Generating unique numbers?

jepler at jepler at
Sat Jun 1 04:47:42 CEST 2002

On Fri, May 31, 2002 at 07:28:57PM -0700, Ken Seehof wrote:
> Which brings us right back to my assertion that the original question
> cannot be answered adequately without knowing the context.  Presumably
> if the application in question had the scope you are describing (we
> don't even know if it's an internet application), VanL would have a team
> of 40 expert programmers at $450K salaries solving the problem, so we are
> off the hook :-)

Yeah, but it was fun to try to ballpark the numbers.  One thing I didn't
mention in my earlier message is that 2**65 unique IDs is right around the
number necessary to see birthday-paradox collisions in 128-bit hashes such
as MD5 with p=0.5.  Still very uncommon for a 160-bit hash like SHA,


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