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How to Stop Kids from Talking to Strangers on Nintendo Switch

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If you have kids that use a Nintendo Switch, you might worry that they could potentially talk to strangers in online-connected games. Luckily, Nintendo provides an easy way to turn off communication with others in their Parental Controls app for smartphones. Here’s how to set it up.

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Source: https://www.howtogeek.com/706054/how-to-stop-kids-from-talking-to-strangers-on-nintendo-switch/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Benj Edwards

Apple reportedly took years to drop a supplier that used underage labor

32066500-1493-11eb-8ffe-aac9645d9dd1On Tuesday, The Washington Post and the Tech Transparency Project published an investigative report on one of Apple’s supply partners. The two say Apple, and several other companies, source parts from a Chinese supplier that allegedly uses forced Mus…

Source: https://www.engadget.com/apple-underage-suyin-labor-report-195744992.html
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What’s the Easiest Video Chat Service to Use With Your Family?

Microsoft Teams together modeMicrosoft

This year a lot of people are using video chat for the first time, and a lot of them might not be comfortable with technology in general. If you’re trying to have a holiday video chat with your family, what’s the easiest way for all of them to get on board?

The answer is, predictably, complicated. It generally depends on what platforms you’re already comfortable with and how many people in whatever chat you want to hold are also comfortable with them.

The Easiest Option: Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger video chatFacebook

Facebook Messenger (and its associated video chat function) is probably the easiest and most reliable way to have a video chat with friends and family at the moment. It works well, and there’s an excellent chance that most or all of the people you want to talk to already have both a Facebook account and a compatible gadget. It’s accessible from almost any computer or mobile device—all you really need on top of a web connection is a browser (for laptops and desktops) or the Messenger app (for phones or tablets running iOS or Android). If you’re using a desktop computer, you’ll also need a webcam.

From the main Facebook interface, click the Messenger icon (the little speech bubble with a zig-zag inside it), start a chat with someone on your Friends list, then click the video icon in the corner. Bam, you’ve got a video call started. Of course, you can chat with as many people as you can fit on the screen at one time, up to 50, but there’s also the option for a group video chat: Just start a chat with multiple people and tap or click the video icon.

Facebook sells a dedicated video chat device, the Portal. It comes in picture frame and webcam form factors (good for using a TV), but these aren’t necessary to use Facebook Messenger’s video chat. They might be a good alternative if you’re chatting with someone who lacks familiarity with computers or mobile devices—there’s a high cost of entry for Portal, however, which is something to consider.

The Easiest Chat Option

Facebook Portal



Buy from Facebook. Starts at $65 for the smallest version.

For Apple Households: FaceTime

FaceTime on iPhone and iPadApple

FaceTime is Apple’s proprietary video calling system (not Facebook’s—yeah, it’s a little confusing). It’s pre-installed for free on basically any Apple device, including the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and MacBook laptops.

FaceTime might be the simplest, easiest chat system on the planet, and its quality is pretty darn good, too. It’s integrated with the dialer on the iPhone and the contacts system in your Apple account. To start a FaceTime call, just bring up your contact’s name or phone number in either, and tap or click the FaceTime icon (the little video camera). You can also switch to FaceTime in the middle of a standard voice call, assuming that the person’s number or Apple account is registered in the system.

Using FaceTime with a group is almost as easy. For this, you’ll want to open either the dedicated FaceTime application or the Messages app, then start a new chat. Put as many people as you want (up to 32) in the “To” line, adding people with the + icon. When you’re ready, tap “Video” to initiate the call. You can add new people to the call at any time. If you have an existing group chat in Messages, just tap the FaceTime button at the top of the app.

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For Everyone Else: Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams screenshotMicrosoft

Of course, lots of people don’t have Apple-branded devices, and Apple has been very staunch about not letting anyone else into the FaceTime party. And despite the fact that an account is free, there are plenty of reasons to stay away from Facebook. If you want to video chat with people who don’t have either option, Microsoft’s Teams tool is the easiest free way to do so.

Teams is a lot like Skype, designed specifically for businesses to talk with remote workers, but it’s free for personal use, too. The Teams app is available on iOS and Android devices, as a dedicated Windows app download, or on any laptop or desktop (including MacOS and Chromebooks) as a web app. You’ll need to sign up at the Teams site (any email address will do), and once you’ve launched the app, you can invite anyone by entering their email address. If they don’t have Microsoft Teams yet, adding their email will automatically send an invite. To start a video call, just press or click the camera icon.

Because it’s designed for large corporations, the maximum number of participants allowed in a Teams call is 20, which should be enough for even the most extended of families. Teams calls can last for up to four hours.

Getting Everyone Together

If you have one or more locations with a large group of people, getting them all on screen at the same time might be tricky. The cameras on phones, tablets, and laptops are generally meant for just one person at a time.

There’s a work-around for this: Use a computer and dedicated webcam with a wide angle lens, like the Logitech C930e or the Lenovo 500. If you place a laptop near a TV and use an HDMI cable, you can put the webcam on top of the TV and use it as a monitor for a fairly easy and inexpensive big-screen gathering, though the sound might not be great.

Of course, dedicated webcams are becoming hard to find during the pandemic. If you have a camera from Canon, Nikon, Sony, Wyze, or many other manufacturers, you can plug it into a computer and use it as a makeshift webcam, too.

Source: https://www.reviewgeek.com/64315/whats-the-easiest-video-chat-service-to-use-with-your-family/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Michael Crider

Animal Jam was hacked, and data stolen. Here’s what parents need to know

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WildWorks, the gaming company that makes the popular kids game Animal Jam, has confirmed a data breach.

Animal Jam is one of the most popular games for kids, ranking in the top five games in the 9-11 age category in Apple’s App Store in the U.S., according to data provided by App Annie. But while no data breach is ever good news, WildWorks has been more forthcoming about the incident than most companies would be, making it easier for parents to protect both their information and their kids’ data.

Here’s what we know.

WildWorks said in a detailed statement that a hacker stole 46 million Animal Jam records in early October but that it only learned of the breach in November.

The company said someone broke into one of its systems that the company uses for employees to communicate with each other, and accessed a secret key that allowed the hacker to break into the company’s user database. The bad news is that the stolen data is known to be circulating on at least one cybercrime forum, WildWorks said, meaning that malicious hackers may use (or be using) the stolen information.

The stolen data dates back to over the past 10 years, the company said, so former users may still be affected.

Much of the stolen data wasn’t highly sensitive, but the company warned that 32 million of those stolen records had the player’s username, 23.9 million records had the player’s gender, 14.8 million records contained the player’s birth year, and 5.7 million records had the player’s full date of birth.

But, the company did say that the hacker also took 7 million parent email addresses used to manage their kids’ accounts. It also said that 12,653 parent accounts had a parent’s full name and billing address, and 16,131 parent accounts had a parent’s name but no billing address.

Besides the billing address, the company said no other billing data — such as financial information — was stolen.

WildWorks also said that the hacker also stole player’s passwords, prompting the company to reset every player’s password. (If you can’t log in, that’s probably why. Check your email for a link to reset your password.) WildWorks didn’t say how it scrambled passwords, which leaves open the possibility that they could be unscrambled and potentially used to break into other accounts that have the same password as used on Animal Jam. That’s why it’s so important to use unique passwords for each site or service you use, and use a password manager to store your passwords safely.

The company said it was sharing information about the breach with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies.

So what can parents do?

  • Thankfully the data associated with kids accounts is limited. But parents, if you have used your Animal Jam password on any other website, make sure you change those passwords to strong and unique passwords so that nobody can break into those other accounts.
  • Keep an eye out for scams related to the breach. Malicious hackers like to jump on recent news and events to try to trick victims into turning over more information or money in response to a breach.

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Source: https://techcrunch.com/2020/11/16/animal-jam-data-breach/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Zack Whittaker

These Stanford students are racing to get laptops to kids around the U.S. who most need them

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The digital divide is not a new phenomenon. Still, it largely took Americans by surprise when, as the U.S. began to shut down to slow the spread of Covid-19 in March, schools grappled with how to move forward with online classes.

It wasn’t just a matter of altering students’ curriculum. Many lacked either internet access or home computers — and some lacked both. According to USAFacts, a non-partisan organization funded by former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer,  4.4 million households with children have not had consistent access to computers for online learning during the pandemic.

It’s a problem that two Stanford students, Isabel Wang and Margot Bellon, are doing everything in their power to address, and with some success. Through their six-month-old 501(c)(3) outfit, Bridging Tech, they’ve already provided more than 400 refurbished laptops to children who need them most — those living in homeless shelters — beginning with students in the Bay Area where there are an estimated 2,000 homeless students in San Francisco alone.

Unsurprisingly, it began as a passion project for both, though both sound committed to building an enduring organization. They always cared about the digital divide; now they’ve seen too much to walk away from it.

Wang, for her part, grew up in the affluent Cleveland, Oh., suburb of Shaker Heights, which has “always had racial tensions,” she notes. (The best-selling novel “Little Fires Everywhere” is set in the same place, for the same reason.) Partly as a result of “racism in our community,” Wang became involved early on in public health initiatives that address those from underserved backgrounds, and part of that focus centered on equitable access to education.

Bellon, a biology major who met Wang at Outdoor House, a student-initiated outdoors-themed house at Stanford, had similar interests early on, she says. Growing up in San Mateo, Ca., she volunteered in homeless shelters in high school and in college, experiences that made her aware of the challenges created by a lack of access to technology. For many, just getting WiFi can mean having to linger outside a Starbucks, she notes, and often, the only computer available is inside a library.

As the world shut down in the spring, Bellon realized these options were no longer available to the many people desperately needing them, just as Wang was coming to her own worried conclusions. The friends joined forces and now 30 other volunteers, almost all fellow Stanford students, are also contributing to the effort.

So far, Bridging Tech has been most focused on securing laptops for students lacking access to tech. Citrix Systems and Genetech have been among the bigger donors, but it’s easy to imagine that the nascent organization could use far more help from the region’s many tech giants.

Once it has lightly used computers in its possession, they are distributed to a handful of refurbishers with which Bridging Tech has partnered. All guarantee their work for a year. One of these partners, Computers 2 Kids in San Diego, also provides clear instructions so that children can get up and running without much assistance.

Bellon says that homeless shelters in the Bay Area typically have tech volunteers who help children turn on the computers and get set up, and that organizations like ShelterTech have partnered with Bridging Tech to ensure these young computer recipients also have access to WiFi.

The devices are also gifted permanently.

In the meantime, Bridging Tech has also launched a tutoring program, as well as a mentorship program based on more skill-based activities like computer science.

It’s a lot of moving pieces for two college students who not so long ago were primarily focused on getting through the next assignment. That’s not keeping them from barreling ahead into other geographies based on the traction they’ve seen in Northern California. Bellon says that they’ve already talked with shelters in New York, L.A. Boston, Washington, Atlanta, and a handful of other cities.

As they’re made more aware by the day, all around the country, disadvantaged kids who’ve been forced into distance learning because the pandemic are falling further behind their peers.

It’s not an issue that the federal or state governments are going to solve alone without more resolve. Consider that about one in five teenagers in America said in a 2018 Pew Research Center survey that they are often or sometimes unable to complete homework assignments because they don’t have reliable access to a computer or internet connection. In the same survey, one quarter of lower-income teens said they did not have access to a home computer.

One of the biggest questions for Wang and Bellon is how they scale their ambitions. Right now, for example, the computers being refurbished by Bridging Tech are being delivered to shelters directly by volunteers who drive them there. Bridging Tech doesn’t yet have the network or infrastructure elsewhere to ensure that the same happens in other cities.

Both founders are aware of their limitations. Wang says very explicitly that Bridging Tech needs not only more device donations but could also use the skills of a grant writer, a marketer, and a development professional who can help introduce the outfit to other potential partner organizations. “We’re college students, so anything people can teach us is very valuable,” she says.

She also readily concedes that Bridging Tech “doesn’t have the process nailed down for in-kind donations in other cities, so we’re mostly beginning to purchase those devices.” (One way it’s doing this is via an organization called Whistle that pays users for their old devices but also enables them to donate the proceeds.)

Still, the two want to keep at it, even after Wang returns to school and Bellon moves on next year to a master’s program.

“For a more equitable society,” says Bellon, tech clearly needs to be equitable. “Covid has exacerbated these issues, but you need tech for everything and that’s not going away.”

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Source: https://techcrunch.com/2020/11/14/these-stanford-students-are-racing-to-get-laptops-to-kids-around-the-u-s-who-most-need-them/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Connie Loizos

Minecraft Mock Poll Aims To Educate Kids About Voting

Rock The Vote

The voting simulation is hosted by Rock The Vote and aims to demystify the voting process by allowing kids to cast mock ballots on a number of issues. The results will be released before Election Day.

(Image credit: Rock The Vote)

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Source: https://www.npr.org/2020/10/28/928337966/minecraft-mock-poll-aims-to-educate-kids-about-voting?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=artslife
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Reese Oxner

DragonTouch KidzPad Y88X 10 Kids Tablet Review

dragonpad-kidzpad-y88x-review.jpg Young kids always want to play on their parents’ tablet or phone. The DragonTouch KidzPad Y88X 10 is made specifically for kids in mind. From a bright, kid-friendly case to age-appropriate apps, this tablet quickly gets kids started playing online with fun apps. Plus, there are parental controls built in to ensure your child doesn’t explore any further than you want them to. I got the chance to try out this tablet for myself, and even though it’s made for kids, it’s fun for adults, too. A Lot of Fun in a Bright Package I highly suggest setting… Read more13925930.gif

Source: https://tracking.feedpress.com/link/12555/13925930/dragon-touch-kidzpad-tablet-review
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Crystal Crowder

Zoom’s earliest investors are betting millions on a better Zoom for schools

Zoom was never created to be a consumer product. Nonetheless, the video-conferencing company’s accessibility made it the answer to every social situation threatened by the pandemic, from happy hours to meetings.

Months later, we’re realizing that force-feeding social experiences into an enterprise software company isn’t a perfect solution. Zoom School is a perfect example of what’s not working: Remote education is a hot mess for students, teachers and parents. Instructors, who could once engage a classroom through whiteboard activities, mini-group presentations and one-on-one discussions, are now stuck to one screen.

Well more than six months into a global pandemic, former Blackboard CEO and former PrecisionHawk CEO Michael Chasen is daring to dream: What if we didn’t assume Zoom was a Band-Aid fix for schools? What if someone created a Zoom experience that was designed, not just marketed, for classrooms?

“If I told you that the majority of classes being held online today, teachers couldn’t take attendance, hand out assignments, give a test or a quiz, grade anything or talk one on one with students, you would say how is teaching and learning even happening?” he told TechCrunch.

Chasen is launching a new company, ClassEDU, with a first product that isn’t too shy about its ambitions, named Class for Zoom. Although the name might convince you that it’s a third-party add-on to Zoom, it’s an entirely independently owned company. And it’s built for teachers who need to find a way to create more-engaging, live-synchronous learning.

When a teacher logs into the Zoom call, they’ll be brought to a screen that looks like this:

Image Credits: ClassEDU

As you can see, they can toggle between the classroom, assignments, tests and quizzes, or the whiteboard. Instead of unorganized tab time, the teacher can take the video call as a one-stop shop for their entire lesson, from syncing materials from the CMS system to polling students on their thoughts to grading the quiz they just took. It’s a full-suite solution, and an ambitious one at that.

The best way to break down Class for Zoom’s features is by separating them into two buckets: instruction tools and management tools.

On the instruction side, Class for Zoom helps teachers launch live assignments, quizzes, and tests, which can be completed by students in real time. Students can also be polled to motivate engagement. Instructors can be granted access to unmute a class or mute a class during appropriate times.

Image Credits: ClassEDU

The marquee feature of the instruction tools is that teachers and students can talk privately without leaving the Zoom call if there’s a question. This is key for shy students who might not want to speak up, inspired by Chasen’s daughter, who struggled to share in front of an entire classroom.

Image Credits: ClassEDU

On the management side, tools range from attendance trackers to features that allow a teacher to see how much time a student is participating in activities. Chasen, who founded Blackboard when he was in college, also gave a nod to his prior company by allowing teachers to integrate CMS systems right into the Zoom classroom.

Less popular, Chasen jokes, is Class for Zoom’s ability to give teachers intel on if a student has Zoom as the primary app in use on their screen. The attention-tracking feature is not new, but it is oversight some people might not be okay with. Students can disable the ability to track focus, but administrators can make it mandatory. The platform also allows teachers to monitor a student’s desktop during an exam to limit cheating.

Class for Zoom’s access to a student’s personal computer could make some users uncomfortable. Zoom has been banned from some school districts due to security concerns, and a wave of Zoombombing attacks, where an unwanted participant hacks into a call and streams inappropriate or offensive content. In response, the video conferencing company has put in security measures, such as verification tools and waiting rooms.

Chasen says that Class for Zoom is balancing its access to information by giving students the option to opt into tracking features versus forcing them to.

Class for Zoom isn’t the only startup trying to make Zoom a better experience. A number of tools built atop Zoom have launched in the past few months, partially because the price of Zoom’s SDK is $0. Macro raised $4.3 million to add depth and analysis to Zoom calls, with an interface that tracks metrics like speaker time and notes. It has more than 25,000 users. Mmhmm got buzz in July for its creative demo that lets users create a broadcast-style video-conferencing experience atop their videoconferencing platform of choice.

Somewhat predictably, Zoom launched a competing feature with Mmhmm that calls into question whether the startups that layer atop incumbents look more like features instead of full-fledged platforms.

Of course, one threat to any of these products is Zoom’s mood. If Zoom tweaks its policy on SDK and API, it could completely wipe out Class for Zoom. But Chasen has reason to be optimistic that this won’t happen.

Today, Class for Zoom announced that it has raised a $16 million seed round, pre-launch, from a cohort of investors, including some of Zoom’s earliest backers such as Santi Subotovsky, a current Zoom board member from Emergence Capital; Jim Scheinman of Maven Partners, an early investor in Zoom and the person who is credited with naming Zoom; and Bill Tai, who is Zoom’s first committed backer. Other investors include Deborah Quazzo, partner from GSV Ventures, and Steve Case, co-founder of AOL and CEO of Revolution.

When asked if the Zoom investor involvement works as “insurance” to protect the startup, Chasen said he didn’t view it like that. Instead, the founder thinks that Zoom is focused more on scale than in-depth specialization. In other words, Zoom isn’t going to pull a Twitter, but instead likens the platform’s developer friendliness to that of Salesforce, which has tons of tools built atop of it. Second, Class for Zoom is a certified Zoom reseller, and makes money off of commission when a district buys Zoom through them. The informal and formal partnerships are enough glue, it seems, for Chasen to bet on stability.

As for whether the technology will stay exclusive to Zoom, Chasen says that it’s the main focus because Zoom is the “de facto industry standard in education.” If other platforms pick up speed, Chasen says they are open to experimenting with different software.

Chasen declined to share exact numbers around pricing, but said that it is a work in progress to find a price point that districts can afford. It’s unclear whether the company will charge per seat, but the founder said that it will charge some type of subscription service fee.

Accessibility in edtech solutions often relies on the medium that the technology and instruction lives on. For example, even if a product is free to use, if it needs high-speed internet and a Mac to work then it might not be accessible to the average home in America. The digital divide is why products often test usability on Chromebooks, low-cost computers that low-income students, teachers and school districts employ.

In Class for Zoom’s case, the first iteration of the product is being rolled out for teachers with Macintosh computers, which could leave out some key demographics due to expense. It’s worth noting that while students can still participate in a class being run on Class for Zoom without the software, the view, tracking and engagement software will be missing.

Thankfully, the new financing will be used to help ClassEDU build software that is usable on low-cost computers such as Chromebooks, as well as Windows, Android or iPhones. When that happens, teachers and students can both benefit from a more engaging view.

Chasen said that the idea for the startup began brewing just weeks into quarantine, when his three kids began learning from home. Months later, Class for Zoom is finally set to launch its beta version and is opening up its waitlist today. By January, Chasen hopes, it will be accessible to any school that wants it.

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Source: https://techcrunch.com/2020/09/23/class-for-zoom-earliest-investors-are-betting-millions/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Natasha Mascarenhas

The Buildable Kano PC Now Has a Celeron CPU, USB-C, and Better Battery Life

Kano PC second generationKano

Kano makes some pretty awesome STEM kits aimed at kids, and none more awesome than its Kano PC. The DIY tablet looks like a kid’s first Surface, and it should: it’s running Windows 10 and designed in partnership with Microsoft. Today Kano is announcing a new model for 2020, with the same reasonable price point: $300.

Just like the previous version, kids assemble the Kano PC themselves, opening up the chunky transparent case to connect the battery and speaker to the all-on-one PCB. This improved version bumps up the processor from a slower Intel Atom to a new Celeron N4000, a dual-core chip that maxes out at 2.6GHz. This version also charges via USB-C, which should be easier and more widely compatible, and Kano says it can last for up to ten hour on a charge.

Elsewhere, the 11.6-inch touchscreen, folio-style keyboard and touchpad, MicroSD card slot, and Windows 10 home operating system remain unchanged. The SoC has 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM built in, and can’t be upgraded. Kano’s suite of learning tools is included, with the LEGO-inspired coding program a particular highlight.

Kano also announced a series of basic accessories: headphones and a USB mouse that kids can assemble, and a USB dongle-style webcam for video conferencing. All of them work with the Kano PC, and of course, anything else with the right jacks.

Source: The Verge

Source: https://www.reviewgeek.com/47515/the-buildable-kano-pc-now-has-a-celeron-cpu-usb-c-and-better-battery-life/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Michael Crider

How to Set Up and Use Parental Controls on Your Android TV

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Parental controls are essential for you to ensure you know exactly what your kid is watching and when they’re watching it. With these controls on your Android TV, you can easily set them up to limit your children’s’ access.

Read This Article on How-To Geek ›

Source: https://www.howtogeek.com/672839/how-to-set-up-and-use-parental-controls-on-your-android-tv/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Kennedy Maring

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