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Sunday, 02 March, 2008

Random Number Service
(with comments)

A random number service that delivers true random numbers: random.org.

RANDOM.ORG offers true random numbers to anyone on the Internet. The randomness comes from atmospheric noise, which for many purposes is better than the pseudo-random number algorithms typically used in computer programs. People use RANDOM.ORG for holding draws, lotteries and sweepstakes, to drive games and gambling sites, for scientific applications and for art and music.

I requested 20 random integers between 1 and 100, and I was very satisfied with the result:

The site has quite a few features, including a coin flipper, dice roller, card shuffler, lottery picker, keno picker, and so on.


Permalink | Posted in Interactive |
  1. By Broccoli. Comment posted 02-Mar-2008 @09:51am:
    It works!

    " Here are your random number: 82 "
  2. By Dick Kusleika. Comment posted 02-Mar-2008 @10:22am:
    Just yesterday I was trying to find a good web site to demonstrate a web query. This is perfect.
  3. By decibelcat. Comment posted 02-Mar-2008 @10:31am:
    This reminds me of a fortune cookie fortune I once saw:

    "One should never gamble"
    "Lucky numbers 2 19 52 22 92"
  4. By Volt. Comment posted 02-Mar-2008 @10:32am:
    True until some underlying explanation of the atmospheric noise provides a mathematical pattern or a larger sampling shows patterns of repeatability.

    Perhaps it will become a standard source of random numbers and negate its usefulness simply by its adoption. So it is for things random.

    It’s like 128-bit encryption. The ultimate encryption relying on the difficulty of identifying large prime numbers with any practical computer in any reasonable time.

    Then some mathematician in India publishes an obscure paper on prime numbers; PCs ramp up in power; powerful vector processors become sundry items by virtue of their use by gamers as their video processors; massively parallel processing is far more applicable than previously thought because Amdahl’s law is archaic in modern hardware design.

    And now any good coder can crack the foundation of the world’s electronic security in a few seconds with components from Best Buy.

    Everything we believe, even our mathematics is ethereal
  5. By Blue. Comment posted 02-Mar-2008 @04:35pm:
    Volt, on this 128 bit encryption thing, I keep hearing people making bland statements like And now any good coder can crack the foundation of the world’s electronic security in a few seconds with components from Best Buy.

    Have you actually done this yourself?

    Have you seen someone do it?

    Everyone I've challenged "knows someone who knows someone who..." can do it.

    Does anyone else know of proven cases where 128 bit encryption with non-trivial keys has been cracked in seconds?
  6. By wally the duck. Comment posted 02-Mar-2008 @04:36pm:
    Hmmm... 7 0f 20 end in the digit '2'
  7. By Volt. Comment posted 02-Mar-2008 @05:30pm:
    Blue,

    If I answered yes, how would I prove it? I all but posted how. I even posted where to look. I have 1,000 characters with which to make my point.

    Instead of challenging other people to prove or disprove what you question, why not pursue it yourself? Either try to crack it or try to prove that it cannot be done.

    You belligerently mangle my central point (that the things we take to be immutable rarely are) with your inability to follow other's thoughts without self-centeredly pursuing any tangent your unfocused mind strays into.
  8. By TrevOverT. Comment posted 02-Mar-2008 @05:32pm:
    Every double number of your Random Numbers John, if added together, then that number subtracted from the original, then the resulting numbers added together, total 9 ...It must be magic... ;-D
  9. By J-Walk. Comment posted 02-Mar-2008 @06:06pm:
    I have 1,000 characters with which to make my point.

    Assuming you choose to make your point here. Otherwise, you have unlimited characters if you post it on your own web site -- which, by the way, costs nothing.
  10. By Blue. Comment posted 02-Mar-2008 @07:07pm:
    Sorry for being "unfocused" Volt, but I didn't touch your central point, which, for the record is a fair point.

    The side point is relevant to me, and while most commenters here stick to the topic, side tracks are not unknown.

    I have a management level interest in encryption security. Several "experts" continue to write books stating that 128 bit encryption is practically uncrackable unless there is a backdoor, a crib, or a trivial key to assist with the decoding.

    Yet at every meeting someone throws out their concern that any motivated person can crack the encryption, leading to an insistance on avoiding distribution of data. No one has yet been able to give me a personal testimony that they tried and succeeded.

    As for me personally trying to crack encryption, I would never claim to be a good coder, so if I spent twenty years trying to crack encryption and failed, I'd only prove that I can't crack it.
  11. By Indigo Kid. Comment posted 02-Mar-2008 @08:17pm:
    "I requested 20 random integers between 1 and 100, and I was very satisfied with the result:"

    Whether or not one is satisfied with the random set is meaningless.


    99 99 99 99 can be just as random as 34 55 12 1

    I do recall using the random number generator on a Tandy 100 and it turned out the random numbers were not randomly generated but where fixed in a string. Ask for the right number of random numbers in a loop and you would see

    23 45 87 1 55 7 99....20 33
    23 45 87 1 55 7 99....20 33
    23 45 87 1 55 7 99....20 33
    23 45 87 1 55 7 99....20 33
    23 45 87 1 55 7 99....20 33

    Of course the string used was more than adequate for a 32k computer with 4 x 40 character screen.
  12. By J-Walk. Comment posted 02-Mar-2008 @09:45pm:
    I remain satisfied.
  13. By wally the duck. Comment posted 03-Mar-2008 @06:11am:
    You just can't dismiss satisfaction so easily! Keep the customer satisfied - that's the deal, isn't it?
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