Technology StocksDriverless autos, trucks, taxis etc.

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To: Sam who wrote (101)7/22/2017 12:16:08 PM
From: Kirk ©
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Just hope your car doesn't decide you are a scumbag and deserve to be dead...
SkyNet is coming. For better or worse.
I still haven't heard much discussion in the press or forums about how does a self driving car decide between two death options... run over "something" in the road, perhaps a child who ran out between two parked cars after a ball or drive off a cliff or into a tree?

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From: Sam7/25/2017 4:29:23 AM
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Lyft exec: Even with self-driving cars, 'we will always need drivers'
  • "We will always need drivers," Raj Kapoor, chief strategy officer at Lyft, told CNBC.
  • When autonomous vehicle saturation peaks, U.S. drivers could see job losses at a rate of 25,000 a month, or 300,000 a year, according to a report from Goldman Sachs Economics Research.
Anita Balakrishnan | @MsABalakrishnan
16 Hours Ago

Ride-sharing company Lyft has announced plans to move deeper into self-driving technology — but that does not put the company at odds with its fleet of drivers, according to one top executive.

"We will always need drivers," Raj Kapoor, chief strategy officer at Lyft, told CNBC's " Squawk Box" on Monday. He also said that Lyft's big driver network is an advantage over other companies such as Tesla who are also working on self driving cars.

"What the consumer cares about the most is having a reliable experience, in addition to safety and that means that when I open up the app, I know that there's a car there in a couple minutes," Kapoor said. "For that kind of ubiquity, you need to have human drivers. We have over 700,000 drivers now. That's something that any other company would have to replicate instantly."

more text and video interview at

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From: Sam8/3/2017 6:39:02 AM
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This is basically saying that combining AI and mobility is potentially useful for a lot of different things.

Apple’s Tim Cook teases autonomous tech for non-car gadgets
Brittany A. Roston - Aug 1, 2017

Apple is, by all accounts, developing autonomous technology for cars, but what about other gadgets? Many items could potentially benefit from such technology, not the least of which are home appliances that need to navigate around the house without aid: a smart vacuum, perhaps, or maybe even a personal robot if we’re to look far enough into the future. Could that autonomous system one day come from Apple itself? Perhaps.

The speculation arises from a simple statement made by Tim Cook during the company’s call with investors earlier today. What did he say? That autonomous systems ‘can be used in a variety of ways. A vehicle is only one, but there are many different areas of it.’ In a perfect world he would have elaborated on what he meant, but he didn’t. Instead he said, ‘And I don’t want to go any further with that.’

Such was enough to set the Internet abuzz with chatter, and not without good reason. Sources have been saying for years that Apple is working on some type of self-driving car, with confirmation coming this summer that reveals the company is focusing specifically on an autonomous car platform.

The autonomous system was confirmed by Apple CEO Tim Cook himself this past June, though he remained quiet about the company’s plans for such technology. During a recent interview with Bloomberg, when asked whether Apple was going to sell its tech to other companies or make its own vehicle, Cook said, ‘We’ll see where it takes us. [Apple isn’t] really saying from a product point of view what we will do.’

Though the focus has largely been on self-driving cars, Cook’s latest comments have stirred up speculation that Apple’s autonomous technology efforts may expand beyond vehicles. While it is fun to image that Apple has plans to bring autonomous tech to consumers, it is just as possible that the company could be considering applications at the commercial level — things ranging from self-piloting drones to warehouse robots or smart factory machinery. It’s anyone’s guess at this point.

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From: Sam8/3/2017 6:47:56 AM
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Autonomous car levels: the steps to your car driving itself explained
17 Feb, 2017 11:00am Dean Gibson

If car makers are to be believed, autonomous cars are the next big technology - here we explain the levels of autonomy on offer Car makers are forging ahead with increased autonomy for their new cars. Firms are embracing the idea of handing control of a vehicle over to the electronics on board, and believe that one day cars will be able to drive themselves to a pre-set destination without any driver input.

While manufacturers are rushing to develop this technology, many car buyers are yet to be convinced. However, it's easy to forget that all cars come with some sort of autonomy as standard. The electric starter motor eliminated the need for a hand crank on the front of cars, while engine electronics control the fuel/air mixture going into a combustion chamber, rather than a choke.

More significant is handy tech such as auto lights and wipers, while cruise control comes as standard on a number of new cars these days. The next level of cruise control is adaptive cruise, and this is one of the first steps towards true autonomous driving. Other tech such as lane keeping, traffic jam assist and road sign recognition are all part and parcel of autonomous car technology, while car makers believe that a fully autonomous car will be on sale within the next decade.

Of course, before this can happen, the technology needs to develop to a stage where it can be left to its own devices, without any input from occupants to control the vehicle. To help realise the autonomous car dream, a scale has been developed explaining are different levels of vehicle autonomy.

The US is at the forefront of much of this technology, with firms such as Google, Ford and Tesla pioneering the tech, while many other companies are developing their autonomous cars in the States. As a result, the American vehicle safety board the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has set out guidelines for autonomous driving, splitting the different stages of autonomy into five levels.

Car makers are now using these levels to describe the amount of autonomy offered by their assorted concepts, so here we explain what these five levels of autonomy mean...

Autonomous car levels explained
Level 0: No autonomy

It may seem obvious, but Level 0 autonomy covers all conventional cars, where the steering, throttle and brakes are all controlled by the driver. This also includes cars that feature electronic assistance devices such as forward collision warning, lane departure warning, parking sensors and blind spot monitoring, as these systems are passive and still require input from the driver to make a change in the car's direction of travel.

Level 0 also covers useful kit such as auto lights and wipers, and even indicators, as they all require input from the driver to turn them on and off. Even though this is an obvious category to be classified, it's the base level from which all autonomous technology in the following categories is measured from.

Level 1: Function-specific autonomy
Examples: Adaptive cruise control, ESP

Level 1 autonomy covers most of the electronic driver aids that are available on new cars today. This includes adaptive cruise control, emergency brake assist and even electronic stability control. The classification of Level 1 autonomy is electronic assistance that still requires the driver to have main control of the vehicle, the key point being that control of either the steering or the throttle is still the job of the driver at all times.

In addition, the electronic assistance systems work independently from each other. This means that a car fitted with adaptive cruise control and active lane keeping has one set of sensors that adjusts the speed of the vehicle according to what's ahead, while a secondary set of sensors and electronics detect and steer the vehicle if the vehicle is leaving its lane. In essence, if the cruise control detects slow-moving traffic ahead of it, then the lane keeping cannot make the car change lanes in correspondence, because the different sets of sensors aren't working together.

Self-parking is another form of Level 1 autonomy, because the driver operates the throttle while the car steers - it still requires the driver to stop and start to prevent a collision with the vehicle's surroundings.

Level 2: Combined function autonomy
Examples: Tesla Autopilot, Volvo Pilot Assist

Manufacturers have got as far as offering Level 2 autonomy on production cars. The NHTSA classifies Level 2 autonomy as technology that can take control of the vehicle in specific situations, but the driver is still expected to pay attention to the road and be able to take over control with little or no notice. The combined function of at least two pieces of technology (throttle and steering, for example) are responsible for keeping the vehicle moving, and they work together to maintain control.

The leading pioneer of this technology is Tesla, with its Autopilot system. While the Autopilot name suggests the system can take complete control of the car, the reality is that the driver still needs to pay attention to the road, and Tesla ensures this happens by giving multiple warnings and confirmation buttons to press before autonomous control is handed over to the car.

BMW's latest Remote Control Parking is a form of Level 2 combined function autonomy. This technology debuted on the latest 7 Series, and allows the driver to automatically park the car from outside using the remote control keyfob. It allows the driver to start the car, put it in gear and move it into or out of a parking space from outside the car. The parking sensors prevent the car from colliding with obstacles, and the only control the driver has from outside the car is of the throttle.

While these systems are very advanced, they do have their shortcomings. They rely on a suite of advanced sensors that 'read' the road ahead, including road markings, speed limits and other vehicles, but they are only as good as the things that they can 'see'. Human eyes are better at defining lane markings if they have deteriorated, while most of these systems become ineffective in bad weather, such as snow or heavy rain, as their sensors become covered.

Level 3: Limited self-driving autonomy
Examples: Audi A7 piloted driving concept

The next step that many car makers are embracing in prototype form is Level 3 autonomy. This hands most driving duties over to the car's electronics, but the driver will still need to take over in certain situations. However, this level of self-driving should give the driver enough advance warning that they need to take over that no critical situations should arise.

At Level 3, the electronics control the throttle, brakes and steering, and can perform lane changes and even negotiate stop-start traffic. Again, this type of autonomy currently works best on motorways due to the lack of pedestrians, parked cars and other smaller hazards, and manufacturers are concentrating on refining this technology before taking the next step of it being able to work on surface roads.

An early example of this is Audi's piloted driving concept, which we've tried in an A7 Sportback. This allows the driver to take their hands off the steering wheel for prolonged periods, and the car manages speed and steering for the whole time. Like Level 2 autonomy, the system has shortcomings in terms of bad weather, but the system will offer plenty of warning if a driving situation is beyond the abilities of the electronics.

Level 4: Fully self-driving autonomy
Examples: Google car, Volvo Drive Me

The top level of autonomous driving is Level 4. The description the NHTSA has for fully self-driving autonomy is far briefer than it is for any other level, as the car's electronics perform all driving functions and monitors the road for the entire trip. Essentially all the occupants have to do is program a destination, and the autonomous vehicle will do the rest.

While a 'driver' is described in the NHTSA's brief, in some states in the US this is considered to be the person who has activated the autonomous technology, even if they're not physically in the car. So far no manufacturer has put an unmanned autonomous vehicle on the road, and all autonomous cars have the full set of driving controls for a person to take over driving at any time. In time, manufacturers believe that a fully autonomous vehicle will do away with a steering wheel and pedals completely, but that won't happen for a few years yet.

While moving through the levels is simple enough, the step to Level 4 autonomy is possibly the biggest of all, as the software will need to be capable of reading and interpreting its surroundings as quickly as the human brain, and it will need to be able to tell the difference between a variety of obstacles and situations.

Governments will need to ensure clear markings help autonomous cars negotiate all kinds of road, while the electronics will need to be able to operate in all weather conditions. Autonomous cars also need to be able to share road space with manually operated cars, which are likely to contribute a random factor that the electronics will need to be able to cope with. As a result, while manufacturers are singing the praises of fully autonomous cars, they're still a few years away from hitting showrooms.

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From: Sam8/4/2017 11:09:00 PM
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In a self-driving car, a four-hour trip could generate more than 14 terabytes of data. But where does all of this data reside? Not all of it will be preserved, and what needs to be stored long-term will eventually be uploaded to cloud storage. Nonetheless, data will have to reside in a local memory.

NAND Flashes Its Storage Superiority in Automotive Designs

Systems like ADAS and infotainment are profoundly changing the automotive industry. However, they demand massive amounts of data processing and storage, which is where NAND steps in.

Maurizio Di Paolo Emilio | Jul 20, 2017

Download this article in PDF format.

Rapid-fire advances in high-reliability infotainment systems, advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), and autonomous cars are drastically altering the requirements of on-board storage. Many of these applications generate a high volume of data, which has engineers focusing more intently on coming up with efficient storage strategies.

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From: Sam8/6/2017 7:38:08 AM
1 Recommendation   of 283
Low-Quality Lidar Will Keep Self-Driving Cars in the Slow Lane
For now, cheap laser sensors may not offer the standard of data required for driving at highway speeds.
by Jamie Condliffe July 27, 2017

The race to build mass-market autonomous cars is creating big demand for laser sensors that help vehicles map their surroundings. But cheaper versions of the hardware currently used in experimental self-driving vehicles may not deliver the quality of data required for driving at highway speeds.

Most driverless cars make use of lidar sensors, which bounce laser beams off nearby objects to create 3-D maps of their surroundings. Lidar can provide better-quality data than radar and is superior to optical cameras because it is unaffected by variations in ambient light. You’ve probably seen the best-known example of a lidar sensor, produced by market leader Velodyne. It looks like a spinning coffee can perched atop cars developed by the likes of Waymo and Uber.

But not all lidar sensors are created equal. Velodyne, for example, has a range of offerings. Its high-end model is an $80,000 behemoth called HDL-64E—this is the one that looks a lot like a coffee can. It spits 64 laser beams, one atop the other. Each beam is separated by an angle of 0.4° (smaller angles between beams equal higher resolution), with a range of 120 meters. At the other end the firm sells the smaller Puck for $8,000. This sensor uses 16 beams of light, each separated by 2.0°, and has a range of 100 meters.

To see what those numbers mean, look at the videos below. It shows raw data from the HDL-64E at the top, and the Puck at the bottom. The expensive sensor’s 64 horizontal lines render the scene in detail, while the image produced by its cheaper sibling makes it harder to spot objects until they’re much closer to the car. While both sensors nominally have a similar range, the lower resolution of the Puck makes it less useful for obstacles until they are much closer to the vehicle.

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From: Sam8/14/2017 7:30:39 AM
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I never thought about Tower as a play on driverless autos, but maybe it is.

TowerJazz Announces DENSO Corporation utilized its Advanced 0.18um SiGe Technology to Develop a 24GHz Rear and Side Radar Sensor

GlobeNewswireAugust 14, 2017

TowerJazz, the global specialty foundry leader, announced today that its 0.18um advanced SiGe technology was used to develop a 24-GHz rear and side radar sensor for DENSO Corporation, a leading supplier of advanced automotive technology, systems and components for major automakers. This sensor, using TowerJazz’s submillimeter-wave technology, is used in the Toyota Camry that was released in North America in July and it will help enhance the vehicle safety system.

DENSO’s rear and side radar sensor system offers SRR (short range radar), enabled by TowerJazz’s advanced SiGe process, which helps alert the driver of vehicles approaching from behind when changing lanes and when reversing. It also helps perform automatic braking when reversing. According to Global Market Insights, the global automotive radar market size is estimated to exceed $5 billion by 2023. The advent of self-driven cars is anticipated to drive industry growth over the forecast period.

DENSO chose TowerJazz’s SBC18 process as this technology combines high-performance SiGe transistors for the transmission and reception of the radar signal together with 0.18um CMOS for the integration of digital control functions on a single chip. TowerJazz’s accurate models for first time success and automotive quality certification were also important factors in the decision.

“TowerJazz’s leading SiGe technology enabled us to create the collision avoidance system which is our flagship offering,” said Mr. Kazuma Natsume, Director, Advanced Safety Engineering Division 2, DENSO Corporation. “TowerJazz’s advanced process enabled the engineers to fully achieve the challenging specs required for next generation short range radar (SRR) for automotive applications. This solution allows DENSO to be a world leader in supplying collision avoidance systems for automotive safety.”

“We are very pleased and proud that our technologies enabled a partnership with DENSO providing a differentiated solution for vehicle safety system enhancement,” said Mr. Russell Ellwanger, Chief Executive Officer, TowerJazz. “We look forward to grow the partnership and the relationship with DENSO with this technology entering volume production and fanning out to multiple automobile models.”

About TowerJazz
Tower Semiconductor Ltd. ( TSEM) ( TSEM) and its subsidiaries operate collectively under the brand name TowerJazz, the global specialty foundry leader. TowerJazz manufactures next-generation integrated circuits (ICs) in growing markets such as consumer, industrial, automotive, medical and aerospace and defense. TowerJazz’s advanced technology is comprised of a broad range of customizable process platforms such as: SiGe, BiCMOS, mixed-signal/CMOS, RF CMOS, CMOS image sensor, integrated power management (BCD and 700V), and MEMS. TowerJazz also provides world-class design enablement for a quick and accurate design cycle as well as Transfer Optimization and development Process Services (TOPS) to IDMs and fabless companies that need to expand capacity. To provide multi-fab sourcing and extended capacity for its customers, TowerJazz operates two manufacturing facilities in Israel (150mm and 200mm), two in the U.S. (200mm) and three facilities in Japan (two 200mm and one 300mm). For more information, please visit .

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To: Sam who wrote (115)8/14/2017 7:51:54 AM
From: Sam
   of 283
TowerJazz to Provide Advanced RF and High Performance Analog Solutions for the Fast Growing Automotive Analog Device Markets
GlobeNewswireAugust 9, 2017

Offers leading technology for the complex requirements of ADAS and autonomous driving in the wireless connectivity and automotive radar markets

Market of automotive semiconductor content dominated by analog with 69% share

TowerJazz, the global specialty foundry leader, today announced its advanced analog specialty RF and high-performance analog (HPA) manufacturing processes, addressing the increasing demand for analog semiconductor content in the fast-growing automotive market, especially ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems) and autonomous driving. TowerJazz is serving this market through best-in-class RF and HPA technology solutions developed through close partnerships and roadmap alignment with market leaders and world-class global customer support.

RF for automotive falls into two broad categories: wireless connectivity and automotive radar, with automotive radar having the largest share of today’s RF semiconductor content. Automotive radar systems have become a relatively standard feature in today’s premium and mid-range automobiles for performing safety and driver assistance tasks such as forward collision avoidance/warning, lane departure warnings, blind spot detection, and parking assist. Wireless connectivity semiconductor content is expected to grow rapidly as well with the number of connected cars quadrupling over the next five years.

According to a new market research report by MarketsandMarkets, the automotive semiconductor market is expected to increase from $35B in 2016 to over $48B by 2022. The increasing demand for automobiles coupled with the overall trend of vehicle electrification is driving the growth of this market. Automotive semiconductor content remains dominated by analog with a 69% share of the total market, with RF semiconductor content expected to grow over the coming years with a double-digit CAGR.

With increasing adoption of ADAS -- and eventual migration to fully autonomous vehicles -- as many as seven to twelve radar systems may be incorporated into each car. Furthermore, increasing adoption of GPS, 4G-LTE (transitioning soon to 5G) and V2X (vehicle-to-everything) communications will augment the RF semiconductor content in vehicles further expanding the RF semiconductor market for automobiles beyond $1.8B by 2021 with a brisk CAGR of > 14% (according to a 2016 MarketsandMarkets report on the ADAS market and company estimates).

Because of the high performance needed at high frequencies for automotive radar systems (24-26GHz for short-range and 76-81GHz for long range), the TowerJazz SiGe Terabit Platform is ideally suited to serve this exciting and growing market. TowerJazz’s SBC18H2 through SBC18H5 SiGe technologies offer Ft of 240-300GHz and Fmax of 280-340GHz, providing customers latitude to optimize speed and noise requirements for their specific applications. TowerJazz’s SiGe Terabit Platform comes with two CMOS options: 1.8V/3.3V (180nm) and 1.2V/3.3V (130nm).

All of TowerJazz’s SiGe technologies offer customizable metallization schemes and high-performance passives (MIM capacitors and inductors) to tailor the offering to each customer’s specific end-application. For more cost-sensitive applications, TowerJazz also offers a complete 65nm RFCMOS technology platform in its Uozu, Japan factory. For wireless connectivity solutions, TowerJazz offers a front-end module-on-a-chip RF platform in addition to advanced RFSOI and RFCMOS technology offerings with best-in-class Ron-Coff for switches and noise figures for low-noise amplifiers.

“In the last several years we have established ourselves as the leading provider of technology solutions that enable higher data rates in handsets, data centers, and networks. As we look forward, we see the proliferation of IoT devices, the advent of 5G cellular service and the promise of autonomous vehicles augmenting our RF business with additional exciting opportunities for growth and we are investing heavily in technologies that provide our customers a strong advantage in these new areas,” said Dr. Marco Racanelli, Senior Vice President & General Manager of RF/High Performance Analog Business Group, TowerJazz.

About TowerJazz
Tower Semiconductor Ltd. ( TSEM) ( TSEM) and its subsidiaries operate collectively under the brand name TowerJazz, the global specialty foundry leader. TowerJazz manufactures next-generation integrated circuits (ICs) in growing markets such as consumer, industrial, automotive, medical and aerospace and defense. TowerJazz’s advanced technology is comprised of a broad range of customizable process platforms such as: SiGe, BiCMOS, mixed-signal/CMOS, RF CMOS, CMOS image sensor, integrated power management (BCD and 700V), and MEMS. TowerJazz also provides world-class design enablement for a quick and accurate design cycle as well as Transfer Optimization and development Process Services (TOPS) to IDMs and fabless companies that need to expand capacity. To provide multi-fab sourcing and extended capacity for its customers, TowerJazz operates two manufacturing facilities in Israel (150mm and 200mm), two in the U.S. (200mm) and three facilities in Japan (two 200mm and one 300mm). For more information, please visit

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From: Sam8/14/2017 2:35:04 PM
   of 283
Interesting piece on Intel's place in autonomous vehicles.

How Intel Can Disrupt The Self-Driving Car Strategies Of Nvidia, Google, Baidu, And Tesla
Aug. 11, 2017 7:00 PM ET
About: Intel Corporation (INTC), Includes: AAPL, BIDU, GOOG, GOOGL, TS

Motek Moyen

Intel’s purchase of Mobileye for $15.3 billion will let it disrupt the nascent industry for self-driving cars.

The Mobileye acquisition is an expensive gamble that can make Intel a go-to provider of Big Data platforms, sensors, software, processors to self-driving car manufacturers.

The Intel cloud/hardware and Mobileye camera/software combo could be a serious alternative to Nvidia’s self-driving car GPU/platform ecosystem.

It will be car manufacturers, not search engine giants like Google and Baidu, who will usher in mainstream adoption of self-driving cars.

The self-driving car industry is a new expansion market for Intel's core x86 processor products.

The $15.3 billion purchase of Mobileye ( MBLY) is an expensive gamble on the part of Intel ( INTC). Based on the $358.16 million FY 2016 revenue of Mobileye, Intel made a 42.71 Price/Sales bet on it. Intel will probably take on new debt to finance this venture. Intel loaded up $7 billion of debt to finance its $16.7 billion (less than 9x P/S purchase based on 2014 revenue of Altera) bet on Altera. Altera is probably contributing more $2 billion to Intel’s annual top line right now. However, I think it will take many years before Mobileye itself can generate the same level of contribution.

Nevertheless, I think Mobileye can help Intel disrupt the self-driving car strategies of Google’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Waymo, Nvidia ( NVDA), Tesla ( TSLA), and Baidu ( BIDU). Mobileye, founded in 1999, is a pioneer in Advanced Driving Assistance Systems [ADAS]. With the global influence of Intel, Mobileye could become a key leader in self-driving car technologies.

Intel plans to build a test fleet of 100 self-driving cars. They will likely use Mobileye’s EyeQ processor, 360-degree surround-view mono-vision sensing, and AI/deep learning technologies. Morgan Stanley already estimated that Waymo could already be worth $70 billion. I believe that by 2020, some analysts will also estimate that Mobileye could be worth $70 billion to Intel.

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From: Sam8/15/2017 2:37:05 PM
   of 283
Uber And Lyft Might Be Toast
Aug. 15, 2017 11:56 AM ET
Trent Eady
About: Lyft (LYFT), UBER, Includes: AAPL, DDAIF, F, GM, INTC, TM, TSLA

[Another aspect of the autonomous vehicle revolution: ride sharing and widespread use of taxis. Or what will pass for taxis in the future. Car ownership will plausibly drop as the cost of taxis will be so low and taxi availability will be wider. Or so the speculation goes, anyway.]

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