Please Explain About Robots....


Mmathis

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I mean the kind that are listed as reading board messages. Exactly WHAT are they and HOW do they work? What's their purpose? Are they a good thing or a bad thing? Who uses them?
 
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They're software applications that search the web for information. Google for example has bots that enter sites to look for data that can improve its searches. Called data mining. Company bots can search sites to see if people are talking about a certain product, or search for email addresses, or whatever they're interested in.

Bots listed on a site have told the site that they are a bot and the site's software can negotiate terms. For example, Google could send 1000000 bots into a site all at once and crash the site. It's the same as if 1000000 people all signed into a site at once and overloaded the site. So bots register to find out how to act properly. This register thing isn't like a user name and password, it's just the bot saying "hi, I'm a bot. Is it OK if I read 1 page per minute?".

Then there are bots that don't tell a site they're a bot so the site assumes they are a person. Those bots will appear at "guests".

Then there are bots that act like a member, with a name, password. They can make posts. They read lots of posts to see how to talk to people.

Anyone can create a bot and let it roam the web. They're very easy to make.
 
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Mmathis

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They're software applications that search the web for information. Google for example has bots that enter sites to look for data that can improve its searches. Called data mining. Company bots can search sites to see if people are talking about a certain product, or search for email addresses, or whatever they're interested in.

Bots listed on a site have told the site that they are a bot and the site's software can negotiate terms. For example, Google could send 1000000 bots into a site all at once and crash the site. It's the same as if 1000000 people all signed into a site at once and overloaded the site. So bots register to find out how to act properly. This register thing isn't like a user name and password, it's just the bot saying "hi, I'm a bot. Is it OK if I read 1 page per minute?".

Then there are bots that don't tell a site they're a bot so the site assumes they are a person. Those bots will appear at "guests".

Then there are bots that act like a member, with a name, password. They can make posts. They read lots of posts to see how to talk to people.

Anyone can create a bot and let it roam the web. They're very easy to make.

Thanks, WB! So, in general, are they good witches or bad witches? Of course, crashing a site is never a good thing, but in general....?

I was just reading an article about airlines doing away with special fares, etc. The info related this to the internet, and was based on "search" patterns of the public. Also, I've noticed that after I've conducted an extensive "search & shop" for a particular item (most recently, a new tent), these ads for tents and outfitters are showing up on almost every un-related site I visit -- it's creepy! Is this all the result of robots?
 

HARO

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Oh isn't that something perverted and nasty...............dating yourself. I think boys were told back in my school days they could go blind doing that :eek:

No, no j.w.! "Dating "is NOT a synonym for "abusing'. :rolleyes:
John
 
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So, in general, are they good witches or bad witches? Of course, crashing a site is never a good thing, but in general....?
Yeah. Kind of depends on your perspective.

It's funny about 20 years ago bots were all considered evil. Written by high school kids. Today bots are big business. Some people think maybe 50-75% of Twitter messages are from bots. Anyone can create a Twitterbot. Is it evil? Twitter is sure OK with it.

Bots that pretend to be people in chat rooms, forums and such are very common. You've probably had conversions with a bot. I have a few bot users in different forums (none here of course). The goal is to do no harm because that doesn't do anyone any good. Other members like my bots much better than they like me. My bots only repeat what it knows people want to hear. Like if someone posts a picture a bot can read a few response posts and see the phases "that's great" and then the bot can post basically the same thing. The picture poster likes the praise and the responders like posts that are basically the same as theirs. Really pretty simple. Everyone wins. Given the choice between real feedback and artificial flattery people pick the flattery every time. Although this might be more about the type of person who posts on sites. Everyone is looking for praise and bots can provide that.

The reason to do this is cash. Once a bot user has a lot of friends and good rep on a site it can start selling stuff. That can be products or opinion. A bot can voice a well crafted opinion on a law, candidate or product. So the better a bot is liked the more it's worth. There are very few bots anymore that post insults and such. Just no point. Plus bots can be detected but virtually all sites love bot users. More users, real or not, equals more ad fees. But the bots have to be well behaved.

People have been paid for years to say certain things in blogs. Bots just make that cheaper and more effective. It's also great fun.

It's a crime to con people out of money...unless it's less than a penny. It's OK to con 100 million people out of a penny each. So far it isn't a crime.

Is that evil? From my perspective people have voted with their dollars. Cell phones track your every move and people are fine with it. Browsers track your every move and people are OK with it. In the war of freedom and convenience freedom lost a while back. And none of this is secret. Everyone knows it's going on and everyone is OK with it. So I see no problem with it. I'd prefer a more honest world but the world voted and they like crap better. So give them what they want I say. I'll play by whatever rules the world wants.

I was just reading an article about airlines doing away with special fares, etc. The info related this to the internet, and was based on "search" patterns of the public. Also, I've noticed that after I've conducted an extensive "search & shop" for a particular item (most recently, a new tent), these ads for tents and outfitters are showing up on almost every un-related site I visit -- it's creepy! Is this all the result of robots?
It is creepy. I wouldn't call this a bot, and that is the internet lingo for these things.

This is done mainly by info saved on your computer about what you've been doing on the web. Sites you've been to, what you looked at, how long you were there. You allow your browser to save this info, called cookies. Cookies are useful because when you come back to a site it can remember you.

The downside is pretty much every web site has ads. Basically each web site owner gives a company a certain space on their page. When you go to a site that site tells the company so it can place whatever ad it wants. The company also has access to your cookies. So take a company like Google, almost every site sells space to Google. That way Google can track almost every thing you do. Plus it can share this info with other companies and build an almost complete picture of everything you do. And we are all very happy to agree to this because we're not too bright or don't care.

I noticed a big increase in this recently. And it's not limited to selling products. If you go to a news site like CNN you could see very different stories than other people would see.

News has been almost completely replaced with opinion manipulation. This is a very old story like when newspapers were the only source of info a few people could control what people were told. They controlled who got elected and therefore what laws were passed. And the people went along because they believed the newspapers.

I assume it won't be long before "news" sites write the same stories with slightly different spins and present you with content tailored to the best way to manipulate you. Where it gets very interesting is they can tell almost instantly how a certain spin affects you by watching what you click on next. With that and thousands of others they can tailor a story very fast to get the result they wish.

Fox News has a daily meeting in the am to decide how stories will be spun. But that's TV. With the internet that can happen much faster and cheaper..

Today look how much power Rupert Murdoch has in the US. Look at how many candidates for President were Murdoch's paid employees. This is about power and control. And we're giving it away cheap.
 
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HARO

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Eye-opening, Waterbug! Like I said, Big Brother is watching. Just for the record, I am NOT a bot sent to talk everyone into buying Laguna products! However, in the short time I have been on GPF, I have seen opinions towards these pumps change rather drastically, from "Too expensive" to "Saves energy", after I pointed this out once or twice. So I can really understand the influence these bots can have on a market for certain products.
John (a REAL person)

Yeah, I know. SPOKEN LIKE A TRUE BOT! :rolleyes:
 
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Every weekend I clear the history and cookies from whatever browser we may have used.
When ads show up targeting me, it creeps me out.


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