September 11, 2012

In this issue…

People on the Move

Guest Management Systems


Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning

Guest Services

Back Office


Communications / Infrastructure


AUGUST 22 – SEPTEMBER 11, 2012


  • Ameranth joins Apple in exploiting a broken US Patent system

It seems to me that if the recent Apple vs. Samsung patent dispute highlighted anything at all it was the sad state of the US Patent Office, which apparently issued patents for the most obvious concepts quite clearly already in existence from other vendors, some of which were demonstrated in court. Apple’s core design patent on the iPhone covers a large, rectangular screen on a handheld device with rounded corners. Really? What other shape would you use to display documents, photographs or tables of information on a device that’s intended to be carried in your pocket? What’s next, patenting the shape of a book? Another of Apple’s patents covered snapback, a user interface feature that has been taught in computer graphics courses for 10 years, according to testimony at the trial.
The effectiveness of a jury in these trials also comes under suspicion, as witness (apart from their ignoring the courtroom demonstration) their delivery of verdicts in just three days despite having 109 pages of jury instructions to absorb before filling out a 700-plus-item questionnaire. Did they have any real understanding of what they were being asked to decide? Did they even discuss it? It’s telling that they denied all of Samsung’s claims, which concerned the inner workings of the software (managing battery life, multitasking, etc.) rather than aesthetics. As columnist Robert X. Cringely observed, it’s apparently easier to decide whether something has rounded corners.
Even sadder is that this blight has also come to the hospitality business courtesy of POS vendor Ameranth, which, having failed to sell its own POS systems in any meaningful quantity, is now pursuing patent infringement lawsuits against a remarkable range of companies. This includes both vendors (Micros, PAR, OpenTable, Agilysys, Travelocity, Kayak, Hotwire, Expedia, Orbitz,, Hoteltonight, Ticketmaster, Stubhub, Fandango and others) and operators (including Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt, Starwood and Best Western).
Ameranth seems to be claiming invention of just about anything to do with synchronizing wireless handheld POS terminals, central servers and Web pages – even in this age of exaggeration its hyperbolic press releases are quite remarkable – and states that digital wireless communication devices had not previously been adapted for wide-scale use in the hospitality industry. This is clearly not true; when I was at Westin Hotels we were using Micros wireless handhelds for restaurant ordering at least three years before Ameranth filed its patent application in 1999, and Remanco equivalents were easy to find in local restaurants.  Later Ameranth claims involve logical extensions of this concept such as to cover drive-through ordering and signature capture. It all sounds remarkably similar to Apple’s attempt to gather together several existing travel application concepts and patent them as “iTravel”. Maybe a lawyer could point out what I’m missing here on the concept of “invention”.
I guess the moral is clear: if you can hoodwink the US Patent Office into granting you rights to something despite the clear existence of prior art, it would be almost un-American not to try to screw every last cent out of anyone you can conceivably accuse of “infringement.”
Just don’t expect any respect to go along with your dollars.

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  • Jennifer Sampson promoted to VP Product Management at Pegasus Financial Services
  • David Goldstone joins Quadriga as Group Sales Director
  • Erin Winternheimer hired by FairBridge Hotels International as Systems Interface Specialist
  • Beth Carey joins KoolConnect as Senior Vice President of Strategic Sales
  • Bill Murphy named CIO at Hilton

Jennifer Sampson has been promoted to vice president, product management at Pegasus Financial Services. A 13-year veteran of Pegasus, Ms. Sampson has served as operations manager, product manager, director and senior director of products, and implementations manager. Before joining Pegasus, she worked as the assistant director of marketing at the ANA Hotel in Washington, D.C. and was a lead systems analyst at Visual One in Gaithersburg, MD.
David Goldstone has joined Quadriga as Group Sales Director. With 18 years of industry experience, Mr. Goldstone most recently spent six years as Vice President of Sales and Hotel Relations with LodgeNet Entertainment. He had earlier served as Group Vice President of Sales for On Command Corp. and National Sales Manager for Panasonic.
Erin Winternheimer has been hired by FairBridge Hotels International in Spokane, WA as systems interface specialist, a position designed to streamline the interactions between the several systems used to present hotel room inventory to travelers.  Before joining FairBridge, Ms. Winternheimer oversaw implementation and distribution operations for Magnuson Hotels, and over her 20+ year career has also worked with Shilo Inn, Hampton Inn and Super 8 franchises.
Beth Carey has joined KoolConnect as Senior Vice President of Strategic Sales.  Ms. Carey most recently served as Director of Major Accounts for nine years at LodgeNet; she had earlier worked with STSN (now iBAHN), AT&T/TCI Cablevision and Spectravision.
Bill Murphy has been named as Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Hilton Worldwide; he had served as the company’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO) since early 2012. Before joining Hilton Mr. Murphy was senior vice president and Chief Technology Officer of Travelport, and had earlier enjoyed a 22-year career at Perot Systems and Electronic Data Systems (EDS) in a variety of leadership positions.

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  • Agilysys to hold user conference in Orlando, Fla from Feb. 4-6, 2013
  • Cheval Residences  implements protel’s MPE from Xn Hotel Systems at six properties
  • Peabody Hotels upgrades to Infor’s HMS at three properties
  • City Nites chooses Infor’s HMS for 93 apartments in London and Birmingham, UK
  • City and Country Hotels picks Guestline for its four Bespoke Hotels
  • IDS NEXT celebrates 25th anniversary, releases FortuneNEXT6i, other systems

Agilysys has announced it will hold its Insight 2013 user conference at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Fla from Feb. 4-6, 2013.  (
Cheval Residences has implemented protel’s Multi-Property Edition (MPE) from Xn Hotel Systems for its six properties in Central London. (,
Peabody Hotels has selected Infor’s Hotel Management System (HMS) for its three properties (The Peabody Orlando, The Peabody Memphis and The Peabody Little Rock), upgrading from Infor’s epitome system. Peabody plans to eventually implement Infor’s mobile check-In application to provide enhanced guest service from anywhere in the hotel.
City Nites has chosen Infor’s HMS and Hotel Check-In for the Apple iPad for its 93 apartments in London and Birmingham, UK, a total which is set to double over the next 12 months.
City and Country Hotels has selected Guestline for its portfolio of properties, which are operated and managed by Bespoke Hotels and include The Wellesley London, Number Ten Manchester Street (also in London), the Royal Hotel in Cardiff and Wyck Hill House Hotel in the Cotswolds. Modules to be implemented include Guestline’s Web-based Guest Management System (GMS), which includes Conference and Banqueting, Business Analysis Reporting, Sales Ledger, Rate Management and cross-selling functionality, plus Guestline’s Distribution Channel Manager and PCI Compliance module. (,
IDS NEXT is celebrating its 25th anniversary. It was founded by Suresh John and Vissal Mathews and began delivering financial applications in 1987; the company currently offers a fully comprehensive hotel management system which includes software, hardware, maintenance and manpower support.
To commemorate its anniversary IDS NEXT has launched several products including FortuneNEXT6i, a new version of its enterprise solution that is iPad and iOS ready, a smart energy management solution and IDS NEXT Advantage Academy, a training academy for its growing customer base. IDS NEXT has also launched Envy, an integrated mobility system for the hospitality industry.

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  • Oriens upgrades its Online Booking System
  • New World Hotels picks Sabre for seven hotels
  • Amadeus opens new ‘energy annex’ at data processing center in Erding
  • El Cortez Hotel and Casino signs with Genares for distribution services

Oriens Travel & Hotel Management has completed upgrades to its Online Booking System, which is now capable of handling over a thousand reservations per minute, can power an unlimited number of individual hotel websites as well as the company’s corporate website and includes an integrated mobile App. A Facebook App is also being coded into the system. (,
Hong Kong-based New World Hotels has chosen Sabre Hospitality Solutions for reservations services for its seven hotels located in Ho Chi Minh City, Manila, Dalian, Shanghai, Wuhan, Shenyang and Shunde.  (,
Amadeus has opened a new ‘energy annex’ at its global data processing center in Erding, near Munich, Germany.  The annex will roughly double the data center’s overall power and cooling capability, and includes three new standalone diesel UPS generators and two new cooling machines. (
The El Cortez Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas signed with Genares for GDS and IDS distribution services. (,

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  • Vizergy named to Inc. 5000 for second consecutive year
  • Fairmont Kea Lani launches digital portal from Virtual Visit Presentations
  • Digital Alchemy partners with Evision Worldwide
  • Circos Brand Karma announces availability of Blackbook reputation management reports
  • Pelican Hotel Solutions launches Integrated Email Marketing
  • Hospitality Marketing Concepts expands CLUBHOTEL network to Australia and New Zealand
  • TravelClick receives 22 Interactive Media Awards (IMA)

Vizergy has been named to the 2012 Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest Growing Companies, for the second consecutive year. (
The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui has launched a digital portal from Virtual Visit Presentations, including photography and interactive maps for remote site inspections. (,
Digital Alchemy has partnered with Evision Worldwide, combining Digital Alchemy’s cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) and e-marketing tools with Evision’s web design and development, search marketing, content development, online distribution strategy and analytics reporting.  Each company’s clients will have direct access to the services of the other. The PERRY South Beach Hotel, Resort and Spa is the pilot property for the combined marketing mix. (,,
Circos Brand Karma has announced the availability of its Blackbook reports, which provide on-demand analyses of the online reputation of destinations and individual hotels, in two editions. The Market Blackbook analyzes the top 20 hotels within a given destination, ranked according to their social media presence, share-of-voice and overall satisfaction in online reviews, and are currently available for Bangkok, Shanghai, and Singapore. The Hotel Blackbook profiles an individual hotel with a detailed scorecard summarizing reviews, social network postings, photos and videos by month, product, service and emotional trends, and monthly performance vs. the market. Hotel Blackbooks are currently available for the 200 most-reviewed hotels in Bangkok, Beijing, Dubai, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, New York, Rio di Janeiro, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, and Tokyo. The reports are generated entirely from public online content as collected and analyzed by Brand Karma. (
Pelican Hotel Solutions has launched its Integrated Email Marketing, offering pre-arrival greetings and post-departure appreciations, upselling messages such as for room upgrades and add-on amenities/activities, customer surveys and hotel promotional campaign updates. Both content and design are fully customizable; an automated delivery system enables hotels to schedule automatic email delivery at specified dates and times. (
Hospitality Marketing Concepts (HMC) has expanded its CLUBHOTEL network to Australia and New Zealand. The program is currently offered at over 720 luxury hotels in 52 countries; its primary focus is to generate recurring F&B and room revenue for partner hotels from local SME markets not reached by hotel sales department and frequent guest programs. (,
TravelClick has received 22 Interactive Media Awards (IMA), more than twice as many as for last year and including
six “Best in Class” and 16 “Outstanding Achievement” awards.  (

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  • Kingsley by Thistle implements EzRMS
  • Bespoke Hotels designates SiteMinder as its recommended distribution service
  • Hcloo announces three products to support mobile channel revenue strategies
  • Rainmaker listed in the Inc. 5000 for second consecutive year
  • Macdonald Hotels & Resorts installing IDeaS RMS across 40-hotel portfolio
  • Beijing Capital Airport Tourism Company (BCAT) using IDeaS’ consulting services

The 129-room Kingsley by Thistle (formerly the Thistle Bloomsbury) in London has implemented EasyRMS’ EzRMS suite. (,
Bespoke Hotels has designated SiteMinder as its recommended service to link its properties in the UK, Europe, Thailand and the Caribbean to major booking sites, with reservations passed directly back to the properties’ guest management systems. (,
Hcloo has announced three products to support revenue strategies for mobile channels:
– Rate Cloos: a Rate Shopping Tool for hotel room rates on major Mobile Applications.
– H-App: a customizable white-label Mobile App for Hotels.
– DORM Zone: a resource for Revenue Managers that includes a forum to discuss strategy and a library of tools and best practices.
The Rainmaker Group has been listed in the Inc. 5000 for the second consecutive year, ranking at # 2222, a 31 percent jump from last year. (
Macdonald Hotels & Resorts is installing IDeaS Revenue Solutions’ Revenue Management System (RMS) across its 40-hotel portfolio.
The Beijing Capital Airport Tourism Company (BCAT) is using IDeaS’ consulting services to help ramp up its revenue management capabilities. BCAT, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Capital Airports Holding Company, manages eight hotels and resorts in Beijing, China. Two BCAT properties, the Langham Palace Beijing Capital Airport and the Hilton Beijing Capital Airport have deployed the IDeaS RMS. IDeaS consulting services include a revenue management workshop, a comprehensive process audit and performance analysis for three hotels, and a provision of Virtual Revenue Management services to King Wing Hotel and RGHCM Garden Resort of BCAT.

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  • Lanyon adds 23 new clients this year, and expands services of 19 more
  • Calvin L. Rampton Salt Palace Convention Center and South Towne Exposition Center sign with PSAV
  • Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board picks Passkey’s GroupMAX ME

Lanyon has announced a significant number of new and expanded customer contracts since the beginning of 2012. Twenty three new customers have selected Lanyon to support their corporate RFP management process, in locations that include Belgium, Germany, Hungary, India, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, United Kingdom, UAE and USA. Further, 19 existing customers added hotels and/or more services to their existing Lanyon services. (
Salt Lake’s Calvin L. Rampton Salt Palace Convention Center and South Towne Exposition Center have contracted with PSAV Presentation Services to be its preferred onsite event technology partner. (,
The Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board has selected Passkey’s GroupMAX ME event housing management.   (,

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  • Peninsula Hong Kong unveils HK$450 million room enhancement program, new guest technology
  • Four Seasons introduces several mobile services
  • Intelity announces LaunchPort inductive charging and mounting option for iPads
  • Intelity celebrates 5-year anniversary
  • FCS appoints HKT as Value Business Partner in Hong Kong
  • Sunbeam announces Elite CR1003 Clock Radio with voice guidance for alarm setting
  • MVI launches Mobile Device Management at L’Hotel élan
  • ARINC Managed Services introduces microFIDS Plus flight information console
  • Guestware nominates CADD Emirates as sales and support partner in India and the Middle East
  • Roomlinx signs five year programming and marketing agreement with DISH Network
  • Neesa Leisure signs with US-based IPTV provider TiVUS for CAMBAY Hotels & Resorts in India
  • TiVUS starts operations in Asia Pacific, initially based in New Delhi
  • Accor to offer free basic Internet access at all properties in Asia Pacific region within next four months

The Peninsula Hong Kong has unveiled the first phase of its HK$450 million room enhancement program, which includes new interior design and new guest technology. In-room enhancements include:
– Interactive digital touch-screen tablets in five languages (English, French, Traditional and Simplified Chinese and Japanese) for room controls, signage and hotel information.
– Control of all in-room functions from bedside and desk tablets and wall panels, with access to in-room dining menus, hotel services, streaming television, Internet TV and radio, mood lighting, curtains, temperature and more.
– Complimentary long-distance VoIP phone calls (also available from the hotel’s fleet of Rolls-Royce cars).
– An audio-visual center with a 46-inch flat-screen LED television (55-inch in all suites) with Internet TV, iPod/iPad docking station, memory-card reader and sound-bar surround-sound speaker system.
– Wireless connection to personal electronic devices and an all-in-one printer/copier/scanner/fax.
– LED touch-screen panels on the bathroom wall and bath-side, with terrestrial and Internet TV/radio and a Spa button for a soothing integrated light and sound program.
Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts is introducing several mobile services:
– All house cars and contracted limo services worldwide will offer complimentary Wi-Fi connections by October 1. Cars may also be equipped with iPads offering hotel information such as dining and spa menus, and multi-adapter device chargers.
– A “Meetings on Wheels” pilot program has been launched at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, using an eight-passenger Mercedes van equipped with two plasma screens, electrical outlets and unlimited Wi-Fi. Initially developed for groups conducting road shows around the city, other groups have also started using it.
– Skype check-in from the car for guests en route to the Beverly Wilshire and Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica , among others. Guests can now connect live with hotel staff to check in, book restaurant and spa reservations and order room service, and are greeted with their key by the same staff member they spoke to on Skype.
– iPad access from cars and guestrooms to review and book dining options, room service menus, spa treatments and other services.
– At the Four Seasons Hotel Doha, an iPad application connects guests to a live concierge via Bluetooth speakerphone.
– At the Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole, wildlife tour guides use an iPad to show maps and migration pictures, and take photographs guests can take home as souvenirs.
Intelity has announced a LaunchPort inductive charging and mounting option for iPads, comprising a sleeve for either a third-generation iPad or an iPad 2, and either a BaseStation for desktop use or a WallStation for wall application. The magnetic mounting allows users to rotate the iPad 360 degrees while it is attached to the Station; the iPads can still be used while they are charging.
Intelity is celebrating its 5-year anniversary.
FCS Computer Systems has appointed HKT as a Value Business Partner in Hong Kong. HKT will provide FCS’ full suite of hospitality products to the Hong Kong market. (
Sunbeam has announced its Elite CR1003 Clock Radio, which includes Voice, Nap Timer, USB charger, Radio Seek, an iPod dock and a white noise generator. The alarm-setting system incorporates spoken guidance that walks users through the necessary steps to set the alarm time and sound, and then confirms the guest’s alarm settings. The Daily Alarm Reset ensures guests won’t wake up to a previous guest’s alarm. (
Asian hotel technology provider MVI has launched its Mobile Device Management (MDM) service to help hotels manage, secure, track, configure and support smart mobile devices. With partner IBM, MVI has implemented MDM at the L’Hotel élan, which recently opened in Hong Kong and provides iPads for guest use in all 250 rooms. The iPads offer eGuest services such as TV channels and in-room dining, integrated with hotel GMS and POS systems.  MDM also includes:
– Customized workflow to streamline the installation of hotels’ managed apps on mobile device
– Comprehensive push-based notification management
– Device tracking and location-based messaging within hotel premises
– Customized workflow to reinstate mobile devices during the check-in/out process
– Protection of guests’ own data and personal information for apps that required login
– Remote management of all hotel features, including VOD, TV channels and interactive services
– Dashboard management console enabling individual management of each hotel device
– Availability for all Apple mobile devices, limited availability for Android devices.
ARINC Managed Services has introduced its microFIDS Plus, which offers flight information in a compact format for hotels, car rental facilities, shuttle buses, airport concessions or passenger areas where conventional flight information displays aren’t feasible and includes both enhanced graphics for customization of concierge information kiosks and facial recognition capability for smart targeting of ads. (
Guestware has nominated Dubai-based CADD Emirates as its sales and support partner in India and the Middle East.  CADD Emirates has offices in Dubai and Doha, and a support center in New Delhi, India. (,
Roomlinx has signed a five year programming and marketing agreement with DISH Network, allowing Roomlinx to deliver 40+ channels of HD programming and DISH’s interactive marketing to guests at participating Hyatt hotels via the Roomlinx iTV platform. Future plans include allowing existing DISH customers to access their home subscription package via a Sling Adapter.  (,,
Neesa Leisure Ltd. (NLL), which owns and operates hotels in India under the CAMBAY Hotels & Resorts flag, has signed with US-based IPTV provider TiVUS, making it TiVUS’ first Indian client.
TiVUS recently announced it has started operations in the Asia Pacific region for its ad-insertion technology platform. Asia Pacific operations will initially be based in New Delhi, India.
Accor has announced that all its properties in the Asia Pacific region will offer free basic Internet access within the next four months, with bandwidth-heavy usage (e.g. Skype or streaming movies) available at a price. (

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  • Infor releases Infor10 EAM Hospitality Edition asset management application

Infor has released Infor10 EAM Hospitality Edition asset management application, which offers multi-property systems management, work order functions, integrated purchasing, centralized call centers and scheduling tools. It also allows properties to incorporate the consumption, costs, and environmental impact of natural resources—water, air, gas, electricity, and steam—into an asset management strategy to reduce costs and help achieve Energy Star standards.  Other functions include:
– Tools for guest incident management and rapid response
– Real-time scheduled maintenance, predictive maintenance, and accurate warranty and repair records.
– Mobile workforce tools allowing personnel to access and record maintenance information, conduct inspections and track inventory.
– Support for green initiatives and asset sustainability.
– Risk management and regulatory compliance tracking.
– Real-time preventive maintenance alerts .
– Fleet management maintenance and repair schedules.

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  • Boston Hostel uses QR code stickers to educate guests on environmental initiatives in each part of the building
  • Madison hotel installs VingCard Elsafe’s Orion energy management, Signature RFID locks and VISIONLINE network

The recently opened 480-bed Hostel in downtown Boston helps guests take a “green” tour of the property with their smartphones, using hundreds of QR code stickers that, when scanned by a guest’s smartphone, launch a web page describing the environmental initiatives in that part of the building. Guided tours are also offered twice weekly. The Boston hostel expects to earn at least LEED Silver for its many green accomplishments in the winter months. (
The 356-room Madison hotel in Washington, D.C. has installed VingCard Elsafe’s Orion energy management system and Signature RFID Online locks, supported by its VISIONLINE wireless network software, as part of a major renovation. Orion automatically assumes control of ambient temperature when guestrooms are unoccupied and resumes the preset temperature settings upon guests’ return. Orion also interfaces with the hotel’s guest management system to pre-condition the room upon guest check-in and automatically engage enhanced energy savings mode upon check-out. (,

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  • Hutton Hotel selects Percipia’s PARALLAX to enhance guestroom phone service and voice mail
  • Queens Moat Houses renews contact with Swisscom for next three years

The 247-room Hutton Hotel, Nashville, TN has selected Percipia Networks’ PARALLAX application to enhance its guestroom phone service and voice mail.  PARALLAX allows guests to see who from their group has checked in and to call them with the push of a button, as well as send targeted messages to group members via a text application. It also provides guests with hotel and local information based on their preferences, and is multilingual. (, )
Queens Moat Houses has renewed its contact with Swisscom Hospitality Services for wired and wireless high-speed Internet access, conference and business center services at all its hotels for the next three years. Swisscom will manage all guest-facing data networks at the 18 hotels in the UK and 20 hotels in Germany (many under the Holiday Inn and Best Western brands) as well as 19 Bilderberg hotels in The Netherlands. Swisscom will act as single point of contact for all network-related issues, whether in guestrooms, meeting rooms or public areas. (,

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  • Madison Hotel, Washington, D.C. installs VingCard Elsafe’s Signature RFID locks, Orion energy management, VISIONLINE network
  • Mandarin Oriental Miami scores 98.8% on security audit after upgrading InvoTech SAMS Security System

The 356-room Madison hotel in Washington, D.C. has installed VingCard Elsafe’s Signature RFID Online locks and Orion energy management system, supported by its VISIONLINE wireless network software, as part of a major renovation. Orion automatically assumes control of ambient temperature when guestrooms are unoccupied and resumes the preset temperature settings upon guests’ return. Orion also interfaces with the hotel’s guest management system to pre-condition the room upon guest check-in and automatically engage enhanced energy savings mode upon check-out. (,
The Mandarin Oriental, Miami has scored 98.8 points out of 100 on an independent ‘Safe and Sound’ security audit after implementing to InvoTech Systems’ SAMS Security System. Originally starting with SAMS’ key tracking module, the property then implemented SAMS Patrol Manager, Security Logs, Incident Reports and Lost and Found modules. (,

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