Showing posts with label Stephen Hawking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stephen Hawking. Show all posts

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Artificial Intelligence: The Fears

A.I. Artificial Intelligence (album)
A.I. Artificial Intelligence (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A car moves faster than a human being, but that is not threat to humanity. Why is the same idea taken to artificial intelligence such a bad idea? Maybe some of our most confounding problems do need artificial intelligence help. That is Ray Kurzweil.

Whereas people like Elon Musk and Bill Gates are alarmist. They think artificial intelligence is more like a nuclear weapon. You don't want to go beyond a point. Stephen Hawking is also in this camp. You can split an atom, but do you want to?

These concerns go to other areas like gene editing.

Coming to the car itself, it has been a culprit that has us now facing what we call global warming. It is a real problem.

These are some existential debates.

Most human beings will be beat by a computer playing chess. What if that computer also had limbs? What if it could replicate? It could figure out all your moves before you made them. And then where are you?

There is obviously need for robust debate and global regulation, so do produce the nuclear energy, but keep the bombs at bay.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Stephen Hawking: #GlobalGoals

I've recorded a number of messages about the #GlobalGoals which have been sent out today. You may have seen some of them...

Posted by Stephen Hawking on Thursday, September 17, 2015

Friday, July 03, 2015

Kurzweil's Schedule

Raymond Kurzweil
Raymond Kurzweil (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In his estimate, current exponential growth of computing will continue until human-level intelligence is achieved around 2029. Merging with artificial intelligence will then follow, sometime in the 2030s as humans will be "a hybrid of biological and nonbiological thinking," wherein we connect our brains to the cloud to harness massive computational power. Beyond that? "As you get to the late 2030s or the 2040s, our thinking will be predominately nonbiological. The nonbiological part will ultimately be intelligent and have such vast capacity it'll be able to model, simulate, and understand fully the biological part. We will be able to fully backup our brains."
Elon Musk and Ray Kurzweil have a fundamental disagreement. Kurzweil thinks Artificial Intelligence is a faster, better computer. Musk thinks it is a nuclear weapon.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Time Travel


Time travel is easier than you think
The crux of all of the methods is that space and time are actually one big thing called space-time, meaning you can manipulate your position in time by changing how you move through space. The speed you are traveling and your distance from the earth both affect how fast you travel through time: If you stand up, for example, your feet age 10 femtoseconds less than your head. And then there are wormholes and infinitely large spinning cylinders.

Stephen Hawking: Space and Time Warps
today's science fiction, is often tomorrow's science fact. .... For more than two thousand years, the axioms of Euclidean geometry, were considered to be self evident. As those of you that were forced to learn Euclidean geometry at school may remember, one of the consequences of these axioms is, that the angles of a triangle, add up to a hundred and 80 degrees. ........ in the last century, people began to realize that other forms of geometry were possible, in which the angles of a triangle, need not add up to a hundred and 80 degrees. ...... so one could imagine that the three dimensional space in which we live, was the surface of a sphere, in another dimension that we don't see. ..... one can not deduce the geometry of the world from first principles, as the ancient Greeks thought. Instead, one has to measure the space we live in, and find out its geometry by experiment. ..... although a way to describe curved spaces, was developed by the German, George Friedrich Riemann, in 1854, it remained just a piece of mathematics for sixty years. It could describe curved spaces that existed in the abstract, but there seemed no reason why the physical space we lived in, should be curved. ...... not only of curved space, but of curved or warped time as well. ...... the time and position at which one thought an event occurred, depended on how one was moving. This meant that time and space, were inextricably bound up with each other. The times that different observers would assign to events would agree if the observers were not moving relative to each other. But they would disagree more, the faster their relative speed. So one can ask, how fast does one need to go, in order that the time for one observer, should go backwards relative to the time of another observer. ........ If one couldn't go faster than light, the round trip to the nearest star, would take at least eight years, and to the center of the galaxy, at least eighty thousand years. If the space ship went very near the speed of light, it might seem to the people on board, that the trip to the galactic center had taken only a few years. But that wouldn't be much consolation, if everyone you had known was dead and forgotten thousands of years ago, when you got back. That wouldn't be much good for space Westerns. .......... We have experimental evidence, that space and time are warped. ..... can space and time be warped enough, to meet the demands from science fiction, for things like hyper space drives, wormholes, or time travel. ....... A particularly interesting one contains two cosmic strings, moving past each other at a speed very near to, but slightly less than, the speed of light. Cosmic strings are a remarkable idea of theoretical physics, which science fiction writers don't really seem to have caught on to. As their name suggests, they are like string, in that they have length, but a tiny cross section. Actually, they are more like rubber bands, because they are under enormous tension, something like a hundred billion billion billion tons. A cosmic string attached to the Sun would accelerate it naught to sixty, in a thirtieth of a second. ........ Cosmic strings may sound far-fetched, and pure science fiction, but there are good scientific reasons to believed they could have formed in the very early universe, shortly after the Big Bang. Because they are under such great tension, one might have expected them to accelerate to almost the speed of light. ...... Since General Relativity can permit time travel, does it allow it in our universe? And if not, why not. ......... Such wormholes have been seriously suggested, as being within the capabilities of a future civilization. But if you can travel from one side of the galaxy, to the other, in a week or two, you could go back through another wormhole, and arrive back before you set out. You could even manage to travel back in time with a single wormhole, if its two ends were moving relative to each other. ...... One can show that to create a wormhole, one needs to warp space-time in the opposite way, to that in which normal matter warps it. Ordinary matter curves space-time back on itself, like the surface of the Earth. ......... What one would need, would be matter with negative mass, and negative energy density, to make space-time warp in the way required. ...... Quantum Theory is more relaxed, and allows you to have an overdraft on one or two accounts. If only the banks were as accommodating. In other words, Quantum Theory allows the energy density to be negative in some places, provided it is positive in others. ........ The reason Quantum Theory can allow the energy density to be negative, is that it is based on the Uncertainty Principle. ..... The more accurately the position of a particle is defined, the greater is the uncertainty in its speed, and vice versa. The uncertainty principle also applies to fields, like the electro-magnetic field, or the gravitational field. It implies that these fields can't be exactly zeroed, even in what we think of as empty space. ...... the fields would have to have a certain minimum amount of fluctuations. One can interpret these so called vacuum fluctuations, as pairs of particles and anti particles, that suddenly appear together, move apart, and then come back together again, and annihilate each other. .......... virtual particles actually exist, and produce real effects. ..... experimental evidence from the bending of light, that space-time is curved, and confirmation from the Casimir effect, that we can warp it in the negative direction. So it might seem possible, that as we advance in science and technology, we might be able to construct a wormhole, or warp space and time in some other way, so as to be able to travel into our past. ........ A possible way to reconcile time travel, with the fact that we don't seem to have had any visitors from the future, would be to say that it can occur only in the future. ........ But because we can warp space-time only in the future, we wouldn't be able to travel back to the present time, or earlier. ...... according to Quantum Theory, the universe doesn't have just a unique single history. ........ the laws of physics conspire to prevent time travel, on a macroscopic scale. ...... According to string theory, which is our best hope of uniting General Relativity and Quantum Theory, into a Theory of Everything, space-time ought to have ten dimensions, not just the four that we experience. The idea is that six of these ten dimensions are curled up into a space so small, that we don't notice them. On the other hand, the remaining four directions are fairly flat, and are what we call space-time. If this picture is correct, it might be possible to arrange that the four flat directions got mixed up with the six highly curved or warped directions. What this would give rise to, we don't yet know. But it opens exciting possibilities.

Monday, March 03, 2014

The Natural User Interface And The Differently Abled

English: NASA StarChild image of Stephen Hawking.
English: NASA StarChild image of Stephen Hawking. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I think the Natural User Interface, of which the touch is just the beginning and gesture is the next big step, though not the final step, not by a long shot, is a big gift for all of us, but it might be extra promising for the differently abled. Senior homes can make use of drones and robots. Voice commands would cut language barriers. The Internet is not meant for English only, and should not dump you into your particular language silo. You communicate, let the Internet translate.

The keyboard, if you think about it, does feel unnatural.

The ultimate is being able to command your computing environment with your eye movements, Stephen Hawking style.

At some level we are all differently. A lot of start wearing glasses early on. As soon as you put one on, you have gently stepped into the differently abled zone. Smart, robotic limbs are not a challenge anymore. They are not innovation challenges, they are simply now scaling challenges.

Your brain is one of the last parts of your body to give up on you. Which means the NUI taken to its logical conclusion will allow us to raise the retirement age. And since retirement is voluntary anyways, a lot of us could hope to live long productive lives through NUI.

Education remains the great unsolved mystery of our knowledge age, ironically. The industrial era education engines/structures don't recognize concepts like people learn at their own paces with their own styles. That individualization is now possible. But there are old institutional structures that get in the way.

There are enormous implications on education and health because a knowledge economy puts a major, unprecedented emphasis on human capital. Human capital is a concept much bigger than human rights because it takes human rights for granted.
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Tuesday, May 10, 2011


New York Times: Life and the Cosmos, Word by Painstaking Word: In the 1960s, with Sir Roger Penrose, he used mathematics to explicate the properties of black holes. In 1973, he applied Einstein’s general theory of relativity to the principles of quantum mechanics. And he showed that black holes were not completely black but could leak radiation and eventually explode and disappear, a finding that is still reverberating through physics and cosmology. ....... With a cheek muscle, he signals an electronic sensor in his eyeglasses to transmit instructions to the computer. In this way he slowly builds sentences; the computer transforms them
Simulated view of a black hole in front of the...Image via Wikipedia into the metallic, otherworldly voice familiar to Dr. Hawking’s legion of fans. ....... It’s an exhausting and time-consuming process. Yet this is how he stays connected to the world, directing research at the Center for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge, writing prolifically for specialists and generalists alike and lecturing to rapt audiences from France to Fiji. ........ At one point, he spoke of the special joys of scientific discovery. “I wouldn’t compare it to sex,” he said in his computerized voice, “but it lasts longer.” The audience roared. .......... despite the limitations, it was Dr. Hawking who wanted to do the interview in person rather than by e-mail. ....... Using e-mail, I can communicate with scientists all over the world. ....... I have traveled the world, from the Antarctic to zero gravity. (Pause.) Perhaps one day I will go into space. ....... you’ve said elsewhere that you think it’s a bad idea for humans to make contact with other forms of life ....... Previously I have said it would be a bad idea to contact aliens because they might be so greatly advanced compared to us, that our civilization might not survive the experience. .......... I don’t have much positive to say about motor neuron disease. But it taught me not to pity myself, because others were worse off and to get on with what I still could do. I’m happier now than before I developed the condition. I am lucky to be working in theoretical physics, one of the few areas in which disability is not
An artist depiction of two black holes mergingImage via Wikipediaa serious handicap. ........ My advice to other disabled people would be, concentrate on things your disability doesn’t prevent you doing well, and don’t regret the things it interferes with. Don’t be disabled in spirit, as well as physically. ...... the Large Hadron Collider ..... It will be two years before it reaches full power. When it does, it will work at energies five times greater than previous particle accelerators........ our experience has been that when we open up a new range of observations, we often find what we had not expected ...... I had not expected “A Brief History of Time” to be a best seller. It was my first popular book and aroused a great deal of interest. ........ I entered the health care debate in response to a statement in the United States press in summer 2009 which claimed the National Health Service in Great Britain would have killed me off, were I a British citizen. I felt compelled to make a statement to explain the error. ....... I am British, I live in Cambridge, England, and the National Health Service has taken great care of me for over 40 years. I have received excellent medical attention in Britain, and I felt it was important to set the record straight. I believe in universal health care. And I am not afraid to say so. ........ the human spirit is capable of enduring terrible hardships. ....... I would go back to 1967, and the birth of my first child, Robert. My three children have brought me great joy. ....... (After five minutes.) I hope my experience will help other people.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Minority Majority Nation?

NASA StarChild image of Stephen Hawking.Image via WikipediaI was at an event last night, and one speaker said how America will have become a minority majority nation by 2050, as in the nonwhites will have become the majority by then. And this was not my first time hearing that. I actually might have read that for a course in college.

But I feel the need to respond. Having experienced ethnic prejudice in Nepal, and racism in America, and having gone through the deep convulsions of a political revolution in a Third World country, the poorest outside of Africa - Nepal - and having thought through the group dynamics elements of tech startups, that minority majority nation talk to me feels like seeing 2050 through 2010 lenses.

I give to you sushi and yoga and hip hop and salsa. I give to you the Spanish language. These are so mainstream in the white parts of America already. But then I grew up learning English where I grew up. My point is America will not have become a minority majority nation in 2050. I hope much sooner than 2050, maybe as early as 2020 - and a lot of that might be to do with globally universal broadband - we will start to see all of culture as belonging to all of humanity. If I am a white guy, and I like sushi, I like sushi, what are you going to do about that?

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Larry Ellison

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison tells customers that ...Image via Wikipedia

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Of all the dead people, Einstein is my favorite. Larry Ellison is very, very smart, but he is no genius. But of all the people alive today, my number one hero just so happens to be Larry Ellison. He is very, very smart, but I am sure I can dig up smarter people on the planet. Stephen Hawking is alive and he is borderline genius. (Stephen Hawking Has Taken Sick) It is Larry's life story. I find it vastly inspiring. It is not his smarts, but his out of the box thinking, his guts, his aggressiveness that gets me. I like the guy tremendously. I am fond of him. He gave the world his middle finger the first three decades of his life and then went ahead and created a multi-billion dollar company. That kind of gets me.

Google's Newest Venture: Google Ventures
Q: What's the difference between God and Larry Ellison?
A: God doesn't think he's
Larry Ellison.
On another note, Brooke Ellison is my favorite New York politician. Larry does not know me, or of me, but I am honored to have an active Facebook friendship with Brooke. I have met her in person. (Hands Off Brooke Ellison) She has the most interesting Facebook wall of anyone I know. She says the darndest things.

  • Jesus was born a Jew. Buddha was born a Madhesi. I am a Madhesi. Buddha was born on a full moon day. I was born on a full moon day.
  • There are about 13 million Jewish people on the planet. There are about 13 million Madhesis on the planet.
  • The Jews carved out their own land: Israel. We Madhesis are working to get our own state in a federal Nepal.
  • There is anti-Semitism. There is strong anti-Madhesi prejudice in Nepal.
  • NYC is the first hometown I ever had, and I was past 30 when I got here. There just so happen to be more Jews in NYC than in Tel Aviv.

Larry just bought Sun. And the world knows he is best friends with Steve Jobs. The question is could Larry come up with data centers that are the size of servers? Since now he is not just in the software business, but also in the hardware business like his friend Jobs. I think this bad boy of Silicon Valley could pull it off.

Larry Ellison - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Lawrence J. Ellison | Executive Biography He also races sailboats, flies planes, and plays tennis and guitar.
Transcript of an Interview with Larry Ellison by Reuters on the ...
Larry Ellison relives reveals network computer netbook dream Oracle could get into the stripped down client PC business. ....... now Oracle is swallowing Sun, he could well imagine the market welcoming Java-powered netbooks.
Larry Ellison Gates and Microsoft compete with Oracle by offering consumers lower-priced products. Ellison and Oracle compete with Microsoft by hiring corporate spies operating through front companies, trying to pay off late night cleaning crews. ......... After conspiring with the Clinton gang to go after Microsoft - now Clinton is hitting him up to help pay for his library. ....... The guy from Oracle (NasdaqNM:ORCL) pushing national ID cards ... "in the electronic age, little privacy is left anyway" ......... in 1999, Oracle hired Investigative Group International ....... IGI....“promptly went trash-hunting” – literally prowling through dumpsters containing the garbage of trade associations and other groups friendly to Microsoft. Ellison’s response to this sleaze: “I feel very good about what we did,” he told the press. “All we did was to try to take information that was hidden and bring it into the light. I don’t think that’s arrogance. That’s public service.” .... "Hi there, can I buy you a car?" ........ a 33-year-old former employee accused of forging an email message. The woman [Adelyn Lee], who was fired shortly after an affair with Ellison, obtained a $100,000 settlement from him. ............ Ellison had previously been invited to join the year-old start-up's board of directors by the company's founder, Marc Benioff, a former Oracle employee. Then last month, Ellison, who is also an investor, was asked to resign because of a conflict of interest. The conflict? Oracle is launching a direct competitor called ............. Friends and foes alike are verbally abused by Ellison. He ridiculed America Online last year ............ Nathan Myhrvold, chief technologist at archrival Microsoft Corp., has been labeled an "idiot" by Ellison. ....... Ellison trounced the company last year by calling its products "very, very thin" and then adding: "You think everybody will start their day with a Netscape logo? No way. It's not going to happen." .......... -- one must wonder if we would actually choose to trade a Bill Gates dictatorship for Larry Ellison's form of technological totalitarianism. ............ Oracle has funded or supported numerous groups that have attacked Microsoft in recent years, such as ProComp, the Progress & Freedom Foundation, the Software & Information Industry Association, and the Computer & Communications Industry Association.......... crass behavior and pompous posturing. The highlight was his phony threat to lead a takeover of Apple. Retire to your mini-Japanese-village estate in Woodside, Larry. Let your teenage son fly around in the jet fighter you gave him for his birthday. Spend your billions. But please shut up ............ Larry Ellison, CEO of Redwood Shores-based Oracle Corp., is constructing a 23-acre Japanese-style imperial villa that will feature 500 mature cherry, maple, ginkgo, and other trees; 5,000 tons of Yuba River boulders; about 81,000 cubic yards of prime dirt; 10 buildings, including a 7,800-square-foot main residence; ponds, hills, islands, and a 2.7-acre main pond with a 3,200-foot shoreline that's fed by two waterfalls cascading from an upper level pond. Reportedly, the chateau has more than doubled in price to about $100 million
Larry Ellison Biography -- Academy of Achievement Ellison was born in the Bronx, New York. At nine months, he contracted pneumonia ....... raised in a two-bedroom apartment on the city's South Side ....... As a boy, Larry Ellison showed an independent, rebellious streak and often clashed with his adoptive father. From an early age, he showed a strong aptitude for math and science, and was named science student of the year at the University of Illinois. ......... enrolled at the University of Chicago the following fall, but dropped out again after the first semester. His adoptive father was now convinced that Larry would never make anything of himself, but the seemingly aimless young man had already learned the rudiments of computer programming ......... Berkeley, California, arriving with just enough money for fast food and a few tanks of gas. For the next eight years, Ellison bounced from job to job, working as a technician for Fireman's Fund and Wells Fargo bank. As a programmer at Ampex, he participated in building the first IBM-compatible mainframe system. ........ Codd's employers saw no commercial potential in the concept of a Structured Query Language (SQL), but Larry Ellison did. ........ Ellison and his partners won a two-year contract to build a relational database management system (RDBMS) for the CIA. The project's code name: Oracle. They finished the project a year ahead of schedule and used the extra time to develop their system for commercial applications. ........... In 1980, Ellison's company had only eight employees, and revenues were less than $1 million ......... The million dollar company was becoming a billion dollar company. Ellison renamed the company Oracle Corporation, for its best-selling product. ........... Oracle went public in 1986, raising $31.5 million ......... zealous young staff habitually overstated revenues, and in 1990 the company posted its first losses. Oracle's market capitalization fell by 80 percent and the company appeared to be on the verge of bankruptcy ........ Oracle 7, released in 1992, swept the field and made Oracle the industry leader in database management software. In only two years the company's stock had regained much of its previous value. ......... In 1998, Ellison and Sayonara won the Sydney to Hobart race, overcoming near-hurricane winds that sank five other boats, drowning six participants. ......... His own yacht, Rising Sun, over 450 feet long, is one of the largest privately owned vessels in the world. ........ the 1990s. America's banks, airlines, automobile companies and retail giants all came to depend on Oracle's database programs. ....... Oracle became a pioneer in providing business applications over the Internet. Oracle benefited hugely from the growth of electronic commerce; its net profits increased by 76 percent in a single quarter of the year 2000. ........ 2004, Ellison set out to increase Oracle's market share through a series of strategic acquisitions. Oracle spent more than $25 billion in only three years to buy a flock of companies and large and small, makers of software for managing data, identity, retail inventory and logistics. ....... in the depths of a global recession, Ellison once again acted boldly, acquiring computer hardware and software manufacturer Sun Microsystems for $7.4 billion. Oracle is now the world's largest business software company, supplying all 100 of of the Fortune Global 100. ...... Since its founding, he has been Oracle's only Chief Executive Officer.
Pillar Data - Larry Ellison's other storage company • The Register Pillar Data is backed by Larry Ellison's personal investment vehicle, Tako Ventures, possibly to the tune of half a billion dollars. ....... Come the end of the recession, he can make a decent return on his investment by getting the company to IPO. Or, he could broker a deal one day to fold Pillar into Oracle.
Can Oracle survive Larry Ellison? - CNET News His senior management team is woefully depleted, with the loss over the past several years of Ray Lane, Gary Bloom, Robert Shaw, Randy Baker, Polly Sumner and many more. Not only is there no one at the top to challenge the often-mercurial Ellison, there is no clear successor to take over in an emergency. ...... a nearing-60 CEO who indulges in high-risk behavior and whose interest in his company is fitful. Two years ago, he told the Oracle AppsWorld conference that if he had to do it over again, he'd probably go into genetic engineering rather than computing. After three generations of computing (mainframes, client-server and Internet), "there will be no new architecture for computing for the next 1,000 years," he proclaimed. "The computing industry is about to become boring." ....... most of Oracle's problems are internal, related to its loss of management at the top, its alienation of everyone from customers to partners, its conflict-ridden culture that sucks energy into the black hole of corporate politics and, last but not least, the flawed personality of the Oracle himself, Larry Ellison. ........ he owns one-fourth of its stock and has a relatively weak board of directors ........ his propensity for fast jets, fast cars and sleek yachts ..... One wonders if he can even conceive of Oracle's existence without him. ...... "It's unclear if Oracle is a sustainable enterprise without Larry, because his personality is so firmly entrenched." ....... an aggressive, expansionist management style works, as long as you're winning. ........ With or without Ellison, his company's future seems so murky that even the ancient Delphic oracle could not predict it.
The Difference Between God and Larry Ellison: *God Doesn't Think ... - Google Books Result Larry Ellison started the high-flying tech company Oracle with $1,200 in 1977

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Stephen Hawking Has Taken Sick

I was not around when Newton was around, I was not around when Einstein was around, I missed those dudes by a few centuries combined in passing, but I have been around when Stephen Hawking has been around, and the thought gives me tickles.

My introduction to Hawking was through his book, A Brief History Of Time. I first read it during my Class 10 year, which ordinarily would have been the sophomore year of high school in the American system, except I went to this school in Kathmandu founded by the British, and we did both the Nepali high school thing - high school ended after 10, not 12 years - and the British O and A Levels (a guest speaker one day talked of "A Levels and B Levels," this top doctor dude), long story short, we would end up having 13 years of school. We got told that really prepared us for college. And the O and A Levels came by way of the Cambridge University Board. Hawking was a professor there. That's stretching it, but still. (My Relationship With Ashton Kutcher)

I understood the book during the first reading. It read like a novel, I was able to follow all its concepts: that same year I also read Ted Sorensen's Kennedy, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez' One Hundred Years Of Solitude. I have been claiming my physics smarts ever since. Around the same time I came face to face with the anti-Madhesi prejudice warps that existed and exists to this day in Nepal and when it came my way by way of the school administration, it felt like waking up to gravity, something fundamental, something that had been around a while, something now whose presence I felt acutely, but lacked any vocabulary to express, more, lacked any power to do something about it. The power was to come two decades later when I threw myself into the Madhesi Kranti in Nepal from the safety of New York City.

I acquired a physics like fascination for social reality. Before I got hit by the social gravity, I wanted to be a medical doctor, that was the first thing I wanted to be in life. Then I realized I don't need a microscope to see germs, I could see them with my naked eyes.

I feel like I am both a high school and a college dropout. I was emotionally absent the final three years of high school, and the final four years of college: I did five years, it is called changing your major too many times.

Group Dynamics

And Hawking speaks to me more today than ever before. Well, I am a tech startup guyperson.

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