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4:00 PM
don't ask to ask
 
Ano
@Shog9 I meant exactly (and I mean exactly) what I said.
 
The point is, you can always ask (whether or not someone is currently in the room). So just ask your question. (No guarantee you'll get an answer of course, but diving into the question increases your odds a bit by avoiding the unnecessary prelude.)
Kinda like how we don't need a backstory to answer your question on the site.
 
Ano
@JonEricson Problem is, whenever I do that, everyone else says no
That said, can you please take a look at it?
 
4:15 PM
if you know the answer is "no" then you don't need to ask
 
Eh, that would require opening another tab, doing a search, reading a post and then (maybe) ask what extra information you need.
 
Ano
22
Q: Do not refund bounty on question deletion if reputation would be kept on an awarded answer

AnoAccording to this post and its status-bydesign tag, if a question where someone offered and awarded a bounty is deleted, the bounty is refunded back to the bounty owner. In most cases, this isn't much of a problem - either there was no awarded answer, or the bounty awardee loses their award. Tod...

 
@Ano Oh, this again. Yeah. I read it yesterday. Kinda an edge case and not terribly pressing.
 
Ano
@JonEricson You should read the comments on the linked MSO post
 
I have a lot of things to read. ;-)
 
4:19 PM
@JonEricson but obviously this should take priority
 
Ano
I would have to agree with @MartijnPieters here.. If bounty is not removed from recipient then it makes no sense to give back to asker — Suraj Rao 2 days ago
@gparyani as Martijn has already noted, it's possible that Nick was simply wrong ;) A bug labelled a feature might still be a bug. The Powers that Be shall decide, I guess. — Andras Deak yesterday
 
4:37 PM
So I have a disconnect between the urgency on chat and the nature of the problem. I mean, it's a reputation leak that causes reputation to be created out of thin air. But it's also pretty rare at the moment. I suppose the equation would change if people started abusing it.
 
4:55 PM
@Ano yeah, I told you this was being researched already.
Chances are, any change will mean a few thousand users losing reputation.
And no one has yet identified an urgent problem caused by the current behavior
So I don't see any particular reason to rush.
Unless something changes, there's zero reason for you to bring this up again.
 
5:08 PM
@DonaldDuck Patched speedly. Waiting for status-completediDebug 12 mins ago
No code on search page anymore :(
 
People losing reputation is a fine reason to not do anything. Certainly, we'd want to take a peek inside Pandora's box first.
 
Ano
@Shog9 My question would have been, any outcome of the research? Hence the asking "again"
 
So the current policy is, no matter how wrong, a bug won't be spent effort on if it hasn't yet caused any serious problems?
 
That's sort of how triage works... If it's not urgent and not causing issues, you don't divert people from things that are important.
 
Uhh, as a software dev, I believe you know there's a bug priority? ninja'd
 
5:19 PM
... well, you couple that with ease of completion... if it's an extremely simple fix, maybe you do it while you're waiting for something else to compile... otherwise, it goes in queue.
@SensibleAlexander I'm not even a software dev :/
HAHAHA
 
Ano
"I mean, it's a reputation leak that causes reputation to be created out of thin air." That's definitely critical in my book.
 
@Ano Well, you don't get to decide... three (four?) members of staff are saying that it's being looked into and isn't urgent in their opinions... I think I'll trust them... maybe you should, too?
 
user315433
@Ano Are we there yet?... Are we there yet?.... Are we there yet?....
 
What Catija says. It's triage and since this isn't causing great problems, it's not getting importance from the devs.
This bug is also hard to exploit.
 
Ano
Okay, different question: was Nick wrong in tagging the question about general bounty refunds on post deletion as by design? Martijn was wondering. Also, no explanation was provided for the tagging.
 
5:24 PM
You need a decent question and a decent answer to start with, and then you need a superior reason to delete the question.
 
@iDebug Well, we are expending effort on this bug. (I think there are other, bigger things to address first, but I'm not a real manager.)
 
Exceptionally hard to make it all happen at least.
I'm partially for this bug since it's impossible to be exploited, for the time being.
There are reasons for both sides to keep the rep, thus duplicating it.
 
@Ano Are you worried about inflation?
 
Rep is always inflating since upvotes are free :)
 
AAAAAGAGGGGGGGAGAGAGAGAGAGAGAGGAGAGGGAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! -- choo.
2
 
5:30 PM
^ a random post has been accidentally downvoted
 
Ano
I figured out one fairly easy way to exploit this bug, loosely based on an actual (completely different, non-abusive) situation I faced on SO recently. I know a few of you will say it's "easier said than done", but it becomes even easier if you have a friend assisting you.
 
Also, unawarded bounties disappear into the ether too. So, kinda a cosmic balancing act?
 
Ano
1. Through your main account, ask a mildly off-topic question about an obscure topic that looks on-topic at first glance to a site regular unfamiliar with the obscure topic, but is really off-topic. Hope that that question slips through the cracks during its first two days of life.
2. Put up a bounty on that question. (As a side effect, the question cannot be close-voted or RC flagged during the bounty.) During the bounty, have sock A post an answer.
3. Award the bounty to sock A's answer. At any point in the future, have socks B, C, and D upvote it. This assumes no one else votes upon the answer, but you can easily vary the number of voting socks to make sure it has a score of 3 by the time the answer turns 60 days old.
 
Ano
4. Once the answer turns 60 days old, and you've ensured in the days prior that it has at least a score of 3, have sock E (assuming you used 3 voting socks) RC flag the question, and possibly go to a room like SOCVR to point out it's off-topic and that it should be closed. In fact, SOCVR deals specifically with obscure topics.
 
5:38 PM
Honestly, the trick to most abuse scenarios is writing posts that don't get (immediately) deleted. At that point, it's probably easier to just let reputation come naturally.
 
This is overly complicated; you can accomplish the same thing with one sockpuppet and a lot less risk
 
Ano
5. Have your old voting socks downvote your main account's question (you will lose some rep, but it may get cleared later, and even if it doesn't, it will be greatly outweighed). Have those same socks argue that the question should be deleted, and get people to delete vote it.
6. Finally, once the question gets deleted, have sock A put up a bounty on a question the main account answered, and profit!!!
 
And yet, it's just an imaginary internet point...
 
There is far too much work involved for that nonsense.
 
If you poke around a bit, you'll quickly find that all sorts of people have tried pulling shenanigans with bounties and socks, going back years.
 
5:40 PM
(time to sleep! zzz)
 
Ano
@Shog9 "it becomes even easier if you have a friend assisting you." Even more easier if that friend uses a different IP address.
 
The problem is, there's a really easy fix when a moderator finds it: delete all the accounts.
 
Ano
@Shog9 You could also just do it yourself, using a bunch of different computers, with each account using a VPN IP, with the locations all different.
Route sock A's connection through LA, B's through Dallas, C's through London, and so on
 
So to make this work, you want to be as quick and subtle as possible. You definitely don't want to be waiting around for 60 days, as that makes it really easy to notice.
It's already far quicker to generate reputation with sockpuppets by voting/accepting. The biggest value of using bounties with sockpuppets is as a means of transferring reputation from multiple users back to the puppetmaster
 
Ano
@Shog9 Voting is private. The more obscure the topic, the less chance someone will notice. On the off chance your question does get deleted, just somehow argue from the main account that it should be undeleted.
 
5:43 PM
@Ano except that you're paying for a big ol' billboard on the front page of the site
"NOTHING TO SEE HERE. DEFINITELY NO SHENANIGANS!"
 
Ano
@Shog9 Can the question be closed or deleted by normal users while the billboard is in place? No.
 
By the time they have done that for many times, Magisch's tool will detect them... profit breaker.
 
Seven days of scrutiny. Mods can still close bountied questions.
Regular users can flag them.
 
@Ano right. They'd have to flag for a moderator. Who can trivially not just revoke the bounty or close the question, but also delete the users involved thus wiping out what will quickly become months of work.
 
Ano
@Shog9 How would they even know it's a sock? If you use a VPN to route the different socks through different world cities, they may not be detected.
3 mins ago, by Ano
Route sock A's connection through LA, B's through Dallas, C's through London, and so on
In fact, I did this if I got insta-banned while anonymous editing: just switch to another location.
 
5:46 PM
there's a reason why there is a term "voting ring"
 
Ano
But at the point where the bounty is in place, there's no reason to suspect anything. Notice I said the artificial upvotes occur after the bounty ends.
@Shog9 ^^
 
Ok, so... you're creating sockpuppets and making up legit-looking questions and writing legit-looking answers to them and totally not plagiarizing either one 'cause that's a dead giveaway, and not re-using accounts because that's a dead giveaway, and also not ignoring clearly better answers because that's pretty obvious too so sometimes you have to give away a bounty to someone else and lose the rep and the time...
 
(okay, really time to go to bed now... for real...)
 
Ano
@Shog9 "it becomes even easier if you have a friend assisting you.". You could ask a genuine question, and have the friend post a genuine answer.
 
At some point, the actual fraud part of your scheme becomes such a small part of your overall participation that it's all but undetectable... And then you give it up because you're essentially impersonating 4 active, legit users and don't have time for the fraud bit anymore.
 
Ano
5:49 PM
If that friend is in India while I'm in the US, that can't be detected.
 
The goal for most fraud-prevention schemes isn't actually to make fraud impossible - it's to make it unprofitable
man, someone must really hate coffee
Related:
72
A: What exactly is "artificial inflation of reputation", and where is the line?

Shog9First off, I gotta say that I really detest bounties. I hate that we have a bounty system, and generally-speaking I hate that people use it. All bounties are artificial rep inflation! But I also recognize that bounties are sort of a necessary evil, like gambling or usury: if folks are gonna do ...

 
Ano
@Shog9 You could ask a well-worded question and give a high-quality answer? Also, you could come up with a false but very true sounding intention? Those are easy for me.
 
@TimPost just a quick check: Is your comment here trying to dismiss my proposal with a joke? That does not feel nice because I'm serious. (I admit that might not always be true, so I can imagine you are surprised)
 
yeah, it'd be a real shame if folks were posting good questions and high-quality answers just to get rep
 
@rene No. I'm actually going to add that
 
5:57 PM
Oh, okay.
 
But then I thought "Well, what could we show them that might actually stand a chance of deterring them from asking
and then I thought of turtles, and it just went downhill from there
 
How could I have missed that line of thought ...
 
Ano
@Shog9 Why was the 404 page on SO changed? Why do away with the program?
 
that sounds like a question for... Meta!
Hopefully someone has asked it there already, and you can just wait for an answer.
 
Ano
@Shog9 I thought an announcement would have been made about this already, or is planned.
 
6:00 PM
or it's a bug
WHO KNOWS?
 
@rene updated my post
 
Ano
@TimPost I asked you in the other chat room about the current discussions regarding the survey, but I didn't get a response from you.
1
Q: Why was the 404 page changed to not include the "program"?

gparyaniWe're sorry, we couldn't find the page you requested. We did, however, find...wait, what happened to it? It was just here a second ago. The Stack Overflow 404 error page no longer contains that polyglot program in the 404 page. Why was this changed? By the way, that screenshot demonstrates a ...

 
Hi everyone. I know that you can't advertise anywhere but I have this giving page and I was wondering if there was anywhere on the network I would be allowed to put it. I've put it on my profile, is that ok?
 
@JakeSymons in your user profile almost anything is allowed
 
@JakeSymons profile is okay. anywhere else is questionable
 
Ano
@JakeSymons Yep
 
user315433
6:42 PM
I want to print this and hang it over my work desk.
 
user315433
0
A: Issues with recovering a Bitcoin Core 0.14.2 encrypted HD wallet

user3150031I made an embarrassing mistake and all is well. No issues whatsoever.

 
7:33 PM
Donna Choi on February 08, 2018

This post is part of a series on how we’re making Channels, the thinking behind the product, and insight into the process. Read “How We’re Designing Channels” and “Why Channels” for more background info.

In his post, How We’re Designing Channels, Kurtis wrote that this project required a change to Stack Overflow’s information architecture. We created several prototype navigations, narrowed to two, and tested with a group of users. This brought us to the following design direction, with content navigation on the left side: …

 
7:49 PM
Don't forget the right side column, where the ads go.
 
user315433
> In his post, How We’re Designing Channels, Kurtis wrote
 
user315433
Kurtis... sigh
 
I'm slightly perturbed by all of the hanging lines in the sketches.
 
It is just a sketch ...
... fast forward 6 to 8 weeks ...
 
there should be more eraser marks
 
7:53 PM
I like the dangling lines
 
user315433
Wait... wasn't the nav supposed to be sticky, so it'd reliably plant Developer Jobs in the user's face?
 
user315433
How will this work with the left side vertical nav?
 
stick the top-nav at top, stick the left-nav at left
 
user315433
So the vertical line separates no-scroll from scroll.
 
Can we disable sticky-ness?
 
7:55 PM
(though that is NOT how it works in the current prototype, making it sorta the worst of both worlds)
 
user315433
Reminds me of the good old days of <frameset>s
 
uh-huh... That was my first reaction. But, that's also my reaction to all the kids wearing '80s style clothing, so maybe I just have negative associations.
 
> User is viewing on a tablet or mobile (and a private channel):
... So are channels only viewable from SO directly?
 
user315433
Channels are SO-only feature.
 
But with this layout, I don't really think that's necessary.
If the links in the left sidebar are correct, then there's also no "unanswered" any more.
 
8:06 PM
@Catija The question lists still have tab navigation, including "unanswered". We also hope to bring back some of the functionality of the New Nav experiment we did for several years on SO.
 
8:19 PM
@JonEricson That's fair... and the new nav was interesting... Looking again, though... am I missing the "ask question" button somewhere? I don't see it in any of the images.
I'd think that's sort of ... important?
 
Heh. Yes it is. There's a button in the questions view. It won't be on every page, for better or worse.
 
> A new product offering that is a separate entity from Stack Overflow
^^What does this mean? Is that referring to Enterprise?
Or something more similar to Jobs?
 
Could be anything, really. The example image is imagining a Stack Overflow cryptocurrency.
 
8:40 PM
Is Rachel Ferrigno related to Lou Ferrigno? #hulksmash
 
:6676461 I'm guessing that the partially obscured content is designed to imply that.
 
hey, hey
when I delete stupid comments, pretend they're not there
 
I was 90% done with the comment before you deleted.
 
 
2 hours later…
10:44 PM
How long does it take for a user profile image to update in chat, anyway... :/
Ah, better.
 
Since I had to sit down and figure this out, I inflict my pain on you:
(How tagging on the blog affects the bulletin on sites)
 
Nice. Now ... certain people ... can stop complaining about non-relevant blog posts showing up on their non-tech sites :P
 
@Ano nah... too lazy for that. Maybe once in a while. :)
 
@Shog9 So, potentially, anything that had bulletin would also have SO? Or could something have bulletin only?
 
11:01 PM
@Catija bulletin-only is allowed... But since the Technology site category includes Stack Overflow, it would still show up on Stack Overflow
there's effectively no "everything but SO" option
frankly, it'd be a lot simpler if announcement superseded bulletin
 
@Shog9 Yeah, that's what I figured. I'm guessing "bulletin" only exists because you need a way to limit stuff to SO only (jobs related sorts of things, I'm guessing?) but also want to limit stuff to tech sites only... Do the non-SO tech sites complain about posts that're largely only relevant to SO?
 
probably
 
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