If I find something interesting on the web that I want to refer to again, or if I write something up that might become a proper blog post someday I often save it as a text file into one of a logical series of directories on my machine.

These files on my local machine are occassionally syncronized with this site. I try to give credit where credit is due whenever the text is not my own.

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Compliance and the Cloud

PCI Compliance and the cloud

Technically, you cannot obtain PCI compliance if you store financial information in cloud storage because you typically cannot inspect the infrastructure, or make changes to it, the audit trail does not go all the way to the hypervisor since this could compromise other customers data and tracability and control of the data is a requirement. None of them explicitly claim to be PCI compliant, and some cannot be by design. Microsoft does come close.

HIPPA Compliance and the Cloud

HHS offers some guidance here, though guidance is code for: follow these suggestions or you may lose your lawsuit. "Lacking an encryption key does not exempt a CSP from business associate status and obligations under the HIPAA Rules. As a result, the covered entity (or business associate) and the CSP must enter into a HIPAA-compliant business associate agreement (BAA), and the CSP is both contractually liable for meeting the terms of the BAA and directly liable for compliance with the applicable requirements of the HIPAA Rules."

Last saved: 03/21/2017
/computers / cloud_compliance.txt

Ben Franklin's quotations

Benjamin Franklin published a periodical called Poor Richard's Almanack between 1732 and 1758 in which he had lots of quotes. Lots of people think he wrote all of them (and he may have penned a great many) but they may easily have been quotations he read or heard somewhere. "Fish and visitors smell after three days." is one of these. Another good one is "Beware of the young Doctor & the old Barber."

Last saved: 03/08/2017
/history / franklin-quotes.txt

Illegals have no rights!

A dangerous and incorrect statement I've heard from some pundits lately is that people that are in the country illegally have no rights under the Constitution. This is not true, and in fact has been litigated by the Supreme Court many times over the last 130 years.

There was another time when there were massive numbers of illegal immigrants in the United States. These people were mainly from China, drawn here to work on the railroads in the then expanding American West in the late 1800s. Constitutional issues were raised regarding the rights of these folks and it was settled many times over by the Supreme Court that "any person" residing within our borders and abiding by ours laws is, in return, owed the protection of them. When I hear someone suggesting that the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness afforded by the Constitution only applies to naturally born US citizens, I wonder if any of these folks actually ever read the Constitution.

from http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/163/228.html

WONG WING v. U S, (1896)

"The provisions of the fifth, sixth, and thirteenth amendments of the constitution apply as well to Chinese persons who are aliens as to American citizens.

The term 'person,' used in the fifth amendment, is broad enough to include any and every human being within the jurisdiction of the republic. A resident, alien born, is entitled to the same protection under the laws that a citizen is entitled to. He owes obedience to the laws of the country in which he is domiciled, and, as a consequence, he is entitled to the equal protection of those laws.

This has been decided so often that the point does not require argument. Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 369 , 6 Sup. Ct. 1064; Ho Ah Kow v. Nunan, 5 Sawy. 552, Fed. Cas. No. 6,546; Carlisle v. U. S., 16 Wall. 147; In re Lee Tong, 18 Fed. 253; In re Wong Yung Quy, 6 Sawy. 237, 47 Fed. 717; In re Chow Goo Pooi, 25 Fed. 77."

Some other Supreme Court cases include:

Yick Wo v. Hopkins (1886)
Almeida-Sanchez v. United States (1973)
Plyler v. Doe (1982)
Zadvydas v. Davis (2001)

Last saved: 01/31/2017
/history / illegals.txt

Brightness keys on Macbook 5,2 in Ubuntu 16.10

Seems like every time I upgrade my MacBook which runs Ubuntu to the latest release I lose the functionality of the brightness keys which are supposed to increase and decrease the brightness of the screen. I always have to run around to figure out that all I need to do is:

Create a file in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-nvidia.conf with the following content:

Section "Device"
Option "RegistryDwords" "EnableBrightnessControl=1"
Identifier "Device0"

and reboot.

Post #10 on https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/xserver-xorg-input-evdev/+bug/1006453

Last saved: 12/11/2016
/computers / apple-backlight.txt

Android hosts file

Using adb shell I could get to the android file system on my rooted device, but I couldn't edit any files because the file system is mounted as read only. I found this on stackoverflow:

Simply change ro to rw and add the remount option

# mount -o rw,remount /system

Once you are done making changes, you should remount with the original readonly.

# mount -o ro,remount /system

ref: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/6066030/read-only-file-system-on-android

Last saved: 03/17/2016
/computers / android-hosts.txt

Kurt Vonnegut - 8 Tips on How to Write a Good Short Story

Vonnegut put down his advice in the introduction to his 1999 collection of magazine stories, Bagombo Snuff Box.

1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.

2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.

3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.

4. Every sentence must do one of two things -- reveal character or advance the action.*

5. Start as close to the end as possible.

6. Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them -- in order that the reader may see what they are made of.

7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.

8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

Last saved: 11/30/2015
/media/text / vonnegut.txt

ASCII table

I always have to look this up

| Hx | Chr | Hx | Chr | Hx | Chr | Hx | Chr |
| 00 | NUL | 20 | SPC | 40 |  @  | 60 |  `  |
| 01 | SOH | 21 |  !  | 41 |  A  | 61 |  a  |
| 02 | STX | 22 |  "  | 42 |  B  | 62 |  b  |
| 03 | ETX | 23 |  #  | 43 |  C  | 63 |  c  |
| 04 | EOT | 24 |  $  | 44 |  D  | 64 |  d  |
| 05 | ENQ | 25 |  %  | 45 |  E  | 65 |  e  |
| 06 | ACK | 26 |  &  | 46 |  F  | 66 |  f  |
| 07 | BEL | 27 |  '  | 47 |  G  | 67 |  g  |
| 08 | BS  | 28 |  (  | 48 |  H  | 68 |  h  |
| 09 | TAB | 29 |  )  | 49 |  I  | 69 |  i  |
| 0A | LF  | 2A |  *  | 4A |  J  | 6A |  j  |
| 0B | VT  | 2B |  +  | 4B |  K  | 6B |  k  |
| 0C | FF  | 2C |  ,  | 4C |  L  | 6C |  l  |
| 0D | CR  | 2D |  -  | 4D |  M  | 6D |  m  |
| 0E | SO  | 2E |  .  | 4E |  N  | 6E |  n  |
| 0F | SI  | 2F |  /  | 4F |  O  | 6F |  o  |
| 10 | DLE | 30 |  0  | 50 |  P  | 70 |  p  |
| 11 | DC1 | 31 |  1  | 51 |  Q  | 71 |  q  |
| 12 | DC2 | 32 |  2  | 52 |  R  | 72 |  r  |
| 13 | DC3 | 33 |  3  | 53 |  S  | 73 |  s  |
| 14 | DC4 | 34 |  4  | 54 |  T  | 74 |  t  |
| 15 | NAK | 35 |  5  | 55 |  U  | 75 |  u  |
| 16 | SYN | 36 |  6  | 56 |  V  | 76 |  v  |
| 17 | ETB | 37 |  7  | 57 |  W  | 77 |  w  |
| 18 | CAN | 38 |  8  | 58 |  X  | 78 |  x  |
| 19 | EM  | 39 |  9  | 59 |  Y  | 79 |  y  |
| 1A | SUB | 3A |  :  | 5A |  Z  | 7A |  z  |
| 1B | ESC | 3B |  ;  | 5B |  [  | 7B |  {  |
| 1C | FS  | 3C |  <  | 5C |  \  | 7C |  |  |
| 1D | GS  | 3D |  =  | 5D |  ]  | 7D |  }  |
| 1E | RS  | 3E |  >  | 5E |  ^  | 7E |  ~  |
| 1F | US  | 3F |  ?  | 5F |  _  | 7F | DEL |

Last saved: 10/05/2015
/computers/code / ascii_table.txt

Carmina Burana in Conan?

No, actually - but adapted from it.

Conan the Barbarian: (Basil Poledouris) "And on to this Conan..." When director John Milius and his college buddy Basil Poledouris collaborated to produce their first fantasy adventure film, little did they know that they would be catapulting their own careers, as well as that of Arnold Schwarzenegger, into the bright lights of both cult and mainstream attention. When Conan the Barbarian hit the theatres in 1982, Hollywood was hitting the peak of its "sword and sorcery" phase (which some called the "swords and steroids" phase), and producers and directors struggled to create authentic representations of a fantasy Earth from the Middle Ages on limited budgets and do it during a time when audiences were being awed by the special effects of space age films. Film scores were also undergoing a renaissance in the early-1980's, spurred by John Williams' orchestral adventure scores, back towards large symphonic representations of the fantasy genre. The producer of Conan the Barbarian, Dino De Laurentiis, was an advocate of experimenting with pop scores in the epic fantasy genre, and recommended such an approach for the film. Milius and Poledouris recognized that a rock/pop score would not function for Conan the Barbarian because of the film would rely on the music and cinematography to take the place of dialogue in painting the correct canvas for the film's depiction of the Hyborean age. De Laurentiis, of course, would take his pop score ideas to Dune instead, with a strangely effective result. Nothing but Poledouris' heavy symphonic and choral approach would work for Conan the Barbarian, and the composer would have to dig deep into Middle Age musical construction --abandoning modern, lyrical strategies-- in order to achieve a pre-historic score.

The resulting effort would be a complex score that sounded surprisingly primitive and brutal, and Poledouris would reinforce this approach by utilizing the sheer power of an awesome orchestral and choral ensemble. He would utilize players from two orchestras and combine them with a chorus for a monumental recording in Rome. Unlike other modern composers, Poledouris successfully took Milius' suggestion of adapting the sounds of Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana" and the Gregorian chanting of "Dies Irae" and provided similar emotional construction without allowing the score to sound like an imitation. He accomplishes a consistent Middle Age atmosphere by utilizing powerful arrays of brass and percussion throughout several different suite-like motifs that carry the film along as though it was a concert piece with several distinct parts. First, the film begins with the theme that many associate with Conan incorrectly; rather, the "Anvil of Crom" cue is more of a representation of the time period and primitive human behavior. It follows the prologue in the film with a powerful performance by timpani drums and 24 French horns. In the interlude of that title theme, Conan's true theme is introduced; it would be offered during the "Riddle of Steel" cue and would accompany Conan on his journey of revenge throughout the film. The third theme (or motif) utilized by Poledouris is the Orff-inspired "Riders of Doom" composition to represent the evil Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones) during his attacks. This stunning piece, often performed poorly in concerts by modern performing groups, is a continuation of unabashed percussion and brass, with a Latin chorus providing the horror. This theme would return during the climactic battle between Conan and Doom's warriors near the end of the film.

For Thulsa Doom's more hauntingly pleasant side, Poledouris worked with a simple theme inspired by the musical tinkering of his daughter for "The Orgy," a simplistic, but effectively rolling representation of the barbaric sexual environment of the villain. The love theme for Conan is performed with a heroic and lush heart by woodwinds, which often act as the soul of the characters in the film. Among the smaller motifs are the stunningly grinding rhythms of "Wheel of Pain" and the light-hearted "Civilization" theme that accompanies Conan's Mongol friend and flourishes in grandeur as Conan is rescued from "The Tree of Woe." To finish the commentary about Conan the Barbarian at this point is an insult to the score, because nearly every cue by Poledouris contains an equally effective motif. While the score is never completely integrated so that all of the themes come together in a suite format, Poledouris does manage to restate most of his themes throughout the film, providing the perfect musical canvas for the predictable characters. The score is rich is exotic percussion, heart-pounding rhythms, and mesmerizing instrumentation, proving what kind of magic can result when a composer and director work towards a common goal with a massive ensemble of performers in mind from the outset.

On album, Conan the Barbarian has had another storied history. A very early CD was issued not long after the identical LPs hit stores in 1982. Most of the early Milan/MCA Records pressings came outside the United States, with the only CD representation for many years being a Milan album from France. This album contains the prologue from the film by the wizard (Mako), the classic text of which you can view at the bottom of this review page. The Milan album, with about 48 minutes of score, has been reprinted several times, in 1992, 1999, and 2003, and all feature identical contents. In 1992, however, Varèse Sarabande released both Conan the Barbarian and its sequel, Conan the Destroyer, with the album for Barbarian adding 20 minutes of previously unreleased material to the original LP and CDs. Among the extra cues are the fantastic "Tree of Woe" and "Recovery" cues back to back, both of which feature strong extensions of the civilization and love themes and are not to be missed. Also added are lengthy cues from the latter half of the film, including the orgy scene and Doom's execution by Conan. Unfortunately, these Varèse Sarabande albums for the Conan series have fallen completely out of print and are only available used (for an often hefty price). The Varèse Sarabande release of Conan the Barbarian, although it is missing the prologue, features slightly more vibrant sound quality and an excellent 20 minutes of extra score, and it should be sought at all costs. The shorter Milan album may suffice for a few, but the out-of-print Varèse Sarabande album is the definite product for any collector of film music. It is a classic album for a classic score.

Last saved: 05/01/2014
/media/music / conan-carmina-burna.txt

ubuntu startup applications

from http://www.howtogeek.com/115797/

Ubuntu hides most of the system’s default autostart entries from this dialog. To view them, run the following command in a terminal:

sudo sed -i ‘s/NoDisplay=true/NoDisplay=false/g’ etc/xdg/autostart*.desktop

This command modifies each autostart file and changes the “NoDisplay” parameter from “true” to “false,” making each entry appear in the list. After running this command, restart the Startup Applications dialog and you’ll see more options.

Last saved: 12/13/2013
/computers/unix / ubuntu-startup-apps.txt


From the First Sunday in Advent (preparing for His coming) to Epiphany (the coming of the wise men) Moravians hang the Moravian Advent Star in the front of the sanctuary and in the front of their homes. It is reminiscent of the star which led the wise men and symbolizes that Christ is the light come into the world, the greatest and morning star.

According to present [1907] usage, Advent is a period beginning with the Sunday nearest to the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle (30 November) and embracing four Sundays. The first Sunday may be as early as 27 November, and then Advent has twenty-eight days, or as late as 3 December, giving the season only twenty-one days.

Music for Advent
(from Wikipedia, accessed Dec 1, 2013)

Many churches also hold special musical events, such as Nine Lessons and Carols and singing of Handel's Messiah oratorio, Also, the Advent Prose, an antiphonal plainsong, may be sung. The "Late Advent Weekdays", December 17–24, mark the singing of the Great Advent 'O antiphons'.[7] These are the antiphons for the Magnificat at Vespers, or Evening Prayer (in the Roman Catholic and Lutheran churches) and Evensong in Anglican churches each day and mark the forthcoming birth of the Messiah. They form the basis for each verse of the popular Advent hymn, "O come, O come, Emmanuel".

Last saved: 12/01/2013
/history / advent.txt

Cast Iron tips

from https://plus.google.com/u/0/+BrianHoltHawthorne/posts

The more you use your cast iron, the better it will get.

Some tips:
1. Never use soap on cast iron, it will dissolve your seasoning. If possible, just wipe with paper towel, or, rinse with hot water, then dry and oil, or if something gets stuck on, use a soft nylon pad (E.g., Dobie) with no soap, dry and re-oil.

2. Always preheat your pan before adding food to keep the food from sticking.

3. Never use metal utensils. Wood works great, or heat-resistant nylon or silicone. Metal will make little scratches that make food stick.

4. Clean your cast iron immediately after cooking, as soon as it is cool enough to handle. Letting food sit overnight is a sure way to destroy your seasoning.

5. Butter burns at a lower temperature than vegetable oil. Vegetable oil burns at a lower temperature than bacon fat or lard.

6. Unless you are searing a steak, never use high heat. Medium is usually hot enough. Be patient and wait for the pan to get hot all the way through to avoid got spots.

7. If you have elderly relatives still living on their own, see if you can get them to leave you their cast iron in their will. Early 20th century cast iron is far better than the modern stuff.

Last saved: 11/17/2013
/science / cast-iron.txt

MacTel 5,1 brightness

On my Macbook running Ubuntu 12.04.1 LTS:
somehow my brightness thingy broke
echo 200 > /sys/devices/virtual/backlight/nvidia_backlight/brightness
figured out that worked from
The brightness was at max = 1023?
Once I found this forum post:
I had a similar issue with my laptop, there is an option you need to add to your /etc/X11/xorg.conf
Make sure in Section "Device" you have the line
`Option "RegistryDwords" "EnableBrightnessControl=1"`
it worked again!

Last saved: 11/03/2012
/computers/mac / MacTel 5,1 brightness.txt

Insightly feature request I added

Oct 3, 2012

We're using Insightly to improve communication in our sales force. Great product. One thing that is much requested is an easier way to map organizations. What I've been doing is exporting a filtered set of organizations, manipulating in Calc/Excel so I have two columns (address, tooltip) and plotting them in a Google Doc with the Google Map Gadget. This works, but its labor intensive. The boss wants to know if there are plans in the works to add this kind of functionality in the future? It would obviously be great if you could then proceed to use the Google route plotting intel to map out the most efficient travel routes but you can't do that using the Gadget. Thanks!

Last saved: 10/03/2012
/computers / insightly.txt

Repairing Ovation Guitars

by Al Watsky

December 27th, 2010, 04:44 PM
I repair guitars.
Tak and Ova. have different owners and factories AFIK. That from a sales rep who should know. May have another distributer.
Ovation has given many a guitar away to "endorser" types. Helps market the product.
On the plus side they are light weight, generally are very playable and have a serviceable pickup.
I have played several that sounded great ! Luck of the draw a good top will sound good.
The Adamas line is the high end the low end is the Applause.
The difficulty I have is that they don't repair easily. Their bracing is "unusual" and tall.
Its difficult to clamp in certain ways because of the bowl back. All of their glues are synthetic, many of the materials used are synthetic. The bridges and braces and all other materials are glued together using cyano and or epoxy which makes the instruments difficult or impossible to repair effectively .
I have a nylon in my shop now that has had the bridge reglued 2 times by Kaman and has come off again.
It was glued onto the top with a gully of cyano under the bridge that is at least 1/16th of an inch thick.
It doesn't allow for an effective repair using normal methods.
It is possible that the top was bleached or otherwise treated to accept the very thick poly finish , which made the bridge fail in the first place.
When the tops crack on an ovation you have a devil of a time making things right because the top is glued to the plastic back using cyano .
None of their build method favors longevity, none of their methods have anything to do with guitars in any way. You can not reset the necks normally.
If you look inside of one you are confronted with a mess of major proportions. Dripping glue , unsanded and ill fit braces. Mistake after mistake covered with gobs of non removable glue.
I refuse them under normal circumstances.
The one in now is a charity case.
I have repaired some "celebrity" owned ovations while under contract.
There is a butt for every saddle.
They have their place in the market.

from http://www.tdpri.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-251040.html

Last saved: 10/01/2012
/media/music / ovations.txt

Fertility vs Abortion

posted on G+ as a comment

This is a pretty complex moral and social pickle we're in, given that it seems like it is perfectly socially acceptable for folks to decide to use drugs to artificially increase their fertility (in cases where God seems to have other plans) while at the same time aborting unwanted issues of that increased fertility is often perceived as a crime against that God.

Let alone the moral quandary of choosing fertility drugs at a time when our planet can barely support the huge population of humans it already has.

Last saved: 06/06/2012
/journal / Fertility vs Abortion.txt

Battery and Inverter

The topic of how best to charge cell phone batteries and ipods or run a small nebulizer while camping has come up before. This file is just some notes I don't want to lose. We might choose to use a battery and an inverter. Optionally we could charge the battery from a 50W solar panel. Today, to run an oscilliscope off a battery we used the following equipment:

Vector 225 Watt Inverter
comes with cigarette lighter plug which we had to butcher
450W Peak

Lifeline GPL-U1T battery
12V 33Ah (most car batteries are 55 - 60Ah)
valve regulated, sealed lead acid

For camping we should really get a deep discharge battery (scooter and marine batteries) since these are designed to be fully discharged unlike car batteries which are always being charged by the alternator and don't like being fully discharged.

To calculate how long stuff will run, do some back of the hand calculations. You need to find out the wattage each device uses. For a single laptop which uses a transformer rated at 65W (obviously this is a peak value and will not use this much power all the time). Assuming we find a 55Ah deep discharge 12V battery we could run that laptop at peak power for about 10 hours.

55Ah (battery rating) * 12V (battery voltage) = 660VAh / 65W (device wattage found on transformer) = 10 h

Since its unlikely that we'll be playing with a laptop for 10 hours while camping, but instead just charging cell phones this seems entirely doable.

Last saved: 12/01/2011
/science / battery.txt

Reflections on Bardic Circle

I'm almost embarrassed to send anyone the latest Bardic Circle CD after listening to the Revelwood tracks Bragg gave me. While the Revelwood recordings are neither polished or perfect, they all display great musicality and originality. The stuff I've been doing of late seems to lack both of these characteristics. It's gotten me to start thinking about making a change musically, we'll see. The first three CDs I did were when Tim and I were spending a lot of time together in 2006-2008. We would invite other folks over to play with us, and I did a lot of the recordings by myself (many without Tim) just tracking the various instruments. After 2008 we started playing more seriously with Sport and Cate (and Sean) and what got recorded became more limited. We were no longer practicing at my place, but over at Sport's so we didn't have the gear - and we were trying to create a new sound. Then we ended up doing gigs and our practices were more geared toward that goal. As Tim started having less time to get together with us, we transitioned to recording so we could get some of the tunes down before they disappeared entirely, but it was too late. We had a couple recording sessions and Tim and Sean were apparently totally out of the picture (hopefuly this is only temporary, but it seems unlikely), and as Samhain 2011 approached and it was rumored that there was likely to be a fairly large turn out, I decided to attempt to put together a collection which represented what we had been doing for these three years. We didn't have a lot of time, but I brought the recording stuff out to Sports several times to capture some of the stuff we three had been working on alone this year, and I dug into the old recordings to try to find tunes with Tim and Sean that were worthy. I'm a bit disappointed with the result, but happy that I took the time to compile it anyway, because while it doesn't really do our efforts over these years justice - it does serve as a marker in time so we don't forget the great times we had together doing this stuff.

Last saved: 11/23/2011
/media/music / bardiccircle.txt

Pseudonym 110724

Exactly. If the names appear to be real (hint: "Dark Star" is glaringly NOT a real name) then its going to be a lot easier to sell that data to business. I'm just suspicious that perhaps (if this is really happening as a concerted purging effort at all) Google really doesn't care so much that you are using an alias, but instead doesn't want it to appear that you using an alias to whoever they are planning to sell the data. Google can match up your IP to any of its mega-databases of information anytime they want to, and IP to location translation is now accurate to street level! I just think this isn't about Google not knowing who they're dealing with, its about the PERCEIVED quality of Google's product (information about you).

Last saved: 07/25/2011
/computers / psuedonym.txt

Reply to Denton Gentry 110723

"We are all made of atoms which were here when the Earth formed, lo these many years ago"

In a general sense you're right - and its a profound thought. Technically, the earth gains about 100 million kg of mass each year due to meteorite impacts (at the same time its losing some similarly insignificant amount of mass from the atmosphere as well). Since some meteorites contain iron or nickel we could theoretically have some atoms in us that weren't actually on earth when it formed.

Last saved: 07/25/2011
/science / atoms.txt

Wuala comment 110725

I like the Wuala model of cloud based data storing better than dropbox. Client side encryption means that your key is stored on your personal machine. Wuala encrypts not just the connection (like Dropbox) but the data itself. If this is still true, then Wuala can't peek in on your files, but also means (unlike Dropbox) that they can't restore your password. The groups/social aspect of Wuala is better implemented, but no good iPhone integration - since I won't buy an iPhone this doesn't bother me. You can share up disk space with Wuala to get more storage space (they use a distributed model for redundant backup). Wuala is from Lacie (the usb/firewire drive company that Mac users like cuz they have artsy hardware designers).

Last saved: 07/25/2011
/computers / wuala.txt

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