* Posts by JohnFen

870 posts • joined 20 Feb 2015

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X marks the Notch, where smartmobe supercycles go to die

JohnFen
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Re: My problem with the latest top-end phones

Again, I never said it did -- that's just the topic of this discussion.

That said, I'd love to have a high-performance phone, and am dismayed that I can't find any that are adequate.

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JohnFen
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Re: My problem with the latest top-end phones

"So nobody makes phones with SD slots, headphone jacks and replaceable batteries?"

Can you find a top end phone that has these?

"I struggle to see why SD/battery are ironclad must-haves though, what use case makes them mandatory rather than convenient?"

Why are you so dismissive of convenience? If I'm paying top dollar for something, convenience becomes much more important.

Then they aren't must-haves for you. I was only saying that they are for me, not that they should be for everybody. But since you're interested, here's why I consider them must-haves: I use my phone to store a lot of data (music, documents, etc.). Most phones don't come with enough storage for me, so I need to expand it. Also, it's important to me to be able to be able to transfer that data to and from the phone quickly, and nothing beats being able to remove the SD card and insert it into my desktop machine to do this.

As to battery, there are two reasons this is important to me. First, it means that I can easily replace the battery when it gets worn out. Second, it means that I can use the phone for a longer time between charges (important when I'm away for a few days) without having to lug around a battery bank. Also, it's a lot better to swap a depleted battery for a fresh one than to have to keep the phone attached to a charger for hours at a time.

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JohnFen
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Re: My problem with the latest top-end phones

"my current phone, which is a 6 year old flagship"

I did the math wrong -- my phone is 5 years old, not 6.

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JohnFen
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Re: History repeating itself

I think he was referring to the time (1997) when Apple was in danger of going under, and Microsoft bailed them out by buying a bunch of stock in exchange for Apple promising to support MS Office for five years. https://www.wired.com/2009/08/dayintech_0806/

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JohnFen
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Re: Feature trickle down

"I just haven't read anyone make the case for the downsides of a notch other than aesthetics"

Yes, because that's the objection -- aesthetics. That's not a small thing. The notch is horrible.

In my use case anyway, it probably wouldn't matter much, assuming that I'd have some way to move the status bar down below the notch where it can take up the full width of the screen, so the "ears" would always be black. If I couldn't do that, then the notch is not just an aesthetic problem, but a functional one.

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JohnFen
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Re: In defence ..

"suspended apps can do nothing without you knowing about it."

If they are actually suspended, then they can't do anything, period, I would hope. But how do I know if they're really suspended or not? You even mention one case where they're not (VoIP apps listening for connections).

The bottom line is that you can't trust apps. Even if it's just a feel-good measure and has no actual effect, I feel much more comforted being sure that they're actually shut down.

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JohnFen
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Re: In defence ..

"I can't see the downside."

Well, there's a few downsides, including that damned notch. But how does putting the phone in a case resolve the problem with the lack of bezels? In order to resolve that problem, the case is going to make the phone physically larger, cover up some of the screen, or wrap the phone in such a way as to not change the bezel situation. None of those are good solutions.

Also, and this is just a minor point, I really hate phone cases. If I need to put a case on a phone to make it functional, that's me making a sacrifice in order to fix a design flaw. If I'm paying top dollar for a phone, why should I have to make a sacrifice?

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JohnFen
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Re: My problem with the latest top-end phones

Headphone jack, sd card slot, and replaceable battery are must-haves for me in a high-end phone. If I'm paying top dollar, I am not willing to sacrifice functionality. I'd also really like to have a bezel, but that's not a showstopper.

"But why would you restrict yourself to flagships?"

Who said I do? I was just responding to the topic, which is high-end phones. There aren't any that I've found that meet my needs. Unless someone puts one on the market, when it comes time to replace my current phone, I'm going with the lowest-end phone that can run a WiFi hotspot, and carry a pocket computer to do the stuff that I currently use my phone for. It sucks that I'll have to carry two devices, but such is the state of the market.

"since today's $100 Android phone has performance that matches if not exceeds a 5 year old flagship."

I am unaware of a $100 phone that comes close to my current phone, which is a 6 year old flagship. But even if there was, a $100 phone is also missing important functionality -- just different functionality (such as a large, attractive screen, etc.)

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JohnFen
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Re: In defence ..

"Closing apps need only be done if you have something that's wedged, or needs terminating with extreme prejudice like the Facebook app."

Or if you want to be absolutely sure that it won't start operating without your knowledge.

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JohnFen
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Re: In defence ..

Indeed. This push for "no bezels" is not desirable. It's the exact opposite of desirable.

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JohnFen
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Re: In defence ..

The notch is a problem in search of a solution. A big problem.

"Because there are things on the top of every phone that take some space, but not the whole width of the phone"

Except, on my phone, those things absolutely take up the whole width, and I want every one of them there. So the "notch" solves nothing. It could even make things worse, if I'm forced to cram everything into those ears.

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JohnFen
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"Person B has money and wants all the blls and whistles, theres a phone for them as well."

I must be person C: I can afford a high-end phone, and want high-end features, but there are no phones on the market for me. The high-end phones that I see are missing one or more critically important features.

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JohnFen
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"Apple has finally found the high end (and beyond) of what the market will bear."

This isn't clear at all. It might not signify that people aren't willing to pay that much, it might instead signify that the X doesn't deliver enough value to be worth that price tag.

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JohnFen
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My problem with the latest top-end phones

My problem isn't the price. My problem is that, in terms of meeting my needs for a smartphone, the top-end phones released over the past year or two are actively inferior to those from 5 years ago.

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Facebook can't admit the truth, says data-slurp boffin Kogan

JohnFen
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Let's not forget that Trump lost the popular vote. Not by enough to matter, but the American people as a whole did not elect him.

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Danish submariner to serve 16 years in prison for murder of Kim Wall

JohnFen
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In comparison to the US, where a "life sentence" is often just as brief, it sounds like the Danes are just more honest about it.

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Oh dear... Netizens think 'private' browsing really means totally private

JohnFen
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Re: Forensic Analysis

"Wouldnt disabling cookies do it?"

No. There are numerous methods of tracking that don't require cookies. In fact, internet ad companies are relying less on cookies every year, because so many people block them anyway.

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Eclipse Foundation pushes faster, cloudier Jakarta EE

JohnFen
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Re: Lennart Poettering

Wait, you have the power to stop him?

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JohnFen
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Oh, no

"As part of this, the Jakarta EE Working group - made up of vendors including Fujitsu, IBM, Oracle, Payara and Red Hat, along with open-source developers - is aiming at faster releases."

Not another "rapid release" product. This madness is getting out of control.

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Happy having Amazon tiptoe into your house? Why not the car, then? In-trunk delivery – what could go wrong?

JohnFen
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Re: Would love to see the look...

Don't worry, they won't do it with your car. You have to have a 2015 or newer Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, or Volvo and an OnStar or On Call account (that's how they locate your car and open your trunk). Oh, and you also have to ask them to.

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IETF: GDPR compliance means caring about what's in your logfiles

JohnFen
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Re: Difficult

"Redacting might also be classified as destroying evidence."

How so?

As I understand it, it's only "destroying evidence" in a legally prosecutable sense if you know, or should know, that the data you're destroying is relevant or likely to be relevant to an active criminal investigation. Routine redactions for privacy purposes wouldn't qualify.

But I'm no lawyer, so I may very well be wrong.

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JohnFen
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"What if my local shop website is using Fasthosts, or even a US-based hosting company, and is sharing Apache2 server logs with US-based sites."

If your host is combining your server logs with those of other clients, you really need to find a new host.

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JohnFen
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"I am bound to provide suitable protection against any intrusion"

Intrusion is only one part of the issue. The other part is the abuse of that data by the service provider itself. What protection do you provide against you?

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State spy agencies 'outsource surveillance' to foreign partners – campaign group

JohnFen
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That's the entire point

The entire point of intelligence-sharing arrangements such as Five Eyes is to bypass restrictions on domestic surveillance.

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Amazon and Netflix join Hollywood to lob sueball at 'Kodi' service SetTV

JohnFen
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A better protocol that doesn't involve HTTP, maybe?

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JohnFen
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Re: They're not suing Kodi

This. Kodi's not being sued. It's an entirely legitimate and legal piece of software.

I use Kodi heavily -- but oddly, I suppose, not for video. I use it as the front end for my sound system.

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No way, RSA! Security conference's mobile app embarrassingly insecure

JohnFen
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RSA has confirmed?

"RSA has maintained that it didn't take the NSA's money to bork its own products."

Which isn't a denial that they borked their products for the NSA. It's just saying that they didn't charge anyone to do it.

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Apple's magical quality engineering strikes again: You may want to hold off that macOS High Sierra update...

JohnFen
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Re: countless issues

"however, you cannot just 'not upgrade' due to the security fixes etc in the upgrade."

Sure you can, and still maintain relatively good security. You just have to use other security measures.

This business about upgrades being "not optional" because of security is taking us down a very, very bad road, in my opinion. The decision is not as stark as the companies like to present, because there are multiple ways to maintain security.

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Time to ditch the front door key? Nest's new wireless smart lock is surprisingly convenient

JohnFen
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Non-starter

Why is the internet involved with this at all? That seems pointless and introduces a whole host of security problems (including data slurping on the part of the provider). This is what make other Nest products, such as the thermostat, nonstarters for me as well.

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ZTE to USA: Sure, ban us, but you cannot afford such victories

JohnFen
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Re: @Hmmm

The debt is indeed a huge problem, but let's not forget who most of that money is owed to -- it's not China, it's US citizens.

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JohnFen
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"how's he going to feel about the phrase "weak dollar"?"

One would think -- but he's been talking about how he wants to see the dollar weakened for a good while now, so apparently that doesn't phase him much.

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JohnFen
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Re: Protectionism

Well, sure... like all major companies, they want to address the largest possible markets. All of them, if at all possible. But selling in western market is gravy rather than an existential issue.

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JohnFen
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I wasn't saying the US is a broken nation, I was just pointing out the trend line.

"The US still has a lot going for it, including an above average birth rate and by far the world's most advanced military capability."

While I agree that the US has a lot going for it, I wouldn't say that those two things are examples of that. The birth rate alone doesn't mean much (and too high a birth rate is a negative, not a positive), and our military capability is utterly dependent on the cooperation of the rest of the world to be sustained. Not to mention that having the most powerful military in the world can also be a minus -- it's very expensive, and if that's the only tool in your toolbelt, then other nations will, sooner or later, gang up on you. Every ex-world power in history had the most powerful military in the world in their heyday.

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JohnFen
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"But I doubt Trump would like to wreak the dollar"

I see no reason to doubt (or believe) it. It all depends on whether he or his buddies will be able to profit more from wrecking the dollar than not. If they can, then the dollar will be squarely in their crosshairs.

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JohnFen
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Re: Every country has protectionism

"This has nothing to do with protectionism."

That's not clear at all. Given that the US is ramping up on its protectionist policies, this looks like seizing on the Iran thing as an excuse to ramp them up even more.

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JohnFen
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Re: A bit too much threatening nationalism there...

"If that cut-off includes IPR licensing."

Which only matters if you're wanting to do business with the nation that you're licensing from.

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JohnFen
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"The US is the world power, no doubt, but it is also a mere 330M country with an ailing, poorer and poorer middle class, due to dumb politicians, and not the "market place" it used to be."

This. The US is a world power in decline, and that decline is accelerating.

It's not written in stone, though. The US has been in worse situations in the past, and we've managed to pull out of it. We can again.

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JohnFen
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Re: Protectionism

"If it hasn't got gapps it's not selling in the west"

Perhaps, but selling in the west is not a requirement to have a successful business.

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JohnFen
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Re: Protectionism

"Google has perverted the openness of the system by creating/moving APIs that many apps depend on into proprietary components outside of the AOSP proper"

Well, Google is trying to pervert it and has made significant progress in that direction, but they haven't yet succeeded. There are still quite a lot of apps that don't depend on Google's components, and many developers intend to keep it that way with their projects.

"Google has the only viable app store for Android."

Google has the most popular, but I don't use their app store and get along just fine using a couple of alternatives. So I'd say there are other viable ones. And it's easy to set up even more.

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Facebook puts 1.5bn users on a boat from Ireland to California

JohnFen
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Re: Bunch of Crap... GDPR bah.

Since you clearly don't view the GDPR as being helpful to protect people against abuse, do you have any ideas of what a proper solution would look like? Because, right now, the GDPR -- for all its flaws -- appears to be the only one in the offing. We desperately need something like that here in the US.

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JohnFen
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Re: Farcebook

"A lot of people thought the telephone was a fad. TV, too."

And MySpace.

Oh, wait...

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JohnFen
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Re: Time to change the model... 18 months window before decline sets in!

"Change to a subscription model Facebook"

Changing to a subscription model won't fix a thing. Even with such a model, there's no way Facebook would stop with it's spying ways.

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JohnFen
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Uber levels

Facebook is trying really hard to reach Uber-level evil, isn't it?

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Tech bribes: What's the WORST one you've ever been offered?

JohnFen
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My worst?

McDonald's for the whole team.

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Facebook admits it does track non-users, for their own good

JohnFen
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"your being the only one who makes use of your system(s) and being able to rule out Failbook activity."

My firewall blocks all access to FB servers, so there's no risk there. I provide "red zone" internet access that is separated from my network for visitors who don't like my restrictions.

"your never needing to access the 'net from anywhere else"

When I access the net from somewhere else, I use a VPN that connects to my LAN, so all of my protections stay in place. I haven't needed to use someone else's machine for internet access (my smartphone does just fine, particularly when I connect a keyboard and mouse to it), but if I also carry a bootable USB stick as backup should I ever need to.

"that's why I don't use the 'net for anything but browser based activity"

Fair enough, but for me, that would eliminate about 75% of the usefulness of the internet. If I had to be browser-only, I may as well just stop using the internet.

"I recommend the belt and braces approach (it can't hurt)."

I agree. I don't consider security a "once and done" sort of thing. Threats change over time, and so security postures must as well.

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Facebook's login-to-other-sites service lets scum slurp your stuff

JohnFen
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I don't think there's any meaningful difference between the government and major corporations in the US.

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JohnFen
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Re: Yes...

"And that is why the current all jump on Facebook campaign is so ridiculous."

It's not ridiculous. All of the other companies you've mentioned have been lambasted for their wrongdoings before, and will be again. It's just Facebook's turn right now.

And there's nothing wrong with that. "Everybody does it" is a defeatist line of thinking that only helps to ensure that this situation won't change. But when one of these companies gets into the public eye, that's an opportunity to pound the lesson home for that company, and makes it easier to pressure the other companies when their turn comes around again.

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JohnFen
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You are not wrong. Facebook is the poster child right now, but the rot goes far beyond just them.

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JohnFen
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Re: Jeez

"That's part of the whole SSO mentality - it's their 'profile' across all of the services they use, not just an authentication thing."

This.

SSO is, mathematically, a decent idea. However, it was coopted very early on and turned into something that decreases security rather than increases it.

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JohnFen
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Re: The only Facebook news worth reading anymore is what Facebook tell their 'real' Users:

I've been reading the various internet advertising industry websites just to see their reaction to the greater awakening that people are having to Facebook (and, by extension, all other internet advertising companies).

The level of contempt the industry shows for the people they're advertising to is truly astounding. It rivals even the level of contempt that you regularly see from Silicon Valley. But then, I'm increasingly suspecting that there's little actual difference between those two groups.

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