An interesting intersection of the analog and the digital can be found in the video below. Computers are designed to be predictable, so generating random numbers is not an easy task, but a necessary one for the unique cryptographic keys used for encryption. Cloudflare does this by photographing a wall of lava lamps, and the unique differences in “lava” position (not to mention lighting and other photographic factors) are used to generate a unique random number. Who knew encryption could be so mesmerizing?

David Crotty

David Crotty

David Crotty is the Editorial Director, Journals Policy for Oxford University Press. He serves on the Board of Directors for the STM Association, the Society for Scholarly Publishing and CHOR, Inc. David received his PhD in Genetics from Columbia University and did developmental neuroscience research at Caltech before moving from the bench to publishing.

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