On 09/20/2008 12:09 AM, IanG wrote:

> Does anyone know of a cheap USB random number source?

Is $7.59 cheap enough?  
  http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=HE-280B&cat=GDT

For that you get a USB audio adapter with mike jack, and
then you can run turbid(tm) to produce high-quality randomness.

Reference, including analytical paper plus code:
  http://www.av8n.com/turbid/


> As a meandering comment, it would be extremely good for us if we had
> cheap pocket random number sources of arguable quality [1].

If the above is not good enough, please explain.

> I've often thought that if we had an open source hardware design of
> a USB random number generator ... that cost a few pennies to add
> onto any other USB toy ... then we could ask the manufacturers to
> throw it in for laughs.  Something like a small mountable disk that
> returns randoms on every block read, so the interface is trivial.

I think the turbid solution is much better than a disk.
 -- Unlimited long-term capacity.
 -- Perfect forward secrecy, unlike a disk, unless you do a 
  really good job of erasing each block after use.
 -- Perfect secrecy in the other direction, period.
 
> Then, when it comes time to generate those special keys, we could
> simply plug it in, run it, clean up the output in software and use
> it.  Hey presto, all those nasty software and theoretical
> difficulties evaporate.

If the above is not good enough, please explain.

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