The Challenges of Designing a Modern Skill, Part 3
Okay, Wendy’s or Walgreens or whoever, I don’t care who you are, you’re listening to the rest.
Introduction to Part 3
Welcome back one last time to “The Challenges of Designing a Modern Skill,” a series where we discuss all aspects of skill design and development. In Part 1, we talked about OSRS’s history with skills, and started the lengthy conversation on Skill Design Philosophy, including the concepts of Core, Expansion, and Integration. This latter topic consumed the entirety of Part 2 as well, which covered Rewards and Motivations, Progression, Buyables, as well as Unconstructive Arguments. Which brings us to today, the final part of our discussion. In this Part 3, we’ll finish up Section 3 – Skill Design Philosophy, then move on to chat about the design and blog process. One last time, this discussion was intended to be a single post, but its length outgrew the post character limit twice. Therefore, it may be important to look at the previous two parts for clarity and context with certain terms. The final product, in its purest, aesthetic, and unbroken form, can be found here.
3-C – Skill Design Philosophy, Continued
3-12 - Balancing
What follows from the discussion about XP and costs, of course, is balancing: the bane of every developer. A company like Riot knows better than anyone that having too many factors to account for makes good balance impossible. Balancing new ideas appropriately is extremely challenging and requires a great respect for current content as discussed in Section 3-5 – Integration. Thankfully, in OSRS we only have three major balancing factors: Profit, XP Rate, and Intensity, and two minor factors: Risk and Leniency. These metrics must amount to some sense of balance (besides Leniency, which as we’ll see is the definition of anti-balance) in order for a piece of content to feel like it’s not breaking the system or rendering all your previous efforts meaningless. It’s also worthy to note that there is usually a skill-specific limit to the numerical values of these metrics. For example, Runecrafting will never receive a training method that grants 200k xp/hr, while for Construction that’s easily on the lower end of the scale. A basic model works better than words to describe these factors, and therefore, being the phenomenal artist that I am, I have constructed one, which I’ve dubbed “The Guthix Scale.” But I’ll be cruel and use words anyway.
Profit: how much you gain from a task, or how much you lose. Gain or loss can include resources, cosmetics, specialized currencies, good old gold pieces, or anything on that line.
XP Rate: how fast you gain XP.
Intensity: how much effort (click intensity), attention (reaction intensity), and thought (planning intensity) you need to put into the activity to perform it well.
Risk: how likely is the loss of your revenue and/or resource investment into the activity. Note that one must be careful with risk, as players are very good at abusing systems intended to encourage higher risk levels to minimize how much they’re actually risking.
Leniency: a measure for how imbalanced a piece of content can be before the public and/or Jagex nerfs it. Leniency serves as a simple modulator to help comprehend when the model breaks or bends in unnatural ways, and is usually determined by how enjoyable and abusable an activity is, such that players don’t want to cause an outrage over it. For example, Slayer has a high level of Leniency; people don’t mind that some Slayer tasks grant amazing XP Rates, great Profits, have middling Intensity, and low Risk. On the other hand, Runecrafting has low levels of Leniency; despite low Risk, many Runecrafting activities demand high Intensity for poor XP Rates and middling Profits.
In the end, don’t worry about applying specific numbers during the conceptual phase of your skill design. However, when describing an activity to your reader, it’s always useful if you give approximations, such as “high intensity” or “low risk,” so that they get an idea of the activity’s design goals as well as to guide the actual development of that activity. Don’t comment on the activity’s Leniency though, as that would be pretty pretentious and isn’t for you to determine anyway.
3-13 - Skill Bloat
What do the arts of weaving, tanning, sowing, spinning, pottery, glassmaking, jewellery, engraving, carving, chiselling, carpentry, and even painting have in common? In real life, there’s only so much crossover between these arts, but in Runescape they’re all simply Crafting. The distinction between what deserves to be its own skill or instead tagged along to a current skill is often arbitrary; this is the great challenge of skill bloat. The fundamental question for many skill concepts is: does this skill have enough depth to stand on its own? The developers of 2006 felt that there was sufficient depth in Construction to make it something separate from Crafting, even if the latter could have covered the former. While there’s often no clean cut between these skills (why does making birdhouses use Crafting instead of Construction?), it is easy to see that Construction has found its own solid niche that would’ve been much too big to act as yet another Expansion of Crafting. On the other hand, a skill with extremely limited scope and value perhaps should be thrown under the umbrella of a larger skill. Take Firemaking: it’s often asked why it deserves to be its own skill given how limited its uses are. This is one of those ideas that probably should have just been thrown under Crafting or even Woodcutting. But again, the developers who made early Runescape did not battle with the same ideas as the modern player; they simply felt like Firemaking was a good idea for a skill. Similarly, the number of topics that the Magic skill covers is so often broken down in other games, like Morrowind’s separation between Illusion, Conjuration, Alteration, Destruction, Mysticism, Restoration, Enchant, Alchemy (closer to Herblore), and Unarmored (closer to Strength and Defense). Why does Runescape not break Magic into more skills? The answer is simple: Magic was created with a much more limited scope in Runescape, and there has not been enough content in any specific magical category to justify another skill being born. But perhaps your skill concept seeks to address this; maybe your Enchantment skill takes the enchanting aspects of Magic away, expands the idea to include current imbues and newer content, and fully fleshes the idea out such that the Magic skill alone cannot contain it. Somewhat ironically, Magic used to be separated into Good and Evil Magic skills in Runescape Classic, but that is another topic. So instead of arguments about what could be thrown under another skill’s umbrella, perhaps we should be asking: is there enough substance to this skill concept for it to stand on its own, outside of its current skill categorization? Of course, this leads to a whole other debate about how much content is enough for a skill idea to deserve individuality, but that would get too deep into specifics and is outside the scope of this discussion.
3-14 - Skill Endgame
Runescape has always been a sandbox MMO, but the original Runescape experience was built more or less with a specific endgame in mind: killing players and monsters. Take the Runescape Classic of 2001: you had all your regular combat skills, but even every other skill had an endgame whose goal was helping combat out. Fishing, Firemaking, and Cooking would provide necessary healing. Smithing and Crafting, along with their associated Gathering skill partners, served to gear you up. Combat was the simple endgame and most mechanics existed to serve that end. However, since those first days, the changing endgame goals of players have promoted a vast expansion of the endgame goals of new content. For example, hitting a 99 in any non-combat skill is an endgame goal in itself for many players, completely separate from that skill’s combat relationship (if any). These goals have increased to aspects like cosmetic collections, pets, maxed stats, all quests completed, all diaries completed, all music tracks unlocked, a wealthy bank, the collection log, boss killcounts, and more. Whereas skills used to have a distinct part of a system that ultimately served combat, we now have a vast variety of endgame goals that a skill can be directed towards. You can even see a growth in this perspective as new skills were released up to 2007: Thieving mainly nets you valuable (or once valuable) items which have extremely flexible uses, and Construction has a strong emphasis on cosmetics for your POH. So when designing your new skill, contemplate what the endgame of your skill looks like. For example, if you are proposing a Gathering skill, what is the Production skill tie-in, and what is the endgame goal of that Production skill? Maybe your new skill Spelunking has an endgame in gathering rare collectibles that can be shown off in your POH. Maybe your new skill Necromancy functions like a Support skill, giving you followers that help speed along resource gathering, and letting you move faster to the endgame goal of the respective Production skill. Whatever it is, a proper, clear, and unified view of an endgame goal helps a skill feel like it serves a distinct and valuable purpose. Note that this could mean that you require multiple skills to be released simultaneously for each to feed into each other and form an appropriate endgame. In that case, go for it – don’t make it a repeat of RS3’s Divination, a Gathering skill left hanging without the appropriate Production skill partner of Invention for over 2 years. A good example of a skill with a direct endgame is… most of them. Combat is a well-accepted endgame, and traditionally, most skills are intended to lend a hand in combat whether by supplies or gear. A skill with a poor endgame would be Hunter: Hunter is so scattered in its ultimate endgame goals, trying to touch on small aspects of everything like combat gear, weight reduction, production, niche skilling tools, and food. There’s a very poor sense of identity to Hunter’s endgame, and it doesn’t help that very few of these rewards are actually viable or interesting in the current day. Similarly, while Slayer has a strong endgame goal it is terrible in its methodology, overshadowing other Production skills in their explicit purpose. A better design for Slayer’s endgame would have been to treat it as a secondary Gathering skill, to work almost like a catalyst for other Gathering-Production skill relationships. In this mindset, Slayer is where you gather valuable monster drops, combine it with traditional Gathering resources like ores from Mining, then use a Production skill like Smithing to meld them into the powerful gear that is present today. This would have kept other Gathering and Production skills at the forefront of their specialities, in contrast to today’s situation where Slayer will give fully assembled gear that’s better than anything you could receive from the appropriate skills (barring a few items that need a Production skill to piece together).
3-15 - Alternate Goals
From a game design perspective, skills are so far reaching that it can be tempting to use them to shift major game mechanics to a more favourable position. Construction is an example of this idea in action: Construction was very intentionally designed to be a massive gold sink to help a hyperinflating economy. Everything about it takes gold out of the game, whether through using a sawmill, buying expensive supplies from stores, adding rooms, or a shameless piece of furniture costing 100m that is skinned as, well, 100m on a shameless piece of furniture. If you’re clever about it, skills are a legitimately good opportunity for such change. Sure, the gold sink is definitely a controversial feature of Construction, but for the most part it’s organic and makes sense; fancy houses and fancy cosmetics are justifiably expensive. It is notable that the controversy over Construction’s gold sink mechanism is probably levied more against the cost of training, rather than the cost of all its wonderful aesthetics. Perhaps that should have been better accounted for in its design phase, but now it is quite set in stone. To emphasize that previous point: making large scale changes to the game through a new skill can work, but it must feel organic and secondary to the skill’s main purpose. Some people really disliked Warding because they felt it tried too hard to fix real, underlying game issues with mechanics that didn’t thematically fit or were overshadowing the skill’s Core. While this may or may not be true, if your new skill can improve the game’s integrity without sacrificing its own identity, you could avoid this argument entirely. If your skill Regency has a Core of managing global politics, but also happens to serve as a resource sink to help your failing citizens, then you’ve created a strong Core design while simultaneously improving the profitability of Gathering skills.
3-16 - The Combat No-Touch Rule
So, let’s take a moment to examine the great benefits and rationale of RS2’s Evolution of Combat: This space has been reserved for unintelligible squabbling. With that over, it’s obvious that the OSRS playerbase is not a big fan of making major changes to the combat system. If there’s anything that defines the OSRS experience, it has to be the janky and abusable combat system that we love. So, in the past 7 years of OSRS, how many times have you heard someone pitch a new combat skill? Practically no one ever has; a new combat skill, no matter how miniscule, would feel obtrusive to most players, and likely would not even receive 25% of votes in a poll. This goes right back to Section 3-5 – Integration, and the importance of preserving the fundamentals of OSRS’s design. I know that my intention with this discussion was to be as definitive about skill design as possible, and in that spirit I should be delving into the design philosophy specifically behind combat skills, but I simply don’t see the benefit of me trying, and the conversation really doesn’t interest me that much. It goes without saying that as expansive as this discussion is, it does not cover every facet of skill design, which is a limitation both of my capabilities and desire to do so.
3-17 - Aesthetics
I don’t do aesthetics well. I like them, I want them, but I do not understand them; there are others much better equipped to discuss this topic than I. Nonetheless, here we go. Since the dawn of OSRS, debates over art style and aesthetics have raged across Gielinor. After all, the OSRS Team is filled with modern day artists while OSRS is an ancient game. What were they supposed to do? Keep making dated graphics? Make content with a modernized and easily digestible style? Something in-between? While many players shouted for more dated graphics, they were approached by an interesting predicament: which dated graphics did they want? We had a great selection present right from the start of OSRS: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007. People hungry for nostalgia chose the era that they grew up in, leading to frequent requests for older models like the dragon or imp, most of which were denied by Jagex (except the old Mining rock models). But which era was OSRS supposed to follow? Jagex elected to carve their own path, but not without heavy criticism especially closer to OSRS’s conception. However, they adapted to player requests and have since gone back and fixed many of the blatant early offenders (like the Kingdom of Kourend) and adopted a more consistent flavour, one that generally respects the art style of 2007. Even though it doesn’t always hit the mark, one has to appreciate the OSRS artists for making their best attempt and listening to feedback, and here’s to hoping that their art style examination mentioned in June 2020’s Gazette bears fruit. But what exactly is the old school art style? There are simple systems by which most players judge it in OSRS, usually by asking questions like, “Would you believe if this existed in 2007?” More informed artists will start pointing out distinct features that permeated most content from back in the day, such as low quality textures, low poly models, low FPS animations, a “low fantasy” or grounded profile that appeals somewhat to realism, reducing cartoonish exaggerations, and keeping within the lore. Compiled with this, music and sound design help that art style come to life; it can be very hard on immersion when these don’t fit. An AGS would sound jarring if its special attack sounded like a weak dagger stab, and having to endure Country Jig while roaming Hosidius suddenly sweeps you off into a different universe. But coming back to skill design, the art, models, and sound design tend to be some of the last features, mostly because the design phase doesn’t demand such a complete picture of a skill. However, simple concept art and models can vastly improve how a skill concept is communicated and comfort players who are concerned about maintaining that “old school feel.” This will be touched on again later in this discussion under Section 5-2 – Presentation and Beta Testing.
3-18 - Afterword
Now we’ve set down the modern standards for a new skill, but the statements that started this section bear repeating: the formula we’ve established does not automatically make a good or interesting skill, as hard as we might have tried. Once again, harken back to the First Great Irony: that we are trying to inject the modern interpretation of what defines a skill upon a game that was not necessarily built to contain it. Therefore, one could just as easily deny each of the components described above, as popular or unpopular as the act might be, and their opinion could be equally valid and all this effort meaningless. Don’t take these guidelines with such stringency as to disregard all other views.
5-0 - The OSRS Team and the Design Process
If you’ve followed me all the way here, you’re likely A) exhausted and fed up of any conversation concerning new skills, or B) excited, because you’ve just struck an incredible skill idea (or perhaps one that’s always hung around your head) that happens to tick off all the above checkboxes. But unfortunately for you B types, it’s about to get pretty grim, because we’re going to go through every aspect of skill design that’s exterior to the game itself. We’ll be touching on larger topics like democracy, presentation, player mindsets, effort, and resource consumption. It’ll induce a fantastic bout of depression, so don’t get left behind.
5-1 - Designing a Skill
Thus far, Jagex has offered three potential skills to OSRS, each of which has been denied. This gives us the advantage of understanding how the skill design process works behind the scenes and lets us examine some of the issues Jagex has faced with presenting a skill to the players. The first problem is the “one strike and you’re out” phenomenon. Simply put, players don’t like applying much effort into reading and learning. They’ll look at a developer blog highlighting a new skill idea, and if you’re lucky they’ll even read the whole thing, but how about the second developer blog? The third? Fourth? Even I find it hard to get that far. In general, people don’t like long detail-heavy essays or blogs, which is why I can invoke the ancient proverb “Ban Emily” into this post and it’ll go (almost) completely unnoticed. No matter how many improvements you make between developer blogs, you will quickly lose players with each new iteration. Similarly, developer blogs don’t have the time to talk about skill design philosophy or meta-analyse their ideas – players would get lost far too fast. This is the Second Great Irony of skill design: the more iterations you have of a lengthy idea, the less players will keep up with you. This was particularly prominent with Warding: Battle Wards were offered in an early developer blog but were quickly cut when Jagex realized how bad the idea was. Yet people would still cite Battle Wards as the reason they voted against Warding, despite the idea having been dropped several blogs before. Similarly, people would often comment that they hated that Warding was being polled multiple times; it felt to them like Jagex was trying to brute-force it into the game. But Warding was only ever polled once, and only after the fourth developer blog - the confusion was drawn from how many times the skill was reiterated and from the length of the public design process. Sure, there are people for whom this runs the opposite way; they keep a close eye on updates and judge a piece of content on the merits of the latest iteration, but this is much less common. You could argue that one should simply disregard the ignorant people as blind comments don't contribute to the overall discussion, but you should remember that these players are also the ones voting for the respective piece of content. You could also suggest re-educating them, which is exactly what Jagex attempts with each developer blog, and still people won’t get the memo. And when it comes to the players themselves, can the playerbase really be relied on to re-educate itself? Overall, the Second Great irony really hurts the development process and is practically an unavoidable issue. What’s the alternative? To remove the developer-player interface that leads to valuable reiterations, or does you simply have to get the skill perfect in the first developer blog? It’s not an optimal idea, but it could help: have a small team of “delegates” – larger names that players can trust, or player influencers – come in to review a new, unannounced skill idea under NDA. If they like it, chances are that other players will too. If they don’t, reiterate or toss out the skill before it’s public. That way, you’ve had a board of experienced players who are willing to share their opinions to the public helping to determine the meat and potatoes of the skill before it is introduced to the casual eye. Now, a more polished and well-accepted product can be presented on the first run of selling a skill to the public, resulting in less reiterations being required, and demanding less effort from the average player to be fully informed over the skill’s final design.
5-2 - Presentation and Beta Testing
So you’ve got a great idea, but how are you going to sell it to the public? Looking at how the OSRS Team has handled it throughout the years, there’s a very obvious learning curve occurring. Artisan had almost nothing but text blogs being thrown to the players, Sailing started introducing some concept art and even a trailer with terrible audio recording, and Warding had concept art, in game models, gifs, and a much fancier trailer with in-game animations. A picture or video is worth a thousand words, and often the only words that players will take out of a developer blog. You might say that presentation is everything, and that would be more true in OSRS than most games. Most activities in OSRS are extremely basic, involve minimal thought, and are incredibly grindy. Take Fishing: you click every 20 seconds on a fishing spot that is randomly placed along a section of water, get rid of your fish, then keep clicking those fishing spots. Boiling it down further, you click several arbitrary parts of your computer screen every 20 seconds. It’s hardly considered engaging, so why do some people enjoy it? Simply put: presentation. You’re given a peaceful riverside environment to chill in, you’re collecting a bunch of pixels shaped like fish, and a number tracking your xp keeps ticking up and telling you that it matters. Now imagine coming to the players with a radical new skill idea: Mining. You describe that Mining is where you gather ores that will feed into Smithing and help create gear for players to use. The audience ponders momentarily, but they’re not quite sure it feels right and ask for a demonstration. You show them some gameplay, but your development resources were thin and instead of rocks, you put trees as placeholders. Instead of ores in your inventory, you put logs as placeholders. Instead of a pickaxe, your character is swinging a woodcutting axe as a placeholder. Sure, the mechanics might act like mining instead of woodcutting, but how well is the skill going to sell if you haven’t presented it correctly or respected it contextually? Again, presentation is everything. Players need to be able to see the task they are to perform, see the tools they’ll use, and see the expected outcomes; otherwise, whatever you’re trying to sell will feel bland and unoriginal. And this leads to the next level of skill presentation that has yet to be employed: Beta Worlds. Part of getting the feel of an activity is not just watching, it but acting it out as well - you’ll never understand the thrill of skydiving unless you’ve actually been skydiving. Beta Worlds are that chance for players to act out a concept without risking the real game’s health. A successful Beta can inspire confidence in players that the skill has a solid Core and interesting Expansions, while a failed Beta will make them glad that they got to try it and be fully informed before putting the skill to a poll (although that might be a little too optimistic for rage culture). Unfortunately, Betas are not without major disadvantages, the most prominent of which we shall investigate next.
5-3 - Development Effort
If you thought that the previous section on Skill Design Philosophy was lengthy and exhausting, imagine having to know all that information and then put it into practice.Mentally designing a skill in your head can be fun, but putting all that down on paper and making it actually work together, feel fully fleshed out, and following all the modern standards that players expect is extremely heavy work, especially when it’s not guaranteed to pay off in the polls like Quest or Slayer content. That’s not even taking into account the potentially immense cost of developing a new skill should it pass a poll. Whenever people complain that Jagex is wasting their resources trying to make that specific skill work, Jagex has been very explicit about the costs to pull together a design blog being pretty minimal. Looking at the previous blogs, Jagex is probably telling the truth. It’s all just a bunch of words, a couple art sketches, and maybe a basic in-game model or gif. Not to downplay the time it takes to write well, design good models, or generate concept art, but it’s nothing like the scale of resources that some players make it out to be. Of course, if a Beta was attempted as suggested last section, this conversation would take a completely new turn, and the level of risk to invested resources would exponentially increase. But this conversation calls to mind an important question: how much effort and resources do skills require to feel complete? Once upon a time, you could release a skill which was more or less unfinished. Take Slayer: it was released in 2005 with a pretty barebones structure. The fundamentals were all there, but the endgame was essentially a couple cool best-in-slot weapons and that was it. Since then, OSRS has updated the skill to include a huge Reward Shop system, feature 50% more monsters to slay, and to become an extremely competitive money-maker. Skills naturally undergo development over time, but it so often comes up during the designing of an OSRS skill that it "doesn't have enough to justify its existence." This was touched on deeply in Section 3-13 – Skill Bloat, but deserves reiterating here. While people recognize that skills continually evolve, the modern standard expects a new skill, upon release, to be fully preassembled before purchase. Whereas once you could get away with releasing just a skill's Core and working on Expansions down the line, that is no longer the case. But perhaps a skill might stand a better chance now than it did last year, given that the OSRS Team has doubled in number since that time. However, judging from the skill design phases that have previously been attempted (as we’ve yet to see a skill development phase), the heaviest cost has been paid in developer mentality and motivational loss. When a developer is passionate about an idea, they spend their every waking hour pouring their mind into how that idea is going to function,especially while they’re not at work. And then they’re obligated to take player feedback and adapt their ideas, sometimes starting from scratch, particularly over something as controversial as a skill. Even if they have tough enough skin to take the heavy criticism that comes with skill design, having to write and rewrite repeatedly over the same idea to make it “perfect” is mentally exhausting. Eventually, their motivation drains as their labour bears little fruit with the audience, and they simply want to push it to the poll and be done with it. Even once all their cards are down, there’s still no guarantee that their efforts will be rewarded, even less so when it comes to skills. With such a high mental cost with a low rate of success, you have to ask, “Was it worth it?” And that’s why new skill proposals are far and few between. A new skill used to be exciting for the development team in the actual days of 2007, as they had the developmental freedom to do whatever they wanted, but in the modern day that is not so much the case.
5-4 - The Problems of Democracy
Ever since the conceptualization of democracy in the real world, people have been very aware of its disadvantages. And while I don’t have the talent, knowledge, or time to discuss every one of these factors, there are a few that are very relevant when it comes to the OSRS Team and the polling process. But first we should recognize the OSRS Team’s relationship with the players. More and more, the Team acts like a government to its citizens, the players, and although this situation was intentionally instated with OSRS’s release, it’s even more prominent now. The Team decides the type of content that gets to go into a poll, and the players get their input over whether that particular piece makes it in. Similarly, players make suggestions to the Team that, in many cases, the Team hadn’t thought of themselves. This synergy is phenomenal and almost unheard of among video games, but the polling system changes the mechanics of this relationship. Polls were introduced to the burned and scarred population of players at OSRS’s release in 2013. Many of these players had just freshly come off RS2 after a series of disastrous updates or had quit long before from other controversies. The Squeal of Fortune, the Evolution of Combat, even the original Wilderness Removal had forced numerous players out and murdered their trust in Jagex. To try and get players to recommit to Runescape, Jagex offered OSRS a polling system by which the players would determine what went into the game, where the players got to hold all the cards. They also asked the players what threshold should be required for polled items to pass, and among the odd 50% or 55% being shouted out, the vast majority of players wanted 70%, 75%, 80%, or even 85%. There was a massive population in favour of a conservative game that would mostly remain untouched, and therefore kept pure from the corruption RS2 had previously endured. Right from the start, players started noticing holes in this system. After all, the OSRS Team was still the sole decider of what would actually be polled in the first place. Long-requested changes took forever to be polled (if ever polled at all) if the OSRS Team didn’t want to deal with that particular problem or didn’t like that idea. Similarly, the Team essentially had desk jobs with a noose kept around their neck – they could perform almost nothing without the players, their slave masters, seeing, criticizing, and tearing out every inch of developmental or visionary freedom they had. Ever hear about the controversy of Erin the duck? Take a look at the wiki or do a search through the subreddit history. It’s pretty fantastic, and a good window into the minds of the early OSRS playerbase. But as the years have gone on, the perspective of the players has shifted. There is now a much healthier and more trusting relationship between them and the Team, much more flexibility in what the players allow the Team to handle, and a much greater tolerance and even love of change. But the challenges of democracy haven’t just fallen away. Everyone having the right to vote is a fundamental tenet of the democratic system, but unfortunately that also means that everyone has the right to vote. For OSRS, that means that every member, whether it’s their first day in game, their ten thousandth hour played, those who have no idea about what the poll’s about, those who haven’t read a single quest (the worst group), those who RWT and bot, those who scam and lure, and every professional armchair developer like myself get to vote. In short, no one will ever be perfectly informed on every aspect of the game, or at least know when to skip when they should. Similarly, people will almost never vote in favour of making their game harder, even at the cost of game integrity, or at least not enough people would vote in such a fashion to reach a 75% majority. These issues are well recognized. The adoption of the controversial “integrity updates” was Jagex’s solution to these problems. In this way, Jagex has become even more like a government to the players. The average citizen of a democratic country cannot and will not make major decisions that favour everyone around themselves if it comes at a personal cost. Rather, that’s one of the major roles of a government: to make decisions for changes for the common good that an individual can’t or won’t make on their own. No one’s going to willingly hand over cash to help repave a road on the opposite side of the city – that’s why taxes are a necessary evil. It’s easy to see that the players don’t always know what’s best for their game and sometimes need to rely on that parent to decide for them, even if it results in some personal loss. But players still generally like the polls, and Jagex still appears to respect them for the most part. Being the government of the game, Jagex could very well choose to ignore them, but would risk the loss of their citizens to other lands. And there are some very strong reasons to keep them: the players still like having at least one hand on the wheel when it comes to new content or ideas. Also, it acts as a nice veto card should Jagex try to push RS3’s abusive tactics on OSRS and therefore prevent such potential damage. But now we come to the topic of today: the introduction of a new skill. Essentially, a new skill must pass a poll in order to enter the game. While it’s easy to say, “If a skill idea is good enough, it’ll pass the threshold,” that’s not entirely true. The only skill that could really pass the 75% mark is not necessarily a well-designed skill, but rather a crowd-pleasing skill. While the two aren’t mutually exclusive, the latter is far easier to make than the former. Take Dungeoneering: if you were to poll it today as an exact replica of RS2’s version, it would likely be the highest scoring skill yet, perhaps even passing, despite every criticism that’s been previously emphasized describing why it has no respect for the current definition of “skill.” Furthermore, a crowd-pleasing skill can easily fall prey to deindividualization of vision and result in a bland “studio skill” (in the same vein as a “studio film”), one that feels manufactured by a board of soulless machines rather than a director’s unique creation. This draws straight back to the afore-mentioned issues with democracy: that people A) don’t always understand what they’re voting for or against, and B) people will never vote for something that makes their game tougher or results in no benefit to oneself. Again, these were not issues in the old days of RS2, but are the problems we face with our modern standards and decision making systems. The reality that must be faced is that the polling system is not an engine of creation nor is it a means of constructive feedback – it’s a system of judgement, binary and oversimplified in its methodology. It’s easy to interact with and requires no more than 10 seconds of a player’s time, a mere mindless moment, to decide the fate of an idea made by an individual or team, regardless of their deep or shallow knowledge of game mechanics, strong or weak vision of design philosophy, great or terrible understanding of the game’s history, and their awareness of blindness towards the modern community. It’s a system which disproportionately boils down the quality of discussion that is necessitated by a skill, which gives it the same significance as the question “Should we allow players to recolour the Rocky pet by feeding it berries?” with the only available answers being a dualistic “This idea is perfect and should be implemented exactly as outlined” or “This idea is terrible and should never be spoken of again.” So what do you do? Let Jagex throw in whatever they want? Reduce the threshold, or reduce it just for skills? Make a poll that lists a bunch of skills and forces the players to choose one of them to enter the game? Simply poll the question, “Should we have a new skill?” then let Jagex decide what it is? Put more options on the scale of “yes” to “no” and weigh each appropriately? All these options sound distasteful because there are obvious weaknesses to each. But that is the Third Great Irony we face: an immense desire for a new skill, but no realistic means to ever get one.
6-0 - Conclusion
I can only imagine that if you’ve truly read everything up to this point, it’s taken you through quite the rollercoaster. We’ve walked through the history of OSRS skill attempts, unconstructive arguments, various aspects of modern skill design philosophy, and the OSRS Team and skill design process. When you take it all together, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the thought that needs to go into a modern skill and all the issues that might prevent its success. Complexity, naming conventions, categorizations, integration, rewards and motivations, bankstanding and buyables, the difficulties of skill bloat, balancing, and skill endgames, aesthetics, the design process, public presentation, development effort, democracy and polling - these are the challenges of designing and introducing modern skills. To have to cope with it all is draining and maybe even impossible, and therefore it begs the question: is trying to get a new skill even worth it? Maybe. Thanks for reading. Tl;dr: Designing a modern skill requires acknowledging the vast history of Runescape, understanding why players make certain criticisms and what exactly they’re saying in terms of game mechanics, before finally developing solutions. Only then can you subject your ideas to a polling system that is built to oversimplify them.
Report to appropriate authorities - Report the case to the appropriate authorities, for them to be able to have it looked into.
Change your login details - If you are still able to login to your account then follow the normal procedure to reset your password and other security information. Enable two-factor authentication. This should lock the criminal out of the account.
Notify the exchange/provider - If you have purchased or are storing your currency with a service provider then let them know about the breach and the fraudulent transactions. They may be able to retain some information about the transaction that could come in useful in an investigation.
Will I Recover my Stolen Bitcoin? Once your virtual currency has been stolen it is incredibly unlikely that you will be able to recover it. In theory, it’s possible to track your stolen bitcoin by monitoring the blockchain – in practice, however, this is made difficult by both the anonymous nature of the currency and the fact that the thief will most likely use a bitcoin exchange to trade the currency for normal cash straight away. However, money does leave a trail and you may be able to follow it to the identity of the criminal. How to Recover Stolen Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency
Check your devices for malware - It is worth considering that a malicious software infection may have led to the hacker accessing your currency. Scan the devices you use to handle your currency and make sure they are clean. You can follow our guide on checking for and removing malware here.
Call your bank - If the transaction had related costs that hit your bank accounts - such as transaction fees or deposits - then contact your bank immediately and let them know it is an unauthorized/fraudulent transaction.
Follow the money - You can follow the transactions of the wallet address that your funds were scammed into. If you notice the scammer attempt to transfer funds from the wallet to cryptocurrency exchanges to sell for fiat currency, report to the relevant exchanges immediately. An opportunity to catch the scammer is to follow the money trail through blockchain explorers and trace your lost funds. You can use browser-based blockchain exploring software such as https://blockexplorer.com to ‘follow’ the payment through to an end bitcoin address. Once you have this address you can check whether the owners of the end address(es) appear on http://bitcoinwhoswho.com/. In order to trade crypto to regular money on most popular exchanges, the thief would need to submit KYC (Know Your Customer) information, such as names, addresses, and ID information. Contacting the exchanges can potentially help you to track down the scammer’s identity. This is another reason why it is important for you to file a police report as soon as the incident has taken place.
Hire a Verified Recovery Expert - If you are willing to pay a decent amount for the return of your funds there are websites where you can post a bounty. Experienced blockchain searchers will investigate the theft and see if they can recover the funds for a price. Check out the list of verified recovery experts.
How to Avoid your Cryptocurrency Being Stolen in Future
Don’t talk publicly about owning virtual currency - If it is easy to work out that you own a cryptocurrency from your social media activity then you are much more likely to be a target.
Use multi-factor authentication - Ensure that you have multi-factor authentication enabled. Use an authenticator app rather than the SMS option. If the option to disable SMS authentication exists then do it.
Use a new email address and complex password to set up the account - A new, clean email address that you will only use for the virtual currency account is best. This reduces the chance of you being targeted via your email account.
Usea ‘cold-wallet’ - Keep your cryptocurrency off the internet, in a "cold wallet." "Cold wallet" is not a brand, it's a concept of storing bitcoins offline (not connected to the internet) so that it reduces the opportunities for hackers to steal via online techniques.
Spread your investments across exchanges - A number of exchanges have been breached. Spread your investments across exchanges to minimize the impact.
Get secure - Take time to improve your general online security. Use sites like getting Safe Online and Cyber Aware to understand what good security looks like and make changes. I was personally able to recover my lost bitcoin with the help of Express Recovery Pro – [email protected]
A few weeks ago on the 12th of March, the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) provided the public with information pertaining to an unregulated binary options broker, Plusoption, operating under several brands, which have been providing professional investment services to UK residents without regulatory authorization.
No FCA License
The ombudsman warned that Plusoption has no association of any kind with any FCA-licensed entity. Additionally, they mentioned that it specifically operated and targeted UK citizens without a license. Plusoption runs through www.plusoption.com and has implemented numerous associated brands including Redfield Markets, Tradeplus Solutions Ltd and ACV Operations S.R.L. The FCA cautions that this is a prototypical move for a fraudulent company to gain the confidence of unsuspecting consumers. The FCA has been very active in cracking down on binary options and in addition to issuing regular warnings, it published in January a list of 94 firms that offer trading to UK investors without approval. In step with practices across most of the European Union, the FCA has incorporated certain kinds of binary options within its regulatory perimeter together with the implementation of the MiFID II, which came into play back on January 3, 2018.
The binary options blacklist
The watchdog keeps a “blacklist” of binary option brokers based upon evidence received from customers, various partner agencies and from monitoring the online market.
Further action implemented
It is important to note the FCA is not the only government agency to move against binary options. In what the UK police categorized as the largest operation of its kind, officers pounced on the headquarters of 20 binary options brokers in order to examine their compliance forms and gather intelligence on various forms of investment fraud.
More than 80k Pounds a day lost to binary options
The ombudsman’s research in this area discovered the majority of investors who trade in binary options lose their funds and that traders lost an average of £87,410 per day over the duration of 2017. Broker Complaint Registry has received numerous complaints pertaining to this broker If you have fallen victim to a cryptocurrency scam, send a complaint to at [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]), and we will do our very best to get into contact with you as soon as we can to initiate your funds recovery process. Visit www.fundsrecovery247.com for more information or Contact - [email protected] com.
The FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) finally got around to updating its list of unregulated online trading brokers. This list includes both forex and binary options unregulated brokers. Despite the fact, these brokers supposedly offer numerous services they are located in financial havens such as Seychelles, the Marshall Islands or Vanuatu and provide little to no information as to who they really are, and which parent company operates them. So, without further ado let’s introduce these fraudulent companies
Owned by LOK Marketing Ltd, this forex broker is supposedly located in Vanuatu, a tax haven for any illicit business. Apparently, SolidCFD appears to be forging a path for current forex brokers and others that would like to set up shop in the country, whose major exports are frozen fish and distinct floating edifices. However, upon further inspection, the SolidCFD has two other offices registered on their website. The first is under the name MGNC Marketing Ltd. and it is located in Cyprus. A quick google search tells us all that we need to know. MGNC Marketing LTD (Solid CFD) cold-calls potential investors and offers them unauthorized or prohibited financial services. An additional address is attributed to an area in West London. However, upon further review, there is no real company located there. Unsurprisingly no company is registered in the UK under SolidCFD, LOK marketing or MGNC Marketing, which implies that the broker has no physical presence in the United Kingdom. Furthermore, there is a whole list of negative reviews pertaining to SolidCFD. This includes clients being unable to withdraw their funds, aggressive salesmen and not being able to log back into an account once a withdrawal request is made.
Registered in the Marshal Islands, the company supposedly has an office in North London. However, the address that is provided is used by a company that enables other companies to register their business under their address. This obviously implies that StratX has no workers at its given address. Just by merely glancing at a few of the reviews tells you that StratX Markets is operated by a bunch of con-artists. In fact what is more alarming, a number of former clients are claiming that StratX personnel are operating a fraudulent fund recovery company called Linrow Clarion Solvency that claims they can recover money that was lost to illegitimate brokers like Stratx Markets.
Options Stars Global
Last but not least this “broker” is registered in Samoa, but apparently has some sort of a branch in Cyprus that is regulated by CySEC. That is patently false. Additionally, although the website has a U.K. phone number none of their of operations occur in the country. Not only Are there plenty of negative reviews about them, there is a dedicated Facebook page against them Users of the website report an inability to withdraw funds, threatening salesmen, and pushy brokers who tempt traders into depositing more cash into their accounts. The company has done so badly they even have a Facebook page against them.
If you have fallen victim to a cryptocurrency scam, send a complaint to at [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]), and we will do our very best to get into contact with you as soon as we can to initiate your funds recovery process.
Since Bitcoin was created back in 2008, there have been numerous shady individuals and companies for that matter that have used the hype to their advantage to facilitate cryptocurrency scams. These shrewd schemes conned thousands upon thousands of people who knew virtually nothing about cryptocurrency but wanted to invest in this alluring venture. 2018 is underway but here is this year’s top cryptocurrency scam thus far:
Just a little over two weeks ago BTC Global collapsed and Broker Complaint Registry has received numerous complaints pertaining to this fraudulent broker. The company claimed to be an exclusive platform providing unparalleled earnings through valid binary trading services, but that was unfortunately not the case. Here are excerpts from there website: “We are backed by our founding trader at Steven Twain.” This “Steven Twain” character is not a real individual. “Steven has 6 years of experience trading binary options with consistent success, over the last 3 years he has started providing trading services for other large account holders ($10,000+ only).” I have not come across any trading history pertaining to Steven Twain. “Through our partnership with Steven, BTC Global have secured access to guaranteed 14% WEEKLY returns from as little as $1,000 in your account. We have also secured extra returns to pay out as referral commissions should you decide to share this opportunity with others! There are very few legitimate opportunities to get the kind of returns on investment BTC Global is offering so we encourage you to get involved as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.” How can a legitimate company guarantee any sort of returns? In BTC Global there were two ways one could earn:
Return on investment, which was 14% of the dollar amount that was invested, paid weekly in BTC.
Team shares or commissions on the people that the investor recruited or referred (think of a pyramid scheme).
BTC Global – a textbook Ponzi scheme.
The definition of a Ponzi scheme is as follows: A deceitful investing scam guaranteeing high rates of return with little to no risk to investors. The Ponzi scheme produces returns for earlier investors by procuring new investors. BTC Global certainly fits the bill Investment values generally go up and down over a duration of time, especially the ones that offer potentially high yields. If an investment consistently generates the same returns despite the market conditions or guarantees these high returns that is cause for pause. Additionally, Ponzi schemes usually involve investments that have not been registered with the SEC, FSB or any other regulatory agency. Obviously, registration is pivotal as enables investors to access pivotal information pertaining to the firm’s management, services, products and most importantly finances. Lastly and most importantly if you do not receive a “scheduled” payment or incur difficulty when trying to cash out your investment that is the biggest red flag. Those who promote Ponzi schemes regularly ask investors to “roll over” investments and often promise returns in excess of the amount that was rolled over.
How to protect yourself from a cryptocurrency scam
Although we have just talked about the BTC Global scam, this is not the only one. The very best way to ensure your funds are safe is to know how to identify and avoid ponzi schemes like BTC Global. Stay far away from ICOs, unidentified companies and companies that do not provide suitable information. Be sure that creator’s names and all team members are publicly listed and verified and, if reviews give consistent negative feedback it best to avoid that cryptocurrency broker. If you have fallen victim to a cryptocurrency scam, send a complaint to at [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]), and we will do our very best to get into contact with you as soon as we can to initiate your funds recovery process. Visit www.fundsrecovery247.com for more information or Contact - [email protected] com.
These are the rules, everything that pertains to everyone who wishes to make any sort of interaction within this sub. Per the last META, clarity has been given in regards to bulk-type sales. Since EVERYTHING is here for you all to read, we expect there to be less issues with rule infractions and general confusion as to what’s acceptable, and what isn’t. We devote our time and energy for this sub to continuously never reach a balance amongst the users. Our goal is to ensure the subreddit itself sticks around, along with trying to keep the userbase from being taken advantage of. Our rules make sense to some, and none to others but they serve a purpose. Regardless of how you feel, these are the rules and it is expected they be followed. At the time this post becomes visible, all of what’s listed below will be enforced as a hard rule, no more wrist slaps or babysitting.
Reddit Rules regarding Firearms No firearm sales. No Ammunition sales. No primers or gunpowder, as they are considered explosives. No selling or distributing of files related to 3D printed firearms. If you have no idea what this is referring to, please educate yourself before posting anything related to 3D printing files by reading up on them at the following websites:
Firearms: A Firearm is considered the serialized receiver or assembly of a working firearm. If you are unsure if an item is prohibited, contact the mods prior to posting it. 80% lowers and completion kits are not included in this prohibition as they are not firearms yet. Bump-Stocks are considered Machine Guns by the ATF and are therefore prohibited from trading on the sub. Binary Triggers, Cranks, and Rubber bands and other such items are not (currently) affected by this prohibition (unless Admins change their minds later). Explosives & Hazmat: Gunpowder and Live Primers are considered as explosives and Hazardous Materials and are therefore prohibited from trade. Ammunition: Reddit Admins use the ATF definition of ammunition which is as follows:
The term “Ammunition” means ammunition or cartridge cases, primers, bullets, or propellant powder designed for use in any firearm. The term shall not include (a) any shotgun shot or pellet not designed for use as the single, complete projectile load for one shotgun hull or casing, nor (b) any unloaded, non-metallic shotgun hull or casing not having a primer. 27 § 478.11
Brass and projectiles posted here will result in an immediate suspension by Reddit Admins, so if we find it first we will remove it. Any violation of these above rules will result in a ban by us, or a site-wide suspension by Admins and their Anti-Evil goosesteppers. Anyone attempting to skirt Reddit Rules will be given a 7 day ban on the first offense, a 30 day ban on the second offense, and a permaban thereafter due to the fact that Admins will use the bad behavior of a few to justify shutting down the sub for good.
This sub is for private sales only. Vendors must post inGundealsorGunAccessoryVendors Clarification on Vendor Rule: Don't include links to your business website, we are not a referral system, do your business on here. Please see the Reddit Self Promotion page for details on that. Reddit admins don't like you cutting in on their ad revenue. We do not support VENDORS, I.E. if you buy another company's products in bulk (such as Magpul), and just act as a distributoreseller, your business is not welcome here. That is /GunDeals territory. If you have an FFL, you cannot do business on here because are considered a firearm business, and cannot solicit any transactions involving firearms. The limit on bulk sales/bulk items is 10, that means 10 of the same individual item can be posted for sale or trade. If you have 10 Geissele triggers, but only 4 are flat and 6 are curved, that will still count as 10, as they're the same branded trigger and likely purchased at the same time. If there are 3 OD Green items and 7 FDE that are otherwise the same item, that still count as 10. If you post 10 items of the same in one day, 10 the next, and 10 the following day after that, that will be viewed as vendor activity. To keep such things from happening, it will be limited to one sale of this type, per user, per week. The ONLY EXCEPTION to this rule is old magazines, as it is common for users to purge off part of their mag collection. Please follow these rules when creating a listing: Prefix your title with the transaction type: [WTS] - Want To Sell [WTB] - Want To Buy [WTT] - Want To Trade [GIFT] - Gun It Forward Tactically Suffix your title with your state (e.g. (GA) or (NY)). This will help incentivize local sales and could impact shipping costs. Also, it could affect legality of some items such as magazines and those accessories deemed as "assault weapon" parts by certain states. Postings should all follow this general format as an example: "[WTS] M16A2 Carry Handle - $60 (VA)". If you do not list the price in the title, ensure that it is listed in the comments. Include a Dollar sign ($) or the bot will remove it. Postings without a price value may be removed after a period of time. WTB posts require valid offering prices, and will be removed if they do not have one. Postings with prices such as "$1 for the bot" or "$1,000,000 for the bot" that are intended to bypass our rules and automated removal system instead of posting a valid price, will be removed and a temporary ban will be issued immediately. Postings without pictures will be removed immediately, unless these posts are WTB. Do not post an item for sale if you do not have it in your possession at the time of posting. This includes an item you may have purchased elsewhere, you decided you don’t want it and it’s on its way to you, but it has yet to arrive. If you don’t have it, don’t post it. If you post stock images of an item in your WTS/WTT post, that will result in a temp ban if it is your first time doing so, possibly permanent if done on multiple occasions. If you post images of someone else’s photos for “your” item, this will be viewed as scamming tactics and you will receive a permaban, immediately. If you drop your price, use the Price Drop/NSFW Tag. If your items sell, use the Complete/Spoiler tag. Please don't delete the price of an item if it sells, because that can be used by people in the future to gauge what similar items may be worth. If your post does not receive the traction you're wanting, refrain from reposting within a 24 hour time frame. You may repost after the 24 hours has passed, and a price drop is not required, but encouraged. Deleting your post and reposting afterwards is viewed as trying to evade this rule. It will be met with removal and a temp ban, possibly longer if done more than once. Want to Buy/Sell/Trade (WTB/WTS/WTT): These transactions all require a price value for the item. If a listing does not include a price it may be removed and re-listed once it is in compliance. Giving an unrealistic price to avoid this rule will be treated as a rule violation. Examples of this are "WTB scope, $1" or "WTT Upper, $9999". Additionally, you must list what you are looking for in [WTT] posts. Fielding offers, testing the waters or any other post attempt to try and skirt this rule will result in the post being removed. Gifting items forward: (GIFT) If you have small odds and ends that aren't worth much and the cost of shipping is prohibitive, you are allowed to offer items for free. The gifter is allowed to request compensation for shipping only, and can request a flair upgrade in the feedback thread for the transaction. If the receiver pays for shipping, they can also request a flair upgrade, but if they get the item for free, no flair upgrades for the recipient. Flair upgrades of this type are limited in order to avoid abuse, i.e. giving away 20 A2 grips in order to get +20 rep is not authorized. Accounts with 5 or less flair (you must have at least 6) on GAFS are NOT eligible to participate in giveaways, due to users from other subs coming to win stuff without ever participating in GAFS, or GAFS users making multiple new burner accounts to enter giveaways. New accounts (under 30 days of age) are not able to create WTS or WTT ads, nor should they offer things for sale in the comments of other peoples' posts. To prevent scams, new users can only post Want to Buy threads. If you want to attempt to bypass this account age requirement, you must be able to provide moderators evidence of a good trading history on another reputable online forum, such as Calgunner or AR15.com where you can show a longstanding history of positive trade feedback. If this is completed, moderators may provide an exception and allow WTS/WTT posts to be submitted by new users, with a warning caveat to any potential buyers to avoid using risky payment methods until the seller has had a chance to develop a positive trading reputation. Any new accounts that utilize this subreddit that create names that are similar to a mods (i.e. sxbbzxro, sxbzxxro, subzxro, etc.) may be removed from participating here due to the possibility of confusing/having the ability to manipulate users into thinking they are in fact a mod. Price Checks (PC): Because PC listings were abused by many to bypass the price rule, fish for "best offers", and otherwise snipe sales, they have been disabled after overwhelming support from the community. We have a feedback system in place. The current month's flair thread is On the Sidebar, and is usually Stickied at the top as well. Check there for the specific directions. DO NOT create a thread for a sale that has already happened, or has happened in a different sub/website/forum etc. The Flair system is only for feedback for exchanges in /GAFS. Any attempts to game the flair system will be seen as an attempt to establish trust for scam purposes, and will be banned accordingly. Law Enforcement: Be aware, we do not offer exemptions to any individuals who may have LE credentials. Due to the difficulty of verifying employment, possible job changes, leaving/termination from said job, etc. we treat all users as civilians. Any local and federal laws apply to all individuals who utilize this subreddit. Read up and stay up-to-date on these laws and regulations, you will be expected to know and abide by them. Failure to do so may lead to a ban. External Sales: NO LINKS to your external sales on TacSwap, eBay, Facebook, Armslist, Gunbroker, etc. Sales in multiple locations are allowed, but don't just provide a link to sale elsewhere. Make your listing here. The only caveat to these rules is to show a price point elsewhere if someone here has an item that is grossly overpriced, or is looking for an item. This sub is not a "highest bid gets the item" format. There are also no lotteries for items i.e. 10 chances at $10 each to purchase a $75 flashlight with a random number generated to pick the winner. High Value or Counterfeit Items: To deter the sale of counterfeit products, any item that is serialized must have a picture of the serial. As firearms are not allowed for sale here, this shouldn't present a privacy issue to anyone. This policy covers items such as EOTechs, Aimpoints, Trijicons, etc. Along with this, if you're selling anything that's "new-in-box", you must unseal it and show the contents of said box/package. No Stolen Property. If you are selling a knockoff item, indicate that fact. Items such as bipods, BUIS, flashlights, holsters, and scopes/optics are known to have some gray market options. KAC USMC Stamped Rear Sights are not stolen property and are allowed on here, unless another member can provide proof from a DoD source that they are in fact considered stolen government property. All GAFS logos, icons, banners and visual content related to this subreddit, belong to the moderator team. Do not create/manufacture/produce items with this content onto itself. It is forbidden to profit off the GAFS name, unless discussed with the modteam in advance and given permission.
The official policy is for the mods to not get involved with issues regarding lost packages, provided that the parties can prove it was actually lost. If you feel like insurance should be added to your transaction, please take care to add that before finalizing terms.
WARNING: Be aware of all state and federal laws that apply to you and any parties involved in a firearms-related transaction. You are responsible for knowing and following the law. This Subreddit and its staff are in no way responsible for informing you of the law, but will make every effort to do so. As a buyer, be familiar with your state/county/city rules. As a seller, do not knowingly sell prohibited items to areas that have laws against your items, such as certain capacity magazines. Any person, buyer, or seller, who knowingly solicits a trade that is illegal for them may be subject to a ban. Respect all federal and local laws for any transaction you take part in. This includes federal drug laws. Drug activity tied to your account tied to any other issues is sufficient grounds for banning. Here is the ATF Letter that explains why any suspected drug activity, including marijuana, is grounds for immediate banning from the sub. Illegal gun activity such as unregistered SBRs, AOWs, destructive devices, DIAS or lightning links in your reddit profile (in or outside the sub) can be reason for banning. Do not spread bad information regarding laws. Any item you post for sale is expected to be in your current possession. If this is not the case, you must specify this in the listing. Circumstances such as selling for a friend is allowed, but pictures of your items are required to be shared to the public. You do not need an imgur.com account in order to host pictures of your item on imgur, so that is not an excuse. If you are scammed, inform the mods as soon as you can so that we may investigate and ban the offending parties if necessary. Do not post the personal information of any Reddit users. The exception to this is if someone uses PayPal to scam a member, this information may be sent to the mods to prevent others from also being scammed. Doxxing people will not be tolerated. Do not antagonize posters about their price, opinion, or sexual orientation (etc). This translates to be a general rule of "no dickish behavior". If you disagree with someone's price, and can post evidence that their item has a current or recent better price elsewhere such as a link to a vendor, that information is authorized to be posted. That is not antagonism. People may comment on prices and offer counter-offers, as long as behavior is not insulting or unprofessional. If you feel that someone is being unprofessional regarding pricing, report it and the mods will evaluate the case. They are the determining factor whether behavior warrants muting, temporary banning, or permanent banning based on severity of incident, past behavior, and other factors. If your behavior does not contribute towards the positive image of firearms ownership, your participation in this subreddit may not be welcome. Soliciting any type of transaction regarding prohibited items may result in a ban. This includes Price Checks of firearms and other prohibited items, as this can be seen as an attempt to garner PM offers for prohibited items. Remember that there is no expectation of privacy from Reddit Admins, and that they have shown in the past that they have access to private message histories. As a general guideline, if a buyer wants to use PayPal Goods and Services (G&S) rather than Friends and family (F&F), it is expected that they will absorb the ~3% fee for the increased protections. However, PayPal F&F, Zelle, and Venmo and similar payment methods are discouraged here due to a lack of protections. All rules and guidelines are subject to change. The moderators have the final say in all issues in relation to the rules and how to enforce them.
Binary Options Review; Best Binary Options Brokers
Binary Options Review; Best Binary Options Brokers We have compared the best regulated binary options brokers and platforms in May 2020 and created this top list. Every binary options company here has been personally reviewed by us to help you find the best binary options platform for both beginners and experts. The broker comparison list below shows which binary trading sites came out on top based on different criteria. You can put different trading signals into consideration such as using payout (maximum returns), minimum deposit, bonus offers, or if the operator is regulated or not. You can also read full reviews of each broker, helping you make the best choice. This review is to ensure traders don't lose money in their trading account. How to Compare Brokers and Platforms In order to trade binary options, you need to engage the services of a binary options broker that accepts clients from your country e.g. check US trade requirements if you are in the United States. Here at bitcoinbinaryoptionsreview.com, we have provided all the best comparison factors that will help you select which trading broker to open an account with. We have also looked at our most popular or frequently asked questions, and have noted that these are important factors when traders are comparing different brokers:
What is the Minimum Deposit? (These range from $5 or $10 up to $250)
Are they regulated or licensed, and with which regulator?
Can I open a Demo Account?
Is there a signals service, and is it free?
Can I trade on my mobile phone and is there a mobile app?
Is there a Bonus available for new trader accounts? What are the Terms and
Who has the best binary trading platform? Do you need high detail charts with technical analysis indicators?
Which broker has the best asset lists? Do they offer forex, cryptocurrency, commodities, indices, and stocks – and how many of each?
Which broker has the largest range of expiry times (30 seconds, 60 seconds, end of the day, long term, etc?)
How much is the minimum trade size or amount?
What types of options are available? (Touch, Ladder, Boundary, Pairs, etc)
Additional Tools – Like Early closure or Metatrader 4 (Mt4) plugin or integration
Do they operate a Robot or offer automated trading software?
What is Customer Service like? Do they offer telephone, email and live chat customer support – and in which countries? Do they list direct contact details?
Who has the best payouts or maximum returns? Check the markets you will trade.
The Regulated Binary Brokers Regulation and licensing is a key factor when judging the best broker. Unregulated brokers are not always scams, or untrustworthy, but it does mean a trader must do more ‘due diligence’ before trading with them. A regulated broker is the safest option. Regulators - Leading regulatory bodies include:
CySec – The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (Cyprus and the EU)
FCA – Financial Conduct Authority (UK)
CFTC – Commodity Futures Trading Commission (US)
FSB – Financial Services Board (South Africa)
ASIC – Australia Securities and Investment Commission
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Summary of Tau-Chain Monthly Video Update - July 2020
Karim Agoras Live: Five functionalities complete: 1. Registration 2. Login 3. User Profile Page 4. Calendar 5. Categories List 6. Wallet Screen Payments: Decided that implementing lightning would be too complex. Instead, we decided to implement our own micropayment mechanism using the native BTC multisig addresses. We are going to use the Omni wallet for payments. TML: Continued debugging, getting a TML demo and test cases ready. Hiring: More hiring efforts to increase team size. Timelines: Committing ourselves to a release of Agoras Live and a basic version of discussions in TML in 2020. Umar: Been working on making improvements to the context free grammar parsing. We now are able to add constraints to productions in the grammar, allowing us to recognize grammars that are context sensitive. Developed test cases for that, too. Tomas: Fixed issues in TML and ran several steps in a TML program. Now adding more tests to make sure everything is stable and won’t break. Also been working on a TML tutorial, a recorded script based on the intro to TML which was contained in the TML Playground. Also new features are going to be covered such as arithmetics. Kilian: More outreach & follow-ups to potential partner universities. Positive response by a professor based in Toronto, presented to him our project. Also, response by KULeuven, Belgium, who unfortunately don’t see a good fit in our project. We’ve had one applicant for the IDNI Grant program and currently are evaluating his proposal. Also, we’ve had an applicant from Bangalore, India for the IDNI Ambassador program and we also have been discussing his proposal. Translation Bounties: We’ve had the blog post “The New Tau” translated to Chinese and have been reviewing the translation. We are going to publish the translation on our website and on the Bitcointalk Chinese forum section. Still to be claimed: German translation of “The New Tau”. Done more effort on reach out to potential tribe channels: Research groups, LinkedIn groups, Facebook groups. Most represented keywords: Complex Adaptive Systems, NLP, Computational Linguistics. Usual feedback: Likes but no further interaction. Created an FAQ answering all possible questions surrounding IDNI, Tau & Agoras Idea: Hosting a virtual panel to spread the word about our project among the scientific community, as well as to create some visual content for our community. Two professors are interested in participating, one from Argentina with a focus in semantic parsing, the other one from the University of Washington with a focus on human-computer interaction and social computing. First step: organizing a pre-panel discussion where in 1on1 calls with the professors we get an opinion of them about what we are doing. Andrei: Agoras Live: Implemented mail system so users now get their mails (e.g. registration email). Improved UX together with Mo’az, e.g. user profiles. Token creation for accessing calls to identify and charge users. Customized Jitsi interface to suit our needs: E.g. display of how much time passed in a call and how much it costs. Next up: Further improve UX; make sure everything works as intended. Mo’az: Almost finished the IDNI website. Added two more pages: Events & Bounties in collaboration with Fola & Kilian. Agoras Live: Finetuned all the website’s components in collaboration with Andrei. Juan: Continued working on the payments system for Agoras Live. Had some delays due to the complexity of debugging such applications. Still, we made significant progress and got the funding transactions implemented over the Lightning network through the Omni layer. Spent time analyzing the minimum amount of BTC to pay for the fees associated to the Omni transactions. We aren’t using segregated witness native addresses and instead are using embedded segregated witness. So transaction sizes are enlarged and transaction fees are a bit higher. So there is a bit of finetuning analysis needed in order to enable the multisig address to pay for the closing & refund transactions. So to provide payment channels over the Omni layer, the main remaining technical detail we have to solve at this point is the closing transaction & the refund transaction. Fola: Have been continuing to look for great talent in different areas. Continued working on website with Mo’az and Kilian. Been working on the branding for Tau & Agoras. Been getting external support to make sure the branding for Tau & Agoras will be as professional as it can be. Working on marketing efforts needed for the release of Agoras Live to get the media pack for marketing ready. Working together with external people to put a plan together for listing the Agoras token on more prominent exchanges as we get closer to release of Agoras Live. Ohad: Continued working on restricted versions of second-order logic to understand how to implement them. There is a translation in the literature about how to convert second-order logic by Horn into Datalog. Also, I have been revisiting papers that deal with descriptive complexity of higher-order logic. They mention that they have a translation from second-order logic to QBF. I wasn’t able to find where they explain this translation but I wrote one of them and he said he will send me the paper. If so, that will be very good because we already have a QBF solver. Any binary decision diagram is already a QBF solver, so we can just translate arbitrary second-order logic formulas into QBF. This will be very helpful for us to implement second-order logic. Also, those papers mention several aspects that are relevant for self-interpretation, the laws of laws. Apparently, they suggest that certain fragments of higher-order logic may also support the laws of laws. But this is part of the papers that I didn’t have access to, so I have to wait to get further clarification. I also pushed the whitepaper significantly this month and hope we will be finishing it soon. Also, I was thinking about some optimizations for the parser and also was looking into the Lightning network. It was my mistake that I haven’t done so beforehand and if I had done it beforehand, I would have understood earlier, that Lightning is too much. It is too drastic of a change to how traditional payments work and there apparently is no reason to believe that it is secure. So I’m glad I discovered better now than later that it’s not something we’d like to rely on, although we can have it as an optional feature. Q&A: Q: With the project development taking longer than other projects such as Tezos, when can AGRS holders expect something to be released and, how can you reassure us that we made the right decision? A: With regards to when we see some releases, it seems that we will see some releases in 2020. For comparing to Ethereum and Tezos: Let’s first talk about funding. Both projects had a lot of money. For Ethereum, the reason for is that it has probably done one of the most aggressive marketing campaigns in history. It was completely lacking any kind of honesty. It was simply aggressive. None of Ethereum’s visions and promises became true. It simply became an insecure platform for scams. None of their vision of creating a world computer, of creating a better society, a better currency, became true. Because of this aggressive marketing, they not only raised a lot of money, they also took the price to be so high in the market. If you remember the campaign of the flipping, they did a whole campaign on how they would overtake the marketcap of Bitcoin. For Tezos, they made maybe the largest ICO in history in terms of money, mainly because they came at the right time, at the top of the bubble in 2017, and also their promises for better coordination didn’t come true. Their solution is based on voting and based on Turing completeness and the only reason why they managed to gain such a market cap as of today, is not because they offer better currency, better society, better anything. It basically is a Ponzi-scheme because they offer very high interest rate by very high inflation (5,51%). The only reason why people buy Tezos is to get into this Ponzi-scheme. Because both Tezos and Ethereum lack any true economical or technological substance, their value will not sustain and this is true for almost all projects in the cryptocurrency world. In the software, high-tech market, if you come up with good tech and you do all the right things, you succeed big time. But if you don’t have it and you are purely relying on brainwashing people, it will not sustain. Of course, our solution is so disruptive and sustainable. We offer to do advancements for humanity and for economy. Q: What three subjects would you first like to see discussed on Tau? A: Of course, picking three subjects now is a bit speculative, but the first thing that comes to mind is the definitions of what good and bad means and what better and worse means. The second subject is the governance model over Tau. The third one is the specification of Tau itself and how to make it grow and evolve even more to suit wider audiences. The whole point of Tau is people collaborating in order to define Tau itself and to improve it over time, so it will improve up to infinity. This is the main thing, especially initially, that the Tau developers (or rather users) advance the platform more and more. Q: What is stopping programmers using TML right now? If nothing, what is your opinion on why they aren’t? A: There is nothing essentially missing in TML in order to let it release. And in fact, we are now working towards packaging it and bringing it towards a release level. For things like documentation, bug fixes, minor features, minor optimizations. We indeed actively work towards releasing TML 1.0 and then we can publish it in e.g. developers channels for them to use it.
The Binary Book Scam Is One of the Most Popular Options Scam and here’s everything you need to know about it
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The Binary Book Scam extorted millions from many naive investors and scammed them
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This is a copy of my article on INN, as links to the site can't be posted on Reddit. It’s an unfortunate fact that bots are a loathed part of every multiplayer game I’ve played. From idlebots in Team Fortess 2 farming items and ruining team balance, through leveling bots in League of Legends gumming up the 3v3 queue, to mining macros in Runescape. But it seems botting is something that uniquely effects EVE Online, and as a result of that it’s something that is rallied against at every turn, as we saw with the relentless finger-pointing over who harbors the most bots over the past few weeks. This comes down to the fact that not only do bots generate an advantage for their user, they also serve to lessen the advantage other players get for the same amount of work, as both bots and players produce by and large the same thing. This means players have to deal with bots devaluing the work they themselves put effort into doing, which is understandably a frustrating thing to feel, as it can mean the difference between being able to play as an Omega instead of as an Alpha for players with limited time availability. Something I’ve noticed in those other games about the bots however is that they were significantly worse than players. Idlebots were easy to kill after the game was over, LoL bots were free wins to the point it was boring, even Runescape bots could be tripped up if they were hogging one specific spot. This contrasts with EVE, where players typically complain that bots are nearly impossible to catch, which is something that clearly contributes to the perception of bots being a problem within the community. Given that other bots perform so poorly vs players, and bots in EVE seem to perform so well, I am going to dive into a little bit about why I think this is the case. But to give a brief overview of my main conclusion – EVE doesn’t have a botting problem. It has a game design problem. HOW DO BOTS MAKE ISK? There are a lot of bots for different purposes in EVE, and whilst Intel bots and DPlex bots are problems, they aren’t nearly as widespread or as economically impactful as the big four; Mining bots Market bots Mission bots Ratting bots Unfortunately I don’t have a great deal of experience with the first three, and I hope other people can pitch in with their own expertise on those subjects, but for now I’m going to focus in on ratting as an income source. Ratting is also the main way in which bots add raw ISK to the game directly, which causes everyone else’s ISK to be worth less, so it’s also one which impacts every single player by effectively raising the price of PLEX. Ratting bots are also a lot easier to find, as they have to spread over a wider range of systems than the other three, which can be centralised in one particular location. In fact I’d wager most people who have even simply roamed Nullsec believes that they’ve encountered one, regardless as to whether or not that is what happened, which is symptomatic of the overall problem. Bot accounts can be trained on a large scale as alpha clones, or injected up to being at what the person running these bot accounts believe is an optimal skillset. These fresh accounts can then be applied to corps with access to Nullsec, either by purchasing rental space, or simply joining a corp/alliance that has existing access to Nullsec that’s good to rat in and an open doors policy. These bot accounts are then placed in a ship such as a VNI or a Gila, as those are the most cost effective ways to make ISK in the game currently, especially considering that they can be piloted by Alphas and still rat using the same strategies as an Omega pilot. This is done by simply warping from site to site, dropping drones, and killing ships in a pre-determined order that matches the known spawnlists of said anomalies. If an unknown pilot enters local – or a local that the bot has access to via a relay – it will immediately pull its drones in and warp off, then wait for a set amount of time, before warping back to the site and continuing. WHY IS THIS A PROBLEM? I don’t know about you – But that doesn’t sound any different to how I fly a VNI or Gila myself. Bots are able to do everything that a player does in order to maximise their efficiency and safety whilst ratting, because almost all of it simply relies on the ability to press buttons in the right order, as fast as possible. Due to the mismatch in optimisation between PvE fits and PvP fits, there’s no reason for the PvE ship to engage a PvP ship (as it will lose), and there’s no reason for a PvP ship to engage in PvE (it will suck at it). The static spawn lists that contain no tackle that can’t be easily dealt with or avoided means that there’s absolutely no thought required in running the content either, which means running anomalies boils down to a simple binary operation of ratting when local is clear, and getting safe as soon as possible when it is not. Money is even transferred directly into your wallet for every single rat you kill, meaning that even if you are caught, you retain all of the money you made so far. The cherry on top of this is that bots are always paying perfect attention to local, unlike players who can focus in on watching Netflix in their other screen for half a minute too long and end up getting caught, they’re able to warp off the tick you enter local every time. Currently one of the few ways to deal with bots that exposes the sheer lack of decision making that it was necessary to program the bots with is using log-off bubble traps in their safespots, which I demonstrated in a video tutorial last year. As you can see, once you’re able to lay your hands on a ratting bot, it’s almost trivial to take out. The way in which I was able to do it also demonstrates how poor bots can be when compared to players in terms of decision making. In that particular video I had logged my Sabre off in front of those same VNIs as they sat in the PoS, then simply waited for the NPC/h deaths to go back up on Dotlan, logged in and killed the one I was able to catch. A player would almost certainly never do that, and would at the very least consider changing systems/safespots. This shows the main advantage players should be able to leverage over bots, their ability to adapt and make better decisions based on the information they’ve been given. However, as we explained above, the best way to keep yourself safe whilst ratting is simply to not get caught in the first place. WHAT CAN CCP DO ABOUT IT? Not as much as I’d like. I doubt CCP is going to entirely strip and replace the anomaly system in the foreseeable future, so I wanted to take a look at a fix that I think could be done with CCP’s existing structure and technical limitations. I also think it’s something that would be of benefit to the health of the game in general, regardless of it’s impact on bots, which I think is an important thing to consider—Penalising regular players to own the bots isn’t a good strategy long-term in my opinion. But that’s only one option. There are others, and they have their downsides as well. ELIMINATING RENTING This has been bandied about, but there’s a problem: it’s basically impossible. There are just too many ways to transfer value in EVE. Eliminating rental fees just means you move the payout to market fees and fees to join the ‘rental’ group. Or to get onto the ACL. Or any one of a number of other ways to pay. Yes, all of these things can be tracked, but at the same time, they can take enough forms that anything that includes ‘you do X and we don’t kill you’ can be the de facto rental agreement. To give a recent example of just how hard it can be to draw the line on renting, many reading this article will remember how Sort Dragon was mocked as a ‘renter’ after paying the Imperium for an end to his last war with them. Whilst that was not entirely serious, can we expect Team Security to understand the nuance of a large amount of ISK being transferred not as rent, but as part of diplomatic tribute – Or conversely, that the pomp of something like this wouldn’t merely be used to cover up the now ‘banned’ renting practice. MAKE THE ALLIANCES DO IT This runs into problems, too. For this, we’ll just go through some points: As recently noted by Elo Knight, for many years the leader of Black Legion’s various forms, Alliance leaders do not have tools to monitor for botting activity that Team Security has. In addition, most bots do not rat 23/7. They’re not that obvious. As such, all accusations will have to be done based on hearsay and suspicion. So rather than reporting this to CCP, Alliance leaders are now forced to immediately kick upon suspicion. This is because, as CCP Peligo’s reddit post indicates, the wallet impacted is the main Alliance bill wallet. If the wallet is empty when a bill become due, all Sov will drop. This, in turn, means an end to open door recruiting policies, realistically. People who wish to rent will set up alternate ‘client’ alliances (ala B0T/PIBC) which are not run by the same people as the parent alliance to protect their sov. And that means that this actually achieves nothing: the ‘alliance leaders’ being given the responsibility aren’t actually anything of the sort. As such, this mainly impacts large alliances, without impacting alliances which contribute more bots overall to the ecosystem. And then there’s the metagame: weaponised botting. Using VPN, groups can put ‘rental’ corps into their enemies renters, then bot up a storm. CCP then punishes the targets of the meta-scam. CCP gets meta’d. The initial community reaction from the masses will be great—most players only look at immediate intentions and don’t think of the bigger picture. But in the wake of the Brisc Rubal episode, does CCP really want to step into that pitfall when organized groups use Team Security to wage their wars for them? ANOTHER IDEA: The TL;DR is simple – Remove a significant percentage of bounty payouts from all NS anomalies, but add a guaranteed spawn at the end of each anomaly, which holds the equivalent ISK in Overseer Effects. I’m always hesitant to add numbers to ideas this early on, so let me know what you think the breakpoint of percentage would be there, but adding a physical component to the rewards that ratting provides would have a number of positive effects; Firstly, it will give an immediate option of a reward for players who are able to push a PvE player off of a site, regardless of their ability to catch the player. As someone who has hunted nullsec ratters (both botting and not), there’s nothing more frustrating than seeing a VNI enter warp just as you land, knowing your work has been for nothing. Adding a potential reward for the intruding pilot if the site is near completion, by allowing them to get a reward that the PvE pilot helped them work towards. Currently the total reward for a Sanctum is only 40m, so this reward is unlikely to be a huge motivating factor for older players, but it will provide a way for players who specialise in hunting bots to gain an income even if they fail to secure a kill. This also has a number of knock on effects to the way PvE plays out. It adds an effective “upper limit” to how fast you can clear sites whilst still making sure that you have 100% ISK retention, as you’ll need to stop to collect the Overseer’s Effect in each anomaly unless you wish to use MTUs or alts to pick it up. This in turn then makes defending these systems and stopping hostiles from getting inside them more valuable, as it allows you to better make ISK if there’s an active defence force keeping hostiles away from your system, as them entering the system will leave any MTUs or unlooted Overseer wrecks easy to be probed and looted, taking a percentage of your hard earned ratting ISK for themselves—If they can get it back to Hisec! I’m curious to see what you think of this suggestion, and with a wider lens the problems more generally outlined, as I want to be able to give CCP direction and feedback on how they can let us – EVE players – do what we do best; Exploit predictable behaviour for our own gain.
https://preview.redd.it/2lc1we5990s41.jpg?width=400&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=5417ccb655b01501b4ba0db45e72d5e411cc1baf (Actual, updated) Frequently Asked Questions Unlike a standard FAQ, this (A)FAQ consists of the most commonly asked questions from our community. For much more elaborate FAQ full of questions, some of which no one actually asked, please consult our docs FAQ. For our communications archive, head over here. What is Golem? Golem is a decentralized computation network, a new way of distributing redundant computing power to those who are in need of it, on-demand. It creates a peer-to-peer network where users join on an equal basis to buy and sell computation, splitting up complicated tasks into smaller subtasks in the network. In Golem there’s no central authority and no user is more or less important than another. Who is building Golem? Golem Factory GmbH is responsible for building Golem and all its milestones. Golem Factory GmbH’s website is: https://golem.network Is Golem a Foundation? Golem Factory GmbH is not a Foundation. A GmbH is the Swiss equivalent of an LLC. Golem Factory GmbH has been founded in 2016 and as mentioned above, looks after the build of Golem the project, and its milestones. The Golem Foundation, founded in 2018, is an independent entity, founded by Golem Factory GmbH’s ex CEO and COO, and they work on different projects than Golem Factory (eg. the recently release Wildlands paper). Their website is: https://golem.foundation Golem Foundation and Golem Factory In 2019, Julian and AndrzeJ started the Golem Foundation, aimed to pursue riskier and more exploratory ways to add value to GNT. This is very public. We did press for the endeavor because we wanted to be transparent. See the Coindesk article that was the main pitch, in case you want external sources. See the Wildland AMA and more recently the Wildland Update and Golem Foundation FAQ are great resources for learning more about Golem Foundation. Golem Factory does not work on Wildland and vice versa, Golem Foundation does not work on New Golem / The Next Milestone. Who controls GNT? GNT (Golem Network Token) has been in the free market since the end of 2016. Neither Golem Factory nor the Golem Foundation control the token. Another thing is that we don’t do airdrops. So make sure to stay safe and not succumb to scams. Why should I or a requestor choose Golem? Golem offers freedom of choice and a voice in the community to specify what your requirements are for computation in the network. In the centralized infrastructure of shared computation, if you’re an individual you might not have the voice to specify the tools you need. Golem offers tools focused on your privacy and the flexibility for all providers and requestors to set the price they’re willing to have tasks completed on Golem Network. By cutting out the middle-man and large corporations taking a fee, this allows Golem to be a prosumer market with the potential to simultaneously be cheaper and more profitable for the requestors and providers, respectively. How can one integrate with Golem? If you’re a developer and want to add your code to Golem, the simplest way is to use WebAssembly (WASM). Check out the gWASM section of the documentation to learn more. The good news about WASM is that you can easily compile the code that is written in other languages. So if you have code written in C/C++/RUST, you can compile each to the WebAssembly binary and use it with Golem the same way you’d normally use WebAssembly code. If you don’t want to write anything in those languages or you want to do something more complicated, the Task API allows more versatility and is available on mainnet since the Clay Golem release. Additional resources that would be of interest include Being a Requestor and Acting as a Provider on Golem Network. How is computation verified? There’s no single answer to this question since it can get quite complicated. For the first use-case in Golem, rendering, the requestor renders a small part of the image and compares it with the result they receive from the provider and a machine-learning algorithm gives a verdict. In rendering, there’s a high chance of a small amount of indeterminism and differences in the pixels, which is what makes it complicated. For other use-cases such as WebAssembly, fortunately, it’s much simpler it’s practically easy to make WebAssembly computation deterministic. There’s also a verify function in the Task API to make this process simpler for requestors, to give them the opportunity to write their own method that is suitable for their use case. How is data protected and kept private on Golem Network? For providers, the solution is relatively easy using Sandboxing. You can read about this more in our documentation. The more interesting part of the question is ‘how are we going to protect the data you send as a requestor?’. In the classical scenario where you’re sending you data to the cloud, you’re not getting any protection. It’s essentially a trusted setup between the requestor and providers, an option which is also possible in Golem using Golem Unlimited. How does Golem Unlimited fit in the Golem Network ecosystem? Golem Unlimited allows users to create an internal trusted network of computers with one of them, called the Hub being in charge. The Hub is a requestor and other computers in the company join it as providers. It is meant for data center-like setup (e.g., render farms, or desktops within organization LAN) where network participants trust each other, but it will also support trusted P2P subnetworks (e.g., distributed team machines). App Why is my Golem node not connecting? If you’re having connection issues, see our Issues and Troubleshooting guide in our documentation or reach out to us in our Discord channel. The most common issues for first time setup are related port-forwarding (mentioned in the onboarding process when you setup your node) or Hyper-V. Keep in mind that, if you’re on Windows Home specifically, Hyper-V is not a feature so you have to install docker toolbox instead. What is [email protected]? [email protected] is a scientific modelling project on Golem. The project has been developed in cooperation with the most reputable scientific institutions in the field worldwide. Our relationship with them goes a long way, and our CEO/CTO Piotr Janiuk, was inspired to pursue Golem by such work. Via [email protected], our providers will be able to run help running the computations needed to simulate chemical reactions. What is the Task API? Recently, we introduced the new Task API. The Task API is a python library containing a programming interface and utility functions. Updates created by requestors should be able to answer a short list of RPC calls. You can read more about these calls in our documentation designated to the Task API. What is gWASM? gWASM stands for WebAssembly on Golem. It is intended to be a bridge between applications and extensible infrastructure. It gives your applications or services easy access to external and decentralized computational power. This access happens in an elastic manner, meaning that you rent as much infrastructure as you need and when you need it. What’s the purpose for GNT? With Golem you can exchange computational power, as a commodity or a service for GNT. These are market transactions. The different parties (users) and transactions are part of a small economy with GNT as the value transferred between participants. Within the Golem economy, we are free to define the rules and regulations for it. Our goal, however, is for it to be similar to real-life economies: demand, supply and quality affecting prices should always be included. This economy works in an anonymous and distributed network, which adds a layer of complexity to it. Golem is not a stock market, there is no central point to place bids and offers. Everyone must make their deals on a p2p basis and on their best criteria. Roadmap What does the future and endgame look like for Golem? In order to allow for a future where censorship resistance and privacy is available for everyone, we need to build networks to stimulate such freedoms. What we want to build at Golem is the tool that can connect computers borderless-ly across the world, and without the risk of censorship. Migration What is the ERC20 migration and how will it take place? This refers to us migrating GNT to be a fully ERC20 compliant token. We’ve been working with ETHWorks on finding the best approach for this task. How will GNT’s migration to the ERC20 standard benefit users? Working together with ETHWorks and audit firms, our goal is to make sure that the passage to ERC20 allows the (new)GNT to be able to adapt to various matters: for instance, to be used for layer 2 scaling solutions, or Universal Logins, gassless transactions, among others. Right now, doing gassless transactions with the current GNT is cumbersome, and there are many solutions in the market that would be a great fit if GNT was ERC20. An added (big) benefit for migrating towards ERC20, is to leverage DeFi tools and protocols, especially DEXes. Providing the first (ERC20) GNT liquidity pools for Uniswap and other similar projects is something that’s definitely in our plans for a long time. Why didn’t GNT start out as an ERC20 compliant token? It’s important to keep in mind that relative to the Ethereum space, GNT is quite an old token. When we implemented the GNT contract, the ERC20 standard was in its infancy, and we wanted to limit the exposure to risks stemming from it being at such an early stage. This is why we decided to limit the core GNT implementation to only the necessary ERC20 operations to make it transferable. Migrating GNT to be a fully ERC20 compliant token should open new opportunities to the token users, for example, DeFi (i.e. Decentralized EXchanges and liquidity by Uniswap) and potentially GNT becoming collateral for MCD (Maker’s Multicollateral DAI). Other What measures are in place to mitigate against loss of deposit? We’ve taken very thorough precautions against Golem users losing their deposits. With the recent release of the Concent feature, the Concent deposit a.k.a. GNTDeposit is a smart contract on the Ethereum mainnet which has been properly audited by third-party experts to contain no known vulnerabilities. Similarly to those aforementioned contracts, the balance of GNTDeposit is predominantly still owned by the ethereum address that transferred its tokens into it. The only difference is that the withdraws are time-locked and that there is a privileged entity, the Concent Service, which is able to use those tokens in very specific circumstances, according to the use cases described in the Concent’s documentation and its terms of service. How is GPU integration coming along with MacOS and Windows? There’s difficulty with exposing GPU to Docker containers on Windows and MacOS. GPU support is technically possible on both these operating systems, although we would need to tailor some new computation environments for those operating systems and make sure that the behaviour is consistent between them. While we exclusively rely on Docker it’s not possible to use GPU with Golem on Windows and MacOS. It’s also worth noting that GPU is also not supported in gWASM. Since gWASM uses WASM underneath and that itself currently doesn’t have any notion of multi-threading, which would be required for the computation providers GPU to act as the general processing graphics processing unit (GPGPU). It might be possible to get around that, however, the catch would be that it would kill the determinism which we require in Golem task verification. How much I can earn with configuration XYZ? Golem network is a fully decentralized marketplace therefore we cannot give you any estimates. The amount of tokens that can be earned depends on current demand in the network, the number of other providers, etc. Do you have a bug bounty competition? Yes, we do, you can find the details here: https://blog.golemproject.net/golem-bug-bounty-competition/
Crypto News Summary- May 7 🔹 General News: — UFC partners with Chiliz to release digital fan tokens of fighters — Chinese Court rules Bitcoin as a legal property but not a currency — Cambridge University releases new tool for tracking global Bitcoin mining power — CFTC charges multiple firms for $15 million crypto and binary options scam 🔹 Coin Specific News: — Libra Association names HSBC chief legal officer Stuart Levey as CEO — Chromia (CHR) has won Binance community coin vote and will get listed on Binance — TON community launches free version of Telegram open Blockchain — Stellar Enterprise Fund invests $5M in Crypto App Abra ahead of Blockchain integration — Verasity (VRA) is expanding to major eSports games and will launch CS:GO tournaments and betting 🔹 Exchanges: — CoinShares unveils trading unit, says it traded over $3 billion in crypto during 2019 — OKEx will host initial exchange offering of NDN Link (NDN) on May 20 — Crypto exchange OSL to establish ‘digital asset powerhouse’ in Asia and US 🔹 Cool tech fact: Bitcoin price was $0.003 exactly 10 years ago in its first days of trading 💬 Quote of the day: "You don't get to the moon by climbing a tree." —Sam Hinkie 🔹 Brought to you by @GainsANN
Crypto News Summary- May 7 🔹 General News: — UFC partners with Chiliz to release digital fan tokens of fighters — Chinese Court rules Bitcoin as a legal property but not a currency — Cambridge University releases new tool for tracking global Bitcoin mining power — CFTC charges multiple firms for $15 million crypto and binary options scam 🔹 Coin Specific News: — Libra Association names HSBC chief legal officer Stuart Levey as CEO — Chromia (CHR) has won Binance community coin vote and will get listed on Binance — TON community launches free version of Telegram open Blockchain — Stellar Enterprise Fund invests $5M in Crypto App Abra ahead of Blockchain integration — Verasity (VRA) is expanding to major eSports games and will launch CS:GO tournaments and betting 🔹 Exchanges: — CoinShares unveils trading unit, says it traded over $3 billion in crypto during 2019 — OKEx will host initial exchange offering of NDN Link (NDN) on May 20 — Crypto exchange OSL to establish ‘digital asset powerhouse’ in Asia and US 🔹 Cool tech fact: Bitcoin price was $0.003 exactly 10 years ago in its first days of trading 💬 Quote of the day: "You don't get to the moon by climbing a tree." —Sam Hinkie 🔹 Brought to you by @GainsANN
Part 2: Tools & Info for Sysadmins - Mega List of Tips, Tools, Books, Blogs & More
Win + Shift + S: Captures a user-selectable area of the screen to the clipboard (on Windows 10 Ver 1703+)
WIN + CTRL + F4: Close a virtual desktop
Here's a shortcut for a 4-pane explorer in Windows without installing 3rd-party software:
Win + E, win + left, up
Win + E, win + right, up
Win + E, win + left, down
Win + E, win + right, down
(Keep the win key down for the arrows, and no pauses.) Appreciation goes to ZAFJB for this one. Our recent tip for a shortcut to get a 4-pane explorer in Windows, triggered this suggestion from SevaraB: "You can do that for an even larger grid of Windows by right-clicking the clock in the taskbar, and clicking 'Show windows side by side' to arrange them neatly. Did this for 4 rows of 6 windows when I had to have a quick 'n' dirty "video wall" of windows monitoring servers at our branches." ZAFJB adds that it actually works when you right-click "anywhere on the taskbar, except application icons or start button." This tip comes courtesy of shipsass: "When I need to use Windows Explorer but I don't want to take my hands off the keyboard, I press Windows-E to launch Explorer and then Ctrl-L to jump to the address line and type my path. The Ctrl-L trick also works with any web browser, and it's an efficient way of talking less-technical people through instructions when 'browse to [location]' stumps them." Clear browser history/cookies by pressing CTRL-SHIFT-DELETE on most major browsers. Thanks go to synapticpanda, who adds that this "saves me so much time when troubleshooting web apps where I am playing with the cache and such." To rename a file with F2, while still editing the name of that file: Hit TAB to tab into the renaming of the next file. Thanks to abeeftaco for this one! Alt-D is a reliable alternative to Ctrl-L for jumping to the address line in a browser. Thanks for this one go to fencepost_ajm, who explains: "Ctrl-L comes from the browser side as a shortcut for Location, Alt-D from the Windows Explorer side for Directory." Browser shortcut: When typing a URL that ends with dot com, Ctrl + Enter will place the ".com" and take you to the page. Thanks to wpierre for this one! This tip comes from anynonus, as something that daily that saves a few clicks: "Running a program with ctrl + shift + enter from start menu will start it as administrator(alt + y will select YES to run as admin) ... my user account is local admin [so] I don't feel like that is unsafe" Building on our PowerShell resources, we received the following suggestion from halbaradkenafin: aka.ms/pskoans is "a way to learn PowerShell using PowerShell (and Pester). It's really cool and a bunch of folks have high praise for it (including a few teams within MSFT)." Keyboard shortcut: If you already have an application open, hold ctrl + shift and middle click on the application in your task bar to open another instance as admin. Thanks go to Polymira for this one. Remote Server Tip: "Critical advice. When testing out network configuration changes, prior to restarting the networking service or rebooting, always create a cron job that will restore your original network configuration and then reboot/restart networking on the machine after 5 minutes. If your config worked, you have enough time to remove it. If it didn't, it will fix itself. This is a beautifully simple solution that I learned from my old mentor at my very first job. I've held on to it for a long time." Thanks go to FrigidNox for the tip! Websites Deployment Research is the website of Johan Arwidmark, MS MVP in System Center Cloud and Datacenter Management. It is dedicated to sharing information and guidance around System Center, OS deployment, migration and more. The author shares tips and tricks to help improve the quality of IT Pros’ daily work. Next of Windows is a website on (mostly) Microsoft-related technology. It's the place where Kent Chen—a computer veteran with many years of field experience—and Jonathan Hu—a web/mobile app developer and self-described "cool geek"—share what they know, what they learn and what they find in the hope of helping others learn and benefit. High Scalability brings together all the relevant information about building scalable websites in one place. Because building a website with confidence requires a body of knowledge that can be slow to develop, the site focuses on moving visitors along the learning curve at a faster pace. Information Technology Research Library is a great resource for IT-related research, white papers, reports, case studies, magazines, and eBooks. This library is provided at no charge by TradePub.com. GullibleDetective tells us it offers "free PDF files from a WIIIIIIDE variety of topics, not even just IT. Only caveat: as its a vendor-supported publishing company, you will have to give them a bit of information such as name, email address and possibly a company name. You undoubtedly have the ability to create fake information on this, mind you. The articles range from Excel templates, learning python, powershell, nosql etc. to converged architecture." SS64 is a web-based reference guide for syntax and examples of the most-common database and OS computing commands. Recommended by Petti-The-Yeti, who adds, "I use this site all the time to look up commands and find examples while I'm building CMD and PS1 scripts." Phishing and Malware Reporting. This website helps you put a stop to scams by getting fraudulent pages blocked. Easily report phishing webpages so they can be added to blacklists in as little as 15 minutes of your report. "Player024 tells us, "I highly recommend anyone in the industry to bookmark this page...With an average of about 10 minutes of work, I'm usually able to take down the phishing pages we receive thanks to the links posted on that website." A Slack Channel Windows Admin Slack is a great drive-by resource for the Windows sysadmin. This team has 33 public channels in total that cover different areas of helpful content on Windows administration. Blogs KC's Blog is the place where Microsoft MVP and web developer Kent Chen shares his IT insights and discoveries. The rather large library of posts offer helpful hints, how-tos, resources and news of interest to those in the Windows world. The Windows Server Daily is the ever-current blog of technologist Katherine Moss, VP of open source & community engagement for StormlightTech. Offers brief daily posts on topics related to Windows server, Windows 10 and Administration. An Infosec Slideshow This security training slideshow was created for use during a quarterly infosec class. The content is offered generously by shalafi71, who adds, "Take this as a skeleton and flesh it out on your own. Take an hour or two and research the things I talk about. Tailor this to your own environment and users. Make it relevant to your people. Include corporate stories, include your audience, exclude yourself. This ain't about how smart you are at infosec, and I can't stress this enough, talk about how people can defend themselves. Give them things to look for and action they can take. No one gives a shit about your firewall rules." Tech Tutorials Tutorialspoint Library. This large collection of tech tutorials is a great resource for online learning. You'll find nearly 150 high-quality tutorials covering a wide array of languages and topics—from fundamentals to cutting-edge technologies. For example, this Powershell tutorial is designed for those with practical experience handling Windows-based Servers who want to learn how to install and use Windows Server 2012. The Python Tutorial is a nice introduction to many of Python’s best features, enabling you to read and write Python modules and programs. It offers an understanding of the language's style and prepares you to learn more about the various Python library modules described in 'The Python Standard Library.' Kindly suggested by sharjeelsayed. SysAdmin Humor Day in the Life of a SysAdmin Episode 5: Lunch Break is an amusing look at a SysAdmin's attempt to take a brief lunch break. We imagine many of you can relate! Have a fantastic week and as usual, let me know any comments or suggestions. u/crispyducks
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