1375 posts • joined 19 Jun 2009
Re: Windows RT and Activesync
What it implies is there's no unified plan for Surface, RT or Win8. Just a competing bunch of interests inside MS, all fighting to force this years product(s) into a supporting role for their divisions plan. Worst of all it's been rushed out too quickly, before any winner could emerge.
So we have products with no clear direction, with most parts of MS giving different messages about them, software components that look unfinished and mismatched to the devices it runs on. And if there's a winner inside MS its the marketing wonks that decided using the desktop monopoly to cross promote their way into new markets was worth compromising *every* product for.
Re: touch/matte empiricism vs. opinion
I have a nagging feeling we'll never see matte touchscreens simply because they're harder to clean. My matte 23" LCD is visibly grubby after 3 years despite regular cleaning and I've not yet found an effective way to do it. A touchscreen will receive more crud every day than my LCD typically gets in a month.
Since they've got away with selling shiny screens for so long I doubt anyone will even try to invent an easily cleaned matte display, let alone bother selling it. Sad.
Re: you can safely use the modern UI with a mouse
Sure, you can use it but it ain't fun.
Still can't believe I cant just drag the start screen with the mouse. Right there we have 2 different interfaces for the same screen.
Now need to do a full screen drag to close apps instead of a single click. That might work well on a small screen where saving a few pixels is valuable but my desktop is a long drag to traverse and not short of space for window decorations.
Metro remains a phone UI, optimised for tiny screens and they've done the absolute minimum to make it work on the desktop. Just annoying enough to drive users off their mice.
Remember: it's another $130 for the keyboard and Office is not bundled so potential expense there (or the excuse to go LibreOffice;). To do real work you probably want a better keyboard anyway but still looking at a $1000+ US price ->£800, throw in another $100/£80 for a the 128Gb version.
Not cheap even if they don't screw you on the exchange rate. No-one will be buying this for normal tablet duties, severely limiting its market.
Re: Win8 bugs
Took me 2 months to get Win8 partially stable here. A depressing combination of forcing compatibility mode on far too many apps and services, soul destroying searching for 64bit drivers that don't crash on 4Gb+ machines (and reminding WIndows update NOT to send me more broken ones) and retiring perfectly functional hardware Win8 just won't work with.
Now I'm reaching the giddy heights of 48hr uptime between forced reboots, MS deprecated (and vandalised) desktop mode to the point where when Explorer crashes it now disables every UI element on the entire system. Can't even fire up or use the task manager, can't switch out of desktop, can't restart. Can't even ctrl-alt-del! Only working input is the reset button on the PC.
And I can't tell if it's the bugs desktop has always had or the 3rd party hacks needed to make it usable, whichever it is, making desktop just an app means when it crashes there's no way out.
Re: figures sound dodgy to me
Those UK winphone sales are believable. During those 3 months HUKD was posting new deals on Lumia WP7.5 devices every 3-4 days. They didn't hit remaindered prices but for the not too fussy bargain hunters on HUKD the price was right. I think I even saw a couple of admittedly poor offers on Lumia WP8 devices as well.
They had a sale, 2 months before Xmas. A large spike in sales is believable. That it will continue is not believable ;)
Actually, I'm looking forward to reaction to that little problem. The folk that genuinely believe Google is evil should be happy the Chinese are cutting them out.
The fun is with the folk faking it in support of 'another companies product'. They're still frantically trying to work up a response. It's bad for Google but those are still Android devices and Googles loss is not their sponsoring companies gain. What's a poor shill to do.
Are you sure you're using gmail right? Can't see any ads on it. Not in the browser, not in the gmail app on my phone. Don't remember doing anything clever to kill them either.
The UI is fscking awful though ;)
I sense selective memory from Kempin. MS have been trying to sell slates (AKA tablets) for a very long time now and been in the phone biz for some time.
They didn't ignore the tablet, they repeatedly tried and failed to sell them. Gates regularly used to tell anyone that would listen that slates were going to be the next big thing. Admittedly when hardware finally made iPad possible MS didn't move fast enough to dump classic windows on their devices but that's years after he left MS!
Phones, again they had a large share of the smartphone market right up till tech allowed iPhone. And again MS didn't adapt quickly enough. But they were in the market and for a change not really failing.
Social media is more of the same. MS have bought company after company chasing a userbase, they just seem totally incapable of creating their own social platforms. But they certainly acted to get in the game.
To the extent it's even possible to foresee the massive changes, MS didn't sit back and do nothing, they forged ahead but mostly did the wrong things.
Re: AFAIK Office isn't bundled with Surface Pro
"As far as I can tell Surface Pro will also require _additional_ cost for Office if used in a business."
AFAIK Pro won't have Office bundled at all, judging from MS statements so far. So it's a non-issue in the sense that you'll need to get a licensed copy separately anyway.
If MS get spooked enough maybe they'll decide to bundle Office after all but I'll be extremely surprised. A trial license for 365 seems the most acceptable (to the MS beancounters) option.
Re: remote control
I run a 2048x1152 primary monitor and it doesn't feel big enough (hence the 2nd monitor and planned 3rd one). I really don't care how well remote control functions, on a 1366x768 display that's a scrolling mess simply not usable for real work. Perfect for remoting your laptop with it's poor 1366x768 screen (but why would you do that, it's portable), useless for any desktop monitor shipped in the last 5 years.
So a nice feature for occasional casual use, not a life changing advantage for most.
Re: Anything else is just an overpriced toy
The consumer market *want toys* and the current tablet mass market is consumer led. The iPad demonstrates they'll happily buy 'overpriced toys' as well if the brand is right. What MS ignore is that neither 'Microsoft' or 'Windows' are desirable brands and for some they even have negative value, not worthy of overpricing. And Surface RT is overpriced.
Microsoft built what they need to sell, not what customers want to use. The bulk of the buying public just aren't interested in working on their tablets and bundling Office isn't as compelling a feature as you and Microsoft believe. They didn't bother mentioning it in any of the consumer facing promotion in any case so it's rather irrelevant.
The corporate market have different issues that bundling Office doesn't overcome.
It was Microsoft that chose to create confusion over the relationship between Win8 RT and Win8 and it's Microsoft that continues to do nothing to remedy the situation. Can't blame users for not knowing what to expect.
The bigger issue is this policy leaves buyers wondering why they should spend so much on what is apparently just a low end laptop/netbook. I'm not claiming being much more explicit about RTs nature and tablet focus would do them much good though, the supposed Windows compatibility is so shallow (only new Metro style apps) jumping OS to IOS or Android would be no harder and that's the only sales point in its favour.
I agree with you, there seems no way out for Microsoft. They foolishly thought they could ship premium price devices based on a 'it runs Windows' slogan instead of competing on what and how well it works as a tablet. There's no reality where the name "Windows" is worth $200 on the price tag unless it really runs full blown Windows and runs it bloody well.
Re: I'm one of that 12mil
It's about the 12mil users but declining ereader sales disparity really.
I initially tried the Android Kobo app to evaluate their service while looking for a reader to buy as a present. Ended up annoyed by their generally shitty attitude, both from the behaviour of their app and feedback about their 'not our problem' style of product support. That's one device+account not bought as a present and I won't be buying hardware or books for my account any time soon.
...and it's not replaced Aldiko for me either ;)
I'm one of that 12mil
Have had a Kobo account for more than a year but every time I try the Kobo Android app it pisses me off so much I rage quit in disgust. They just don't seem willing to respect their users at all, when it's not spamming constant book suggestions it's spamming constant reminders to use FB or Twitter or whatever the social media 'of the day' happens to be.
And the bugs just never end. Last attempt lasted just long enough to open my current book at the time, watch the app die, repeat 2x, uninstall.
Leaves me wondering just how many of that 12mil users signed up to check out Kobo on their mobile/tablet and didn't like what they saw. The shear difficulty finding books to download in their app was a bad start, the inability to guarantee I could even read them if I bought sealed the deal. The Kobo Touch I found annoyingly sluggish so even the hardware hasn't really appealed.
So another 'user' unlikely to spend anything with Kobo.
Without knowing how much *both* sides spent we can't begin to guess if:
It doesn't work
It does work and you can buy a win
It does work to really piss off the target and buy a loss
Or the most probably correct answer: it works right up to the point the FTC realise a court will crucify them for proceeding with no evidence supporting the charge.
Microsoft,Oracle and their hangers on threw an unknown amount of money at inciting the FTC to act, seem to have got good value for it as well given the non-stop leaks from insiders and general anti-Google public position given to the press. It just wasn't enough cash to make them piss away careers on a doomed trip to court.
Re: I wonder how many installations are simply as the machine came?
"Pretty much all the keyboard shortcuts in Windows 8 are exactly as they are in Windows 7"
For a touch centric OS it's very telling that people keep saying that ;)
rare and specific cases
...where the specifics are 'unwillingness to negotiate a licence' and 'rare' is more descriptive of how often SEP owners need to resort to seeking bans than anything. The most frequent (ab)user of ITC fast track bans in mobile is a company that owns no SEPs!
If we needed proof that lobbying buys regulatory opinion this is it. With luck this will have no tangible effect, the known attempts to get bans on SEPs all trigger the 'rare and specific' conditions. It's just a specific pair of SEP light companies that have nothing to lose by destroying the rights of SEP holders, lobbying for commercial advantage. Unfortunately it's a win-win for them, stop enforcement they win, discourage involvement in SEPs damages public standards that compete with their proprietary ones and they win.
Re: Netbooks destroyed Windows?
Lets also remember how much MS must have hated having to postpone killing XP because nothing later would fit on the initial netbooks. Finally bitten by the bloated monster they created and the need to stop Linux stealing an entire market.
Just a pity they went on to destroy the true netbook market with ever increasing hardware requirements ;(
Re: Missing something
What would you sue them for? Any answer but 'patents' will quickly lead to 2 separate cases and just double the pain. Unless CMU have a manufacturing division there won't be any patent infringement to sue over...
It's a little disturbing that no one seems interested in looking closer at the claims, the trial record or perform any analysis of the claims from either side. The idea that a lay jury could sensibly judge a patent consisting of this level of math without error (or more likely outright guessing) is a little hard to swallow.
Assuming Marvell aren't just lying about not using the patented algorithm, one disturbing possibility is CMU just enforced an outrageously wide patent on a basic principle, far beyond what patents are supposed to allow. But if no-one checks and Marvell do the expedient thing of settling we'll never know.
Re: And this will be dongled if Surface ever sells enough
@dogged: "you're limited to rerunning the hack every time you boot the machine."
Hackers have managed to break much harder protection on some console hardware with purely external dongles. In the unlikely event Surface sells enough units to justify building it, expect a tiny USB powered device able to do just that on sale in your favourite console hacking outlet.
And like my hacked Wii, the Surface hack de jour will stay firmly ahead of Microsoft attempts to patch it ;)
Re: That's just what Samsung are trying at the moment
@Steve Todd: the judge asked them if they would accept a court determined rate. There are only 2 answers, yes or no. They chose no. It's too late to complain that the judge accepted the answer and told them to piss off.
unreported detail of the SEP injunction ruling
Details are now emerging that the FTC *did not* forbid seeking injunctions on Googles standards essential patents. What they actually did was require a 6months negotiation window *before* seeking injunctions. Paradoxically that may actually be massively helpful to Google. I can understand why the usual sources of PR sent to the Reg might not want to highlight this...
One problem with FRAND licensing is it rarely sets time limits on the negotiation or acquisition of licenses. That makes companies cautious about going to court because courts tend to refuse to deal with cases till far more than 6months of failed negotiation has passed. Motorola waited several years before even asking for injunctions against Apple for example.
Companies (and Google specifically) now have a good argument that 6 months is an appropriate delay. They can now initiate negotiations and if, like Apple, the other side stonewalls for 6 months they have a much improved chance of getting an injunction quickly. Getting it while the products are still selling. Getting it years quicker.
The other aspect is that injunctions on FRAND patents where the other side showed willingness and good faith negotiation were already being consistently denied by the courts, the FTC changed nothing there. However many observers believe some higher US courts are swinging alarmingly to outright banning these injunctions even with bad faith from potential licensees, this FTC decision might just bring them back to a more balanced position.
Bear in mind this was kicked off by Motorola finally losing patience with Apple over negotiating a FRAND rate. After several years. Apple's refusal to negotiate means this FTC ruling doesn't apply. The licence manoeuvres that led to Apple needing a licence are a different issue that the FTC doesn't seem interested in.
We remain hopeful that these agencies will stick to their established procedures
Fairsearch (AKA Microsoft,Oracle and crapsearch panderers) real problem is the FTC *did stick to their established procedures*. Including the usual political zeal to find a big case to further individual careers, an unofficial but always present feature of these agencies.
The FTC correctly noticed that without evidence of harm to *consumers* there was no cause for action. They also correctly noted and made clear in the statement that they'd noticed the complainants were making it up for self serving reasons. Microsoft's (AKA Fairsearch) real problem is that the FTC followed their procedures correctly, followed the law correctly and it didn't come up with the answer they wanted.
Fairsearch/MS have had 2 years to tell lies non-stop, successfully convinced a depressing number of commentators to side with their self serving bleats but failed to convince the people that actually matter - the regulators and THE SEARCHING PUBLIC. It's now time for them to STFU. Compete with your products not by subverting the law and the facts.
Almunia faces the same problem the FTC did, he's constrained by law. Seems unlikely this particular test of acceptability would get past any judge or that Google would volunteer rather than go to court.
It's posturing, as part of an overall package designed to coerce, that seems doomed to get cut from whatever package Google does concede. Though EU competition law is harsher than US and gives more rights to competitors it's not the 'get out of actually competing' card Fairsearch want it to be. The EU will probably manage to coerce more biting changes than the US managed but they still won't magically improve their whiny competitors failing business's.
Re: Confusing aspects of quotations in story
Nope, it's another Vulture journo too lazy to make it clear that's a direct quote from the blog post.
If anything that's actually worse because I'm not convinced it's just laziness that allowed that perceived bias into what's little more than a repost of the Microsoft propaganda PR release. No analysis, no critical thinking, no proper disclosure.
The actual blog post tells a simpler story.
1: Google won't give MS more access to metadata than they give anyone else. Good luck convincing anyone else that's a winning argument.
2: Google won't build a YouTube app for WP. I believe that's covered by the 'we won't build any apps till people start using it' and that statement is fully compatible with claiming someone higher up blocked YouTube support. Just doesn't sound so prejudicial put that way. Again, good luck forcing Google to waste resources supporting a minority platform with a far from essential service.
Re: Huh? Squash competition by banning old outdated models?
You Apply fanbois need to check in with HQ more often. You seem to have missed Apples attempt to add Android JellyBean to the Samsung case, which would have allowed bans on all new Samsung devices if allowed. Or the newer devices they did manage to get added.
They did indeed only have bans on older devices but were trying for much, much more. Now they have nothing and little chance of ever getting a US ban again.
Re: Patent angle
What makes you think that's not happening? As time passes Apple is gradually getting it's patents ruled invalid and in parallel established a record of losing in every court but this one.
Samsung just bought themselves 9-36months injunction free delay waiting on their appeal. Delay while Apples weapons gets taken slowly apart by all the others they threatened. Also not well reported here, the design patents were criticised by Koh in the ruling and their weakness is part of why there are no injunctions. Fighting Samsung has damaged Apples IP claims quite well already.
Re: abdication of making a decision
Simon Harris: But ... Isn't trying to get people to talk to each other rather than fight it out a good thing?
That only works if negotiating benefits both sides. It doesn't work here because Apple thought they could get injunctions to stick and never intended negotiating over that. If Samsung couldn't negotiate that away there was little point them talking either.
What Koh persistently refused to accept was Apples plain language: that they weren't interested in licensing, just in removing Samsung from their market. There was never any talk to be had and Koh must have known that.
Re: abdication of making a decision
*Koh* has refused them a new trial. *Koh* has refused Apple an injunction. It's a pattern, Koh doesn't seem to like taking any action and seems to have put more effort into coercing Apple&Samsung into discussion than anything else. Predictable on the basis this was always going to appeal but still lazy and dishonest.
Now the appeal starts. That's the story here, a couple of years waiting on an appeal *with no Apple injunctions in force*. Apple must be spitting teeth right now, the win was the injunctions, to squash competition by lawsuit. Today's decision means Apple will struggle to get another injunction in an American court.
Meanwhile Hogan's misbehaviour is successfully in the record for the appeal, as are the errors in the jury decision. For Samsung this is nowhere near over, for Apple being denied injunctions mean it is all but over.
One prediction: FairSearch will not find Google offer acceptable. Whatever that offer is.
The members either directly want Google's search quality hobbled (hello Microsoft) *or* need it hobbled so their own crappy quality doesn't 'unfairly' affect their search rank. Everything else is just the wrapping they need to attract regulatory attention and mostly fiction.
Quite why the losers here think they can SEO their rank better than the millions of others trying the same is a mystery, it would be easier just improving their own products!
The biggest problem I find with Google is how badly they're losing the war against SEO. It's getting near impossible to craft search terms that find a good result on the 1st page. They're even having trouble keeping link farms out of the results. Letting Fairsearches smaller members fight that without Googles algorithms would be an appropriate result ;)
lining up with? Microsoft or Google?
"This would lead to the embarrassing prospect of the Commission lining up in the dock alongside the US corporation"
The only choice is which US giant corporation they're seen 'lining up' with, Google or Microsoft. They might be wise to avoid being seen supporting either of them, or the botton feeders with crappy products they can't sell on their merits.
"hardly inconvenience the big operator"
If it doesn't inconvenience the large sharks feeding/ripping off artists what's the point?
...because there's a limit to what pressure even the US government can bring if the evidence isn't there. However much they'd like to help out Googles competition, without a thick enough veneer of consumer harm it can't survive legal challenge... and the self serving complaints seen so far haven't done well showing consumers are being harmed at all.
In the case of Fairsearch consumers are arguably being helped by keeping the bottom feeders out of search results!
I look forward to finding out how little Google concedes to let the FTC save face.
"What is so fking difficult?"
...having 3 windows open at the same time? Yes, my desktop does ALWAYS have at least 3 open, usually more. And more on the 2nd screen.
I'm also a little puzzled about this 'hit the Win key, type a few letters' thing: I can type the entire 'MediaPortalFS1' shortcut name (to open it Fullscreen on screen1) and search never finds the shortcut... also can't understand why pinning them to the taskbar but getting completely identical icons makes any sense.
...or why ejecting a removable drive should close the explorer window, among many other annoying little errors in the UI.
If people want to complain about this they should be SCREAMING at the corrupt and easily corruptible politicians that set the rules. Better still, stop voting for the bent bastards.
who knows what would happen if they hire experienced programmers?
Bloody hell, if applying the basic 'we can do them in our sleep' level optimisations is worth blogging about I begin to understand why they thought HTML5 was the way to go - presumably they though an optimised HTML5 stack would easily outperform the shit their Java beginners were churning out!
How FB survives is beyond my understanding.
Pretty certain "3" were undercutting that 2-3 years ago on PAYG - 0.5p/Mb on one deal, more typically 1p/Mb - though I never used more than they threw in free with each topup anyway. Today giffgaff only want £5 for that 500Mb on prepay (and allow tethering!).
That German tariff seems very average compared to even mainstream UK contracts. I tend to assume heavy data users fight through the dense thicket of deliberately confusing tariffs to find the cheap ones.
Re: Choice is good
The only threat to worry about is some idiot engineer copying the UI mistakes *from* Windows/WinPhone into Android or IOS.
Microsoft already took inspiration from the grossly over simplified look&feel of Android ICS, then maxed it out as Metro for maximum ugliness, minimum visual clues for the hapless user. It's a visual styling race to the bottom with no winners :(
Re: Same old, same old...
It's also a very convenient way to point smartphone users at app (or other) downloads from a PC browser.
The QR reader I use shows the decoded data and waits for the user to choose what to do with it. In theory safer than a traditional hyperlink because you always see the unobfuscated content before accepting it, something you actively need to check with a hyperlink.
You still need some way of assessing the trustworthiness of the exposed link but that's true for any link. Seeing a sticker slapped on a poster is a pretty big clue not to trust it though.
If you throw a ball at a wall
"If you throw a ball at a wall does it come to a dead stop? No, it bounces back."
Now go read the bounceback patent... your ball would have to penetrate the wall (the overshoot) then bounce back to match it.
An implementation matching a ball bouncing of a real world wall would squash horizontally as it hit the buffer then expand back. It would work perfectly well but cost more in graphic processing, not something todays devices would have a problem with but not necessarily an obvious option most would settle for.
The test of obviousness is not that it's an obvious idea in hindsight. Obviousness is: if faced with the same problem to solve how easily would other people have discovered the same solution.
The answer to 'why wasn't it done before' is sometimes simply that it didn't need to be done before. In this case in a world of scrollbars and sluggish responses there was no need for a redundant end-of-scroll effect. The most obvious idea in the world is worthless without a problem to apply it to.
What MS should have done is standardise on Java
I suppose Oracle might be willing to give them a new Java licence, Sun stripped the 1st one when MS applied their usual 'it only works properly on Windows' strategy. Just can't see MS wanting to backtrack to Java OR make cross platform dev easy - because it works both ways after all, allowing ports out from Windows.
They've used DirectX as a tool to lock in developers, going as far as dropping OpenGL on Windows. Ceding control is just not the MS way.
The last thing you want on an OLED screen is vast swathes of solid *bright* colour, though pure R,G or B at least take the power drain back down to LCD levels. Suddenly that huge empty black bar WP7 had on the home screen looks useful ;)
Not an impressive price either, you just don't get as much hardware for your cash with this budget phone.
How is it different from the 'GameFuel' traffic shaping on my ancient DGL-4300 router (launched 2006 I believe)?
HTPC use: glitches with BDA tuners
I've had a frustrating time trying to get Win8 Pro 64bit to deal with my Freeview tuners.
Drivers are the 1st problem, I just gave up trying to get working drivers for the old VP3020 and retired it. Sad because it was more reliable than any of the others under XP. My 7010ix hex tuner crashes Win8/4Gb+ RAM with the supplied drivers. Took over a week finding working ones, drivers 3 years younger than MS have in their repository!
Anyway, eventually MediaPortal fired up, recognised all the cards. And every bloody recording has glitches at exactly the same time into each recording. It ain't the tuners, they work perfectly on the same box in XP32. There's something rotten in the BDA system or maybe more widely in the driver system. On top of the consistent dropouts there are more errors overall than when I boot back into XP.
I suggest anyone thinking of building a PVR on Win8 tests carefully or considers some other, proven platform. I can't speak for whether this is a 64bit problem or Win8 itself but driver support is poor and 64bit driver certification seems to mean nothing. Right now I'm checking for enough spare parts to build a dedicated PVR on either Linux or XP.
And what you're missing is that Ultrabooks aren't selling and Intel themselves believe one reason is buyers want *bigger* screens than the 12"-13" that was common last year.
In reality if you want PC performance in a small package, that's expensive to deliver. If you want the full PC experience you simply can't do it in this small a package. Surface Pro is expensive because it's hit by the same physical constraints Intel were in creating Ultrabooks. To incur those costs and head away from the actual form factor business buyers demand is misguided at best.
If MS are really targeting the Ubook market they've misjudged the product badly. In fact they just can't make it any cheaper and can't afford to make it look obviously different to Surface RT or the whole Win8 on phone,tablet,notebook & desktop sales pitch falls apart.
...but they really are targeting iPad in business, they absolutely need the below useful sizing that demands and they already have the Windows monopoly on real Ultrabooks anyway.
Re: Poor sales?
Seems like a 100% repeat of the WP7 sales fiasco. A year on I've still not seen a WP7 phone in the flesh and couldn't find one to test . If any shops had them they were kept in the backroom well out of sight.
So who will get the blame this time? Will it be poor sales staff - the favoured MS fanbois scapegoat last time. Will it be the lukewarm to damning comments from the few that have used one be the problem. MS kept Surface out of reviewer hands before launch for a reason...
One thing's sure - the reality that channel buyers don't want to stock them and the general public have no desire to buy the Microsoft brand will be denied vigorously.
Re: Corporate bullshit
I wonder how many of those $14.99 upgrades were paid for by shops and manufacturers - Staples and HP have both offered refunds of the fee on Win7 hardware since August, must be many others doing the same.
$14.99 is so cheap anyway I'm sure many just bought with no immediate intention of installing, just to lock in the price. It wouldn't surprise me if a lot of XP users did the same to lock the $39.99 upgrade even if they intend to carry on using XP till a few service packs arrive. Compared to the upgrade price for Win7 and the growing evidence Win8 can be bludgeoned into a passable desktop experience it's a tempting gamble.
MS are gambling future app store sales will more than cover the lowered license income from these cheap upgrades. Having used the POS since launch it's hard to see where they spent much money anyway, ripping out code is pretty cheap, especially when done with so little care. They probably cover costs at $15 anyway!
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