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Microsoft

Microsoft Launches 'Channel 9' Blog 311

Posted by michael
from the let's-all-fly-the-plane dept.
Decaffeinated Jedi writes "As reported by News.com, Microsoft quietly launched Channel 9, a blog/discussion forum aimed at improving communication with outside developers, on Tuesday. Named for the audio channel that many airlines use to let passengers listen in on crew conversations during flight, Channel 9's creators state the following in a welcoming message: 'Five of us in Redmond are crazy enough to think we just might learn something from getting to know each other...Join in, and have a look inside our cockpit and help us fly the plane.'"
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Microsoft Launches 'Channel 9' Blog

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  • by Space cowboy (13680) * on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:13PM (#8786356) Journal

    Microsoft are going to ditch the NT mega-kernel and use Plan 9 instead. These are the first tentative steps in the migration from the huge monolithic NT ring-main to the elegance that is Plan 9. [deep voice] From the people who brought you Unix, PLAN 9 [/voice] Da da daaaaaaah bom-bom bom-bom bom-booom

    Simon :-)

  • by Lasuuco Tulkas (598141) * on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:13PM (#8786362)
    I give you 7 of 9 [msdn.com]
  • Not sure just how quiet it can be now that it's being seen by MILLIONS OF USERS EVERY MINUTE.
  • Does registration require removing my shoes?
  • Thank you (Score:5, Funny)

    by Maljin Jolt (746064) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:16PM (#8786400) Journal
    Join in, and have a look inside our cockpit and help us fly the plane.'

    I would not fly a constantly crashing plane anymore.

    • Huh? (Score:4, Funny)

      by M.C. Hampster (541262) <M.C.TheHampster@NOSPaM.gmail.com> on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @08:01PM (#8786891) Journal

      Huh? Is this a joke or something? Well, if it is a joke, I just don't get it. Oh.. wait, is this a joke about Microsoft? Perhaps about Windows? Wait, that might be it. Windows crashing right? Is that the joke? Are you saying Windows crashes a lot and making a joke about that? Oh, yeah, wow. That is funny. Wow. Good stuff. I'd mod you up if I could because I wouldn't have thought of something that funny. No, my humor is much more dull than jokes about Microsoft Windows crashing. Heh. I probably would have made some dumb joke about a blue screen. Not very original. But, wow, a joke about it crashing is much funnier.

      Thank you so much.

  • by Bobdoer (727516) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:16PM (#8786403) Homepage Journal
    The most important operating system is not Windows.
    Finally Microsoft figured it out.
    • Re:First Headline (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      They claim it isn't a marketting ploy, but right here [msdn.com], they paraphrase The Cluetrain Manifesto [cluetrain.com] calling it the Channel 9 Doctrine. What a transparent grab for positive press. If they really wanted to "Learn by listening. When our customers speak, learn from them. Don't get defensive, don't argue for the sake of argument. Listen and take what benefits you to heart." Microsoft would have fixed the glaring security holes that the open source community has been pointing out for years a very long time ago.
      • Re:First Headline (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Frizzle Fry (149026) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @08:53PM (#8787393) Homepage
        If they really wanted to... Microsoft would have fixed the glaring security holes that the open source community has been pointing out for years a very long time ago

        Which is funny because at the same time they are talking about listening, they are also working on the next service pack for their flagship product, and the whole service pack is focussed on nothing but security. But of course, you won't count that since it would get in the way of your complaining.
  • by The_Rippa (181699) * on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:17PM (#8786412)
    I spend enough of the day on slashdot and fark.

    I don't have time to listen to Codekeeper Willie talk about typesetting and anthropology.
  • Proceed to put your head between your legs and kiss your ass goodbye...
  • Not surprising... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thesolo (131008) * <slap@fighttheriaa.org> on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:19PM (#8786428) Homepage
    Let me preface this by saying that I'm not trying to sound snide or rude. That said, there are several things on the page that don't display properly in browsers other than WinIE, like Opera & Firefox, such as the top bar of the poll on the right. Fix that, and maybe I'll consider going back. Until then, not worth my time.
    • Since it is running on IIS they have to use .asp and probably some custom software. If it were any other company, they could've used an already existing php forum to do this, but I'm betting that wasn't an option for their web admins.

      Regardless, this could actually be a useful site. I hope people don't flame it into submission after this slashdot posting.
      • by thesolo (131008) * <slap@fighttheriaa.org> on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:34PM (#8786599) Homepage
        Since it is running on IIS they have to use .asp and probably some custom software.

        The back-end language & web server shouldn't matter. You should still be able to generate a standards-compliant page that looks great in modern browsers. Instead, their front page has 366 errors [w3.org] on it.

        Now, I'm not one of those people who insists every page has to validate, but this is just sloppy. MSDN, not just Channel 9, reeks of it, too. I suppose one could argue that you can't blame them, as they are Microsoft, so of course they're going to code to their browser, but I don't buy that argument.
        • As others have pointed out, Slashdot has over 500 errors on the current frontpage. However it does look good in any browser, unlike this site.

          Still, Slashdot's HTML is pretty aweful. They are coding to the browsers instead of the standards just as much as MS is - they've just chosen more than one browser.
        • Re:Not surprising... (Score:2, Informative)

          by MoronGames (632186)
          "Instead, their front page has 366 errors [w3.org] on it."

          They probably use FontPage. Coincidence? I think not!
    • That said, there are several things on the page that don't display properly in browsers other than WinIE, like Opera & Firefox...
      That's right. I just went to the site with Firefox and firewall mentions that WMP wants to load. I say no thank you at which point browswer locks up solid. Not nice.
      • Very odd, my copy of Firefox didn't lock up at all. It's even funnier when I try visiting that page with Firefox in Linux; clicking on any of those embedded videos takes me to Microsoft's WMP download page. :)
    • That's some fugly HTML. I like the nested P, DIV and TABLE tags... eww.

      There are a lot of errors (not just MSIE specific attributes,which I can't expect MS not to use), but quite a bit of those validation errors are "rules" that are not really necessary.

      For example, while ALT tags are good, they are really not necessary for spacer images, purely eye candy elements, etc. I'm big on HTML standards, but you just don't need ALT tags on every image...
    • I love when you try to start a movie (using FireWhatever of course), it asks if you want to install and run the controls. If has the most deliciously ironic sentence:
      Caution: Microsoft Corporation asserts that this content is safe. You should only install/view this content if you trust Microsoft Corporation to make that assertion

      OK- who among you really answered Yes to that? I mean, if Microsoft said it's safe then it must be, right?

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Here's the problem:

      I'm not able to use Channel9 to communicate because I'm getting the following error:

      "The file "wmpplugin.exe" is of type
      application/x-msdownload (Binare Executable), and
      Mozilla does not know how to handle this file type.
      This file is located at:
      http://download.microsoft.com/..... etc.

      I'm running SuSE Linux 8.1 with Mozilla as my browser.

      No, I'm not trying to be smart-alecky, nor do I have an 'agenda', I'm just hoping to converse and I'm prevented from doing so by the site.

      Just wonderi
  • Hey Peter! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Mr Z (6791) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:20PM (#8786440) Homepage Journal

    Ok, someome please tell me I'm not the only one who heard Lawrence's voice from Office Space, [imdb.com] yelling "Hey Peter! Check out Channel 9! Breast exam!"

    --Joe
  • What's with the BeOS person icon in the upper left hand corner?
  • The top video (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Zegnar (704768)
    That 'Bill Hill' guy is very charismatic...

    Two points: 1: I really like to see this sorta thing from big companies, gives them a personal touch. That's why Google is so good - not afraid to be more personal and real.

    Also, M$ must be sucking bandwidth streaming those videos to every slashprole. :) Every byte helps up their server bill (Anyone got any info on how much bandwidth microsoft/msdn.com uses? And what it's hosted on?)
    • by Anonymous Coward
      it's hosted on a distributed network of zombie windows machines
  • the irony of this (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dr (93364) * on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:22PM (#8786472) Homepage
    When listening to Channel 9 on United, you aren't actually listening to the internal cockpit communications you are listening to the cockpit's communications with the terminal and centre controllers. And that's where the irony is; the controllers are telling the pilot(s) where to go and what altitude to fly at, etc, that is, ATC has the real control of how things pan out. So while you might be helping to fly the plane [into the ground] you really have no say in how the plane gets to it's destination. And, furthermore, the real irony is that all this communication and procedures that the passenger is listening to is something that basically hasn't changed in the past several decades.

    Maybe you have to be a pilot to fully understand what I mean.
    -dr
  • by Mr. Darl McBride (704524) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:22PM (#8786477)
    More than half the guys list their positions as "technical evangelist."

    If you want to reach more folks: Can we instead talk to a developer who wants to talk about the best way of doing things, rather than someone whose job is to come up with problems where MS is the solution?

    • More than half the guys list their positions as "technical evangelist."

      At what point did Microsoft become a religeon? I have never liked their usage of the word "evangelist" in job titles. At some point they're going to cross the line and send someone to my house to knock on my door with something they call a "bible" (it'll probably be blue, cryptic and the book won't open properly). But all kidding aside, IMO, that's kinda wierd. I always laughed at those web sites [egomania.nu] about how Bill Gates was the devil
      • Microsoft IS a religion. Talk to any MS employee and sooner or later you realize that. They all have that cult mentality.
      • Correct me if I'm wrong, but the term evangelist was first invented by Apple. It's now standard across the industry, virtually all big tech companies have "evangelists". If you want to accuse Microsoft of being a religion, you need to look to the whole industry.

        Microsoft bashers: your prompt for comments about copying Apple above.
    • The sad fact surrounding this post is that MS is not trying to reach folks, it's probably a site devoted to try to pull the linux on desktop people back to windows. See the fancy Wiki? See the link to developers? A clever impersonation of the open development model, when in fact it's the same bottom line.

      The funny part about channel9.msdn.com is that it outlines why security will never be M$'s forte. The development cycle (which they partially outline) doesn't give enough freedom for fixing of bugs and
    • Can we instead talk to a developer who wants to talk about the best way of doing things, rather than someone whose job is to come up with problems where MS is the solution?

      Are you actually familiar with the job description of the title? It might be a position of advocating external standards (i.e., HTML) internally, thinking all day of Microsoft products that can be improved with it. If so, they would be the right people to talk to.

  • I hate this ... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:23PM (#8786482)
    'Five of us in Redmond are crazy enough to think we just might learn something from getting to know each other...Join in, and have a look inside our cockpit and help us fly the plane.'

    This sort of "gee whiz we're just regular guys, we're going to let you peek under the tent" sort or pr-marketing speak rings so false and just raises my BS detectors to max.

    I spent years dealing with Apple's evangelists and while they'd do this sort of thing occasionally usually they were smart enough enough to treat their developers as being vaguely intelligent

    • 'Five of us in Redmond are crazy enough to think we just might learn something from getting to know each other...Join in, and have a look inside our cockpit and help us fly the plane.'

      PULL THE NOSE UP! PULL THE NOSE UP! WE'RE GONNA CRASH!!!! NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

      Segment fault at <a very personal memory address>

    • Re:I hate this ... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Queuetue (156269) <[moc.kitsatnap] [ta] [ttocs]> on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @08:05PM (#8786936) Homepage
      Did you notice #s 6 and 7 on thier "channel 9 doctrine"?

      6. Don't shock the system. Lasting change only happens in baby steps.
      7. Know when to turn the mic off. There are some topics which will only result in problems when you discuss them. This has nothing to do with censorship, but with working within the reality of the system that exists in our world today. You will not change anything by taking on legal or financial issues, you will only shock the system, spook the passengers, and create a negative situation.
    • That's what I thought at first, too -- an orchestrated PR effort -- but honestly, that site is too badly done. There's no way this is an official MS project.
  • Scorchio! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:25PM (#8786503)
    Fallejeha fallejehe fallejehe, Chris Waddle

    Boutros boutros ghali

    (Or do you mean a different Channel 9?)
  • by lazuli42 (219080) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:25PM (#8786514) Homepage Journal
    Here's a few things I noticed after spending about three minutes on the site.

    1. The site doesn't present well in Firebird 0.8. The fonts are tiny and distorted.
    2. Many of the quotes on the page are, at best, sycophantic. "Great job Bill!" gushes one 'impartial developer'.
    3. Voting for the third option in the poll (this site sucks, but I'll be back later to see how it develops) causes Firebird 0.8. to immediately exit.

      Bleagh...
    • by Zegnar (704768) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:27PM (#8786526)
      1.Works fine here in Firefox.
      2.That quote refers to Bill Hill, not Gates.
      3.And no, it doesn't. Update to a decent build.

      If there's one thing people hate, it's when you solve their problems, eh.
      • I'm using FireFox, and it was screwy for me too. Are you using a nightly?
      • 1. looks horrible(well, nice if you don't try to do any READING of the tiny fonts).

        and the site seems geared more towards "hey look at our faces" than anything else.

        It's not like even the pilot in an airplane has any say on in where the plane is headed and if some passanger tries to make a change of plans his a criminal.
        .
      • 1. You must be very forgiving. It looks like crap in my 0.8 Firefox browser on Windows 2000.
        2. My mistake, I was assuming it was directed towards You Know Who.
        3. Well, it's good that it works in Firefox for you, but I tried visiting the site again and I had a lockup issue.
        • 1. It looks almost exactly the same in Firebird for me as it does for IE. Which is to say it looks like crap. But to be fair, it looks like crap in both browsers and not just Firebird.

          3. No crash here. Though I find it interesting that you would blame the site for crashing the browser instead of a bug in the browser...
    • I have Firebird 0.7. The fonts work fine for me. You know you can adjust them with mouse gestures.

      In any case, I didn't go any further in the site. I didn't have the right plugins. For some reason I was expecting a blog, what I got instead was a colorful MTV-wannabe multimedia web site. I guess it's technically a blog, but it's certainly not my idea of a blog.

  • ...though, it's just as likely a marketing ploy. After all, Microsoft is not a young company anymore;
    1. "Fellas, we've been looking over your TPS reports, and it's obvious that someone has to deal with the customer -- you know, the folks that aren't us. A few of them have this funny idea they can make software without us. We've decided that someone is you...over here...should do something, something important and somehow sensitive. You are sensitive, aren't you? Do something with this 'hip' [fingers quo
  • Spooky. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Trejkaz (615352)
    Channel 9? The funny thing is Channel 9 television in Australia merged with MSN to become NineMSN. It seems that Microsoft have this weird nine fetish.
  • Video Blog (Score:5, Interesting)

    by niai (310235) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:28PM (#8786535)
    The videos are much more interested to watch than the text is to read. I get a much better feel about what the person is saying through expression, tone, etc. It's obviously more natural to get information from someone in this way than through text.
  • That site is crap! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AstroDrabb (534369) * on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:29PM (#8786546)
    What a crappy site. It doesn't render properly with Mozilla/Firefox and as soon I went to the page, I was hit with a bunch of ActiveX controls trying to run. No thanks. Maybe if they want to try to interest other developers in MS, they should NOT REQUIRE MS stuff. The main page has more then 300 HTML errors according to W3C [w3.org]. Come on now. It is not hard to make a little HTML, honest! There is no coding involved. Oh, and this site is .Net. You can see what great standards compliant HTML MS's Web Forms spit out.
    • 378 by my count, although Slashdot (520) [w3.org] doesn't seem to have much to brag about either.
    • I gotta agree.

      The idea is nice -- allow feedback from gurus directly to your dev people. Damn good idea, one of the nicest things about open source.

      That site, however, is *awful*. I don't think I've been on a website that is quite that atrocious for a long time.

      I'm using FireSomething with the font size jacked up, and believe me, that site does not cope well.
    • Totally agree. I middle-clicked the link in Firefox to open it up in a new tab and the browser crashed. Now I know Firefox is still beta but I have never seen it choke on a webpage before, kinda fitting that it would be from a MS site aimed at developers. I guess I'll wait until Channel 9.3
      • I middle-clicked the link in Firefox to open it up in a new tab and the browser crashed.

        Hmm... and this is the web site's fault? Sounds like your browser might not be very robust to me...

  • Daviid: Quando es il dejeuner que la nyktos?
    La Rutha: O no. Aga non es functivo, ma microsoftos destructivos la dejeuner.
    Daviid: De nada. Mater que pater beefsteak cuisinarti tel para.
    Lizabet: El parenticos favoritos!
    Alberto: Scorchio!
  • by nysus (162232) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:30PM (#8786554)
    Who does Microsoft thing they are appealing to? A bunch of 10 year olds? I'd be a little concerned about the conversation going on inside the cockpit. "Ever seen a grown man naked?"
  • by StefanJ (88986) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:31PM (#8786569) Homepage Journal
    I would try to come up with a name for it that is an acronym for "Borg," but I'm feeling really tired this afternoon.
  • Watch out! (Score:5, Funny)

    by lawpoop (604919) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:32PM (#8786571) Homepage Journal
    "...have a look inside our cockpit and help us fly the plane."

    AAAAHHHHHHH! Watch out for that giant freaking penguin that's about to eat the plane!!!!

    Aw, hell. It's too late anyway.

  • the audio channel that many airlines use to let passengers listen in on crew conversations during flight, Channel 9's creators state the following...

    Damn...Here I was thinking I'll get to see some Cubs games on MSN.
  • Man I was just going to valdalize the wiki but it gave me this error:

    We apologize, but an unknown error has occured in the forums. This error has been logged.
    • Don't vandalize wikis. I know microsoft is evil and plan 9 sounds like the dumbest thing ever, but hey, if they want to hang out and play developer involvement, why not let em?
  • The Other Channel 9 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mercuryresearch (680293) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:41PM (#8786658) Journal
    I realize the the CB craze pre-dates most slashdot subscribers (and perhaps technical evangelists)...

    On CB radios, channel 9 is the channel used for emergencies. Pretty interesting double entendre.
  • Named for the audio channel that many airlines use to let passengers listen in on crew conversations during flight, Channel 9

    I don't know if I would want to listen in on the crew.

    5. Hey dude, got anything to eat? I've really got the muchies right now.
    4. Do you smell that? <sniff> <sniff> It's like a burning smell...
    3. Dallas Tower, we have a flameout on starboard engine 2.
    2. Jesus H. Cripes, Climb! Climb!
    And the number one thing you don't want to hear on channel 9:
    1. Our Father who art i

    • My top five:

      5) I am Mohamed, we are hijacking the plane
      4) I am Marwan, we are hijacking the plane
      3) I am Hani, we are hijacking the plane
      2) I am Ziad, we are hijacking the plane
      1) Allah Ahkbar

      For those who don't know, these are the four ring leaders on each flight. Never forget what they have done. Never again!
  • by twitter (104583) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:49PM (#8786731) Homepage Journal
    We get to listen to the developers? Hopefully, we will get to listen to the guys who are really writing the software these days. That means my classmates will be able to talk to their classmates in Hyderabad, India [bizjournals.com], who are busy replacing workers in Redmond. Five years and growning [microsoft.com]. Use Microsoft and help Bill make money for these guys, but mostly himself. It's the American thing to do!

    Or you could do the evil commie thing and keep your money to yourself and help people all around the world by using free software. Hire that uneployed IT guy on your block and help a programmer make a living. You won't be sorry you did.

    Yep, that business about closed source helping programmers make money WAS A LIE. If 70 billion dollars in the bank, pema-temps and H1B slaves were not evidence enough of where this "Intelectual Property" BS was going, Hyperbad should be.

  • I'm reading these people's posts, and ... I know that slashdotters can be pretty dumb, and many of us are the type to get wedgies in high school, but we don't project a face that's that lame, do we? Geeks without the rebel in them are just ... dorks.

    Even our windows supporters are way more hardcore than those dweebs.
  • by Turmio (29215) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @08:03PM (#8786913) Homepage
    -Bono Estente
    -Bono Estente
    -Hetthethethetettethehehtehtehtehte Microsoft owns you.
    -Sminkkipinkkibangbang Bill Gates.
    (Hey, it's British humour!)
  • Reel cool guys. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sharph (171971) <sharp@sauropod.org> on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @08:05PM (#8786946) Homepage
    Wow, they are reel cool.

    http://channel9.msdn.com/ShowForum.aspx?ForumID= 13

    I recognize half those things (perticularly the CPU fan and the soda can "graveyard") as part of my life at some point in time, and I'm sure other /.ers can as well. Like I said, these guys are reel cool.
  • by multi io (640409) <olaf.klischat@googlemail.com> on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @08:11PM (#8787007)
    ...don't know NNTP :)

    Seriously, couldn't this have been handled by an additional group in the microsoft.* usenet hierarchy? Including automatic replication to servers all over the world -- for free...

  • Being from Chicago -- and happy that I can typically watch Chicago's very own ... Channel 9 (WGN) ... I have to say the first thing that I thought of was what is Microsoft doing with WGN? ...yeah, this note has been sent off to their legal department... :)
  • I'll stick with planet.debian.net [debian.net]. The people aggregated there have to deal with the the public and software at the same time. There's people working on the installer, the GUI people, and an embedded guy. Every one of these people actually maintains software for the Debian project, not just someone who's paid to be a "Technical Evangelist."
  • Ha! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SeaDour (704727)
    How funny that they chose a commercial airliner as an analogy to their new "outreach" program -- I mean, you certainly wouldn't expect the pilots of an aircraft to be taking input from the passengers on how to fly the plane, would you? Exactly. Neither does Microsoft.
  • > Join in, and have a look inside our cockpit and
    > help us fly the plane.

  • by bergeron76 (176351) * on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @11:49PM (#8788728)
    So I can pick another. For some strange reason I just don't want my flight from Atlanta to Phoenix "blue-screening".

    Uhm, ok so my reasoning isn't so strange.

  • by R3 (15929) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @01:14AM (#8789278) Homepage
    Questions that arose after a brief visit to Ch.9:

    1. Why would I "help them fly the plane?"
    2. Why would I contribute *anything* to Microsoft(positive/negative comment, let alone code) - so they could turn around and eihter sell it or maybe even use it against me?
    3. How much are Bill Hill and the rest of Microsoft alumni paid for their blog appearances and patronizing comments like "The most important operating system is not Windows"? (coming from a guy on Microsoft's payroll, this comes across as almost hypocritical)
    4. What's up with dorky one-size-too small gray golf shirts?

    Seriously, what is the point of Channel 9?

    Oh yeah, and BeOS called and it wants its color scheme back.
  • by quakeroatz (242632) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @09:28AM (#8791336) Journal
    David Becker is another clueless reporter. Channel 9 is a signalling and emergency channel used by all users of VHF/UHF/CB. It has nothing specific to do with planes or airlines. -SIGH- It's a channel anyone can use, so it assumes open use, possibly collaboration.

    Do reporters actually check on facts there days? Or just write the first thing that comes to their head after leaving the airport.
  • Scary (Score:3, Funny)

    by sbrown123 (229895) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @09:37AM (#8791411) Homepage

    'Five of us in Redmond are crazy enough to think ...Join in, and have a look inside our cockpit and help us fly the plane.'"


    The Fav Five want me to join them in their cock pit? No, I wont do it!!!

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