[Cryptography] The ultimate random source

Phillip Hallam-Baker hallam at gmail.com
Mon Feb 17 18:43:33 EST 2014

On Mon, Feb 17, 2014 at 2:56 PM, Jerry Leichter <leichter at lrw.com> wrote:

> On Feb 16, 2014, at 10:40 PM, Bill Stewart <bill.stewart at pobox.com> wrote:
> >> >> I actually started with rather more elaborate steampunk devices that
> had dice with different colored faces. These would be machine read somehow.
> >
> > For entropy generation, dice have the limitation that physics is going
> to typically force them into alignment, at least with the flat surface on
> the bottom and possibly horizontally with each other, as opposed to the
> much more random positioning of the candies which a camera can take
> advantage of.
> >
> > Also, Phill's method means you get to eat the candy when you're done, at
> least if they're chocolate, though it's somewhat counterbalanced by the
> failure mode that somebody eats the candy before you've got all the random
> numbers you need.
> If you really want to go the route of physical "randomness", get a bunch
> of glitter, put it in a fluid, and use something to stir it.  Put a strong
> light on it from above, point a camera, and record only the timing and
> positions of the flashes of light when the light source is reflected into
> the lens.
> You can certainly get chaotic behavior by correct choices of the
> parameters of the moving fluid.  One would have to do the math to be sure,
> but I suspect that there is an element of true randomness from Brownian
> motion.  (If there isn't with standard glitter, you could use smaller
> reflective particles and a microscope.)
> An interesting (and probably very difficult) question is how many camera
> angles you can use simultaneously without there being too much correlation
> between them.
> Not that I feel the need to go and do the computations, because I also
> don't feel the need to actually build such a thing.  But if you're driven
> to it - by all means!  Beyond providing random numbers, this could be
> really pretty to watch.

Well one thing to watch out for, there is an SGI patent on lavarnd and the
SGI patents were bought by a well known troll operation.

But the general point about these being pretty, I was thinking of making
electro-mechanical sculptures for sale. A twist on kinetic art.

Website: http://hallambaker.com/
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