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Comment: Re:Great product... if you need it. (Score 1) 337

by tawker (#34551374) Attached to: SatPhones — Why Can't They Make It Work?
Only one problem w/ SPOT. The transmitter is simplex, it has no way of determining if a message has gotten thru to the orbiting network. I've got a spot myself for when I go off the grid, and usually I only have an 80% message success rate. It's just not 100% positive confirmation that the message went thru.

Comment: Rules can only get so much (Score 3, Informative) 62

by tawker (#33704414) Attached to: Competition Produces Vandalism Detection For Wikis
As the owner of the first vandalism reverting bot in mainstream use - I guess I have a bit of perspective on the whole problem. Originally the bot was designed / created to auto revert one very specific type of vandalism, a user who would put a picture of spongebob squarepants into pages while blinking them (or squidward or some cartoon character) - that was pretty easy to get. Next we went to stuff like full page blanking, ALL CAP LETTER UPDATES and additions of a tonne of bad words, based on common vandalism trends (ie, if a page had 0 profanity on it and someone added a few words it would be reverted, again, not too many false positives. That basically caught the "dumb kid" type of vandalism, and it was amazing how much lower a percentage it caught of total edits when students went back to school. The only problem, at the time, it was a resource pig. The bot was originally running on a P2 300MHz w/ a grand total of 256MB of RAM and the load got to be so high that we had to move it about 5 times. It's interesting to note that at first, many many people were opposed to the idea of automated vandalism revision, it was almost a contest to revert stuff first - and the bot would win a vast majority of the time. However, as time went on, my inbox started getting rather full whenever I had a power outage, cat knocked the cord out of the box hosting it etc. Community reaction to bots doing the grunt work in vandalism really changed. Anyways, just my 2c on it, and just for the heck of it to prove I'm actually the Tawker on wiki,

Comment: Automated vs waiting for a human (Score 1) 116

by tawker (#31317898) Attached to: Developing a Vandalism Detector For Wikipedia
As owner of one of the first vandalism reverto bots out there (although pattern speaking, tawkerbot2 didn't do nearly as much as CB) the first take there was if you remove the perceived vandalism almost immediately people don't get any fun out of vandalizing and stop doing it. There was massive opposition at the offset, but then, as volumes increased, people began to freak when the bot was non operational. Yes, it had false positives which needed to be dealt with, but if I recall correctly, statistically speaking, it was less than a 2% false positive rate - and this was on hundreds of thousands of edits.

Comment: Re:Vote Skew (Score 1) 311

by tawker (#25441205) Attached to: Canada Election Result Bad News For DMCA Opponents
Another great example would look at BC's STV ( which I might add received 58% support but failed a poorly thought out 60% supermajority the Liberals wanted. It's on the ballot again next May here, we need to get out make sure it happens. It's not perfect mind you, but a LOT better than first past the post.

No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation with detail.