EP Topic News: 11th April 2002
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Electronic Publishing in FP6 Workshop
"Towards Information & Knowledge Systems"
3D visualisation software
gmax proves popular
VSMM 2002 - creative digital culture
DocBook V4.2 Release Candidate 1
The School of Sound
MPEG - latest developments
Multilingual Thesaurus for Education in Europe
Journal of Digital Information
Video games in education
Speech-enabled Citroën cars
OASIS Rights Language TC
"Europe and Culture" portal
Web application development
Test the ARTISTE prototype
Xindice XML database 1.0
Acrobat for Palm Version 2.0
Broadcasting classes online
Microsoft developer resources
User-centred design workshop
MPEG-4 product news
HCI research in jeopardy?
A conference being organised by the INFORM project, with a focus on the Interactive Electronic Publishing sector, and will explore the principles associated with: "From Content to Knowledge". This high profile event will be used by the European Commission to both publicise and develop their thinking on how multimedia content and tools will develop prior to the launch of the next EC funding programme, FP6, which will focus on this sector.
Scheduled to take place on May 30-31, 2002 at the DTI Conference Centre, Victoria Street, London, UK the conference will be of particular benefit to business development directors, technology directors, technology operatives - anyone with an interest in information and knowledge systems and how they may affect their business - as well as those interested in applying for funding from the European Commission for their work in this area.
The draft programme has been published on El.pub (see link below). Attendance at the event is free of charge. The event is open to any interested party. However, only a limited number of places remain available so a quick indication of your interest is essential. (Please note: Registration is strictly necessary if you wish to attend this event due to the security procedures at the DTI).
To register, send an e-mail or fax to Jo Bingham, Project Manager at EPS, including the following information: name, job title, organisation name, email address, telephone number, fax number.
URL: Conference agenda agenda23.htm
Email: registrations mailto:email@example.com
Fax: +44 (0)20 7837 8901
Tel: +44 (0)20 7837 3345
A reminder that we have launched a newsletter with information about the 6th Framework Programme (FP6) in relation to projects concerned with digital content. The newsletter will appear occasionally and point to recent information on CORDIS and in other documents, and to meetings relevant to the programme organised by the Commission and other organisations, and projects. The first issue was published last week. If you are interested in receiving this free newsletter please subscribe via the email below.
The latest programme for this Interactive Electronic Publishing Workshop on 6th Framework Programme, organised by the INFORM project and supported by the European Commission's Interactive Electronic Publishing sector, has been published on El.pub. To be held on April 23, 2002 at the UPF (Universitat Pompeu Fabra) in Barcelona, the purpose of the Workshop is to gather information, comments and remarks from a broad audience on what issues should be developed, followed up, or further elaborated in the 6th Framework Programme (FP6) specific programme. In addition, it offers an ideal opportunity to gain authoritative information on future developments. The event also serves as an opportunity to start the process of creating communities of interest and establishing international networks.
The 6th Framework Programme should be in place by the end of 2002. Whilst broad debate has occurred on FP6 there remains considerable scope to influence the implementation of the EU research programme activities through their specific programmes and annual work plans. It is anticipated that this workshop will aid in the consultation process.
A latest draft programme has been published on El.pub (follow the link below for up-to-date information), to date this includes an plenary, a number of panel sessions which include keynote presentations, invited papers and open discussions, and a final roundup session.
To facilitate focussed debate the Commission will make available to registered delegates pre-information on the FP6 specific programme developments, so that the right people can contribute efficiently to the debate. Attendees may also benefit from continued information updates through an FP6 newsletter. Participation will ensure that your organisation is aware of these developments and will enable you to position yourselves with potential partners for future calls.
The event is open to any interested party, and attendance is free of charge. However, only a limited number of places remain available so a quick indication of your interest is essential. For more information about the event, or to signal your desire to make a contribution please email the organisers via the email below.
Email: event organisers mailto:FP6@mva.co.uk
The INFORM project, responsible for the El.pub information services, is please to announce that we are currently working on the latest in the series of VR World Congresses. VR World Congress V is scheduled for Paris, France on September 10-11, 2002 and the agenda for will soon be published.
A copy of the current working draft of the programme is available via the web site below, and a call for papers focusing on innovative VR/i3D technologies, techniques or applications is currently open. If you wish to make a submission, contact the Congress Chair, Roger Frampton via the email below.
The event will provide a remarkable opportunity for organisations wishing to identify prospective project proposal partners for the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6), in addition to providing an outstanding networking opportunity. The number of places will be limited. The cost of participation, (€150 or $150) at this not-for-profit event, covers the cost of refreshments. To reserve your place now, email Sophie Lafond the Congress Manager, confirming your: name, organisation, postal address, email, fax and telephone numbers.
URL: Congress draft programme http://www.VREfresh.com
Email: CFP (Roger Frampton) mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Email: Congress bookings (Sophie Lafond) mailto:email@example.com
Right Hemisphere has upgraded its 3D Exploration Software and renamed it Deep Exploration. According to the company Deep Exploration provides "enhanced functionality for file management, visualisation, translation, rendering and 3D Web Publishing". The software is designed to enable companies publish information in 3D web formats, particularly for use in collaboration, training, sales presentations and marketing.
Discreet has announced that more than 125,000 users have registered copies of its gmax consumer game design and content editing software since it was launched five months ago. gmax allows game enthusiasts to create and customise content in supporting titles, thereby enhancing and extending their enjoyment of that game.
Microsoft will soon release a gmax game pack for its Train Simulator software on its web site. In addition, the next release of Combat Flight Simulator series will include an integrated gmax game pack to be released later this year.
The 8th International Conference on Virtual Systems and Multimedia (VSMM 2002) to be held on 25-27 September 2002 at the Hilton Hotel in Gyeongju, Korea has issued a call for papers. Open until mid-June, VSMM2002 will run under the theme of Creative Digital Culture and the organisers are not only looking for papers describing innovations in technology, but are also interested in those that "explore novel ways to transfer and express information and artistic ideas to people".
Papers with special emphasis on the following five areas will be of particular interest: Virtual Heritage, Media Art and Creative Technology, Media and VR Technology, Wireless Life and Culture, and Virtual Medicine/Health Science. VSMM2002 will run technical sessions in the respective areas with a lineup of plenary sessions, invited talks, tutorials, panels, workshops and media art and creative technology exhibition. All inquiries about the submission of the paper and panel, tutorial, workshop proposals should be sent to the email below.
The DocBook Technical Committee have announced the release of DocBook V4.2 Release Candidate 1 in XML and SGML (details via the links below). DocBook V4.2 incorporates numerous enhancements over DocBook V4.1 and DocBook XML V4.1.2. These changes are documented in the DocBook Document Type specification (see link below). Development of DocBook V4.2 is now considered "finished".
The purpose of the Candidate Release phase is to encourage widespread testing of the latest DocBook release. If no problems are reported in the next 30 days, the DocBook Technical Committee plans to advance DocBook V4.2 to Committee Specification status. Readers of El.pub are encouraged to give DocBook V4.2 a try in your favorite tools and report any problems that you encounter to the DocBook mailing list.
URL: DocBook V4.2 XML http://www.oasis-open.org/docbook/xml/4.2CR1/
URL: DocBook V4.2 SGML http://www.oasis-open.org/docbook/sgml/4.2CR1/
URL: DocBook Document Type Spec.http://www.oasis-open.org/docbook/docbook-4.2-CR1.html
Email: DocBook mailing list mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
URL: DocBook http://www.oasis-open.org/docbook/
The School of Sound symposium, is a unique international forum that brings together professional practitioners, artists, academics and advanced students to learn about the creative use of sound in audio-visual media. Integrating theory, practice, art and entertainment, the School of Sound has featured speakers from film, television, radio, music, sonic art, sound design, anthropology and poetry as well as some of the world's most influential theorists and critics. The events are not designed to teach the use of equipment or software, but intend to highlight creative and innovative use of sound in media and art.
The 5th School of Sound symposium is scheduled to take place on April 23-26, 2003 but the web site has information from the April 2001 event, and gives an idea of what the School of Sound event is all about and how it is organised.
Any enquiries about the School of Sound, requests for recordings of speakers at previous symposia, or additions to the mailing list should be sent to the email address below.
At its 59th meeting, held from 11-15 March 2002, MPEG issued its 4th Call for Proposal (CfP) in the suite of standards known as MPEG-21. This latest call will accept proposals to be reviewed by experts at its 60th meeting in Fairfax, VA, USA between 6 and 10 May 2002. Digital Item Adaptation is an important technology for content authors and owners, and service providers not just the consumers of MPEG streams.
When coupled with the Audio-Visual standards of MPEG-2, or 4 and the metadata standard in MPEG-7, and the other standards being developed in MPEG-21, DIA as it has come to be known, will be another powerful tool in the multimedia industry. Combined with the specifications currently under development to provide a Rights Data Dictionary and a Rights Expression Language, this will provide tools to enable the association of permissions governing the context in which content may be adapted.
MPEG also issued a Call for Proposals on MPEG-7 Systems extensions notably to address additional coding efficiency for MPEG-7 descriptions as well as MPEG-21 Digital Item Declarations. The response to these calls will be reviewed at its 61st meeting in Klagenfurt, Austria from 22 to 26 July 2002.
Other MPEG news includes:
- a preliminary Call for Proposals on Advanced Text and 2D graphics was issued.
- the MPEG-21 development work on Rights Data Dictionary and Rights Expression Language (RDD/REL) began in earnest following technology selection in December 2001 (we reported on this in El.pub Weekly in January 2002).
- MPEG-4 Video reference software will become publicly available at a single web site. This will include the reference software from part 5 of MPEG-4, as well as an optimized package of encoder and decoder for MPEG-4 Visual Simple Profile.
Further information about MPEG is available from Dr. Leonardo Chiariglione, (Convenor of MPEG, Italy) or via the web site below. The MPEG homepage has links to other MPEG pages, which are maintained by some of the subgroups. It also contains links to public documents that are freely available for download to non-MPEG members.
URL: MPEG homepage http://mpeg.telecomitalialab.com
Email: Dr. Leonardo Chiariglione mailto:email@example.com
URL: MPEG-4 Video reference software http://megaera.ee.nctu.edu.tw/mpeg/
The European Treasury Browser (ETB) Project has just released a multilingual thesaurus for education in Europe, available in eight languages: Danish, English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Spanish, Swedish. The thesaurus is aimed at indexing educational resources, and help to build an interoperable infrastructure to exchange and network metadata on educational resources for schools in Europe. The ETB will link together existing national repositories, encourage new publication, and provide a reliable level of quality and structure.
The project aims to add value to national resource collections by adding an interoperable layer to help teachers and students locate resources Europe-wide. It would give the user access to all resources, whatever indexing method is used. The material is classified according to subject and resource type for use by teachers in preparing lessons, and by students for reference and research, or guidelines and best practice.
The thesaurus has been conceived as a tool aimed to aid indexing and searching in two contexts:
- a network connecting European educational resource repositories that have their own indexing systems and languages;
- European resource collections.
That means that the ETB thesaurus can be used by repositories where documents have been indexed by using its descriptors, or by repositories whose classification systems or thesauri can be mapped to the ETB descriptors. The ETB thesaurus is web enabled, described through an RDF data
model, distributed in a format based on XML.
Potential users of the ETB thesaurus are indexers working in education documentation services, publishers and libraries, on the one hand; pupils, teachers, administrators, scholars,
decision-makers interested in educational materials on the web on the other hand.
The advantages of using the ETB thesaurus include:
- improved efficiency of the information retrieval by establishing a common language for indexers and users, but still allowing users to search in their own languages and own web interfaces.
- creating a European documentary language in the field of education resources.
Additional information is available via the link below. European Schoolnet (EUN) is a joint venture by 23 Ministries of Education from around Europe. Its a network of networks supported national Ministries of Education and the European Commission.
URL: Multilingual Thesaurus http://www.eun.org/eun.org2/goto.cfm?did=12233
URL: European Schoolnet http://www.eun.org
The latest issue of the Journal of Digital Information (JoDI - Volume 2, issue 3, March 2002) includes two award-winning papers from the Hypertext' 01 conference.
- SIGWEB Douglas Engelbart Best Paper, "Linking in Context"
- SIGWEB Ted Nelson Newcomer Award, "Hypertext Structure as the Event of Connection"
- "Optimal User-Centered Knowledge Organization and Classification Systems: Using Non-reflected Gray Codes"
A special issue on Interactivity in Digital Libraries is planned which will highlight projects from the US National SMETE (science, mathematics, engineering and technology) Digital Library (NSDL) research programme. JoDI is an electronic journal published only via the web and is currently free to users thanks to support from the British Computer Society and Oxford University Press.
DOI News is a free email news service from the International Digital Object Identifier Foundation which aims to increase awareness of important developments in the digital copyright management of intellectual property. The latest issue reports on:
EDItEUR and the International DOI Foundation (IDF) have announced their intention to ensure that users of the ONIX (Online Information Exchange) metadata specification, the international standard for representing book, serial and video product information in electronic form, and DOI will be able to easily achieve interoperability.
URL: news item http://www.doi.org/news/020319-Editeur.html
URL: EDItEUR http://www.editeur.org
The International DOI Foundation (IDF) is continuing to support the development of a rights data dictionary. This common dictionary or vocabulary for intellectual property rights is being developed to enable the exchange of key information between content industries and e-commerce trading of intellectual property rights, and is accepted as the basis for the ISO MPEG-21 Rights Data Dictionary.
URL: MPEG RDD standard http://mpeg.telecomitalialab.com/working_documents.htm
The Frequently Asked Questions on the DOI web site have been completely re-written, with the aim of making them simpler, consistent, and providing reference to the appropriate section of the new DOI Handbook.
Edition 2 of the DOI Handbook has now been published: it is 70% larger than the first edition (February 2001) and contains much more practical detail gained over the past year. The Handbook now incorporates material which was previously separate or in the more extensive earlier FAQs on the website.
The DOI is a system for interoperably identifying and exchanging intellectual property in the digital environment. A DOI assigned to content enhances a content producer's ability to trade electronically. It provides a framework for managing content in any form at any level of granularity, for linking customers with content suppliers, for facilitating electronic commerce, and enabling automated copyright management for all types of media.
The International DOI Foundation, a non-profit organization, manages development, policy and licensing of the DOI to registration agencies and technology providers and advises on usage and development of related services and technologies. The DOI system uses open standards with a standard syntax (ANSI/NISO Z39.84) and is currently used by leading international technology and content organisations.
URL: DOI Foundation http://www.doi.org/
URL: DOI News http://www.doi.org/mailman/listinfo/news
URL: DOI News mailing list mailto:News@doi.org
A report commissioned by the JISC-funded (UK) Techwatch service considers the relevance of video games and gaming consoles to the Higher and Further Education learning experience. It presents an overview of gaming consoles and a comparison of consoles and the PC.
Benefits of games to learning and the learning environment are touched on, as is the use of games consoles in research and teaching. Issues pertaining to potential future applications of games and consoles to learning and teaching, especially through the enhanced functionality of consoles, are addressed. The report concludes with an overview of other gaming platforms, and a summary of key points and trends to monitor.
ScanSoft has teamed with Clarion to provide speech and language capabilities for Clarion's AutoPC, which is now available as an option in Citroën's Xsara and new C5. Examples given as to how Citroën drivers can use the speech technology include:
- drivers can use their voice to automatically select tracks from the CD changer, activate or de-activate the navigation unit or radio, scan or select stations and adjust the volume.
- the system automatically informs the driver when e-mail has arrived. The driver can orally browse through messages, listen to who sent them, identify when they were sent and determine what the subject lines say.
- drivers can dial their cell phones via preset numbers by telling the unit to select a name in the address book.
- the system sends drivers spoken traffic alerts concerning driving conditions and accidents, providing step-by-step vocal guidance to manoeuver drivers around such conditions.
According to Citroën, they are seeing an increasing demand for cars equipped with personal computing. ScanSoft, through its recent acquisition of Lernout & Hauspie, offers an integrated suite of technologies and services that provide speech capabilities for the automotive industry. These include broad language support, speech recognition, noise management and synthesised speech .
URL: Clarion http://www.clarion.com
URL: ScanSoft http://www.scansoft.co.uk
URL: Clarion Europe http://www.clarion-europa.com
OASIS is forming a Rights Language Technical Committee which will work on standardising "a common standard rights language that can be shared among the participants in the digital workflow". The committee's aim is to propose a "common rights language that will facilitate the interoperability of the systems that manage the creation, distribution and consumption of these digital works and services. It will also be an integral tool in declaring and implementing trust and authentication mechanisms".
According to OASIS the need for a standard rights language has been recognised in a number of organisations that develop technical standards for different types of content in many different domains. For example: Open eBook Forum - eBooks; MPEG - multimedia content; TV Anytime - multimedia content in a specific domain; Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) - multimedia content in a specific domain; PRISM - periodical print publishing; Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers - Digital Cinema; NewsML - news agency content, print publishing.
OASIS believes that "typically each is focused on a specific market or media type", and that "none have addressed the need for interoperability of the components that manage the creation, distribution and consumption of this content from one system to a different system within and across these different domains". The purpose of this TC is to:
- continue work previously done by ContentGuard, Inc. on XrML to define an industry standard for a rights language that supports a wide variety of business models and has an architecture that provides the flexibility to address the needs of the diverse communities that have recognised the need for a rights language.
- define a governance and language extension development process for the language that comprehends maintaining an evergreen language while minimizing the impact of change on all market participants.
- define the relationship with other complementary standards efforts within OASIS (eg. SAML). Liaison with standards bodies external to OASIS that are working on complementary technologies (security, PKI, web services).
- define relationship and establish liaisons with standards bodies that have identified the need for a rights language.
ContentGuard will submit the eXtensible rights Markup Language (XrML) Version 2.0 at the initial meeting of the TC, though according to OASIS will continue to hold the copyrights to the XrML 2.0 specification and schema, along with a trademark on the name "XrML", and a number of US patents to related technologies. Further details on these, the relationship between the Rights Language TC and existing TCs, and the proposed list of deliverables are available from OASIS.
URL: news item http://www.oasis-open.org/news/oasis_news_04_02_02.shtml
URL: OASIS http://www.oasis-open.org
"Europe and culture" is a new EU culture portal which aims to provide easy access, free of charge, to information on the EU's many cultural measures, which was previously spread across various sources. The portal highlights the variety and scale of the EU's activities, which make it an important partner of the cultural sector.
The site is intended for all those who are active in the field of culture and anyone else who is interested. It lists the EU's cultural activities by type of action (eg. regulation, cooperation, international relations) and by type of activity (eg. music, dance, theatre, heritage). It also provides information on the European funding available and provides links to the sites of Culture Ministries and portals in the Member States and associate countries. Available in five languages (German, English, French, Spanish and Italian) the portal can be accessed via the European Commission's Europa web site by following links to the "Europe and Culture" portal.
Web-iq.com is described as a software research and development laboratory specialising in customised (XML/J2EE/.NET/GLUE/SOAP) software for developing corporate portal web services.
The ARTISTE prototype image search system is ready for trial and the project are requesting members of the AIUG (ARTISTE User Group) to log on and have a go. Readers of El.pub who are interested can join the AIUG very simply, by contacting Margaret Cecil-Wright. The database contains 1,000 images provided by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. It is a very varied selection of 2D and 3D objects ranging from Chinese watercolours through playing cards to chairs.
There are different ways to query the system, depending on your requirement, and different algorithms are used. Detailed instructions are given on the site, and the project are keen to get as much feedback from users as possible. To start users off, and give them practice using the system in different ways, three different scenarios have been suggested using: metadata based querying, metadata and image based querying, image based querying.
URL: ARTISTE prototype http://artiste.it-innovation.soton.ac.uk
Email: Margaret Cecil-Wright, AIUG Co-ordinator, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
URL: ARTISTE http://www.artisteweb.org
The Apache Xindice team have released Apache Xindice 1.0, the first production release of Apache Xindice, a native XML database. Full source code is available under the terms of the Apache Software License and downloads are available via the link below. Apache Xindice has been developed with the single purpose of providing "easy management of XML data". It is not intended as a competitor for relational databases or object databases. Xindice is primarily targeted at new application development where XML has already been determined to play a critical role.
The server is currently suitable for medium volume XML storage applications. It supports XPath for queries and XML:DB XUpdate for XML updates. An implementation of the XML:DB XML database API is provided for Java developers and access from other languages is enabled through the download of an XML-RPC plugin.
Formally known as dbXML, the dbXML source code was donated to the Apache Software Foundation in December 2001, the 1.0 release of Xindice represents the conclusion of the work undertaken by the dbXML project and the official commencement of new development on the Xindice code base. Future development will focus on improved performance, ACID properties, better standards support and better integration with other Apache projects.
URL: Apache Xindice http://xml.apache.org/xindice
URL: XML:DB Initiative http://www.xmldb.org
Acrobat Reader for Palm OS, version 2.0, is available in beta. The latest version aims to extend the use of Acrobat on PDAs using the Palm operating system, by enabling the viewing of pdf files created by Acrobat 5.0 software running on both Windows and Macintosh. The latest reader will also provide password protection of pdf files to be implemented on Palm handhelds.
URL: beta download http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/palmbeta.html
CreativeLearningLabs are running a free demonstration of the broadcast room capabilities in of its software demonstrated at it's educational portal - the "Learning Center". Follow the links to the Demo Room from the URL below, log into the Chat (ID="demo", Password="demo") then start the video presentation.
The company is marketing the the Broadcast room (a web site that integrates standard HTML and streaming video and audio) as an off-the-shelf solution for organisations wishing to develop what they term a "virtual education center".
URL: news http://www.creativelearninglabs.com/newsletter/newsletter.html
Microsoft on SOAP - an appraisal by a Microsoft-sponsored information service devoted to ASP developers which considers Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) the XML syntax for exchanging messages, created to enable application interoperability that is both language and platform independent.
MSXML 4 SP1 is now available and according to the company offers "a number of new features and improvements over the MSXML 3.0, including support for the XML Schema language and substantially faster parser and XSLT engine". MSXML 4.0 SP1 is a complete replacement for MSXML 4.0 RTM and provides a number of bug fixes. It can not replace MSXML 3.0, because some obsolete and non-conformant features are no longer supported. MSXML 4.0 installs side by side with MSXML 3.0 and earlier, without any interference.
VNET 5 - the user-centred design project funded by the IEP sector of the IST Programme have issued a call to all participants involved in projects in the Interactive Electronic Publishing domain to attend their workshop on user-centred design. The workshop, scheduled to take place in Lugano on 4-6 June 2002, is free of charge for IST project participants and will provide three days of coaching and hands-on experience in methods and tools for user-centred product creation and user validation planning.
"The vision of the IST program is user-centred." A user-centred approach is essential to create successful products. This workshop is a chance to help your project meet that vision by building key competences. Participants will gain a good understanding of:
- best-practice in user-centred product creation
- how to manage user validation in your project
- major steps involved
- real life examples
- hands-on experience of selected methods and tools.
If you would like to attend the workshop, or would like further information, please contact Elke-Maria Melchior, VNET5 Project Coordinator. To register send an email to the address below and include your name, project name and number, organisation, postal address, email, phone and fax numbers, stating which of the following issues you would prefer to concentrate on during the workshop (please choose up to 4 topics):
- User-centred product creation
- Getting started with user validation planning
- Managing user validation for projects in-progress
- User requirements analysis
- Inspection methods
- User testing
- User satisfaction measurements
- Other (please describe)
Email: workshop registration mailto:email@example.com
Email: Elke-Maria Melchior mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
URL: VNET5 http://www.vnet5.org
The MPEG-4 Industry Forum (M4IF) web site has a special page dedicated to MPEG-4 products and news gleaned from the NAB event in the USA. The Forum is also organising the 3rd Workshop and Exhibition on MPEG-4 (WEMP4), from 25-27 June in San Jose, USA, providing three days of tutorials by the authors of the MPEG-4 standard, including the latest developments in MPEG-4 in video, audio and systems; academic paper sessions covering implementation issues and MPEG-4 research; a dedicated MPEG-4-only exhibition.
URL: NAB http://www.m4if.org/exhibitions/NAB.php
URL: M4IF home page http://www.m4if.org/
URL: WEMP4 http://www.m4if.org/wemp2002/
Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox for March 31 is now online and contends that: "A core group of elite corporate research labs (and a few universities) defined the field of human-computer interaction and established much of whatever ease of use we now enjoy. With big labs disappearing, the future of HCI research is in jeopardy".
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