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About Eric

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  • Birthday 12/07/1979

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  1. I am not a robot

    Have you considered that maybe you are a robot?
  2. Thread/Post Reactions

    Alright, added a bunch of emoticons/emojis/whatever. Nevermind! I had to remove all of the new emojis. I checked the roadmap for the forum software, and a new emoji system is in the works for the next version, and it looks like full unicode emoji support will be added. I want to avoid conflicts, so for now I'll have to get rid of the new ones. Sorry
  3. Thread/Post Reactions

    This isn't really big news, but it came up in another thread so I thought I should explain this feature a little bit. I've added a couple "reactions" to the list. So now, in addition to Like, Thanks, Haha, Confused, and Sad, we also have Thumbs Down and Angry. There is a point system going on behind the scenes associated with this feature, and those points are what determine who shows up on the Leaderboard. Like, Thanks, and Haha all contribute +1 points to a user's total. The rest are all neutral. There is an option to add negative (-1 point) reactions, but they're not currently enabled. I have chosen to keep Thumbs Down and Angry "neutral" because the could be used in different ways, for example: You might be annoyed that there is a new botnet or bit of ransomware floating around the internet, which you might want to give a thumbs down to show your annoyance with that news. You might want to show that you disagree someone's assessment of a particular tax-related situation. There is a possibility that I'll bring back the Downvote (-1 points) option for that second bullet point, but I haven't decided yet. I'm adding more emojis next.
  4. Reaper Botnet expanding to do what ?

    I'm still tweaking the reactions. I've removed the downvote, and added Thumbs Down and Angry. I'll create a new thread soon to explain the additions instead of derailing this one any further
  5. Blocking IP addresses

    Since I only have to worry about the people who want to visit this forum, a lot of those edge cases won't apply here. Blocking China will take care of 90% of the junk traffic. Your suggestion to show a special page to those who are blocked is a good one. I'll do that. It's not difficult to get around the block, but I don't need it to be air-tight either. Like I said, spam registrations haven't been an issue since implementing that service, and I'm confident in the server and site's security. I just don't need those types of people eating up precious CPU cycles while they poke around.
  6. Blocking IP addresses

    Using a combination of Kodi and some third party plugins is a popular choice. You can buy a box pre-configured for plug-and play too. There are also some websites you can visit to stream tv and live sports, but they're like the online equivalent of visiting a crack den. Without a good ad blocking plugin and some intuition about what is safe to click, you'll end up getting infected with something.
  7. Blocking IP addresses

    At any given time there are a number of people from China and Russia on the forum, about a dozen on the low end, and Judy mentioned that she noticed that there were 150+ guests on recently. Some are trying to register to spread spam, others are probably probing for security vulnerabilities. The anti-spam service I subscribe to seems to be doing a great job of keeping spammers from registering and while I'm not too worried about security, the constant traffic does put additional load on the server. This site is very US-centric, so I can't think of any reason why I shouldn't restrict access to the site from problematic countries / IP ranges. I'm not going to make any changes immediately, but it wouldn't hurt to take note of the URL of the Facebook Group if you haven't already, or my email address (eric.brissette@gmail.com) in the case that you suddenly find yourself unable to connect to the website. I don't expect any such issues, but a huge number of addresses will be blocked and I want to make sure people have some way to contact me outside of the forum just in case.
  8. Equifax Hack

    This really can't be emphasized enough. I have seen so many websites and servers get hacked due people being lax about applying security patches--it is by far the most common way for an internet connected system to be compromised, and the easiest to avoid.
  9. Extraordinary Savings......

    My wife explained to me, when she was in college and working at Pizza Hut, that the toilet paper goes over the top for a very specific reason: so that your hand doesn't accidentally touch the wall behind the paper roll when you reach to pull. In other words, you gain a buffer between the wall and the paper you grab which is greater than or equal to the diameter of the paper roll (depending on the design of the holder) I don't know if Pizza Hut affects everyone's digestive system the same way, but during her time there, she had witnessed some incredible scenes in that restroom not unlike a painting by Jackson Pollock. Call it PTSD if you wish, but she prefers to touch as little of the environment as possible when using a public restroom.
  10. Equifax Hack

    The feature on the website that tells you whether or not your information may have been part of the hack can't be trusted. Making up a last name and putting in 6 random digits for the end of the SSN returns a random response... at least that was my experience over the weekend. Other people have reported that they have checked their own information multiple times, only to get different answers each time. I think it's safe to say that the website isn't returning results based on actual data. I guess that explains why they suggest you proceed as if your information has been compromised, no matter what the results of that query are--I expect they have no idea who has been affected.
  11. Equifax Hack

    Oh yeah, no disagreement here, but It's hard to feel outraged every single time some stinking rich a-holes do something like this without consequence. It's just the world we live in.
  12. Equifax Hack

    About the arbitration clause, there was quite an uproar about it, and they have since come out saying that it doesn't apply to this security breach. This update was added today on https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/
  13. Quite the new look!

    I had a security patch to apply, and rather than just do the patch I went (somewhat hastily, I admit) with an upgrade to the latest version of the forum software without realizing that it was a medium sized upgrade to 4.2 instead of a small incremental update to 4.1.x. Then the whole forum broke for about 45 minutes while I scrambled around like an idiot fixing issues that cropped up. Sorry about that! I do remember the last time I did a major update there were some complaints about the low-contrast between certain visual elements in the new design. Many(all?) of my customizations are still in place to fix those issues, but if anyone has any trouble with this new design, please speak up and I'll do what I can to tweak it.
  14. NT: Nerd Alert

    It sounds like technobabble from star trek. It's easy to solve if you disconnect the photonic tetryon coupling and reroute though the trans-warp wavefront matrix.
  15. Hello?

    Three guys are hiking through the woods, when they find a magic lamp. One of them picks it up, rubs it, and out pops a Genie. It booms "You have finally freed me after all these years, so I'll grant each one of you 3 wishes." The first guy immediately blurts out "I want a billion dollars." POOF, he's holding a printout that shows his account balance is now in fact 1,000,000,003.50 The second man thinks for a bit, then says "I want to be the richest man alive." POOF, he's holding papers showing his net worth is now well over 100 billion. The third guy thinks even longer about his wish, then says "I want my left arm to rotate clockwise for the rest of my life." POOF, his arm starts rotating. The Genie tells them it's time for their second wish. First guy says: "I want to be married to the most beautiful woman on earth." POOF, a stunning beauty wraps herself around his arm. Second guy says "I want to be good-looking and charismatic, so I can have every girl I want." POOF, his looks change and the first guy's wife immediately starts flirting with him. Third guy says "I want my right arm to rotate counter-clockwise until I die." POOF, now both his arms are rotating, in opposite directions. The genie tells them to think very carefully about their third wish. First guy does, and after a while says "I never want to become sick or injured, I want to stay healthy until I die." POOF, his complexion improves, his acne is gone and his knees don't bother him any more. Second guy says "I never want to grow old. I want to stay 29 forever." POOF, he looks younger already. Third guy smiles triumphantly and says "My last wish is for my head to nod back and forth." POOF, he's now nodding his head and still flailing his arms around. The genie wishes them good luck, disappears, and the men soon go their separate ways. Many years later they meet again and chat about how things have been going. First guy is ecstatic: "I've invested the money and multiplied it many times over, so me and my family will be among the richest of the rich pretty much forever. My wife is a freak in the sheets, and I've never gotten so much as a cold in all these years." Second guy smiles and says "Well, I built charities worldwide with a fraction of my wealth, I'm still the richest guy alive and also revered for my good deeds. I haven't aged a day since we last met, and yes, your wife is pretty wild in bed." Third guy walks in, flailing his arms around and nodding his head, and says: "Guys, I think I screwed up." It's better as a physical joke, giving the punchline with your arms and head going.