the mysterious Ashley

Case number:699969-2007830
Topic:General
Opened by:LociOiling
Status:Open
Type:Question
Opened on:Friday, June 14, 2019 - 18:32
Last modified:Friday, September 13, 2019 - 00:54

The user Ashley was sighted on 13 June 2019 in both #global and #veteran. (All times are US Central Daylight Time, CDT).

Purely by accident, clicking on Ashley's name revealed a "started folding" date of 05/09/08, 9 May 2008, the game's official birthdate.

Ashley's user profile

Despite having started folding 11 years ago, Ashley has never opened a single puzzle or contest, and has no achievements.

Given this lack of any activity, Ashley's appearance in the somewhat exclusive #veteran chat was even more mysterious.

Ashley's puzzling apparition persisted for almost 34 hours, as seen in my IceChat logs:

13 June 2019 (US CDT):
[00:28]* Ashley (Ashley@net-pol.92h.8l7epv.IP) has joined channel #global
[00:28]* Ashley (Ashley@net-pol.92h.8l7epv.IP) has joined channel #veteran

14 June 2019 (US CDT):
[10:06]* Ashley (Ashley@net-pol.92h.8l7epv.IP) Quit (Ping timeout: 181 seconds)

Thanks to Mike Cassidy for pointing out the paradox of Ashley's entry into #veteran.

Making this one a question: what's going on here?

(Fri, 06/14/2019 - 18:32  |  11 comments)


LociOiling's picture
User offline. Last seen 10 hours 29 min ago. Offline
Joined: 12/27/2012
Groups: Beta Folders

OK, I guess Ashley has a sibling Alissa, who appears in both veteran and global at the moment.

Alissa has a low user number, 56117. Alissa's profile gives "you are not authorized to access this page".

I vote for Audrey as the next access-denied type of mystery chat invader.

LociOiling's picture
User offline. Last seen 10 hours 29 min ago. Offline
Joined: 12/27/2012
Groups: Beta Folders

Our latest lurker at the threshold is Bill or bill, started on 9 May 2008, present in #veteran, but has no visible accomplishments.

Hope I didn't miss Audrey.

LociOiling's picture
User offline. Last seen 10 hours 29 min ago. Offline
Joined: 12/27/2012
Groups: Beta Folders

Bill is gone, but now we have Courtney, one of those "access denied/you are not authorized" types. No doubt just another sign of the coming robot apocalypso.

LociOiling's picture
User offline. Last seen 10 hours 29 min ago. Offline
Joined: 12/27/2012
Groups: Beta Folders

Now Courtney in turn has departed, but we have the somewhat anomalous Barbara, whose profile is actually accessible. Barbara started folding in 2008, but last played puzzle 337 in 2010. As in previous rounds, an attempt at a seance in veteran chat has been made, but the spirits are silent.

LociOiling's picture
User offline. Last seen 10 hours 29 min ago. Offline
Joined: 12/27/2012
Groups: Beta Folders

Barbara has vanished without saying goodbye, but now Victor has beamed into the chat rooms. Victor has been playing for over 11 years, but has still not managed to open a single puzzle. Perhaps he's just shy, and only plays in offline mode.

LociOiling's picture
User offline. Last seen 10 hours 29 min ago. Offline
Joined: 12/27/2012
Groups: Beta Folders

I decided to try talking to Victor, using the oddly-named IRC "query" command in my external IRC client (IceChat).

Somewhat to my surprise, Victor responded. An actual transcript follows.

[14:55]<LociOilingIRC> hey Victor
[14:55]<Victor> Hey
[14:55]<LociOilingIRC> how are things today?
[14:55]<Victor> Hey
[14:55]<LociOilingIRC> I'm thinking you're a bot of some kind.
[14:55]<Victor> Hey

(Edit: escaped the brackets for the sake of HTML.)

alcor29's picture
User offline. Last seen 22 hours 15 min ago. Offline
Joined: 11/16/2012

Hilarious!

LociOiling's picture
User offline. Last seen 10 hours 29 min ago. Offline
Joined: 12/27/2012
Groups: Beta Folders

It continues. Victor has left the chat room, but Joseph has moved in.

georg137's picture
User offline. Last seen 19 hours 58 min ago. Offline
Joined: 08/07/2010
Groups: Contenders

Foldit is open to all, but the intended thrust of creating a user account is to actually use a client machine for folding. So, any ideas about the implications of serial account creation? Weird but harmless or somehow intrusive?

LociOiling's picture
User offline. Last seen 10 hours 29 min ago. Offline
Joined: 12/27/2012
Groups: Beta Folders

I suspect the Foldit team is behind these dormant users appearing in chat. A year or so ago, we had FolditIRCBot in chat, but not for very long. Perhaps someone is working on a better bot, but FolditIRCBot had way more things to say than my pal Victor.

I'd agree with "weird but harmless". Not very intrusive, since these are public channels, as our friends from SuperNets used to demonstrate once in a while.

LociOiling's picture
User offline. Last seen 10 hours 29 min ago. Offline
Joined: 12/27/2012
Groups: Beta Folders

The gyre continues to widen. Joseph has departed into the aether, but Anna has manifested theirself, passing through a mystical portal from a distant time known as 2008.

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