Author Topic: Last one out, please turn off the lights and lock the door  (Read 5577 times)

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Offline Terry_Kennedy

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Last one out, please turn off the lights and lock the door
« on: June 16, 2011, 06:48:45 pm »
This site seems to have been running on auto-pilot for some time now - the two listed admins, sbingner and judb, last visited in April and February, respectively. Emails sent to Sam haven't been answered (and didn't bounce, either). Of the other moderators, Paul was last here in 2008; SteveC in 2007; Cameron in 2007; para in 2007. Only VorTechS has been here in the last month.

There has been a massive increase in the amound of spam (I'd say I deleted at least 75 in the last week) with little or no "real" posts about Phatbox stuff.

I think this leaves me and VorTechS as the only 2 people who can moderate this board (and neither of us are admins, so we can't try to get anti-spam working). Also, we can't add other moderators as that takes an admin.

I'm going to use the PM function here to try to contact sbingner, judb, and VorTechS to see if there is any future for this forum. If things don't change by July 1st, I'm going to disable the email address I used on this board and no longer moderate (which is only banning spammers and deleting their posts at this point).

While I can appreciate comments any of the regular users might make, without an admin there's really nothing that can be done with this forum. As an example, I don't know where it is hosted, but Sam handles getting it restarted when it breaks. If he can't be reached, there will be no way to restart the board the next time it fails - it and all of its history will be gone for good, with only the memory of it left in the Internet Archive.

Offline sbingner

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Re: Last one out, please turn off the lights and lock the door
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2011, 07:59:35 pm »
There are already registration CAPTCHAs which significantly reduced the spam levels, but they seem to be managing to get through CAPTCHAs more lately.  I could have a CAPTCHA on every post, or require new member APPROVAL... but I don't want to approve every new member, if somebody wants to do that I'd be happy to make that change...

Oh - and when banning always be sure to include the IP... if we see a few from the same range we can just ban the whole range...
« Last Edit: June 17, 2011, 08:05:32 pm by sbingner »

Offline Terry_Kennedy

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Re: Last one out, please turn off the lights and lock the door
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2011, 11:56:17 pm »
There are already registration CAPTCHAs which significantly reduced the spam levels, but they seem to be managing to get through CAPTCHAs more lately.  I could have a CAPTCHA on every post, or require new member APPROVAL... but I don't want to approve every new member, if somebody wants to do that I'd be happy to make that change...

CAPTCHAs were never a good idea, and most have been cracked by now.

What I use on my board is a combination of a math test ("what is 2 + 2"), email verification, and then the first post needs to be moderated by me.

How many new users are we getting here, anyway?

I think the first thing to do would be to ask a couple of the regulars to be moderators. That way the load will get spread out (I only check this site a couple times a week, unless I get a notification of a new reply).

Offline judb

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Re: Last one out, please turn off the lights and lock the door
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2011, 08:25:19 pm »
I haven't been coming to the site regularly in ages...  I still have a pile of phatbox gear in storage that I found when I sold my house last year but never did anything with it.  Sure would be nice if there was a way to develop support and connections for newer car stereos, i still love my phatboxes.  they work way better than the stupid ford sync (voice search is cool though when it works) or the BMW ipod integration.

As for the spam problem.. we should probably see if there's an upgrade to SMF and if they have any improved human detection capability.  if someone else needs to be bumped up to mod I'm fine with that.. and I have no problem adding new admins but we need someone trustworthy that visits regularly.  I'll try and stop by here more often just for admin related stuff. 

Offline S80_UK

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Re: Last one out, please turn off the lights and lock the door
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2011, 08:29:07 pm »
I find that I'm not visiting so much lately.  Other "real-world" stuff getting in the way - work, family, my elderly mother - and my Phatbox is just so damned solid.  Nothing broke to need fixing.  I haven't even had to press the spare into service.

I do delete spam and ban spammers when I see them, but I am not here often enough I guess.  In general, I'd have no issue being part of a new-user-approval pool of moderators.  I cannot do all myself, since I am occasionally away in far away places (like in central China earlier this month).

Offline S80_UK

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Re: Last one out, please turn off the lights and lock the door
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2011, 08:36:50 pm »
I meant to ask - is there an easy way to clear the Deleted Posts section of the forum?  When spam posts are deleted they go there, and it would help a lot if there was a speedier way to clear them out.  Thanks.

Offline afeigin

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Re: Last one out, please turn off the lights and lock the door
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2011, 01:55:47 am »
I guess I picked the wrong year to break my Phatbox, should have done it 2 years ago!


Offline S80_UK

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Re: Last one out, please turn off the lights and lock the door
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2011, 07:12:40 am »
I guess I picked the wrong year to break my Phatbox, should have done it 2 years ago!
Not too late...

You can still do it, and there is still help available if needed. 

See also VorTechS's sites...

http://phatnoise.us  for tools

and

http://phathackmm.com  for an alternative to Phatnoise Media Manager


Offline Terry_Kennedy

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Re: Last one out, please turn off the lights and lock the door
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2011, 10:39:32 am »
The spammers seem to have much better tools than the moderators do. I just flushed about 100 spam posts. There was one legitimate post during that time, which I answered and moved to the proper forum.

I've stopped adding bans, since the spammers are generally "hit and run" and don't come back, and there's no mass ban action like there is for mass post deletion.

I think it would be a small inconvenience to new users to have to wait a bit to see their first post approved if the admins add a filter to allow joining and posting. If the notification gets mailed out to the moderators the same way the "report post" does, a moderator will generally get to it in less than a day.

Offline VorTechS

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Re: Last one out, please turn off the lights and lock the door
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2011, 06:41:13 am »
Seems like a sensible idea.  Any idea if sbingner jumped on it, or do I need to prod him via IRC?
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Offline sbingner

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Re: Last one out, please turn off the lights and lock the door
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2011, 06:51:10 am »
Well VorTechS just asked me to break out the big guns and make it so people can't post without a human saying yea verily.... so now all registrations need to be approved manually.  We could also switch it to all new users only having access to post in one forum, where you can then ask for access - but this should definately kill it for now.

Offline VorTechS

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Re: Last one out, please turn off the lights and lock the door
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2011, 06:53:11 am »
Thanks sbingner.  It came to a head this morning when I noticed the numbers of new registrations that were actually known spam accounts...!
Kenwood KDC-W7031 | Kenwood KHD-CX910 | 250GB DMS | PhatHack Media Manager v1.1.4 (Alpha) | VIOT

Catch me weekdays 8am-4pm GMT on IRC @ irc.freenode.net on channel #phathack (aka the chat link!!)