Bryon

Bryon Thur

1658 Reputation

16 Badges

17 years, 11 days
Maplesoft
Director
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Social Networks and Content at Maplesoft.com

Maple Application Center

MaplePrimes Activity


These are replies submitted by Bryon

Not to worry... it takes two distinct clicks to actually remove content.  One click on the first "delete" and a second to confirm. 

Bryon

The best way to send millions of spam messages without getting caught is to have an army of people do it for you.  The "best" (i.e., the sneakiest) way to do this is to write a virus that gets installed onto someone's computer (usually via a trojan) and then it will work in the background to send the spam.  So while I don't have any specifics about this particular instance, I'm fairly confident about how the attack is being carried out.

As for changing the rules to prevent automatic registration or to prevent new users from posting a message, it's a good idea but I'm hesitant to roll that out, even if just for a few days.  If I were a new Maple user that was having trouble in a particular area, I'd find it very frustrating if I couldn't post a message to our help forum.

The best way to send millions of spam messages without getting caught is to have an army of people do it for you.  The "best" (i.e., the sneakiest) way to do this is to write a virus that gets installed onto someone's computer (usually via a trojan) and then it will work in the background to send the spam.  So while I don't have any specifics about this particular instance, I'm fairly confident about how the attack is being carried out.

As for changing the rules to prevent automatic registration or to prevent new users from posting a message, it's a good idea but I'm hesitant to roll that out, even if just for a few days.  If I were a new Maple user that was having trouble in a particular area, I'd find it very frustrating if I couldn't post a message to our help forum.

It appears that Primes has been targetted by an automated spambot that is configured for the particular version of Drupal that we are running.  The messages are coming from unique IP addresses distributed all over the world, so it's most likely the result of a trojan application running quietly on people's machines, unbeknownst to the individual users.  So unfortunately, we cannot just block an IP address to stop the problem.

The timing (over the Christmas holidays) is particularly unfortunate, as our staff resources are minimal.  This is a top priority for us, however, and we will be looking at a fix starting on Monday, Jan 5.  In the meantime, we will be doing our best to keep on top of the problem, but with New Year's day tomorrow, followed by the weekend, it's likely that the messages will continue to build up over that time.

The new version of Primes that we are working on will have measures to prevent this type of thing from happening.

Bryon

It appears that Primes has been targetted by an automated spambot that is configured for the particular version of Drupal that we are running.  The messages are coming from unique IP addresses distributed all over the world, so it's most likely the result of a trojan application running quietly on people's machines, unbeknownst to the individual users.  So unfortunately, we cannot just block an IP address to stop the problem.

The timing (over the Christmas holidays) is particularly unfortunate, as our staff resources are minimal.  This is a top priority for us, however, and we will be looking at a fix starting on Monday, Jan 5.  In the meantime, we will be doing our best to keep on top of the problem, but with New Year's day tomorrow, followed by the weekend, it's likely that the messages will continue to build up over that time.

The new version of Primes that we are working on will have measures to prevent this type of thing from happening.

Bryon

Complementing the resources above, Samir Khan, one of the regular bloggers at Maplesoft.com, has posted a couple of popular Mandelbrot-related articles.

Bryon

In our research for the new features being discussed here, we noticed that thumbs-up and thumbs-down symbols are extremely common, and that is what we are currently planning to use to symbolize "good" and "bad" content on MaplePrimes.

Bryon

MaplePrimes is a diverse community -- in the last 30 days, for example, we have hosted visitors from over 200 countries -- and all are welcome.  Over the years, there are many examples of members posting in languages other than English, as well as many English posts written by people who's native language is obviously something aside from English.  Our expectations are simply that any discussions are respectful of these differences, and do not descend into arguments about who is right or wrong or about who's culture should take precendence.

That said, I find discussions like this interesting and valuable. I have certainly used the term "America" in the same way that Alec used it, had no idea that it has such a different meaning in other parts of the world.

Bryon

 

Thanks for the comment, Jacques.  We have been paying close attention to the server since launch and haven't noticed anything out of the ordinary.  In fact, the general concensus around thse parts is that the site is quite a bit faster than it was previously, although admittedly most of that is conjecture -- I don't have any hard comparative data to validate those comments.  But so far, everything seems quite positive from the server migration.

Regardless, we will continue to watch the site/server for any problems.  And of course, we certainly appreciate you letting us know when you find something that requires our attention.

Bryon

Thanks to both of you (Doug & Alec) for identifying issues with the help notation.  We'll address it shortly and publish a fix.

Bryon

Yes, you are correct.   The purpose of this update was to address stability & reliability, which (knock on wood) so far appears to have been successful.   With that out of the way, we are now able to start working on the new features that we have been discussing here.

Bryon

Thanks for your work on getting this done, Will.  Hopefully this server upgrade will correct the stability issues we've been dealing with.  We were not able to crash the server during testing, so that's certainly a positive sign!

Now that this upgrade has been completed, our development priority turns to the the MaplePrimes re-development project.  We will provide more details and status updates about this in the near future.

Bryon

We are currently addressing the server-reliability problems and are on-track to launch an updated version of the MaplePrimes server this month (October 2009).

Hopefully, once the upgrade is in place, the requirement to save posts will largely disappear.

Bryon Thur

Falling Girl is a great deal of fun! It's also a nice example of ragdoll physics, which are quite popular in video games these days.

But I digress.  I really like the idea of the Flash-based editor, mainly because it is an elegant way to solve the problems that we have with HTML/Javascript when it comes to pasting 2-D math into forum posts.  Our site stats show that well over 90% of users have it installed. For those that do not, the current editor would work as it does now.  Axel also mentioned some security vulnerabilities, but these appear to have been solved by a patch released by Adobe.

Also note that this technology is only a suggestion for the input form.  Flash would not be used to display any content within the Primes.

During development, we will create a proof of concept of the Flash forum and post it online for people to try out and we can go from there.

Bryon

I didn't fully understand the scope of your "favorites" idea before, but I think I do now.

We have actually had recent discussions internally about developing some sort of "collections" feature that will allow members to group together content that they like into groups, and to share your collections with others on the site.  If I'm not mistaken, this seems to match pretty closely with your idea. We could even make the collections a collaborative type of thing.

Thank you for clarifying. I do think that this falls outside of the scope of what we need to do in the short term, but it's a terrific idea and one that I think will see the light of day at some point in the future.

Bryon

First 6 7 8 9 10 Page 8 of 10