Someone programmed a bot to order thousands of McSundaes every 30 minutes to find out which machines are broken.

Originally published at:


This is a pretty fun hack, but apparently I can’t resist nitpicking:

it ain’t.


I don’t get it. Who’s paying for all the sundaes the app orders? How does simply ordering tell you anything about the status of the machine? Seems like there’s a lot of info missing from this story.

ETA: Ah, I see. If you go to the original Verge article it’s explained. Upshot: you’re not actually ordering, you’re testing whether you can add it to the cart.


I think not.


Yeah. I keep seeing this “orders $XXXXX.XX in sundaes every hour” in every headline, and it’s just so incorrect and clickbaity it’s annoying, and honestly detracts from how clever the program actually is. It makes it look like he’s doing something borderline illegal that would cost McDonald’s money and/or annoy the staff, when in truth it costs them nothing and the staff never even sees it.


We’ve all been there: you roll up to a McDonald’s with a craving for one of their deliciously cheap soft serve ice cream offerings …

I haven’t eaten at a McDonald’s in almost 30 years. A quick search tells me they introduced the McFlurry in 1997, so at least 4 years after I last ate there. QED, we have not all been there.


Never had a McWhatever but I find the same bad luck with cherry Slurpee/Icee machines.
Every. Damn. Time.


I’m really curious about the common reporting style of not giving a persons name in the headline. “Someone” programmed a bot. “Area Man” does thing. Anyone know the origin of this?




I think it’s largely a symptom of post-Upworthy headline hacking. “Rashiq Zahid programmed a bot…” is weird, because it assumes familiarity. “Man programs bot…” sounds very old-school headlines. “Someone” is both casual, which is very new media, and inspires curiosity. WHO is this random person? The fact that it’s a random-ass person is kind of inherent to the story, but it also makes you want to know more.

Also, people just respond to the “someone” differently, and you find yourself subconsciously leaning into that. Like how odd numbers work better in headlines than even numbers. There’s no real logic behind it; it’s just how our dumb animal brains work sometimes.

Meanwhile the Russians are probably doing exactly the same thing with our vote-counting machines.

Next, we put all the AIs on the cart!

In a moment we realised the truth: Just because the little bitches liked us, it didn’t mean to say we had to like ‘em back. And that night we rounded out every last one of the little creeps:

Bring out your dishwashers! Bring out your digital watches with the special snooze alarms! Bring out your TV Chess games! Bring out your Auto-gardener’s, Technoteachers, Love-O-Matics! Bring out your friendly household robots! Shove ‘em on the cart!

What is this? Have we not loved you?

Have we not cared for you?

Have we not shared and enjoyed with you?

Shut up you little toadies! Get on the cart!


Lawd, I love HHGttG.

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This is the ‘style book’ approach I appreciate from the Guardian online: Headline in the click box, then a praises (which would reveal the name in this case) an image or not depending on the stories relevance in the news cycle. Click on the article and the same approach with the content i.e. front load the important info then deep dive into the story which is generally well linked to sources.

This ‘Guardian Style Book" approach marks a real maturity of online v news’paper’ dissemination of news information. It is the antidote for clickbait!

As someone with OCD it allows me to get as much information as I need and the ability to drop out at any point without having to complete a whole reading of the article. This is what editorial should be about and why style formatting is important.

Structuring information via a topology of relevance (editorial) is important with news/information services in a non truth Trump era where all things are reflected off the surface. Headlines arguing with headlines is considered a discourse these days and is counter to forming any understanding for the subject… where am ‘I’ in this?

Fake news only really works when all information exists on the surface and the reader is discouraged from going the extra click, a worthwhile click. Because what’s usually on the other side is usually another surface reflecting a surface.

Taking a deep dive and a swim as we speak!

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