ADN Issue 3, February 2014

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John Carmack suspicious of Nvidia’s outlandish Tegra K1 claims
Joel Hruska
ExtremeTech, February 20, 2014
When Nvidia unveiled the Tegra K1 last month, they made a great many impressive claims about its performance, underlying architecture, and the fact that it would debut as two different parts -- a quad-core based on the Cortex-A15r3 with the now-standard Companion Core for added energy efficiency, and a dual-core 64-bit chip that supports ARM’s 64-bit instruction set. John Carmack himself has just tossed water on these claims, telling people that Nvidia’s statements should be taken “with several grains of salt.”

Tags: Multicore, EDA, Microchips,
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Perlman’s pCell: The super-fast future of wireless networking, or too good to be true?
Sebastian Anthony
ExtremeTech, February 19, 2014
pCell appears to completely dismantle the idea of a “wireless spectrum crunch,” allowing each mobile device to receive full wireless bandwidth from congested base stations, potentially increasing our total wireless bandwidth by 1,000x.

Tags: Networks, Wireless,
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Hybrid Memory Cube 160GB/sec RAM starts shipping: Is this the technology that finally kills DDR RAM?
Joel Hruska
ExtremeTech, September 25, 2013
Micron announced today that it’s now shipping early samples of its Hybrid Memory Cube to customers and early adopters. Currently the company is offering a 2GB HMC device composed of four-high stacks of 4Gbit memory dies, with a total bandwidth of 160GB/s for the 31 × 31 mm package. There’s also a smaller chip, at 16 × 19.5 mm, that offers two links instead of four and tops out at 120GB/s. A 4GB device is scheduled for early 2014, which could hit up to 320GB/s depending on the final implementation.

Tags: Memory, EDA,
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Qualcomm announces new 64-bit, eight-core SoCs with DX11 graphics
Joel Hruska
ExtremeTech, February 24, 2014
Qualcomm announced that it’s building a pair of new Snapdragon 600 devices to target the 64-bit market. The first chip, the Snapdragon 610, is a quad-core design based on ARM’s Cortex-A53, while the second chip is an octa-core product based around the same ARM core.

Tags: Multicore, SoC, EDA,
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New LIDAR chip will sharpen aerial mapping and autonomous car vision
Ryan Whitwam
ExtremeTech, February 18, 2014
Handheld laser rangefinders have been available to consumers for years, but increasingly powerful military and industrial versions of the technology are still being developed. A new breed of LIDAR (light detection and ranging) technology is being developed and tested by the US Air Force at a base in Massachusetts. This system is capable of precisely mapping over 300 square kilometers from the belly of an airplane in about half an hour.

Tags: Automotive, Vision, Military,
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Ford admits touchscreen defeat, puts the buttons and knobs back into Ford Sync
Bill Howard
ExtremeTech, February 20, 2014
Ford Sync is getting a new look. Again. This time Ford is adding more knobs and buttons to Ford Sync. At the same time, Ford says voice control will do more with fewer, shorter commands. More Sync-linked applications will be offered for your smartphone. Look for the changes on Ford’s major-redesign 2015 models, including the Ford Mustang sports car and the Ford F-150 pickup truck.

Tags: Automotive, Hand-held,
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Why Microsoft lost Ford Sync: Too costly, too slow, and too hard to use
Bill Howard
ExtremeTech, February 24, 2014
Ford is calling off the car connectivity relationship with Microsoft that produced Ford Sync. Ford instead will partner with Blackberry and use its QNX operating system. Worse for Microsoft, it’s possible other auto companies might bail on the company in the future. These automakers are looking for a technology partner that is able to lower their costs, improve performance and reliability, and get more third-party apps into the dash, and Microsoft hasn’t been pulling its weight.

Tags: Automotive, Hand-held,
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NetSuite and Dell Team Up in the Cloud
Shira Ovide
The Wall Street Journal, February 25, 2014
Two pioneers from different eras of computing are teaming up to drive their technology deeper into corporations.

The actors are Dell, which started selling PCs in the 1980s and now is also big supplier of server systems, and NetSuiteN +0.58%, which emerged in the 1990s as one of the first companies to sell business software as an online service. Each side believes the arrangement, under which the PC maker will sell NetSuite software to Dell customers, will transform its business.

Tags: Cloud-Computing,
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What Makes Viber Attractive?
Juro Osawa
The Wall Street Journal, February 14, 2014
According to Rakuten, Viber has 300 million registered users, including more than 100 million monthly active users. That certainly makes it a big player among communication apps that offer free voice calls, text messaging and other social networking featrures.

But Viber also faces powerful competitors with overlapping services. As a free voice call service, Viber competes against Skype, which has been popular since the pre-smartphone era.

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What’s Rakuten’s Plan for Viber? Ask Wuaki.tv
Sam Schechner
The Wall Street Journal, February 14, 2014
Rakuten’s purchase of messaging service Viber is just the latest signal of the Japanese e-commerce company’s ambitious global expansion plans -- and could be a sign of quicker expansion in the future.

Just ask one of Rakuten’s previous targets, Wuaki.tv founder Jacinto Roca.

After Rakuten bought the site in 2012, it quickly jumped into the UK market. Now, pushed by Rakuten, it is exploring launches in France, Germany and Italy as early as this year, Mr. Roca said.

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General Dynamics Gets $10 Billion Saudi Arms Order
Agence France-Presse
IndustryWeek, February 14, 2014
The Canadian subsidiary of U.S. arms maker General Dynamics has won a $10 billion order for armored vehicles for Saudi Arabia.

The vehicles will be produced by General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada (GDLS) in London, Ontario, and the deal could be worth up to $13 billion if all options are exercised, according to securities filings. The agreement also includes associated equipment, training and support services.

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Apple ‘exploring move into electric cars’
Rhiannon Williams
The Telegraph, February 17, 2014
The San Francisco Chronicle newspaper is reporting that Apple’s merger and acquisition chief Adrian Perica met with Elon Musk, CEO of electric car manufacturers Tesla last spring.

Apple has previously shown its hand in this market and announced deals with BMW, Daimler, Mercedes and Honda to produce smart dashboards featuring iOS, the same operating system used by iPads and iPhones.

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Big Data: Dead By Definition, Alive In Practice
Darin Bartik
InformationWeek, February 13, 2014
Big data is at a crossroads. On one hand, big data is dead, the term having been used so often that it’s been stripped of tangible value.

On the other hand, big data has never been so alive, as more companies than ever are trying to improve so-called big data analytics. How can such a dichotomy exist? The answer can be found in the enormous gap between what big data means by definition and what it really means in the important practice of data management.

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Natural Language Processing: Big Data’s Role
Jeff Bertolucci
InformationWeek, February 13, 2014
Computers do many things faster and more efficiently than the human brain, but they’re decidedly inferior when it comes to extracting meaning from human language. As BigData-Startups.com founder Mark van Rijmenam writes in a recent blog post, the key stumbling block here is that computers understand “unambiguous and highly structured” programming language, while human language is a minefield of nuance, emotion, and implied intent.

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Behavior Analysis: New Weapon To Fight Hackers
Michael Fitzgerald
InformationWeek, February 12, 2014
As the hacking pandemic sweeps through companies, a startup says analytics can help. Cybereason, co-founded by Lior Div, a former cybercrime expert in the Israeli intelligence agency, uses new algorithms to fight what it calls “malops” -- malicious operations perpetrated by hackers who break into a company's network.

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Oculus Rift Takes Home The Crunchie For Best Hardware Startup
Greg Kumparak
TechCrunch, February 11, 2014
As has been said many a time, Hardware is hard. Though the barrier to entry is lower than it’s ever been, the creation of new hardware is still a field that most don’t enter.

It makes sense, then, that the competition here was incredibly fierce. Oculus’ fellow nominees in the category: 3D Robotics, SmartThings, Sonos, Square.

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Electric cars are ready for the big time and if you disagree you're wrong
Jeremy Laird
TechRadar, February 11, 2014
Existing electric cars with ranges of around 100 miles and charged at home without the need for complex and costly new infrastructure are already good enough to replace a large chunk of the conventional combustion car market.

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Why Human-Computer Teams Hold the Most Promise for the Future
Stephen DeAngelis
InnivationInsight, February 10, 2014
Computer systems that run programs capable of learning (either from their own mistakes or from relationships established by analyzing vast amounts of data) are part of the growing field called cognitive computing. Although some people are worried that intelligent computers will develop into autonomous networks, like the infamous Skynet in the “Terminator” movies, and take over the world, Anup Varier believes that future belongs to teams of humans and computers working together.

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Audi Patents Details Active Aero Wheels, Electric Quattro All-Wheel Drive System
Shane McGlaun
DailyTech, February 10, 2014
The patents are for “active” aerodynamic wheels and an electric all-wheel drive system. The patent for the wheels shows a hinged flap between the spokes that move over the spokes of the wheels as speed increases. Once fully deployed, the hinged flaps create a flat wheel surface, reducing drag.

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ARM Announces Octacore Cortex-A17, MediaTek Airs Early Design
Jason Mick
DailyTech, February 11, 2014
ARM Holdings Plc is pushing hard for chipmakers to switch to the 64-bit ARMv8-A instruction set to help it with its fledgling server market push. As a result it appeared to temporarily freeze 32-bit releases, funneling useful technology into 64-bit cores -- namely the Cortex-A53 and A57.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook Compares Android to Europe, Says Google Wasn’t “Committed” to Motorola
Brandon Hill
DailyTech, February 7, 2014
But Cook didn’t stop there; he went on to compare Android to Europe.

Android is like Europe. Europe was a name that somebody came up with for Americans who didn’t understand that Europe was a lot of countries that weren’t like U.S. states. They were very different. Android is many things. How many people who use a Kindle know that they’re using Android? And you see what Samsung is doing by putting more and more software on top. I think it’s night and day. The compare is so off.

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Foxconn Is Quietly Working With Google on Robotics
Lorraine Luk
The Wall Street Journal, February 11, 2014
Foxconn has long been associated as the partner for Apple, assembling the majority of the U.S. company’s iPhones and iPads.

But few people know the Taiwanese contract manufacturer, also known as Hon Hai Precision industry, has been quietly working with Google.

People familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal that Foxconn has been working with former Android executive Andy Rubin since last year to carry out the U.S. company’s vision for robotics.

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Silicon Jackboot... and the UK tech industry exults
Monty Munford
Telegraph, February 2, 2014
Not a day goes by without a city claiming to be another Silicon Valley. London, Moscow, Nairobi, Derry, Brighton, Adelaide, Ramallah, Dhaka, Bogota, Grenoble, Tel Aviv, Dundee... you name it, the list is endless.

All these cities wanting to emulate a place that has taken almost a century to evolve. From the Gold Rush to munitions to the Space Race to silicon to the internet...

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Experts Gather in Munich to Find Common Ground on Global Security
Raytheon, January 31, 2014
As countries on both sides of the Atlantic combat security threats amid tighter budget constraints, experts are gathering to address the future state of defense head-on at a global conference in Munich, Germany.

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Open-Source Cloud Hardware Grows Up Fast
Charles Babcock
InformationWeek, January 30, 2014
The Open Compute Project founded by Facebook has made rapid strides in what has been a narrow sphere of influence. The cloud is an x86 world, and, in its first three years, OCP has put out several motherboard and server designs for cloud projects.

The early adopters have been primarily big financial services companies, such as Bank of America, Fidelity Investments, and Goldman Sachs.... it may be ready to grow beyond one industrial segment into others, such as online gaming and pharmaceuticals, and expand the reach of open-source hardware in other ways.

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DARPA Opens Software, Data To Public
Elena Malykhina
InformationWeek, February 5, 2014
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s technology programs generate valuable information, much of which hasn't been easily accessible until now. In response to requests from the research and development community, the agency has created the Open Catalog, a public website that lists DARPA-sponsored software and peer-reviewed publications.

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NHTSA Will Require Vehicle to Vehicle Communications in All New Cars, Trucks
Tiffany Kaiser
DailyTech, February 3, 2014
It‘s been decided that vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications, which allow cars and trucks to “talk” with one another and their surroundings, will move from just research to actual implementation thanks to a recent approval.

The tech uses a 360-degree view of a vehicle’s surroundings, allowing the car to detect what the driver cannot. A dedicated short range radio network is also used to allow vehicles to communicate with each other up to 300 yards away.

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Google Making Nest More Than Home Automation, Team to Become Main Hardware Group
Tiffany Kaiser
DailyTech, January 31, 2014
Google bought Nest Labs earlier this month for a solid $3.2 billion in cash and according to a new report from TechCrunch, Google’s new Nest team will be the search giant’s core hardware group. That means Nest won’t just be used for home automation and energy monitoring -- the team will be in charge of Google’s latest hardware, which could include smartphones and tablets for Google’s Android mobile operating system.

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Prototyping of ARM Cortex-M Processor systems in FPGA
Joseph Yiu
ARM Processors
ARM Processors, January 22, 2014
ARM has released a new FPGA board called Cortex-M Prototyping System. With a size of ~150K LE, the Cyclone V FPGA is more than enough for creating most Cortex-M systems (for instance, a full feature Cortex-M4 system with a collection of peripherals can easily fit into a FPGA with 50K LE). The Cyclone V FPGA also support FPGA image encryption, which help protecting your IP.

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Three Huge Applications Accelerated by World’s Most Powerful Graphics Chip
Roy Kim
NVIDIA, January 21, 2014
Weather forecasting. Tracking billions of tweets. Mitigating big-time financial risks. These burly applications gobble up computing power like an NFL linebacker plowing through a box of Ding Dongs.

So when we tore the lid off the supercharged Tesla K40 GPU accelerator - the highest-performance GPU ever built - our customers quickly put it to work tackling some of their toughest problems. And their initial results show this GPU is even better than advertised.

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AMD Opteron processors codenamed “Warsaw” provide upgrade path for AMD Open 3.0 Open Compute servers
Lawrence Latif
AMD Business, January 22, 2014
AMD has been giving customers what they want since 2003 with our AMD OpteronTM Series processors, one of the industry’s most powerful, energy-efficient and cost-effective processors. Today, AMD continues to give enterprise users what they want with two new AMD OpteronTM 6300 processors, codenamed “Warsaw” that are optimized for the AMD Open 3.0 Open Compute platform.

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Global Warming “Denial” Hits a 6 Year High, Study Cries
Jason Mick
DailyTech, January 20, 2014
Is the media conspiring to stoke alarmism or deny science? Shrill voices on each side can't decide.

When many temperature studies, including studies presented by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, indicate current global temperatures are cooler than the vast majority of the past 4,000 years, and then an outlier study with quickly identified serious flaws claims exactly the opposite,...

A single breathless report of impending global warming doom is going to rope in more viewers and readers than a whole collection of reports explaining that current temperatures are actually quite cool in historical perspective.

...it is no secret that the media drifts left on many issues, and drifts left on environmental issues in particular.

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The Cybersecurity Canon: Reamde
Rick Howard
Palo Alto Networks, January 28, 2014
For the past decade, I have had this notion that there must be a Cybersecurity Canon: a list of must-read books where the content is timeless, genuinely represents an aspect of the community that is true and precise and that, if not read, leaves a hole in cybersecurity professional’s education.

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Intel has plans for Quark CPU in wearable devices
Jessica Lipsky
Embedded, January 7, 2014
Intel hopes the next generation of smart, wearable devices will be powered by Edison, its 22mm Quark-based computer housed in a SD card form factor. Available in the middle of 2014, Krzanich said he believes Edison will “enable rapid innovation and product development.”

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The Techno-Militarization Of America
Jon Evans
TechCrunch, January 18, 2014
Over the last decade, pretty much every arm of American authority invoked “homeland security” as an excuse to acquire boatloads of new technology, and used it to help expand their power and authority to unprecedented levels. There is nothing at all exceptional about the NSA’s massive overreach. It was only keeping up with the Joneses -- FBI, DEA, Border Patrol, police forces everywhere -- who have all been busy doing exactly the same thing.

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Protect Yourself From The NSA With WireOver’s Encrypted File Sharing
Josh Constine
TechCrunch, January 17, 2014
Nothing is truly NSA-proof or hacker-proof, but WireOver wants to offer you more security than Dropbox, Google Drive, or Skydrive. The Y Combinator startup just emerged from stealth with a desktop app that lets you send files of any size for free. And for $10 a month, your transfers get end-to-end encryption so only the recipient can open them. WireOver can’t even look at what you’re sending.

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CORAL: the next big thing in supercomputing; next-gen machines for Oak Ridge, Argonne, Livermore
Frank Munger
Atomic City Underground, January 14, 2014
Three of the nation’s premier national labs -- Oak Ridge, Argonne and Lawrence Livermore -- are banding together to push the boundaries of supercomputing and acquire next-generation supercomputers for each of the labs at the best value for the U.S. government.

It’s a big deal. Each of the computers is estimated to cost in the vicinity of $125 million and have capabilities of 100-200 petaflops (that’s 100-200 million billion calculations per second).

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Video: Building a GPS tracker with Atmel’s SAM D20 MCU??
Atmel Staff
Atmel, January 20, 2014
A GPS tracking unit uses the Global Positioning System to determine and record the precise location of a vehicle, device or individual. Key design requirements for a GPS tracker include a small form factor, low power consumption and flexible connectivity options.

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Simulinking with an Arduino Uno??
Atmel Staff
Atmel, January 16, 2014
Adafruit’s Anuja Apte has penned an informative tutorial describing how to program an Atmel-based Arduino Uno board (ATmega328) using Simulink. ?? For the uninitiated, Simulink can best be described as a block diagram environment for multi-domain simulation and model-based design. It supports automatic code generation, along with continuous test and verification of embedded systems. In terms of Arduino, ...

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Going Big: Growing Network of Giant Radars Protects Against Missiles
Raytheon Company
December 18, 2013
One looks like a Mayan pyramid and is as big as an office building. Another looks like a golf ball and floats in the ocean on a converted oil rig, while a third, a wheeled radar that can travel on roads, is the size of a Mack truck.

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CES 2014: NVIDIA Shows Off Fifth Generation Tegra K1 Chip with 192 Cores
Tiffany Kaiser
DailyTech, January 6, 2014
NVIDIA announced its fifth generation Tegra K1 chip, which has 192 CUDA cores and is meant to bridge the gap between Kepler-based desktop cards and the mobile-based Tegra chips. That means one small chip that packs a lot of punch.

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Intel’s Arizona Chip Plant Being Put on Hold
Tiffany Kaiser
DailyTech, January 15, 2014
Intel’s new chip facility -- called “Fab 42” -- is being put on ice for the moment due to its lack of “capital equipment” needed for creating the cutting-edge chips.

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Wearable Computing Equals New Security Risks
Jeff Bertolucci
InformationWeek, January 13, 2014
Wearable computing hogged the spotlight at last week's CES 2014. According to Domingo Guerra, president and cofounder of Appthority, a San Francisco-based mobile app risk management service, the need for wearable and other mobile devices to interact and share data creates a new class of security and privacy risks.

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iBUYPOWER Announces Cryptocurrency Mining Rigs for Casual Fans
Jason Mick
DailyTech, January 14, 2014
While any hardcore cryptocurrency miner these days will use application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) to chug through the proof-of-work calculations need to ”discove“ blocks of bitcoins, dogecoins, litecoins, etc. (or in a pinch use field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) flashed with similar purpose-built hardware), there's still plenty of casual miners who aren't necessarily looking to get rich quick and are just looking to have a bit of fun.

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Dogecoins and Its IBM Developer Ride Meme to $130M+ Fortune
Jason Mick
DailyTech, December 18, 2013
Bitcoin came along unnoticed to most in 2009. By contrast, these newcomers are off the ground and running. Bitcoin uses proof-of-work on SHA-256 hashes to seed the market with coins (a maximum of 21M BTC will be produced). Other rivals adopt similar approaches with small twists.

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A Guide to Bitcoin Mining: Why Someone Bought a $1,500 Bitcoin Miner on eBay for $20,600
Alec Liu
Motherboard
With the price of bitcoins skyrocketing, mining is suddenly big business, so enticingly big that one wannabe miner was willing to pay a 1,333 percent premium to get his (or her) foot in the door of this wildly lucrative bitcoin bonanza. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the bitcoin gold rush.

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