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An Idea for Spywareinfo


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#1 Noggie

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Posted 09 July 2006 - 06:29 PM

I would like comments on an idea. This is an idea that I put forward to Mike Healan already and I have his approval to see what the Spywareinfo Forum thought of it.

The idea is one that I do not think is done on any other security site. I would like to initiate an annual scholarship for a Spywareinfo Forum member, who is thinking of entering into the computer / security field. The money from this scholarship would be a per centage of the sale of software on Spywareinfo and FlyingHamster. Further, I would approach our software suppliers to see if they would contribute. It would be a tax benefit for these software companies and it might encourage them to start scholarship funds of their own, if they have not done so already.

The scholarship would be awarded to a Spywareinfo Forum member who contributes to the site. This would mean that there is some recognition of a contribution to the internet community. It might bring this forum more active help participants. - As you know, the costs of tuition and the costs of books increase every year. Assistance to a Spywareinfo Forum member would have obvious long term benefits to the security community. I also think that it is 'something good to do' (as I mentioned in a previous posting). I realize that there are many logistical questions because there are Spywareinfo Forum members from all over the planet. However, I also know that, among the membership of this forum community, are accountants, lawyers, academics and so forth. The details and logistics can be done.

What do you think? This is an idea in development; and your thoughts and impressions are important. And, if other security sites want to 'borrow' the idea, that is just fine by me...

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#2 cnm

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Posted 09 July 2006 - 07:15 PM

I think this is a lovely idea.

The first thoughts that occur to me:

It would be awarded to the person giving the most high quality help (we must not overweight sheer quantity). Regardless of person's age - some older people do go back to college or get advanced degrees.

This means that all the help by every Helper, TA, etc must be evaluated, which would be a monumental task if done all at once.

So we rate the help as we go along. This could be done by a committee of knowledgeable experts who are not interested in posting help themselves. The committee of not more than 5 people could be selected from those who volunteer. They would monitor all the help that is given; they would choose the threads with first replies each day and dibsy the thread (but would it matter if two or more people happened to rate a thread?).

There would be a simple set of points to award for each thread where help was given:
  • Positive points
    • 1 point for giving the help and following up with it promptly
    • 2 points for friendly manner
    • 3 points for well organized and readable
    • 4 points for accurate and effective
  • Negative points
    • -1 point for errors in grammar or spelling
    • -1 point for not addressing the user specifically, i.e. not tailoring Canned Speech to fit the case
    • -3 points for bad diagnosis and not asking for help from others if stuck.
    • -5 points for abandoning the thread without asking someone else to take over
This very preliminary set of scores probably has internal inconsistencies etc, i.e. will need work.
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#3 Budfred

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Posted 09 July 2006 - 08:09 PM

I agree this could be a good idea... I don't think we would need to evaluate all of the different helpers work though... We would need people to express an interest in receiving the scholarship and then evaluate only those people... This is because most helpers are probably not interested in going on for additional schooling in computer security, so the field of likely candidates in probably pretty small... One problem I could see is that some of the most deserving people already hold high ranks at SWI and that might make it questionable to consider them for the honor... Swandog46 and miekiemoes come to mind as people who fit that description... Even with these issues, I think it is a worthy idea...
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#4 cnm

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Posted 09 July 2006 - 08:24 PM

One problem I could see is that some of the most deserving people already hold high ranks at SWI and that might make it questionable to consider them for the honor... Swandog46 and miekiemoes come to mind as people who fit that description... Even with these issues, I think it is a worthy idea...

I don't see why rank here should enter into it? Explain please, Budfred.
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#5 Budfred

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Posted 09 July 2006 - 08:36 PM


One problem I could see is that some of the most deserving people already hold high ranks at SWI and that might make it questionable to consider them for the honor... Swandog46 and miekiemoes come to mind as people who fit that description... Even with these issues, I think it is a worthy idea...

I don't see why rank here should enter into it? Explain please, Budfred.

I am assuming that it would be the highest ranking people doing the assessments and deciding who would merit the scholarship and that would be a conflict of interest for anyone in a leadership role... It is possible that anyone who wants to be considered removes themselves from the process immediately, but it would probably require creating a special hidden forum to discuss candidates then so that discussions could be frank...

Essentially it would be like most contests offered by companies... You are not eligible to win if you work for the company... The difference here is that we would want a staff person to get the award, but we would have to work out the details of who can be considered and how to then exclude those people from discussion...
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#6 cnm

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Posted 09 July 2006 - 09:24 PM

I am assuming that it would be the highest ranking people doing the assessments and deciding who would merit the scholarship and that would be a conflict of interest for anyone in a leadership role...

I was thinking that mods and admins have more than enough to do already - that's why I suggested that the Committe be volunteers, from TA, Expert, etc groups. Those who have "log fatigue" might still be up for evaluating others; so as a side effect it might make those people more active here.
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#7 Trilobite

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Posted 10 July 2006 - 04:12 PM

I think it is a wonderful idea! :thumbsup:

There is a lot of talent here at SWI and I know there are many of us that have entertained the idea of entering the computer/security field. Much of this talent is represented by forum members who are too young for college or by those who have a professional background unrelated to computers or computer security. As Noggie said, a scholarship program would go a long way to help offset the exorbitant cost of tuition and books.

I like the idea of a committee decision and expanding on what Budfred said, perhaps there should be a signup thread in boot camp for interested forum members. The list could then be narrowed down in a similar fashion to how TAs and Experts are chosen. The winner could then be selected through a vote by forum Administrators or Moderators.


PS: Congrats on your 100th post Noggie!!! :wave:

#8 Kat

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 12:09 AM

I think this is an amazing idea, Noggie. I would love to help out on a committee like that, since I don't contribute to doing logs here anymore, and am through with college.

Having finished not long ago, I know how hard it is to pay for it all. Even with grant money, loans, parents help...it's still never quite enough.

This would be a beautiful way to reward someone for their hard work and dedication, and to give them a helping hand in life.

#9 motherfury

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 10:09 AM

Great idea!

I think it would not only provide some assitance but also give some sort of recognition as an award to as their ability and their character as quality help. Many people are here for the sheer fight and help considerably but not intend to go for schooling and then there is those that really could use the financial assitance. I think it fitting to have a join list so to rule out those that are not interested nor qualify. The qualifications being whatever the sponsors and SWI have agreed upon.But yeah a swell idea!
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#10 racooper

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 11:07 PM

I like the idea...unfortunately, I don't think I would qualify myself, as I don't work many logs, but I might be able to help with evaluating potential candidates....

#11 RubbeR DuckY

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 07:35 PM

I think this is a great idea, and no, not only because I am a high school student who will be attending college very shortly.
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#12 BigBooch

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Posted 12 August 2006 - 06:15 AM

For your consideration, I offer up the following process (or some variation of it) to follow to implement this idea:

1) Have the top dogs at SWI establish selection criteria, such as:

a) Person has applied for scholarship using a pre-defined form or format

b) Down-select the top ten candidates from the list of applicants based on these applications

c) Create a weighting system based on equally weighted criteria - Merit, Need, Quality of Work over past year, etc.

2) Provide that selection criteria and the top ten applicants to a committee of Developer's, Helper's, and TA's

3) Consider having two scholarships - one for Developers and one for Helpers/TA's.

4) Set up a completely separate committee, with rep's from various countries, to work the money side of the street.

I would also recommend that we have one of the current members who is a lawyer check into whether or not this would require that Mike and Noggie file as a 501.c.3 for legal/tax purposes before such a program could actually be offered. A member lawyer could also hopefully provide Pro Bono services for any such legal filings, etc.

Also, consider that the most efficient way for these committee's to function will not be via a SubForum, but will require that they gain personal knowledge of each other and can communicate via Net Meeting or some similar interactive environment.

Alternatively, we might be able to piggy-back on to some existing program from one of the alliances, such as ASAP, if such program(s) already exist . . . ???
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#13 d_may

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Posted 03 September 2006 - 08:32 PM

I think Rubber Ducky would benifit most from this. They are getting out of High School and is going to futher thier education.




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