A Personal Line Of Credit Is Your Ace In The Hole

They say that money can’t buy happiness, but whoever “they” are probably never had to worry about money. Not having to fret about how you’ll pay for things certainly takes a weight off. When you have the freedom to pay off unexpected expenses without anxiety, your life runs a lot smoother. A personal line of credit is an accessible and flexible way to have the money you need for when sudden bills, weddings, check-ups, and repairs demand payment.

Some people might not the see the difference between a personal line of credit and a conventional small dollar loan. Not knowing the differences can lead these individuals to miss out on the advantages a line of credit can afford. Unlike small dollar loans that start to incur interest immediately upon issue and are expected to be paid off in full, a line of credit offers a more amenable lending alternative. Interest is only charged when you decide to use your credit, and no matter how much of the predetermined loan you use, you can pay back as little or as much of it as you like as long as you cover the minimum monthly payments.

Many families, who only need quick access to cash during certain times of the year, find this a more manageable addition to their finances than other small dollar loans. Not having to pay interest when they’re not using it is certainly one reason. Another is how easy it can be to apply. When you contact direct online lenders for your personal line of credit, you don’t have to attend long meetings that analyze your long and often sordid financial history. Instead, you can apply from the comfort of your home by filling out a quick online application. Approval is instantaneous and access to credit can arrive within one business day.

Personal lines of credit can come in all shapes and sizes, so recognizing which one is a healthy choice for your families’ financial situation is paramount to your overall financial success. Don’t settle with just any direct online lender. At the bare minimum, the organization that issues your credit should be a state licensed lender that actively practices and encourages responsible lending. When you contact direct online lenders like MoneyKey, you can relax knowing they are members of the Community Financial Service Association of America (CFSA) and the Online Lender’s Alliance (OLA), and as such, are committed to following all state rules and regulations to provide realistic lending opportunities. They will provide manageable limits to your line of credit, so you aren’t overwhelmed or tempted to overspend.

When you secure a line of credit that’s within your means, you live stress-free knowing you have the flexibility to pay for unexpected expenses that come your way. It can be your ace in the hole when you need a little extra help, which means you’re a little closer to attaining that happiness that money supposedly can’t buy.

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Is technology to blame for your child growing up faster?


Children today are exposed to a lot of stimuli from technological sources. This has led to children becoming more aware at a younger age. Knowledge brings a higher degree of maturity at a younger age. Some say that this means children are doing better, while others say that too much too young is bad for the overall development of the person. Here are some key facts to consider about the impact of technology on the younger generation:

Unsuitable material

There is a lot to be seen on the internet and not all of it is appropriate for anyone at all, let alone a child. Although parental controls are available on many devices and computers, it is hard to completely eliminate unsuitable materials from being accessible to your child if they use any electronic devices. Some older children may even know how to get past your controls.

Social media

Social media sites are supposed to be for people 13 and older but this is not always the case. It is important to talk to your child and teens about online safety. Children and young teens on social media are particularly vulnerable to predators, or to being contacted by other unsuitable persons such as classroom bullies. Children and teens can be tempted to lie about their age or even have several different profiles. Many parents attempt to monitor their child’s social media somewhat, with varying results.

Lack of privacy

Remember when classroom quarrels or disagreements used to be kept at school? Now children face the prospect of their troubles being expressed via social media. This means that children have little privacy. There is also the fact that with everyone carrying smartphones, a photograph can be taken at almost any time.

Less time living and more time sharing

Electronic devices can be addictive and take away from a child’s quality of life. Sometimes it seems that children and adults alike are more concerned with letting others see what they are doing than truly enjoying the experience themselves.

Imposing limits

Some people say that the lack of privacy and the invasiveness of technology in the lives of everyday people is reason to impose some regulations and limits on the press and social media. Max Mosley has been in favour of some privacy regulations to combat the breaches of privacy he has to deal with as a well-known person. You can hear more from Max Mosley on 4thoughttv. Those who are against these limitations argue that it goes against freedom of thought and speech to exercise control over print and digital media sources.

Talking to your child

With influences from all over the world available to your child nonstop, it is important to talk to them about spending too much time living in a digital world. This may mean imposing limits on how much time they spend playing video games, browsing on their phone, and sending text messages. Find some healthy alternatives to digital time, such as taking a hike or building something together.

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A Detailed Glimpse at Enterprise Resource Planning Software


1. Enterprise Resource Planning 


Business agility and responsiveness to ever changing market dynamics are vital factors in remaining abreast of competition and sustaining profits. For a business to become agile, it must be able to track, monitor, and evaluate its major business activities in real time and subsequently make informed decisions.

The Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software is one management tool that can help your business become more agile by aggregating and organizing data that is spread across each of its independent departments. It can be used to collect, manage, store, interpret and organize data from diverse business processes. These include inventory management, shipping and payment, product planning and cost, marketing and sales, and manufacturing. ERP can also track important business resources—raw materials, production capacity, cash—and the status of business commitment.

Applications that form part of the ERP system differ from business to business, based on their needs and understanding with the software developer. However, the major function of all the applications is to facilitate information flow between data–generating business departments such as manufacturing, accounting, sales and purchasing. In fact, the basic goal of using an ERP system should be to provide one central repository for all data that’s shared by all the various facets of the business to enhance the flow of data across the organization.

2. Business Value of ERP 

At its core, an enterprise resource planning tool can help employees in your organization execute their respective tasks more efficiently by breaking down barriers common in most business units. Specifically, ERP:

-Enhances the financial compliance of a business with regulatory standards and minimizes risks.

-Greatly improves customer support services by providing one source for billing and relationship tracking.

-Automates major and time-consuming business processes such as order-to-fulfillment, lead-to-cash and procure-to-pay.

-Avails global, real-time view of information that can enable businesses address concerns proactively.

3. ERP Trends

Many businesses—SME and larger organizations—have made ERP solutions an essential component of their operations. According to Enterprise Apps Today, ERP software is affected by the following trends:

Cloud ERP

Cloud enterprise resource planning is based in the cloud and relies on the cloud rather than proprietary server infrastructure to help businesses share information across different departments. It functions by integrating functions vital to running a business such as inventory, accounting, human resources and order management into one complete system. Today, cloud ERP solutions are more accessible and more mobile and have become a viable option for SMEs aiming to implement solid, cost-effective, and reliable solutions to organize and streamline their various business functions.

 Social ERP 

Social learning is fast becoming an important consideration in increasing collaboration and communication within organizations. To enhance social learning within organizations, vendors offer ERP social packages.


4. Importance of Using a VPN 

A virtual private network (VPN) is a network that uses a public telecommunication infrastructure, like the internet, to provide individual users or remote offices with secure access to their company’s network. If you are going to use ERP, a VPN is essential to the framework of your company. Here are its benefits:

Minimizes Costs

Whereas dedicated leased lines and circuits can be relatively reliable, they are quite expensive. Using a VPN can save your business more than half of its data service costs by adopting a cost-effective telecommunication solution such as ADSL.

Moreover, managed VPN service providers can save your business money by routing the data of several business departments (such as manufacturing, accounting, sales, procurement) over the same data lines.

Greater Access to Mobile Users

Most VPN users are telecommuters. Since many employees now work from home or spend most of their time on business trips, being able to connect to the company’s servers to access company data offers tremendous convenience. The VPN will also protect your company’s information should your employees need to connect via unsecured or public Wi-Fi networks.

Enhanced Data Security

With a VPN technology, your organization’s data can stay protected all the time. Hackers won’t be able to access any of your company’s important data such as financial accounts and other confidential files. It’s the single best tool you can have for data security. Therefore, it’s vital to find the right VPN for your employees.


An enterprise resource planning software is vital for any business, especially for a small or medium-sized business that needs to set up its framework. It provides one central repository for all data that’s shared by all the various facets and enhances the flow of data across the organization. Effective flow of data within a business is crucial for its growth.

Cassie Phillips is a writer and blogger for Secure Thoughts. She specializes in online security and data security for business and individual usage.

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How Can You Use Video To Grow Your Business?

The digital world is one filled with many media orientated aspects that affect our generation day to day and this focus is imperative to explore as a business. Under the umbrella of the digital age it has endorsed us the freedom of the Internet and business’ now have to step up their advertising and promotion campaigns with visual and video marketing.

So how can you use video to help your business grow? Want to know how to build strength within your company? Grab a camera, get your team on board, brainstorm to develop the ideas you need and follow these five quick hints below and you will be well on your way to the world of video marketing;

  1. Introduce your business – Create a video that is fresh and represents your business in a relaxed and easy to follow approach. Potentially start with a simple studio setting, just you, talking about your business. The relatable video will catch your customer’s attention in seconds, and they will understand your business in minutes.
  1. Brand Recognition – Create a video that has an element, which your customers will continuously recognize. Videos are the easiest way to get your brand out onto the market, just make sure you are consistent with your ideas, throughout every video you make, repetition of the brand representative is the key to success of brand recognition.
  1. Vlogging – Want to personalize your business? Then vlogging is the way forward, it’s personable and relatable, and it’s a proven way of getting your customers on board. A simple video of how to use a product, or a subject that engages your audience to your business will help your business grow.
  1. Visual Reviews – Upload videos of your customers enjoying your product or service. This will help your business grow, and will help your customers relate to the product or service.
  1. Go Viral – Social media is the biggest platform, and catchment area for your audience. Get your team together and creative a swift, sharp video, which catches the audiences’ attention. Develop your business by going viral as you watch your video fly round the Internet. Make sure your video represents your business in some elements, but it has to go viral, make sure the video is addictive and will make people want to watch and most importantly, share!

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How Social Media Can Benefit Your Business

Social media is very much a ‘new age’ phenomenon. It’s something that not everyone feels will benefit them and their business. However, there are a number of ways in which you and your business can benefit from using social media.

When it comes to social media, you’re not short of different social media networks to choose from. If you’re a company that would benefit from a more visual social network, then there’s things like Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook to an extent.

If it’s news, views and opinions that you feel would benefit your brand and your business then Twitter, Facebook and Google+ are the way forward for you. Regardless of what it is that you’re looking for from social media, here’s some great ways in which social media can benefit your brand and your business.


Social media is a great way to learn about your audience. Regardless of the industry that you’re in, the key to success is knowing your audience.

Social media allows you to understand your audience and what it is that they want. Using tools like Facebook Insights in Hootsuite, you can learn about the languages spoken by your social media audience, their ages, gender and where they are in the world.

This can enable you to cater specific campaigns to certain parts of your social media audience and target audience, it will give you a better idea as to what you should be doing and who you should be targeting in order to provide you with a bigger and better return on investment.


Social networks such as Twitter allow small businesses to locate their current customers and to seek out potential customers.

For example, if you open a new clothes shop in Manchester, you can create a ‘geo-search’ Hootsuite which would locate anyone who is tweeting about needing new clothes in the Manchester area.

This gives you the opportunity to reach out to local people that could, provided they like your product or service, turn into repeat customers!

Improved Brand Loyalty

According to a report, brands who engage on social media channels enjoy higher loyalty from their customers.

This report concludes that “Companies should take advantage of the tools social media gives them when it comes to connecting with their audience. A strategic and open social media plan could prove influential in morphing consumers into being brand loyal.”

Another report found that 53% of people who follow brands on social media are more loyal to those particular brands than others.

Decreased Marketing Costs

According to Hubspot, 84% of marketers found as little as six hours of effort per week was enough to generate increased traffic.

Now, if you compare six hours in terms of an investment to a channel such as social media, it’s hardly a ‘significant’ investment when you look at the potential returns.

If you were to start some paid advertising through Facebook and Twitter, it’s relatively cheap, and if you start small, you’ll never have to worry about going over budget and once you get a feel for what you can expect, you can look to increase your budget and with that will come increased conversions.

Better Search Results

As I’m sure most of you are aware by now, SEO is the best way for a website to capture relevant traffic from search engines but in order to be successful, you need to keep up with the ever changing environment.

It is no longer enough to just update your blog, ensure that you’ve optimised your title tags and meta descriptions and hope that you move up the rankings. Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines could very well be calculating their rankings using social media presence as a factor.

It’s because of this alone that it’s worth investing some serious time and effort in your social media campaigns because a strong brand will always have a strong social media presence.

Whether you’re a local accountant in Preston, a glass design firm or a huge brand with a big social media presence like Paddy Power, it’s always worth investing time in your social media campaigns as your social presence and brand can only get bigger as you develop strategies and reach a new audience.

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6 Fresh Advertising Tips for Small Businesses

Small businesses have a lot of common obstacles to overcome in order to be successful, which amount to so much more than just competing with big businesses. Every small business has to work around their specific difficulties in order to find stable and lasting success.

One common struggle that a lot of business owners face is finding successful marketing and advertising plans. Advertisements that grab people’s attention and get customers in the door are essential for every business. Here are six fresh advertising tips for small businesses to help anyone get back on the road to success.

Use local momentum to go global

Small businesses often think small and local when it comes to their marketing campaign. Even though this may have been a good place to start, in order to grow and reach more customers, every business needs to think bigger. Use tools like local DIRECTV to spread the message across the globe.

Do not underestimate the traditional methods

Everyone knows of the traditional methods that can be used for advertising. Radio and newspaper ads are just a couple of the most popular advertising systems that retain their popularity today for small businesses. These methods can still be very effective and are worth looking in to.

Be consistent

One method that a lot of business owners have tried in the past is to put their entire budget into a couple advertisements that they think will be successful. Though this may occasionally work for some businesses, most often, it is better to spread out a lot of smaller ads through different advertising channels to get the most consistent exposure with the customers.

Try some new social media methods

Social media is a tool that more and more businesses and entrepreneurs are beginning to use. There are a lot of different ways to use this tool that everyone can try out for instant results. This could mean buying ad space or simply updating a profile to gain more exposure. Be consistent with social media use to maintain followers and build a reputation to be proud of.

Take over the mobile world

Mobile apps are growing every day in demand and everyone who wants a piece of success is following the mobile app world to learn the latest and greatest in mobile app development. Any small business today can create their own mobile app to create a new and diverse way to connect with customers and tag along with the success of the mobile app market.

Avoid fruitless promotions

It is common for small businesses to put out advertisements that are just a list of what promotions or deals they have happening at the time are. Though these items should be included in ads, there should be something more to add to it. Every small business should find a way to not only inform customers through their ads, but also inspire and excite them to help more people feel passionately about working with the business.

Image: http://pixabay.com/en/phone-tablet-screen-mobile-smart-793046/

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Basic Budgeting Tips for Low Income Families

For low income families, managing money can be a difficult task. But when your income is restricted, it becomes even more important to learn how to effectively manage the money you are earning. Even now, the Conservative Party is pushing for a further cap on benefits, and if it goes through many low income families will feel the pinch. But all is not doom and gloom, there are some steps that low income families can take to stretch their budget, and get the most out of their family finances.

Draft a Family Budget

The first step is to draft a family budget. Before you can do anything about your family’s finances, you need to know exactly how much money is coming in to the household, and how it is being spent. A clear, and honest, family budget will help you balance incoming funds with all of your regular outgoing expenses. Once you run the numbers, you will have a clearer picture of your family’s finances. Then, you will be able to find areas where you can economize so you can save a bit of money.

Cut Costs

With your budget in front of you, it’s time to start looking at ways to cut your expenses. First, look for any non-essential spending that can be cut from your monthly expenses. Cable TV, broadband and even telephone costs can be reduced if you opt for basic packages as opposed to premium services. Next, take a hard look at what you are spending on essentials like food and utilities. Are there ways to reduce these monthly bills? For example, you may be able to save some money by switching to a different utilities supplier. Take a look at your monthly food expenditures. Are you spending too much on brand name items when you could be purchasing low cost alternatives? Are you taking advantage of sales, and are you using coupons and food vouchers? Remember, every little bit adds up. Saving a quid here and there will put money in your pocket.

Claim Any Benefits to Which You Are Entitled

Every year, billions of pounds in benefits go unclaimed. Some people are too proud to apply for any state funded assistance, while others are simply not aware that they may be eligible for those benefits. If your family is struggling on a restricted income, look into any benefits for which you may be eligible. There is a wide range of government supported benefits available to low income families, and you shouldn’t hesitate to claim your share if your family meets the income requirements. Some benefits are one time payments like a winter heating allowance, while others help to supplement your regular income.

Borrow with Care

It’s a fact that low income families struggle the most in an emergency. Whether it’s an unexpected car repair or a plumbing disaster, when there’s not much in the family bank account it may be necessary to borrow money to get through a difficult patch. If you’re on a low income and claiming benefits you might be eligible for a Budgeting Loan form the Social Fund. That being said, not everyone can be approved for a no-interest Budget Loan. In which case you may need to consider other options. Appealing to family and friends should be your first course of action. Barring that, you might consider a short term payday loan to get you through a tight spot. Despite any negative press, payday loans do serve a purpose, and if you are in a financial bind they can come in handy. However, think carefully about how much you borrow, how much interest you will be paying, and how soon you need to repay the loan. Compare lenders, and look for the best deal you can find before signing any loan agreements.

Low income families typically find it difficult to make ends meet. But even when your finances are low, it is possible to save a bit of money and make that family budget work for you rather than against you. If you’re living on a low income, use these tips to help you get more out of your money.

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Why Facebook Is Good For Your Business

If you are wondering where most of your prospective and existing customers are, we can tell you with a great deal of certainty that they are probably on Facebook.  If your business is not currently on Facebook, then you are missing out.  While it is true that there are a lot of specific businesses and companies that need Facebook when it comes to reach out to their audience and marketing their products or services, it is hard to ignore the fact that there are well in excess of 3 million people worldwide who spend a few minutes each and every day on Facebook.

There is no other way to expose your business to that amount of people for free, with little to no hassle without your business having a Facebook page.

In the following post, if you need to be convinced further, we will look at other great reasons why you should consider setting up a Facebook page for your business.

55 Minutes to an Hour

Did you know, according to recent statistics that the average Facebook user spends roughly about minutes to an hour on the social media site every day?  That means there are ample opportunity and enough time to grab the attention of your target audience and customers.

Facebook Pages Are Easy and Effective To Use

When you set up a Facebook Page, one that is different to a normal profile page, you can categorise your business very precisely, all auto-accepts from fans (Facebook Page fans) and create a completely interactive area where people/potential customers and clients can come to engage with your business.

Offers Increased Visibility Online and Improved SEO

If you don’t like to take advantage of any free marketing tools that you can get your hands on, you should and Facebook is one of the most effective.  When you create a Facebook Page you improve your chances of getting better rankings in search engines.  By using informative and engaging content on your business page and some basic SEO, you will rank higher and this in turn will improve your business’s level of visibility online.

Real Time Search

If you allow the content on your Facebook Page to be available to the public, as well as fans of your page, real time search results will display your page when a relevant search is performed.  This can help improve your Business’s reputation and SEO

A Typical User Has Around 130 Friends

As statistics show that the typical Facebook user has roughly 130 friends, this can be a great way to further improve your exposure.  If your page is liked by one person, it shows up on the Facebook News Feed of their friends, which may lead to their friends clicking through to your page and liking it or better still, spending money through your business.  This is like a virtual version of the old fashioned and very effective ‘word of mouth’ marketing that can determine whether businesses sink or swim.   If you want your business to be a success, you should take advantage of Facebook.

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Twitter For Business

With millions of users worldwide Twitter is a very effective form of communication.  It would be wrong though to think that it is reserved for just celebrities and teenagers who want to share the ups and downs of their everyday life.  Hundreds and thousands of small businesses have found realised the potential of Twitter to help their business grow.  If you still need convincing that setting up a Twitter account is a step in the right direction for your business, check out the following benefits and tips.

Connects You to Your Customers

As mentioned above Twitter has millions of users and each and every day that number is multiplying.  This is why it is one of the best places online and offline to find prospective customers.  If your business is catering to a very specific market or niche you can use Twitter to connect and communicate directly with people who are in your target audience.  It also enables you to interact with existing customers to help you understand what your business is doing right and wrong.

It Helps To Build Relationships with Clients and Customer

It is important though that once you have followers on Twitter that you continue to keep a line of dialogue running between them and you.  While it is possible to setup and even buy automatic tweets so that your account appears very busy, you need to post relevant tweets and updates that your customers will find useful, interesting and maybe even entertaining.  Many businesses that use Twitter make the mistake of bombarding their followers with sales and promotional tweets, or send too many tweets out too often.  Scale it back as much as you can and remember that as long as you are posting every day or every other day, less often means more.

Creates Awareness OF Your Business/Brand

While big brands do not need to introduce themselves to get followers on Twitter, you should be using Twitter to build awareness of yours.  For instance, unless your brand or logo is well known it is better to create a personal profile as your audience will prefer interacting with an individual rather than a faceless business.

Provide Your Followers with Information

As you are probably already aware, news travels much faster via the internet than it does via TV or radio.  Therefore, Twitter is often the best place to share news or make special announcements with your customers.  While radio and TV might do the same, Twitter is less expensive and allows you to speak directly to your audience and customer base.

Helps You Collect Customer/Client Feedback

Twitter can not only be a good platform for communicating and promoting your products and services to your customers, but can also be used to gather vital feedback from your customers and clients that will help you to improve your business.  You can do this by simply looking at your followers conversations and tweets without asking them directly.  However if there are specifics you need to know, you could ask directly or run a poll from your account.

Enables You to Watch Your Competitors

Twitter search, when used properly, can be a great way to not only track your own company’s reputation on Twitter, but your competition’s reputation and operations.  By learning what the completion is doing, you can improve your own strategies by adopting techniques and methods they are using effectively and avoiding mistakes they have made.

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Read Business Related Books Every Month

Whether your business is successful or not, you should never stop learning new things.  One of the best ways to keep learning about business is by keeping to having good reading habits.  Our recommendation would be that you should try to read a new business related book every month – to ensure that your business skills are razor sharp.

In the following article we list some of the best business-related books we have come across that you should consider reading and why.


Why it’s Important – It will teach you an easier, faster and better way to be successful in business.  When you read it you will understand why plans can be harmful, why it is best to just ignore competition and why you don’t need outside investors.  In fact, you will learn that you don’t need as much as you think you do.

Inbound Marketing

Why It’s Important – It will teach you to how you can stop pushing your message out there and start actually pulling your customers in.  It is a “how to” guide to getting noticed trough social media, blogging and Google.

Awaken the Giant Within

Why It’s Important – It includes practical guidelines on how to concentrate your emotions and thoughts to reach your goals.


Why It’s Important – It teaches you that instead of paying as much attention to what successful people are like, that you should be paying more closer attention to where they came from.  For instance, their generations, family, culture and the various idiosyncratic events and happenings they experienced during their childhood.

The Dip

Why It’s Important – It teaches you whether your business goal is worth bothering with at all.  If you feel as if you are in the Dip, a temporary slump that you think will improve if you keep pushing at it, it could be that you are actually in a Cul-de-sac that will never get better.  This book helps you understand which situation you are in.

Good to Great

Why It’s Important – This book helps you understand how and why bad, mediocre and great companies have success.

Rich Dad Poor Dad

Why It’s Important – It teaches you the business related principle that all income creating assets will always produce more profitable bottom line results than any of the best traditional jobs.

E-Myths Revisited

Why It’s Important – This book teaches you all about the life of a business from its infancy, through its growing pains to its maturity.  It also helps you distinguish between whether you are working ON or IN your business.

War of Art

Why It’s Important – This book aims to show you the resolve you need to identify and get past or through the many obstacles you will face when trying to reach your goals and how to reach the highest level of discipline related to creativity.

4 Hour Work Week

Why It’s Important – This book is the blueprint for enabling yourself to work less hours.  Whether you want to live more, work less, earn a figure income without any management, travel around the world or just escape the rat race – this book is for you.

The Lean Start-up

Why It’s Important – This book is inspired by lessons you can learn from lean manufacturing.  It relies on rapid scientific experimentation, validated learning and many other counter-intuitive practices that shorten the development cycles of practices and measure progress without requiring vanity metrics.  It helps you learn what your customers really want.

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