Author Topic: New admin needed  (Read 20257 times)

Prof Marvel

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Re: New admin needed
« Reply #200 on: January 22, 2022, 08:10:19 am »
Oh.... my.

Sir i have to remove hat and salute your efforts.


Ah my dear Laz, I appreciate your appreciation, yet you praise this humble tinkerer too much...
I am just doing... What I do! It seems to be my nature to see a problem based on a puzzle, and puzzle it out into some repeatable solution. Baling wire, duct tape and glue. And big globby ugly welds.


Quote
And do please keep rambling. it's an instructive read. Even with that to one side it is good to document the proceedings.

Oooohhhhh thank you sir! You have granted me free reign! But I do hope it will not be like inviting Count Dracul into your house!

Yhs
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MIGRATION to Spare Goggles under way

Sorontar

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Re: New admin needed
« Reply #201 on: January 22, 2022, 10:37:59 am »
Thank you Prof Marvel. You are doing exactly what I was saying we would have to do just to scrape an archive, and are doing it with far more prowess and capability than I was expecting anyone on BG to have (including myself). I tip my towering pile of hats to you.

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Prof Marvel

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Re: New admin needed
« Reply #202 on: January 22, 2022, 10:55:08 am »
Thank you Prof Marvel. You are doing exactly what I was saying we would have to do just to scrape an archive, and are doing it with far more prowess and capability than I was expecting anyone on BG to have (including myself). I tip my towering pile of hats to you.

Sorontar

Ah thank you my dear Sorontar ... Just don't too them too far, I would hate to be the cause of a topping hat tower of Babel ( tho I do Babel too much lol)

You folks have no idea how much just "thanks" means to me lately...

Yhs
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yereverluvinunclebert

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Re: New admin needed
« Reply #203 on: January 22, 2022, 12:58:41 pm »
The trouble is that the end result of the site trawl will most likely be rather huge and that is the problem with static pages. Each individual db extract replicates all the imagery and saves the HTML result to a discrete web-page. Where the old database consists of millions of database entries, all stored efficiently as text and references, each database entry when scraped results in a unique or  potentially even a duplicate page (depending upon the navigation methods used by the site). So, possibly a million or more pages and a lot of downloading yet to go. 100gb might not be the upper limit for the complete download...

36 hours
14.3 GB (15,457,669,120 bytes)
193,288 Files, 8,069 Folders

If the forum statistics are a guide (844818 forum entries) then you are at approximately 18% of the task. Another 650,000 files will need to be generated and 46 or so gigabytes of storage - and another 4.5 days of downloading until complete. I suspect more due to cross links and duplicates.

If the resulting HTML content was pushed to a host and served as an HTML website we would be looking at a big chunk of hosting for a lot of space and that would cost us a lot of cash. I imagine it would be one of the biggest HTML websites on the web...

The end result of this exercise is only going to be a static archive for browsing, at worst possibly a redistributable package via a series of DVDs or perhaps a download but that still requires a location to host the massive archive and bandwidth/space to host it. Cash, cash, cash, all based upon size and bandwidth, certainly many times larger than a simple machines forum database.

If the wayback machine does not have BG as an archive already then it could be hosted by them but the method of its production may not fit their model.

So, please don't imagine for a moment that this download is in anyway a solution to our problems, it is one or two levels level above the worst case scenario for BrassGoggles but at least we might have something.

In the worst case scenario, I can imagine a few people having access to the massive archive and it might be downloadable on demand - but that's it.

Assuming the current scrape and download being underway and then completing successfully, the next step? - we REALLY need access to the server, anything else is just first aid and plasters on a gaping wound. Sorry to be negative but all the positivity around what is being accomplished now needs to be moderated downward. It is a beginning on a road to nowhere but that's about it.

Without access to the current database AND ownership of the old domain then we will need a NEW BrassGoggles under a new domain name.  * The correct road is a new forum under a new domain name *. There is no avoiding this unless Proteus releases all the admin user/passwords AND transfers the domain name to us.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2022, 03:08:20 pm by yereverluvinunclebert »
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madamemarigold

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Re: New admin needed
« Reply #204 on: January 22, 2022, 05:21:55 pm »
I remember a site I use to visit and was a member of back when I first got a decent computer and things started popping off in the late 1990's early 2000's and when the owner died a lady made a copy of the site and it was set up (and titled?) as "Mirror Valkerie etc etc" Would that possibly work as well say for a "Mirror brass Goggles"
site as well?

(I do apologies at showing my ignorance of anything computer'ishly inclined. I am willing but am dumber than a box of rusty gears when it comes to these things.)
Give me nuts, bolts, fiber and glue and I can make due.  ;D

yereverluvinunclebert

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Re: New admin needed
« Reply #205 on: January 22, 2022, 09:12:31 pm »
@Madame Marigold, That is what we are suggesting when building and hosting an HTML version of the site. It would be a non-editable, non modify-able version of the site. A mirror but a static one. The trouble is these static sites built upon a forum can have a million or more pages, one page potentially for each comment. So, a huge mirror site.

In addition to that 'mirror' we would need a brand new blank forum to allow people to post, edit &c unless we can extract the old database to the new. That is what I want to attempt next but that is not easy given the lack of access.

@Others - Who here knows Proteus real name/location/address? Please don't post it here if you do. Do let me know by PM instead.

If the domain name is still non-transferable from Tinkergirl then the old domain name is an eventual SPOF and we need to get the new domain name up and running as soon as possible to allow future transfer.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2022, 09:25:25 pm by yereverluvinunclebert »

Prof Marvel

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Re: New admin needed
« Reply #206 on: January 22, 2022, 09:48:43 pm »
My Dear Uncle Bert

thanks for your input.

We are all fully aware of both the size and the limitations of downloading a snapshot mirror.
As well as the ramifications.

However, the BG community has been "trying" to address this for SOME TIME.... more than 18 months ....

We have been waiting for Proteus... and waiting ... and waiting ...

Further, at last glance, the proposal was "we must form a committee"

We have waited too long, talked too much, and still no one has been able to either contact Proteus or even begin any
possible transfer of control.

after more than 2 years of tryinging, The unfortunate reality is that we are unlikely to ever get owneship/control of brassgoggles.co.uk

I agree, a "scrape" is not the ideal solution.
I "had been" trying to get BG archived to the wayback, but they do not have a good "whole web forum" solution that I can find (yet),
it is designed ... "differently"

Unfortunately we are no longer in an ideal world, and the last month long outage has kicked me in the ass  up the side of the head.

there is WAY too much good stuff here to lose it.


This wget mirror is certainly Not the best solution, but better than nothing and far better than sitting on our collecting posteriors moaning about Proteus,
who could be dead as far as we know.
Not that I am complaining too much as the man is somehow paying nearly $1,000 US to keep BG afloat!
except for the outages.

Please allow me to summarize:
- Trying to obtain ownership of BG has not happened.

- we cannot seem to contact Proteus

- There is the further onus of "ooohhh we MUST honor the wishes and legacy of TinkerGirl"
     (with all due respect, once she dumped gave up maintaining BG, that is moot. THAT is the nature of the WEB )

- Further, once ownership is obtained, the entire site would require extensive renovation/ data conversion
      which is a fairly intensive and time consuming human effort probably resulting in considerable downtime
      and personal work and grief for those involved.

- Then there is the question of who puts in the man hours and how to pay for the forum .

- AND... even with all the discussion NOTHING HAS HAPPENED.


WHAt WE HAVE IN OUR HANDS is this

- Spare goggles which is free and under "our" ( ie someone's) control
- the free tool "wget' which was designed to do unattended recursive mirrors/scrapes
...... wget saves the data in a basic html form which, while not compact, is free from ANY DB requirements
...... fancy linked lists & etc are dandy for a live database, but are way overkill for a viewable archive.
...... ALMOST NO ONE needs to update "the old stuff" ... thats why its called an archive
- the availability of the Wayback as a  free, universally accessible archive
- the ability to upload to the wayback using scripts, thus making it both unattended and with few man-hours expended
- the ability to link to pages from sparegoggles to the wayback as desired
- search functions within the wayback to find stuff, which, while not ideal are at least offloaded to the wayback engines.
- no cost
- the download should complete in a few weeks
- the upload i have no idea how  long, but certainly less than the 2 years we have been putzing around...

- This is not a binary state effort: any OTHER efforts can continue

- at least I am doing SOMETHING



Whilst the wget is slow, large, does create duplicate data, and is cumbersome, it  takes virtually  no effort on my part and is FAR better than losing it forever.

Did I mention disk is cheap? oh yes I did.

when completed, The collective wisdom, data, and etc  of the  the many current and former members will at least be preserved
AND ACCESSIBLE.

Just like in the static pages of a paper library.

At which point Spare goggles could remain as the live site with links to the archive as reqd.


Thus I decided,
DAMN THE TORPEDOES, FULL SPEED AHEAD!

I am Taking Action that will AT LEAST save an archive of BG with a minimum of human intervention is my task.
This does not in any way hinder or take away from any action others may care to pursue

once accomplished, I can then set about to automate an upload to the Wayback.

then I can breath easy.

The rest of you can pursue the ideal solution which may or may not ever occurr,

but at least we have saved what is here, and we have spare goggles for current usage.

AND if desired, somebody else can hack an "export/import"  from the Old to The New
If they want.

Personally, I really dont see the point given the traffic and membership size we currently have,.

prf mrvl
« Last Edit: January 22, 2022, 10:17:10 pm by Prof Marvel »

yereverluvinunclebert

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Re: New admin needed
« Reply #207 on: January 22, 2022, 11:40:12 pm »
Yes I was aware of all that and I am sure you are too but I do not believe others are aware of the problems nor the limitations, so my efforts are to make it clear what needs to be done, to all.

You sound as if you think I am being critical of you, or you are sound very tired of the whole process. I am not in any way critical of your efforts so far. I can understand why you might be tired of the whole thing.

I am just pointing out to the remaining masses out there of the impending doom that is likely to befall BG within nine months or so, same as the last time domain renewal caused problems...

If someone wants to host the old BG in static form then we might as leave it at that. If you can find a host that is happy to store that many gigabytes for low cost then I will leave it at that and call it a day. Personally that surprises me but if you think it will be cheap to host then by all means find a host. I think the Wayback machine will prove a failure but we''ll see.

So, then I can assume this is a last call for BG advocates to step forward and be counted. If we have no quorum, we won't buy an alternative domain and we won't host a future BG MKII. That will be the end of it and we can just watch the current BG fizzle out, which it will, one way or another, either in nine months or sometime after that.

It may be too much work for some, but for my part, given a fair wind and the right sources, I can fairly easily implement a new SMF forum and restore a database. I just need the bricks and mortar. Without these it is a new forum and sparegoggles is as good a place as any if we do not choose to recreate a new BG.

Personally though, I don't think I'll be hanging around there. Just a feeling, not sure why.

Prof Marvel

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Re: New admin needed
« Reply #208 on: January 23, 2022, 02:46:44 am »

You sound as if you think I am being critical of you, or you are sound very tired of the whole process. I am not in any way critical of your efforts so far. I can understand why you might be tired of the whole thing.


What I am tired of, is NOTHING HAPPENING
what I Am tired of is constant discussion and no action, whilst the window of opportunity dissappears.

Quote
I am just pointing out to the remaining masses out there of the impending doom that is likely to befall BG within nine months or so, same as the last time domain renewal caused problems...

We remaining few are all quite aware of the impending doom.
Unlike some I am doing something about it.

Quote
If someone wants to host the old BG in static form then we might as leave it at that. If you can find a host that is happy to store that many gigabytes for low cost then I will leave it at that and call it a day. Personally that surprises me but if you think it will be cheap to host then by all means find a host. I think the Wayback machine will prove a failure but we''ll see.

I have to question if you actually read my last post.

Nobody said this is "the best" solution. But it is "something" and allows us to both
Keep BG contents available (from 2006 to present) and still have a forum to play with going forward.

So, here is a very brief summary:

1)Nobody can get ahold of Proteus for over 18 months.
   Without him, any "kosher" migration/rebuild is impossible
   a firm grasp on reality suggests that BG cannot continue in its present form, nor will it be converted.

2) We already have, and are using, the free sparegoggles forum.
 It is not beautiful, but it works.
 And it is free.
 No hosting costs, multiple admins, none of the BG problems
 The only thing we would be missing is all the old content of BG.

3) After the last several outages I am no longer going to wait for Proteus or a committee

4) I am doing the mirror, on my systems, on my drives, using my bandwidth.
    Thus size, filecount, links, etc are not a concern to anyone.
    Practicality, conversion, sizing, duplications, etc, any other issues are of no consequence.
    As I previously mentioned, I have specialized in resolving problems with no obvious solutions.
    I am a fan of Alexander's solution to the Gordian Knot.

5) When the wget mirror is complete, I will be pruning excess crap out and uploading it to the way back.
   unattended Computerized automation is another specialty of mine.

  Apparently you are not a user of the way back. It is a free and robust system.
  It is completely transparent to users.
  Yes it is static, but... SO WHAT? Live content will be hosted on spare goggles with links to the way back.

6) my efforts do not preclude anybody else from trying to get ahold of Proteus - go for it!


The last Several Years have demonstrated that if nothing is done BG will eventually go down for good.

Age Quod Agis

I solve problems.
I have chosen to do "something" .

To others, I say
You do, what you do best.

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Re: New admin needed
« Reply #209 on: January 23, 2022, 03:33:41 am »
Perfect is the enemy of getting anything done.

So, yes it is well past point where talk and committee is other than rearranging deck chares on the titanic.

You at least are doing something and I don't see how that doing is hurting anything. So. Bully to you good sir.
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Re: New admin needed
« Reply #210 on: January 23, 2022, 12:10:23 pm »
Second that. Thank you for the hard work, Prof Marvel! It's a huge task you're undertaking and one that, in the absence of leadership from the owners of the forum, is absolutely worthwhile to preserve the historical record.
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yereverluvinunclebert

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Re: New admin needed
« Reply #211 on: January 23, 2022, 04:01:46 pm »
Well, if you don't talk, nothing useful will happen.

In any case from this point, I can tell I am annoying someone... :)

So, I will back off, back out and leave you to your own devices. You'll see no more replies from me. TTFN BG! It was nice knowing you.

Prof Marvel

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Re: New admin needed
« Reply #212 on: January 23, 2022, 09:33:23 pm »
Yes, Bert, sidewalk superintendents are annoying.
And frankly of little use.

If all one does is talk
Then nothing is ever accomplished


You do what you do

By all means spend your time and effort criticizing the only rescue vessel that arrives at the Titanic.

And  Have a nice day.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2022, 09:53:43 pm by Prof Marvel »

The Corsair

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Re: New admin needed
« Reply #213 on: January 24, 2022, 03:42:31 am »
I will just chime in as a mod to say let's all keep our heads cool.

The fate of the forum is at stake here, and that's quite a daunting thing to have hanging over us as we work these things out. The point of preserving the forum is to maintain this space where we can enjoy each other's company. Let's make sure we don't spoil our opinions of each other as we undertake that work.

There will be little point in saving the forum if we descend into arguments and all hate each other by the task's end.
Still here, just quieter

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Xenos

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Re: New admin needed
« Reply #214 on: January 24, 2022, 04:14:48 am »
Well, something's getting done. It may not be the ideal, but we're in a far less than ideal situation.

Profile says Proteus was logged in just over 6 months ago. Hasnae been on since. Twitter page is inactive for far longer. Downdetector has their blog website as being down as well. All that said, it is very likely that there will be no contact in the future from them. I surely hope I'm wrong, but last post was in August of 2020.

I doubt any of this is a shocking revelation to anyone here. And it's glad I am steps are being taken to salvage **something** in the (seemingly very likely) event that the Keys to the Kingdom are unable to be obtained.

That being said, are there any provisions with whoever the webhost is in the event of a rogue/missing admin? Who would be the Faceman for that contact if there is? What would be required?

Have we considered hiring a ner'do'well to hack into the mainframe? Surely if they type fast enough on multiple keyboards all will be set to rights, just like in the movies--especially if they're running Linux, and refresh their frames faster than the other guy.  ;D

Throwing out some thoughts, hoping to help a little.

Also, Prof Marvel, you're doing the Machine Spirit's Work, don't let anyone tell you otherwise, and it's greatly appreciated.
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Re: New admin needed
« Reply #215 on: January 24, 2022, 12:12:59 pm »
I don't know how to do the scraping or the Wayback thing; I used to know about stuff like that, but pneumonia (high fever) several years ago and the aging process have robbed me of teh knowledge. All I've been doing lately is getting my old writings copied in "captured" text form from here, and pasted to files on my machine.

I've considered copying and pasting, in the same manner, the Steam London and other RPs, as I can apparently neither find nor build anything better to do the job (at least not so far). Reason is, I'd like to have a resource to refer to for future writing efforts. I'm not criticizing anybody's efforts to retrieve data, just doing my own bit "Just in Case," as it were. Other folks have said they're trying to retrieve the RPs and other stuff with more sophisticated means, so maybe I'm being ridiculously redundant. As I said, I'd like to avoid getting in other people's way. The RP pages take eons to load on my machine in any case, so it might be that the other people's method might be better, given the massive amount of verbiage to be retrieved. I haven't actually done anything but an abortive effort a couple of years ago to restore the Steam London part of the BG  wiki (never completed, I'm sorry  to admit), and just a few days ago, copied and pasted my Between the Threads stuff. I know those two stories are a rather paltry amount of data compared to the massive task that the Prof amd Corsair and others are attempting, but they're my work, so I want to preserve them on my machine, if possible.

If That's bad for the greater archiving effort, please tell me, so that I won't mess something up or get in anybody's way.

NOt complaining or criticizing in any way; I just want, like I said, to be sure not to get in the way and/or cause trouble.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2022, 12:21:01 pm by MWBailey »
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Re: New admin needed
« Reply #216 on: January 24, 2022, 03:12:09 pm »
If That's bad for the greater archiving effort, please tell me, so that I won't mess something up or get in anybody's way.
There is no "Law of Conservation of Information." I cannot imagine how you archiving your own writings could in any way interfere with the other efforts in progress.
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Re: New admin needed
« Reply #217 on: January 25, 2022, 01:20:54 am »
Sorry. Coming late to the discussion. Professor Marvel has my support, regardless of where Brassgoggles ends up and in whichever form. Storing the gigantic set of webpages is just a matter of disk space, and though we may quite likely, as Uncle Bert wrote, find that that it's too big to host, I'd rather have a giant BG Encyclopedia, rather than nothing at all. There's still the issue of copyrights, which without proper transfer would potentially negate the existence of a necromanced Brassgoggles in it's original form. We have to be realistic about this. I care for the people, not the format. God knows we need to reinvent ourselves anyway, if we're going to pass the baton to the next generation. I don't know if you noticed, but a few of us have already left this mortal plane.

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Re: New admin needed
« Reply #218 on: January 25, 2022, 01:49:53 am »
If nothing else even a 'not perfect' arcive is still an archive. The details and optimization can be sorted out later.

Once the library burns it's not like you can scan the ashes to get yoru books back.

So I get where the good professor is coming from. While I second the desire for harmony rather than argument. someone with the knowledge of how and space to store is Doing.

now if someone has a better idea while the ship is running I'd like to hear it put i nthe open since while what the good Professor is doing is /SOMETHING/ that doesn't negate others coming up with other solutions.


Prof Marvel

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Re: New admin needed
« Reply #219 on: January 25, 2022, 05:19:38 am »
RE Proteus whereabouts
as Xenos said, he has been off the air for a long time.
I am assuming he is either deliberately off the air by choice, or incapacitated.
( doesn't dead counts as incapacitated? right? )

I have been ... ahem.. looking for him. quite a bit.

Proteus has done a very very very good job of keeping his actual prescence off the grid.
without Going to extremes" he wont be found.

J- I am pming you about that.

RE the Brass Goggles hosting web server/service

WHOIS tells us

Whois query for: 69.195.142.139

Joe's Datacenter, LLC
Address: 1325 Tracy Ave
City: Kansas City
StateProv: MO

RTechHandle: JPM84-ARIN
RTechName: Morgan, Joe Patrick
RTechPhone: +1-816-726-7615
RTechEmail: joe@joesdatacenter.com

https://joesdatacenter.com/

In general, service providers WILL NOT talk to anyone but the name on the
contract. I know I would not. The world is full of spoofers and scammers
and, well, you can imagine the scenario. It would be like letting a stranger
into your neighbors house because he said its ok.
 
If someone wants to plead our case to them.... good luck.

Xenos said
Quote
That being said, are there any provisions with whoever the webhost is in the event of a
rogue/missing admin? Who would be the Faceman for that contact if there is? What would be required?

Service providors neither know nor care. As long as the bill is paid.
and they generally dont accept payment from anyone except the contract holder.

Quote
Have we considered hiring a ner'do'well to hack into the mainframe?
Surely if they type fast enough on multiple keyboards all will be set to rights,
just like in the movies

Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

oh no not even in jest, the very least tip of the iceburg is a federal felony,
involving numerous lovely whitecollar crime units across state lines, and in fact
is encompassed by the "Patriot Act" invoking more scary shit than you want to know about.

And agencies. many agencies.
local agencies
state agencies
federal agencies
soem federal three letter agencies

There are technically numerous methodologies , just ask any "White Hat" Security Specialty Service.
Wait, no I did not advise that.

prof marbles
« Last Edit: January 25, 2022, 05:57:46 am by Prof Marvel »

Prof Marvel

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Re: New admin needed
« Reply #220 on: January 25, 2022, 05:37:05 am »
....There's still the issue of copyrights, which without proper transfer would potentially negate the existence of a necromanced Brassgoggles in it's original form.


That is actually not an issue. This has already been battled out by the Wayback team et al , and others,
and after the dust setled, it is a simple matter of
- fair use
- personal use
- free public access - ie not charging for profit
- it has been prior published in the public domain
- no copyrights explicitly stated or invoked
- no attempt to claim ownership of any image or verbage ( ie stealing recipes from a recipe site and claiming you wrote them)
- etc
 
it was successfully argued that archiving a website for free personal use or free public access is no different from
videotaping a show for you and friends to watch later. And that has still been upheld.

completely different story if you tried to "archive" an artists web store art images that you did not own.

however, if said artist published those images on a free public website (not owned by him) for people to look at,
by doing so, he has essentially waived any rights to complain, unless someone prints and tries to sell them.
which is a different set of laws.

it's complicated
 from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff”

see what I did there? didja didja?
by using that little quote, which was released into the wild a long time ago, and is ALL OVER the web
I incurred
nothing.

The fact that is was published over the airwaves, then duplicated billions of times
and nobody complained, makes it fair game.

Same as archiveing BG.

Did I mention I I also studied some law?
prf mrvl

 

Prof Marvel

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Re: New admin needed
« Reply #221 on: January 25, 2022, 06:56:14 am »
Oh... And just an FYI

IF one were to utilize an "exploit"
Say, a known method incorporating an FTP "backdoor" and ... other stuff.

That still constitutes an actionable felony regardless of intent.

In other words, "if that house does not belong to you, you cannot go in that house for any reason,
even if you are able to jiggle the bathroom window open."

Prf mrvl

the-wizard

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Re: New admin needed
« Reply #222 on: February 03, 2022, 06:49:02 am »
Hello one and all I am the platform under the forum.
Some details to illuminate the conversation.
The winter outage cause, shut down for non pay.
I have reached out to Proteus several times and have gotten no response.

The resolution, turned back up to allow a graceful exit or rebirth.
I have full access to the database and OS and can archive or update system for the next administrator.

I have no access to the paypal, the domain name, or the Gapps running the email.

Recent changes by google mean the Gapps will no longer be free and you have 3 months to figure a solution to that before it stops working.
Its possible to claim the domain but its going to be close to a year before that can happen.

The system will stay up until march 5th 2022 and be shut down on that date if no decision is reached.

That can be extended if a plan comes together but needs more time to execute.




Prof Marvel

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Re: New admin needed
« Reply #223 on: February 03, 2022, 09:34:05 am »
Greetings The Wizard.
Thank you for your post,
Please stand by.
Prof Marvel

The Corsair

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Re: New admin needed
« Reply #224 on: February 03, 2022, 11:47:42 am »
Thanks for the heads-up Wizard. Could you send me a PM with a bit more detail? It sounds like this should be a mod/admin-level discussion, so we should take it off this thread.