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Here's the simple trick to look your best in selfies from your smartphone

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oneplus 3 galaxy s7

Have you ever taken a selfie, looked at it afterward, and thought, That's not even what I look like!

The problem was likely wide-angle distortion, the property of smartphone lenses (and other superwide cameras) that renders their subjects a bit odd-looking and cartoonish.

Fortunately, there's a simple way around the problem if you understand a bit about the optics of these devices.

Here's what you need to know:

SEE ALSO: Billions of people have the same favorite color and number, and scientists don't know why

Here's the thing: Looking like a normal human being in photos is hard.

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And smartphones don't make it easier.



Manufacturers build them with super-wide-angle lenses that can stretch and distort your face in unflattering ways.

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See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Here's why some Hong Kong skyscrapers have gaping holes

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Have you ever realized that Hong Kong skyscrapers have holes in them? They're called dragon gates, and according to the Chinese principle feng shui these holes allow dragons to fly from the mountains to the water each day. It's believed that blocking the dragon's path could bring misfortune. Buildings with bad feng shui, such as the Bank of China Tower, have been blamed for surrounding companies going out of business.

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Here are the 10 places where it's cheaper to raise a family in the city than a suburb

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young family kids

When the time comes to raise a family, most people tend to flee cities for suburbs expecting they'll get more bang for their buck.

But a new report from Care.com and Zillow reveals 10 popular places in the US where it's actually cheaper to live in a metro area's city rather than suburb, thanks to lower housing and childcare costs.

To determine how cost of living compares in the country's 30 largest metros, Care.com and Zillow gathered data on three common living expenses — mortgage payments, property taxes, and childcare costs — for a two-child family living in the median home. Read their full methodology here.

Below, check out the 10 cities where a family can save the most compared with the suburbs. 

SEE ALSO: The 15 US states where young people are moving in, jobs are plentiful, and business is booming

DON'T MISS: The 15 best US states for first-time homebuyers

10. Pittsburgh

How much you save: $4,258

Annual cost of childcare: $16,999

Annual cost of housing: $6,916

Median home square footage: 1,420



9. San Diego

How much you save: $4,555

Annual cost of childcare: $20,036

Annual cost of housing: $27,803

Median home square footage: 1,336



8. Cincinnati

How much you save: $5,514

Annual cost of childcare: $13,759

Annual cost of housing: $12,607

Median home square footage: 1,420



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Starbucks is testing a new technology to solve its crisis of long lines and delays (SBUX)

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Starbucks Melody

Starbucks is hoping that text messages can help alleviate the chaos and long lines in its stores caused by surges in mobile orders.

The coffee chain has started sending text message notifications to customers in the Seattle area when their mobile orders are ready.

The chain is likely hoping that the messages help prevent customers from arriving at stores before their orders are ready, which often leads to crowding around the pickup counters.

Unfortunately for baristas, however, the new system adds a step to their jobs. 

Seattle attorney Melody Overton tested out the new technology for her blog, Starbucks Melody.

Here's how it works, according to Overton:

A customer orders a drink on their smartphone, and gets a time range (for example, between 8-13 minutes) for when it will be ready. 

Meanwhile, at the store, a ticket is printed out for the mobile order that features a barcode.Starbucks Melody

Once a barista is finished making that order, he or she will scan the barcode. That scan will send a text message notification to the customer, letting them know that their order is ready. 

Overton says the technology should help clear drinks from the counter more quickly, which is important because when there's a backlog of mobile orders waiting to be picked up, the pickup counter can get crowded and confusing.

Starbucks is also considering more drastic changes, such as adding more employees and redesigning stores, to fix the problems arising from its mobile ordering system.

In January, Starbucks reported that transactions, an important measure of customer traffic, dropped 2% in the most recent quarter, in part because of problems caused by mobile ordering.

SEE ALSO: Starbucks revealed how it plans to fix its crisis of long lines in stores

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Starbucks is selling this smart mug that lets you control your coffee temperature

Silicon Valley shoppers are paying hundreds of dollars for used Louis Vuitton sneakers

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Silicon Valley, land of hoodies and startup tees, isn't known for its dazzling fashion. But a leather high-top sneaker from Louis Vitton, which retailed for $745 before it went out of production, has captured the hearts and wallets of Startupland, according to a new report from Bloomberg.

The Louis Vitton Damier high-top sneaker is the top-selling item among online shoppers in San Francisco and Silicon Valley on The RealReal, an online luxury consignment shop, Bloomberg reports. The shoe is available in a variety of styles and fetches around $500 in good condition.

As Bloomberg notes, the checkered-patterned sneaker is the "opposite of understatement." Like the love child of a vintage pair of trainers and Vans shoes, it appears youthful and chic.

We found versions of the shoe sold on The RealReal in the range of $275 to $525It's unclear how many units have sold on the site and how its sales fared compared to similar items.

The sneaker has undergone a sort of "fashion baptism," as the New York Times reported in 2014. As dress codes go lax and designers turn their attention to the "athleisure" market, men and women have more stylish, workplace-appropriate options than ever — high-tops included.

In 2016, Wool Runners from San Francisco startup Allbirds became the must-have sneaker in Silicon ValleyCalled the "world's most comfortable shoe" by venture capitalists, startup founders, and the company itself, the shoes are made from wool and retail for $95.

If you spot the Louis Vitton Damier in the wild, shoot us an email with a photo. 

SEE ALSO: People are claiming that the wool sneakers Silicon Valley is obsessed with may fall apart after repeated wear

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here's how a sneaker collector made 6 figures buying and reselling rare and limited release kicks

Here's the surprising reason highways have those concrete walls alongside them

15 expensive steakhouses that are actually worth the price

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Manny's Steakhouse, Minneapolis

Carnivores: make your next splurge worthwhile.

Here is a list of the most expensive but best-rated steakhouses across the US. Some of these restaurants have been around for decades, while others are new to the game, but all are known for their high-end steaks and impeccable service. 

You'll need to spend some serious cash, but it will be worth it. 

The list is based on data taken from Foursquare City Guide, which took into account the restaurants' prices as well as the app's users' likes, saves, tip sentiment, and its "proprietary hotness score."

From coast to coast, take a look at some of the country's best places to eat steak:

SEE ALSO: These are the most extravagant hotel amenities money can buy

15. Bourbon Steak (Washington, DC)

Location: Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC, 2800 Pennsylvania Ave NW

Rating: 8.95

Details: Award-winning chef Michael Mina has five steakhouses across the US, but Bourbon is regarded as one of the best places to get a steak in DC. Mina's juicy steaks are slow-poached in butter and cooked over a wood-burning grill.

 



14. Bull & Bear (Orlando, Florida)

Location: 14100 Bonnet Creek Resort Lane, Orlando

Rating: 8.97

Details: This Waldorf Astoria steakhouse is known for its amazing service and even better steak. The menu is straightforward, and each cut of beef comes with a choice of five different sauces. Those who aren't in the mood for steak should try the fried chicken, described by one reviewer as "the best fried chicken you will have in your life."



13. Smith & Wollensky (Miami Beach, Florida)

Location: 1 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach

Rating: 9.01

Details: This is the place to go for a surf-and-turf power lunch. Located right on the waterfront at the southernmost tip of South Beach, Smith & Wollensky is a favorite of locals, tourists, and businessmen. They have an extensive cocktail list.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

17 jokes that only smart people will really appreciate

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silicon valley

There's a special glee that comes from getting a really nerdy joke.

You feel both smart and dorky at the same time.

Redditors took turns sharing their best intellectual jokes, and we've gathered our favorites here.

From chemistry to art to music, these are the jokes you can pull out at your next dinner party — if you want to hear a bemused groan from the crowd.

Time to test your knowledge, though don't worry, there's an explanation if you don't get it.

Here are 17 of the best jokes for smart people: 

Dylan Love contributed to an earlier version of this post.

A photon is going through airport security. The TSA agent asks if he has any luggage. The photon says, "No, I'm traveling light."

It's funny because: "Traveling light" is a turn of phrase used to indicate traveling without much (or any) luggage. In science, a photon is a particle of light (almost always moving).

It's on this list because: Air travel!



Pretentious? Moi?

It's funny because: Only a pretentious person whose daily life doesn't require French would actually say "moi" and mean it.

It's in this list because: Clocking in at two words, it's the shortest joke in the English language.



A logician's wife is having a baby. The doctor immediately hands the newborn to the dad. The wife says, "Is it a boy or a girl?" The logician says, "Yes."

It's funny because: Processing that question through Boolean logic, "yes" is technically correct. How would you answer if the question were "Is it a boy AND a girl?"

It's on this list because: Logicians don't get enough love.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

We went to 'Avocado Con,' where you can try avocado ice cream, pizza, and cupcakes

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avocado con san francisco 2882

Avocados have a special place in America's hearts and stomachs.

The country's appetite for the rich, buttery fruit (yes, avocado is a fruit) has nearly quadrupled since 2000, according to data from the Hass Avocado Board. Americans consume about 4.25 billion avocados every year, despite shortages sending prices sky-high at grocery stores.

On March 19, San Franciscans gathered for the Bay Area's first ever Avocado Con, a celebration of all things avocado. Take a look.

SEE ALSO: Silicon Valley's favorite diet has techies eating lots of fat

California is the avocado-growing and eating capital of America. Thousands turned up for the sold-out Avocado Con, which featured 15 food trucks peddling avocado-infused foods.

Source: Washington Post



Every vendor sold an item — either one already on the menu or an original creation for the event — that included sliced, diced, scooped, or mashed-up avocado. It cost $5 to attend.



Like any fan convention, many attendees dressed for the theme.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Sheryl Sandberg's new book about the death of her husband comes out next month

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Sheryl Sandberg

Back in May 2015, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg lost her husband, Dave Goldberg, after he suffered a cardiac arrhythmia while on vacation in Mexico.

Nearly two years later, Sandberg announced on Tuesday the release of her new book, "Option B," which centers around her personal journey since her husband's death and other stories of people "who have braved many different kinds of adversity."

The book is available for preorder now ahead of its April 24 release date.

"It’s my deepest hope that Option B will help others learn what I learned: that when life pulls you under, you can kick against the bottom, break the surface, and breathe again," Sandberg wrote in a Facebook post.

"Option B" is co-authored by bestselling author and Wharton professor Adam Grant. Sandberg first announced that she was working on a new book during the summer of 2016.

"Option B" follows Sandberg's bestselling "Lean In" book about women in the workplace, which was published in 2013. Sandberg also leads a nonprofit called Lean In that's dedicated to empowering "women to achieve their ambitions."

You can read the full story behind Sandberg's new book on her Facebook page.

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SEE ALSO: Sheryl Sandberg donates $1 million to Planned Parenthood

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Animated map shows the gender pay gap in every state

Why the most popular map of the world is totally misleading

The 25 most popular travel destinations in the US

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If you're planning a vacation and need some inspiration, look no further. 

Travel planning and booking site TripAdvisor just announced the results of its 2017 Travelers' Choice awards for destinationsBased on millions of user reviews of hotels, restaurants, and attractions gathered over a 12-month period, it has selected the top 25 destinations to visit in the US right now.

New York City was voted the No. 1 destination in the US for the seventh year running. Hawaii comes in close behind, with destinations that take second, third, and fourth place. 

From the rugged coastline of Mount Desert Island in Maine to the neon lights of Las Vegas, there's something for everyone on the list:

SEE ALSO: Here's how far $2,500 will get you in 10 of the most popular vacation destinations

25. Aspen, Colorado



24. Miami Beach, Florida



23. Napa, California



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

19 awesome tennis clubs that all serious players should visit

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international tennis hall of fame

If you love the game where love is a score, then add these courts across the US to your bucket list.

From historic indoor courts in New York to Hawaii's best seaside spots, these will keep you on your toes. We've included all kinds of options, from public spaces to championship grounds to the top resorts for state-of-the-art facilities and beautiful surroundings.

Whether you're just learning to serve or you've already perfected your backhand, you'll want to pay these courts a visit.

Raisa Bruner contributed reporting to an earlier version of this article.

SEE ALSO: The 25 most popular travel destinations in the US

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

Location:Kamuela, Hawaii

Facilities: 11 seaside hard courts

Details: Hotel guests at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel or nearby Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel can take advantage of stunning outdoor tennis courts overlooking the bay. There are lessons available as well. 



Vanderbilt Tennis and Fitness Club

Location:New York, New York

Facilities: 1 indoor court

Details: Deep within Manhattan's Grand Central Station lies an unexpected treasure: a tennis court. It's open to the public, but it will cost you up to $250 an hour.



All Iowa Lawn Tennis Club

Location:Charles City, Iowa

Facilities: 1 grass court

Details: Situated on a former corn farm with windmills and fields on the horizon, the grass court makes for a unique experience. The All Iowa Lawn Tennis Club is a fairly new addition to the pack, built in 2003 and made to emulate Wimbledon's Centre Court. A bonus: it's free — you just need to email in your reservation.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

These are the watches worn by some of the most powerful men in finance

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Since it was invented over 200 years ago, the wristwatch has been an integral component of men's fashion.

In addition to their practical functionality of telling time, a watch serves as a collectible piece of art that communicates the personality and style of its wearer.

With the help of Crown and Caliber, an Atlanta-based preowned-luxury watch marketplace, we've put together a list and commentary about the wristwatches worn by some of the most powerful men in the financial services industry.

Join the conversation about this story »

Science-backed reasons for why dating your best friend is a good idea

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Would you consider the person you're dating a best friend? If not, then you might be missing out. Studies indicate couples who consider one another best friends have an overall more fulfilling relationship. 

 

Follow Tech Insider: On Facebook

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22 clothing items every man should own before he turns 30

America has plummeted in a key world ranking and economists say a 'social crisis' is to blame

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airport protest

All things considered, Americans are a fairly happy lot, ranking 14th out of 156 countries in a UN-commissioned report on the world's happiest countries.

But that's changing fast.

In the past decade, the US has fallen 16 places on the list, one of the biggest drops in the world.

Interestingly, this nosedive toward misery is happening while Americans' per capita GDP is on the rise. This is a stark departure from most of the countries on the list, where having money appears to play a pretty significant role in determining happiness.

So what's driving Americans away from optimism?

According to Jeffrey D. Sachs, one of the authors of the report and a special advisor to the United Nations Secretary General, there are four main problems currently plaguing Americans, all of which he says relate intrinsically to health:

  • Isolation— Americans are exhibiting less "pro-social" behavior like helping strangers
  • Distrust— We're increasingly wearing of one anothers' motives
  • Corruption— Americans increasingly see governments and businesses as corrupt
  • Rising inequality— The gap between rich and poor is widening

In other words, "America's crisis is, in short, a social crisis, not an economic crisis," Sachs writes.

The importance of the Lost Letter Experiment

Unfortunately, Sachs says, the vast majority of US policymakers have focused on economic fixes to these problems, such as raising the rates of economic growth. Instead, we may need to look at solutions that are more sociological in nature — like making sure people have support networks that encourage them to help others.

In an experiment done to gauge how helpful strangers were toward one another, sociologists in the US and Canada scattered more than 7,000 stamped and addressed envelopes in public urban areas like sidewalks, shopping malls, and phone booths between 2001 and 2011 to see whether people who found them would pick them up and put them in a mailbox. The results of this "Lost Letter Experiment" suggested that during that 10-year period, Americans' helping behavior declined sharply. Amongst Canadians, it rose.

To Sachs, this decline of what he calls "pro-social behavior" is just one indicator of a much larger picture of social collapse in America driven mainly by economic inequality. At the same time, mortality rates amongst middle-aged white Americans are rising, and those deaths have tended to be the result of drug overdose, alcohol poisoning (and diseases related to alcoholism), and suicide.

"What makes the United States case so disturbing and revealing is that it is clearly a social crisis as much as a health crisis," Sachs writes.

SEE ALSO: The 21 happiest countries in the world

DON'T MISS: Psychologists tracked 28,000 people's moods and what they did when they were the happiest surprised them

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The simplest way to get — and stay — happy, according to psychologists

The cost of living in San Francisco is so high, a tech company is paying workers $10,000 to leave

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san francisco housing

In San Francisco, the rent — as they say — "is too damn high."

In an effort to help employees avoid the high cost of living, a small tech company will pay new hires $10,000 to move out of the Bay Area and work remotely.

In a blog post published March 17, Zapier CEO Wade Foster announced an experimental "de-location" incentive program that will reimburse moving expenses up to $10,000 if a person accepts a position at the startup and moves out of the Bay Area in the first three months.

"Some of us fall in love with the area and are financially able to make this home. But for the rest of us, it can be a real challenge to turn the Bay Area into a life-long home rather than a short stop somewhere in our twenties and thirties," Foster wrote.

zapier de-location

Zapier, which creates products for automating tasks across apps, is currently hiring freelance writers, engineers, product managers, and other admin roles. Foster told The San Francisco Chronicle it received a lot of interest in the deal since the blog post went up.

The company may broaden the program to support workers looking to leave other pricey cities.

Zapier already has a "100% remote team." There are no offices, and the three cofounders all work from home. In his blog post, Foster says the company wants to support people's personal growth, as well as their career goals. Sometimes, that takes employees outside the tech hub.

The Bay Area is one of the most competitive rental markets in the US. In San Francisco, the median rent tops $4,200 a month, according to real estate site Trulia. One analysis suggests mid- to senior-level engineers at companies like Google, Uber, Airbnb, and Twitter can expect to pay between 40% and 50% of their salary renting an apartment near work.

Millennials, who make up roughly 30% of the San Francisco population, are driving prices sky high. 

Zapier's answer to the red-hot housing market? Let someone else battle it out.

SEE ALSO: Millennials are paying thousands of dollars a month for maid service and instant friends in modern 'hacker houses'

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Only in San Francisco — inside the 232-square-foot micro apartment that sold for nearly $425,000

Obama has great taste in restaurants — here are some of the best places he has eaten at in New York City

A former investment banker turned 'She-E-O' launched a 'period underwear' startup — now the company is embroiled in an alleged sexual harassment disaster

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Miki Agrawal Thinx 1515

Miki Agrawal cofounded Thinx, an underwear start-up meant to replace feminine hygiene products, in 2011. 

But according to recent reports in Racked and New York Magazine, Agrawal has stepped down from her role as CEO of the company amid allegations that she behaved inappropriately with her employees and created a workplace culture that ran counter to the startup's feminist marketing. 

One former employee, Chelsea Leibow, has filed a complaint with the City of New York Commission on Human Rights, alleging that Agrawal "touched an employee’s breasts and asked her to expose them, routinely changed clothes in front of employees, and conducted meetings via videoconference while in bed, apparently unclothed," according to New York Magazine.

The complaint also names the company's chief financial and chief operating officers.

In a statement to Business Insider, Thinx highlighted that the company had not been served with any official complaint or charge: 

"Miki Agrawal is no longer CEO, and we are working to put new leadership and policies in place so we can continue to grow and thrive. To support this effort, we have hired an executive search firm to assist in the recruitment of a new CEO. We are also hiring a human resources executive and, in the interim, have engaged a human resources professional who is working in our offices to support our progress.

Related to Ms. Leibow’s allegations, THINX has not been served with a legal complaint or charge from any agency. When the issues were brought to our attention following Ms. Leibow's departure from THINX, the company commissioned an investigation that concluded the allegations had no legal merit. The company cannot comment further on these legal matters."

In a self-published post on Medium, Agrawal denied the allegations: 

"The company commissioned a third party employment law firm to conduct extensive diligence on each allegation and they all came back false and without any merit. Thank you for the thousands of wonderful messages of support during this strange time, each one has meant a lot. To be crystal clear, I know I’m passionate and oft unruly in my ways (as a taboo breaker must be), but I have never, ever crossed the line in the inflammatory ways described. This is all I am going to say on this matter."

The complaint also alleges that Agrawal discussed other topics that reportedly made employees uncomfortable, such as the size and shape of coworkers' breasts and her own sexual experiences. Agrawal told New York Magazine that the sexual-harassment claims were "baseless" and had "absolutely no merit." Leibow was fired from Thinx in December, reportedly after several months of complaining about Agrawal's actions in the office. 

"I can recall multiple occasions when I tried to be honest about salaries or employment policies," Leibow said to New York Magazine. Agrawal "would stew, treat you like s---, then pick a moment to blow up and tell you how ungrateful you are and how you should be thanking her for the opportunity, how dare you."

According to Racked, 10 of the company's 35 employees have left since January. The articles in both Racked and New York Magazine also say that the startup does not have a formal HR department and offers comparatively low pay and expensive health insurance to its employees (a $200 per month premium as the cheapest option). Employees claim that the company offered a parental leave policy of two weeks of full pay for the birthing parent, plus one week at half pay. The non-birthing parent would receive one week of full pay and one week of half pay. 

"I remember one of my coworkers started crying," one source told Racked. "She said, you know, 'I love working here. I love working for women. But it hurts to know that I'm giving my whole life to Thinx basically, like I work all the time, but I can't even afford birth control. And what does that mean if we're at a feminist company and I can't afford to keep myself safe and protected?'"

Shortly after word got out that Agrawal would be stepping down from her role at Thinx (as well as Icon, a "pee-proof" underwear company she cofounded) she told staff that she would stay on as the company's "SHE-E-O," a title that she often uses to describe herself, Racked reported. Thinx's board of directors is reportedly looking for a "professional CEO" to take Agrawal's place.

In the Medium post, Agrawal responded to the Racked article, explaining why the company didn't have set policies in place for things like maternity leave and benefits:

"I didn't take time to think through it. We grew so quickly and I didn't hire an HR person (it was hard to rationalize hiring an HR person at the time with only 15 employees and then all of a sudden we were 30 people) ... All of a sudden, health insurance, vacation days, benefits and maternity leave were brought up (at the time we didn’t have any pregnant women on the team unlike now where we have 3, including me! :-)) and when you're a start-up and you’re growing and moving so fast (remember, we’ve only really hit this crazy growth period 18 months ago), to sit down and get an HR person and think about those things were left to the bottom of the pile of things to get done."

SEE ALSO: Under Armour made some huge mistakes that are turning into a nightmare

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: A serial entrepreneur reveals her 3 key steps for success​

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