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08.09.12

Links 9/8/2012: New CentOS, Sony Linux Tablets

Posted in News Roundup at 5:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Mars Curiosity. Where is Linux?

    With all the excitement about the Sunday AM (ET) landing of the NASA Curiosity rover on Mars, I’ve felt that something has been missing.

    I’ve seen multiple press releases from vendors all highlighting how their tech is helping NASA.

    One of the releases I got was from Intel’s Wind River division. Wind River has a robust embedded Linux operating system offering.

    However, that’s not what they sold to NASA for Curiosity.

  • Desktop

    • Which Linux Desktop Will Dominate in the Future?

      Sometimes, being right is no fun. Three years ago, I suggested that the Linux desktop was headed for a future dominated by KDE, and that GNOME would be at a disadvantage. Looking back, I conclude that I was right, if only approximately.

      What I did not foresee was that GNOME 3 would not only lag behind KDE for code maturity and innovation, but fail catastrophically with users, resulting in alternative interfaces, ranging from Ubuntu’s Unity to Linux Mint’s re-creations of GNOME 2 in Cinnamon and Mate.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Intel’s Imad Sousou: Open Cloud Standards will Emerge With More Collaboration

      Standardization is the biggest issue facing the open source cloud today, says Imad Sousou, director of Intel’s Open Source Technology Center. Adoption of open formats and interfaces will ensure flexibility and choice for users and vendors of the cloud.

    • Building a Linux kernel module without the exact kernel headers

      Imagine you have a Linux kernel image for an Android phone, but you don’t have the corresponding source, nor do you have the corresponding kernel headers. Imagine that kernel has module support (fortunately), and that you’d like to build a module for it to load. There are several good reasons why you can’t just build a new kernel from source and be done with it (e.g. the resulting kernel lacks support for important hardware, like the LCD or touchscreen). With the ever-changing Linux kernel ABI, and the lack of source and headers, you’d think you’re pretty much in a dead-end.

    • Keeping Linux Kernel Training Current
    • Linus Torvalds Will Be In Korea To Attend Korean Linux Forum

      The Linux Foundation is partnering with Samsung to organise the first-ever Korean Linux Forum, taking place Oct. 11-12, 2012 in Seoul, Korea at the JW Marriott. The goal of this event is to increase Linux development and collaboration from the talent pool in Korea and other countries in the Asia region.

      The Korea Linux Forum will feature keynotes from Samsung’s Head of Software R&D Center KiHo Kim, Linux kernel maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman, Google’s Tejun Heo, Intel’s Chief Linux and Open Source Technologist Dirk Hohndel and Linux creator Linus Torvalds.

    • Kernel Development Made Easy? Not yet.

      If someone asked me “What is your favorite part of the Linux operating system?”, I would have to say the Linux kernel itself. And it’s much the same for Unix too. Having that source code of the kernel loaded up in Emacs ready

      for some serious tweaking gives you a strange sense of power at your fingertips. But it’s not having that sheer power that I love, it’s simply having the ability to edit that kernel source code freely without any restrictions. But there does lie one major hurdle. Only serious and advanced Linux users and developers have the understanding and ability to configure and build kernels from source. It’s not easy and takes some time to learn the skills to really make it worthwhile and successful. But at the moment, there’s no real incentive to learn how to configure and build a custom kernel other than just curiosity itself. And that curiosity has to come from within the user.

    • Fujitsu’s Yoshiya Eto Becomes Vice Chair of Linux Foundation Board

      e are pleased to announce that Yoshiya Eto of Fujitsu is the new Vice Chair of The Linux Foundation board. He joins officers Doug Fischer (Intel), Chairman, Alan Clark (SUSE), Secretary of the Board, and Frank Fanzilli, Treasurer. All Linux Foundation Board of Directors can be seen here: http://www.linuxfoundation.org/about/board-members

      Essential to Linux’s ongoing growth around the globe and in the industries it is transforming is collaboration across geographies. We’re seeing more participation in Linux development than ever before from companies in Japan, China, South Korea, South America and throughout Europe.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • XFCE Makes Mint Even Fresher

      This latest XFCE Mint 13 distribution is a complete Linux distro unto itself. Even more significant is that the Mint 13 development team ushered in this distribution on the heals of team Ubuntu phasing out its own XFCE Ubuntu distro, which was called “Xubuntu.” This latest version is clearly a fast and fun-filled alternative to other desktop options.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Kolab 3: Ready For the Cloud – The Open Groupware Receives a Major Overhaul
      • Fixing Slow Window Movment in 4.9

        Unfortunately a small bug entered 4.9: when using an Aurorae theme moving the window through the titlebar is delayed. It’s a bug we discovered a few days after the final tagging through the work on porting Plastik to QML.

      • Bored Of Windows 8 Metro? Install The Awesome KDE

        Yes, it is true. Soon you will be able to install the awesome KDE desktop in Windows 8, thanks to the KDE Windows Initiative. Builds and setup files for KDE 4.8 on Windows XP, Vista and 7 are already available, and developers are working day and night to port it on Windows 8. The below video shows the performance of KDE in Windows 8 desktop. True, its not as responsive as Linux, but it works.

      • An Opportunity to Contribute to Research and KDE

        A research team from the University of Maryland Baltimore County has launched an online study to explore the usability of KDE notifications. Participants are asked to describe a recent KDE notification experience to deepen the understanding of what makes a good or bad notification. Results from the research will help improve the usability of KDE notifications, and will make a contribution to the academic field of Human-Computer Interaction.

      • Digia to Acquire Qt from Nokia

        Digia, the software powerhouse listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki exchange (DIG1V), today announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Qt software technologies and Qt business from Nokia. Following the acquisition Digia becomes responsible for all the Qt activities formerly carried out by Nokia. These include product development, as well as the commercial and open source licensing and service business. Following the acquisition, Digia plans to quickly enable Qt on Android, iOS and Windows 8 platforms.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Linux Mint Team Forks Nautilus, Brings Out Nemo

        The Linux Mint developers have have forked Nautilus and are bringing out a new file manager based on it. The move comes after Gnome developers made some controversial changes to Nautilus like removal of dual pane, compact and sidebar views, Go menu etc which some users considered important.

      • Gnome Shell 3.5.5 Released
      • Gnome OS, The Future Of Gnome

        The GUADEC summit is over and Gnome developers have finally made plans of what future or Gnome may look like. Gnome developer, Allan Day blogged about a new brick in the block – Gnome OS.

      • Gnome Worstation OS Followup

        The last post seemed to get some attention. I also think it has been misunderstood. So I would like to briefly reframe it.

        It wasn’t a rant about GNOME Shell or about design driven development. Neither was it a dismissal of the urgency for a strong developer story. I like the fact that we take risks and innovate in design. I also think that our developer workflow is broken, and fixing it is a priority.

      • GNOME Workstation OS

        I wanted to give my one cent about the GNOME project, and where I think it could be successful. It would be two cents if I were actually involved in any constructive manner, but I am not. So it is one cent.

      • Devs Cast Net to Capture Nautilus Improvements
  • Distributions

    • Quick review for SING , first distro of 31 Flavors of Fun project
    • Saluki Linux 023 – Why use anything else????
    • The Baskin & Robbins of Distros : 31 Flavors of Fun Experiment
    • Review: Stella 6.3

      A couple weeks ago on an unrelated review, I remember a commenter asking if I could review a Linux distribution called Stella. It seemed interesting, but I didn’t think much of it until the last few days when its release of version 6.3 made news on several major Linux news sites. At that point I knew I should check it out, so here it is. (Also, if Tennessee Williams were alive today, I think that “A Linux Distribution Named ‘Stella’” would have made a great title for one of his plays. Yes, I really did have to make that pun, and it won’t be the last time either.)

    • New Releases

      • antiX 12
      • NetSecL 4.0.0
      • ROSA 2012 (GNOME)
      • SalineOS 1.7
      • Damn Small Linux Returns, Hints at Modernization

        Damn Small Linux was one of my favorite distributions… back in 2005. I stopped following it closely when it’s hardware support became too outdated for my everyday machine. But they’re back with hints of a more modern version to come.

      • GParted 0.13.1

        This release of GParted fixes a failure to mount rescued file systems larger than 2 GiB or file systems that start after the initial 2 GiB of the disk device. Also includes language translations updates.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Saying Goodbye To PCLOS

        The bull doesn’t seem to be part of PCLinuxOS anymore, as it was in 2010 when I first started using it. The distro changes its look with each new release and nowdays the logo is something akin to a CPU usage graph. Other than that, I can’t tell you a thing about the greatest and latest version of PCLOS.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Apache Deltacloud Hits Open Source Cloud Server Milestone

        Back in 2009, Linux vendor Red Hat launched an ambitious project known as Deltacloud in an effort to prevent cloud server silos. With Deltacloud, many clouds can be managed and abstracted to enable operational efficiency and prevent cloud lock-in.

      • Scientific Linux 6.3 Beta 1 Review: Simply outstanding but why on older linux kernel & Gnome shell?

        Initially what I did is install it with the default options in virtualbox. Once the installation was over, I was really disappointed by the limited number of apps there and it definitely didn’t look very different from another run-of-the-mill linux distro. That too with older Linux and Gnome 2 and not 3! Then I reinstalled it again to give it a second look and there I understood my folly. Scientific Linux is for the advanced users who want to take control of the entire installation process. It gives amazing freedom to the user to customize from a rich source of apps it has within the DVD itself. Even for desktop, it gives you choice of Gnome and KDE at the installation. Below pictures show you step by step installation process.

      • Scientific Linux 6.3 Released

        Scientific Linux is a stable distribution based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux co-developed by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). Its aimed at higher performance computing and can work as a server too. Along with regular upstream packages from RHEL, it also features Sun Java JDK, IceWM window manager and the R language used in statistical computing.

      • Fedora

        • The Top Features Of Fedora 18 “Spherical Cow”

          With Fedora 18 entering its feature freeze and branching today, here’s a rundown of some of the most interesting features to be found in this next Fedora release.

        • Freezing the Cow: Fedora 18 Features Freezed

          With the Alpha release date of 28th August for Fedora 18 (codenamed Spherical Cow), approaching near, the Fedora developers were able to reach a feature freeze today.

        • Secure Calling in Fedora

          Sometimes you learn about what’s going on in a distribution by accidentally breaking something. Such was the case for me recently with respect to Fedora.

          Fedora is an RPM based GNU/Linux distribution that does focus on providing a free software license clean repository, with the one unfortunate exception of the Linux kernel itself including binary blobs, and that publicly fights against software patenting. Fedora also happens to focus on enabling community self service a lot. For this latter reason too it came to pass that I maintain some of my upstream packages directly in Fedora over two years ago, rather than having this done by an intermediary Fedora package maintainer, as more often occurs in other GNU/Linux distributions.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • On Earth as It Is in Cloud

            Ubuntu for one has now reached 12.04 LTS in its server iteration (and desktop), where LTS stands for Long-Term Support. This means five years of cover for companies requiring official certification and audit compliance as well as enterprise-level security guarantees from Ubuntu’s commercial parent Canonical.

          • Three Top Ubuntu Alternatives

            Over the past few years, I’ve come to the conclusion that cutting-edge software availability is the leading indicator of which Linux distribution I’m going to end up with. Perhaps this is why I’ve found myself flailing into the arms of Ubuntu and Ubuntu-based distributions recently? More often than not, I can find the software I want with a deb package or PPA ready to go.

            It’s time savers like the one mentioned above that has made non-Ubuntu centric distributions not worth spending much time with. It’s not a lack of ability on my end, rather it’s a lack of wanting to spend a weekend setting up a new installation just to meet my needs. My time is valuable, so any distribution I select to meet my needs will be reflective of this.

            In this article, I will be looking at distributions based on Ubuntu and/or Debian (only), then exploring what makes each spin-off unique.

          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 277
          • Insync For Linux Brings Google Drive Desktop Sync to Ubuntu
          • Ubuntu App Showdown Winners Announced

            Out of 133 apps submitted in Ubuntu App Showdown contest organized by Canonical, only three made it to the finals and we have final top three apps decided by panel of judges at Ubuntu. The apps were judged on appearance, stability, platform integration, innovation and “Scratching and Itch” and Lightread, Fogger and Picsaw won Gold, Silver and Bronze prizes respectively.

          • Free Official Ubuntu Book For Approved LoCo Teams
          • Ubuntu May Drop Nautilus, Consider Nemo Or Marlin

            The recent controversial changes in Nautilus 3.6 have made different distribution developers to think the other ubway. While the Linux Mint team is busy developing a fork of Nautilus, Ubuntu developers are thinking to drop 3.6 series Nautilus in Quantal and use 3.4 instead. Sebastein Bacher, a software developer at Canonical posted in a bug in Launchpad that Ubuntu 12.10 may go back to use Nautilus 3.4 even though 3.6 are in the repos.

          • Ubuntu App Showdown winners announced

            The winners of the Ubuntu App Showdown have been officially announced. In the end, the three-week coding challenge produced 133 applications. A jury of five Ubuntu members then picked the three winners: Lightread, Fogger and Picsaw. These three applications are already installable from the Ubuntu Software Centre.

          • Valve software announces its games library will come to Ubuntu

            Valve, the makers of the popular game-distribution service Steam, has announced plans to convert its software and games for the Linux operating system, specifically Ubuntu. It follows comments made by Gabe Newell, Chief Executive and co-founder of Valve, who said: “I think that Windows 8 is kind of a catastrophe for everybody in the PC space”.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Bodhi Linux On Raspberry Pi Hits Beta

              Interesting developments are happening for Raspberry Pi everyday as new OSes get ported to it. After Debian, Arch, Fedora and KDE, it was Bodhi Linux that got an updated ARM port specially for the Raspberry Pi.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • The 256MB World

      Gentlemen, meet the Raspberry Pi.

      [...]

      Last night’s demo was running Debian Linux…with LXDE! Truly, they are developers after my own heart; I’m hoping this gives another big boost to the LXDE project. And the demo included the unit playing a first-person shooter video game — sorry, I’m not a gamer, so I didn’t recognize which one — with quite impressive speed.

    • The Raspberry Pi Challenger: The Hackberry A10

      With all the hype surrounding Raspberry Pi, the credit-card sized, low-cost developer board, little attention is being paid to the new kid on the block : Meet the Hackberry A10 Developer board.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Motorola teases new phone ahead of August 10 announcement (NOT REALLY)

          Motorola has taken to Facebook to tease their next smartphone ahead of its Friday announcement. The first of 4-5 clues indicates that the handset will be 4G LTE ready. It’s pretty much a foregone conclusion at this point that we’ll be getting the Droid Razr HD’s debut later this week but we’ll still be watching closely.

        • Control Your DSLR Cameras With Android Devices

          Android is like a Swiss knife. It runs on your smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, microwave ovens, cars and much more. That’s not all. There are areas where Android can do what you never before expected. One such area is controlling your DSLR cameras via your Android devices.

        • Wanna see three dozen shots of the unannounced Sony Xperia T (Mint)?

          As many of you know, a photo or two of an unannounced phone finding its way online is not all that uncommon. In fact, most Android devices we’ve encountered have, at some point, been treated to an “in the wild” or “blurrycam” shot. Every once in a while you get a model that stands still for an extended period of time and poses for an entire gallery. Such is the case with the yet-announced Sony Xperia T (codename: Mint).

        • Multiuser Support For Android: Is AndroidBook Coming?

          One of the strongest points of the older Linux, Unix systems were their support for multiple users from the very beginning. The *nix world has always been proud of the fact that this feature has been in their beloved OSes long before Windows developers thought of it.

          Having said that, this is not true for Android, the OS notorious for bringing the fame and glory to the Linux world.

          While it must have been an easy decision not to have multiple user support on an OS destined only for handheld mobile phones, Android has long past crossed this barrier. While still popular only on embedded devices, people have already started porting Android on x86 machines and sending patches to enable this feature since 2011 and there has never been a real need for multiple user support.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Who Loves Hadoop?
  • Open Source for the Space Age

    NASA has started a rather ambitious project: to provide open-source everything. The main site is located at http://open.nasa.gov. From here, there is access to data, code and applications, among other things. This is a great launching point for anyone interested in space science and NASA work. In this article, I look at what kind of code is being made available that you might want to explore.

  • Events

    • LinuxCon/CloudOpen Party Details Revealed

      LinuxCon is known for its deep technical content and unmatched networking opportunities. This year LinuxCon and CloudOpen will provide 140 sessions, 15 keynotes, nine co-located events, and three onsite Linux training opportunities.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Why Firefox is handicapped in browser race

        According to the cleverly named traffic counter outfit StatCounter, Google’s Chrome browser has long passed Internet Explorer and Firefox as the number one browser in the world, with Chrome now reaching the 33 percent mark (33.81 percent for those watching at home) for browser share.

  • SaaS

    • OpenStack Foundation Picks Up Steam, Will Put Board in Place

      The OpenStack cloud platform hasn’t been short of powerful companies backing it, and now the OpenStack Foundation is finally heading into high gear, including preparing to hold elections to its board later this month. If you haven’t checked on how much support this promising cloud platform has, here are some details on the foundation and its structure.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 3.6.0 is Here
    • The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 3.6 with a wealth of new features and improvements

      The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 3.6, the fourth major release of the best free office suite ever, which provides a large number of new features and incremental improvement over the previous versions. Innovations range from invisible features such as improved performance and interoperability to the more visible ones such as user interface tweaks, where theming has improved to more closely match current design best-practice. A full list with screenshots is available here: http://www.libreoffice.org/download/3-6-new-features-and-fixes, because a picture says more than a thousand words.

  • Education

    • Foradian CEO explains benefits of open source school management software

      –>

      Last month, a professor at the Higher Institute of Computer Science and Management of Kairouan in Tunisia told us how implementing and customizing Fedena, an open source school management solution from Foradian, enhanced collaboration and understanding between administrators, students, and instructors. Unni Koroth, Foradian’s co-founder and CEO, was kind enough to answer our questions about Fedena—and to explain precisely what makes open source school management systems so appealing.

  • Project Releases

  • Licensing

    • Compliance Lab in the news

      Joshua Gay and I were recently interviewed for an article by Bruce Byfield, “The FSF Compliance Lab Doubles.” Bruce shares our excitement in super-charging our ability to help the free software community with licensing issues. Byfield discusses how our expanded capacity means that we are better able to make use of the volunteers we have, as well as to recruit new members to our licensing team. If you would like join the licensing team and help answer community questions about free software licensing, please send an email to licensing@fsf.org.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • OSCON 2012: Kaitlin Thaney calls for open science

      At the recent OSCON 2012 convention, Kaitlin Thaney, Manager of External Partnerships at Digital Science, shared in her talk a fresh approach to scientific research. Her views offer a way out of the stagnation of many research fields, where the rewards system (how researchers get evaluated for job positions, raises and promotions) and the economics of funding discourage researchers from openly sharing their data and tools with larger communities and the public.

    • Open Data

      • Unleashing the Potential of Open Data

        It seems a long while ago now, but June was a pretty hectic month in this neck of the woods, since it saw the final push to get ACTA rejected in the European Parliament. But of course, plenty of other things were happening then, and one in particular that I wanted to cover was the release of this UK Open Data White Paper entitled “Unleashing the Potential”.

        It’s a measure of the glimmers of hope that the entire UK open data project emits that the document is available not only as a PDF and in Microsoft Word, but also as an .odt file – kudos to those involved for making this happen.

Leftovers

  • The Internet Archive Starts Seeding Over a Million Torrents

    An anonymous reader writes with news that The Internet Archive has started seeding about 1,400,000 torrents. In addition to over a million books, the Archive is seeding thousands and thousands of films, music tracks, and live concerts.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Good Week for Chemical Reform

      A bill to improve reporting standards for toxic chemicals has passed out of committee to the U.S. Senate for a vote, and anti-regulatory czar Cass Sunstein has headed back to academia.

      The Safe Chemicals Act (S. 847) would promote the use of safer alternatives to hazardous chemicals and put common sense limits on toxic chemicals. It has been approved by the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and passed to the full Senate for a vote.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Why Is the U.S. Government Funding Islamic Terrorists Who Are Killing Christians?

      Most Americans are Christians.

      But few know that the acts of our American government are leading to the persecution of Christians in numerous countries.

      According to the Vatican’s official news service – Fides – and many other Christian news sources, the Syrian opposition is targeting Christians. Priests and bishops on the ground in Syria confirm these reports.

  • Finance

    • Economics as Sleaze (Blog)

      The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), even as a Murdoch project, ought to know and do better than its lead opinion piece on “Tax Fairness” (July 23, 2012, p. A13). The gross pandering to right-wing self-delusion accomplished there by Ari Fleischer would win any economics student a well-deserved failing grade. The piece purports to interpret a recent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report, “The Distribution of Household Income and Federal Taxes, 2008 and 2009 “. The quality of the writing in such sentences as “A new Congressional Budget Office Reports (sic) shows (sic)….” reminds us that Fleischer was the press secretary for the similarly English-language-challenged former President Bush. The editing that misses such gross mistakes suggests that the WSJ would get failing grades in English as well as economics.

      Fleischer’s foray into economics makes the following points explicitly: (1) rich people pay too much in taxes relative to middle class and poor people, (2) the US tax system is thus “unfair” to the rich,(3) it became more unfair over the period covered by the CBO report, 1979-2009, and (4) President Obama is a liar because he says that the unfairness runs the other way. As I can easily show, the quality of Mr Fleischer’s economics suggests that he not give up his day job to do more economics.

    • GoldenTree Hires Goldman Sachs Trader Salem in Mortgage Push

      Asset managers including Canyon Partners LLC, Brevan Howard Asset Management LLP and D.E. Shaw & Co., known for betting in markets such as real estate, government notes or company debentures, have been wagering on mortgage securities as potential returns narrow elsewhere, accelerating gains in housing debt. The $1 trillion market for U.S. home-loan bonds without government backing offers “probably the most upside in structured products,” though carries more risk than notes such as collateralized loan obligations tied to companies’ health, Tananbaum said.

    • Czech Position: Presidential candidate Dlouhý leaves Goldman Sachs

      Czech presidential candidate Vladimir Dlouhy will end his engagement with the U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs that he started in 1997 as from end-October and he is also going to leave the Telefonica Czech Republic supervisory council, has has told Ceska pozice server.

      “I will also terminate all other positions in the private sector,” economist Dlouhy, 59, industry and trade minister in the 1990s, said.

      He told the server that large investment banks are not perceived so negatively in the Czech Republic like in the United States.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Corporate “Sin-Washing:” Embracing the Olympic Brand Pays Off for Sponsors

      Global corporations like Dow Chemical, Adidas, and McDonald’s are paying upwards of $100 million USD to sponsor the 2012 London games and associate themselves with the Olympic brand — but with their brands already well-established, what do corporations get in exchange for these expensive sponsorship deals?

      According to Dave Zirin, sportswriter and columnist for The Nation, the payoff comes through “corporate sin-washing.”

    • Koch-Funded AFP Hails Walker as Conquering Hero, Rallies the Troops for November

      Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker flew to DC over the weekend to thank the Americans For Prosperity astroturf group for its help with the Wisconsin recall. Walker headlined AFP’s 2012 “Defending the American Dream” Summit two months after winning his June 5 recall battle — with a $10 million assist from the organization that was founded and is funded and led by billionaire David Koch. (The $10 million spent by AFP was $3 million more than what was spent by Walker’s opponent.)

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