* Posts by Number6

1752 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Seattle Suehawks: Smart meter hush-up launched because, er ... terrorism

Number6
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Re: Optional

What do they plan to do with that complete list of everyone who's accessed the docs? It makes me want to go visit every public library I can and click on the link.

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Number6
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Re: Mmmph! HAHAHAHA!

I've lived in other large cities in the US, and this has to be one of the most unstable power grids around. One wonders how much duct tape is really keeping it all together

Based on the outages, clearly not enough.

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Number6
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Security?

They clearly aren't very confident about how well they wrote their software then, if they're worried that it's vulnerable to terrorists. Someone ought to push for an independent review of it all, just in case, before they're allowed to deploy the network.

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Shakes on a plane: How dangerous is turbulence?

Number6
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Re: Onset of turbulence is entirely predictable

Yes, works for me too.

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Number6
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Re: The single biggest problem with turbulence

Turbulence can hit without warning, and if you've got the trolley in the aisle when things start getting bumpy, wedging it in place might be the best you can do.

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Number6
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Re: Big jets are boring and stable

I remember being on a 747 departing Gatwick, being thrown around a fair bit. Overhead lockers were popping open and the people across the aisle from me were praying. I was more like "Yee-haa!"

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Number6
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Re: "means the wing tips are flexed up to 90 degrees during testing"

Also note that if you've got wings in a line and they then both go up 45 degrees, the angle between them is 90.

Especially on larger aircraft, it's always fun to point out the wings to kids before take off and tell them to look at the wings when flying. On the ground, the wings are hanging from the fuselage, in the air it's the other way round and the tips will be several feet higher as seen from inside the aircraft. A quick impromptu science lesson.

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Bank in the UK? Plans afoot to make YOU liable for bank fraud

Number6
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I can see a sudden rush of people going into their bank branch for transactions again, just like it used to be.

Except no, most people will carry on because in could never happen to them (until it does).

There are reasons I only do banking transactions from one machine at home, and even on that one I decline their offer to 'remember me'.

Having said that, my bank does use 2FA for on-line banking, and one of the reasons I only bank from home is because that's where the card reader is.

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ISS pump-up space podule refuses to engorge

Number6
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Can't they crush a few Viagra pills, mix in water and inject it as a fine spray into the inflation air?

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A UK digital driving licence: What could possibly go wrong?

Number6
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Re: OK, I'll bite

Sunny California uses the driver's licence (-se?) as official ID. Those who don't drive can get an equivalent official ID from DMV if they want to. Quite a few places ask to see it, often if you're making a large purchase with a credit card, but it's not the intrusive thing that would have been the UK ID card. You hand over your credit card (or swipe it yourself, or occasionally put it in the chip-reader slot) so they already know who you are, then they ask to see ID, so you show then your licence, which looks official and the photo looks vaguely like you, and that's it. No logging into a surveillance database that you bought such and such an item at a store, it's very low key and there seems to be no push to make it worse.

Now, if the UK had started along those lines they could probably be introducing their huge database around now.

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You wanted innovation? We gave you Clippy the Paperclip in your IM client

Number6
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Easy - wave a magnet near it, if it interacts then it's irony, otherwise it's sarcasm.

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Google asks the public to name the forthcoming Android N operating system

Number6
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I think they should call it Sir David Androidborough.

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First ATM malware is back and badder than ever

Number6
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OS/2 FTW

Bring back the old OS/2 ATMs. They were pretty reliable in their day.

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Brit twitchers a-tizz at bearded vulture sighting

Number6
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Are you sure it's not Carl Icahn in disguise?

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Help! We're being crushed, cry billionaire cable giants

Number6
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For cable modems the US cable companies do at least allow you to purchase your own box rather than rent one of theirs. There is a list of approved boxes, although in searching for the ones that support VoIP I found several hens' teeth on the journey. So now I have my own box, it's been installed just over a year and has probably just about paid for itself in terms of saved rental costs. It works quite well too, unlike the one they'd been renting me up to that point (which they'd broken with a firmware upgrade).

It would be interesting to see how this works out with the TV boxes, there's a whole different product requirement there.

On the other side of things, I don't remember having a choice of box with UK cable, but then there wasn't an explicit line item for rental either, and part of the sales pitch was that if it broke they'd fix it or replace it for free. That doesn't happen if it's your own box.

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Number6
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Open Access

Perhaps they need to learn a bit from BT and require the big almost-monopolies to provide access to the subscriber base similar to how ISPs have access to BT lines in the UK at a sensible cost. While not perfect, it would be a huge improvement over the existing arrangements where there is no effective competition. It is notable how the cable companies have improved their game when Google fibre has come to town.

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Walmart sues Visa for being too lax with protecting chip cards

Number6
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Re: Chip-and-pin «vulnerability»? No, it's not

Yes, I've come across this one - swipe the card and the system tells you to insert it in the slot instead.

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Number6
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That's changed - a lot of places in the US you're expected to swipe your own card in the reader, presumably for exactly the same reason. However, you often have to either show it to the cashier or hand it to them after swiping, it appears that they have to manually enter the last four digits of the card as some sort of proof that they've at least looked at the front.

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Number6
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Re: Lousy concept of ecommerce?

My idea, which does not exclude yours, is that banks should issue everyone with a second account number unrelated to your original, to be used for paying in only. That way, even if someone tries to use it to extract money, it will be flagged as invalid

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Number6
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Re: Zip code for non-US cards

I once suggested to my UK credit card company that they should find a way to assign a 5-digit PIN to people wishing to use their cards in the US which would allow them to work in petrol pumps and provide a bit of security while doing so.

You can normally use a foreign card, it just means you have to go in and see the cashier (and leave your card there, which is definitely dodgy) while you fill up, then go back in to complete the transaction afterwards. Or carry cash and use that.

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Number6
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Apparently Americans can't cope with having to enter a PIN (despite needing to for debit cards). That's the gist of what I got when my US credit card company upgraded me to chip-carrying cards. Even now, most of the readers I use have the chip slot taped up and people are expected to swipe the mag strip, so clearly there's still a long way to go.

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Google open sources Thread in bid to win IoT standards war

Number6
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Can the code be adapted and modified so I can run my own server inside my firewall and talk to all these IoT things? That's what would be really useful for me, so I don't have to trust my private information to unknown servers in the cloud which might be leaking or selling that information. So far the closest I've come to an IoT think is a couple of D-Link cameras which are expressly blocked from the internet by the firewall.

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Blocking ads? Smaller digital publishers are smacked the hardest

Number6
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Surely it can't be that hard for the website to run server-side scripts for ad-loading? That would blow away the need for all the javascript crap on the client side, which would make things much more secure. All it needs is a link between host and ad server so that the host can pass a request for a URL to the ad server and insert that URL into the page it's about to serve. Doing it this way means the client only gets to load static images and much of the concern about a blizzard of tracking cookies goes away (not that the host can't pass on information to the ad server).

Even harder to block is if the images are on the host site, which is told which image to serve, so the client can't trivially filter images from the ad server. It also makes the host appreciate the bandwidth consumed by the ads and so applies a bit more pressure on the advertisers

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Tax fraud wave swells after criminals pop ADP payroll data forms

Number6
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Britain's last laugh - a country that was founded over a dispute about taxes and then it ended up with the IRS. US government at all levels is very strict on getting the taxes in.

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Number6
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So if you go to file your US tax return and find that someone has already claimed your refund, are you the one out of pocket or will the IRS pay up (perhaps after a bit of proper verification of ID)?

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'I thought my daughter clicked on ransomware – it was the damn Windows 10 installer'

Number6
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I mean honestly, how many people didn't set Windows update to auto check, download and install updates on previous versions of Windows?

More to the point, I always go and disable automatic updates. The OS is free to tell me there are updates available, and I'll even let it download the files, but it doesn't do the upgrade until I say so.

If you've ever left a machine running a task overnight and come back to it the following morning to see the smug "updated" message and no trace of the work it was supposed to be doing, you'd probably be disabling auto-updates too.

There's also the previous history of borked updates - far better to let an update settle and make sure there's no outcry of "MS broke my PC!" before letting it loose on your own.

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Number6
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Re: I quite like Windows 10

None of the people I know who run Windows 10 actually give a toss.

This might be because all of those who do give a toss have made other arrangements in order to avoid having to run Win10.

I have it on a virtual machine that I rarely boot up. It irritates me too much to use for more than the time it takes to apply security patches and even that's pushing it.

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Number6
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I always check what the updates are for now, so I spotted that it wanted me to install a W10-related thing on my W7 VM. So I told it to hide the update. No doubt it will be re-issued in a couple of weeks with a different KB number.

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Web site admins: Brace for weekend traffic surges from iOS devices

Number6
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Android users were more organised and had filed their tax returns by the end of February, whereas iPhone users were still trying to figure it out right up to the 18th April deadline? Also, when did the H1B cap kick in? Once again, Android users figured out there was no point for this year after that point and stopped looking.

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Switch survives three hours of beer spray, fails after twelve

Number6
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Re: So when he says “football” he means soccer

Aussie Rules is a bit of a misnomer because I thought they didn't have any rules in that sport.

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Number6
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Rugby players bring their own padding.

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The EU wants you to log into YouTube using your state-issued ID card

Number6
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Re: Risk to who?

You'll just create a market for stolen credentials - access the site and it'll show you for free the ID details for a well-known politician, so you can enter those to go further into the site 'legally', where you can go buy a bunch of other ID credentials. Then you can go surf happily.

If all the websites are required to verify with a central database, then that's one hell of a scalability problem, not least a security one. If it doesn't have to verify then there's no onus on the individual to provide anything identifiable. Also, you can only verify the details provided, or are we all supposed to fit cryptographically-protected fingerprint or iris readers to our PCs, phones and tablets?

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Apple will be grilled by Irish National Planning Board over €850m data centre plan

Number6
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With all those badgers there won't be mushroom for anything else...

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BOFH: Thermo-electric funeral

Number6
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Re: Not just the Boss'es that do this

A good learning experience for the students on the perils of data loss.

I know for my final year project I had the document on a floppy disk at home, one at work and used a third to transfer the file from one place to the other. Plus a hard copy print-out updated at intervals so I could at least type it all in again if necessary. I don't think I suffered any disk failures, presumably Murphy was too busy picking off the low-hanging fruit at that point.

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Number6
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Re: as if owning IT antiquity was one of those positive character traits

I still have a 16MB USB stick. It is in a plastic case, not titanium, it is not bent and it still works. I think it cost me over a £/MB at the time.

I've also still got a machine with a 5.25" drive on it that still works, having found some disks that fit it the other day and wondered what was on them.

Oh, and a TI-58 calculator, baby brother of the TI-59 but without the card reader.

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VXers pass stolen card data over DNS

Number6
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I assume the quick fix to that is to run your own local DNS server(s) and block DNS at the firewall for any local IP/MAC address except that of the server. That forces everyone on your network to use your local DNS rather than use Google or OpenDNS. An exploit that was good enough to be able to spoof the DNS IP/MAC might still get around it. It also assumes that the local DNS won't forward incomprehensible packets on the basis that it wouldn't know where to send them.

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Admin fishes dirty office chat from mistyped-email bin and then ...?

Number6
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You missed the option to forward it to someone else on the company email list, preferably someone with a similar enough name. I occasionally get email for the person whose name appears below mine in the company directory although never in the category described in the article.

Then I'd remove the email catch-all and let the stuff bounce back to sender to teach them to type it properly. It's a minefield to be party to the email of others without an official policy and you're better to just not go there. Hell, paved, intentions, good and all that.

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US anti-encryption law is so 'braindead' it will outlaw file compression

Number6
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Re: Maths v the Law

Part of the problem is that the "good" guys were caught with their fingers in the till, so even the ones who were supposed to be looking after our best interests are not to be trusted either. That's why we need a new system, the old one has broken (assuming it was ever not-broken).

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Number6
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Maths v the Law

Following on from the spirit of this Bill, I think they should declare Pi=3. It would save all the hassle of trying to work out all the other digits.

(Yes I know it's been tried once, but the technology wasn't as advanced back then.)

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Line by line, how the US anti-encryption bill will kill our privacy, security

Number6
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Re: The government [of USA] can lead by example...

Why did the chicken use weak encryption?

Because it wanted the information to get to the other side?

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SQL injection vuln found at Panama Papers firm Mossack Fonseca

Number6
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Re: Onion?

Nah, The Onion is doing proper news now, ever since Real Life started producing better stories than they could invent.

Or at least their stuff seems to be more believable than Real Life at the moment.

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Field technicians want to grab my tool and probe my things

Number6
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Re: OOh missus!

Sorry to mess with your stereotype, but these days, engineers carry tool cases or even briefcases,

So she turns up with a briefcase. Is that where she keeps her briefs?

I have to admit when I saw the picture and the implication of in-your-end-o, I had flashback to some Star Trek comedy sketch where someone shouted "Scotty's been grabbed by the Klingons!"

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Google HQ evacuated

Number6
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Google Search or Google Searched?

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Windows 10 with Ubuntu now in public preview

Number6
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Re: Fundamental differences/Alien DNA

Now the evil plot behind systemd becomes clear...

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Nest bricks Revolv home automation hubs, because evolution

Number6
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This is why I don't like cloud-based IOT things. It's got to talk to a hub controlled by me inside my firewall and not leak useful data to a third party.

Having recently been burned by the Nook GB exit and the loss of about a third of the books I paid for on the platform (the rest won't get lost now...) I'm not feeling the love for having my stuff beyond the firewall.

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Your pointy-haired boss 'bought a cloud' with his credit card. Now what?

Number6
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I don't think I qualify as a PHB, and my shadow IT is at least done in cooperation with the official IT, but they don't know what I need and I do. It involves a Linux VM in the server room which I get to set up as I see fit. I managed to strew a couple of banana skins for the unwary, I forgot that the default set-up doesn't allow root login either via SSH or at the GUI screen, so despite giving the password to IT, they couldn't get in until I set them up a user account with sudo privilege. (IT uses remote desktop to the GUI, I use ssh so I didn't even think of it.)

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Commentard April Fool decries Blighty's dodecaquid

Number6
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You only need look at the BBC's article about ten things that might have been April Fools but weren't to realise that reality is rarely outdone by the comics.

1st April is the only day of the year when people critically evaluate what they read on the internet. the rest of the year it's obviously all true.

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IT freely, a true tale: One night a project saved my life

Number6
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This is why my desk is an untidy tip. If you put work on it for me to do, I might not notice it for several months.

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Number6
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Re: Priorities and empowerment

When I asked the management to prioritise the ten projects, six of them were assigned priority one, three priority two and one priority three, which didn't really solve anything.

You can try to resolve that by comparisons. Take two of the priority one tasks, ask the management which one is more important, preferably in email. Repeat with other pairs of apparently equal tasks until you get an ordered list and am email trail to justify it. Then work on the list in order. It doesn't stop management being an arse later but it might help. Try to avoid circular references so that A>B, B>C and C>A, which may need a bit of thought and deduction when asking the questions.

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US govt says it has cracked killer's iPhone, legs it from Apple fight

Number6
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Re: A Kick in the Nuts

I'm interested in why I got so many downvotes - is it because I implied criticism of Apple and the fanbois got upset? I'm actually on their side on this one, but I can appreciate the way the FBI are fighting their propaganda war. Until they produce the actual iPhone properly cracked and reveal what was on it, it might all just be hot air and sour grapes on their part. Saying they've done it but not passing on any information about how it was done or proof that it was done is, as I said, a kick in the nuts. They probably didn't want to risk a long drawn-out court case and possible adverse verdict at the end, so they've found a way to back out of it.

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