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Growing number of human (non-robot) spammers

Started by Hardy Heinlin, Sat, 24 Jul 2010 11:23

Hardy Heinlin

The plague began a few weeks ago. Meanwhile I have to delete at least three new forum "members" per day. A few days ago I put the registration procedure in admin approval mode.

This is obviously a big new trend in the Internet. The old robot/human check question "what is 2+3?" won't work anymore.

Should be changed to "how many buttons are on the EICAS control panel?" :-)


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Shiv Mathur

Quote from: Hardy HeinlinShould be changed to "how many buttons are on the EICAS control panel?" :-)

That would have knocked me out.

Jeroen Hoppenbrouwers

The only correct answer is, of course, "With or without the double-button?"

Hardy Heinlin

Shiv, if you had a photo of the flight deck, could you tell where the EICAS control panel is? Or the MCP or whatever ...?

Phil Bunch

What about the following question:  

"If a 747-400 loses one engine and then another engine, how many engines would be left?"

If the AI robots can translate and solve this question, I give up...
Best wishes,

Phil Bunch

Will

#5
Ooooh, good idea, Phil!  But there's still too much context in the question; I think a bot could get it.  That's probably what's happening in the current case.

What about "What is the very first word on this page, in the upper left corner, in yellow capital letters?"  That might be good, since the "word" is a .png file.  It makes it a visual CAPTCHA of sorts.
Will /Chicago /USA

Peter Lang

Or some mathematics:

if there are 8 people in one room and 11 come out, how many people have to go inside, that the room is empty?  ;)

On some pages there is a random generated code of about 5 letters or numbers, which are partly covered with lines. Perhaps this would help.

Peter

Hardy Heinlin

You missed the problem, guys :-)

The problem is to check if the registering human (not a robot!) is a serious aviation guy or just a spammer who most likely has no idea of aviation and only wants to insert Viagra ads.


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Mariano

#8
Hi Hardy,

You could ask them to type (in capitals, separated by one space) the two-letter code for the three manufacturers of engine variants available on the B747-400. I don't think a spammer is going to take the time to go search for this. If you think they may go out and Wikipedia this, then you can write the codes yourself (for example "AA BB CC") and ask the potential forum member what do these codes stand for when it comes to to 747s (flip the question.) Much harder and time consuming to search for this. Although, I can see a single typo during the 'answering phase' becoming a headache for both the applicant and the administrators (i.e. stops being an automated process, and Hardy's much valuable time could be spent answering emails about failed admissions.) And none of us wants that  ;) .

Mariano

Will

#9
Some, but not all, of these would need to be moderated:

"Many large aircraft use a stick shaker to warn the crew of what situation?"

"What do you call the angle formed by the chord line of a wing and the direction of the relative wind?"

"'Dead foot, dead engine' is good advice for what situation?"

"What is the definition of 'V1'?"

"Name two ways to disconnect the autopilot on the 774-400."
Will /Chicago /USA

Will

"An aircraft's radar is primarily intended to warn the crew of what?"

"What is the main reason that aircraft have flaps?"

"Ailerons is to roll as rudder is to ____ ."

"The 'GA' in the GA Thrust Mode stands for what?"

"Submit a PIREP in standard format for access to this forum."

"How many autopilot engage switches are on the 747-400 MCP?"

"A series of repeating red squares is used on the airspeed display to indicate what?"

"What is indicated by the carat that appears adjacent to some EICAS messages?"

"The last part of the landing, directly before touchdown, when the pilot raises the nose of the aircraft to slow the descent rate, is called what?"
Will /Chicago /USA

Mariano

Will,

Thanks for the input. I believe the key to this lies in making it as simple and concise as possible to prevent any errors that will require human intervention. Just like with the aviation phonetic alphabet, reducing ambiguity in the answering step is a must (by avoiding full words, for example.) I already see a flaw with my method because of the possibility of people answering with either an "&" or an "and" to one of my three choices.

This is quite a pickle...

Mariano

Will

#12
This requires an unambiguous, precise, 4-letter response, and should be familiar to anyone with jet experience:

"CLEAR OF CONFLICT is to TCAS, as TOO LOW FLAPS is to _____ ."

And the answer is available on google for the newbies.
Will /Chicago /USA

Mariano

... but if Hardy can build a 747-400 from the ground up (twice) I am sure he can figure this one out  ;)

Mariano

Mariano

#14
Will,

Now we are talking; I like it. You HAVE to be in aviation (or simulation) to know that, and try "Wikipedia-ing" that one!

Mariano

PS: Although a vowel in the answer (or lack thereof) can become problematic. This is becoming the chicken and the egg...

Phil Bunch

This reminds me of how I coped with automated robot telephone sales systems some years ago.  My then teen-aged son would ask the calling entity to (a) prove that they are human, and (b) prove that they are not a sales person.   We did lose a few legitimate persons trying to reach one of my family members but the benefit outweighed the loss.

It was mildly entertaining to listen to real people try to prove they are not robots.  Some older relatives in particular were falsely screened out of our phone system, and we had to adjust the test(s).
Best wishes,

Phil Bunch

Will

#16
Hardy, when someone registers in the "admin approval" mode, how do you decide whom to approve?  Or is that what this thread is all about?

You might ask would-be applicants to write a 50-word essay on what their favorite aircraft is, and why.  The essay would have to be in a language you understand, it would have to be largely grammatically correct, and would need to have internal and external conceptual congruence.  Then, you email back with a specific question about some point in their essay.  Then when they reply in a reasonable way, you let them in.

That would weed out frivolous people.  It would annoy many people, but maybe if you posted your reasoning, people would go along with it.
Will /Chicago /USA

Hardy Heinlin

The answer must be a number below 10 or 20.

The question must be very easy and as unambiguous as "2+2=?".

Yet too difficult for a Viagra spammer.

Will

"Add the number of engines to the number of wings and multiply by two."
Will /Chicago /USA

Phil Bunch

"what is the answer to the following arithmetic?"

Square root of 49 +1

Answer:  7+1 = 8

I bet most of the viagra crowd would try and compute the square root of (49+1)...and thus fail to have enough of a technical background to be seriously interested in aviation.  At least that is my best guess.

In any event, something just a little beyond first grade arithmetic but still easily mentally calculated would seem to be at least worth a test with Hardy's Viagra dealer friends (grins).
Best wishes,

Phil Bunch