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Spotify lets you add 15-second song clips to Facebook Stories

To add a song to your Facebook Story, you'll tap "share" when listening to the track on Spotify, select Facebook, customize your Story and post. At the moment, only single tracks will include a preview. Albums or playlists that you share will not come with a 15-second clip.

Spotify added a similar feature to Instagram last year. At the time, it said this integration with Facebook Stories was coming soon. Tech Crunch pointed out that Spotify had a similar "Share to Facebook Stories" feature earlier this year, but it was short lived. Our guess is that this one is here to stay.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/08/30/spotify-facebook-stories-song-preview/

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North Focals add tighter Android notification integration

To enable native Android notification shortcuts, launch the Focals app on your Android smartphone and navigate to the "Experiments" section. Once there, you'll see a toggle that enables the feature at the top of the page. At the moment, native notification shortcuts are only available to Focals owners who pair their wearable with an Android smartphone.

Focals feature a tiny projector that produces a holographic image only the wearer can see. It's this feature that is at the center of what the wearable promises to potential users. North positions Focals as a way to keep people engaged with the world around them by lessening their dependence on a smartphone. Allowing Android users to act on app notifications is another way to build on that promise.

Earlier this year, North reduced the price of Focals by $400, making the smart glasses $599 to start, instead of $999. So if you've been on the fence about their utility, and this new update has you interested, now seems as good time as any to check them out.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/08/30/north-focals-native-android-notification-actions/

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‘Destiny 2’ will include season passes as part of its free-to-play move

The developers stress that they want a large chunk of the nice gear to be earned by people who are playing, not coughing up cash -- you'll still get sweet items as you advance through the ranks on the free track, and people on the paid track will get loot first if they're playing often. There are, however, plans to introduce a "catch-up mechanic" that lets you buy ranks late into a season. You won't be completely stuck if a busy life prevents you from ranking up the usual way.

You can also expect a constantly shifting experience. Activities will go away, and the game universe may change permanently. Every player will have access to a free seasonal Artifact they can level up to unlock gear mods, but those mods will go away once the season is over. Thankfully, Legendary and Exotic gear needed to remain competitive will be "re-earnable" within a few months if you missed it during a given season.

On top of all this, Bungie has outlined just what free Destiny 2 players can expect on top of all year one content. They'll receive the opening mission for Shadowkeep, the option to patrol the Moon, two new Strike, two Crucible maps from the original Destiny and Crucible changes that include the Elimination mode in Crucible Labs. You'll have free earnable rewards that include the Exotic weapon Eriana's Vow, and access to core Shadowkeep-era features like "Armor 2.0" customization and finishers.

Bungie stressed that many of the familiar elements from previous years of Destiny 2 will remain, such as holiday events, secret missions and dungeons. The season revamp is an "evolution and an experiment" that aims to keep everyone aligned and advance the story. In other words, it's using the split with Activision as an opportunity to harmonize gameplay and reel in players who might have been disaffected by previous approaches. Not that Bungie had much choice but to shake things up. While the game has many loyal players, it didn't grow as much as hoped -- this might stand a better chance of attracting new players.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/08/30/destiny-2-year-3-season-passes/

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Ridesharing giant Didi Chuxing will offer robotaxi service in Shanghai

There's no timeline for when to expect robotaxi service, although it may just be a matter of technical readiness when the city government granted testing permits on August 28th.

Didi was under pressure to roll this out. Baidu had already committed to debuting its own service in the city of Changsha, and Pony.ai is planning service of its own in a district of Guangzhou. While Didi isn't about to lose its ridesharing dominance in China in the near future, there's a long-term risk of falling behind if it's slow to embrace self-driving tech. This could ensure that it's truly ready for the day when robotaxis are ubiquitous on Chinese streets.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/08/30/didi-chuxing-robotaxis-shanghai/

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That Apple Card may not be as private as you think

Anyway. With a flourish, my friend presented his Apple Card. It seemed to glow faintly, but I knew that was just my poor eyesight. Or maybe just how poor people see it. I watched how my friend handled the white titanium, laser-etched card. Kind of avoiding skin contact.

I wanted to hold it badly, but only because I'd read it was as scratchable as your favorite album and as porous as Silly Putty. Would my approaching touch of zero net worth trigger an alarm? Burning with curiosity, I kept my arms at my sides.

While teasing Apple for making another product too pretty for the real world is deserved, it says a lot that one of the friends I respect the most in cybersecurity was first in line to apply for the card. And Apple's recent statements and actions about consumer privacy are pretty exciting. However, it's important to point out that the barrier to Apple's level of privacy and security for shopping requires a pricey new iPhone -- a cost that's out of reach for many people, myself included.

At the same time, I started to hear warnings from adult-industry professionals that Apple Card's privacy assurances were not to be trusted. It's a good question: With Apple's aggressively conservative stance on sex in the past, will it behave like banking's war on sex and close out entire classes of "edgy" businesses, like the adult industry, marijuana-related companies and cryptocurrency?

When reached for comment, an Apple spokesperson was not willing to speak on the record.

Concerns from people in sex-related businesses about Apple's morally policed, gated community make sense. Anyone who's been paying attention knows that while the company leads in LGBTQ positivity, it has a reputation of being so extremely sex-negative that it rivals Facebook's conservative prudery. Which, to be clear, disproportionately affects women and LGBTQ people, who are the primary populations in sex ed, sex work, sex culture and art, and sex tech. Apple says no apps for you, keep your podcasts censored. Celebrity status is the exception, of course, always.

Apple Card isn't a user-generated marketplace, but with the swift and sudden action Apple took to wipe out the livelihoods of 5,000 app makers in 2010 (based on Apple's hatred of sex), we'd be wise to remember that the company has a history of taking action on a capricious whim. And when adult-industry publications warn businesses and professionals in that sector to "beware," it behooves us to find out why.

The "why" lies in the fact that while Apple Card states it cannot see your purchases, which we believe, that doesn't hold true when it comes to everyone else involved in your transactions. Namely, the chain involving Mastercard and Goldman Sachs. Like the banks and payment processors routinely discriminating against anyone involved in sex, they are beholden to the same masters: the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), which interprets laws and polices the banks.

"At Apple, we firmly believe in your right to privacy," the Apple Card's security and privacy page states. "That's why we created a unique architecture for Apple Card that generates things like your transaction history and spending summaries right in the Wallet app on your iPhone." We can trust that this is encrypted and tight: Again, Apple's security team has a badass reputation for a reason.

Still, how it'll stand up to police forcing suspects to unlock phones with Face ID or future Cellebrite attacks will be interesting to see. If you jailbreak it, that's all on you, pal.

It's important to note here just how much sex workers (and writers and educators and artists) are the canary in the coal mine for your security and privacy. To be clear: If sex workers start getting their Apple Pay and Apple Card accounts categorically denied, frozen or taken away, we'll find out whether or not anyone is spying on your transactions and making actionable decisions.

Like security, privacy promises are only as good as the links in the chain.

With Apple Pay, the company states it doesn't keep transaction information "that can be tied back to you." Apple Card tells us, "Of course, Goldman Sachs will use your data to operate Apple Card. But they will never share or sell your data to third parties for marketing or advertising." The Apple Card-Goldman Sachs operating agreement is here if you want to check it out.

The good news is that Goldman isn't giving your data to miners or sharing it with siblings. Yet while Apple says it's not looking at your transactions, Goldman surely is and will terminate you for transactions considered "illegal goods or services" or on illegal gambling sites.

For an article this week in The Washington Post, "The spy in your wallet: Credit cards have a privacy problem," Geoffrey A. Fowler bought "two bananas, one purchased with the popular Chase Amazon Prime Rewards Visa and the other with Apple's Mastercard." He then tried everything he could to follow the data to see what happened with privacy around these transactions.

It wasn't good news. He said six different types of companies "sold me out" over a couple of bananas, including the card network. Fowler explains that while Apple got Goldman Sachs to agree not to share your data with marketers (which is great), "the Apple Card, which runs on the Mastercard network, doesn't introduce much new technology to protect you from a lot of other hands grabbing at the till."

So that's one thing to keep in mind.

But our worries are not only about who knows what we buy but also what their reaction to it will be. We fear that people might be punished for buying the wrong thing or being in the wrong line of work, all while trying to do a perfectly normal thing: have a credit card. All it could take is one righteously conservative bank to trigger Apple's reflexive prudishness.

Back in 2012, PayPal went on a purge of writers and editors of erotica in a ban on "obscene" content: Companies included BookStrand, All Romance Ebooks, Excessica and Smashwords. PayPal blamed Visa and Mastercard for the payment processor's discriminatory censorship. Mastercard responded saying that no, this was all on PayPal. "To be clear, Mastercard had no involvement in the decision made by PayPal to refuse to process payments for certain books," the company said. "In this particular scenario, Mastercard would not take action regarding the use of its cards and systems for the sale of lawful materials that seek to explore erotica content of this nature." Interestingly, Visa's response was similar.

After that, PayPal got an attitude adjustment when the FDIC clarified its rules around "high risk" to edge out sex, and a federal judge strengthened First Amendment protections for websites by ruling speech can be irreparably harmed by withdrawal of payment processing.

But that was before FOSTA, and the war on sex online gave sites and businesses a license to discriminate about anything sexual, anytime, with only reputational consequences. Banks and payment services like PayPal have resumed weblining and sexual discrimination, and so we'd be remiss not to be very, very concerned about who can see our transactions.

Apple Card may keep its mitts off of our transaction history within its very white and easily stained gates, but it can only promise what it can control. Banks have renewed an insidious war against sex online.

A few days after my first sighting of an Apple Card in the wild, I ran into a friend at my local corner store. We made small talk, then he settled into a quiet, closed-mouth smile.

"What?!" I said. I knew he wanted to tell me something. "What did you do?"

He grinned, blushed. I expected an engagement announcement. "I got an Apple Card," he told me.

"Let me see it!" Did the card really glow with privilege? I wanted a closer look.

My friend shook his head. "I keep it at home," he said. Over my merciless laughter he said, "You know why!"

Images: Koren Shadmi (Apple Card Illustration); Chris Velazco/Engadget (Apple Card announcement); Getty Creative (PayPal headquarters)

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/08/30/apple-card-privacy-adult-sex/

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Now Tesla owners can attach a picture to their repair request

While many Tesla owners love their electric vehicles, one complaint we've heard about has been about waiting for repairs. Last year Elon Musk announced Tesla would bring most collision repairs in-house to help reduce wait times to same-day or even one-hour, and now its mobile app is part of the push to get things fixed faster.

As the company explained in a tweet, now customers using the mobile app to schedule a service appointment can attach pictures of any damage along with the request. Getting a good look at what happened should make sure technicians are ready to fix it and have the right parts, whether at one of its service centers or if they're coming to the car. The feature just launched today -- here's hoping any of you with Teslas don't have a reason to use it any time soon.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/08/30/tesla-service-app-attachment/

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8K Association lays out ‘key performance attributes’ for 8K TVs

They're pushing this spec as a set of display performance for HDR, color performance and more that establishes what customers can expect when they see a TV with its logo, and are working on a compliance test.

  • Resolution: 7680 x 4320 pixels
  • Input Frame Rate: 24p, 30p and 60p frames per second
  • Display Luminance: More than 600 nits peak Luminance
  • Codec: HEVC
  • Interface: HDMI 2.1

Those are the publicly listed requirements, while details available to members include "8K Input Parameters (bit depth, frame rate, chroma sub-sampling), Display Performance (resolution, peak brightness, black level, color gamut, white point), and the Interface Media formats (High Dynamic Range, codec)." We'll need to see more of these TVs in action, but if you need a reason to upgrade that goes further than mere pixel and resolution count, then these specs may be key in pushing the new displays, just like HDR was for 4K sets when they began to appear.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/08/31/8k-association-performance-specs/

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Reuters: New Telegram feature will protect HK protesters’ identities

Telegram founder Pavel Durov even revealed shortly after the protests began a few months ago that its network was targeted by a DDoS attack. Most of the attackers' IP addresses came from China. Since anybody can join group chats, protesters believe that authorities have been infiltrating their conversations and uploading large quantities of phone numbers to figure out who's who. Once the app matches a number with a username in the group, authorities can request information on their real identity from their mobile provider.

Reuters' source said Telegram found evidence that authorities had used that method, but it's not clear if it allowed them to successfully identify and locate protesters -- and if it led to any of the 900 related arrests made thus far. Either way, Telegram's update will allow users to protect themselves by disabling matching by phone number. The feature will make it harder to find each other on the app, but it'll most likely be worth it for those who want to keep on taking to the streets despite the ban on demonstrations.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/08/31/reuters-telegram-hong-kong-phone-number-matching/

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Samsung Galaxy Note 10 review: The right size at the wrong price

But Samsung had to make some tradeoffs to shave those millimeters. For example, the Note 10 has a full HD display, which would maybe be excusable if this were a $500 phone or if it were 2016. But the Note 10 costs $950. And in 2019, pretty much all high-end phones have gone quad HD. Samsung also ditched the microSD slot here -- something that has been a staple of the Note series since day one, and that power users will surely miss.

Yet the new, smaller phone isn't meant for the average Note fan. With it, Samsung is trying to sell the S Pen to a larger audience -- whether it's people who find Notes too big or those who obsess a little less over spec sheets.

Most of the Note 10's new features are the same as those in the Plus, and Chris Velazco has already gone over those in excruciating detail, so I'm not going to retread all of them. Instead, I'm going to focus on what makes the Note 10 different, and whether you should pick the smaller handset.

The importance of the S Pen

First, though, allow me to gush over the S Pen for a moment, since it is after all one of the biggest selling points of the Note series and is also why getting a smaller Note is a big deal. Back in the day, the stylus was really only useful for those who wanted to draw or write notes on their phones. Now, though, the S Pen is more than just a writing implement.

After adding Bluetooth support to the S Pen last year and turning it into a remote control, Samsung expanded the number of gestures you could use by giving the stylus a gyroscope and accelerometer. Instead of simply clicking once or twice to trigger actions, you can now swing the pen around to do things like switch cameras or zoom in on a scene from afar.

I really enjoyed having the S Pen as a wand-like controller for my camera, especially when my friend challenged me to a yoga pose-off where we needed to send each other pictures and videos of us beating the other at challenging poses. I was always too embarrassed to ask my friend to take a photo for me at the studio, plus I wanted to respect the privacy of my fellow yogis. I tried using my Pixel 3's timer to capture my achievements, but even with the maximum 10-second window, I couldn't get a picture of exactly when I had the right limbs up. The Note 10 came to the rescue -- I got into position in my own time and clicked the button when I was ready, and I won the challenge. Yay.

It's nice to have the S Pen in a device that fits in the snug pocket of my yoga pants, but that was a really specific instance where the Note 10 did something I couldn't do with another phone. What you might use it for more frequently is to take digital handwritten notes. You can write on the Note 10's face even when it's asleep thanks to Screen Off Memo, which was a great feature when Samsung first launched it in the Note 5 in 2015. But with the Note 10, the company made it easier to sort through and make sense of your scribbles by improving its handwriting recognition system. All your notes are now automatically converted in the background and the words are indexed so you can search for a specific thing you scrawled and find it even if you hadn't manually hit convert.

I wrote a list of things I had to do ahead of IFA 2019 on a Screen Off Memo and hit save. Later, I went into the Notes app and found the exact list by searching for "IFA." This, more than the wand-like controls, felt like magic.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/08/31/samsung-galaxy-note-10-review-s-pen/

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Hitting the Books: Robots came for our jobs, then they came for our coffee

Talking to Robots: Tales From Our Human-Robot Futures
by David Ewing Duncan

Book cover

We have no chance of escaping the coming robot revolution, nor should we want to. Our modern lives are already full of robots -- they're in our phones, our cars, hospitals and boardrooms, assisting everyone from factory workers to astrophysicists. They make our lives overwhelmingly better -- that is, until one gets between a hungover human and their morning jolt of java.

In Talking to Robots, journalist and author David Ewing Duncan -- with help from some of today's leading scientific researchers -- presents 24 visions of the future and what our personal and professional interactions might look like once robots finish taking over.

Coffee Delivery Bot




Need coffee.

It's so early in the morning.

Need my hit of caffeine.


Wait, here it comes!

My holo-app has detected my incoming coffee delivery robot drone, designated as CoffeeBot-FRED.

It's only 4.7634 minutes away.


I track it on my 3-D GPS holo-app as the drone bobs and weaves. It's looping around, using elaborate sensors to avoid literally billions of other drones buzzing through the sky even this early in the morning—huge driverless bus and car drones taking people to work, and Amazon delivery drones that range from the size of an old-style semi to the size of a hummingbird. All these drones zip, zap, and fly amid police surveillance drones, anti- surveillance drones, 1-800-FLOWERS drones, baby diaper delivery and pickup drones, birthday surprise drones, carbon monitoring drones, emergency condom delivery drones, and every other sort of robot drone for everything that humans do.

Once, before the Drone Age, people supposedly could see the sky uncluttered by buzzing, hovering flying machines. Back then, at this early hour just after dawn, they say you could actually see the sunrise—clouds dappled in orange, yellow, red, and pink glowing with the dawn. They could see sunsets, too.

I'm not kidding! You've seen the vids, and some of us have traveled to drone- free zones to see for ourselves.

None of this matters, however, as I lie under my covers, waiting, waiting, waiting!

Jesus. It's still 4.7634 minutes away.

Are you fucking kidding me?!

Uh-oh, that did it. My agitation has generated concern with my iHealth X-700, which is monitoring all my health metrics (see "Doc Bot"). I get a small flag that pops up on the holo-dashboard floating above my head, informing me that my cortisol levels are elevated, and the flush in my face is increasing, though it's undetectable by human eyes. Out of habit, I glance at the stress metrics on the holo- display, even though I don't really care right now. Actually, they're not that bad, just slightly out of range.

Shall I inform your iDoc bot? The words from my biometric monitor bot float in the air, appearing as a readout in soothing light blue and green letters and images.

I shake my head. It's nothing a little joe won't take care of.

Then I wonder: Am I addicted?

And just like that, an ad pops up for a caffeine addiction detection app. Amazon Bot Neural-Prime is offering it at 30 percent off if I buy it using Opti-Order Prime XT Deluxe, which allows me to select products and purchase them literally with a blink of my robo-enhanced eye.

I ignore the ad, not really caring if I'm hooked on joe.

"Come on," I say out loud as I watch CoffeeBot-FRED hover in a holding pattern, waiting for a space big enough to fly through without smashing into other drones.

3.7633 minutes.

3.7632 minutes.

3.7631 minutes.

Great. A whole 0.0003 minutes closer—which of course isn't accurate, since the drone has been obviously hovering and barely moving for something, like, five minutes. Why, for fuck's sake, did these coffee delivery apps say a drone is just 3.7631 minutes away when it could be ten minutes until it actually gets here?

I verbally order my iHealth X-700 to stand down—and repeat the command for all my machines to go into sleep mode—machines that monitor not only my health metrics but also the air moisture and chemical content in my sky-condo, the weather outside, and much, much more. My holo-feed shows the ongoing data on these small dashboards that float in the air, ghostlike apparitions of displays and data glowing in pleasant colors that I can see through. My feed also displays a queue of waiting messages for me to read once I get my joe (most of them are stupid holo-ads), plus various news feeds that normally I like to read and watch. Right now, though, they're driving me crazy with their gentle beeps and chirps.

"What part of 'sleep mode' didn't you understand?" I say, realizing that my sarcasm is lost on most of these nonsentient machines.

But my bots should know that I can't handle all this without my first coffee!

2.9335 minutes. A little better, even if the app shows CoffeeBot-FRED hovering again.

Wow, I just had a crazy thought. I hear that some people are buying old-fashioned coffeemakers that people used ages ago. Apparently, you actually grind the coffee beans yourself and put them into a papery thing. (What's it called? A filter?) You then heat up some water and the machine makes the coffee for you.

No drones!

This is how people got their fix before coffee delivery drones, an idea, by the way, that originally came from an ancient computer company called IBM. In the early twenty- first century, they patented the first coffee delivery drone designed to deliver this luscious liquid directly into your cup or by lowering a cup of coffee using an unspooling string—both options still available today. The original idea was to have coffee delivery drones available just in offices, where workers could summon them with a wave of their hand.

The patents also detailed biometric systems on the drones that would measure facial expressions and other metrics that indicated whether a person ordering the coffee was tired and perhaps needed a strong blend, or if a person had reached their limit of caffeine and might become jittery and agitated if they drank more.

1.0001 minutes.

It's almost here!

0.0022 minutes.

It's here! It's here!

I raise myself up on my elbow, still in bed, as I hear the drone portal in my roof open and shut and the low, steady, reassuring buzz of the tiny flying machine approaching.

"I thought you'd never come," I say, careful to smile and sound friendly so the drone's rating software will give me five stars. The drone's holo-readout flashes back a smiley face.

The grinning drone hovers for a minute, its precious cargo dangling below it in warming pouches. It's scanning my biometrics to gauge my disposition. I smile as best I can, barely able to contain myself I want that hit of caffeine so badly.

"We're sorry, madam," says the drone's soothing voice, its holo-readout flashing an expression of concern, "but we detect a higher than nominal level of anxiety in your biometrics, which indicates that you should forgo full-strength coffee this morning."

I'm irate as my own biometric readings floating in the air agree with the drone's assessment. Traitors!

Of course, these are all mere suggestions. As a human, I have the final decision over what happens here. But a failure to comply with the machine's recommendations could mean a less-than-five-star rating.
"How about a nice cup of decaf?" suggests the drone in a pleasant voice, smiling again, "or an herbal tea? Perhaps mint or chamomile?"

"Fuck that!" I erupt, and instantly regret it.

The drone shifts to a frowny face.

"Please, madam, there is no need to get further excited."

"Yes, yes, you're right," I manage to say with a smile so fake that it almost certainly won't fool the biometrics.

"I really would like a strong brew," I say, knowing that this will impact my rating, but what the hell.

"If you insist," says the drone with an even more frowny face, even as my iHealth X-700 begins blinking a stronger suggestion to inform my iDoc bot about my anxious state.

CoffeeBot-FRED hovers there for a moment as it begins to brew my order. Then it flashes an expression of sorrow with virtual tears flowing on its facial readout as it informs me that it's actually out of strong-brew coffee. It apologizes for the inconvenience and for an apparent glitch in its sensor array that didn't notice its strong-brew tank was on empty.

"I have just ordered another coffee delivery drone for you," says CoffeeBot-FRED soothingly. "Please consult your app."

And just like that, CoffeeBot-FRED zips away.

My hands are shaking as I check my holo-app and see that another CoffeeBot is indeed coming, CoffeeBot-FATIMA. The icon appears on my 3-D GPS holo-tracking grid along with another smiley face that says, "Your order is on its way!"

"Thank God," I manage to mutter as I get an incoming holo-text from a very concerned looking iDoc bot that looks like Ellen Pompeo playing Meredith Grey from Grey's Anatomy, which I refuse to accept. Ads for various meditation neural-apps and antianxiety nutraceuticals also pop up in my holo-feed, which I immediately blink away.

Then I see the time to delivery: 17.6533 minutes! CoffeeBot-FATIMA appears to be hovering amid the billions of drones, apparently not moving at all.

Excerpted from the book Talking to Robots: Tales From Our Human-Robot Futures by David Ewing Duncan. Copyright © 2019 by David Ewing Duncan. Published by arrangement with Dutton, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/08/31/hitting-the-books-talking-to-robots-david-ewing-duncan/

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