Wednesday, June 30, 2010

FourSquare: $20 Million At $95 Million Valuation

The logo of Beaverton Foursquare ChurchImage via Wikipedia
There has been tremendous buzz today about FourSquare's new round of funding. This process has gone for a few, long months now. It has been one drawn out process. There has been drama. There has been intrigue. The sweet spot for me was when after months of talk Yahoo might buy FourSquare, FourSquare instead went ahead and stole a key talent from Yahoo. That's the way you do it.

Selling FourSquare Would Be A Mistake, Partnering Would Be Genius

When there was talk it might get bought, I strongly argued selling FourSquare would be a mistake. I was not saying, do the right thing, don't go after the money. What I was saying was, think about money, big money, do not sell.

I am not the first person to draw FourSquare-Twitter parallels. But I sure am one who gets the parallel. The two have had similar trajectories. At first sight a tweet feels as lightweight as checking in. What the.

Twitter had enormous buzz. It scaled but not as well as I would have liked. It made monetization moves, but much too late for my tastes. And it has done a lousy job of adding new features. FourSquare has scaled well. What is the FourSquare version of the fail whale? I don't know it. And FourSquare has been very impressive in the monetization department. But FourSquare has not impressed me in the features department. And I have to say that out loud because, unlike Twitter, FourSquare has competition. I hope this new round of funding allows FourSquare to cement its lead. I wish Dennis (@dens) and Naveen (@naveen) all the best.

Like Andy Grove said, only the paranoid survive. Checking in is the starting piont of the FourSquare experience. Companies for which that is not true - Yahoo, Facebook, Google, Twitter - are not serious threats, although all of them could use that key feature. Checking in in the mobile space is like the inbox in the email space, it is basic. But that check in as the starting point space has a few different players, and checking in is an activity that leaves much room for imagination. Could FourSquare ride that imagination wave? If it does, it goes IPO in a few years. If it doesn't, it should then go ahead and sell off. I am betting it will ride the wave. We shall see.

FourSquare has a shot at going IPO before, a more senior tech company in town, senior in terms of years. Unless we get a few solid IPOs, New York City has not really arrived on the tech scene. Until then we should brag about our subway instead.

Ben Horowitz: Why Andreessen Horowitz Invested In FourSquare
Dennis not only created the vision for the company, but for the entire product category. Beyond that, he is very clearly the thought leader in the market. This is not at all surprising as he has been working on the problem for a decade and has highly refined his thinking through that period. ...... . He’s the kind of leader that great technical minds will be excited to follow: visionary, righteous, and competent. I am really excited to work with Dennis to help him on his path from being a great leader to a great Chief Executive of an incredibly important company. ...... at Foursquare is growing faster than Twitter did at this stage. ......Dennis and team have identified over a dozen different dimensions of the Foursquare product that must interact with each other in precisely optimal ways to achieve user delight. Years and years of research and sweat equity went into cracking the code, and the results are magical. ....... over 4.6B people have mobile phones and there are 1.7B people on the Internet. Already, over 200M people worldwide have smart phones and that number is headed north fast. ...... , major brands such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Zagat, Bravo TV, Starbucks, C-SPAN, Marc Jacobs and over 10,000 businesses are currently working with Foursquare to build customer loyalty and drive traffic. Not many companies have their users turn into their sales force, and it’s definitely a good sign that this is happening around Foursquare.
This Is Not Happening: King Dennis
The FourSquare Appeal For Me
FourSquare Must Cut A Deal With Yahoo
FourSquare Office, Dropio Technology
4:16 PM @ FourSquare
Selling FourSquare Would Be A Mistake, Partnering Would Be Genius
The Foursquare Rap: Badges Like Us
Craig Newmark, Dennis Crowley, Jennifer 8 Lee: Koreatown
Dennis Crowley: I Underestimated Him
Happy Social Media Day.

OLPC Tablet

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Soccer And Latin America

Check this out. Each of the four quarter-final matches has one Latin American team in there. Is that something or is that something? Soccer is Latin America's game. Hats off to the continent of Latin America.


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This blog post made me smile.

Brazil has a soccer ball on its flag. The Declaration Of Independence is America. Soccer, now that would be Brazil.

The New Republic: How To Beat Brazil
When the whistle blows and the match begins, jog around the pitch slowly, laconically, grinning the entire time. Your body language should express an indifference to the game itself. In fact, let your opponent control the pace, let them have possession, let them think they’re in charge. When you do get the ball, pass it around a little, just to see how it feels. Isn’t the stadium pretty under the lights? Smile. Mostly, though, wait. Be patient. Don’t run hard unless it’s absolutely necessary. Just for fun, let the other side have a few shots on goal, so they get their blood flowing. Then, after twenty minutes without a single scoring opportunity, manufacture one out of thin air—a broken play in the midfield, a counter-attack, a foul and a quick restart—and once in front of the rival’s net, be merciless........ Playing against Brazil is an absolute nightmare. ...... My entire life, I’ve been watching Brazil play poorly and win consistently. They are the rare team that never seems to be in control of the game, though they always are. The truth is they’re not playing the same game as their opponents. They’re playing something else, a sport related to soccer, but entirely different. In their version of the sport the rest of us know, if they score one on you, they’ll score three. Once you’re forced to chase the game—as Chile was today—they’re more than happy to tear you to pieces. ....... You can’t beat Brazil squandering opportunities. You have to score early, and often. You have to make them come to you. You have to force their defenders to play defense full time, without giving them a chance to make those lethal runs up the wings. And most importantly, you have to beat them for a solid ninety minutes. How many times have I seen Brazil be thoroughly dominated for eighty-five minutes, and walk off the pitch smiling and victorious, as if they found the entire spectacle amusing? ........ This team is stronger on defense than any Brazilian side I can recall, and they’re remarkably consistent in the attacking third. Luis Fabiano is a straight-up murderer. ...... the Brazilian bench is deep.
Walking On The Moon

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Monday, June 28, 2010

July 1 Digital Dumbo: Do Not Miss

I discovered Digital Dumbo a few months back after signing up for Charlie (@ceonyc) O'Donnell's events mailing list, the best thing Charlie ever did.

I have hinted at it before, but today I am going to spell it out. Digital Dumbo is the best tech party in town. There, I said it. And Dumbo is the only locale of its kind in town. New York City is too big, there is too much happening, there are too many big, established industries - there is finance, there is media, there is Queens ... okay, so Queens is not an industry, Africa is not a country - for all of this city to turn into some kind of a tech haven. But Dumbo has carved it out. Dumbo is tech Mecca. And it is an amazing location. You see the bridge, the belly of the bridge nonetheless, the water, and you see Manhattan. That is too many good things at once. It feels urban, it feels tech. Dumbo is the go to place in town if you are a techie or someone obsessed with tech.

I was a little blase about Internet Week, I figured I got a little too excited about Social Media Week back in February, so I would take this one a little easy. But I might have missed out. And the July 1 Digital Dumbo might let me do some catching up. The July 1 Digital Dumbo is presenting itself as the wrap up party for Internet Week. That right there tells most of the movers and shakers of Internet Week are camped out in Dumbo.
Digital DUMBO #17 IWNY Wrap Up
Thursday, July 01, 2010 from 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM (ET)
Galapagos Art Space
16 Main Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Did you miss out on Internet Week NY? Or maybe you had so much fun networking and crashing parties that you want to re-live it all over again?

Join us for a summary & wrap party Digital DUMBO style where we will showcase some of the work done for the event by Dumbo's finest. We're heading back to Galapagos and we hope to see you there to toast to another Internet Week NY event gone by!

LiveStream: Internet Week NY

Yes, I did miss out. I was able to go to only four events during Internet Week, and I missed the biggest one: IgniteNYC, after having given word to the chief organizer, emcee person Tikva Morawati only the evening before that I will be there. Ugh. (Ignite, Set It On Fire) Something came up that had me tied.

Social Media Week: The Best NY Tech MeetUp Ever

But I have not missed out on the World Cup, and I am going to show up wearing a shirt that screams ARGENTINA! So help me God. (Walking On The Moon)
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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Walking On The Moon

Argentinian Soccer All Star Lionel Messi from ...Image via Wikipedia
Germany has been a soccer superpower just like Brazil and Argentina. I have been taking Germany seriously. This morning Germany made England look like it were North Korea.

France, Italy, England: three former soccer heavyweight countries are by the wayside now.

You got to watch Ozil. That dude can give one killer pass and tilt the game. Ask England.

Argentina had a field day today against Mexico. I was hoping for a 3-0 victory, but that was not to be.

I went ahead and bought myself a soccer ball afterwards, and went to a park nearby. I was able to touch the ball 38 times before it hit the ground. I guess I am in decent soccer shape.

Brazil's defense is like a castle, Argentina's like a whip.

When Messi dribbles it is like the entire field is mud. The ball is stuck until he commands it to move. And he likes to give short, quick commands.

Now Argentina meets Germany next. I am just a little nervous. I want Argentina to win, but I know the German team is in decent shape. I think it will be a close call, but Argentina will prevail. It will squeak by to meet Portugal in the semi-finals.

The scenario I am seeing is one where my two favorite teams - Brazil and Argentina - meet in the finals. It will be hard to pick the one to root for, but Diego might win me over. I might end up rooting for Argentina.

But I do want to have to make that call.

FIFA World Cup 2010
Lionel Messi (2)
Lionel Messi
Young Folks
Walk In The Park
Freehand Exercise: 1,000 Push-Ups, 1,000 Squats, 1,000 Crunches
Brazil And Argentina: My Choices And Those Of My Favorite Actor
The Eyes Of Truth
Hey Now, Hey Now
Samuel Eto'o

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The Al Qaeda, Internet, Globalization

During a Sensitive Site Exploitation (SSE) mis...Image via Wikipedia
When a comment I leave at Fred Wilson's blog gets too long, to me that is indication I need to be writing a reply blog post, like just happened.

Fred Wilson: Nations And Networks

This post totally speaks to me. I think of the number 1.25 billion out of 6.7 billion people online the way Fred perhaps thinks about web services, his domain expertise. As someone who grew up in the Global South, I think of Internet Access - Internet as in broadband with full size keyboard - as the voting right for this century. This is the Internet Century.

Fred Wilson's Gift To Me

When I started reading this post, I was thinking of Brad's post (that I read when it came out) before I had finished the first sentence.

The Al Qaeda is not a state, it is not even an organization any more. The Al Qaeda embodies two big trends - the Internet and Globalization - the way not even Kiva does. Bush went after Saddam instead of Bin Laden because, well, if the medicine I have is for cough (the nation state as an enemy), I am going after cough viruses, the facts be damned, don't tell me the diagnosis is for AIDS.

Fred and I might not be the best people to talk of security issues, but there are plenty of cyber security issues. Maybe that is worth a post. For all its promises, the Internet is just the newest platform for the age old fight between good and evil.

Brad Burnham: Web Services As Governments
Scott Shane, New York Times: Wars Fought And Wars Googled

On the War On Terror, I do have very clear thoughts, unlike Fred. One, it is the same scale as the Cold War. Two, it will only conclude once all Arab countries have been turned into democracies. Three, there's the swamp part, and there is the mosquitoes part. I am not going to argue let the mosquitoes be, but I think draining the swamp is the real battle. The best way to introduce democracy to a country is the way we did it in Nepal in April 2006, through a mass movement. People who are not worried the mullahs in Iran might get pissed off if you impose sanctions talk like they are worried the mullahs might get pissed off if they give total support to the protesters in Iran. Beats me.

Iran: The World Has Wasted A Year

This tussle also reminds me of the capitalism-communism tussle, and you have to go all the way back to Lenin. When that dude did his 1917 thing, America had not seen FDR yet. FDR had to reinvent both democracy and capitalism to prepare the country for a fight with communism. A pre-FDR America could not have beat communism. Some synthesis happened.

Similarly the War On Terror will conclude through two types of transformations. One, all Arab countries end up being democracies. Two, America ends up a non-racist country. I know that is a loaded term for many people, but I am using it on purpose. A country where calling someone - Obama - a Muslim is passed on as calling him a name like happened in 2008 is still a racist country. If four Muslim young men in New Jersey were to talk violence in the privacy of their apartment, they are a cell, and will be thoroughly dealt with, but the Republican nominee competing against Harry Reid in Nevada is openly calling for violence, and I don't see law enforcement people getting excited about that. Is that a double standard or is that a double standard?

Time: Why Harry Reid's Chances Are Improving in Nevada
She has a permit to carry a concealed .44 Magnum and brags about bringing it to campaign events. But her passion also leads her to make troublesome statements: "The nation is arming," she said last month. "What are they arming for if it isn't that they are so distrustful of their government? They're afraid they'll have to fight for their liberty in more Second Amendment kinds of ways. That's why I look at this as almost an imperative. If we don't win at the ballot box, what will be the next step?"
I have lost count of how many times I have been subjected to a dirty look or an outright dirty Q&A by some law enforcement officer this past decade, and I am not even Arab. The day 9/11 happened, I was in a small town in Kentucky. The locals called the cops on ME!

Timothy McVeigh was a motherfucker before he was a terrorist. That makes you a motherfucker. That is the angle I like to come from. So much for racial profiling.

America had its 9/11, India had its 11/9. But that 11/9 would be 9/11 because in India they put the number for the month second. The Islamists' tussle is with democracy itself, and India is the biggest pot.
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Lionel Messi (2)

Lionel Messi
Young Folks
Walk In The Park
Freehand Exercise: 1,000 Push-Ups, 1,000 Squats, 1,000 Crunches
Brazil And Argentina: My Choices And Those Of My Favorite Actor
The Eyes Of Truth
Hey Now, Hey Now
Samuel Eto'o

Saturday, June 26, 2010

News June 26

Image representing ReadWriteWeb as depicted in...Image via CrunchBase

Google's Semantic Web Push: Rich Snippets
Can Augmented Reality Help Save the Planet?
Google Moves Encrypted Search to New Domain
David Boies Beat Microsoft Once - Can He Do it Again For
Traditional Media Outlets Flocking to Tumblr Countersuing Microsoft for Patent Infringement
What Not to Wear (When Pitching VCs)
Strategy Roundtable: Three Startups That Can Hit $1 Million
Google Now Distributes Chrome with Built-In Flash Player
Gmail Gets One-Click Microsoft Word Previews

All Things Digital

New iPhone Keeps Apple Top of Class
Going, Going, Almost Gone: Foursquare Poised to Get New VC Funding, After Being “One Inch” From Sale to Facebook
CEO Jim Balsillie: BlackBerry Ready to Play Quantum Leapfrog
Netflix Grabs a Yahoo to Help Run Its Web Video Business
Get ’em, Boies: Salesforce Countersues Microsoft
Coke Takes Out a Free Ad for Twitter Ads
77 Percent of Early iPhone 4 Sales Were Upgrades
Another Surprise at Second Life Creator; Founder is CEO Again
Medvedev’s Silicon Valley Dreams Won’t Happen Overnight

Ars Technica

For 1 billion speakers, domain names officially go Chinese
Reports: most iPhone 4 line-waiters are iPhone upgraders
"Organic" pesticides aren't necessarily "green" pesticides
Win Phone 7 launches in October as an "ad-serving machine"
UK regulator: net neutrality rules bad for consumers
UK paper requires free Web accounts; traffic plunges
US goes after movie pirates in Estonia, counterfeiters in Tanzania


eBay’s Crossroads: Turn Around or Break Up
Apple’s iPhone 4: Is That a Smartphone in Your Pocket?
The Big Shift: The Rise of Cloud Computing
The Wide-open Door to the Mobile Enterprise
Android This Week: Flash 10.1 Arrives; Smartbook Sans Touch
Metrics: Corporate Web Working Effectiveness by the Numbers
Intel’s Bad Bet on WiMAX Pays Off for TD-LTE
Is Facebook’s Social Search Engine a Google Killer?
Hulu Plus Coming to iPad, Xbox Playstation Next Week?


Here’s What Happens On Facebook During World Cup Games
The Vulcan iPhone Pinch: The Right Way to Hold Your Phone
Tech Tweets of the Week: Everybody was World Cup WatchingDigits Live Show: BlackBerry Struggles to Keep Up with iPhoneIridium Patents Soar Anew in Licensing Deal
China Carrier Hopes to Offer iPhone 4, iPad
Is 3-D Here to Stay?


Doodle Jump Reaches Five Million Downloads
Studio Ghibli to Make Games
What We’re Reading: Fake PR
What We’re Reading: App Creep
Opening Day: The iPhone 4
Class Action Against Apple and AT&T Is Amended
Yahoo Rolls Out a Renovated Flickr
Motorola, Verizon and Google Unite to Introduce the Droid X
IPhone 4 Reviews: The Pundits Weigh In
What We’re Reading: Life as a Computer
Three Million iPads Sold but Frustration for Some Customers
Opening Day: The iPhone 4
Verizon Sends Out the Droids
Droid or Not, Verizon Still Wants the iPhone
After New Ads, Doubts Grow About a Verizon iPhone
Why Can’t PCs Work More Like iPhones?

Technology Review

Moore's Outlaws
Nanotubes Give Batteries a Jolt
A Private Social Network for Cell Phones
Inexpensive, Unbreakable Displays
Working Toward a Smarter, Faster Cloud
Where Gmail Is Going
Solar's Great Leap Forward
A Simpler Route to Plastic Solar Cells
Hack: iPad 3G
How Wi-Fi Drains Your Cell Phone
Real-Time Search
Mobile 3-D
Engineered Stem Cells
Solar Fuel
Light-Trapping Photovoltaics,
Social TV
Implantable Electronics
Green Concrete
Dual-Action Antibodies
Cloud Programming
America's Broadband Dilemma
Better Batteries
To Market
Solar Power
Tomorrow's Car
A Way to Share Music and Movies from Any Device
Technology Overview: Designing for Mobility
Mobile Data: A Gold Mine for Telcos
Surveillance Software Knows What a Camera Sees
Reinventing the Gasoline Engine
Startup Aims for Perfect Pixels
Drug Targets Lupus by Tricking Immune System
Computer Security
Can AIDS Be Cured?
The Global Broadband Spectrum
Computer SecurityMicroprocessors
Personalized Medicine
Cloud Computing
Photovoltaics Come of Age
New Quantum Theory Separates Gravitational and Inertial Mass
How To Destroy A Black Hole
How to Prevent Deepwater Spills
How to Prevent Language Extinction
One Tablet per Child
3-D Without the Glasses
America's Broadband Dilemma
Mobile Data: A Gold Mine for Telcos
Q&;A: Buzz Aldrin
An Energy-Saving Air Conditioner
Making Old Muscle Young

Science Daily

Wet Era on Early Mars May Have Been Global
3-D Models of Whole Mouse Organs Created
Galaxy Encounter Fires Up Quasar
More Variation in Human Genome Than Expected
Cosmic Clocks May Uncover Space-Time Ripples
Living, Breathing Human Lung-On-A-Chip
Plants Can Integrate Information
Higher Methane from Warming 40,000 Years Ago
Was Venus Once a Habitable Planet?
Widespread Glacial Meltwater Valleys on Mars
Mechanism That May Trigger Degenerative Disease Identified
Chemists Find an Easier Way to Synthesize New Drug Candidates; New Method Could Have a Big Impact on Pharmaceutical Business
Novel Radiotracer Shines New Light on the Brains of Alzheimer's Disease Patients
Climate Change Complicates Plant Diseases of the Future
Pleasing to the Eye: Even Brooding Female Birds Are Sensitive to Visual Stimulation
Study Identifies Couples’ Underlying Concerns During a Fight
Coffee May Protect Against Head and Neck Cancers
People Who Suppress Anger Are More Likely to Become Violent When Drunk
Compound Found in Red Wine Neutralizes Toxicity of Proteins Related to Alzheimer's
Teens and Alcohol Study: After a Few Drinks, Parenting Style Kicks in
Small Amount of Common Preservative Increases Toxins from Harmful Bacteria in Food, Study Finds
Freshwater Fish Eyes: Great Home for Parasites
Aggressive Action to Reduce Soot Emissions Needed to Meet Climate Change Goals, Experts Say
NASA Radar Images Show How Mexico Quake Deformed Earth
Biomedical Scientist Concerned About Effects of Oil Spill on Human Health
Adios El Niño, Hello La Niña?
Separation Between Neanderthal and Homo Sapiens Might Have Occurred 500,000 Years Earlier, DNA from Teeth Suggests
3.6 Million-Year-Old Relative of 'Lucy' Discovered: Early Hominid Skeleton Confirms Human-Like Walking Is Ancien
Earth-Like Planets May Be Ready for Their Close-Up
'Ghost Particle' Sized Up by Cosmologists
First Superstorm on Exoplanet Detected
Hubble Captures Bubbles and Baby Stars
Consumer-Grade Camera Detects Cancer Cells in Real Time
Life of Plastic Solar Cell Jumps from Hours to 8 Months
Researcher Develops Green, Bio-Based Process for Producing Fuel Additive
Crack in the Case for Supersolids: Reports of Supersolid Helium May Have Been Premature
Liquid Crystals Light Way to Better Data Storage
'Quantum Computer' a Stage Closer With Silicon Breakthrough
Computer Program Detects Depression in Bloggers' Texts
Supercomputer Provides New Insights Into the Vibrations of Water
Bioengineers Create Simulator to Test Blood Platelets in Virtual Heart Attacks
Engineers Create A Strong But Lightweight Isotruss Bike Using Carbon Fibers
Computer Scientists Develop Program To Decipher Location Of Photograph
Biomedical Engineers 'Arm' Surgeons For Highly Precise Knee Resurfacing With Robot
Interactive Telecommunications Researchers Develop A Device For Plants To Send Text Messages
Cyber Forensic Researchers Make The Call: Crime Scene Evidence Is Quickly Extracted From Mobile Phones
Hop, Jump and Stick; Robots Designed With Insect Instincts
'Quantum Computer' a Stage Closer With Silicon Breakthrough
Curbing Speculation Could Destabilize Commodity Prices
Enterprise PCs Work While They Sleep – Saving Energy and Money – With New Software
Ocean Stirring and Plankton Patchiness Revealed by Computer Simulation
Using Science to Identify True Soccer Stars: Researchers Find a New Approach to Ranking and Rating Soccer Players
Engineer Explores Intersection of Engineering, Economics and Green Policy
Species Distribution Models Can Exaggerate Differences in Environmental Requirements
Bizarre Matter Could Find Use in Quantum Computers
Mathematicians Show Randomly Guessing NCAA Outcome Is Extremely Improbable
Mathematical Physics Explains How Icicles Grow
Children With Home Computers Likely to Have Lower Test Scores, Study Finds
Model Explains Rapid Transition Toward Division of Labor in Biological Evolution
Novel 'Cuckoo Search Algorithm' Beats Particle Swarm Optimization in Engineering Design
Decoding Our Network Communities
Mathematicians Solve 140-Year-Old Boltzmann Equation
Sum of Digits of Prime Numbers Is Evenly Distributed: New Mathematical Proof of Hypothesis
Mathematicians Offer Elegant Solution to Evolutionary Conundrum
Loneliness, Poor Health Appear to Be Linked
Neuroscientists Can Predict Your Behavior Better Than You Can
Signal Like You Mean It: Orangutan Gestures Carry Specific Intentional Meanings, Study Finds
Friendships, Family Relationships Get Better With Age Thanks to Forgiveness, Stereotypes
Winning a Soccer Penalty Shootout: Cheering Convincingly Increases Changes of Success
Gay Men's Bilateral Brains Better at Remembering Faces, Study Finds
Pre-Stored Phrases Make It Easier to Be Part of a Conversation
Abusive Mothering Aggravates the Impact of Stress Hormones
Brain Structure Corresponds to Personality
Exercise May Be an Effective and Nonpharmacologic Treatment Option for Alcohol Dependence

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Lionel Messi

Young Folks
Walk In The Park
Freehand Exercise: 1,000 Push-Ups, 1,000 Squats, 1,000 Crunches
Brazil And Argentina: My Choices And Those Of My Favorite Actor
The Eyes Of Truth
Hey Now, Hey Now
Samuel Eto'o

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