Monday, January 08, 2007

Plotbunnies are born everywhere.

As some of you know and some of you don’t know, I’m a gamer. I’m not one of those uber-hardcore gamers with a $300 keyboard and a $200 mouse with 12 buttons, but I do enjoy MMORPG’s.

Bear with me, this will get back to plotbunnies.

There’s one phrase that can strike fear in any gamer’s heart and that’s “key logger.” But is that reputation really warranted? Someone, who ever created key loggers, must have had something in mind when making it and was it really ganking your information?

I’ll get back to the plotbunny in a moment. I PROMISE.

First let me tell you what key loggers do. They are program that sits on your machine and records everything you do: what keys your press, what you type, what websites you visit, IM’s, e-mails. When I say these things log everything, I mean everything.

Wait. Calm down before you get all 1984 and Big Brother on me. Take a few deep breaths. Deeper. Deeper. Sip your java and stop the panic attack.

These things can actually be good.

Yes, I said it.

You don’t believe me, do you? You’ve heard all the rhetoric about how bad these things are and you don’t believe me. Well, keep up because I’m tell you how these things can be good AND connected it to plotbunnies.

You really don’t think I can do this. Sheesh. I’m supposed to be the cynical one.

As a gamer, I freak at the idea of someone being able to log my key strokes and know my user id and password, but those are from the bad key loggers, snuck onto your machine by someone you don’t know and monitored by someone you don’t know. Bad key logger! No bandwidth!

These things are like any other tool. They can be used for the light side or the dark side, young techno Jedi.

While thinking about the good uses of keyloggers, I stumbled across this site.

keystroke logger

They talk about all the good that key loggers can do. Do have a child at home and you do want to monitor everything they do? Key loggers can tell you what the history folder of your browser can’t. But, you want to enjoy your time with your machine and not have to sort through about bunch of stuff that will make your head spin, well, smile. This particular one will send out alerts if it’s important. To quote from their website…

“Additionally, Spector Pro will examine and analyze the tracked activity and determine if you should be NOTIFIED IMMEDIATELY.”

Cool, huh?

There are even more mundane reasons. How many of us have had the power cut out as we were writing? Key logger would be like an automatic back up. Or did you get an IM last week telling you the name of the editor of a publication and now you realize you forgot to turn on the history for IM proggy? It should be in the key logger’s report. There are all sorts of goodies that go along with this idea.

Now, what makes this type of key logger a good guy and the other types of loggers bad guys is that you put it on the target machine. You get the monitoring reports. You have the control. Good key logger! Yummy bandwidth!

Now, here’s where the plot bunny kicks in. Oh, NOW I have your attention.

The longer I checked out the website, the more my writer’s wheels turned. There’s a story in here somewhere. Think about all the monitoring done with trying to catch pedophiles. In my mind, I see some sleaze ball trying to prey upon children and some hero (you know the type: single dad, trying to make a good life for him and his son, cares a lot and at times he wonders if he’s doing the right thing or holding his child too close. Yeah, that type.) They (the child predator hunters) suspect the predator, they have probable cause, but they need the evidence.

Wait for the plotbunny to strike. Do you feel it nibbling yet?

The hero Single Dad (I’ll name him later.) knows how nasty the net can be. He’s a protective dad, maybe a little paranoid, but can you blame him? His son is the prime age to be targeted and sees this disgusting stuff all day. He puts a key logger on his son’s machine. Of course his son has his own machine, dad uses the main machine all the time and nobody likes to hear a kid whine. While he’s writing an e-mail to his boss and an alert from key logger pops up on his machine.

Their target sleaze ball just found his son.

THAT’s one HELL of a plotbunny! Now, all I need to do is figure out how to get some romance in it.

O.O Double plot bunny strike!

The child protection task force has to go to the company to help get through all the proxies the sleaze ball has used. That’s where I can get in the romance. Two people who care about the safety of children come together while trying to nail a jerk.

Now, all I have to do is write it.

The moral of the story is…

All you writers out there remember to keep your eyes and mind open. Plotbunnies breed everywhere even in key loggers.

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