Install apps on Fire TV without Amazon App Store

The Problem

Again and again it happens that you like an app or even a certain newer version of an app, which is not available through the Amazon App Store, but you would like to have it on your Fire TV. This is possible in principle by a so-called SideLoad, but not quite as easy as from the Amazon Store. Of course, the user must be aware that installing Android apps bypassing the Amazon App Store is risky, but manageable. Because the Android OS separates apps from each other quite effectively, so that no undesirable side effects occur.

There are several methods, two of which are chosen here. First of all, the Fire TV has to be prepared for the installation of external apps:

Prepare the Amazon Fire TV for later direct installation of apps

Make a note of the IP-Adress of your Fire TV.  You find it on your Fire TV über Home -> Einstellungen -> Gerät -> Info -> Netzwerk.  Die Ziffernfolge dort brauchst Du später für die Installation – z.B. 192.168.178.43

Apps unbekannter Herkunft zulassen

Home -> Settings -> Device -> Developer options -> Apps from Unknown Sources -> ON

ADB-Debugging an

Home -> Settings -> Device -> Developer options -> ADB-Debugging -> ON

USB-Debugging ON (optional)

(You only need this when Amazon Fire and your PV are not in the same Network and you have to use USB to connect both of them)

Home -> Settings -> Device -> Developer options -> USB-Debugging -> ON

Uninstall an already existing app with a different version

For the installation to be possible, an already existing version of the same app must be uninstalled.

Go to Home – > Settings ->Applications – Manage Installed Applications

Select the App to be uninstalled -> Uninstall -> Uninstall

(This is also done directly with the tools of the two methods described below)

Alternative A: Installation with Apps2Fire from your Android SmartPhone

Installation is very easy if you have an Android SmartPhone or Tablet. From this it is very easy to push any app that is already installed there on the Amazon Fire. This happens in the following steps: (a) Installation of Appt2Fire on your Android Smartphone or Tablet

Visit the Google Play Store and search Apps2Fire (Original) from Koni

Install, Open and connect to your Fire TV:

Go to Settings and enter the IP address of your Fire TV, which you have noted before. If there is a problem with the connection to the fire, please check this IP address again.

A particular convenience of the Apps2Fire app is the possibility to search for the device in the net by clicking on the magnifying glass. A network search is started. Simply select the device and the IP address is so easily taken over.

Install UlangoTV 2.0 from the Google Play Store on your SmartPhone / Tablet. Go to the Play Store and search for “ulangotv2”. If you found UlangoTV IPTV Explorer 2.0, install this app.

Now go to the tab “Local Apps” and look for the entry UlangoTV 2.0 (tv.ulango.ulangotv2). Click and Install. A popup should be “Info – Installation successful – UlangoTV 2.0”. That’s it!

Alternative B: Installation with the PC Program adbLink

First install the latest version of the adbLink application on your Windows, Mac or Linux PC.
Search for “adblink jacola” with your browser. The link to jacola.com should be in the first place.

Go there and look up the corresponding links for download for the operating system of your PC.

AdbLink 3.1 for Windows Mirror
AdbLink 3.1 for OS X 10.7 or greater Mirror
AdbLink 3.1 for x86_64 Linux Mirror

I have put no links here intentionally, as these should always be ta from the website jacola.com. Follow the instructions for installing adbLink on your OS Variant.

After the start, the connection to your Fire TV must first be established. If you have started the latest version 3.1, just go to the “Ad Hoc IP” field and enter the IP-Address that you wrote down in the preparation. Then Connect. In the window above, “Connected devices” should show your IP address and “Connection status” should be “IP connection”.

Now you are ready for an installation of the APK to the Fire TV.

Download the APK from our website on your PC: http://apk.ulango.tv/20
There should be a single .apk file on your PC. Please do not unpack! (Windows users may have to make the file extensions visible through the File Explorer to distinguish directories from individual files)

Now click on “Install APK” in adbLink. Navigate to the APK file you just downloaded. After opening and answering the popup with “yes” the installation starts. Final message should be “APK (s) installed”

Transfer the App UlangoTV to the Home menu -> Current

To make sure that the app does not always have to be started from the Manage Installed Applications on Fire TV, it is convenient to transfer the app to the Home -> Current menu.

Go to the Home -> “Your Apps & Games” menu. This menu may be empty – doesn’t matter. Go to the end of this menu. There is either nothing or “All displays”. Press and hold the Home button until either a grid with all the installed apps appears, or until a screen appears, with which you can normally switch to sleep mode. Just click on the apps icon on the left and the grid with all installed apps appears. Search the yellow / blue / magenta diamond symbol of UlangoTV. Start the app. This brings the app to the first position of the Home menu -> Current and can be restarted very easily next time.

 

 

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A Nightmare becomes true – learning from an experienced Rails Developer

I am writing this to give myself air and because I think you can still learn a lot from incidents like this I have experienced here as an old hare.

Imagine: You are solely responsible for a complex software. You have to introduce new essential features for the system. You have slowly brought the new features into the system via “feature switches”. Many already use the new features. Now comes the time when you can start switching off old features and all users more or less compulsively are lead to the new features. This is probably the most difficult moment of a product launch. There is no easy return. Just at this moment happens what all developers and system administrators are afraid of. The system dies and there is a complete data loss for several days.

This is exactly what happened with the UlangoTV 2.0 introduction.

The whole story is so exemplary and classic that I think it will interest many of the technically skilled, how it could come to it and how one can liberate oneself without damage from such a catastrophe.

A fatal crash with big data loss – how can it happen?

Most web and app servers use Linux systems because they have proven to be particularly stable, secure, powerful and inexpensive over the years – so we too. Many administrators are proud that their systems have not been restarted for more than 6 months or more and that they are just stable. Backups are made regularly – today mostly by the providers via snapshot on the lowest level of the raw partitions. To this end, regular DB backups are made with the DB tools, which guarantee the necessary transaction security.

The DB backups are a special problem, if the databases become too big as in our case – over 50GB. Importing such data requires a lot of time and leads to a great downtime in the event of a disaster. The only way to achieve high availability is the introduction of redundancy. How this helped in our case relatively quickly back on the legs, more below.

Now to the crash in more detail. In ongoing operation with increasing system load, it suddenly happens that some processes are no longer finishing their work in time. The load swells, the system begins to swap until practically everything hangs. You quickly identify load causes, services are turned off. But suddenly this does not help anymore because there is obviously a blockage situation in the system (A waits for B, B waits for C, C waits for A – deadlock – you know what I mean). Very bad, if the blockade obviously lies at the bottom of the filesystem. Now the moment has come, where only a reboot can help. And then it happens: The system can not be rebooted because there are inconsistencies in the filesystem. This is usually not too bad, because a modern file system carries enough redundancy in itself to repair itself. Unfortunately, however, this was also not possible in our case. No chance to make the system work again. So a backup had to be restored – from the last day – a few hours before. After an hour we realize that the filesystem is already too broken here, that it is no longer usable. Another backup back – another hour – does not work either. Now it’s slowly becoming critical. In the meantime, we are preparing a new system into which we can upload our backup – uploading the compressed data: 22 hours !!

So a backup back – the weekly backup 5 days back. Hurray – it works. I decide to relinquish the import of the DB and to manage with the data loss of 5 days somehow. Phew

Restoration of data from redundant sources

When it comes to recovering from a data loss as quickly as possible, all kinds of sources can help. This is where the strengths of the Ruby on Rails programming language we use come into play, with the help of which AdHoc programs could be written very quickly. In our case, we had three sources: 1. Central log files, which were redundantly stored on other servers. 2. Our external order data at PayPal and 3. Our Riak-based key-value storage for channels and streams.

From the logfiles, it was relatively easy to restore user data – apart from the passwords, of course. With an AdHoc program the data were imported and the users were notified by e-mail to reset their passwords.

The restoration of the order data proved to be much more difficult, since the order information was also lost, and it was not always possible to associate the payments with users.

Finally, relatively easy was to restore our central database for streams and channels. We had transferred this data to a so-called key-value store (Riak) a long time ago, in particular in order to distribute the load on requests as well as the redundancy achieved over several servers. It is the key to a virtually unlimited scalable system. It is a technology that is used today in all large systems and was used for the first time by Amazon in a larger style (Dynamo).

Conclusion

For us, the following are the main conclusions

  1. More frequent reboots of the system to detect “creeping” destruction of data, which then also migrates into the backups, early.
  2. Storage of the DB Backups close to the server in order to make it available as quickly as possible.
  3. Improved centralized logging (syslog daemon)
  4. Relocat even more data – especially users and order data – in distributed KV stores to minimize the “single point of failure” situations.

So – now I’ve got rid of it and I feel much better and ready to tackle new challenges at UlangoTV!

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UlangoTV 2.0 – Yellow – Blue – Magenta now makes sense!

Now it’s colorful! From UlangoTV 2.0, IPTV streams and channels will in the future be divided into 4 color categories of usability to provide us and our users with a legally secured status. For a long time, we have been working on how to bring a version of UlangoTV to the App Stores, which can not lead to complaints from content owners and is completely safe for the users. Result is a color scheme, which we now introduce with this version. The colors are already known from our logo: yellow, blue and magenta. In addition, color red, with which we identify channels, which are adult or for which there is an official request, do not show these channels.

In the Yellow basic version the app is free for all registered users, but will be delivered with advertising in the future. In the Blue version, users can access more channels via their own search queries, but they are likely to be legal broadcasts too. The magenta version also covers streams, which are only covered by short-term test streams of possibly illegal broadcasters.

Yellow: Streams for all registered users free!

Gelb: Streams für alle registrierten User kostenfrei!

Yellow streams have been known to us for more than 6 months. Registered users can see these streams for free. Adult streams are excludes from this category.

For yellow streams, we assume that they are sent legally by broadcasters. Typically these ‘official’ streams are without license problems. Restricted to yellow streams the app can therefore be used by anyone without problems.

Once we learn that a sender  is protected with exclusive global distribution rights, the corresponding streams are red for all users.
As soon as we learn that a channel is protected in a region with exclusive distribution rights, it will be red for registered users from the region.
As soon as we learn or see 😉 that a station is adult, all the related streams are red.

Yellow streams take a special status in that they no longer participate in the short-term periodical quality control. So we can not remove them so easily from the system. This is done manually only by administrators, if there are a lot of corresponding user reports. The yellow streams run in the long term, but their quality is often less good.

The higher resolution streams are often found among the blue and magenta.

Yellow streams are free for all registered users..

Blue: Streams for Premium or Trial with unknown license status

Blau: Streams für Premium oder Trial mit ungeklärtem Lizenzstatus

Blue streams have been known to us for at least 6 weeks. Also these are usually ‘official’ streams without license problems. Trial users can see these streams, but you must explicitly give us search orders so that we can search for them on the Internet.

After 6 months, blue streams will automatically turn yellow.

For blue streams, too, we assume that they are legally sent by broadcasters. 6 weeks availability on the net is a long time and one can assume that the operators of the server are either particularly bold or have a license for the distribution.

However, we are cautious in these cases, and the user must give us a special search order on the “My Search Orders” page of our website, which we then execute in his responsibility to release the streams. He can take back the release at any time.

Analogous to the yellow streams:

Once we learn that a channel is protected with exclusive global distribution rights, the corresponding streams are red for all users.
As soon as we learn that a channel is protected in a region with exclusive distribution rights, it will be red for users registered from the region.
As soon as we learn that a channel is adult, all the related streams are red.

In the settings on the website you can adjust, that only yellow or also blue streams are visible. Yellow is the default setting.

Blue streams require at least a trial subscription, which registered users can only use at most once within six months. In special cases, e.g. now with the introduction of 2.0 this 6-month interval is reset.

Magenta: Probably illegal streams only for Premium users under tight restrictions

Magenta: wahrscheinlich illegal gesendete Streams nur für Premium User unter Einschränkungen

Magenta streams are usually short-lived and have only been known to us recently. These streams are likely to originate from unlicensed sources. Premium users must give us a special search order to search for such streams at their own risk. The streams with the best quality can be found in this category, but with high fluctuation, since they are mostly test streams with a very short period of validity.

After 6 weeks magenta streams turn blue automatically.

For magenta streams, we are even more cautious and the user has to give us a special search order, which we then execute in its responsibility to unblock these streams. He can take back the release at any time.

In the settings on the website one can adjust that yellow, or also blue or also magenta streams are released. Yellow is the default setting.

Only premium users can see magenta streams. A premium subscription can be ordered via the UlangoTV Shop on the website.

Red: Protected streams for users who know what they are doing.

Rot: geschützte Streams für User, die wissen, was sie da tun.

There are always users, who find ways to make protected streams visible. The method is simple: one searches the network for appropriate m3u lists and then give it over one of the many available players. Also UlangoTV can be used as a player in this way. Users can upload their own m3u lists. By entering the assigned channel IDs, you can make these streams visible individually in the “My Search Orders”. Everything that can not be attributed is only visible from the m3u lists. This includes, for example, videos or MP3 or other media.

Uploading m3u lists requires a trial or premium subscription.

 

General Remarks

Allgemeine Bemerkungen

The color of a stream is indicated in the app by a colored button. This replaces the previous green stability indicators.

The color of a channel is displayed on the website by a colored button. Yellow is not displayed in the app, in order not to disturb the appearance of the lists unnecessarily. All channels also appear in the search engines. In the case of the blue and magenta streams, it is explicitly pointed out that a user can only access these stations via search queries or uploaded m3u lists.

You can test and use the functionality of the system without paying. Effectively, the app is free for free (yellow) streams – which are currently at least 2000 streams

It is now solely the responsibility of the users, what they take from the search results for IPTV streams. With the color scheme, we are the only service provider to differentiate the set of streams and make it visible and controllable for everyone, what is to be included in the search results. Because we deliberately do not distribute URLs and make the streams visible only in a “black box player” UlangoTV, we also prevent the possibility that a user uses the URLs to create illegal copies or for “re-streaming”. This allows us to meet the requirements of content owners, so that the app can now be distributed without any doubt in the app stores like any other IPTV player.

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Stuttering, Freezing, Disconnection: The ongoing Struggle with Free IPTV Streams [ updated !!! ]

Since more than a year now, we at ulango.tv are engaged in the screening, review and presentation of streams whose URLs are to be found all over the internet. Some Urls just work for years, many don’t work at all, and many are showing poor quality. In this article I would like to take a look at the different factors a little more closely.  There are basically three areas that need our attention: Player, Network and Server. (more…)

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20% New Year Discount on Ulango TV

imgpsh_fullsizeThe real bummer between the years:

Special Price 29 € for 12 Months
2016-12-31 and 2017-01-01

This is a 20% price reduction for our popular UlangoTV IPTV Explorer and Service.
We take online-orders in our Ulango.TV Shop (https://ulango.tv/en/shop) with PayPal Payment only. But we also take bank transfers – just ask info@ulango.tv for wire instructions.

Questions? Feedback?

Please do not hesitate to contact us using the feedback button on our website or just an email to info@ulango.tv.

UlangoTV is quite a complex service with channels backed by a constantly changing set of streams found on the net. We maintain the most comprehensive world-wide coverage of all live IPTV Apps.

A peaceful and happy new year to all our UlangoTV friends!

Best regards,

Your Ulango Team
info@ulango.tv

BTW: Our Golden Key Offer still applies!

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Ulango TV – Golden Key Special

golden_keyThe Golden Key Promo allows our Usern to make money by helping us to spread the news about Ulango TV.   Users distribute their personalized Golden Key participate on every order with the Golden Key attached.

Background

Unfortunately we had to withdraw from the Google Play Store, because a few content owners claimed illegal content distribution and did not recognize that content is never distributed from our servers.  Each time we had to argue and fight wich took our energy which we better would like to invest into new developments  So we are more dependent on individual recommendations.  So the idea was that users get rewarded when helping us to spread the news..

The Golden Key – what’s that?

It is a string up to 8 characters long, which is uniquely generated for every user that registers with Ulango TV.  So the Golden Key identifies users without making personal data open to the public.

The user may look up the Golden Key in the Account information of the Website.

What is the Golden Key used for?

The Consumer of the Golden Key gets a Discount

The Golden Key can be distributed by the User and everybody else.  On each Order with Ulango TV with a total value of more than 15 € a single Golden Key can be applied.  A Discount is given – currently 2 €.  A Owner must not consume his own key.

The Owner of the Golden Key gets a Credit

With every key usage the owner of the Golden Key gets rewarded with a credit (currently 2 months Premium or 4 €).  The Credit becomes available after the 14 day refund period of the consumer of the key.

How are the Golden Keys applied?

The product is placed into the shopping cart.  At the bottom there is a field to enter the Golden Key.  Input is case insensitive.  After refresh with the button to the right of the key input field the discount get’s applied.  The golden key is valid als long as the owner’s account exists. A Golden Key can be used everywhere at any time.

Bildschirmfoto 2016-12-22 um 23.09.07

What happens with the credit?

The credits are accumulated as 2 month extensions of the owner’s Premium subscription. When the resulting runtime of the subscription exceeds 20 months, the user may convert the excess runtime into cash – 4€ per 2 months and may request a money transfer.  Each money transfer may be not less than 16€. The owner of the Golden Key can watch the usage on the account page, from where he also can request money transfers, if applicable. When a subscription of a consumer is terminated and is refunded in part, the credits are reduced proportionally.

Credit status can be monitored by the Owner. The whole procedure is performed ordinarily by Ulango TV.  Short delays during the work flow are have to be accepted.  Recourse to the courts is not permitted.

Hamburg/Berlin d. 23.12.2016
Euer Ulango TV Team

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Special EM2016 Offer at UlangoTV

A reason to cheer: The UlangoTV EM Offer

The next big sports event is coming up. From Juni 10 to July 10 the 15th European Soccer Championship 2016 is celebrated in France.

EM2016-12+1-PayButton

As a Bonus for the “EM 2016” we are offering 13 months UlangoTV Premium for the price of 12.

13 Months UlangoTV

The action is terminated with the first game France vs. Romania June 10, 2016 at 21:00 CET.

UlangoTV – >3.500 international Live Streams

★ Google Play Store – derzeit nicht verfügbar
★ Amazon Fire App Store – https://goo.gl/ij9f64
★ Samsung UserAppStore – https://goo.gl/6mDjCf

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UlangoTV 1.9 now from both Amazon App Store and Google Play Store

Update (UlangoTV 1.9.17): More Improvements on the Player

We are using now the brand new libVLC 2.1.0 from the VLC-3.0 development branch. Result is a better viewing of many problematic streams Stream! Thanks to the VideoLan team for it’s great job!


Update (UlangoTV 1.9.9): Improved Player

We have changed our default player. We ale now using the rock solid libVLC 0.9.10, which many of you may know from Version 2.2.1 of VLC available for many platforms. The result is in may cases a much better and stable rendering of streams!


 

After 3 months of development, we have now been able to place the latest version of our app into the Amazon App Store. Thus, the new features are now available on all devices running Android 4.2.2.

The new features are briefly summarized

  • Support for keypad and touch operation.
  • 20% more streams through RTMP support
  • Account Management (Login / Registration / Device assignment) in the app
  • Mark the “stable” Streams to separate them from the “wobbly”.
  • “Vertical” navigation of stream alternatives for a channel
  • Server-based management of playlists now out of the app
  • Stream feedback popup for notification of errors and corrections
  • Evaluation now without trial with time constraints

Support for Keypad and touch operation.

A major challenge in the app development is the simultaneous support of different types of devices with different input options and form factors.

TVs are typically controlled using the keypad on the remote control. It must always be clear where the focus is and what will be triggered by pressing the OK button.
With touch devices this not required. There is no OK button. The actions are triggered by direct interaction and gesture control.
A further complication arises from the mixing of the two techniques, for example, by using a wireless mouse, such as the Mele F10.

Furthermore, you can rotate touch devices, which already requires different layouts in one device. TV boxes as Amazon Fire TV or MBox (OrbSmart) have to cope with different resolutions of TVs.

UlangoTV 1.9 has addressed as a universal app all these problems.

20% more streams through RTMP support

StreamFeedback - Player UmschaltungThe only drawback of the Android version compared to Samsung SmartHub solution has so far been the lack of support from so-called RTMP (Flash) streams. In UlangoTV 1.9 we use as an alternative to the standard Android MediaPlayer library libVLC of the Videolan player. This library is still in beta testing and we expect further improvements.

Flash Streams will automatically switch to this player. Switching also happens if the default player is not able to process the video signal. The change of the player is also possible manually using the stream-popup (menu button or long click when playing stream)

Account Management (Login / Registration / Device assignment) in the app

MenuThe coupling of new devices to an Ulango.tv account has now become much easier. Login with Facebook or Google or by email / password in the app – that’s all. After that a login is no longer necessary, since the device is identified with a unique address.

For orders, however, you must still visit our web site https://ulango.tv/shop. PayPal currently is the only supported payment method. Using the feedback button you may call us to give you the bank account for direct deposit.

The account management at any time can be reached from the menu, which is itself accessible by swiping from the left or the menu button.

Marking the “stable” Streams

It is in the nature of our concept that we constantly have to fight with inferior quality streams. For better identification we mark the currently good streams with a green dot. That does not mean that the other streams are unusable. The quality of the streams is always a snapshot and can change at any time in both directions.

“Vertical” Navigation Stream Alternatives to Channel

VerticalNaviVery often – particularly for the “wobbly” streams there are more alternatives. Instead of looking at various places with different stream quality, it is now possible to directly navigate to the the alternate streams. If a better playable stream is found, this is detected by the system and we can optimize the entire presentation to the user.

Navigating on touch devices is done with virtual buttons and on keypad with the fastforward and rewind buttons.  (Keys Up and Down are used for fast horizontal navigation between channels.

Server-based management of playlists now out of the app

StreamFeedbackAlle playlists are stored on the central server and are immediately available on all devices. Previously, these could only be maintained through the website. An important step is the setting and removal of channels into the playlists directly in video mode. Given at KeyPad Menu button is used. On touch devices, a long click is made on the video screen or in the description of a stream.

Stream Feedback popup for notification of errors and corrections

043016165028For our concept there is an urgent need to identify and correct bad streams as quickly as possible and incorrect assignments to broadcasters (Channel). At the end, we have built a reporting system, which is also accessible via the stream popup.

Evaluation now without Trial with time constraints

As our development is still in its infancy, new features will be introduced at relatively short intervals. Our Trials were restricted so that only after 6 months new trial could be ordered again. Now only registration is necessary and everyone has the ability to test up to 15 minutes per day.

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Updates on UlangoTV for Amazon Fire TV and Samsung SmartTV

update

Betatest UlangoTV on Amazon Fire TV

We are overwhelmed by the response to our app on the Amazon Fire TV devices. Although the app is still in testing stage we were able to climb the first places in the Amazon store for important keywords relating to IPTV.

In the last update we have first done a lot for the stability. For this purpose we have implemented, like we did for the Samsung SmartTV devices, an anonymous monitoring, which gives us information about the quality of the streams. We use this information to improve and adapt the selection of the streams to the specific hardware.

Changes

  • Bug fix: avoid termination for unknown video states
  • Feedback at the start of a stream
  • Implementation of an anonymous Stream Quality Monitoring

Plans for the near future

  • Support for other protocols in streaming player and better stability
  • Definition of playlists from within the app

UlangoTV on Samsung SmartTV – J-Series (Tizen)

Unfortunately, again, Samsung changed the installation of user apps. After the update of the J-Series to  the 1422 firmware, installation of apps via USB no longer functions. Apps can now be loaded only directly from the Samsung App Store or with the Samsung SDK for developers.

We recommend our customers to postpone upgrading the firmware for Tizen.

We strive to get our app officially into the Samsung App Store as soon as possible.

UlangoTV on other Android Devices

So far UlangoTV been tested only on TV boxes. We are working hard to offer UlangoTV on other Android devices like tablets or smartphones. Schedules, we can not call now.

UlangoTV on other OSes

We get lots of requests for Ulango TV on other operating systems (IOS, Linux, LG, Sony, Philips, etc). Unfortunately, we are still very limited in our development capabilities currently and need to focus on a few platforms. So no promises on this issue.

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