Battlestar Wiki Battlestar Wiki:Chiefs' noticeboard/Archive2

Battlestar Wiki:Chiefs' noticeboard/Archive2

From Battlestar Wiki, the free, open content Battlestar Galactica encyclopedia and episode guide

This page is an archive. Do not edit the contents of this page. Please direct any additional comments to the current talk page. Please add new archives to Archive 3.

Battle Template

Me and Shane have been working on a template with aim to replace the individual wikitables on the battle pages Merv created. I was hoping I would get some feedback from you on the appearance etc. The testing area is here and you can see the actual template at {{Battle Data}} --Mercifull 13:49, 21 June 2006 (CDT)

I left a note at Template talk:Battle Data. --CalculatinAvatar(C-T) 14:24, 21 June 2006 (CDT)4

Inadvertent Deletions

I have inadvertently save over another's edit 2 0r 3 times (RFA for Merciful) in the last 2 days . I thought that the wiki prevented that automatically. Is it because I talking so longer to edit sometimes? Or is there a problem. Just don't want to keeping doing it. --FrankieG 14:03, 23 June 2006 (CDT)

I think this happens when two people are editing the same page, always preview your work before posting to make sure you havnt made a major fubar. I recently did it on the ships page cutting off half the page lol and if i had previwed i wouldnt have messed it up hehe. --Mercifull 14:05, 23 June 2006 (CDT)
Thanks, I usually preview, but will make sure that I do in the future.--FrankieG 14:08, 23 June 2006 (CDT)
Steel re-added the vote, so no problem there. --Shane (T - C - E) 14:13, 23 June 2006 (CDT)
It also helps to only edit a section (not the whole article) when possible; this limits how much teeth gnashing you have to do as you repaste your contribution. --Spencerian 17:25, 23 June 2006 (CDT)
For the record, that can't happen on an RFA due to it's design. --Shane (T - C - E) 18:00, 23 June 2006 (CDT)

Unlock the BW:SC Archives

I am going around to most of the pages that are getting to long and making archives to keep the content clean and the BW:SC archives are protected and I can not edit them. So can someone unlock them for me. They do not have to be locked up as items would have to be removed if the same issue arised in the future. Thanks. --Shane (T - C - E) 08:35, 24 June 2006 (CDT)

I'm confused... You want to archive the archives, or...? Maybe a link to the specific page you're wanting archived. --Day (Talk - Admin) 22:25, 24 June 2006 (CDT)
Just the old archived pages. It's already been done. --Shane (T - C - E) 22:55, 24 June 2006 (CDT)
Okay. I thought so... That's what had confused me. They didn't look locked to me. *wink* --Day (Talk - Admin) 23:52, 24 June 2006 (CDT)

Request that User "Shane" be given a warning ban

Per the discussion on "Battlestar Wiki:Requests for comment/Shane",

Per our banning policy:

"The Battlestar Wiki community, taking decisions according to appropriate community-designed policies with consensus support, following consensus on the case itself.
  1. The Administrators can impose a parole whereby any sysop can, at their judgement, impose a 24-hr temp ban for a violation of the parole, even though this offence would not normally be a bannable offence."

Per the Appeals Process for banning (my italics):

"Community-derived bans may be appealed to Joe Beaudoin via a request for arbitration. Joe will decide such a case based on whether the ban followed a genuine Battlestar Wiki policy, whether the procedures were correctly followed, and whether the ban was consistent with other Battlestar Wiki policies.

I'm formally requesting the Administrators and specifically sysop/Bureaucrat Joe Beaudoin, to, as per the suggestons in the RFC linked above, give user Shane a warning ban of one week, followed by the standard probatationary period of one month. --The Merovingian (C - E) 17:03, 25 June 2006 (CDT)

I think this process is already underway. The appropriate place for other administrators to weigh in on the decision is still the RFC. --April Arcus 17:12, 25 June 2006 (CDT)
The "Ban" Policy is not even "Official". It's {{Proposed Policy}} --Shane (T - C - E) 17:13, 25 June 2006 (CDT)

Given that Shane has apparently agreed with the results of his RFC to take a 7 day vacation, this proposal is a moot point. Nevermind. --The Merovingian (C - E) 21:47, 29 June 2006 (CDT)


I can not sit idlily by and watch this vandel mess up the site. I am taking action to revert the pages. --Shane (T - C - E) 23:40, 28 June 2006 (CDT)

Report on Vandalism by User:Mickey McGizzle

Summary of Events

On 18:42, 28 June 2006, Mickey McGizzle joined Battlestar Wiki. He immediately initiated a series of attacks against several articles. These consisted of blanking the original content, which was replaced with a short string of nonsense, and quickly moving articles from one name to another, generating a massive number of redirects.

At 18:57, Kkimball took notice and posted a comment to McGizzle's user page.

At 19:00, Kkimball restored the contents of Battlestar Wiki:Cast and Crew (at that time located at "Cwap"). At 19:04, he restored the contents of Battlestar Wiki:Human Census Survey, which had not been moved. At 19:24, he restored the contents of The Battlestar Galactica Drinking Game, (at that time located at "The Land of Seventeen Guatemalens") and attempted to return it to its original namespace by moving it to "A Battlestar Galactica Drinking Game".

Immediately after Kkimball's edits, McGizzle renewed his attack on the Drinking Game, and retaliated with an attack on Kkimball's user page.

At 20:40, 28 June 2006, Shane, currently banned from editing on an informal basis, posted a notice to Battlestar Wiki:Official Communiques, due to an error on Battlestar Wiki:Administrators' noticeboard, which he corrected at 20:41. At 20:42, I reverted his comments to Official Communiques, and at 22:19, I moved his comment to the Administrators' noticeboard. It is my opinion that due to the extraordinary circumstances at work, Shane's actions were not in violation of the terms of his ban as set forth in Battlestar Wiki:Requests for comment/Shane.

Immediately after his post to Official Communiques, Shane notified me of the attack via GMail. On 20:42, 28 June 2006, I banned Mickey McGizzle with an expiry time of infinite, and set to work on repairs. By 21:34, all the attacked articles had been restored and moved back to their original locations. By 22:04, all spurious redirects had been deleted.

During this time, User:The Merovingian attempted to help by tagging several redirects for deletion.



Response Time

  • Kkimball first noticed the attack 15 minutes after it commenced, but he failed or was unable to report it to an Administrator.
  • Kkimball's attempts to combat McGizzle's vandalism on his own were ineffectual.
  • Shane noticed the attack 1 hour and 58 minutes after it commenced, and notified me. If he had not done so, the damage would undoubtedly have been much worse.

Threat Assessment

McGizzle's personal response to Kkimball (replying to a comment on his user page, and subsequently moving Kkimball's user page to "Fatass") clearly indicates that he is not a bot, of the variety we've occasionally seen depositing link span. That a human being was able to cause so much damage raises serious concerns over automated agents using the same techniques.

McGizzle's vandalism method is extremely time consuming to revert. Vandalized articles must be identified from a large number of move log entries, then followed to their final destination, reverted, and returned to their original locations. This took an average of 3 minutes and 42 seconds per article. Following this, an enormous number of redirects must be deleted. This is tedious and inconveniently floods recent changes, but the presence of redirects does not directly harm the usability of the wiki.


I recommend that the ability to move pages be restricted to administrators, and, if possible, other trusted users. I understand that current versions of MediaWiki allow a distinction to be made between newly registered users and old hands; if it would be possible to implement such a thing here, that would be ideal.

Straightforward vandalism would still be possible, but it is much easier to revert than the redirect technique.

The fact that it took two hours for an administrator to be notified of the attack is extremely disturbing. Hopefully Mercifull's election as an Admin will enable more round-the-clock surveillance, but Kkimball's attempt to revert McGizzle's edits personally, rather than contact an Admin is disappointing. Presumably, it simply didn't occur to him. Perhaps contact information for admins should be consolidated in another location besides user pages, to which a link could be included in the welcome greeting.

Stars of Kobol should be awarded to Kkimball, Shane and The Merovingian for their valiant efforts to stop McGizzle's rampage.

--April Arcus 02:15, 29 June 2006 (CDT)

Its a shame this has happened, at a time when some people were contemplating opening the wiki to guests I feel that we cannot ever do this now. For every minute this mailicious user was here he caused 3 minutes of time to fix. I have a few suggestions however i am unsure if they can be implemented:
  1. Make it so only administrators can move/rename a page. While this wouldnt stop someone manually making a new page and then adding a redirect to the old one it would certainly slow them down.
  2. Edit limit for new users. I'm not sure if this can be done with MediaWiki but is it possible to limit the number of edits per hour/day for new users?
  3. Limit on the number of "New" pages that newly signed up users can make.
  4. Wikipedia runs some bots that look for these kinds of mass changes by users and reverts them and blocks the user. Is that kind of thing possible here?
  5. Make it so pages cannot be blanked... minimum number of characters for example.
Just a few ideas. I think its something that needs to be discussed in detail fairly soon. --Mercifull (Talk/Contribs) 03:14, 29 June 2006 (CDT)
I also think that with users such as this blocking just isnt enough. These kinds of people need to be completely banned from the site using .htaccess --Mercifull (Talk/Contribs) 03:27, 29 June 2006 (CDT)
The timing of this is extremely unfortunate. The type of vandalism involved is something we have never see here at this wiki. Previously all vandalism has been either a direct personal attack (user pages, etc.) or more commercial in nature (editing pages to include invisible spam links). This is the first time that I am aware of that an individual has committed vandalism solely for what appears to be their own amusement. While the thought of this type of attack had been considered (it wasn't "inconceivable"), I imagine we all thought it unlikely as no such attack had occured for so long (even when we had less restrictive login requirements).
In the "Recent Changes" banner, there is text that states that "If you find any vandalism or edits that need to be brought to the attention of an admin, report it here." (With a link to the admin noticeboard.) Unfortunately that might not be read/paid attention to much. Also, while the noticeboard IS on my watchlist, it won't generate an email notice like a note on a user page would. I definitely concur that some research should go towards improving accessibility to Admins and educating editors about who should be contacted in the case of an emergency (like this one).
I agree that an attack of this magnitude merits an evaluation of our security protocols. (Would such a discussion be best suited here? The Quorum?) I would like to urge that we not be too hasty in locking things down, though, and should perhaps let the sting of this attack subside somewhat before any security decisions are finalized. If we allow this incident to harm the daily experience of our average editors, then this "terrorist" will have had more impact on this world than they deserve to have made.
Lastly, I second the call for a commendation of Kkimball, Shane and The Merovingian. Dedicated editors like them are what keep this place running. I concur that this incident should have no bearing on Shane's RFC-imposed "vacation". While he is obviously still checking up on the place, he prevented a great deal more work through his timely contacting of an administrator. I would also like to thank April Arcus for his diligence in dispatching and cleaning up after the vandal. It might be a good idea to work out a protocol for distributing vandal cleanup work amongst administrators, in the event more than one is active or in the event of a larger attack. --Steelviper 08:13, 29 June 2006 (CDT)
Thanks for your kind words, guys, though I'd like to apologize. Though my immediate thought was to contact an admin, the user page didn't occur to me as I haven't used the mediawiki software in a peroid of several months previous to my return last night. I'm afraid my attempts to restore the content were somewhat feeble, but I'm glad this could all be fixed relatively simply (if not quickly). Kkimball 08:39, 29 June 2006 (CDT)
I would agree to an open discussion on the issue of "wiki security", for lack of a better term. It would probably be best to discuss it on the Quorum so that all users can put in their two cubits. I know we've just recently brought up on Talk:Main Page about how we can lessen our editing restrictions, so I would really like that discussion to coincide with the "wiki security" one because, at the end of the day, they are both the same. Thoughts? -- Joe Beaudoin So say we all - Donate 21:40, 29 June 2006 (CDT)
(Damn if wasn't able to be on at the time to help; I finally have some success in getting a new job, which took most of yesterday.) I concur with the "trusted users" limiting. I think that no user with less than 100 edits can move articles. Gives plenty of time for newbies to get used to things without messing up badly, and keeps what happened from happening again in such severity. New users with less than 100 edits could be limited to 5 edits per hour; after 50 edits, 10 edits/hr, and no limit (and privileges to move articles) after 100 edits. That might also help against any bots used to attempt to circumvent the process. Kudos to the three who tried to fix the damage!--Spencerian 21:57, 29 June 2006 (CDT)

I agree that Shane should not be punished, special circumstances. I'm sorry I didn't notice earlier, but I have to sleep sometime :) Ironically, before logging out the last thing I saw was that a new user named McGizzle had joined, and was annoyed that I logged out without giving him the big hello. Yikes. Well, ---->This event has caused me to change my position on allowing unregistered users. There are those that hate TNS enough that they would smash BSWiki to atoms if they could. I propose voting Joe emergency powers, and creating a Grand Army of BattlestarWiki to counter the increasing threats of the Vandals. --The Merovingian (C - E) 22:01, 29 June 2006 (CDT)

As a precautionary measure, I have prevented all users, with the execption of administrators, from moving pages. To request a move, please post your move notice here. -- Joe Beaudoin So say we all - Donate 22:07, 29 June 2006 (CDT)
If anyone hadn't looked at the speed and frequency of the edits, I strongly suspect that the user was using some kind of bot to make the changes; I know I can't edit that fast.
Move requests might get lost here in current format. Create a "Move" section where requests are better found? --Spencerian 22:19, 29 June 2006 (CDT)
Great thing you mention this, because guess what's going to go through the Think Tank first? -- Joe Beaudoin So say we all - Donate 22:40, 29 June 2006 (CDT)

Shane's RFC and the Think Tank

The RFC on Shane has been officially closed. As I noted on Shane's talk page, his vacation begins on Friday, June 30th at 12:01 A.M. UTC and will officially end on July 7 at 12:01 A.M. UTC. As decided in the RFC, he's not officially blocked, unless he makes any edits during his vacation from the wiki.

Should that happen, I will officially do the blocking. I request that no other administrator do this action.

Now that Shane is on his vacation, the question of who will be willing to keep an eye on his contributions needs to be addressed. April is exempt from this due to the friction between them.

Also, as mentioned in the RFC, I will be creating the Think Tank. I would welcome everyone to help build this while Shane is on vacation. This is where all the major stuff will happen, and that "major stuff" is to be determined by the consensus of the administrators, per Day's points.

Now, if there are any questions, please ask away. Thank you. -- Joe Beaudoin So say we all - Donate 21:49, 29 June 2006 (CDT)

I'll keep an eye on Shane's contributions and note on your talk page if there's a change that's against his parole. (I look like a bouncer, anyway.) Shane can take heart; Lee Adama was put in the brig once, but look what happened to him. :) --Spencerian 22:03, 29 June 2006 (CDT)
Yes, but you do it with style ... and I have no doubt that the Jedi mind tricks are helpful as well. :-) -- Joe Beaudoin So say we all - Donate 22:42, 29 June 2006 (CDT)
I have the will' to keep an eye on Shane edits, but I'm not certain I have the ability. I go a few days without looking at the Wiki on occasion and sometimes I don't have much time for it when I do get a look. Also, in August, I'll be moving (yay!), which means I will have various things to prepare before then. Anyway, I guess what I'm saying is, if you need me, I'll do my best, but I'm making no promises. *wink* Maybe someone else will step up like Spence and make the full time commitment. --Day (Talk - Admin) 22:44, 29 June 2006 (CDT)

Problem with mail validation

In my preferences in the email section it say that "Your e-mail address is not yet authenticated. No e-mail will be sent for any of the following features." with a link to Confirm your e-mail address. When I click this I push a button to mail out a validation code but I never recieve one. I have tried several times and checked my spam box but still nothing. Because my email is not validated I cannot set it up to send me notices on changed etc. Does anyone know how to fix this? My email is correct in the user profile box. --Mercifull (Talk/Contribs) 06:04, 30 June 2006 (CDT)

I've had this happen, too, earlier in the year when I had to use public terminals. Joe should know how to fix it. Place a note on his talk page to ensure he knows, and leave the email address you prefer to use. --Spencerian 08:23, 30 June 2006 (CDT)

The problem is in the emailserver. I administer several mailservers in various locations. And I've seen what is wrong. The emailserver that (BSW) use to send us emails are not configured properly. BSW's "HELO" says it is a mailserver who's hostname does not exist. The hostname reported in BSW's HELO does not exist. Therefore all emails from BSW's outgoing emailserver will automatically be rejected by our mailservers as SPAM or fraudulent in some way. (SPAM bots always use false and non-existent HELO's)
Most likely "myhostname" and/or "smtp_banner" (for postfix servers) in BSW's email configuration is wrong or someone forgot to add the A/CNAME record. --Solbu 07:02, 13 August 2006 (CDT)
I added the record. See if it works now. -- Joe Beaudoin So say we all - Donate 19:09, 13 August 2006 (CDT)
It still does not work. The record does not exist.
(18:05:34) [solbu@solbu-3 ~/tmp]$ host
Using domain server:
Host not found: 3(NXDOMAIN)
(18:05:55) [solbu@solbu-3 ~/tmp]$ host
Host not found: 3(NXDOMAIN)
(18:06:42) [solbu@solbu-3 ~/tmp]$ host
Using domain server:
Host not found: 3(NXDOMAIN) --Solbu 11:00, 15 August 2006 (CDT)
Joe is working on all dns problems. subdomains aren't working also so it might be something other than that. --Shane (T - C - E) 11:21, 15 August 2006 (CDT)
I've contacted the hosting company. Hopefully we should have all the kinks worked out in short order. -- Joe Beaudoin So say we all - Donate 21:12, 15 August 2006 (CDT)

VandalBot Feature

I was scanning administrator help pages on Wikipedia when I stumbled onto the Vandalbot feature in MediaWiki. This apparently allows an admin to use a bot to automatically rollback ALL user contributions. If we could have used this for the last horrific attack, it could have saved some time. Is this something we have available or can use? --Spencerian 09:22, 30 June 2006 (CDT)

Oh, and Edit throttling is a topic in Wikimedia to explore in regards to limiting edits per hour. --Spencerian 09:31, 30 June 2006 (CDT)

The Vandalbot feature seems interesting. To roll back all edits by a specific user would be an impressive tool to have in the box agaisnt vandals and spammers. --Mercifull (Talk/Contribs) 09:50, 30 June 2006 (CDT)
It wouldn't have helped much in this case. The majority of the work came from tracking down final page locations and deleting redirects. --April Arcus 17:02, 30 June 2006 (CDT)
This rollback tool is good, but I don't think we should limit the number of edits a user can make per hour. Several of our regualrs, when on a roll the night an episode airs, post as fast as he did in that attaack, so we shouldn't limit that. --The Merovingian (C - E) 09:50, 30 June 2006 (CDT)
I agree. --April Arcus 17:02, 30 June 2006 (CDT)
I don't fully agree with edit-throttling. I will look into installing the VandalBot, however, as I have a feeling that this will be a good tool for us. (Unfortunately.) -- Joe Beaudoin So say we all - Donate 09:54, 30 June 2006 (CDT)

July 8 Vandalism

I've permanently blocked a user who spammed this board early this morning. I've removed the content (see history). There wasn't much, but just enough for me not to wait to see someone create new work for anyone. --Spencerian 09:09, 8 July 2006 (CDT)


Also, a new member User:Adminoticeboard, vandalism threat? --FrankieG 06:02, 8 July 2006 (CDT)

I'll block him if warranted. It is an odd account name to have, but sticks and stones... ---Spencerian 09:09, 8 July 2006 (CDT)
I would also be tempted to block this user. It should be a rule so as not to impersonate other users or admistrators of this wiki. --Mercifull (Talk/Contribs) 09:23, 8 July 2006 (CDT)
Thinking it over (in my pre-caffienated haze), I concur on your block. --Spencerian 09:37, 8 July 2006 (CDT)

Possible Vandalism

Some wierd stuff going on. --FrankieG 06:07, 8 July 2006 (CDT)

Those users are now blocked. --Mercifull (Talk/Contribs) 09:25, 8 July 2006 (CDT)
Looks like that it could have been a "fishing" expedition. --FrankieG 10:20, 8 July 2006 (CDT)


There is vandel. Need blockage. --Shane (T - C - E) 13:24, 15 July 2006 (CDT)

Thanks Steel. --Shane (T - C - E) 13:38, 15 July 2006 (CDT)


Either I'm crazy or something is wrong with the search function. When I tried to searched "Quotes" it search "Main". --FrankieG 19:06, 30 July 2006 (CDT)

It worked correctly for me just now with the arbitrarily selected sample queries "today", "magic pills", and "starbuck". I'd note that the main namespace is checked by default; perhaps you simply forgot to uncheck it? --CalculatinAvatar(C-T) 02:17, 31 July 2006 (CDT)
Tested it also. Didn't see any problems. I search all the sections by default. (Not the talk pages) Check your preferences. There is a new preference in which I just noticed also called List redirects which is neat cause then we can find stuff to fix redirects. :) --Shane (T - C - E) 02:21, 31 July 2006 (CDT)
In the preferences you can set what namespaces you can search on by default. Its really useful --Mercifull (Talk/Contribs) 03:40, 31 July 2006 (CDT)
As soon as I posted this it started working again. Ok, who is messing with me ;-). Honestly, for it didn't work for some time, while I was working on quotes yesterday. --FrankieG 07:42, 31 July 2006 (CDT)
It's alright we believe you *pats on head* lol --Mercifull (Talk/Contribs) 07:49, 31 July 2006 (CDT)
Thanks, I need all the pats I can get (even for being DUH!) :D --FrankieG 07:56, 31 July 2006 (CDT)