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Finally, Hi-Def Streaming Video of the ISS's View of Earth

timothy posted about 3 months ago | from the extra-monitor-over-the-crib dept.

Earth 97

An anonymous reader writes with a snippet from ExtremeTech: "After being continuously inhabited for more than 13 years, it is finally possible to log into Ustream and watch the Earth spinning on its axis in glorious HD. This video feed [embedded at ExtremeTech] comes from from four high-definition cameras, delivered by last month's SpaceX CRS-3 resupply mission, that are attached to the outside of the International Space Station. You can open up the Ustream page at any time, and as long as it isn't night time aboard the ISS, you'll be treated to a beautiful view of the Earth from around 250 miles (400 km) up."

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97 comments

Too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46915011)

Thought it was a dupe at first, then remembered that this had been posted already [pipedot.org] to one of the other sites.

Seems to be actually working about 5% of the time. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46915021)

I think I have checked about 20 times with one success. And the quality was not great the one time it was working.

Re:Seems to be actually working about 5% of the ti (2)

kenwd0elq (985465) | about 3 months ago | (#46915383)

I think it's just overwhelmed; I was able to get on the first time I tried, bu haven't been able to get the video since.

Re:Seems to be actually working about 5% of the ti (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46919895)

The link didn't work for me either, but I caught a great shot of a 'moon' in the ads below. Catch it quick before take take 'er down!

By HD (5, Informative)

TFlan91 (2615727) | about 3 months ago | (#46915025)

By HD they mean 480p, or atleast that's what the "ustream" maxes at

Re:By HD (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46917627)

At least the Cameras are actually 720p / 1080i, and connected via HD-SDI:

https://directory.eoportal.org/web/eoportal/satellite-missions/i/iss-opals-hdev

http://www.jencam.de/FCB-EH4300
http://www.toshibacameras.com/products/prod_detail_ikhr1s.jsp
http://www.hitachi-keu.com/test/broadcast/hdtv_box_pov_cameras/hv_hd30_e.htm

Re:By HD (1)

_Ludwig (86077) | about 3 months ago | (#46926255)

I get much better resolution by simply looking down around my feet.

Useless (3, Informative)

scarboni888 (1122993) | about 3 months ago | (#46915041)

Just a grey square. So much for the hype.

Re:Useless (2)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about 3 months ago | (#46915061)

I think UStream just got "slashdotted" as we call it here... too many users, not enough bandwidth.

Re:Useless (3, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 3 months ago | (#46915079)

A grey square? So it's not that much dissimilar from a pale blue pixel...if you stand from it at a sufficient distance, at night.

Re:Useless (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46915281)

Hey bigmouth: You're being called out (why're you running "forrest"?) http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

Re:Useless (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46916397)

Hey bigmouth: You're being called out (why're you running "forrest"?) http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

Re:Useless (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46940875)

K. S. Kyosuke ya bigmouth: Yer bein called out (why ya runnin "forrest"?) http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

K. S. Kyosuke gets called out & ran (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46967431)

From a fair challenge like a chickenshit blowhard http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

K. S. Kyosuke = "Run, Forrest: RUN!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46967443)

From a fair challenge like a chickenshit blowhard http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

Re:Useless (2)

Teun (17872) | about 3 months ago | (#46915311)

Sorry but it is over a 'restricted' area, wait till it's back over Disneyworld.

Re:Useless (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 3 months ago | (#46915323)

Just a grey square. So much for the hype.

Youngsters. Back in my day, all we could get was a grey dot, and we were happy to get that.

Re:Useless (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 3 months ago | (#46915589)

A gray dot is just a round gray square.

Grey Goo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46916069)

http://www.xkcd.com/865

Re:Useless (4, Funny)

dohzer (867770) | about 3 months ago | (#46916083)

Not just any grey square, but a high definition grey square!

Re:Useless (2)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 3 months ago | (#46916257)

Just a grey square. So much for the hype.

They can't help that. It's "space fog".

Re:Useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46916287)

Usually referred to as "Scotch Mist".

Re:Useless (1)

n3r0.m4dski11z (447312) | about 3 months ago | (#46916747)

well, I for one welcome our new 2d grey square overlords

Re:Useless (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 3 months ago | (#46917611)

TFA mentions that this simply means that it is turned off at the moment, but doesn't say when it will be turned on. That vital information seems to be missing.

The only interesting info in TFA is that there are four cameras in a single enclosure, pointed in different directions. One made by Sony, one by Panasonic, one by Toshiba and one by Hitachi. They are off-the-shelf commercial grade cameras, much cheaper than dedicated space cameras. All Japanese, although TFA is at pains to point out that there was some seemingly minor American involvement too. Are there any major camera manufacturers left in the US?

Re:Useless (2)

Christian Smith (3497) | about 3 months ago | (#46917773)

... All Japanese, although TFA is at pains to point out that there was some seemingly minor American involvement too. Are there any major camera manufacturers left in the US?

Well, it is the International Space Station, not the American Space Station (though that would have a much better initialism.)

Re:Useless (2)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 3 months ago | (#46918397)

That would also be an "uninhabited" space station at the moment if that were true.

Or you just link to the actual source ... (5, Informative)

fewnorms (630720) | about 3 months ago | (#46915043)

instead of providing ExtremeTech many pageviews. You can find the uStream link right here [ustream.tv] .

Re:Or you just link to the actual source ... (0)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about 3 months ago | (#46915147)

Good catch... I guess Slashdot is too RSS-automated to avoid those mistakes. Somebody tell CmdrTaco the automation things are getting overused.

Re:Or you just link to the actual source ... (4, Informative)

ckedge (192996) | about 3 months ago | (#46915877)

Thanks! And here's a good link for the ISSs current position and track: http://iss.astroviewer.net/ [astroviewer.net]

ExtremeTech also infested with trackers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46916209)

And even worse than just leeching pageviews, ExtremeTech is also running fifteen (15) trackers.

It's one of the most viewer-abusive sites in existence.

Re:Or you just link to the actual source ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46916237)

Is there an html5 link? I thought ustream supports html5 but I guess not... I don't have flash, I will never have flash... can it die yet? just fucking die.

Re:Or you just link to the actual source ... (3, Informative)

Namarrgon (105036) | about 3 months ago | (#46916897)

Official NASA site [nasa.gov] - has video as well as current position.

Grey for me right now, which presumably means the ISS is out of signal. Perhaps better in 15 mins when it passes over Japan..

HD? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46915049)

By HD, they mean looking at nothing but grey?

Re:HD? (5, Funny)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about 3 months ago | (#46915207)

But it's a very highly defined grey. Look at that fidelity.

Re:HD? (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 3 months ago | (#46915701)

eh, it looks like fake grey, to me. I can tell by the pixels.

gray image (0)

jovius (974690) | about 3 months ago | (#46915055)

ISS over China at the moment or perhaps crossing the UK.

Direct Link (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46915071)

When it comes back

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/iss-hdev-payload

Re:Direct Link (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46915091)

also explanation

"During periods of loss of signal with the ground or when HDEV is not operating, a gray color slate or previously recorded video may be seen. "

They must have mastered the live video modifying (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46915073)

So that they can remove any UFOs in real time.

Re:They must have mastered the live video modifyin (1)

ClickOnThis (137803) | about 3 months ago | (#46915247)

On a more realistic note, are there any military or espionage concerns that would motivate censorship of a feed like this? Assuming that's even possible, being the International Space Station after all.

Re:They must have mastered the live video modifyin (2)

LoRdTAW (99712) | about 3 months ago | (#46915389)

Nah. The resolution coupled with the extreme distance from the earths surface will not reveal anything of importance.

Re:They must have mastered the live video modifyin (1)

ClickOnThis (137803) | about 3 months ago | (#46929499)

I agree that the resolution is not exceptional. But the distance is not extreme: the ISS is only in LEO. Actually, it's the availability of real-time streaming that I assumed would cause the greatest concern, if there is any.

I posed the question because I am aware of other situations where cameras in earth-orbit (pointing towards or away from the Earth) have raised concerns from government agencies.

Lol, wut? 13 years?? (0)

ClickOnThis (137803) | about 3 months ago | (#46915119)

After being continuously inhabited for more than 13 years, it is finally possible to log into Ustream and watch the Earth spinning on its axis in glorious HD.

C'mon, that sentence is red meat for grammar Nazis.

Re:Lol, wut? 13 years?? (1)

csnydermvpsoft (596111) | about 3 months ago | (#46915263)

Grammar Nazis should be fine with that sentence, as it is 100% correct - a few billion is definitely more than 13.

Re:Lol, wut? 13 years?? (1)

CanEHdian (1098955) | about 3 months ago | (#46924815)

Reli Fundamentalists should also be fine with the sentence, provided that it is a matter of course that it should be interpreted as "more than 13, but less than or equal to 6,000 years"

Re:Lol, wut? 13 years?? (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 3 months ago | (#46915379)

It takes a certain kind of retard to confuse the ISS with the Earth.
The sentence is also grammatically correct.

Re:Lol, wut? 13 years?? (1)

ClickOnThis (137803) | about 3 months ago | (#46915507)

It takes a certain kind of retard to confuse the ISS with the Earth.
The sentence is also grammatically correct.

Of course, I know the context implies that it's the ISS that has been inhabited for 13 years, not the Earth. But that means the ISS should be in the sentence as a noun. It is not. Therefore, grammatical error. A doozie.

Re: Lol, wut? 13 years?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46915727)

Actually the ISS should be the subject of the sentence, eg, "After being continuously inhabited for 13 years, the ISS is finally streaming hi-def video to Earth." The published version looks like it's suffered some pretty ugly editing. It's ended up with "it" as the grammatical subject, making a weak stand in for the logical subject "viewers on Earth" (eg "viewers are able to stream video" instead of "it is possible to stream video"), and neither of those can be paired with "after being inhabited for 13 years".

Re:Lol, wut? 13 years?? (1)

scarboni888 (1122993) | about 3 months ago | (#46915547)

I thought we weren't allowed to use that word anymore out of the fear it would offend the retards?

Re:Lol, wut? 13 years?? (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 3 months ago | (#46915695)

Offending retards is one of the primary functions of the internet.

Re:Lol, wut? 13 years?? (1)

Goaway (82658) | about 3 months ago | (#46915733)

It is grammatically correct, yes, and says that the Earth has been inhabited for more than 13 years.

Re:Lol, wut? 13 years?? (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 3 months ago | (#46915979)

No, it says something inferred from the context of the paragraph has been inhabited for more than 13 years and the Earth can be observed spinning from it.

Going by your grammar rules, the sentence you just typed says the Earth is grammatically correct.
Or is the subject of the verb inferred?

Re:Lol, wut? 13 years?? (1)

Goaway (82658) | about 3 months ago | (#46919977)

I did not write a sentence in the same form as the one referred to. Don't be ridiculous.

Not only red meat... (1)

nategasser (224001) | about 3 months ago | (#46916175)

...but the oh-so-fun to say - and best grammar-based double-entendre going - it's a dangling participle.

NASA TV (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46915127)

NASA TV has had something similar for a long time. They have internal views with the IIS crew us on-duty and earth-views when the crew is off-duty.

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/

Re:NASA TV (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46915371)

There's also the original NASA ISS livestream: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia... [nasa.gov]

BullShit. I see gray (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46915139)

Nothing. Earth is gone

Re:BullShit. I see gray (1)

Stumbles (602007) | about 3 months ago | (#46915391)

Whew. Thats a relief. Though my interwebs was broken.

What have we done? (5, Funny)

houghi (78078) | about 3 months ago | (#46915161)

OMG we slashdotted the ISS.

Re:What have we done? (1)

lazarith (2649605) | about 3 months ago | (#46915385)

From TFA: "If the feed is permanently gray then HDEV is switched off — or communications have been lost."

Re:What have we done? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46915709)

Communications have been disrupted? That can only mean one thing!

Re:What have we done? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46915719)

Thanks for the laughs :-D

Sebastian Anthony (1)

brit74 (831798) | about 3 months ago | (#46915173)

I've said it before: Sebastian Anthony is submitting his own articles to Slashdot to get page views. Stop giving this guy ad-revenue money.

Earth spinning on its axis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46915251)

Sorry but no. What you see is the Earth moving past as the ISS is orbiting. The Earth spinning on its axis is actually slowing down the motion.

Re:Earth spinning on its axis? (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 3 months ago | (#46915405)

Doesn't it speed up the motion? I thought the ISS moved east to west relative to the surface of the earth. The earth's surface moves west to east as it spins.

Re:Earth spinning on its axis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46920449)

You thought wrong. The ISS and most satellites are launched towards East to benefit from the rotation of the Earth. You may remember the space shuttle was launched from Florida and the fuel tank fell into the Atlantic Ocean.

When you go out of your way to type a post to "correct" someone, you better be sure or double check using the Internet first.

Re:Earth spinning on its axis? (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 3 months ago | (#46915579)

Sorry but yes. The Earth is always spinning on its axis, so whenever and however you see it, that is what it's doing.

Re: (1)

brit74 (831798) | about 3 months ago | (#46915875)

Considering that the ISS does an orbit around the earth every 90 minutes, compared to the earth rotation every 24 hours, almost 95% of the motion you see is due to the ISS' orbiting the earth rather than the earth spinning on its axis.

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46915269)

Is this an example of the vitally important science being done for billions of dollars by test pilots in rubber pants?

Re: Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46916699)

Yes. This is how you inspire people to do science.

Expectations of today (1)

programmerar (915654) | about 3 months ago | (#46915273)

I laughed at myself when I realized how meh I was when the video was just grey. "I came here to see live video of Earth from space, can you guys get this working, gah! I'm here now, giving you my precious 10 seconds of attention."

After thinking for a second, I give them some slack. I think we might be getting a little blazé at the technical wonders of today. This live feed "doesn't just happen".

You did it again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46915295)

Another server down by slashdot

Your Flash plugin is outdated (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46915307)

No, your use or Flash is outdated... and I don't have a Flash plugin installed...

heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46915363)

First ever stream that worth watching..... and it's not working.... great.

HD? (1)

tpstigers (1075021) | about 3 months ago | (#46915581)

480p max. Seriously?

Re:HD? (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about 3 months ago | (#46915685)

I don't know about UStream, but on most of the sites I use, "Best" is a step above the highest listed resolution - in this case, 480p. Presumably, this means the stream is 720p.

Cameras (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 3 months ago | (#46915617)

I could provide a content free stream at a lot higher resolution than this from my webcam.

Re:Cameras (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46917545)

Ok, but can you provide it from a lot higher altitude than this one ?

13 years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46915895)

"After being continuously inhabited for more than 13 years, it is finally possible to log into Ustream and watch the Earth spinning on its axis in glorious HD."
The Earth has been continuously inhabited for considerably more than 13 years.

(Captcha: Dozens)

Your tax dollars at work.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46915993)

Seriously, NASA should do more of this. I think a high def webcam, planted on the moon with a nice lunar peak or two in the foreground with Earth positioned above the peaks, zoomed so Earth fills about 1/4 of the frame would be a mission worth doing. Live feed of 16 megapixel images updated every couple of minutes would be awesome. Then we could also learn how long it takes before lunar dust completely hoses up a lens.

And, for the grey square haters out there, are you too new to remember the Slashdot effect, or too short attention spanned to read the bit on the website about the feed only working when the ISS is in daylight?

Re:Your tax dollars at work.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46916081)

so out of all the shit that needs fixed on earth, your proposal is to spend billions of dollars to see how long it takes for moondust to get on a sliver of glass

fuck you

Re:Your tax dollars at work.... (1)

clovis (4684) | about 3 months ago | (#46916193)

so out of all the shit that needs fixed on earth, your proposal is to spend billions of dollars to see how long it takes for moondust to get on a sliver of glass

fuck you

Yes, actually. This is what I want to spend my money on.
We've spent trillions, on trying to fix shit that ain't ever going to get fixed, and I'd like to take a break and look at something pretty for a while.
Some money spent here:
http://www.oecd.org/dac/stats/... [oecd.org]

But, just to put things into perspective, look at what we're really spending money on:

http://mentalfloss.com/article... [mentalfloss.com] .

You think that we can't spend part of our cigarette budget on something else.

They really need a Ku-band schedule.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46916001)

Given the bandwidth the video must be coming down through TDRS via Ku band. It would be really nice if they just posted a count-down to the next Ku pass so people would know when that wonderfully not useful grey block was going to turn into a real live video feed.

Not Spinning On Its Axis! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46916327)

Uh. You're not watching the Earth spinning on its axis. You're watching the view from the ISS as it orbits the Earth... In order to watch the Earth spin on its axis, you need to be outside of Earth's orbit... or at least a higher altitude than geosynchronous orbit.

Live desktop wallpaper (1)

oren (78897) | about 3 months ago | (#46916945)

It would be nice to have a truly high-res image, at a lower frame rate (say one frame every few minutes), and use it for a live desktop wallpaper...

Now in HD! (2)

TheRhinoplast (3270849) | about 3 months ago | (#46917099)

Why has it taken this long to re-render it in HD? Blender could have done this years ago.

In other words for tinfoil hats (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46917119)

It toke 13 years from them to render a earth and ISS in HD 3D model....

why? (1)

SuperDre (982372) | about 3 months ago | (#46917145)

Why is it shut down during their 'nighttime'? Is it because noone is around to censor the video quickly when needed?

That's great, but.. (1)

bytesex (112972) | about 3 months ago | (#46917463)

extremetech is the kind of website that requires you to allow such an enormous crapload of all-interconnected javascript, that re-iterates every time you 'temporarily allow all this page', that I can't watch it.

Add "flash required" as a tag (2)

Ajay Anand (2838487) | about 3 months ago | (#46917535)

What's the point of HD if it needs flash.

scientists' personal interests (1)

Max_W (812974) | about 3 months ago | (#46917801)

Scientists, who own this project, will not let us see Earth in HD in real time. They are interested in publishing papers, getting Nobel and other prizes, i.e. keeping data to themselves.

This stream video link does not work as expected. And will not work.

Holy crap, look at all those scripts (1)

anyaristow (1448609) | about 3 months ago | (#46917893)

How can it be necessary to run scripts from so many sites? And if you allow the ones on extremetech to run, it runs even more third-party scripts. Short of serving up obvious malware, this is about as hostile and risky as a webpage gets.

WHAT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46919191)

What do they mean about it being inhabited for only 13 years--the Earth has been inhabited for a lot longer than that. Is this some kind of Even-Younger-Earth-Creationist nonsense in response to Last Thursdayism?

UrtheCast? (1)

lonecrow (931585) | about 3 months ago | (#46920473)

Is this the http://www.urthecast.com/ [urthecast.com] feed? Or a different camera altogether?

WHY CAN'T WE EVEN CLOSE A SLASHDOT ACCOUNT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46920673)

See also:
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/14/05/03/2025224/opting-out-of-big-data-snooping-harder-than-it-looks

Amazingly enough, Slashdot does not allow users to delete their accounts.
Worse, it does not even allow users to change their nicknames.

So, if you're concerned about Web analytics or analogous technologies
connecting your Slashdot postings to postings made with stylistic language,
zip codes, other inferred demographics, or even nicknames similar to those
of your Slashdot postings, you're shit out of luck. And speaking as one who
works in the field, such connections and inferences are far from mere
paranoia. Analytics and inferential knowledgebase-driven tracking is what
drives NSA data mining, many types of clicktracking, and magically targeted
Netflix & Amazon messages, and these methodologies are still barely out of
their infancy -- data collected today is likely to yield far more
information when mined 5 or 10 years from now, when increased data-storage
and processing capabilities eliminate some of the scalability constraints of
current technology. DNA computing, anyone?.

Still unconvinced? As recently as last March
(http://yro-beta.slashdot.org/story/13/03/11/218221/facebook-knows-if-youre-
gay-use-drugs-or-are-a-republican), Slashdot itself reported that
researchers, using only Facebook metadata (not postings), could generally
predict a user's sexual orientation, political party, IQ, likelihood to use
drugs, and other personal characteristics. Hence, prudence dictates that
online users should ALWAYS delete unnecessary traces. And older Slashdot
postings, which may be far more revealing than a Facebook "like," should
certainly be high on the list of deletion candidates -- even if you always
post as an AC.

Amazingly, Slashdot refuses to provide basic posting-deletion functionality.
It refuses to allow even half-assed attempts to hide one's identify by
changing a nick. And it won't acknowledge email requests to explain these
policies. When I sent a message to Slashdot last month asking for
clarification or assistance with deleting my account or past postings, I
received a form letter apologizing for "Slashdot's inability to reply to
every question about its new beta system."

Jeez, can't we even get kissed when we get fucked?

So what can a helpless Slashdot user do? Well, to start, I'll be continuing
to submit this message as a story proposal until I get some kind of reaction
from a Slashdot decision-maker who thinks I'm raising a valid issue. In the
interim, I STRONGLY urge anybody thinking of opening a Slashdot account, or
of posting other than anonymously, to think again. Search on Google (or
better, on the Patent Office Web site) for terms like "web analytics,"
"inferential statistics," "knowledgebase," "big data," "natural-language
prcoessing," or even just "cybersecurity." Or page through a copy of the
already-outdated, but still relevant, book "Dragnet Nation." And remember
that, once you open that Slashdot account, once you post that Slashdot
message, there's no redo.

Shame on you, Slashdot! I could understand seeing these kinds of policies on
a Duck Dynasty fan-club forum, but you guys are supposed to have a clue.
 

night view: The earth before streetlights (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46988011)

The page says it shows just black when the ISS is over the night side. Arent the cameras sensitive enough to pick up all that light pollution we produce?

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