IT News and Events
Nov 16th, 2020 — Nov 22nd, 2020 Generate the Custom HTML Email for this Issue
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Volume 272, Issue 3 << Previous Issue
IT News - CxO
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The Evolving Role Of The CTO
Since spending more time at home, my appetite for reading has increased. In fact, I recently picked up again one of my favorites - J. R. R. Tolkein's Lord of the Rings trilogy.
"In the first book, The Fellowship of the Ring," recalls Tommy Gardner in HelpNet Security, "a conversation between Frodo and Gandalf goes something like this:

'I wish it need not have happened in my time,' said Frodo.

'So do I,' said Gandalf, 'and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.'

The CTO role keeps changing

Such is also the fate of the Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Many things are beyond their control. Yet, in times of crisis, CTOs are relied upon. They often peer into the future and must address dangers to the business and contend with many unknowns. The key to being a successful CTO is deciding the best things to do with what's in front of us..."

HelpNet Security, November 9th, 2020
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Why The CMO And CIO Are No Longer Strange Bedfellows
Aligning people and issues with solutions, creating clarity and action, persuading buy-in, and bringing the disparate elements together for business outcomes.
"Which of the two - CIO or CMO - does that describe?" asks Ian Jagger in CIO.

"The answer is both, of course, especially when the link is the enterprise undertaking digital transformation. 'Digital transformation' is a term thrown around too much, and that is because it lacks a foundational definition - but since communicating digital transformation is actually my job, I find it more compelling to take a business context, not a technology context. I describe it as 'the opportunity to bridge the gap between the traditional physical world and new digital ambition, in order to create new value streams.'

CIO, November 9th, 2020
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Leading CIOs Say Building Digital-Ready Culture Is Top Priority
During the fifth 2020 MIT Sloan CIO Digital Learning Series, CIOs discuss how they've accelerated and sustained a digital cultural change in more traditional organizations
Gabriella Frick writes in SearchCIO, "CarMax, which started life as a conventional used car store more than 25 years ago, has undergone significant transformation in more recent years. The goal, CIO and CTO Shamim Mohammad said, has been to make the dealership digital so that it can innovate more rapidly..."

"[This] was important because our customers were changing fast and were expecting to do a lot more on their terms," Mohammad said during the 2020 MIT Sloan CIO Digital Learning Series. "We have to make sure that we're able to meet where the customers wanted us to meet and give them the [proper] tools and capabilities so they are in the driver's seat."

SearchCIO, November 9th, 2020
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The Changing Role Of The IT Team
Digital accelerations are changing the role of IT
"With the constant development of technology over the last decade, the IT management team's role has been steadily evolving," opines Nick Offin in techradar.pro.

"Traditionally, the complexity and novelty of technology demanded on-hand expertise, with the IT department at the heart of the business. While IT infrastructure remains a critical part of any organization, today's more tech-adverse employees are equipped with more accessible and understandable technologies. This has meant the conventional role of the hands-on IT team has been redefined to meet the digital era..."

techradar.pro, November 11th, 2020
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3 Ways For CIOs To Improve Their Positioning With AI
Artificial intelligence is changing the pace at which CIOs can achieve an enviable position on their leadership teams
Michael Bertha writes in CIO, "Understanding the role of IT through the eyes of organizational stakeholders is an effective technique for determining how IT may need to change. For the longest time, IT was viewed as a cost center, with a primary emphasis on performance and cost. Over the past 10 years, IT's role has been elevated in many organizations. IDG's 2020 State of the CIO survey personifies this trend: 75% of surveyed CIOs identified themselves as business strategists or transformation agents, and 67% claim revenue generation among their job responsibilities..."
CIO, November 10th, 2020
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4 Must-Read Digital Transformation Books For Leaders
Successful digital transformation leaders focus on much more than technology. These books will broaden your understanding of the customer journey, global markets, and more
"Digital transformation is rarely just about IT," opines Kate Yuan in The Enterprisers Project.

"It's about how you use the underlying infrastructure and technical choices to create more value for your customers and as a result, enable growth for your company.

For CIOs who want to further their digital transformation journey, here are my top recommendations for books that can help you better understand four pivotal topics: the customer journey, how to innovate on an enterprise level, the differences in global markets, and emerging technology trends that can change your job in the future..."

The Enterprisers Project, November 9th, 2020
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IT News - Security
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7 Key Cybersecurity Metrics For The Board And How To Present Them
Learn how to present important cybersecurity metrics for the board to ensure that business leaders understand that money allocated to security is money well spent
"Cybersecurity is critical," warns Andrew Froehlich in SearchSecurity. "Everyone knows that. Justifying to the board of directors the amount of money needed to sustain cybersecurity? That's not as straightforward, and that's why IT security managers must continually find ways to explain the value a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy brings to the overall business.

The goal should be to illuminate -- without getting too technical -- those cybersecurity operational metrics and measures that paint a picture of the current threat landscape. Let's look at some of the most important cybersecurity metrics for the board..."

SearchSecurity, November 9th, 2020
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Top 5 IT Security Tips For Businesses
From reviewing your policies, performing an IT audit and training employees - find out some of the key measures to make sure your business is protected against cyber threats
"Companies and business leaders in the IT space have been increasingly raising awareness about cybersecurity," writes Caterina Bassano in Business 2 Community, "bringing up some of the most common threats and gaps in IT security for businesses, to help them to step up with the latest solutions.

Cybersecurity has taken the spotlight recently more than ever, because hackers and malicious attackers take no rest, and the threats are only becoming greater. The latest figures from the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), 37% of companies reported a data breach incident between 2019 and 2020. Other reports have shown that, every day, around 65,000 attempts to SMEs and SMBs occur in the UK every day, and around 4,500 of them are successful..."

Business 2 Community, November 13th, 2020
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The Double-Edged Sword Of Cybersecurity Insurance
With ransomware on the rise, more organizations are opting to purchase cyber insurance -- tipping off criminals about how much to demand for access back to pilfered systems and data
"Cybersecurity insurance is no longer a luxury," opines Samuel Greengard in Dark Reading.

"As attacks have accelerated - and become more costly - the idea of hedging against a breach has gone mainstream. The global cyber-insurance market now stands at $7.8 billion, but it's projected to reach $20.4 billion by 2025, according to an October 2020 report from ResearchAndMarkets.

Indeed, companies are incorporating cybersecurity insurance into their overall business strategies, says Alexander Chaveriat, chief innovation officer at Tuik Security Group. But - and should we really be surprised? - cybercriminals have also recognized that where there's insurance, there's opportunity..."

Dark Reading, November 10th, 2020
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Data Breach Response: How To Plan And Recover
Download a planning guide from CompTIA to ensure your company and your customers are prepared and can respond when a ransomware attack or data breach strikes
"Ransomware isn't a customer problem -- it's an everyone problem. Increasingly, that includes solution providers who have become targets of cyber criminals because of their relationships to numerous small business customers.

Last year, research by Continuum revealed that 83% of managed service providers (MSPs) have reported customer cyber attacks, and 74% of those said they've been a cyber victim themselves. Unfortunately, in most instances it appears that it's only a matter of when, not if, providers will fall prey to the bad guys.."

SearchSecurity, November 12th, 2020
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4 Top Deception Tools And How They Ensnare Attackers
Deception tools have come a long way in a few years and can now more closely emulate real network activity and help security teams identify and stop attacks
"A few years ago," recalls John Breeden in CSO Online, "many deception technology companies were in the process of adding advanced features like cloud integration, artificial intelligence (AI) and automation to their platforms to combat increasingly advanced threats. The upgraded defenses were necessary because skilled attackers were starting to unmask and circumvent classic deception tricks like dropping breadcrumbs pointing at fictitious, static assets. Today, deception technology again has the upper hand and can deploy a labyrinth of realistic looking but fake assets that act very much like the real thing..."
CSO Online, November 11th, 2020
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IT News - Storage
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100+TB SSDs Could Appear Next Year as Micron Dbuts breakthrough flash memory
176-layer NAND delivers a 37% improvement on current technology
"Micron has just unveiled its next generation 176-layer 3D NAND. The new chip offers a 37% improvement on its nearest competitor, Kioxia/Western Digital's 112-layer BiCS5," reports Desire Athow in techradar.pro.

"The company says the new NAND will improve both read and write latency by more than a third compared to last generation's 96-layer floating-gate NAND, which could mean faster and cheaper solid state drives..."

techradar.pro, November 9th, 2020
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176 Steps Closer To The Mythical All-Flash Datacenter
We have nothing against disk drives. Seriously
Timothy Prickett Morgan writes in The Next Platform "And in fact, we are amazed at the amount of innovation that continues to go into the last electromechanical device still in use in computing, which from a commercial standpoint started out with the tabulating machines created by Herman Hollerith in 1884 and used to process the 1890 census in the United States, thus laying the foundation of International Business Machines.

Which, not coincidentally, created the first magnetic storage drive, a rotating drum called RAMAC, in 1956 and which was an innovator in disk storage for decades before it sold the business off to Hitachi in 2002 and which was acquired by Western Digital in 2012..."

The Next Platform, November 11th, 2020
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Critical Capabilities For Object Storage
This is an abstract of a report of 23 pages, published on October 21, 2020, and written by Chandra Mukhyala, Julia Palmer, Jerry Rozeman, Robert Preston, analysts at Gartner, Inc.
Growing adoption of the Amazon S3 protocol by application vendors is expanding interest in on-premises object storage to store static data. In this research, we evaluate 11 object storage products vs. eight critical capabilities in use cases relevant to I&O leaders.

Key Findings

  • Traditional enterprise applications that were dependent on NFS and SMB protocols are increasing their adoption of the Amazon S3 protocol to benefit from the scalability and geographical distribution available in object storage.

  • Given the rise of the Amazon S3 protocol as a de facto access protocol for object storage, distributed file storage vendors are also offering S3 protocol access for objects stored in file systems.

  • With increasing options for low-cost storage tiers and granular security, public cloud continues to increase its attractiveness as a viable alternative to on-premises object storage.

  • Object storage vendors continue to add file protocol access, but the file access mostly remains a gateway and is not scalable and resilient like the underlying object storage.

Recommendations ...

StorageNewsletter, November 12th, 2020
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Optimal Architectures For Intelligent Storage Systems
Explore the best, most optimal architectures for intelligent storage and how these systems improve storage performance/utilization to help get more bang out of your data set buck
Dan Sullivan writes in SearchStorage, "Brute force has been the critical lever to achieving advances in storage technology for much of its history. Making storage devices bigger, faster and denser has worked well and will no doubt continue to contribute to improved storage systems, but it is no longer the best way to improve storage costs and performance. Instead, machine learning and analytics in the form of intelligent storage systems now drive the most important advances in storage technology..."
SearchStorage, November 9th, 2020
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Spinning Disk Hard Drives: Good Value For Many Use Cases
When it comes to storage media, all talk is of flash, but there are plenty of use cases where - far less costly - spinning disk can do a perfectly adequate job in the enterprise
"Over the last few years, much of the enterprise storage market has focused on flash technology," writes Stephen Pritchardi in ComputerWeekly, "but the hard disk drive (HDD) format has plenty of life in it yet.

It is true that flash storage offers dramatic performance improvements over conventional hard disk drives. And flash memory drives have fallen in price and grown in capacity. Gartner, for example, expects prices to fall between 10% and 15% this year..."

ComputerWeekly, November 9th, 2020
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IT News - Technology
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7 Ways To Use Raspberry Pi In Enterprise IT
From team-building exercises to low-cost security and Kubernetes experiments, consider these ways enterprise IT pros can use Raspberry Pi devices
"While pie may or may not be the next big adventure in pandemic baking, Raspberry Pi has been growing as a trend among enterprise IT pros for years," writes Carla Rudder in The Enterprisers Project.

"Beloved for its low cost, flexibility, and ease of use, Raspberry Pi devices have enabled teams to create, experiment, test, and add value to the work they are doing. As the end of the year approaches, consider how Raspberry Pi can help your team connect in new ways while building value for the future..."

The Enterprisers Project, November 12th, 2020
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Which Emerging Technologies Are Enterprise Companies Getting Serious About In 2020?
Startups need to live in the future. They create roadmaps, build products and continually upgrade them with an eye on next year - or even a few years out.
Scott Kirsner writes in TechCrunch, "Big companies, often the target customers for startups, live in a much more near-term world. They buy technologies that can solve problems they know about today, rather than those they may face a couple bends down the road. In other words, they're driving a Dodge, and most tech entrepreneurs are driving a DeLorean equipped with a flux-capacitor.

That situation can lead to a huge waste of time for startups that want to sell to enterprise customers: a business development black hole. Startups are talking about technology shifts and customer demands that the executives inside the large company - even if they have 'innovation,' 'IT,' or 'emerging technology' in their titles - just don't see as an urgent priority yet, or can't sell to their colleagues..."

TechCrunch, November 13th, 2020
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IT News - Humor
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The Day I Took Down The Data Centre - I Mean, The Day I Saved The Day. Right, Boss?
How many hundred thousand customers?
"Who, Me?" asks Richard Speed in The Register. "Welcome to a Who, Me? story in which the moral might be: "Be careful what you kick off before lunch if you want a mealtime free of phone calls."

Today's tale concerns the exploits of "Anthony," who was working in the security department of one of the larger cable internet providers. One of his jobs was assessing systems due to be deployed, a task that was sensibly done on a pre-deployment network. A device would be built, popped onto the network and Anthony would run various tests to ensure everything had been put together to spec..."

The Register, November 9th, 2020
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IT News - Operations
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IT Metrics: Why The Five 9s Must Go
If your team measures IT uptime using the five 9s approach, it may be time to rethink how you deliver business value to the organization. Here's how we updated our metrics
"Does your organization measure IT uptime using "nines" (99.9%, 99.99%, 99.999%)? asks Robert Sullivan in The Enterprisers Project.

"Primarily applied to a specific application or ITIL-defined service (microservices, serverless, APIs, etc.), this common approach counts the number of minutes that the system is fully available and divides this number by minutes within a given period.

However, it creates a distorted view of service delivery to your clients, both internal and external. Consider these questions:.."

The Enterprisers Project, November 12th, 2020
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6 Hidden Risks Of IT Automation
Automation is increasingly seen as a key IT strategy for competitive advantage, but pitfalls await those who fail to heed precautions.
"Across nearly every industry automation is fast becoming king," opines Bob Violino in CIO.

"Whether it's through IT automation, robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI) or some other means of eliminating or reducing manual processes, enterprises across the spectrum seek to speed up all manner of functions to remain competitive - and IT is right in the middle of this movement.

The potential benefits of automating processes can be compelling: faster completion of tasks with fewer errors and at lower costs, for example. It's not surprising then, that demand for automation tools is on the rise..."

CIO, November 10th, 2020
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IT News - Database
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Graph Databases Gaining Enterprise-Ready Features
Graph database vendors are broadening their applications by adding enterprise-focused features to help customers who are dealing with the burdens of huge troves of business-critical data
Todd R. Weiss writes in datanami, "In a move that is highlighting the growing maturity of the graph database marketplace, Neo4j recently unveiled its latest product, Neo4j for Graph Data Science, which is designed to make it easier for enterprises to use graph machine learning to expand their capabilities. Another vendor, Katana Graph, recently announced a collaboration with Intel to port and optimize its Katana Graph engine on Intel Xeon scalable processors, Xeon-based clusters and on Intel's upcoming discrete GPUs..."
datanami, November 12th, 2020
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IT News - HPC
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It's Fugaku vs. COVID-19: How The World's Top Supercomputer Is Shaping Our New Normal
Fugaku is currently the most powerful publicly ranked supercomputer in the world - but we weren't supposed to have it yet
"The supercomputer, situated at Japan's Riken scientific research institute, was scheduled to come online in 2021. When the pandemic struck, Riken decided to launch Fugaku almost a year ahead of schedule. Since then, Riken and Fugaku have found a particular niche in the crowded COVID-19 research landscape, conducting a swath of intensive simulations focused on how viral droplets proliferate through masks, face shields, train cars and more - and in the process, drawing a very direct line between supercomputing and the general public. HPCwire spoke with Dr. Makoto Tsubokura, head of the Complex Phenomena Unified Simulation Research Team at Riken, to learn more about the past, present and future of Riken's policy-targeted coronavirus research..."
HPC Wire, November 9th, 2020
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IT News - Cloud
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Hybrid Cloud Storage: 7 Best Practices
A hybrid cloud storage approach can help you control costs and add flexibility, among other benefits. But it's important to understand best practices and avoid pitfalls
"There's no shortage of hype around hybrid cloud storage and the millions of dollars it could save an enterprise," notes Stephanie Overby in The Enterprisers Project.

"That's an appealing proposition - particularly right now. 'Economic pressures will continue to drive CIOs and CFOs to look for ways to provide IT functionality for less money,' says Tim Stephenson, director, North American Cloud Center of Excellence at Capgemini. 'Government regulations and compliance requirements will continue to put pressure on those CIOs, CSOs, and CFOs by requiring them to retain data for longer and longer periods of time, driving up storage costs while budgets continue to decline.'

The Enterprisers Project, November 11th, 2020
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Implement Cloud Security Best Practices With This Guide
As more employees opt for remote work, organizations rely on cloud computing options for easy access to corporate data and applications. This dependence on the cloud also puts a new emphasis on cloud security
Sue Poremba writes in securityIntelligence, "cloud security continues to be an afterthought for many companies. Industry leaders may be confused over who is responsible for security in public or hybrid cloud formats, but in general, the cloud service provider (CSP) is responsible for securing the cloud infrastructure and physical network. You, as a security professional at an organization, are responsible for securing all of the assets in the cloud, including data, applications, user access and supporting infrastructure..."
securityIntelligence, November 12th, 2020
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Why Distributed Cloud Is In Your Future
Most companies have a hybrid cloud strategy but IT departments are struggling with it. Distributed cloud addresses some of the issues
Lisa Morgan writes in InformationWeek, "Cloud trends change with the introduction of new technology and evolving business requirements. Traditional on-premises data center infrastructure has been supplemented with private and public cloud options, resulting in hybrid cloud strategies. Hybrid cloud strategies have their challenges, which IT departments may not have anticipated completely, such as the disconnects between private cloud and public cloud. Although hybrid cloud solutions have emerged to help address the issue, the next cloud trend is distributed cloud.

Gartner defines distributed cloud as "the distribution of public cloud services to different physical locations, while the operation, governance, updates and evolution of the services are the responsibility of the originating public cloud provider." In fact, Gartner identified distributed cloud as a top 10 trend for 2020..."

InformationWeek, November 12th, 2020
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Developing A Multicloud Security Strategy
Multicloud environments can work to organizations' advantage, so long as there is an overarching strategy in place for cloud security
"Even before the COVID-19 pandemic," writes Chris Dimitriadis in CSO Online, "many organizations were operating in a multicloud environment. Indeed, eighty percent of 150 Federal IT decision makers surveyed by MeriTalk in 2019 said their agency already uses multiple cloud platforms. In the post COVID-19 era, as organizations adjust to a more decentralized workforce and recalibrate their business models, this reliance on multiple cloud platforms will increasingly become the norm.

Beyond the pandemic, main drivers of multicloud adoptions include mergers and acquisitions, and cost and capability differences among providers that might require a more diversified approach. Yet, as with most every technological advancement, the move toward multiple cloud environments, which brings added flexibility and scalability, can also pose new, and often unanticipated, risks. And maintaining multiple cloud providers can create confusion if mature enterprise governance is not in place..."

CSO Online, November 10th, 2020
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IT News - Big Data
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2021 Trends In Big Data: The Interoperability Challenge
The dictates of big data - its inner manipulations and trends-have defined the very form of the data ecosystem since the inception of these technologies nearly a decade ago
"The normalization of big data engendered the current preoccupation with statistical Artificial Intelligence, the mounting reliance on cloud architecture, and the viability of edge deployments of bountiful, streaming data.

It's become entrenched in the most meaningful dimensions of data management, implicit to all but its most mundane practices, and indistinguishable from almost any type of data leveraged for competitive advantage.

As such, current momentum in the big data space isn't centered on devising new expressions of its capabilities, but rather on converging them to actualize the long sought, rarely realized, time honored IT ideal of what Cambridge Semantics CTO Sean Martin termed 'interoperability. And, the more the data starts to support that, the more interesting that gets, too'..."

insideBIGDATA, November 12th, 2020
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Data Literacy Training: What You Need To Know
Successful data literacy training programs are never one-size-fits-all. Consider this expert advice to avoid common mistakes and design a data skills plan that works
"Recently, I was talking to the Chief Digital Officer of one of the oldest banks in America, which started its digital transformation journey in early 2019," writes Piyanka Jain in The Enterprisers Project. "This CDO had played a pivotal role in the bank's journey, bringing about a significant transformation in security, cloud migration, and overall master data management.

He was proud of the data team that had overhauled the bank's legacy infrastructure. The team had transformed the systems and processes and ensured that more data was being captured and made available for analysis. Dashboards were built to offer marketing data, customer data, customer support, and operational data all in one place..."

The Enterprisers Project, November 12th, 2020
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