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Ask Slashdot: Is It Ever OK To Quit Without Giving Notice?
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '16 at 04:32 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's please-take-a-moment-to-locate-your-nearest-exit department:
HughPickens.com writes: Employees and employers alike have the right under at-will employment laws in almost all states to end their relationship without notice, for any reason, but the two-week rule is a widely accepted standard of workplace conduct. However, Sue Shellenbarger writes at the WSJ that a growing number of workers are leaving without giving two weeks' notice. Some bosses blame young employees who feel frustrated by limited prospects or have little sense of attachment to their workplace. But employment experts say some older workers are quitting without notice as well. They feel overworked or unappreciated after years of laboring under pay cuts and expanded workloads imposed during the recession. One employee at Dupray, a customer-service rep, scheduled a meeting and announced she was quitting, then rose and headed for the exit. She seemed surprised when the director of human resources stopped her and explained that employees are expected to give two weeks' notice. "She said, 'I've been watching 'Suits,' and this is how it happens,'" referring to the TV drama set in a law firm.

< article continued at Slashdot's please-take-a-moment-to-locate-your-nearest-exit department >

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And the Lord Said, 'Let There Be Free Wi-Fi'
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '16 at 03:01 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's affinity-for-free-internet department:
Germany doesn't have free wi-fi at most places, especially because a German law holds the network provider accountable for any illegal activity on their network. But moving forward, the country is getting free wi-fi called "Godspots" at 3,000 churches and other religious places. From an article on Quartz: The service was launched in advance of the 500th anniversary of theologian Martin Luther's infamous protest of corrupt practices by the Catholic clergy, which ultimately led to the Protestant Reformation. The event will be commemorated across Germany next year. The wifi service is also a strategic move to draw young people back into Germany's glorious, but mostly underutilized, churches and cathedrals. Church Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Oberlausitz's IT manager Fabian Blatner says Godspot aligns with the church's mission to foster community. "People are no less spiritual than before," Blatner believes, "but the places of communication have shifted. Much takes place in digital social networks and communities. With Godspot we want to build a Protestant Church [that serves as] a safe and familiar abode in the digital world." EKBO says Godspot's connections will be secure and it will not be collecting any information about users or bombarding them with ads. Well, except for a landing page featuring "topics of faith and life."

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Baton Rouge Police Database Hacked In Retaliation For Killing of Alton Sterling
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '16 at 03:01 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's vigilante-justice department:
Patrick O'Neill quotes a report from The Daily Dot: Just days after the fatal shooting of a black man by Baton Rouge police prompted international outrage and a Justice Department investigation, the Baton Rouge city government's servers have been hacked and 50,000 city police records leaked including names, addresses, emails, and phone numbers. A hacker that goes by the name @ox2Taylor claimed responsibility for the breach, which was confirmed by security intelligence analyst at Patch Penguin, Jamie-Luke Woodruff. He told the Daily Dot that the administrators of the website had failed to implement proper security measures. When the hacker first announced the hack, he accompanied the tweet with three hashtags revealing the motivation: #AltonSterling, #Hacked, and #BlackLivesMatters. "The reason i did it is because of what that officer did to alton sterling," Taylor told the Daily Dot in a private message. "i'm sick of seeing police abuse their power and all the killings."

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UW, Microsoft Successfully Encoded 200MB of Data Onto Synthetic DNA Molecules
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '16 at 03:01 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's DNA-data-storage department:
An anonymous reader writes from a report via The Seattle Times: Researchers from Microsoft and the University of Washington said Thursday that they had successfully encoded about 200 megabytes of data onto synthetic DNA molecules. The information included more than 100 books, translations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and a high-definition music video from the band OK Go. Previously, the record was 22 megabytes encoded and decoded on DNA, said the researchers. Microsoft's lead researcher on the project, Karin Strauss, said DNA storage of the type demonstrated in the UW lab could, theoretically, store an exabyte (one billion gigabytes) of data in about one cubic inch of DNA material. "Our goal is really to build systems to show that it is possible," she said. DNA is also very durable. If stored in the right conditions, data encoded on DNA could be readable for thousands of years, compared to typical hard disks or flash drives that can fail in a few years.

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Wendy's Says More Than 1,000 Restaurants Affected By Hack
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '16 at 01:31 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's burgers-on-a-budget department:
An anonymous reader writes from a report via ABC News: The fast food giant Wendy's has reported today that hackers were able to steal customers' credit and debit card information at 1,025 of its U.S. restaurants. The company said Thursday hackers were able to obtain card numbers, names, expiration dates and codes on the card, beginning in late fall. Some customers' cards were used to make fraudulent purchases at other stores. Wendy's first announced it was investigating a possible hack in January. In May, it found malware in fewer than 300 restaurants; two types of malware were found two months later and the number of restaurants affected was "considerably higher." There are more than 5,700 Wendy's restaurants in the U.S. Customers can check to see which locations were affected via Wendy's website. The company said it is offering free one-year credit monitoring to people who paid with a card at any of those restaurants. In May, Wendy's announced plans to start automating all of its restaurants with self-service ordering kiosks.

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Mozilla Could Walk Away and Still Get More Than $1 Billion If It Doesn't Like Yahoo's Buyer
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '16 at 01:31 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's release-22 department:
Kara Swisher, reporting for Recode: Under terms of a contract that has been seen by Recode, whoever acquires Yahoo might have to pay Mozilla annual payments of $375 million through 2019 if it does not think the buyer is one it wants to work with and walks away. That's according to a clause in the Silicon Valley giant's official agreement with the browser maker that CEO Marissa Mayer struck in late 2014 to become the default search engine on the well-known Firefox browser in the U.S. Mozilla switched to Yahoo from Google after Mayer offered a much more lucrative deal that included what potential buyers of Yahoo say is an unprecedented term to protect Mozilla in a change-of-control scenario. It was a scenario that Mayer never thought would happen, which is why she apparently pushed through the possibly problematic deal point. According to the change-of-control term, 9.1 in the agreement, Mozilla has the right to leave the partnership if -- under its sole discretion and in a certain time period -- it did not deem the new partner acceptable. And if it did that, even if it struck another search deal, Yahoo is still obligated to pay out annual revenue guarantees of $375 million.

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UK ISP Sky Is About To Start Censoring the Web For All of Its Customers
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '16 at 12:11 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's say-no-to-porn department:
Mark Wilson, writing for BetaNews: The UK government is on a mission to protect the young of the country from the dark recesses of the web. And by the darker recesses, what is really meant is porn. The main ISPs have long been required to block access to known piracy sites, but porn is also a concern -- for politicians, at least. As part of its bid to sanitize and censor the web, Sky -- from the Murdoch stables -- is, as of today, enabling adult content filtering by default for all new customers: Sky Broadband Shield. The company wants to "help families protect their children from inappropriate content", and in a previous experiment discovered -- unsurprisingly -- that content filtering was used by more people if it was automatically enabled.

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Android KeyStore Encryption Scheme Broken
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '16 at 12:11 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's security-woes department:
Reader msm1267 writes: The default implementation for KeyStore, the system in Android designed to store user credentials and cryptographic keys, is broken, researchers say.>In an academic paper published this week, researchers argue that the particular encryption scheme that KeyStore uses fails to protect the integrity of keys and could be exploited to allow an attacker to modify stored keys through a forgery attack.KeyStore, which performs key-specific actions through the OpenSSL library, allows Android apps to store and generate their own cryptographic keys. By storing keys in a container, KeyStore makes it more difficult to remove them from the device. Mohamed Sabt and Jacques Traore, two researchers with the French telecom Orange Labs, claim the scheme associated with the system is "non-provably secure," and could have "severe consequences." The two point out in their paper "Breaking Into the KeyStore: A Practical Forgery Attack Against Android KeyStore," that it's the hash-then-encrypt (HtE) authenticated encryption (AE) scheme in cipher block chaining mode (CBC) in KeyStore that fails to guarantee the integrity of keys.

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Google Is Working To Safeguard Chrome From Quantum Computers
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '16 at 10:51 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's safety-first department:
Quantum computing could potentially someday be used to retroactively break any communications that were encrypted with today's standard encryption algorithms. Google realizes this, and hence, is ensuring that it doesn't happen. Today, it announced that it has begun to deploy a new type of cryptography called the New Hope algorithm in its Chrome Canary browser that is designed to prevent such decryption attacks. From a report on The Verge: Although quantum computers of this variety are only small and experimental at this stage, Google is taking precautions for the worst case scenario. "While they will, no doubt, be of huge benefit in some areas of study, some of the problems that they [quantum computers] are effective at solving are the ones that we use to secure digital communications," writes Matt Braithwaite, a Google software engineer, in a blog post. "Specifically, if large quantum computers can be built then they may be able to break the asymmetric cryptographic primitives that are currently used in TLS, the security protocol behind HTTPS." In other words, quantum computers could undermine the security of the entire internet. Quantum computers promise computational power far exceeding today's standards by taking advantage of the underpinning physics discipline. So the presence of a hypothetical future quantum computer, Braithwaite adds, puts at risk any and all encrypted internet communication past or present. It's unclear how secure New Hope (PDF) will prove to be for Chrome, and Braithwaite admits it could be less secure than its existing encryption. But Google says New Hope -- developed by researchers Erdem Alkim, Leo Ducas, Thomas Poppelmann and Peter Schwabe -- was the most promising of all post-quantum key-exchange software it looked into last year.

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Smartphones Lift Samsung To Best Profit In Over Two Years
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '16 at 10:51 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's samsung-is-back department:
Samsung said on Thursday that its second-quarter operating profit likely rose 17.4% from a year earlier. The figure marks the highest for Samsung in more than 2 years. The company adds that sales of Galaxy S7 flagship smartphone propelled its mobile earnings. Engadget reports: While Samsung won't be releasing its detailed earnings until the end of July, Reuters believes the top earner this quarter is none other than the mobile division, which also topped the last one. The news source says the division's profit could be up 54.5 percent from the same period last year. According to Yonhap News, Samsung shipped out around 15 million S7 and S7 edge units from April to June, with the latter beating out the basic S7 despite being more expensive.The company's mobile division, which once mostly had to compete with Apple's iPhone in the smartphone market, has been facing stiff competition from Chinese players such as Xiaomi and Huawei especially in the emerging market. But interestingly, some of these Chinese players have started to cut the big margin that their phones enjoyed in the recent months to make more profit.

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Facebook Decides Which Killings We're Allowed to See
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '16 at 09:31 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's unprecedented-power department:
Minutes after a police shooting took place in the Falcon Heights suburbs of Minnesota, a Facebook Live video was published on the social juggernaut website. The death of Philando Castile, 32, was documented in harrowing detail thanks to the live streaming tool offered by the social media giant. The 10-minute video was streamed via smartphone by a woman identified in media reports as Diamond Reynolds. She narrates the video with a mix of eerie calm and anguish. The video was removed from Facebook due to, as company says, a "technical glitch." The video has since been restored, but with a "Warning -- Graphic Video," disclaimer. Motherboard notes that Facebook has become the de-facto platform for such controversial videos, and that there's a pattern in these so called glitches -- as they happen very often time after a questionable content is streamed. This makes one wonder whether it is up to Facebook to decide which kind of controversial videos one should be able to watch The publication writes: As Facebook continues to build out its Live video platform, the world's most popular social network has become the de-facto choice for important, breaking, and controversial videos. Several times, Facebook has blocked political or newsworthy content only to later say that the removal was a "technical glitch" or an "error." Nearly two-thirds of Americans get their news from social media, and two thirds of Facebook users say they use the site to get news. If Facebook is going to become the middleman that delivers the world's most popular news events to the masses, technical glitches and erroneous content removals could be devastating to information dissemination efforts. More importantly, Facebook has become the self-appointed gatekeeper for what is acceptable content to show the public, which is an incredibly important and powerful position to be in. By censoring anything, Facebook has created the expectation that there are rules for using its platform (most would agree that some rules are necessary). But because the public relies on the website so much, Facebook's rules and judgments have an outsized impact on public debate.

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NVIDIA Announces GeForce GTX 1060, Fierce Competition For the Radeon RX 480
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '16 at 09:31 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's cut-throat-competition department:
Reader MojoKid writes: In May, NVIDIA released the GeForce GTX 1080. The company followed up on that beastly chip in June with slightly cut down GeForce GTX 1070 and that trickledown effect is now reaching the mainstream market with the arrival of the GeForce GTX 1060. The GeForce GTX 1060 can be seen as a direct response to the AMD Radeon RX 480, which offers a ton of performance at the $200 price point. While still built using a 16nm FinFET process, the GP106 core on the GTX 1060 features 1280 CUDA cores; exactly half that of the GTX 1080. Base clock for the GPU is 1506MHz, while the boost clock is 1708MHz (NVIDIA is quick to point out, however, the GPU core can easily be overclocked to 2GHz+). The GTX 1060 features a 192-bit memory bus and comes with 6GB of GDDR5 memory running at 8Gbps. The card has a single 6-pin power connector and a 120W TDP. NVIDIA claims that the GTX 1060 is on average 15 percent faster than its closest competitor, the Radeon RX 480. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 will be available starting July 19th from a wide variety of third-party partners including ASUS, EVGA, Gigabyte, MSI and Zotac etc. with a starting price of $249. The NVIDIA-built GeForce GTX 1060 Founder Edition will be available for $299.

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Apple To Release Public Betas of iOS 10 and macOS Sierra Today
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '16 at 08:01 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's affinity-for-beta-os department:
The next version of Apple's desktop operating system, macOS Sierra, will be made available in a public beta later today. Enthusiasts can also try their hands at iOS 10, the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system today. Both the new operating system versions offer a range of new features and improvements. Sierra, for instance, features Siri voice assistant which will assist users with locating files, answering queries, and search for images and information just by asking. iOS 10 lets users write a message in their own handwriting, and has a feature called "Raise to Wake" which wakes up the device when a user picks up their iPhone. Notifications have gotten more powerful, and now show photos and videos as well. You will find the macOS Sierra preview here, and iOS 10 preview here. More information on Apple's beta program here.

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Russian Leader Putin Signs Controversial 'Big Brother' Law
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '16 at 08:01 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's big-brother-is-watching department:
An anonymous reader writes: Today Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the controversial "anti-terrorist" legislation adopted by the lower and upper houses of parliament in late June, despite the flurry of criticism from opposition-minded circles and the serious concerns expressed by Russian telecom and internet companies. As reported earlier by East-West Digital News, the new legislation -- which Edward Snowden has called "Russia's new Big-Brother law" -- is not only severe against those involved in "international terrorism," its financing or non-denunciation. Law-enforcement agencies will also be granted access to any user's messages without any judicial oversight. Several key provisions will directly affect the internet and telecom industry. In particular, telecom operators and internet resources will need to store the recordings of all phone calls and the content of all text messages for a period of six months. They will be required to cooperate with the Federal Security Service (FSB) to make their users' communications fully accessible to this organization.

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Microsoft's Nadella Reshapes Top Management as Turner Leaves
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '16 at 06:42 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's change-is-the-very-nature-of-life department:
Dina Bass, reporting for Bloomberg: Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella announced a broad reorganization of the company's senior executive ranks as long-time Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner prepares to leave for another job. Instead of naming a new COO, Nadella appointed two executives to divvy up the sales responsibilities and report to him. Jean-Philippe Courtois will be in charge of global sales, marketing and operations spanning Microsoft's 13 business areas, Nadella said in a note to employees Thursday. Judson Althoff will lead the worldwide commercial business, including government and small and medium-sized businesses. Other executives already reporting to Nadella will take on parts of Turner's job, with Chris Capossela leading worldwide marketing, Kurt DelBene leading IT and Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood taking over the sales and marketing team's finance group, which had been separate.

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Avast Acquires AVG For $1.3 Billion To Create Security Software Giant
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '16 at 06:42 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's join-forces department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from VentureBeat: Security software giant Avast Software has acquired rival AVG Technologies. Avast will pay $25 in cash for each of AVG's outstanding ordinary shares, in a deal amounting to around $1.3 billion. Avast said that it's acquiring AVG to "gain scale, technological depth and geographical breadth" and so it can "take advantage of emerging growth opportunities in internet security as well as organizational efficiencies." The combined company will have access to "400 million endpoints" -- that is, devices that have some form of Avast or AVG application installed. Almost half of those are mobile too, which is key in a world that is increasingly shifting away from the desktop. With access to more devices, this will serve the joint company a bigger pool of data on malware, meaning it should be better positioned to offer better security products. "We are in a rapidly changing industry, and this acquisition gives us the breadth and technological depth to be the security provider of choice for our current and future customers," said Vince Steckler, CEO of Avast. "Combining the strengths of two great tech companies, both founded in the Czech Republic and with a common culture and mission, will put us in a great position to take advantage of the new opportunities ahead, such as security for the enormous growth in IoT." The boards of both companies have approved the acquisition. However, AVG's shareholders still need to approve the deal, which Avast expects to happen between September and October 2016.

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Samsung Unveils World's First UFS Storage Cards, Could Replace MicroSD
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '16 at 02:22 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's first-of-its-kind department:
An anonymous reader writes: Samsung has unveiled the world's first UFS card that could one day replace microSD cards in devices. The UFS card is based on the Universal Flash Storage 1.0 Card Extension standard and will be available in capacities from 32GB to 256GB. With a UFS card, users will be able to read 5GB of data, or a full resolution movie file, in 10 seconds, Samsung claims. For comparison, a UHS-1 microSD card would take 50 seconds to do the same. UFS cards will be able to fit into a wide range of devices like smartphones, tablets, cameras, and drones, but the devices will need a specific UFS card slot, which could take some time. Samsung claims the 256GB UFS card has a sequential read speed of 530MBps. The random read speed is 20 times faster than a microSD card. The sequential write speed is about 170MBps, which Samsung estimates is two times faster than microSD cards. The random write speed is 350 times faster than microSD, Samsung claims. The Universal Flash Storage 1.0 Card Extension standard is intended to replace the eMMC standard, which is used in low-cost laptops and Chromebooks. Samsung didn't disclose pricing or availability for the UFS storage cards. It's worth noting that Toshiba does also make UFS storage cards, but they have yet to release any based on the UFS 1.0 Card Extension standard.

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Google Is Working On Two Android Wear Smartwatches, Says Report
Posted by News Fetcher on July 06 '16 at 11:31 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's two-is-better-than-one department:
An anonymous reader writes: A new report from Android Police says Google is working on two Android Wear smartwatches. The Verge reports: "The two smartwatches -- one codenamed Angelfish, the other Swordfish -- are said to place a heavy focus on the Google assistant artificial intelligence 'bot' that headlined the company's recent I/O keynote. In terms of size and design, the larger Angelfish watch fits somewhere in between the 42mm and 46mm sizes of Lenovo's Moto 360. It'll feature LTE connectivity, built-in GPS, and a heart rate monitor, so it's got everything necessary for a little independence from your smartphone. The watch design reportedly features three buttons. There's a circular crown like many other Android Wear devices, but Angelfish also has two other buttons, and it's not yet known what they do. The smaller, thinner Swordfish watch has a look that resembles the Pebble Time Round, according to Android Police, with much less bezel surrounding the circular display. It's got just a single button, and might ship without the LTE, GPS, and heart rate sensor included inside the higher-end model. They could appear sometime this fall alongside new Nexus phones and the launch of Android Wear 2.0, though Android Police suspects they'll be announced separately." Researchers at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey, were able to track a smartwatch wearer's hand movements at an ATM and figure out their pin with 80 percent accuracy on the first try.

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Second Tesla Autopilot Crash Under Review By US Regulators
Posted by News Fetcher on July 06 '16 at 08:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's under-investigation department:
An anonymous reader writes: The Wall Street Journal and many other publications are reporting that U.S. auto-safety regulators are currently reviewing a second crash that occurred while Tesla's Autopilot mode was activate. The Detroit Free Press reports that a Michigan art gallery owner told police that he survived a rollover crash that happened when his Tesla Model X was in self-driving mode last Friday. The newspaper didn't disclose any additional details regarding what led up to the accident and whether or not the driver was to blame. Last week, it was reported that U.S. regulators were investigating Tesla after a fatal crash occurred involving a vehicle using the Autopilot mode. Tesla said in a statement after that incident, "This is the first known fatality in just over 130 million miles where Autopilot was activated." They also said Autopilot "is an assist feature that requires you to keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times."

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Entire Federal Government Exempt From Robocall Laws, FCC Rules
Posted by News Fetcher on July 06 '16 at 05:52 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's can-you-hear-me-now department:
An anonymous reader writes from a report via The Hill: Late Tuesday night, the Federal Communications Commission ruled that the entire federal government is exempt from consumer protection laws that limit unwanted robocalls. They ruled that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 doesn't apply to the federal government, while the law does bar businesses from making numerous autodialed or prerecorded calls to a person's cellphone. The FCC did also make contractors working on behalf of the government exempt from the law as well. Earlier this year, a Supreme Court case found that the law does not apply to the government because of sovereign immunity. However, the FCC ruled that the government falls outside the law's definition of a "person." "Indeed, had Congress wanted to subject the federal government to the TCPA, it easily could have done so by defining 'person' to include the federal government," according to the ruling. Therefore, contractors hired by members of Congress can robocall individuals to participate in town halls, government researchers can place autodialed calls to the cellphones of survey respondents, and contractors can make similar calls to offer information about social security. The ruling does not apply to lawmakers who are using the calls for political campaigns.

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