by Brandon Butler
McBroken 10/24/2020

Monica Chin at The Verge interviews the McBroken website creator, which orders a McFlurry every thirty minutes at every McDonald’s in the country to track broken ice cream machines:

Rashiq Zahid came up with McBroken over the summer. In July, he visited a McDonald’s in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin and attempted to order a McSundae from a touchscreen kiosk — but no ice cream was available. He attempted to order from the mobile app, but was similarly thwarted. His trip had been for naught.

“I was like, there must be something that can be done about this,” Zahid said. […]

It turned out to be harder than he’d thought. Initially, he created an API that attempted to add a McSundae from every McDonald’s location to its cart once every minute. The app figured out what he was up to and blocked him — “It was like, you can’t do this, you look like a bot,” he recalled.

After a night of trial and error, Zahid figured out the magic time frame. Now, his bot attempts to add a McSundae every 30 minutes. If the bot successfully adds the item, it lets McBroken know that the location’s machine is working. If it can’t, the location gets a red dot.

Simple, genius, bookmarked.