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Comment: Re:Lottery by computer? ROFL (Score 1) 342

by DickBreath (#49487235) Attached to: Allegation: Lottery Official Hacked RNG To Score Winning Ticket
While encrypted psuedo random is a more complex function, it is still PSUEDO random not real random. Future output is a function (now a more complex function) of past output.

Not only the secret key must be kept secret, but the seed (either current or original) must be kept secret.

If the attacker knows the algorithm, which they might, then they may be able to analyze the output. If they know the seed, then the problem becomes one of a known-plaintext attack upon the encryption algorithm. If they know the encryption key, it becomes a matter of finding a seed that generates some known pre-encryption output of the psuedo random algorithm.

We could go back and forth about the practicality and difficulty of such attacks. But switching from psuedo to true random eliminates that entire discussion.

Your $10 webcam + lens cap is a good idea BTW. Or other similar ideas of using various sensors to capture random noise. Just hope the noise really is random. Also, a $10 webcam without a lens cap, pointed at something, like a busy street, might also be a source of randomness in the pixel data.

Comment: Re:Lottery by computer? ROFL (Score 1) 342

by DickBreath (#49470955) Attached to: Allegation: Lottery Official Hacked RNG To Score Winning Ticket
How about a bunch of dice in a box with a shaker, a camera, and purpose built OCR software to identify the numbers on the dice.

Instead of a dice, one could use a coin. Now generate me a 4096 bit random number. :-)

Oh, you did say computers needed special hardware in order to not be psuedorandom.

Comment: I like the logic described in the summary (Score 1) 342

by DickBreath (#49470891) Attached to: Allegation: Lottery Official Hacked RNG To Score Winning Ticket
We suspect the cookie jar was robbed. I think Joe put his hand in the cookie jar. Five total people including Joe had access to the cookie jar. The other four will testify, pass a polygraph, psychic mumbo jumbo, whatever, that they did not put their hand into the cookie jar. Thus, it MUST have been Joe!

Comment: Why store the patient's Age instead of Birth Date? (Score 3, Insightful) 183

If physicians have to keep updating the patient's age, then something is wrong. But good news! We have these new fangled things called computers! These computers can calculate the patient's age on the screen at the time the record was entered (by doing this patented new thing called date subtraction to get number of days and thus the age!).

Comment: Re:It was inevitible (Score 1) 303

by DickBreath (#49398367) Attached to: Microsoft Engineer: Open Source Windows Is 'Definitely Possible'
Get them to use it under a true open source license, and then sue them for patent infringement! It may turn out to be a growth industry, or at the very least a new business model for some. But one would have to choose an open source license that doesn't deal with the subject of patents.

Comment: Re:It's that damn cancer! (Score 3, Insightful) 303

by DickBreath (#49398335) Attached to: Microsoft Engineer: Open Source Windows Is 'Definitely Possible'
Cancer is Microsoft's term for it. Intended to have negative meaning.

If you are in favor of open source it would be better to use a different word or phrase. Basically the GPL spreads freedom.

Laughter is contagious (a negative term). So maybe we should say laughter is a cancer? It is unfortunate that there are not more positive terms for things that spread and the ones we tend to fall back on are biological terms that have undesirable meanings: infectious, contagious, cancer, etc. Freedom is contagious -- when people don't have it and see it, they want it for themselves.

Comment: Re:Unencumbered (Score 1) 298

by DickBreath (#49356239) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes Some Code Particularly Good?
Unfortunately, whether or not code is encumbered by patents is not up to the author of the code. That is one (of many) major FAIL of the patent system. Your code, yes yours, could be encumbered by some pending patent, that the 'inventor' is keeping from being issued until your code is suddenly making money. Poof! Patent is now granted and you are infringing.

Comment: Re:must fail (Score -1, Flamebait) 298

by DickBreath (#49356205) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes Some Code Particularly Good?
> Code needs to fail in an easy to understand and predictable way.

Being written in C++ is a sure way to guarantee both!

Did it fail in an easy to understand way? Yes. It is easy to understand that it failed because it was written in C++.

Was it predictable that it would fail? Again, yes.

:-)



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