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General News News (1361)

Bullets Used to Solve Computer Rage

Category: General News
Posted: April 23, 2015 06:30PM
Author: Brentt Moore


All computer users have undoubtedly experienced frustration with their machines at one point or another, due to system crashes, slow performance, or simply the inability to complete a certain task. While most users tend to deal with the frustration in a nonviolent manner, one man decided that using a gun to end his personal frustration with his Dell computer was the best option available. Lucas Hinch, 37, placed his computer in a Colorado Springs alley and shot it a total of eight times, rendering the machine completely useless. While Hinch may have gotten what he wanted in disabling his computer, he was issued a citation by Colorado Springs police for discharging a weapon within city limits; the penalty for the citation has yet to be decided by a judge.

Source: The Gazette



AMD Posts $180 Million First Quarter Loss

Category: General News
Posted: April 20, 2015 09:31AM
Author: bp9801

Things are not looking good for AMD right now, as the company recently posted a first quarter loss of $180 million. That boils down to $73 million once adjusted, and when compared to last year's first quarter when AMD had $35 million in adjusted earnings, it could be better for the red team. Revenue fell 26% percent to $1.03 billion in the first quarter, compared to $1.4 billion the same time last year. It has $906 million of cash and equivalents in hand, which is $134 million less than it had the fourth quarter of 2014. Divisions across the company all reported losses, with the Computing and Graphics segment seeing a revenue drop to $532 million from $861 million; and the Enterprise, Embedded, and Semi-Custom division having revenues drop to $498 million from $536 million, which could be another reason why it's now focusing on traditional servers. As well, AMD is expecting a 3% revenue drop in the second quarter.

AMD is hoping that the upcoming release of Windows 10 gives it a boost, which may come by the end of July. The 2015 to 2020 roadmap may also help out, but those dividends may not be coming as quick as they can be.

Source: VRWorld



AMD Abandons Micro Servers to Concentrate on Traditional Servers

Category: General News
Posted: April 17, 2015 01:56PM
Author: Nick Harezga

AMD acquired SeaMicro in 2012 to "tackle the dense server market which was believed to be major future growth opportunity at the time." Dense servers are also known as micro servers and use a large number of small, low power CPUs to provide computing power rather than high power, more powerful CPUs. As of yesterday, AMD has decided to exit the micro server market to return its focus to traditional servers and as a result will take a "$75 million special charge." AMD only released a single product as a result of the SeaMicro acquisition and will maintain the intellectual property rights from the acquisition to "use it in products where it’s of benefit."

Source: WCCF Tech



European Union Brings Antitrust Charges Against Google

Category: General News
Posted: April 15, 2015 04:08PM
Author: Nick Harezga

The European Union has filed charges against Google accusing it of "illegal, monopolistic practices," claiming that it "abused its position as market leader by prioritizing its own services in search results and diverting traffic away from its competitors." Google could face penalties of up to 10% of its annual income, which would be roughly $6 billion. EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager described the charges stating, "In the case of Google I am concerned that the company has given an unfair advantage to its own comparison shopping service, in breach of EU antitrust rules." Google has countered by stating that it has created a number of failed products over the past few years and cited its Flight and Shopping Search tools which haven't "made a dent in the US and European markets." Two previous large antitrust victories for the EU came with rulings against Microsoft and Intel for $1.7 billion and $1.4 billion, respectively.

Source: The Verge



Google Wireless Service Details Leaked

Category: General News
Posted: April 14, 2015 03:57PM
Author: Nick Harezga

It was reported early last month that Google was planning to enter the wireless carrier market as a mobile network virtual operator (MNVO). New research conducted by Android Police has found references to Tycho, Nova, and Project Fi. Tycho is the codename of an app, Nova is the rumored name of the Google MNVO, and Project Fi is likely a temporary name for the service. The app gives users the ability to pay bills, check usage data, adjust their plan, and also request a new number. The Google service will likely follow a pay per gigabyte billing scheme with no overage charges for going over what you have paid for, you simply buy additional data at the normal rate. Existing Google Voice numbers are expected to be transferable to the service.

Source: 9 To 5 Google



US Government Restricts Selling Powerful Computer Components to Certain Nations

Category: General News
Posted: April 13, 2015 07:29PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

The US Department of Commerce has recently added persons and entities in China, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates to the Entity List, which is the list of entities that certain items should not be sold to. This is determined by the End-User Review Committee, which considers if the end user will use the products in ways "contrary to the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States." China was added to the list, calling for all licenses to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, because the hardware is used in Chinese supercomputers that are used for "nuclear explosive activities." Entities in Pakistan and the UAE were added because of links to the Haqqani Network, which is designated as a foreign terrorist organization, so the license review policy is now presumption of denial. These new license requirements apply to transactions where the eleven total new entities on the list, maybe the ultimate end user.

In the same document, a Germany entity was taken off the list. Apparently another entity of the same name was added to the list in 2013, so the unrelated German company requested it be removed, because being on the list was hurting its business.

Source: WCCFtech and US Department of Commerce (PDF)



Amazon Bringing HDR Videos To Prime

Category: General News
Posted: April 10, 2015 04:33PM
Author: Nick Harezga

Amazon is planning to introduce support for High Dynamic Range (HDR) videos to its Prime streaming service later this year, with Amazon Originals programming expected to be the first to see the increase in quality. Netflix is also planning to offer HDR support this year, and HDR will be in addition to the previously announced 4K resolution videos. Amazon will be starting with its own programming as HDR requires some help from content producers, it can't simply be scaled up. VP of digital video at Amazon Michael Paull described the move stating, "4K Ultra HD picture resolution was just the beginning — we’re excited that Prime members will soon be able to view movies and TV shows including Amazon Originals in HDR quality."

Source: Venture Beat



Twitter Rumored Target of Takeover

Category: General News
Posted: April 8, 2015 03:33PM
Author: Nick Harezga

According to "chatter," Twitter has hired Goldman Sachs to advise it as it attempts to "fend off a takeover offer" from a pair of interested companies. One of the companies is reported to be Google, which along with Facebook attempted to acquire Twitter in the past. The news sent Twitter stock up 3.5% to $52.62 earlier in the day, giving it a market capitalization of roughly $33 million.

Source: Barron's and LA Times



NVIDIA Receives Good News Ahead of Patent Lawsuit

Category: General News
Posted: April 7, 2015 03:32PM
Author: Nick Harezga

NVIDIA currently finds itself in a patent lawsuit with Samsung and Qualcomm regarding its GPUs filed with the United States International Trade Commission and US District Court in Delaware. The trial is set to take place in June, but a recently held Markman hearing has given NVIDIA favorable rulings on six of seven definitions. The purpose of a Markman hearing is "to make sure the actual trial is done on the basis of merit and facts – not needless arguing over legal definitions and context." NVIDIA Chief Administration Officer and Secretary David Shannon addressed the outcome stating, "We are very pleased with the outcome of the ruling, in which claim constructions favorable to Nvidia will be applied to six out of seven disputed claims when the judge considers the question of Samsung’s and Qualcomm’s infringement. This further strengthens the patents we have asserted, and we look forward to a full hearing in late June."

Source: WCCF Tech



Microsoft Completes Previously Announced Layoffs

Category: General News
Posted: April 6, 2015 03:48PM
Author: Nick Harezga

Last July Microsoft announced that it would be laying off 18,000 employees in its "largest ever layoff," which has now been completed. The company informed the remainder of the effected employees last week, with the majority of cuts in the information technology group. CEO Satya Nadella said the cuts were part of an effort to "streamline the company and integrate its newly purchased phone-hardware business."

Source: Seattle Times



AMD Must Face Claims Surrounding Securities Fraud

Category: General News
Posted: April 6, 2015 07:08AM
Author: Brentt Moore

According to United States District Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers, AMD must now defend itself against plaintiffs who have successfully supported their claims in a lawsuit against the company. Last year, AMD was accused of inflating the company’s share price by making false statements about Llano, with officials noting that there we no problems with supply even though Llano was only shipping to specific computer manufacturers due to supply constraints. By the time supply was where it was supposed to be, demand for Llano was drastically reduced, and as such, the company wrote down that $100 million of Llano inventory was not salable. The case seeks damages on behalf of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System, KBC Asset Management, and other investors who purchased AMD shares between April 2011 and October 2012.

Source: Reuters



Apple Reverses Reversibility

Category: General News
Posted: April 1, 2015 07:24AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Apple has modified the reversible USB Type-C port and made a new USB 3.1.X standard, which features a directional bias. That's right, while you can still plug in a device up or down, you will get different speeds for which way the data is going. For faster uploads to the device, make sure the top is up, and for faster speeds taking from the drive, just flip it over. The port and device will still transfer data in both directions, no matter the alignment, but by dedicating additional resources to just one side, Apple claims it can ensure a better experience. The company said that as most people only use their devices for one thing at a time, this bias seemed only natural. Power transfer is unaffected, so you can plug in the Apple Watch whichever way you wish, as often as needed.

What has not yet been specified is if special USB Type-C adapters/devices will be required, or if this feature of USB 3.1.X is compatible with standard USB 3.1 devices. If you are concerned about knowing the best way to connect a USB 3.1.X-supported device, Apple says not to worry. The company revealed that the port will monitor the behavior of the device and will instruct the user to try it the other way, if it will improve performance.

Source: Reply hazy, try again



Multiple Chrome OS Devices Revealed

Category: General News
Posted: March 31, 2015 03:58PM
Author: Nick Harezga

Google has announced several new Chrome OS based devices from Haier, Hisense, and ASUS. Available immediately are the Haier Chromebook 11 and Hisense Chromebook, both of which come in at a price point of $149. The Haier will be available on Amazon while the Hisense will be carried at Walmart. The Haier model has an 11.6" screen and is powered by a Rockchip 3288, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of eMMC storage, and an ARM Mali 760 quad-core GPU. Google claims that it will have up to ten hours of battery life. The Hisense was listed as having similar specs to the Haier with 8.5 hours of battery life.

The pair of devices from ASUS are a bit more intriguing and offer more than conventional laptops. The Chromebook Flip has a 10.1" touch screen display "that flips around for things like gaming and apps." The Flip weighs in under two pounds and is also powered by a Rockchip 3288 with options for 2GB of RAM and 16GB of eMMC or 4GB of RAM and a 16GB SSD. Both models have an ARM Mali 760 quad-core GPU, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and up to ten hours of battery life. The ASUS Chromebit is a full computer in a form factor resembling a USB stick, or as Google put it, "smaller than a candy bar." The Chromebit can turn any display into a computer and is powered by similar specs to the base model Flip. The Flip will have an MSRP of $249 and will be available in Spring while the Chromebit will cost under $100 and arrives in the Summer.

Source: PC Magazine



Kingston Announces New Memory Card Reader

Category: General News
Posted: March 30, 2015 03:38PM
Author: Nick Harezga


Kingston has announced the fourth generation HS4 All-In-One Media Reader, capable of reading all major flash memory formats. The HS4 improves on the previous generation by adding support for the latest SD card speeds including UHS-I, UHS-II, and CompactFlash Type I and II. The USB 3.0 interface provides for transfer speeds up to 5Gb/s, while backwards compatibility ensures that users with older systems can also use the HS4. As part of the announcement Kingston also revealed the addition of a 64GB version of the CF Ultimate 600x card, offering transfer speeds up to 90MB/s. Flash memory business manager Jean Wong said, "HS4 All-In-One Media Reader is a great device to quickly move data between multiple devices whether at home or on the road."

Source: Press Release



Research Budget for AMD Hits 10 Year Low

Category: General News
Posted: March 27, 2015 04:31AM
Author: Brentt Moore

New research that focuses around the research budget of AMD, Intel, and NVIDIA, shows that the research budget for AMD is currently the lowest it has been in the last 10 years. The data shows that Intel’s quarterly budget of 3 billion dollars is 12 times as high as AMD’s budget, which currently sits at 238 million dollars. While the research and development budget for Intel includes costs of maintaining its own fabrication facility, something that AMD does not have to worry about, the data shows just how much of a difference each company’s budget is. Even when compared with NVIDIA, AMD has a budget that is 110 million dollars less.

With AMD facing fierce competition in the CPU market from Intel, as well as brutal competition in the GPU market from NVIDIA, it will be interesting to see how the research and development budget going forward changes for the California-based company.

Source: WCCFtech



Amazon Offering Two New Cloud Storage Options

Category: General News
Posted: March 26, 2015 03:35PM
Author: Nick Harezga

Amazon has announced a pair of new cloud storage options targeted at different levels of storage needs. For $11.99 per year users will be able to store unlimited photos and 5GB of other data. A $59.99 per year option will provide unlimited storage of any files in the Cloud Drive. A three month trial is included in both plans to help evaluate its usefulness. Director of the Amazon Cloud Drive Josh Petersen described the move stating, "With the two new plans we are introducing today, customers don’t need to worry about storage space—they now have an affordable, secure solution to store unlimited amounts of photos, videos, movies, music, and files in one convenient place."

Source: Hot Hardware



Slow Motion Camera Captures CD Breaking at 23,000RPM

Category: General News
Posted: March 26, 2015 03:15AM
Author: Brentt Moore

Slow motion cameras are able to capture quick occurring events that are normally not viewable by the naked eye, allowing viewers to actually see what occurs at high speeds. Gav and Dan over at The Slow Mo Guys have successfully utilized a slow motion camera to record how a CD breaks apart when spinning at 23,000RPM. Before the CD shatters into pieces, the CD actually warps due to the high rotation speed, which can be seen in the video below.

Source: HARDOCP



Gmail Could Add Bill Pay Service

Category: General News
Posted: March 25, 2015 04:22PM
Author: Nick Harezga

Google is reportedly working on a new service "that will allow Gmail users to more easily receive bills in their email inbox instead of their mailbox," and it "also is designed to let people pay their bills within Gmail, rather than having to go to a telecom or utility company’s website to complete a payment." The service is currently known as Pony Express and is expected to be made available in the fourth quarter of this year. Documents reviewed by Recode indicate that Google is likely "partnering with third-party vendors that print and mail out bills on behalf of service providers such as insurance companies, telecom companies and utilities." Users will be required to provide personal information such as mailing address and Social Security Number to verify their identity before enrolling in the service. After verification, users will be able to pay their bills directly from their inbox using linked credit/debit cards or bank accounts.

Source: Recode



Updates Coming For Amazon Streaming Devices

Category: General News
Posted: March 24, 2015 04:29PM
Author: Nick Harezga

Amazon is planning to roll out software updates for the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick devices in the next few weeks. The key updates will give users access to expandable USB storage on the Fire TV and the ability to connect to Wi-Fi networks that require web authentication such as those found in hotels and universities. Amazon has also added support for wireless Bluetooth headphones as well as "new shortcuts, letting you quickly put your device to sleep or enable display mirroring by pressing and holding the Home button on your remote." VP of Amazon devices Peter Larsen described the move stating, "Customer response to Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick has been overwhelming — we've been working hard to build more of both as quickly as possible, and we're excited to be adding new features we think customers will love."

Source: PC Magazine



PowerColor Celebrating Opening of VIP Club With Giveaway

Category: General News
Posted: March 23, 2015 04:08PM
Author: Nick Harezga

PowerColor has just announced the opening of its VIP Club "for serving more exclusive contents, contests, the latest updates, and free games to the PowerColor product’s owners and enthusiasts." As part of the opening, PowerColor is holding a giveaway for members of the club, no purchase necessary. The contest runs until April 23 with winners announced on April 27. Prizes include a Devil 13 Dual Core R9 290X for the Grand Prize, two TurboDuo R9 290 cards, a TurboDuo R9 280X card, Xbox gift cards, Patriot flash and solid state drives, a Patriot rechargeable battery, and two sets of Patriot Viper 3 memory.

Source: Press Release



Cher Wang Takes Over as HTC CEO

Category: General News
Posted: March 20, 2015 04:15AM
Author: Brentt Moore

It has been officially announced that the founder of HTC, Cher Wang, will be taking over as company CEO, following a unanimous agreement with the board of directors and the company’s executive team. Wang has been slowly taking a larger managerial role throughout the last two years at HTC, allowing the previous CEO, Peter Chou, to focus on product development. While HTC has risen to become a major smartphone manufacturer under the leadership of Chou, the Taiwanese company is struggling against rivals such as Apple and Samsung, who continue to thrive thanks to large budgets for marketing and research. According to Melissa Chau, an analyst from IDC, HTC last year ranked as the world’s 14th-largest smartphone vendor. In order to revive the company and bring the HTC name to even more consumers, Wang has stated that she wants to apply the expertise that the company has in smartphones to connected products and services, such as virtual reality.

Source: PCWorld



Android Auto Now Available For Select Devices

Category: General News
Posted: March 19, 2015 04:04PM
Author: Nick Harezga

Google had initially planned to roll out the Android Auto service by the end of 2014 when it was announced at the 2014 Google I/O Conference. The release has been delayed a few months but it is now available on phones running Android 5.0 Lollipop paired with select head units made by Pioneer. Android Auto will behave like other in car "infotainment" systems after you "connect your phone to your stereo with a USB cable -- once that's done, you can issue voice commands, sketch out routes and fire up apps like Spotify or Soundcloud." The units currently available from Pioneer range in price from $700 for the base model to $1400 for the high end model.

Source: Engadget



OpenPower Reveals First Round of Hardware

Category: General News
Posted: March 18, 2015 03:46PM
Author: Nick Harezga

The OpenPower Foundation was created near the end of 2013, and earlier today the Foundation announced its first round of hardware solutions based on the Power8 architecture at the first OpenPower Summit. The 10 announced solutions range "from servers and system boards to cards and a new chip customized for the Chinese market." Tyan introduced the TN71-BP012, a server system that will be used in an upcoming bare-metal service from IBM as part of the SoftLayer cloud. Cirrascale has created an OpenPower development platform "with the aim of helping the development of big data analytics, deep learning and scientific computing applications that can take advantage of systems with GPU accelerators." Designer PowerCore is bringing the first Power architecture chip to China with the CP1, which will be used in a line of servers from Zoom Netcom.

Source: eWeek



Apple Planning Online TV Service

Category: General News
Posted: March 17, 2015 04:16PM
Author: Nick Harezga

According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple is planning to add to its portfolio of products and services with an online TV streaming service. The service will include about 25 channels and will cost $30-$40 per month. Some channels that are expected to be included are ABC, CBS, FOX, and ESPN. Apple is targeting other Disney and CBS channels but channels owned by Comcast aren't expected to be available due to hostilities between the two companies. Apple would be jumping into a market that has newcomers like Sling TV and HBO NOW, with the latter available on Apple devices beginning in April. The sources pointed to a June reveal with a September release.

Source: PC Magazine



Google Beginning Shutdown of Google Code Service

Category: General News
Posted: March 12, 2015 04:14PM
Author: Nick Harezga

Google first started its project hosting service Google Code in 2006 to give the "open source community another option to choose from." Other options such as GitHub have become available since then, and with these options a number of projects migrated from Google Code. As of today new project creation on Google Code has been disabled. Current projects can still check their files in and out until August 24 when the site will become read-only. On January 25, 2016 the service will shutdown for good, with users able to download tarballs of their projects until the end of 2016. Google is offering tools to assist users in the migration to services such as GitHub, SourceForge, and Bitbucket.

Source: Google



World of Warcraft Player Dies After Gaming for 19 Hours Straight

Category: General News
Posted: March 9, 2015 04:23PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Wu Tai, a 24-year-old man who was reportedly addicted to the immensely popular role-playing game World of Warcraft, died at an Internet café in Shanghai, China after playing the game for 19 hours straight. A gamer sitting next to Tai stated that he called an ambulance after he heard the man groan and saw blood wiped away from his mouth with a handkerchief. Attempts made by Internet café staff and medical units to revive Tai, after he died in front of a crowd of gamers, were unsuccessful. While an autopsy is still underway, the policeman on scene stated that it was likely like Tai died due to playing on the computer for 19 hours straight.

Source: N4GM


Microsoft Sees Windows 10 as a Way to Reconnect with PC Gamers

Category: General News
Posted: March 7, 2015 01:47AM
Author: bp9801

Microsoft seems rather excited about its upcoming Windows 10 release and what it means for consumers on all platforms, but it is also admitting a past mistake. The company was once a go-to for PC gamers, with Microsoft-created games and hardware among some of the popular products of the day. However, once the Xbox arrived everything at Microsoft shifted to that, and PC gamers, quite frankly, got the shaft. During GDC 2015, Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox, stated the company lost its way with the PC gaming crowd and sees Windows 10 as a way to get back in their good graces (and possibly DirectX 12, too). One part of that is Microsoft's snazzy new HoloLens will be out during Windows 10's lifespan and Spencer sees it as a "full Windows 10 device." Playing games in augmented reality sounds like a solid way to get back our support, but that's not all Microsoft intends to do.

The company will also bring Xbox Live to Windows 10, with developers getting a toolkit to implement Xbox Live into their Windows 10 games. Spencer said Xbox no longer refers to just the console, but "gaming with Microsoft" as a whole. Games should be able to work across the devices, regardless if its a PC, tablet, smartphone (maybe), or Xbox One, with gamers being able to see their friends list and play against each other. It is an ambitious plan, and hopefully the reality is far better than the company's last attempt, Games for Windows Live. GFWL tried to do the friends list aspect and the occasionaly play together across PC and Xbox 360, but it was horribly bloated, buggy, and downright frustrating. Combine those with the fact that GFWL was initially a paid service to access the best features, and we have the issue of PC gamers suddenly being charged to do what they've done for free for years.

Hopefully Microsoft acknowledging it has lost its way with PC gamers and Spencer's comments about integrating Xbox Live into Windows 10 proves successful. None of us want a repeat of Games for Windows Live, and luckily it seems there is hope on the horizon. Microsoft's Larry Hryb a.k.a. Major Nelson recently said Xbox Live on Windows 10 will be free. It really was the only course available to Microsoft, and it is fantastic to see that's the case. After all, upgrading to Windows 10 within a year after it arrives will be free, so why not have Xbox Live follow suit? Console owners aren't overly happy about it, as to be expected, but at least PC gamers won't have to pay for features other services (Steam, Origin) provide for free. It is a step in the right direction for Microsoft and PC gaming as a whole, and hopefully one that pans out in the long term.

Source: Business Insider and PC World



Sony Virtual Reality Headset to Launch in Early 2016

Category: General News
Posted: March 3, 2015 04:51PM
Author: Nick Harezga

Sony has announced an updated design and hardware specifications for the PS4 powered virtual reality headset known as Project Morpheus. The hardware updates center around the viewing apparatus with a larger 5.7" screen operating at 1920x1080 with a refresh rate of 120Hz. The field of view has also been increased to 100 degrees with latency lowered to 18 milliseconds. Project Morpheus has an expected release date sometime in early 2016 with no price announced.

Source: Engadget



ECS Announces LIVA Short Film Contest

Category: General News
Posted: March 3, 2015 05:02AM
Author: Brentt Moore

ECS, a motherboard manufacturing company based out of Taiwan, has announced its first ever worldwide "How do you LIVA" short film contest. The contest is centered on the company’s LIVA X desktop, a Mini PC that has been available for roughly two months and features an incredible amount of technology packed into a small and efficient package. The contest is open to virtually anyone and seeks to find the most creative individuals who can portray in just 90 seconds how LIVA X can make life better. Participants in the "How do you LIVA" short film contest are competing to win a grand prize of roughly $4774.87 and an invitation to participate in Computex 2015 in Taiwan.

Details about the ECS LIVA short film contest, including contest stages and additional award information, can be found on the official contest website.

Source: Press Release



Google Plans to Enter Wireless Carrier Market

Category: General News
Posted: March 2, 2015 04:30PM
Author: Nick Harezga

Google is finally addressing the rumors that it was going to become a wireless carrier by confirming the speculation at the Mobile World Congress earlier today. Senior VP Sundar Pichai said the company would enter the market on a "small scale" as a mobile network virtual operator (MNVO). As an MNVO, Google would purchase access from larger carriers like Sprint and then sell its own plans. Google will treat the new project as an experiment similar to the Nexus phone, with plans to expand the service likely contingent on its success. Pichai also mentioned that Google will launch its first drones as part of Project Titan later this year. Project Titan and Project Loon, which uses balloons instead of drones, are efforts to help spread Internet access to the more than four billion people without it.

Source: Mashable



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