Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Who is Fatbot and why should I care?

Today someone was reviewing our web logs and came across a bot we never saw before. Its name is "Fatbot". We were wondering what this bot is so we did what any person on this planet (maybe besides Bill Gates) would do, we Googled it.

Fatbot is a bot for thefind.com.

One has to wonder why the programmer would give it such a unique name. Do a quick search on google for "fatbot" and you should see as the first result a link to a futurama.wikia page. On that page there happens to be a description of a robot with the name of Fatbot from the TV series futurama.


I wonder if the name was a coincidence?

Picture a techy writing a program to go around the web and gather data. Its not so hard to see the same person enjoying naming the program after a robot on his favorite TV show. No one will catch the connection and he and his friends can sit together at night and laugh about it.

 A quick read on the futurama.wikia page about this Fatbot's description got me thinking

"When under stress he tends to eat anything on hand- usually something valuable"

I wonder what this robot from thefind.com really does.  I asked some of my colleagues what they think it would mean if someone told them a "comparison shopping engine is under stress". Almost everyone said that they would take it to mean that the comparison engine is not getting enough clicks to generate revenue.

Aha ... so we have ourselves a web robot that checks out CPC links and its name happens to be the name of a robot that eats things, valuable things (maybe $), when under stress.

Maybe this bot is auto clicking on links in order to charge its retailers for more clicks?

We have not received an official response from thefind.com yet. (That could be because we never contacted them  ; )

You might be rolling you're eyes now

and thinking "oh no .... another conspiracy blog"

But did you wonder if you are getting charged for these clicks?

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