Category: Freedom and Privacy

Flat Earth: Where did the Ball Earth Idea Come From Anyway?

To consider that some of the most fundamental things you believe about the very earth you live on may be on a sandy foundation is a very difficult thing.

To even open your mind to this idea means that you are willing to consider that the world is even worse than you originally thought it was.

From my experience, it seems that most people are willing to entertain that 9/11 was an inside job fairly easily.

They are also willing to accept that the world’s financial system is built by masonic buddies with some clear and secret agenda involving governments and big companies.  They  know there is something up with this ‘illuminati thing’.

They are very easily able to accept that greedy corporations and corrupt governments make decisions that hurt the masses and benefit a small few.

There are also countless people who have very little difficulty believing that no one has been to the moon.

There are, however, very few people who are willing to entertain the idea that the earth is flat and that humans are the very focal point of everything that is.

For the latter group, it seems that they know that if they take that step and start considering the possibility that they will end up in a canyon of disappointment, despair, and sadness too large to bear.

And so instead they ridicule the idea and rule it out without reviewing the case in court.  They regurgitate the fallacy that the flat earth was dead hundreds of years ago and that only fools or tin hat folks would believe this.

News flash: The Flat Earth Is Not Dead!

For those who wish to start looking at this topic with logic, intelligence and an open mind, I recommend the following video which is a buffet of good information, specifically the history of how the ball earth dominated what was scientifically, at the time, as flat as a pancake.

 

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Ubuntu: The Relationship Between Freedom and Quality in The Software World

Unlike previous blog posts, I’m going to start this one with two exciting tables to get you thinking. In the first table, I increased freedom and in the second table, I decreased it so that we could look at the effect, if any, on other items. Sorry, they are just image screenshots:

wot_decreased_freedoms wot_increased_freedoms

Someone sent me over this article written by Mark Shuttleworth, chief of Canonical – the company behind Ubuntu.

Usually, Mr. Shuttleworth writes with excitement, hope, positivity and other such forward-moving adjectives. Unlike pretty much anything else I have read written by him, this article sounded more like a dad who was forced by his disobedient kids to lay down the hard law. Just the tone alone being so different from his usual, caught my attention.

It appears that some unnamed European corporation has taken the Ubuntu code (written for free by many coders and volunteers around the world and maintained by the for-profit company Canonical at their heavy cost of time and money), done a few ‘things’ to it, and published it as ‘their own’. For full disclosure, I haven’t done any of my own research like looking at the notice of claims against them. However, what I’m picking up from the article is that the soon-to-be defendantscontributed little or nothing to the base code that made ubuntu what it is today

  • invested little or no money to the ubuntu project
  • decreased the quality of the user experience
  • harmed the Ubuntu name
  • harmed Canonical by means of all of the above

If this is true, it should not be difficult to prove monetary damages for Canonical plus I’m guessing there will be a lot of angry programmers out there who would rally beside Mr. Shuttleworth for screwing up all their volunteer work.

From a bird’s eye view it seems like a suitable analogy for this behaviour would be something like this:

Imagine a grade 5 teacher creating a cool project where the students build a gizmo that’s valuable to the world – let’s say it creates clean drinking water out of thin air. Next thing you know, all the parents and grandparents are excited about the project and start volunteering their time to help build it and make it better. Next thing you know, a company (let’s call them Company A) picks up on the project and realizes that they can help improve the project by funding certain parts plus they can make some money as well because some industries will want an industrial version of these water-makers which is out of the scope of these volunteers time/money to build or support. So Company A starts investing time and money and builds a business around it while continuing to support the kids’ gizmo proliferation around the world. Out of nowhere, Company B, which has not participated in the project at all, shows up, takes the plans that all these volunteers made and improved on over the years at the cost of their time (and at Company A’s expense, too), and starts making their own industrial water-makers. They slap their own brand on it, change one or two small things and start making money. Then problems start happening. They don’t have a volunteer base of countless thousands who can jump in to improve or fix things when they go wrong, so this makes sense. Company B then routes all the problems of their customers to Company A saying “they have support over there, I think…”

I’m guessing that there would be lots of angry kids and grandparents and most people would agree to take action to stop Company B.

The question of this soon-to-be lawsuit will probably hinge entirely on the licensing of the software. Has this European company violated any software license agreements including the free software licenses of Ubuntu? What exactly did they change? Are they guilty of changing the code or are they guilty of not supporting the code? It will be interesting to read the claim, for sure (if you like reading litigation documents)

This also got me thinking about correlation between freedom and regulation. I know that one of the main reasons why myself and others moved to Ubuntu was for the freedom. We didn’t want to be told by bullies like Apple or Microsoft how we are going to be using our hardware and who will be accessing our private information. I started thinking about un-related industries and correlations between different things when you increase or decrease freedom. I thought it would be timely to share the quick charts that I built.

(review charts above again)

As you can see from the charts, it was an interesting exercise. It seems that in most cases clear changes occur in most columns – except one. I could not determine in any instance that quality increased or decreased with the increase *or decrease* of freedom. At a glance you might quickly disagree with my conclusions, but allow me to explain them.

Drinking water: Although you may increase regulation and decrease freedom to do what you want with your drinking water, it is debatable that the government controlled waters with chlorine, fluoride, and who knows what, is better for you that this or that in a free stream of water. The long term jury is still out on this one.

Voting: To clarify I am referring simply to the freedom to vote and having a regulatory system to govern the actual elections and voting procedure. By regulating or not, does it really help improve the final product (the person you are voting for)?  Point proven in recent elections in big North American country…

Guns: Perhaps you could say the quality of the actual physical gun might improve with regulation…. I don’t know enough on the topic, but it would seem to me that a nice old man building a gun in his shop could do just as well as a heavily-regulated gun factory.

Religions beliefs: the ‘negative event’ here would be something like a mass suicide with a cult. The Catholic church is heavily regulated, but is the quality of faith and the fruit of believers higher?

Marriage: I was thinking here free-love marriages versus arranged marriages. Although one might think that by choosing your spouse, instead of your parents choosing him/her might yield a higher-quality spouse/match, I believe the jury is still out on this. Look at the divorces in ‘love marriages’, for example.

So when it’s all said and done the only category where I felt freedom had a measurable impact on quality was in the realm of computer code. No one will deny that the fruity computer company typically has typically stable software which works on stable hardware. But on the other hand, very few of its users, when asked, deny that they feel stifled, controlled and possibly even spied on – if not totally ‘stuck’.

And so there seems to be a much more pronounced correlation between freedom and quality in the world of code.

And that also is why this will be a very interesting legal case to follow. Will Shuttleworth be tempted to pull in some of the freedoms of the Ubuntu code base in order to maintain the quality that Ubuntu deserves? Will a task force of lawyers be commissioned to seek and attack low quality Ubuntu publishers much like how a big proprietary corporation might do?

Until now Ubuntu has wowed the world with its ability to stay both free and yet maintain an incredibly high quality final product which I can boldly say is the same and better than competing proprietary systems in every category. The proof of this quality has been in the pudding with fast world-wide growth with more and more everyday users converting 100% to ubuntu and also in the realm of innovation (look it all up yourself because I don’t even know where to begin!).

On the one hand I’m completely in agreement that selfish individuals and corporations should be stopped in their tracks and made to pay for damaging others. On the other hand, I’m also keenly aware that the freedom of the Ubuntu code must remain of higher importance overall.

I find myself favouring the ‘whatever-it-takes-to-make-sure-ubuntu-comes-out-the-winner’ side but I will remain full open to all sides of this story.

 

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The Future of Ham Radio: Freedom

This article on the ARRL website summarizes quite well the situation with ham radio – and radio in general.

Although it is exciting to be part of a club of radio enthusiasts around the world, one must question whether the licensing system on its own is a hindrance both to freedom and innovation.

The basic debate has these two sides:

Restrict Frequencies for Licencees

“By proving skills and taking tests, you can keep a higher quality of person on the frequencies.  If we don’t do this we will have CB radio on ham frequencies”

Let Them Go

“By restricting access to the airwaves we all breath and share, you are exerting controls that should not be there – especially on a technology that enables humans to transmit data.  By restricting the airwaves you are limiting both God-given freedom of speech but also innovation because the technology remains only in the hands of those who can (and will) exploit it for gain.”

And it’s a very great debate and one worthy of fighting for.

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The Best Ever Apple iphone Review Video

Thinking of buying the next iphone?

Make sure you review this important video to make sure it’s the right fit for you.

If you find it’s not, be sure to research the Ubuntu phone which is built on a totally different philosophy.

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Biblical Church Revealed During Break from Brick and Mortar

A letter written to my friend that I felt was worthy of sharing to the world as well:


Now brace yourself for the rest since you asked!

Interestingly, about this time last year we made a decision to pull out of church-church.  It’s a long story and had nothing to do with personality conflicts or even really theology, but it started with the fact that we could not find in the Bible any justification for Christmas and Easter but instead only proof that they were both pagan rituals brought into the church.  When this was brought up it was immediately shut down.  It started to make us really wonder because those outside of the church also shut us down in the same way.  So it was observed that the unbelievers and the church were in agreement that Christmas and Easter were a good thing – and this is highly troubling if you think about it because the world should be pretty much against all things Christian (except for our good works).  Satan is the prince of this world.  So why was Satan’s folks and the church in full agreement about Easter?  Even though perfect historical facts prove them to be based in paganism?  So that was the start of my questioning about the church-church.

For me, on a personal level, and at every church I’ve attended I’ve been quite troubled by the following:

  • existence of known and habitual sinning within the body of Christ (without rebuke or correction and ultimately excommunication – which is a clear directive in the Bible)
  • a very serious lack of Bible understanding individually
  • programmatic rituals which are not bad by themselves but when coupled with the above provide a perfect framework to spiritual death within the church (a feeling of godliness without the power)
  • the fact that churches meet in buildings called ‘churches’ and people, especially Koreans, will say ‘Do you go to church?” which has an implied meaning of ‘Do you believe that Jesus is Lord and have you received him as your Savior and live your life for Him?” the two questions of which – as you well know – often have no correlation within the church-church
  • the fact that ‘churches’ provide all their financial data, and the data of their members directly to the tax authorities strictly for a worldly benefit (tax numbers and tax benefits).  See this post here as well about that.
  • the bizarre reality of how people will drive all over their city commuting to ‘churches’ when their own backyards are spiritual graveyards and are ripe for the meeting of the believers together
  • and more

In addition to the above challenges with the church-system, I have also personally and very deeply struggled with the lack of teachings about and help towards those struggling with (and yes these are all biblical sins) the following sins:

  • homosexuality
  • fornication
  • divorce
  • pornography

And you can run a few quick tests to confirm:

1. When was the last time you heard a preacher educating about how the sin of homosexuality works (spiritually) and how we are supposed to help homosexuals? Have you ever heard a preacher preaching about how we should reach out to these lost and hurting children of God?

2. When have you heard anyone preaching to/teaching a pre-married couple about the need to abstain from sexual interactions until the covenant is legal?  Have you ever heard them preach/teach that perhaps it’s not even wise to do the worldly version of dating?

3. When have you heard anyone try to stop someone in their congregation from divorcing? Although I haven’t heard of it I’m sure there is a good chance this occurs regularly, but, when have you ever heard of a pastor boldly trying to stop them from committing adultery by re-marrying?  Not ever once have I heard of a pastor doing this yet Jesus Himself said this:


Every one who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery Luke 16:18).

4. When has anyone preached about how to help a pornography-addict, set up a course, etc?  Or have they just preached empty statistics about how many Christians are addicted to it?

You see?  A form of godliness without the power.  This was a big part of my struggle and even began to seriously bother my conscience as God opened my eyes.

A religious ritual void of the life-changing power of the Spirit is what I was seeing in so many traditional congregations around me.

In summary – a massive hypocritical lifestyle that stinks in the sight of God.

And that is just a piece of my spiritual situation.

There is another challenge I have with the church-church and that is that the pastors are doing the five-fold ministry by themselves. We have pastors who are supposed to shepherd the flock, but where are the apostles, the prophets and the evangelists?

And the proof of something being amiss in the way it’s going for the poor pastors around town is that pretty much every pastor I know is either stressed, sick, having marriage and family problems or all of the above. Seriously.  I joke not.  Yes, I’ve heard the argument that Satan is attacking them more, but I’ve started to shy away from that one over the last few years, although I don’t deny that Satan hates pastors.

The great news is that after pulling myself and the family out of the church-church for a while, and dedicating that time to home Bible studies with other couples and families and our kids, things massively started to change including, but not limited to:

  • a greater hunger for the Word of God
  • a greater hunger for and revelation of truth in general (ie. Christmas, Easter, flat earth versus globe earth, evolution vs creation, satanic influence in the school system, etc, etc, etc).
  • a much better understanding of the world around me such as world events
  • a much closer relationship with my direct family
  • an improved relationship with the unsaved members of my family and their circle
  • an increased excitement towards the things of God including holiness, righteousness, wisdom, hard work, diligence, etc, etc)
  • an increased confidence that God is with us individually, inside of us
  • an increased confidence that God is capable Himself, without the church-church to sustain our very life and stamp His seal of approval on me directly with His Spirit
  • an increased hunger to find others who are like-minded and hungry for God
  • an increased intimacy with the brothers and sisters we have found who love the Lord in a similar way
  • an increased desire to do the will of God instead of my own will or the will of others around me
  • more of God, less of us.

In short, we have been transformed through the experience.

We are daily seeking to build the small fellowship we have but we are not willing to compromise on the above for the vain benefit of telling someone which authorized church-church we are part of.  We find no basis in the Bible for this and so we are not going down that road again.

However, don’t misunderstand and think that we are ‘outside of the church’.  It’s quite the opposite.  We ARE the church now.  We are actually doing the stuff we see in the Bible and God is bringing (quite quickly) other believers around to share this with.

It’s good.

And hopefully something here was encouraging to your faith.

I expect that God will do a mighty thing in your life and the life of your new wife.

Be strong in the Lord and faint not.

Seek the Lord and ye shall find Him. Knock and the door shall be opened.

Blessings to you, brother!

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Flat Earth – Considering it Will Improve Your World View

There is a fine line between shutting your brain down and opening your mind to everything that comes along.

For anyone who has been wronged by an authority figure or system, it’s very easy to shift to the ‘open mind’ side and believe every conspiracy that comes along.

For those who cannot afford to be viewed as ‘stepping out of line with popular thought’ they will find themselves shutting down their brain and completely denying the truth in the face of possible adversity.

There is no better training ground to find the balance than that of the flat earth/globe earth discussion.  On both sides of the discussion there are very qualified and intelligent people presenting ideas that range from bizarre cosmological models to Masonic Illuminati government conspiracies.

This discussion would rightly be labeled the ‘mother of all conspiracies’ because if it is confirmed true with scientific evidence, then one must essentially forsake the teachings of our education system on cosmology.

And if we are forced to call into question something so basic presented as true by said education system, it begs the question ‘What else have they lied about?’ or ‘Can I trust anything at all?”

For topics like languages, math, music, art and the like, I wouldn’t be too concerned.  However, for topics where questions about who you are and why you are here are discussed, I would be highly skeptical and cautious upon confirmation of the earth being flat.

And so it is very important that if we are going to live in a free society of any kind that we need to be able to take a good look at this topic without ridicule.  Anyone who has begun to explore the topic will immediately encounter both ridicule and possibly even being ostracized from their social circle.  But one should not be surprised, especially in the science community, if they experience opposition by those whose job it has been to teach the teachings without question.  It would be akin to Martin Luther stapling his 99 points on the door of the Catholic church: that’s a big boat to rock and a lot of authority and power to question

It takes courage to even consider that the earth might be flat.  If you are one who is at least open minded enough to start down this road, good for you.  I have found nothing outside of the Bible more intellectually stimulating and spiritually liberating than this topic and I’m hopeful that others will join in.

At the end of the proverbial day, when the sun sets on the seemingly flat horizon, I just want the truth and nothing more than the truth so help me God.

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Reasons to Switch to Ubuntu Phone

Someone I know sent me this positive article about the ubuntu phone. I read it and it was nice, and probably one of the best ‘tech-focused’ articles, but as a few friends and I discussed after reading it, it’s missing some of the most important reasons why one would switch.   Here are my list of reasons why one should switch:

1. Being Part of Something Meaningful

Apple sucked in a lot of victims by making their customers think they were either cool or part of something cool.  They paid heavily for that entrance fee in both privacy and dollars left in the bank (and other ways).  You may have noticed how important technology is in our lives, so with the Ubuntu project you can change the world by participating.  You become part of a community that cares.

2. Being Somewhere Where Your Voice Matters

Have you ever rolled your eyes (or worse) at how your smart phone is really quite dumb? Have you ever wondered “how could they do this? How did they let this happen?”  Then, unbelievably, the same horrible ‘feature’ is still there years later? With the Ubuntu project, the programmers and people who change stuff are *you*!  Let that sink in for a bit. That’s right, you can literally be a huge part of changing Ubuntu to better match your life and needs and the life and needs of those around you.  Ubuntu cares what you think.

3. Living Free

Ever felt sick and tired about how you know the ‘big boys’ are spying on you, stealing your information, and watching everything you do? Ever felt helpless and that there is nothing you can do about it because there are ‘no other choices’? Good news.  You now have a choice.  Ubuntu.  Ubuntu frees the captives and like Moses it ‘let the people go’.

4. Being Future Proof

Ever noticed how the ‘big boyz’ (including their strategic business relationships with the big telecoms) somehow manage to make your perfectly good phone ‘out dated’?  Ever thought that you’d like to buy a device that is more future proof? Ubuntu is the only choice if you want to be future proof with ‘convergence‘.

5. Nice Pillars!

Randall Ross wrote a little article that doesn’t get enough circulation. This really sums up why Ubuntu has a nice set of pillars!

 

 

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How to Install Nextcloud Owncloud App on Ubuntu Phone

Before you begin: Always first check in the stock ubuntu software center to make sure that it’s not simply available there first.  As of the date of this post it is not, but I expect it will be there very soon.  Do not proceed with this tutorial if there is a one click app in the software center 🙂

1 Go to this link on your Ubuntu phone browser, follow the installation instructions.

http://open.uappexplorer.com

2 Scroll down until you see the ‘Open Store’ app

(image coming).

Click ‘install’ and it will show you the 4 steps you have to follow.  Follow them.  Do them. Love them.  However, if you aren’t awesome with difficult stuff, I’ll expand on each step:

  1. download the openstore thing: click it.  It will download.  Then at bottom of browser, slide up again and it will bring you back to instruction page
  2. your terminal app is the black thing on your main home screen of phone (image coming).  open that.
  3. to navigate to your downloads file, in your terminal app, type this:   cd ~/Downloads
  4. for the ‘run the command’ simply copy the pkcon install-local – – allow-untrusted openstore.openstore-team_0… stuff’ to your phones clipboard by pushing and holding.  Long slide from the right side of your screen. paste it in your terminal with a long push on screen and then enter key by pushing the keyboard icon lower right.

3 Go back to the link above and scroll down until you see the owncloud file sync app and click the ‘install’ button.  It will give you a warning that you are about to kill your phone and ruin your life.  Accept this because life is short.

4 Install again (you’ll see an orange install button down a bit after the warning screen)

5 Go back to your home screen of phone and the owncloud app will be waiting for you.  When you open it enter your owncloud or nextcloud credentials and server location

From here you should be able to connect a shared calendar and also share files and backup files.  I’ll do a quick tutorial on that at my next available minute but hopefully this helps a few people out.

 

 

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Google’s Tentacles Stretch Further: Verify Your Identity

I had an old ‘smart phone’ lying around and I thought about reconnecting it for one single purpose for our business.  It would not phone, it would not text, it would not even go to a website and search.  It’s only job would be to take a photo, and upload the photo to our private cloud storage.

Of course, I know that Google is invasive and nasty so I was sure to create a new account, without linking any of my personal contact information to the account.  For the single purpose of uploading photos, surely they won’t want to know who I am, right?

Wrong.

I remember years ago before I had started my google exodus journey (89% complete now, btw) they had added this neat little ‘security’ feature under the log in.  It was saying ‘Add a phone number to make sure you won’t ever get locked out and to make sure we can verify your identity.”  That was the start of my ‘questioning’ period.  Why does my email provider need my phone number?  And why do other companies not ask for this?  And if I give them this number, and they are connected to my telecom, will this provide tracking even if my GPS is off?  Etc, etc.  I remember always choosing the ‘skip’ option when this prompt came on.

It seems like skipping this option is now over.

Today while setting up this phone, I successfully:

  • created a new and anonymous google account on the phone
  • created fake answers to the security questions, not linked to me.
  • skipped adding the phone feature
  • saw the successful account creation message

Then, as I went into the google play store to download the only app I need to do the only purpose this phone will perform, there was a ‘something is wrong with your account’ message.  I entered the password about 5 times and it still spewed the same error.

Finally I went to the gmail login page and tried to log in that way where I was greeted with the message “Suspicious account activity is suspected” (something like that).  I then was *forced* to ‘verify my identity” with a phone number.  It gave me two options: sms (text) or voice.  So, I went and got my Fongo number, which works for both SMS and voice calls no problem, and I entered that and chose the SMS option.

It then spewed out a message “You can’t use this phone number.”

Really?  Go figure.  It’s a fully working phone number which can receive texts.
Then I chose the ‘voice call’ option since there is nothing wrong with that whatsoever.  And, as long as the owner of the phone number is there to receive the call and enter in the code, the identity is verified, right?

Wrong.

It also would not accept my fongo number for that voice call either.

Finally, just to test the theory, I gave google one more piece of my identity.  I entered my ‘big telecom’ personal cell phone number into the sms verification code window and *boom*.  Instantly I received the code which I entered and the account was activated.

Now it is proven that there is no way to be part of google without giving them *undeniable proof of your identity* but even worse, your big telecom phone number.

I encourage everyone reading this to start their own google exodus journey because it’s for sure that you’ve already given them way more than you thought.

Don’t wait.  Ubuntu is there as the solution and on any platform.

ps. Yes, you could probably use a pay-as-you-go phone to accomplish this account verification – I didn’t test.  This would be better that what I did.

 

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Flat, Convex, or Concave Earth? It Depends on Your Lens

This video was sent to me as I have a strong interest in the topic of whether the earth is a ball or a flat surface.

As I journey towards truth, popular sources still tell me it’s a ball but all my senses tell me it’s immovable and flat…

The first thing that caught my attention was at 1:23 into the video the narrator said “His work was rewarded when NASA commended his work.”

When I reviewed the video again, the second thing I noticed was the incredible variation of curvatures.  These three images, are three different screen shots from the very same video. Go look for yourself…

convex_flat_concave_earth_curvature

The top is clearly concave.

The middle, as flat as a pancake.

The bottom, “NASA convex”

Something is fishy here and methinks it’s the lenses.

My conclusion is that this craft was outfitted with a fish eye lens (from now on lightly dubbed ‘fishy lens’) and cannot be trusted as a what-you-see-is-what-you-get (“WYSIWYG”) video result.

It also reinforced the fact that unless one personally inspects the camera equipment being loaded onto a craft, and personally confirms the final product has not been tampered with, one cannot fully trust the video results other than for non curvature-proving purposes.  I personally enjoy this video, but I cannot use it as any form of ‘proof of curvature’ – unless you believe the earth is a bouncy castle (that sounds really fun, by the way).

This video by Rob Skiba is another great one that shows amazingly weird effects that camera lenses have on the surface of the earth.

This also highlights the growing need for a ‘freedom approach’ to these projects where free software (publicly available source code, built by community) runs everything.  Ubuntu with Snappy Ubuntu and ability to run on very small devices is one example I see fitting well here.  As we get further and further buried under technology and information, the more we all need to take an active role in maintaining the freedom of said information.

Can we fully trust NASA to give us the untampered photos, videos, and live feeds that we need to make such important world view decisions?

Based on what I have seen so far, I would boldly say ‘No.”

It’s time for an increase in WYSIWYG community-built projects to find out for ourselves what our world looks like.

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