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Comment Secure browsing? (Score 1) 126

Obviously they mean secure, not private. Really, no one cares what I do online - I'm rather boring - so I don't care (much) about tracking. But there are times when I'd like to be even more anonymous. And that's easy enough - it's called a VPN.

Given that I'm only aware of two browsers with a built-in VPN, I have to ask - are they working for that Tor browser (based on Firefox) or for Opera (based on Chromium) ... or have they been in a cave somewhere and never heard of either?

Comment Multiverse: Does it matter? (Score 1) 387

If a theory produces no verifiable predictions then it is philosophy, not science. If parallel universes have no effect on this universe, then it doesn't matter whether they exist or not.

And as a mathematician - mathematics is not "real", and never has been. Numbers do not physically exist, no one claims they do. But as abstractions mathematics can be a very useful tool in describing reality. As long as you understand the limits of your model. If for instance you were to say "Space has to be infinite because a plane is infinite" you need to prove that a plane is a good model for space - you can't just assume it.

Comment Hexcode (Score 1) 515

Way back in 1977 or '78, my dad worked for RCA. When they decided to offer a hobby computer (as a kit), he picked one up. At that time, hobby computers came with a hex keypad and you entered two digits (one byte) directly into memory. The manual included a very simple language for writing games along with half a dozen examples such as a clone of Pong..

The processor was something called an 1802, also called a COSMAC, while the computer as a whole was called a VIP. It had a very simple instruction set, so I sat down with some graph paper and figured out what each instruction was doing.

Of course, that's a lot simpler when you only have 2K of RAM (and that was expanded from the original 512 bytes) as opposed to today's multi gigabytes, no way to do that now.

Comment What is "large"? (Score 1) 152

The files I've used a checksum on were CD or DVD ISOs (specifically, Linux install disks) and there I used MD5 as it was the one provided. I don't checksum typical files downloads ... if it fails I download again. As I only download from known sources, I'm only checking the integrity and not if the file has been modified. (I'm not worried about hash collisions with integrity checks.)

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The UNIX philosophy basically involves giving you enough rope to hang yourself. And then a couple of feet more, just to be sure.