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Comment: Re:Everyone loses (Score 1) 448

by Xest (#47950255) Attached to: Scotland Votes No To Independence

GDP is of relevance to everyone, the fact you don't understand it does not change anything. GDP is a measure of the size of the economy, and if the economy is growing then that means there is more money in it. You're correct that that does not mean that as soon as the economy grows people will see instant benefit from it, levels of inflation play in too and companies will not start handing out pay rises left and right the second the economy shows signs of growth, so yes you can see GDP go up, but no people wont instantly see benefit.

I don't know why you say Ireland has a high GDP, no it doesn't, it has a smaller GDP than countries like Iraq, Kazakhstan, and Pakistan, maybe you meant GDP per capita? If you want to know why Ireland's GDP per capita is high but the people aren't seeing the benefit of it then it's simple- Ireland is a tax haven and like all tax havens they have a high GDP per capita, there's a reason Apple has many tens of billions sat in banks there - it's a low tax regime, but that money sat in banks isn't in the real economy, it doesn't feed down to employees because it's being held in banks simply for the purpose of being kept off shore. This is the price of running your country as a tax haven, you get a lot of income, but it wont be productive money for the economy - it wont be used to pay higher wages or any such thing. The UK is not a tax haven so is not in even a remotely similar situation.

What we have in the UK is healthy growth because it's sustained, and the fact it's sustained means companies can start increasing wages, and guess what? contrary to your parroting of now obsolete memes that's exactly what's happening. Throughout last year wage rises started to track with inflation, and through this year they've finally started outpacing inflation.

Yes there have been big issues with zero hours contracts and self-employment over the last few years, and this has been key in Carney not increasing the bank of England's base rate, but as bank of England minutes have shown over this last year it's now clear that even that trend is in decline- those zero hours contracts, and that self employment is now being replaced by real sustained employment. It's for this reason that a rate rise now looks likely next year, instead of in 2016/2017 as originally planned. I suggest you catch up on this years monthly BoE meeting minutes if you want to get an updated view of the situation of the healthiness of employment in the UK rather than the outdated view you currently hold.

The things you cite were true a year ago or just over, but in the last year it's become clear that this is real growth and as a result even salaries are increasing (they're certainly not decreasing as you claim- go check the ONS stats on the issue, or see here for example: http://www.theguardian.com/bus... - this is from April just as above inflation wage growth started, the pace has improved even more since then).

So I hate to say it but your whole argument is wrong, it's based on a lack of understanding of economics on a national level, it's based on a naive belief that improvement should be instant, and it's based on a simple lack of knowledge about what the underlying trends actually are in our economy.

Our GDP is growing, our wage rises are outpacing inflation, zero hours contracts are no longer growing, debts are not soaring, bailiffs are not doing record business. That's what I consider healthy growth- you're right, your theorised claims would not be healthy growth but they're not what's actually happening in the country right now, they stopped being true at least a year ago, your information is now completely out of date and incorrect.

Sources:

- Wage increases: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/...

- Reposessions: https://www.gov.uk/government/...

- Household debt: http://www.libdemvoice.org/wp-...

I purposely left food banks out of that last paragraph above because their use has been growing even in the boom times before the recession, turns out if you offer free food with no checks, balances, and means testing that people will take it so drastic rise in their use has been occurring regardless of the economic weather:

http://blogs.channel4.com/fact...

Hence sure crying "but food banks!" sounds good, until you realise that whilst we can theorise that food banks are going to see an increase in visitors in times of poor economic performance we still see increase in their usage in times of good economic performance and so it's incorrect to assume that increase in food bank useage correlates purely with poor economic performance - clearly it doesn't because we can see it rising in boom times.

I suspect we both know what healthy growth is, the difference is I know what the underlying state of the economy is because I've bothered to research it, you however are claiming it's unhealthy based on outright falsehoods.

Comment: Re:Not a problem... (Score 1) 313

by Xest (#47947115) Attached to: New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

"But that's not the case. There's nothing magical about living in Antarctica that would cause millions of people to lose their homes elsewhere."

Of course there is, human activity generates heat, and heat melts ice. You can't melt ice in Antarctica and have it magically not increase sea levels, where do you think it goes? or do you think the ice in Antarctica is magical and immune to melt from heat? or that we can create a magical device that just vanishes every single bit of heat humans might generate? When that sea level rise happens there are many people living in coastal areas whose current homes would become flooded. You then have to find somewhere else for them to go.

"No, those species are quite notorious for exhibiting behavior that strongly favors their own species at the expense of pretty much everything else aside from a few symbiotes."

Ah, but now you're changing the parameters of the discussion to suit your argument- I wasn't talking about selfishness that benefits the species as a whole, I was clearly talking about selfishness of the individual making the point that individual humans will look after themselves over the rest of their species - this is why we even have things like racism in the first place.

Comment: Re:Everyone loses (Score 5, Informative) 448

by Xest (#47947031) Attached to: Scotland Votes No To Independence

Yeah, and aliens could land too, and there will be nuclear war, and the world will end also!

Oh wait, you were being serious? You used the words "the way things are going" but that's not actually the way things are going. Based on current trajectories the UK is showing the healthiest growth of just about all rich Western economies and it's doing so whilst maintaining a reduction in deficit too.

Further, a number of studies suggest it's likely to see itself increase in global rankings overtaking France, and maybe even Germany in the next 20 years:

http://www.theguardian.com/bus...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/busi...

So yeah, you may be right, maybe something drastic will happen and things will go into reverse again, but that's not what the current figures suggest so any such possibility is merely unfounded speculation.

Yeah, sure, Scotland could've chosen not to be part of that and that would've been their decision, but I think most Scots saw through the nationalist pessimism towards the UK and recognised that for all our faults, maybe things aren't so bad - we're growing faster than anyone else in the G7 and seeing drastic declines in unemployment to boot - find me a country without political issues, but as far as ours go they're pretty small fry compared to some of the issues some countries are having, we've been growing well for well over a year now and some of our neighbours are still slipping in and out of recession - right now and for the foreseeable future the UK is still a pretty good place to be.

Faster political change would be nice, many people think it's not happening at all, but it is. In recent years we've seen things like the exposure of the expenses scandal, we've seen the closeness of phone hacking and the political classes, we've seen an alternative voting system referendum that was lost, exposure of sexual abuse in parliament, we've seen a coalition for the first time in 60 years- now many people will view all these things are negatives, things that ended badly, didn't turn out well, but they're not, they're all part of a bigger picture- the tide is turning against entrenched Westminster, in the last 50 years most of those things listed above would've been unthinkable, the fact they're happening is evidence that the vested minorities that've had so much power for so long in Westminster are losing their grip. I'm normally a cynical, pessimistic person myself, but since I started to take a step back on this issue and piece it all together, rather than look at individual events in isolation, as well as looking at the wider world in general (i.e. the arab spring) it seems pretty clear that politicians are losing power to the people as part of a long slow, probably multi-decade process - it's slow but it's happening, and I'm optimistic that Westminster cannot and will not be able to carry on with business as usual for much longer- they're already faltering and I fully suspect that this independence referendum is another nail in the coffin for the old way of doing things.

God only knows I've hated my country long enough and thought about leaving enough times (thankfully I can easily obtain dual citizenship through my partner, or just make use of our EU membership to fuck off elsewhere in the EU) but right now I think the signs are good, I think change is happening, it's painfully slow but I'm not convinced this is something that you can fix overnight, I think it takes almost a generational change in politicians (which might explain why there has been some progress already- I believe last election that far more than half the MPs that were elected were completely new) but it's happening, and we're getting there.

Comment: Re:The over-65's swung it for No (Score 0) 448

by Xest (#47946661) Attached to: Scotland Votes No To Independence

"As a Scot living through the referendum, it has been a sea of optimism and YES flags and events. Many people, including myself woke up this morning very disappointed but also wondering how did this happen:"

I can explain it to you, but like most yes voters you probably wouldn't get it, but here, I'll try anyway.

Those of us sat outside of Scotland, not caught up in the sea of supporters here and there and who bothered to look at the polls - not just the headlines, and that paid attention to events not just in a single locale but across the country, especially in the last few weeks saw something slipping through. We saw the ugly side of nationalism finally shine through, and we saw the impact that was having.

You see dear rapiddescent, all those yes flags, all those events, coupled with the things you'd probably rather not hear about or deny ever happened such as militant yes voters physically attacking no campaigners and even splitting up families and neighbourhoods, telling people they weren't true scotsmen if they voted no. All those things - they weren't a sign you were winning, you'd overwhelmed the opposition sure, all anyone could hear was yes because they'd either silence or out-shouted no at every turn, no, they were simply a sign that you weren't letting people with opposing opinions have their say.

So whilst you were busy silencing and out-shouting the opposition you missed something important- the importance of actually winning the arguments.

Along comes polling day, and guess what? all those people you'd silenced, shouted over, and prevented from expressing their opinion as vocally as you did got to have their say in the ballot box, a place you couldn't silence them, couldn't harass them, and guess what? that's where your weakness of focussing on a a blitzkrieg of yes spam rather than actually putting forward good ideas and rational arguments let you down.

That dear sir, is why the streets were full of yes campaigners, why all you could see and hear was them in the streets, on social media, and in classic media, but why when it came to, you still lost. You militantly silenced the majority, but the silent majority still got to have their say in the end.

The media wasn't biased in it's reporting, most media outlets didn't declare a preference, and those that did largely only did so in the last week or so (it was actually the pro-independence media that declared and actively backed first). You may wish to tell yourself that you've been cheated out of something, that you've been hard done by, that the media was against you, that vested corporate interests stopped it, but none of that is true. You lost simply because a majority were smart enough to see that your arguments didn't stack up, and were put off by your vile nationalist tendencies that kept slipping out from under your mask (like say, when Jim Sillars stood alongside Alex Salmond said post-independence they'd nationalise foreign companies in a revenge act for not supporting independence: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.u...).

Comment: Re:Not a problem... (Score 1) 313

by Xest (#47943657) Attached to: New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

I suspect the biggest problem would be the cost and pollution of transporting it relative to other fertilisers that we can transport in a much more efficient manner, we can't really do what the Sahara does with it's mineral sands more efficiently than it already does it, though we can work more efficiently with other fertilisers. The Sahara though does a good job naturally, those global wind patterns do all the work for us with zero pollution.

Given that it's probably worth taking a step back and realising that actually most of the farming that's done today already works on your plan albeit with, as I say, different fertilisers. Much of the world's crops grown today are only feasible to grow precisely because we already do use artificial fertilisers in agriculture across the globe so your plant is already being done in a roundabout way, it's just more efficient for us to do it in our own way outside of the Sahara and more efficient for the Sahara to do what it does by itself.

Comment: Re:Not a problem... (Score 1) 313

by Xest (#47943647) Attached to: New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

"No, it doesn't. Just because there is a disadvantage to a choice, doesn't mean that it is "almost" zero sum. You still have to consider the advantages."

Well if you manage to move a few million people to Antarctica and the resultant increase in sea level means a few million people have to leave coastal areas then yes, it is. I did clearly say (and suggested potential examples) there are indeed some areas you could probably get away with spreading the population to with much more minimal disadvantage.

"What species would not be a selfish species in your sense?"

Many colony based species are, such as ants and bees work for the interests of the colony rather than for the individual, though I'm not really sure what the relevance of the question is- the fact that other species are selfish doesn't change the fact that humans are also.

"And this overpopulation problem isn't being caused by the rich. It's being caused by the teeming masses of non-rich."

You're mixing cause and effect, increased birth rates are a symptom of poverty where the per-child survival rate is low, overpopulation is simply a symptom of a bigger problem, not the underlying problem itself. If you take those poor people that you deem responsible for overpopulation and place them in a place where there are crops and water aplenty like the UK then I assure you they will start seeing higher survival rates and lower death rates - the problem is the people who already inhabit these areas and have already prospered as a result keep it for themselves, but you know what? I'm not even judging that - it is natural instinct to look after your own precisely because as I say we are a particularly selfish species, but it absolutely is simply a statement of fact about what does and would happen. The wealthy in the world would still inhabit the most beneficial places, and the poor would still be forced to the places where there is no scope to prosper and would still continue to overproduce children as a survival mechanism as a result.

I don't think it's worth arguing whether that's good, bad, or whose fault it is, or isn't, who is good, or bad, who is innocent or not - none of that really matters because it's just a description of the natural state of the human race and I'm not sure whether we could ever really do much to change that or not, but either way it also doesn't mean that we shouldn't at least recognise it for what it is.

Comment: Re:Not a problem... (Score 5, Interesting) 313

by Xest (#47939525) Attached to: New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

That assumes that all those environments are pointless wastes of space, unfortunately that premise isn't true- those areas of land serve important purpose for example the sands of the Sahara blow across the Atlantic and fertilise the likes of the Amazon rainforest.

A lot of people say "Why don't we geo-engineer the Sahara to make it tropical forest again!" but it becomes almost a zero-sum game, as you grow forests in Africa you decrease the fertilisation of the Amazon and so growth is stunted there in turn.

We can only move into these territories (or even keep expanding in existing ones) if we can find a way to do so without impacting the underlying ecosystem, otherwise we find ourselves with a whole lot of people and not enough resources and you know what that generally means? war - winning side gets the resources.

So it's not just about making an area habitable, or comfortable, it's about doing so in a manner that doesn't have a knock on effect elsewhere - by regrowing Africa into a tropical jungle paradise you'd be slowly pushing ever more of South America into a poor inhospitable desert. Similarly if you start inhabiting Siberia and Antarctica with more human activity resulting in greater melting of these regions you'll simply be flooding coastal regions elsewhere and making them uninhabitable.

Long story short, you cannot make massive changes to large areas of land without there being an impact elsewhere. You can see this on many scales, whether it's the farmers that cleared the forests on the hills of South West England to give themselves more land for crops leading to widespread devastating flooding due to lack of trees to slow water down in the hills, or whether it's something much larger scale as with the Africa/Amazon connection above. For every sizeable environmental change we make there is an impact elsewhere.

For what it's worth, I suspect the place we could most likely inhabit on land with the least impact elsewhere is in parts of the sea but even this would require a lot of care so as to restrict ocean pollution from waste which may damage fish stocks and decrease food. Failing that it's to space we go I guess.

Which isn't to say that there aren't some areas of the planet we can inhabit with little impact elsewhere meaning there is some scope for population growth, but those areas are becoming ever less common and the effects of inhabiting them elsewhere are often subtle making it difficult to know when you have and haven't found a reasonable spot to settle more people. Thus fundamentally it's not simply a case of saying "Hey look that place isn't inhabited, let's inhabit it!" because in doing so you're causing destruction of environments elsewhere where people were inhabiting and now you have to find room for them too.

Of course, I suspect none of it will matter- the rich will live where they desire to live and any knock on impact on anyone else? well they can go fuck themselves, because humans are an inherently selfish species.

Comment: Re:this issue transcends money (Score 1) 489

by Xest (#47935695) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

Just about everything how will he get currency union? it takes two to agree and one side has ruled it out meaning it's a no go. How will he get EU membership? Spain's PM has said he'll veto.

The only thing Salmond will get are about 8.9% of the UK's assets,

I know you think the Bank of England is an asset, but it's not, well, the building is, and the walls are, but then so is Hollyrood as much an English asset in that respect, but no, everything else that "is" the BOE is employees, and political policy- you can't go independent and say you want sway over our public sector employees and our political policy as a sovereign nation - upon independence the policy splits and British currency is British policy, Scotland loses access to that on independence - if you want to retain a say in British policy it's simple, vote no, because what you're asking for is not independence.

Debt isn't the BOE, debt is a negative asset just like a bunch of fighter jets are a positive asset, on independence you only get to take your population share of each of all these assets, including the negative ones like debt. Now, you could leave the debt with the UK but then you leave equivalent value assets with the UK like fighter jets and leave yourself with no defence, no hospital equipment and so on, but that's upto Salmond and his Scots to decide whether they'd rather have assets and debt, or no assets and no debt, what he doesn't get is fantasy world assets and no debt because debt is just another asset (again, albeit a negative one). Other negative assets that are more tangible might be for example nuclear power plants that require decommissioning soon- assets come in both flavours and you don't get to pick and choose which you do and don't take unilaterally.

Comment: Re:This is bullshit from start to finish (Score 1) 489

by Xest (#47935635) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

"Do you seriously think that England will erect a fence all along the border and place immigration checkpoints along it?"

Absolutely yes. That pro-UK rhetoric that's rife in the UK and that Salmond has been using to fear monger for independence will only grow stronger without Scotland and do you really think for one moment that any UK political party will be able to allow an open border with a country that has admitted it will have an extremely lax attitude to immigration because mass immigration is one of Salmond's plans (and one the easiest method of) to grow the wealth of Scotland?

I'm fairly pro-immigration but even I'd say we need a border there because whilst I'm fairly pro-immigration I still believe if nothing else we have to know who is and isn't coming in and out so we at least have some statistics on that - we can't do that with an open border with Scotland.

"Do you really think that the Spanish will lock themselves out of Scottish fishing waters by blocking their EU membership?"

Yes, because Catalonia brings far more money into Spain than Scotland's fishermen do.

"And then the rest of the UK will just watch as Russian soldiers arrive on their doorstep?"

No he was saying that's what would happen if the rest of the UK opted not to care what happened to Scotland, but the fact Scotland is basically sponging off the UK for security is rather galling given that Salmond's entire argument has been "We should become independent because we can go it alone and do everything better" - not defence it would seem at least.

Comment: Re:it is all going to go horribly wrong (Score 1) 489

by Xest (#47935091) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

"I don't see why Scotland would be rejected, especially since the UK has been a pain in the arse ever since it joined the EU. As a matter of fact, many countries in the EU would welcome Scotland just to piss off the Brits."

Yeah, one small problem with your nonsense fantasy- the Brits have a veto. So if any European nation decided to piss the Brits off the Brits can just screw their plans with a simple veto.

It only takes one country to say no, and Scotland's entry is automatically denied.

"The Euro is not the EU, and vice-versa."

It doesn't matter, that's not even what he said. The euro is controlled by the EU and that's all that matters, if the EU doesn't want Scotland in it then it wont get in it, the fact the two aren't completely aligned doesn't change that.

"You are not making any sense - again, the currency you use is totally independent from EU membership itself."

No it's not, all new member nations are put on a roadmap to joining the euro, you cannot join the EU anymore without also engaging in a plan to join the euro. This is even true for existing EU nations such as Sweden- they're obligated to join the euro at some point. The UK is the only exception because it's big enough to have been able to negotiate what Sweden couldn't - a euro optout. If a country with an economy over two times the size of an independent Scotland can't argue for an opt out then how the hell would Scotland do so do you think?

Comment: Re:Not going to be as rosy as the YES! campaign sa (Score 1) 489

by Xest (#47935013) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

I don't think you have the slightest clue what the international rules are. If Scotland wants to argue for even anything in it's favour then independence has to be something that Westminster agrees to. If Westminster blocks independence then Scotland can go it alone and take it's case to the UN and obtain it that way, but international courts have consistently ruled that separation occurs with assets split based on population.

There is literally no way Salmond can achieve his demands- the UK is against them and will not agree to them and international courts will force him to accept a share of debt or default. This is not an argument he can win even at the ICJ or at a WTO tribunal, which ironically might not even be an avenue, because Scotland would have to get into the WTO in the first place.

The BoE belongs to Scotland in the same way that Hollyrood belongs to Westminster - all these things were purchased in sterling. Sure Salmond can argue that if they don't get the benefits of the BoE that they wont take the debt, but then the UK can argue that if they don't take the debt then they need to pay rent on the Scottish parliament buildings and similarly Scotland wont get to keep the eurofighters or frigates or NHS equipment it wants either because those are all similarly sterling denominated assets- you cannot take sterling denominated assets and not take sterling denominated debt, that will never be agreed to be anyone, whether the UK government, the people of the UK, or international courts.

Salmond's only hand is demand for faster removal of trident, but in turn the UK can veto Scottish EU and NATO entry so if Salmond plays that only hand then he is absolutely screwed by the response.

Post-separation the UK will still be the 6th biggest economy, yet Scotland will fall to 42nd. Given that economic way ties strongly to political weight (because no one wants to piss off the countries that are economically strong enough to also make them rich) do you still seriously believe Salmond has a strong negotiating hand? are you honestly that naive?

If Shetland and/or Orkney go their own way and become independent from Scotland or stick with the rest of the UK taking the oil with them then Scotland is even more screwed, it'll literally have nothing.

Comment: Re:This isn't scaremongering. (Score 1) 489

by Xest (#47934969) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

"Thatcher destroyed manufacturing and industry in the whole of the UK."

Christ, not this broken old meme. Thatcher didn't even come close to destroying manufacturing in the UK, the UK is still the 9th largest manufacturer in the world in spite of the trend towards manufacturing in poorer nations where labour is cheap.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L...

That's right, the GDP value of UK manufacturing is about 4 times that of commonly cited manufacturing powerhouses like Taiwan.

So can this meme die already? It's not true, it's not even close to true, and it's never been true. The only manufacturing Thatcher killed was those industries that were unprofitable and being subsidised by the tax payer and hence were a drain on everyone's pocket.

There are plenty of better reasons to hate Thatcher like her overuse of military in civilian situations, her anti-European stance and her overly conservative views on almost everything else, but economic policy? she simply cannot be faulted there, she modernised our economy and made us as prosperous as we are.

The same is true of the Tories now, they've done fuckloads wrong such as being way too close to Murdoch and having helped derail press regulation but you'd have to be a special kind of idiot to argue their economic policy has failed- we're the fastest growing G7 nation, the nation most firmly into it's recovery and with the best trajectory on reduction of unemployment in the West.

This debate on Scotland, and too many others are being had on myths and legends like you just made and it's tiresome because as in this case the statistics paint the exact opposite of what you're claiming. The UK is still a global manufacturing powerhouse- you cannot claim a country in the top ten out of 203 to be anything else.

Objectively the UK is doing incredibly well relative to just about every other nation in a similar position right now, that's not something to bitch and moan about and yet you and the Scots are doing exactly that- frankly nothing will ever please you because you're unpleasable, even with our excellent growth and great reductions in unemployment it's still not good enough for you.

Comment: Re:This isn't scaremongering. (Score 1) 489

by Xest (#47934903) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

"This would leave Scotland with a new currency but with tremendous assets and no liabilities."

This is absolute stark raving nonsense. Debt is the opposite of assets, both things are valued in sterling currently. If you opt to leave the UK with no debt, you opt to leave with no assets that were paid for with that debt. This means that yes Scotland absolutely can vote to leave with no sterling debt, but it also leaves with no sterling assets - that means no frigates, no eurofighters, no hospital equipment, no public sector IT equipment as they're all assets valued in sterling, just as the debt is valued in sterling. You can't take one and not the other and I'm astounded so many of you Scots believe Alex's nonsense codswallop that's so easily disproven.

That blue book is like a kind of nationalist Bible - and like the Bible it's a book of fairy tales for gullible folk to believe and made follow you with.

Comment: Re:we're talking about controllers (Score 1) 207

by Xest (#47924925) Attached to: Sapphire Glass Didn't Pass iPhone Drop Test According to Reports

Microsoft aren't trying to produce a magic controller that is perfect for everyone, because given the manufacturing constraints of producing a million different shaped controllers that'd be impossible.

What they're doing is targetting something that pleases the largest amount of people in a representative sample, this is real design testing and it's a shame you don't understand that.

This is why when you buy t-shirts or similar you have a choice between small, medium, large, and maybe extra large and xxl, but what you don't get is a thousand different shapes with a few millimetres here or there.

You apparently don't understand the reality of producing a product and the use of samples to provide a solution that's pleasing to the largest amount of people in a sample as possible. Sure they could've made it bigger all around for people with large hands and their cramping problem, but they'd be satisfying 1% of their user base whilst making it too big for the other 99%. Likely they've landed up with something that was preferable to a decent majority (like 80%) even if 20% preferred other designs.

You cannot design something like a controller around a minority, the fact you think you should shows that contrary to your early comments about HCI it's most definitely you that absolutely does not have the slightest clue about the combined topics of HCI and the reality of providing a manufacturable and marketable solution.

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