* Posts by Paul

518 posts • joined 23 Oct 2006

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Fancy that! Craft which float over everything on a cushion of air

Paul
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Re: Dover

About 45 years ago, I guess, I was 5, and my family went to France. The weather was terrible, and they nearly cancelled the crossing. I recall the hovercraft bouncing around, a waiter trying to serve drinks, and lots of people looking very sick and trying not to throw up. I was young enough to think it all great!

I have no idea which machine we went on, but it was probably one of the larger ones as we had our car onboard - they had to chain the cars down!

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Gov claws back £645m in BT broadband from subsidy

Paul
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the rest of the country simply need to breed faster carrier pigeons!

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Paul
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Re: BT should return ALL the subsidy...

I think you'll find that BT Openreach and BT are the same company. If you check Companies House, there is no separate company.

BT Openreach can simply jack up their wholesale prices and BT retail can simply reduce their margins, the overall group still makes a profit on each internet connection provided.

In fact, BTOR jacking up wholesale prices means that they make their resellers more expensive and thus benefits BT Retail.

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Sci-Fi titan Jerry Pournelle passes,
aged 84

Paul
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:-(

I spent many enjoyable hours immersed in his books.

I also enjoyed his Chaos Manor articles, even if I didn't always agree with his intentions.

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Dolphins inspire ultrasonic attacks that pwn smartphones, cars and digital assistants

Paul
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I always wondered how my Amazon account got hacked and three tons of tuna was ordered to be delivered to Sea Life.. Now I know it was sneaky dolphins hacking Alexa on my smartphone!

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Climate-change skeptic lined up to run NASA in this Trump timeline

Paul
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if you work at NASA, rush to back up your data ASAP!

The moment he starts at NASA he'll demand that every reference to climate change be taken down off their websites and destroy all records and documents and data about it.

This has already been happening.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/06/science/donald-trump-data-rescue-science.html

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It's official: Users navigate flat UI designs 22 per cent slower

Paul
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I've despised flat ui design for years.. the absence of any navigational cues. sure, it makes things sleek and clean, but also hard to use.

sometimes I've had to help others find how to do something simple and obvious on a web page, and had to ask for help, simply because it wasn't clear where you had to click.

yet another style over substance stupidity of the modern era.

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Crushed Juicero now officially a fruitless endeavor

Paul
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I guess it *is* possible to over-estimate how lazy people can be.

If you can persuade people to pay good money for a coffee pod because cleaning a cafetiere is too hard (or even rinsing out an aeropress), then it doesn't seem unreasonable to hope they'll pay money for juice pods. Seems they were wrong.

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User thanked IT department for fast new server, but it had never left its box

Paul
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Re: Praise or accusations of work not done?

years ago I was at Ionica in Cambridge and they built a staff canteen, and brought in a catering company (Compass, I think) and the food was indeed exceptional in the first three weeks whilst the staff were training up, and then as the senior chefs moved on leaving the work in the hands of junior/new staff, the food did indeed go downhill.

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'Independent' gov law reviewer wants users preemptively identified before they're 'allowed' to use encryption

Paul
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So after China went full despot:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/08/28/china_to_identify_commentards_with_brrealname_policy/

the UK gov't think they should follow?

they can take my encryption-without-backdoors-or-key-escrow out of my cold dead hands.

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Bombastic boss gave insane instructions to sensible sysadmin, with client on speakerphone

Paul
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I worked at a company developing a customer facing portal, and we had regular deployments which had to go through some level of formal testing and the deployment by the sysadmins.

It was just before December and we were late making an important release with features the company felt were really important and urgent. Problem was we were late, and there was nobody around who was able to give formal approval to go live. I was also quite ill, and really shouldn't have been at work that day, and didn't want to take any **** from anyone!

My manager, X, who had made it clear for a long time that he despised me, rang me and told me to "go live". I sent out an announcement to all the usual people announcing I was making the release, and that X had told me to do it despite not having gone through the usual QA process.

Just as I was about to press the button to deploy, X rang, and told me "you can't say that!". I asked what he meant and said I was merely repeating word for word what he said, and he again repeated "you can't say that". I feigned innocence and asked if I should deploy or not, or if he would email and reply-all and rescind the order etc, he audibly shrugged, swore under his breath, and said yes.

My theory is that that X would have claimed all the credit for a successful deployment, or throw me under the bus if the deployment went bad and say it was nothing to do with him, either way he could punish me for not following the usual process.

Some months later a bunch of us were made redundant, and X was clearly agitated that, unlike the others some of whom were in tears, I was grinning as I left and walked with a spring in my step at being paid to leave!

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Science fiction great Brian Aldiss, 92, dies at his Oxford home

Paul
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Another great has passed on :-(

I read every book of his I came across.

RIP.

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LG schtum over whether Europeans can get the powerhouse phablet V30

Paul
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I have an LG v20, an imported dual SIM h990ds variant. It's fantastic for the price. Razor sharp screen with really good contrast and vibrant colours.

In particular, it has a headphone jack, removable battery and memory card slot, things you can't take for granted.

The audio quality is very good. Ironically many people seem unaware you need specific formats and have to use the LG music player to get advantage of the DACs.

Sadly, apart from a CPU and GPU upgrade, I don't think the v30 will be a worthy successor.

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Brit folk STILL not getting advertised broadband speeds – survey

Paul
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Simple solution. You pay pro rata for the speed you get, including line rental - BT OpenReach can only charge full line rental if the line supports at least 95% of the theoretical maximum ADSL 2 speed.

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

Paul
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Microsoft staffer once tried to tell David Korn about his shell

http://wiki.c2.com/?KornShellStory

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Apple pulls massive HomeKit chip U-turn to keep up with Amazon Echo and Google Home

Paul
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A concrete example of Apple's statements over proprietary standards:

Apple once did they'll publish the FaceTime standards to allow interoperability, that never happened.

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UK.gov to trial vouchers for 'gigabit-capable' connectivity with SMEs

Paul
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A few years ago I had a quote from BT for a business fibre connection to my home office. And then eight months later got a quote from their department which specialised in dealing with the gov't grants for high speed internet.

Oddly enough, the cost of the BT service had gone up by almost exactly the same amount as the voucher, so the cost to me was the same, but BT would then be able to pocket a big fat cheque from the taxpayer.

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

Paul
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Re: Just as a matter of interest

I genuinely write only maybe four letters a year, three of those are to my mum.

It's so rare that each time I marvel at the current price of a stamp.

No, I don't encrypt or use a code book, I simply meet in person.

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Paul
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Re: Real people?

You have to go back s long way to not have Intel management engine built in, which is an obvious who to backdoor your system.

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Paul
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I'm sure CESG have ensured that Amber Rudd's computers and communication devices are secure, and that she uses end-to end encryption for many things.

However, we know AR is not a regular person, she's trying to be part of a team portraying themselves as benevolent overlords or dictators.

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Revised 'Broadband 2.0' report: 6.7m Brits suffer 'sub-10Mbps' speeds

Paul
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BT Openreach's charge for line rental should be pro-rated on the speed the line can reach for VDSL2+, with only a perfect 80M down/20M up give them 100%.

If you can only get 20M down on your FTTC service, they should only be able to charge 25% of the normal line rental.

Once BTOR can't keep milking/bilking customers for lines which are sub-standard, perhaps they will roll out more FTTC cabinets so everybody gets a shorter copper tail, or, makes FTTP affordable?

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vSphere scales up, if you're willing to ditch a switch or server

Paul
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I've been pretty unimpressed with the web interface onto ESX.

It's a bit crappy and unreliable when controlling vcenter - the dedicated Windows-only tool is better. You need both to ensure you have access to all the features.

And as for the ESX web interface, wtf! I recently, and wished I hadn't, upgrade the ESX web interface on existing installation, a Mac Pro with a lightly hacked ESX to see the drive controller), and now the web interface is useless, can't start or shutdown VMs, can't put the hypervisor into maintenance mode or turn it off, nothing useful.

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London cops bust fake Cisco hardware chain

Paul
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maybe if they hadn't closed the factories in Europe and the US, those countries would have more skilled workers and more money to buy their kit?

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Microsoft hits new low: Threatens to axe classic Paint from Windows 10

Paul
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Re: The end

I'd suggest the rather excellent irfanview instead, it's very good at all the basics like cropping, rotating (does lossless jpeg rotate).

One feature I particularly like is being able to print image scaled to exact position and size on the paper.

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Paul
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You need a tool like ms paint so that you can take s screen shot when there's an error, and redact areas of the screen, before submitting bug reports.

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Ten new tech terms I learnt this summer: Do you know them all?

Paul
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I first heard the term teledildonics about 25 years ago, and thought it very amusing. It wasn't a terribly serious concept, as the Internet was still fairly new let alone connecting robotic things to the Internet!

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Wi-Fi firm Purple sneaks 'community service' clause into its T&Cs

Paul
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One of my email addresses started getting spam from Purple; the address fell into the hands of spammers when a forum was leaked, It was an unusual email address, totally non-guessable, and obviously associated with the product on the forum.

Purple blamed their mail service provider (apc-lists.com), and they blamed Purple for acquiring the address list. It was all pretty iffy, and I never got to the bottom it.

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Set your alarms for 2.40am UTC – so you can watch Unix time hit 1,500,000,000

Paul
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UTC is not the same as GMT, although for humans telling the time they're similar enough.

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Hey, remember that monkey selfie copyright drama a few years ago? Get this – It's just hit the US appeals courts

Paul
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why is the copyright case being held in the USA? The photograph was taken in Indonesia by an Indonesian entity.

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Paul
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Re: Just sayin'

"Corporations are "legal persons".... If they weren't "legal persons", you wouldn't be able to have a legally enforceable contract with one."

utter nonsense. the law/government define what an incorporated entity is, and the legal process by which one is formed, and thus can define how a corporation can make contracts and the liabilities ensuing.

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Microsoft boasted it had rebuilt Skype 'from the ground up'. Instead, it should have buried it

Paul
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I used to regularly have problems trying to share to Skype, it would get confused and not offer the list of recipients. Now, there's no possibility at all to share, so they really f****d it up!

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While USA is distracted by its President's antics, China is busy breaking another fusion record

Paul
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Re: Who still uses farenheight for things like this ?

Imperial units, so many to love!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01p8bs2

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CityFibre snaps up Entanet for £29m and plans to raise £185m

Paul
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ElReg proof reader: "government's £400m Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund, aimed at boosting"

the link in that sentence is broken

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Australian govt promises to push Five Eyes nations to break encryption

Paul
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Re: The legislator's fallacy

whilst they're banning strong crypto, please can they redefine Pi to be 3, because that would make things more convenient for everybody?

Oh, wait, you're telling me that governments can't change maths? Has somebody tried telling them?

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The internet may well be the root cause of today's problems… but not in the way you think

Paul
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I sent a polite form of this to my local MP

Dear Theresa May and minions,

1/ just because you keep saying these things doesn't mean you are making them possible

2/ every time you repeat the mantra of "no safe place", "backdoor encryption" etc, we

roll our eyes and think "you're a bunch of feckin' muppets"

3/ we've explained encryption so many times and you haven't understood it, so please shut the feck up and find someone to take your place who actually understands at least something about communication systems

4/ yes, we really do think you are morons, and what few vestiges of respect you might ever have had are long gone

5/ our previous response still applies, see the last 20 times you made these stupid statements and they were rebutted, and every lame argument you made was refuted

6/ repeat after me: communications are secure for everybody, or secure for nobody

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UK PM Theresa May's response to terror attacks 'shortsighted'

Paul
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every time I see this, the response to the government should mostly be along the lines of this:

1/ just because you keep saying these things doesn't mean you are making them possible

2/ every time you repeat the mantra of "no safe place", "backdoor encryption" etc, we

roll our eyes and think "you're a bunch of feckin' muppets"

3/ we've explained encryption so many times and you haven't understood it, so please shut the feck up and find someone to take your place who actually understands at least something about communication systems

4/ yes, we really do think you are morons, and what few vestiges of respect you might ever have had are long gone

5/ our previous response still applies, see the last 20 times you made these stupid statements and they were rebutted, and every lame argument you made was refuted

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UK ministers to push anti-encryption laws after election

Paul
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repeat after me: "there's only two choices, secure for everybody, or insecure for everybody"

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Go ahead, stage a hackathon. But pray it doesn't work too well

Paul
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I'm not sure what the point of this article actually was.

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Cook fights for life after Google summit blaze

Paul
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Re: Good headline

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDKD9LUER7A

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Australia considers joining laptops-on-planes ban

Paul
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if I fly to the US again, I'll not take a laptop, I'll buy a chromebook when I get there, and factory-reset/erase it before I come back.

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Paul
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Re: Barometers?

I read that El-Al do actually depressurise all luggage on the ground before putting it on the plane, specifically to combat barometric-triggered bombs. It's an expensive security measure.

Of course, this is something that people don't see, and possibily don't understand, therefore being expensive isn't copied by other airlines because it doesn't go with the main strategy of security theatre.

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Paul
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Re: And in other news,

really? UAL don't look too bad over 6 months

https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/UAL/

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Beaten passenger, check. Dead giant rabbit, check. Now United loses cockpit door codes

Paul
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damn, that was the same combination as my luggage!

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74 countries hit by NSA-powered WannaCrypt ransomware backdoor: Emergency fixes emitted by Microsoft for WinXP+

Paul
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I can imagine the following scenario being replayed many times, in many board rooms, in many businesses across the world.

"So, the sysadmins say they need £75k to upgrade the firewalls, £45k to upgrade all the oldest computers to a new version of windows, and £30k for misc software and training. Oh, and another £100k/year for a security specialist. So we need 250K right now"

"Meanwhile, our company cars are up for renewal, they're nearly 3 years old and we need £150k for that, plus our bonuses are £40k".

We can't afford it all, so since we've not had any significant security incidents, let's put off most of the computer stuff, and we can still get our cars and bonuses? All agreed? carried unanimously!"

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PC repair chap lets tech support scammer log on to his PC. His Linux PC

Paul
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https://youtu.be/Du6acZ-PZQ8

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Paul
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https://youtu.be/Du6acZ-PZQ8

Victim turns the table and manages to trick the scammer into setting and forgetting a bios password and bricking his own computer

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Paul
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Re: @Ridley, re: boxes.

Two words: glitter bomb

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eBay threatens to block Australians from using offshore sellers

Paul
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Given that ebay mandate that payment is made by paypal, and paypal know where the buyer and seller are, it should be trivial for paypal to collect GST on all international deals.

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Dido queen of carnage steps down from TalkTalk

Paul
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I was very amused when TalkTalk created a dedicated forum area for discussing being safe online

( https://community.talktalk.co.uk/t5/Staying-safe-online/bd-p/qa_safeonline ),

that many people asked them about being hacked and they didn't respond

https://community.talktalk.co.uk/t5/Staying-safe-online/Have-TalkTalk-properly-secured-their-internal-systems-yet/m-p/1992644#U1992644

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Forget Mirai – Brickerbot malware will kill your crap IoT devices

Paul
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Re: telnet??!!?

use "openssl s_client -connect host:port" instead of "telnet host port" to do the equivalent thing over an ssl socket.

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