Be warned that the original title for this post was ‘Random Thoughts’. So unless you intended to read something from me at random, then please click away. The new title was created when, as always, I did a quick Google Search and Blogsearch, to verify that I wasn’t just regurgitating the same thoughts as everyone else. You may feel that was a somewhat redundant exercise, but old habits die hard.
In the list, I instantly saw – Guinness’ Most Random Records — 2009 Edition with some explanatory text:
Today is Guinness World Record Day, the annual event where people across the globe try to set records so their legacies can live forever in Guinness’ archival text.
In a post on random thoughts, the serendipity involved in such an item could not be lost so it hijacked the title. If you were looking for the book, then click on Guinness: World Records 2009 (Guinness World Records).
Indeed it is amazing given the crowded Internet that so many people seem to want to pen their random thoughts. There are even whole websites dedicated to those who wish to just add their random thoughts. Perhaps others visit such sites to read these random thoughts: the mind boggles.
Not surprisingly, given that elections have just taken place in both the USA and Canada, many are having random thoughts about political processes. That includes Some random bits scribbled by Jeremy Zawodny. The title of the post was Post-Election Thoughts: Equal but Not. Apparently like many others he is not happy about the electoral college system. However anachronistic it may seem, it seems unlikely to be changed by change.gov.
My random thoughts were not at all political. I was thinking about the question of passwords for online sites and the security aspects involved. Like many others, I should be using more complex ones and changing them frequently. In searching around that topic, lo and behold I found a True Random Number Service. Not surprisingly it is located at Random.org. If you need any encouragement to visit, here is what they offer:
What’s this fuss about true randomness?
Perhaps you have wondered how predictable machines like computers can generate randomness. In reality, most random numbers used in computer programs are pseudo-random, which means they are a generated in a predictable fashion using a mathematical formula. This is fine for many purposes, but it may not be random in the way you expect if you’re used to dice rolls and lottery draws.
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. The service has existed since 1998 and was built and is being operated by Mads Haahr of the School of Computer Science and Statistics at Trinity College, Dublin in Ireland.
If you are someone who is attracted by randomness, it is well worth a visit. It is a fascinating place. You can certainly get the most secure passwords possible by visiting. .. and now back to regular programming.