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Tuesday, June 12, 2007 :::


I always wonder how randomizers work, because they never seem all that random. Take word verification systems for instance. They must have some sort of algorithm that combines random letters and then spits the result through a filter so that you don't get any actual words that could be found in a dictionary, or even worse, eff words or salacious entendres or something. Of course, it's clearly never a fool proof system:


The above example is not mine, but I did get "fishycoc" on blogger once, which I thought was particularly disturbing.

I also wonder how my iPod shuffles songs, because I've read that it truly is random and that any pattern you hear in the playlist is just a coincidence, but I don't buy it. I bet it's more like shuffling a properly sorted deck of cards: you might succeed in mixing some of the suits together, but all of the hearts are still going to be closer to one side of the deck, and in the same sequential order. That hardly seems "random" at all. I know it's not 100% random when it plays six of the most awful Jethro Tull Christmas songs in the course of one hour. I really just need to delete that CD from my collection all together.

::: posted by dan at 9:53 PM :: [ link ] :: (5) comments Social Bookmark Button

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5 previous comments:

I've got a Zune & it's about the same. It'll be shuffling right along & then you hear 5 Depeche Mode songs in a row, or at least every other song is DM.

And yes, FISHYCOC is very disturbing.... Not so yummy....

By Blogger CampBlood, at 12:27 PM  

i've worked for places that appear as organized as a table of random numbers. how do they do that?

By Blogger whaat?, at 2:34 PM  

What do you have your "Smart Shuffle" set to under "Playback" in Preferences? It determines the likelihood of hearing sequential songs by the same artist or from the same album. I have mine set between random and less likely, but the same artist still seems to show up on every other song; which doesn't seem very random. How many stars did you give that Jethro Tull Christmas album in your iTunes rating anyway?

By Blogger Nick, at 3:58 PM  

"Snot is running down his nose/
Greasy fingers smearing shabby clothes" - Aqua Lung by Jethro Tull

J. Tull or peeing in the showing: hard to determine which is ickier, Dan.

(Hey - my word verification for this anonymous post is "lveht"! Don't you "lvhet"? Sorry.)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:23 PM  

There is agreat little blurb on today that talks about a woman whos verification code on southwest airlines was: CUNNTT heheheehe

By Blogger Zacki, at 6:53 PM  

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