when and why something will catch on never ceases to amaze me. of course, shopping bots have been around for awhile, but it seems that they are seeing increased usage because of the popularity of ps2:

“Amazon.com, Gohastings.com and Kmart’s BlueLight.com are among the online merchants selling PlayStation 2 consoles that have had outages or slowdowns while featuring the popular, and scarce, toy. While Amazon has said its troubles are unrelated to heavy traffic, BlueLight and Gohastings, the Internet arm of Hastings Entertainment, say shopping bots are at least partially responsible for their technical glitches.

“We sat there and watched the site get 80,000 hits in a period of minutes,” said Dave Karraker, spokesman for San Francisco-based BlueLight, which has suffered periodic delays in doing business because of heavy traffic. “It’s clear to us that there are people using bots to scan the site for the PlayStation 2.””

i’m betting that in one year or two the bots will engage in the virtual equivalent of racing to the aisle and engaging in less than scupulous tactics to ensure that it’s owner actually gets the product.

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