* Posts by tony72

323 posts • joined 2 Jul 2008

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Google to kill passwords on Android, replace 'em with 'trust scores'

tony72

Re: The end of passwords?

@ Peter 26

Before you all go mad, [...]

Too late, the predictable knee-jerk ranting has begun.

Personally, if my phone can reliably determine that I'm me without me having to faff about entering passwords, I'm all for it. Whether the technology ends up being up to snuff is another matter, but I'll hold fire until I know more about how and how well it actually works (crazy, huh).

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SHOCK: GM crops are good for you and the planet, reckon boffins

tony72

Re: Gene escape

We have now idea what their effect will be and that is dangerous for our planet.

How is this anything other than irrational fear of the unknown?

You could say the same about pretty much every technological advancement ever. Penicillin seemed to treat bacterial infections when it was discovered, but how did we know for sure that it wasn't going to make everyone infertile and destroy the species? You can always postulate some unforeseen catastrophic effect to anything new, and say "we don't know ...".

The rational response is to do some science, look for positive and negative effects, and make a judgement that is as informed as possible. There's always going to be the possibility that you'll later discover some negative effects (e.g. antibiotic-resistance and "superbugs", to continue the Penicillin theme), but to do otherwise is to give up all progress and be stuck in the stone age.

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'Knucklehead' Kansas bloke shoots self in foot

tony72
Flame

Re: Driving for dummies.

Fourth gear can easily take you from a standstill to well over the speed limit, no gear changes needed. It might cost you a bit of clutch wear, but if you're the kind of person who texts and drives, you'll probably be oblivious to the smell of toasted clutch, same as pretty much everything else going on around you on the road.

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Russia faces Ukraine and Georgia in Eurovision deathmatch

tony72

If only it was literally a deathmatch, then they'd have something.

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Blocking ads? Smaller digital publishers are smacked the hardest

tony72

although how they'd do this with SSL protected pages without resorting to some sort of man-in-the-middle style attack remains a bit of a mystery

I guess they could basically do exactly that, at least for handsets they supply or configure, quite easily; make the standard network config use their proxy server, and trust a root cert on that proxy, and Bob's yer uncle.

I still think network level ad blocking is a terrible idea though, and I'm still kind of expecting some legal or regulatory move to put the kibosh on the whole idea. It doesn't solve the fundamental problem of ensuring sensible behaviour by advertisers, it just takes the ad-blocking arms race to the next level, and I fear where that will end up. Let people choose to ad-block, based on how much ads annoy them; that's pretty democratic, self-balancing system.

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Italians rattle little tin for smartmobe mini lenses

tony72

Might give it a try

I use a USB miscroscope plugged into my phone via an OTG adapter, which is nice because where you want to put the microscope and where it's convenient to hold the screen are often not coincident, but of course that means lugging around an extra piece of kit if I'm not at my desk. I might be willing to give these things a try, although I'm kind of sceptical that they will be good enough for my purposes, but as a casual thing to carry at all times, pretty cool.

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New Firefox versions will make you activate all new add-ons – except one hacker favourite

tony72

Re: Not just iPlayer

There's a greasemonkey script to make BBC news use an HTML5 player instead of flash, I have it installed at home (I'm at work right now, but I think it's this one), it works great. Presumably could be easily modded for other beeb sites, I haven't looked

Of course that's not an ideal solution for a whole bunch of reasons, but it does work.

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tony72

No, it won't.

New Firefox versions will make you activate all new add-ons

Plugins are not the same thing as add-ons. Things like Flash and Silverlight are plugins. Things like AdBlock and Bamboo are add-ons. The difference does matter. We're talking about plugins here, not add-ons. You might say that that's obvious, but considering the amount of hysterical, mostly misdirected anti-Mozilla rhetoric that gets spouted these days, it really wouldn't hurt to get it right.

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Clixta: A copyright-friendly way to share your family photos

tony72

Re: And tomorrow...

The FAQ does say that they're planning to facilitate purchasing a license to use photos you find on there, so maybe they plan on taking a cut of those sales. But yeah, it's not clear how users will be monetized.

Q. I'd like to use a photo I found on Clixta

A. This isn’t possible in V1, but from V2 we hope to have a built in system that will allow the simple purchase of a “rights” licence. This will make it incredibly easy to request permission.

It's also a strange proposition restricting it to photos older than a year (although I guess people could just lie about how old a photo is). I suspect that they're pretty desperate to avoid being used as a generic image host in order to keep bandwidth costs down until they work out the monetization thing.

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Samsung's little black box will hot-wire your car to the internet. Eek!

tony72

DriveWiz

[...] showcased a rectangular black box roughly three inches long that he said contained GPS, Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hotspot and motion sensors.

Hmmm, It's almost like having your smartphone in the car...

The main advantage of the device, according to Zinchenko, is that it might enable you to get smaller insurance quotes – because the company would be able to see how safely you drive. That's going to be a very, very hard sell to consumers.

That is your "main advantage"? How about HELL NO! Also, again, if you really did want this, all you need is an app on your phone.

The other main advantage? As per the video, you can open your trunk and someone can drop off something you have bought online straight into it.

Well, you could get stuff delivered to work, or if that's not an option then there's "click & collect" or similar. Or you could let some numpty mess around in your car while you're not there. For me, not a difficult choice.

If you ask me, they really seem to be scraping the bottom of the barrel looking for reasons for this product to even exist.

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HTC 10: Is this the Droid you're looking for?

tony72

UI design

"Google has imposed its toylike Montessori-inspired Material Design language on the market, bring uniformity to the anarchy of Android user interfaces.

It has been a success, but it has obliterated diversity; you now look odd if you don’t follow the design language."

I don't get why you harp on about this as if it's a bad thing. You don't get diversity with iOS; why should you get it with Android? Personally, I want to pick up any Android handset from any manufacturer and get the same UI and default set of apps. I'm not interested in being hooked into any particular manufacturer's "ecosystem", and I have zero brand loyalty. Android should look like Android, same as iOS looks like iOS, and IMO manufacturer overlays and so on are tantamount to bloat and crapware, and should at least be an optional add-on, if they must exist at all.

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Idiot millennials are saving credit card PINs on their mobile phones

tony72

Re: PINs?!

I have the PIN for a couple of cards stored in my phone. They're unencrypted but somewhat obfuscated, even though I actually have KeePass and a private-cloud-synced password database on the phone, due to sheer laziness. I'm definitely not a "millennial", by the way.

I can remember the PIN for my personal debit card that I use daily, but for example it's probably more than a year since I last used my work card for anything other than an online transaction, so no, I'm not likely to remember the PIN for it.

I don't really it as a big issue anyway; AFAIK most card fraud does not involve using the PIN, since it's mostly online activity. For this to be an issue, you'd need to physically steal or clone the card, as well as stealing and gaining access to the phone to extract the pin, and then present the stolen card and use the stolen PIN in person, which leaves you much more likely to be traced and caught than if you just used the card and CSC for a little cross-border online fraud.

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Windows 10 debuts Blue QR Code of Death – and why malware will love it

tony72

Re: Come on MS. Please tell us who thought that this was a good idea?

With the QR code readers I've used, you can see the URL before choosing to visit it, so its no different than listing a URL from a security standpoint. However I've only used a couple of readers, so I don't know if that is typical.

However I agree, QR codes never seemed to get much traction. For kicks I put up a QR code for our guest wifi access at work, but in the years that's been up, pretty much nobody has managed to use it, they all still come and ask for credentials.

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British booter bandit walks free after pleading guilty to malware sales

tony72
Thumb Up

Re: Way too soft a sentence

It is deeply ironic that the most sensible post in the thread so far comes from someone called "raving angry loony".

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Nest's bricking of Revolv serves as wake-up call to industry

tony72

Re: What sort of wake-up call?

Yes, I don't see this as any different than some of those old online music services where people lost access to their "purchased" music when the service shut down. It shouldn't be news to anybody that any device that depends on a proprietary cloud service could become a piece of junk in an instant.

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Brits rattle tin for 'revolutionary' hydrogen-powered car

tony72

Re: ero emissions?

The fuel cell is where the hydrogen is reacted, not where it is stored, unless standard terminology has deviated radically in recent times. The hydrogen will be stored in a tank.

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French mobe repair shop chaps trash customer's phone

tony72

This is why...

Fortunately I've never broken a phone to the extent that I couldn't repair it myself. If I did, I might just write it off and get a new one. What these guys did is actually pretty tame, compared to what a couple of arseholes could do with the personal information on someone's phone, if they really wanted to be nasty.

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Oz uni in right royal 'indigenous' lingo rumpus

tony72

Re: You say tomato

Allow me to make your link an actual link. So people can actually click on it. It takes like five extra seconds, you know;

Only 22 countries have never been invaded by Britain.

Good stuff though, I would not have guessed we had invaded so many.

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Spanish launch heroic bid to seize Brit polar vessel

tony72

Props to the NERC

This exercise continues to provide great entertainment, even if nothing comes of it in the end. My personal favourite entry at the moment; "RRS I Like Big Boats&I Cannot Lie".

*no pun intended in the title

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Whatever happened to ... Nest?

tony72

No pressure

Actually feel a bit sorry for Mr Fadell. From the paywalled article;

"Since he sold Nest to Google, Mr. Fadell has been treated to glowing magazine profiles that suggest he is the next Steve Jobs."

It can't be easy being told you're the second coming.

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Flying Scotsman attacked by drone

tony72
Meh

Argh. I'm well aware of how to spell "recent" thank you very much, but as I'm never slow to point out such mistakes when others make them, I guess I'll have to take it on the chin, and try not to resent your criticism.

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tony72

Yes, given the resent study saying that drones present minimal risk to aircraft, and how comparatively fragile an aircraft in flight is to a train, I can only imagine how unbothered the Flying Scotsman must feel about a confrontation with a drone. Be unlucky if the drone managed to chip the paint.

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Microsoft Surface Book: Shiny slab with a Rottweiler grip on itself

tony72

Re: The Dance while you wait to get permission to remove a drive/device

You can just yank it out if you're sure that nothing is writing to it. Since Windows 7, the "Safely Remove Hardware" tray icon is hidden by default for a reason. I'd imagine people starting to use Windows today wouldn't even know it existed.

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Remix OS: China's take on an Android operating system – but for PCs

tony72

Re: Why x86?

Because most of the cost of a laptop or PC isn't in the CPU; if you want to match the features of current x86 laptops (comparable screens, SSDs, construction etc), there wouldn't be as much cost savings as you might think from using ARM instead of x86, even before you get into economies of scale. It seems like they are working on ARM hardware, but I'll be surprised if they're much cheaper than equivalent x86 machines.

And of course, the x86 laptops and PCs already exist in vast quantities, so why not take advantage of them?

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tony72
Linux

Finally!

The Year of Linux on the Desktop is at hand!

???

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Solus: A welcome ground-up break from the Linux herd

tony72

As the saying goes...

The road to hell is paved with good distros.

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Building a fanless PC is now realistic. But it still ain't cheap

tony72

I agree. I built my HTPC in an Antec HTPC case, with a Scythe Shuriken cooler on the CPU, a BeQuiet PSU (does what it says on the tin), and the two 120mm variable-speed fans that came with the case set to the lowest speed. You really have to practically rest your ear on it to hear it. And given that it's on 24/7, I'd rather have it very quiet and cool, rather than absolutely silent with possible hotspots that you can get in a fanless build.

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Linux Mint hacked: Malware-infected ISOs linked from official site

tony72

Uh oh, the Linux fans are touchy today.

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tony72
Coat

What happened to the "Linux is malware-free" claim?

That was just a typo; it's now been corrected to "Linux is free malware".

At least in this case.

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El Reg blows chow down at Justretch.com

tony72

Pretty funny

But it takes second place in the unintentionally-funny-URL stakes to WindowsPowersHell.org.

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Sir Clive Sinclair in tech tin-rattle triumph

tony72

Re: Hard to take seriously

That was visionary, but a little too far ahead of its time, that's all. In a few years, we'll all be rocking around big cities in autonomous electric C5-like pods. This console however - not so visionary.

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tony72

No, but you can enable a special mode where the console makes modem noises and flashes the screen border for five minutes before starting the game, with a randomised 30% chance of failure.

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tony72

Oh, how the mighty are fallen

From changing the world by helping to put computers in every home, and ahead-of-its-time projects like the C5, to an overpriced, me-too portable emulator console.

I guess the draw here is the "1000 licensed games" (which don't seem to be listed, so hard to say if they're worth it), otherwise you can buy a portable android games console for less money, and install one of the spectrum emulators from the Play store (and have many more options besides the speccy games).

I wish Sir Clive all the best, though.

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Microsoft Office 365: You don't need 27 floppies, but there is desktop friction

tony72

Re: 2013 / 2016 / 365 for small businesses

There are three Office versions mention in that title. I can't speak for Office 365, I don't use it, but for 2013 and 2016 installed online using a medialess pack, the Microsoft account shows date, version, purchase type (I assume, it shows "prepaid card" on all mine), and cost (I assume, it shows £0.00 on all mine, presumably if you bought from Microsoft directly rather than a retailer, it would show what you paid). It does not show what PCs the purchases were installed/activated on as far as I can see. Not an issue for me, but the OP's not lying.

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Remember Netbooks? Windows 10 makes them good again!

tony72

Re: Linux this and Linux that

Well said. I dusted my old first gen Acer Aspire One off (upgraded back in the day to its maximum 1.5GB of RAM, with an 80GB ipod HDD) to install Windows 10 on it for similar reasons. Its never going to be a daily use machine regadless of OS, because even if there are jobs it can do ok, I have more recent machines that can do those jobs ten times better. But it was an interesting exercise doing the upgrade and comparing Windows 10 to the other OSes I've run on it, XP, Linux (the original distro the AAOne shipped with), OSX, and Win 7. Windows 10 came out pretty good in that comparison, no driver issues, everything worked out of the box, and performance was as good as you could probably squeeze out of the hardware.

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Head transplant candidate sells souvenirs to fund operation

tony72
Boffin

Re: I have seen the films

You raise an important point; if this works, could a male head be transplanted onto a female body, or vice versa? Maybe future transsexuals will be able to sign up for body swaps. Sort of the ultimate fix for body dysmorphia, eh?

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BT broadband is down: Former state monopoly goes TITSUP UK-wide

tony72

Down in Tring for the last couple of hours. Nice to BTs great disaster preparedness too; they have a major outage, and they can't even keep a website or phone line up to give a service status. Class.

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Brit censors endure 10-hour Paint Drying movie epic

tony72

Re: Brilliant

Speak for yourself. I shall hold out for the 3D version because it will be so much more immersive as an experience.

I'll wait a few years for the remake, which will doubtless feature glossier paint and a more modern style of wall, and yet somehow fail to capture the atmosphere of the original.

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It's Wikipedia mythbuster time: 8 of the best on your 15th birthday

tony72

Re: There was always a near monopoly on encyclopedic knowledge

Wikipedia is far from perfect but is still a brilliant example of how the internet is better and providing timely, wide ranging and free information with no noticeable drop in quality.

[citation needed]

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No, Kim Kardashian's plump posterior's pixels did not break the App Store – just this El Reg man's mind

tony72
WTF?

Emojis and Kardashians

"Incredibly, the smartphone app seems to believe people will pay $1.99 for the pleasure of being able to send these little pictures. And even more incredibly, they are. It has become the top paid-for app in the Apple store in just one day."

Someone help me out here - I can't seem to find the "What the Actual Fuck! Face" emoji.

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Surface Pro 4: Will you go the F**K to SLEEP?

tony72

Hmm

There are a couple of errors in the article, which I would submit using the "send corrections" link, but I'm going to assume that you wrote the article on the SP4, and that's to blame for "... ended up one of my taking my usual notetaking options with me" etc. That's what happens when your "laptop" only really works on a desk. Sorry, still not sold on the form factor. The Surface Book, on the other hand, I really kind of want. I hope they make it available in the UK, and that I can justify the cost.

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Star Wars Special Editions

tony72

Re: Err, you got it wrong buddy

Yes, Lucas deserves credit for originating Star Wars, but just because you originate something good doesn't preclude you from trashing it later, and there's no particular reason that you should be respected for it should you so do.

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tony72

Re: Nope

I'll be watching the despecialised versions of episodes IV and V again this weekend and next respectively. I don't think any amount of editing can fix the rest; I did watch The Phanton Edit way back, and it was an improvement over its original, but you can only do so much.

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Lower video resolution can deliver better quality, says Netflix

tony72

@Neoc - they would be absolutely insane to encode the streams live, and I hardly need to read the article to tell you that the don't do that. Encoding the same video over and over each time somebody watches it makes no sense whatsoever. But allow me to quote from the Netflix tech blog post that this article refers to, just to be absolutely clear;

"We pre-encode streams at various bitrates applying optimized encoding recipes. On the member’s device, the Netflix client runs adaptive streaming algorithms which instantaneously select the best encode to maximize video quality while avoiding playback interruptions due to rebuffers."

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Android on Windows is disruptive because neither Microsoft nor Google can stop it

tony72

Re: Right...

And compatibility. Maybe things have improved since I last played with it, but I found many games and most video-based apps would not run correctly, or at all, on Android x86.

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Samsung Gear VR is good. So good 2016 could be year virtual reality finally makes it

tony72

Re: I think this assessment of likely uptake is wildly optimistic

I think this assessment of likely uptake is wildly optimistic

Completely agree. Gear VR is going to be niche; sure, it's a pretty good option if you already have a Samsung phone, but am I going to buy a high-end Samsung just so I can use it? Are iPhone users going to switch en masse to use it? I don't think so. I'd rather have a separate headset that didn't depend on my phone anyway. Is the Rift going to be mass market? It's expensive (predicted $400+ for the consumer model), and you need one per user, I just can't see it as a product that everybody is going to rush out and buy, it's more in the realm of the niche expensive gaming accessories. So it's a chicken and egg situation; there just aren't going to be enough headsets out there for content creators to want to rush out and spend lots of money developing for, and without compelling content, people aren't going to rush out and buy headsets.

Maybe when the PS5 or the next Xbox come out, if they get bundled with a decent VR headset and some compelling content at launch, at a somewhat affordable price, then you might have a situation where there are enough headsets out there to get something going. Maybe if some sort of standards are agreed so people can develop once for multiple VR platforms, that would help.

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Thai women drugged punters 'with Xanax-spiked nipples' – cops

tony72
Coat

Yeah, and I don't know why the tarts tried to deny it; they should have just made a clean breast of things.

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Brit filmmaker plans 10hr+ Paint Drying epic

tony72

Re: £5 for a box of popped corn?

I commend you on your weight loss. However most people don't go to the cinema every day, it's an occasional treat, just like parties and whatnot. Most people accept that ones normal dietary goals may be temporarily suspended for special occasions.

And besides, can't speak for the GP poster, but for myself, when I have occasion to eat extraneous cake, donuts or whatever during the day, I actually do try to compensate for it, by cutting down or eliminating the carbohydrate portion of a main meal, not by skipping the meal altogether; that works well. Not an unheard of thing to do.

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tony72

Funny

I'm probably going to send the guy a fiver, because that's an amusing way to troll the BBFC and make his point at the same time. I'm not sure that I actually agree with the point though; maybe some will argue against the need for an organisation like the BBFC at all, but if you accept the fact of its existence, then it seems reasonable to expect that film makers should contribute towards the cost of getting their films certified, because it does cost money to do. Maybe there should be some sort of tiny-budget exemption, e.g. if your film has a budget of less than £x and is going to be shown in less than y cinemas, then you get to self-certify or something?

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Commentard achieves bronze badge, goes directly to jail

tony72

Re: I've been around here for ages

The system seems to encourage inane chatter to me. X upvotes or net X in the past 12 months would be a more beneficial metric.

I agree about the inane chatter, any forum that has awards for making a certain number of posts ends up with lots of "me too" posts from people just trying to get their post count up. But no system is perfect; your suggestion of rewarding upvotes instead would just encourage groupthink and karma-whoring, not the kind of critically minded discussion I'd like to see in the El Reg forums.

Fortunately I don't think enough Reg readers are bothered enough about the badges to actually chase them for the sake of it, so it probably doesn't matter much.

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