Dwell On It http://dwellonit.taterunino.net Tateru Nino writes about virtual worlds, second life, statistics, culture, law, gaming, and eclectic oddities Mon, 07 Apr 2014 04:58:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.2 Where’d the comments go, anyway? http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2014/04/06/whered-the-comments-go-anyway/ http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2014/04/06/whered-the-comments-go-anyway/#comments Mon, 07 Apr 2014 04:58:29 +0000 http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/?p=7495 It’s occurred to me that some of you – perhaps even plenty of you – haven’t been following along in the particular social media outlets where discussions and explanations of my Web-sites’ extended downtime (three weeks), and the issues with the comments system were discussed. Okay, so let’s tackle that. Read more ...

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It’s occurred to me that some of you – perhaps even plenty of you – haven’t been following along in the particular social media outlets where discussions and explanations of my Web-sites’ extended downtime (three weeks), and the issues with the comments system were discussed.

Okay, so let’s tackle that.

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What ever happened to marketing and PR? http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2014/04/06/ever-happened-marketing-pr/ http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2014/04/06/ever-happened-marketing-pr/#comments Sun, 06 Apr 2014 14:18:26 +0000 http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/?p=7490 So, what ever happened to marketing and PR? As an art and a science, did they even make it into the 21st century, or did they fall into a ditch somewhere, and we never noticed? Before we get started, I’m not saying that that all marketing and PR is bad or wrong nor that everyone […]

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So, what ever happened to marketing and PR? As an art and a science, did they even make it into the 21st century, or did they fall into a ditch somewhere, and we never noticed?

Before we get started, I’m not saying that that all marketing and PR is bad or wrong nor that everyone who does them is rubbish. There are certainly still exemplars, but if you want a bland, ineffective and banal image – well, that’s the way to bet, because that’s what so much of the industry seems to be delivering.

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The Internet as a utility http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2014/04/02/internet-utility/ http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2014/04/02/internet-utility/#comments Thu, 03 Apr 2014 02:49:10 +0000 http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/?p=7405 Some people – indeed many people – feel that the Internet should be a fundamental utility and be handled in a similar way to other basic utilities. I find it hard to disagree with that, but in many respects, I feel it already is. Read more ...

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Some people – indeed many people – feel that the Internet should be a fundamental utility and be handled in a similar way to other basic utilities.

I find it hard to disagree with that, but in many respects, I feel it already is.

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Your thoughts: What rights does Linden Lab need in the ToS? http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2013/11/04/thoughts-rights-linden-lab-need-tos/ http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2013/11/04/thoughts-rights-linden-lab-need-tos/#comments Mon, 04 Nov 2013 11:15:40 +0000 http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/?p=6128 Alright, all of you armchair Second Life lawyers. Let’s turn the whole debate about Second Life’s new Terms of Service on its head, because looking at this from another perspective might be very helpful. The question will be, what rights do you think Linden Lab needs in its Terms of Service to carry on the […]

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Second LifeAlright, all of you armchair Second Life lawyers. Let’s turn the whole debate about Second Life’s new Terms of Service on its head, because looking at this from another perspective might be very helpful.

The question will be, what rights do you think Linden Lab needs in its Terms of Service to carry on the Second Life business as it stands today, without getting mired in lawsuits?

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Second Life’s new ToS makes perfect sense http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2013/10/31/second-lifes-new-tos-makes-perfect-sense/ http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2013/10/31/second-lifes-new-tos-makes-perfect-sense/#comments Fri, 01 Nov 2013 06:33:46 +0000 http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/?p=6119 Second Life’s new Terms of Service make perfect sense, and are pretty much exactly what they need to be. It’s just the communication about them that are rubbish. Okay, maybe the legal team as well. Okay, okay. Maybe the ToS (Terms of Service) itself too – but that’s in an entirely different way. Hmmm… Let […]

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Second LifeSecond Life’s new Terms of Service make perfect sense, and are pretty much exactly what they need to be.

It’s just the communication about them that are rubbish.

Okay, maybe the legal team as well. Okay, okay. Maybe the ToS (Terms of Service) itself too – but that’s in an entirely different way.

Hmmm… Let me back up a moment and take another run-up at this.

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Just how do you identify an alt online? http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2013/01/20/just-how-do-you-identify-an-alt-online/ http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2013/01/20/just-how-do-you-identify-an-alt-online/#comments Sun, 20 Jan 2013 08:35:50 +0000 http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/?p=5867 Alts (AKA alternate accounts) exist in pretty much every online and offline service, from Second Life to Social Security. Usually, identifying an online alt is just a little bit easier than identifying an offline alt. Read more ...

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The image of Tateru Nino's Second Life avatar, as if printed in a bookAlts (AKA alternate accounts) exist in pretty much every online and offline service, from Second Life to Social Security. Usually, identifying an online alt is just a little bit easier than identifying an offline alt.

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Linden Lab explains removal of Amazon special offer http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2013/01/07/linden-lab-explains-removal-of-amazon-special-offer/ http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2013/01/07/linden-lab-explains-removal-of-amazon-special-offer/#comments Tue, 08 Jan 2013 01:08:54 +0000 http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/?p=5852 Linden Lab pulled down the Starter Vehicle Pack that was a part of its Friday launch of Second Life on Amazon within just minutes or within a couple of hours of the announcement of its availability, depending on whom you ask. The pack included a hoverboard vehicle and L$1000 (a little under four US dollars […]

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An image of the starter-pack's promotional graphic on the Amazon.com Web-siteLinden Lab pulled down the Starter Vehicle Pack that was a part of its Friday launch of Second Life on Amazon within just minutes or within a couple of hours of the announcement of its availability, depending on whom you ask.

The pack included a hoverboard vehicle and L$1000 (a little under four US dollars in Second Life currency) and was limited to one-per-customer. Intended to sell for USD9.95, the pack was a free promotion for the weekend, but was removed quite promptly after the announcement.

Peter Gray, spokesperson for Linden Lab, tells us why the offer was pulled.

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That’s just plain embarrassing http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2013/01/04/thats-just-plain-embarrassing/ http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2013/01/04/thats-just-plain-embarrassing/#comments Sat, 05 Jan 2013 00:49:13 +0000 http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/?p=5845 A short time ago, Linden Lab announced that Second Life was available through Amazon, along with a number of content bundles. I have to confess that I find this development plain embarrassing for a couple of reasons. Read more ...

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A group of Second Life avatarsA short time ago, Linden Lab announced that Second Life was available through Amazon, along with a number of content bundles. I have to confess that I find this development plain embarrassing for a couple of reasons.

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The new management line-up at Linden Lab http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2012/11/08/the-new-management-line-up-at-linden-lab/ http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2012/11/08/the-new-management-line-up-at-linden-lab/#comments Fri, 09 Nov 2012 04:37:18 +0000 http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/?p=5832 For a very long time now, Linden Lab’s corporate information only listed three people. Rod Humble, CEO; Jeff Petersen, VP of Engineering; and, Lisa Berry (General Counsel). There’s been an update, and the management team’s line-up looks far more comprehensive now. Read more ...

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The Linden Lab logoFor a very long time now, Linden Lab’s corporate information only listed three people. Rod Humble, CEO; Jeff Petersen, VP of Engineering; and, Lisa Berry (General Counsel).

There’s been an update, and the management team’s line-up looks far more comprehensive now.

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Amaretto vs Ozimals: Wow, what a doozy! http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2012/11/07/amaretto-vs-ozimals-wow-what-a-doozy/ http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2012/11/07/amaretto-vs-ozimals-wow-what-a-doozy/#comments Thu, 08 Nov 2012 02:38:18 +0000 http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/?p=5828 I must confess that, while I was still keen on the progress of the lawsuit between Amaretto Ranch Breedables and Ozimals (et al), very limited access to court documents and the relatively slow progress of the case had sent my attention largely elsewhere. On the fifth of November, however, this little beauty turns up. Judge […]

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A pair of golden scales, in balanceI must confess that, while I was still keen on the progress of the lawsuit between Amaretto Ranch Breedables and Ozimals (et al), very limited access to court documents and the relatively slow progress of the case had sent my attention largely elsewhere.

On the fifth of November, however, this little beauty turns up. Judge Charles R. Breyer is granting (in part) and rejecting (in part) a motion for summary judgement. And wow, this document itself is probably the best thing you’ll read about this case.

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Linden Lab shuts down viewing of Second Life bug reports http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2012/09/06/linden-lab-shuts-down-viewing-of-second-life-bug-reports/ http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2012/09/06/linden-lab-shuts-down-viewing-of-second-life-bug-reports/#comments Fri, 07 Sep 2012 01:29:44 +0000 http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/?p=5813 Okay, I’m a bit taken by surprise on this one, but let’s quickly take this from the top. Firstly, Linden Lab has added a simplified reporting form for Second Life JIRA issues. That part is pretty okay (and some might say that it is many years overdue) being that it is the sort of bug-reporting […]

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A group of Second Life avatarsOkay, I’m a bit taken by surprise on this one, but let’s quickly take this from the top. Firstly, Linden Lab has added a simplified reporting form for Second Life JIRA issues. That part is pretty okay (and some might say that it is many years overdue) being that it is the sort of bug-reporting form that you might see for many major pieces of software, but that increases the triage-level workload on reports significantly. Now, that triage process has so far been split between the Second Life JIRA users and Linden Lab.

There’s a couple problems with bug triaging though. The first is that the Second Life JIRA users do it badly. The second is that Linden Lab do it badly. Okay, so issue triaging becomes more complicated now. So, ouch, right there.

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Bob Komin leaves Linden Lab http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2012/08/01/bob-komin-leaves-linden-lab/ http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2012/08/01/bob-komin-leaves-linden-lab/#comments Wed, 01 Aug 2012 11:08:43 +0000 http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/?p=5806 Bob Komin, Linden Lab’s CFO and COO has departed Linden Lab after a more than two-and-a-half year stint through some pretty tough times at the company. Komin turned the company around from Q2 2010 to Q1 2011, reversing the company’s high cash burn-rate and guiding it to record profitability as the head of the Global […]

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A group of Second Life avatarsBob Komin, Linden Lab’s CFO and COO has departed Linden Lab after a more than two-and-a-half year stint through some pretty tough times at the company.

Komin turned the company around from Q2 2010 to Q1 2011, reversing the company’s high cash burn-rate and guiding it to record profitability as the head of the Global Technical Operations, QA, Customer Support, IT, HR, Legal, Finance and Accounting teams.

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Your router could be screwing up your connection to Second Life http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2012/07/18/your-router-could-be-screwing-up-your-connection-to-second-life/ http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2012/07/18/your-router-could-be-screwing-up-your-connection-to-second-life/#comments Thu, 19 Jul 2012 00:02:56 +0000 http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/?p=5800 Yes, your home router could indeed be letting your Second Life experience down, and a couple quite common series of routers are among the most culpable. I’ll start by pointing out that the IEEE 802.11 networking standards aren’t the easiest set of networking protocols to implement correctly in device firmware. It’s all too easy to […]

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A LinkSys WRT54G wireless/wired routerYes, your home router could indeed be letting your Second Life experience down, and a couple quite common series of routers are among the most culpable.

I’ll start by pointing out that the IEEE 802.11 networking standards aren’t the easiest set of networking protocols to implement correctly in device firmware. It’s all too easy to get them almost right, resulting in wireless access points and routers that work just fine for some kinds of workloads and that fall down spectacularly for others. As a bonus, RFC-2663 IPv4 Network Address Translation is also a commonly poorly-implemented feature in many network devices.

In my experiences from 2000 to 2005, the vast majority of wireless access-points/routers of that period – while just fine for Aunt Tilley and her Facebook habit – turned out to be duds (ranging from extraordinary failure to far more subtle symptoms) once you hooked up a power-user or a small three or four person office. They might choke and die, they might toss stations off at random, they might just run some connections very slowly, or some might unpredictably stall, leaving you wondering.

Finding good hardware during that period was a chore, and it hasn’t gotten that much better since, in my opinion. Often the best you can hope for is “just good enough” (if you’re lucky) unless you use something like a dedicated Linux system as a firewall and router.

Even such networking giants as Cisco Systems has gotten them wrong on occasion. Few (if any) manufacturers seem to be entirely exempt from glitches in these particular standards implementations.

All that said, Linden Lab has recently been performing somewhat extensive testing of consumer routers as a part of Project Shining, and come up with two common series that are already problematic with Second Life.

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Second Life age-verification “tweaked” http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2012/07/10/second-life-age-verification-tweaked/ http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2012/07/10/second-life-age-verification-tweaked/#comments Tue, 10 Jul 2012 22:56:41 +0000 http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/?p=5793 One year and one week ago, Second Life’s age-verification was changed to asking you your date-of-birth. This week, there’s been a tiny tweak. It only asks you once, instead of twice. Technically, it isn’t “age-verification” anymore, either, and that terminology seems to be on the way out. Read more ...

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A group of Second Life avatars in a variety of outfitsOne year and one week ago, Second Life’s age-verification was changed to asking you your date-of-birth. This week, there’s been a tiny tweak. It only asks you once, instead of twice.

Technically, it isn’t “age-verification” anymore, either, and that terminology seems to be on the way out.

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Review: The Microsoft Touch Mouse http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2012/07/08/review-the-microsoft-touch-mouse/ http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2012/07/08/review-the-microsoft-touch-mouse/#comments Mon, 09 Jul 2012 04:07:57 +0000 http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/?p=5783   The time came yesterday for a new mouse. The cordless mouse that I’ve been using, while faithful for some time, has been getting increasingly dicky. The rubber tyre on the mouse-wheel had stretched and scrolling and middle-clicking often yielded unexpected results and directions. I eyeballed the digital rodentia at the local JB-HiFi store without […]

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The Microsoft Touch Mouse

The time came yesterday for a new mouse. The cordless mouse that I’ve been using, while faithful for some time, has been getting increasingly dicky. The rubber tyre on the mouse-wheel had stretched and scrolling and middle-clicking often yielded unexpected results and directions.

I eyeballed the digital rodentia at the local JB-HiFi store without the intent to purchase anything right away, but ended up walking out with a brand new Microsoft Touch Mouse ($100AUD). It was the largest mouse on the shelves, and my hands are large with long, slender fingers. Most of the rodentia on offer weren’t as long as my index finger, let alone comfortably large enough to rest a hand on.

Here’s the short version: Don’t buy this mouse. Do not be seduced by its apparent features and sleek curves, for it has a wicked design flaw.

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llSetTimerEvent()’s runtime guarantee http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2012/07/04/llsettimerevents-runtime-guarantee/ http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2012/07/04/llsettimerevents-runtime-guarantee/#comments Thu, 05 Jul 2012 02:44:48 +0000 http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/?p=5779 The core of any API (application programming interface) is a set of runtime-guarantees. Lately, I’ve been asked a fair bit about LSL’s llSetTimerEvent() API function and its interaction with the new region-idling model, where regions are shoved down to less frequent updates when not in certain kinds of active use. Obviously that’s going to have […]

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A group of Second Life avatarsThe core of any API (application programming interface) is a set of runtime-guarantees. Lately, I’ve been asked a fair bit about LSL’s llSetTimerEvent() API function and its interaction with the new region-idling model, where regions are shoved down to less frequent updates when not in certain kinds of active use.

Obviously that’s going to have some sort of effect on timers, but does it break llSetTimerEvent()’s runtime guarantees? No, it doesn’t.

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Linden Lab declares war on Second Life lag http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2012/06/30/linden-lab-declares-war-second-life-lag/ http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2012/06/30/linden-lab-declares-war-second-life-lag/#comments Sat, 30 Jun 2012 11:11:27 +0000 http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/?p=5772 Linden Lab has announced that it is working on three projects that each will reduce some amount of unnecessary lag and delays from Second Life. All three are positive improvements, and at least one has been on many peoples’ wishlists for rather a while now. Those aren’t the only things in the works, however. Read […]

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A group of Second Life avatarsLinden Lab has announced that it is working on three projects that each will reduce some amount of unnecessary lag and delays from Second Life.

All three are positive improvements, and at least one has been on many peoples’ wishlists for rather a while now. Those aren’t the only things in the works, however.

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That was sudden http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2012/06/13/that-was-sudden/ http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2012/06/13/that-was-sudden/#comments Wed, 13 Jun 2012 12:50:24 +0000 http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/?p=5766 Just last night, UK’s Channel 4 aired an investigative piece about Sulake’s Habbo Hotel (or just “Habbo”), the social virtual environment for kids. The investigation alleges (among other things) that sexual predators are using the service to groom children for sex, despite Habbo’s couple of hundred live moderators – and it isn’t the first time […]

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A scene from Habbo. Several avatars cluster around a table containing stylised foods, while one person holds a giant sparkling carrotJust last night, UK’s Channel 4 aired an investigative piece about Sulake’s Habbo Hotel (or just “Habbo”), the social virtual environment for kids.

The investigation alleges (among other things) that sexual predators are using the service to groom children for sex, despite Habbo’s couple of hundred live moderators – and it isn’t the first time these sorts of allegations have been made about Habbo, or about a number of other virtual environments.

Another UK channel (that I won’t name) went so far as to fabricate a scandal involving Second Life a few years ago.

What strikes me about the Habbo incident is how sudden it has been.

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I don’t even know… http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2012/06/12/i-dont-even-know/ http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2012/06/12/i-dont-even-know/#comments Tue, 12 Jun 2012 12:46:32 +0000 http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/?p=5761 When Hamlet refers to game-mechanics in this post, I don’t even know what he’s referring to, actually. Could he be talking about the new experience tools bundle that includes path-finding? I wouldn’t think so, because those aren’t game-mechanics. While they’re the sort of thing that are commonly used in games, they’re just as commonly used […]

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An image of Tateru Nino's Second Life avatar, on the page of a bookWhen Hamlet refers to game-mechanics in this post, I don’t even know what he’s referring to, actually.

Could he be talking about the new experience tools bundle that includes path-finding? I wouldn’t think so, because those aren’t game-mechanics. While they’re the sort of thing that are commonly used in games, they’re just as commonly used in things that aren’t games.

So, what game-mechanics are we even talking about?

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Graphical performance is all about control http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2012/06/12/graphical-performance-is-all-about-control/ http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2012/06/12/graphical-performance-is-all-about-control/#comments Tue, 12 Jun 2012 10:43:29 +0000 http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/?p=5757 The Elder Scrolls Online, Zenimax’s upcoming MMOG take on the Elder Scrolls universe is going to have nowhere near the sort of graphical fidelity that you’re used to from, say, Skyrim. And there’s good reasons for that. Reasons that are applicable to pretty much every graphical title you’re likely to encounter, from IMVU and Second […]

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A desert tortoise with the caption "I used to race Achilles, then I took an arrow to the knee"The Elder Scrolls Online, Zenimax’s upcoming MMOG take on the Elder Scrolls universe is going to have nowhere near the sort of graphical fidelity that you’re used to from, say, Skyrim. And there’s good reasons for that. Reasons that are applicable to pretty much every graphical title you’re likely to encounter, from IMVU and Second Life to … well, Skyrim and The Elder Scrolls Online.

Leaving aside the individual hardware for just a moment, perhaps the single most important factors in graphical performance, is control.

The customer has 3D hardware, and your software contains a tuned and optimised 3D rendering engine and pipeline. That’s great.

However, the best 3D engine on the best 3D hardware can still run about as well as a wounded tortoise if you don’t exercise proper control.

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