Shanghai Building to be Demolished

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May 5th, 2020

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Alt-right extremists push to ignore the lockdown

Extreme far right movements are often obsessed with notions of strength and weakness, to the point of ignoring all forms of human frailty. Arguably, these are people who are so terrified of their own mortality that they go to the opposite extreme and deny that they contain the same flaws that all mortal flesh must contain. Or they are pushing an extreme version of social Darwinism. Very worrisome:

Displaying the Confederate flag, or other symbols of the slave-owning south during the ...

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October 15th, 2019

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Über jars vs thin wars, pros and cons

Interesting:

A little history

There is a growing tendency in the industry to move away from the traditional monolithic application run on a fully tooled up application server towards running apps defined by the single service they provide, the so called microservice. Here the emphasis is reducing the application to providing independent support for one thing .

The idea behind the microservice is the microservices architecture where a set of loosely coupled microservices are used to build applications using them.

This has, in ...

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October 15th, 2019

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Wondrously, the archaeologists did not find indicators of wealth inequality, social stratification, or hierarchies in prehistoric Trypillian societies

I am not convinced that consolidating of the structures is a sign of tyranny. It could simply be a sign of consolidating. Humans living in the same place for a century would presumably build roads that would become more fixed over time. And if there was a dictatorship, we would see more signs of concentrating wealth, such as larger homes. Interesting:

Wondrously, the archaeologists did not find indicators of wealth inequality, social stratification, or hierarchies in prehistoric Trypillian societies – not ...

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October 15th, 2019

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We found that driving true business impact is amazingly hard, plus it is difficult to isolate and understand the connection between efforts on modeling and the observed impact

This is what I’ve seen as well, large investments in what is described as AI or Machine Learning or Data Science, which break down into two things:

1.) people are actually talking about standard statistics and ordinary Business Intelligence

2.) people are talking about Machine Learning, but the results are difficult to connect to actual business needs.

Interesting:

We found that driving true business impact is amazingly hard, plus it is difficult to isolate and understand the connection between efforts on modeling and ...

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October 15th, 2019

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A society that had a complex governmental and economic system that executed monumental engineering projects but did not leave behind any other archaeological evidence

Interesting:

The huge dolmen at Kibbutz Shamir is just one of hundreds of enormous densely scattered structures in this region. It bears witness to the existence of a significant and established governmental system in the region during the “Middle Ages” of the Bronze Age. Archaeologists tend to interpret the past based on material finds. The absence of cities, large settlements and monumental buildings attests to the collapse of the governmental and economic systems during a “dark period” in history. The dolmens ...

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October 15th, 2019

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A query can only have one outer join that produces more than one match

Interesting:

Whenever you have one central table, and you want to outer join it to two separate tables, you are in danger. To see why, think through what happens step-by-step as these tables get joined. All the joins happen before any grouping, so first we make a bunch of rows combining restaurants and inspections. Now for each of those rows, we join to the employees table. That means if we have a restaurant with two inspections, we’ll create rows for all ...

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October 14th, 2019

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From now on, everyone should obey the law

It is odd that “respect people’s civil rights” is a new policy:

In the 1990s, for example, a deputy group called the Lynwood Vikings, described by a California judge as a “neo-Nazi, white supremacist gang,” was responsible for incidents that led to millions being handed out in lawsuit settlements, and was also the subject of a 1991 lawsuit from the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The case later led to the 1992 Kolts report, which called for station commanders to “root out ...

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October 14th, 2019

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The conventional wisdom among social media companies is that you can’t put too much of the onus on users to personalize their own feeds

Self-serving, since they need the algorithms to target advertisements. But also interesting to think that people might sometimes want some kind filter. People pick their friends on LiveJournal, why hasn’t LiveJournal swept the world? Is it the algorithm that made Facebook a juggernaught? People seem to want control over what they see, is there a middle ground, away from algorithms designed to maximize engagement, but offering enough filters to protect people from the most boring material? How much novelty do ...

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October 14th, 2019

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Over the years, Pinterest had to redesign its systems and retrain its algorithms to better identify and target different types of users

Interesting:

Over the years, Pinterest had to redesign its systems and retrain its algorithms to better identify and target different types of users and map their interests. Hence the question about gender when you sign up, the topic picker that gives the algorithm an initial sense of what you’re into, and the perhaps slightly intrusive (though industry standard) use of browser data that can tell Pinterest whether you’ve visited the site before and how you arrived there.

The question about language and ...

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October 14th, 2019

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Over 6,000 years ago, huge settlements featuring enigmatic mega-structures of obscure function arose between the Carpathian foothills and the Dnieper River

Interesting:

Over 6,000 years ago, huge settlements featuring enigmatic mega-structures of obscure function arose between the Carpathian foothills and the Dnieper River in Ukraine. Unique in European prehistory, these gargantuan settlements, which may have housed tens of thousands of people apiece, seem to have coalesced by the merger of smaller, independent hamlets.

Throughout, the million-dollar question has been how, exactly, prehistoric villages of gargantuan dimensions were managed. Now a team of archaeologists is postulating that mega-structures detected in these villages were community ...

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October 14th, 2019

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The fascists now compare themselves to Galileo to Jesus Christ

I record this only because, later on, it will be difficult to believe this was real. This is how fascists now describe their conferences:

This May 2020 we’re hosting HERETICON, a conference for thoughtcrime. Here’s why:

From Galileo to Jesus Christ, heretical thinkers have been met with hostility, even death, and vindicated by posterity. That ideological outcasts have shaped the world is an observation so often made it would be bereft of interest were the actions of our society not so entirely ...

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October 13th, 2019

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Foucault: In direct response to biopolitical attempts to control our sexual lives, struggles have been waged

Interesting:

In direct response to biopolitical attempts to control our sexual lives, struggles have been waged; these invoke the “‘right’ to life, to one’s body, to health, to happiness, to the satisfaction of needs”. Foucault was critical of the pernicious effects of such power: he criticized power’s subjection of individuals, along with the forms of subjectivity that subjection engenders. In particular, he was concerned that power relations today tend to produce submissive individuals who blindly obey authority figures. More generally, Foucault ...

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October 13th, 2019

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Relativistic particles are heavier, and this actually shrinks the atomic radius of the heavier elements

Interesting:

Some of the properties of mercury (and of copernicium) are due to “lanthanide shielding“, and that is at least understandable in a classical mental-picture way. The lanthanides (and higher elements beyond them) have atoms with smaller radii than you’d predict from just following the trends earlier in the periodic table. But that’s because those atom sizes have to do with the attraction of the outermost electrons to the nucleus (negative and positive charges), and that attraction is partly “shielded” by ...

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October 9th, 2019

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Studying ancient slag, archaeologists were able to uncover a complex geopolitical situation in the year 10,000 BCE

Interesting:

Ben-Yosef’s team was exploring a concept called “punctuated equilibrium,” which suggests that societal changes comes through long-term stasis punctuated by short-lived episodes of rapid change as opposed to a slow-and-steady gradual change. To test the idea, the team examined over 150 samples of slag leftover from metallurgical technology in the Wadi Arabah region of the Levant in the Middle East, dating from 1300 to 800 BCE.

Slag, the glass-like byproduct from a metal’s smelting process, offered a perfect indicator of technological ...

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October 7th, 2019

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How does anyone murder 93 women and not get caught 92 times?

How does this happen?

The Federal Bureau of Investigation says the man who claims to have killed more than 90 women across the United States is the most prolific serial killer in the country’s history.

In a news release on Sunday, the FBI said Samuel Little confessed to 93 murders. Federal crime analysts believe all of his confessions are credible, and officials have been able to verify 50 confessions so far.

Not that this is necessarily about serial killers:

Dawn Wilcox adds more ...

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October 7th, 2019

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Netflix shows are the great hope for Poland?

Interesting:

Last month the archbishop of Kraków, Marek Jędraszewiski, issued a pastoral letter to be read out at all of Krakow’s many churches. “The next great threat to our freedom has appeared,” writes the archbishop. When a child succumbs to LGBT ideology, “for a parent there is no bigger tragedy”.

When Law and Justice was elected four years ago, she tried to be optimistic on her Facebook page: “Come on!” she wrote: “Can they really destroy everything in four years?” As bad ...

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October 7th, 2019

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Other members of the audience said they could help me change my sexuality if I was willing to try

Interesting:

When Mayor Ormanty took his “LGBT-free” resolution to the council in the summer, Dropek’s foundation raised some money to place a colourful billboard poster in Kalwaria’s town centre. Featuring a pair of clasped hands and a rainbow wristband, it read simply: “We’re here.” Within hours, it had been torn down. Then when she found out that the mayor had organised a conference at the community centre on the LGBT “threat”, Dropek decided to go along. The conference, predictably enough, was ...

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October 7th, 2019

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The huge level of state spending appears to have boosted rather than damaged Poland’s finances

Paul Krugman should be pleased:

State pensions have also been boosted. The retirement age has been lowered and the minimum wage raised. In a second term in office, Law and Justice has promised to double the minimum wage by 2023, distribute annual cash bonuses to pensioners, boost farming subsidies and invest heavily in improving transport in the provinces and rural areas.

The huge level of state spending appears to have boosted rather than damaged Poland’s finances. Levels of private consumption have gone ...

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October 7th, 2019

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Every good Pole should know what the role of the church is … because beyond the church there is only nihilism

“Every good Pole should know what the role of the church is … because beyond the church there is only nihilism.”

– Jarosław Kaczyński, chairman of the Law and Justice party, 7 September

—————-

This is an interesting line because everywhere else in the West the right-wing has become synonymous with nihilism. Trump is a nihilist who believes in nothing, he is a being of pure lust, greed and spite. Boris Johnson may not be a nihilist in his heart of hearts, but ...

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October 7th, 2019

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Used his wife and sister as collateral

For a 3 month loan? I wonder if this was considered a criminal loan at the time, or if this was normal? The only non-criminal uses of 3 month loans, that I can think of is loans to farmers right before harvest time, and then modern loans to governments.

One tablet, found in the courtyard of the pillared house, documents a land sale in the year 698 or 697 B.C.E.. The other tablet was inside a different structure and documents a ...

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October 7th, 2019

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The moon god Sin

Interesting to realize there was a moon god named Sin.

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October 7th, 2019

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The Jewish Exile was real, but it wasn’t in Babylon

This is interesting. Israel had very few Jews in the 600s BC, which is actually too early to be the Babylonian Exile. So the Exile was real, but it had other causes, and then later when all of this got written down, priests blamed everything on Babylon?

In fact, the former territory of the Kingdom of Israel may have had very few Israelites left during the 7th century B.C.E., archaeological evidence suggests.

The two tablets, made of clay and inscribed in ...

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October 6th, 2019

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If elites are bad why doesn’t Johnson complain about Russian oligarchs buying London real estate?

If elites are bad, what about the foreign oligarchs who buy up London real-estate, drive up rents, drive up home prices, and then leave the real estate unused? Why does the Johnson government only complain about people who write?

She thinks the idea of a liberal elite is an anachronism, partly because in the age of social media and the internet, ideas are less geographically tethered and more widely disseminated. But also due to the effects of high finance.

“It’s more ...

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October 6th, 2019

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The identity politics of Brexit

Interesting:

The argument for Brexit was accompanied by the fantasy that Britain could compensate for the loss of access to its largest market by joining the reassuringly white and English-speaking “Anglosphere” of Australia, Canada, the US and New Zealand. This is why they talk of an “Australian-style points system” and “Canada-style trade deals” and hope against all evidence that the protectionist Donald Trump will rescue Britain.

Brexit has shown that you have to be the right type of Anglo to be admitted ...

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October 6th, 2019

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Magazines are gone, editors struggle to continue to uphold the culture

The end of magazines is part of the new world where everyone gets their news from social media, and where everyone reads slogans instead of essays. The resulting extremism undermines the political system. That extremism undermines the support of a tolerant society that allows diverse views. It also undermines support for the freedom of capital, what some refer to as a free market. If the free market allows the destruction of the politics that allowed a free market, then surely ...

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October 1st, 2019

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Odd place to work: Snap has bought up condos because it can not find enough office space

Interesting:

At the time I joined, the headquarters building in Venice was about a half of a mile away from the office where I worked. If you knew where all of Snap’s buildings were (and most people, even most employees, didn’t), you could walk around miles of Venice Beach streets pointing out unmarked office after unmarked office as you went along. A seemingly empty storefront here, a nondescript house there, the top level of an apartment building over that way.

The particular ...

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September 29th, 2019

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Microservices in the cloud demand testing in production and therefore maximizing observability

Interesting:

Changes to the ways these applications are developed means that the model of keeping everything running smoothly with end-to-end testing is no longer effective, especially for environments that are running at high scale and continually shipping new features. Debugging gets harder as monolithic systems are replaced by distributed systems where every API call causes a cascade of related events. Traditional monitoring tools work better for monolithic systems but fall short for modern cloud-based applications.

All of this means that developers ...

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September 29th, 2019

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Environmentalism can be a gateway to convert some to the far-right

Interesting:

In the midst of it, a white supremacist writer referenced the essay in an article for VDare, writing that “Hardin’s prescriptions for averting the Malthusian catastrophe—they included eugenics, an end to welfare and foreign aid, and allowing famines to take their course—were too strong for most people.” Another article invoking Hardin on stopping the “refugee invasion” by a Canadian nativist writer was reprinted on the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer which now features a demographic countdown clock on its sidebar. ...

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September 27th, 2019

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Adam Neumann of WeWork is a monster

Interesting:

The Narcissism of Modern Financiers

There are a few key players in this saga. The first is ex-CEO Adam Neumann, who according to the S-1 was pivotal to the company.

Our future success depends in large part on the continued service of Adam Neumann, our Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, which cannot be ensured or guaranteed.

Neumann was an untested CEO with an unlimited line of credit. As I read more stories about him, I noticed reporters dance around his personality. They call ...

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September 26th, 2019

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What the hell happened to Britain?

I realize people ask this question about the USA a lot, but it’s also worth asking about Britain. All of this is far removed from the culture that the British have boasted about for centuries:

Maria Miller also insisted that Labour only had itself to blame for the Sulk’s behaviour. The real victim in all this weren’t MPs receiving death threats, it was Boris himself. He had been pushed to the edge by an opposition that was totally unreasonably blocking his ...

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December 24th, 2017

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One-on-one meetings are underrated, whereas group meetings waste time

I have had good results with a style of management where I mostly have one-on-one meetings. These meetings can be just 15 minutes, or maybe 30 if there is a serious issue that needs to be discussed. If I’m leading a small team (less than 20 people) I’ll have meetings with each person at least once a week, but with key players more often than that.

In a meeting of two people, both people typically feel involved with the conversation, ...

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February 8th, 2017

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Is Trump plotting a coup?

I agree that pushing the legal boundaries could have been a blunder, but was more likely an attempt to get other people to show their hands.

I see a few key patterns here. First, the decision to first block, and then allow, green card holders was meant to create chaos and pull out opposition; they never intended to hold it for too long. It wouldn’t surprise me if the goal is to create “resistance fatigue,” to get Americans to the ...

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November 9th, 2016

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Kelly Faircloth reacts to the election

She writes:

To grow up a girl in the 1990s was to stew in a particularly rich pot of misogyny and, for some of us, to have one’s sense of the world shaped by the treatment of an uneasy trinity of women: Hillary Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, and Monica Lewinsky.

Sure, my experience was exaggerated by living in the Deep South—Georgia went for Bill Clinton in 1992, then promptly gave the country Newt Gingrich—and it’s not like I would have sidestepped sexism if ...

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June 29th, 2016

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What it is like to tutor the wealthy and the privildeged

An interesting article, from a tutor, about the way wealth sometimes protects mediocre students, and allows them to get into good colleges:

Because UT Austin is a terrific place—the rare kind of school that radiates both capaciousness and prestige—it is the top choice for many Texas high school students, and its unique admissions policy carries a lot of weight. It is discussed ad nauseam during application season; however, the reasoning behind this policy—behind the 10 percent rule, behind affirmative action—is not. ...

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December 30th, 2015

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Why did feminism finally get picked up by the women’s magazines?

When I was younger, my friends and I used to wonder why all of the women’s magazines were misogynist. The advice they gave was always anti-woman and pro-convention. This made no sense to us. It was as if the magazines were at war with their own customers. As near as I can tell, this misogyny was editorial policy for the entirety of the 20th Century.

Things have changed dramatically over the last 15 years, and especially the last 8 years. ...

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February 25th, 2015

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What is the argument for design patterns?

Interesting:

Paul Graham’s essay Revenge of the Nerds is a nearly pornographic love letter to Lisp. If you can manage to read all the way to the end, there’s an interesting footnote buried at the bottom:

Peter Norvig found that 16 of the 23 patterns in Design Patterns were “invisible or simpler” in Lisp.

He should have opened the essay with that evidence, because it strengthens his conclusion considerably:

In the OO world you hear a good deal about “patterns”. When I see patterns ...

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January 18th, 2013

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Sending email from Clojure

This makes it look very easy to send email from Clojure. The interface looks more pleasant than what I have run into in the world of, say for instance, PHP. But you do have to have all of your credentials, usernames, passwords, port numbers — stuff that PHP usually comes pre-configured to deal with.

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March 16th, 2012

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Clever startup idea

Public whitelisting for pingbacks. Allow auto accept of others whitelist.

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June 10th, 2011

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How far away is the nearest star?

The distance to other starts. An amazing read.

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