Do We Have To Fear Or Even Worry About What Might Be An Overpopulated Earth?

World human population (est.) 10,000 BC–2000 AD.

Image via Wikipedia

Human population is now over 7 billion and counting.  I think human population tends to grow quicker when overall number is huge, and over 7 billion is rather huge indeed.  So, the bigger the number for the human population, we can assume there will always be a large group of people that rather produces offsprings than not, and there will always be a small group of people that prefers produce offsprings late or not at all.  With such a knowledge, we can furthermore assume there will always be more people who might want to produce more offsprings in general, and so the future population might continue to explode unless something odd would happen.

I’ve a feeling that something odd might be overpopulation, and so jobs would be harder to come by for most people.  To a certain point, the most necessary jobs that keep the basic needs flowing for the human population might be so scarce, scarce to a point that people might not be able to find jobs in the basic need sector.  Service sector might still be able to employ more people, but by then I think even service sector finds to be overcrowded and competitive.  Unfortunately, technology might make the situation worse by becoming smarter and replacing human beings in certain jobs.  I dare to speculate as far as technology might be able to replace human beings in most jobs.

My curiosity begs the question of when there are more mouths to feed than more jobs to apply for, what might happen then?  We can hope that technology is going to be so smart and advance that it will totally replace all human jobs and produce everything in abundance so the humans never have to lift a finger ever again.  Of course, such technology requires infinite amount of energy to compensate for almost limitless amount of resources and goods.  Such scenario might happen, but we can never be too sure that it will happen.  Let not forget greed might enter and the fairness of the distribution of the basic needs and other materials might not occur, and so some people in some parts of the world will continue to go on starving.  If technology isn’t going to be at the level where everything could be produced limitlessly, we human beings might fight over resources and wars would dwindle down the size of the human population.  Such a scenario would be unthinkable as unheard sorrow, grief, sadness, and so on would ensue.  We definitely won’t want to see such a scenario plays out, right?  So what can we do to prepare for such a future?

I think, we have two options.  Of course there might be more options other than the two that I will propose, but my tiny brain could not come up with more at this particular moment.  The first option which involves in finding a safe but limitless source of energy or energies and becoming innovative to a point that would allow technology to automate most things and replace all human beings at their jobs.  OK, you might think this is crazy, because if such a scenario ever happens, how the humans feed themselves without being able to find a job, right?  Not to be worried much, because I think if technology is able to produce almost limitless amount of products, goods, resources, and energy, we humans might never have to experience a day without food, shelter, and technology ever again.  Nonetheless, this scenario requires the best of minds to outdo themselves in ways that they never would have dreamed of.  Of course, this very scenario might not happen since it’s almost as if something is out of this world.  The second option is for the whole human race, regardless of their skin colors, to explore the new frontier which is space.  Space is vast, and I mean vast.  Vast to a point that we cannot know if space has edges or not.  We know planet earth has edges or boundaries (i.e., relatively speaking of earth’s round globelike container or sphere), and so we can escape its edges or boundaries.  How about space?  We don’t know, but we welcome its vastness.  Space so vast that it has plenty of galaxies and phenomenons that humans can explore.  With such a notion in mind, I think the space or the universe itself may be able to help the humans from avoiding the overpopulation matter.  Space encourages the ambitious humans to explore.  When humans have more things to explore, we might not have time to kill each other.  We humans might only want to outdo, outshine, out-mine, and out-whatever one another in space, right?

In summary, I know pondering on overpopulation might be rather dreamy, but mathematically speaking it’s possible to overpopulate earth.  With that being said, sometimes overpopulation isn’t all about how many more human beings earth can house, but it might be more about how many more mouths earth can feed.  It’s a serious thought, because the overall complexity of having ever growing population is evermore complex.  Yep, this train isn’t going to slow down folks!  Individual complexities might become insurmountable if the human population cannot slow down.  To name a few individual complexities, these might be edible foods, clean water, diseases, viruses, jobs, energy, and global warming.  Of course, we humans have compassion and intelligence, therefore we must not kill each other for resources; instead, we must innovate our way out of the obstacles.  Even if certain obstacles are insurmountable, we humans still have to try to overcome such obstacles with the right attitudes.  Such attitudes have to be about using our compassion, intelligence, and other well known valuable human morals (i.e., doing the right things).  Unfortunately, I fear we humans cannot do away with greed and foolishness that we might kill each other over resources and what not.

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Star Wars The Old Republic Newbie Review

Yay, I’m now a level 4 Jedi Knight in Star Wars The Old Republic.  This Jedi Knight character is the very first and the only one character I have so far for Star Wars The Old Republic game.  After all, this game is spanking new, because I meet so many other human players in game who have no idea of what they’re doing.  I’m fine with this, because I’m so new too!

Right off the bat, the game’s graphic tells me that it has to be one of the best for MMORPG.  Well, at least for now.  I also notice that in Star Wars The Old Republic, you can’t really adjust character’s statistical points like how many other MMORPG games would allow when your character gains a level, instead Star Was The Old Republic just allows you to train for additional skills with a trainer.  Of course, you have to seek out the trainer that belongs to your class first.

Star Wars The Old Republic isn’t any other MMORPG game since it allows you to choose one among three actions right after a short interactive cinematic movie clip which tailors to the mission your character is participating.  On each mission, your character may encounter a series of short interactive cinematic movie clips, and so the gamer can truly immerge into rich story sequence of each specific mission.  The short cinematic movie clips not only move your character’s missions forward, but these short cinematic movie clips are also very well done.

I’m not sure what the purpose of having a character chooses among different possible actions when a character encounters a non-player character, but I think it’s for allowing you to pick side eventually.  For an example, you can start out as a naive and friendly Jedi Knight, but you eventually may want to join the dark side.  Then again, I’m not very sure on this since I’m not exactly playing this game long enough.

Star Wars The Old Republic has eight classes.  Four classes are for the good side, and the other four classes are for the dark side.  The good side has Trooper, Smuggler, Jedi Knight, and Jedi Consular classes.  The dark side has Bounty Hunter, Sith Warrior, Imperial Agent, and Sith Inquisitor classes.  Within Star Wars The Old Republic universe, there are many planets, and I think as time goes on, the game developers might add more planets to expand the game map.  The available starships are D5-Mantis, Fury, BT-7 Thunderclap, X-70B Phantom, XS Freighter, and Defender.  Also, you might want to check out Star Wars The Old Republic new player guide here.

I confess, I like this game a lot.  It looks good, feels good, and it is fun.  I can see I’ll be spending more time playing this game so my Jedi Knight character can advance to a much higher level.  Yep, this game can be time consuming indeed.

For your information, Star Wars The Old Republic isn’t available for any gaming console, because this game is only released for computer.  Well, at least for now, but you never know right?  Your computer system might need to be upgraded to the minimum specs before you can play this game.  The minimum specs are:

  • Operating systems:
    • Windows XP,
    • Windows Vista,
    • Windows 7,
  • Processors:
  • Memory:
    • 2GB RAM or better,
  • Video:
    • ATI X1800 or better,
    • nVidia 7800 or better,
    • Intel 4100 Integrated Graphics or better.

Having high end gaming computer system will allow you to play not only this game for now, but also for many other upcoming games in years to come.  I notice on the back of the Star Wars The Old Republic game box, it says you might need to upgrade your computer system to play this game in the future.  This means, as time goes on, game developers for Star Wars The Old Republic might improve the game graphic which requires you to upgrade your computer system.

Before you can actually play Star Wars The Old Republic, you must either pay for a digital download or the physical copy of the game.  After paying for the standard edition copy, you have only around 30 days to play.  After 30 days, you’ll be paying for monthly recurrent or other recurrent periods of subscription that you have subscribed to.  So yes, this game can be quite expensive if you are intending to play it for a long time to come.  Nonetheless, if you are a hardcore gamer, I don’t think you would mind.

Check out couple cool Star Wars The Old Republic gameplay videos right after the break.

You can find more of Star Wars The Old Republic gameplay videos on YouTube.

Too Good To Be True? Republic Wireless $19 Unlimited Wireless Plan Is Now Truly Unlimited.

Back in the early November, I had mentioned of Republic Wireless which offered $19 unlimited wireless plan per month, but I also pointed out how Republic Wireless $19 unlimited wireless plan could only truly be unlimited if users hogged their Wi-Fi networks so users would not have to be throttled when limited minutes, texts, and data are running out.  Well, Republic Wireless has just turn up the heat by offering truly unlimited, $19 unlimited wireless plan per month.  I feel I’m in love again.

According to Gizmodo‘s article “That Unbelievable $19 Unlimited Data/Voice/Text Plan Is Truly Unlimited,” Republic Wireless is now allowing customers to use the minutes, texts, and data as they see fit without having to worry about getting throttles, and the plan is still only $19 per month.  I do somewhat worry what if Sprint decides it doesn’t like this idea some months down the road?  After all, Republic Wireless is piggybacking Sprint’s wireless network.

Oh, never mind, don’t you worry too much, because if you are worrying about Sprint, then you never know how good it might feel when having unlimited minutes, texts, and data for your smart phones.  Did I use smartphone as in its plural form (i.e., smartphones)?  See, even if you get two or three smartphones with Republic Wireless, it seems you are saving so much money still that you might just have to give them customers of AT&T-Verizon-other-big-wireless-carriers your arrogant smirks, because you can do so.  So, don’t hold back you smirky, you.

Update:  I forgot to tell you that you don’t have to sign a contract to use Republic Wireless $19 unlimited wireless plan!  Give me five!

Source:  http://gizmodo.com/5870753/that-unbelievable-19-unlimited-datavoicetext-plan-is-truly-unlimited

I Might Be Completely Clueless On SOPA Or I Might Be Right That SOPA Can Curb Innovations!

Burning of three witches in Baden, Switzerland (1585), by Johann Jakob Wick.  Image from Wikipedia.

Burning of three witches in Baden, Switzerland (1585), by Johann Jakob Wick. Image from Wikipedia.

I’m a small shrimp in the ocean of sharks.  Yet, I still think SOPA isn’t the solution.  I fear SOPA might encourage witch-hunts.  What witch-hunts?  Don’t freak out, I’m not talking about burning real witches.  I’m talking about having SOPA witch-hunts.  Furthermore, SOPA might have the Internet Service Providers add more things onto their already super long todo lists, consequently making them unable to be productive and competitive.  What about the lawyers?  Lawyers might have a field day when SOPA is becoming law, because they might have less time to doodle but more time to make sure SOPA is SOPA or isn’t SOPA.  I can already hear a lawyer says, ” SOPA sounds like kaching (i.e., sound of a cash register) to me.”  What makes it more clear that SOPA isn’t a solution, because affected websites can just switch to DNS servers that are outside of the United States’ jurisdiction (i.e., as in oversea), avoiding the SOPA effect easily.  Then there is the feeling that DNS business might be outsourced to foreign countries, because DNS servers within United States suddenly feel like so SOPA.

I think SOPA might look good, but in reality it can be devastating and holding back innovations.  If not for big corporations holding back innovations through patents, we might already have our brave human fellows travel on USS Enterprise, exploring the galaxies.  Perhaps, we even have electric cars however many years early if corporations aren’t so fonded with oil and patents.  Yes, I know, the tiredness of the what if jokes!  But what if the what if jokes aren’t jokes?

SOPA does feel eerily to be similar to whatever rules and regulations that govern patents to me, because it might curb innovations.  I feel innovations should be encouraged fairly, and by this I mean big and small companies alike should have a shot at being innovative.  As we have seen where patents are heading, only big corporations would have billions of dollars to acquire patents and use these patents to sue everyone else that might not really infringe on such patents, but of course such patent cases have to be settled somehow, and usually the situations come down to settling out of courts for huge amount of money.  Only when things cannot be settled out of courts, then let the court battles begin.

I don’t think small businesses even have the money and time to worry about patents and SOPA, because they are trying to hire more people and expanding their businesses.  SOPA curbs innovations from small businesses, because big corporations might have more influences on how things should turn out.  With great money comes great responsibility!  No, let me rephrase this, with great money comes great power!  Oh boy, sorry for the inconvenience, let me rephrase this again, with great power comes great innovations.  Fine, let me backtrack a bit, with great money comes great power, therefore big corporations can use SOPA to favor their agenda, right?  I fear there will be little scrutiny of the SOPA violations but the alleged SOPA violators (i.e., relatively speaking of small businesses) might be out of business in a flash, as in websites are going to be shut down immediately at DNS level (i.e., revenue streams of such websites will be completely cutoff).

Ironically, even big corporations might feel SOPA is a pain if they are the ones who are being sued.  It turns out SOPA works both ways, like a knife with both edges being sharped.  Nonetheless, big corporations have the money and power to fight off SOPA easier than small businesses.  Plus, they don’t have to get into a panic mode and outright shut down their businesses for a SOPA case, because they are going to fight for their businesses with all their might, knowing they have a chance to make SOPA favors them even though SOPA is clearly at their throats.  When facing SOPA, I think small businesses might just as well close their doors and not doing business.  Why fight in courts when SOPA could or might make them even more broke, right?  So, once again, SOPA favors big businesses!  Is this fair?  I don’t think so.

Not only small businesses might face dire circumstances when facing SOPA, but customers and Internet users might face their own SOPA dire circumstances as well.  Customers most of the time are likely the Internet users themselves, and in this aspect we relatively combine customers and Internet users as one.  (Let not talk about customers as a business is a customer of another business, because it’s about something else entirely, and it’s not relating to the case I’m trying to make.)  When a customer comes to YouTube, he or she wants to see user generated contents and some professional contents, but more likely they will be bombarded with user generated contents; this is happening, because Internet is rather freer than not.  Now, imagine one weird user generated content gets call out, and SOPA might block the whole YouTube.

Of course, YouTube is belonging to a big corporation which is Google, and so Google will have the power, the means, and the money to argue against SOPA.  Nonetheless, even Google might not prevail and customers might no longer have something as useful as YouTube.  When SOPA claims victory, YouTube and other similar services might end up biting the dust.  Of course, this scenario might be too extreme, because when SOPA becomes law, YouTube might no longer be the same YouTube as Google has to make sure their original YouTube got to be sane with SOPA.  Shall we say user generated contents might be scrutinized evermore closely by Google?  Then again, it’s only the figment of my imagination, because SOPA isn’t law yet.  If SOPA isn’t law yet, then we cannot know how YouTube will behave unless you are the one who is directing Google’s YouTube.

Does this mean we just care not for SOPA, therefore piracy will forever rampage our Internet?  Yes, we should care not for SOPA, but we should care for stopping piracy at everywhere, whether that be on the Internet or off the Internet.  SOPA isn’t the solution since SOPA can be worked around easily by using DNS servers from oversea.  SOPA isn’t the solution since I hear that its language is too broad.  If SOPA’s language is too broad, it might dictate things that can affect not only the pirates but the innocents on the Internet as well.  I don’t think the majority is supporting piracy!  If SOPA’s language is too specific, it will not work, because it will not be able to justify when big corporations can just slowly comply to SOPA and stays in business while small businesses have to close doors immediately.  If small businesses can also slowly comply to SOPA, will big businesses favor SOPA still?

I know my understanding of SOPA is rather flaky, because my indirect knowledge of SOPA are from what I’d read online.  Nonetheless, if I’m wrong, then I have to admit I’m shortsighted.  Now, if I’m right, then SOPA might be very damaging to the whole old faithful structure of the Internet.  I believe the current Internet model isn’t bad.  In fact, I believe big corporations don’t need SOPA, but they need to only change their business ideas.  Steve Jobs knew this, because he had helped music labels stayed in business through iTunes store.  You can disagree with me, but you might change your mind if you read more on how Steve Jobs had convinced many players in the music industry to work with him to make iTunes store worked, and in return Steve Jobs had made some players in the music industry very happy in term of revenues.  If the music industry isn’t happy with iTunes store, how come they are so eager to sell their music on iTunes still?  It turns out that people might prefer buying music on iTunes store than pirating, because the quality for the music from iTunes store is simply better.  Let me put this in another way, an alcoholic cannot quit being an alcoholic unless he or she tells oneself to quit, but nobody else can!  SOPA cannot block a person from pirating or running a website with pirated contents, because he or she or an entity can simply use DNS servers from places that are outside of the United States’ jurisdiction.

You can argue that United States can make SOPA works by asking other countries to comply.  In my opinion, if United States asks nicely, only the countries that are aligning with United States’ agenda on SOPA will comply right away, but other countries will not.  Now, if United States forces other countries to comply on SOPA, the whole SOPA thing can only make the United States looks like an international bully.  For SOPA, is it worth it?

I fear SOPA might do its job too well that more people might find their computers infect by computer viruses!  How?  When web hosting companies and DNS service providers within the United States deny providing DNS service to some businesses to comply with SOPA, such businesses might use not so friendly DNS service from not so friendly DNS service providers, consequently helping the spread of the computer viruses, trojans, and malware.  It’s not like rouge DNS servers will spread computer viruses, but it’s more of rouge DNS servers might be hacked easier, consequently directing web traffics to dangerous web addresses.  Such dangerous web destinations might carry computer viruses, trojans, and malware.

You can argue that rouge DNS servers might have high security measures as how DNS servers that are being run within the United States, therefore we cannot assume rouge DNS servers might be easily hacked and redirected people to dangerous web addresses, consequently having people’s computers infected with computer viruses, trojans, and malware.  I don’t see anything wrong with such an argument.  In fact, I do think you are right on the money.  I do fear though when SOPA forces website owners to use rouge DNS servers, they might not have enough time to do a careful planning on picking the right DNS service providers oversea, and by rushing into picking DNS service providers oversea so their websites can get back online faster, website owners might sign up with bad DNS service providers, consequently allowing their websites to be subjected to DNS server hacks.  Evil doers might also take the chance of seeing some websites shut down by SOPA and reopen such websites with pirated contents but with different domain names, using DNS servers outside of the United States’ jurisdiction.  Customers (i.e., Internet users) might not know better and eager to download pirated contents without knowing what they download might infect their computers with computer viruses.

In summary, I think SOPA isn’t a right solution for stopping online piracy.  In fact, I think the right solution for businesses to stop online piracy is providing something which pirating cannot best.  For an example, by providing higher quality contents at affordable prices, this can effectively mitigate people from pirating since pirated contents tend to be poor in quality.  For whoever think SOPA is the solution to online piracy, don’t you fear the Internet, the engine which plays a big part in stimulating our current economy, might break down or become less attractive to innovations?  If you know something that I don’t on SOPA, please do tell.  If you’re supporting SOPA, let just hope you aren’t wrong by supporting SOPA so our Internet future will continue to shine for years to come.  Honestly, I just hope there are more people who want to have a more open and freer Internet so innovations can continue to spawn like crazy.

This Year Wackiest Thing To Do! Some Scientists Created Avian Flu Which Could Spread From Mammal To Mammal!

H5N1

Image via Wikipedia

This year wackiest thing to do!  According to Arstechnica‘s article “US Government tries to restrict publication of details on avian flu virus that spreads among mammals,” some scientists under the authority of whichever government had created a strain of dangerous virus, Avian flu, which could be spread through air from mammal to mammal.  As from what I had read and understood, it seemed that these scientists wanted to be more prepare in combatting against a futuristic pandemic flu (i.e., might kill billions of people) by creating something like it in the first place so they would be able to learn how such a killer virus would happen in nature.  United States government specifically thinks it’s too dangerous to release such information into the public in fearing someone out there would intend to terrorize the world by putting such knowledge into practice.  I have to say duh!  Duh as in why creating something this dangerous and releasing the knowledge of its existence to the world?

Now, I’m fearing that some bad guys will try to gain the knowhow of creating something similar to Avian flu at all costs.  Perhaps, they just need enough information to reverse engineer such knowledge and might come up with something much worse?  After all, now these bad guys know it’s achievable in creating something this dangerous.  The whole mess so reminds me of a documentary, Apocalypse How, directed by Ted Poole.  Apocalypse How warns us that humankind might destroy itself or at least might kill billions of people by having create a dangerous virus in a lab somewhere which could spread to billions of people so fast that there would be little time to come up with a vacine to stop it.  Apparently, Apocalypse How isn’t too farfetched on its prophetic warning, and this only fuels the belief of 2012 and have more people scare.  Of course, documentary Apocalypse How isn’t mentioning such virus would occur in 2012, but I’m just saying…  This knowledge gotta be locked away forever from the bad guys!  Let hope it will be so!  Also, let hope the bad guys aren’t smart enough to come up with their own version!  I so do wish that these scientists also know how to create a cure for their dangerous mammal spreading strain of Avian flu.

{Which humankind ultimate weapon is wackier, nuclear or a pandemic virus?}

Source:  http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2011/12/us-government-tries-to-restrict-publication-of-details-on-avian-flu-virus-that-spreads-among-mammals.ars?comments=1#comments-bar

Some Background Check Companies Fail To Accurately Update Background Records, Leading To Much Headaches and Heartaches For The Innocents

Mistaken Identity

Image by tuchodi via Flickr

According to Associated Press article “AP IMPACT: When your criminal past isn’t yours” on Yahoo News, the irony of digitizing citizens’ records is the inaccuracy of such digital records have and had screwed some people’s lives big time.  The many purposes of turning background records and other sensitive information of citizens on papers into digital records are probably to speed things up, make things more accurate and easier to update, and to efficiently manage such records in ways that paper record filing system would not be able to compete against this modern filing system.  Unfortunately, as we find out that the advantages of having digital records store in sophisticated databases are sometimes fall short.  For an example of how our modern filing system has fell short, Associated Press reported a woman named Kathleen Ann Casey had a hard time of finding job as various background check companies had pulled up her digital background which filled with incorrect information.  It turned out that the criminal charges of the other Kathleen Ann Casey was filed onto the digital background record of the real Kathleen Ann Casey (i.e., real is a relative term in this case).  Data entry went badly?  Perhaps!  But could it be related to the carelessness of the background check companies?  Nobody would know for sure, but mistakes came from background check companies had real consequences to real people.

The whole idea of having digital records so the filing system could be more effective in ways that paper filing system could not offer, but it turns out humans are prone to make mistakes as always.  After all, it’s still the humans that have to convert or enter the information into the digital records, whether that be background records or other stuffs entirely.  What is more troubling is that the records that background check companies scour from public resources cannot not always be accurate, and the pile up of wrong information can digitally stack up, higher and higher.  So much for filing records digitally, right?

Perhaps we can always cruelly say to the people who are unlucky enough to have their background records file incorrectly by background check companies — “tough luck,” but what if you’re the one who have to go about correcting your background record?

I think background check companies do serve good purpose.  Companies do not want to hire criminals, and so background check companies provide a must needed service for companies that care about hiring clean employees as in without criminal records.  As background check companies become evermore crucial to the whole hiring process for most companies, I think someone must come up with a way to audit background records better.

We cannot ignore the damages that might be caused by mistaken identities.  Also, we cannot go back to old day where we would file records on papers, because the whole filing process which involves with digitizing records are way more efficient and faster.  With such efficiency and speed, I think there must be a way to double check and audit the background records so mistaken identity won’t be so easily occurred.

Of course, it’s easy to say so, but how to come up with a solution and implementing it?  I’m not a genius and not having any experience in the field of addressing something like this, therefore I won’t know if there is a solution to this current problem.  Nonetheless, I do feel it’s crucial that someone else must be the hero and steps up to provide a solution to address the errors while digitally filing background records.

Let not forget about implementing high computer security standard to prevent unauthorized access to such sensitive digital records.  It’s not because digital background records cannot be seen, but it’s more of preventing someone with hacking skill to be able to manipulate such digital records.  After all, these digital records such as background records are having real effects on people’s lives.

At a time when our economy is still struggling and job isn’t easy to find, people are not going to be very capable on carrying on with their lives, and bad luck such as having to be identified with wrong background information might just make the whole idea of surviving the hard time much worse.  To make matter worse, Associated Press reported few background check companies refused to update the correct information on certain background records.  Furthermore, Associated Press reported some states wanted to bring in more revenues by selling data of criminal files in bundles to several background check companies, and the worse part was that such data might have errors and therefore might lead to more problems.

In summary, I think background check companies are useful to corporations and small businesses, but these background check companies must work with a higher standard in auditing people’s background records to prevent background check mistaken identities.  The whole modern approach of digitizing records is here to stay, and I don’t see anything wrong with this.  Nonetheless, since digital records have made the update and search process much easier and faster, I think such efficiency should provide more than enough extra time for someone or an entity with the power to audit important digital records such as background records to actually prune through these records evermore carefully.  It’s great to actually know digital records aren’t always accurate, and in the case of wrong background record one can be reminded of the not always accurate digital records and look up their digital background information to see if their background is indeed their actual background.  The real question is, can one go about convincing background check companies that you are who you are and not who they claim you to be?

Source:  http://finance.yahoo.com/news/ap-impact-criminal-past-isnt-182335059.html

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