It's late at night in the Capital Region. You're winding down your night, but before you get home, it's time for something sweet.

With few options available to you, you spot the golden arches in the distance, and make a beeline for the drive-thru entrance. You pull up to the speaker, ready to announce to the world that it's time for you to have ice cream, when you're met with...

"I'm sorry sir/ma'am, our machine is broken right now. Can I get you anything else?"

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A McDonald's drive-thru location / Getty Images

If you haven't been in this situation at least once in your life, you haven't lived, I tell you. There are few heartbreaks that a person can suffer, that are worse than this. With a few taps of the finger, however, you could've avoided this catastrophe.

Meet mcbroken, the website that tracks every single McDonald's ice cream machine known to man.

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The Website "McBroken" Tracks Broken McDonald's Ice Cream Machines

Now THIS, right here, is how technology is supposed to be used. At 24-years old, software developer Rashiq Zahid created this website, using a complex algorithm to track the availability of ice cream at every McDonald's in the country.

Map of McDonald's ice cream machines near Albany / mcbroken (OpenMapTiles)
Map of McDonald's ice cream machines near Albany / mcbroken (OpenMapTiles)

To do this, Zahid created a "bot" that tries to order ice cream online from every McDonald's every 30 minutes. It tracks whether or not the website says the machine is broken, and plots the data on a map. The map is then displayed on the "mcbroken" webpage, and is covered in green, red and grey speckles.

Green means it's working, red means it's not, and grey means the results from the bot were inconclusive. It's simple, and boy, is it genius.

So, What's Broken in the Capital Region Right Now?

While we're poking around on the website, we might as well see what's cooking in the Capital Region right now. As of May 13th, 2022 at 12:05PM, 10.6% of ice cream machines across the country are currently broken. A whopping 34.69% are broken in New York City, while apparently, 0% are broken in Boston.

I'll believe it when I see it, Beantown.

Anyway, as of right now, the establishments near Albany that reportedly have broken ice cream machines are:

  • 376 Feura Bush Rd in Glenmont
  • 42 Saratoga Ave in Waterford
  • 1 Park Plaza in Mechanicville
  • 1249 Rt 29 in Greenwich
  • 364 Broadway in Fort Edward

Overall, however, the Capital Region appears to be covered in green in most areas, which is something that should be applauded.

So, the next time you're out and about, and your stomach is rumbling (or, "making the rumblies, as I've heard it called) that only McDonald's can satisfy, you are now armed with the tool that can tell you whether the location near you will have you "loving it", or will leave you disappointed and hungry.

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