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Mac OS X dev reflects on Apple, $100K tablet bounty, App Store piracy

post #1 of 117
Thread Starter 
Former Apple executive Avie Tevanian discussed his former company as he joins a Palm investor, a Web site has offered up to $100,000 for information on Apple's rumored tablet, and iPhone App Store piracy has been estimated to cause $450 million in losses.

Former Apple exec Avie Tevanian on Apple

Avie Tevanian, in an interview with CNET, weighed in on Apple's history with the touch interface: "The whole touch interface is probably at its very early stages, which is interesting because I know when I was at Apple we were working on it many years ago, certainly before I had left. It's good to see it getting out there. Everybody is starting to use it, but my guess is there is still a lot more to be done there."

Tevanian added that along with Apple, he keeps a close eye on Google and Facebook. "Everybody else is at a level below," he said.

He said he is "thrilled" with Apple's success and mentioned that prototypes of many of Apple's new products existed in one form or another back during his time at the company.

"The products you see I saw early versions of them when I was there," he said. "It is great to see them turn out so well."

Elevation Partners, a private equity firm announced Tuesday that Tevanian had joined the company as managing director. Tevanian served as chief technology officer at Apple up until 2006, and was instrumental in the development of Mac OS X.

App Store piracy losses estimated at $450 million

In an analysis by 24/7 Wall St., it was determined that the App Store has lost nearly $450 million due to software piracy since the store opened in 2008. Although it is difficult to exactly measure rates of piracy, apps that "phone home" when run on a jailbroken phone can be used to provide a rough estimate. Using these figures it can be determined that piracy rates among apps can be as high as 90 percent.

The $450 million result was reached by a long series of estimates and assumptions. By taking into account the number of total app downloads (3 billion) and an estimate of the portion of these that are paid (17 percent or 510 million) along with an assumed piracy rate of 75 percent and an average paid application price of $3.00, the result is $4.59 billion potentially lost. Finally, the legitimate app purchase rate if the app could not be pirated was pegged at 10 percent, giving the final number of $459 million.

While these numbers are admittedly rough, the report surmises that Apple has largely ignored the piracy problem due to their focus on selling actual iPhone and iPod Touch units, much like the hands-off stance that that the company has taken with illegal music being loaded on iPods.

Site offers $100,000 Apple Tablet bounty

Today Valleywag announced a reward for information on Apple's much-rumored tablet device. Titled "Valleywag's Apple Tablet Scavenger Hunt," the blog is offering amounts of money that increase with the level of information provided:
$10,000 for bona fide pictures
$20,000 for video of one in action
$50,000 for pictures or video of Steve Jobs holding one
$100,000 to let them play with one for an hour
As of now, while details about the device seem to be popping up at an increasing rate, no one knows for sure how the device will work or how one would interact with it at this point, hence the hefty reward.

Last year, AppleInsider first reported that the device would be launched early in 2010. Currently, all signs now point to a debut at Apple's planned event on Jan. 27 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.
post #2 of 117
The quoted 75% piracy rate doesn't have a lot of documented support. This sounds like RIAA claiming billions in piracy, based solely on specious statistics. Does anyone have solid data?
post #3 of 117
Tevanian sounds like a very sensible, level-headed guy.

Good for Palm. It would be nice to see them succeed.
post #4 of 117
Anyone who provides a picture of this Tablet before the introduction date, will not only lose his/her job ( at Apple or contractors), but could potentially go to jail.

Let's all have patience until it is time.
post #5 of 117
Apple hasn't sent out invites to the supposed event yet. What would be the drop-dead date for invites?

There still hasn't been confirmation that Apple is the company that has booked the YB.
post #6 of 117
The person might lose his or her job, but jail time isn't a factor. Leaking photos would only be a breach of contract. Breaking a contract isn't criminal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OC4Theo View Post

Anyone who provides a picture of this Tablet before the introduction date, will not only lose his/her job ( at Apple or contractors), but could potentially go to jail.

Let's all have patience until it is time.
post #7 of 117
The piracy number feels particularly "stupid". I'd like to assume that simply because a phone is jailbroken doesn't make them count the running app as "pirated". I'd HOPE that they found someway to uniquely identify each phone ofr analytics purposes without violating privacy... I'm highly doubtful at this poit.

~ CB
post #8 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Tevanian sounds like a very sensible, level-headed guy.

Good for Palm. It would be nice to see them succeed.

Tevanian is going to work for Elevation Partners, who have invested in Palm. I'm not sure what he can do to make Palm succeed, beyond possibly making more money available to them.
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post #9 of 117
Couldn't a tablet be Photoshopped to claim the $10,000 reward? Wow, I am so taking advantage of their generosity I'd love to fake one, then claim it's real and get the $10,000 I could use that to start my business, buy a Macbook Pro, and give a few presents, still have enough left over for lunch and dinner.
post #10 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zak2009 View Post

Apple hasn't sent out invites to the supposed event yet. What would be the drop-dead date for invites?

There still hasn't been confirmation that Apple is the company that has booked the YB.

Relative date should be within the two week window. However, Apple needs at LEAST one week warning so press can book flights. Waiting any later than that, especially for a public event, would be quite rude. Apple gave a 9 day notice for it's "It's Only Rock n Roll" event last year on Aug. 31st (for Sept. 9). If an event is going to happen, it'll probably be announced by next Monday.
post #11 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by plovell View Post

The quoted 75% piracy rate doesn't have a lot of documented support. This sounds like RIAA claiming billions in piracy, based solely on specious statistics. Does anyone have solid data?

Agreed. There were a lot of 'estimated' numbers in there, and the assumption that EVERY app is pirated at those rates.

I find the whole idea silly that someone would waste time pirating a $3 app when it also means you have to jailbreak your phone. I tried it once out of curiosity back on my old 1st gen phone and found it to be a total pain in the ass and a little frightening at how easy it could have been to brick it, and a little scary trusing a complete strangers hacked version of the OS.

Why bother?
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post #12 of 117
24/7 wall street only report everything negative about Apple so take whatever they wrote with a ton of salt.
post #13 of 117
Quote:
...it was determined that the App Store has lost nearly $450 million due to software piracy since the store opened in 2008. Although it is difficult to exactly measure rates of piracy, apps that "phone home" when run on a jailbroken phone can be used to provide a rough estimate. Using these figures it can be determined that piracy rates among apps can be as high as 90 percent.


That's a hell of a lot of jailbroken iPhones, bet it's mostly in China.
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post #14 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJRumpy View Post

Agreed. There were a lot of 'estimated' numbers in there, and the assumption that EVERY app is pirated at those rates.

I find the whole idea silly that someone would waste time pirating a $3 app when it also means you have to jailbreak your phone. I tried it once out of curiosity back on my old 1st gen phone and found it to be a total pain in the ass and a little frightening at how easy it could have been to brick it, and a little scary trusing a complete strangers hacked version of the OS.

Why bother?


I suspect it's much much more easier now than ever before.

Plus the grey market in China, the iPhones are most likely broken en massé, so I bet it's just down to a simple routine.

People there most likely buy a grey market iPhone completely filled with lots of apps, losing a lot more than $3 per phone.


As far as the iPhone's security, there is none to begin with. So what is there to lose?


read this pdf (in anything but Adobe reader as it's a security nightmare lately)

http://seriot.ch/resources/talks_pap...onePrivacy.pdf



Hopefully the iSlate will not come chained to a cell carrier, thus it can be open and people can run what they want.
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post #15 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Site offers $100,000 Apple Tablet bounty

Today Valleywag announced a reward for information on Apple's much-rumored tablet device. Titled "Valleywag's Apple Tablet Scavenger Hunt," the blog is offering amounts of money that increase with the level of information provided:
$10,000 for bona fide pictures

- I think many tabloids would pay even more for a pict, but until Jan. 27th could be difficult to prove it's not fake.

Quote:
$20,000 for video of one in action

- someone from those Asian firms that produce it, could risk it, but one of them already committed suicide after having lost a next gen iphone, right?

Quote:
$50,000 for pictures or video of Steve Jobs holding one

- this one is just ridiculous!!! that person so close to SJ wouldn't risk for such a low price, or for any prize.
Quote:
$100,000 to let them play with one for an hour

- so what? c'mon, this is only for free publicity to that website, and thanks to AI and others, they've just got that already.
post #16 of 117
"We made up a few numbers and we're SHOCKED at the results!!!"
post #17 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zak2009 View Post

Apple hasn't sent out invites to the supposed event yet. What would be the drop-dead date for invites?

There still hasn't been confirmation that Apple is the company that has booked the YB.

There is no actual drop-dead date for invites.

Remember, this is more of a professional courtesy, not something dictated by a regulation. Heck, Steve Jobs could announce the tablet while he's pumping gas to other gas station customers on his way to the event. Companies release new products and services with no announcement whatsoever all the time.

Apple has given one-week lead times for quite a few announcements; many of the main periodicals that would cover a media-only event already have local staff based in the SF Bay Area.

The Yerba Buena Gardens management is under no obligation to announce who has booked their venue. My neighbor across the street could book it for his daughter's tenth birthday and not tell the media.
post #18 of 117
You wanna talk about app store piracy?

Well when i spend $50 on an iTunes card but then find out that Canadian customers can only buy apps with a credit card, YES I FLIPPIN FEEL LIKE PIRATING. Waste of my $50.

Apple is screwing over their legit customers, effectively turning their customers against them.
post #19 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by jspence View Post

You wanna talk about app store piracy?

Well when i spend $50 on an iTunes card but then find out that Canadian customers can only buy apps with a credit card, YES I FLIPPIN FEEL LIKE PIRATING. Waste of my $50.

Apple is screwing over their legit customers, effectively turning their customers against them.

It's not Apple's fault, it has something to do with some Canadian law.

But I'm with you on the fact that it may encourage piracy. There is a legal way around it (pre-paid $25 and $50 Mastercards sold in some convenience stores) and this is what I do, but I know a few people that have been bugged down by that fact and resorted to piracy. I also suspect that the upgrade ratio to OS 3.x on iPod touches has been much lower in Canada because of this.
post #20 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJRumpy View Post

Agreed. There were a lot of 'estimated' numbers in there, and the assumption that EVERY app is pirated at those rates.

I find the whole idea silly that someone would waste time pirating a $3 app when it also means you have to jailbreak your phone. I tried it once out of curiosity back on my old 1st gen phone and found it to be a total pain in the ass and a little frightening at how easy it could have been to brick it, and a little scary trusing a complete strangers hacked version of the OS.

Why bother?

Brick how exactly if you can reset (DFU mode) your phone and restore it. Urban myth?
post #21 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Tevanian is going to work for Elevation Partners, who have invested in Palm. I'm not sure what he can do to make Palm succeed, beyond possibly making more money available to them.

He could fill in the CEO on Apple products to which he is "not paying attention"..
post #22 of 117
I have spent probably $1000 AUD on the AppStore so far. For awhile I had a jail broken phone, but that was for emulators and tethering, not piracy. Why pirate apps when they're $0.99c? I don't get it.
The GPS apps which are quite expensive (but cheap for what they are) are top of the top grossing lists, so they're obviously being purchased.
I know people who have pirated the $150 protools remote app that is supposedly buggy and has bad reviews. I just didn't buy it. You can buy a hardware controller for that money. These figures are trying to prove that all the people who pirated an app would have bought it if there was no free option. Total rubish.

Also, App purchases are per account, not per device. I'm on my 3rd iPhone now (original, 3g, 3gs) and my girlfriend is on her second. I still use some of the same apps and games, which are also loaded onto the kids iPod touches (2 more devices). Does this get counted for in the figures? I'm not pirating, but Super monkey ball is used on four devices yet has been installed on a total of 7 (3 of which we no longer own, and I wipe them before sale)

It's a huge amount of assumptions.

Also, we all know FAR MORE people who have an iPhone and aren't tech nerds than those who are. Most members of the public won't know what or how jailbreaking is performed. And won't care either. But they will buy Sallys Salon for the price of a coffee, won't they??
post #23 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

He could fill in the CEO on Apple products to which he is "not paying attention"..

Good one!
post #24 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zak2009 View Post

I tried it once out of curiosity back on my old 1st gen phone and found it to be a total pain in the ass and a little frightening at how easy it could have been to brick it, and a little scary trusing a complete strangers hacked version of the OS.

Why bother?

Things have changed a lot with the jailbreaking community. The Blackra1n jailbreak and included Sn0w unlock couldnt be simpler. As Sapporobabyrtrns states, its pretty much impossible to brick. Ive done crazy things with my iPhone and I can always get into DFU mode.


Quote:
Originally Posted by VL-Tone View Post

But I'm with you on the fact that it may encourage piracy. There is a legal way around it (pre-paid $25 and $50 Mastercards sold in some convenience stores) and this is what I do, but I know a few people that have been bugged down by that fact and resorted to piracy. I also suspect that the upgrade ratio to OS 3.x on iPod touches has been much lower in Canada because of this.

I hope they add a trail option for developers to implement on apps. Having a lite version is okay, but having a full version that expires would be better. I know Ive tested expensive apps out on my jailbroken iPhone. TomTom retailing at $100 which I didnt like and Beejive retailing at $10 which I loved and so paid $10 for it.
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post #25 of 117
Quote:
Urban myth?

Fear of the unknown for the not technically inclined.

Quote:
Using these figures it can be determined that piracy rates among apps can be as high as 90 percent.

well, it has been shown many times that with or without anti-piracy measures, software piracy rate is around 80%-90%. that specific number doesn't quite surprise me.

See e.g World Of Goo (DRM-free, 82-90% piracy) vs Ricochet (DRM'd, 92% piracy) at http://2dboy.com/2008/11/13/90/
post #26 of 117
If that event turns out to be new Macbook Pros and Mac Pros there's going to be a lot of disappointed people out there!


(Except me, because I want both those
post #27 of 117
Very clever marketing ploy. Will keep the tablet talked about for weeks and if Jobs shows up using ine, this was his marketing plan.

Good idea. Make it look like a contest. Either way we will see if this is a great marketing ploy or if they can really be that secretive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Former Apple executive Avie Tevanian discussed his former company as he joins a Palm investor, a Web site has offered up to $100,000 for information on Apple's rumored tablet, and iPhone App Store piracy has been estimated to cause $450 million in losses.

Former Apple exec Avie Tevanian on Apple

Avie Tevanian, in an interview with CNET, weighed in on Apple's history with the touch interface: "The whole touch interface is probably at its very early stages, which is interesting because I know when I was at Apple we were working on it many years ago, certainly before I had left. It's good to see it getting out there. Everybody is starting to use it, but my guess is there is still a lot more to be done there."

Tevanian added that along with Apple, he keeps a close eye on Google and Facebook. "Everybody else is at a level below," he said.

He said he is "thrilled" with Apple's success and mentioned that prototypes of many of Apple's new products existed in one form or another back during his time at the company.

"The products you see I saw early versions of them when I was there," he said. "It is great to see them turn out so well."

Elevation Partners, a private equity firm announced Tuesday that Tevanian had joined the company as managing director. Tevanian served as chief technology officer at Apple up until 2006, and was instrumental in the development of Mac OS X.

App Store piracy losses estimated at $450 million

In an analysis by 24/7 Wall St., it was determined that the App Store has lost nearly $450 million due to software piracy since the store opened in 2008. Although it is difficult to exactly measure rates of piracy, apps that "phone home" when run on a jailbroken phone can be used to provide a rough estimate. Using these figures it can be determined that piracy rates among apps can be as high as 90 percent.

The $450 million result was reached by a long series of estimates and assumptions. By taking into account the number of total app downloads (3 billion) and an estimate of the portion of these that are paid (17 percent or 510 million) along with an assumed piracy rate of 75 percent and an average paid application price of $3.00, the result is $4.59 billion potentially lost. Finally, the legitimate app purchase rate if the app could not be pirated was pegged at 10 percent, giving the final number of $459 million.

While these numbers are admittedly rough, the report surmises that Apple has largely ignored the piracy problem due to their focus on selling actual iPhone and iPod Touch units, much like the hands-off stance that that the company has taken with illegal music being loaded on iPods.

Site offers $100,000 Apple Tablet bounty

Today Valleywag announced a reward for information on Apple's much-rumored tablet device. Titled "Valleywag's Apple Tablet Scavenger Hunt," the blog is offering amounts of money that increase with the level of information provided:
$10,000 for bona fide pictures
$20,000 for video of one in action
$50,000 for pictures or video of Steve Jobs holding one
$100,000 to let them play with one for an hour
As of now, while details about the device seem to be popping up at an increasing rate, no one knows for sure how the device will work or how one would interact with it at this point, hence the hefty reward.

Last year, AppleInsider first reported that the device would be launched early in 2010. Currently, all signs now point to a debut at Apple's planned event on Jan. 27 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.
post #28 of 117
Quote:
App Store piracy losses estimated at $450 million

In an analysis by 24/7 Wall St., it was determined that the App Store has lost nearly $450 million due to software piracy since the store opened in 2008. Although it is difficult to exactly measure rates of piracy, apps that "phone home" when run on a jailbroken phone can be used to provide a rough estimate. Using these figures it can be determined that piracy rates among apps can be as high as 90 percent.

The $450 million result was reached by a long series of estimates and assumptions. By taking into account the number of total app downloads (3 billion) and an estimate of the portion of these that are paid (17 percent or 510 million) along with an assumed piracy rate of 75 percent and an average paid application price of $3.00, the result is $4.59 billion potentially lost. Finally, the legitimate app purchase rate if the app could not be pirated was pegged at 10 percent, giving the final number of $459 million.

While these numbers are admittedly rough, the report surmises that Apple has largely ignored the piracy problem due to their focus on selling actual iPhone and iPod Touch units, much like the hands-off stance that that the company has taken with illegal music being loaded on iPods.

Why would someone steal a $2 or $3 app? Are people that cheap? If you can't afford it, then how did you afford the iPod touch or iPhone in first place?

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post #29 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by plovell View Post

The quoted 75% piracy rate doesn't have a lot of documented support. This sounds like RIAA claiming billions in piracy, based solely on specious statistics. Does anyone have solid data?

This doesn't sound right to me too. You also have to consider that not everyone pirating would have bought it otherwise. My little cousin is in middle school, he and all his friends pirate apps instead of buy, the majority of people probably do buy. Does anyone have the numbers of people who have accessed the Cydia Store?. I'm sure it's well under 2 million, and supposing 2 million people have Jailbroken and then decided to pirate..... The idea of billions lost from piracy don't sound right at all once you do the math.
post #30 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

The person might lose his or her job, but jail time isn't a factor. Leaking photos would only be a breach of contract. Breaking a contract isn't criminal.

You would not only lose your job but your name would be on a permanent black list for the entire technology industry. Apple does not fuck around.
post #31 of 117
If Apple allowed iPhones open to all networks to start with, the crack hysteria probably wouldn't have boomed as it has, and they probably would have managed to keep piracy on low levels. Only people with dedicated interest would jailbreak their phones and run pirated games. Now, anyone who favours another carrier and doesn't wanna pay the unlock fee is ready to be a pirate. Those are MANY.
post #32 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by palegolas View Post

If Apple allowed iPhones open to all networks to start with, the crack hysteria probably wouldn't have boomed as it has, and they probably would have managed to keep piracy on low levels. Only people with dedicated interest would jailbreak their phones and run pirated games. Now, anyone who favours another carrier and doesn't wanna pay the unlock fee is ready to be a pirate. Those are MANY.

What Apple should also do is allow there to be other stores than the Appstore without needing to jailbreak. If the Phone is unlocked by default and the other stores can sell whatever they want, Apple then there is no need for Jailbreaking and the abuse of it that has led to the piracy.
post #33 of 117
Could this simply be the Apple misinformation string in turbo mode?
post #34 of 117
Hey Steve,

Give 'em an hour hands-on a couple of days before the keynote, take the $100,000 in cash and publicly donate it to a good cause like the Haiti Earthquake appealthe publicity buzz would be worth it and you'd be doing some good by taking money off these asses.
post #35 of 117
There is no such thing as a loss due to piracy.
post #36 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

App Store piracy losses estimated at $450 million

In an analysis by 24/7 Wall St., it was determined that the App Store has lost nearly $450 million due to software piracy since the store opened in 2008. Although it is difficult to exactly measure rates of piracy, apps that "phone home" when run on a jailbroken phone can be used to provide a rough estimate. Using these figures it can be determined that piracy rates among apps can be as high as 90 percent.

The $450 million result was reached by a long series of estimates and assumptions. By taking into account the number of total app downloads (3 billion) and an estimate of the portion of these that are paid (17 percent or 510 million) along with an assumed piracy rate of 75 percent and an average paid application price of $3.00, the result is $4.59 billion potentially lost. Finally, the legitimate app purchase rate if the app could not be pirated was pegged at 10 percent, giving the final number of $459 million.

And Apple made only $45M. This is how much the bunch of bastards (yes, we saw few at AI, too) costs Apple. Not everyone on earth manages to be that philanthropic.

P.S. Provided there're lite copies of almost everything on AppStore, those bastards can not be seen otherwise than just natural born thieves. That is their first and the only vocation.

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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post #37 of 117
Indeed, I have jailbroken my phone but have not pirated any app, what for, the few bucks? When I can afford an iPhone I can sure support developers. I even think that the price of the apps is too low. I'd like to pay more but in turn get more, like Nintendo quality please.
post #38 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post

Why would someone steal a $2 or $3 app? Are people that cheap? If you can't afford it, then how did you afford the iPod touch or iPhone in first place?

Just dishonest I guess.
post #39 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsenka View Post

There is no such thing as a loss due to piracy.

Could you expand on that please?
post #40 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Just dishonest I guess.

I think it's not that they can't afford the $3 for an app, it's that they can't afford (or justify, more likely) the $300 for a hundred apps - although the figures in real life never work like that:

Reminds me of my Amiga days, where I am (now) ashamed to say I had pretty much every game going, for no other reason that to have a quick play around with them. Technically, I probably had a couple of hundred games a year which at £20 a pop is a big number. More realistically, I only ever played a small percentage for more than a few minutes, so the perceived loss as opposed to the actual loss were 2 very different figures. But yeah, there was a loss due to me pirating say 100 games, but it wasn't 100 games worth, it was more like the 6 that I actually played (for more than 10 minutes) and might/should have bought.

I jailbroke my phone recently when blackra1n came out - I've never downloaded a pirate app (wouldn't know where to go, although I suspect it's not hard if I wanted to start looking), and only did it to use Backgrounder and to have a 5 icon homescreen dock

I can see the "try before you buy" argument, which was more of a deal in my Amiga days when the only way to try, was to hope that a magazine put a demo of the game you wanted to try on a coverdisk and pay £3.50 for the mag anyway, but these days every app has a lite/free version to download at any time anyway (although frankly I wish that they would stop that now that the in-app purchasing is here, and just throw up a nag to buy the rest once you his the functionality/time limit that the lite version would have provided).
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