On Sat, 9 Sep 2000, Conrad Schneiker wrote:

> Hi,
> 
> I thought those of you working with random numbers, random number
> generators, or random number generator evaluation functions might be
> interested in the following URLs, which provide sources of real random
> numbers (versus digitally generated pseudo-random numbers) that can be used
> for random reality checking as it were.
> 
>   http://random.org/ -- Uses background radio static as source.
> 
>   http://www.fourmilab.ch/hotbits/ -- Uses radioactive decay of krypton-85
> as source.
> 
>   http://lavarand.sgi.com/ -- Uses scrambled digital snapshots of 6 lava
> lamps as source.
> 
> Reference: Science, Vol. 289, 7 July 2000, page 7.
> 
Thanks a lot Conrad! We plan to include one Rng in the Random lib that
will read nums from a site that delivers "true" random numbers so that you
can do something similar to:

	rng = Rng.new("http://www.random.org")

if you want really good rn's and can stand the potential time delay (I
guess testing Rng's would be the main use ;-)).

Status on the Random lib is that we got over 30 different Rng algorithms
, marshaling, basic testing (including Maurer's universal test for
randomness!) and non-uniform rng in there. However we will not release
until we think the API is "right" => we should'nt need to update the API
in coming versions. We also plan to have a crypto RNG in there before
release. Finally we intend to supply the lib in two different forms: (1) 
as a minimal patch inserting a fast and good Rng alg into the ruby kernel,
(2) as a lib that you load with require.

> ========================
> 
> Here are some somewhat related quotes of interest turned up by
> www.google.com.
> 
> http://www.math.uoa.gr/~web/confer/statconference/abstrct/boland.htm
> 
>   "Anyone who considers arithmetical methods of producing random numbers is,
> of course, in a state of sin." -- John von Neumann
> 
> http://www.physics.miami.edu/~chris/quotes.html
> 
>   "The generation of random numbers is too important to be left to
> chance." -- Unknown
> 
> http://www.angelfire.com/ma/kilenm/2k04ppl.html
> 
>   "If people do not believe that mathematics is simple, it is only because
> they do not realize how complicated life is." -- John von Neumann
> 
:-)

Thanks,

Robert