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Feb. 12, 2009

Hello, and welcome to the latest issue of the Developer Shed newsletter! Think of it as our Valentine's Day gift to you, our beloved readers. And we know what you love to hear about; check out this week's eWeek article and see if we don't! You'll be especially interested if you use Adobe's Creative Suite. Is the latest release worth going forward with an upgrade, or is it just a small improvement over the earlier version? Check out the article to find out.

Last week I mentioned that Dev Hardware would begin publishing articles on a five days a week schedule, and that Dev Mechanic would begin publishing articles three days a week. We hope you're enjoying the additional hardware articles. The transition for Dev Mechanic will go a little more slowly; this week, we're still only publishing one (but it's a good one, as you'll see), increasing to two the following week and then three the week after that. We'll have another small surprise for you that week as well. What is it? That would be telling.

So without further ado, let me tell you about the articles you can enjoy this week when you visit our sites. Dev Shed continued two helpful series, one on debugging with the Xdebug extension and one on building an IP-to-country mapping application. If you're a Microsoft technology user, you won't want to miss the articles on ASP Free; we show you how to work with dates in WMI, explain binary and XML serialization, and even give you a list of ten Vista features you can disable to make the operating system run faster and more efficiently (I especially recommend this one, as it helped me get rid of that annoying sidebar - totally superfluous on my shiny new work laptop, I say!).

We show the love to web site designers and developers over in Dev Articles with tutorials on jQuery, building dynamic web forms, and creating an image gallery in a 3D HTML table. Those of you who are really into hardware will want to visit Dev Hardware for reviews of a terabyte hard drive, various mobile devices, and a heads-up on the digital broadcasting transition, coming soon to a TV near you – if you prepared appropriately. Hmmm...ARE you prepared? If you're at all uncertain, you'll want to move that article to the top of your reading list!

The SEO professionals reading SEO Chat got an education this week, as we focused on promoting your web site through Digg without bringing down the spam boom; advanced keyword research strategies; and getting your readers to click for more. You'll enjoy clicking our other sites for more, too. Web Hosters ran a review of People Browsr, which helps users track friends on multiple social networking sites. Codewalkers continued an excellent series on XML by showing you how to build a taxonomy for your data. And Dev Mechanic explained how to make your content friendly to readers while still scoring high on the search engine results pages.

Lastly, why not take advantage of a special offer from our friends at Mobile-Linux and sign-up for the Moblin Newsletter below!

As always, thanks for reading. Until next week,
Developer Shed Staff

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Rational Build Forge Express eKit
Rational Build Forge Express Edition is an automation framework that packages the latest enterprise-grade technologies into a reliable, flexible and robust configuration designed and priced specifically for small to midsize businesses. The new Rational Build Forge Express eKit provides you with valuable resources - including a case study, podcast, demo, and articles - to help you increase staff productivity, compress development cycles and deliver better software, fast.
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It's edgy! It's irreverent! It's all about technology! It's News You Can't Use,
and you won't want to miss it! View this week's edition to learn the answers to these burning questions:

  • Watch Jenny deliver the beat down to Jkim. Honor seen standing in the corner, defeated.
  • Bobby talks about his one true love. Belt buckles. Sumbitch.
  • Jim Duggan explains boat technology to you, and shows you how to use his own invention: The Boat Plug.

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Network Booting via PXE: the Basics
by Barzan "Tony" Antal, 2009-02-11

The majority of computer users are familiar with BIOS options as long as they do not go further than selecting the main bootable device or ordering that priority list such as HDDs first, then optical drives, and so forth. In the past few years, however, another option has appeared there. It is called Network Boot or the infamous PXE Boot. In this article we will give a brief overview of the basics of network booting.
Read the full article
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Building Sample Programs for an IP-to-country Mapping Application
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-02-10


Undeniably, the ability to determine from which countries visitors are accessing a particular web site can be useful, and not only for statistical purposes. With this information at your disposal, it is possible to instruct the site to deliver its content in different languages, a feature that users worldwide will appreciate. This second part of a four-part series moves you in that direction with some sample programs.
Read the full article
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Using the Xdebug Extension`s xdebug_call_function() Function
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-02-09

Among the numerous PHP debugging libraries available these days on the web, there is one that offers easy installation and a flat learning curve, along with powerful features that permit you to debug PHP applications with minor hassles. I am talking about the Xdebug extension, of course, and in this second part of a seven-part series you will learn how to use its xdebug_call_function () function.
Read the full article
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Tuples and Other Python Object Types
by O'Reilly Media, 2009-02-05

In this conclusion to a four-part article series on Python object types, we will finish our discussion of dictionaries, move on to tuples, and cover related material. This article is excerpted from chapter four of the book Learning Python, Third Edition, written by Mark Lutz (O'Reilly, 2008; ISBN: 0596513984). Copyright © 2008 O'Reilly Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission from the publisher. Available from booksellers or direct from O'Reilly Media.
Read the full article
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Ten Vista Features You Can Disable for Better Performance
by Jagadish Chaterjee, 2009-02-11

So you have found yourself with a slow computer system that is set up with Windows Vista, and you are wondering what, if anything, there is that you can do to help speed things up. I mean sure, you could just get yourself a downgrade to XP or wait until Windows 7 comes out, but those both sound time and money consuming. Fortunately, you have an alternative; read this article to learn how to disable the Vista features you do not use or may not really need.
Read the full article
.
Binary and XML Serialization
by Bruce Coker, 2009-02-10

Serialization is a useful process when you are dealing with objects and information. .NET lets you perform this process in several different ways, two of which will be covered in this article. Keep reading to get a better handle on what serialization is and how to use it effectively.
Read the full article.
Working with Dates in WMI
by Nilpo, 2009-02-09


As you begin scripting with WMI, you will quickly learn that WMI uses its own date and time format. In order to build queries in WMI you will need an understanding of this date and time format as well as a knowledge of how to convert between WMI dates and traditional VBScript dates.
Read the full article
.
Vista and Online Video Viewing
by O'Reilly Media, 2009-02-05


In this second part of a five-part series, you'll learn how Vista handles the challenge of online video, and some interesting tips and tricks to make your web viewing experience more pleasant. It is excerpted from chapter four of the book Windows Vista Annoyances: Tips, Secrets, and Hacks for the Cranky Consumer, written by David A. Karp (O'Reilly, 2008; ISBN: 0596527624). Copyright © 2008 O'Reilly Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission from the publisher. Available from booksellers or direct from O'Reilly Media.
Read the full article
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jQuery Overview
by Dan Wellman, 2009-02-11

For those of you who have not heard of jQuery, or have heard of it but have not had a chance to give it a go, this article aims to show you why it is one of the best of the plethora of JavaScript libraries available to make your life as a developer easier. Read on to find out more.
Read the full article
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Constructing a Multi-Column Online Form with the Ext JS Framework
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-02-10


Welcome to the third article in a series that shows you how to build dynamic web forms with the Ext JS framework. This series walks you through the development of different dynamic online forms using the Ext JS package, so you can start including them in your own web sites.
Read the full article
.
Handling Images in a 3D Table Image Gallery
by Chrysanthus Forcha, 2009-02-09


Welcome to the second part of a three-part article on building an image gallery in a 3D HTML table. With an image gallery, it is natural that viewers may want to maximize certain images for closer examination, and then restore them to their original size. This article will show you how to add this feature and others to your gallery.
Read the full article
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Features of the Resource-Oriented Architecture
by O'Reilly Media, 2009-02-05


In this second part of a four-part series on Representational State Transfer (REST), you will learn about two of the most important features of the Resource-Oriented Architecture (ROA). This article is excerpted from chapter four of the book RESTful Web Services, written by Leonard Richardson and Sam Ruby (O'Reilly, 2008; ISBN: 0596529260). Copyright © 2008 O'Reilly Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission from the publisher. Available from booksellers or direct from O'Reilly Media.
Read the full article
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Freecom Media Player 450 WLAN
by Bruce Coker, 2009-02-11

It was not so long ago that a terabyte was the kind of storage an intergalactic data thief might have brought with them on a mission to steal the Internet. Now you can have it on your desk, in the sleek metallic form of a new media streaming portable hard drive from Freecom. Keep reading for our review.
Read the full article
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The Digital Transition
by jkabaseball, 2009-02-10

On February 17, the US will go from using an analog TV signal to a digital TV signal. This does not seem like a big problem, and it will not to some, but to others it will be. Your channels will still air the same shows at the same time, and there will still be ads; not much is really changing in TV. We are going to take a look at what this really means and how to adapt to the digital transition.
Read the full article
.
Dell GPS Navigation System
by Joe Eitel, 2009-02-09


Dell has recently developed a new feature for the users of its Axim X30 and X50 Pocket PCs: GPS navigation. This new accessory is a great addition to the X30 series, which has increased the processing speeds of the Pocket PC to nearly unprecedented levels. The Dell GPS Navigation System takes advantage of the Axim's Bluetooth capabilities and great processing speed to provide a quality system in a convenient form.
Read the full article.
Valentine`s Day Gift Guide: Technical Gifts for Your Sweetheart
by Katie Gatto, 2009-02-06

So, once again you have left your gift shopping to the last second and you need to find a Valentine's Day gift for your significant other. If you had the time to go to the store in the first place you would not be in this mess to begin with, and now you probably need something that can come to you. That means shopping online. Fortunately for you, we have some advice.
Read the full article.
Magellan Sold to MiTAC
by Katie Gatto, 2009-02-05


Technology moves at such a fast pace, it is a wonder that any one company can stay afloat in today's market. GPS devices are currently some of the most popular gadgets, and developers of these helpful tools are not strangers to the world of cutthroat competition. This article takes a look at one of the casualties of this competition - Magellan - and what it means for the rest of us.
Read the full article.
 
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Click for More
by KC Morgan, 2009-02-11

You see the phrase "click for more" a lot on the Internet. Those extra clicks can be money in the bank for you if you are a site owner. But how do you get users to actually make the jump? Keep reading to find out.
Read the full article
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Encourage Conversion: More Advanced Keyword Research Strategies
by Ivan Strouchliak, 2009-02-10

This is the second part of a two-part guide to keyword selection. I will explain how to choose keyword phrases that offer a high rate of conversion, how to organize and target several keywords on one page, and more. I will also cover some keyword "dos and do nots," and point you to online tools that can help you do deep keyword research.
Read the full article
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Digging for Google and Avoiding the Hate
by Terri Wells, 2009-02-09

The Digg community's hatred of SEO and SEOs is legendary; unfortunately, so is their power to generate traffic. Many postings even get noticed in Google, generating more traffic and potentially boosting a web site's SERPs. So how do you conduct a campaign without getting buried and ridiculed? The answer is that you do not look like you are conducting a campaign. Keep reading for some advice.
Read the full article
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Keep Tabs on Your Friends With PeopleBrowsr
by Joe Eitel, 2009-02-11

If you participate in several different social networks, you know how easy it can be to lose track of one or the other. A number of companies have tried to come up with a way to let users see all of their social networks and their activity in one place. Success has been mixed. PeopleBrowsr, however, may change all that. Keep reading to find out how well it rises to this modern challenge.
Read the full article
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Microsoft Aims to Eliminate Piracy
by Joe Eitel, 2009-02-04

Despite being a powerful technology giant that earns billions in revenue and has millions of devoted users worldwide, Microsoft still struggles to keep knock-off software bearing its name away from popular public auctions sites such as eBay. This was the third consecutive holiday season that the Redmond, Washington-based company went after suspected sellers of counterfeit software both domestically and abroad. Is it a hopeless battle?
Read the full article
.
Spam Increasing, and This Time it`s Personal
by Joe Eitel, 2009-01-28

As a new year is upon us, we have much to be thankful for and even more to look forward to, but according to many experts, anyone who owns and uses a computer has something unexpected coming their way: a major influx of personal spam. Since the advent of e-mail, spam has been an annoying part of everyday life. The problem, though, is that we are now inundated by spam in all of its various forms - from e-mail to texts - and it is becoming more personal, more dangerous and more legitimate-looking in terms of its appearance.
Read the full article
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Check out the amazing tutorials from IBM developerWorks and see what all the buzz is about!

Hello World: WebSphere Service Registry and Repository
Manage, govern, and share services across your organization by using WebSphere Service Registry and Repository. Follow the hands-on exercises to learn how to navigate the Web interface to publish, find, reuse, and update services.

Building JavaScript applications with JSEclipse
Using JSEclipse, JavaScript programmers now have their own Eclipse plug-in that provides many important features to aid in the development of JavaScript applications. JSEclipse gives JavaScript developers the same ease of use that Eclipse has been providing in the Java language and others for years. Learn to use this tool, while creating a colony of evolving "creatures" on your page.

Learn how to install and use the Rational Asset Manager Eclipse client
In this tutorial, you can learn how to install and configure the IBM Rational Asset Manager Eclipse client, explore the different views in the Asset Management perspective, learn various search techniques, work with existing assets, and submit a new asset.

Improve your build process with IBM Rational Build Forge, Part 1: Create a continuous build and integration
Learn how to implement a build management system that uses and extends your existing automation technologies. This tutorial shows, step-by-step, how to install and configure IBM Rational Build Forge to manage builds for Jakarta Tomcat from source code.

Build Web services with transport-level security using Rational Application Developer V7, Part 1: Build Web services and Web services clients
Build secure Web services with transport-level security using IBM Rational Application Developer V7 and IBM WebSphere Application Server V6.1. Follow this three-part series for step-by-step instructions about how to develop Web services and clients, configure HTTP basic authentication, and configure HTTP over SSL (HTTPS). This first part of the series walks you through building a Web service for a simple calculator application. You generate and test two different types of Web services clients: a Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) client and a stand-alone Java client. You also handle user-defined exceptions in Web services.

Improve your build process with IBM Rational Build Forge,
Part 2: Automate builds for a real-world Tomcat project

Learn how Rational Build Forge can extend a simple compile and package build process by adding customization and deployment capability. Go from a manual method to automating: checking for code changes; getting the latest source; compiling and packaging; customizing; copying to and restarting a deployment server; and sending e-mail notification that a new version is available.

Application development for the OLPC laptop
The XO laptop (of the One-Laptop-Per-Child initiative) is an inexpensive laptop project intended to help educate children around the world. The XO laptop includes many innovations, such as a novel, inexpensive, and durable hardware design and the use of GNU/Linux as the underlying operating system. The XO also includes an application environment written in Python with a human interface called Sugar, accessible to everyone (including kids). Explore the Sugar APIs and learn how to develop and debug a graphical activity in Sugar using Python.

Test terminal-based applications with Rational Functional Tester
Regression testing -- in which code is thoroughly tested to ensure that changes have not produced unexpected results -- is an important part of any development process. But many testing environments neglect the terminal-based applications that still form the backbone of many industries. In this tutorial, you'll learn how the Rational Functional Tester Extension for Terminal-Based Applications works with other Rational Functional Tester to help test terminal-based applications quickly and easily.

 
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Tutorialized is dedicated to programming, designing, and many other
tech related tutorials.

Actionscript Mouse Events
Learn to respond to different mouse events like clicks and hovers.
Read the tutorial.

Fireworks
We are going to learn to use the brush tool to create fireworks.
Read the tutorial.

Simple Photo Flash Menu
See how to create simple Flash menu. Simplistic tutorial and fun to read. Read the tutorial.

Tips on PhpLib
The pHpLib template makes it very easy to create a website. It is based on a template. Read the tutorial.

Key controls
This Flash tutorial will teach you about the basic key controls.
Read the tutorial.

Replace a String in a TXT File
Replace strings in TXT files through PHP.
Read the tutorial.

 

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Developer Shed is actively seeking fresh, new writing talents for our Microsoft Windows technology site. We're looking for Windows programmers, system administrators, and more to provide our readers with the latest, up-to-date techniques and strategies.

Here's your chance to earn some cash, gain some exposure, and beef up your resume! If you would like to join our team, email your name, a description of your qualifications, and the topic areas you would like to cover to contact_editor@developershed.com.

 
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Scripts is dedicated to developer and programming related scripts both commercial and free, and for all OS platforms.

EzUploads
EzUploads utilizes CGI upload methods to a PHP site back end. You are able to upload unlimited file sizes. Supports Ascii Captcha.
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MultiUser Chat Software
Multi operator ASP script based chat messaging software contains full support of Ajax technology. Learn more.

DepthStats
The target audience for this script is anyone looking to stay away from stat services and stats provided by hosting companies.
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.Net Ad Server Solutions
We provide a complete line of ad management, ad network, affiliate network and banner solutions.
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PHP Stock Portfolio
System allows you to hide, show, or show masked values for each of eleven value fields. Script retrieves data from Yahoo! Finance.
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MyFTPUploader
MyFTPUploader is a Java applet for uploading multiple files and directories to an FTP Server. Easy to use. Learn more.

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Make Your Content More Reader-Friendly
by KC Morgan, 2009-02-11


Are you spending so much time thinking of SEO that you are discounting your readers completely? Do not forget to make your content more reader-friendly, even while you keep the search engines in mind. Keep reading to find out how.
Read the full article
.
A Guide to Using Chitika AdPro Service
by KC Morgan, 2009-02-04


Chitika AdPro service is quickly gaining attention on the Internet. It is often compared to Google AdSense, and is specifically made for sites featuring a lot of content. Chitika is very much designed with blogs and bloggers in mind. But does that mean it will be a success on your site? Learn more about earning income with Chitika.
Read the full article
.
Customizing Title Tags in Blogger Classic
by Codex-M, 2009-01-28


If you are thinking about getting into blogging online, and looking for a cheap and easy way to get started, you can do worse than to go with Blogger. It is a nice system, but it has a few problems when it comes to SEO. If you decide you want to use Blogger but still want to turn up well in the search engines, keep reading; help is at hand.
Read the full article
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Creating XML Taxonomies
by James Payne, 2009-02-11

Welcome to the third part of a five-part series that introduces you to extensible markup language, also known as XML. The first two parts of this series served as an introduction and an overview, to help you get to know some of the things you can do with it. In this article we will roll up our sleeves and actually start learning how to build things with the language, by getting a better understanding of how its structures work. That is right, you will actually learn how to handle data.
Read the full article
.
Getting to Know XML
by James Payne, 2009-02-04

In this second article in a series on beginning XML, I hope to familiarize you with some basic terminology used when discussing XML, as well as show you the basics of syntax, and furthermore, how to begin moving your data into an XML document.
Read the full article
.
A Friendly Approach to XML
by James Payne, 2009-01-28

This tutorial covers the basic ideas and methodologies behind XML. It will attempt to teach you, the reader, how to get started using the language. In this first part we will uncover the history of XML and learn its basic syntax, as well as its advantages and disadvantages, in the hopes of learning if it is right for you.
Read the full article
.
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Format Wars, the Next Generation

First there was VCR versus Betamax. Then came HD DVD versus Blu-ray. Now, if last month's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is any indication, it won't be too long before we can fulfill that science fiction dream of watching 3D TV - assuming we can get past the inevitable format war.

Companies are eager to climb on the bandwagon of 3D TV, but there are at least three competing technologies vying for king of the mountain. Even worse, video that has been filmed and processed for one format usually can't be played on the others. The approach that currently seems most likely to win the war is used by Panasonic, Hyundai, and satellite broadcaster Sky. It requires the viewer to wear polarizing eyeglasses while a fast-running home theater projector shows alternating left and right images.

The system can already be purchased in Japan, where limited 3D broadcasting began last year. Panasonic has been pushing to add 3D playback to the Blu-ray standard. Ideally, this could lead to a single format that could be played on any 2D or 3D TV. But don't hold your breath; with Blu-ray uptake still relatively slow, and a digital TV transition to get past in the US, it will be some time before you need those cool 3D specs at home.

Read more about this

Hunting for More Earths

Pencil the following date into your calendar: March 5, 2009. That's the date that NASA plans to launch the $550 million Kepler telescope, with the goal of finding planets about the size of our own, orbiting stars about the size of our sun, at about the same distance and taking about the same time to complete their orbits. The theory is that such a system is most likely to support life, perhaps even intelligent life similar to us.

"The whole mission was designed around this goal," explained William Cochran, an astronomer and Kepler co-investigator. "If we find no Earth-like planets, then we can say with great confidence that Earths like ours are rare." Indeed, despite recent discoveries of literally hundreds of planets orbiting other stars, most have been much larger than Earth. Size is not the only issue; as far as we know, to be able to support life, water must be able to exist as a liquid on the surface of a planet - which implies both a certain minimum atmosphere and an orbit at a fairly specific distance from a star, to maintain the proper temperature.

Observations from Kepler could help us to predict how common life, perhaps even intelligent life, is in the universe. It takes a different approach to its search. Instead of looking for a star that “wobbles” due to the pull of a planet, Kepler will try to detect the slight dimming of light that will occur when a planet moves between us and its star. This is a better approach for spotting Earth-like planets, because their gravitational pull would be too weak for us to detect the related wobble in their stars. Kepler will start its three-and-a-half-year long mission with 100,000 stars under its watchful eye; its first results could be made public as early as next fall.

Read more about this

A Helping Hand for Learning Piano

What if you could put on a pair of gloves and play the piano perfectly? Researchers at Georgia Tech haven't gone that far yet, but they have created a glove that helps musicians learn how to play. It vibrates to inform its wearer which finger should be hitting the keys at any given moment. The vibrations help engage muscle memory.

Kevin Huang, the Georgia Tech grad student who originated the idea, speaks of literally being able to feel the notes. His design wirelessly marries a battery-powered golf glove with vibrating motors to a PC with software that gives directions for a number of songs. The PC controls jolts to the vibrating motors. Those working on the glove say it can be synchronized with music players such as iPods, which would free music students from having to sit in front of the piano to build their muscle memory; they would be able to do it just about anywhere.

In a pilot study of the glove, some users learned basic songs faster. For those impatient to get past those first faltering steps of learning an instrument, this glove could be exactly what they're looking for. The next step: a wristband to help students learn how to play woodwind instruments, too.

Read more about this

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