* Posts by Franco

68 posts • joined 11 Apr 2008

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Windows 10 Mobile Build 10512 rolls out, but progress is sloooow

Franco

Re: Oblig Question

It's package dependent now apparently, and not included in mine. Not an issue as I never used it, but something to be aware of if you are on 3 with a package that doesn't include it and are thinking of signing up for Windows Insider.

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Franco

Re: Oblig Question

Either it's not as bad, or they aren't being as open about it (hard to say which, seeing as it's still in Tech Preview). You get the prompts about location, advertising ID, WiFi Sense etc on first start. Certainly I'm not having issues with excessive data use, and my contract only allows 500mb/month, although I did have to phone Three and get them to unblock my phone when I first started using the TP as they thought I was tethering a device due to the unrecognised OS.

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Franco

Personally I'm finding it much better on my Lumia 925 - noticeably faster and smoother in most features and apps. Also just noticed that HERE Drive now works with my car to give voice navigation, dunno if that's the app or the OS though.

Notifications are still broken for most things though, emails and texts are silent but WhatsApp seems to work now.

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Windows 10 on Mobile under the scope: Flaws, confusion, and going nowhere fast

Franco

You definitely can pin individual mailboxes to start, cos I have done on my Lumia 925.

Build 10166 is just about usable every day, at least for me, as I don't spend much time with anything other than calls, texts, emails and a few apps but there are still obvious omissions and we are months away from RTM for Mobile.

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Are you a Tory-voting IT contractor? Congrats! Osborne is hiking your taxes

Franco

Interesting that you interpret "Google et al" as "Google"

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Franco

Utter nonsense. Apart from anything else, if you've read all of the Worstall columns on this site about the subject, Google et al are NOT avoiding or evading tax, they are in compliance with the EU regulations. Whether or not those regulations are fit for purpose is another question, but the point is that the Government can introduce the "Google Tax" and say they're doing something about it, which keeps the electorate happy even if it won't bring in any more money.

The latest budget taxes us more, the IR35 regulations are supposedly being tightened as well, yet you still accuse us of hypocrisy when all we are doing is trying to make a living as best we can, like everyone else. And anyone I've ever met who has your attitude towards contractors has it because they don't have the guts to try it themselves.

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Franco

I'm not unhappy to pay my share as a contractor, I'm unhappy that a large number of perm employees think it's OK to accuse any contractors of tax avoidance without knowing what they are talking about. Open resentment and bitterness towards contractors caused me to leave my last contract, due to a hiring freeze and some redundancies the atmosphere was horrible.

I used to use an Umbrella Company, and am now LTD. There are many reasons for this other than financial, for example I can register as a Microsoft Partner which gives me access to support and training to develop myself and provide better service to my customers. There are also additional costs, such as Professional Indemnity Insurance, required to work on many projects.

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Ant-Man: Big ideas, small payoff

Franco

Re: Well...

I take your point, but to me the cheap veneer pretty much applies to anything that comes out of Hollywood so I just accept what I like and ignore what I don't.

In many ways the blockbuster/popcorn movies are rather more honest than the "serious" movies that come out of Hollywood. It's hard not to see some of the "I'm a serious ac-tor" playing someone with a disability films as a cynical attempt to win awards. I'd far rather watch an "action" film rooted in realism given the choice, but it's very rare to find the right combination of actor and script to produce something like Bullitt or The French Connection, and anyway Hollywood right now is more interested in comic books, shared universes and reboots.

Case in point, the X-Men franchise, the Star Trek franchise and the Terminator franchise have all used time travel as a plot point to effectively wipe out all which went before. Or in 80s terms we're watching Dallas and it was all a dream.

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Franco

Re: The real question is...

No, because Ryan Reynolds isn't in it. Neither is it worse than the Ben Affleck Daredevil travesty, nor indeed than Blade Trinity (Ryan Reynolds AND Jessica Biel, so utterly utterly terrible)

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Franco

Personally, I usually quite like superhero movies, for the simple reason that they are mindless escapism, much like James Bond for example. If I want to be challenged intellectually I'll read a book.

That said, Ant-Man is IMO pretty disjointed. It's either been badly edited, or the multiple script re-writes and change of director have taken their toll. Possibly both. Either way, it's not bad, just not that great.

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Bill Hicks: 25 years on from the cult comedian's big break

Franco

I always got the feeling watching Bill that laughter was a by-product. If he got his audience to think about what was going on around them then he'd done his job (Iraq has incredible weapons. How do you know? We looked at the receipt)

His rants about music (SEND IN VANILLA ICE!) were hugely entertaining, but his views on religon and drugs were always going to make a mainstream breakthrough in the US a struggle.

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BT issues formal whinge to Ofcom over Sky dominance in pay telly

Franco

Re: @Franco

Had that myself when I left. Had to fight the urge to tell them that if they kept the prices lower ALL the time instead of just when I threaten to leave I might have stayed.

Sky's insistence on all or nothing with sport is what made me leave. I want some football, and the rugby league. I don't want golf (only ever watch the Ryder Cup), Rugby Union, Cricket and especially F1 but have to pay for the lot or none. BT Sport was free until now, and is still only £5 a month and gets me most of what I want.

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Franco

Oh good, now that the Samsung vs Apple patent wars are over (or at least, in a temporary ceasefire) BT and Sky step up to the plate and give us a new legal drama to watch.

I'm not denying both sides have points, Openreach should be split from BT, and Sky should stop taking the piss when it comes to wholesale provision to rivals.

Both sides need to be very careful though, and recognise the threat of the over-the-top providers. Other than live sport, or programmes like GoT (where they are so popular you can't avoid the spoilers) most people I know series record from Sky/YouView and then binge watch Netflix style.

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Private cloud is NOT dead – and for one good reason: Control of data

Franco

1. Anyone who has worked in IT for a few years knows not to put all your eggs in one basket, never mind a basket that belongs to someone else. Economies of scale mean that hosted email or CRM (for example) are fine for some small companies, but most that I work with still have onsite file servers.

2. The person who felt it necessary to rename corporate networks as "private clouds" to get the industry's latest irritating buzzword into the title should have an umbrella inserted up their bottom. And then opened. Which will stop them talking anymore.

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MOVE IT! 10 top tips for shifting your data centre

Franco

Re: eh?

Definitely, the cheapie ones are perfect for the job and I always inherit them after a job, cos as you say no one know what they are for. Until you demonstrate and everyone wants one. ;-)

It's personal preference as they aren't cheap (or at least, good ones aren't), but I like to use a cable tie gun to tension and cut the ties for a neater job and to avoid over tensioning.

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Franco

Re: eh?

Yeah, I'd rather make any changes myself and know it's done right than have them be able to change themselves. Assuming it's designed and implemented properly (or the customer doesn't suffer from Creeping Requirements disease, for which I'd cheerfully put them down) then changes should be minimal.

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Franco

Re: eh?

Can't say I agree other than on fibre - using cables ties on fibre is a shooting offence. However, IME, using Velcro or anything like that (or no cable ties) invites people to start rearranging things themselves. Any issues I've seen with cable ties comes with idiots using knives or side cutters to remove them when they should be using flush cutters.

I'd also a cage nut insertion tool to the list of necessaries - I've lost more than enough flesh over the years.

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Aged 18-24? Don't care about voting? Got a phone? Oh dear...

Franco

Yeah, this is bound to work. In amongst all of the spam about PPI and claiming for the accident that you didn't have and boiler/window/kitchen scrappage, a message about voting.

Despite being registered with TPS one of the 2 major political parties candidates called me at home the other day to encourage me to vote for them. It didn't end well for them.

Whilst I commend efforts to get everyone to vote (as Adam Hills said on The Last Leg recently, not all politicians are as bad as each other. Some of them are worse) breaking data protection and privacy laws to do it doesn't really send the right message.

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Smažený sýr

Franco

And Dunoon isn't touristy? Where else sells them? Millport?

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Franco

Deep fried mars bars are a self-perpetuating urban myth - the only chip shops that sell them are in tourist areas. I was a student in St Andrews (to this day the only place I've ever seen anyone eat one) and the chippie sold deep-fried crème eggs at easter. Never tried one, don't ever want to.

Tempted by this with Edam, as others have said mozzarella is pretty tasteless. Halloumi is nice and loses much of it's saltiness once cooked.

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The voters hate Google. Heeeeyyyy... how about a 'Google Tax'?

Franco

It's an Aunt Sally, and a very useful one for the government right now.

No laws have been broken (whether or not the laws serve the purpose they were intended for is a matter for another debate. For example, I bet a lot of people here are affected by IR35 which categorically DOES NOT do what it was meant to do) but Daily Mail readers are up in arms, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer has to be seen to be doing something, no matter how ineffectual it may prove to be.

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‪Obama criticises China's mandatory backdoor tech import rules

Franco

This displays a quite startling level of hypocrisy. How long before Cameron appears agreeing though?

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BT fixes home hub drop-out glitch ONE YEAR after denying flaw existed

Franco

BT wouldn't even give me an HH5 - I had an HH3 from when I signed up and despite telling me that there were issues with the HH3 and BT TV I would have had to pay for the upgrade.

Given that I don't trust BT at all to not have backdoors in their routers, I bought a Draytek 2860n. Yes, it's expensive but it's a single box that does everything I need and I've had much better performance, particularly from the dual-band WiFi, since purchasing it.

"Is this level of uselessness normal these days, on any technology related issue?"

Sadly normal IME. Displaying any sort of tech savvy to a helpdesk instantly means getting ignored, regardless of whether or not you are right.

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Nothing is True and Everything is Possible, Dead Girl Walking and Chasing the Scream

Franco

Much as I love the work of Chris Brookmyre, Iain Rankin, Iain Banks and Irvine Welsh, amongst many others, the phrase "Tartan Noir" really sets my teeth on edge. It sounds to me like a kitsch brand of chocolate shortbread sold to tourists in Edinburgh.

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BYOD is NOT the Next Biggest Thing™: Bring me Ye Olde Lappetoppe

Franco

Re: One down, one to go

I've been singing from those hymnsheets since they were first distributed, always thought BYOD and cloud are terrible ideas.

Every company I suipport who had Blackberrys binned them after that big outage a few years ago that meant no email for several days, and it'll only take one similar outage or the US Government winning their court case against Microsoft for confidence to be dented significantly.

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'Revenge porn' bully told not to post people's nude pics online. That's it. That's his punishment

Franco

Re: "This isn't revenge porn, surely. It's extortion isn't it?"

Punishment should fit the crime IMO, so in this case take a picture of him nude and post it online so all of his victims can see what he's compensating for by posting pictures of them without their consent

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Welcome to Spartan, Microsoft's persuasive argument for... Chrome

Franco

Being a born cynic, I have a long-held belief that the only reason Chrome's usage is increasing is Google's persistence in drive-by downloads in conjunction with Adobe's evil empire, amongst others. I frequently find members of my family or friends using Chrome who were entirely unaware that they were, they clicked on a link in an email and the default browser opened

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Spammers set their sights on WhatsApp – that's that ruined then

Franco

Spammers - replacing the Cirius Cybernetics Corporation's Marketing Department as the people who should be first against the wall when the revolution comes.

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Microsoft, rivals together fight US govt's cloud data snatch

Franco

Taking this concept of US law has global jurisdiction over US firms to it's extremes, they will next argue that all revenues of US companies should be taxed in the US, all employees of US firms must swear allegiance to the constitution, denounce football (real football, where you use your feet) as a commie plot to destabilize the youth of America and agree with such pearls of wisdom as the French not having a word for entrepreneur.

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Franco

Privacy was always worth fighting for, we were just labouring under the misapprehension that we had some.

Regardless of Microsoft's reasons for fighting this (and lets face it, we all know that they are self-serving), I am glad that they are fighting it. The US Law Enforcement Agencies are taking the Team America: World Police concept a bit too far for my taste.

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Why can't a mobile be more like a cordless kettle?

Franco

Re: Pricing

No, but I did find a video on YouTube showing you how to take the charging coil out of the case and fit it directly into the phone which I've now done.

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Franco

Re: Pricing

ZSn - I tried my Lumia 925 with the no-name pad I got from Amazon for my Nexus 7 and it doesn't charge properly, but works perfectly with the Nokia pad. YMMV.

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Franco

I use a Lumia 925 myself and thought it was a bit of a gimmick. Then when I dropped my phone and it bounced onto 3 out of 4 corners I got the wireless charging cover to hide the damage and thought I might as well get the plate as well. I also ended up getting one for my Nexus 7. I go to bed at night, put the phone on it's plate, and pick it up again in the morning charged. I am no longer adding to the scratches around the USB port and can safely say that my next phone will have native Qi support rather than the cover add-on that the 925 uses.

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BT Infinity ‘working to fix problem’ after three days of outages

Franco

Re: Could be GCHQ that is playing up. Also, it's in Northern Ireland too

You can get BT TV through another router - I use a Draytek and their support forums list several others that work successfully. BT won't support you, but given how useless their support is anyway that's no loss.

I switched routers after countless missed recordings and DNS issues across multiple devices. Their second-line support told me all my devices had the same fault (2 Windows PCs, an Xbox 360 and a Nexus 7) and it wasn't their router, then told me I wasn't being very helpful when I told him I wouldn't factory default the router. They also wouldn't give me an upgrade to the HH5 from HH3, even though they admitted that the HH3 had some issues (which they wouldn't tell me).

Back on topic, I'm not having any BT issues but I have my own DNS server that uses root hints and not forwarders. Even if I did use forwarders they'd be OpenDNS or Google and not BT DNS servers.

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Trevor contemplates Consumer Netgear gear. BUT does it pass the cat hair test?

Franco

I have similar experiences with the DG834, up to a point. Over the last 18 months or so they have become less reliable IME. As it's across multiple ISPs I haven't been able to pin down the cause, but speed issues and disconnects are much more common than previously.

The Draytek 120Y has become my modem of choice, as it's just a modem and will work with just about any Ethernet firewall behind it.

Rarely had a bad experience with Netgear kit though, can't beat their prices if you just need a basic unmanaged rackmount switch for example.

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Amazon DROPS next day delivery amid Cyber Monday MADNESS

Franco

Re: 5.5 million sales...

Not if you live in a flat with buzzer entry, which apparently is an utterly alien concept to them. Even better, their collection depot nearest to me is open Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. They don't seem to understand why I don't think this is much use......

Like many people I signed up for 30 days free of Prime to do my Christmas shopping. Won't be paying for it seeing as I'm not getting next day delivery and the offerings on Instant Video are pretty poor.

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Ofcom tackles complaint over Premier League footie TV rights

Franco

What really annoys my is the binary nature of the packages, it's all or nothing which is why I'm no longer a Sky customer.

I switched my broadband to BT as I like MotoGP and wanted fibre anyway, so I get BT Sport for free. Were I paying for it, I would be paying for Premiership and European Rugby, NFL, Baseball, etc whilst only watching MotoGP and some of the Football. I pay the extra to BT for Eurosport so I can watch British and World Superbikes and other events like the Le Mans 24 Hours, Macau Grand Prix etc.

If Sky let me only watch Rugby League and Football I'd be quite happy, but I have to pay the full whack for F1, Cricket, Golf, Tennis and a host of other sports I don't want to see.

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The last PC replacement cycle is about to start turning

Franco

I don't see PCs fading away any time soon. Not just the reasons everyone has already mentioned, but physical security too. I've worked on numerous sites where there is no internet access, no wireless, no remote access etc. Whilst some of the hybrid devices have Ethernet ports, tablets and smartphones do not generally.

Add to that the fact that numerous applications (MS Office being a prime example) either do not have a touch optimised version, or have an immature version, keyboards and mice are here for a while yet.

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Reg mobile man: National roaming plan? Oh UK.gov, you've GOT to be joking

Franco

Re: "No one looked at 4G before there were enough places where there was a signal."

Good luck finding a hill top that doesn't have a fecking wind turbine on it!

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Franco

Re: "No one looked at 4G before there were enough places where there was a signal."

4G in Glasgow is great, the strongest signal is in the largest car park. The M8 over the Kingston Bridge.

Sadly as far as the networks are concerned, outside of Glasgow and Edinburgh and their airports, and some coverage in Dundee and Aberdeen depending on operator, the rest of Scotland is rural. The BBC reported in April of this year that around 25% of Scotland barely gets a 2G signal.

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Can you really run your business on a smartphone?

Franco

Interesting the number of comments about bias, when the writer lists himself as an iPhone/iPad user who picked the Lumia specifically for this task for it's screen size, and the conclusion states pick your device based on what you need.

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Trolls pop malformed heads above bridge to sling abuse at Tim Cook

Franco

Bill Hicks — 'The whole image is that eternal suffering awaits anyone who questions God's infinite love.'

This reaction was inevitable sadly, all credit to Cook for doing it when he must have known there would be this sort of reaction from the (very) shallow end of the gene pool.

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Was Nokia's Elop history's worst CEO?

Franco

I'm assuming this book was ghost written by Enrique Salem to gloss over the complete charlie-foxtrot that was his management of Symantec.

Can't deny Nokia got to the top then got complacent, but it's happened to IBM and Symantec in the past, is happening to Apple right now and will no doubt happen to Samsung in the future

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Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store

Franco

I like WinPho personally, it's simple and easy to use and does what I need. Can't really think of any app I don't have that I actually want other than the YouView app, and it's anyway pretty rare that I use that

Metro or whatever they're calling it this week does actually work quite well on a touch screen device (I have a Surface Pro) but I still spend most of my time in desktop mode

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Stand clear! Will HTC's One act as a defibrillator for Windows Phone?

Franco

Re: I've said it before...

I agree, I have an android tablet but my phone is a Lumia 925 and I love it. It's slim, light, does everything I need and I really don't care about the supposed "missing" apps. Granted some of the apps are poor (linkedin for example) but IMO the El Reg app is better than the Android one.

And the ultimate pro for me, Microsoft have binned Zune which was the biggest customer gripe that I saw about WP7. I don't care how pretty their hardware is or how many fanbois there are, I will not use Apple products because I will not use iTunes.

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Take the shame: Microsofties ADMIT to playing Internet Explorer name-change game

Franco

Re: Don't mind it

I'll go with IS for Internet is Slower. Would call it IIS, but there's already a Microsoft Charlie-Foxtrot with that acronym....

BTW, as much as I don't like IE, Google should get far more flak than it does for their horrific drive-by-download policies (in conjunction with Adobe's evil empire) and the the Chrome uninstaller that breaks everything when you try to get it's greasy paws off your system.

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Nuts to your poncey hipster coffees, I want a TESLA ELECTRO-CAFE

Franco

Do what I do - buy coffee in Greggs. This has two advantages. One, it's cheap and I'm in Scotland so they are on every corner. Two, there is no danger of someone asking me what flavour I want and getting punched in the trachea.

Seeing as any place I know of with free WiFi is populated by Hipster morons wearing "ironic" glasses, I'll happily pass on that "perk."

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You need a list of specific unknowns we may encounter? Huh?

Franco

Re: Familiar story

Being a contractor is, in my experience, just like the Arabella Weir sketch in The Fast Show. The woman who has all the answers but it ignored because she is a woman. Similarly, no matter how many times you have stepped in the turd that is being proposed by a permanent member of staff, no one will cross to the other side of the road on the say of a contractor.

I had to wait a month to start my current contract for the standard background checks etc, then 2 weeks for a logon to be created for me, another week for an admin account and another for a laptop. Would be frustrating were I not paid a daily rate, regardless of how much work I do (or don't do!)

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DON’T add me to your social network, I have NO IDEA who you are

Franco

Re: Swirling JDs??

Doublewood may well be my favourite malt, and it's very reasonably priced too.

Also recommend several of the Bruichladdich malts. Rocks and The Laddie 10 are both very nice, and not peaty, despite being Islay malts. Caol Ila 12yo unpeated is lovely too.

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Franco

This article definitely had me smiling. I'm an IT contractor and the number of recruitment consultants who cannot comprehend my not having a profile on Linkedin or any other social networking website is truly staggering.

I was once asked in an interview what I was trying to hide about my past, as my online footprint was very small for someone in my industry.

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