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* Posts by hugo tyson

307 posts • joined 20 Apr 2007

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Huawei buys Cambridge Internet of Things pioneer Neul

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Stalwart hatchback gets a plug-in: Volkswagen e-Golf

hugo tyson
Coat

Sums

" I’d used 62 miles (100km) of range by doing 25 miles (40km) "

I think your logic is wrong. What it says is that continuing to drive *like that* you would only have 51 miles left. Your driving style reduced the overall range to about 65% of what it could be. Original prediction was 113 miles. After driving a bit, the prediction for the total available was 51 remaining, plus the 25 you already did gives 76 miles total available range for your driving, about 65%.

Possibly, depending on how fast the car learns your style, you could have driven "vigorously" for 2 miles and cut the predicted range from 111 miles to 74. Doesn't mean you used up 37 miles in going only 2.

Not saying this is any good, mind, just the implication that you used 62 miles of predicted range in 25 miles distance is not valid.

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Get ready for LAYOFFS: Nadella's coma-inducing memo, with subtitles

hugo tyson
Coat

Cloud-based services company for businesses

So they'll give up on operating systems, and end up a cloud/server-based services company for businesses, implementing your email/messaging, document/content creation/management/sharing, databases, planning tools, .... and... nothing for people outside of work?

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New Bluetooth tech lets you control 4 BILLION lightbulbs at once

hugo tyson

Re: The QR code/UUID is only used during installation

I saw an article named "CSRmesh non-NDA presentation" somewhere whose content matched what the Reg was talking about, so I guess they were given that. I don't know if it's generally available, looks like not.

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hugo tyson

Re: The QR code/UUID is only used during installation

Though 15 bits for DeviceID and 15 for GroupID is just a convention - you could potentially have 63k devices and 2k groups, for example. Point is the IDs live in the same 16-bit space.

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hugo tyson
Boffin

The QR code/UUID is only used during installation

The QR code/UUID is only used during installation. After that the device has a 15-bit local ID, and a network key which was distributed securely during installation. Messages are signed and encrypted using that key. Up to 32k devices can share a network key and so interwork without additional bridging or gateway sorts of things.

So you can't control your neighbour's lights.

The QR code is used to handle the race condition when you and your neighbour are both installing a new light bulb at the same time - to keep you from accidentally acquiring control of each other's. And so you can tell which of your several exciting new devices is which as you give them IDs and set them up.

Group IDs are also 15-bit; each device can also belong to multiple groups and so respond to commands addressed to eg. "all kitchen lights" "all lights" "downstairs" &c &c. So long as they share the same network key.

The reportage about 64k groups each containing 64k devices, making 4bn, is, um, confused. With separate network keys, there can be billions of distinct mesh networks worldwide, each with up to 32k devices, without them interfering with one another.

Aside: the "advertising channels" name has nothing to do with pushing marketing messages, though many companies are looking at doing indoor location/proximity via BLE ads, and then layering push messaging on top of that using a separate server connection made by the supermarket-loyalty-card-app or equivalent.

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'Disruptive innovation' is nonsense? Not ALWAYS, actually

hugo tyson
FAIL

Re: Too much law

I agree it's too much law, but it's not only/mainly patent law. It's regulatory capture, intentional or not.

For example motorcycles with roofs, seatbelts and roll cage (and weather protection) still requiring a helmet; taxis versus Uber; new "cars" which should be light and efficient being required to be as over-equipped with airbags and electronics and ABS, ASC,... as old fashioned heavy metal + oil ones. Construction laws making new building materials, power schemes, heating systems... infeasible.

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Piketty thinks the 1% should cough up 80%. Discuss

hugo tyson

Re: Politics of Envy

I think there's a certain level of inequality that society *requires* otherwise, as a later poster said, why bother striving in any of the various meanings of the word. Reward for effort towards common goals - ie. work, the common goals being "the economy continues" and "you don't rely on the state completely" must be selectively available.

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iOS 8 to PROBE your GUTS and your HOME

hugo tyson

Re: Why did I read that as

Me too. Showing my age?

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Boeing CEO says no more 'moonshots' after 787 Dreamliner ordeal

hugo tyson

Re: @Dan

Electrical flight systems (instead of hydraulic): Avro Vulcan, B.1 1956; B.2 1960.

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Cuffing darknet-dwelling cyberscum is tricky. We'll 'disrupt' crims instead, warns top cop

hugo tyson
Go

Good - the goal is to keep us safe, not prosecutions

Since governments have become obsessed with (bogus) metrics, it seems to me that too often people think the police's purpose is to prosecute villains; they get metrics about "must get so many prosecutions for this crime or that crime".

It isn't.

It's to prevent the crime in the first place. If that fails, and OK, it inevitably must for some people, some crimes, *then* they must prosecute. But the world is a better place, and the population happier, if the crimes didn't occur in the first place.

That's why we bother to lock our doors and cars.

So it seems entirely sensible to do what this article says they will; prevention is better than retroactive punishment. The punishment part is only useful beforehand if it actually deters; its effect of preventing recurrence is secondary, surely? We'd all rather not have been burgled/hit/whatever in the first place.

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Voice-babble-over-Wi-Fi lands in Europe – take that, mobe masties

hugo tyson
Coat

Isn't this a...

...Rabbit phone?

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Lost treasure of Atari REVEALED

hugo tyson
Joke

Re: Apple Lisa next?

First we need to recover the Acorn Electrons. Can we get them back in time for Xmas this time?

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Teen girl arrested with 70-year-old man's four inch weapon inside her

hugo tyson
Joke

Re: At least it wasn't a .357 Magnum

It would have melted by now....

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Japan plans SEVEN satellite launches to supercharge GPS

hugo tyson
Coat

Re: Is there a rocket scientist in the house?

Looks like they're putting 4 SVs in inclined nominally-circular geosynchronous orbits. An inclined geosynch orbit, ie. not parallel to the equator, "nods" when seen from the ground - it stays with you (approximately) in longitude but goes up and down (N and S) in latitude symmetrically about 0degN.

Put more than one in similar orbits in similar longitude but different directions of the inclination and you can ensure they take turns in being "up" where you are.

BTW, AIUI real elliptical orbits give a figure-8 path seen from the ground as it leads and lags in longitude as the latitude changes. More eccentricity can make one loop of the '8' much fatter than the other, so you can almost get a straight-up-and-down apparent path for the part you're interested in - ie. over your own territory - with the larger loop happening when the SV is below the horizon from your locale. And/or make the SV spend >50% of the time in your desired half of the world (but not much greater).

Not sure, but I think India and China are also doing this sort of thing for enhanced local coverage.

Again AIUI, these are not only as a WAAS or EGNOS (sp?) but you can of course use timed signals from the extra SVs in your simultaneous equation set for finding position, so long as they send them and you have good enough ephemeris about the sat positions with time.

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How Microsoft can keep Win XP alive – and WHY: A real-world example

hugo tyson
FAIL

What's the purpose of the computer again?

So you have a CNC machine controlled by a particular computer. You can see it's a computer; it's a separate box(es) and looks just like a computer. IMHO the problem is that people expect to use that computer for things other than controlling the CNC machine, because they think it's a computer not just a controller for the CNC machine. So they add other software; they install updates other than from the manufacturer of the CNC machine. They network it and connect it to other things; they come to depend on it for other functions. All of which compromises its function as a CNC controller.

Maybe it's that distinction that the 20-year capital equipment amortisation world needs to learn?

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Apple vows to add racially diverse EMOJIS after MILEY CYRUS TWITTER outrage

hugo tyson
Joke

Don't tell them about...

...sticking plasters. They seem available for pinkish-cream folks or them smurfs off of Avatar only....

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MH370 airliner MYSTERY: The El Reg Pub/Dinner-party Guide

hugo tyson
Go

Re: What if it was ditched and sunk intact?

"Switch on the underwater landing lights"

- best line from any film, ever. :-)

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Why can’t I walk past Maplin without buying stuff I don’t need?

hugo tyson
Stop

Maplins real purpose...

Very much NSFW:

http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/society/maplin-is-where-men-meet-for-sex-2014013183134

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Fukushima radioactivity a complete non-issue on West Coast: Also for Fukushima locals, in fact

hugo tyson

Re: Sort of

...in statistically-significant excess of those which would have occurred anyhow. (Agreeing with you though)

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Microsoft tries to re-invent GPS with cloudy offloads

hugo tyson
Coat

MS-Assisted

Methinks this is the GPS standard known as MS-Assisted in SUPL where the handset (Mobile Station) tracks the satellites but sends the timings to the server for solution. The more usual mode of operation is MS-Based.... decades old. Possibly their new idea is storing a snapshot of tracking data (or raw data?!) for post-processing when you later geotag your picture or graph your marathon...

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Ker-ching...Er, ZZZWIP: Square-alike mobile swipe type scores $96m

hugo tyson
FAIL

Just make a Bluetooth connection?

So presuming your phone is running their app, with which you were just shopping online, it just connects to a device in the store when you come in range? That device therefore knows who you are &c. and can bother you "appropriately". The connection could be the other way round too of course... your phone could be the peripheral and a central at the till could connect to it. The latter is better for your device's battery life...

No advantage for the customer at all, far as I can see...

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Spock-style gadget can SMELL my PEE! Weird gizmos of CES 2014

hugo tyson
Coat

Netatmo’s June

....for Lensmen!

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Space Station bags extra 10yrs of life as SOLAR STORM scrubs resupply

hugo tyson
Go

Commercial Orbital

I don't think the commercial trucks-to-orbit businesses would exist without the ISS as a pre-existing destination. But they're vital for beginning to live and work and do business in orbit. And that's vital for making the vehicles to go elsewhere, whether for exploration or mining or tourism or what. And that's vital for survival. IMHO. :-)

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TomTom GO 6000 satnav chews on smarties and tablets

hugo tyson
Stop

Plan ahead?

OK, whatever is wrong with stopping for a few minutes to have a look at your map? Maybe even stretch your legs and get some fresh air? People have a weirdly iron resolve never ever to halt no matter how lost.

In reality, if going somewhere new and nontrivial, I plan. Using google maps, and sometimes streetview, virtually "walking" the fiddly bits in advance a couple of times so that when I get there in the car it's already fairly familiar. Being able to recognise a pub or shop or junction heading for eg. a hotel in central Northampton, is massively useful.

All these products seem to be for people who refuse to take any time in advance to make their own lives easier - or are too dumb or lazy to be able usefully to do so. It's all about saving 20 minutes the day before.

But I will concede that online live data is best if there's unexpected congestion; but then if it's really really bad you'll be stationary for long enough to look at that map - and maybe your phablet - anyway....

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Build your OWN Apple iBeacon with a Raspberry Pi

hugo tyson
Go

02 15

I dunno what the 02 is either, but IMHO the 15 is the length of the following data within the manufacturer data field. Presumably 02 is Apple's code for "ibeacon id".

The C5 tx power is a signed 8-bit number, being -59 (decimal) dBm@1m.

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Watch out, MARTIANS: 1.3 tonne INDIAN ROBOT is on its way

hugo tyson
Go

Spending

"some observers are surprised that a country with such visible problems with poverty would spend its dosh on sending a probe to Mars. ®"

As usual, like people who complain about research in this country when they need a new bus shelter or the park has litter, doing the division sum shows that not doing the research would make available 1/10 of one meal per needy person, or 0.001 bus-shelters per parish, or similar. No of course I don't have the figures, but that's how it always is when you do get them :-)

Agree we should stop aid to India tho' - or be honest and admit it's a bribe for trade and good relations.

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Hong Kong underground gets pay-by-bonk

hugo tyson

Love my Lobster Card

Exactly, the Oyster card is brilliant and makes getting about in London a pleasure not a fsckin nightmare like it used to be. And it's brilliant because it has limits on what it can spend every day, and so on. Why change anything?

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Tesco's new fondleslab winks at Apple's stealthy NFC assassin iBeacon

hugo tyson

Lots of companies seem to think this sort of thing is a good idea

For example, I've seen this recently pushed out: http://www.shopone.mobi/ (it's a website out there on the internet far as I know; so it can't be a sekrit, can it?) which describes other ideas in the same area.

I'm not pimping it, just offering another perspective and more info for folks... I too remain unconvinced that people will ever use the app in question, but AIUI the main idea is that it replaces your loyalty card and the paper vouchers you get with it. And indeed it may deliver extra vouchers/offers dynamically as you loiter, depending on where you loiter.

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Sofas with a roof and Star Trek seating: The future of office furniture?

hugo tyson
Thumb Down

My eyes!

I just looked at the show's site. But at least it's windows 8 compatible :-)

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Apple named in criminal lawsuit over Premier League–streaming app

hugo tyson
Facepalm

Wrong sue

They should be suing the UK Premier League for selling them something which doesn't exist: exclusivity. Well, doesn't exist in practice, only in the made-up legal things they invented and paid for resp. Can I sell you a legal right to fly like an angel? Sure. Sign here. Can't actually fly? Sue, um, Isaac Newton? Not me, oh no.

Last time this happened it was Sky here and the footy vs a pub who legally bought a European feed.

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'NSA PRISM spies' shake down victims with bogus child-abuse vids claims

hugo tyson
FAIL

New screensaver image

I'm having that for my screensaver.... at work only, of course.

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First rigid airship since the Hindenburg cleared for outdoor flight trials

hugo tyson
Go

Sky Submarines!

That way of controlling buoyancy is exactly what submarines do: suck in and store compressed the lighter-than-outside substance (air resp. helium) and let in the outside neutral substance (water resp. air).

With gasses you can use flexible bags for the buoyant part (instead of open-at-the-bottom tanks) and inflexible bags for the compressed storage (instead of high pressure cylinders). Density of He is 4, density of air is about 30 (molecular mass of N2 + some O2) so you only need squeeze the He to about 8 bar and it's no longer at all buoyant.

Fair enough, subs discard the air when they dive, and use air they stored compressed earlier when they blow tanks; and it vents as it expands as they surface and pressure drops, but.... it's the storage that they have in common.

And yes, it is Thunderbird 2, hurrah!

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Boffin snatches control of colleague's BODY with remote control BRAIN HAT

hugo tyson
Joke

Fantastic.

This is absolutely marvellous. That man in the hat made me write this.

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Star Wars revival secret: This isn't the celluloid you're looking for

hugo tyson
Joke

The Star Wars football results

Are two dee.... two;...... see three pee...... nil.

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Acorn’s would-be ZX Spectrum killer, the Electron, is 30

hugo tyson
Coat

Last ADFS bug...

I remember an all-nighter getting the last (hah!) bugs out of ADFS for the Electron. *COMPACT would sometimes corrupt the disc. Like on the Beeb, *COMPACT uses the screen RAM as working buffer by default - you get to watch your data flashing by as the disc is defragmented.

This works fine on the Beeb where the screen RAM is just memory, and the cursor is a hardware sprite.

But on the Electron, to save having that hardware, the cursor is written into the screen RAM using software in timed interrupts.... simple fix: turn off the cursor during *COMPACT. But the time it took to work out WTF was going on... you had to be there.

But at least we found it, so it wasn't me personally that cancelled Xmas.

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Tax dodging? It's harder to do - and rarer - than you think

hugo tyson
Go

Re: Fiduciary duty

Exactly. There's no point in them admitting that they take pains to minimise the tax they pay because they are already required *by law* to do exactly that for the benefit of shareholders (for all publicly traded companies).

It's just a no-op, no different from admitting the vile crime of attempting to maximise their profits (or market share, or whatever the strategic goal of the moment is).

I recommend "The State We're In" by Will Hutton for analysis of why UK companies are in an unusually difficult situation wrt attracting investment, BTW: it's because the banks are legally obliged to maximise profit, rather than "helping local businesses".

Government wishes and company law are indeed in contradiction here, unfortunately.

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Now you can be the NSA: Snoop on a Google Glass hipster with a QR code

hugo tyson
Facepalm

Langford Fractal Basilisk!

Excellent, the Langford Fractal Basilisk for teh win! Also used in "The Cassini Division"....

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How City IT is under attack from politicians, diesel bugs, HR

hugo tyson
Coat

Diesel Bug

It's not just biodiesel, common diesel can grow the slime/mould/bug at an interface with water. As there's often condensation in fuel tanks, that's where it grows. But that only matters if you stir it up, so it blocks filters (before blocking the injectors).

Does the biodiesel one thrive throughout the fuel, or is there water dissolved in the fuel in biodiesel? That would happen if there are any emulsifiers (eg. mustard in salad dressing, detergents) present?

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Hacker who helped find Steubenville rapists threatened with decade in prison

hugo tyson
FAIL

Parallels with the misidentification of not-the Boston bomber?

...might be a cause for concern. But indeed, you would think a sharp talking to by the FBI with the logo jackets and shades and everything would do the trick. So yes, fear conspiracy by the local incompetent biased law-enforcement.

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Reg readers tumesce as they get their tongues round 'podule'

hugo tyson
Coat

Risc PC Podules

IIRC it was Mike Muller who coined Podule for the expansion cards on the early ARM-based development machines. That would make it 1985 or 6, I think. Certainly it was after Rowan Atkinson's sketch at the time.

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My bleak tech reality: You can't trust anyone or anything, anymore

hugo tyson
Coat

7-layered...

Just: love the extension to the ISO 7-layer model. For years in pub talk, we have used the extensions "Layer 8 - Political" and "Layer 9 - Financial" to explain otherwise incomprehensible phenomena, I mean when less-capable implementations win, when laws intended to do one thing rather outlaw everything else, and so on. Government and big business madness in general.....

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Human rights groups rally humanity against killer robots

hugo tyson
Coat

XKCD

http://what-if.xkcd.com/42/

has a nice aside...

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Survey: FOSS biz fans aching for 'enterprise-class' support

hugo tyson
WTF?

Isn't that RedHat's business model?

Paid enterprise level support is exactly what RedHat does.

What's happening here? Do businesses say "they want us to pay how much for free software?", missing the point that they want you to pay that much for professional support with SLAs and all that sort of thing.

Or is this about the bits they don't cover - OpenOffice and all that?

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Researcher hacks aircraft controls with Android smartphone

hugo tyson
FAIL

Does this need a special transmitter?

The article doesn't make clear whether you need to build a special peripheral transmitter for your phone to be able to send the bogus messages. That's quite important don't we think? Looks like you do, from the (truly groovy) presentation - not clear if the software-controlled radios in your WiFi/BlueTooth/FM chip in the phone can be hacked to transmit the trick packets.

That there are code-injection flaws and no authentication for all this stuff is of course unsurprising, sadly.

Same's true of AIS whereby ships report their position, speed, cargo, size &c &c to ground stations. I don't think the coastguard (analog of ATC functions) can automagically redirect a ship, but fake AIS transmissions suggesting unauthorised tankers speeding up the Thames could be a cover for a more serious attack somehow, as well as just disruptive in itself.

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US Navy blasts drones with ship-mounted LASER CANNON

hugo tyson

Is the movie intended to be silent?

is all

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Google offers Adwords deals - but you can't trust their numbers

hugo tyson
FAIL

I hate questions like that...

...precisely because they never state whether each pick is replaced before the next one. But whatever the quizmaster was thinking is "right" even though a crucial fact was kept sekrit.

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Motorola minimum-wage sheriffs ride in to SAVE the HIGH STREET

hugo tyson
FAIL

Re-inventing....

...the pager. How very motorola. How sad.

Still, the things people are working on for your phone, yes you, the customer, are much sillier...

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LOHAN slips into tight rubber outfit

hugo tyson
Thumb Up

Double space blanket?

Have you space for multiple layers of space blanket and heatshrink?

Can you crumple up the space blanket(s) so it's more likely to have small airspaces too? Assuming the heatshrink is strong enough to contain the overpressure air if it's completely trapped - it certainly looks strong enough...

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Fake fingers fool Brazilian biometrics

hugo tyson
FAIL

Hospital expertise

Naturally the hospital prosthetics department will have expertise in making such things; taking a mould, making a cast and all that. I only mention it 'cos you'd think it'd be obvious to anyone putting such a system in a hospital, duh....

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