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Cap'n Refsmmat

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Everything posted by Cap'n Refsmmat

  1. I asked our benevolent overlord Dave about the ad settings, and apparently Google AdSense enabled "vignette" ads without asking us. He's turned them off now. Hopefully that's the end of the issue and they don't find another more irritating thing to turn on.
  2. I just had some fun writing a SQL query of the forum database, and it appears you have a PM conversation from February 2021 titled "C-19", and the system thinks it has unread posts. Why it's notifying you about them now I have no idea, but it's a real conversation. This link should take you to it: https://www.scienceforums.net/messenger/70769/ For my future reference, here's the query: SELECT msg_author_id, msg_topic_id, from_unixtime(msg_date), map_has_unread, msg_post, mt_title FROM `core_message_posts` LEFT JOIN `core_message_topics` ON msg_topic_id = mt_id LEFT JOIN `core_message_topic_user_map` ON mt_id = map_topic_id WHERE map_user_id = 74263 ORDER BY msg_date DESC;
  3. Yes, we use Let's Encrypt and automatically renew the certificate periodically. I'm not sure why you got an error -- if it happens again, can you record the exact error it shows you, and any details it might hide behind an Advanced or Show More button? I wouldn't disable certificate errors globally, as that's a serious security issue. We try to keep SFN's certificate updated (since it's free), so if there's a problem, we should fix it.
  4. I suspect neither of these is done by the forum software, but by your web browser's form autofill features. Browsers keep track of the form fields they have filled out in the past and "helpfully" show a drop-down with the previous values you've used when you see a similar form again. For example, here's Firefox's documentation on it: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/control-whether-firefox-automatically-fills-forms
  5. Unfortunately the forum software doesn't have a way to set up keyword filters, though possibly someone has written a plugin that can do that. What's frustrating is that the software does have a built-in anti-spam service, which sends spam reports to the makers. If someone has spammed on a different site using the same software, they'd be blocked on registration here. But apparently that system is not keeping up with the flood either.
  6. I've reviewed the access logs for some spambot registrations, and they make requests that were initiated by JavaScript. (For example, the registration form uses JavaScript to ask the server if your username is available.) I suspect these are human-assisted spambots, where someone is paid a few cents per registration to complete the CAPTCHA and sign up. What browser are you using on Windows XP? Microsoft discontinued support and updates nine years ago, Firefox stopped providing updates for XP in 2017, and Chrome did so in 2016 or earlier. Are you just using IE, or something else?
  7. We have one (using Google's reCAPTCHA) already. Evidently a number of spammers really do work manually (perhaps by paying people a few cents to click the button) or have a way of defeating the CAPTCHA. We also limit new members to 5 posts in the first day, but of course a few people making 5 spam posts is already a lot of spam in a day. I've previously tried adding custom questions to the registration forum, like asking about a well-known science fact, and spammers get right through those too. I think spam people are willing to put in quite a bit of work, like keeping a database of all the questions they're asked on registration forms and the right answers to them.
  8. I guess the perverse case would be if two threads are merged, and then you get numbers appearing repeatedly. But posts are assigned a unique number that could be shown; your post is #1230665, for instance. It'd be possible to list those, but since they're sequential across the entire forum, they're a little less convenient in a thread. At least they're in increasing order and don't change. I think someone in the thread I linked suggested showing those numbers, which I think is possible.
  9. It appears the official answer is no: Invision does not support numbering posts within threads. Any numbering wouldn't be stable, because if a post is deleted or a thread is split, the posts change number. (Also, moderators can see deleted posts and normal members can't; would you show them a different numbering?) The official recommendation is to use the "share" button (under the three dots at the top right of a post), or to copy the post permalink at the top of each post (the link for the text "Posted Thursday at ...")
  10. Yes, I'm sure it's possible to misconfigure Let's Encrypt, but we set it up several years ago and sorted out the issues then, so I'm not too worried about a failure every time it comes up for renewal.
  11. We've always done (1); we're trying to do (2). It's renewed automatically through Let's Encrypt, so at least we don't have to worry about that.
  12. Yes, that's it. It's something of a tradition here at SFN: Every few years, we forget to renew the domain name on time, and the site goes down for a day or two while we try to reach the person with the login. I'm trying to transfer the domain so that's not a problem in the future, and hopefully this time we actually achieve it, unlike all the other past times where we said we'd do it and then didn't get around to it.
  13. If you see this again, could you share a screenshot of the ad? I don't think we changed any ad settings, so we should check that nothing suspicious is happening.
  14. Unfortunately our domain name registration happened to expire on Wednesday, causing us to go down for about a day until the, uh, responsible party could be hunted down politely asked to renew the domain. We should be back now, though you may find it takes a few hours before different ISPs catch up and start letting you access the site. Sorry for the inconvenience.
  15. I hate to spoil the fun, but it really is "just deserts", not "just desserts"! The "deserts" is a noun related to "deserves". To quote from Garner's Modern American Usage: Obviously this is the most important thing I have to do in the office on a Monday morning.
  16. I'm pretty sure you can just use math bbcode tags, as in [ math]\frac{-b \pm \sqrt{b^2 - 4ac}}{2a}[/ math] without spaces produces [math]\frac{-b \pm \sqrt{b^2 - 4ac}}{2a}[/math] Unfortunately you have to reload the page after you post for MathJax to notice the tags in it...
  17. Yes, you'll be able to change your avatar and profile after you've made a few posts. We had a lot of spam robots which registered, posted nothing, and added spam links to their profile, which was hard for us to detect because they never posted anything. Sorry for the inconvenience.
  18. What kind of format and topics are you thinking of? We did indeed have debates years ago, but scheduling them, picking a good format, and getting participants is a fair amount of work, and the right format is important to make the debates work.
  19. In the United States, a lot of police and fire radio systems operate in the 800 MHz band, which has sections reserved for public safety use. https://www.fcc.gov/general/800-mhz-spectrum
  20. What types of topics or discussions do you think would belong in such a section that wouldn't be covered by the Politics section?
  21. Could you be specific about the error message and any details it provides? Oddly enough, Googling "Googleheads" doesn't turn up any information that would help me track this down.
  22. If you click the "Share this post" button at the top right corner of a post (the three dots linked by two lines), you'll get a direct link to the post, which you could use to refer to a specific post.
  23. IPB is Invision Power Board, the old name for the software we use. (Eventually they rebranded as Invision Community or something.) There are two separate problems we're experiencing: The new version of IPB was saving a bunch of cache data to the hard disk with every request, causing enormous load on the hard drives. That seems to be part of why SFN was so slow -- every request was delayed waiting for its turn to use the hard disk. Dave switched it to use the database instead, which can be much smarter about keeping the data in memory instead of on disk. The "bad gateway" errors are a bug in PHP which make it crash occasionally. Our HTTP server, nginx, notices that PHP has crashed and failed to produce a webpage, and reports "bad gateway" to you. If Dave's tweak is right, it should fix problem #1 but not problem #2. I've searched for solutions to problem #2 and haven't found anything yet -- either we're the only people experiencing the problem or it's an artifact of something unique in our setup. But if you encounter the "bad gateway" errors you should be able to refresh and get the page loaded quickly. We'll monitor the changes over the next couple days and see if problem #1 is conclusively solved or if we need to make more tweaks. Big thanks to Dave for spotting the issue and fixing it.
  24. Was it this page? http://www.scienceforums.net/online/ You get that by hitting "See full list" on the Who's Online box.
  25. Their excuse is that post counts can vary. Moderators can see posts that were hidden for breaking the rules; posts may be deleted after members already referred to them by number; and posts may be in the mod queue awaiting approval. I could refer to post #48, but its number may be different by the time you look at it, because post #47 was deleted. I suppose every post could be assigned a permanent number, displayed at the top right, and if #47 is deleted the thread simply skips from 46 to 48, but then you could see when we delete things, and the more censorious forums would get upset that their members could see behind the curtain.
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