* Posts by David Pollard

1006 posts • joined 29 May 2007

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The BBC wants to slap a POLL TAX on EVERYONE in BLIGHTY

David Pollard
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Stop

Subscription for prescription?

The 'health news in return for your data' aspect seems more than a little ominous.

Are they planning a soft-sell promotion of care.data by partially integrating it with the BBC? Is there perhaps a plan to transfer NHS Choices to the Beeb's custody, with the costs of dispensing advice in this way being covered by the licence fee budget? Is some sort of incentives and rewards system envisaged, such as free access to certain programme streams, for those who don't opt out of care.data?

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Google kills its successful social network. Yes, we mean Orkut

David Pollard
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Re: Just went to check on mine

I thought that on El Reg it was usual to post links in clear text as a courtesy to those of us who like to look before we leap.

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Tinder Plus charges oldies MORE to ogle young hotties' pics

David Pollard
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Re: u can grind on me

Is that pronounced Postgrey?

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$250K: That's what Lenovo earned to RAT YOU OUT with Superfish

David Pollard
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Changes at the Lenovo site

A couple of days ago the main driver download page on Lenovo's website was largely filled with an advert for a third party utility to scan and download the latest drivers. Presumably this would 'phone home to check every time the machine was booted up. Although initially free, it looked as though $39.95 came into the picture somewhere along the line with another $9.95 for annual subscriptions.

Now there is no mention of this bloatware. Driver details are presented much more cleanly; there is an option to show all the appropriate drivers for a given operating system on a single page. Linux versions aren't yet provided, but one can hope.

The scanner which had been being promoted there now appears to be on 'special offer' on its own site, discounted to $29.95.

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Windows XP's market share grows AGAIN!

David Pollard
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Is there a fashion for user agent strings?

How widespread is the practice of changing user agent details? Or might one or other of Battalion 77's adversaries have spawned a few hundred thousand browsers which are busily chuntering round the internet? Might it even be Battalion 77 themselves who have created a massive honeypot disguised as a crowd of XP users?

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David Pollard
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Unhappy

Microsoft loosened it's grip on win7 install media?

Until last week it had been possible simply to download Win 7 ISOs from Digital River. These would install and authenticate normally using an OEM key; well, certainly this worked with HP machines and licences. Now the Digital River downloads have been stopped and only those who have a key from a full retail copy are able download the ISO, after first registering their key with Microsoft. Those who bought a machine with Windows 7 already installed are instructed to contact the manufacturer if they wish to obtain an ISO, even though their key is valid.

Far from loosening its grip, Microsoft has made it impossible for the majority of users to download a Windows 7 ISO.

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Who uses the Universal Credit system? ALMOST NOBODY, says report

David Pollard
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What are the odds?

Roughly similar to the chance that my one vote will change the outcome.

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Get yourself connected: GrovePi+ Starter Kit

David Pollard
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Re: A great little kit.

If it keeps coming up with intermittent I/O errors then this really is bad news. It's bad enough dealing with these anyway, but for someone who is new to the game and trying to learn about stuff it's enough to put them off for life.

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BLOOD STAR of the NEANDERTHALS passed close to our Sun

David Pollard
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But everyone knows you can't take panto comets seriously

Oh yes you can.

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Apple Watch 'didn't work on HAIRY FANBOIS, was stripped of sensor tech'

David Pollard
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Re: On the outside?

@Sarah: Do you by any chance happen to know the Moderatrix? She used to be very popular in these quarters and your style brings back memories of the happy days when she kept the Reg's Comments in order.

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A cookie with a 7,984-year lifespan. Blimey, Roy Batty only got 4!

David Pollard
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... don't forget the LSO "Super Cookies"

A couple of weeks ago Ccleaner removed one of these that had apparently been left on my laptop by HM Government. It had arrived from online.hmrc.gov.uk.

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UK official LOSES Mark Duggan shooting discs IN THE POST

David Pollard
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Re: Perjury in Lynette White case

It now (10th Feb 2015) looks as though there is to be a QC-led official enquiry into the failings in this case:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-31352065

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David Pollard
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Re: A while later the missing files were mysteriously discovered.

The supposed loss of the files, which the defence claimed were relevant, had nevertheless been the reason why the trial collapsed.

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David Pollard
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Perjury in the Lynette White case

For some reason this case comes to mind. A large number of police had been charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, three innocent men having been convicted for murder on the basis of false evidence. Then some files were lost and the prosecution case collapsed. A while later the missing files were mysteriously discovered.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Lynette_White

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France enacts law to block terror and child sexual abuse sites

David Pollard
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Re: Terrorist sites

@ Jack of Shadows: "Curiously, nsa.gov wants to install flash on Palemoon "

Equally curious is that the UK tax self-assessment site gave me an LSO 'Flash Cookie' to take away with me after I visited online.hmrc.gov.uk a couple of weeks ago.

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They've finally solved it: Schrödinger's cat is both ALIVE AND DEAD

David Pollard
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Esse est percipi (aut percipere)

The notion that the universe is there only because it is observed was not entirely new in 1935 when Shrödinger came up with his eponymous paradigm. illustrating that the equations of quantum mechanics can be seen to imply this.

From the English ecclesiastical tradition, back in the eighteenth century, George Berkeley had coined the seminal phrase quoted above. At the turn or the nineteenth century, Alfred North Whiteheads's process philosophy continued in the much same vein. In the German tradition, Ernst Mach used broadly similar reasoning when he argued that the existence of rotational inertia depends on some sort of interaction with the fixed (i.e. distant) stars; without being able to 'see' them in some way we wouldn't be able to know if and when we are spinning, and we can do this inside a closed and isolated box.

The Muslim tradition holds, if I understand correctly, that one of our primary duties is to observe and understand. And Buddhism too puts great importance on this aspect of existence.

The debate continues over whether such luminary insights have any validity.

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David Pollard
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Re: Ophidia in herba

For a little while now I have been undecided as to whether to upvote or downvote this comment.

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Has the world reached PEAK TWIT? Supplies of new Twitter users are drying up

David Pollard
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Obligatory xkcd

http://xkcd.com/1482/

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Wanted: Brit Facebook and Twitter trolls for counter-jihad psyops

David Pollard
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Re: 15 (UK) Information Ops Group

Wikipedia just now said that "[f]rom April 2015, it will form part of 77th Brigade"; but that's probably just a cover story.

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David Pollard
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Forced marches through Wikipedia?

I was wondering what sort of exercises they think up for training.

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ALIENS are surely AMONG US: Average star has TWO potentially Earth-like worlds

David Pollard
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Pint

Lewis has gone out ...

After writing the article he probably headed off to an inter-services meeting to collect and collate story lines for Battalion 77 internet psyops. Pint because that's what's needed to wash away some of the schoolboy nonsense that this topic generates in predictably massive volumes.

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NSA raided hackers' troves of stolen data: report

David Pollard
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@Claire: 'Take' is slang commonly used by crooks, but you probably don't meet that many of them. Its use probably derives from 'takings', which is listed in Chambers. See also the Urban Dictionary, definition 3.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Take

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Ransomware 2.0 'crypts website databases – until victims pay up

David Pollard
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Re: ... crypto key swap

@waldo: Your comment would have been a bit clearer if you had included a link to the other article(s) you had read.

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David Pollard
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... crypto key swap

"Once in, attackers change the encryption settings used by the database."

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Turing notes found warming Bletchley Park's leaky ceilings

David Pollard
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Re: Problem? What problem?

Quite. It made first-rate camouflage.

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Enough is ENOUGH: It's time to flush Flash back to where it came from – Hell

David Pollard
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Re: If this little "feature" is still open to abuse?

@Martin: Starting with a clean copy of Firefox portable, which did let me in, then loading addons one or two at a time, Ghostery and scripts from Google Analytics had been the only things I could see that were left to test before I gave up trying to find out what was blocking my access to the HMRC self assessment site. (Life is short, after all.)

Today I seem to be able to get in without any problem, and apparently without a Flash Cookie being planted; though I didn't enter any data. Ghostery showed 0 trackers on the self-assessment menu page. Maybe government techies do read El Reg after all, but I still haven't had an offer of employment.

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David Pollard
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If this little "feature" is still open to abuse?

@Entrope. It is indeed still in use, and it is being used by the British government.

After completing my self-assessed tax return last week Ccleaner obligingly removed a Flash Cookie which was labeled as belonging to online.hmrc.gov.uk. Also it looks as though access to the online tax pages isn't possible unless scripts are enabled from Google Analytics.

Don't we pay the spooks at Cheltenham enough to avoid the need to offshore this?

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ICO's data protection tentacles will penetrate NHS bodies

David Pollard
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Saddle your horses, head them off at the pass

Many will agree that the precautionary approach recommended here is not just sensible but vital when health data is being collected and used. Given that "practices [must] be improved across [the NHS] long before ... serious incidents occur" the clear course it to scrap care.data before it does any damage; as it surely will if its implementation is allowed to continue.

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Care.data refuseniks will be DENIED CANCER SCREENING invites

David Pollard
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Pint

Dr Neil Bhatia

Dunno what Dr Bhatia's tipple might be, but he surely deserves a pint for his consistent efforts to bring the atrocious aspects of care.data and its precursors to the attention of the general public.

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A Bombe Called Christopher, or A Very Poor Imitation

David Pollard
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The Return Of The Moderatrix

If that could be arranged I'd even turn Adblock Plus and Ghostery off for two weeks when I visit.

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Snoopy Fujitsu tech KNOWS you'll click that link – before YOU do

David Pollard
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Déjà Vu?

Do you experience a déjà vu moment when you do click on the link?

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Drinking to forget? OK. But first, eat a curry... QUICK!

David Pollard
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Re: So not a meal to have…

@Stuart: The figure I saw one time for average Indian adult intake of turmeric was about 1.5 g/day. It's been suggested that turmeric and other spices in the largely vegetarian diet may be factors in the remarkable longevity of people living in Kerala.

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David Pollard
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As recommended by James Wong

His 'Grow Your Own Drugs' book and TV series contained a recipe for Teh Halia, an Ayurvedic turmeric tea. This certainly seems effective in mitigating a range of inflammatory conditions and digestive disorders. Piperine from black pepper in this remedy increases the body's absorption of curcumin.

There is a great deal of anecdotal evidence of turmeric's antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, stretching back over a few millennia, but more research is needed. The problem is that there isn't much money for Big Pharma in a simple, cheap, safe and effective remedy.

Google Scholar is now full of promotions from health food purveyors and quackery, but there are some well researched pages to be found.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92752/

https://mospace.umsystem.edu/xmlui/handle/10355/10212

http://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/genetics/genie/projects/sfwc/documents/Curcumin%20review%20paper-1.pdf

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David Pollard
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Re: Hmmm...

A more ideal solution might be to enable sufferers to face their ingrained fears in a safe and supportive environment rather than merely to obliterate the troublesome memories so that troops can carry on killing, which is what I seem to remember the army research was aiming to achieve.

There seem to have been one or two suggestions recently that LSD can be useful in a therapeutic environment; hopefully the hysteria that do-gooders created for it is fading. As with other approaches to PTSD, though, a necessary part is having caring people around.

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El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

David Pollard
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Pint

Re: My solution...

@Shades: Nice work. I hope you got the job.

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Flash zero day under attack

David Pollard
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Re: Why is "forever" crossed out?

Windows 8.1 is safe while earlier versions are not? Is this then the latest marketing ploy?

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Turn your head and cough (up your details), HealthCare.Gov has sprung a leak!

David Pollard
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Pint

Re: Ad networks? On healthcare.gov?

@vagabondo: I'd wondered why I was getting unsolicited calls on a new mobile phone when I'd only given the number to half a dozen close friends and to the NHS so they could send appointment reminders. I had assumed that their reminder texts would be generated locally from the JR hospital's recently installed booking system, but if this has been outsourced it could well explain the unwanted calls.

Pint for holding out for what 'public service' is about.

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David Pollard
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Good sense from the EFF

"President Obama will give his State of the Union speech tonight... If [he] is really concerned about cybersecurity, he may want to start ... by securing healthcare.gov."

Perhaps he could also find a moment to mention this problem to Dave.

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SECRETS of the LOST SCROLLS unlocked by key to HEALTHY BOOBS

David Pollard
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Joke

Re: Hell, I had this idea when I was 10

And where did you say you are working now?

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David Pollard
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Re: A/C "Does time run the wrong way?"

Yes, in both directions.

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Microsoft wants LAMP for wireless mobe charger

David Pollard
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Re: Stupid concept

Nah. Trained sharks.

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SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS that 2014 was record HOTTEST year? NO

David Pollard
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@Stuart 22 - with you on that

I've got a hundred quid that says the average temperature based on a 'reasonable bucket' will be higher in the next twenty years than it was in the last twenty. If you can get Lewis to match this, with the pot going into a tracker fund or similar, winner takes all, then I'm on.

Come to think about it, if the 'deniers' will offer longer odds than evens then it might be possible to crowd fund climate prevention measures this way. The wager package might be a nice present to leave to one's grandchildren. I wonder what the tax position is?

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Firefox 35 stamps out critical bugs

David Pollard
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Re: Have they enabled look like Firefox yet?

It's a bit like setting up Windows. Classic Theme Restorer makes it look more normal and easier to use.

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Dongle bingle makes two MEELLION cars open to exploit

David Pollard
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Why?

It's easier to obtain a 'careful driver' score and probably more accurate if information about accelerator position, revs and brake pressure are also available.

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Boffins: It's EASY to make you GRASS YOURSELF UP for crimes you never did

David Pollard
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Deconditioning afterwards?

There doesn't seem to be any mention of efforts to mitigate after-effects. I can't help but wonder that, albeit conducted in a reasonable environment, programmes such as this might be rather upsetting for the participants; and adverse effects could appear quite a while after the tests. Perhaps follow-up studies in five and ten years time will shed light on this aspect.

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For pervasive 5G and IoT, prepare for wind turbines on cells

David Pollard
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The environmental cost?

There's a fairly clear argument favour of smaller grid-powered base stations both in reduced energy costs and overall improved reliability. However Yuyi Mao and co. appear to have entirely overlooked the aspects of capital, environmental and service costs of their rather extravagant hardware proposal.

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Don't use Charlie Hebdo to justify Big Brother data-slurp – Data protection MEP

David Pollard
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Re: What fools

@LDS "[C]ollecting a lot of sensitive data about *everybody* and keeping [it] for years [is] more dangerous than terrorism itself."

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Hawking and friends: Artificial Intelligence 'must do what we want it to do'

David Pollard
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Obligatory xkcd

http://xkcd.com/1450/

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David Pollard
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Je suis Charlie

YMMV, but it seems to me to be almost axiomatic that intelligence involves a degree of free will. As various religions show from time to time, attempts to steer this to the benefit of one or other ruling class do not have happy endings.

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Peers warn against rushing 'enhanced' DATA SLURP powers through Parliament

David Pollard
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Re: Not getting my vote...

I'm not sure that the Blair/Blunkett/Straw approach was that much better. Neither is your vote likely to change anything.

What it it needs is active democracy: for enough people to be regularly contacting their MP, and others, to point out that surveillance by gauleiters does not engender morality.

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