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* Posts by Dave 126

4107 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Microsoft brings back Windows watch after Apple seeks 'flexible' bod

Dave 126
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> Why have a timepiece on my wrist when i have one in my phone...

>Still, it is one of those classic "if it works for me it doesn't have to work for other people" kind of thing.

Quite. Personally, I just find it more convenient to look at my wrist than rummage in my pocket for my phone

In a similar vein, I was chatting to my mate who had been charged with conducting a time and motion study in his workplace, but the middle management were sniffy about authorising the purchase of a stop-watch (mainly because they could only use specified suppliers who would charge around £50 per unit). Don't you have a stop-watch on your phone? I asked.

"Yeah, but it doesn't look good if you're walking about the factory floor looking at your phone... it looks like you're faffing around. If you're holding a stop-watch, management can see that you're working".

It's a bit like professional wedding photographers, many of whom would be happy to use a mirrorless camera, if only as a back-up to their DSLR, but they know the clients expect to see some whopping great lumps of Nikon.

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'Charge memory' boffins: Hungover Li-Ion batts tell fat whoppers

Dave 126
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Re: The widespread belief that lithium-ion batteries don't suffer from “charge memory”

My Sony phone had an option to stop charging at 95%- though it seems to have disappeared with the ICS update. Back in pre-iPod days, it was Sony who put more effort into promoting their portable audio players as being 'premium', and claims of quick charging often formed a part of it.

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British designer builds $15m iPhone for Hong Kong mogul

Dave 126
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I thought that Fabergé had set the trend for an object being more highly valued for the sheer man hours involved in its creation, rather than just the high material cost, back in the late 19th century. It would be interesting to know how much this crusted iPhone is worth as scrap- probably a high percentage of the reported £15M sum. Though commodity markets are famously volatile, it will probably hold its value better than any other handset out there.

Oh, I don't think think that 'designer' is the correct term for the craftsman who created this thing.

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Ban drones taking snaps of homes, rages Google boss... That's HIS job, right?

Dave 126
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> cheap camera-toting aircraft can be used by anyone from terrorists to quarrelling neighbours

Terrorist A: So, we want to to blow up a crowd of people here and inflict a lot of casualties, but where best to plant the bomb?

Terrorist B: I know! I know! We could use an RC quadropter with a video camera to survey the area first.

Terrorist A: Nah, we can't do that, that would be illegal.

Um, how would any legislation work work, exactly?

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Flexible flywheel offers cheap energy storage

Dave 126
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Re: Context

For grid storage, containment isn't that much of an issue- you just choose a remote site and place the whole thing in a big hole, and maybe grow a copse of trees around it.

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Dave 126
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Re: Gyroscopes in cars

> I have a mental image of the driver putting his foot down and the car just rearing up on its back wheels

Hehe.... that would be the equivalent of having your internal combustion engine attempt to turn all your petrol into kinetic energy in one go... (not good)

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Dave 126
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Re: It does not work!

You really aren't missing much in this video. It is 1:17 long, and spends that time telling you that a motor is also a generator, and that it takes energy to make something spin. That it is it. It is wholly generic, except for the last two seconds when the voice-over tells us "we have developed a new way of making fly wheels, then it fades to black.

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Wales slams Amazon over lack of Kindle support

Dave 126
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Re: The welsh lobby

>Because publishing is not a charity. If your Welsh speakers buy the books, people will spot the market.

You may have missed the point: The publishers want to publish in Welsh, all they need from Amazon is to have a Welsh Language category.

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Dave 126
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Re: Actually, if they designed their admin software properly

Latin was the lingua franca of science for a long time.

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Dave 126
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>As welsh is only spoken in Wales

Really?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patagonian_Welsh

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Dave 126
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Re: The welsh lobby

And there are more Welsh speakers in the US, and in Patagonia, than in Wales... the former got very vocal when Bill Clinton used the verb 'to welsh' to describe a group that had reneged on a deal.

I was amused to visit the Regional Museum in Ica, Peru, to see the name Adolfo Bermudez Jenkins writ large across the entrance.

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Movie review: Oblivion

Dave 126
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Headmaster

Re: Damn, two sentences ending in a preposition?

>"And then on from there to Saturn's moon Titan, where Earth's population evacuated to."

It's a new form of spacecraft propulsion... you have the reaction mass.

The sub-editor character in season 5 of The Wire explained it well to an underling:

"Buildings are evacuated, people are not. Well, you CAN evacuate a person, but I don't think that's what you mean in this context"

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Dave 126
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Slightly off topic

I was just thinking about sci-fi films that have used a real, solid location instead of CGI sets... interior locations that spring to mind (and please contribute):

Aliens- an old power station

Silent Running - an aircraft carrier

The Abyss - an unused cooling pond at a nuclear power station

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Dave 126
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Re: "Tom Cruise" - Hollywoods permier scientology creepozoid

> Movies really suck these days since the studios became corporate.

Digital cameras have reduced the cost for independent film makers, as digital cinema has reduced the cost of distribution... but yeah, if you want a film with a freak-off big budget, you need to go corporate. However, more can be done with less- ideally through imaginative location-scouting than CGI.

Okay, we're not all lucky enough to live near a city with a few arts cinemas, but hell, more people are able to afford a large TV and sound-system in their own homes these days. There are plenty of interesting films being made and released on DVD n BluRay- how are you with subtitles?

Yeah, it's true that Mssrs Cameron and Scott's returns to the sci-fi genre were disappointing, but we've had Moon, District 9, Primer, Dredd...

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Dubai splurges on 700hp, 217mph Lamborghini police cruiser

Dave 126
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>and this Lambo has more than enough giddy-up to overtake lead foots (lead feet?) with effortless celerity.

Really, what if the offending motorist is also in a stupidly fast car?

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Dave 126
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Re: The Saudis used Lambos too...

RRC, the Italian police's Lambos were more of a PR effort.

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Dave 126
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Re: Well...

Not just the Subaru Impreza, but a Prodrive-tuned Subaru Impreza, from the company who did Colin McRae's winning cars. Humberside police were the first to have one, as a few criminals tried some off-road evasive tactics. As well as being faster, the Prodrive versions have panels underneath to protect the car from rocks and debris.

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Facebook Home gets SMACKDOWN from irate users

Dave 126
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Re: FB Phone

Ideally, one would be able to get the useful functionality of a Facebook-like service whilst retaining control through using an open-source peer-to-peer social network... I'm sure Eadon would approve, too.

I wish Diaspora well, though I've only just read of the sad death of its co-founder in 2011.

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Dave 126
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Re: I wonder...

I can't imagine it does one's battery life much good, either.

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Chinese boffins predict iPad-sized supercomputers

Dave 126
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Re: Supercomputer Ipad

I seem to recall that Minds cheated by keeping most of their 'hardware' in hyperspace, or in some folded dimension or somesuch!

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Dave 126
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Re: Using what definition of supercomputer?

>Using what definition of supercomputer?

Yeah, I was wondering that too...

Jeff Goldblum used to profess am opinion on this!

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Moist iPhone fanbois tempted with golden Apple shower offer

Dave 126
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Re: RE: unique to iPhones?

>Seeing as Apple haven't threatened to sue anyone over it, I think it's safe to assume it's iPhone only.

I've seen advertisements in engineering journals for 3M's version of the tape years before the iPhone was released.

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Space elevators, vacuum chutes: What next for big rocket tech?

Dave 126
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And it's a good book for the author's notes at the back, in which he outlines the history of the space elevator concept- and also owns up to shifting Sri Lanka onto the equator.

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Handwriting beats PowerPoint's teaching power says MIT boffin

Dave 126
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Its amazing how people don't get it.

I have one friend who occasionally send me one long paragraph, a rant about all the different issues and annoyances he is currently suffering with his PC... I keep trying to educate him about bullet-points - or even just line breaks - but it doesn't seem to sink in. I try to get him to look at the way (some) instruction manuals, texts-books or magazines are laid out to clearly present information, but no...

On another note:

One small backward step we have is that many of us use webmail through a browser, depriving us of the line indent traditionally associated with the Tab key.

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Dave 126
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The article reminded me of the text books on electronics written by Forest M Mims III

Link to a picture of one his book pages: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forrest_Mims#Author

An interesting bloke, worth spending five minute reading about. He made an analogue computer in high school, then a navigation aid for his blind grandfather using infra-red LEDs, and developed an interest in amateur rocketry (which caused some panic since he was posted in Vietnam at the time).

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Geolocation tech to save 60 Londoners from being run over next year

Dave 126
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Re: @Madra - Harsh but fair...

Especially those who don't use them on mini-roundabouts.

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'Sorry, I don't get the drama around having an always-on console'

Dave 126
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Re: 'Sorry, I don't get the drama around having an always-on console'

"That one bloke who ranted on about it isn't indicative of Microsoft's official position on the matter whatsoever, especially as he has nothing to do with the development of the next Xbox at all."

It is important for companies to get their message out clearly about their products . Anything that has to be explained away (even if the explanation is valid) or clarified is taking away from the attention that prospective customers will give to your proper message.

Far more people will hear "MS man said..." than will hear "...but he was speaking in a personal capacity and is not related to the project being discussed" and that's just the way the world works.

He was well aware that there was an information vacuum on the subject, and that rumours and opinions were circulation, because it was what prompted him to make the remarks in the first place.

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Go-go Gadget watch? Apple posts job ad for 'flexible display' bod

Dave 126
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>That wouldn't be news. Or "biting the hand that feeds IT".

Nor are regular Reg sections such as 'Geeks guide', 'Product Roundup' or 'Antique Code Show', so I'm not sure of your point.

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Dave 126
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Rather that drip feed 'iWatch' rumours, lets have a round up of other attempts at a smart-watch, past and present.

We could include the Casio Databank watches, the Swatch pager watch, that Microsoft thing one held in-front of a monitor... current efforts include the Sony watch, Pebble, I'm Watch, and a Casio G-Shock with Bluetooth.

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Microsoft Xbox exec quits after ENRAGING the INTERWEBS

Dave 126
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No more than your PC is... you might have only have turned it on to watch a locally-stored movie, but if it finds an internet connection it will still want to check for updates etc I can always turn off my WiFi or unplug the ethernet cable, though.

Two minutes sounds a little excessive to connect to XBOX Live, though.

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... time machine. Iranian Dr Who claims he invented a ...

Dave 126
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Re: If they had a time machine...

>They could look back and see that their religion was a made up crock...

What have you got against Zoroastrianism?

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Sonic the Hedgehog

Dave 126
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Re: my favourite game

On Green Hill Zone, couldn't you gain two extra lives, then kill yourself and get them again to slowly build up a reserve of 'lives'?

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Dave 126
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Too busy on the Dreamcast playing House of the Dead...

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Dave 126
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Re: Sonic

I think there was a soundtrack album recorded by an orchestra, too!

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Dave 126
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Re: The speed.

Myself and my teenage mates didn't have a Megadrive, but we rented one from the local video shop for the weekend, with Sonic 2. It was ace!

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Dave 126
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Re: Not Sonic's first appearance in a Sega game...

Dang Babbit55, it only allowed me to reward you +1!

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Dave 126
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Not Sonic's first appearance in a Sega game...

His image was in a previous game... +10 geek points to the first to name it! : D

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Google asks Blighty to slave over its Maps for FREE

Dave 126
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Right o, I've got some tigers and sea monsters to add!

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WTF is... H.265 aka HEVC?

Dave 126
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Re: GPU encoding

Hiya Tom, I had a look through that articles, and if I'm reading them right, their issues seem to be with the current (Windows) software tools that aim to harness discrete GPUs (and newer Intel solutions) for encoding. A common issue seems to be silly quirks, such as defaulting to near 30fps when the input is 24, inconsistant hardware support, and the need to delve into complicated options dialogues (which rather defeats the object of buying a solution sold on its ease of use).

I guess a problem is that, unlike other forms of GPU-assisted computing such as mechanical simulation, the result of video encoding is subjective and human-specific; the end viewer is far more likely to notice aberrations on an actor's face than they are on a terracotta vase prop.

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Dave 126
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Happy

Sod off! : D

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Hard luck lads, todger size DOES matter: Official

Dave 126
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Re: Also @stevenroper

>MEN LIKE BIG TITS!!!!!!!

There is variation in men's preferences, just as there is in the body shape of those they fancy.

However, to paraphrase Dawkins, sexual selection accelerates evolution. Say you were a peacock with a big tail. Your mate is attracted to your big tail. She inherited that preference from her mother, so the chances are that her dad had a big tail too. Therefore your offspring will have two sets of genes for a big tail- those inherited from you, and those inherited from the father of your mate.

Apparently, when played out, this explains why the female preference is usually for a tail that is a little bigger than the population average.

-from the Explosions and Spirals chapter of The Blind Watchmaker.

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NASA-backed fusion engine could cut Mars trip down to 30 days

Dave 126
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Re: Vaporware

>My car accelerates rather smoothly to 60mph. This system appears to pulse once per minute. I think that was the OP's point.

That's probably not an insurmountable issue... shock absorbers.

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Dave 126
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Re: Speed demon..

D'oh, I thought that was a reference to the Rastafarian space station in the novel Neuromancer, that featured a substantial sound-system.

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Dave 126
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Re: Astonishing and nice!

> imagine what it might do for other mission types.

Diverting asteroids that are heading our way should be on the list!

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Vinyl sales reach 15 year high, Blighty becomes No. 3 music buyer

Dave 126
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Re: The music industry: @Mark Honman

>I'm sticking with CDs because I want a DRM free copy (to rip to my mobile), and I want a maximum quality copy for playing through the home hi fi

The best quality digital format is not CD, but via download (up to 192Khz, 24bit from HDTracks.com or example- I haven't used them so this isn't a recommendation) or BluRay. Though yeah, it is nice to have something to hold, and good to have a CD if your server somehow dies.

Curiously, the biggest illegal downloader of music that I know is also the biggest buyer of CDs, vinyl and DVDs.

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The ten SEXIEST computers of ALL TIME

Dave 126
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Re: Sun workstations

The 1989 SPARCstation- that was Frog Design again.

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Dave 126
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Re: Wot? No Atari ST?

Yeah, I always thought the ST was better looking, especially the parallelogram function keys.

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Dave 126
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Re: First two were apple

So you posted to say that you chose to be deliberately ignorant, and then expect your opinion based on assumptions to count for anything? Okay...

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Dave 126
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Re: Air?

> doesn't really have any design to it what so ever

It is because so many wrongly take 'design' to only refer to the appearance of things that Dieter Rams prefers the the term (translated into English) 'Form Engineering'.

'Design' should mean no less than the consideration of every aspect of the product, from engineering, ergonomics, aesthetics, storage, disposal, marketing.... the works.

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Dave 126
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Re: Good try...

>Never understood why the iMac G4 design didn't last - was it a flop, unreliable, etc.?

The article cited a dodgy power switch and production problems with the case.... but it was also said that some people (pointy-haired bosses?) would place paperwork on top of it and thus block its vents.

Another reason is that it was pricer than the Mac Pros at the time, and less upgradable.

I liked the way the Cube was designed around the thermal considerations- having the motherboard arranged to form a chimney to encourage air convection was a good idea. The other obviously good idea (even to tech-illiterate PHBs, who shout 'Who will rid me of this snake's nest of cables on my desk?!") was the single cable from the Cube to the monitor, carrying video signal, power, audio and USB- the latter daisy-chained to the keyboard and onto the mouse.

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