Siri hacked to work on jailbroken iPhone 4 and iPod touch

iPhone experts Steven Troughton-Smith and chpwn seem to have just gotten the iPhone 4S-only Siri working on jailbroken iPhone 4 and current-gen iPod touch units this evening. This bypasses earlier authentication issues. They tweeted their success and posted a screen shot showing Siri working via Wi-Fi (the Airplane Mode icon just means that 3G is turned off, but it is possible to turn Wi-Fi back on even in AM; that's what they did.)

Their success comes just weeks after the iPhone 4S debuted. Since Apple's back-end systems are checking for iPhone 4S devices before processing Siri queries, they managed to work around this limitation. The hack is based on moving compiled code components from a 4S to the older units.

In an interview with 9to5Mac, Troughton-Smith recounts that the Siri transplant was about a 20-step process, and that it does require access to a jailbroken iPhone 4S to work. He has no intention of releasing the mod to the public; this is a proof-of-concept only.

Siri hacked to work on jailbroken iPhone 4 and iPod touch originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sat, 29 Oct 2011 22:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Siri being tested in jailbroken iPad 1

It's been ten days since Siri hit the scene and the virtual assistant is in the process of being torn apart by the hacking community. Siri, as it exists on the iPhone 4S, has been ported to the iPhone 4 and now the iPad 1. Developer Steven Troughton-Smith, who worked on the iPhone 4 port, has shared his progress with @jackoplane who has successfully ported the app to the iPad 1. Several images of Siri running on the tablet device document this achievement.

Unfortunately, neither the iPhone 4 nor the iPad port is fully functional at this point. Siri still needs to connect to Apple's servers to work and the servers are configured to accept requests only from the iPhone 4S. Potentially, these devices could be spoofed to look like an iPhone 4S which could open this functionality to jailbroken devices.

Jailbreaking and porting may be the only solution for owners of older hardware who want Siri on their iOS devices. It's doubtful that Apple will bring Siri to the iPad 1 or the iPhone 3GS. Apple may not want to support this older hardware and these models may also lack the processing power required for the voice assistant. But as some of you pointed out in one of our latest "You're The Pundit" posts, Apple could decide to bring Siri to the iPhone 4 and the iPad 2 once it comes out of beta.

[Via Jailbreakstory]

Siri being tested in jailbroken iPad 1 originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Mon, 24 Oct 2011 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Great Siri search commands

TUAW reader Harris Rydal sent in a bunch of terrific suggestions for using Siri's built-in search features without having to do a lot of typing. These are exceptionally useful ways of taking advantage of Siri-to-Safari tasking.

Sports scores - Look up the current score for in-progress games and find the team record, last game score, and the upcoming game. Say "Yahoo team name score". Rydal points out "There is a 'Yahoo' here because mobile Yahoo formats the results better than Google."

Flight Times - Say "Search the web for flights from City/Airport to City/Airport". In Google, this brings up a list of flight times that day and the associated airline.

Movie Times (and Ticket Purchasing) Say "Search for Movie Name showtimes Optional ZipCode", or if Siri will let you, you may get away with simply "Movie Name showtimes Optional Zipcode". You can also "Search for showtimes Zipcode".

Rydal points out that if you've set Google in Safari to use your current location, you don't even need to specify an area code. Google's Fandango integration allows you to click the showtime and hop over to the ticket purchasing page.

Great Siri search commands originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sun, 23 Oct 2011 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Call me Ishmael: creating a Siri nickname for yourself

Surely you've heard the joke. You tell Siri, "Call me an ambulance" and Siri responds, "From now on, I'll call you, 'An Ambulance', Okay?" As Leanna Lofte points out in a great writeup over at the iPhone Blog, that this joke can actually be of practical use.

You can create a more friendly identity for yourself by telling Siri to call you by your nickname, or simply indulge your monomaniacal streak by instructing her to call you "Master" or "Emperor" or similar.

Siri does this by checking out two fields in your primary Contacts entry. The Nickname field takes priority. When you say "Call me 'Master,'" Siri updates your nickname field directly. Keep in mind, though, that the nickname field is considered a canonical part of your contact information, and pointed out that if you were to send your vCard to someone else they would see that you prefer to be known as 'Master' -- which, depending on who you like to share contacts with, could be a good thing or a bad thing.

Another way to achieve the same result, without adding a nickname to your entry, is to use the phonetic guide fields in your contact record.

The Phonetic First Name and Phonetic Last Name fields have been around for quite a while in iOS and OS X. They help you pronounce people's names while calling them. For example, you might enter "Ser Hee Yo" for a contact named Sergio. Siri now uses those fields to override the default pronunciation of your name, as well as for any other contacts that have unusual name pronunciations.

You can add these fields in iOS by tapping Edit, scrolling down to Add Field, and then choosing one of the phonetic options.

Call me Ishmael: creating a Siri nickname for yourself originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 21 Oct 2011 17:10:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Unlocked iPhone 4S coming in November, won’t work with CDMA

If you were planning to preorder an unlocked iPhone 4S today, you're going to have to wait a little while. The unlocked and contract-free version is available starting in November, with no specific date listed on the Apple website.

There's another bit of a surprise, although it makes sense: the unlocked iPhone 4S won't work on CDMA carriers like Verizon Wireless and Sprint. Why does this make sense? Most of the world currently runs on GSM networks. Even though the iPhone 4S is touted as a "world phone" that can run on both GSM and CDMA networks, most of the people who will use an unlocked, contract-free phone are like world travelers who need the ability to swap a micro-SIM card to get on a new local GSM carrier.

For some reason, Apple is also warning that potential buyers of the unlocked GSM iPhone 4S may require a credit check, and that they must be at least 18 years of age to make their purchase.

The pricing on the contract-free iPhone 4S is fairly steep as well. The 16 GB version starts at US$649, the 32 GB model is $749, and the 64 GB model will retail for $849. The contract-free GSM iPhone 4, which Apple started selling in June of 2011, also sold at similar prices.

Unlocked iPhone 4S coming in November, won't work with CDMA originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 07 Oct 2011 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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iPhone 4S: What can you say to Siri?

Curious about the iPhone 4S's new voice assistant feature? So were we.

TUAW tracked down a set of example phrases that the new Siri voice assistant is capable of understanding. It turns out that Siri can handle many categories of voice interaction.

Without further ado, here they are, ordered by interaction category, along with Apple-supplied examples of using each category.

Address Book

Querying Contacts

  • What's Michael's address?
  • What is Susan Park's phone number?
  • When is my wife's birthday?
  • Show Jennifer's home email address

Finding Contacts

  • Show Jason Russell
  • Find people named Park
  • Who is Michael Manning?


  • My mom is Susan Park
  • Michael Manning is my brother
  • Call my brother at work


Adding Events

  • Set up a meeting at 9
  • Set up a meeting with Michael at 9
  • Meet with Lisa at noon
  • Set up a meeting about hiring tomorrow at 9am
  • New appointment with Susan Park Friday at 3
  • Schedule a planning meeting at 8:30 today in the boardroom

Changing events

  • Move my 3pm meeting to 4:30
  • Reschedule my appointment with Dr. Manning to next Monday at 9am
  • Add Lisa to my meeting with Jason
  • Cancel the budget review meeting

Asking about events

  • What does the rest of my day look like?
  • What's on my calendar for Friday?
  • When is my next appointment?
  • When am I meeting with Michael?
  • Where is my next meeting?


Setting Alarms

  • Wake me up tomorrow at 7am
  • Set an alarm for 6:30am
  • Wake me up in 8 hours
  • Change my 6:30 alarm to 6:45
  • Turn off my 6:30 alarm
  • Delete my 7:30 alarm

Checking the Clock

  • What time is it?
  • What time is it in Berlin?
  • What is today's date?
  • What's the date this Saturday?

Using a Timer

  • Set the timer for ten minutes
  • Show the timer
  • Pause the timer
  • Resume
  • Reset the timer
  • Stop it


Sending Messages

  • Email Lisa about the trip
  • Email Jennifer about the change in plans
  • New email to Susan Park
  • Mail Dad about the rent check
  • Email Dr. Manning and say I got the forms, thanks
  • Mail Lisa and Jason about the party and say I had a great time

Checking Messages

  • Check email
  • Any new email from Michael today?
  • Show new mail about the lease
  • Show the email from Lisa yesterday

Responding to Messages

  • Reply Dear Susan sorry about the late payment
  • Call him at work


Checking Up on Friends

  • Where's Jason?
  • Where is my sister?
  • Is my wife at home?
  • Where are all my friends?
  • Who is here?
  • Who is near me?



  • How do I get home?
  • Show 1 Infinite Loop Cupertino California
  • Directions to my dad's work

Local Businesses

  • Find coffee near me
  • Where is Starbucks?
  • Find some burger joints in Baltimore
  • Find a gas station within walking distance
  • Good Mexican restaurants around here


Sending Texts

  • Tell Susan I'll be right there
  • Send a message to Jason Russell
  • Send a message to Lisa saying how about tomorrow
  • Tell Jennifer the show was great
  • Send a message to Susan on her mobile saying I'll be late
  • Send a message to 408 555 1212
  • Text Jason and Lisa where are you?

Reading Texts

  • Read my new messages
  • Read it again

Replying to Texts

  • Reply that's great news
  • Tell him I'll be there in 10 minutes
  • Call her



  • Play The Light of the Sun
  • Play Trouble
  • Play Taking Back Sunday shuffled
  • Play Alicia Keys
  • Play some blues
  • Play my party mix
  • Shuffle my roadtrip playlist
  • Play
  • Pause
  • Skip


Creating and finding notes

  • Note that I spent $12 on lunch
  • Note: check out that new Alicia Keys album
  • Find my restaurant note
  • Create a reading list note
  • Add Tom Sawyer to my reading list note


Phone calls

  • Call Jason
  • Call Jennifer Wright mobile
  • Call Susan on her work phone
  • Call 408 555 1212
  • Call home
  • FaceTime Lisa


Requesting reminders

  • Remind me to call mom
  • Remind me to call my mom when I get home
  • Remember to take an umbrella
  • Remind me take my medicine at 6am tomorrow
  • Remind me to pick up flowers when I leave here
  • Remind me when I leave to call Jason
  • Remind me to finish the report by 6


Checking Stocks

  • What's Apple's stock price?
  • What is Apple's PE ratio?
  • What did Yahoo close at today?
  • How is the Nikkei doing?
  • How are the markets doing?
  • What is the Dow at?


Checking the Forecast

  • What's the weather for today?
  • What's the weather for tomorrow?
  • Will it rain in Cupertino this week?
  • Check next week's forecast for Burlington
  • What's the forecast for this evening?
  • How's the weather in Tampa right now?
  • How hot will it be in Palm Springs this weekend?
  • What's the high for Anchorage on Thursday?
  • What's the temperature outside?
  • How windy is it out there?
  • When is sunrise in Paris?


Looking up information

  • Search the web for Bora Bora
  • Search for vegetarian pasta recipes
  • Search the web for best cable plans
  • Google the war of 1812
  • Search Wikipedia for Abraham Lincoln
  • Search for news about the World Cup
  • Bing Alicia Keys

Using Wolfram Alpha

  • How many calories in a bagel?
  • What is an 18% tip on $86.74 for four people?
  • Who's buried in Grant's tomb?
  • How long do dogs live?
  • What is the Gossamer Condor?
  • What's the square root of 128?
  • How many dollars is €45?
  • What was the Best Picture of 1983?
  • How many days until Christmas?
  • How far away is the Sun?
  • When is the next solar eclipse?
  • Show me the Orion constellation
  • What's the population of Jamaica?
  • How high is Mt. Everest?
  • How deep is the Atlantic ocean?
  • What's the price of gasoline in Chicago?

iPhone 4S: What can you say to Siri? originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Wed, 05 Oct 2011 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Fitbit Ultra: An unobtrusive fitness tracker

I'm a lazy blogger.

For most of the day, my exercise consists of clicking and typing, then heading down the stairs for another cup of coffee. Over the years I've blogged about my various attempts and methods of tracking exercise and calorie intake with iOS apps, but I find that I get frustrated with how much work is involved just in tracking what I'm doing. The Fitbit Ultra (US$99.95, announced and available today) might be the unobtrusive fitness buddy I've been looking for.

Using my iPhone for tracking fitness walks, I have to remember to start up the app (RunKeeper), pause if I stop for a rest or to chat with someone, stop it when I get home and then type in a tag for the exercise. Since these types of apps use location services, they tends to suck down my battery quickly, which is the reason I've had a Mophie Juick Pack Air installed on the iPhone for the last ten months. Finally, the iPhone and associated fitness apps don't track the work I'm doing around the house. I tend to go up and down the stairs in our house a lot, which is a surprisingly good workout, yet those iPhone apps don't take that into account.

The Fitbit Ultra is a tiny device about the size of a flash drive, weighing just .4 ounces and shaped like a small clip. There's a reason for that shape, since you can just clip the Fitbit Ultra onto clothing and let it track your movements throughout the day. The device has just one button, and uses a bright OLED display that is invisible when it's not in use. I found that the best way for me to use the Fitbit Ultra is to just drop it in my front pocket.

That's what I love about the Fitbit Ultra -- I don't constantly have to be futzing around with it. I also don't have to do anything to get the data from the Fitbit to the Fitbit website (more about that in a moment) except be within about 25 feet of my computer. It checks to see if the combo charging stand / syncing transmitter is nearby about every 15 minutes, and when it is, the device sends changes to the Fitbit site via a plugin that is installed on your Mac.

So, what does it track? To quote the old Police song, "Every step you take, every move you make, I'll be watching you." The Fitbit Ultra uses a MEMS 3D motion sensor to track every step, and unlike the earlier version of the device, it also has an innovative altimeter feature to determine when you've gone up or down a flight of stairs. The motion sensor also senses when you're not moving around, and is used as a sleep tracker as well.

The bright blue display is enabled by either picking up the device when it's sitting on a surface or by pushing the button. Picking up the Fitbit Ultra displays a short motivational message ("LOVE YA," "GO," "LETS GO") and optionally your name as well. Pressing the button repeatedly shows the number of steps taken so far in the day, how far you've walked in miles, the number of calories burned, the number of flights of stairs climbed, a flower that "grows" as you get closer to your daily goal, and the current time. You can also use the Fitbit to time workouts, runs, or your nightly sleep with a built-in stopwatch.

Of course, the tracked data is worthless without being analyzed and stored. That's where comes in. The website, which works perfectly with Safari on both Mac and iOS devices, displays a dashboard full of information. At any time, I can see exactly how many steps I've taken (with a goal of 10,000 per day), how many floors I've climbed stairs to, how many miles I've walked, the calories burned, and an "active score."

If I choose to, I can enter in calories consumed, set a weight goal, or calibrate my stride to get a more accurate reading of distance walked. Right now, this is all accomplished through the website, but the company expects to release an iPhone app this month for those users who want to enter or view information on the go. For me, I'll probably just use the regular website when I can to enter the caloric information -- the reason I like the Fitbit, after all, is that it's unobtrusive and I don't have to physically enter information on a small device or start and stop an app.

Some of the data that can be displayed on the Fitbit dashboard page can come from other sources or be sent out to your favorite exercise tracking or social networking service. At the present time, the Fitbit site will accept weight and fat mass from the Withings Connected Scale. It would be nice if the site could also bring in blood pressure readings from the Withings Blood Pressure Monitor, as that would supply one more piece of important health monitoring information to the dashboard.

The docking station that is used to charge the Fitbit Ultra's battery and receive the updates wirelessly is plugged into a USB port. The battery lasts from 5 to 7 days, and the device charges quickly -- in about an hour -- when it needs to be topped off.

I plan to write an update to this post when the iPhone app becomes available later in the month, and in late December I expect to write a follow-up on how successful the Fitbit was in helping to make me aware of my lack of exercise and motivate me to step it up a bit.

Fitbit Ultra: An unobtrusive fitness tracker originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Mon, 03 Oct 2011 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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mTrip offers free iPhone travel guides

For any of our readers planning to take a trip you'll want to check out the list below to see if your destination city is there. For this week only, mTrip is offering its popular iPhone travel guides for free. Different guides are available for free each day of the week. All of mTrip's travel guide apps are usually $5.99, so be sure to grab them for free while you can! The giveaway is in celebration of mTrip's new social sharing features, which allows users to share photos, reviews, and more with their friends through

The schedule:

Tuesday, September 6:


Wednesday, September 7:

San Francisco

Thursday, September 8:

New York

Friday, September 9:

Hong Kong

mTrip offers free iPhone travel guides originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Tue, 06 Sep 2011 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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iPhone prototype N94 leaked, possibly to be an iPhone 4S

There are lots of crazy rumors flying around about the new iPhone announcement coming later on this year (or as soon as next month), but this is one of the more credible. The picture above comes from a site called UbreakIfix through our friends at Engadget, and purports to show a prototype for the iPhone called the N94. It's a long story (which you can click through to read yourself), but essentially, the latest rumor says that this device is the latest testing version of what may become an "iPhone 4S," a slightly cheaper version of the iPhone 4 set to be introduced right alongside the iPhone 5.

Of course, these are all still rumors, and Engadget admits the timing isn't quite right on this one -- this is apparently an "Engineering Verification Test" piece from last March, which makes it older than some of the other prototypes that have reportedly leaked out. It's unknown whether this is the real thing or just another test unit.

But the wheels are clearly in motion on a new iPhone. And if the rumors play out as predicted later on next month, we might see not one but two new iPhones available for purchase.

iPhone prototype N94 leaked, possibly to be an iPhone 4S originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Mon, 29 Aug 2011 16:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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How Steve Jobs changed Apple

With news of Steve Jobs's change of roles at Apple sweeping the web, it's worth looking back at how the company changed during his reign as CEO.

Apart from taking Apple from its dismal depths to the most valuable company on Earth, under Jobs's leadership Apple also completely transformed several industries while outright inventing others.

This is what Apple's main products looked like in 1997, before Steve Jobs retook charge of Apple for the first time since leaving in 1985:

Did you own any of these? Chances are pretty good that you didn't. Very few people did. I didn't, although both Mike and Steve claim that they still have Newtons sitting on the shelf. Apple was on its deathbed back then, while Microsoft was unassailably ascendant. Apple was considered at best a niche company for niche users; at worst, it was considered a boondoggle. Michael Dell, CEO of the company that bears his name, famously quipped that Apple should be liquidated and the resulting money given back to the shareholders.

A year later, in 1998, this happened:

Steve Jobs killed the beige boxes and introduced the iMac, the genesis of Apple's new focus on style. The iMac stood out in the crowd in the late 90s, its unmistakable silhouette a stark contrast to the sea of anonymous beige/grey/black boxes of its competition. And in a move that would typify Apple's approach over the coming years, the iMac both introduced new technology and mercilessly pruned away the old -- it was the first mass market computer with USB and the first to ditch the floppy drive. Every Mac made since then can trace some part of its design back to this late-90s progenitor, the product that caught the world's attention and made us all think that maybe Apple was in it for the long haul after all.

Then in 2001, this happened:

Whether you thought it was revolutionary or "lame," over the course of the early- to mid-2000s the iPod went on to utterly dominate the portable music player scene. Ten years after its introduction, the iPod (and its descendants, in the form of the iPhone and iPod touch) has effectively killed both the CD player and the CD itself for a large portion of the music-listening crowd. More so even than the iMac, the iPod turned Apple's fortunes completely around and made the company a force to be reckoned with for the first time since the 80s. A well-known "halo effect" ensued, where users enamored of the iPod's interface, craftsmanship, and ease of use started buying up Macs in large numbers. It's no huge stretch to say that without the iPod, Apple as we know it might not exist today.

Then, in 2007, this happened:

Touchscreen smartphones are everywhere now, to the point that many of us take them for granted. But in 2007, the iPhone knocked the entire phone industry on its ear. Looking like something that came straight out of Captain Kirk's belt, the iPhone proved to be every bit as revolutionary as Apple claimed. Naysayers everywhere predicted the iPhone would be Apple's doom, because the company was now dipping its toe into an established market with industry giants who were all too eager to slap this upstart tech company into the dirt.

The pundits were all wrong; the iPhone has single-handedly transformed the smartphone market from the RIM-dominated days of monochrome, button-laden BlackBerrys into the new world of glass-paneled touchscreens that adapt to our needs rather than requiring us to adapt to theirs. The App Store showed the iPhone's true potential; far more than a phone + iPod + internet navigator, thanks to hundreds of thousands of third-party apps the iPhone could become almost anything to almost anyone.

Then, in 2010, this happened:

In the 1980s, Apple called the Macintosh "the computer for the rest of us." Sadly, it never really lived up to its potential as the computer for the masses -- that mantle fell upon Windows, for better or worse. Less technically-inclined users have always wanted a computer that simply gets out of their way and lets them use it, and that desire is likely a major factor in the iPad's tremendous success thus far. Geeks will obsess over what the iPad doesn't have -- ports, menus, windows, a built-in keyboard, an accessible file system, and so forth -- and just like the iPhone, scores of analysts the world over predicted the iPad would fizzle in the marketplace and prove to be Apple's first big misstep in ten years.

Instead, the iPad has done to the tablet market what the iPod did to the portable music player market: upended it, redefined it, dominated it. People may question whether anyone needs the iPad, particularly if they've never used one before. I know -- I was one of them. But perhaps more than any of the products discussed here, the iPad points the way to the future of computing. Instead of intransigent boxes that get in the way of what we want to do half the time (yes, even Macs), the future of computing is computers as an appliance, far more adaptable to our needs than the traditional PC ever was or ever could be.

This is what Apple's main products look like today:

This is what fourteen years of progress looks like. I can only imagine how things will be in 2025.

Over the course of the coming weeks, we will undoubtedly hear from many sources that Steve Jobs's move from CEO to chairman means the doom of Apple. We've already been hearing that for years. Looking back on how Jobs changed Apple, it's not hard to see why so many pundits might think Apple's success is dependent on having Jobs at the helm -- but Apple's success hasn't been due to a single man. No man builds an empire alone, and the best-built empires live on profitably long after their founding fathers have handed over the reigns to someone else.

Apple is a company composed of thousands of talented and visionary individuals. The iMac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad didn't spring fully-formed from Steve Jobs's forehead. Neither did the MacBook Pro, the MacBook Air, OS X, iLife, iTunes, or the App Store. To view Apple as Santa's workshop and Steve Jobs as Mr. Claus is to miss the point entirely.

No one can predict with certainty what the future holds for Apple now that Steve Jobs has stepped down as CEO. Many will try, no doubt. But history shows the folly of counting Apple out before the match is truly finished -- if you'd told 1997's tech pundits that Apple would be where it is 14 years later, they'd have laughed you out of the room.

All of us at TUAW want to thank Steve Jobs for turning Apple into a company worth writing about, worth getting excited about, and worth making a daily part of our lives. I'm not known for being an optimist most of the time, but I still don't see any of those things changing anytime soon.

How Steve Jobs changed Apple originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Wed, 24 Aug 2011 21:07:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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