

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Google dumps ISP email support. Virgin Media takes ball, stomps home

Conrad Longmore

Passwords in plaintext

The pre-Google version was so bad that you could find the email password stored in plaintext in the browser cache, so if anyone had access to the files on your computer then they could easily determine the webmail password with no additional tools needed. Classy.

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Microsoft SLASHES 7,800 bods, BURNS $7.6bn off books in Nokia adjustment

Conrad Longmore

Re: End of an era

Like Windows NT 4.0? Actually, that did a pretty good job at it..

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Apple's mystery auto project siphoning staff from other divisions

Conrad Longmore
Go

OMG.. Hooli XYZ

'nuff said

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Farewell then, Mr Elop: It wasn't actually your fault

Conrad Longmore
Coat

The mistake was.. Symbian

I pretty much agree with the article 100% - Elop found Nokia in an impossible situation that was not of his making. He tried a high-risk high-reward strategy with Windows which didn't really work out. Android would have been a low-risk but low-reward approach, as the article says.. Android manufacturers are hardly raking in the cash. Sticking with MeeGo looked very much like a high-risk low-reward approach, so dumping it was probably the best decision. So the choice was really between Android and Windows. Choose one.

I think the crucial mistake was how Elop dealt with Symbian. When he become CEO, I believe that Symbian was still the best-selling smartphone platform in the work. While it lacked the capabilities of main rivals iOS and Android, it was still a very capable and lightweight OS with a ton of applications available for it.

Prior to Elop, the idea was that Symbian would move downmarket into Series 40 territory with Maemo/MeeGo taking the high end. Insteal, Elop announced that Symbian would be phased out which had the Osborne Effect on Symbian sales which collapsed, leaving a huge hole in Nokia's sales book. Then, crazily, they tried to add more features into Series 40 to make it more Symbian-like.. for example the Asha series of devices. That was a lot of effort to re-create something they already had.

Symbian certainly has its detractors, but the final Nokia Belle handsets were really rather good.

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BOOM! Stephen Elop shuffled out of Microsoft door

Conrad Longmore
Coat

Nokia were already screwed..

Nokia were already screwed when Elop joined. Symbian couldn't compete with modern OSes such as Android and iOS, Nokia's escape strategy of moving to Maemo on high-end devices had fatally stalled with the ill-advised merger with Moblin to create Maemo. You can blame Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo for the mess that Nokia found itself in, not Elop.

Elop found himself at the head of a company with no roadmap, but still quite a lot of sales. His infamous "burning platform" memo was pretty accurate, but he was fatally undermined as CEO by whoever leaked that communication.

Getting out of the mess was always going to involve some risk. In the end he took a high-risk approach of dumping everything and going for Windows, hoping that Nokia would avoid becoming a "me too" Android player. In the end, that strategy did not work.

It was always a high-risk, high-reward strategy to tie Nokia up with Microsoft. If they'd have gone down the Android path, I am sure that Nokia would still be an independent manufacturer today.. but not a very profitable one. The low-risk, low-reward strategy.

Of course, since Nokia became Microsoft, more mistakes have been made. The last high-end device launch was over a year ago and the current product range is moribund. It's a shame because Windows is rather good, and Cortana is easily better than Google's offering.

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The Hound of Hounslow: No $40m Wall Street wobbler

Conrad Longmore

Re: If only we could get back to markets being about real value...

Putting a transaction tax on each trade would kill HFT dead and re-establish some sanity into the market, IMO. Doesn't make a difference to real investors, but it screws up those who basically screwing up the markets.

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Last flying Avro Vulcan, XH558, prepares for her swan song

Conrad Longmore
Thumb Up

Ah.. the TSR2. There's a whole other story..

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Chrome version 42 will pour your Java coffee down the drain: Plugin blocked by default

Conrad Longmore
Thumb Down

It isn't the 1990s any more..

It isn't the 1990s any more. Java should be long dead, but sadly it isn't. Probably for 90%+ of users this move is probably a great one. But for the rest it is going to be a massive pain in the arse.

I've been saying for years that if you have Java installed on your system then the smartest thing you can do is remove it completely. In the real world hardly anybody needs it. But isn't it awfully prescriptive of the Chrome devs to decide that *nobody* can use it in Chrome? After all, Chrome was written to be a stable platform to run apps.

One thing that will suffer is anything running that antiquated piece of crap known as Oracle Forms. Heck, that even breaks when Oracle update their own Java product. A cynic might say that Google will view any damage to Oracle's products as acceptable damage..

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Can't patch this: Mozilla pulls Firefox encryption feature after just a week

Conrad Longmore

100% False Positive rate

As far as almost all users are concerned, certificate warnings are almost 100% false positives. Usually it's either a legitimate self-signed certificate, a server somewhere has changed its name, the certificate has expired or some other annoyance. And although they are not common, most users just ignore them, so that they will eventually ignore ALL certificate errors..

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Popular crypto app uses single-byte XOR and nowt else, hacker says

Conrad Longmore
Thumb Down

NQ Mobile

NQ Vault is a product of NQ Mobile. A quick bit of searching on them in Google News comes up with allegations that the entire company grossly overstates its user base and income. This is a company where the founder and other senior officers have a habit of abruptly resigning. Draw your own conclusions.

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SIM hack scandal biz Gemalto: Everything's fine ... Security industry: No, it's really not

Conrad Longmore
Black Helicopters

Maybe they got a visit..

Maybe they got a visit from those people in suits and matching black SUVs.

"Here, let us write the press release for you.."

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German music moguls slammed for 'wurst ever DMCA takedown spam'

Conrad Longmore

Re: Why stop?

Not quite, you swear under penalty of perjury that you have a good faith belief in the complaint being made. So, just having some random web crawler spam things out obviously does not constitute a good faith belief.

It is long overdue that somebody who HAS perjured themselves in this way spends a bit of time in jail as a warning to others.

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Five years of Sun software under Oracle: Were the critics right?

Conrad Longmore
FAIL

Java is shit

Let's not beat around the bush here.. Java on desktops (not so much on other platforms) is a heap of shit. Anybody who codes still Java applets for web pages needs to be taken out and shot. Basically, it's a slice of the 1990s where much of the functionality can be replaced by quicker, more stable and more secure replacements.

Oracle's products of course heavily rely on Java. Oracle forms is a particularly obsolete slice of twentieth-century technology that still uses it. Except of course for when your particular version of Oracle doesn't work with the latest version of Java which is always fun.

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'80s hacker turned journo, IT crime ace Steve Gold logs off

Conrad Longmore
Unhappy

Gitmo

These days the government would probably rendition him out to Guantanamo Bay for such a thing.

A reminder of a simpler time, and probably one of the influences that got me involved in the IT security field. Rest in Peace.

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Pitch Black: New BlackBerry Classic is aimed at the old-school

Conrad Longmore

The company that won't seem to die..

By all logical reasoning, BlackBerry should have crashed and burned after the Z10 and Playbook fiascos. Luckily for them, they had an enormous cash pile to burn through first.

It seems that BlackBerry have given up trying to recreate the days when they shipped more smartphones than anyone else (excluding Symbian). Being smallers and more focussed might ensure survival of some sort, but it remains to be seen if BlackBerry can thrive again.

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London teen pleads guilty to Spamhaus DDoS

Conrad Longmore

Cannot name for legal reasons?

Let me name names instead, he is ████████ ██ ████████

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Dr. Dobb's Journal sails into the sunset - yet again

Conrad Longmore

Re: Ah the nostalgia!

I miss Byte. And PCW.. that didn't even get the chance to say "goodbye".

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El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

Conrad Longmore

Too much whitespace

Things are all too far apart, there's too much whitespace.

I think you had it right in 1998 - https://web.archive.org/web/19981206084318/http://www.theregister.co.uk/

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Sony cuff-puter to do one thing smartwatches can't: Give you DAYS of hot wrist action

Conrad Longmore

FONE

I bought a FONE when it first came out. People were amazed that there was still writing on the screen when you took the battery out. Of course, things like the Kindle are now quite common so people are used to the display staying on.

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Technology quiz reveals that nobody including quiz drafters knows anything about IT

Conrad Longmore
Coat

Re: 10/12

Even on an ancient system you could probably UUENCODE it and send it in the body text.

I think I am being pedantic though.

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Fake antivirus scams: It's a $120m business – and alleged ringleaders have just been frozen

Conrad Longmore
Mushroom

Floriduh

Florida again. Can we just nuke the whole state from orbit? It would make the world a better place.

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YOU are the threat: True confessions of real-life sysadmins

Conrad Longmore

One trick I heard of..

One trick I heard of (and I cannot remember where I heard it, it may be apocryphal) was that a large organisation wanted to fire a sysadmin, but they needed a few hours to make sure that all the passwords could be changed and accounts disabled.

So, they made up an excuse to get the employee on a LONG flight to another location (I think this was in the US) where they would be completely out of contact with everything and everyone. When they got to the other end, they were met by management and HR and then terminated.

I don't know if this story is even true, but it does demonstrate the lengths you might have to go to if you need to fire a potentially rogue sysadmin. Alternatively giving them a large pile of cash on a smooth transition might also work..

1
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NOKIA - Not FINNished yet! BEHOLD the somewhat DULL MYSTERY DEVICE!

Conrad Longmore

It's the Z Launcher..

It's a hardware platform to promote the Z Launcher, isn't it? And then presumable a raft of HERE apps and other Nokia technologies.

It looks pretty decent, but it won't be in the shops in time for Christmas. :(

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Could YOU identify these 10 cool vintage mobile phones?

Conrad Longmore

Re: What about the Siemens SK65

I have.. two. Which is two too many really.

Siemens were masters of industrial design, but they were really not very good when it came to quality (especially for a Germany company). Remember the SL55? That was a cool device.

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Conrad Longmore

A cheap thing to collect

It you're interested in this kind of retro stuff, a lot of it can be picked up very cheaply for around £30 or so on eBay. Some things are very rare (like the MPX300) or sometime very expensive (Nokia N950). They're all far more interesting to look at than what you get today, although my dull slabby Android easily beats them when it comes to features.

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Conrad Longmore

Re: 6 out of 10

I've been trying to get hold of an MPX300 for my collection for a while. Very rare. Not as rare as the Sendo though.. another very rate one of those is the Symbiab-based Sendo X2.

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WinShock PoC clocked: But DON'T PANIC... It's no Heartbleed

Conrad Longmore

Easier to patch?

Easier to patch in most cases, although reportedly there are issues with some systems that rely on TLS 1.2 connections.

Also, this is a remote code execution flaw, so if it does get exploited it has a far worse impact that Heartbleed.

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The Great Smartphone Massacre: Android bloodbath gathers pace

Conrad Longmore
Thumb Up

Re: When I started in the phone business

If you go back between five and ten years ago then there was much more variety in physical design and features. Nokia, Siemens, Motorola and Ericsson came up with different features, form factors and designs that were much more interesting than what we see today.

Then Apple came along and designed what was basically a good looking touchscreen with an enclosure around it.. and that really is all everybody has done since.

I do own one of those flagship phone thingies. It's a OnePlus One. If they are building that and making a profit, then really everything else is completely overpriced.

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Ad-borne Cryptowall ransomware is set to claim FRESH VICTIMS

Conrad Longmore

Re: AdBlocker / NoScript

NoScript is very effective in blocking this sort of thing, but it does break a lot of things in the process. And as Charles 9 says, AdBlock and similar tools are only effective against known ad networks, although often those are the networks being abused.

Ultimately the problem is that ads are what makes the web go round. If everybody blocked ads then a lot of sites would become uneconomical to run (there are of course other ways of displaying ads other than using an ad network).

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Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar

Conrad Longmore

Re: Photos don't work

Oooh.. I hadn't noticed "live check" before. But otherwise it has been proven that you can unlock the device with a photograph..

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Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author

Conrad Longmore

The Symbian Error

When Elop took over they had Symbian (ancient but selling well), Series 30 and 40 (selling in the billions but for very little profit) and the stalled development of MeeGo from the Maemo / Moblin merger mess.

I seem to remember that before Elop the plan was to move Symbian downmarket to replace a lot of the Series 40 devices with ultra-cheap smartphones and build up the top end with MeeGo. However, MeeGo was a bust and Nokia instead had to keep Symbian at the top end of the range where they kept polishing it just enough to be acceptable.

So, when Elop came in he made the very wise decision to kill MeeGo which was going exactly nowhere. But he also made the mistake of saying that they were going to phase out Symbian which had the effect of making the market collapse completely. It was the way that Symbian was treated (and not the Windows tie-up) that in my opinion was Elop's key error.

Had he stuck with the the plan and simply shifted Symbian downmarket then that might well have protected sales. Remember, Nokia ended up spending a lot of time pissing around adding smartphone-like features into Series 40 (e.g. Nokia Asha) when they already had those feature in Symbian. Yeah, the Asha range sold pretty well but it was completely and utterly pointless to develop *those* when Symbian could do the job much better.

Nokia's fall from grace started before Elop took over, and Nokia is hardly the only mobile firm to suffer such woes. Motorola and RIM/BlackBerry made pretty much the same errors.

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Renault Twingo: Small, sporty(ish), safe ... and it's a BACK-ENDER

Conrad Longmore

Re: Fiat 500?

The clever folks at BRABUS can tune the smart rear engines to produce 120HP (or possibly even more), and the ew ForFour is the same basic platform as the Twingo III. And the folks at RenaultSport are not slouches either when it comes to tweaking engines.

I think the best thing to do is wait and see.

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Conrad Longmore

Re: All Very Well..

I own a four-year-old Twingo II RS. It hasn't had any major problems (apart form split balljoint sleeves in the suspension) and a trim issue. Everything else has been rock solid.

*However*, the Twingo II follows the Dacia approach of using tried-and-tested bits from the Renault parts bucket. It's quite a simple thing, with a buzzy 133HP VVT engine shoved in, these new Twingo IIIs are more complex beasts.

The Novo Mesto plant seems to have a good reputation for quality, so I suspect that this will be much better than the Renaults of old..

0
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FBI boss: Apple's iPhone, iPad encryption puts people 'ABOVE THE LAW'

Conrad Longmore

Re: And all completely irrelevant to us right-pondians...

Erm well you could also encrypt it twice instead. One person has one key, the other has the other.

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Yahoo!... Our Alibaba stake's worth BILLIONS. Oh – our shares are in the toilet

Conrad Longmore

Re: Troubled Cambridge Micro Maker....

I was thinking of exactly the same thing when I read the article. What ultimately killed Acorn was (perversely) the significant value of its shareholding in ARM. A bit of research indicates that Acorn was bought for £270m to gain access to the shares, with the rest of the company broken up and renamed.

Sure, Acorn was probably doomed anyway. Even RM couldn't hack it from selling PCs to education markets in the end, the esoteric ARM based devices would probably have gone the same way.

Yahoo! would require significantly deeper pockets. One possibility of course is that Alibaba might make a bid to liberate their shares..

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Leak of '5 MEELLLION Gmail passwords' creates security flap

Conrad Longmore

You can check..

You can check if your password is in the list using https://isleaked.com/en

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Quit drooling, fanbois - haven't you SEEN what the iPhone 6 costs?

Conrad Longmore

OnePlus One

I have a OnePlus One, it has specs pretty much as good as any of the flagship competition but it is priced at only £269 SIM-free, the competition costs around twice that. Presumably they make a profit out of that price. So I would say that.. yes.. margins for these sorts of device must be pretty sweet.

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Fiat Panda Cross: 'Interesting-looking' Multipla spawn hits UK

Conrad Longmore
Happy

Re: Car?

Some of us have to get to work, you know.

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14 antivirus apps found to have security problems

Conrad Longmore

Which is why..

Which is why you shouldn't answer about the products you use when you received a cold call from someone claiming to be an AV vendor.

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Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate history' story made into TV series

Conrad Longmore
Coat

Re: Tachovsky would be best for this task. But he's dead.

"Scanner" is definitely the closest adaptation of a book, and not the easiest book to film. And it has the advantage that it looks amazing too.

I was disappointed that the remake of "Total Recall" wasn't actually a make (?) of "We Can Remember it for you Wholesale" which is an intriguing story in its own right.

Actually, the best PKD adaptation that I have seen recently was "Oblivion"*

*yes, I am aware that it is not a PKD movie. It just feels like one.

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Conrad Longmore

Re: Only in the Hollywood version

SPOILER ALERT (although this is actually printed on the back cover of some editions of the book).

In reality, the Allies *did* win.

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Brandon Gray aka Namejuice suspended by ICANN

Conrad Longmore

Re: Wow..

I haven't had one for a while, but the early ones were certainly attempting to gain sales through deception in my personal opinion. These people don't need an ICANN suspension, they need a visit from the police.

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Banning handheld phone use by drivers had NO effect on accident rate - study

Conrad Longmore
Facepalm

Ban? What ban?

I still regularly see erratically driven vehicles being driven by someone with a phone clamped to their ears. Unless you have a policeman on every street corner then it is hard to get these morons to stop.

However, it might help if people refused to talk to drivers without a handsfree kit, in the same way they you'd hope your friends wouldn't let you drive home pissed..

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Software giant CA Technologies dumps arcserve biz

Conrad Longmore

Another product ruined by CA

ArcServe is another product ruined by CA. Sure, when they took it over to begin with it all looked good and of course one thing CA does well is management tools.. but as usually they did a fatal combination of both mucking around with some parts of the product and completely ignoring other parts until they drove pretty much the entire customer base to the competition.

Nice.

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Remember the turbo button on PCs? New AWS instance has one for CPU burst

Conrad Longmore

Re: For those damned yoof amongst us:

I worked with students around the time these buttons were popular. And OF COURSE they are going to press a button with TURBO written on it. But the problem was that they'd tend to fiddle with it and leave it in non-turbo mode instead which slowed the machine to a crawl.

The other way around it was to let the students use the Amstrad PC1640s we had which were just slow all the time..

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Fed-up bloke takes email spammers to court – and WINS PILE of CASH

Conrad Longmore

Self regulation

The DMA in effect acts as a self-regulator on many of these issues, and they also run the TPS (which is widely abused). Of course, putting marketers in charge of regulating themselves is a bit like putting a paedophile in charge of a school.

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