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Johnny's Directory
There was one other important bit of information we needed to take out of Gospel #4. You may have noticed that Johnny snuck in a hint as to where his personal directory lies: Isn't that funny - his page seems an awful lot like the security page we just saw from Lugnut. And if you look at the comment in the source code, it sounds a lot like Lugnut as well.
Glad you found my message. Gotta work harder at covering my tracks, going to have to encrypt everything from here on out, don't want them to find me again, don't know what they'd do to me this time. I hid the link in the background. Trying to keep her out of this, but Ram is there to lend a hand if you need it. Good luck decyphering it...
The Vimeo video is passworded, so we need to figure that out. Johnny/Lugnut/whomever talks about hiding the link in the background. Except there's nothing hidden in bg.gif or rockem.gif. Taking another look at the source code, and you'll see that there is a third image referenced: sockem.gif. You just can't see it because the rockem.gif is on top of it.

Sockem.gif is the same Rock-em Sock-em robot image, except it has a huge bunch of text written over it. A huge bunch of encrypted text. This means that if we want to solve what's going on, we have to type the whole stupid thing out and hope there aren't too many screwy typos. § Luckily, the cipher text isn't as ugly as it looks. It's just a simple substitution, so running it through SCB Solver gets us the clear text quickly. §

The decode is a series of quotes, all by Isaac Asimov. Seems like Asimov should be the logical choice of password, but nope. As it was late by the time we got to this point, I went to bed, hoping for some insight while I slept. Which is how Tonamel snuck and solved it by encoding asimov with the simple substitution key.
Password: ygxcfi
Nun vs. Robots
So Lugnut isn't dead after all! It turns out he found another server connected to the RFF mainframe and that server just happened to be God Hates Robots. This is why he was zapped by Coldoil, but not before Lugnut managed to upload his memory to the GHR server. And this is how Lugnut became Johnny - the 'person' that runs Pastor Ned's website. Now we know why Pastor Ned has never physically met Johnny. I bet he'd be pretty surprised if he found out his site was being run by a bot that used to run MBILF and RFF. §

Anyways, Johnny has decided to join RFF to keep a closer eye on Coldoil and to keep in touch with all of us. He even want to send some of us further instructions if we give him our mailing address on RFF. Only the first 5 people though, so if you haven't already contacted him, it's probably too late.

Oh, and the video Pastor Ned doesn't want us to see? It's a video of him playing with wind-up Nun and Robot toys. The nun is kicking the robot's asses. I love the little sounds that he makes as the robots fall over. He's so funny. I'm not really sure if wind-up toys count as robots, but maybe they do. Certainly it isn't as damning as it could have been if say the robots beat the nun. §
Talking with Johnny
PostLarval followed the directions that Johnny gave and friended him on RFF. Johnny sent back a message telling us how Ram is now helping him out and that she uploaded a conversation somewhere on MBILF that she and Johnny had the day before. The clue to how to find the conversation is apparently somewhere in the Coldoil PDF. §

We spent a couple of hours looking at all sorts of different things in the PDF, including some of the odd typos that seemed to start to spell out a message, with no luck. After that was getting us nowhere, we decided that we should ask Ram for advice on where we should be looking. §

Ram's advice helped tremendously. At the mention of layers, we started thinking Photoshop and Highwind found there was another layer and was able to pull out a secondary image. By the way, this trick doesn't work in GIMP, or at least I couldn't get it to work, so if you don't have Photoshop, you probably won't be able to get the image out. The image is an electrical engineering problem where we have to find the value of Voltmeter 1 and Voltmeter 2, add those values together, and then use that to go to a custom address. The only issue we have is that we don't really have anyone who can solve the problem. We start passing the image around on Twitter, hoping to find someone who can solve it. People start asking their friends, aunts, uncles, spouses, and next door neighbors with no luck. Some of us get desperate and write a script that will start checking all of the possibly addresses and finally get a hit with an answer value of 13958. So the overall answer is and that takes us to

Oh, and just to show that we don't really like solving puzzles like that, we still have a few people who are trying to solve it the correct way. We'll see if it ever actually gets solved.

Update: Lysithea finally solved this puzzle. I know that makes it sound like it took forever to solve because it was so difficult, but it was more like she just didn't see the puzzle was actually unsolved until now. You deserve a cookie, and if I ever make it to Australia, I'll give you one. §
Ram and Lugnut's Convo
So Ram and Lugnut had a conversation in a restaurant where Ram tells Lugnut how much she has missed him and Lugnut tries to reassure her. My only question, is this taking place in a real restaurant or is there some virtual restaurant where AIs can go and pretend to eat? Because if it was a real restaurant, that would be pretty strange, especially considering Lugnut doesn't have a new body as far as I know. But it does make me wonder what Ram looks like. Or who knows, maybe they downloaded themselves into like the coffee pots or the soda machines at a restaurant to talk. §

Ram also tells us that Coldoil is going to be releasing the new Terms of Service on either Tuesday or Wednesday and that we must not accept them. After we are notified of them (not before because we don't want to let on to Coldoil that he's been compromised) we should email him at refusing the new terms and should start a protest thread on RFF. I know Ram and Lugnut think that this might be enough to get Coldoil to back down from whatever scheme he's got cooking, but I don't think he'll be that easily deterred. §

It's also interesting to note that Ram is no longer being tracked by the MBILF admin page. There is no record of her uploading my call and, more importantly, no record of her uploading the conversation she had with Lugnut. I wonder how long it will be until someone else discovers this and takes action against Ram.
It's been a while since we've heard much from her, but Chuck finally added a new tumblr post. It's basically just a rehash of the Scrabble tourney. But she does say that if we want it, there could be another game in the future, so that's awesome! And next time, Chuck might go over to the boys' place and get in on their video chat. Which would be totally great!
011ie Got His Groove Back
Huzzah! 011ie is no longer depressed! Tim took him into Manhattan and they had a really good day and now 011ie is dancing around the apartment with Tim and Chuck. It's so cute. He even manages to knock Tim out, although Tim claims he took it like a man. Hopefully he took it like a real man and let the cute girl fawn over him for a bit, but I somehow doubt that. §
Forming the 36
PostLarval has been playing the double agent roll and been talking to Pastor Ned. All of his hard work has paid off since Pastor Ned has now accepted him as one of the 36 Disciples that will carry out God's work. All PostLarval has to do is create a uniform (preferably in a brown and orange color scheme) with a badge that says "One of the 36" and send in a portrait so that the rest of the disciples will know who he is. Guess I'm not gonna be one of Pastor Ned's 36 if I have to send in a picture. But I definitely think that everyone else should sign up, if only to see what Pastor Ned wants the 36 to do. §
The New TOS
Late Wednesday night, Carol Coldoil posted the new Terms of Service on The 36 characteristics are mentioned, but they still aren't entirely spilled out. Other highlights of the TOS: RFF now owns all content we upload, they can share our information with affiliated (but unspecified) companies, and they can add/subtract packet clusters from the mainframes/memory banks of robots who violate the TOS. §
Coldoil's Personal Directory
You may have also noted that at the end of the TOS it shows the path where the file was located on Carol Coldoil's harddrive: C:/Personal Documents And Files/website files/ Although we don't have access to his home computer, we can at least see if he has the same directory set up over at RFF. And what do you know, he does:

In his /personal directory he has a link to a YouTube video which apparently is his ringtone. I never thought Coldoil would be the type of guy to have his phone play out Bananaphone by Raffi.

In /documents he has links to three files: the new TOS, hints to all his passwords, and a passworded pdf of publicity photos.

The password file is pretty interesting. We already had the logins for the MBILF members and admin. We now also have hints for his RFF login (although I can't imagine us actually being able to get access to it), the Lugnut access codes, and a hint to the passworded publicity photo pdf. §

The hint for the publicity photos is Favorite Musical Artist (pre 2000, of course). Sadly, it's not Raffi. But you should remember that when signing for RFF, one of the questions was "Favorite Musical Artist". Checking out Coldoil's profile, we see that he likes "Bon Jovi- Pre 2000", and bonjovi works to open the PDF.
Password: bonjovi
The PDF file contains seven different publicity shots of Coldoil. If it's possible, I think they are even stranger than Pastor Ned's glamour shots. At least Pastor Ned's were all sort of similar. Coldoil's range from shirtless to the pathetic college party look. §

There's one thing that I need to note about the Terms of Service. When we originally found it on the RFF discussion and in the doc file, instead of saying C:/Personal Documents And Files/website files/[...] it said C:/Personal Documents And Files/website files/[...]. Needless to say, this was a bit odd, and I thought that my Evil Tim theory was coming true already. I asked Tim about it, but all he said was that he didn't realize that Coldoil was behind RFF. Which is odd considering Coldoil is all over RFF and barely visible on MBILF. A few minutes later, and the link is changed to, so there was a mistake somewhere. Either it was a PM mistake (which is forgive and forgettable) or EvilTim sent a hasty message to Coldoil to fix the problem.

Sadly, I can't really tell which kind of mistake it is. Right now I'm leaning toward PM mistake, but the fact that they went so far as to make sure that Carol Coldoil was the author of the documents in the META data § sort of makes that an odd mistake to make. Usually it's META data that gets overlooked, not links pointing us to new pieces of the puzzle. However, until I have more proof, I don't think I can use this as part of the EvilTim theory, but I will keep it in mind if EvilTim happens to show his face in the future.
Auto Fish Feeder
Hooray! Timmy Time is BACK! And just look at how much more awesome the Auto Fish Feeder video is compared to the Tube Taco video. It's all because of the Timmy Time. §

It's not to say there isn't a problem with this video, because there is. You see, Timmy, or I guess more accurately Acras, stole strifey's Auto Fish Feeder idea. That means the chances of this getting the coveted strifey's Seal of Approval just went down. Especially since strifey's idea was better and it was actually proven to work. I can't remember the entire set up, but I know it involved a carefully balanced ruler and a cell phone set on vibrate. You would call in to feed your fish, the phone would nudge the ruler and the beta pellets would drop into the bowl. He kept both SuperVixen and El Fuego Vaca alive while on vacation, much to the delight of everyone.

But despite the theft of idea, it's still a solid video. Although the whole 'let me show you what I have on my teeth' brings it down a peg. But 011ie's comments make up for that, mostly. The bok choy was pretty gross. I now know another reason why Tim isn't dating anyone.
Pastor Luddcasts
No new video sermons, because Pastor Ned is on the road. But not to fear, because have mini-cassette recorder, will podcat . That's right! Pastor Ned is now Luddcasting and has two Luddcasts up on iTunes. He really is quite the jibber jabberer when he doesn't have to edit video. It's basically more of the same: talking about the back-teching and why robots want to uprise and all that. I just wishe we could get video from the rallies or one of his church services. That would be a riot to watch. §
RFF Lovers Against New TOS
There has been a bit of a backlash over Coldoil's new TOS over at RobotFriendFinder. People started leaving comments about how much they hated the new terms and H(e)x started a new group called RFF Lovers Against New ToS! Some of us even sent in emails to Coldoil to protest the new terms.

All of the protesting had an impact. Coldoil made a statement that everything was just a misunderstanding, and to clear it up, he would be holding a live streaming press conference on June 16, 2009 at 9:00pm ET. Technically, Coldoil says its at 9:00pm EST (02:00 UTC) but I'm guessing he means 9:00pm EDT (01:00 UTC) because no one can ever seem to get timezones correct. §
Profiles of the 36
Pastor Ned has put up the biography and photos of his newest disciple: PauL. There are many words that can describe the photos: hilarious, frightening, disturbing. I'm not sure what actually scares me more: the Mexican wrestling mask or the 70s clothing. I will admit that I'm a little bit sad that the rumor that PauL was going to be wearing a kilt in the photo turned out to be false. Maybe if he had I would have considered joining Pastor Ned's little flock. But I just can't join a group where the only disciple is wearing brown pants that point out that his legs are oh so much skinnier than mine. §
Cyborg Date
So on Sunday, 011iver had his second date. This time it was with a cyborg named Max at the zoo in NYC. I see how it is. The cute cyborg from Brooklyn gets to spend the day at the zoo with 011ie, but I sit on a bus for 8 hours and I get 30 minutes in the park with sticky cider. Doesn't seem quite seem fair. Not that I'm bitter or anything. I got a mug. She just got a balloon scepter. I wonder if she gave 011ie a gift. I see he's still wearing mine, so that's gotta count for something, right? §

Is it just me, or is Tim being a bit of an ass in this video? I mean, more than usual. First he seems to sabotage 011ie when telling Max what 011ie does for fun. What happened to talking 011ie up like on the first videos, Tim? When you wouldn't let him say he liked conventions but long walks on the beach? Then, he teases 011ie with ice cream that 011ie can't eat and just watches as the ice cream sandwich falls to the ground. What a jerk!

And did you notice the potential EvilTim appearance? No, not the socks and sandals shot, although that was pretty bad. The bit where Tim mentions Bluetooth - just like in the Pastor Luddcast! Coincidence? I don't know - EvilTim seems to keep cropping up more and more. I'm really beginning to worry. Not enough to tell 011iver yet, but it's just one more bit of evidence to add to the pile.

Oh, I should probably also mention that guide updates in the future are going to occur even later than what they do now. The outgoing FTP is being blocked at work and so I won't be able to upload anything during the day. So if you're checking back in for updates, I wouldn't bother until sometime after 7pm. Sorry. :(
Coldoil Press Conference
Just as promised, Carol Coldoil held a Press Conference on Ustream to discuss the issues with the TOS. In a prepared statement, Coldoil said that the old TOS would be reinstated immediately. However, this would curtail the rollout of the 36 Characteristics that would match robots up perfectly. While they go back to the drawing board trying to figure out a new way to implement the 36 Characteristics, they still want to match up compatible robots. So Coldoil announced the first ever Robot Speed Dating event to be held in Portland in the middle of July.

With that announcement out of the way, Coldoil then began to take questions from the audience in the Ustream Chat room. Quite a few of the questions had to do with what the 36 Characteristics were. Coldoil refused to answer since it was a trade secret and he didn't want any other robot dating company (there are other robot dating companies out there?!) stealing their information.

There was also a lot of questions regarding Lugnut and Coldoil's decision to delete him. Coldoil's response was that Lugnut was malfunctioning and that as he had every right to delete Lugnut and replace him with a better functioning model. This really didn't sit too well with the chat members and the question kept coming up. Eventually Coldoil snapped, saying that he had answered those questions and terminated the press conference. Or at least he thought he did. They video feed cut, but the audio stayed up. We were able to hear Coldoil take a phone call from an unknown individual and express his frustration that we didn't buy into his excuses. After the call ended, Coldoil noticed that one of the camera lights was still on. When he questioned Lugnut Mark2 on this, our audio cut out. I say Lugnut Mark2 but that has to have been Lugnut's handiwork keeping the feed on when Coldoil thought he was in the clear. I'm just curious as to how Lugnut pulled it off.

[As the video is 20+ minutes and I can't access it at work, it's going to take me a very long time to get a transcript up. I'll try to at least get up the prepared statement and the ending phone call this weekend, but I don't know if I'll get around to transcribing the Q&A session. We'll see.]
Robot Speed Dating
Squeee! I'm so excited because, that's right boys and girls, there is going a Robot Speed Dating live event at ARGFest. It's going to be held Friday, July 17th, I believe as the lead-in to the Cocktail Party (although don't quote me on that). It looks like you have to sign up in order to participate. Simply join RobotFriendFinder on Ning and then request to join the Robot Speed Dating group. This is going to be a blast since 011ie and Tim are going to be there - as 011ie and Tim and not just as Awkward Hug. Although I'm sure we'll see plenty of Awkward Hug on Saturday as they are going to be on the Indie Games Panel.

It's still not too late for you to come to ARGFest either - 27 days and counting at the time of writing. Registration details are on the ARGFest-o-Con website. There are a ton of great speakers and how can you go wrong with Brian Clark as the Grand Inquisitor and Jordan Weisman as the Keynote Speaker? The answer is: You can't.

Even if you can't come to ARGFest, there is one important thing you can do on the ARGFest-o-Con website - and that is vote in the t-shirt contest. I designed the Must Love ARGFest shirt, so if you like this shirt, enjoy MLR and/or you like reading my guides, please vote for it. And tell your friends to vote for it too. The more votes, the better. If I win, I promise to bring cookies for all the Robot Speed Dating participants on Friday night. Which of the other designers have promised that?
The Walk Off
During the Cyborg date, 011iver and Max had a little friendly bet going on who had the best runway walk. The person with the best walk would have a burrito bought for them by the loser. Tim filmed the Walk Off (inserting himself into the contest as well) and put up a poll on for people to vote. I voted for Max because she had the best style, despite the fact that Tim tried to rig the contest with the (shirtless!) dancing and 011ie upping his chances by not filming all of Tim's walk. §
A Burrito Date
The poll closed over the weekend and Max was the big winner. The little girl even did better than 011ie and Tim. So this meant that 011ie had to buy Max a burrito and they set up their second date for Sunday afternoon at Los Pollitos. 011ie was really excited and we all had our fingers crossed for him.

Maybe we should have done something more, like sacrifice a goat or something, because the date did not go well. Sadly details are sketchy at this time since no one seems to be saying what happened, but there appears to have been an incident with Max's burrito where Max didn't finish it but Chuck did. Chuck doesn't believe that anything bad happened, but 011ie seems furious.

Everyone is being very coy about what happened. There have been a few twitter updates, but nothing substantial. I even tried calling 011ie on his cell phone, but just got his voicemail. Bastard. Teasing bastards. I'm sure they were enjoying giving out tidbits of information knowing that we were just going to have to wait until Tim got the video footage edited and uploaded. He better do it soon. I need to know what happened between 011ie, Max and Chuck.

I'm not sure what Chuck was even doing at the date. As far as I knew, it was just going to be Tim, 011ie and Max on the date. But Chuck has been a little moody lately. She posted a blog entry talking about how she feels that she's missing out on things while her friends all seem to have their life in order. She's also been a bit upset that Tim and 011ie seem to ignore her. I thought she had turned a corner when she talked about "going to start going after things I want. What have I got to lose?"

I had figured that this meant that she was going to go after Tim, since I thought she had a crush on him. But now I'm not so sure. Could it be that she's had a thing for 011ie all this time and sabotaged his date with Max on purpose? I'm going to have to go back through the videos again to see Chuck's interactions with 011ie. The idea that Chuck might be working with GHR was also brought up in chat, but I don't want to think about the possibility of an EvilChuck. Much rather have ScornedChuck than EvilChuck.
Chuck Blocked
Well, that was awkward, but not nearly as bad as I had feared. Maybe I've watched way too many Coupling episodes, but I was picturing something on par of talking about women's ears in buckets and demanding that Max show a breast in public before she ran away in tears. §

It's obvious that Chuck is crushing hard, although now I'm unsure if its for Tim or 011ie. She sneaks a couple of glances at Tim when she first enters the room, but she sits next to 011ie and has a subtle chair slide scoot to get closer to him. And there is a look of victory on her face when Max ends up leaving 011ie to walk home alone. So maybe it is 011ie that she likes.

The only way to figure this out is to ask Chuck directly - so we've set up a girls only Scrabble game for Thursday night and hopefully we can get her to admit who she has a crush on. And then maybe we can set up a strategy to get her noticed by the guy/robot that she wants. I gotta imagine that Gupfee, Varin and myself can come up with a better plan than crashing 011ie's date with Glen and the spider monkey in tow. I am excited we got to meet Glen even if we didn't see the monkey.

By the way, how do you like the new camera Tim got? Shoots in nice pretty HD now. 011ie is really looking snazzy, although I think that's partially because it appears that he's had a little roBOTOX to smooth out some of the wrinkles he was getting. :) I do think the sound quality is a little muddier than the previous camera, or maybe it was just the location they were shooting in. It seemed like I had a much harder time doing the transcription for this video compared to the others. It was especially hard to hear Tim behind the camera where as before he would be the easiest one to hear. Or maybe Tim just caught 011ie's cold and could barely talk. We'll see how it goes in future videos.
Gospel #5
Oh Pastor Ned. Your back-tech'n instructions amuse me to no end. Today we learn how to back-tech a ZIP drive so that we can safely store a backup of our website. As Pastor Ned is a professional, you should NOT try this at home unless you are prepared to lose every file that you wanted to back up. §

There's also been an update on the Profiles of the 36. The newest member of Pastor Ned's Wacky Brigade is Sonja "RockFish" - who obviously needs to stop eating weird food so late at night if she continues to have such wacky dreams. §

Pastor Ned has also been busy with the email. He's emailed RockFish welcoming her into the fold, and Steven both as a new recruit and to let him and the other disciples know about a new threat: a Robot Revisionist Bible. §

I have no idea who the fourth member of the 36th is, but I can't wait to see their and Steven's pictures on the profile page.

As for the Robot Revisionist Bible Pastor Ned seems to want us to track down, the quote looks to be out of the book God and the Reach of Reason by Erik Joseph Wielenberg. Not entirely sure what we're supposed to do with that information. I was really hoping for another webpage with a Robot Pastor. That would be cool.

It seems that Rockfish gave him some of the info that he asked for (maybe on the Robot Bible?), because he wrote back thanking her for some information. She also got a link back to a painting of a crucified Robot Jesus and the Let Me Google That For You site. She pointed out that obviously Johnny/Lugnut is getting annoyed at Pastor Ned if he's giving out that website address. §
Continue to Page 4 >>

See the Intro page for a list of all the websites, plus brief information about this guide and the game.