Maccast 07.03.2013 - Show #451
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
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V News
V Leaked photos continue new iPhone exposure
* More and more reported iPhone 5S and low-cost iPhone images continue to hit the web.
* Asian and European blogs seem to be posting the larger potion of images which include component parts, cases, and in some cases even the devices themselves.
* As always we never know the legitimacy, but here is what the latest spy shots reportedly expose.
V iPhone 5S
* Dual-LED flash cutout, and presumably a higher resolution camera. The Dual LEDs are two different colors, what one analyst called a "Smart Flash". Supposedly the 2 LEDs could fired together or independently based on lighting conditions for better photo quality based on lighting conditions, like low-light.
* The new iSight camera is thought to be in the 12-megapixel range
V Processor markings seem to indicate an all new chip, possible an A7, but the image has no branding yet. The new chips is stamped APL0698, the A6 carries a APL0598 model number
* The number on the chip also seem to possibly indicate a new manufacturer, yet new rumors seem to show Apple sticking with Samsung through 2014.
V Fingerprint sensor home button with light up Apple logo. Would be odd, for Apple to place logo branding on the front of the device so prominently. The story postulates that Apple may be using the logo to provide a larger window for the fingerprint scanner sensor.
* Apple also has a patent on a "bezel" based fingerprint scanner that would analyze "slices" of fingerprint during a swipe long the edge of the device.
V According to The Korea Times, the %S may come with support for 150Mbps Advanced-LTE networks
* The rumor is based on comments from an unnamed executive with SK Telecom that Apple is negotiating with them to offer a phone on their LTE-Advanced network
* The support could be made possible by a new Qualcomm RF360 Front End Solution chip.
* It's a true "world" chip that supports all 2G, 3G, 4G LTE and LTE Advanced networks, including the the obscure TD-SCDMA used my China Mobile (a carrier without the iPhone in China).
V Low cost iPhone
* More plastic colored case shells
* Fugly red, green, yellow, and most recently blue and white models models shown.
* The colors have an almost "neon" like tone to them, at least to my eye.
* If they are the colors then Jony Ive may have really lost it. That or he's been watching too many Miami Vice reruns from Netflix on his Apple TV
* I even read one blog post that argued the colors were made ugly on purpose to prevent the low-cost iPhone from canalizing sales of the iPhone 5S, 5, and 4S.
* I'm starting to believe these will be the colors and actually in looking at iOS 7, it seems some of the colors in Apple's redesigned icons feel like they are from the same palette
V iPads
* A set of leaked "schematics" from a French blog claim to revel some of the specs for an upcoming 5th gen iPad
* The say the next iPad will be 15 percent thinner and 33 percent lighter while sporting the same size 9.7-inch display.
* The width of the outer case will be have a narrower bezel like the iPad mini resulting in the smaller form factor while retaining the same sized screen
* The back case profile looks to be almost identical to the iPad mini including the rounded off back corners and downward pointing speakers.
V And Apple filed for an "iWatch" trademark in Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, and Turkey. Meh.
* Cook made comments during the "D" conference that the "wrist" was interesting to Apple when it came to wearables
* Apple reportedly also filed for an iWatch trademark in Russia last week,
* I still don't wasn't a wearable from Apple this year.
V Compromises impact new Apple benchmarks
* The past few weeks have shown performance and benchmarks popping up for Apple's newly released Haswell based Macbook Airs
* We've also seen what might be some pre-release benchmarks for Apple's redesigned Mac Pros and also the rumored Haswell Based Mabook Pros
V Any numbers on a pre-released and unannounced system need to be taken with a huge grain of salt, but if accurate the numbers don't seem to indicated the same boosts that Apple threw up in their WWDC keynote slides
* Specifically Geekbench numbers on a reported Mac Pro show just a 10% increase in raw CPU performance
* The unit is seen to be running a single 12-core 2.7GHz Xeon E5-2697 processor from the upcoming Ivy Bridge-E family on a special build of OS X Mavericks and scored a 23901 along with 64GB or RAM.
* That's only about 2000 points higher then the current 3.0GHz 12-core 2010 Westmere based MacPro
* There were also specific tests in the Integer and Floating point areas, like Image Decompress, that did see larger performance gains.
V John Poole from Primate Labs commented on the seemingly odd performance numbers for MacRumors.
* He was expecting a Geekbench score in the 30,000s (if not the 40,000s), so what's going on?
* Pre-release hardware so, hardware, firmware, and software issues could be lowering the score
* It's a lower clocked processor. As you add more cores to a single processor you generally need to reduces the frequency
* Software isn't optimized for the new "Ivy Bridge" Xeon processor. So while it CAN possibly process twice the amount of data as the "Westmere" Xeon, it may need newer software before it can see it's full potential
* Bottom line, too early to judge.
* Even if the benchmarks don't improve you have a 10% increase in a machine that's 1/8th the size.
V A 13" Macbook Pro reportedly with a Haswell chip also was recently spotted on Geekbench
* Running a dual-core Intel Core i5-4258U processor running at 2.4 GHz with 8 GB of RAM
* Not clear if it was retina or non-retina, but was also running a special build of OS X Mavericks
* It showed a 5-8% improvement in benchmark numbers over the current 13-inch
* While not seeming like a huge jump, the key is to remember the Haswells also bring significant energy savings
* While likely not the 80% increase in battery performance that we got in the latest 13-inch Macbook Air update, the next gen Macbook Pros should still see significant battery life increases.
V In case you don't think battery life matters to much, Ben Bajarin over at Techpinions, thinks your wrong. He thinks iPad like battery life is what consumers are looking for to upgrade their aging PCs
* He looked at the top 4 non-Apple notebooks on Amazon for battery life
* The 11.6-inch Samsung Chromebook 6.5 hours
* The 15.6-inch Asus K55N-DS81 5.5 hours
* A 15.6-inch Dell Inspiron 4 hours
* A 15.6-inch HP Pavilion 3.325 hours
* And the new 13" Macbook Air apple claims up to 12 hours. Early tests by some sources showing it living up to or exceeding that time.
V 2013 Macbook Air wi-fi issues
* Many new Macbook Air owners appeared to be reporting an issue where they could connect to wi-fi, but eventually the connection would fail and require a reboot to get reconnected
* Not the best experience
* The issue appeared to happen regardless of the consumers wi-fi router equipment leading most to believe it's some sort of issue with the new 802.11ac chipsets or software in some of the new systems
* Apple reportedly has been offering some customers new machines and then sent in effected system for analysis.
V Then last Friday they began inviting some impacted customers to take part in an "AppleSeed" program with a pre-release version of the "MacBook Air WiFi Update 1.0".
* The Seed program email didn't specifically state what issue the update was set to address, but it's probably not too big a stretch to think this addresses the wi-fi bug
V As for performance of the new 802.11ac wi-fi for those who have it working, Ars technica did some testing
* Few expect to ever reach the theoretical maximum of 866Mbps (108.25MBps), but you'd think you could get close maybe?
* Ars Found that in their tests the 2013 Air was 41.3 percent faster to transfer the files over SMB and 33.6 percent to do it over AFP.
* Anandtech found similar results. 21.2MB/s or 169.6Mbps was about the best they could do.
* Turns out the OS might be limiting things currently and it has to do with something called, TCP window sizing.
* In essence, the TCP window size defines the amount of data that a server can send before the client has to acknowledge that the data has been received. And OS X, when performing copy operations over SMB and AFP, will not scale the TCP window size beyond 64KB
* According to Anandtech scaling the TCP window size to 256KB would be be the optimum window size for 802.11ac-speed transfers.
* The good news is that the problem seem to be in software in OS X's Wi-Fi networking stack. Bad news is that currently even the current developer builds of OS X Mavericks don't have a fix.
* Ars was able to verify that with the Macbook Air and Airport Extreme running under Windows 8 they could get 47.26 MBps over 802.11ac 258 percent faster than the 2012 Air.
* Hopefully, and probably, Apple has a fix coming.
V iOS 7 beta 2 Features
* Available for iPads
V Siri now has her (and his) new voice.
* I think the Male voice is even more natural than the female one
V Siri Pronunciation
* According to 9to5 Mac, if Siri doesn't recognize a name she will ask you which pronunciation to use
* The UI give options with audio clips and asks you to select the correct one.
* According to the article you can also say, "That’s not how you pronounce [any name]".
V Image detectors to locate facial expressions within photos. According to the report their are specific functions to detect if a person is blinking or smiling
* Cool because you could grab a rapid series of snaps and then use the functions to detect and select the best image.
* May also be able to choose the best facial expressions from a series and merge them together to for the best pic.
V New accessibility controls and settings for "switches".
* Allows for devices like head switches
* Can also use the FaceTime camera to detect head movements
* Assign switches to left and right movements. Like "tap" or "home"
* cycles through controls.
V iTunes sales, outages, and radio royalties
V Horace Dediu at Asymco did some cool number crunching on Apple's TV show and music downloads and concluded some amazing things
* According to his figures Apple's iTunes rakes in 6.9 billion a year, which accounts for roughly 75 percent of all digital music sales.
* The calculations were predicated by numbers from Billboard that the average iTunes account holder spends about $12 per year on music and numbers from AllThingsD that iTunes currently has 575 million active users.
V Twenty percent of iTunes Store users reportedly lost access to make purchases or downloads for about 20 minutes last week
* The outage wasn't long, but did impact a larger percentage of customers than normal according to MacNN
* The customers experiencing the outage also supposedly lost access to the App Store and iBookstore as well.
* Earlier that same day Apple reported a 45min iCloud outage that impacted roughly 1.5 percent of customers
* There was no reason given for either outage.
V Before Apple announced iTunes Radio at WWDC one of the reported challenges for Apple reaching deals with the labels was disagreements over streaming royalty rates and ad-revenue share percentages
* Most reports were that Apple wanted rates lower than that of Pandora.
* Now the Wall Street Journal says they have details of what Apple is supposedly paying and it looks like it's actually more than Pandora.
* According to the Journal, "During iTunes Radio’s first year, Apple will pay a label 0.13 cents each time a song is played, as well as 15% of net advertising revenue, proportionate to a given label’s share of the music played on iTunes."
* Also Apple will pay more in the second year of the service, "In the second year, that bumps up to 0.14 cents per listen, plus 19% of ad revenue."
V The Apple deal also has some interesting exceptions
* Apple won’t have to pay royalties for songs that users already have in their iTunes library. Including songs on an might be on an album a listener has just part of.
* Apple doesn't have to pay royalties on songs skipped before the 20 second mark or songs included in a promotion. The caveat is that Apple only gets to skip paying those royalties for two songs per hour for each user.
V Apple extends US smartphone lead over Samsung
* comScores latest US Smartphone share numbers show Apple increasing their smartphone share for May
* According to the report Apple increased their share from February by 0.3 percent to 39.2 percent in May
* Samsung also saw a share increase. Up 1.7 percent, like helped by the the launch of the Galaxy S4. Their share ended up at 23%
* HTC, Motorola, and LG all say their share slip a bit.
* Together Samsung and Apple now account for more that 60 percent of the US smartphone market and combined carrier 100 percent of smartphone profits.
* Overall in OS Android still has a lead over iOS, grabbing a 52 percent overall share of the US market.
V More students may be set to go back to school with iPhones in the Fall too
* Details are being leaked on this years Apple Back to School Promotion
* According to the rumors, of the first time you'll be able to qualify for the promo with the purchase of an iPhone
* As in the past when students purchase a new Mac or iOS device they will receive an iTunes/App Store gift card.
* In the past iPhone purchases were excluded from the offer.
* $50 USD with the purchase of an iOS device or $100 with a new Mac.
V International Apple news
* iPad mini finally went on sale in Brazil last week. Pricing starts at 1,299 Brazilian Real (approx. $583.00 USD). Well over the $329 USD US price.
V Also last week Apple finally launched a version of its official online store for customers in Russia.
* Now customers in Russia can final order products directly from Apple online
* Apple still doesn't have physcial retail locations in Russia, but there are also rumors circling that Apple might be looking into space in Russia to make that happen.
* Apple brought the iTunes Store to Russia late last year.
V The Financial Times says that despite reporting profits of £68m ($103m) in the UK Apple paid no UK corporate taxes in 2012
* Apple has three main British subsidiaries - Apple (UK), Apple Europe and Apple Retail UK
* It looks like they used a legitimate UK corporate tax deduction, share awards to employees, to wipe out their UK corporate tax liability.
* Given the recent questions raised as to Apple's corporate tax tactics in the US and Ireland I imagine the UK government will be looking what Apple's been doing over there a little more closely too.
V And in France Apple's offices, wholesalers and retailers were reportedly raided by French authorities looking to gather evidence in an anti-trust case
* Apple is being accused in engaging in alleged anti-competitive practices.
* Independent retailers claim that Apple is violating existing agreements by favoring its own stores when it comes to stock and availability of it's products.
* Frankly these are complains I've also heard from independent US retailers as well.
V Apple and TSMC reach 2014 chip agreement
* The Wall Street Journal cites and executive source at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) who says they reached a deal with Apple for A-series chip manufacturing to start in 2014
* Seemingly backing up the years of rumors we've been reporting the story claims the deal has been years in the making.
* The main hang up was TSMCs ability to meet the production requirements and standards demanded by Apple.
* The company has supposedly sorted out the technical difficulties with manufacturing and will start rolling out next-generation 20nm A-series destined for Apple's 2014 released devices.
* The current belief is that the TSCM chips will be Apple's A8 series.
* While not expected to be a complete move away from Samsung as a chip supplier, it's expected the deal will allow Apple to continue to significantly reduce it's dependance on Samsung as a component supplier in 2014
V Apple's next massive solar farm
* According to GigaOM Apple is working with NV Energy in Reno, Nevada to build a 137-acre solar farm near is new Reno Data Center
* The farm will be similar in size to two farms Apple has in North Carolina which are the biggest private solar farms n the US I think
* Also like the NC farms the Reno farm is expected to output 18 to 20 Megawatts of power, but the Nevada farm has a new trick up it's sleeve.
* In addition to the solar panels it will employ mirrors to focus the sun's rays onto the panels
* Apple is working again with SunPower to engineer and build the solar farm in Nevada. they did the work on the NC farms too.
* Apple is funding the build with a green tariff introduced in Nevada this year. That could allow the state to use or buy the solar farm from Apple in the future.
* In a statement Apple said the solar array will generate approximately 43.5 million kilowatt hours of clean energy, equivalent to taking 6,400 passenger vehicles off the road per year.
V OS X Security Update 2013-003
* For OS X Lion and Mountain Lion
* Apple says, " is recommended for all users and improves the security of OS X."
* In the release documents indicate the update patches three vulnerabilities in Quicktime where buffer overflow or underflows could be used in certain situations to cause unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution.
* You can get the update by running your Software update from the the Mac App Store or System Preferences or by going to
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V Feedback, Comments and Commentary
V Make sure you have the right Java Update
* A week or so ago Apple issued a Java update for OS X.
* I updated right away and it turns out this time that was a bad thing. The update introduced a new bug that could cause some Java apps to stop working.
* The good news is Apple figured out the issue and fixed it. The bad news is if you have already grabbed the update you won't get the new patch.
V So if you got the Java for OS X 2013-004 or Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 16, you can check to see if you got the right update using a Terminal command
* /usr/libexec/java_home -v 1.6 -exec java -version
* If you see the version number with xM4509 you're good to go, if it's xM4508 you need to download the Java Update again from Apple's support site and re-install it
* If you don;t want to bother with the Terminal check you can probably just redownload and re-install the Java update and you'd be good to go.
V Using iTunes Music Match offline
* I have had Apple paid iTunes Music Match service since Apple released it and I love it.
* For $25/year I can have iCloud access to my entire music library via streaming. No more having to manage music on my iPhone.
* On my iPad, it's a bit different tough because it's a wi-fi only iPad. So I can access and listen when I have wi-fi, but what happens when I don't have wi-fi or when I'm traveling on a plane?
* Several listeners have asked me this exact question so i thought I'd cover what you do to get iTunes Match to work offline.
V Once you've enabled iTunes Match on a device, you can no longer manage the Music from iTunes. You'll need to do it on the device
* To turn on iTunes Match: Settings > Music > Toggle On iTunes Match
* When browsing your Music on a device with iTunes Match enabled there is a little "cloud" icon next to any track stored in iCloud. You can tap a track to play it (stream), but if you tap the cloud icon it will download the track and store it locally on the device
* You can pull down whole Albums, artists, or playlists too. Just locate the item you want and scroll down to find the 'Download All' button
V When you stream, it's also technically downloading. It does a progressive download and stores the track locally although it won't show it by default in the app.
* iOS will keep the tracks as long as some other app doesn't need the space. If it does then it will purge any music files that your streamed and did not implicitly download.
* Another cool thing is that when you are in Airplane more or don't have wi-fi or cellular access the Music app will switch to only showing you locally downloaded or cached tracks.
* You can also manually force the Music app to show these tracks by going to Settings > Music and toggling off the "Show All Music" option.
* You can also turn off Music Match and sync directly. It's my understanding that when you re-enable Music Match the iOS device will not remove the sync'd tracks
V Jayson found a iTunes Match pre-order "loop hole".
* He pre-ordered a physical disc for a new album which was also available for pre-order on iTunes
* The reason he opted for physical is that the discs often arrive really before the official release date.
* So he got his album a week early and ripped it into iTunes. To his surprise it "matched" with iTunes Match and he was able to download a copy from iTunes before it was on sale.
* This was not on that "uploaded". It said "matched" and he could pull down the 256Kbps Apple AAC version.
V Fernando wants to know if after "matching" his music can he delete the local copies to free up disk space.
* Technically you can, but I would not recommend it. If you do you still need to have multiple local backups of ALL your music and iTunes media files.
* You'll want to delete the music from the iTunes interface.
* Select it and press delete
* It will ask if you also want to delete it from iTunes in the Cloud. Say NO.
* After that it will move the local copy to the trash and in iTunes you'll get the little "cloud" icon next to the track allowing you to redownload it when you want.
* Here is the thing though, stuff can change on the iTunes side and Apple may not ALWAYS have copies for you to re-download, or they may have a different version. Maybe you had the explicit version, but Apple only caries the clean radio edit.
V Backing up non-local Mac drives
* Play question from Matt
V Quick comment on NAS, or more specifically RAID-1 (mirroring)
* The problem with RAID-1 as "backup" is that it's literally just writing the same files and data to two drives.
* Great in case a single drive fails, but doesn't offer any backup protection for data corruption.
* This is in some ways the same for a "cloned" backup, although I might have some time if I catch the corruption before my nightly clone runs.
* My Drobo is also sort of the same thing, more drives, but the data is redundant across the drives, Protects from hard drive failure, but non "oops" moments or data corruption.
V For critical files you'll want a multiple copy, multiple location solution. That's why I employ four systems
* Time Machine, (local, but versioned)
* Super Duper (cloned backup)
* CrashPlan (off site and versioned)
* Drobo + ChronoSync (local, archive <-- don't copy deletions of critical files)
V In your case I think you'd want to have a way backup files to your NAS and then also have the NAS files backed up off-site and versioned, say with CrashPlan
* Crash Plan can backup up drives mounted on your Mac.
* The Synology Disk Stations also have a CrashPlan app and can back up directly
* Use ChronoSync to back up critical files to your NAS
V Mark has a similar, but slightly different problem.
* He wants to move his music library off his iMac and to have a cloned backup of his Mac, but also want's to be sure the moved media files are backed up as well. But he has limited budget and desk space.
V Mark, I do exactly this kind of thing and here is how I handle it
* I have just a small 2.5" 1TB USB drive to do my Super Duper Clone of my Main HD
* My music library is on another 2.5" 1TB USB HD, these don't take up much room.
* I use ChronoSync to nightly backup by iTunes Media files to my Drobo connected to an old Mac Mini in another room.
* Both the my Mac Drive and the iTunes Media drive are backed up with Crash Plan
* The backup drive on the network doesn't have to be a Drobo, it could be a 2 bay NAS drive or even a single drive NAS, heck I could have even just backed up to the internal drive on the Mac mini via sharing, since all it really does is act as a network interface for the shared Drobo.
V Prepping your Mac for selling or giving away
* Considering a shiny new Haswell Macbook Air and want to hand down you're current Mac?
* ZDNet found a great Apple Support article that details all you need to know to get your Machine ready for transfer to it's new owner.
V 1. Deauthorize your computer
* Open iTunes.
* From the Store menu, choose Deauthorize This Computer. (In earlier versions of iTunes, access this option from the Advanced menu).
* When prompted, enter your Apple ID and password, then click Deauthorize.
V 2. Back up your data
* Since you're a Maccast listener this step is already done, and multiple times and places, right? 😉
* Run Time Machine, do a CCC or Super Duper, etc.
V 3. If enabled, turn off Find My Mac and sign out of iCloud
* Choose System Preferences > iCloud.
* Deselect Find My Mac to disconnect your devices from iCloud.
* Click the Sign Out button on the left side.
* The system automatically removes iCloud data from your Mac.
V 4. Reformat your hard drive with Disk Utility
* Choose Apple menu > Restart. Once your Mac restarts (and the gray screen appears), hold down the Command (⌘) and R keys.
* If you’re not connected to the Internet, choose a network from the Wi-Fi menu (in the top-right corner of the screen).
* Select Disk Utility, and then click Continue.
* Select your startup disk from the list on the left, and then click the Erase tab.
* From the Format pop-up menu, choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled), enter a name for your disk, and then click Erase.
* After the disk is erased, choose Disk Utility > Quit Disk Utility.
* Select Reinstall OS X, click Continue, and then follow the instructions.
V 5. Put the Mac into "like new" mode.
* Remember how it was when you first got it? Booted right into the Mac OS X Setup Assistant?
* After you reformat your hard drive and reinstall OS X, the Setup Assistant automatically starts and displays the Welcome screen that prompts you to choose your country or region. Do not continue with the setup of your system.
* Press Command-Q to shut down your Mac.
* The next time it boots up it will go right into the Set up like it was just "out-of-the-box"
* Nice eh?
V iPad or Macbook Air?
* Nick sent in an interesting question and one that at first would seem like comparing Apple's and Oranges, but it's actually something I have talked about with folks and mulled over myself.
* Nick is set to replace his aging iPad 1 and is in a one Mac family. He and his wife share an old 2009 iMac.
* Nick's Mac and iPad use mostly surrounds media consumption. Listening to music (Apple Lossless), watching movies on Netflix or Amazon, surfing the web, reading email.
* The iMac has a 3Tb HD, but is really full. Nick's large Apple Lossless music collection is on an external Firewire 800 drive.
* So here's the thing, wait and get a new iPad 5th Gen (hopefully in the fall) or go for an 11" Macbook Air?
V Lets' price/spec it out:
* 128GB iPad with Retina Display, USD $799, up to 10 hour battery life, 9.7" screen, 1.44 pounds
* 128GB 11" Macbook Air, USD $999, up to 9 hour battery line 11.6-inch (non-retina display), 2.38 pounds
* So for $200 and one pound you get a full blown amazing Mac with a keyboard, a Thunderbolt port and 2 USB 3 ports.
* You give up a smaller more portable device with a Retina screen and a rear facing camera
* I'm thinking in this use case/scenario the Macbook Air is feeling like the better deal. I'm willing to hear arguments to the contrary.
V Oh and how to manage that large music collection?
* Nick mentioned an app called TuneSpan
* It lets you split up the locations of different portions of your iTunes media library either on a single drive or across multiple drives
* It copies the files and then runs an Applescript command, "set location", to tell iTunes where the file was moved to and have it update it's Library XML file.
* It can also clean up the files from the iTunes Media folder when it's done. Moves to trash, doesn't delete.
V Making the exception for unsigned apps
* More and more I keep coming across OS X apps that are not signed by developers.
* It's annoying because now with Mountain Lion's Gatekeeper technology after installing the app you get the message that the App can't be opened because it's not signed and/or not from the Mac App Store
* You can go into your System Preferences > Security > General and change the "Allow applications downloaded from" setting to 'Anywhere', but that's less secure.
* I like to know when an App hasn't been signed.
* iVI Pro was one of those apps I ran across recently.
* Luckily making a one time exception is easy, if you can remember this trick.
* The first time you open the app after installing it, Right+Click the apps icon and choose 'Open' from the contextual menu
* A different dialog will appear warning you the App isn't signed or from the Mac App Store
* Click Open and it will open and from that point on you can just launch and run the app normally.
V Closing
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