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How Clubhouse plans to make money


Clubhouse, the buzzy audio-only social application, is searching at ways to monetize the platform for its creators, chief executive Paul Davison explained to CNBC on Monday.

Right after building its debut past calendar year, Clubhouse is now valued all-around $1 billion and hosts extra than 2 million people. The premise of the app is rather very simple, considering the fact that there’s no online video, images or textual content-dependent chat rooms. Buyers will log into the application and be greeted with a few dwell, virtual rooms, where they can see a checklist of the people today collaborating. If they simply click on the home, the audio switches on and they can hear the conversation. Think of Clubhouse as an application for reside, unfiltered podcasts.

Clubhouse’s revenue system is related to crowd-funding company Patreon’s design, which allows impartial creators to obtain funds immediately from their audience. Patreon requires a little rate from those people transactions, although, and it really is unclear how much or if Clubhouse would just take a share of the subscriptions.

It also plays into a concept end users of social networks have complained about. If a creator cannot make income on a presented platform, they’re likely to move onto another when it gains traction. Clubhouse is building a guess early in its existence that it can entice far more end users by providing them a way to make money.

“There is so numerous outstanding folks who are smart, who are amusing, who have area abilities, who are actually just wonderful at bringing folks collectively,” Davison reported in a “Squawk Box” interview Monday. “And what we want to enable them to do is to make a dwelling instantly on Clubhouse by means of things like subscriptions and ticketed events and obtaining strategies from listeners who are joyful to pay out them straight for the experiences that they’re developing for them.”

Currently, you will find no way for users to pay back for content material straight by means of the app. The platform by itself is no cost, and you can find no adverts nor premium plan for customers. Davison claimed Monday that Clubhouse plans on introducing some type of product “quicker alternatively than later.”

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EU’s vaccine export controls could damage global vaccine supply


People today queue to obtain the Chinese-made Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine, outside the house the Belgrade Good turned into a vaccination centre, on January 25, 2021.

ANDREJ ISAKOVIC | AFP | Getty Photos

The EU’s conclusion to employ export controls on coronavirus vaccines is “hugely problematic,” in accordance to professionals, who warned that it could lead to a collapse in the global supply if other countries followed go well with.

“You can find a real chance that the EU taking this conclusion is going to spark a cascade in other international locations placing in place (vaccine) export bans,” Suerie Moon, co-director of the Global Overall health Centre Graduate Institute in Geneva, told CNBC on Monday.

“There is a serious hazard that we are likely to see a breakdown in the motion of vaccines throughout borders, the same form of breakdown we observed a calendar year in the past when nations, including the EU, blocked foods and even masks and other critical healthcare provides from becoming exported. This is disastrous at an worldwide stage.”

At worst, she mentioned, “the major risk is that this is heading to set an illustration that numerous other nations will comply with, and this will guide to a collapse in international vaccine source.”

Export controls

Moon’s warning comes soon after the EU mentioned previous 7 days that it was employing what it referred to as a “transparency and authorization system for exports of Covid-19 vaccines.” It mentioned the evaluate was designed to, “guarantee timely access to Covid-19 vaccines for all EU citizens and to tackle the present-day deficiency of transparency of vaccine exports outdoors the EU.”

Regardless of insisting that the evaluate was not an “export ban,” it even so lets member states to restrict exports of coronavirus vaccines that are produced in the bloc if they deem that the vaccine maker has not honored existing contracts with the EU.

It consists of exemptions for a selection of international locations exterior the EU but inside of Europe, this sort of as Albania and Serbia, a assortment of nations in northern Africa and any of the 92 small- and center-money nations around the world coated by the COVAX initiative.

Moon mentioned that: “The EU has absolutely set in area a several stress valves to allow for for exports to certain nations in the earth, but you will find nevertheless a whole lot of nations around the world who greatly depend on EU generation and they’re heading to be hurt quite badly.”

The bloc manufactured the announcement amid heightened considerations and unsightly community disputes with vaccine makers about a lack of materials to the bloc.

Vaccine maker Pfizer explained it was quickly reducing the manufacturing of its shot, formulated with German biotech BioNTech, as it upgrades output facilities in Belgium, while AstraZeneca also dealt a blow to the EU by asserting it would provide much less vaccine doses than initially anticipated in the initially quarter, citing troubles at its Dutch and Belgian vegetation.

The delays piled additional stress on the European Fee, which was presently being criticized for its lack of velocity in purchasing and approving vaccines, and its rollout of immunizations.

The shift to introduce controls on exports triggered a furor with the U.K. in individual, just after a 7 days of simmering tensions more than materials of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is also created at two web-sites in Britain.

The EU had indicated that provides ought to be diverted to Europe from the British plants, sparking a dispute with the drugmaker and the U.K. federal government. It escalated to the stage where the EU said it would override part of the Brexit offer in order to protect against EU-manufactured vaccines potentially coming into the U.K. through Northern Ireland.

It reversed that conclusion shortly later on adhering to a community outcry, which includes from the Entire world Overall health Organization, which warned in opposition to the perils of “vaccine nationalism.” The  EU confident the U.K. that it would obtain vaccine provides created in the bloc.

Pandora’s box

Simon J. Evenett, a professor of intercontinental trade and financial progress at the University of St. Gallen, commented Monday that the EU’s move was tantamount to opening “Pandora’s box” and that it could have unexpected conseqences.

He mentioned the restrictions could prompt worry amid foreign governments for a amount of motives, which include the fact that the “normal for authorizing exports of Covid-19 vaccine is unclear,” and that these choices “could be arbitrary.” He also flagged that it may possibly not lapse on March 31 2021, as promised.

Evenett warned that the transfer could, “unfold together the Covid-19 vaccine source chain, to incorporate very important elements will need to produce the vaccines and to distribute them,” and could even guide to export curbs on other important merchandise these kinds of as foodstuff, energy and other medications.

Staff members at CSL are operating in the lab on November 08, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia, the place they will start off production AstraZeneca-Oxford College COVID-19 vaccine.

Darrian Traynor | Getty Pictures

This kind of eventualities “would compound the damage performed to both of those the EU’s public wellbeing techniques and to its multinationals,” he stated.

“Disruption in vaccine offer chains will gradual down fees of inoculation in the EU and elsewhere ensuing in unwanted deaths and an even slower economic restoration. If the European Fee realises that it is about to open Pandora’s Box, then it may possibly come across an exquisite way to withdraw its export regulate regime on Covid-19 regime,” he explained.

“Executing so would help to the EU to reclaim its name as a defender of multilateralism and the procedures-primarily based international trading technique. This morning that status is in tatters.”



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Neuralink wires up monkey to play video games using mind


Jeff Miller/University of Wisconsin-Madison

Tesla manager Elon Musk said in an interview late Sunday that a monkey has been wired up to engage in movie video games with its head by a firm he established referred to as Neuralink. 

Neuralink put a computer system chip into the monkey’s cranium and employed “little wires” to join it to its mind, Musk reported.

“It can be not an unsatisfied monkey,” he claimed all through a converse on Clubhouse, a new social media application attaining level of popularity that will allow men and women to have casual voice chats while some others pay attention in. “You are unable to even see where the neural implant was set in, apart from that he is obtained a slight like dark mohawk.”

The billionaire — who also spoke about space journey, colonies on Mars, crypto, synthetic intelligence and Covid-19 vaccines — stated Neuralink is seeking to figure out if it can use its chips to get monkeys to engage in “mind Pong” with every other.

“That would be pretty neat,” stated Musk, who is CEO of Neuralink, in addition to SpaceX and Tesla.

Headquartered in San Francisco, Neuralink’s crew of about 100 men and women is hoping to acquire an implementable laptop-brain interface. Musk describes it as a Fitbit in your cranium with tiny wires that go into your brain.

He stated the aim of Neuralink is to raise the rate at which information and facts can movement from the human brain to a machine.

Holding up with A.I.

AI is only likely to get smarter and Neuralink’s technology could a single working day make it possible for people to “go together for the experience,” in accordance to Musk.

To illustrate the tempo of development in AI, the innovator — who thinks that device intelligence will ultimately surpasses human intelligence — pointed to breakthroughs built at exploration labs like OpenAI, which he co-established, and DeepMind, a London AI lab that was acquired by Google in 2014. DeepMind has “operate out of online games to earn at in essence,” mentioned Musk, who was an early investor in the corporation.

People today are in result previously “cyborgs” due to the fact they have a tertiary “digital layer” many thanks to phones, computers and apps, according to Musk.

“With a immediate neural interface, we can boost the bandwidth involving your cortex and your digital tertiary layer by quite a few orders of magnitude,” he explained. “I would say almost certainly at minimum 1,000, or maybe 10,000, or additional.”

The cortex is a element of the mind that performs a crucial role in memory, awareness, perceptual awareness, assumed, language, and consciousness. The digital layer he refers to could be something from a person’s Apple iphone to their Twitter account.

Very long time period, Musk promises that Neuralink could allow people to send out ideas to one particular one more using telepathy and exist in a “saved state” soon after they die that could then be put into a robotic or one more human. He acknowledged that he was delving into sci-fi territory.

In the in close proximity to term, Musk wants to implant Neuralink chips into quadriplegics who have mind or spinal injuries so that they can “handle a personal computer mouse, or their cellular phone, or definitely any system just by thinking.”

Musk claimed Neuralink will “most likely” be releasing some movies that present the firm’s progress in the subsequent month or so.

In August, Neuralink carried out a stay demo of its know-how on 3 pigs. An audience was revealed actual-time neural alerts from a single of the pigs, which Musk named Gertrude.

Musk used the chat on Clubhouse, which was livestreamed on YouTube immediately after it reached potential, to check out to entice engineers to apply for a task at Neuralink.

“If anyone listening is superior at planning Fitbit, Apple Watches, phones, pcs of many varieties, then, really, they would be a terrific suit for Neuralink,” he stated.



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Mr. Peanut is back, but Planters is giving away its Super Bowl ad cash


Immediately after an not likely demise, a star-studded Tremendous Bowl funeral and an clear reincarnation, Planters’ monocled Mr. Peanut is again.

But in its place of jogging a Tremendous Bowl place this 12 months, the snack brand is offering absent the $5 million it would have used jogging just one.

Kraft Heinz’ calendar year-very long circle-of-lifetime marketing campaign around Mr. Peanut culminates Monday with a new storyline and an announcement that Planters will get the around $5 million it would ordinarily spend on a Tremendous Bowl advert slot and as an alternative route that cash to understand men and women doing charitable acts. The brand is contacting them “functions of compound,” a play on positioning the snack as a substantive different to selections like potato chips. 

The new marketing campaign, accomplished with VaynerMedia, also represents a broader shift in how the business plans to do some of its potential advertising, in accordance to Sanjiv Gajiwala, Kraft Heinz’s U.S. chief development officer. 

In the months prior to very last year’s NFL championship recreation, Planters introduced a video demonstrating Mr. Peanut sacrificing himself to help save actors Wesley Snipes and Matt Walsh by plunging to his death. Then during the video game, the manufacturer broadcast the nut’s funeral. It ended with a Newborn Nut developing out of the ground, aided by a tear from the Kool-Aid Gentleman. 

The unconventional marketing campaign was almost everywhere: Mr. Peanut appeared in a “Saturday Evening Live” chilly open that was set in hell. He was the topic of a New Yorker cartoon with the caption: “The superior information is he donated his organs to peanut butter.” People today beloved it or they hated it, but it certainly received observed. 

“Very last year, we set the aim with Planters to have the most talked-about Super Bowl ad at any time produced. And I feel we attained that with Mr. Peanut’s not likely demise,” Gajiwala mentioned. “We had 11 billion acquired impressions past 12 months. There’s a ton of protection around it. And through the yr, Mr. Peanut confirmed up in society in a large amount of diverse strategies.” 

All through the 12 months, Infant Nut grew into a 21-year-outdated and eventually into a middle-aged nut person named Bart. On Friday, the model video dropped a teaser on social media with the textual content: “Found my monocle. See you before long.”  

But going forward, Kraft is searching for Planters to have a unique type of marriage with consumers — one that is a very little extra substantive, most likely.

Gajiwala said after the lots of challenges of 2020, the brand desired to recognize folks who move up to enable. The business stated this could take the form of a couple who donated the catering of a canceled marriage ceremony to those in have to have, or another person who paid out a neighbor’s previous-due utility bills. 

The business mentioned it will be announcing its first receiver this week and will announce extra on social media through the Tremendous Bowl. Then, all through the year, it strategies to hold finding men and women to feature.

Planters will give them income as a reward in some instances, and in others to support them go on operate they are undertaking with donations. The corporation failed to say how numerous people would acquire funding but explained it is committed to using all of the $5 million it would or else have expended on promotion in Sunday’s huge sport.

Gajiwala stated this ties in to exactly where Kraft Heinz desires to transfer its advertising. Rather of the brand speaking about itself, he said the corporation wants to have far more regular, daily connections with customers. 

“We are seeking to change from speaking … on a sporadic foundation [around] massive moments, to transferring to interacting each and every working day about what they treatment about,” he mentioned. “For us, that implies reorienting our promoting groups to concentrate on agility, to believe about how we can produce far more meaningful written content that receives related to our customers in extra innovative strategies. And most importantly, all-around moments that issue to the customer.” 

It can be extra of a sober note than the nutty yr the brand has had, but it really is hopeful individuals will like it.

“From a tone standpoint, and an action standpoint, it really is heading to be extremely distinct than the place we’ve been in the past. And so I imagine you can find likely to be a tiny bit of surprise,” he claimed. But presented the component of celebrating fantastic deeds, “I consider that consumers are going to rejoice that and with any luck , realize that this is the initially stage on a journey for us.”

Nominations are open for the 2021 CNBC Disruptor 50, a list of non-public start out-ups employing breakthrough technological know-how to turn into the subsequent technology of great general public companies. Submit by Friday, Feb. 12, at 3 pm EST.

Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the dad or mum corporation of CNBC and NBC, which broadcasts “Saturday Evening Live.”



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Robinhood CEO explains trading restrictions


Robinhood co-founder and co-CEO Vlad Tenev speaks onstage during the TechCrunch Disrupt New York event on May perhaps 10, 2016.

Noam Galai | Getty Pictures for TechCrunch

The co-founder of Robinhood took to audio app Clubhouse on Sunday to protect the investment decision platform’s selection to prohibit buying and selling in GameStop and other volatile stocks.

GameStop shares have climbed additional than 1,500% due to the fact the begin of the year, fueled in no modest portion by a wave of retail buyers motivated by the Reddit board WallStreetBets. Such buyers piled into GameStop and other closely-shorted shares, ensuing in big losses for some hedge cash.

Robinhood moved to prohibit investing in a amount of shares, together with GameStop and AMC Amusement, on Thursday. Tenev reported at the time that the selection was aimed at shielding the organization and its clients.

In the session on Clubhouse, Tesla CEO Elon Musk pressed Robinhood’s Vlad Tenev on why the system, a pioneer of fee-free buying and selling, decided to restrict buying and selling very last week. The on-line brokerage firm restricted buying and selling in 13 equities, enabling customers to offer positions but not open new types in certain securities, provoking fury from buyers.

“We experienced no alternative in this situation,” Tenev claimed. “We experienced to conform to our regulatory capital requirements.”

Tenev mentioned Robinhood’s operations group obtained a request at 3:30 a.m. Pacific Time on Thursday from the Nationwide Securities Clearing Corporation. Robinhood and other clearing brokers are needed to satisfy specific deposit necessities from clearinghouses like the NSCC just about every working day. The volume necessary is based mostly on components this sort of as volatility and concentration in specified securities, Tenev claimed.

Robinhood bought a request for a security deposit of $3 billion from the NSCC to back up trades, “an buy of magnitude extra than what it usually is,” Tenev claimed. The business raised an further $1 billion in emergency money from current buyers in an effort and hard work to shore up its stability sheet and enable it to relieve the buying and selling curbs.

“Did a thing it’s possible shady go down listed here?” Musk — who has proven assistance for WallStreetBets on Twitter — questioned Tenev.

“I wouldn’t impute shadiness to it or anything like that,” Tenev responded. “The NSCC was acceptable subsequent to this.”

Robinhood and the NSCC afterwards agreed to reduce the $3 billion quantity down to all around $1.4 billion, but Tenev said his business was however forced to take action to restrict trades.

Tenev’s explanation of the problem echoed a blog site post from Robinhood, in which the firm described it place momentary acquiring constraints on some securities thanks to a tenfold raise in clearinghouse deposit prerequisites.

Requested by Musk no matter whether there would be any even further limits on investing in potential, Tenev mentioned: “I feel there is usually going to be some theoretical limit. We you should not have infinite funds.”

Musk also quizzed Tenev on no matter if Citadel Securities — the premier current market maker in selections in the U.S. – had pushed the business to impose buying and selling boundaries. Robinhood gains a important chunk of its revenues from routing orders to current market makers like Citadel and Virtu. Citadel also assisted infuse shut to $3 billion into Melvin Capital, a hedge fund that bet from shares like GameStop.

“To what diploma are you beholden to Citadel?” Musk asked, to which Tenev replied: “There is a rumor that Citadel or other sector makers pressured us into doing this and that is just false.”

“This was a clearinghouse decision and it was just based mostly on the money specifications,” Tenev added. “From our point of view, Citadel and other market makers weren’t included in that.”



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$1 billion loss expected on travel disruption


A member of Ryanair cabin crew appears to be out of the window at Ryanair planes.

NurPhoto | NurPhoto | Getty Images

LONDON — Ryanair expects this fiscal calendar year to be “the most difficult” in its 35 calendar year-background, the corporation stated on Monday, as governments phase up travel limitations in an hard work to consist of new variants of Covid-19.

The price range airline is on track for a net loss of amongst 850 million euros ($1.03 billion) and 950 million euros for its 2021 fiscal calendar year, ending in March. It noted a net reduction of 306 million euros for the 3 months ending in December.

“Covid-19 proceeds to wreak havoc throughout the industry,” Ryanair explained in a assertion. It added that Christmas and New Calendar year targeted traffic “was seriously impacted” by vacation bans imposed on U.K. vacationers in late December.

A variety of European governments made a decision to impose restrictions on flights leaving the U.K. just before Xmas soon after news that a new variant of Covid-19 recognized in the county was spreading rapidly. This contributed to a 83% fall in visitors in the thirty day period of December for Ryanair.

The EU now wants to step up the slow tempo of its rollout programme to match the U.K.’s efficiency.

 The provider “expects the hottest lockdowns and pre-arrival Covid take a look at necessity to materially cut down flight schedules and site visitors through to Easter.”

The new 12 months noticed European governments extending or introducing lockdowns as they confronted a steep surge in new bacterial infections. Far more a short while ago, nations in the region have discouraged non-crucial journey as they search to bring down their amount of each day situations. It is at present unclear when nations around the world will start out reopening their economies and go as far as encouraging travel abroad.

Having said that, European governments are in the process of vaccinating their populations in the hope that this will enable them to return to the usual working day-to-day additional rapidly. Having said that, the vaccine roll-out in Europe is dealing with manufacturing, offer and pink tape difficulties.

“We consider some ease and comfort from the results of the U.K. vaccine programme, which is on focus on to vaccinate virtually 50% of the U.K. populace (30 million) by the stop of March. The EU now desires to step up the sluggish pace of its rollout programme to match the U.K.’s general performance,” Ryanair claimed on Monday.

Ryanair shares are down about 12% considering the fact that the get started of the 12 months.



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Walmart donates $14 million as part of pledge to advance racial equity


Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart.

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

In the wake of the George Floyd protests, Walmart pledged to boost range inside its very own ranks and contribute $100 million above five many years to support struggle systemic racism throughout the place.

On Monday, the organization gave an update on that hard work. Walmart and its foundation will distribute the 1st $14.3 million to 16 nonprofit businesses. The grants will go toward teams that are tackling racial inequities in various ways, these kinds of as educating communities of shade about the Covid-19 vaccines, cutting down debt for students at historically Black faculties and universities and giving web entry and technology to young children who are attending college remotely.

Walmart is just one of a lot of businesses that promised to toss its cash and weight powering addressing racial disparities following Floyd’s killing. Nonetheless as the country’s most significant employer and retailer, its actions have additional importance. The company’s CEO Doug McMillon also potential customers the Business Roundtable, a potent corporate voice built up of a lot of of the country’s most prominent main executives.

When the enterprise designed its initial pledge in June, McMillon acknowledged that corporations — which includes Walmart — need to do additional than merely publish checks. He reported the organization would do improved inside of its four walls, way too, by recruiting and supporting assorted expertise.

Black workers make up about 21% of Walmart’s 1.5 million U.S. workforce, according the company’s most recent range and inclusion report. On the other hand, that variety fades in the leading ranks of Walmart. About 12% of the firm’s administrators and 7% of its officers are Black.

Walmart tapped longtime worker Kirstie Sims to direct the firm’s Heart for Racial Equity, which will aim on inequities in four key spots: finance, wellness treatment, instruction and criminal justice.

Kirstie Sims, senior director of the Walmart.org Middle for Racial Fairness

Walmart

Sims, an Arkansas indigenous, started functioning at the massive-box retailer as a way to pay back off student financial loans and planned to change to the well being-treatment market. At Walmart, however, she explained she found out she could make a 20-in addition yr career and progress to management positions — a little something she hopes to make achievable for other employees, such as other Black women. Prior to her new function, she was senior director of worldwide ethics and compliance at Walmart.

Walmart has made other variations to advance racial fairness in the latest months. It will share a variety and inclusion report 2 times a 12 months in its place of every year. It will operate with the country’s largest traditionally Black college, North Carolina A&T Point out University, to increase the number of Black school graduates coming into extremely demanded fields. It opened two new Walmart Wellbeing spots, which offer you low-charge health-related appointments, in Chicago in November. It also signed joined the A single 10 Coalition, a team of U.S. organizations pledging to teach, employ the service of and encourage a person million Black Americans around the future 10 years.

Sims claimed Walmart is looking at how its business methods can make a difference, much too. For example, it can grow obtain to affordable clinical care in needy communities by opening Walmart Health and fitness locations, elevate Black-owned companies by working with much more as suppliers and give second likelihood to career applicants re-entering culture right after involvement with the felony justice technique.

“Progress occasionally is sluggish, but with the perform and the electric power and the commitment guiding it, we are going to make transform,” she claimed.



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Xiaomi sues US to overturn Chinese military designation, investment ban


Clients wait around in line at Xiaomi’s flagship shop in Mong Kok, Hong Kong.

Miguel Candela | SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Pictures

In reaction, Xiaomi filed a lawsuit on Friday in opposition to the U.S. treasury and defense departments in the district courtroom of Columbia, according to its investor relations web site on Sunday.

Xiaomi alleged that the Chinese military designation is “unconstitutional since it deprives Xiaomi of its liberty and residence legal rights devoid of owing approach of legislation” and consequently violates the Fifth Amendment of the U.S Constitution.

The Chinese firm also mentioned the ban on traders obtaining shares will bring about “irreparable damage.”

“By reducing off Xiaomi from U.S. cash markets, the Designation and related constraints will problems the firm’s potential to conduct, grow and finance its business enterprise, provide its goods, maintain and grow its small business associations, and recruit and keep employees,” the firm’s lawsuit said.

Xiaomi shares were being up 1.2% in Hong Kong trade at 11:46am HK /SIN time.

The business also reported that it is “not owned or managed by, or otherwise affiliated with the Chinese governing administration or armed service, or owned or controlled by any entity affiliated with the Chinese defense industrial base.”

Xiaomi reported any Chinese government or army entity doesn’t posses the capability “to exert regulate around the administration or affairs of the corporation.”

Huawei, which was a target below the Trump administration, has also experimented with to use the U.S. legal process to overturn actions taken by Washington.

In March 2019, Huawei sued the U.S. over a regulation that banned authorities organizations from shopping for the Chinese technology giant’s devices. That lawsuit was turned down by a federal decide past yr.



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