Technology Is Getting Smarter In The Home

Technology is gradually getting smarter in the home, and this can only be a good thing. One of the major improvements is that gadgets will be able to communicate with each other in order to perform a greater number of tasks. These gadgets will do this by communicating through home networks, or through the internet.

Nowadays, a smart house is one which is considered to be networked. It is designed to make life easier for the occupants. This can mean that they will have less to do around the home. More and more new appliances are becoming smart. These especially include appliances for the living room and the kitchen.

Appliances where this can be especially useful include refrigerators which can tell you exactly what the contents are, and how they can be used, as well as their sell-by dates. These refrigerators are so smart they can download recipes and display them. They will even be able to order new groceries whenever they are needed.

This is extremely innovative, but in fact only makes use of existing technology. It does this by integrating a computer into the appliance. The computer enables it to have increased functionality. Another example is the microwave.

Microwaves have been around for generations now, but can now be pre-programmed to start at certain times so that the homeowner has a hot meal waiting for them as soon as they arrive back from work. They can also suggest recipes based on the available food. This increased technology will help take the guesswork out of cooking as it will become much more precise.

Coffee makers already integrate this kind of knowledge. They can be pre-programmed according to an individual’s preferences, so everyone in the house can have their coffee exactly the way they like it. Of course one area which will interest most people is the benefit smart technology can have on the living room.

This is where the majority of people relax, and television plays a large part in home entertainment. Televisions are gradually becoming more interactive, and sports enthusiasts will soon be able to choose the angle at which they watch their favorite game. It is already possible to choose which match to watch if several are taking place at the same time, for example during tennis tournaments.

Smart home technology can permeate every aspect of everyday life. It can help control everything from air conditioners to washer and dryers. Increased efficiency will leave occupants with more time to do the things they really enjoy.

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Blessed With Smart Technology

The laptops being high in terms of flexibility, features, portability and value for money are easily one of the obvious choices for the modern day users. The users can easily attain high-end solutions with the laptops even while remaining on the move. Since it weighs approximately just 1-8 Kgs, the users can easily share, access and organise any information, files and applications to survive in this highly competitive world.

Let us have some knowledge about laptops before moving to some of the most eminent names in this field. A laptop normally operates on a single main battery or through an external AC/DC adapter and is somehow close to the functionality of its desktop counterparts. It has miniaturised components that are optimised for portable usage as well as for efficient power consumption. It usually makes use of the LCD (liquid crystal display) technology and the users can access any application or menu as well as for making inputs through a touchpad or pointing stick. The laptops offer highly advanced features and functionalities such as USB support, Wi-Fi, internal modem, network adapter, compatibility with the high-capacity hard disk drives and operating systems to name a few.

Now that quite a lot has been learned, let us now move to some of the biggest names in the world of laptop technology before continuing our journey by including some highly acclaimed laptop models and points to consider before making a laptop purchase.

HCL, Hewlett Packard and Sony are some of the biggest contenders in the race for the top slot. HCL has however continued its dominance over the remaining competitors on the basis of its high-quality laptops built on some of the world’s best and latest technologies till date. The brand name of HCL has been easily sustained by the introduction of the latest laptops in the form of the MiLeap series. The MiLeap series of HCL includes HCL MiLeap X, HCL MiLeap L, HCL MiLeap S, HCL MiLeap Y and HCL MiLeap V. These user-friendly and cost-effective HCL laptops are immensely advanced when it comes to the delivery of world class laptop solutions.

If you are looking for a good laptop then make sure that you make a complete market survey to get the best and cheapest deal, high on quality. Look for critical features such as image and sound quality, compatibility with operating systems, resolution, brand name, market awareness, customer service and availability of spare parts etc.

The market of today is flooded with cheap laptops. India, considered to be one of the most advanced nations of the world, stands high in the number of laptop users in the last few years. With the favourable government policies, emergence of new market players, high competition and changing preferences of the users, the growth of laptops is surely getting the positive vibes. When in doubt, choose among the high quality HCL laptops and this will be one decision of your life that you can never regret.

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Smart Technology Investment Ideas for Retailers

Running a retail business can be challenging during tough economic times. When the economy is not booming, retail margins get squeezed tighter and it is even more important for retail store owner to run their business operations efficiently.

Investing in certain types of technology can work wonders for improving your efficiency and profitability. One often overlooked aspect of running an efficient retail operation is the Point of Sale (POS) Software you are using. Often times retailers start off their business with the least expensive POS software they can find and never end up going back to reconsider their options and find a more efficient POS software alternative.

It is often the best time to upgrade POS software during slow times, as it not only makes more sense than doing it during your busiest periods of time, but also a high quality POS software can work wonders for helping you to squeeze the most amount of profit out of your current operations by making you aware of exactly what is happening in your business.

A high quality POS software can allow you to run reports to see which items in your inventory are not selling or not generating a profit, so that you can make smarter and more informed business decisions day to day. Such a software can also help you to track individual clerk performance so that you can gauge which of your clerks are making you the most money. Another great benefit of quality POS software packages is that they can help you to minimize shrinkage (theft), both internally and externally, which can be a growing problem in tough economic times.

Upgrading your point of ale software is just one technology improvement you can do for your retail business. Another very inexpensive technology investment is upgrading to a bar code enabled inventory system which utilizes barcode labels and barcode scanners to help you more accurately track your inventory.

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Smart Technology Tips

When at home, we can use our personal computer or laptop to access the internet and work on our personal stuff such as banking online, accessing the news website for the latest news, do some online shopping, or we can just simply want to have fun surfing the web.

When at work, we use the computer to produce results based on the information we have stored on the computer or by accessing the internet. However, when we are away from home, we can carry the laptop with us to access the internet, but it can become a little bulky carrying it around with us all over the place. To make it a lot easier, there are several ways to access the internet wherever we go.

We can get a smart phone or tablet, such as an iPad or Kindle Fire. These devices are for more than just fun and games. You’ll love the immediate access to email, address books, photos, calendars and the Internet, not to mention thousands of apps (web applications.) When purchasing either one of these devices, apps (also known as application) are available from Apple if you get an Apple product such as the iPhone or iPad, or you can get the apps from Amazon for the Kindle Fire. Depending on your budget, consider buying a refurbished version of one of these devices, and then upgrade to a new model after you learn the ropes. But if budgeting is not your case, any one of these devices will be a great addition to your technology personal inventory.

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Smart Technology & Evolution in the New Energy Economy

New electronic product development is an industry that changes so quickly it transforms in the blink of an eye. The world has recently come to a turning point where smart technologies are the code-words of energy development and technologies with and ecological inclination. In the race for eco-friendly and more efficient electronic product development, ZigBee wireless technology is a front-runner. ZigBee literally sets the standards for effective interoperability of power management and storage innovations. Management of everything from household appliances, power storage and integration of various suppliers of renewable energy (such as solar, or wind power) depends on wireless sensor networks.

An interesting side-bar of the Smart Grid phenomenon is that it is operated and owned almost exclusively by industry, with most standards and leadership provided by government.

Evolving Energy

Unless you are an engineer or an electronic product development company you may have never heard of wireless sensor technology ZigBee Wireless sensor technology was created to fulfill the market’s increasing hunger for a standards-based cost-effective, wireless network. A reliable interoperable network for energy management was sorely needed; one that could support low power consumption and adequate data rates as well as being highly secure.

The worldwide emphasis on smart energy stimulated a need for simpler, faster development of technologies associated with smarter electronic products. Residential application applied to appliances, lighting, safety, security and management of consumer usage. Consumers and utility companies both can now have more security, control, and flexibility over power management. Electronic product development teams strive to reduce the power consumption, size and cost while bringing products to market faster. Smart Energy, Smart Meters, Smart Grid are all applications designed to reduce energy consumption and increase performance by giving more control at lower costs.

With this growing demand for less power consumption we are going to see tremendous growth in Smart Energy projects over the next few years. Remote monitoring and control applications are already enabling a greener environment. Further developments of Smart Grid home devices are already advancing the goal of reducing carbon emissions.

Today, smart electronic product development companies are embracing these revolutionary “smart technologies” in new product development. In this young energy-driven the scope for new electronic products that improve the efficiency and affordability (as well as safety) of energy development and management is expanding at a breakneck speed. To excel, companies will have to get on board with greener technologies. They must already design with more eco-friendly tools, techniques, and technologies.

Individual opinions vary widely about Smart Grid systems, but all sides concur that our antiquated analog and mechanical electric grid has to be upgraded to modern digital networks. I have seen unconfirmed reports that U.S, utility companies already have signed contracts to install as many as 30 – 45 million Smart Meters.

A recent quote from Kurt Yeager, executive director of the Galvin Electricity Initiative, “Everything [in the current grid is about as out of date as you could imagine, right down to the same old copper wires, rather than newer, more efficient conductive materials that can carry power without as much resistance, energy loss and heat,” said Yeager. “There are virtually no power electronics or sensors whatsoever in the system”

The Department of Energy (DOE) is accelerating the development of Smart Grids. Power transmission and distribution grids utilize a Smart Grid to enable more efficient use of electricity. Smart technology addresses energy independence by reducing peak demand periods and using less power at a better price. By implementing advanced metering infrastructure… know as Smart Metering, it is possible to economically provide information as to when and how much electricity is used.

The possibilities seem to be vast for these frontiers! New ideas for electronic product development are advancing not only Smart Grid technologies but all aspects of designing electronic products.

The following definition is what the government and utilities that fund the development of grid modernization have specified as required functions for Smart Grids. According to the United States Department of Energy’s Modern Grid Initiative report, a modern Smart Grid must:

Motivate consumers to actively participate
Be secure – attack resistant
Provide higher quality power that will save money wasted from outages
Accommodate all generation and storage options
Enable electricity markets to flourish
Optimize assets
Run more efficiently
Enable higher degree of usefulness of renewable power generation sources
Be able to heal itself and join other devices seamlessly

As with the internet, a smart-grid network must link up billions of connections and devices as well as perform functions all at once. It needs to be far more flexible than the current antiquated power system while preserving our natural resources. What a great time to be a scientist or electronic product development company! We are working together to create an evolution, maintaining the old while constructing the future.

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The Unintended Consequences of Globalism

Globalism might be good for the world economy as a whole, but does not necessarily mean it has been good for the American worker. Whether intentional or unintended, the American worker has suffered through the philosophy of free trade. Do not miss quote me, Globalism has a lot of positives. Now more than ever the people of earth are connected through the internet and can communicate information faster than any other time in history. People are exposed to different cultures and ideas, and the free flow of information is exponentially evolving our society. “Free trade” plays a big part in globalism, which is why there has been a “backlash” from non-college educated workers in wealthy countries in direct response to the effects of free trade policies. When wealthy counties openly trade with developing countries it can overvalue the wealthy countries currency, which in turn makes imports cheaper while exports become more expensive. However, according to the Economic Policy Institute, the real culprit is not the valuation of the dollar and the increasing trade deficit. (Bivens, Economic Policy Institute)

The USA has increasingly shifted its economy from manufacturing to services like banking and investing. It is cheaper to import products of manufacturing from a country that has extremely cheap labor than it is to employ American workers in the United States. This in turn means there now is a premium on college educated Americans who are filling job openings within the service industry. On the other side of the coin, manufacturing jobs are leaving the country and lowering wages of workers without a college degree. This fact coupled with increasing technology that replaces workers and a trade policy that out prices “expensive” American workers is leading to decreased wages. As the US trades more with developing countries as a percentage of GDP, the wages of unskilled workers continue to decrease. (Slaughter and Swagle, International Monetary Fund)

Though Globalism has a net increase in GDP and employment for countries involved, most of the gains from free trade is disproportionately received by the top 1% of Americans. Policies that protect corporations and their interest at the expense of the American worker exacerbate the problem. Trade policies like NAFTA and others have little protections for workers and heavily favor the multinational corporations that seek to benefit from free trade. This only adds fuel to income inequality, which for poor countries can increase economic growth while having a negative effect on rich countries. Rich countries are also at higher risk of financial crisis when they have high levels of income inequality. (Malinen, Huffington Post)

Globalism and free trade are linked very close together, which is why there is a stigma attributed to the word. There has been growing resentment within the US and other wealthy nations of globalism as a whole. They do not just condemn free trade, but openly blame minorities and marginalized groups for their decrease in wages and “eroding” their cultural dominance that they claim dominion over. This is a deadly cycle, as income inequality only feeds this type of behavior. In a country that is not adequately educating its people, more of the workers within its country will become more ignorant. With free trade putting a premium on college educated workers and decreasing wages of unskilled labor, we are now almost at a tipping point, socially and economically.

Globalism has many unintended consequences that inadvertently caused huge social and economic problems within the US. The problems that globalism is causing is not a hard fix. Reducing the income inequality will eradicate more of the negative effects of globalism. Universal Education, Universal healthcare, and a rewrite of our tax code are just a few ways to reduce income inequality. All of these possibilities are well within our means. We have to take care of these problems swiftly, before globalism becomes an integral part of our own decline. (Mason, Post-Gazette)

Bivens, Josh. “Using Standard Models to Benchmark the Costs of Globalization for American Workers without a College Degree.” Economic Policy Institute. N.p., 22 Mar. 2016. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.

Malinen, Tuomas. “The Economic Consequences of Income Inequality.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 17 Dec. 2015. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.

Mason, Bob. “Single-payer Health Care Would Help to Treat Three Separate Threats.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. N.p., 26 Oct. 2014. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.

Slaughter, Matthew, and Phillip Swagel. “Economic Issues 11–Does Globalization Lower Wages and Export Jobs?” International Monetary Fund. Imf.org, Sept. 1997. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.

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Global Trends in the Cosmetic Industry

Cosmetic dyes and colours: Explained

Cosmetic colours are also known as cosmetic lakes. These colours are produced by taking the help of absorption of dyes that are water-soluble onto a substrate. It makes the colour insoluble in water. Cosmetic lake colours are made by making use of unique technology. The technology helps in attaining extremely fine particles. These particles help in achieving shade consistency. In comparison water soluble colours, cosmetic lakes are much more stable & safe. They also generate vivacious and brighter colours. It has been seen that cosmetic pigments and lakes are more suitable for food products that contain fats and oils. They are also suitable for those products that do not contain enough moisture for dissolving colours.

Cosmetic dyes, on the other hand are used for making cosmetic colours & products. These dyes are widely used by the cosmetic manufacturing industries and businesses all over the world. They are primarily used for manufacturing hair dyes, lipsticks, nail polishes, shampoo as well as other personal care products. It has been seen that generally water soluble & food dyes are very easy and safe to use. These dyes are mostly used for a wide variety of applications. They include cleaning chemicals, soaps, medicine, cosmetic products etc.

Know which ones are safe for use

Be it the use of any type of cosmetic dyes or cosmetic colorants safety of use is a primary consideration. Cosmetic colours and cosmetic dyes often make use of a wide range of synthetic colours. These are often referred to as FD&C colours. They are mainly extracted through coal tar and are basically a by-product of petroleum. Research shows that some particular coal tar based dyes lead to different types of cancer. This is why the FDA regulates them. They also determine the arsenic or lead amount they contain. Thus there are many restrictions in the use of such colours.

Some global trends in Cosmetic dyes and cosmetic colours

Worldwide it is seen that North America, followed by Europe, has the largest market for colour cosmetics. This is due to innovations in colour cosmetics. Other factors also include high consumer disposable income and frequent new product launches in colour cosmetic market in the region. However Asia too is expected to show high growth rate in the colour cosmetics market in next few years. This is on account of the increasing consumer incomes and rising in awareness about personal care products in the region.

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Economic Turmoil and the Future of Brazil

For many years, Brazil has been an emerging economic hub, attracting investors from all over the world. The Brazilian economy saw an 368% increase in Gross Domestic Product growth from 2003 to 2011. In addition, Brazil took in almost half of Foreign Direct Investment flowing into South America during 2015. This doesn’t come as a surprise since it reigns as one of the major emerging national economies. However, Brazil has seen a recent economic downturn with increasing unemployment and a contracting GDP. In fact, the Brazilian government cut 2017 GDP expectations from 1.6% to 1% growth. Having been one the most lucrative foreign investments for governments to individual investors, what happened to the so-called “Country of the Future” and can Brazil regain its momentum?

Back in 2015, recession hit Brazil hard and the country is still struggling to get back on track. According to the CIA World Factbook, the economy contracted 32% from its peak in 2011 and unemployment reached a new high at 12.6% in 2016. Being based mostly on services, agriculture and oil, Brazil’s economy has a direct correlation with global demand. With global recession looming, Brazil is feeling the effects of a slow world economy.

Brazil is a top tourist destination offering beautiful beaches, a diverse culture and exciting festivals. However, with the world economy slowing down, people are less likely to travel abroad. Since the majority of the country’s GDP derives from the service industry, Brazil will not be able to rebound any time soon unless there is a major boost in consumer confidence.

The demand for Brazilian exports was slashed when its largest trading partner, China, entered into an economic slowdown of their own. The decrease in exports caused massive layoffs throughout the nation. The notorious economic downward spiral began by wary consumer spending as unemployment rose. Companies that tried to gain capital by borrowing in U.S. dollars found it difficult to pay back those loans as the Brazilian Real crashed 25% in the span of a year in 2015.

One of the major hits came from low oil prices and the corruption of Petrobras, a large oil company and Brazil’s largest source of investment. Brazil is major producer of oil, exporting $11.8 billion worth in 2015, according to the Observatory for Economic Complexity. OPEC delivered a major blow when the cartel decided not to cut oil production, causing oil futures prices to plunge. In order to cope with heavy losses, Petrobras was forced to sell off assets and halt future research and expansion plans.

As if things weren’t going poorly, Petrobras was also caught in a scandal with former Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff and other high office executives. From 2004 to 2012, the company had spent over $2 billion on bribes to politicians whom would allow the company to charge inflated prices for construction contracts. Now that the scandal has unfolded, Petrobras executives face jail time and the company as a whole is forced to pay billions in fines.

So what does the future hold for Brazil?

Although at the moment the future looks dim, there are still signs of hope Brazil can turn itself around. The Real has seemed to stabilize in 2016 and heads into 2017 with an upward trend. Moreover, experts’ GDP projections for 2018 through 2020 show promising figures that Brazil can restore pre-recession level growth.

Even more promising, U.S. companies are still showing faith in Brazil’s future. American Airlines plans to invest $100 million in an aircraft maintenance center in Sao Paulo. Brazilian Investment Partnership Minister Wellington Moreira Franco and many countries like the United States, United Kingdom, France and Japan agree there are still reasons to invest in Brazil. This should be seen as a sign of confidence that the Brazilian market will grow soundly with the support of both national and international investment.

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The Effects Of The Global Trade Agreement

We live in a world that is increasingly getting connected. In such a world, trade agreements are bound to expand internationally, and to think and act otherwise would be downright stupid.

These global trade agreements, as such, are either bilateral or multilateral understanding between two or multiple countries and govern the trade policies between them. These agreements have a massive impact on worldwide trade and investments and are one of the major causes responsible for shaping business relationships across the globe. And while such agreements might not affect directly affect the place where you live or operate, being aware of the current trade agreements can definitely uncover numerous opportunities.

Forming up opinions is up to you; we do not intend to initiate an argument over how good or how bad these global trade agreements are. This article aims to get you familiarized with such agreements and tell if your supply chain could be affected or not.

While a few countries have settled upon free trade agreements and are in the process of widening them, a number of other nations have formed common markets and unions; this form of development can a have a thorough effect on small-scale businesses.

Two of the most common agreements are the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) between Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Canada, Brunei, Peru, Mexico, Chile, Malaysia and Japan, and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Canada, United States and Mexico.

Now, how such agreements impact your local business’s supply chain depends on a simple fact; whether your business is an importer, exporter or neither.

Scenario 1: You neither import nor export

It’s fairly easy to decide whether you are an importer or not, right? I understand that you do not directly source products from a foreign supplier, and technically speaking, that doesn’t make you an importer. However, trade agreements can still impact you. Your suppliers are directly affected by such regulations, and this vulnerability can affect your supply chain.

Keep the distinction in mind.

Scenario 2: You identify yourself as an importer

Owing to the low cost manufacturing in some countries, many small scale suppliers are able to compete with global giants.

With a trade agreement between two countries, most of the times, the country with lower labour costs benefits when the trade tariffs are lowered or eliminated. With trade agreements, importers usually get to source low-cost goods and it allows for the unrestricted movement of such low-cost goods through higher cost partner nation.

In case, such an agreement is dissolved, an importer would inevitably face a higher cost of goods and thus look for cheaper sourcing options, decrease their operational costs, and ultimately increase the prices, which would be borne by the customers, of course.

Scenario 3: You are an exporter

This even counts if you sell products that another firm exports because at some point or other, taxes would be levied on your sold goods. So how does it affect you? Your customers end up paying higher amounts for your products.

With a trade agreement in place between the country where the product originates and the receiving country, the very same products would move through the receiving nation freely. In such cases, you’d definitely want to keep such an agreement intact and leverage this competitive advantage you have in this particular country bound by trade regulations.

As a small or a medium sized business, it is therefore important for you to identify where your business lies with respect to global trade agreements.

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The Paramounted Importance of Critical Analysis in International Trade Policies

International trade is largely based on the constant fluctuations in the world-wide economy, this resulting in constant changes with regards to tariffs, trade subsidies and unending amendments of regulations with regards to international trade. “Trade policy and economic Growth”, a paper by Keith Maskus, PhD, focuses on the relationship between trade policies and the growth of the economy or lack thereof, the main point of interest of the paper was to establish whether the variance of trade policies will affect the economic growth of any country. The conclusion reached was that open economies tend to grow faster than closed economies, ceteris paribus. therefore concluding that open competition is good in the sense that it improves resource distribution and the country gains in Investment and innovation.

An organisation that is involved in international trade has to pay special attention to such information. There might not be any countries with closed economies however there are countries that have low imports to the point that they are regarded as closed economies for instance Brazil. In 2011 Brazil recorded 13% as its import percentage which was quite low for a country of its stature. Is it not then imperative to constantly be up to date with changes in the trade policies of countries one is interested in pursuing trade relations with? since there is a proven positive relationship between the openness of an economy to competition (thus meaning the country is greatly involved in trade) and the growth of that country`s economy, this serves as an indication of how lucrative and profitable a business venture would be under such circumstances. The Critical analysis aspect then comes into play by determining how much gain or loss would result from substantial changes to the policies, which are measures and instruments that can influence export and imports, the objective being the policies influence the trade sector to the result of profit for the business venture. one might feel a degree in commercial management is then needed in order to fully understand all the kinks and edges of the international business, and they would be right, but the eventuality is that it will always boil down to intelligence and efficiency in the analysis of trends, calculation of potential profit/loss, predictions of future stability or fluctuations in the world economy prompting changes to prices in the trade sector.

There is one other important factor that can alter potential business plans, and that is the politics of the country in question, policies are easily influenced by the politics of the nation, and it is thus advisable that critical analysis be also engaged, this results in better understanding of the country and its stability thus reducing the chances of incurring a bad business eventuality. Nations are not governed by robots, unfortunately, but are governed by people with interests and human nature desires to differ from individual to individual making it difficult to maintain a constant effective system. if politicians are elected they tend to focus on altering policies for their own benefit, and the benefit of those they promised (if there are still honest politician available) from that point it is important that international business consider such factors before pursuing business. Prime examples being, whenever there are strikes in South Africa investors tend to shy away, and most of the strikes are birthed from political influence, thus deeming South Africa an Unstable nation to invest in, or Zimbabwe a nation sanctioned, due to political infringements, making the country undesirable for investment irregardless of the profitability of the business idea. It is thus an excellent idea to firstly research in-depth to the politics of the country before hand and invest with,much-needed information, guiding the innovative decision made.

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