Patrick Phelan
A Light In The Darkness

A giant pile of pretentious ramblings that will probably prove embarrassing later on.

Democracy dies in darkness, of embarrassment - It's not so much that the product hasn't updated, as up until the Vega APU there hasn't really been any brand new tech. More that the baseline wasn't up-to-date 3 years ago, either: iMacs and minis don't necessarily have even ssds, the mini's last upgrade was a major downgrade, the Pro is a disaster area. I still think Apple could fix all this by making 1 decent laptop, a dock, and adding in cloud style assets for any user who needs more than the laptop, such as an e-GPU, or an entire PC(s) as VM hosts. Or at the very least, stop fighting Hackinshoses: make a Darwin style reduced MacOS. Is it a bother to get Handoff running on non-Apple hardware? Take it out. (I don't want it anyway!) I could live without iMessages. I might need to write my own podcast app to sync with the iPhone 3 I use an iPod, but I could live without iTunes as well. I use a lot of the Apple apps, but they have alternatives. Nothing I use for the job is Mac native. Maybe this will be the year of Linux on the Desktop!

iZombie #4: mighty contrived at the end.

So after Safari stopped being able to play Netflix, I tried FF, but that can't seem to play more than one episode at a time.


RabbitMQ 3.6.1 is the last one in which the Mac Standalone version will run alone. Use the homebrew version, or stick with 3.6.1: Bonus: the closed bug for this notes "Didn't you read the patch notes from 3.6.2?" Not while downloading 3.7, no, I did not.

Safari can't play Netflix full screen without occasional black frames. I do like the angular cars

Holy Name Radiology had an order for a CAT scan, tried to call once, got the answering machine but did not leave a message (they have in the past), then forgot about it for so long that the insurance authorization expired. Worse, now my mother is gloating that her incessant wussing has successfully stopped me from falling through the cracks.

2018-06-03/h6> 15-15! I knew knowing Sette's favorite pie would come in handy.

webcamoid: seemed to live up to the promise of using movies and filtered video as virtual webcams on a Mac, except it crashes a lot.

Cargo: very Duane and Sette


Anon: why is everyone whispering? colorful, but the "pulses" don't seem to have the ability to add any additional data beyond small text fields. It has an inbox, but no way to link items to messages. It doesn't even show the contact info per task for backchannel communication. So the management dashboard is nice, but that's all there is. It's the anti-JIRA. I'm so old

3% #2: still some good concepts, terrible dubbing, which just makes the monologing even worse. The acting is marginally better, sometimes.

The Rolling Girls: very weird


In a move that may surprise no one, Google News' recent upgrade has made the service unusable, though I liked the fact-checking sidebar the last update added. It removed the ability to drop unwanted sections, and the For You is now an endlessly scrolling collection of random items, interspersed with the aforementioned unwanted sections again. While I would encourage reading news from more sources (except the NYTimes), I don't want sports, don't know who any of the entertainment people are, and the health news section was largely terrible. A lot of the sources in the science news section were extremely questionable as well, but at least I get enough of that elsewhere.

Sunny The Fox's Instagram page is gone. I lack closure.

As the proud owner of this site, I'm probably the last person who can complain about website design and usablitity, but Google's Merchant Center Help and it's related Material design is awful. Every document is some paragraphs of text, with headers, links in the next, right side bar that is also visually part of the header, and a footer attempting to link it all together, except the font is nearly all the same size and weight. Sometimes there are actual prev/next buttons, but under the header, not the footer, which is mystifying. It took me a while to notice this: the text is long enough to require scrolling all the real navigation off the screen. The links that remain are not the narrative's next page. They are a distraction designed to hide the truth. This page is a literal blue pill. Obviously this site is too user-hostile to join, but that is a nice concept for the post-facebook world.

The laptop spontenously crashed this morning. The dawn of a new era of suck.

IQ2US: bitcoin: One did mention traveller's checks, but I'm dissapointed nobody mentioned the Leaf, or given that nobody has heard of the Leaf, any non-hash-based electronic currency. They solve the problems with Bitcoin, and has the advantages Bitcoin claims to have but does not. As pointed out, Facebook eclipsed MySpace, and something will eclipse Bitcoin, but that something is specifically bank-based non-national currencies or value-stores. It has nothing to do with blockchain or rooms full of GPUs. Also the tech bro is incredibly annoying.


Lost in Space (netflix): not sure if a soy boy cuck fantasy or not. Episodes probably should have been 30-45 minutes.


This year's orphan photo
Here's where we defeated some dude who stabbed the planet. In the background, A Series of Bats.

IQ2US: Net neutrality: I found a lot of the arguments hard to follow and lacking in real-world cases, from both sides. The cereal question, for example, was a failure to point out American supermarkets are not cereal-nuetral but are highly contracted. What cereal ends up on what shelf is not the whim of some stock boy. Money changed hands for that. It is impossible to find certain products in certain stores precisely because of the synergy between corporate overloads. I thought they stopped making Welsh's Grape Soda until I found an unopened can in the park while biking. (Yes, I drank it, after washing it.) If you try to sell a local product in a local supermarket, there might not be a square inch in the store that is not already sold to multinational corporations. You, the local artisanal cereal maker, are priced out of the marketplace. Your product could be free, but you can not afford to put it in front of customers. They mentioned but moved on from deep packet inspection: Verizon said that the only reason Netflix was so slow was Netflix didn't pay to upgrade Verizon's side of the peer exchange. However, my company's servers are on the same ISP as Netflix, so I could download a 1MB .zip file through the same "overloaded" connection much faster than 1MB of video, and by routing Netflix through the server's vpn, get the same full download speed. Verizon was absolutely throttling Netflix's traffic, until they got money and the problem went away. How is that not extortion? If you have telemedicine and games, or better, OS updates, because really, games don't generate that much traffic (but does allow you to sneer at the youth), and both the remote doctor and hospital have a 50Mbit FIOS connection, as another FIOS customer, nothing I do should change their Verizon speed, up to the point where I clog Verizon's network entirely, in which case Verizon certainly has the right to ensure quality of service for the maximum number of customers by throttling either everyone, or ideally only the heaviest users first. That has nothing to do with Verizon deciding to throttle the competitions's content until it gets its beak wet.

I was looking at the console log again to see what was stopping the laptop from going to sleep. A firehose of crap, too fast to even read. Even the errors and warnings view was a lot of stuff. There was some sort of security update, so I still technically have not had to reboot OS X for stability issues, but it was close. We haven't quite gotten to the level of Windows, but it is clearly going that way. Do I really need billions (not kidding, 600MB) of error messages from wirelessproxd with the WiFi off? Handoff has been the source of a lot of crap, and I don't even have it set up. It's been years, and it is still logging "Unknown key for integer: _DirtyJetsamMemoryLimit". This: "( Service only ran for 0 seconds. Pushing respawn out by 10 seconds." is clogging the system log, and I can't even disable it without shutting off the SIP, which is only a good idea is the System has any Integrity to start with. That was 2013, so 5 years can pass without fixing any of this and Mac sales haven't collapsed any more than the desktop market in general (mostly because the increased the price of MacPro made up for the decreased volume). I'm more willing to put up with iTunes' podcast channels sometimes losing track of podcasts because I could always use another podcast player, or an RSS feed. (That it syncs with my ipod is still a reason to put up with it.) If the OS is actively decaying for years, and I already got 1 PC to make up for the Mac's failings, and almost everything I run works the same on Ubuntu, and I'm actively complaining about the new features like Handoff, what future does MacOS have? Maybe iOSX won't be so bad.


Tale of Tales: there's 2 hours I'll never get back.

Discovered Raspberry Pi has a real Linux environment. I thought it was more an electronics kit. Some seem to be sold that way, but ARM cellphone chips have produced a glut of decent low-power chips. It would also make a low end NAS. Downside: might need a powered dock or some sort of drive array because it is so low-powered, and a cheap, on-sale NAS is $100 and includes the drive array and mostly the same software.

TextWrangler is 32-bit. Time for a trip to the farm upstate. Now I don't know what to write this mess in. I have Atom open for the theme work, Netbeans for everything else. I should probably just pay for BBEdit. I need something to make more complicated svgs, and a reliable mouse. Should get mentally prepared for a spending spree in 6 months. Kind of want a Hades Canyon NUC, too, nominally as media server.

Speaking of redis, another solution in search of a problem.

2018-04-21 Closer to my urban dream, but still lacking the vital step of integrating the buildings into transit. (though I note the walkway over the traffic, a good start.) It doesn't need trains, or elevation: perhaps a sunken bus road that runs under the cross streets. Just separate transit, pedestrians, and private cars. Shout out for the 5's.

After all that ranting about Mac Pro Hardware, I think it is more important to convince large app developers to write multi-node capable software, because then people could assemble their own compute nodes. Just add a message queue! It's not as aware as GCD, but certainly easier to run on a wide variety of software, hardware. I looked at (largest size, the erlang dependency made the many errors incomprehensible, the many, many errors stopped it from actually working), (c-client only in php, undocumented build dependency kills Mac make). Homebrew probably would have fixed those issues, but the others didn't have a problem. (I object to Homebrew's security model, or lack thereof.) has pubsub, but isn't itself a message queue. Seemed best in that it actually worked, lightweight but persistent, and native php client. I do like that gearman can launch any command line. Also is apparently built in to Laravel. That polls, though, or at least its timed jobs does.) (Totally out of scope for that particular project, but I also really like 0MQ's socket weirdness. If I ever need to take my Nginx reverse proxy weirdness to a next level, I'll keep it in mind.) Remember, no matter how fast one machine is, 10 of them are faster. Maybe not 10 times faster, but faster. Also,


Mac Pro: I mentioned this on the Incomparable Slack, but I'm still thinking about it, and would like to rant further. I had previously mentioned that I thought the Mac Mini, in an effort to boost desktop sales, could be marketed as a "local cloud", providing cloud-like services to any i-device in wifi range, or an e-gpu to laptops, etc. Similarly, a Mac Pro could be an actual cloud, able to consume parts Serial Experiments Lain-style. Add an iPad, and it becomes an IO device. Add a disk, and it gets added to the unified storage network. Add an entire PC, and it becomes another compute node and its technological distinctiveness gets added to the collective. The Pro itself is just a hypervisor moving your main VM to which ever compute node is fastest and managing the traffic between nodes. Except for games, my current power requirements are pretty minimal, and this silent laptop is more than enough for almost everything I regularly do. Almost, but not entirely. Batch image sizing and optimization, scientific data compression, and, if I still had to do these things, testing with assorted VMs and app compilation, would be better done by a system with more cores. (Or at least cores that aren't also running the rest of what I'm doing while that is going on.) All that is command-line based, except for some the VM stuff which was eyeballing things in IE. I have Ubuntu for Windows, and instead of starting the command in the Mac's terminal, I start the same command via the Mac's terminal. Or VNC if I need to eyeball things. This vision of the Mac Pro would require either apps to be able to do their work via sub-processes, not threads, or a version of Grand Central Dispatch capable of starting threads on other machines. (Ideally, that would also require a new kind of thread, to minimize/control memory access. Like JS's Service Workers.) All my tasks are moving data between files or the network. They don't need inter-process memory communication, so they can easily be run on different machines. Final Cut Pro, for example, could put the UI's timeline thumbnails on a laptop (small-ish monitor, low power) and have one or more nodes applying effects, generating those thumbnails, and displaying 4k video on a big display. The laptop never touches the videos. It just issues commands and gets the stream of thumbnails back. Setting one video to render and starting work on another just wakes up another node or set of nodes, switches the video connection to the big display. Eventually the first node finishes and goes back to sleep. You could edit 8K video off an iPad-class frontend, because it isn't doing the real work. Another example: X2VNC and related allow you to control more than one computer from one keyboard and mouse. The Mac Pro would do the same, but add in the Virtual Machine layer: start 2 VMs, assign 1 to each compute node, assign the GPU output to monitor 1, 2. It could go a step further: start 5 VMs, and move the 2-5 to which ever node the least busy, or pause them if they weren't doing anything. Cloud servers do this all the time, but I had start and stop them in sequence manually for the tests. All these things are just a small step ahead of current technology, if that, and while they only appeal to a limited number of users, those would be the pro users the Pro would be aimed at. More ideas: the Pro VM can be assigned to a laptop, carried around, then plugged back in. You'd lose direct access to the hardware, but would still have your identity, home dir, and could still issue the same commands to remote nodes. *More than one Pro on a network can form a Pro-of-Pros, able to share selected resources, or log in into a different Pro, transparently access your Pro's local resources, again because it is all just simple commands across the network. *HTTP2-Fusion drive: part of what makes this seamless to the user is blending together file systems, some of them local to the node, local to the Pro, and remote. Reduce lag by combining all the work done with making the web faster with fusion drive tech. *ARM: Ease developers into an ARM Mac by making A11 compute nodes. Possibly put them in a drive sized form (already much larger than an iPhone), run Gbit/s Power Over Ethernet instead of SATA3. There's plenty of cases and cooling technology for managing huge numbers of drives. *Serially chained GPUs: The first spends all its memory on a massive scene, but no textures, and produces only the visible scene, optimized polygons. The next takes the smaller scene and textures, shades it, produces a frame. The third might apply additional video effects (background, overlays, 2D UI). One of the Vega innovations was a more seamless use of the main memory, but still, a tight focused loop is fastest. Maybe not the Serial GPU thing, but all this is currently possible for nerds or companies with real IT departments, just not convenient with manually setting kvm switches, SANs & mounting remote file systems, dealing with keeping multiple machines per human set up and up-to-date, or is not optimal with certain applications because those devs didn't get the necessary easy api and hand-holding. The Mac Pro's job would not be revolutionary hardware, just the IO-switching base station and evolutionary software, and also lots and lots of off-the-shelf hardware. (Which Apple could also sell for a modest markup. If it is modest enough, this kills the pro Hackintosh market, which is far larger that Apple knows about or perhaps is willing to admit.) It is unlikely that single core performance will get substantially faster unless something fundamental changes about CPUs. The future is parallelism. - I used them once, but never again. This would also be a market for modern super-banks: we already know everything about you if you use all our services, so let us do your taxes.

Revolt: cheese, though I just got the pun in the title. Seemed to me Deepak and Anoop were arguing that consciousness was the processing of the universe, and that the idea of God was just more consciousness than usual. The first is a valid concept, but seemed to be off the point. (and not what any of these words mean to most people, but are Hindu concepts.) The second is [Hammond]'s Scientific Proof of God, and somebody is going to get stabbed. Perhaps a more focused debate would have been "the more we evolve, the less we need sentience". There's an excellent SF series the name of which escapes me involving an ancient alien device that would only talk to sufficiently advanced intelligences, much to the irritation of another ancient alien race that had evolved past the need for consciousness (normal definition) but had more than enough processing (Deepak definition) to be God-like to the Humans. Another debate could have been progressive (? modern? forward-looking?) society doesn't need religion. Even I would argue against that, though: society doesn't need bad religion, certainly, but religion either as the opiate of the masses or as positive inspiration is good. (See also: Babylon 5) Hindu nationalists attacking people is bad, but as above the viewpoint that you and everything is just the universe thinking might encourage less strident self-assuredness.

Javascript feature request: setTimeout(function, 'whenever'); Like giving a task to a lowest priority background thread, it will run, but whenever.


I would like to bring up The Leaf again, the crypto-currency from The First Bank of Spiderplants. In light of articles showing young people or Japan or people who really should know better "investing" in various coins, I should point out that many are useless or outright scams. The Leaf doesn't deliver the hacker ideals of a global anonymous transaction network free from The Man, but in no way does Bitcoin. (Maybe a public ledger isn't the best place to log your drug transactions, or using the power of a small city to pay for a cup of coffee.) The Leaf does come far closer: while it does require a bank/greenhouse, that bank doesn't have to retain records of the transactions, and it could be a global network if it has as much hardware as the existing global credit card network. It just wouldn't necessarily take 3% from every transaction like a credit card does. It would provide the cost and speed advantages of ACH with the security of disposable credit card numbers, and actually provide the possibility of a global anonymous cash network.

Spring 2018 Anime

Into the Badlands #2: Wesley Crusher annoyed me, and the writing in the last episode is terrible.


I got a voice mail in Chinese. I get a lot of spam in Chinese, but this is a first.

Anime Winter 2018 Review: Many of the mid-tier shows turned out terribly (Basilisk, Ito, citrus, maybe Grancrest), but some of the Girl's Club shows (Camp, Universe, Takagi, also Ramens) were brilliant. CCS:CC was expected to be and is god-tier. Aside from the update to the phones (and that you can't film sports day events!), it is a second season to a show that aired 20 years ago. If the Star Wars prequels had managed this, George Lucas would be hailed as the king of film (and as not somebody who had a team edit out his worst impulses until he became too important to criticize). Even the treatment of characters whose actors have died is brilliant. Episode 9 had better handle Carrie Fisher at least as well, speaking of Star Wars.

Because I couldn't find out if Burnout Paradise Remastered is playable on a PC (apparently not), I downloaded Asphalt 8. The racing itself is nice (far more controllable with a keyboard than the forza demo) but the unceasing begging for micro-payments is a revelation. I have lived a sheltered life or something.


In this Corner of the World: slice of life, girls WWII club. By making the point of view character a privileged air-head, they manage to gloss over quite a lot. Lin is a goodly part of the movie's impact, and is shown mostly in the closing credits.

Steel Rain: more of the fun Best Korea. Though they showed a statue of the Paramount General without showing the face. Forbidden!

Given: nice looking, but that's quite a carbon footprint for hippies.

Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World: stuff, not particularly in-depth or opinionated, except for the bit about malevolent dwarf druids, which is 100% fact.

I've been working as a programmer longer than 95% of other programmers, according to SO. So very tired.

Children of the Whales: possibly too much unexplained Dilandau. D. was a formidable if unstable military commander, who went crazy. This one is regarded as a clown (literally) by his own commanders and is insane from the get-go.


I noticed Swift's assignment operator returns nothing, to prohibit "if a = b" errors, but "if let a = b?" seems to be the primary way dealing with things that might be nil.

The Force: aimless, in that there is no conclusion or change it can point to.

Naga: (not the fish monsters) I could see that as a lifestyle, except for the arm-holding-up ones.


A.I.C.O: very nice. Sciencey, yet not a thing to complain about. Pulsing mounds of flesh, but not entirely stomach turning. Also has an ending. Probably should not have binged the whole thing, though.

I think the problem with "Junji Ito Collection" is timing: the print version could present a highly detailed grotesque, forcing you to stop and stare at it, trapping you on the that page. The animation just blows past it at TV resolution, spending most of its time on cheap animation.

B: The Beginning: sort of a Japanese Batman + Italian House, MD? The particular mystery seemed extremely petty. The framing mystery is not explained. (It is just The Beginning, I guess.)

I was trying to diagnose why a VPN wasn't sending data, and looked at the console. Remember the last time I said the dozens of log messages a second was a symptom of poor software? Now there's hundreds. Giant blocks from the kernel every second, something from wirelessproxd every half second. It isn't doing the 3 line iTunes thing, but is instead doing a 6 line coreaudiod thing. There's actual errors once every 6 seconds. It's a 40Kbps rain of crap. I'm in favor of having all these daemons, even if a lot of them are mysterious, but turning them off when not in use would be a big gain. I don't need wireless doing anything when I have the wifi and bluetooth shut off.

An apparently legit Verizon email said my auto-pay "has been canceled". It said my account was locked again, but at least this time was willing to send me a temporary password. (to the email address controlled by the locked account, because certainly nobody would change such a thing) Once I get in, it says the auto-pay is not canceled.

The Flanders next door have an Alexa, and it is reading the Bible. They are up into the begats. It has a particularly booming quality I hope my NPR at low volume doesn't have.


Shin Gojira: I liked that a lot of things Godzilla usually brushes aside (trains, buildings) were used as weapons. Revenge! I really like the evolution and hard(ish) SF aspect. The Engrish was pretty bad.

Full Metal Netflix: decent enough, includes Nina, but leaves enough for a full sequel. Weird that the armor always seemed CGI, yet still with a person inside it.

The Final Master: super dense, then abruptly ends. Some really funny character moments, then a long historical grind. I'm assuming I'm not Chinese enough to know the actual ending.

Infinity Chamber: also nice SF, slow-ish.

Dark: nice SF, but incredibly slow, rainy. I do like the 80's cars, though later 80's are best.


Mute: Poor timing after Altered Carbon. Better looking, but also not great, structural issues.

Kung Fu Yoga: has some nice moments. Also I have received great awareness of Belt and Road initiative.

Warcraft: I never actually played the RTS. (Myth was my RTS, also I'm bad at them.) As such, it was nice seeing Stormwind at max draw distance, and spotting things like the Doomhammer, before it turned blue and grew spikes, and Atiesh the Raven Staff (prevents saddle sores). The story didn't do much for me.

Devilman Crybaby: nice and weird. The middle drags a bit, but the end is extreme.


Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi: HiDive doesn't have a free version of current shows, but it does have this. I rewatched it while waiting on laundry. Giant X weirdness, loads of single frame animator gags, plot that eventually means something (but doesn't actually grow up, which now, kind of irritated me). - I'd like that lifestyle, but not the murderous crazy people or dodging rangers. Buying enough property would solve both, but then there's the cost and racial issues of rich white people buying Hawaii. Solution: train the hippies to live a native lifestyle, make them an exhibit for hikers willing to go in that far.

I kind of want to spend $5 on HiDive to watch Colors, but I could spend twice as much on Amazon and get more than twice as many shows. Support an anime focused streaming site, or crush it to stop streaming fragmentation? Or buy both and stop being cheap.

"Connecting a Windows 10 computer to a Mac is more complex than you'd imagine." no kidding. Not only do I not have the version of Windows that does stuff, the stuff it does seems designed to be irritating, presumably to get you to upgrade.

your name: I liked it, nicely paced, very Japanese.

"Thanks for being a loyal Verizon customer." - ha


I got the Horde Vicious Fox. I will play the Priest more, but she doesn't have all the pvp talents yet, and pretty bad gear, and nobody likes disc now. I think it is best to get the talents now then wait for the next expac when everybody is in greens.

Altered Carbon (Netflix): I liked it. Some characters seemed a tad insane, though I guess that was part of the point.


I installed the Kemono Friends Pavilion app off the American App Store (search for Bushiroad), but now it has stopped working, with a button that demands the Japanese App Store. At least I got all the foxes, though I didn't get the video game for Red. #NoTatsukiNoTanoshi


There's somebody on the Intelligence Squared debate "Unresolved: America's Economic Outlook" who appears to be insane. America "can't survive" on a consistent 1% growth rate? The war on business is over? (bet that guy doesn't own a business.) "The most positive deregulation is net neutrality." Coal is booming again? Obviously, he helped write the Trump tax cut. He is literally arguing for the 1920's economy, energy, racism.


Ash vs Evil Dead #1: Groovy

The rise in people working from home means that some jobs could be decoupled from location altogether, making commuting obsolete. Soon it'll even be possible to get a good internet connection in the remotest parts of Alaska—so if you wanted to work as, say, a web developer in a place like Point Hope, which is above the Arctic Circle, you could (in theory) do the job as easily as if you were living in San Francisco.
from I would like to point out while my current career goal is to live in a shack in the woods, this points out a lot of rural space is impoverished not because of the lack of jobs, but the lack of everything else. I could do my job with a cell connection and solar panel for the laptop, but my current need for periodic cat scans would limit where I can live. While I personally can afford the time off to spend days traveling, the hypothetical Point Hope web developer might not.

ID-0: the last half is adequate. Not Outlaw Star.

Godzilla Netflix Series: I liked it. My one nitpick: the spacesuits in the escape were the same well-used model.


Winter 2018 anime


A joke combining Binchou-tan with a bit from Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei
This modern world has driven me to despair, but Binchou-tan is always genki

Project Binchou-stan continued in a holding pattern. It might just be because it is currently -10C and I have a hot water bottle under my blanket and my hands are still freezing, but I would consider moving to a warmer climate. I don't have so much money that I could move or equip a new household and buy a shack in Hawaii or someplace on a whim, and not enough willpower to actually move. Still only working part time, though I think that mostly means I just don't get paid a lot, but I also really can't work more than 2 8-hour days in a row.

A pre-post-apocalyptic theme that I am shamelessly stealing from Susumu Hirasawa. It continues the trend of making the text increasingly hard to read. Not sure as I can top this one. (If you were wondering: I generally don't read my own site. I grep the source files for titles so I can remember if I saw/read it. I was pretty sure nobody else is reading it either, but here you are.)

2017 Drivel

My sole remaining career goal is to live in a shack in the woods. No more resumes!

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Patrick Phelan, now more than ever.
w____\\W//___w       Te Hupenui
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