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How SharePoint can transform your business

How SharePoint can transform your business

SharePoint is transforming an industry. Seriously! Until a few months ago, I didn't really understand what it was and how to use it.

Fast forward a few months and I can confidently deploy a SharePoint environment and go through some basic configurations and some advance level. Yet, this post is not to educate you on how to deploy SharePoint, yet it is aimed at pointing out the business benefits of deploying such an environment (if done properly).

So, what is SharePoint? This question has evolved so much over the years that it has become almost pointless trying to make your own meaning of this question. So here is an answer from Wikipedia. "SharePoint is a web application framework and platform developed by Microsoft. First launched in 2001, SharePoint integrates intranet, content management, and document management, but recent versions have broader capabilities."

Even on the Microsoft website, SharePoint is described as a tool to help organise, collaborate and share. From my understanding, the product does all of this and more. Now that you know what SharePoint is, let us talk about how SharePoint can help transform your business.

One popular misconception is that SharePoint is only for big businesses and teams, I have found out that this is not usually the case. SharePoint is for all teams and all businesses of all industries and size. The devil is in the implementation.

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SPOTTED: Time to 'blame' someone on LinkedIn

SPOTTED: Time to 'blame' someone on LinkedIn

I was attempting to log into my LinkedIn account today as usual when I spotted what seems to be a stray message on the home page. The message simply displays false on the top right hand corner on the homepage at http://linkedin.com.

The message could have been human error if someone tried to test a feature and simply forgot to take it out or, it there really is an error on LinkedIn. It would be interesting to know what it is either way. The message doesn't seem to appear out of place as it is nested in a div with class global-error suggesting that the message has come through some sort of error messaging system for the site itself.

b2ap3_thumbnail_zoom-lie.png

Looks like someone will be getting the stick the next time LinkedIn reviews the code. It goes to show that even giant teams with multiple review processes can miss issues on large projects and this highlights the importance of multiple testing procedures. You can see the error for yourself at http://linkedin.com 

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Microsoft just took it to 100. Google is still finding it's feet.

Microsoft just took it to 100. Google is still finding it's feet.

About three years ago, Google unveiled project Glass, a wearable computer that can be interacted with using voice commands and displays the requested information to the wearer. Glass was awesome, it provided a new way to do computers, a new hands free way to communicate and share life images, as you see it.

Last week however, what was meant to be a simple unveiling of the upgrade to Windows 8 (Windows 10) turned out to be a lot more interesting than anticipated. Turns out, the Redmond based has been secretly working on a VR (virtual reality) product that takes holograms to a whole new level, if the demo and video is anything to go by.

A lot of people might be asking; isn't this this the same as Oculus VR. Well, the answer is no, because unlike Oculus, HoloLens does not completely take you away from reality, just like glass, it does however allow you to transform surfaces, fusing virtual and real world seamlessly.

Despite having a three year head start, Google project glass seems to have lost traction and it doesn't seem to have produced the sort of interaction it once promised and not a lot of people have adopted it as Google would have liked. Google still has its niche, however since I do not see people walking around with HoloLens anytime soon.

Despite this, Microsoft has truly changed the wearable and VR computing space and developed something that could hail a new era in communication, design and education. And they aren't done. I wonder what else Microsoft has in store for us with Windows 10 and HoloLens.

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Yosemite! A total catastrophe!

Yosemite! A total catastrophe!

The last time I experienced an operating system so problematic was back in 2007, when Microsoft unveiled the new operating system. For those who aren't following, that would be the abysmal Windows Vista.

Fast forward 7 years and Apple release OSX 10.10 affectionately known as Yosemite and I can't help but have the exact same feelings I had after I installed that shiny new operating system on my machine 7 years ago. BIG mistake !

BIG Mistake! That is exactly what I am saying to myself right now as the catalogue of problems are just too much for something that should be making your life easier.

A staff at a client firm recently decided to update their machines to Yosemite obviously attracted by the clean design and hype around it. This is where the problems started. Despite one of the Macs that were updated recently just been taken out of the box, immedaitely after the upgrade, it refused to start. Multiple restarts and NVRAM clearing later, it staggered to a slow start.

This was one of the first signs that this is a release of an OS akin to the release of Vista. Naively, thinking this was an isolated incident because the other machines started alright, as the systems administrator, I get a call a few days later; this time, the problem happens after one of the machines go to sleep. When you try to wake it up, it just freezes with a black screen and a mouse that is responsive but nothing else. Only a hard reset with clearing the NVRAM would work.

The machines are all connected via a server, and where I must admit server browsing is faster than when the machines where on Mavericks, server access is a massive pain.

In my genius, I decided to upgrade my Macbook pro to the same operating system, BIG mistake! Exactly the same issues, slow start up, sometimes no start up. Today, the machine refused to start for 2 hours. My only solution was to hold the power button for over a minute while shutting it down before it finally rebooted. Did I even mention the WiFi problems?

For those thinking, "it's just you". No it's not, after searching through the forums, other websites like macforums, I know this is not an isolated incident but a travesty.

Why would Apple release something that is not ready, did they not learn from Microsoft's mistake? If you are not as patient as me and believe there is a fix for everything, the folks over at Gizmodo put together an article on how to fix some of the worst offenders in Yosemite.

As for me, I have gone through it once with Vista, I am resetting the machine as we speak and downgrading it to Mavericks. It might not look as nice, but it works!

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Display 'Add to Target List' for custom module on SugarCRM 7

Display 'Add to Target List' for custom module on SugarCRM 7

We wrote recently about customising your custom module for Campaigns in our post 'Using SugarCRMs campaign module with a custom module'. This post will allow you to display the 'Add To Target List' on the list view drop down on SugarCRM 7.

To begin, follow the steps detailed in our previous blog post. If you already have, you can begin customising straight away.

  1. Add the field descriptor for the new button. Open ./modules/modulename/clients/base/views/recordlist/recordlists.php
    array(
                    'name' => 'addtolist_button',
                    'type' => 'button',
                    'label' => 'LBL_ADD_TO_PROSPECT_LIST_BUTTON_LABEL',
                    'primary' => true,
                    'events' => array(
                        'click' => 'list:massaddtolist:fire',
                    ),
                    'acl_module' => 'ProspectLists',
                    'acl_action' => 'edit',
                ),
    
  2. Add a new field to load the target lists. Open ./modules/modulename/vardefs.php. Under the fields array, add:
    'prospect_lists_name' => array(
                'name' => 'prospect_lists_name',
                'type' => 'link',
                'relationship' => 'prospectlists_modulename_1',
                'module' => 'ProspectLists',
                'source' => 'non-db',
                'vname' => 'LBL_PROSPECT_LIST',
            ),
    Replace prospectslists_modulename_1 with the name of the relationship between your module and Target Lists module.

  3. Run Quick Repair and you should be able to add a selection of records from your custom module to a target lists.

For SugarCRM consulting, use our contact form or request a call back.

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Using SugarCRMs campaign module with a custom module.

Using SugarCRMs campaign module with a custom module.

This post will show you an easy and sure fire way to get your custom person module working with SugarCRMs campaign and target list module. This has been tested in Sugar version 7.2

Please note that you will need to have a access to the SugarCRM files to be able to complete this tutorial successfully.

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Accelerate your site with Cloudflare

Accelerate your site with Cloudflare

CloudFlare Railgun™

As a CloudFlare Optimized Partner, we are thrilled to offer the CloudFlare Railgun™ technology to all our customers with Pro Hosting packages. Railgun is CloudFlare’s latest performance optimization technology that gives you significant improvements in site load times. To activate Railgun, log into your control panel and select Railgun “On”. Read on for additional details and instructions:

Railgun ensures that the connection between our network and the CloudFlare network is as fast as possible. Railgun achieves a 99.6% compression ratio for previously uncacheable web objects by using techniques similar to those used in the compression of high-quality video. The average website can expect a 1.43x performance increase.

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The death of the HDD is coming!

The death of the HDD is coming!

There was a time when floppy disks was all the bomb. Wait. What I'm I talking about, that was just a few years ago. I remember because I also had one of those boxes that ran Windows 95 and used floppy for storage.

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We will soon have to pay for privacy?

We will soon have to pay for privacy?

As the winds of change shifts one more time with the rate of change of information flow, a new trend is beginning to emerge. As members of a fast paced social media and smart phone world, we are constantly releasing more information about ourselves than we would normally share with a wandering stranger.

b2ap3_thumbnail_phone-dimensions.pngNow adays, everything is analysed, sleep time, wake time, what apps we use the most, how long do we spend on Facebook or Twitter or G+. It seems we cannot browse our favourite social networks without giving away so much information about ourselves. Facebook was recently outted for performing a wide scale pyschology experiment on some members of the social network.

Then comes a company whose business model is based on protecting smart phone users from what is beginning to seem like a never ending suivallance world. SGP a joint venture between Silent and GeekPhones just recently released a privacy and security focused smart phone called the BlackPhone. This is the first glimpse of what it would look like when we start paying for privacy with the phone retailing at £367.79($629) minus any import fees.

It seems again the state of the internet has created yet another completely different industry and companies are thriving. There is the Tor Browser the firefox based web browser by the Torproject provide a semi private internet and also Black phone by Boeing that promises secure communication and modularity.

If privacy and security is on your mind and you also don't mind the price tag, you can be sure to pick up one of these security enhanced smart phones and return back to the days when your information was truly yours.

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3D Model Creation: LOW POLY Warrior

3D Model Creation: LOW POLY Warrior

warriorturntable

Here is a low poly character I created in order to gain more practice with 3d modelling. Such a model would be used in something like an MMO game where low resolution models are needed in order to compensate for the amount of objects on screen .

The details are then painted in the textures to make the models looked more high resolution. Which is the next thing that this model needs.

Here are some more images alongside the reference drawings.

frontsidebysidejpg

lowaxe

head

Thanks for reading
Will E. Buckley

Youtube | https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPyFOBdu4kPsPG49rM6wpmA
Twitter | https://twitter.com/willebuckley

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UPDATE: Back Again

UPDATE: Back Again

Time for an update! 

The blog has been a bit dormant over the last couple of months however this doesn't mean I have. University exams have had my attention the last month or so but I have still been working so get ready for an explosion of progress.

I’m very excited to share what I've been doing and my plans for the future months. This will truly be a summer of animation!

Here is a small preview:

Camera Based Motion Capture:
This is something I have aimed to achieve since the beginning and I'm excited to show you my progress.

mocappointsmocapcode

Destruction Simulation:
Dynamic destruction capable in 3dsMax

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3d Printing:
One of the best technological developments recently is the rise of the 3d printer. I am proud to say that one be freely available here at GX5 and I am very excited to play with it. The possibilities are endless from iPhone cases to stop motion armatures and I can't wait to show you what I create.

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AND A LOT MORE!

So watch this space over the summer for more updates!
Thanks

Youtube | https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPyFOBdu4kPsPG49rM6wpmA
Twitter | https://twitter.com/willebuckley

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5 ultra important components for Joomal!

5 ultra important components for Joomal!

Ever heard the saying don't go to a job without the proper tools? No? Yeah you are right that is probably not a saying. Nonetheless, we are going to take a look at 5 proper tools for building a successful Joomla! website. Minus the Joomla! software of course.

For those who don't know, Joomla! is a Content Management System (CMS) used to create dynamic sites. Infact, Joomla! is one of the most popular CMS in the entire world powering everything from government sites to powerful newspapers. Entire companies have been built around this software and its extensibility.

One of the main appeals about Joomla! is that you can extend easily. There are over 8000 extensions built capable of turning your once bare Joomla! site into a powerful business tool.

8000 though is a huge number and not all of those extensions are any good. Some however, are simply amazing. I am going to offer advice on five Joomla! extensions that you should have with every installation. You website will still work if you don't have these, but you are probably missing out on a lot of functions if you don't.

Click Next to begin browsing.


Admin Tools

b2ap3_thumbnail_admintools.jpgSecurity needs to be at the forefront of everything you do when it comes to a website these days. AdminTools is a backend tool that allows you to manage certain security features of your Joomla! installation.

It will check to make sure that your site is up to date and will provide you with the tools required to plug those easy target vectors. It will even give you the chance to change your Joomla! database prefix just in case your forgot when you installed the site. One really neat, tool is the ability to also change the Super user ID from the default one.

AdminTools is published by Akeeba Limited and it's free. There is also a paid professional version if you want more features. Check it out on the Extension Directory


eXtplorer

b2ap3_thumbnail_extplorer.jpgSooner or later the time will come when you have to get your hands dirty and do some actual heavy lifting. No, I don't mean lift your Joomla! website. It's still code afterall. What I meant is make some hard coded modifications.

You could wait until you have access to an ftp client or you could use what I would simply describe as "an extremely powerful" component to access your files and edit them in real time. If you haven't used eXtplorer before, you are missing out on a lot. It's fast, fluid and does not require you to expose your websites ftp settings unlike the built in file manager. What's more, it comes with a robust code editor with syntax highlighting capabilities.

I could go on but then again, where is the joy in that. Head over to the Extensions Directory and download it today. It's free.


jQuery Easy

b2ap3_thumbnail_jquery-easy.pngWe couldn't have this list without adding jQuery Easy into it. It simply wouldn't be right. Many, many components come with really cool effects and with those effects come a price. Multiple calling of the jQuery library. jQuery is amazing and allows web developers to do amazing thing really quickly. But what happens when you are calling many different copies on page load? Well ....... ....... ........ Precisely!

You don't want that, plus, it looks really untidy and could cause problems. This is where jQuery Easy comes in. In an ideal world where all your components were programmed to Joomla! standards, jQuery Easy would gobble up all those calls to jQuery libraries and simply offer you with one version of your choosing. This plugin is literally genius. It shed tons of valuable milliseconds off your page load and ensures your extensions that rely on jQuery are getting a clean working version. It's even backwards compatible.

You can find jQuery Easy on the JED. Again, it's absolutely free!


Xmap

b2ap3_thumbnail_xmap2-new-sitemap2.pngIf you are looking for any sort of sitemap functionaility, look no further than Xmap. Infact, Xmap is so good, that it is built into the latest version of Joomla! Xmap is a sitemap generation tool that allows you to create quick links based on menus and some components in your website.

It works with Joomla Contents, Virtuemart, Mosets tree amongst other extensions. It allows you to create dynamic sitemaps with priority settings and display them in html format for your users or xml format for site engines. You can even exclude menu items from any sitemap giving you full control.

Xmap again is free on the JED.


Advanced Module Manager

b2ap3_thumbnail_boxamm.pngIf this list had ten items, the next four would also have been from this developer. No Number extensions are a thing of beauty. Elegant in design and fluid in execution of their services. Some years back when we started looking for better ways to design our Joomla! website, we stumbled upon No Number's extensions by chance. Since then, Peter van Westens components have featured a lot in the sites we build. The module manager however, really stands out.

Joomla!'s default module exclusion options are somewhat limited. They are very, very limited and unfit for purpose. The AMM is really something. It allows you to control modules "they way it should be". And there is truth in that statement. You can control where modules show up down to menu level, or operating systems, or browsers, or a host of other options that are available to you. You can even ensure that some modules only show up at certain times of the day.

What make AMM so good is that despite all of these exclusions, you do not suffer a performance penalty. As a matter of fact, when tested with the default module manager, AMM showed no visible performance penalties but it showed plenty of ingenuity and craft. This is a must have component for any serious Joomla! website.

You can download it free although there is a paid version with even more robust features. It's available on the JED.

That concludes out list. What components do you think should be here? Do you use any of the components mentioned? Comments below.

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5 Cool shortcuts you didn't know existed in Windows 8/8.1

5 Cool shortcuts you didn't know existed in Windows 8/8.1

Windows 8/8.1 has been one of the most controversial operating systems to date. Well, depending on what part of the fence you are standing on. Many love it, others don't, just as much don't understand the whole Metro UI thing and the rest well, we will leave that for another day.

If you are among the many that hold Windows 8 in high esteem, here are 5 shortcuts you wished you always knew about.

  1. Wiz through those apps. The Windows key has been given a lot more power in Windows 8. Pressing the Windows logo key and full stop (.) will allow you to cycle through open apps. Easily!
  2. Harness the power of a Microsoft mice. Ever seen those cool things Mac users do by swiping three fingers up on the Magic Mouse? Well you can do it too. Simply click the middle button on a Microsoft mice and get this ...
    open apps
  3. Share it fast! Seen something you like? You can quickly open the share charm by pressing Windows logo key + H.
  4. Lazy? In bed? Need to magnify? Well its now a lot easier to bring up the magnifier in Windows 8. Simply press Windows logo key and Plus(+) and watch the magic happen. I use this when I need to read an email with my wireless keyboard and mouse. You get the drift.
  5. Since we are on the topic of ease of access, pressing Windows logo key + U brings up the Ease of Access center. From here you can control everything from magnification to the built in Narrator.

And there you have it. Five absolutely vital shortcuts you probably didn't know about. What is your favourite shortcut in Windows 8? Comments below.

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London is best photographed at night!

London is best photographed at night!

London is one of the most beautiful city in the world. It's also the most expensive city in the world. Infact, in 2014, the Telegraph named London the most expensive to live in. However, we are not here to discuss the high prices but the beauty of the city.

London draws in millions of tourist every year and most of them are here to take in the sights and there are so many to choose from. Most people spend their time in Westminster or along the embankment. Others visit Trafalgar Square or hit Oxford and Regent Street for a spot of shopping.

I was sitting at home one day and was wondering, how does the city look when everyone is asleep. It was 3am and I needed to be in Egham at 5 anyway. 

Here are some of the amazing pictures I took Some images of Egham are included:

{imageshow sl=3 sc=2 w=100% h=450 /}

Needless to say, London is best viewed when you are sleeping. 

Dont forget , you can follow GX5 Media on Instagram for more amazing pictures.

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Why I use NetBeans for everything PHP.

Why I use NetBeans for everything PHP.

Like many of web developers I started life using dreamweaver to do all my coding. It is a robust piece of software and it's very hard for anybody to claim otherwise. However, I needed to write a custom website and I soon began to see some limitations with Dreamweavers' ability. Needless to say, I needed an alternative.

So I went onto the road undertaken by many when venturing into the unknown. I asked around some forums and searched my way through blogs. I already knew about Netbeans I just wanted to know what IDE would be great to program PHP in.

To my amazement, nobody mentioned Dreamweaver anywhere (well unless you specifically searched for it). Netbeans kept popping up as well as Sublime Text 2 and Eclipse with PDT. I am a Windows user so Sublime was out of the question.

I decided to give Netbeans a serious go, I started out by creating a simple HelloWorld application. The process was simple. I opened up the program and was immediately able to use the simple to learn controls.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Screen-Shot-2014-05-06-at-20.22.21.pngNext step, a bigger project. How well could netbeans manage a program with more than one file and how would it link it together?

Turns out, pretty simple actually. Netbeans allows you to start a PHP project and the environment settings are all PHP. Everything just seems right for coding in PHP. What I love the most though is how easily the intellisense adapts to new programming frameworks being added to the project. For example, If I was working on a new project and I created a new class, Netbeans already knows about it and I can reference the class, or namespace, or framework from another part of my application.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Screen-Shot-2014-05-06-at-20.32.34.pngAnother reason why Netbeans is just right for PHP development is the seamless integration with tools like APIGen and composer. In fact, in the new Netbeans 8.0, composer is built in to the project creation process so that you can easily state your dependencies while creating your project. If utilised, your dependencies are downloaded when you first start your project. But that's not the genius of it. You can search through every project on Github right from your IDE and simply pick the ones you want. It's genius.

Next time you are considering PHP development, consider Netbeans and see how easy it is to develop for PHP.

You can download Netbeans from here. Let us write you a program.

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Transformers Rig | Bumblebee: Free Download

Transformers Rig | Bumblebee: Free Download

This is a fully rigged 3d model of Bumblebee from Transformers using CAT in 3dsMax. I was working on getting the model animation ready and decided to share. 

The video below shows what the rig looks like:

I have made the rig available for DOWNLOAD |  Includes 3DSMax file and FBX so you can use it in Maya. Textures are also included.

I hope that you can have some fun with this rig and if you want to share what you have done, send me an email at

I will try and create a short animation just how cool this looks in motion.

Thanks for reading,
Please SUBSCRIBE and SHARE

Youtube | https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPyFOBdu4kPsPG49rM6wpmA
Twitter | https://twitter.com/willebuckley
Instagram | http://instagram.com/gx5media 

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An Introduction

An Introduction

Hey there! This first blog post is the first of many showing my progress as a 3D artist. If you are interested in seeing how 3d animation is made, want to learn or just want to support me, then please subscribe!

Who Am I?

My name is Will E. Buckley and I'm from London, England. Currently I am studying Psychology at Royal Holloway,University of London but have always wanted to be an animator. I am now teaching myself all the skills required to achieve that.

riggingpicblog

 

Aims

 

  • To share my work
  • To teach others who also want to learn
  • To get some experience as a professional
  •  

    Look forward to seeing updates, animated shorts, tutorials and more! Over time, I’m hoping that this blog will become a good demonstration of what I can do and will also serve as a place where others can learn and share!

    Please follow me on Twitter.
    Subscribe to me on YouTube (no videos as of this date, but there will be very soon)

    You can also contact me at 


    Thanks for your support,

    Will E. Buckley

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    What has Heartbleed taught us?

    What has Heartbleed taught us?

    Everyone is still reeling from the far reaching effects of Heartbleed the OpenSSL bug that has seemed to unify the internet. Millions and millions of websites and services are affected including ones you use regularly. 

    b2ap3_thumbnail_bug_buddy.pngOpen SSL is a library that allows services such as the Apache web server to make use of SSL technlogy. The bug is not in the technology itself but in the implementation. Owing to this bug, which was discovered on the 7th of April 2014, an attacker could simply by pass any idea of security and easily steal private keys, certificates and other sensitive information even though they have been protected by SSL technology.

    I myself woke up to the news on that Tuesday and we have upgraded all our services to plug this bug. It is simply staggering the impact this is having on the internet community. What is more worrying, it has been going this way for almost four years and nobody noticed. Well at least we hope that nobody noticed because the thought of it is incomprehensible.

    In the past 72 hours, I have received countless emails from service providers and other websites and it is plastered across the front page of every tech article out there. 

    Where do we go from here?

    We shouldn't all just decide is time to jump ship and find a new standard for encryption. Anything that big is bound to have errors. Also, the bug only affected an implementation of the SSL standard and not the actual service. If it did, this blog post would be going a very different way.

    However, there are lessons learnt here about how we use software and about who should be responsible for finding issues in Open-source software. We thank the guys at Codenomicon for this life saving find.

    Want to learn more about Heartbleed? Visit the official bug page.

    The Issue has already been mitigated via an update which everyone who uses OpenSSL is advised strongly to update their version. Do you have any stories or have you been sent an email about this? We would like to know. Send us an email at  

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