1279 posts • joined Friday 19th June 2009 15:36 GMT
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!
not one of those usage stats means what they think
The start screen I see for less than a second every reboot (and Win8 is so buggy I've rebooted a lot).
The start screen has indeed acquired a lot of new tiles. Every time I install a desktop app a few more get added to the growing mess... all without my interacting with that screen at all! (Actually, that's a lie, I did take the time to disable every live tile after noticing they were sucking data even though I never use or even have them visible).
I don't know if installing Media Centre counts towards their app count but it wouldn't surprise me if they're bending the stats right now. Hell, with the Media Centre activating Win8 hack maybe they're boosting the Win8 numbers with it as well ;)
So I've had a large number of start screen 'page views', a large number of tiles added and I believe I got to grips with the charmless bar on day 1 because it was unavoidable before Classic Desktop bypassed Metro for me.
I think I even agreed to let Microsoft grab usage stats. Agreed because I knew how much they wouldn't want to see my desktop only usage ;)
What's heartening is 85% making the effort to avoid Metro.
Re: the jump from winXP to win8 was much less painful than expected
Unless, like me, you're jumping XP 32bit -> Win8 64bit and the $39.99 download only gives you a 32bit installer... also not entirely sure how losing ALL your configuration counts as 'less painful' ;)
Have to admit my completely virgin Win8 64bit does boot faster than the crusty, decade old XP 32bit install it dual boots the same hardware.
A 45s vs 60s difference. And just like XP it's actually ready to accept *and respond to* input a fair while after that.
Frankly I expected more improvement just from jumping 32-64bit and the clean file system advantage. Like previous smoke and mirrors it feels like it starts much faster but it's really just putting the screens up while it finishes loading.
What does Win8 bring over Win7? Metro, barely noticeable under the hood improvements and loss of desktop features - so basically just Metro.
Metro is a consumption interface, the software equivalent of a shiny new peripheral added to a gaming device. The comparison seems very appropriate.
Re: 5 tiles
...but you can't move (scroll) the menu that way. That's counter intuitive by itself but as you point out it's also inconsistent!
Re: 5 tiles
Interesting... I'm running at 2048x1152 and get 6 rows. Amazing the difference 72pix makes ;)
Still an unusable mess though. And I still can't believe the obvious 'press mouse button, drag' doesn't work on the start monstrosity. It's as if they sat down and brainstormed how to force people off their mice.
"details and so on (I don't have them)"
Which is strange because everyone else knows about the $30/device MINIMUM Apple demanded. Which only included the claims they were prepared to license... which would still have left Samsung devices banned.
HTC became irrelevant to Apple
Apple settled with HTC because HTC stopped being a competitive threat after effectively falling out of the Android market. The Apple/MS 'secret' deal also protects HTC WP7/8 sales from Apple interference.
With the stakes so low risking a possibly catastrophic trip to court no longer makes sense for Apple, having lost almost every case that reached court (and they've not even actually won against Samsung *yet*). Probably some attempt to hobble the weakened HTC in the deal but for Apple this was just closing down an pointless side war.
I share the opinion this was a catastrophic tactical error by Apple that will end their attempts to obstruct competition much faster.
Re: Wait and see
I see an OS rushed out before it was finished, a frankensteined construction of 2 incompatible OSes badly stapled together. It feels like halfway through building a completely standalone Metro OS they had to ship a real product but didn't have enough 'new' OS ready to replace all the old UI.
Until Win8 undeniably fails, MS will push on with removing more desktop mode. Right now MS employees will be sweating in their cubicles trying to make Metro UI replacements for the remaining desktop functionality. That's the Win9 roadmap, it's what Win8 was probably meant to be.
It will take a year of failure before MS management even consider reversing that roadmap. It will take a lot more years for their engineers to actually achieve some viable 'not classic desktop' replacement. Waiting for Win9 is at best optimistic, the Win9 MS are working on is not likely to be what you want.
Worse still, by the time they change course there will be no new innovation to ship, the code will be forgotten or rotted and just getting back to Win7 parity will take plenty of time.
What's really going to happen is Win7 will be supported at least as long as XP was and Win9 will just be a renamed Win7 SP3. Or more likely just Win7 without the pretence.
it's the licensing
1st the desktop world is rapidly going 64bit... but that's largely AMD IP, licensed *by* Intel.
2nd a major factor in losing out everywhere else by refusing to license x86 or any other IA *to* competitors, except where they'd already been forced to in court last century. After AMD there was no credible alternative and never going to be another. That's a powerful incentive to switch platform even if Intel managed to deliver the low power CPUs the world needs. Few will willingly tie their future to a single supplier, especially one with Intels history of abuse.
The licensing issues means even if Intel deliver a perfect CPU there won't be mass migration to use it. It cedes control of company futures to Intel, with no backup plan.
"The 600Mhz band is empty"
So why is Sutton Coldfield transmitting on 618,626,642,650,666&674Mhz right now? Waltham goes as low as 538Mhz btw!
Does OFCOM have a fscking clue about anything?
Re: He is right about Android ICS
"Jakob is critical of Android"
ICS and Jellybean are both infected by the same thinking that created Metro's plain rectangles. The same lack of visual cues confusing the eye, the same oversimplification. Most of the world don't have ICS upgrades yet, probably why there's been no backlash - along with the substantial performance/feature improvements bundled with the new theme to soften the blow. Been using it for a few months now and it just isn't getting any better looking to me and I'm still poking the wrong hit zones far too often.
Both seem to be copying Google's web theming with it's plain rectangles and cryptic icons (still grateful someone kindly reminded me there is a text option instead), which confuses the hell out of me. Simultaneously looking dumbed down but needing more mental effort learning and remembering your way round the UI. It's as if MS looked at Googles success and blindly copied, tweaked, renamed without stopping to check they'd copied the good bits.
"option to turn off Metro in Win 8 SP1, which would make Win 8 quite usable"
...after a couple of weeks fighting the beast, it's going to take much more than that to make Win8 an improvement over anything. Reinstating the start menu, XP theming, bypassing Metro doesn't make up for the astonishing buginess and never ending discovery of small but irritating missing features.
If XP hadn't developed a deep and abiding hatred for working with Android devices in it's bit rotted (and inherently rotten) USB support I'd revert back tomorrow. Unfortunately I dislike Win7 almost as much (it's when the dumbing down really set in) so that's not an option.
Re: The most stupid and biased thing of all.....
There's a legitimate reason to enforce injunctions quickly, this is really about Apple stopping Samsung gaining vendor lockin on new consumers. That has ongoing effects on future Apple sales. The problem is that's the wrong thing to do in the main US court system because it's so very, very slow and unsupportable injunctions take too long to undo. Glacial paced even when the participants aren't deliberately causing delay.
Faced with this situation most patent claims go straight to the ITC because the ITC responds quicker. Apple went straight to court because a quick result is the last thing they want, they're aware that failure is a very real possibility so play for the delay instead. The rest of the world refused to play, all other cases have been lost rapidly. In the US they got lucky in finding a protectionist, rather stupid judge prepared to let Apple do what they want. It's actually surprising her injunction got overturned so quickly, that's not normal in the US.
There's a fairly convincing legal analysis knocking around (from a real lawyer, not amateur speculation) that only a few % of the $1bil are eligible for triple damages. That's from a combination of errors/shortcuts on the actual paperwork due to the jury's astonishing wish to get out of the jury room fast and a form wording that fails to trigger the conditions necessary for triple damages.
If Koh actually awards substantial tripling there's a whole new appeal coming just based on that. What it suggests to me is Apple didn't plan for winning, they're just doing it to slow Samsung down and $1bil was unexpected.
What needs to happen to stop Apple is a few bans on their products. Until they start suffering the same 'abuse' the crusade will continue.
almost a standard feature
We're not far from the point where all sets on sale will be Internet enabled, it's already hard to find large screens without it. This is coming whatever the public wants - the industry wants it more.
I don't believe it will generate measurable *extra* sales though. Do expect it will actually be used, unlike the 3D dead end. Our TVs have been hooked up longer than iPlayer has existed and we used it just 2-3 times a year, being built in and easier to fire up should change that. Or maybe not in my house, where my old CRT sets do a better job hiding the piss poor video quality and I mostly watch Irish TV rugby coverage that's not going to be on any of these services!
...I also noticed one of the early Win8 updates was labelled 'IE ballot' and I don't remember seeing it give me a choice of browsers on launch day. Wonder how many of that 4mil upgrades Ballmer claimed were in the EU and installed before the update, how big the fine will be this time.
Re: I'm sure it was his own idea....
"Placing them in the Startup folder in the Start Menu folder, does nothing"
I think it silently blocks any app that would give a UAC prompt - so SpeedFan won't run but Thunderbird does. But I agree it's incompetently done. More annoying is the number of context menus (send to/open with/viewers) that no longer work. That is a PIA. Drag'n'drop seems flaky as well.
A couple of my daily annoyances:
I like file explorer views to show what's in the folder NOW, not what was in it when it first opened
I'd like refresh in a folder pane to work. I'd like it to always work in the file pane as well.
I'd like explorer to stop holding files I'm deleting open, blocking the deletion!
stop closing the fscking explorer window if I disconnect a USB mounted phone
If desktop can XP theme window decoration in compatibility mode, has fine grained colour customisation in high contrast mode, fine grained UI control out of HC mode - WTF can't I use all those features all the time?
Re: Good Piece
What I can't fathom is why:
Metro apps can't just sit in a Window on the desktop, even if that's a large fixed size one to match Metro expectations
Live Tiles (known everywhere else as widgets) can't work on the desktop, as just another OPTION
classic mode support had to be killed
detailed desktop theming had to die
There was a correct way to unify the platforms but it was to partially unify them, with the Metro subset a Metro-on-desktop experience. With the desktop a real user choice between classic and Metro modes. Of course that would further expose the bareness of Metro to even casual viewers but at least we'd be spared the pointless context switches.
protecting Ballmers sorry job
Hard to see this as anything more than a Ballmer pre-emptive strike. At one stroke he removes the most likely replacement for his job, but cements in place the Metro direction Windows has lurched in on his orders. Simultaneously protected his job and perpetuated the mistake that's going to kill MS.
Not that Sinofsky would have done anything to revert back to sanity, it really is just about Ballmer clutching desperately to his job.
Sinofsky may have shipped Win8 roughly on time, he didn't ship a finished version. With the excessive public testing this had I'm struggling to understand how rough it feels and how many annoying bugs it has. Watching it install 64 bit drivers that crash Win8 on 4Gb machines didn't even surprise me when it happened - if I could find working 2010 dated drivers WTF did MS include 2007 broken ones for?
Re: catching up with Android, not sure about IOS
I assume iOS got some sort of real background service before now, don't know, not sure I care. Skype was always a shitty, power draining piece of crap on Android, wouldn't expect it to work much better on IOS though.
The story here is the WinPhone *didn't* have usable background service support for it till now. As Google discovered VOIP seems to need deep hacking into the OS to keep performance and power use under control, they just got round to it more than a year ago and chose to support generic SIP instead of something they own and control. Think I'll be sticking to my SIP account and avoiding Skype.
O2 are a bigger problem
Worrying about giffgaffs far from stellar reliability seems redundant while they live on O2's appalling network. Only place I can rely on O2 coverage is at home, where I don't need it. Head to the city and even where I find a full signal there's no data throughput and barely intelligible voice quality, too much time there's just no signal. Head to the county and I might as well leave the phone at home.
giffgaff are amateurs but O2 are professional screwups. Great combination unless you need your phone.
is there SEC reporting event due?
...'cause I can't imagine Ballmer saying this without a 'going to prison/mass shareholder lawsuit' scale legal threat in the background... though either would only hasten his sacking by a few months.
Re: The great unknown
I believe the ad perfectly captures the essence of both Metro and Surface - all style, no substance.
A market Apple already own ;)
sms notifications can be silenced
In night mode my mobile kills sms notifications. Presumably emergencies only happen in daylight hours if you have an sms service to sell.
They have no choice but to add every possible currently known issue *now* or lose the right to ever raise them. That's the way the US system works. While I suspect the Seagate issue is imaginary only 1 man knows for sure. His real reasons for corrupting the jury process may never be known.
What's important to remember is today's report is only about Koh responding to recent filings, over this specific issue and the more dangerous 'when did Apple know' question. Hogan's reported behaviour in the jury room is already part of the proceedings and will be handled in the same Dec6 hearing.
If Koh doesn't void the result there are so many procedural errors in the jury verdict it's unlikely to stand anyway. In fact if Apple cared about collecting the $1bil they would be trying to rehear the case, the verdict wording prevents them collecting triple damages! They don't because they actually only want the bad Samsung PR and to prolong the legal harassment, a 2nd trial with a fair jury, with Samsung allowed to present all the evidence, with so many opposing precedents accumulated round the globe isn't likely to go well for Apple.
Re: I am not surprised
The reason Sony have such a poor rep for updating Android is they consistently cut corners on hardware - mainly shipping the bare minimum memory needed for the shipped OS+extensive Sony bloatware. If shipping an upgrade means removing the crapware, you don't get upgraded.
My Play came with 3 different Sony app stores and I believe I removed 11 different FaceBook support apks. No-one needs that much crap but Sony insist on it.
End result is you install a dozen apps and the phone starts falling over with low memory warnings and because they pick terrible partitioning splits forcing apps to SD doesn't help for long either.
So yes, not having the latest OS update isn't necessarily a bad thing but I'd like the choice... experimental Jelly Bean on my Xperia *is* a hell of a lot better than the Android versions Sony provided.
Re: Google's search results have gone downhill
Google search quality went bad years, not months ago. They're losing the fight against SEO, drowning in a tidal wave of manipulation .
It's one reason I'm so skeptical of scum like fairsearch. SEO is failing them but not because Google are filtering well, instead they're drowning in a flood of shitty competitors all trying the same abuses.
Re: BEFORE you sell the device you contact the patent holder
AC:"BEFORE you sell the device you contact the patent holder (or consortium covering all holders) and negotiate the price - or find out what the agreed rate is"
FRAND is a guarantee that won't be refused a licence and you won't be penalised *provided* you negotiate in good faith. One of the implications is you don't need to get the licence up front, you can wait till you actually need it, which is when you're ready to ship product.
Apple got themselves into massive trouble here on that 'good faith' aspect. With the case about to get tossed because they failed to even attempt negotiation, they fabricated an illusory negotiation - and got caught. If their next offer is in bad faith, by refusing to backdate, insisting on a maximum, insisting on cross licences Motorola don't need, they risk losing their rights under FRAND.
My guess is Apple are now on their last chance to pay up and stop complaining to courts, next step is injunctions and triple damages for wilful infringement, all things FRAND would have protected them from. Apple want to abuse the FRAND process to escape infringement charges but knowing they have nothing to throw in the cross licence pot can't afford to actually accept FRAND. Couldn't have happened to more deserving scumbags.
Further to Davids post: Florian has posted non-stop about this case for quite some time now, almost exclusively just cheerleading for Apple with precious little accurate factual content. The bias has been unmissable and extreme. He's firmly stuck in a Jobsian reality field (which looks remarkably like the Ellison distortion field in Oracle v Google and the astonishing SCO v anyone with a pulse affair).
Along the way he made a lot of predictions and analysis, *all* of which turned out to be wrong. Posting a bare summary is unusual for him though, in previous defeats for his patrons (SCO,Oracle and who knows how many he hasn't been outed working for) Florian has 'explained' why the loss wasn't actually a loss OR that the judge was simply wrong OR some other bullshit.
Put simply, Florian is no expert at anything but feeding PR to lazy journalists and remarkably good at finding rich clients to 'consult' for in the middle of PR wars.
Re: One small issue...
I still occasionally manage to collect email before logging into free WiFi in a number of places. Doesn't always work in the same places, must be a bug. Welcome though.
Re: 5GB for recovery partition
...yet a full Win8 64 install DVD contains just 3.3Gb (before magically expanding to closer to 16Gb installed). Office must be impressively fat. Or they just forgot to compress any of it.
Re: And where did they get their figure of 32 decimal gigabytes?
While the flash blocks are indeed binary sizes and there may be a 'binary' total, some are reserved for wear and bad sectors and 32GiB of raw cells never ships as a 32GiB drive.
That 7% difference is very convenient for covering that hidden space without having to list 'odd' capacities though.
I suspect you neither understand FRAND or the games Apple are playing. Motorola made the same opening offer to Apple as everyone else. That's pretty fair and non-discriminatory by any standards.
What's supposed to happen then is Apple try to negotiate it down, both sides negotiate, if that fails it goes to binding arbitration and someone else decides what a fair price is. Apple skipped EVERY step of that process. Motorola completely lack any ability to force their choice of pricing under that procedure, they supply a starting price and negotiation skills but can't refuse to licence. But Apple didn't enter the FRAND process and arguably should gain no benefit from it now.
Motorola *look* like they're in trouble because Apple and Microsoft have influence and have whispered lies into the right ears. When it reaches impartial judges (which hasn't happened yet) the opinion of bought politicians and bureaucrats tends to lose effect.
Apple are playing a dirty and dangerous game and they're doing it because they have no negotiating power in SEP, owning bugger all essential patents. They aren't going to lower Motorola's initial offer much because they have very little to cross licence. That doesn't make the offer unfair, it simply reflects the value in the deal. Apple are in a weak negotiating position and desperate to bypass the process completely, was going to say 'by fair means or foul' but they seem to only be trying 'foul'.
Re: Apple to court
What you need to remember is Apple only made this offer to avoid an instant loss for wilfully ignoring the FRAND licensing procedure, which *requires* them to negotiate, then go to arbitration. Only then do they get to whine to a court.
Apple refused to negotiate at all and found a judge willing to just ignore all that but they need to cover their arses, by pretending to open negotiations.
it's all about the app store
3.6mil licences probably doesn't cover the launch costs for WP7. See that repeated with WP8 and losing the license income really doesn't seem important.
It's also pretty clear MS have bet the future on a steady income stream from their app store. Sacrificing the license stream would hurt but with unlimited riches just an app store away they'll do it just to get the store into wider use.
It's a little weird though: Win8 has been butchered to prop up the lacklustre WP biz but if Google are to be believed delivering apps on mobile isn't a source of riches. So in a way wider WP distribution would then become a way to prop up the app store on the desktop! On the desktop bandwidth is cheap -> costs low = profit!
...but first they have to get some sales and only Nokia seems remotely interested in pushing the phones.
maybe tired seeing others getting real innovation quicker
At some point even the frothiest of fanbois have to notice that this years new innovations are increasingly things Apple previously swore they would not do. Things they took the time to publicly claim were mistakes when their competition did them, hard to not notice that the competition did them 1st since Apple pointed that out to all that would listen.
Cool is a poor substitute for functionality. When iPhone started it was ahead on both. Now its not and even the deliberately blind can't continue lying to themselves about that.
Re: No Doubt Huge Customer Base But...
Getting used to it won't bring back the hundreds of small but destructive changes they made to discourage desktop use. So maybe people will get used to it - but they'll be getting used to an inferior desktop experience.
I personally don't like Win7 but even I can't imagine why a desktop user would downgrade to the gimped Win8 desktop. XP and to some extent Win7 were very customisable and didn't go out of their way to block 3rd parties providing that customisation. Win8 does.
FFS Win8 will actually let you customise a fair amount of window decoration. But only in high contrast mode and that gratuitously disables a different set of customisation. So you can't actually make the damn thing look any better, can't reconstruct the visual clues to gui elements without further gimping other things. It's deliberate, cynical and abusive.
More top the point, what serious gamer would play on a laptop. And no-one else would pay so much for one.
Re: It gets worse
How convenient the queuing happened in quiet time on Internet forums, leaving shills free to take a break from carpet bombing PR bullshit everywhere ;)
Still, they got back in time to organise a spirited defence in that articles comments...
This 'real user' is finding more broken stuff every day in the release build. I'm eyeing my spare parts pile, if I can cobble together a MythTV box from it Win8 might not survive the week. It broke so much of my software and hardware (*) I might as well switch to 'any other' OS and just duel boot for gaming.
(*) apparently hardware is "supported" if drivers don't crash Win8 - whether the device works they don't seem to check. It remains easy to load bad drivers and watch Win8 burn. A lot.
Re: 3 for good data? Really?
"Fallen off the edge of a cliff"
Meaningless without comparison to other operators in the same locations. My adventures with "3" showed a patchy and extremely variable coverage that rapidly got better. O2 and Orange however had slightly less blackholes, slighly less variable rates but rarely beat "3" 4 years ago and haven't much improved since.
Right now "3" arguably have better coverage than O2 and certainly better data speeds. They even have better prices if you eat lots of data and don't want to go down the giffgaff rabbit hole.
Re: "that deer-in-headlights look, that anger over the realization that they don't know jack"
Yes, but you have to admit their adaptable.
They have to be with the endless churn of new execution enviromnents/programming frameworks/languages MS throws at them. Barely enough time to learn this years replacement for Silverlight or .NET for normal mortals, before it's unceremoniously dumped...
By the time the other operators get 4G, EE will have raised the acceptable price point
"By the time the other operators get 4G, EE will have raised the acceptable price point"
More likely they'll have established that people just won't pay it and won't be able to tell if its because the price is too high OR the coverage is to restricted, since either of them is a deal killer for many.
I don't think we'll know what users are really prepared to pay till the network covers a lot more than 10 cities and actual competition is likely to start well before coverage stops being an issue. Till then it's a distress purchase if the alternative is congested 3G. TBH if 3G congestion's the problem smart users should just switch to "3" for an instant boost and wait till 4G becomes widespread and cheaper.
Re: multiple collision detection in any computer game
...but have you done it where inputs may crosstalk and/or alias each other, on inherently noisy input?
Game collision detection is a very different problem because you have perfect knowledge, not just a best guess at what provoked the inputs you're seeing.
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