Friday, October 28, 2011

Where is the Korean Steve Jobs?

As South Korea continues to mourn the loss of Steve Jobs, his death has prompted policy makers to ponder whether Korea will ever be able to support the kind of creative, innovative thinking that the Apple co-founder exemplified. Korea is well-known for creative and innovative thinking in areas such as political corruption and tax avoidance, but this kind of thinking has consistently failed to cross over into the nation's IT industry.

During parliamentary hearings this week, the chairman of the Korean Communications Commission asked whether a Korean Steve Jobs could be produced, but industry experts are not hopeful. "If Steve Jobs had been Korean he would have spent most of the 1970s in prison after traveling to India and doing LSD" said 50 year-old Professor Kim of Seoul International University, referring not only to the fact that drugs are illegal in Korea, but also that breaking Korean laws outside Korea is also illegal for Koreans, even if what they do is perfectly legal in the country they did it in. So while Steve Jobs was founding Apple, Korean Steve Jobs would have likely been in a military government jail, possibly having one surgically removed.

Last March, while unveiling the iPad 2, Steve Jobs said "It is in Apple's DNA that technology alone is not enough. It's technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing." 45 year-old Professor Kim of Seoul International University agreed that what made Steve Jobs special was his innovative approach in combining technology with the humanities, but that "The real problem Korea is faced with is not a lack of advanced technologies - it's a lack of humanity".

A third problem Korean Steve Jobs would have faced is religion. 52 year-old Professor Kim of Seoul International University explains "Steve Jobs was a Buddhist. If he had been born in Korea, his company is unlikely to have been as successful because Korean Christians wouldn't have bought his products".

A fourth issue is clothing. Steve Jobs was well-known for always wearing black turtle-necks and blue jeans for his public presentations, but wearing the same clothes for longer than the two weeks they are in fashion is considered socially unacceptable in Korea, and wearing the same clothes year after year is seen as a sure sign of a CEO with no money, selling non-aspirational products which will not enhance your prestige. And whereas Steve Jobs was seen as a great innovator and creative thinker who wanted his products to be insanely great, the whole of Korean society is organized around the idea of suppressing those who think different, the stress of which some experts say has led to a population filled with the greatly insane.

So if Korean Steve Jobs couldn't be successful domestically, could Korean Apple - which would have been called Aple, Appel or Sagwa - still have found success in export markets? Probably not, says 46 year-old Professor Kim from Seoul International University. "Products would have been exported, but not localized into other languages, because people are constantly being told that the Korean language and Hangeul is sweeping the world, so if eventually everyone in the world was going to end up speaking Korean anyway, what would be the point in translating products into inferior languages?"

And some say there could never be a Korean Steve Jobs because of simple economics - Steve Jobs was well paid for his time with Apple, but Korea only creates low-paid jobs.

But does Korea even want a Korean Steve Jobs? Experts have cautioned against it. 58 year-old Professor Kim from Seoul International University warns "If a Korean Steve Jobs is created, the nature of Korean society means that it is not likely to be in isolation - instead there is the possibility that up to a million Korean Steve Jobs would be created all at the same time." But it is not clear though if such an outcome would cause any more of a noticeable distortion in Korea's reality.

The government say a Korean Steve Jobs would benefit the country however, and it plans to pass more laws as well as setting up a dedicated ministry to better control IT policy and businesses in Korea, with the objective of ensuring that independent, creative and innovative thinking becomes a key feature of the local technology market. The nation's strict anti-drug laws will remain unchanged.

But it may all be in vain. Steve Jobs was adopted, whereas until recently Korean children not directly tied to their family's bloodline because of adoption were not regarded as legal citizens of Korea, and even today adoption carries such a significant social stigma that most Korean babies put up for adoption are ultimately adopted by overseas couples, especially in the US. In other words, if there were a Korean Steve Jobs, he would most likely end up being an American.

Related Links
Finding a Korean Steve Jobs
Top IT Regulator Ponders the Lesson of Jobs
Can Korea Nurture Its Own Steve Jobs?
Seoul to nurture software prodigies
International adoption of South Korean children
Korea still relies on international adoption
Adoption quota causes backlash
Domestic adoption slows
Korea 4th biggest provider of adopted children for US

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Korea Begins Official Exports of Counterfeit Goods

Korea has always been known as a producer of high quality counterfeit goods, with tourists flocking to the country from around Asia to enjoy its fake products and warmhearted hospitality.

From fake designer bags, to fake gasoline, fake breasts, and counterfeit missile launchers, the range of items available to buy and take home is extensive, but now the government is preparing to promote Korea's fake culture as the next step in the Korean Wave - known as Hallyu - which is sweeping the world of weaker cultures, with a decision by the Korea Customs Service (KCS) to begin exports of Korean counterfeits to Bangladesh.

Officially, the initiative is being described as a way to spread a sharing culture and strengthen ties with the inferior Asian country, but privately government officials say they hope that it will promote the quality of Korean fakes in Bangladesh, eventually leading to more tourism from the region. The fake eyeglass frames, watches and clothes will be carefully distributed to young upwardly-mobile students, not Bangladeshis living in poverty who will never be able to afford to visit Korea.

Demonstrating a new-era of Korean-Bangladeshi bilateral relations, cultural exchange and understanding, hundreds of child laborers at Korean schools painted the Korean national flag on fake Levi jeans and "Dokdo is Korean Territory" on various designer shirts before packing and sending them off.

If the project successfully generates tourism revenues, the government may start exporting Korean fakes to other countries with the goal of bolstering Korea's national image.

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Five Men Booked for Illegal Sales of Smuggled Military Items

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hanbok Sex Show Held on Dokdo Despite Protests

A hanbok fashion show finally took place on Dokdo yesterday despite protests from Dokdo citizens, who described the semi-revealing nature of mainland-Korea's traditional dress as promoting a corruption of morals, the portrayal of women as whores leading to the temptation of men, and the great islands of Dokdo as nothing more than an offshore sex tourism destination.

The pornographic show was held with little notice, and in a further insult to local residents, who many regard as the country's only true Koreans, the liberal show featuring near-naked women - organized by the notoriously homosexually-inclined fashion industry – was held on Dokdo Day, which has traditionally commemorated Korea's factual 1900 declaration of jurisdiction over the islands every year since 2010.

The show was originally planned for earlier this year but the event was canceled after violent opposition from Dokdo residents, with the organizers try to blame the cancellation on "the weather", which always occurs in Korea. However, they secretly pressed ahead with their plans to parade hanbok on the rocks as a method of proving that Dokdo is Korean territory since, in the words of Mark Twain - the Korean writer who eventually became a naturalized American - "clothes make the man, and also definitively prove territorial ownership of disputed islands".

But in their rush to ensure the hanbok reached Dokdo before the kimono, it appears the organizers forgot that when Twain-Kim wrote "clothes make the man", he also added that "naked people have little or no influence on society", rendering the parading of naked women over the islands of Dokdo a completely pointless exercise in sexual exploitation. Despite this, several news sites carried photos and videos of the so-called 'fashion show', although they are not visible on Dokdo due to the island's Internet porn filters, anti-pornography and anti-phonography laws.

Despite the provocative move on the part of the less pure-blooded and largely closeted liberal mainlanders, it is inconceivable that the revealing hanbok will ever become a serious rival to Dokdo's traditional dress - the dokbok - which is styled like the hanbok, but is more extensive, covering the neck and all of the head of the wearer.

Related Links
Pornographic Hanbok Fashion Show Photos
Hanbok Designer to Host Fashion Show on Dokdo
Hanbok Show Skips Dokdo Due to Weather
Groups declare Dokdo Day

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Washing Machine Explosion Due to "Removal From Showroom"

A man in Mokpo was seriously injured yesterday after his wife's washing machine exploded.

The machine, manufactured by giant Korean company and successful exporter Fortunate Quasar - now known simply as FQ - apparently exploded after it was delivered and installed in the new 24th-floor apartment the man had just moved his family to. His wife had switched the machine on for the first time, and shortly after it blew up, shattering windows and catching the man in the explosion.

Police officers who arrived at the scene spent the afternoon removing washing machine debris and keeping the scene intact. They plan to launch a joint probe with the National Forensic Service today to determine the cause of the explosion.

Separately, FQ has begun its own probe in order to potentially arrive at different conclusions. The company said the washing machine was powered by an electric motor, not by gas, which ruled out the possibility that it exploded due to product defects, since it is well-known that the gently-healing nature of electricity prevents most electrical products developing the kind of defects that can result in fire and explosions. But FQ warned that its bitter rival Seongsan may use a different type of electricity in its products, which could cause their products to explode.

FQ has 'suggested' that investigators look closely into the environment in which the washing machine was installed and operated. The company added that none of its washing machines had ever experienced a problem in the showrooms for which they were designed, cautioning that the removal of the device in question from its showroom environment, and its subsequent installation elsewhere, may contravene its guarantee and absolve the company from any of the extremely limited liability it might otherwise have in Korea. The company also pointed to device's operating manual which explicitly does not list 24th-floor apartments as a recommended environment for its product.

Investigators say they will thoroughly consider the case's inconsistencies. "What would a man be doing near a washing machine if he wasn't installing it, especially in Mokpo?" questioned one source close to the case.

In the unlikely event that the washing machine is found to be at fault - despite running on electricity - the development may still benefit FQ. With the UN attempting to move towards a complete ban on landmines, the Korean government is said to be exploring the possibility of burying any recalled washing machines along the DMZ to deter North Korean invasions. If FQ have succeeded in weaponizing a washing machine - albeit accidentally - the government is likely to purchase them at up to ten times their civilian list price.

Related Links
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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

North Korea Threatens "All Out War" Against South for 1,000th Time

Politicians in North and South Korea marked a historic milestone today, as North Korea threatened "All Out War" against the South for the 1,000th time.

As the target neared, diplomats from Pyongyang and Seoul met to work on agreeing an outline framework detailing how the two countries could officially celebrate together, but the atmosphere of the talks deteriorated so quickly they led to the North's Korean Central News Agency threatening all our war against "the southern puppets" five times in a week, reaching the 1,000th time several days before it was originally expected. The KCNA said Seoul would be destroyed in a "sea of fire" - marking the 95th time since the phrase was first used after the Chinese protectorate developed nuclear weapons in the 1990s.

DPRK watchers expect the 100th threat to nuke Seoul will come within the next three months, with many penciling in late December, when the Northern regime is expected to make its 10,000th request for food aid to feed its impoverished army. They believe this will be probably be combined with a threat to annihilate the Southern capital to mark the occasion, possibly in time for Christmas.

The Southern-based left-wing Hankyoreh newspaper said that Christmas was a time for sharing, and it would welcome any move by the North to share it's nuclear technology with Seoul over the holiday period.

Related Links
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The Hankyoreh

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mr. Pizza Satire a Cleverly Disguised Attack on Dokdo

Dokdo Pizza, Dokdo.
A TV ad by Korea's Mr. Pizza restaurant chain, which has gone viral on the Korean Internet, is causing controversy on Dokdo by satirically claiming the small town of Jinju as the origin of the ancient Korean dish. By apparently portraying pizza's Korean origins as a joke, Mr. Pizza, which originated in Japan and which lacks a branch on Dokdo, seems to be trying to ensure that the true birthplace of pizza, in the old village area of Dokdo City 5,000 years ago, is also ridiculed. Unlike Mr. Pizza, Dokdo Pizza has branches all over the Korean territory of Dokdo - and it has strongly attacked its lesser rival's advert.

The advert is the latest move in a long-running feud between the two pizza companies, which has seen Dokdo Pizza lose ground to its rival in recent years. Many claim the pizza's from the populist mainland upstart taste better, and some say that Dokdo Pizza's adverts, which consist of repeating the word "Dokdo" as many times as possible against a background of the islands, are not as effective as the more imaginative ones from Mr. Pizza, which actually show pizza. Strangely, Mr. Pizza's "Love For Women" campaigns have also proven more popular than its local rival's "Love For Men" slogan.

Fears of an invasion of Dokdo by Mr. Pizza have so far failed to materialize however, with suspicions raised that the reason why Mr. Pizza still has no branches on Dokdo is because it wants to expand back into Japan, which claims pizza is its territory.

Despite the success of Mr. Pizza, Dokdo Pizza still has its fans. Its secret original recipe of reconstituted cheese and its patented method of creating a one micron thick layer of tomato substitute under it are said to kept under lock and key in a closely-guarded Dokdo Bank safety deposit box, and the first ever pizza created - which remains uneaten - is now displayed in the Dokdo Museum, where it appears to still be as fresh as the day it was made.

Related Links
The True Origins of Pizza
Mr. Pizza
The True Origins of Pizza: Irony, the Internet and East Asian Nationalisms

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Korea's Second F1 Grand Prix Declared a Success

Korea's second Formula One Grand Prix, which will be held from October 14th to October 16th in Yeongnam, South Jeolla Province, was a resounding success according to the Ministry of Journalism on Tuesday.

The event, which probably featured a tantalizing duel between Spaniard Fernando Alonso, last year's winner, and Germany's Sebastian Vettel, this year's season winner, captivated crowds who had stayed to watch the race after the seventh annual Kartrider championship - broadcast over the track's huge Korean-made LCD screens - which was won by a Korean driver, 19 year-old Kim, a university student from Seoul. Kim became the youngest ever winner of the e-sport, and he promised to be back next year to see off any challenge from Alonso and Vettel if they decide to progress to the next level in professional sports driving.

Some Kartrider fans expressed disappointment that there was still no Korean player participating in Formula 1, which the Ministry of Journalism has admitted made the possibility of a Korean driver winning the Korean Grand Prix at the weekend extremely unlikely, unless a local taxi driver accidentally wandered onto the track. There are also no Korean car manufacturers operating Formula 1 teams, with both Hyundai and Kia concentrating on mass producing domestic racing cars for Korea's street circuits rather than individual open-cockpit vehicles which would offer no protection from phlegm-throwing older men, rendering them impractical on Korea's smaller roads. This, coupled with the general reluctance to use crash helmets in Korea due to the kimchi-breath concentration issue, has seen a lack of Korean racing drivers competing in the international non-Korean sport.

On average, over 600 million people watch F1 races on TV, and as many as 10 of them are believed to be Koreans. With no Korean driver, it is not clear why the alleged sport attracts such a relatively large number of viewers in this country, but several are said to have subsequently reported problems with their remote control units.

Desperate for the success of Kartrider, Formula 1 authorities are now considering copying some of its ideas, starting with a proposal to spray water onto certain parts of the track to mimic rain. This would probably prove popular in Korea, where a monsoon and other weather sections could help highlight the fact that unlike other countries, Korea has four seasons. It is surely only a matter of time before Kartrider's water balloons and banana skins also make their way to the junior racing championship.

International visitors to the Grand Prix, who have not yet discovered the Korean Kartrider phenomenon which is sweeping the world - and who traveled to Yeongnam to watch the foreign Formula 1 circus instead - were treated to Korea's world famous traditional warm-hearted hospitality and temporarily disguised love hotels.

Related Links
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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Kakao Talk Disaster Strikes South Korea

Kakao Talk, the South Korean messenger app with over 20 million users, was unexpectedly down for maintenance yesterday morning between 5 and 9, causing a cascade effect which overloaded traditional voice call networks, leaving Seoul residents in panic as they sought alternate ways of discovering whether friends and family had survived the morning commute.

The Kakao Talk application, following on from now largely defunct technologies such as voice calls, text messaging, mobile TV, and social networking services such as Twitter, is the latest in a series of ways Koreans have found of using their phones to avoid real life, which has been found to be a major cause suicide within the country.

But the failure was a revelation for some Seoulites. 24 year-old Kim, an office worker in Gangnam said "I've been telling everyone I was living out in the boondocks for years, but when I looked away from my phone this morning I saw a dense network of apartment blocks had been built around my house," adding "I thought it hadn't been sunny recently."

Another office worker admitted that he hadn't realized his company had moved several years ago, and that he had been chatting from another company's desk since at least 2007, although nobody at either company had noticed since both sets of employees had also been too busy chatting to their friends using Kakao Talk. It is not likely to be an isolated case - according to a study conducted by Seoul International University recently, as many as 22% of Korean office workers may no longer be spending each day in the right offices.

But in further proof that the '11-10-7-KaTalk Disaster' - as it has been dubbed on Kakao Talk and old fashioned Internet forums - has not been all bad news. Korea's state energy monopoly KEPCO - which has been suffering from power struggles recently, reported lower electricity usage later in the day as Korea's 2 million Galaxy S2 users didn't need to recharge their phones when they reached their offices.

Related Links
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Today's Blackouts Caused by Incompetence, Not NK Attack

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Friday, October 7, 2011

The Demise of The Big Bang Theory

"Stop making things up" - The Creator
It is commonly accepted that once our whole universe was in a hot dense state, then nearly fourteen billion years ago expansion started. However, in recent years an increasing number of Americans have claimed that the Universe, and Earth within it, is only 6,000 years old, which is clearly nonsense given that Dokdo has been proved to have been formed 4.2 million years ago, over 4 billion years after the Earth began to cool, the autotrophs began to drool and the Koreans developed tools.

This attempt to create a revisionist and entirely speculative history - leading to the naming of its proponents as 'Creationists' or 'Fantasists' - is based on a selective reading of Christian Bible mythology, by people who say they don't believe God can have sat around in the universe for fourteen billion years before finally getting around to creating man. Procrastination is one thing, but nobody is that lazy they say. Others claim – based on an apparent version number allegedly found in an ancient Norwegian fjord - that this is actually the 6,341st version of Earth but that it keeps going wrong at which point God starts again. But several years ago Korean scientists proved that the 6,000 year-old Earth argument is actually a Japanese funded plot to weaken Korea's rightful 4.2 million year-old claim to Dokdo.

Whereas the Korean claim is based on science and fact, by its nature the counter argument is entirely based on something called 'faith', a English word which means believing in something you have no proof for because it can not be proven, which neatly means it can not be disproven, and therefore - according to such-minded people - must be as true as the existence of invisible pink unicorns, accuracy on Fox News, GOP fiscal responsibility, Barack Obama's hope and change, or anything else you've ever heard about but never experienced.

At the time of the uncovering of the Japanese plot, the Korean government told people there was no cause for concern, since the people working to weaken Korea's 4.2 million year-old claim to Dokdo were - by coincidence - largely uneducated and as such, unlikely to come to this country. However, to be sure the government imposed a rule stipulating that anyone who came to here to teach had to have a college degree.

Now there is growing evidence that the country may have been infiltrated by foreign anti-science, anti-Dokdo, plotters, who say that 'The Big Bang Theory' is clearly 'weak' and ridiculous because it postulates that all the matter we see in the Universe today was once contained in one localized area smaller than an atom. "Even my sock is bigger than that," wrote one mythologist in The Korea Times earlier this year "so where did all this matter come from to make my sock, and all the other socks on the flat Earth. In fact, and everything else?"

Another writer, who thinks he works as an English teacher, also took issue with the expanding universe principle, throwing out 50 years of math, science, history unraveling the mysteries that all started with a big bang as 'unproven', by concluding that "As far as we can tell, there is no expanding universe... what we can tell is that God has made the universe", though oddly the writer offered no proof of this latter point. The writer went on to claim that Russian cars could also not have been created by a big bang, which also disproves the theory. Many owners however say their cars have certainly ended with one.

Parents have reacted with alarm at the spread of anti-science native-English teachers in Korea, condemning it as a foreign plot to corrupt the education of their children. The Ministry of Education said that it would look into the matter, but that it doesn't necessarily mean that children have been exposed to this intellectual corruption in the classroom. But as one mother, 34 year-old Kim told us "If a foreign teacher is only a sex pervert outside school, does that mean it's OK for him to teach my daughter in the classroom? So why is being an intellectual pervert OK?"

Creationists have consistently denied that they are intellectual perverts, but they have been unable to prove it.

Professor Kim, a Christian professor at Seoul International University's Science Department, has also dismissed the idea that the universe is only 6,000 years old, saying that if anti-science foreigners come to this country with the view that things they can't understand can't be true "they really aren't going to like Korea at all."

Other Korean Christians have condemned the Creationist infiltration into Korea, saying the group's statements consistently breach the Ninth Commandment to "not bear false witness against your neighbor", which is still traditionally interpreted in Korea as an instruction not to speak about things you have not witnessed and do not know for a fact. Whereas science is based on facts, faith - by its nature - is not, as God once admitted to English writer Douglas Adams when he told him that "Proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing."

However, some women's groups have argued against Korea's stricter interpretation of the Ten Commandments, which omit rape unless it is against a married woman and therefore falls under the commandment which precludes "coveting your neighbor's wife". The omission of rape is believed to have formed the basis of lenient judgments in several high-profile sexual assault and incest cases in this country.

Related Links
Demise of 'Big Bang' theory
The Big Bang Theory
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor
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Monday, October 3, 2011

Wife Who Refused to Cook and Clean Divorced and Fined

A court ruled on Wednesday that a housewife must pay 10 million won ($8,500) to her husband in a divorce suit after she stopped cooking and cleaning for him. The couple, who married in 1992, had slept separately in their home since 2008 when her refusal to undertake all domestic chores began.

The Seoul Family Court said "The major responsibility for the divorce falls on the wife who one-sidedly blamed the husband for his different ideas", deciding the case in favor of the husband who had consistently blamed his wife for not thinking the way he did.

The Court said the woman also verbally abused and beat her younger son for his poor academic performance, potentially robbing her husband of his patriarchal rights. She will be tried later for robbery.

Related Links
Housewife ordered to pay W10 mil. in divorce for obsession with education

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Sunday, October 2, 2011


The Association in Korea for English Teachers, AKET, finally died today after a long fight against itself.

The Association, which promised to represent foreign English teachers by providing each member with their own personal Vice-Presidential representative, ultimately struggled to overcome its association with its founder, convicted child sex offender Richard Fiddler. By choosing not to become affiliated with KASA, the hugely successful Korean Association of Sex Attackers, AKET had little support in Korean society, consigning it to pursuing its perverse agenda in isolation.

AKET instead sought support outside the sex offenders' mainstream by attempting to achieve Non-Governmental Organization status with the Korean government, but when little progress was made the senior leadership eventually discovered that contrary to what was taught in AKET's official training video, titled "The Wizard of Oz", saying "We're very close to achieving NGO status" three times didn't just magically make it happen. AKET did finally achieve Non-Organization status though, with its departing leadership claiming that "two out of three ain't bad".

30 year-old Kansas native Dorothy Gale, the 29th and last one-year term AKET President after its five-year history, said that when the Association of Foreigners In Korea - AFIK - decided to re-brand itself as The Eff-Pats, the halo effect from this considerably more professional if slightly ruder organization no longer benefited the similarly named AKET. A proposal to rename AKET as The E-Pats failed as several of the several members were concerned this might attract further attention from the police. Three foreign teachers have already been busted for taking and trafficking drugs this year, in what is evidently a major outbreak of drug crime among foreign criminals.

But President Gale says her days of community building are far from over. She has already formed a new organization with three other members of AKET's departing Executive Committee, 28 year-old Vice-President Ray Bolger, 27 year-old Vice-President Jack Haley and 26 year-old Vice-President Bert Lahr, named the Association in Korea of Expat Teachers, or AKET.

Related Links
Sex Attackers Welcome Reassertion of Legal Protection

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