Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Private Channel Pandorabots and Chat Channel Spam

Recently I received a report from a customer whose Pandorabot suddenly started spewing spam into local chat. I traced the problem down to a freebie penis that continually announces its location on channel 2. The customer's Pandorabot had been configured to listen on channel 2 rather than the local chat channel (channel 0).

This does not appear to be a common problem. I've only had one report of private channel spam and there are hundreds of Pandorabots scattered all over the grid. It may be limited to the rare case where a Pandorabot is listening on channel 2 and a resident wearing the OnDuty penis is within chat range. I've asked whether continually announcing your location on a private channel is considered griefing and have yet to receive a reply.

If your Pandorabot suddenly starts spewing spam take the following steps:
  • Turn your Pandorabot off by saying "menu" on the Pandorabot's chat channel then clicking the "OFF" dialog menu button
  • Edit the Configuration notecard and change the CHANNEL setting. I recommend using a channel number greater than 10 as private chat spam has thus far only been detected on channel 2.
  • Restart your Pandorabot by clicking the base prim. If you cannot see the base prim, click View -> Highlight Transparent or CTRL-ALT-T
  • Email missyrestless@gmail.com or IM Missy Restless to report the problem. Please provide as many details as possible including channel number and a copy of the chat spam.
I have not yet filed an abuse report against the OnDuty Penis as I'm not sure this is considered abuse (seems to me it should be). I will be making a free Pandorabot update available with private channel spam protection.

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