Yahoo are at it again…

I think it was about a year ago when Yahoo tried to sweet talk everyone who used Flickr into upgrading to a Yahoo ID. Old Skool flickr members revolted and staged a large protest. Well its happening again, I wonder if there will be a large protest again? I just received this email from Yahoo.

Dear Old Skool Account-Holding Flickr Member,

On March 15th we'll be discontinuing the old email-based Flickr sign in system. From that point on, everyone will have to use a Yahoo! ID to sign in to Flickr.

We're making this change now to simplify the sign in process in advance of several large projects launching this year, but some Flickr features and tools already require Yahoo! IDs for sign in — like the mobile site at or the new Yahoo! Go program for mobiles, available at:

95% of your fellow Flickrites already use this system and their experience is just the same as yours is now, except they sign in on a different page. It's easy to switch: it takes about a minute if you already have a Yahoo! ID and about five minutes if you don't.

You can make the switch at any time in the next few months, from today till the 15th. (After that day, you'll be required to merge before you continue using your account.) To switch, start at this page:

Nothing else on your account or experience of Flickr changes: you can continue to have your FlickrMail and notifications sent to any email address at any domain and your screenname will remain the same.

Complete details and answers to most common questions are available here:

Thanks for your patience and understanding – and even bigger thanks for your continued support of Flickr: if you're reading this, you've been around for a while and that means a lot to us!

Warmest regards,

– The Flickreenos

So as Neil and others have pointed out, the Yahoo/Flickr protest is back and this time Yahoo don't seem to be rolling over. So whats my beef with Yahoo? Well let me tell you in a couple of points.

  • I bloody paid for 2 years of Flickr not Yahoo.
  • My Yahoo ID is something completely different and getting ianforrester or anything close is going to impossible (trust me I tried)
  • I don't want my non-commercial licensed photos involved in Yahoo's promotional warez.
  • Sorry but I preferred to have my own ID not linked to Yahoo, simple.
  • Why on earth does Yahoo want to know Birthday and Postcode? Is this needed just to share pictures?

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The Tom and Ian Show?

Recently I've been doing more podcasts, and finally not cringing when I hear my deep voice. Me and Tom Morris have started a podcast in the vain of the pretty dead Gillmor Gang. The MP3 file is on and you can subscribe to the feed here.

Between all the outages and bad quality of my voice, there is a pretty good discussion about a whole host of things including RDF/A vs Microformats, XHTML vs HTML5, the semantic web vs The Semantic Web. Tom is working on some clever notes system which I assume uses RDF or OPML to clever effect.

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I’m a founding member of the Media 2.0 work group

media 2.0 workgroup

I'm proud to announce I'm also a member of the Media 2.0 workgroup, along side people like Ben Metcalfe, Suw & Kevin, Steve Boyd, Chris Saad, etc.

The Media 2.0 Workgroup is a group of industry commentators, agitators and innovators who believe that the phenomena of democratic participation will change the face of Media Creation, Distribution and Consumption.

I think you will agree, this is certainly a noble cause. And when Chris outlines in detail the root of the group it just gets better and better. I like to think of this group being something like the mix of people who turned out the forever relevant Cluetrain manifesto

The term “Web 2.0” has become a little warn out lately, but it has had an important and dramatic effect on our industry. It has spurred innovation, driven investment and ignited the imagination of the entrepreneurial community.

The Web (2.0 or otherwise), however, is only part of the Media landscape. An important part of course, however Media includes the superset of people, places and things that can co-existing in and around the web to create participation experiences.

Radio, TV, Traditional Media Outlets, News, Entertainment, Movies, Music, Game Consoles etc all have an opportunity to innovate by 'getting social', and each will be impacted by and contribute to the transformative effects of Media 2.0.

There are underlying issues and opportunities however. Issues with fancy names like Aggregation, Attention, Convergence, DRM, Distribution, Engagement, Identity, Participation. These issues need discussion across the perceived Media boundaries and traditional disciplines so that we can all achieve real, integrated results.

To put it plainly, the visionaries, tool builders, emerging social media participants, 'old media' vanguard, investors and marketers all need to speak to each other to help create this opportunity together.

We call this broader ecosystem Media 2.0.

Like the Web, Media 2.0 is about shifting the power from the few to the many. We, the participants, are (or should be) the most important parts of the emerging Social Media. We each have a story to tell and connections just waiting to be made.

The challenge, however, is to help the unsocial media understand how to be social. To help advertisers understand the value of an engaged, trusting participant over a passive audience demographic. To help content creators understand that sharing and remixing is more profitable than DRM and to shine a light on the best innovations and ideas emerging from that very long tail.

Every community needs some help to grow. The long tail has a head, and every conversation needs a topic. So in this spirit, we have gathered a group of people who are passionate about the issues of Media 2.0 to help propel and focus the conversation.

These participants are from a cross-section of disciplines and agendas. Some merely comment, criticize and consult, some develop tools, some live the dream and have started their own Media 2.0 empires and some are fighting from the inside of established media to change the face of ‘business as usual’.

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Geek and Geekhag podcasts

Sarah and Ian

Finally I got around to setting up another blog for Geek and Geekhag podcast. or

There is also a RSS 2.0 feed which you can stick in your Podcatcher clients such as Jucie, iPodderX, and yuck iTunes.

At the moment we only have the 2007 episodes posts up, but we'll add the other older ones soon. Me and Sarah will be posting all future ones there and maybe only once in a while pointing to them from our own blogs. Subscribe and enjoy the weekly podcasts.

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Some interesting videos I’ve seen recently

So here's a couple of interesting videos I've seen recently,

Rocketboom (yep I still watch it) has a interesting short analysing the different video production used in the democrats announcements videos for the 2008 elections (can't think of a better way to explain them). They also have a good piece about paper or plastic bags and some interesting facts about the internet
and china

On10 has a long piece about the Pioneer DVJ 1000 which is a Digital CD/DVD turntable. The reason why its DVD is so you can mix video along side music. Now I've seen this a while ago but never actually seen it been used live before. Dj Ronnie G does a good job showing off whats possible. Now to be fair I wasn't blown away but made me rethink playing with Virtual
4's ability to mix video at the same time as mixing music.

Large multi touch displays with Jeff Han and Phil Davidson. And I want to archive the other interface stuff which people might have missed over time. Light tracer and Afterglow use laser pens to interesting effect, MIT have something where they use a brush called I/O
and Multitouch research.

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Tom Reynolds at the Citizen Journalism conference

So after my nightmare trip to Birmingham. I did get the conference about 1 hour late, but in time for Tom Reynolds good presentation which cause a nice stir. The room was full of journalism academics and they asked a lot of tricky questions of Tom. Anyway as usual, I recorded the presentation and the questions which
followed (i did do it at the lowest quality sorry). Tom has also added a post about his presentation.

So the talk went pretty well (I think so anyway). The audience mainly consisted of a load of journalism lecturers with one or two from the blooging community. So obviously I felt incredibly qualified to be there…

Thankfully I think I entertained them a bit and gave them a few things to think about. After the talk there was a workshop session and a panel discussion which I also think went well.

The rest of the conference was good too but raised more questions that it answered. I recorded the end panel which is not the best quality because I was so far away and Vicky Taylor from BBC News. Good work Paul

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Rights will make you rich or how to Boag?

I went to Rights will make you rich at one dot zero. Without going into details, it was a interesting debate once the presentations (1) (2) were out of the way although I have no idea what on earth the PSP document is. And one of the highlights of the night was a guy called Saw who was trying to make a point about something and decided
to storm out
in frustration. I didn't quite get the point he was making but it was something to do with freesoftware and opensource. I'm sure it was well thought-out but he left before we got a chance to talk. The rest of the evening wasn't very note worthy and I was too tired to contribute anything to the conversation after the BBC Innovation Forum.

Luckly the Boagworld meetup was far better.

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Having a nightmare day and its only 9:20am

It started at 6:20am when I woke up in a panic. I had not actually received the confirmation number for my train tickets to Birmingham today. Why was I going to Birmingham? Well back tracking a bit, I had heard about the citizen journalism conference a while ago but couldn't really justify paying for it and taking the time off. However, on Tuesday 23rd I got a email in my spam box from Paul Bradshaw. The start went exactly like this…

I am writing to invite you to the 'Citizen Journalism' conference this Friday, 26th January 2007. This one day event in Birmingham's Custard Factory will provide an important opportunity for those who work in the news industry, academics and citizen journalists to create a network of those working within the field, and discuss the issues involved. As one of the country's foremost bloggers we would be honoured if you would like to attend this event as a non-paying guest.

Ok so I'm thinking they must have the wrong guy. doesn't even make the top 10000 in Technorati (but to be fair I've had problems with Technorati for a while now). Although I did make it into the Top 500 feedster bloggers in late 2005. But honestly I don't see how the thoughts and ideas of dyslexic, designer/developer can be of that much interest. Saying all
that, I got to say its quite good to think of myself as a Z level celeb in the blogosphere. Anyway you look at it, I'm still glowing after reading that email and thought I'd better make a effort go along.

And this is where things started to go wrong. On Wednesday I booked the tickets for the train on the BBC's internal train service (supplied by the trainline for business) and I waited a bit for the confirmation email but was so busy I forgot about it and ended up going home without checking again. But I noticed there were a couple of unread items on my phone which is automatically synced with Outlook. So I just assumed those emails could have been the conformation number. Boy was I wrong. It turned out to be
two emails about the future of webapps which is now sold out (whole different story).

On Thursday I was out of the office and busy during the night at the Rights will make you rich and Boagworld meetup, so didn't get a chance to do anything due to having to get up really early the next day. Anyway, so today I logged on to my email remotely from home and checked my email for anything from the trainline. Of course there was nothing. So I attempted to book another ticket from London Euston to Birmingham and back again. The system was having none of it. I tried for like 20mins, even tried booking
single tickets but it just wasn't going to be. Tried phoning our BBC Trainiline helpdesk and the trainline directly but all I got was call back at 8am. Well I would if I didn't have to catch a train at 8:10am. So in the end I logged out and had to signup with the plain consumer facing Trainline website myself and fork it all out on my own credit card. Luckly it worked but I couldn't book tickets for the morning because you can't buy tickets 2hrs before the train leaves. So by the time all this happened and I
quickly jumped in the shower, it was 7:30am and I still had to unlock the scooter and go to euston.

I was already up against it and the traffic along commercial road was stupid and not going anywhere soon. But I did manage to get to Kings Cross at 8:10am which meant I missed the train but could get the next one ok. By the time I found where I could park my scooter (right out side the station actually) it was 8:30 and after getting my ticket (38 pounds for a single to Birmingham) I thought I'd quickly grab some food from Marks and Spencers because I hadn't eaten well yesterday and didn't have any breakfast.
Well you can guess what happened when I got to the platform. Yep wave goodbye to the train. They had cancelled the train at 8:43 and told everyone going that way to get on the earlier 8:40. I think its at that point I thought things couldn't get much worst and I thought well I got to at least write a blog entry about this day I'm having.

Well in the last sting of the tail, my ticket I bought was a super saver which is not valid for travel before 9:45am. The next train (which I'm currently sitting on) was at 9:10am but I didn't know about the super saver till 9:05am. So I ended up having to pay extra money to make up the fair difference (a extra 25 pounds). And to finally to top off everything my power socket is dodgy so it sometimes cuts out plus there is zero wireless! Not even a costly one. I haven't hooked up phones for dial up access yet
with my new laptop and I can't remember the long modem query string for Orange let alone O2.

Anyway, I'm sure the conference will be good and I got molly's birthday bender tonight so i'm sure this morning won't set the tone for the rest of the day.

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Westminster Council, what a bunch of greedy f…

Matthew lead me on to the scheme where Westminster Council will charge motorcyclist a price for parking. It seems to have moved from a joke into something real with legs. I think this so crap and we need to do something about this before it happens and worst still Camden and others start following suite. How dare they claim the cost of securing bikes parking will cost up to 1 pound a day. This is simply wrong and smacks in the face of the congestion charge which is meant to stop congestion in London. Bikes are a good way to get across london and cause very little congestion. Charging for bike parking sends a message that were not welcome. Anyway From London Bikers

Thanks to the efforts of our LB Reporter Mr Toby Stokes – we secured an interview with Westminster Council about the parking scheme. We also asked you what you thought – and here's the video.

Sign the petition here and visit the campain website here

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Did you get a email from Octane about BarCampLondon2?

BarCampLondon2 17th-18th Feb 2007

I just do not understand. When did Press Release mean emailing everyone who wrote about BarCampLondon in the last year?

Ben and Tom make their feelings known and rightly so I have to say.

I have little to do with the emails which went out today. Honestly if this was even mentioned to me I would said no this is certainly a very bad idea. I did agreed with BT putting out a press release. But I was under the illusion this meant emailing newspapers, magazines, etc not bloggers. Lets cut the crap, does a event which sold 100 tickets in 1.5 hours and is now holding back tickets to the public currently need even more PR? No I don't think so. You only have to whisper BarCampLondon and
people are kicking off emails asking when and where to sign-up. This is no bad thing because BarCampLondon was such a great event last time and I'm sure it will be even better this time around.

What killed me about the emails from Bethan at Octane PR was.

  1. Bethan used a Press release which I had corrected previously when BT sent it to me, Nat and Jason recently.
  2. The link to BarCampLondon2 was wrong in the emails
  3. The email addresses must have been found by searching Google or Technorati
  4. The start of the email twists the truth to sound like it comes from a trusted source
  5. The emails were sent to people who merely mentioned BarCampLondon not BarCampLondon2 (hence Ben got one although he lives in SF)
  6. Bethan must not have done much research into the event because even I got a email and I'm a bloody organizer (geez)
  7. The signature for Bethan Thomas, account manager at Octane PR is over 10 lines tall! Do they have no shame?

I do not want this to distract from the great work BT has done in opening up its building for BarCampLondon2. We really have a great space and BT were happy to offer us even more. They even had a backup venue in case we felt the BT Centre in St Pauls wasn't suitable (no idea how they could have felt that). I'm sure it will blow over in the next few days, plus everyone is talking about the BBC CBBC World at the moment to notice most of the blogs
charting the email (although I expect the number to grow by tomorrow).

My personal apologies goes out to Ben, Tom, Drew, David, Adrian, Nat, Richard, Leisa and anyone else who it went to.

I do promise to talk to BT and I'm sure they will appreciate the honest response they are getting from bloggers. Last but not least a quote from the Cluetrain.

To speak with a human voice, companies must share the concerns of their communities. But first, they must belong to a community.

For those wondering about the email, look no futher here it is.

Hi Ian,

I notice that you’ve registered your interest in going along to BarCamp London this year. Just wanted to make sure you have the updated details on the event and have the registration details if you do want to go along.


News Alert

January 23, 2007


As part of its commitment to driving innovation in technology at every level, BT has announced it’s the lead sponsor of BarCamp London 2007.

The event, which will be held at BT Centre, London, on February 17 and 18, 2007, is the second to be held in London and is part of a worldwide programme of conferences that includes Los Angeles, Montreal and Seoul.

BarCamp London brings together the UK’s technology community to share ideas and learn about technology in an open environment. These include attendees from design, usability, marketing/PR, digital agency work and venture capital backgrounds, as well as developers and programmers.

The BarCamp rules are very clear and create an environment where there are no spectators, only participants: everyone who attends is expected to present, give a demo, lead a session or support the event in some way. This helps to get everyone involved, but also creates more of a community atmosphere. First time attendees have to make a presentation or lead a discussion.

Gavin Patterson, group managing director consumer at BT Retail said: “As a company, we’re driving innovation in the technology sector, both for businesses and consumers. BarCamp is at the heart of this and brings together some of the most talented people in the industry, creating an environment where they can share, discuss and develop the latest technology and services, which is why we’re sponsoring the latest event in London.”

If you’re interested in finding out more about BarCamp London 2007, please go to or register at

Bethan Thomas
Account Manager
A division of LEWIS – Global Public Relations
Millbank Tower, Millbank
London, SW1P 4RS

Tel: +44 (0)20 7802 2662
Mobile: +44 (0)7714 768952

PRWEEK – Top ten all-sector agency, 2005
PRWEEK – Number one in UK technology PR league, 2003, 2004, 2005

Best Companies – Michelin-rated one star accreditation, 2006
The Sunday Times – Top 100 best small companies to work for, 2005
The Holmes Report – Top Ten international consultancies, 2005 & European SABRE awards finalists, 2006
Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Excellence finalists, 2006

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BarCampLondon2 the first wave of signups


Sign up for BarCampLondon2 kicked off yesterday at 1pm (GMT). There were 100 spaces available and a hour and half later they were all gone. This is simply amazing speed, last year it took 36 hours to fill about the same. This time there was no wiki locking drama because we're using Eventwax (cheers Nat for the good recommendation). However I did add some drama by not revealing that we are going to release the tickets in waves rather that all at once. This also means we can still have places up the last minute and increase those spaces if someone drops out of the first wave. I do wonder why I've never heard of Eventwax before?

Anyway the important part is the dates planned for new tickets. There will be some before the end of this week (maybe Thursday or Friday), some more next week (start of Feb) and the rest maybe the week of the event. We have room for 200 people at this years BarCampLondon and at the moment we've used 106 spaces in total. So honestly fear not, keep an eye on the wiki for changes and add me on twitter because I'll certainly announce when I release more spaces. Although don't expect more that 20 at a time now.

All in all, waving out the spaces makes a lot more sense and I'll be using this much more in the future.

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Geek and Geekhag Podcast number 3 for 2007

This time we're upstairs in the computer room with our new microphones and a lightly longer podcast for your listening pleasure. We talk about what we did on Friday night, TV generations, RFID misconceptions, Calendaring update and vs Tape it off the We also have a update on the mouse and some music perceptions which puzzles me. Enjoy… and leave us a comment.

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Free your phone a few words from OpenMoko

Open Moko phone

Dave forwarded a very clever email from the guys behind the OpenMoko project. I have quoted a lot from the email but left out the part in the middle about the specs of the hardware and software.

“The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it.”

Mark Weiser wrote those words almost 15 years ago in a Scientific American article titled, “The Computer for the 21st Century.” In it, he coined the term “ubiquitous computing”, and proposed a set of ground rules for devices of the 21st century. Temporally, we're here. Technologically, we're close. But everyone still seems to be talking about ubiquitous computing like a mirage on desert road: it's always the same distance away. Sometimes looking at common every day objects with a fresh perspective yields interesting
new ideas. Today we're going to propose that the foundation for ubiquitous computing is already here. All that is stopping us from going forward is change of context.

Almost everyone we know has a mobile phone. Mobile phones have become part of the fabric of everyday life. Does this mean that the mobile phone is the ubiquitous computing device we've all waited for? Currently, no. But with a subtle change we would argue, yes.

Mobile phones are closed environments created with a mobile context in mind. But this concept is limiting; a mobile phone has the potential to be a platform that can do anything that a small computer with broadband access can do. If mobile phones were based on open platforms, they would have the potential to bring computing to people in a ways traditional computers cannot. Mobile phones can become ubiquitous computers.

Ubiquitous computing, however, does not simply mean computers that can be carried to work, to the home, to the beach, and to the movies. Ubiquitous computers must know where they are, and then must be able to merge into the environment.

We put GPS functionality into the Neo1973, because when your phone simply knows its location, it can adapt its behavior in significant ways without even a hint of artificial intelligence. How can devices disappear into the background? To be honest, we have far more questions than answers here. But do we know what is needed for exploring this idea. Developers must have unrestricted access to hardware at all times. Being able to control the microphone, for example, will allow phones to sense ambient noise. A simple
program could prevent your phone from ringing while you're in a conversation.

We will always try our absolute best to give you devices that are as open as possible. Our goal is freeing end-users and businesses alike from proprietary constraints. We're about encouraging people to modify and personalize their software to support their individual needs. Building products as we do, we strive to enable people to connect and communicate in new and relevant ways, using their own languages and their own symbols.

We want your involvement in OpenMoko. Now is a great time for us to work together. You'll have our full support. We're dedicated to helping you “Free Your Phone.” And we're always looking, listening, and hungry for new things. It is our goal to be totally market driven.

To be market-driven requires a willingness to experiment. OpenMoko will provide discounted phones to people in “improbable” markets. We're interested in what people in these markets can do with our products, whether they can use them at all, or what it would have to be like for them to become customers.

We will start out with the assumption that our product may find customers in previously ignored markets; that uses no one imagined when the product was designed will be found; and that Neo1973 will be bought by customers outside our field of vision and even unknown to our sales force.

We need you to talk to us. Tell us what you want. We promise we will listen. Your feedback will help evolve our roadmap. The real power of an open phone comes not from any one of these devices; it emerges from the interaction of all the users of “freed phones.” We can create true ubiquitous computing in Weiser's terms. This will be the computer of the 21st century.

At this point, we should tell you why we chose the name “Neo1973.” “Neo” means new. Dr. Marty Cooper (the inventor of the mobile phone) made the first call ever in 1973.

We believe that an open source mobile phone can revolutionize, once again, the world of communication. This will be the New 1973.

Join us. “Free Your Phone.”


The OpenMoko Team

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The TV watching generations finally catergorised

TV on loose stones and bricks

I've been thinking about this for quite some time but never really put it down anywhere till I wrote this email on the backstage mailing list. Yes I also hate catergorisations like this because they group people in too tight a category but this is only a thought.

  • 1st generationMainstream

    Tend to be stuck to the Broadcast Schedule, will get home to watch a certain thing, will see lots of adverts etc. Will tend to have Cable, Sky (satellite) or Freeview (over the air broadcast). Uses a video recorder to catch up on stuff missed but prefer to watch stuff live
  • 2nd generationTape it for later

    They tend to watch live events, browse TV and tape/vivo/record everything they watch a lot (such as shows). They skip adverts but still see them. Still aware of the Broadcast Schedule and subscribes to Sky or Cable. Uses the internet a bit for web 1.0 type applications (email, browsing). May buy shows legally from the itunes store.
  • 3rd generationOn Demand

    Completely off the schedule, no idea which channel things come from or what time there on. Rely on friends recommendations or social networks to tell what's on. Owns a laptop or has a computer device (such as xbox) setup with there TV. Tends not to browse TV and does not subscribe to Sky or Cable but watches a lot of TV content, sometimes more that previous generations. Keeps up with a lot of American shows. Watches shorter TV clips and amateur and pro-amateur media online.
  • 4th generationThere is no spoon

    Same as 3rd generation but sees all content as remixable and shareable. Can't understand why mixing content is a bad thing. Uploads content to online sites and shares a lot for social capital. May not even own a TV but has access to a large connection (broadband). Uses Torrent sites including private trackers. May watch a equal amount of pro-amateur/amateur content with pro TV content and may have a podcast/videocast of their own. Owns at least 2 computers, a mobile device which can play video, maybe a console
    and has a home network of somekind. May still buy content legally but is frustrated by


    and the lack of content.

These are my own views and should not be taken as the views of the BBC or factually correct.


Obviously there's stages between the generations (nothing is black and white like that), like someone who watches everything on demand but also tunes in for Torchwood every week (what day was it on again?).

I expect people will slowly climb through the generations and this will take some time. For example their are a lot people who can be categorised in the 1st Generation but there are also a growing 2nd generation which at some point will make up the mainstream. I also suspect the changes will happen faster as time moves on. So you won't get the 100 years of 1st generation TV watching with 2nd generation tivoing. Also 3rd and 4th generation watching are much closely aligned. Someone once asked me what happens after
the 4th, I usually laugh and say We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there… – Alan Turing.

The comments/feedback section is open, let me know what you think of it all.

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