How does Google work? Glenn invited two top executives to talk about how one of the biggest companies of the 21st century stays innovative

Glenn has a love/hate relationship with technology. He loves the vision of the future and the freedom it gives people. However, the exponential growth of technology also creates the opportunity for giant companies to get so giant that they can crush the life out of you. Glenn isn't sure where he stands on some of these big technology companies. Google, being number one in that category because they do some pretty scary things, but they also do some amazing things. He invited two key Googlers, Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and advisor and former SVP Jonathan Rosenberg, onto the show to discuss the Google culture and their new book How Google Works.

GLENN: Hi, guys. How are you?

SPEAKER: Hi, Glenn. How are you? It's Eric.

GLENN: Very good.

ROSENBERG: It's Jonathan. Great to be here.

GLENN: Thanks for being here. I want to start with: Really good book. But I want to get into a couple of things and dive right in to Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs is not a guy that liked you or Google at all. And yet, you say some really good things about him in this book. You want to take me through what the philosophy is? I mean, was it not a two-way street with you guys?

ERIC: Well, this is Eric. If you think about the Steve, Steve was perhaps the greatest inventor of my generation. He took a company that he founded that was a near-death situation and invented pretty much the way people use computers today through their phones. So although he was certainly difficult at times, his brilliance meant that many, many smart people flocked with him. In our industry -- and we talk about this in the book -- people help each other out. And so I would help Steve out. He would help me out. And, in fact, I was on the Apple board for three and a half years.

ROSENBERG: Glenn, we also point out in the book that there's a new archetype, a new character that we're defining, that's sort of the hero of our book, which is the smart-creative. And the characteristics of those people are that they combine technical ability, they're business savvy, they're extremely curious and passionate. And we really felt that Steve was a great example of that persona.

GLENN: Well, you say here, the culture stems from the founders, best reflected in the trusted team. You say: You have to ask the team -- and I think this is really, really good. You ask the team several questions.

What do we care about? What do we believe? Who do we want to be? How do we want our company to act and make decisions?

Can you tell me about that list, and what you're driving at here?

ROSENBERG: Sure. This is Jonathan. I think one of the things that we've seen, particularly in the Valley, is that there's a very strong selection bias when you define your culture early. So one of the things that you find is that many founders get that right initially, others kind of just focus on the business and then delegate those values to an HR organization or PR people later in the process.

What we found is that you want to define the culture in the beginning, create a selection bias, so the kind of people that you're looking for and believe your culture come to the company and then you want to allow them to answer the questions in more detail so that that first group of employees define the culture for you.

GLENN: So define the Google culture.

ERIC: Well, it's certainly smart and quick, and it's very reliant on the people that we're describing as smart-creatives, people who sort of have a vision. And we tolerate them. We sort of say: Have a good time. Come up with your ideas. We'll see how far you get.

One of the characteristics of that is, that model is scalable. You can end up with 100 of them and then 1,000 of them. And I've become convinced that these people are the future of America because these are the future inventors. These are the future people who will create jobs and new companies, and they'll spin out of Google to do a startup and so forth.

GLENN: Are we all kind of inventors now? I mean, don't we have the ability to do things that we've never been able to do before?

ERIC: The barrier of entry to start a startup is the lowest it's been.

Let me say, Glenn, that you did this. You set out a strong culture. You set out a five-year plan. And off you went, and look at the success you've achieved. So it works. Right? It takes guts, and it's typically done by young people in small teams that work very, very hard. Very specific type.

GLENN: This is something that I've been wrestling with. I don't trust -- I don't trust a company over 100 people because I just don't think -- there's too many people you have to answer to.

ERIC: This is like, don't trust anybody over 30. You already have more than 100 people.

GLENN: I know. I've got a company of 310 people, and I just -- we can't ever get anything done.

STU: I don't think that's accurate.

GLENN: Okay. Hang on just a second.

Do you guys ever feel that way that you get to a point -- I mean, you talk about the two-pizza theory, which I think is absolutely rock solid, and it's kind of where I'm at where, just break everything up into teams because one person cannot handle such a bureaucracy, and the bigger it gets, the more people that have sign off on crap and you never get anything done. You spend all your time in meetings.

So explain the two-pizza theory. And then, how do you build off of that?

ROSENBERG: Sure, Glenn. This is Jonathan. The two-pizza theory we actually got from Jeff Bezos, which says that you don't want to allow any teams to grow beyond the point where you can't feed them with two pizzas. And there's always been, in sort of the history of software, this notion of the mythical man month, which basically says, as you start adding people to a programming project, it becomes much, much less efficient.

So our focus has always been to keep people in very small teams, keep those teams in small groups working together, and then as we scale, we're constantly trying to break the projects down into smaller teams. The other things that we're seeing is, it's getting much easier to standardize products so that one product can build on another, and that allows us to keep teams much smaller.

GLENN: Explain the -- because you guys are -- you're into everything. Absolutely everything. Oh, yes. You're controlling my thermostat. You're driving cars now on the highway. I mean, you're into absolutely everything. How do you keep the teams working in the same general direction? How does that work?

And beyond that, explain the diagram. You have a Venn diagram, and you say how you -- you know, how you choose ideas. Big ideas. So explain, A, how do you keep the teams all generally going in the same direction? How do you know what's a Google thing and what's not? How do you do that?

ERIC: We make a list, and then we sort of go through it. We used to have a list called the Top 100, which had 300 things on it. We could never get it down to 100. And we would sit there and say, well, which of these are more important. And through that process of discussion, we would end up prioritizing.

And the key thing about the management meetings is they can't be consensus. They have to be looking for the best idea. And they're different. In a consensus, everybody kind of fights to the median.

Whereas, in our case, we say, what's the better idea? Does anybody have a better idea than what we're currently doing? Then we have this big argument internally. Eventually someone says, well, why don't we try this? And the job of the leader, in this case you, is to say, okay, let's go after that. And come back in a day and tell me what to do.

ROSENBERG: Yeah, Glenn. You asked about the Venn diagram, and that really relates to starting from the premise of how large is the opportunity. Many companies kind of focus on what they see as greenfield markets, which are usually green for a reason. There's not a great opportunity there.

So, for us, the number one thing is: What is the scope and opportunity of this market?

And the next thing that we then look at is: Can we use technology in some unique way to fundamentally improve the products in that space?

And where those two things match, we then conclude that there's a big opportunity.

GLENN: So do you guys start with, I want to change the world, or do you start with, we need to make money?

ERIC: Well, a little bit of both. One of the secrets of Google is that the search business has been highly profitable in the sense of the ads work really, really well. And that money gives us, if you will, the rope to try things. Maybe other companies that don't have such high gross margins are unable to or they can't get the financing.

But the core principle is actually not about money at all. It's about users. And one of the sort of key slogans of the company is: Put the user first.

So if the nest thermostat makes the user happier, which indeed it does, that's an improvement. If the car, the self-driving improves people's lives and, in particular, allows them to stay alive, that's much better. We don't worry about what the prices of these things are. We'll figure that out later.

GLENN: I think there's -- and I could be wrong. I think there's a change in Silicon Valley. I think there are a lot of people in Silicon Valley that maybe thought that they were wildly liberal and had found themselves to be more Libertarian because a lot of these guys are, you know, 25 years old, and they started something in their basement. And now they're like, holy cow, look at what I'm building. And they know they don't need the government, and now the government is starting to knock on their door and say, hey, hey, you can't do that.

And I think people that are 20-something years old are not used to somebody coming in and saying, you can't do that. And now they're finding themselves saying, you know, government is a necessary evil, but we don't need to have all of this government. You guys, on the other hand, are deeply in bed with the government. You got what is it, 25 -- the self-driving cars. There were 29 permits issued for the state of California; 25 of them went to you guys.

ERIC: We're not in bed with them. We're regulated by them.

What you're saying is something that's been true for many, many decades. Right? The tech industry is famously liberal on social issues and famously conservative on financial issues. The saying of the industry is: Government out of the boardroom, government out of the bedroom.

And I think that's roughly what you're feeling. This libertarian streak has been there for a very long time, for the reasons that you say. Exactly right.

And the problem, of course, is that we're inventing things that really do affect traditional agreements with governments. So Google is in the information business. Well, there's nothing more important than information. So if you're a political leader or a government or especially a restrictive government, a dictatorship, you want to control information. You don't want freedom of expression for your citizens.

GLENN: How do you guys view the world -- with the world changing as much as it is and driving cars, how long before the driving car is -- we're all being driven to work?

ERIC: It's completely dependent upon the regulatory process. The technology works. It was invented literally in 2004 and 2005. And the reason this is serious is there are roughly 31,000 people who die on American highways every year. So those are your family. Those are your friends. Those are our citizens. So the quicker we can move this stuff out, the better. We don't know how long it's going to take, but we're sure it will happen over a long enough period of time. It's valuable.

GLENN: See, isn't that an amazing thing? That talks about the problem I think with -- with the way our system is. Our government is not run with a two-pizza rule. And that's kind of the problem.

You're saying the system works. It can all go in. But the regulatory process -- and you know that's going to be a bloodbath of just payoffs and all kinds of problems -- isn't that -- I mean, wouldn't we be much better off to be able to, now that we have the technology to do some of these things -- we're not living in the 1950s anymore. The entire world has changed. How do we break down these walls to start moving a little faster without government interference?

ERIC: A lot of the cases, the regulations have been written by existing incumbents or the industry. And the best kind of regulation says, what we want to do is we want to get more people to their destinations safer, faster, and in a more comfortable way. If the law just said that, then it would be a lot easier. But it ends up being very complicated. And Google has literally thousands of people worldwide who works on these sorts of issues. And I think this is normal for American corporations. I don't Google is unusual.

GLENN: Explain the 70/20/10 approach that's in the book.

ROSENBERG: Yeah, Glenn, this is Jonathan. So 70/20/10 was basically an algorithm that Sergey Brin derived, and it stemmed from looking at the set of the companies top 100 priorities when we were much smaller, and Sergey Brin basically observed that the company felt about right at that scale, and 70 percent of the resources were going into the core efforts, 20 percent into emerging, and then 10 percent into kind of the wacky crazy ideas.

So we decided we would institutionalize that and try to keep that framework as sort of the broad -- as we grew over time. One of the nice things about 10 percent is that it's enough that you can actually kick things off and get them started, but it's not so much resource devoted around one thing that the company gets so invested in it that we can't kill it if it's failing.

STU: We're actually doing a version of that, but it's 1/5/94 is our current...

GLENN: I've been trying to talk to some of the guys in my own company and said, I really like your -- what is it -- your 70/30, work for the company 70 percent of your time -- or is it 80/20. Where that extra 20 or 30 percent of your week is kind of on the things you want to pursue. Can you explain that? Are you still doing that in the first place? Do you know what I'm talking about?

SPEAKER: Yes. We've always in the company a rule that employees could spend 20 percent of their time on whatever they wanted to do rather than what their manager wanted to do. So -- is our 20 percent project. We have other duties as well. And it exists because it's a way of being creative without putting too much at risk. Because if you just have one person spending one-fifth of their time and wasting their time, you don't have a huge risk, and you might have some great idea. And so what happens is, many of the great ideas that we hear started off at 20 percent times.

GLENN: I think what you guys are creating is the future, and I hope that as -- Eric, as I've said to you before, I hope the don't be evil, actually remains in place. Because of the amazing power of Google. But I really appreciate it. The name of the book is How Google Works. Hope to have you guys on again. Thank you so much.

Are your kids doing well in school? They might not be doing as well as you think.

A recent study found that the majority of parents in the US think their children are doing better in school than they actually are, and we largely have COVID to thank for that.

Due to the disastrous educational and social policies implemented during the COVID pandemic, millions of kids across the country are lagging and are struggling to catch up. They are further impeded by technology addiction, mental illness, and the school system, which is trying to mask just how bad things are. However, due to continued COVID-era policies like grade inflation, your kid's report card may not reflect the fallen educational standards since 2020.

Here are five facts that show the real state of America's youngest citizens. It's time to demand that schools abandon the harmful COVID-era policies that are failing to set our children up for success.

Gen Alpha is struggling to read

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Literacy is the foundation of education. Being able to read and write is paramount to learning, so when a young student struggles to gain literacy, it severely impacts the rest of their education. According to a 2021 report from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP):

In 2019, some 35 percent of 4th-grade students and 34 percent of 8th-grade students performed at or above NAEP Proficient.

This means that 65 percent of 4th-graders and 66 percent of 8th-graders performed below NAEP proficient. As to be expected, the effects of this lack of literacy are still being felt. A 2024 report called the "Education Recovery Scorecard" created by Harvard and Stanford researchers found that in 17 states, students are more than a third of a grade level behind pre-pandemic levels. Moreover, in 14 states, students are more than a third of a grade level behind in reading specifically.

Grade inflation

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If you thought the U.S. dollar was the only thing suffering from inflation, you would unfortunately be mistaken. Grades are also being inflated, caused by more lenient grading practices that began during the pandemic and have yet to return to normal. While students undoubtedly love this practice at the momentafter all, who doesn't like an easy A?in the long run, it only makes their lives more difficult.

This practice has seen attendance and test scores drop while GPAs rise, making it more difficult for colleges to decide which students to accept, as more and more students have 4.0s. Students are also less prepared for the increased workload and stricter standards they will face when they start college. Overall, there has been a decline in preparedness among students, which will inevitably cause issues later in life.

Failure is no longer an option (literally)

To mask just how ill-prepared students have become, some universities have decided to double down on their grading system. Some schools, like Oregon University, have decided that they will no longer give students failing grades. Instead, if a student fails a class, they will simply receive no grade, thus keeping their academic record blemish-freebecause heaven forbid a student should face the consequences of their own actions.

These universities are doing a real disservice to an entire generation of students. To cover up their failures, they are waving students through their programs, failing to prepare them for the world they will face.

Addiction to tech

Tech addiction has been a concern for parents since before the pandemic, but unsurprisingly, the lockdowns only made it worse. A 2023 study showed that internet addiction in adolescents nearly doubled during the lockdowns when compared to pre-pandemic numbers. This doesn't come as a surprise. Forcing kids to stay inside for months with the internet as their sole connection to the outside world is the perfect recipe for addiction to tech.

Mental illness

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The mental health crisis has been growing across the world for decades now, but it took a turn for the worse during the pandemic. Both a study from Iceland and Australia recorded a decline in the mental health of their youth during the pandemic, and a study out of San Francisco measured physical changes to the brains of children that resembled the brains of people who suffered childhood trauma.

5 SURPRISING ways space tech is used in your daily life

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Is your vacuum cleaner from SPACE?

This week, Glenn is discussing his recent purchase of a Sputnik satellite, which has got many of us thinking about space and space technology. More specifically, we've been wondering how technology initially designed for use outside Earth's atmosphere impacted our lives down here on terra firma. The U.S. spent approximately $30 billion ($110 billion in today's money) between the Soviet launch of Sputnik in 1957 and the Moon Landing in 1969. What do we have to show for it besides some moon rocks?

As it turns out, a LOT of tech originally developed for space missions has made its way into products that most people use every day. From memory foam to cordless vacuums here are 5 pieces of space tech that you use every day:

Cellphone camera

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Have you ever seen a photograph of an early camera, the big ones with the tripod and curtain, and wondered how we went from that to the tiny little cameras that fit inside your cellphone? Thank NASA for that brilliant innovation. When you are launching a spaceship or satellite out of the atmosphere, the space onboard comes at a premium. In order to make more room for other equipment, NASA wanted smaller, lighter cameras without compromising image quality, and the innovations made to accomplish this goal paved the way for the cameras in your phone.

Cordless vacuums and power tools

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When exploring the moon, NASA wanted astronauts to use a drill to collect samples from the lunar surface. The problem: the moon has a severe lack of electrical outlets to power the drills. NASA tasked Black & Decker with developing a battery-powered motor powerful enough to take chunks out of the moon. The resulting motor was later adapted to power cordless power tools and vacuums in households across America.

Infrared ear thermometer

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What do distant stars and planets have in common with your eardrum? Both have their temperature read by the same infrared technology. The thermometers that can be found in medicine cabinets and doctors' offices across the world can trace their origins back to the astronomers at NASA who came up with the idea to measure the temperature of distant objects by the infrared light they emit.

Grooved pavement

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This one may seem obvious, but sometimes you need a massively complicated problem to come up with simple solutions. During the Space Shuttle program, NASA had a big problem: hydroplaning. Hydroplaning is dangerous enough when you are going 70 miles an hour in your car, but when you're talking about a Space Shuttle landing at about 215 miles per hour, it's an entirely different animal. So what was NASA's space-age solution? Cutting grooves in the pavement to quickly divert water off the runway, a practice now common on many highways across the world.

Memory foam

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If you've ever slept on a memory foam mattress, it probably won't come as a shock to find out that the foam was created to cushion falls from orbit. Charles Yotes was an astronautical engineer who is credited with the invention of memory foam. Yotes developed the technology for the foam while working on the recovery system for the Apollo command module. The foam was originally designed to help cushion the astronauts and their equipment during their descent from space. Now, the space foam is used to create some of the most comfortable mattresses on Earth. Far out.

5 most HORRIFIC practices condoned by WPATH

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Whatever you know about the "trans movement" is only the tip of the iceberg.

In a recent Glenn TV special, Glenn delved into Michael Schellenberger's "WPATH files," a collection of leaked internal communications from within the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). Glenn's research team got their hands on the WPATH files and compiled the highlights in Glenn's exclusive PDF guide which can be downloaded here. These documents reveal the appalling "standards" created and upheld by WPATH, which appear to be designed to allow radical progressive surgeons to perform bizarre, experimental, and mutilating surgeries on the dime of insurance companies rather than to protect the health and well-being of their patients. These disturbing procedures are justified in the name of "gender-affirming care" and are defended zealously as "life-saving" by the dogmatic surgeons who perform them.

The communications leaked by Schellenberger reveal one horrific procedure after another committed in the name of and defended by radical gender ideology and WPATH fanatics. Here are five of the most horrifying practices condoned by WPATH members:

1.Trans surgeries on minors as young as 14

One particular conversation was initiated by a doctor asking for advice on performing irreversible male-to-female surgery on a 14-year-old boy's genitals. WPATH doctors chimed in encouraging the surgery. One doctor, Dr. McGinn, confessed that he had performed 20 such surgeries on minors over the last 17 years!

2.Amputation of healthy, normal limbs

BIID, or Body Integrity Identity Disorder, is an “extremely rare phenomenon of persons who desire the amputation of one or more healthy limbs or who desire a paralysis.” As you might suspect, some WPATH members are in favor of enabling this destructive behavior. One WPATH commenter suggested that people suffering from BIID received "hostile" treatment from the medical community, many of whom would recommend psychiatric care over amputation. Apparently, telling people not to chop off perfectly healthy limbs is now considered "violence."

3.Trans surgeries on patients with severe mental illnesses

WPATH claims to operate off of a principle known as "informed consent," which requires doctors to inform patients of the risks associated with a procedure. It also requires patients be in a clear state of mind to comprehend those risks. However, this rule is taken very lightly among many WPATH members. When one of the so-called "gender experts" asked about the ethicality of giving hormones to a patient already diagnosed with several major mental illnesses, they were met with a tidal wave of backlash from their "enlightened" colleges.

4.Non-standard procedures, such as “nullification” and other experimental, abominable surgeries

If you have never heard of "nullification" until now, consider yourself lucky. Nullification is the removal of all genitals, intending to create a sort of genderless person, or a eunuch. But that's just the beginning. Some WPATH doctors admitted in these chatlogs that they weren't afraid to get... creative. They seemed willing to create "custom" genitals for these people that combine elements of the two natural options.

5.Experimental, untested, un-researched, use of carcinogenic drugs 

Finasteride is a drug used to treat BPH, a prostate condition, and is known to increase the risk of high-grade prostate cancer as well as breast cancer. Why is this relevant? When a WPATH doctor asked if anyone had used Finasteride "to prevent bottom growth," which refers to the healthy development of genitals during puberty. The answer from the community was, "That's a neat idea, someone should give it a go."

If your state isn’t on this list, it begs the question... why?

The 2020 election exposed a wide range of questionable practices, much of which Glenn covered in a recent TV special. A particularly sinister practice is the use of private money to fund the election. This money came from a slew of partisan private sources, including Mark Zuckerberg, entailed a host of caveats and conditions and were targeted at big city election offices— predominantly democratic areas. The intention is clear: this private money was being used to target Democrat voters and to facilitate their election process over their Republican counterparts.

The use of private funds poses a major flaw in the integrity of our election, one which many states recognized and corrected after the 2020 election. This begs the question: why haven't all states banned private funding in elections? Why do they need private funding? Why don't they care about the strings attached?

Below is the list of all 28 states that have banned private funding in elections. If you don't see your state on this list, it's time to call your state's election board and demand reform.

Alabama

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Arizona

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Arkansas

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Florida

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Georgia

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Idaho

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Indiana

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Iowa

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Kansas

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Kentucky

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Louisiana

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Mississippi

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Missouri

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Montana

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Nebraska

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North Carolina

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North Dakota

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Ohio

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Oklahoma

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Pennsylvania

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South Carolina

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South Dakota

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Tennessee

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Texas

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Utah

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Virginia

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West Virginia

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Wisconsin

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