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mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades

Max 07 Apr 11 - 11:23 PM
Ross Campbell 07 Apr 11 - 11:45 PM
Little Robyn 07 Apr 11 - 11:51 PM
Jeri 08 Apr 11 - 12:26 AM
GUEST,mg 08 Apr 11 - 12:39 AM
catspaw49 08 Apr 11 - 01:17 AM
Joe Offer 08 Apr 11 - 02:05 AM
GUEST,999 08 Apr 11 - 03:20 AM
The Fooles Troupe 08 Apr 11 - 03:27 AM
My guru always said 08 Apr 11 - 03:40 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 08 Apr 11 - 03:52 AM
Sandra in Sydney 08 Apr 11 - 04:07 AM
wilbyhillbilly 08 Apr 11 - 04:37 AM
nickp 08 Apr 11 - 06:24 AM
DavidKidman 08 Apr 11 - 06:35 AM
kendall 08 Apr 11 - 06:58 AM
The Barden of England 08 Apr 11 - 07:00 AM
Leadfingers 08 Apr 11 - 07:05 AM
ChrisJBrady 08 Apr 11 - 07:20 AM
maeve 08 Apr 11 - 09:41 AM
GUEST,Morti at work 08 Apr 11 - 10:22 AM
kendall 08 Apr 11 - 10:49 AM
Max 08 Apr 11 - 11:48 AM
DrugCrazed 08 Apr 11 - 12:02 PM
nutty 08 Apr 11 - 12:34 PM
Arthur_itus 08 Apr 11 - 12:45 PM
Crowhugger 08 Apr 11 - 02:32 PM
Waddon Pete 08 Apr 11 - 03:32 PM
Little Robyn 08 Apr 11 - 04:14 PM
kendall 08 Apr 11 - 04:26 PM
YorkshireYankee 09 Apr 11 - 03:11 PM
Suegorgeous 09 Apr 11 - 08:30 PM
The Fooles Troupe 09 Apr 11 - 09:15 PM
Deckman 09 Apr 11 - 09:35 PM
Neil D 09 Apr 11 - 11:59 PM
Janie 10 Apr 11 - 02:33 AM
Allan C. 10 Apr 11 - 10:56 AM
Stringsinger 10 Apr 11 - 01:06 PM
Richard Mellish 10 Apr 11 - 05:36 PM
PHJim 10 Apr 11 - 06:11 PM
Max 11 Apr 11 - 11:31 AM
MMario 11 Apr 11 - 12:26 PM
Nigel Parsons 11 Apr 11 - 12:49 PM
JohnInKansas 11 Apr 11 - 01:54 PM
gnu 11 Apr 11 - 04:11 PM
Herga Kitty 11 Apr 11 - 07:35 PM
Max 11 Apr 11 - 08:12 PM
Mr Red 12 Apr 11 - 10:10 AM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Apr 11 - 10:30 AM
Valmai Goodyear 12 Apr 11 - 10:39 AM
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Subject: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: Max
Date: 07 Apr 11 - 11:23 PM

Mudcat has always been a part of me. I was 24 when I started it. I'm not pleased to be in and out such as I have been over the years, but I am but one flawed man trying to raise some kids, keep a job, maintain meaningful relationships and keep a pretty cool web site up and running. Good enough at most of it, to just get by.

I've been accused of working on features that weren't a priority, but stand by choices. I am simply trying to make the mudcat more accessible for me. After all, if I'm not interested in it, it doesn't exist.

Before being sidetracked by our current annoyances, I was working on being emailed whenever a thread-in-my-tracer was added to or when someone sends me a PM. Mudcat is overwhelming for most, I think. An ocean of content and conversation delivered by fire hose if tried to take as a whole, as I feel burdened to.

Those of you who have met me know where my heart is, and that I'd like to have more time for it, as an administrator and community member. I thought too that if I were able to earn a certain amount of money from it that it would justify a greater commitment. For some reason, up until at least a trip to the UK, it was taboo for me to even imply that any money ended up in my pockets or to my mortgage payment.

I'm not telling you all this to try to get sympathy or support, merely making the point that the mudcat is a part of me, it spans my entire adult life. The one constant through multiple careers, marriages and countless moves and mental states. It clearly provides me something I need, whether it a sense of responsibility or pride or accomplishment or tenacity. Or perhaps it's just the connection to you all that I need. I think I insist on keeping the server in my home is meaningful. If my power is out, as it was for 5 days in October '09, neither of us could enjoy mudcat. I might have grown resentful of you if you had.

I know there are a whole lot of folks who do a whole lot of work, and I am quite grateful. They, like me, don't get any more reward than the very thing that they invest their time in shaping. I'm surprised sometimes that any of us are willingly making that deal. And there are a whole lot of folks that contribute content, hours of research, heart breaking honesty, babies being born, lovers being lost, bodies and minds diminishing, their final days lived out before us. So mudcat is not just me, and although I wax on as if it were, I am humbled by my place in it. I created it, just to have a place in it.

I'm trying lately to reinvest in it. While many of you don't see me post often, I exchange emails with at least one of you a couple time a week, and the vols and I are always in dialog. Every few months they'll tell me that I need to make an appearance and put my foot down on this or that, or try to correct the tone or attitude that has turned dark. Breaks my heart when that happens. Have I been gone to long? Can I no longer have influence and bring order? Did I ever?

Each time I move or travel, feel alone or try to make new friends, I'll seek out the local folk jam. Have yet to find a town that didn't have one, now on two continents. It's a great formula, always such a welcoming environment of loving people who never judge, with traditional sensibilities and strong character, always delighted for new blood and the chance to hear a different song for once. These are my people, and wherever in the world I am, I will feel at home. Can I say this about the mudcat these days? Do you think a newcomer feels safe or welcomed? I worry, but have hope.

I was going to go back to college this year. I was all lined up for a masters in Musicology here at Penn State University where I live and work. Following that, off to somewhere else for the Ph.D. Much of what you'll find in this absurdly long post (trolls are too lazy to read posts this long) is what I have chosen instead. As is my way, I'm taking the long way around. I'm going for the honorary Ph.D. that I'll rightly deserve if I can pull this off...

ADS

So here I am, chugging along for years with just a few ads and hardly a complaint, and Google starts sending me these emails saying that their data indicates that I can do much better by allowing image ads and few more prominent positions. I ignore them for no less than a year with skepticism of the claims but certainty of how they'll be received. Well, in early March, I caved and thought I'd put it to the test. And what do you know, it quadruples the revenue. What would you do next?

FLAWS

So the problem with Internet Explorer (especially v8 or 9) is bigger than I had hoped. Bigger on mudcat and bigger on the internet as a whole. A lot, and I mean a lot, of people are complaining, and I I really hope that the sheer volume of noise will cause them to give a little and make things easier for folks like me and you.

I am willing to remove things like Chartbeat and some of the more complicated ads and other doodads which I will do soon, but we're left with something that I cannot fix with the current technology we use. According to IE, and only IE, our forum design allows posters to include scripts in the their posts that can have an effect on your computer when you read it. This is the true nature of the Cross-site scripting (XSS) errors.

Now, as some of you have complained, you know that you cannot embed images and videos, and select other HTML code in your posts. This is because I am blocking that ability to 1) protect against XSS and 2) just generally screwing up the mudcat. But, because I am not doing this blocking in a way that Microsoft can detect and validate, they assume we are vulnerable.

Having spent a week trying to do it their way, it began to resemble another problem we have here for which I have already determined to require major surgery to repair... Membership. Without getting too specific, we need a technical infrastructure to validate identities, enforce accountability and give members control of who can contact them.

UPGRADES

As I've hinted at elsewhere, the future of mudcat is going to provide a lot more benefit to members. Having enjoyed meeting many of you in person after meeting you here, and staying in many of your homes, I have come to appreciate, as I know many of you have also, the trust that is exchanged in that transaction. I intend to do everything that is technically possible to make sure the mudcat has no flaw or function that compromises that. We've had to disable some great features like member pages, profiles and pictures and the member locator over the years because of just a few trolls. I want those features back.

I want to ask more of you, the members of this community, but I cannot do so without doing this first. I want a happier, healthier, kinder more helpful community, but that just isn't possible with trolls hanging around. The good folk get eaten alive.

We also have 15 years worth of data here. Conversations that span the whole history. Some good, some bad, some both all mixed up. There are concepts that can be applied to that, integrated into the community, that can start to organically sort and cross-index and validate all this data. Look up crowdsourcing and folksonomy as examples. The cream rises to the top from a peer driven natural interaction of high volumes of traffic through massive amounts of data. We are the perfect case for the application and benefits of these techniques, and would solve the conundrum of mudcat being both a research tool AND community. And those posts that take our breath away and make us cheer and cry, make our day and save our lives won't be lost in a see of vitriol, banality and foolishness.

Volunteers do as much relational work as they can now, but imagine if all of us were helping. The whole concept takes the opinions of the volunteers, and my opinion for that matter, out of the equation too. Removes their burdens, as well. Instead of the endless debates about whether a post should be deleted or not, the community will be passively voting on the quality, validity and appropriateness of the post as they interact with it. Truly, the technical infrastructure for a community to manage itself, without leadership. We all have one vote.

While I stand by my belief in guests and anonymity, an accountable membership goes a long way towards this idealistic vision. Closed networks simply aren't sustainable on the internet, so our doors will always have to be open to all comers, registered or not.

CONCLUSION

Both the FLAWS and UPGRADES will require more ability, skill, time, knowledge and money than I am able to manage. And ads won't even come close to helping. If we had the best fund raiser in our history, we'd still likely fall short.

The solution, as we have it figured now, is to hire a team of very good people to reprogram the mudcat from scratch with all stability, safety and functionality described above without changing the existing simple look and feel. We're going to have to come at this from a different angle. We need a very serious level of funding and/or a partnership with a larger organization. We're considering all sorts of options including grants, associations or mergers, and academic musicology research.

Is it all possible? I believe that it is.


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 07 Apr 11 - 11:45 PM

I believe you must know how much the Mudcat is treasured by its users. Hope you can achieve all you (and we) want for it and from it.

Ross


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: Little Robyn
Date: 07 Apr 11 - 11:51 PM

Do what you have to do Max.
We're with you all the way and I for one would be lost without you!
I'd volunteer to help but my computer skills are fairly basic and I live a long way from everybody else.
The Trolls can be dealt with and the Joe Clones are great.
And people who want to include photos or videos have plenty of other options and it's easy enough to make a Blicky to link to other sites.
So, whatever it takes Max, go for it.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: Jeri
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 12:26 AM

I like it. Kinda like Survivor: vote the post off the island.

I like the rest of it too. I hope you can find someone who appreciates Mudcat and has the bucks. You've managed to create a lovely place that really appeals to people who mostly don't have a shitload of money. Not very sensible, but love usually isn't.


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 12:39 AM

I vote for whatever you want.

Someone said she would pay to not see ads..is that a possibility? Opt out of them by paying? I think most people would just see the ads. I don't notice them at all but maybe I have a different setup.

The other thing I would love to see is what they have in yahoo...where you can set a filter so you will not see posts by certain people. I would use it for a few people for abuse reasons..others might use it just to reduce volume, or annoyance or other reasons, such as they know they just are not interested in what some might say, although they respect their right to say it. . mg


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: catspaw49
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 01:17 AM

Geeziz.....You post this shinola at 11 PM......GO TO BED!   Matter of fact take the advice of the old poem........

I slept and dreamed that life was beauty.
I woke and found that life was doody.


Get some sleep, have beautiful dreams. Wke up and have a good shit. Then get on with doing whatever you have to do.   (Okay, the doody for duty was just a shitty joke but...)

The net has changed as technology has changed and what once was here will not be again but that's the way it goes and it ain't all bad. Call it life. You've built something wonderful here and now the time has come for it to keep on evolving. Keep as much as you can but allow it to grow without worrying too much over the whiney tittie baby complaints.

Life is like that too. You try to hang on to what is important but sometimes you have to move on and do things you think (Emphasis on "think") are right for the future and tell the naysayers to go suck a toad's dick. Not one in a hundred can really help but they'll find the right way to do it anyhow.

Christ, go get some sleep..................


Spaw


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 02:05 AM

Ah, it's good to say Spaw back to his old self.....

A tech note: I used Internet Exporer 9 to renew my vehicle license today. It worked fine, until I tried to print the final receipt. IE claimed there were script errors, and wouldn't print the darn receipt. What's the need for a script when all you want to do is hit CTRL-P and print what's on the screen?

Google Chrome gives me trouble with scripts, too, especially with Hotmail. I can get Chrome and IE unstuck if I clear the browser cache, including deleting cookies. It's a darn hassle.

I haven't found a script problem with Firefox, but I don't use Firefox as often. But I can say for certain that the latest versions of Chrome and IE have problems with scripts.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: GUEST,999
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 03:20 AM

"For some reason, up until at least a trip to the UK, it was taboo for me to even imply that any money ended up in my pockets or to my mortgage payment."

Hell, you must be making what, a whole $.09/hour from this site?

Part of the reason people contributed what they could was so you could get away for a bit and have a vacation. GASP! OK, so now you're back and have been able to take a refreshed second look at your creation. You have. Do what you have to do. And as Spaw so eloquently put it, " . . . tell the naysayers to go suck a toad's dick. Not one in a hundred can really help but they'll find the right way to do it anyhow."

There are times in emergency situations when firefighters go into what is called 'defensive attack.' No one trapped, just a building burning. Too dangerous to go into and too far gone to save. So they protect what they can of the neighbourhood and stop wasting water on the building that's burning. It's never an easy decision, but it is one that scene commanders make.

The people who really care will support your decision.

BM


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 03:27 AM

Amen.


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: My guru always said
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 03:40 AM

Look at what you have given us Max, it belongs to you and we're your beneficiaries.

I'm on IE8 and I can cope with the ads & flaws as Mudcat is like food and drink to me - if only it really was, I'd be a whole lot thinner! I'm happy to share your power cuts!

I know you'll do what's best for us here on the Mudcat, you're such a good boy!


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 03:52 AM

Dearest Max,

Just yesterday in the warm Spring sunshine, I was standing on the streets of Exeter listening to a man playing his guitar and marvelling, yet again, at the wonderful talent of so many musicians who are never known by the general public. His name was Nigel...

And when he'd finished playing, finished telling me about his life, I asked him if he'd heard of The Mudcat Cafe. He hadn't. So I told him.
What did I tell him? Well, I said that it was the most AMAZING place where musicians from all over the world gather to chatter, learn and hugely support each other. I told him about the BS section too of course..where everything under the sun is discussed...how so much makes you laugh out loud....and he sat there, listening, smiling...I told him I'd start a thread about him, and that I bet he'd be known on Mudcat already by some folks here.......and sure enough, he is! (see the 'Stripey Howling Hancock' thread)   I told him he had to come and join us, because I'd a feeling he'd find folks in here he'd known from wayyyyyyy back...and I hope he takes me up on that...

The adverts don't worry me. Why should they? It's a relief to know that you're getting a bit of money coming in from them, even though it's probably just a trickle. But if you can make that trickle turn to a torrent, then even better!! I'd LOVE to see you making a whole lotta money from this, Max, a mountain of it..not only because I know you'd use that money wisely, but also because you deserve every penny of it too.

You've brought, and keep, people together from all over the world, renewing friendships, starting up brand new ones...and you believe in freedom of speech too!

I LOVE Mudcat, I love the brains that sit in here each day, the discussions that take place, the amount of knowledge that's written down, the wonderful humour that so often has me doubled up in giggles..

All from One Man....and a few of his Magic Helpers..

I think you're The Cat's Pyjamas, Max! :0) ((((XXXXX))))

And as Spaw so eloquently put:
"...tell the naysayers to go suck a toad's dick."

Ha! What a great way to start the day!


Loads of love and hugs
Lizzie xx :0)


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 04:07 AM

thanks, Max


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: wilbyhillbilly
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 04:37 AM

I'm not very good with words, so all I'll say is that other people on here have said exactly what I wish I could have put into words.

We love Mudcat whatever shape or form it takes, now or in the future, and if little ol' me can keep on doing a little bit to help I will.

Go with it Max and thank you, thank you, thank you.

whb
(across the pond)


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: nickp
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 06:24 AM

I trust your judgement Max. The Cat always fascinates me with what it provides. Thank you for your 'life'.
Nick - also the other side of the Atlantic.


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: DavidKidman
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 06:35 AM

Good on ya, Max - you, your efforts and your vision are very much appreciated, and I wish you all the best in your continuing quest for improvement. May you achieve everything that you wish for - and hey, don't lose sight of that Ph.D !


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: kendall
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 06:58 AM

I hate ads but I love Mudcat more, so, do what you must do.

If anyone doesn't like what you are doing I will gladly show them where the door is.


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: The Barden of England
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 07:00 AM

Do what you want, and need to do. I do now intentionally click ads as and when, it does me no harm and I hope helps you out, and you thoroughly deserve any money that comes your way from your efforts.
John Barden


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: Leadfingers
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 07:05 AM

Max - you know you have full support from me - Just wish I had more 'puter skills and could do something constructive to help !


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: ChrisJBrady
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 07:20 AM

Mudcat is a great forum even with its faults.

However I wonder if you've thought of using PHP technology - they have a ready made forum template that you only have to customise and populate.

It also make membership easier to administrate w.r.t. trolls.

It allows photos and files to be uploaded (if you wish).

And threads can be separated out making them easier to locate, read and respond to.

Some I visit regularly are (and I list these not because of the contents but so that you can see how they work):

http://www.aspireoneuser.com/forum/
http://www.28dayslater.co.uk/forums/
http://forum.rickross.com


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: maeve
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 09:41 AM

Refresh...for those who've yet to read Max's interesting post.

I sent a PM, Max.

Maeve


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: GUEST,Morti at work
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 10:22 AM

I don't post much anymore but this site and the people on it have been my daily companions for, gosh, I think ten years and maybe more.Whatever you need to do is fine by me and whatever help I could possibly provide to achieve it, you only have to say.


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: kendall
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 10:49 AM

The King can do no wrong.


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: Max
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 11:48 AM

Thanks gang. I'm not very worried about the naysayers, I'm harder on me than they could ever be. And I'm not seeking permission so much as explaining that some of the things we've been talking about lately have deeper roots and more complexity than I can fix quickly. My silence does not mean that I don't care or that I am not hard at work. And don't worry about Ads and financial contributions, it's clear that we need something a little outside the model for this one. I want to do it really well, so I'm not grinding this one out. Gotta go big.

Some folk are offering to help and lamenting their lack of computer skills or whatnot. What I really need from you all is an outward kindness, welcoming spirit and an intolerance and infinite patience for bad behavior. It's going to take all we got to turn the corner on the overall community attitude that has developed.

CJB: Yeah, PHP is our leading candidate at the moment. Open Source software is critical to our future.


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: DrugCrazed
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 12:02 PM

If I were confident in my php skills then I might be able to help.

I've been here for about 2 months (if that), and always feel like the baby (but hey, I'm 19. I probably am) who doesn't know anything. But I've only seen 1 post which got me riled up - that's better than most forums do.

It is a wonderous place, and I hope to be here for much longer.


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: nutty
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 12:34 PM

Max - Thankyou -you've enabled me to have 10 years of the most amazing global companionship, sometimes with people that I am will never meet in the flesh but also with others who have become cherished friends.
Anything you have to do is OK with me and if you need anything -SHOUT.

A world without Mudcat and it's community is unthinkable.


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 12:45 PM

I have gone back to IE8 as IE9 has so many bugs in it (the one to do with Mudcat is a minor issue).

I uninstalled IE9 and it sets it back to IE8 automatically and things are back to normal (apart from cross_site scripting which as mentioned above, is a minor issue).


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: Crowhugger
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 02:32 PM

Thanks for the update, Max. I truly enjoy reading your 'State of the Creek Where the Mudcat Swims' addresses as they come along from time to time. As I truly enjoy hanging out here.


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 03:32 PM

Thanks Max,

I echo everything that has gone before. Mudcat is a very special place and your dedication to keeping it going is greatly appreciated by 'catters all over the known world!

Best as ever,

Peter


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: Little Robyn
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 04:14 PM

'What I really need from you all is an outward kindness, welcoming spirit and an intolerance and infinite patience for bad behavior.'

You got it Max.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: kendall
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 04:26 PM

You ask so little my friend.


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: YorkshireYankee
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 03:11 PM

If someone offered me free cake, I would thank them profusely and enjoy it (and maybe even find others to share it with) --
not complain (if) it didn't happen to be my favourite flavour.

Thus, my profuse thanks to Max, the chef extraordinaire and creator of the wonderful Mudcat 'cake'!

Yorkshire Yankee/Vikki Appleton Fielden


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 08:30 PM

I wonder, please could someone explain – what does scripting mean? and what is cross-site scripting? in non-jargon, that is… thanks :)


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 09:15 PM

This is complicated, for it covers a lot of ground that you don't know, but each step in the chain of what it is going on is important to understand (to some degree!) if you want to get a vague understanding of the overall process, but I'll try. Try reading it more than once, with a little time in between to let your mind learn new concepts slowly.

A 'script' is a set of instructions for the computer to follow.

It may be in any 'high level' computer language - that is a special set of instructions designed to be decoded by the computer into instructions it can understand (the 'machine code' of the hardware).

'Cross site scripting'
I had put a link to this - it must have been in another thread.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross-site_scripting
Cross-site scripting (XSS) is a type of computer security vulnerability typically found in web applications that enables malicious attackers to inject client-side script into web pages viewed by other users. An exploited cross-site scripting vulnerability can be used by attackers to bypass access controls such as the same origin policy. Cross-site scripting carried out on websites were roughly 80% of all security vulnerabilities documented by Symantec as of 2007.[1] Their impact may range from a petty nuisance to a significant security risk, depending on the sensitivity of the data handled by the vulnerable site, and the nature of any security mitigations implemented by the site's owner.

To explain that a bit - all systems can have flaws. For instance if you try to jam too many socks into your cupboard drawer, something may break, or they will fall out the back into the drawer underneath. If you try to load too long a string of data into an area of the computer memory, it may load data too long to fit into the intended area, and may overflow into other areas, unless checks are first made to see if it is too long, in which case you should get an error. Badly written code sometimes doesn't do such checks (the writer forgets to do that).

Now we come to 'side effects' - unintended consequences of doing unexpected things (from the viewpoint of the computer blindly munching away at its set of instructions). The objects that store information are stored in the computer memory as length of bytes - numbers, one after the other like washing pegged on a line. These numbers get interpreted as 1) data (a name, say), 2) a location - an address in the memory that a subsequent step of execution of code later on may use as a place to get the location to jump to to start executing code needed for a service - say printing a file, etc 3) a number of other things I won't confuse you more with explanations of, but each one is important for its designated purpose.

Now, if you are clever or just patient enough 'mucking around', if the computer loads a string of numbers too long to fit in the intended place, and doesn't check that it loads data the correct length - it will overrun the intended location and start jamming crap into other locations . The trick is to jam the correct (from the point of view of the hacker) crap in the right wanted (but wrong from the original design) locations.

Now when the computer comes to look later at that tampered with location, eg to print a file, instead of jumping to the location where it finds the code to print a file, it will now end up where the hacker wants it, executing 'nasty' code that may now be able to do unwanted things, such as send your bank details off, etc.

The XSS thingy stuff works similar to the concepts described but in your web browser - fooling it into doing similar such unwanted things, and may be used to load 'a virus' (in general vague terms) that you won't know about, and the hacker then may have ways to control (through the 'scripting' attached to the clever jamming of unexpected data into certain locations) where the browser goes by giving it false sites such as a faked bank site, inject advertising, steal data from your computer, etc.

That's as simple for the 'totally computer dumb' as I can get it at the moment... :-)


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: Deckman
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 09:35 PM

JUST DO IT! I'll stick with you as long as I can. If something comes down the road that I can't stand ... I'll leave. But I'll support you as long as I can. bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: Neil D
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 11:59 PM

We aren't talented enough to do technical stuff. Not got a lot of money either, but willing to help as much as possible. This is an awesome sight and we have met such wonderful, smart, kind and caring people on here, some that we are proud to call friends. Thank you so much for this forum and if you let us know where to send a donation you can count on us!

                                    Neil and Christina


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: Janie
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 02:33 AM

Whatever works for you and furthers your vision for what you want Mudcat to be has worked well thus far, and I have no reason to believe that will not continue to be the case. After googling crowdsource, folksonomy, social tagging, etc., I'm still scratching my head, wondering what the implications are. That is my limitation. Plus, I am a parasite here. I take much and contribute virtually nothing, however contribution might be defined.

At some point you may have to choose among visions. Although you don't express it clearly, I think you know that you are a visionary in terms of what you forsee the potential for this site to be. Do I understand that one choice among visions is to allow the community and the site as a repository of information and research to stand or fall based on the behavioral choices of the participants?

You are also a generational bridge, both in terms of your interests and in terms of your technological savy and comfort. You can not expect, nor can we expect of you, to be a permanent bridge.

All the best,

Janie


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: Allan C.
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 10:56 AM

Over the years the Mudcat has allowed me the privilege of meeting countless folkies whom I would otherwise never have met, some of whom have become lifelong friends. It has inspired me to play more music, both publicly and privately. It has introduced me to performers about whom I may not ever have become aware. The Mudcat has not just supplied me with lyrics, but has also informed me as to the origin of songs as well as their various permutations. By way of the Mudcat I have been allowed to perform before a live audience who watched and/or listened at their homes in more than a few different countries - just amazing! At times the inhabitants of the Mudcat have supported me, both wittingly and without even being aware, during some extremely tough times. There have been times when the Mudcat was essentially my only friend.

I owe so much to the Mudcat and thus owe a great debt of gratitude to you, Max. I know your heart, my friend, and welcome any changes you see fit to make. For I know without a doubt that you always have the best interests of your brainchild, the Mudcat, and its inhabitants in mind.


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: Stringsinger
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 01:06 PM

Max I think you are doing an excellent job. Mudcat is a wonderful place to share ideas music or otherwise. I would trust you to do the right thing by it.

Thanks for all you do.

Frank


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 05:36 PM

If you need us to do anything that is within our power, just say.

Richard


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: PHJim
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 06:11 PM

I think this is a great site and I don`t mind any improvements that you think are useful. My one fear is that the original posts might be lost. EZFolk has changed their forum a couple of times and each time all of the archived posts were lost. Now, perhaps because people are afraid it will happen again, there are very few people using the forum. I`d hate to see that happen here. I still like to read posts that were written by folks who are no longer with us.


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: Max
Date: 11 Apr 11 - 11:31 AM

We won't lose a single post.


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: MMario
Date: 11 Apr 11 - 12:26 PM

For what it's worth - you have my support whatever you decide to do.


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 11 Apr 11 - 12:49 PM

Keep up the good work Max, however you decide to do it. And it's still a case of:
"We'll keep a welcome in the hillsides!"

Cheers
Nigel


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 11 Apr 11 - 01:54 PM

Suegorgeous at 09 Apr 11 - 08:30 PM asked for an explanation of scripting and cross-site scripting, and The Fooles Troupe provided a Wikipedia reference that gives a fairly technical description.

As was described, a script is a scrap of code that tells your computer to do someting.

A cross-site script is a script that tells your computer go to, or to do something on, another website. The other website (site #2) that the script sends you to can go to a third website (site#3) to get the instructions that are actually relayed back to your computer (#1).

All this, which can get rather entangled and confusing, is perfectly normal and "accepted by the community" as appropriate behavior.

The concern is with "cross-site scripting vulnerabilities" that allow an outside party to place script on site #2 or site #3 that looks like it does what those sites intended, but actually connects you to another site (#4) where malicious junk can be downloaded to your computer, or where information on your computer can be accessed. The majority of such scripts are intended to "look like they go to" a different site than the one they actually connect to; but that's not really a necessary part of the definition.

The term "XSS" is generally used only to refer to the vulnerabiities that permit malicious parties to modify code on "server sites" and/or to the malware scripts that exploit one of the vulnerabilities to do so.

A most recent "hot news" example: Facebook Bully Video Actually an XSS Exploit.

The article linked is from eWeek, which normally is a "trusted source" known for reliable reporting, but at this point I'd consider this one an "unconfirmed but probably valid" report. It does give some fairly detailed (but in reasonably simple language) explanation of how the whole scam method works in one fairly typical case, and the description is good even if the warning is overblown.

The XSS vulnerabiities do exist, and have the potential to do much more harm than has been seen thus far. They are not limited to any one browser or operating system.

Microsoft has chosen to incorporate "a defense" in the most recent browsers that gives annoying notices, that cripples browsing performance, and that does NOT ALLOW the user to turn it off.

Others "silently limit" some aspects of performance without necessarily telling you what they're doing.

Since the vulnerabilites that have caused the concern are primarily on the servers, it is mostly the webmasters who are being forced to handle the problem. Nobody believes that it can be done simply, and as yet there are few clear ways of approaching generally reliable fixes.

Clearly, Max is working the problem, and needs our support, patience, and good humor until this is resolved.

Max is a winner so I know who to cheer for.

John


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: gnu
Date: 11 Apr 11 - 04:11 PM

Cool. Go for it Max.

As for the honorary Ph.D, ya already got a wall hangin full of em here at The Café and, for me, the best one is your commitment to free speech at ALMOST any cost. I truly believe your leadership in this regard has made this "community" far better than it would have ever been otherwise.

Although I have no say in the matter, and should not, I have a question regarding the idea of peeps voting on deleting a post (if I read ya right... did I read ya right?), to wit, you posted, "Instead of the endless debates about whether a post should be deleted or not, the community will be passively voting on the quality, validity and appropriateness of the post as they interact with it. Truly, the technical infrastructure for a community to manage itself, without leadership. We all have one vote."

How does that work? Am I off base with this question or with the following feeble attempt at an example?

Say I was to start a thread about BBQing steaks and the PETA peeps don't like the fact that I like my steaks medium rare and decide they are gonna vote to delete my thread or posts. Can they squelch my freedom of speech that you have so gallantly protected for the past many years? This might apply to the Swamp People thread and, though I have never worn alligator leather clothes or eaten alligator meat, I certainly would shoot one a them nasty critters in a heartbeat. Can I still post about shooting alligators?... or Bambi's mum? And what about my recipe for Bambi's mum steaks and pancakes with maple slurpup? Or my penchant for eating young pussy? PETA might go nuts over that too.

Anyway, whatever you say lad. You have done a fine job in the past. You will, no doubt, do so again in the future.


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 11 Apr 11 - 07:35 PM

Max - you're doing a great job, and I'm just so grateful for the friends I've made through Mudcat!

Kitty
xx


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: Max
Date: 11 Apr 11 - 08:12 PM

A poor but simple example is Digg, but don't take that too literally, it's not my complete vision.

It's a site populated by users posting (mostly) news links. Large numbers of users interact with the posts by "Digg"ing them or "Bury"ing them which sort of acts as a preference filter, that is, increases the likelihood of you finding good stuff because it is popular within the community and/or related in some way to something you previously "Dugg".

Popular is not the correct word really, and we're talking about more than just 'like' and 'dislike' (though important too), we're talking about a complex classification system driven by the interests and observations of individuals, which need not agree with each other. Users classify what is meaningful to them.

Say I post a picture of my very handsome beagle Merle sitting on my deck. I would tag it "dog, beagle, Merle". Then maybe a carpenter sees it and appreciates the deck and he adds the tag "deck, balusters, post tops". Then a gardener notices... "geranium, zinnia"...

The Art Museum Community Cataloging Project seeks to resolve the disparity between museum professionals' terminology to those of regular folks, which rarely match. "...social tagging may provide profound new ways to describe and access cultural heritage collections and encourage visitor engagement with collection objects."

With folk music, our unapproachable lexicon is lingual, geographical, cultural, generational and even familial, to name just a few. We're having a global conversation here, and what we find meaningful varies wildly, and oh so beautifully, between us.

Now mind you this is merely a filter, it does not actually alter any of the data. It can be used or not, or anywhere in between, totally up to the user. And with the exception of the blatant stuff, nothing is actually deleted. Emphasis is all we are manipulating.

The Folk Process 2.0


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: Mr Red
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 10:10 AM

The only thing certain in life is change.

To those who cite death also - well - as changes go ..................!

As much as Folkies hate change, standing still means things get swallowed up by events. Which changes them anyway.

Max (if I may paraphrase) is saying he can't stand still. His leadership has got us thus far and he is still leading. We can but follow.

My programming skills are far from meagre yet far from adequate to understand the detail of what Max has already done. Believe me it is a complex beast he is wrestling with. But on the surface we but see mere ripples. Let us rejoice and ride with the master.


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 10:30 AM

I never trust the slogan "Be a friend of change" - there's good change to be helped along, and forced change, to learn to live with, and bad change to be resisted and opposed.

The Mudcat is a marvel, and quite unique in all kinds of ways.
I think Max knows that, and I trust him.


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Subject: RE: mudcat flaws, errors, ads and upgrades
From: Valmai Goodyear
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 10:39 AM

Mudcat is enormously useful and helpful; I've come to depend on it for news, information and source material. I can't thank you enough for keeping it going.

Valmai (Lewes)


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