Archive for the ‘Topic’ Category

What’s unconscious bias training, and does it work?


What's unconscious bias training, and does it work?

Courtesy of Calvin K. Lai, Washington University in St Louis

A Starbucks manager in Philadelphia called the police on two black men on April 13, leading to their arrest. The two men, who had been waiting for a friend at the store, were released without being charged.

Starbucks has since apologized and announced it will close more than 8,000 of its stores in the United States to provide “racial bias” training for its 175,000 employees. Starbucks’ COO Roz Brewer said the sessions would focus on “unconscious bias training,” a form of diversity education that focuses on the hidden causes of everyday racial discrimination.

Unconscious bias training has become a popular approach to diversity education. The trainings often begin with demonstrations of how the mind operates in ways that are outside of conscious awareness or control. These demonstrations show that people make, and sometimes act on, snap judgments based on the other person’s race, without any conscious intention.

Research shows that this source of racial discrimination can be reduced in a number of ways. For example, setting objective criteria for decision-making could have made a difference in the Starbucks incident. As Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson described, the manager used personal judgment in calling the police. Formal rules that prevent the influence of racial bias in calling the police could have prevented the incident altogether.

Some unconscious bias trainings incorporate discussions of solutions such as these. But there is no standard format for trainings. Some involve little more than a series of narrated PowerPoint slides. Others involve expert instructors who hold small, intensive workshops that can last for days.

The novelty of unconscious bias training means there is little direct evidence about whether it works. To determine its potential, researchers have turned to clues from other types of training.

One study looked at older types of diversity trainings that focused on the negative legal consequences of discrimination. It found that such trainings can backfire when managers resent the possibility that they could be singled out for punishment.

By contrast, employees may be more open to unconscious bias training because it focuses on how bias is universal, rather than singling out a few “bad…
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The Weekly Webinar – 04-18-18


The Weekly Webinar – 04-18-18

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Why nuclear fusion is gaining steam – again


Why nuclear fusion is gaining steam – again

File 20180406 5572 pr43m1.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

The coils winding facility building in France, where a global effort to build the ITER fusion energy reactor is underway. Rob Crandall/

Courtesy of Scott L. Montgomery, University of Washington

Back when I studied geology in grad school, the long-term future of energy had a single name: nuclear fusion. It was the 1970s. The physicists I studied with predicted that tapping this clean new source of electric power by forcing two nuclei of hydrogen to combine and release massive amounts of energy, might be 50 years off.

Four decades later, after I’d left my career of research and writing in the energy industry and begun a second career as an author and a professor, I found myself making this same forecast with my own students and readers. In what had become an ironic cliché, fusion, it seemed, would forever haunt a distant horizon.

That seems to be changing, finally.

Thanks to advances in physics research, materials science and supercomputing, scientists are building and testing multiple fusion reactor designs. About a dozen fusion startups with innovative ideas have the private investment they need to see what they can achieve. Still, it’s too early to break out the champagne, and not only for technical reasons.

Underwhelming breakthroughs

One problem is that a breakthrough in the lab doesn’t guarantee innovation or success in the marketplace because energy is very price sensitive. Also, fusion illustrates how few things can erode faith in a new technology like an imminent “breakthrough” that fails to materialize.

First, there was the cold fusion debacle in 1989, when two scientists went to the media with the unverifiable claim they had achieved room-temperature fusion and were ostracized by the scientific community, sullying the image of this energy source as a real option.

Then, scientists hit a milestone in 1994 when the test fusion reactor at Princeton set a new record for peak power of 10.7 megawatts, which The New York Times said at the time was “enough to power 2,000 to 3,000 homes momentarily, meaning roughly a microsecond. Scientifically, that event had great importance, though it was…
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Your next pilot could be drone software


Your next pilot could be drone software

File 20180328 109193 p11abt.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

Would you be – or feel – safer if one of these people were a robot? Skycolors/

Courtesy of Jeremy Straub, North Dakota State University

Would you get on a plane that didn’t have a human pilot in the cockpit? Half of air travelers surveyed in 2017 said they would not, even if the ticket was cheaper. Modern pilots do such a good job that almost any air accident is big news, such as the Southwest engine disintegration on April 17.

But stories of pilot drunkenness, rants, fights and distraction, however rare, are reminders that pilots are only human. Not every plane can be flown by a disaster-averting pilot, like Southwest Capt. Tammie Jo Shults or Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger. But software could change that, equipping every plane with an extremely experienced guidance system that is always learning more.

In fact, on many flights, autopilot systems already control the plane for basically all of the flight. And software handles the most harrowing landings – when there is no visibility and the pilot can’t see anything to even know where he or she is. But human pilots are still on hand as backups.

A new generation of software pilots, developed for self-flying vehicles, or drones, will soon have logged more flying hours than all humans have – ever. By combining their enormous amounts of flight data and experience, drone-control software applications are poised to quickly become the world’s most experienced pilots.

Drones that fly themselves

Drones come in many forms, from tiny quad-rotor copter toys to missile-firing winged planes, or even 7-ton aircraft that can stay aloft for 34 hours at a stretch.

When drones were first introduced, they were flown remotely by human operators. However, this merely substitutes a pilot on the ground for one aloft. And it requires significant communications bandwidth between the drone and control center, to carry real-time video from the drone and to transmit the operator’s commands.

Many newer drones no longer need pilots; some drones for hobbyists and photographers can now…
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Elizabeth Warren Says U.S. and Wall Street Conspired Against Wealth Building by Blacks; Remarks Are Censored by Big Media

Courtesy of Pam Martens.

Senator Elizabeth Warren Speaking at Howard University, April 16, 2018

Senator Elizabeth Warren Speaking at Howard University, April 16, 2018

If you get your business news from the Wall Street Journal or Bloomberg News or the New York Times or Reuters or the Financial Times or CNBC, chances are you did not hear about a critically important symposium that was held on Monday on the dangers that Wall Street’s biggest banks continue to pose to the U.S. economy and, in particular, to communities of color.

Adding to the mystery of how every major business news outlet could simultaneously decide to skip the event is that it was headlined by two famous players in the banking debate, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Neel Kashkari, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

The symposium on “Too Big to Fail” was hosted by Howard University’s Department of Economics and held at the campus which is located in Washington, DC – where there is certainly no shortage of reporters. When a critical message goes unreported by all major media, it tends to send the message to the speakers —  “shut up and move on.”

It is noteworthy that Howard University is a predominantly black university and the message delivered by Senator Warren was on how communities of color had been specifically targeted for wealth stripping by Wall Street through devious means in the leadup to the financial crash of 2008. This was preceded by a U.S. government conspiracy against them from 1934 to 1968, said Warren.

Warren told the audience that within two years of the onset of the financial crash of 2008, 8.8 million American workers had lost their jobs and within three years more than 4 million homes had been lost to foreclosure. “The financial crisis wiped out as much as $14 trillion in household wealth,” Warren told the crowd.

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Apple Slides After Taiwan Semi Blames “Very High-End Smartphone” For Unexpectedly Poor Guidance

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

In the latest confirmation that earnings from Apple are set to disappoint, perhaps bigly, overnight, the world's largest semiconductor producer, Taiwan Semiconductor, reported disappointing guidance, with management blaming a "very high-end smartphone" prompting renewed questions about the collapse in global iPhone demand.

The market wasted no time to price in the ongoing decline in demand for $1000+ iPhones and Taiwan Semi ADRs fell more than 5% in pre-market trading while Apple, Nvidia and AMD are all down ~2% in sympathy; this followed weakness in European chip stocks like AMS -3.7%, STMicro -2.2%, and Dialog Semi -1.9%.

Needless to say, Apple is a behemoth in TSM's P&L and accounted for over 20% of Taiwan Semi’s revenue in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to Bloomberg supply chain estimate.

Quoted by Bloomberg, JPMorgan analyst Gokul Hariharan said TSM’s 2Q forecast was very weak with the iPhone driving a lot of the softness; according to the bank's estimates, TSM's Apple-related revenues may plunge ~50% q/q in 2Q after a 30% drop in 1Q.

If this forecast is even remotely accurate, it paints a dire picture for iPhone demand around the globe, and suggests that the world's infatuation with Apple products is rapidly waning.

This was echoed by Goldman analyst Donald Lu, who called TSM’s weak demand in 2018 "incrementally negative as Apple weakness persists."

Reading through TSM's earnings for Apple upcoming results which will be reported on May 1, Mizuho said it expects the Q3 revenue forecast to miss at the midpoint, and added that checks continue to point to iPhone X demand softness “in addition to an incremental downtick in 8/8 Plus procurement (which may not be baked into consensus)."

FAA Orders Engine Inspections After Deadly Southwest Accident

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

Two days after a woman died and seven people were injured aboard Southwest Airlines flight 1380, the FAA has ordered inspections of fan blades on all CFM56-7B engines of the same type that were involved in Tuesday’s incident, NPR reported.

Meanwhile, information about the cause of death of Jennifer Riordan, the mother of two who was killed when she was partially sucked out a shattered jet window, has finally been released: Philadelphia's medical examiner said Riordan was killed by blunt trauma to her head, neck and torso when she was partially blown out a cabin window shattered by engine debris. Federal inspectors say Riordan, 43, was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident.


So far, investigators have determined that the accident was caused by a propeller blade inside the engine tearing off midflight and wrecking the inside of the engine, showering the plane with the debris that broke Riordan's window. The plane, which took off from New York, was forced to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia.


Bowing to the demands of outside airline safety experts, the FAA said late Wednesday that some 220 CFM56-7B engines used to power Boeing 737s must be ultrasonically inspected after a certain number of takeoffs. American Airlines has about 300 planes with CFM56 engines, while Delta Air Lines has about 185. The engines are produced by CFM, a 50/50 joint company of GE and Safran Aircraft Engines.

Separately, Southwest Airlines said it would carry out an inspection of its fleet over the next month.

The problem with the fan blade that broke off is that the "metal fatigue" discovered by the investigators would've been difficult to detect pre-accident – the only way to find it would've required an ultrasound inspection.

With the NTSB's investigation ramping up, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the agency is focusing on two issues:

  • How did the propeller blade wear down?
  • And why did the loss of a single propeller blade have such a devastating impact on the cowling (the engine covering that appeared damaged in flight photos) and the rest of the engine?

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UBS: Changes To Tesla’s Automation Process Are ‘Concerning’

Courtesy of Benzinga.

UBS: Changes To Tesla's Automation Process Are 'Concerning'

Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) already missed first-quarter production targets, and as it prepares to release the period’s financial figures, some sell-side analysts are pessimistic. 

The Rating

UBS analyst Colin Langan maintained a Sell rating on Tesla with a $195 price target.

The Thesis

As it is, Tesla’s 2,000-per-week exit rate for the Model 3 in Q1 is not guaranteed to hold through the next term. UBS sees additional risks around the vehicle’s ramp — and consequently, profits and cash flow — amid plant downtime and the removal of an automated production line. (See the analyst’s track record here.) 

“We think the changes to the automated line at this late stage are concerning and raise questions about the viability of the 10,000-per-week target and TSLA’s long-term goal of ‘reinventing the machine that makes the machine,’” Langan said in a Thursday note.

Tesla can potentially fix its production issues, but Langan said reputational risk from reports of low quality and Autopilot flaws could be more difficult to recover from.

UBS anticipates Tesla will raise capital by the third quarter to support plans for its Semi, Roadster, Model Y and infrastructure.

For the coming earnings report, Langan forecast a loss per share of $4.56 against the consensus estimate of a $3.69 loss. The analyst expects a sequential decline in gross margins from 13.8 percent to 11.2 percent, with cash burn of around $900 million.

Price Action

Tesla shares were up 1.84 percent at the time of publication Thursday. 

Related Links:

Gordon Johnson: Tesla Has ‘Bleak’ Future, Will Drop To $84

Study: Tesla The Most Trusted Company In Autonomous Development Race, Despite Crash Investigations

Photo courtesy of Tesla. 

Latest Ratings for TSLA

Date Firm Action From To
Apr 2018 Morgan Stanley Maintains Equal-Weight Equal-Weight
Apr 2018 Vertical Group Initiates Coverage On Sell
Apr 2018 Jefferies Upgrades Underperform Hold

View More Analyst Ratings for TSLA

View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Colin Langan UBSAnalyst Color Price Target Reiteration Analyst Ratings Best of Benzinga

Economic Data Scheduled For Thursday

Courtesy of Benzinga.

  • Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard is set to speak in Washington at 8:00 a.m. ET.
  • Data on initial jobless claims for the latest week will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • The Philly Fed general conditions index for April is schedule for release at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • Federal Reserve Vice Chairman for Supervision Governor Randal Quarles will testify before the Senate Banking Committee at 9:30 a.m. ET.
  • The index of leading economic indicators for March will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Energy Information Administration’s weekly report on natural gas stocks in underground storage is schedule for release at 10:30 a.m. ET.
  • Data on money supply for the recent week will be released at 4:30 p.m. ET.
  • Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Loretta Mester is set to speak in Pittsburgh at 6:45 p.m. ET.

Posted-In: Economic DataNews Economics Pre-Market Outlook Markets

How Amazon’s Edging Closer To Retail, E-Commerce Dominance: Smart TVs

Courtesy of Benzinga.

How Amazon's Edging Closer To Retail, E-Commerce Dominance: Smart TVs

Through a partnership with Best Buy Co Inc (NYSE: BBY) to distribute Alexa-enabled smart TVs,, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) is expected to more deeply penetrate both brick and mortar retail and the consumer home.

It’s good news for Amazon — and not so good news for everyone else.

The Rating

Morgan Stanley analysts Brian Nowak, Simeon Gutman and Jonathan Lanterman maintained an Overweight rating on Amazon with a $1,500 price target.

The Thesis

Amazon’s leveraging of brick and mortar retail, which enables consumer conversion through in-store demos, compounds a more commanding control of the e-commerce market.

The firm’s TV voice-search integration is seen to eliminate friction in the common shopping experience, stimulate changes in consumer behavior, and “further its competitive lead” against retail rivals and Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL).

“This could further Amazon’s retail share gains (as Amazon-powered voice shopping from your couch on your television would become easier) and would potentially improve Amazon’s customer acquisition economics and competitive moats against Google search (as they would not have to pay Google for this traffic or shopping),” the analysts wrote in a note.

Notably, they consider Amazon’s offering an incremental threat to Google considering retail queries comprise 25- to 30-percent of Google’s searches.

Price Action

After closing up 1.6 percent Wednesday, Amazon was set to open up 2.1 percent Thursday at $1,560.

Walmart Inc (NYSE: WMT) and Google were also set to open marginally higher of the previous session’s close.

Related Links:

Morgan Stanley: Why The Reported Amazon, Walmart Talks With India’s Flipkart Make Sense

Analyst: Why Humana And Walmart Could Make Sense Together

Latest Ratings for AMZN

Date Firm Action From To
Apr 2018 Morgan Stanley Maintains Overweight Overweight
Feb 2018 MKM Partners Maintains Buy Buy
Feb 2018 Nomura Maintains Buy Buy

View More Analyst Ratings for AMZN

View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Brian Nowak ecommerce Jonathan Lanterman Morgan StanleyAnalyst Color Top Stories Analyst Ratings Tech Best of Benzinga


Zero Hedge

Saxo Bank: Reality-Check For The Euro Area Economy

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Saxo Bank, Head of Macro Strategy, Christopher Dembik via,

The rosy "strong euro area growth" narrative is done. As a result of a lower than expected ZEW index (-8.2 points in April versus 5.1 points in March), Citi Economic Surprise Index for the Eurozone is sinking further into negative territory, reaching its lowest level since 2012. The index is currently the worst performer among G10, at minus 87.8. This collapse added downward pressure on European stocks during Q1 and ...

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Chart School

Short Opportunity II

Courtesy of Declan.

The first chance for a short play got burned but there is a second one on offer for the S&P.

The S&P tagged channel resistance and while today's reversal off resistance didn't amount to a big percentage loss it did register as a distribution day. There wasn't any significant technical change so if this short does evolve it will do so with risk measured on a move above 2,717.

The Nasdaq may match a 'bearish evening star' but if this is the case there has to be a significant move lower tomor...

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Phil's Favorites

What's unconscious bias training, and does it work?


What's unconscious bias training, and does it work?

Courtesy of Calvin K. Lai, Washington University in St Louis

A Starbucks manager in Philadelphia called the police on two black men on April 13, leading to their arrest. The two men, who had been waiting for a friend at the store, were released without being charged.

Starbucks has since apologized and announced it will close more than 8,000 of its stores in the United States to provide “racial bias” training for its 175,000 ...

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Insider Scoop

30 Stocks Moving In Thursday's Mid-Day Session

Courtesy of Benzinga.

  • AGM Group Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: AGMH) shares jumped 27 percent to $7.9992 after rising 26 percent on Wednesday.
  • OpGen, Inc. (NASDAQ: OPGN) shares climbed 23.4 percent to $2.58. OpGen completed rapid testing clinical trial in Colombia and expanded international operations.
  • PLx Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ: PLXP) gained 15.6 percent to $4.449.
  • Monaker Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... more from Insider

Digital Currencies

Only 0.04% Of Taxpayers Are Reporting Any Bitcoin Gains To The IRS

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

With the US tax deadline just one day away, crypto investors who traded actively during the market's run-up and inevitable meltdown should have a lot of activity to report to the IRS.

But according to a survey conducted by Credit Karma, only a handful of people who have filed their taxes using Credit Karma's tools have reported bitcoin holdings or holdings of some other cryptocurrency - fewer than 100 out of a total of 250,000 filers, or a whopping 0.04% in total.

In all likelihood, this means that (tens of) thousands of bitcoin traders are refusing to pay the IRS, either betting on the anonymity of the blockchain to conceal th...

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Buffett At His Best

By csinvesting. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Bear with me as I share a bit of my history that helped me create SkyVu and the Battle Bears games. The University of Nebraska gave me my first job after college. I mostly pushed TV carts around, edited videos for professors or the occasional speaker event. One day, Warren Buffet came to campus to speak to the College of Business. I didn’t think much of this speech at the time but I saved it for some reason. 15 years later, as a founder of my own company, I watch and listen to this particular speech every year to remind myself of the fundamentals and values Mr. Buffett looks for. He’s addressing business students at his alma mater, so I think his style here is a bit more ‘close to home’ than in his other speeches. Hopefully many of you find great value in this video like I have. Sorry for the VHS...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

The Stock Bull Market Stops Here!


The Stock Bull Market Stops Here!

Courtesy of Kimble Charting


The definition of a bull market or bull trends widely vary. One of the more common criteria for bull markets is determined by the asset being above or below its 200 day moving average.

In my humble opinion, each index above remains in a bull trend, as triple support (200-day moving averages, 2-year rising support lines, and February lows) are still in play ...

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Members' Corner

Cambridge Analytica and the 2016 Election: What you need to know (updated)


"If you want to fundamentally reshape society, you first have to break it." ~ Christopher Wylie

[Interview: Cambridge Analytica whistleblower: 'We spent $1m harvesting millions of Facebook profiles' – video]

"You’ve probably heard by now that Cambridge Analytica, which is backed by the borderline-psychotic Mercer family and was formerly chaired by Steve Bannon, had a decisive role in manipulating voters on a one-by-one basis – using their own personal data to push them toward voting ...

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How your brain is wired to just say 'yes' to opioids

Reminder: Pharmboy and Ilene are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.


How your brain is wired to just say ‘yes’ to opioids

A Philadelphia man, who struggles with opioid addiction, in 2017. AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Courtesy of Paul R. Sanberg, University of South Florida and Samantha Portis, University of South Florida


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Mapping The Market

The tricks propagandists use to beat science

Via Jean-Luc

How propagandist beat science – they did it for the tobacco industry and now it's in favor of the energy companies:

The tricks propagandists use to beat science

The original tobacco strategy involved several lines of attack. One of these was to fund research that supported the industry and then publish only the results that fit the required narrative. “For instance, in 1954 the TIRC distributed a pamphlet entitled ‘A Scientific Perspective on the Cigarette Controversy’ to nearly 200,000 doctors, journalists, and policy-makers, in which they emphasized favorable research and questioned results supporting the contrary view,” say Weatherall and co, who call this approach biased production.

A second approach promoted independent research that happened to support ...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.


This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...

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NewsWare: Watch Today's Webinar!


We have a great guest at today's webinar!

Bill Olsen from NewsWare will be giving us a fun and lively demonstration of the advantages that real-time news provides. NewsWare is a market intelligence tool for news. In today's data driven markets, it is truly beneficial to have a tool that delivers access to the professional sources where you can obtain the facts in real time.

Join our webinar, free, it's open to all. 

Just click here at 1 pm est and join in!

[For more information on NewsWare, click here. For a list of prices: NewsWar...

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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.

To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

Learn more About Phil >>

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About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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