Number 1 and Benford’s Law - Numberphile (by numberphile)
I’d heard of Benford’s Law before but it sounded totally counter intuitive to me. This video does a good job explaining why one shows up as the leading digit in sets of random numbers that span
This is essentially an AV exploit against Super Mario World that results in running the end game code. Watch the video. “…there’s a glitch that’s been known for a while, where Yoshi can end up in
the “I have an item in my mouth” state, but not actually have an item in his mouth. When he spits out this nothingness, the game crashes. …That address did not contain code, and so the system
crashed. But wait a second. What if, by some sheer coincidence, that address did contain code? The specific address dropped him in somewhere amongst various data for the game’s internal random
number generator, and the random number generator can be manipulated in a TAS. Could the game be coerced into running arbitrary code?…”
2010 Dec 13, 11:12Used to generate publicly verifiable random numbers. For instance to pick 'xn--' for the IDN prefix from a set of prefixes, they decided on a hash, a set of stocks and a time in the future to
generate the hash from the stock values. The resulting value is random and anyone can check the work to verify that it was chosen randomly.
2009 Dec 15, 2:01"Jeff Atwood (Coding Horror fame) was in for a horror when he realized that his server crashed and his data was gone and due to some reason, the backup mechanism was not working. ... So what should
Jeff do now? Since Coding horror is a high traffic blog, I think there is a way to get back at least some of the images." Reconstruct the HTML from Google's cache, change the HTTP server to tell the
client it has the correct cached image for all the images, add script to the HTML to grab the images and send them back. Awesome idea. Of course now I want to setup Fiddler to swap in random
2009 Sep 30, 4:07The hashing part makes sense, but not the 'why no URL query' bit: "But because victim=12345 has already been visited they satisfy condition 2 and they get the 404 page fooling them into thinking the
site has already been taken down. So query strings don't really work." You could implement the same thing in the path and even were that not the case there's no telling that removing the query would
get you the same page. What's described here is a general method to circumvent the AP filter not an explaination as to why it avoids the query portion of the URL.phishingtechnicalwebbrowserhttpurlhash
2009 Sep 2, 4:36"Consider it, maybe, the souped-up Tiger/Game & Watch LCD version of Mirror's Edge, then: you have one goal, and one button, and the goal is to run, and the button is jump, and the game comes
from simply maintaining breakneck momentum as you leap from rooftop to randomly generated rooftop."gameflashmirrors-edge
2009 Aug 24, 3:11"It turns out that flipping a coin has all sorts of non-randomness", includes link to research paper and blog post with gems like: "If the coin is tossed and caught, it has about a 51% chance of
landing on the same face it was launched"securityrandomcoincoin-toss
2009 Jul 6, 2:06"Considering the similarity of its ingredients, canned dog food could be a suitable and inexpensive substitute for pate or processed blended meat products such as Spam or liverwurst... Although 72%
of subjects ranked the dog food as the worst of the five samples in terms of taste... subjects were not better than random at correctly identifying the dog food."humorsciencestatisticsfoodcultureresearchstudypaper
2009 May 29, 12:48"I don't often link to my own stuff, but this is a little experiment of mine. It gives you two random things, and you pick one. Every time a thing is picked, it gets a point."pickoneartsocialtop-tenhumor
I watched the new Star Trek movie Thursday morning, along with many others who work on Windows. Microsoft rented out a theater and played the movie on all screens. I greatly enjoyed the movie!
Spoilers follow... I'm obviously not the biggest Star Trek nerd (or at least TOS nerd) since I didn't even pick up on the fact that Kirk's dad being dead was a discrepancy from the TV series. I
only figured out the alternate time-line stuff when they killed most of the Vulcans. I was just surprised they didn't set right what once went wrong by the end of the movie with some more time
travel magic to bring back Vulcan. On that note, I'm pretty sure the Spock-Spock conversation at the end, is Nimoy Spock sending Sylar Spock off to school so that Nimoy Spock can get freaky
repopulating the Vulcan race. Although at first after his 'two places at once' comment I thought he was saying... something else. Also, was the main evil guy a random miner turned psycho? And his
crazy looking spaceship that destroys the Federation fleet was just a mining vessel from the future? Once they invent time travel anybody can get drunk, go back in time, and conquer Earth.
2009 Apr 1, 9:48"For our latest mission, 30 Improv Everywhere agents found a random funeral in the obituary section of the newspaper and turned it into the best funeral ever... The family, especially the older
couple in the middle, were seriously mourning. They seemed to be focusing on the priest and mostly ignoring us. Still, we had to be as serious as we possibly could. If anyone cracked a smile or
giggled we would completely ruin the funeral for the family."humorparodyvideoimprov-everywhere
2009 Jan 13, 6:20"So we've progressed now from having just a Registry key entry, to having an executable, to having a randomly-named executable, to having an executable which is shuffled around a little bit on each
machine, to one that's encrypted - really more just obfuscated - to an executable that doesn't even run as an executable. It runs merely as a series of threads."securityprivacyadwaremalwareadvertisingiebrowserschemeinterviewbhovia:li
2008 Jul 9, 5:37Moore proposes magical divination fills function of generating random outcomes. E.g. shaman reading cracks in caribou bones determines where to hunt avoiding over hunting particular areas or the game
picking up hunters patterns. Wish this wasn't pay site.randomgame-theoryanthropologydivinationmagic
In my previous home, just after I moved in, my neighbor which was the city of Redmond's various city government buildings, decided to build a parking
structure. This was maybe 30 feet from my window, lasted for at least a year and would regularly wake me up at seven or eight in the morning. Determined to not be so punctual for work, I got
earplugs which meant in addition to not hearing the construction outside, I couldn't hear my alarm. I had an idea for a combination ear plug, headphone, alarm clock that I never did anything with,
except to write down the phrase "earplug / headphone / alarm clock" on a list that I just now found. In retrospect, I think this problem might be too specific to result in my earplug alarm clock
When I woke up this morning for some reason I was thinking about Polytope Tetris, my N-D Tetris game, and specifically generating Tetris pieces in various number of
dimensions. When I first wrote PTT I thought that as the number of dimensions increased you could end up with an infinite number of non-equivalent crazy Tetris pieces. However this morning I
realized that because you only get four blocks per piece there are only a possible three joints in a single Tetris piece which means that you only need three dimensions to represent all possible
distinct N-D Tetris pieces.
Below is the table of the various possible pieces per number of dimensions and sorted by the number of joints in the piece. Notice that the 'J' and 'L' become equivalent in 3D because you can
rotate the 'J' through the third dimension to make it an 'L'. The same happens for 'S' and 'Z' in 3D, and 'S+' and 'Z+' in 4D.
As a consequence of not realizing there's a finite and small number of N-D Tetris pieces, I wrote code that would randomly generate pieces for a specified number of dimensions by wandering through
Tetris space. This consists of first marking the current spot, then randomly picking a direction (a dimension and either forward or backward), going in that direction until hitting a previously
unvisited spot and repeating until four spots are marked, forming a Tetris piece. However this morning I realized that continuing in the same direction until reaching am unvisited spot means I
can't generate the 'T+' piece. I think the better way to go is keep the list of all possible pieces, pick one randomly, and rotate it randomly through the available dimensions. Doing this will also
allow me to give distinct pieces their own specific color (like the classic Tetris games do) rather than picking the color randomly like I do now.