Tag Archives: stubhub

The Bot Wars: why the silicon whizz kids are beating you to it

Don Solo/Flickr

I’ve written a long-form article for the New Statesman, about the arms race between online sellers and the bot-makers who try to jump the queue. The use of bots (automated programs) has become an enormous problem for the music industry, where many highly sought-after concerts sell out within seconds – with a sizeable number of tickets skimmed off by touts using special software, then sold on immediately for a profit.

The phenomenon is spreading. One computer programmer I spoke to had turned to bots when he realised that without one he would never again get a booking at his favourite restaurant.

My article was recommended by The Browser, Reuter’s Counterparties blog, BBC Worldwide’s Future blog, the Nieman Journalism Lab’s Fuego blog, and made the front page of Digg.

The full text can be found on the New Statesman’s website, here, or after the fold. Continue reading

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