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I can't find any reference to the number 79 in the actual question. So, what does it mean?

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It's the "hotness". – kennytm Oct 27 '10 at 19:57
    
@KennyTM, what does that mean though? Doesn't the ordering of the questions kind of already tell you which questions are the hottest? I don't see a random number beside the questions on stackoverflow.com/?tab=hot – Brandon Oct 27 '10 at 19:58
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@KennyTM, ah okay. That makes sense, I haven't visited the StackExchange site in quite awhile. Thanks. – Brandon Oct 27 '10 at 20:01
up vote 4 down vote accepted

It's the hotness index

You can see it also here (where it's labeled)

alt text

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I haven't visited SE for awhile, I've never noticed that before. Thanks. Although now I notice a rounding discrepancy between the Global Inbox and main SE site :P – Brandon Oct 27 '10 at 20:02
    
@Brandon, caching most likely – juanformoso Oct 27 '10 at 20:03
    
Kill me........ – user27414 Oct 27 '10 at 20:06

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