The Present and Future of UBot Media

It’s been one hell of a year at UBot Media. Old friends and moved on from our team, new friends are making a name for themselves, and all the while, UBot Studio has been evolving. For the last few months, I’ve taken a hard look at the UBot Studio source base. I got to see some ideas expertly executed, other ideas sloppily and hurriedly done, and still other ideas that were started years ago but never saw the light of day.

It had been a while since I had worn my programmer hat, and I’m glad for the opportunity. The experience has rekindled a passion for something I crafted years ago in my own hands. After all, UBot is more than just business software. UBot is a different way of thinking about the world, about how we get work done. And as it stands, it has only seen but a fraction of its full potential.

Such a thorough audit of our code base has revealed a multitude of things I would like to see fixed or all together changed. Accomplishing everything I want to accomplish will take time, but it’s a journey that will be well worth the effort. I’ve never been so sure that the people on my team are the best humans for the task at hand. And after painstaking experimentation and selection, the technologies we’ve chosen for the future of UBot Studio are the strongest that are available for this moment in time.

So what does that future look like, exactly? I can’t give all the details, but what I can say is that the next update of UBot will be for version 5.5. It will contain a number of internal changes to make the software heartier and more sustainable. I also plan to check some items off the community wish list, and off my personal wish list as well. With this announcement, I will begin updating the tracker to mark the development of UBot 5.5.

So with a team of truly exceptional people, it’s now time to move forward with all the passion, talent, and sweat we have to offer.

In Case You Missed It

 In case you missed it, here they are again!

Important news from UBot HQ as well as a feast of helpful tips, tricks and sample scripts!

Dig In!

1. UBot 5.0.12 is Out and Live!

Having any trouble downloading the new update? Let us know at support.ubotstudio.com!

2. An oldie, but a goodie about UBot Studio’s built in artificial intelligence selectors. 

 From UBot 3 to UBot 5, what makes the UBot selectors so advanced? Take a peek!

3.  A Computer Has Passed the Turing Test For the First Time.

 This is just too interesting to miss!

4.  How to Group with Regex in the Replace Regular Expressions function.

Did you know you can group with Regex in UBot tudio? Example 2 shows you how!

5.  Got Questions? Concerns? Thoughts? We’re all ears!

UBot 5.0.12 is Out and Live!

Two very important fixes and additions in this week’s update.

1. The Speed issue as reported here.

I have  been working  these past few weeks on an important issue that has been affecting compiled executables as well as scripts running within UBot Studio.

This issue caused bots and scripts to slow down significantly over time as they ran and eventually freeze.

I was able to resolve the issue and improve the speed of the running scripts and compiled executables.

The fix has been released in UBot 5.0.12.

 

2. The UI Editor has some new features!

You can now change the background colour, and add a UI text area!

The Ui Editor

 

 

To see the list of features and improvements for 5.0.12, please see  here!

If you have any questions or concerns about this update, feel free to let our support staff know at our support portal.

In Case you Missed It

Reading News     In case you missed it, here they are again! Important news from UBot HQ as well as a feast of helpful tips, tricks and sample scripts! Dig In!

 

1. Exciting News from UBot Studio HQ!

 

2. The document Text function is a small but important feature that allows you to grab the html text of a page. See how it works!

 

3. UBot Studio comes equipped with hot keys that allow UBotters to access certain functionality within the software with ease.

 

4. Here’s a quick example of how to remove the last 1, 2, or 3 item(s) within a list.

 

5. Incrementing while multi-threading can be tricky.  Here’s an example that will help!

Exciting News from UBot Studio HQ

UBotters,

We hope you’re enjoying the latest updates to UBot Studio. If you haven’t had a chance to check out 5.0, now is a great time. Aside from all of the incredible features we added in October, we’ve just released 5.0.11 today and are excited for everyone to try it.

We’ve also been reading through lots of feedback in support, the UBot Underground, and your emails. Thanks to everyone for keeping in touch and letting us know what you are doing with the new version, and how we can work to keep making UBot Studio the best product it can be.

I wanted to personally tell you some other exciting news. We’ve recently added Jessica Nowell to the UBot Studio team. Jessica is a marketing and sales expert who will be concentrating on customer relations and business development. As we expand, we want to show more businesses and individuals how automation and UBot Studio can improve their day-to-day operations, and she’ll be a great asset in this.

Picture of Jessica Nowell, Corporate Sales, UBot Studio

Meet Jessica Nowell

We are also looking to add a developer to the team. We’ll miss Eddie, but we’re all looking forward to the next chapter for UBot Studio. As our community has grown over the years, so too have the technology requirements and quality standards increased since we hired Eddie 3 years ago. We are taking our time to make sure we have the right fit.

UBot Studio is a big project, and it takes a special person to work on it. We have several tests planned to make sure we find the right match: They’ll start by reciting the names of all the .dll libraries we use, backwards. Then they’ll have to find and fix a bug in UBot Studio. Lastly, they’ll walk across coals to reach a computer where they will have to code and compile a UBot Studio script in under 3 minutes.

I’m kidding (mostly). We do have very high standards and we know you do too, and it may take a while to find exactly the right person. In the interim, I have personally stepped up as developer, and you will continue to see new updates regularly.

If you have any questions about updates, make sure to visit our roadmap at tracker.ubotstudio.com. And for any further questions, please visit us at support.ubotstudio.com.

Yours,

 

Seth

UBot Studio and a visual history of automation [Infographic]

We are definitely standing on the shoulders of giants at UBot Studio.

First there was the assembly line. Soon, there will be the self-driving car.

Automation is an incredible tool when used intelligently in both your business and your life. The reason that UBot Studio has been so successful for so many people is that it’s the best way to automate in the place where people now spend huge amounts of their time, and where we make huge amounts of our income: the web.

Imagine the companies today that don’t have web sites. How much more limited are they than they were ten years ago! As the number of web sites grows, more and more business is done online, and automation becomes a requirement, just like having a web site is now.

1 in 4 people spend more time online than asleep (I’m probably one of those people–I don’t sleep much). The average United States internet user spends 32 hours online in a month, although many spend that in a week. It’s not going to change any time soon.

That’s why we released UBot Studio 5, and why we continue making automation easier for businesses. To celebrate its release, we created the infographic below. Forbes.com was kind enough to publish it. Click on the link to see the full article and take a look at the history of automation, culminating not in UBot Studio, but in places we can’t even begin to imagine. 
(On a side note, if you like automation, be sure to follow me on tumblr, where I bring together all the weird, cool news about where it’s going: Seth Turin and the Automata.)

 

UBot and the History of Automation

I have a Mac! Can I use UBot Studio?

The short answer is that UBot Studio is designed to run in Windows, and the bots that you can compile work only in Windows.

But if you’re a design geek, an Apple fanboy, or just a big fan of Macs–don’t worry. There are many resources for you to use UBot Studio even if your main OS is OSX.

Get started here with some great information on  The best way to run Windows on your Mac as well as  5 Ways to Run Windows Software on a Mac.

We also spoke with several of our customers about how they do it.

 

 

Boot Camp:

Cost: Windows Required, $0 – 200

Boot Camp lets you run Microsoft Windows on your Mac. Learn how Boot Camp runs Windows and what the installation requirements are by clicking the link above. Boot Camp requires that you have a Windows license, and the Windows software, but a copy of Windows XP can usually be had for under $30.

If you are looking for a cheap version of Windows, check out Ebay.

 

Wine:

Cost: $0

Wine (originally an acronym for “Wine Is Not an Emulator”) is a compatibility layer capable of running Windows applications on several POSIX-compliant operating systems, such as Linux, Mac OSX, & BSD. Instead of simulating internal Windows logic like a virtual machine or emulator, Wine translates Windows API calls into POSIX calls on-the-fly, eliminating the performance and memory penalties of other methods and allowing you to cleanly integrate Windows applications into your desktop.

It might sound complicated, but it isn’t. Check out some additional instructions: http://www.cultofmac.com/185565/how-to-run-almost-any-windows-game-on-your-mac-without-boot-camp-or-parallels-feature/. (We don’t know for sure if Wine works for UBot Studio, but it should.)

 

Wine Bottler

Cost: $0

With Wine Bottler, there’s no need to actually install Wine itself., or for your customers to install Wine. “No need to install emulators, virtualizers or boot into other operating systems – WineBottler runs your Windows-based programs directly on your Mac.

WineBottler can pack your .exe into an Mac .app. Double-click your .exe or .msi and convert it into an app with WineBottler. You can run the generated app like every other program on your Mac. For advanced users, WineBottler gives you a selection of options: install special dependencies and even turn your .exe into a self-contained app – that is an app, that contains everything to run it… even on other Macs. Porting to OS X never was easier ;).

You don’t care about generating an app and just want to run it? Double-click the .exe, choose “Run directly” and Wine will run it in a generic environment.”

 

Virtual Private Server

Cost: Variable, $40 – $200/month. (Various providers, LiquidWeb recommended by some customers)

A Virtual Private Server running windows lets you host your websites, your apps, and your bots. Many customers run their UBot Studio-created bots on VPS, but you can also run UBot Studio itself there. With a VPS there’s a monthly fee, usually, but no maintenance fees, no electricity costs, no bandwidth costs, and often times a very quick processor/ram. And a bonus is that you get to use what is usually significantly faster internet connection than the one you have at your house.

 

Amazon Web Services VPS

Cost: Variable, $0 – $4/hour

When Amazon got into the cloud business, they didn’t screw around. Amazon Web Services has a free tier VPS which for tiny instances of bots is a great idea. You can pay on an hourly basis if you want a faster VPS with more GB and bandwidth. Uploaded and running software basically freezes when you turn off the instance, and, you can turn on and turn it off remotely with a mobile app.

 

A cheap/refurbished Windows machine

Cost: Variable, $30 – $250

Newegg, EBay

You can easily buy a computer for running UBot Studio (and the many other applications that only run on Windows). Check Newegg, EBay, or your local computer shop for something around $100-200. (It should probably have 2gb of RAM and Windows XP to run UBot Studio properly.)

 

So, if you’re on a Mac, and you want to use UBot Studio – there are plenty of options. We don’t plan on building an OSX version of UBot Studio currently, but we want you to have access to the best web automation software on the planet.

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas!

 

Merry Christmas from UBot!

 

Great news everyone! If you’ve purchased UBot Studio then you should have gotten an email about our special upgrade deal.

For the next week, we have lowered the price for upgrades by 30%, and we will be donating 30% of the proceeds from upgrades through this special deal to the Child’s Play Charity.

To get this special price, click here:

Developer Edition Upgrade Promotion, Good til Dec 31

Professional Edition Upgrade Promotion, Good til Dec 31

Why do we donate to Child’s Play?

Child’s Play is really simple: Your donations buy toys and video games for children’s hospitals, and sick children can play with them during their hospital stay. Often, these are terminally ill children who have a one-in-a-million chance of making it. With a life so uncertain, all they really want is a chance to just feel like kids. We have the opportunity to give that to them.

This is a first-rate charity and we have been Silver Sponsors for two years, thanks to all of our wonderful customers taking advantage of this promotion.

Enjoy, friends, and have a Merry Christmas!

 

- Seth

Delight Your Users

I am currently in a tiny town in Tennessee called Chattanooga. It’s known for a few things – historically, Rock City, Ruby Falls, and Moon Pies. And bridges.

Chattanooga in the fall

Chattanooga’s Walnut Street Bridge in the Fall

 

But over the last few years, Chattanooga’s grown into a hub for innovative ideas and technology. Some people used to call it the “Scenic City,” thanks to its location along the Tennessee River and the surrounding mountains. More recently it’s gained the name “Gig City”. Here’s why:

Chattanooga is the first city in the Western Hemisphere to offer one-gigabit-per-second fiber internet service to all residents and businesses. At 200 times the speed of the national average, the Gig opens the door to unimagined ways of learning, playing and conducting business.

Since then, the city has been host to new operations from Amazon, Volkswagen, and a few other interesting data analysis companies. It’s a place with lots of small tech events happening every month, and this month, I stopped by a little “guerrilla” conference called TopCon, for graphic designers. I didn’t have high expectations because it was inside of a former mechanic’s shop, it was only $25, and I’m not a graphic designer, but it turned out to be one of the best $25 I’ve spent (and not just because it came with two drink tickets for cocktails from the Chattanooga Whiskey company).

The biggest reason it was so inspiring was a single phrase from the first presenter, Aaron Robbs. Aaron began his career in Chattanooga, eventually moving to Atlanta around 2010, where he spent an uncomfortable amount of time unemployed — until he got a call from a little company called Mailchimp.

As an internet marketing company, Seth Turin Media has tested out several email marketing clients. Many recommend AWeber. A lot of businesses use Constant Contact or GetResponse. But Mailchimp, in my experience, has them all beat on one factor: Fun.

Mailchimp is fun to use. Go to the site and see for yourself if you haven’t before. Sign up for an account–it’s also free for the first 2,000 email addresses you want to email. (If you’re a serious internet marketer, you ought to be able to make a decent monthly income from targeted emails to 2,000 people who trust and respect your opinion.)  I’ve recommended Mailchimp before, but after seeing this presentation, which put into perspective both how far they’ve come and how they put their company attitude into action to produce profitable results, I want to say it again. I love Mailchimp.

Aaron started at Mailchimp when their website looked like this:

 

figure9a from AaronWalter.com
MailChimp.com, circa 2010

As a brand, he explained that Mailchimp had always been “fun.” Their goal was to make a new website that kept that fun while offering a professional, organized appearance. At the time, “There wasn’t an existing grid, spacing, type style…nothing. Meta, Helvetica, Gotham, Lucida Grande, Georgia, and a handful of other typefaces were used freely everywhere.” He began to work on establishing conventions, creating a style guide that would restrict the lack of focus to something more singular, but still keep that sense of playfulness by using things like large fonts, illustrations, and color.

The reason for the company’s intense focus on user experience, he explained, was this motto:

“Delight Your Users.”

And as Aaron repeated that a few times throughout the presentation, it started to sink in. Delight your users.

In 2013 we worked hard on a redesign of UBot Studio, both the software and the website, in an attempt to make them not only more professional, but also, more exciting and fun. We developed a style guide just like Aaron did at Mailchimp, and our artist and designers helped narrow down our visual style with specific colors, lines, and typefaces. I don’t know that we reached quite the drastic shift in our appearance that Mailchimp did after their redesign:

figure9b from Aaronwalter.com

MailChimp after January 2011 Redesign

But I’m confident we moved in the right direction. Even Mailchimp’s site has gone through some changes since then, so it’s clear that constant improvement and working to find the best balance for both delightfulness and clarity is an ongoing process.

One of our main goals in making automation technology available for everyone is to make it not just easy to use, but fun. Learning how to program isn’t necessarily a “delightful” experience, but through features like recording, the drag-and-drop user interface, the new UI Editor, and the colorful and futuristic new UBot Studio software design, we want to make building apps an enjoyable experience. While a lot of our competitors don’t worry too much about this, we take a page from Mailchimp — who grew from 200,000 users to 4 million since that big site redesign — and try to make the experience of using our software not just easy, but delightful, whenever we can.

When people are delighted to use what you build, they will be drawn back again and again. The internet can often seem like a sterile place, filled with websites and products that don’t focus much on experience or personality. But, often times this is what our customers and clients remember most about us.

Remember to delight your users whenever you can, with features, bonuses, and little tricks and tips that make what they do better every day. No matter what you’re building, if you can make the experience dazzling for the user, then they’ll be happy to give you a shot. That conference I went to, in an emptied out windshield repair shop, with a bit of plywood in the corner, a deerhead on the wall, and a “TopCon” sign that broke free from its hanger during the middle of a presentation, was worth well over the $25 it cost to get in. What could have felt unsophisticated and makeshift instead felt candid and forthright, because the content was good, the attitude was relaxed, and the energy was positive. It was delightful.

And don’t worry if it takes some time to get it right. After all, it took Mailchimp’s team ten years to get where they are today. And when they started, their site looked like this:

 

Mailchimp Site circa 2001

 

- Jason

 

PS – I’m still a little bummed that the conference ran out of Mailchimp swag before I could get some. I really wanted one of those stickers. If anybody wants to trade for a couple TopCon pint glasses, email me.

 

Introducing UBot Secure

The biggest fear most people have when they start in online marketing is “What if I fail?”

Don’t worry: We’ve given you all the tools you need inside UBot Studio 5 to make sure that your automation plans will be successful. But there’s a worse fear that we all have:

“What if someone steals my idea?”

We’ve seen it happen dozens of times.

You know that crackers, hackers, scammers, thieves, and pirates are everywhere. People steal software.  And a smart cracker can break most security software that’s on the market.

That’s why we spent the last six months working with security and encryption experts to protect your scripts, through a revolutionary new online security and distribution service called “UBot Secure.”

If you’re signed up to UBot Secure, your compiled bots will automatically be protected. 

We use encryption technology similar to banks, with an algorithm that mangles the original script to be completely unreadable. Your ideas will be secure in the cloud, and only sent in tiny, encrypted packets to users who you have ensured have a license for that bot. The new version of the compiled bots are also coded in C++, which is much harder to reverse engineer than the previously used .Net.

The script tied to the compiled bot will be encrypted and you will be able to control licensing of your compiled bots, as well as deployment of updates, through a simple online dashboard.

Simply put: there’s no security system available with the protection and ease-of-use that you’ll find in UBot Secure. UBot Secure protects your script during the compilation process itself, and continues protecting it during use.

 

 

January 20 Update: UBot Secure now includes automatic API integration for Warrior Plus and e-Junkie!