Computers, Science, Technology, Xen Virtualization, Hosting, Photography, The Internet, Geekdom And More

SPAM As A Source Of Entropy?

Posted on | October 8, 2009 | No Comments

I really want to win the lottery. To do this, I need good random numbers. When I need those numbers, I don’t want to wait forever for something blocking to finally get them to me. I like to ‘pick’ just before buying a ticket .. just like I throw salt over my left shoulder should some spill. I can’t afford one of those fancy quantum RNGs that deliver numbers based on light noise.

Enter G-Mail, and its relentless pursuit to keep a large SPAM archive for me with easy IMAP access. Have you noticed that a large percentage of your SPAM has a time stamp in the future? I did, that makes it valuable as a source of entropy. 

So now I’m working on a gizmo that fetches my SPAM, looks for candidates, gets a sum from some dates and feeds me an endless stream of unsigned, random, 32 bit integers.

No way is it cryptographically secure, after all, we all get the same SPAM. But, its good enough for my new super secret magic lotto picker :)

There, I finally found a use for SPAM.  This is what happens when I get bored while waiting on the output of other people.

Maybe, just maybe the good folks in Nigeria really are sending me millions with no strings attached!


Leave a Reply

  • Monkey Plus Typewriter
  • Stack Overflow

  • Me According To Ohloh

  • Meta