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Victor Tuson Palau: [Ubuntu Touch] Logviewer

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 2014-01-08 15:55

I have been recently doing some android development for Techfunder, one thing that I have found really useful when testing my app is using CatLog. CatLog allows you to check the app and system logs on the go. This is extremely useful when you have a crash while you are not close to your laptop.

This motivated me to look into writing a similar app for Ubuntu Touch. So here it is: LogViewer!

This app, like CatLog, is for developers and requires unconstrained running. You will need to install it manually:

  • Download click package from launchpad
  • transfer to your device and install:
  1. adb push /home/phablet/
  2. adb shell

  3. su phablet
  4. cd ~
  5. pkcon -p install-local

When you launch the app, you will get a list of .log files in /home/phablet/.cache/upstart/ , if you click on an specific log, it will be displayed in a similar manner to tail -f. You can pause the autoreading, clear the screen and copy to clipboard parts of the logs from the bottom menu.

You can also access other files, change font size of the logs and the size of the text buffered from the settings page.

You can see the code and contribute in launchpad:

Valorie Zimmerman: Does your volume keep resetting to zero?

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 2014-01-08 09:35
I see this question occasionally in #kde, #kubuntu, and #amarok. Tonight I saw the first answer that seems to shed light on it.

Cousin_luigi said in #kde tonight: "I expect the volume to be at the same level I left it." Which is perfectly reasonable! And yet, we often find something else. Axtroz had the answer:
Cousin_luigi, because some systems run "alsactl restore" on startup which restores the volume state saved with "alsactl store" and that tunes the volume for a particular soundcard. Since Pulseaudio and Alsa are working together via plugins, pulse follows. Check your init scripts, or raise the volume to an apropriate level and run alsactl store as root.
I don't have this problem, so I didn't test the solution. However, here it is as a public service. Thanks to Cousin_luigi for asking, and Axtroz for answering.

Tony Whitmore: A message for fans of Sherlock (spoilers!)

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-01-07 20:36

For fans of Sherlock, I’d just like to make it clear that although I am a wedding photographer, I’m not a psycho murderer dude. And I almost never use flash during the daytime. I just do stuff like this…

These photos are from Stuart and Zoe’s fantastic wedding in Greece last autumn. I will be writing more about it soon!

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Ubuntu Kernel Team: Kernel Team Meeting Minutes – January 07, 2014

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-01-07 17:14
Meeting Minutes

IRC Log of the meeting.

Meeting minutes.


20140107 Meeting Agenda

ARM Status

Nothing new to report this week

Release Metrics and Incoming Bugs

Release metrics and incoming bug data can be reviewed at the following link:


Milestone Targeted Work Items    apw    core-1311-kernel    5 work items          core-1311-cross-compilation    2 work items          core-1311-hwe-plans    1 work item       bjf    core-1311-dmraid2mdadm    1 work item       cking    core-1311-kernel    1 work item       ogasawara    core-1311-kernel    4 work items          client-1311-xorg-general    1 work item       sforshee    servercloud-1311-cloud-images    1 work item       smb    core-1311-dmraid2mdadm    1 work item          servercloud-1311-openstack-virt    6 work items       rtg    core-1311-kernel    1 work item   

Status: Trusty Development Kernel

We’ve finished cleaning up some DKMS packages for Trusty and are
preparing for our first v3.13 based kernel upload to the archive.
This is specifically based on the latest v3.13-rc7 upstream kernel.
I would also like to remind everyone that the 12.04.4 point release is
now taking place on Thurs Feb 6. The kernel is currently frozen for
12.04.4 and we do not anticipate any respins at this time.
Important upcoming dates:
Thurs Jan 23 – Alpha 2 (~2 weeks away)
Thurs Feb 6 – 12.04.4 Final Release (~4 weeks away)

Status: CVE’s

The current CVE status can be reviewed at the following link:

Status: Stable, Security, and Bugfix Kernel Updates – Saucy/Raring/Quantal/Precise/Lucid

Nothing new to report this week.

Open Discussion or Questions? Raise your hand to be recognized

No open discussions.

Nigel Babu: Quick Tip: Ansible Debugging

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-01-07 16:15

Today I learned something about Ansible debugging from benno on #ansible. Occasionally, commands can get stuck, especially if it’s waiting for input. You can’t fix this until you recognize what’s going on and see the prompt. In other words, you want to see the stdout and stderr on the target machine. Here’s what you do:

  • Run ansible with -vvv.
  • Login to the remote host where the command is being executed.
  • Find the ansible process executing the command and kill them.
  • The stdout and stderr should be printed to the console where ansible was running.

Jonathan Riddell: Frameworks 5 Tech Preview is here!

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-01-07 13:22
KDE Project:

Frameworks 5 Tech Preview has arrived.

KDE Frameworks it a port of kdelibs to Qt 5 and turned into modules so you can install only the bits you need. People are often reluctant to add kdelibs to their applications because it brings in too many dependencies. With KDE Frameworks it has been modularised so much is simply extra Qt libraries. This will bring KDE software to a much wider audience. Many parts of kdelibs have just been moved into Qt itself thanks to the open qt-project.

Binary packages are available in Kubuntu as part of Neon 5 and I'm starting to package them in our experimental PPA.

Sebastian Heinlein: mutt-eds-query

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-01-07 05:21
There is a nice tool which allows you to autocomplete email addresses in mutt by making use of the contacts stored in the evolution data server of the GNOME desktop. The small helper programme was originally written by Sertac Yildiz and was updated recently to the latest EDS API by Paul W. Frields. Since I use several address books I made some enhancements to the programme:
  • Query all address books which are marked for autocompletion
  • Support multiple search terms
  • Command line options to ignore the auto completion setting and to include contact notes in the query results
But I dropped compatibility with EDS < 3.6. You can find the source code at Gitorious: git:// The corresponding muttrc configuration would be: set query_command="$HOME/bin/mutt-eds-query '%s'"

The Fridge: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 349

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-01-07 03:37

Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter. This is issue #349 for the weeks December 23, 2013 – January 5, 2014, and the full version is available here.

In this issue we cover:

The issue of The Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter is brought to you by:

  • Elizabeth Krumbach Joseph
  • Paul White
  • Emily Gonyer
  • Jim Connett
  • And many others

If you have a story idea for the Weekly Newsletter, join the Ubuntu News Team mailing list and submit it. Ideas can also be added to the wiki!

Except where otherwise noted, content in this issue is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License BY SA Creative Commons License

Jonathan Riddell: FOSDEM 2014

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-01-07 01:35
KDE Project:

I'm going to FOSDEM for 2014, are you? FOSDEM is a massive free software meeting with more projects than you knew existed. We need help on the KDE stall. We also need visitors in the devroom. Finally we need KDE people to come and eat pizza on Saturday evening. Add yourself to the wiki page if you want to help KDE at FOSDEM.

Jono Bacon: Ubuntu Loco Team App Dev Schools – Volunteers Needed!

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-01-06 22:37

2014 is going to be a great year for Ubuntu App Developers. We laid down some fantastic foundations in 2013, but this year we want to extend and grow our community in multiple directions…building a solid, empowered on-ramp for creating awesome apps for Ubuntu.

…but we can’t do this alone, we need your help!

One effort here is to work with our fantastic LoCo Team Community to run a series of Ubuntu App Developer schools across the world. We have one of the greatest advocacy communities anywhere, so this seems like a perfect match.

Fortunately, David Planella has already created some awesome slides and a good tutorial that these schools can work from (he did this for a previous event), and we are here to help provide help and guidance about how to run an event.

As such, we are looking for volunteers to run a local Ubuntu App Dev school in your area. Doing this is as simple as:

  • Find a place to run an event and pick a date when to run it.
  • Find some other folks in your LoCo who would be interested in helping.
  • Get the material and tune it for your event if needed.
  • Promote the event locally and encourage people to join.
  • Practice the material a few times before the big day, then show up, run the class and have fun.
  • Take lots of pictures!

The last step is really important as we would like to create a montage of the events.

So, if you are interested in participating, send me an email to and mention which LoCo team you are part of and where you would run the event, and lets make the magic happen!

Raphaël Hertzog: My Free Software Activities in December 2013

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-01-06 21:48

This is my monthly summary of my free software related activities. If you’re among the people who made a donation to support my work (147.56 €, thanks everybody!), then you can learn how I spent your money. Otherwise it’s just an interesting status update on my various projects.

The Debian Administrator’s Handbook

I spent a good chunk of December on the book. First finalizing the English version and getting it out (BTW, just for the launch, there’s a 10% discount on the paperback that lasts only until January 9th!). Then working on updating the French translation. Eyrolles will publish a new edition of the French book based on this translation. Expect some further news about this during January!

Debian France

I contributed to many discussions within Debian France.

Starting with a complaint that most events are organized in Paris, I proposed to map the location of Debian France members. We added new fields in the membership management page so that members can add their GPS coordinates and Frédéric Decou made some experiments with Openstreetmap. Someone else (Kiriarat) volunteered to write the required glue code. A manual map is currently maintained on the website.

In the discussions about the setup of the Debian France shop, I suggested to update our logo with a nicer looking one. We got a few suggestions and after further discussions with Alexandre Delanoë and Sylvestre Ledru, we organized a small contest to entice designers to submit a logo proposal to us (the winner earns a set of Debian goodies). We got 46 proposals (see my favorite on the right)! The board is currently pre-selecting the logos and setting up the final vote for our members. The winner shall be announced at the end of the upcoming mini-debconf in Paris.

I also continued the work to finalize new bylaws and new internal rules. They shall be adopted during the next general assembly which will happen during the mini-debconf.

Misc Debian Work

WordPress maintenance. I mentored Pablo Vasquez to do his first small contribution to the WordPress packaging. I really appreciate this but he’s not yet ready to assume maintenance of a big package like WordPress on his own. I got multiple other offers of help and pinged them all while filing #733726 to coordinate the work on the new upstream version. But I got no reply Handing over packages to new maintainers is hard…

Init system discussion. The technical committee has the hard task of picking the default init system that will replace the traditional System V init (see #727708). I followed this huge discussion closely and contributed a bit where I add something meaningful to say. Final decision is expected sometimes in January. FWIW, I share entirely Russ Allbery’s point of view in those discussions. I have been running systemd on some of my computers for a few months already.

Fixing lxc in stable. The lxc package in stable has a non-working “debian” template. I really dislike documenting that things are broken so instead of doing that in the Debian Administrator’s Handbook, I opted to do something about it. I prepared a non maintainer upload for stable (see #680469 for the problem and #732358 for the stable update request).

Misc stuff. I sponsored a tcpdf upload. I filed an enhancement request on Publican to have it keep processing instructions present in translations. I uploaded new versions of publican-librement and debian-handbook. I filed #732678 against git-buildpackage because it failed to properly call lintian when given the -A dpkg-buildpackage argument.


See you next month for a new summary of my activities.

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Matthew Helmke: American Nations

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-01-06 19:01

I don’t review everything I read. Not by a long shot. I generally have 3 or 4 books being read at the same time stashed in different places in my house. Today’s book is one that I bought and that I think deserves a wider audience. It begins by separating the idea of nations from states. Nations are essentially groups of people who share a common culture, ethnic language, or historical experience. States can be made up of nations, as in the nation-states of historic France or Turkey, but nations can exist outside of states, such as the Kurdish or Palestinian nations today.

American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America postulates that North America, including Canada, the United States, and Mexico (at least the northern part), is made up of eleven nations, each with its own unique historical roots, norms, mores, and cultures and that it is the differences between these nations that create the political and occasionally violent turmoil in the region, especially within the United States.

The author uses a historical narrative to describe the beginnings of each nation, and specifically the reasons its founders felt it necessary to leave their established homes elsewhere and settle in a new land. Some wanted to create religious utopias. Others wanted to escape the control of tyrants. Still others wanted to find a land that they themselves could control as new tyrants, feudal masters of their own hierarchical kingdoms. Native Americans are not forgotten, but just as in history, they are primarily relegated here to the role of conquered indigenous and their histories and interactions are mostly, but not completely, ignored except to factually and clearly describe the dastardly ways with which native peoples were usually treated.

Maps from the book have been published in articles like this one from Tufts Magazine from Tufts University and are worth a look at this point in the description. The linked article also gives a listing and short description of each nation, long enough to give a sense of the idea, but not enough to give the full argument.

The book has left me with several takeaways, and these are why I think it is worth reading for anyone with an interest in North American, and especially USA history, politics, and culture.

  • Talking about red states vs blue states or Republicans vs Democrats or even The North vs The South forces extreme simplification of more complex issues, beliefs, and trends.
  • Thinking that “everyone in the Midwest” USA thinks or believes the same is naive–this is actually one of the more diverse sections of the country, which is why it always seems to be the power broker or swing voting area. In fact, it has historically been the buffer between the Yankee north and the Deep South extremes of the spectrum on almost every debate.
  • American history is presented very differently to children in each of these national areas. The obvious example is that what people who grew up in Yankeedom call “The Civil War” is called “The War Between the States” in the Deep South and often also in Tidewater and Greater Appalachia. However, this is only an obvious example and are there many less-obvious examples that I didn’t realize exist.
  • The men who made the decisions while creating the United States of America as a state sharply disagreed on many issues and for its first hundred years it was not certain the state would persist.

American Nations gives a clear description of each group, its stated motives, and its actions and uses these to dispassionately explain thought and voting trends and more across the areas. It follows these across time as historical events unfold that cause power to rise and fall, especially as the nations expand geographically and how each chose to do so–note, each nation did so very differently from the others. The intent is to help the reader grasp the layers of meaning, communication, alternate understandings and perceptions of events that make up the continent and especially the United States. Knowing this helps both the insider and the outsider grasp the difficulty inherent in trying to unite people across the nations toward any common goal.

As a supplement to a typical (lacking) education in North American and especially American history, I consider this book a quality companion to Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States; this book is less political, but I don’t think it will be less transforming for the reader.

Disclosure: I was NOT given my copy of this book by the publisher as a review copy. See also: Are All Book Reviews Positive?

Michael Rooney: Freelancing: 2 Years of Learning and Evolution

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-01-06 18:45

Last year was my second year as a freelance programmer, and I’d like to continue my habit of retrospectives, so here’s another. My primary work philosophy has been to figure out how much I need to earn each month, and then work as part-time as possible to earn that amount.

2012 was a sort of proof-of-concept of that strategy, and demonstrated success in the various aspects of that: I was able to accurately predict how much money I’d need, I was able to land gigs to earn that money, and I greatly enjoyed all the extra free time I had as a result.

Based on the success of 2012, I felt very comfortable in 2013 to dial back my hours even more. Here’s what my monthly hours looked like over the past two years:

2012 (the left half) was erratic while in 2013 (the right half) I worked less, but more consistently. In 2012 I averaged about 13 hours per week, while last year I averaged about 8. What is most interesting is that I was able to reduce my weekly hours by 62% while only reducing my annual income by 12%. That’s because last year I was able to increase my effective hourly rate by about 53% compared to 2012.

I didn’t change the hourly rate I advertise to clients, so how did I increase my effective hourly rate?

  1. Preferring project-based contracts to hourly contracts. These allow me to quote a fixed price, and the faster I get the project done, the more per hour I make. Having had good experience in 2012, I felt confident enough in my estimates to push for more project-based contracts in 2013, which have proven to be much more profitable.
  2. Recurring income. I’m now covering 26% of my monthly budget with recurring payments for hosting and support, whereas I ended 2012 at around 15%. I’ve previously spent some time making sure my hosting and deployment is unified and simple, so while I almost doubled my recurring income year over year, I certainly didn’t have to double the amount of work I have to do each month to keep all the sites up and running well.

It’s also nice to see that my client base is becoming more diversified and that I’m relying less on any particular client as an income source:

  • Number of clients invoiced. 2012: 6, 2013: 9
  • Per-client average. 2012: $12,595, 2013: $7,418

For 2014, I expect I’ll continue working around 8 hours per week, and focus on building Django apps from scratch, which are my favorite projects and lead to recurring revenue. I’ll also continue working on personal incubation projects like BatchedInbox; I’d love to be partially supporting myself with those. Definitely let me know what your contracting or salaried experience has taught you, and if you’ve got any questions or suggestions!


Julian Andres Klode: python-apt now native Python 3 code

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-01-06 16:46

Today I made an important change to the python-apt code: It is now native Python 3 code (but also works under Python 2). The previous versions all run 2to3 during the build process to create a Python 3 version. This is no longer needed, as the code is now identical.

As part of that change, python-apt now only supports Python 2.7, Python 3.3, and newer. I’m using some features only present in 3.3 like Python2 unicode literal syntax in order to keep the code simple.

Here’s how I did it:

I took the Python 2 code and ran 2to3 -f print -x future on it. This turned every print statement in a call to the print function. I then went ahead and added a “from __future__ import print_function” to the top of each module. This was the first commit.

For the second commit, I ran 2to3 -p -x future to convert the remaining stuff to Python 3, and then undid some changes (like unicode literals) and fixed the rest of the changes to work under both Python 2 and 3. Sometimes I added a top-level code like:

if sys.version_info_major >= 3: unicode = str

So I could use unicode in the code for the Python 2 cases.

I used various backported modules like io and stuff only available in Python 2.7, so dropped support for Python 2.6.

Filed under: Debian, Python

Canonical Design Team: New year links

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-01-06 13:43

Happy new year!

Here are a couple of links that have been flying around the London office since we returned. The Verge did a recap of their most influential people of 2013.


And there’s a report from JWT pointing at some nice trends, manifestations and insights for 2014 (thank you, Daniel, for the link).

Sam Hewitt: Moka 2.0 &amp; Faba

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-01-06 00:00

After nearly 3 months of work, Moka 2.0 is finally released, along with its sister icon set Faba.

What’s new in Moka?

This new Moka is more standards-compliant on the Linux desktop.

It’s now solely a set of stylized icons, and it relies heavily on other icon themes for many of the system icons (folders, mimetypes, action icons, statuses, etc.), hence the spin-off and creation of Faba.

You can read up about it and download it on the project website:

Moka Icon Theme

What’s Faba?

Faba is actually three/four icons themes:

  1. A base icon theme (folders, mimetypes, actions, etc.)
  2. A symbolic icon theme
  3. Two sets of monochrome icons for desktop environments with panels.

The monochrome and symbolic icon sets are pretty complete, but the base set is currently pretty barebones –effectively just folders– and it inherits many icons. But as it grows it will evolve into a more complete theme.

Again, you can read up about it and download it on the project website:

Faba Icon Theme

John Baer: AX Ubuntu Theme

Planet Ubuntu - Sun, 2014-01-05 18:47

I am pleased to announce the AX Ubuntu Theme for Saucy Salamander is available for download. AX is a modification of default Ambiance theme with tweaks and polish added for an improved user experience.


One of the primary design elements of a GTK theme is color. The challenge is the color accuracy of computer screens are generally unreliable. The orange on one screen may become more red on another.

Ubuntu is all about orange and a design goal of AX is to use an orange which displays well even if the color accuracy of the display is not so good.

Another trend in technology design is to become more flat. Google themes are generally very flat and the new iOS 7 follows this trend as well. Another design goal of AX is to be more flat.

The above screen shot is of AisleRiot’s Klondike solitaire. The window title bar and tool bars are themed dark and the menu high lights are orange. The text is themed white for good contrast.

Many themes use shades of a single color to add variety but for this version I decided to step out of the box and use different compliments instead. The above screen shot of the Ubuntu sound control and progress bar show this in action.

I like traditional scroll bars and AX supports them as the screen shot of the Appearance Control widget demonstrates.

The final screen shot shows the relatively new File Manager in action.

Installation Steps

The targeted platform for this theme is Ubuntu 13.10.

1. Download the installation package here.

2. Expand the Archive.

3. Open a terminal window by pressing the ctrl-alt-t keys at the same time or select Terminal from the menu.

Type the following commands.

  • MyPC: ~$ cd Downloads/AX-Install
  • MyPC: ~$ sudo bash
  • [sudo] password for MyPC: **********

5. Confirm the Installation.

To begin using Ambiance X, log out and log in.

Updating / Removing AmbianceX

In the event your desire becomes to revert back to Ambiance or any other theme, remove Ambiance X by running the script (step 3).

Overlay Scrollbars

By default AX turns off overlay scroll bars. The installation package includes two additional scripts (DisableUbuntuScrollbars / EnableUbuntuScrollbars) to permit changing this functionality.


The post AX Ubuntu Theme appeared first on j-Baer.

Jonathan Carter: Happy 2014!

Planet Ubuntu - Sun, 2014-01-05 18:31

So, it’s 2014 and I still haven’t migrated away from WordPress to using something fancy written in Python. But who cares? Life is great and I’ve made good progress in lots of other areas :)

I’m getting fitter by the day, last year I joined a running club and I now play squash too, which is working so much better than just going to the gym. Also finally making progress with learning how to play guitar, another ancient goal of mine that had slow progress for a while. It helps that I now live on my own and can make noise whenever I want to. I’m also going for lessons every Wednesday and have some plans to convert my spare room in to a music room. I’ve also gotten into beer brewing. I attended Beerschool via Beerlab, my first batch of American Pale Ale is just about ready for bottling and I’ll probably do that next weekend.

What else? Well, this year I definitely want to be more focused in my free software contributions than in 2013. I want to get my Debian contributions flowing well again with the aim of becoming a Debian Maintainer. Also planning to go to Debconf in Portland, Oregon in August. Then there’s LTSP which is working towards LTSP 6, which will see a huge shift in proper support for local processing and less on thin client support. Not sure how far my involvement will stretch there but I’m certainly very interested and will do my best to make the LTSP hackfest later in the year. The next 2-3 months will need the most focus on Edubuntu. The 14.04 LTS release will be a big release and the single-sign-on directory infrastructure that will be released along with it will mark a big milestone for the project.

Well, to anyone still reading my blog, have a great 2014!

Sebastian Heinlein: Announce todo.txt open action

Planet Ubuntu - Sun, 2014-01-05 15:37
The script adds a new action to, the todo.txt command line client, which allows to open documents referenced in a todo item. If more than one document is available a small menu will be shown. This allows you to easily acces documents that are required to accomplish the task. Todo.txt uses a simple text file to store your items. Each single line represents a task. To install the script you have to copy it to your TODO_ACTIONS_DIR which defaults to $HOME/.todo/actions.d. Just type: open ITEM_NUMBER The following attachement types are supported:
  • mail:*
    opens the mail in mutt (requires muttjump) and a mail indexer e.g. notmuch. To convert mails from mutt into a task see mutt2todotxt.
  • url:*|www.*|http://*|https://
    opens the URL in a web browser e.g. , or
  • note:*
    edit the note (requires the notesedit action)
  • file:*|~/*|/*
    open the path with the installed default handler (requires xdg-open or open), e.g. file:/home/user/README.txt, /home/user/README.txt or ~/README.txt
The action is part of my todo.txt repository. git clone git://

Sebastian Heinlein: Announce mutt2todotxt

Planet Ubuntu - Sun, 2014-01-05 15:19
To improve my task management workflow with the todo.txt command line tool I wrote a small helper called mutt2todotxt. It converts a mail from mutt into a todo.txt item and adds it to the list of open items. It will automatically include the sender, subject, labels and the unique message id to the todo item. The name of the sender is by default the user name part of the address. It the user name is either root, logcheck or cron the domain part will be chosen. Optionally the full real name of the sender can be used by specifying the -n option. Labels stored in the custom X-Label header are converted to todo.txt tags (+).  To use this script with mutt add this to your .muttrc: macro index,pager \Ct "<pipe-message>~/path/to/mutt2todotxt<enter>" If you press Ctrl+t a todo item will be created from the currently selected email. You can find the source code on gitorious: git clone git:// It was inspired by mutt2task written by Richard A. Johnson


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