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[VOTE] Open up registration again?

Moderator: CmdrWilkens

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Should we open up registration again?
Poll ended at 2009-10-26 10:55pm
Yes 86%  86%  [ 30 ]
No 6%  6%  [ 2 ]
Abstain 9%  9%  [ 3 ]
Total votes : 35
Author Message

Tiriol
PostPosted: 2009-10-22 07:18am 

Jedi Council Member


Joined: 2005-09-15 11:31am
Posts: 1847
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Voted in favour of opening up the registeration. The amount of newcomers has been reduced to a small trickle for all intents and purposes and that can (or will) in the long run turn this forum into a stagnant club for old-timers. Opening up the registeration will of course allow more trolls to get in (or at least makes it possible), but I'm sure we can handle it.
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Edi
PostPosted: 2009-10-22 07:29am 

Dragonlord


Joined: 2002-07-11 12:27am
Posts: 11596
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Lagmonster wrote:
This may be impossible given my limited knowledge of these things, but would it be possible to open up registrations generally, but prohibit registrations from specific addresses? We could, say, disallow spammers and anonymous twits using free throwaway email accounts but let everyone else through unmolested save the skill-testing question.

I know for a fact that entire domains can be banned from registering. If you try to enter any email address with the offending domain suffix, the registration process will tell you your email address is invalid and will not allow the registration to go through. This particular ban is also retroactive, in that you cannot change your board email address to that domain after your account is activated. An admin (or possibly even Mike personally, due to his direct database access) is required to enter such a banned change in manually. Even supermods can't do that.

Reason I know it? I helped one of our Russian members register and he only had a .ru mail. So I registered the account using one of my own emails, then tried to change it to his email and it wouldn't let me. IIRC it was finally resolved through an admin, because I sure as hell couldn't fix it.

If that same lockdown is instituted for the more notorious spam domains (though not including yahoo.com, hotmail or gmail because so many use those after registering with a paid for address), there is no way for spammers to get in from there. None whatsoever.
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fgalkin
PostPosted: 2009-10-22 07:44am 

Carvin' Marvin


Joined: 2002-07-03 11:51pm
Posts: 14428
Location: Land of the Mountain Fascists
Bounty wrote:
Abstain. I have no opinion on the rearrangement of Titanic's deckchairs.

Don't exaggerate Testing's importance

If these people decide to leave because Testing is being nuked regularly, and that was their primary forum- then they weren't exactly making a lot of contributions to the board in the first place, were they?

If anyone decides to leave because of this, the board as a whole would barely notice. It sure as hell won't die because of it.

Have a very nice day.
-fgalkin
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Darth Wong
PostPosted: 2009-10-22 08:47am 

Sith Lord


Joined: 2002-07-03 12:25am
Posts: 70016
Location: Toronto, Canada
fgalkin wrote:
If anyone decides to leave because of this, the board as a whole would barely notice. It sure as hell won't die because of it.

Besides, I would rather have the board become a ghost town than a squishy chat room. In any case, with 23 votes in favour, it's already a majority. Therefore, I have opened it up. May Bob help us all.
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Stuart
PostPosted: 2009-10-22 09:07am 

Sith Devotee


Joined: 2004-10-26 09:23am
Posts: 2935
Location: The military-industrial complex
Darth Wong wrote:
What kind of security do you use?


We use captcha with its parameters set to the max. Then, once registered newbies are given very limited access to two relatively unimportant boards where they stay until admin decides they are humans. Then, they get promoted to full users. Newbies have strictly limited posting rights, they can't post pictures or provide links to other sites.

I'm looking at other types of captcha. One good candidate provides a photograph that the applicant has to recognize (we'd probably use ships or aircraft, having to identify an F-106 or F-105 should eliminate the computer-spammers who are the main problem. The problem is that the modern spamming programs can identify the standard letter/number captcha codes and respond to them correctly so they go straight through the system.

Domain blocking is something i haven't thought (I didn't know it was possible) of but by eliminating all of the .ru domains, I'd guess that 80+ percent of the spam would be eliminated at source. However, recently I've noted that an increasing proportion of spam is coming in from Indian, Spanish and Portuguese domains but trace back to Russia and the Ulkraine. So, obviously the spammers are finding the domain banning effective and finding ways around it.
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Darth Wong
PostPosted: 2009-10-22 09:25am 

Sith Lord


Joined: 2002-07-03 12:25am
Posts: 70016
Location: Toronto, Canada
Thanks for the info. I'll have to look further into those measures myself. I was looking at some software mods to limit new user posting rights, but they seemed like they were a bit under-developed to me (also, the phpBB software is on the verge of going to the 3.0.6 release, so I should probably wait until after that happens before attempting to modify the software).
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NecronLord
PostPosted: 2009-10-22 02:10pm 

Harbinger of Doom


Joined: 2002-07-07 06:30am
Posts: 25378
Location: The Lost City
Though the vote has already reached a required number of votes in favour, I'd like to endorse it nonetheless.

Stuart wrote:
I'm looking at other types of captcha. One good candidate provides a photograph that the applicant has to recognize (we'd probably use ships or aircraft, having to identify an F-106 or F-105 should eliminate the computer-spammers who are the main problem. The problem is that the modern spamming programs can identify the standard letter/number captcha codes and respond to them correctly so they go straight through the system.


I expect we could have some kind of thematic version of this. Identify a picture of the Death Star, the Enterprise-D, a SSD, or perhaps Star Trek TOS characters etc... Anyone interested in membership here should have no difficulty doing that, but should deal with computers, I would think.
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NecronLord
PostPosted: 2009-10-22 02:12pm 

Harbinger of Doom


Joined: 2002-07-07 06:30am
Posts: 25378
Location: The Lost City
Darth Wong wrote:
Thanks for the info. I'll have to look further into those measures myself. I was looking at some software mods to limit new user posting rights, but they seemed like they were a bit under-developed to me (also, the phpBB software is on the verge of going to the 3.0.6 release, so I should probably wait until after that happens before attempting to modify the software).

I'm not familiar with the back end of phpBB. What would be the difficulty in simply making the basic 'members' usergroup have limited posting rights, and then promote (and grandfather everyone with posts) them to some other usergroup, called Citizens or something to that effect? We could probably appoint someone to the role of head of the citizens usergroup primarily responsible for conferring citizenship 'First Citizen' or for a more Star Wars feel, 'Moff of Border Control' or some such.
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Coyote
PostPosted: 2009-10-22 02:18pm 

Rabid Monkey


Joined: 2002-08-23 01:20am
Posts: 12463
Location: The glorious Sun-Barge! Isis, Isis, Ra,Ra,Ra!
NecronLord wrote:
Stuart wrote:
I'm looking at other types of captcha. One good candidate provides a photograph that the applicant has to recognize (we'd probably use ships or aircraft, having to identify an F-106 or F-105 should eliminate the computer-spammers who are the main problem.


I expect we could have some kind of thematic version of this. Identify a picture of the Death Star, the Enterprise-D, a SSD, or perhaps Star Trek TOS characters etc...


How about one of the Executor with a scale bar that says "9km" and another with a scale bar that says "17km", and see which one they choose... :lol: :wink:
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fgalkin
PostPosted: 2009-10-22 02:20pm 

Carvin' Marvin


Joined: 2002-07-03 11:51pm
Posts: 14428
Location: Land of the Mountain Fascists
I thought we were moving away from the tired and dead subject of ST and SW?

Have a very nice day.
-fgalkin
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NecronLord
PostPosted: 2009-10-22 02:24pm 

Harbinger of Doom


Joined: 2002-07-07 06:30am
Posts: 25378
Location: The Lost City
fgalkin wrote:
I thought we were moving away from the tired and dead subject of ST and SW?

Have a very nice day.
-fgalkin

The board was founded for such things (and its 'public offices' retain a theme - Imperial Senate, etc) and more importantly, I expect (though have no detailed evidence) that anyone wanting to join would be interested, at least, in Star Wars, enough to know the difference between Luke Skywalker and Emperor Palpatine. Come for the Star Wars, stay for the Science.

Much of the focus may be on science, or and politics, but it would be, I think, rather more complex to make the capcha software filter on stating basic physical laws of political facts.

Amusing though it would be to have a picture of George W Bush and have it be 'describe this man' I don't think it'd be feisable.
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AdmiralKanos
PostPosted: 2009-10-22 02:34pm 

Lex Animata


Joined: 2002-07-02 11:36pm
Posts: 2629
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Besides, while the subject of Star Wars vs Star Trek may be old and tired, the board will always have a Star Wars flavour. Anyone who goes to a board with "stardestroyer" in the domain name should expect that.
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AdmiralKanos
PostPosted: 2009-10-22 02:36pm 

Lex Animata


Joined: 2002-07-02 11:36pm
Posts: 2629
Location: Toronto, Ontario
I saw a really neat CAPTCHA where you drag icons, but it requires JavaScript. Right now the board is usable even if JavaScript is turned off, although certain features won't work. Adding a JavaScript CAPTCHA would make it impossible to register without JavaScript turned on, and I don't think I like that idea.
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AdmiralKanos
PostPosted: 2009-10-22 02:50pm 

Lex Animata


Joined: 2002-07-02 11:36pm
Posts: 2629
Location: Toronto, Ontario
I forgot to add that we actually have a (very easy) skill-testing word question in the registration page right now. That's not a CAPTCHA and it doesn't use fancy obscured graphics instead of plain text (all you need is knowledge of the difference between minutes and hours, the concept of speed, and the ability to multiply and divide with a calculator), but it might stop a lot of robots anyway.
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Thanas
PostPosted: 2009-10-22 02:56pm 

Magister


Joined: 2004-06-26 07:49pm
Posts: 25080
The skill testing text should however tell users to round up or down.
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fgalkin
PostPosted: 2009-10-22 02:57pm 

Carvin' Marvin


Joined: 2002-07-03 11:51pm
Posts: 14428
Location: Land of the Mountain Fascists
So, I googled our question, and holy shit. That wasn't the only hit, either.

Yes, some people can't get that right, and need to ask for help.

I weep for humanity.

EDIT: It gets worse- this one has the person in question asking how to use a calculator. Image

And I remember the guy now

Have a very nice day.
-fgalkin
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AdmiralKanos
PostPosted: 2009-10-22 02:57pm 

Lex Animata


Joined: 2002-07-02 11:36pm
Posts: 2629
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Thanas wrote:
The skill testing text should however tell users to round up or down.

Actually, there are two correct answers: the precise figure, and a number rounded to the nearest integer. The system will accept either.
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AdmiralKanos
PostPosted: 2009-10-22 02:58pm 

Lex Animata


Joined: 2002-07-02 11:36pm
Posts: 2629
Location: Toronto, Ontario
fgalkin wrote:
So, I googled our question, and holy shit. That wasn't the only hit, either.

Yes, some people can't get that right, and need to ask for help.

I weep for humanity.

Have a very nice day.
-fgalkin

That's ... that's really sad. Still, maybe I should tweak the numbers so that it divides evenly into a number of minutes, so people don't have to wonder how they should handle the fractional part?
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Ted C
PostPosted: 2009-10-22 03:58pm 

Sith Marauder


Joined: 2002-07-07 11:00am
Posts: 4294
Location: Nashville, TN
I'm for it.
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fgalkin
PostPosted: 2009-10-22 04:15pm 

Carvin' Marvin


Joined: 2002-07-03 11:51pm
Posts: 14428
Location: Land of the Mountain Fascists
Well, the first newbies are now posting in Testing. Let's see how it goes.

Have a very nice day.
-fgalkin
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LadyTevar
PostPosted: 2009-10-22 06:21pm 

White Mage


Joined: 2003-02-12 11:59pm
Posts: 17531
Location: Tahalshia Manor
I have no opinion on the matter -- Abstain.
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