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Inside Google Search

When you type something into Google Search, do you know what happens behind the scenes ? Let’s say you type ‘abc’ as shown below :

You get a list of values starting with ‘abc’ or with ‘abc’ within the text that you are trying to search. It seems so simple and straightforward, right ? But here’s what goes on behind the scenes :

In your machine

When you type the first letter ‘a’, this is what happens –

  1. Your keyboard code for ‘a’ goes into a keyboard buffer (temporary memory) and interrupts the Keyboard Support chip.
  2. This chip in turn raises an interrupt signal and this interrupt goes to the CPU which recognizes that the keyboard needs to be listened to.
  3. Now the CPU needs to display the letter ‘a’, so it interrupts the CRT controller chip (Display Chip), with the value ‘a’.
  4. The Display controller sends an ‘a’ to be displayed at the current cursor location. This travels through that cable which is attached to your Display, or in the case of a laptop, tablet or phone, to the display directly. The display chip is sometimes referred to as GPU (Graphics Processing Unit).

Behind the Google Search

As the Google Search is within the browser, here’s what happens.

  1. Javascript (Display programming language) accepts the input (‘abc’ in this case) and sends this input to the Google Server which is nearest to you. Note that the browser understands the Javascript language.
  2. The input now is given  to the browser, which in turn gives it to the operating system (OS) like Windows.
  3. The OS in turn will send this input to your network support chip or your network controller.
  4. From there this input (‘abc’) travels all the way to the Google servers (through wire or wireless).
  5. These servers are in a datacentre (a huge cluster of parallel servers) and the nearest server which is free to service your request will take it up.
  6. The cluster (group of servers) has a list of your previous searches and will try to return values which are closest to the input that you gave (‘abc’).
  7. This list of values is given back to your client through the same network.
  8. Once the values arrive at the client, a popup box opens up, to display all of them. This is also done in Javascript.
  9. What makes this feat possible is something called AJAX (Asynchronous Javascript and XML), a technology where a list of values is sent back as XML (Extensible Markup Language) through an asynchronous connection. (this means that the server will serve this request when it’s free)
  10. As shown in the above diagram, this is what happens behind the scenes. All of this in a jiffy. So much of data travelling from the innards of your machine to the server. So how is this possible without any delay ? The answer is Google Servers in the thousands that are responsible for delivering a swift and efficient connection.
  11. Sometimes you see a Google Server page without a network connection also. This is made possible by a local cache (local memory) which is used by Google.
  12. The server that services your request is called as an Edge Server (the server that’s closest to you geographically)

What does it mean ?

Our brains also work in a similar way, except slowly and fast. Slow – because our brains work at 50-500 bits / second, whereas the communication that we saw above happens at least at a speed of 1 Mb/ second. Fast – because our parallel neurons are much more complex than the Google data centre. Today, we learn about something called Deep Learning (a type of machine learning) which works like our brain. In Deep Learning, you emulate a neural network of say 10-20 layers. However, this is not even close to our brain, which is inherently and simultaneously parallel. But great progress is being made by advances in the field of Computer Science and sooner or later, machines will catch up with us. 15-20 years from now, give and take a few, machines will exceed a human brains capacity. No alarm bells here. Machines will be complementing us and replacing us in jobs which they do better than us. This means that we will have more time to spend on things we love to do – like say being with nature or maybe scuba diving. How the economics will work out – we do not know. But one thing is for sure – we will have a lot of time for ourselves – which means we can explore our spiritual / emotional dimensions and maybe discover that one alluring thing that evades us so subtly – our search for our Self.

 

How to treat emotions objectively

We are a bundle of the physical body, the mental mind, our emotions and a soul. A balance between all these four leads to a happy life. Let’s take emotions. Have you heard of something called EQ ? – It means the Emotional Quotient. To succeed in life a high IQ (Intellectual Quotient) is just not enough. We need a good EQ as well. Now what does that mean ? Emotions or some people call it as feelings can make or break you. Emotions are what makes us human. However, life cannot be just lived based on emotions. We feel anger and joy, we feel pleasure and pain and so on. Do you know that there are more than 100 (don’t know the exact number) kinds of emotions that we experience every day. Just like an average person has 50,000 thoughts per day – give and take some.

Given below is the Robert Plutchik  wheel of emotions

All of us have felt some or all of these emotions in a varying degree. For example, we feel sad and sometimes very sad i.e. depressed. We feel happy and sometimes very happy i.e. blissful. So why do we feel emotions – the main reason being our thoughts. Our thoughts trigger emotions. Sometimes emotions also trigger thoughts. Say you have booked movie tickets for your entire family. Feels good. When you drive to the theatre, there is lot of traffic. Suddenly the emotion that you feel is anxiety (whether you will reach there on time or not) What triggered this emotion is a thought in the mind. The thought may be saying ‘I’m so fed up with the traffic’. And subsequently you feel anxious. Anxiety can lead to rage and rage can further trigger other thoughts that are related. (for example, your rage emotion may make you recollect an incidence in the office with a colleague with whom you got angry) On and on it goes.

If you let emotions run your life, it’s going to be an expensive mistake. Work or business runs on facts and numbers. There is a space for emotions at work also, but you must keep it under check. Take for example, it’s appraisal time. If you feel that you have been rated lower than what you think, you can’t negotiate with your boss using emotions. You need to provide concrete proof that you have done what you deserve. And then also you don’t get that promotion, let it go. Learn to treat emotions objectively. Factual. You see a flower, smell it, enjoy it and move on. That is all there is to this joyful emotion. If you think that the same flower was given to you by your ex or the color red is not a good color and whatever other baggage that you have (your memories), don’t. Pull back. Learn to see things as they are and not as you want them to be.

We are strange creatures. Sometimes we are like lions and other times like a mouse. We are the only creature on this planet which can’t be defined. A tiger behaves like a tiger, an eagle goes about being an eagle. But us. We take on different roles. We pursue different interests. We have a thirst for the infinite. And we want it all, without having read the user manual for our life. Yes, we are emotional creatures. That separates us from a robot. But that won’t buy us a three course meal. There can be tumultuous emotional moments in our life. The idea is to, not let it get control over us and remember the Bible which says ‘And it came to pass …’ So enjoy this ride by treating all emotions objectively. A machine may take over your job, but it will never wonder looking at the skies, ‘Oh God, what a beautiful sunrise’. That’s what it means being human.

Meetings on my mind

In a meeting with my manager and colleagues

Catch some things said and some I miss

Thinking of when the meeting would end

Everyone has a point to append

Ten people with ten thousand views

Everyone wants to be a piece of the news

While I ask myself in this crowded place

Why do I feel lonely all these days

Finally, my turn to speak comes up

Put in my 2 cents in the tea cup

Looking for a bit of applause from here and there

And suddenly the meeting seems to be going nowhere

Thank God, someone says its over

I grab my note and head for my lair

And on my desk I find

Tasks beckoning my old mind

Think of the meeting and I frown

Things I would like to disown

But the myriad of tasks lying ahead

God, sometimes I feel like I’m dead

Then I hear the words of truth

We all got a job to do

As days go by and nights drift away

We all have promises to pay

 

Cyber Warfare – Are we ready to handle it ?

We live in a complex world. We are all so dependent on our devices like mobile phones, computers, cars and other accessories. All these tools simplify our life – or do they ? Some of us get addicted to these devices, so much so that we can’t imagine life without them. The unchecked mail, the always ringing telephone and other attention grabbing contraptions. One way, this can be defined as progress, however if it causes diseases like stress and other ailments, aren’t we going wrong somewhere ? One or two weeks in a year, we take a vacation to detox. After that, we are back in the rat race. Technology as a tool, was supposed to make our lives better, not more complex. Having said this, let me come to the subject of security.

Image result for cyber warfare images

With the explosion of tools like facebook, bebo and other social networks, the line between what is private and public id blurring. Answer this, what do you call private? Is it your deep secrets, your family, your friends – what information that matters to you do you not want to share with the world. At the click of a button, you can share that great photograph of your family and your friends family having lunch at that hotel. Now note that this information is open to your network. If you have chosen your friends carefully, this is a good thing. But imagine a negative persona getting this photograph. You know the remaining story, right !

Not to sound paranoid, the world is so full of information that it has become very easy to extract information from almost about anyone. Do you know the reason ? A chain is as strong as it’s weakest link (as the maxim goes) and the weak point here is, us. An Android or an Apple mobile phone is good to have. But do we realize the power that comes along with it. It’s like having a 24 karat gold chain (good to have) but it comes with the pandoras box. Malware is rising as time goes by – Dronejacking, DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service), Fileless programs, ransomware, zero day exploits because of vulnerabilities and many others trying to get to us – to rob us of our peace of mind. And we are vulnerable if we don’t understand how these attacks are carried out.

The next war that is being fought is – in the cyberspace. Imagine a farmer who is barely literate and receives an Android phone –

  • Is he aware that an antivirus needs to be installed?
  • Visiting some website on the browser is not safe.
  • Apps seeking more permissions than necessary can be a hidden worm.

By the way, if you look at Kaspersky Anti virus – they have claimed that a virus attacked their anti-virus program? So now if an anti-virus company had a virus, who are we to look up to ? By the way which software can you trust ?http://technospirituality.com/2016/07/do-you-trust-that-software  We just trust the big brands. One reason that Apple products are known to be better than Android is because their encryption and overall design is more secure than an open source Android. Another reason could be their market share which is 1/5th of Android. Security is a major aspect of not just these big companies (who are doing it to their best abilities) but it starts with you and me. Educating ourselves against the threat that is out there is mandatory. We harnessed nuclear power – some made electricity and some made bombs – that is the difference – choose which side of the fence you want to be.

God Bless !

Can you teach me about tomorrow ?

What have we gotten ourselves into ?

The more we explore, the less we know

Weapons piling up, insurances rising

Meet strangers without ever smiling

Brothers and Sisters fighting a losing war

Over caste, creed, religion near and far

Instead of looking in, we look outside

Thinking that mamma will always be by our side

And the God that we look up to

Dissolves in the morning dew

And rains that drop on us from the skies

Are nothing but tears flowing from His eyes

How long are we going to live this curse ?

Created by us, not the Universe

Waiting for salvation sometime in the future

Is the answer hidden in that computer ?

He only knows who created this world

What might happen, or what might be told

But no matter what happens one thing we know

Blessed are you and me and the one we adore

To the end of time wherever it may take us

Rest in His bosom, as we awaken us

To the dawning of a new Earth when we shall be free

From all that sorrow, ego and cutting of the trees

Yes, we screwed up, how many chances should He give

Because He is the most merciful and His love is free

Sorry Sir from all of us here

Please help us once more to get there

The intersection of healthcare with technology

Healthcare is the second largest industry in the world after defense. There are many people involved in the Healthcare Chain.

  • Patient
  • Doctors / Nurses / Support personnel
  • Hospitals
  • Drug makers (Pharma companies)
  • Distributors and Wholesalers
  • Chemists
  • Insurance companies

All these participants above need to work like an automobile – the accelerator and the clutch are related, the carburettor and the ignition are related, the brakes work with the tyres and so on. An automobile (Patient) works most of the time, except it breaks down at times. And you need a mechanic (Doctor) to give you say oil (Chemists) which may be sold through middlemen (Distributors and Wholesalers) and manufactured by a company (Pharma companies). Sometimes the car may have to be taken to a specialized place like a showroom, for the lack of a better word (Hospital) where the treatment will be administered by mechanics (Doctors). To get treatment you may need an insurance (in some countries) or you may pay by cash / bank / credit cards etc.

Now the role of technology – The entire ecosystem can be addressed by a ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software like say SAP (I have not used this product) To each of the above participants you may have an ERP and the software used by each of these providers may talk to each other. (integration). These systems are not standalone. They need to talk with other systems.

Let’s discuss about doctors and patients – In many countries (developed) an EMR (Electronic Medical Record) is compulsory. This is a history of the patient’s ailments and the treatment rendered to him/her. This really helps a doctor because electronic records are safer and reliable than paper prescriptions. The developing worlds like India are still to catch this trend. In the US, there are 3-4 doctors per 1000 people. In Europe, it’s more. In developing/under developed countries I do not know the ratio, but it is less. (pathetically less). We need to empower the doctors and the patients.

How do we do that? The patients always need to be monitored (real time) with say fitbits, mobile cameras etc. (that means sensors) and that leads us to big data – because a lot of these information is coming from what is called as the Internet of Things (IoT) Currently only text and voice is being actively captured. The doctors need to periodically monitor this information, in fact an AI system will be able to assist doctors. The patient data is safe (private cloud) and only the patient and the doctor can access it (encryption) Doctors front end will be an AI system which scans and tries to arrive at a solution, but the doctor may be consulted, if it can’t figure out a remedy. Predictive Analytics can show the propensity of diseases that are likely to happen.

The doctor now becomes an expert / co-worker with the technology (robot, if I may use the word) and the patient data should be personalized. Soon, pharma companies will cater medicines specific to a patient’s genome. There is a lot of work to be done in this area. (we are just at the tip of the iceberg as far as genomics is concerned) Mainstream ERP companies will work closely with platform companies for example Hadoop companies (for Big data backend), Analytics companies (for visualization and predictions) and finally integration companies (which will make it a sticky stack).

The US healthcare industry is more than 3 trillion dollars. So, you can imagine how much money is spent globally. The whole chain is very complex. The number of doctors/ hospitals must go up. Technology may fill some gaps. And by 2020, we may be able to see some personalized medicines.

My request to all

  • Let developed countries help the developing and under developed countries with technology
  • Insurance does not have to be mandatory to get treatment
  • Technology is not a replacement for doctors. They are complementary. Hence, they will be assistants. A good doctor will never be replaced by technology
  • All people in the world deserve a good health. Let’s all work towards this vision.
  • Free for one – free for all. (because brothers/sisters of the world unite)

Have written this piece in a hurry. More to follow.

God Bless !

 

The power of Social Media

Social media is very popular nowadays. News reaches first on Social Media, before TV or Newspaper catches it. So what is this phenomenon ?

 

Image result for social media images

Social media is about 2 things :

  • Creating fresh content
  • Sharing the content

With every single, post, comment, like etc. new content gets created. The need of the hour is always for new and newer content. Some people modify some content and reformulate a post. This can also be termed as fresh content, albeit with a little twist. Our romance with content goes all the way back to creation. When the Lord created this world, he also created a lot of content. He still keeps creating it. Special power was endowed upon us human beings who are good at transforming this content. For example, we created rings, necklaces, cuffs etc. from gold. The material is the same – gold. But the meaning we attribute to it has changed. No animal does this. Transposing a content from another one. The underlying content remains the same, but the form has changed. We are getting pretty good at it, but have a long way to go.

Content that is created but not shared is like a poet who wrote his poetry without letting the world around him not know about it. It’s an irony. Lot of people die on this planet with the music still in them. Hence the need to share. The more the number of audience, the more is the power of the network. This is called Metcalfe’s law. But we should also have the wisdom to know, what should be shared and what shouldn’t. The more people you are able to touch with your content, the more powerful the inherent value is, of that content. A writer doesn’t write to impress. He writes to express him/herself. When his/her creative expression rings with somebody else, an experience happens, which cannot be described. Can you tell how much a poem or an article affected you? It’s simply priceless.

Social Media began eons ago when people started writing and earlier through voice. But this was limited. The printed press enhanced the reach. The telephone made it 2 way communication. Fast forward to the year 1989. – the birth of the world wide web (Sir Tim Berners Lee) This phenomenon called the internet put the power of the content in every persons hand. But true 2 way communication happened about the year 2000. You could not only visit websites, but you could comment, like, leave your email address and do things where the communication is 2 way or push/pull. With the advent of mobile gadgets the power has precipitated to the hands of an individual. Now everyone on the internet is a potential game changer. He/She has a voice that can influence a movement.

There are many ways to go about it. There are many channels or tools available for participating in this social media phenomenon. You know the obvious ones – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat, WhatsApp and so on. All these tools provide you the power to collaborate with people. However, the nature of their content is different. For example, you don’t post your family photos on LinkedIn or post a professional article on Facebook. Some people do that too, Note, that these tools are embracing more and more newer types of content. The distinction between a public/private post is slowly getting blurred. Language is no more a barrier as Google Translate does a pretty good job. From websites, the trend is towards apps. And in the future, the primary interface through which we will communicate will be thoughts. May take a decade or two to get there.

Thank God for all that content, the power of creation and for helping us to touch other people in ways that cannot be described, but just felt. Thank you all for creating / participating in this beautiful universe.

Hardware and Software can exist without each other – However when they come together, the result is magic

In the beginning, there was nothing. And then It breathed by its own power. This was the birth of the number ‘1’ or the Sun principle (In the Bible it’s said, ‘And God said, Let there be Light. And there was Light’) This is referred as the birth of Brahma in Hindu mythology. Brahma was born from the navel of Lord Vishnu. (who is referred to as ‘0’ or Lord  Shiva) – Absolute Silence. The birth of Brahma was followed instantaneously, by the birth of Shakti – Mother Nature. Sometimes the birth  of the Universe in folklore is also caused by Shiva’s roar (Every time Shiva Roars, the Universe comes into existence). Prakriti or Mother nature is also referred to as number ‘2’ – or the birth of the Moon. Note that ‘2’ did not come after ‘1’. ‘0’ gave birth to ‘1’ and ‘2’ simultaneously. In the Chinese traditions, the ‘Tao’ is ‘0’ and Yin/Yang are ‘2’ and ‘1’.

So, what does this have to do with Hardware and Software, you must be thinking. Well, ‘0’ means there was no hardware or software. ‘1’ and ‘2’ means the birth of hardware and software, which happened together. In binary language, this becomes ‘0’ and ‘1’.  ‘0’ is no voltage and ‘1’ means there is voltage. (flow of current) In computer parlance, ‘0’ can be -5 volts and ‘1’ can be 5 volts. To be more specific, the switching time of a transistor (between these 2 states, is say 1 nano second. Now this is exactly where the real ‘0’ (God, if you will) exists. If you notice, the switiching time will become lesser and lesser, but it cannot be instant. Instant is switching between ‘0’ an ‘1’ without any time delay. Thus, we can say that God is infinity – i.e the distance between ‘0’ and ‘1’. In other words, Infinity is absolute zero or Silence.

Let’s go a little deeper. What is Hardware ? It is anything that you can feel from your ‘5’ senses (sight,hearing,smell,touch,sound) But note that the 5 senses are limited. For example, we can’t see ultraviolet or infrared light or ‘X’-rays or Cosmic rays. We also cannot hear ultrasound or ‘Johnsons noise’. What we think of hardware is anything that we can perceive through these senses. Now this is our body – the most complex and magnanimous machine ever built by the greatest intelligence of the Universe viz. God. Do you know that there are 3 trillion cells in our body each one doing 3 trillion operations in a second ? All these are material or matter and this is our Hardware. Blood, tissues, organs, bones, water, excreta – all –  they constitute our Hardware. The heart and the brain and other support organs make sure that our Hardware is up and running all the time. (they are also Hardware)

Now comes the beautiful part – when Hardware arranges itself into complex patterns of energy – this is called Software. For example our DNA (is just 4 chemical base pairs – Adenine, Guanine, Thymine and Cytosine) is a complex pattern – this is also called intelligence – the brain is still an aggregated intelligence comprising of a group of neurons having its own DNA. This is another form of software. More complex is the mind which consists of thoughts – there are both thoughts which are local and non-local. Akashic records is memory or karma trace of the collective universal record. Individual traces are found in our brains. Intellect is the next level of intelligence which is responsible for dissection. And finally the most complex pattern – or I should say ‘No pattern’ is our Soul.

You see Hardware and Software can exist without each other, however when they are combined, the result is magic – Like, a Man and Woman are independent, but when they come together you get an experience called ‘kids’.  And I think that, this is one of God’s greatest blessing to mankind

You will always be beautiful, In my eyes …

No matter what you do, no matter who you are or in what walk of life you are, know that you are loved, beyond infinity. You really do not have to be a star or a celebrity. Whatever may be your definition of success and whether you reach it or not, please be sure of one thing – you are a special person – a limited edition. There is nobody in the Universe like you. You deserve all the happiness in the world – and be sure that you can count on that graceful Lord who is by your side, always.

Maybe life has been a rough ride. Maybe you have qualms about things or people or events. Just trust in your Self and maybe this time, things will turn out just the way you planned. Learn to persevere. Sometimes life hits you like a 40-ton brick. And all you want is mama’s arms. But behind every adversity is opportunity. Actually, there are no adversities. It’s all opportunities, which the good Lord keeps sending our way.

Round and round it goes – know that there is a divine plan behind this all. Trust in Jesus, Allah, Krishna or whoever you pray to. Make sure that you pray. His/Her ways are magnificent. We cannot try to figure it out. Maybe the dots do not connect now – but believe that, it will, someday in the future. So, hang in there. Go drink a lemonade from the lemons that life has given you, although you like apples. You will be drinking apple juice one day. Very Soon. (Just wait for a while).

Thank God for what you have been given. Don’t look at what you don’t have. There is no end to that. All material things are subject to change. Do not define your happiness by material things. For example, that car that you just bought may become mediocre after 1 month of use. This kind of happiness is temporary. Base your happiness on the Lord. Because amidst this changing world, He/She never changes and neither does His/Her love.

So let me a see a smile on your face because you will always be beautiful in my eyes. (says the Lord)

Thanks : Joshua Kadison / Steve Jobs

Why you should be bullish on India ?

Today I saw, Mr. Adi Godrej (Godrej Industries) on a TV Channel saying that he is very bullish on India’s prospects. In fact, he mentioned about a possibility of India growing at double digits in the next year or in the years to come. Made me think. So here’s my take :

IMF had predicted a 7.6% growth for India in 2016-2017. This became 7.1% due to demonetization. (real numbers we will get to know by end of the fiscal) If you look at the entire global economy, there are so many volatilities that 7.1% also seems to be an impressive rate of growth. But the best is yet to come, I believe, for the following reasons.

  1. Demonetization – Blessing in Disguise.

The government has made a bold move to discontinue old currency to curb black money from the system. This has opened the skeleton box of unaccounted money and brought it to the limelight. Of course, all of the unaccounted money is not out, but it’s a boon for the hardworking Indians who pay taxes.

  1. Cashless Society

This is the corollary of the above. The government is pushing all Indians towards a cash free society (in turn leading to less of unaccounted transactions and ease of use) All those who have a mobile phone are eligible to benefit from this move. Also now all transactions can be monitored to the last penny. India has already employed Aadhar (The largest digitization of a nation on the planet) and 90% of people (who have Aadhar) till now can be benefitted by this (for example, a person can easily open a bank account with his Aadhar details)

  1. GST

With GST (likely to be implemented from July 2017 onwards) there will be one single umbrella of the tax man making it easier to transact for any particular situation. Today, the taxes are so complex and there are also loopholes (legal) which people tend to use to avoid taxes. GST will hopefully put an end to this. It’s very unfortunate to note that a majority of the people do not pay taxes. GST will make them willing contributors – at least that’s the aim. However, the devil is in the details. The implementation will show us where the rubber meets the road.

  1. IT industry smiling even when things are looking uncertain.

India is an exporter of IT products and people. With US being 60% of its revenue, 30% from Europe and 10% remaining, it’s true that when US sneezes, the world catches a cold. However, with the recent changes in US (Cap on H-1B’s, immigrants etc) things may look a little uncertain. The India IT companies are addressing the risks bravely. For example, employing Americans on-site. The start up phenomenon in India is rising. Soon, there will be lot of products for local consumption, as in the past also, there have been many. On an average, a company spends 12-15% of its revenues for digitization. This discretionary spend is likely to increase in the coming years. Non-IT companies will start gobbling up IT companies for competitive advantage. Although the number of startup’s incubating in India (every year) is 10% of its US counterparts, this is likely to improve.

  1. Global uncertainty

This boils down to two things :

  • Natural Phenomenon
  • Phenomenon created by us

While the formal is not under our control, we can take remedial steps. For example, if there is a tsunami, we can’t do anything, except to take precautionary measures. The turnaround time to counter such disasters has to come down. So much so that, we should aim for zero casualities. If we stand united, we can achieve this. – using technology.

The second aspect is man made – for example vandalism, killing and other atrocities going under the guise of different names. Have you noticed that the media is also spreading  negative news faster than the ones which are positive. My humble request to all those disturbing the peace of the planet – please stop.

India, although being the spiritual capital of the world, has maximum number of blasts in a country, not seen anywhere in the world. My head hangs in shame. The world has to become a better place for everyone and India can show the way. Towards happiness – towards pleasantness – towards fulfillment – towards liberty – for one and for all.

And this truly would be the double digit growth that we are aiming for !!!

 

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