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The Longest Subsea Cable System In The World

The Longest Subsea Cable System in the World

The 2Africa consortium, comprised of China Mobile International, Facebook, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, stc, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone, and WIOCC, announced the addition of a new segment – the 2Africa PEARLS branch – extending to the Arabian Gulf, India, and Pakistan. This extension will bring the total length of the 2Africa cable system to over 45,000 kilometers, making it the longest subsea cable system ever deployed. 

Now connecting three continents, Africa, Europe and Asia terrestrially through Egypt, 2Africa creates unique connectivity by adding vital landing locations in Oman (Barka), UAE (Abu Dhabi and Kalba), Qatar (Doha), Bahrain (Manama), Kuwait (Kuwait), Iraq (Al Faw), Pakistan (Karachi), India (Mumbai), and a fourth landing in Saudi Arabia (Al Khobar).

The new 2Africa branch joins recently announced extensions to the Canary Islands, the Seychelles, Comoros Islands, Angola, and a new landing to south-east Nigeria. As with other 2Africa cable landings, capacity will be available in PEARLS landings at carrier-neutral facilities or open-access cable landing stations on a fair and equitable basis, encouraging and supporting the development of a healthy internet ecosystem. To further support a burgeoning global digital economy, the expanded system will serve an even wider range of communities that rely on the internet for services from education to healthcare, and businesses, providing economic and social benefits that come from increased connectivity.

As announced in May 2020, 2Africa was planned to directly bring seamless international connectivity to 1.2 billion people. Today, with 2Africa PEARLS, 2Africa will be providing international connectivity to an additional 1.8 billion people–that’s 3 billion people, representing 36% of the global population. Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) will deploy the new system utilizing new technologies such as SDM that allow the deployment of up to 16 fiber pairs, double that of older technologies and bringing greater and more cost-effective capacity.

SOURCE 2Africa

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Malwarebytes Cybercrime Report Reveals Cybercrime Does Not Impact Individuals Equally

Malwarebytes Cybercrime Report Reveals Cybercrime Does Not Impact Individuals Equally

Malwarebytes, a global leader in real-time cyber protection, released the findings of “The Demographics of Cybercrime” report, with non-profit partners, Digitunity and Cybercrime Support Network.


Digitunity is a nationally recognized non-profit dedicated to eliminating the technology gap and Cybercrime Support Network(CSN) is a 501(c)(3) whose mission is to serve individuals and small businesses nationwide that have been impacted by cybercrime.

New research uncovers that trends in cybercrime mirror the widening digital divide accelerated by the pandemic leaving lower income and vulnerable audiences disproportionally impacted. The report, which polled more than 5,000 people across the United StatesUnited Kingdom, and Germany, details how people experience cybercrime worldwide, demonstrating cybercrime does not impact everyone equally. In fact, the report illustrates that demographics impact how often individuals are targeted, as well as their emotional response to becoming a victim.

Overall analysis of data suggests disadvantaged groups facing barriers in society, such as those with lower incomes and lower education levels, feel less safe about their online experiences, are more likely to fall victim to an attack, and at times report experiencing a heavier emotional burden when responding to cyberattacks.

Depending on the type of cybercrime, certain groups report a higher likelihood of encountering threats online. For example, more women receive text messages from unknown numbers that include potentially malicious links than men (79 percent compared to 73 percent) and more Black people, Indigenous people, and People of Color (BIPOC) experience hacked social media accounts (45 percent compared to 40 percent) and instances of identity theft than White people (21 percent compared to 15 percent). Additionally, individuals aged 65 years or older have had their credit card information stolen more than anyone from a younger age group (36 percent).

After a year that has featured some of the largest cyberattacks in history, the report also examines the disparities between different audiences and how various types of online attacks affected their lives. The report also found respondents who identified as White are significantly more likely to feel safe online (44 percent vs. 38 percent for BIPOC respondents), while women feel the least safe online (35 percent reported they do not feel safe, compared to 27 percent of men).

“Understanding the impact that cybercrime has on vulnerable people (or populations), particularly women and minorities, across the world is critical as online access becomes essential to modern life. The disparity between populations feeling safe online and the emotional impact of threats on already vulnerable communities is unacceptable,” said Marcin Kleczynski, CEO of Malwarebytes. “The work Digitunity and Cybercrime Support Network are doing to educate and empower communities cannot be understated. As an industry, we need to work together to make safe internet access available to everyone, regardless of income or their ability to pay.”

“New adopters of technology, particularly those who may have been on the wrong side of the digital divide, are disproportionately more vulnerable to online threats and bad actors,” says Scot Henley, Executive Director of Digitunity. “Through our partnership with Malwarebytes, tens of thousands of devices made available to low-income families will be loaded with robust antivirus and antimalware protection. Having this critical layer of security will go a long way to ensure adoption and success.”

“As technology and internet accessibility become more entwined in our day-to-day routines, our financial and emotional lives are more significantly impacted by cybercrime,” says Robert Burda, Interim Chief Executive Officer at Cybercrime Support Network. “With a greater understanding of how the digital world impacts disadvantaged communities, we can provide better programs and resources that meet people where they are.”

As the world becomes more digitally connected, cyberthreats will continue to advance and become even more dangerous for underserved and under-resourced communities. Cybersecurity education and awareness around free tools, such as antivirus solutions, has the power to prevent online attacks and their emotional and financial consequences. In fact, the report exposed that of those who were attacked by ransomware, almost half were able to fix the issue with their antivirus or cybersecurity program.

To learn more about the findings from this report,visit:  https://www.malwarebytes.com/resources/2021-demographics-of-cybercrime  

Research findings are based on a survey conducted by Savanta Inc. Across the US, UK, and Germany between July 27 and August 9, 2021. For this study, 5,000 respondents were asked general questions around suspicious online activities. Respondents are recruited through a number of different mechanisms, via different sources to join the panels and participate in market research surveys. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation.

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Cox Automotive Forecast: New-Vehicle Sales Stall In September

Cox Automotive Forecast: New-Vehicle Sales Stall in September

Automobile sales in September are forecast to slow for the fifth straight month, as tight inventory, high prices take a toll on the industry.


September U.S. auto sales are forecast to be significantly hampered by an ongoing lack of new-vehicle inventory. According to a forecast released by Cox Automotive, the pace of auto sales, or seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), is expected to finish near 12.1 million, the slowest pace since May 2020, when much of the country was closed during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The September 2021 sales pace will be down from August’s 13.1 million pace and down from the September 2020 pace of 16.3 million.

Cox Automotive Inc. makes buying, selling, owning and using vehicles easier for everyone. The global company’s more than 27,000 team members and are passionate about helping millions of car shoppers, 40,000 auto dealer clients across five continents and many others throughout the automotive industry thrive for generations to come. Cox Automotive is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises Inc., a privately-owned, Atlanta-based company with annual revenues of nearly $20 billion.

Sales volume is forecast by Cox Automotive to come in near a notably low 1.0 million units. The low volume expectations for September 2021 put the month on course to be among the worst in the past decade. Sales volume is expected to be down nearly 26% from last September and down 8.5% from last month. The sales pace in the U.S. market has fallen every month since reaching a peak of 18.3 million in April.

According to Cox Automotive Senior Economist Charlie Chesbrough: “After a strong spring selling season, the supply situation has worsened precipitously and is dragging sales down with it. The monthly declines have been large – the sales pace has declined by more than a million units in each of the past five months. Available supply on dealer lots is now 58% lower than last September, down nearly 1.4 million units.”

The new-vehicle supply shortage is impacting the market in many ways. Manufacturers have cut back significantly on incentives, and transaction prices have risen as a result. In addition, the lack of new-vehicle inventory is steering many dealers and consumers into the used-vehicle market, resulting in higher prices for both wholesale and retail used vehicles.

Q3 2021: The Auto Industry Finds the Bottom

Cox Automotive will officially revise its full-year forecast, with new projections scheduled to be released on September 30.

The underlying economic conditions in the U.S. are currently healthy enough to support higher new-vehicle sales levels. The demand is there. Inventory levels, however, are the unique problem facing the automotive market right now, with disruptions to the global supply chain challenging all automakers, severely impacting available inventory, and pushing many would-be buyers out of the market. In recent research by Cox Automotive’s Kelley Blue Book team, nearly half of would-be buyers indicated in August that they will likely step back from the market, many for three months or more.

Inventory conditions, however, are anticipated to improve in the coming months. “The expectation is that OEM supply issues will improve such that Q4 should have better selling SAARs than the September rate, but that doesn’t mean good selling rates,” said Chesbrough. “Vehicles are getting produced, and some OEMs have improved their supply situation. In recent months, OEMs seem to be managing the situation better now that they’ve had time to adjust. For example, automakers are improving their ability to redirect existing chips to the most important vehicles in their portfolios. This strategy should support better sales in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter.”

September 2021 Sales Forecast Highlights

  • New light-vehicle sales are forecast to fall to 1.0 million units, or down 357,000 units, nearly 26% from last year. Compared to last month, sales are expected to fall 92,000 or nearly 8%.
  • The SAAR in September 2021 is estimated to be 12.1 million, down from last September’s early COVID recovery pace of 16.3 million and down from August’s 13.1 million supply-constrained level.
  • No segment saw a sales increase in September with the Mid-Size Cars and Compact SUV/Crossover segments seeing the largest year-over-year decreases at -41.0% and -33.7%, respectively.

Cox Automotive Q3 U.S. Auto Sales Forecast Call

Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke and the Industry Insights team will share their take on the overall industry performance on Thursday, September 30, at 10 a.m. EDT. In addition to the economic factors influencing the market, the Industry Insights team will cover the industry’s hottest topics, including inventory, vehicle prices, and valuations. The revised Cox Automotive full-year forecast will be explained, including insights into the outlook for the remainder of the year. 

Register to attend.

* All percentages are based on raw volume, not daily selling rate.

SOURCE Cox Automotive Press Release. 

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Ford Motor To Cease Operations In India: What Happens Next?

Ford Motor To Cease Operations in India: What Happens Next?

“To continue investing … we needed to show a path for a reasonable return on investment,” Ford India head Anurag Mehrotra told reporters last week. “Unfortunately, we are not able to do that,” Anurag concludes. 


Ford India Private Limited announced on 9 September 2021, their intent to shut down their two manufacturing plants located in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, and Sanand, Gujarat. Their decision to move out of the Indian market comes with a heavy heart. After sinking $2.5 billion in India since entry and burning another $2 billion over the past decade alone, Ford decided not to invest more. 

Ford Motors’ venture into India was not easy, especially being one of the first multinational automobile companies entering into the Indian market and their journey was neither smooth with tough competition from companies such as Japan’s Suzuki Motor Corp. and South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co. Surprisingly, they were not the only global automobile corporations that have found it difficult to sustain India’s automobile market which is the fourth largest in the world based upon production statistics of 2017. In fact, Ford’s American rival General Motors (GM) and the American motorcycle company Harley-Davidson are also on the list of global companies that have ceased manufacturing in India.

Factors Contributing To Ford India’s Closure

Some of the key factors were:

  • Failure to adapt to the Indian Consumers’ Portfolio

Indian consumers prefer small, cheap, fuel-efficient cars that could bump over uneven roads without needing expensive repairs. In India, 95% of cars are priced below $20,000.”The struggle for many global brands has always been meeting India’s price point because they brought global products that were developed for mature markets at a high-cost structure,” commented analyst Ammar Master at LMC Automotive. 

An automobile industry expert from India who prefers annonymity,  pointed out that Ford did not fully customize its car platforms. India is a right-hand drive market whereas in the US it is left-hand drive.  The expert adds, “Some of the Ford India’s car models, the owner-driver, had to get down, go around the vehicle, open the left side door to unlock the boot, certainly a tedious affair,” the expert explained. 

  • Difficult Market for Global Brands

Some of Ford’s missteps can be traced to when it drove into India in the mid-1990s. While Maruti Suzuki India Ltd and Hyundai Motor India Ltd cashed in on launching new models at different price points, Ford and General Motors failed to do so as they didn’t have a small car in their global portfolio. Ford mentioned that it had considered bringing more models to India but determined it could not do so profitably. 

In addition, an automobile industry expert from India pointed out that Ford did not fully customize its car platforms. India is a right-hand drive market whereas in the US it is a left-hand drive. As such, “Some of the Ford India’s car models, the owner-driver, had to get down, go around the vehicle, open the left side door to unlock the boot, certainly a tedious affair,” the expert explained. 

Hence, as a whole, “U.S. manufacturers with large truck DNAs struggled to create a good and profitable small vehicle. Nobody got the product quite right and losses piled up,” said Ravi Bhati, President of JATO Dynamics Ltd.

While India’s auto market has been described as tough to crack, Hyundai subsidiary Kia Motors and China’s MG Motor are among the exceptions, having made significant inroads over the last couple of years.

  • Demand Has Been Muted

Auto sales have registered a combined annual growth rate of just 1.5 per cent in India over the past five years, upsetting the plans of MNCs who have heavily invested in the Indian markets. In conjunction with the Indian market’s downturn, the automobile industry demand for combustion vehicles, in general, is declining due to the transition towards an all-electric future. 

“The industry has been witnessing comparatively slower growth in the last 18 months… There have been a lot of statements about the importance of the automobile industry, but in terms of concrete action, which would reverse the decline, I haven’t seen any action on the ground. I don’t think the car industry would revive either with ICEs, or with the CNG, biofuels or EVs unless we address the question of affordability of cars for the consumers,” Maruti Suzuki chairman R C Bhargava had said.

Therefore, a combination of factors snowballed over 25 years with the pandemic last year, exacerbating the economic losses to a point of no return.

Ford considered several options in India, including partnerships, platform sharing and contract manufacturing with other carmakers before deciding to shut down factories in India.

What Is Next?

  1. For Ford India Employees

“The company has to export about 30,000 cars by the end of this year. So, the management has cajoled the workers to restart production while holding talks relating to the plant closure,” another worker told IANS preferring anonymity.

According to Ford India, about 4,000 employees are expected to be affected by its decision. The union officials are also studying the settlement packages offered by other companies and to avoid other pitfalls so that they can secure a good compensation package if they are not able to protect their jobs.

       2.  For India and automobile industry competitors

The retreat by Ford is a further blow to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make-in-India program, which encourages companies to manufacture locally. Tesla Inc. has urged Modi’s administration to allow it to import cars more cheaply before it commits to setting up a factory in the country.

According to Vahishta Unwalla, Lead Analyst-Industry Research Team, Care Ratings Ltd, companies in the utility vehicle space like Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors India Pvt Ltd and Tata Motors Ltd shall benefit by the exit of Ford India. She adds that since Ford India is not a major player in any car segment,  its absence will not result in any substantial windfall for other players.

More updates on Ford can be found https://corporate.ford.com/

References of Content:

[1] What the exit of Ford Motor Company from India tells us by MG Arun, India Today
[2]
Ford Motor Company bails on India, will shut car factories there    by Ragini Saxena and Keith Naughton (Bloomberg)
[3] Ford motor to cease local production in india shut down both plants report by Pranav Mukul
[4] What went wrong with Ford in India and who will benefit from its exit? by IANS, Chennai


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FABTECH® 2021:What You Have Missed

FABTECH® 2021:What You Have Missed

FABTECH® 2021 event came to a close at Chicago, McCormick Place yesterday, after its three-day large-scale held event.

By Ashwini Balan, Eastern Trade Media


FABTECH® is the premier event for the metal fabricating industry since its debut in 1981 and today, it has grown to become North America’s largest metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing product innovations and developments. FABTECH®’s comprehensive offerings such as world-class exhibits, educational sessions, industry experts, and influential keynote speakers certainly has made the yearly event a convenient “one stop shop” venue for keen individuals to find the tools to improve productivity, increase profits and discover new solutions to all of your metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing needs.

This year, FABTECH® organisers have taken into consideration the covid-19 pandemic situation and have committed to ensuring health and safety were a priority of the event. Despite additional guidelines and procedures incorporated into the event to ensure a safe environment for everyone present, the event never failed to conclude with a roaring success. The event saw about 959 exhibitors listed encompassing three halls at McCormick Place with featured technologies ranging from Additive Manufacturing, Resistance Welding to lasers and Stamping. 

Since there were tons of amazing exhibits, keynote speakers, panel discussions, ted-talks and many more, I have highlighted some that I think might be of interest to you.

Exhibitors list Index: 959 

FABx Tech Talks

Multi-Day Special Event – 3D/Additive Manufacturing Showcase

Educational Conferences

Thank you to the sponsors of the event that made it possible: 

Amada America, Inc., Trumpf, Sage, Mazak Optonics, Modula, Salvagnini America inc., Alternative Parts Inc, Unified Purchasing Group, FANUC American Corporation.

Future FABTECH® Expos dates are now available on their official website.
Head on down now to be part of the upcoming FABTECH® Expos!

References of Content:

  1. Official FABTECH Website
  2. History of FABTECH
  3. Speakers of event have been credited accordingly.
  4. The list of exhibits, tech talks, event showcases in this article is not exhaustive of the original list.

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GlobalData Predicts Future Robotics Unicorns

GlobalData Predicts Future Robotics Unicorns

Right from healthcare, customer service, security patrols, and education & entertainment, startups are offering robotics-enabled solutions ranging from last-mile delivery to industrial automation. Against this backdrop, the Unicorn Prediction Model of GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, has released a list of 50 robotics startups that have the potential to become unicorns (valuation > US$1bn).

By Ashwini Balan, Eastern Trade Media


“Unicorn” is a term used in the venture capital industry to describe a privately held startup company with a value of over $1 billion. The term was first popularized by venture capitalist Aileen Lee, founder of Cowboy Ventures, a seed-stage venture capital fund based in Palo Alto, California.

Apoorva Bajaj, Practice Head of Financial Markets at GlobalData, says: “Advances in AI have enabled the development of robots, allowing them to become highly complex products rather than being the stand-alone, fixed-function machines they used to be. With the expansion of the roles that robots can perform, deep-pocketed venture capital (VC) firms are attracted to invest in the high-growth opportunity.”

GlobalData’s recent report, Future Robotics Unicorns – 09 September 2021, in Q2 2021, Asia-Pacific accounted for over 44% of VC deal volume valued at a total of US$ 2.7bn, followed by North America (primarily the US.) accounting for 31% of the total deal volume. Some of the robotics startups in GlobalData’s list of potential unicorns include Gecko Robotics, Covariant, Superpedestrian, and Sphero.

Gecko Robotics builds and operates robots to automate infrastructure inspections across power, gas, oil, and manufacturing industries. Gecko’s software portal allows clients to review all their assets in 3D, ensuring a holistic view of the equipment and prioritizing areas that needs urgent attention. 

Covariant designed a universal AI to enable robots to see, reason, and act in the real world. Based on research in deep imitation learning, deep reinforcement learning and meta-learning, the company has built Covariant Brain, a universal AI for robots that can be applied to any use case or customer environment.

Superpedestrian is a US-based transportation robotics company that develops technologies for micro-electric vehicles to optimize safety, reliability, and performance. Recently, it acquired micromobility-safety startup Navmatic and launched an active safety system, Pedestrian Defense.

Sphero builds smartphone-controlled robots by combining robotic and digital technology into immersive entertainment experiences. Sphero robots allow kids to learn fundamental STEM concepts through play-based learning and educational STEAM activities.

To gain access to GlobalData’s latest press releases and expert analysis on developments in your industry, connect with them:

GlobalData | LinkedIn | Twitter

References of the content:

  1. Quotes are provided by Apoorva Bajaj, Practice Head of Financial Markets at GlobalData
  2. The information is based on GlobalData’s report ‘Future Robotics Unicorns – 09 September 2021′
  3. GlobalData’s Startup Scorecard ranks startups relatively using quantifiable data on three pillars: Investments, Innovation and Market Presence to ensure that it is objective and can be comparatively measured across different sectors and themes.
  4. This press release was written using data and information sourced from proprietary databases, primary and secondary research, and in-house analysis conducted by GlobalData’s team of industry experts
  5. “Unicorn” Definition: Investopedia, 2021

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Global Transition Towards Electric Vehicles Poses Major Challenges.

Global Transition Towards Electric Vehicles Poses Major Challenges.

It seems that not much has changed from the age of petrol-fueled vehicles to our current era of electric vehicles(EVs). Scientists are still grappling worldwide over the depleting availability of resources and the effective usage of those resources to meet the rising demand in the automotive industry.

By Ashwini Balan, Eastern Trade Media


General Motors earlier this year announced their commitment towards being carbon neutral, and added that by 2035, all their vehicles will consist of zero tailpipe emissions. Audi, another leading multinational automotive manufacturer, pledges to end the production of combustion-engine by 2033.

With these two market leaders taking the leap forward to an all-electric future, many multinational companies are overwhelmed with the pressure to quickly transition to EVs to maintain their competitive edge but more importantly, meet the rising consumer demand. Boston Consulting Group (BCG) analysis forecasts that by 2026, more than half of new passenger vehicles sold worldwide will be electric.

With the shift from fuel-intensive to material-intensive energy sources, there are two main concerns that scientists are struggling to resolve. Firstly, to reduce the usage of metal in batteries as it is scarce, expensive, environmentally toxic and working conditions hazardous to miners. Secondly, would be to create a recyclable battery system to maximise the utility of the valuable metals available.

Lithium-ion batteries are highly used in EVs due to their low cost which is 30 times cheaper than when they first entered the market in the early 1990s[1]. In addition, BNEF estimated that the current reserves of lithium— 21 million tonnes, according to the US Geological Survey — are enough to carry the conversion to EVs through to the mid-century.[2]  Hence, what concerns researches in EV batteries is Cobalt and Nickel.

In an attempt to address this issue, researches have been experimenting in removing both cobalt and nickel from the composition of EV batteries. However, to successfully remove them would radically transform the cathode materials. In recent years, Ceder’s team and other groups have displayed that certain lithium-rich rock salts were able to perform without the use of cobalt or nickel and yet remain stable in the process. In particular, they can be made with manganese, which is cheap and plentiful, Ceder says.[3]

To create a battery recycling system, another hurdle to overcome is the cost of recycling lithium. A potential solution would be through government support, which is seen in China where financial and regulatory incentives for battery companies are given to source materials from recycling firms instead of importing freshly mined ones, says Hans Eric Melin, managing director of Circular Energy Storage, a consulting company in London.

It is also problematic for manufacturers in their recycling efforts, when the chemistry of cathodes become obsolete at the end of the cars’ life cycle. In response to that, material scientist Andrew Abbott at the University of Leicester, UK developed a technique for separating out cathode materials using ultrasound. He adds that this method works effectively in battery cells that are packed flat rather than rolled up and can make recycled materials much cheaper than virgin mined metals.[4]

Scaling up the volume of lithium also aids in reducing the cost of recycling and this would make it economically viable for businesses to adopt it says Melin. The example of lead-acid batteries — the ones that start petrol-powered cars — gives reason for optimism.  “The value of a lead-acid battery is even lower than a lithium-ion battery. But because of volume, it makes sense to recycle anyway,” Melin says.[5]

With the collaborative effort among policymakers, researchers and manufacturers an all-electric future is an attainable reality.

References of Content:
Original Article Source: Davide Castelvecchi, 2021( https://t.co/amlXvXWs6E?amp=1 )

[1]  M. S. Ziegler & J. E. Trancik Energy Environ. Sci.2021

[2]  BloombergNEF. Electric Vehicle Outlook 2021 (BNEF, 2021)

[3]  Yang, J. H., Kim, H. & Ceder, G. Molecules 26, 3173 (2021)

[4] Lei, C. et al. Green Chem. 23, 4710–4715 (2021)

[5] Melin, H. E. et al. Science 373, 384–387 (2021).

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