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Crave: Ep. 05: Up in smoke

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Crave: Ep. 05: Up in smoke

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This week, Donald and Jasmine have a lot to crave, not the least of which is a pair of health-monitoring tighty whities. And yet we are somehow much more impressed by a giant chess set made from robotic Legos, a swarm of hovering honeycombs, a massive LED art display that moves to the music, and a roving electric car disguised as a shrub. On the list of things not to crave? Trading drugs for gadgets. Come on people...you're smarter than that! (Right?)

^M00:00:01 [ Music ] ^M00:00:07 >> Jasmine: It's Tuesday, June 15th; and you're listening to the Crave podcast. I guess you'd be watching it. >> Donald: You are. You're watching. You're not listening to it. >> Jasmine: If you're watching it, I guess you could listen to it too. You just won't get all the video goodness that we have going on. And it's very important today especially, I think. Well, it's important all days but. >> Donald: Well, we always like to try to make this a very visual podcast. Because if you're just downloading this 30-minute video to watch our heads bobble around and talk to each other, it would be very boring. So let's keep it visual. And what's happening right now, the one thing we can't bring you is 3D. But Nintendo is going to try and deliver the Nintendo 3DS. So this is the thing that I'm excited about from this week's E3 Conference or Expo is that they've now announced the Nintendo 3DS, which is like -- you know, it looks a lot like the Nintendo DS or the DSi. But has a 3D screen on the top that doesn't require glasses. Somehow it tricks your eye by just sending out like a 3D signal through the technology so that you're watching 3D on the screen. The bottom screen is a touch screen is not 3D, but it looks pretty good. But the thing that I'm excited about it is just kind of silly is that there's actually a stereoscopic camera on the back, two little camera lenses so you can take 3D photos and then see the photo in 3D on the screen. >> Jasmine: That sounds kind of headache inducing. >> Donald: It could be. And it's definitely gimmicky. But I think that's pretty good. I want more stuff with stereoscopic camera options. >> Jasmine: I -- I don't like 3D. So I don't know if I've talked about this on Crave. >> Donald: More of a 2D gal, huh? >> Jasmine: Yeah. I just -- I mean, it gives me a headache. The glasses give me a headache. So that's mainly the reason. And I don't like wearing glasses for a whole movie, so I think that's the main reason why. I mean, maybe on this, it would be a little different. >> Donald: Listen. This is cool, though; because there's just built-in tech -- there's no glasses. So there's like a little adjuster knob on the side. >> Jasmine: But the eye tricking thing? That sounds suspicious to me. That sounds headache inducing. >> As someone who wears glasses and hates having to put, like, 3D glasses on on top of my glasses to go watch a movie, that always sucks. >> Jasmine: Well, that's definitely a, plus I think, for anyone who wears glasses. >> Donald: So I'm more excited about this. And Dan Ackerman got to try it out for about like a minute and was actually pretty impressed by the way you can use the little scroll wheel on the side to change the camera angle, so you can actually kind of float around in 3D and change the angle of what you're -- how you're looking at things. I don't know. I'd like to play around with one. I might be over it within, you know, five minutes of playing with it. But it's actually kind of genuinely got my Crave juices going. >> Jasmine: Uh-huh. ^M00:02:47 [ Laughter ] ^M00:02:49 >> Jasmine: Anyway. >> Donald: What about you? Is there anything from E3 that's actually exciting you? Are you excited about the Connect? >> Jasmine: I think the Connect is neat, yeah. Okay. I can get onboard. I mean, I'm not a huge gamer. I get -- I'm one of those -- what do they call them -- wishy-washy gamers, I guess. I get really into games for a short period of time and I'll just totally be immersed in it. Like Guitar Hero is an example or Grand Theft Auto was another one. >> Donald: Right. >> Jasmine: And then I just get over it. I don't play any games at all for like a year. >> Donald: I'm the same way. I'm even lamer than that. I get into games that are like already two or three years old. Today's my birthday. Happy birthday me. And one of the presents I asked for from my wife was to get me -- >> Jasmine: Is it really your birthday today? >> It's really my birthday today. >> Jasmine: Happy birthday to you. >> Donald: Thank you. >> Jasmine: I have an interesting story about that for after the show. >> Donald: I asked for like Lego -- all the Lego games. >> Jasmine: Awesome. >> Donald: Which are all like -- I think all of them are already like two years old. >> Jasmine: But for what system? >> Donald: For Xbox 360. >> Jasmine: Okay. That's the one that you have. >> Donald: Yeah. >> Jasmine: Okay. >> Donald: So I am excited. I get to go home and play all my Lego Star Wars and Indiana Jones and Batman and all that stuff. >> Jasmine: So Connect is a -- is a add-on for the Xbox 360, correct? >> Donald: Yeah. 150 bucks. >> Jasmine: I haven't really read about it too much. >> Donald: 150 bucks you get the camera that can kind of detect you in the room, 3D depth sensors that can detect where you are in the room to believe able to do that; a motorized tilt so it can actually follow you in the room to be able to detect where you are, so you're not going to be right in front of it necessarily. >> Jasmine: Right. >> And a microphone array that can pick up sound in the room. And one of the cool things about this that they showed off yesterday, and this is -- any of our MP3 Insider fans that have come along with us to this podcast will appreciate -- they showed off the way that the Zune service for the Xbox LIVE is now going to have music playback functionality, and it's going to link in to -- if you have the Connect, you can actually control, hear it -- like you can make your music selections and control different parts of the software. >> Jasmine: Using it. >> Donald: Using gestures and voice control. So you can say -- >> Jasmine: Interesting. >> Donald: Kind of what they did was like play Justin Bieber [assumed spelling]. >> Jasmine: They didn't not. >> Donald: They did [laughing]. >> Jasmine: Oh, my goodness. >> Donald: All of the screenshots of the Zune integration show Justin Bieber. Horrible. >> Jasmine: Wow. Wow. Oh, my gosh. I'm so not surprised. >> Donald: So it's kind of cool. It's like if you wanted a little bit of a taste of the, you know, the future of, you know, living room music management, this kind of gets you there. >> Jasmine: I will say this just about the Connect in general is that the reason I happen to like it is that I like any game that kind of gets you up and moving. >> Donald: Yeah. >> Jasmine: And this is even cooler, because it's like one step closer to being in the game, you know, which to me is much more of a draw than just holding a control and sitting there. And I think that's a lot of the reason that the Wii was so, you know, popular with more casual gamers and family gamers and that kind of thing; because you're actually involved with other people and with, you know, motion. >> Donald: Moving around. >> Jasmine: Right. Exactly. >> Donald: Actually, one of the games that was -- that demoed -- there's some criticism that the games they demoed aren't all very exciting. But one of them that they demoed was like this virtual tiger pet that you have that can kind of detect you in the room. >> Jasmine: I saw that. >> Donald: But it looks really like -- it looks beautiful. >> Jasmine: Yeah. >> Donald: I don't know how much mileage you're going to get out of that game but. >> Jasmine: But it looks pretty. >> Donald: It looks really pretty. And [inaudible] in the chat room brings up the fact that you can do video chat with this system too. So if that's, you know, so many different ways that, you know, video chat is going to be part of our lives, I guess, this year or going into 2011. But this is another one of those. All right. But let's move past E3 news, because people I'm sure are fed up with it in some regard. There's only so much gaming news you can cram into a show or into a week. >> Jasmine: That's true. >> Donald: But this is -- >> Jasmine: Or onto a site as the case may be. >> Donald: Right. This is -- I'm going to go to a story that I wrote up yesterday, actually. This is self-serving, but I'm going to do it anyway. >> Jasmine: Self-promotion. >> Donald: Yup. There's this really cool art like interactive light sculpture called swarm light that was shown off at the Art Basel Showcase for like a VIP. Because I think that like starts today, Art Basel in Basel, Switzerland. Basel, I don't know how you say it but. >> Jasmine: Bazzel? Basil? Basel probably. >> Donald: I'll, you know, trust the Swiss on this one. But it looks on this like a video demo here, and it looks like it's -- at first when you see this it looks like a like a rendering like a digital rendering but this is actually almost like a chandelier of three, like, LED suspended grids that react to sound. So any sound in the room gets picked up by microphones in the room and then run to a computer and then sent out to these microprocessors that control these arrays of LEDs in the room. And it's just beautiful. Like I absolutely so want this, you know. >> Jasmine: I want this in my house. >> Donald: Or in my dining room table, not that I have a dining room table. >> Jasmine: This would make -- >> Donald: I would get a dining room table just to have this suspended above it. >> Jasmine: This is the type of thing that makes me want a really ostentatious home; because you just need -- you know, you need like a giant living room or dining room or something to put this. It's really neat, though. >> Donald: Yeah. I mean, I don't know what the appli -- I mean, this is shown off as an art piece, you know, sort of a design piece. >> Jasmine: It's a [inaudible] piece. >> Donald: It's not for sale. It's not something that you can go out and buy. But, in the sense that it's a real world, you know, music visualizer and there's music to go along with this piece that I'm not even playing too. But -- there. It's really pretty music. ^M00:08:15 [ Music ] ^M00:08:19 >> Jasmine: I'm entranced. >> Donald: I know. >> Jasmine: [Laughing] I want it. I really do. >> Donald: I can imagine just from looking at the -- you know, the amount of technology that got poured into making this, it's probably pretty expensive to make. And it also involves putting like a computer, you know, off to the side in a room and running, you know, microphones into your room, as well. But really cool and just like a really pretty use of technology. I've seen smaller versions of that that are maybe about like this big that have been around for a while. >> Jasmine: Yeah. >> Donald: But the problem is always scaling the grid, the three-dimensional grid; because you have to get so many more lights, and all those lights have to be connected in ever more intricate ways. And then you have to talk about, if it sends signals to different sectors of that grid, it gets so -- the bigger it gets, the more complicated. >> Jasmine: Yeah. It seems -- but it seems that it shouldn't be that complicated but it actually is. >> Donald: Yeah. >> Jasmine: Which is kind of a bummer. Because if it were more -- well, I guess. If it were more simple, it would be more ubiquitous and it wouldn't be as cool. >> Donald: Yeah. And I think the other part is it's not just to have the lights kind of blink off and on like some kind of, you know, cheesy light show but. >> Jasmine: Like the blinkx earphones. >> Donald: But to have these really smooth animations involved in that is pretty cool. Speaking of swarms, the swarm theme carries through to another story we have on these swarm robots. >> Jasmine: Of course it's robots. >> Donald: Yeah. Of course it's robots. >> Jasmine: Naturally. >> Donald: There are these self-assembling honeycomb -- I don't even know how to describe this, so I'm going to show them. >> Jasmine: It's a bird. It's a plane. It's a swarm of giant Honeycomb cereal? [Laughing]. >> Donald: So there's 3 things that are -- >> Jasmine: Oh, the Swiss. Here we go again. >> Donald: -- that are really deadly and scary about this particular story. One is that they're robots already, because we know that robots are inevitably going to be the end of us. Two, that they're flying robots; so it's going to be death from above, right? >> Jasmine: Uh-huh. >> Donald: And the third scary thing is that -- >> Jasmine: -- they're swarms. >> Donald: -- they're swarms. >> Jasmine: They're flying robots. >> Donald: They're like intelligently self-assembling or reassembling swarms of robots that can fly. And the cool thing about this technology -- and I can fast forward through the video a little bit where they start flying up in the air -- is that you could potentially break up the swarm. You know, if they flew into an object, say, and broke into their little constituent separate parts, they could regroup and reassemble. >> Jasmine: Whoa. Those are kind of powerful. >> Donald: So if you were to like -- in the military aspect, if you were to shoot something like this down, the little, you know, parts of it that survive could, like, regroup and reassemble and get back in the air. So it's almost like the liquid metal Terminator that you can't kill because -- >> Jasmine: Awesome. >> Donald: -- it's always going to reassemble itself in some way and then come and hunt you down and shoot lasers at you. >> Jasmine: That's fantastic. >> Donald: But right now it's just kind of cool to watch. But that's -- >> Jasmine: That's what those scientists think, anyway, until 25 years from now and they're hunting us down. >> Donald: Exactly. But -- so if you want a new kind of nightmare scenario for the way that robots are going to kill you, that's one of them. On a more quaint tip, we have the USB typewriter. This is a guy on Etsy, I believe, who retrofits old typewriters by putting in like a little touch sensor underneath the keyboard. Somehow he retrofits these so that your -- the keystrokes on actual typewriter will register as a QWERTY keyboard. And you can connect them to any other USB keyboard connected to a device. Here on the demo, he has it going to an iPad. But it could be to any USB connected kind of, you know, keyboard input device. >> Jasmine: Interesting. >> Donald: But if you really want to go old school kind of with your -- >> Jasmine: Typing. >> Donald: Steam punky, you know, old-timey keyboard and get that actually working with your computer, this is a way you can get it done. >> Jasmine: Yeah. I can dig it. >> Donald: Yeah. Etsy, between 400 and 500 dollars to get these retrofitted. >> Jasmine: That does not surprise me at all [laughing]. Seems about the price. >> Donald: But I can think of at least three people in my life who would probably spend that money to get something that's like anachronistic and weird and techy. >> Jasmine: Yeah. It looks cool with the iPad; because it has kind of back and forth functionality of the old -- you know, the paper ream or whatever. >> Donald: Right. >> Jasmine: But I don't know how cool -- >> Donald: [Inaudible] at least another 500 dollars to get that virtual paper in your virtual typewriter. >> Jasmine: So you're creating a thousand dollar digital typewriter -- >> Donald: Right. >> Jasmine: -- creation thing. I don't know. For some people with a lot of disposable income, I suppose that could be just the thing. But, for me, not so much. >> Donald: Not so much. Do you want to introduce this next one? >> Jasmine: I would actually like to introduce our ad. It's about that time. >> Donald: I guess we should. All right. ^M00:13:02 [ Sound Effects and Music ] ^M00:13:33 >> Jasmine: So I would like to talk about underwear, of course, because, well, you know, it would be nice if we could have an underwear segment on every single show. >> Donald: Yeah. We did the corsets on the last show. >> We did the corsets. So now we have some underwear, and they are -- they say they're smart underpants that share how you're feeling. I call them mood underwear. But the reason I really [laughing] -- this is just going to show my extreme maturity right here. >> Donald: They're like help underwear. >> Jasmine: Yeah. Well, yeah. Exactly. But they were developed by a nanoengineer called Joseph Wang [laughing]. I'm sorry, but that is just too priceless. >> Donald: I said that to Ray from a last show and he was like, I don't get it. Joseph Wang. ^M00:14:10 [ Laughter ] ^M00:14:11 >> Donald: Joseph Wang makes underwear. >> Jasmine: Joseph Wang makes underwear. And they're jockey, you know, tighty whities, which is even better. So they have these sensors that are sewn into them that, you know, talk about your -- sense your blood pressure, your heart rate, and other biological markers. >> Donald: But, see, how do you check out these sensors if you're wearing the underwear? >> Jasmine: I don't know [laughing]. >> Donald: I guess it's better that you're kind of -- that they're on the back, that you look like you're looking at your butt instead of like looking at, you know, your front. >> Jasmine: Yeah. I mean, maybe they're -- it's red after you take them off or something and you give them to -- >> Donald: I don't know, but -- >> Jasmine: They're saying This has the -- >> Donald: And somehow it looks like it's like a battery life indicator [laughing]. I thought this was going to be a story about like when to like know that your underwear needs to get thrown into the washing machine or something. >> Jasmine: No. >> Donald: Which is, you know, regularly. >> Jasmine: I guess the application here is, you know, military so you don't have to go for a full checkup. They can just check the waistband. >> Donald: You can just check things like blood pressure, heart rate, or other biological markers like how stinky your underwear is. >> Jasmine: Uh, right. So I don't know. Kind of, you know, interesting. >> Donald: I guess it fits into, like, a Father's Day theme, though, right? >> Jasmine: It does. You could get these for your dad. Or you could get something so much better, I think, which is the pillow neck tie. >> Donald: The pillow neck tie. The inflatable -- >> Jasmine: The inflatable pillow neck tie. >> Donald: -- pillow necktie. >> Jasmine: Which has a little built-in valve in the back. And he can blow it up and then lay it on the table in front of him and take a little nap. >> Donald: See, maybe this is just me. >> Jasmine: This is awesome. >> Donald: As a dad, I want this but not necessarily to like fall asleep, you know, on a little thin strip of inflatable thing. But I want this as, like, the way to sneak, like, liquor into whatever company meeting or whatever it might be. >> Jasmine: Or through airport security. >> Donald: Yeah. >> Jasmine: You know, onto the plane. >> Donald: Any liquids to declare? No. Please don't check my tie. ^M00:16:09 [ Laughter ] ^M00:16:10 >> Jasmine: That's like the pocket shots, you know, if you've seen those. Apparently they're disgusting. I haven't tried them. >> Donald: So this is a for real thing, though? >> Jasmine: This is a for real thing. >> Donald: For $20? >> Jasmine: It goes for 20 bucks, which isn't, I mean, not too bad. It says it supports up to a 25-pound head. ^M00:16:25 [ Laughter ] ^M00:16:28 >> Donald: You just can't roll around very much, because it still is like a little thin strip. >> Jasmine: No. I mean, it's just like straight head down into the desk type of activity. >> Donald: Yeah. I don't know about this. >> Jasmine: So it's all right. I mean, it's kind of cool. I could see -- you know, the problem is, I mean, I'm always thinking of the airport, airplane kind of applications here. And the problem is is that, when you're flying, you don't really have enough room to put down the seat-back tray and put your face, you know, your face forward. So that would be kind of neat for that application. >> Donald: Yeah. >> Jasmine: So, anyway. Kind of cool. Maybe you want to get it for dad; maybe not. You know, whatever. >> Donald: But if you're me as a dad -- >> Jasmine: Let's move on to Legos instead. >> Donald: You want -- you want Lego stuff. So I got all my Lego video games now. But apparently -- >> Jasmine: He wants his Legos. >> Donald: -- the fervor of World Cup Soccer got to such a degree that they had to make a Lego version of U.S.A. versus England. Let's just cue it up. ^M00:17:23 [ Laughter ] ^M00:17:25 >> Jasmine: Always amazing. Legos. >> Donald: I'll put some audio on here too. I love how they do the instant replays on this. That's my favorite part, that they, like, went to the trouble of redoing the animations from the show. >> Jasmine: Oh, yeah. ^M00:17:37 [ Lego game playing ] ^M00:17:45 >> Jasmine: Wow. Those horns are annoying, aren't they? >> Donald: There they go! ^M00:17:49 [ Lego game playing ] ^M00:17:55 >> Jasmine: Oh! >> Donald: Oh, man. The reason I really wanted to show this was because I really kind of want the little Lego Soccer Set. I didn't even know they had this. This is just the creation of this guy who's made this, but it's pretty cool. >> Jasmine: That's pretty sweet. If they don't have it, they should make it. >> Donald: No. But -- and another thing that's probably not exactly off the shelf is a Lego version of chess. A giant -- >> Jasmine: Monster chess. >> Donald: -- monstrous -- >> Jasmine: This so cool. >> Donald: -- robot chess set. And this one really does. >> Jasmine: There's chess and robots and Legos and it cost him $30,000. Took a team of four. Took a year for four people and $30,000 -- >> Donald: So these are like little -- >> Jasmine: -- to put this together. >> -- autonomous like chess pieces that can recognize little color codes, I think. >> Jasmine: So cool. >> Donald: Know where to go. And they're animated too. Look at that horse is like -- >> Jasmine: That's so cool! Oh, my goodness. >> Donald: So right now it's like replaying a game that has already happened. >> Jasmine: Right. >> Donald: But it's showing it -- it's replaying the game. But, apparently, this is as fast as it goes. So if you're into like the rapid fire chess -- excuse me -- this maybe not so much. >> Jasmine: The horse looks like a little monster. I love it. >> Donald: Yeah. This is pretty awesome. >> Jasmine: So cool! >> Donald: So this is robots, chess and Legos and giantism all wrapped into one. >> Jasmine: Neat. I have nothing else to say about it except that's awesome and I want it. >> Donald: What other -- >> Jasmine: I don't even like chess. >> Donald: Yeah. I don't know. >> Jasmine: But, I mean, very cool. >> Donald: Yeah. Well, it's definitely -- I mean, the checkers version of this would not be as fun. >> Jasmine: I like how the pawns get out of the way [laughing]. >> Donald: Well, yeah. That would even be better if they actually combatted, you know? >> Jasmine: Yeah. That would be awesome. >> Donald: If they would actually, like, jump over each other and knock each other over if it was more of like the robot war. >> Jasmine: Uh-huh. >> Donald: But, with all those delicate Lego pieces, they could get really messy. >> Jasmine: Probably not happening just yet. But in the future perhaps. >> Donald: In the future. And, in the future, we're all going to be driving little electric cars that are solar powered and they look like -- >> Jasmine: A bush [laughing]. >> Donald: Cousin Itt in bush form. [Inaudible] that one on the crave blog where -- >> Jasmine: Again, another thing that I want. >> Donald: A guy in a little covered electric car completely covered by shrubbery. And it's solar-powered, just to add another element to it. And it's being driven around a cemetery, which is part of this I don't really understand, but I guess at least -- >> Jasmine: Creepy. >> Quiet place to go to film something like this where you're not going to be mocked and jeered and chased out of the -- off the property. But the guy's controlling it from inside. He's completely sealed off in there, and he has like -- >> Jasmine: Little LCDs. >> Donald: -- three different camera feeds going into the inside the cockpit to drive the thing around. Like here it gets a little rough and he has to stop. So not a lot of clearance on the shrub. But very cool, nonetheless. This would be at least a fun way to really freak people out and sneak up on them. >> Jasmine: Yeah. That's -- I like it. I want that and the giant chess set and also the LED lights. >> Donald: Yes. But if you are thinking about how to afford this, though -- >> Jasmine: Yeah. Or I was going to say, speaking of trees [laughing]. >> Donald: Speaking of shrubbery. >> Jasmine: Yeah. Speaking of green things. >> Donald: Apparently, a gentlemen from Gilbert, Arizona, a 20-year0old -- >> Jasmine: A 20-year-old. I don't know if I'd actually call this kid a gentleman or a man or anything of the sort. Unfortunately for him, he's an adult legally [laughing]. Not a very smart one. >> Donald: No. He decided, in order to get an iPad -- he had an iPod Touch, right? And he had something else to offer. >> Jasmine: Right. >> Donald: Which was large quantities. >> Jasmine: Also worth some money. >> Donald: Large quantities of marijuana. And so he figured, if he combined the two and put them up on Craigslist, he could combine his iPod Touch and a giant quantity of marijuana and be able to -- be able to upgrade to an iPad. >> Jasmine: To an iPad. >> Donald: So, not having to do much work, the local police basically took him up on his offer. >> Jasmine: Sent an undercover officer. >> Donald: And the guy showed up with his iPod Touch and a giant bag of weed. >> Jasmine: Bag of weed. Uh-huh. >> Donald: And -- >> Jasmine: -- sold it to the undercover officer. >> Donald: Sold it to the undercover officer and was promptly arrested. But I just wanted to include that as something not to do. You know, as much as we incite people to be excited about gadgets and probably go beyond their means to bring them into their lives -- >> Jasmine: Don't trade drugs -- >> Donald: This is not the way to do it, people. >> Jasmine: -- for gadgets. >> Donald: Don't do it. >> Jasmine: Not a good idea. And we'll leave you with that, I think. >> Donald: I think so. I think that's like a public service announcement we can leave you with. >> Jasmine: PSA. Indeed. >> Donald: All right. >> Jasmine: If you want to get ahold of us, send us an email at Crave Show at CNET.com or call us an 1-800-720-CNET, that's 2638. And, you know, we might play it or read it on the show. Who knows. >> Donald: Yeah. We need to do more of that, but we don't have -- >> Jasmine: Yeah. Nobody emails us anymore. >> Donald: And, also, I know the -- I might as well mention this in the feed. I know the iTunes subscribe link for this particular podcast is bouncing back and forth between like the high quality feed H -- like Crave HQ and the Crave; there's like different -- there's a discrepancy between the two different feeds here for one show, so that's kind of annoying. And some people haven't been getting the podcast. But we're working it out. We've got our best people on it. But you can always watch this live and watch it on CNET. And if you're not getting the show and you're wondering why, go back and check your iTunes feed and you should be able to subscribe to the right one. >> Jasmine: Yeah. Sorry about that. >> Donald: Yeah. Not our prob -- not our fault. >> Jasmine: Not our fault, but we apologize anyway. >> Donald: Yeah. All right. >> Jasmine: All right. Thanks for listening. Until next week. >> Donald: See you next week. ^M00:23:52 [ Music ]

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