Jayd Saucedo

Blog

What is a robot?
"What is a robot?" This is the question I have been posing to all potential robots that try and download one of my mp3 files from my website. I have posted in the past about problems I have with people leeching bandwidth off of my website, going as far as keeping a detailed analysis of all visitors. Finding that most of the leechers were never visiting the site and using third party software to leech it indirectly.

To counteract this, I set up a system where you'd have to prove yourself in your humanness before you could reap the rewards of my unprotected mp3 files. I don't have a problem with people leeching my music. Robots, on the other hand, will receive no mercy. You can test your humanness yourself by visiting one of my mp3 files. The easiest way to detect if someone is human is using a captcha. With the help of an already made PHP class the implementation of that was quite easy, comprising of at most a couple lines of code.

My whole verification system looked something like this:

	include("securimage.php");
	$img = new Securimage();
	//list of mistakes
	$mistakes = "";
	// if it was entered correctly then they are allowed!
	if($img->check($_POST['code']) == false){$mistakes .= "Didn't enter image correctly!
";} if(strlen(trim($_POST['reason'])) < 20){$mistakes .= "Not enough characters in robot description!
";} $allowed = (strlen($mistakes) < 1);
(new syntax highlighter!)

However there was a problem with my captcha system. It seemed like robots were still being able to solve the captcha, but how could I tell they were robots? The only solution I could think of was to ask, but what could you ask a robot that would instantly give away it's robotness? I decided that the only question that would work would be to ask them to describe a robot, since no robot is self aware. I was immediately delighted with the responses I got from what were obviously humans.

The first response I got:

it this big this that shoots laser beams and is really cool like jus give me

This was perhaps the best description I got in the last two weeks of having this in place. Some more responses:

MADE OUT OF ELETRONIC

A robot is a micanucal working machine that helps humans.

It is a thing that can control the entire universe when used unproperly.

And of course I got my fair share of these:

AISDJFIAJSIODFJIOASJDIFOJSIODJFAIOSDFASDDSA

Which I won't attribute to robots but instead to angry humans. Robots don't have feelings and therefore can never get angry enough to write in all caps.

Most of the people were linked directly from a website called beemp3 which apparently scours the internet for mp3 songs and then links people to them. I think there might be an iPhone app for it or something because a surprising amount of browers seemed to be of the iPhone type!