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Hey AT&T, Drop That Coconut
September 25, 2000 | WSJ | Andy Kessler.

CEO C. Michael Armstrong is about halfway through reinventing the company, and needs a high stock price as a strategic weapon to fill in the chess pieces he’s missing — optical pipes, cable assets and wireless licenses — to offer bundles of services. So with a dozen different rate plans to confuse consumer and the FCC, he’s using long distance to milk an estimated $8 billion in consumer cash flow this year. Big mistake. You don’t manage a tech business for cash flow — the banana. You want to be investing in innovation.
Andy_Kessler  AT&T  cash_flows  exploitation  FCC  innovation  mature_industries  reinvention  VoIP 
july 2012
Google at Center of Samsung-Apple Phone Patent Trial -
July 30, 2012 | | By JESSICA E. VASCELLARO.
Samsung Case Is a Proxy for Google
litigation  Apple  Samsung  Jessica_E._Vascellaro  Google 
july 2012
Improving your brainstorming skills
Jul. 29 2012 | The Globe and Mail | HARVEY SCHACHTER.

Think independently: Brainstorming focuses on collaboration – the group. But it’s important before you begin that joint sculpting of ideas to make sure you are inspiring a good selection of ideas as a foundation. So carve out some time at the beginning for individuals to each come up with his or her own ideas.

Share ideas: Compile all those ideas in one document and make them available to the group by e-mail or a sharing system such as a wiki. When everybody sees the menu of ideas, it might stimulate further thinking (and ideas).

Review separately: Before the group starts working together, have each person take notes on the other ideas, setting out the potential advantage they offer. Note that at this point, the team has still not worked together in a group format.

Discuss together: Now comes the time we usually rush to, where everyone comes together for a meeting. Have each person nominate the ideas that seem the most promising, and then discuss the pros and cons. Mr. Markman believes that because each person reviewed the ideas independently, you will have a better discussion and end result.
brainstorming  collaboration  grouping  idea_generation  ideas  independent_viewpoints 
july 2012
Do you have the attention span of a squirrel?
Jul. 29 2012| The Globe and Mail | HARVEY SCHACHTER.

Squirrel-like behaviour kills productivity, contributes to the erosion of depth in knowledge work, and hurts personal creativity. (And it’s not only the boss – staff can also exhibit squirrel-like behaviour.)

“So the next time one of your staff comes up to you to initiate a conversation, ignore your phone when it rings,” he advises managers. “Look away from your laptop. Close the lid if you have to. When a rude co-worker tries to butt in, tell her you’ll get back to her. Focus on the person in front of you.”
focus  productivity  monotasking  attention_spans  squirrel-like_behaviour 
july 2012
Thinking is difficult. Make time for it
Jul. 29 2012 | The Globe and Mail | by HARVEY SCHACHTER.
Thinking is difficult. Make time for it

Schedule five blocks of 15 minutes in this week’s schedule for thinking, recommends productivity consultant Jason Womack. If it works, you may want more. The Womack Report.
A key question to gauge job applicants

Consultant Art Petty recommends using this question to probe candidates in job interviews: What are you doing to get better at what you do?
continuous_improvements  continuous_learning  Harvey_Schachter  hiring  interviews  interview_preparation  metacognition  productivity  questions  thinking 
july 2012
Self-discipline sets the road to success
Jul. 29 2012 | The Globe and Mail | HARVEY SCHACHTER.

See this (

The paradox principle: Do the difficult things now, and things will be easier in the long term.

The buy-in principle: The more you have invested in something, the less likely you are to let it fail.

The magnification principle: If your focus is diluted, so too are your results.

The creation principle: There is a four-step process to getting things done: You think it, you speak it, you act it, and it happens.

The harvest principle: Focused effort is amplified by appropriate timing and regimented routine.
Harvey_Schachter  self-discipline  focus  self-control  affirmations  routines  skin_in_the_game 
july 2012
Canadian manufacturers set sights on growth, new products - The Globe and Mail
Jul. 29 2012 | The Globe and Mail | ORA MORISON.

A strong Canadian dollar doesn’t seem to be a deterrent. Mr. Khatri also said he’s targeting the U.S. to boost his market. Currently, about 20 per cent of his sales go to Americans.

“My clients tell me [they] remember an 85-cent dollar and they look at where they are today and say ‘you know, maybe I wasn’t quite as focused at 85 cents as I am now’,” said Laurent Giguère, KPMG’s National Industry Leader and the author of the manufacturing outlook report.

Companies are finding cost savings throughout their supply chain, he said. As smaller, niche manufacturers, Canadian companies are better equipped to compete on unique, high-value products.
manufacturers  growth  KPMG  Canadian  loonie  weak_dollar 
july 2012
Only Harper can end pipeline politicking
Jul. 30 2012 | The Globe and Mail | JOHN IBBITSON.

A good chunk of Canada’s future economic growth hinges on exporting energy, with increased exports from the oil sands a crucial component of that growth. Enter the Prime Minister – that is, if he’s willing to take the cue.

For 45 years, Canadian politics was largely defined as an ongoing series of conflicts between Ottawa and the provinces: over national social programs under Lester B. Pearson; over repatriating the Constitution and Quebec separatism under Pierre Trudeau; over fixing the Constitution under Brian Mulroney; over renewed fears of separation under Jean Chrétien; over funding health care under Mr. Chretien and Paul Martin.

Enough, said Stephen Harper. His strategy as prime minister has been to leave the provinces alone. The best example is the Conservatives’ approach to health care. With the current funding formula set to expire in 2014, all 14 capitals were gearing up for months of negotiations. A source says that in the Finance Department, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Privy Council Office, advisers pored over the various strategies, every one of which was complicated, cumbersome and politically controversial.

Then someone suggested: Let’s just give them the money with a reasonable annual increase, and no strings attached. Mr. Harper seized the proposal. No national standards, no reporting mechanism and, best of all, no first ministers’ meeting, in which 13 premiers lock a prime minister in a room and grill him until he gives up the combination to the safe.
energy  Stephen_Harper  John_Ibbitson  pipelines  oil_sands 
july 2012
The Frightening Things You Hear at a Black Hat Conference -
July 27, 2012, 4:59 pm5 Comments
The Frightening Things You Hear at a Black Hat Conference
black_hats  cyber_security  threats  hackers  conferences 
july 2012
The Khan Academy Goes to Camp, and It's All Offline -
July 26, 2012, 7:00 am8 Comments
The Khan Academy Goes to Camp, and It’s All Offline
july 2012
Helping Hand for Time’s Print Empire
July 29, 2012 | NYT | By AMY CHOZICK.

Lang has homed in on the transition to mobile devices and the customizing of ads for marketers based on the vast amount of consumer data Time Inc. collects on readers. Her theory: if users’ personal information is a treasure trove for Silicon Valley businesses, it should be equally valuable to traditional media. ....Ms. Lang talks about Time Inc. not as a magazine publisher, but as a branded news and entertainment company. She believes she can sell digital products to advertisers tailored to a level of specificity not previously available....As the Digitas chief she turned a traditional direct-mail service into a business that built and placed digital ad campaigns customized for Web sites and social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. She also helped start the “newfronts” that take place around the time of the TV network’s upfronts, where advertisers see the coming slate of TV shows, and connect advertisers to online companies like YouTube and Hulu....the focus seems to be on tailoring the company’s magazine properties around the digital consumer. Driving that plan is a trove of research that breaks down readers’ daily news cycle. The “Arc of the Day” study showed that in the morning readers want bite-size headlines and news flashes. In the afternoon, they are often at a desktop computer and want to grab a slide show or video, and at night they have time to engage in a deeper article. A related study also found that the average smartphone owner spends 1.4 hours a day waiting in line while browsing a device....Time Inc. had previously resisted a deal with Apple in part because it did not want to give up its control of subscriber data to the technology company.

But the deal fits Ms. Lang’s favorite refrain: “We need to be where our consumers are.”
magazines  digital_media  profile  CEOs  mass_media  data_driven  Publicis  advertising  TIME_Inc.  news  dayparting  print_journalism 
july 2012
Considering What Canadian Universities Have to Offer -
July 26, 2012, 7:30 pm 4 Comments
Considering What Canadian Universities Have to Offer
Canadian  Colleges_&_Universities  students 
july 2012
The Growing Cachet of the Store Brand - New York Times
Published: November 27, 2005

Store brands now account for 16.1 percent of total supermarket purchases, worth $40.5 billion annually, up from 14.9 percent, worth $31.2 billion, in 1995, according to Information Resources of Chicago, which collects supermarket scanning data.

But Mr. Sharoff of the private-label association says the market shares of store brands could be twice that 16 percent figure because big-box retailers like Costco and Wal-Mart and specialty stores like Trader Joe's and Whole Foods did not report sales totals for their own labels. Some chains are offering more than one in-house brand. Safeway, for example, has created a signature brand of beef, Rancher's Reserve, and has been heavily promoting the brand to compete with higher-priced national brands.
private_labels  supermarkets  Whole_Foods  Trader_Joe's  big-box  retailers 
july 2012
Is Algebra Necessary? -
July 28, 2012 | | By ANDREW HACKER.

Peter Braunfeld of the University of Illinois tells his students, “Our civilization would collapse without mathematics.” He’s absolutely right.

Algebraic algorithms underpin animated movies, investment strategies and airline ticket prices. And we need people to understand how those things work and to advance our frontiers.

Quantitative literacy clearly is useful in weighing all manner of public policies, from the Affordable Care Act, to the costs and benefits of environmental regulation, to the impact of climate change. Being able to detect and identify ideology at work behind the numbers is of obvious use. Ours is fast becoming a statistical age, which raises the bar for informed citizenship. What is needed is not textbook formulas but greater understanding of where various numbers come from, and what they actually convey....mathematics teachers at every level could create exciting courses in what I call “citizen statistics.” This would not be a backdoor version of algebra, as in the Advanced Placement syllabus. Nor would it focus on equations used by scholars when they write for one another. Instead, it would familiarize students with the kinds of numbers that describe and delineate our personal and public lives.

It could, for example, teach students how the Consumer Price Index is computed, what is included and how each item in the index is weighted — and include discussion about which items should be included and what weights they should be given.

This need not involve dumbing down. Researching the reliability of numbers can be as demanding as geometry. More and more colleges are requiring courses in “quantitative reasoning.” In fact, we should be starting that in kindergarten.

I hope that mathematics departments can also create courses in the history and philosophy of their discipline, as well as its applications in early cultures. Why not mathematics in art and music — even poetry — along with its role in assorted sciences? The aim would be to treat mathematics as a liberal art, making it as accessible and welcoming as sculpture or ballet.
mathematics  algorithms  numeracy  infoliteracy  public_policy  CPI  liberal_arts  engaged_citizenry  quantitative  value_judgements  logic_&_reasoning  cross-disciplinary 
july 2012
Steak Marinades - Don’t Leave Your Flank Uncovered -
July 27, 2012 | NYT | MELISSA CLARK.

THERE are some steaks that need nothing more than a little salt and pepper to bring out their beefy goodness... Flank steak is not one of them. This brawny cut, from the abdomen of the cow, craves the strong flavors of either a marinade or a rub.
steaks  rubs_sauces_marinades  recipes 
july 2012
12 Recipes for Grilled Eggplant - Interactive Feature -
July 26, 2012
12 Recipes for Grilled Eggplant
If you learn the various ways to grill an eggplant, you’ve pretty much mastered the grill.
eggplants  recipes  grilling  BBQ 
july 2012
What Makes a Top Executive?
1983 | Psychology Today | by Morgan W.McCall, Jr. and Michael M. Lombardo.
Executives, like the rest of us, are a patchwork of strengths and weaknesses....The fatal flaws of executives who failed to live up to their potential.

1. Insensitive to others: abrasive, intimidating style.
2. Cold, aloof, arrogant
3. Betrayal of Trust—failure to meet commitments.
4. Overly ambitious—plays politics, pushes too hard to get ahead.
5. Failure to handle specific performance problems—failure to handle problems then not admit the problem, try to cover up or shift blame.
6. Overmanaging: unable to delegate or build a team.
7. Unable to select and develop an effective staff.
8. Unable to think broadly or strategically—too much attention to detail and minor technical problems.
9. Unable to adapt to a boss with a different style.
10. Overdependence on one’s boss or mentor.

These flaws matter because:
1. Strengths become weaknesses
2. Deficiencies eventually matter
3. Success goes to their heads
4. Events conspire

Part of handling adversity lies in knowing what not to do. Know which behavioural patterns will colleagues and superiors consider intolerable...Seek diversity in the forms of success.
career_ending_moves  CEOs  character_traits  EQ  executive_management  leadership  leadership_development  listening  managing_people  Managing_Your_Career  movingonup  Myers-Briggs  overdependence  people_skills  personality_types/traits  strengths  weaknesses 
july 2012
Introduction to the Case Method
(1) Define the central problem. (Problems vs. symptoms, sequence, linkages)
(2) Formulate the alternatives. (3 or 4 are usually sufficient. Include maintenance of the status quo).
(3) Analyze the alternatives. (Uncover the nature, proportion, function, and underlying relationships among a set of variables). Lay out assumptions. Review assumptions to see how dependent conclusions are on the assumptions made. Contingency plans in the case that assumptions don't hold. Opposing arguments addressed? Pros/cons of each alternative.
(4) Recommend a solution. (Make it clear cut. Avoid qualifications)
(5) Specify a plan of action. (Potential reactions)
(6) Prepare contingency plans.
case_studies  business_schools  symptoms  howto  frameworks  problem_framing  problem_solving  linkages  marketing_math  critical_thinking  action_plans  contingency_planning  alternatives  assumptions  argumentation  sequencing 
july 2012
Why Big Data is the new competitive advantage
July / August 2012 | Ivey Business Journal | by Tim McGuire, James Manyika, and Michael Chui
competitive_advantage  McKinsey  massive_data_sets  exhaust_data 
july 2012
A Midsummer Grand Aioli -
July 27, 2012 | WSJ | By GAIL MONAGHAN.
This reworking of a classic Provençal feast offers an abundance of seafood—and reasons to load up on the delicious garlicky sauce.
aioli  mayonnaise  recipes 
july 2012
Data mismatch lets Joe Fresh goods go stale - The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Jul. 26 2012
Joe_Fresh  Mimran  Loblaws  Marina_Strauss  J.C._Penney  retailers  mismatches  data 
july 2012
The Team Advantage (Part 1)
Feb 1992 | American Printer pg. 34 | Michael PO'Connor & Becky
ProQuest  teams 
july 2012
Europe’s Lycamobile plans Canadian foray - The Globe and Mail
Jul. 23 2012 | The Globe and Mail | by Rita Trichur.
European telecommunications provider Lycamobile is planning to shake up Canada’s $18-billion wireless market with a new service aimed at immigrants and other ethnic consumers who regularly talk and text with family and friends living overseas.
telecommunications  globalization  wireless  immigrants  ethnic_communities  MVNOs 
july 2012
Champions of Change: Identifying, Understanding, and Supporting Champions of Technological Innovations - ProQuest
Summer 1990 | Organizational Dynamics | Christopher Higgins & Jane Howell.

This article presents the results of 25 interviews of personnel managers who were able to promote changes in business organizations through different methods of human resource management. Extremely high self-confidence, persistence, energy, and risk taking are the hallmark personality characteristics of champions. Champions show extraordinary confidence in themselves and their mission. They are motivated by a passionate belief, and enthusiasm about, the nature of the technology and what it can do for the company. Related to their self-confidence is the champions' capacity to cling tenaciously to their ideas and to persist in promoting them despite frequent obstacles and seemingly imminent failures. By actively promoting their ideas, often by repeating the same arguments over and over, champions overcome the opposition. Inexhaustible energy the unflagging vitality, is also a salient characteristic of champions. In many cases, champions willingly risk their position and prestige to ensure the innovation's success. Interestingly, while champions claim to be risk takers, many of them psychologically minimize the amount of personal risk associated with their involvement in the innovation.
Ivey  change  change_management  champions  ProQuest  leadership  personality_types/traits  change_agents  eels  personal_risk  self-confidence  mission-driven 
july 2012
On the folly of rewarding A, while hoping for B
Feb 1995 | The Academy of Management Executive pg. 7 | Steven Kerr. Reprinted from AME Journal, 1975, 18, 769-783.

Whether dealing with monkeys, rats, or human beings, it is hardly controversial to state that most organisms seek information concerning what activities are rewarded, and then seek to do (or at least pretend to do) those things, often to the virtual exclusion of activities not rewarded. The extent to which this occurs of course will depend on the perceived attractiveness of the rewards offered, but neither operant nor expectancy theorists would quarrel with the essence of this notion.

Nevertheless numerous examples exist of reward systems that are fouled up in that the types of behaviour rewarded are those which the rewarder is trying to discourage, while the behaviour desired is not being rewarded at all.
control_systems  fallacies_follies  incentives  organizational_behaviour  rewards 
july 2012
The operators at Clayton, Dubilier & Rice
December 1994 | Institutional Investor | by Hilary Rosenberg.
Clayton_Dubilier_Rice  LBOs  private_equity  execution 
july 2012
The Five Lessons Divorced People Learn About Marriage -
Divorcé's Guide to Marriage
Study Reveals Five Common Themes Underlie Most Divorces
divorce  relationships  marriage  Elizabeth_Bernstein  lessons_learned 
july 2012
Prime time for corporate nurses
January 29, 1991 | Financial Post | by Barry Critchley and Susan Gittins
turnarounds  restructurings  recessions 
july 2012
Toronto’s Farmhouse Tavern: pretense-free, but inconsistent - The Globe and Mail
Jul. 21 2012 | The Globe and Mail | CHRIS NUTTALL-SMITH.

Name Farmhouse Tavern
Location 1627 Dupont St., Toronto
Chris_Nuttall-Smith  Toronto  restaurant_reviews  restaurants 
july 2012
Toronto 2012: more guns, fewer resources
Jul. 20 2012 | The Globe and Mail | KELLY GRANT AND MATTHEW ROBINSON
Toronto  criminality  neighbourhoods 
july 2012
Fred Wilson Turns Lost Ideas Into Ventures
January 30, 1996 | WSJ | by Udayan Gupta.
Profiles Fred Wilson of Euclid Partners, a New York venture-capital fund. His business of luring executives from big corporations and giving them new lives as entrepreneurs; Focus on forming new companies from projects which are struggling to get attention inside large corporations; Success of companies he has helped to finance.

...To find new projects, Mr. Wilson chats up contacts and scours newspaper and magazine pages for corporate projects that might have an entrepreneurial flavour. He...
New_York_City  venture_capital  vc  Fred_Wilson  spin-offs  profile  large_companies  brands  internal_projects 
july 2012
Opportunities in Distressed Securities
March 28, 1995 | Finance Weekly | by Martin Sass, CEO of M.D. Sass Investors Services, a New York Cky—based investment management firm.

Some of the best investment opportunities lie in post-bankruptcy investing....Five factors contribute to success in distressed-security investing: high absolute return potential; astute, rigorous financial analysis: expertise in the bankruptcy and restructuring process; investment flexibility (i.e.. the ability to invest both long and short, as well as anywhere in the capital structure ranging from senior debt to subordinated debt to equity): and portfolio diversification....Another important task is making an informed estimate of the time it will take to realize the forecasted value and any likely intervening events (i.e., litigation, negotiations and other elements of the restructuring process) that will affect that value and/or the duration of the workout. A workout of a distressed
situation could take anywhere from six months to five or more years. This makes a difference when figuring your annualized return.
distressed_debt  capital_structure  howto  workouts  bankruptcies  investors  opportunities  restructurings 
july 2012
Detroit wheel
July 1995 | Institutional Investor | by Hilary Rosenberg who profiles Jay Alix.
* Golden rules: scale down a company's cost structure to meet realistic revenue projections; never attempt revenue-driven turnarounds, which can collapse if the sales don't materialize.
AlixPartners  cost-cutting  cost-structure  Detroit  golden_rules  howto  private_equity  turnarounds 
july 2012
In search of up-and-comers: some principles to follow
02 Dec 1995 | The Globe and Mail pg. B.18.| Gary Lamphier.

IMAGINE investing in technology stars such as California's 3Com or Ottawa's Istar Internet - last week's market darling on the Toronto Stock Exchange - long before they've gone public and other investors have jumped aboard.

That's the game venture capitalists play as they scour obscure industry publications and trade shows, attend endless conferences and swap gossip with entrepreneurs in search of tomorrow's success stories.
(1) Most want to see company principals put their money where their mouth is by investing in their own companies. Otherwise, no deal.
(2) The market that the startup company plans to sell its product into must be big and getting bigger.
(3) Any start-up company that hopes to prosper must have exceptionally strong management, the pros agree.
(4) Successful companies breed successful companies.
Sequoia  Michael_Moritz  venture_capital  vc  Kleiner_Perkins  start_ups  rules_of_the_game  large_markets  teams  skin_in_the_game  unglamorous 
july 2012
London: the Mayor’s-eye view - The Globe and Mail
Ashley Prime

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Friday, Jul. 20 2012
book_reviews  London  United_Kingdom  mayoral 
july 2012
Risky Business
March 1990 | Inc. Magazine | Interview conducted by Robert A. Mamis of (Ben)jamin Rosen, a founding partners or Sevin Rosen Management Co.
venture_capital  vc 
july 2012
Tear down those mountains of cash
Jul. 21 2012 | The Globe and Mail | Doug Saunders.

Corporations/multinationals are hoarding cash, which is strange, because this should be a great time for companies to invest: low prices, low interest rates, cheaper labour costs. A sensible company would build up cash during boom times – when investments are more expensive – and spend it during recessions, when consumer demand is weak and capital is cheap....Saunders argues for taxing those cash reserves.
Doug_Saunders  debt  cash_reserves  multinationals  interest_rates  idle_funds 
july 2012
How Red Sox owners got it right
Jul. 20 2012 | The Globe and Mail | STEVE LADURANTAYE.

Over the past 10 years, the Boston Red Sox have been transformed a small baseball ownership group into one of the largest sports companies on the planet – consistently high payrolls, solid scouting and clutch plays have all helped the team post the second highest winning percentage in baseball over the past decade.
sports  Steve_Ladurantaye  Boston  globalization  branding  sponsorships  advertising 
july 2012
Start-up dilemmas, from beginning to end
Jul. 03 2012 | The Globe and Mail | HARVEY SCHACHTER

The Founder’s Dilemmas

By Noam Wasserman
(Princeton University Press,
480 pages, $37.95)
start_ups  problem_solving  book_reviews  founders 
july 2012
Want an edge? Call the CEO - The Globe and Mail
Jul. 03 2012 | The Globe and Mail | FABRICE TAYLOR.

Investing is a game of scarce advantages, yet an edge is difficult to come by in the stock market. You certainly don’t get one by just reading financial statements. A million others are doing that. Ditto with screening tools. They’re useful as a starting point but. again, they’re not exclusive to you.

It’s the same with the Internet. Any monkey can Google, so you’re not going to get an edge by spending hours scouring the darkest corners of the Web.

The only thing that can give you an edge is making connections that few others have, or interpreting what sources say to you.... No matter how much you read, how much time you spend, how elaborate your Excel model, you will never understand a business better than the CEO. Not only do they live and breath their work every day, and likely have for years, they also have information you don’t have. What you look at – the latest results – are dated. He or she has real time and, in fact, advance data.

Q1:one of my favourites is: “Who is the best analyst on your stock and why?”
Q2: Another good question for a CEO who doesn’t appear too promotional is whether it’s a good time to attract a lot of investor attention.

Sponge up insights about their companies and their suppliers, competitors and customers, as well as coming technological changes that could hurt or help a business....investing in one company on the basis of ideas received from another is a “bank shot,” like a basketball bouncing into the hoop. “The ability to look beyond just the numbers to see all different types of bank shots is something that can’t be replicated by a spreadsheet,”
slight_edge  CEOs  due_diligence  proprietary  informational_advantages  Communicating_&_Connecting  interpretation  real-time  questions  humint  financial_statements  insights  exclusivity  personal_knowledge  personal_connections  personal_meetings  personal_relationships  technological_change  bank_shots 
july 2012
How you can guard against food poisoning - The Globe and Mail

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Tuesday, Jul. 03 2012
summertime  picnics  food_safety 
july 2012
Fennel soup with fava beans - The Globe and Mail

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Tuesday, Jul. 03 2012,
recipes  soups  lentils  pulses  Lucy_Waverman 
july 2012
Technology Implementation and Project Risk
You have to make sure your whole team understands what scarce resource you’re optimizing.
implementation  execution  R&D  testing  risk-assessment  project_management  frameworks 
july 2012
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