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Earlier, I was getting the following error when execuing apt-get update:

Failed to fetch  
404  Not Found

I found the corresponding deb-src inside the file deb_http-ppa-precise.list within /ect/apt/sources.d/ containing the lines

deb http/ppa/ubuntu precise main
deb-src http/ppa/ubuntu precise main

Upon commenting out those lines, apt-get update ran without any reported errors.

I'm curious as to why these particular lines were the cause for the reported errors on update, and are the packages linked to that ppa important?

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Yes, those lines are causing the errors. They do not make any sense all and may be the result of a copy&paste error or something similar.

Just remove the whole file.

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