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The 404: Ep. 1456: Where Walt Disney is not frozen in suspended animation
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The 404: Ep. 1456: Where Walt Disney is not frozen in suspended animation

27:29 /

Google will put its employees under a microscope for the next 100 years, a pill that helps us learn like children, suspended animation comes to real life, and HTC did something super shady with their One M8 benchmarks!

It's Monday, March 31st, 2014. I'm Ariel Nunez from the CBS Studios in New York City. Welcome to The 404. [MUSIC] What's going on, everyone? Thanks for tuning in to the show. I'm Jeff Bakalar. And I'm Justin Yu. Welcome to our program. I hope you had a great weekend. Sincerely, hope you had a great weekend. It sounds like we've got some of our listeners back. Mm-hm If you subscribe to the show outside of iTunes, it's kind of business as usual for you, is what it sounds like. But if you're one of the unfortunate souls who relies on iTunes for the daily version of the 404. You have not been happy, and you haven't been happy for like seven days, and we apologize for that, but, again, we're still working on it. A lot of the bugs were worked out on Friday, So alas, some crap still needs to be cleared out of the pipes. Yeah, which it will. Sure. At a slow pace. Yeah. No, it's, it's at the pace at they're working at. At a medium pace. Yeah, the fast as possible pace. Well, okay, you're super optimistic about that. I remain to be as pessimistic as possible. Nevertheless, we've got a great show for everyone today and thanks for tuning in. I'm excited. Are you? No. Just upset, I, I feel bad for people who like subscribe. Oh real quick, going back to the iTunes stuff. If you do subscribe to our audio version on the show, that's the MP3 feed. That got changed to a video feed. I don't know how that happen, it just did. Don't let go of that subscription just yet. Don't unsubscribe to that because odds are it'll switch back to your mp3 feed. Mm-hm. So I just wanted to give that disclaimer. Yeah. It's just getting renamed. I've learned a lot about iTunes, and fees and stuff like that. Mm. Over the last week. And this hopefully won't happen very often, and I mean, CNET is having a huge relaunch right now, which is what we should also be talking about. So, if you go to cnet.com, you'll see a completely newly redesigned page. That's it. Brand new website. Pretty cool and there's all new videos and things like, a whole separate tab. There's no more CNET TV. So you can go and check each category, in my opinion it's a lot cleaner, easier to navigate on your mobile devices too, so enjoy that let us know what you think. See I don't think they change the mobile version of the site. But it looks like it, you should be browsing it on an iPad. You know how websites sort, sort of looks like that now? Everything's kinda tiled, it looks like you should be pressing it with your finger; even when you're on a desktop Yeah. That's like a design thing. Yeah. It looks great. Okay. Glad you like it. Its like pulling teeth with this guy man. I'm sorry, I, its tough for me to like be positive when we've gone through so much crap. I'm trying man. I'm trying my hardest. I'm not a miracle worker though. Hype up man. Come on it's Monday. Its great day. No, no the site looks good. Be happy. I like, I like all the typefaces. Check out these typefaces. Yeah. These are dope **** type faces. Yeah, super clean. And we got like the river on the side now with all the stories so once we figure out how you can actually watch this show it will look great. Yeah and one day the blog posts are going to show up on the site I am told, so that is exciting, and all this great stuff is happening. Yeah. To the internet Okay. What do you got for us, JU? Woof, another rough start man, let's get to the stories of the day. This is actually a good story day, cuz I was looking at news over the weekend. And there's a handful of stories that I put into the rundown today that really show we are living straight up in the future. And stories that I never thought we would talk about, but they're really cool. We're gonna begin with a story about how Goggle is sort of planning on studying their employees for the next hundred years. Can you imagine that? They assume they're gonna be around a hundred years, how arrogant is that? I was gonna say, that's pretty optimistic about how long they're gonna be a company. Yeah, for sure. And then, we're gonna talk about a pill that can sort of, help us time travel back, mentally. To where our brains were just forming; around five years old. They're hoping that taking the pill will help you learn faster, you know? Sort of like a young kid learning to play a musical instrument. Or, learns a new language. Right. Awesome stuff. Then this is real suspended animation now a real thing. You heard of suspended animation before? Like when they freeze somebody? Yeah. Yeah. We'll talk about that. It's not cryogenics, but suspended animation none the less. Okay. And then if we have time, we'll talk about some mind reading experiments that are also real. This is like a total sci fi come true show. And then we'll finish up maybe if we have time, with HTC sorta cheating on their benchmarking tests on that M8 phone that we talked about last week. How were they cheating? They were cheating by boosting benchmarks. Their own benchmarks? No. Their, so, the story, the short story if you wanna talk about that right now, is that they have this code that actually makes the phone go faster, sort of in like a hyper drive mode, when it's being benchmarked tested. Oh, so it like engages turbo. Yeah. Which is crazy. Kinda brilliant. Smart, yeah there's some smart marketing going on there that we can talk about as well. Alright, let's get to this Google story. Alright, so, every once in a while we just have to talk about how Google is making every other employer look really bad. CNET included. Just comparatively speaking. Yeah totally. And this is one of those stories. So over the weekend, they announced the launch of their GDNA program. That's what It's called, GDNA. It's a study that's gonna last 100 years, like I mentioned before. And the point is to figure out the best way to serve their employees and in turn, get good work out of them. So, I'm still surprised by now that Google obviously cares a lot about their employee retention. Right? They're famous for sort of starting that whole, you know, like perks in the office environment. Fun place to work, that sort of thing. Yeah, yeah exactly. So to engage the study, they selected 4,000 people to participate within the company. Each person is gonna survey about they're gonna take 2 surveys a year. Right, two very long surveys a year about their work life, projects, coworkers, offices and stuff like that. And, yeah, and, and through their next course of you know, course of the next century they're hoping to just learn just as much as they can about their employees which will hopefully in turn net them you know, great work. It's interesting that they, like, like, it's fricking Google and they're just doing surveys? That's what they're doing? Yeah. Seems kind of, like, **** backwards for them. Well this is like, the human resources department. They're not, like, focusing all their work on it. And, and, and why does it, why is it like 100 years? What's, what's like the story with that? I don't I don't know. I think it was based on another study that lasted 60 something years, but they're pushing it a little bit further to just, you know. I, I think the point of, of a lot of it is just jargon, right? Like, they're just saying that they're gonna continue studying their employees forever probably. I mean, it's, they don't even know what they're gonna. They're not gonna stop after a hundred years. It's that they don't even know what they're gonna discover. Right. But that they hope that it'll gain deeper insights to the employees' minds. it also seems like 4,000 people, 4,000 Google employees, is actually a really small sample of how many people they actually. How many people does Google employ? I don't know. Well, then how do you know? Well, I'm imagining. I don't think it's that much more. No? Not more than 4,000. I don't know. I really don't how many people work at Google, but I think it's probably smaller than you think. Mm-hm. But yeah. [LAUGH] Right? I don't know. You said it's like a small size I'm like, well how many people work there. You're like, I don't know. yeah. So one of the things that they've determined through these studies, is that 30% of the employees are, quote segmenters. This is just the first study and it's been going on for about two years now. This is the big thing they've learned so far. 30% of the employees are segmenters, meaning they don't think about work after they go home at the end of the day. Right, and then the 70, other 70% of that it's called integrators and those are people that can't stop thinking about work when they go home. It's 47,000 people that work at Google. Yeah. That's a lot. Yeah. That's more than I thought. So anyway, yeah. That's the story about Google. It's kind of a short story, not a lot going on, but I thought it was kind of interesting that they actually do care about their employees. Yeah. You know, I think every company cares about their employees. The thing with Google is they always wanna make a big deal about it. Mm-hm. You know, we get it. Everyone wants to work for you. You're the best, right? Mm-hm. Uh-huh. Alright what about this pill? A great salesman. Tell me about this pill. alright, so this next story really shows how truly in the future we are, right. This is what I was talking about earlier. Bring this up. So the Boston Children's Hospital, they're experimenting with a new drug called donepazil. This kid looks terrible. Does he? Oh, yeah. He sort of looks like, I don't know, some guy. So anyway, this, this drug called donepazil, it supposedly boosts serotonin and a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. Acetylcholine beneficially helps our brains travel back in time to early childhood so I don't know about you but all 3 of us learned musical instruments we talked about that a couple of weeks ago and. You know when you're young they say supposedly your brain is a lot easier to pick up stuff like this. Ya know [CROSSTALK] It can absorb more. Yea. Languages and whatnot. Do you think thats true? Yeah 100%. So much easier to learn a language growing up than it is when you're an adult. Yea I guess, I mean you're probably right but I guess I always just thought that because we're big and they're small we can just force them to do whatever we want. Do we say that? You know what I mean? Like, I remember being asked to play piano when I was a kid and I was really resistive to it. My parents just forced me to and then I wasn't sure if it was easier to learn necessarily. Well, that's your, sort of like screwy childhood. I feel like also, you know, you have to. You, your're sorta like grasping, you're not, there's a sense of desperation when you are a child. What do you mean? Like you just have to learn things to get by. Your brain is so much more susceptible to absorb information at that point. Whereas you get old enough and you're, and you, you can like form habits, and get set in your ways, and you're not as ambitious to learn stuff. Yeah. Sort of just like I get it. You know, I can speak, I can write, and you're- Yeah, and along the same lines, like when you're a kid, you just don't have any hobbies. Like you just go to school, you come back home, and then you don't do anything. Just sit down and watch TV. But then as an adult, like who has time to go and learn another language, or. I mean, it's not saying that adults can't learn languages. No, no. They can. Right. But you were much more sort of emulating a sponge when you're a little kid, then you are, you know, a 30 year old. Mm-hm. And it makes total sense. Right. It's interesting cuz. Arial, you're gonna be psyched about this. They're using, Donepezil. To treat amblyopia. Oh,wow. Which is, we've talked about this before, it's sorta the official term for a lazy eye. And they're helping to rewire people's brains in order to sorta help them learn new information with this drug. Alright so in this case to process new visual stimuli they say. Sort of like a newborn. Interesting. So it's kinda cool. You know, the science behind this is that it'll take you back to a critical period, they call it, in your brain. Which is about, you know, little younger than seven in most children. This is, are we, I hope we're not just like, are there any negative side effects to this? I don't, do you think there would be? Like am I gonna forget how to walk also? Yeah. I think that's the worry. Like the immediate worry that I thought of. That. Man. Is this gonna, like. [LAUGH] Is this gonna make you become a child emotionally, or mentally, after a while? If you're soaking up all this new stuff? I don't know. Have there been human trials? There have been, not, no human trials yet. Oh. Okay. That's com, that's comforting. Yeah. That's very comforting. I think that's encouraging. Yeah. But, one of the scientists have come out and said that you need to worry that, when you do this the brains gonna be affected by other external factor too, like your emotions or stress and anxiety. Oh cool, yeah I'm lining up for this. Yeah, we all know how kids do with stress and anxiety. Yeah, no. This is a great idea. What was that future thing you were telling us about? Yeah, this is what's gonna happen. The future sucks. It's either gonna be good or bad. No. And also Dan, a lot of people just have these sort of subconsciously locked in their brains too. Right. Repressed memories and things like that. And if we're taking it back. Oh my God. I don't know. I'm not I mean. an expert in neuroplasticity but. This make for like a really compelling sort of Sci-fi thriller movie Yeah. Where we're giving people pills to like unlock the secrets of their past. Mm-hm. That they've shuttered away. Yeah. It is scary. It's like a Charlie Kaufman movie. Would you take a pill like this? No I'm not a dummy. Definitely not within the first few years of it coming out. Yeah. I'm going to let like six or seven thousand people do it before I do it. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, tell me if you think you'd be into this suspended animation. What was the first time you ever heard about that in what context? I assume you know Freezing. I don't know, maybe like. A comic book. Maybe like Jurassic Park? Oh yeah yeah, Jurassic Park, same, you know did they freeze them, or Yeah. They're frozen DNA?, right? Well So they were, the DNA was supposedly kept intact by the amber. Uh-huh. You know, like the, the maple amber. What were they, what were they calling that? It was like the, the tree tar. Yeah. That was suspending blood. Mm-hm. And they were able to like Go into the ground, find instances of mosquitoes in amber. Right. And extract the blood [CROSSTALK] From the dinosaurs. Literally, Yeah. You know 70 million years old, and they're like oh, here's some, here's some. Ya know, dino DNA. Right. That just makes about enough sense to believe. It doesn't. [LAUGH] But, that was like the first sort of idea of suspension, or like maybe, ya know, even like bananas or not bananas, Sleeper, when Woody Allen gets frozen and he wakes up like a thousand years in the future. Is that an actual movie? Yeah, you've never seen Sleeper? Sleeper? You just said Woody Allen's in it. Oh, god. Not going down that road with you. [LAUGH] But yeah, it's, I mean, yeah, it's, it's, it's a, it's a concept as old as sci-fi. Yeah. I, I think the first time I read about it was in comic books when, cuz I think Captain America's origin has a lot to do with suspended animation, like. And I'm not sure I hate a superhero more than I hate Captain America. Oh, maybe Superman. Why? Cuz Captain America doesn't do anything for me. What do you mean? He's got superherum serum, superhero serum. Injected into his body, for super strength, agility, [INAUDIBLE] Yeah, so he was, like, manufactured. I don't like, I don't like guys who are, like, made. Oh, well, Captain America has, sort of a military vibe to it, which I think a lot of people don't like. Yeah, he's just too much of a bro. Yeah, he's just like, kind of a flunkie for, for the government basically. Yeah, he's just like a ****, like ultra-militaristic sort of like, bro. Right. I also think a lot of people dislike him because he's always on the defense, and never really offense, right? Like, his weapons, just, like he can throw it, but. He's got a frisbee. He's really just blocking stuff. Yeah. His weapon is a frisbee. Who cares? He's pretty strong though. Good for him. I remember the origin was that, he came out around World War I, I think. He was fighting Nazis. And then. That was two He was fighting nazis. In world war, there were no Nazis in World War I. World War II, would be the one, yeah. And then, in, a right, World War I, allies, got it, history buff. World War II, and then, why did I write down World War I? I don't know. This is why you shouldn't rely on notes for your explanations of things. Anyway, so he has this partner and then supposedly he fell into a bunch of ice and his body was frozen because of that and then they revived him. We know. The Avengers revived. [UNKNOWN] Gotcha, gotcha, gotcha. Anyway, so the suspended animation for people that don't know is basically the process of slowing life without death. And it brings, to like absolute zero, right? Or something? Yeah. Yeah. You basically just freeze a body, and I didn't think it was a real thing. I remember in Idiocracy they also did this same deal. Right. When you have these like suspension chambers. So doctors over at the UPNC Presbyterian Hospital, fast forward to right now in Pittsburgh, they're waiting for patients that come in with extreme knife and gunshot wounds into the emergency room. Right? And when they find the right patients that's on the brink of death. Right. Those patients will be placed in suspended animation which they're sort of calling, take the sci-fi element out of it, emergency preservation and resuscitation. Okay. So basically it works by replacing the patients blood with a bunch of cold saline solution. Saline being salt and water. This is not going to work. It's working. They're going to have to murder 10 people. This has actually been tested. On pigs. [LAUGH] So, when you inject the body and replace the blood with the saline solution, it supposedly slows down the body's tasks, and basically makes the body mimic death. So you know, the cells in your body, they need less oxygen at that point, and, you know, there's no energy happening since you're not moving, so there's no reactions happening. Huh. Right. And you know, the idea is that they still do it right now. Like, there's some form of it that doctors do. If you come in with something, a heart condition or you need brain surgery, they'll cool your temperature with ice packs before going into that room. Hm. So that only gives them 45 minutes of extra time when they put you around a bunch of ice packs. This will put you under for two hours, which is scary, because You're dead for two hours. Yeah, you're dead for two hours, who knows what happens. And they have to resuscitate you. And they said that this might explain why people who fall into icy lakes can sometimes be revived more than a half hour after they've stopped breathing. I did not know that. Wow. This is the first piece of promising medicine right here. In awhile, yeah. One of the doctors they interviewed in the article said that its. Changed his definition of death. Whoa. Which is really scary. I mean imagine, you need to be put under for two hours now. But, you know, what if you contract some terrible condition. And, you want to wait til the, the cure comes out. It might not be for thirty Years. So, you go under for a while. Didn't Walt Disney freeze himself? That's the, I think Right That was the inspiration for Futurama. Yeah I don't know. Yeah, I could have sworn he really did that. Is he somewhere, where is he? I don't know, he's like in someone's freezer. [LAUGH] No, I'm serious, I, I want to say he did that, it could, it could be an urban legend. Really, yeah look that up. Yeah If anyone had the technology to do it, I'm sure it's him. Or afford it. Yeah This is my finer moment of the day. Googling Is Walt Disney frozen? [LAUGH] Yeah. Look that up. Oh, I actually really want to know that. I don't know though. Cuz then when you go under, who's to say that who's to say that when you revive yourself you're gonna be the same person? Right. You know, there's gotta be some brain damage when that happens when officially die. I'm assuming. Yeah, it's an urban legend. People seem to be- It's funny, if I had said that you would have called me an idiot. No, no. I am 100% positive, you would have been like is Walt Disney frozen, you'd be like, you're a freaking idiot. No, no it's an urban legend and apparently even Snopes doesn't know. Snopes has no idea. Yeah, so. Sounds like a Shogun guy. It's just not, indetermined, hm. So then it might be true. Undetermined. It might be true. Okay. Apparently in the decades before his death he arranged to have his body suspended. Hm. In some like cryogenic Jurassic Park test tube. Yeah, yeah, that's how, this doesn't help that this was the plot of a lot of movies like Batman and Robin. Didn't Mr. Freeze do this to his wife? There's a lot of stuff like that. Yeah. Yeah. But apparently its based on science, so it's happening. Right. No, he wasn't frozen. No. He, who? Walt Disney. He wasn't frozen? No, he wasn't. He's, he's buried in the ground. [LAUGH] What do you mean? You were just lying? Yeah, I wanted to see what you would do. [LAUGH] Okay. Yeah, he's been dead for like 40 years. And it wasn't even like a question, you just made that up? No, he went right to the grave. He did not stop go. [LAUGH] There are several witnesses that are still alive. You can visit his grave. Yeah. Okay, that makes sense. He's actually buried in New York. [LAUGH] Yeah, he's buried right here. [LAUGH] Yeah, that was, that was left out of geography. [LAUGH] Last story of the day. I want to talk about this HTC One M8 story. And you know, this doesn't have to do with the future, this is right now, but it sort of affects our line of work, right? So last week the H2C1M8 handset came out. We talked about it. Brian Bennett, the guy who reviewed it for CNET, he did Benchmark testing for speed results, right. We do those for every phone. And. But the thing is, is that there's like specific software you run on these things. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, exactly. So we use one called AnTuTu. Right. Right. And it's pretty generic across the board. A lot of other websites use it as well. But yeah, it's a popular benchmarking tool. Yeah. And for the M8s it scored faster than three other phones. The Note 3, the LG G2, and the old HTC One. Right, right. Brian Bennett actually said it was so fast that it quote handles like greased lightning. [LAUGH] Yeah, that was my reaction. You know, so any, anyway. [CROSSTALK] It's just irrelevant, way to describe something. Yeah, of course. I mean, there's no other way to say it's fast. So anyway, rumors spread over the weekend that HTC was actually rigging the results of the speed test by scanning for benchmarking tests. And when it detected that you were running something, it actually overclocked the phone. So what's crazy about this is that, so what, so there's two versions of the benchmarking software that we use, right? Of AnTuTu. For the original review, we used AnTuTu. And before? Yeah. Then there's AnTuTu X. Right. Which they just came out with, and after hearing about these rumors, Brian Bennett went back and retested with AnTuTu X, which supposedly levels the playing field and doesn't let phones run that extra speed boost [CROSSTALK] Right. So check it out. So the people at AnTuTu got hip to what HTC was doing, and when you look at the top graph AnTuTu the older bench marking software the HTC One (M8). Killed it. Off the chart, literally off the chart. Right. And when the new version comes out. And thats beating the Xperia Z2, the LG G Pro 2 and the S 5. Right, right. And now when you look at the newer one. It underperforms behind all those. Yeah. Wherein before it outperformed. Mm-hm. So I mean is this any different, you know this happens all the time with like game shot screenshots from video games where? Oh, how they're not actually gameplay. The, they, they are actual screenshots, but they're like photoshopped and they're like made to look better than the actual game looks. It looks like and they had this nickname called bull shots. So, this is essentially the same thing, although, the phone is capable of doing that, like- Right It's just being over clocked. And, who knows what it does for the health of the Phone and battery life and all that other stuff. See. I think it's, I think what you were talking about with the video games, is a lot like how, you know, commercial shoots dress-up some- Right, Exactly. Food and take photos of it. Exactly. That's just marketing and advertising. I think that's more B.S. than what this is. But, I do think that the video game thing is more disingenuous cause not everybody knows, you know, me for example, I had no idea they did that until just now. Right, right. Everybody knows that food is dressed for shoot. Sure, sure. And nobody knows that, you know, until this weekend until they got called out on it, HTC actually admitted that they used this code. And if they had come out and said hey look, like they had this extra speed boosting feature prior to getting caught, then it wouldn't have been so bad, but now it seems like the covering of their tracks they are trying to spin it into something that's kinda cool. So you want to read like, you want me to read, so basically we call them out, we say dude, how do you, you know, defend the fact that the M8 kicks into like turbo mode when it senses, you know, a benchmarking, so they come back and say. Quote, for those with a need for speed, and already, everyone rolls their eyes [CROSSTALK] Yeah. We provided a simple way to unleash this power by introducing a new high-performance mode in the developer settings [LAUGH] buried under 43 menus that can be enabled, disabled manually. The M8 is optimized to provide balance the best balance of performance and battery life. For we believe in offering customer choice as there may be times when the desire for performance outweighs the need for longer battery life. [LAUGH] Which is basically being like, ya got us. Totally a Spinal Tap going up to 11 moment. Yeah, pretty much. Like, they got caught, and now they're trying to spin it into something that's actually a benefit for the users whereas, if they were really wanting to debut this extra speed boosting feature, they would have just made it faster. The most telling thing about the whole situation is that the HTC rep went on to tell us that this mode, this high performance mode, it's not even available on U.S. devices right now. Yeah. Yeah. They're back talking. So all of those devices that we review, that we benchmark. Mm-hm. That are just engaging that mode automatically. You can't even turn that off. Yeah. So they're lying. Right. They're completely lying, and they got caught, and now they're just trying to fix it. But, I dunno, the, this sort of calls into question, you know, benchmarking software. Can you even trust that? First of all, I don't really think benchmarking really sort of matters when it comes to phones. Right. They're not gaming PCs. You know. Yeah. People are gonna be doing different things on the phone that you did during the benchmarking. Yeah, and most people. If you care about a benchmarking test you're probably someone who refreshes their phone at least every 24 to 48 months anyway. Yeah. So, it's not like you're stuck with this device that's slow. You're probably getting phones often enough where, you know, speed is not that much of a concern to you, anyway. That's a good point. You got a new phone, it's gonna be fast. You shouldn't expect your phone loaded with apps, all your data, and your MP3's to perform as quickly as our benchmarking results show. Because that's a factor And I don't even know if that, if it translates like that. Yeah. Yeah. But regardless it seems very shady on HTC's part and I don't think it's being given the media attention that this story deserves. So just be wary when they say, when they claim. It's shady. It's shady, there's no doubt about it. I just don't like CNET being tricked by them and then not just coming out and admitting it. Well, so I am sure that we were not the only ones that got tricked. Right, yeah. I mean, I wonder did this change the review score? That's a good question. I don't know. I'm not sure. I should talk to Brian about that. But do you think it should? I don't know if like- You do break down scores by speed. Right. If, if like it got something so high because of how well it performed in the benchmark, yeah I think you can dock a few tenths of a point. Especially if the feature isn't going to be included on the peoples phone that receives it. You know that are reading the review. I don't know. The American customers aren't gonna have that quote feature. Yeah, this is something I'm a little upset about. I don't like being duped. Yeah, yeah. You know what I mean? Apparently though, this phone's doing pretty well as far as I can tell. There's a scumbag HTC meme to be created here, for sure. I think so. Absolutely. Alright. That's it. Yep. Thank you for tuning into the program. Shoot us an email, and don't email us about any feed being broken. We get it. The404@cnet.com and then reach out to us on Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, and all of these fantastic social networking platforms. We've got a nice conversation going on in our subreddit right now, so make sure you participate in that. That's going to do it for us. We're back here tomorrow iwth a brand new show. Until then, I'm Jeff Bakalar. I'm Justin Yu. I'm Ariel Nunez. Thank you for watching today. We're back here tomorrow. We'll see you then. [MUSIC] [MUSIC]

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