Twitterbot simply retweets people writing "your an idiot"

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@whostheidiotnow maintains a carefully curated selection of tweets: ones where the author types the exact phrase "your an idiot." One man's automated blocklist is another's breakfast entertainment! [via @saladinahmed] Read the rest

Interview with teen botmaster whose lawyerbots are saving people millions

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Joshua Browder, the teenaged botmaster whose Do Not Pay bot is helping drivers save millions by challenging NYC and London parking tickets and assisting UK homeless people who are applying for benefits, sat down for a chat on the O'Reilly Bots Podcast (MP3). Read the rest

Parking-ticket bot will now help homeless people get benefits

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Stanford computer science student Joshua Browder, whose DoNotPay bot helps you fight parking tickets in London and New York (it's estimated to have overturned $4M in tickets to date) has a new bot in the offing: a chatbot that helps newly homeless people in the UK create and optimise their applications for benefits. Read the rest

Lin-Manuel Miranda declares war on bots

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Lin-Manuel Miranda's musical Hamilton is arguably the most successful Broadway show of the century (deservedly so -- the soundtrack is practically all I've listened to for the past month) but good luck if you want to get a ticket. Read the rest

Artists troll Thingiverse with 3D model mashup bot

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Shiv Integer is a bot created by artists Matthew Plummer-Fernandez and Julien Deswaef; it downloads Creative Commons-licensed models from Thingiverse, mashes them up into weird and often amazing new shapes, adds machine-generated titles and descriptions to them, and posts them. Read the rest

The future of trollbots

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Hugh writes, "In a post-Tay world, where we've proved the Internet can train a bot to be a plausible shitposter, what's the future of politics, hate, and mob rule? Read the rest

Trains Botting: twitterbot posts a new emoji train landscape every 4 hours

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Trains Botting/@choochoobot is a new twitterbot from prolific botmaster and EFF staffer Parker Higgins. Read the rest

Jerks were able to turn Microsoft's chatbot into a Nazi because it was a really crappy bot

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Microsoft Research deployed a tween-simulating chatbot this week, only to recall it a few hours later because it had turned into a neo-Nazi, and the next day, they published a bewildered apology that expressed shock that it had been so easy for trolls to corrupt their creation. Read the rest

Markovbot creates eerily plausible Drumpf speeches

Churba writes, "Victor from Frostworks threw together a Markov Chain Bot that randomly generates and spits out eerily accurate Trump speeches at the push of a button." Read the rest

Glitch News Network: glitched and mashed news in less than 2 seconds

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The Glitch News Network is the latest twitterbot from Shardcore, a prolific purveyor of mad bots (previously). Read the rest

The best twitter bots

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Zachary M. Seward picks the best Twitter bots of 2015 for Quartz. My favorite is Derek Arnold's @FFD8FFDB, which tweets random screengrabs from insecure, internet-connected security cameras around the world. .video-container {height:auto;padding-bottom:0;} Read the rest

Stay Woke Bot helps activists explain racism to Twitter randos

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Because talking about race on Twitter is an exhausting proposition, unless you are a robot.

Procedurally-generated moths are wonderfully haunting, plausible

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Straddling the odd line between science and nature, this amazing new procedural generator pays striking tribute to the dusty, incandescent bodies of moths.

The divine witches of cyberspace

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Fortune-telling games help us fumble toward deeper truths, at the junction of technology and mysticism

Tell these games what's wrong

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New text-based browser games by Caelyn Sandel and Lydia Neon ask searching questions we may prefer not to answer. I have a hard time being honest with these bots, even though they promise to help.

For lots of us, digital space is more than just a practical tool -- it's a sense of home. When younger many of us were drawn to games, technology and other interactive experiences because of the magic and mystery about who might be sharing those spaces with us. A blinking cursor is like a living thing; our 1990s were lush with weird virtual spaces.

It's now a place where we consistently explore identities and boundaries in nebulous online groups, which can be complicated depending on who you are. If you ever need help with that, Caelyn Sandel's BECCAA 0.8 project is there -- you seek BECCAA out if you're having feelings about something someone made or did online, and it asks you questions and gives you responses that help you process your mood. In between, it offers provocative quotes on feminism, which in itself offers interesting context to consider the structures in which we need support.

Lydia Neon's Player 2 is a forgiveness engine -- you tell it about a specific person and your interpersonal conflict with them, and, among other things, Player 2 helps you decide how you feel about the situation and what, if anything, you want to do about it.

There's something incredibly poignant and disconcerting about having a game talk about a person with you. Read the rest

Finally, you can sext with a bot

What would visitors from space think if they saw your sexts? Nonsense words accompanied by alien knobs of human flesh -- the creases, the arresting hairs and things. Would it turn them on?

Now you can sext with a bot and try to arouse it. The prolific Mike Walker has developed Sext Machine, "an SMS-based game exploring the frailty of algorithms and human sexuality." You send it fleshy pictures and sexts until you can convince it that it's doing something hot.

Ideally you don't send it actual nudes -- the ruddy floret to the left of your knee, maybe, or a close-up of the rude, hard tendon at the back of your heel, and you see if the bot thinks it's hot. "I was interested in exploring all of the little arbitrary things about human sexuality that make perfect sense to us, but would seem completely arbitrary and foreign to an alien species or something unfamiliar with humanity," Walker tells me.

"I was really excited about experimenting with the form of human-algorithm interaction that's at the core of the game," he says. "This isn't an experience where you consume a bunch of pre-written content, or explore some sort of consciously-designed game system. You're just interacting with a pure algorithm, and one that was designed with no intention of being appropriated this way (I'm using a nudity-detection service meant mostly for businesses who run sites that allow upload of user-generated content)."

Sext Machine also intends to prompt the player to think about and interact with their own body in a new and different light. Read the rest

Social graph of mysterious twitterbots

Terence Eden has mined the social graphs of thousands of mysterious, spammy twitterbots, which may or may not be the same larval spambots I wrote about. Read the rest

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