Internet service providers (ISPs) not really providing customers with the internet speeds they paid for isn’t anything new.
Neither are Tweetbots – programmes or machines (sometimes based on Raspberry Pi and other boards) that will create tweets according to specific conditions. What is new, however, is using them both.
Created by a Reddit user in the /r/technology subreddit, this set-up will Tweet to American ISP Comcast every time the customer’s 150mbps down/ 10mbps up falls bellow a third of the down speed (50mbps). The Twitter account, @ then shoots off a Tweet asking what exactly is going on.
— AComcast User (@A_Comcast_User) January 29, 2016
This little creation is actually pretty simple: the Raspberry Pi runs a speed test on the connection every hour and stores the data. That data is used to decide whether or not to send out a Tweet, as well as turning it into a library of graphs so the creator can check up on the speeds.
The creator sought to build this bot after noticeable resolution drops while watching Netflix (480p or lower) as well as high latency in Counter Strike: Global Offensive.
Now, for the problems: the Raspberry Pi can’t capture speeds higher than 90mbps, so when it reaches the cap the data isn’t exactly reliable. Also; as pointed out by another Reddit user: when the account Tweets to Comcast, an automated reply will deal with it. The creator has stated that they do not follow these messages up, so the whole project becomes a loop of robots speaking to each other over the internet.
That being said, the ploy seems to have worked, as the service provided as been better since the incessant Tweeting.[Source – Reddit, Image – Hubon Campus, Tom Szpytman]