Thursday, October 11, 2007

Cheating iLike on facebook

Sometimes my overcompetitive tendencies get the better of me. The latest time this happened was using iLike on Facebook.

This little application has a game called the iLike challenge where you have to guess the artist, or the song title while the song plays. The quicker you do it, the more points you get. You keep a running total of points as you guess the answers correctly, and then if you get an answer wrong your running total is reset down to zero. The application shows your best run, and shows you how your best run compares to your facebook friends.

I have a reasonable music knowledge, but not enough to make me top of my friends. Luckily, I've got the sort of hacker brain that likes breaking these sorts of puzzles.

It turns out that because the whole application is web based the programmers had to decide what to do if you lose the connection before your time runs out. They decided to keep your running score, and take you back to a random question.

This immediately gives you an advantage - if you get a question you don't know, just click away, then click back to iLike challenge. You will never get a question wrong, and can get as high a score as you like.

However, this can still be a bit slow, as you might get a lot of questions you don't know. But there is another trick. The application seems to give you repeated questions fairly often when you click back, probably due to a weakness in the random number generator. So each time you get a song you don't know, remember some of the lyrics. Google the lyrics to get the song title or artist. Then have the answer ready when the question comes round again.

I can't decide whether this is something I shouldn't be doing as a Christian. Do other people think this is dishonest? I enjoy finding these lateral thinking solutions to computer flaws more than I enjoy the original games, so it is a good form of entertainment for me. I think it only becomes dishonest if I boast I am the best at iLike, without saying how I did it.


Unknown said...

Yes - it's dishonest. I'm not just saying that because you beat me at Cranium. I mean it's not like you have a little note qualifying your score when ppl look at it - the natural assumption is that you got all the points you have legitimately.

Anonymous said...

i think it's unfair because i actually have musical knowledge but i can't play because facebook is blocked!!! oh no!