Smartphone Apps Are Now a Weapon in Worldwide Disputes

Within the iPhone age, your smartphone dwelling display could be a geopolitical battleground. Earlier this month, 20 Indian troopers died in a skirmish with Chinese language troops on the international locations’ contested Himalayan border. Monday, India struck a blow within the digital realm of its personal residents’ cellular units.

The nation’s Ministry of Data Expertise banned 59 cellular apps, all Chinese language, for allegedly endangering information safety and privateness. They embrace China’s dominant messaging app WeChat and the wildly well-liked video-sharing service TikTok, owned by Bytedance, which has been downloaded greater than 600 million occasions in India, based on app tracker Sensor Tower.

By banning the apps, India provides to a swelling international pushback on China’s know-how sector in a method that brings customers extra instantly into the battle.

The Trump administration has imposed commerce restrictions on Chinese language know-how corporations and investments, citing abuses of human rights and US mental property by China’s authorities. It has helped persuade allies reminiscent of Australia and Japan to dam China’s Huawei from offering tools for future 5G cellular networks over safety considerations. US lawmakers have accused TikTok of being too near China’s authorities; regulators are additionally probing TikTok’s acquisition of US social app Musical.ly.

None of these assaults on Chinese language tech have to date inconvenienced the typical US smartphone addict a lot. However many Indian customers may discover their authorities’s ban on well-liked apps laborious to keep away from. Past China, Russia has suppressed apps together with LinkedIn, whereas Brazilian authorities have briefly blocked WhatsApp a number of occasions.

Though Chinese language web firms have gained comparatively little traction within the US or Europe, they’ve been very profitable in India’s large web market, which represents greater than one-third of the worldwide on-line inhabitants.

Sensor Tower’s information signifies that India is TikTok’s greatest market by downloads, forward of China and the US. Statcounter stories that UC Browser, additionally banned Monday and made by a subsidiary of China’s Alibaba, is the second-most broadly used cellular browser in India after Google’s Chrome, with nearly 20 p.c market share. Different apps on India’s checklist embrace video-sharing app Kwai, a sister app of Zynn, which just lately topped US app charts earlier than mysteriously disappearing amid claims of stolen content material.

App retailer operators reminiscent of Google and Apple will now be requested to forestall customers in India from downloading or updating the banned apps. The federal government can also be anticipated to ask web service suppliers to dam entry to banned companies, slicing off apps which have already been downloaded. These techniques mirror China’s personal system of web management, which incorporates authorities controls on app shops and the Nice Firewall that filters web site visitors.

The prominence and affect of Chinese language web firms have apprehensive Indian officers earlier than. In 2017, India’s Data Expertise Ministry launched an investigation of UC Browser after the College of Toronto’s Citizen Lab discovered privateness breaches that included transmitting information reminiscent of gadget identifiers and search queries again to its servers with out correct protections; the app remained accessible. Google and Apple eliminated TikTok from their shops in India for 2 weeks final 12 months after a court docket within the state of Tamil Nadu concluded that the service uncovered youngsters to inappropriate content material and potential abuse.

Man looking at his computer being surrounded by eyes that represent data snatchers

The WIRED Information to Your Private Knowledge (and Who Is Utilizing It)

Details about you, what you purchase, the place you go, even the place you look is the oil that fuels the digital financial system.

“There have been longstanding considerations about a few of these apps,” says Tanvi Madan, a senior fellow on the Brookings Establishment and writer of a current guide on China’s position in US-Indian relations. “This boundary disaster could have served as a tipping level on choices being thought of for privateness and nationwide safety causes anyway.” India’s authorities has taken on abroad web companies earlier than; in 2016 its telecom regulator banned a Fb service providing free web entry for not overlaying all websites, breaching web neutrality.

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The CEO of Novartis on Creating Medication Throughout a Pandemic

As CEO of Novartis, the world’s second-largest drug firm, Vas Narasimhan is aware of that Large Pharma is an object of affection and hate. Pharmaceutical merchandise save lives and assist folks handle tough medical situations. However the business’s drug costs are sometimes indefensible, and firms’ practices are typically questionable or worse. Within the pandemic yr of 2020, the stakes are even increased, as folks look to Narasimhan’s business to supply preventions or cures for the SARS-CoV-2 virus devastating the world’s well being and economic system.

The perils and promise are embodied in current Novartis developments. As a producer of hydroxychloroquine, the corporate was within the uncomfortable place of distributing a product that was overhyped for an unintended—and, because the FDA concluded, not prone to be efficient—use as a Covid-19 therapy or preventative drug. And just lately Novartis, which exited the vaccine enterprise in 2014, dipped a toe again in by agreeing to fabricate vaccines free of charge for a scientific trial of a genetic-based method. If the trial is profitable, Novartis has the choice of manufacturing it commercially.

Narasimhan, 42, grew up in Pittsburgh, went to Harvard Medical College, and had stints on the World Well being Group and the consulting agency McKinsey & Firm earlier than becoming a member of Novartis in 2015. He spoke to WIRED from his house in Basel, Switzerland, the place the corporate is headquartered. The interview was edited for brevity and readability.

Steven Levy: One yr in the past, you informed The New York Occasions, “We aren’t in any respect ready for a pandemic,” talking typically. That sounds fairly prescient now. However was Novartis ready for the pandemic?

Vas Narasimhan: We have been higher ready than I anticipated. If you happen to had requested me in January if we had taken 110,000 folks and most of them turned digital and our operations would nonetheless run, I wouldn’t have believed it. Extra essential, our scientific trials have been capable of run largely seamlessly. Due to investments in information science and predictive machine studying, our manufacturing operations have been aided considerably. Additionally, our relationships with sufferers and physicians additionally have been enabled by that transformation. All three of these digital funding areas beforehand appeared like nice-to-have experimental areas which will remodel us in 5 years. All of the sudden they turned issues that have been basic.

Novartis makes hydroxychloroquine, which turned the middle of a fiasco. Are you glad with the way in which your organization responded, because it provided a drugs that was later proven unlikely to be efficient for Covid-19, whereas reportedly the drug turned scarce for sufferers who wanted it for its supposed use?

I comply with the info. So I used to be agnostic as as to whether or not hydroxychloroquine would work or not, till we had good scientific research. In mid-March, although, we have been in a second in time the place a variety of governments have been in a really determined state of affairs. You had some very early indications from non-appropriately designed, however indicative, scientific research in China and France that this may assist. We didn’t imagine we’d be impacting sufferers with rheumatological diseases that want hydroxychloroquine anyway, and I don’t suppose we did. So we mentioned we’d be prepared to donate to any authorities that wishes to make use of the drugs below applicable oversight. When the info got here out that confirmed the drug might not be having the impression we had hoped, clearly we stopped our trials and now are winding again this system. I don’t suppose you might fairly have carried out something in another way in that second once you had a drug which may assist and, if used appropriately, may very well be managed when it comes to its danger. Sadly, it was utilized in many situations exterior of the hospital, which was by no means the intention.

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Aarogya Setu Companies Resume After Customers Report Login Points

Aarogya Setu, the COVID-19 tracing app offered by the Authorities, has resumed service after customers reported login points final evening. With out clarifying what prompted the technical snag, Aarogya Setu by way of its Twitter account introduced, “Setu is again.” On late Tuesday night, customers on Twitter identified that the app was exhibiting “error” with login, regardless of placing the proper OTP. This prompted panic amongst a couple of airline passengers and different travellers as the federal government has made it necessary for them to register on Aarogya Setu app earlier than travelling.

After customers identified the login situation on Tuesday night, Aarogya Setu took to Twitter to acknowledge the issue.

“Some customers have reported login errors on Aarogya Setu. Our technical groups are on the job. We will probably be again quickly,” Aarogya Setu crew wrote.

Hours later, it introduced that the issue was rectified; nonetheless, the reason for the technical situation wasn’t addressed.

As per the consumer reviews on Twitter, the issues with Aarogya Setu began round 9:30pm and continued till midnight.

In the meantime, Aarogya Setu has over 10 crore downloads on Google Play retailer. The app not too long ago additionally crossed over three crore downloads on Jio Cellphone fashions that run on KaiOS.

The app was unveiled in April in a bid to restrict the unfold of COVID-19 within the nation. The app makes use of Bluetooth and site to hint customers’ interplay with people who find themselves already COVID constructive or might take a look at constructive within the close to future.

Because the app requires location entry to perform, Aarogya Setu is incompatible with the Google-Apple API for contact tracing. The usual made by the tech giants relies on tips to allow contact tracing with out impacting the privateness of people. As many as 23 international locations have proven curiosity within the expertise developed by Apple and Google.

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EU Units Out Guidelines for 5G Small Antennas in Increase for Knowledge Capability

The European Fee on Tuesday took one other step in direction of accelerating up the rollout of excessive pace 5G throughout the European Union by adopting guidelines for small antennas, that are key to increasing knowledge capability and protection.

The 27-country bloc is trying to 5G wi-fi expertise to assist it to bounce again from the coronavirus disaster and compete extra successfully with the US and China.

Small antennas are seen because the final mile of 5G networks and of key significance for city areas, transport programs, and manufacturing vegetation as they will carry greater knowledge volumes and are nearer to clients. They’re additionally more economical than massive towers.

“5G wi-fi networks signify a pillar of socio-economic improvement for Europe as they are going to allow new companies in well being and care, vitality, transport, schooling, and plenty of different areas,” EU business chief Thierry Breton stated.

The brand new guidelines set out the bodily and technical traits of small cells for 5G networks, that are exempted from particular person city planning permits or different particular person prior permits.

The regulation additionally units strict publicity limits to minimise well being results, limits on the scale and energy of the small antennas, and likewise specs on their look to make them much less seen.

Faux claims about 5G has resulted within the torching of greater than 140 cell phone masts in 10 European nations and assaults on scores of upkeep staff, telecoms lobbying group ETNO stated.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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Blurring Faces Is Anti-Journalistic and Anti-Human

When you’re taking images of Black our bodies, it’s essential to know the historical past of the picture in relation to Black uprisings. Realizing that ensures you recognize that by hiding Black our bodies, you aren’t avoiding the issue, you’re a part of it.

I perceive the priority. I see the ominous rise of software program like Clearview AI, and I do know the historic monitor document of regulation enforcement in relation to spying on protesters and the suspicious deaths of protesters over the previous 4 years. I’m conscious of the staggering quantity of surveillance we cross every day with out even noticing it. However I additionally see the slippery slope this might ship journalists down in the event that they have been to cede to those calls for.

Information retailers are having their credibility attacked at each flip. Between the rise of the phrase “pretend information” and the concept of establishments carrying a particular bias towards one aspect or one other, blurring Black our bodies would give credence to those criticisms. Not solely would readers belief these information organizations much less, the organizations themselves can be abiding by guidelines that toss journalistic requirements out the window in favor of succumbing to the strain of a vocal few.

Think about the pictures that emerged out of Charlottesville in August 2017 of protesters carrying tiki torches. I’m sure just a few of these folks would have beloved to have been in a position to have their faces hidden or blurred; in some circumstances it might have saved their jobs and relationships. And even within the case of Amy Cooper, who was fired final month after Christian Cooper (not associated) recorded her calling the police on him in Central Park. Would she not have demanded the identical therapy? The previous saying “What’s good for the goose is sweet for the gander” involves thoughts, and therein lies the query of how far is simply too far.

The true query we must always ask is, how can we do much more respectable journalism on this second, so the photojournalists and documentarians are clearly distinguished from the extra problematic folks with iPhone cameras simply there to make one thing for the ‘Gram? The reply is straightforward: Do your job on the stage that you just have been taught and understand how. We’re shortly getting over the period of parachute journalism, the place somebody (typically from New York) flies right into a far-flung place, images it, asks minimal questions, and heads again dwelling. We’re starting to work extra with folks on the bottom, who perceive the communities they cowl and have no less than some pores and skin within the recreation. Simply the power to pay attention to the nuances and just remember to are documenting this story in a light-weight that feels trustworthy and true to your group is what that is all about.

On prime of that, it comes right down to talking with the folks protesting, These folks need to be heard and have issues to say, in any other case they wouldn’t be on the market. We’re within the midst of a world pandemic that has taken the lives of over 125,000 folks and has contaminated over 2.5 million within the US alone, however they’re taking to the streets, in shut proximity to at least one one other, to be sure that their voices are heard. It’s crucial to be the journalist a part of photojournalist, now greater than ever. Take your photos, try and seize names—that is Journalism 101—spark conversations together with your topics, perceive much more about a problem that you just won’t have been nicely educated in earlier than, and are available away with the buy-in of the folks that you just photographed. Plus, as the general public face of your group or outlet, the group will start to construct a rapport together with your journalism—and, hopefully, can start to rebuild that bridge, which, as we’ve seen on this second, shouldn’t be practically as sturdy as some might need assumed.

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Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Put on 4100 and 4100+ Promise Huge Smartwatch Upgrades

Rounding out the remainder of the enhancements are assist for the Bluetooth 5 customary and an upgraded 4G LTE modem for quicker mobile information connectivity. Qualcomm says the quicker LTE modem ought to enhance providers like maps, music streaming, and voice assistants.

Does It Matter?

However each Qualcomm and Google’s Put on OS platform play a small position within the broader smartwatch ecosystem.

Within the first quarter of 2020, simply 4.2 p.c of all smartwatches offered have been working Google’s Put on OS platform, in response to Vincent Thielke, an analyst at Canalys. Evaluating that to Apple’s 36.three p.c market share in the identical interval, it is easy to see simply how far again Google’s working system sits. And of the 66 million smartwatches offered in 2019, Thielke estimates solely 5.6 million used Qualcomm chips, with Put on OS making up the majority at 56 p.c. (The remaining are principally smartwatches from Chinese language producers that use totally different processors.)

“Put on OS has not been rising yr over yr,” Thielke says. “It did not develop in Q1 2019, it additionally did not develop in Q1 2020. I feel one of many causes for that’s that it is type of simply fallen behind different smartwatch platforms. Different platforms have actually been prioritizing well being options—particularly relating to coronary heart fee—and from what we have seen with the Put on OS platform, we simply have not seen as robust of a push. There are restricted well being options.”

Apple launched an electrocardiogram in its Collection Four Apple Watch in 2018, which was cleared by the US Meals and Drug Administration and different governments all over the world. Samsung extra not too long ago noticed the South Korean authorities approve related performance in its watches, which run the corporate’s personal Tizen working system.

Samsung, at present third within the smartwatch market as of the primary quarter, gives sleep monitoring in its watches. Apple can also be set to introduce the identical characteristic later this yr in its subsequent model of WatchOS. Google has no native sleep-tracking performance in Put on OS but, although you need to use a third-party app. Additionally, Put on OS would not embody assist for electrocardiograms. The general well being and health choices in Put on OS are additionally extra restricted than what yow will discover in smartwatches and health trackers from the likes of Fitbit and Garmin.

One thing else holding Put on OS again, in response to Thielke, is the dearth of apps on the platform. Huge platforms like Apple’s WatchOS and Samsung’s Tizen, with their giant and energetic consumer bases, are extra enticing than Put on OS as targets for app builders, Thielke says.

That is the place Google’s Fitbit acquisition is available in. The deal remains to be pending regulatory approval, but when it succeeds, it would ship a a lot bigger consumer base for Google to be taught from. It would additionally give the corporate entry to Fitbit’s fitness-tracking prowess, which incorporates superior heart- and sleep-tracking options. None of this can occur anytime quickly although, as integrating Fitbit and Put on OS will take lots of developmental time.

Thielke additionally thinks that Google marrying Put on OS with Fitbit would possibly detract from the Fitbit model, because of Google’s poor observe file with its personal wearable platform, to not point out the general public’s broader issues about Google’s data-collection practices. He believes the perfect transfer is for Google to maintain the 2 manufacturers separate as it really works on a next-generation model of Put on OS that can pull within the strengths of each.

However even when these modifications come to fruition, it is unlikely Google will make a lot headway out there. Taking a look at Canalys’ information from the primary quarter of 2020, Thielke says Put on OS and Fitbit mixed solely amounted to 1.5 million smartwatches offered. That is nonetheless far behind Apple, Huawei, and Samsung.

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Samsung Galaxy J6, Galaxy On6 Getting Android 10 With One UI 2.zero in India: Report

Samsung Galaxy J6 and online-only variant Samsung Galaxy On6 are getting the Android 10-based One UI 2.zero replace, as per a report. The Galaxy J6 first began receiving Android 10 replace in April however the rollout was restricted to pick out areas. The brand new replace additionally brings June 2020 safety patch. Samsung Galaxy J6 and Samsung Galaxy On6 customers will see new options corresponding to Darkish mode, smoother animations, and extra with the newest software program iteration. Each the Samsung telephones had been launched in 2018 with Android Eight out-of-the-box and acquired Android 9 with One UI final 12 months.

In response to a screenshot revealed by SamMobile, the Android 10 over-the-air (OTA) replace for the Samsung Galaxy J6 and Galaxy On6 carries the firmware J600GDXU6CTF4. The system replace is 1427.94MB in dimension and in addition brings June 2020 Android safety patch, the screenshot highlights.

Galaxy J6 customers in India will get notified concerning the availability of the Android 10-based One UI 2.zero replace on their smartphone. Customers may also examine its availability by heading to Settings > Software program replace > Obtain updates manually.

The screenshot of the system replace lists a bunch of updates for Galaxy J6 customers. These embody Darkish mode, smoother animations, clearer app icons and system colors, improved title and button structure, and new wallpapers. It additional recommends customers to individually improve apps corresponding to Calculator, Samsung Web, Samsung Well being, and Samsung Notes following the software program replace.

Samsung Galaxy J6 and Galaxy On6, each acquired twin VoLTE assist months after their launch. The Galaxy J6 acquired Android 9 Pie final 12 months. Each the Samsung telephones are powered by Samsung Exynos 7 Octa 7870 SoC, coupled with as much as 4GB RAM. They carry a single 13-megapixel rear digicam and an 8-megapixel entrance digicam for selfies. The telephones additionally pack a 3,000mAh battery.


In 2020, will WhatsApp get the killer function that each Indian is ready for? We mentioned this on Orbital, our weekly know-how podcast, which you’ll subscribe to through Apple Podcasts or RSS, obtain the episode, or simply hit the play button under.

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7 Finest Gaming Controllers (2020): PC, Xbox, PS4, Swap

Jess Gray is a product reviewer at WIRED, protecting all these units that make your life simpler—and typically far more tough. Since her first byline in Dragon Journal to her more moderen work at Digital Traits, she’s coated a little bit little bit of every thing from crime, courts, and patent filings to… Learn extra
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‘Pokemon Go’ and ‘Sleep No Extra’ Creators Are Teaming Up on AR

A defining characteristic of augmented actuality is how a lot the know-how’s promise has outpaced its real-world use. Regardless of years of shiny demos, AR’s predominant client experiences are nonetheless Pokémon Go and an iOS app that measures issues. Advancing the medium will take not solely impactful {hardware}—like Apple’s U1 chip and loudly rumored glasses—however revolutionary video games and experiences. The sort that Punchdrunk, the theater firm behind immersive exhibits like Sleep No Extra, is aware of higher than anybody.

Now Punchdrunk and Niantic, the developer of Pokémon Go and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, are saying a collaboration that can span a number of tasks. Particulars akin to what the debut effort will appear like, when it can launch, and what it may cost a little stay a intently guarded secret, however so far as crossover episodes go, the solid of characters appears encouraging.

Punchdrunk isn’t any stranger to immersion. Sleep No Extra, the group’s signature piece, invitations viewers members to stroll by a sequence of rooms at their very own tempo, in no matter order they like. The actors carry out hour-long loops; as you wander, you cobble collectively their story fragments into a complete.

The trick of Sleep No Extra is to provide the viewer a way of free will whereas sustaining an setting that doesn’t reply to their decisions; immersive right here doesn’t equal interactive. The efficiency is mounted, no matter what the viewers does.

“Though it feels spontaneous, every little thing is meticulously choreographed,” says Punchdrunk founder and inventive director Felix Barrett (no relation). “Our course of even on the most transitional beats is totally set. With that kind of precision, and the flexibility to set and rehearse completely different situations … It’s these types of learnings, nearly like binary coding in a means, that allow us to consider how one might use that info.”

It’s no stretch to see how that philosophy would possibly lengthen to AR. Punchdrunk has already dabbled in digital actuality, with a challenge for the Samsung Gear VR known as #believeyoureyes, in addition to cellular gaming with Silverpoint, an app that directed gamers across the streets of London.

“Fairly early on I grew to become fascinated within the potential for recreation mechanics,” Barrett says. “We’ve scratched the floor with a couple of tasks, however I at all times knew that for an viewers to have actual company over the landscapes they traverse, if they may really grant them that, they may turn into the hero of their very own residing recreation, their very own film. It felt like that was the subsequent hurdle to cross.”

Working with Niantic provides Punchdrunk a leg up. The corporate has spent years mapping a digital layer on prime of most components of the world, ever because the early days of Ingress, its first recreation. This wealthy AR infrastructure is the engine driving its subsequent hits, Pokémon Go and Wizards Unite, and it is what Punchdrunk will faucet into for his or her collaboration, no matter type that takes.

“There’s so many stunning and fascinating and provoking issues out on this planet, and thrilling and mysterious issues, that we’re programmed to disregard,” says Niantic’s CEO John Hanke. “The objective of a challenge like this, in my view, is so as to add these factors of interplay and that layer of story and gameplay that basically causes you to concentrate on a regular basis. It’s not the very specific interactions that this factor goes to ship, it’s that state of getting your eyes open.”

The maths right here doesn’t fairly appear so as to add up: Can you actually make individuals extra in tune with their environment by funneling their experiences by a telephone? Once more, arduous to say, given how few particulars are presently accessible concerning the collaboration. However Hanke describes an expertise that doesn’t rely upon holding your eyes locked on a display.

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NoBroker, MyGate File FIR Complaints Towards Every Different for Stealing Buyer Knowledge

NoBroker and MyGate have each filed authorized circumstances towards one another in a stunning improvement between the 2 Indian startups. Actual property search portal NoBroker and gated-community administration app MyGate have accused one another of stealing their proprietary buyer database. Each Bengaluru-based startups have filed first info stories (FIRs) towards one another for the alleged theft.

NoBroker accused MyGate of stealing the database of its built-in customer, neighborhood, and cost administration app NoBrokerHood that competes with MyGate’s enterprise mannequin. The startup mentioned in a press release that the rival made a number of makes an attempt to realize entry to the database and chased its purchasers to promote them the companies supplied by the MyGate platform. An FIR was filed on Monday, a duplicate of which has been seen by Devices 360.

“Now we have concrete proof and name recordings of how they’ve stolen our information, and we needed to file a police grievance towards them,” NoBroker mentioned in a media assertion though it has not shared particulars.

The FIR filed by NoBroker on the Bellandur Police Station included the names of all MyGate co-founders.

MyGate, however, registered an identical case towards NoBroker with the Cyber Crime Division of the Bengaluru Police on June 19, a duplicate of which has additionally been seen by Devices 360. A authorized discover was additionally despatched to NoBroker on June 12, accusing the latter of manipulating MyGate’s confidential information.

“Over the previous a number of months, we’ve acquired quite a few complaints from our workers in addition to our prospects relating to NoBroker’s unethical and unlawful acts,” Vijay Arisetty, CEO and Co-Founder, MyGate, mentioned in a ready assertion.

Each NoBroker and MyGate have additionally began inside investigations and are working with their authorized groups to take subsequent steps.

Coincidentally, each NoBroker and MyGate have New York-headquartered Tiger International Administration as one in every of their lead traders. Nonetheless, NoBroker additionally consists of Normal Atlantic, Rocketship.vc, SAIF Companions, and BEENEXT as a few of its key traders, whereas MyGate has JSCapital, Prime Enterprise Companions, and China’s Tencent Holdings on its board.


In 2020, will WhatsApp get the killer characteristic that each Indian is ready for? We mentioned this on Orbital, our weekly expertise podcast, which you’ll subscribe to through Apple Podcasts or RSS, obtain the episode, or simply hit the play button under.

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