How Does Ask Peter Work? The Code Behind the Prank, how to use peter


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How to use peter answers

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How Does Ask Peter Work? The Code Behind the Prank

For a number of years, one of my hobbies has been researching paranormal scams. These are situations where an individual claims they can predict the future, that they ve discovered the secret to antigravity, or that they work for the government and know the truth about aliens. A common thread in all of that surreal research is that generally, an unnerving number of people are very, very gullible.

That gullibility multiplies significantly when the event being portrayed includes something that appears supernatural or magical in nature. Deep down, many people still want to believe in magic and when they are presented with the opportunity to believe again, they jump all over it.

A case in point is a website that is very popular among the prankster community called Ask Peter (or Peter Answers). The footer text lists the page as a Virtual Tarot, as though the page truly has the ability to predict your future or answer any of your questions. In this article, I answer the question: how does Ask Peter work?

How Does Ask Peter Work? The Believer Perspective

First, I m going to show you how the website works for the person off of the street who knows nothing about the inner workings of Ask Peter. When you first arrive at the website, you ll see a very simple web form.

How to use peter answers

The point of the website is that it s a sort of electronic tarot which will peek into your future and answer your questions accordingly. However, Peter is a fickle psychic, and he must be treated with respect or he won t answer your question. Therefore, before you ask a question, you must petition Peter with the sentence, Peter, please answer the following question: If you re using the Peter Answers site alone and you don t know the secret behind the site, you ll typically get an answer like this:

How to use peter answers

What s up with that? Ah, but it s all part of the show, folks. The magic really happens when you bring in a second person who knows Peter s terrible secret (after reading this article, that will be you!) The second person needs to type in the petition and question for you, and then you ll get the answer which is usually remarkably accurate.

How to use peter answers

If the person typing the question knows the secret, you ll get such an answer. In the second half of this article, I m going to share Peter s terrible secret, and welcome you into the secret society of Ask Peter insiders. If you enjoy the childlike, magical perspective offered by your blissful ignorance, then stop reading this article now. Otherwise, if you would like to be immune to this particular scam How to Protect Yourself From 3 of the Biggest Online Scams Right Now How to Protect Yourself From 3 of the Biggest Online Scams Right Now People will always fall foul of the scammers. Three of the most devastating scams at the moment have yielded hundreds of millions of dollars for cybercriminals. What can you do to protect yourself? Read More , then read on.

Welcome to the Secret Society of Ask Peter

If you ve read this far, then you feel prepared for the secret knowledge of how Ask Peter works. Let s take a closer look.

How to use peter answers

The ultimate secret to Ask Peter is actually a bit of creative JavaScripting What Is JavaScript and How Does It Work? What Is JavaScript and How Does It Work? What is Javascript? It’s a programming language used to enhance web pages. It includes dynamically updating web pages, user interfaces and more. Let’s dive into what Javascript is all about. Read More . Getting Peter to answer a question doesn t take reverence and politeness, it takes a very plain period. That s right in the Petition field, just type a . and start typing the answer to the question that you re going to ask in the next field.

At the end of the answer, type another . and then continue typing the rest of Peter, please answer the following question: To the person sitting next to you, it only appears as though you ve typed that one question especially if you re a fast typist.

So, now you know the secret. Submitting the question that you ve already entered the answer for and clicking OK will result in Peter providing your answer. The person next to you who s watching will be astounded and flabbergasted by the amazing accuracy of this virtual tarot. Just don t be too accurate, as you ll raise suspicion. Once you re through, you can proudly claim another Ask Peter believer under your belt. In doing so, you ve perfectly portrayed the terrible gullibility that runs rampant throughout the world.

Let s take a closer look at how the background scripting for Ask Peter actually works.

How to use peter answers

Now, the creators of this website were clever enough to suspect that discerning tech geeks would try peeking under the hood, so they ve incorporated a few safeguards. The first, of course, is processing all entries through CSS using class inp to handle each input field. You simply can t see how these fields are processed without access to the CSS files 10 Simple CSS Code Examples You Can Learn in 10 Minutes 10 Simple CSS Code Examples You Can Learn in 10 Minutes We’ll go over how to create an inline stylesheet so you can practice your CSS skills. Then we’ll move onto 10 basic CSS examples. From there, your imagination is the limit! Read More . However, if you look closely at the form code, you ll discover an interesting anomaly.

At the footer of the page script, you can see various variables used to return different text to the text field:

Each variable is given a coded name that looks similar, but it isn t with zero and the letter O in various places in the name. The technique is clearly intended to cover up the true purpose of the script, but it s obvious that if you aren t aware of the secret use of . behind the entry of the answer, then the page is coded to provide lots of different error messages back to you.

What does this mean to those of you who aren t JavaScript programmers? It means that instead of one, single function and variable handling the input text that gets entered into each field and returning a text value to the answer field, there are multiple things that happen with every individual keypress. This means that there s a whole lot of TomFoolery going on with the text that you enter into each text field.

Now You Know the Real Answer

The answer, of course, is that if you re in the Petition field, the script returns what you type into the field, but watches for the moment you type the . character. At that point, it starts typing the rest of the statement Peter, please answer as it saves each character you re actually typing into a variable until you type . again. Finally, once you click OK your saved text that was stored in a string variable is displayed below in the form of Peter s Answer.

Now that you know the inner workings of this online Prank 7 Pranks to Play on iPhone Users 7 Pranks to Play on iPhone Users Pranking your friends is lots of fun, and there some great ways to do it if you get a few minutes alone with their iPhone. Read More , are you more likely to try it out on a friend?

Share your opinion about this online virtual tarot in the comment section below, and if you do try it out on a friend, let us know how it went!


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