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Consumer Reports changes stance, cannot recommend Apple's iPhone 4 - Page 2

post #41 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

I agree with you that it was intentional, but to be fair, their wording in their press release certainly doesn't imply it was intentional.
Quote:
We have discovered the cause of this dramatic drop in bars, and it is both simple and surprising.

Upon investigation, we were stunned to find that the formula we use to calculate how many bars of signal strength to display is totally wrong. Our formula, in many instances, mistakenly displays 2 more bars than it should for a given signal strength.[/i]

As I've written before, PR may have been stunned (actually, they probably were) but I doubt the iPhone engineers were.
post #42 of 405
An RF engineer interviewed by Leo LaPorte and referenced on latest MacBreak weekly podcast stated categorically that this business of bridging the two antennas with skin is pure nonsense. The tape solution is useless because there is no problem there. The actual problem has to do with signal blocking, and that occurs when the hand covers enough of the antenna when signal strength is already weak. This calls into question CR's results. I generally respect their intentions, but I don't think they researched this issue fully enough before announcing results. Hope Apple challenges them.
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post #43 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outsider View Post

Tape and bumpers are not the answer people. Seriously.

They need to apply a coating to the antennas. It would be clear but enough to stop the issue from happening. Unfortunately, that would involve a recall, or at the very least a trip to the Apple store and a Genius to swap out the antennas with coated ones.

I wouldn't be surprised if Apple is already working on a recall solution. It would be very easy to apply some sort of clear covering on that metal strap. They can arrange to have this available at all Apple stores. It would only take about 10-15 minutes per phone.
post #44 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeDyndale View Post

Calm down people. This is a problem, but the solution is either free or extremely cheap, and easy to implement.

Stop being patronizing. The comments here -- at least so far -- are quite sober and calm.
post #45 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by samab View Post

Hell, Apple is even waiving its restocking fee.

Ive never seen a restocking fee on a cellphone within the 30-day trial period. I think it might be law since the device has to be used with a carrier.
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post #46 of 405
There are many issues with technology in general. The current iPhone 4 problem is just one of them. The thing that amazes me is that if I were to buy an iPhone 4 and use it to replace my Vonage phone my monthly bill would go from $30 to $104 minumum. Why is no one complaining about how much money to costs to use one of these phones. They may be smart phones, but the people using them are not real smart.
post #47 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

Um, I've still yet to meet anyone demonstrating that this is a 'problem'.

Again...
"Doc... it hurts when I do this."
"Then don't do that".

Move your GD finger a millimeter.

The antenna design is still a vast improvement for those not trying to get in on a phony class action.

Too late, you moved your hand (imagine someone actually adjusting the graps during a call) and you dropped your call.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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post #48 of 405
Its incredible how people haven't figured out the real problem, and it is NOT a reception/signal problem. People are complaining and returning their iphone 4 because of "Bad Reception" and a lot of Call Drops. Actually what is really happening is a "BAD" Proximity Sensor. I have had my iPhone 4 since day 1 and I have had no issue with my signal, sometimes it is a bit low (very few times), but normally it works very well. The proximity sensor is the real issue. I keep hanging up calls, clicking mute, speaker and FaceTime. Mainly when people click End Call, Hold or Mute they actually think there was a problem with the call. A lot of friends who have had the iphone for the first time (including my wife), think it is a call drop/ reception issue, I know exactly what the problem is because I have had an iPhone since June, 2007. The real problem is the Proximity Sensor, and people are returning their iPhones 4 just because they have read that the signal problem is severe and they think it is a hardware problem. Proximity Sensor will be fixed in the next update (hopefully) and people will realize that by "Magic", all the signal problems were actually fixed.
post #49 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Consumer Reports announced on Monday that it cannot recommend the iPhone 4 to potential buyers due to reception problems that are a result of the design of the handset.

Here's the full quote:

"Consumer Reports' engineers have just completed testing the iPhone 4, and have confirmed that there is a problem with its reception. When your finger or hand touches a spot on the phone's lower left sidean easy thing, especially for leftiesthe signal can significantly degrade enough to cause you to lose your connection altogether if you're in an area with a weak signal. Due to this problem, we can't recommend the iPhone 4."

IF YOU'RE IN AN AREA WITH A WEAK SIGNAL.

How weak, and how much weaker does it need to be before other phones also lose the connection? In other words, we need the problem quantified.
post #50 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

You really cant see a difference between CR and others testing and reporting on an issue with a bunch of Chicken Littles claiming the sky is falling because an acorn fell on their head? Anyone can make absolute claims to something, and they may be occasionally correct, but without a cogent argument to back up claim its all just emotion driven dramatics.

I agree that some people (in particular, one across the pond!) were over-the-top, but most of us chose to focus on the substance, not the style, of comments related to this issue.
post #51 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by kent909 View Post

The thing that amazes me is that if I were to buy an iPhone 4 and use it to replace my Vonage phone my montly bill would go from $30 to $104 minumum. Why is no one complaining about how much money to costs to use one of these phones.

Youre comparing a phone service that piggybacks on your homes internet with a nationwide cellphone service?
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post #52 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by samab View Post

These are some of the most irresponsible advices I have ever seen here.

Anyone who has already bought the iphone --- is still within the 30 day get out of jail full refund zero ETF period. Hell, Apple is even waiving its restocking fee.

Irresponsible how?


If he choose to return it, that is fine. Apple has made it easy. At the same time, while it is a real issue, it hardly is the end of the world. I don't like the idea of having to change you behavior to use the phone. I don't like the customer having to buy a case to fix the problem. But, there is a work around.

Pull the pickle out of your ass. Again, while a real problem, it isn't like you can't still use the phone.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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post #53 of 405
Why serve free ad to the competition and haters?
This is very stupid Apple, very stupid.
post #54 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

I wouldn't be surprised if Apple is already working on a recall solution. It would be very easy to apply some sort of clear covering on that metal strap. They can arrange to have this available at all Apple stores. It would only take about 10-15 minutes per phone.

RF engineers have said that contact is not the issue, blocking signal is. If they are right this whole coating or tape issue is a non-starter. Even if it was it wouldn't be Apple's style to have people lined up at their stores to get their phones fixed. More likely, if a physical fix is necessary/possible, they will simply exchange the phone for a new one. The old phones will be fixed at a facility, then re-sold as used at a reduced price.

I expect it will be quite a while before we are done with this story. Both sides, haters and fans, will have their good days and bad days. Meanwhile, my phone is being delivered today and I am very excited to test it and see what all the hubbub is about.
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post #55 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

Um, I've still yet to meet anyone demonstrating that this is a 'problem'.

Again...
"Doc... it hurts when I do this."
"Then don't do that".

Move your GD finger a millimeter.

The antenna design is still a vast improvement for those not trying to get in on a phony class action.

Good for you! We heard you twice the first time.

Leave the rest of us to wallow in our angst......
post #56 of 405
Well it's about damn time!!

Cue all the naysayers saying that CR is the devil...oops, too late
post #57 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by plegaria View Post

Its incredible how people haven't figured out the real problem, and it is NOT a reception/signal problem. People are complaining and returning their iphone 4 because of "Bad Reception" and a lot of Call Drops. Actually what is really happening is a "BAD" Proximity Sensor. I have had my iPhone 4 since day 1 and I have had no issue with my signal, sometimes it is a bit low (very few times), but normally it works very well. The proximity sensor is the real issue. I keep hanging up calls, clicking mute, speaker and FaceTime. Mainly when people click End Call, Hold or Mute they actually think there was a problem with the call. A lot of friends who have had the iphone for the first time (including my wife), think it is a call drop/ reception issue, I know exactly what the problem is because I have had an iPhone since June, 2007. The real problem is the Proximity Sensor, and people are returning their iPhones 4 just because they have read that the signal problem is severe and they think it is a hardware problem. Proximity Sensor will be fixed in the next update (hopefully) and people will realize that by "Magic", all the signal problems were actually fixed.

It's been mentioned here that the proximity sensor may be related to some perscentage of "dropped" calls that are blamed on signal. Yet, it's unlikely this was involved in the CR testing, and it definitely seems as though some phones suffer complete signal loss when the seam is bridged while others don't.
post #58 of 405
I have the best reception I have ever had with AT&T on my iPhone 4, so this sounds like a bunch of crap. How does CR know this is a hardware bug, they just reproduced the effects in their lab that does not mean a software fix will not fix the problem. Apple may be working on something else as we speak, we do not know and these people sound like idiots, they recommended the phone and then later came out and said we did not test it and now we did so we cannot recommend it, something smells fishy here? Did Google pay them off?
post #59 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by iancass79 View Post

The case, although helpful, doesn't solve the issue like others say. I bought the "magic reception fix" bumper and it did help, but did not fix the issue.

You reply does nothing to confirm that the issue in in fact a 'short' across black separator.
If this was the issue then the case would solve the problem, just like a piece of tape.
If is does not solve the problem, then you don't actually know what the problem is, but one thing is for sure, it is not a short across the black strip as you have eliminated that.
post #60 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

As I've written before, PR may have been stunned (actually, they probably were) but I doubt the iPhone engineers were.

But they didn't qualify it with "certain employees within Apple were stunned (mainly the marketing dept, accounting and some of the janitorial staff) to find...". They said "we" as in Apple. Apple said they were surprised.

They also, explicitly said it was a mistake.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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post #61 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

Irresponsible how?


If he choose to return it, that is fine. Apple has made it easy. At the same time, while it is a real issue, it hardly is the end of the world. I don't like the idea of having to change you behavior to use the phone. I don't like the customer having to buy a case to fix the problem. But, there is a work around.

Pull the pickle out of your ass. Again, while a real problem, it isn't like you can't still use the phone.

Hey, Hiro's teacher is right.
I believe in that and that that is also a right.
post #62 of 405
According to the Anand report it's both a software and hardware issue. Holding the phone that way does cause a signal drop, but it's only a few %. The bars software makes it look like 80%.

Some kind of non-conductive coating could reduce the real percent even further.
post #63 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeDyndale View Post

As has been noted before in the letter sent to Jobs from that PhD guy, this issue is extremely simple to fix. Simply spray a coating of some kind of plastic material over the problem area on the phone. It won't even be visible. Apple Stores will probably offer this for free in the near future. It shouldn't be too hard to figure out how to do it yourself though, so this isn't really a problem. Sure, the phone shouldn't have had this issue in the first place, but so long as Apple offers a free and simple fix like the one mentioned I don't have any issue with it. I'm still gonna get an iPhone 4 as soon as it goes on sale here in Norway. Calm down people. This is a problem, but the solution is either free or extremely cheap, and easy to implement.

How come no-one is selling clear pre cut two inch pieces of ultra thin self adhesive silicon strips, yet? 5 bucks for a set of two. Seems like a no brainer to me if this problem really does cause as many dropped calls as one is led to believe.
post #64 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outsider View Post

... Unfortunately, that would involve a recall, or at the very least a trip to the Apple store and a Genius to swap out the antennas with coated ones.

Exactly, the fact that you are talking about a complete recall is why it will never happen.

The antennas are one and the same with the entire chassis of the phone. They *can't* be "swapped out at the Apple store," it's just not possible to do so without replacing the entire phone. No way Apple will agree to a fault in iPhone 4 that requires them to recall every copy of one of the best selling products in their history.

In any case it's not a problem for most people, so they will never do it unless it becomes much more widespread. I never have signal problems on my current iPhone and have never experienced a dropped call. I also don't hold my phone like that when i'm using it as a phone so I don't anticipate any problem at all.

There are millions of folks out there like me, that don't have big sweaty paws and don't hold the phone to their head like it's a softball who are more than happy to buy an iPhone 4. If only the US sold them unlocked, then all us Canadians could pick them up on eBay for a song. I can't wait to get mine and I will be paying full price for it to boot.
post #65 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

I'm an Apple fanboi, but this is f-ed up.

The company needs to swallow their pride and fix this issue.

I mean, c'mon, it took them 3 years to realize that there was a bug in the code that displays the signal bars? Give me an f-ing break. The code these guys work on would melt a Cray supercomputer, and a bug like that gets by them? If that's the case, the entire iPhone software team should be fired.

I am taking my iPhone 4 into an Apple Store this week to get a refund, and a replacement 3GS. And I also need to convince my wife that she's not getting the white iPhone she thinks she's getting later this month.

That's not fair. All you have to do is put it in a case. I got one for $2.73 delivered last week. Don't disappoint your wife when the two of you could be facebooking by August. I'm waiting for white and I'm not worried about the reception "issue" at all.

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post #66 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

The signal bar display is not a bug. They intentionally chose to have the bars not present a display that was analogous to signal strength.

Citation needed.

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post #67 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by plegaria View Post

Actually what is really happening is a "BAD" Proximity Sensor.

I have that issue but that is not the issue that is happening with a lot of users. There is a well known issue of reception issues from bridging the gap between antennas.

Also, Ive tried every remedy to resolve the proximity sensor issue. None have worked. I say its going to require a SW update to fix.


Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I agree that some people (in particular, one across the pond!) were over-the-top, but most of us chose to focus on the substance, not the style, of comments related to this issue.

My issue is with the absolute statements and emotional responses, not to the cogent and mature arguments as to why one thinks its a design flaw or why it cant be resolved with a SW update. Unfortunately, those posters got lost in noise of the trollers.
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post #68 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by plegaria View Post

Its incredible how people haven't figured out the real problem, and it is NOT a reception/signal problem. People are complaining and returning their iphone 4 because of "Bad Reception" and a lot of Call Drops. Actually what is really happening is a "BAD" Proximity Sensor. I have had my iPhone 4 since day 1 and I have had no issue with my signal, sometimes it is a bit low (very few times), but normally it works very well. The proximity sensor is the real issue. I keep hanging up calls, clicking mute, speaker and FaceTime. Mainly when people click End Call, Hold or Mute they actually think there was a problem with the call. A lot of friends who have had the iphone for the first time (including my wife), think it is a call drop/ reception issue, I know exactly what the problem is because I have had an iPhone since June, 2007. The real problem is the Proximity Sensor, and people are returning their iPhones 4 just because they have read that the signal problem is severe and they think it is a hardware problem. Proximity Sensor will be fixed in the next update (hopefully) and people will realize that by "Magic", all the signal problems were actually fixed.

Just hold the phone against your ear, but not pressed against your face. It works great.
post #69 of 405
Considering the attitude of the community here for the most part as well as robust sales, I'm sure most people wont mind it if their smartphone can't make phone calls. All Steve has to do is crank up the reality distortion field and everything will be fine. All you stock holders can relax.

Some good news for you. Today is the very last day of my AT&T two year agreement and I'm out. I strongly believe that one shouldn't post here unless they actually own the product in question so this shall be my final attempt to make the community here see reason. Here it goes:

It is madness to own an expensive smart phone when it can't make simple telephone calls.

There. I said it and you heard it or you didn't.

Hope to post something again in the rare chance that anyone here wants to talk about the Mac and not the bloody iPad and iPhone. They really should consider renaming this site iPhone insider in my opinion.

Have a great day and hey, call me sometime.
post #70 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by samab View Post

These are some of the most irresponsible advices I have ever seen here.

Excuse me? What advices?
ivan.rnn01 gives free advices in the "Genius Bar" forum of this board and nowhere else. He equally refuses to take any responsibility for whatever it may be in zones of marginal reception.

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post #71 of 405
Yes that is precisly what I am doing. In general terms, how much does it cost to have a phone to call someone. The home internet exists regardless.
post #72 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

How come no-one is selling clear pre cut two inch pieces of ultra thin self adhesive silicon strips, yet? 5 bucks for a set of two. Seems like a no brainer to me if this problem really does cause as many dropped calls as one is led to believe.

This is exactly what I've been thinking too! Something even half an inch long would probably suffice, and be subtle enough.
post #73 of 405
To be fair, Apple doesnt claim its a software problemthey acknowledge its a real problem (and that other phones have itbut they gloss over the fact that the iPhone has it worse than most).

Apple claims that the software is hiding information ABOUT the problem. To wit: the software problem can sometimes hide when youre in a weak signal areaand thats when the problem crops up. As a result, you may think youve lose a STRONG signal, when really youve lost a weak signal. (Worth fixing, but its not the actual problem.)

CR tells me nothing new hereI already knew two things about the iPhone 4 in weak-signal areas:

1. It can get BETTER signal than previous iPhones (and various other phones too). AND it can make do with less signal and still hold onto a call or data connection. (See Anandtechs test among others: driving through an area where a 3G was useless, the 4 never dropped a call all day.)

2. The better signal can then be worsened by touching that black stripe.

Does #2 outweigh #1? The only answer is sometimes. (Which is indeed what CR found.) In other cases (like Anandtechand of course people who use cases), the new antenna design will prove to worthwhile despite this issue. Three steps forward, one step back, as Daring Fireball described it.

Its a better antenna AND a worse one. Try it out, and note the return policy. (As you would with ANY phone. Any phone will perform differently from another in a certain spot, and you cant accept a phone that doesnt make calls where you are!)

My order is definitely not cancelled (Besides, AT&T is decent in my city.)
post #74 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ochyming View Post

Hey, Hiro's teacher is right.
I believe in that and that that is also a right.

Hiro's teacher was absolutely right. It takes balls for a teacher to sit a student down and have that conversation with him.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply
post #75 of 405
So is there any real impact as CR changed its stance?

Or it will be the problem for CR itself? Consider the reception problem is not new issue, how come they can change stance easily?
post #76 of 405
I still hope Apple suffers. Not for the bug, but for their response. Frankly, I find it insulting, treating their users and the public like idiots. So they should suffer for their hubris and arrogance.

That said, I picked up a set of Gelskins. Even though the side tapes do not cover the entire metal antenna, it takes care of the reception issues I was having. And is in its own garish way nicer and cheaper than the bumper.
post #77 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by iancass79 View Post

For all of the people that bashed the ones of us that said there is a problem and pointed out that Consumer Reports said it was "OK", SUCK IT.

Ireland, is it you speaking there?
post #78 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerseymac View Post

Considering the attitude of the community here for the most part as well as robust sales, I'm sure most people wont mind it if their smartphone can't make phone calls. All Steve has to do is crank up the reality distortion field and everything will be fine. All you stock holders can relax.

Some good news for you. Today is the very last day of my AT&T two year agreement and I'm out. I strongly believe that one shouldn't post here unless they actually own the product in question so this shall be my final attempt to make the community here see reason. Here it goes:

It is madness to own an expensive smart phone when it can't make simple telephone calls.

There. I said it and you heard it or you didn't.

Hope to post something again in the rare chance that anyone here wants to talk about the Mac and not the bloody iPad and iPhone. They really should consider renaming this site iPhone insider in my opinion.

Have a great day and hey, call me sometime.

I own the said product, and I can quite happily make simple phone calls.

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post #79 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

But they didn't qualify it with "certain employees within Apple were stunned (mainly the marketing dept, accounting and some of the janitorial staff) to find...". They said "we" as in Apple. Apple said they were surprised.

They also, explicitly said it was a mistake.

Not knowing exactly the entire process behind the writing, approval and posting of the letter, I will only say that it was a bit of stupidity as a PR move.

But, it's possible that at the time they wrote and posted it, they either weren't aware of, or in denial about, the issue of bridging the seam, and the letter was intended to be one of those, "This isn't really an issue and here's why," things that they considered would be of no consequence in the long-run.
post #80 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

To be fair, Apple doesnt claim its a software problemthey acknowledge its a real problem (and that other phones have itbut they gloss over the fact that the iPhone has it worse than most).

Apple claims that the software is hiding information ABOUT the problem. To wit: the software problem can sometimes hide when youre in a weak signal areaand thats when the problem crops up. As a result, you may think youve lose a STRONG signal, when really youve lost a weak signal. (Worth fixing, but its not the actual problem.)

CR tells me nothing new hereI already knew two things about the iPhone 4 in weak-signal areas:

1. It can get BETTER signal than previous iPhones (and various other phones too). AND it can make do with less signal and still hold onto a call or data connection. (See Anandtechs test among others: driving through an area where a 3G was useless, the 4 never dropped a call all day.)

2. The better signal can then be worsened by touching that black stripe.

Does #2 outweigh #1? The only answer is sometimes. (Which is indeed what CR found.) In other cases (like Anandtechand of course people who use cases), the new antenna design will prove to worthwhile despite this issue. Three steps forward, one step back, as Daring Fireball described it.

Its a better antenna AND a worse one. Try it out, and note the return policy. (As you would with ANY phone. Any phone will perform differently from another in a certain spot, and you cant accept a phone that doesnt make calls where you are!)

My order is definitely not cancelled (Besides, AT&T is decent in my city.)

You make some very good points. But you should know that, in my experience (with my handset), it is not only in weak signal areas: it happens when there is a full five bars (I've now seen that in five different cities I've traveled to).

Good luck with yours!
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