Wednesday, July 18, 2007

7/18/07 Random Number Generator

Back in some previous life I tried learning computer science. The endeavor didn't last all that long. Officially I transferred out of that major after 2 years. Unofficially I started taking business classes after the first semester. Un-unofficially, I checked out after about 3 weeks. It wasn't for me. I got a 38% on my final exam and an 11% on my final project and still somehow managed a C. It wasn't quite the start I had in mind for my collegiate career.





Needless to say, I don't remember a whole lot about CS125 or the programming language Scheme. But I do distinctly remember one class where we were learning about random numbers and now to create them. To give you an idea of how great the faculty was, they spent the majority of the class talking about the intricacies of "random numbers" vs. "pseudo random numbers". In the meantime, I couldn't program for shit and would've preferred some sort of real lesson. Ironically, I remember the "pseudo random numbers" discussion more so than any other part of that class. From what I remember, all computerized random numbers aren't really 100% random since they use the internal clock (like using the hundredths of a second) to generate the number. From what I was told, the only real way to generate a real random number was to use a Geiger counter.





So, to all of those computer whizzes, here's something that may make your day... The first "true number generator" is online. And, despite what I learned, it doesn't use a Geiger counter. It uses the uncertainty of quantum physics.





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There are a small handful of bands that I'd like to see perform live before I die. Or they die. One of those bands is Rush. Rush is performing locally next Wednesday. So I'm putting my feelers out to see if any of you have ticket hookups.





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I found a video that cracked me up. But it seems like such an inside joke kind of laugh, that I'd probably be better of not mentioning it. Instead, I'm going to try and explain for the 2 of you that will think it's funny. Let's start with Strong Bad. Strong Bad is a long running animated character online. He checks weekly emails and responds to them. One of my favorite emails is about Trogdor the Burninator. Subsequently, the Trogdor song ended up as an extra on Guitar Hero II. So, here's the Trogdor email....





Now, for the funny video. Somebody made a parody of the song about their dog, Falcor. (As a very small added bonus, notice "The Neverending Story" reference). Like I said. You probably won't find it funny. In retrospect, I should've not written about this. But at this point, I'm so invested that I wouldn't feel right erasing it. So here.... Here's Falcor.





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I saw this dude on TV playing in the World Series of Poker. Then they started showing his infomercials from the 80s. Wow. Yeah. That really happened. Here's Tommy Vu:



1 comment:

Dave Dribin said...

My favorite kind of pseudo random number generator is the cryptographically secure pseudo-random number generator, or just CSPRNG. :)

-Dave