News of the Week; April 18, 2018

GAMES

  1. Cop won’t be charged in “swatting” death of Kansas man: Victim’s family is “devastated” by the decision, their lawyer says.
  2. Blog: A legal analysis of the NetEase vs. PUBG lawsuit
  3. In-Game Currency Triggers State Gambling Laws, Rendering Mobile Game “Illegal Gambling”
  4. Patrick Soderlund: EA “can’t afford” another loot box controversy with Anthem – Newly promoted chief design officer promises publisher has learned from mistakes with Star Wars debacle
  5. Loot boxes, skins gambling to hit $50 billion by 2022: Juniper Research “strongly recommends regulation for skin trading and gambling” in report covering growth of practices
  6. Microsoft & other game companies win out in camera patent lawsuit
  7. Patent lawsuit against Microsoft, EA, and Nintendo quashed at appeal: Federal court finds patent holder’s argument “unconvincing”
  8. FTC warns that, yes, those warranty-voiding stickers on consoles are illegal
  9. FTC warns about illegal warranties, likely including Nintendo and Sony: Federal Trade Commission states that companies are not allowed to force users to use specific service providers
  10. Sophisticated APT surveillance malware comes to Google Play: Attackers pushing mobile surveillance-ware are stepping up their game.
  11. Google Play under investigation by South Korea’s FTC over market abuse
  12. Google Play faces allegations of market abuse in South Korea: South Korean FTC begins survey of mobile companies to uncover alleged abuses
  13. Female game devs in South Korea are being harassed for feminist beliefs 
  14. Cliff Bleszinski accuses Epic Games of stealing staff: Boss Key co-founder believes there is plenty of room in Battle Royale genre as Radical Heights gains momentum
  15. SteamSpy creator warns PC market is once again open to abuse: “Imagine signing a basketball player without knowing his past performance,” posits Sergey Galyonkin
  16. Valve’s SteamSpy snub will only hurt smaller developers: And thus begins a rant about digital data
  17. Valve’s move against SteamSpy isn’t such a big deal, says No More Robots founder – Mike Rose: “There’s no doubt people right now are making games because they thought SteamSpy told them to”
  18. Eugen Systems developers call an end to strike: “We have stopped striking… after more than a month a half, to conserve our resources for the future”
  19. How Dlala survived the loss of a $3m Disney deal: CEO AJ Grand-Scrutton shares the cautionary tale of a studio whose life-changing game was scrapped without warning
  20. Hollywood Should Make Movies That Grapple with Gamergate
  21. Cheater! Billy Mitchell stripped of scores, banned from premiere scoreboard: Full investigation shows King of Kong star used emulators, not real hardware.
  22. Billy Mitchell says he’s “not going to stop now” after scoreboard ban: Disgraced score-chaser promises witnesses, documents will redeem his name.
  23. Devs can now pitch crowdfunded games based on D&D co-creator’s unpublished work
  24. Estate of Dungeons & Dragons creator teams with crowdfunding/investment site for video game project
  25. The accidental relevance of Wolfenstein: The New Colossus – MachineGames creative director Jens Matthies on when he realized his Nazi-killing game was going to be politically topical, and dealing honestly with Nazi ideology
  26. God of War (2018): How to reinvent a beloved series without ruining what works – Kratos’ son avoids Scrappy-Doo syndrome amid more strategic melee brawling.
  27. Reversing the sunk cost fallacy: Devs recount what shouldn’t have been cut
  28. Win Mazda’s new iRacing challenge to get a test in an MX-5 race car: The winners of online and at-track rounds will compete at Daytona in 2019 for the test.
  29. Spending On Games Up By 13% Among US Iphone Users: Games Account For Largest Share Of Apps Installed On Average User’s Device
  30. Iron Harvest most successful video game Kickstarter in nearly a year: King Art Games’ crowdfunded project the first to break $1 million in 2018
  31. Do gamers really care about cross-platform play?: GameTrack survey of European gamers shows indifference to the trend, and a lack of influence on purchasing decisions
  32. With 2 million units sold, Shovel Knight generated the most income from Switch sales
  33. Shovel Knight earns more revenue from Switch sales than any other platform: Yacht Club Games’ signature  title sells faster on Switch than any other console
  34. Nintendo seeking startups to improve Switch hardware: Platform holder teams up with Scrum Ventures to source new add-ons and technology for hybrid console
  35. Nintendo soliciting pitches from startups for innovative Switch tools and tech
  36. Nintendo seeking startups to improve Switch hardware: Platform holder teams up with Scrum Ventures to source new add-ons and technology for hybrid console
  37. Sega entering micro-console biz with Mega Drive Mini
  38. Sega reveals Mega Drive Mini: Publisher’s entry into the mini console market begins with Japan-only release
  39. Ex-PlayStation boss points to streaming as gaming’s next “inflection point”: Andrew House also sees emerging markets keeping physical media alive and console life-cycles long
  40. EA shakes up executive team to ‘sharpen focus’ on creative core
  41. Firing the middlemen: How blockchain can reshape digital distribution – Korrobox CEO Benjamin Huang discusses how the platform intends to eliminate costs of payment handling and fraud
  42. Pro Evolution Soccer loses UEFA Champions League license: Konami ends its partnership with European tournament after a decade
  43. Yoko Taro: We don’t need to think globally to sell globally – Nier Automata director and PlatinumGames lead designer Takahisa Taura discuss developing for Western tastes, 3D action games, and the dilemma of multiple endings
  44. Dwarf Fortress is giving its dwarves the ability to form (and dwell on) memories
  45. Hellblade wins big at 2018 BAFTAs as Edith Finch takes top honor
  46. What Remains of Edith Finch beats out AAA giants to win the BAFTA for Best Game
  47. A Way Out has sold over 1 million copies in two weeks
  48. A Way Out sells 1 million in two weeks: Hazelight Studios’ EA Originals co-op prison break game wastes no time hitting milestone
  49. Rainbow Six Siege has pulled in 30 million players
  50. Rainbow Six Siege reaches 30 million registered players: Ubisoft’s multiplayer shooter goes from strength to strength
  51. Life is Strange dev Dontnod headed toward an IPO
  52. Terraria spin-off canned after three years in development
  53. Counter-Strike pro player suspended over racist comment: Remarks “went beyond something being a genuine joke” says Faceit Pro League rep
  54. Naomi Kyle Joins WatchMojo’s Gaming Channel With New Let’s Play Series
  55. Twitch takes 82% of viewership hours for the top streaming titles in Q1: Esports content generated 11 per cent of all viewership hours across Twitch and YouTube
  56. Twitch reportedly affected by IP address bans in Russia
  57. Twitch Revamps Channel Analytics Dashboard As Part Of Yearlong Effort
  58. Twitch signs multi-year deal with NBA 2K League: First media rights deal for the NBA and Take-Two’s esports endeavor will see up to 199 games aired live on streaming site
  59. Battle Royale threatens a repeat of the MOBA bloodbath: With around a dozen Battle Royale titles set for release by the end of this year, developers need to be realistic about their chances of wresting market share from PUBG and Fortnite
  60. Blog: Why Fortnite will fall, but battle royale will rise on mobile
  61. Fortnite studio called out by Gears of Wardirector over hiring practices: Asks Epic to “please stop trying to hire away my team” – after major December defection.
  62. Fortnite mobile nabbed $25M in revenue during its first month
  63. Activision Blizzard enlists Nielsen for esports valuation: Tracking firm to assess value of sponsorship packages to see if brands are getting their money’s worth
  64. Unikrn sets up cryptocurrency esports betting platform with acquisition of ChallengeMe.gg: “This is a big deal for me, for Unikrn and, honestly, for the entire gaming ecosystem,” says Unikrn CEO
  65. Augmented and virtual reality consumer content market hits $3.2bn: Virtual reality install base expected to reach 75.7 million by 2021
  66. How psychological experiments influenced the design of Vault 11 in Fallout: New Vegas 
  67. Blog: Understanding the role of music in VR
  68. The Young And The Reckless: A gang of teen hackers snatched the keys to Microsoft’s videogame empire. Then they went too far.
  69. V&A Museum: Video games are approaching a cultural tipping point – Curator Marie Foulston discusses how the industry can help a wider range of people understand our full impact and potential, and get them to look beyond the blockbusters
  70. A (slightly) different way to think about games and art
  71. Communications Accessibility In Games: What Game Developers Need To Know
  72. Crazy racing mash-up: Gamer vs driver in real cars, but with video-game views – Identical Ford Mustangs with the windows blacked out and an external camera to see.
  73. Video: How the classic arcade game NBA Jam was designed 
  74. How Xbox got its start — and its name
  75. Exploring the rise and eventual fall of Xbox’s early teenage hacker

DIGITAL

  1. Teen charged in Nova Scotia government breach says he had ‘no malicious intent’: 19-year-old says he believed documents were ‘free to just download’ from province’s FOIPOP web portal
  2. Digital Disruption: How Should Canadian Regulators Respond?
  3. 19-Year-Old Canadian Facing Criminal Charges For Downloading Publicly-Accessible Documents
  4. Facebook must face class action over facial recognition, judge rules
  5. Judge Clears Way for Major Class Action Suit Against Facebook Over Face Recognition 
  6. Facebook’s Potential $70 billion Legal Challenge
  7. Facebook Is Steering Users Away From Privacy Protections
  8. Facebook Stops Funding Opposition to California Privacy Focused Ballot Act 
  9. Why dictators love Facebook 
  10. Congress Never Wanted to Regulate Facebook. Until Now
  11. Facebook data transfers to be examined by EU court, Irish judge rules – Activist: “US law requires Facebook to help the NSA…and EU law prohibits just that.”
  12. After Cambridge Analytica, Privacy Experts Get to Say ‘I Told You So’
  13. This plan would regulate Facebook without going through Congress: How to rein in data collection without going through Congress
  14. Zuckerberg’s New Hate Speech Plan: Out With the Court and In With the Code 
  15. As Zuckerberg Smiles To Congress, Facebook Fights State Privacy Laws 
  16. Tens of thousands of Facebook accounts compromised in days by malware: Professionally developed trojan posing as a stress reliever infects 40,000 PCs.
  17. “Not too fond of Facebook”: A dating app removes its linked-profile requirement – Could be the first of many apps to dump FB requirements in wake of recent disclosures.
  18. The problems with Facebook are inherent in its design, but that can change
  19. Inverting The Expected Order Of Things, German Court Orders Facebook To Reinstate ‘Offensive’ Content
  20. Is Facebook a Community? Digital Experts Weigh In
  21. What Comes After The Social Media Empires: “Maybe we’ve reached the point where it’s not even possible to have Facebook in common.”
  22. ‘One Has This Feeling of Having Contributed to Something That’s Gone Very Wrong’: A conversation with VR pioneer Jaron Lanier on Silicon Valley’s politics, being quoted by Mark Zuckerberg, and what went wrong with the internet.
  23. This isn’t the first time a tech boom has interfered with democracy 
  24. Watch Obama, Voiced By Jordan Peele, Warn Against Fake News In BuzzFeed Video
  25. Singaporean Government Creates Fake News To Push Fake News Legislation 
  26. Stealing Your Online Face – Online Truth Suffers Another Blow 
  27. Actually, Social Media Isn’t An Echo Chamber
  28. At-Home Dental Appliance Company Sues Website For Having Opinions About Its Products
  29. Despite Repeated Evidence That It’s Unnecessary And Damaging, Trump Signs SESTA/FOSTA
  30. Amended Complaint Filed Against Backpage… Now With SESTA/FOSTA
  31. Backpage CEO pleads guilty to conspiracy, money laundering: Carl Ferrer agreed to end Backpage and help prosecution of his former co-workers.
  32. Apple may debut its own news subscription service within the next year: An upgraded Apple News app could be home to the company’s trusted news sources.
  33. Apple’s Infringement In $502M Security IP Row Willful: Jury
  34. Apple memo warning employees about leaking gets leaked: Apple warns leakers that “they’re getting caught faster than ever.”
  35. Apple’s Internal Memo Warning Employees Not To Leak To The Press Leaks To The Press
  36. Apple plans to kill 32-bit app support on MacOS in the near future
  37. U.S. iPhone users spent an average of $58 on apps and IAPs in 2017
  38. The Wired Guide To Internet Addiction: Everything you ever wanted to know about screen time, likes, and pull-to-refresh.
  39. Congress Enacts Law Creating a Sex Trafficking Exception From the Immunity Provided by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act
  40. Ted Cruz Demands A Return Of The Fairness Doctrine, Which He Has Mocked In The Past, Due To Misunderstanding CDA 230 
  41. Scott Pruitt has “at least four” official email addresses, senators say: According to The Washington Post, one of them is sooners7@epa.gov.
  42. Court upholds clickwrap agreement, reiterating that general principles of contract apply 
  43. How Android Phones Hide Missed Security Updates From You
  44. LA Official Is Starting to Get Fed Up With Waze’s Habit of Directing Drivers Down a Death Slalom
  45. A crummy drop-down menu appeared to kill dozens of mothers in Texas: This doesn’t mean maternal mortality in Texas or the US is OK. It’s still horrific.
  46. Artificial intelligence and copyright
  47. Algorithmic Accountability: A Primer
  48. A.I. Engineers Must Open Their Designs To Democratic Control: When it comes to A.I., we need to keep humans in the loop.
  49. AI Tool Helps Law Enforcement Find Victims of Human Trafficking
  50. Lawmakers Want You to Be Able to Sue Robots
  51. IKEA Furniture Tests Your Relationship, Also Robots
  52. A Robot Does The Impossible: Assembling An Ikea Chair Without Having A Meltdown
  53. Google works out a fascinating, slightly scary way for AI to isolate voices in a crowd: Google researchers try to replicate the “cocktail party effect” for computers.
  54. Beyoncé Leads YouTube To Record-Setting 41 Million Viewers On Coachella Streams
  55. Barcelona-Based YouTuber Faces Prison For Pranking Homeless Man With Doctored Oreos
  56. Lawsuit Alleges That YouTube Star Poppy’s Shtick Was Stolen From Another Creator
  57. Stupid Copyright: MLB Shuts Down Twitter Account Of Guy Who Shared Cool MLB Gifs
  58. YouTube tackling creator monetisation issues new pilot scheme: Self certification “will make the monetisation process much smoother with fewer false positive demonetisations,” says YouTube CEO
  59. YouTube demonetized my tuba videos (also, I make tuba videos): YouTube can’t decide if I can make money off my 10-year-old Legend of Zelda video or not.
  60. Ex-YouTube Engineer Builds Site To Figure Out What Content The Video Site’s Algorithm Recommends
  61. Citing Viewership Suppression, Philip DeFranco Again Says New Shows Won’t Be Distributed YouTube-First
  62. YouTube’s Restrictions On Firearms Content Has Led A Gun Manufacturer To Sue A Creator 
  63. YouTube TV Adds Cheddar, Cheddar Big News To Lineup, Marking First Digital-Native Channels
  64. YouTube TV brings two Cheddar digital-only shows to its lineup: The financial media company will offer its finance and general news channels to YouTube’s live TV service.
  65. Google Staffer’s Scrappy Design Becomes Healing Symbol After YouTube Shooting
  66. Google refuses to fix Waze so it won’t route people on 32%-grade road
  67. Hulu Keeps Pace With YouTube TV By Sponsoring NBA Playoffs
  68. Sports Illustrated Launches SVOD Service On Roku, iOS, Android, And The Web
  69. Formula 1’s streaming service goes live with the Spanish GP in May: You’ll need a browser to watch it at first, but mobile and TV apps are coming
  70. Sports-Centric Skinny Bundle FuboTV Raises $75 Million From Fox, AMC, Sky
  71. The Digital Afterlife is Open for Business. But It Needs Rules.
  72. Beautycon Launches Content Pact With BET Ahead Of Sold-Out New York Event
  73. FouseyTube To Enter Rehab For Addiction, Depression, And Bipolar Disorder
  74. Ja Rule’s catastrophic Fyre Festival gets a documentary series on Hulu
  75. Hulu Nabs Docuseries About The Infamous Fyre Festival Scam
  76. 80% Of Netflix Viewership Comes From Licensed Content, Not Originals (Study)
  77. Despite October 2017 Price Hike, Netflix Added 7.4 Million New Customers In Q1 2018
  78. Netflix Bows Out Of Cannes After Festival Tells Streaming Services To Get Off Its Lawn
  79. Netflix Sees Itself As The Anti-Apple
  80. Comcast To Sell Netflix Subscriptions In False Belief This Will Slow Cord Cutting
  81. Amazon and Best Buy team up to sell TVs, but it’s a risky move for Best Buy: Best Buy will carry TVs with Amazon software and will sell TVs on Amazon.com.
  82. House of Lords issues report on digital advertising market 
  83. $2 Million Allegedly Stolen From Cryptocurrency Vlogger in the Middle of His Livestream
  84. Bitcoin heist suspect reportedly walked out of low-security prison, onto flight: Sindri Thor Stefansson had been arrested over theft of 600 bitcoin-mining computers.
  85. New York’s Attorney General Begins Inquiry Into Cryptocurrency Practices
  86. New York Attorney General Launches Inquiry into Cryptocurrency Exchanges 
  87. Microsoft’s bid to secure the Internet of Things: Custom Linux, custom chips, Azure – This is Redmond’s first-ever Linux distribution.
  88. Microsoft claims to make Chrome safer with new extension: A purported Edge advantage is now available in Chrome.
  89. Welcome To The Wikipedia For Terms Of Service Agreements
  90. Online-Transactions can trigger Specific Jurisdiction of U.S. Courts
  91. Canada’s Tough Anti-Piracy Copyright Law: Federal Court Awards Millions in Damages Against Unauthorized Streaming Site (Michael Geist)
  92. Digital Trends and Initiatives in Education: The Study the Association of Canadian Publishers Tried To Bury (Michael Geist)

CREATIVITY

  1. The monkey selfie lawsuit lives: PETA and the photographer settled last year, but the Ninth Circuit will be issuing a ruling anyway
  2. Citing monkey business, court refuses to toss simian selfie lawsuit
  3. We Interrupt Today’s News With An Update From The Monkey Selfie Case
  4. Oracle wins in US copyright case: consequences for EU software market?
  5. Plaintiff Torpedoed with Attorneys’ Fees for “Objectively Unreasonable” Copyright Claim 
  6. Broadway Producers Offer to Perform “To Kill a Mockingbird” in Court to Prove Faithfulness to Novel 
  7. Barreau du Québec files bombshell motion: A motion filed by the Barreau du Québec and the Montreal Bar, argues that all of the province’s laws are illegal because they were drafted and adopted in French only.
  8. “Weight Loss” vs. “Weight Management”: Vitamin Shoppe Sidesteps False Advertising Suit 
  9. From East Coast to West Coast: Actresses Lose Right of Publicity Cases as Courts Rule in Favor of the First Amendment Rights of Content Creators
  10. Three Parents of Sandy Hook Victims File Defamation Lawsuits Against InfoWars’ Alex Jones 
  11. Sean Hannity was very concerned about conflicts of interest — until he had one
  12. Sean Hannity’s Ties to Two More Trump-Connected Lawyers: The Fox News host denies that Michael Cohen was ever his lawyer—but Hannity was represented by a pair of legal advisers who also have close links to the president.
  13. Time for Fox News to investigate Sean Hannity
  14. “You Only Hire Cohen For One Reason”: Inside Fox News, Sean Hannity’s Michael Cohen Disclosure Stokes A Crisis As Murdoch Wavers On Trump – The revelation that Trump’s lawyer offered legal advice to Fox News’s biggest name was shocking
  15. Fox News ‘surprised’ by Hannity’s relationship with Cohen, but stands by him
  16. Levi’s Has Filed Trademark Suits Against Just About Everyone
  17. NCAA In Tune with Dancing With the Stars  
  18. Putting It In Writing: The Return Of The Morality Clause In The Age Of #MeToo And Time’s Up (Part I)
  19. Putting It In Writing: The Return of The Morality Clause In The Age of #MeToo and Time’s Up (Part II)  
  20. New Hampshire Court: First Amendment Says You Can Call A Patent Troll A Patent Troll
  21. The Scientific Importance of Free Speech
  22. Against Copyright Balance: Canadian Heritage Officials Say It’s Time “To Move Beyond the Notion of Balance” (Michael Geist)
  23. Canadian Music Industry Confirms Once More That For Copyright Companies, Enough Is Never Enough
  24. The Music Industry Now Wants To Creep Past Site-Blocking Into App-Blocking

MEDIA, COMMUNICATIONS & NET NEUTRALITY

  1. Former FCC Broadband Advisory Panel Chair Arrested For Fraud
  2. Ajit Pai’s ex-broadband advisor arrested on charge of forging fiber contracts: Ex-CEO and committee chair accused of defrauding investors with fake contracts.
  3. Broadband adviser picked by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai arrested on fraud charges: Elizabeth Pierce allegedly tricked investors into pouring $250 million into a fiber optic scheme by forging revenue agreements
  4. Ajit Pai refuses Democrats’ request to revoke Sinclair broadcast licenses: Pai springs into action – and much faster than when Trump wanted to punish NBC.
  5. Bad news for AT&T and Comcast: Calif. Senate panel OKs net neutrality bill – AT&T, cable lobbyists can’t convince Calif. senators to scrap net neutrality.
  6. AT&T and cable lobby are terrified of a California net neutrality bill: ISPs hate California bill even more than the FCC rules they helped kill.
  7. T-Mobile deceived customers with “false ring tones” on failed phone calls: FCC fines T-Mobile $40M for rural call failures but requires no refunds.
  8. FCC to Look at the KidVid Rules in a Formal Proceeding Soon 
  9. ACLU: If Americans Want Privacy & Net Neutrality, They Should Build Their Own Broadband Networks
  10. The FCC’s ‘Broadband Advisory Council’ Keeps Losing Members Due To Cronyism
  11. Commissioner Clyburn to Leave the FCC 
  12. The FCC loses a fierce consumer advocate as Mignon Clyburn resigns: Clyburn, the “conscience” of FCC, advocated for net neutrality 

SURVEILLANCE & PRIVACY

  1. Bad News For ‘Privacy Shield’: As Expected, EU’s Top Court Will Examine Legality Of Sending Personal Data To US
  2. California Bill Could Introduce A Constitutionally Questionable ‘Right To Be Forgotten’ In The US
  3. Court Orders Google to Remove Results for Man’s Criminal Record Under “Right to be Forgotten”
  4. Google attempted end run around Canadian courts fails, rules BC Judge in Equustek case 
  5. UK High Court Hands Win To Claimant In Right To Be Forgotten Case
  6. If Trump Is So Worried About Protecting Attorney-Client Privilege, He Should End The NSA’s Bulk Surveillance (And CPB Device Seizures)
  7. How Government Pressure Has Turned Transparency Reports From Free Speech Celebrations To Censorship Celebrations
  8. Gmail.com redesign includes self-destructing emails: Set expiration dates and password requirements on your sensitive emails.
  9. In Trying To Ban Telegram, Russia Breaks The Internet
  10. “Privacy is not for sale,” Telegram founder says after being banned in Russia: Russian authorities are demanding a universal key. Telegram says it doesn’t exist.
  11. In effort to shut down Telegram, Russia blocks Amazon, Google network addresses: Russian censors up ante in effort to block secure chat by political opposition.
  12. Russian hackers mass-exploit routers in homes, govs, and infrastructure: The hacks steal passwords and clear the way for future attacks, officials warn.
  13. Inside the Decade-Long Russian Campaign to Infiltrate the NRA and Help Elect Trump: Femme fatales, lavish Moscow parties and dark money – how Russia worked the National Rifle Association
  14. Open Letter On Ending Attacks On Security Research
  15. Apps Are Illegally Stealing Children’s Privacy Data
  16. FTC tightens reins around Uber following 2016 breach: Ride-hailing service waited a year to disclose hack that stole data of 25 million.
  17. App Permissions Don’t Tell Us Nearly Enough About Our Apps
  18. A Casino Was Hacked Thanks To The Internet Of Broken Things & A Fish Tank Thermometer
  19. Cloudflare’s Plan To Protect The Whole Internet Comes Into Focus 
  20. What does GDPR do?: Purewal & Partners’ Jas Purewal and Peter Lewin provide an overview of the imminent EU data protection regulation
  21. What does GDPR mean for digital entertainment businesses?: In the second part of their GDPR guide, Purewal & Partners’ Jas Purewal and Peter Lewin offer advice and ten key tips for games companies
  22. When Can Law Enforcement Look at Your Devices? A Definitive List
  23. Inside The Unnerving Supply Chain Attack That Corrupted CCleaner
  24. Facebook exits anti-privacy alliance it formed with Comcast and Google: Facebook gave $200K but will stop fighting CA law to restrict sale of user data.
  25. Public Attention Forces Facebook To Retreat From Anti-Privacy Alliance With ISPs In California

Jon

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