Ok, I presume everyone knows those bots roaming the instant messenger networks that operate under actual people their accounts based on the credentials obtained from an unsuspecting victim (read: clueless user who wants free shinies) typing said credentials where they shouldn't have. This is one such a tale I just experienced.
What makes me want to share this particular one is because it stood out to me personally in more ways than one. For one, my list of contacts is ancient, and I have contacts on there that I haven't spoken to in 10 years or more. This is one relatively old contact, the user being a girl (at the time?) who was never particularly bright. Hell, let me expand: she is an idiot. And like all of those people on that list that you really can't get rid of (because you are too lazy to clean up your eternally hidden 'offline contacts' list as well as 'old contacts' list), they message you once a year to tell you how epicly awesome their lives are while you are trying to figure out what the hell did I do to deserve this blabberage of non-sensiility?!
0:45 Emma: Hey! You there?
That is how it started. I feigned afk-ness. I really had no interest in another case of the yearly mental slumps. Sadly, it was not to be.
2:33 Emma: Hi You there?
Ok. While this girl tends to crave attention, she usually is in a bit more of a hurry and spams me with non-stop messages till I reply rather than waiting nearly two hours. Either that, or she is bored. As I am in a particularly vindictive mood having realized that, regardless of her identity as a spambot or a person, I really don't want to deal with her insanity in my usual gentlemanly way, I launch a counter-offensive. The human captcha.
2:34 Me: Maybe. What do you want? (Also, finish this sequence: 1,1,2,3,5,8,...; I don't know who messaging me is or is not a spambot anymore.)
The catch? Emma the person is easily the sort of person who would fail something like this, thus providing me amusement in that particular case. The Fibonacci sequence always has been a personal favorite of mine, if only to weed out the idiots of life.
2:35 Emma: noo its me
2:35 Me: Finish the sequence. Prove you are human, evil spambot!
I still didn't actually know who or what I was talking to. Whichever is the case, it definitely does sound like the human variety.
2:35 Emma: Im on my new iPad 2 right now Its so cool
2:36 Me: Ok, that leans towards spambot. Tell me, where do I buy that wonderful device you are advertising?
Here is where I doubt myself. Is she messing with me? She never seemed like the type. But there was no link either. Hmm. Better safe than sorry, and continue down this lane of simple entertainment.
2:36 Emma: I think you can also get one if you hurry, its a limited promotion.. I got it from http://giftparadise2...?id=68549bfb409113fe
Finally, I can decide. Spambot!
2:37 Me: That's really awesome. I think.
2:38 Emma: Well, let me know if you need any help with it. I gotta leave for a bit though, so Ill talk to you later.
2:38 Me: Take care, Spambot Emma.
And it is confirmed by the immediate ending of the conversation to avoid seeming less human. Now - most of you will agree, it is a somewhat typical discussion with a typical im-spam-bot. But for me it stood out in several ways, the 'victim' Emma being an obvious first in that as one might guess by my commentary above.
What also entertained me on a scientific level is that this one had me going for so long that I truly thought I had found my match for the Turing test. Now, in hindsight I obviously should have picked some worse questions rather than to play along, but simply knowing a human can sound like such an idiot really lowers the bar for the creators of conversation bots like these.
But the cherry on the cake that I determined only after laughing and considering this whole exchange? The spam-link does not work.
The domain is not registered, a.k.a. completely out of order... defect... BROKEN.
Either it has been taken offline already, has yet to come online, or more hilariously, this bot has strayed from the farm of its peers that instructs it about its spam messages.
All of this only tempts one to wonder... How many loose unmanaged bots have to be out there at this point? How many spam messages out there have no chance of ever being successful even if a user/potential victim is fooled successfully? Did Emma ever actually get her iPad!?This message was brought to you by the gentleman with the white hat. URL addresses and identification numbers have been anonimized for safety & security purposes. Any opinions are merely the opinions of the author that usually wears the white hat, but did not today as the hat was totally offended by the lack of appreciation and manners towards a (presumably) fine young lady. The white hat itself, obviously, is opinionless. Although it does demand you treat the other sex with the appropriate amount of respect, or it will clamp down on your head so hard that your brain will die off due to a lack of oxygen... beware!