SiliconANGLE Extracting the signal from the noise. Wed, 27 Jul 2016 18:42:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Reddit will let brands sponsor user-submitted posts Wed, 27 Jul 2016 18:42:15 +0000 Monetizing a site based on user created content is not […]]]>

Monetizing a site based on user created content is not easy—just ask Tumblr—but Reddit thinks it may have found an answer. Starting August 4, Reddit will allow advertisers to sponsor posts created by regular users that happen to mention their brand.

Here is Reddit’s official explanation for how the new sponsored posts will work:

  • A redditor creates a post with brand-relevant content
  • A brand notices the post and indicates to our sales team that they’re interested in promoting the post
  • Our sales team reaches out to the author of the post to get explicit permission to use the post as part of a promoted user post
  • If permission is given, a promoted user post is created by copying over the content and votes of the original post into a new promoted user post. (The comments will link to the same thread.)
  • The original post will remain where it was originally uploaded. The promoted user post comment section will link to the original comments section.

This may sound great for advertisers, but Reddit’s user base is notoriously anti-corporate and resistant to obvious advertisements. In fact, the site even has /r/hailcorporate, a popular subreddit with nearly 70,000 subscribers that is dedicated to calling out companies who sneakily advertise their products on Reddit. The company is quick to note, however, that sponsored posts will be clearly labeled.

“Reddit users don’t like being bullshitted,” Reddit co-founder and CEO Steve Huffman said in a recent interview with Ad Age. “Reddit is a platform where you can call people out on it. And a lot of traditional advertising feels like we’re being taken advantage of and nobody likes that. But when advertisers come with honest intentions we see a much higher level of engagement with the brand. We don’t see hostility and we have valuable connections.”

While Reddit says that posts can only be sponsored with a user’s permission, there is one potential problem with this system: The content submitted by users does not necessarily belong to them. For example, anyone can submit a link to a YouTube video on Reddit, but under the new sponsorship system, the creator of the video has no say in whether or not the Reddit post linking to their content can be sponsored.

Image courtesy of Reddit
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Mesos 1.0 brings a new container runtime and more third party integrations Wed, 27 Jul 2016 17:40:59 +0000 The first round number release of Apache Mesos launched […]]]>

The first round number release of Apache Mesos launched into general availability this morning with a slew of new features for data center operators. The arguably most notable addition is a “unified containerizer” that provides the ability to centrally provision Docker, rkt and appc instances.

Removing the need to use each technology’s native runtime provides a couple of major benefits. First, it reduces the number of moving parts that Mesos users need to worry about. And second, the new feature spares the project’s developers from the hassle of adding interoperability with those runtimes, which is much more complicated than merely supporting their respective container formats. As a result, the team should have more time to spend on other activities, like developing features that can broaden the data center operating system’s appeal.

One example of such a capability is the new Nvidia GPU support that is rolling out alongside the unified containerizer. The addition makes Mesos better equipped to run graphically-intensive workloads such as data visualization software, modelling tools and simulations. The chip maker’s processors are also popular among organizations developing artificial intelligence applications, which usually require much higher core density than what general-purpose x86 CPUs from the likes of Intel Corp. provide.

The GPU integration is joined by support for Windows that is aimed at making Mesos attractive for an even wider range of use cases. According to today’s launch announcement, the port is only partially functional in its current form, but full integration is slated to arrive later this year. Mesos co-creator Ben Hindman told InfoWorld that there are also plans to make the platform work better in large multitenant environments that are spread over multiple geographic regions.

Slowly but surely, the framework is emerging as a force to be reckoned with in the software-defined data center. Mesopshere Inc., the startup that Hindman started with his colleagues to monetize their project, has already landed deals with major brands such as Verizon Communications Inc. and Bloomberg L.P. and is showing no signs of slowing.

Image via Wikimedia
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Technical engineer works to help enterprise cloud adoption | #WomenInTech Wed, 27 Jul 2016 17:00:36 +0000 Connecting to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud provi […]]]>

Connecting to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud provides customers with scale and elasticity, but creating a Virtual Private Connection (VPC) has its limitations. Fan Gu, technical marketing engineer at Cisco Systems, Inc., works with a team of engineers who are collaborating with AWS to provide one-click provisioning that will enable them to tap into the capabilities of the public cloud through private connections.

Gu joined Jeff Frick (@JeffFrick) and Lisa Martin (@Luccazara), cohosts of theCUBE, from the SiliconANGLE Media team, visited the AWS Summit – Santa Clara event in California to talk about the collaborative project and about Cisco’s vision of helping cloud adoption. This week, theCUBE features Fan Gu for our Women in Tech column.

The Cisco/AWS collaboration

Cisco is a well-known industry resource in networking, and Frick asked Gu why the company was at the AWS event. She explained he role in the partnership between the two companies.

“We are an enterprise routing business unit, and our team [supports] a product called Cloud Services Router CSR1000V [on public cloud], which has been [a part of] AWS for quite a while. It is a virtualized router and has all the capabilities of routing VPN and a zone-based firewall section.

“Right now we have seen a lot of requests from our customers, not just from a Cisco perspective but from AWS, and they would like to have some solution that can overcome the VPC peering limitation, which they can’t do the transfer of the VPC our team works on from the back end. The engineering team from Cisco and AWS architecture engineering, [has] a true collaboration here, and we work on this transit VPC solution now that it is available.”

Fitting the pieces together

Frick followed up by asking Gu the specifics of where the product “sits” and how the router works. Gu offered an example of how the product works.

“The VPC solution is a virtual private cloud, and the customers can deploy it as a virtual network. They can deploy as many as they want; but the second day, what they want is to have a connection between them. If it is just a three-way VPC, it’s probably easy. For example, [they say], ‘We have VPC-A and B and C and want to talk between A and B. We do a VPC peering through the [AWS], and we want to talk between B and C — we can do the same thing through VPC peering. But tomorrow I want to connect between A and C, but I want to go in through B, which is a typical transit routing requirements, and AWS right now has this limitation. They can’t do it because it is restricted.’

From our side, the CSR, which is bigger routing … we have the capability to deploy the CSR in B and then we can transit from A to C through B. This is a big deal, especially when the customer has tons of VPC systems to connect. If you have hundreds and you want to do a full mashup off VPC peering, it is time-consuming, and from a management perspective, it is very, very tedious. The transfer VPC — first, it’s simple to manage, it’s one click; second, you save money and time to deploy this whole thing; and, third, it’s very secure. We have the IP Stack encryption for the tunnels.”

This is a big deal

Picking up on Gu’s comment, “This is a big deal,” Frick asked her to differentiate the capabilities of the CSR1000V from other VPC peering products. Gu highlighted why it is different.

“The first thing is connection, making connections between all of the PCs and the on-prem network, that’s one thing. And the other big deal is that it is all automated. Initially, when we have the VPC peering, you do it manually. You go into the router or go into AWS to make this connection; however with the transit VPC, it’s one click, so it’s very simple. All the hard work is done on the back end. Through the cloud formation, which boosts the VPC infrastructure … and also have the [AWS] Lambda function for orchestration, which actually looks for which spoke hasn’t been connected yet. We will do the connection and push the configuration into the CSR.

“Another thing, the CSR itself is our router; the functionality it offers is not limited to the routing and the VPN termination, but it also has other features, such as zone-based firewall, which provides security. In addition to that we have a VPC capability, which is application visibility and control, which monitors and analyzes the traffic. You can have that capability and feedback for your management portal, and then you can control what traffic you want to go through and manage from there. So it’s a combination, not just a connection.”

Helping to grow public cloud adoption

Ending the interview, Frick asked about how Cisco is helping to move the enterprise to the cloud. Gu revealed how talking to customers is helping to understand what is necessary to get there.

“We talk to customers from time to time, and they are asking, ‘How do I proactively monitor our virtual machines on a public [cloud] and our instances?’ We are looking at a cloud watch as well. Another thing is about performance, when people put virtual machines in the cloud as their extension of the network, they ask: ‘How can I have more throughput on the network?’ We are looking at different image types which have network accelerators. Also we are looking at auto scaling, which you can think of CSR as a processor, as you need more they will expand and when you don’t they will shut down and shrink.”

Watch the full interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE and theCUBE’s coverage of the AWS Summit – Santa Clara.

Photo by SiliconANGLE
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Pokemon Go too late to save Nintendo from major Q1 loss Wed, 27 Jul 2016 16:45:09 +0000 Nintendo Co Ltd’s share prices took a hit earlier […]]]>

Nintendo Co Ltd’s share prices took a hit earlier this week after it sent a letter to investors clarifying its relationship to Niantic Inc’s phenomenally successful mobile game, Pokemon Go, and now it looks like the company may have more trouble ahead after revealing its worst Q1 results in five years.

The disappointing sales of the Wii U have only continued to worsen, dropping by 53 percent year-over-year, and even Nintendo’s popular handheld console, the 3DS, failed to perform well in the first quarter. Fluctuations in currency exchange rates have also negatively impacted Nintendo, and according to the company’s earnings report, it suffered an operating loss of ¥5.1 billion (roughly $48.3 million). This is much higher than the ¥4.2 billion loss that had been expected by Wall Street analysts, and it is particularly disappointing compared to Nintendo’s reported profit of ¥1.15 billion for the same time period last year.

It is unclear how the success of Pokemon GO has affected Nintendo’s more recent performance, but as the company explained in its letter to investors, Nintendo is not the sole owner of the game. Nintendo has 32 percent equity and voting power in The Pokemon Company, which licensed its IP to Niantic for the creation of Pokemon GO. While Nintendo will receive a portion of the revenue from the game, it may not be enough to make up for the poor performance of Nintendo’s other business. Nintendo has also announced that the release of Pokemon GO Plus, a wearable device designed to work with the game, has been delayed until September.

Nintendo does have one card up its sleeve with the upcoming Nintendo NX console, but so far the company has remained tight-lipped about the system. Recent rumors suggest that NX could be a mobile system with detachable controllers that can be played both on the couch and on the go, but Nintendo has yet to confirm or deny whether or not that rumor is true. The company also has a few major games set to release in the next year, including Pokemon Sun & Moon for 3DS and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for Wii U and NX.

Image courtesy of Nintendo Co Ltd
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LogMeIn is merging with Citrix’s GoTo collaboration spin-off in a $1.8BN deal Wed, 27 Jul 2016 15:56:28 +0000 It looks like the software-as-a-service market will soo […]]]>

It looks like the software-as-a-service market will soon have a new power player to reckon with. Remote desktop access giant LogMeIn Inc. announced this week that it’s merging with Citrix Systems Inc.’s collaboration business in an all-stock deal worth $1.8 billion. The combined company is expected to generate annual revenue of over $1 billion.

The news comes 10 months after Citrix first revealed its intention to spin off the division, which uses the brand GoTo, as part of an effort to refocus on its core virtualization business. Combining such a move with a merger is called a “Reverse Morris Trust” transaction after the firm that pioneered the method in the ‘60s, and serves to avoid the taxes that are normally imposed on companies looking to shed redundant units. The gambit will leave more capital for Citrix to invest in its restructuring effort and thereby make the management team’s task somewhat easier, increasing the chances of success.

This benefits first and foremost the vendor’s shareholders, who also stand to gain a 49.9 percent stake in the new entity that will emerge from the merger. The remainder will be owned by LogMeIn investors, who in turn appear to be even more enthusiastic about the deal than the Citrix camp. Reuters reports that the authentication provider’s stock price jumped more than 20 percent in after-hour trading following the merger announcement. Wall Street has good reason to be excited: The combined company is expected to achieve $100 million in annual savings within two years of the transaction’s completion.

In other words, LogMeIn and GoTo will be in a much better competitive position than they are now. The companies plan to put a stronger management team in place, synchronize go-to-market efforts and integrate their product lines into one unified portfolio. The combined vendor will presumably also eliminate some of the overlap that currently exists between the product lines to streamline its value proposition. Among the tools that are likely to be axed is GoToMyPC, which competes with LogMeIn’s flagship remote desktop tool, and the latter vendor’s online meeting software.

The merger is expected to complete early next year. The combined company will use LogMeIn’s brand and move under the leadership of its current CEO, industry veteran Bill Wagner, with GoTo operating as a wholly owned subsidiary.

Image via Pixabay
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Industrial group led by GE invests $12M in edge analytics startup FogHorn Wed, 27 Jul 2016 13:00:51 +0000 Organizations are rapidly expanding their analytics inf […]]]>

Organizations are rapidly expanding their analytics infrastructure to accommodate the growing amounts of machine-generated data pouring into their networks. And since the connected universe is largely unfamiliar territory, they’re seeking out the help of providers like FogHorn Systems Inc., which closed $12 million in funding this morning to capitalize on the trend.

Three of the five investors that contributed to the round are major players in the industrial sector. General Electric Co.’s venture capital arm co-led the investment, while German manufacturing giant Robert Bosch GmbH and Japan’s Yokogawa Electric Corporation joined as strategic backers. Their interest in FogHorn can be attributed to its namesake analytics software, which is designed to be deployed at offshore factories, oil rigs and other remote industrial sites without a lot of on-premise technology infrastructure.

At the heart of the platform is a lightweight stream processing engine that is specifically optimized for analyzing the time-sensitive sensory information that is collected at such locations. Organizations can run custom software on top to turn the raw measurements into useful operational insights for the on-site personnel. For instance, a utility could use FogHorn’s software to pick out problem indicators from the diagnostics logs generated at a power plant. The platform thus removes the need to send the data to a remote site for processing, which provides a number of major logistical benefits.

The first is that analysis can be performed without the delay of transmitting the data over the network and then waiting for the results to come back the other way around. As a result, field technicians are able to address technical issues much faster than they could otherwise. And second, FogHorn eliminates the risk that comes with being dependent on a remote data center for operational information, which makes remote sites much less vulnerable to network outages. Its software also reduces bandwidth requirements in the process by reducing the amount of information that organizations need to send to their backend analytics infrastructure.

Today’s investment will enable FogHorn to expand its software’s capabilities and step up marketing efforts. The cash couldn’t have come at a better time: Incumbent vendors like IBM Corp. are also starting to target edge analytics use cases. The vendor recently revealed plans to bring the data crunching capabilities of Watson to Cisco Systems Inc.’s popular edge routers. FogHorn will need to be very resourceful if it wants to differentiate from its larger and better-established rivals.

Image via Pixabay
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Wikibon identifies ‘galaxies’ forming from big data ‘big bang’ Wed, 27 Jul 2016 10:44:02 +0000 As the exploding big data market enters its second deca […]]]>

As the exploding big data market enters its second decade, vendors are forming identifiable “galaxies,” providing structure to what has been a chaotic universe, writes Wikibon Big Data and Analytics Analyst George Gilbert. In his latest Professional Alert, available to Wikibon Premium subscribers, he identifies three major groupings of vendors around similar strategies:

  1. IBM, Palantir Technologies, Inc., Accenture PLC, and Teradata Corp. offer consulting-led template solutions. Their templates have varying degrees of repeatability, but with each engagement they become more repeatable and less customized.
  2. Microsoft, Oracle, SAP SE and Splunk, Inc. sell big data tools and application-led platforms. Tools are experiencing the greatest innovation the data management sector has seen in decades, and the platforms are growing at the expense of of individual products.
  3. Dell Inc., and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. are selling converged private cloud infrastructure packages. They package these to appeal to specific markets, including big data and Internet of Things (IoT).

Notably absent from the list, he writes, are Cloudera Inc., Hortonworks Inc. and MapR Technologies Inc., which continue to seek a business model that focuses on big data platform sales.

The full alert examines each of the vendors leading the three market sectors. Gilbert recommends that customers identify their starting point – services, application platforms or converged infrastructure – and create strategic relationships with their vendor(s) of choice.

photo credit: Loopable: Binary Sphere – Creative Commons Footage via photopin (license)
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Time’s running out for your free Windows 10 upgrade, just 3 days left Wed, 27 Jul 2016 08:45:33 +0000 The Windows 10 Anniversary Update is set to be released […]]]>

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update is set to be released next week, August 2, which means that the Windows 10 free upgrade is rapidly drawing to a close. After Friday, July 29, if you have not upgraded to Windows 10 you will need to fork out $100 for Windows 10 Home.

Windows 10 has been installed on over 350 million devices, as of end June, but if you haven’t fallen in love with Windows 10 yet, we look at how you can downgrade before time runs out.

How to upgrade from Windows 7 and 8 to Windows 10

Step 1: Before you start the upgrade to Windows 10 it is important to make a backup of all your important files, photos etc. if they are not stored in a Cloud service.

Step 2: Go to the Windows 10 download page > click the Download tool now button > Run > Upgrade this PC now.

Note: Depending on your internet speed the Windows 10 download can take between 20 and 60 minutes.

Step 3: Accept the license terms. The installer will check your PC is compatible with Windows 10, that there is enough free space and will start the download.  

Step 4: Click Install Windows 10 and your machine will reboot.

If you are not completely sold by the idea of upgrading to Windows 10, but don’t want pay for the operating system from next week, then there is a solution. Read our article for step-by-step instructions on how you can get a free upgrade of Windows 10 post-July, 29, which requires you to upgrade to Windows 10 and then roll back to either Windows 7 or 8. However, as the upgrade gives your PC digital entitlement, you will be able to download Windows 10 for free post-July 29.

Image credit: MattysFlicks; Flickr
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Drone delivery startup Flirtey flies first ever Slurpee to a customer’s home Wed, 27 Jul 2016 06:35:18 +0000 As Inc., illustrated yesterday when it annou […]]]>

As Inc., illustrated yesterday when it announced its moving its drone testing operations to the U.K., the U.S. lags behind other nations in the field due to strict regulations implemented by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). But the fact is, robotic delivery services seem all but inevitable, with the first ever drone delivery test being carried out in the U.S. earlier this week.

The test was completed by independent drone delivery service startup Flirtey, in cooperation with the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS) and the convenience store chain 7-Eleven Inc., and saw the delivery of one coffee, donuts, candy, a chicken sandwich, and a Slurpee drink delivered to a Reno, Nevada resident’s home.

In the test, the Flirtey drone flew approximately one mile to the customer’s home, marking yet another milestone for the startup. Just last month it carried out the first ever ship-to-shore drone delivery, and has also carried out tests demonstrating how it’s possible to fly delivery drones safely in urban areas, with the approval of the FAA.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to have 7‑Eleven, the largest convenience chain in the world, embracing new technologies and working with us at Flirtey to make drone delivery a reality for customers all over the world,” said Flirtey CEO Matt Sweeny in a statement. “This is just the first step in our collaboration with 7‑Eleven. Flirtey’s historic drone deliveries to date have been stepping stones to store-to-home drone delivery, and today is a giant leap toward a not-too-distant future where we are delivering you convenience on demand.”

A tech firm partnering with 7/11 might seem unusual at first glance, but it does take advantage of the realities of modern America, in that people just can’t get enough of junk food, and people are becoming increasingly lazy as technology evolves.

“My wife and I both work and have three small children ages 7, 6 and 1,” said the Reno resident who received the first drone delivery. “The convenience of having access to instant, 24/7 drone delivery is priceless. It’s amazing that a flying robot just delivered us food and drinks in a matter of minutes.”

Chris Walach, director of operations for NIAS, said the test flight proved that it’s possible to use drones as delivery vehicles in a safe fashion.

“This delivery required special flight planning, risk analysis, and detailed flight procedures ensuring residential safety and privacy were equally integrated,” Walach explained, adding that the drone used GPS to navigate itself to the customer’s home, where it safely lowered the goods into his backyard.

The test went off without a hitch, but don’t expect to be able to call your local 7/11 for a drone-delivered six pack any time soon. Flirtey’s debut flight was only possible after it obtained special permission from the FAA, and even then it had to adhere to the rules that state the drone must remain within the operator’s line of sight at all times.

But drone delivery services will only really take off if and when the FAA moves to relax that restriction, and it seems unlikely that it’ll do so anytime soon, hence Amazon’s decision to pursue its own delivery drone project in a climate with less strict regulations.

Image credit: 7/11 & Flirtey
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Best apps to stay updated on 2016 Rio Olympic Games for iOS, Android Wed, 27 Jul 2016 06:29:45 +0000 The 2016 Rio Olympics start next week Friday, August 5 […]]]>

The 2016 Rio Olympics start next week Friday, August 5 and will run through until August 21. Thousands of athletes will compete in swimming, athletics, weightlifting, boxing, basketball and more, from over 200 nations.

If you do not want to miss out on any of the Olympic news, results and coverage, we have rounded up the best apps on iOS and Android whether you are watching at home or are lucky enough to be at the Olympic stadium.

Keep up-to-date on all the 2016 Olympic coverage

Rio 2016

In the lead up to the 2016 Rio Olympics, the official Rio 2016 app is a great option. The main focus of the app currently is the Olympic Torch Relay as it makes its way around Brazil with real-time photos and videos of the celebrations. When the Olympic Games start on August 5, there will be details about the venues and event schedule.

Available free on iOS and Android.

Rio 2016 app


Another option to keep up-to-date on 2016 Olympic coverage is the ESPN app. During the Games you will be able to get breaking news coverage, live video and audio streaming through the app’s podcast-listening mode.

Available free on iOS and Android.

NBC Olympics

The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) has the rights to the 2016 Olympics in the U.S. and its app offers highlights from previous Games, high-quality videos, athlete profiles, and more. You can also see trending articles and have the ability to sort articles and videos by sport.

Available free on iOS and Android.

NBC Olympics app

BBC Sport

While the NBC and ESPN apps will have a lot of focus on the U.S., the BBC Sport app will provide you with a different perspective of the 2016 Olympic coverage. While a lot of coverage will obviously focus on the British team, the app allows you to set up a ‘My Sport’ page allowing you to focus on the Olympic coverage that interests you.

Available free on iOS and Android.


An update this week for theScore app will offer Olympic Game enthusiasts comprehensive information about the Rio Olympics. On the dedicated team pages, users will be able to see medal counts, relevant news and latest scores for each of the over 200 competing nations. You can also set up alerts about your favorite countries and get notified when someone wins a medal.

theScore app

theScore will also offer breaking news from the 2016 Olympics, or you can receive alerts for news stories specific to your favorite teams. Results from all the events will be provided, as well as live scores, news etc. for men’s and women’s basketball and soccer.

Available free on iOS and Android.

Heading off to the Rio Olympics?

If you are lucky enough to be heading off to the Rio Olympics next week, then make sure you download these apps.

Brazil Travel Guide

The Brazil Travel Guide app will allow you to get to know different areas better, by providing you with information about the best bars, restaurants, discos and more. In addition, you can book hotels, see a weather forecast, and current events in the area. You can also use the built-in currency converter and phrasebook to make your stay in Brazil easier.

Available free on iOS and Android.

Translation app

If you haven’t been practicing your Portuguese in the lead up to the 2016 Olympic Games then it would be advisable that you download one of the many translation apps that are available. English is not widely spoken in Brazil and only a small percentage of the population has a basic proficiency. To make your trip easier, make sure you download a translation app onto your iPhone or Android device.

How to live stream the 2016 Olympics with or without cable

With cable

If you have a cable subscription in the U.S. and want to watch the 2016 Olympics on the go then you can download the free NBC Sports app. When the Games start, you will be able to watch events in real-time and get access to news and past events.

Available free on iOS and Android.

Without cable

If you do not have a cable subscription then all is not lost as it is possible to watch the 2016 Olympics legally at a low cost. Two streaming service options that will allow you to watch the majority of the 2016 Olympic coverage are Sling TV and PlayStation Vue. Read our article to see how you can live stream all your favorite 2016 Olympic events for $30 per month. Both options also offer a 7-day free trial, allowing you to enjoy the first week of Olympic coverage at no cost.   

Sources: Paste; Boston Globe

Image credit: Gellinger; Pixabay
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