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DroneBot Workshop
(@dronebot-workshop)
Workshop Guru Admin
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 264
2019-08-27 10:38 pm  

Hi

I really doubt this will apply to ANY of you, but I wanted to post it just in case I made an error.

This is a moderated forum, meaning that myself and my excellent moderators keep an eye on the forum to make sure nothing inappropriate is posted.  And so far nothing has, and there has never been a need to ban a user from logging in, although I did delete one "Introduce Yourself" post that was clearly spam advertising.

However, I have been getting some very "strange" registrations from users with bizarre email addresses.  Bizarre in the following sense:

  • Many of them are from the domain "namnerbca.com", which is not really an active domain.
  • I also have many suspicious GMail addresses, what is unusual about them is the name part of the email address is very weird, and often I get three or four in a row using the same pattern.  For example, I have registrations like "fe.li.c.m.a.ri8.4.@gmail.com", "fe.l.i.cm.ari.84.@gmail.com", "f.e.l.i.cmar.i84@gmail.com" and more (that particular "pattern" is repeated for at least 10 registrations).
  • An occasional one from "mail.ru" with the same "odd name" pattern. Please note that "mail.ru" is a legitimate Russian email service, so I have only banned the ones with "odd names". I certainly have no intention of banning users from Russia or any other country for that matter.

 

I'm pretty sure that none of these users are legitimate, as they all follow the same pattern:

  • They register, usually two or three within the space of 5 minutes.
  • They NEVER respond to the confirmation letter, although my email sending service shows the confirmations were delivered successfully.
  • As they never confirm they (obviously) have never made a post.

 

I have chosen to ban these users instead of deleting them, just in case I accidentally ban a legitimate user. So if your status is "banned" when you log in that's what happened.

If I did ban you by accident you have my apologies, and if you contact me at info@dronebotworkshop.com I will certainly lift the ban.

BTW, I am puzzled as to why these accounts are being created in the first place, especially as they never follow through and confirm so they can't post. My suspicion is that this is some way of "probing" the forum or its mail system for vulnerabilities.  Perhaps I'm paranoid, but on average I get several hundred attempts per day from hackers trying to break into the main DroneBot Workshop site, so as the forum grows in popularity I have no doubt it will experience the same thing - it already gets about a dozen attempts per day.

If anyone else has a theory as to why these are being created I'd love to hear it.

Thanks

Bill

 

 

This topic was modified 3 weeks ago by DroneBot Workshop

"Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window." — Steve Wozniak


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Robo Pi
(@robo-pi)
Honorable Member
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 655
2019-08-27 11:03 pm  

Speaking of being banned.  I was just banned today from a Neural Network Forum.   All I did was ask a legitimate question in a post and the moment I pressed "Add Topic" I instantly got the message, "You have been banned".

I have no idea why.  There was nothing in my post that should have caused this.  I'm wondering if it had something to do with my screen name?  I used Robo Pi there too and I wonder if their software has something built in to reject anything that has Robo associated with it.

DroneBot Workshop Robotics Engineer
James


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codecage
(@codecage)
Member Moderator
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 234
2019-08-27 11:53 pm  

@robo-pi

Interesting!  Strange that should happen with just a post of a question on topic!

SteveG


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DroneBot Workshop
(@dronebot-workshop)
Workshop Guru Admin
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 264
2019-08-28 12:07 am  

@robo-pi

That sounds like some sort of configuration error on their part.  It sounds crazy to instantly ban someone, especially because of the user name.  

On this forum, your first post is moderated, just so we can check it and make sure you aren't here to post spam.  They may have accidentally set theirs to ban instead, which makes no sense.  

If they have a method of contacting an administrator I would do that.  I would certainly hope that if anyone is having a similar problem on this forum that they would contact me.

Sorry to hear about your experience, hope you can get it resolved (along with an apology).

Bill

"Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window." — Steve Wozniak


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Robo Pi
(@robo-pi)
Honorable Member
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 655
2019-08-28 12:18 am  
Posted by: @codecage

@robo-pi

Interesting!  Strange that should happen with just a post of a question on topic!

It never even got posted.   It wasn't like it was posted and some human moderator banned me.  This happened instantaneously.  The very moment I clicked on "Post Topic".  I instantly got the message, "You have been banned".  This had to have been done by some sort of built-in function.

I can't imagine why it would have banned me.  There was certainty nothing in the post that could have been flagged as obscene or anything like that.   One thing I did do was ling to a graphic of my Perceptron drawing.  Maybe for some reason that link caused me to be banned?

I don't know but the forum wasn't very active anyway.

In fact the message is still at that link it reads:

"You have been banned. Please contact to forum administrators for more information."

I don't even know how to contact the forum admins there.  But, as I say, it looked like a pretty skimpy forum anyway.   Most of the posts were unanswered.

Here's a link to the forum post I made.

Can you help me with a simple Perceptron question please?

Can you go to that link and see if you can see my post? 

It appears to have two answers already, but I can't read them because all I get is a message that I have been banned.

Is the post actually there?

DroneBot Workshop Robotics Engineer
James


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Robo Pi
(@robo-pi)
Honorable Member
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 655
2019-08-28 12:21 am  

When I go to the Home page it does show that my post was posted.

But if I click on the post all I get is the message that I have been banned.  I can't even read the post or see if there were any replies.

DroneBot Workshop Robotics Engineer
James


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Robo Pi
(@robo-pi)
Honorable Member
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 655
2019-08-28 12:25 am  
Posted by: @dronebot-workshop

If they have a method of contacting an administrator I would do that.

I'm going to try to do that, but it's not even clear how to contact an admin.   Whatever caused the ban had to be some sort of automatic software to be sure.    A moderator wouldn't have even had time to read the post.  I was banned the very second that I pressed "post".

DroneBot Workshop Robotics Engineer
James


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codecage
(@codecage)
Member Moderator
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 234
2019-08-28 1:14 am  

@robo-pi

That link takes me to a login screen.  Didn't even see any forum posts at all!

SteveG


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Robo Pi
(@robo-pi)
Honorable Member
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 655
2019-08-28 1:20 am  

How about this link:

deeplearning.ai

It also appears that I'm still logged in there ever though I'm supposedly banned.  I get the same banned message when I try to view my account.

I did send the site an email so we'll see what happens with that.

DroneBot Workshop Robotics Engineer
James


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DroneBot Workshop
(@dronebot-workshop)
Workshop Guru Admin
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 264
2019-08-28 8:31 pm  

@robo-pi

When I logged in to the first URL I got the same results Steve did, a login screen.  The second URL does let me go to the forum, but I don't see your post.  I also searched for "perceptron" but didn't find your post.

You could perhaps try using a different browser to view it yourself, they probably dropped a cookie on your original login which is why you are still logged in.

I might sign up myself, AI is certainly something that I want to learn more about. But, as you stated earlier, it doesn't seem to be a very active forum.  

Hopefully, the admin will get back to you, if your post got your banned immediately that's got to be a "glitch" in their software.

Bill

"Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window." — Steve Wozniak


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Robo Pi
(@robo-pi)
Honorable Member
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 655
2019-08-28 8:53 pm  
Posted by: @dronebot-workshop

I might sign up myself, AI is certainly something that I want to learn more about. But, as you stated earlier, it doesn't seem to be a very active forum.  

I agree, it doesn't appear to  be worth joining.   The posts don't seem to get many views or replies.

I found one that might potentially be better here:

What are the reasons a perceptron is not able to learn?

This appears to be a potentially better forum for A.I.,.... maybe?

Although as  you can see the first reply I got did not answer my question but rather tried to explain to me why a person shouldn't be asking such questions. 🤣 

I hope that's not going to be representative of typical replies there.

By the way, I already figured out the answer to my own question myself anyway.   So now it will be interesting to see if anyone in the A.I. world actually knows the answer. 😊 

One thing I was surprised about when searching for an A.I. or Neural Network forum is that they are extremely rare to find and when I did find them they seemed to be so hung up on "deep learning" etc. that no one seems to have much of an understanding of how anything works on the primal level.

Some people were saying in other articles I read that we have to know the synaptic weights before we can calculate the decision boundary of a neural network.   This is actually false.  It is true that if you know the synaptic weights you can use them to calculate the decision boundary.  They got that much correct.  But it's not true that you need to know the synaptic weights in order to calculate the decision boundary.  You can actually calculate the decision boundary just knowing the inputs and outputs.   And then once  you have the decision boundary you can even calculate what the synaptic weights should be from that.

I'm starting to wonder if anyone knows this but me?

The reason I wonder is because every lecture I've ever watched on neural networks they always guess at the initial values for the synaptic weight using random numbers.  But they don't need to do that.  They can actually calculate what the synaptic weights should be ahead of time.  It appears that they don't even realize this is possible.  Could it be that I discovered something they don't know?  That sounds basically impossible.  I'm just a yo-yo goofing around.  These people  have been studying A.I. for years as a career.  Surely they know this? 

Anyway, sorry for going off on a tangent here.  I need to get back outside and finish up my truck.  I'm almost done!  It should be back on the road by next week.  Then onto the boiler stove project.

DroneBot Workshop Robotics Engineer
James


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codecage
(@codecage)
Member Moderator
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 234
2019-08-28 10:16 pm  

@robo-pi

But if you finish the truck you'll just have to get started on another project!  Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow? 😜 

Besides I know nothing about this A.I./Neural Network stuff, so need you to enlighten me.  Give me some "perceptron" so I can learn!

And just remember everyone thought they knew everything about what Einstein was trying to prove to them, so they thought he was just a kook!

SteveG


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Robo Pi
(@robo-pi)
Honorable Member
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 655
2019-08-28 11:25 pm  
Posted by: @codecage

But if you finish the truck you'll just have to get started on another project!  Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?

Don't tell me that!  I'm the world's greatest procrastinator.   So don't encourage me.  Unfortunately I'm having trouble with the truck today.  I'm restoring a 1992 Ford F-150.  And I end up having to fabricate a lot of parts because I'm too cheap to buy them. 🤣   Today I spent most of the day fabricating a sheet metal protector for the front brake rotors.  I don't even know if these can be purchased.  But too late now, I already have this one made up.

Posted by: @codecage

Besides I know nothing about this A.I./Neural Network stuff, so need you to enlighten me.  Give me some "perceptron" so I can learn!

I'm seriously hoping to make some videos on these.  And not to worry, my lectures will begin at the extreme beginning.   In fact, I've decided that it would probably be a good idea to start with the 2-input perceptron just to be sure everyone is on board when we move up to the 3-input model.   And then they'll be,... you guessed it!  The 4-input model.  You'll end up working in 4-dimensional hyperspace with linear algebra matrices.  But again, don't worry, it's simple, I promise!

And we won't need to go beyond a 4-input perceptron because they are extremely powerful.  Far more so than people in the A.I. community apparently realize.   A 4-input perceptron is capable of recognizing 2^16 states.  That's what?   65,536 states.

Tell me you didn't know that?

Of course you did.   It's the same as a 16-bit word.

So when we get to the 4-dimensional input space we'll be able to slice that up 65 thousand, 5 hundred, and 36 ways.  I'll sure you'll want to stick around for that episode. 😎 

And that's just using binary inputs and outputs.  

Hang onto your seat belt when we move on to the real numbers.   Suddenly will be talking about making infinite slices on the input space.

Sounds mind-blowing huh?  But not to worry, once you have understood how to slice up a finite input space you'll have a really good understanding of how to slice up an infinite input space.   Trust me.  It'll be fun.

I wish I could start making the video right now.  But the truck is beckoning again, so I better go.

DroneBot Workshop Robotics Engineer
James


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codecage
(@codecage)
Member Moderator
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 234
2019-08-28 11:51 pm  

@robo-pi

Waiting with baited breath!

Guess I'll have to dust off all those math books from GA Tech from the early 70's.  I got as far as Applied Differential Equations. But what I'm remembering now might fit on the head of a pin.  Although I have been amazed at what I have remembered from my training as a teletype mechanic in the USAF since I got involved with a group that tries to keep these mechanical wonders from ending up in landfills and metal recyclers.  I've fixed many a number of machines via email!

In fact the moniker "CodeCage" is a teletype term that a fellow restorer bestowed on me!

This post was modified 3 weeks ago by codecage

SteveG


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Robo Pi
(@robo-pi)
Honorable Member
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 655
2019-08-29 12:10 am  

@codecage

It is true that I'll be working with matrices a bit.  But only on the most limited scale.   But now that you've mentioned it, it probably would be a good idea for me to make an introductory video first that explains all the tools and terminology that will be used.   In fact, I could probably toss the 2-input perceptron into that introductory video and get that 2D case out of the way. 

I will be using Python, Numpy, Pandas, and Jupyter Notebook in those lectures.  Although I'll only be using the most rudimentary functions associated with all of those.   The Python programs will be extremely short.  not even 100 lines of code.  Maybe even as few as 25 lines of code.   In fact, it takes less than that to actually program a perceptron.

However, I'll be looking at the perceptron as an actual "machine".  More like neuron in a brain.  While it can be simulated via a computer program, the perceptron itself is not a computer program.  In fact, as you probably already know, my personal goal is to build a functioning perceptron using op-amps.  So my physical perceptrons won't be doing any math calculations at all.   Unless you consider op-amps to be "doing math", but from my perspective they aren't.  Even though they can be designed to integrate and differentiate instantly via analog feedback loops.   In fact, this is what makes them so perfect for this task.  They do the math without actually doing any math at all. 😎 

No linear algebra or calculus required.   At least not for the op-amps.   Unfortunately for us humans a knowledge of linear algebra and calculus is required for trying to describe what op-amps do naturally.

In any case, don't worry about the math.  It will all be so easy you'll laugh at the very idea that you had once thought it might be difficult.   Plus there won't be any exams.  So you can't beat that!

DroneBot Workshop Robotics Engineer
James


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