* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Hmmm, we can already seize your stuff, so why can't we shoot down your drone, officials mull

DougS Silver badge

Police also shoot dogs as a matter of course - even friendly ones wagging their tail - with no consequences, because "they felt threatened". Yet when a member of the public shoots a police dog, the police expect its life to be treated the same as real officer, and prosecutors seek the death penalty in states that have that for killing a cop.

So yeah, I'm not sure what the deal is with their shyness about shooting down drones, but I expect the police will try to make it at least a life sentence for someone to shoot down one of THEIR drones...

Chinese tech giant ZTE is back in business – plus or minus $1.4bn and its entire board

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The problem is that when Mueller's report comes out and details this and a million other dirty deals he's done to trade presidential favors for his business interests all his supporters who believe the "witch hunt" nonsense will think they are made up charges and STILL support the crook!

The hits keep coming for Facebook: Web giant made 14m people's private posts public

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Re: Dear Facebook

Seriously cut back on the extent Eliminate all of your sharing data with third parties


Apple hit with another faulty hardware lawsuit – this time it's the Watch

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Should be easy to tell the difference

Between one with a cracked screen due to swollen battery (as the swollen battery is evidence) and one with a cracked screen but no evidence of a swollen battery.

Sounds like Apple is doing the right thing here by extending the warranty to cover a problem that was found, and he's saying they need to do more. Maybe they do, maybe they don't, but I'd be surprised if it is easier for a swollen battery to crack the screen than it is for it to make the screen or the back pop off...

Oddly enough, when a Tesla accelerates at a barrier, someone dies: Autopilot report lands

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Re: Nothing is right first time

They can have their teething problems OFF THE PUBLIC ROADS!

Or did I miss it and those early jets were taking passengers and crashing into airports killing people while they worked the bugs out?

DougS Silver badge

Re: Not an "autopilot"

You seriously think someone with "uncontrolled epilepsy" should be allowed to let an unsafe car "drive" for them, risking the lives of other people? Sorry, the rights of the disabled end where they put my life at risk!

There's not a good solution for your hypothetical example, but it will come eventually when true autonomous cars are available. Unfortunately Tesla's shitty driver killer products risk setting that back by years.

WannaCry reverse-engineer Marcus Hutchins hit with fresh charges

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"If I was on the jury"

They would have him ejected because he's already formed an opinion about the case, which defeats the whole point of a "fair and impartial" jury. Now in a high profile case like say 9/11 finding someone who doesn't have an opinion formed may be difficult, but in a case like this that probably 99% of Americans have not heard of, it is pretty easy to toss people out of the pool who already have their minds made up.

Stern Vint Cerf blasts techies for lackluster worldwide IPv6 adoption

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Re: Internal fun...

Yep, when I consult I see internal corporate networks ALL THE TIME that don't have proper DNS. The need to type IP addresses is constant. Sure, that can be fixed (would have to be) if they go IPv6, but it is just another in a long list of barriers.

But mostly, what the heck benefit is there for a company to run IPv6 in their internal network. They have a whole /8 to themselves. If the IETF wants to push IPv6, assign the 10 net and require routing it on the internet. That'll get action (of course the action might be burning at the stake whoever approved that RFC, but still)

DougS Silver badge

There's also less need to future proof the fewer hosts you are concerned with, all of them professionally managed. That's why the NCP to TCP/IP transition took place in a single day, and the IPv6 transition is taking decades (and potentially may never be completed)

DougS Silver badge

128 bits is too many

I've always thought it would have been better if IPv6 was 64 bit instead of 128 bit. I mean, we went from a 32 bit to 64 bit address space in our computers , and there are no CPUs actually capable of utilizing all 64 address bits yet - even in a virtual address, let alone physical!

But yet someone thought we needed 2^64 more potential IP addresses than we need potential bytes in the largest possible servers?

These stupid IPv6 addresses would be a lot easier to work with / remember if they were only 64 bits, and you wouldn't have to worry about the ::: stuff because you wouldn't have all that wasted space in the middle that's so trivially zeroed.

Maybe someday in the far future, after most of those reading this are dead, 64 bits might become a bit tight. I highly doubt it, but I accept the possibility. OK then, decades later we will probably want new features for IPvNEXT and can go to 128 bits at that time. We will hit the need for 128 bit CPUs long before this day might arrive though.

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"Who is Colt"

Even if I worked in infrastructure I'd have to do so in the UK to know who they are, it would seem...

Regardless my point stands, they are obviously a company that needs to use/know IPv6 inside/out. The companies that they provide connectivity to, probably not so much.

DougS Silver badge


Who is "Colt"? I assume not the firearms manufacturer, as it seems a stretch to claim having an IPv6 network will help you sell guns. So probably some sort of network related company? OK, if your business requires expertise with networking, eating IPv6 dogfood is necessary.

So what about a car company, say Ford? How does implementing IPv6 help them sell more cars? What about Kraft, how it does it help them sell more Velveeta? Even for tech companies....how does it help Apple sell more iPhones or sell more Apple Music subscriptions? OK the iPhone needs to (and does) support IPv6, but does Apple NEED to actually use it themselves other than for testing their products? No.

That's what it comes down to for the beancounters, you have to show that implementing IPV6 will pay for itself in increased business, or that not implementing it will cost them business. Neither is true for the vast majority of businesses out there, and won't even if most of the world has converted to IPV6 - because IPv6 clients can still access IPv4 hosts, and companies can continue to use IPv4 10 net addresses internally.

GNOMEs beat Microsoft: Git Virtual File System to get a new name

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Let's face it, they will eventually rebrand this under the Microsoft umbrella, so let's get ahead of the curve and use that as the name for its filesystem.

Automation won’t take your job until the next recession threatens it

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You'd think interest in automation would peak

During economic booms, when wages are rising and it becomes harder to find employees and they keep asking for raises...

VPNFilter router malware is a lot worse than everyone thought

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Re: malware scum *

Yeah, I wonder that too as it is pretty thorough to attack so many different brands - though granted they are all using very similar software so perhaps that's not surprising.

Tor-forker Joshua Yabut cuffed for armoured personnel carrier joyride

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Re: Well

Where he's going he won't need money for 3-5 years, with time off for good behavior.

Monday: Intel touts 28-core desktop CPU. Tuesday: AMD turns Threadripper up to 32

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Re: Intel was fudging

Intel was fudging, but the press ate it up. That's all they cared about, because stock analysts will have seen Intel's demo and think "Intel is still comfortably ahead of AMD" instead of "AMD is hot on Intel's heels, we should lower our price targets on Intel!"

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Re: where's the innovation?

What sort of 'innovation' did you expect? Just because you want something doesn't mean it is going to come (whatever it is you think they should have 'innovated')

At last: Magic Leap reveals its revolutionary techno-goggles – but wait, there's a catch

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Can't believe they got people to tune in

Well making fun of them and hurling insults at obvious hucksters can be fun if you're bored, I suppose...

Great time to shift bytes: International bandwidth prices are in free fall

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Obviously my point went woosh over your head and you resorted back to the tired "640K" argument and want to claim that bandwidth demand will increase forever. We went from text to pictures to audio to crappy video to HD video and now 4K video because we want richer sensory input. But we've reached the limit, or are near it if 8K happens.

It is clear we aren't going to go 8K, 16K, 32K and on forever because regardless of the size of your TV once the pixels are smaller than your eye's ability to distinguish pixels further upgrades are irrelevant. There was quite a race for higher resolutions on phones for a few years but that's pretty much ceased now despite the marketing points some might think there could be from selling a "4K" phone. Ever stop to think why?

Where's the drive for more bandwidth when we've maxed out what we can input to our senses? Windows updates are already lost in the noise versus streaming, so that's not it. Only if we find some sort of richer input to our senses...though if we directly wire into our brain the bandwidth of our optic nerve is less than 10 Mbit ethernet!

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Re: Wavelength? Not bandwidth?

They can get a lot more than 16 wavelengths on a fiber, or 2.5 Gbps per wavelength now. That's really why it is decreasing - it isn't because someone is out there laying more and more cables every day, it is because we're able to increase the carrying capacity of existing cables every few years.

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Re: Meanwhile...

But from this it becomes apparent where the growth in consumer bandwidth demand will end. As people cut the cord and cable/satellite mostly converts to streaming over the next decade, and more people start watching in 4K, eventually it maxes out. There's no benefit to going higher than 4K unless you have an absolutely gigantic TV - probably a small enough niche it wouldn't be worth the cost of delivering 8K streams (and even if they do it is only roughly a doubling of HEVC compressed bandwidth)

We're only a few more doublings away from seeing the giant yearly jumps in bandwidth demand slow to single digit percentages and eventually leveling off. At least unless/until something denser than video streaming becomes possible, like some sort of immersive VR that requires an order of magnitude more bandwidth. Which if/when it comes will mostly be used for porn, no doubt.

Humans have limited bandwidth for sensory input, and visual input is as dense as it gets.

Tech giants! How do you know Jim in accounting isn't Putin moves on you

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This is a problem for companies that collect non-anonymized data

The embedded spooks can attack from the inside, and steal that data to pass to their bosses.

Of course, Facebook is immune to such concerns - why would you need to plant a spy inside them when they will apparently sell personal data on their users to anyone that comes along!

SoftBank sells off more than half of Arm China for a bargain $775.2m

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Easy to get hold of chip designs?

Easier than ringing up ARM and saying "I'd like to purchase a license", which a number of China based companies already have? Talk about worrying over nothing!

Microsoft sinks another data centre with Natick 2

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But using ordinary open loop geothermal cooling doesn't get them free advertising.

Plus lots of areas are off limits to stuff like that right on the coast, or if it is allowed the land is VERY expensive. "Land" on the ocean floor is free, or nearly so.

Five actually useful real-world things that came out at Apple's WWDC

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Holding onto Siri data makes sense

When they improve Siri they can backtest it against old requests (at least if they saved it in enough detail) Having history of past requests would also improve Siri's responses in the future.

A 'personal assistant' without any memory of the past would be far less useful. Think about celebrities who have personal assistants, do you think it would work well if they had a different one each day? That's really our ultimate goal here is to someday (many many years from now) have Siri, Alexa etc. be able to act like a human personal assistant (other than physical running errands....though by the time this happens maybe they WILL be able to physically run errands)

DougS Silver badge

Levels of data collection

Level 1 - Apple: collect data to improve products, data isn't "used against you". Data collection is limited and anonymized so if they are hacked or have a rogue employee personalized data can't escape.

Level 2 - Google: collect data to improve targeted ads, data is "used against you" but not directly sold to third parties (i.e. they benefit from Google using it but they can't see the raw data) Data collection is not limited or anonymized so if they are hacked or have a rogue employee personalized data may potentially escape.

Level 3 - Facebook: collect data to monetize any way they can, including targeted advertising AND selling it to pretty much anyone they feel like without telling you. You must assume everything Facebook knows about you (at least up until around now when they might finally be getting the hint their policies are a real problem) is in the wild forevermore.

AFAIK Amazon is likely level 2, though could be level 3. Microsoft was level 1, but recently decided to "upgrade" to level 2.

DougS Silver badge

Facebook container extension

No, that's not the same thing AT ALL. All it does is "log you out of Facebook and delete Facebook cookies". I hardly ever login to Facebook on my browser and when I do I always use a private window to avoid its cookies leaking out to my regular browsing sessions. This extension would do fuck all for me, and it sounds like this is an extension - not even part of Firefox.

That extension does NOTHING to prevent Facebook using their 'like' buttons that are ubiquitous on web sites all over the internet from tracking you, which they do even if you don't click on them. That's what Apple is trying to attack here, and Firefox is doing ZERO to prevent that. Maybe there are some third party extensions to do this, but this should be built into the browser for Facebook, Google and Amazon, and you should be able to add other websites to that list if you so choose.

DougS Silver badge

You can enroll a second face for Face ID

That will make jealous/snoopy spouses the world over happy :)

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I'm an iPhone user

And now when I'm running Firefox on my Linux desktop I'm going to be wishing I had that level of protection!

C'mon Firefox, the bar is being raised, time to jump over it and put Safari behind til iOS 13 can once again jump over Firefox - I wanna see a race "who can screw Facebook and Google's user tracking based business model more thoroughly" :)

Australia wants tech companies to let cops 'n' snoops see messages without backdoors

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Re: Key escrow

I suppose for files that aren't too huge you could find a way to stick them in a Word format file - there's space that's basically binary in them, you could take an innocuous file and add some binary content to it somewhere that doesn't impact its ability to be loaded into Word. That way if the spooks decrypt it, they'll see the innocuous Word file, and you just hope their software isn't smart enough to notice all the "garbage" contained within.

The same could be done with video files, PDF files, etc. I imagine...

DougS Silver badge
Big Brother

Re: Key escrow

Citizen, you have been detected using non-approved encryption. You will be rounded up and beaten into submission gently shown the error of your ways.

No lie-in this morning? Thank the Moon's gravitational pull

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How large of a tide would that have been?

And how large would the Moon have looked in the sky? It would have been impressive to sit on the beach and see that huge moon hovering over the ocean, until you saw that huge wave coming at you like a tsunami and you had to run for your life!

NASA makes the James Webb Telescope a looker with a heart of gold

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Re: At today's prices ...

Yep that's one of the nice things about gold - it is possible to make very thin layers of it so what sounds like a lot is a drop in the bucket.

But I am willing to bet some congressman running this fall will bring up the $8.8 billion cost of this as an example of government waste he would try to stop, and show pictures of the gold plated parts as if to demonstrate why it costs so much.

Amazon scam trio primed for prison stretch after million-dollar fraud

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They slipped up

From a brief skim of the court documents, it looks like they were buying Amazon gift cards to make the purchases, thinking the items couldn't be traced to them - presumably they were being delivered to vacant houses so the shipping address couldn't be connected with them but I didn't read that far.

However, they were dumb enough to use a debit card to buy the Amazon gift cards at a grocery store, and presumably that debit account or other purchases made with it were able to be connected with them. If they'd bought the gift cards with cash they'd probably still be doing it at least so long as there were enough vacant houses for them to use for delivery addresses for their fake accounts (and that their access to amazon.com was suitably cloaked via multiple VPNs, Tor or the like)

Once again, criminals think they are smart but really aren't smart enough to think through all the details of their plan and leave an obvious trail to get caught. And once I wonder how many criminals there are out there who are smart enough to do all the things I outlined here, and perhaps other things I didn't take into account, who have been running scams like this for years and never got caught.

Boffins quietly cheering possible discovery of new fundamental particle: Sterile neutrino

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Re: Possibly a Stupid Question...

I'm talking "ripples and wrinkles" that are large enough to have attracted matter to them shortly after the Big Bang so they account for the clumpy/stringy distribution of mass we have observed in the universe. And are relatively permanent in that they survive to this day and account for odd situations like how galaxies seem to have a lot more mass than what we can observe.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Possibly a Stupid Question...

Er.. Einstein

Where does he say that? AFAIK his equations don't require a perfectly smooth spacetime with no ripples or wrinkles - that's a detail of cosmology that wasn't captured in his equations though he probably would have taken that for granted.

Anyway, the reason we have "dark matter" is because his equations don't work for observed galactic motion. Is this because there is unobserved matter that if plugged in would make his equations work, or is it because he made an assumption that spacetime wouldn't be "flawed" like a piece of paper that got jammed in a laser printer's feed?

If we assume our universe is but one in a greater multiverse, there's no reason to believe our spacetime must be perfectly smooth and without flaw, nor that there aren't external forces that can change its rate of inflation (i.e. dark energy)

DougS Silver badge

Re: Possibly a Stupid Question...

Dark matter and dark energy are constructs to try and explain deficits in the current theories.

People love saying that but that doesn't mean there really isn't dark matter and dark energy. Though personally I think the explanation may be more simple - when presented with the idea of gravity spacetime is always shown as a flat sheet, with a planet or star 'weighing down' the sheet and thus curving spacetime.

But who says the sheet is flat in the absence of matter? If is wrinkled, you'd get the clumpy/stringy large scale matter map we've observed - the "dark matter" is pre-existing wrinkles in spacetime, and the gravity of those wrinkles are what drew matter in and caused galaxies and clusters of galaxies to form in there.

Apple WWDC: There's no way iOS and macOS will fully merge as one

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Re: Bringing iOS and macOS closer

I would guess part of the issues with 'pro' applications on macOS has been the Mac Pro tower debacle. By the time they have the next generation one in 2019 they'll probably have lost a good chunk of that userbase who grew tired of waiting, or compromising on something like the iMac Pro.

I mean, in the grand scheme of Apple's humongous revenue and profit that's small potatoes, but they were the ones who were most loyal to Apple during the dark days of the 90s...without them Apple might not have survived to create the iPod, let alone the iPhone.

DougS Silver badge

Bringing iOS and macOS closer

What they are doing with bringing some of the iOS APIs into macOS makes me think the rumors about ARM64 Macs are a lot more likely to be true now. Sure, they could make this work while leaving Macs on x86 but it would be easier if they were both using the same instruction set...

This strategy is almost certainly better than merging the two. Making macOS apps live with the limitations of iOS would kill their 'pro' market, and making iOS apps have to deal with all the complexities of a full fledged PC would create a lot of extra work for developers. This way developers who want the extra work of developing an app that works on both can choose to do it, and those who only care about iOS can target it and continue to ignore the Mac.

You know what your problem is, Apple? Complacency

DougS Silver badge

Re: It didn't improve the functionality of the phone in any way.

I had a Nokia 8860 which was slide to answer / hang up, fit the ear/mouth distance pretty well and the 8260 (similar but without a slide) had a way to 'lock' it to prevent butt dials. No need for a flip to get those features.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Candybar Anybody??

The RAZR style flip phone beating out the Nokia style candybar was mostly about fashion, or maybe fitting better into pockets. It didn't improve the functionality of the phone in any way. Going to a rectangle of glass wouldn't have improved the functionality if it remained primarily a phone, but once it could browse the web it needed to grow in size - especially in the display - to make it useful in that role.

I remember when the iPhone came out I thought "that thing is monstrous, I could never carry around something that big" but I ended up getting a 3gs two years later. That never would have happened if I wanted to buy a "phone", but when I wanted to buy something that I could use to run apps and browse the web suddenly the form factor of my KRZR become quite inadequate.

What form factor would increase the usefulness of a modern day smartphone / pocket computer? The only thing I can think of is an even larger screen - i.e. folding or even a tri-fold (to maintain the 16:9'ish dimensions) The only other thing would be something that could replicate a "large" screen in a small space - i.e. something built into glasses or contact lens. I wouldn't want to wear glasses all the time, nor would I want to carry them around, so for me at least it seems a non-starter but then I said that about the now-puny 3.5" iPhone back in 2007 so maybe it can be made useful enough that I change my mind as happened eventually with the iPhone...

DougS Silver badge

Re: Just more BS

Apple started the project for iPad in 2002, before that work ultimately resulted in the iPhone. So technically the iPhone was a "little iPad" :)

Close, but no Tigar! Appeals court slaps judge, drags Apple back into touchscreen spat

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Re: Those patents are so broad

Apple's patent for was a very specific function, not intended to cover every possible swiping action. One can argue whether Apple's patent should be allowed or not, but this one is 10,000x more broad.

DougS Silver badge

Those patents are so broad

These patents basically cover "swiping from point A to point B", so if they were upheld only every iPhone but also every Android phone up until now and in the future until the patents expire would be in violation...

Facebook insists device data door differs from dodgy dev data deal

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Depends on what it was intended for

Apple said they used it on the iPhone to populate contacts off Facebook and the data never left the user's phone. When I installed the Facebook app (which I used to do every few months since it would get bigger and bigger with cached data and reinstalling it made it smaller/faster) it used to ask me if it could access my contacts, presumably to try to suggest friends - I always said no. I never suspected that this might have gone both ways and it would have been able to populate contacts in my phone off Facebook. Another reason I'm glad Facebook doesn't have my phone number, so I don't have to worry about every Facebook friend having my phone number...

The fact the API gives access to friends of friends data suggests Facebook intended it for more than that, though it isn't clear what. That's the most concerning part, Facebook just said to 60 companies (and who knows if they'll later admit to more) "we'll give you this API that gives you WAY more data than you should ever be able to get, use it however you wish!"

Facebook should be required to disclose how much money they were making from all these wholesale sales of data.

Microsoft commits: We're buying GitHub for $7.5 beeeeeeellion

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Re: Time

A joke that relies on being familiar with a particular xkcd cartoon that is most definitely not a well known Internet meme is not much of a joke, so rather than flying over the heads of your 11 downvoters it more flew over your head that you were trying too hard.

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@AC - Microsoft having access to all that source code

Their lawyers will make damn sure they don't look at others' private source code, because it would be VERY easy for a company to sue them if that code was misused by Microsoft because proving they had access to it would no longer be necessary to the case!

DougS Silver badge

How can it possibly be worth that much?

Does it sling ads at people? Charge money for businesses to keep their code there?

Looks like Microsoft has found yet another way to throw away piles of cash on failed acquisitions. I'm sure glad Apple isn't so dumb as to be splashing out $7.5 billion on a company that's probably worth a tenth of that at best.

Clock blocker: Woman sues bosses over fingerprint clock-in tech

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Re: Fingerprints, versus an effective "hash" code of the print created on-board

If someone has the hash of your fingerprint, they can use it to compare to another fingerprint by using that same hashing algorithm. That's like someone having your unsalted encrypted password, it isn't plaintext but it is not a good thing if you want to keep whatever it protects secure. A password, at least you can change that. Your fingerprint, not so much.

This why Apple makes a big deal out of the fact your fingerprint hash data never leaves the Secure Element on an iPhone (if you backup and restore it, you need to re-enroll your fingerprints because that data isn't part of the backup)

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