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Unit 1: Life in the Information

Introduction: In the early 21st Century, it is often said that we live in the "Information Age" because the ICT revolution has changed so many ways in which we live and work. The sections upcoming is about how ICT has affected working styles, Communications... in the year 2010. In this section you will learn about the information and communication technologies that enable people in order to access and exchange information and to carry out transactions anytime, anywhere on the internet. You will take a crucial look at the impact that the internet has had on the way people conduct their personal, social and professional lives... ICT has changed the way people, in every place of their lives. It has been having a large impact of the way, how, when and where we work. ICT can be used at home in order to entertain us or keep us informed. It is useful as we use it to find jobs as most recent workplaces are enclosed by the impact of ICT. It is centrally the part of school curriculum in having an easier method and its layout. The enormous benefits are that it keeps us in touch from any place at any time. Moreover, ICT has made out lives easier to some extent. For example, it has made a lot of working styles easy as nowadays we can work from home, shops and at bank using ICT. Although, ICT has changed our lives effectively within the years there are also the disadvantages of it.

Working style: This section is about how ICT has affected working styles in the year 2010. A range of ICT technologies has affected the working styles by the way in which everyday tasks are carried out, the way in which the data is processed, information is transmitted and knowledge applied. And the physical environment of the workplace and the jobs that people do. ICT has affected working style because if you are working from home instead going to the office to work then it will be very useful however; if you have children then you will be distracted. Also if you are on the computer writing something on a document and you did save before it crashes then that will a disadvantage and a loss. Most jobs have significantly changed its methods into more effective computer skills, for example, emailing... Although there are possible drawbacks to working styles, due to the impact of technology, fewer people are employed in particular areas and extra responsibility with added working hours. Some jobs have completely changed the techniques they use in their work according how they use these techniques years ago. An example is management accountants, as they used the old skill of calculators and pencils. Over the years, rapidly the styles have changed. As you can see, currently due to the great impact of ICT, our working style has differed from the way and were we working. Here are questions that I asked a teacher in St. Augustine CE High School based on how ICT has affected his work life. The teacher has kindly willing to corporate in order to answer my questions below. How has ICT affected your professional life? “ICT has transformed my professional life over the last 10 years, the use computer means that I am able to prepare sharper resources, I wouldn’t say better resources but sharper resources and I can store them in cable convenient way and access them in more convenient way than previous way”. What are the benefits or drawbacks of communication do you think such as emailing? “I think email has changed communication but I don’t think it has necessarily improved communication because it now means I have much less face-to-face communication with people. I feel I spend a lot more time to communicating to people through computer whereas in the past I used to have talk to people at break time or at lunch time and it is much nicer to talk to people than it is to email them. So, yes it has changed it but I don’t think it’s changed it for the better”. Is there any difference between 1970s or 80s until now? “Yes, we didn’t have any computers when I started work here in the 1990s, well we did have one or two but we certainly didn’t have them in offices or in the classroom. It is useful but there are drawbacks as well. One of the drawbacks is that if the computer fail then it is impossible to do anything about it whereas the worse that could happen in the old days is that you would lose your chalk which is something you could do about”.


The difference between internet and intranet that intranet is a private network that is mostly probably based in offices. People cannot access this without permission due to it only being allowed for those who work in the offices. Whereas, in other places such as in school students will need to get a username and a password to access their own personal documents as well as to access to the internet. Another aspect of the intranet network is that workers normally store work files on there. No one should be allowed to access these files as it is only intended for the workers use only. Internet is where you read or research whatever you want and it provides access to the rest of the digital world i.e. World Wide Web. And Intranet is a small version of this used by companies and is usually local, i.e. only the people who work there have access to the information being shared on its server. However if the workers go to the office and connect their computer or laptop to the network there, then they are enabled to access the files. The teachers such as ICT teachers no longer have to take piles of printed work home now, as they can easily drag their work onto a memory stick. However some teachers would prefer print out work. If the teachers transferred their work in their USB then this can be put into their computer at home. This enables the teacher to then mark students work in the comfort of their own house environment. However this does not only apply to IT teachers but also could apply to anyone who works in a school. People such as IT consultants or IT Teachers no longer have to go into work to complete their job roles such as marking students work but they could also do this at home. Moreover, there is more equipment such as one of the following, projectors assist ICT teachers and any other subject teachers, for example art teachers, graphic teachers and others to efficiently teach a class. An art teacher can enlarge an image if it must be show to students to see detail section of an image clearly. Teaching has been revolutionised by the introduction of ICT, lessons can now have presentations to present information to classes to make it more interesting. The class also focuses more on the topic because of the use of ICT. There are now interactive whiteboards. Using the projector, the information would be displayed on the board through the projector. Doing this, the student will understand what the teacher is clearly talking about. An advantage of using projectors is that it saves lots of paper having to be printed out by the teacher as hand outs for the students. Another advantage is that the teacher can also talk through a task and can show how it should be done step by step, for example an ICT teacher teaching a class of students how to input formulas into a spreadsheet correctly. Overall this helps the teacher teach in the most efficient way and also increases the students’ attention to learn as demonstrations can be made instead of reading the task off paper. Moreover, Smart boards are of the newest pieces of helpful technology available for teachers and students in school currently. Smart boards allow teachers to easily teach a class full of pupils with just a click of a mouse or a tap on the board. An advantage that using smart boards can have is that, it saves teachers printing out tones of worksheets and handouts, therefore it is environmentally friendly. However the smart board may irritate the teacher if he/she is new to the technology and does not know how to operate it. Interactive whiteboard is very useful for teachers and the environment because firstly there will not be any waste of chalks where it’s used very long time ago or whiteboard markers ink. The interactive can benefit the teachers because it will be easier for them and it enables a teacher or pupil in order to control a computer from the whiteboard itself. Moreover, the effective use of interactive whiteboard technology can radically transform the interaction between teachers and students and it allows classroom discussion and collaboration using a visual, auditory and kinesthetic medium.


Communication is a huge focus of change in the information age. Communication is a key part of life and it affects the way we as humans live. We talk to each other and make signs and signals as part of natural every-day life. Without communication, human life would be reduced to a quality not much better than animals. Therefore the development of communication is always going to be a positive impact on human life and interaction. ICT has affected communication in an incredible way. It has enhanced speech and written communication, whilst introducing other methods. I will investigate the difference ICT has made to communication, below. Prior to the introduction of technology, communication existed as speech, and the writing of letters. Firstly, with the introduction of the telephone, communication became long-distance with the ability to converse with people far away in the 20th century. Communication it has changed the way businesses and people communicate in the 21st century has changed completely from the way people communicated in the mid 20th century. SMS, digital voice, Video call and emailing have become the way people communicate at the present time. According to BBC in the year 2004, there were more than 40 million mobile phones in the United Kingdom and over 3000 base stations. Moreover, communicating has been the input centre that majority of people currently use on the Internet. Now you can get in touch anywhere and work anywhere. An example of communicating online is through email. The email (electronic mail) is an example of communicating online. It has grown effectively along with the Internet. A famous website for communicating with friends and family are www.hotmail.com or www.facebook.com . Messages are carried out quicker at a lower cost in an informal way. It aims varies through ages.

The benefits are:

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you can send and save attachments It provides permanent record of communications.

The drawbacks are:

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It can often be misused; at times people send inappropriate messages. Also viruses can be attached to mail box very easily. The possible enhancements are to prevent virus by scanning files or attachments sent. The noninternet alternative is to write the letter to the person who you would want to be sent to.

Working styles have been greatly affected by the introduction of new technologies in communications, where people work, employment opportunities and the breakdown of face-to-face internal communications.


The use of technology has greatly improved business efficiency. E-mail has changed the way businesses communicate. Instead of writing a letter, for example, it is easier to e-mail. It is more cost effective, and large files can be sent as an attachment with the e-mail. Moreover, mobile phones are another important development in recent technologies, now people are contactable wherever they go if they have a mobile phone with them. You are accessible when travelling, in another office, or even in another country. People can work for longer amounts of time because they are always contactable. The most advanced technology mobile phone currently is Iphone3GS, Iphone4 and BlackBerry which most of people use currently. ICT has affected us in a good way. As you can see the latest mobiles offer internet access and downloadable video clips of your choices. Future developments include viewing TV programmes in your mobile. The print screen below states that “A full-scale UK trial of the technology that will let people watch TV directly on their mobiles has been launched.” http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4271474.stm

Laptops are another invention which allows for longer working hours. Moreover, the number one reason why people buy laptops is because they can take it anywhere. If you constantly have to go on trips, a laptop will be very useful. Your own laptop will have all your e-mail, software’s and presentations, etc. You


can store all of this and much more information that you constantly need, on your laptop without any problems. Laptops are compact. The single laptop contains, your monitor, CPU, speakers, keyboard, mouse and everything else a normal computer contains. If you do not have place at home or have little space on your office desk. If your situation is such that you do not have space to accommodate another computer, then it would be good to go in for laptop. With software such as remote access and wireless broadband people can work anywhere, anytime. Commuters on trains can work on their way to and from work, and if working away from home, work can be done in hotels and with a connection to a mobile phone they can send and receive email. Currently, technology has become so advanced that it feels like nothing is impossible. There is now more working flexibility, as mentioned in communications, things like wireless broadband and remote access enable employees or any person in order to get access to their files, documents or anything at any time. If you do not have remote access, there is still the opportunity to e-mail necessary files to yourself. Information on the internet, the internet allows people a world of information at the push of a button. A simple search engine search gives hundreds of relevant websites. This saves time because you can specify an exact search and then your internet browser should allow you to bookmark a website which you wish to visit again. Internet allows you to make money online, makes you independent as you will be researching about a something; internet allows you to learn from online tutorials so this extra useful.

The evidence is broadcast that is going to be used either by recording a voice or a video.

ICT has affected the Education system. The pressure of ICT in education has been changed and very effective. Online education now approaches a better lesson for students as they can learn at any time they want and at the place it suits them. An example of educational website would be www.bbc.co.uk , www.edexcel.org, and www.mymaths.com . There are different techniques in which it can be used in learning a particular thing. These can be through quizzes and tests, individual exercises and reading materials. However, the drawbacks are:

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Some students copy work from the internet and use that as their own reference without quoting the source of information. It is easy to publish things on internet as a result inaccurate and incorrect materials are misinformation. In all schools in the UK, ICT is available and is compulsory to be taught through having different levels of availability. The internet could be used in schools for better education supplying further understanding and knowledge also becoming more aware of cultures represented in a school. On the other hand, in some countries were poverty is taking control not much provision is required over computer equipment. In addition, as it currently stands that the national curriculum would probably not be able to for filled if it weren’t for computers and the internet access to it. This is because they are becoming such a huge part of children’s education. Children are now introduced to the


computer at the age of four and five and are also encouraged in order to use it throughout their educational life. For example, instead of using books all the time as key revision methods, websites such as BBC’s Bitesize website are becoming a more popular way of revising.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcse bitesize http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/bites ize/ Computers are very useful to everyone not just to the students. They one of the useful equipment in the schools and they are needed in the classrooms. Teaching aids such as PowerPoint, Microsoft Word and interactive whiteboards are also frequently used in order to increase the effectiveness of teaching to the students of all ages and abilities. Not only does it increase the appeal of learning but it also encourages students and teachers to participate and interact by playing games, quizzes and other activities using the facility. Education is crucial to everyone as it’s the only tool key to gain qualifications and become the greatest of something that you have ever become because without education you cannot do anything in life. Nowadays education is important because the world has become so hard for people in order to get a job due to recession. The more education you get, the more powerful you get. We want the tutors to teach the children the basis and assist them in order to gain the qualifications needed to achieve in life. Nowadays, in the information age, the teachers can do their jobs more easily and more effectively with so many resources available to them to use and it is easy to find material on what is being taught. Apart from teachers, the information age has some benefits to the students and also non-students as it opens the door to different kinds of information you want. Teachers are able to improve their quality of teaching and get the class more interactive through the use of many tools that has been made available by the information age. New inventions such as the interactive whiteboards make lessons more interesting as well as making it easier for the teachers to convey resources off their computer as well as off the internet. Many teachers and students have benefited from the new things available to them. Mainly, the internet has given them an easy access to so much information that could be used in their studies, research or even projects.


Furthermore, internet has given access to a wide variety of online courses available. You also can go on learn direct website (http://www.learndirect.co.uk/) which there are suitable courses for people. You pay online, and then you learn via the internet and/or CD Rom. There are sections of your course which you must complete each week. And each learner is assigned a personal tutor who will help you through your course, and with who you communicate about your course. Online learning is useful because it can be used to supplement school lessons and encourage pupils in order to carry on learning at home so this also could be independent learning. This makes for a smooth continuation of the learning process. However, this becomes a problem with student parents who may not be able to afford the hardware or software equipment at home to do this. Online learning can become frustrating when problems occur and there is no-one to discuss the problems with. Ideally there should be someone who is available when doing online work. The other problem with online courses is finding the motivation to study alone. For some people it will be much enjoyable to study with friends, work in pairs and do group work than work in isolation. Or on the other hand, some people also would like to study alone as there will not be any friends or anyone else to disturb. There are many teaching methods that are accepted in modern education; almost all of these include some form of computers or different form of communication apart from the teacher talking to you. There have been many additions to the classroom of recent years these include device such as project, interactive whiteboards and computers. These are all designed to allow the students to take up more information. There are three ways in which people learn these are auditory, visual and kinaesthetic learning. Each of these is different, auditory learners learn by listening to information and they will take it onboard themselves this to done through listening. Visual learners are the same as auditory learner although instead of listening they want to be able to see thing and see example of the thing happening. Then there is kinaesthetic which is doing something. This is to learn something they must do they said activity and experience it for themselves. These three learning style have to be incorporated into compulsory education. So from the year 1 all the way through to year 11 the teacher should be addressing the needs for each type of learner in every lesson. This can be done extremely easily with ICT and the Internet. An example the teacher may have a lesson to do with Word processing. With a whiteboard in their classroom they can some the visual learner, while explain what they are doing for the auditory learners. And then once explained to the class, it’s the turn of the kinesthetic learner to have a go at it. This can easily be remembered in the short form, IDEA.

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I – Introduction for auditor learners D- Demonstration for visual learners E – Explanation for auditory and visual learners A – Activity for the kinaesthetic learners.

The use of ICT in teaching had made teaching easier as all types of learner are incorporated into the lesson. Because the resources are available on the internet, student can access all the information they need from school or from their home. This will allow student to work when they want to. E-learning have allowed people with very little time spare to fit in courses because they are able to learn when they have time, and the course information is always there for you. The “virtual classrooms” is still a concept idea it is in some forms possible and is already done, with video conferencing you can sit at a computer and talk to a tutor and they may be many miles away. So it is possible in some ways to have a lesson that is presented from somewhere else. There are many advantages of the use of ICT in teaching, ICT allow the information to be put across to all the different type of learning very easily so it allow you to accommodate all students. The aim of a school is to achieve the best result of the school and its reputation. The advantage to the individual is also present because it allow there learning style to be incorporated into the lesson therefore allowing them to learn more effectively. Computer and the Internet allow information to flow freely to people. The internet allows


people to access any information they want. It will create people who are more knowledgeable and aware of issue that may be happening. Find evidence that how it affected our social. Look in Newspaper or Magazine articles ICT has affectentertainment and leisure time in two ways. First, with the use of the internet it allows instant access to movies or music so you can get access to entertainment. Secondly, communication of information has allowed more people to hear about different leisure activities. So in some ways the use of ICT has affected our entertainment and leisure. However the way in which it affects you will depend on how able you are at using a computer and how willing you are to allow it. The way it affects you allow depends on what you would class as leisure time. So people will find sitting a computer playing and fiddling relaxing and would class it as leisure time, however others would class going out and doing sporting recreation as leisure time. For those who enjoy computer ICT has, such as instant messenger allows you to socialize for example, Facebook, MSN, Bebo, Twitter, MySpace… Instant messenger is a brilliant development as it allows you talk to people even when you are unable to be with them. This development is international so it is possible to have conversation with people on other countries. The developments help us enjoy ourselves because it allows information about our hobbies to come to us. So we can get more out of our hobbies if we know more about it. With the increase in computer users over the last few years the number of hobbies that are supported over the internet and other information systems. An example of this is if you are into computers on the hardware side you can find almost unlimited information about it on the internet. Also with the increase of computer users there are more people who will sit in front of a computer and will not take physical activities which in the long term will result in health problems. This problem is starting to affect some people however I predict that this problem will increase dramatically within the next decade. At the present time, there are a lot of ways you can assume yourself from the way digital technology has made it more enjoyable. You can create inspired work such as music, videos, radio etc. Apart from your own creation there is now the availability of downloading such as the followings- films: the use of technology has made home cinema where there are high quality of images and sound. Music: A large amount of music can be downloaded and stored of latest digital devices such as Ares. Games: There are a lot of different types of games played from ‘bat and ball’ to currently sophisticated games that seems like it is true in reality. The way in which people listen to music has changed dramatically over the past 30 years. Cassettes are becoming obsolete, and even CDs will soon become out-dated. MP3s, IPods... are taking over, and now people download music and then transfer it onto an MP3 player and Ipod, Ipod shuffle... The most popular MP3 player is an Apple iPod, but other brands are bringing out players to rival it. MP3 players allow the user to store a large amount of songs onto a single, small device. These days you can listen to music with your IPhone. The updated IPhone are IPhone 4 and now IPhone 5 is coming out soon! ICT has impacted entertainment and leisure by enhancing the different ways in which we casually spend our time. With the use of these technologies, they ways in which we can entertain ourselves has dramatically increased. The development of these technologies has meant that many people stay inside, watch TV, play online games etc. Therefore you could say that the amount of leisure activities that people do have decreased, with respect to the wide range of entertainment technologies. As you can see that from TVs, to Video Cassettes, the visual entertainment industry has now found a new format on which to play film and TV, the Digital Video Disk (or DVD). With this you can watch a DVD and play any game together. The DVD is smaller and more compact that a standard video. DVDs have a similar playing time, but they have interactive features, which makes them more appealing. The picture is clearer, and because there’s no tape, there will not be any glitches in the picture, unless the DVD is scratched or damaged. DVDs can be played on a variety of devices, the DVD player, the PS2, the XBOX and computers with a DVD drive. DVD players come in the large standard size which is static, but the portable DVD player is


becoming more widely spread, and allows the user to watch a DVD wherever they want to. XBOX has diversified meaning XBOX has found another new format to watch DVD, play games, access the internet, personalise your console, wireless control panel... Xbox 360 that is currently popular with people is the second video game console produced by Microsoft and the successor to the Xbox. The Xbox which is rarely used as it has become old fashion and out-dated. Xbox is manufactured by Microsoft and it is a sixth generation video game consoled. Other video console such as PlayStation 3, Nintendo’s WII and PS2 which is part of the seventh generation competes with the Xbox 360. Some major features of the Xbox 360 are its integrated Xbox Live service that allows players to compete online, download arcade games, game demos, trailers, TV shows, music and movies and its Windows Media Centre multimedia capabilities. The gaming industry is a large one, with new consoles and games being constantly worked on. The first commercial games console which could be bought for home usage was the Magnavox Odyssey, and came pre-programmed with 12 games. But the games console world has moved on since 1972, and now most households with children have a PS2, an XBOX or a GameCube. There are also portable versions available, the Nintendo Game-Boy for example. Computer gaming is a different industry altogether. Nowadays computer games are in 3D, with more advanced graphics, and complex plot lines. There are games for children, from which they can learn, which also benefit them by helping them improve their computer skills. Nowadays the new development that modern people would use in order to entertain themselves is Nintendo WII. Nintendo WII can be played with many people. It is unique. You can even see yourself on TV while playing, for example tennis. The online entertainment and leisure industry can often have a detrimental effect of family lives. Time for family leisure has decreased and has instead been replaced by personal entertainment and leisure time. The socio-digital divide means that elderly people are being increasingly left out of the digital era. Their reluctance to use new technologies, as well as their bad memory and slower learning abilities contributes to their alienation. Technology is increasingly useful in entertainment and leisure. The introduction of video games, computers and the internet, MP3s, CDs and DVDs has widened the industry considerably. ICT has to be continually developed to keep up with the consumer’s changing needs. Computer games are becoming increasingly realistic and life like. MP3 players have a larger memory because people want the ability to store more songs. Growth has lead to problems of a different nature. Although we work constantly in our lives, we all like to relax and enjoy ourselves. We love to go out and watch a movie, or sit at home and watch TV. We love to hear music. We also love to entertain ourselves with games or with hobbies. In the information age what we are able to do in our leisure time has changed, same for the kind of entertainment we get. TVs have now become more interactive, you can select to watch a show you missed or a show that is coming up or you can go on the internet while watching a football match. As well as that you find whole news areas of entertainment on the internet.

Find evidence to how this affects personal lives. (Textbooks) ICT has affected banking and shopping. Internet shopping is a new trend, and is extremely popular and it is still growing. ICT has changed the society lives in order the way we shop because it is now secure to purchase items online as before there used to be fraud online. Due to the website being secure, this means that you can do your weekly shopping online without any stress. This would then mean that you have more time to do other things that you enjoy or something important. With internet shopping, it is possible to shop


whenever you want, where ever you want and also however you want as there is 24/7 access to the internet and to the shopping site. Online shopping is very useful for those people who are living in rural areas as they cannot get out to the shops much. This is an advantage for them because the shopping that they have purchased online would be delivered to them in no time and also them without trekking to the shops. However, if you look at the disabled people out there may have some difficulties in order to do shopping for their home, especially in crowded shops. So, online shopping allows everyone to search through and purchase what they want without moving. Online shopping is easier because there are no closing times or even queues which you have to stand in normally. The advantages of online shopping:

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You can shop online at whatever time you want too. You can shop around more easily and even you can stick to your budget. Saving money. No queues There are no crowds, making shopping quicker Parking is not an obstacle.

The disadvantages of online shopping:

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You cannot see the products properly There is no personal communication, so you could be quite lonely You do not get the products immediately and you have to pay shipping costs. Sometimes there are stock problems, so you have to do your seasonal shopping earlier Security with your details can be an issue, although larger chain stores (i.e. Debenhams, River Island) have secure websites where you put in your details.

ICT has changed the way we bank and shop, recent opportunities such as the prospect of online banking and online shopping ahs made life simpler. Information age has been subtly changing the way we conduct our lives as consumers. This world is rapidly developed becoming a self-service economy. It is also possible to bank and shop 24 hours a day from the comfort and convenience of your own home. Online banking is still a relatively small industry, as most people prefer to use banks which they can visit. The industry is becoming increasingly large and more and more banks moving into the digital age and providing online services for customers. Online banking benefits those who move abroad a lot or work unsociable hours. Transactions can be carried out from anywhere in the world, as long as there is a computer and internet provider. So if you’re abroad and there’s a problem with your bank account, it can be sorted easily online. People who work night shifts for example, and can’t go into the bank because it’s shut when they’re sleeping, can sort out their bank accounts without having to take time off work. But whilst online banking is greatly beneficial to certain people, there are always issues such as security to consider before opening an online account.

Personal Experience: Because shops on the internet do not need to own a high street property, they can set up cheaper and easier online, meaning there is more choice for the customer. People may be less aware of what they are actually buying and more liable to be conned. Also, it is much more likely that people will buy things that they actually do not need, but are just impulse buys. For people with disabilities or who work nights, it is much easier to do their shopping.

Life in the Information Age > Conclusion For this reason, training new ICT skills to people is in both the individual’s and the country’s best interests. Students without access to the internet at home or at school do not develop the skills needed to apply information technology jobs. Furthermore, we live in an age where nearly all jobs need some form of familiarity with information technology. It is clear to see that poor countries with a population of unskilled workers suffer from having jobs that are not filled. Overall life in the information age has many different ups and downs to the various different aspects and areas. Most people would agree that all the changes to do with life in the information age has been for the


better and if not anything has improved the day to day lives if living in the 21st century. On the other hand, there are also people who believe that the impact the information age has had on society is what they see as a negative aspect as it means more and more people are relying on latest technology to carry out the simplest of jobs.

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