Tim Farley

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Timothy Patrick Farley
Tim Farley at Dragon*Con.jpg
At Dragon*Con 2011
Born (1962-08-12) August 12, 1962 (age 57)
ResidenceAtlanta, GA USA
Known forSkepticism, podcaster, computer security, computer software engineer

Timothy Patrick Farley (born August 12, 1962) is a computer software engineer, writer and instructor who lives in Atlanta, Georgia. He is an expert in computer security and reverse engineering as well as a skeptic. He was a research fellow of the James Randi Educational Foundation. Tim Farley is the creator of the website What's The Harm?, a resource where stories are documented and categorized about the damage done when people fail to use critical thinking skills. Farley was also instrumental in the apprehension of spammer "David Mabus."

Early life[edit]

Farley was born in 1962 and grew up in Edison, New Jersey. He later lived in Valdosta, Georgia and in Atlanta, Georgia.

While in high school and college, Farley was involved in Star Trek fandom and wrote for[1][2] and edited[3] several fanzines. Most of his writing was non-fiction, examining the science of Star Trek such as the technology shown.[4] In 1985 Farley created the Star Trek Historical Calendar which related science, cartoons and historical facts associated with the series.[5] This venture in college he credits with guiding his later interests in his "This day in skeptic history" project.[6] He was also president of two different Star Trek fan clubs at different times: VISTAS in Valdosta[7] and ASTRA in Atlanta. Later he worked on the staff of several Atlanta-area conventions including Atlanta Fantasy Fair and Dragon Con.[8]

Professional career[edit]

His professional career has been in software development, specializing in network communications, computer security and reverse engineering of binary software. He has worked for several Atlanta-area software companies including SemWare,[9] Magee Enterprises,[10] Internet Security Systems,[11][12] and SPI Dynamics[13] among others.

He has written a number of articles for computer periodicals about programming,[14][15][16][17][18] computer networking[19][20][21] and other topics.[22] He has also written a chapter for a book on computer networking.[23] As an expert in reverse engineering he has been quoted in BYTE Magazine[24] and contributed material to the book Undocumented DOS[25] and other books.[26][27][28]

He has participated in computer industry standards committees[29] and has presented at computer industry conferences.[30][31] He has received three patents for his work in computer security.[11][32][33] Farley has also worked as an instructor for commercial computer security training, including reverse engineering and secure application development.

Tim Farley at TAM9, July 2011

Career as a skeptic[edit]

Farley is the creator of the web site What's The Harm? which documents the damage done by mistaken beliefs, misinformation and pseudoscience.[34][35]

In an interview with Richard Saunders on the Skeptic Zone podcast, Farley discussed how he wanted to try to stay focused on "concrete stories of people that actually got hurt" that he could cite with some kind of "decent documentation". He stated that he wanted to keep the format simple so that anyone could comfortably access the stories, on any browser with no flashy videos. He hopes to expand the site into longer feature stories of some of the more documented or popular stories. Saunders stated that the site "has a wealth of information, if someone asks you "what's the harm?", you can run to this website and see that the harm is... lack of critical thinking."[36]

Farley has written on skeptical topics at his Skeptical Software Tools blog and elsewhere.[37][38][39] He also been published in Skeptical Inquirer.[40][41]

Farley has spoken at local skeptics meetings such as Skeptics in the Pub in Atlanta,[42] Boston,[43] Reno, Nevada,[44] Washington, DC,[45] Manchester, New Hampshire[46] and Madison, Wisconsin.[47] He presented at several SkeptiCamps including Atlanta in 2009,[48] 2010[49] and 2011[50] and New York City in 2009.[51]

Speaking at TAM 2012, Farley urged the audience of skeptics to become more involved spreading critical thinking on the Internet, just a few minutes each day. "We need more tools... we need people welding these tools, we need to be the army that is using these tools as weapons against the quacks and the psychics." He cautions skeptics not to get too comfortable thinking that science will always win, because it is right. "We may delude ourselves in thinking it [science] does not need our help." He listed many new software tools that are available on the Internet for free and are relatively easy to use, and he reminded the audience, "Our opponents are doing everything they can to push nonsense on the general public." In his final advice to attendees he stated "Spread out - Pay attention - Stop wasting your online time."[52]

Farley was named one of the Top Skeptics of 2012 by the podcast The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe.[53]

"David Mabus"[edit]

In August 2011, Farley played a role in the identification and apprehension of Dennis Markuze.[54] Markuze, using the name David Mabus, was responsible for a campaign of online threats against skeptics and atheists for many years.[55][56]

In June 2012, Markuze pleaded guilty "to uttering threats toward eight people" and received an 18-month suspended sentence. Farley, who had been threatened, stated for the Montreal Gazette that he believed Markuze had continued his threats against atheists right up to his sentencing. Markuze, through his attorney, denied it,[57][58] but was soon re-arrested for violating conditions of his parole.[59]

Markuze received a sentence in June 2015. It includes three years during which he is required to follow the treatment of a psychiatrist and take and prescribed medications. He is also prohibited from communicating in any way with Farley.[60]

Four JREF fellows: Tim Farley, Karen Stollznow, Steven Novella & Ray Hall. Portrait taken at The Amaz!ng Meeting TAM9 from Outer Space July 16, 2011.

James Randi Educational Foundation[edit]

Farley has been affiliated with the James Randi Educational Foundation for several years. He gave a presentation at The Amaz!ng Meeting 6 in July 2008 entitled "Building Internet Tools for Skeptics."[61][62] Farley was a featured guest at The Amazing Meeting 7 in July 2009[63] where he led a workshop titled "Introduction to Skepticism & the Skeptic Web"[64] and also presented a paper with Christian Walters titled "How Are We Doing? Attracting and Keeping Visitors to Skeptic Web Sites."[65] He also gave a presentation and sat on a panel during The Amaz!ng Adventure 4[66] and gave another presentation on The Amaz!ng Adventure 5.

In June 2011, Farley was named a research fellow by the organization.[67] He researched the information in the organization's Today in Skeptic History iPhone app[38][68] and writes for JREF's blog.[38][39][69][70] In February 2014, Farley's position as a JREF Fellow ended.[71]

At TAM 2012, Farley's lectures focused on improving activism (and reducing slacktivism) in the skeptical movement. His lectures included the workshop, The Future of Skepticism Online: Crowd-Sourced Activism and a panel Future of Skepticism with D. J. Grothe, Reed Esau, Barbara Drescher and Jamy Ian Swiss.[72]

Podcasting & other media[edit]

Farley has been interviewed on the Skepticality podcast three times.[73][74][75] As of Skepticality #123 he regularly appears on the program to present a short segment called A Few Minutes of Skeptic History.[76][77] He has also appeared on the Skepchick podcast,[78] Jeff Cutler's Bowl of Cheese,[79] Skeptically Speaking on CJSR-FM,[80] American Freethought,[81] Nonsense Podcast,[82] The Reality Check,[83] Point of Inquiry,[84] Take 5 on CIUT-FM,[85] Skeptic Zone,[86] Meet the Skeptics,[87] the Norwegian podcast Saltklypa,[88] Search Engine with Jesse Brown[89] and WPRR's Reality Check.[90]

References, footnotes and selected bibliography[edit]

  1. ^ Landers, Randall. "Non-Fiction Articles Published by Orion Press". Archived from the original on 2012-04-14. Retrieved 2008-12-11.
  2. ^ Verba, Joan Marie (2003). Boldly Writing: A Trekker Fan & Zine History, 1967-1987 (2nd ed.). Minnetonka, Minnesota: FTL Publications. pp. 51, 57, 67, 83. ISBN 0965357546.
  3. ^ 1986 Fiction Writer's Market. Cincinnati, Ohio: Writer's Digest Books. 1986. p. 273. Retrieved 2010-04-07.
  4. ^ Penley, Constance (1997). NASA/Trek: Popular Science and Sex in America. Brooklyn, New York: Verso. p. 117. ISBN 0860916170.
  5. ^ "The Star Trek Historical Calendar". Fanlore. Retrieved 2012-06-20.
  6. ^ Farley, Tim (2012-03-20). "How Star Trek Prepared me for Skeptic History". Skeptical Software Tools. Retrieved 2012-06-20.
  7. ^ Turnbull, Gerry (1979). A Star Trek Catalog. New York City, New York: Grosset & Dunlap. p. 58. ISBN 0441784771.
  8. ^ Cashman, Paul (July 1996). "Dragon*Con '96 Con Report, Part I". Archived from the original on 2007-06-19. Retrieved 2008-12-08.
  9. ^ Callahan, Mike; Anis, Nick (1990). Dr. File Finder's Guide to Shareware. Berkeley, California: Osborne McGraw-Hill. p. 54. ISBN 0078816467.
  10. ^ Farley, Tim (1993). Network H.Q. Version 2.5: User's Manual. Atlanta, Georgia: Magee Enterprises.
  11. ^ a b US 7089428, Farley, Timothy P.; John M. Hammer & Bryan Douglas Williams et al., "Method and system for managing computer security information", issued 2006-08-08 
  12. ^ "Vulnerability in Quake3Arena Auto-Download Feature". Internet Security Systems Security Advisories. IBM Internet Security Systems. 2000-05-03. Archived from the original on 2009-01-02. Retrieved 2008-12-08.
  13. ^ Secure Web Application Development Environment by Caleb Sima and Tim Farley. U.S. Patent Application# 10/908,520
  14. ^ Farley, Tim (April–May 1991), "HAX #61: Moving the Stack Frame's Sweet Spot", PC Techniques Magazine, The Coriolis Group, 2 (1), p. 68, ISSN 1053-6205
  15. ^ Farley, Tim (June–July 1991), "HAX #67: Nonobvious Uses for IF EXIST", PC Techniques Magazine, The Coriolis Group, 2 (2), p. 34, ISSN 1053-6205
  16. ^ Farley, Tim (October–November 1992), "Using the High Memory Area", PC Techniques Magazine, The Coriolis Group, 3 (4), pp. 56–58, ISSN 1053-6205
  17. ^ Farley, Tim (May 1997), "Tech Tip: Expanding Studio's Recently Used Project List", Windows Developer's Journal, Miller Freeman, 8 (5), pp. 45–46, ISSN 1083-9887
  18. ^ Farley, Tim (June 2006), "ASP.NET 2.0 Configuration Lockdown", asp.netPRO Magazine, Informant Communications Group, 5 (6), ISSN 1535-8011, archived from the original on 2011-06-24, retrieved 2008-12-08
  19. ^ Magee, Marshall W.; Farley, Tim (1991-11-18), "Workstation Inventory Tools Collect Configuration Data", LAN Times, McGraw-Hill, pp. 45–46, ISSN 1040-5917
  20. ^ Farley, Tim (November–December 1993), "Checking NetWare Driver Versions in DOS", Network Developer's Resource, pp. 1+
  21. ^ Farley, Tim (July 1993), "Tracking the Locally-Administered Address", NetWare Solutions Magazine, New Media Publications, 2? (10?), p. 10, ISSN 1058-2800
  22. ^ Farley, Tim (February 1992), "Decoding the Alphabet Soup of Modem Labels", Atlanta Computer Currents, Computer Currents Publications, p. 34, ISSN 1040-6034
  23. ^ Connally, Runnoe; Hall, Sheldon T. (1994). Windows 3.1 Connectivity Secrets. San Mateo, California: IDG Books. pp. 335–364. ISBN 1568840306.
  24. ^ "Court Action: Developers Debate Stac-Microsoft Trade-Secrets Decision", BYTE Magazine, McGraw-Hill, 19 (6), p. 38, June 1994, ISSN 0360-5280, archived from the original on 1999-02-03, retrieved 2008-12-08
  25. ^ Schulman, Andrew; Brown, Ralf D.; Maxey, David; Michels, Raymond J.; Kyle, Jim (1994) [November 1993]. Undocumented DOS: A programmer's guide to reserved MS-DOS functions and data structures - expanded to include MS-DOS 6, Novell DOS and Windows 3.1 (2 ed.). Reading, Massachusetts: Addison Wesley. pp. 199, 204, 500, 514–515, 530–531. ISBN 0-201-63287-X. ISBN 978-0-201-63287-3. (xviii+856+vi pages, 3.5"-floppy) Errata: [1][2]
  26. ^ Duntemann, Jeff; Weiskamp, Keith (1992). PC Techniques C/C++ Power Tools. New York City: Bantam Books. pp. 488–489, 549–551. ISBN 0-553-37126-6.
  27. ^ Brown, Ralf D.; Kyle, Jim (1994). Network Interrupts. Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley. p. 5. ISBN 0201626446.
  28. ^ Schulman, Andrew (1994). Unauthorized Windows 95. Foster City, California: International Data Group Company. p. 593. ISBN 9781568841694. OCLC 300092018.
  29. ^ Waldbusser, S.; Grillo, P. (March 2000). "RFC 2790: Host Resources MIB". Network Working Group. Internet Engineering Task Force. Retrieved 2008-11-08.
  30. ^ Farley, Tim (1999). "Lessons Learned in Commercial IDS Development". Recent Advances in Intrusion Detection. Retrieved 2008-12-08.
  31. ^ Farley, Tim (2000). "Visualization of Intrusion Detection Data". Recent Advances in Intrusion Detection. Retrieved 2008-12-08.
  32. ^ US 8141157, Farley, Timothy P.; John M. Hammer & Bryan Douglas Williams, "Method and system for managing computer security information", issued 2012-03-20 
  33. ^ US 8266700, Sima, Caleb & Timothy Farley, "Secure web application development environment", issued 2012-09-11 
  34. ^ Dippold, Michael (2011-04-11), "Alternative medicine is not medicine", Northern Iowan, University of Northern Iowa, archived from the original on 2011-06-22, retrieved 2011-10-16
  35. ^ Brown, Christopher. "The Amazing Meeting 2012: Tim Farley". Retrieved 2012-07-17.
  36. ^ Saunders, Richard. "The Skeptic Zone #184 - 28.Apr.2012". The Skeptic Zone. Retrieved 2012-06-06.
  37. ^ Farley, Tim (2011-06-23). "Ethics Compels Skeptical Outreach". Skepticism & Ethics. Retrieved 2011-06-24.
  38. ^ a b c Farley, Tim (2011-07-07). "Researching 21st Century Skepticism". SWIFT Blog. James Randi Educational Foundation. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
  39. ^ a b Farley, Tim (2011-07-28). "My Skeptic Elevator Pitch". SWIFT Blog. James Randi Educational Foundation. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
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  51. ^ "The Final Schedule for SkeptiCamp NYC 2009". NYC Skeptics. 2009-12-06. Retrieved 2009-12-09.
  52. ^ ""You are the Future of Skepticism on the Internet" - Tim Farley - TAM 2012". JREF. Retrieved 2012-08-23.
  53. ^ "#389". The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe. Archived from the original on 2013-01-05. Retrieved 2012-12-29.
  54. ^ Farley, Tim (2011-08-17). "Case Study: How a notorious spammer was brought down via Twitter". SkepTools. Archived from the original on 2015-09-02. Retrieved 2015-09-02.
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  60. ^ Cherry, Paul (2015-06-04). "Man who made threats over social networks ordered to follow treatment with psychiatrist". Montreal Gazette. Postmedia. Retrieved 2015-06-04.
  61. ^ Tim Farley from TAM6: Building Internet Tools for Skeptics. Fort Lauderdale, Florida: James Randi Educational Foundation. 2008-06-22. Retrieved 2011-10-12.
  62. ^ The Amazing Meeting 6. Fort Lauderdale, Florida: James Randi Educational Foundation.
  63. ^ "The Amaz!ng Meeting 7 Speakers". James Randi Educational Foundation. 2009-02-23. Retrieved 2009-03-19.
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  67. ^ Crabtree, Sadie (2011-06-20). "Tim Farley Appointed as New JREF Research Fellow". JREF SWIFT blog. Retrieved 2011-06-24.
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  69. ^ Farley, Tim (2011-10-20). "Skeptic Metrics: Measuring Our Impact Online". SWIFT Blog. James Randi Educational Foundation. Retrieved 2011-11-27.
  70. ^ Farley, Tim (2011-11-15). "Skeptic History: A Tale of Two Scientists". SWIFT Blog. James Randi Educational Foundation. Retrieved 2011-11-27.
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  72. ^ "The Amaz!ng Meeting 2012 Program". JREF. Retrieved 2012-07-01.
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External links[edit]