* Posts by Zarno

203 posts • joined 11 Mar 2015


Geneticists throw hands in the air, change gene naming rules to finally stop Microsoft Excel eating their data

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Oh lord no...

Clippy and CRISPR/Cas9 would be a match made in Umbrella Corp...

"Hi, I'm Clippy! It looks like you're trying to engineer a viral outbreak to kill all life on earth, can I help? [YES] [ALSO YES] [JUST CLICK THE BUTTON, YES] "

Google to pull plug on Play Music, its streaming service that couldn't beat Spotify, in favour of YouTube Music

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Re: I've just uploaded my music collection to...

"Google Ply" makes me think of a phone-book thick sheet of loo roll.

Thanks for the great typo, and I'll need a new keyboard.

UK data watchdog having a hard time making GDPR fines stick: Marriott scores another extension, BA prepares to pay 11% of £183m penalty threat

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Re: Fine negotiation

See if you can get the speed camera to testify in court.

With any luck, it'll be yammering about failing diodes down it's left side, and the judge will reduce the fine to a half hour poetry lesson.

I'll get my coat, hopefully I still have the Electronic Thumb in the pocket...

University of Cambridge to decommission its homegrown email service Hermes in favour of Microsoft Exchange Online

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Call it blunt...

Call it blunt, but if they can't keep it going because the "knowledge needed" is in short supply, they aren't teaching their pupils properly.

'I'm telling you, I haven't got an iPad!' – Sent from my iPad

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Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

Where's the mini-skirt made of snake skin?

And who's the other guy singing in Van Halen?

When did reality become T.V. ?

Sorry, that skirt quip made me think of the song.

Have a pint!

Garmin staggers back to its feet: Aviation systems seem to be lagging, though. Here's why

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I can only hope they have ample cached waypoints to recover from.

I am a bit miffed they no longer supported the original yellow eTrex for week rollover, the poor unit is stuck so far back in time it can't seem to get a good quick lock in clear skies anymore.

Oh sure, we'll just make a tiny little change in every source file without letting anyone know. What could go wrong?

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Re: Cheque runs

That's insane cheap, if it was HP/Epson/ETC inkjet ink, you'd be looking at a few thousand buckazoids a gallon...

Cornish drinkers catch a different kind of buzz as pub installs electric fence at bar

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Re: Can't abide the stuff.

"look for the insulators holding the wire off the posts."

Or as they're known to some of us, "Forbidden marshmallows"

Long anecdote short, my father once recounted a tale of an electric fence being put up, a bag of marshmallows (each roughly the size of the insulators being put up.) as a snack for the kids doing the nailing and wiring, and some dim, but glowing, neighbor kids who thought that they could pull a "marshmallow" off the fence for a snack.

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Re: Can't abide the stuff.

Seems to be an overall deficiency, since I find stick shift actually makes you look at the stuff in front of you more often, which seems to be an issue for some people.

The list of reasons to drive an automatic I've heard includes:

"What about stop and go traffic? I commute in traffic jams!"

"But hills!!! How do you start up a hill!!!"

"I don't want to have to replace a clutch every yea.r"

"I need both hands on the wheel, taking one off for anything (other than digging for the phone/whatever) is unsafe."

"You can't have start-stop auto braking cruise control in a manual, I only drive with cruise control."

(Paraphrased from the original, but someone actually did say they only ever used cruise buttons and brake, no accelerator, outside of driveway/parking lots.)

The unspoken but seen:

"I prefer to eat my chips and fish while doing my makeup and driving."

"Does this cellphone make my elbow steering look safe?"

"Sorry I didn't see you, I was adjusting the volume on my rolling home theater with flat screen TV on the dashboard."

There are medical reasons why a third pedal can be a bother, and those are legit reasons in my book.

"Because I prefer the smooth ride and lack of interaction." is another legit one.

But this whole "Automatic = safer!" joke is just that.

To be fair, I do have a soft spot for the A413 TorqueFlite and the C4.

Mixed signals? Yes and no: Analog Devices snaps up rival Maxim Integrated for $20.9bn

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This will either be good, or bad.

I'm sadly looking towards bad, given the constant consolidation of companies over my lifetime, and the "Why keep this fab process running for three dozen parts that only four major customers rely on?" mentality that seems to be going around lately.

I remember Motorola turning into Freescale, all the old Moto MCU/CPU tech, very interesting power electronics, displays, optoelectronics, and whatnot.

Signetics made the 555, was eventually bought out by Philips (before my time), and then Philips spun out NXP.

Then NXP merged with Freescale, and the product offerings shrank down again, and nearly all of the interesting stuff went "poof".

TI bought National Semiconductor, and a lot of their very interesting bespoke products also went up in the magic smoke.

When Dallas was scooped up by Maxim, they kept most of the product lines alive, and did great things with 1-wire and the acquired IP through the years. They rarely killed a product, that I can tell.

ADI bought Linear Technology, and now Maxim.

My only gripe with Maxim is their stuff has almost always been eye-wateringly high priced, in single or quantity, compared to others. But if you need whatever bespoke little thing they make, they have it, and usually with really long term availability and clearly defined sun-setting dates.

The Atmel/Microchip Technology merger was an interesting one too... lots of pruning done there.

International Rectifier bought by Infineon Technologies.

Ramtron bought by Cypress Semiconductor.

Now Cypress Semiconductor has been gulped up by Infineon.

I feel old.

A beer to memories of a past life.

Apple: Don't close MacBooks with a webcam cover on, you might damage the display

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I'm not worried about getting it, I just would like to know the reason for it.

I knew the reasons when I threw my hat into the pineapple pizza discussion a few weeks back, but this one makes me wonder...

Beer, because it sure feels like 5:00, and yet I can't have one till then.

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Ok, why the downvote? Did I use a contraction wrong, or was it my lack of citing the source?

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"What Apple _should_ do, is design a sliding cover into future models"

Agreed. If Dell can put in a sliding shutter and get it right on their newer laptops, then Apple should be able to as well.

From a quick search of the tuberwebs, "...the new MacBook Pro's multi-channel ambient light sensor is located next to the built-in FaceTime HD camera...", so it looks like it's either actually that close, hiding in the same few mm of the camera for "aesthetics", or maybe it's actually using the camera itself.

It’s happened again: AT&T sued for allegedly transferring victim's number to thieves in $1.9m cryptocoin heist

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Re: 24E6 eggs in a flimsy basket

As far as my somewhat limited knowledge, it is only taxed when converted to a recognized currency, or "withdrawn".

So if you mined $20 in BTC back when, and it's now worth $20K, then you'll pay tax on the 20K, same as a stock transaction or bank interest. Lovely for sure.

It's a big ball of wax, but that's how it was explained last ai looked into it

In some ways, it's like a 401(k) or IRA?

There may be more recent laws/rules/regulations though. The IRS wants their cut six ways from a half dozen after all.

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Re: 24E6 eggs in a flimsy basket

"The only reason for hiding that level of money is that its either dodgy or you don't want the IRS to know about it (essentially the same thing)."

Or, you got into the whole mining shebang early and it's "new" pre-tax income/currency from nothing, so if you pull it all out at once, you get hit at the entire income tax liability all at once.

I know a couple people who are stuck in that situation, and don't feel like taking the massive tax hit to convert it all in one fiscal year. Instead, they draw off of it as needed, and stay out of the painful tax brackets.

Similar idea with someone not paying themselves the full 100% of their sole proprietorship's profits as wages, to avoid the corporate+income double-wham on all of it. Tax avoidance vs tax evasion.

if it's post-tax earnings that were stuffed into crypto to be held, they're a bit daft...

I sort of wish I had hopped on the wagon and mined some when it was easy, but back then I was trading microlot forex, which put me partly through college...

Someone got so fed up with GE fridge DRM – yes, fridge DRM – they made a whole website on how to bypass it

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Re: home use printer that doesn't dry up between uses

That'd be good old Tektronix phaser tech, popularized after the division was sold to Xerox and used in the Xerox Phaser lineup.

Never seen/used one, but hear they worked well.

Bloke rolls up to KFC drive-thru riding horse-drawn cart only to be told: Neigh

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Bzzzzt, wrong.

I take issue with the piles of excrement in the road, because hitting it at 55 makes a mess.

Don't have an issue with the smell of natural fertilizer, church bells, fire horn, cicadas, or the peeper frogs.

Think of it as if someone's dog continually dropped a log on the sidewalk in front of your house, and the owners didn't clean it up. That's the annoyance level.

Pints all round.

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Re: WTF?

I don't need an excuse. I like it. I'm not trying to force others to see my way of thinking.

I also eat cottage cheese with a drizzle of steak sauce, so we ALL know my taste buds were summarily pruned long ago.

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Re: @ThatOne

Depending on the lore, she may not be a cat, and may indeed be a disguised kobold...

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Re: WTF?

Bacon and pineapple for me. With a white sauce if available.

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What lovely state/locale are you in, where that is followed and/or enforced?

Round these parts, we have the "Horse and Diaper" regulations, but all equine powered transport systems tend to just leave a few piles per mile and never clean it up.

Lovely when the person in a brodozer in the 55 zone hits one and splays it all over your vehicle...

If Daddy doesn't want me to touch the buttons, why did they make them so colourful?

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Re: Press the button Max ...

Reminds me of this comic...


Bite me? It's 'byte', and that acronym is Binary Interface Transfer Code Handler

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I usually use NUKEME, TESTNUKE, NUKEAFTER or something else for my testing stuff and variable name prefixe/suffix.

Short search of the project for NUKE and I know what I forgot...

The Rise of The (Coffee) Machines: I need assistance. I think I'm running Windows. Send help

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Re: What a curious picture

The hot water that spews forth from any automagic coffee apparatus when that function is requested, invariably tastes like the howling vestiges of a vulcanization factory. Not a podule in sight, and yet it has that colour and scent of eau de haricots.

I'd rather microwave my tea water in those cases, gets all those little molecular dipoles dancing to the radio waves instead of last weeks (months, years, epochs) bean residue.

Mine's the one with a bag of Earl Grey in the pocket.

It is unclear why something designed to pump fuel into a car needs an ad-spewing computer strapped to it, but here we are

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Re: Details!

I did not know that Wendys made a breakfast baconator...

That'll fit right nice with my baconator quad patty with a sour cream and chive baked tater. Small drink, natch.

Square peg of modem won't fit into round hole of PC? I saw to it, bloke tells horrified mate

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Re: VGA Plug Screws

I thought I was the only one that had to do that on a mybook.

Was it the firewire + esata + usb version?

I used a firewire card with it for years on Linux, since USB overhead was noticeable back then.

Went to e-sata when I upgraded to a different motherboard that supported it, and Windows took over my life again. The windows switch was work related, not many IDE's/programming environments/pro level CAD/CAM systems run in *nix anymore.

Now the drive sits on the bookshelf, with who knows what on it. I really should dust it off and see if there's anything worth keeping, and plug it into the openwrt router for NAS duty...

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Re: Saws

My IT bag has a small hand size claw hammer in it.

It's one of the most required but seldom used tools. The anecdotal "threaten with a hammer" story actually does work, I've encountered it a few times.

Also good for the usual un-bend of dented computer stuff.

Icon because aliens, croquet, planets, black holes, and spooky action with a hammer.

Prank warning: You do know your smart speaker's paired with Spotify over the internet, don't you?

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Re: The only bug I see...

At the risk of getting more, can someone give feedback on why they downvoted?

Genuinely would like to know why they're there.

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The only bug I see...

The only bug I see is not being able to un-link other users from the smart speaker.

And I think that may be partly to blame on the OEM, and partly on Spotify.

The assumption was probably that if someone has LAN/WiFi access, they want it to just work.

I have a home media receiver (Onkyo TX-NR636) with the Spotify Connect stuff built in, and early on noticed that I could have my phone on cellular data and still see it.

There's a setting in the Spotify app settings menu (Android, not certain on ios), under Devices for "Show local devices only", so the ability is intentional.

Any instance of the player that your account is logged into will also show as a device to be controlled remotely.

And I find no issues there, it works perfectly fine for my use case of playing music on the phone in my pocket and controlling it from the desktop Spotify player on the work laptop (and other way round).

Phone stays on cellular, work laptop stays on work network, and IT department is happy that they're segregated. It also allows for controlling the home system when I'm on the work VPN through the home DMZ (virtual access point with network segregation).

I have also noticed previously connected devices will drop off the list periodically, but the timeframe is erratic.

Spotify could rectify the issue with the smart speakers by having a "claim your device" dashboard showing any authorized connections and revoke options, or the OEM's integrating the functionality could have a "Hold power button for three seconds, then follow voice menu to delete authorized users" or some such. Likely both parties would have to change things slightly.


It's a feature with a small bug, and in my case the pro outweighs the con.

You can get a mechanical keyboard for £45. But should you? We pulled an Aukey KM-G6 out of the bargain bin

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It could have been an F, but I don't remember it having the function row on the left side or the ears for the feet.

M's could have either PS/2 or AT cables, and I distinctly remember this one having a detachable AT cable. Seems 1993 was the cutoff year for them to be detachable.

As far as mice, I'm completely hooked on the MX Master 3 right now.

Trackballs are good, but my environment at work would kill them rather quickly due to particulate and oil. They're also a wee bit hard for me to game on.

I don't see the need for touchpads. I'd gladly trade that useless square/rectangle for a Wacom pen digitizer in the screen and a less compressed laptop keyboard layout.

I need to go hunting for that keyboard when I get a good weekend at home.

Maybe I should use membrane domes and a copy of DOS on 5.25" as bait for the trap?

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I bought a black Unicomp EnduraPro at the tail end of 2017 for work. Remake of the IBM M13 with the Trackpoint in it.

Sounds like an ammo dump cooking off when I get typing, but it's just so darn comfy and the integrated mouse is perfect for quick stuff.

Gaming on it is strictly hilarious for the noise (Rip and Tear on lunch hour), and only slightly hindered by the hysteresis of the spring resetting.

Someplace I have an old AT Model M, but it's been hiding so I don't press it into service at home.

I've been tempted to get a new style mechanical keyboard, but the reality is I'd slowly end up spending way too much time making custom ones once I pop that genie bottle cork.

Dumpster diving to revive a crashing NetWare server? It was acceptable in the '90s

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Re: Genius ...

Again, halftime show material.

Take the blooming upvote!

Elevating cost-cutting to a whole new level with million-dollar bar bills

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Re: radio interferences

The real question is, did hey stay at the Hilton?

I'll get my coat.

Royal Navy nuclear submarine captain rapped for letting crew throw shoreside BBQ party

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They intentionally distance sub crews from any news that could "compromise" the mission.

It's also been said in a few articles that sub crews were explicitly not told about the pandemic.

Unless they were informed on the way back to port, it's a literal case of they didn't know at the time.

Hope nobody gets canned for it.

Getting shades of Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect with the house and bypass thing.

Getting a pizza the action, AS/400 style

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Re: Savagery?

Depends if it's the Aussie or UK/US office.

In case you need more proof the world's gone mad: Behold, Apple's $699 Mac Pro wheels

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Re: These are wheely gweat!

Think printer ink, but worse.

If the proper serialized wheel, currently in-license (monthly fee), activated to current main system serial number(s) (Can't have second hand/shared use sales...), is not in the designated corner, the computer won't function.

Oh great, now I've likely given them an idea...

NASA dons red and blue cardboard 3D glasses to drive Curiosity rover because its GPUs are stuck in the office

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I actually did a final project for my digital imaging course on stereoscopic video.

Made up the spreader bar with adjustment for interocular distance, stuffed two commodity digicams running CHDK on there, and post processed all the frames to work with ColorCode (amber/blue) glasses.

Pretty sure there were some NASA stereoscopic images of the moon used in the actual course.

I find the amber/blue encoding method to be clearer than red/blue, but ColorCode is still under patent till 2024.

Stop us if you've heard this before: Boeing's working on 737 Max software fixes for autopilot, stabilization bugs

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One way to fix.

Only one way to fix this that I can see.

rm -rf /datastorage/designs/737_MAX

mkdir /datastorage/designs/737_MAX_V2

Icon because that's what rm -rf does...

BOFH: Will the last one out switch off the printer?

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New recipe time for me!

Never had bhajis, and onion rings are starting to become blasé.

Unless someone can provide me with a better recipe, I'll be trying this one tonight.


Bravo bravo, food and IT are an amazing combo!

It's time to track people's smartphones to ensure they self-isolate during this global pandemic, says WHO boffin

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Re: But I don't have a so-called "smart" phone.

To alleviate some confusion my short initial response may have caused:

The CDMA carriers (VZW/Sprint in US, others elsewhere), who did not use a SIM like the GSM (TDMA/FDMA) carriers (ATT/T-Mobile in US) used, would rely on an MEID to identify the device on the network.

The MEID was frequently the IMEI with the last digit truncated off.

You had to type the MEID in to a website/recite it over a different phone to a support person, then wait for activation when switching the device to a different account. Many carriers also had a special number you called to activate, where the MEID automatically tied to the account when credentials were verified.

LTE uses OFDM, and usually an IMEI/IMSI combo, with the IMSI provided by either a SIM or software simulation of one. Apple and Google use soft-SIM in some phones if memory serves.

Quite a few handsets will still connect to a network for emergency services call (911/999), using the IMEI/MEID in absence of a SIM.

CDMA handsets (VZW 3G known for sure) will try to connect to their main network on powerup, and the back-end will either allow or deny service based on if the MEID is in the providers database.

The switchover from 3G/LTE as needed, provisions for roaming, and cell site handover while moving means the cellular modem will always be trying to connect to something. If it wasn't, the system wouldn't be as robust. The triangulation based on which towers can pick up the handset signal also pinpoints you, closer than you may care to think.

Smart vs Legacy doesn't really come into play much.

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Re: But I don't have a so-called "smart" phone.

IMEI is still tied to you.

Sucks, but true.

You're not fooling anyone on that vid-conference call: Walmart says shirt sales soaring, pants not pulled up

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Re: Trousers? BAH! I go nekkid!

Take your upvote.

Take it.

I would love to see that as a halftime show, but only if you at least wear a kilt.

Short of tech talent to deal with novel coronavirus surge? Let us help – with free job ads on The Register

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Re: Good move.

I know vultures are usually well adept at handling rotten/bloated/decaying things, but be careful you don't give them something too toxic.

We have a fusing ball of hydrogen for disposing of that.

Icon because it's the closest thing to the sun.

Taiwan collars coronavirus quarantine scofflaws with smartphone geo-fences. So, which nation will be next?

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Re: Which is more important, Privacy or Death?

Exploding coffee, or just a little extra added to it to make the heart explode?

Takes "Nitro cold brew" to a whole different place of mind.

The shelves may be empty, but the disk is full: Not even Linux can resist the bork at times

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Re: R/O FS

I get roughly a year on my dashcam cards, filming 4K front and 1080 rear, loop filling the card and tagging motion events.

Samsung EVO Select U3 cards, 128GB capacity.

The internal wear leveling seems to do a good job.

When the world ends – coronavirus plague, WW3, whatever – all that will be left are cockroaches and Larry Ellison trash talking his rivals

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Hey hey hey, that's an insult to the FINE folks at Sierra On-Line, equating a walking talking slime mould to their (possibly non)lovable character Leisure Suit Larry!

Mine's the one with the cheat sheet for the intro questions in the pocket...

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"You have 5 seconds to comply. 4. 3. 2. 1. I am now authorized to use physical force!"

Icon because it's the closest thing, and might actually be part of their "reinforcement" team...

Borklays soz for the ailing ATMs but won't say if fix involved a Microsoft invoice

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Re: Wrong spelling abuse


Why does everyone spell it fiber?

And then there's Canadian English, where it gets even weirder.

Icon, because it's a mystery.

Grab a towel and pour yourself a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster because The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is 42

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Re: I have done the calculation

But if my clothes are in the boot, where is the snake going to live, under the bonnet?

I'll see myself out...

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Re: listening order

Infinitely improbable they'll play in the "proper" order, for practical purposes.

I'm too lax to do the math on that shuffle and get actual probability of that happening.

Need to get another car towel...



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