David Kirkpatrick

February 4, 2014

Jay Leno leaving the Tonight Show …

Filed under: et.al., Media — Tags: — David Kirkpatrick @ 10:48 am

… is like the fall of communism? Really?

Great analogy there, Hyden.

From the link:

If I can reference a seminal event for individuals in my demographic group that occurred a quarter-century ago, the end of Leno is like the fall of communism in Russia. It’s a destabilizing event that signals larger changes that will irrevocably alter how we see the world. It might take awhile to feel the aftershocks in the media landscape, but they’re coming.

December 28, 2012

Does anyone else think …

Filed under: et.al. — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 6:18 pm

Todd “frickin'” Hoffman is the Honey Boo Boo of gold miners?

June 29, 2012

Just in time …

Filed under: et.al., Science — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:04 pm

… for the weekend (and the 4th of July), good news for all the drinkers out there.

From the Medical Press link:

A new study led by University of Pittsburgh researchers reveals that moderate amounts of alcohol–consumed in a social setting–can enhance positive emotions and social bonding and relieve negative emotions among those drinking.

April 21, 2012

Hate Facebook Timeline …

Filed under: et.al., Marketing, Media, Technology — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:32 pm

… but love Pinterest?

Turn your Facebook page into a Pinterest lookalike.

From the CIO.com link:

Pinterest, the newest social network to take the world by storm, is coming to Facebook in a unique iteration: an app that redesigns your News Feed, Timeline, friend list and multimedia pages to look like Pinterest’s home page.

Pinview’s app is one of Facebook’s newest apps for Timeline, and resides within the Facebook browser. This means that you can toggle between your normal views of Facebook and Pinview’s Pinterest-esque design without having to disable an app or remove an add-on like you might have had to do in the past.

December 23, 2011

“The Blackwater dudes would play Nickelback … “

Filed under: Arts, et.al., Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 9:58 am

Talk about the bar from hell — in the midst of Iraq’s Green Zone during the worst of the war, everyone’s favorite “security contractor” (nee Blackwater, nee Xe, now Academi) allowed its employees to frequent a speakeasy and soil the airspace with cover songs.

Hope this doesn’t ruin your holiday cheer, but from the link:

Bearman: There actually wasn’t a jukebox. They had a stereo system with an iPod attachment. They played random music. No one gave me a playlist, but they had to take Men At Work off because Aussie security contractors would go apeshit when Men At Work came on. Which I understand! When i’m in a war zone and drinking, I kind of want to let off a little steam, too.

But actually, sometimes they had live bands. Contractors who were over there a long time would bring instruments and musical equipment. There would be jammy, crappy cover bands. The Aegis guys would play the Kinks. The Blackwater dudes would play Nickelback. There was a strong cultural difference in what mercenaries were into, musically speaking.

September 11, 2011

Ten years later …

I don’t really have a lot to offer aside from two blog posts.

First up is a post of mine from MarketingSherpa this Friday. I interviewed a reputation management expert for a how-to consumer marketing article who worked the American Airlines account for a major PR firm that day. He provided an interesting insight into some of the behind the scenes aspects of 9/11.

From the link:

I spent 48 hours doing nothing but monitoring and taking in reports from different people. I didn’t go to bed. I didn’t go home. It was kind of funny because the next day after the first 48 hours was over, I actually had scheduled a meeting with the Interactive Marketing team at AA.com.

I went to that meeting and I hadn’t gone to sleep. They insisted on having the meeting, not because they really wanted to have the meeting, but they knew that I was also in the Corporate Communications side, and that I knew what was going on.

The second is a post on the personal blog from a Sherpa colleague of mine, Brad Bortone, was a NYC resident on that morning. His post covers the first Mets home game after the attacks.

From the link:

For all the good that a night of baseball seemed to be doing, it was clear that the outside world wasn’t going away, no matter how much we wanted it to do just that. Then Mike Piazza stepped up once last time.

In the eighth inning, with the Mets down 2-1, and fan enthusiasm rapidly waning, Piazza hit a defining shot of his career. A fastball by Steve Karsay, left right in Piazza’s wheelhouse, promptly found its way over the center field fence, giving the Mets a 3-2 lead which would hold up till the end.

Piazza tried his damnedest to maintain composure as he rounded the bases, but the fans weren’t as controlled. Despite the thinning attendance, the cheers were as loud as any I’ve experienced in my 31 years. It was as if 41,000 people, after two weeks of holding their breath, finally allowed themselves to exhale.

August 4, 2011

I (don’t) want my MTV

Filed under: Arts, et.al., Media — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 9:11 pm

Anymore.

March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Filed under: et.al. — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:05 pm

And remember, you better hope that beer is green from food coloring …

(photo credit: SpaceAgeSage)

March 12, 2011

A bit of stand-up comedy …

Filed under: Arts, et.al., Media — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:30 pm

The very funny “Funny or Die” has a regular bit titled, “Adam West hits on you, hard.”

It’s all about Adam doing a classic one-liner while holding a drink at a bar.

For example, West is wearing a Hawaiian shirt and holding a colored drink decorated with a tiny parasol and he says, “Are you from Tennessee? <beat> Because you’re the only ‘ten’ I see.”

I think it’s time to update those old tropes to the modern age of sexting, Twitter and the overall meme of the less characters you use, the better.

With that in mind:

The establishing shot is me in a bar, artfully grasping a suitable drink — maybe a bottle of beer, maybe a single malt with a splash.

And the line?

<beat> “I bet you taste good.”

March 11, 2011

Tsunami alerts across Pacific …

Filed under: et.al., Science — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 8:42 am

… after 8.9 magnitude earthquake hit off the coast of Japan today.

From link:

An earthquake of 8.9. magnitude struck off the coast of Japan on Friday, the strongest ever recorded in the country. The quake churned up a devastating tsunami that swept over cities and farmland in the northern part of the country and threatened coastal areas throughout the Pacific and as far away the west coast of the United States and South America. Fragmentary early reports of the toll indicate that hundreds of people have been killed. Japanese police officials told the Associated Press that 200 to 300 bodies were found in Sendai, a port city in the northeastern part of the country and the closest main city to the epicenter.

February 15, 2011

Tuesday video fun — Bob Marley, “No woman, no cry”

Filed under: Arts, et.al. — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:07 pm

An apropos classic …

February 4, 2011

I know I said there would be light blogging …

Filed under: et.al., Media — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:24 pm

… but I had no idea it’d be this light.

Been crazy busy with projects to the point I didn’t even blog about the NFL playoffs so far. No guarantees, but I expect to get back into this saddle a bit more regularly. I’ve missed a ton of cool nanotech and invisibility cloaking stuff, not to mention business news and two major events in North Africa.

I’m back (at least partways.)

December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas to everyone …

Filed under: et.al. — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 9:36 am

… and I hope your holiday season is safe and fun. And maybe even filled with a little bit of snow.

File:Christmas Ornament.jpg

(photo credit: Essjay, via Wikimedia Commons)

December 18, 2010

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell enters the dustbin of history

Filed under: et.al., Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:34 pm

And couldn’t come any sooner. We need willing and able soldiers of any stripe, and anyone who thinks the sexual orientation  of any one soldier is going to affect the performance of any other soldier ought to check in with the many, many militaries around the world that allow openly homosexual soldiers serve and ask them how that exercise is going (hint: pretty damn good.)

Here’s my favorite quote on the topic from a special operations soldier:

We have a gay guy [in the unit]. He’s big, he’s mean, and he kills lots of bad guys. No one cared that he was gay.

(Hat tip on the quote: the Daily Dish)

December 17, 2010

The perfect t-shirt …

Filed under: et.al., Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 8:56 am

… for anyone who’s sick of social media.

From the link:

In case others don’t understand the essence of MySpace, Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare, make perfectly clear the commonalities of these social sites with this T-shirt.
$15.95; www.despair.com

 

December 4, 2010

Electronic cigarettes are bad for you?

Don’t smoke ’em myself and have no plans to ever start, but these alternatives to actually burning tobacco have the anti-tobacco forces up in arms. Just check out the “results” of this University of California, Riverside, study that declares them possibly dangerous. Of course this non-study will get lots of ink about how bad electronic cigarettes are, even though the actual results say nothing of the sort.

Typical move from anti-tobacco forces. Long on overwrought hype and short on non-statistically skewed clinical results. It really is amazing how many citizens in the “land of the free” want to have control over what their fellow citizens consume, who they marry and where they worship (for those with that inclination.)

From the link:

Talbot, a professor of cell biology and neuroscience, was joined in the study by Anna Trtchounian, the first author of the research paper. Together, they examined the design, accuracy and clarity of labeling, nicotine content, leakiness, defective parts, disposal, errors in filling orders, instruction manual quality and advertizing for the following brands of e-cigarettes: NJOY, Liberty Stix, Crown Seven (Hydro), Smoking Everywhere (Gold and Platinum) and VapCigs.

Their main observations are that:

  • Batteries, atomizers, cartridges, cartridge wrappers, packs and instruction manuals lack important information regarding e-cigarette content, use and essential warnings;
  • E-cigarette cartridges leak, which could expose nicotine, an addictive and dangerous chemical, to children, adults, pets and the environment;
  • Currently, there are no methods for proper disposal of e-cigarettes products and accessories, including cartridges, which could result in contamination from discarded cartridges entering water sources and soil, and adversely impacting the environment; and
  • The manufacture, quality control, sales, and advertisement of e-cigarettes are unregulated.

“More research on e-cigarettes is crucially needed to protect the health of e-cigarette users and even those who do not use e-cigarettes,” said Kamlesh Asotra, a research administrator at UC TRDRP. “Contrary to the claims of the manufacturers and marketers of e-cigarettes being ‘safe,’ in fact, virtually nothing is known about the toxicity of the vapors generated by these e-cigarettes. Until we know any thing about the potential health risks of the toxins generated upon heating the nicotine-containing content of the e-cigarette cartridges, the ‘safety’ claims of the manufactureres are dubious at best.

Okay, doesn’t sound too convincing there. And I encourage more research because if electronic cigarettes pose specific health risks, consumers of the product should know about them to make informed decisions on what they are putting into their bodies.

Now here’s the title from the linked PhysOrg piece, “Electronic cigarettes are unsafe and pose health risks, new study finds.” Does that match the studies results to your mind. Certainly not mine. Note the first observation — the products lack package labeling. Stop the presses!

Who funded this bit of research, “The study was funded by a grant to Talbot from the University of California Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP).”

November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Filed under: et.al. — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 8:49 pm

Hope your day was filled with food and football.

thankgiving

November 24, 2010

Holiday air travel food for thought

Not only is the TSA a ridiculous bureaucratic mess that isn’t making anyone any safer at airports or in the skies, plus it’s now turned into an organization demanding organized “legal” molestation. It’s also very possibly damaging your health if you want to avoid the unwanted groping.

From the link:

As millions of U.S. travelers get ready for the busiest flying day of the year, scientists still can’t agree over whether the dose of radiation delivered by so-called backscatter machines is significantly higher than the government says. This is despite months of public debate between the White House, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and independent scientists.

Full-body scanners have been installed at many U.S. airports. The machines use either low-energy, millimeter wavelength radiation, which is harmless, or X-rays, which can potentially be hazardous. X-rays can ionize atoms or molecules, which can lead to cancerous changes in cells. Even if the government has significantly underestimated the dose of radiation delivered by an X-ray scanner, it is likely to be relatively small.

And more:

In April, four scientists at the University of California, San Francisco, wrote a public letter to the White House warning that the government may have underestimated the dosage of ionizing radiation delivered to a person’s skin from a backscatter machine by one or two orders of magnitude. The scientists, who have expertise in biochemistry, biophysics, oncology, and X-ray crystallography, pointed out that the government’s estimate was based on radiation exposure for the entire body. During scanning, the majority of radiation will be focused on the surface of the body, meaning a more concentrated dose of radiation is delivered to the skin.

November 12, 2010

Adventures in bad writing

Filed under: et.al., Media — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 6:43 pm

Hate to pick on an otherwise fine article, but this really stuck out: “For security reasons, never leave your laptop unsecured.”

And for daily nutrition reasons, always take in daily nutrition.

Makes you wonder where the editor was at Forbes that day.

November 3, 2010

A 3D printed car?

Filed under: Business, et.al., Science, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:57 pm

Yes.

From the link:

The Urbee — an electric/liquid-fuel hybrid that will get the equivalent of over 200 mpg on the highway and 100 MPG in the city — is the first prototype car ever to have its entire body 3D printed, according to a Stratasys press release.

All exterior components — including the glass panel prototypes — were created using Dimension 3D Printers and Fortus 3D Production Systems, using fused deposition modeling (FDM), an additive rapid prototyping process in which a plastic filament is liquefied and extruded to form layers of a model.

 

November 2, 2010

Cool nanotech image — growing nanowires

Cool image and interesting process

nanotechnology image
In the growth of sapphire nanowires using the vapor-liquid-solid method, scientists have observed that a facet at the liquid-solid interface alternately grows and shrinks, which promotes nanowire growth. These images are from the video below. Image credit: Sang Ho Oh, et al.

From the link:

Nanowires can be grown in many ways, but one of the lesser-understood growth processes is vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) growth. In VLS, a vapor adsorbs onto a liquid droplet, and the droplet transports the vapor and deposits it as a crystal at a liquid-solid interface. As the process repeats, a nanowire is built one crystal at a time. One advantage of the VLS process is that it allows scientists to control the nanowire’s growth in terms of size, shape, orientation, and composition, although this requires understanding the growth mechanisms on the atomic scale. In a new study, scientists have investigated the steps involved in VLS growth, and have observed a new oscillatory behavior that could lead to better controlled nanowire growth.

Hit the link for a video of the process.

October 26, 2010

We’re getting pretty close to “angry mob”

Filed under: et.al., Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 9:51 am

When political civility breaks down to the point middle-age adult men are physically assaulting a woman (and assaulting in a fairly cowardly way if you ask me), we have a serious polity problem on our hands. All the rage and anger of certain media factions has clearly whipped up something beyond normal political passions in parts of the electorate. This has happened in many places and many times in history and it’s never pretty.

Here’s more about the video.

(Hat tip: the Daily Dish)

Update — More on this incident from Rand Paul’s camp.

From the update link:

“The Paul for Senate campaign is extremely disappointed in, and condemns the actions of a supporter last night outside the KET debate,” the statement reads. “Whatever the perceived provocation, any level of aggression or violence is deplorable, and will not be tolerated by our campaign. The Paul campaign has disassociated itself from the volunteer who took part in this incident, and once again urges all activists — on both sides — to remember that their political passions should never manifest themselves in physical altercations of any kind.”

Update II — The courage and couth challenged perpetrator in the video has been IDed — Tim Profitt, a volunteer campaign coordinator for Kentucky GOP Senate nominee Rand Paul. Paul has ended Profitt’s volunteer status and banned him from campaign events.

Update III (10/27/10) — And sometimes the stupid just dig in deeper

From the Update III link:

Tim Profitt — the former Rand Paul volunteer who stomped on the head of a MoveOn activist — told told local CBS station WKYT that he wants an apology from the woman he stomped and that she started the whole thing.

“I don’t think it’s that big of a deal,” Profitt said. “I would like for her to apologize to me to be honest with you.”

“She’s a professional at what she does,” Profitt added, “and I think when all the facts come out, I think people will see that she was the one that initiated the whole thing.”

 

October 23, 2010

Book recommendation — “And Another Thing …” by Eoin Colfer

This is book six of three — Douglas Adams originally conceived The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy as a trilogy, and then promptly went on to write two more books. Before his death he expressed a desire to write a sixth book in the series since he felt Mostly Harmless, the fifth book, ended on a fairly bleak note (no spoilers here, but I agree, although there’s nothing wrong with bleakness sometimes).

Sadly Adams died before writing the sixth book. A couple of years ago Eoin Colfer was commissioned to write the sixth book, And Another Thing… , with Adams’ widow, Jane Belson.

I reread the series this year and approached the sixth book with trepidation. I’m very wary about a new author taking up someone’s milieu in any context other than a homage. A new book in the actual series? Rarely works — see: Herbert, Brian. After finishing the novel, I have to say it’s a great read. It’s fun and it’s a worthy addition to the Hitchhiker world. If you’ve shared some of my reservations about this novel, I say give it an honest shot, and if you’ve never read any of the six, then get yourself a copy of book one — The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy — and start reading.

October 22, 2010

Cool nanotech image — graphene transistors

Filed under: et.al., Science — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 9:34 am

The article connected to the image is pretty good, too.

Triple transistor: Single graphene transistors like this one can be made to operate in three modes and perform functions that usually require multiple transistors in a circuit.
Credit: Alexander Balandin

Also from the link:

Researchers have already made blisteringly fast graphene transistors. Now they’ve used graphene to make a transistor that can be switched between three different modes of operation, which in conventional circuits must be performed by three separate transistors. These configurable transistors could lead to more compact chips for sending and receiving wireless signals.

Chips that use fewer transistors while maintaining all the same functions could be less expensive, use less energy, and free up room inside portable electronics like smart phones, where space is tight. The new graphene transistor is an analog device, of the type that’s used for wireless communications in Bluetooth headsets and radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags.

 

October 18, 2010

DARPA’s shooting for the stars

Literally.

From the link:

NASA Ames Director Simon “Pete” Worden revealed Saturday that NASA Ames has “just started a project with DARPA called the Hundred Year Starship,” with $1 million funding from DARPA and $100K from NASA.

“You heard it here,” said Worden at “Long Conversation,” a Long Now Foundation event in San Francisco. “We also hope to inveigle some billionaires to form a Hundred Year Starship fund,” he added.

“The human space program is now really aimed at settling other worlds,” he explained. “Twenty years ago you had to whisper that in dark bars and get fired.” (Worden was in fact fired by President George W. Bush, he also revealed.)

But these ambitious projects will need whole new concepts for propulsion, Worden advised. “NASA needs to build a true starship, probably using electric propulsion, probably also using solar energy and nuclear energy.

Microwave thermal propulsion (Kevin Parker)

 

October 16, 2010

DVD recommendation: Ghost in the Shell 2 – Innocence

Filed under: Arts, et.al., Media — Tags: , , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 9:28 am

If you are an anime fan this is worth checking out. If you are a Ghost in the Shell fan it’s a must-see. And if you think you will never like animation for adults, this isn’t a bad place to test the premise. The story is solid and certainly stands alone for those not familiar with the GitS world. Animated or live-action this is solid cyberpunk science fiction and the visuals are simply amazing. This film even manages to blend hand-drawn and computer generated animation fairly deftly.

Head to Amazon to find Ghost in the Shell 2 – Innocence in DVD and Blu-ray formats.

Cool nanotech image — graphene

Filed under: et.al., Science, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 9:12 am

Actually the accompanying article is pretty cool, too, so do take the time to check it out.

But now, the image …

This image of a single suspended sheet of graphene taken with the TEAM 0.5, at Berkeley Lab’s National Center for Electron Microscopy shows individual carbon atoms (yellow) on the honeycomb lattice.

Also from the link:

In the current study, the team made graphene nanoribbons using a nanowire mask-based fabrication technique. By measuring the conductance fluctuation, or ‘noise’ of electrons in graphene nanoribbons, the researchers directly probed the effect of quantum confinement in these structures. Their findings map the electronic band structure of these graphene nanoribbons using a robust electrical probing method. This method can be further applied to a wide array of nanoscale materials, including graphene-based electronic devices.

“It amazes us to observe such a clear correlation between the noise and the band structure of these graphene nanomaterials,” says lead author Guangyu Xu, a physicist at University of California, Los Angeles. “This work adds strong support to the quasi-one-dimensional subband formation in graphene nanoribbons, in which our method turns out to be much more robust than conductance measurement.”

One more bit from the link, from the intro actually:

In last week’s announcement of the Nobel Prize in Physics, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences lauded graphene’s “exceptional properties that originate from the remarkable world of quantum physics.” If it weren’t hot enough before, this atomically thin sheet of carbon is now officially in the global spotlight.

So expect to hear a lot more about graphene in the coming months. Of course if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ve been getting a pretty steady (aside from the last month of light blogging) diet of graphene since almost day one (since February 2008 to be exact).

October 11, 2010

Congrats to Sully

Filed under: et.al., Media, Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 10:33 am

Many thanks and congratulations to Andrew Sullivan for reaching ten years blogging at his Daily Dish. It’s simply one of the best, and most honest, political (and, of course, more) blogs out there. He wears his heart on his sleeve most of the time and every once in a while can make a fairly harsh snap judgement on any number of topics, but one thing Sullivan has always done is remain intellectually curious and open. As he himself has put it more than once, you can watch him change his mindset on topics in real-time over weeks and months of blog posts. The Daily Dish has long been a daily read for me, and I doubt that changes anytime soon.

October 8, 2010

Watch out for Facebook’s “groups” overhaul

Filed under: Business, et.al., Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 9:56 am

Once again Facebook creates a PR headache for itself with the changes to Facebook groups. You just might find yourself part of a group you don’t really want to be a member of …

From the link:

That was followed by general confusion, with some reporting that Facebook’s new feature could be used to unilaterally add anyone to a group.

But that isn’t the case. The groups feature now lets users automatically add existing friends to groups, but they can’t do this with people they don’t know.

How did Zuckerberg get added to NAMBLA then? That’s all down to tech blogger Arrington. “I typed in his name and hit enter,’ Arrington wrote on TechCrunch. “He’s my Facebook friend, I therefore have the right to add him.”

Arrington added that “as soon as Zuckerberg unsubscribed I lost the ability to add him to any further groups at all, another protection against spamming and pranks.”

A Facebook spokeswoman confirmed that group members can only add their friends to the group. “If you have a friend that is adding you to groups you do not want to belong to, or they are behaving in a way that bothers you, you can tell them to stop doing it, block them or remove them as a friend — and they will no longer ever have the ability to add you to any group,” she wrote in an e-mail. “If you don’t trust someone to look out for you when making these types of decisions on the site, we’d suggest that you shouldn’t be friends on Facebook.”

 

September 30, 2010

Metamaterials and warp drives

Filed under: et.al., Science — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:20 pm

It’s almost time to call metamaterials simply that science fiction stuff. Usually you hear about metamaterials around these parts in posts about actual invisibility cloaking technology, and here’s one about metamaterials and warp drives. Metamaterials — turning science fiction into science fact …

From the link:

That means physicists can use metamaterials to simulate the universe itself and all the weird phenomenon of general relativity. We’ve looked at various attempts to recreate black holes, the Big Bang and even multiverses.

But there’s another thing that general relativity appears to allow: faster than light travel. In 1994, the Mexican physicist, Michael Alcubierre, realised that while relativity prevents faster-than-light travel relative to the fabric of spacetime, it places no restriction on the speed at which regions of spacetime can move relative to each other.

That suggests a way of building a warp drive. Alcubierre imagined a small volume of flat spacetime in which a spacecraft sits, surrounded by a bubble of spacetime that shrinks in the direction of travel, bringing your destination nearer, and stretches behind you. He showed that this shrinking and stretching could enable the bubble–and the spaceship it contained–to move at superluminal speeds.

Today, Igor Smolyaninov at the University of Maryland, points out that if these kinds of bubbles are possible in spacetime, then it ought to be possible to simulate them inside a metamaterial.

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