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* Posts by Chemist

1821 posts • joined 24 Mar 2010

'Kill yourself now' - Torvalds throws openSUSE security tantrum

Chemist
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Re: Re: Linus is right.

"The root password is the same as the first user's?"

No - root's password defaults to the first users UNLESS you change it as part of the setting-up process. I agree it would be better if it was explicitly required to be different.

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Microsoft drops 'risky' Windows 8 preview on World

Chemist
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Re: Windows 9? If I must use it, I'll switch to (Windows 8) Classic Mode.

"If you're change adverse, then perhaps IT isn't the right industry for you."

I want improvement not just change !

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ZeuS Trojan embraces P2P – becomes even more sneaky and sticky

Chemist
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Re: @Bill Neal

"Does the laptop owner or you know how she got it?"

I got this recently as a .zip attachment supposedly from Fedex. The unzipped file was an .exe . Only unzipped it out of curiosity & in any case I'm using Linux. I don't know if it would autoexecute on unzipping in Windows.

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Death to Office or to Windows - choose wisely, Microsoft

Chemist
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Re: Re: Re: Re: "Windows is dead."

I think the problem is the assumption that Linux isn't used much or that users "must still have Windows to be able to survive". You may not know many scientist but of course I do and even in my last company ~200 computational chemists had Unix or Linux workstations without Windows. To get the corporate crap we also had Windows machines.

I also know Linux is heavily used by scientific academics. Good luck with the course !

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Chemist
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Re: What are PCs used for?

"Do you really do protein modeling on the train"

Well I used to drive to work - but let's suppose I did have a train journey.

With a laptop and internet connection I could do all the preliminary work, search databases, match protein sequences and set-up initial conditions. I could transfer the data to a compute server or a Linux farm and start the the simulation.

The main reason for a desktop workstation would then be be to analyse the output ( in 3D using liquid xtal shutter specs). This being a few years ago that would rule out a laptop - maybe even now.

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Chemist
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Re: @ChrisBedford

ps

I DON'T have any copies of WIndows - I will admit I threw away 5 DOS 5.0 disks last time I had a good clear-out

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Chemist
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@ChrisBedford

Welcome to The Register !

Although I've had an interest in computing that goes back a long way ( I was taught physics by a guy who had worked on the Manchester 'baby' as a post grad) I can only say that the credit in using Linux for everything goes to the countless people who have worked on the kernel, written the GNU tools and assembled the distros.

Installing a modern distro ( I use OpenSuse ) is simple - FAR easier than Windows - but of course not many users do that do they ?.

If 90% of Windows users are incapable of using Linux I'd say they were also incapable of using Windows - I don't see the difference in easy of use. OpenSuse installs with no fuss, a good selection of user programs and no user involvement other than ticking boxes, accepting defaults and choosing language.

I simply can't believe that people who otherwise wouldn't dream of having their choice restricted to one car, one supermarket, one smartphone or whatever will blindly accept 1 OS.

Back in the eighties all sorts and manner of people got involved with a wide, wide range of micros, wrote software, built hardware, became professionals and yet now 90% of Windows users can't cope with anything else - rubbish - and IF that's true then it's the monopoly of MS that has brought it about.

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Chemist
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Re: Linux was, is and remains a toy.

"Those who don't need or want much out of a computer will use it"

That's why I say nonsense - protein modeling requires large compute power and long run times. I'd run a twin xeon workstation flat out over the weekend and then put another run on for the next 3 days whilst still being able to analyse ( 3D graphics, liquid crystal shutter specs.) the previous run. The kit was running at ~100% cpu day after day. That's demanding - the software wasn't even written for Windows - not stable enough - no point running for two days if it crashes after 12 hours running.

At home I regularly run 2-3 hour sessions rendering video edits for 1080/50p HD video

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Chemist
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Re: Linux was, is and remains a toy.

"Linux is best suited for small task computing. "

Nonsense - you have NO idea !

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Chemist
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Re: Re: "Windows is dead."

"I don't know a single person with a computer who does not also have a copy of Windows"

Allow me to introduce myself - I've been completely Windows free for 5 years - Linux only here, 4 desktops and server machines self-built, 1 laptop recycled to me after a Windows update failed disastrously , 1 net book always Linux .

I'm a retired scientist and even when I worked it was mostly on a twin Xeon Linux workstation using programs that were mostly VERY expensive and only available on Unix/Linux.

I don't need Windows - I can do everything I need on Linux. Apart from the scientific stuff that includes, browsing, e-mail, using Google Earth, processing RAW photo files, editing & viewing 1080/50p video, laying out pcbs, writing software and lots more. Libre Office is fine for my needs. A 3G dongle also works fine when traveling.

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Court rejects Tesla’s latest libel spat with Top Gear

Chemist
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Re: Re: Defeating the object.

"latter requires all the electricity requirements of a plug-in electric"

Whilst I agree with you about this I must point out that electrolysis has rather a poor efficiency of it's own (~~50%).

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'Nobody can resist the charming of iPAD'

Chemist
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Re: "found neutrinos travelling at 60 seconds faster than the speed of light "

OK so you've changed seconds to nanoseconds what about the speed/time business ?

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Chemist
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"found neutrinos travelling at 60 seconds faster than the speed of light "

Rewrite this - must try harder.

Hint speed != time, 60 seconds != 60 nanoseconds

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Intel joins The Document Foundation, pushes LibreOffice

Chemist
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Re: "people still pay $400 for productivity software."

Whether you really need or just think you need MS Office it can only be a good thing that there is choice. Choice in OS, software is good. NOBODY would put up with just one car manufacturer, supermarket, etc.

I used MS Office for years at work but find that LibreOffice is just fine for personal use. It may be a little slower or be missing some features at the moment but as I run 6 PCs I certainly find that zero cost is a big incentive. In any case I'm all Linux so Office isn't an option even if I felt the need.

I do know that LibreOffice copes far better with reading old or odd formats of data and that I will not have massive upgrade costs and upheaval when the next version comes out - unlike MS Office.

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Chemist
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Re: Re: Re: If only it (LibreOffice) didn't have such a terrible name

Suse was originally an acronym for "Software und System-Entwicklung" - would you rather have that ?

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OPERA grabs spanner, fixes kit, and slows down neutrinos

Chemist
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Re: Re: NOT an intelligent reaction.

I seem to recall what they actually said originally was something along the lines of -

"We have this anomalous result which we consider is unlikely but we need input from our peers to suggest possible sources of error that we may not have already considered"

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Will Windows 8 sticker shock leave Microsoft unstuck?

Chemist
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Re: Re: Re: It's amazing

Public gardens !

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Crap PINs give wallet thieves 1-in-11 jackpot shot

Chemist
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Re: Re: Simple solution...

ISO9564

"The standard specifies that PINs shall be from four to twelve digits long, noting that longer PINs are more secure but harder to use. It also notes that not all systems support entry of PINs longer than six digits."

Certainly my Swiss UBS card is 6 digits ( and I think could be longer ).

I thought UK ATMs let you enter digits and then press <enter> rather than accepting a fixed number of presses.

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Microsoft explains bland new Windows logo

Chemist
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Re: Re: Windows 8?

Real windows have panes. Windows is a pain

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Anglo-French nuke pact blesses 4th-gen reactors

Chemist
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Re: 2020

"The new reactors currently under consideration are Generation III+ designs."

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Microsoft licensing hike sparks UK piracy, bankruptcy fears

Chemist
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Re: Re: Re: It's welcome news for me in Switzerland

Hauskase from the Cabane du fromage, Saas-Fee - now you're talking !

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Swiss space-cleaning bot grabs flying junk, hurls itself into furnace

Chemist
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"resources that completely eclipse the entire Swiss GDP."

That would be ~$500 billion/year compared to NASA at ~$19 billion/year

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Chemist
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Re: Re: Re: Chocs and clocks?

I once saw a small child drop an ice-cream on self & pavement in Saas-Fee. The shopkeeper was out almost before the ice-cream hit the floor. The child and pavement were spotless within

a minute.

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Chemist
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Re: magnets

Is much space debris ferromagnetic ?

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Paper PCs design rolled out

Chemist
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Re: You lucky lucky bastard

You wouldn't think I was lucky if you'd heard me after I soldered it all together and it didn't work !

Not an easy thing to debug. I eventually used a crystal earpiece to go round the board and eventually found a duff 7400 - quick replace - it was all socketed - and away it went. Bloody MS BASIC had a bug in its garbage collector but that''s another story.

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Chemist
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Re: Enhancement

Years ago I built a UK101 6502-based single board computer. Times was hard and it spent most of its life with the cardboard box it came in as its 'case'

Would also be interesting to know the ratio of paper to polyprop being used.

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Shuttleworth remixes Ubuntu... for biz users

Chemist
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Agreed

I've got 11.4 on a range of hardware, atom netbook, celeron laptop, dual-core atom fileserver, 64AMD, dual-core 64AMD and a dual core Intel. All installed without any problems.

(BTW I've just added a cheap modern NVIDIA card to the dual core AMD and it now plays 1080/50p video perfectly with cpu use at ~5-10% using VDPAU )

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Chemist
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And as I've mentioned before ..

.. the fact that people are willing to install a Linux on hardware that almost always they have to buy with Windows pre-installed and where most people don't care or know about Linux is a major triumph even if the desktop usage is ~1%.

I build all my own (except 1 laptop) so it's a no-brainer for me

There's an awful lot of people writing and compiling software for a desktop that you appear to think doesn't exist. Forget the enthusiast authors, major bits of software like Google Earth, Firefox, VLC, GIMP, Hugin, Thunderbird, LibreOffice, Opera are all available.

People tell me all the time that 'x' can't be done on Linux -they are almost always wrong. Only the other day someone said 3G dongles didn't work - they do., and someone else said that 1080/50p video couldn't be edited - It can.

</rant>

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Chemist
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Certainly package management has

..been rather rough in the past. I'm using 11.4 without any glitches on 6 machines. I see the latest version (12.1) has changed the management again so we'll have to see how it pans out.

It's still WAY better than total lack of management in Windows.

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Chemist
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All I can say is

~200 Computational chemists at my last company all used Linux on the desktop - the software wasn't available for Windows in any case as the practitioners in this area all use Unix/Linux. The workloads were epic, I'd leave protein modeling software running for days on a dual xeon workstation or shift it if necessary to a 1024 node Linux farm.

We all Windows systems too but that was for the trivial stuff like corporate e-mail.

CERN has a very heavy use. Most scientific academics use it.

I have 6 machines and have used nothing else for years.

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Chemist
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Try OpenSuse

Use the Live-CD so you can try your hardware before actually installing

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Chemist
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Ditto in science

A good deal of science computing is done on RHEL or spin offs

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Windows 8 on ARM: Microsoft bets on Office 15 and IE10

Chemist
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I assume the downvote ..

was from someone who thinks I really use Windows in secret !!

I don't need or use WIndows.

I browse the web, watch video, process RAW photo files, edit video ( 1080/50p), design pcbs, write code, model proteins, run extensive scientific calculations, scan and print ALL without the need for WIndows

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Chemist
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My plan

is my usual one of ignoring Windows completely.

It's worked fine for the last 6 years

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US Navy preps railgun for tests

Chemist
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Need to allow for the low efficiency

The figures quoted in the article suggest the amount of energy imparted to the projectile is a small proportion of the energy used so the number of shots drops even further maybe by 20 fold

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Chemist
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Re : there isn't much energy in a bullet

~90 J from your figures - really small, far too small

~2 kJ from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muzzle_energy for a rifle bullet

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Chemist
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@Charles 9

They sound impressive your numbers but let's look at them at little more closely.

A 1 tonne Mach 7.5 projectile had a kinetic energy of ~3e9 J - that's 3000 MJ - that's rather out of the range of current discussion esp. if the launch efficiency is as low as the data in the article suggests.

It is hard to beat Physics

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Chemist
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Of course

if you make it into a sieve it will sink but it seems rather far fetched to assume that it will be hit a sufficient number of times BELOW the waterline. If its a small vessel then game over and if the projectile hits something heavy or critical that it can vaporise/ be vaporised by then ditto.

100000 tons takes a lot of sinking with small holes.

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Chemist
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It still has to hit something solid

Most modern warships have relatively thin hulls. Such a slim projectile needs to hit something with substantial mass to impart a good proportion of its energy otherwise it will just go through like a rifle bullet through paper. There might be local damage but it could easily be insignificant to a ship-sized object.

Its also an unguided shell equivalent so it need to follow a ballistic curve and allow for the curvature of the earth. This is likely to increase errors in aiming.

For close quarter defence there might be a different picture.

I calculate the 1 ton kinetic energy as ~1.5MJ so there is a large mismatch somewhere

(Imperial AND SI units - urrgh!!)

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Sinofsky shows off Windows 8 on ARM and Office15

Chemist
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Global warming

It is used all day - if we leave for more than a short time it's put to sleep as are the desktops if they are on. Only the low-power Atom file/odds&sods server runs all the time

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Chemist
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"but left in standby, for weeks it is claimed"

What's so special about that ?

We have an old laptop running OpenSUSE 11.4 that's left on during the day and sleeps at night - it's hardly ever turned off it might be restarted once a month usually because it's been left unplugged.

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What's in the box, Windows sysadmin?

Chemist
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@eulampios

That mirrors my experiences with various laptops/desktop but most often when Windows Update fails and the Recovery fails and there is, of course, no install disk. In each case a Linux Live-CD has recovered the data, and even reformatted the apparently ailing disk and the system has then gone on to a long useful Linux life. In fact I'm writing this on one now ~3 years after it's 'accident'

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Chemist
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How about 3 web servers

My normal distro is OpenSUSE. If you use the DVD download that has 3 webservers including Apache2 available on disk. They are not installed by default - why would they be but available for a few clicks.

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Royal astro-boffin to MPs: Stop thinking about headlines

Chemist
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"those food additives are"

Incidently the most dangerous contaminants of food are natural, although generally caused by poor storage etc. Materials like aflatoxins ( must be less than 20 ppb in food) make many man-made poisons, let alone food additives, look quite bland.

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Chemist
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"Carcenogens in food are a massively more important issue"

Carcinogens in food ARE an important issue - but are they actually a significant risk?

Lots of things are easy to measure to measure to extremely low levels e.g certain chemicals and ionizing radiation. Problem is assessing the consequences.

With carcinogens a 'predicitive' test that has been used widely is the Ames test named after its inventor, which actually show the mutagenic effect of a chemical. Find an active and the supposition was that almost no level was 'safe'

Years later Bruce Ames published a long review of carcinogenic challenges and demonstrated that biological systems have a threshold level below which almost no damage is important and the system generally self-repairs.

So carcinogens are important but the risks are probably far lower than the popular perception.

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Raspberry Pi ship date slips

Chemist
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The open source for x264 ...

is readily available e.g.

ftp://ftp.videolan.org/pub/x264/snapshots/last_x264.tar.bz2

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Chemist
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I assume x264 is an option ?

No hardware assisted encoding but I use it for 1080/50p encoding and it works well, if rather slowly, on anything less then top-notch kit. Playback on VDPAU/Nvidia assisted decode is excellent using ~5-10% cpu even on an old dual core AMD 64

There certainly have been ARM versions

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Boffins crack superconducting graphene's melting mystery

Chemist
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Ah !

You need to use liquid crystal glasses NOT beer goggles

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Chemist
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Regular arrays like that

can produce that effect. I've spent a lot of time looking at 3D chemical graphics of various types over the last 30 years and have got used to the games they can play. If you cross your eyes or defocus them you might well find the images shift around to give the impression that you are looking from below. Try changing the size or darkening the room.

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