Non-working bot: @cipherscyther
After I left class I was unsatisfied with my concept of a quote mashup bot, since it didn’t touch on any social issues or frameworks.  My second version was intended to be a twitter bot that plays with the geolocation function of posting statuses.  It was intended to tweet, asking if one location knows anything occurring in another location.  It is partially functional, the only issue is that oceans do not return ‘place_ids’ that twitter recognizes, and my random geo function is not constrained to solid ground, so most calls to twitters reverse geo function return errors and the tweet can’t be made.
I then shifted to a bot focusing around encryption, offering a way to cipher tweets for users.  After coding the basic substitution cipher function and its reverse, I thought of how to generate and share the passphrase.  I had happened upon the name cipher scyther, since they sound so similar, and the name ended up giving me a great idea for the passcodes.  Stronger passcodes are obscure, but the recipient still needs to be sure they have the right phrase.  Scyther is a pokemon, and while they are very popular with some people, the names of the pokemon are often obscure knowledge.  So I decided to have the passphrase for the cipher to be the name of one of the 151 original pokemon.  And in order to send the passphrase along with the ciphered message, the bot would post an image of the pokemon used in the cipher.  I thought it was somewhat along the lines of Maddy Varner’s way of encrypting messages in images of Kim Kardashian, although much less complex.  Similar to that project, I was hoping to draw attention some to cryptography through pop culture.
The bot itself can encipher and decipher text, and link that text with the image of the pokemon that is its passphrase.  It does not however tweet anything.  I had alot of trouble getting the JSON returns broken down into something I could use, and I also had some issues with the way twitter works.  I didn’t want people tweeting the message they wanted encrypted to the bot, because that defeats the purpose of altering the message since its already out in public.  And in order for the bot to receive a private message it has to be following the sender.  I wasn’t sure of how to get that automated, or how to get the user to initiate that so it is currently not implemented.
So the bot doesn’t work as a bot.  If you run the cipher.js it will encipher and decipher a sample message and show the relevant image.  I thought that for my final programming project in school I should get into it, but I don’t have enough java experience to get it to work in the time I have left.
(I hope nobody abuses the bots that have my config files in them, but I really don’t have an issue with getting that account disabled)


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