Installing every CRAN package in R on CentOS 7

Step 1: Install CentOS 7 Linux.

Some R packages will not install without an active X window session, so if you are not logged in to a graphical interface on the machine you will need to connect via SSH with X-forwarding enabled, such as with PuTTY and VcXsrv on Windows.

Most of this guide must be run from the Linux terminal as the user who will be running R. That user must be allowed to run commands as root with sudo.

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Onion routing explained

When you visit a website on your computer or mobile device, you are potentially sharing that information with advertisers, hackers, co-workers and governments. Even though the content you are viewing is likely to be encrypted with HTTPS, your metadata (including the URL and IP address of websites you visit, your IP address, the time and date, information about your web browser and computer hardware) can be collected and stored by anyone eavesdropping on the wire between you and the web server, to be used against you in targeted advertising campaigns, phishing scams, profiling, and soon robot assassination.

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Encrypted Email Backup in the Cloud (Windows)

Is your Inbox full? Do you want to combine mail from multiple accounts into one convenient location? Are you concerned that your private messages are being stored insecurely (i.e. not encrypted) on a server that could be accessed by your co-workers, the government, or hackers?

This tutorial will show you how to download your email messages into a local mail reader (Thunderbird Portable) and backup the files securely (with encryption) in the cloud provider of your choice. I use Microsoft’s OneDrive in my example; you could use DropBox, Google Drive, OwnCloud, a network share, or local storage such as a USB drive.

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The Matrix Trilogy: A Man-Machine Interface Perspective

This essay was written by SFAM, founder of the defunct website cyberpunkreview.com on February 4, 2006. See the original at the Internet Archive.

Overview: Since online debate around the Matrix Trilogy has been beaten to death, I’m guessing by now you’ve already long ago made up your mind on whether you liked or hated The Matrix and its subsequent sequels. Truly, whatever you decided is fine with me. As it turns out, I love them and generally think they’re great. And NO, I’m not really interested in having a Matrix Sucks/No You just don’t get it discussion. Please start a new thread in the Meatspace if you’re still interested in such banter. This essay is for something else – it’s about viewing the trilogy, specifically Neo, from a man-machine interface, or cybernetics perspective.

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Preventing VPN leaks on Linux

A Raspberry Pi running OpenVPN with a D-Link DUB-1312 Ethernet adapter
A Raspberry Pi model B running OpenVPN with a D-Link DUB-1312 Ethernet adapter

In a previous post I showed how a firewall app on Android can prevent metadata leaks when you connect to a wireless network but have not yet connected to your VPN. This guide achieves the same goal with OpenVPN or Torguard Lite on a Linux PC, blocking all outgoing connections and then allowing connections only to the VPN server.

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Testing a Titan

We recently acquired a Nvidia GTX Titan graphical processing unit (GPU) for statistical computing at work, specifically double-precision floating point operations on the CUDA API. Before I lock it away in the server room I would like to see how it compares to my primary GPU at home – a Nvidia GTX 680, and my older GPUs – a pair of AMD Radeon HD 5770. This act of comparison is called benchmarking – running a number of standard tests and trials in order to assess the relative performance of a piece of hardware or software.

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