Lava lamps as HRNGs (external)

I never thought I’d link to one of those terrible sites that forces you to scroll through an entire page worth of image before you can even begin reading, but here we are. If you haven’t visited Wired recently, be warned: it is very user-antagonistic. But this article, despite its brevity and reading like an ad for Cloudflare, is pretty interesting. The gist is that one of Cloudflare’s hardware random number generation techniques involves photographing an array of lava lamps.

Bitcoin Explained (with Emoji) (external)

This (to-be) three-part article by Tess Rinearson is just great. I’ve tried to explain cryptocurrencies like bitcoin to people who think they’re essentially just digital wallets, some kind of PayPal 2.0 or something… obviously to no avail. Even when someone does grasp the difference between a cryptocurrency and an online payments system, grokking the blockchain is a whole other matter, and explaining it to someone feels like an impossible undertaking to me. Rinearson’s article is the clearest explanation I’ve come across. Link is to part one, part two is linked to from the bottom of part one, and I wait for part three with bated breath…