Subject: General Tech | June 14, 2013 - 07:24 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: audio, speakers, logitech, UE Boom
Ignoring the unfortunate PR image accompanying the product, a wireless speaker which can connect to your MP3 player allows a group of people to listen to music in a much more social way than earbuds. Standing 7.25" tall with a 3" diameter the speaker is big enough that you won't lose it but small enough to be easily portable. According to the review from TechGage it is also large enough to provide quality sound, even at high volume. The next time you are out and want to share your music you won't need to blast your car stereo as it seems this device will handle the duty commendably; pity it will sell for $200.
"The UE Boom from Logitech boasts an impressively hip advertising campaign and a promise to make music more "social" again. But past all of the buzzwords and pretty packaging, is this cylindrical speaker worth all of the hype? We take a close look... and can't help but be blown away."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- alienvibes EP02 Elite HD Noise Cancelling Headphones @ NikKTech
- QPAD QH-90 Gaming Headset @ techPowerUp
- RHA MA450i Earphones @ Kitguru
- Tt eSPORTS SHOCK Dynamite Orange Gaming Headset @ NikKTech
- AIAIAI TMA-1 DJ Headphones With Mic Fools Gold @ NikKTech
- QPAD QH-90 Headset @ XSReviews
- Jabra SPEAK 510 Bluetooth And USB Speakerphone @ NikKTech
- Cooler Master Sonuz Headset @ Modders-Inc
- Logitech G430 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset Review @ Techgage
- Tt eSPORTS Shock Gaming Headset @ Kitguru
- Genius SP-U115 Colorful USB Powered Stereo Speakers Review @ ModSynergy
Subject: General Tech, Systems, Shows and Expos | June 13, 2013 - 04:17 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: E3, E3 13, dell, alienware, alienware x51
The launch of Haswell led to many new product launches, and so did E3. The overlap? The Alienware X51 gaming desktop has been refreshed with some very compelling components at a surprisingly compelling price.
Unfortunately, there is a slight difference between the Canadian and the American offerings; it is not a case of one citizen paying more than the another, however, as things are more shuffled around than outright better. Our Canadian readers start with a base price of $1499.99, and Americans start out at $1449.99. Americans can spend an extra $100 to upgrade their DVD reader to a Blu-Ray drive, Canadians get Blu-Ray by default. Therefore, if you desire a Blu-Ray drive, it is $50 cheaper to be Canadian; otherwise, it is $50 cheaper to be American.
Whether you are Canadian or American, I would personally recommend spending the extra $100 upgrading your RAM from 8GB to 16 GB. Sure, 8GB is a lot, but the extra can go a long way especially with the direction that web browsers have been heading. You each, also, have the option of spending $300 and receiving a 256GB SSD albeit also at the expense of, beyond the $300, reducing your 2TB HDD down to a slower, 5400RPM 1TB drive.
In all, this actually looks quite compelling for someone who wishes to have a console-esque form-factor near their TV. Unfortunately there are currently no Ubuntu-based options for this X51, although you may freely ($0) choose between Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit and Windows 8 64-bit.
Subject: Editorial, General Tech | June 19, 2013 - 09:08 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: xbox one, gaming, DRM, disc
Microsoft faced a major backlash from users following the unveiling of its latest Xbox One console. Users were rather unnerved at Microsoft’s reveal that the new console would be required to “phone home” at least once every 24 hours in order to authenticate games and allow sharing. Considering Sony carried forward the disc traditions of the PS3 combined with the user uproar, Microsoft has reconsidered and issued an update to users via a blog post titled (in part) “Your Feedback Matters.”
Amidst the uncertainty caused by various MS sources issuing statements about functionality and DRM that conflict with one another and an air of as-yet-un-announced secrecy pre-E3 where MS released just enough info about the DRM to get users scared (can you tell the way MS handled this irked me?), the company talked about the Xbox One moving forward and taking advantage of the ‘digital age.’ The new console would require online authentication (and daily check-ins), but would also allow sharing of your game library with up to 10 other people, re-downloadable games that can be installed on other consoles (and played) so long as you log into your Xbox Live account (the latter bit is similar in nature to Steam on the PC). Further, disc games could be resold or gifted if the publishers allow it.
That has changed now, however. Microsoft has reconsidered its position and is going back to the way things work(ed) on the existing Xbox 360. Instead of taking the logical approach of keeping with the plan but removing the daily authentication requirement for games if you keep the game disc in the tray, Microsoft has taken their
ball Xbox One controller and completely backtracked.
DRM on the Xbox One is now as follows, and these changes go in place of (not in addition to) the previously announced sharing and reselling functionalities.
For physical disc games:
According to Xbox Wire, after their initial setup and installation, disc-based games will not require an internet connection for offline functionality (though multiplayer components will, obviously, need an active connection). Even better, trading and reselling of disc-based games is no longer limited by publishers. Trading, selling, gifting, renting, et al of physical disc-based games "will work just as it does today on the Xbox 360." Microsoft is also not region locking physical games, which means that you will not have to worry about games purchased abroad working on your console at home.
In order to play disc-based games, you will need to keep the game disc in the tray, even if it is installed on the hard drive, however.
Changes to Downloaded games:
As far as downloadable games, Microsoft is restricting these titles such that they cannot be shared or resold. In the previous model, you would have been able to share the titles with your family, but not anymore. You will still be able to re-download the games.
There is no word on whether or not gamers will still lose access to all of the titles in their game library if their Xbox Live accounts are ever banned. It is likely that gamers will lose any downloadable games though as those are effectively tied to a single Xbox Live account.
While at first glance it may seem as though gamers won this round, in the end no one really won. Instead of Microsoft working around gamers concerns for physical media and moving forward together, it is as though Microsoft has thrown up its hands in frustration, and tossed out all of the innovative aspects for digital/downloadable titles along with the undesirable daily authentication and other invasive DRM measures that gamers clearly indicated they did not want.
I believe that Microsoft should have kept to the original game plan, but added an exception to the daily check-in rules so long as the console was able to authenticate the game offline by identifying a physical game disc in the tray. That way, gamers that are not comfortable with (or able to) keeping the Xbox One connected to the internet could continue to play games using discs while also allowing those with always-on Xbox One consoles the privileges of sharing their libraries. Doing so would have also helped ease the console gaming populance as a whole into Microsoft's ideal digital age once the next Xbox comes out. However, instead of simply toning down the changes, Microsoft has completely backtracked, and now no one wins. Sigh.
What are your thoughts on Microsoft's latest changes to the Xbox One? Was it the right move, or were you looking forward to increased freedom with your digitally-downloaded games?
- The PS4 and Xbox One Hardware Revealed, Console Makers Have Different Goals @ PC Perspective
- E3 2013: Microsoft can ban your Xbox One library @ PC Perspective
Subject: General Tech | June 13, 2013 - 02:33 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: wwdc, video, titan, podcast, oculus rift, nvidia, FX, apple, amd, a10-6800k, 5ghz
PC Perspective Podcast #255 - 06/13/2013
Join us this week as we discuss AMD's 5 GHz Processor, 1080p Oculus Rift, and more news from Computex!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the Store
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath and Morry Teitelman
Program length: 57:27
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
0:49:00 Hardware/Software Picks of the Week:
1-888-38-PCPER or firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Mobile | June 13, 2013 - 02:35 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: msi, ge40
City of Industry, Calif. – June 13, 2012 – MSI Computer Corp, leading manufacturer of computer hardware products and solutions, announces the availability of the GE40, the perfect combination of ultrabook portability and deadly gaming capability.
Armed with state of the art components, including an Intel® Haswell Core i7 processor and NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 760M, the GE40 weighs only 4.4 lbs. and measures less than 1-inch thick, making it the ideal choice for gamers seeking superior performance and mobility.
The GE40 takes full advantage of NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 760M performance by adding a Matrix display that allows users to output to 3 displays simultaneously (including the native notebook display). To complement the GE40’s superior graphics, MSI incorporated Sound Blaster Cinema and Audio Boost, two technologies that deliver amazing surround sound with realistic and immersive sound clarity.
“The GE40 was designed for mobile gamers seeking the best in gaming performance but not wanting to carry around larger laptops,” said Andy Tung, vice president of sales for MSI US. “Even though the GE40 is exceptionally light and nimble, it is still packed with high-performance components worthy of a desktop replacement unit.”
The GE40 comes in a full aluminum body featuring a psychedelic dragon eye backlit design and is available in two configurations: 750GB HDD or 125GB mSATA SSD plus a 750GB HDD for increased performance. It also comes with 8GB of DDR3 memory, Giga LAN adaptor and 2 USB 3.0 and 1 USB 2.0 ports.
To celebrate the launch of the GE40, MSI is holding the “Just Game!” Giveaway through their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MSI.ComputerUS. Participants will have the opportunity to win over $4000 in prizes, including a completely new MSI GE40 valued at $1,399.99. For more information about MSI’s complete lineup of gaming laptops, the GE40 or the giveaway, visit http://www.msimobile.com or www.usgaming.msi.com.
Subject: General Tech | June 13, 2013 - 02:54 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Dell's UltraSharp U2413 1920 x 1200 24" IPS claims a 6ms response time which makes it suitable for gaming, as well as offering superior colour support. As it is a new model it supports HDMI, DisplayPort 1.2, DVI-D and mini DisplayPort inputs as well as acting as a 4-port USB 3.0 hub.
- Dell UltraSharp U2413 1920x1200 24-inch IPS Monitor (2013 model) for $449.99 with free shipping (normally $599.99 - use coupon code W7HWC5Q9S4V6VH ).
- Dell Inspiron 15R 3rd Gen Core i7 Touchscreen Laptop for $749.99 with free shipping (normally $1,169.99 - use coupon code 0H9Q3PQ6L3744C ).
- Apple iPhone 4S [2-year AT&T contract] (Certified Like-New) for $49.99 with free shipping.
- Dell XPS 8700 Core i7-4770 3.4GHz "Haswell" Quad-core Desktop w/8GB RAM, Radeon HD 7570 & 23" UltraSharp Monitor for $849.99 with free shipping (normally $1,174.99 - use coupon code 0H9Q3PQ6L3744C ).
- 21.5" Dell S2240T 1080p Multi-touch LED-backlit LCD Monitor for $339.99 with free shipping (normally $399.99 - use coupon code $PX1BGTSZ3G635 ).
- 50% off Webroot SecureAnyWhere Products.
- Realspace Calusa Mesh Task Chair for $84.99 with free shipping (normally $189.99 - use coupon code 1SWS81789Z348C ).
Subject: General Tech | June 18, 2013 - 07:42 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Whether you are looking for a professional level display with 99% Adobe colour gamut or a large 1440p display (sorry not quite 4k) to game on, at $765 the Dell UltraSharp U2713H 27" IPS display is a great deal. The USB 3.0 connectors are a nice touch but they do add to the size of the bezel for those with enough lucre to consider running more than one of these displays.
- 27-inch Dell UltraSharp U2713H 2560x1440 IPS-panel LCD Monitor (Flagship 2013 Model) for $764.99 with free shipping (normally $999.99 - use BOTH coupon codes $PX1BGTSZ3G635 and W7HWC5Q9S4V6VH ).
- HP ENVY 700-030qe 4th-gen Intel Core i7 "Haswell" Desktop w/12GB RAM, 2TB Hard Drive, Radeon HD 7670, 2-year warranty, Photoshop Elements 11 Bundle, Beats Audio & Windows 8 for $849.99 with $9.99 shipping (normally $999.99 - use 15% coupon code DT6382 ).
- Dell XPS 14 Core i5 + 900p Gorilla Glass, Windows 7 Ultrabook for $849.99 with free shipping (normally $1,199.99).
- Sony HDR-AS15 HD Action Camcorder for $199.99 with free shipping (normally $269.99 - use coupon code SONYACAM ).
- 27-inch HP Pavilion 27xi 1080p IPS LED-backlit LCD Monitor for $271.99 with free shipping (normally $339.99 - use coupon code MT2617 ).
- Serta Ergonomic Leather Multifunction Managers Chair (Black) for $159.99 with free shipping (normally $209.99).
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 13, 2013 - 08:03 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nzxt, kraken, Kraken X40, Kraken X60
[H]ard|OCP recently tried out the two new Kraken coolers from NZXT, the non-i versions of the X40 and X60. The smaller X40 will possibly be more popular as its smaller size will allow it to be used in conjunction with more cases but the X60 should not be shunned just because it is big. You might shun it because of its higher price, arguably there are better coolers at the same price point. The X40 on the other hand walked away with a gold award as not only does it perform well, its price is similar to some high end air coolers. Check them out here.
"Pardon the cliche', but it must be done. NZXT RELEASES THE KRAKEN! Now since that is out of the way, we take a long [H]ard look at NZXT's new line of Kraken branded sealed system water coolers for your CPU. This type of cooler is quickly becoming the norm for many enthusiasts looking for a quick and easy cooling solution."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Thermaltake Water 3.0 Closed Loop Cooler Roundup @ AnandTech
- Noctua NH-U12S and NH-U14S Single Tower CPU Coolers Review @ Pro-Clockers
- Noctua NH-U14S & NH-U12S CPU Coolers Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Thermaltake Urban S31 Mid Tower Case Review @ HiTech Legion
- Cooler Master Seidon 120XL CPU Cooler Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Enermax ETS-T40-White Cluster CPU Cooler Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Phanteks PH-TC12DX Cpu cooler @ Rbmods
- Cooler Master Seidon 120M CPU Cooler Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Cooler Master N200 Mini-Tower Case @ Kitguru
- GELID The Black Edition CPU Cooler Review: Man in Black @ X-bit Labs
- Scythe Mugen 4 review: finally a good successor to the Mugen 2 @ Hardware.info
- Noctua NH-U12S @ techPowerUp
- First 140 mm Fan Roundup: Noctua, Phanteks, Xigmatek @ SPCR
- Second 140 mm Fan Roundup: Antec, bequiet!, Corsair, Scythe @ SPCR
- Noctua NF-S12A Series Fans Review @ Pro-Clockers
- Silverstone Argon AR03 @ techPowerUp
- Cougar Spike @ techPowerUp
- Lian Li PC-Q12 mini-ITX Chassis Review @ Techgage
- Cooler Master N200 Review @ OCC
- Corsair Obsidian 350D Windowed Edition Case @ Kitguru
- CM Storm Scout II review: too little, too late @ Hardware.info
- ENERMAX HOPLITE ST ECA3261-W ATX Case @ Modders-Inc
Subject: General Tech | June 19, 2013 - 03:02 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, Kyoto, berlin, seattle, warsaw, arm
DigiTimes named the four new families of server chip that AMD will be using to keep their products in the server room. Kyoto is known as the Opteron X-series and is available now, based on Jaguar and offering GPU compute enhancements as well as increased CPU performance. The Seattle family will replace these CPUs in the near future and will represent a new era for AMD as these chips will be clusters of ARM Cortex-A57 on AMD's advanced Freedom Fabric. Berlin will be a true x86 AMD chip with the new Steamroller architecture which will replace Piledriver and support HSA compliant optimizations. Last is Warsaw, which will be the most powerful chip, uniting 12 or 16 Piledriver cores in a chip which is compatible with the current Socket G43 used by the Opteron 6300 family, offering a simple drop in upgrade solution.
"AMD has publicly disclosed its strategy and roadmap to recapture market share in enterprise and data center servers by unveiling products that address key technologies and meet the requirements of the fastest-growing data center and cloud computing workloads."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Nvidia stretches CUDA coding to ARM chips @ The Register
- Intel previews future 'Knights Landing' Xeon Phi x86 coprocessor with integrated memory @ The Register
- Fusion-io's founding CEO quits board @ The Register
- Apple issues Java patch for Mac OS X users fixing 40 critical vulnerabilities @ The Inquirer
- Flash flaw potentially makes every webcam or laptop a PEEPHOLE @ The Register
- The Linux Kernel As An Exquisitely Sensitive Stability Test For Overclocked Systems @ TechARP
- Samsung EX2F Camera Review - A Low-Light Advanced Point-And-Shoot For Any Photographer @ SSD Review
- Australian unis to test quantum-comms-over-fibre @ The Register
- Uros Goodspeed review: MiFi, but bigger @ Hardware.info
- Adding wireless charging to any phone @ Hack a Day
- Canon PowerShot N Review @ TechReviewSource
- E3 2013: Wrap Up Coverage @ Legit Reviews
Subject: General Tech | June 19, 2013 - 03:23 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: witcher 2, mod, gaming
The Witcher is a series which some gamers have completely missed, labeling it yet another 3rd person hack n' slash, Elder Scroll-ish game that hasn't got much going for it. However this impression is inaccurate, at least in part. While it is indeed a 3rd person game there is a much richer storyline behind the monsters, one which is a bit more adult themed than in similar games, with political manipulations and no real heroes to speak of, merely powerful characters doing what they think is best. The Enhanced Edition came out recently with graphical improvements that will cripple even current generation GPUs and is compatible with the many mods that have already been made. Later this month one of the developers will be finalizing and releasing a new Combat Rebalancing mod which will add even more improvements to the game, even though the Witcher 3 is due out soon and this version was originally released two years ago. If you are unfamiliar with the series you should drop by Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN for details and consider picking up the game from Steam.
"A small leaflet on the news stand informs us that Andrzej ‘Flash’ Kwiatkowski, an ex-modder and now ‘Gameplay Designer’ at CD Projekt, has returned to modding in an effort to rebalance the combat in Witcher 2. The file size is currently 8 gigabytes, which is too many floppy disks to consider, but should be smaller by release. Which should be very soon."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Gunpoint @ Kitguru
- Of Course Valve Are Working On Half-Life 3, Now Shush @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Shadowrun Returns Returning Next Month, Bringing Editor @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- GoG Summer Sale Begins, Torchlight Currently Free @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Nintendo’s first free-to-play title announced as Steel Diver @ HEXUS
- Microsoft Responds on Fake Xbox One E3 Demo Story @ NGOHQ
- Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen PlayStation 3 @ eTeknix
- The Last Of Us Review (Playstation 3) @ Kitguru
- Lobster, a New Game Programming Language, Now Available As Open Source @ Slashdot
Subject: Cases and Cooling, Systems | June 19, 2013 - 03:33 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Passive, Logic Supply, Ivy Bridge, fanless
Logic Supply recently responded to customer requests for a high-end passively cooled system with its new LGX ML250 fanless PC. The new system is intended for industrial and mobile computing work where you need a rugged system that can be used in a wide range of environments.
The LGX ML250 uses a metal chassis that doubles as a heatsink for the CPU. On the front of the case is a single power button and two USB 2.0 ports. On the rear IO panel, users are presented with:
- 2 x COM ports
- 1 x DisplayPort
- 1 x HDMI
- 1 x DVI
- 1 x PS/2
- 4 x USB 2.0
- 2 x USB 3.0
- 2 x RJ45 LAN jacks
- 3 x analog audio outputs
Internally, the fanless PC uses an ASRock IMB-170 motherboard, Intel Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge CPUs, up to 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 memory, and (up to) either a 1TB mechanical hard drive or 120GB SLC SSD for two SATA drive slots.
CPU options include the Sandy Bridge Celeron B810, the Ivy Bridge Core i3-3120ME, or the Ivy Bridge Intel Core i5-3610ME at 2.7GHz. The PC also includes Wi-Fi via a mini-PCI-E card. It can be pre-installed with your choice of Windows 7/8 or Ubuntu Linux operating systems. The LGX ML250 is rated for 40-degrees Celsius environmental temperatures.
Mr Walsh of Logic Supply stated that the company received numerous requests for a sub-$1000 machine with decent specs, IO, and with a fanless design. "The default config uses one of the new industrial-series ASRock boards -- the IMB170. From what I can tell, few IPC companies are using these boards in fanless systems, which is amazing given their price/performance specs."
The ML250 starts at $773 and is available for pre-order now. The price tag is steep, but it is a full system that is mostly aimed at industrial applications.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 19, 2013 - 04:33 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: haswell, c6, c7, power supply, evga
Intel’s latest Fourth Generation Core “Haswell” processors are now official, and additional power supply manufacturers have since stepped up to provide their own Haswell PSU compatibility lists. EVGA is the latest PSU vendor to do so, announcing that all of tits SuperNOVA branded units are fully compatible with the new CPUs and new C6 and C7 sleep states.
The following EVGA power supplies are compatible with Haswell and the lowest power (0.05A) sleep states:
- EVGA SuperNOVA NEX 1500 Classified (120-PG-1500-XR/VR)
- EVGA SuperNOVA NEX750G Gold (120-PG-0750-GR)
- EVGA SuperNOVA NEX750B Bronze (120-PB-0750-KR)
- EVGA SuperNOVA NEX650G Gold (120-PG-0650-GR)
- EVGA SuperNOVA 1300 G2 (120-G2-1300-XR)
- EVGA SuperNOVA 1000 G2 (120-G2-1000-XR)
The list of compatible units spans across the range of SuperNOVA PSUs, from 650W to the monstrous 1500W model.
For a refresher on Haswell’s new C6 and C7 sleep states, check out our previous coverage of the issue as well as coverage of compatible PSUs from other vendors.
Subject: Editorial, General Tech | June 19, 2013 - 06:16 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: DRM, The Witcher 3, GOG
cdp.pl, formerly CD Projekt, has been one of the last holdouts against DRM. Founders of GoG.com and developer/publisher for The Witcher franchise, they offer a DRM-free platform for users to purchase games. Sure, they are usually good and old ones, aptly enough, but they are confident enough to include their most ambitious titles, The Witcher and The Witcher 2.
With The Witcher 3, we will see the title launch without DRM on GoG, trusting their users will purchase the title and be honest.
Apparently, the game will have a world slightly larger than Skyrim.
Hopefully, with very little empty space.
I have long been a proponent of DRM-free media, as you could probably tell. I believe that DRM-free titles end up netting more sales than the same title would have with encryption; even if that were not true, society is harmed more than enough to justify its non-existence. Sure, we all know unapologetic jerks and they are, indeed, jerks. Just because these jerks exist does not mean your company should, or successfully will, be the alpha a-hole on the a-hole food-chain. Chances are you will just upset your actual customers, now former customers. There are reasons why I never purchased (never pirated either, I just flat-out ignored the entire franchise's existence) another Crysis title after the first one's SecuROM debacle wrecked my camcorder's DVD-authoring software.
So, when The Witcher 3 comes out, back it up on your external hard drive and maybe even keep a copy on your home theater PC. Most importantly, buy it... sometime in 2014.
Subject: General Tech, Processors | June 19, 2013 - 08:37 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: overclock, amd
Thankfully, they were not "firing" on all four cylinders; while Ryan does prefer thermite, overclockers tend to prefer liquid nitrogen. There are some distinct advantages of ice over fire, the main one for computer users is the potential for massive bumps in frequency and voltage. Of course, you cannot really get any effective use out of a machine that relies on a steady stream of fluid cold enough that it takes less digits to write out its temperature in Kelvin, but a large bump makes good bragging rights.
Finnish overclocker, "The Stilt", managed to push his four-core part to 8000.39 MHz just long enough to have CPU-Z validate his accomplishment. With a frequency multiplier of 63.0 atop a bus speed of 126.99, this gets within 800MHz of the AMD FX-8350 running on just one module (6 of 8 cores disabled) recorded by ASUS late last year.
But no, it will probably not run Crysis.
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