Saturday, September 29, 2012

Nokia slashes Lumia 800, 900 prices


Struggling phone maker Nokia has slashed 10-15 percent off the prices of two top smartphone models, hoping to boost sales before newer models arrive in markets in November.
Nokia has cut the price of the Lumia 800 by around 15 percent and the Lumia 900 by 10 percent in Europe, according to device pricing data compiled by British research firm CCS Insight. Nokia declined to comment.


MindTree gets new logo, brand identity


Mid-sized IT companyMindTree announced its new logo and brand identity on Friday calling it a crucial part of its journey towards 2020. 

"As businesses and critical information systems transform, we realise that we need a company that is expertise led, which meant that our existing brand needed to be redefined," said chairman, Subroto Bagchi. "Our values over the past 14 years said we had people who were humble, down to earth and introspective. But we now need people who are strategic, old and decisive." 

Google to be sued by ex F1 boss


Former Formula One boss Max Mosley is suing Google, claiming the search engine is breaking German privacy laws by providing links to websites hosting a hidden-camera video of him at a sadomasochistic sex party.
The case is part of legal action Mosley says he's taking in more-than 20 countries around the world.
Hamburg state court said Mosley was not present for the case's opening hearing on Friday. The session ended with the court giving attorneys until October 26 to provide more information.

RIM has more breathing room despite loss, Analysts


Research in Motion's turnaround potential has improved after the struggling BlackBerrymaker's better-than-expected quarterly results, analysts said, with one summarising his view by saying "the patient has a heartbeat."
Analysts said risks remained, with the company's future riding on the release of itsBlackBerry 10 model early next year, but an improved cash position provides breathing room.
National Bank Financial upgraded RIM's stock, while BMO Capital Markets and Barclays Capital were among brokerages that raised price targets on the company's shares.

Sharp, Making adequate number of displays for iPhone 5


Sharp Corp is making "adequate volumes" of displays it is known to supply for Apple Inc's new iPhone5, a company executive said, indicating that a possible bottleneck in supplies of screens may have eased.
Analysts had blamed a shortfall in supplies of display for leaving Apple with too few iPhones to meet burgeoning demand at its launch this month.
At the end of August three weeks before the new iPhone went on sale, Sharp, which was supposed to be mass producing at its Kameyama plant in central Japan, had fallen behind schedule, a source earlier told Reuters.

Accenture bets on outsourcing business


Accenture  forecast full-year earnings ahead of analyst estimates as it bolsters its outsourcing business to offset a slowdown in consulting, sending its shares up 5 per cent in after-market trading. 

Outsourcing revenue rose 10 per cent to $3.1 billion while consulting revenue fell 4 per cent to $3.74 billion in the fourth quarter. 

Accenture, which has about 257,000 employees worldwide, expects revenue growth in its outsourcing business to continue to outpace that of consulting, Chief Financial Officer Pamela Craig said on a conference call. 

Mahindra Satyam launches in car infotainment solution

ImageIT services player Mahindra Satyam, has launched its in-car infotainment solutions under the aegis of its 'Connected Vehicle Concept'. Under this Mahindra Satyamis working on solutions for a networked or 'smart' vehicle which will enable users to shop, pay bills, check email, watch videos, access news and social media, and be connected always, while in the vehicle. 

Several players in this space have been focusing on bringing a standalone product offering to market, Mahindra Satyam has positioned itself as an end-to-end solution provider with this launch. 

Instagram attracts more users than Twitter on mobile

Photo-sharing social network Instagram has attracted more mobile visitors than the popular micro blogging site Twitter  for the first time since it was founded, says a report.

Internet analytics company ComScore revealed that across mobile phones in the US during August, Instagram received an average of 7.3 million daily visitors. 

During the same period Twitter attracted 6.9 million users, the report said. 

Soon, data card that can last for 100 million years


 Researchers claim to have developed a new water proof storage device that can endure extreme temperatures and hostile conditions like fires and tsunami 'forever' without degrading. 

Japanese multinational conglomerate Hitachihas unveiled the chip, which it claims is resistant to many chemicals and unaffected by radio waves, can be exposed directly to high temperature flames and heated to 1,000 degrees Celsius for at least two hours without being damaged. 

Samsung Galaxy Camera with voice control set for Diwali launch

Samsung India is set to launch its Galaxy Camera in mid-November, the company said yesterday while launching its Galaxy Note II phablet. This pegs the launch date of the device around Diwali. Galaxy Camera is Samsung's first camera, and world's second, to be powered by Google's Android mobile operating system. It was unveiled by the South Korean manufacturer at the IFA 2012 held in August.


Friday, September 28, 2012

Micromax announces Funbook Infinity P275


Micromax Informatics Limited has expanded its tablet portfolio in the country with the addition of Micromax Funbook InfinityP275. 

Micromax Funbook Infinity sports a 7-inch display and runs on Google's Android 4.0.4 operating system. The tablet is powered by a 1.2 GHz Cortex A8 processor and is packed with a 4000mAh battery that provides a browsing time of more than 6 hours on a single charge. 

Funbook Infinity is equipped with a 2MP rear camera and a 0.3MP front-facing camera. The device also features dual speakers for quality sound output. 

Nokia prices Lumia 920 above Samsung Galaxy S III


Nokia has priced its new Lumia 920 handset up to 25 percent higher than rival Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S III, risking a consumer backlash and endangering the troubled Finnish cellphone maker's efforts to catch competitors.
Analysts said Nokia will struggle to explain the premium of the Lumia 920, which uses Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 software and is seen as potentially its last chance to break into the profitable segment and secure its future.
"Hardware-wise they are pretty similar, it would be hard for Nokia to justify that extra cost to consumers," said Ovum analyst Nick Dillon. "Windows Phone is still largely an unknown to consumers - they would probably expect to pay less if they are taking a risk."

Facebook launches Gifts service for users to send presents


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Facebook is rolling out a service called Gifts which, as its name suggests, lets users send chocolate, coffee, socks and other real-life presents to one another.
Facebook Gifts launched on Thursday to a subset of users in the US and will roll out to more over the coming months as people begin to send gifts to each other. 

Users will be able to click on a "gifts" icon on their Facebook friends' pages on Facebook's website or onAndroid mobile phones. (IPhone and iPad versions are coming soon.) 

See what Wipro, HCL, Infosys want in next gen leaders

As Indian IT companies try to morph from being mere low-cost service providers to business partners, they are feeling the need for more and better leaders across all levels. Infosys, Wipro, HCL and others are drawing up a new checklist of traits they want their next generation of leaders to have. 

"One needs to have more courage now," says Matt Barney, vice-president and director, Infosys Leadership Institute, referring to employees in leadership roles. "It takes courage to predict what may happen with clients and businesses on a cognitive and computational front." Barney is also on the lookout for those who can learn and are innovative enough to interpret complex problems and come up with practical solutions that clients can apply. 

Google Play hits 25 billion downloads


Google announced that its online store for media and applications Google Play has hit 25 billion downloads.

To celebrate the milestone, Google said it will discount a variety of popular apps which will be on sale for 25 cents apiece, reported Xinhua.

The company is also promoting special collections at special prices like 25 movies you must own, 25 banned books, 25 albums that changed the world and the store's 25 top selling magazines.

India has become a global analytics hub

ImageMost Indian parents push their children to do well in mathematics. That push is now paying an unexpected dividend. India is becoming one of the big global hubs of analytics, a field that has math and statistics at its core. And everybody from MNCs to Indian startups is tapping into this capability. 

Analytics is becoming important globally thanks to the explosion of data. Corporates have their internal data, but increasingly , they now have to deal with related external data, coming from social media, blogs, image and video sites, sensors and more. Companies have to find all that is being said about them in these spaces, organize this data deluge, generate insights, make predictions, and finally produce recommendations for action. 

LG Samsung s Galaxy series phones infringe our patents


South Korea's LG Display, one of the world's top flat-screen TV makers, said Thursday it had filed a patent infringement suit against Samsung Electronics over the use of advanced displays.
LG Display, a sister firm of LG Electronics, accused Samsung Electronics and Samsung Display of infringing seven of its patents on organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology.
The company claimed that five of Samsung's products, including its global hit Galaxy S-series smartphones and tablet computer Galaxy Tab 7.7, infringed its patents.
"This lawsuit has been filed both to enforce LG Display's intellectual property rights and promote fair competition," it said in a statement.
LG Display said it would seek an unspecified amount of damages and a permanent injunction against the sale of infringing devices.

Engineering R and D to create 1m jobs by 2020, Nasscom

ImageIndian offshore engineering research and development (ER&D) services market is expected to reach $37-45 billion by 2020 and create over one million jobs, software industry body Nasscom said today. 

This exponential growth is a result of flexible business models, short product life cycles and decreasing time to market, Nasscom President Som Mittal said at the two-day Engineering Summit 2012 at Pune. 

"Indian ER&D service has played a pivotal role in accelerating innovation and is establishing India as a design and innovation hub," Mittal said, adding that incremental growth will be driven by newer verticals and markets. 

IBM to lay off 500 workers in Argentina


A union for workers at IBM Argentina says the company has initiated a plan to lay off 500 workers in the next few months. 

Asked for comment Wednesday, the company sent a statement to The Associated Press saying only that ``change is constant in the technology industry.'' 

The union said IBM's campus of 9,000 workers in suburban Buenos Aires would be reduced by more than 5 percent under a plan seeking to avoid losses for the subsidiary. 

Amazon offering business loans to online sellers


Amazon.com Inc is launching a new business offering loans to some of its online sellers, a move that could boost the growth of its giantInternet marketplace, Chief Executive Scot Wingo of e-commerce advisory firm ChannelAdvisor said on Thursday.

The new program is called Amazon Lending and sellers on the company's marketplace have been sent emails offering loans from Amazon Capital Services Inc, according to Wingo, who posted a copy of one of the emails on ChannelAdvisor's website.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

We are not mid tier, we are multi niche experts


When Ashok Soota exited MindTree - the company he founded - early last year, many felt that all was not well at the mid-tier IT firm. But since then, MindTree has re-engineered itself, sharpened its focus, and exited some verticals . And going by the $400-million company's performance in recent quarters, the new strategy appears to have paid off. In an interview with TOI, MindTree CEOKrishnakumar Natarajan says the company today finds a place at deal tables that were earlier the preserve of the big IT players. 

IBM eyeing Salesforce.com, Amazon customers

ImageInternational Business Machines is expected to announce that it will ramp up efforts to sellcloud computing services to midsize businesses, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

The move by IBM, a bellwether for the IT industry because of its global span and breadth of businesses, is aimed at grabbing market sharefrom companies like Amazon.com and Salesforce.com, which have been successful in the mid-market, the paper said.

For Armonk, NY-based IBM, midsize companies refer to those with less than 1,000 employees, the newspaper said.

BPOs, Australian market bigger than India in 2011


The business process outsourcing market in the Asia-Pacific (Apac) region, excluding Japan, will reach $9.5 billion in 2016, up from $5.9 billion as of last year, according to research firm Gartner.

In 2012, the BPO market in the Apac region is on pace to reach $6.45 billion, Gartner said in a statement.

"The Asia/Pacific BPO market is still relatively underdeveloped and under-exploited (with the exception of Australia and New Zealand) when compared with other markets or regions," Gartner Research Director T J Singh said.

Digital wallets will take years to go mainstream


Canadian banks and telecom providers are scrambling to introduce smartphone digital "wallets," but the dream of completely abandoning the traditional billfold in favour of a smartphone is likely several years away, according to speakers at an e-commerce conference in Toronto on Tuesday.
Digital wallets will allow consumers to make cash and credit card transactions using their smartphones by swiping the phone past a sensor and then entering a Pin number to complete the payment.
Apple's decision to not embed chips in its new iPhone 5 that would have allowed the phone to communicate with retail payment devices was worrisome to industry players presenting at the conference, but they said it was just one of many barriers to full acceptance of the payments technology.

Samsung Galaxy Note II to be launched tomorrow


Samsung is likely to launch the Galaxy Note II phablet in India tomorrow at a press event in Hyderabad, according to reports. The device was showcased at the IFA 2012 in Berlin in August and was rolled out in Samsung's home country South Korea today. Samsung is already taking pre-orders for the Galaxy Note II in India.

The Galaxy Note II, with its 5.5-inch HD SuperAMOLED display, is slightly bigger than the original Galaxy Note, which had a 5.3-inch touchscreen. This device runs on Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean), the latest version of Google's mobile operating system, layered with the company's TouchWiz UI. The phablet has a quad-core 1.6GHz Cortex A-9 processor with 2GB of RAM and will come in 16, 32 and 64GB variants, with support for microSD card having capacity of up to 64GB.

UIDAI launches Aadhaar Official Channel on YouTube


Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) today launched the 'Aadhaar Official Channel' on YouTube as part of its efforts to inform and educate people about the features of the unique identity numbers issued.

"We have added yet another medium to our existing modes of communication with the residents. TheAadhaar Official Channel has very informative videos that educate residents of what the Aadhaar number is, how to get enrolled and benefits of getting an Aadhaar number," UIDAI Chairman Nandan Nilekani said in a statement.

Angry Birds maker pins hopes on Bad Piggies


Angry Birds maker Rovio will be hoping to prove it's no one-hit wonder when it launches Bad Piggies on Thursday, just as players seem to be tiring of the game they've been addicted to for the past three years.
The new game will feature pigs which strike back at the birds who attacked them with slingshots in Angry Birds.
A hit on app stores would give the Finnish company a boost as it looks to a possible stock market flotation next year. Some analysts put its market value at between $6 billion and $9 billion, nearly on a par with another top Finnish tech name, phone maker Nokia Oyj.

Revealed How to crack job interview at Google


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An American science writer is set to release a book, in which he enlists all sorts of tricky questions, riddles and several devious interviewing techniques that would enable one to land a job at Google, as well as possibly anywhere in the United States.
William Poundstone, author of the new book, "Are you Smart Enough To Work At Google?" says that interviewers while recruiting today ask more bizarre and vague questions such as 'Can you swim faster in water or in syrup?' or 'How would you weigh your head?' than normal questions pertaining to the job.

Google s driverless car to come on roads next year


California took the fast lane to the future on Tuesday when Governor Jerry Brown signed a law that lets self-driving cars onto public roads.
Brown rode to the signing ceremony at Google headquarters in the passenger seat of a vehicle that steered itself, a Prius modified by Google. Google co-founder Sergey Brin and State Senator Alex Padilla, who sponsored the bill, were along for the ride. An engineer for the technology company, Chris Urmson, sat in the driver's seat, but the car drove itself.
"We're looking at science fiction becoming tomorrow's reality," Brown said just before signing the bill.
Google has been working on self-driving technology since 2010, including testing a fleet of self-driving cars along California roadways.

Yahoo CFO Ken Goldman to make up to dollar 18 million over four years

Yahoo Inc.  Chief Financial Officer Ken Goldman will receive up to $18 million in salary, bonuses, restricted stock and stock options over the next four years, according to a regulatory filing. 

Goldman will get $1.1 million in salary and bonus, and receive restricted stock units and performance-based stock options worth as much as $12 million that will vest over four years. 

Yahoo, which named Goldman its CFO on Tuesday, said he will also get 76,000 restricted stock units to make up for compensation lost when he left his previous job at cyber security software firm Fortinet Inc.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Nasdaq strikes cloud deal with Amazon to cut clients data costs



Nasdaq OMX on Tuesday launched a cloud computing platform built by Amazon Web Serviceswhich it said would allow its trading clients to cut the cost of storing financial data.

The system, FinQloud, is a response to regulators' growing demands that companies provide more granular data on their trading activities.

Policymakers in the United States and Europe want banks and brokers to provide them with more detailed information on their day-to-day operations to help authorities spot illicit or risky trading patterns.

Meet Autographer, a wearable click free camera

 A groundbreaking camera that decides itself when to take a shot will go on sale in Britain in November, in the first consumer application of technology developed by the British maker OMG Plc.

The device, called the Autographer, uses five in-built sensors and software developed byMicrosoft to chose the best moment to capture an image without any intervention from the user.

Sharp job cuts to touch 11,000, asks workers to take pay cuts



Cash-strapped Sharp will win approval from its banks as early as Thursday to secure as much as 210 billion yen ($2.7 billion) in fresh loans with a plan that commits the loss-making company to return to profit, a source at one of its main lenders said on Tuesday.

Sharp has already submitted its proposed revival plan which must outline how it will make a profit in the six months starting October 1 and beyond, the source told Reuters on condition he isn't identified.

Godrej Appliances ties up with Indiatimes Shopping



Consumer durables major Godrej today joined hands with e-commerce site Indiatimes Shopping to launch online store, targeting Rs 100 crore per year from the venture in the next five years.

"Although online trading contributes very little in overall revenue of the consumer durables industry, it is growing day by day. To tap the potential and to have the first mover's advantage, we have tied up with Indiatimes," Godrej Appliances Executive Vice President (Marketing and Sales) Kamal Nandi told reporters here.

Facebook denies breakdown in its security systems


ImageThe French government has summoned Facebook managers to appear before the country's data watchdog to explain how some of its users came to believe their privacy had been infringed on the social network, it said in a statement early on Tuesday.

Two ministers said they had intervened after seeing reports that private messages between Facebook users in France had appeared on their "Timelines", which can reach a wide internet audience.

Tier II IT companies use Facebook, Twitter for hiring


Image With the top information technology services companies toning down their recruitment push at campuses this year, many second-level players are aggressively promoting themselves on social media to lure quality talent.

Lacklustre growth and tight budgets at top IT firms like Infosys and Wipro have given Tier-II companies like MindTree an opening to go after the cream of the crop at engineering colleges. To give potential candidates an idea of what's in store, Tier-II companies are beefing up their presence on social media sites like Twitter,Youtube and Facebook-the favourite online haunts of students.

10 less known but awesome Google products



With Google's vast range of products, even their own employees might not be aware of everything on offer. Hitesh Raj Bhagat & Karan Bajaj show you how to use Google for more than just search & mail.

Cookin with Google 
This customised search lets you find recipes from across the world. Through this page, Google will only search through food sites that provide recipes and remove useless links that just have the search terms mentioned. The results you get can be further filtered using various heads — special recipes for diabetics, low-fat recipes, for vegetarians for weight watchers and so on.

Data can be saved forever, Hitachi


As Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones prove, good music lasts a long time; now Japanese hi-tech giant Hitachi says it can last even longer -- a few hundred million years at least.
The company on Monday unveiled a method of storing digital information on slivers of quartz glass that can endure extreme temperatures and hostile conditions without degrading, almost forever.
And for anyone who updated their LP collection onto CD, only to find they then needed to get it all on MP3, a technology that never needs to change might sound appealing.
"The volume of data being created every day is exploding, but in terms of keeping it for later generations, we haven't necessarily improved since the days we inscribed things on stones," Hitachi researcher Kazuyoshi Torii said.

Windows 8 will be formally launched in October

Microsoft is taking a big gamble over the next few months with Windows and Office, the two products responsible for most of its revenue and profit, according to Gartner. It is a risk that Microsoft must take to stay relevant in a world where mobile devices with new modern experiences are becoming the norm.

"When the PC dominated personal computing by providing a single device for messaging, internet access, gaming and productivity, Windows was a powerhouse for Microsoft," said Michael Silver, vice president and analyst at Gartner. "However, smartphones and tablets, led by the iPhone and iPad, have changed the way people work, making the PC just one of several devices people use. The PC is increasingly simply a peer with other devices."

Death knell for Orkut, Number of daily visitors to site drops nearly 86percent in one year


Once the darling of India's social mediacrowd, Google's Orkut has seen the numbers of its daily visitors dwindle nearly 86% over the last year, suggesting that it might soon be on its last legs.
Orkut, which was Google's first foray into social media, has its second-largest user base in India after Brazil. But the number of daily visitors from India has fallen from about 14 lakh a year ago to just about two lakh now, according to Google Trends.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Iran readies domestic Internet system, blocks Google


Iran plans to switch its citizens onto adomestic Internet network in what officials say is a bid to improve cyber security but which many Iranians fear is the latest way to control their access to the web. 

The announcement, made by a government deputy minister on Sunday, came as state television announced Google Inc's search engine and its email service would be blocked "within a few hours". 

"Google and Gmail will be filtered throughout the country until further notice," an official identified only by his last name, Khoramabadi, said, without giving further details. 

Microsoft will be fined over web browser commitment, EU

ImageUS software giant Microsoft faces yet more heavy fines  fter it promised to offer clients a choice of web browser but has failed to do so, the EU's competition commissioner said on Monday. 

Microsoft apologised in July for a "technical error" as the EU launched a probe into why 28 million users of the Windows 7 operating system were unable to choose between the company's default Internet Explorer and other browsers. 

Spyware tracking mobile owners raises privacy concerns


Despite a federal police attempt to shut it down, a controversial mobile phone "spyware" is being openly promoted as a tool to catch unfaithful spouses, it has been revealed.
For $1 a day, ordinary folk are attaining police-like powers to eavesdrop on phone calls, monitor SMS messages, track the phone owner's every movement and switch on the phone's record function at any time of the night or day.
Alarmingly, mobile phone-monitoring software, or spyware, is almost impossible to detect, operating in stealth mode.

Wipro sets up delivery centre in Vishakhapatnam


Wipro Technologies has announced the formal opening of its 2,000-seater delivery centre in Vishakhapatnam. 

The centre, which is currently operational with about 100 employees, was inaugurated by Minister of State for Human Resource Development ( Higher Education) Daggubati Purandeswari, Wipro said in a statement. 

The capacity at the centre will be ramped up to more than 300 over the next three months, it added. 

Relax visa rules for technology companies

Image A leading think-tank, considered close to the ruling Conservative party, wants theDavid Cameron government to relax immigration rules to make it easier for tech companies to recruit highly skilled staff from anywhere in the word.

In a report titled 'Bits and Billions', the London-based Policy Exchange said the UK has enormous potential to be a world-leader in the high-tech and digital economy, but that it is tough for start-ups to find enough coders, designers and other highly skilled staff.

The study wants UK policymakers to learn lessons from the United States, especially California which is home to nearly half of the top 100 tech start-ups in the world, and relax immigration rules.

Blue Card, Opportunities for Indian IT professionals in Germany

ImageEver since the German green card scheme, that was meant to attract IT professionals from non-EU countries, was discontinued in December 2004, Indian techies have missed it badly. The scheme, which came into effect from mid-2000, was meant to fill skill gaps in the country's IT sector.

Not surprisingly, the largest number of German green cards were issued to Indians. And now, with the introduction of the new German 'blue card initiative' from August 1, 2012, skilled and highly qualified workers from India can again look forward to tapping opportunities in Germany. 

Bihar to set up its first IT park


Bihar is in the process of setting up its first Information technology (IT) park near the state capital on the lines of Bangalore's International Tech Park and Hyderabad's Software Technology Park, officials said Monday.
The IT park will be set up at Bihta, 30 km from Patna. It will be later developed as Bihar's IT hub by taking advantage of other infrastructure and modern facilities here, an official of the information technology (IT) department said.
"Work is in progress by a team led by officials of the IT department. Construction work will begin next year," an official at the Chief Minister's Office said.

Huawei plans to launch Windows Phone 8 smartphones


China's Huawei Technologies, the world's second-largest telecom equipment maker and No.6 handset maker, expects revenue from its consumer devices unit to grow by about 30 per cent next year from the $9 billion forecast for this year.

Huawei also plans to launch smartphones using Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system later this year or early next year, Wan Biao, CEO of Huawei Device, said in an interview on Monday at the company's headquarters in the southern city of Shenzhen.

Apple sells over 5 million iPhone 5s, investors worry about supply


Apple Inc sold out of its latest smartphone, with more than 5 million iPhone5s sold in the three days since it hit stores, the company said on Monday. 

While sales were solid, analysts were concerned that Apple was unable to produce the new phone fast enough to meet demand. 

The early total for the iPhone 5 topped sales of the iPhone 4S, which sold more than 4 million units in its first weekend after Apple introduced it in October 2011. 

Government against controlling Internet, Communications and IT Minister Kapil Sibal

The government is against controlling or governing the Internet but want a consensus among stakeholders to deal with issues that may arise in future, Communications and IT Minister Kapil Sibaltoday said. 

"There should be no formal government interference in the dissemination of information through a medium which is perhaps quintessential representative of democracy... What we want is consensus and not a decision. Consensus which will then formalised through which we can deal in future," Sibal said. 
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