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PS3 Problems Cause Sony Stocks to Slide 238

Posted by Zonk
from the sad-day-for-stocks dept.
eldavojohn writes "Gamespot has an article describing PS3s operating erratically at conference demonstrations.' In its defense, Sony said the PS3 failures were caused by unusually high temperatures created by having many of the next-gen consoles operating in close proximity to each other. 'It's not a problem with the PlayStation 3 unit itself,' Sony spokeswoman Nanako Kato told the AP. 'For a normal player at home, there shouldn't be any problem.' As a result, Sony's stock slid 2.75%. I guess they should have thought first before releasing five times the number of kiosks as they did with the PS2 — they're causing each other to overheat. There goes my PS3 beowulf cluster idea!" Update: 10/04 20:40 GMT by Z : anti-human 1 wrote in to mention a GamesIndustry.biz article, with a flat denial of overheating issues from Sony. "As could be seen on the TGS floor by the tens of thousands of media and public attendees, both the hardware and software worked flawlessly."
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PS3 Problems Cause Sony Stocks to Slide

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  • by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot@kei[ ]ead.org ['rst' in gap]> on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @12:00PM (#16306799) Homepage
    Geez, if these things are that heat senseitive they probbaly are not going to work in a closed-door stereo cabinet.

    I currenrly have my DVR, my Xbox, and my reciever all in a stereo cabinet with a closed door. All work fine with no overheating. Is Sony trying to say that if I want to get a PS3 I need to buy a new stereo cabinet too?
    • About that Xbox... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by UbuntuDupe (970646) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @12:07PM (#16306915) Journal
      Something I've always wondered: How come people on Slashdot are normally of the mindset: I would never use a Micro$oft product ever unless I had to, my entire home setup is based around Linux even where that reduces convenience, if you help Micro$oft, you are a terrorist, Bill Gates is a cyborg , but then, no one bats an eyelid when someone castually mentions their Xbox -- a completely unnecessary Microsoft purchase?

      Think about it.
      • by Aladrin (926209)
        2 words: Vocal minority.
        • The Bill Gates-cyborg picture is due to a vocal minority?
          • by eln (21727) *
            Yes, of course it is. In the case of that picture, the vocal minority is the administrators of this site. It's not like the community at large gets to choose what pictures to put with what topic headings.
      • Well, you CAN buy an Xbox used (thus benefitting your local store and not Microsoft). This doesn't benefit Microsoft at all (at least not directly), unless you buy new games for it. You can buy used games instead. Buying Xboxes and games from Ebay wouldn't benefit anyone but Ebay and the seller.
        • by sadr (88903)
          Supporting the resale market increases the prices on the secondary market, and increases the value of the original goods.

          If you know you can buy an Xbox, and resell it for 70% of the original price, it is a much better "investment" than if you can sell it for 30% of the original price.

          The same can be said for the games.
      • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @03:49PM (#16310561)
        Well, I read Slashdot and I think those anti-Microsoft people are jerks.
      • by Y-Crate (540566) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @04:11PM (#16310895)
        Something I've always wondered: How come people on Slashdot are normally of the mindset: I would never use a Micro$oft product ever unless I had to, my entire home setup is based around Linux even where that reduces convenience, if you help Micro$oft, you are a terrorist, Bill Gates is a cyborg , but then, no one bats an eyelid when someone castually mentions their Xbox -- a completely unnecessary Microsoft purchase?
        I think it may have something to do with the fact both Sony and Nintendo have thrown their respective weight around the gaming market to the detriment of consumers and developers, which renders any value judgments regarding Microsoft's tactics in the console arena to be mostly null when it comes to selecting a system.

        If all three major players have had a history of the same thing, then it really comes down to purchasing the console that will have the most value to you. JRPG fans should buy a PS3, action gamers often find the Xbox/Xbox 360 to be a good fit, while the fans of quirky games and Nintendo's established franchises might want to hold out for a Wii. Which is not to say that anyone is restricted to a particular platform if their finances permit.

        For the fanboys who can't stomach what I just said, I'll translate that statement into trollspeak:

        If you want to sit around and watch cutscenes all day, buy a PS3. If graphics are the only thing you consider when buying a game, go for a 360, if you want kiddie games for mongoloids, put down a pre-order for a Wii.
    • by mennucc1 (568756)
      What about a small fridge to put alongside the stereo cainet? You may put your soda, beer, and PS3 inside it.
    • by rlp (11898)
      Is Sony trying to say that if I want to get a PS3 I need to buy a new stereo cabinet too?

      No, it'll work just fine till all the liquid nitrogen evaporates.
    • by steveo777 (183629)
      They don't want it sitting in a seperate cabinet. They want it sitting on the floor in front of the TV. Or on the coffee table. Anywhere people will see it. Problem is, wireless controllers make it very easy to hide the system. My friend's 360 is sitting out of view because he doesn't want people to see it.
    • by DrXym (126579)
      Geez, if these things are that heat senseitive they probbaly are not going to work in a closed-door stereo cabinet.

      That assumes that a) there is a significant heat problem rather than wild speculations, and b) that it affects you and your cabinet, as opposed to a few PS3s amongst many that were set up in glass boxes under hot lights in a hot conference hall to run demanding demos for 15 hours non-stop.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Palshife (60519)
      This is just a personal philosophy, but components with vents or fans have no business being in a closed-door stereo cabinet.
  • by LoudMusic (199347) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @12:01PM (#16306811)
    Overheating demo game console units is no reason for stock of one of the largest electronics manufactures to slip. I'd bet it has more to do with exploding batteries.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by buswolley (591500)
      Perhaps its because they are out of touch with their customers.
    • It's probably both. (Score:5, Informative)

      by jchenx (267053) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @12:08PM (#16306923) Journal
      If there weren't such a huge recall of Sony batteries over the last few months, then a news item like this probably wouldn't have affected Sony's stock all that much. But I imagine analysts are worried now about the general quality of Sony products.
    • by zstlaw (910185) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @12:14PM (#16307037)

      Except that the analysts specifically mentioned concerns about the "entertainments division".

      We have adopted a cautious view of the impact of the [Sony] game business on the electronics business this term,'' Goldman Sachs analyst Yuji Fujimori told Bloomberg. Fujimori downgraded Sony's rating from "buy" to "neutral" citing "confusion over the release of PlayStation 3 and concerns [about] disappointing sales of [the] PlayStation Portable,

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by avirrey (972127)
        Does anyone here even play the market? Who care if the argument makes sense? If Fujimori 'downgrades' Sony, the stock WILL go down. Same is true for every other company listed. Downgrade = immediate stock decline. Upgrade = immediate stock rise. If you don't think Fujimori is justified, then go buy the stock now that it's down 3%... if you're right, you'll make your 3% back...

        ===== All above forward looking statements are non-legally binding and are simply projections based on known... oh who cares.
    • by GrumblyStuff (870046) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @12:16PM (#16307063)
      Or just overall piss-poor ideas being pushed out. $500-600 videoga- I mean, Linux supercomputer. Rootkits on CDs. Assploding batteries. So-so Blu-Ray. So-so PSP performance (not doing terribly bad but it's not exactly printing money)....

      Then there's Krazy Kenny's PR talking that's just kinda... oooooOOOOOOoooooooooooooo~
    • by MrJynxx (902913)
      You can't rule out this being a huge issue for stockholders. Remember the stockholders have brokers who advise them what to do, and they have the best and most up to date access to news of all companies. Sure there is a ton of discount brokerage firms, but they make up a small % of the overall assets under management than a full service brokerage house

      Considering the negative press Sony has been getting with the batteries, rootkit, and PS3 you can be sure the big players in the industry will start dumping
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DragonWriter (970822)
      Stock market journalism is full of lazy post hoc ergo propter hoc analysis; whenever a stock moves in one direction, stock market journalists reach out and grab the first news item they can find that is positive (if the move is up) or negative (if it is down) and assert as fact that the move was the result of that news item.
    • Me neither. It's much simpler: Sony's (games division) problem is its executives.
    • by Dan East (318230)
      The PS3 is a litmus test for investors. Any negative publicity about it at all will hurt Sony stock at this point (and good news would cause it to increase dramatically). Similar to the A380 with Airbus.

      Dan East
    • "Overheating demo game console units is no reason for stock of one of the largest electronics manufactures to slip. I'd bet it has more to do with exploding batteries."

      You gotta love Slashdot. Sony announces a recall of virtually *all* of the laptop batteries they manufactured; and when their stock slides the ever-perceptive Slashdot crowd thinks it's because of a disappointing game console demo!
    • by modeless (978411)
      Seriously. Sony's been getting terrible press over every aspect of PS3 for months now, with all the signs pointing toward a much smaller market share this generation. There are supply problems, price problems, unimpressive games, lack of rumble in the controller, and a complete lack of a demonstrated credible competitor to XBox Live. Then the stock decides to drop because a couple of kiosks with prerelease hardware overheated at a trade show? Somebody's stupid here; either it's the traders or the analys
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Alchemar (720449)
      Lets break that statement down:

      "Overheating demo game console units is no reason for stock of one of the largest electronics manufactures to slip."

      I would think that "one of the largest electronics manufactures" would by now have a firm grasp that semiconductor by their very definition (semi = partial & condutor = conducts electricity) do not conduct electricity well, and the inefficiency produces heat. If you design a case to look good and/or have a small foot print by pushing the cooling to the min

  • As long as you buy it, Sony doesn't give a shit whether it will overheat at your house or not.

    Plus, if you leave it OFF, it won't overheat!

    Also, if you are using it indoors, then you probably aren't providing proper ventillation.

    Either way, it can't be Sony's fault because by definition the PS3 is perfect!
    • by iocat (572367) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @01:00PM (#16307807) Homepage Journal
      I was at TGS and a) it was about 1000 degress inside; b) the PS3s were in tiny plexiglass containers with no visible ventilation; c) it was pre-release software; d) it's probably running on test kits, which aren't notoriously reliable; and e) I was in the sony booth, looking directly at games, for >90 minutes and saw one crash only.

      This a) compares favorably with E3, and b) is in line with what you'd expect from beta software, especially since the last bugs you find are the kind of crazy tiny 'soak-test' memory leaks that tend to come out when you play the game constantly for 8 hours w/o rebooting, as you see at TGS.

      IMHO, this whole thing is FUD; some analyst who saw a game crash and is trying to justify his trip to Tokyo.

      • ^ well it's about bloody time someone said this.... the overheating problems are no reason to believe that finished systems will overheat on any kind of regular basis. People seem to forget the post-launch tendency of some XB360 powerpacks to overheat unless you moved them an inch or two from the surface. A need for a little ventilation is not a showstopper. Shit, if you took 90% of the PCs in the world and put them in one of those plexigalss containers, I'm sure you'd see an eventual meltdown as core tempe
        • by jZnat (793348) *
          At least we know Wii won't overheat; it was designed with that goal in mind.
        • by geekoid (135745)
          if ypu put 90% of the PC in the same condition most people put there game consoles, it would pver heat as well.

      • I was at TGS and a) it was about 1000 degress inside; b) the PS3s were in tiny plexiglass containers with no visible ventilation

        ...and now consider that the Cell puts out LOTS of heat. While I have no specs for the Cell alone, Mercury Research makes a Cell PCI card that uses 210 watts:
        http://www.mc.com/literature/literature_files/Cell _accelerator_board.pdf [mc.com]

        I guess that the Cell is responsible for most of it, and the PS3s will have similar heat dissipation. Similar to modern gaming PCs ;-)
        Putting them in u

      • is in line with what you'd expect from beta software, especially since the last bugs you find are the kind of crazy tiny 'soak-test' memory leaks that tend to come out when you play the game constantly for 8 hours w/o rebooting

        I wish EA would "soak-test" their shit. I have a nearly unplayable Madden '07 that crashes reliably after 45 minutes of game time (roughly at the end of the 3rd quarter or the beginning of the 4th), menus not included. It locks hard enough to disable the reset button, in fact. And it
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The crashes weren't cuased by overheating... they were caused by a rootkit!
  • by ectal (949842) * on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @12:09PM (#16306953) Homepage
    Part of my decision whether to purchase a PS3 will be based on the amount of heat produced by the console and the amount of power it drains per hour. If the PS3 does not cause a significant increase in my average monthly power bill and a noticeable increase of my living room's temperature, I will not buy one.

    I need to know the PS3 has power. I need to be afraid that it might drain my bank account. Or set my room on fire. Or hurt me in other more subtle ways. Only then will I respect it.
  • I seem to recall the initial versions of the PS2 having all sorts of issues (primarily with the optical drives), not unlike last years XBox 360 fiasco. Considering Sony's attitude toward the consumer lately, we'll probably be forced to tolerate it as the tradeoff for the privilege of using the PS3 raw power.

    Could it be that both Microsoft AND Sony have falling victim to the "Tortoise and the Hare" factor? It seems Nintendo's choice to choose the slow and steady path might just win the race this time around.
    • I think that us nerds and old-schoolers are quite excited about the Wii, but frankly I'm not convinced the average 18 year-old gamer is, or the average 30 year-old blue-collar gamer who likes Madden, either. I hope I'm wrong, but I think the Wii will be a little like the last 2 Nintendo machines... not a bad purchase, but definitely a niche market.
    • by gad_zuki! (70830)
      Right. I bought a PS2 around the time they came out for my younger brother. We put a new disc in and it ejected a serously sratched up disc. Returned it the next day for a working unit.
  • by j00r0m4nc3r (959816) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @12:12PM (#16306997)
    There goes my PS3 beowulf cluster idea!

    Goodbye beowulf cluster, hello fusion reactor core!
  • Defense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by American AC in Paris (230456) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @12:12PM (#16307001) Homepage
    In its defense, Sony said the PS3 failures were caused by unusually high temperatures created by having many of the next-gen consoles operating in close proximity to each other.

    Fortunately, most consumers are quite diligent when it comes to ensuring that their game consoles are properly positioned in a well-ventilated area with adequate clearance on all sides. I don't predict much trouble with people laying the damn thing on the carpet; butting the air vents up against the wall; setting it next to the radiator; cramming it into their entertainment center's shelf between the TiVo, XBox, and a bunch of DVDs; putting stuff on top of it; or anything else that your typical consumer would simply never dream of doing to a game console.

    Big. Honkin'. Red. Flag.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by chrismcdirty (677039)
      Sony anticipated people putting things on top of it. That's why they shaped it like a George Foreman grill. Anything put on top with slide right of without a good balancing act.
      • Sony anticipated people putting things on top of it. That's why they shaped it like a George Foreman grill. Anything put on top with slide right of without a good balancing act.

        I'd bet that you could get non-rigid items to rest on top of it just fine.

        A strategy guide, for example.

      • Sony anticipated people putting things on top of it. That's why they shaped it like a George Foreman grill. Anything put on top with slide right of without a good balancing act.

        Will it also cook mouth-watering hamburgers to perfection in minutes with less fat?

      • by Andrewkov (140579)
        Another similarity to the George Forman grill: You can also cook on it, apparently.
    • by _xeno_ (155264)

      While I expect you're right, without seeing the actual setup, it's possible the consoles will work fine in entertainment centers and the like. I was hoping one of the articles would have a picture of the setup being refered to. If it were a whole bunch of PS3s right on top of each other (apparently there were 200 total, who knows how close), then it very well could have just been a poor setup.

      I expect you're going to be right anyway, but I'm more than willing to give Sony the benefit of the doubt and ac

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by noidentity (188756)
      The point of a demo is to let the product's performance speak for itself, rather than the PR people's claims. If the problem is as they describe, why didn't they solve it before doing a demo? "Yeah, the system won't even turn on so you can see it, but that's because we don't have a long enough extension cord. It really is cool and worth the price, honest!"
    • by CrazyJim1 (809850)
      In Sony's defense, their console would be also be purchased for the $599 pricetag if there weren't competitors.
    • As consoles get more and more powerful, and run hotter and hotter in general (except for the Wii), things like proper placement are becoming concerns for even your non-technical gamer. With all the attention that the 360 got last year, with people putting their consoles in stupid locations, Sony will benefit from the fact that there are more console owners aware that they need to be putting their expensive systems in the right places, lest they want to own a smoking brick in a month or two.
  • Déjà Vu (Score:2, Insightful)

    by scott666 (1008567)
    The PS3 launch is looking more and more like the 360 launch. Horrible shortages, overheating problems, higher price than most gamers wanted to pay (remember a year ago when $400 for a console seemed like too much?). I was really pulling for Sony when all we had to look at was what Microsoft had done, but they've managed to take every oportunity to make their console less interesting. There's no way I'd buy one at launch now, I'm betting the hardware problems will be worse than the PS2 launch and 360 launch
  • by gsn (989808) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @12:20PM (#16307129)
    Nonsense. This is just a feature - buy a PS3 - it will play your Blu Ray movies, surf the web, play your music, study protein folding, and now warm your house too! Forget paying your heating bill - its the perfect Christmas present! Rumour has it that it can even play games.

    A great present to send to any of your loved ones in the army serving abroad - hours of entertainment and when in a spot of bother the troops can combine 5 or more PS3s and a few Sony batterys to create a high power IED!
    • by NonSequor (230139)
      Given how much Sony depends on its game division these days, if the PS3 fails to sell as much as Sony expects, Sony's stock price is going to go down the tubes.
      • by NonSequor (230139)
        Bleh. I didn't mean to post that as a reply to another message. I meant to post it at the top level. I guess I wasn't paying attention to what I was doing.
  • by Mullinator (939148) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @12:21PM (#16307149)
    You are all noobs, everyone knows this is happening because Sony is keeping the George Foreman grill addon for later. Just spend another $300 for the Blu George Foreman grill ray in January and all your overheating problems will be over... As long as you are using it with Sony brand eggs and bacon. Just remember though that the Sony brand food will only work with Sony brand hardware!
  • If demos gone awry caused stock slide we'd have witnessed the top companies have negative stock values by now (wouldn't that be cool, huh?).
  • uhh... what? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    You're actually trying to claim that the Sony stock slips 2.75% because a PS3 demo unit overheated? You don't think it might be because oh.... EVERY BATTERY EVER MADE BY SONY IS BEING RECALLED? Do you have your Wii pre-order from EB framed in a shrine?
  • [sarcasim] I'm sure stacked away in an entertainment center is a going to be a HUGE difference from lining up a fw PS3s on a showroom floor.

    Come on, seriously.... the PS3 is going to be overheating in every living room its in. Is anybody (who isn't just an anti-ms zealot) seriously considering getting one of these?
    • by RexRhino (769423)
      For some strange reason, Sony has a fanatical brand loyalty around their video game systems, who will purchase whatever they make, no-matter what. While I won't be purchasing one, I would say there are a lot of people who wouldn't consider anything else.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by swerk (675797)
        I can't speak for the pro-Sony lunatics, but I happen to be a different kind of lunatic - a Metal Gear addict. As far as anybody's heard, the next one is PS3-only, just as the last one was PS2-only. Once the price sees a drastic drop or two and the hardware is revised enough that it won't burn my house down or have its precious stupid blu-ray laser fail, by then maybe the inevitable super-edition of Metal Gear Solid 4 will be out and I'll finally cave and get one of these damn things.

        But at launch? Oh he
  • There goes my PS3 beowulf cluster idea!

    You joke, but considering a PS2 cluster was made, [uiuc.edu] a PS3 cluster isn't really out of the question, especially when considering how much power the Cell supposedly has. This news actually does put a damper on the PS3 cluster idea.
    • by gevmage (213603) *

      This news actually does put a damper on the PS3 cluster idea.

      No, it probably doesn't make any difference. One big reason we made the cluster of PS2s was that that was the only way to get the Emotion Engine chip at all. Unfortunately, the PS2 itself wasn't a very good platform for scientific computing (restricted boots, no remote reboot, that sort of thing.).

      And the Cell Processor is (sort of) available on a blade that goes into an IBM Blade Center. So I think it's likely that we'll be buying tho

      • True, most serious cluster builders that want to use the Cell will get IBM blades for the task. However, there will still be a small contingent that will want to see what sort of supercomputer can be made with a trip to Walmart.
  • by Animats (122034) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @01:23PM (#16308213) Homepage

    They made it "fanless", right? Fanless electronic devices with significant heat loads are inherently vulnerable; if the external environment is worse than the design spec, they die. Hot weather or tight shelf space, and you're dead.

    Worse, if some systems are failing early in life due to cooling problems, more are very likely to fail later. ICs that run hot has a reduced lifespan; there's a well-understood relationship for this. So if demo units are failing when new, this is serious.

    Somewhere at Sony, I suspect that engineers are frantically trying to tweak the heatsink, airflow, and case hole design before shipping. It's very late for that.

    There will probably be aftermarket fan kits. Liquid cooling would be overdoing it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by throx (42621)
      Liquid cooling would be overdoing it.

      Lies!

      Liquid cooling is never overdoing it, wait until you see my 500gph water cooled iPod!
    • by sidb (530400)

      They made it "fanless", right?

      No, but they're working hard on it. Right now, some people still like Sony. I don't know why.

  • by gevmage (213603) * on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @01:23PM (#16308223) Homepage

    Glitching because of overheating would be interesting, if true.

    The PlayStation 2 cluster that we built at NCSA [uiuc.edu] had 65 machines in a rack, tightly packed, with the fans of the machines at the front and the back of the shelves pointing at each other. They ran like that for on the order of 15 months, and I'm not aware of any heat related issues.

    • by jandrese (485)
      You must have had later generation PS2s. The original ones (v.1 and v.2) were notorious for overheating. For that matter, the first generation PSx consoles tended to overheat too. This is hardly something new. By the time they get to the second or third revision on the console, they should have the overheating problem well in hand.
      • by gevmage (213603) *

        You must have had later generation PS2s.

        That could be. They were purchased in late 2002 or early 2003, for what that's worth. I do know that PS2s we had weren't the exact model that the Linux kit was developed for, because before we could use the ethernet properly, we had to install a patched kernel driver.

  • Or maybe not, since they're probably already working on a PS3 version of their clip-on 360 Intercooler. Although having said that, I found the intercooler actually caused problems - I had red ring errors occasionally on my 360 and have had none in the two weeks since I took it off.
  • by Bullfish (858648)
    After all of Sony's behaviours over the past while especially, let me be the first to throw them an anchor if they are really drowning. They're not drowning, but if my refusal to buy a ps3 helps in some way to bleed the company's stock price a little, my single malt will taste that much sweeter.
  • PS3 Problems Cause Black Spot on Uranus?
  • No. (Score:5, Informative)

    by MaestroSartori (146297) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @01:39PM (#16308545) Homepage
    Disclaimer: although I work for Sony, this isn't official.

    They weren't overheating. Some pre-release software was crashing. Imagine that! The shock, the horror...
  • Huge crisis the first few months, then replacement units rolled out... the manufacturing process was adjusted and now all the units work just fine? Early adopters beware.
  • that people are no longer buying Sony's bullshit excuses. Consumers have been lied to time and time again, and I think they have finally caught on to what Sony was doing. I mean, first Dell recalls your batteries, then Apple and before you know it, you are the only one proclaiming nothing is wrong. As I recall, this a similar pattern of behavior from Sony was used during the drm rootkit fiasco too.
  • Sony is being given the Green Award from Al Gore for merging Entertainment and Heating into one household system. This will help ease the crunch on heating oil needed this winter and should help U.S. households save money on there monthly Natural Gas Heating bills as well. Way to go Sony, the PS3 really does do it all.
  • No, more likely it's due to the 287,000 Sony laptop batteries Fujitsu just recalled today. Fujitsu Adds To Sony Recall Woes [forbes.com]

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