* Posts by Vic

5921 posts • joined 7 Dec 2007

Hell desk to user: 'I know you're wrong. I wrote the software. And the protocol it runs on'

Vic
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I've done much the same...

I had to go and support a user running an automated test system.

Looking at the parameters he'd given to the test in question, he'd just given the name of the parameter file - no extension, nothing.

"That needs to be a path spec", I told him.

So then we have a few minutes of him adopting his best patronising tone, telling me all about how that wasn't right, and this was just the body part of the parameter file name.

I let this run for a little while before mentioning that I had written not just this test, but most of the test tool he was using, and I was confident that this was indeed a path spec. I changed his parameter to a path spec and - shock horror - it all burst into life...

Vic.

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For fork's sake! Bitcoin Core braces for another cryptocurrency split

Vic
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Re: Where does the money come from?

My understanding was that Fiat was latin for "to become",

Your understanding is wrong. "Fiat" is the jussive subjunctive of the verb "esse", "to be".

Thus the OP's translation of "let it be" is on the money.

Vic.

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Ye Bug List

Vic
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Re: Edit Forum posts

I am wary of perpetual edits as readers can misuse to rewrite posts to undermine arguments made by others.

The bigger problem, IME, is spammers coming in and making innocuous posts, then editing them a week later when they think no-one's looking...

Vic.

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Google diversity memo: Web giant repudiates staffer's screed for 'incorrect assumptions about gender'

Vic
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Re: Just employ most suitable candidates

more likely that they're disqualified due to ageism

I had an agent ring me up about a candidate once - he was trying to make sure that the bloke's age wouldn't be a problem. He had quite a few years on me...

Of course, it wasn't a problem to me. The problem was that, at interview, the bloke was simply crap, and would resort to anecdotes about how computing used to be whenever I asked him a difficult question. I let him do that for a full hour before pointing out that I'd been doing the job rather longer than he had...

Vic.

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Linux kernel hardeners Grsecurity sue open source's Bruce Perens

Vic
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You only have to make the code available to parties you give the binary to ("available" could mean you have to ask by snail mail, btw.).

Absolutely and completely wrong. Section 3(b) of GPLv2 says exactly the opposite.

> ANYONE

No, certainly not.

Yes, anyone, if you're redistributing under Section 3(b) - which just about everyone does.

Please read the licence. You are propagating complete untruths.

Vic.

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Vic
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Besides, don't these companies using GPLed source code have a duty, according to the GPL, to distribute the GPLed source code to ANYONE asking for it -not just their customers?

Not *always*.

It is possible to redistribute under Section 3(a), where you distribute source *alongside* the binary. You must perform this form of distribution to every person to whom you distribute the binary. This rarely happens. But by definition, you only distribute source to your own customers - they, however, can redistribute that as they see fit, subject to the terms of the GPL.

More commonly, Section 3(b) is used, where the source is promised separately from the binary. In this case, the source must be made available to anyone who asks for it.

Vic.

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Vic
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it's still unbalanced, if not mostly one-sided.

I'm always very suspicious of new registrations with a single topic to bash.

Do you, perhaps, have a commercial interest you'd like to disclose?

Vic.

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Vic
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I would say that the part I have highlighted is adding a restriction as to who I can redistribute the code to, as it creates two categories of people, those I can distribute the code to and continue to receive patches and those I can't.

And, by virtue of that, it restricts redistribution to Section 3(a), whereas 3(b) is far more usual. That's a restriction, and therefore causes non-compliance.

Vic.

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Vic
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Footnore

Nice of you to join our community just so you could post that...

Vic.

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WannaCry kill-switch hero Marcus Hutchins collared by FBI on way home from DEF CON

Vic
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Re: Burn, baby burn..

I know no one that actually thinks/thought he'd be a good president

Big John will be along real soon...

Vic.

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Largest ever losses fail to dent Tesla's bulging order book

Vic
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Re: The future is diesel

Either way, it is a load of cobblers

I thought it was an attempt[1] at satire...

Vic.

[1] A pretty poor one, for sure.

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WannaCrypt victims paid out over $140k in Bitcoin to get files unscrambled

Vic
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Re: The most worrying comment is ...

If that's not verging on the incompetent

It isn't.

There's no "verging" involved...

Vic.

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If you love your email standards, SMTP your feet: 35 years later

Vic
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Re: that doesn't make it impossible.

the fact that so few people do what you're doing, even among those who *could* do it, is a strong hint that something different might suit the vast majority of people who want trustworthy email.

I couldn't possibly agree.

What it says to me is that far too few people actually give a shit about trustworthy email.

This is borne out by other abominations - like the number of domains that publish an SPF record of "v=spf1 +all" [1].

Vic.

[1] I was seeing this so often that I've actually modified my SPF milter to read "+all" as "-all". Life's a lot quieter...

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Vic
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I'd quite like to be able to send an email to my bank, lawyer or family without my ISP being able to read it. I don't think that's much to ask.

I can do that - and I do.

It's really not very difficult - but you'll have to run the encryption endpoint if you don't want your ISP to be involved. That's trivial...

Vic.

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Vic
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Re: someone trustworthy

Why do so many people trust HTTPS, certificates, Windows Update, and such? SMTP doesn't - can't - even come anywhere close to that level of trustworthiness.

Yes it can. SMTP can be conducted over TLS with certificate verification in exactly the same way that HTTPS is done.

Most people don't do this, but that doesn't make it impossible.

Vic.

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Vic
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Re: Email does have to get upgraded

And if SMTP is bad, webmail is worse

It doesn't have to be.

I run webmail for my main email interface. The difference is that it's *my* webmail, running on *my* server.

Vic.

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Vic
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Re: Penny mail

That will soon stop spam

No it won't.

The *vast* majority of spam is sent from forged addresses through armies of compromised machines.

So if you charge for email - it is those compromised users who pay, not the spammers.

Email micropayments has been suggested about a billion times as the FUSSP. It doesn't work. Not even a bit.

Vic.

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Vic
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Re: user-whitelisting

have an entire (sub)domain for yourself and set up a wildcard mailbox

Good god, no.

If you accept all, you get inundated with spam.

make up a dedicated email address for anything that asks for you to provide an email address

That's what many of us do - but you allocate those addresses on demand by way of an alias.

since the (sub)domain is configured as a wildcard mailbox all emails arrive in a single central mailbox

The same is true of aliases - but you only get email to addresses you've actually configured.

if that particular email address starts to receive spam it means that whoever you assigned that address has leaked it.

And if you've implemented this with aliases, you can then kill that address without affecting any other operation.

Vic.

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'Real' people want govts to spy on them, argues UK Home Secretary

Vic
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Re: "The only country that is Up Shit Creek *with* a Rudder."

How about a small anvil, followed by a 4 second delay, then 6 more anvils of increasing size and a large safe in quick succession, then a 7 second delay, then a piano, another 7 second delay, a cement truck, 20 second delay, a rapid pan-back and finally an aircraft carrier.

You are Tex Avery, AICMFP.

Vic.

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Vic
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Re: "The only country that is Up Shit Creek *with* a Rudder."

A piano could drop on her head tomorrow

Pleaseohpleaseohpleaseohpleaseohplease

Vic.

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Google tracks what you spend offline to prove its online ads work. And privacy folks are furious

Vic
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Re: This is why you want anonymous payments

Ever try to buy ... a car with cash?

My mate did.

He walked into a showroom with a brown paper bag full of money. He told the salesman that he wanted *that* car, and he was going to pay *this* amount of money. Then watched the salesdroid spend 20 minutes trying not to look at the bag of cash...

Vic.

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It took DEF CON hackers minutes to pwn these US voting machines

Vic
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Re: Now watch the companies chaff clouds

Really nice instruction set.

It has a BRN - "BRanch Never" instruction. And I've used it...

Vic.

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UK waves £45m cheque, charges scientists with battery tech boffinry

Vic
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Re: Nurture

I think part of the beneficial nature of borrowing money for tuition is the student having some personal interest in the proposition... "skin in the game", if you will

Then we would all benefit from those loans being forgiven to students graduating with good results...

Vic.

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Sysadmin jeered in staff cafeteria as he climbed ladder to fix PC

Vic
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Re: Windows for Worgroups @Vic

I'm actually not sure about coax. There were certainly enough conductors

Not on a single coax, there weren't. Token Ring used two pairs - four conductors.

Vic.

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Vic
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Re: Windows for Worgroups

Later versions of Token Ring particularly the stuff sold by Madge also used RJ-45s and could be put through the same structured cabling that 10baseT, telephone and serial cable could use.

Not coax, though...

Vic.

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Vic
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Re: Windows for Worgroups

They were based on a Token Ring Network system using BNC cabling (basically TV areal cable

They weren't.

If you had coax and BNCs, you were running Ethernet of some flavour. Token ring used twisted-pair cable with this huge hermaphrodite connector. Once used, never forgotten...

Vic.

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The ultimate full English breakfast – have your SAY

Vic
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Re: Live and let fry

I continue to be baffled by the "Full Welsh" breakfast - there doesn't seem to be any distinguishing characteristic from the English variety.

WDA subsidy?

Vic.

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Vic
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Re: poached? mustard? rocket?

a sprinkling of rocket on the fryup. This is an abomination and my Inquisition will be dealing with it.

"Salad isn't food. Salad is what food eats".

Vic.

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Vic
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Re: Fried OR scrambled eggs?

plant produce where it will fit.

The bin?

Vic.

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Vic
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Re: Proper rashers please

We have yet to summon the courage to sample a 'Meat' dish.

Do it!

"Meat" is invariably mutton. For a strongish curry, that's far better than lamb - although the taste is very similar, it's much stronger, so it doesn't get crowded out by the curry...

Vic.

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USA to screen tablets,
e-readers and handheld games before they fly

Vic
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Re: They are thinking outside the box

Easy peesy, no fuss, no mess, no work by the terrorists, just let the TSA do it all.

Yes. This is what terror *is*.

Terrorism isn't about blowing up aircraft, it's about causing the State to become so oppressive that the country tears itself apart. States seem to like becoming oppressive, so it's a pretty easy gig, really...

Vic.

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User filed fake trouble tickets to take helpful sysadmin to lunches

Vic
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Re: Never had one, despite being fucking awesome.

Most places I've worked, the way to get promoted is to go out drinking with the Right People.

Most of the great opportunities in my life have come about because I went drinking with the Right People. Even if I didn't know they were at the time...

I forget the exact stat, but it's something like 2/3 of all jobs are never advertised. You pick these up with unrelated discussions in pubs.

Vic.

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Vic
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Re: Not exactly a *customer* thankyou...

Im sure that Finance director could tell you , if not straight away then after his incident report , how many thousands they were losing per hour . Multiply that by 3 day call out and reconfig time , subtract price of bag of beer . profit.

Of course.

But I was staff - so they could reasonably have asked me to do the job as part of my normal duties.

The fact that I got anything as a thankyou was really quite welcome - and not even because it was beer, but because someone at Director level actually gave a shit...

Vic.

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Vic
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Not exactly a *customer* thankyou...

Years ago, during a bit of a career stall, I ended up being a junior code monkey for a company.

One afternoon, I wandered through the Finance department - to find everyone absent except the Finance Director, who looked about as grim as could be.

It turned out that their computer system had gone down hard - no-one could do anything, so all the staff had been sent home. They'd phoned Support, who couldn't get there for 3 days, and would do a bare-metal reinstall of the whole system when they did.

Now this was a NetWare system, and I had previously supported NetWare[1]. So I offered to take a look - after all, I really couldn't break anything, as the support guys were going to nuke everything from orbit anyway.

It took me 10 minutes to find the problem.

It took me 20 minutes to summon up the courage to apply the fix.

The following morning, I got in to work to be told that the FD was looking for me - urgently. "Crap", thinks I, "I've broken something". With trepidation, I headed for his office.

Whereupon, I was greeted with a huge beaming grin, and a very large bag of beer.

Vic.

[1] Spookily, my NetWare support role was in exactly the same building as this fault...

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Q. What's today's top language? A. Python... no, wait, Java... no, C

Vic
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Re: "Learn whichever ones take your fancy though."

Although probably a good idea to avoid "M," the language formerly known as mumps.

A friend of mine made a very good living doing M[1] just after leaving University.

We'd taken the piss all the way through Uni because she was reading Philosophy. Then she got a job in my field on more cash than I was getting...

She's an undertaker now...

Vic.

[1] Yes, it was still Mumps at the time.

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Vic
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Awk because it's awkward, which I like

I dislike awk intensely. But for some tasks, there is no sane substitute...

Vic.

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.. ..-. / -.-- --- ..- / -.-. .- -. / .-. . .- -.. / - .... .. ... then a US Navy fondleslab just put you out of a job

Vic
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Re: Trained != practiced

And that means constant practice of probably hours per week

Only if you want to stay in the uber-proficient class...

I've not used my Morse for over 30 years. It's nowhere near as good as it was back then - but I can still get by. And that's with *almost* no practice in the intervening years...

Vic.

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Vic
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Re: -.. --- / - . .-.. .-.. .-.-.- .-.-.- .-.-.- (Do tell...)

.-- .... . .-. .

ITYM ".-- . .-. ." ...

Vic.

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Jodie Who-ttaker? The Doctor is in

Vic
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Re: An attempt to be relevant

Well, perhaps Silvester McCoy really was out of his depth

At the time, I thought his Doctor was utter shite.

But re-watching those episodes years later, he's actually doing a remarkable job with some real stinkers of scripts...

Vic.

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Vic
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Maybe they could have made a River Song spin off

Oh, I wish.

I've got a bit of a thing for Alex Kingston...

Vic.

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UK government's war on e-cigs is over

Vic
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Re: No vaping in the workplace please

the most senior medical professionals in the country are pushing forward evidence based policy

Yes, but the most senior politicians in the country are pushing forward policy-based evidence...

Vic.

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Vic
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Re: Ex-smoker, non-vaper here

And their does seem to have been a huge upswing in vaping from modest puffs to - as someone above put it - huge belching clouds of perfume.

I was following a car in a traffic jam a few weeks back. A *huge* plume of smoke suddenly appeared towards the front of the car.

I thought he'd blown a head gasket...

Vic.

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The curious case of a Tesla smash, Autopilot blamed, and the driver's next-day U-turn

Vic
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Re: TCAS, not ACARS

cumulo-granite

*Brilliant* :-)

Vic.

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Vic
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Re: Hmm

Seems a mite suspicious to me how he changed his tune later

Not to me.

I went to an AAIB presentation last year. One of the take-away points from the inspector talking to us is that, after a crash, pilots do everything in their power to provide an accurate and informative account of the accident to the Bureau. And inevitably, just about every detail they give is wrong. This is the nature of a dangerous event; the brain really doesn't take things in objectively.

The Inspector gave us a particularly useful example of a glider pilot who had pranged his aircraft on approach. He recounted the story the pilot gave, and how it differed from what a subsequent investigation proved beyond shadow of doubt - the pilot was simply mistaken in just about everything. And the reason this was important was that the pilot in question was - himself.

Vic.

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SAP rips and replaces South African bosses amid corruption probe

Vic
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Re: Dont they all do this?

Why single SAP out as being the bad lads when their product is actually not bad

You were doing so well up until that...

Vic.

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Want to kill your IT security team? Put the top hacker in charge

Vic
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Re: Manifesto for the incompetent

So the proposal is not to promote the guy who has invested his time and effort becoming the expert

And there is the problem in one sentence: this isn't about not promoting him, it's about not making him a manager.

These two are only synonymous if management is the only form of promotion available - and that is why technology companies falter.

Vic.

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Electric driverless cars could make petrol and diesel motors 'socially unacceptable'

Vic
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Re: Bollocks...

Leaving some space though can help reduce traffic

Sure - but there's a world of difference between leaving a bit of space so that traffic can adjust, and leaving an enormous gap in very slow-moving traffic on a single lane where there is no such adjustment to be made...

When this isn't the case, having a buffer zone can allow you to keep moving smoothly and slowly, instead of constant stop-start.

Yes, but again - if you're doing 5mph, you don't need much of a buffer to achieve that. 50 yards at 5mph is 20s of driving if the car in front doesn't move at all. That's not a buffer, that's just causing a traffic jam.

Vic.

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