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Some social aspects of computers and numbers


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Holmes, WN 2010 , 'Some social aspects of computers and numbers' , Computer, vol. 43, no. 11 , 100, 98-99 , doi: 10.1109/MC.2010.327.

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This essay reflects on the use of computers in games and gambling, starting with the curious effect of using computers to deal playing cards for contract bridge players. The predictability of computers rules out true randomness, unless special devices are used to pick data out of noise, so algorithms to generate pseudorandom sequences are most often used, particularly linear congruential generators. The dangers of this are discussed, both the technical dangers of careless use of pseudorandom sequences, and the social dangers of using software to encourage and addict gambling, especially online.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Holmes, WN
Keywords: contract bridge, duplicate bridge, computer dealing, randomness, pseudorandom algorithms, linear congruential generators, gambling addiction, online gambling
Journal or Publication Title: Computer
ISSN: 0018-9162
DOI / ID Number: 10.1109/MC.2010.327
Additional Information:

(c) 2010 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other users, including reprinting/ republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted components of this work in other works."

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