Lottery Players (was Re: [RC5] First Impressions)

Robert Brooks robertb at
Fri Mar 6 11:46:07 EST 1998

>RC5-56 was started linearly, but was switched to random distribution ~15%
>through or someplace.  RC5-64 is being randomly, but restricted to 56-bit

And *we* all know and understand that one block (and one 56k space) is just
as likely to contain the key as any other block/space.  But there are a
vast number of people out there (in the "real world") who believe that
randomness doesn't exist, and would "intuitively" believe that the key is
more likely to be in the middle... or at the end... or in a section that
numerically corresponds to the digits in their birthday!

Here in Texas, we have a tax on this sort of belief.  It's called the
"Texas Lottery", our tax on those who don't believe in statistics.  I
occasionally pay this tax myself. ;)

Could reach a broader audience by allowing the user to configure the
client to search whatever non-duplicate section of the keyspace that the
user may desire?  Of course, this in no way increases the speed of finding
the key... just like allowing Texans to pick their own 6 numbers doesn't
increase their chances of winning the Lotto jackpot.  But if you replaced
all the playslips with automated Quick Picks, *nobody* would play!

This isn't just an attempt to get Bubba to hook up his PeeCee to  It
also helps blunt the effect of any opposing team's attempt to use's
openness against us.  We'll still work largely front-to-back, but there
will be enough random sections already checked that any other group would
have to face the likelihood that they are checking keys we've already
checked -- further convincing them to join with us instead of working
against us.

By the way, this feature might be best suited to the Win95 GUI client...
because I have to admit, I'm much more likely to find Bubba running Win95
than I am to find him/her (Bubbette?) configuring a Linux box.  Not to say
that Win95 is better or worse; but it *is* the "popular" OS at this time.
If you know how to run *nix on an Alpha system, you probably won't go for
picking your own RC5-Lotto numbers, anyway.

Here's to the Win95GUILotto client!

Robert Brooks / robertb at (Wallpaper Heaven!)
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