If you’ve ever bought tickets to a big sporting or music event, you’ve probably had to deal with TicketMaster and their extortionate handling fees. They charge it even if you’re using the print-at-home eTicket format called TicketFast. These tickets have a 16 digit number and barcode that is scanned at the gate against a database of purchases. I assumed this barcode was some kind of proprietary format to make it harder to clone tickets if you knew a valid number but it turns out it’s just an interleaved 2 of 5 barcode.
This doesn’t matter as long as customers keep their 16 digit number secret but a simple search of eBay and other buy/sell sites often have photos of seller’s printouts. As long as you can make out the number, you can create a barcode and paste it over another TicketFast and clone the ticket. Then you just need to get to the venue before the real ticketholder and their ticket won’t scan at entrance. Here’s some images I found on eBay, DoneDeal and Gumtree coming up to Electric Picnic recently. It was sold out and demand was high. I presume showing these tickets is OK now seeing as the festival is over.
Lol at this one. They blacked out all information except the important stuff.
I used this fantastic Barcode PHP library to generate the new barcodes. I needed to make a few adjustments to the code to get the barcodes looking the same as the TicketMaster ones but I think they ended up good. Take the last image as an example. You can just about make out the number to be: 3458 4242 6099 3291
And here’s my generated barcodes in both horizontal and vertical format:
They scanned fine on my Android barcode reader but I obviously didn’t test at the festival entrance with real stolen tickets as I’m not a scumbag and I had my own two real hardcopy tickets. I’m surprised nobody is stealing tickets like this as you always can find these numbers on the auction sites. Or maybe they are on the sly. Has anyone ever been refused at an entrance with printed tickets? They probably just blamed their seller but it could have been a randomer who just got the number, printed out new tickets and got to the venue early.
I think Ticketmaster should educate buyers more about how important the number is and to always pixelate when displaying online. Or they could have used a proprietary barcode format which would make cloning much more difficult.
Just got a copyright strike on my Youtube account from the ‘Ross Ulbricht Legal Defense Fund LLC’ for an interview he did with a friend that I reuploaded to my account.
Now I’ve a copyright strike and all my videos are limited to 15 minutes. Pretty fucking pissed because if they just sent me a message on Youtube I would have gladly taken it down. So out of spite, I’m reuploading here:
There’s nothing Irish people like more than being told how great they are by outsiders and sure aren’t we the greatest little country on Earth to be sure. So the press release yesterday that Ireland topped the Forbes list of best countries to do business with was reprinted by nearly all of thenationalmedia and tweeted by so much of the Irish Twitterati that some had to filter it.
But Forbes must not have thought much of the list as it didn’t make their print edition! Maybe I’m mistaken but I downloaded the Dec 16th PDF and couldn’t find a reference to it anywhere. Download here yourself and have a look. Forbes seem to have a website with a combination of editorial pulled from their magazine and then random articles from contributors. Here’s an article that is in the Dec 16th issue. Note the ‘This story appears in the December 16, 2013 issue of Forbes.’ header at the top.
The Irish article doesn’t have this header. The quality of contributions that make the website but not the magazine is questionable. Here’s a website article claiming that the Third Space cafe in Smithfield is going to take down Starbucks.
So Forbes seems to be turning itself into a Buzzfeed style content farm. And one of the random stories that a writer might have made to hit his quota for the week has a whole nation patting itself on the back.
Right, bit of a random post but there’s two good takeaways in Ennis, County Clare that don’t have their menu anywhere on the Intertubes. I tried uploading a photo of the takeaway menus to Yelp but the image size was downsized so much the text was illegible. So I’m posting here. This is a personal blog, I can do what I like!
Click the images for the readable, full resolution versions.
I’m going to the Forbidden Fruit music festival this weekend and for all gigs I like to do ‘homework’ on the bands and what sets they’re likely to play. That sounds like working to have fun but concerts are always better when you know the songs!
MediaMonkey is my music player of choice; one of the reasons being its powerful scripting functionality. So creating playlists from setlist.fm got boring enough that I decided to hack together a MediaMonkey script, extension, addon, plugin or whatever you want to call it to do it for me. Luckily most of the work was done for me and I just had to adapt the Last.fm Loved Tracks Playlist Creator from psykar so 99% of the code is thanks to him.
Install the MMIP below and go to Tools -> Scripts -> Setlist FM Playlist Creator and enter a setlist URL like this one: http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/cut-copy/2011/the-button-factory-dublin-ireland-13d1b5a1.html. A playlist should be created in this format: [Setlist] ArtistName – CityName (EventDate). A message will pop up if some songs weren’t found. Future upgrades of the script might tell you what album these missing songs are on. Download the MMIP below:
Make sure to have MediaMonkey running in administrator mode or you’ll get a “Product installation error”. For any other errors or feature requests, post as a comment below. If you like this script and it saves you time, please post a comment below telling me you use it. It’s disheartening to bother with something when you think nobody uses it!
Heading to the big smoke tomorrow for All Blacks game and Cut Copy concert. I’ve a ticket spare for Cut Copy (def not All Blacks), maybe 2, if anyone wants one, cost price or best offer. email georgiecasey at gmail.