Ohio’s Portman Says He Supports Gay Marriage
lastonet
A look at buy google sniper 2 17 nations more than 850 pirates captured off East Africa. The overwhelming number of pirate suspects are Somali.
In 2004, a trio of researchers at Columbia University began an online experiment in social-media marketing, creating nine versions of a music-download site that presented the same group of unknown songs in different ways. The goal

of the experiment was to gauge the effect of early peer recommendations on the songs’ success; the researchers found that different songs became hits on the different sites andthat the variation was unpredictable.“It’s
natural to believe that successful songs, movies, books and artists are somehow ‘better,’” one of the researchers wrote in The New York Times in 2007. “What our results suggest, however, is that

because what people like depends on what they think other people like, what the market ‘wants’ at any point in time can depend very sensitively on its own history.” But for music fans who would like to think that talent is ultimately rewarded, the situation may not be as dire as the Columbia study makes it seem.
In a paper published in the online journal PLoS ONE, researchers from the MIT Media Laboratory’s Human Dynamics Lab revisit data from the original experiment and suggest that it contains a clear quantitative indicator of quality that’s consistent across all the sites; moreover, they find that the unpredictability of the experimental results may have as much to

do with the way the test sites were organized as with social influence.
Numbers gameIn their analysis, Alex “Sandy” Pentland, the Toshiba Professor of Media Arts and Science, his graduate students Coco Krumme — first author on the new paper — and Galen Pickard, and Manuel Cebrian, a former postdoc at the Media Lab, developed a mathematical model that, while simple, predicts the experimental results with high accuracy.
They divide the decision to download a song into two stages: first, the decision to play a sample of the song, and second, the ensuing decision to download

it or not.
They found that, in fact, the percentage of customers who would download a given song after sampling it was consistent across sites. The difference

in download totals was due entirely to the first stage, the decision to sample a song in the first place.And that decision, the researchers concluded, had only an indirect relationship to the songs’

popularity. In the original experiment, one of the sites was a control, while the other eight gave viewers information about the popularity ofthe songs, measured by total number of downloads.
But on those eight sites,

the number of downloads also determined the order inwhich the songs were displayed.
The MIT researchers’ analysis suggests that song ordering may have had as much to do with the unpredictability across sites as the popularity information.“We’ve
known forever that people are lazy, and they’ll pick the songs on the top,” Pentland says.
“There’s all this hype about new-age marketing and social-media marketing. Actually, it comes down to just the stuff that they did in 1904 in a country store: They put certain things up front so you’d see them.”Quality,
not quantityIn their work, the MIT researchers interpret the likelihood that sampling a song will result in its being downloaded as a measure of quality.
Since that measure was consistent across sites, using it, rather than volume of downloads, to order song listings would probably mitigate some of the unpredictability that the Columbia researchers found.Even on sites where the number of downloads determines song ordering, high-quality songs will gradually creep up the ranfgfgkings, because, by definition, they net more downloads per sample than low-quality songs do. But “it does take a long time for the market to fully equilibrate,” Krumme says. “Precisely how long it wouldtake for the highest-quality songs to rise to the top depends on the specifics of a particular market.”“The model that they propose does a good job of providing insight into what’s happening in the experiment,” says Matthew Sagalnik, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at Princeton University, who as a graduate student at Columbia was lead author on the original paper.
“I think it’s neat that such a simple model is able to reproduce the results of the experiment with pretty high fidelity.”“I think that their predictions about the long-run dynamics are interesting,” Sagalnik adds, “and I hope that they would betested with additional experiments.”Allison
Pearson, author of the blockbuster "I Don't Know How She Does It," has a new work, "I Think I Love You," in which she explores the early crushes that shape what woman become. One night three years ago, Joe Hobson finished reading a book, went to sleep and woke up blind.
The problem, caused by a rare hereditary disease, forced him to give up his 20-year communications job, along with its generous health insurance.
Now 63, the Arlington man is covered by Medicare, the f... As the voting proceeded relatively smoothly in the presidential election, a real chance

emerged that a candidate accused of crimes against humanity could win the race. The first game of the Atlantic 10’s first tournament in Brooklyn ended with three technicals and an ejection in the final seconds as Charlotte pulled off an improbable victory over Richmond.
Once seen as a wasteland, Brazil's Cerrado - a wide savannah that coversnearly a quarter of the country - is now the motor of an agro-industry so potent that Brazil threatens to surpass the United States as breadbasket to the world.
A new schematic emphasizes the role of the Southern Ocean in the world’s ocean circulation.
The upper regions of ocean circulation are fed predominantly by broad upwelling across surfaces at mid-depth over the main ocean basins (rising blue-green-yellow arrows).
Upwelling to the ocean surface occurs mainly around Antarctica in the Southern Ocean (rising yellow-red arrows) with wind and eddies playing a central role.
Image: John Marshall and Kevin
Tags:

(no subject)
lastonet
The average rate on 30-year fixed mortgages slipped to 4.87
percent from 4.95 percent this week, according to Freddie Mac. The Conservative

Political Action Conference began with Senators Rand Paul and Marco Rubio offering their party starkly different paths back to prominence.Italy
defender Giorgio Chiellini has been ruled out of the friendly against Brazil on Thursday and is a doubt for the World Cup qualifier against Malta, the team doctor said on Wednesday.
Barely 48 hours after seeing his sizable legacy compromised by a report he tested positive for steroids, Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez makes a full and at times emotional confession. Real

Boxing, MessageMe, The Great Brain Experiment, Artkive, Doro Experience, Spacecraft 3D, Romans and moreIt's time for our weekly roundup of brand new and notable apps for Android smartphones and tablets.The
selection covers apps released for the first time in the last seven days, as opposed to updates to older apps. It covers apps and games, with theprices referring to the initial download: so (Free) may mean(Freemium) in some cases.The
equivalent iOS roundup will be published later in the day. For now, read on for this week's Android selection.Real Boxing (£2.99)Already a hit on iOS, punch 'em up Real Boxing has now mades its Android debut, initially as an exclusive fordevices with Nvidia's Tegra 3 processor. It sees you battling through a 30-fight career mode against 20 beefy boxers, while training your fighterup in between matches.MessageMe (Free)Is 2013 too late for a new messaging app to cause a stir? Seemingly not. MessageMe is getting similar buzz this week to WhatsApp in its early days. The app is a combination of one-to-one and group messaging, but throws in simple sharing of YouTube videos, iTunessongs and digitally scribbled-on photos.
Facebook is an option to find friends, but

BBM-style private PINs are also supported.The Great Brain Experiment (Free)This is a really interesting app-cum-experiment from University College London, working with the Wellcome Trust. It turns neuroscientific research into

mini-games, with players'data being fed back to the University's lab for analysis: "research that could previously only be conducted on small groups of volunteers".Artkive
- Save Kids' Art (Free)There is a growing number of apps to help children create digital art, but Artkive is more concerned with their real paintings, drawings and collages.
It's an app for parents to preserve their children's physical artwork and shareit with friends and family – keeping everything in chronological order to flick through in the future.
It appears to be US-only for now.Doro
Experience (£40)40 quid! But Doro Experience is less an app, and more a software suite with bundled subscription service that lasts for two years.
It's intended to be installed on an Android tablet being used by an elderly relative, making the device easier to use, with a range of apps designed for their common uses. It also helps relatives

share photos with them and remotely-manage the device if necessary.Spacecraft 3D (Free)This app comes from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory: an augmented reality app showcasing various spacecraft, from the Hubble telescope to the Curiosity Mars rover. To use the app, you print out a target and then point your device's camera at it.Romans
(£2.50)Here's another educational app that deserves to find a healthy audience on Android.
Launched by Cotswold District Council, it's based on the Corinium Museum in Cirencester, showing off its archaeological remains from the Roman age, as well as photographs, artists' impressions and information on the town's Roman history.ASUS

Artist (Free)Presumably aimed at owners of Asus' range of Android devices – including the Nexus 7 – this is a virtual painting app with several brushes, pencil and crayon tools, as well as digital stickers and card templates to make your own virtual greetings cards.
One for children, perhaps.Running
Trax (Free)This music app is a partnership between Ministry of Sound and MusicQubed, offering a chart of songs aimed at joggers. Each week the app downloads the latest chart of 40 regular tracks and seven "Boost Tracks" (for those awkward moments where you're tempted to nip into a kebab shop).
You pay £1 a week to subscribe to the updates.Instructables
(Free)Now owned by graphics firm Autodesk,

the Instructables website remains an excellent resource for recipes and do-it-yourself projects. Now there's an app for that, which not only enables you to browse the projects from the site – more than 100k in all – but also to create your own, with photos.Chaos Rings II (£10.99)A while after its iOS debut, Square Enix has finally portedits Chaos Rings II RPG to Android, keeping its bumper price intact. It's an impressive game though, as you explore the storyline of a hero saving the world from the nefarious "Destroyer".Super
Stickman Golf 2 (Free)With more than 1m downloads, the original Super Stickman Golf has been a

big hit with Android gamers. This sequel offers morefun, with 20 courses to stick-swing your way round and online multiplayer to test your skills against other players.
It's a freemium game, with virtual currency and extra featuressold from its in-game store.Epic
Rap Battles (Free)The Epic Rap Battlesof History YouTube channel is very entertaining, but now fans and newcomers alike can enjoy its charms on Android. The app, which is free, gathers all the ERB videos so far into a simple but efficient mobile-friendly interface.The
Croods (Free)The Croods is Rovio's latest non-Angry-Birds game – a partnership withHollywood studio DreamWorks Animation based on

the latter's new film.
It sees you trapping and taming wild animals, building houses for them to live in and decorating your prehistoricvillage. It's freemium, with an in-app store selling virtual coins and crystals – so parents should ensure their IAP settings are locked down before children play it.Swarmly (Free)"Real People in Real Time," is Swarmly's tagline: an app designed to help you see which bars, events, restaurants and other venues are popular right now, based on the social networking activity coming out of them.
It promises to keep your data private, too – something users may want to check out for themselves.10000000 (£1.59)EightyEight
Games' "dungeon crawling RPG matching game" was acritical hit on iOS, and it looks just as addictive on Android – when I last played, it took my battery from 60% down to zero.
It combines match-three puzzling with retro platform levels, potion-brewing and castle-upgrading. Play it, but make sure you have a charger handy...Squids Wild West (£1.30)RPG game Squids hasbeen picking up a healthy audience of gamers on iOS and Android.
This latest game sets its action in the "underwater

Wild West" – cue soggy cowboy hats – blending action-strategy elements with roleplaying mechanics as you build up an army of squids to take on the world. A separate HD version is also available.https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.thegamebakers.squidsww_pHDCatcha Catcha Aliens! (Free)UK developer Hotsauce's characterful endless runner has been ported from iOS to Android, as you chase after an array of colourful alien critters.
Stephen Fry and Jonathan Ross make cameo appearances with their voices – Ross co-owns the developer's parent company, making him a mobile-game mogul (of sorts).WeVideo
for Android (Free)Video-sharing apps? It's a crowded market, so WeVideo will have to show somesmarts if it's to take off.
The omens are good:it looks neat and simple to use, recording and editing videos together, adding in music and photos, then exporting the results to YouTube or Facebook as well as WeVideo's own service.
The app is in beta for a few Samsung and Google devices at this point.The Conduit HD (Free)The second Tegra title this week is a first-person shooter with very impressive graphics, alien enemies that'll make you feel queasy, and lots of control options to suit

different playing styles.
The free download includes the first two levels, after whichyou pay tounlock the rest.NowThis
News (Free)US website NowThis News focuses on video reports, and launched its iOS app in late 2012. Now it's on Android too, offering topical videos in categories including news, entertainment, politics and technology.Earn to Die (£0.80)A dystopian scene with zombies coming at you from every angle? That's the average app store in 2013, with no let-up in the enthusiasm of game

developers for

the undead. Earn to Die at

least adopts a different genre: driving. Based on a series of online games, it sees you driving eight vehicles intozombies, with ragdoll physics ensuring they bounce off your bumper just so.Mini Ninjas (Free)Square Enix says the heroes of its latest game are "the smallest heroes taking on the biggest dangers", which is as neat a summary of the central gameplay as any. It's a fun action game where you choose one of four ninjas

to play as, battling enemies and creating your own magic spells.Nose
to Tail (£0.69)Developer
Socket Software describes Nose to Tail as "the premier mobile app for learning more about cuts of meat". No horseburger jokes, please.
It digs into more than 80 cuts with hand-drawn images of cows to show where they come from, with advice on which cuts work best for different kinds of meals.Cow Crusher (Free)Okay, NOW let loose with the horseburger jokes. Cow Crusher is the latest topical news game from Game the News, this time focused on the current meat controversyin the UK.
It's a game that gets you crushing cows into burgers in a factory: "Don't hit the crush buttons when there is a horse in place or else you'll drop the meat quality very quickly and lose the game..."What Will IBe? (£1.99)This
is the latest book-app for children from developer Digital Leaf, this time focusing on a child asking his father what he'll grow up to be in the future.
Animations, interactivity, music and a mini-game add to the fun.Fresh Deck Poker (Free)Expect lots of real-money gambling games to be launched on smartphones and

tablets this year, including from social games publishers who see gambling as their new frontier. Fresh Deck Poker is getting in early with this game, which integrates with its Facebook version for cross-platform play.Audioboo Two Beta (Free)Asa service for sharing sounds, Audioboo gets less publicity these days than rival SoundCloud. It's still around though, with a brand new Android app (replacing its separate existing version) to help people listen to clips from the service, including The Guardian's audio edition.First TimesIf you, like me, pine (a bit) for the heyday of

text adventures, you should definitely check out First Times. It's a horror text adventure that kicks off with you waking up in a morgue, and without giving the game away, it's genuinely creepy as you try to figure out what happened.
If you're young enough to be baffled by the term "text adventures", ask your dad (but go north, open the door and hit the elf with the sword first).webcamaze
(Free)"Amazing webcam images".
The webcamaze's Google Play store listing has pretty much done my job for me.
It's an

app for browsing "thousands" of webcams and seeing their best images: "Sunrises and sunsets, good weather and bad weather, night and day images".
It has the makings of a proper time-sucker.That's this week's selection, but what do you think? Make your

own recommendations, or give your views on the apps above, by posting a comment.AndroidAppsSmartphonesTablet
computersMobile phonesGoogleStuart Dredgeguardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies.
All rights reserved.
| Use of this content is subject to our Terms &

Conditions | More Feeds A colorful renovation to soften the rough edges.
Particles spewed from eruptions are helping to keep warming in check, but industrial smokestacks don't help so much There's a maxim in the data centre

business that you can't manage what you can't measure, and eBay has come up with the mother of all measurement systems for calculating data centre

(no subject)
lastonet
The average rate on 30-year fixed mortgages slipped to 4.87
percent from 4.95 percent this week, according to Freddie Mac. The Conservative

Political Action Conference began with Senators Rand Paul and Marco Rubio offering their party starkly different paths back to prominence.Italy
defender Giorgio Chiellini has been ruled out of the friendly against Brazil on Thursday and is a doubt for the World Cup qualifier against Malta, the team doctor said on Wednesday.
Barely 48 hours after seeing his sizable legacy compromised by a report he tested positive for steroids, Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez makes a full and at times emotional confession. Real

Boxing, MessageMe, The Great Brain Experiment, Artkive, Doro Experience, Spacecraft 3D, Romans and moreIt's time for our weekly roundup of brand new and notable apps for Android smartphones and tablets.The
selection covers apps released for the first time in the last seven days, as opposed to updates to older apps. It covers apps and games, with the prices referring to the initial download: so (Free) may mean (Freemium) in some cases.The
equivalent iOS roundup will be published later in the day. For now, read on for this week's Android selection.Real Boxing (£2.99)Already a hit on iOS, punch 'em up Real Boxing has now mades its Android debut, initially as an exclusive for devices with Nvidia's Tegra 3 processor. It sees you battling through a 30-fight career mode against 20 beefy boxers, while training your fighter up in between matches.MessageMe (Free)Is 2013 too late for a new messaging app to cause a stir? Seemingly not. MessageMe is getting similar buzz this week to WhatsApp in its early days. The app is a combination of one-to-one and group messaging, but throws in simple sharing of YouTube videos, iTunes songs and digitally scribbled-on photos.
Facebook is an option to find friends, but

BBM-style private PINs are also supported.The Great Brain Experiment (Free)This is a really interesting app-cum-experiment from University College London, working with the Wellcome Trust. It turns neuroscientific research into

mini-games, with players' data being fed back to the University's lab for analysis: "research that could previously only be conducted on small groups of volunteers".Artkive
- Save Kids' Art (Free)There is a growing number of apps to help children create digital art, but Artkive is more concerned with their real paintings, drawings and collages.
It's an app for parents to preserve their children's physical artwork and share it with friends and family – keeping everything in chronological order to flick through in the future.
It appears to be US-only for now.Doro
Experience (£40)40 quid! But Doro Experience is less an app, and more a software suite with bundled subscription service that lasts for two years.
It's intended to be installed on an Android tablet being used by an elderly relative, making the device easier to use, with a range of apps designed for their common uses. It also helps relatives

share photos with them and remotely-manage the device if necessary.Spacecraft 3D (Free)This app comes from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory: an augmented reality app showcasing various spacecraft, from the Hubble telescope to the Curiosity Mars rover. To use the app, you print out a target and then point your device's camera at it.Romans
(£2.50)Here's another educational app that deserves to find a healthy audience on Android.
Launched by Cotswold District Council, it's based on the Corinium Museum in Cirencester, showing off its archaeological remains from the Roman age, as well as photographs, artists' impressions and information on the town's Roman history.ASUS

Artist (Free)Presumably aimed at owners of Asus' range of Android devices – including the Nexus 7 – this is a virtual painting app with several brushes, pencil and crayon tools, as well as digital stickers and card templates to make your own virtual greetings cards.
One for children, perhaps.Running
Trax (Free)This music app is a partnership between Ministry of Sound and MusicQubed, offering a chart of songs aimed at joggers. Each week the app downloads the latest chart of 40 regular tracks and seven "Boost Tracks" (for those awkward moments where you're tempted to nip into a kebab shop).
You pay £1 a week to subscribe to the updates.Instructables
(Free)Now owned by graphics firm Autodesk,

the Instructables website remains an excellent resource for recipes and do-it-yourself projects. Now there's an app for that, which not only enables you to browse the projects from the site – more than 100k in all – but also to create your own, with photos.Chaos Rings II (£10.99)A while after its iOS debut, Square Enix has finally ported its Chaos Rings II RPG to Android, keeping its bumper price intact. It's an impressive game though, as you explore the storyline of a hero saving the world from the nefarious "Destroyer".Super
Stickman Golf 2 (Free)With more than 1m downloads, the original Super Stickman Golf has been a

big hit with Android gamers. This sequel offers more fun, with 20 courses to stick-swing your way round and online multiplayer to test your skills against other players.
It's a freemium game, with virtual currency and extra features sold from its in-game store.Epic
Rap Battles (Free)The Epic Rap Battles of History YouTube channel is very entertaining, but now fans and newcomers alike can enjoy its charms on Android. The app, which is free, gathers all the ERB videos so far into a simple but efficient mobile-friendly interface.The
Croods (Free)The Croods is Rovio's latest non-Angry-Birds game – a partnership with Hollywood studio DreamWorks Animation based on

the latter's new film.
It sees you trapping and taming wild animals, building houses for them to live in and decorating your prehistoric village. It's freemium, with an in-app store selling virtual coins and crystals – so parents should ensure their IAP settings are locked down before children play it.Swarmly (Free)"Real People in Real Time," is Swarmly's tagline: an app designed to help you see which bars, events, restaurants and other venues are popular right now, based on the social networking activity coming out of them.
It promises to keep your data private, too – something users may want to check out for themselves.10000000 (£1.59)EightyEight
Games' "dungeon crawling RPG matching game" was a critical hit on iOS, and it looks just as addictive on Android – when I last played, it took my battery from 60% down to zero.
It combines match-three puzzling with retro platform levels, potion-brewing and castle-upgrading. Play it, but make sure you have a charger handy...Squids Wild West (£1.30)RPG game Squids has been picking up a healthy audience of gamers on iOS and Android.
This latest game sets its action in the "underwater

Wild West" – cue soggy cowboy hats – blending action-strategy elements with roleplaying mechanics as you build up an army of squids to take on the world. A separate HD version is also available.https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.thegamebakers.squidsww_pHDCatcha Catcha Aliens! (Free)UK developer Hotsauce's characterful endless runner has been ported from iOS to Android, as you chase after an array of colourful alien critters.
Stephen Fry and Jonathan Ross make cameo appearances with their voices – Ross co-owns the developer's parent company, making him a mobile-game mogul (of sorts).WeVideo
for Android (Free)Video-sharing apps? It's a crowded market, so WeVideo will have to show some smarts if it's to take off.
The omens are good: it looks neat and simple to use, recording and editing videos together, adding in music and photos, then exporting the results to YouTube or Facebook as well as WeVideo's own service.
The app is in beta for a few Samsung and Google devices at this point.The Conduit HD (Free)The second Tegra title this week is a first-person shooter with very impressive graphics, alien enemies that'll make you feel queasy, and lots of control options to suit

different playing styles.
The free download includes the first two levels, after which you pay to unlock the rest.NowThis
News (Free)US website NowThis News focuses on video reports, and launched its iOS app in late 2012. Now it's on Android too, offering topical videos in categories including news, entertainment, politics and technology.Earn to Die (£0.80)A dystopian scene with zombies coming at you from every angle? That's the average app store in 2013, with no let-up in the enthusiasm of game

developers for

the undead. Earn to Die at

least adopts a different genre: driving. Based on a series of online games, it sees you driving eight vehicles into zombies, with ragdoll physics ensuring they bounce off your bumper just so.Mini Ninjas (Free)Square Enix says the heroes of its latest game are "the smallest heroes taking on the biggest dangers", which is as neat a summary of the central gameplay as any. It's a fun action game where you choose one of four ninjas

to play as, battling enemies and creating your own magic spells.Nose
to Tail (£0.69)Developer
Socket Software describes Nose to Tail as "the premier mobile app for learning more about cuts of meat". No horseburger jokes, please.
It digs into more than 80 cuts with hand-drawn images of cows to show where they come from, with advice on which cuts work best for different kinds of meals.Cow Crusher (Free)Okay, NOW let loose with the horseburger jokes. Cow Crusher is the latest topical news game from Game the News, this time focused on the current meat controversy in the UK.
It's a game that gets you crushing cows into burgers in a factory: "Don't hit the crush buttons when there is a horse in place or else you'll drop the meat quality very quickly and lose the game..."What Will I Be? (£1.99)This
is the latest book-app for children from developer Digital Leaf, this time focusing on a child asking his father what he'll grow up to be in the future.
Animations, interactivity, music and a mini-game add to the fun.Fresh Deck Poker (Free)Expect lots of real-money gambling games to be launched on smartphones and

tablets this year, including from social games publishers who see gambling as their new frontier. Fresh Deck Poker is getting in early with this game, which integrates with its Facebook version for cross-platform play.Audioboo Two Beta (Free)As a service for sharing sounds, Audioboo gets less publicity these days than rival SoundCloud. It's still around though, with a brand new Android app (replacing its separate existing version) to help people listen to clips from the service, including The Guardian's audio edition.First TimesIf you, like me, pine (a bit) for the heyday of

text adventures, you should definitely check out First Times. It's a horror text adventure that kicks off with you waking up in a morgue, and without giving the game away, it's genuinely creepy as you try to figure out what happened.
If you're young enough to be baffled by the term "text adventures", ask your dad (but go north, open the door and hit the elf with the sword first).webcamaze
(Free)"Amazing webcam images".
The webcamaze's Google Play store listing has pretty much done my job for me.
It's an

app for browsing "thousands" of webcams and seeing their best images: "Sunrises and sunsets, good weather and bad weather, night and day images".
It has the makings of a proper time-sucker.That's this week's selection, but what do you think? Make your

own recommendations, or give your views on the apps above, by posting a comment.AndroidAppsSmartphonesTablet
computersMobile phonesGoogleStuart Dredgeguardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies.
All rights reserved.
| Use of this content is subject to our Terms &

Conditions | More Feeds A colorful renovation to soften the rough edges.
Particles spewed from eruptions are helping to keep warming in check, but industrial smokestacks don't help so much There's a maxim in the data centre

business that you can't manage what you can't measure, and eBay has come up with the mother of all measurement systems for calculating data centre

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