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Yubico launches YubiHSM 2 a new, cost-effective Hardware Security Module (HSM) for servers and IoT gateways

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By Zenobia Hedge

Yubico, the provider of authentication and encryption hardware devices for the modern web, launched the YubiHSM 2, a new, cost-effective Hardware Security Module (HSM) for servers and IoT gateways. The product delivers the highest levels of security for cryptographic digital key generation, storage, and management, supporting an extensive range of enterprise environments and applications.

The YubiHSM 2 differs from traditional HSM models — historically limited in use by cost, size, and performance — by offering advanced digital key protection capabilities and benefits at a price within reach for all organizations. Delivered in an ultra-slim “nano” form factor, the YubiHSM 2 fits inside a USB port, eliminating the need for bulky additional hardware, and offers flexibility for offline key transfer or backup.

Essential security features, including hashing, asymmetric, and symmetric cryptography, are supported by the YubiHSM 2 to protect cryptographic keys while at rest or in use. These keys are most often used by certificate authorities, databases, code signing, and more, to secure critical applications, identities, and sensitive data in an enterprise. Furthermore, the integrity and privacy of commands and data in transit between the application and YubiHSM 2 are protected using a mutually authenticated, integrity and confidentiality-protected tunnel.

Stina Ehrensvard

“It’s estimated that 95% of all IT breaches happen when a user credential or server gets hacked. For years Yubico has been protecting user accounts from remote hijacking with our unphishable YubiKey authentication devices, but we knew that millions of servers storing sensitive data were still lacking physical security,” said Stina Ehrensvard, CEO and founder, Yubico.

“It was important to us that we brought a solution to market that embodied the signature Yubico standards of high-security, convenience, and affordability. Now, with the addition of YubiHSM 2, we can enable critical server security for organisations worldwide — regardless of size or budget.”

Common use cases for the YubiHSM 2 include protecting cryptographic keys stored on servers used in data centres, cloud server infrastructures, manufacturing and industrial services.

Critical security benefits include:

Secure Microsoft’s active directory certificate services – YubiHSM 2 provides a cost-effective hardware-backed key to secure digital keys used in a Microsoft-based PKI implementation. Deploying YubiHSM 2 to Microsoft Active Directory Certificate services not only guards the CA root keys but also protects all signing and verification services using the root key.
Enhance protection for cryptographic keys – YubiHSM 2 offers a compelling option for secure generation, storage and management of digital keys including essential capabilities to generate, write, sign, decrypt, hash and wrap keys.
Enable hardware-based cryptographic operations – YubiHSM 2 can be used as a comprehensive cryptographic toolbox for a wide range of open source and commercial applications. The most common use case being hardware-based digital signature generation and verification. The YubiHSM 2 features can be accessed through Yubico’s Key Storage Provider (KSP) for industry-standard PKCS#11 or Microsoft’s CNG , or via native Windows, Linux and macOS libraries.

Additional features include, optional network-sharing, role-based access controls, remote management, M of N wrap key backup and restore, tamper evident audit logging, concurrent connections (up to 16), and extensive cryptographic capabilities (RSA, ECC, ECDSA (ed25519), SHA-2, and AES).

For more information on the YubiHSM 2, click here. Units are available for purchase here for US $650 (€557.29). To learn more about Yubico and the company’s products and […]

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Arrow Electronics, Synaptics and NXP team to accelerate the development of Amazon Alexa-enabled smart home products

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By Zenobia Hedge

Arrow Electronics, Synaptics Incorporated and NXP Semiconductors launched a variant of the Synaptics AudioSmart 2-Mic Development Kit for Amazon AVS that is supported by a commercially available NXP system-on-chip (SoC) application processor.

This newly available development kit variant enables device makers to quickly and cost-effectively integrate the Amazon Alexa Voice Service (AVS) into a fully functioning prototype, and then take that work into design for manufacturing and production.

The Synaptics AudioSmart 2-Mic Dev Kit for Amazon AVS includes Synaptics’ CX20921 Voice Input Processor with a dual microphone board and a wake-word engine tuned to “Alexa.” It is built on the pico-imx7d board, a purpose-built small-footprint hardware platform which features NXP’s i.MX7D dual-core applications processor optimised for the Internet of Things (IoT). The kit also includes: stereo microphones with an integrated processor, a microphone holder board, a micro USB cable, Type-A to Type-B cable, cable assembly and a +5V power supply.

The development kit features a reference client built using the AVS Device SDK (software development kit), enabling commercial device makers to get to market faster with Alexa-enabled products.

The Synaptics AudioSmart 2-Mic Dev Kit for Amazon AVS with NXP SoC is available exclusively from arrow.com for $375(€322.21). To learn more, or to purchase the kit, click here.

“This new Synaptics development kit with an NXP SoC for the Amazon Alexa Voice Service can add intelligent voice control to connected products with a microphone and speaker, enabling developers and engineers to rapidly create Alexa-enabled proof of concepts and prototypes,” said Murdoch Fitzgerald, vice president of semiconductor marketing at Arrow. “Arrow is excited to team with Synaptics and NXP to bring this new kit to the developer community and help accelerate the innovation of new smart home products.”

“Voice as a human interface is rapidly expanding in smart homes and the broader IoT landscape due to the broad global expansion of voice services like Amazon Alexa,” said Saleel Awsare, vice president and general manager, Audio and Imaging Business, Synaptics. “When voice services are combined with Synaptics’ AudioSmart far-field voice DSPs, new voice-enabled human interface devices can accelerate into numerous IoT applications whether consumer, enterprise, or commercial.”

microphone board

“Industry leaders are developing and investing to meet the growing demand of the voice-controlled future smart home,” said Martyn Humphries, vice president and general manager, Media IoT and i.MX Applications Processors at NXP. “Collaborating with leaders like Amazon and the companies it works with is essential in delivering the key tools and support needed to meet the demands of this prospering market.

The new evaluation kit moves beyond the scope of a processing board with unique integrated features designed for the AVS developer community. This enables more flexibility in designs while shortening development time to market so customers can move from prototype to production as quick as possible.”

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Education industry set to fly high with advanced drone technology

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By Zenobia Hedge

Drones are growing increasingly commonplace, both in the skies and across our collective imagination. You may have classified drone technology as exclusive to the military and wondered about its potential applications in the commercial sector. Today, drones are actively used in an assortment of industrial disciplines and have also landed in the lucrative pastures of recreational use. Associatively, educationalists have begun to harness the power of these small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to engage students and to bring lessons to life in the modern day classrooms.

How is this done? And, is the usage of drone technology in education a practical proposition?

Infusing creativity and ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking with drones

Drones certainly do have the ‘wow’ factor, and, thanks to the fact that we are still at the beginning of the drone era, the potential of using drones in the classroom has yet to be fully realised. There is little doubt that in just a few years, drones will emerge as a much preferred educational tool, employed by all the major educational institutions.

When it comes to using drones for education, teachers are truly spoilt for choice. They not only can help students in building their technical skills from scratch, but can also encourage them to pick up vital insights on electronics, robotics, chemistry, mathematics, programming, and coding when doing so.

With the incorporation of these technologies, students can learn to perform complicated technical operations apart from acquiring skills such as teamwork and communication. On the other hand, instructors can track and analyse the progress of students in simulations to accordingly modify their teaching methods on complex scientific concepts.

Cost-effective technology with advanced features and scalable benefits

As drones increasingly become cheaper and more accessible, educational institutions are now able to purchase them with ease. The price of these unmanned aerial vehicles usually depend on the accessories attached to them.

For example- Extreme Fliers offers Microdrone 2.0+ without a camera at $93.00 (€79.91). However, it costs $103 (€88.50) with a 640 P camera kit and $113 (€97.09) with a 720 P HD camera kit.

These competitive prices are bound to encourage more educational institutions to embrace and deploy their own fleet of drones. Additional incentive includes the fact that costs pertaining to the incorporation of drone technology in an educational institution is quite low when compared to the implementation of camera surveillance systems. Drones are set to take the impartment of education to greater heights

Society stands at the start of an exciting and productive drone era. Similar to many new technologies with high potential, this development may seem both overly ambitious and a mere stopgap arrangement. However, nothing can derail the oncoming heyday for drones in the education sector, provided the educators first help the students understand this novel addition, make productive use of it, and help them confidently discover creative and functional ways to put this technology to the ultimate use. A tall ask, but most definitely achievable!

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Dubai’s MENA Future Smart Governments & Smart Cities Summit aims to boost economies, jobs and investment

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By Zenobia Hedge

Dubai 16-17 February 2018

A B2G B2B and B2C event

Dusit al Thani Hotel Dubai

The MENA Future Smart Governments and Smart Cities Summit is a 2-day conference & exhibition covering an important number of Topics and their impact on Governments, Economies, cities and citizens.

With extensive analysis, and in-depth focus on the drivers, hurdles and opportunities for different stakeholders, the event leads the way with its innovative, interactive agenda, and Exhibition. The event is a major interactive network for the changing face of Governments, Cities and societies and how to create thousands of new Jobs, discover latest solutions and implementations.

Attendees and participants will gain a unique insight from industry heavyweights and hear case study examples from major International contributors.

The event will bring together Ministers, Governments, leaders, authorities, city planners, public and private transportation members, technology firms, Telecom operators, technology and software giants, drone and personal air transportation solution companies, freight and logistics companies, Health care, Education, Energy, Finance, Utility members, business consultants, inventors of new and disruptive global mobility solutions, urban planners, academics and researchers, project advisors & developers, engineers, architects & designers, contractors, regional heads, MDs & VPs, CEOs, CTOs, CIOs.

CONFERENCE:

The Conference sessions will include an Opening Keynote speech on

Boosting economies, Creating Jobs, Attracting Citizens, Investment and Businesses.

Panel Discussions

How is Technology Revolutionising the Urban Environment – Smart Government – Smart Cities success stories – Evolving the Role of the Citizen- Understanding Public Sector Challenges – Building Resilient Cities to address Modern threats – Creating Jobs – Smart Municipalities – Smart Eco friendly Green environment

Technology presentations

Cybersecurity – Impact of Blockchain technologies in Public and Private sectors – Internet of Things Future Innovation – Smart communication – The Future of Urban Transport – Smart Banking – Future of Healthcare – Future of Education – Smart Waste management – Smart Water management – Smart Energy production – Smart Retail

EXHIBITION:

Visitors can engage with players showcasing their products, services, platforms and solutions in a free-to-attend interactive exhibition. Here they will meet with industry associations, organisations, NGOs, and start-ups.

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Renesas Synergy™ Platform revs up ecosystem growth engine

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By Zenobia Hedge

Renesas Electronics Corporation, a supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, announced the rapid expansion of its partner ecosystem with new third-party software tightly integrated into the Renesas Synergy™ Platform.

Developers can access these and other third-party Verified Software Add-ons (VSAs) and validated Partner Projects on the Synergy Gallery website. The site includes solutions for security technology, communication protocols, wireless drivers for cloud connectivity, development tools, and more. This content helps developers solve real application challenges, and cost effectively speed their Internet of Things (IoT) products to market.

The Synergy Gallery hosts VSA and Partner Project software components with a unique and simple business model. Developers can browse, select, and download third-party software with no upfront fees, using simple click-through licensing.

Renesas pre-tests and verifies third-party VSA software to ensure interoperability with Synergy software, while each partner tests and substantiates their Partner Project software to meet Renesas Synergy software compatibility requirements. The Synergy Gallery provides evaluation versions of commercially licensed third-party software, and developers can acquire the license directly from the third party.

“The IoT is enabled by many forms of connectivity and complex layered security, but developers should not be burdened with the implementation details. Since Synergy is a platform, it can accommodate partner solutions to meet specific customer needs,” said Peter Carbone, vice president of Synergy Platform Business Division, Renesas Electronics Corporation.

“Every customer has different security and connectivity requirements, which is why we view our third-party partners as the accelerant that’s making the IoT explode.”

Highlighted Synergy gallery additions:

Arrow’s ARIS EDGE delivers an out-of-the-box IoT sensor solutions kit targeting the edge of the IoT
Avnet Silica Visible Things Development Kit offers an Industrial IoT multi-protocol gateway kit that provides an edge-to-enterprise solution
Clarinox provides device-to-cloud connectivity software solutions covering a comprehensive and simultaneous implementations of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth® Classic, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) secure wireless protocol stack software, augmented with a sophisticated software debugger to enable faster time to market and reduced maintenance overhead in production
CS-Lab makes available its BACnet® connectivity and Digital Addressable Lighting Interface (DALI-2) stacks to enable building automation protocols
Cypherbridge Systems offers SDKPac with TLS protected HTTPS Webserver and client, SMTP client, and Message Queue Telemetry Transport (MQTT) protocols, and supports a wide range of secure connectivity applications, including industry leading IoT cloud services
Intrinsic-ID’s BROADKEY software module delivers enhanced security solutions to generate and manage unique device identities and root keys using SRAM Physical Unclonable Function (PUF) technology
Redpine Signals provides software drivers and examples for 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi modules

Availability

To learn more about all of the Synergy Partner Programs and offerings, please click here. Sign up on the Synergy Gallery to get started on your next IoT innovation.

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Consumers say in-person service is essential to create the connected home

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By Zenobia Hedge

CSG International, has announced results of its market survey The Future of the Digital Experience: Connected Service Edition. Through an independent research firm, CSG polled 2,000 consumers across five countries to learn how consumers will prefer to connect home automation and other smart devices that are part of the Internet of Things (IoT). The survey results indicate that although consumers will seek both online and in-person help sources, when it comes to connecting multiple smart devices in their homes, consumers will seek skilled, in-person help.

“Survey respondents have predicted that professional, technical resources will play a significant role in bridging the gap between consumers and the world of devices around us,” said Chad Dunavant, vice president of product management at CSG International.

“CSG’s Workforce Express enables a mobile workforce of 65,000 of the Pay TV industry’s field technicians who are already receiving service requests for smart devices such as TVs, phones and home security. There is a clear opportunity for Pay TV providers to evolve the skills of their field service technicians to capitalise on the growing consumer-based IoT market.”

Key insights from the survey include:

Most respondents expect to connect home security and monitoring systems (49%) and smart home automation devices such as remote light controls and door locks (48%) in the next three years.

Help is wanted to make both simple and complex connections. Consumers cited both online resources and in-person help as resources for device installations.

Respondents reported that they believe 67 %of consumers will be not at all confident to do complex installations on their own, and 44% believe that consumers will be only somewhat confident to complete even simple (single device) installs on their own.
84% of respondents believe that consumers will want help from a skilled technical resource to connect just two to five devices.

Chad Dunavant

A connected service provider needs a good app and a good reputation. When it comes to knowing that a technician is on their way, consumers expect a personal interaction will still be important.

74% prefer a phone call or text directly from the technician.
58% of respondents said that finding a reputable company to provide their technical help was their most important criteria – outweighing both on-demand access to help and the lowest cost option.

Consumers are open to help from Pay TV field technicians. According to survey results, consumers will seek in-person help to connect multiple devices in the home and are open to their Pay TV field technician as a source of technical expertise.

Existing Pay TV customers said that if their cable or satellite service technician could connect the smart home, 89% said they expect that consumers will be very likely to use the service and 87% held this belief for repair and troubleshooting issues.
Much like calling a taxi for nearly instant transportation, if professional technical help could be requested in the moment that installation or repair service was needed, 39% believe consumers will want on-demand installation or repair service ½ – ¾ of the time.

Countries polled included the U.S.A., Mexico, Brazil, Australia and Malaysia. All survey […]

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mruby Forum to Exhibit at @CloudExpo | #AI #IoT #M2M #RubyonRails #DX

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SYS-CON Events announced today that mruby Forum will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON’s 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
mruby is the lightweight implementation of the Ruby language. We introduce mruby and the mruby IoT framework that enhances development productivity. For more information, visit http://forum.mruby.org/.

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IoT as a service will provide businesses with the tools necessary to implement IoT

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By IoT Now Magazine

Nick Sacke, the head of IoT and Products at Comms365, believes IoT is on the cusp of mass deployment, as organisations use Lower Powered Wide Area Networking (LPWAN) and new IoT-as-aService (IoTaaS) deployment models to achieve fast, minimal risk, low cost innovation.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is arguably set to be the biggest driver of productivity and growth in the next decade, with Accenture estimating IoT could add $14.2 trillion (€11.87 trillion) to the global economy by 2030. But despite the hype and excitement, right now we seem to be a very long way from realising that vision, especially in the UK.

From network costs that are simply too expensive to sensors created by innovative, but small, startups, IoT at scale has simply not been achieved. The question many organisations are beginning to ask is: can IoT really deliver out of the lab, in the real world?

IoT constraints

While the concept of IoT offers appeal to businesses of every size, there are several issues that have deterred many organisations, especially SMEs, from entering the market. The escalating costs of mobile networks, both 3G and 4G, have made IoT projects at scale unaffordable and while the market has responded with the introduction of low cost, low power wide area networking (LPWANs), as yet there is no one solution standard. Indeed, in the UK, there is no single network that provides nationwide coverage.

In addition to the networking issues, the sheer complexity of creating a reliable and sustainable IoT infrastructure has affected the development of viable business models. Not only must companies find a way to manage sensors, networks, data storage, data analytics and an essential link to operational systems that leverage IoT data to drive improvements, but they are very concerned about the long-term viability of the model and underpinning technologies.

For any business tempted to invest, there are some very real concerns. Where is the future proofing? Where is the consistent, proven and reliable network infrastructure? How can the complexity of IoT projects be managed effectively without investing in huge additional technical resources? The good news is that IoT is hitting a new level of maturity in both technology and delivery model that will both reduce risk and cost and provide that essential future proofing.

IoT maturity

While the cost model of mobile technologies has made IoT at scale untenable to date, there has been a rapid evolution of LPWAN technology recently that is paving the way for applications that use tens of thousands, even millions of devices. While there are licensed cellular variants such as Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT), currently being used in pilot projects in Eastern Europe and southern Spain, it is the unlicensed LPWANs that are being rolled out fastest, with national LPWANs already in place in the Netherlands, France, Spain, South America, South Asia and several more.

One of the most notable global LPWAN technology developments is LoRaWAN, created by Semtech, marketed and sustained by more than 500 world-class organisations in the LoRa Alliance standard, which is being rolled out across multiple countries. And […]

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Samsung is all talk about the IoT with Bixby 2.0 and SmartThings

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By Samuel Axon

Enlarge (credit: Ron Amadeo)

Samsung’s annual developer conference at Moscone West in San Francisco doesn’t always get a lot of public attention; in past years it has often focused on things like Tizen app development. But at this year’s conference, the company focused on launching a new platform for connected devices in the home, the car, and elsewhere—or at least, a collection of previously existent platforms that are getting updated and combined into a new one.

That new platform is called SmartThings Cloud, and it unites existing Samsung IoT services like SmartThings, Samsung Connect, ARTIK, and Harman Ignite. Frankly, Samsung’s offerings have been a confusing mess of different platforms and services with overlapping functionality and purposes. It’s a rebranding, which could mean little, but developers may be hopeful that it also means an actual restructuring of resources and products to unify what Samsung is doing across all of these.

Within that umbrella, you have a couple new products that are more interesting than just a rebranding. Consumers and developers alike are already familiar with Bixby, Samsung’s virtual assistant answer to Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa. It replaced S Voice, a lackluster offering on previous phones, when it launched this year. Unfortunately, Ars found Bixby to be frustrating and unfinished. It’s telling, then, that Samsung has already moved on to announce Bixby 2.0 at the conference just a few months after the initial launch.

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“Keep Those Eyebrows Up!” – Cybersecurity at the Global Women’s Forum

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By Constance Bommelaer

News of cyberattacks is slowly becoming a new normal. We are still at a stage where high-profile cases, like the recent attack against the American credit reporting company Equifax, in which 145.5 million users had their personal information compromised, raise eyebrows. But we need those eyebrows to stay up because we should never accept cyber threats as the new normal.

This week in Paris, hundreds of leaders met at the Women’s Forum to discuss some of the key issues that will shape the future of a world in transition, including cybersecurity. But this topic is not just a concern for the experts — it’s a concern to all men and women leading any business today.

New risks on the horizon

A recent report by the Internet Society, “Paths to Our Digital Future”, points out that now is a big moment for the Internet. The revolution we already see could accelerate in the coming years, not only due to the increasing digitalization of services and businesses, but also through the expansion of objects being connected to the Internet — the Internet of Things (IoT). By 2020 more than 20 billion “things” could be connected.

Suddenly it’s not only your computer but also your toaster or car that’s online! The convergence of the physical and the digital world promises a whole range of opportunities on the horizon. But in the interconnected communities we live in, cybersecurity becomes increasingly about personal and societal security.

Organisations are only as secure as their weakest link

What this means is that security needs to be everyone’s concern in the management chain. For leaders, cybersecurity must become a strategic priority. Business executives need to ensure that their organisations have the capacity and skills to address online threats — a challenge in itself due to the current deficit of qualified professionals. In fact, some estimates point towards a global shortage of 2 million cybersecurity professionals by 2019, with a stronger gender divide than in any other industry.

Security is not a concern that can be delegated to experts either, hoping that all will be fine. Today there is a psychological barrier among many non-experts who believe that security is something that their IT department is solely responsible for.

This narrow view misses the point that cybersecurity is dependent on a variety of actors — including individuals. The majority of cyber incidents are actually due to human error, through social engineering attacks such as email phishing to an employee, or even the accidental disclosure of private data. This means that basic security practices must be understood by non-experts as well.

Shaping a trustworthy Internet ecosystem

The ecosystem also needs to offer incentives for good behavior. Take the example of data breaches. While they are a risk to both companies and customers, the risks do not align. As we showed in our 2016 Global Internet Report, the organisations that handle customer data may be at reputational or legal risk to a data breach, but they are not likely to bear the same level of costs as the customers or users who may have their data lost or stolen in a breach.

This means we have to shape the ecosystem to better align the risks among users, manufacturers and service providers. While there are several ways to do this, such as clarifying liability laws, a key way is through better security signaling: recognizable, trusted methods for signaling levels of security so that consumers can factor it into their buying habits.

Everyone has a role to play to shape a trustworthy Internet. To secure data and online devices through their lifetimes, The Internet Society offers the Online Trust Alliance’s IoT Trust Framework. But this is only part of the solution. We need to all take into account the risk IoT insecurity poses to users, and the Internet as a whole.

Cybersecurity needs to be everyone’s concern, so keep those eyebrows up!

Written by Constance Bommelaer, Senior Director, Global Internet Policy, Internet Society

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