Optional Authentication

The site now includes a new feature: optional authentication. This means that you can login to verify your identity. Note that this login authentication is currently optional -- in future, this could be made mandatory, if desired by members.

The system using an authentication service called TypeKey, which is widely used on the Internet. Below, you will see a "sign in" link at the top of the form to post a reply. Click this link. If you have a TypeKey account, then login and you will be returned to this page. If you you don't yet have a TypeKey account, you can create one after you click the "sign in" link below (takes about 30 seconds). TypeKey has a "keep me signed in for 2 weeks" setting that you can use, in order to avoid having to sign in every time you post.

There may be several ways that we can use this. I am going to research this further, and post updates at a later date. In the meantime, I strongly encourage all regular members to start using TypeKey when you post. That said, it is optional.

One of the reasons that I have added this feature is because, at times, some have complained about people posting under different names, and that people that think it is fun to impersonate others. This authentication system will validate your identity and help quickly identify posers (among other potential benefits). When you post with authentication, the icon will appear after your name.

This has been set up only for replies currently. I may add this feature for new topics in future as well.

As always, your thoughts are appreciated.

Here is an example of what a reply looks like with authentication. Notice the icon beside my name to left.

Mark :

I attempted to register, but was rejected because "Henry" is already being used.

I'll try registering again later...

Henry, there are two names that you need to choose: 1) a TypeKey login name and 2) a Nickname, or display name. The TypeKey login needs to be unique on the TypeKey system, so you might need to use henry1234 or something else. BUT, that should not prevent you from choosing "Henry" as a Nickname. The display name is the one that will appear here when you post.

Sorry about the other post!! But I think this is a great idea!

This is a great idea. Now all we need is for the bulk of people to start using it.

I don't mind sharing my email with the site, as long as it isn't posted (from bad experience in the past).

Aldebaran, email addresses will not be displayed, nor linked from you name. If you see this happening anywhere on the site, let me or Richard know and I will fix it ASAP.

A related note for all, regarding post counts:

If you start posting with TypeKey authentication, your post counts will not be reset. However, you must use the same email address for TypeKey, the same one that you have used previously on this site. The reason is that the "post counting" is based on email address.

Here are some answers to a few of the questions so far:

What does the icon show somtimes, but not others?

The mostly likely reason is that all of the threads were not yet updated to the new format. In order to enable this feature for every thread, I needed to rebuild all of them. This process takes several hours. I just started another rebuild now, to fix a minor bug (more below).

Do I have to sign in every time I want to post?

No. On the TypeKey sign in page, there is a check box that says "keep me signed for 2 weeks". If you click this box, you won't have to sign in every time.

Why do you require email addresses?

A fair question. Personally, I don't need your email address. However, I did turn on the "require email address" setting. The reason is due to the fact that the "post counting" feature on this site relies on email addresses. If TypeKey doesn't pass me your email address, I wouldn't be able to count the new posts along with the prior posts.

Why do I have to enter my URL everytime? The "remember personal info" feature isn't working.

This was a bug, thanks for pointing it out. I have just fixed it and I am rebuilding all threads with the fix.

Another benefit of using authentication:

If you use authentication, you can be flagged as "trusted". One of the benefits of trusted status, is that your posts will bypass many of the spam filters in place. These filters are designed to prevent advertising and other junk, but sometimes they trap legitimate posts as well. By becoming a trusted authenticated poster, you can prevent these false positives.

How come my post count does not show up now that i've registered? Kind of corny but i'd rather have my 900 or so posts show up than 3 ---> xxx. :confused:


The answer to your question is above in the "Why do you require email addresses?" section.

This used email addresses to count posts. To ensure that your authenicated posts get counted along with the unauthenitcated comments, you must use the same email address for your typekey account. So if you go into your TypeKey account and change your address to the one that you previously used here, it should start counting properly. Let me know if this works.

ups, looking at your previous email address, I wonder if you were using a fake email address. (This is fine, of course, often a good way to prevent spam.) If this is the case, reply here and let me know. There may be a way that I can still get things to work. It's a bit of manual hack, but I think it may work... ;)

Yeah, Mark you're right I put in ups@down.com as my email. :D


I okay, I made the manual change. Hopefully it will work.

Okay, it seems to have worked. We'll know for sure after your next post. To be safe, pleasew do the following before posting:

-uncheck the "Remember personal info?" checkbox (you can check it again later)
-signout of TypeKey, then sign back in
-then post a reply to this thread as a test

I will then check it out to make sure everything is working okay.

Let's see how it works... :wink:

hmmm here's a post with "remember personal info" checked... :confused:

Okay, it didn't work. :(

I made another tweak. Try replying here again...

trying again -- thanks for the help Mark.

Well done Mark -- thanks! 8)