Technologies that give you an edge

Award-winning solutions strengthen integrators' portfolios<@VM>Future tech: Trends for the coming year<@VM>Best new technologies 2004<@VM>Booth locations for FOSE Best New Technology winners

Qovia Inc. developed software to keep voice over IP networks operating effectively. Kanguru Solutions Inc. built a miniature device to lock down computer hard drives. And Dell Inc. shook up the networking business by enabling gigabit Ethernet at unheard-of prices.

These three new solutions are among the 13 winners of the Best New Technology Awards at the FOSE 2004 government IT trade show in Washington. The annual FOSE show, slated for March 23-25 at the Washington Convention Center, provides integrators, resellers and government IT managers an opportunity to observe technology solutions that can help them either win government business or better perform the business of government.

"I'm looking for the newest evolutionary concept," said Dendy Young, chief executive officer of Chantilly, Va.-based GTSI Corp. "Month after month, there are new incremental opportunities for companies to find a niche that didn't exist before and build new products. If GTSI can figure out who those smart people are, we can be working with them at an early stage."

The Best New Technology Awards, which will be handed out March 23, recognize some of the innovative solutions at this year's show. FOSE exhibitors nominated 126 products in 10 technology categories, from handheld computers to enterprise systems software.

Judges from Washington Technology and Government Computer News examined the entries, debated their merits and whittled down the list to 39 finalists. (List of winners and finalists)

Among the winners and finalists are products that address important government needs, from voice over IP and enterprise architecture initiatives to data security and network performance. These technologies solve challenges at a diverse pool of civilian and defense agencies.

Although these technologies represent a sampling of this year's honorees, incorporating them into larger solutions could add value to an integrator's offerings and create new opportunities in the coming year.



The technology that allows agencies to use their data networks to carry phone calls is gradually gaining acceptance. Voice over IP (VoIP) has the potential to simplify infrastructures and save considerable money that otherwise would be paid to phone companies.

But a VoIP network is still a network with servers, routers, software -- and points of failure. Just as companies such as Hewlett-Packard Co. and IBM Corp. develop solutions for managing data networks, Frederick, Md.-based Qovia has created software for managing VoIP networks.

"We do for voice over IP what IBM Tivoli does for data networks," said Pierce Reid, Qovia's vice president of marketing.

This innovative thinking earned the company's Qovia Element Software Modules the Best of Show and Best Enterprise Software honors at FOSE.

Reid said voice traffic on a network requires a far more granular approach to network monitoring, because the slightest latencies affect voice quality. Using Qovia's software tools, government entities such as Nevada County, Calif., can improve the quality of their VoIP networks from a centrally managed console. Nevada County has 1,200 IP phones and several 3Com IP-based private branch exchanges that require fine-tuning through Qovia's management software in order to provide the quality users expect from regular phone lines.

Bill Miller, desktop services manager for Nevada County, said he wants to extend his VoIP network with PBXs in other cities. Qovia remote management makes that feasible, he said.

Reid said Qovia's software supports about 80 percent of the IP PBX systems on the market today, including PBX boxes from 3Com, Cisco Systems Inc. and Nortel Networks Ltd. Support for Avaya Inc.'s PBX systems is coming this summer, Reid said.

Qovia's software will run on existing workstations, or integrators can deploy it on Qovia Ion appliances that easily plug into networks so agencies can be up and running quickly. "We call it tin-wrapped software," Reid said

Qovia has a growing presence in state and local government, but it is just beginning to be written into federal RFPs, Reid said. The company is preparing to announce agreements with two systems integrators that will help deploy Qovia solutions at government agencies.

"People are realizing if it walks like a data network, and it talks like a data network, they need the same kind of tools they use for their data network," Reid said.



The Office of Management and Budget continues to press agencies to map their IT infrastructures to a Federal Enterprise Architecture model. Such a model is intended to align computing resources with business functions, improve efficiencies and cost-justify new technology initiatives.

Gary Washington, chief architect at the Food and Drug Administration, said his agency was looking for a software tool that was easy to use and would clearly show the relationships among his agency's IT assets and daily business processes. That's no small task, considering Washington helps oversee more than 200 applications, 500 servers and 10,000 desktop systems at sites across the country.

The FDA turned to Metis enterprise visual modeling software from Sammamish, Wash.-based Computas NA Inc.

"The biggest result we've seen is in our infrastructure," Washington said. "We've identified places where we can save money ... and we're able to make decisions on how to approach new initiatives."

Metis, a finalist in the enterprise systems software category, is an integrated set of XML-based client and server tools for creating, visualizing, sharing and managing enterprise architecture and other models. The product comes with out-of-the-box templates that support government standards, including an information technology management template that generates FEA-compliant models.

The departments of Commerce, Defense and Treasury, among other agencies, use Metis. In a report last November on enterprise architecture initiatives, the General Accounting Office reported that Metis had the highest satisfaction rating out of six toolsets.

At up to $9,500 per seat, the software isn't cheap, a point that Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner Inc. made in a January research note surveying the enterprise architecture tool market. But according to the research firm, the software is more powerful and flexible than many of its competitors.

Bill Wright, CEO of Computas NA, said that because human labor makes up so much of enterprise architecture initiatives, it doesn't take a lot of automation to drastically improve efficiency.

"Our tool is about four times more expensive than our closest competitor," he said. "For customers who get it, that does not make a difference."




There's no shortage of security products aimed at government these days: security for networks, security for building access, security for wireless communications. Several products at FOSE aim to secure data on client systems.

Two products from Kanguru Solutions Inc. of Millis, Mass., take data security to a miniature level. The Kanguru Wizard, hardware winner in the security products category, and the Kanguru Encryptor, a finalist in that category, are essentially high-tech keys for locking hard drives.

With the Wizard, users can create virtual, encrypted hard drives up to 2GB. No one can access those drives -- or even detect them -- without inserting the Wizard key into the system's USB port. Agencies with shared desktop systems can securely partition a hard disk for multiple users.

The Encryptor is a two-part solution that encrypts an entire hard disk, boot sector and all, so no one can access its contents. The Encryptor itself slides into a desktop PC's 5.25-inch drive bay and connects to the internal hard disk and motherboard over IDE cables. It encrypts the hard disk in real time (40-bit or 128-bit models are available, depending on the nature of an agency's data) and no one can read the data without inserting an access key into the Encryptor.

Kanguru CEO Don Brown said the Wizard and Encryptor products are ideal in conjunction with removable hard disks used in many government organizations.

"Think of those disks they lost at Los Alamos. If they used the Encryptor, they would have had an additional level of security," he said, referring to the hard disks containing sensitive nuclear weapons data that were lost, though later found, at the New Mexico national laboratory.

Like hard disks, entire mobile computers can fall into the wrong hands. Nampa, Idaho-based MPC Computers LLC has incorporated technology into its notebook PCs to help ensure only the system's authorized user can run it.

The TransPort T3000, winner in the portable computers category, is the first in its line to include an integrated smart-card reader. That's in addition to an integrated biometric fingerprint scanner and a tool-less, removable hard disk.

The combination of data security features "makes government procurement folks very happy," said Paul Petersen, MPC's vice president of product marketing and development. The Defense Department, FBI and Veterans Affairs use MPC TransPort notebooks.

Of course, theft isn't the only way agencies can lose important data. Disaster recovery has become a critical part of protecting information.

Bellevue, Wash.-based UltraBac Software recently released UltraBac Backup and Disaster Recovery Gold, software winner in the security products category, to provide a quick and easy way of restoring a Windows-based desktop PC or server in the event of a crash.

According to the company, UBDR Gold can restore a failed machine in roughly 15 minutes, whereas other disaster recovery products can take hours or days. The reason is UBDR Gold doesn't perform a file-by-file backup of the system; it stores an image on the network. When a system won't boot up properly, users or administrators can install a UBDR Gold recovery disk and then pull down the latest image of the hard disk's contents.

Paul Bunn, the company's chief technology officer, said the backup image concept has been around since the mainframe days. His company simply adapted it to Windows-based systems.



Government networks continue to extend their reach. Inside agency walls, new capabilities such as Web conferencing are pushing high-bandwidth applications to desktop systems. Outside the agencies, e-government initiatives require better network performance across the Internet to make resources available to constituents.

In government and elsewhere, gigabit Ethernet is becoming a check-box item for PCs and servers. But according to Dell, few organizations have been able to afford the gigabit Ethernet switches that might actually unlock all that bandwidth.

The Round Hill, Texas, company's Power-

Connect 2600 series of gigabit Ethernet switches earned the award for best network hardware product largely for its low prices: an eight-port switch costs just $179, while a 24-port switch goes for $429; that's as little as $18 per port. Boston-based research firm the Yankee Group once estimated the average cost per port of gigabit Ethernet at well more than $100.

Analysts said although low-priced switches may appeal to small- and mid-size groups that want to deliver gigabit Ethernet to the desktop, larger agencies running applications such as VoIP may still need more sophisticated switches from companies such as Cisco.

Agencies are turning to technology that commercial Web sites have employed for years to speed up delivery in information.

Akamai Technologies Inc. of Cambridge, Mass., has built a scalable Internet overlay network with more than 14,000 servers that can securely cache the contents of an agency's Web site so it is closer to those who need it.

Now, network administrators can manage their agencies' data along the Akamai network as if it were part of their own local network. Akamai's new EdgeControl toolset was a finalist in the enterprise systems software category based on its ability to quickly provision, test and deploy Web-based applications across Akamai's network. Administrators can then use the Web-based tool to manage, troubleshoot and diagnose application usage.

"Every agency that has a mission to get information out to the public can benefit from this product," said Keith Johnson, Akamai's public-sector vice president. "Agencies can improve performance by pushing content to the edge, while at the same time reducing infrastructure and related costs by at least half."

By having their sites distributed across Akamai's network, they can minimize the impact of hackers, viruses and denial-of-service attacks. The departments of Defense and Education, as well as the FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and the National Weather Service, use Akamai to improve Web performance.

Like all 39 finalists and 13 winners at this year's FOSE, Qovia, Computas and others develop technologies aimed at improving government operations. With their help, integrators can tailor solutions that may win them more business.

GTSI, for one, is getting behind several solutions that will be on display at its FOSE booth. Dendy Young said GTSI will demonstrate mobile products, biometrics, RFID technologies and more.

"We've got a lot going on," he said. *

Staff Writer Brad Grimes can be reached at

Harmless Hazards system superimposes images, such as fire, through special masks that trainees wear.

Harmless Hazards Training LLC


There's reality, virtual reality and now, augmented reality.

Military, law enforcement, first responders and others often use virtual-reality technology to safely train for real-world events. Virtual situations are created in simulators or behind specially designed goggles to make trainees feel like they are in a setting and situation. With augmented reality, the trainee is in the actual setting. Only the situation is simulated.

Last September, Harmless Hazards Training LLC, Bedford, N.H. sold an augmented reality system to the Navy for firefighting training. Later this year, El Segundo, Calif.-based Computer Sciences Corp. will deploy another Harmless Hazards training system at the Army Transportation School at Fort Eustis, Va.

The systems cost roughly $400,000 each, said John Ebersole, chief executive officer of Harmless Hazards.

In an augmented reality system such as Harmless Hazards, training takes place on the ship, not in a simulator. Trainees wear special masks or goggles that let them see what is actually in front of them. A computer system superimposes images such as fire and smoke. Using augmented reality, Navy trainees, for example, could practice putting out fires in areas of a ship as they would actually encounter them.

"Each trainee sees the fire from his or her own perspective. ... They're networked, and they see the fire as if it was real," Ebersole said.

A computerized fire nozzle attached to a central system can spray a virtual extinguishing agent at the fire. The Harmless Hazard system can simulate poison gas, chemical spills and other events.

"This is a cost-effective way to create deadly training scenarios," Ebersole said, "but without the deadly consequences."


Wireless communication has become an important part of the way government works. For instance, it is a critical component of the Defense Department's move to network-centric operations.

But wireless devices, such as radios, PDAs and cell phones, come in all shapes and sizes, each speaking its own distinct language. More often than not, these languages are hard-coded into the devices, so users either throw them out when new technology becomes available, or they carry several devices to communicate over multiple networks.

Software-defined radio technology helps integrators and agencies get around the problem of incompatible wireless devices. The Defense Department's new, $5.7 billion Joint Tactical Radio System is the most prominent example of SDR technology, taking as many as 25 legacy devices and replacing them with a single SDR-based radio that can communicate with any other radio.

Law enforcement, first responders and others who rely on radio communications are also investigating SDR solutions.

"Software-defined radio allows agencies to shrink the number of boxes and waveforms to get to the place where anybody can talk to anybody, any application can talk to any application, and any service can talk to any service," said John Chapin, chief technology officer of Vanu Inc., Cambridge, Mass.

Vanu's SDR technology can turn commercial wireless devices into programmable, interoperable radios. In the Vanu architecture, all signal processing is done in software, which makes the SDR devices flexible and upgradeable.

Richard Schrum, who sits on the board of the Software-Defined Radio Forum, said SDR technology allows wireless hardware and software to develop separately, so agency users can reap the benefits of innovation faster. The SDR Forum's members include Boeing Co., General Dynamics Corp., Lockheed Martin Corp., Motorola Inc. and Raytheon Co., among others.

"With SDR, you can zip to deployment much quicker," Schrum said.

Dell's PowerConnect 2600 seriesDESKTOP CLIENTS

Winner: Gateway Profile 5 Series, Gateway Inc.,

The Profile 5 is designed for agencies that want to save space and money. It's an all-in-one system with the flat-panel display, CPU, drives and ports built into a single unit. The computer starts at $1,099 and has optional integrated gigabit Ethernet or wireless 802.11g connectivity.

Finalist: Ace Vision Desktop, Ace Computers Inc.,

Finalist: IBM ThinkCentre S50, IBM Corp.,


Winner: InFocus LP640 projector, InFocus Corp.,

This conference room-style projector was built to minimize manual intervention. It automatically synchronizes with video and computer sources and can sense whether the image is projected evenly on-screen. It comes with built-in networking for centralized management, and it has a wireless option so presenters can beam their slides to the projector instead of using cables.

Finalist:NEC VT770 projector, NEC Corp.,

Finalist: Sympodium ID250 Interactive Pen Display, Smart Technologies Inc.,

Finalist: Walk-and-Talk Presentation Series, PolyVision Corp.,


Winner: Macromedia Studio MX 2004, Macromedia Inc.,

Macromedia Studio MX 2400 is among the most extensive Web-development platforms available. Any integrator involved in a site redesign could benefit from this toolset. It supports all major Web standards and accelerates development of interactive sites and Web applications.

Finalist: Cardiff LiquidOffice 3.0, Cardiff Software Inc.,

Finalist: Siebel Public Sector Analytics 7.7, Siebel Systems Inc.,

Finalist: ZyImage 5.0, ZyLab Technologies Inc.,


Winner: Qovia Element Software Modules, Qovia Inc.,

Qovia does for voice over IP what IBM Tivoli or Hewlett-Packard OpenView do for data networks. Qovia's software monitors the voice infrastructure for quality and reliability, because voice networks can't tolerate the same kind of quality issues a data network can if users are to enjoy clear phone connections. Integrators and agencies can buy Qovia software in an easy-to-deploy network appliance called the Qovia Ion. The solution works with most IP public branch exchange systems; support for Avaya systems is coming soon.

Finalist: Akamai EdgeControl, Akamai Technologies Inc.,

Finalist: Hewlett-Packard OpenView Data Protector 5.1a, Hewlett-Packard Co.,
Finalist: Marimba 6.0, Marimba Inc.,

Finalist: Metis 3.4 Enterprise Visual Modeling Toolset, Computas NA Inc.,

Finalist: VMware VirtualCenter, VMware Inc.,


Winner: Blackberry 7510 Wireless Handheld, Research In Motion Ltd.,

The Blackberry 7510 is the first in this popular line to include an integrated speakerphone. Integrators and agencies can use the 7510 as a hands-free walkie-talkie over Nextel's Direct Connect network. For data communications, the 7510 employs end-to-end encryption that is FIPS 140-2 compliant.

Finalist: Panasonic Toughbook 01, Panasonic Computer Solutions Co.,

Finalist:Percomm e80, Arch Wireless Operating Company Inc.,


Winner: Dell PowerConnect 2600, Dell Inc.,

High-speed gigabit Ethernet is taking hold -- except on many desktops. That's because gigabit Ethernet switches usually come with a high price tag, so IT groups stick with older, slower connections to the desktop. Dell is trying to change that with its PowerConnect 2600 family of low-cost gigabit Ethernet switches. Integrators can deploy a 24-port switch for roughly $18 per port, virtually unheard of in today's market of more than $100-per-port pricing. Large networks carrying bandwidth-intensive applications may still require more sophisticated switched, but the PowerConnect 2600 can meet a lot of needs.

Finalist: Kanguru iNAS-100, Kanguru Solutions Inc.,

Finalist: Raritan Dominion KSX, Raritan Computer Inc.,


Winner: Hewlett-Packard Forms Automation System, Hewlett-Packard Co.,

An innovative approach to document management, the HP Forms Automation Systems includes a digital pen, "smart" paper forms and HP document management software. A field worker prints out a standard form on special paper that includes a subtle positioning grid. The HP pen works like any ink pen, except it has a small, built-in camera that records pen strokes and stores them in memory. Back at the office, the worker puts the pen in a USB cradle, and the data is uploaded in the document management system. HP said the system costs about $245 per seat but could save more than 70 percent over traditional printing and scanning processes.

Finalist: Hewlett-Packard LaserJet 9065mfp, Hewlett-Packard Co.,

Finalist: Xerox Phaser 8400 Color Printer, Xerox Corp.,


Winner: MPC TransPort T3000, MPC Computers LLC,

The MPC TransPort T3000 line of notebook computers is designed specifically for government installations, with a total of three security solutions built in. The new systems come with the tool-free, removable hard drive and biometric fingerprint scanner that MPC has used before. But it also includes a new, integrated smart-card reader. Agencies can use any or all security measures to address security policies.

Finalist: Gateway M275, Gateway Inc.,

Finalist: Panasonic Toughbook 29, Panasonic Computer Solutions Co.,

Finalist: Panasonic Toughbook Y2, Panasonic Computer Solutions Co.,


Winner (hardware): Kanguru Wizard, Kanguru Solutions Inc.,

This simple USB key allows users to create a virtual encrypted drive on a PC's hard disk. No one can access the drive unless the key is plugged into the system's USB port. Agencies that have shared desktops, or simply want workers to put sensitive data into a secure partition, can use the Wizard to lock down information.

Winner (software):UltraBac Backup and Disaster Recovery Gold, UltraBac Software Inc.,

By capturing platform images of networked systems (instead of doing file-by-file backups), this disaster recovery tool can restore a failed machine in about 15 minutes. Integrators looking at small-scale continuity of operations opportunities could use a product like UBDR Gold.

Finalist: Kanguru Encryptor, Kanguru Solutions Inc.,

Finalist: Phoenix cME TrustConnector, Phoenix Technologies Ltd.,

Finalist: Websense Enterprise 5.1, Websense Inc.,


Winner: Exabyte VXA-2 PacketLoader 1x10 1U, Exabyte Corp.,

The 1U form factor of this tape storage autoloader makes this an attractive product. It's an affordable ($2,500), compact, rack-mountable storage system that can hold 10 cartridges and up to 1.6 terabytes of data. The company said that should accommodate up to two weeks of unattended backup. Exabyte's VXA Packet Technology can speed throughput and help accelerate data recovery.

Finalist: Gateway 840 SATA RAID Enclosure, Gateway Inc.,

Finalist: Gateway 860 NAS Appliance, Gateway Inc.,

Finalist:Quantum DX100 Enhanced Backup Solution, Quantum Corp.,

Judges award: Psion Netbook Pro, Psion Teklogix Inc.,

It's not quite a notebook, nor is it a personal digital assistant. The Netbook Pro combines some of the best features of both. It doesn't have to boot up, so it's on when the user turns it on. Yet it uses Microsoft Windows CE software and an Intel XScale processor, so it can run more advanced applications. It also includes Compact Flash, Secure Digital and PCMCIA card slots for flexible expansion. The company said the Netbook Pro could significantly reduce the costs associated with supporting mobile users.

Judges award: Defensor Mobile, Global Bay Mobile Technologies Inc.,

This solution was designed for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base by Global Bay Mobile Technologies Inc. of Edison, N.J. Written in C and C, Defensor Mobile puts data in the hands of personnel who man the base's gates. Palm handheld devices running Defensor Mobile are updated twice a day using wired cradles, so guards have information about who is authorized to enter the base and the purpose of their visit. The software also stores base maps, which can be beamed to a nearby printer using infrared communications. Eventually the application will work wirelessly, so guards will be able to receive updates throughout the day.
Desktop Clients

Winner : Gateway Profile 5 Series, Gateway Inc., BOOTH 2703

Finalist : Ace Vision Desktop, Ace Computers Inc., BOOTH 1128

Finalist : IBM ThinkCentre S50, IBM Corp., CONCOURSE A

Display Devices

Winner : InFocus LP640 projector, InFocus Corp., . BOOTH 2403

Finalist : NEC VT770 projector, NEC Corp., BOOTH 3323

Finalist : Sympodium ID250 Interactive Pen Display, Smart Technologies Inc., BOOTH 2219

Finalist : Walk-and-Talk Presentation Series, PolyVision Corp., BOOTH 3918

Enterprise Application Software

Winner : Macromedia Studio MX 2004, Macromedia Inc., BOOTH 3527

Finalist : Cardiff LiquidOffice 3.0, Cardiff Software Inc., BOOTH 3627

Finalist : Siebel Public Sector Analytics 7.7, Siebel Systems Inc., BOOTH 3713

Finalist : ZyImage 5.0, ZyLab Technologies Inc., BOOTH 2542

Enterprise Systems Software

Winner : Qovia Element Software Modules, Qovia Inc., BOOTH 1929

Finalist : Akamai EdgeControl, Akamai Technologies Inc., BOOTH 1341

Finalist : Hewlett-Packard OpenView Data Protector 5.1a, Hewlett-Packard Co., BOOTH 2503

Finalist : Marimba 6.0, Marimba Inc., BOOTH 2437

Finalist : Metis 3.4 Enterprise Visual Modeling Toolset, Computas NA Inc., BOOTH 2641

Finalist : VMware VirtualCenter, VMware Inc., BOOTH 2126

Handheld Clients

Winner : Blackberry 7510 Wireless Handheld, Research In Motion Ltd., BOOTH 1911

Finalist : Panasonic Toughbook 01, Panasonic Computer Solutions Co., BOOTH 2711

Finalist : Percomm e80, Arch Wireless Operating Company Inc., BOOTH 2845

Network Hardware

Winner : Dell PowerConnect 2600, Dell Inc., BOOTH 2111

Finalist : Kanguru iNAS-100, Kanguru Solutions Inc., BOOTH 3823

Finalist : Raritan Dominion KSX, Raritan Computer Inc., BOOTH 3919


Winner : Hewlett-Packard Forms Automation System, Hewlett-Packard Co., BOOTH 2503

Finalist : Hewlett-Packard LaserJet 9065mfp,  Hewlett-Packard Co.,, BOOTH 2503

Finalist : Xerox Phaser 8400 Color Printer, Xerox Corp., BOOTH 2935

Portable Computers

Winner : MPC TransPort T3000, MPC Computers LLC, BOOTH 3719

Finalist : Gateway M275, Gateway Inc.,   BOOTH 2703

Finalist : Panasonic Toughbook 29, Panasonic Computer Solutions Co., BOOTH 2711

Finalist : Panasonic Toughbook Y2, Panasonic Computer Solutions Co., BOOTH 2711

Security Products

Winner (hardware) : Kanguru Wizard, Kanguru Solutions Inc., BOOTH 3823

Winner (software) : UltraBac Backup and Disaster Recovery Gold, UltraBac Software Inc., BOOTH 1202

Finalist : Kanguru Encryptor, Kanguru Solutions Inc. BOOTH 3823

Finalist : Phoenix cME TrustConnector, Phoenix Technologies Ltd.,  BOOTH 2245

Finalist : Websense Enterprise 5.1, Websense Inc.,  BOOTH 3435

Storage Products

Winner : Exabyte VXA-2 PacketLoader 1x10 1U, Exabyte Corp., BOOTH 1326

Finalist : Gateway 840 SATA RAID Enclosure, Gateway Inc., BOOTH 2703

Finalist : Gateway 860 NAS Appliance, Gateway Inc.,   BOOTH 2703

Finalist : Quantum DX100 Enhanced Backup Solution, Quantum Corp.,BOOTH 1511

Judges Award: Psion Netbook Pro, Psion Teklogix Inc., BOOTH 2940

Judges Award: Defensor Mobile, Global Bay Mobile Technologies Inc., BOOTH 1125

Booth numbers of all FOSE exhibitors

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