Is This the Real M2M?
This may not quite be what AT&T or Cisco have in mind when they talk about how prevalent machine communications is becoming on the Internet.
Someone -- or, more likely, something -- has been posting thousands of short, repetitive videos of blue and red rectangles and computer-generated sine wave tones to YouTube since September. The videos all appear very similar, 11 seconds in length, cycling through 10 patterns of the colored shapes, with a 1960s sci-fi soundtrack-like tone row as accompaniment. (Full disclosure: I haven't watched all of them to be sure that are all so similar, because I value what's left of my sanity.)
Here's just a taste of YouTube user's Webdriver Torso's 77,390 videos posted so far.
Because the account posts so many videos, the expectation is that it must be computer software doing it. However, the speculation about why gets much, much wilder: everything from aliens to French spies to cable set-top box testing software.
I certainly don't why these videos are being posted. I do suspect that, as more and more largely mundane communications gets automated, we'll see these weird anomalies and blips more often. Think of it like the 21st century version of a fax machine constantly ringing your phone on auto-repeat.
Epilogue: Oh, yeah, Webdriver Torso stoped posting for a couple of weeks, but it just posted a fresh video today. So the truth is still out there... somewhere.