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posted by mrpg on Saturday December 16 2017, @08:06AM   Printer-friendly
from the hack-the-animal-planet dept.

Source: Animal shelter faces backlash after using robot to scare off homeless people:

The San Francisco branch of the SPCA (the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) hired a K5 robot built by Knightscope to patrol the sidewalks outside its facilities. According to a report from the San Francisco Business Times, the robot was deployed as a “way to try dealing with the growing number of needles, car break-ins and crime that seemed to emanate from nearby tent encampments of homeless people.”

[...] The robot in question is equipped with four cameras, moves at a pace of three miles per hour, and is cheaper than a human security guard — costing around $6 an hour to rent. Knightscope’s bots are some of the most popular robot guards around and have popped up in the news in the past. The same model of robot previously knocked over a toddler in a mall and fell into a fountain in DC. Knightscope says its robots are intended as deterrents, and for providing mobile surveillance.

[...] According to the SPCA, attacks have already taken place, with Scarlett telling the Business Times that within a week of the robot starting its duties, some people “put a tarp over it, knocked it over and put barbecue sauce on all the sensors.” One Twitter user reported seeing the robot with feces smeared on it.


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  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @08:28AM (6 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @08:28AM (#610655)

    This is what happens when a communist convinces the open source community to write free software for thirty years. Greedy capitalists pay nothing in software expenses to build tech companies like Facebook and Twitter on the slave labor of unpaid volunteers. Silicon Valley is a communist utopia where nobody pays for software, and just like every communist regime in history, the result is inequality. Economic inequality between the rich and the poors is only growing worse. Tech bros make bank by employing the software of unpaid unwashed homeless coders living on the streets. Billionaires employ the software but not the people who wrote it because RICHARD MATTHEW STALLMAN SOLD YOUR FUTURE TO THE BILLIONAIRES.

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  • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Saturday December 16 2017, @08:41AM (5 children)

    by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Saturday December 16 2017, @08:41AM (#610658) Homepage Journal

    During my homelessness I wrote a tool called "debotify" that Real Soon Now I'm going to release as Free Software, most likely under the GPLv3.

    It removes bots from your web server logs so analyzing with such tools as Analog only tracks visits by live humans.

    This because there are so many different bots that fully half my website's hits are non-human in origin.

    --
    Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @08:57AM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @08:57AM (#610662)

      How amusing. You just reminded me, I've written some web bots over the years, and I've run afoul of moronic webmasters who complain to my hosting providers when they see botlike useragent strings in their logs. Useragent string fraud is a tempting workaround for the problem of pinheaded webmasters, yet what I've found most effective is just using an empty useragent string. Stupid webmasters are dumb enough not to notice an empty string. I sure hope your "debotify" tool doesn't choke on an empty string useragent.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @09:19AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @09:19AM (#610665)

        ""

        Choke on it!

        Bots rule the web.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @03:09PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @03:09PM (#610703)

          AC, you are overstepping your bounds!
          Comments such as "Bots rule the web" are reserved for user Bot (3902).

      • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Saturday December 16 2017, @10:04PM (1 child)

        by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Saturday December 16 2017, @10:04PM (#610798) Homepage Journal

        Actually I don't know what it would do. I'll add a blank string to my test data

        --
        Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @01:33AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @01:33AM (#610823)

          I've been running with a null user agent string for a while, and mostly things work well. Some few sites say "fuck off you're suspicious", and sometimes you get thrown a null pointer exception to the screen with code context, doing stupid stuff like "if (useragent.tolower().contains("ipad") || useragent.tolower().contains("windozephone") || useragent.tolower().contains("mobile") ... ) { mobile = true; }"