As a systems engineer, I understand the nuances where a conventional computer must follow the directions of it's master (or masters).
When it comes to random number generation, we encounter a bit of a paradox where we are attempting to tell the computer to just make something up, but in order to do so, we need to instruct it how to do it via fancy algorithms, 'seed' generation (more algorithms), which the result is never truly random, no matter how complex the algorithm may be.
Along comes a site like random.org which claims it uses atmospheric noise to generate it's 'random' values.
I have a couple of problems with this concept which are as follows :
- Our atmosphere is filled with lots of non-random noise (radio waves, light noise, etc)
- It still requires a computer to process the information, then convert it (via substition) to binary, and return the applicable bits representing characters or numbers.
For the second problem, this is more of a duplicity issue where there are more variations in "atmosphere noise" than there are characters to represent that information, thus some duplicity occurs (multiple values can translate to the same characters) or the quality of random is degraded by removal of all atmospheric noise values which do not have a direct translation to a character.
How can websites (or anyone) claim to be able to generate "true" random numbers/strings, when it is impossible to obtain a source which is truly random ?
Is this a "well, we are as close as we think we can get, so we will call it true random even though it's not" type of scenario ?