Laser Cutting Forum Users

Laser, Lightsabre, What’s the difference?

Did that title get your attention? Are you all ready to read about how to cut forum users with a laser? Well, it’s actually 2 separate issues: Laser Cutting & Forum Users.

Forum Users
In the last week, the forum has had an influx of new user registrations. This sounds good, but with it came a bunch of forum SPAM. Upon further investigation, I think there was a new exploit to get around one of the anti-bot security measures I had in place. After (hopefully) patching the hole, I ended up cutting a BUNCH of forum users (not with a laser).

If you are a legit user and find that you lost your account, PLEASE register again. I may have inadvertently cut some real users. I’m very sorry if I accidentally removed your account.

Laser Cutting
As you may know, the Linkmasta USB device comes inside of a translucent blue box. To accommodate the NGPC cartridge, a rectangular opening is hand cut in the top of the plastic case. There is also an opening for the USB cable that gets hand cut in the side of the case.

Last week, I paid a visit to a company that specializes in plastics to talk about getting these cuts done more professionally. Unfortunately, they said that they couldn’t do both cuts with their laser. However, they should be able to do the top NGPC cartridge socket.

This is not going to be cheap. It will cost me significantly bit more than what I am currently doing. I don’t know if it’s sustainable, due to the costs involved. The main reason I decided to do it for now is just to learn about the process, so I’m chalking the cost up to education. I am having them cut 25 case tops, and I will check out the quality and make a determination if it’s worth it to proceed this way in the future or not.

One think this may mean is that any purchases made in the next week or so may be delayed as I wait for the laser cutting process to be done. I think it will be worth the wait, though. If you want to be first in line to get a bundle with a laser cut case top, head over to the NGPC flash devkit purchase page.

6 comments on “Laser Cutting Forum Users”

  1. Morden Reply

    The bot invasion is happening worldwide. Almost every forum I frequent has been hit and some had to close down new account registrations until further notice. These bots are a bit scary, to be honest. They seem to be getting around all sorts of checks on all sorts of forums, not just phpBB ones.

    I was thinking that the most effective, yet simple method, would be to have a question in place, which requires the user to actually understand what has to be done to answer correctly. Like “Finish the sentence: One apple a day keeps the doctor…”, to which the user would have to reply “away”, and there’s no way a bot could do that, since you can come up with pretty much anything, like “Type in the following sentence backwards: Never odd or even”.

    • Flavor Reply

      Actually, I do have something like that, now. I probably implemented it after you signed up, but it’s been there for a while. There’s this “security question” plugin that’s pretty much just like you’re saying. I can define any question, and define any answer (or multiple correct answers). You can see my questions/answers here.

      A bot wouldn’t answer those properly, but all of a sudden, a whole lot of bots were signing up. Also, I realized that the right/wrong stats on the answers weren’t updating proportionally to the number of new users.

      What I found was that there was a way for the bots to bypass the question. The funny part is that (I believe) a real user could not bypass the question. It was almost like real people would see the question but bots wouldn’t.

      Anyway, I think I patched that. Hopefully the bots will be presented with the question, now.

      • Flavor Reply

        Sadly, it seems that there’s still a problem. I’ve got plenty of new users registering today still.

      • Flavor Reply

        I implemented admin-approval for the moment. Hopefully I’m not flooded with approval requests.

  2. Flavor Reply

    Interestingly enough, just after I posted this, I emailed the plastics guys. They said they had a large order coming in which I thought was going to proceed the letdown of my cases being pushed back a couple weeks.

    Nope, he said it meant they rushed mine through and it’s already done. Cool.

    Maybe I’ll get a chance to pick ’em up tomorrow.

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