Pseudo-Random Number Generation - How it Works, What the CIA Knows, and What Options Exist in Perl?
Generation of Pseudo-Random Number Sequences is a wide and interesting topic. Much more than could be completely covered in an hour. Robert Stone did a very good job of covering enough to give a good flavor of the topic, without overwhelming the audience.
In the process, Robert discussed the difference between true randomness and what can be generated on a computer. He discussed the basics of PRNGs, focusing a bit on the Perl aspects. He also gave a medium-high-level overview of the recent disclosures about the backdoored random number generator that has been making news.
In the final portion of the talk, Robert covered some best practices for the generation of pseudo-random numbers in Perl. He discussed some of the modules available and gave some recommendations.
Several people in the audience asked probing questions. Robert's answers showed very strong knowledge of this area. The audience remained engaged through the entire talk.
We had 17 people attending this month. As always, we'd like to thank Hostgator LLC for providing the meeting space and food for the group.