User talk:Scots Don

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Javascript analysis for forensics


[copied from my talk]

If I can get you some Zeus 'sploit code & logs, tonight or sometime tomorrow, how fast can you work out what its doing? -- Brian McNeil (alt. account) /alt-talkmain talk' 12:32, 24 April 2010 (UTC)Reply

Depends on what its doing, how complicated it is, how obfuscated the code is, etc. I can certainly try. The javascript part is probably only a minor part of the virus though. Bawolff 22:54, 24 April 2010 (UTC)Reply
btw, If your around, it'd be great if you could come on irc. We're very curious as to what is going on/to what extent things have been compromised. Bawolff 03:49, 25 April 2010 (UTC)Reply
    • I will try to get on irc tonight. Here, our router was, uh,... rooted. The web interface contained a js 'sploit capable of compromising the alpha-3 Ubuntu 10.04 release. Nasty FF one that. And, this Nokia is great. Working until 22:30, so be patient. If someone can recommend a good Sip/voip service for linux, we can conference call. - Brian McNeil (alt. account) /alt-talkmain talk' 07:35, 25 April 2010 (UTC)Reply



Terinjokes discovered some weird code inserted to the top of almost every php file on wikinewsie. I think i got rid of most of it. I re-installed mediawiki, and made the blogs 403 for now. Bawolff 23:25, 27 April 2010 (UTC)Reply

Accredited reporters to lose email addys:


Those in this diff will have email addresses closed off.

-- Brian McNeil (alt. account) /alt-talkmain talk' 13:58, 11 May 2010 (UTC)Reply

This article is greatly expanded, which means I need you to go review it, please. Thanks.Bluedogtn (talk) 17:11, 6 July 2010 (UTC)Reply

"...get back in your cell.


Don't make me get the hose!" And apologise, nicely. (btw: edit user:username/comment_for_wc, then {subst:user:username/comment_for_wc} on the wc, which is much faster to type and you won't lose any of your edit if conflicted.) - Amgine | t 20:53, 23 July 2010 (UTC)Reply

  • That, as this is the first comment I've seen, will depend greatly on whether Herr Tempo has taken the hint about people trying to participate from less-than-bleeding edge platforms. I do not appreciate trying very hard to be reasonable only to get a full-page god-only-knows-how-large download with the title "Edit Conflict". -- Brian McNeil (alt. account) /alt-talkmain talk 06:43, 24 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • Would you know, it's somewhat of a pain to fiddle as you suggest with an on-screen keyboard. My biggest problem was that sections, not the whole page, are too big on the WC to pull them all up in an edit window on a mobile browser. If I can confirm to my satisfaction that a fold-up bluetooth keyboard works with the phone, I'll invest in one to deal with getting at the {} being difficult. --Brian McNeil / talk 08:38, 24 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
    <laughing> Don't I know it! I've occasionally edited wikis from my very-old-style cellphone (yes, only the number keys.) I hadn't thought of the bluetooth keyboard... - Amgine | t 14:22, 24 July 2010 (UTC)Reply

News Article Workflow


As seems to be the fashion, there are moves afoot to revamp various parts of the appearance, or creative process, within Wikinews; some of the proposals are, perhaps, not well-enough based on a long contributory history. The project lacks technical resources (i.e. clones of Shaka and Bawolff) who can push out the needed code to implement ideas. Overly complex templates simply lead to new contributors creating a complete mess that more established contributors are reluctant to try and fix. Before these problems can be correctly addressed, there needs to be an understanding of various of the methods whereby a "finished product" article ends up published. Numerous ways of bringing in stories have been tried in the past; channels such as "request an article" may fail the project due to a lack of manpower, but they should not be ignored.

I am laying this out on my talk page as, in itself, this could dwarf many of the discussions usually held on the Water Cooler. Please keep section sizes manageable so I may annotate, and respond, via the 3G network. [Comments] sections have been specifically provided for input. The sections they relate to may be updated to reflect constructive feedback. -- Brian McNeil (alt. account) /alt-talkmain talk 21:46, 8 August 2010 (UTC)Reply

Previously tried, and under-utilised methods of newsgathering

  1. Requested articles
  2. Prepared obituaries
  3. Wikinews hotline
  4. Scoop

These are far overshadowed by people writing about what interests them. You cannot force people to write about things they have no interest in unless there is some reward. A real newsroom achieves this by paying a salary, commission, or buying stories from indie journalists. In that latter case, you're looking at what is closest to the work done on Wikinews.

Previous [Comments]

  • We really can't do much about this; users will just have to either take it upon themselves to write some "big news" no one else has if they think it's beneficial to the project. However, the fact that anyone can write what they want, even if it's obscure and considered unimportant by other agencies, is what makes Wikinews unique. I think that perhaps encouraging people to write briefs/blurbs instead of just posting requested articles (it takes about 5 or 10 minutes, really), and then making a collection of shorts a more regular occurrence would be a good idea to pursue. This also opens the way for other users to expand upon shorts and then make them a real article, whether before publishing or shortly after (no more than a day or two), will make it easier for users to find interesting stories they wish to write about. fetch·comms 03:32, 9 August 2010 (UTC)Reply

Life-stages for news articles


Most Wikinewsies have a reasonable understanding of the stages which a news item passes through on its way to a historical article. To reiterate:

  1. Idea/Tip/Notice/Press Release/Expected event
    Expected events encompasses items such as deaths, marriages, births, election results, sports match outcomes
  2. In-development draft
  3. Submitted for review
  4. In-review
  5. Published, open to updates
  6. Published, no longer sufficiently current to permit substantive updates
  7. Closed, but not sufficiently into history to be archived
  8. Archived

Life [Comments]




On the English Wikinews, there is very little automation. That in stark contrast to Serbian which is "shamefully" listed as having more articles because it regurgitates from public domain sources set up by various groups for propaganda purposes.

This leaves enWN in a situation where, on the whole, there is no automation. Instead, there are various helper tools, such as the review gadget. On enWN, the key forms of automation are mostly "push-technology" following the actual publication of an article. There could be more in the way of helper tools, and more automation.

With review being at the centre of the process, some of the alerting systems for it are rather intrusive. An option to see the site as a "mere mortal" does have to be a priority - in a more convenient manner than logging out and back in again.

In no particular order, I would assert the following are points where automation and helper-tools could be employed.

  • Article preparation
  • Plagiarism detection
  • Link verification and template format validation
  • Base review criteria checking
  • Migration from prepared to in-development
  • Archiving

Automation [Comments]

  • Actually, I think they get it from a site that did a deal via OTRS for a bot to copy all their stuff. Enwn cannot become like that. We are a wiki; our users should write the content. For tools: --fc
  • How would we automate article preparation? --fc
  • We can easily port over a copyvio checker bot from enwp (both Coren's search bot or The Earwig's AfC cv search bot come to mind)
  • Verification, as in accuracy per the source, or whatnot? I think a human reviewer would really have to do the verification. Template format is interesting; if we adapt a single-template page format, it would be easy to add in code with blaring red letters if a required parameter is missing or something.
  • Reviewing, I think still needs to be human-driven, although a new design would force an update of the review system/script we have now, perhaps simplifying and advancing it?
  • Have some parserfunction detecting the time for certain prepared stories and add it to a category when it's due to be published/expanded. For things like "Person X dies aged #", I'm not sure if a bot searching gNews or whatever would help too much (large risk of false positives).
  • Whatever happened to the archive bot? Can't we restore its +sysop and ask Skenmy to run it again? Or did it have issues? --fc

Just some thoughts. fetch·comms 03:42, 9 August 2010 (UTC)Reply



I did hesitate over this one. :-)  But, precautions are precautions. --Pi zero (talk) 22:21, 19 December 2012 (UTC)Reply

  • Er, ... I assume removing some from this account. Not a problem, naturally.
I should've stripped the account of all privs after I got my main account re-secured (before your time PiZ, and related to the Zeus Botnet). But, right-now I could be completely blocked from enWN and not give a <bleep>; I'm having fun sharing photos of my adopted son on Facebook, in a tux, looking like a super-smooth Bond villain, with a woman on each arm.
He's in for a merciless teasing when I get him over to Scotland next year. -- (talk) 22:33, 19 December 2012 (UTC)Reply