SofoTex Editor’s Download Blog – Software Reviews
  • TOP 10 MAC APPS FOR BUSINESS TRAVEL

    A great philosopher Lao Tzu once told: “A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving”. With all the respect for Lao one should admit such a great saying is hardly applicable to a business travel. Although a business travel can and should include moments of discovery and rest, still a business travel is done for business. A classic image of business traveler is a neat gentlemen in a suite with his laptop open sitting by your side on a plane. He’s not watching movies to kill time. He is perfectioning his presentation, looking through his to-do list or translating the letter to email it to his foreign partners. He will hardly do all that without appropriate applications. So what should a business traveler have in his Mac business tool set?

    Arrivals and departures ($4.99 in Mac App Store)
    The official beginning of a journey starts as soon as you enter an airport. The first thing you will do – is head off to the nearest departures and arrivals screen and start looking for your flight. Then check-in, passport control. Then staring at the screen again, especially in case of a delay. Than looking for a seat, preferably in front or near the screen to check it from time to time. That happens a lot, especially if you have indirect flight. But what if you could have that same screen on your laptop, which you carry around anyway? Arrivals and departures app displays not only the corresponding information on the flight you choose, but also includes an interactive map of the flights, which arrive or depart the selected airport. You can search the airport you need (the app has more than 4000 of them) and check the status of the selected flight. The information is also available for 2 days in advance.

    Keynote ($19.99 in Mac App Store)
    So you have finally boarded and now have some time to prepare your presentation. The tool you should definitely have and use is Keynote (a part of iWork productivity suite, which Apple has recently promised to become free of charge). Keynote is a must-have presentation tool with a considerable set of themes, transitions and animations fit any taste. If you are a happy owner of a full “Apple kit” – like iPhone or iPod you can also use Keynote Remote – a tool that allows to control your presentation remotely from an iPhone or iPod. Keynote Remote became free of charge just few days ago and is available from the iTunes App Store. Keynote Remote needs either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to connect to your device.

    Passport photo studio ($8.95; demo version is available)
    Passport photo studio is a simple and useful app which you can use to make photos for documents by yourself. It comes in handy when you don’t have time to walk around looking for a photo booth or instant photo services. So when you need a photo, you can take it by yourself with a camera in front of a light background. Then you launch the app and select the photo you’ve taken. Then you adjust it in accordance with the requirements and print it. You can adjust your photo in a way it meets official requirements of the USA or UK. However, you can use the app not only for passport photo needs but also in any case you need such a neutral style photo – ID’s, badges, resumes, etc.

    B1 Free Archiver (free)
    When you go for a travel, all the more for a business travel, a good idea will be to make scans of your personal documents (like passport) and keep them in electronic format. It’s obviously not nice to be robbed or lose your documents but it gets only worse when it happens abroad, for example. In such a bad case your e-copies will come useful. However it’s a bad idea to keep the copies of your documents unprotected, no matter where you keep them – on a flash drive, computer or cloud service. Anyway, you can protect them easily – add them to a password-protected archive. To that end you can use B1 Free Archiver – a free compression and decompression tool, which can encrypt your files with 256 bit AES encryption algorithm. So after you make all the scans you need – organize them into a folder, add it to an archive and protect it with a password up to your choice. After that you can keep it anywhere you want with no fear someone gets access to it.

    Wunderlist (free; available on Mac App store)
    As every business person you have a lot of things to plan and to do. Those are not only business meetings, conferences and deadlines but also any part of your life that needs to be scheduled. In that case, not to forget anything (even buying presents from your trip for your kid) you can keep it on your Mac. Wunderlist is a free, easy and elegant app, which has a neat interface and is not overloaded with the functionality you will hardly need. Wunderlist organizes your tasks into neat lists (like Work, Private, Movies to watch, etc). You can add any list you want and also set the app in a way it will remind you of a thing you need to do beforehand. You can also share your list entries with others by sending them an invitation by email.

    Clear Day ($0.99)
    Before going for a business travel you must have been preparing day and night to make your best and to show them all how diligent and hardworking you are. You have polished your speech on a plane instead of taking a refreshing nap, you have looked through the text of that contract again and again. You have done everything that depends on you and there is nothing that can interfere with your plans. But you forgot one thing – while you go on making business, nature and the weather go on in there habitual pace and don’t really care they can ruin someone’s first impression or important day. To be prepared for anything that the weather in another city might have there for you – use Clear Day. It’s a sleek and mostly visual app, which gives you information on weather conditions in a city you select. Moreover, you can select multiple cities if it’s not a one destination trip or if you want to keep watching whether your kid dresses up properly while you are away.

    iStumbler (free)

    As a person who came to another city or country for business, one of the most important things is to stay connected. Mobile is not enough in case you need to send some files or documents, or look up something on the net. Therefore you would appreciate if your laptop could promptly catch the strongest WiFi signal available nearby. To that end use iStumbler. It’s a free of charge app that shows all the nearby Wi-Fi networks, Bluetooth devices and Bonjour services with all information, organized into a neat chart. With iStumbler you can see each network’s name, mode, channel, frequency, geographic location, etc. You can adjust the interface in a way that is most comfortable for you.

    Universal translator (free; available in Mac App store)
    If you happened to go for a business trip abroad there is a slight possibility of your feeling uncomfortable for the reason of not being able to explain yourself. A decent dictionary is certainly a must when travelling to other countries. In case of everyday communication you will hardly need a desktop translator – better install a simple dictionary on your smartphone. However, if you do a lot of business correspondence with your foreign partners a desktop dictionary is a must. Universal translator is a free dictionary for Mac, which works with more than 50 languages. The app has a simple pleasant interface with two panes and two selectors at the top to choose and check with what languages you are working at the moment. You can translate not only separate words, but also sentences and phrases. Clicking a “loudspeaker” icon you can hear how the word or sentence sounds. Unfortunately mobile version is not available.

    Yammer (free version is available)
    If you need to keep in touch with the coworkers you left at home you can certainly use email or any social network. But when you have to exchange a couple of short messages email looks too cumbersome, and your all-around social network – too messy as you have not only co-workers there but also your family, friends and lots of people you barely know. In this case a certain social network where only your coworkers are available looks like a nice solution. Yammer is an enterprise social network, within which you can freely communicate with your co-workers no matter where you are. Registration procedure is simple and clear – you register with your corporate mail, fill down the emails of your colleagues, choose groups (company departments) you mostly work with and eventually add your photo. The basic version is free of charge, however you can update to any of the paid plans.

    Skype (free version is available)
    Skype doesn’t require any preliminary presentation as if you have traveled at least once in your life for a long time or lived away from your family you must have certainly used it. However, if not, you should definitely download and install it on your Mac. In case of a business trip you may need not only to chit-chat with your family and friends, but also to hold some serious conference calls with several participants. You might use Mac’s native iChat, but this program is not available for Windows and you can not be sure that every participant of an online conference uses Mac OS. In this case a cross-platform Skype is the best solution, as it is available practically for every device and OS. You can set audio conference call for up to 25 people (this option is free). Video conference is available for up to 4 people free of charge and up to 10 people if you upgrade to Skype premium plan (price depends on your country).

    As you can see, a business travel list doesn’t include Lonely Planet apps or TripAdvisor, though, depending on the industry, you might also need them. But in general this neat must-have 10 list covers everything you might need to stay productive. So, have a safe journey and close that deal!

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  • How to Enhance Photo with Photo Sense Application?

    Those spur-of-the-moment photos that look dull or a little obscure may already have been forgotten junk in your image folder, but this nifty, photo editing application for Mac and iOS devices just can make you feel otherwise. Photo Sense is a superb automated photo editing application that includes an array of sophisticated editing and enhancing features available otherwise with so called hi-end editing software. With customizable automated adjustments of exposure, contrast, color or saturation you have the option of adding a wide range of creative effects to your enhanced photographs. What makes Photo Sense a unique photo editing and application is its versatility with easy-to-handle application maneuvers for anyone to get accustomed in enhancing his desired effects in photos.

    Features of Photo Sense for Mac and iOS
    Though the full version of the application is available for Mac, there is another version for touch interface in iPhone, iPad or iPod which is almost the same as far as automated photo enhancement tools are considered, but in comparison to the full version it lacks a few things. Working with Photo Sense on iOS you can edit single image at a time, cannot do manual adjustments and the full range of creative effects will not be at user’s disposal. But at any rate even the liter version on iOS is quite a handy application for giving life to your dull and obscure images with quick adjustments of photographic aspects. Full version of Photo Sense for Mac provides the following features:
    Professional image enhancing and adjustment techniques for multiple photographs at a time.
    Availability of customizing features at both manual and semi-automatic level.
    Working capacity for multiple images at a time through batch processing in semi-automatic and automatic mode.
    Full range of creative effects to apply either singularly or in a batch mode.
    Convenient photo comparison tool for side by side photo comparison after processing.
    The enhancing or processing operation remains always non-destructive.
    Batch operation synchronization to make the processing faster.
    Batch image rotation, conversion of format and down-sampling.
    Cropping and straightening tool for batch of photos with the synchronization of settings.
    Touch interface friendly version of Photo Sense for iOS provides the following features:
    Automatic application of professional image adjustment techniques to your photos.
    Adjusting processing options as and when required to get your desired result.
    You can improve the composition of the image through non-destructive cropping and straightening.
    Apply an array of creative effects to your photo appropriating the mood and spirit of the image.
    Please add Youtube Video Link : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkULI5SKCVI

    User’s guide to use Photo Sense for enhancing photographs
    Here we provide a step by step guide as how to use this application effectively to give life to your dull or bleak photos with Photo Sense:

    1. While using the application on Mac drag your photos into the application and they are just a button away for editing or enhancing effects to take place. On iOS devices it is as simple as to open the application and then either choosing an existing photo or taking a photo with the existing camera. Once you choose the photo it is ready for the editing purpose. While on Mac you can drag number of photos for editing at a time, on iOS devices you can only do the same for one image at a time.
    2. The photograph in most of the cases will automatically come to life satisfying your expectation and without requiring any further adjustment through semi automatic or manual mode. As far as automatic adjustments are concerned it works fine on both Mac and iOS.
    3. If you are not satisfied with the default results clicking on the ‘options’ menu you use all the different enhancing options for your disposal. The semi automatic adjustments of color, contrast, saturation and exposure are available on both Mac and iOS devices, though for Mac more detailed and meticulous manual editing options are available. There is an option on iOS for sharpening your photos which is only available in the Mac version and sometimes it can work really well for adding a tinge of sharpness to your soothing images, particularly that of nature or landscape.
    4. You can always restore your photo to previous condition just by clicking on ‘undo’ and can compare your previous image with the enhanced image side by side.
    5. As for filters you can choose from an array of different color schemes. Other creative effects are also quite broad in range, though using the application on Mac you can avail more options than iOS.
    Image Credit: veprit

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  • Top Ten Free Archivers

    No matter how powerful your computer is and how many room there is on your hard drive be sure you still need an archiver. Because as soon as you open your email and decide to email a batch of files you’ll realize that sending them as they are will require you to attach every file one by one. After that you will have no choice but to resort to using an archiver. And not only after that. Whether you want to protect your data with password or open an archive which you have received from someone you will still need some tool. And here it is once again. No matter how rich you are and how often you light a cigar with a banknote it is still a sheer waste of money to pay for commercial archivers if there are plenty free tools on the market which will do the job for you. So in the name of sanity and good sense we’ve come up with an overview of top 10 free archivers with all their goods and bads.

    1. 7zip (Windows)
    7zip remains one of the most prominent compression tools who stepped on a thorny path of being a free compression software for everyone. 7zip supports most popular formats (like ZIP, 7z, RAR, ARJ, GZIP, BZIP2, TAR) and has proved itself to to be fast and really effective. With the help of 7zip you can create self-extracting archives – you just pack files and can send them even to someone who doesn’t have any compression software installed on his computer. Geeky lads will appreciate plugins for Total Commander and FAR Manager. However, 7zip has one very noticeable drawback – its interface looks like some crazy programmer’s paradize. So if you really don’t want nothing more from the software but just a 1 minute interaction when you need it – prepare to fight.

    http://www.7-zip.org/

    2. B1 Free Archiver (Windows, Linux, Mac and Android)
    B1 Free Archiver is a relatively new piece on a great checkerboard of free archivers but continues to make its way towards checkmate, especially with its Android version. B1 pleases us with its online archiver which unpacks your files without any registration or capcha and automatically deletes your files in an hour in case you forget to do it yourself. B1 Free Archiver works with most popular formats as well as with its own B1 format. Unlike its preceding colleague it has exceptionally friendly user interface and is very handy – most actions are performed in 2-3 clicks. B1 has localizations to most popular languages. Its high speed is achieved due to “Smart” compression mode which chooses the best method of compression for each piece of data depending on its type. The “cons” part of the archiver is that it can create archives only in ZIP and B1 formats, which is enough for most users though.

    http://b1.org

    3. BandiZIP (Windows, Mac OS (10.6 or later)
    BandiZIP is also quite popular among free software admirers and unlike most other compression utilities it offers a nice portable version of its archiver. This means you can carry BandiZIP along with you on any portable device and use it on any computer without installing it. BandiZIP unpacks around 30 file formats (among them RAR, ZIP, 7Z, TGZ, etc.) while packs only 6. Following the pace of 7zip its “Settings” window is stuffed with checkboxes and tabs which offer you lots of choice meanwhile making you think too much. However if you are the one who knows exactly what he wants from the software you will appreciate BandiZIP benevolent intentions towards better customization. For example, users can manually choose to use multi-core processor function to increase compression speed on their own. They practically can choose everything if they are familiar with terminology.

    http://www.bandicam.com/bandizip/

    4. FreeArc (Windows and Linux)
    FreeArc is an open source project distributed under GNU General Public License. FreeArc doesn’t yield to none of its competitors in speed or efficiency. Software authors proudly speak of their smart file sorting technology which they call a key success of FreeArc high speed. FreeArc can also create self extracting archives. Moreover, it tests archives before and after any operation which saves your time by not allowing the software to unpack or pack files which cannot go through that operation by definition. The program can also choose files by their size, time of creation, name and attributes. So practically FreeArc could be almost perfect. Unfortunately archiver’s market is too real to be a fairy tale. FreeArc’s weakness lies within its really poor design and interface in general.

    http://freearc.org/

    5. HaoZip (Windows)
    HaoZip archiver doesn’t get tired of telling everyone about its enormous popularity in China. So now it’s kind of expanding its market. Whether it’s true or not, HaoZip indeed copes with all basic archiving functions. It supports compression into 7z, zip and tar formats, decompresses archives of practically all popular formats – RAR, ISO, JAR, lZH, etc. HaoZip can create multi-volume and self-extracted archives (only when using 7z algorithm). The archiver has a built-in image viewer and image converter which means you don’t need any image-viewing software on your computer to see images in archives. HaoZip has custom skin support which you can enjoy to the full only if you are connected to Internet though. Here we are approaching a traditional “bad” part: a lot of declared features are available only through connection to Internet, the program also automatically connects to developer’s site when you install or uninstall the program.

    http://www.haozip.com/Eng/index_en.htm

    6. IZArc (Windows)
    IZArc has its popularity share already, it supports many formats including the most popular ZIP, RAR, GZIP, BZIP2, 7z, etc. The archiver can also open CD image files (ISO, BIN, CDI and NRG). You can archive any type of data and encrypt archives with the help of one of 4 encryption algorithms the program offers (provided you know the difference between them all, of course). Another pleasant feature of IZarc is that it can convert archived files from one format to another. It means you don’t need to unpack an archive in order to pack it again in desired format. According to the software authors you can configure IZarc so that each time you open an archive the antivirus scanner will scan the files in an archive. You can choose the antivirus scanner according to your taste. But without antivirus installed on your computer the antivirus scanning function doesn’t work.

    http://www.izarc.org/

    7. jZip (Windows)
    jZip archiver provides complete support for the work (archive creation, opening and unpacking) with Zip, TAR, GZip and 7-Zip archives. It can also open and unpack RAR and ISO archives. The program is fully compatible with archives created by other utilities such as WinZip, WinRar and 7zip. What is the most surprising in jZip is that it has a version for Symbian OS – it unpacks zip archives on smartphones which work under UIQ. jZip for Symbian is able to perform practically all necessary functions with zip archives: it can open archives, create new ones, add files (with path name) or whole folders, extract files one by one or all together and delete from archive. After such a nice and exotic feature we are persistently getting to our fly in the ointment: you should be really cautious when downloading jZip. As there are a lot of complaints out there as for malware install together with the program.

    http://jzip.com/

    8. PeaZip (Windows, Linux)
    PeaZip is a cute compression software with a witty name. It works with many formats including 7z, ARC, BZ2, GZ, PEA, etc. Just like BandiZip it pleases its users with a portable version. PeaZip can also act as a graphic frontend for other archivers though the intent of this feature is hardly understandable. PeaZip supports data encryption, creation of multi-volume archives, works with several archives at once and is available in console. The program has its own Pea format which supports compression of multi-volume archives and modern encryption system as well as integrity control. However beware of the fact that it requires special attention during installation process. PeaZip default installation settings lead to installation of AVG Security Toolbar and change your homepage and search functions to AVG Secure Search.

    http://peazip.sourceforge.net/

    9. TugZip (Windows)
    TugZip is rather an effective tool and a worthy competitor to other archivers considering the fact that its author stopped developing his brainchild back in 2008. That looks like a really sad story aggravated by the fact that the author’s official website is all solemn and black. However people still download TugZip which means its developer was rather long-sighted to compete with its future young and modern rivals. TugZip supports a variety of archive formats (ZIP, 7-ZIP, RAR, TGZ, TAZ) and CD images (BIN, C2D, IMG, ISO and NRG). It is also able to create self-extracting and encrypted archives. TugZip claims it provides ZIP damaged files recovery which is not as much about recovery of something which is completely broken but the possibility to bypass broken parts of an archive and unpack those parts which are possible to unpack. TugZip has a multilingual interface with a decent choice of languages. As for weak points it’s rather clear from what has been already said – the program development of which stopped 5 years ago cannot provide any timely help or customer support .

    http://www.tugzip.com/

    10. zip Genius (Windows)
    The last but not the least is zip Genius – compression tool which works with more than 20 compression formats including RAR, ZIP, ACE and 7z. It provides 5 levels of compression, integrates completely with Windows Explorer, has its own FTP-client. zip Genius flawlessly creates self-extracting exe-files, enables the preview of graphics contained in an archive just as its HaoZip colleague. ZipGenius is not worse than others in providing secure data encryption, creation of backup copies, etc. Has a built-in FTP-client. But every user’s smile may fade away as he turns the program down and than sees multiple and really unnecessary shortcuts the program left on his desktop. Actually those are the most exotic shortcuts one may ever come across – like “Follow zip Genius on Facebook”, “Follow zip Genius on Google+” and so on. So harness your willpower and be ready to fight against intrusive nature of the software. If you do, it won’t disappoint you.

    http://www.zipgenius.com/

    You’ll hardly find any software – be it an archiver or anything else – that could be absolutely good, though its not so hard to run across absolute crapware. The point is you should think on your own what features are the most important for you and thus make your choice basing on it. If you are an advanced user who is never frightened away by rough-and-ready interface and unpretentious software design – you can bravely opt for such compression tools as 7-zip or FreeArc. The users who like challenges posed by malware which they can get when downloading some software can go for PeaZip or jZip. Those who like to use the same archiving utility on several devices will find B1 Free Archiver very useful. Free compression tool market of today can offer choice for practically everyone.

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  • Macrobile Delivers a New Version of Free Mobile Helper

    Macrobile, a mobile software developer, dedicated to making a better mobile use experience, today released a new version of Free Mobile Helper. The new version of Free Mobile Helper comes on the heels of the wildly welcome the release of Free Mobile Helper version 1.0095, which had more than 10 million downloads in about two months.

    The new version gives out a more attractive interface, performance enhancements, and stability improvements to users faster. The interface becomes much simple and easy to user; the function becomes more powerful. And this time we have set the download servers both in America and India and the number of server has been added. So both the Indian users and the other countries users can experience a much faster use experience.

    The latest version of Free Mobile Helper include more than 20 improvements and performance enhancements that make it easier to discover and use all of the innovative features in Free Mobile Helper. This version adds a guide for the new features. So it will be very easy to discover all of those wonderful functions and attractive features. An India app library, classified according to the urban, was added, and more than 10,000 Indian native apps were added to this special app library; a mobile life navigation option was added with interesting mobile app news and other internet technology news introduction; a much better iOS adaption and a jailbreak guide was added; a new function of sending text SMS messages on the PC suite was added. And there are many more functions are waiting for you to discover.

    To get the latest version, you can check the version number in the left bottom of the of version of Free Mobile Helper to update or you can download the latest one on the official website.

    http://macrobile.com

    New features of the new version:
    A new attractive interface;
    A higher running speed after being optimized;
    Add more abundant resources recommended home page;
    Add a new function of sending text SMS messages on the PC suite;
    Add a new app recommended page classified according to the Indian urban;
    Add a mobile life navigation option;
    Add the iOS6 adapter and the jailbreak guide;
    Add more licensed softwares;
    Improve the adaption of iOS apps;

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  • Codelobster PHP Edition – Free PHP, HTML, CSS, JavaScript editor (IDE)

    Free PHP, HTML, CSS, JavaScript editor (IDE) – Codelobster PHP Edition

    For valuable work on creation of sites you need a good comfortable editor necessarily. There are many requiring paid products for this purpose, but we would like to select free of charge very functional and at the same time of simple in the use editor – Codelobster PHP Edition.

    Let us consider some important possibilities and advantages of this program: Read the rest of this entry »

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  • 5 Sites With Great Tutorials

    Graphic design and technical work isn’t just for major firms anymore. Your average Joe can be a one-stop shop for video production, graphic design, website programming, and software development—and when a problem arises, he or she will need trustworthy resources for troubleshooting software, resolving issues and getting back to work. Freelance graphic designers can take solace knowing that there are communities out there, gas stations for you to recharge your creative batteries and learn new tools of the trade. Here are five Internet destinations where you can find great tutorials to aid you in your freelance career: Read the rest of this entry »

  • ViewNX 2 – A Photo Editing Software from NIKON

    SKIN, Nikon’s exclusive importer in Europe, has a new free Nikon software for photo and video editing, called ViewNX 2. Built in the popular ViewNX software, ViewNX 2 provides the opportunity to make the most common image editing like size adjustment, brightness and contrast levels, crop, and RAW file processing functions in addition to import and view images. Read the rest of this entry »

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  • Top 10 Free iPad Apps for Cable TV

    Being able to watch movies, cable programming and other content from anywhere is a reality now. All you need is an iPad and the right app. We’ve reviewed the top apps available for iPad and shared our selections below. With these apps, you’ll be able to watch programming from Comcast cable and other providers, rent and stream movies, program your DVR, and more.

    All of the apps are free to download. With most services – Netflix, Comcast cable, Hulu Plus, etc. – you’ll need a subscription in order to access content from them. Some of them allow you to load the app and start watching TV without hassle. Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry »

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  • Top 5 Mac OS X Apps to Keep You Entertained

    Mac OS X isn’t really about entertainment – it is aimed at creative people, people who produce content rather than consume it. But even the most hardcore worker needs some rest, and unwinding watching a TV show or playing a game is often a good time spent for everyone. While Apple isn’t marketing all the entertainment capabilities of their OS, the apps for that are already on the market, you just need to get them. Here is a small selection of what you can find for Mac OS X in the entertainment category

    Read the rest of this entry »

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  • Edit and Cut Audio and Video Files with NowSmart Cut Free

    With today’s technology, everyone has the ability to cut and edit videos and all types of audio files. This is usually done when you need to do a mash up of more than one song to create a medley of songs from a specific genre. There are many ways and many software types that allow you to do that. NowSmart Cut Free is one software that can do this for you. It is a powerful audio and video software that includes a list of features that help you easily edit or cut an audio file and video files as well. After editing a file, you may save it and export it as an mp3 file. A free software that allows you to create your own ring tones! How cool is that?

    Read the rest of this entry »

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