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Microsoft

+ - 135 Xbox 720 (Durango) Could Require Always-On Connection, Lock Out Used Games->

Submitted by
MojoKid
MojoKid writes "Sony's next-generation PS4 unveil is just two weeks away, which means leaks concerning both it and Microsoft's next-generation Xbox Durango (sometimes referred to as the Xbox 720), are at an all-time high as well. Rumors continue to swirl that the next iteration of Xbox will lock out used games entirely and require a constant Internet connection. New games would come with a one-time activation code to play. Use the code, and the game is locked to the particular console or Xbox Live account it's loaded on. Physical games will still be sold (the Durango reportedly supports 50GB Blu-ray Discs), but the used game market? Kiboshed. If this is true, it's an ugly move on Microsoft's part. Not only does it annihilate the right of first sale, it'll eviscerate any game store or business that depends on video game rentals for revenue."
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Government

+ - 225 Rich Countries Better At Protect Citizens...from Malware-> 1

Submitted by
chicksdaddy
chicksdaddy writes "NOTE — I'm resubmitting this to correct the description. In the previous submission I flipped the positive/negative correlation of wealth to cyber security — saying the exact opposite of what I wanted to! Apologies!

"To paraphrase a quote attributed to F. Scott Fitzgerald: ‘Rich countries aren’t like everyone else. They have less malware.’ That’s the conclusion of a special Security Intelligence Report from Microsoft, anyway. The special supplement, released on Wednesday, investigated the links between rates of computer infections and a range of national characteristics including the relative wealth of a nation, observance of the rule of law and the rate of software piracy. The conclusion: cyber security (by Microsoft’s definition: low rates of malware infection) correlated _positively_ with many characteristics of wealthy nations – high Gross Income Per Capita, higher broadband penetration and investment in R&D and high rates of literacy. It correlated _negatively_ with characteristics common in poorer nations – like demographic instability, political instability and lower levels of education.""

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Science

+ - 230 Electricity Gives Bubbles Super Strength->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Left to its own devices, a bubble will weaken and pop as the fluid sandwiched between two thin layers of soap succumbs to gravity and drains toward the floor. But when researchers trapped a bubble between two platinum electrodes and cranked up the voltage, the fluid reversed direction and actually flowed up, against the force of gravity. The newly strong and stable bubbles could live for hours, and even visibly change colors as their walls grew fatter. Because soap film is naturally only nanometers thick, this whimsical experiment could help scientists create more efficient labs-on-chips, the mazes of nanotunnels that can diagnose disease based on the movements of a miniscule drop of blood."
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Ubuntu

+ - 121 Ubuntu Smartphone Shipping in October->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Smartphones running the open source Ubuntu operating system will be available to customers beginning in October 2013, Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth told CIO Journal. Ubuntu will be available on a full range of devices, including desktop and tablet computers, potentially providing corporate IT executives a way to reduce the number of devices they purchase and manage, and would allow users to access all manner of corporate data through a single, pocket-sized device. “You can share Windows apps to the phone desktop,” said Mr. Shuttleworth during a meeting in New York Tuesday."
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Biotech

+ - 165 Did viruses evolve from an extinct domain of life?->

Submitted by Shipud
Shipud (685171) writes "A study was recently published by a group from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign . The authors analyzed the structures of proteins found in the genomes of organisms from the three domains of life. Those domains are eukarya which includes all plant, animals, fungi and some microbes; bacteria, and archaea which is a group of single-celled microorganisms distinct from eukarya and bacteria. The researchers also included a group of viruses known as NCLDVs (Nucelocyptoplasmic Large DNA viruses), Their conclusion is these viruses may have evolved from a, now extinct, fourth domain of life. Viruses are not considered to be alive, or even to have a place on the universal tree of life, by most researchers. So their claim has far-reaching consequences in our understanding of the origins of life."
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+ - 156 Boeing Engineers Begin Vote On Strike This Week->

Submitted by juicegg
juicegg (1683626) writes "23,000 Boeing engineers, members of SPEEA, have until February 19th to decide if they want to go on strike.

The strike would slow down fixing the 787, but it has wider implications: white collar, professional workers are rarely union members and are not known for striking so Boeing engineers set precedent for other professionals. Also, in an unusual move for any union, the SPEEA engineers are rejecting a new contract offer that would guarantee pension benefits for current employees at the expense of new hires (who would receive a 401k instead of a pension). SPEEA is thinking ahead since tiered contracts are known to corrode unity and ultimately weaken the union. Grounding of 787 has given Boeing engineers additional leverage to demand that Boeing extends their original contract.

The union believes a strike would shut down Boeing production lines in Everett, Wash., where its big planes are made, as well as Renton, Wash., where it cranks out more than one of its widely-used 737s every day. A strike would also shut down Boeing's new, non-union plant in North Charleston, S.C., which makes 787s in addition to those assembled in Everett."

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Education

+ - 199 German science minister stripped of her PhD->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "In a move likely to have major political implications, the University of Düsseldorf has revoked the doctoral degree of Germany’s science and education minister, Annette Schavan. The commitee investigating allegations of plagiarism came to the conclusion that she "systematically and deliberately claimed as her own intellectual achievements which she had in fact not produced herself". Schavan wants to appeal the decision in court and has not resigned from her post so far."
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Government

+ - 184 Copyright claim thwarts North Korea-> 1

Submitted by ianare
ianare (1132971) writes "A propaganda video from the North Korean authorities has been removed from YouTube following a copyright claim by games maker Activision. It shows a space craft flying around the world and eventually over a city resembling New York. The buildings are then seen crumbling amid fires and missile attacks. However, the dramatic images were soon recognised as having been lifted from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. By Tuesday, the video had been blocked, with a message notifying users of Activision's complaint shown in its place."
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Politics

+ - 240 First city in the United States to pass an anti-drone resolution->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Charlottesville, Virginia is the first city in the United States to pass an anti-drone resolution. The writing of the resolution coincides with a leaked memo outlining the legal case for drone strikes on US citizens and a Federal Aviation Administration plan to allow the deployment of some 30,000 domestic drones."
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Security

+ - 120 Raspberry Pi used for prototype hardware laptop docking station backdoor->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "At Black Hat Europe in March a security researcher from NCC Group will show how a Raspberry Pi can be used as a hardware backdoor when built into a modified laptop docking station. While details on their blog are a little light at the moment it shows how versatile the platform is and the diverse applications outside of learning.."
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Cellphones

+ - 185 Startup Uses Radiation Fear To Map Cellphone Coverage->

Submitted by
judgecorp
judgecorp writes "Fears that mobile phones cause cancer have never had strong backing from scientific research, but Israeli startup Tawkon is using those fears for an interesting business model. Its free app (banned from Apple's App Store, but on Android, BlackBerry and unlocked iPhones) tracks how much radiation your phone is emitting. This lets concerned users hold their phones away form their heads or whatever — but it also gives Tawkon a useful map of cellphone coverage around the world, which is the real asset it is monetising — for the benefit of everyone, it says"
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Intel

+ - 261 Intel Gigabit NIC Packet of Death->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "All it takes is a quick Google search to see that the Intel 82574L ethernet controller has had at least a few problems. Including, but not necessarily limited to, EEPROM issues, ASPM bugs, MSI-X quirks, etc. We spent several months dealing with each and every one of these. We thought we were done.

Using Ostinato I was able to craft various versions of this packet — an HTTP POST, ICMP echo-request, etc. Pretty much whatever I wanted. With a modified HTTP server configured to generate the data at byte value (based on headers, host, etc) you could easily configure an HTTP 200 response to contain the packet of death — and kill client machines behind firewalls!"

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IOS

+ - 161 Hidden 'radio' buttons discovered in Apple's iOS 6.1->

Submitted by tad001
tad001 (147243) writes "C|NET is reporting 'Discovered last night within a freshly jailbroken iPad: a set of buttons and code references for "radio," a feature found in iTunes on Macs and PCs, but not on the iPad or iPhone.' ... 'The buttons hint at Apple's much-rumored radio service, a product that will let people stream music much like they do on the popular Pandora service, but with deep ties to Apple's iTunes library.' ... 'The discovery follows a high-profile jailbreak of iOS 6.1, the updated system software Apple released just last week. A team of developers came up with a tool that gives users deep system-level access to do things like install applications from third-party app stores, change the look and feel of iOS, and add new software features.'"
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Media

+ - 125 The Internet and Its Lessons for Hierarchies and Social Movements->

Submitted by
explosivejared
explosivejared writes "Evgeny Morozov in the newest issue of The New Republic uses a highly critical review of Steven Johnson's book Future Perfect push back against what Morozov terms "internet-centrism" or the belief that the Internet has it's own internal logic of decentralization that has obviated older, hierarchical organizational structures. Now Johnson has replied, and the subsequent debate is online.

With the conversation between Morozov and Johnson as a starting point, I'd like to pose some questions to /.. I think we can all agree that the internet has proven that decentralized organizations can bring significant positive impacts, but what are the limits on this? As Morozov points out, even in ostensibly decentralized organizations there are often hidden hierarchies, and this is true for the Internet as well. Where could the vast, varied phenomenon we call the internet benefit from more openly centralized organization, if it can at all?"

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Movies

+ - 199 UK Court: MPAA Not Entitled To Profits From Piracy->

Submitted by
jfruh
jfruh writes "The MPAA and other entertainment industry groups have been locked for years in a legal struggle against Newzbin2, a Usenet-indexing site. The MPAA contends that, since Newzbin2 profits from making it easier for users to find pirated movies online, the MPAA can sue to take those profits on behalf of its members, who produced that content in the first place. But a British court has rejected that argument."
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News

+ - 101 The Moth-Driven Robot Is a Step Towards Automatons That Mimic Life ->

Submitted by
pigrabbitbear
pigrabbitbear writes "a team from the University of Tokyo developed a small robot and gave it to silkmoth a to drive.

Essentially, the team was able to develop a scent-detecting robot that is directed by a silkmoth, and which actually was able to tracks scents even better than the silkmoth could on its own. All 14 silkmoths tested in the rig were successful in driving it towards the goal."

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Ubuntu

+ - 184 Linux-friendly mini PC fast enough for Steam games->

Submitted by
crookedvulture
crookedvulture writes "Barebones mini PCs have been around for a while, and the latest one from Zotac is pretty unique. For $270, the Zbox ID42 offers a Sandy Bridge CPU, a discrete GeForce graphics processor, and all the integrated I/O and networking you'd expect from a modern PC. You have to add your own memory, hard drive, and operating system, but the latter shouldn't cost you a dime. The Zbox works well with not only Windows, but also Linux. Ubuntu even recognizes the included remote, which can be used to wake up the system, control XBMC, and navigate Steam's Big Picture interface. Team Fortress 2 for Linux is actually playable, albeit at a relatively low resolution and detail level. The hardware seems better suited to casual games. Zotac also makes a Plus version of the Zbox that comes bundled with RAM and a hard drive, but it costs an extra $130, and you can get much better components if you add them yourself. The user-friendly chassis makes filling out the system a trivial undertaking."
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Science

+ - 140 Gut Bacteria Liberate Hidden Toxins Found In Grains->

Submitted by
MTorrice
MTorrice writes "Crops such as wheat and corn sometimes harbor chemicals from molds that grow on the plants. Some of these compounds are seemingly harmless derivatives of toxins produced by the fungi. For the first time, researchers have shown that human gut bacteria can break down these compounds and release the toxins, which can cause gastrointestinal and neurological damage in people. The findings suggest that these masked toxins may not stay hidden within our digestive tracts, and that government agencies may need to regulate the chemicals, the researchers say."
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Sci-Fi

+ - 216 Games Workshop bullies author over use of the words "space marine"->

Submitted by
jzoetewey
jzoetewey writes "An author I know (MCA Hogarth) recently had her book "Spots the Space Marine" taken off Amazon because Games Workshop claimed it violated their trademark. The interesting thing? Their trademark doesn't include ebooks or novels. Unfortunately, she doesn't have the money to fight them.

Plus the idea of a space marine was around long before they were.

Anyway, Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing has written something about it:"

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Space

+ - 170 Kepler: Nearest 'Second Earth' May be Right Next Door->

Submitted by
astroengine
astroengine writes "Extrapolating from findings by NASA's planet-hunting Kepler Space Telescope, scientists on Wednesday said roughly six percent of so-called red dwarf stars have Earth-sized planets properly positioned around their parent stars so that liquid water could exist on their surfaces. The team looked at 95 candidate planets circling red dwarf stars observed by Kepler and found that at least 60 percent have planets smaller than Neptune. Most were not the right size or temperature to be Earth-like, but three were found to be both warm and approximately Earth-sized. Statistically that would mean six percent of all red dwarf stars should have a Earth-sized planet. Since 75 percent of the closest stars are red dwarfs, the nearest Earth-like world may be just 13 light-years away."
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Security

+ - 140 Nearly a third of all computers are infected with malware->

Submitted by
Orome1
Orome1 writes "PandaLabs released its annual security report which details an extremely interesting year of data theft, social networking attacks and cyber-warfare. The most devastating news? 31.98 percent of all computers scanned around the world had malware. In 2012, Trojans dominated the threat landscape more than ever before. Three out of every four malware infections were caused by Trojans (76.56 percent). One of the reasons for this growth was the increased use of exploit kits such as Black Hole, which are capable of exploiting multiple system vulnerabilities to infect computers automatically without user intervention. Viruses came second (8 percent), whereas worms dropped to third place accounting for 6.44 percent of all infections."
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The Military

+ - 165 Supercomputer Designer Asked to Improve Robo-Bugs->

Submitted by
Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster writes "The man who designed the world’s most energy-efficient supercomputer in 2011 has taken on a new task: improving how robo-bugs fly. Wu-chun Feng, an associate professor of computer science in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, previously built Green Destiny, a 240-node supercomputer that consumed 3.2 kilowatts of power—the equivalent of a couple of hair dryers. That was before the Green500, a list that Feng and his team began compiling in 2005, which ranks the world’s fastest supercomputers by performance per watt. On Feb. 5, the Air Force’s Office of Scientific Research announced it had awarded Feng $3.5 million over three years, plus an option to add $2.5 million funding over an additional two years. The contract’s goal: speed up how quickly a supercomputer can simulate the computational fluid dynamics of micro-air vehicles (MAVs), or unmanned aerial vehicles. MAVs can be as small as about five inches, with an aircraft close to insect size expected in the near future. While the robo-bugs can obviously be used for military purposes, they could also serve as scouts in rescue operations."
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KDE

+ - 107 KDE 4.10 Released with a lot of Improvements -> 1

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "KDE, as part of its bi-annual update, has released KDE 4.10 equipped with quite a lot of enhancements and improvements. The release comes with improved support for mobile device, visual refinements that go well with the Plasma Workspaces, improved performance of many KDE Applications and more APIs to Qt Quick among others."
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Canada

+ - 179 Sony Rootkit Redux: Canadian Business Groups Lobby For Right To Install Spyware->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Michael Geist reports that a coalition of Canadian industry groups, including the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Marketing Association, the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association and the Entertainment Software Association of Canada, are demanding legalized spyware for private enforcement purposes. The potential scope of coverage is breathtaking: a software program secretly installed by an entertainment software company designed to detect or investigate alleged copyright infringement would be covered by this exception. This exception could potentially cover programs designed to block access to certain websites (preventing the contravention of a law as would have been the case with SOPA), attempts to access wireless networks without authorization, or even keylogger programs tracking unsuspecting users (detection and investigation)."
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Open Source

+ - 196 Can closed source software transition to the GPL successfully?->

Submitted by colinneagle
colinneagle (2544914) writes "Open Source guy Bryan Lunduke has experienced the difficulties of migrating a successful closed source project to an open license first-hand, but still believes — or at least wants to believe — that it can be done.

Case in point: LiveCode's new Kickstarter campaign to raise about $550,000 to help put their Hyper-Card-like software development tool for Linux, Windows and Mac under an open license.

At the time this was written, they were roughly 20% of the way to their fund-raising goal with 22 days left. So it seems tight...but entirely possible.

The question is, will it be successful in the long term even if it reaches its Kickstarter goal?"

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Businesses

+ - 115 Help! I Don't Want To Write Computer Code Anymore!->

Submitted by
jfruh
jfruh writes "After years of college and professional training, you've got a steady, paying job as a computer programmer — and you realize that you don't enjoy it, and want to do something, anything else for a living. What's your next step? Career advisor Eric Bloom has some tough questions you need to ask yourself in order to make a plan. One of the most important involves making sure that you're moving towards something you really want, not just away from pain."
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Android

+ - 194 "More Than Just Dreamers" Backing Ouya Console as Major US Retailers Show Suppor->

Submitted by
DavidGilbert99
DavidGilbert99 writes "There were a lot of people who doubted the Android-based Ouya console would ever see the light of day, despite racking up more than $8 million in funding from Kickstarter.

It must therefore give CEO Julie Urhman great pleasure to say: "This announcement is that we now have more than just dreamers behind us, we have established companies that do their due diligence that believe there's an opportunity for bringing great content back to the television."

Urhman is speaking about the support of major US retailers Best Buy, Target and Gamestop who will stock the $99 console from June. It is also available to pre-order on Amazon (US only I'm afraid) and those early believers who supported the project on Kickstarter will get one as soon as next month."

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Science

+ - 230 Using DMCA As A Way to Scrub Reputations->

Submitted by ios and web coder
ios and web coder (2552484) writes "

A dizzying story that involves falsified medical research, plagiarism, and legal threats came to light via a DMCA takedown notice today. Retraction Watch, a site that followed (among many other issues) the implosion of a Duke cancer researcher's career, found all of its articles on the topic pulled by WordPress, its host. The reason? A small site based in India apparently copied all of the posts, claimed them as their own, then filed a DMCA takedown notice to get the originals pulled from their source. As of now, the originals are still missing as their actual owners seek to have them restored.

This is extremely worrying. Even though the original story is careful not to make accusations, I will. This sure smells like a "Reputation Defense" dirty trick."
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Security

+ - 162 Researchers devise new attack techniques against SSL ->

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg (971356) writes "The developers of many SSL libraries are releasing patches for a vulnerability that could potentially be exploited to recover plaintext information, such as browser authentication cookies, from encrypted communications.The patching effort follows the discovery of new ways to attack SSL, TLS and DTLS implementations that use cipher-block-chaining (CBC) mode encryption. The new attack methods were developed by researchers at the University of London's Royal Holloway College. The men published a research paper and a website http://www.isg.rhul.ac.uk/tls/ on Monday with detailed information about their new attacks, which they have dubbed the Lucky Thirteen. They've worked with several TLS library vendors, as well as the TLS Working Group of the IETF, to fix the issue."
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Toys

+ - 178 Etch-a-Sketch inventor Andre Cassagnes, has died at 86->

Submitted by
Xemu
Xemu writes "Andre Cassagnes, the inventor of the Etch-A-Sketch has died in Paris at the age of 86. The famous toy was actualized during the presidential campaign Etch-A-Gate when Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, began holding up Etch-A-Sketches during their rallies. The toy is pretty advanced as it is essentially a manually operated plotter with a built-in erasing system. Plenty of hacks out there exists to mod the plotter to draw greyscale robotically, turn it into a temperature logger etc. Thank you Andre!"
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Iphone

+ - 96 Silent Circle releases apps for secure file transfer->

Submitted by dreegle
dreegle (443860) writes "Phil Zimmerman's Silent Circle had previously released an app for secure phone calls. "Now, the company is pushing things even further—with a groundbreaking encrypted data transfer app that will enable people to send files securely from a smartphone or tablet at the touch of a button. (For now, it’s just being released for iPhones and iPads, though Android versions should come soon.) That means photographs, videos, spreadsheets, you name it—sent scrambled from one person to another in a matter of seconds.""
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KDE

+ - 254 KDE 4.10 Released, The Fastest KDE Ever-> 1

Submitted by sfcrazy
sfcrazy (1542989) writes "The KDE team has announced the 4.10 releases of KDE Plasma Workspaces, Applications and Development Platform. It brings many improvements, features and polishes the UI even further, which already is one of the most polished, stable and mature desktop environments. With 4.10 KDE users can experience a much more sane global-menu like implementation without interrupting their workflow. A list of improvements is available here."
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China

+ - 160 Chinese Blogger Thrives as Muckraker->

Submitted by hackingbear
hackingbear (988354) writes "The New York Times reported the story of a Chinese blogger named Zhu Ruifeng who has become an overnight celebrity in China in the two months since he posted online secretly recorded video of an 18-year-old woman having sex with a memorably unattractive 57-year-old official from the southwestern municipality of Chongqing, causing the official, along with 10 other officials, to loss their jobs and be put under investigation. Mr. Zhu says ordinary citizens have come to rely on the Internet for retribution, even if it often amounts to mob justice. “We used to say that when you have a problem, go to the police,” he said. “Now we say when you have a problem, go to the netizens.” At the meantime, he has also become a litmus test of how committed China’s new leaders are in their battle against corruption — and whether they can tolerate populist crusaders like Mr. Zhu."
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