* Posts by IHateWearingATie

557 posts • joined 2 Jun 2008

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Now be honest – would you take divorce advice from Meg Whitman?

IHateWearingATie

Good to hear they can do something right

After so long, it was about time they put together some kind of decent services offering

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Blighty competition watchdog pokes pointy finger into cloud storage

IHateWearingATie

Re: Why do they do it?

@frank ly

I used to do that, but kept a HDD at my in-laws house and swapped it every few weeks. Was a right PITA.

For a few quid I now use crashplan and have turned the other disk into an on site backup. All nicely scheduled in WHS so I don't need to remember to do anything. I figure the odds of my house burning down AND crashplan losing my data at the same time are pretty small (and yes, I do occasionally check they actually have my data!)

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Amazon's new drones powered by Jeremy Clarkson's sarcasm

IHateWearingATie

Am I the only one looking forward to this?

Can't wait to order *very* cheap things I don't mind losing for the fun of seeing how much fun I can have with them. Ideas include:

- Strapping the mat to a dog and watching the drone follow it about the garden finding somewhere to land

- Putting the mat on the roof to see if the drone tries to land at 45 degrees

- Trying to blow it off course by spraying it with a hose as it comes into land

- Strapping rocks to it to see how much weight it can carry back to the depot.

- Catching and graffiting it before it heads back to base.

I'm sure other commentards have better ideas. Sounds like hours of fun to me

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Who owns space? Looking at the US asteroid-mining act

IHateWearingATie

No problem for a long time to come

The economics of mining asteroids and other bodies will suck royally for a very long time to come. There are a few idiots who think it will work financially and are planning to waste their money on it. Good luck to them.

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Spending Review: GDS gets £450m, Cabinet Office budget slashed

IHateWearingATie
Go

I smell a pork barrel. ..

... time to brush up on the old cv and get my snout right in it.

Ethics - I've heard of them.

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Struggling to understand Docker? Let's start with a Minecraft demo

IHateWearingATie
Devil

GTA V could be used for Management Consultants, but may have too much inbuilt morality to use as anything other than basic training.

Would suggest Tetris for Civil Servants - the mindless repetitive action with no discernible output or end goal would get them in the mood

(have been both the above so I'm allowed to be mean about them)

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Short weekend break: Skegness or exoplanet HD 189733b?

IHateWearingATie

Re: Skeggie? Why oh why?

You soft southern jessie!

We barely saw an icicle there this summer, and I didn't see any frostbite (this time).

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DS5: Vive la différence ... oh, and throw away the Citroën badge

IHateWearingATie

Bit expensive

Have been looking at a new family car - 29k is a little much when I could get well specced Octavia VRS for 27K, or step up to BMW, Audi (albeit not top specced) for a few grand more.

Looks okay but not too interesting. Engines available look 'meh'.

Not tempted unfortunately.

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Behold, the fantasy of infinite cloud compute elasticity

IHateWearingATie
Stop

Author forgot to mention that the propensity for spare capacity is directly related to the cost of having the spare capacity (which is the cost of capital invested and ongoing costs) vs the potential reward for having the capacity available. A low cost of spare capacity vs high potential for reward (e.g. you can charge a lot of money for no-notice spinning up of 10,000 instances, and customers are happy to pay that much higher price) means that this may be possible in the future. Or may not - I'm not sure anyone is sure enough of the long term economics of public cloud yet to say which way it will fall.

Hotels mentioned in the article are a good example, but the author is too simplistic. If you take a tourist resort, the hotel may be huge and nearly empty in the Winter. The in the Summer it's full of people paying a premium, and it makes sense for the hotel operator to maintain large amounts of spare capacity in the off season as the cash in the peak more than makes up for it. I can imagine a very similar calculation being taken by cloud providers, if there is a demand for high price, no notice spinning up of large sets of VMs, a bit like there is a large demand for high price hotel rooms in Summer.

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Ex-competition watchdog and TalkTalk adviser calls for Openreach split from BT

IHateWearingATie

It's an interesting idea, but more tricky than you think

If Openreach was hived off into a separate company, the regulatory regime would need a significant overhaul. You'd probably get into a kind of similar situation you have with the water industry where the regulator and the company draw up an investment plan together, and work out prices based on an allowable amount of profit. That's fine, but we saw in the water industry that it does have a bit of a tendency to group think on technical solutions and where investment is needed. Tech direction in telecoms is a lot more complex than the water industry, so I'd suggest the risk and impact of this would be greater than we have seen elsewhere.

I'm not arguing against splitting it off, but just warning that we may end up with a whole set of new problems in the future if the regulatory regime is not really really well thought out. The grass is not always greener.

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Today's exoplanet weather: 1,000°C, glass rain, 8,700 km/h winds

IHateWearingATie

Re: I wonder how much longer it'll be around?

While I applaud your calculations, I'll have to mark you down for use of non-standard units.

The correct measurement of mass on El Reg is the Jub (the mass of the planet being 5.23 x 10^23 KiloJubs). Do keep up.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/page/reg-standards-converter.html

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Working with Asperger's in tech: We're in this together

IHateWearingATie

I thought Aspergers has been dropped as a diagnosis

My colleague's son is on the Spectrum, and tells me that Aspergers has been dropped as a specific diagnosis because the boundaries between it and the rest of Autism are too difficult to define. His son has a diagnosis of high functioning autism, whereas in the past it may have been aspergers.

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Sennheiser announces €50,000 headphones (we checked, no typos)

IHateWearingATie

Re: Diminishing returns

I have a pair of £30 bluetooth generic headphones that sound exactly the same. Why? Because I have 'lead ears' and a serious case of philistinism which means I can't tell any difference between crap and great headphones. Saves me a packet :)

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Microsoft Windows 7 Pro: Halloween Horror for PC makers next year

IHateWearingATie

Depends on your applications I guess - most of the very large corporates I work in would take a huge cost hit moving all their application cruft over to a non-Windows compatible environment. Custom spreadsheet macros that won't translate between Excel and OpenOffice (or other Linux compatible Office package of your choice) would be just the start of a long long painful process.

Doubt the savings would ever add up in a lot of them. User retraining would be a drop in the cost ocean!

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Has Voyager 1 escaped the Sun yet? Yes, but also no, say boffins

IHateWearingATie

Re: replacement

If I had been working on Voyager as it made its way out of the Solar System, I'd have probably hung around at least part time for as long as I could still tap a keyboard. Awesome job!

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We can't all live by taking in each others' washing

IHateWearingATie

Re: Shame

I'll add my annoyance that they have dispensed with tim's service . Very much enjoyed his columns - the new management better have a decent substitute lined up

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Crash this beauty? James Bond's concept DB10 Aston debuts in Spectre

IHateWearingATie

Re: I got 900,000 problems

My understanding is that no money changes hands. Aston and Jag are told when and where to deliver the cars for filming, and then can take back whatever is left at the end. Cash only changes hands when agreeing additional marketing tie ups (TV adverts, posters etc).

Allegedly.

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Lotus F1: 38°C? Sand in your Vblocks? Must be building a data center in Bahrain again

IHateWearingATie

Wonder how much of that kit has been repossessed?

Given the number of bayliff visits recently to Enstone, no wonder they hide the IT kit in a bunker.

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Dell buys out EMC in mega-super-duper $67 BEEELLLION deal

IHateWearingATie
Unhappy

Majority of large aquisitions fail to provide value

This will not be an exception.

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Join Uber in a tale of rent seeking and employment law

IHateWearingATie
Mushroom

I don't really care about Uber as a company...

... but I've had far more unpleasant experiences with Black Cabs in London than mini-cabs (which Uber argue they are).

Anything which screws the black cab monopoly is fine by me. Have some sympathy with TfL trying to walk a difficult line between various stakeholders, but I'd happily stick two fingers up at the LTDA.

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11 MILLION VW cars used Dieselgate cheatware – what the clutch, Volkswagen?

IHateWearingATie

Re: Faulty test

Wind resistance? I would have thought that the fan would be running in the wind tunnel is to ensure that the radiator and turbo intercooler get suffient breeze over them.

Can't see how it needs to overcome wind resistance as if it is on rollers it's probably tied down for safety.

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Microsoft Office 2016 for Windows: The spirit of Clippy lives on

IHateWearingATie

I have a sharp pointy stick...

.... ready if I ever meet the product owner for One Drive for Business sync client.

It's not that it completely sucks, its that it it lulls you in to a false sense of security then screws up when its most needed

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Man given positive pregnancy test in an Apple Watch box

IHateWearingATie
Childcatcher

I have kids. An Apple Watch Edition would be less expensive.

And would only wake me up at 6am on a Saturday if I told it to.

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Robots, schmobots. The Rise of the Machines won't leave humanity on the dole

IHateWearingATie

Re: Satisficers rather than Maximisers

I'd take a look at the way that productivity is calculated before assuming that the UK is 'worse' than France and less efficient, due to the way that the public sector is included in the calculation. The bigger your public sector, the more efficient your economy looks

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'To read this page, please turn off your ad blocker...'

IHateWearingATie

Downvotes

I'm going to get downvoted to hell, but I don't think what Google, Washington Post etc are doing is wrong. I don't like adverts, but I also like visiting places like El Reg for free, and I can do that as they are ad supported. I see it as the cost of using these sites - I pay by watching ads rather than pay with money.

It's not theft as per the quote in the article (stupid hyperbole from that bloke), but it doesn't feel particularly ethical to visit a site like El Reg and deliberately block their method of getting payback for that.

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Confession: I was a teenage computer virus writer

IHateWearingATie
Mushroom

Viruses are all very well...

.... but I want to know more about blowing up phone boxes with fireworks!

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So Quantitative Easing in the eurozone is working, then?

IHateWearingATie

Only on El Reg...

...would you have a thread discussing the theory of money that is interspersed (spelling?) with posts arguing on how to correctly identify the capacity of a floppy disc :)

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Why are Google and 'VW group' having a 'global summit' in San Francisco today?

IHateWearingATie
Black Helicopters

LIZARDS!

Calling David Ike

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FBI collars exec who allegedly tried to nick secrets of game fronted by babe Kate Upton

IHateWearingATie

Freemium games not all bad

I have a mild Clash of Clans obsession and I think its really very balanced, and a great example of how these kinds of games can work. There is nothing in the game you have to pay for, as you get given small amounts each week for free of the in-game currency that you can also buy. The fun of the game is slowly making your way up the levels and while splashing the cash can speed things a little, you'll never notice the difference when playing between the people who have spent a bit of cash and those that haven't.

To be honest, you need a while playing to learn it well and the game penalises you to a significant extent you if you rush one aspect far ahead of the others. The people you can tell have splashed a lot of cash are usually really bad at the game, and have hugely unbalanced bases which make them easy and well worth attacking.

As to how much I've spent? About £15 through 18 months of playing, which I think is really very good value if I think of how much the latest Call of Duty cost me. I'm on level 9 of 10 so pretty far through (TH9, level 20 heros, max troops and part level 10 and part level 9 walls for anyone that plays it)

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BOFH: Why, I LOVE work courses. Please tell me more, o wise one!

IHateWearingATie

Am I the only one...

.... who thinks that course sounds like a good idea. Two days of pissing around eating my bodyweight in biscuits and cookies, surrupticiously web surfing at the back of the meeting room paid for by the client.

What's not to like?

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Audi RS3: Keep running up that hill, with no problems

IHateWearingATie

Re: Had to sell the Scooby?

It was track fettled, so the ride was too harsh for the kids (but great for 4 wheel drifts around Silverstone).

And my wife refused to drive it as the clutch was too heavy and throttle response too harsh for her.

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IHateWearingATie

A car for those of us who dream of speed. ..

But have two kids and a boatload of crap to lug around. Had to sell the track fettled scooby so making do with an Octavia vrs :(

Not sure this would get past the boss at that price though. May be getting another vrs or an s4 instead :(

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Two weeks of Windows 10: Just how is Microsoft doing?

IHateWearingATie

Seems like a good start

Given my Win 7 desktop is rock solid (don't remember the last issue I had, despite running an overclocked processor and memory), I'll be waiting to upgrade that till next year, but I may be doing an upgrade on the family laptop over Christmas if it looks like it keeps improving.

No way I'm going to upgrade in the first two weeks of a new release of anything made by Microsoft :)

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Intel emits Skylake CPUs for gamers, overclockers (Psst, you'll need new RAM and a new mobo)

IHateWearingATie

Cooling is going to be fun with 95W!

Have been thinking about replacing my 2500K that has been running at 4.5GHz for the last few years - the last couple of generations haven't given me anything much extra. Wonder if skylake will be better?

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Speaking in Tech: Some douchebag put a bike rack on Tesla's new motor

IHateWearingATie

Fred Nix?

Clearly I'm not party to the Fred Nix inside joke. Googling has failed me - anyone any idea what the Fred Nix jokes are all about?

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BREAKING NEWS: Apple makes money

IHateWearingATie

Re: Record profits yet Wall St says No

Deary deary me

The stock market is basically driven by fear and greed, but to suggest that Apple goes private is just stupid. For a start, who has the funds to buy the shares of the world's most valuable company (by market cap)? And who would take it private, and why, to what end?

Apple is not a person that can be offended by the change in shareprice. How do you think shareprices are set - by analysts grouping together in some darkened room and cackling over a (computer generated) cauldron? Or by pension funds, insurance companies, hedge funds etc buying and selling based on whether they think they can turn a good enough profit in the future for their investment.

I'm not saying that the capital markets are not without huge issues and have stepped far far beyond sense in a lot of cases, but this is one of the few areas that actually follows what probably should happen. Apple gives guidance on future results, analysts and others say what they think as well, the actual results are published and they are lower, the price moves lower to reflect the lower expectations. I struggle to see what the issue is. If you want to rant and rave at the stupidity of the stock market, go take a look at naked short selling, or the floatation of Box.

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Here's why Whittingdale kicked a subscription BBC into the future

IHateWearingATie

Do not mess with Radio 4 Mr Whittingdale...

... if you value your Tory seats in the home counties.

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Fancy signing into Windows 10 with Office 365? WHOA there, my friend

IHateWearingATie

This is really not good enough...

.... MS need to sort this out PDQ. The sign in process in Win 8 already is a bit weird with ODFB and Office, and the confusing prompts for a Microsoft Account (aka my hotmail log in which is what it will be for a large number of people I suspect).

It doesn't seem that hard to design a sensible single sign on for Win 10, but that woudl require their product team, heaven forbid, from working together for once

1
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Your security is just dandy, Apple Pay, but here comes Android

IHateWearingATie

Meh

I don't just have payment cards in my wallet - I have cash (as not everyone takes cards - the coffee van that comes round to my client site for example), my card for the AA, my Tesco clubcard. I like the technology and where it is going, but I'll still need my wallet for now and so I don't see a great benefit (certainly not enough to make me replace my Android phone for an Apple one next upgrade cycle)

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Nokia will indeed be back 'making' phones – and it's far from a foolish move

IHateWearingATie

Given where they had got themselves to...

.... getting Microsoft to pay as much as they did for the handset division was pretty impressive.

Now, if only they had applied that business sense earlier to not fall down the rabbit hole that they did...

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Blighty's BONKERS BANKING BONKING BONANZA: Apple Pay arrives

IHateWearingATie
Headmaster

I've said it before and I'll say it again

Bring back Mondex! Used it at university in the late 90s and I need a nostalgia hit

2
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On yer bike: Hammerhead satnav for cyclists – just don't look down

IHateWearingATie

Can it take routes from strava and other cycle planning software?

Lots of people use strava or other apps to plan their rides - a killer feature would it being able to accept tcx or gcx files for routes. Will have to investigate

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EU net neutrality deal miraculously keeps everyone happy

IHateWearingATie

Bring on the downvotes

Seems like a sensible set of proposals to me. I'm not that bothered about Net Neutrality for the UK as most (to be fair, not all) people have a wide choice of ISPs and if one starts playing silly buggers others will soon start differentiating to attract customer.

Take a look at the 'unlimited' debacle - it may have taken a bit of time, but there are mainstream ISPs offering properly unlimited access (for a price) if that's what you after. If you're not that bothered as you don't download a lot of data, there are others that will offer a cheaper deal. Virgin have gone a different way, with dynamic throttling rather than monthly download limits (I'm with Virgin - the dynamic throttling works very well for what I use it for). It wasn't fast, but it worked - I can see no reason why the same wouldn't happen without net neutrality laws if some ISPs started killing iPlayer bandwidth unless you / BBC paid them more money.

I can see in countries where certain suppliers have a virtual monopoly in an area this would matter much more - I understand this is a particular issue in the USA. But I don't live there, so they can do whatever they think is best.

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7/7 memories: I was on a helpdesk that day and one of my users died

IHateWearingATie

Very eerie in London

At the time my route to work was walking through Tavistock squre, but that morning I and my wife had decided to go in early as we were both busy - quite a good idea in hindsight. The bus that blew up was on the route that she used (No30 I seem to recall) which went down the Euston road to Kings Cross but because of the tube bombs had diverted down to Tavistock Square that morning

Walking back to Euston later that afternoon was really very strange as all the tubes and buses had been cancelled, so everyone was walking. The streets were filled with people but it was very quiet with the mobile networks all still switched off. Walked up the other side of Tavistock Square on my way and saw what was left of the bus, before they screened it off.

Got one of the first trains out of Euston after they opened the station late afternoon - first and only time that strangers talked to strangers on London transport.

RIP

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Chair legs it from UK govt smart meter installation programme

IHateWearingATie

Rule 1 for Quangos

You must be outside the glasshouse before throwing stones.

I suspect the Baronness was reminded of the rule on her way out the door

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Hi-res audio folk to introduce new rules and weed out impure noises

IHateWearingATie

Lead ears...

I think I;ve read before about people who say they have 'golden ears' and can tell the difference between very subtle increases in dynamic range and sampling rate.

I however have 'lead' ears, which means I've never really been able to tell the difference between rubbish and amazing, or any grades in between. Which saves me money, as I can happily continue on my merry way with my £10 bluetooth earphones and MP3 files and get exactly the same experience as if I had spent £10k on some crazy super kit.

Ignorance may not be bliss, but it's a hell of a lot cheaper.

5
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Downing Street secretly deletes emails to avoid exposure to FOIeurs

IHateWearingATie

Er, old news?

This kind of thing has been standard across central government since FoI became law 10 years ago. You have to choose to save off the important stuff (and there are archive systems to do this) and then everything else is cleared after a specified period of time - No10 have 3 months but I think the rest of Gov have between 6 and 12 months as the limit. Remember,this stuff has been in place since 2005 - storage was really very expensive back then and Gov IT budgets are limited (remember they are funded by taking money away from you as taxes).

The FoI Act specifcially did not include a clause to stop people deleting stuff before a request has been received to allow removing anything unimportant / incriminating (delete as appropriate :) )

Of course, deleting stuff after receiving a request will get you in a load of trouble.

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SME IT contracts? That's the last thing Whitehall wants – report

IHateWearingATie

Nirvana.... or not

Currently working on a project with a private sector business where they have SMEs rather than a single big integrator. It's a disaster (which is why I'm here to try and help fix it).

Just goes to show that if you don't have the fundamentals of IT delivery right, things will screw up just as easily with an SME as with one of the big boys.

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GDS to handle Govt payments? What could possibly go wrong?

IHateWearingATie

Being a former civil servant, I'm usually annoyed when people mention Yes Minister as real life in Government tends to be stupidly complex and has lots of very good people doing as good a job as can be done in difficult circumstances (certainly just as good or bad as in the private sector in my experience - you just don't see them being eviserated in the press very often).

However, this has all the hallmarks of the minister in question being throughly Sir Humpreyed.

"Welcome to your new office Minister. Just read this brief on how wonderful we are. Oh by the way, you have a select committee meeting in 3 days where you'll have no choice but to regurgiate our briefing as you don't know any better yet, and then you'll be stuck defending us forever more lest you be accused of a U-Turn".

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Backwaters in rural England getting non-BT gigabit broadband

IHateWearingATie

Re: Isn't this in David Cameron's neck of the woods?

No. His constiuency is Witney, and I don't think the list of villages are covered by his constituency. I know some of the villages and they are very small and very wealthy. Seems perfect for FTTP.

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