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February 2003

Friday, 28 February 2003

Memory Prices in Free-Fall. DDR spot prices for 256Mbit products were sent down 4.1% on Wednesday to an average of US$2.87 and has the market worried that prices will collapse to US$2. Consolidation Not Helping DRAM Industry.

Triple Electron Entanglement Boosts Quantum Computing. Quantum physics weirdness can be exploited to give an electron more than one spin state at the same time. Electrons can also be "entangled" so that interacting with one also affects the other, no matter how far apart they are.

Best-Paying IT Jobs. Unsurprisingly, information security specialists will be among the most sought-after and well-paid tech workers in 2003.

First Notebook Barebone Ever. It features no display, no CPU, no RAM and no HDD, but only the “case” with keyboard and touchpad. 

Guide to Online Tax Preparation Sites

Home-office Tax Fallacies

Hydrogen Powers Vancouver Science World Dome

Thursday, 27 February 2003

Broadband's Future in the Home Goes Up for Debate
Price cuts to equipment, home network ownership and the strength of the Ethernet will all play a part in determining whether wireline or wireless will win out in the end.

Navy gets green light for N/MCI project with EDS
N/MCI contractor EDS is set to deploy hundreds of thousands of intranet seats.

Be Your Own Wireless Network
Your laptop can be connected to a wireless phone that can serve as a modem, or it can be equipped with a wireless modem...

Security Flaw Found in Windows ME
Microsoft issued a software patch for what it calls a critical weak spot in its Windows Millennium Edition operating system that could allow attacks on a victim's computer.

Hitachi "Pixie Dust" Technology Brings Record Hard Disk Drive Capacity to HP Notebook Users
Using the Hitachi Travelstar 80GN with patented "Pixie Dust" technology, the HP Pavilion ze5300 will be the first notebook to offer a record-breaking 80 GB of storage.

University Shows Feasibility of Immersion Lithography
In immersion lithography, the space between the projection lens and the wafer is filled with a liquid.

Intel Takes on AMD Athlon 64 With Prescott 3.40GHz Chip
Clear the Decks for Intel's Socket T

AMD to Launch 400MHz FSB Athlon XP Proceessor in May

Global Population Forecast Falls

Physicist Designs Perfect Automotive Engine

Don't Eat Yellow Worms

Wednesday, 26 February 2003

IT Spending To Rise - For Now. After an extended period of IT spending cuts, tech budgets are likely to improve this year.

PCs help HP to a Profit Despite Soft US Revenue. Hewlett-Packard Co. reported a healthy profit Tuesday for its first fiscal quarter of 2003, helped by a return into the black for its PC business.

First-tier Mobo Makers: March Sales Prospects Optimistic. Prospects for the motherboard business in March appear better than expected.

Sun Bills Server-on-a-chip Plan as 'Third Wave'. Declaring a new era in computer design, Sun announced plans for an aggressive approach to multi-core, multithreaded processors that essentially puts a server on a chip.

New Molecule May Help Enhance Cancer Treatments. Scientists have identified a molecule they believe could improve cancer treatments and help protect people from the lethal effects of high levels of radiation in a nuclear attack.

Tuesday, 25 February 2003

Wi-Fi Alliance Plans for 11g Testing. The industry consortium that tests for interoperability between 802.11 products has established its time table for certifying products based on the soon-to-be-finalized 2.4GHz 802.11g specification.

Wireless LAN Market Seen Growing After Slow Start. Sales of telecommunications hardware used in wireless local-area networks will grow more than 60 percent through 2006...

Microsoft Joins DVD+RW Alliance. The DVD+RW Alliance claims its format is the better one because DVDs created on a PC can be played back on most DVD players and DVD-ROM drives in PCs.

Online Tax Deal Faces New Challenges. An agreement designed to win retailers' support for taxing their online sales faces a new test, as several states are objecting to the deal's amnesty provision.

Consumer Confidence Plummets. Confidence In Economy Drops To Near-Decade Low.

Roxio to Revive Napster service. Pioneering on-line music service is getting another lease on life with the launch by year's end of a legal, subscription-based music business.

Microsoft Pushes XP Switch. The software giant launches a central Web site with tools to help businesses that are considering a switch to Windows XP.

Intel and AMD Cut Desktop Processor Prices

New DNA Computer Functions Sans Fuel

Bugs Build Tiny Balls

Monday, 24 February 2003

Chip Sales Seen Growing 8.9 Percent. The ailing semiconductor industry, which barely grew last year, will see sales rise 8.9 percent this year, with stronger business technology spending in the second half of the year outweighing a weak first quarter.

Researchers Aim to Eliminate BIOS. One of the last and least-loved remnants of the original IBM PC is about to get its marching orders, Intel predicts.

Secret War. A recent spike in "spyware" accelerates an arms race as consumers seek to guard their privacy.

Smaller OEMS Squeezed by Minimum Buy Policies. Already cash-poor because of weak end-market demand, small electronics OEMs complain they are being further squeezed by supplier policies that are forcing them to buy more components than they need.

Lovgate.C Worm Spreads Across Internet

Scientists Find Gene Variation That Helps Determine How Much You Hurt

Friday, 21 February 2003

The Real Computer Chip Speed Barrier. A glance at the components that make up a computer shows that pinning down computer performance is far more complicated than merely measuring chip speed or choosing a type of RAM.

Intel on Slow Road to 64-bit Chips.  AMD and Apple are in hot pursuit of higher-capacity desktop chips, but Intel is years away from that path.

Swiss Crack E-Mail Code, but Minimal Impact Seen. Researchers at a Swiss university have cracked the technology used to keep people from eavesdropping on e-mail sent over the Web, but U.S. experts said on Thursday that the impact would likely be minimal.

Tiny Battery May Power Next-Gen Gadgets. A radical new design that promises to revamp and rewire a decades-old staple of electronics -- the battery -- may also be the elusive blueprint for powering so-called "micro-electromechanical systems," or MEMS, futuristic devices no wider than a human hair.

Tech Companies Suffer from Gray Market Boom-Study. The high-tech industry is losing $5 billion in annual profits and stands to lose even more as branded information technology products are diverted from distribution channels into the so-called gray market, according to a study released on Thursday.

Influence of Intel Pentium 4 Core Temperature on CPU Performance. Tests showed that even a little core temperature increase from 72 to 75 deg C might result in a 10% performance drop by Pentium 4 3.06GHz.

Intel's Future Chip Sets to Boost Speech Recognition

Goat Fish Act Like Sheep

Thursday, 20 February 2003

Retiring Microsoft Exec Tells Microsoft to Embrace Open-source. Microsoft must take an approach that favors and embraces the diversity of open source software or face oblivion.

Lindows.com Offers First Laptop, New Custom PC. The company famous for bashing Microsoft and developing a Linux operating system alternative to Windows releases a laptop geared to lure cost-conscious consumers and a 'family-friendly' personal computer. $799

Error Messages Unlock Internet Payments Protocol. A fundamental flaw in the technology used to secure online credit card transactions and other communications is discovered.

A Record-Fast Combo Drive.  Samsung SM-348 48X CD-RW/DVD-ROM combo drive.

National Semi to Cut Jobs, Sell Units. The chipmaker will reduce its work force by 5 percent and sell two of its divisions as part of a restructuring plan, the company says.

Seagate Demonstrates Serial ATA Command Queuing On New Barracuda. Serial ATA Native Command Queuing is similar in some ways to SCSI command queuing, but SCSI allows 256 queue levels. Serial ATA.

Intel Provides More Prescott Processor Info. Prescott will be Intel's main weapon against AMD's Athlon 64.

DRAM Makers Flock to Intel's DDR400 Standard. After Intel on Wednesday formally acknowledged that its new Springdale and Canterwood chipsets will support DDR400 memory, a bevy of DRAM producers rushed out announcements that their DDR400 chips and modules have been validated by the processor titan.

Intel, Linksys Hooked on Networking. Companies developing technology to bridge gap between PCs and consumer electronics.

FCC Keeps Phone Competition, Loosens Broadband

Wednesday, 19 February 2003

Micron To Lay Off About 1,800 Workers. Micron Technology, the world's second largest computer memory chip maker, announced on Tuesday that it is laying off 10 percent of its worldwide labor force of over 18,000.

Roxio Releases Ambitious Creator Upgrade. Roxio's Easy CD & DVD Creator 6 now lets you author DVDs and manage your music and photos.

Broadband Users Tap Into Home Networking. As high-speed Net connections become increasingly widespread, more consumers are getting hooked on home networking products.

FCC Plans Landmark Vote on Broadband. But the FCC's painstaking internal deliberations also highlight an ideological conflict between two wildly different views of how to keep broadband prices low and competition robust: Should federal regulations be strengthened or rescinded?

Overture to buy AltaVista. Search engine deal valued at $140-million.

PCMCIA Cards gain PCI Express Connection. The so-called New Card spec provides a 2.5-Gbit/second Express channel for PC cards that could handle functions like Gigabit Ethernet controllers or 1394b interfaces.

Fuji Photo Film Announces Two New Digital Cameras. Fuji Photo Film today announced two new firsts for the company’s digital camera line: the first 6.2-megapixel camera for consumers and the first camera using a new fourth-generation, 3.1-megapixel Super CCD.

Intel Details Forthcoming MPUs, Chipsets. At IDF, Intel reveals details of its forthcoming Prescott, Centrino and Tejas microprocessors, plus the accompanying Canterwood and Springdale chipsets.

Flaws Discovered in Lotus Software. Three software security flaws could allow attackers to run malicious code on machines running IBM's Lotus Domino or iNotes software.

Will Your Next PC Have a Panic Button? BIOS maker builds PC "bomb shelter" to safeguard utilities, apps, and maybe more.

Oil and Water Do Mix After All

Tuesday, 18 February 2003

PC Shipments Forecast to Grow 7.9% This Year. A large number of aging PCs purchased to address Y2K concerns are reaching the end of their lives.

Millions of Credit Card Accounts Hacked. MasterCard, Visa account security breached when hackers reportedly break into a third-party payment processor's computers.

IBM To Trot Out DB2 Express, Domino And Tivoli Brethren. IBM this week plans to formally unveil an Express version of its DB2 database that's tailored for midmarket customers and their supporting partners.

Chip Paths Diverge at Intel. Chips in desktops and notebooks will start to go their separate ways in 2003 with the introduction of two new processor families that Intel will tout this week at its Developer Forum (IDF).  IDF Starts Today.

256Mbit DDR Memory Dips Below US$3. DRAM spot prices have tumbled 15% within the past three transaction days.

Yeast Protein Could Make New Chip Material. A misfolded yeast protein, used to conduct electricity, could produce dramatically smaller computer chips and more powerful sensors.

Hydrogen Power a Step Forward But Not `Non-polluting'. Says (and answers) what I have been saying all along:  Where ya going to get the hydrogen?

December Chip Equipment Sales Jumped 43%

Possible Password Flaw Discovered in Windows XP

Monday, 17 February 2003

PluggedIn: Web Access in the Clouds. Coffee, tea or WiFi? Travelers will soon be able to surf the 'Net and send e-mail from thousands of feet in the air as Boeing Connexion business unit and a group of global airlines push to offer Web access in the ultimate wireless environment.

And The Processor Winners Are... The Microprocessor Report analysts’ choice awards are out, and the winners aren’t always who you’d expect. PC Processors: AMD won for its Athlon 64 processor... Server Processors: Intel won for its Itanium 2

Rambus Discloses New details of Redwood Interface. Rambus claimed this is 10 times faster than the current highest speed 667MHz processor front side buses.

Going From VHS to DVD, Via Your PC. Fortunately, the same digital technology that may eventually doom the VCR also allows you to salvage a collection of decaying VHS tapes.

'Denim' Solar Panels to Clothe Future Buildings. Buildings of the future could be "clothed" in a flexible, power-generating material that looks like denim.

Astronomers Look for Space-time 'Atoms'

Friday, 14 February 2003

Blu-Ray Standard Looks to Make DVD Obsolete. Blu-Ray drives use a blue laser that allows them to pack information onto a disk more finely. They can store up to 27 GBytes of data, more than 5 times the capacity of a DVD.

Microsoft Releases IE Patch to Fix IE Patch. Earlier patch prevented users from entering web sites where they had previously registered.

U.S. Endorses Merging Telephone, Internet Numbers. The Department of Commerce said it will support an electronic-numbering system, known as ENUM, which would allow consumers to specify a single identifier for their telephone numbers, e-mail and Instant Messaging addresses, fax numbers, and mobile phone numbers.

Hardware Stocks Up After Dell Eases Worry. Dell's confident first-quarter outlook gave computer makers a boost on Friday, as it eased concerns that technology sales had all but evaporated amid talk about war.

Top 10 15-Inch LCD Monitors. Sub-$400 models from NEC and Compaq capture top honors.

Open Source Threatens Java Servers. Competitive pressure from open-source software is threatening to redraw the Java application server landscape, just as it has shaken up the operating systems realm.

World Heart Plans to Test artificial Heart

Thursday, 13 February 2003

Microsoft Patch Can Lock Users Out of Web Sites. A recent Microsoft security patch for Internet Explorer (IE) can lock users out of certain Web sites and Microsoft's own MSN e-mail service.

Microsoft Eyes the Virtual Datacenter. Microsoft hopes to play alongside Sun, HP and others in developing "virtual datacenter" software that will make it easier to manage applications running across groups of servers.

Case for Linux is a Cultural One - Thus Far. One doesn't think of Microsoft as a cultural force, yet the behemoth has figured in two major cultural clashes. The first pitted Macintosh against Windows loyalists; the second is a confrontation between Linux and Windows supporters.

Intel Announces Single-Chip Cellular Processor. The PXA800F takes Intel a step closer to its Personal Internet Client Architecture, Intel's development blueprint for designing wireless handheld devices that combine voice and Net access. Intel Unveils Internet-on-a-chip Processor.

Are Developers Programmers or Engineers? Software project management pondered...

Listen.com Halves CD Burning Cost. A cheaper Rhapsody? Indeed, Listen.com links with Lycos to offer CD burning for 49 cents per tune.

Store Half a Terabyte With LaCie's Big Disk. LaCie Group SA in Australia has released what it claims to be the world's highest capacity portable drives, dubbed the Big Disk.

Scientists Identify Genetic Marker for Longevity. Scientists for the first time have identified a common genetic mutation in people over 100 years old, a finding they say could be a key to discovering a way to avoid the ravages of aging.

Fond Farewell to the Floppy. Face it: Floppy disks are headed for the technological junk heap, along with reel-to-reel tape and 8mm film. But we come here not to mourn the floppy, but to praise it.  Not so fast! Just because Apple has done it and Dell is doing it does not mean all of us are going to do it just yet.

Japan to Launch World’s First One-million-pixel Camera Phone

Sharp, Kyoto Institute Develop Garbage-Powered Bio-Fuel Cells

Missing Matter Found, Partially Squaring Cosmic Accounting Sheets

Wednesday, 12 February 2003

Red Hat Gets Thumbs-Up from U.S. Government. Red Hat's Advanced Server platform has become the first open source application to receive a key U.S. government certification, the Defense Department's Common Operating Environment (COE), clearing the way for its use in critical government applications.

Intel’s Dual-Core Itanium “Montecito” to Feature a New Bus and 18MB of L3 Cache. A rather unique feature of the CPU will become its size: about one billion of transistors...

Full-Featured iPAQ Raises the Bar. Loaded with features, including a biometric fingerprint scanner, the HP iPAQ Pocket PC h5450 is a top-of-the-line PDA that sacrifices nothing.

Gateway Connects Gadgets to Laptop. The company is introducing a portable PC that can read the tiny flash memory cards used by digital cameras and MP3 players.

Samsung to Launch World’s First 52x CD-RW and DVD Combo Drive. Samsung Electronics will launch the world’s first 52x CD-RW and DVD combo drive.

Survey Says: Americans Want To Can Spam. Spam is a pain and users want it stopped.

Office 11 Becomes Office 2003, Second Beta Due Soon. The next version of Microsoft Corp.'s Office, now known as Office 11, will likely be called Office 2003 from the release of the second beta version early next month, according to sources familiar with Microsoft's plans.

MSN gets on Search Bandwagon. Web portal MSN is testing a new search service that touts faster, tidier results, in what is the latest development in a fast-moving contest to help people find what they're looking for online.

Adaptive Optics Give Ground scope a Steady Gaze. Astronomers at the University of Arizona are adding an adaptive optics mirror to a telescope that will offer three times better resolution than the Hubble Space Telescope.

New Technology Sees Through Objects. Everything gives off terahertz radiation naturally, and like radio waves--but unlike heat or light--the waves can pass through some solid objects.

Top 15 Notebooks

New Photograph Shows Universe Forming

Tuesday, 11 February 2003

Linux Server Sales Nearly Double. U.S. sales of servers running Linux nearly doubled in last year's fourth quarter from a year earlier, according to new statistics from market researcher Gartner Dataquest.

Semiconductor Guru Says Industry Growth Will Continue for Decade. Intel's chairman emeritus, best known as the father of "Moore's Law," said Monday, growth in the semiconductor industry would equal the growth in the world's gross domestic product by 2017 if the industry continued its scorching pace.

Google Named Brand of the Year. A poll by Interbrand finds Google the top global brand in 2002, beating out Apple and even Coke.

Music Industry Unveils Net Sales Tracking Tag. A music industry trade body launched Monday electronic identity tags to keep tabs on Internet music sales...

Customers Take Charge Again. Tech companies find that today's market runs according to buyers' needs, not the latest hype.

Is Linux Certification Worth It?. Two of the most well known are the Red Hat Certified Engineer and Linux Professional Institute credentials. Which one should an up-and-coming Linux guru choose to prove his or her knowledge -- and increase the chances of landing a job in this difficult market?

IBM Cools on Linux Support for Itanium.  IBM has pulled back on its work tuning the Linux operating system for Intel's Itanium processor, in a move that possibly points to a larger shift away from the fledgling processor...

Sun Rolls-out 13 New Products. The new hardware products range from low-end blade servers that sell for $1,800 each to 12-processor servers that cost $64,000.

Universe to Expand Forever

Monday, 10 February 2003

AMD Introduces the Athlon XP 3000+ (2.17 GHz) Processor.  New "Barton" core has a total of 640 KByte on-chip cache' (L2 cache is 512 KB), up from 384 KB (256 KB L2) on previous chips. Barton: 512 KB Athlon XP Reviewed. New Athlon is Good Fit for White Boxes.

Camera-phones Take Hold as Digital Imaging Platform. Mobile phones with built-in camera capabilities are becoming a dominant digital imaging platform...

Lawsuit Challenges Microsoft Licensing. A California woman sues Microsoft, Symantec and others, claiming the companies misled consumers with their "shrink wrap" licensing agreements.

Microsoft Patches Patch for NT 4.0. After removing links to a security patch that caused the NT 4.0 operating system to fail, Microsoft posted an updated patch that fixes the NT 4.0 problem.

Microsoft Renames Electronic Forms Software. XDocs will now be called InfoPath and will be part of Office 11 by mid-2003.

Vishay Reports Loss After Tantalum Charge. Vishay's passive business, particularly capacitors, continued to drag down earnings because of global overcapacity and eroding prices...

Friday, 7 February 2003

Broadband's Reach Gets Broader. Internet users are disbanding dial-up for high-speed, as global sales of broadband modems in 2002 increased by 52 percent.

Sneak Peek: Windows XP's Successor. Leaked Longhorn code previews several interface tweaks, new file system.

Leaking Capacitors Muck up Motherboards.  A mistake in the stolen formulation of the electrolyte in a capacitor has wrecked hundreds of PCs/motherboards and may wreck still more in what is an industry-wide problem.

Thursday, 6 February 2003

Floppy Disks Go Way of Nehru Jacket. Dell will stop putting the drives in its desktop computers next month and offer them only as an option.

Revamped Gnome Wants to Get Along.  The launch of the latest edition of the Gnome desktop software for Linux and Unix operating systems marks a new attitude among its developers: Integration is key.

Western Digital to Launch Consumer 10K RPM Drives. Serial ATA promised for next Tuesday.

Major Dot-Com Retailers Begin Levying Sales Tax. Some of the nation's largest retailers this week started voluntarily collecting taxes on all of their online sales.

AMD Said to Gain Back Market Share From Intel. AMD gained back a little processor market share from Intel in the fourth quarter of 2002, achieving a 13.8% share, up from 11.6% in the previous period, according to Mercury Research.

Microsoft and Nvidia Settle Xbox Chip Pricing Dispute. In addition to resolving this pricing dispute, the two companies have agreed to collaborate on future cost reductions for the Xbox.

Microsoft Releases Anti-Slammer Tools. The company offers a trio of software utilities to help systems administrators check the SQL Server 2000 database for the Slammer worm and to address vulnerabilities.

First Look at Nvidia's Geforce FX. In initial tests, the newest 3D graphics beast has a loud bark but an uneven bite.

2003 and Beyond.  What's next? Smaller hardware, wireless everywhere, and (at long last) true convergence.

Wednesday, 5 February 2003

IBM to Make Its Own Opterons? "If Opteron takes off... we will OEM it."  Referring to AMD's 64-bit processor.

Group Hopes to Give New Life to Desktop Linux. Linux vendors and open source organizations form a consortium with the intent to evangelize Linux on the desktop to the masses.

Linux May Force Microsoft to Cut Prices. SEC filing reveals software giant's fears as the Penguin marches on... "To the extent that the open source model gains increasing market acceptance, sales of the company's products may decline, the company may have to reduce the prices it charges for its products, and revenues and operating margins may consequently decline."

The State of Samba.  In a nutshell, this powerhouse program allows file and device sharing between various Windows and Unix-based operating systems. And there are good reasons why IT managers should consider using it.  How to Network Red Hat Linux and Microsoft Windows.

Microchips Printed on Paper. Cypak's technology is being used in "Electronic Compliance Packaging" (EPC) for drug trials. The label on the pack of pills is made using EPC; every time a patient takes one of the pills the EPC records the date and time stamp.

Tuesday, 4 February 2003

Data Storage Leap Could Produce Film Library on a Disk. Souped-up magnetic fields that put the brakes on fleeing electrons soon may be corralled themselves to create computer disk drives that can store and access at least 40 times more data than today's comparatively puny models.  Terabit hard disk drives may be coming sooner rather than later.

Novell Gives Sneak Peek Of NetWare 6.5. Novell offered a sneak peek of its next-generation network operating system, NetWare 6.5, an upgrade with advanced browser-based portal and team services, storage services, business-continuity options and a built-in application server for Web services.

AMD Intros Athlon MP Processor 2600+. AMD introduces its Athlon MP processor 2600+, the latest in its line of multiprocessors for servers and workstations and the company's highest performance 32-bit MPU.

Appeals Court Issues Stay in Microsoft, Sun Java Fight. An appeals court late today granted the stay pending a full hearing on whether Microsoft should be required to include Sun's Java in the Windows operating system.

Sun to Standardize Web Services in Next J2EE. Sun will incorporate an important specification with the next version of its enterprise Java platform that is designed to ensure interoperability among Web services applications.

Walmart to Sell Stand-alone LindowsOS

France Prepares Nationwide Launch of Smart Cards.

HDTV Confusion

Microsoft Pulls Security Patch That Crashes NT 4.0

Monday, 3 February 2003

Cities Build a Home for Wi-Fi. Communities across the United States experiment with wireless access as a way to reinvigorate downtowns. And one approach is building a Wi-Fi infrastructure.

Your Own Music and Picture Show. These devices act as a bridge between your PCs and your home entertainment system, pulling digital audio and photo files from the PC hard drives and playing them on your stereo or TV.  $300 wireless; $200 wired.  All-In-One Living Room Gadgets Arrive.

PC Makers Rally Around Atheros' Wi-Fi Chips. Four of the top five PC manufacturers last week said that they will equip their notebook computers with Atheros' dual-band 802.11 chipset to achieve wireless LAN functionality.

Global Chip Sales Up 1.3% in Recovery Year. Global semiconductor sales reached $12.5 billion in December 2002, bringing total revenue for the year to $140.7 billion, a 1.3 percent increase from the 2001 level of $138.9 billion...

Tiny Whiskers Make Huge Memory Storage. New, tiny magnetic sensors could help break a technical barrier to ushering in the next generation of computer disk storage capacity...

AOL Bedeviled at Broadband Crossroads. AOL's revelation that subscriber numbers have dropped underscores the tough transition facing the ISP as the industry shifts from dial-up to high-speed services.

VOD, the First Skirmish in the Battle. The introduction of video-on-demand (VOD) has spurred set-top box players to sharpen their swords, readying themselves to battle for the central network position in America's homes.

Saturday, 1 February 2003

Shuttle Disaster - Columbia Breaks Up Over Texas On Reentry - All Seven Astronauts Declared Dead


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