Sunday, September 24, 2006

Adventures with

Apparently, I'm a rampaging robot.

I wanted to look something up in a paper I've written, and obviously, finding it on astro-ph is easier than going to a terminal opening it from *gasp* the hard drive, or even worse, standing up and trying to find a paper copy on my desk. At least, this was indisputably clear to me, until I clicked on the convenient PDF button, and instead of being given the PDF, I was told:

Access Denied

Sadly, you do not currently appear to have permission to access

Mm. So this is amusing. It's also not the same error message you get if you're trying to access a paper that hasn't yet been made public. The page does include a link to their explanation of Access Denied, though:

Access Denied

Accesses from your site have triggered our automatic robot detection system. (Sometimes a block is caused by another user from behind the same proxy.) Blocks are usually removed automatically after about a week.

I sent them an email in response. I said,

I'm not a robot. I am a graduate student.
The meat of their automated reply was—and I paraphrase here—"blah blah blah orange elephants blah blah." They closed with—and this part is a direct quote—:
Message joins 79 other compelling messages current in queue.
Have a pure day.
Hopefully they'll be able to discern the stubtle different between the two worker classes, and I won't be forced to use a mirror site for a week.

1 comment:

Stephen said...

What we need is an automated Turing test. This would be a program that conducts an interview to see if the person on the other end of the wire is a human or not. Since computers can't currently pass the Turing test, this would be proof that you are a grad student.

Of course, a program that could administrate the Turing test would be complicated enough to be able to pass the test itself.