Tag Archives: New Zealand

YouTube Music is Making it Simple to Transfer Over Your Google Play Music Library

Over the past few years, we have enhanced YouTube Music to deliver a comprehensive listening experience, and have also added features to make Google Play Music users feel right at home. Starting today, we’re excited to officially begin inviting Google Play Music listeners to effortlessly transfer their music libraries, personal taste preferences and playlists to YouTube Music, their new home for music listening and discovery.

For now, users will continue to have access to both services. We want to ensure everyone has time to transfer their content and get used to YouTube Music, so we’ll provide plenty of notice ahead of users no longer having access to Google Play Music later this year.

Easy Transfer and Transition
We know many listeners have spent a lot of time creating their perfect music and podcast libraries in Google Play Music, so we’ve made it simple to move both to their new homes. All Google Play Music users will soon receive an email with detailed instructions on how to begin transferring your full Google Play Music history and content, as well as podcasts, to their new homes.

Music fans will be able to start the transfer process of their music library to YouTube Music by following these simple steps:
  • Download the YouTube Music app (iOS/Android).
  • Click on the transfer button in YouTube Music, and your uploads, purchases, added songs and albums, personal and subscribed playlists, likes and dislikes, curated stations and personal taste preferences will move right over.
  • Your updated recommendations will appear immediately on the YouTube Music home screen, and we’ll notify you via email and notifications when your music library transfer is complete and your music is in the “Library” tab.


And if you’re a podcast listener, you can visit this web page and transfer your subscriptions and episode progress to Google Podcasts with a single click. Google Podcasts is our dedicated podcast player available for free on Android and iOS, and accessible from Google Assistant, Google Search, Google Home and more.

We’re looking forward to Google Play Music users transferring their libraries, so they can begin listening and exploring on YouTube Music and Google Podcasts.

Your New Home For Music: YouTube Music

For listeners new to YouTube Music, the streaming service is your personal guide to the world of music, simply organised in an app and web player. A bit more on what YouTube Music has to offer:

  • Catalog: YouTube Music offers over 50 million official tracks, albums and high quality audio, as well as deep cuts, B-sides, live performances, and remixes you can’t find anywhere else.
  • Listen everywhere: Explore YouTube Music’s audio-first music app, desktop and smart speaker experience.
  • Recommendations: Discover new music through YouTube Music’s home screen recommendations and personalised mixes - My Mix, Discovery Mix, and New Release Mix - based on taste, location, time of day and Play Music preferences after transferring.
  • Official Playlists: Listen to thousands of official playlists from both YouTube Music and Google Play Music.

We’ve listened to Google Play Music user feedback and recently introduced additional new features to YouTube Music for fans to enjoy. Some of the YouTube Music features we’re most excited to share include the following (with more updates on the way!):

  • Playlist Creation: We’ve increased playlist length from 1,000 to 5,000 songs to make room for even more of your favorites songs.
  • Uploads: You can listen to your uploaded and purchased music from Google Play Music after your transfer, or add up to 100,000 personal tracks to your library in YouTube Music (an increase of more than 50,000 compared to Google Play Music).
  • Offline listening: Paying members can download any song, playlist, music video or let smart downloads (Android only for now) do it for you so you always have something to listen to, even when you don’t have service.
  • Lyrics: Lyrics offer highly visible access to follow along to tracks.
  • Explore Tab: An all-new Explore tab offering one go-to place to discover new music and YouTube Music’s vast catalog of playlists through New Releases and Moods & Genres sections.

Pricing

Existing pricing is the same between Google Play Music and YouTube Music. Fans can enjoy the ad-supported version of YouTube Music for free, or enjoy YouTube Music Premium, a paid membership that gives listeners background listening, downloads and an ad-free experience for NZD$12.99 a month. Or you can try YouTube Premium to extend ad-free, background listening and offline playback across all of YouTube for NZD$15.99.

Google Play Music Unlimited members will be automatically granted the equivalent tier of YouTube Music Premium or YouTube Premium based on the level of benefits with their current subscription, at the same price*.

We can’t wait for you to start exploring YouTube Music features and discovering new music favorites along the way. Have more questions or need help? Check out all of our support resources here.

Enabling Digital Transformation of SeniorNet New Zealand



During the lockdown, seniors throughout New Zealand are using the internet to keep on top of the latest Covid-19 news, purchase their groceries and stay in touch with family and friends. For those not online already, some everyday activities have become a struggle. That’s why Google New Zealand is sponsoring SeniorNet New Zealand in an effort to ensure all Kiwis are able to make full use of the internet to remain independent and active in society.

SeniorNet has been working for over 25 years in more than 60 locations across New Zealand with thousands of members, with the aim of creating a social environment for senior citizens to learn the skills they need to thrive in an increasingly digital world. Now, as the country undergoes lockdown restrictions, SeniorNet will transform their business and offering, to ensure those that cannot meet physically are being reached virtually.

SeniorNet Executive Officer, Heather Newell said, “Ironically our biggest challenge during this pandemic has been switching to a completely online learning environment. With Google's help and their learning tools, we can quickly transition to ensure that our members and prospective members are digitally savvy.”

SeniorNet Federation chairperson, Harvey Porteous said “This sponsorship will drive SeniorNet’s ability to continue to deliver the right learning environment and support of their peers, through the development of a virtual learning centre that will provide volunteers and tutors with best practice templates for scalable and accessible technology programs.”

Both Google and SeniorNet hope this will result in long lasting change for our senior community in New Zealand.


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Computer Science Grants Awarded to New Zealand Educators

Now, more than ever, it’s important that we support Kiwi teachers and ensure they are equipped with the knowledge and resources they need to succeed. Understanding, creating and using technology are critical skills for all students and teachers, regardless of where in New Zealand they live. This year, our annual CS Educator PD Grants program is focused on bringing access to Digital Technologies training to teachers in our regional and remote communities and to those that might otherwise have missed out on such opportunities.

Google’s Educator PD Grants program has been running in New Zealand since 2011 and, in that time, has trained over 20,000 teachers. The program aims to equip teachers through practical professional development workshops, giving them the skills and resources they need to confidently teach computational thinking and computer science concepts in new and exciting ways. This year all funded workshops have a focus on access and inclusion, aligning with Google’s global diversity commitment.

The impact of PD Grants for Educators

We don’t historically think of museums as being centres for technology and teacher training, but Tara Fagan at Te Papa Tongarewa Museum in Wellington is leading a team focused on bringing STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths) to five rural regions of New Zealand.



Alongside other museums, the Te Papa team will run two day workshops, weaving STEAM based learning through the curriculum, delivered in both Te Reo Māori and English. Tara explained that these workshops “provide us with the opportunity to work with teachers who may have not accessed any form of Digital Technology Professional Learning & Development before”.

The in depth workshops will be bespoke to Northland, Waikato, Hawke’s Bay, Gisborne and Porirua, allowing teachers hands on experience with STEAM tools and resources and the support to incorporate their learnings in the classroom between workshops. The partnerships with local museums ensures that schools and teachers have ongoing local networks and support.

We’re excited to announce the following 2020 CS Educator Grants Awardees, who, like Tara, will motivate and inspire educators around New Zealand.

2020 CS Educator Grants Funding Recipients in New Zealand




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An 85 Kilometre Museum Launches on Google Earth


In the North West corner of the South Island, a long forgotten gold miners’ road was revived as a mountain biking and tramping trail. Now, all 85 kilometres of Old Ghost Road have been captured for Google Earth Voyager. From today, Kiwis can venture from the old dray road in the Lyell, all the way to the Mokihinui River in the north, right from the comfort of their living room.

The majestic native forest, open tussock tops, river flats and forgotten valleys are now available to anyone to explore.

A group of three captured the length of the trail over three days by taking it in turns to carry the 18 kilogram Trekker camera. The Trekker’s 15 camera lenses take photos every 2.5 seconds, capturing panoramic imagery. This creates the interactive 360 degree virtual tour of New Zealand’s backyard.

Behind the scenes imagery of the Trekker capturing the trail.

With only five kilometres to go of the trail, the team found their Trekker battery had run flat. Luckily, the nearby local Sedonville pub was able to save the day and allowed the team to recharge to capture the final distance.

The trail was captured in partnership with the Mokihinui-Lyell Backcountry Trust - the creator and operator of The Old Ghost Road. "We were delighted to have the interest and support of Google New Zealand to capture The Old Ghost Road and bring this very remote and rugged part of New Zealand to the world" said Trust Chairperson, Phil Rossiter. "We hope it gives viewers greater insight and appreciation for what makes this trail so special."
A view of Lyell Saddle hut.

Old Ghost Road is part of the New Zealand Cycle Trail and has four ghost towns populating the route. Gold was first discovered here in the 1860s, followed by a boom for a couple of decades, only to be closed up by the early 1900s. Some might say it's an outdoor museum, but this corner of New Zealand undeniably brings heritage, wilderness and storytelling together in an unforgettable way.

So strap up your boots, mount your home exercise bike or just put your feet up with a cuppa, and take a trip down this adventure trail Old Ghost Road here.


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How We’re Responding to COVID-19

Since the COVID-19 outbreak reached New Zealand, we’ve had to make fundamental changes to protect our health and adapt the way we live and work. The economic and social impact is affecting people and businesses across the country. At the same time, we’re in awe of the Kiwi healthcare and essential service workers on the front lines, businesses providing vital resources and support, and families and communities being there for one another. They show us that together, we can and will get through this.

The “Stay home, Save lives” Doodle on the Google New Zealand homepage 3-5 April

Overcoming a crisis of this scale will take a sustained effort, and we want to do everything we can to help. Since the virus first began to spread, our focus at Google has been on making sure people have the information and tools they need. We’ve been working with the Government to share public health messages and help them make the most of the free advertising we’ve made available through our Ad Grants programme. But we know there’s much more work ahead.

Today, we’re sharing the actions we’re going to be taking to support New Zealand both in the ongoing short-term response to the virus, and in the long-term, concentrating on three priorities that we believe are critical to a sustainable recovery:
  • Supporting education and learning;
  • Contributing to business continuity and economic recovery; and
  • Promoting authoritative and reliable information.
We’ll continue to work closely with government, business, the health and education sectors, nonprofits and community organisations to ensure people can get help when they need it most, and start to rebuild when the time is right. We want to build on the strong, established partnerships and programs we already have to support New Zealand’s progress, while responding to the urgent challenges we now face.

Supporting education and learning


Around 1.5 million students are out of school in New Zealand, which in turn puts a huge pressure on families, schools and the incredible teachers who nurture our children’s passion for learning.

To help teachers get the support they need to teach remotely, we’ve made tools like Hangouts Meet and Google Classroom available for free, provided training and tips through both Google and YouTube, and launched Teach from Home with UNESCO as a central hub for teachers around the world.

We have also made the premium version of our video conferencing software, called Meet, free to all of our New Zealand and global G-Suite customers until September 2020, to allow large meetings, livestreams and meeting recordings.

We all know the power of great teachers and inspiring lessons, and we hope these steps will help our kids continue to learn for as long as schools remain closed, and return energised when the education system re-opens.

Contributing to business continuity and economic recovery

Small businesses are the heart of our economy and communities and, from small retailers to restaurants, they've been hit hardest by the outbreak.

Last week we launched Google for Small Business, which provides Kiwi small- and medium- sized businesses with helpful advice, resources, and tools, to navigate challenges caused by COVID-19.

We also announced an $800 million commitment to support small businesses, health organizations and governments with access to finance, ad credits and grants to help meet the costs of the virus. Local small businesses can find more information here.

Promoting authoritative and reliable information sources


It's crucial that people have access to health information they can trust online, so they can make the right decisions to protect themselves and those around them from COVID-19. We've surfaced the latest updates and health advice from international health authorities across Search, Maps and YouTube. We've also helped promote hygiene awareness campaigns, shared travel advisories, and shared regular updates on the Search trends we are seeing as Kiwis look for help and information.

We’re working closely with the All of Government team and the Ministry of Health to ensure public health messages are being found by Kiwis wherever they’re searching. These messages have appeared across Google and YouTube to help Kiwis to keep informed. We’re also providing Community Mobility Reports - that analyse aggregate, anonymised location history and provide local insights into the impact of social distancing.

We’ve also stepped up our work to curb misinformation spreading on Google, YouTube or through apps on the Play Store. We have already taken down thousands of YouTube videos featuring dangerous or misleading coronavirus information, and we continue to remove videos that promote medically unproven methods to prevent coronavirus in place of seeking medical treatment.

Reliable information is vital in the fight to slow the virus’ spread and ultimately prepare for economic recovery. We’ll continue working to expand the number of authoritative sources that people can trust, and combat misinformation that can risk people’s health and hold back the global response.

COVID-19 puts intense demands on us all, and we’re determined to do our part in this unprecedented time: to enable access to trusted information, support remote learning, back small businesses, and more. We’re ready to stand with all Kiwis and do all we can to help as we overcome COVID-19 and shape a stronger future.

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Resources to help Kiwi businesses manage through uncertainty caused by COVID-19



Small businesses are at the heart of New Zealand’s economy and local communities. So while COVID-19 has created unprecedented challenges for Kiwi businesses, we want to make sure the best of Google’s business resources and tools are readily available and helpful to get them through this time.

Today, Google New Zealand has launched Google for Small Business (g.co/smallbiz-covid19), a new online hub to provide helpful advice and resources to small and medium businesses as they navigate challenges caused by the spread of COVID-19.

The resources are designed to help businesses communicate effectively with their customers and employees, and maintain business operations and continuity planning in response to fast changing external conditions.

It includes step-by-step advice and links so business owners can adjust their existing arrangements as needed - for example, in response to having to temporarily close shopfront operations or moving employees to remote working arrangements.

The launch of this site closely follows an announcement by Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai, who has committed USD$800+ million globally to support small- medium-sized businesses (SMBs), health organisations and governments, and health workers on the front line of this global pandemic.

It also builds on steps already taken by Google including making video conferencing and productivity tools available free of charge for customers working remotely and for educational purposes, and providing online tips to small businesses.

A summary of the tips and resources are below:

Keep your customers informed
  • If your business or one of your locations has temporarily closed, mark the location as temporarily closed on Google Maps and Search.
  • If you have moved business operations to online, takeaway or delivery, edit your Business Profile on Google so customers know how to buy from you
  • Use Posts to tell customers on your Business Profile what is happening and if there are changes to how you are operating - for example, if you are now offering online sales or delivery or special offers.
  • If you have a shopfront which is closed but you’re still taking phone calls, update your business phone number to your mobile phone, so you can answer business calls remotely.
  • Set an email auto-reply to share your latest updates with customers - for example, if you are temporarily closed, or taking phone, online or delivery orders.

Continue to adapt to new customer behaviour
  • Ask what customers need from a business like yours right now - consider reaching out directly via your social media channels, or using tools like Google Trends and Google Alerts for insight into your local market or industry.
  • If you do not have a website for your business, start by getting a domain and exploring options for building a website. Your website can be simple – just make sure you include key information about your business and how potential customers can contact you.
  • Consider starting a free YouTube channel for your business. You can create videos to introduce your business, showcase what’s great about your products or services or teach customers how to do something new.

Run your business remotely
  • Help you and your team to effectively work from home with these tools and resources
  • Make a business continuity plan, and share it with employees via an email address they can access it outside of the office.
  • Collaborate with your co-workers using online tools and platforms - for example using a shared document, a quick conference call, or by creating an email list or a chat room.
  • Make sure you’re able to access important documents from anywhere by uploading them to the Cloud through tools like Google Drive or downloading to your mobile phone or computer for offline access.
  • If you’re using Chromebooks, ensure they have the right policies in place to access company resources from home and to keep devices and data secure.

Adjust your advertising (if necessary)

  • Edit your ads as needed to let customers know whether you're open for business and if you offer helpful services like expedited shipping.
  • Pause campaigns if your product availability is impacted by supply chain issues, increased demand, or other restrictions.
  • If your business relies on customers from countries most affected by the virus, consider prioritising your ad budget to other locations.


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How we’re supporting Research in Kiwi Universities


Whether it is better tracking and trapping of introduced predators in our native bush, or improved breast cancer screening technology, more and more researchers, organisations and businesses are using artificial intelligence (AI) to help tackle big problems.

In fact, we believe that there are numerous other challenges that could be addressed with AI and have made it our mission to make the benefits of these technologies available to everyone. Helping foster Kiwi AI talent with programs like digital readiness courses for teachers is a key component of that.

Today, we’re excited to announce two new programmes arriving in New Zealand.

Launch of exploreCSR
We're launching exploreCSR in New Zealand in April which aims to enhance the undergraduate experience and to motivate more women to pursue graduate study and research careers in Computer Science and related fields. Throughout the year, the awards programme promotes the design, development, and execution of regional research-focused workshops. This will be the first time the programme has been run outside the US.

Google Faculty Research Awards
In September 2019, we opened our annual call for the Google Faculty Research Awards, a program focused on supporting world-class technical research in Computer Science, Engineering and related fields at some of the world’s best computer science departments.

One outstanding Kiwi researcher will now be supported with funding for one year to help them advance their research in areas like algorithms and security:

  • Kelly Blincoe, from the University of Auckland. Kelly aims to investigate the impact of non-inclusive behaviour that happens during software code review. Her study will enable a better understanding of the impacts of a toxic code review culture, enabling better code review guidelines and tools and paving the way for future research on interventions.


For the 2019 awards, we received 917 proposals from about 50 countries and over 330 universities, with all proposals undergoing an extensive review process involving 1100 expert reviewers across Google who assessed the proposals on merit, innovation, and alignment with our research philosophy.

Congratulations again to Kelly!


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Helping Parents and Families this Safer Internet Day


Today is Safer Internet Day globally and to kick things off here in New Zealand, we hosted a breakfast to talk about online safety for families and children. We welcomed media and parents into Google to participate in a discussion about some helpful ways that parents can check their safety settings and teach their children about online citizenship.

Lucian Teo, User Outreach and Education Manager from Google’s Trust and Safety team, delivered the workshop and we were joined by Netsafe’s CEO Martin Cocker who also spoke about the incredible work they’ve been doing for the past 20 years to keep Kiwis safe online. We shared Google and Netsafe’s five top tips to teach your kids about online safety:


  1. Be mindful of what and to whom you are sharing your information with. Encourage thoughtful sharing by treating online communication like face-to-face communication.
  2. Don’t trust everything you see online. Be discerning and ‘think before you click’.
  3. Safeguard your personal information & take a privacy check up.
  4. Being kind online creates a brighter and safer place for everyone on the internet.
  5. If you see something, say something. When in doubt, talk it out with someone you trust.

While today is a great moment to pause and think carefully about how we’re keeping our families and kids safe online, this is also something that we should be considering all year round. To find out more, visit the Google Safety Centre for updated resources, easy security tips and information dedicated to educating and empowering people on important topics like data security, privacy controls and how to use technology in a way that is right for your family.

Safer Internet Day aims to raise awareness about online safety and encourages everyone to help create a better internet. We hope that you take the opportunity today and regularly throughout the year to use these tools to stay safe online


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Google New Zealand Blog 2020-02-06 15:00:00



In 2005, we set out to map the world. Since then we’ve pushed the limits of what a map can do: from helping you easily navigate from point A to B to helping you explore and get things done in the world. With more than 1 billion people turning to Google Maps to see and explore the world, we're celebrating our 15th birthday with a new look and product updates based on feedback from you.

A fresh look from the inside out
Starting today, you'll see an updated Google Maps app for Android and iOS that gives you everything you need right at your fingertips with five easy-to-access tabs: Explore, Commute, Saved, Contribute and Updates.


  • Explore: Looking for a place nearby to grab lunch, enjoy live music or play arcade games? In the Explore tab, you’ll find information, ratings, reviews and more for about 200 million places around the world, including local restaurants, nearby attractions and city landmarks.


  • Commute: Whether you’re traveling by car or public transit, the Commute tab is there to make sure you’re on the most efficient route. Set up your daily commute to get real-time traffic updates, travel times and suggestions for alternative routes.


  • Saved: People have saved more than 6.5 billion places on Google Maps—from the new bakery across town to the famous restaurant on your upcoming vacation. Now you can view all of these spots in one convenient place as well as find and organize plans for an upcoming trip and share recommendations based on places you've been.


  • Contribute: Hundreds of millions of people each year contribute information that helps keep Google Maps up to date. With the new Contribute tab, you can easily share local knowledge, such as details about roads and addresses, missing places, business reviews and photos. Each contribution goes a long way in helping others learn about new places and decide what to do.


  • Updates: The new Updates tab provides you with a feed of trending, must-see spots from local experts and publishers, like The Infatuation. In addition to discovering, saving and sharing recommendations with your network, you can also directly chat with businesses to get questions answered.



Our five new tabs provide easier access to everything you need in Google Maps.

We’re also updating our look with a new Google Maps icon that reflects the evolution we’ve made mapping the world. It’s based on a key part of Google Maps since the very beginning, the pin, and represents the shift we’ve made from getting you to your destination to also helping you discover new places and experiences.

And because we can’t resist a good birthday celebration, keep an eye out for our celebratory party-themed car icon, available for a limited time when you navigate with Google Maps.


Look out for our new icon on your phone and browser!

Made for you, on the go
We’re constantly evolving to help you get around—no matter how you choose to travel. Our new transit features in the Google Maps app help you stay informed when you’re taking public transportation.

Last year, we introduced crowdedness predictions to help you see how crowded your bus, train or subway is likely to be based on past rides. To help you plan your travels, we’re adding new insights about your route from past riders, so you’ll soon be able to see important details, such as:

Temperature: For a more comfortable ride, check in advance if the temperature is considered by past riders as on the colder or warmer side.
Accessibility: If you have special needs or require additional support, you can now identify public transit lines with staffed assistance, accessible entrance and seating, accessible stop-button or hi-visible LED.
Women’s Carriage: In regions where transit systems have designated women's sections or carriages, we'll help surface this information along with whether other passengers abide by it.
Security Onboard: Feel safer knowing if security monitoring is on board—whether that’s with a security guard present, installed security cameras or an available helpline.
Number of carriages available: In Japan only, you can pick a route based on the number of carriages so that it increases your chances of getting a seat.

These useful bits of information come from past riders who've shared their experiences and will appear alongside public transit routes when available. To help future riders, you can answer a short survey within Google Maps about your experience on recent trips. We’ll start rolling this out globally in March, with availability varying by region and municipal transportation agency.



New trip attributes help you make informed decisions about your travel plans.

A sense of direction
Last year, we introduced Live View to help you quickly decide which way to go when you start a walking route with Google Maps. By combining Street View’s real-world imagery, machine learning and smartphone sensors, Live View in Google Maps shows you your surroundings with the directions overlaid in augmented reality.

Over the coming months, we’ll be expanding Live View and testing new capabilities, starting with better assistance whenever you’re searching for a place. You’ll be able to quickly see how far away and in which direction a place is.


Live View will soon help you get oriented in the right direction in new ways.

A big thank you to everyone for placing your trust in us and for being with us on this wild ride over the last 15 years. We can’t wait to see what the next 15 years bring!

New Zealand native birds inspire today’s Doodle



Diversity and individuality are at once something that defines and unites the people of New Zealand. The same can be said for the breadth of interesting, colourful and quirky native bird fauna we have on our three islands. So today, as we pause to recognise the 1840 signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, the Google Doodle pays tribute to some of our iconic native birds.

Inspired by the variety, colour and brilliance seen in native birds of New Zealand, the artwork depicts three of our most precious birds. Kiwi’s popular namesake, the iconic bird sits at the centre, with the Tūī and the Kererū either side.

New Zealand’s bush is home to around 168 different native birds. And astonishingly over half of these are species cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The Tūī, treasured for its imitation skills, is able to use two voice boxes to mimic nearby sounds. The Kererū’s distinct sound of its wing beat in flight would be recognised by many. And of course the Kiwi, which instead of just being a popular nickname for people from Aotearoa, is the only bird in the world with nostrils at the end of its long bill.

Our rich collection of bird fauna has developed these individual characteristics from evolving on our remote South Pacific island shores. Look up into the sky, or down to the ground, and enjoy these wonders of biodiversity.


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