* Posts by To Mars in Man Bras!

237 publicly visible posts • joined 24 Feb 2016

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Cyber-snoops broke into US military contractor, stole data, hid for months

To Mars in Man Bras!
Headmaster

>Spies for months hid inside...

Dearie me. Did you just throw some words in the air and see what random order they landed in?

AI eye-scanner can tell whether you'll croak it from a heart attack

To Mars in Man Bras!

I was thinking the same mysefl. I'ts a bit like the old adage that a snarling dog will only attack you if it smells your fear. "You're going to die of a heart attack. But watch your blood pressure!"

Wash your mouth out with shape-shifting metal

To Mars in Man Bras!
Facepalm

Click to Enlarge...

Ugghh! --who's responsible for that horrible over-compressed JPG? JPG for photos, GIF [or PNG8] for textual graphics

Russian Debian-derivative Linux slinger plans IPO

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Trollface

That Explains Things...

>Since the invasion of Ukraine, Microsoft has blocked the use of Windows in Russia...

So that's why the Russian military seems to have become more effective as the war has dragged on.

Photonic processor can classify millions of images faster than you can blink

To Mars in Man Bras!
Thumb Up

Re: Sounds Like Just What I Need!

Thanks. I'll look into it

To Mars in Man Bras!
Thumb Up

Sounds Like Just What I Need!

The other day I found a 5GB zip archive which I'd downloaded from Flickr when they did away with their 1TB free storage [I'd used it as a backup]. When expanded I was left with 20.000+ images.

On my backup hard drive at home, I have an unknown [but possibly even larger] amount of photos, stored in a hierarchical folder structure: YEAR > DATE > EVENT. I need to compare what was in the Flickr archive with what's dispersed throughout the myriad folders in that hard drive archive.

In their infinite wisdom, Flickr has renamed all the photos when I uploaded them. So I can't employ the usual suspects such as diff or find etc. to see which photos in the Flickr download I already have. I suspect most of them, but don't want to bin any just in case.

So let me know when this Photonic processor is cheaply available. It could run through my tens of thousands of images in a nanosecond and let me know which ones are duplicates.

I love the Linux desktop, but that doesn't mean I don't see its problems all too well

To Mars in Man Bras!
Facepalm

Re: Chicken and egg

>Some specialised software only exists on Windows or on Mac

This!

How many times must I be pointed out that it doesn't matter how many fecking Linux desktops there are, or how many different software repos --where are the applications?

No-one who works in graphic design, or desktop publishing, or video editing, or... [other fields I'm not familiar with] is going to use Linux, because the pro quality applications they need to produce their work on don't exist.

Why can so many Linux evangelists not get that simple fact into their skulls?

The desktop is practically an irrelevance. I use Mac OS for my design work. I probably spend about 1% of my time --if that-- interacting with the 'Mac desktop'. [ie. Finder, System Preferences, whatever]. The other 99%+ of my time I'm doing work in actual applications. I hate the MacOS Finder. Most mac users do. It's a bag of shite. But I hardly ever touch it, apart from to look for a file to work on or move files about. So its 'bag-of-shiteyness' is something I put up with.

I'm not going to switch to using Linux to get a slightly less painful experience* during that <1% usage, at the expense of having a much worse experience [Gimp cough! cough!, Inkscape cough! cough!] the 99% of the time I'm actually doing work.

*[and even then, the one thing that Linux is supposedly superior for; ie the choice of file managers, still falls short of even OSX's crappy Finder. It's 2022 and I still can't preview the contents of a file on Linux, without opening it]

Downvote away. I know the truth hurts.

Makers of ad blockers and browser privacy extensions fear the end is near

To Mars in Man Bras!
Stop

Chrome on everybody!

The trouble is that, thanks to the open source Chromium project, any partially-gifted code slinger can slap a GUI on top, then go through the myriad options provided under chrome://flags and select a different combination of features to enable by default than the other eleventy billion Chromium based browsers out there have enabled and --hey presto!-- there are now eleventy billion and one Chromium based browsers on the market.

Dare I draw parallels with the eleventy billion 'flavours' of Linux which mostly employ a similar strategy.

To Mars in Man Bras!
Flame

Re: Chrome is the hellmouth

>At this point, a huge shout of shame at a certain pizza chain, named after a game...

Would that be the same pizza chain that regularly sends me spam emails, even though I have never visited one of their shops, never eaten one of their over-priced digestive biscuit sized pizzas, never interacted with the company in any way --ever?

Microsoft: You own the best software keyboard there is. Please let us buy it

To Mars in Man Bras!
Facepalm

Re: Android Users - Tried Yandex Keyboard?

Oh dear. Why does someone always feel the need to make that tediously predictable quip, whenever a Russian company is mentioned. Or similar about the CCP when a Chinese company is mentioned?

Because no US company would ever spy on its users would it?

Besides which, given my lack of military or industrial significance, neither Mr. Putin or the CCP are ikely to be in the least bit interested in my humdrum existence --unlike all those companies in the good ol' US of A which see my personal data as ammunition in their unending attempts to part me from my money.

To Mars in Man Bras!
Alert

Android Users - Tried Yandex Keyboard?

I use Yandex keyboard on Android.

I actually find its predictions better than the competition. But that's damning with faint praise. Without exception, every keyboard I've tried on mobile has had me wanting to throw my phone through the window half the time. especially when [as pointed out by others] they will all ignore a word you type multiple times a day and instead insert some random word so irrelevant it makes you shake your head in disbelief.

Yandex CEO Arkady Volozh resigns after being added to EU sanctions list

To Mars in Man Bras!
Facepalm

What's the Yandex Angle?

I use Yandex Keyboard [on Android], Yandex Browser [on Android. The only one that supports extensions AND text-reflow] and Yandex Disc [on Android, OSX and Ubuntu].

Sorry if that makes me a Putin stooge... as apparently having any connection to Russia whatsoever is a hate crime these days!

We now return you to your scheduled Ukraine war themed name-calling.

Sick of Windows but can't afford a Mac? Consult our cynic's guide to desktop Linux

To Mars in Man Bras!
FAIL

Re: Now Do an Article About the Top Ten Linux Apps

>The mistake you make is that somehow photoshop is the best way to edit images, when it is just what you are used to...

No. read what I wrote. Affinity has/had no way to crop an image and retain the same aspect ratio. This is not an esoteric Photoshop-only thing. This is a really basic fundamental requirement in a vast majority of photo editing work; you want to crop a photo but still keep it in the same aspect ratio.

And, not only was it not present. But people had been asking for it for years and being completely ignored by the devs. That's why I gave up on Affinity. Not because I was frightened of having to learn a new keyboard shortcut, or tool to use.

To Mars in Man Bras!
Thumb Down

Re: If only it were that easy...

One of my favourite "What were they smoking?" aspects of installing Linux [specifically Ubuntu] from aLive CD/DVD/USB is that:

if you untick various options to get a minima-ish install [in my case I deselect LibreOffice --I don't need office software] the installer actually installs all the bloatware anyway and then removes it again afterwards, as part of the installing process. You can see this if you turn down the disclosure arrow on the installer window to show the details [ie. terminal output] during installation. What a completely idiotic waste of time!

I've also had Ubuntu installations break completely when I've forgotten to untick LibreOffice during installation and then had to remove it manually afterwards.

So much for efficiency and lack of bloatware!

To Mars in Man Bras!
Headmaster

Re: Now Do an Article About the Top Ten Linux Apps

>you've just forgotten all the learning you had to do...

Theoretically you could have a point there. But the thing is, the first versions of Photoshop and Illustrator I used came on a fistful of floppy discs and I ran them on an old Macintosh Colo[u]r Classic. So, for me, the complexity of the apps has been a gradual development, over the years I've been using them.

Even then, there are vast swathes of functionality [in Photoshop especially. Less so in Illustrator] that I have never even looked at, never mind used, because they aren't relevant to kind of work I do.

To Mars in Man Bras!
Joke

Re: Now Do an Article About the Top Ten Linux Apps

You need someone to clear away the empty pizza boxes and cola cans.

To Mars in Man Bras!
Unhappy

Re: Now Do an Article About the Top Ten Linux Apps

To be fair, I did say 'with the partial exception of Krita' when panning Linux graphic design apps. Krita is a decent enough app. Probably one of the best on Linux. But it is primarily a painting app, not a design app.

For commercial graphic design work, you need to be able to combine bitmaps, vectors and typography --with the ability to shove and tweak these around as freely as possible. I'm afraid that, for me, nothing comes within a country mile of Adobe Illustrator. I'd love there to be a decent alternative on Linux. I run two webservers and two of my home computers on Linux. So I'm not a 'hater'. But I still have to turn to one of my OSX boxes, if I want to get graphic design work done.

To Mars in Man Bras!
Unhappy

Re: Now Do an Article About the Top Ten Linux Apps

>GraphicConverter is handy for quick conversions / crops / whatever. But I find its interface a bit too Fischer Price to take it seriously.

>but now go with Affinity Photo...

I actually tried Affinity Photo as I'd love to find an alternative to Photoshop [I'm still using CC 2017]. I can't remember the exact details so shoot me if this is wrong. But [for example say] I was trying to do something really basic like make a crop selection and constrain it to the dimensions of the original image. I couldn't find any way to do it [no way to set 'original ratio' for the tool like in Photoshop]. So I went on Affinity's support forums and saw posts dating back years where people were basically going "WTF? Why is there no way to do this?" with no response from the devs.

I gave up on Affinity Photo at that point. If you're trying to dethrone the King Kong of bitmap graphic apps and you omit basic functionality and then ignore repeated requests over years to fix the glaring oversight then I have no confidence in you or your product.

To Mars in Man Bras!
Facepalm

Re: Now Do an Article About the Top Ten Linux Apps

>Care to enlighten us on why they don't suit you?

It's something to do with the fact that [with the partial exception of Krita] they are piss-poor. And, in the form of GIMP, unutterably shite.

The only people who trot out GIMP as an answer to 'Why are there no decent graphic design apps for Linux?' are almost exclusively people who have no graphic design experience at all themselves, or who have knocked out a stick-man or two in Microsoft Paint. Anyone who is using graphic design apps day in day out to produce professional quality artwork will laugh in your face, if you suggest that GIMP is any kind of replacement for Photoshop.

>But...but...but you can't buy a subscription to those.

You'd have to pay me to use GIMP

So, yes, I love Linux and all that. But I need my computer to produce work on. So the [non]-existence of professional quality apps in my field ranks ever so slightly higher than the fact I can choose 120 different variations of the fucking file manager.

To Mars in Man Bras!
Headmaster

Re: Now Do an Article About the Top Ten Linux Apps

Because I do graphic design.

To Mars in Man Bras!
Headmaster

Re: choose how the OS will annoy you

>>with Linux it's the initial installation and driver set-up.

No. It's the lack of quality apps.

To Mars in Man Bras!
Trollface

Now Do an Article About the Top Ten Linux Apps

..if you can find ten worth writing about

China plans to toss foreign-made PCs from government agencies 'in two years'

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Facepalm

>>"We reached out...|

Twats!

Ransomware the final nail in coffin for small university

To Mars in Man Bras!
Headmaster

Re: could I be hearing Queen singing?

Come to the UK. Since Higher Education became a commodity here, you can get a government loan to go to university. And the admission standards are so low --to keep the punters coming-- that you can pretty much get in just by being able to spell your own name.

Pop!_OS 22.04: New kid on the Ubuntu block starting to show real muscle

To Mars in Man Bras!
Facepalm

Zzzzzz....

Yay! --yet another Linux distro. I've lost count. Is that eleventy billion now, or eleventy billion and one?

Can't wait to see all these exciting new applications that actually do *stuff*...

Oh. Wait. It's just the eleventy billion and first version of the desktop file manager, preferences window and installer screen. Plus the same tired old half dozen or so actual applications that every other fecking distro has.

Wake me up when one of these companies actually produces a new distro with a new killer application. Not just yet another skin on the bloody file manager.

First rocket launch from UK soil now has... a logo

To Mars in Man Bras!
Trollface

Re: Well Done

>Well done to Callum

I think you mean "Well done Callum's Mum/Dad/Elder sibling"

Arch Linux turns 20: Small, simple, great documentation

To Mars in Man Bras!
Devil

Ah, Yes. Linux...

About eleventy billion choices of file manager. About eleven quality applications to run on it.

Akamai buys Linode for $900m

To Mars in Man Bras!
Thumb Down

Oh Dear!

Long term Linode customer here. Came here to express similar sentiments.

Experience has taught me that the more excited about a take-over/merger/buyout the CEOs of the companies involved are --the more depressed I should be.

OK, boomer? Gen-X-ers, elder millennials most likely to name their cars, says DVLA

To Mars in Man Bras!
Unhappy

Today We Have Naming of Prats

I'm more concerned that some people *don't* name their cars. What's wrong with you, you cold-hearted individuals?

Irish Health Service ransomware attack happened after one staffer opened malware-ridden email

To Mars in Man Bras!
Devil

Too Little Information

I think, in the interests of fairness giving us all a laugh, the employee should be named and also the title of the attachment.

NixOS and the changing face of Linux operating systems

To Mars in Man Bras!
Headmaster

Re: All to be superseded

I think he does know what it means. But possibly you don't.

Tired: What3Words. Wired: A clone location-tracking service based on FOUR words – and they are all extremely rude

To Mars in Man Bras!
Facepalm

An Old 'Un...

But still worth linking to, any time that W3W idiocy is mentioned:

https://stiobhart.net/2016-01-15-stupidest-idea-ever/

Xiaomi my heart is still beating: Reg hack takes Chinese giant's new fitness band for a spin

To Mars in Man Bras!
Thumb Up

Cheap and Cheerful

Another happy £25 MiBand 4 user. For the price, I think it's a great wee gadget --especially when you compare it to the ridiculous cost of Apple or Samsung smart watches. It does all the fitness stuff [counts steps, measures sleep & heart rate, pairs with Strava etc.] and I can also link it to various apps on my phone to see who's ringing when a call comes in, preview incoming texts and Telegram messages etc.

My biggest complaints with it are that:

* The on-screen text is microscopic in places, with no font size adjustment anywhere. So, while I get previews of the content of incoming messages, by the time I've myopically squinted at the 2 or 3 pt text and deciphered the first few words, the alert has disappeared again.

* My other major bug-bear is that the watch interface uses the idiotic US MM-DD-YYYY date format with, again, no way to change this. Luckily the level of irritation this causes me is mitigated slightly by the fact the date is literally too small for me to read. It must be less than 1mm high.

BTW: regarding the various apps available to pair with the device. There is the official Xiaomi MiFit one but many people [myself included] prefer an alternative app called Zepp. This is designed for another brand of fitness band. But the company has been bought by Xiaomi so the app is compatible with the MiBands too. Hopefully both apps will be rolled into one in future, to avoid this confusion. As the reviewer points out, the band can only be paired with one app at a time.

Incidentally, I also found the initial Bluetooth pairing a pain to set up. But, once established, I've never had any problems with the pairing being lost, during the many months I've had the band. Maybe the Zepp app is better than the Xiaomi one, in this regard?

China's Chang'e 5 probe lands Moon rocks in Inner Mongolia

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Thumb Up

But It's China. It Must Be Wrong!

Well done China!

...and well done El Reg for actually covering this story! (and in a positive way). Reading the rest of the western media, you'd be forgiven for not knowing this mission had even taken place. It seems the "new bogeyman" is only newsworthy if the news in question is painting China in a negative light.

I'd love to read more about this kind of technically pioneering mission —only the 3rd country ever to have returned material from the moon, and all done entirely remotely. But it looks like I'll either have to learn to read Chinese, or wait til NASA or Elon Musk do something similar, before I see the fawning western media pay any attention.

The GIMP turns 25 and promises to carry on being the FOSS not-Photoshop

To Mars in Man Bras!
Mushroom

Re: I found the learning curve

I'm probably going to get downvoted into oblivion here because 'FOSS' and all that. But I think The Gimp is an awful programme. It's bloated. It's clunky. It's really unintuitive. Maybe I've been spoiled by having had access to Photoshop since it came on a single floppy disc, but I've never understood the love The Gimp gets from the open source community. OK. 10 out of 10 for trying to produce a free alternative to Photoshop. But maybe 3 or 4 out of 10 for the end result.

BTW: If you're looking for a free alternative to Photoshop, check out Photopea.com. Pretty much a clone of Photoshop that runs in your browser. One of the most impressive web apps I've ever seen. It's got ads which you can pay to remove, or just use something like uBlock Origin to hide them, if they offend thine eye.

Lockdown bidder block shock: Overzealous parental filters on Virgin Media and TalkTalk break eBay for UK users

To Mars in Man Bras!
Mushroom

eBay Don't Need Virgin Media or TalkTalk...

They're quite capable of completely fucking up access to their increasingly disfunctional site, all by themselves.

Since about the past month or two, every time I try to do anything on the site which involves changing something [ie. ending a listing, editing a typo in one of my listings, etc] I get presented with a stinking reCaptcha then, after solving that, a login screen, then another reCaptcha, then another login screen.... etc. etc. rinse and repeat until either the heat death of the universe or my laptop getting thrown through the frigging window.

What makes all of this a thousand times more irritating is that eBay [like Amazon] is one of those sites which greets you by name, allows you to navigate all through your account and perform all manner of actions until you try to do one certain thing.. at which point, it suddenly decides you're a complete stranger who it's never seen before and torments you with untold logins, reCaptchas and other annoyances, until you want to scream.

Android without Google – and yes it has apps: The Reg talks to founder about the /e/ smartphone

To Mars in Man Bras!
WTF?

So Let Me Get This Straight...

* The phone was made by Fairphone

* The OS was made by LineageOS

* The replacement Google services were made by MicroG

So what exactly did the /e/ foundation do.. apart from bundle those other people's work together and get the tech press fawning over them, as if they'd invented all this liberating stuff themselves?

To Mars in Man Bras!
WTF?

Re: Alternative: Shiftphone

That really is an unfortunate choice of name, when [as I just did] you tend to speed read.

To Mars in Man Bras!
Headmaster

Re: Thanks for the article

>to save me three days of poking around the ROM removing stuff that shouldn't be there,

As per a previous comment of mine; /e/ also comes with uninstallable apps. It's not as bad as most other Android flavours, but it's not completely free from bloatware either.

To Mars in Man Bras!
Holmes

It's OK... But...

I'm running it on my old HTC M8, which I use for listening to 'stuff' on. It's OK and pretty nippy and stable.

But a bit annoying that /e/ itself comes with a load of apps which cannot be uninstalled, without resorting to ADB or something like Titanium Backup --especially given the founders' criticisms of Google for likewise having uninstallable bloatware.

Really, I think it's pretty much just a more user-friendly version of LineageOS, with all the same benefits and failings.

To Mars in Man Bras!
Facepalm

Ah Yes, The /e/ Foundation...

The company that thought it was a good idea to pick a name that is literally unsearchable in a browser, as it thinks you're looking for a file called "e" at the root of your filesystem.

Samsung asks New Jersey court to sink class action suit about Galaxy S7 waterproofing woes

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Joke

Re: WTF with the disclaimer?

>... and I hope no one considers toilet water to be "fresh water"!..

There speaks someone who's never owned a dog.

Bitcoin value jumps as PayPal says it will accept cryptocurrencies... once it has the kinks worked out

To Mars in Man Bras!
Alert

Re: "The Kinks" being ownership

Yes. My initial "Oh this is good for cryptos!" reaction to the PayPal announcement quickly gave way to wondering what the catch was.

Given that PayPal won't even let you [for example] withdraw your own Euros to your own bank account held in Euros, if you live in UK, without hitting you with a usurious double currency exchange fee*, I wasn't expecting their crypto dealings to be any less user unfriendly. And, reading the detail of their announcement pretty soon confirmed this.

From a purely selfish point of view, as a holder of a few cryptos, I'm just hoping that enough people won't bother to read the 'small print' for long enough to keep the momentum of this upturn in the crypto market going for a bit yet.

*[and don't even get me started with trying to get dollars out of your non-US PayPal account, without being right royally shafted.]

To Mars in Man Bras!
Thumb Up

Glenn HODL

You're doing better than me. About 4 or 5 years ago I bought a couple of hundred £££s worth every now and then over the space of about a year Mixed bag of cryptos. Total invested around £2000.

I've never got round to trying the buying and selling and trying to make profit from the rises and falls of the market. I've just HODLed [as they say in crypto land].

When the crypto boom of a few years ago happened my portfolio was, at one stage, worth just over £17,000. I decided to hold on 'just a wee bit longer' and see if I could get it to a nice round £20,000 and, of course, as is the usual wy with me and Lady Luck, the market crashed and I was back to where I started, within a few days.

Since then my digital nest egg has fluctuated at much lower levels. It has gone as low as £1800 and as high as £6000 but never scaled those dizzy heights again. At the moment, on the back of the PayPal announcement, I'm hovering around £5200. I know I'll never see the heady days of £17,000 again but I'm hoping it might push up to around £7500. Then I'll be tempted to bail out and look on the bright side that I have at least tripled my initial investment in the space of about 4 or 5 years.

BTW: I'm not a big lottery player. I'll buy a ticket the odd time, if there's a massive rollover or suchlike. To date my winnings over the entire period of the lottery's existence amount to precisely zero. So, my gamble on cryptos has thus far ben infinitely more successful.

To Mars in Man Bras!
Thumb Down

Daily Fail Reader Alert!

>"cryptocurrencies" offer no advantages over money unless you are a criminal.

..or unless you're one of those people who thinks that the state doesn't have a god-given right to know; where and who every penny you possess came from, where and who every penny you possess goes to and when and what every penny you possess is spent on.

Sailfish floats v3.4 'Pallas-Yllästunturi', its latest Jolla good reason for itchy-fingered Android and Apple swervers

To Mars in Man Bras!
Unhappy

Re: Availability?

Ah. OK. Thanks for the info.

So the list of supported non-Jolla devices is basically Sony Xperias. No tinkering fun for me then. My old banger, for playing about flashing stuff on, is an HTC M8

To Mars in Man Bras!
WTF?

Availability?

I was under the impression that SailfishOS only ran on phones specially built for it. But people in the comments are mentioning running it on different [originally Android] phones. So, is there actually a repo of SailfishOS downloads for compatible devices somewhere, that can be flashed with Sailfish?

All's I can find on their website are lots of hipster 'calls to action' and sliding in and out photographs, which is all very pretty but there's nothing I can see that actually tells me how to get my hands on the damned OS.

Mate, it's the '90s. You don't need to be reachable every minute of every hour. Your operating system can't cope

To Mars in Man Bras!
Trollface

Macros & Scripts

Oh yes!

The first job I was given on my first day as the new graphics guy, at a company I worked for back in the 90s, was to resize a folder of several hundred images to 640x480 pixels each [back when that was considered 'screen resolution'], for use on their CDROM software.

Boss says. "I need these all done by Thursday. Do you think you can manage that?"

"I should be able to" I assure him.

Ten minutes later, after he's left the room, I'm idly reading the intarwebs while, in the background, Photoshop's "Automate" feature is swiftly batch processing the entire folder of images in a few minutes.

The fact that you could automate Photoshop was a secret I guarded jealously from my non-graphically minded colleagues, during my entire employment there. If someone hove into view while a batch was processing, a quick click on the 'Pause' button and some ostentatious manual editing until they went away again made sure My reputation for being able to work through huge amounts of files with impressive speed remained untarnished.

To Mars in Man Bras!
Trollface

All Employee Emails

>The "all employee" type emails were part of the problem...

Many aeons ago I worked for a UK software company that had its head office in Australia. At least a few times a week, we'd get emails [which had obviously just been sent to all employees] from HQ in Melbourne, telling us such vital information as "There are doughnuts available in the kitchen..." or "Someone has left their wallet in the meeting room...".

So, in order to return the favour, one day I replied to one of these emails writing "Simon has just gone to the toilet. No news yet as to whether it will be a number one or a number two!"

I later got called into the boss's office where [trying hard to look stern and not snigger] he told me he'd received an angry email from Aussie HQ demanding to know why the UK office was informing the higher echelons of company management about our toilet habits.

It worked though. We stopped getting the irrelevant round robin emails from HQ, after that.

With a million unwanted .uk domains expiring this week, Nominet again sends punters pushy emails to pay up

To Mars in Man Bras!
WTF?

Speaking of UK Domains...

When did El Reg drop the .co.uk and redirect to .com?

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