a reminder about the existence of the Popehat forums

A reminder: there's a link in the left sidebar that takes you to the Popehat forums.

After you register, you can read and post even more Popehat themed bull.

Available varieties of bull include:

  • Colosseum – A forum for all types of games.
  • Ex Cathedra – Irrationally infallible thoughts about life, politics, religion, current events, and minutiae.
  • Popehat adoption forum – (to read and write here you need to register on the forums, and then send Ken a personal message to join.)

Hi, this is Ken. Normally I wouldn't hijack a co-blogger's post. But if Clark were paying attention he'd know the forum software is returning false "you've been banned" messages to people trying to register. People then email me. All day. Every day.

Hi, this is not Ken.  Normally I wouldn't hijack a co-blogger's post either, and instead would be doing something constructive for society like keeping the streets of the city I live in zombie free.  Being one of the founding members, I can take these liberties and I don't see any reason to sugar coat that particular aspect, unlike Ken who  would like you to maintain calm but is abusing his powers for nefarious purposes.  I digress.  The forums are getting replaced wholesale because phpBB3 sucks goat ass.  Well, the vast body of existing forum software sucks goat ass, point of fact.  Something that didn't finally materialized earlier this year.  It is our hope that we'll be taking all of the data with us but we can't offer any definitive details.  Stay tuned.


Clark, you will pay. Don't think you won't pay.

Ken here. STOP HIJACKING MY HIJACK OF THIS POST. It appears that forum registrations are now working. I am activating them as they come in.

Last 5 posts by Clark


  1. Angstela says

    Oh good — I've been wondering when to bring this up in comments!

    I can't register as my IP address "has been blocked because it is blacklisted". The link supplied for details doesn't work (an endless "you will be redirected in a few seconds…" or a 404 error, depending on the internet's mood), and there doesn't seem to be any other way to contact anyone about the problem.

    FWIW, my ISP just my phone company (bell.ca), so no idea what spammers they've also been hosting. How do I fix this?

  2. Qitaana says

    Also blacklisted for reasons unknown. I'm on an AT&T U-Verse connection in the SF Bay Area.

  3. Delvan says

    That'd be fun, but it seems IPs from my university (Oregon State) are not permitted within the hallowed halls of the Popehat Forums.

  4. Grifter says

    I created a form post not-all-that-long after first coming here….and then I realized that it seems the regular commenters don't go into the forums all that much.

  5. Delvan says

    Oh, yes, angstela, Quitaana, same thing. The redirect page, if you allow automatic redirects, then just tries to get you to install "Flash Player Pro" (which isn't a real adobe product).

  6. Dirkmaster says

    Yeah, I couldn't register either, and when I clicked on the link to find out why, Avast had a cow.

  7. says


    Clark knows, or should know, that our spazzy forum software is telling people that they've been banned when they try to register.

    Clark knows, or should know, that the emails complaining about this come to me.

    Clark knows, or should know, that I am busy.

    Clark will pay. Oh, Clark will pay.

  8. princessartemis says

    Tell your forum software that spasticity, while painful, is not an excuse to ban the whole world! (It just feels like it sometimes.)

  9. OngChotwI says

    So.. do we attempt to register; annoy you and get Clark in a deeper hole, or wait until it's sorted out?

  10. says

    Banning upon registration sounds like a great solution to what ails the Internet.

    Exactly. Knowing that I might be banned upon registering only makes me want to sign up.

    Actually, I think I registered ages ago and forgot my username/password combo. That's probably an offense that merits a lifetime ban, so I guess it all works out in the end.

  11. naught_for_naught says

    phpBB is an open source tool, widely used and widely targeted by spammers. I once put up an instance, forgot about in for a month and then came back to find it taken over by what seemed like a troupe of carnies who rented out the rooms to every dick-cream merchant and farm animal freak that knocked at the door. It was awful.

    The community as a whole has struggled with this problem. DNS blocking using blacklists that are built communally are problematic, but it's really the best tool that's available.

  12. says

    Clicking on the link to find out why I was blacklisted was immediately followed by my anti virus program informing me it blocked an attack.

  13. says

    > Clark knows, or should know, that our spazzy forum software is telling people that they've been banned when they try to register.

    I wouldn't know, Ken; I haven't had a working understanding of my co-bloggers since Korea.

    But seriously – if I'd realized that a simple "I'm bored; I want my internet friends to entertain me" post was going to generate this much butt-hurt for Ken…I would have done it MONTHS ago.

  14. ppnl says

    Yeah, I was blocked as well. That was ok with me but when I clicked on the link to get more information it fed me to someone who wanted me to do a survey for a chance to win a new iPad.

    Ken in bed with internet marketers? What next free pony rides?

    Clark should be afraid. Clark should be very afraid.

  15. JR says

    Whatever happened to that post you were wanted to do? I've been looking forward to it, but none of the other posts seemed appropriate for the pestering you requested upon failure to produce.

  16. Rhonda Lea Kirk Fries says

    Well, it seems that I too am on a blacklist (Spamhaus and SORBS are unhappy with Verizon–I agree with them).

    I notice, however, that the link to atlbl.com is compromised. Chrome and Firefox won't go there, but IE is more than pleased to allow a browser hijack to several different compromised sites. (Note to Delvan, the Flash page is probably malware. I hit it too, and I got out of there quick.)

    I love an adventure. I will sign up as soon as I as I get my issue resolved, and you fix your forum software.

  17. says

    I've turned off the possibly compromised blacklist.

    So if you've been told you're coming from a site banned for participation in a botnet, and you're pretty sure you're not unwittingly computing with a zombie in same, then please try again, if you must, to join the Popehat forum!

  18. says

    So a question..

    Do the frequency of the Emails sent directly affect the amount of 'payola' that Clark will receive? Do Multiple emails from the same source no matter the relevance count? Can non-US citizens enter this 'payment' competition? Will the most amount of emails sent receive a certified "I made Clark pay..oh so much pay" notice signed by Ken, witnessed by a pony, and authorised by the warden for the funny farm that Ken was sent to due to this constant annoyance?

    Enquiring "evil genius" minds would like to know. *bwahahahahahaha*

  19. says


    > @Clark, Whatever happened to that post you were wanted to do?

    90% written a few days after I promised I'd write it … and never finished. :-(

  20. says

    So, I didn't know that there were forums on here (I am illiterate, and didn't read the page). I have registered, is it ok to spam ken asking for a confirmation?

  21. Ken Mencher says

    So…I have a question…

    Should I file a lawsuit about being improperly banned from registering for the forums?

    If so, who do I sue?

  22. angstela says

    @Ken Mencher: Everyone — especially us commenters. Have you learned nothing?

    @David: Have now submitting a registration, which says that it must be approved by the board administrator before my account will be activated; it adds I will be notified if I am permitted the very great honor of gazing at your forums.

  23. Rhonda Lea Kirk Fries says

    @David Thanks. It works now.

    Verizon claims that because of the scarcity of IPv4 addresses, it buys them when blocks come available. I think it is a bizarre policy to release them without having them first removed from the various blacklists they're listed on. (I've been through three IPs now, and the one I woke up to this morning is also blacklisted.)

    Also, I found this thread referencing atlbl:

  24. StephenH says

    "Something that didn't finally materialized earlier this year."
    Oooh… does that mean you guys are installing Discourse? That could be neat.

  25. Blah says

    Ooh that IS exciting….I haven't had the chance to try Atwood's latest offering yet, and I can't think of anything else that'd be referring to.

  26. Lucy says

    Feb. 26 was a hopping day last year. I haven't navigated effectively enough to find out what happened that day in Popehat history. It's not very mobile friendly. Thanks for the prompt about the forums. The comment threads keep me reading Popehat almost as much as the blog posts themselves. The forum looks like a great place to keep reading in between blog post.

    I second the nudge.

  27. Merissa says

    I'd like to participate, BTW, but don't remember any of my info. Should I re-register, or would that be annoying?

  28. AlphaCentauri says

    Friends don't let friends use SORBS. They are extremely aggressive. They use their blocklist as a means to influence ISP behavior rather than as a practical way to filter forum sign ups.

    Once an IP address is on their blocklist, it stays there until someone applies to remove it and pays a contribution to a charity of their choice — even if it's a dynamic IP range and the trojan-infested computer that sent the spam last used that particular IP address a couple years ago. (In contrast, Spamcop retires blacklisted IPs after 24 hours if the spamming was an isolated burst.) SORBS blocks all of Verizon IP ranges because they object to Verizon Business's alleged willingness to move email spammers to new IP ranges when the old ones get blocklisted. (Verizon and SORBS have different definitions of "spam." I have heard responsible email marketers claim they were blacklisted for proper double-opt-in challenge emails that went to a SORBS honeypot, but I also know Verizon tolerates marketers that send spam unless you actively respond by opting out, something no one should ever do unless they want lots more spam.)

    If your main purpose is to fight back against spammers like a naked berserker, SORBS might work for you, but if you want your real users to have access, it's not the service you want.

  29. AlphaCentauri says

    Also, it doesn't make sense to use an email blocking list to block forum sign ups. My own IP should rightly be blocked if it sends email, because I'm supposed to go through my ISP's mailserver. It has nothing to do with using the IP address when browsing.

  30. says

    I highly recommend SMF for your forum software if you're really examining alternative software. The email address that I've used functions and your search engine of choice will take you to the appropriate site to download SMF or learn more about it. If you decide to switch and have any issues or questions then, as I mentioned, the email address I used is real.

    I get enough from you folks (I read and check your site often, this is the only time I've bothered to comment) so I don't mind answering any questions you may have. You can convert your current database and PHPBB3 install so that you don't lose any data or the likes if you want. It's a handy script, well written and supported, and they have an active forum for support issues.

    I'm not currently affiliated with them in any way (I used to do some coding for them) and they provide the software free. I guess that's full disclosure.

    Give 'em a look and, as I mentioned, I'll answer any questions you might have if I can and you need. You all provide a service/site that I appreciate so I can take a couple of minutes out of my busy schedule *smirk* if you have any additional questions.

  31. efemmeral says

    Is the forum a good place to complain about the lack of a Popehat t-shirt and to request future offerings include women's sizes?