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    SubjectRE: Want a random entropy source?
    At 09:28 PM 12/28/02 +0100, Folkert van Heusden wrote:
    >JB> How can you guarantee that you are sampling noise, though, what if a
    >JB> sound card was picking up 50 Hz mains hum, for example, that would
    >JB> de-randomise the data quite a bit.
    >
    >Well, the 50hz from the mains isn't a perfect 50hz; it has random (yes)
    >fluctuations.

    As a start, I would slot out 50 Hz, 60 Hz (for people in the US and
    US-engineered power systems in other countries), 4 kHz and
    harmonics. Actually, if you are sampling at roughly random intervals you
    would get about four to six bits per sample of somewhat random values, and
    that would give you entropy as good as you get from mouse movement.

    If someone were playing a CD at the time you were sampling the sound card,
    you would get considerably more bits of entropy, but using the six bottom
    bits would still be useful.

    Hey, people, it's just a thought. Turning lemons into lemonade, if you will.

    Satch

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