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: The real-life "friend you extend" is most likely dumont, the IRC infobot for the #tron IRC channel (incorrectly labeled in this entry as the #Crackmonkey IRC channel). Those in the know (Pete Peterson II) say dumont is male, but I always think dumont is female. In fact, I always think dumont is Margaret Dumont, and expect to see things like the following on the occasions when I pay #tron a visit:

<dumont> CAP-tain SPAUL-ding!

The conceit of an IRC infobot is that it hangs out on an IRC channel as a user, dispensing definitions of terms and engaging in limited social interaction with the human users. Dumont knows nearly 100,000 facts, including such old standbys as the entire Jargon File[0] and airport and area codes. She He also contains various handy features such as the ability to do Google searches and domain lookups, not to mention clickolinko the automatic weblog. Dumont was written by Walter M. Gibbs.

Random example of dumont interaction (thanks, Pete):

<pedro> mola mola?
<Dumont> mola mola is The Mola mola (ocean sunfish) is the world's largest known bony fish. At least one estimate over 3000 lb. has been recorded and fish reaching 3m from fin tip to fin tip have been seen. It is found in all oceans in tropical and temperate climes. It eats jellyfish and small fishes and algae. In the eastern Pacific, Mola mola is normally found from B.C. to South America, although in El Nino events it has been recorded as far north as Alaska.

[0] I used "entire" there to make it sound more impressive, but there's really nothing that interesting about loading an ASCII file into a computer program; the interest lies entirely in which file you choose. The metaphor is taken from reference to human memory, where memorizing the entire Jargon File would be an actual feat. I don't really know where this footnote is going, so... aaah! It's fallen off the edge of the Internet!

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