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Messages - Pete Svarrior

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1
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Flat Earth Society Political Makeup
« on: February 21, 2019, 03:15:29 PM »
Conflating "left wing" and "liberal" is fairly unreasonable, even by American standards.

We already have a political compass thread:
https://forum.tfes.org/index.php?topic=2470.0

2
Flat Earth Theory / Re: New and something is bugging me
« on: February 20, 2019, 06:04:53 PM »
Fair point. But the light from it must be passing through quite a lot of the atmosphere near the surface of the earth.
I think you're an EA kinda guy, so the light is bending. But it must be doing so fairly gently so for quite a lot of the light's journey it must be going pretty much parallel to your eye at sunset.
Nonetheless, that's in no way comparable to the amount of atmolayer light would have to go through after reflecting from a very distant object by the Earth's surface.

3
Flat Earth Investigations / Re: Do most flat eathers believe in god?
« on: February 20, 2019, 02:56:44 PM »
There are large groups of Flat Earthers who explicitly base their FE belief in religion, but we're not one of them. While individual members' views differ, we generally do not endorse or condemn any religious belief. Past polls run on this forum suggest that the active FE posters here are mostly atheist or agnostic.

I suggest that you have a look at the FAQ: https://faq.tfes.org/

4
Flat Earth Theory / Re: New and something is bugging me
« on: February 20, 2019, 01:47:09 PM »
Regardless of form, the air is more dense at the surface of the earth [...]
I thought the sun was thousands of miles away at sunset? [...]
The Sun is also not on the surface of the Earth.

5
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Bernie 2020
« on: February 20, 2019, 09:07:19 AM »
And if Trump ain't dead from all the fast food....
Trump's health is presidential. He is the healthiest person to ever be in office. Believe me.

Also, who cares how old Bernie is? If he dies, Ben & Jerry's will just replace him with their next candidate. Most people won't even notice

7
As to 8 inches per mile confusing people, if you look at the kind of people that get confused when they see 8 inches per mile squared, just imagine what mental consternation they would suffer if you told them C^2=A^2+B^2! It would turn their brains to CABbage^2!

That's what's different about us is we don't mind a little math and we don't mind facing the challenging issues!
Keep this sort of trash to CN.

8
Flat Earth Theory / Re: Predictive power of FE theory
« on: February 09, 2019, 10:12:03 PM »
Really Tom?  Can you demonstrate HOW a cell phone works?  How about the computer you use?  Or, maybe the internet?  Not demonstrate that they do work, but demonstrate HOW they work.  Can you?
Are you somehow confused by basic electronics? There are schools that can help you with that, you know.

10
Flat Earth Projects / Re: Better explanation for FAQ on UA/speed of light
« on: February 08, 2019, 10:44:02 AM »
The explanation could certainly do with improving, and I think your suggestion is a step in the right direction. Though I'm not sure if saying that a body "feels" a force is the best choice of words. "Perceives", maybe?

11
Flat Earth Community / Re: Flat Earth March at Millersville University
« on: February 07, 2019, 10:34:38 AM »
A friendly reminder to stay on topic. Zacc was looking for some advice on merch for an event, not a two-page cockfight over the small/local Sun.

12
Suggestions & Concerns / Re: Question about logic.
« on: February 07, 2019, 10:11:37 AM »
Your "forewarning" is useless and won't help your case.

Your question is far too broad and open-ended to be meaningfully answered. A discussion forum thread should concern a single subject, so I can only surmise you're about to fail at basic netiquette.

The three bullet points you provided all sound like non-threads. You're not looking for a discussion, and it sounds like you're looking for a personal blog - there are many websites out there that provide that service.

13
Suggestions & Concerns / Re: Question about logic.
« on: February 05, 2019, 03:44:37 PM »
Try figuring out how to post in the right forum - that might help your case.

Well, I was banned from this forum for posting a trigonometric calculation.
Now, Pinky, lying isn't very nice. You weren't banned for your "calculation", it was simply moved to AR where it belonged. We then had our discussion about why it was moved, and then you posted it again in the upper. Twice.

In general, correcting someone is not a personal attack, but how and why you do it could easily turn the tide. If you show yourself to be completely incapable of civil discourse, for example by posting something along the lines of:

Seriously???

Okay, for those among us who are hard of hearing, I will spell it out nice and clearly so you can smell what I meant:

or

I was in the other forum, but it was full of weirdos who believed in magic and claimed to be time-travellers.

or start a thread titled "What is the most mind-boggingly stupid proof for Flat Earth you have ever seen?"

You're likely to attract the ire of the moderators. If you can't behave like an adult, the Angry Ranting board is for you!

14
Flat Earth Investigations / MOVED: Question about logic.
« on: February 05, 2019, 03:38:48 PM »

15
Flat Earth Community / Re: Youtube to start reducing flat earth videos
« on: February 04, 2019, 04:18:58 PM »
What google are trying to do is filter out misinformation.
Right, but that poses many questions, like: who gets to decide what is "information" and what is "misinformation"? I'll deliberately move away from FET for a moment (because we're bound to disagree there). Consider, for example, that a Minecraft/Fortnite YouTuber called SSundee recently published a video that's, in essence, a badly phrased statement of Pascal's Wager. So badly phrased that even major Christian organisations don't want to have much to do with it.

We're looking at nearly 4 million views, far more than any FE video out there, and it's probably mostly children (given the channel's usual subject and target demographic).

Is it misinformation? YouTube doesn't seem to think so. I happen to disagree. But who gets to decide? The business owners, of course.

Make no mistake - Google aren't trying to combat "misinformation". They're trying to combat content that advertisers told Google to combat. It's how they make money.

17
Flat Earth Community / Re: Youtube to start reducing flat earth videos
« on: February 04, 2019, 01:53:15 PM »
To address the "is this in the right place" question: FEM is intended as a repository of media, with minimal commentary. FEC would be more appropriate for this, since you're looking for a discussion rather than just sharing content. I appreciate that the distinction is not always obvious, but I'll move the thread and leave a redirect behind.

As for how we feel about the issue, I spoke about this with Kelly Weill for the Daily Beast.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/youtube-tweaks-algorithm-to-fight-911-truthers-flat-earthers-miracle-cures

Some of my comments were trimmed for brevity, but here's my full statement as issued:

I guess it's not entirely surprising given YouTube's history of censoring content it deems "advertiser unfriendly". If anything, I'm surprised that it took them so long. That said, our understanding is that this policy change is primarily aimed at videos which are automatically recommended to users, and not content that someone actively searches for. Given the momentum our movement has, this might not be as big of an issue as some speculate.

While it's unfortunate that this will no doubt affect some of the most prominent Flat Earth content creators, the Flat Earth Society has been prepared for years. Any social network can pull the rug from under your feet if it decides that your content is no longer welcome - which is why we've never relied on these businesses too much. Most of our content is hosted independently, and maintained by TFES members.

Regardless of any censorship measures YouTube may choose to implement, our Flat Earth Wiki will always be there, serving information to those who may wish to find it.

Who knows - perhaps it's time to start looking into a video sharing service of our own.


In essence, I feel it's a bit of a misrepresentation to call this move a "block" of FE videos - merely an adjustment to recommendations. It's unfortunate but understandable that YouTube wouldn't want to be seen as advertising controversial views.

18
Suggestions & Concerns / Re: Consistency
« on: February 04, 2019, 01:36:37 PM »
A final warning, no less.
Yes, you're sitting on three recent warnings. I ignored old warnings, because they're old. Posting patterns, remember?

Because:
I solemnly promise that I will not entertain another "AATW doesn't understand that warnings aren't issued for singular posts" debacle. Further posts in which you pretend not to comprehend this will be considered as off-topic here.

Why is Pete allowed to accuse me of trolling in one thread and then warn me for opining that Tom is trolling in another?
Because it's my job to decide if threads need locking. I made the call, and I explained why. Yes, explaining moderator action is usually not on topic for the thread at hand. That, to most, should be blindingly obvious.

You should keep your "opining" to the relevant boards. If you become a mod, you will not only be allowed, but indeed expected, to explain your actions as you perform them. And yes, that would often involve acting on your assessment of the situation, and stating that assessment. Until then, you'll just have to accept that the "I was moderating the forum" excuse won't apply to your own off-topic posting.

19
Announcements / Password hashing update and withdrawal of Tapatalk support
« on: February 02, 2019, 01:20:15 PM »
We've made some changes to the forum's password security. This is a proactive move to resolve a potential SMF vulnerability which the software's original maintainers appear to be ignoring. I've covered this in slightly more detail in this Technology & Information thread.

To benefit from the update, please log out from the forum and log back in. You shouldn't notice any changes, but if anything does go wrong, please post here or e-mail admin@tfes.org.

While working on this, we also decided to withdraw support of Tapatalk. It appears that this service is not popular (with only 1 active user over the past 5 months, and 0 users in the last month), and it's proving to be a continuous maintenance burden. Tapatalk's use case should be pretty much entirely covered by our mobile design, but if you have any concerns with this, please let us know and we'll investigate alternatives.

20
Technology & Information / Fixing the forum's password hashing
« on: February 02, 2019, 01:10:36 PM »
Hi all,

This post is mostly here to serve as a slightly more detailed explanation for an Announcement I'll be writing momentarily, but I guess there's an off chance one or two of you will find it interesting. In short, I'm here to explain why we should care about password security on TFES (and everywhere else), and what steps we took to make this place a little bit more secure.

As some of you may have heard, a very large database (commonly referred to as Collection #1 or Collection 1) of email addresses and associated password hashes from all over the Internet has recently been leaked on several hacker forums. It's not an entirely uncommon occurrence, but the magnitude and scope of this particular collection makes it notable. Rumour has it that more leaks are to follow. Troy Hunt, the guy behind Have I Been Pwned, has covered this in quite some detail here.

Password hashes are what most reasonable websites will store in their database to allow users to log in. It's not the user's actual password, but rather the result of passing the password through a mathematical function that's very difficult to reverse. If you hash the same password in the same ways on two occasions, you should receive the same output. The benefits of that approach are numerous, but most importantly:
  • The website (and its owners) don't know what your password actually is (this is also why you generally can't get a password reminder online - merely a password reset).
  • If the website gets hacked and the attacker steals the database, they don't get a list of passwords, but rather something that should be much more difficult to handle.

Should.

As computers become better and faster, figuring out hashes of common passwords becomes easier. For example, a function called MD5 was once the standard for password storage, but is nowadays considered very insecure, because (among other reasons), you can simply keep generating MD5 hashes of potential passwords until you find the one that matches, and you can do so quickly. In essence, it's an arms race - computers become faster, so we need mathematical functions that take longer to compute.

So where does TFES fit in all this?

The forum software we're using, SMF, is currently using SHA1 hashing of passwords (with a sloppy attempt at salting). It's a dated function that's not been recommended for quite some time, and it doesn't look like SMF are currently thinking about transitioning to anything else. If our database was accessed by an attacker, some of our users' passwords could be easy pickings.

Big deal. What are they gonna do, log in to TFES and write a mean post?

It's important to remember that some (Many. You know who you are.) people use the same password on multiple services. That's what attackers are usually after. Find a place that's easy to attack, figure out people's passwords from there, and then try those same passwords elsewhere. We don't ever want to be the first stage of such an attack, so we're taking the possibility seriously.

Okay, Pete, I am convinced by your vast knowledge. So what are you doing about this problem?

We rewrote most of SMF's password hashing to use the current PHP default - bcrypt. Furthermore, we altered the code so that if the current standards change in the future, your password will be rehashed on first login, keeping the arms race going without anyone lifting a finger. As always, you can review the changes yourself on our GitHub repo.

So, what do I need to do?

Log out and log in. Or change your password. Either of these actions will purge your old password hash and replace it with a newer, better, sexier one.

Well, that's it for now! If you have any questions, technical or not, feel free to give me a shout.

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