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AZONS (Automated Zombie Outbreak Notification System)

edited June 2008 in Technology
A.Z.O.N.S is a notification system I've been building which draws news feeds from Google news and Reuters and analyzes them, looking for keywords indicating the beginnings of a Zombie Outbreak. I'm making it using Yahoo Pipes which features a nice notification system which can let you know of updates to the pipes output via SMS or Email.

I don't know how to open it up for collaborative editing, so I'd be grateful if you guys could give me some more keywords to broaden the search. Better a false alarm than no alarm.

Pipe RSS Feed: A.Z.O.N.S.

Current Keywords:
Strange Disease
living dead

I didn't want to put "outbreak" because news about tomatoes came up. Good choice? Bad choice?

Haha, It would be both very awesome and very scary if this thing ever returned an actual result.


  • edited June 2008
    Hmm. I think it will turn up many, many false positives.

    EDIT: maybe cut one of the "many" out.
    Post edited by lackofcheese on
  • walking dead
    biting people
  • gghumanityuninstall
  • variations upon "brainss"
  • Seeing as we will never get that zombie episode, what would the signs for the most likely zombie outbreak look like?
  • edited June 2008
    Well, it depends on the class of the outbreak.
    CLASS 1
    This is a low-level outbreak, usually in a Third World country or First World rural area. The number of zombies in this class of outbreak
    ranges between one and twenty. Total human casualties (including those infected) range from one to fifty. The total duration, from the fist
    case to the last (known), will range between twenty-four hours and fourteen days. The infested area will be small, no larger than a twenty mile
    radius. In many cases, natural boundaries will determine its limits. Response will he light, either exclusively civilian or with some
    additional help from local law enforcement. Media coverage will be light, if present at all. If the media is present, look for common stories
    like homicides or "accidents." This is the most common type of outbreak and also the easiest to go unnoticed.

    CLASS 2
    Urban or densely populated rural areas are included in this level of outbreak. Total zombies will range between twenty and one hundred.
    Total human casualties may reach as high as several hundred. The duration of a Class 2 attack may last no longer than a Class 1 outbreak.
    In some cases, the larger number of zombies will spark a more immediate response. A rural, sparsely populated outbreak may extend to a
    hundred-mile radius, while an urban outbreak may encompass only several blocks. Suppression will almost certainly be organized. Bands
    of civilians will be replaced by local, state, even federal law enforcement. Look for an additional, if low-level, military response, the
    National Guard in the United States or its equivalent abroad. Most often, so as to ease panic, these units will take a more noncombatant
    role, providing medical assistance, crowd control, and logistical support. Class 2 outbreaks almost always attract the press. Unless the
    attack occurs in a truly isolated area of the world, or one where the media is strictly controlled, the story will he reported. This does not
    mean, however, that it will be reported accurately.

    CLASS 3
    A huge crisis. Class 3 outbreaks, more than any other, demonstrate the clear threat posed by the living dead. Zombies will number in the thousands,
    encompassing an area of several hundred miles. The duration of the attack and a possible lengthy mop-up process could last as long as
    several months. There will be no chance for a press blackout or coverup. Even without media attention, the sheer magnitude of the attack will
    leave too many eyewitnesses. This is a full-blown battle, with law enforcement replaced by units of the regular military. A state of emergency
    will be declared for the infested zone, as well as the neighboring areas. Expect martial law, restricted travel, rationed supplies, federalized
    services, and strictly monitored communication. All these measures, however, will take time to implement. The initial phase will be
    one of chaos as those in power come to grips with the crisis. Riots, looting, and widespread panic will add to their difficulties, further delaying
    an effective response. While this is happening, those living within the infested area will be at the mercy of the undead. Isolated, abandoned, and surrounded by ghouls, they will have only themselves to depend on.

    CLASS 4
    (See "Living in an Undead World," pages 154-81.)
    I've added the terms, "Walking dead", "Mass homicide", "cannibalistic", "cannibalism", and "bite marks".
    Post edited by Victor Frost on
  • I think this is an awesome and useful tool.
  • Unexplained death
    Unknown disease
    Missing bodies
    Walking dead
  • black magic
  • "mobile-deceased"
    maybe "pandemic"
    "mass homicide"
    "devoured flesh"
  • Okay so I just added Redshirt's and Ninjarabbi's suggestions. Keep em comin! ^_^ Have any of you signed up for its mobile alert feature?
  • Why did it pick up this?
  • It contains the word "lurch". And I would like to say that I'm really pleased that I'm not the only one using this.
  • Maybe something about grave robbery?
  • grave robbery
    That's a good point. Someone could be creating an undead army.
  • I've added the terms, "Walking dead", "Mass homicide", "cannibalistic", "cannibalism", and "bite marks".
    Bitemarks will pull far more stories than you'd expect.
  • This might be a helpful resource.
  • Bitemarks will pull far more stories than you'd expect.
    It's more likely that a story containing the word "bitemarks" will be about zmobies than animal bites. Animal bites are often describe with qualifications regarding the animal. IE: Dog bite, bitten by a dog.
    Thismight be a helpful resource.
    Thanks for the link Andrew. I'm gonna find out how to add that to the pipe's list of sources
  • Hrm, "U.K. Chef Murders Gay Lover, Marinates Flesh" showed up. Definite zombie behavior there. :) On the other hand, not sure why "Nobel Prize awarded for AIDS, cervical cancer research" did though.
  • Its not a perfect system...
  • Was this project scrapped, or has there just been no news?
  • No news relating to azons specifically.
  • People munching on other people isn't exactly in the news every day. That UK article and the guy in the Canada greyhound that lopped off his neighbor's head and chomped on it are the rare ones I've heard about.
  • "Groaning"
    "Gutteral utterances"
  • edited October 2008
    Any sort of Zombie alert would be a useful tool- not all of us are so up to date on international disease news... chances are if there were a zombie outbreak in a third world country it could be days before I knew about it.

    Also "Guttural utterances" is quite the phrase; useful in may situations!
    Post edited by Wings on
  • I've been getting a ton of false positives lately, including articles about landmines in Iraq, forest fires in California, Giants games, etc. Could it be that zombies are broadening their interests, or is there something up with the feed?
  • edited November 2008
    Yeah, I've been trying to find the keywords in use with those articles and see if the terms are too broad. An alternative way to reduce the number of false positives is adding "NOT" filters. I've used them to block articles pertaining to bird flu, but I'll try expanding their usage. Any suggestions on "NOT" words?

    "Groaning" added.
    "Guttural Utterances" added.

    EDIT: Okay, something is horribly wrong. I just cloned the pipe and made my blog the only source feed. Its showing all of my posts, not just the one seeded with zombie related keywords. If only there was a way to give the Pipe multiple owners, that way we could all work on it. Moreover, I wish it would tell you in the debugging console which word triggered the allowance of an article.
    Post edited by Victor Frost on
  • I figured it broke or something and just went to some default Yahoo News feed. No idea how these things work, though.
  • Well, here's a breakdown on how it's set up. Currently, it pulls the RSS feeds of every Reuters and Google News catagory, then it pipes them into a filter which is supposed to only permit items which match a set of rules. The current rules consist mostly of "if this word is present in the description or title then pass it through." For some reason, though, most of the stuff is getting through. Right now I'm working on the clone pipe so the live pipe isn't getting affected. I'm running a couple tests to see where the problem is, but I suspect the problem is with the filter being either too broad or the filters settings being incorrectly set.
  • On a somewhat related topic, AZONS caught something very interesting in the feed.

    It's quite the feat of modern technology.
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