Enter now to win a free DTEK60 from CrackBerry!

We know all of you are anxiously awaiting the new BlackBerry Mercury, and we are too! But don't forget that we still have this giveaway running for a few more days, and one lucky CrackBerry reader will take home a free BlackBerry DTEK60! Let's get to it! Make sure you read the full details at the bottom of the page to get in on this giveaway and good luck!

THE PRIZE The winner will receive a brand new BlackBerry DTEK60, which does not include service.

THE RULES Use the widget below to enter. There are several different options, and if you complete them all you'll have the maximum chance at winning! Come back daily for more entries! Please note, we DO verify the winning entries, so if you say you completed something, but you didn't actually do it, you'll be disqualified and a new winner will be chosen.

This one's open internationally, but we can't guarantee the phone will work on your network. Also, in the event the winner does not reside in the US, please be aware that the prize may be subject to customs fees and taxes, which are the responsibility of the winner. The contest ends on February 9th. We'll announce the winner in the widget below shortly after the closing date.

That's it! Good luck, everyone!

Enter now to win a free DTEK60 from CrackBerry!

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BerryFlow Upstream Podcast - Brief

BerryFlow Upstream Podcast - Brief

Did you miss BerryFlow live last night? If so, you can now go ahead and get yourself caught up by grabbing the audio or checking out the video. This week, we kept things pretty brief in order to make time for the Super Bowl, but still managed to pack a lot of content into the conversation.


Social Channels

Downloads and Video

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The time I spent $10,000 on 2 prototype BlackBerry Z10's and reviewed them on video before anybody else

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Here's a tech story you've never heard of before, which includes me meeting a dude at an airport with a bag full of cash to exchange it for stolen phones. Seem unbelievable? Then watch the video!

But First, a Little CrackBerry History

In the early days of CrackBerry, Research In Motion was growing like crazy and pumping out new BlackBerry phones at a rapid pace. During this time I made a name for myself by getting my hands on those phones and reviewing the hell out of them before the company ever announced them and any other reviewer or consumer even had a chance to hold them [I don't encourage any budding tech reviewers to follow my example today - that was a different era and being ethical and on the up and up is the only way to go].

Most people will remember the 2010 story of the iPhone 4 found in a bar and then purchased and reviewed by Gizmodo. It pissed Steve Jobs off. A lot. And it's never happened again with an iPhone.

Meanwhile, in the world of BlackBerry, in the two years before the stolen iPhone thing happened, I made a habit out of getting my hands on new BlackBerry Smartphones before anybody else. I was addicted. All I could think about was getting my hands on BlackBerry phones before anybody else.

SIX times I got my CrackBerry claws on brand new BlackBerry phones and reviewed them first:

  • In May 2008 I dropped a review of the BlackBerry Bold 9000 a week before Research In Motion announced the phone at their annual WES conference.

  • I followed that up in July with a hands-on review of the BlackBerry Kickstart aka Pearl Flip. There was a lot of hype around BlackBerry making a flip phone - I remember watching my review video on Jim Cramer's Mad Money that night.

  • Then two months later in September 2008, I posted the world's first hands-on review of the BlackBerry Javelin aka Curve 8900.

  • After a short hiatus, in March 2009 I posted the first hands-on review of the BlackBerry Tour 9630 which was the full qwerty BlackBerry that CDMA carriers were longing for.

  • Then in early May 2009, while sitting in a hotel room in Orlando at BlackBerry's annual conference, I pumped out the first hands-on review of the BlackBerry Gemini, the low-cost BlackBerry Curve model. I felt slightly criminal doing this, knowing there were hundreds of BlackBerry employees in the vicinity (and no, I never got the Gemini from a RIM employee).

  • And the just a few weeks later in late May, I posted the first hands-on review of the BlackBerry Onyx aka BlackBerry Bold 9700 here at CrackBerry. After a lot of phones being released within the span of two years, this was a BlackBerry that everybody got excited for.

If you're wondering how I attained all those unreleased BlackBerry phones, I can assure you it was never with the help of Research In Motion employees

If you're wondering how I attained all those unreleased BlackBerry phones, well, I can assure you to the best of my knowledge it was never with the help of Research In Motion or their direct employees. The Bold 9000 was a crazy case of quick timing when it appeared on eBay, and I snatched it up within minutes. The next five phones all came from sources who started to reach out to me once they realized CrackBerry Kevin was a little crazy but trustworthy, and they could make a few bucks getting me devices first. I don't know how those individuals got their hands on these devices. Sometimes the phones came from within North America. Sometimes they came from Asia. The average acquisition cost? The price varied, but between $1200 and $2500 was the norm back then.

It was always exciting content for BlackBerry fans, and I think a lot of employees at Research In Motion loved the excitement and hype we generated for their new devices as well. RIM's founders on the other hand, well, I don't think they liked me too much back then. Mike Lazaridis, in particular, hated "leakers." When the opportunity would arise to speak to company officials, I'd remind them that CrackBerry wasn't the ones leaking stuff. Other people at the source were the ones technically leaking info and bringing it to me - we were just the ones posting it (for all I knew at the time it could have been BlackBerry leaking stuff to us via third parties). And if we weren't the ones to post it the leaker would just go to another publication that would be happy to, so RIM should be glad that it was a site like CrackBerry and person like CrackBerry Kevin who would post about the device with proper context and always with a lot of enthusiasm.

Research In Motion went into an era of sending us a lot of takedown notices, and after the stolen iPhone incident they upped their legal threat game

While a logical explanation in my mind, it didn't help the case. Research In Motion went into an era of sending us a lot of takedown notices, and after the stolen iPhone incident they upped their legal threat game. In a future CrackBerry Confession, I could share some of the more scary letters we used to receive from RIM, featuring words like "Industrial Espionage." Fun. It was a different era, and while many people within the company realized we were on the cutting edge of marketing, words like "earned media," "brand communities" and "influencers" were not yet part of their vocabulary yet. The top brass of RIM just didn't yet understand the value we delivered.

For obvious reasons, I started to cool it on the reviewing of unreleased devices for the next couple of years as we probably wouldn't be able to win in fighting a then-angry Research In Motion legal team. That's not to say everybody at RIM was angry - during that time we built a strong working relationship with the PR and product marketing teams at RIM. We still broke a lot of rumors and had a lot of fun on the site too, but we just didn't push the limits quite as much as we did pre-2010.

Then with one phone call in January 2012, our relationship with Research In Motion improved considerably. RIM's founders were out, and Thorsten Heins was in as the new CEO of BlackBerry. Literally his first phone call as CEO went to yours truly, and during that conversation, Thorsten apologized for all of the not-so-nice treatment we had received over the years from the company whose products we were helping to market. Since then, we've always had a positive relationship with BlackBerry and a much more open dialog. The value of CrackBerry, CrackBerry Kevin and our member community was recognized tremendously during the lead-up and launch of BlackBerry 10. For BlackBerry to bring BlackBerry 10 to market was a gargantuan task, and the whole company was working overtime - the excitement of all of us within the CrackBerry community motivated the entire BlackBerry team. Heck, I even flew to Waterloo once and recorded a 'pep talk video' that went out to BlackBerry employees on their internal intranet.

History story over, that brings us to the crazy topic of two stolen BlackBerry Z10's ending up in my hands.

A Tale of Two BlackBerry Z10's

It was September 11th, 2012 at 5 pm when an email came in on the CrackBerry Tip Line saying, "BlackBerry 10 Device For Sale - you interested?"

At this point, the number of actual BlackBerry Z10 phones in existence was still very limited, and totally accounted. BlackBerry knew every person in the world who had a BlackBerry 10 phone in their possession -- each with unique serial numbers etched into the phone for tracking.

Both the Z10 and Q10 had never emerged publicly in legit photos or videos at this time. BlackBerry had granted a few people in the press a sneak look at the phones, but nothing of hands-on substance was reported yet.

It seemed too good to be true, so I replied back to the seller asking to see photographic proof. The photo he sent was clearly legit. My trained BlackBerry eyes knew how to spot an unreleased BlackBerry.

I pursued the deal, which grew in magnitude. It turned out the seller had not just one Z10, but two! One apparently featured a slightly older software build and was not very usable, but the other booted up fine and had on it a working version of what was evolving from the BlackBerry PlayBook OS into the BlackBerry 10 OS. We eventually arrived at a price of $10,000 CDN, down from an initial $12,000 ask. That's an INSANELY high number to shell out for two phones. I didn't really have a choice though. If I didn't buy them, the seller would move onto another publication who would buy them who wouldn't likely give the same careful attention that I would.

When it came time to figure out how to pay the seller, well, that's where things got fun and felt like a scene from out of a movie. I suggested a wire transfer for payment, but the seller suggested he'd send somebody on an airplane to meet me at the Winnipeg airport. He clearly didn't want his identity to be known.

So that's how it went down. That Friday, at 4 pm, I went to my local airport with a backpack containing four envelopes each with $2500 inside. I sat at a table in the airport Tim Horton's. After a short wait up walks a guy, sits down, and we do the deal. He pulls out two BlackBerry 10 phones. I pull out the cash. I take the phones. He counts the money. He puts the money in his backpack and walks back to security to catch his flight out of Winnipeg. To this day, I still don't know who he was.

So what happened to the phones?

Had it been 2009, old CrackBerry Kevin would have immediately reviewed the hell out of these newly acquired phones and posted them right then and there for the whole world to see. This time, things were different. BlackBerry had SO MUCH riding on the launch of BlackBerry 10 that I wanted to do everything I could to help them out.

Unlike Gizmodo posting about their stolen iPhone, I called up BlackBerry and told them I had obtained two BlackBerry 10 phones and that I wanted to return to them

So, unlike Gizmodo and what they did with their stolen iPhone, this time around I called up to the upper echelons of BlackBerry and told them I had obtained two BlackBerry 10 phones that I wanted to return to them. BlackBerry flew two representatives out to Winnipeg that Sunday evening who were told to fly to Winnipeg and give CrackBerry Kevin a full tour of both the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 and that he'd have a package for them to bring back to Waterloo. It was an awesome day, and I spent a few hours playing with the latest builds of BB10 on the latest Z10 and Q10 hardware. And I said goodbye to my crazily attained BlackBerry Z10s when I dropped the BlackBerry employees off at the airport so they could catch their flight home.

Once a tech blogger always a tech blogger, though. Before sending my precious BlackBerry 10 phones back to their Waterloo home, I fired up the camera and did a quick and dirty ten-minute walk through of the goods. You can hit play on the video above to see them in all their glory. It was the first hands-on video of the BlackBerry Z10 that never aired, until today.

As for the question of where the Z10's came from? It turned out a BlackBerry employee was robbed a week earlier, and both phones had been reported as missing by that employee. Whoever stole them -- who may be even be reading this -- knew CrackBerry Kevin would shell out the cash to buy them. The seller got away with the crime. BlackBerry got back their phones. I felt good for doing the right thing and returning them. And hey, a few years later on CrackBerry's 10th anniversary the story FINALLY came out.

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BlackBerry announces major mobile software licensing agreement with Optiemus in India

Following several rumors and speculation, BlackBerry have now officially announced an exclusive, long-term licensing agreement with leading Indian telecom enterprise, Optiemus Infracom Ltd to bring the production of secure BlackBerry Android handsets in more global markets including India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh. This agreement with Optiemus comes shortly after announcing similar deals with TCL Communication and PT BlackBerry Merah Putih.

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From the Editor's Desk: Looking Back While Looking Forward

Technically Bla1ze is still the editor around here, but during our 10 Years of CrackBerry celebration I'm hijacking the column

CBK 2.0

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In case you haven't noticed, I'm having a blast "bringing CBK out of retirement" to celebrate 10 Years of CrackBerry this month. Being a little older and wiser, I think CBK 2.0 may prove to be better at the role than his 1.0 predecessor. We'll have to take a poll at the end of this month and see how I measure up to my old self.

The warm reception to the return of CrackBerry Kevin by sooooo many people has had me feeling gushy all week. I feel blessed and honored to be embraced by such a passionate community. Ten years has done nothing to tame down the CB community. It's as crazy (in a good way) around here as EVER. Everybody visiting CrackBerry does so with passion and strong opinions. We don't always agree on everything of course -- and that's OK -- as long as we respect each other. Passion and Respect are everything.

This week was a slightly chaotic one for me as I was traveling the past ten days and working remotely from hotel rooms. In between meetings and appointments, I spent my free time reading back through old CrackBerry articles, swiping through old photos and watching some vintage CBK videos. There's a lot of nostalgia in it all for me, as I'm sure there is for so many of you who have been around here since our early days.

BlackBerry 4.0

The new excitement around CrackBerry is clearly the upcoming launch of the BlackBerry 'Mercury'. Somehow it seems fitting to spend a lot of time looking back this month at the CrackBerry/BlackBerry days of old while at the same time we start looking forward to the next era of BlackBerry.

I feel like we're entering the fourth era of BlackBerry (I think of the early days of Research in Motion as prototyping/version 0.x). BlackBerry 1.0 was the Mike Lazaridis/Jim Balsillie BlackBerry OS/PlayBook era. BlackBerry 2.0 was the Thorsten Heins launch of BlackBerry 10 era (I loved this era a lot!). BlackBerry 3.0 was the John Chen figuring it out/transition era. And now we are entering BlackBerry 4.0, where BlackBerry is a software company, but we still have an exciting BlackBerry Smartphone hardware future confirmed and ahead of us thanks to BlackBerry Mobile.

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Input Wanted: What kind of 10 Years of CrackBerry Tees & Swag would you like to see?!

Put your thinking caps on CrackBerry community... it's time to come up with the next generation of CB gear and BlackBerry tag lines!

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In our earliest years of CrackBerry, I used to get hounded almost daily to sell CrackBerry gear in our ShopCrackBerry store. There's a long, complicated story as to why we never did that (maybe it'll be told before this month is over in our upcoming CrackBerry Confessions series!), but over the years we eventually came up with some fun ideas for t-shirts and swag that we'd either sell or give away.

To mark CrackBerry's 10 Anniversary proper and prep ourselves for the next generation of BlackBerry Smartphones, it's time for all of us to put our thinking caps on to come up with some new slogans and ideas for CB swag. We're making some exclusive tees utilizing the classy logo/badge above that we'll give away this month, but beyond that I'd love to come up with some more ideas.

Below is some inspiration from CrackBerry years gone by to get your creative juices flowing. Some of our slogans like BlackBerry By Choice and RIMPIRE STRIKES BACK we're pretty damn fun. How do we top it?! If you have any thoughts, drop them in the comments below. And if you're by chance a designer and have some inspired ideas, draft them up and email them to me at kevin @ crackberry.com. Maybe we can put them to use!

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Join us in Barcelona on February 24th for a CrackBerry Meetup in Honor of our 10th Anniversary [RSVP now!]

Attendees will get to take home sweet CrackBerry swag and VIP tickets to the BlackBerry Mobile launch event on the 25th!

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BlackBerry Mobile will be officially unveiling the BlackBerry 'Mercury' at their press event on Saturday, February 25th in Barcelona. I'm attending. Bla1ze is attending. We decided while we're in Barcelona it only makes sense to have a proper CrackBerry Meetup while we're there. So that's what we're doing!

If you're a BlackBerry Fan and will be in Barcelona on Friday, February 24th, we would love for you to join us for a casual evening of food and fun and BlackBerry talk. Attendees at the CrackBerry Meetup will get to take home some exclusive 10 Years of CrackBerry swag and our friends at BlackBerry Mobile have hooked us up with VIP passes to their launch event that CrackBerry Meetup attendees will receive as well. That means you'll be able to attend in person the BlackBerry Mobile launch event on the evening of the 25th and get to play with the newest BlackBerry first hand. How awesome is that?!

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BlackBerry begins rollout of February Android security update

BlackBerry powered by Android Security Bulletin – February 2017 now posted for all.

Although the BlackBerry Security Incident Response Team has yet to post the details for the February Android update, it does appear as though the rollout has begun for quite a few folks. As per normal, it has started with Priv owners and will expand out from there. Once downloaded and installed, you should see your security patch level set as 'February 5, 2017'.

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New beta builds of BlackBerry Hub, Calendar, Tasks and more now available!

Looking for some fresh builds of the Hub+ core apps? If you're part of the BlackBerry Beta Zone testing, you'll want to check for updates available in the Google Play Store. New beta builds of BlackBerry Hub+ Services, BlackBerry Hub, Calendar, Contacts, Notes, and Tasks are now available.

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Cleaning up the Confusion: What you need to know about BlackBerry and BlackBerry Mobile

TL;DR: BlackBerry = Old BlackBerry, now a software company; BlackBerry Mobile = New BlackBerry Smartphones, TCL a hardware company

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Coming out of retirement to celebrate 10 Years of CrackBerry, it immediately became apparent that life in BlackBerry land is a little more complicated than it used to be. With this editorial, I plan to set things straight, for my sanity and hopefully for everyone else's too. Think of this article as a Public Service Announcement. It's the kind of message that needs to get passed on and absorbed by other media outlets and tech journalists too, just so the BlackBerry stories stay straight out there, especially as we head into the launch of the BlackBerry 'Mercury'. If you see somebody getting the facts wrong, send them the link to this story!

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Registration is now open for the BlackBerry Developer Summit Europe

For those of you who missed out on the BlackBerry Developer Summit that took place in New York, registration for the BlackBerry Developer Summit Europe has now opened up. You'll have to act fast, though, as space is currently limited.

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In honor of CrackBerry's 10th anniversary, we're turning off ads on CrackBerry for members this month!

If you're browsing CrackBerry on the web and you're not already a member, now's the time to join or download our app!

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Personally, I'm a huge fan of advertising. Always have been. TV commercials and magazine ads are what motivated me to want things as a kid growing up and develop an entrepreneurial spirit (if you want things, you need to be able to pay for them!). Now as an online publisher, I have a new respect for advertising. Running ads is a big part of what helps us pay the bills, keep the servers running, and be able to run Mobile Nations as a company and not just be something we do as a hobby.

That said, I get it. All of the scripts that run the ad units can slow down page load times, and the ad units themselves can clutter up what's otherwise a beautiful site. We always try to strike that balance of making cheddar while providing a smooth user experience, but I guess most/all of you would prefer fewer ads to more.

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BlackBerry advances global expansion of its AtHoc crisis communication software

As BlackBerry continues to focus on expanding their software efforts, the company has now announced expanded global capabilities for BlackBerry Secure and AtHoc. These updates add new end-to-end safety benefits and security capabilities for customers around the globe.

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Get ready… CrackBerry Kevin is coming out of retirement to celebrate TEN Years of CrackBerry and the launch of the BlackBerry Mercury!! It's gonna get c-r-a-z-y in here!

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Hello, CrackBerry Faithful!

For those of you who have been paying close attention to CrackBerry in all the various places it exists (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5), this message won't come as a surprise. If you haven't been paying as close of attention -- no worries -- it's time to read up! And trust me, you'll want to. Things are about to get CRAZY FUN around here.

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Save hundreds on essential machine learning & AI for business training, now just $39

Ready to learn some new skills in 2017 and push the limits of your current skillset? Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have become more and more popular over the recent years, but getting started with it can seem a bit scary. Whether it be a lack of time to dedicate to learning it or lack of available funds to enroll in the courses, it is easy to end up passing up the chance to learn more about it for yourself.

Save 96% right now! Learn More

Meet the Machine Learning and AI for Business bundle, an incredible way to get yourself the knowledge you want at a fraction of the regular price. You'll get access to four great courses, countless hours of great information and so much more, all without going broke in the process.

The courses in this bundle include:

  • Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning Training - $300 Value
  • Introduction to Machine Learning - $295 Value
  • Data Science and Machine Learning with R (Part #1): Understanding R - $300 Value
  • Data Science and Machine Learning with R (Part #2): Statistics with R - $300 Value

Don't miss this huge savings! Learn More

Normally you'd end up spending around $1,200 for all these courses, but right now you can pick them up for just a small fraction of that. Priced at just $39, you can't really beat the value here. This is a huge 96% discount, making all of this far more affordable. You'll have access to most of the data at any time of the day, any day of the week so you can learn on your own free time.

If 2017 is the year you learn some new skills, you won't want to miss out on this amazing offer.

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Celebrating 4 years of BlackBerry 10!

Celebrating 4 years of BlackBerry 10!

Today, January 30, marks the four year anniversary of BlackBerry 10. While not an anniversary usually 'celebrated', like 5th or 10th anniversary, we still wanted to go ahead and recognize the date so put together a quick video taking a look back at most of the devices released with BlackBerry 10. If you're really looking for a trip down memory lane, and to get a closer look at the events that took place on launch day, then I suggest taking a look at this article from 2014 as well as our BlackBerry 10 launch roundup.

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256GB microSD

Right now you can pick up SanDisk's 256GB microSD card for just $119, a savings of $60 from its regular price. If you are looking to max out the storage in your phone, this is the card you will want to grab. Currently, 256GB is the largest capacity card available, allowing you to store tons of videos, pictures, music, files, and much more on it. You won't have to worry about deleting a picture to be able to take a new one with this card in your phone, nor will you miss the great video of your child's first steps due to a lack of storage space.

To sweeten the deal, B&H Photo doesn't collect tax on shipments outside of New York, and you can get free shipping as well. Don't miss out as this offer is only good through January 31.

See at B&H Photo

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BlackBerry CEO John Chen issues statement on U.S. immigration ban

Following in the footsteps of many tech leaders who have now spoke out against President Trump's executive order and immigration ban, BlackBerry CEO John Chen has issued his own statement on behalf of BlackBerry.

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BerryFlow Upstream Podcast - Incline

BerryFlow Upstream Podcast - Incline

Did you miss BerryFlow live last night? If so, you can now go ahead and get yourself caught up by grabbing the audio or checking out the video. This week, we had quite a few topics to cover including MrMobile's BlackBerry Priv re-review, rumored specs for the BB Merah Putih built BlackBerry and of course, plenty of talk about the BlackBerry 'Mercury.' Settle in, and get yourself caught up!

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BlackBerry 'Mercury' makes an appearance on Last Man Standing

Although the BlackBerry 'Mercury' has yet to be officially announced, it seems as though there is already some sly marketing happening on behalf of BlackBerry Mobile. As spotted in the forums, in the latest episode of Last Man Standing, plenty of on-screen time is given to the QWERTY handset by Tim Allen's character, Michael Baxter.

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