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Chinese Startup Infervision Emerges From Stealth With An AI Tool For Diagnosing Lung Cancer
Posted by News Fetcher on May 09 '17 at 02:11 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's turn-your-head-and-cough department:
Jonathan Shieber from TechCrunch writes of a Chinese company called Infervision that aims to help lower the number of people in China who die from lung cancer ever year. The company has created a tool that uses machine learning and computer vision to help diagnose cancers. From the report: The company is taking advantage of a digital infrastructure that's been in place in Chinese hospitals since the SARS outbreak in 2003. It is using training data from images stored in digital health records in China and coupling them with data the company's technology is collecting in real time from its deployment in 20 hospitals around China (including Peking Union Medical College Hospital and Shanghai Changzheng Hospital). Infervision is also working with GE Healthcare, Cisco and Nvidia to develop and refine its technology. The company has processed roughly 100,000 CT scans and 100,000 x-rays since its initial installation last year. Infervision installs its software on-premise at hospitals and updates its image recognition and diagnostics tools based on the data coming in from its training hospitals, Chen Kuan, founder and CEO of Infervision, said. Training procedures are divided into two separate components, according to Kuan. The first is the the actual training system, where annotated data is collected from radiologists and incorporated into the company's training data. Then an updated version of the software (including the latest training data) is distributed to the network of hospitals.

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ISPs Could Take Down Large Parts of Bitcoin Ecosystem If They Wanted To
Posted by News Fetcher on May 08 '17 at 11:31 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's say-the-magic-word department:
An anonymous reader writes: A rogue ISP could take down large parts of the Bitcoin ecosystem, according to new research that will be presented in two weeks at the 38th IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy in San Jose, USA. According to the researchers, there are two types of attack scenarios that could be leveraged via BGP hijacks to cripple the Bitcoin ecosystem: hijacking mining proceeds, causing double-spending errors, and delaying transactions. These two (partition and delay) attacks are possible because most of the entire Bitcoin ecosystem isn't as decentralized as most people think, and it still runs on a small number of ISPs. For example, 13 ISPs host 30% of the entire Bitcoin network, 39 ISPs host 50% of the whole Bitcoin mining power, and 3 ISPs handle 60% of all Bitcoin traffic. Currently, researchers found that around 100 Bitcoin nodes are the victims of BGP hijacks each month.

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US Life Expectancy Can Vary By 20 Years Depending On Where You Live
Posted by News Fetcher on May 08 '17 at 08:50 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's place-of-origin department:
After analyzing records from every U.S. county between 1980 and 2014, Christopher Murray, head of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, and his team found that life expectancy can vary by more than 20 years from county to county. "In counties with the longest lifespans, people tended to live about 87 years, while people in places with the shortest lifespans typically made it only about 67," reports NPR. From the report: The discrepancy is equivalent to the difference between the low-income parts of the developing world and countries with high incomes, Murray notes. For example, it's about the same gap as the difference between people living in Japan, which is among countries with the longest lifespans, and India, which has one of the shortest, Murray says. The U.S. counties with the longest life expectancy are places like Marin County, Calif., and Summit County, Colo. -- communities that are well-off and more highly educated. Counties with the shortest life expectancy tend to have communities that are poorer and less educated. The lowest is in Oglala Lakota County, S.D., which includes the Pine Ridge Native American reservation. Many of the other counties with the lowest life expectancy are clustered along the lower Mississippi River Valley as well as parts of West Virginia and Kentucky, according to the analysis. There's no sign of the gap closing. In fact, it's appears to be widening. Between 1980 and 2014, the gap between the highest and lowest lifespans increased by about two years. The reasons for the gap are complicated. But it looks like the counties with the lowest lifespans haven't made much progress fighting significant health problems such as smoking and obesity. The study has been published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Chrome For Android Now Lets You Save Web Pages For Reading Later
Posted by News Fetcher on May 08 '17 at 06:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's to-do-list department:
Today, Google has introduced a series of improvements to Chrome for Android to make it easier to save content for offline access. The improvements will be made to the "Downloads" feature rolled out in December that allows you to save webpages, music and videos for offline access. TechCrunch reports: To download a web page previously, you would open Chrome's menu in the top-right of the browser, then tap the "save" icon that's located next to the star for bookmarking the site. You could then see all the content you had saved for offline access by tapping on "Downloads" from this same menu. Now, Google is adding more ways to save content, including a way to long press on a link the way you do when you want to open up a page in a new tab. The option to "Download Link" will appear on the pop-up screen you see after your press, below the options to open the page in a new tab or incognito tab. Google says this long press action will also work on its article suggestions on its New Tab page. This New Tab page will also include the articles you've already downloaded, which will be flagged with an offline badge.

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T-Mobile No Longer Offering 'Free Data For Life' Offer For New Tablets
Posted by News Fetcher on May 08 '17 at 06:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's there-ain't-no-such-thing-as-a-free-lunch department:
T-Mobile has quietly killed off its "free data for life" offer for new tablets. In a statement provided to TmoNews, T-Mobile said: "When we launched Free Data For Life in 2013, 200MB of high-speed data was a lot. Today, customers want unlimited and we're all in with T-Mobile ONE. Customers who have T-Mobile ONE can add unlimited LTE data on a tablet for just $20 a month with autopay. Nothing changes for current customers with Free Data For Life on a tablet. They can keep it as long as they like." From the report: T-Mobile has updated its Free Data for Life support page to say that the program is no longer available for new activations as of May 7, 2017. The Free Data for Life program was attractive because it let you get a bit of cellular data on your tablet every month, even if you weren't a T-Mobile customer. This was nice for people that were ultra-light tablet data users, and it gave customers of other carriers a taste of T-Mo. The good news is that at least anyone that signed up before May 7 can still get their free data every 30 days, so long as they own their tablet.

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Researchers Create Touchpads With a Can of Spray Paint
Posted by News Fetcher on May 08 '17 at 04:51 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's can't-touch-this department:
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have figured out a way to turn any surface into a touchpad using none other than spray paint. "Walls, furniture, steering wheels, toys and even Jell-O can be turned into touch sensors with the technology, dubbed Electrick," reports Phys.Org. From the report: The "trick" is to apply electrically conductive coatings or materials to objects or surfaces, or to craft objects using conductive materials. By attaching a series of electrodes to the conductive materials, researchers showed they could use a well-known technique called electric field tomography to sense the position of a finger touch. With Electrick, conductive touch surfaces can be created by applying conductive paints, bulk plastics or carbon-loaded films, such as Desco's Velostat, among other materials. Like many touchscreens, Electrick relies on the shunting effect -- when a finger touches the touchpad, it shunts a bit of electric current to ground. By attaching multiple electrodes to the periphery of an object or conductive coating, Zhang and his colleagues showed they could localize where and when such shunting occurs. They did this by using electric field tomography -- sequentially running small amounts of current through the electrodes in pairs and noting any voltage differences. The tradeoff, in comparison to other touch input devices, is accuracy. Even so, Electrick can detect the location of a finger touch to an accuracy of one centimeter, which is sufficient for using the touch surface as a button, slider or other control, Zhang said. You can watch a video about how it works here.

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Google Researchers Find Wormable 'Crazy Bad' Windows Exploit
Posted by News Fetcher on May 08 '17 at 04:51 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's fingers-crossed department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from BleepingComputer: Two Google security experts have found a severe remote code execution (RCE) bug in the Windows OS, which they've described as "crazy bad." The two experts are Natalie Silvanovich and Tavis Ormandy, both working for Project Zero, a Google initiative for discovering and helping patch zero-days in third-party software products. The two didn't release in-depth details about the vulnerability, but only posted a few cryptic tweets regarding the issue. Drilled with questions by the Twitter's infosec community, Ormandy later revealed more details: the attacker and the victim don't necessarily need to be on the same LAN; the attack works on a default Windows install, meaning victims don't need to install extra software on their systems to become vulnerable; the attack is wormable (can self-replicate). The tweets came days before Microsoft's May 2017 Patch Tuesday, scheduled tomorrow, May 9. The researchers said a report is coming, alluding the vulnerability might be patched this month, and they'll be free to publish their findings.

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FCC Says It Was Victim of Cyberattack After John Oliver Show
Posted by News Fetcher on May 08 '17 at 03:31 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's cause-and-effect department:
On Sunday night, John Oliver urged his viewers to visit a website called "GoFCCYourself," which redirects users to a section of the FCC site where people can comment on the net neutrality proceeding. As a result, the FCC's site temporarily crashed. Now, it appears that the FCC is claiming its website has hit by a cyberattack late Sunday night. The Hill reports: "Beginning on Sunday night at midnight, our analysis reveals that the FCC was subject to multiple distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDos)," FCC chief information officer David Bray said in a statement Monday.
"These were deliberate attempts by external actors to bombard the FCC's comment system with a high amount of traffic to our commercial cloud host." The FCC's comments site went down in 2014 after the first time Oliver rallied his audience in support of net neutrality. In that case, it was widely believed the site went down because of the amount of traffic generated in the wake of Oliver's show. But Bray on Monday said that this recent instance was caused by a cyberattack and not a flood of people trying to give input. "These actors were not attempting to file comments themselves; rather they made it difficult for legitimate commenters to access and file with the FCC," he said.

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Comcast and Charter Agree Not To Compete Against Each Other In Wireless
Posted by News Fetcher on May 08 '17 at 03:31 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's combined-forces department:
Comcast and Charter announced an agreement to cooperate in their plans to sell mobile phone service, an agreement that also forbids each company from making wireless mergers and acquisitions without the other's consent for one year. "That agreement could stoke Wall Street speculation among investors and analysts that the two largest U.S. cable companies together could decide to make a play for a carrier like T-Mobile U.S. Inc. or Sprint Corp.," wrote The Wall Street Journal. Ars Technica reports: The deal could violate antitrust law, said Harold Feld, an attorney and senior VP of consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge. "One of the basic ideas of antitrust law is that when companies that compete with each other, or could compete with each other, make an explicit agreement to not compete with each other, that violates the antitrust laws," Feld told Ars today. "Agreeing to coordinate with each other to avoid competition is expressly a violation of the antitrust laws." But that doesn't mean Comcast and Charter won't be able to follow through with their plan. It's impossible to say with absolute certainty whether any specific agreement violates antitrust law, and "both Comcast and Charter have very good lawyers," Feld said. Comcast and Charter have a combined 47 million internet subscribers, dominating the US market for high-speed broadband, but they do not compete against each other in any city or town. The Comcast/Charter cooperation agreement fits in nicely with Comcast's mobile plans, because the company intends to sell smartphone data plans only to customers who also have Comcast home Internet service. Comcast's mobile service is scheduled to be available by the end of June, while Charter has said it intends to offer similar service in 2018.

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AI Is in a 'Golden Age' and Solving Problems That Were Once Sci-fi, Amazon CEO Says
Posted by News Fetcher on May 08 '17 at 02:11 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's people-in-power department:
An anonymous reader writes: Artificial intelligence (AI) development has seen an "amazing renaissance" and is beginning to solve problems that were once seen as science fiction, according to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Machine learning, machine vision, and natural language processing are all strands of AI that are being developed by technology giants such as Amazon, Alphabet's Google, and Facebook for various uses. These AI developments were praised by the Amazon founder. "It is a renaissance, it is a golden age," Bezos told an audience at the Internet Association's annual gala last week. "We are now solving problems with machine learning and artificial intelligence that were in the realm of science fiction for the last several decades. And natural language understanding, machine vision problems, it really is an amazing renaissance." Bezos called AI an "enabling layer" that will "improve every business."

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Pepe the Frog Is Dead
Posted by News Fetcher on May 08 '17 at 02:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's end-of-the-road department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: The creator of Pepe the Frog has symbolically killed off the cartoon frog, effectively surrendering control of the character to the far right. Matt Furie, an artist and children's book author, created the now-infamous frog as part of his "Boy's Club" series on MySpace in 2005. Pepe took on a life of its own online as a meme, before being eventually adopted as a symbol by the "alt-right" in the lead-up to last year's U.S. election. In September, Hillary Clinton identified Pepe the Frog as a racist hate symbol, and Pepe was added to the Anti-Defamation League's database of hate symbols. Furie launched a campaign to "Save Pepe," flooding the internet with "peaceful or nice" depictions of the character in a bid to shake its association with white supremacy and antisemitism. But he now seems to have conceded defeat, killing the character off in a one-page strip for the independent publisher Fantagraphics' Free Comic Book Day. It showed Pepe laid to rest in an open casket, being mourned by his fellow characters from Boy's Club.

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Google's Upcoming 'Fuchsia' Smartphone OS Dumps Linux, Has a Wild New UI
Posted by News Fetcher on May 08 '17 at 02:11 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's shape-of-things-to-come department:
More details have emerged about Fuchsia, the new mobile OS Google has been working on. ArsTechnica reports that Fuchsia is not based on Linux (unlike Android and Chrome OS). Instead, the OS uses a new, Google-developed microkernel called "Magenta." From the article: With Fuchsia, Google would not only be dumping the Linux kernel, but also the GPL: the OS is licensed under a mix of BSD 3 clause, MIT, and Apache 2.0. Dumping Linux might come as a bit of a shock, but the Android ecosystem seems to have no desire to keep up with upstream Linux releases. Even the Google Pixel is still stuck on Linux Kernel 3.18, which was first released at the end of 2014. [...] The interface and apps are written using Google's Flutter SDK, a project that actually produces cross-platform code that runs on Android and iOS. Flutter apps are written in Dart, Google's reboot of JavaScript which, on mobile, has a focus on high-performance, 120fps apps. It also has a Vulkan-based graphics renderer called "Escher" that lists "Volumetric soft shadows" as one of its features, which seems custom-built to run Google's shadow-heavy "Material Design" interface guidelines. The publication put the Flutter SDK to test on an Android device to get a sneak peek into the user interface of Fuchsia. "The home screen is a giant vertically scrolling list. In the center you'll see a (placeholder) profile picture, the date, a city name, and a battery icon," the author wrote. "Above the are 'Story' cards -- basically Recent Apps -- and below it is a scrolling list of suggestions, sort of like a Google Now placeholder. Leave the main screen and you'll see a Fuchsia 'home' button pop up on the bottom of the screen, which is just a single white circle."

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Ask Slashdot: What Should Be the Attributes of an Ideal Programming Language If Computers Were Infinitely Fast?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 08 '17 at 12:51 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's hypothetical-questions department:
An anonymous reader writes: Earlier today, Tim Sweeney, the founder of Epic Games, asked his Twitter followers an interesting question: "What are the attributes of an ideal programming language if computers were infinitely fast, and we designed for coding productivity only?" I could think of several things, the chief of which would be getting rid of the garbage collection. I was wondering what other things you folks would suggest?

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Facebook Takes Out Full-page Newspaper Ads To Help UK Citizens Detect Fake New
Posted by News Fetcher on May 08 '17 at 12:51 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's assuming-responsibility department:
An anonymous reader writes: Facebook has today taken out full-page ads in U.K. newspapers ahead of the general election that's scheduled to take place next month. These ads are designed to educate the public about how to spot fake news online. Appearing in nationwide publications, including the Guardian and the Telegraph, Facebook's "Tips for spotting false news" ad is similar to the one it published in France last month and covers such areas as being skeptical of misleading headlines, spotting manipulated images, and checking the URL of the story. The advice offered may not always help, however -- under "Consider the photos," for example, the text reads: "You can search for the photo or image to verify where it came from." But anyone requiring advice on how to spot fake news through a newspaper ad likely isn't tech savvy enough to know how to do that or to even understand what it means. Alongside these ads, Facebook also revealed that is has deleted "tens of thousands" of accounts that it believes were deliberately spreading fake news and that it is also updating its algorithms to demote articles it suspects of carrying dubious messaging.

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EPA Dismisses Half the Scientists on Its Major Review Board
Posted by News Fetcher on May 08 '17 at 11:31 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's shape-of-things department:
An anonymous reader shares a report: A few weeks after the election, pro-Trump commentator Scottie Nell Hughes heralded the dawn of a new era when she declared, "There's no such thing, unfortunately, anymore as facts." In the age of Trump there's little need for people who've devoted their lives to studying scientific facts, and over the weekend the administration finally got around to dismissing some of them. According to the Washington Post, about half of the 18 members on the Environmental Protection Agency's Board of Scientific Counselors have been informed that their terms will not be renewed. The academics who sit on the board advise the EPA's scientific board on whether its research is sound. The academics usually serve two three-year stints, and they were told by Obama administration officials and career EPA staffers that they would stay on for another term. But on Friday some received emails from the agency informing them that their first three-year term was up and they would not be renominated. Republican members of Congress have complained for some time that the Board of Scientific Counselors, as well as the 47-member Science Advisory Board, just rubber-stamp new EPA regulations. A spokesman for EPA administrator Scott Pruitt confirmed that he's thinking of replacing the academics with industry experts (though the EPA is supposed to be regulating those companies). Gretchen Goldman, research director at the Center for Science and Democracy, expressed her disappointment and asked, "What's the scientific reason for removing these individuals from this EPA science review board? It is rare to see such a large scale dismissal even in a presidential transition. The EPA is treating this scientific advisory board like its members are political appointees when these committees are not political positions. The individuals on these boards are appointed based on scientific expertise not politics. This move by the EPA is inserting politics into science."

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Internet Giants Like Apple and Google 'Abuse Their Privileged Position', Says Spotify CEO
Posted by News Fetcher on May 08 '17 at 10:11 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's tussle-continues department:
Giant companies like Apple and Alphabet's Google "can and do abuse their privileged positions," according to a letter sent to the European Commission by music streaming service Spotify, rival firm Deezer and Rocket Internet, among others. From a report: "Our collective experience is that where online platforms have a strong incentive to turn into gatekeepers because of their dual role, instead of maximizing consumer welfare," the CEOs wrote. In one part of the letter, the CEOs said examples of platforms turning into gatekeepers include them "restricting access to data or interaction with consumers, biased ranking and search results to lack of clarity, imbalanced terms and conditions and preference of their own vertically integrated services."

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Inside Germany's Plan To Kill Online Registrations
Posted by News Fetcher on May 08 '17 at 10:11 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's one-service-to-rule-them-all department:
An anonymous reader writes: Germany's corporate giants are promising a brave new future in the form of a single account -- one that will let you do your online shopping, get a flight and rent a car, all with no more registrations or repetitive passwords. Deutsche Bank (DB), Germany's biggest bank, announced Monday it's teaming up with other big firms to create a new company that will create the service. Users would enter their ID details just once before they can make all their online purchases across multiple sites. The partners -- which include Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler, insurer Allianz and publisher Axel Springer -- hope other firms will sign up to their vision. They're calling it a "pan-industry platform for online registration, e-identity and data services." The program could eventually be expanded to include government services. For example, drivers could apply for a new license through the system before their old one expires. The partners expect the program will be running in Germany by mid-2018, and they stressed it will be "secure" and comply with all European Union data protection rules.

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IBM: Remote Working Is Great! (For Everyone Except Us)
Posted by News Fetcher on May 08 '17 at 08:51 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's stranger-things department:
An anonymous reader writes: IBM, the company that just weeks ago said it was doing away with its work-from-home policy, is now preaching the benefits of telecommuting to customers. Big Blue's Smarter Workforce Group says a recent panel it hosted at the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) conference concluded that customers who work remotely are "more engaged, have stronger trust in leadership and much stronger intention to stay. These findings mirror what an IBM Smarter Workforce Institute study found," the group wrote. "Challenging the modern myths of remote working shares employee research revealing that remote workers are highly engaged, more likely to consider their workplaces as innovative, happier about their job prospects and less stressed than their more traditional, office-bound colleagues." This is posted without any apparent sense of irony, as IBM said just weeks ago that remote workers were not part of its "recipe for success" and could no longer be permitted to work anywhere other than its six regional offices in various techie hubs around the US.

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Your Boss Is Not More Stressed Out Than You, Science Says
Posted by News Fetcher on May 08 '17 at 08:51 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's how-we-live department:
An anonymous reader writes: Work under capitalism is a brutal psychological gauntlet -- low pay, long hours, and little to no safety net. But bosses usually expect you to take some solace in the fact that you're not doing their (supposedly more difficult) job, even if they make more money. Some part of you might think that's bullshit, but hey, what do you know? Well, according to new work from researchers from the University of Manchester, University College London, and the University of Essex, it probably is bullshit. According to their study, published on Friday in the Journals of Gerontology, people lower on the corporate ladder are, on average, more stressed than people higher up. Worse, according to the study, the elevated stress continues into retirement for average working people. 'Workers in lower status jobs tend to have more stressful working conditions -- they have lower pay, poorer pension arrangements, less control over their work, and report more unsupportive colleagues and managers,' Tarani Chandola, a professor of medical sociology at the University of Manchester and one of the paper's authors, wrote me in an email.

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John Oliver Gets Fired Up Over Net Neutrality, Causes FCC's Site To Temporarily Crash
Posted by News Fetcher on May 08 '17 at 07:31 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's go-fcc-yourself department:
Three years ago, late night comedian John Oliver propelled an arcane telecom topic into the national debate by spurring millions of ordinary Americans to file comments with the Federal Communications Commission in favor of "net neutrality." Among other things, that effort caused the FCC website to crash, which couldn't handle the "overwhelming" traffic. Now Oliver is back at it, and he is already causing the site some troubles. From a report on Fortune: On Sunday night, Oliver devoted a chunk of his Last Week Tonight show to condemning a plan by the FCC's new Chairman, Ajit Pai, to tear up current net neutrality rules, which forbid Internet providers from delivering some websites faster than others. In the clip, Oliver urges viewers to visit a website called "GoFCCYourself," which redirects users to a section of the FCC site where people can comment on the net neutrality proceeding, known as "Restoring Internet Freedom" in Pai's parlance. Viewers took up Oliver's offer in spades -- so much so that the FCC's servers appeared to be overwhelmed by the flood of traffic. The comment page is currently loading with delays and, according to reports from several outlets, the site went down altogether for a while.

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