Sunday’s meant to be my day for posting random stuff. I fell to fashion by using that word to describe miscellany. Who wants to read miscellaneous postings these days? People want exciting chaos or so they think. If they really wanted to read random stuff they would get something like this:
kj.afh .kjasrfhw.kejhr w.ecrfhwihrjio34r’wjdEA;LDMA LDK \cokd\2e23lknr fdsa sdf /lo sdf dkfj f EE ?
You don’t want that though do you? Nor do you want to see random videos with millions of incomprehensible pixels flashing around on the screen. You’d get bored.
In fact it is rather hard to create a really random situation. In nature we tend to use it to describe events we don’t yet understand. In computing there is no such thing as a random number. We have faked them by building random number generators. So-called random number generators more like. There are a number of methods that these rely on. One is to take an as yet not understood natural phenomenon and feed that it into a machine first. For example, although this is a rare technique for obvious reasons, one would be to take a radioactive source and put the geiger counter readings into the machine to produce the random numbers. A much more common technique is to simply fake the randomness by hiding the patterns from ourselves. A simple random number formula would be to take some arbitrary number (called a random seed), multiply it by 1,103,515,245, add 12,345 and then use the output as a second random seed (called a random seed) to generate a new number with. Curiously this means that the apparently random number can be reproduced if you know what the original ‘random seed’ was. This system is used to give GPS satellites a predictable but different set of values which your mobile phone can track. A better random seed to produce a number which is unpredictable is the number of seconds that have elapsed since a time and date in the past. However, even then it isn’t truly random.