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06.14.11

Links 14/6/2011: EKOPath 4 Compiler Suite Goes GPL, ODF Wins in Russia

Posted in News Roundup at 4:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Anyone Can use the Linux Operating System

    Ultimately the best solution for getting Linux into the hands of someone new and having it provide a positive experience is the proper setup and configuration of the operating system by someone that knows what they are doing. Ninety percent of Linux distributions that exist can be easily used by just about anyone when properly configured and presented with a couple minutes of explanation to the new user. Just like Windows or OSX anyone can use Linux in 2011, but not everyone can install Linux.

  • Counter-Rant

    No. This FUD doesn’t wash. GNU/Linux is quite a reasonable OS for ordinary users. I have introduced thousands of all ages to GNU/Linux and few of them had any such problems with GNU/Linux. They use PCs. They don’t try to destructively test an OS. Even grandmothers and little kids can use GNU/Linux.

    see Linux Desktop Experience Killing Linux on the Desktop if you want to see a logical train-wreck of an essay.

  • 17 things we’d change about names in Linux

    What’s in a name? Acronyms, in-jokes and lots of capital letters, if free software is anything to go by.

    We look at some unfortunate choices that have been made at this critical stage of development.

  • Current Debates…

    What about silly names? Ubuntu nicknames come to mind.

    While I’m not a big fan of Ubuntu’s release nicknames, I don’t see any problem with them, either. Developers name or nickname their releases at their will. Don’t like it? Then help develop and earn your right to change those names! :P

    But what about Kaffeine, K3B, GNOME, and so on? Some people will tell me “C’mon! They are indeed SILLY!”

    Sillier than Windows Vista and Vista/7 mega-killer “new” feature, the one that goes by the name of “POWERSHELL”?

    What’s that? What does that tell you? Power Rangers meet Ninja Turtles?? See? Subjectivity is not a problem of the name, but of the audience.

  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 151
  • Tiny Linux Plug PC Offers a Cloud Computing Alternative

    Linux-based plug computers such as the Sheevaplug have been drawing fresh attention for some time already, but on Monday MimoMonitors launched the new MimoPlug, a tiny, cube-shaped contender that’s designed as a desktop PC alternative for cloud computing applications.

  • Linux-based plug computer sold with USB touchscreen monitors

    MimoMonitors.com announced a Debian Linux-based, Marvell SheevaPlug mini-PC bundled with its USB touchscreen displays for desktop-PC use. The compact, 1.2GHz MimoPlug features SD storage, gigabit Ethernet, USB 2.0, and optional eSATA ports, and is available with 7-10-inch touchscreens in bundling deals ranging from $380 to $500.

  • Arguments against Linux and the opinion of a non-technical user

    I believe that the human mind is capable of learning when the subject is willing to participate in the process of knowledge acquisition. That being said, let me review some of the arguments that I have encountered against Linux, which, in my humble opinion, manifest some subjective reasoning that is used as an over-generalization.

  • Linux.conf.au secures own domain name

    It has taken Australian open-source conference linux.conf.au several years, quite a lot of negotiation and the use of alternatives to finally secure the rights to its own domain name.

  • Desktop

    • Good News – My Favourite Supplier is Now Pushing Linux

      Rather than just reading the ad, I went to the site and did a search for “linux”. An ASUS eeeBox for $229 was second on the list! A bit further down the list was a USB GNU/Linux installer… followed by an over-priced HP thin client running GNU/Linux on board, and a mess of Linux-compatible devices and NAS devices. I went to the site’s search box again and entered “android”. 10 products came up from five different OEMs.

    • Linux: Not for (Married) Lovers?

      “Bachelors are not the only ones who can use GNU/Linux desktops,” blogger Robert Pogson pointed out. “I have had students from grade 1 to 12 use it just fine. None of them needed to configure the clock…” Trenholme’s article, in fact, “is an example of the trolls who visit my blog with some obscure problem never seen by other humans.”

  • Server

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • The Linux Kernel Power Issues Continues To Bite Users

      The Linux kernel power regressions in the Linux 2.6.38 where I was the first to largely document and prove would cause major power problems in Ubuntu 11.04 and other Linux distributions, continues to bite plenty of mobile users.

    • PathScale Open-Sources The EKOPath 4 Compiler Suite

      PathScale is announcing that they are open-sourcing their EKOPath 4 Compiler Suite. For those not familiar, EKOPath is a high-performance Intel 64 / AMD64 compiler for C99, C++ 2003, and partial support for Fortran 2003. Up to this point in development, PathScale’s compiler has been proprietary and has carried a rather high price-tag with the licensing starting out at $1795 USD and going up from there. Of course, that’s a small price to a large organization seeking to build their software for maximum performance, but is out of the price range for nearly any independent enthusiast or non-commercially-backed free software project. This code compiler is especially popular in super-computing environments. The open-source EKOPath 4 will be available to Linux, FreeBSD, and Solaris users free of charge. PathScale will also continue to offer commercial support for this compiler suite.

    • Linus Torvalds threatens to cut off ARM

      Increasing disquiet in the kernel community as ARM tree grows out of control. Linux User’s Rory MacDonald investigates…

      Linux kernel contributor and LWN editor Jonathan Corbet has spoken out about the current state of the codebase supporting the ARM architecture within Linux. “In short, it’s a bit of a mess,” said Corbet on his Linux Foundation Blog.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Climate change should be excluded from curriculum, says adviser

      Climate change should not be included in the national curriculum, the government adviser in charge of overhauling the school syllabus in England has said.

      Tim Oates, whose wide-ranging review of the curriculum for five- to 16-year-olds will be published later this year, said it should be up to schools to decide whether – and how – to teach climate change, and other topics about the effect scientific processes have on our lives.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE and LightDM

        LightDM is a cross-desktop display manager (think KDM). It’s designed to be fast and lightweight, it is written to replace GDM Gnome’s display manager.

        What makes LightDM interesting for KDE is it is designed to to have multiple ‘greeters’. This is the front end that sits on top of the daemon and does the displaying to the user asking them for login details. This means we can have our own KDE interfaces, whilst the Gnome people do their different UIs all whilst sharing the same daemon that handles all the hard parts.

      • 20 Best KDE Applications

        It’s not easy to put up a list of “best” applications which do something, however there are some highlights in each category which really deserve to be mentioned. In this article I will overview 20 KDE applications which I believe are best in their niche, one application from each important category, in no particular order.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Black Glass Theme for Gnome Shell

        Yesterday we shared a new Gnome Shell theme Adwaita-White that matches perfectly with default GTK3 theme in Gnome 3. Black Glass theme is another cool Gnome Shell theme made by deviantARTist shule1987 .

      • Gnome 3 focus follows mouse

        Although normally I am a fan of xfce or {open,flux}box, curiosity got the best of me and I decided to take gnome 3 for a spin.

        One annoyance was the need to click a window to change the focus. I prefer to have the focus of my windows to follow the mouse and find it bothersome to have to click a window to get it’s attention.

      • Benchmarking compositor performance

        Recently Phoronix did an article about performance under different compositing and non-compositing window managers. GNOME Shell didn’t do that well, so lots of people pointed it out to me. Clearly there was a lot of work put into making measurements for the article, but what is measured is a wide range of 3D fullscreen games across different graphics drivers, graphics hardware, and environments.

  • Distributions

    • Gentoo Family

      • How to be a bad leader

        This will probably be my last summer in Gentoo. I have to be around to make sure my packages work until I migrate my systems to Arch Linux and Debian ( highly unlikely since most of them are managed by ssh. No physical access :( ). Even before I join Gentoo, I knew that policies were the reason that so many developers decided to leave Gentoo. And yet, nobody learned anything from past experiences. You already know that Gentoo is short on manpower. Yet, leaders feel comfortable to remove cvs access and demotivate people without carrying about the project progress at all.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • How Canonical automates Linux package compilation

            What do you do when it’s time to port the most popular Linux distribution to a completely different architecture? Canonical employee [David Mandalla] works on their ARM development team and recently shared the answer to that question with his fellow Dallas Makerspace members.

            Canonical needed a way to compile about 20,000+ packages for the ARM platform, however they did not want to cross-compile, which is quite time consuming. Instead, they opted to build a native solution that could handle the load while ensuring that all packages were compiled securely. To tackle this immense task, [David] and his team constructed a 4U server that runs 20 fully-independent ARM development platforms simultaneously.

          • More on the Panda Build system
          • Wearing your pride on your . . . ear?

            With the purchase of Ubuntu Earrings, $6 per pair will go directly to Partimus’ operating costs, helping them to expand into more schools.

          • Ubuntu breaks from the Linux pack

            Canonical has pushed Ubuntu along, and teased us with potential tablet offerings. In the server space, where things are more serious, Ubuntu now deploys more quickly and sensibly into a variety of virtualized instances and joins one of two prominent cloud organizational camps. Ubuntu wants to be taken seriously for cloud use, but also for desktop use.

          • 5 Useful Compiz Tweaks for Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

            I have been a Compiz fan ever since I started using Linux. Compiz is also a very integral part of Ubuntu, more so with the introduction of new Unity desktop for Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal. There are many Compiz effects that are not enabled by default and some of them are really good IMO. Useful Compiz tweaks for Ubuntu 11.04. Note: Post not meant for advanced users.

          • Three tools configuring Ubuntu 11.04 Unity Interface
          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 220
          • Ubuntu-Powered Steampunk Laptop Available to Order

            At $5000 a pop Nagy’s mechanistic marvels are not going to become an overnight impulse buy, but they will catch the eye – whether it it bionic, glass or another Victorian material – of Steampunk fans the world over.

          • Is Canonical’s Ubuntu Focus Too Darn Diverse?

            Unix was ostensibly forged on the philosophy that every entity be designed to do only one thing, and do it well. Has Canonical, which develops one of the most popular Unix-like OS’s around today, thrown this philosophy out the window when it comes to business strategy? Former Canonical COO Matt Asay thinks so. Here’s why he may be wrong about Canonical and Ubuntu Linux.

          • The Linux desktop circus

            I still, however, do not like Ubuntu Unity. That’s okay because, at the moment, you can still enjoy Classic GNOME on Ubuntu 11.04. Or you can opt to install KDE (by installing Kubuntu Desktop). Right now I’m enjoying a close a representation of the desktop I had before the upgrade occurred (sadly, minus Compiz).

            After this upgrade experience, I started thinking, “It’s time I look for a new desktop distribution.” Although I do enjoy Ubuntu, there are aspects about my GNOME/Compiz desktop I don’t like working without. I could, of course, wait until 11.10 which will include GNOME 3 (instead of Classic GNOME), which is a pretty good desktop. But what about openSUSE (with either GNOME 3 or KDE — no Classic GNOME). Or, I could migrate to Fedora 15, which already uses GNOME 3 and does a bang-up job with it. Or, there are a couple of projects attempting to bring GNOME 3 to Ubuntu…but the current state of the GNOME libraries on Ubuntu makes this a huge challenge. Or…what about Bodhi Linux (which I’ve covered here and really like); it’s Ubuntu combined with E17 and Ecomorph…

          • Flavours and Variants

            • A look at Linux Mint 11

              In my opinion Mint has been consistent in putting out solid, polished releases and version 11 continues that trend. There’s nothing really ground-shaking in this version and I believe that was a good way for the developers to go. There have been some minor tweaks to Software Manager, a swap out of OpenOffice.org for LibreOffice and the thin scrollbars for GNOME applications were introduced, but this is a tame release. And I think that’s a good thing given the status of some of the other big-name desktop distributions right now. With Ubuntu and Fedora adopting new desktop environments, Mageia/Mandriva having forked and the openSUSE project changing hands I think Mint is gaining users for its apparent stability as a project as much as for its ease of use.

              There were a few minor things I would have liked to have seen done differently in Mint 11. The blank start-up screen, while done for efficiency, might put off inexperienced users who will wonder why their screen doesn’t appear to be working. Though Software Manager and Package Manager do similar things, I think these could stand to be renamed along the lines of “Software Manager (basic)” and “Software Manager (advanced)” to make the distinction more apparent. And, while I’m wishing, I’d like to see a screen added to the installer dedicated to GRUB settings, similar to the way the Fedora and Mageia installers let users configure their bootloader.

              All-in-all Mint 11 was a very good experience for me and I think it’s one of the better desktop distributions available at the moment. There’s a good selection of pre-installed software, all of my hardware was supported properly, performance was good and everything ran smoothly for me. Mint is well worth looking into whether you’re a newcomer to Linux or an experienced user looking for a distro you can install quickly and use without configuring.

            • Sibling Rivalry: Linux Mint 11 vs. Ubuntu 11.04

              Although Ubuntu 11.04 comes with tons of new features, it simply fails to impress as much as Linux Mint 11 does. Mint is fast, easy to use and just fresh. Ubuntu Natty though, has a lot to work upon. Earlier, Mint was always a step behind Ubuntu, but by sticking with GNOME classic, it has proven itself as a superior distribution. Only time will tell whether it can retain the top spot as Ubuntu is readying itself for bigger challenges.

            • Bodhi Linux review

              In the end we were somewhat underwhelmed by the end user though. Bodhi can be very pretty to look at, and you can make it even prettier if you take the time, but these days I find myself longing for super-minimalist desktops with a focus on staying out of the way (of course, Bodhi can be made to be this as well, if you are interested in learning the ins and outs of Enlightenment). The simplicity of the default installation is great — I don’t like being overloaded with apps. But there was just not enough there to hold my interest — I’d rather install CrunchBang and customise Openbox.

              On the flipside: If you want to play with Enlightenment (and who doesn’t like playing with new desktop environments) then by all means check it out. The Bodhi team has done a great job of creating a relatively friendly vehicle for playing with Enlightenment — it’s just not for me.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Exclusive: Dell spurns U.S. in launch of Android tablet in China

        Dell will launch its highly anticipated 10-inch tablet in the Chinese market first, based on a emerging belief that the U.S. market isn’t mature enough for a successful Android launch, Dell executives told CNET today.

        Dell’s Streak 10 Pro (see specifications below) will launch in China this summer and in the U.S. market probably sometime next year, John Thode, a Dell vice president and manager of Dell’s mobility business, told CNET. The U.S. market simply doesn’t offer a viable 10-inch tablet strategy for Dell, he said.

Free Software/Open Source

  • What US-based Open Source Vendors Need to Know About Europe

    A couple of years ago I wrote about the IT culture of Europe and the market opportunity it presents for vendors of open source software. If you’re ready to take advantage of that information, here are some points American open source software vendors should consider when developing a plan to open new markets in Europe.

    Before you make the decision to expand into a major new market, you need to do some serious prep work. Research regulations at the local, regional, national, and EU levels; a discussion with a local lawyer in every country you plan to enter can save hundreds of hours of time you might have to spend if you run afoul of the authorities.

    [...]

    All of these tactics increase the chance that your efforts to conquer Europe will succeed. Open source software is uniquely suited to the challenge of expanding to new and different markets. Proprietary software companies have to pay a large up-front cost to get involved in a new market. Open source software companies have an advantage due to the cost-effectiveness of community-building and viral marketing. This allows open source companies to feel out new markets and invest significant resources only if demand is confirmed by innovators and early adopters.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • A Glimpse At The Next Generation Of Firefox

        Mozilla is changing the interface of Firefox and is discussing its ideas with its users. Here is another round of mockups how Firefox X could look like.

      • Idle Connection Tuning Makes Firefox 5 Faster

        Browser makers appear to paying special attention to the improved use of open connection to speed up your browser. Following Google’s SPDY, Mozilla has a fresh idea: Sort available connections.

      • Chrome nearly replaced Firefox in Ubuntu Linux, Mark Shuttleworth says
      • Gene Emery: Fired up over ‘improved’ Firefox

        As I write this, I have no fewer than 11 tabs open on my browser linked to reference information I might need to consult if an editor has a question on a story, data for the story I’m currently working on, and ancillary sites that remind me of things I need to do before the end of my shift.

        One feature I like about my browser, Mozilla Firefox, is that when I’m done for the day and I’m ready to close down the browser, it asks if I want to reopen those tabs the next time Firefox starts.

      • Mozilla gets tough on Firefox memory leaks

        Mozilla will try to plug more memory leaks in Firefox with a new, aggressive approach that relies on weekly bug triage meetings, the company said last week.

        “It’s become increasingly clear over the last several months that we have a pretty pressing need to deal with increases in memory usage in Firefox,” said Johnny Stenback, a Finnish developer who works for Mozilla, in a message on a company mailing list last Thursday. “Since we released [Firefox] 4 (and before, too), we’ve seen lots of reports about Firefox memory usage being higher than in older versions, and that Firefox memory usage is growing over time.”

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Apache votes to accept OpenOffice.org for incubation
    • OpenOffice.Org and the LibreOffice Imperative

      The best thing end-users can do is ignore OpenOffice.org at Apache until the dust settles, and switch to LibreOffice instead.

      As expected, the Apache Software Foundation took the first steps to admitting the OpenOffice.org project to the Apache community, following Oracle’s IBM-designed proposal. It now faces a time of maturing and proving in Apache’s Incubator, a period when most likely user-facing development will grind to a halt.

  • Education

  • Business

    • Nuxeo Document Management Now Offers Digital Signature Option

      Nuxeo, the Open Source Enterprise Content Management (ECM) platform company, now offers a Digital Signature add-on for its flagship Open Source Document Management software, Nuxeo DM. Based on the X.509 standard, the new component provides a secure electronic method for signing PDF files in Nuxeo DM and verifying the signatures with a digital certificate in a PDF reader.

    • Does a commercial open source release = success?

      I have a question for you. To what extent does the “commercial release” of a piece of open source software represent its “success”..?

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • PC INpact interviewe Richard Stallman (FSF)
    • Do we still need the FSF, GNU and GPL?

      As with the FSF and GNU, the GPL stands as a bulwark against this kind of encroachment. It is not a matter of percentages, but of absolutes. And that’s why I believe the FSF, GNU and GPL will always be necessary – whatever their residual ‘market shares’ – because they will offer fixed points by which actions and options can be judged without losing sight of the core values of freedom and sharing.

    • FLOSSmole data confirms declining GPL usage

      While we have no specific reason to doubt Black Duck’s figures, Bradley M Kuhn, in particular, suggested that Black Duck’s data should be “ignored by serious researchers” since the company doesn’t disclose enough detail about its data collection methods.

  • Public Services/Government

    • The two faces of UK open source

      Then there are the glimmers of what appears to be a darker truth about how open source is really handled in the UK. Glimmers like Minister of Parliament (MP) John Pugh’s 2007 statement at the launch of the National Open Centre (NOC): “Open source has enemies, and its enemies are very, very close to government.” (The story of NOC and its ultimately fizzled launch was detailed last summer.)

      More recently, the CEO of an open source vendor out and out accused one of the systems integrators tasked with implementing the Bristol City Council’s latest open source project of deliberately fumbling the project in order to keep the integrators’ connections with Microsoft secure and their own wallets fat.

      “‘My opinion is that the large systems integrators would not survive a transition to open source in the public sector, for the simple reason that the savings would be enormous,’ Mark Taylor [CEO of Sirius] told Computer Weekly. ‘The loss to their revenue would be massive. Their survival depends on there being no successful open source trials.’”

      Taylor’s statements, if true, would seem to explain an old gaping wound in the history of open source. In 2004, it was the Bristol City Council that announced an initial push to deploy open source software on up to 5,500 desktops. That initial plan was greeted with much enthusiasm, and one year after the project was launched in 2005, Bristol seemed well on its way, touting a potential savings of £1 million in 2006.

  • Licensing

    • License This!

      Recently Oracle has decided to give OpenOffice.org code to the Apache Foundation. That’s going to mean a huge license change for OpenOffice.org that I don’t really appreciate. Because of that, I will no longer be supporting OpenOffice.org. I can’t support something that in my opinion causes a regression in freedoms, which in this case the Apache License would be.

      Does that mean I’ll start using LibreOffice? No. I am perfectly happy using lighter, individual alternatives such as AbiWord and Gnumeric.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • School of Commoning Workshop: #SpanishRevolution, and the Commons Here and Now

      What can we learn from them? How can lessons from the Spanish Revolution contribute to the transition to a post capitalist , commons-based society?

      “The Commons is the social and political space where things get done and where people have a sense of belonging and have an element of control over their lives, providing sustenance, security and independence. Commons are organised around resources that are collectively owned or shared between or among populations. It gives voice to civil society and helps us to learn new social practices, imagine a political, economic and social system beyond capitalism or communism. It is beyond party politics or other sectarian beliefs and practices.” (Wikipedia)

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Rob Weir

      Open Document Format (ODF) advances in Russia, approved as national standard, migration plans starting. http://bit.ly/l0lfue

    • OpenOffice, ODF: A Collaboration Path

      IBM reaffirmed its dedication to open source development by recommitting support to the development of OpenOffice.org, the alternative productivity suite to Microsoft’s Office and Google Apps. What IBM is really looking to cultivate is the further development of the Open Document Format, which it sees as a potential standard for collaboration across multiple platforms.

      “Open source and standards are key to making our planet smarter and improving the way we live and work,” said Kevin Cavanaugh, vice president, IBM Collaboration Solutions. “As IBM celebrates its centennial, we’re actively investing in projects that will help our clients to collaborate in an open manner over the next 100 years.”

Leftovers

  • Cablegate

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Freedom of Expression on the Internet Cross-regional Statement

      Austria, Bosnia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Lithuania, fmr Yugoslav Rep of Macedonia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palestine, Peru, Poland, Senegal, South Africa, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, the United States, Uruguay

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • iCloud sues Apple over name

        iCloud Communications, a Phoenix-based voice over IP provider, alleges that the name of Apple’s recently announced online storage service copies its name and causes confusion over competing products:

    • Copyrights

      • Access Copyright Claims Pay-Per-Use Licences Create Incentive to Infringe

        Access Copyright has issued a response to the AUCC complaint over its decision to stop issuing pay-per-use or transactional licences. The complaint arises from requests from universities to license individual works so that they can be used with payment and without risk of copyright infringement. Access Copyright is refusing to issue such licences, offering only a more expensive blanket licence that requires universities to license use of the entire repertoire. The Access Copyright response bizarrely claims that pay-per-use licences actually create incentives to infringe and that blanket licences are more appropriate in the digital economy. Never mind that Access Copyright offers transactional licences to corporate customers. Never mind that millions of cultural products are licensed individually and that the Internet and new technologies make it easier to do so.

      • Canadian Chamber of Commerce Justifies Fake Counterfeit Claims With More False Numbers

        Earlier this week, I posted on how the Canadian IP Council, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s IP lobby arm, floated false claims about the scope of counterfeiting in Canada in an attempt to bolster claims for increased border measures. That was followed by a post yesterday on Professor Edward Iacobucci’s debunking of the Chamber’s report on Canadian patent law, which he found to be deeply flawed. In response to my first post, the IP Council’s Chris Gray tweeted responses that the Chamber does not want individual travellers searched and that its claim of $30 billion in losses from counterfeiting in Canada comes from a recent International Chamber of Commerce report.

Clip of the Day

Interview with Linus Torvalds at LinuxCon Japan


Credit: TinyOgg

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2 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    June 14, 2011 at 7:22 am

    Gravatar

    tweets are not viable sources. grrr.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Rob Weir’s link provides English summary for an article in Russian.

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