Sunday, September 24, 2006

Novell Delisting Notice from NASDAQ

Novell (NOVL) received a notice from NASDAQ that they are subject to delisting due to a delay in the filing of their quarterly report.

$500,000 Awarded for New Zealand Sex Study

The prestigious Marsden Fund in New Zealand which awards millions of dollars each year for basic research, primarily in the areas of physics, chemistry and mathematics, has awarded $500,000 to one of the members of the judging panel!!! The judge plans to spend the money to research of "the hustler, the modern orgasm, and the sexual culture of Auckland". The New Zealand National Party Science spokesman says that this award requires more scrutiny.

Remember, you heard it here first.

Egyptian Stocks Drop at the Start of Ramadan

The two main Eqyptian stock exchange indexes were down about 1% today (Sunday), just before Ramadan. The market closed after three hours in respect for the fasting month.

http://article.wn.com/view/
2006/09/24/Egyptian_stocks_trend
_down_at_start_of_Ramadan/

Woman Gives Up Rotary Phone after 42 Years

An 82 year old woman, who had been renting her old rotary dial phone since the 1960's from AT&T (traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol T), at a rate of $29.10 every three months. Her children discovered how much she had been paying (estimated at many thousands) and had her give up the phone.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/
offbeat/2006-09-14-phone_x.htm

Anti-Age Discrimination Law Goes Into Effect Oct 1 in UK

On October 1, The United Kingdom anti-age discrimination law goes into effect. No jobs are exempt except the armed forces. What is bizarre about this law is that if a company already has a pension policy in place with an age 60 payout, an employee can continue to work until age 65 while at the same time receiving a pension.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/
business/5367990.stm

Gas drops another 24 cents at the pump

The average retail price of gasoline has dropped another 24 cents to $2.42 per gallon during the last two weeks. The area with the lowest price of gas is Des Moines, Iowa at $2.07 per gallon. Check out the AP article at newsbinder.com at:

http://camarillo.newsbinder.com/
tinc?key=84tAbQXJ&id=2652506

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Home Depot will Start Selling Gas

Home Depot, traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol HD, will open its first gas station at its Acworth, GA store. The Home Depot headquarters is based in Atlanta.

http://atlanta.bizjournals.com/
atlanta/stories/2006/09/18/
daily34.html?jst=b_ln_hl

Tribune Co. may go private

The Tribune Company, traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TRB, has announced that it is making major asset changes, with options including spinoffs, the sale of assets, or going private.

http://losangeles.bizjournals.com/
losangeles/stories/2006/09/18/
daily46.html?jst=b_ln_hl

Thursday, September 21, 2006

HP Chair Patricia Dunn received Hall of Fame Award (not Shame, Fame)

Hewlett-Packard chairwoman Patricia Dunn received a Hall of Fame award from the Bay Area Council, a business group in the San Francisco area. Right now in today's stock market, the stock is down about $1.80.



www.kesq.com/Global/story.asp?S=5437822

HP spies at WSJ and CNet

Hewlett Packard consultants considered hiring spies to work at the Wall Street Journal and CNet, according to the New York Times. The Hewlett Packart stock is down over a point and a half in today's stock market.

Yahoo to buy Facebook discussions $1 billion

Yahoo is in discussions to buy Facebook and the estimated amount of purchase is $1,000,000,000. Yahoo stock is currently up slightly today's stock market.

Branson contributes 3 billion to fight Global Warming

Sir Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin, has agreed to contribute 3 billion in British pounds to fight global warming and reduce dependence on fossil fuels. He is setting up a new company called Virgin Fuels.

news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/5368194.stm

Enron's Skilling Arrested for Public Intoxication

Jeff Skilling, the former CEO of Enron, was arrested last week in Dallas for public intoxication, according to the Houston Chronicle. He was charged with a $385 fine and was in jail for a short time.

www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/
special/enron/4202961.html

Monday, September 18, 2006

Mumbai Stock Exchange Sensex Index Broke 12,000

The Mumbai Stock Exchange Sensex Index went above the psychological level of 12,000 on Thursday.

Ford is Buying the Rover Brand Name from BMW

Ford is Buying the Rover Brand Name from BMW. BMW decided to sell it after MG Rover went out of business last year.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/5358590.stm

Top Five Business & Investing Books

The top five books on business and investing, according to Amazon.com, are:

Dream Careers: How to Quickly Break Into a Fab Job!
by Tag Goulet

Covert Persuasion: Psychological Tactics and Tricks to Win the Game
by Kevin Hogan

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't
by Jim Collins

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
by Malcolm Gladwell

Freakonomics [Revised and Expanded]: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everythingby Steven D. Levitt

By the way, Jim Cramer's book, Jim Cramer's Real Money: Sane Investing in an Insane World, is currently number 19 in the combined Business and Investing category, however, in the Investing category, it is number 2 after Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money--That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!. In the General Investing category, Cramer's book is number 1.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Conoco Phillips Avoid Bidding for India Oil Blocks

Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Conoco Phillips decided not to bid on oil blocks in India, although British Gas, France's Total and Italy's ENI have expressed an interest in bidding.

www.rediff.com/money/2006/sep/16oil.htm

Just in Time for Halloween: China's New Industry: Preparing Dead Bodies for Museums

Just in time for Halloween!!! China's latest growing industry is the preparation of corpses for museum exhibits. Check out the video at NewYourTimes.com

http://video.on.nytimes.com/
ifr_main.jsp?nsid=a-653ba03d:
10db54bfbea:3259&fr_story
=6841b05c2d06d442865d2ee3ee540
dcaf1aee99e&st=1158391692903&mp=
WMP&cpf=true&fr=091606_032814_
w653ba03dx10db54bfbeax325a&rdm
=254567.9577001183

Mixi Inc. Up 5% in first two days of trading

Mixi Inc., Japan's top social networking web site, started trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange at 2.95 million yen on Thursday and closed at 3.12 million yen on Friday. The company was founded in February 2004 and went public at 1.55 million yen. It is now the second largest company on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's Mothers Market based on its market capitalization stands at 219 billion yen.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/
cgi-bin/nb20060916a4.html

Friday, September 15, 2006

Money Can't Buy Happiness for Australians

According to research done by The Australia Institute, Australians are richer but not happier. Even though Australians are getting wealthier, 40% thought that life is getting worse.

http://www.news.com.au/business/
story/0,23636,20421616-31037,00.html

Starbucks Hit by Two Lawsuits: $114 million free drink coupon, discrimination

Starbucks Corp. (SBUX)was hit with two lawsuits. The first was over a voucher for free iced coffee that a woman tried to use in one of the Starbucks stores. Her voucher was rejected, so she sued for $114 million.

http://www.drinks-business-review.
com/article_news.asp?guid=12FCB4F6
-052D-4A73-8F88-9A3787C18F05

In the second matter, the EEOC accused Starbucks of discriminating against a woman with psychiatric problems.

http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/view.
php?StoryID=20060916-124907-8189r

The New Nigerian Scam: Nigerians Conning Nigerians

The scam came about because of a new law saying that Nigerian politicians would not be allowed to run for re-election if they are found corrupt. So Nigerian scammers put on suits, went to the politicians and sold them certificates stating that they are corruption free.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/5348208.stm

The MySpace Murder

The On the Money blog reported an attempted murder by an Arizona woman who hired a hit man to kill a woman whose picture appeared on her boyfriend's MySpace web page.

http://onthemoney.spaces.live.com/PersonalSpace.aspx

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Zune Digital Player from Microsoft Released by Christmas

Microsoft has announced that its player with a 3 inch screen will be out by Christmas. Manufactured by Toshiba, it will come in three colors, white, brown, and black. Microsoft stock was up 35 cents today.

Ford Offering Early Retirement to All Hourly Employees

Ford announced that they are offering early retirement and employment buyouts to all of their hourly employees, of which there are approximately 75,000.

Stock was down 10 cents on the news.

Yahoo News item through AP:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/
20060915/ap_on_bi_ge/ford_cuts

In addition, Ford is considering selling off its Aston Martin division (this was the car that was made famous by James Bond).

BBC news here:
news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/5302310.stm

(In the interest of full disclosure, I own stock in Ford. This news item is not a recommendation to buy, sell, hold or short Ford stock.)

Slavery Accusation for the Ruler of Dubai

The Ruler of Dubai is accused of abduicting children (some as young as 2) from Bangladesh, Sudan and southern Asia to use in camel races. Suit was filed in Miami wher the Sheikh owns real estate.

Read the BBCnews article here:
news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5346430.stm

Third White Buffalo Born = Good Fortune & Peace

An extremely rare white buffalo was born at a farm in Wisconsin, the third one born there. Because of this, Native Americans are now considering the area as a sacred area. They also consider this a sign of good fortune and peace.

Check out the CNN video here:
www.cnn.com/2006/US/09/14/white.buffalo.ap/index.html

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

HP Chair Dunn Resigning due to Scandal

Hewlett Packard Chairwoman Patricia Dunn resigning due to phone tapping scandal. Hewlett Packard up almost 2% this morning.

Monday, September 11, 2006

HP Followup #3

Now the Attorney General and Congress are involved in the HP bugging of phones scandal, along with California state investigators. The stock was up about .75%.

Amazon offering TV Show and Movie Downloads

Amazon has just come out with a service offering TV Show downloads for $1.99 per show, and movie downloads for $3.99 and up per movie. These shows would be downloadable to your computer. Apple iTunes is expected to offer a similar service this week.

Gold Futures closed below $600

First, real estate drops, then the price of oil drops, now the price of gold is dropping. December futures for gold closed at $597, down $20, the lowest it's been since June.

Blackberry Causes Plane Delay

On a recent United Airlines flight to San Francisco today (9/11), a Blackberry was found on the plane that wasn't claimed by anyone, causing the plane to land in Dallas.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/
20060911/ap_on_re_us/sept11
_travel_fears

Hugh Hefner and Playboy concerned that Church related Charity Ball Will Hurt Playboy's Reputation


Hugh Hefner and Playboy are concerned that a Church related Charity Ball will hurt Playboy's reputation. What???!
A charity ball in New Zealand is planning a Playboy theme, but Hugh Hefner doesn't like the idea because it would 'tarnish' Playboy's reputation.

From a Sapa-AFP article in the Sunday Times web site:
http://www.suntimes.co.za/zones/
sundaytimesNEW/basket7st/basket7
st1157794300.aspx

Oil Drops Below $66 per Barrel

Oil just dropped below $66 a barrel at the New York Mercantile Exchange in Singapore, to $65.97 a barrel. Here we go; the real estate bubble has burst and now the oil bubble has burst. Watch for more drops.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Claims Against Enron's Ken Lay's Estate



A $12 million settlement proposed by the Labor Department against the estate of Kenneth Lay, former head of Enron Corporation, with regards to claims for losses in the company's pension funds. Funds recovered would go to employees who were covered the the pension plan.

More info in the AP article here:
http://accounting.pro2net.com/x54670.xml

Head of Sportingbet.com Released on Bail

The head of Sportingbet, a publicly traded online gambling company, was released on $50,000 bail for taking bets from Americans. Trading was suspended in Sportingbet's stock but the company is still operating.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/
hi/business/5326602.stm

Iranian Bank, Bank Saderat, Banned in the US

The Iranian Bank, Bank Saderat, was banned from doing any business in the US by the Bush Administration, due to their alleged transfer of funds to terrorist organizations.

BBC article:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/
business/5329326.stm?ls

WorldCom's Bernie Ebbers Prison Date Set

Bernie Ebbers, former head of WorldCom, who was convicted of securities fraud in the largest bankruptcy in history, is scheduled to begin his 25 year sentence on Sept. 26.

Reported in BBC news:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/
business/5327138.stm

Stock Spammer Scammers Now Offering Services to Corporations

Now the stock spammers have come up with a new way of making money. They are offering their services to publicly traded companies in return for a percentage of the stock gain. Read about it at the BBC website:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/
technology/5315718.stm

Pump and Dumpers Now Using Subliminal Messages

Some recent stock promotion spam emails have been recently discovered to have subliminal messages appear in them, with the word 'Buy' flashing for less than a second, and repeated again every several seconds. The reader doesn't consciously 'see' it however the brain does see it. The spammers do this obviously to encourage the reader to buy the stock.
Subliminal messages were used in movie theaters in the 1950's when they flashed pictures of popcorn on the screen to make the theater-goers hungry. This practice was later banned.

You can read this vnunet.com article at the Infomaticsonline.co.uk website at:
http://www.infomaticsonline.co.uk
/vnunet/news/2163779/spam-spreads
-subliminal-signals

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Million Dollar 'Pump and Dump' Stock Spam Scam

According to an article last month in itnews.com.au in Australia, the SEC has filed civil fraud charges against a couple, Jeffrey Stone and his wife Janette Diller Stone, for buying 288 million shares of WebSky Inc., promoting the stock through spam emails, then causing the stock to increase by 300%. Within just a couple weeks, the couple is alleged to have made over $1,000,000.
This scheme is what is referred to as a pump and dump scam, whereby the scammer buys up huge amounts of shares of a stock, promotes the stock with generally unfounded predictions, then selling the stock at a huge profit.
http://www.itnews.com.au/
newsstory.aspx?CIaNID=36128&r=rss

Woman Wins Million Dollar Lottery TWICE !

A woman in Long Island won the state lottery twice in the last four years, both from scratchoffs. The first time she won was in 2002. Last month, she won another million dollars for the second time. According to the AP article, the odds of winning both was 1 in 3,669,120,000,000.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/09/
09/double.lotto.ap/index.html

New Business Books Worth Checking Out

New Business Books Worth Checking Out:

Joe Wilson and the Creation of Xerox
by Charles D. Ellis

Little Black Book of Connections: 6.5 Assets for Networking Your Way to Rich Relationships
by Jeffrey Gitomer

The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World With Kindness
by Linda Kaplan Thaler

The Reverse Mortgage Advantage: The Tax-Free, House Rich Way to Retire Wealthy!
by Warren Boroson

Your Leadership Legacy: Why Looking Toward the Future Will Make You a Better Leader Today
by Robert M. Galford

BP Oil Spill caused by Job Opening

It turns out that for a year prior to the BP spill, the position of senior corrosion engineer had been vacant.
Read the AP report here:
http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/060908/
bp_pipeline_job.html?.v=7

Oil Drops Below $67 a barrel

The price of oil dropped below $67 per barrel on Friday, the lowest price in five months. The drop partially contributed to the 60 point increase in the Dow, and a 10 point increase in NASDAQ.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Followup: Fox Investigative Reporter Beating in La Jolla over Real Estate Scam

As a follow-up to yesterday's blog, Fox 6 New Investigative Reporter and Attorney John Mattes was doing an investigation into a real estate scam in La Jolla, San Diego, relating to the purchase of homes with forged documents. He was beginning an interview with an individual who had information for the news report when the husband, and his wife, who was being investigated (Assad “Sam” Suleiman, Rosa Amelia Barraza) came on the scene and attacked the reporter. The police finally showed up but not until after Mattes received severe cuts and injuries. The couple was arrested. The entire scene was taped on camera, and a link to it can be seen from the link on my previous blog yesterday. Warning: the video contains significant violence.

A recent article, along with another link to a video of the incident, can be found on signonsandiego.com here:
http://www.signonsandiego.com/
news/metro/20060906-1543-
reporterattack.html

National Association of Realtors Predicts Real Estate Crash

In a recent article in BusinessWeek.com (link below), it was reported that the National Association of Realtors is predicting a drop in housing prices on a year by year basis for the first time ever. Of course, many homebuilders are predicting lower earnings.
http://www.businessweek.com/
investor/content/sep2006/
pi20060907_654501.htm?chan
=top+news_top+news+index_top
+story

Heinz Board will have Dissident Shareholders

Nelson Peltz and Michael F. Weinstein have been elected to the Board of Directors of H.J. Heinz Co., the famous food company, after a bitter proxy battle.

More info at this AP Yahoo Finance article:
http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/060908/
heinz_proxy_results.html?.v=2

Major Retail Chain is Planning on Dividing Up Stores by Race

A major retail chain is planning on dividing up sections of its stores into various racial and ethnic sections, e.g. a section for African Americans, a section for Hispanics, etc. Are they trying to copy the Survivor reality show? See if you can guess which store chain this is.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

HP follow-up: Chair Spied on Reporters Also

News has just been released that Patricia Dunn, chairwoman of Hewlett Packard, in addition to spying on her Board of Directors personal phone calls, also had been spying on nine reporters' phone calls. In addition, the board member who was leaking information to the press has been released, George A. Keyworth II. He will not be nominated for re-election.

Reporter Beaten On Camera by Alleged Real Estate Scammer

A California investigative reporter was beaten and suffered significant injuries when doing an investigation on an alleged real estate scam artist who would buy properties with fake identities. Since a picture is worth a thousand words and a video is worth a million, check out the Fox video below:


http://video.fox6.com/viewer/
viewerpage.php?Art_ID=221049
&Category_ID={category_id}

PALM follow-up

Palm opened down over a dollar and ended up being down $1.22 at the close, a loss of about 8%. This all due to the fact that the company predicts not meeting revenue goals.

Big Tax on Tip

If you read my blogs yesterday, you saw the note about the waitress (bartender) who received a $10,000 tip. The credit card transaction went through without any problem. Unfortunately her net payout, due to tax withholding, was only $6300.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/09/
07/bartender.tip.ap/index.html

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

PALM down 6% in After Market Trading

PALM Inc. althoug up while the market was open by 58 cents, was down 6% in After Market Trading due to missed sales forecast.

Enron's Lay didn't have a Snowball's Chance in Hell

According to a recent blog in WSJ.com Law Blog site, written by Peter Lattman (an excellent business oriented blog site by the way), jury consultants said that Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling didn't have any chance whatsoever in winning the Enron case. They should have settled.
Check out the blog here:
http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2006/09/06/
enrons-jury-consultants-say-lay-
skilling-hardly-stood-a-chance/

Are you a big tipper? How about 10 Grand on a $26 meal?

An AP CNN news story reports that a man in Hutchinson, Kansas left a $10,000 tip on a $26 meal at Applebee's Restaurant.
http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/
08/31/bigtip.ap/index.html

Discounts at Brothels for Gasoline Receipts

In Sydney, Australia, one of the brothels there, called the Site, is offering discount prices for its services in return for showing your gasoline receipt, amounting to 20 cents discount for each liter of gas purchased.
The Reuters CNN article can be read here:
http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/asiapcf/
08/30/brothel.gas.reut/index.html

Need a Job? How about working for Stephen Hawking?

Stephen Hawking, the famous scientist and author, is looking to hire an assistant. The person who will be hired would most likely be a graduate student who would be doing a lot of travel. Expected compensation is about $44,000. Read more of the AP news article on CNN.com here:
http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/science/
09/06/britain.hawking.ap/index.html

Brian Valentine, Microsoft Exec leaveing for Amazon

Brian Valentine, senior VP at Microsoft, who was in charge of the new Vista Operating system is leaving Microsoft to join Amazon.
More info at the bizjournals.com article here:
http://biz.yahoo.com/bizj/060906/
1341355.html?.v=1

IRS Outsourcing starts this week

If you owe the IRS $25,000 or less and are behind in your payment, you will probably be one of the over 12,000 citizens who will be receiving a phone call to pay up. However, the phone call won't be coming from the IRS, it will be coming from private collection agencies that the IRS has made agreements with. You can read more here:
http://www.wowktv.com/story.cfm?
func=viewstory&storyid=13806

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

HP Chair Spied on Board of Directors

According to an MSNBC Newsweek article, Patricia Dunn, chairwoman of Hewlett Packard, was concerned about news leaks to the media so she hired an outside investigation firm to spy on the other Board members personal home phone and personal cell phone calls. And she did this without any of the other Board of Directors knowing (of course). She was successful in finding the leaker who's name has not yet been disclosed. Read more here:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/
14687677/site/newsweek/

Smart Shirt checks your Heart

Researchers have just revealed that they have developed a smart shirt made with stainless steel threads and yarn that sends electrocardiogram information to a monitoring center via a cell phone. The Reuters YahooNews article can be read here:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060904
/od_uk_nm/oukoe_uk_heart_shirt_1

Anyone for Investing in Cher Memorabilia?

Cher is planning a giant garage sale according to a Reuters article in Yahoo News. She is selling off about 800 items worth about a million dollars, including dresses, rings and necklaces, furniture, artwork, and a Hummer. For more info, go to:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060905/od_nm/cher_odd_dc

Law Firm receives award for giving Nap Time to Employees

The law firm, Meredith Connell, received an award from the New Zealand government where they are based, for giving nap time to their employees, which they are encouraged to take when they are tired. Read more of this AP news at the Miami Herald website at:
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald
/news/weird_news/15412586.htm

Monday, September 04, 2006

How about the Gilligan's Island Boat as an Investment

According to an AP article at CNN.com, the boat that was used in the Gilligan's Island TV show is up for sale for about $89,000. The 36-foot Wheeler Express Cruiser is currently docked in Parksville, British Columbia. For more info, go to:
http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/americas/
08/28/gilligan.boat.ap/index.html
For info on the boat and the TV show, go to:
www.gilligansisle.com

Mark Skousen predicts the Demise of Jim Cramer ??? Bizarre!

I just came across a bizarre newsletter written by long time investment newsletter writer Mark Skousen dated April 21, 2006, in which he predicts that TV and radio investment commentator, Jim Cramer, will collapse and end his show on June 6, 2006 (6/6/6). Check it out here:
http://www.investmentu.com/IUEL/2006/20060421.html
Of course, it is already September and Jim Cramer is still going strong. Even more bizarre is that Skousen offered a contest to see which reader would predict the day that Cramer would end his show. The winner would receive a free book.
I like Mark Skousen and I used to subscribe to his newsletter many years ago. Some of his recommendations that I followed paid for the newsletter several times over. But this kind of prediction is totally off the wall.
I also like Jim Cramer. The investment community needs a draw for the average person who either doesn't invest or invests on a very limited basis. He makes investing interesting, exciting and funny. The Motley Fools attempted this approach but Jim Cramer succeeded. A non-investor won't watch Wall Street Week but they will watch Jim Cramer's Mad Money. His show will attract young investors.
Let's stop the 'demise' predictions and get back to investment predictions.

Real Estate Slump Not So Bad

It has been reported that this real estate slump that we currently have is the worst in 40 years. However, in John Mauldin's InvestorInsight website, he describes how one of his reader's came up with research showing that the current real estate market slump is not as bad as in 1967, 1971, 1974, 1980, 1982, 1995. This is based on the measurement of declines in house sales as a percent of GDP. You can read about it here:
http://www.investorsinsight.com/thoughts.aspx

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Rules for Investing, Rules for Trading

Most investors have heard of Jim Cramer, either heard him on the radio or seen his TV program. He has a great list of 25 Rules for Investing and 10 Commandments of Trading. If you've never heard or seen them, check them out at his website here:
http://www.thestreet.com/tsc/cramerbook

Forbes $400 Off Offer

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