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Thursday, May 15, 2014

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Google Play Store now accepting PayPal

Posted: 15 May 2014 11:08 AM PDT

Google is adding PayPal as a payment option for Play Store purchases starting today! Just tap through on a purchase and pick your new payment option. The roll-out is just starting today though, so it might take awhile to to live in your area. These are available in 12 countries, including U.S., Germany, and Canada. In addition, carrier billing and Play Store gift cards are getting expanded international support, so they're now available in 24 and 13 countries respectively. Speaking of currency and going international, developers can now sell in 13 new countries and added 28 new currencies.

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Swarm finally arrives on Android, hardest part is getting all your friends onboard

Posted: 15 May 2014 10:47 AM PDT

swarm banner

We've been following Foursquare's development with Swarm for a few weeks now. After what feels like ages, the app is now finally available on Google Play. We already told you exactly how Foursquare's social networking app works, with the real value of the app relying on a group of friends you actually want to keep up with.

Swarm by Foursquare

You and your friends check-in whenever you visit somewhere near, and using relative distances, you can see when a friend is nearby your location for a quick meetup. It's not too far off from Facebook's new location notifications, only… you know, less creepy. The hardest part will be finding enough friends to sign up for Swarm to make it worth your while. Looks like it's going be me and my 38-year-old brother battling it out for mayorship of our parents' basement. Download link provided below.

Download on Google Play: Swarm

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Helping You Go Global with More Seamless Google Play Payments

Posted: 15 May 2014 10:18 AM PDT

By Ibrahim Elbouchikhi, Google Play Product Manager

Sales of apps and games on Google Play are up by more than 300 percent over the past year. And today, two-thirds of Google Play purchases happen outside of the United States, with international sales continuing to climb. We're hoping to fuel this momentum by making Google Play payments easier and more convenient for people around the world.

PayPal support

Starting today, we're making it possible for people to choose PayPal for their Google Play purchases in 12 countries, including the U.S., Germany, and Canada. When you make a purchase on Google Play in these countries, you'll find PayPal as an option in your Google Wallet; just enter your PayPal account login and you'll easily be able to make purchases. Our goal is to provide users with a frictionless payment experience, and this new integration is another example of how we work with partners from across the payments industry to deliver this to the user.

Carrier billing and Google Play gift cards in more countries

Carrier billing—which lets people charge purchases in Google Play directly to their phone bill—continues to be a popular way to pay. We've just expanded coverage to seven more countries for a total of 24, including Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan. That means almost half of all Google Play users have this option when making their purchases.

We've also made Google Play gift cards available to a total of 13 countries, including Japan and Germany.

Support for developer sales in more countries

Developers based in 13 new countries can now sell apps on Google Play (with new additions such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Turkey), bringing the total to 45 countries with support for local developers. We've also increased our buyer currency support to 28 new countries, making it even easier for you to tailor your pricing in 60 countries.

Nothing for you to do!

Of course, as developers, when it comes to payments, there's nothing for you to do; we process all payments, reconcile all currencies globally, and make a monthly deposit in your designated bank account. This means you get to focus on what you do best: creating beautiful and engaging apps and games.

Visit developer.android.com for more information.

Per-country availability of forms of payment is summarized here.

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NimRod Back explains latest Pressy delays

Posted: 15 May 2014 10:17 AM PDT

pressy update

Surprise surprise, folks — another Kickstarter shipping window slipped. This time, Pressy's April 28th ship date came and went without a peep from NimRod Back, the project's creators. Many were wondering what happened and why they were so silent they were nearly deafening. Thankfully we have our answer.

Nimrod Back posted an update to Kickstarter today to let everyone know what's going. As for what happened, they say that some of the Pressy buttons in their latest production batch weren't up to par, with some beginning to wear out after just 100 clicks. Most Kickstarter delays are often due to quality control issues, so that's not too surprising of a reason.

As to why they took so long to say anything, they say they didn't want to share any information until they knew the problem was fully identified and fixed. With that, we're told that the buttons should all be working perfectly fine after a change in their assembly process, and if everything goes well we should see the first shipments begin to arrive by the end of the month.

Of course, that window is also subject to unforeseen delays so don't put too much stock into their estimations. Our suggestion? Just go on with your life, forget about Pressy, and the day it finally shows up you can be even more excited and surprised to have finally received it.

[via Kickstarter]

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YotaPhone brings both its front and back screens to the Middle East

Posted: 15 May 2014 10:12 AM PDT

The quirky dual-screen YotaPhone is going on sale in the Middle East on local service provider Etisalat and through retailer Jumbo Electronics. This follows a widespread European release including the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, and Russia.

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HTC One Mini 2 coming to Verizon, might be dubbed 'Remix'

Posted: 15 May 2014 09:40 AM PDT

The HTC One Mini 2 was announced just today, but known carrier availability has been on the scant side of things, especially in the US of A. But we now have an indication of at least one network on which you might be able to get the One Mini 2 when it launches later this year (availability first will be in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia in June): Verizon.

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Google flooded with removal requests after EU creates “right to be forgotten”

Posted: 15 May 2014 09:33 AM PDT


Earlier this week the European Union Court of Justice created a new "right to be forgotten" in ruling that Google had to delete, really suppress, search results that returned information that private individuals no longer wanted to exist. As a result, Google and government officials indicate a veritable flood of requests have started to pour in requesting the suppression of information that individuals object to being included in search results.

Hamburg's data commissioner reported that eight requests came in the day after the ruling was issued from a variety of people who wanted Google to conceal their tainted history. Comparatively, regulators in Germany typically received around 100 requests per year to remove search results.

Google has indicated they are working on a process for users to file requests to conceal search results. The new procedures should be ready within a couple weeks.

What do you think of the new "right to be forgotten?"

source: 9to5Google

Come comment on this article: Google flooded with removal requests after EU creates "right to be forgotten"

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Foursquare's new Swarm app now available for download

Posted: 15 May 2014 09:32 AM PDT

A few weeks back, Foursquare announced Swarm — a new app that aims to help track down your friends when you're out and about. Using Swarm, you'll be able to see which of your friends are nearby, even if they haven't checked in somewhere. You can also suggest plans to your Swarm friends, then text those that are interested in tagging along.

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New Forums Feature: Embed your best from Twitter and Instagram!

Posted: 15 May 2014 09:32 AM PDT

Have you ever wanted to share a tweet or Instagram photo smack-dab in the middle of a forum post? If you have, today is your lucky day! We've just added a new feature to our forums that allow you to easily embed tweets or Instagram content directly into your posts.

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Straight Talks gives small data bump to $45 plan

Posted: 15 May 2014 09:12 AM PDT


Straight Talk, the no contract pre-paid wireless provider, has announced a small bump in the data limit on their $45 per month plan. The unlimited talk and text plan now gets 3GB of data per month, a small increase from the 2.5GB limit that was in place. Since Straight Talk does not charge overage fees, users who go over the new 3GB limit will find their data speeds throttled down to 2G type performance. Straight Talk has also enhanced their $30 "All You Need" plan for non-smartphone users to provide unlimited text, 1500 minutes of voice and 100MB of data. For the rest of May Straight Talk will have demo units available at Walmart stores on Saturdays for potential buyers to try out and is offering a $25 Walmart gift card if a Samsung Galaxy Centura or Discover phone is purchased in May.

Hit the break to read the full press release.

Straight Talk Wireless, Available Exclusively at Walmart, Expands Their $45 Unlimited Talk, Text, and Data Plan to 3GB of High Speed Data.

Straight Talk Offers Consumers Up To 10 Times More High Speed Data than Other $45 Plans

MIAMI, May 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Leading U.S. no-contract cell phone service provider Straight Talk Wireless® today announced its industry leading $45 Unlimited* Nationwide Talk, Text and Data plan just got better. Now offering up to 10 times more high speed data than other $45 plans, Straight Talk has increased the high speed data from 2.5GB to 3GB for the same price. With Straight Talk Wireless there are no contracts, no credit checks, no overage fees, and you can keep your current phone number.

Exclusively available at Walmart, Straight Talk offers the top smartphones on America's largest and most dependable networks for half the cost when compared to contract plans.**

Straight Talk has also enhanced the $30 "All You Need" service plan. The plan now offers unlimited text, 1500 minutes of voice and 100MB of data. This plan is the perfect option for consumers who do not use smartphones.

In addition, Straight Talk offers the Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP) program with universal activation kit. Consumers can keep their existing phone, their number, and their network with unlimited talk, text and data for only $45 a month.

"We know our customers want wireless plans with a lot of data but often settle for less due to the price," said Mehrdad Akbar, vice president of wireless for Walmart U.S. "Being able to give our customers even more value is another reason why Straight Talk continues to be one of the best no contract options on the market."

For the remaining Saturdays in May, Straight Talk and Walmart are giving consumers the chance to experience Straight Talk first hand, offering in-store demos in the wireless center. As an added bonus, consumers will receive a $25 Walmart gift card with the purchase of a Straight Talk Samsung Galaxy Centura or Discover phone, both in-store and at Walmart.com during the month of May.

For more information, please visit Walmart, www.straighttalk.com or http://ift.tt/1hIbJxD.

*30 day Unlimited Plans include 3.0 GB of high speed data per 30 day cycle. After 3.0 GB, your data speed will be reduced for the remainder of the 30 day cycle. High speed data is restored once a new 30 day service plan is redeemed at the end of the 30 day plan cycle. Other restrictions, terms and conditions of service apply. TracFone Wireless reserves the right to terminate your service for unauthorized or abnormal usage. Please refer always to the latest Terms and Conditions of Service at StraightTalk.com. A month equals 30 days.

**"Half the Cost" is based on the savings of the two largest major carrier's online published prices for individual contract plans and the Straight Talk Wireless 30 Days Unlimited** talk, text, data and 411 service plan, excluding the costs of the phones. Plan features, coverage and limitations vary. A month equals 30 days. Source: Carriers' websites as of May 2013.

About Straight Talk

Straight Talk is a service provided by TracFone Wireless, Inc., America's largest no-contract cell phone provider with over 25 million subscribers. TracFone Wireless is a subsidiary of America Movil S.A.B. de C.V. ("AMX") (BMV: AMX; NYSE: AMX; Nasdaq: AMOV; LATIBEX: XAMXL). AMX is the leading provider of telecommunication services in Latin America. For more information about Straight Talk Wireless®, go to StraightTalk.com.

Come comment on this article: Straight Talks gives small data bump to $45 plan

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Samsung “Tab Into Color” event scheduled for June 12th

Posted: 15 May 2014 09:12 AM PDT


Yesterday we reported on some news that came out of comments by Samsung's JK Shin indicating Samsung was ready to launch some new tablets in June. Those plans became more explicit today as Samsung has sent out invitations for a "Tab Into Color" event scheduled for June 12th in New York City at Madison Square Garden or live streamed via YouTube.

The expectation is that Samsung will unveil a new line of tablets dubbed the Galaxy Tab S series. The new tablets are expected to come equipped with AMOLED displays running a resolution of 2560 x 1600. Two different sizes are expected, one 8.4-inch tablet and one 10.5-inch tablet. Besides the massive improvements to the screen, it is unclear whether there will be any other enhancements.

Come comment on this article: Samsung "Tab Into Color" event scheduled for June 12th

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Dropcam App Hits Version 3.0, Brings Activity Feed, Mobile Setup, And Customizable Alerts To Android

Posted: 15 May 2014 09:10 AM PDT


Last month, Dropcam updated its app with a slew of new features and a more unified interface. Building on that update, the company has now released version 3.0, which brings a handful of unique features to the Android app.

New Activity Feed Add Activity Labels Customize Activity Info and Alerts

In a nutshell, the app now has an "Activity Feed" that allows Cloud subscribers to filter videos by specific activities, completely customizable activity categories and alerts, and the ability to set the camera up directly from a mobile device.

Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:

Dropcam App Hits Version 3.0, Brings Activity Feed, Mobile Setup, And Customizable Alerts To Android was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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SoundHound App Updated To v6.0 With Revamped UI

Posted: 15 May 2014 09:10 AM PDT

SoundHound_6_Combined_PR[2] You've got a few choices when you need to know what song that is playing in the background, but today there's another reason to choose SoundHound for your audio identifying needs. Version 6.0 brings a new interface to song, album, and artist pages. There are also a few more small tweaks.


Here's the changelog for v6.0.

  • Song Pages: Beautiful new photo galleries, More relevant music videos, Enhanced Recommended songs

  • Artist Pages: All Albums by the Artist, Top Songs and Videos by the Artist, Date formed, City formed, and Biographies

  • Album Pages: Album release date, Tracks on the Album

So, "it looks nicer," would be the overarching theme of this update.

Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:

SoundHound App Updated To v6.0 With Revamped UI was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Maleficent Free Fall casts a match-3 spell on Android

Posted: 15 May 2014 08:30 AM PDT

Disney has kicked off a new game for their upcoming film starring Angelina Jolie called Maleficent Free Fall. The play is more or less standard match-3 fare, only following the theme of Sleeping Beauty's classic villainess. Players are presented with a grid of colored gems, and must swap adjacent tiles to match up those of the same color so they disappear. Every stage requires players to eliminate a certain number of gems in a limited number of moves. The standard freemium tropes are employed here, including in-app purchases for power-ups and a timer-based energy system.

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Shazam will tell you more about that annoying FirstLook movie theater pre-show

Posted: 15 May 2014 08:30 AM PDT

Shazam and NCM Media Networks today announced a new partnership that will see the audio-ID service tying into NCM's FirstLook movie theater pre-shows. By opening the Shazam app when FirstLook is playing in AMC, Cinemark, and Regal theaters, you'll be able to get more info about whatever advertised content is filling the screen.

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BillGuard launches allnew version of app, makes tracking spending simple and powerful

Posted: 15 May 2014 08:30 AM PDT

Most of us know that we should be following our finances more closely, but the tools out there to balance your books always feel like they require accounting knowledge to get started. BillGuard is one app that couldn't be easier to use for keeping up with your financial life, and today's update brings a brand new interface to an already popular app. The new app builds on what was available in beta on Android up until now, but also adds yet-to-be-seen features to give you even more control over your money.

Roughly five percent of American adults have tried an all-inclusive finance app on their device, and BillGuard wants that number to be higher. The latest BillGuard release looks like it can help that cause, with a simple new interface that lays out spending by category, helps you set budgets and most importantly go through your financial history to track down potentially fraudulent charges.

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Dropcam for Android updated with new activity feed and customizable alerts

Posted: 15 May 2014 08:12 AM PDT

Today a new version of Dropcam for Android is hitting Google Play. This one heads up to version 3.0 and is sporting some new features and design enhancements to make for a better user experience. In addition to a new activity feed and customizable alerts, setting up a Dropcam from your Android device is now much easier as well.

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Epson Releases Plugin To Support Native Android Printing In KitKat, Trees Moan In Despair

Posted: 15 May 2014 08:04 AM PDT


If you've got a printer in your home or office, there's a pretty good chance it's made by Epson. Since the announcement of KitKat's new printer support, you might have also been looking forward to being able to send a document straight from your Android device to your Epson printer. Good news: that dream is now a reality. The manufacturer just announced that it has released a plugin to enable native printing support on Android KitKat.

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Epson Releases Plugin To Support Native Android Printing In KitKat, Trees Moan In Despair was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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[New Game] JoyJoy From Radiangames Is A Top-Down Shooter With A Pretty Face

Posted: 15 May 2014 08:04 AM PDT

j The top-down dual stick shooter has been a staple of mobile gaming for years, but that doesn't mean it's all played out. JoyJoy from Radiangames has a neat look and customizable controls. Oh, and there are no in-app purchases, an increasingly rare attribute.

JoyJoy contains 24 waves of baddies, each with its own unique challenges. Your weapons are upgradeable, along with your ship. Though, "ship" might be a bit of an overstatement.

Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:

[New Game] JoyJoy From Radiangames Is A Top-Down Shooter With A Pretty Face was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Sony Xperia Z2 Review

Posted: 15 May 2014 07:36 AM PDT

As we approach the midway point of 2014, the march of smartphone progress is as unrelenting as it's ever been. The latest devices from the likes of Samsung and HTC have pushed specs, screen sizes and price tags to new heights, to the point where the year-old phones they've replaced seem quaint and dated. Yet one manufacturer has committed to an even more aggressive upgrade cycle. Sony Mobile may be an also-ran in the U.S., but it's big internationally, and it likes to refresh its premium smartphones every six months. So as tick follows tock, the Japanese manufacturer unveiled the Xperia Z2 at a press conference in Barcelona this February, replacing the Xperia Z1 a mere half-year after its emergence.

While such a rapid pace can be frustrating for consumers, who may find their shiny new handsets superseded in just a few months, this quick turnover of flagships has allowed Sony to iterate its way to better products. The jump from Xperia Z to Z1 saw the manufacturer finally nail a few important areas — camera, battery life and performance — while advancing its "omnibalance" design language. The Z1's slab-like design wasn't for everyone, but it was, and still remains, a fine phone.

The Xperia Z2 is yet another iterative update, and this time Sony is focusing on improved display and sound quality, while addressing the handful of build issues that affected the Z1. That's not as exciting as built-in fingerprint scanners, heart-rate sensors or Duo Cameras, but it demonstrates a focus on the core experience that competitors sometimes lack. And as we'll discuss in our review, it's a big part of what makes the Z2 not just another solid Sony phone, but a true rival to current flagships from HTC, Samsung and even Apple.

Read on to find out why.

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Google's self-driving cars can't go where no man has gone before

Posted: 15 May 2014 07:35 AM PDT

So it turns out that Google's self-driving car may not be as smart as we thought — though it's still pretty darn smart. The teched-out Lexus RX350h has plenty of lasers, cameras and radar systems to keep it on track when driving around with no human at the wheel, but according to Google Software Lead Dmitri Dolgov, there's still one thing that's been left out — unmapped roads. While the self-driving vehicle does amazingly well on roads that Google has collected data for, it can't drive anywhere that's off the map.

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Deal of the Day: Seidio CONVERT Combo for HTC One (M7)

Posted: 15 May 2014 07:35 AM PDT

Eliminate the need for multiple cases with the versitile CONVERT Combo from Seidio! Included with this bundle is the SURFACE Case for casual protection, a rugged skin and skeleton, rotatable CONVERT Holster and an Ultimate Screen Guard to shield against scratches. The perfect combo for the serious HTC One (M7) user.

The Seidio CONVERT Combo is available for just $29.95, 45% off the list price. Backed by our 60-day return policy and fast shipping.

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HTC shows off 3D render of the yet-to-be released red One M8

Posted: 15 May 2014 07:35 AM PDT


In April, evleaks showed us a red variant of the HTC One M8 in all its glory and while the device has yet to reach an official capacity, HTC is moving in that direction. A 3D model, hosted by Sketchfab allows you to play with the device and was uploaded by the Taiwanese company itself. Heck, the device has even surfaced in Taiwan suggesting that it will be available starting today in the country.

What this could potentially mean is that we're edging closer to an official release in other areas of the world. We have the 3D model and other shots of the One M8 in red after the break.

red-htc-one-m8-4 red-htc-one-m8 red-htc-one-m8-2

sources: GSM Arena, Pocket

Come comment on this article: HTC shows off 3D render of the yet-to-be released red One M8

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[APK Download + Micro Teardown] Newsstand Updated To 3.2.1, Adds New Offers UI And Onboarding Experience

Posted: 15 May 2014 07:14 AM PDT


Yesterday, Google began rolling out a small update to the Newsstand app, bumping it up from 3.2 to 3.2.1. While the version number suggests this was only a bug fix -and it mostly is- there were still a couple of interesting additions discovered during a teardown.

Onboarding Walkthrough

Google is adding a helpful walkthrough for people who are new to Newsstand. Until now, the app has lacked a proper "onboarding" step for the first time an app is run.

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[APK Download + Micro Teardown] Newsstand Updated To 3.2.1, Adds New Offers UI And Onboarding Experience was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Samsung Premiere 2014 set for June 12, here come the AMOLED tablets!

Posted: 15 May 2014 06:56 AM PDT

Just hours after the CEO JK Shin told the WSJSamsung would have a tablet event on June 12, the company is sending out the official invitations for its Premiere 2014 event.

Samsung Premiere 2014 will take place at New York's Madison Square Garden on June 12. The invitation now making the rounds does not mention any devices by name, but the clues it contains leave no doubt that Samsung will introduce its first AMOLED tablets in three years.

The "Tab Into Color" tag line and three primary color swatches are clear references to the vivid colors of AMOLED displays. But what exactly will we see?

Solid leaks suggest Samsung will be introducing two Galaxy Tab S devices with similar specs and 8.4-inch and 10.5-inch AMOLED displays respectively. The new tablet line will reportedly feature Exynos processors, 3GB of RAM, 8MR rear cameras, LTE connectivity, and fingerprint sensors embedded in their home buttons.

These high-end specifications will be packaged in a slim package whose design resembles the Galaxy S5.


Galaxy Tab S 10.5 spotted in FCC database

Of course, the biggest deal about the new Tab S line is their AMOLED screens. Technology has come a long way since the days of the Galaxy Tab 7.7, Samsung's only AMOLED tablet to date. With the AMOLED Galaxy S5, Samsung managed to create the best smartphone display ever, according to Display Mate . Adding to the well-known vivid colors and deep blacks of previous generations of AMOLED panels, Samsung improved brightness, contrast, outdoors usability, color accuracy, and power consumption to levels that no current LCD screen can match. In short, we can't wait to try out this new breed of AMOLED on a large screen.

The only question that remains is will Samsung introduce any other products besides the Tab S tablets? Last year's Premiere event saw the debut of Galaxy S4 mini, Galaxy S4 Active, Galaxy S4 Zoom, and several Windows devices. Will this year's event focus just on two tablets, or is there something else on the menu?

Yes, we're thinking about the Galaxy S5 Prime, rumored to launch around mid-June. Coincidence?

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