Georgia Tech Uses Smarts (Cheats) Trying to Beat Aubie

For the past five weeks, Aubie has taken on and taken down each of his opponents in the Capital One Mascot Challenge. Actually, Aubie has done nothing but be his normal awesome self, while the victories have come due to fan votes. This week, a scary little bumble bee backed by the brains of a “Tech” school stands in front of him.

When I checked the votes on Tuesday, Aubie had a nice lead of 3,000 or so. I figured it would be another easy win considering that the Georgia Tech fanbase hasn’t always been the most committed to their athletics. However, when I checked yesterday, Buzz had not only passed Aubie but he had a lead of around 40,000.

I immediately called shenanigans. When he didn’t answer, I put it together that Georgia Tech is a school full of programming, hacking, number crunching nerds that could have easily found a way to automate their votes.

I tweeted something to that effect and a few minutes later, a loyal follower sent me some links to a Georgia Tech message board, That’s cute, the ‘GT’ stands for Georgia Tech. In one of the posts, a user named “gtcompscientist” (typical), laid out his plan to get around the system and bring pure evil to this world:

Mass Voting for Buzz
After reading through the official rules of the Capital One Mascot Challenge, I’m sure this is legal. So, I decided to post it up in case anybody else wanted to get in on the action:This is all using an Android phone, I’m not sure if iOS is capable of this kind of thing…

– Pre-req #1: Unlimited Text Messaging, or a fat wallet to pay for overages.
– Pre-req #2: An SMS app that lets you Black list numbers (because every time you vote, you’ll get a text back as well, and that would be seriously annoying)
– I use Handcent:…ndcent.nextsms
– Install SMS Scheduler:…x.smsscheduler
– SMS Scheduler allows you to send a message once every 5 minutes, so I scheduled 5 so that it sends once a minute.
– To vote you text “Buzz” to 78257
– Blacklist 78257 so that you don’t get any alerts.
– Sit back and watch the votes fly at roughly 10k/week. (Which means you’ll also RECEIVE that many, so roughly 80k/month)

I have the Sprint Unlimited Data plan which I called to make sure there weren’t any hidden limits on my SMS messaging JUST IN CASE… ;)

As of now I’ve submitted roughly 2k votes this week alone.

In a later post, he told everyone that his number had been blacklisted by Capital One by using this approach, and that he would be working on a web version of his betrayal to society. Here’s what he came up with:

Re: It’s Buzz vs. Aubie! Vote for Buzz!!
Quicker voting online:
– Use Firefox
– Install User-Agent Switcher:…gent-switcher/
– Switch to iPhone 3.0 User Agent (Tools->Default User Agent->iPhone 3.0)
– Navigate to:
– Click Vote
– Vote for Buzz
– Click Vote
– Vote for Buzz
…keep going.

Coming soon: App to do just that.

I don’t know about you, but I feel dirty just from reading that. The nerve…

So now Auburn fans, we have a choice. Do we take this lying down? Do we call and cancel our credit cards? Do we let this travesty occur? Or do we take what this “genius” did and use it against them since it’s technically not against the rules? One could argue that while it may have been pretty smart to figure this out, was it the smartest thing in the world to post it where other teams’ fans could do it, too? Doh!

The Auburn fanbase is vastly larger than that of Georgia Tech’s, and the deficit, which as of right now is 372,975, could be made up very quickly with these two approaches. I’m not telling you to do it, but I’m just gonna leave it right here in case you want to. If you would like to vote legally and morally, you can do so here.

Update: The cheaters won.