Home > Security > Happy Birthday to the Renderman Paradox

Happy Birthday to the Renderman Paradox

In security, we have something we call the Birthday Paradox, which is well illustrated by the following question: How many people do you need in a room, before it’s more likely than not that there are two people with the same birthday? Most people think the number’s pretty big — 50, 60, 100…nope. It’s around 27. Most classrooms have two kids with the same birthday. This happens because the more kids you add, the more birthday “slots” are taken that each new kid might potentially now share. The 2nd kid had only 1 birthday to match, while the 25th kid had 24 birthdays he could match.

Well, I have my own paradox. I call it the Renderman Paradox. This holds that, for any conference, there’s someone you’ll never get to see, because somehow you’re always speaking at the same time they are. I call it that, because, well, Renderman (of the Church of WiFi) and I are always up against one another. Finally, this year at Defcon, we weren’t. Renderman was in my room, yes, but after me. And then…

Well, there were a couple thousand people in line. It took a while to get ’em all in. Actually, it took about a half hour to get them all in. So, the Defcon people bumped Renderman, and Sze Siong, to an overflow room.

I gave my talk to the hordes…but these guys had space for about 50. Ouch. Bonus: Renderman’s talk was “10 things that are pissing me off”. Oops 🙂

And so, I thought it might be nice to at least publish Renderman and Sze’s talks here. First up, Renderman (here’s his site, with video!):

Renderman’s Slides

…and secondly, Sze Siong:

Sze Szong’s Slides

In other news, this Scribd site is pretty cool 🙂 Now, all I need to do is buy Render that beer…

Categories: Security
  1. September 5, 2008 at 7:42 am

    > Most people think the number’s pretty big — 50, 60, 100…nope. It’s around 27.

    Isn’t it around 23?

  2. September 5, 2008 at 8:25 am

    I am indeed concerned about RFID Technology. I hope this can be studied more in depth by the industry. I only remember the 3rd Jason Bourne movie where the individual is tracked because his passport has RFID. This technology is now being used in passports and driver’s licenses as well as in other things. Well, I guess I only have until 2010/2011 when I will have to sadly join the digital mainstream and be chipped with my passport and driver’s license. In addition, having to have a double form of identification at the Bank was annoying but I understand the security and safety implications. I to think when all of us may indeed be chipped at birth and you think it will never happen — well you never know do you and since September 11, 2001 I understand the need for extra safety and security but is the Patriot Act really worth our freedoms as individuals and Americans.

    An Original New Yorker who is Very Concerned and hopes the world does not turn into George Orwell’s 1984 but sadly does not see any light at the end of the tunnel.

  3. September 11, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    A partial implementation of #9 on the Renderman talk has already coded using the Twitter API through http://foamee.com/

  4. That guy
    September 27, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    Dan W: as long as tinfoil and microwaves exist, us RFID-paranoids will be safe. (“,)

  5. Dan W.
    October 4, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    Thanks, that guy. It surprises me that so many people are so concerned with safety and security that they are so willing to give up their liberties and freedoms so easily. I am willing but only to a point and feel there must be the appropriate balance between safety and security versus freedom and liberty. There is a Washington Post newspaper article about the hacking of RFID in Passports and an MSNBC article about the hacking of GPS that has been accomplished in everything but military GPS.


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