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Making Tesla pt. 2

Discussions about the economic and financial ramifications of PEAK OIL

Re: Making Tesla pt. 2

Unread postby tita » Mon 02 Oct 2017, 14:59:47

Outcast_Searcher wrote:
tita wrote:Among other things, it seems the ramp up is quite slow (250th model 3), and it appears that there is still some big issues that need to be resolved.

Do you have a source for the 250th model 3 statement? Or the "still quite slow" statement?

I can't find much on this. The one hit I found via Google which estimates 300 to 400 produced is self-admitted pure speculation by a Baird analyst on Friday.

I'm not saying you're wrong. I'd just like to see real data vs. speculation. And if there is speculation from a reliable source, I'd like to know the source and what they're saying and why.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tesla- ... 2017-09-29

There is no source. It's just speculations based on VIN numbers. We know for sure that there is 250+ cars. We don't know how much more.

I also don't buy the 400k reservations converting into sales if the price is too high. Model S (60kwh upgradable) have been sold at $68'000... $60'500 substracting federal tax. The guy who reserved a Model 3 would have bought a model S at $60'500 if he thought the model 3 would cost him $51'000. And probably many did.
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Re: Making Tesla pt. 2

Unread postby Plantagenet » Mon 02 Oct 2017, 17:17:33

Tesla shares down big on failure to meet promised production targets

whereas in August - less than two months ago - Tesla predicted it would build more than 1,500 Model 3s in the third quarter; it actually made... just 260.

I don't get why Tesla shares are down ----they only missed their target by 80% and Elon promised everything is going to be great next quarter. Elon making big promises has always been enough to give the stock a boost in the past.

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Re: Making Tesla pt. 2

Unread postby baha » Wed 04 Oct 2017, 13:39:31

And then there are the folks that believe in the transition...

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/04/nomura- ... ecast.html

Fact is, Tesla fan-bois are patient. Changing the world takes time :)
That includes fan-gyrls...Plantagenet
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Re: Making Tesla pt. 2

Unread postby Cog » Wed 04 Oct 2017, 14:19:27

So that projected 5000 cars a week in the fourth quarter is out the window now. Third quarter earnings(or should we say losses) should be interesting.
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Re: Making Tesla pt. 2

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Wed 04 Oct 2017, 15:21:13

Cog wrote:So that projected 5000 cars a week in the fourth quarter is out the window now. Third quarter earnings(or should we say losses) should be interesting.

I'm probably in the minority, but I don't think the precise timing of the ramp-up is critical, as long as the ramp up leads to serious volume WITH quality, and the delay isn't too long.

So for example, if they don't get to 5000 units until say March, no big deal, as long as they're at 2500 or so in Jan. WITH excellent quality. OTOH, if 4Q doesn't show some very serious ramping and consistent quality, then the Tesla promises for Model 3 are truly in doubt, and I think that will greatly erode (rational) investors' confidence in Musk's promises, and be hard on the stock price.

OTOH, I thought the 260 Model 3 3Q production number vs the 1500 estimate/target would be hard on the stock for at least a few weeks (all else being equal). There was an initial dip, but here we are two days later with the stock up about $14 from the roughly $341 close on Monday. It did drop about $9 to $332ish initially Tuesday morning, but since then it's been net buying.

Three reasons I can find (not necessarily rational):

1). New "analysis" and $500 price estimate released, mentioned above stirs up fanbois.

2). Model S and X volume not slipping. Not growing much either, but at least not obviously cannibalized by the Model 3 -- at least that's what the reporters/analysts are saying. (OTOH, no growth to speak of either).

3). Since Musk is claiming there's no serious or long term problem with the Model 3, investors are supposedly shrugging the 260 number off. (Well, it's one thing not to panic, but to get upside out of that number? I find that a bit bizarre).

....

But, of course, this is why it's very hard to make money on short term trading. And also why it's exceedingly dangerous to be naked short a fanboi loved stock like TSLA on "rational" long term financial predictions. One could be right in a year or five, and financially destroyed by irrational fanboi buying in the mean time (if one holds a large unprotected position relative to their overall portfolio).

It will be interesting to see how much rope investors give Musk to hang himself and his reputation IF Model 3 volume doesn't seriously ramp in 4Q. Since Tesla doesn't release monthly sales volumes (which I think is BS), it's all rumors until 4Q earnings come out, so tough to evaluate real Model 3 production in the mean time.

...

By the way, take any of my opinions or predictions on Tesla with a grain of salt. I claim no special knowledge -- I just read and use my common sense experience in 35 years of selling option premium for profits without taking huge risks. And I only hold fully hedged option spreads on TSLA as I consider unhedged bets on Tesla WAY too dangerous.
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Re: Making Tesla pt. 2

Unread postby Plantagenet » Wed 04 Oct 2017, 16:32:27

Outcast_Searcher wrote:
By the way, take any of my opinions or predictions on Tesla with a grain of salt. I claim no special knowledge -- I just read and use my common sense experience in 35 years of selling option premium for profits without taking huge risks. And I only hold fully hedged option spreads on TSLA as I consider unhedged bets on Tesla WAY too dangerous.


Could you explain your investing strategy in more detail?

It sounds very complicated. :)

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Re: Making Tesla pt. 2

Unread postby baha » Wed 04 Oct 2017, 16:41:24

I just did another site survey for a Powerwall install. This dude lives 6.5 miles from me, has a 6.8 kW PV system (that we installed), a garden, and chickens. I feel like a brother already :)

Turns out the 9 Powerwalls we got were just the ones my company bought outright. Since we are the only Tesla certified installers, anyone in our area who reserves and buys a Powerwall directly from Tesla uses us as the installer and they ship directly to our warehouse. So they are still coming in.

Something that effects this whole Tesla investment thing is the fan-boi nature of it all. The first Powerwalls are going to people who already have solar...why? Because they are the alternative energy fan-bois. And they are also the first ones who will have EVs. It is a cult. And I am a card carrying member :)

Just like the dark web, this is the dark grid that is building behind the scenes. From the bottom up. Only the investment strategists who buy into the cult see the potential. The others are just scratching their heads?!!

The beauty of it is how it all fits together and creates a new paradigm. PV power, battery storage, and Electric Vehicles. It is a new basic infrastructure that is based on independence and personal control. It may not support BAU but it will keep us moving forward.
A Solar fuel spill is otherwise known as a sunny day!
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Re: Making Tesla pt. 2

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Wed 04 Oct 2017, 17:17:44

It is going to be an interesting year. Either Musk produces a major portion of the EV cars he has promised ( I'd say at least 60 percent of his projections) or his whole operation is revealed as just a variation of a ponzi scheme where he runs off with millions if not billions and all the investors take it in the shorts as in a kick to the groin.
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Re: Making Tesla pt. 2

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Thu 05 Oct 2017, 02:36:25

baha wrote:Something that effects this whole Tesla investment thing is the fan-boi nature of it all. The first Powerwalls are going to people who already have solar...why? Because they are the alternative energy fan-bois. And they are also the first ones who will have EVs. It is a cult. And I am a card carrying member :)

It seems to me that just like you have demonstrated (and folks like Tony Seba talk the numbers on) that the Powerwall type of system is the answer for people who want to leverage their solar investment into something that comes close to making them energy independent, including those who don't want a bunch of hassle with maintenance.

To me, that doesn't take a cult at all. Now, one might question how quickly one should make the jump (economics, reliability, battery longevity concerns), but for folks who already have solar installations, they're clearly less cautious about embracing such tech. than the average consumer.

The beauty of it is how it all fits together and creates a new paradigm. PV power, battery storage, and Electric Vehicles. It is a new basic infrastructure that is based on independence and personal control. It may not support BAU but it will keep us moving forward.

I agree that it's a beautiful vision. Plus, if the cost curves continue to decrease for solar, batteries, and EV's (due to the big battery component) the way Tony Seba et al are predicting (or even remotely closely), the economics will end up favoring solar and batteries so heavily, that the result will be inevitable.

I really hope it happens that way because it will be so stunningly amazing to see. Congrats on being in the catbird seat for installing Powerwalls, etc. In a world of increasing insecurity for many jobs, that would seem to be a great place to be, as long as batteries and solar panels continue to get better and cheaper -- even if much slower than the most bullish folks are forecasting.
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Re: Making Tesla pt. 2

Unread postby baha » Thu 05 Oct 2017, 06:09:04

You're right OS, I have been blessed by Mother Earth.

10 years ago I was reading Peakoil.com, thinking about the future, and trying to make a plan. It was clear that FFs have a limited lifetime. Who knows how long, so better to leave them behind first.

Solar was just starting to take off so I looked into it. I even ran some hot water experiments for fun. It seemed to me making heat with a black garden hose and heating a cooler full of water with convection instead of pumps was just about as reliable as it gets. All our energy sources involve large amounts of infrastructure and feeding. You have to keep working it so it keeps working. You have to bring in fuel and ship out the power. It's wonderful for a growing economy but not very efficient or reliable. The reliability comes from constant maintenance and a whole industry devoted to fueling it.

I'm stepping back and looking at the big picture. Solar power and battery storage have no moving parts. I don't care how well you design, moving parts wear out. Electronics only wears out if you overload or overheat it. You can design for that! The potential is there for almost 100% reliability and a lifetime of decades or more. I can make it in my backyard and store it in my house and car. No pipelines, long distance transmission wires, or maintenance crews that wander around the country following disasters.

Sure it takes energy to build the stuff...it takes energy to build FF powerplants too. But after my Personal Powerplant is built I never have to feed it again. You won't know the true EROEI until the system dies and you add it all up. Every moment that it continues operating the energy return goes up. A FFed powerplant sucks energy it's entire life. The true return is a slave to prices...my system is a slave to the Sun. He gives me power for free!

In the same way that our current energy paradigm is in-efficient, our current transportation paradigm is even worse. We drive around in two ton boxes that have an energy return of about 10% or less if you go all the way back to the oil well. I don't condone this behavior so I plan to change it. One step at a time. Me first :)

An EV is so much more efficient than an ICE car. Not only in energy return but also in simplicity. There are very few moving parts and their is no noise, heat, or vibration. Electric motors are 10 times as reliable and long lasting as an IC engine. And there is NO transmission! Those are the two things that spell the death of a car. We could be driving 99% reliable cars that are 75% efficient and last 50 years easy.

I saw this and acted on it 10 years ago. Solar has beat my expectations ever since. Batteries are in the place solar was 10 years ago. If the momentum continues this is a done deal. The big auto makers are looking out 10 years and seeing their death from lack of innovation.

Again, all it takes is for everyone to work toward the same goal and this will happen so fast it will make your head spin. Even with many people fighting it, Mother Earth will win :) She will cut us off from oil and laugh. We need to be ready...
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Re: Making Tesla pt. 2

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Thu 05 Oct 2017, 10:08:21

baha wrote:You're right OS, I have been blessed by Mother Earth.

Great post, and I generally agree with all of it.

As a guy whose working and spare time life is/has been about 90% about computers and related electronics, I do want to ask about this statement, though:

Electronics only wears out if you overload or overheat it.

Pure electronics certainly has no moving parts (bigger than electrons). But based on long experience and the fact that virtually all electronic gadgets of high complexity seem to break down over time, I don't understand that quote.

I'm 99% sure IBM wasn't overheating their water chilled, raised floor, hardened computer centers, backed up by diesel generators and onsite fuel for high reliability, and built in hardened complexes to withstand, say, moderate hurricanes and keep running for days were being overheated. (The weak point was needing to bring in more Diesel after 5 days or so). For one thing, thermal monitoring was a key thing they did, and the machines would shut down if needed due to any danger of overheating. (Annoying as it was to us software guys who had to "clean up" the mess when that happened).

And yet, circuit boards on those mainframe computers failed, and failed more often the older they got. Components on all my PC's failed eventually, even when I ran then without a case and with a big fan blowing on them all the time, and monitored temperatures of the PC were consistently low.

I regularly run some old rebuilt laptops with Win XP to run legacy games. (Yes, I'm a big child. Is watching sports or chasing a golf ball really more "adult"?) Certain parts fail over time, even if they're used little, much less overloaded.

Well built, designed, and cooled electronics are a marvel of reliability relative to complex mechanical machines, no doubt.

But if electronics like computers would run "forever" if well cared for, then I'd expect a dozen or so of my dead PC's from the last 35 years to be alive and kicking, even allowing for plenty of bad luck.

I'm rooting for electric cars to be EXTREMELY reliable. However cars endure temperature extremes in most environments, humidity, dirt, vibration, acceleration, etc. Much worse than desktop PC's by orders of magnitude for some factors. I think the jury is out on how well they'll run after a few decades -- although they'll certainly put even new model ICE's to shame in that department, on average.
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Re: Making Tesla pt. 2

Unread postby pstarr » Thu 05 Oct 2017, 10:42:14

Though the electronics may never wear out, the circuit board is vulnerable. Copper traces and gold connectors have impurities and oxidize. Epoxy resins breakdown, are fragile and shift. Wouldn't that cause minute short circuits and damage electronics?

" I think the jury is out on how well they'll run after a few decades -- although they'll certainly put even new model ICE's to shame in that department, on average."


All I can think of is chaos and Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park. Modern cars (EV and ICEs) are ridiculously complex systems--computers/sensors/mechanical activators, is probably impossible to debug and fix without another dedicated complex computer system itself vulnerable to the same chaos.

Wouldn't it be better to run a (relatively) simple mechanical machine that WILL wear out predictably and obviously. And repair it with a wrench?
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Re: Making Tesla pt. 2

Unread postby asg70 » Thu 05 Oct 2017, 10:49:56

pstarr wrote:Wouldn't it be better to run a (relatively) simple mechanical machine that WILL wear out predictably and obviously. And repair it with a wrench?


No, because we're far removed from a world made by hand and aren't going back there voluntarily.

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Re: Making Tesla pt. 2

Unread postby GHung » Thu 05 Oct 2017, 10:56:36

pstarr wrote:Though the electronics may never wear out, the circuit board is vulnerable. Copper traces and gold connectors have impurities and oxidize. Epoxy resins breakdown, are fragile and shift. Wouldn't that cause minute short circuits and damage electronics?

" I think the jury is out on how well they'll run after a few decades -- although they'll certainly put even new model ICE's to shame in that department, on average."


All I can think of is chaos and Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park. Modern cars (EV and ICEs) are ridiculously complex systems--computers/sensors/mechanical activators, is probably impossible to debug and fix without another dedicated complex computer system itself vulnerable to the same chaos.

Wouldn't it be better to run a (relatively) simple mechanical machine that WILL wear out predictably and obviously. And repair it with a wrench?
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Re: Making Tesla pt. 2

Unread postby yellowcanoe » Thu 05 Oct 2017, 11:02:39

pstarr wrote:
Wouldn't it be better to run a (relatively) simple mechanical machine that WILL wear out predictably and obviously. And repair it with a wrench?


Yes, that would be better, except for the higher fuel consumption and emissions. We've introduced more complexity in an effort to reduce resource consumption and to reduce the environmental impact.
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Re: Making Tesla pt. 2

Unread postby pstarr » Thu 05 Oct 2017, 11:26:02

yellowcanoe wrote:
pstarr wrote:
Wouldn't it be better to run a (relatively) simple mechanical machine that WILL wear out predictably and obviously. And repair it with a wrench?


Yes, that would be better, except for the higher fuel consumption and emissions. We've introduced more complexity in an effort to reduce resource consumption and to reduce the environmental impact.

Wired 03.31.16 : Tesla’s Electric Cars Aren’t as Green as You Might Think
For instance:
Rare metals only exist in tiny quantities and inconvenient places—so you have to move a lot of earth to get just a little bit. In the Jiangxi rare earth mine in China, Abraham writes, workers dig eight-foot holes and pour ammonium sulfate into them to dissolve the sandy clay. Then they haul out bags of muck and pass it through several acid baths; what’s left is baked in a kiln, leaving behind the rare earths required by everything from our phones to our Teslas.


Folks who don't understand the above probably never will. It's the same attention deficit that can not see the energy expended to acquire energy. There is no free lunch. What you see as a consumer is only a mirage.
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Re: Making Tesla pt. 2

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Thu 05 Oct 2017, 12:00:09

pstarr wrote:
yellowcanoe wrote:
pstarr wrote:
Wouldn't it be better to run a (relatively) simple mechanical machine that WILL wear out predictably and obviously. And repair it with a wrench?


Yes, that would be better, except for the higher fuel consumption and emissions. We've introduced more complexity in an effort to reduce resource consumption and to reduce the environmental impact.

Wired 03.31.16 : Tesla’s Electric Cars Aren’t as Green as You Might Think
For instance:
Rare metals only exist in tiny quantities and inconvenient places—so you have to move a lot of earth to get just a little bit. In the Jiangxi rare earth mine in China, Abraham writes, workers dig eight-foot holes and pour ammonium sulfate into them to dissolve the sandy clay. Then they haul out bags of muck and pass it through several acid baths; what’s left is baked in a kiln, leaving behind the rare earths required by everything from our phones to our Teslas.


So? Once again, making the imperfect the enemy of the good.

EVERY GALLON of gasoline burned spews roughly 20 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Between the reliability and longevity of EV's and batteries projected with current technology (much less the pace of ongoing efficiency improvements), do you have credible math and sources to show how rare earths are worse?

Of course you don't.

Or credible sources for how rare earths can't build out an electric car fleet, be recycled in some cases, etc?

Of course you don't. Just zero-hedge style FUD.

But of course since you've recently decided to be an AGW denier, despite the massive accumulation of evidence for AGW, feel free to make stuff up, as usual.
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Re: Making Tesla pt. 2

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Thu 05 Oct 2017, 12:04:28

To return to the topic of PCs for a moment. Modern computers have virtually 100% of their cicuits in silicon which is encapsulated in a "passifying" layer of paint, epoxy, or plastic. They require precision micro-manipulators, surface-mount soldering gear, and other specialized equipment to replace components, as well as purpose-designed electronic test equipment to diagnose which components are at fault. Designing the support equipment for a computer was harder and costlier and took longer than designing the computer itself - which had to sell in volumes that paid for the product design, the test equipment design, the custom tooling to produce the product, the spares logistics expenses, the marketing expenses, and still produce the desired corporate profit margin - or be considered a failure. This was not simple, easy, or trivial to do, even with the automated design tools we had.

The last three PCs I have bought have been replaced solely because they would not run current operating systems, which meant that my virus protection was getting stale once Microsoft ended operating system updates, making the PC vulnerable to hacking and identity theft. My current PC and it's two predecessors have never failed, and I'm not expecting this one to fail either - because (although it is a different class of machine than the ones I designed) I bought it from my former employer HP, and I know it was engineered by groups held to the same high standards as myself.

I did in fact open the case on my 10 year old PC a couple of months ago. It was cycling the single cooling fan from low to high speed and back again, producing an annoying and noticeable noise. I opened it up for the first time in 10 years (breaking the plastic seals over the screws) and carefully vacuumed out an amazing layer of dust coating everything inside. Then I replaced the cover, and I'm convinced it will run another 10 years - except Microsoft will halt support for Windows 7 in another year or two, and I'll replace it before then.

The secret to buying a PC that lasts is to buy from a major manufacturer that produces all the components, and not from an integrator. That means ordering online and waiting for the machine with your options to be produced at a factory and shipped to you. There are only THREE such manufacturers today, which are HP, Lenovo (formerly called IBM), and Apple. Everybody else including Compaq (a consumer PC brand owned by HP), Dell, Asus, Acer, etc. all are integrating computers from generic Chinese components.

A properly constructed computer need have no more than one fan, along with internal air baffles to cause the air to flow over the critical components. Especially to be avoided is having a giant heatsink fan vibrating the CPU. On my 10+ year old PC, the one fan is located in the power supply, and modular plastic baffles are in place thougout the case, perforated in strategic places, so that the airflow cools everything needing air. The CPU is cooled by "heat pipes" containing Freon refrigerant, and a small radiator located in the airflow of the single fan. By only paying for one fan, you can afford the best quality ball bearing, precision balanced fan you can buy, with the highest reliability.

Although electrolytic capacitors remain the critical components, the secret to having them last is to solder them by hand to the completed printed circuit board, after it has been ultrasonicly cleaned in solvent, and then clean the soldering flux from the solder side of the board without exposing the seals on the capacitors to the cleaning solvent. The final cleaning is a mild organic citrus-based cleaner which is recycled hundreds of times after filtering.

That's modern personal computer engineering, in a nutshell. The machines I worked on were even more complex, with combination liquid and air cooling and "seven nines" reliability, meaning that the probability that the critical infrastructure application would be running was 0.9999999. During my career we increased availability from "five nines" in 1978 to "seven nines" in 2015.

Buy a good PC, don't mess with it, and chances are excellant that it will go obsolete before it fails. PCs are now a mature technology, just before being replaced by mobile devices which are still in rapid design flux. EVs are also in rapid design flux, and when Musk and the other EV manufacturers have worked out all the problems, chances are that they will be much better than ICE vehicles, just before personal transportation goes (if not obsolete) much less in demand due to human lifestyle changes.
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Re: Making Tesla pt. 2

Unread postby pstarr » Thu 05 Oct 2017, 12:31:44

Outcast_Searcher wrote:Or credible sources for how rare earths can't build out an electric car fleet, be recycled in some cases, etc?

Did I say that? I said nothing about rare-earth shortages.

Read what I said: Mining rare-earths uses up precious energy and causes environmental destruction. Point source pollution is real, now, and hurts people today.

My concern with AGW is nuanced. I have no doubt that CO2 effects the climate. I just don't see runaway global warming. It's a con game to distract you so you can keep polluting in the real world.
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Re: Making Tesla pt. 2

Unread postby yellowcanoe » Thu 05 Oct 2017, 13:32:42

KaiserJeep wrote:I did in fact open the case on my 10 year old PC a couple of months ago. It was cycling the single cooling fan from low to high speed and back again, producing an annoying and noticeable noise. I opened it up for the first time in 10 years (breaking the plastic seals over the screws) and carefully vacuumed out an amazing layer of dust coating everything inside. Then I replaced the cover, and I'm convinced it will run another 10 years - except Microsoft will halt support for Windows 7 in another year or two, and I'll replace it before then.


We still have quite a few 10 year old Core 2 Duo machines on our campus that originally ran Windows XP. Windows Vista was the current version of Windows at the time they were purchased but our central computing department never deployed Vista (or Windows 8 ). Lucky for us, most of these older machines are capable of running Windows 10. Performance of these older machines isn't too bad if the hard drive is replaced with a sold state drive. The idea that desktop machines need to be replaced every four years has been pretty much abandoned though with budget limitations it was never the norm anyways.
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