Tesseractivity™ (tesseractivity) wrote,
Tesseractivity™
tesseractivity

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i say, old bean, have you seen my hat?

There is now a community devoted to this phenomenon and its participants, willing or otherwise. Go there, join up, and discuss your experiences/theories. themissinghat

So I got an IM from what I thought was some random user, at midnight last night. The message was this:

"i say, old bean, have you seen my hat?"

The user was thegreathatsby

I messaged the user back when I got home from work today, where I met with a lot of confusion from the person on the other end. After a few minutes and a screenshot, I figured out what was happening.

The IM I received was from a relay bot. It scours LJ and records the listed AIM names of users. Then, it IMs two users with the message:

"i say, old bean, have you seen my hat?"

Both users see the message as coming from the relay bot (im my case, "thegreathatsby") and when the users respond, they see each other's messages.

Example:
UserA sees this -

thegreathatsby: i say, old bean, have you seen my hat?
UserA: I haven't seen it.
thegreathatsby: Huh? Who is this?
UserA: Um... you messaged me.
thegreathatsby: No I didn't.
UserA: Yes you did. Look.
UserA: thegreathatsby: i say, old bean, have you seen my hat?
thegreathatsby: I've got this... UserA: i say, old bean, have you seen my hat?

UserB sees this -

thegreathatsby: i say, old bean, have you seen my hat?
thegreathatsby: I haven't seen it.
UserB: Huh? Who is this?
thegreathatsby: Um... you messaged me.
UserB: No I didn't.
thegreathatsby: Yes you did. Look.
thegreathatsby: UserB: i say, old bean, have you seen my hat?
UserB: I've got this... thegreathatsby: i say, old bean, have you seen my hat?

The relay bot sends the same message to two users, then translates any entry of "thegreathatsby" (or whatever name it's using) into the other user's name, creating confusion and annoyance between the linked parties.

It took a little while to figure it out, but that's the way it works. I don't yet know who has done this or why, but that's what's happening.




Update: The "Relay Bot List" is now being maintained on themissinghat's info page. There is also a Wiki article with a list.

Feel free to comment if you have anything to add - you may find membership with themissinghat more gratifying, though. More discussion, less confusion to sift through. The comments to this entry are a little overwhelming.

The Hatmaster's sphere of influence is expanding. There's the Hatline, at (530) 6784931. There's a Missing Hat .swf. There's an email address. And now, there's a CafePress Store featuring Missing Hat merchandise, again courtesy of ROY.
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