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Redmi Earbuds S Review: It is Hard to Argue Against it, With This Super Affordable Price Tag

Affordable true wireless earbuds don’t necessarily have to be a compromise. Unfortunately, that is how it has always been. Build quality, sound, battery life, the quality of the charging case, companion apps and so on, you would have to make do with rough edges across the board. After all, the assumption was that you are paying significantly lesser than what the more expensive wireless earbuds cost. Pretty much reminds us of the way affordable Android phones used to be many years ago, before Xiaomi walked in with their head held high and completely changed the game. It seems they want to do the same with wireless earbuds as well, with the Redmi Earbuds S.

The Redmi Earbuds S start off on the right note with a super affordable price tag of Rs 1,799 if you order one of these now. A cursory glance at its competition includes Boat Airdopes 201 (around Rs 1,999), Portronics Harmonics Twins Mini (around Rs 1,699), Ptron Bassbuds Pro (around Rs 1,599) and the Mivi DuoPods M40 (around Rs 2,499), among thousands of others who we have never heard of before. Honestly, I really wouldn’t recommend any of these. Not just because you are getting something that has much better brand recall, with due respect to all other brands, but also something that is better spec-ed.

The mighty presence of a featherweight

The way the Redmi Earbuds S has been sculpted deserves to be admired. The charging case looks good and the matte black finish is easy to maintain. No loud branding on this, just the very subtle Redmi branding engraved on the lid. Open this up to take out the two wireless earbuds, and you’ll probably immediately notice the smaller than usual footprint. Your eyes aren’t deceiving you either. Each earbud weighs 4.1 grams, which is featherweight when these it in your ears for a considerable amount of time. And nothing sticks out of your ears, which means these are one of the more discreet earbuds you can spend your money on. A reason for that compact bud size is the size of the battery that sits inside—43mAh per earbud. It is simple physics. Compare this with the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ for instance, where each earbud weighs around 6.3 grams and has an 85mAh battery pack in each bud.

Fit shouldn’t be a problem for most users. First, Xiaomi is bundling three ear tip sizes with the Redmi Earbuds S—small, medium and large. Secondly, the way you wear it means you slightly twist each earbud once it is secure in your ear, for a snug fit. In a way, these are able to block out considerable amount of ambient noise as well. The other advantage, and this is priceless, is that these don’t fall out.

Clinging to the past?

The only possible shortcoming, and this is strictly relevant for my ecosystem, is that the Redmi Earbuds S charging case has a micro-USB port. Usually, there is a USB-C cable within reach, but I needed to specifically use the micro-USB cable to charge these up every time. The case itself has a 300mAh battery.

It doesn’t mind enjoying the first drops of a monsoon shower

The compact footprint and the weight reduction in no way means the Redmi Earbuds S must compromise on robustness. This has the IPX4 rating which makes it resistant to splash and sweat. This wouldn’t be averse to a drench in a sudden shower or you sweat out in the gym to your favorite soundtrack. Not many of its rivals can boast of this combination of design and attention to detail.

Pairing is simple too. This uses Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity. In fact, unlike a lot of affordable wireless earbuds, the Redmi Earbuds S behave like the more expensive earbuds out there and pair both buds with your phone in one go—many budget earbuds require you to individually pair the left and the right buds before you can get started with the playlists. You’ll probably get a slightly different experience if you are pairing these with a Xiaomi phone, with the quick pairing functionality available by default.

Redmi Earbuds S

Simplicity makes you fall in love again

There is one physical button each on bud, and Xiaomi have done their best to simplify the multifunction inputs. You can press for one second to eject a call, click to accept a call, tap once when listening to music to pause and play, double click to access the voice assistant in your paired smartphone and click the button three times to enable or disable the gaming mode. You can do this on either of the buds, and the functionality remains the same. It gives me immense pleasure to say that this actually works, because quite frankly, it is an unnecessary learning curve to learn complex click and press and gesture controls on a lot of earphones and earbuds.

Substance much beyond the spec sheet

Now on to the business end of the Redmi Earbuds S—the sound. The audio driver in each earbud is 7.2mm large, which incidentally is larger than the 6mm audio drivers in the fantastic Jabra Elite 75t (these cost around Rs 15,999). Whichever way you look at it, this is a solid foundation as far as the hardware is concerned. The sound, Xiaomi insists, has been tuned for the Indian listening preferences. Which when simply put, means the Redmi Earbuds S will lean more towards lower frequencies and bass. That is great if your playlists are geared up for the up-tempo music, Bollywood remixes and dance numbers as well as pop music in general. I am quite impressed by the clarity of vocals, despite the very clear soundstage leanings, which makes the Redmi Earbuds S quite capable of playing their part as you binge watch on some web series late at night when the much-wanted sleep is continuing to ignore you.

The Redmi Earbuds S can go quite loud too without any sort of distortion getting in the way. I’m not much of a gamer, but I’m sure PUBG and Fortnite fans would appreciate the Gaming Mode which reduces the latency to 122ms and reduces the lag between what you see on the screen and when you hear it.

Battery life is robust. I like my music at soft volumes, and the Redmi Earbuds S last me a bit more than 4 hours on a single charge. The charging case can fully juice up these buds three times over, which makes it a good 12 hours before you reach for the charger again.

If you want to use these for calls, clarity is most certainly a strong point, with the ambient noise nicely blocked out at both ends. However, the slightly bass-heavy sound signature can be a bit disconcerting if the call clarity because of network issues is already compromised. You can use either the left or right earbud for calls as well. And the compact size of each earbud means you can be on long voice or video calls without feeling discomfort in the ears.

The Last Word: The Redmi Earbuds S Has a Price Tag You Cannot Argue With

It is hard to argue with the wireless earbuds experience and the audio performance the Redmi Earbuds S brings, particularly with a truly affordable price tag—Rs 1,799 to be precise, and that gets you a proper Xiaomi ecosystem experience. There really are no compromises that can be classified as deal-breakers. Instead, this is tuned to the music preferences of a large demographic of its potential user base, offers good battery life and the compact size just adds to the feeling that you’ve truly purchased something worth much more than its actual price tag.



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Apple Fixes Latest iOS 13.5 Bug That Prevented Some iPhone Apps From Opening

Image for representation.

Image for representation.

The bug impacted apps such as Audible.com, Discord, Facebook, WhatsApp, and YouTube, among others.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: May 27, 2020, 12:03 PM IST

Apple has fixed a bug in its Family Sharing system that prevented some iOS and iPadOS apps from opening. The bug led to iOS users getting an error indicating that an app was “no longer being shared with you” and directed them to buy the app from the App Store.

Apple has now resolved the bug that affected iPhone and iPad apps over the last weekend, reports TechCrunch. Several iOS users earlier reported that they were seeing dozens of pending app updates for their iOS devices. Some of them even saw as many as 100-plus new updates to install. The bug impacted apps such as Audible.com, Discord, Facebook, WhatsApp, and YouTube, among others.

Even before Apple worked to fix the bug, some users found that they could solve it by deleting and redownloading specific apps. Apple confirmed the problem has now been resolved for all affected customers.




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Alexa Will Now Let You Shop or Pay Bills Using Your Voice on the Amazon App

Image for representation.

Image for representation.

Amazon India has introduced this new feature only available on Android devices and it can be accessed by tapping the microphone icon on top of the page.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: May 27, 2020, 5:53 PM IST

In a bid to make shopping and paying various sorts of bills faster and hassle-free, Amazon India has now enabled voice search and bill payments on the Amazon app. Powered by Alexa and Amazon Pay, the feature is currently available on Android devices, where users can access it by tapping the microphone icon on top of the page. This update comes within two months of Alexa’s debut on the Amazon app.

Now Ask Alexa to Make Faster Bill Payments

Tap the microphone icon on the Amazon shopping app and ask “Alexa, pay my electricity bill” or “Alexa, recharge my DTH”. If you have paid bills in the past, then you will be navigated directly to the billing page with pre-fetched bill details. The company said that with Alexa and Amazon Pay balance, this monthly activity can now be done in just three taps.

First-time customers will be navigated to the specific bill page to register their account and service provider before proceeding with the bill payment. In order to pay make bill payments on Amazon Echo, Fire TV Stick on any other device Alexa built-in, users will just have to say, “Alexa pay my mobile bill”, or “Alexa, pay my gas bill” to their devices. However, for existing customers, Alexa will get the bill amount due to the registered account and ask for customer confirmation before processing the payment.

“Customers can also enable a voice pin on the Alexa app to secure these transactions. Once approved, Alexa will complete the transaction using Amazon Pay, and send a notification to the customer’s registered mobile phone number, confirming the transaction. For new Amazon Pay customers, Alexa will send a link to register their bill details on the Amazon shopping app before proceeding with bill payment,” Amazon said in a statement.

How to Ask Alexa to Add Money, or Check Your Amazon Pay Balance?

In order to ask Alexa to add money or check your Amazon Pay Balance, you have to tap on the microphone icon on the Amazon shopping app and ask, “Alexa, what is my Amazon Pay balance?” and your balance amount will be shown on the app screen. Ir order to add money, just ask, “Alexa, add Rs 500 to my Amazon Pay balance.” You will be navigated to the ‘Add Money’ page with the requested pre-filled amount.

Similarly, you can also use your Amazon Echo, Fire TV Stick, and other devices with Alexa built-in to avail these features. You have to just ask “Alexa, check my Amazon Pay balance”, or say “Alexa, add money to my Amazon Pay balance” and receive a link over SMS to complete the transaction.




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Redmi Note 9 Pro Max Goes on Sale Today in India: Price, Specifications and More

Redmi Note 9 Pro Max Goes on Sale Today in India: Price, Specifications and More

You can get your hands on the new Redmi Note 9 Pro Max which will be available for purchase on Mi.com and Amazon India at 12PM.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: May 27, 2020, 12:03 PM IST

Xiaomi is hosting yet another sale of the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max. Launched alongside the regular Note 9 Pro in March, the Max variant was delayed due to the coronavirus lockdown. The handset is very similar in terms of design and features when compared to the Note 9 Pro with minor differences. The sale will be happening today at 12PM and customers can purchase the handset from Mi.com and Amazon India.

SPECIFICATIONS AND PRICE

The handset comes with a 6.67-inch LCD display with a punch-hole placed on top center and a quad-camera setup in a square module. Like the previous Redmi Note 8 series, it has Gorilla Glass on the front and back, but this time the cameras are also protected with the same. Other notable design features include a side-mounted fingerprint scanner similar to the Poco X2 and the Realme 6 series.

The device is powered by the 8nm-based Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G which should be more efficient and slightly more powerful than the 730G. The smartphone will be offered in a total of three variants including 6GB RAM with either 64GB or 128GB of storage and an 8GB RAM option with 128GB internal storage. There is also a dedicated microSD card slot to expand the storage further.

The square camera module is placed at the center and is raised from the main body. It includes a 64-megapixel main sensor next to an 8-megapixel ultrawide camera. There is also a 5-megapixel macro camera and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. At the front, there is a 32-megapixel selfie camera placed in the punch hole. According to the company, the camera is capable of shooting RAW photography and some nifty tricks in pro mode while shooting video.

The battery unit is rated at 5,020mAh which is said to be the biggest on a Redmi Note device. It supports 33W fast charging (provided in the box) as well. Rest of the features include support for 4G VoLTE, NaVIC GPS, dual-SIM card slots, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, side-mounted fingerprint scanner, P2i coating, USB Type-C and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The handset will come with Android 10 with MIUI 11. There are three colour options to choose from including Aurora Blue, Glacier White, and Interstellar Black.

As for the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max pricing, the 6GB + 64GB variant is priced at Rs.16,499, the 6GB + 128GB variant is priced at Rs 17,999 while 8GB + 128GB variant is priced at Rs. 19,999. The pricing is different from what we saw during the launch due to revised GST rates in the country.




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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Donates Another $10 Milliion To Help Those Affected by Covid-19 in US

Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter. (Image: Reuters/Lucas Jackson)

Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter. (Image: Reuters/Lucas Jackson)

Dorsey also donated $10 million this month to help prisons in the US fight the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: May 27, 2020, 4:35 PM IST

Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey has donated $10 million to Project 100 which will give $1,000 in cash to 10,000 families who have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Project 100 is a joint effort between nonprofits GiveDirectly, Propel and Stand for Children, and has raised nearly $84 million since April.

It aims to raise $100 million in order to provide cash gifts to 100,000 American families. Other donors to Project 100 include Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, billionaires Steve Ballmer, Bill Gates, Sergey Brin and MacKenzie Bezos.

Dorsey also donated $10 million this month to help prisons in the US fight the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The donation was given to criminal justice advocacy group REFORM Alliance that would buy 10 million face masks and personal protective equipment (PPEs) for prisoners and other employees.

“$10mm to @REFORM Alliance to get PPE to every prison and jail in America, all towards their mission of reforming the criminal justice system,” Dorsey tweeted. The funds come from Dorsey’s #startsmall initiative, which has $1 billion in total, given by Dorsey in April using equity from his mobile payment company Square. So far, Dorsey who has a net worth at $4.8 billion, has distributed $85 million worth of Square stock to more than 50 nonprofits since April.




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OnePlus Hints At Launching Affordable Smartphone in India: Is it The OnePlus Z

OnePlus Hints At Launching Affordable Smartphone in India: Is it The OnePlus Z

OnePlus CEO Pete Lau’s comments come at a time when the upcoming OnePlus Z has been the subject of many leaks over the past few weeks.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: May 27, 2020, 3:42 PM IST

Right before the launch of the OnePlus 8 series, there was a rumour that the company is planning to bring a third variant this year which would be a more affordable option for the masses. While OnePlus did not reveal the handset, it was assumed to be delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Eventually, speculations suggested that the company would launch this affordable ‘OnePlus Z’ later in the summer. Now according to new development, it seems that OnePlus has sort of confirmed its plans.

In an interview with Fast Company, CEO Pete Lau spoke about how they want to go back to the company’s early years and deliver a more affordable offering. of course he didn’t mention the name, but it could very well be the rumoured OnePlus Z. OnePlus, which made its debut in the smartphone market by launching budget-friendly smartphones in the past, has recently diverted from its promises by launching OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro smartphones.

Lau also said that OnePlus does not have any plans to stop making higher-end smartphones but indicated that the company doesn’t want to stay in the premium segments and wants to add its product portfolio with more lower-margin smartphones. He also teased that this affordable device is coming soon and that we can soon expect an announcement in India as well.

Lau’s comments come at a time when the upcoming OnePlus Z has been the subject of many leaks over the past few weeks and has been widely tipped to launch later this year. Moreover, Lau has assured that the upcoming budget-friendly smartphones would be up to the standard of the existing OnePlus devices as well. The OnePluz Z is rumoured to be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G chipset. It will also sport a 6.4-inch AMOLED display with a 2400X1080 pixel resolution with a 90Hz refresh rate and along with 8GB of RAM and 128GB internal storage.

OnePlus recently launched its OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 pro smartphones, that are priced between Rs 41,999 and Rs 59,999. It also plans to launch truly wireless earphones known was OnePlus Buds in July.




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Samsung Galaxy A51 Now Available With 8GB RAM: All Details Here

File photo of a Samsung Galaxy A51

File photo of a Samsung Galaxy A51

The Galaxy A51 was reportedly the world’s best selling Android smartphone model in the first quarter of 2020.

  • Last Updated: May 27, 2020, 3:41 PM IST

Samsung has announced a new variant of its fairly popular new mid-range smartphone, the Galaxy A51. The smartphone will be available in a new 8GB RAM and 128GB storage variant. The handset will offer the option to expand the storage using a microSD card of up to 512GB.

The new variant is priced at Rs 27,999 and will be offering all three colours including Prism Crush Black, Prism Crush White and Prism Crush Blue. The handset was launched in a sole 6GB RAM and 128GB storage variant priced at Rs 23,999, but recently got a priced bump due to the increase in GST rates. The 6GB variant is currently selling at Rs 25,250 on the official Samsung India website.

The handset features a 6.5-inch Full-HD+ (2400×1080 pixels) Super AMOLED Infinity-O display with 20:9 aspect ratio along with an in-display fingerprint sensor. It is powered by an Exynos 9611 processor.

In the camera department, you get four units at the back including a 48-megapixel primary sensor with an f/2.0 aperture lens, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera with f/2.0 aperture, a 5-megapixel macro camera with an f/2.4 aperture, and a 5-megapixel depth sensor with an f/2.2 aperture. At the front, there is a 32-megapixel camera with an f/2.2 aperture lens.

Other features include a 4,000mAh with support for 15W fast charging, dual-SIM capability with 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3.5mm audio jack, GPS/ A-GPS, Android 10 with OneUI 2.0 and a USB Type-C port.

Recently it was reported that the Galaxy A51 was the world’s best selling Android smartphone model in the first quarter of 2020. The handset had managed to beat the Xiaomi Redmi 8 to become the best selling Android smartphone worldwide in Q1, said a study by research firm Strategy Analytics.




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Samsung Unveils Exynos 880 SoC, Could Potentially Make 5G Smartphones More Affordable

Samsung Exynos 880 SoC (Pic Source: Samsung)

Samsung Exynos 880 SoC (Pic Source: Samsung)

The Exynos 880 is also capable of supporting advanced graphics APIs, and incorporating diverse technologies for powerful and efficient graphics processing.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: May 27, 2020, 11:42 AM IST

South Korean tech giant Samsung on Wednesday unveiled a new mobile chip, the Exynos 880 SoC, featuring an integrated 5G modem and AI capabilities. The Exynos 880 includes a 5G cellular modem that enables lag-less streaming and rapid downloads. It facilitates the next-generation 5G experiences such as mixed reality (MR) and cloud-gaming. It features an integrated 5G modem that supports up to 2.55Gbps download speed and up to 1.28Gbps upload speed over 5G sub-6GHz spectrum. The company said that the download speed of 2.55Gbps can be lifted to 3.55Gpbs.

The Exynos 880 is capable of supporting advanced graphics APIs, and incorporating diverse technologies for powerful and efficient graphics processing. While the enhanced CPU performance reduces loading time, the powerful GPU renders 3D graphics in-game with a high framerate to provide outstanding visuals, the company said in a statement. The Exynos 880’s advanced image signal processor supports up to five individual sensors and is able to process three sensors concurrently while enabling a single-camera max resolution of 64Mp and a dual-camera rating of 20Mp for each camera.

It incorporates a neural processing unit (NPU) and digital signal processor (DSP) for on-device AI that accelerates response times and improves security. The chip is designed to support Bluetooth 5 that increases the range, speed, and broadcast messaging capacity for multi-device connection.




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Redmi Note 9 Pro Goes on Sale Today via Amazon and Mi.com: Price, Specifications, and More

Redmi Note 9 Pro Goes on Sale Today via Amazon and Mi.com: Price, Specifications, and More

The new Redmi Note 9 Pro comes with an improved camera setup, bigger battery, and a slightly refreshed design.

  • Last Updated: May 27, 2020, 1:55 PM IST

Xiaomi India is going to host yet another sale of its recently launched Redmi Note 9 today. Launched back in March, the handset is a follow up of the company’s popular Redmi Note 8 Pro. The smartphone boasts of a new square camera module and a punch-hole display at the front. The company had also launched the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max, a slightly beefed-up version offering more memory and a higher resolution camera.

SPECIFICATIONS

The Redmi Note 9 Pro features a 6.67-inch full-HD+ LCD display with a punch-hole placed on top center and a quad-camera setup in a square module. Like the previous Redmi Note 8 series, it has Gorilla Glass on the front and back, but this time the cameras are also protected with the same. Other notable design features include a side-mounted fingerprint scanner similar to the Poco X2 and the Realme 6 series.

The device is powered by the new 8nm-based Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G which should be more efficient and slightly more powerful than the 730G. The smartphone will be offered in two variants- 4GB RAM and 64GB of storage and 6GB RAM with 128GB storage. There is also a dedicated microSD card slot to expand the storage further.

The square camera module is placed at the center and is raised from the main body. It includes a 48-megapixel main sensor next to an 8-megapixel ultrawide camera. There is also a 5-megapixel macro camera and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. At the front, there is a 16-megapixel selfie camera placed in the punch hole. According to the company, the camera is capable of shooting RAW photography and some nifty tricks in pro mode while shooting video.

The battery unit is rated at 5,020mAh which is said to be the biggest on a Redmi Note device and supports 18W fast charging. Rest of the features include support for 4G VoLTE, NaVIC GPS, dual-SIM card slots, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, P2i coating, USB Type-C and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The handset will come with Android 10 with MIUI 11. There are three colour options to choose from including Aurora Blue, Glacier White, and Interstellar Black.

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY

The smartphone is priced at Rs 13,999 for the 4GB RAM + 64GB storage variant, and Rs 1,999 for the 6GB RAM + 128GB storage variant. The handset will be available via Amazon India and Mi.com starting at 12PM.




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Jio Fiber Annual Subscription Plans Now Offer Double Data: Check Details Here

Jio Fiber has made some changes to its fiber broadband offering by introducing additional data benefits for its annual subscription plans. According to the Jio Fiber website, all the plans now offer additional double data on annual subscription.

This essentially means that the Bronze plan now offers 350GB of data which is an addition of 100GB monthly data, if one opts for the annual plan subscription. If users opt for the monthly subscription, the data benefit is 250GB that includes 100GB plan benefit, 100GB double data benefit due to the lockdown, and 50GB introductory data benefit.

Similarly the Silver annual plan subscribers also get the data benefits which means the annual subscription will now offer 800GB of total monthly data, which includes an additional benefit of 200GB. This plan includes 200GB plan benefit, 200GB double data benefit, 200GB introductory data, and 200GB of annual plan benefit. Moving up, the Gold plan offers a total of 1,750GB of monthly data for annual subscribers which includes 500GB of annual plan benefit, 250GB of introductory data, 500GB of double data benefit due to the lockdown, and 500GB of plan benefit.

The Jio Fiber Diamond plan now offers 4,000GB of high-speed monthly data benefit if you opt for the annual subscription. The updated plan now offers the addition of 1,250GB of monthly data benefit. The plan basically offers 250GB of introductory data benefit, 1,250GB of double data during the lockdown, and 1,250GB of plan benefit. The Platinum plan now offers a total of 7,500GB monthly data benefits for annual subscribers with 2,500GB of additional benefit. This plan includes 2,500GB of plan benefit, 2,500GB of double data benefit during the lockdown, and 2,500GB of annual data benefit. Notably there is no introductory data benefit on this plan.

The top of the line Jio Fiber Titanium plan now offers 15,000GB of monthly data benefits. This includes 5,000GB of plan benefit, 5000GB of double data during the lockdown, and 5,000GB of annual plan benefit. The introductory data to some of the plans are valid only up to six months while the double data added to all plans is temporary, and will most likely be removed once the lockdown has been lifted.

jio-fiber-plans-double-data

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