I needed a bit of code that would create a random path between two predefined points, and realized that the problem was actually a bit harder than I had expected, but the results are really cool. Using Perlin noise, the paths can go from angular to flowing by changing one variable!
For the upcoming White Noise Boutique, I’ll be generating bespoke white noise for visitors using a variety of methods. These quick tests show that, while they sound essentially the same, different algorithms do in fact generate different white noise. For each generator, a spectrogram and frequency plot are shown for a ten-second sample. The plots were generated with Audacity.
Above: the AES_OFB algorithm from the Dieharder suite, one of two cryptographically-secure methods.
Linear congruential generator, an old-fashioned and non-secure generator.
The only “true” generator here, via the operating system’s built-in “dev/random” command, which creates random numbers from hard drive entropy.
The Threefish generator, also via the Dieharder suite and the other cryptographically-secure algorithm.
Another device using random acoustic noise for cryptographic purposes. This device from the early 1970s randomly rearranges the audio signal every half-second; a corresponding unit puts the audio back in the correct order on the other end. While not very secure (the three 8-position switches only provide 512 possible combinations), this device’s operation and style have a nice mix of of functionality and poetics.
Via Cryptography Museum.
A few historical random number generators. From top to bottom: Galton’s dice (capable of 24 digits instead of the usual 6), a Type 1390-B Random Noise Generator (runs on 6D4 tubes and was likely the device used for RAND Corp’s “A Million Random Digits”), and the first two iterations of random.org’s generators (both run on un-tuned radio noise fed into a computer).
Renderings for a store selling boutique white noise – includes lathe-cut records, specialized algorithm- and radiation-based noise generation, and a faraday cage for data privacy.
A preview image (via Shutterfly) of a rug visualizing the entire “A Million Random Digits” by Rand Corporation… and a bonus throw pillow:
Random images made using Processing, auto-uploaded to my server, and used as a seed for a Google “similar images” search. Continue reading “Random Image, Similar Image”