Web Design for the Modern World

When the first message was sent across the Internet in 1969, a million of possibilities were instantly created. However, if the people of this time were to take out their crystal balls and look into the future, they probably would be surprised to see what their invention has become.

As quickly as the Internet does change, it is likely that we will no longer recognize it if we were to look into the future either. For this reason, it is important for those who depend on web design as a part of their business strategy to make some predictions about the future.

Changes in the way we Design

Even though we’ve just kicked off a new year, the future is definitely looking great in the world of web design. Plenty of changes and advancements are on the horizon that will prove to make everyone’s job a little easier.

Throughout the year, we will probably hear more and more about how less is ultimately more. This is probably the first thing you will want to focus on when looking at your website design. Over the past few years, this meant developing a flat design. However, this year, we can expect an entirely new concept, called material design.

Material design was born on the premise of flat design, but takes things one step further. With this design, it is the intent to create a living and breathing space for readers to enjoy. One they can utilize all of their senses for and that will challenge their imagination. This is definitely something we will begin to see more of in the coming months and years.

It’s Getting Real

Just from 2014 to 2015, the number of mobile-only internet users jumped by over 300 million users. This is a trend that isn’t expected to change any time soon. In fact, as easy as it is to be mobile in today’s world, we should probably expect this number to drastically increase over the coming years.

What does this mean for web designers? Quite a bit actually. For starters, it is critical to begin thinking on a smaller scale. Screen sizes are getting smaller because information is now being viewed on the small screens of smartphones. Because of this, information you put on your website needs to easily translate from a PC to a mobile phone and still be easy to read.

Because we are so mobile, we expect our data and information to be mobile as well. To help accommodate these types of things, developers have been quick to come up with ways to give readers access to up-to-the-second information. This has been successfully accomplished with the creation of apps that offer real-time news and sports information.

With these types of apps, web designers must rethink how they deliver some certain types of events and news stories. But, these types of changes could be very positive for businesses. For example, instead of allowing a news outlet to cover an event or business, the business itself would be able to offer real-time information to their followers. In the end, this is something that will help build trust among your fans.

These are just a few of the things we should expect to see in the way of changes to web design during 2016. However, only time will tell how many changes will actually occur this year and what trends we will be looking at in the years to come.

One thing is certain about web design; it is always evolving and changing along with the world around it. Web designers must always stay on their game if they want to ensure they are always on the winning end of the changes caused by trends related to the internet.

7 Creative Photo Manipulation Tutorials

Following are seven creative photo-manipulation tutorials and their summaries. You can view the linked tutorials , and this article briefly explains below each picture. Below is an example of some exceptionally creative Photoshop-ery:

It takes imagination to make this design, and imagination is the core ingredient in producing high quality photo manipulation. Proper imagination can manipulate photographs with elements of nature like fire, water, and lightning. Photoshop has a ubiquity of brushes and techniques for enhancing/changing pictures. The advertising industry is famous for its use of manipulated photography. Magazines, posters, package designs–all use the techniques that will be explored shortly. These tutorials will give you the information you need to most fully utilize program functionality. You’ll learn to add effects, edit images, incorporate natural elements, and so much more.

Compose a Concept Piece With Gorgeous Effects Using CS6

The maker of this tutorial shows acolytes how this exceptionally gorgeous picture was put together using the CS6 iteration of Photoshop, and stock images. Text effects were added, and layers were adjusted; as were filters–all of which requires patience. The tutorial for this picture is two hours long, and viewers are lead through the complete process. The best way to learn is from professionals, and in this tutorial, the best manipulation techniques the artist uses are revealed. Things like lighting effects, masking, shadows, general composition, smart objects, layer management, coloring of a selective nature, and so much more. Finally, the manipulation explored in this tutorial is advanced; so know it’s worth it, don’t rush things, and there’s no reason not to share the work of this artist!

Composing an Illustration of Skin-Tearing in Photoshop

It’s become en vogue for models in advertisement and film to “pull away” their skin, showing something strange, frightening, or sensual beneath. Apparently the Ars Thanea team developed and popularized this effect several years ago in 2013. They used a number of different images pertaining to the Sao Paulo Football Club. Ever since, this style has been on the rise in popularly; and with the frequent tutorial requests, it only made sense someone would put something up eventually.

This tutorial reveals how this effect can be created using Photoshop. It also shows the best way to light and shoot photography for this effect. Initially explored is extraction of the “model” from its background, removal of tattoos, and the way in which skin is pulled aside and mechanical things inserted.

 

Creating Magical Manipulation of Photos in Post-Production

Oftentimes, artists are known to ally themselves with a team of like-minded individuals for the completion of a project. Usually there’s a director of some creative capacity, an art director, a photographer, a graphic designer, a re-toucher, and of course the client for whom the project has been commissioned.

The tutorial explored in this link is a two-part series where the tutorial-maker teamed up with well-known photographer Natalie Fobes and put together an illustration of magic in photography as a child interacts with toys that are no longer static, but suddenly living. The tutorial shows not just which kinds of photos are needed, but how retouching is done, and how combining them with stock photos can create a work of art which closely resembles an initial sketch.

This link goes to Natalie’s tutorial in order that those interested can learn how the photography was shot. Check the photography section labeled Tuts+.

 

Designing That Particular “Distorted Lady” Effect Via Photoshop

This tutorial reveals the steps employed for creation of this strangely distorted female form via Photoshop. Metal and rock textures have been placed over the female body in order to facilitate the primary effect. A number of image adjustments and layer masks, in conjunction with various filters, are used to fine-tune this intermediate-level manipulation.

An Illustrated Watercolor/Ink Effect Applied to Photos in Photoshop

Many photo artists are interested in the application of watercolor/ink effects to pictures. Certain filters and effects can accomplish this aim, but the best way to do it is through hand-drawn illustration. This method provides the best end result, and the most flexibility. The following tutorial explores such an approach.

 

Creation of “Leafy Face” Photo Manipulation Effect Via Photoshop

This tutorial reveals steps taken to create this woman’s “Leafy Face” in Photoshop. Techniques used include layer blending, layer masks, the use of adjustment layers, and filter effects. This is an intermediate tutorial, so some steps can be difficult.

 

Composing Surreal Digital Art, Such As This “Dark Power Unleashed” Motif in Photoshop

This tutorial shows how this surreal digital art was put together through Photoshop. It begins with a simple city image soon combined with cloud, model, and a number of other objects to emphasize the picture’s surreal nature.

These tutorials reveal integral Photoshop picture-manipulation techniques. Hopefully you have learned some new techniques and tips to improve your own photo manipulation skills

 

15+ Best Responsive HTML5 Frameworks

Across the internet, website design and design platforms are being continuously revitalized. One example is HTML5. HTML didn’t have any numbers behind it to begin with, so the 5 is a great indicator of the transformations this design convention has undergone in recent years. HTML5 frameworks in 2014 have proven exceptionally versatile in the design of a website’s front end. There is more than one HTML5 platform that was made available in 2014 and each is packed with a smorgasbord of features, but what people are primarily interested in is the time-saving convenience of this platform. One of the ways HTML5 does this is through the reduction of CSS/CSS3 repetition. Cutting out these programming tasks saves a lot of energy. Making a website responsive and cross-browser compatible has never been easier. Besides offering a high degree of customization and clean coding, it offers styles that are getting more and more prevalent among design platforms. Finally, HTML5 isn’t large size-wise, so it will not slow websites down.

Following we will examine the best HTML5 platforms.

Twitter Bootstrap

An extremely popular framework, it has an intuitive and sleek front-end design platform engineered to facilitate easier website development. It includes all of the essential components which have come to be expected in the development of responsive websites; things like responsive grids of the twelve column variety, jQuery plugins that can be custom designed, and much more.

HTML5 Boilerplate

Boilerplate aids in the facilitation of quick web apps that are easily adaptable. It also allows for the fast design of websites. Site performance is exemplary, and server configuration can be independently maintained. A great platform for newer projects.

Gridless

An exceptionally option-rich platform, this HTML5 and CSS3 boilerplate is geared at helping users design responsive websites of the cross-browser variety that are optimized for mobile use. It also features extremely aesthetic typography.

Less Framework

Less Framework is a modern platform that provides a front-end framework for the construction of designs that are exceptionally responsive. It’s CSS grid system is specifically geared toward making websites that are adaptive. Less Framework has four layouts and among typography presets there are three different sets; all of which are base on one grid.

Kube

Kube Framework is, thankfully, not overblown as far as CSS frameworks are concerned. It features a variety of layouts and styles while using only one CSS file. Simplicity brings beauty, and this HTML5 platform provides fewer files so that processing gurus can enjoy the work.

CreateJS

This is a suite of libraries and tools of the modular variety which enrich content so that it is interactive. Enrichment is primarily done through the suite of tools working together.

Zebra

Not merely how a Frenchman refers to a brazier, Zebra provides fresh possibilities for web development via Rich UI applications. Any imaginable UI can be designed, as its approach rests above the canvas element in HTML5. It’s a purely web-based alternative to Applet or Flash tech and doesn’t need plug-ins on the client side for installation.

52Framework

This framework aims to give programmers a building methodology that’s responsive and less complicated in the incorporation of HTML5 and CSS3 while simultaneously supporting “modern” browsers. It comes packaged with HTML5 video players, canvas examples, validation forms, rounded corners, and more.

Layers CSS

This lightweight framework of the CSS variety actually refrains from an emphasis on design and instead focuses on primary structure. Fluid grids and simple classes help support responsive layouts.

Montage

For building modern web apps, Montage is bar none. It aids in the construction of scalable, maintainable applications of the HTML5 variety which have been enhanced for modern devices. Reusable components and HTML templates make this HTML5 framework stand out.

Base

Base is a lightweight framework that’s semantic and extendable. Designed for the powering of the next generations websites, responsiveness is key with Base.

SproutCore

SproutCore is the first open-source framework on this list and builds quick, innovative experiences for the user on the internet. Incredible speed is intended for diminished wait-time on a given server. SproutCore is accessible anywhere.

Groundwork

It’s responsive and relies on HTML5, CSS, and Javascript frameworks. It has a grid system, is customizable, and much more.

Skeleton

As the name implies, this is a bare-bones system designed to rapidly develop sites. It operates from three main principles: responsive grids in the mobile sphere, quick starting, and exceptional style.

Pure

Pure is a small, responsive conglomeration of CSS modules usable in any web project. This framework is exceptionally minuscule; the entire set of modules is only 4.4 Kilobytes which have been gzipped and minified. Mobile devices were obviously in mind when this framework was put together.

HTML5 Kickstart

Ultra lean, this framework is an HTML5, CSS, and JS building machine capable of rapidly producing websites. It incorporates a ubiquity of features in one package; things like responsive grid layout, slide-shows that are touch-enabled, and much more.

Ulkit

This is a modular front-end framework that’s lightweight and designed for the development of powerful web interfaces that are also fast. It provides a collection of HTML, CSS, and JS components that are comprehensive, simple, extendable, and easily customized.

Foundation

One of the most advanced front-end frameworks of the world, Foundation makes the use of HTML frameworks simple for the building of small websites. Designed for websites that are flexible and responsive.

Gumby 2

Gumby 2 is a CSS Framework that is exceptionally responsive. It can also be customized with ease. Built with the power of Sass, this framework is designed to be downloaded, tweaked, and deployed!

Web design in modernity has never been easier and HTML5 platforms only serve to increase the possibilities through convenience. Try any of these platforms and see which one best fits your needs. There are several that will doubtless blow your mind–but in the good way!

Best JQuery Lightbox Plugins

Let’s face it, there are an endless number of competitors vying for the website creation market. In order to stand out from the crowd, you must go above and beyond by creating an extraordinary website not just a nice-looking websites. That is where plugins can help. With the correct plug-ins, you can create a visually stunning and immersive websites. Here are some of the best JQuery Lightbox plugins that will help you create a website that will keep them coming back for more:

1. Chillbox – Allows you to overlay a main image with a second one. This works great for rendering text, but could take more time than you’d like getting the transparency optimized.

2. jQuery lightGallery – Creating picture galleries and YouTube videos is easier with this plug-in. The number of effects is small but the quality is wonderful.

 

3. JackBox – Responsive Lightbox – The JackBox stylesheets and scripts will only load into your web page if the page contains a lightbox item. This means that on the pages where no lightbox items are used, no unecessary plugin files are loaded. When JackBox CSS and JavaScript filesare loaded, they load asynchronously, helping your web pages to load faster.

4. MetroBox – Responsive LightBox – MetroBox is a jQuery plugin for displaying photos/videos or anything you want with visitor/user comments ( like social network features ). This plugin does not have comment system. It only show comments you have.

5. Visual LightBox – This wizard creates pop-up galleries without needing to know code. The free version is limited, however, and you need to renew your license for the business version yearly.

 

6. Smoothbox – This plugin makes CSS3 transitions smoother. The only con is that there are no options related to javascript so you have to work with what is there.

 

7. Fancybox – Creates a floating “box” to display pictures and other media. This can be good for showing detailed images, but can potentially slow down loading time for a page.

 

8. Image Lightbox – A no-frills lightbox that works well with touchscreens or keyboards. It only works for images, however, not other media.

 

9. Tosrus – Creates slide galleries that are very easily accessed on desktops as well as portable devices. This only works on Windows 8 or above, however.

 

10. Colorbox – This slideshow creator is dependable and is in use on two million websites, The learning curve can be strong, but help files are available.

 

11. Nivo Lightbox – One of the most advanced lightbox plugins, this integrates easily with a variety of other plugins. It is free to use but the support license is a bit pricey.

 

12. Venobox – This plugin is responsive to the maximum width of an image and makes it possible to scroll and see the entire height. Other than that, it doesn’t have any stand-out differences.

 

13. iLightBox – One of the most advanced lightbox plugins out there. This one has all the bells and whistles you could wish for. It may be too intensive for most websites, however, and best saved for media intensive ones.

 

14. Swipebox – Great for touch screen devices but requires detailed knowledge of coding to properly install.

 

15. Magnific Popup – One of the few plugins that allow you to adjust images within the popup itself. Unfortunately, will not work on Windows 7 and below.

 

16. asPopup – Simple and responsive, but brings nothing new to the table.

 

17. Lightbox 2 – Updated version of the original lightbox plugin. Works on newer operating systems but doesn’t have any bells and whistles.

Regardless of your needs, jQuery has a lightbox plugin that will meet your needs. From the minimalistic asPopup to the bells-and-whistles laden iLightBox, and everything in between, you will find something that works to make your website professional-looking and a step above the rest.

30 Best Free Blogger Templates

As web developers we don’t have time to deal with the blogging portion of websites. It’s hard to build a personal blogging page for every single person. Thankfully, there are many free templates available. These templates are all professional, easy to use, and will save you a lot of time.

Best Free Blogger Templates 2014

In this article, we will show you some of the best free responsive Blogger templates which may help you in starting a new blogging project.

Zerif Lite

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Zerif Lite is a one page blog template. It is easy to use, responsive, and can be optimized for e-commerce.

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Constructzine Lite

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Constructzine Lite is responsive and uncomplicated. The site is clean, simple, and easy for new bloggers.

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Xmax

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Xmax has a basic UI and an elegant design. Perfect for companies launching new products or services.

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Brand Mag UX

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Brand Mag UX offers a bright, professional appearance. The responsive UI makes the page easy to navigate.

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Red Hood

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Redhood has a relaxing theme. The site is responsive and appears to be ideal for personal or travel blogs.

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Keilir Blogger Template

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Keilir Blog Template has a nice “homey” touch. It seems perfect for the novice blogger.

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Journey

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Journey is a very traditional template and perfect for travel blogs. The layout is ideal for adding photos to blogs.

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Portify Responsive Blogger Template

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Portify Responsive Blog Template is easy to navigate. This is well-suited for daily or travel blogging.

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Extinify Portfolio Blogger Template

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Extinify has a nice, regular, “business”feel to it. Simple, spacious, and elegant. it’s great for new businesses or blogs.

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Simplify Blogger Template

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Simplify describes itself. Simple and easy to understand, this template is quick to understand and great for quick, to-the-point blogs.

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Belastic Responsive Blogger Template

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Belastic has a very cosmopolitan theme to it, with dark colors and a headline layout. This is perfect for city themed blogs.

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Indonesia

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Indonesia is a casual template with bright colors. Perfect for blogs with photos, and it allows tags.

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Dynamic Mag Responsive Blogger Template

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Dynamic Mag is perfect for the magazine style blog. Animated top-fold with responsiveness, it’s perfect for the local news blog.

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Karma – Creative Landing Page Blogger Templates

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Karma is elegant and easy to use. This site is responsive and a perfect template for businesses.

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Responsive Templates

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Responsive Templates have a clean, fresh feel to them. Their own template is responsive and great for the personal blogger.

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Techify

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Techify is the best blog template I’ve seen for techies. The layout is modern and clean.

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Flat Mag – Free Blogger Template

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Flat Mag is perfect for commerce sites, however it’s way too busy and segmented for personal blogs.

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Metrofy Blogger Template

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Metrofy cuts is perfect for business or personal blogs. Honestly, it would serve either equally well.

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Plazify Responsive Blogger Template

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Plazify is a clean template with easy UI and layout. This is not a flashy template.

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Sleekify

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Sleekify is elegant, modern; a great template for nightclubs and other entertainment venues.

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Blackpress Responsive Blogger Template

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Blackpress is bold and blocky. It’s for the personal blogger looking for something different.

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Montric Magazine Blogger Template

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Montric Magazine has the look of a trendy blog. It’s sleek, and oriented to the fashionista.

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Vortex Responsive Blogger Template

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Vortex has an up-to-date, journalistic look This template is great for the blogger who posts links to the latest viral news.

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GoGreen Blogger Template

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Go Green Blogger template is a simple layout with easy UI. The layout is too plain for businesses.

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Magzon Blogger Template

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Magzon is perfect for the magazine or news blog. This blog is great for quick scan reading.

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WebDepot Blogger Template

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Web Depot has a traditional layout and is best for commerce. This template is responsive and modern.

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WebMag Blogger Template

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Webmag is perfect for the blog that updates a lot.

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Rofl

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Rofl is a simple template. It’s great for the family trip or a kids’ school year blog.

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Wedding Mag

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Wedding Mag is the perfect template for weddings.

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Sentify Responsive Blogger Template

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Sentify is suitable for most businesses. I wouldn’t recommend it for personal blogs.

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Magnic Magazine Responsive Blogger Template

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Magnic has a cinematic flair. It comes especially recommended for the movie or theatrical blogger.

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Magazinify Responsive Blogger Template

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Magazinify is the ultimate magazine template. Multiple widgets make this perfect for the latest news.

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Photo Lab

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Photo Lab is for the photography aficionado. This site is perfect for showcasing photos and videos.

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