Best Tech Stories around the web #395

Random Number Generator


The search for the random numbers that run our lives by

Random numbers are essential in modern life for securing data and ensuring fairness in gambling and lotteries, but generating truly random numbers is challenging.

Computers struggle with randomness due to their predictable algorithms, prompting researchers to seek external sources from natural phenomena.
In the late 1990s, Mads Haahr and friends generated random numbers for their online gambling software by using static from a cheap analog radio driven by atmospheric electromagnetic noise.
Though their business didn't succeed, Haahr founded, which still provides random numbers from atmospheric noise for various applications.

Creative methods for generating randomness include the motion of lava lamps, raindrop patterns, and quantum effects like photon timing.
Quantum random number generators, considered among the best, still face potential flaws over time.

Ultimately, trust in the integrity of those random number generators is crucial, as even the best systems require oversight to ensure true randomness.

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