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  • Originally posted by shrdlu
    If this restriction is newish, I'd give it a while, without making the concession, and see how it goes.
    This has been enforced for about 4 or 5 months. I think we started this late December last year or early January of this year. (We don't even have a year of data to examine, and it has not been tried through an actual con.)

    Yeah, I thought about asking for dispensation, but I couldn't justify it to myself, so I didn't. I joined in plenty of time to sit out the two weeks, and have already satisfied my primary purpose in putting info out over on the contest/event forum. Anything else is just gravy.
    Manual promotion and exceptions for people that organize contests and events and are trusted to not be asshats is critical to having this "forced lurking" policy work. Organizers, Goons, and DCG leaders are *exactly* the kinds of people we want on the forums.

    One thing that came up was an idea of an "Insta-Ban" for users violating rules as lurkers in the Contest/Event space. I don't think we decided to go with this, but we will likely be even more strict with users that violate rules as "lurkers".

    Community is good, and encouraging it is the right thing. I just don't think waiting a week is that big a deal.
    It is not a big deal for me, and is something I have patience to do for Defcon, but not something that I would do for, say a wiki. If I see a mistake that I want to fix, and sign-up to fix it, and have to wait, I decide the fix is not worth my time.

    I can't believe that it drives anyone off, at least not anyone that isn't headed for /dev/null in any case.
    Yes, this is one of the reasons we looked to add this forced lurking period.
    It lets users read the rules, lurk to see "how things work", acts as impedence to users looking for "tech support" or question on "h0w 2 haxxx0rz teh gibson" (how to hack the Gibson.) It also adds value to accounts that have permission to post, as a lost account means delays to rejoining. This increases desire to maintain an e-mail address on the forums (for password reset) and users may see an increased risk in being asshats if it means they may lose their account through being banned. There are more advantages to forced lurking than I've listed here, too.

    However, with all of these advantages, event/contest organizers often *want* to make it easy for people to sign up for their contests, discuss their contest, and ask questions. (Everyone shares in the asking and answering of questions in a public space.)
    Everyone benefits when organizers are able to use the forums as a tool to promote their events/contest. If an enforced lurking period substantially decreases the forums as a tool to aid with event/contest organization, the enforced lurking period benefits must be weighed against the cost of event planning/organization.

    My original motivation for joining was that I was seeing a whole bunch of hits on the coffeewars site, and a lot of them were initiated from the forum. When I logged in, and saw zero posts there, I felt a certain responsibility to communicate with those users looking *there* for information, so I joined. It all worked out.
    This is great! You seek to promote your contest, and took the time to join the forums so you could contribute. What is better? You are also contrubiting here (in this thread) in a discussion on how to help the forums work. I like to read/hear new ideas. I like it when ideas are backed up by experience and reasons. It really does benefit the forums when people like you, klepto, and Deviant Ollam state your ideas and opinions about how the forums work. It is also helpful to everyone when new ideas are discussed like this.

    I bet many contest organizers have a similar view of the forum. I too joined the forums many years ago, and found it a flame-fest. It took a long time before I would come back. The improvements to the forums you see now can be attributed to ideas proposed by other mods and admins from years before I came back. I think every mod has proposed one or more ideas to make the forums work better. Nearly every new policy/feature we've tried recently are actually not my ideas, but that of another mod from years back. Several ideas, now in place were proposed by ordinary users. Its the other mods and Admins and constructive users that deserve the prasie for helping the forums become what they are now and where they are going.

    Converge sorted through all of the /dev/null posts to classify them into kinds of rule violations to help us understand where users were failing to to follow the rules, and allowed us to re-write the rules and take these statistics into consideration. He also has been taking the time to label topics of relocated events, so as to help us and other users understand the rule violation. (Constructive criticism is a good thing-- especiallyu when you consider how many people lurk in /dev/null and fucktard hall.)

    Th addition of the "search" form to the top of the forum page makes forum search conveinient. It seems to have helped. Its addition was suggested by one user, and the location changed with feedback from several other users.

    The addition of the "rules are enforced" added above the search may be also helped as an extra reminder about rule enforcement. (If we dedicate a prime area with such a message, it also converys how important it is.)

    The "bolding" of "advanced search" draws attention to it.

    Many ideas included through suggestion from many sources.

    Addition of RSS feed, ical (rfc2445) export of events, and use of "Forum Leaders/Oragnizers" over subforums are all plusses to draw and keep more of the skilled players, organizers and leaders at Defcon. (All of these ideas were proposed by many people.)

    Oh, I bet you'll be pleasantly surprised. As long as people don't get sent to /dev/null or worse for frivilous reasons, and as long as the moderators maintain their cool, then it'll be a relatively worthwhile place to be.
    This is something that I have been "charting." I look at the number of real users being added to the forums after pruning of inactive, or unconfirmed addresses. Klepto (above) has posted some concerns with enforced limits imposed on new users. I understand and agree with the risks, but disagree on the the value. However, with enough data collection, we can (hopefully) determine the result of this policy, at the cost of 1 year of potential losses in new members.
    Converge brings up a good point on this issue too:
    "Moderators are people too." (They have good days and bad days, and levels of intollerance.)
    When a mod "/dev/nulls" a thread, they may be mildly annoyed. When they /dev/null several threads in a short time, they may become frustrated and this frustration maps into a lower threshold for what is viewed as "passable." An increase in /dev/null content, increases the level of complaining from users, many of which flame mods, which does not help things, as mods flame back, ban users, and may flame other users for what may seem to casual observers to be "small" things. Regular users observe mods flamig other users and people will learn by example. Flamed users often respond by flaming back.
    Burn forums, burn.

    I don't like the idea of asking mods to "keep their cool." That is just lame. Is it their fault that users are being asshats? No. So why should they pay the price for users acting like asshats?
    So, why not place the burden of decreasing these problems and rule violations thruogh policies to limit new users? This makes sense. A majority of people are lurkers anyway, and many of the rule violators are "one time posters" anyway.

    This forced lurking will hopefully help with user education, and for cases where users are not self-educated through lurking and knowing the rules, banning would be justified, because they were forewarned many times.

    I think that this is an excellent idea. There are probably contests where the ability to ask questions is significant (although I still maintain that "lurkers" can send private messages to the organizer, or in fact to any poster).
    Actually according to the permission, "Lurkers," are denied access to PM other users. This was selected to proactively deal with spammers who might PM members. Like other ideas, this can be changed in the future too.

    It's been interesting; rather like dc-stuff in its earlier days (which is where Coffee Wars got its start in any case).
    I joined dc-stuff for a while, and found much of the content to be like the forums were, with lots of flaming. What is the difference? The same difference from when the forums were like the 9th plane of Dante's Inferno: Politics and Religion.
    It seems these topics tend to transmute some of the brightest people into blathering idiots unable to differentiate fallacy from logic.
    At one time, 2600 magazine had many loyal followers and readers, but when they shifted from primarily tech to Political discussion, they lost readership. The decision on the Defcon forums to drop P&R and classify these as "Off Topic" is probably the single most powerful decision in mitigation of asshatery on the forums.

    (Lately, we have had some "grey area" discussions that border on Politics, but they are quickly closed and relocated if they get too close to flaming/trolling, or are "too" political. Politics is mostly a big no-no, while Religion is still a big no-no here.)

    Comment


    • Originally posted by TheCotMan
      This has been enforced for about 4 or 5 months. I think we started this late December last year or early January of this year. (We don't even have a year of data to examine, and it has not been tried through an actual con.)
      Man, I wish that there was another editor for this. I'm restricted right now to just living within XP, and it sucks. I'm about to snip most of this. I think that we're in violent agreement on most things (except I'm more inclined to be strict than you).

      Originally posted by TheCotMan
      I don't like the idea of asking mods to "keep their cool." That is just lame. Is it their fault that users are being asshats? No. So why should they pay the price for users acting like asshats?
      I don't think I agree with this. If moderators can't keep their cool, perhaps they shouldn't moderate. It's tough, and I expect it's volunteer as well, but moderation requires the high ground. I'd suck at it (I do not suffer fools gladly), but appreciate the skill in others.

      Originally posted by TheCotMan
      Actually according to the permission, "Lurkers," are denied access to PM other users. This was selected to proactively deal with spammers who might PM members. Like other ideas, this can be changed in the future too.
      Ah. I didn't realize. Still, there are always ways to ask around, and the directions on how to get help are pretty clear, as is the "who to ask" stuff that you get when you first sign up.

      Originally posted by TheCotMan
      I joined dc-stuff for a while, and found much of the content to be like the forums were, with lots of flaming. What is the difference? The same difference from when the forums were like the 9th plane of Dante's Inferno: Politics and Religion.
      DC-Stuff hasn't really been worth while in any number of years. Starting with the death of a couple of the brighter and more worth while members who died in tragic ways, it just kind of spun out of control. The signal used to be decent, now and then, but every time I've looked at it since it's nearly always just noise. The same two or three people saying the same two or three things. Not that interesting.

      I've been to packetstorm (now that's a place that's been through changes, and then some), and the forums are filled with exactly the same kind of noise as used to be here. Well, this is drifting off topic, and there's no sense providing a bad example.

      ENDS

      Comment


      • Originally posted by TheCotMan
        I don't like the idea of asking mods to "keep their cool." That is just lame. Is it their fault that users are being asshats? No. So why should they pay the price for users acting like asshats?
        Originally posted by shrdlu
        I don't think I agree with this. If moderators can't keep their cool, perhaps they shouldn't moderate. It's tough, and I expect it's volunteer as well, but moderation requires the high ground. I'd suck at it (I do not suffer fools gladly), but appreciate the skill in others.
        All of the moderators are volunteers and have experience with Defcon. Most of the mods are classified as Goons as well. I think 2 or 3 mods are not classified as goons, but the rest of the mods appear to be goons and mods.

        Perhaps "losing their cool," is a bad description. Maybe a better description might be, "agitated into action." They don't get crazy or irrational, and they are still coherent, so they don't really lose their cool, but they do lose their tolerance to similar behavior exhibited by others in a short period of time. The result is a public display of correction to help those with the wisdom to learn from others' mistakes.


        Anyone else wish to comment on the refinement of the exception to lurkers not being able to post anywhere?

        1) Revert the enforce "lurker" restrictions to all forums, and make exceptions on a per-subforum basis as desired by each contest/event subforum leaver/organizer.

        2) Things remain as they are not with an exception to all contests/events subforums except for exceptions to this exception.

        (A question of which way to set a default for permissions on specific contests/events.)

        Comment


        • Originally posted by TheCotMan
          Perhaps "losing their cool," is a bad description.
          I can see shrdlu's point of view. The moderators can sometimes get a bit "rowdy" when smacking down bad behavior. As an example to users, it sucks and it encourages similar hostility in them to fit in. For the regulars, however, it is hilarious and we realize that such behavior is a privilege for the moderators. The new users usually have to learn that last lesson the hard way.

          Originally posted by TheCotMan
          make exceptions on a per-subforum basis as desired by each contest/event subforum leaver/organizer.
          I suppose, in a way, it is the contest organizer's forum. Some of these forums might draw poor behavior (CTF), but I'm sure most will do just fine.

          The question you have to ask, and the question you have been asking, is: what can we do to help these forums become a tool for pre-con planning? Maybe this means relaxing some restrictions in, say, the last 30 days ... the private messaging restriction in particular.

          Comment


          • I think one valid exception is the new signup that just happens to pick up on the forums within 7-14 days before con. .. that user may be interested in posting attempt to register for a contest, offer or take up someone in the Ride Sharing section, etc. Opening things up right now is fine, but really only necessary when the 7-14 day pre-con segment hits. Once con starts, maybe 10 minutes sooner, close the loophole.
            if it gets me nowhere, I'll go there proud; and I'm gonna go there free.

            Comment


            • i think i can recall the forums going completely dark during defcon in years past. am i correct in my memory of that? will that be policy again this year or will they remain up? they can be a useful means of coordinating some last-minute plans that unfold at defcon itself... phone tag and notes on people's room doors only can accomplish so much.
              "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
              - Trent Reznor

              Comment


              • Originally posted by voltage spike
                Maybe this means relaxing some restrictions in, say, the last 30 days ... the private messaging restriction in particular.
                I guess we could allow PM for "lurkers" and limit their PM box size to 4 messages in size. This might kill bots that try to spam with PM, by limiting their max number of messages to 4 before requiring the 4 sent-mail messages to be deleted. (Not perfect, and it can be defeated, but an idea.)

                Originally posted by converge
                I think one valid exception is the new signup that just happens to pick up on the forums within 7-14 days before con. .. that user may be interested in posting attempt to register for a contest, offer or take up someone in the Ride Sharing section, etc. Opening things up right now is fine, but really only necessary when the 7-14 day pre-con segment hits. Once con starts, maybe 10 minutes sooner, close the loophole.
                So, maybe we should have the default be to enforce the lurking period in each "Contest & Event" subforums, and then relax this rule with exceptions to allow lurkers to reply to existing threads in subforums where the origanizer desires it?

                Originally posted by Devian Ollam
                i think i can recall the forums going completely dark during defcon in years past. am i correct in my memory of that?
                Last year they were up and running. I don't know if that will happen again this year, but it seems likely that they will be up again this year.

                will that be policy again this year or will they remain up? they can be a useful means of coordinating some last-minute plans that unfold at defcon itself... phone tag and notes on people's room doors only can accomplish so much.
                If they remain up this year, I would not rely on them as a primary resource for organizing meetings. I might not be bringing a laptop to con this year. If I don't bring one, I won't be using anyone else's computer to log into the forums while at con. We'll have a backup of all forum content stored on an off-site server before con in case there are serious problems. Maybe another mod might be willing to log-in during con. (?)

                (Last year, I did not attend, so I managed the forums with the help of converge who also did not attend the con, if I recall correctly.)

                Comment


                • We are tinkering with transmission control of data stored in the "/ical/" directory (the ical calendar exports.) The changes are designed to improve effective throughput and effective "speed" of delivery. Please report any problems accessing the exported ical calendars. If there are no problems, the same changes will likely be applied site-wide.

                  Thanks for reading.

                  Comment


                  • www.defcon.org now serving compressed content!

                    From the defcon.org rss http://www.defcon.org/defconrss.xml entry:

                    Well it has taken a bit of work to get the old web server happy with serving http 1.1 compressed content, but now that it is you should see a speed improvement in page views as well as availability.

                    These changes are in preparation for the site and server change over, something that I hope will happen in the next week.

                    If your browser supports content-encoding compressed, you should see a gain! Also note that forums.defcon.org is also enabling compression later this week after some testing. This is a good thing leading up to the convention because it is effectively like buying more bandwidth with a software upgrade.
                    W00t!
                    PGP Key: https://defcon.org/html/links/dtangent.html

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Dark Tangent
                      Also note that forums.defcon.org is also enabling compression later this week after some testing.
                      We are waiting to hear confirmation that a problem has been diagnosed as unrelated to the testing of compressed content, and then we will go live for all of the forums content.

                      Assuming we hear the problem has been properly diagnosed, we'll probably try setting compressed content from the forums on Monday. (If we do, another announcement will be made after the switch.)

                      Here is an e-mail address to contact if you can't post to the forums anymore as a result of the switch to support compressed content: defconforums@gmail.com (If you can't access the forums, hopefully email will work, so you can let us know.)

                      If forum access seems broken on Monday, or incomplete, and you can post, please post your related issues here with a reply instead of using e-mail. (We don't need posts of success, but would like posts of failure.)

                      This is a good thing leading up to the convention because it is effectively like buying more bandwidth with a software upgrade.
                      W00t!
                      For those of you that don't know about it, compressed content is only sent to browsers that claim to support it when they make requests. If a browser does not support compressed content, then their response and returned data is not compressed. Everyone wins, but other than a baseline aggregate savings for all users, the biggest winners of this change will be "dialup" users.

                      Comment


                      • OS/X Safari and Opera browsers not supporting compression?

                        I'm was wathing my logs, and it seems like only about 1/4 of the connections are getting served the compressed content.

                        One thing that stuck out is that browsers claiming to be safari on OS/X never seem to pick up the compressed content. A google search did not reveal any problems with this issue, but now I wonder how many browsers do in fact take advantage of compression?

                        So far the logs show the following successes http 1.1:

                        "SharpReader/0.9.6.0 (.NET CLR 1.1.4322.2032; WinNT 5.1.2600.0)"
                        "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Yahoo! Slurp; http://help.yahoo.com/help/us/ysearch/slurp)"
                        "Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.8.0.1) Gecko/20060124 Firefox/1.5.0.1"
                        "AppleSyndication/52"
                        "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.7.10) Gecko/20050716 Firefox/1.0.6"
                        "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727)"

                        So far absent is Safari, and Opera!

                        UPDATE: I saw this from an Intel OS X box showing success. So maybe it is just the PPC verions?
                        "Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/418 (KHTML, like Gecko) Safari/417.9.3"

                        I'll watch a little longer and see what's up.

                        Crap, the longer I watch the more I find! The mini Opera browser seems to work also:
                        "Opera/8.01 (J2ME/MIDP; Opera Mini/2.0.3920; en; U; ssr)"
                        as well as normal Opera 8.5 browsers.

                        OK, my initial observation was in error. It might have something to do with systems behind application proxies that filter the header, or some other factor that is preventing people with compatible browsers from picking up the compressed content. Without full http and mime headers, I might not ever know.
                        Last edited by The Dark Tangent; May 21, 2006, 00:25.
                        PGP Key: https://defcon.org/html/links/dtangent.html

                        Comment


                        • Okie dokie.

                          Compression is enabled for all forum access over http and https. Images are not compressed, but it is possible for most text to be compressed.

                          If you notice strangeness with using the forums as a result of this upgrade, please post a bug report here. Include the error, and a desciription. If an error message appeared, please copy and paste it as part of your report.

                          If you are unable to post your report, then try email: defconforums@gmail.com

                          Thanks for your patience.

                          Comment


                          • No problems reported here or in e-mail with the new compressed content. I guess it will remain.

                            Links have been added at the bottom for the 3 forum ical calendar exports:
                            P, C, and H for Public Events, Conventions, and Historical Events respectively. These reflect the 3 forum calendars.
                            Public Events: If you run a DCG, publish your Local Meetings here. Local Defcon Events (Precon and post con) can also go here.
                            Conventions: Schedule for many conventions
                            History: Historical events that hackers may find amusing, interesting, worthy of mention. (Have suggestions for more? Put them here.)

                            Comment


                            • If your browser is IE - Tools/Internet Options/Advanced Scroll to the bottom to
                              security and uncheck "Check for server cirtificate revocation" should take care of the problem.



                              Originally posted by Ridirich
                              What's up with this new site certificate? Every time I log in now, it pops up.
                              --->FormatSee
                              --->The unexamined life is not worth living ~S~

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Ridirich
                                What's up with this new site certificate? Every time I log in now, it pops up.
                                I don't see this, myself, and wonder if this is not from an old thread, however...

                                Originally posted by FormatSee
                                If your browser is IE - Tools/Internet Options/Advanced Scroll to the bottom to
                                security and uncheck "Check for server cirtificate revocation" should take care of the problem.
                                Please don't recommend this. This is a bad practice, and can only make it easier for the user to be taken advantage of by such things as phishers and spyware. That option is there for a reason, and if you are running on windows of any type or variety, you need every bit of security you can get.

                                Just a note: The word is certificate; I'm sure that's what you meant to type, but just didn't proof read before you posted.

                                Comment

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