This is such a bizarre combination of the old and the new that at least a few of our geekiest readers are sure to get a kick out of it. The USB Hourglass is essentially an egg timer equipped with an optical beam for keeping an eye on sand levels and a rotating mechanism for flipping the thing when all the sand has landed at the bottom. But that ain't all! The observed light levels are sent to a host PC (via USB, which also supplies power) where any of your favorite open source tools can use it to generate random numbers. The rest of this -- "entropy," "random" versus "pseudorandom" number generators, etc. -- is simply a little beyond us this morning, although we're sure that this will produce a lively and intelligent discussion in the comments (where many a lively and intelligent discussion has taken place over the years). Just make sure you peep the video after the break first -- it's a blast.




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USB Hourglass flips itself, generating random numbers in the process