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Improvements in engine performance occur usually when

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Improvements in engine performance occur usually when [#permalink] New post 22 Oct 2012, 04:50
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Improvements in engine performance occur usually when consumers have expressed a demand for them. Currently, only certain consumer segments are demanding better engine performance in their cars. Therefore, future improvements in engine performance will create vehicles that appeal only to those particular consumers.

Which of the following is an assumption upon which the argument depends?

A. The number of improvements in engine technology increases as more consumers demand them.

B. Sports car enthusiasts are the most valuable market segment when it comes to improvements in engine performance.

C. Most motorists are unaware of the latest trends in engine technology.

D. Improved engine performance will not be generally appealing to all consumers.

E. Engine performance is not the only consideration made by consumers when purchasing a vehicle.

Negation of option E - "Engine performance is the only consideration made by consumers when purchasing a vehicle." - Does this not invalidate the conclusion as now improvements in performance will appeal to all consumers? Please clarify. Thanks in advance.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: Improvements in engine performance occur usually when [#permalink] New post 22 Oct 2012, 13:32
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gmatsuperstar wrote:
Improvements in engine performance occur usually when consumers have expressed a demand for them. Currently, only certain consumer segments are demanding better engine performance in their cars. Therefore, future improvements in engine performance will create vehicles that appeal only to those particular consumers.

Which of the following is an assumption upon which the argument depends?
A. The number of improvements in engine technology increases as more consumers demand them.
B. Sports car enthusiasts are the most valuable market segment when it comes to improvements in engine performance.
C. Most motorists are unaware of the latest trends in engine technology.
D. Improved engine performance will not be generally appealing to all consumers.
E. Engine performance is not the only consideration made by consumers when purchasing a vehicle.


Negation of option E - "Engine performance is the only consideration made by consumers when purchasing a vehicle." - Does this not invalidate the conclusion as now improvements in performance will appeal to all consumers? Please clarify. Thanks in advance.

Dear gmatsuperstar

I'm happy to help with this. :-)

I think the distinction between the OA, (D), and the option you cited, (E) is a picayune semantic distinction.

If we negate (E), we get: "Engine performance is the only consideration made by consumers when purchasing a vehicle." OK. Even if everyone is considering nothing but engine performance, and engine performances are objective better on future cars than they are now, that does not necessarily mean folks will universally find those cars appealing. "Yes, I only consider engine performance, and when I find the lousy car with the best engine performance, I shell out the unreasonable amount of money they want for this stinking car. Yes, I bought the car, but I'm not happy about it." Even negating (E), we have to take into account a pure curmudgeon factor --- even when folks get exactly what they want, that's not a guarantee they will be happy with it. You can give them they best thing in the world, and they won't necessarily find it "appealing." There's a line I love from a U2 song: "I gave you everything you ever wanted. It wasn't what you wanted."

Technically, (E) makes no mention of anyone finding something "appealing", and the argument is all about finding something "appealing." That's why (D) has to be the answer.

Actually, I think this question is a bit too picayune on this hyper-detailed distinction. I don't think the real GMAT would do this to you.

Does all this make sense?

Mike :-)
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Re: Improvements in engine performance occur usually when [#permalink] New post 23 Oct 2012, 02:14
gmatsuperstar wrote:
Improvements in engine performance occur usually when consumers have expressed a demand for them. Currently, only certain consumer segments are demanding better engine performance in their cars. Therefore, future improvements in engine performance will create vehicles that appeal only to those particular consumers.

Which of the following is an assumption upon which the argument depends?

A. The number of improvements in engine technology increases as more consumers demand them.

B. Sports car enthusiasts are the most valuable market segment when it comes to improvements in engine performance.

C. Most motorists are unaware of the latest trends in engine technology.

D. Improved engine performance will not be generally appealing to all consumers.

E. Engine performance is not the only consideration made by consumers when purchasing a vehicle.

Negation of option E - "Engine performance is the only consideration made by consumers when purchasing a vehicle." - Does this not invalidate the conclusion as now improvements in performance will appeal to all consumers? Please clarify. Thanks in advance.


Let’s first look at the argument structure:

Premise 1: Improvements in engine performance occur usually when consumers have expressed a demand for them.

Premise 2: Currently, only certain consumer segments are demanding better engine performance in their cars.

Conclusion: future improvements in engine performance will create vehicles that appeal only to those particular consumers.

What does the conclusion say? It says that improved vehicles will appeal only to those particular consumers. Here, ‘only', is used to mean two things: first, that improved engine vehicles will appeal to those who demanded such improvement and second, that those improved engine vehicles will not appeal to any other consumer. We can easily see that the given two premises don’t support this conclusion. There is a hidden assumption. To find out the assumption, let’s look at the answer choices:

A. The number of improvements in engine technology increases as more consumers demand them. – not related to the conclusion.

B. Sports car enthusiasts are the most valuable market segment when it comes to improvements in engine performance – this option doesn’t talk about whether the improvements will be liked by the consumers or not. Thus, not related to conclusion.

C. Most motorists are unaware of the latest trends in engine technology. – Not related to conclusion

D. Improved engine performance will not be generally appealing to all consumers. – This talks about the appeal to the customers. Let’s explore this.
It means there is a section of customers whom improved engine performance will not appeal and there could be a section of customer whom these will appeal. Now, assuming other factors remain constant (which is a safe assumption), improved engine vehicles will be liked by those who demanded them. Therefore, the section which is not attracted by the improved vehicles can contain, at the most, all non-demanding consumers.
If you look at our conclusion statement, the above statement is the one stated by the conclusion. So, option D can support our conclusion (when the other section indeed includes all non-demanding consumers). But notice, it ‘can’, not necessarily.

So, where does it leave us? I think this means that though D is not the best option ever possible but it could be correct, if there is nothing better available.

E. Engine performance is not the only consideration made by consumers when purchasing a vehicle. – This means that there are other considerations for buyers than just engine performance. Here, the question is deliberately bringing in other factors of consideration. So, in this case, we cannot assume these other factors to be constant, like in analysis of option D.
If there are other considerations than just engine performance, then even the people who are demanding the improvement, may not like the improved vehicles, if these other factors are altered negatively. In this case, we cannot make any conclusion since this option brings in factors, which the given two premises didn’t even talk about.


@gmatsuperstar: You are right that the negation of E in necessary for the conclusion to hold. If the only consideration was just engine performance, then the new engine would appeal to all the consumers, regardless of their initial status of demand (i.e. whether they demanded or not).
But consider the following statement:
“Consumer choices are not fickle”
If this were one of the options, would you select it? If this statement is not true, then the improved vehicles will possibly be not liked by the customers who demanded improvement. This is against our conclusion. So, by negation logic, this option should also be true.
But we don’t really follow this logic. We assess the importance or impact of the statement, not of its absence, on the conclusion. And when we do so in case of E, we find that no conclusion is possible.

@Mike
Hi, Sorry to say but I have a problem with some of the reasoning you used in the explanation:

“If we negate (E), we get: "Engine performance is the only consideration made by consumers when purchasing a vehicle." OK. Even if everyone is considering nothing but engine performance, and engine performances are objective better on future cars than they are now, that does not necessarily mean folks will universally find those cars appealing. "Yes, I only consider engine performance, and when I find the lousy car with the best engine performance, I shell out the unreasonable amount of money they want for this stinking car. Yes, I bought the car, but I'm not happy about it."
If engine performance is the only criterion for the customers, they simply cannot call a car, which has better engine performance, ‘lousy’ or ‘stinking’. If they call it lousy or stinking, then they must be having some other criterion also to judge the car.

“Even negating (E), we have to take into account a pure curmudgeon factor --- even when folks get exactly what they want, that's not a guarantee they will be happy with it. You can give them they best thing in the world, and they won't necessarily find it "appealing." There's a line I love from a U2 song: "I gave you everything you ever wanted. It wasn't what you wanted."
I think we cannot and should never take into account 'curmudgeon' factor because this problem is critical reasoning problem and to logically attempt it, we have to assume some orderliness in the world. Obviously, people do behave oddly at times but we cannot assume such behavior to be default. I think, in these kinds of reasoning problems, we have to expect some logical behavior, unless suggested otherwise. Suppose if we are given the following question:
If given a choice, girls in today’s world judge their grooms on a single criterion: their height; taller is better. If A’s height is 6 feet and B’s height is 7 feet, whom do you think would appeal more to a typical girl?
Option 1: A
Option 2: B
Option C: None
What should be the right option? From our experience, we know that for a girl, there are other important factors besides height but can we select option C in this case. Can we say that even though B has the best height among the given option, he may still not appeal due to some reason. No, I don't think so. The answer is clearly B because the only criterion is height and B is better at that.

So, if engine performance is the only criterion, then all customers have to find cars,with better engines, more appealing. There is no way out.


Cheers :-D
CJ
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Re: Improvements in engine performance occur usually when [#permalink] New post 23 Oct 2012, 14:04
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chiranjeev12 wrote:
@Mike
I think we cannot and should never take into account 'curmudgeon' factor because this problem is critical reasoning problem and to logically attempt it, we have to assume some orderliness in the world. Obviously, people do behave oddly at times but we cannot assume such behavior to be default. I think, in these kinds of reasoning problems, we have to expect some logical behavior, unless suggested otherwise.

CJ
Thank you for your feedback. I guess I would say --- yes, I definitely was being a over-dramatic, even hyperbolic, for pedagogical clarity, but to be a little more precise --- isn't there a subtle but important distinction between
(a) simply choosing an option
and
(b) finding that option "appealing"
In other words, doesn't the word "appealing" connote some kind of emotional boost, some sort of positive charge, whether excitement or intrigue or hope or attraction or etc. above and beyond just the absolute flat dull act of choosing itself. For example, I may look over the bruised fruit left at my grocery store, and after some inspection, I may choose the one that looks least damaged --- yes, I chose it, but I would not necessarily attach the word "appealing" to it. With cars --- some people (certainly the folks that have been vociferously demanding better engines) get a real charge out of driving --- they take genuine excitement in the experience of being behind the wheel of a car that handles well. Yes, those people definitely will find the cars with better engine performance appealing. But the folks who view a car purely unemotionally and utilitarianly, as purely an instrument for getting from point A to point B in the most hassle-free way imaginable ---- suppose their only criterion was "engine performance" (perhaps because of the reliability, which, after all, is an aspect of engine performance) --- if they bought, according to this single criterion, the best utilitarian device for getting from A to B, are we necessarily going to conclude that they have enough of a positive emotional charge associated with the choice that we have to say they find it "appealing", over and above the bare fact of the choice itself? Bare preference does not necessarily imply any heightened affect, which is what the word "appealing" does imply.

Yes, this is a picayune distinction, but I took this to be Veritas' way of signalling (D) as the OA ---- (D) explicitly mentions "appealing" and (E) doesn't.

What do you think?

chiranjeev12 wrote:
E. Engine performance is not the only consideration made by consumers when purchasing a vehicle. – This means that there are other considerations for buyers than just engine performance. Here, the question is deliberately bringing in other factors of consideration. So, in this case, we cannot assume these other factors to be constant, like in analysis of option D.
If there are other considerations than just engine performance, then even the people who are demanding the improvement, may not like the improved vehicles, if these other factors are altered negatively. In this case, we cannot make any conclusion since this option brings in factors, which the given two premises didn’t even talk about.

What makes me uneasy with this way of dispatching with (E) ---- the passage says: "Therefore, future improvements in engine performance will create vehicles that appeal only to those particular consumers." Exactly how are we to understand that word "only"? As necessary or sufficient? In other words, that last sentence most certainly means
(1) "If a person finds the improved engine performance of future cars appealing, then that person was one who actively demanded better engine performance."
But does it mean:
(2) "If a person actively demanded better engine performance, then that person will be one who finds the improved engine performance of future cars appealing."
Do you see what I mean? It's not at all clear to me that the word "only" is intended to be read biconditionally. If the word "only" means just (1) and not (2), then the fact that some of those better-engine-performance-demanding folks might have other criteria, and some might not find the cars with improved engine performance appealing because these future cars declined in value with respect to another unspecified criterion --- that's not necessarily a problem. That situation would be a problem for (2) but not for (1). If we read the "only" in the sense of (1) and not (2), I don't believe this interpretation of (E) is enough to eliminate it.

What do you think? Of these two different perspectives, which do you think offers the better reason for eliminating (E)?

With respect,
Mike :-)
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Re: Improvements in engine performance occur usually when [#permalink] New post 23 Oct 2012, 18:25
mikemcgarry wrote:
chiranjeev12 wrote:
@Mike
I think we cannot and should never take into account 'curmudgeon' factor because this problem is critical reasoning problem and to logically attempt it, we have to assume some orderliness in the world. Obviously, people do behave oddly at times but we cannot assume such behavior to be default. I think, in these kinds of reasoning problems, we have to expect some logical behavior, unless suggested otherwise.

CJ
Thank you for your feedback. I guess I would say --- yes, I definitely was being a over-dramatic, even hyperbolic, for pedagogical clarity, but to be a little more precise --- isn't there a subtle but important distinction between
(a) simply choosing an option
and
(b) finding that option "appealing"
In other words, doesn't the word "appealing" connote some kind of emotional boost, some sort of positive charge, whether excitement or intrigue or hope or attraction or etc. above and beyond just the absolute flat dull act of choosing itself. For example, I may look over the bruised fruit left at my grocery store, and after some inspection, I may choose the one that looks least damaged --- yes, I chose it, but I would not necessarily attach the word "appealing" to it. With cars --- some people (certainly the folks that have been vociferously demanding better engines) get a real charge out of driving --- they take genuine excitement in the experience of being behind the wheel of a car that handles well. Yes, those people definitely will find the cars with better engine performance appealing. But the folks who view a car purely unemotionally and utilitarianly, as purely an instrument for getting from point A to point B in the most hassle-free way imaginable ---- suppose their only criterion was "engine performance" (perhaps because of the reliability, which, after all, is an aspect of engine performance) --- if they bought, according to this single criterion, the best utilitarian device for getting from A to B, are we necessarily going to conclude that they have enough of a positive emotional charge associated with the choice that we have to say they find it "appealing", over and above the bare fact of the choice itself? Bare preference does not necessarily imply any heightened affect, which is what the word "appealing" does imply.

Yes, this is a picayune distinction, but I took this to be Veritas' way of signalling (D) as the OA ---- (D) explicitly mentions "appealing" and (E) doesn't.

What do you think?


Mike, I agree with you that there is a difference between “finding an object appealing” and “choosing it over other choices”. I think this difference goes even beyond just subtlety; it appears to me quite significant, especially in example like, choosing the least rotten fruit, you gave. Life is full of compromises. We don’t generally get to choose things we find appealing, whether this relates to cars we drive or jobs we do or houses we own etc. Many of us won’t find our job appealing, even though we have chosen it. So, choice is not only a function of the appeal of the object but a number of other restrictions or compromises we face in day to day life.

I had thought about this when I wrote my earlier reply. But when I tried to think through this, I asked a question, “What would make something appeal to me?”. The answer is if it satisfies some of my criteria of a good object e.g. A BMW car would surely appeal to me since it satisfies some of my criteria of a good car (and this criteria may include the social status of the car, which impacts the emotional “appeal” much more than mere technical qualifications) but it may still not satisfy all my criteria of a good car (I may want a car which can run on its own or change speeds according to my mood or whatever).

Now suppose I get a car which actually satisfies all my criteria, including social and emotional criteria, of a good car, would I necessarily find it appealing? Now, the answer seems yes. Why? Because now we have considered my emotional requirements also from a car, like social status (BMW) or brand value (Apple). Previously we thought about criteria in terms of technical features only.

So, now coming back, if I say I am a simple person who has just one criterion and there comes an object which is better than anything else in terms of that criterion, I am surely going to find it appealing. I agree that it’s quite hard to imagine a person so simple as to possess only a single criterion, it actually seems more like a computer, which based on a particular input gives a particular output. Emotions are by default multidimensional. But our argument involves such simplicity. Negation of E means that Engine performance is the only criterion.

So, to conclude this, I agree with your understanding of the difference between appealing and choosing. However, you considered only the functional (or technical) attributes as criteria for choosing but if we include functional, social, mental and spiritual (Man is mind, body and spirit -:) ) aspects also, then if something satisfies all our criteria, I think we’ll find it appealing (an emotion, which is connected to both mind and spirit).

mikemcgarry wrote:
chiranjeev12 wrote:
E. Engine performance is not the only consideration made by consumers when purchasing a vehicle. – This means that there are other considerations for buyers than just engine performance. Here, the question is deliberately bringing in other factors of consideration. So, in this case, we cannot assume these other factors to be constant, like in analysis of option D.
If there are other considerations than just engine performance, then even the people who are demanding the improvement, may not like the improved vehicles, if these other factors are altered negatively. In this case, we cannot make any conclusion since this option brings in factors, which the given two premises didn’t even talk about.

What makes me uneasy with this way of dispatching with (E) ---- the passage says: "Therefore, future improvements in engine performance will create vehicles that appeal only to those particular consumers." Exactly how are we to understand that word "only"? As necessary or sufficient? In other words, that last sentence most certainly means
(1) "If a person finds the improved engine performance of future cars appealing, then that person was one who actively demanded better engine performance."
But does it mean:
(2) "If a person actively demanded better engine performance, then that person will be one who finds the improved engine performance of future cars appealing."
Do you see what I mean? It's not at all clear to me that the word "only" is intended to be read biconditionally. If the word "only" means just (1) and not (2), then the fact that some of those better-engine-performance-demanding folks might have other criteria, and some might not find the cars with improved engine performance appealing because these future cars declined in value with respect to another unspecified criterion --- that's not necessarily a problem. That situation would be a problem for (2) but not for (1). If we read the "only" in the sense of (1) and not (2), I don't believe this interpretation of (E) is enough to eliminate it.

What do you think? Of these two different perspectives, which do you think offers the better reason for eliminating (E)?


Let’s see the conclusion statement without this bugging “only”:

“Therefore, future improvements in engine performance will create vehicles that appeal to those particular consumers”

Now, this statement clearly means your statement (2).

What is the role of “only” here? If this is only to limit the section of people who find the new vehicles appealing, then statement (2) should continue to hold. But if we put statement (2) in doubt, when “only” is used, then “only” not only eliminates others from finding the improved cars appealing but also removes the compulsion from consumer-who-demanded the improvement to find the car appealing. Frankly, I agree that there is a lack of clarity. When thinking critically, I don’t agree with this dual role of “only”, however, on reading the original sentence, I do find it ambiguous.

As far as my reasoning for dispatching option E goes, if you look at it, I reasoned that since we cannot draw any conclusion by assuming option E, this is not the correct option. This reasoning continues to hold even if we consider the original conclusion to mean only statement (1).

Let’s put all we have here together:

Premise 1 (from question): Improvements in engine performance occur usually when consumers have expressed a demand for them.

Premise 2 (from question): Currently, only certain consumer segments are demanding better engine performance in their cars.

Assumption (option E): Engine performance is not the only consideration made by consumers when purchasing a vehicle.

Conclusion: future improvements in engine performance will create vehicles that appeal only to those particular consumers.

Assumption i.e. option E doesn’t help us in taking us closer to the conclusion. What it does is that it takes the demanding consumers on par with non-demanding consumers. I mean, without this statement, we could not say about the appeal of improved cars to non-demanding consumers but could have talked about a very likelihood of such appeal to demanding consumers.

What this statement does is that it makes us clueless about the whole situation. Now, we can’t say anything about anyone, whether demanding or non-demanding consumer, since now there are so many other factors of consideration of which we don’t know about.

And even if our conclusion only meant statement (1) i.e. “If a person finds the improved engine performance of future cars appealing, then that person was one who actively demanded better engine performance”, option E doesn’t support this. The improved engine performance car may appeal to non-demanding consumers if it satisfies the all of the considerations of those people. We just don’t know what these considerations are and how these new cars fare on those considerations.

Thus, option E is incorrect because no conclusion (including the conclusion we needed) is possible with the help of this assumption.

What do you think?

Warm Regards,
CJ
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Re: Improvements in engine performance occur usually when [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2012, 04:55
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gmatsuperstar wrote:
Improvements in engine performance occur usually when consumers have expressed a demand for them. Currently, only certain consumer segments are demanding better engine performance in their cars. Therefore, future improvements in engine performance will create vehicles that appeal only to those particular consumers.

Which of the following is an assumption upon which the argument depends?

A. The number of improvements in engine technology increases as more consumers demand them.

B. Sports car enthusiasts are the most valuable market segment when it comes to improvements in engine performance.

C. Most motorists are unaware of the latest trends in engine technology.

D. Improved engine performance will not be generally appealing to all consumers.

E. Engine performance is not the only consideration made by consumers when purchasing a vehicle.

Negation of option E - "Engine performance is the only consideration made by consumers when purchasing a vehicle." - Does this not invalidate the conclusion as now improvements in performance will appeal to all consumers? Please clarify. Thanks in advance.


I am assuming that D makes complete sense to you. The only issue is option E.

Let's first focus on the argument:
Improvements happen when people ask for them. Currently, only certain consumers are asking for improvements. Engine performance is measured on various parameters e.g. power, torque, efficiency etc. We don't know which factors are up for improvement by demand. The conclusion given is that future improvements in engine performance will create vehicles that appeal only to those particular consumers. (they have asked for those improvements - only they will like them)

When we negate E, we get "Engine performance is the only consideration made by consumers when purchasing a vehicle"
Even if engine performance is the only consideration, it doesn't mean that the new cars with certain improved features will appeal to other consumers too. They may weigh performance on other parameters more than performance on parameters up for improvement. It's too much to hop on from 'engine performance only consideration' to 'other consumers will find it appealing'

On the other hand, D directly tells you that improved performance will be generally appealing to all consumers (when you negate it). Hence it destroys the conclusion and is the right answer.
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Re: Improvements in engine performance occur usually when [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2013, 10:14
gmatsuperstar wrote:
Improvements in engine performance occur usually when consumers have expressed a demand for them. Currently, only certain consumer segments are demanding better engine performance in their cars. Therefore, future improvements in engine performance will create vehicles that appeal only to those particular consumers.

Which of the following is an assumption upon which the argument depends?

A. The number of improvements in engine technology increases as more consumers demand them.

B. Sports car enthusiasts are the most valuable market segment when it comes to improvements in engine performance.

C. Most motorists are unaware of the latest trends in engine technology.

D. Improved engine performance will not be generally appealing to all consumers.

E. Engine performance is not the only consideration made by consumers when purchasing a vehicle.

Negation of option E - "Engine performance is the only consideration made by consumers when purchasing a vehicle." - Does this not invalidate the conclusion as now improvements in performance will appeal to all consumers? Please clarify. Thanks in advance.



Approach it using causal reasoning..
1. demand causes improvement. certain demand will lead to improvement. The assumption is that the causal relation is not reversed,
i.e., improvement will not cause others to demand it. Hence D.

Let me clarify one point, causal reasoning can be explained using conditional reasoning. All assumptions/premises/conclusions boil down to
conditional statements and their implications. That means causal reasoning can be applied to such questions.

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Re: Improvements in engine performance occur usually when [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2013, 22:04
Although heavy explanations already on this one,please see my one liner.

Conclusion: Future improvements targeted only for particular customers.

(D).Improved engine performance will not be generally appealing to all consumers.

Negate: Improved engine performance WILL BE generally appealing to all consumers.

Well, in that case the conclusion will not hold true.


Hence, (D) it is.
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Re: Improvements in engine performance occur usually when   [#permalink] 22 Feb 2013, 22:04
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