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Geek-4-Jesus

By bmedlock ·
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by bmedlock In reply to Geek-4-Jesus

<P>Today I've convinced Keith and Phil to start blogging.  Let's see if I can get some more blogs going.</P>
<P> </P><img src ="http://blogs.chcchurch.org/bamed/aggbug/156.aspx" width = "1" height = "1" /><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://blogs.chcchurch.org/bamed/archive/2005/04/19/156.aspx">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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IEDay

by bmedlock In reply to Geek-4-Jesus

Well, the video is ready!  Cyber-Evangelism 101 is online!  We have a free Content filter available for download, and a free Virus scanner available all on our website.  I think we're about ready for Internet Evangelism Day!<img src ="http://blogs.chcchurch.org/bamed/aggbug/158.aspx" width = "1" height = "1" /><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://blogs.chcchurch.org/bamed/archive/2005/04/19/158.aspx">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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Leadership Retreat

by bmedlock In reply to Geek-4-Jesus

<P>Well, besides being Internet Evangelism Day, this weekend is our annual Leadership Retreat.  Last year's retreat was an awesome experience of worship.  I believe we had around 50 church leaders there, people I've looked up to for years, and together we worshiped, we took time to be still and listen to the Spirit's direction for the Church.  The Spirit moved in powerful ways at last years retreat and the ripples of that weekend are evident in all that has happened at College Heights this past year.  I've been looking forward to this weekend ever since.  Pray for us this weekend, that we will be open to God's direction. </P>
<P>Look for the Internet Evangelism Day video this weekend, and enjoy the special guest speaker! It's not every weekend you get to hear good preaching </P><img src ="http://blogs.chcchurch.org/bamed/aggbug/164.aspx" width = "1" height = "1" /><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://blogs.chcchurch.org/bamed/archive/2005/04/22/164.aspx">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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Happy Birthday to the MOUSE!

by bmedlock In reply to Geek-4-Jesus

<SPAN class=normalArial>For those of you <I style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal">not</I> accessing this column using shortcut keys, touch screens, or voice-recognition interfaces, reading today's blog is possible thanks to a critical computer peripheral that went on sale 24 years ago today. On April 27, 1981, the first commercial computer mouse debuted as an included component of the Xerox Star 8010 personal computer. So, in many respects, today is the "birthday" of the computer mouse. </SPAN>
<P><SPAN class=normalArial>In many respects, that is, but not every--the mouse that shipped with the Star 8010 was almost 20 years in the making. In fact, several versions of working mice were in use before the first commercial model ever went on sale. </SPAN></P>
<P><SPAN class=normalArial>If you wanted to suggest an alternative birthday for the mouse, you could make a strong argument for Nov. 17, 1970, when Douglas Engelbart received U.S. Patent 3,541,541 for his design of an "X-Y Position Indicator For A Display System." On paper, this is when the mouse began its legally recognized life. </SPAN></P><!-- Center Ad Start --><!-- Center Ad End -->
<P><SPAN class=normalArial>Of course, most of us recognize that just as technology exists before it comes to market, technology also exists long before it's ready for a patent (to say nothing of how much time the patent application and approval process requires). Thus, one could lobby for yet another mouse birthday: Dec. 9, 1968. </SPAN></P>
<P><SPAN class=normalArial>On this date, Engelbart unveiled the mouse as part of a 90-minute demonstration of the oN-Line System (NLS), a GUI-based collaborative computing system developed by Engelbart's design teams at the Stanford Research Institute's Augmentation Research Center. This presentation, viewed by many as the first practical implementation of hypertext as well as a key moment in the history of computing, showed the academic world what the mouse could do. </SPAN></P>
<P><SPAN class=normalArial>Perhaps more accurately, the NLS demo was the mouse's coming-out party, rather than its birthday. Like many inventions, the first working mouse was a product of extensive design revision and usability testing. As such, there is no clear-cut date to designate as the day the mouse was "born." Suffice it to say, Engelbart finalized his first mouse design in 1963, meaning that mouse technology is more than four decades old. </SPAN></P>
<P><SPAN class=normalArial>Indeed, one can't even point to the day the mouse received its name--because that happened twice. While <I style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal">mouse</I> is now the preferred verbal shorthand for an X-Y position indicator for a display system, another nickname emerged during the mouse's developmental years, one that would be mildly ironic if it were still in use today. </SPAN></P><SPAN class=normalArial>
<P>What was the suggested alternative name for Douglas Engelbart's "X-Y position indicator for a display system," commonly called a mouse?</P>
<P>As promised, that other nickname was mildly ironic. During its early development, Engelbart's research teams also called his invention a <I>bug</I>.</P>
<P>While almost every commercially sold computer has its quirks and flaws, it's doubtful that anyone would want to buy a PC that literally came with its own bug, especially since the first computer to come with one—the aforementioned Xerox Star 8010—sold for a hefty $16,000. Thus, it's pretty easy to see why <I>mouse</I> won out over <I>bug</I> as the X-Y indicator's favored nickname.</P>
<P>Still, if you were to lay eyes on that first mouse that Engelbart demonstrated in 1968, the term <I>buggy</I> might not be too far from your mind. The "original" mouse was made of wood; a hollow wooden block covered two perpendicular wheels, which translated x- and y-axis motion into electronic signals.</P>
<P>A simple raised, round button the size of a mini-marshmallow completed the design. (Yes, Macintosh fans, the first mouse was a one-button affair.) For all its potential, that first mouse was grossly unsophisticated compared to today's models.</P>
<P>Moreover, for all his influence, it was not Engelbart who created the now familiar mouse ball—that needs-to-be-cleaned component of many modern mice that more accurately "captures" mouse movement. That distinction goes to Xerox developer Bill English, a member of the famous Xerox PARC research team, who designed the first mouse ball in 1970.</P>
<P>The PARC version of the mouse is perhaps the most influential, designed for complementary, intermittent use with a conventional QWERTY keyboard, as opposed to Engelbart's original notion of an always-in-use mouse paired with a one-handed mini-keyboard.</P>
<P>Two Swiss scientists, Jean-Daniel Nicoud and Andre Guignard (the former a professor and the latter an engineer and precision watchmaker), are responsible for refining the PARC design into its modern form. Their work, sponsored by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, would lead directly to the formation of contemporary mouse manufacturer Logitech. From a buggy box to a multinational super-business, the computer mouse makes for some pointed Geek Trivia.</P>
<P><EM>Today's blog was taken from an article found <A href="http://techrepublic.com.com/5100-10597_11-5675126.html?tag=search">here.</A></EM></P></SPAN><img src ="http://blogs.chcchurch.org/bamed/aggbug/172.aspx" width = "1" height = "1" /><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://blogs.chcchurch.org/bamed/archive/2005/04/27/172.aspx">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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Safe Computing! Firewalls, Spyware, Viruses and more!

by bmedlock In reply to Geek-4-Jesus

<P>OK!  You've got a computer.  You've got the Internet.  Obviously or you wouldn't be here.  But what about all that stuff out there you hear about?  ID theft? Spyware? Viruses? What's a firewall? How do I stop Pop-ups?  There's a whole world at your fingertips and that whole world is trying to take over your computer.  What do you do?  How do you know if you are safe?</P>
<P>Over the next few blogs I'm going to explain some of these things and teach you how to be safe!   Stay tuned...</P>
<P> </P>
<P>Next Blog:  Viruses!</P><img src ="http://blogs.chcchurch.org/bamed/aggbug/174.aspx" width = "1" height = "1" /><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://blogs.chcchurch.org/bamed/archive/2005/04/29/174.aspx">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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i am not, but i know I AM!

by bmedlock In reply to Geek-4-Jesus

<P>I was in my car last night at about 8:45, going to Braum's to get some ice cream for my wife (I may have gotten something for myself too...)  On the way there and back I was listening to KOBC, and listened to the end of a broadcast by Focus on the Family.  I didn't hear the whole sermon, but it concluded with the statement that God's grace is sufficient.  So my mind goes to II Corinthians 12, and I meditate on it as the evening goes on. Then at 3:00am this morning our one-month old princess decides it's breakfast time, so I get up and tend to her needs.  I finally get her back to bed about 5:00am, but I can't get back to sleep.  II Corinthians 12 keeps rolling through my mind.  I am one of those people who can always go to sleep within 5 minutes of laying my head on the pillow, so I figure if I can't, God must want to talk with me.  So after about 15 minutes I get up and decide to go over II Corinthians 12 a little deeper.  I started wondering what some of the words meant in the original Greek, so I get out my ASV/NIV/Greek Bible and <EM>Vine's Expository Dictionary</EM> and start digging.  That being said, the following is II Corinthians 12:7-10 with some added notes concerning the original Greek.</P>
<P><FONT size=4><STRONG>“To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great”</STRONG> (actual Greek word is <EM>hyperbole, </EM>it mean really, really, really big) <STRONG>“revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me”</STRONG> (Greek actually means to beat with closed fist!  Also in the Greek the phrase translated 'to keep me from becoming conceited' is repeated here) <STRONG>“Three time I pleaded”</STRONG> (begged, called for help) <STRONG>“with the Lord to take it away from me.  But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you,'”</STRONG> (I needed help, He came to my help, and the help He provided was EVERYTHING I needed) <STRONG>“'for my power is made perfect'”</STRONG> (finished, completed, "It is finished" in John 19:30, "be perfect" in Mt.5:4 <STRONG>"' in weakness.'  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest"</STRONG> (literally, "set tent over" the picture I get is a nomad wandering the desert, at the end of the day is tired, feet are sore, the sun is beating down, and he sets his tent up and finds rest in it) <STRONG>"on me.  That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong."</STRONG></FONT></P>
<P>“When I am weak, then I am strong!”  It's truths like these that cause Paul to say in I Corinthians 1:18-19 “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to use who are being saved it is the power of God.  For it is written: 'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.'”  </P>
<P>Real power is only made complete in weakness.  I'm reminded of Eugene Peterson's translation of Matthew 5 in The Message, “You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope.  The less of you, the more of God, and the more of His rule.”  We can only truly know God's power in our lives when we have humbled ourselves and made ourselves nothing!  Phil 2:5-11“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:<I> </I>Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,<I> </I>but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.<I> </I>And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!<I> </I>Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,<I> </I>that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,<I> </I>and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”</P>
<P>Even the greatest power of God, could only be completed in His weakness.  </P>
<P>Consider Psalms 103:1-5 “Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.<I> </I>Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits--<I> </I>who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,<I>  </I>who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,<I> </I>who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.”</P>
<P>I think of my father who suffered 10 years from a disease he was told would kill him, until one day he was healed.  “(the LORD) heals all your diseases.”  I think of testimony after testimony of people whose lives were in the pit.  Look at the testimony found at <A href="http://www.chcchurch.org">http://www.chcchurch.org</A>.  But the LORD redeemed them, and crowned them with love and compassion.  “(He) satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's”  All these benefits of our Great and Powerful God!  All the power He has shown in creation!  And yet the greatest of all His benefits, the one thing that took so much power it could only be completed in weakness... “(He) forgives all your sins”!!  He forgives our sins!!  The single greatest, most powerful thing God does is forgive our sins, and that could only be done in weakness!</P>
<P>Follow His example!  I am nothing!  i am not, but i know <STRONG>I AM</STRONG>! </P>
<P> </P>
<P>Don't worry, I'll get to the virus blog next time!</P><img src ="http://blogs.chcchurch.org/bamed/aggbug/175.aspx" width = "1" height = "1" /><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://blogs.chcchurch.org/bamed/archive/2005/05/03/175.aspx">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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Safe Computing: The VIRUS!!

by bmedlock In reply to Geek-4-Jesus

<P>What is a virus?  We've all heard of them.  In my experience, a virus is usually the first to be blamed for computer problems, though not nearly as often is a virus the culprit.  There is a lot of confusion and misunderstanding about viruses, so let me clear it up a little.</P>
<P>A virus is a program, written by someone who knows how to write programs, a programmer, that has built into its code the ability to copy/send itself, replicate, to another computer.  It's not necessarily a program that harms your computer, in fact many viruses are quite harmless.  There are many ways a virus can replicate.  The most common way we hear about is through email.  When an email virus infects your computer, it will copy itself and send the copies to people in your addressbook.  Sometimes, the virus will even fake the sender, pretending to be somebody else so the source of the infection can't be found.  Some viruses don't bother with email, and can copy themselves directly from one computer to another through the Internet.  The first computer virus was created in 1981, and it spread from Apple II floppies, it was called the “Cloner”.  In 1983, Fred Cohen coined the term “virus” to describe a program that replicates itself.</P>
<P>So what harm can a virus do?  While some viruses do nothing but replicate, there are some out there that do much more damage.  Viruses usually exploit a bug, or flaw, in some software, ususally targeting a specific program, such as Windows.  This bug allows them to replicate, and sometime to do other damage.  Some will try to delete files, or steal private information.  Some viruses are set to deliver a “payload” on a specific date.  That payload could be a message that pops up on your screen, or it could wipe everything from your computer.  The extent of what a virus can do is up to the imagination of the virus author.</P>
<P>How do you protect yourself from viruses?  You need some kind of anti-virus software.  Norton and McAfee are two of the most popular brands of antivirus software, but there are many others out there.  At <A href="http://www.geeks-4-jesus.org/">http://www.geeks-4-jesus.org</A> we have a *FREE* online virus scanner that will let you know if you have a virus, and possible clean it, however it is not a complete anti-virus solution!  The important thing about any anti-virus software you choose is that you keep it updated regularly.  I suggest you update it weekly.  Whatever software you choose will have an update feature built in.  Hundreds of new viruses are being written every month!  Therefore the antivirus software must be udpated to keep up with these new threats.  The other thing you should do to protect yourself from viruses is keep your computer updated.  Microsoft offers a *FREE* service at <A href="http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/">http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com</A> that scans your computer and loads necessary updates to fix the “bugs” that viruses exploit.</P>
<P>To sum it up, for complete anti-virus protection you need:</P>
<OL>
<LI>An antivirus program
<LI>Update your antivirus program weekly
<LI>Update your computer at <A href="http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com">http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com</A> at least monthly
<LI>Visit <A href="http://www.geeks-4-jesus.org">http://www.geeks-4-jesus.org</A> and perform a *FREE* online virus scan monthly!</LI></OL>
<P>Next Week...  SPYWARE!!</P>
<P>If you have any questions or comments click on feedback, or go to <A href="http://www.geeks-4-jesus.org">http://www.geeks-4-jesus.org</A> and join the discussion forum.</P><img src ="http://blogs.chcchurch.org/bamed/aggbug/178.aspx" width = "1" height = "1" /><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://blogs.chcchurch.org/bamed/archive/2005/05/06/178.aspx">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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Safe Computing: Spyware!!

by bmedlock In reply to Geek-4-Jesus

<P>What is Spyware?  It sounds like a jacket James Bond may wear that has a built-in flotation device, parachute, x-ray machine, voice recorder, and has various weapons hidden throughout.  But no, we're not talking about spy-wear, but Spy-Ware, as in software that spies on you!</P>
<P>Spyware is software that has been secretly placed on your computer that records and reports your activity.  Spyware can get installed several ways.  One is through cookies.  A cookie is a file placed on your computer by a website you visit.  There are plenty of legitimate reasons for cookies.  For example, my.yahoo.com can be personalized and remember you every time you visit through the use of a cookie.  However, there are sites that use cookies to collect information about your for dubious reasons.  Another way is through website installs.  Spyware might disguise itself as legitimate software needed to access a website.  Spyware can install through email the same as a virus can.  Or it may come bundled with another program you want, Kazaa is one such program.</P>
<P>What does Spyware actually do?  Well, it records what sites you visit, it may record every keystroke you make, thus stealing your passwords, then it reports all of this information to however is the author.  It may be a company  looking for information about you so they can know how to target you for their marketing purposed, or it could be a hacker looking to steal your identity.  Most of the time its the former.  Another thing Spyware often does is cause pop-ups.  Usually the Spyware will record the sites you visit and create pop-ups based on this information; however, most often these pop-ups are pornographic in nature.  Some of the symptoms of Spyware infestation are unexplainable decrease in overall performance, new toolbars showing up, increased pop-up ads, default search engine and home page has changed.</P>
<P>What can you do about Spyware?  Unfortunately, the only effective way I've found to battle Spyware is to continually clean it up.  There are ways to prevent some Spyware infections, such as using a firewall, don't install any software you aren't familiar with, avoid “underground” websites, but you'll still get some.  Two tools I use to remove Spyware are Spybot Search and Destroy, and Lavasoft's Ad-Aware.  Both have free versions that are adequate.  Both require regular updates, and a manual scan should be performed monthly for best results.  To find these go to <A href="http://www.download.com">http://www.download.com</A> and type in the name of the product in the search box.</P>
<P>Spyware has become more of a serious threat, and a larger nuisance than viruses ever were.  Be armed with knowledge!</P>
<P>Next week's topic:  Hacker's and Firewalls!</P>
<P>Please post any questions or comments you may have!</P><img src ="http://blogs.chcchurch.org/bamed/aggbug/189.aspx" width = "1" height = "1" /><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://blogs.chcchurch.org/bamed/archive/2005/05/18/189.aspx">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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Geek Day of Service

by bmedlock In reply to Geek-4-Jesus

<P>That's right!  We finished with the Great Day of Service, and now it's time for the Geek Day of Service.  July 9, 2005 from 8:00AM to 2:00PM at College Heights Christian Church, in the Atrium.  We will take your computer, and whatever is wrong with it, and do what we can to fix it.  So if you've got something wrong with your computer, and haven't been able to afford to have it fixed for $90/hour, bring it to us!</P>
<P> </P>
<P>If you're a geek with a heart for service, come join us.  Drop me an email to let me know you're interested, <A href="mailto:bmedlock@chcchurch.org">bmedlock@chcchurch.org</A>.</P>
<P> </P>
<P>More on Safe Computing Later ....</P>
<P>:)</P><img src ="http://blogs.chcchurch.org/bamed/aggbug/207.aspx" width = "1" height = "1" /><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://blogs.chcchurch.org/bamed/archive/2005/06/01/207.aspx">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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Safe Computing: Hackers & Firewalls

by bmedlock In reply to Geek-4-Jesus

<P>A pale skinned nerd in his mom's basement pushes a couple of buttons and hacks into the IRS database... that's the picture Hollywood gives us of hacker, but what is a hacker really, and what do they do?  Though not entirely accurate, that picture isn't completely false.  A hacker is someone who gains access to another computer that they are not supposed to have access to.  Sometimes this may be through security flaws or bugs in a programs, sometimes its just through lack of security on the hacked computer.  There are hackers out there who do it just for fun, and those who do it for a specific purpose, like identity theft.  There are white hat hacker, who find security flaws in a system, then contact the owner of that system so they can plug the holes, and black hat hackers who do it for other reasons, such as theft, or vandalism.  Whatever the purpose may be, all hacking is illegal!</P>
<P>So what can you do to protect yourself from hackers.  If your computer is on the internet, and you have not taken specific precautions against hackers, your computer is open for the world to see, especially if you have broadband (high-speed internet).    Your first line of defense against hacking is a firewall.  A firewall is a program, or a piece of hardware that sits between your computer and the internet.  A firewall will check everything that passes between your computer and the internet and block what it considers “unsecure”.  While a software firewall is better than nothing, a hardware firewall is by far a superior option.  If you have a DSL or Cable router, you have a firewall.  With a hardware firewall, such as a DSL router, your computer isn't directly connected to the Internet, the firewall (router) is.  So when a hacker tries to access your system, they don't see your computer, they only see your router, therefore your computer is safe.  Again, a hardware firewall is a better option, but a software firewall will help, a free software firewall that I've often used is <A href="http://www.zonelabs.com/store/content/catalog/products/sku_list_za.jsp?lid=dbtopnav_za">Zone Alarm.</A>  If your computer is running WindowsXP, be sure you download Service Pack 2 which includes a built-in firewall, it can be downloaded at the Windows Update site <A href="http://windows.update.com">here</A>.  The Windows update site contains fixes to all the bugs found in Windows, mainly it plugs up security holes.  That is your second line of defense.  You should check out the Windows update site at least once a month, and keep downloading all “Critical Updates” until there are no more to download.  If its your first visit you may have to go back several times until you are up-to-date.  Whenever a security hole is found in Windows, Microsoft fixes it in a relatively short time and posts the update to the Windows Update site.  </P>
<P>We've already discussed viruses, but let me bring up a specific type of virus called a trojan, or a trojan horse.  A trojan horse is a program written to infect your computer and give the trojan author access to your computer.  Again, let me emphasis that it is VERY IMPORTANT you have an up-to-date anti-virus program.  That means you check the updates on your anti-virus program at least once a month if not more often!</P>
<P>So, to sum it all up, if you want to protect your computer from hackers you should have:</P>
<P>1. A firewall, software or hardware, but hardware is better.  Two free software firewalls are the Windows Firewall which is included in Windows XP Service Pack 2, and Zone Alarm found <A href="http://www.zonelabs.com/store/content/catalog/products/sku_list_za.jsp?lid=dbtopnav_za">here</A>.</P>
<P>2. Check the Windows Update site montly, or more often and downlaod ALL critical updates to plug the holes that have been found in Windows.</P>
<P>3. Up-to-date antivirus software.  If your software isn't up-to-date, it is doing you no good.  Most viruses are only “in the wild” a few months, and new ones are being writted everyday.</P>
<P>Follow these steps and you should be relatively safe online.  If you have anymore questions, <A href="mailto:bryson@geeks-4-jesus.org">email me</A>.</P><img src ="http://blogs.chcchurch.org/bamed/aggbug/213.aspx" width = "1" height = "1" /><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://blogs.chcchurch.org/bamed/archive/2005/06/08/213.aspx">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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