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Submission + - Fireworks show goes titsup ( 1

ronaldm writes: "Trigger-happy Scottish pyromaniacs celebrating Guy Fawkes Night last night ended up watching their creation go spectacularly wrong, when all the fireworks were triggered at the same time — resulting in the show being 29 minutes shorter than the 30 minutes it was supposed to last.

"Perhaps they're now regretting having asked the Pakistan cricket team to set off the fireworks?""

Comment Re:Confusion... (Score 3, Informative) 189

I'm going to reply to just the one poster, as explaining this to each /.'r would take rather a long time! :)

First and foremost, Slashdot (as you know) unfortunately chooses the URL for your particular story. "Truer[sic] Randomness" is not in fact what I'm going out to somehow magically solve (with my absolute non-background in cryptography etc.). As to why they chose to enter the title of the story as such - I don't know. A bit of sensationalism, perhaps? In any case, I'd originally titled this "Musical Network Captures" - no more, no less!

Why not use /dev/random? It's not random per se which is required - it's a pseudo-random source which can still be directly influenced by those in the immediate environment. For installation purposes, for example, it's a quick (unorthodox, convoluted, fucked-up, whatever-you-wanna-call it) way of generating an input that can be used to further modulate other inputs/sounds. For this, a stream of random numbers alone is not good enough. There's a million and one ways this could have been done - it just so happens that this is how I decided I'd go about doing it.

Finally, I'm a bit overwhelmed by the whole Slashdot thing. As it's all worked out, it seems that on my first 'go' at adding something that I thought a couple of people would be interested in, it's seemed to hit the front page - and so at least, next time, I'll know to not be so trigger-happy when I'm 'submitting' something to here! Apologies for all of you who seem to have fallen out with one another and spent half your time bickering over nothing.


Submission + - Musical Network Captures (

ronaldm writes: "As a composer who uses computers for anything and everything from engraving to live performance projects, it's periodically of some concern that computers do exactly what they're supposed to do — what they're told. Introducing imperfections into music to make it sound more `natural' is nothing new: yet it still troubles me that picking up random data from /dev/random to do this is well, cheating. It's not random. It bugs me. So, short of bringing in and using an atomic source, here's a way to embrace natural randomness — and bring your packet captures to life!"

Submission + - Encouraging users to unblock your site's ads ( 4

ronaldm writes: Increasingly, users have been accustomed to blocking Adverts on sites which appear out of place, distracting, or just get in the way. Fair enough, you say. However how many users realise running a site costs money? Using an incredibly simple technique, you can quietly ask your users to consider displaying the adverts for the sake of keeping the site running.

Every cloud has a silver lining; you should have sold it, and bought titanium.