Robot Exclusion Protocol

This is awesome: Robot Exclusion Protocol:

I took off my clothes and stepped into the shower to find another one sitting near the drain. It was about 2 feet tall and made of metal, with bright camera-lens eyes and a few dozen gripping arms. Worse than the Jehovah's Witnesses.

"Hi! I'm from Google. I'm a Googlebot! I will not kill you."
"I know what you are."
"I'm indexing your apartment."
"I don't want you here. Who let you in?"


10 Responses:

  1. I think a rolling pin would have been more satisfying as the implement of destruction. But I concur, it is still teh awesome.

  2. endico says:

    A tape of jwz playing with his life sized Stallman doll. The mind reels. Or maybe with a love lump version of Stallman. No, wait. That hurts too much.

  3. centralasian says:

    a gross fetishization. in the (near) future the system will be just introspecting itself, no googleanalysis needed.

  4. supersat says:

    Gotta love a short story that (effectively) ends in a DoS attack.

  5. transgress says:

    hehe. what a cool future that will be, thats so much cooler than finding roaches in your bathtub.

  6. quercus says:

    I take it that you, for one, do not welcome our snooping omniscient robot overlords ?

  7. 33mhz says:

    Alas, snooping video arms are so much cooler than something that discreetly rolls by and notes the responses to an RFID ping.

  8. autopope says:

    I'm indirectly responsible for the Robot Exclusion Protocol.

    See, back in 1993 I had discovered (a) the web, and (b) perl. And I was writing a robot instead of doing my real job (writing documentation for SCO OpenSewer 5.0).

    I lived, at the time, in Watford, a suburban satellite town of London. (One of SCO's software development groups used to be in Watford -- before SCO turned into Tarantella, sold the crown jewels to Caldera, and vanished to be replaced by a brain-eating zombie). In 1993, SCO had a 64Kb leased line.

    I was poking around the web at the time, and by brain-dead stupidity I was spending a lot of time on Martin Kjoster's web page about robots. So when I wrote my first spider I turned it loose on a depth-first traversal and stupidly pointed it at a page including links to his site. As Martin's site was hosted by his employer, who had a mere 14.4K leased line (those were the days!) I tended to hammer him whenever I ran a test.

    Eventually Martin emailed me. "Don't do that," he said. "Here is a protocol: grab the /robots.txt file and ignore all files listed in it, or else."

    So I did that, and stopped annoying Martin, and meanwhile between us we had created something horrible (because XML hadn't been invented and I was still a crap programmer as opposed to an average one, and I was still learning Perl).