* Posts by John Robson

1653 posts • joined 19 May 2008

Apple nabs smartphone top spot from Samsung, but for how long?

John Robson
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There is some requirement for volume - you need to sustain enough market share for your device to at least be a plausible option in terms of 'knowing other people with it'.

Although other than iMessage most of the comms channels people use are pretty open...

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The Register's guide to protecting your data when visiting the US

John Robson
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Re: Even Americans can get deported

"A local from the near by military base went to visit his family in San Diego in uniform but was deported to Mexico while travelling back north back to his base because he didn't have his "passport" on him, he looked Mexican and had a Latino name. On being deported to a foreign country he then had to ring his commanding officer in the US to come and rescue him"

So why did the Mexicans not just deport him back to the US?

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To do DevOps right, beam down a UFO says Dynatrace

John Robson
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Re: Often wanted a warning beacon/klaxon

I did say the main monitoring panel should be on a big screen anyway...

But yes - the break out area is a much better place. maybe have it manually activated by the ops team as and when 'more alarms than we can deal with' hit the big screen...

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John Robson
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Often wanted a warning beacon/klaxon

But seriously - it's only there to send the operations team scurrying to the monitoring system (which frankly should already be up on screen - preferably a big one)...

So I reckon a single light would do the job at least as well...

Just trying to work out how many times the beacon would have turned *off* at some places I've worked...

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Who's behind the Kodi TV streaming stick crackdown?

John Robson
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Re: Home streaming is killing..

"Not just easier, cheaper is the biggest 'selling' point for piracy."

Actually - easier comes pretty high up the list as well.

I certainly don't want to have to pay for multiple subscriptions - but I also don't want to have to search multiple sites to find the film I want.

A local media server is so much easier.

If there was a Spotify-a-like video service than I'd consider it - but there isn't, and there won't be for a significant while yet.

ITV still only stream in SD (and frankly Youtube at 320p looks better most of the time) so there is no way to watch their content in decent quality without someone bouncing it off digital storage...

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Elon Musk joins anti-Trump legal brief

John Robson
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Re: Contempt...

I would hold the so-called president in contempt of court without hesitation...

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Juno how to adjust a broken Jupiter probe's orbit?

John Robson
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Re: Gravity well.

They are currently in a highly elliptical orbit IIRC...

So they want to lower Apojove, which is best done from perijove (as any KSP player will tell you).

But the 53 day orbit does rather limit the number of attempts they get.

Anyone would think this was rocket science...

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Fears Windows code-signing changes will screw up QA process

John Robson
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That's the point - that's when you want to sign - but you have to manually insert a USB stick to a server somewhere to do the signing...

Then the build -> sign -> QA step can't be automated...

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Tablets become feebleslabs as sales spiral down

John Robson
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Re: Got one. Meh

"Citrix was fine, but it turns out that USB OTG is a complete pain in the arse. Basically it doesn't work."

That surprises me - I used to use USB OTG for a mouse on my Nexus, with a BT keyboard to do all sorts of things. I had DOSBox installed, running a Windows strategy based game on the thing...

It was a bit slower than I'd have liked (in terms of screen redrawing (which was all virtualised I think)

But it was a good little product - and USB OTG was a key feature in there...

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Congratulations – you're looking better than ever this morning!

John Robson
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Re: Well, that's done it

Yep - Star Wars test coming in .....

Glad they at least got the bird in the sky, sorry hovering near the dome, before the fart took office.

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Dropbox: Oops, yeah, we didn't actually delete all your files – this bug kept them in the cloud

John Robson
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Re: Why

"Why? They have meta-data inconsistencies? Big freaking deal, they're going to be deleted, what matter does the metadata mean in relation to a file that no longer exists?"

Maybe to make sure that it really was the data you thought it was?

If the meta data is broken then you don't actually know what is in the file - has someone tried to delete one file, but another has been selected due to the mixup?

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US govt can't stop Microsoft taking its Irish email seizure fight to the Supreme Court

John Robson
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Re: N jurisdictions, where N is large...

Pretty sure that this is a solved problem - you can shard the data into m pieces, any n of which would allow you to reconstitute the data...

Don't MS do this for their P2P downloads?

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Chevy Bolt electric car came alive, reversed into my workbench, says stunned bloke

John Robson
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Re: 9000 pound sports car..

"What am I doing wrong?"

Well for one thing you need to stop breaking your car and start using the brakes instead...

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John Robson
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If you don't enjoy spending time and money at transmission shop (and plan to keep the car for longer than 3 years) you better get a stick.

Maybe US auto gearboxes are less reliable than UK ones - but they seem to last a good long while over here...

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John Robson
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Towing on a flatbed is more to do with the battery charging electronics than the lack of neutral (a gear state that doesn't necessarily make sense in a direct drive vehicle with a reversible engine...

No gearbox/clutch needed - what is neutral?

(Yes there is a direct reduction gear train, but no 'box' - tesla spent a lot of money on a 2 speed box until they decided to just build a motor that can rev higher, since the gearboxes were getting ripped apart)

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CIA boss: Make America (a) great (big database of surveillance on citizens, foreigners) again!

John Robson
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I presume that you therefore have dual nationality/citizenship (because you probably need at least one passport - right?)

Does it really insist that every citizenship is represented by a passport?

Maybe it would just be easier to get a visa?

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John Robson
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"It begun ages ago. Have you ever registered on ESTA? It even asks for your social media accounts."

It does make sure to point out that submission of such is voluntary...

Yeah right... I'm sure they won't have a look in the depths of accounts to see who might be whom...

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Uber coughs up $20m after 'lying about how much its drivers make'

John Robson
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Re: "slash their funding"

He can slash finding of the FTC though...

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On last day as president, Obama's CIO shrouds future .gov websites in secret code

John Robson
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The fact that the site should be forced HTTPS is loaded - not the site itself...

I agree wrt the existing stuff though. I'd have thought it even more important.

Maybe a clause saying 'after 5 new domains we'll apply this to all domain renewals as well'

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Deadly Tesla smash probe: No recall needed, says Uncle Sam

John Robson
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Re: You can fix

Should have eye tracking cameras installed.... if the driver does'nt look out of the windscreen for 2 seconds it sounds a loud alarm and starts droppping the throttle...

You mean like nVidia have recently demonstrated?

Can't say it's a bad idea on any car - though a signal that you're in reverse gear might be useful ;)

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Apple sings another iTune following Brexit as prices rise by up to a third

John Robson
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Re: When in the us

>> 'That's still a rather small proportion of the electorate, let alone the population.'

> Although rather more than any political party has got in recent time and in terms of sample sizes

> it's probably fair to say it's statistically significant.

Absolutely it is still significant (and I'm not saying that we should invalidate the referendum*)

But it's a long way from the majority which is so frequently claimed. It was a very slender majority of 70% of the electorate, which is about 70% of the population (i.e. a slender majority of just under half of the population)

~25% of the UK voted for Brexit <- That does not fall under any category of 'most'

*OTOH I do think we should actually look at it as a measure of dissatisfaction rather than an decree absolute...

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John Robson
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Re: When in the us

"More than 50% voted for this sort of thing to happen."

No - more than 50% of those who voted, voted for this...

That's still a rather small proportion of the electorate, let alone the population.

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Maps and alarm clocks best thing about mobes, say normies

John Robson
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Re: >So Mr Average uses his smart phone as an Alarm clock and map.

As I took an unexpected trip on Sunday (borrowed a van to shift a sofa) I realised that I'd charged my wife's phone the night before, so the battery was low (~30%).

Since it was my GPS and my comms system I had to take a decision on whether to head home first (pain, and the collection was time limited)... I didn't.

I just turned the screen off for the journey - prodded it on at the approach to junctions that looked complex. Made it back home with >20% battery.

Seriously battery life on a device that is sensibly used has come a long way in the last few years...

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John Robson
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Re: >So Mr Average uses his smart phone as an Alarm clock and map.

"I'd not use a smartphone as a replacement music player because analogue is infinitely better if you really like listening to music and/or prefer to not damage your ears through over exposure of loud stepped noise"

What does that even mean?

The DAC in most phones is pretty much perfectly transparent, the headphones you choose to use might be awful of course...

And the inbuilt speakers are generally awful.

What is 'stepped' noise - is it a waltz whilst being danced?

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John Robson
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Surely correlation with smartphone usage isn't a bad thing when you are asking about smartphone usage?

[Yes I know it's actually biased towards a specific subset of smartphone users]

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Drone company fails to take off, tells pre-orderers: You can have your $34m back

John Robson
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They have 34 million left.

The starting total from preorders is unspecified...

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Asteroid nearly gave Earth a new feature, two days after its discovery

John Robson
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Re: What if it had hit?

To be fair you could probably specify a hemisphere...

I mean - one side of the earth was facing in the direction from which the asteroid came at the time it passed by - so I reckon that hemisphere was more 'at risk' than the other...

But yes - it's like asking which section of a tennis court the basket ball would land in if bowled from between the posts on a rugby pitch.

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TV anchor says live on-air 'Alexa, order me a dollhouse' – guess what happens next

John Robson
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So what?

Alexa places the order - the account holder gets the email, and hits cancel, or sets up the return (or just refuses delivery).

I agree that the universality of the 'start listening' command is a potential issue, and easily resolved, but how big a deal is it to cancel an amazon order - they always take at least an hour or so to actually pack and set up the dispatch (certain addresses in Cambridge not withstanding)...

And the returns process is generally pain free...

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Forget aircraft – now cretins are laser-blinding ferry boat crewmen

John Robson
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Re: Cretins...

Please don't insult pond scum.

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Apple sued by parents of girl killed by driver 'distracted by FaceTime'

John Robson
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Re: Kind of see the point..

So they've filed a patent on something they can't do?

Maybe the patent office needs to be pulled in as a co-defendant?

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John Robson
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Kind of see the point..

Aside from the possibility (probability?) that it's a medical insurance requirement (Thank ${DEITY} for the NHS)...

Apple have publicly declared that they can stop this happening, and pretty much by doing so stopped anyone else trying to do it either...

But then haven't done it.

If a company advertises that they have this great new safety feature - shouldn't we all be allowed to think it might get implemented?

As an aside I've been driven by someone making a FaceTime call. They were looking at the road, but their d/Deaf wife was lipreading...

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Hackers could turn your smart meter into a bomb and blow your family to smithereens – new claim

John Robson
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Re: "Smart meters are 'dangerously insecure'"

All new meters are outside, so they can be read more easily....

And smart meters need to be read how often? Oh well. Idiots...

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Ridiculously small Linux build lands with ridiculously few swears

John Robson
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tripto what I think...

So I google.... And the only references to this spelling are in this article, and it's clones...

Google suggests an alternative spelling which is much more likely - referencing turkey comas and gluttons eating way beyond then point where their gluttony was satisfied...

So who made the original typo, and who did all the copy-paste?

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Elon burning to get Falcon back on the launchpad

John Robson
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Re: Back in business

Why wouldn't they? It's not as if there is any issue with the first stage, this was a second stage failure - and it sounds like they were trying for just a little bit more push (using colder fuels for increased energy density)

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Ad-slinger Turn caught with its hand in Verizon's 'supercookie' jar

John Robson
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Hang on - if you aren't paying then you *are* the product they are selling...

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That is pretty, er, Nimble. Storage firm claims 'six nines' availability

John Robson
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A few seconds for failover - when you're only allowing 25 seconds per year each firmware upgrade takes a serious percentage..

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Who killed Pebble? Easy: The vulture capitalists

John Robson
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I'm really glad I didn't buy one...

I have been borrowing one (Kickstarter edition) for a few months - and was starting to consider getting one myself. They do a number of useful things. But this shall go back, and I shall make do without having everything instantly brought to my attention.

I reckon this is probably a good thing...

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Google turns on free public NTP servers that SMEAR TIME

John Robson
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Hence they are published with the disclaimer. Of course it would be good to have a flag in the not responses to say that it is 10+10 smeared time

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John Robson
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Re: Well, I'm giving it a punt

"I've configured my home network now to have two internal NTP servers"

So now you never know what the time is...

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John Robson
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Re: We have also a Google time now?

Google are doing their own thing internally, and have been doing so for a while.

Now that others have access to the Compute power in their bit barns they need a way to sync time between their on and offsite resources, and running GoogleTime (tm) seems like a sensible option. I'd still suggest pool servers for most people, but for those with ties into the Google systems that need accurate sync (not necessarily time, but sync) then this is a good solution.

For a normal home user then the conventional approach of a leap second actually doesn't work too badly - we do seem to have leap seconds figured out reasonably well...

Having computers run on a non sidereal dependant clock does seem like a good idea though...

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Renewed calls for Tesla to scrap Autopilot after number of crashes

John Robson
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"Strange how people think the word/prefix "auto" means "it does it by itself without (further) instruction from you"."

My auto gearbox doesn't change gears on it's own - it depends on me applying more throttle, or the brakes.

The automatic washing machine doesn't load itself, not even with soap/conditioner.

How many people 'pilot' their cars? I don't know anyone who would use that word. Now if the Tesla starts flying then that might be a different area of confusion - but the Model F was, unfortunately, announced on the first day of the fourth month...

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John Robson
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Re: Maybe consumer groups...

"But do we really need to test this generation on public thoroughfares?"

Yes we - do because it's only real world testing that will get us through this generation. I still don't see any evidence that the autopilot is worse than the vast majority of drivers (obviously excluding the reader who is perfect).

If I could afford one then I would have one, and would use auto-pilot, and it would be of net benefit to my safety, and those around me (I, like most people, consider myself to be a competent driver. Unlike many motorists I also acknowledge that I can miss things and get tired/grumpy/distracted/indignant and that *none* of those are qualities I want to have when in control of a tonne of lethal weapon)

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John Robson
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That hardware is there - the software isn't yet. So they don't do self driving yet - they do autopilot. Which is different.

You can tell because the words aren't the same.

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John Robson
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Maybe consumer groups...

Who haven't bought a tesla don't understand an autopilot.

Maybe non pilots don't understand how little an autopilot does in the air...

Maybe they need to look at human vehicles for their standard, not to some vision of the cars of the next generation(s) expecting those to materialise without first passing through this generation...

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UCam247 tells El Reg most of its cams aren't vulnerable to GET vuln

John Robson
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Re: @Mephistro Good...

I like that expansion of IoT: Ignore, obfuscate, Threaten (litigation)

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Netflix and spill: Web vid giant kills password masking in tests

John Robson
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Re: As bad as Amazon video on my TV

The FireTV stick and box show 0-4 mapped onto the direction and click keys on the remote and 5-9 if you press the 'option' button.

If you watch you get to know which half of the number space each number is in.

This massively reduces the search space - 5^4 rather than 10^4

That's still 625 codes given a 4 digit PIN

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John Robson
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Re: As bad as Amazon video on my TV

Proper Amazon box doesn't move it round a grid.

Took me a moment to realise that you meant a TV implementation - which TV is so badly broken?

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Grand App Auto: Tesla smartphone hack can track, locate, unlock, and start cars

John Robson
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Re: That's a lot of code

I'd rather my code was shown to be better than people than proved 'correct'

Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it. - Donald Knuth

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Apple unplugs its home LAN biz, allegedly

John Robson
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Oh - I quite liked the Airport range

I was considering a couple for improved WiFi (still on g at home)

I shall be looking elsewhere...

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Hacker dishes advanced phishing kit to hook clever staff in 10 mins

John Robson
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Re: Discerning?

I was more concerned with the use of the word impressive.

Depressing maybe?

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