bayaz

@bayaz@kbin.social
bayaz, (edited )

That depends -- which job am I applying for, and how many questions are you going to ask about what's on my resume?

EDIT: I suppose if I'm going to bother posting, I should also actually answer the question. I use mainly Python and C, though I've learned and used several others to a greater or lesser degree over the years. Also, I quite like sed if we're doing scripting languages.

bayaz,

First off -- haha, I like it.

Second, it reminds me of something I read, but I can't remember the exact quote, and I'd be grateful to anyone who can figure it out. I'm pretty sure it was Vonnegut, and I think it may have been from Breakfast of Champions. The gist was that most stories are misleading because they teach people that life has a plot -- that it has major storylines, minor storylines, and so on. The author (Vonnegut?) then says that really life is just a bunch of moments, each as important or unimportant as the next.

bayaz, to food

Meta post:

Hey, microblog folks! I'm the current owner of this magazine. I recently noticed that there has been a fair amount of spam on the microblog side recently. First off, I want to apologize for that. Second, I want to give a few explanations:

  • I mainly read threads (I know, that isn't a great excuse, but see my link later)
  • I only recently realized that kbin filtered out 18+ posts by default, so any spam posts that marked themselves as NSFW were invisible to me
  • There have been no unresolved user reports of spam for quite a while

So, I'm asking for your help in two ways to keep the magazine spam-free:
(1) Please report spam as you see it. I know it gets tiresome, especially as kbin.social in general has been overrun recently, but I do check those reports regularly, and I will delete any spam that you report.
(2) If there is anyone who wants to be a moderator, please see this previous thread: invitation to moderate . Basically, if you are an active kbin user who shows interest, I will gladly add you as mod.

I will check the microblog more actively from now on to delete spam, but both of the above would be a big help to me in keeping the magazine (both threads and microblog) spam-free.

Overall, this community has been very straightforward to moderate -- no hate speech, flame wars, etc. Thank you all for that, and thanks for keeping this community active and vibrant!

bayaz,

@Fiivemacs

Uh... thanks, I guess. But, that doesn't really have anything to do with what I posted as far as I can tell. My post was mainly about spam. I love the Fediverse as much as the next person, but spammers gonna spam, and we'll have to fight them regardless of the platform.

bayaz, (edited )

Not completely on topic, but, in the spirit of reducing and changing consumption, some of you may be interested in the Gemini protocol. It's supports a version of the web that's simpler by design and focused primarily on text-first posts. Folks on the network like to compare it to the early web. I recently learned about it from this tutorial.

There's not a ton there right now, and it's not going to replace the web as we know it, but it's worth a look just for fun.

The protocol is compatible with ActivityPub, so you can also have federated Gemini apps. I haven't tried out tootik because microblogging isn't really my thing, but it's interesting that it exists.

bayaz,

Very cool! If you want to post a link or message me, I'd love to check out your gemlog. I thought this piece was really interesting.

I'm just getting into self hosting, and the "storage waste" of all this duplicated content has been on my mind a lot, but I hadn't really considered the energy costs or the feasibility for folks with data caps, slow Internet connections, and so on.

I absolutely love the idea of federated applications. It would be great if they someday became the dominant way of running things. But, even if we could get every user interested, I haven't really put in enough thought or research to know whether running these applications at huge scales would be feasible or desirable. It's great to see folks talking about the problems we'll run into and how we can be better than current big tech companies about considering the impact of our choices.

Anyway, thanks for the well-written and insightful piece.

bayaz,

What the... ugh. I've been doing this for months. Thanks for letting me know.

bayaz,

FYI, I tried the process you mentioned, I'm not sure it's as simple as your post implies (if that process could be called "simple" anyway). I've tried a few different orders of "report, delete, ban", and clicked the "ban" button in at least two spots (one that was directly in the feed and another that comes up under Reports in the magazine panel). No matter what I do, it always shows up as "unban" in the mod log. However, there is a list of bans under the magazine panel, and that does show the accounts as banned.

So, I'm really not sure what is going on here. Maybe it's just a problem with the log and not with the banning itself?

Anyway, thanks again for pointing this out. Hopefully someone can figure out what is going on.

bayaz,

@shazbot @insomniac_lemon To be clear, you're talking about /m/food on kbin.social? And particularly the threads side?

I'm the mod for that community, and I'm not seeing any amazon links, gummies, etc. I'm usually pretty good about deleting those within at most 24 hours of them being posted. But, if you're still seeing them, either there's a glitch or I'm doing something wrong.

Right now, I'm seeing 51 threads total, and the newest one is a month old (tagliatelle link). Are you seeing something different?

I agree with you about the questionable food blogs and probably-ai-generated content. I've been on the fence about whether to delete those, but I decided to let it slide and hope that upvotes/downvotes would take care of it. Also, I didn't get any user reports about them, so that was another metric to consider. For now, I'm just doing the absolute minimum of deleting obvious drug spam and amazon links (or, at least, I thought I was). If you notice anything especially egregious (where on earth do you see this 18+ spam nonsense?!) and could take the time to report it, I would really appreciate it.

bayaz,

EDIT: I should have started with "thanks", by the way. I appreciate the response.

This is so weird. I don't see any of those first four posts. I see the fifth (I'm actually the downvote), and I agree it's sketchy, but I'm trying to get just the absolute worst out for now.

Also, I have two posts you don't have. I'm viewing this directly in Firefox -- are you in an app of some kind?

bayaz, (edited )

Ouch, what a bug. I knew some of the moderation wasn't being federated, but I can't imagine how a kbin user isn't seeing the latest version.

To be clear, you see the spam when logged in, then don't see it logged out, then see it again when logged in again?

I don't see it regardless of whether I'm logged in or not. Also, I don't think I've ever been able to see it because I don't see the posts in a quick look through the moderation log.

Would you mind posting an issue about this? https://codeberg.org/Kbin/kbin-core/issues Or, I can do it if you don't feel like it and don't mind me using your screenshots. If you do post it, just please emphasize that this makes it impossible for moderation to happen because the moderator literally cannot see the posts.

Thanks again for trying things out and sharing your info!

bayaz,

Using those usernames/profiles to look at the posts directly, I don't suppose there is anything that might detail what is going on?

Can you get me the full usernames including domains (e.g., PellyNews@blah.blah)? More info couldn't hurt when compiling the issue report.

The only thing I can think of is that maybe you are somehow "subscribed" to other domains because you follow some magazine/community there, and I am not, so the posts don't show up for me. That doesn't really make sense, but neither does anything else.

I did do a little searching for terms like "delete", "cache", and even "different", and didn't see this exact issue anywhere. The closest I found was this: https://codeberg.org/Kbin/kbin-core/issues/875 . It doesn't seem like a federation issue, though, since we are on the same instance. But, if you wanted to experiment further, you could try either downvoting or commenting on the spam to see whether that makes it visible to me.

bayaz,

Okay, thanks for your patience. I think we've hit the limit of what we can do at this point.

Nothing changed with your downvotes or comments. Going through kbin.social/u/{user}, I was able to view and delete PellyNews's threads. I am unable to do anything with the other two users. Even though I can see they exist, the relevant threads do not show up for me under their profiles.

I'll file the issue and keep just deleting what I can until things are sorted out on the backend. Thanks again for your help on this.

bayaz,

Looking at the modlog, the ones you removed were posts (microblogs). Relevant to the issue?

Nice catch!

With your direct links, I was able to see those threads. I attempted to delete two of them, and the modlog shows that I was successful. I've left the third for now as evidence for any developers who care to look.

Regarding "unban", I'm hoping that's just a bug in how things are printed. The ban does show up in the moderation log.

bayaz,

The issue has been reported: https://codeberg.org/Kbin/kbin-core/issues/1377

Let me know (or post there directly) if I missed or misstated anything.

bayaz,

@insomniac_lemon It ended up being super simple -- my profile was hiding the 18+ posts by default. All I had to do was uncheck a box, and everything appeared again. Kind of a clever way by the spammers of getting around some moderation if it was intentional. It sounds like the kbin devs might consider changing the defaults on that for moderators to avoid this in the future.

How Would You Handle Students Cheating?

I gave my students a take home exam over spring break. (This is normal where I teach) One of the questions was particulary difficult. It came down to a factor of three in the solution. That factor inexplicably appeared with no justification on many of their exams. I intend to have the students I suspect of cheating come to my...

bayaz,

You will probably get better answers if you ask this in a community dedicated to teaching/professors. Posting on general asklemmy seems like you're going to get flamed a bit.

I gave my students a take home exam over spring break. (This is normal where I teach)

That is rough. Nothing you can do about it this time, but, in the future, I wouldn't recommend giving work over break even if others are doing so. Breaks are there for a reason.

It came down to a factor of three in the solution. That factor inexplicably appeared with no justification on many of their exams.

It's hard to say without seeing exactly what you mean, but this sounds a little flimsy. You want to be pretty sure before you accuse someone of cheating. You can always just mark the answer as wrong if they didn't prove to you that they understand it.

I intend to have the students I suspect of cheating come to my office to solve the problem on the board. What would you do?

If I strongly suspected cheating, I would probably do something like that. Just be aware that the environment is different from a paper exam, so you need to be lenient. They are not used to standing in front of a board and working while someone watches. Also, a problem on a take-home exam could be worked on for hours, whereas you presumably expect them to do it quickly. You may need to give them the solution they wrote and see whether they can explain it to you. Or, give them most of the solution, but have them fill in some missing details that they should know if they actually did the problem.

Also, as others have said, there was no cheating unless you were very clear on what resources were allowed and not allowed on the exam.

FWIW, I do strongly disagree with the folks who are saying that any take-home exam should be open-everything. The argument that you will be able to do it in your career doesn't hold water. School isn't the workplace. Students are working on simple problems to build up skills that they can use to solve more complicated problems later on. If people want workplace rules about collaboration in the classroom, then the problems need to be scaled up accordingly. In many schools, that does happen later in the curriculum with things like senior projects or some project-based upper-level courses. But, teaching that way from the start wouldn't give students the time and support they need to gradually improve, so allowed resources need to be scaled back accordingly to account for the deliberate oversimplification of the problems.

On a more personal note, sorry that you have to deal with this. Everyone can appreciate that the situation is tough for the students, but a lot of people don't realize that dealing with cheating is also very stressful and disheartening for teachers.

bayaz, (edited )

Thanks for the reply! I figured that bit would be the sticky point. I tend to give long answers, so let me start by saying that I really struggle with that bit and, although I don't fully agree, I see your point and acknowledge that I may be wrong here. I don't want to argue, but I do want to clarify my thoughts and maybe have a dialogue if you're interested.

First, I want to clarify between two reasons I see when people are posting about this that are distinct but can sometimes get muddied: (1) "real life" is open note, so schoolwork should be too; (2) it is impractical to stop students from using their notes (or whatever) at home, so even if it would be helpful in theory, it just disadvantages honest students in practice.

I strongly disagree with (1) for the reasons in my original post. That's the main thing that had me somewhat annoyed and led me to post that probably unnecessary section of my previous post. You don't seem to be arguing for (1), so I'll just leave that be, but I wanted to clarify for the benefit of anyone else reading. I don't want to put words in your mouth, but (2) seems closer to what you are saying, so I'll talk about that for now.

As far as (2), I agree, but accepting that wholly runs teachers into another practical issue: in-person time constraints. If I want to test a student's ability to, say, complete a complicated proof, then putting the time constraint and pressure of a 1 or 1.5 hour exam may be unfair and arbitrary. So, if I need my exams to be in-class and proctored, then I might not be able to test the skills that I am actually teaching, and students tend to dislike that as well. It feels like we're forced into a choice of either giving a fair exam at home and trusting students or giving a time-pressured or trivialized exam in class. Neither option feels great, but, to me, this makes the take-home exam and trust at least seem like a reasonable option.

The questions should be tailored to test their understanding of the underlying principles, or even better, should encourage their ability to do research.

This is a really good idea. However, without assuming at least some honesty from the students, I don't think there is really any defending against the methods of just asking the other students or posting the paraphrased question somewhere the teacher won't see, so it feels like it brings us back to take-home work being impossible, which is a bummer of an endpoint.

Some of it may also come down to "has no ability to restrict..." (emphasis mine). When I used to teach, I taught programming. Although I could not restrict their access to resources outside class, I could detect cheating better than they would expect, and I warned them about this beforehand. I think that if students believe being caught is a credible threat, then it can alleviate that feeling of "if I don't cheat, I'm just letting everyone else look better than me," and it makes following the rules a reasonable option. Despite all my rambling above, I probably would not give a take-home exam if I didn't believe I could detect cheating with at least moderate probability. So, in OP's case of (presumably) physics, I probably wouldn't do it. In the end, maybe we don't even disagree at all in this case. (Edit: I meant to add this link: What it looks like when students copy code . Just a funny take on what I used to see sometimes.)

Tough questions like this are one of the (many) reasons I no longer teach, so bear in mind that this is all just the view of a washed-up former professor :)

(Also, I learned the word "invigilator" today, so thanks for that)

bayaz,

Whoa -- I assumed I would get a notification when you replied, but apparently not. Glad I checked the thread again!

But what’s the value in a take-home exam, if we assume that the intent is to be closed-book but with effectively unlimited time? Presumably that means it’s a problem roughly on the scale of an assignment, but they’re not meant to be able to look up their notes, review the lecture material, etc.?

Interesting point! I definitely see where you're coming from here... If I gave a take-home exam, I would want students to use their notes, some online resources, etc. I just wouldn't want them to copy an exact answer from online or other students. That may just be impractical today.

For what it’s worth, I’ve seen first hand that code copy-detection tools are honestly not actually all that great.

100% agree. I had small enough classes that I could check for plagiarism more directly. And, what you said later is spot on -- I think most students who cheated were not subtle enough to make hard-to-detect changes. Though, if they were, I wouldn't know they cheated, so... hard to say.

I’m actually not 100% sure on what “proctor” means, but based on how I’ve seen it used in this thread, I gather the two are the same?

Yep! Based on an online dictionary that said "proctor" was the US version of invigilator :)

Anyway, you make some great points, so thanks for the discussion!

bayaz, (edited )

Slightly helpful context for this joke: a peanut is apparently technically not a nut. It's a legume, like a bean or a pea.

bayaz,

I recently started studying for the Technician exam -- excited to see I made a good choice!

bayaz,

I love ranger. Mostly I just use the basic shell, but when I'm doing a lot of random file transfer, seeing what I'm doing with ranger is nice.

It's super fast and intuitive if you're already into vim and vim-style keybindings.

bayaz,

If you like those, using cdr within zsh is amazing. It automatically keeps track of where you've been, and you can set up tab completion to show the history with a number next to each directory for easy switching.

Iirc, that was my main reason for switching to zsh a few years ago

bayaz,

From the kbinMeta thread: this is a known issue with the kbin codebase. Moderation does not always federate correctly. Unfortunately, it appears there is likely nothing I can do about it until that issue is resolved. Sorry!

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