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08.08.15

Links 8/8/2015: Linux Mint 17.2, CentOS Linux 6.7

Posted in News Roundup at 7:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • True Life: I’m An Open Source Rookie

    Some projects will continue to grow and become popular and successful while others may morph and change as they progress. Not all Black Duck Rookies are high-profile projects. CodeCombat, OpenBazaar, and Neovim are three projects representing different areas of technology not only in technical scope but in their path to Open Source Rookies of the Year.

  • Free Windows 10 Has Big Costs, Where’s GIMP.org?

    It was a slow news day today in Linuxland, which is probably why several Windows 10 headlines jumped out at me. First up, is a paranoid’s guide to securing Windows 10 that revealed listens to microphones and collects keystrokes of its users. Users brace for the first forced update and Christine Hall looks at some of gotchas to home and enterprise users. In other news, what’s happened to gimp.org?

  • Taking The Mystery Out Of SDKs With Open Source

    Mobile SDKs are, for most publishers, a necessary evil. Whether you’re trying to integrate analytics, cross-promotion, tracking, monetization or payments, your first step is most often to inject a third-party SDK into your codebase.

    This much-maligned piece of software drives developers, operations and marketers alike up the wall — creating well-defined operational specs that often change to soiling your product code with unspecified external components.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Firefox 39.0.3 Hotfix Out Now to Patch a Critical Issue in the Built-in PDF Viewer

        Today, August 6, Mozilla started seeding the first hotfix release of the stable branch of its popular, open-source web browser for GNU/Linux, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows operating systems, Mozilla Firefox 39.0.

      • Important Firefox 39.0.3 Security Update Arrives in Ubuntu

        Canonical announced that the latest Firefox 39.0.3 has been uploaded to the repositories for the users of Ubuntu 15.04, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.

      • 0-day attack on Firefox users stole password and key data: Patch now!
      • Firefox exploit found in the wild

        Yesterday morning, August 5, a Firefox user informed us that an advertisement on a news site in Russia was serving a Firefox exploit that searched for sensitive files and uploaded them to a server that appears to be in Ukraine. This morning Mozilla released security updates that fix the vulnerability. All Firefox users are urged to update to Firefox 39.0.3. The fix has also been shipped in Firefox ESR 38.1.1.

      • Virtual reality is the next open web frontier

        Each year, there’s a seemingly infinite amount of exciting things happening on the open web. It’s hard to keep track of all the new things rolling out, but I’d like to draw your attention to one of them that Mozilla has been quietly working on MozVR. It’s a new technology that combines the open web and virtual reality, enabling developers to create virtual worlds that we can step inside.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Who will be the Ubuntu of Hadoop?

      Today, he posits, variation between Hadoop distributions is actually less than we see in Linux land. (“There’s more variation among the Red Hat, Ubuntu, and CoreOS kernels than there is among the core components of the various Hadoop distributions.”) I found this a bit surprising given Hortonworks’ noise earlier this year that Hadoop standardization was imperative, as it launched the Open Data Platform initiative.

    • Announcing the draft Federated Cloud Sharing API
    • Federated Cloud Sharing in ownCloud 8.1https://owncloud.org/blog/federated-cloud-sharing-in-owncloud-8-1/

      Over the few last weeks, ownCloud founder and company co-founder Frank Karlitschek has published a short series of blogs on the topic of Federated Cloud Sharing, discussing what it is and why it is important. Today, he published a draft of a open API for sharing between different file share and sync clouds. In this post, we’ll quickly recap the concept, talk a little about the Open Cloud Mesh working group, and show how to configure and use it in ownCloud 8.1.

    • Hortonworks Reports Strong Results, a Growing Customer Base
    • OpenStack and Google – a match made in heaven

      OpenStack is a cloud operating system that controls large pools of compute, storage, and networking resources throughout a datacenter, all managed through a dashboard that gives administrators control while empowering their users to provision resources through a web interface.

  • Databases

    • UK government reportedly working to end its reliance on Oracle

      The U.K. Cabinet Office has reportedly asked government departments and agencies to try to find ways to end their reliance on Oracle software, but it’s not clear that approach will really solve its problems.

      Motivating the request was the large but unspecified number of Oracle licenses currently supported within the U.K. government, The Register reported. Included in that count are apparently licenses covering individual leaders whose departments already pay for licenses of their own as well as separate software versions being supported.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 5.0 Is a Milestone Release for Ubuntu Touch

      LibreOffice 5.0 was made available by The Document Foundation a couple of days ago, and it’s a glorious release. It full of all sorts of new features, and many users have already upgraded to this latest version, but the application will also have an impact on another new platform, Ubuntu Touch.

  • CMS

    • Whats New for You This August in Open Source CMS

      In one corner, we have Hippo CTO Arjé Cahn, expouding the merits of open source CMS.

      In the other, we have Bryan Soltis, Technical Evangelist at Kentico Software, a Web Content and Customer Experience Management provider, espousing the virtues of proprietary systems.

  • Education

    • Open source is coming to campus

      I wanted to share an upcoming open source software event that we are hosting at my campus, at the University of Minnesota Morris. Working with OpenHatch, we are connecting mentors with students and members of the community for a one-day event. We’ll talk about what open source software is, and help people get started with their first contribution to open source software projects.

  • Healthcare

    • Open-source software boost for public health sector

      This has been possible because of an open-source software developed by US-based organization Dimagi. A social enterprise that specializes in using technology to empower rural communities across the world, they currently serve in more than 40 developing countries being engaged in over 300 projects. Two members of the Dimagi team were in the city to work on improving the interface that they share with Lata Medical Research Foundation (LMRF).

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

  • Licensing

    • Licence change derails development of hospital system

      The changing of the licence of openERP, an open source solution for enterprise resource planning, from GPL to AGPL in late 2009, thwarted development of Hospital, a hospital information system (HIS) written for a paediatric clinic in Thessaloniki (Greece). The clinic stopped a pilot of the software, and its developers moved to other open source-based projects.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • FDA To Develop Open-Source Precision Medicine Software Platform
    • FDA Unveils Open Source Platform for Genomic Sequencing Data

      On Wednesday, the FDA announced the launch of an open source platform for community sharing of genomic sequencing data called precisionFDA. DNAnexus, the provider of cloud-based genome informatics and data management was awarded a research and development contract by the FDA to build the platform. precisionFDA is the FDA’s answer to its role under the White House’s Precision Medicine Initiative is to review the current regulatory landscape and develop a streamlined approach to evaluating next-generation sequencing NGS-based diagnostics.

    • The open source era dawns in Vietnam with fab labs arriving on scene

      A comprehensive look at Vietnam’s burgeoning open source movement and the players involved and why you should get in now

    • Open Access/Content

      • Save money with open-source textbooks

        It’s hardly a secret that the price of new college textbooks has risen 82% in the last decade, forcing students to find cheaper alternatives or forego course materials altogether.

    • Open Hardware

      • An open-source work bench

        Maker Bench is an open souce CNCed work bench design from 3D drawing company SketchUp, deigned by Eric Schimelpfenig.

        The SketchUp community has gone on to modify it for various uses.

  • Programming

    • Go 1.5 RC1 Released

      Go 1.5 is a huge update with the work to be rewritten in Go itself and many other features like a fully-concurrent garbage collector, new architecture ports, switching to Git, and many other changes. Go developers can find the verbose explanation of 1.5 changes via the tentative release notes.

Leftovers

  • Speed matters: Why working quickly is more important than it seems

    The obvious benefit to working quickly is that you’ll finish more stuff per unit time. But there’s more to it than that. If you work quickly, the cost of doing something new will seem lower in your mind. So you’ll be inclined to do more.

  • Security

    • Security updates for Friday
    • Security updates for Thursday
    • Black Hat Researchers Hack Rifle for Fun

      “The reason we started doing this in the first place is Runa [Sandvik] is from Norway and has a very romanticized vision of the U.S., so loving all things America, we needed to go to a gun show,” Augur said.

      At to the gun show, Sandvik became interested in the TrackingPoint weapon after learning that it is a Linux-powered device that could be connected to a phone via a mobile app.

    • And even Wintel is not safe

      At the annual Black Hat conference delegates have been shown a new exploit for Intel and AMD x86 central processor units that has hitherto existed since 1977!

      [...]

      Christopher Domas, a security researcher with the Battelle Memorial Institute discovered the flaw. “By leveraging the flaw, attackers could install a rootkit in the processors System Management Mode (SMM), a protected region of code that underpins all the firmware security features in modern computers. Once installed, the rootkit could be used for destructive attacks like wiping the UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) the modern BIOS or even to re-infect the OS after a clean install. Protection features like Secure Boot wouldn’t help, because they too rely on the SMM to be secure. The attack essentially breaks the hardware roots of trust,” Domas said.

    • HTML5 privacy hole left users open to tracking for three years

      A feature of HTML5 that allows sites to detect battery life on a visitor’s device can also be used to track behaviour, a piece of research has revealed.

    • Sick of Flash security holes? HTML5 has its own

      HTML5 has been billed as the natural, standards-based successor to proprietary plug-ins such as Adobe’s Flash Player for providing rich multimedia services on the Web. But when it comes to security, one of Flash’s major weaknesses, HTML5 is no panacea.

      In fact, HTML5 has security issues of its own. Julien Bellanger, CEO of application security monitoring firm Prevoty, says HTML5 makes security more complex, not simpler. HTML5 security has been a question mark for years, and it has not improved over the stretch, he says.

    • Attackers can access Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive files without a user’s password

      The attack differs from traditional man-in-the-middle attacks, which rely on tapping data in transit between two servers or users, because it exploits a vulnerability in the design of many file synchronization offerings, including Google, Box, Microsoft, and Dropbox services.

    • SDN switches aren’t hard to compromise, researcher says

      Onie is a small, Linux based operating system that runs on a bare-metal switch. A network operating system is installed on top of Onie, which is designed to make it easy and fast for the OS to be swapped with a different one.

    • Open Network Switches Pose Security Risk, Researcher Says

      At the Black Hat show, a security expert demonstrates how vulnerable SDN switches that use the ONIE software are open to attacks by hackers.

    • OPM wins Pwnie, Google on Android security, DoJ on CFAA: Black Hat 2015 roundup

      Black Hat USA is finishing up in Las Vegas. News from its 18th year includes nuclear nightmares, Department of Justice on computer crime and research, Google on the state of Android security and much more.

    • on the detection of quantum insert

      The NSA has a secret project that can redirect web browsers to sites containing more sophisticated exploits called QUANTUM INSERT. (Do I still need to say allegedly?) It works by injecting packets into the TCP stream, though overwriting the stream may be a more accurate description. Refer to Deep dive into QUANTUM INSERT for more details. At the end of that post, there’s links to some code that can help one detect QI attacks in the wild. As noted by Wired and Bruce Schneier, among dozens of others, now we can defend ourselves against this attack (well, at least detect it).

    • Detailed Smart Card Cryptographic Token Security Guide

      After my first post about smartcards under Linux, I thought I would share some information I’ve been gathering.

      This post is already huge, so I am not going to dive into — much — specific commands, but I am linking to many sources with detailed instructions.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • To Defend Iran Deal, Obama Boasts that He’s Bombed Seven Countries

      President Obama yesterday spoke in defense of the Iran Deal at American University, launching an unusually blunt and aggressive attack on deal opponents. Obama’s blistering criticisms aimed at the Israeli government and its neocon supporters were accurate and unflinching, including the obvious fact that what they really crave is regime change and war. About opposition to the deal from the Israeli government, he said: “it would be an abrogation of my constitutional duty to act against my best judgment simply because it causes temporary friction with a dear friend and ally.”

      Judged as a speech, it was an impressive and effective rhetorical defense of the deal, which is why leading deal opponents have reacted so hysterically. The editors of Bloomberg News – which has spewed one Iraq-War-fearmongering-type article after the next about the deal masquerading as “reporting” – whined that Obama was “denigrating those who disagree with him” and that “it would be far better to win this fight fairly.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pronounced himself “especially insulted” and said Obama’s speech went “way over the line of civil discourse.” Our nation’s Churchillian warriors are such sensitive souls: sociopathically indifferent to the lives they continually extinguish around the world (provided it all takes place far away from their comfort and safety), but deeply, deeply hurt – “especially insulted” – by mean words directed at them and their motives.

    • ‘A genocide caused by European selfishness’: Sicilian mayor in plea after migrant shipwreck

      The mayor of Palermo urged EU leaders to respond to “a genocide caused by European selfishness” on Thursday, as an Irish navy ship carrying the bodies of migrants who died when their boat capsized off the coast of Libya docked in the Sicilian port.

      Leoluca Orlando spoke as the patrol vessel Niamh arrived with 370 survivors of Wednesday’s disaster and 25 corpses, including the bodies of children.

    • Hiroshima Atomic Bombing 70th Anniversary Marked With Solemn Ceremony, Calls For Nuclear Disarmament

      Residents of the Japanese metropolis of Hiroshima on Thursday solemnly marked the seventieth anniversary of the atomic bomb assault on the town throughout World Warfare II. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe used the event to name for worldwide nuclear disarmament.

      Bells tolled, hundreds bowed their heads in prayer and doves have been launched into the sky, at a ceremony attended by 40,000 individuals, together with representatives of greater than 100 nations.

      “Seventy years on I need to reemphasize the need of world peace,” Abe stated in his speech, based on a , including that the bomb had not solely killed hundreds of individuals in Hiroshima but in addition brought on unspeakable struggling to survivors.

    • 70 Years Later, The Bomb Still Casts Fear

      On Aug. 6, 1945, the U.S. dropped a “super weapon” on Hiroshima, Japan, and launched a fundamental shift in the way we wage war.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • New Developments in Julian Assange’s Epic Struggle for Justice

      The siege of Knightsbridge is both an emblem of gross injustice and a grueling farce. For three years, a police cordon around the Ecuadorean embassy in London has served no purpose other than to flaunt the power of the state. It has cost £12 million. The quarry is an Australian charged with no crime, a refugee whose only security is the room given him by a brave South American country. His “crime” is to have initiated a wave of truth-telling in an era of lies, cynicism and war.

      The persecution of Julian Assange is about to flare again as it enters a dangerous stage. From August 20, three quarters of the Swedish prosecutor’s case against Assange regarding sexual misconduct in 2010 will disappear as the statute of limitations expires. At the same time, Washington’s obsession with Assange and WikiLeaks has intensified. Indeed, it is vindictive American power that offers the greatest threat – as Chelsea Manning and those still held in Guantanamo can attest.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Reddit increases censorship by banning more communities

      Reddit announced more crackdowns on communities deemed to be offensive, and it also announced a quarantining policy for certain communities that will require users to opt-in to see those communities.

    • Reddit finally bans its white-supremacist subreddits

      Social news site Reddit has banned six forums, or “subreddits”, that form the core of its white-supremacist community.

      The banned subreddits included “CoonTown”, “WatchNiggersDie”, “bestofcoontown”, “koontown”, “CoonTownMods”, “CoonTownMeta”, although more have been banned since, as users attempt to recreate them and get shut down in turn.

    • Porn in India is actually still banned: internet companies fail to unblock adult sites

      Porn is still effectively banned in India, since a government directive to unblock it is too vague to implement.

      The government banned porn over the weekend, but after vast amounts of criticism quickly undid the block. But it came with a catch — that sites that allow child porn should not be let back online — which has become too difficult for internet providers to implement.

      “ISPs have no way or mechanism to filter out child pornography from URLs, and the further unlimited sub-links,” Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI) said, reports the Times of India.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Reviving the Myth of the ‘Superpredator’

      By the early 1990s, as drug war hysteria fed an unprecedented build-up of the prison system, news organizations were declaring that youth born in the crack cocaine era would grow up to be “superpredators,” a “new breed” of offenders with “absolutely no respect for human life and no sense of the future.” Hillary Clinton warned of super predators in 1996 while campaigning for her husband.

    • Psychologist’s Work for GCHQ Deception Unit Inflames Debate Among Peers

      A British psychologist is receiving sharp criticism from some professional peers for providing expert advice to help the U.K. surveillance agency GCHQ manipulate people online.

      The debate brings into focus the question of how or whether psychologists should offer their expertise to spy agencies engaged in deception and propaganda.

    • Chicago police detained thousands of black Americans at interrogation facility

      Guardian lawsuit reveals overwhelming racial disparity at Homan Square, where detainees are still held for minor crimes with little access to the outside world, despite police denials that site is an anomaly

      At least 3,500 Americans have been detained inside a Chicago police warehouse described by some of its arrestees as a secretive interrogation facility, newly uncovered records reveal.

      Of the thousands held in the facility known as Homan Square over a decade, 82% were black. Only three received documented visits from an attorney, according to a cache of documents obtained when the Guardian sued the police.

      Despite repeated denials from the Chicago police department that the warehouse is a secretive, off-the-books anomaly, the Homan Square files begin to show how the city’s most vulnerable people get lost in its criminal justice system.

      People held at Homan Square have been subsequently charged with everything from “drinking alcohol on the public way” to murder. But the scale of the detentions – and the racial disparity therein – raises the prospect of major civil-rights violations.

    • Cops Caught Misbehaving During Pot Dispensary Raid Sue Police Dept. To Prevent Recording From Being Used Against Them

      The cops who were caught on camera insulting an amputee, disabling security cameras, playing darts and sampling THC-laced edibles during a raid on a pot dispensary are suing to prevent Santa Ana Police Department investigators from using the recording against them. (via Reason)

    • Suspended Cops Say Video of Them Eating Marijuana Edibles During a Raid Violated Their Privacy

      Remember the Santa Ana, California, cops who were caught on video munching on what seem to be cannabis-infused chocolate bars after raiding an unlicensed medical marijuana dispensary in May? The Orange County Register reports that three officers who were suspended after the incident are trying to stop the Santa Ana Police Department from using the footage in its internal investigation. Among other things, their lawsuit argues that the officers thought they had disabled all of the security cameras at Sky High Holistic and therefore had a reasonable expectation of privacy. The cops complain that the dispensary never got their permission to record them as they searched the premises.

    • Secular blogger killed in Bangladesh; fourth this year

      Assailants believed to be Islamist militants entered an apartment building posing as potential tenants and killed a secular blogger in Bangladesh’s capital on Friday, in the fourth such deadly attack this year, police said.

      Police official Mustafizur Rahman identified the victim as 40-year-old Niloy Chowdhury and said he was hacked to death in his apartment. The motive was not immediately clear.

    • Fourth blogger hacked to death with machetes this year in Bangladesh

      According to the monitoring group SITE, Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) branch Ansar al-Islam warned of more murders of bloggers to come in the Muslim-majority country: “In a communique issued in Bengali and English, and posted on its Facebook and Twitter accounts on August 7, 2015, Ansar al-Islam declared the attack to be ‘vengeance’ for the honor of the Prophet Muhammad, and vowed similar operations in the future against its enemies. The group threatened: ‘If your ‘Freedom of Speech’ maintains no limits, then widen your chests for ‘Freedom of our Machetes.’”

    • Police review video of Northern California officer pulling gun on man recording him

      A Northern California police department is reviewing a video showing one of its officers pulling a gun on a man who was recording him on his cellphone.

      The video, posted on YouTube, shows a Rohnert Park Public Safety officer driving toward Don McComas as he’s filming. As McComas moves in closer to record the license plate number on the officer’s police SUV, the officer stops, gets out and tells McComas to take his hand out of his pocket.

    • Trump’s Triumph: Billionaire Blowhard Exposes Fake Political System

      Last night’s FOX News GOP Presidential Debate Extravaganza featured the most riveting two minute political exchange ever heard on national television. During a brief colloquy between Republican frontrunner Donald Trump and Fox moderator Brett Baier, the pugnacious casino magnate revealed the appalling truth about the American political system, that the big money guys like Trump own the whole crooked contraption lock, stock, and barrel, and that, the nation’s fake political leaders do whatever they’re told to do. Without question, it was most illuminating commentary to ever cross the airwaves.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • FCC urges carriers to turn off copper networks, upgrade to fiber

      The FCC today imposed new rules on carriers that intend to turn off copper networks and replace them with fiber, but said that carriers should feel free to make the switch as long as they keep providing the same services to customers.

      As before, carriers still need approval from the FCC before shutting off copper networks in cases where they intend to reduce or discontinue service. “However, carriers will retain the flexibility to retire their copper networks in favor of fiber without prior Commission approval—as long as no service is discontinued, reduced, or impaired,” the commission said in its announcement.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • EFF Told to “Shut the Hell Up” About SOPA

        Warnings from the EFF this week that Hollywood is making renewed efforts to obtain SOPA-like powers over Internet companies has touched a nerve, with filmmakers and anti-piracy activists attacking from all angles. The EFF should stop talking about the past, its critics say, and admit that the Internet won’t get broken by Hollywood.

      • Exclusive: Kim Dotcom says Mega 3.0 will succeed as a nonprofit

        Kim Dotcom is on a mission to save the internet. He plans to start by launching a free cloud-storage service — for the third time. Here, he talks exclusively to WIRED about why no one should trust his second file-hosting service Mega, his optimism for the future of an encrypted web, how a non-profit status will make Mega 3.0 a success, and why Hollywood is the ISIS of the internet…

        Last week German-born entrepreneur Kim Dotcom returned to the news in dramatic fashion, warning the world to steer well clear of the file-hosting service he once set up, Mega.

      • Millions of Songs Deleted in Piracy Crackdown

        After issuing a stern warning last month which ordered the country’s streaming music providers to stop offering unlicensed tracks, the Chinese government is reporting progress. Following the expiration of a July 31 deadline, the National Copyright Administration says that more than two million songs have already been deleted.

      • iTunes is Illegal Under UK Copyright Law

        The High Court recently overturned private copying exceptions introduced last year by the UK Government, once again outlawing the habits of millions of citizens. The Intellectual Property Office today explains that ripping a CD in iTunes is no longer permitted, and neither is backing up your computer if it contains copyrighted content.

      • 10 years for copyright infringement should be limited to criminals causing serious harm

        Open Rights Group (ORG) has responded to an Intellectual Property Office (IPO) consultation on proposals to increase the maximum prison sentence for criminal online copyright infringement to 10 years. The would bring sanctions for online copyright infringement in line with those for physical copyright infringement.

      • Should file sharers face ten years in gaol?

        New proposals to make online copyright infringement a criminal offence risks punishing users who share links and files online more harshly than ordinary, physical theft.

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    Links for the day



  25. US Patent Law Currently Not Changing Much and Software Patents Are Still in Limbo

    Surveying the news, as we still meticulously do (even if we don't write about it), it seems clear that American courts hardly tolerate software patents and proponents of such patents are losing their voice (or morale)



  26. EPO Examiner: “I Have Been Against Software Patents and Eventually 3/4 of My Job is Examining Software Patent Applications.”

    Overworked examiners aren't being given the time, the tools and the freedom to reject patents, based on prior art, patent scope and so on; it is beginning to resemble a rubber-stamping operation, not an examining authority



  27. Europe Will Pay a High Price for Software Patents Advocacy by António Campinos in Europe's Patent-Granting Authority

    EPO President António Campinos — like Iancu at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) — is still promoting software patents in Europe even though such patents are clearly detrimental to Europe’s interests



  28. António Campinos -- Like His Father -- Lacks Support From Colleagues, Endorsed Only From the Top

    History lessons from Wikileaks



  29. Links 10/3/2019: GNU and GNOME Releases

    Links for the day



  30. Koch Brothers' Oil Money is Poisoning Academia and Distorting Scholarly Work/Research on Patents

    Meddling in patent law by the Kochs, the oil tycoons who can be seen everywhere Conservative think tanks are, shows no signs of abatement


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