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OESF Portables Forum _ OESF Announcements _ Site Maintenance

Posted by: dz Dec 1 2006, 11:34 AM

Hey Crew

First off, let me give you my apologies for the past couple weeks. I'm in the process of moving 2000 miles and starting a new job, so I haven't been as active. Last I talked to Mike, he was overseas for work.

I know the guest validation thing has been a huge pain in the butt. This was originally implemented so that we could have less spam, but we didn't anticipate that every single one of us would get busy at the same time. Usually at least one of us is very active. To help remedy this, I have turned off admin verification for all new accounts. Instead, and I suppose I should've done this from the beginning, I have set up one of those random image displays for registering. This will make it so we don't have to approve every single account that comes in.

On the other side of this, I do feel like we should have more mods to fight whatever spam we do get. Once the spam starts coming in again, I'm gonna start looking for people to help out. If you're willing to help, please let me know when the time comes. Ideally, I'd like someone that's been here for a while and knows the way things function. I'll give more details when the time comes.

Ok well, have a good weekend crew. Any questions, as usual, feel free to pm me.


Posted by: harvell Dec 1 2006, 01:15 PM

I'm already noticing the spam. And it's only been a couple of hours.

Posted by: dz Dec 1 2006, 01:32 PM

QUOTE(harvell @ Dec 1 2006, 04:15 PM)
I'm already noticing the spam.  And it's only been a couple of hours.

These people are relentless sad.gif

Posted by: Cresho Dec 1 2006, 02:15 PM

give me perms, i check forums out 2 times a day at least since im always online doing homework

Posted by: harvell Dec 1 2006, 04:06 PM

As someone who checks the forum about 4 times a day because I'm an addict I can vouch for cresho.... please give him mod rights or something.

Posted by: harvell Dec 1 2006, 04:09 PM

With the combined knowledge of this community I think we should create a variety of scripts and apps that would cripple any website advertising on this forum.... mad.gif ......... ph34r.gif

Posted by: bam Dec 2 2006, 01:19 AM

I can give a hand, if needed. I stop by once a day at least. Also been involved with several 'other' forums so should be pretty easy if I can remember.

Posted by: dougeeebear Dec 2 2006, 01:39 PM

I have reported a bunch of new spam posts today.. and there are a TON of them.

Posted by: dhns Dec 2 2006, 01:53 PM

QUOTE(dougeeebear @ Dec 2 2006, 10:39 PM)
I have reported a few of new spam posts today.. but there are a TON of them.

The same for me.

I have had to shut down two phpBB2 fora (I know OESF uses something different) in the last weeks because even admin enabled account activation was harmful. Not because of the work to do but the forum sent out information mails to the faked registration address. And that added my domain to some blacklists of e-mail forwarders.

What I learned is that even visual feedback or confirmation e-mails (two level user registration) is not really a solution.

The only thing I can imagine at the moment is a randomly generated calculation described in words ("please take the double of the difference of seventeen and four") and not a formula where you have to type in the answer (not select between 5 proposed answers - that is easy to crack with a random choice and repeatedly trying). Maybe we can use a technique of spammers here for a positive goal: add random misprints ("plase takei the dauble of ...").

Or, have the user to do someting, i.e. get Kerninghan&Ritchie 1977 edition and look up and type in the third word on page 55.

-- hns

Posted by: dougeeebear Dec 2 2006, 02:27 PM

QUOTE(dhns @ Dec 2 2006, 03:53 PM)
Or, have the user to do someting, i.e. get Kerninghan&Ritchie 1977 edition and look up and type in the third word on page 55.

haha.. good one laugh.gif

Posted by: mimeca Dec 2 2006, 02:58 PM

I can help you daily if I haven't high priority work smile.gif

Posted by: offroadgeek Dec 3 2006, 08:44 AM

the site was down for (probably) a few hours this morning... it looked like the automated log rotation failed and it clogged things up. we're back now.

I'm also going to be moving the site to the ibiblio servers very soon (maybe today), so there will be more outage while dns is updating.

please bear with us.

Posted by: dougeeebear Dec 24 2006, 12:44 PM

Being retired, I have a lot of free time to help with spam control if you still need the help.


Posted by: qx773 Dec 25 2006, 11:41 PM

Voice recognition is hard. You could have a recorded message tell a person what to type in order to register. You could use homonyms (words that have the same spelling but different meanings) and homophones (words that sound the same and might be spelled differently) to confuse non-humans:

"She sells sea shells by the sea shore. What does she sell?"

"How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Type the word woodchuck now."

You could also run the visual recognition test multiple times to reduce the likelihood that a random guess would be correct.

Posted by: speculatrix Dec 26 2006, 04:14 PM

maybe I'm being a fascist, but how about a compulsory small donation to the forum.. it needn't be a huge amount, just two dollars.. enough to cover the paypal fees and make it impractical for spammers to sign up?

reminds me, now forums are back, I do want to punt a few dollars in.

Posted by: sdjf Jan 11 2007, 07:44 AM

Just subscribed to a Forum the other day, and the first email I got was spam.

I remember reading someone suggesting that new members be moderated or that filters be put in place, but I can't find that thread now . :-(

Having mods remove the spammers was said to work great because so many of our wonderful admin and mod team catch and delete those.

However, it unfortunately does not catch those sent to subscribers. The spam had disappeared by the time I got around to logging on and checking, but it would be nice if subscriptions didn't generate spam accidentally going to our email inboxes.
the solution is, of course, to unsubscribe, and I did that, but wanted to comment. My browser isn't letting me make more paragraphs now or edit this, so bye for now. really do appreciate the forums. sdjf

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