Mbtiru wrote:

Mistle Rose wrote:

It depends on how it sets the random seed.

Exactly. To quote random.org's summary:

**Quote:**

Computer engineers chose to introduce randomness into computers in the form of pseudo-random number generators. As the name suggests, pseudo-random numbers are not truly random. Rather, they are computed from a mathematical formula or simply taken from a precalculated list. A lot of research has gone into pseudo-random number theory and modern algorithms for generating them are so good that the numbers look exactly like they were really random. Pseudo-random numbers have the characteristic that they are predictable, meaning they can be predicted if you know where in the sequence the first number is taken from.

"True" random numbers can only be produced by basing the seed (list of numbers the computer will produce) on something truly and entirely unpredictable: atmospheric noise, as on random.org, or thermal noise, et al.

I believe Flash bases the seed on the current computer time in microseconds, though I may be mistaken on that. If such is the case, the speed of your computer may affect how the seed is set, and how frequently you get the same emails.

Yeah, this came up in a discussion I had with friends a few weeks ago, that there's actually nothing at all "random" about random shuffle generators, and how if you knew the algorithms used, you could predict what came next. That's probably as good an explanation on how "random" is done in Flash specifically as there is.

Of course, our whole random discussion went into a much more philosophical direction, on how absolutely NOTHING in the world is random at all, and everything you say or do, no matter how strange, is always influenced by something else you've thought or experienced. But that's for another thread.