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Comment Re:Free Range? (Score 1) 110

What makes people think professionals known for introversion want to have absolutely NO privacy?

It doesn't have much to do with what they think the programmers want, it's an efficiency measure. You can fit more people into the same space and as an added bonus they can be more easily monitored. This is enough of a reason for many companies to move to these types of offices and then they just sprinkle some BS about how it's really for the good of the workers.

It really depends on the type of job. I like my privacy as well, but I've worked jobs in which having the team you work with in the same space actually is a convenience and since I pretty much blast music from my headphones 90 % of the time anyway it's not as big of a deal for me.

Point is, some people work better alone, some work better with others, and a smart company tailors their premises to accommodate both.

Comment Re:Makes sense (Score 1) 88

I find it curious that a religion would define its characterization of evil as a guy trying to get you to enjoy yourself.

To quote a movie:

Satan: Let me give you a little inside information about God. God likes to watch. He's a prankster. Think about it. He gives man instincts. He gives you this extraordinary gift, and then what does He do, I swear for His own amusement, his own private, cosmic gag reel, He sets the rules in opposition. It's the goof of all time. Look but don't touch. Touch, but don't taste. Taste, don't swallow. Ahaha. And while you're jumpin' from one foot to the next, what is he doing? He's laughin' His sick, fuckin' ass off! He's a tight-ass! He's a SADIST! He's an absentee landlord! Worship that? NEVER!
Kevin Lomax: "Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven", is that it?
Satan: Why not? I'm here on the ground with my nose in it since the whole thing began. I've nurtured every sensation man's been inspired to have. I cared about what he wanted and I never judged him. Why? Because I never rejected him. In spite of all his imperfections, I'm a fan of man! I'm a humanist. Maybe the last humanist.

Comment Re:Nokia was going downhill well before that (Score 1) 88

no real plan for the smartphone revolution

While this is true, it almost wasn't the case. I happen to know that the R&D side of Nokia had a plan/prototype for a touch-screen operated phone at around the turn of the millenium. They however deemed it to be too expensive to be marketable as the touchscreen tech of the time was expensive and unreliable. Their only mistake was to scrap the project entirely, which left them permanently behind in the smart-phone race when it soon began.

Nokia was essentially lead by engineers, which led to them being overly focused on the devices and pushing out new iterations of those, rather than streamlining the selection and focusing on features and the OS more. Symbian was a mess partially because they had such a wide array of phones that it needed to run on that trying to develop a modern phone OS out of it that could have competed with the likes of Android and iOS would've required cutting down on the amount of new phones to be pushed out every year. And they didn't want that, because at the time they thought the diversity of selection was what was going to keep them in the lead.

Comment Re:Very Basic Income (Score 1) 618

However, most of the other arguments you provide rest on the premise that "the demand for low skill human labor will drop very close to zero as most menial jobs and quite many more complex jobs can be automated." This assertion is not supported by historical precedent: every time something has been created to reduce labor, we just find other ways to keep people busy

For the first time in hisotry we're starting to see a point in which machines are not just there to ease production in the hands of humans, but to take it over completely. Take something like drivers as an example: logistics is a huge part of modern day life in any economy, and moving stuff from place A to place B provides work for a lot of people. Now then, as technology has advanced less and less people have been able to transport larger and larger amounts of stuff. In the very near future we will start needing no drivers at all, as cars will navigate themselves.

So then, you say that these people who used to drive trucs and cars will simply do something else... what? By the time self-driving cars become common place, a good deal of other low skill jobs will have already gone. The number of warehousing jobs and data entry office jobs is falling as automated warehousing and scanning systems are takjing jobs away from both etc...

Of course technology creates some new jobs with it, but the point is that these technologies create less jobs than they automate. A completely automated warehouse will require maybe a handful of people to supervise and maintain the system wherein it used to employ tens if not hundreds of people etc...

You cannot simply assume work will pop up from out of nowhere for people, since most jobs uneducated people could do can soon be handled more cheaply and more efficiently by machines.

Where will they get their sense of achievement (assuming they're not very religious)?

Hobbies, arts, etc. I mean, we don't yet know, but we do know that many people simply will not have a skillset that will be worth enough in the market for them to be employed. It doesn't matter if you're a top notch welder once we have robots that can do pinpoint accuracy welding 24/7 with less mistakes than a human. That means people will have to start finding their sense of achievement in things other than work for the most part.

When living on UBI is comfortable, we've lost the "significant improvement" incentive

Well living on the UBI is supposed to be comfortable because as I'm trying to explain to you, it's pretty much inevitable at this point that within the next century most non-highly educated people will have to be without jobs. The alternatives are even worse: not having a UBI means these people will still be without a job and they can easily become a destabilizing force in the societies.

Being poor is not a purely economic problem. It's chiefly a social problem and yes, throwing money at the poor won't fix the social problem.

But it is also an economic problem and what you're not understanding is that you cannot fix poverty with incentive-based systems in a future in which the market has no need for the majority of people who have no valuable skills.

Slavery is morally wrong... and so is freeloading.

In a future in which there will only be jobs for a small segment of the populace 'freeloading' (ie. living unemployed) will be the norm, not the exception, and as such it cannot be seen as morally wrong. The idea that one has to expend X amount of physical/mental labor to be able to live 'morally' within a society can only be valid so as long as that is something that is possible for everybody to do, since that won't be the case very soon, saying that somehow because we've managed to use technology to reduce the need of workers (which is, in the end, the whole point of technology from the start) makes not working immoral is just nonsensical.

Even if you were right, these things aren't in the present. You're arguing that we will need UBI at some point, but use that as justification for it's creation now. How can you justify fixing a problem that doesn't even yet exist?

Because we can see the trajectory already: it will take time to get there, but we're in motion. Western societies are already seeing jobs disappear in large numbers due to technology and we can only expect this to keep going at an increasing speed. We have currently about 300 000 more unemployed people in finland than we have open jobs because heavy industry no longer employs anywhere near the amount of people it used to, and as I said earlier office jos are shrinking as well as automated electronic invoicing and other such systems reduce the need for office workers etc. It doesn't take a crystal ball to see where this kind of development is heading.

This is not something that's hundreds of years into the future kind of stuff, this is happening and this is happening fast, so we need to start getting prepared for it and start thinking about models to fix it such as UBI.

Comment Re:Very Basic Income (Score 2) 618

The future you describe is very close as compared to existence of humans, but still 50-1000 years away. Definitely not before 50 years,

Well, when I used 'decades' I basically mean within this century. Like, sure, some things might take a lot of time, but many changes I suspect will happen a lot sooner than people expect. I mean, we can already see that for example the driverless cars are quite close, and that change alone will start to affect the employment of a great deal of people relatively soon, and before that a lot of regular office jobs which are primarily data input will be gone. So yeah, to get to the full on '0 % manual labor' type of situation might take a long time you're right, but we'll start needing something like the UBI way before we hit that point, which is why some countries are starting to consider it now.

Comment Re:Very Basic Income (Score 5, Insightful) 618

The government now becomes the provider, rather than the individual

Yes, but that's the whole point of it. The reason something like the UBI will be needed by every country sooner or later is that in the foreseeable future the demand for low skill human labor will drop very close to zero as most menial jobs and quite many more complex jobs can be automated.

When we remove the incentive to work, we reduce production.

No, not always. As explained above, we're headed toa future were most simple jobs are done by machines. This means these things are still produced, they're just not produced by human workers.

More importantly, the satisfaction of working disappears. Is work not respectable? Do people not get a sense of achievement when they can be self-reliant? Isn't that what all liberals claim to be for? Freedom and individualism? How can one be for those and also for basic income?

Very simply: because we recognize that having everyone be fully employed in the future is an impossibility, one's freedom to live should not be defined by work. This doesn't mean work is not respectable, and many people will probably be working part time still, and contribute to a number of things via which they can get their sense of achievement.

UBI makes upward mobility difficult by making the reward of getting a job less. How can we expect someone to climb up the ladder if the first three steps are less attractive than not getting on it?

But again, since there will be massses of people for whom work simply does not exist in the coming decades, UBI is a necessity. It's not like these people can somehow all be compelled to work when the demand of human labor required will be far below the amount of people on the planet. 'Climbing up the ladder' is not something that everyone CAN do, so those people must be provided for and UBI-like systems look like the most sensible way to achieve this.

The people who have the intellectual capabilities to educate themselves for a job they can actually do will still be motivated, because most people want a better/higher standard of living. We have quite extensive unemployment benefits here in Finland, yet people still look for work instead of just living on the benefits, because even though the difference between a low wage job and being on the benefits might not be more than a few hundred euros that few hundred euros more in disposable income is a significant improvement in one's standard of living.

Throwing money at the issue isn't going to fix it. We must make a path out of poverty, not make it more comfortable.

Throwing money at the poor doesn't make them less poor?

Overall, it seems to me that a great deal of people who oppose the idea of UBI do not understand the economic realities especially western post-industrialized economies are facing in the very near future. The whole concept of employment will change drastically as less and less humans are needed for companies and services to operate. This means we have to change our ideas about the role of work in everyday life, because the technological advances that are rushing us towards this age are already happening and they cannot be stopped.

Our economies have adapted to similar major shifts before: the cessation of slave labor, the industrial revolution, etc. and we'll adapt again, and the history will likely look back at the guys who thought UBI was the end of the world as akin to those who said the ending of slavery would cause major economic meltdowns.

Comment Re:Very Basic Income (Score 1) 618

Through technology, Republicans are destroying jobs.

No. Neither the republicans or democrats are responsible for general technological progress or the economic fact that once a job can be automated, it's nearly always more efficient to leave it to a machine. This has been the case ever since the industrial revolution started and is obviously accelerating, but it's not as if some political group gets together somewhere and schemes to do this; we've reached a point in which technological progress is pretty much unstoppable and will keep happening no matter what politicians say or do,

I'm a part of the European left, so I'm pretty fucking far from republicans ideologically, but even so it's incredibly cheap and shortsighted to blame anyone - even one's political adversaries - for something as basic and natural to modern day human life as innovations, and on this site of all places, where all of us should know better.

Comment Re: Very Basic Income (Score 1) 618

So you don't like the oncoming nightmare of automation?

That's not what he said at all, the automation is not a problem in and of itself and he never claimed so.

Why not "rage up and fight the machines"

Because you can't roll back technological progress and history has shown us that, the luddites never win.

If all you do is whine about and post your whininess on /. then you are not solving the problem are you?

The whiny ones talk and talk and ultimately do nothing. The silent ones say very little because they focus on solving the problems. Which one are you?

The irony of ironies here is that of you 2, he's the one that actually mentioned a solution (universal basic income) whereas all you did was misrepresent his position as well as whining without adding anything of value to the conversation.

Comment Re:Has nobody heard of El Nino ? (Score 3, Informative) 303

Know who you are citing. Skeptical Science is not trustworthy.

Be the background and education of the founder what they may, the point is the arguments made by OP are not supported by peer reviewed science. That is, the veracity of the studies and results which point to OP being wrong - are not dependent on the credentials of whoever founded the blog because he has had no part in said studies. He claimed UAH satellites show the stratosphere is not warming, and I pointed out that UAH itself has explicitly said this is not the case. here's the link to the paper itself.

So, if the articles quoted and mentioned which refute OPs claims are not accurate, I ask you and other to link to peer reviewed papers showing that to be the case, because pointing out that whoever started the blog isn't very good at math has absolutely no relevance to the veracity of the actual scientific papers mentioned.

Comment Re:Has nobody heard of El Nino ? (Score 5, Informative) 303

The computer simulations suggest that water vapor should increase temperatures by around 4 C.The computer simulations suggest that water vapor should increase temperatures by around 4 C. Yet the latest measurement of this (the 'Transient Climate Sensitivity') show the computer simulations don't match reality

This is incorrect

There are two ways of working out what climate sensitivity is. The first method is by modelling:

Climate models have predicted the least temperature rise would be on average 1.65C (2.97F) , but upper estimates vary a lot, averaging 5.2C (9.36F). Current best estimates are for a rise of around 3C (5.4F), with a likely maximum of 4.5C (8.1F).

The second method calculates climate sensitivity directly from physical evidence, by looking at climate changes in the distant past:

These calculations use data from sources like ice cores to work out how much additional heat the doubling of greenhouse gases will produce. These estimates are very consistent, finding between 2 and 4.5C global surface warming in response to doubled carbon dioxide.

All the models and evidence confirm a minimum warming close to 2C for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 with a most likely value of 3C and the potential to warm 4.5C or even more.

Granted, you didn't specify wat exactly do you mean by 'latest' here, the PALEONSENS study ('Making sense of palaeoclimate sensitivity', from Nature, link can be found in the article) is from 2012. If you have some newer peer reviewed research showing these types of results are somehow false, please link them and don't just state these things as if they're facts.

Furthermore CAGW makes the specific prediction that the Lower Tropical Troposphere temperatures will increase faster than the Earth's surface temperatures - yet not only is this not seen, the opposite is seen by all measurements, including our most reliable ones, the RSS and UAH satellites (and corroborated by thousands of weather balloon samples). Again this falsifies the CAGW Hypothesis.

This is incorrect

The MSU satellite data is collected from a number of satellites orbiting & providing daily coverage of some 80% of the Earth's surface. Each day the orbits shift and 100% coverage is achieved every 3-4 days. The microwave sensors on the satellites do not directly measure temperature, but rather radiation given off by oxygen in the Earth's atmosphere. The intensity of this radiation is directly proportional to the temperature of the air and is therefore used to estimate global temperatures.

There are also differences between the sensors that were onboard each satellite and merging this data to one continuous record is not easily done. It was nearly 13 years after the original papers that the adjustments that Christy and Spencer originally applied were found to be incorrect. Mears et al. (2003) and Mears et al. (2005).

When the correct adjustments to the data were applied the data matched much more closely the trends expected by climate models. It was also more consistent with the historical record of troposphere temperatures obtained from weather balloons. As better methods to adjust for biases in instruments and orbital changes have been developed, the differences between the surface temperature record and the troposphere have steadily decreased.

At least two other groups keep track of the tropospheric temperature using satellites and they all now show warming in the troposphere that is consistent with the surface temperature record. Furthermore data also shows now that the stratosphere is cooling as predicted by the physics.

All three groups measuring temperatures of the troposphere show a warming trend. The U.S. Climate Change Science Program produced a study (pdf) in April 2006 on this topic. Lead authors included John Christy of UAH and Ben Santer of Lawrence Livermore National Labs. The first page has this quote:

Previously reported discrepancies between the amount of warming near the surface and higher in the atmosphere have been used to challenge the reliability of climate models and the reality of human-induced global warming... This significant discrepancy no longer exists because errors in the satellite and radiosonde data have been identified and corrected. New data sets have also been developed that do not show such discrepancies."

So you chose to use an argument that's been based on incorrect data and has been corrected a decade ago. Eh.

If you are a Slashdotter who is interested in the climate system, but did not know these predictions of CAGW and how the empirical evidence falsifies the hypothesis at this time, then you need to do a lot more homework

If you're a slashdotter who is interested in the climate system, you'd have googled the arguments you just made and check whether or not they actually hold true before posting. But you did not, instead you just repeated verbatim what I assume you've read somewhere earlier without actually looking at what the scientists in the field and the data is saying, which tells me that you're not in fact interested in the facts, but rather arguing from a position of ignorance.

Comment Re:Wherefore art thou Slashdot? (Score 3, Insightful) 128

You people do realize that Elon Musk had actual rocket scientists working on the original Hyperloop paper, right? Whether or not Mr. Musk's own physics degree is worth anything or not, the degrees of his employees definitely are, or SpaceX rockets wouldn't fly. They did modeling of vacuum evacuation of the tube. They did modeling of stresses on a basic pylon, using the same software they use to model the stresses on SpaceX rockets. They did modeling of the capsule. The math and engineering have been vetted pretty seriously.

I think you slightly miss the overall point of the video. The math is one thing, and surely no-one's claiming it's impossible to build a system that works with enough effort, however the real question is whether or not such a system will be worth the advantage, which, as the video explains, will not be much more than an hour cut from the travel time when you take into consideration that the system will likely have to have close to airport-level security anyway.

The cost calculations they've been showing thus far are vastly understated, they assume no maintenance costs whatsoever, and the costs for the building of the thing are sketchy at best.

Overall the whole project of HyperLoop One as it's been thus far presented is heavy on hype and light on facts and doesn't inspire a great deal of confidence because of that. For example as mentioned in the video, they currently waive the challenges caused by thermal expansion of by saying they can have a moving tube at the endpoint, that is, that they'll just allow the whole thing to expand few hundred meters and just move the station with it, but it should be obvious that you can't have 600 miles of solid steel tubing without any expansion joints and assume that this thing won't buckle at all and cause issues... I'm no engineer but this still seems very sloppy if they want their project to be taken seriously.

Simulating these things is one thing since in simulations you can simply assume a working system (ie. a working 600 miles long vacuum-tube), the video is talking about the difficulties of actually building/maintaining such a system using current technology while keeping the costs sensible.

This is not to say some version of the hyperloop is physically impossible, just that given all the challenges present in actually building and maintaining one, it looks to me at the moment like it's not really worth it.

As this article well put is:

The biggest issues are speed and scale. The Hyperloop was pitched as faster and cheaper than alternatives like cars and trains, but even small shifts in those numbers can dramatically change how it stacks up. It's easy to imagine safety concerns limiting Hyperloop speeds to just a fraction of its theoretical top speed or right-of-way issues keeping stations far from urban centers. Would we still be excited about the Hyperloop if a 30-minute trek became a three-hour one? What if it cost $60 billion instead the promised $6 billion? After enough setbacks, it might not be worth developing the technology at all. Those deployment details are life-or-death issues for the Hyperloop, but as long as the tests are focused on small-scale loops, it's not clear we'll ever get answers to them.

SpaceX's latest round of tests doesn't seem likely to change that. The test track is only 5 miles, nowhere near the distance it would take to reach 700 miles per hour. Another test track built by Hyperloop Test Technologies will have the same problem, aiming at a 200mph top speed. For the same reason, these test tracks can’t address the unique safety issues that come with near-supersonic travel. The result is just a tube-powered version of conventional transportation tech like maglev and rail. That doesn't mean that useful work can't be done on this round of test tracks, but it means the central question of the Hyperloop — whether it will be fast and cost-effective enough to replace airplanes and conventional rail at scale — is going to remain unanswered.

In part, the problem is how well Musk has sold the Hyperloop. What exists now — what we're talking about when we say "Hyperloop" — is basically just a technical sketch. Put together a lightweight pod with air rails and an enclosed maglev tube, and that's a Hyperloop. We're still feeling out the engineering challenges involved in combining those technologies and the limitations that pop up along the way. We can make estimates about how fast it could travel and how much power it might use, but they're still just guesses, and it's hard to know how they'll survive the rocky transition from the drafting table to the real world.

It’s common for a technology to fall short of its initial hype once logistical realities set in — but the Hyperloop started with an extraordinary amount of hype. When Musk first announced the plans, he said a working hyperloop could travel from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 minutes, many times faster than any conventional mode of transport, all at a fraction of the traditional price. Those numbers were the source of the excitement, and we still don’t know how plausible they are. If the Hyperloop is running on anything but a perfectly straight track, then its speed will likely be determined by the sharpness of the curves, not the power of the accelerator. It's also unclear what it would be like to maintain a Hyperloop, which elements will break down, and how often. Safety equipment, particularly earthquake safety, would raise costs and friction even further.

Closing that gap has been particularly difficult because of the unusual development of the Hyperloop. Since the beginning, Musk has taken an impassive approach to the project, first open-sourcing the design with no plans to deploy it, now challenging other groups to build human-scale pods to his specifications. The open-source nature of the challenge is usually read as magnanimity, putting aside the profit motive to share his idea with the world, but it could just as easily be seen as caution. If the Hyperloop is a cool idea that's impossible to deploy, the caution makes perfect sense. Even now, we've seen three companies take up the idea (counting the current SpaceX challenge) and no plausible plans to realize the LA to San Francisco route Musk initially envisioned. Even after testing, the route may simply be unworkable at the speeds Musk first proposed.

Comment Re:With the USD valued far below ZERO (Score 1) 56

This is why Zimbabwe dollars don't have value too. This is why as I said above and got modded 0,Insightful so far

No, the reason you got modded to 0 is because you do not seem to understand that there are actual practical reasons for why fiat money is used: namely that the global economy is of such size, that we don't have anywhere close to enough precious metals to produce coins or representative bills for all trade to be conducted, that way. Like, just as a rough estimate: according to wiki's 2011 numbers there's about 62500 tons of gold currently held as investments and by reserves. At the same time, there's about 1,46 trillion american dollars in circulation

At the current prices of gold, even if ALL of those 62500 tons would be either melted into coins or held in storage to be used as a gold-standard, the value would not cover that of all the dollars in circulation. And that's just the US dollars, the global money reserves combined are about 42 times larger than the amount of US dollars in circulation, so that should give you a ballpark understanding of why we don't use precious metals for currency anymore: there simply aren't enough of them, they're a finite resource and they have other functional uses in industry.

When subprime mortage crisis, Lehman Brothers fail, etc hit. Banks shut their mother fucking doors on your face. You call them, nobody answers. That is called...

wait for it

Fractional Reserve Banking

Fractional reserve banking doesn't mean if the bank goes your money goes with it. Countries have deposit insurances to deal with this risk. Even if your bank crashes and burns tomorrow the money you have will not be gone with it, your fund are insured up to 100 000 dollars. Of course, stocks and investments are not covered by this because those are at your own risk, Banks fail all the time, and deposits are backed by deposit insurers all the time. In 2010 alone the US lost about 157 banks, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation paid out about 97 billion to the customers of those banks.

Moreover, Lehman Brothers & al were investment banks not consumer banks, nobody had their deposits lost because these institutions fell. Investors who made risky decisions lost some money, but that's how the market operates

Who ripped you off though? Jesuit CIA, Jewish media, and homosexuals. There you go wise guy.

Ah, there it is, I knew the illuminatus gay-jewish-conspiracy side would enter into this sooner or later, since the 'FIAT MONEY HAS NO VALUE OH MY GOD' -card is usually played by people who aren't exactly the sharpest tools in the shed (such as yourself). Wrap the tinfoil tighter, the gays are coming to steal your money and guns with the ancient Chinese invention called paper money! :D

Comment Play stupid games, win stupid prizes (Score 1) 176

The whole bonus system is counter-productive for performance by its very nature. Think about it: most bonuses are tied to short term performance and goals on a quarterly or yearly basis. So by their very design they encourage the CEO to make whatever changes possible to meet that target, no matter what it does to the company 2 years or 5 years or 10 years down the line, because chances are he/she won't be in charge at that time.

These studies have been done numerous times in different countries with similar results and people and companies should start to wake up to this: if you don't want the guy to come in, fire 30 % of the staff to cut the costs for a temporary boost in profit that then backfires in a year, then don't explicitly make these types of deals that guide them towards such solutions. Change the timescale: pay bonuses retroactively if the company is doing better after 5 years, or in decade. The guy doesn't need to commit himself to work there for that long; if he knows he'll get a sum of money in 5 years if the company is still doing great then, he will be encouraged to make his decisions on that timescale, and not just think about the next 4 months.

Comment Commuciation doesn't solve the logistics (Score 4, Interesting) 203

we don't want to use it because you don't want to be out in the boondocks if you don't have people to work and play with. That's already changing now that we have some level of virtual communication..."

People don't just live in the cities because they want to be around other people for work and play, cities are also handy in that all sorts of crucial services are nearby. There's a reason cities developed as trade hubs to begin with: people are lazy and would rather walk a couple hundred meters and take a subway to go fetch their laptop from the shop rather than driving long distances for it. Likewise, being close to emergency services is something that only cities can offer. Here in Finland the average response time of an ambulance in cities is about 8-10 minutes in emergencies, whereas up north in Lapland it can easily be an hour even with a helicopter. Libraries, schools, hospitals, post offices, drug stores, etc, all of these and much more are something you can find in nearly every part of any larger city but you might have to travel a couple hundred miles to out in the countryside.

I'm not saying Ray's wrong overall: it's true that living out of cities has become more viable with technology, but it's a bit shortsighted to assume that the only reason people are concentrated into cities are social reasons and entirely ignore the benefits provided by the kind of service infrastructure that cities offer and sparsely populated areas do not.

Comment Re:It would be affordable if taxes were paid (Score 1) 1145

I understand perfectly well how investment works, I was merely referring to the fact that the guy in question does not have to personally do much work at all for his wealth to increase.

My argument was not that investments are useless for the economy, just that accumulated wealth generated by investing and passed down is taxed in a way that makes little sense if you want to try and keep the gap between the rich and the poor sensible.

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