* Posts by smudge

567 posts • joined 8 Aug 2008

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Pack up, go home to your family: Google Drive is flipping out

smudge
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Flame

We reached out to Google for additional information

No you didn't. You asked them.

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Smart meters: 'Dog's breakfast' that'll only save you 'a tenner' – report

smudge
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Holmes

Re: I want a smart water meter

My only significant water usage is the washing machine, but that's just my clothes.

I am curiously intrigued to know how/where you expel waste from your body. The icon says it all.

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Connect at mine free Wi-Fi! I would knew what I is do! I is cafe boss!

smudge
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Re: Lightbulb moment?

It's lightbulbs all the way up.

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Mazda and Toyota join forces on Linux-based connected car platform

smudge
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Re: 3 years of supported apps?

Where does is say that? All I can see is that use of the core apps is free for the first three years.

What El Reg's report doesn't say - but the Autotrader one does - is that Entune uses your own smartphone to connect, so a contract with unlimited data is recommended. You have to register your phone with Entune. I assume you can register more than one phone, for when a vehicle is used, separately, by different drivers.

There are other car systems - eg BMW's - which have their own SIM.

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London Mayor hires former PR man as Chief Digi Officer

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WTF?

... before going on to advise Martha Lane-Fox

He then moved into a couple of roles within PR, before going on to advise Martha Lane-Fox in her role as Digital Champion.

She was getting advice ????

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Vodafone won't pay employee expenses for cups of coffee

smudge
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Joke

What does El Reg pay for?

As many have said, Vodafone's expenses regime is nothing unusual.

Therefore I can only conclude that the Register pays for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Elevenses and afternoon tea as well.

Maybe even for the kebab on the way home from the fully-expensed pub night. Provided you can obtain a receipt and find it the next day.

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'Driverless' lorry platoons will soon be on a motorway near you

smudge
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Last I heard it was supposedly to be tested on the Northern M6 in 2016.

Where's it been?

Stopped at Tebay and liked it so much it stayed there.

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smudge
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Re: Theory, meet reality

And as they attempt to get back in convoy, in between each lorry is Nissan Micra being driven by a 70 year old petrified pensioner that's terrified of moving into the middle lane...

In the trial they will all be following a lorry with a human driver. I was thinking about what would happen when they are used for real. I just hope it's that pensioner in the Micra they follow, and not the arsehole in the BMW in the outside lane.

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Canadian outsourcer CGI to Nordic BI biz: Fancy €98m cold ones, eh?

smudge
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Holmes

Buy and buy...

“We have what we call a build and buy strategy. In the last 20 years we’ve gone from 1,500 or so people to over 70,000, and there’s almost an even balance between growth acquisition and organic,”

No. They grow by acquisition. Up until they acquired Logica a few years ago, they doubled in size every 4 years. No way could you do that organically. Even they eventually realised that that was unsustainable.

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Private sub captain changes story, now says reporter died, was 'buried at sea' – torso found

smudge
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Re: Generous police

If only there was a quick way of washing the entire submarine, inside and out...

I knew someone would say that. IANA forensic scientist, but I'd be surprised if a short sinking would remove all traces from him and from the sub - even if the sub had completely filled with water.

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smudge
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Re: Generous police

Ooh sorry officer, I panicked and butchered the poor lady...

I'd have thought that there would be blood all over the sub - and him - if that's what had happened.

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London cops urged to scrap use of 'biased' facial recognition at Notting Hill Carnival

smudge
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Give the system a real test

Start practising your dazzle camouflage face painting!

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Defra recruiting 1,400 policy wonks to pick up the pieces after Brexit

smudge
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Re: Brexit

Sadly I had no vote, becase Cameron reneged on his election promise to remove the 15-year limit on expat voting. I'm sorry you feel that I wasn't a suitable person to be "let loose" with a vote, democracy is hard to live with at times, isn't it.

Let's get this straight.

You have lived outside the UK for more than 15 years. Presumably in France.

And yet, if you had had a vote, you would have voted for the UK to leave the EU.

Why? And why do you think you should have had a vote?

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smudge
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FAIL

I predict chaos

It's many years since I last re-read "The Mythical Man-Month", but I do remember that one of its lessons was that throwing more people at a project which is behind time merely makes it later. The internal communication/co-ordination overhead soon outweighs any gains in productivity.

Even if DEFRA don't read books about IBM mainframe operating systems, surely there must be modern management teachings which say the same thing?

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Web-enabled vibrator class action put to bed

smudge
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Coat

Re: Threesome

The bit I don't understand is how come the vibrator transmits usage ( time and intensity ) to an app which could then connect to a third party.

The bit I don't understand is why they didn't collect location as well.

My coat is the one with the holes in the pockets...

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She's arrived! HMS Queen Lizzie enters Portsmouth Naval Base

smudge
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Re: limited resources

But they do appear to have Obi-Wan Kenobi in the middle at the front. (It was clearer on TV).

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Are Asimov's laws enough to stop AI stomping humanity?

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Re: Human Laws

How about the AI just has to obey all human laws of the country it is currently in as if it was a human?

There is currently little consensus about which country an international hacking incident should be tried. Where did the offence take place?

So who's going to tell a distributed, international AI which country it's in?

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smudge
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Big Brother

Re: Need a 4th and even a 5th law

You didn't say what the 4th and 5th laws would be. Asimov himself saw the need to add a zeroth law, in the later books when he was merging the robots and Foundation series:

"A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm."

Might cover the situation whereby AI use of big data helps the like of Trump to win. And of course gives provides plenty of scope for stories about what the nature of "harm" is, and about whether preventing Trump from winning would be ethical. Even having to choose between Clinton and Trump would make a good robot/AI story!

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Brit firms warned over hidden costs of wiping data squeaky clean before privacy rules hit

smudge
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It's not only the designers who were f*ckwits.

To be accurate.

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smudge
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it would require multipass overwriting of portions of databases, and sections of backups, without disrupting the integrity of the rest of the data

In my last job, exactly this problem came up. We were operating a service for a client, and it had a massive customer database. The client said "How do we delete our customers from the system?". Our f**kwit designers said "You don't, because you never asked for that facility." Of course, the f**kwit designers had never thought to ask if it would be necessary, nor realised that compliance with data protection legislation would make it essential.

So this kicked off a big study, and, yes, one of the findings was that it would be extremely difficult to delete customers without disrupting the integrity of the database. When you have all sorts of links from customers to financial information, to reports, and so on - some of which will identify the customers, but some of which which will merely use customers' data - then you have to be extremely careful not to screw everything up when deleting a customer. No point in complying with data protection legislation if you are now producing false accounting information!

Of course, it would have been easier if deletion had been designed in from the start. There were also other oddities, such as financial legislation requiring maintenance of customer history for x years (where x varies from country to country). Also the paradox that you might need to keep details of a customer, maked with a flag to say that they don't want to be contacted by marketing.

Lots of lovely problems to keep everyone occupied!

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Good Lord: Former UK spy boss backs crypto

smudge
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Re: Give that man a cookie

... tabloid readers who might be foolish enough to vote for her.

Hopefully there are not too many of them. Her majority in the GE was 346, which in itself is a strong comment on a senior minister. And which should rule her out of any leadership contest when support for the Maybot ends - the Tories would surely not take a risk on having a leader with such a thin majority,

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Can GCHQ order techies to work as govt snoops? Experts fear: 'Yes'

smudge
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Re: What if...

... What happens next? Employee has refused a legitimate order (legitimised by the warrant) so can be fired

I knew that would be a response.

I specifically said "what if all the individuals at a telco on which a warrant has been served refuse to co-operate?" I think it's quite likely that some small ISPs might take that stance. In which case it would be unlikely for an employee to be fired for following what is in effect company policy.

I am not a lawyer, but if I were defending an employee who had been fired - or the company board who had been charged with not implementing the warrant - my argument would be along the lines of "You can't compel someone to do something solely because they are an employee of a company, when they couldn't be compelled to do it if they were not. Even if it's legal."

I'm thinking on the hoof here, so I'd be interested in any examples, from anywhere, that either support or don't support that argument.

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smudge
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Black Helicopters

What if...

... all the individuals at a telco on which a warrant has been served refuse to co-operate?

The duty to comply is only enforceable against a telco. But a telco consists of people, and the compliance of at least one person is required if the telco is to assist the authorities. Thus the duty to comply must be enforceable against at least one person. But it is explicitly stated that the duty to comply only applies to telcos, and not to people.

I therefore conclude that the law is an ass.

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Foot-long £1 sausage roll arrives

smudge
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Pint

Re: I've just bought one

How many of these --->>

would we need to wash it down?

And please give us regular updates throughout the day, or we will begin to worry about after-effects.

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China can't find anyone smart enough to run its whizzbang $180m 1,640ft radio telescope

smudge
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Re: I would do it...

Last week I saw the Yesterday channel's "Impossible Engineering" programme about it.

When can I start?

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HMS Queen Liz will arrive in Portsmouth soon, says MoD

smudge
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Re: wrongo

"But I'm sure if it facilitates matters with getting funding sign off there will be a "USS Donald Trump"..."

The USN probably needs a target ship for practice.

That'll be their excuse for painting it orange.

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A sarcasm detector bot? That sounds absolutely brilliant. Definitely

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Trollface

A massive market

There's a massive market for a sarcasm detector bot.

The USA.

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UK publishes Laws of Robotics for self-driving cars

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ISO27001/27002

Looks like an interpretation of ISO27001/27002 for a specific area of application.

Which is fine - when I was working it was always useful as a good starting-off point, especially with the recent(ish) updates which put more emphasis on the supply chain.

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VCs to Trump: Don't lock out our meal tickets! Save startup visas!

smudge
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Coat

Re: Caption competition needed

You don't get many of them to the dollar. 0.01% of them, in fact. True fact!

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Don't make Aug 21 a blind date: Beware crap solar eclipse specs

smudge
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Re: The perfect solution

Marvin.

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smudge
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Re: Genuine question

Interesting question. The smartass answer is of course that since the Sun is about 93 million miles away, being 6 or 7 miles closer isn't going to make much difference. But then you remember that there will be a lot less atmosphere between you and the Sun.

I've just done a quick search, and can't find anything to suggest that you need anything other than standard eclipse glasses. There will be lots of private flights in the air specifically to view the eclipse, and it's not unusual for commercial flights to alter their course - or even circle - to allow passengers to see an eclipse.

However, I am neither a medic nor an astronomer. So I'd advise you to check with an opthamologist or with an astronomical society.

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Post Office puts stamp on ISP minnow Fuel

smudge
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Re: What now?

Well it did say "next-generation network (NGN) broadband experience", not "service".

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

smudge
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Readers' comments on Telegraph article

The original article is behind the Daily Telegraph firewall, so I can't read it. But I have just gone through the readers' comments.

And I am immensely cheered to report that they are pretty much the same as the comments here - just more polite.

For those who don't know, the Daily Telegraph is the authoritarian right-wing broadsheet newspaper in the UK. So finding over 100 comments condemning the Home Secretary is a bit of an eye-opener.

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Look out Silicon Valley, here comes Brit bruiser Amber Rudd to lay down the (cyber) law

smudge
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Why doesn't she talk to Trump?

Much as I despise both Rudd and Trump, this is a dead serious question.

I would have thought that the things she is saying would go down well with Trump. So why doesn't she ask him to lean on the American companies?

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Virgin Media mulls ditching 1 in 3 UK facilities, starts £20m spend audit

smudge
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Re: Hmm

I am always interested to hear people complaining against a product or service is being provided in a more efficient manner.

Well, if it means chains or online driving out local, individual shops and businesses, you'll hear from me most* of the time.

*Yes I go to a supermarket - but am fortunate to live in a town with specialist retailers for meat, fish, cheese, veggies....

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The ultimate full English breakfast – have your SAY

smudge
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Steak frites!

Gatwick Airport used to have a branch of Chez Gerard. Once arrived there at stupid o'clock for an early flight, after a 90 minute drive.

One of the best breakfasts I have ever had :)

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smudge
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Re: And for the days when a lighter meal might be considered

how should they be served?

Not within 50 miles of me.

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smudge
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Holmes

from north of the border

The Scots amongst us will also recognise the importance of:

- haggis - most likely as an alternative to the black pudding - had this in a hotel in Orkney this month, and it was delicious

- a slice of fried fruit pudding - to be honest, I'm not a big fan of fruit with meat (see also some types of curry, and also pineapple on gammon) but it is traditional.

Sherlock because he wore an Inverness cape.

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UK.gov: You can't have our drone test results because... er, security

smudge
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Facepalm

Re: could not find a way to launch...

Actually, it is ridiculous, because the test also has to take into account an aircraft moving at speed. Something which occurred to me too late...

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smudge
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WTF?

could not find a way to launch...

"The study's authors could not find a way to launch a 4-kilogram drone against an aircraft windscreen..."

Had they thought of standing in a field and flying it using its controller?

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Nationwide’s online banking goes down again

smudge
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If only my wife went down as much as my online banking I'd be a very rich man.

Why? Are you her pimp?

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UK spookhaus GCHQ can crack end-to-end encryption, claims Australian A-G

smudge
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Re: Wait for it...

Agreed - but they still have to be voted into power.

Just heard that the second law of thermodynamics has been declared unconstitutional.

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What? What? Which? Former broadband minister Ed Vaizey dismisses report

smudge
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Re: This summer

They refuse to adhere to OSPF because "We have walked along this route for over 200 years, so we have!".

And don't even start them off about BGP.

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US engineer in the clink for wrecking ex-bosses' smart meter radio masts with Pink Floyd lyrics

smudge
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Re: Well, at least he has good taste in music

I do hope it was "Is There Anybody Out There?".

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Blighty's first aircraft carrier in six years is set to take to the seas

smudge
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Facepalm

Google Earth image

You didn't have to investigate the ship in the dockyard to establish how old the photograph is.

The new Queensferry Crossing is missing!

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PC rebooted every time user flushed the toilet

smudge
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Over 30 years ago I worked for a company that supplied minicomputer systems for pathology labs in hospitals. I was on-site at one location, where the customer had complained of the system continually restarting itself.

I was staring blankly at the machine, wondering where to start, when there was a "whump!" that was felt rather than heard, and the lights flickered.

"What was that?", I said.

"Oh, just the X-ray department next door".

Problem found!

In an existence before that, we used to have similar problems on our micro development kit. We noticed that they got more frequent around 5pm. We eventually realised that it was due to the lift in the building.

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Canadian sniper makes kill shot at distance of 3.5 KILOMETRES

smudge
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WTF?

Let's assume that there were several sighting shots, and that they got closer to the target. Wouldn't the target therefore know that he was under fire, and consequently be unlikely to hold still in an exposed location for nearly 10 seconds? It's either complete bullshit or a lot of luck.

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Queen's speech announces laws to protect personal data

smudge
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Re: "United Kingdom retains its world-class regime protecting personal data,"

Allegedly HM the Q explained that it was clear as can be that the (unwritten) constitution required her to invite the Party with the most seats to try to form a government.

Not so - it's not "who has the most seats?", it's "who was there previously?".

In the event of a hung Parliament, the Government in power before the election has the first chance to form a Government. Think of Brown in 2010 hanging on for days in No 10 until it was clear that Labour could not form a Government (ie could not command a majority in the Commons).

http://www.parliament.uk/about/how/elections-and-voting/general/hung-parliament/

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Brit uni blabs students' confidential information to 298 undergrads

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Re: Yeah, right.

"Could you please delete this without opening/reading."

Doesn't exclude saving a copy!

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