We have just installed an upgrade to the latest version of our forum system which allows a new method of fighting spammers based on a visual verification system, also known as a "captcha". This should not affect the majority of your regular interactions with the forums as existing members, but anyone who signs up as a new member will need to properly enter the 5 digits shown in the image in order to complete registration. Some of you with fewer than 5 forum posts will also need to enter the visual verfication in order to send private messages. These steps are necessary to prevent unwanted spam from reaching all of us.
Prior to this upgrade all new registrations needed to be approved by a Bauman College staff member. This policy was implemented due to some serious spam-related issues we had previously encountered here. We are now experimenting to see whether the strength of the visual verification will be good enough to prevent spammer registrations and thus allow us to cut down on administrative overhead. We will be monitoring the forums closely for any signs that a spammer has gotten through and we will deal with any such instances swiftly.
We appreciate your understanding on this matter. Dealing with these spam problems is an unfortunate necessity that we are all affected by to some degree, both here and elsewhere in our Internet travels. We will try to keep the impact on our community here to a minimum.