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Slashback: Enigma, Google, Java Games 120

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the congressional-decisions-are-merely-suggestions dept.
Slashback tonight brings some corrections, clarifications, and updates to previous Slashdot stories, including Enigma security concerns, German ISP targets net companies "free lunch", Total Information Awareness program lives on, Higgins takes on Microsoft, Google answers analyst concerns, Patriot Act provision not just for terrorists, and Java 4K game contest submissions available -- Read on for details.

Enigma security concerns. Chris writes "The Enigma cracking client mentioned [this past week] is a huge security risk -- it creates an 'enigma-client' user on Windows systems with the password 'nominal'. I daresay that most /. users who installed the client would want to know about this so they can take corrective action." Thanks to Chris and other who pointed out the security flaw the enigma client has updated their changelog to warn users about this potential flaw and point out a quick work-around. "Users should change 'nominal' to a random password in eclient-XP-Home-install.bat or eclient-XP-Pro-install.bat."

German ISP targets net companies "free lunch". TheAxeMaster writes "Deutsche Telekom AG is the latest ISP to decide to suck money from both customers and content providers according to Computer World. From the article, 'The CEO of Deutsche Telekom AG became the latest head of a major telco to call for Web companies, such as Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc., to help pay for the billions of dollars required to build and maintain high-speed Internet infrastructure.' CEO Kai-Uwe Ricke said 'Web companies that use this infrastructure for their business should also make a contribution.' The article suggests that, if implemented, both you AND web sites would have to pay for the privilege of delivering you content through a tiered, 'quality of service' internet."

Total Information Awareness Program lives on. notmtwain writes "Democracy Now follows up on reports that the NSA has continued the TIA (Total Information Awareness) program, which was building an enormous database merging information on internet usage, phone calls, purchase, banking records and reading material. Democracy Now's Amy Goodman interviews Shane Harris, the National Journal Reporter who broke the story. The Total Information Awareness program was supposedly killed by Congress in 2003."

Higgins takes on Microsoft. An anonymous reader writes "InternetNews reports that IBM, Novell, and Parity Communications announced today increased support for the Higgins project at Eclipse. The project, based on early work done at Harvard's Berkman Institute and by SocialPhysics.org is focused on providing open source 'user-centric' identity management. The initiative has been widely reported as a challenge to Microsoft's new Infocard online identity-management system."

Google answers analyst concerns. imlepid writes "Earlier this week Analysts were asking Google to provide more insight into future earnings reports. Well, it appears that the analysts calls have been answered as the Google CFO has warned that growth has slowed. However, today's decline is still being blamed on the tight lips at Google."

Patriot Act provision not just for terrorists. An anonymous reader writes "Pass a law to go after certain criminals, and it will be used for everything possible. A basic lesson, but one that we learn again from an article in the New York Sun, describing a couple of U.S. District Court decisions unsealed earlier in February. The two judges both agree that Congress intended the 'nationwide search' provision for going after email or other Internet data to apply to the investigation of all federal crimes and not just to cases involving terrorism."

Java 4K game contest submissions available. CuriousKangaroo writes "Java Unlimited, as previously reported on Slashdot, is running a contest to develop a game in Java using only four kilobytes of bytecode and resources. Entries are now closed, and judging is about to begin, but you can check out and play all 55 of this year's entries for yourself!"

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Slashback: Enigma, Google, Java Games

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  • They never intended to get rid of it, they just gave it a name change so the media would stop asking questions.

    Aren't you glad your new US passport has a trackable RFID in it, Citizen Comrade?
    • > They never intended to get rid of it, they just gave it a name change so the media would stop asking questions.

      In United Soviet States of America, old bureaucracies keep changing names, but never die.

      In Soviet Union... old bureaucracies never die, they just keep changing names.

      Under Dzerzhinsky, you was the Cheka.
      In the 20s, Cheka was reorganized as the GPU/OGPU.
      In the 30s, OGPU became part of the NKVD.
      After WW2, NKVD and NKGB were renamed to MVD and MGB.
      Under Beria, MVD and MGB were merged

    • by Anonymous Coward
      The problem with Total Information Awareness is that the public (a.k.a. the terrorists) became totally aware of the program.

      Now that the terrorists have infiltrated even suburban households in their quest of destruction, it's important to draw a greater distinction between the good-doers (such as government workers, Congressmen, jail wardens, etc.) and the evil-doers. When choosing names like "Total Information Awareness" we should take that into account. For a replacement name, I nominate "Patriotic Anti
      • Now that the terrorists have infiltrated even suburban households in their quest of destruction, it's important to draw a greater distinction between the good-doers (such as government workers, Congressmen, jail wardens, etc.) and the evil-doers. When choosing names like "Total Information Awareness" we should take that into account. For a replacement name, I nominate "Patriotic Anti-Terrorist Child Protection Program." That's something we can all stand behind with pride.

        I vote for Patriotic Anti-Terrorist
      • What are you so afraid of?

        I'm afraid that being part of the government is not a defacto statement about one's ethical behavior.

        All of this information can be abused, and people with power are in the best position to abuse it. Everything has two sides. Guns don't kill, it's the people who use them, and some of those people are using the guns defending me from other people with guns (which is how I like it). If we didn't have guns we'd certainly kill each other by different means, and I'd still want so
    • A slew of three-letter acronyms come to mind on the subject of new names for the NSA's little project. I, for one, am voting for "TMI".
    • I'm also glad that it's easily made untrackable by the inadvertent application of heat.
      • I'm also glad that it's easily made untrackable by the inadvertent application of heat.

        I prefer using tin foil, myself.

        Actually, it's a good thing I got my passport before all this and my non-RFID drivers license renewed this month, so it will be five years before the man tracks me ... um, why is my shirt beeping?
    • It's TIA [wikipedia.org].
  • So cool to see compartively so much in 4k (the thescene 64k demo also surprised me -alot-):

    The one game that has been downloaded the most until now (Miners4k [javaunlimited.net] is great fun: Reminds me alot of the (a href=http://chir.ag/stuff/sand/>Falling Sand-game.

    • The first game that I wrote was on a Radioo Shack model I Level I with 4K of memory.

      It was a real-time moon lander program with simple graphics, and it's own input-editing code (since it had to read the keyboard 'the hard way' to avoid blocking input).

      Given how much can now be done with a single call in Java these days, I'm not going to bet against much of anything.
      I'll try running some of the programs later.

    • True story: back around 1985, I had a mail merge program that was about 5K, written in Assembly. I had a programmer that worked for me whose project was to convert it to C. He did so... and it was 64 friggin' K, compiled, when he was done. Man, I chewed his ass out. :D

      It wasn't just a question of C being larger, incidently. I expected that. He did a lot of stupidity like copying big sections of code over and over instead of writing a subroutine. I should mention that the multiuser computer in question onl

    • That miners game is fun, but I can't seem to get past the 3rd level.

      there's ~480 gold available, and 1000 required to move to the next level. Am I doing something wrong here?
    • The actors in Miners4k look remarkably like Lemmings [lemmingsuniverse.net].
  • "Free Lunch" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ZachPruckowski (918562) <zachary.pruckowski@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 01, 2006 @08:20PM (#14831709)
    The annoying part of this free lunch thing is consumers are already paying, and so are content providers. They pay for bandwidth. I cost Apple 4 MBs of bandwidth everytime I get a song on iTMS, and Google must buy bandwidth by the truckload. So it's not like anyone is getting a free ride in the current system. And I'd love to see how well an ISP that cuts out the top 50 sites will do. I'm sure Joe Average will need Internet at home when he can't use Google, MSN, theWashingtonPost.com, Yahoo, Apple, Ebay, Amazon, Wikipedia, and CNN.com

    I wonder when the ISPs will get the memo: WITHOUT CONTENT, THEY ARE USELESS!!
    • it gets hilarious if you think about it interms of how the internet shunts content around as packets. just substitute packets for packages, and the internet for mail services. This is as if you paid either FedEx, UPS, or DHL not just for sending a package, but as if the recepient also paid for the package.
      As it stands, I pay for my access to the comcast network. Google isnt accessing the comcast network when I google something. I AM. the network that I pay to access is interacting with the network that
      • This could just be me, but I would say that Google DOES use the resources of various ISPs, because they have this little thing they use called a bot. When they trawl the 'net, they aren't sniffing every packet that goes by on every network and compiling an image from there, they are actively searching the 'net, thus using a portion of the network providers ability to serve files to the end user. But isn't this what Google is paying their ISP for? Presumably, with an operation as large as Google's, they a
        • It's give and take. Google, in offering search to millions of users, once in a while requests a copy of a page as so to index it.

          In the case of you searching Google; You're paying for the downstream, they're paying for the upstream. In the case of them indexing a page, they're paying for the downstream, you're paying for the upstream.

          In both cases, both Google's ISP and yours makes money.

          What the ISPs are asking for amounts to "I see you run a successful business, and make millions of dollars. Cut us in or
        • I would be of the opinion that when the google bot trawls the net caching sites, they are accessing websites whose owners have already paid for access, both up and down, to the network on which they reside. Google is not doing anything, accessing any network, in any way which has not already been paid for.
          If I have a website on ISP X's network, I'm already paying for ALL the bandwidth that site uses. I'm already paying for ALL traffic accessing ISP X's network in order to access my site. If ISP X thinks
          • i agree, and this raises another point i had not considered, most isp's charge content provider/owners for up bandwidth, and most content consumers/users for down bandwidth, so they would effectively be charging twice for the same packet transfer anyways, eh?

            corporate + politics
            yay
    • The annoying part of this free lunch thing is consumers are already paying,

      No, the really annoying part is that most of the so-called "infrastucture" that they already have is mostly dark fiber. Which means this is extortion.

      What google needs to do is buy up/purchase an interest in the companies that have fiber already. And start laying some of their own fiber.

      That way when some ISP comes out of their crack haze long enough to say that content providers owe them money, they can tell them to get lost.
    • Re:"Free Lunch" (Score:3, Interesting)

      by morcheeba (260908) *
      Good point: WITHOUT CONTENT, THEY ARE USELESS!!

      One could easily make the argument that it is the ISPs that are getting the free lunch. If there was no content, they would be out of business. In the 1980's, before the internet and when dial-up BBS ruled, the ISPs were the one who had to produce the content. AOL hired news people, GEnie had to manage their own forums, The Source actually had to be The Source for information. Now all the content is produced by other people, and most of it is now provided free
      • Ideally, they'd like to have to transfer no data and still get a monthly payment from their subscribers.

        Don't forget no maintenance fees for the idle equipment either! Or not having to pay the linemen!

        "Wait," they say, "we could set this up like a tax on the bottom of the bill, so that the customers don't recognize what it's for, and they pay it anyways, and we just pocket the money for existing! Great Idea!!!"

        <before I get off my rant box> Pardon me, could you pass the KY.

  • 1) The government sucks. I hate it. We're all fucked. 2) Google pays for bandwidth. People connecting to google are paying for bandwidth. ISP's are getting payed on both ends for a single connection between google and a user. These ISP's are greedy shitbags. End of story. 3) The government sucks. I hate it. We're all fucked.
    • One question: Who would Google have to pay? SBC (or at&t there new name, notice the lower case. :-) Qwest? etc? Or are we starting to talk about a transit tax. Basically if Google wants to have quick access to people on an ISP, they have to pay more than Yahoo? But I as a client to an ISP, if I want fast access to Google, I'll have to pay more. I'm beginning to see why Google is creating their own network. If it gets big enough, Google will be charging at&t to transit their network. :-)
      • I imagine ISPs will petition our corrupt political system to levy some sort of "bandwidth tax" on internet connections that would then go towards "supporting internet infrastructure." Obviously this money would then go straight to back to the large ISPs as they represent themselves as struggling entities trying to keep the internet afloat.
        • True, but the way these companies bring up Google as the poster child, they want to share in the profit or the popularity of Google not a realative flat tax on bytes.

          But that still leave some ISP in the cold. What if the traffic traverses an ISP? ISP1 may not connect to the client or to Google, but traffic from client to Google travels over ISP1. (I'm thinking of the old WilTel days.) ISP1 would want its share from both parties.

          Thus I do not see a bandwidth tax is what these ISP's are ultimately aft

    • It hurts me every time I see someone post something like this -- it creates such a bad name for libertarians, as I can just imagine someone responding "Oh you silly immature libertarian, you need government", when really the view you state is such an impartial perspective on libertarianism that it isnt worth recognizing.

      The libertarian belief is that there should be less government, but we do understand its place, and understand that some government is needed. Just spouting that you hate government and how
      • I'm sorry you're so hurt, but I'm going to have to stand by what I've said. For decades the citizens of this country have slowly given up their supposed god given rights, liberties, and soverignty at the whim of those few in power. I don't think we're simply in some temporary bad postion due to government. I really think we are and have been FUCKED. Maybe you don't agree with the "immature" choice of words, but I really can't think of anything else so simple, yet so direct and to the point articulating how
        • Telekom has been slapped with anti monopoly rulings quite a few times. The only party that the legislators would listen to regarding a content tax is the GEZ because those can already collect a fee on every TV and radio, they want to expand that to computers because the ARD has a website. Personally I'd prefer them taking the public stations' websites off the net instead.
        • I think you should note that the grandparent poster used the word "libertarian" uncapitalized, representing the political philosophy of libertarianism (aka "classical liberalism") and not the Libertarian (big "L") Party. Suggesting that one must support the Libertarian Party to be a libertarian is like suggesting that one must belong to the Democratic Party to support democracy. You're attacking a straw man.
      • It hurts me every time I see someone post something like this -- it creates such a bad name for libertarians,

        It doesn't, really. What does create the bad name for libertarians is their willingness to remove social security - and let poor people starve to death on the streets - just so they can avoid paying taxes.

        • No, I'd say libertarians oppose Social Security and welfare as we know it because of the unwarranted power it gives to government, not because they want to "avoid paying taxes," which is another absurd straw-man argument.
    • Long, but a decent message.

      Europe [The 72d and 73d Years of These States] by Walt Whitman [daypoems.net]

      Suddenly out of its stale and drowsy lair, the lair of slaves,
      Like lightning it le'pt forth half startled at itself,
      Its feet upon the ashes and the rags, its hands tight to the throats
      of kings.

      O hope and faith!
      O aching close of exiled patriots' lives!
      O many a sicken'd heart!
      Turn back unto this day and make yourselves afresh.

      And you, paid to defile the People--you liars, mark!
      Not for numberless agonies, murders, lu


    • 1) The government sucks. I hate it. We're all fucked. 2) Google pays for bandwidth. People connecting to google are paying for bandwidth. ISP's are getting payed on both ends for a single connection between google and a user. These ISP's are greedy shitbags. End of story. 3) The government sucks. I hate it. We're all fucked.


      As much as you hate government eminent domain may be the only way to stop those greedy shitbag ISPs from interfering with interstate commerce on the information superhighway.
  • Maybe darpa should charge the telecom companies for using the internet. I mean if it wasn't for their invention, none of us would be here.

    I also think that local cities should ban this kind of extreme billing;. We all are paying for this anyway. I soubt that google et al. is gettin free acess.

    Seattle did this with bank machines. They banned extra-user fees. They figured that the banks were getting the monthly money from you, and the interac fee, and now some are charging a 'convience' fee.
    • With regard to ATMs: Why ban extra usage fees?

      They are clearly stated. You can avoid banks that charge a fee when you use some other bank's ATM, and you can avoid the other charge by the ATM operator by avoiding such ATMs.

      No one is getting tricked here. As an aside, as the market for money clears, you find that on the balance, [fees + interest] (aka the price of money) tends to equilibrate.

      Just because something takes some extra thinking or is not necessariliy convenient is no reason in my mind to outl
      • When you are young, or are able to drive, and live in an area that allows one to choose, of course, you tend to move.

        When it is a small town, with one bank machine, and the old-folks get off a bus. They are being forced to use that machine. No-where does that bank tell them that there are other banks around(Not that they should).l Now if they only want to take out 40$. The 1.50$ Interac fee, and now a 1.50$ 'convince fee'. Now it cost them almost 10% to take their money out. Of course it scales up. If your
        • I agree that it is double dipping, and I am against the idea; however, I think that this is something that should be between banks and their customers.*

          As someone on both the content and the consumer side of the broadband argument, I am also against double dipping on that front. In this case, I think that the major players will be our biggest advocates here. The people who are using the bandwidth (Google, Alexa, etc.), are the same one's with the clout to say no. Together, they have considerable monopson
      • you can avoid the other charge by the ATM operator by avoiding such ATMs.

        Unless one bank operates all ATMs within 15 kilometers of where you are staying. I don't know if it is still the case in Terre Haute, Indiana, but when I went to school there, First Financial [first-online.com] was pretty much the only bank in town. I learned to rely on Wal-Mart for withdrawals using my Visa check card.

      • No one is getting tricked here. As an aside, as the market for money
                        clears, you find that on the balance, [fees + interest] (aka the
                        price of money) tends to equilibrate.

        yeah, a couple of billion per year in the banks favor
      • In the UK the banks closed branches "cos there's cash machines and its cheaper".
        Then they decided to charge a quid a time to use the cash machine (now there's few branches left).
        Idiots.

        it didn't last long before all the banks were boasting they THEY didn't charge for ATM use.

        Co-op bank NEVER charged for ATM use and also allowed post offices to be used as branches.
        -Which also makes it funnier about pensioners complaining about pensions being paid into bank accounts and not collectable from the post office, a
    • I mean if it wasn't for their invention, none of us would be here.

      Odd, I always thought that if it wasn't for our parents, we wouldn't be here.
    • Interesting idea. But if DARPA gets a share, then so should CERN for inventing the world wide web. Both organizations have one thing in common: they are funded by the tax payers. To simplify this matter I suggest that governments represent the people's interest and tell the ISP's to accept the status quo or face a bill from the tax payers. It might be also important to notice that the federal government still is a major shareholder of Deutsche Telekom shares. And they control Deutsche Telekom through regula
    • It's sort of like charging the local businesses a tax on roads because without roads, traffic wouldn't be able to get to them. Complete BS.
  • First of all, I know that you can't do a lot of under-the-radar damage in 4k of code, and I'm sure they audit the programs to ensure they're just games. Additionally, I'm not paranoid enough to think someone would submit malicious code to a game contest.

    That said, this is one instance where it would have been nice to be able to play the games as applets in the browser. Note that I am not suggesting that they be submitted (for judgment at least) in this form, as making an applet+application would add some m
    • That said, this is one instance where it would have been nice to be able to play the games as applets in the browser.

      I couldn't agree more. Having them available to play as applets would be incredibly convenient for people who want to test drive the games a bit. It's one reason HTML/JavaScript is so popular...it's incredibly easy and accessible to the consumer of the technology.

      Java Web Start is interesting and cool technology, but I feel so much less safe running Java Web Start programs compared to apple

      • by Anonymous Coward
        >Also, JWS programs need to be uninstalled from Add/Remove Programs (on Windows)
        >one at a time.

        Run javaws(.exe) for launching apps, removing apps or installing shortcuts.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      A webstart application *is* sandboxed unless it asks for extra privileges, which you have to grand (same goes for applets... the user is asked for extra rights).

      Most 4k entries will run just fine in a sandbox. There are only a few which need extra privileges for going fullscreen.
  • Seems like keeping the games smaller than 4k still doesn't prevent the slashdot effect.
  • Just like RICO (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nsayer (86181) <nsayer@kfu.COUGARcom minus cat> on Wednesday March 01, 2006 @09:04PM (#14831885) Homepage
    Pass a law to go after certain criminals, and it will be used for everything possible

    RICO [wikipedia.org] is the quintesential example of this. While intended to go after organized crime, it has been used to go after everyone from the RIAA to anti abortion protesters to Major League Baseball and even video store owners who rent adult movies.

    Absolute power, and all that.

  • SURPRISE!!

    Everyone with a fucking clue knew that the Patriot Act was going to massively change the legal landscape when it came to warrants and privacy.

    Even your representatives in the Government who obviously didn't RTFA (Read The Fucking Act) knew that parts of it were oppressive enough to warrant a sunset clause.

    I won't say that there was significant public outcry before The Patriot Act was passed, because there wasn't. The Nation was hysterical over what had happened and as a result, a grab bag of previ
    • "If we lose liberties present in the Constitution, the Amendments and The Bill of Rights, have the terrorists won?" This is the stupidest comment I've heard on this issue. If the terrorists win, we won't have a constitution. If the Constitution has to adapt to survive continual, international warfare by unregulated, rogue elements across the world, then that's why it was made the way it was. As long as soldiers don't burst into my home, and the police aren't snatching me off the street without cause or war
      • If the terrorists win, we won't have a constitution.
        So to save the Constitution, we must change it by gutting it of any inconvenient liberties and check-and-balances mentioned therein.

        Ladies and Gentlemen, introducing the latest version of "We had to destroy the village in order to save it."
      • in the new tyranny, aren't you?

        Remarks which support the current leadership will put the people who make them in line for nice cushy positions behind the iron fist of the New Fascism, (served up American-Style).

        I salute you. Really. Please don't report me to the Homeland goon squad for my flagrant association with my brown-skinned friends. I cower under your suspicious glare. Honest. You really do send chills down my spine.

        --After all, that recent contract awarded to Haliburton to build spiffy new Dete [unknownnews.org]
    • If we lose liberties present in the Constitution, the Amendments and The Bill of Rights, have the terrorists won?

      Yes because that is the whole point of terrorism.
    • If we lose liberties present in the Constitution, the Amendments and The Bill of Rights, have the terrorists won?

      Yes.

  • Tiered Internet (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lord_Dweomer (648696) on Wednesday March 01, 2006 @09:11PM (#14831921) Homepage
    The only people who want a tiered internet are the telecom companies. Users don't want it, web companies don't want it...how in the hell do they expect to get this to get through? If they all colluded to make sure everybody in their industry did this, wouldn't that be illegal and violate some price fixing laws (not necessarily in Germany, but in the States)?

    My other question is...if this does get pushed through, is there anything preventing another company from starting up and basically offering things the way are currently? I mean, if the whole telecom industry decides to force us into tiered internet, couldn't some company just NOT do it, and rake in the cash hand over fist from all the users and companies that flock to them?

    • There is no free market for ISPs. The telcos own the last mile, and they're going to gouge you for it. Why do you think DSL in the states is still so expensive.

      So yes, if the telcos push this through, we're screwed.
    • The only reason people have broadband is to get the content provided by content providers. All the telecoms revenue is due to the presence of these providers and their content.
    • Collusion is illegal in Germany too. But even if it weren't, should all the ISPs collude to fix prices, there would be a truly *tremendous* opportunity for everybody else to develop o Free Internet, so I don't think it makes much sense for them.
    • A new competitor absolutely could.

      The problem of course is that dreaded last mile. Since the FCC has decided that telcos and cable companies do not need to share their lines you have an effective monopoly on the existing infrastructure. Any competitor trying to enter the market would have to build out infrastructure reaching each and every home they want to service, and do you know how expensive that is to do?

      If you want to go wireless then you have a bunch of options - satellite, terrestrial fixed with exi
  • Sure, why not. Kill it off completely. with all the garbage/spam/phishing/commercials the internet is barely worth the trouble as it is now. Convert it back to a pay as you go ( like the old days, when it was almost unheard of outside of the miltary and higher education ) and kill it.

    Patriot act? Dont even get me started on that powergrab farce.
  • "spring is in the air"/building game is fun, original too, not like the other keyboard driven clones of games that have been cloned so many times, the "Joe Sixpack" browsing the net for games probably thinks the clone is the original...

    anyway, like I said, original and fun...

  • The two judges both agree that Congress intended the 'nationwide search' provision for going after email or other Internet data to apply to the investigation of all federal crimes and not just to cases involving terrorism."

    They are right too.

    Since most of congress did not even read the patriot act, then the "intention" in it is pretty much that of the author's - John Asscraft. We all know how upon becoming AG he went from a champion for privacy rights (he was a major vocal opponent to the Clipper Chip back
  • The enigma-client installation instructions explicitly tell users to replace "nominal" with a strong random password and provide precise instructions on how to do so. If you're too stupid to follow such simple instructions, you deserve to have your system compromised.

    http://www.bytereef.org/howto/m4-project/enigma-cl ient-winXP-Pro-install.html [bytereef.org]
  • Kindof off-topic, but tagging. It's a new /. feature. We (well, subscribers) can finally tag a topic as a DUPE. Joy.

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