Date: Wed, 29 Oct 1997 01:40:47 -0500
From: Bob Rankin 
Subject: TOURBUS - 28 Oct 1997 - PGP and Trivia

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           TODAY'S TOURBUS TOPIC: More PGP and Trivial Net

In my last Tourbus post, I wrote about the PGP (Pretty Good Privacy)
software for e-mail encryption.  Unfortunately, I forgot about the
export restrictions the US government places on the export of crypto
products such as PGP.

Because the security level of PGP encryption is virtually
unbreakable, the US government considers it a "munition" and does not
allow it to be exported.  Their reasoning is that if spies from other
countries could communicate securely, it would pose a threat to
national security.

It's kind of silly to think that a spy would be unable to get PGP if
they really wanted a copy, but nonetheless, non-US users cannot
legally download the latest version of PGP.  Fortunately, people
outside the US can still get an older version of PGP.  For more
information, visit the International PGP Home Page here:


If you're in the "over 50" set, be sure to check out,
today's TOURBUS sponsor, (see above in the bus logo) and thank them
for keeping the Bus rolling!


Do you think you're a true geek?  Then test your knowledge of
computers at Trivial Net!  Find out how much truly useless
information you've absorbed through years of card punching, bit
twiddling, and mouse clicking.

You can play the Trivial Net game online, which consists of ten
randomly selected multiple choice or fill-in-the-blank questions.  To
score a perfect TEN, you'll need to have a pretty broad background in
computing, since the questions pertain to Apple, DOS, Windows, Unix,
mainframes, and some systems you may never have heard of.

In some cases, you'll see a picture, and be asked to identify the
name of the computer or operating system that's shown.  Other
questions give the name of a person and ask what he's famous for.
You'll also encounter nostalgic questions pertaining to the history
of computer hardware and software.  Here are a few examples:

   Q: What company created the first integrated circuit?

      - Digital Equipment
      - Fairchild Semiconductor
      - IBM
      - Texas Instruments

   A: Texas Instruments.  First demonstrated in 1958, TI won the
      patent for the integrated circuit in 1964.

   Q: Which of the following was not a game you could buy for the
      Nintendo Entertainment System?

      - A Boy and His Blob
      - Bubble Bath Babes
      - Bugs Bunny Birthday Blowout
      - Color A Dinosaur
      - Mario Time Machine
      - Thomas the Tank Engine
      - Venice Beach Volleyball
      - You could buy them all.

    A: Sadly, the Thomas the Tank Engine game was planned but
       never released.

And finally, one of my favorites:

    Q: Guvf dhrfgvba vf rapbqrq jvgu jung?

       - BinHex encoding
       - PGP
       - ROT-13
       - Uuencoding
       - Xxencodung

    A: Decoded, the question reads 'This question is encoded with
       what?' and the answer is ROT-13.  (ROT-13 is a simple
       substitution scheme where you treat the alphabet as a circle
       and move ahead 13 characters.)

You can play Trivial Net on the web at


or sign up for a daily dose of trivia by e-mail each weekday morning.
And if you like, you can submit your own trivia questions and try to
stump other players.  Trivial Net is a lot of fun, even if you're not
a geek.  Give it a try!

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See you next time.  --Bob

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