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on4bam

Remember when caches lived for more than 3 months?

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After updating my database I noticed that more and more caches have a short life these days.

 

Examples:

Published July 15th 2019 - Archived October 2nd 2019

Published July 17th 2019 - Archived September 28th 2019

Published August 3rd 2019 - Archived October 12th 2019

Published August 12th 2019 - Archived September 29th 2019 (Only DNFs)

Published August 24th 2019 - Archived October 18th 2019 (only DNFs)

Published August 18th 2019 - Archived October 2nd 2019 (20 DNFs + 1 Found it saying nothing was found)

Published August 28th 2019 - Archived October 6th 2019

 

And that's just today's update

Many of the caches that are archived lasted less than 18 months, one series lasted 7 months and is archived by the CO because "it has served it's time"

 

 

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In another thread I produced some statistics for my state and local region on the number of caches hidden each year and the percentage of those that have since been archived.

 

                                      --------------------- NSW ---------------------------------                ------------------ Central Coast ----------------------

Year published           Hidden     Remaining     Percent Archived               Hidden     Remaining     Percent Archived

        2000                         7                  4                         43%                                 0                  0

        2001                      121               34                        72%                                11                 4                         64%

        2002                      210               56                        73%                                 9                  3                         67%

        2003                      308               77                        75%                               17                  7                         59%

        2004                      385             120                        69%                               11                  7                         36%

        2005                      740             240                        68%                               50                10                         80%

        2006                      922             361                        61%                               64                31                         52%

        2007                      994             317                        68%                               69                16                         77%

        2008                      996             303                        70%                               51                13                         75%

        2009                    1448            488                         66%                              23                  7                          70%

        2010                    1783            672                         62%                              52                14                          73%

        2011                    2313            952                         59%                              60                16                          73%

        2012                    2752          1372                         50%                            230               42                           82%

        2013                    3182          1650                         48%                            130               41                           68%

        2014                    2699          1544                         43%                            174               72                           59%

        2015                    2695          1717                         36%                            166               86                           48%

        2016                    2952          2113                         28%                              82               49                           40%

        2017                    2000          1449                         28%                              62               48                           23%

        2018                    3083          2569                         17%                              80*             70*                         13%      *40 of these were geoart for the Oz Geomuster mega

        2019                    2591          2321                         10%                              17               14                           18%

 

For the state it looks like the median age is about seven years (half the caches hidden in that year have now been archived) and for my region it's about five. The latter is probably skewed by a cacher with over two hundred hides who archived and removed them all when she moved away from the area in 2017.

 

Looking at this year's figures, for the three in my region that have been archived, one was an event, one was a multi that the CO decided was too difficult so he archived it and created a traditional in its place, and the third lasted about four months before being washed away by a king tide.

 

I've sometimes wondered if some intentional turnover of caches might be a good thing, especially in highly saturated regions, as that could help prevent stagnation, but I think that ought to be after some number of years rather than months.

 

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I own 151 caches beginning from 2010 and haven't archived any caches yet.

 

7 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

I've sometimes wondered if some intentional turnover of caches might be a good thing, especially in highly saturated regions, as that could help prevent stagnation, but I think that ought to be after some number of years rather than months.

 

Give me one reason why this is a problem to be solved? Many players are trying to clear their territory and with guaranteed flow of new caches it is frustrating when you have to clear the same area again and again.

 

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1 hour ago, arisoft said:

I own 151 caches beginning from 2010 and haven't archived any caches yet.

 

 

Give me one reason why this is a problem to be solved? Many players are trying to clear their territory and with guaranteed flow of new caches it is frustrating when you have to clear the same area again and again.

 

 

I suspect one reason we lose players is they just run out of game to play. They 'clear out' their local area, and are left with little to do. We just tend to travel further (as do most on here I suspect) - but, I think the game loses a bunch of players this way. 

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We recently archived one of ours after a month (under a pedestrian bridge near some parks).... the container was pinched, leaving the log and pencil behind, and a hypodermic syringe left close by. We decided to not pursue that site any longer.....

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26 minutes ago, lee737 said:

I suspect one reason we lose players is they just run out of game to play

 

What game you are referring? Groudspeak advertices that there are millions on geocaches available. Not going to run out very soon for even the most prolific players.

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2 minutes ago, arisoft said:

 

What game you are referring? Groudspeak advertices that there are millions on geocaches available. Not going to run out very soon for even the most prolific players.

 

It depends. Millions of geocaches are unavailable for most players for practical reasons.

In my area there are plenty of caches to go after (37000 unfounds in Belgium) but I'm not interested in most of them for different reasons. Going back on topic, it looks like many of the short lived caches are just going to be replaced by similar caches in the same area by the same CO just to have an higher "placed caches" count.

 

 

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36 minutes ago, arisoft said:

 

What game you are referring? Groudspeak advertices that there are millions on geocaches available. Not going to run out very soon for even the most prolific players.

 

There may be millions of geocaches on the planet, and there might be lots of them in Europe and the USA, but there aren't very many around this neck of the woods. I wouldn't consider myself a terribly prolific player, with just over a thousand finds after six and a half years, but these are all the unfound caches I have in my region.

 

image.png.4f4caa46da45212446b0a52661fe4004.png

 

Not exactly millions, are there? And when they run out, when I eventually solve those D4 and D5 puzzles and resort to doing those front garden and shopping centre caches I've been avoiding, what then?

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42 minutes ago, on4bam said:

it looks like many of the short lived caches are just going to be replaced by similar caches in the same area by the same CO just to have an higher "placed caches" count.

 

And propably using a sock puppet CO to inflate the real player's find count. Churning is not allowed but it happens. Maybe the should be a waiting period before the archived cache position could be used again.

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19 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

these are all the unfound caches I have in my region.

 

Do you prefer to have a thousand caches power trail through you map republished every three months? :) I guess not but it is something that some players would do.

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14 minutes ago, arisoft said:

 

Do you prefer to have a thousand caches power trail through you map republished every three months? :) I guess not but it is something that some players would do.

 

Which is the lesser of two evils? A power trail or no caches at all? These are my own hides in the same region which I've been gradually putting out over the last six years. Five of them were published this year, the most recent a couple of weeks ago.

 

image.png.c2f02149169f8b286d4618c6a14e103d.png

 

If we had just a handful of other cachers in the region creating a similar rate of new hides, even if it's just enough to offset those caches that are archived through natural attrition, there wouldn't be a problem here.

 

Edited by barefootjeff

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6 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

If we had just a handful of other cachers in the region creating a similar rate of new hides, even if it's just enough to offset those caches that are archived through natural attrition, there wouldn't be a problem here.

 

I find your geocaching situation very healthy. It reminds something I experienced at the beginning of my hobby. Every cache was interesting enought to be found despite of the distance.

 

The game has evolved towards statistics and more caches has been placed to fullfill this demand instead of experience value for the players.

Edited by arisoft
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14 minutes ago, arisoft said:

 

I find your geocaching situation very healthy. It reminds someting I experienced at the beginning of my hobby. Every cache was interesting enought to be found despite of the distance.

 

The game has evolved towards statistics and more caches has been placed to fullfill this demand instead of experience value for the players.

 

These are all the new caches published here this year:

 

image.png.27bb11d85cbc9844bf7f8bb932206b19.png

 

Apart from mine, most of these were placed early in the year. Since then, the trickle has dried up to almost nothing. The game here isn't evolving towards statistics, it's evolving towards oblivion.

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5 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

The game here isn't evolving towards statistics, it's evolving towards oblivion.

 

I am sure you know that hiding a new cache takes more time than finding one. When you have exhausted your territory, I am sure that you start thinking about new caches and this way you can spent all available time for this hobby.

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17 hours ago, on4bam said:

After updating my database I noticed that more and more caches have a short life these days.

 

Published August 12th 2019 - Archived September 29th 2019 (Only DNFs)

Published August 24th 2019 - Archived October 18th 2019 (only DNFs)

Published August 18th 2019 - Archived October 2nd 2019 (20 DNFs + 1 Found it saying nothing was found)

5 hours ago, on4bam said:

it looks like many of the short lived caches are just going to be replaced by similar caches in the same area by the same CO just to have an higher "placed caches" count.

 

With the other 2/3rds no longer caching because of "beta testing" newb hides never placed, or coordinates so far off that no one else bothered to look,  I don't notice whether they're around or not anymore.   :)  

That area of the hobby was a pain-in-the-can as long as we can remember,  and I'm happy that it isn't an issue any longer (for us), by simply not doing them.

 

We saw a couple "team" accounts do that for some time. 

 - Place hides on a long trail, archive after six-to-eight months, stagger the trail, rinse n repeat.

A few years later they'd load an entire trail somewhere, archive after six months, and leave that area to saturate another.  

Now they don't hide at all...  

I was heading to some of them simply for the long walk in the woods  (not found with many today).

 

 

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Some COs definitely like to churn, but there is also quite a bit of caches getting muggled after a few months and not being replaced. Especially true of newbie COs. Maybe data shows otherwise, but I suspect the average lifespan of hide #1 is much less than hide #10. Even factoring for inexperience, many caches these days are in urban areas where they are more likely to get muggled, especially compared to a decade ago.

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7 hours ago, arisoft said:

I find your geocaching situation very healthy.

 

How is it healthy when it's not growing?  There are places where caching isn't nearly as prevalent, either for finders or hiders.  It seems that Jeff's area is one such place.

 

7 hours ago, arisoft said:

When you have exhausted your territory, I am sure that you start thinking about new caches and this way you can spent all available time for this hobby.

 

It's my guess that most of us got into geocaching to find caches, not just hide caches.  I don't know anyone who only hides caches and doesn't find any.  If that's what I have to look forward to, I'd stop geocaching.  It would be no fun if all you were able to do was hide and never find unless you were taking a trip.

 

8 hours ago, arisoft said:

Do you prefer to have a thousand caches power trail through you map republished every three months?

 

I'm sure that's not his preference either but I think he'd rather have that than nothing.  Why must that be his only choice?

 

 

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As to the original post, at least in my area, many of the areas that could ably hide a container are already taken, leaving only areas that are more prone to discovery of the cache.  I don't see the same trend here in my area but that doesn't mean it's not happening.  We get the usual short term players who are infatuated, find a few and hide one or two and then leave the game, but they're not the prevalent COs in the area.  

 

I'm wondering how much the automated maintenance protocols in play (CHS) are shortening the life span of caches as well.  I'd be very surprised if they find many 3 month caches in need but I'm betting that they catch many at an earlier stage than used to be singled out for maintenance than in the past, thereby shortening the life span.

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1 hour ago, coachstahly said:

It's my guess that most of us got into geocaching to find caches, not just hide caches.

 

This is not the intended way to play. Some players spend more time for hiding caches than finding caches. Generally, players who find lot of caches are avoiding to make new caches, because it takes time for finding new caches. Some players are active both ways.

 

This hobby is about placing and finding caches. When someone is telling that there is not enough caches of some type or generally, I kindly ask them to make more caches that they are willing to see. It is so simple.

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, arisoft said:

This hobby is about placing and finding caches. When someone is telling that there is not enough caches of some type or generally, I kindly ask them to make more caches that they are willing to see. It is so simple.

 

I can hide as many caches as I like, even create power trails if I'm so inclined (I'm not), but it won't result in there being any more caches for me to find. Instead I'd just end up with a bunch more caches to maintain that no-one else is interested in finding. My very first cache in 2013 was published at 5:47pm and had six finders that night, but with a new cache here now it can be the best part of a week (or even more) before someone from Sydney decides the temptation for a FTF makes it worth the drive up to the Central Coast. The 2/3 traditional I hid back in February (GC831AR) has still only had 7 finds and most of those have been by visitors from Sydney or Newcastle.

 

This month I've found 8 caches, 3 of them around Maitland (100km north of here) when I was attending an event there and the other 5 in Sydney on day trips down there. I have to go right back to August to see a cache I've found that was actually in my region.

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1 minute ago, barefootjeff said:

I can hide as many caches as I like, even create power trails if I'm so inclined (I'm not), but it won't result in there being any more caches for me to find. Instead I'd just end up with a bunch more caches to maintain that no-one else is interested in finding.

 

A quote from the Geocaching history: "If you hide it, they will come" :rolleyes:

 

I quess that part of your problem is the fact that there are too many attractive (=easy) caches somewhere else. Same happens everywhere. Indeed, rural caches have fewer visitors. Some cache owners or groups have tried to make these rural caches more attractive by placing a notable power trail or many of them. Finders tend to evaluate the find count compared to the effort and instead of visiting some random caches scattered near their home coordinates they may prefer to find a powertrail far away. Your only hope may be the powertail :huh:

 

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23 minutes ago, arisoft said:

A quote from the Geocaching history: "If you hide it, they will come"

 

They lied.

 

It's not just me either. Six weeks ago, a new cache on the Sydney side of the Hawkesbury River, GC8DA8F, was published but it's only had two finders, the FTF and me. A few years back, a kayaking cache like that would've had a dozen finders by now.

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2 hours ago, arisoft said:

 

I quess that part of your problem is the fact that there are too many attractive (=easy) caches somewhere else. 

 

 

Yep - if you subtracted the local power trails out of my already measly inbox, it might just drop below 3 figures.....

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14 hours ago, arisoft said:

 

A quote from the Geocaching history: "If you hide it, they will come" :rolleyes:

 

I quess that part of your problem is the fact that there are too many attractive (=easy) caches somewhere else. Same happens everywhere. Indeed, rural caches have fewer visitors. Some cache owners or groups have tried to make these rural caches more attractive by placing a notable power trail or many of them. Finders tend to evaluate the find count compared to the effort and instead of visiting some random caches scattered near their home coordinates they may prefer to find a powertrail far away. Your only hope may be the powertail :huh:

 

 

How do you know what his caching community is like?  He's laid it out pretty well but it appears you aren't understanding.  Also, if you hide something, it in no way guarantees that people will hide them in the same locale as where they find them. Sure, I get people to visit my area for my caches but they certainly don't hide any caches in my area just because they find mine.  The only ones who do that are the ones that live close enough to me to place new caches and, like Jeff, it appears that my area is currently on the downtrend as there have only been two new hiders in my vicinity. Unlike Jeff, though, I'm fortunate enough to have plenty of cachers within a 30 minute drive who continue to place new caches for me to find, should I wish.  They're just not typically the kind of caches I like to find.

 

You keep pointing out a power trail as the solution but who's going to hide it?  Jeff? Do you honestly believe that cachers will visit his area, find the PT caches, and then hide some in his area because they feel like placing a cache that they can't maintain properly?  That's an unrealistic expectation.

 

It's a twofold issue in his area.  Not many active cachers live in the area where Jeff lives so there aren't many finds on his hides and there aren't active cachers to place new caches.  A power trail isn't going to address either of those situations.

 

15 hours ago, arisoft said:

This is not the intended way to play.

 

What?  Finding and hiding caches isn't the intended way to play?  Since when?

 

15 hours ago, arisoft said:

This hobby is about placing and finding caches.

 

And then you go and say this, which is the exact same thing I said but apparently you believe it's not the intended way to play (see above).  You're not making much sense or you completely missed my point.

 

15 hours ago, arisoft said:

When someone is telling that there is not enough caches of some type or generally, I kindly ask them to make more caches that they are willing to see. It is so simple.

 

That still doesn't solve the issue for other cachers placing caches for Jeff to find.  Nor does it really solve the issue for the one complaining.  If there aren't lots of multis for me to find,  you're telling me to hide more multis.  Where, then, are the multis placed by other COs for me to find?  I typically hide mostly non-traditional caches but it certainly doesn't translate to more non-traditional caches being placed by others for me to go find.  

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On 10/27/2019 at 6:26 PM, lee737 said:

 

Yep - if you subtracted the local power trails out of my already measly inbox, it might just drop below 3 figures.....

 

It's ok. Most of us understood your original point. No idea why someone is being so argumentative. Must not have many caches to find in the area.

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On 10/26/2019 at 11:27 PM, on4bam said:

After updating my database I noticed that more and more caches have a short life these days.

 

I'm seeing this more often.  It is normally not as blatant as "This cache has served its purpose," but certainly situations that used to just call for owner maintenance/replacement now more often end up in the cache being archived and a new one being placed nearby.

 

That said - I had to move a cache this morning and created a new listing, rather than updating the coordinates.  But the overall nature of the cache had changed - tree harvesting activity on one side of the trail made that area very hard to traverse, the original hide was much trickier to find, and the nature of the forest on one side of the trail (neatly managed, regularly harvested spruce grove) is completely different from the other side (hardwood forest, not managed).  It doesn't appear that they are harvesting trees anywhere else in the series, so the other caches in the area will (hopefully) remain unchanged for another eight months or so until we move again.

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On 11/4/2019 at 10:25 PM, hzoi said:

I'm seeing this more often.  It is normally not as blatant as "This cache has served its purpose," but certainly situations that used to just call for owner maintenance/replacement now more often end up in the cache being archived and a new one being placed nearby

 

This is kind of the situation I'm currently in. Checking one of my older caches this morning, GC5P0CE hidden in March 2015, I discovered that a substantial spiky bush has died and fallen right across the "easy" access path to GZ. My initial thought was to wait for a cooler day then head up there with a long-sleeved shirt, gardening gloves and pruning tools to clear away the worst of it, but then I started to wonder if I would really just be propping up a dead horse, so to speak.

 

DeadBush.jpg.d5cfae70bbce6f6d0c7cfb5d9a1ed7bf.jpg

 

The cache does have a bit of history. Originally I was going to place a traditional called Elephant in the Room at what is now WP1 on Elephant Rock, and when I spoke to the national park ranger he said it looked okay, but it was subsequently rejected due to a registered Aboriginal site in the vicinity. Some months later I was telling the story at an event and a mate suggested I use the location as a virtual waypoint in a multi, with the final outside the park, and, with a suitable hiding place found in a triangle of bushland between Patonga Drive and the park boundary, so was born The Elephant has Left the Room. The cache has had 21 finds in its almost five years, with 12 FPs, but that's now dwindled away to just one find in the last two and a bit years. There's probably only one active cacher left in my region who hasn't already found it but he's shown no interest in any of my other bushland caches (all of his hides are urban P&Gs) so the chances of it getting any more finds in the foreseeable future are pretty slim.

 

On the other hand, if I do archive it, the chance of anyone else using the location for a new cache is essentially zero, as I'm the only one with any caches at all in the Patonga area now. What to do...

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1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

 

This is kind of the situation I'm currently in. Checking one of my older caches this morning, GC5P0CE hidden in March 2015, I discovered that a substantial spiky bush has died and fallen right across the "easy" access path to GZ. My initial thought was to wait for a cooler day then head up there with a long-sleeved shirt, gardening gloves and pruning tools to clear away the worst of it, but then I started to wonder if I would really just be propping up a dead horse, so to speak.

 

DeadBush.jpg.d5cfae70bbce6f6d0c7cfb5d9a1ed7bf.jpg

 

The cache does have a bit of history. Originally I was going to place a traditional called Elephant in the Room at what is now WP1 on Elephant Rock, and when I spoke to the national park ranger he said it looked okay, but it was subsequently rejected due to a registered Aboriginal site in the vicinity. Some months later I was telling the story at an event and a mate suggested I use the location as a virtual waypoint in a multi, with the final outside the park, and, with a suitable hiding place found in a triangle of bushland between Patonga Drive and the park boundary, so was born The Elephant has Left the Room. The cache has had 21 finds in its almost five years, with 12 FPs, but that's now dwindled away to just one find in the last two and a bit years. There's probably only one active cacher left in my region who hasn't already found it but he's shown no interest in any of my other bushland caches (all of his hides are urban P&Gs) so the chances of it getting any more finds in the foreseeable future are pretty slim.

 

On the other hand, if I do archive it, the chance of anyone else using the location for a new cache is essentially zero, as I'm the only one with any caches at all in the Patonga area now. What to do...

Clear the bush :)

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5 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

There's probably only one active cacher left in my region who hasn't already found it but he's shown no interest in any of my other bushland caches (all of his hides are urban P&Gs) so the chances of it getting any more finds in the foreseeable future are pretty slim.

 

There are some of us up here who are planning more Central Coast trips Jeff.... :)

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18 minutes ago, lee737 said:

There are some of us up here who are planning more Central Coast trips Jeff.... :)

 

I'll get the gardening gloves out then :).

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I reckon any cacher worth their salt could crawl under that mini-bush though....

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7 hours ago, lee737 said:

I reckon any cacher worth their salt could crawl under that mini-bush though....

I carry a trail maintenance kit that includes clippers, machete and folding saw.  I've used it clear blackberry brambles,  branches and small trees from trails - earlier this year I used to clear a small tree fallen onto the road.

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12 hours ago, lee737 said:

I reckon any cacher worth their salt could crawl under that mini-bush though....

 

With an overnight cool change dropping the temperature to 17C, I donned the long-sleeved shirt and gardening gloves and went to work with the pruning saw and, yes, I've cleared a crawl space through, enough that I won't have to raise the T rating.

 

DSC_0240.jpg.b10728e7e147b986f325d95b9846b23d.jpg

 

Don't let anyone ever think I don't maintain my caches :P.

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3 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

 

Don't let anyone ever think I don't maintain my caches :P.

 

Never a doubt in my mind - and I hope, if we ever get to visit the land down under, that we can find a few of your hides, Jeff! We may not ever qualify as nemophilists, but your hides would certainy help us along the way!!  

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