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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:36 pm 
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Would we be able to get another statistic on how many accounts there currently are that have logged on at least once? That could be compared to how many accounts there are total to give us an estimate of how many spam accounts there are.

If there are a lot of spam signups, then couldn't something be done to stop them? I'm looking at the html for the account creation page, and a relatively simple change could probably slash spam submissions, just change this line:

Code:
<input name="ctl00$ContentPlaceHolder1$emailAddress" type="text" id="ctl00_ContentPlaceHolder1_emailAddress" style="color:#290F00;width:275px;" />


to have scrambled strings of letters in place of the words "emailAddress", like so:

Code:
<input name="ctl00$ContentPlaceHolder1$exyzzy" type="text" id="ctl00_ContentPlaceHolder1_exyzzy" style="color:#290F00;width:275px;" />


And then change the corresponding code on the page that handles the submission (looks like CreateAccount.aspx) and anywhere else where it's used.

I have to doubt that any spam software has been built to specifically create accounts through this site, what would be the purpose? So any spam accounts being created are probably being created by software written to spam other kinds of sites, and said software is probably keying off of keywords in the html code to be able to spam different sites successfully. In this case it is probably just finding any field with the word "email" in it and filling that in with an email address, meaning if that text was taken out of the name and id of the field, then it could possibly stop the spam submissions altogether. (Obviously I have no way of being certain of this, but I've seen similar things work on, for instance, the comment field of a wordpress blog.)

If you want to be extra careful, you could replace the text "Email Address:" with a picture containing the same text, (it could be made to look exactly the same to a normal user while depriving the bot, which would be reading the text of the html code, of useful information.)

I wouldn't know exactly how difficult a change that would be to make without seeing the code for those pages, and I guess as far as Cyan is concerned it doesn't make a lot of difference to them whether spam accounts are created so long as they're never used to actually spam anyone, but I'm just saying if they are getting a lot of spam submissions and want them to stop, then there are things they could do to try and stop them.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:31 pm 
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I suspect that change wouldn't actually make any difference. Most spambot software can do a bit of analysis of the form it finds to work out which of a range of popular software packages it belongs to. If it doesn't recognize it then there's a good chance that it'll take a stab at it by submitting an email address in every field - I've had a few attempted signups to a newsletter I run like that (fortunately the software spots that as a spam attempt and alerts me).

What would likely be more effective would be to chnage the point at which the account gets created: At the moment, it appears that the account is created at the point you submit that initial account request, then the email instructing you to set the password gets sent out (or not, as the case may be, given the flakiness of the emailer). If the account was instead created at the point the password is set, then a spambot would need to follow up on the email and act "correctly" - not impossible, but less likely. It would also have the effect of avoiding the "baulking" issue that occurs when someone tries to signup and the email doesn't get sent, then they can't re-try unless they have another email address to use, which I'm sure is also a source of many of the "unused" accounts.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:36 pm 
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Heh, and once you stop spambots from registering, you'll still have to fend off registrations from the the people who sit in spam sweatshops in places like Belarus. They are typically better at registering accounts than a simple bot ;)

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:43 pm 
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Sadly (on many levels) that is so true. :roll:

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 4:22 pm 
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Under CAVCON 3 for three months in a row. Not a good sign.

Do we have any strategy for keeping things going? Because it seems to me that we're a niche group that isn't growing, and that the new players who *aren't* spambots, are mostly showing up, getting frustrated or bored, and then leaving.

We need more than new content (though new content would help)... we need content that is creative and interesting and impressive enough to pull in players who thus far haven't been interested in Uru. That is a huge challenge.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:15 pm 
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matthornb wrote:
Under CAVCON 3 for three months in a row. Not a good sign.

At least in part, there is some effect in terms of increased costs arising from the frequent server outages lately. But there may well be an element of reduced donations too (we can't really tell, but it seems likely). There is something of a vicious circle here: While there is nothing new, either in terms of updates to the client, but more importantly perhaps actual content (as matthornb notes) then there's little to really encourage donations. At the same time, a depleting CAVCON fund makes it less affordable to incorporate anything new (and there is a batch of client updates ready (more or less) to transfer to MOULa). Updates always hit the CAVCON a little, because they take a little time and effort to deploy.

I think that Cyan acknowledge that getting fan content into MOULa is crucial to retaining interest, so I'd expect to see some movement on that sooner rather than later, but it may all be moot if CAVCON continues to decline.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:03 pm 
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We may indeed be in a downward spiral if we're not careful. I reckon the server outages have a triple impact.

As well as the two impacts you mention, Mac, I fear they may also be reducing donations because people will be thinking

"why should I pay for something that's proving so unreliable that I frequently can't play when I want to".

I hope I'm wrong, of course....


:(


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:18 pm 
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Ah, yes, it's a conundrum. But, we can play on the Minkata shard which is just like MOULa but more reliable - and Minkata's log in screen has the donate button that leads to Cyan's account. :)

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:27 pm 
What about those of us who don't want the hassle of installing the Minkata shard onto their systems? What happens to them once you're all off on Minkata?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:35 pm 
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Gehn isn't much of a hassle - I'm not tecchy and I managed it. :D I've found Deep Island Shard rather more of a challenge - I've not managed to get the online version to work yet.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:44 pm 
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I wish I had something more insightful to say but, 'I told you so' seems to wrap it up. The advent of shards is a good thing...testing grounds for MOUL(a) to prosper...And different ways to present URU(Live) is always a good thing...Minkata Shard does not ask for donations to fund itself, Gehn Shard does not ask for donations to fund itself...IMHO, these shards are a great way for us to test the waters for further developments...It's not that hard to implement these onto your system..takes about three minutes..plus the updating part..but hey, we all want the same thing here..growth..I'm done now...'grumble'

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:18 pm 
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When you consider donating, don't think of it as just supporting MOULa, but as supporting the Uru Community and their desire to create new content and see it through to MOULa.

Charura wrote:
we all want the same thing here..growth..

Exactly! :D

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 1:53 am 
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This is one of the reasons I do the Cavern Tours but I see it in a different light. Look at the tools you have and think of ways to build the community. If you build the community maybe more donations will come in. At least that's what I doing, that's my Dni calling.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:45 am 
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CAVCON 2.6 as of March 25.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:16 pm 
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Just used my financial defibrillator, I hope it helps out. <3


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