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LightSquared disrupts 75% of GPS receivers in govít testing
Hot Air ^ | December 10,2011 | ED MORRISSEY

Posted on 12/10/2011 6:43:10 AM PST by Hojczyk

Philip Falcone’s proposed LightSquared Inc. wireless service caused interference to 75 percent of global-positioning system receivers examined in a U.S. government test, according to a draft summary of results.

The results from testing conducted Oct. 31 to Nov. 4 show that “millions of fielded GPS units are not compatible” with the planned nationwide wholesale service, according to the draft seen by Bloomberg News.

“LightSquared signals caused harmful interference to majority of GPS receivers tested,” according to the draft prepared for a meeting next week of U.S. officials reviewing the LightSquared proposal. “No additional testing is required to confirm harmful interference exists.”

LightSquared, backed by $3 billion from Falcone’s Harbinger Capital Partners hedge fund, faces challenges from makers of global-positioning system devices who say the service will disrupt navigation by cars, boats, tractors and planes. U.S. regulators are withholding approval as they check on claims of interference.Why is this important? Philip Falcone is a big donor to the Democratic Party, and he has billions of dollars at stake in LightSquared’s approval. Also, Obama himself was an investor in LightSquared at one point, as were or are a number of his associates. The resounding failure in this test makes it look like the White House pressured witnesses to back off of exposing LightSquared’s product as exactly the kind of dangerous problem that critics had maintained all along — with the intent to mislead Congress into moving forward with LightSquared’s government contracts.

One amusing note: LightSquared announced two days ago that the same tests showed no problems at all. After Bloomberg reported on the draft report, the company expressed outrage over the “leak” of “preliminary results.” Yeah, we’re with you on the leak outrage, pal.

Congress needs to add this to its growing list of investigations into the Obama administration.

(Excerpt) Read more at hotair.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Government
KEYWORDS: falcone; fccchairman; gps; harbinger; juliusgenachowski; lightsquared; philfalcone

1 posted on 12/10/2011 6:43:13 AM PST by Hojczyk
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To: Hojczyk

This is the sort of technology that Obama might find very useful. He may deploy it immediately in an effort to boost American jobs.


2 posted on 12/10/2011 6:44:59 AM PST by ClearCase_guy (Nothing will change until after the war. It's coming.)
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To: Hojczyk

They have a solution. Throw away your, previously, good GPS and buy a new one.


3 posted on 12/10/2011 6:45:14 AM PST by DManA
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To: Hojczyk
The results from testing conducted Oct. 31 to Nov. 4 show that “millions of fielded GPS units are not compatible” with the planned nationwide wholesale service,

And the owners of those millions of fielded GPS units VOTE.

4 posted on 12/10/2011 6:46:08 AM PST by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: ClearCase_guy

It isn’t fair that some Americans know where they’re going and millions of poor Americans are completely lost.


5 posted on 12/10/2011 6:47:40 AM PST by DManA
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To: Hojczyk

From AOPA Online:

AOPA President Craig Fuller on June 23 likened a proposed nationwide wireless broadband network to a “toxic drug” that needs to be recalled.

Testifying at a joint hearing of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s subcommittees on aviation and Coast Guard and maritime transportation, Fuller noted the innovation and nimble nature of the network’s developer, LightSquared, but said, “My biggest beef is with the agency that controls the policy,” referring to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), suggesting that the agency had failed in its responsibility to “do no harm” and protect a vital national resource—GPS.

In written testimony prepared for the hearing, Fuller said, “For one agency of the federal government to have engaged in a procedural process at an accelerated pace that puts our GPS system at risk is confounding. That the same agency actually issued waivers to allow a company to proceed in the face of clear and substantial objections from users, including multiple federal agencies and millions of citizens, is inexplicable.”


6 posted on 12/10/2011 6:53:43 AM PST by ILS21R (Never give up)
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To: DManA

Then call it economic development!


7 posted on 12/10/2011 6:55:06 AM PST by dynoman (Objectivity is the essence of intelligence. - Marylin vos Savant)
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To: Hojczyk

This is the company that used its influence withn the White House (Falcone is a big donor/bundlerer) to strong arm an Air Force General to cover up the results of these test. The General refused, and the story was leaked but got NO PLAY in the MSM. Now they are trying to go around the problems their potential “cash cow” create with a PR campaign. They are advertising on the radio in the DC area about what a great deal this will be for everyone but obviously not mentioning the GPS disruptions they will cause. There are other potential problems that we will not hear because they will remain classified. Any member of congress or administration official who supports this is either stupid beyond belief or on the “take”.


8 posted on 12/10/2011 6:56:39 AM PST by RedEyeJack
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To: dynoman

Here’s another great idea. Do something to make everyone replace the light bulbs in your house with something that costs twice as much.

If only we could broad cast something that would make all refrigerators and stoves obsolete.


9 posted on 12/10/2011 6:59:14 AM PST by DManA
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To: Hojczyk

Some people blame GPS for not using filters like they should, that opinion is not based on a fair analysis of the problem LS created.

Recycled post;
LS has been very devious about this. They bought a company that owned satellite frequencies close to GPS and in a band intended for satellite transmission only . The satellite signals were not strong enough to use with the LS ground recievers so LS asked for a wavier to “agument” the satellite signals with ground based repeaters/transmitters. The problem is having those ground based transmitters blasting high powered signals in a frequency area used by ground based receivers designed for satellite signals, NOT high powered ground based signals. It’s not a simple matter of filtering, it would be like listening to a wisper (GPS) in one ear when someone’s (LS ground based repeaters) screaming in the other.

The FCC should not have granted LS the waiver to operate high powered ground based repeaters in a frequency range that’s always been used for satellite transmissions.

Good article;
http://nlpc.org/stories/2011/02/02/did-harbinger-hedge-fund-buy-influence-white-house-probe-asked-fcc-spectrum-givea


10 posted on 12/10/2011 7:11:20 AM PST by dynoman (Objectivity is the essence of intelligence. - Marylin vos Savant)
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To: DManA

That is the way government works. They made perfectly good analog TVs obsolete with a stroke of the pen, and owners were forced to go buy new (no, those set top boxes don’t work, they fry the TV hooked to them in 90 days).

They also did it on analog cell phones. Analog cellemetry alarm devices, same thing on aircraft emergency transmitters and aircraft radios.

Just throw your old GPS away and buy the “New and Improved” version. It is the American way.


11 posted on 12/10/2011 7:13:18 AM PST by wrench
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To: DManA

Far too many people have lost the ability to think critically; i.e. too many people don’t understand the relationship between a host and parasites. Too many parasites kill the host - that is the bottom line root cause of the so called economic downturn.

Government is a parasite NOT a host, government will NEVER be a host!


12 posted on 12/10/2011 7:16:05 AM PST by dynoman (Objectivity is the essence of intelligence. - Marylin vos Savant)
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To: Hojczyk
Am I the only one who sees this as a warning to our military? If this is all it takes to disrupt the GPS systems used by the military, any enemy just needs to build this type of a cell-phone system within it's borders. The result would be many cruise missles and smart bombs not working and troops not getting where they need to go.

I am concerned by the politics and the disruption of civilian uses, but less than the military problem.

13 posted on 12/10/2011 7:16:53 AM PST by Alternate Universe
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To: Alternate Universe

The civilian version of GPS signals are what are affected. The military signals are hardened against jamming.


14 posted on 12/10/2011 7:19:50 AM PST by CodeToad (Islam needs to be banned in the US and treated as a criminal enterprise.)
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To: Hojczyk

Wow. The one of the few things that most people believe that government regulation can be good for is enforcement of efficient and uniform traffic laws. In the airwaves, that means the FCC limiting interference and allocating bandwidth so that manufacturers can make devices that work with each other.

Letting Light-Squared run roughshod over all of these GPS units is crazy. It wasn’t so long ago that Coleco’s Adam computer was kept off of the market for an extra two months due to FCC Class B requirements. Numerous useful products were delayed or shelved because of interference with radios, cordless phones, televisions, etc. Light Squared’s system is FAR more disruptive, and they are still in play. Amazing.


15 posted on 12/10/2011 7:23:49 AM PST by Dr. Sivana (May Mitt Romney be the Mo Udall of 2012.)
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To: dynoman
You know that's the way they'll try to spin it, in an Orwellian double-speak way: "Oh, well, if people have to throw out 75% of their GPS equipment, that's a good thing! You see, that will create development and production jobs in the GPS market, and stimulate consumer spending..."

Only just like their failed cash-for-clunkers, most of the money will go out of the country because that's where the development and production happens...

The {expletive} we have running DC right now are no better than common criminals, in fact probably worse, based just on scale alone.

16 posted on 12/10/2011 7:26:54 AM PST by ThunderSleeps (Stop obama now! Stop the hussein - insane agenda!)
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To: DManA

I’m all for this new technology.

It will mess up the cell phone tracking!


17 posted on 12/10/2011 7:42:21 AM PST by noprogs (Borders, Language, Culture....all should be preserved)
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To: Dr. Sivana
The FCC will fine any company that is noncompliant... or force a company to redesign their product in order to comply.

LightSquared are trying to downplay the interference.

How about a $100,000 fine for each infraction? How many GPS receivers are there? Millions? That’ll put them out of business and effectively shut down their system.

However, that would require that the FCC to enforce their own regulations. There is a lot of influential money available to pay for lawyers, pay off politicians, and to look for loop holes.

If a small business or American citizen were to try this, they'd be shut down in a second. It is proof once again that cronyism and money control our economy. Not Capitalism.

18 posted on 12/10/2011 7:52:00 AM PST by dhs12345
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To: wrench
Just throw your old GPS away and buy the “New and Improved” version. It is the American way.

One of the problems is that there may be no effective way to come up with the "New and Improved" version without major changes. Those people who understand the design constraints of RF filters know that it's technically possible to have rejection capabilities of the scope needed to keep LightSquared ground-base transmitters from causing problems...but it may not be economically feasible, or impossible to implement the filters so GPS units will fit in your pocket. There is also the question about shielding the RF portion of the unit, and preventing RF leakage through the power connector or accessories connector.

In short, this is not a problem that can be fixed by GPS vendors just slapping a Band-Aide on their existing designs.

The obvious solution is for LightSqared to swap spectrum space with someone, instead of asking for a waiver of the rules that will impact the GPS industry. (Or, they could put up more satellites.)

It's the job of the person with the transmitter to mitigate inference problems with other licensed users, and GPS is indeed implemented by a licensed user. LS has to be the one to deal with it, or stop operation of ground-based transmitters. Period.

19 posted on 12/10/2011 7:58:21 AM PST by asinclair (Talk is cheap, actions are priceless)
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To: DManA

i.e. the 2013 version of The Consumer Voluntary Technological Upgrade Act of 2012. Just cross out “CFL bulbs” and replace it with “new GPS system”.

(Previous versions regarded “voluntary” upgrades to HDTV sets, airbags, 1.6 gallon toilets, “high efficiency” washers and dryers, etc.)


20 posted on 12/10/2011 8:01:49 AM PST by jiggyboy (Ten percent of poll respondents are either lying or insane)
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To: CodeToad; Alternate Universe
The military signals are hardened against jamming.

Whistling past the cemetery? With so many of our enemies at the helm of the military and our government, we are one key stroke away from sitting ducks.

21 posted on 12/10/2011 8:20:17 AM PST by bgill (The Obama administration is staging a coup. Wake up, America, before it's too late.)
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To: Hojczyk
Philip Falcone’s proposed LightSquared Inc. wireless service caused interference to 75 percent of global-positioning system receivers examined in a U.S. government test, according to a draft summary of results.

With these results even an Obama FCC cannot give LeightSquared the go-ahead.This is LightSquared's problem to solve not the millions of GPS hardware owners. Right now LS is DOA.

22 posted on 12/10/2011 8:27:37 AM PST by InterceptPoint
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To: dynoman
Government is a parasite NOT a host, government will NEVER be a host!

Problem is, the host is being killed slowly but surely.

23 posted on 12/10/2011 8:47:30 AM PST by unixfox (Abolish Slavery, Repeal The 16th Amendment!)
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To: Alternate Universe

I thought this was the whole point! That in fact LightSquared will interfere with the military gps system.

...An Air Force general testified earlier this year that the network’s signals would interfere with GPS receivers based on testing. At the time, sources claimed the general was pressured to change his testimony to favor LightSquared...

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/12/03/grassley-stands-by-threat-to-hold-up-fcc-nominees-over-wireless-network/

..the Pentagon has been raising concerns about a new wireless project by a satellite broadband company in Virginia called LightSquared, whose majority owner is an investment fund run by Democratic donor Philip Falcone.

According to officials familiar with the situation, Shelton’s prepared testimony was leaked in advance to the company. And the White House asked the general to alter the testimony to add two points: that the general supported the White House policy to add more broadband for commercial use; and that the Pentagon would try to resolve the questions around LightSquared with testing in just 90 days. Shelton chafed at the intervention, which seemed to soften the Pentagon’s position and might be viewed as helping the company as it tries to get the project launched, officials said.

“There was an attempt to influence the text of the testimony and to engage LightSquared in the process in order to bias his testimony,”

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/09/15/lightsquared-did-white-house-pressure-general-shelton-to-help-donor.html


24 posted on 12/10/2011 8:56:02 AM PST by luckybogey
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To: wrench
That is the way government works. They made perfectly good analog TVs obsolete with a stroke of the pen, and owners were forced to go buy new (no, those set top boxes don’t work, they fry the TV hooked to them in 90 days).

On the flip side - once digital transmissions hit the scene, it was inevitable that this would happen - television stations weren't about to maintain two sets of transmitters for the convenience of it. In some cases technology will not be stopped, else we would have separate roadways for those who prefer horse and buggy over automobile.

25 posted on 12/10/2011 9:08:13 AM PST by trebb ("If a man will not work, he should not eat" From 2 Thes 3)
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To: CodeToad

I wish it were that simple. It is a matter of front end receiver overload or receiver desensitization. The near band off frequency signal is many orders of magnitude stronger.


26 posted on 12/10/2011 9:48:43 AM PST by Techster
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To: Hojczyk

I wonder how many politicians’ investment portfolios just took a hit?
And I wonder how many took a windfall?


27 posted on 12/10/2011 9:52:06 AM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: asinclair

The real issue is well stated in your post. See my post at 26.


28 posted on 12/10/2011 9:54:24 AM PST by Techster
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To: Hojczyk

Thankfully no taxpayer funds squandered in this Light Square boondoggle. Just a lot of mafia style pressure for the Obama-trons to approve it


29 posted on 12/10/2011 10:06:00 AM PST by dennisw (A nation of sheep breeds a government of Democrat wolves!)
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To: Hojczyk

I’m all for ANYTHING that separates zombies from their GPS receivers. My kid works in a gas station and people that come in for directions after their GPS quits (or, more likely their cigarette lighter receptacle fails) are TOTALLY CLUELESS and barely know what state their in.


30 posted on 12/10/2011 11:55:33 AM PST by BobL ("Heartless" and "Inhumane" FReepers for Cain - we've HAD ENOUGH)
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To: Hojczyk

This huckster Falcone is trying to make a killing on a company (SkyTerra) that he bought for a song, to bail out a failing hedge fund that he’s used like a personal piggy bank (Jon Corzine/MF Global, anyone?). He and his high-maintenance wife went through a billion or so living high in New York, before his hedge fund plunged in value due to his incompetence, and this is a “bet it all on number 22” play to save his mini empire. Say NO to LightSquared!!


31 posted on 12/10/2011 12:01:20 PM PST by TenthAmendmentChampion (I have a job; therefore I am in the 1%.)
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To: Hojczyk

This technological conflict was known over a year ago. Unfortunately, LightSquared paid enough to get the permission. That a lot of people with GPS can’t use it is irrelevant.


32 posted on 12/10/2011 12:36:08 PM PST by tbw2
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To: Techster

Sorry, but nope. The anti-jamming capabilities are of course classified but you are simply not going to jam jam-proof military signals. Signal strength has little to do with it.


33 posted on 12/10/2011 1:42:13 PM PST by CodeToad (Islam needs to be banned in the US and treated as a criminal enterprise.)
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To: CodeToad

I do not agree with your position. Hardened against jamming yes. But Jam proof, no such device exists. It is only a matter of how difficult. Ratio of desired signal to undesired signal can be a key factor and that is what the whole issue with the Light Squared ground base system operating on satellite based frequencies is all about. Low powered satellite signals from 100’s or 1000’s of miles away competing with high powered ground based signals 100’s of feet away.


34 posted on 12/10/2011 2:15:43 PM PST by Techster
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To: wrench

That’s beyond dumb. I have a backup converter box in case my cable goes out. It works fine.


35 posted on 12/10/2011 2:29:25 PM PST by UB355 (Slower traffic keep right)
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To: UB355

Run your TV off that converter box straight, see how long before the TV gives up the ghost. The converters burn out the tuner in the TVs, had it happen to 3 so far, longest survived 90 days. Now THAT is beyond dumb!


36 posted on 12/10/2011 6:31:41 PM PST by wrench
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To: wrench

Will not happen if the converter box is providing the proper signal to the TV. By the way did you mean one converter box fried 3 different TVs, or 3 different converter boxes fried up to three different TVs. If only one converter box was involved, I would have had it check for a malfunction.


37 posted on 12/10/2011 6:52:08 PM PST by Techster
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To: Techster

2 different converter boxes. 1st box got 1 tv, 2nd box got the other 2. Different brand boxes as well.

I hate what the gov’t does as much as the next guy, but the writing is on the wall on this one. If you want a functioning GPS in a year or so, you will have to buy a new unit. If 25% of the units today work with the new, tighter freq spacing, the technology is already off-the-shelf.

As I mentioned, they have done the same thing WRT cutting up the radio spectrum. The Government owns the spectrum and lets whoever pays them the most to use it as they see fit. Been that way for generations. Personally, it has cost me many thousands of dollars over the years having to upgrade perfectly good equipment to keep up with the changing whims of the FCC.

How does that quote about the “Golden Rule” go? He who has the gold makes the rules..........


38 posted on 12/10/2011 7:43:41 PM PST by wrench
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To: Techster

“But Jam proof, no such device exists.”

So far so good. Jam proof. (I do this for a living, including having C&C’d the GPS and other birds.)


39 posted on 12/10/2011 8:22:14 PM PST by CodeToad (Islam needs to be banned in the US and treated as a criminal enterprise.)
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To: CodeToad

Signal to Noise has everything to do with any receiver. Techster’s description is more or less correct. L^2 is a significant noise source and thus can cause interference in any GPS receiver.


40 posted on 12/12/2011 8:21:09 AM PST by Magnum44 (Terrorism is a disease, precise application of superior firepower is the cure)
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To: Magnum44

SN has nothing to do with these jam-proof signals. The signals are in the noise and even less than the noise floor.


41 posted on 12/12/2011 9:55:30 AM PST by CodeToad (Islam needs to be banned in the US and treated as a criminal enterprise.)
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To: CodeToad

Even with spread spectrum signal, regardless of whether the spreading code being known or not, the ability to recover that signal is a function of signal to noise. GPS is below the noise floor, and normally you can recover using the spreading code to decrypt. But if you raise the noise floor sufficiently, you can not pull the signal out. Receivers become saturated with the higher noise level. It becomes a problem of receiver sensitivity, not decoding, at that point.


42 posted on 12/12/2011 4:20:36 PM PST by Magnum44 (Terrorism is a disease, precise application of superior firepower is the cure)
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To: Magnum44

“the ability to recover that signal is a function of signal to noise...you can not pull the signal out.”

That isn’t true at all. Selectivity and signal processing is of prime importance with signals in the noise. Your knowledge is obviously with CW type signals and the rules change with these jam-proof signals.


43 posted on 12/12/2011 4:39:10 PM PST by CodeToad (Islam needs to be banned in the US and treated as a criminal enterprise.)
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To: ClearCase_guy

Probably the reason the drone “fell” in Iran...


44 posted on 12/12/2011 4:46:10 PM PST by shotgun
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To: CodeToad

No, I am intimately involved in GPS receiver design and performance. You can believe what you want, but any receiver can be jammed with sufficient power. GPS being spread sprectrum has ‘some’ protection from that, but put enough noise power on the receiver and it will not function.


45 posted on 12/12/2011 4:47:05 PM PST by Magnum44 (Terrorism is a disease, precise application of superior firepower is the cure)
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