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* Posts by Chemist

1852 posts • joined 24 Mar 2010

Microsoft's Surface bait-and-switch won't make people buy Windows 8

Chemist
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Re: The guy is on his way out

"Redmond and of those not finding a chair when the music stopped."

Er, I think there might be a shortage of unbroken chairs at Redmond !

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Chemist
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Re: No-one buys an OS?

"t is not Microsoft's fault they don't really cut it for most users..."

Indeed MS don't !

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Chemist
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Re: No-one buys an OS?

"Android and Linux will converge soon, someone somewhere will produce some kind of "Android Framework" that you could install on any distro so you can double click on .apk files."

Oddly enough I've just been trying a x86 Android build (for eeepc) in VirtualBox (on Linux) -seems stable and just like my wife's phone with the exception that there's no wireless, phone, GPS of course and there is a virtual Eth0. An SD card can be emulated but I've not got round to that yet so can't install apps. at the mo. There is a terminal emulator so I can tell you the kernel is 3.0.36-android-x86-eeepc.

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WWII HERO PIGEON crypto message STUMPS GCHQ boffins

Chemist
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"gives the name of the gchq resident historian?"

gives A name of the gchq resident historian

I'll just say "John Le Carre" and "workname"

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Chemist
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"'were designed only to be able to be read by the senders and the recipients''"

Yes, I heard that too, as well as the journo wailing something like "with all this technology and supercomputers you'd think ....."

If it's a one-time pad AND no context it's all but impossible

(Might be - remember wartime -rationing- "Put this bird in an oven gas mark 5")

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CERN rushes to install new anti-matter hunter

Chemist
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"I'm wondering how they make antihydrogen from antiprotons. Does the proton 'pick up' an ordinary electron, which stays in orbit due to normal processes, or do they give it an antielectron?!"

Well the antiproton would have a negative charge so they'd need a positron rather than an electron. I think antiprotons are relatively 'easy' to make but generating antihydrogen and bringing to reasonable temperatures seems a lot more difficult

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Skype 3.0 lands on Android tabs, says all your bass are belong to it

Chemist
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Re: Why bother?

"why MS should even bother to spend money developing free software"

One reason is that they charge for skype <=> conventional phone calls. Very reasonable price. I use it regularly to call my mother in UK from Switzerland - costs <2p /min. I see now it can be just £4/month for unlimited calls on a subscription basis (but a fair usage policy !)

Works fine on Linux - we've got a USB headset that improves the quality a lot

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Evildoers can now turn all sites on a Linux server into silent hell-pits

Chemist
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Re: Maybe its time...

Thanks for that.

In reality I'm not too worried - I run a webserver on the internal network but the only external open port is a non-standard one for SSHD which as I mentioned has a password from hell *and a very non-standard username as the only valid account. The server running SSHD is firewalled, the NAT router is firewalled and all ports below 1024 are filtered at my ISP. I'm assuming that the major risk is e-mail attachments and given that I'm VERY suspicious and have trained my wife to be the same I'm fairly sanguine.

I agree I could try tripwire or some such or apparmor.

I really wanted to open up any discussion around Linux security and see if there was anything I'd missed.

*The password from hell is NOT written down, is 20 digits long something not like "bcGbf54TTt32dfcm2n1f" and generated on the fly by a little c program from a passphrase that I can remember. I use the same method, with different passphrases for all my serious passwords

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Chemist
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Re: Maybe its time...

Genuine non-trolling query

I've used Linux for years without any anti-virus, as far as I know there are so few threats and the existing AV programs mostly seem to look for Windows malware that might be passing through. It's summed up in these quotes from the Wikipedia page : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_malware

"There are a number of anti-virus applications available which will run under the Linux operating system. Most of these applications are looking for exploits which could affect users of Microsoft Windows."

"The following is a partial list of known Linux malware. However, few if any are in the wild, and most have been rendered obsolete by Linux updates or were never a threat. Known malware is not the only or even the most important threat: new malware or attacks directed to specific sites can use vulnerabilities previously unknown to the community or unused by malware."

So far I've relied on regular updates, good firewalls, careful browsing on a limited account, separate account for banking, VERY hard passwords for secure stuff like banking and SSH, and rigid adherence to good practice. (yes I often get e-mailed Windows malware or phishing tricks)

The questions - is this enough - anyone know how effective the current AV products are ? - is this a non-issue ?

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German city dumping OpenOffice for Microsoft

Chemist
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Re: I've got LO 3.6.1.2 installed and some of it doesn't impress me

I've found it VERY slow when the computer has certain internet connections bizarrely enough

With my home wifi or ethernet it's very fast but at our holiday home (shared wifi) or other wifi or using a 3G dongle it hangs for quit a time before behaving normally - turn off the connection and it's fine.

I think it's a known issue but I can't find it at the mo'

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Ten Linux apps you must install

Chemist
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Re: Normal people don't use Linux

"I'm more concerned that someone might find themselves £300+ out of pocket after breaking their computer by experimenting with Linux."

More FUD

The only thing they'd break would be Windows NOT £300 of computer in any case.

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Chemist
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Re: And you sass that hoopy Linux Torvalds,

Excellent HHGG ref.

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Chemist
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Re: Most important thing any Linux user needs to install:

"uses the command-line so much, it just struggles graphically."

FUD

Just been editing 1080p/50 video on a rather elderly 2-core AMD - works fine - no struggles

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Chemist
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Re: Normal people don't use Linux

"as you found out Linux really isn't ready."

FUD absolute FUD

And if you want to try and don't want a real installation use VirtualBox

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Chemist
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Re: Normal people don't use Linux

"Linux is too broken to use"

That's rather a broad comment given that lots of people use it all the time. I do every day - I don't use anything else. I obviously can't help with your problem esp. as as it's so vague. I do know that before I retired 200+ people used it in the company I worked for all the time and that was 8-9 years ago.

My wife, who had little in the way of computer education, used Windows at her school until she retired but then had no problem shifting to Linux.

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Chemist
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Re: Only 2: GParted and Libre Office

"Why would an average computer user need emacs or vi ?"

They wouldn't need emacs or vi but then again a lot of Linux users are more technically inclined.

I listed my 'user' stuff earlier but in addition :

gcc - I write quite a lot of stuff in 'c'

tcl/tk - for quick GUI front-ends

VirtualBox

Now I'm not a IT professional, although I've been using and building computers since the Science of Cambridge Mk14 and written quite a lot of scientific programs and others for my own use.

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Chemist
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Re: Only screenshot program?

Well my version of KDE has screen capture built in and indeed a clipboard that handles multiple entries and has done for years - all out of the box.

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Chemist
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Re: I've been using Linux since mid-late 1993 (Slackware).

At least Jake lives as he wants to ( as maybe we all should )

I suspect he's a lot happier than most of the people that criticize him.

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Chemist
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I'd add...

Google Earth

A video editor - I mostly use kdenlive which supports 1080p/50

Thunderbird

Skype

UFRAW plugin for GIMP

Hugin for panorama creation

+2 I couldn't do without vncviewer for remote access and sshd/ssh/fish but they are likely built-in.

mplayer from the command line plays videos esp. 1080p/50 with the lowest cpu usage(~10% on my rather old dual-core AMD) although many other players support acceleration.

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How Intel's faith in x86 cost it the mobile market

Chemist
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Re: Like to see the SC/MP improved and expanded...

6809 was my favourite for writing assembler - position independent code - lovely - enough 16-bit registers and elegant addressing modes to implement FORTH easily - NEXT as a 4 byte macro.

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Chemist
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Re: Like to see the SC/MP improved and expanded...

First thing I ever programmed - 256 bytes of memory - raw machine code - bloody awful, wonderful days !

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Chemist
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Re: Huh?

"Linux runs primarily on ARM"

Further a lot of distros are starting to ship ARM versions - in any case Linux is available for almost everything - I'm suprised that there isn't a version for Babbage's machine

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Windows Phone 8 reboot woe causes outpouring of forum misery

Chemist
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Re: Should you really be suprised?

"are using applications from this decade"

Interesting then that one of my Linux workstations managed to edit and render 1080p/50 video, whilst running two desktop users yesterday - I think that's probably of this decade as the camera is only 9 months old

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Chemist
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FAIL

"since iPhones can crash"

Stuff iPhones my mother's gas CH boiler crashes once or twice a year. There's even a little aide-memoire for rebooting it along with a manufacturer's note that dismisses the occasional crash as nothing too important !

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Astronauts (or other 'nauts) could find life on Mars quite healthy

Chemist
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Re: @ Loyal Commenter

"Humans can breathe pure O2 just fine at lower pressure"

Indeed they can and as the pressure on Mars is too low they'll need a sealed environment to live in so lower pressure oxygen is helpful.

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Survey: Win8 only HALF as popular as Win7 among IT bosses

Chemist
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Re: I for one

Somehow I can't believe that the huge number of upvotes for Trevor's post reflect the ratio of Linux supporters/Windows supporters - I'd guess it rather reflects the opinions of disgruntled Windows users/admins !

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The Sinofsky Letters: Defenestrated Windows overlord corresponds

Chemist
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Re: Damned Good Stuff, Trevor.

Never mind Trevor - it's the thought that counts - well done !

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Thought you'd escaped Twitter? Think again as Twits get email button

Chemist
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Filters...

..are your friend.

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Should Microsoft merge Office into Windows - or snap it off?

Chemist
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What !

"due to the volume of important data being generated by (sensors) and social media sites like Twitter and Facebook,"

What !

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Lawyer sues Microsoft rather than slot an SD card into his Surface

Chemist
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Re: reading ability

"64-bit Linux, LibreOffice, a full software development system and various graphical packages takes a full 6GB."

Ditto !

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ViewSonic VSD220 22in Android mega tablet

Chemist
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Re: The optical sensor often picks up your finger proximity ...

I'm rather confused - the table of features claims capacitive touchscreen but the text mentions optical sensors - which is it ?

(The optical sensor often picks up your finger proximity without you actually having to touch the screen)

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Industry in 'denial' as demand for pricey PCs plunges

Chemist
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Re: Engineering and Scientific Software

Well I number crunch a lot in spite of being retired but in fact my main need for power is editing 1080p/50 video which eats enormous amounts of processor time and memory. In addition processing a few RAW DSLR images eats lots of processor and memory and although nothing like video it needs to much more responsive as it's more interactive - rendering video can run in the background or overnight. So I'm looking for ~10X increase in performance over my rather aging dual-core AMD and maybe 8G of memory.

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Coders grill Herb Sutter on future of C++ at Microsoft

Chemist
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Re: Usage FAIL

Indeed he does and also on something ( I think it was called a calcpad ) that might be a rounded rectangle.

All from the opening pages of "Foundation"

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One in four don't clean their stinky old browsers - especially Firefoxers

Chemist
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Re: Firefox auto update...

10 tabs open here and 220 MB in use. That's on a 32 bit Linux

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A bitter spill to swallow, or 'how to smeg up your keyboard'

Chemist
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Re: Getting sugar out

"I also have hydrochloric acid in my innards"

And it's quite strong too. It can even drop below pH 1

( Incidently one of the reasons that you don't suffer damage is that your stomach is coated with a layer of goo that has sodium bicarbonate secreted into it to provide a neutralizing barrier)

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The GPL self-destruct mechanism that is killing Linux

Chemist
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Re: @Pete : Divide and conquer

"duplicated effort by each individual who wishes to install"

Well it took me 25 mins last night - mind I was doing something else at the same time

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Apple seeks cooling fan patent for iPhone, iPad

Chemist
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Re: I shall-

Nice !

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'iPhone 5 is so easily scratched we just can't get them out the door'

Chemist
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Re: Design goals 101...

" Rolls is, and has for some time, been owned by BMW"

Hint : There is another RR who make MUCH more powerful engines & nuclear reactor cores

I think the one you are referring to is called RR Motor Cars

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BBC in secret trial to see if you care about thing you plainly don't

Chemist
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Re: So..

""with the power-hungry, large and inadequate""

The one you highlight is 10cm*16cm*4cm and weighs 250g

Quotes from reviewers "Need to buy battery pack or use on mains all time." , "Lack of opportunity to use 'normal' batteries may be a drawback for some people", "Cost of battery pack if wantind a portable radio (costs more than the radio itself!)", "The only failing is the price of the battery if you want it portable"

The damn thing is £30 and then you need to buy a mains adaptor

It''ll be no substitute for the Roberts' FM radio I use walking in the hills which lasts 8 hours+ on ONE AAA rechargeable and is the size of a box of matches.

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Torvalds: I want to be nice, and curse less, but it's just not in me

Chemist
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Re: I would like to point out ...

So I assume all you other OpenSUSE people are having to use root password to connect to WiFi - is that right ? Am I the only one that doesn't ?

Or are the downvoters actually the ones who know nothing.

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Chemist
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Re: I would like to point out ...

"https://plus.google.com/+LinusTorvalds/posts/1vyfmNCYpi5"

I've read it before -- it makes no difference to me , I'm writing THIS on a laptop that doesn't need a root password for WiFi - I don't know what Linus was doing but I do know that root is not needed - Network Manager runs as root automatically from startup - for that matter it handles my 3G dongles the same way.

"Before commenting on something you know nothing about" - that's just a stupid comment - I obviously know something about this to have so many machines using it that I've set up.

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Chemist
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I would like to point out ...

..that regardless of what is said on the subject ( and given I don't know what Linus had configured on his daughter's laptop ) that you DON'T need to use root password to access a WiFi point with OpenSUSE

The usual install for networking on OpenSUSE defaults to the 'old' network system but can be changed to use Network Manager which is what is needed for easy access to WiFi roaming. The only time the root password is needed is to make this switch - from then on all WiFi networks only require their usual authorizations.

I have set up 7 or 8 in the last few years of which 4 are current. I travel extensively with laptop or netbook and never have a problem with WiFi

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ARM Holdings licenses big chunk of MIPS patents

Chemist
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BBC News

BBC are reporting this as ARM & Imagination in competition

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20219292

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Mystery robot-bringing UFOs sighted by Indian troops on Tibet border

Chemist
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"high-quality, focused, blur-free, still film..."

Oddly enough there was a news report recently ( sorry, can't just remember where ) about UFO societies being disbanded due to lack of evidence - one spokesman being quoted as saying something like "with everyone having cameras these days and yet no clear images..."

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Ballmer: Windows Phone 8 'WILL ramp quickly', god dammit

Chemist
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Re: "I expect the volumes on Windows Phone to really ramp quickly."

"He didn't say which direction he expects the ramp to slope"

I expect it will go quiet !

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Apple's poisonous Touch silently kills the GNOMEs of Linux Forest

Chemist
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Re: Sad, and a huge loss of resources

"KDE is a fine piece of work."

I agree entirely - I've been using it since it first came out and indeed SUSE since v5.0 and never really had a problem, somethings I don't really like but I switch them off generally. Most people that seem to have a problem with desktops or indeed distros seem to chop and change and never actually become familiar with any one.

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Daily Telegraph punishes expats with paywall

Chemist
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Re: "Expats will already have proxies for viewing BBC iPlayer"

Just to add - all that's necessary to set the proxy up from the remote computer is :

ssh -C -D 9999 -pSSHPortNumber -N Username@MyIPAddress

Password

Change Firefox proxy to 9999

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Chemist
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Re: "Expats will already have proxies for viewing BBC iPlayer"

Well, we haven't got a TV in Switzerland so the occasional dip into Mastermind, University Challenge, Only Connect etc.makes it well wothwhile

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Lab mice drown in their THOUSANDS as Hurricane Sandy fills NYU basement

Chemist
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Re: Any risk of contamination?

Compared with the countless millions of rats that the flooding will have disturbed - no

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