Tag Archives: Harrods

The forgetful disabler

This happens to us all. I believe it happened to me this evening. This is not easy to explain. At times our mind fills the void. 

For example, the simple guy (me) wants to dream of that super sexy doctor (for whatever reason) and there is Doctor Remy ’13’ Hadley that comes to MY personal assistance in feeling relaxed (Dr. House was busy) and my inner (really happy) angel smiles, it was my day to make that part of me that feels like a million bucks to feel like a vagrant. Sometimes life smiles. But the brain can do the opposite too You think you are in your apartment, relaxing on the sofa, but the sofa feels different, almost inhumane and the brain gives you a 60 minute ride that contains 4 seasons of American Horror Story and then some, and the brain kicks in and removes that part instantly the moment you wake up. I think I just had one of those, so the person is trying to remember Olivia Wilde and the brain goes ‘No, no’ you are so much better off not knowing what just happened to you. And the brain relaxes because in the corner of my mind is the phrase ‘the guardians of the realm of Hades’ and I have no idea what it really means, but for some reason it feels really good not knowing. Yet I believe that the brain is trying to teach us in the light and the dark sides, the problem is that not all lessons are sweet ones, the dark bitter ones are also not to be denied. In sports it would be like being the goalie for an NHL team and whilst the mind is trying all options of a defence, all options of blocking the puck, the brain gives you a rundown of 20 years of hard moments and that is fine, but if it leads to that one sweet moment of blocking the winning goal of the opponents, should we ignore or avoid it? Should the brain listen to Elmo Zumwalt stating that the newly designed weapon will hurt that vessel carrying his name, all whilst it will (and was designed to) stop the Iranian vessels. To listen to the captains of your better judgement sounds nice, but that voice does not tolerate the bad instances, yet those too have a lesson to teach, we all know it and ignoring the voices from the dark corner could be equally dangerous. We can listen to the environmentalist on how bad our planet has become through plastics yet plastics protect our heads in the form of helmets. They keep us safer in our cars in the form of seatbelts and the application grows in all directions. It is the application of plastics for quick consumerism, the application of cutting the corner of waste that makes it evil. To ignore one good corner because there are three bad ones is not a bad thing, but it is the rejection of our consumerism that makes it a problem. As such I feel happy that the brain denies me something, but it also makes me wonder what my own limitations are, the lesson the dark corner was ready to give me. It is its own version of safety through disaster, yet I also know (anyone from the merchant navy does) that there we see the basis of why fire and emergency services exist. Our current world environment subjects us to an abundance of hazards, risks, and dangers, both seen and unseen. And it is in that dark moment we see a new way of avoiding harm, enabling thousands to avoid harm. You see in 1860 (or around that time) that gave British Captain George William Manby an idea that he developed into the modern fire extinguisher. I truly believe he did not get to that point be thinking about his version of Olivia Wilde, his idea came from a much darker corner than anything I can design and now that dream from darkness saves tens of thousands of lives every year. So should we avoid looking there? Perhaps Hades has its own Guardians, perhaps we were never supposed to see what was there. Yet I believe that not all that is dark is truly there to hurt us. It is like a thimble-full of Bitrex into an Olympic swimming pool and you can detect the bitterness in those two and a half million litres of water. Should we therefor stay away of Bitrex? It is not dangerous or poisonous, it is merely the the most bitter of substances. You think it is a weird, but there is a reflection. A Jewish Dutch writer wrote in 1957 ‘the Bitter herb’ a book still read in preparations for exams 20 years later. A reflection of the distance and sometimes even hostility displayed by many people in the Netherlands towards returnees from the concentration camps. A lot of us seemingly forgetting the darkness of that lesson, because if that lesson was really learned we would not see Americans in Nazi outfits (something that happened this week). I believe there is danger to shy away from our darkest lessons and the brain is protecting us, but it is doing us no good at present. That is the part I fear happened to me and I know not why the brain did this. Yet we also know that the brain protects us from needless harm, yet is all harm needless? I do not really know the answer to that question, but the storyteller in me wants to know, because it allowed me to come up with the premise to several games, several concept scripts and it also drives IP innovation, if you disbelieve that ask the people who once met Captain George William Manby and the invention he left us. There are dozens of good examples and yes not all ways to Rome are comfortable ones, but is that because the journey was a bad one, or was it because some decided that it was a great way to cut corners? 

The disabler called forgetfulness is not always a shiny white steed. At times it is a simple bright coloured donkey and that cretin is a bloody stubborn one. Ask any Asinara, the mere question some have is ‘Are you an incomplete albino?’ Whilst the fact in the back is that they are the only white donkey’s and yes, that happens only in Italy. It reflects on the jackass in us, and every jackass is a MALE donkey. They said Moses was lost in the desert for 40 years, perhaps because he was too stubborn to ask his wife for directions? It is merely a thought, but that is how all things start, with a mere thought. It allowed me to create IP, stories and concepts. So where should you be looking for the next invention? In the sunshine, or in a dark corner? And if you wonder who the guardians of Hades are? Ask a girl named Felicity Heaton, I reckon that several streamers ignore looking in one direction because their male ego’s are offended, but yet there is a female director named Olivia Wilde, now if there was someone around with a large sack of coins, they might do wisely to take a gander in another direction, that is how wealth is created, not by saving £180 on a bottle of shampoo at Harrods. That does not make you rich, it merely stops you from squandering something you already had. But that is a lesson for another day.

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Opensource GEOINT

Yes, it sounds weird, but it dawned on me that if we create a new search term GEOINT could benefit in all kinds of ways. Consider the following and also consider the following statement “I have never been to Toronto” Now consider the thoughts I had when I was watching a video (apparently I watched more than one on Toronto walks. “If she turns left into Cumberland now, I will see Tokyo Smoke on the right and across from there Sassafras. As she passed these places I thought fashion store Kiton should be on the left across the street on the corner” This is what the human brain takes up. Yet in digital settings, with added metatags we should see a lot more. More than location, date, time and weather conditions. Then I suddenly realised that my 5G could offer more to any recording digital recording device out there. It was already on station to deliver for the new wearables, but it could go further. More than mere digital marketing. It could offer a larger scene of watchdog, the digital digital video maker, could according to their personal settings auto reject that, consider it on the fly or auto include certain tag names and tag settings. The auto part is for those making live streams, the consideration is fr those editing and smoothing audio at the end and it becomes an experience that offers more. Consider a video walk in London, giving whilst walking some highlights of Christmas shops and their golden offer. On Regent Street, Fortnum and Mason, Harrods, and so on. The options are close to never-ending and it is the station I vied for in my designs to give the power BACK to the shopkeepers. I reckon that it is not something for the GoPro 1, but it is possible that the GoPro 12 could offer something like that. It is more than ‘plus’ vision. It is the starting stage of hybrid vision and with Meta completing its first version hybrid will go a long way in any place that offers it. And there is more at that point there is the setting that real estate could set a marker on any video that crosses their location, giving a much larger consumer market penetration. The hardware is already there, the options are already there. There is now the consideration to implement it. Google clearly has the advantage via YouTube, or would that become YouBeTube? We all see the real estate pictures, but it is too made, too artificial. Yet showing videos AROUND the place, showing some WHERE you end up could also become a sales-point that gets the consumer over the line and even as Real Estate is the most clear point, it is not the only one. As I see it it pulls GEOINT into the business intelligence field a lot deeper than the mere pie charts and thematic maps. Thinking of this, I am actually surprised that Google and Facebook were not all over this when the foundation options were there about 2-3 years ago when the possibilities opened up. And it hits nearly EVERY big city in the world. A setting where the amateur video makers see a larger stage of income earning and becoming part of the revenue streams. 

There are of course more options, but let’s not go into those streams just now. For now, let’s remain naive and enjoy what could be possible.

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Hindered by bias

I am in a few cases hindered by bias. I will admit this, there is no denying it. To throw diplomacy on the side, it is my personal opinion that the average crack dealer on a schoolyard tends to have more credibility than the average journalist. The media world has become that bad. Not all mind you, but the larger group has lost credibility.

To show you an example, I will take you now to Reuters, one source that is actually good (for the most), but the story they give you (at https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/amazon-privacy-lobbying/) gives a few items that I have a problem with and it might merely be me. I will let you decide.

The article ‘Amazon wages secret war on Americans’ privacy, documents show’ shows a few sides I have a problem with and even as Reuters tends to be a good source, the article shows parts that do not fill me with confidence, you might feel different.

It starts with “This story is based on a Reuters review of hundreds of internal Amazon documents and interviews with more than 70 lobbyists, advocates, policymakers and their staffers involved in legislation Amazon targeted, along with 10 former Amazon public-policy and legal employees” In the first, how did Reuters get a hold of these documents? The word ‘documents’ is shows 14 times, not one of them gives a stage HOW the documents were acquired, and how these documents, these internal documents add up. We see one mention of that word with “The premise of this story is flawed and includes reporting that relies on early, incomplete drafts of documents to draw incorrect conclusions” in the second, we see the mention of 70 lobbyists. Which lobbyists? We see the names Anthony William, Meade Spotts, yet there is mention of 70 interviews, if only 2 were set in some light that comes over as optionally as debatable, it becomes a simple equation of statistics. And to be more precise, there is no mention that these lobbyists did anything illegal. It implies an optional debatable situation with 2.8% of the interviewed lobbyists, that is when you consider that the article gives us that in 2020 Amazon had registered at least 180 lobbyists in 44 U.S. states, the percentage is a joke. We are most likely to get more criminal behaviour from Catholic priests. 

Then we go to “Consumer advocates considered the resulting law essentially worthless, said Shankar Narayan, a lawyer at the time for the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington state. “It’s riddled with so many holes; it’s like a Swiss cheese,” Narayan said. “It falls in the category of bills that try to make you feel better about biometrics without providing meaningful protection.”” Here there is one direct issue. Lobbyists do not draft laws, Amazon does not draft laws. Lawmakers do that, and which lawmakers were investigated in that bill? Then there is the small setting of “Amazon dominates U.S. smart speaker sales. An estimated 69% of smart-speaker users, about 64 million people, use devices from Amazon, according to research firm Insider Intelligence” Here we have a few issues, one is debatable, but I am a stickler for the small stuff. So what exactly is a smart-speaker? There are 4 mentions, yet none give us a definition. And where does the 69% come from, how was 64 million people assessed? Consider that there is Google, Amazon, Sonitrek, Harmon Kardon. You see, one source gives us “Global Smart Speaker market shipments hit 154 million in 2020” that number does not come with any drill down in brands and 64M from 154M is not 69%, more importantly the 154M number was 2020 only, so when we go back to 2018-2021, how many were sold? That gives a light towards the shoddy practice in the article as I personally see it. If it was all on the up and up (not relying on creating emotions) the 64 million would be specified in a few ways. 

And then we get to “only after lobbyists for Amazon and other firms had chiseled away at its privacy protections by convincing lawmakers to insert alternative language, often verbatim, according to emails between lawmakers and Amazon lobbyists obtained by Reuters through public-records requests”. Other firms? What other firms? And if lawmakers were convinced to change the language, what was done by Amazon lobbyists and what was done by ‘other’ firms? Google perhaps? Google has a decent share of this market, so why is that part not chiseled out with some precision? And when we see “often verbatim, according to emails between lawmakers and Amazon lobbyists obtained by Reuters through public-records requests”, why does the article not give us examples? No names of lobbyists and lawmakers? There is (as I personally see it) an issue here. At this point I get to “Amazon representatives never took a public position on the bill, relying instead on trade groups the company funded to oppose it at hearings, according to Amazon documents and public records of the debate”, so as it stands, who were these trade groups? And what evidence is there that these trade groups were funded by Amazon? The lines become blurry in several ways and I am willing to bet that Amazon never broke any laws, they never did anything illegal, but Reuters gives us “Amazon wages secret war on Americans’ privacy”, they never give us “Amazon uses legal methods to undermine privacy” (with specific evidence presented), ass such I wonder where this article will ever be taken and who will they take into the limelight? 

Finally we need to consider “The reporter’s data request revealed that Amazon had collected more than 90,000 Alexa recordings since 2017 – averaging about 70 a day”, so over a period of 4 years, there are 90,000 recordings. All whilst in 2020 alone 154 million smart speakers were sold? And the earlier quote “An estimated 69% of smart-speaker users, about 64 million people, use devices from Amazon”, 90,000 recordings over 64,000,000 people is a mere tenth of 1%, did anyone do that math, so what is this article? A mere slap Amazon around article? Perhaps I can help Reuters out here. You see, I discovered how Jeff Bezos got to be so very rich. I saw that Harrods sells shampoo at $240 per bottle, Jeff Bezos does not need to spend that on shampoo. Actually I have lived in apartments with a lower monthly rent, so that is how he allegedly got to be this rich. So there! 

Am I biased? I personally feel that I am, but this article shows too many shady sides, too many shoddy approaches to slap the rich, this is all the premise towards another joust for ‘taxing the rich’. I have nothing against that as long as it is done fairly and that requires an overhaul of tax laws. And in regards to ‘the secret war’? If it gets to be in Reuters, it cannot have been that secret, can it? And in all this Google has similar goals, so where is Google in all this? You see lobbyists tend to have an open hand to the masters that pay them, are any of these lobbyists paid by Google? Was that checked, or investigated? 

All questions that beckons an investigation on what the holy bloody hell Reuters has been up to, and with the lack of actual and factual information, the article becomes a mess, with an aftertaste that represents a bad joke, but that is my personal view on the matter. So what gives?

What do you think this was really about? Creating flames or handing over information?

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As fiction becomes real

Who remembers George A Romero’s Dawn of the dead (1978)? I remember seeing it in the cinema. And the idea stuck with me. Dreams of having an entire shopping mall to myself. The idea stuck for a long time and even as games entered our lives, the setting was never close enough. The idea that we had an entire City centre to ourselves, preferably without the zombies. Not some game where the enemies spawn again, but a stage where there is a city centre, complete with 35000 zombies, a finite number and as we secure our place, grow our place, we renew the settings of security, safety and goods. And I voiced it before and now we seemingly have the game ‘The day before’ a game that seemingly is close enough to my dreams to make it a reality. The game can be played single player (a must for me). And the idea that the game will grow appeals to me. Consider that the mechanics, once they are ready allows for the game to seek us in other ways too. An alien invasion (Skyline, 2010), a pandemic (Contagion, 2011) and the list goes on. Now, I have no idea on how The Day before is set or how it works, but I saw a small play video and my old thoughts of Day of the Dead returned. The idea that you need to stamp out your safe space. Get goods, get sustenance, get ammo, find weapons and so on is very appealing. You wonder how far you get, how long you will last and none of that respawn shit. One life, and between 35,000 and 350,000 opponents. How will you fare? I wonder how far I will get. And for the makers of that game it offers a new kind of DLC/Expansion. We might have 3-5 locations to start, but the appeal to see how far you get in London, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, Munich, Paris, Moscow and so on, the chance for the makers of The Day before (Fntastic) are close to endless and it does not stop there. The setting of a real final number is appealing on several levels. The idea to redo Day of the dead in Harrods London will be appealing to thousands if not millions of gamers. Setting up the New York City Police Department – 5th Precinct as your own fortress (Assault On Precinct 13 anyone?) is close to intoxicating. And from there the world of us getting close to the movies we watched will be enticing and I reckon for a large audience. In previous years it was merely a ruse, now with the PS5, it becomes an achievable reality. And as I see it 2022-2025 could optionally become great gaming years. 

And when the survival part in us is quenched we can return to our normal daily routine of being a sniper (Ghost warrior), or perhaps a racer (Gran Turismo) some will prefer their daily life as pilots (MS Flight simulator), no matter to what life we return, we do so knowing that more and better games are coming our way, preferably less glitchy then Ubisoft is making out to be. 

P.S. WordPress still has not fixed colours.

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Thought for imagination

Consider the next setting, I am in the Harrods foodcourt, I feel the meat-pie as my right hand caresses the side pf the pie, I see two small basins of ketchup, I grab the knife in my left hand as I slowly use the sharp knife to cut a part of the left side of the pie. I cut through the pastry and the what I think is minced meat. It looks a little dry, but the overwhelming scent of fresh and warm meat enters my nostrils. I add a small bit of ketchup to the pie. The slice is cut in half and I slowly eat the part on my fork. My senses overwhelm with the spices in the meat, the pastry and it does not taste dry, it is an amazing experience and this is merely the first bite.

All what you saw before is true, all came from my imagination. You see I have had meat pie in the past and I envision what might be the perfect meat pie. I have been to harrods twice, but I never set foot in the food courts. Not for any particulate reason, I just never got around to it. I hope to do so in the future, but that will be part of the future that I see, or it might never happen. This is life. So what was this about?

The train of thoughts started a little while ago and that train entered the station again when I stumbled upon same article today ‘Netflix reportedly plans push into video games market’ by the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/media/2021/jun/02/netflix-reportedly-plans-push-video-games-market). The thing that got to me was “Streaming company said to have approached game industry executives with project at early stage”, one could argue that they kill their own project by approaching Ubisoft, Ubisoft has another setting of needs and their product is what I personally would call ‘faulty at best’. Yet it is not all bad news “Netflix has been approaching senior game industry executives about joining it to lead the creation of a subscription games service, according to reports from the tech news site the Information and Reuters”, is the right sentiment, but as I see it, the safest route is to take the route Apple is seemingly taking. Games absent of in app purchases and absent of advertisements. These two elements will spell a much larger stage of doom on the industry than you know. Places like Android and iOS are now filled with phrases like “These ads are driving me insane, every level again”, and it will not be long until people have had enough. Then there is the stage of deceptive conduct in advertisements, a decently new approach to getting people to install your software. But these two elements will have a disastrous impact on gaming soon enough, and it will hit Apple as much as it will hit Google. Then there is the competition, Amazon did a lot better than I expected it would. I (personally minded) thought that it would be an easy win for Google, a tech maker if ever these was one. And it is ahead of Amazon, but I never expected Amazon to be this close to Google in the first place, as such the Amazon Luna remains in the race and there is an element that might not make Google the winner in the end. Google’s approach to exclusive games is not that impressive (as far as I can tell, they have none), Amazon Luna has acquired the knowledge it needs to make that difference. And the article repeats my thoughts towards gaming, with “However, the new offering is at a very early stage, with executives focusing on Apple Arcade as the potential competition. Users of that service, exclusive to Apple’s iPhones, iPads, Macs and AppleTV, pay a flat monthly fee of £4.99 for access to a library of downloadable games, spanning genres and target audiences. Apple sets strict rules on developers, banning them from monetising their games through in-app purchases or advertising, in order to try to keep Arcade a premium service” is the right move, but they made one mistake, a big one, there is no mention of the Amazon Luna and the Luna is in a primed spot to become the number three system behind Sony and Nintendo (yes, I have written off Microsoft to remain a competitor), so even as Netflix has the advantage of a subscription group that makes the head spin of all streaming gaming solutions, good games is where it is at, innovators and makers of original creators that is the winning combo and Netflix (might or might not) move into a field where it is not certain it will become the third position player, or what they classify in the Tour de France, the polka dot player. On the plus side (from my point of view) it will soon thereafter reduce Microsoft to the 6th position, behind Sony, Nintendo, Amazon, Netflix and Google. So as I see it, their investment $7,500,000,000 investment in Bethesda goes tits up and Bethesda is not to blame, the board of directors at Microsoft is. 

I remain a Sony person, hence my Playstation remains on its pedestal, I would say right next of the shrine of Panigale, a Ducati shrine where the executives of Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati come to pray for inspiration, OK, there is no Panigale there, because I could never afford one and I am not a racer, but engineering perfection can be recognised by plenty of people, so there! Yet the stage is given, inspiration comes from excellence in creativity and that is what a good gaming provider offers. I wonder if Netflix is considering what they need to do to get there. Microsoft merely bought the IP out there hoping it would thrust them there, but they had too much against them, like the most powerful console in the world that has nothing to offer (at present). They might in the future, but with all the bad decisions haunting them, all whilst Amazon is already on the run towards an upcoming third position, they might not be in time to make a real difference anymore. All this whilst they are trying to bash xCloud streaming everywhere. They become their own worst enemy and when it happens, the people will not trust Microsoft, I see elements of that everywhere and they, what I personal regard as a push towards whatever influencer they can muster is more than a bad call. 

Microsoft (as I personally see it) forgot that good games come from the mix of imagination and creation, they used to know that, yet it seems that they forgot, I have no idea why, the wrong board member, the sentiment of revenue over substance, it could be a boatload of things, but there you have it. And Netflix? 

Well the article gives us the important stage “One key decision that has not yet been finalised is whether a game subscription service would also require Netflix to develop games itself. Apple Arcade is filled entirely by third-party developers, but other gaming subscriptions rely on first-party exclusives to drive signups.” They are hitting the nail on the head, it is the exclusives, Microsoft forgot, Google never embraced and that is the stage why Amazon Luna is in a good place, Netflix could be too. One of these two needs to get these 2-3 exclusives that no one thought about that they are locked into third position and in an industry that is about to have a relevance of 90.7 billion, with a stage that has an annual increase of 24%, it matters, the difference between third and fourth position implies the stage representing several billions, when you consider that good AAA games cost (according to some) $500,000,000 to make, but that result in a God of War with a 97% rating, it is the price of an original masterpiece and it sold over 10,000,000 copies, implying that the game close to a billion. In streaming land, that setting will be a nail driver, 2-3 games like that and people will jump on that bandwagon a lot faster than you think. So as Microsoft gave us (via sources) that they will build native games for the cloud, why would anyone buy one of those overly stated powerful Xbox’s? And in that stage, would you trust a provider who dropped the ball three times in a row to provide you with original games, all whilst they bought the talents and are trying to grow through that premise? So far Netflix might make it, but as far as I can tell, Amazon Luna is most likely primed to get there at present.

And that too will set the indie developers off into a direction, where they end up I cannot tell (it will be their choice), but there are a few indicators that it will not be in a direction Microsoft will like. As I see it, outsourcing gets you a labour force, hiring creation and imagination grants you a universe of opportunity. I will let you work out the rest.

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The random factor

Yes, at times there is a random factor in play, we all have it, you me, everyone. In my case it started with a weird dream, not sure where it came from and the freebee top 5 was not involved (a story for another day). In this dream I was travelling, I was hurried and we were all in a rush to get someplace. It was like an exodus. Pets released because we could no longer feed them, we were all going to farms to rural places, the food sources had dried up and a farm was a setting of wealth, food was all, water even more. Gangs would align at farms, being the protector for food and a place to sleep. It seems over the top but the feeling was a little too real, almost scary real. You see, the BBC gave us in Feb 2021 ‘Extinction: Freshwater fish in ‘catastrophic’ decline’, some sources (Smithsonian and World Wildlife Foundation) give us that at present over 30% of all freshwater fist face extinction, that is not a margin that is a colossal chunk. National geographic tells us ‘Seafood May Be Gone by 2048, Study Says’, I will not face that day, I will most likely be dead but your children, your younglings, they will face the fact that the waters have no fish left. Yet there is a connection, even as it was not mentioned, or even clear to me. When I was working on some of the factors in Keno Diastima, I got the idea to make Jellyfish part of the nutrition, it is done in south east Asia and it made sense (not giving away the plot), but these rascals as seemingly as eager to reproduce as rabbits are. It suited the purpose, I just didn’t expect a side effect and that was on me, but the stage of food is becoming quickly a larger stage for everyone and do you think that the idea is weird? If you think that £55 per person for tea at Harrods is weird, wait until your lunch gets to be close to that in 2035, and that is a mere 14 years away, I might optionally still be around. We think so short term and we tend to forget the long term impacts (small spoiler to the series), but in all that, we have forgotten to look at what truly matters, it is not some lame bully shouting that elections are rigged, it is the fact that we are destroying our own earth. An expression from the past has always been ‘Do not shit where you eat’, it makes a lot of sense, so why have we been doing just that for well over two decades? 

In my mind, we earned the right to become extinct, the animals, the fish and the plants did not. So in a less diplomatic setting I give you: “Here’s hoping that Covid kills over 70% of us”, perhaps that will be the moment the survivors realise that allowing some to rely on Status Quo is just too dangerous.

Were my thoughts a random factor, was covid, or is there a larger play in place? Well, times will tell, it always does.

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