Gen Y from within: Thoughts from a graduating class on their generation

Video: Speakers in motion

Seneca college students explore Generation Y from within.and share their insights with GO train commuters.

Their labels are many: GenC, Echo Boomers, Millennials, the Peter Pan generation.

And so are their critics. As Gen Y filters into the workforce they’ve been tagged as spoilt, entitled, lazy with a poor work ethic. But they’re also passionate, ambitious and education-focused, with a preference for long hours in meaningful work rather than the nine-to-five slog.

It’s a generation with challenges – notably unemployment – but they’ve also been at the forefront of the technology revolution.

So for a look at Gen Y from within, the Star followed the Seneca College graduating class in corporate communications onto the GO trains Wednesday, for a public speaking exercise where they shared insights into their generation with commuters.

Josephine LaFramboise, 23

Are we the generation that doesn’t want to grow up?

“I am Peter Pan because I would rather stay in school as long as I can, rather than stand on a street corner with a pan in hand.

I am Peter Pan because I would rather build houses in Sudan or teach English in Japan rather than put a down payment on my first piece of land.

I am Peter Pan because I am not quite ready to drive a Sedan or marry a family man.”

Isaac Dumet, 24

Ego tweet ego ergo sum. I tweet therefore I am

“Social media conditions us into a performer mentality. More views, more comments, more activity. That determines how valuable something is….With all of these technological developments we need to ask ourselves, what of insight? What happens to it if every thought is externalized? What of intimacy? Can it exist when relationships are no longer private? What of knowledge? Where can it be found when maximum search optimization replaces scholarly peer review when it come to verification?”

Bianca Mondino, 24

Does Gen Y have self esteem on steroids?

“This is my very first trophy. It was awarded in my tap dance class…it was awarded for perfect attendance…We have infinite opportunities right at our fingertips, but an abundance of options isn’t necessarily a blessing. Despite the extensive volunteerism, onslaught of part-time jobs, education and travel experiences, we must acknowledge that our generation has established a level of self-regard that may face a stark awakening.”

Rebecca Collett, 26

Romance for the Millennial

“A quarter of you have sexted a scintillating short of yourself, and one in five have posed for nude photos or taken nude photos of their partner. Internet genealogy and archive sites will be pretty steamy a century from now… Previous generations accepted diversity but we millennials celebrate it. There is no normal when it comes to relationships. We believe what works for you is cool.”

Yael Hart, 23

The Gen Y work ethic:

“[What about] a future made up of Gen Y-ers who aren’t working too hard because they want to preserve balance in their lives? Who don’t walk to school in four feet of snow uphill both ways? I don’t think craving some balance in our fast-paced world is something negative. I don’t think it makes us lazy. Things are quick. We have to keep up. And we do.”

Ryan Miller, 25

Does Google make Gen Y’s know-it-alls?

“I know what you’re thinking, you’re saying, “Ryan, everybody has access to the Internet, it’s not just you and your generation that has this ability.” You’re right, except for one important thing. I live on the Internet. I grew up on the Internet. I’m a native, a born netizen. I speak the language and know the geography. You are a visitor, you may go on the Internet to have fun or do work, but I am the Internet.”

Perry Ge, 24

Give this generation the tools to think critically about ethics

“Teaching tolerance is fine, but let’s teach students to understand WHY tolerance is valuable, because it’s not the be-all and end-all. Tolerance is valuable because it teaches us to overlook what’s superficial and to respect every individual’s dignity as a human being… As a society we have a history of fighting for what’s right. Let’s keep that up…And let’s not raise a generation of amoral sociopaths.”

Vanessa Garcia, 25

Not all those who wander are lost

“Instead of trying to fit into the cookie-cutter life that others expect of us, we create our own paths to follow. And if we fail or lose, it’s not always linked to being ‘bad.’ We just start again with a new approach. Pushing Restart, Reboot or Reset is a natural response to many unpleasant realities, both literally as in many technological devices and metaphorically as in bad experiences in life.”

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Itsmy to launch cloud-based HTML5 service Game Cloud

Casual games portal Itsmy has announced it is to launch a cloud-based HTML5 games distribution channel, spanning browsers, smartphones and tablets.

The new platform, dubbed Game Cloud, will initially be rolled out with the cooperation of carriers across Europe this May, with external mobile browser games currently in beta testing.

In the cloud

The platform, which will enable users to pay once for a game they can play across multiple devices, will then go live in full in early summer.

“The itsmy Game Cloud is finally a way to sell HTML5 games directly to the consumer and to bypass app stores or marketplaces,” said CEO Antonio Vince Staybl.

“Together with our partners we have now the absolute control to monetise and distribute the games, interact with gamers and scale the game cloud.”

Game Cloud is also set to employ various business models to provide consumers with either daily, weekly, monthly or all-you-can-play access, as well as game category bundles.

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Mozilla considers H.264 video support after Google’s WebM fails to gain traction

By Daniel Eran Dilger

Published: 04:30 PM EST (01:30 PM PST)

Mozilla’s director of research Andreas Gal has proposed enabling mobile H.264 video decoding via hardware or the underlying operating system, signaling the end to the group’s war on the Apple-led H.264 video codec.

The move is necessitated by the overall lack of support for Google’s WebM video codec, which Mozilla and Google hoped would replace H.264, the technology backed by Apple, Microsoft, Nokia and other commercial vendors.

Mozilla’s war on H.264 has gone on for nearly three years, but now the company’s leading developers have admitted, “we lost.”

The Ogg Theora war on H.264

Beginning in mid-2009, Mozilla and browser developer Opera tried to dictate the use of the freeware “Ogg Theora” codec as the official way to present video on the web using the emerging HTML5 specification, in hopes that it would prevent the ISO’s MPEG H.264 standard from becoming the standard for web video.

For years prior to the Ogg Theora debate, Apple had aggressively pushed H.264 in iTunes as the most technically sophisticated, efficient way to deliver video, essentially standing on the shoulders of the industry giants who had each contributed various components of the standard to become state of the art in video compression.

While H.264 is an open standard, it is not free. It is based upon a pool of video compression and related technology patents contributed by various companies in exchange for “Fair, Reasonable and Nondiscriminatory” licensing fees. Mozilla, Opera and other free and open source advocates opposed the use of any technology that might require licensing fees to produce or distribute web content.

Commercial hardware developers, led by Apple and Nokia, opposed any shift toward Ogg Theora in H.264, noting that H.264 was far ahead of the older Ogg Theora video technology in technical sophistication, and that hardware decoding was already well established in place to accelerate H.264, particularly in mobile devices.

Replacing H.264 with Ogg Theora to placate Mozilla and Opera’s insistence upon cost-free video encoding for the web would have broken the ability of millions of smartphones, iPods, netbooks and other mobile devices to efficiently play back video. Additionally, Google noted at the time that Ogg Theora was not powerful enough to serve the billions of video streams it was delivering via its YouTube service.

The Ogg Theora war on H.264 ended when HTML5 working group members agreed that rather than defining Ogg Theora or H.264 or anything else as the “baseline” codec for video served via the HTML5 video tag, the decision should be left to the market and to the votes of web users and Internet broadcasters to decide.

This decision paralleled how HTML has always worked with every other type of media file; there is no baseline graphic or audio format, for example; instead, web publishers decide for themselves whether to use GIF, JPEG, or PNG graphics formats and whether to use MP3, AAC, or raw WAV audio files. Modern browsers support them all.

The WebM war on H.264

At the end of 2010, the war on H.264 was reignited, this time by Google. After having converted its massive library of YouTube videos to H.264 in a partnership with Apple to shift web videos from the constraints of Adobe Flash and make open video viewable on devices that lacked the ability to run Flash, Google decided to buy On2′s VP8 (a newer generation of the VP3 codec Ogg Theora was based upon) and release it as a “free” codec named WebM.

Because WebM was technically capable of serving YouTube videos, Google now hoped to join Mozilla and Opera in turning back support for H.264 video on the web and replacing the H.264 codec with a free alternative it claimed to be unencumbered by patent claims.

This strategy shared some similarity to Apple’s war on Adobe Flash using the free and open HTML5, which Apple successfully pursued over the five years following the release of the original iPhone.

However, WebM was “unencumbered” by patents only in the sense that Google didn’t plan to charge royalties for its use itself. It was still based on technologies that the MPEG Licensing Authority claimed to own, making it no less “encumbered” than H.264. Microsoft had earlier learned the same lesson when its own Windows Media Video (aka VC-1) codec was found to be infringing a variety of technologies already patented by MPEG members who had pooled their expertise to create H.264.

Creating an illegitimate, infringing copy of H.264 is no more legally legitimate than simply implementing H.264 and failing to pay licensing fees. However, Google was emboldened by having done essentially the same thing to JavaME in order to create Android, and having suffered no consequences for it. So it began a campaign to derail the adoption of H.264 in HTML5 and aggressively push WebM as its substitute at the beginning of 2011.

A year later, Google’s WebM hasn’t gained any more traction than Google Wave, Google Buzz, Google TV or Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablets. In part, this is because H.264 is the only way to serve videos to Apple’s iOS devices, a factor that also helped to rob Flash of critical mass among mobile devices.

However, Google also never removed H.264 support from its own Chrome browser as it had promised to do. And even among other browsers that had effectively made WebM the only default way to present HTML5 video (including Mozilla’s Firefox and the Opera browser), there was still a fallback in place to use Adobe Flash.

That meant video content creators could reach all audiences using H.264, and simply route around the idealogical position of Mozilla, Opera and now Google by wrapping their videos with Flash. There was no exclusive audience that could only be reached by WebM, and therefore no real advantage to using it.

However, there is a big advantage to using H.264: support for efficient hardware acceleration exists for it on all modern mobile devices. Mozilla’s new softening stance on the issue seeks to allow this underlying hardware support (or the operating system, such as Windows Phone 7 or Android) to perform the H.264 decoding on behalf of the browser.

The war on H.264 is over: “We lost,” says Mozilla

Gal announced plans to add a feature that “adds hardware-accelerated audio/video decoding support to [Mozilla's] Gecko [browser engine] using system decoders already present on the system,” including “hardware-accelerated decoders for good battery life (and performance).”

He noted, “We will support decoding any video/audio format that is supported by existing decoders present on the system, including H.264 and MP3. There is really no justification to stop our users from using system decoders already on the device, so we will not filter any formats.”

The mechanism will apply both to Mozilla’s own “Boot2Gecko (B2G)” mobile operating system as well as Android, although Gal stated that “on Android we might have to add a second video path using overlays which would only work with a small subset of CSS since extracting video frames isn’t supported on all versions of Android (and all devices).

“I don’t think this bug significantly changes our position on open video,” he wrote. “We will continue to promote and support open codecs, but when and where existing codecs are already installed and licensed on devices we will make use of them in order to provide people with the best possible experience.” Gal also noted plans to add similar technology to the desktop version of Firefox, allowing the host operating system or available hardware to render video or audio as needed.

Adding such an option to Firefox for Windows would mean Windows 7 users could render H.264 but the installed base of Windows XP could not, unless Mozilla actually bundled H.264 codecs with its browser. This additional complexity is pushing Mozilla to focus first on adding the ability to render H.264 to mobile devices, something that would help Firefox on Android, which lacks the ability to render H.264, the format most web videos now use.

Noting the necessity of supporting H.264, Mozilla’s Open Source Evangelist Christopher Blizzard noted, “We’ve only seen [WebM] format adoption on YouTube. Basically everyone else uses H.264 Flash. There are occasional exceptions, but it’s not getting better with time.”

Asa Dotzler, Mozilla’s product director for the Firefox added, “We’re talking with major video sites and they’re saying ‘no’ to WebM. The costs of transcoding huge libraries just doesn’t make sense to them.

“Firefox on Desktop is experiencing these same ‘significant deficiencies’ and the tide is not turning in any appreciable way. All that’s happening while we wait is that Web developers are embracing other browsers and their primary targets.

“What I fear people aren’t getting here is that Gecko is the _only_ mainstream browser that doesn’t support h.264. We lost. It’s not like we’re at some tipping point and it’s 3 of 4 browsers on the side of royalty free codecs with the forth about to agree. Things have tipped the other way and to not realize that and continue to hold out for a change that will not happen does little but cost us users and developer mindshare.

“It’s time to bite that particular bullet and deliver h.264+AAC (and probably mp3) in Firefox — across all platforms and devices.”

Android powerless to push WebM over H.264 in the way iOS pushed HTML5 over Flash

This is a turnaround of the situation Google intended to create in starving iOS devices of H.264 content by leveraging Adobe Flash, which in 2010 became exclusively available for Android (shortly before Adobe gave up on Flash for mobile devices in recognition that its War on Apple wasn’t going to work out).

If Android could play both Flash videos and WebM, Google expected to be able to either force Apple to adopt Flash or WebM. Instead, Google is rethinking its position on H.264, bundling the legally grey ffmpeg H.264 decoder with Chrome, and bundling an Apache License 2.0 implementation of H.264 with Android.

Even Mozilla, representing the ideological left flank of its partners, is throwing its support behind H.264 out of necessity. And so, another war is over: H.264 first defeated Microsoft’s VC-1 in HD-DVD, defeated proprietary codecs used by Flash, and has now defeated Google’s attempts to replace it with its own WebM.

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Former SAP and Oracle Executives Unveil ‘Zero-Footprint’ Enterprise Mobile …

/PRNewswire/ – Former executives from SAP and Oracle have launched a venture-funded startup called AnyPresence (, offering businesses a unique, 100% cloud-based platform for building HTML5 and native iOS and Android apps without requiring the installation of any development tools or SDKs. The platform also includes a secure cloud-based application server for integration, SMS support, data storage, and other enterprise-class features.

AnyPresence enables organizations to significantly reduce the time-to-market and cost of developing and maintaining cross-platform mobile apps. Users can easily assemble or modify apps within a browser-based environment, using templates with embedded mobile user experience best practices. AnyPresence also includes pre-assembled starter app templates, to help organizations further accelerate their customer and employee-facing mobile initiatives.

The AnyPresence platform includes a powerful, cloud-based mobile “backend-as-a-service,” with the ability to connect to a variety of data sources within the enterprise. HTML5 apps are deployed instantly to scalable cloud infrastructure. Native iOS and Android apps are compiled in the cloud using full native controls, and made available for local testing, over-the-air distribution, or submission to app stores.

AnyPresence provides a complete mobile enterprise and consumer application platform (MEAP/MCAP) for organizations seeking rapid, cost-effective mobile enablement:

  • Reduce development and maintenance costs by assembling an app once, and deploying it across multiple mobile channels including HTML5, native iOS, native Android, and SMS
  • Accelerate time-to-market with pre-assembled starter apps for customer (B2C) and employee-facing (B2E) mobile scenarios
  • Follow mobile best practices and user interface guidelines to improve user experience and app store approvals
  • Leverage existing enterprise IT systems with pre-built database, application, and web services connectors
  • Support data access and security policies with user roles, application permissions, and data visibility
  • Extend reach to non-smartphone mobile users through text messaging (SMS) and interactive voice response (IVR) capabilities
  • Support custom business logic requirements by building web services based platform “extensions” using any programming language of choice
  • Leverage AnyPresence platform APIs to assemble and generate mobile apps programmatically from third party or custom applications

The AnyPresence mobile development platform is currently undergoing beta testing, and will be generally available in April 2012. Organizations who are interested in a platform demo and trial account when available may sign up at

About AnyPresence

AnyPresence is a zero-footprint enterprise mobile platform that dramatically reduces the cost and complexity of multi-device application development and deployment. It is the only solution that offers users the ability to assemble and deploy HTML5, native iOS and Android apps without having to install any software. AnyPresence also provides pre-assembled mobile app templates and data source integration capabilities, which further help to accelerate the deployment of mobile projects. For more information, please visit

Media Contact

Matt Cumello, Marketing  1-800-817-5217 Ext. 104


This press release was issued through eReleases(R).  For more information, visit eReleases Press Release Distribution at

SOURCE AnyPresence

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Nowak prepares Union for physical Colorado

Union boss Peter Nowak knows the pressure is on.

But he also thinks the pressure is on for every team in Major League Soccer.

Speaking during his weekly press conference today in the aftermath of Monday’s 3-1 loss to Portland, Nowak was firm that judging any team off the basis of one game is unfair.

“How can I say that after just one game? I don’t think any team can,” Nowak said. “No one in this league can say that their team is headed for the championship after just one game, not even (defending MLS champions) Los Angeles. I’ve said it before, I think we have the right pieces to make a run, but we need to progress and I think that is going to come with time.”

Little time rests before the Union’s next test against Colorado, a team Nowak knows will bring even more intensity to PPL Park when the two clash on Sunday (4 p.m., NBC Sports Network). The Union will look to avenge last July’s 2-1 loss at home against a club that features new coach Oscar Pareja, after Gary Smith, the former coach who led the Rapids to the MLS Cup in 2010 left to head English club Stevenage at the end of last season.

However, the Rapids made few changes this offseason and return a core group headlined by speedy Jamaican forward Omar Cummings.

“I think Colorado is even more physical than (Portland),” said Nowak. “They changed their system and their coach, but they still play a physical, high intensity game. Oscar preaches a possession game with quick transition so these are complex things we need to address. We have to match their intensity and physicality.”

Nowak said he did see positives in the loss to Portland that must be accentuated against Colorado. He said small sided games and drills will provide emphasis as Sunday looms. But he also noted that getting his players comfortable off the field so their minds can firmly focus on the task of winning a championship is also imperative.

“It was a long preseason and we still have players still looking to getting settled into their homes, finish moves, bring over their families,” said Nowak. “We don’t want these kinds of things on the back of our players brains and I think that once they have that stability, it’ll be easier to these guys (all around). But I think we had a good first game in terms of the guys seeing how the intensity and crowds are. Now they know how it’s going to be. The guys that have been here for a while have told the new players what to expect from our home fans, so I am confident they will get up for this one.”

Odds and endlines

Nowak didn’t say what kept Roger Torres off the roster for Portland, but he did say that the crafty midfielder will be on the roster for Sunday’s match. Torres, who was left off the club’s injury list was seen training Tuesday at YSC Sports in Wayne, without complications. As for defender Chris Albright, Nowak said his groin injury has improved and its likely Albright could be in the lineup as well…Playing on the road to open new MLS campaigns is getting old for Nowak: “We’ve asked (the league) for three years now to open our season at home. It hasn’t happened, I hope next year we get the chance to play at home for the players and our fans.”

And most likely for his sanity.

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Blogging Service Shootout: Blogger vs. WordPress

Blogging Service Shootout: Blogger vs. WordPressWith all the noise about social networking sites in the last several years, it’s easy to forget that if you’ve got more to say than what can be expressed in 140 characters, or want to do more than post brief updates, your best bet is a blog.

There are a wealth of blogging services and software out there — so which should you use? If you’re a business or other professional organization, you probably want to use full-bore website building software that includes a blogging component. However, that type of software requires experience with server setups, HTML code and site management.

If you don’t have that expertise, or want to spend your valuable time on creating content rather than wrangling with technical issues, you can opt for a service that hosts your blog for you — for free. These hosted blogging services take care of all the nitty-gritty backend work, and allow you to focus on what’s most important to you: The content of your blog.

They offer pre-built content management systems that make it easy to write, edit and manage blog posts, letting you decide whether to write using WYSIWIG editors or instead insert the code yourself. They also let you switch back and forth between the two when you want.

That’s just the basics, though. Using a hosted service doesn’t mean giving up power and features. They let you easily create polls and customized forms and integrate with social networking sites, and they offer considerable site management features, including tools for handling comments and automatically killing blog spam. They use sophisticated tools for tracking traffic, and let you dig deeply to find underlying patterns that may help you draw more visitors. And they have plenty of online help and community-based support when you run into problems, or need advice from others who have had the same issues that you have.

(For a review of microblogging sites that offer quick-and-dirty blogging tools with a strong social networking component, see our microblogger shootout.)

In this article, I examine two of the best-known hosted blogging services: Blogger and WordPress.

Blogger was one of the first blogging tools available. Launched back in 1999 by Pyra Labs, it was bought by Google in 2003 and has been considerably redesigned since.

More site-building and blogging tools

For more reviews of applications for building blogs and websites, check out these articles:

– Need to build a high-end website? We test three of the top free site-building applications: Site builder shootout: Drupal vs. Joomla vs. WordPress

– A new wave of free sites encourages fast blogging, multimedia entries and social networking: Microblogger shootout: Posterous Spaces vs. Tumblr

WordPress is based on the popular WordPress open source server-based blogging software first released in 2003 that underlies many sites on the Web — claimed in August of 2011 that its server software powered nearly 15% of the top million web sites in the world.

(Note: Confusingly, both the hosting service and the blogging software are called WordPress; the former, which is being reviewed here, is found at while the latter can be downloaded at and was reviewed as part of our site builder shootout.)

You won’t go wrong choosing either. But as you’ll see, they’re very different services, aimed at different users. Check out our head-to-head review to see which is right for you.

Next Page: Setup…

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Sandwich Supremacy

The toughest road to the finals goes through The Sherman Hemsley Division.
Yesterday, we kicked off the Sandwich Supremacy voting in the Seth Green Division, and most of the matchups ended up a tight race. The only easy fight saw Nick’s Roast Beef demolish Campo’s Stockyard in the 1 vs 16 face-off, and the Paesano’s namesake sandwich had a fairly easy time with underdog Wawa’s Meatball Hoagie. But, it took the tweeting of Questlove to save Melino’s from an early bow out, and in the upset of the day, the Butcher Singer Burger took out Paesano’s Bolognese Sandwich.

Today we enter the insanity that is The Sherman Hemsley Division, which most people believe is the heavy-hitter of the whole tourney. Matchup highlights include Steve’s Prince of Steaks taking on The Royal Angus Burger, and The Good Dog Burger squaring off against newcomer Hot Diggity’s old school Philly Surf and Turf. Top-seeded DiNic’s Roast Pork makes it’s debut, as well as heavy-favorite McNally’s Schmitter. Got all that? Good.

Our polls require javascript — if you’re viewing this in an RSS reader, click through to view in your javascript-enabled web browser.

Our polls require javascript — if you’re viewing this in an RSS reader, click through to view in your javascript-enabled web browser.

Our polls require javascript — if you’re viewing this in an RSS reader, click through to view in your javascript-enabled web browser.

Our polls require javascript — if you’re viewing this in an RSS reader, click through to view in your javascript-enabled web browser.

Our polls require javascript — if you’re viewing this in an RSS reader, click through to view in your javascript-enabled web browser.

Our polls require javascript — if you’re viewing this in an RSS reader, click through to view in your javascript-enabled web browser.

Our polls require javascript — if you’re viewing this in an RSS reader, click through to view in your javascript-enabled web browser.

Our polls require javascript — if you’re viewing this in an RSS reader, click through to view in your javascript-enabled web browser.

Article source: VIP Launches Featured Partner Program

Today Automattic, the company behind VIP, is announcing the launch of its Featured Partner Program, which marks the first time the platform has officially partnered with third-party plugins. The program caters to VIP clients, which typically run large-scale sites and in total generate one billion page views per month, and allows them to easily integrate third-party partners. Current VIP clients include CNN, Time, and NBC Sports.

The featured partners are companies that have integrated with the WordPress platform, with nine participants announced for the pilot program, including analytics tool Chartbeat, commenting platform Livefyre, and social media optimization tool SocialFlow. The additional featured plugins are ContextLogic’s Engage plugin, DaylifeMediaPassOoyalaUppSite and Wibiya. These services were already available to VIP clients outside of the WordPress relationship, but the VIP team is now pre-vetting partners.

“We decided to launch the FPP to connect VIP sites with the best integration partners, to offer partners exposure to large-scale sites, and to combine these efforts into a seamless, productive experience for both,” said Paul Maiorana, Director of Platform Services at Automattic (the company that powers, in an interview. ”[This] could make these plugin providers more attractive to a large site that is approached by/works with multiple vendors and partners.”

Maiorana said there was no set number of plugins they wanted to launch with; the nine included met the program’s criteria and were able to meet the timeline. WordPress is accepting applications from companies who want to join the program, and will review each selection’s code. He said integration partners should provide tools and services that are in demand by large-scale sites. “We’ll be adding more social, mobile, video and content partners in coming months,” Maiorana said.

Uppsite, one of the featured plugins, allows publishers to create native iOS and Android apps based on their content (Windows Phone support will launch soon, with BlackBerry coming in fall 2012). Publishers enter their URL, install the plugin on their site, review designs, and then Uppsite submits the apps automatically. It’s free for publishers to create an app, and UppSite has a freemium ad-based model – publishers can revenue share or drop ads altogether depending on the plan they choose (premium plans are available for $9.99, or custom pricing for the no-ad version).

Founder Gal Brill learned about the Featured Partner Program in December 2011, and says the program will help the company with distribution. “WordPress is the leading CMS platform, we as a leading mobile solution for websites know that every partnership will get us a step forward to our vision of mobilizing the web in a easy and fast free solution,” Brill said in an interview. “We like to think that what WordPress did to the internet, UppSite will do to the internet and publishing world in the mobile era.”

UppSite, which is based near Tel Aviv, launched in 2010 and seen over 1,000 publishers create over 2,500 apps in that time. The company raised a $600K seed round from thetime innovations, and is currently finalizing a round of Series A funding.

WordPress currently powers 15.8% of the world’s top one million sites, up from 8.5% in 2010. This new partner program only supports VIP clients, though some of the partner plugins are already available for self-hosted WordPress sites. The program won’t mean much to everyday WordPress users, but offers up-and-coming startups to get additional promotion for their plugins from some of the world’s largest publishers.

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Mozilla execs capitulate in H.264 Web-video war

Firefox logo

High-ranking Mozilla staff, believing they’ve lost a fight to keep patent-encumbered technology off the Web, have concluded it’s time to change course and support H.264 video technology.

The H.264, a “codec” to encode and decode video for more efficient storage and streaming, is widely used in everything from video cameras to mobile-phone processors. However, it’s encumbered by patent royalty payments that go against Mozilla’s goal of fostering an open Web.

The patent issue led Mozilla to strongly endorse Google’s alternative VP8 codec that’s part of its royalty-free WebM project. But WebM just isn’t catching on, and Google hasn’t fulfilled a promise to remove H.264 support from Chrome to try to promote WebM, so Mozilla Chief Technology Officer Brendan Eich and others responsible for
Firefox have reluctantly endorsed a change of plans.

“The pressure to promote WebM was needed from a bigger player than Mozilla, and it was needed a year ago,” Eich said in a long mailing-list discussion. “It might not have worked then, even with Google on-side. Now, with just Mozilla going it alone, all we do is kill our mobile initiatives in order to appear pure…That does not serve our mission or users.”

Those Mozilla representatives who came around to H.264 endured a lot of criticism for insufficient purity and principle. But clearly they went through a lot of soul-searching beforehand–after all, the decision affects more than just Mozilla. With Mozilla no longer holding out, Google’s hopes for WebM now will be that much harder to achieve even as H.265 is waiting in the wings.

First-class Web video
Mozilla and Google had hoped to make video a first-class citizen on the Web, as ordinary and easy to use as JPEG images are today. But H.264′s dominance means that patent-licensing payments are effectively being built into the Web. Through an organization called MPEG LA, patent holders collect royalty payments from organizations that ship H.264 products or that transmit H.264-encoded video for a fee.

H.264 is the leader, far and away, when it comes to HTML5 video, according to a December 2011 study of 50 million videos by MeFeedia.

H.264 is the leader, far and away, when it comes to HTML5 video, according to a December 2011 study of 50 million videos by MeFeedia.


It’s not clear yet what exactly will happen with Firefox and H.264, but the thread began with discussing whether mobile Firefox should be able to tap into built-in H.264 support built into the operating system. Even this mechanism, indirect and limited to mobile devices, triggered disgust.

“Keeping the yucky stuff in third-party code doesn’t really help keep it off the Web,” said Henri Sivonen, an HTML5 expert and freelance programmer who consults for Mozilla. And Joe Drew, a Mozilla graphics programmer, added, “I am very concerned that, by supporting system codecs, we’re simply capitulating on Free codecs”–free in the sense of free from patent-licensing constraints.

But for the most part, Mozilla authorities seemed inclined to add H.264 support. Endorsing the approach were Eich and Robert O’Callahan, who oversee the codec support in Firefox, and Andreas Gal, Mozilla’s director of research and the programmer who launched the H.264 discussion.

“Just another day at the office. I am glad I brought my steel helmet and fire-retardant underwear to work,” Gal tweeted about the debate.

Compatibility conundrum
The issue matters because streaming video on the Web is in the midst of a slow transition from using plug-ins such as Adobe Systems’ Flash Player to the HTML5 standard that builds video support directly into Web pages. But the transition is easier said that done: HTML5 doesn’t specify a codec because standards groups couldn’t agree on a single one, which means Web publishers contemplating native Web video must reckon with browser compatibility problems.

On personal computers, compatibility isn’t a severe issue, because Flash Player is ubiquitous on PCs and supports H.264. But for Mozilla, the issue came to a head because of how different things are in the mobile market.

Apple–the single strongest mobile player by virtue of its
iPhone and iPad products–is a strong H.264 backer, and it barred Flash Player from Safari on iOS. VP8 and WebM support, meanwhile, still hasn’t arrived on
Android. That means H.264 is effectively the only way to go for mobile video.

Thus, Mozilla has a tough choice to make as it tries to find a foothold for Firefox in the mobile market and to make its B2G browser-based mobile operating system useful: support H.264 or saddle users with Web pages that can’t watch video.

Building H.264 support directly into Firefox would be fraught with problems given the impossibility of reconciling the open-source nature of the software with the royalty-payment requirements of the codec. What Mozilla’s Gal proposed is an indirect approach that lets Firefox use the H.264 codec if it’s built into the operating system.

With Android, the only mobile operating system of consequence where Firefox can even try to gain a foothold, H.264 support is built in. With B2G, H.264 support could be added to the operating system layer.

The W3Cs HTML5 logo(Credit:

The debate began with mobile support, where Gal and others see H.264 as necessary, but it expanded to personal computers as well. That’s because Windows XP and Vista–still widely used–don’t have H.264 support built in. Consequently, some raised the possibility of Mozilla shipping H.264 support itself–perhaps as an extra module.

“If we want to support non-free formats via system codecs, we should make that our official plan for Firefox on all platforms,” Drew said.

And the discussion didn’t end at H.264. MP3 and AAC, two widely used audio codecs that also have patent constraints, also would fit in under the new Mozilla approach. “Anything the system has decoders for we should pass through and allow to work, including MP3 and AAC,” Gal said.

Left in the lurch by allies?
In January 2011, Google pledged to drop H.264 support from Chrome, saying at the time in a blog post, “Though H.264 plays an important role in video, as our goal is to enable open innovation, support for the codec will be removed and our resources directed towards completely open codec technologies.”

But today, Chrome still supports H.264.

Asked why, a Google representative said last month, “We have not backed off our plan to remove H.264 from the Chrome video tag, although we’ve not done so yet as we work with content providers to ensure a smooth transition.”

Many objected to Google’s decision, foreseeing a future in which they had to offer two varieties of video instead of just one. Microsoft, another H.264 supporter, took a potshot at Google and released extensions to let Firefox and Chrome users watch H.264 video on Windows 7 by using the operating system’s support.

The issue is somewhat academic, though: Chrome has Flash Player built in, so dropping H.264 support wouldn’t be as likely to leave users in the lurch.

Five browser logos

It’s clear, though, that some at Mozilla feel they got a raw deal from Google.

“Google may not have intended to punk us into hurting ourselves (I don’t think they did) but they certainly have wisely avoided hurting Chrome’s market share by turning off H.264 decoding from [HTML5] video,” Eich said. “They clearly are helping themselves by not turning off H.264 in Chrome, and they’re not turning it off in [the] Android stock browser either.”

Another WebM ally also hasn’t come through: Adobe. It had pledged in 2010 to build VP8 support into Flash Player. But when Adobe released its long-term Flash road map in February, VP8 support was conspicuously absent. Adobe didn’t have much to share in a comment today comment on whether it’s still planned.

“We don’t have an update on when VP8 will be supported in Flash Player. We continue to work closely with Google on Flash Player and its support for popular video formats. In a statement today,” Danny Winokur, general manager of Interactive Development at Adobe. In any event, so far at least it’s certainly not “in front of a billion people” as Adobe Chief Technology Officer Kevin Lynch had promised.

Thus, some at Mozilla feel any momentum for an H.264 alternative has stalled. Here’s how Mozilla evangelist Aza Dotzler put it:

Even if Google committed today to dropping H.264 from Chrome desktop, the world has changed enough in the last year that I don’t think even Chrome desktop’s position can have much influence one way or another today.

The momentum was there a year ago. Maybe it was even still there 8 months ago. I don’t think it’s there today and Chrome alone probably can’t restore that momentum. The rise of mobile and of iPad and the changing landscape for Adobe including streaming server support for H.264 for [HTML's] video element (with no VP8 anywhere in sight) and the massive growth of Windows 7 compared to a year ago, where H.264 comes with the system and IE–too much has changed for the worse. Turning off H.264 in Chrome doesn’t feel to me like it could change the course enough.

It seems there’s plenty of dark mood to go around Mozilla’s offices. “We’ve held the line, and watched, and waited, and personally I am extremely disappointed by the results,” O’Callahan said.

Updated 9:38 a.m. PT with comment from Adobe about VP8 support in Flash Player.

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Pandit: Citi Aims for ‘Meaningful’ Shareholder Payout

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Vikram Pandit

Vikram Pandit

Vikram Pandit

Tim Wegner/laif/Redux

Vikram Pandit.

Vikram Pandit. Photographer: Tim Wegner/laif/Redux

Pandit Says Citigroup Aims for Meaningful Payout

March 14 (Bloomberg) — Citigroup Inc. Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit said the bank still has capacity to return more capital to shareholders and will seek clearance for a
“meaningful” payout after the Federal Reserve rejected an initial plan.
Julie Hyman reports on Bloomberg Television’s “InBusiness With Margaret Brennan.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Citigroup Inc. (C) Chief Executive
Officer Vikram Pandit said the bank still has capacity to return
more capital to shareholders and will seek clearance for a
“meaningful” payout after the Federal Reserve rejected an
initial plan.

The central bank, which said Citigroup’s proposal would
have caused the firm’s capital to fall below a minimum
requirement in a severe economic slump, should make its models
public, Pandit wrote in an employee memo obtained by Bloomberg
News. Capital plans often seek clearance to boost dividends and
buy back shares, which the Fed allowed for JPMorgan Chase Co. (JPM)
and Wells Fargo Co. (WFC)

“We still believe that our company has the capacity to
return more capital to shareholders,” Pandit said. “We will
work with the Federal Reserve to formulate a plan that returns
meaningful capital while satisfying our regulators.”

Pandit, 55, is managing the fallout from yesterday’s
results after telling shareholders since last year that
Citigroup would be ready to return capital to shareholders in
2012. The New York-based bank will submit a new plan to
regulators, the company said yesterday. Its shares fell 2.9
percent to $35.39 at 10:38 a.m. in New York.

The Fed’s decision “is disappointing, but we remain very
optimistic about the long term,” Pandit wrote in his memo.

Shannon Bell, a company spokeswoman, declined to comment on
the memo.

Pandit scrapped the company’s dividend in 2009 and
reinstated a 1-cent payout last year. The Fed didn’t object to
keeping the current quarterly payout, Citigroup said.

“Our hope was that this move would be a prelude to greater
capital returns in the near future,” Pandit wrote. “That goal
has not changed.”

To contact the reporters on this story:
Donal Griffin in New York at;
Hugh Son in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
David Scheer at

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Fed Says 15 of 19 Banks Have Adequate Capital in Stress Scenario

Stress Tests Show How Fed Pushed on Balance Sheets

Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase Co. joined banks raising dividends and authorizing share repurchases after passing the stress tests. Photo: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

Wilbur Ross on Bank Stress Tests, Goldman Sachs

March 14 (Bloomberg) — Wilbur Ross, the billionaire chairman of private-equity firm WL Ross Co., talks about results of Federal Reserve stress tests for banks and today’s New York Times opinion piece by an outgoing Goldman Sachs Group executive.
Ross speaks with Betty Liu on Bloomberg Television’s “In the Loop.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Which Banks Are Under Stress?

March 14 (Bloomberg) — Bloomberg’s Julie Hyman reports on the Federal Reserve’s 2012 bank stress test. She speaks on Bloomberg Television’s “Inside Track.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Stress Tests Signal Healing Economy, El-Erian Says

March 14 (Bloomberg) — Mohamed El-Erian, chief executive officer and co-chief investment officer at Pacific Investment Management Co., talks about the results of the Federal Reserve’s bank stress tests and the U.S. economy.
El-Erian speaks with Betty Liu and Michael McKee on Bloomberg Television’s “In the Loop.” (This is an excerpt of the full interview. Source: Bloomberg)

Bove on Bank Stress Tests, Goldman Sachs

March 14 (Bloomberg) — Richard Bove, an analyst at Rochdale Securities LLC, talks about the results of Federal Reserve bank stress tests and a New York Times opinion piece by a departing Goldman Sachs Group Inc. employee.
Bove speaks on Bloomberg Television’s “InBusiness With Margaret Brennan.” (Source: Bloomberg)

JPMorgan Dividend Announcement Surprises Investors

March 14 (Bloomberg) — JPMorgan Chase Co., the biggest U.S. bank, surprised investors and the Federal Reserve when the firm announced two days early that it had received regulatory approval for a 20 percent dividend increase.
Dawn Kopecki reports on Bloomberg Television’s “InsideTrack.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Fed May Try to Avoid Implementing QE3

March 14 (Bloomberg) — Michael Dueker, a former St. Louis Federal Reserve economist, now the chief economist for Russell Investments North America, talks about the U.S. economy, Fed monetary policy and stress tests of U.S. banks.
He speaks from Seattle with Susan Li on Bloomberg Television’s “First Up.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Results of Fed Bank Stress Tests

March 13 (Bloomberg) — The Federal Reserve said 15 of the 19 largest U.S. banks could maintain adequate capital levels even in a recession scenario in which they continue paying
dividends and buy back stock.
Citigroup Inc., SunTrust Banks Inc., MetLife Inc. and Ally Financial Inc. failed to meet the Fed’s minimum requirements. Betty Liu, Julie Hyman, Michael McKee, Adam Johnson and Stephanie Ruhle, report on Bloomberg Television’s “Street Smart.” (Source: Bloomberg)

The Real Deal: A Big Change in the Banking System

March 14 (Bloomberg) — The resilience of the largest U.S. financial firms when tested against a recession more severe than the last one shows regulators have succeeded in pushing banks to build fortress-like balance sheets. Bloomberg’s Mike McKee reports on Bloomberg Television’s “Inside Track.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Thomas Brown on Bank Stress Tests Results

March 14 (Bloomberg) — Thomas Brown, chief executive officer at Second Curve Capital LLC and a Bloomberg contributing editor, talks about the results of the Federal Reserve’s bank stress tests.
Brown speaks with Betty Liu on Bloomberg Television’s “In the Loop.” Mohamed El-Erian, chief executive officer and co-chief investment officer at Pacific Investment Management Co., also speaks. (Source: Bloomberg)

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JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan Chase

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The JP Morgan Chase offices in New York City.

The JP Morgan Chase offices in New York City. Photographer: Mario Tama/Getty Images

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Stress Tests Show How Fed Pushed Banks to Bolster Balance

Stress Tests Show How Fed Pushed Banks to Bolster Balance

Stress Tests Show How Fed Pushed Banks to Bolster Balance

Robert Caplin/Bloomberg

Chase Bank in New York.

Chase Bank in New York. Photographer: Robert Caplin/Bloomberg

The resilience of the largest U.S.
financial firms when tested against a recession more severe than
the last one shows regulators have succeeded in pushing banks to
build fortress-like balance sheets.

The Fed yesterday said 15 of 19 banks would be able to
maintain capital levels above a regulatory minimum in an
“extremely adverse” economic scenario, even while continuing
to pay dividends and repurchasing stock. Those results were due
to scrutiny by the Fed on capital payouts over the past three
years, the central bank said.

Regulators, empowered by the Dodd-Frank Act and goaded by
criticism for failing to spot the subprime mortgage debacle,
have redesigned their approach to bank supervision. They now
place greater emphasis on systemic risk as they seek to avoid a
repeat of the crisis that resulted in a $245 billion taxpayer
bailout of banks through the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

“Any bank that remains adequately capitalized under these
acute stress scenarios is not just strong but also darn-near
impregnable,” said Karen Shaw Petrou, a managing partner at
Federal Financial Analytics, a Washington research firm, whose
clients have included Wells Fargo Co. (WFC) “What’s a bank for is
at the heart of this question: Is it to be Fort Knox?”

JPMorgan Chase Co. (JPM) and Wells Fargo joined banks raising
dividends and authorizing share repurchases after passing the
stress tests. Citigroup Inc. (C), the lender that took the most
government aid during the financial crisis, said it will
resubmit its capital plan to regulators after failing to meet
some minimum standards in the tests. Citigroup has repaid $45
billion in TARP money.

Falling Short

SunTrust Banks Inc., Ally Financial Inc. and MetLife Inc. (MET)
also fell short by at least one measure under the central bank’s
worst-case scenario. Ally also intends to resubmit its plan, the
company said in a statement.

U.S. stocks rose for a sixth day today, pushing the
Standard Poor’s 500 index up 0.14 percent to 1,397.82 at 10:05
a.m. in New York. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury
note rose to 2.23 percent from 2.13 percent late yesterday.

The KBW Bank Index (BKX), which tracks shares of 24 of the
largest U.S. banks, rose 4.6 percent yesterday. The index is up
21 percent this year on expectations of stronger economic growth
and improving profits. Concern that the nation’s banks may be
damaged by Europe’s debt crisis helped drive down the index 25
percent in 2011, its worst annual performance since 2008.

Adequate Capital

The Fed tested the banks to ensure that they have adequate
capital to continue lending in a downturn. The test assumed an
unemployment rate of 13 percent — compared with a peak of 10
percent as a result of the 18-month recession that ended in June
2009 — a 50 percent drop in stock prices and a 21 percent
decline in house prices. It showed that those circumstances
would produce aggregate losses of $534 billion over nine

Even with such a blow, the 19 banks would see their Tier 1
common capital ratio — a measure of bank strength against loss
– fall to 6.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, above the
5 percent minimum the Fed required. The ratio was 10.1 percent
in the third quarter of last year.

‘Very Onerous’

The fact that most of the banks came through “this very
onerous stress test” demonstrates “the strength of the U.S.
banking system,” Gerard Cassidy, an analyst with RBC Capital
, said in an interview.

European banks’ reluctance to lend to one another fell
yesterday to the lowest in seven months. The Euribor-OIS spread,
the difference between the euro interbank offered rate and
overnight indexed swaps, declined to its lowest since Aug. 5.

Banks are “much better capitalized” than during the 2008
financial crisis and “understand their balance sheet and loan
portfolio much better,” said Paul Miller, a former examiner for
the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and analyst for FBR
Capital Markets in Arlington, Virginia.

Bankers criticized the criteria the Fed used in the stress

Frank Keating, president and chief executive officer of the
American Bankers Association, said he objects “to testing bank
capital under theoretical conditions that are far more severe
than even those seen during ‘the Great Recession.’”

Ally Financial said in a statement that the central bank’s
“analysis dramatically overstates potential contingent mortgage
risk, especially with respect to newer vintages of loans.”

Tougher Standards

The Fed started the test and review of banks’ forward-
looking capital strategy in November, saying they should have
“credible plans” to meet tougher standards required by new

Banks “have sufficient capital to weather a severe
storm,” said Ernest Patrikis, a partner at White Case LLP and
former general counsel at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
“One question is whether they will have too much capital.”

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan and other executives
have complained that carrying too much capital could restrict

Of the $534 billion in total projected losses, $341 billion
comes from loan-portfolio losses, the Fed said. Loans and
trading portfolio and counterparty losses account for 85 percent
of the total, the Fed said.

Six bank-holding companies with large trading, private
equity and derivatives activities were also subjected to tests
of these positions from a “global market shock.” The six were
Citigroup, Bank of America Corp. (BAC), Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley (MS),
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and JPMorgan Chase.

Better Positioned

“Some banks are better positioned than others, and you’re
going to see them start to steal some market share and sort of
separate themselves,” said William Fitzpatrick, a Milwaukee-
based financial-services analyst at Manulife Asset Management,
whose team oversees $800 million and invests in companies such
as Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and MetLife. “We’re going to see
some separation between the winners and the ones that didn’t

The stress tests are now a standard feature of the Fed’s
big-bank supervision and oversight of financial risk. The
concept was born in late 2008 when Chairman Ben S. Bernanke was
trying to discern the maximum losses facing the banking system
following the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.

Focus on 19

The Fed’s focus on the l9 largest institutions’ capital
management also reflects a wary attitude toward boards that paid
out more than $43 billion in dividends as housing markets
started to deteriorate in 2007, according to comments last year
by Patrick Parkinson, the former director of the Fed’s Division
of Banking Supervision and Regulation.

Citigroup’s proposed capital actions would leave the third-
biggest bank with Tier 1 common capital of 4.9 percent, below
the 5 percent minimum require by the regulators, according to
yesterday’s results. Citigroup would meet the requirement only
if it doesn’t change the amount of capital it returns to
shareholders, the test results showed.

A senior Fed official said in a conference call with
reporters that the central bank’s models showed higher estimated
losses than those submitted by the banks, while declining to
specify in what categories.

The results were originally due to be announced on March
15. The official said they were released early because of a
possible inadvertent release of information. The official said
JPMorgan Chase’s release was the result of miscommunication
between the Fed and the bank, and didn’t cause the Fed’s
accelerated release of the results.

To contact the reporters on this story:
Craig Torres in Washington at;
Cheyenne Hopkins at;
Ian Katz in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Christopher Wellisz at

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Santorum Says Romney Can’t Close ‘Deal’ With Republicans

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Rick Santorum

Rick Santorum

Rick Santorum

Gerald Herbert/AP

Rick Santorum at his primary night watch party in Lafayette, Louisiana on March 13, 2012.

Rick Santorum at his primary night watch party in Lafayette, Louisiana on March 13, 2012. Photographer: Gerald Herbert/AP

Romney Focus on Obama Instead of Primary Opponents

March 13 (Bloomberg) — Bloomberg White House correspondent Hans Nichols reports on Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, on the campaign trail in Missouri, who is focusing his attention on President Barack Obama, rather than his primary opponents. (Source: Bloomberg)

Romney Leads Over Santorum in Bloomberg Poll

March 13 (Bloomberg) — Boosted by pocketbook and electability issues, Mitt Romney leads Rick Santorum nationally among Republicans and independents who lean that way.
A Bloomberg National Poll shows Romney with the support of 37 percent, compared with 27 percent for Santorum. Romney’s private equity work appeals to Republicans, while a slim majority, 52 percent, of all Americans view the business process as harmful to the economy. Mike Dorning, Peter Cook and Megan Hughes report on Bloomberg Television’s “InBusiness With Margaret Brennan.” (Source: Bloomberg)

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Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney

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Mitt Romney at Kirkwood Park on March 13, 2012 in Kirkwood, Missouri.

Mitt Romney at Kirkwood Park on March 13, 2012 in Kirkwood, Missouri. Photographer: Whitney Curtis/Getty Images

Rick Santorum won the Alabama (BEESAL) and
Mississippi (BEESMS) Republican presidential primaries, strengthening his
status as Mitt Romney’s main challenger and dealing a setback to
Newt Gingrich.

Romney ran third in yesterday’s races, dashing his hopes
for showings in the Deep South that would have cemented his
front-runner position for the party’s nomination.

“We did it again,” Santorum told supporters last night in
Lafayette, Louisiana. “He spent a whole lot of money against me
for being inevitable” he said, referring to Romney.

In Alabama, with 100 percent of the precincts reporting,
Santorum had 34.5 percent of the vote, according to the
Associated Press tally. Gingrich had 29.3 percent and Romney 29
percent, with Gingrich running ahead by about 2,000 votes. U.S.
Representative Ron Paul of Texas had 5 percent.

In Mississippi, with all but one precinct out of 1,889
counted, Santorum had 32.8 percent of the vote, Gingrich 31.2
percent and Romney 30.6 percent, according to the AP tally.
Gingrich’s margin over Romney was just under 1,700 votes. Paul
trailed with 4.4 percent.

Romney won the Hawaii caucuses, garnering 45 percent of the
vote to Santorum’s 25 percent, with all precincts reporting, the
AP said. He also won the caucus in American Samoa, according to
the AP.

Republican Bastions

The victories for Santorum, who has now won 10 contests,
showed he can outdo Romney in Republican bastions. Romney has
won 18 races and Gingrich has two victories, including one in
his home state of Georgia.

Santorum’s supporters want to drive Gingrich from the race
to consolidate the opposition to Romney, who leads by more than
2-1 in the hunt for convention delegates. Gingrich, the former
U.S. House speaker from Georgia, had staked his campaign on
doing well in the South.

Gingrich gave no sign he planned to end his candidacy.
Speaking to supporters last night in Birmingham, Alabama, he
repeatedly talked of “going to Tampa,” referring to the August
Republican National Convention in that Florida city.

Gingrich focused on disputing Romney’s strength in the
Republican race.

“The elite media’s effort to convince the nation that Mitt
Romney is the inevitable candidate just collapsed,” he said.
“If you’re a front-runner and you keep coming in third, you’re
not much of a front-runner.”


Republican strategist Keith Appell in an e-mail last night
was among those calling on Gingrich to quit. “Newt has given it
a great run, but Rick Santorum has earned a mano-a-mano shot at
Mitt Romney,” Appell said.

Illinois, Puerto Rico and Louisiana are among states
holding contests later this month. In April, the candidates will
vie for votes in the delegate-rich states of New York,
Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, among others.

Santorum, who was campaigning today in Puerto Rico, is
closing the gap with Romney in Illinois, according to a Chicago
Tribune/WGN poll taken March 7-9. Romney had 35 percent,
Santorum 31 percent, Gingrich 12 percent and Paul 7 percent, the
newspaper reported. The poll’s margin of error was plus-or-minus
4 percentage points, and 46 percent of voters said they could
change their minds before the state’s March 20 primary.

Restore Our Future, an independent political committee
supporting Romney, paid for 927 broadcast television ads in
Illinois as of March 12, according to data from New York-based
Kantar Media’s CMAG, which tracks advertising. The ads cost an
estimated $455,950.

‘Washington Politician’

Romney’s campaign began airing an ad today in Illinois that
attacks Santorum’s lack of business and executive experience and
describes him as a “Washington politician” who voted in the
Senate for the local spending projects known as earmarks.

Romney campaigned yesterday in Missouri (BEESMO), which will hold
caucuses on March 17. In an interview aired late yesterday
afternoon on CNN, Romney said Santorum was “at the desperate
end of his campaign.” He made the comment when asked about a
pro-Santorum ad that attacks Romney’s record as governor of

He later flew to New York without making any public
comments about the Alabama and Mississippi results.

In an e-mailed statement after the outcomes were clear,
Romney congratulated Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator,
while saying he was “pleased that we will be increasing our
delegate count in a very substantial way.”

Delegate Count

His campaign increasingly has been stressing Romney’s
advantages in accumulating delegates.

In yesterday’s primary races, 90 delegates were at stake,
50 in Alabama and 40 in Mississippi, most awarded in proportion
to how each candidate did in the balloting.

Based on partial allocation of those delegates, Romney now
has 495 of the 1,144 delegates needed to win the nomination,
compared with 252 for Santorum and 131 for Gingrich, according
to AP estimates. Paul has 48 delegates.

Romney has struggled to win evangelical Christians and
social conservatives who are skeptical of his positions on such
issues as abortion and gay marriage.

Santorum and Gingrich have argued that the Republican
primary fight has demonstrated Romney would make a poor
challenger to Obama.

Women Voters

In both Alabama and Mississippi, exit polls showed that
Santorum had the highest percentage of women voters. He also won
the plurality of voters under age 64 and those identifying
themselves as white evangelicals.

As they campaigned across the South, the three leading
candidates — with the help of super-political action committees
– exchanged verbal jabs in advertisements on the airways.
Super-PACs can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money on
campaign activity, as long as they don’t coordinate with

Romney and his allies dominated the airwaves in Alabama and
Mississippi, according to CMAG.

Of the 7,138 broadcast ads that aired in the two states in
the past 30 days, 64 percent came from Romney or his super-PAC,
21 percent were from Gingrich or his super-PAC and 15 percent
were from Santorum’s super-PAC.

To contact the reporters on this story:
Catherine Dodge in Washington at;
Hans Nichols in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Jeanne Cummings at

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ACORD ONE is First Mobile App ACORD Forms Service

Simply Easier ACORD Forms, the #1 provider of online ACORD forms for the insurance industry, announces ACORD ONE, the first mobile app ACORD Forms service. ACORD ONE runs on tablets and phones which run iOS or Android operating systems or browsers supporting HTML5 web apps.

Durham, North Carolina (PRWEB) March 14, 2012

Simply Easier ACORD Forms, the #1 provider of online ACORD forms for the insurance industry, announces ACORD ONE, the first mobile app ACORD Forms service. ACORD ONE runs on tablets and phones which run iOS or Android operating systems or browsers supporting HTML5 web apps. provides access to the most commonly used ACORD forms. The ACORD ONE service allows users to complete forms on mobile devices, sign forms using the touch screen, save and retrieve forms, and email completed and signed forms.

The ACORD ONE app is seamlessly integrated with Simply Easier ACORD Forms’ Cap Dat ACORD online database. All current users of Cap Dat ACORD have free access to the ACORD ONE mobile app. Over 142,000 users on four continents have signed up to use Simply Easier ACORD Forms services.

ACORD ONE integration with Cap Dat ACORD allows app users to open any form saved in Cap Dat ACORD while in the ACORD ONE mobile app. Once the form is opened you the app enables editing and emailing that form and saving it back to the online Cap Dat ACORD system. App users can also create the initial form in the app itself and then save the completed form to their Cap Dat ACORD system for later access from their desktop browser.

With the addition of the ACORD ONE app, Cap Dat ACORD is the first any form, anytime, anywhere, always on solution for the insurance industry.

ACORD (Agency Company Organization for Research and Development) forms are the accepted insurance industry forms for certificates of insurance, loss notices, automobile insurance identification cards and coverage applications.

“The world is moving from desktop computers to mobile devices.” said Duke Williams, Founder of Simply Easier ACORD Forms. “We believe the iPad will be the breakout business tool this year. We are excited to be the first to put the power of mobile apps into the hands of ACORD form users.”

For the original version on PRWeb visit:

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Merkel Says Europe Is ‘Good Way’ Up Mountain, Not Over Yet

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Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel

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Angela Merkel in Rome on March 13, 2012.

Angela Merkel in Rome on March 13, 2012. Photographer: Eidon Press/Zuma Press

Merkel Says EU Must Improve Growth, Competitiveness

March 14 (Bloomberg) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the European Union must begin to focus attention on improving economic growth and competitiveness. She spoke yesterday in Rome after meeting Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti.
Mark Barton reports on Bloomberg Television’s “On the Move.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Pimco's Bradshaw on 100-Year Gilt, Europe

March 14 (Bloomberg) — Myles Bradshaw, executive vice president and portfolio manager at Pacific Investment Management Co., talks about Europe’s economy, France’s presidential election and a 100-year U.K. government bond.
He speaks with Maryam Nemazee on Bloomberg Television’s “The Pulse.” (Source: Bloomberg)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel
said that European efforts to resolve the debt crisis are making
progress, even as “imbalances” in euro-area economies show
that the task is far from complete.

“We’ve come a good way along the mountain path, but we’re
not completely over the mountain,” Merkel told reporters in
Rome late yesterday after talks with Italian Prime Minister
Mario Monti. “I suspect that in the next few years there will
continue to be new mountains — there won’t be a celebratory
event in which we say we’re over the mountain and now we can sit
among the trees and say that we’ve done it.”

Merkel praised Monti’s “bold” efforts since taking office
on Nov. 16 to overhaul Italy’s economy, which include 20 billion
euros in austerity measures and steps to deregulate services
amid surging Italian bond yields that threatened to rip apart
the currency region. Aided by European Central Bank liquidity
measures, Italian 10-year borrowing costs have fallen to 4.89
percent from a euro-era record of 7.26 percent on Nov. 25.

Monti, a former European Union competition commissioner,
said Italy has “arrested” the crisis though not yet overcome
it. “Italy still has homework to do,” he said. Italy prefers
to rely on its “own strengths” rather than seek any external
aid during the worst moments of the crisis.

‘Adequate’ Firewalls

Monti reiterated Italy’s support for “adequate” financial
firewalls for the region. Euro-area finance ministers meeting in
Brussels two days ago asked the European Commission, which has
backed the largest possible rescue pool for distressed member
states, to propose options on the region’s firewall before a
decision at a March 30-31 meeting in Copenhagen.

Merkel, asked about boosting the region’s crisis-fighting
war chest, declined to comment. Her Cabinet is due to take up a
bill in Berlin today that authorizes her government to help set
up the permanent rescue fund, the European Stability Mechanism,
known as the ESM. Even so, Germany is the biggest holdout on
plans to lift a 500 billion-euro ($655 billion) ceiling on
bailout lending.

Euro states must avoid “creating wrong incentives that
would prompt some to believe that they can get by without
determination to solve their problems,” Finance Minister
Wolfgang Schaeuble said in Brussels yesterday.

Led by the U.S., major world powers have held back on
increasing the International Monetary Fund’s crisis-fighting
resources until the 17-nation euro area provides more self-help
in the form of a bolstered firewall. Schaeuble said there’s a
“certain link” between the decision on the ESM to be taken by
euro finance ministers at the end of March and a bigger role for
the IMF.

ESM Capacity

Europe plans to equip the ESM with 80 billion euros in cash
and give it the right to call another 620 billion euros in an
emergency. The total would enable it to lend 500 billion euros
and maintain a buffer to garner an AAA credit rating when it is
set up in July. Germany has been the main holdout against
proposals to let the ESM tap the remaining 250 billion euros in
the temporary fund, the European Financial Stability Facility.

“We would like to see some combining of the resources,”
French Finance Minister Francois Baroin said in Brussels. “We
are confident we will see some advances in the next fortnight.”

In Rome, Merkel said that “huge risks” lie ahead. “We
have these imbalances — what we’re referring to as the Target2
balances — they are one of many indicators that we’re not back
in full balance,” she said.

She and Monti said they shared the same position on a
possible financial-transaction tax, saying it should be applied
to all EU countries. They also said they agreed that Europe must
start to focus more on economic expansion, with Merkel saying
that an EU summit in June will focus on growth.

Monti, asked about the possibility that he could take over
from Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker as head of
the group of euro finance ministers, suggested he was too busy.
“Do you think an Italian prime minister has time for other
jobs?” he said.

To contact the reporters on this story:
Patrick Donahue in Berlin at;
Lorenzo Totaro in Rome at

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
James Hertling at;
Craig Stirling at

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3-14-12: The State of the Shale in Our State

3-14-12: The State of the Shale in Our State

March 14, 2012 at 8:05 am
1 comment

A map of the layout of the Marcellus Shale.

A group of Maryland scientists, gas industry representatives, and environmentalists is looking at what the impacts might be of drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale, a rock formation underneath six mid-Atlantic states, including western Maryland.

Governor O’Malley set up the commission last year because of the controversy surrounding the process that would be used to extract the gas–hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. There’s no drilling going on in Maryland until the study is completed–the deadline is August 2014.

Already some energy companies are leasing land in Maryland’s two westernmost counties, Allegany and Garrett, where the Marcellus shale gas is most accessible.

In this year’s General Assembly, more than a dozen bills deal with drilling in the Marcellus. One of the bills, proposed by Senator Brian Frosh and Democrat Heather Mizeur, both of Montgomery County, would charge a fee on each acre gas companies want to lease drilling. That would go to fund the study done by the Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative–it would be about $10 per acre.

There are also two bills that would create a severance tax.  Democratic Delegates Maggie McIntosh of Baltimore and Sheila Hixson of Montgomery County are proposing a 15 percent tax. Meanwhile, Republican Senator George Edwards, who represents Garrett and Allegany Counties, is proposing a 2.5% severance tax. (Quite a big difference between those numbers.)  You can see how that severance tax compare to other states on this handy chart from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Sheilah talks with Senator Brian Frosh about his bill and with Drew Cobbs, Executive Director of the Maryland Petroleum Council, about how these measures could affect the future of drilling in Maryland.

Here, in this web extra, Sheilah asks how drilling in the Shale could benefit the economy of western Maryland:

Entry filed under: economy, Energy, On Air. Tags: , , , .

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Noteflight’s New Sheet Music Publishing Service Targets iPad, Smartphones, HTML5 – Virtual

Leading music companies leverage Noteflight’s Publishing Server to deliver interactive scores to mobile devices

Cambridge, Ma (PRWEB) March 14, 2012

March 12, 2012 Cambridge, MA — Noteflight, LLC (, developer of innovative online music notation software, today announced the release of Noteflight Publishing Service, a cloud-based server platform that manages digital sheet music assets and delivers interactive musical content to tablets, smartphones, HTML5 browsers and the Noteflight Score Editor. The service is aimed at publishers, institutions and distributors of sheet music, and is available for use under a variety of flexible licensing arrangements.

Noteflight Publishing Service (NPS) is a cloud-based service which converts digital music files into graphics and audio on the server side, using Noteflight’s music layout engine. NPS then delivers the results to authorized users, formatted on the fly according to their needs. It harnesses the advantage of the computing cloud, freeing content owners from the need to manage their musical assets and generate them in a huge variety of file formats. Scores may be provided as MusicXML files or sourced from Noteflight’s innovative online score editing website

Most other digital sheet music systems work by magnifying or shrinking the original printed pages of a score to fit a device’s screen, which results in music that is hard to read and play along with on a tablet or a web browser. In contrast, NPS automatically lays out a score’s notes, measures and staves in a way that is sized and formatted for any application — whether on a smartphone, a tablet, or a large screen. NPS can also provide sheet music in the best data format for viewing on each major platform, whether it’s HTML5 open standards or a native iOS/Android app. Audio, images and PDF assets can also be managed and delivered along with the scores.

NPS integrates cleanly with systems that control access to a musical score, such as sheet music e-commerce sites. An authorized party can create a signed token using standard public-key cryptography, allowing access for a limited period of time to any score stored on NPS. This token is verified by NPS before the score is provided to an end user. Thus, sheet music merchants and copyright holders need only concern themselves with generating tokens; no particular commercial model is imposed by NPS.

As a standout example, Yamaha’s newly released iPad sheet music reader app NoteStar uses NPS to deliver high-quality interactive digital sheet music sourced from leading publishers Hal Leonard Corporation and Music Sales Ltd. NPS addressed Yamaha’s need for thousands of scores to be immediately available within the app in any note size, key or screen orientation, with the shopping experience managed entirely inside Yamaha’s existing web store.

“Noteflight’s vision for digital sheet music, combined with their world class Noteflight Publishing Service solution, made Noteflight an obvious technology partner for Yamaha, enabling our app NoteStar to deliver a truly innovative digital sheet music experience to our customers,” said Gary Gregson, Engineering Manager of Yamaha RD’s Technology Research and Development Group.

“With Noteflight Publishing Server, we are recognizing that music has moved beyond paper and is being physically consumed in new ways, on new devices,” said Joe Berkovitz, CEO of Noteflight. “Most existing tablet apps today are almost unusable, as they display sheet music PDFs that were designed for music stands, not digital devices. The result simply doesn’t work well. NPS is the first solution that allows anyone distributing sheet music to deliver it in any format that’s needed, on the spot. This makes it a ideal solution for today’s digital sheet music businesses.”

In addition to NPS, Noteflight offers cloud-based music notation software to individuals, K-12 music teachers, university level music educators and has licensed its viewer technology to leading global music companies, including sheet music publishers and digital content distributors.

# # #

About Noteflight

Founded in 2008 and headquartered in Cambridge, MA, Noteflight, LLC. is dedicated to reinventing the way people create, share, and use written music. Noteflight allows users to take advantage of the full power of the Web to edit, display, and play back music notation in a standard web browser and is integrated with an online library of musical scores from which anyone can publish, link to, or embed their compositions. Noteflight Publishing Server allows music businesses to manage large, scalable cloud-based repositories of sheet music that can be customized for any device on the fly. For more information, visit

Noteflight Press Contact: Joe Berkovitz, joe(at)noteflight(dot)com, (978) 314-6271.

For the original version on PRWeb visit:

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VIP WordPress Users Just Got Some Cool New Tools To Play With

Wordpress Automattic

See Also

Apple Has Been Subpoenaed In Google's Antitrust Case


Mark Cuban

WordPress is now partnering with Uppsite along with eight other services that will enhance the content publishing experience of large-scale sites in’s VIP SaaS Hosting program.

These VIP clients include top media companies, sports leagues and Fortune 500 companies, which in total generate one billion page views each month. The selected services include names like Chartbeat, Wibiya, and Livefyre, as well as Uppsite.

Uppsite is a relatively new service that enables publishers to seamlessly convert their site into a fully-functioning native mobile app across multiple platforms. In addition to the short few minute process of creating the app, Uppsite will also submit the app to the App Store, the Android Market (Google Play), as well as the Windows Phone MarketPlace.

All of that takes place in just a few minutes with zero effort on the part of the publisher.

The app is then completely native and includes features such as push notifications for the publisher to engage with his/her audience by notifying them of new content or announcements.

While there are many plugins and services that take a website and transform it into a mobile app, the result is usually a glorified RSS reader or a simple Web app. In  UppSite’s case, the resulting app includes many features only found in a truly native application such as social sharing and customizable design.

To see the full list of WordPress featured partners, see the WordPress VIP site . Publishers looking to bring their site to a new mobile audience can register for Uppsite by clicking here.

This is a guest post from Hillel Fuld, who is head of Marketing at inneractive. In addition to his marketing activities with inneractive, Hillel works with Appboy, a leading mobile discovery engine on their dynamic web content and brand awareness. You can find Hillel on Twitter here and on Google+ here.

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Daylife Announces Integration with VIP

NEW YORK, March 14, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ –
Daylife, creator of cloud-based publishing solutions for many of the world’s best-known websites, has integrated its Daylife Publisher Suite with WordPress, the preferred CMS for millions of online publishers worldwide. Daylife is part of an inaugural Featured Partner Program for’s VIP SaaS hosting platform. The program lets approved partners seamlessly enable their tools for large-scale sites on

“Daylife cloud publishing solutions make the job of creating compelling, interactive and more profitable Web destinations amazingly fast and easy,” said Upendra Shardanand, founder and CEO of Daylife. “Our integration with VIP means our shared customers can work seamlessly between the WordPress CMS and the Daylife Publisher Suite, which is a big win for everyone involved.”

Daylife is listed on the VIP partner site where the description of its initial plugin is described. This first plugin enables the fast integration of beautiful photos and interactive photo galleries with any published post, and automatically recommends photos based on the content already in the draft copy. Single photos or galleries can be added to the post in just a few clicks. Photo are drawn from the Daylife Content Cloud and sources can include:

Getty Images;

Associated Press (AP);


Creative Commons-licensed photos from social media sites; and

A publisher’s own database of proprietary photos. VIP clients include top media companies, sports leagues and Fortune 500 companies, which in total generate one billion page views each month. Moreover, hundreds of sites around the world are published using the Daylife Publisher Suite, Content Cloud and API, and many of those already use WordPress as their CMS.

“We look forward to serving our existing shared client base right away, and to creating new relationships with all those participating in the VIP program,” said Shardanand.

About Daylife

Daylife cloud publishing solutions enable the creation of compelling, interactive and more profitable web destinations. Hundreds of the world’s best-known sites use the Daylife Publisher Suite, Content Cloud and API to publish more efficiently and more effectively, all at a lower overall cost. For more information, visit .

Press Contact:Derek

SOURCE Daylife

Copyright (C) 2012 PR Newswire. All rights reserved


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Danny Meyers hails ‘special’ Nottingham Panthers players

Nottingham Panthers captain Danny Meyers says this year’s squad are a “special group of players” as they retained the Challenge Cup.


beat Belfast 5-3 on Tuesday night

to win the two-legged final 10-4 on aggregate.

Meyers told

BBC Radio Nottingham:

“It is just a different team this season. It is a real good group of guys who work so hard for each other.

“We let ourselves down in the past but I don’t think we have this season.”

Danny Meyers

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Meyers lauds ‘magnificent’ Panthers

Panthers, who also beat Belfast in last year’s final, have now won the tournament in four of the last five years.

“We have had losses but we have worked hard in every game,” added Meyers.

“This is history now. We stand alone in the Challenge Cup, three in a row, and I believe we have won it the most times now.

“And it is nice to do the right way, we have won the second leg for a change.”


When you lift that trophy up for the fans it is a great feeling and there is a lot of hard work to get to the point to actually lift the trophy.

So it a great satisfaction of a lot of hours on the ice and a lot of team work together and it is fantastic for the boys to get to lift that trophy up.

Paul Adey

Former Panthers player and coach, who won the tournament in 2003-04

Player-coach Corey Neilson, who has now won four trophies in four years as coach of the club, said: “I am thrilled. There is so much excitement.


[first leg] performance in Belfast

really led to tonight. Belfast are a fantastic team and, in my opinion, the best team in the league this year.

“But these two games were our day. Good goaltending, solid defence and timely goals, it is a good combination.”

Neilson also won the play-offs and Challenge Cup as a Panthers player in successive seasons after being brought to Nottingham by former coach Mike Ellis in 2006-07.


took over as player-coach

two years later and has since won the Challenge Cup three seasons in a row and the play-offs last year after a trophyless first campaign in charge.

Nottingham Panthers

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Defenceman Brock Wilson, in his first season at the club, said: “It was amazing. It was awesome and a great team effort. I am proud of these guys.

“Unfortunately we could not get the fans a league title but this is the second-best thing. Now we have to focus on the play-offs.”

Forward David Clarke, who has now won six trophies with the Panthers, added: “It is a great achievement to retain it three times in at row.

“In this building with so many people in here, I am really pleased how we saw the game out.”

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