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Old 29-08-2011, 08:30   #46
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Re: GPS Stops Working ? No Problem - We Have GLONASS . . .

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Did they really steal them or were they given to the russians,as one country with atomic weapons is the enemy of the world ...much better to have at least two countries with the capabilty .
Hmm, an interesting theory. Problem is, if you are the only country in the world with atomic weapons, you donít really have any enemies to worry about.
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Old 29-08-2011, 08:55   #47
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Re: GPS Stops Working ? No Problem - We Have GLONASS . . .

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They stole some fission bomb technology (and we stole some of it ourselves from the Germans), but fusion bombs -- hydrogen bombs -- the Soviets (not just Russians) invented all by themselves independently from us.
That is highly debatable. There is no definitive proof either way, but the fact that they acquired fission technology through US espionage makes it not unreasonable to expect that their fusion research was also supported by information gleaned from the West's fusion program. Remember, in basic research just the knowledge that someone else already achieved what you are trying to do can be of immense value.

With regard to the Russian space program, there was really no need for that long impassioned recital, we agree that Russian rocketry accomplishments are remarkable. My point was that they have done virtually nothing else!

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But since those early accomplishments, the Russians have done virtually nothing groundbreaking in just about any area in the last 50 years. I wish it weren't so.
IMO, making Glonass reliable over the next decades might be a greater challenge than initially delivering the satellites to orbit. The U.S. GPS has by now proved itself to be highly reliable to the benefit of the whole world. Letís hope that Glonass follows in its footsteps. But given its checkered history, it is not unreasonable to be somewhat skeptical in that expectation. At least initially.

In a complex system all parts have to work perfectly to reach the established goals. A good example was the manned moon race. The Russians had the best rockets and a huge lead in space exploration, but they were unable to develop the complex system that a manned mission represented.

Iím sorry, but it's highly unlikely you will convince me that other than rocketry, the Russians have given the world anything significant in terms of technological progress. The evidence just isn't there. Other than rocketry, the Russians simply have not had a reputation for technological innovation, ingenuity or reliability. Thatís just a fact of life... and it will take a looong time to change that perception.

Given their potential, for the last 50 years the Russians have really been astonishing underachievers in the world of technological progress. Just look around you Ė what of any significance in your life has originated or been developed in Russia?

I have nothing against the Russians. They are not the enemy any more. I hope they continue to improve and refine their social system so they can capitalize on their dormant potential. Letís see what the next 50 years brings.
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Old 29-08-2011, 11:12   #48
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Re: GPS Stops Working ? No Problem - We Have GLONASS . . .

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Maybe nothing "groundbreaking" but like the "turtle and hare" fable, the Russians are currently the only game in town when it comes to putting people into orbit and getting them back.
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Indeed.
Indeed, this just in:
NASA: Space station may be evacuated by late November - Yahoo! News

"CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Astronauts may need to temporarily abandon the International Space Station this fall if last week's Russian launch accident prevents new crews from flying, a NASA official said Monday.If Russia's essential Soyuz rockets remain grounded beyond mid-November, there will be no way to launch any more astronauts before the current residents are supposed to leave, said NASA's space station program manager, Mike Suffredini.
A space station supply ship was destroyed last week following liftoff from Kazakhstan. The failed upper stage of the Soyuz rocket is similar to what's used to launch astronauts."

Here's hoping our space program partners from Russia fix the Soyuz before we lose the ISS.
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Old 29-08-2011, 11:41   #49
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Re: GPS Stops Working ? No Problem - We Have GLONASS . . .

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You have to remember that the principles of Russian atomic arsenal were not developed in Russia, they were stolen from the West. Nothing groundbreaking (ehm) about stealing someone else's nuclear technology.

In any case, I hope Glonass operates as advertised and we all benefit. However, given my first-hand experience with Russian technology, if Glonass were the only GPS system available, I think I might actually be tempted to carry paper charts.
Sure. Mendeleev was but an impersonator too...

I think the main shortcoming is that all the satellite positioning systems work based on the same principles and so they may be affected one day, all at the same time, by the same disastrous misfortune.

I would much like something more along the lines of a global E-Loran (like thing) developed!

Daydreaming ;-), I know.

b.
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Old 29-08-2011, 11:57   #50
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Re: GPS Stops Working ? No Problem - We Have GLONASS . . .

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Sure. Mendeleev was but an impersonator too...
We're talking last 50 years, bro. Mendeleev died in 1907.
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Old 29-08-2011, 15:11   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel

Sure. Mendeleev was but an impersonator too...

I think the main shortcoming is that all the satellite positioning systems work based on the same principles and so they may be affected one day, all at the same time, by the same disastrous misfortune.

I would much like something more along the lines of a global E-Loran (like thing) developed!

Daydreaming ;-), I know.

b.
Ooh scary "some disastrous misfortune" sounds like a bogey man story to me.

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Old 29-08-2011, 15:52   #52
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Re: GPS Stops Working ? No Problem - We Have GLONASS . . .

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. . . Just look around you – what of any significance in your life has originated or been developed in Russia?
. . .
For me - Vodka, Borscht, and most significantly of all, my wife.
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Old 29-08-2011, 16:21   #53
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Re: GPS Stops Working ? No Problem - We Have GLONASS . . .

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For me - Vodka, Borscht, and most significantly of all, my wife.
In that list of high-tech items you left out caviar. Low-sodium diet?
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Old 29-08-2011, 16:48   #54
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Re: GPS Stops Working ? No Problem - We Have GLONASS . . .

Hate fish eggs - but I like fish. But my wife is a big fan of caviar so we have to have it in the cupboard. I had no idea what the difference is between "red" and "black" caviar but she sure does.
- - I love shellfish - clams, oysters, mussels, etc. but she - growing up and living thousands of km for any oceans - hates them. So it works out okay, she eats the roe and I eat the lobster.
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Old 29-08-2011, 17:16   #55
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Re: GPS Stops Working ? No Problem - We Have GLONASS . . .

But Comrade, GLONASS is using robust Soviet vacuum-tube technology and spring-loaded clock instead of Cesium atomics, appearing only to be crude and obsolete while cleverly being built to withstand solar winds and capitalist EMP attacks!

KJ? "compass, sextant and charts, dividers, triangles are all you need" Columbus did NOT have all that stuff, and he didn't need it either. Although, he was considered expendable and he DID totally not reach his intended destination. Norsemen, Polynesians, many older sailors did much better with much less.

Probably because they prayed to different gods.
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Old 29-08-2011, 17:40   #56
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Re: GPS Stops Working ? No Problem - We Have GLONASS . . .

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I had no idea what the difference is between "red" and "black" caviar but she sure does.
Yeah, and I'll bet she buys black. Nothing like a classic beluga, if you can get it.

BTW, I heard that caviar is one of the foods most often counterfeited. You might be paying the price of a Russian beluga, but in reality you are getting Mississippi paddle-fish eggs. Unless you are a true connoisseur, it's kind of hard to tell the difference. It takes DNA analysis to distinguish the real McCoy. Interestingly, the other item mentioned as being counterfeited often was sheep cheese (vs. cow cheese). Since both of those food groups are some of my favorites, I make it a habit to carry an enzymatic DNA sequencer whenever I go shopping for these items.
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Old 30-08-2011, 02:29   #57
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Re: GPS Stops Working ? No Problem - We Have GLONASS . . .

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That is highly debatable. There is no definitive proof either way, but the fact that they acquired fission technology through US espionage makes it not unreasonable to expect that their fusion research was also supported by information gleaned from the West's fusion program.
On the contrary, it is not controversial among historians that the Soviet hydrogen bomb was an original design. The Soviets were working on hydrogen bombs before they even had a working fission bomb. Kurchatov and Sakharov understood early, and correctly, that fission bombs -- Hiroshima-type bombs -- would not be nearly as useful militarily as two-stage fusion bombs. The very first H-bomb design -- the "Sloika" -- was a completely original invention by Kurchatov and was never developed in the West. The Soviets produced and exploded a deliverable H-bomb half a year before we did.

Everyone stole as much nuclear weapons technology as they could -- it was a reasonable approach. A lot of stolen technology was used both by us and by the Soviets in the development of the fission bomb. But by the late 1940's both we and the Soviets had managed to lock to down our research facilities quite tightly, and thereafter development proceeded mostly independently.


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In a complex system all parts have to work perfectly to reach the established goals. A good example was the manned moon race. The Russians had the best rockets and a huge lead in space exploration, but they were unable to develop the complex system that a manned mission represented. .
They were not "unable" to develop the technology required for a manned mission to the moon. There was not much new technology required for that -- just gigantic expense. For very little scientific purpose. Our landing on the moon was not really a scientific mission -- it was a huge publicity stunt and a terrific adventure (And I think it's great we did it! A nation needs that kind of adventure!). The Soviets didn't want to spend the money on it -- they thought about it, because they had no doubt that they could do it ahead of us. It would have been a publicity coup for the Soviets at the height of the Cold War. But they had some problems with the boosters designed for their lunar program and decided not to mess with it. They instead concentrated on -- more technologically complex -- unmanned, robotic spacecraft, which they figured would bring more scientific benefit for less cost. And using these complex robotic spacecraft, they made the first soft landings on the moon. Their Luna program was very successful, with only one failure out of 20 missions, with some very complex missions involving robotic lunar rovers, returning soil samples to Earth, etc. The Luna program was more technology complex, more elegant, and more scientifically useful than our manned moon landings.

Soviet Missions to the Moon

And in fact, after we achieved our big publicity stunt (and wonderful adventure), we stopped any pretense of manned space exploration, and started using the Soviet approach of unmanned robotic probes like the Mariner, etc.

We have been exploring Mars using exactly the same basic approach as the Soviets used to explore the moon in the 1960's. Simply because it makes more sense. But although it makes no scientific sense, I am all in favor of a manned mission to Mars!! We should do it as a joint venture with the Russians and the ESA.


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Iím sorry, but it's highly unlikely you will convince me that other than rocketry, the Russians have given the world anything significant in terms of technological progress. The evidence just isn't there. Other than rocketry, the Russians simply have not had a reputation for technological innovation, ingenuity or reliability. Thatís just a fact of life... and it will take a looong time to change that perception.

Given their potential, for the last 50 years the Russians have really been astonishing underachievers in the world of technological progress. Just look around you Ė what of any significance in your life has originated or been developed in Russia?.
This is simply not true. The Russians have been prolific inventors through the ages. To answer your last question, just a few examples: radio (Popov, two years before Marconi, and undisputably invented the first working radio set), television (Zvorykin), helicopters (Sikorsky -- true, he did it in immigration in the US), oil wells, arc welding, reinforced concrete, punch cards, dry batteries -- just to name a couple of things.

The Russians are not underachievers in technology at all. This is a mere prejudice. They produce superb, high-quality, high-technology goods, particularly in the aerospace field, but also power plants, all kinds of weapons systems, etc., etc. (By the way, does anyone here know that Boeing does most of its airframe design in its Moscow design bureau? Expensive but it's the best.) What the Russians have never been able to do is to efficiently mass produce consumer goods, which is something very different. That's the result and negative legacy of the Soviet system. So they made and still make excellent supercomputers -- even today the fastest supercomputer is a Russian design. But they never understood the demand for PC's and never produced them. That's really the problem of Russian technology in a nutshell -- supercomputers, but no PCs. Excellent supersonic jet fighters, but the crappiest washing machines ever made. They made the best tank of WWII -- the T34. They make excellent trucks (the Kamaz). But they make the worst cars in the world (in fairness, however, we made crappy cars for decades, too).
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Old 30-08-2011, 08:26   #58
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Re: GPS Stops Working ? No Problem - We Have GLONASS . . .

Those of us of a certain age in the West still say "Russian" and "Soviet" interchangeably, which is kinda like saying "Jerusalemites" and lumping in everyone who lives there are being the same. Ain't quite correct.

Pre-Soviet, the Russian cartographers were considered the best in the world. Post-Soviet, they did a good job quietly shifting cities and landmark topography many miles--in order to confuse invaders. We forget, Russia has been attacked and invaded many times with huge death tolls over the past hundred years and longer, not just WW2.

The "Soviet paranoia" about defense and the huge drain of their defense budget stopped their moon plans. Paranoia? Perhaps, but the US now openly admits to at least 50 spy flights over Soviet heartlands during the Cold War. Gary Powers was just the poster boy for the problem. If they had overflown Alaska and DC and Boston the way we flew over their cities? JFK would have launched the missiles.

It is also openly accepted that the Kalishnakov rifle design (cheap assembly, stamped parts, tipping bolt instead of rotary) has been a huge commercial success and become "the" rifle of the world, more so than any US or NATO design before or since. Yes, that's technology. And their crude aircraft? Ask any Afghani about a Hind attack helicopter, it can just hang in there and swat everything that comes at it. Or their jet aircraft, generally designed with "crude low performance" that allows them to use dirty short runways, where the high-strung western designs would literally ingest debris and tear themselves apart halfway down the runway.

Just don't ask me to drive a Lada.<G>

Their system did not encourage creativity or dissent. It had many problems. Of course, the West is still experiencing problems caused by not-so-dissimilar intrinsic flaws.

But go back a hundred years, the British, German, Russian crowns were all family, and if each branch of the family has gone a bit mad in a different way...yeah, inbreeding does that. What's the line? "Ellybody crazy this bus!"
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Old 30-08-2011, 09:13   #59
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Re: GPS Stops Working ? No Problem - We Have GLONASS . . .

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The very first H-bomb design -- the "Sloika" -- was a completely original invention by Kurchatov and was never developed in the West.The Soviets produced and exploded a deliverable H-bomb half a year before we did.
I suspect you know that the Russian Sloika RDS-6 bomb was not considered a true H-bomb in that 80% of the released energy came from fission, not fusion. It was a dead-end design never adopted by anyone, including the Russians. The Soviets did not explode their first true H-bomb until Nov. 22, 1955, two years after the US test.

So that is reality. However, as a common theme running through your reply, it is the prerogative of a Russophile propagandist (sorry) to often prefer denial to reality. For everyone else, it’s just misleading information that does not contribute to an objective debate. May as well engage in a dead-horse-beating contest.

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They were not "unable" to develop the technology required for a manned mission to the moon…. But they had some problems with the boosters designed for their lunar program and decided not to mess with it.
Beautifully illustrates my point – in a complex system it ALL has to work right! So instead of perfecting the complex system, as the Merkins did, the Soviets just “decided not to mess with it”. LOL!

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They instead concentrated on -- more technologically complex -- unmanned, robotic spacecraft, which they figured would bring more scientific benefit for less cost…. Their Luna program was very successful, with only one failure out of 20 missions, The Luna program was more technology complex, more elegant, and more scientifically useful than our manned moon landings.
I am incredulous how anyone with an objective mind can possibly begin to compare the complexity of a robotic space program with the requirements of a manned landing and return program. There are orders and orders of magnitude of difference in the requirements.

The Russian Luna program was excellent, but it was also replete with failures. Claiming that only one out of 20 missions failed is utterly disingenuous. Just look at the complete listing at Wiki – there were around 45 missions and perhaps half of them ended in failures. I suppose one can afford that kind of a miserable success percentage in an unmanned program, but it would be unthinkable to apply it to a manned program.

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And in fact, after we achieved our big publicity stunt (and wonderful adventure), we stopped any pretense of manned space exploration, and started using the Soviet approach of unmanned robotic probes like the Mariner, etc.
Yes, it was in many ways a propagandistic stunt, but that doesn’t in any way diminish the American achievement in executing the successful manned lunar landings. To illustrate the magnitude of this achievement, it is interesting to note that to this day a significant percentage of people in many countries simply don’t believe that the lunar landings actually happened.

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We have been exploring Mars using exactly the same basic approach as the Soviets used to explore the moon in the 1960's. Simply because it makes more sense. But although it makes no scientific sense, I am all in favor of a manned mission to Mars!! We should do it as a joint venture with the Russians and the ESA.
I am absolutely in favor of unmanned robotic probes, especially those oriented toward the exploration of the Earth and its environs. At this point I don’t see any compelling need for manned missions, outside of tourism perhaps.

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This is simply not true. The Russians have been prolific inventors through the ages. To answer your last question, just a few examples: radio (Popov, two years before Marconi, and undisputably invented the first working radio set), television (Zvorykin), helicopters (Sikorsky -- true, he did it in immigration in the US), oil wells, arc welding, reinforced concrete, punch cards, dry batteries -- just to name a couple of things.
I guess it’s the old reading comprehension failure again – we are discussing the Russian technological contributions over the LAST 50 YEARS. Dredging up Popov, Zworykin, Sikorsky et al., is a meaningless off-topic argumentation. Might as well bring up Mendeleev, as the other poster did. BTW, Zworykin also “did it in immigration in the US”, so his achievements would not be germane to this debate anyway. Plus it was way more than 50 years ago.

And wait, so the Russians invented reinforced concrete in the last 50 years? Arc-welding? Punch cards? This is starting to sound like the old classic “iz true, all inwented in Russia” joke.

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The Russians are not underachievers in technology at all. This is a mere prejudice.
Sorry, counselor, you have failed to support your case convincingly. Do not claim prejudice until you have submitted more persuasive arguments.

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They produce superb, high-quality, high-technology goods, particularly in the aerospace field
Such as? Based on real-life performances and market demand, the Russian airliners and fighter jets don’t appear to be at all competitive with their Western counterparts.

Quote:
but also power plants, all kinds of weapons systems, etc., etc
Outside of Russia and their natural client states, none of those products have a meaningful economic penetration – other than the Kalashnikov rifle, perhaps. The world capitalist is by-and-large an apolitical creature and tends to naturally gravitate toward the better, the more efficient, the more economical – all in the holy quest to make the most money. That’s the ultimate proof in the pudding. Despite indignant protestation and a litany of obscure arguments, Russian technological products simply do not have a significant enough presence in the world economy to demonstrate any notable technological competence. That’s today’s reality… let's hope that will change in the future.

In any case, this is a dead-horse topic, an utter waste of time. So you may have the last word.
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Old 30-08-2011, 11:34   #60
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Re: GPS Stops Working ? No Problem - We Have GLONASS . . .

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But Comrade, GLONASS is using robust Soviet vacuum-tube technology and spring-loaded clock instead of Cesium atomics, appearing only to be crude and obsolete while cleverly being built to withstand solar winds and capitalist EMP attacks!
One last shot at this worn-out topic. There is an oft-told apocryphal tale used to illustrate the differences between the US and Russian space programs. It has to with the development of a pen capable of working in zero gravity. Supposedly NASA paid millions of dollars to develop such a pen, whereas the Russians used (wait for it...)... A PENCIL! This is typically exclaimed with a triumphant gleam in the eye, accompanied by general chortling about how the wily Russians pulled another one over the gullible Americans. Imagine, the Americans paid a fortune for something the clever Russians realized could as easily be accomplished with a prosaic pencil... har, har.

Reality is somewhat different, however. Here is the Wiki entry on this:

ďA common urban legend states that, faced with the fact that ball-point pens will not write in zero-gravity, NASA spent a large amount of money to develop a pen that would write in the conditions experienced during spaceflight (the result purportedly being the Fisher Space Pen), while the Soviet Union took the simpler (and cheaper) route of just using pencils. This story is in fact untrue, as the development of the Fisher Space Pen was done independently of NASA, using private funds, and only sold to NASA (and the Soviet Union) after it was completed.

Russian cosmonauts used pencils, and grease pencils on plastic slates until also adopting a space pen in 1969 with a purchase of 100 units for use on all future missions. NASA programs previously used pencils (for example a 1965 order of mechanical pencils) but because of the substantial dangers that broken-off pencil tips and graphite dust pose in zero gravity to electronics and the flammable nature of the wood present in pencils a better solution was needed. NASA never approached Paul Fisher to develop a pen, nor did Fisher receive any government funding for the pen's development. Fisher invented it independently, and then asked NASA to try it. After the introduction of the AG7 Space Pen, both the American and Soviet (later Russian) space agencies adopted it.Ē
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