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Stare at Norman Reedus' groin in Death Stranding and he'll punch you in the face

Eurogamer - Sat, 14/09/2019 - 17:25

There's a new 30 minute Death Stranding gameplay video fresh from Tokyo Game Show - and this time it revolves around Norman Reedus' character, Sam, and his safe house..

The video, below, from the GamersPrey YouTube channel, begins with a blood transfusion, and Sam waking up in his room. He looks dirty from, presumably, an away mission. It doesn't look like you control Sam directly, here, rather some other entity that interacts with him. Sam can perform a variety of actions, such as clapping and raising his arms as you move the camera about. He'll tap his feet as if bored. He'll encourage you to move to certain areas by pointing.

As superstar video game developer Hideo Kojima narrates in Japanese, we see what happens if you repeatedly zoom in on Sam's groin. At first, he covers his privates with his hands. Zoom again and he pleads with you to move on. Keep doing it, and he'll eventually close his legs and - the final straw, it seems - punch the camera in the face.

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Categories: Video Games

Google Unveils Code Completion Powered by Machine Learning in Dart SDK

Slashdot - Sat, 14/09/2019 - 16:34
Google's previewing something new in the SDK for their Dart programming language: machine learning-powered automatic code completion. ZDNet reports: ML Complete works with the editor to offer developers completions as they type their code. It's also meant to help developers quickly explore lists of completions that are likely to be what they want next, rather than having to sort through options alphabetically. "With code completions, developers can both avoid misspellings and explore APIs by typing the beginning of expected symbols and choosing from the offered completions," explains Google project manager Michael Thomsen in his article, 'Announcing Dart 2.5: Supercharged development'. Google's take on AI-powered code completion for Dart relies on a model trained on a large body of Dart code on GitHub. The model is powered by Google's TensorFlow Lite deep-learning framework and can predict what developers will type next as they're editing code. ML Complete is built into the Dart analyzer, meaning the preview is available in "Dart-enabled editors" including Android Studio, IntelliJ, and VS Code.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Smash Bros. will stick to video game characters, Sakurai says

Eurogamer - Sat, 14/09/2019 - 15:39

The Smash Bros. games have a lot of characters, and many of them are lifted from outside the world of Nintendo. But that doesn't mean characters from outside the world of video games will make an appearance in the ultra popular brawler.

At the Tokyo Game Show this week, Smash development chief Masahiro Sakurai took to the stage to accept an award for Switch game Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and in doing so said non-video game characters were off limits for the famous franchise.

"I get all these kinds of requests from abroad like, 'Where is my beloved Iron Man?' or 'Where is my beloved Goku?' " Sakurai said, as reported by Twitter user naruki, translated by Twitter user PushDustIn and verified by IGN.

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Categories: Video Games

Borderlands 3 is suffering from a raft of technical issues at launch

Eurogamer - Sat, 14/09/2019 - 15:03

Borderlands 3 came out this week, and players are reporting a raft of technical issues with the game.

On console, Gearbox's looter shooter suffers from framerate problems. Specifically, players are reporting a stutter in the PlayStation 4 Pro's performance mode, which is supposed to give you a 60fps experience. But this stutter appears widespread across platforms and modes.

There's a lot of lag, too, particularly when playing split-screen couch co-op and one player goes into their ECHOdevice during heavy combat.

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Categories: Video Games

Unravelling the mysteries of Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise

Eurogamer - Sat, 14/09/2019 - 15:00

Zach, can you hear me?

It's me, Ian.

If you can hear my voice, could you respond?

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Categories: Video Games

France Took One Look At Facebook's Cryptocurrency and Said, 'Hell, Non'

Slashdot - Sat, 14/09/2019 - 15:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: Facebook's plan to revolutionize the global economy with its version of bitcoin hit another snag this week when the French finance minister said the country would block the Libra cryptocurrency if it launches as planned in 2020. Libra, which is scheduled to launch in the second half of next year, is designed to be a fast and easy way for people to transfer money around the world, using the company's Messenger and WhatsApp services. Bruno Le Maire, speaking at a cryptocurrency conference organized by the Organization for Economic Development (OECD) on Thursday, didn't mince words when it came to the threat posed by Libra to the stability of the French economy by undermining the influence of the euro. "The monetary sovereignty of countries is at stake [from] possible privatization of money by a sole actor with more than 2 billion users on the planet," he said. Le Maire said that during times of economic crisis, citizens may abandon national currencies in favor of Libra, making it very difficult for governments to manage the economy. "All these concerns around Libra are serious. So I want to say this with a lot of clarity: In these conditions, we cannot authorize the development of Libra on European soil," Le Maire added.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

The making of Gears 5: how the Coalition hit 60fps - and improved visual quality

Eurogamer - Sat, 14/09/2019 - 13:10

The importance of the triple-A first-party blockbuster can't be understated - a spectacular amount of time, money and effort is concentrated into creating experiences that push console hardware to its limits. And in turn, the technological innovations found in these titles are often shared with the development community, improving the technical quality of titles across the board. It's a rising tide that floats all boats, if you like. So it is with Gears 5 from the Coalition - an outstanding release that redefines expectations from Xbox One hardware, while at the same time delivering what we (and many others!) believe is one of the greatest PC ports of the generation.

In this deep dive technical interview with The Coalition's technical art director Colin Penty and studio technical director Mike Rayner, we discuss how the team further iterated and customised key features of the Unreal Engine 4 technology while at the same time integrating the latest and greatest innovations from Epic back into their game. We also discover how the studio's intent in doubling frame-rate from 30fps to 60fps brought about a range of changes that didn't compromise visual quality as such, but rather improved it over Gears of War 4.

And then there's the discussion on the importance of native rendering resolution up against dynamic resolution and image reconstruction techniques. Alongside the kind of work we're seeing in titles like the upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare from Infinity Ward, The Coalition implements a flexible approach to rendering resolution to achieve 60 frames per second, evolving and improving from the work carried out in Gears of War 4. But how is this done - and are we nearing the end of the pixel-counting era in terms of using a set figure (or range of figures) to get some idea of overall image quality?

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Categories: Video Games

Infinity Ward will turn on the minimap in the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare beta today

Eurogamer - Sat, 14/09/2019 - 12:55

Infinity Ward will turn on the minimap in the ongoing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare beta today as players continue to debate its absence from the game.

The lack of a minimap has been perhaps the most contentious design decision Infinity Ward has made with its Modern Warfare soft reboot. Critics say its omission encourages camping, while its supporters say it promotes tactical play.

Currently, you can trigger a minimap via the Personal Radar Killstreak (three kills). This summons an escort drone that enables the radar for the owner and pings nearby enemies. The UAV Killstreak (four kills) summons a UAV recon ship that enables a minimap for all allies and reveals enemy locations.

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Categories: Video Games

There's no Asura's Wrath 2, but Street Fighter 5 has an Asura costume as DLC

Eurogamer - Sat, 14/09/2019 - 12:03

Ah, Asura's Wrath. How I miss you so. Your over-the-top, QTE-fuelled combat lives long in the memory. I close my eyes and I see a planet-sized man press his finger down on Asura, the demigod's six arms a flurry of punches. You were deeply flawed, but remarkable, a true last-gen diamond in the rough.

While Capcom seems unlikely to return to the wonderful world of Asura's Wrath any time soon, it lives on in the form of Street Fighter 5 costume DLC. This week the company announced an upcoming Asura's costume for Kage (the evil Ryu-esque character), due out via Extra Battle 27th September.

Kage really does look the part as Asura, but the costume is of course no substitute for a brand new Asura's Wrath game (Asura's Wrath was one of Eurogamer's games of 2012), or even a guest appearance by the character in another Capcom game.

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Categories: Video Games

Linux Foundation Survey Proves Open-Source Offices Work Better

Slashdot - Sat, 14/09/2019 - 12:00
DevNull127 shares some of the key findings from The New Stack's second annual "Open Source Programs in the Enterprise" survey, co-sponsored by VMware and in partnership with The Linux Foundation's TODO Group: Companies with initiatives to promote open source overwhelmingly say these efforts are improving their companies' software practices. The results [of the survey] show that proponents of free and open-source software (FOSS) have moved to the next phases of open source adoption, widening its usage within the enterprise while keeping alive the spirit and ethos of non-commercial software communities. 69% are at least sometimes using open-source code in commercial products, with that figure jumping to 83% among technology companies -- within three percentage points of the same survey's results last year. And most (79%) Internet-scale technology companies with more than 10,000 employees already have an open-source management program, which is a slight increase compared to last year. That stability shows that the next big changes in enterprise open source will instead involve its scope and how much enterprises emphasize giving back to the community. Increased innovation rose to become the most cited benefit of open-source programs. Participants said development speed, technology flexibility, and total cost of ownership are the top three. Lower support costs were also seen as a likely benefit. But open-source programs are also improving how software development is handled. In response to one of our new questions, 81% of respondents say their program has had a positive impact on their company's software practices. In an open-ended follow-up question, code reviews and license-compliance processes were repeatedly cited as specific practices that were improved as a direct result of the program. Furthermore, code quality and reduced costs were often cited as specific benefits coming from improved software practices. While "quality" is often hard to define, many respondents say newly-instituted code reviews have been a specific positive impact on their company's software practices. The full dataset can be found here.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Brian Blessed is perfect as Gotrek Gurnisson in Total War: Warhammer 2

Eurogamer - Sat, 14/09/2019 - 11:30

Brian Blessed is Gotrek Gurnisson in Total War: Warhammer 2 - and as you'd expect, the booming British bearded Thespian holds nothing back.

82-year-old national treasure Blessed, famous for his roles in the likes of I, Claudius, Blackadder and Flash Gordon, was recruited by Creative Assembly to do his thing for Gotrek, the legendary Dward Slayer from the Warhammer tabletop game and soon-to-be-released DLC for the video game.

In the video, below, Blessed is in typically rambunctious form, belting out his lines while dishing out life philosophy ("I am 50 per cent actor, and 50 per cent adventurer!")

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Categories: Video Games

Final Fantasy 7 Remake has a "classic" mode that makes the combat like the original's

Eurogamer - Sat, 14/09/2019 - 10:49

Final Fantasy 7 Remake has a "classic mode" that makes the combat play like that of the original game.

As revealed on-stage at the Tokyo Game Show, Final Fantasy 7 Remake's classic mode recreates the combat mechanic of the original Final Fantasy 7, in which you'd wait until the ATB Gauge filled up then selected a move to initiate an attack.

As a reminder, here's a clip of Final Fantasy 7's combat:

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Categories: Video Games

Astral Chain is a game with many influences, yet it feels so fresh

Eurogamer - Sat, 14/09/2019 - 09:00

One of the many words that games really need their own version of is syncretism. Syncretism, as far as I understand it, is the word for the convergence, or attempted convergence, of different religions, bringing all the points of similarity and all the contradictions together into one bubbling religious stew. Actually, stew is the wrong analogy for what this is, I suspect. Rather, it makes me think of the stately movement of continents, old shorelines removed by collisions while new landscapes become visible over time.

And of course, it makes me think of video games - particularly the open-world video games that Ubisoft is so gifted at producing, each one incorporating ideas from other games, each one expanding, refining, slowly codifying a new kind of every-game in which the map is scattered with icons and is unlocked by climbing towers, in which skill trees flare characters in a range of different but familiar directions, while running from the cops is always a matter of moving outside of a circle of visibility.

This video game syncretism can be extremely pleasant to play, but it is generally perceived as a bad thing. I've certainly had that moment over the last few years when I've been mowing my way through an open-world, chomping from icon to icon in a heady sort of trance, and I've realised that I've forgotten the specifics of what I'm playing. Do I climb towers here or do I ascend every now and then in a balloon? Do I have a grapple hook or do I have that Arkham-style combat-dance to look forward to?

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Categories: Video Games

London's Hidden Cable Tunnels Could Warm Thousands of Homes

Slashdot - Sat, 14/09/2019 - 09:00
Hot power cables snake through tunnels and channel under cities all around the world. All it takes is a fan/air coil to capture that heat for buildings. Researchers and a power company in the UK calculate that the essentially free heat could warm thousands of London homes. An anonymous Slashdot reader shares a report from IEEE Spectrum: Underneath London's bustling streets lie several kilometers of 2.5-meter-wide concrete tunnels lined with power distribution cables that can reach blistering temperatures. To cool the tunnels, vertical shafts spaced out every kilometer or two supply fresh air and eject hot air out into the open. Researchers at London South Bank University (LSBU) want to put that waste heat to use. A typical 1.8-km tunnel stretch between ventilation shafts produces 400 kilowatts of heat, enough to heat 100 homes or a small commercial office, they have found in a preliminary analysis done with the city's electricity network operator UK Power Networks. This heat recovery scheme would have a third of the carbon emissions of a gas boiler delivering the same amount of heat. The researchers presented this work at the International Congress of Refrigeration in August. [...] A heat exchanger installed at the supply shaft reduced cable and tunnel air temperatures by 8 degrees Celsius, but the amount of heat recovered varied from about 100 kilowatts in colder months to 460 kW in high heat. Installed at the exhaust shaft, the system produced around 400 kW during all six months.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Volkswagen's Bold Plan To Create a New Car OS

Slashdot - Sat, 14/09/2019 - 05:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: VW Group is now consolidating its software all under one new internal group, similar to the way that financial services or the ride-hailing Moia exist alongside individual vehicle brands. And that means in the future, a single unified automotive OS will run on everything from a VW Polo to an Audi A8. With thoughts of existing infotainment operating systems like Android, Automotive Grade Linux, or QNX, I asked Christian Senger, who is responsible for VW Group's Digital Car and Services division, to clarify. "What is an operating system in the automotive world? Today we have an extremely different setup if it's infotainment, if it's the chassis, the powertrain," Senger explained, and that has led to some odd critical dependencies in some cars. For instance, some models simply won't run if the infotainment system is broken; the navigation GPS provides the vehicle's master time counter, and without that, the powertrain won't function. "Whenever we exchange something, we have an impact on everything. What we are now doing with these so-called enabling functions is taking them out of customer functions, putting it in a middleware software layer. And this is what we call an operating system," he explained. Eventually, that's going to mean a single software stack common across VW Group's vehicles -- everything from the instrument displays and the infotainment to powertrain and chassis management (think traction and stability control or advanced driver assistance systems), plus a common connected car infrastructure and cloud. However, each brand will still get to develop its own UX in the same way that Porsche and Audi can build very different-looking vehicles from the same MLB Evo toolbox. Senger also revealed that VW Group will be using Android for future versions of the MIB infotainment platform, in large part because of the robust third-party app ecosystem with that OS versus Linux. However, it will be a while yet before the full effects of this strategy are felt. Senger says that the as-yet unnamed organization should be fully staffed -- somewhere between 5,000 to 10,000 employees -- by 2025.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Study Finds the Universe Might Be 2 Billion Years Younger

Slashdot - Sat, 14/09/2019 - 03:40
The universe is looking younger every day, it seems. New calculations suggest the universe could be a couple billion years younger than scientists now estimate, and even younger than suggested by two other calculations published this year that trimmed hundreds of millions of years from the age of the cosmos. From a report: The huge swings in scientists' estimates -- even this new calculation could be off by billions of years -- reflect different approaches to the tricky problem of figuring the universe's real age. "We have large uncertainty for how the stars are moving in the galaxy," said Inh Jee, of the Max Plank Institute in Germany, lead author of the study in Thursday's journal Science. Scientists estimate the age of the universe by using the movement of stars to measure how fast it is expanding. If the universe is expanding faster, that means it got to its current size more quickly, and therefore must be relatively younger. The expansion rate, called the Hubble constant, is one of the most important numbers in cosmology. A larger Hubble Constant makes for a faster moving -- and younger -- universe. The generally accepted age of the universe is 13.7 billion years, based on a Hubble Constant of 70. Jee's team came up with a Hubble Constant of 82.4, which would put the age of the universe at around 11.4 billion years. Jee used a concept called gravitational lensing -- where gravity warps light and makes far away objects look closer. They rely on a special type of that effect called time delay lensing, using the changing brightness of distant objects to gather information for their calculations. But Jee's approach is only one of a few new ones that have led to different numbers in recent years, reopening a simmering astronomical debate of the 1990s that had been seemingly settled.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Disney CEO Bob Iger Resigns From Apple Board As Companies Come Into Conflict On Streaming

Slashdot - Sat, 14/09/2019 - 03:20
Disney CEO Bob Iger has resigned from Apple's board of directors, Apple said in an SEC filing on Friday. CNBC reports: Disney is launching streaming video service Disney+ on Nov. 12, which will compete with Apple's Apple TV+ service, scheduled to become available on Nov. 1. Iger resigned on Sept. 10, the day Apple announced the price and release date for its streaming service. The two streaming services will increasingly come into conflict in the future as both compete for original content. Iger was personal friends with late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs. Disney bought Jobs' other company, Pixar, in 2006, and Jobs was on Disney's board until his death in 2011. Jobs asked Iger to take his place on the Apple board when he died, according to Fortune, and Iger joined the board that year. Iger was the chair of Apple's corporate governance committee and on Apple's compensation board, according to the company's proxy filing earlier this year. Disney and Apple have had a close corporate relationship over the years. Disney was one of the first major companies to develop apps for iPhones and iPads, and shortly after Iger took over as Disney CEO in 2005, he appeared on stage with Jobs to announce ABC content for iTunes. Disney has announced that it will distribute its streaming service on Apple's platforms. "It has been an extraordinary privilege to have served on the Apple board for 8 years, and I have the utmost respect for Tim Cook, his team at Apple, and for my fellow board members," Iger said in a statement. "Apple is one of the world's most admired companies, known for the quality and integrity of its products and its people, and I am forever grateful to have served as a member of the company's board." Apple said in a statement, "Bob has been an exemplary board member for nearly eight years, and for as long as he has led Disney he has been one of Apple's most trusted business partners. He is a dedicated, visionary CEO and a role model for an entire generation of business leaders. More than anything, Bob is our friend. He leads with his heart and he has always been generous with his time and advice. While we will greatly miss his contributions as a board member, we respect his decision and we have every expectation that our relationship with both Bob and Disney will continue far into the future."

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Ask Slashdot: Why Isn't Geothermal Energy Getting As Much Attention As Solar and Wind?

Slashdot - Sat, 14/09/2019 - 03:00
mrwireless writes: YouTube channel Real Engineering has posted a great video on the potential (and downsides) of geothermal power. I think it would be great to discuss this video on Slashdot, since in discussions about climate change, geothermal rarely comes up as a viable alternative. The video mentions things like:- Could power our needs twice over- New technology makes it possible in more locations- Works night and day - Could be cost competitive (according to an MIT study) - Workers from the oil drilling industry could find new jobs in this sector So: why isn't geo-thermal energy getting as much attention as solar and wind?

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Alabama Tracking Students' Locations To Penalize Them For Leaving Games Early

Slashdot - Sat, 14/09/2019 - 02:20
The University of Alabama is taking an extraordinary, Orwellian step to reward students who attend games -- and stay until the fourth quarter -- by using location-tracking technology from students' phones to see who skips out and who stays. If students stay until the fourth quarter, they will be rewarded with improved access to tickets to the SEC championship game and to the College Football Playoff semifinals and championship game, which Alabama is trying to reach for the fifth consecutive season. The New York Times reports: Greg Byrne, Alabama's athletic director, said privacy concerns rarely came up when the program was being discussed with other departments and student groups. Students who download the Tide Loyalty Points app will be tracked only inside the stadium, he said, and they can close the app -- or delete it -- once they leave the stadium. "If anybody has a phone, unless you're in airplane mode or have it off, the cellular companies know where you are," he said. The creator of the app, FanMaker, runs apps for 40 colleges, including Clemson, Louisiana State and Southern California, which typically reward fans with gifts like T-shirts. The app it created for Alabama is the only one that tracks the locations of its students. That Alabama would want it is an example of how even a powerhouse program like the Crimson Tide is not sheltered from college football's decline in attendance, which sank to a 22-year low last season. The Tide Loyalty Points program works like this: Students, who typically pay about $10 for home tickets, download the app and earn 100 points for attending a home game and an additional 250 for staying until the fourth quarter. Those points augment ones they garner mostly from progress they have made toward their degrees -- 100 points per credit hour. (A regular load would be 15 credits per semester, or 1,500 points.) Adam Schwartz, a lawyer for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy watchdog, said it was "very alarming" that a public university -- an arm of the government -- was tracking its students' whereabouts. "Why should packing the stadium in the fourth quarter be the last time the government wants to know where students are?" Schwartz said, adding that it was "inappropriate" to offer an incentive for students to give up their privacy. "A public university is a teacher, telling students what is proper in a democratic society."

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Huawei CEO Offers To License 5G Tech To American Companies In Peace Offer To Trump

Slashdot - Sat, 14/09/2019 - 01:40
An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: Huawei's chief executive has proposed selling its current 5G know-how to a Western firm as a way to address security concerns voiced by the U.S. and others about its business. Ren Zhengfei said the buyer would be free to "change the software code." That would allow any flaws or supposed backdoors to be addressed without Huawei's involvement. Huawei has repeatedly denied claims that it would help the Chinese government spy on or disrupt other countries' telecoms systems, and says it is a private enterprise owned by its workers. Huawei's founder Ren Zhengfei made the proposal in interviews with the Economist and the New York Times. It would include ongoing access to the firm's existing 5G patents, licenses, code, technical blueprints and production engineering knowledge. "[Huawei is] open to sharing our 5G technologies and techniques with U.S. companies, so that they can build up their own 5G industry," the NYT quoted Ren as saying. "This would create a balanced situation between China, the U.S. and Europe." Speaking to the Economist he added: "A balanced distribution of interests is conducive to Huawei's survival." A spokesman for Huawei has confirmed the quotes are accurate and the idea represents a "genuine proposal." South Korea's Samsung and China's ZTE are other alternatives. "Huawei misunderstands the underlying problem," Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, from the European Centre for International Political Economy, told the BBC. "The issue is not the trustworthiness of Huawei as a vendor but the legal obligations that the Chinese government imposes on it. "China's National Intelligence Law requires Chinese businesses and citizens to surrender any data or 'communication tools' they may have access to, under strict punitive sanctions," said Lee-Makiyama. "Any equipment or software that Huawei licenses to an U.S. entity would still fall under this obligation, and there is no way that the licensing entity or the intelligence agencies could scrutinize millions of lines of code for potential backdoors."

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Categories: Geeky Stuff
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