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posted by janrinok on Monday January 02 2023, @12:48PM   Printer-friendly

Some of you may have seen the claims in certain journals that SoylentNews is blocking new accounts. I have been looking at the actual figures for accounts created during December 2022.

A total of 2198 accounts have been successfully created during December. Unfortunately the vast majority of these were created by a bot and they will never become active because the bot does not have access to the email addresses being quoted. The email address is required so that the initial password can be issued. The site is designed to handle a much larger number of accounts and at a far greater rate than the bot is using. This causes us no problems whatsoever. It must be keeping somebody amused though. I think it would be nice to have some form of 'captcha' (NOT Google's fire hydrant, bicycle, bus and pedestrian crossing counter!!!) to prevent bots such as these.

It is possible, indeed likely, that there will be a small number of genuine accounts buried in there somewhere but it is difficult to identify them until they become active.

In those accounts we have successfully identified 28 attempts at creating sock-puppets which have been disabled automatically. This gives 1.27% of all attempts to create an new account are blocked, which is significantly less that the the claim that 'all new accounts' are being blocked.

The latest UID to be created is 22820.

 
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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 02 2023, @01:40PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 02 2023, @01:40PM (#1284764)

    Thanks for the update.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 02 2023, @02:02PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 02 2023, @02:02PM (#1284765)

    how much is my 3-digit user id worth? hm?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 02 2023, @11:52PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 02 2023, @11:52PM (#1284851)

      you can always put it on eBay and get some bids....

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 03 2023, @04:06AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 03 2023, @04:06AM (#1284897)

      Wasn't there some dude on slashdot who rather publicly bought someone's low UID? I only remember it because at the time I thought "well, that sounds like a pretty stupid use of money."

  • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Monday January 02 2023, @02:33PM

    by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Monday January 02 2023, @02:33PM (#1284768) Homepage Journal

    Interesting, I mean. Please keep up the good work!

    --
    mcgrewbooks.com mcgrew.info nooze.org
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by pTamok on Monday January 02 2023, @03:06PM (5 children)

    by pTamok (3042) on Monday January 02 2023, @03:06PM (#1284778)

    Something like this might help

    http://textcaptcha.com/ [textcaptcha.com]

    The concept is simple: ask a question, and compare a hash of the submitted answer with hashes of the correct answers.

    If coded up locally, you can administer your own database of questions and answers, which can be rotated frequently. With a bit of luck, you could programmatically generate test questions and answers faster than a bot could be modified to cope with them, ultimately requiring a bot to use a mechanical turk or an AI to answer them, which gets either (cash) expensive or (computationally) expensive.

    • (Score: 0, Interesting) by crafoo on Monday January 02 2023, @03:17PM (1 child)

      by crafoo (6639) on Monday January 02 2023, @03:17PM (#1284784)

      is this the beginnings of a void comp test? maybe if you ask questions that trigger basic human instincts and emotions? no that wouldn't work. you'd filter out the communists and progressive psychopaths too.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Azuma Hazuki on Monday January 02 2023, @03:43PM

        by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Monday January 02 2023, @03:43PM (#1284791) Journal

        The projection is incredible. Based on your post history, you are far more likely than any given new user candidate to be a sociopath or psychopath. If you don't like it so much here, *go away.* No one will miss you.

        --
        I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
    • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Monday January 02 2023, @03:24PM (2 children)

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 02 2023, @03:24PM (#1284787) Journal

      I have got plenty of solutions, but thanks for adding another one. The problem is re-writing the code to take the captcha into account. Only NCommander can do that at present and he has plenty of higher priority tasks on his plate already.

      --
      I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by pTamok on Monday January 02 2023, @04:40PM (1 child)

        by pTamok (3042) on Monday January 02 2023, @04:40PM (#1284800)

        Fine. No problem.

        I was trying to find something that didn't require Javascript, or connections to external websites (if coded locally), with all the tracking/privacy implications of using an external service. Using text can also be highly accessible for people with sight and hearing impairments.

        I hope the cloning experiments with NCommander are coming along nicely.

        • (Score: 5, Informative) by janrinok on Monday January 02 2023, @04:56PM

          by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 02 2023, @04:56PM (#1284804) Journal
          So far he has managed to halve our running costs or, more correctly, halve the number of servers that we are using - that is quite a useful achievement.
          --
          I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
  • (Score: 3, Informative) by cmdrklarg on Monday January 02 2023, @03:11PM (5 children)

    by cmdrklarg (5048) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 02 2023, @03:11PM (#1284779)

    Some of you may have seen the claims in certain journals

    I am still not seeing Journals listed on the main page. Also, when I try to use the Journals link on the left side it tells of an "internal error or misconfiguration". It has been this way for a while now.

    Hopefully things will settle down for you guys so that you can devote time to fix this. Thank you for your hard work.

    --
    The world is full of kings and queens who blind your eyes and steal your dreams.
    • (Score: 4, Informative) by janrinok on Monday January 02 2023, @03:59PM (4 children)

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 02 2023, @03:59PM (#1284795) Journal

      It is the same for us all - but the journals are still there:

      https://soylentnews.org/~insertnamehere/journal/ [soylentnews.org]

      Insert the name of the journal that you are interested in and it will take you to their page. Until we can get down to some serious bug squashing this is the best that I can suggest.

      --
      I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
      • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Monday January 02 2023, @04:54PM (1 child)

        by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 02 2023, @04:54PM (#1284803) Journal

        I wasn't expecting a 'Funny' moderation - it is what I have been doing for several weeks now. It works.

        --
        I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
        • (Score: 5, Informative) by Reziac on Tuesday January 03 2023, @02:46AM

          by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday January 03 2023, @02:46AM (#1284878) Homepage

          Speaking of things that work, I have mod points back again, so thank you for fixing whatever got fixed!

          --
          And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by cmdrklarg on Monday January 02 2023, @10:37PM

        by cmdrklarg (5048) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 02 2023, @10:37PM (#1284844)

        I figured that would work, but I use it by clicking on a topic, rather than a certain user's journal. I can wait!

        --
        The world is full of kings and queens who blind your eyes and steal your dreams.
      • (Score: 2) by cmdrklarg on Thursday January 05 2023, @07:00PM

        by cmdrklarg (5048) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 05 2023, @07:00PM (#1285311)

        Today I see that they are back! Thank you!

        --
        The world is full of kings and queens who blind your eyes and steal your dreams.
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