* Posts by Joe Harrison

418 posts • joined 1 Jun 2007

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Hey, Apple! 1999 just called and it wants its voicemail avatar back

Joe Harrison
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Wildfire was a saucy one

She used to invite me to listen to her collection of William Shatner LPs

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Let's all binge on Blake’s 7 and help save the BBC ... from itself

Joe Harrison
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License ≠ BBC

Just a reminder that the TV license is not something you pay in return for having BBCness. I am not bothered about BBC and in fact I have my dish pointed at a satellite which doesn't broadcast BBC. I still have to pay however.

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Bloke cuffed for blowing low-flying camera drone to bits with shotgun

Joe Harrison
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Re: Good for him

Things fly over my house without my permission all the time, doesn't mean I can shoot them down.

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We put Windows 10 on a small fondleslab: STILL not ready, 3 days to go

Joe Harrison
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KB305583

If you are not seeing the "update to Windows 10" icon you need to install KB305583. Sometimes a few registry hacks are needed as well.

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Google dumps ISP email support. Virgin Media takes ball, stomps home

Joe Harrison
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who cares

It's not the 1990s any more - do people really expect an email account from their ISP these days?

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Google robo-car in rear-end smash – but cack-handed human blamed

Joe Harrison
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Totally agree. Brake lights are (intentionally) very bright and I really don't need them shining in my face for a couple of minutes because the guy in front could not bother to engage the handbrake like the highway code says you should.

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Your security is just dandy, Apple Pay, but here comes Android

Joe Harrison
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who pays

So Apple get paid a small slice per transaction, which is to say using the phone costs more than using the card. Who ultimately foots the bill for that? You already know the answer.

Seems to me very similar to having your airport boarding card on your phone - quite cool the first couple of times but rapidly becomes annoying.

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Microsoft again offers free certification exams to failures

Joe Harrison
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I think they're good

Everyone thinks they know their stuff but when you need to pass an exam you are pretty much forced to learn the lesser-used bits as well. I did the NT4 exams back in the day and made a point of implementing everything I was learning on some test servers. For a short period in my life I did actually know what I was doing. Although having said that I couldn't agree more with AMBxx, the NT4 track had a lot of useful generic networking,not just learning product features A to Z.

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Someone at Subway is a serious security nerd

Joe Harrison
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To be fair

I've got a lot of sympathy with everyone who just wants to buy a sandwich and doesn't see the need for top security. To be fair though perhaps they are planning some sort of electronic payment in a later version? It didn't go down well when Starbucks gift cards got the hack.

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Sorry, say boffins, the LHC still hasn't sucked us into a black hole

Joe Harrison
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It's almost Friday

The barman says "Sorry sir we don't serve CERN's time-travelling particles in here."

A tachyon goes into a bar.

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Joe Harrison
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Re: Bravo

♫ The chances of anything coming from CERN were a million to one they said ♪

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As the US realises it's been PWNED, when will OPM heads roll?

Joe Harrison
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Re: Ha

Obama administration "views the federal government as capable of tackling almost every problem the nation faces"

Nation faces a problem, government tackles it, isn't that what they're supposed to do? Think I must be missing a subtlety here.

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Zionists stole my SHOE, claims Muslim campaigner

Joe Harrison
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Stasi

The East German secret police routinely used the tactic of "Zersetzung" which means breaking in and moving your stuff around in subtle but noticeable ways. The message was simple "we know where you live". The more the target protested the more they hoped everyone would write him off as a nutter. It does seem to have worked very effectively this time on El Reg readership.

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Large Hadron Collider gives young ALICE a black-hole ray gun

Joe Harrison
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Live coverage

"Bored Scientists Now Just Sticking Random Things Into Large Hadron Collider"

http://www.theonion.com/video/bored-scientists-now-just-sticking-random-things-i-36415

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Spoiling staff with toys could turn against your business

Joe Harrison
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bash the users

I have every respect for IT support, the fine work we do, and the difficult conditions under which sometimes we do it. Having said that I feel that here some control freakery is barely being concealed. The article has a lot of good stuff but the writing style makes the author sound like a bit of a net nazi.

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UK safety app keeping lorries on the right side of cyclists

Joe Harrison
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Not anti-cyclist but

For many years I was lucky enough to live two miles from my office with the ability to cycle from home to work completely via cycle tracks, no need to go on roads at all. Absolutely brilliant. I don't live there any more however so I was forced to decide "no more bike to work."

I realise we have just as much right as car drivers to be on the roads but from a practical point of view it is just too dange. You wouldn't walk along the yellow lines with a truck whizzing next to you, is a bike that much different?

For the avoidance of doubt - my point is not that "cyclists should be off the roads" it is that I personally enjoy living too much to share a road with the lorries.

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Pakistan URINE STORM: Google Maps chokes off user editing

Joe Harrison
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There are alternatives

For example https://maps.yandex.ru/

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London man arrested over $40 MILLION HFT flash crash allegations

Joe Harrison
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Re: Does not compute...

Perhaps retaliation because UK financial regulation had a go at them last week?

"British regulator challenges US over Berkshire scrutiny"

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/75ef1d94-e784-11e4-8ebb-00144feab7de.html

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Googley TENTACLES reach towards YOUR email

Joe Harrison
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You can do something similar even without your own domain. Add a + at the end of the local part.

For example, messages sent to jane.doe+notes@gmail.com are delivered to jane.doe@gmail.com

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Life after Nokia: Microsoft Lumia 640 budget WinPho blower

Joe Harrison
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Only 80 quid if you already have suitable SIM

Pay as you go upgrade http://www.hotukdeals.com/visit?m=35&q=2184433

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This open-source personal crypto-key vault wants two things: To make the web safer ... and your donations

Joe Harrison
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They haven't made it easy

A gadget like this is exactly what I need, but bank transfer to Sweden is quite expensive in fees isn't it? Could have been paypal or something more convenient.

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SPY FRY: Smart meters EXPLODE in Californian power surge

Joe Harrison
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Smart meters are for one thing

When the power generating capacity starts to run out it means rolling blackouts. Smart meters mean selective rolling blackouts - home A can be targetted while leaving the power on in home B. What could possibly go wrong :(

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The coming of DAB+: Stereo eluded the radio star

Joe Harrison
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Satellite

In the UK an ordinary Sky dish and a cheap receiver gets a huge number of radio stations with proper sound quality. Even more if you use a 60cm dish pointed at say Hotbird 13.0E. I can't believe anyone would bother with DAB apart from portability.

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Just WALK IN and buy an Apple Watch. Are you mad?

Joe Harrison
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Of course

One does not simply walk into Mordor

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HTC One M9 Android smartphone: Like a M8 with a squinty eye

Joe Harrison
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Just give people what they want

Not everyone wants exactly the same feature set from a phone and there are the endless wars about removable batteries and do they matter, SD card slots, and so on.

But surely everyone knows what they DON'T want? Weirdo interfaces that are not much like Android, being stranded on old operating systems because the manufacturer reneged on promise of upgrade to the new one, I could go on. Especially nobody wants to upgrade to a phone which is not even as good as the previous. How hard is it to at least get these things right.

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I helped Amazon.com find an XSS hole and all I got was this lousy t-shirt

Joe Harrison
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Fiver

I explained to Tesco once that under some circumstances their website would fail to use SSL when serving the "type in your credit card number" checkout page. They sent me a five-quid voucher

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BT Home Hub SIP backdoor blunder blamed for VoIP fraud

Joe Harrison
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Re: Whats the point of home SIP anyway?

SIP at home works well and the benefits are mainly the cheaper calls. I had the complete Virgin Media package but the monthly bills were horrendous because of the family yakking all day on the expensive VM phone line. After I made a one-off purchase of a Sipura ATA I was massively better off.

I did consider if the new setup implied any extra security adjustments but soon decided it was not worth much effort as my maximum financial exposure would be the balance of a tenner's credit on my Sipgate account.

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Samsung puts eight-core processor IN A WATCH

Joe Harrison
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what are these watches actually for

To me any watch function that replicates what already happens on your phone is not much use. For example if it displays an incoming SMS on your wrist, OK but so what, you could just look at your phone screen in the traditional way.

A watch definitely has the edge over your phone when it comes to sensing things from your body such as pulse/temperature or movements. If there is a good camera though then that is one more thing; covert recording not so easy using your phone but a lot more natural via your watch.

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Attack of the Digital People: The BBC goes fully Bong

Joe Harrison
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So true

That comment is absolutely spot on. Next time you meet a hand-waving 2.0 airhead just ask them innocently "Oh sounds great. So what does digital mean?" They go truly spare, especially if you imply that you too are part of the club by sharing with them that "my cooker has a digital clock thing" to demonstrate your own digital creds.

I've hated these people since the 1990s when I was regularly powerpointed-at by wannabee grandees of the "Information Superhighway".

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Forget viruses: Evil USB drive 'fries laptops with a power surge'

Joe Harrison
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Re: USB in the wall, equivalent of a glory hole or bath house.

New York must be a safe and orderly place; round here the youf would bash em off the wall before the cement was dry.

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UK call centre linked to ‘millions’ of nuisance robo-calls raided by ICO

Joe Harrison
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What really annoys me

When you are roaming outside the UK it actually costs money to answer one of these calls.

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Crap employers banned from enforcing backdoor crim records checks

Joe Harrison
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Re: Checks for people running activities in community hall

What is the point of such a check? The crafty ones don't get caught in the first place. If you had tried it on a certain notorious BBC presenter he would just have shown you his nice clean record.

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Rosetta probe to try contact with Philae lander on Thursday

Joe Harrison
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Re: i hope it works

No it probably is the right term. I was on an electric train early one winter morning when the power failed and we came to a stop and sat in the dark. We cheered when after a while the lights came back on but the driver announced we still could not go just yet as the train required ten minutes to boot up.

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Google open-sources HTTP/2-based RPC framework

Joe Harrison
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Re: Performant...

You're technically correct but surely it's one of those words like "truthiness" that somehow in your heart you want them to be real?

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Gemalto: NSA, GCHQ hacked us – but didn't snatch crucial SIM keys

Joe Harrison
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Re: How do SIM cards work

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subscriber_identity_module#Authentication_key_.28K

Thanks for that... not very secure then by modern crypto standards. Although maybe the design decision made sense years ago with low-powered phone CPUs of the time.

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Joe Harrison
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How do SIM cards work

I thought smartcards typically generated private keys onboard and would not release them outside the card. You could only give the card something to sign or encrypt then it would give it back to you. How were there any key copies available to steal?

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SSL-busting adware: US cyber-plod open fire on Comodo's PrivDog

Joe Harrison
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Re: If I were a layman

It was only nasty cheapo SSL certificates which were busted. Up until now this was fixed by extra-cost extra-trustworthy certificates which displayed a green splodge for higher security.

Unfortunately the extra-cost certificates are now busted as well, but don't worry as you will soon be able to get extra-extra-cost certificates with a gold splodge.

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Lenovo to customers: We only just found out about this Superfish vuln – remove it NOW

Joe Harrison
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Avast anti-virus

Avast also does something like this to intercept your SSL traffic. I uninstalled it after I found out but I had previously been running it for quite a long time, and I am the sort of person who quite often does actually check certificates when connecting to SSL sites. I didn't investigate how Avast avoids certificate errors it but if you are a user you might want to look carefully at your config.

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Why IP telephony is about more than just saving money

Joe Harrison
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Re: Wait... what?

This certainly is old stuff but there are a couple of new angles...

VOIP clienting needs reasonable processing power and I would say that it's only recently that your average smartphone has got enough CPU to do it properly. Yes I too was bodging it on a PDA in 2004 but a modern phone does it much better.

In 2015 wi-fi providers have started to be more aware of traffic optimisation. Some hotels and coffee shops seem to be able to prevent me from registering Csipsimple with my SIP gateway. Skype-Out seems a more difficult problem for them.

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(Re)touching on a quarter-century of Adobe Photoshop

Joe Harrison
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There is always a mysterious third-party

When I was doing web design in 1997 I had a choice - either get my boss to pay a fortune for Photoshop 6, or use JASC Paintshop Pro 3.0 free off the Computer Shopper cover CD. I got very good at Paintshop Pro and still use it, even now post-Corel.

Intriguing to hear how the product name came about as a casual suggestion from the unknown someone who was not really involved. History is littered with such people who drift by and change the course of history, from George Washington's "mysterious visitor" to Coleridge's "person from Porlock."

When I invent the time machine in 2023 I am definitely going back to 1988 and helpfully suggest the name "Photoshop" to them.

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Samsung's spying smart TVs don't encrypt voice recordings sent over the internet – new claim

Joe Harrison
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Says it all

http://www.joyoftech.com/joyoftech/joyarchives/2104.html

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Are you ready to ditch the switchboard and move to IP telephony?

Joe Harrison
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What about mobile?

I use A&A "SIP2SIM" - you get a rather unusual SIM card for your mobile which connects you *only* to the SIP server of your choice. You are then responsible for any gatewaying out to the actual PSTN. I am merely a satisfied customer etc. etc.

www.aa.net.uk/telecoms-sip2sim.html

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Death knell for Windows with Bing, licences carved up

Joe Harrison
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Windows With Bing is great

The zero license fee means lower price, for example the insanely good value Linx 8 tablets. Decent hardware, Windows 8.1, a year's Office 365, and 1TB of cloud storage for 70-90 quid, no wonder they have been flying off the shelves.

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Keyless vehicle theft suspects cuffed after key Met Police, er, 'lockdown'

Joe Harrison
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Re: Microdots ?

What if the crooks get their own bucket of random microdots and overwrite the real ones?

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First look: Ordnance Survey lifts kimono on next-gen map app

Joe Harrison
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YAMA(Y)

Yet Another Map App (Yawn)

They built their business on taxpayers' money and have got a nerve charging as much as they do. I bet it nearly killed them to make this app even partially free. They are a stodgy lot and have woken up too late to every smartphone already having enough maps.

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Big Data, empty bellies: How supermarkets tweak prices just for the sake of YOUR LOVE

Joe Harrison
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dead right

"the customer decision to spend their hard earned cash is more about coalescence around certain values"

That's exactly right, I go to the supermarket for a good old coalesce. It only LOOKS like I am heading straight for the "nearly-expired" section to see what's reduced.

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Hey kids! If you vote Facebook will give you EXTRA LIKES*

Joe Harrison
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My kids would vote for Putin if they could

Really! So would their mates from what I see. You might say the bad-ass image is just PR but they compare with Cameron/Milliband and it works for them.

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GROUPTHINK HIVE MIND informs climate change believers

Joe Harrison
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I don't know for sure but...

I don't know anything about planetary climatology, how the weather works, or anything like that. So I also have genuinely no idea whether "global warming caused by humans" is true or not true.

However - the idea seemed to come from nowhere and provided the perfect excuse for the introduction of yet another tax ("carbon tax") by people I don't trust. This does tend to colour my judgement quite a lot. Follow the money.

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Spent the weekend watching Game of Thrones? You're a FAT LONELY SADDO

Joe Harrison
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Re: The Reg RSS feed knows me too well

I play them at 8x with the sound off while I'm asleep, you can get through most TV shows amazingly quickly that way with no loss of quality.

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Smartphones merge into homogeneous mass as 'flagship fatigue' bites

Joe Harrison
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Obvious

Phones all do basically the same things. Beyond a certain point paying more will not give you a better camera better or more accurate GPS. Being seen to afford a very posh car can make people pay for the flashpig model but I'm not sure the same really works for mobile phones.

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