Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Deus Ex is widely regarded as one of the best computer games of all time, thanks to its immersive dystopian future setting, RPG-style character development, and a story that begins with a New York terror attack (before 9/11 happened), a genetically-designed disease outbreak (before CRISPR), and real conspiracy theories like global internet surveillance (before Snowden).

Deus Ex, 2000
Deus Ex, 2000

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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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Preventing VPN leaks on Android

If you connect to the internet through a public WiFi hotspot, or at school or at work, the metadata and contents of your online communications can be intercepted and viewed (or altered) by the network operator or another malicious party on the network. If you connect from an Australian residential address or personal mobile device, the Australian Government will be storing your metadata from 13 Oct 2015. One of the ways to protect your privacy is to send all of your internet traffic through a Virtual Private Network.

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R on Hadoop with Tessera RHipe

This tutorial will show you how to perform parallel computation on a Hadoop cluster in R using Rhipe, with CSV files as input and output.

The EVE Online computer game universe consists of 5201 solar systems for players to explore and conquer in virtual spaceships. Each solar system is connected to an average 2.6 other systems by jump gates which allow instantaneous travel between systems.

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Converting HDF5 to CSV

Hierarchical Data Format 5 is a popular file format for storing and managing large amounts of data. It is the format used by NASA for their ACOS and OCO-2 data products, which both contain (among other things) column-averaged CO2 in units of dry-air mole fraction (Xco2). This tutorial demonstrates how to extract the average daily Xco2 value – and total reading count per day – from the HDF5 files into a CSV file for analysis in Excel or Gnumeric.

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