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 55)
Edison, New Jersey, USA
Residence Atlanta, GA USA
Nationality American
Known for Skepticism, podcaster, computer security, computer software engineer
Website http://whatstheharm.net

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". Retrieved 11 December 2008. 
  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 April 7, 2010. 
  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". Retrieved 8 December 2008. 
  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 August 8, 2006 
  12. ^ "Vulnerability in Quake3Arena Auto-Download Feature". Internet Security Systems Security Advisories. IBM Internet Security Systems. May 3, 2000. Retrieved 8 December 2008. 
  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 (Oct–Nov 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), p. ?, ISSN 1535-8011, retrieved 8 December 2008 
  19. ^ Magee, Marshall W.; Farley, Tim (November 18, 1991), "Workstation Inventory Tools Collect Configuration Data", LAN Times, McGraw-Hill, ? (?), pp. 45–46, ISSN 1040-5917 
  20. ^ Farley, Tim (Nov–Dec 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 3 February 1999, retrieved 8 December 2008 
  25. ^ Schulman, Andrew; Brown, Ralf; Maxey, David; Michels, Raymond J.; Kyle, Jim (1994). Undocumented DOS: A Programmer's Guide to Reserved MS-DOS Functions and Data Structures (2nd ed.). Reading, Massachusetts: Addison Wesley. pp. 199, 204, 500, 514–515, 530–531. ISBN 978-0-201-63287-3. 
  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; 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 8 December 2008. 
  30. ^ Farley, Tim (1999). "Lessons Learned in Commercial IDS Development". Recent Advances in Intrusion Detection. Retrieved 8 December 2008. 
  31. ^ Farley, Tim (2000). "Visualization of Intrusion Detection Data". Recent Advances in Intrusion Detection. Retrieved 8 December 2008. 
  32. ^ US 8141157, Farley, Timothy P.; John M. Hammer & Bryan Douglas Williams, "Method and system for managing computer security information", issued March 20, 2012 
  33. ^ US 8266700, Sima, Caleb & Timothy Farley, "Secure web application development environment", issued September 11, 2012 
  34. ^ Dippold, Michael (April 11, 2011), "Alternative medicine is not medicine", Northern Iowan, University of Northern Iowa, retrieved October 16, 2011 
  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 (June 23, 2011). "Ethics Compels Skeptical Outreach". Skepticism & Ethics. Retrieved June 24, 2011. 
  38. ^ a b c Farley, Tim (July 7, 2011). "Researching 21st Century Skepticism". SWIFT Blog. James Randi Educational Foundation. Retrieved August 5, 2011. 
  39. ^ a b Farley, Tim (July 28, 2011). "My Skeptic Elevator Pitch". SWIFT Blog. James Randi Educational Foundation. Retrieved August 5, 2011. 
  40. ^ Farley, Tim (November–December 2009), "Skepticism via YouTube", Skeptical Inquirer, 33 (6), pp. 32–34, retrieved December 15, 2009 
  41. ^ Farley, Tim (November–December 2011), "Skeptical Anniversaries", Skeptical Inquirer, 35 (6), p. 66 
  42. ^ Walters, Maria (August 11, 2008). "More Skepchicky Meetup Goodness". Skepchick blog. Skepchick. Retrieved July 21, 2011. 
  43. ^ "Video: What's The Harm? - Tim Farley - 2/23/09". Boston Skeptics. February 23, 2009. Retrieved 19 March 2009. 
  44. ^ "Meet with Tim Farley of "What's The Harm"". Eventful. February 3, 2010. Retrieved April 7, 2010. 
  45. ^ Mountjoy, Shelley (February 12, 2010). "Dealing with Disaster: Darwin Day 2010 at GMU". Secular Student Alliance. Retrieved April 7, 2010. 
  46. ^ "September Skeptics in the Pub". Granite State Skeptics. September 13, 2010. Retrieved July 21, 2011. 
  47. ^ "Tim Farley - What's the Harm?". Meetup - Madison Skeptics. April 21, 2012. Retrieved July 9, 2012. 
  48. ^ "SkeptiCamp Atlanta 2009". Skepticamp.org. February 6, 2009. Retrieved December 9, 2009. 
  49. ^ "SkeptiCamp Atlanta 2010". Skepticamp.org. May 16, 2010. Retrieved June 24, 2011. 
  50. ^ "SkeptiCamp Atlanta 2011". Skepticamp.org. June 11, 2011. Retrieved June 24, 2011. 
  51. ^ "The Final Schedule for SkeptiCamp NYC 2009". NYC Skeptics. December 6, 2009. Retrieved December 9, 2009. 
  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. Retrieved 2012-12-29. 
  54. ^ Farley, Tim (August 17, 2011). "Case Study: How a notorious spammer was brought down via Twitter". SkepTools. Archived from the original on September 2, 2015. Retrieved September 2, 2015. 
  55. ^ "Montreal police make arrest in "Mabus" case on online death threats", CTV news, August 17, 2011, retrieved Oct 30, 2014 
  56. ^ Normandin, Pierre-André (August 11, 2011), "Menaces de mort sur internet: "Mourez, athées, mourez"", La Presse, p. A6, retrieved October 16, 2011 
  57. ^ Cherry, Paul (June 4, 2012), Montrealer Dennis Markuze pleads guilty to issuing Internet threats, Montreal Gazette, retrieved June 22, 2012 
  58. ^ "Go Tribal". Skepticality. Retrieved 7/1/2012.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  59. ^ John Timmer (November 20, 2012). "Crank who harasses science writers (including Ars) resurfaces, rearrested". Internet Crime. Science Policy and Education. ArsTecnia. Retrieved November 20, 2012. 
  60. ^ Cherry, Paul (4 June 2015). "Man who made threats over social networks ordered to follow treatment with psychiatrist". Montreal Gazette. Postmedia. Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  61. ^ Tim Farley from TAM6: Building Internet Tools for Skeptics. Fort Lauderdale, Florida: James Randi Educational Foundation. June 22, 2008. Retrieved October 12, 2011. 
  62. ^ The Amazing Meeting 6 (DVD). Fort Lauderdale, Florida: James Randi Educational Foundation. 
  63. ^ "The Amaz!ng Meeting 7 Speakers". James Randi Educational Foundation. February 23, 2009. Retrieved 19 March 2009. 
  64. ^ "The Amaz!ng Meeting 7 Workshops". James Randi Educational Foundation. February 23, 2009. Retrieved July 17, 2009. 
  65. ^ The Amazing Meeting 7 (DVD). Fort Lauderdale, Florida: James Randi Educational Foundation. 
  66. ^ Smith, Alison (March 16, 2009), "Thoughts on Chasing El Chupacabra", SWIFT, James Randi Educational Foundation, retrieved 19 March 2009 
  67. ^ Crabtree, Sadie (June 20, 2011). "Tim Farley Appointed as New JREF Research Fellow". JREF SWIFT blog. Retrieved June 24, 2011. 
  68. ^ "Today in Skeptic History". James Randi Educational Foundation. Apple Inc. iTunes App Store. June 30, 2011. Retrieved August 5, 2011. 
  69. ^ Farley, Tim (October 20, 2011). "Skeptic Metrics: Measuring Our Impact Online". SWIFT Blog. James Randi Educational Foundation. Retrieved November 27, 2011. 
  70. ^ Farley, Tim (November 15, 2011). "Skeptic History: A Tale of Two Scientists". SWIFT Blog. James Randi Educational Foundation. Retrieved November 27, 2011. 
  71. ^ Farley, Tim (14 June 2014). "Online resources for The Amazing Meeting #TAM2014". Skeptical Software Tools. Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  72. ^ "The Amaz!ng Meeting 2012 Program". JREF. Retrieved 7/1/2012.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  73. ^ McCarthy, Robynn; Colanduno, Derek (August 26, 2008), "#84: What's The Harm? Interview: Tim Farley", Skepticality, Skeptic Magazine, retrieved 2009-03-19 
  74. ^ McCarthy, Robynn; Colanduno, Derek (December 23, 2008), "#90: Tim Farley on StopSylvia.com", Skepticality, Skeptic Magazine, retrieved 2009-03-19 
  75. ^ McCarthy, Robynn; Colanduno, Derek (March 17, 2009), "#97: Atlanta Skepticamp Recap", Skepticality, Skeptic Magazine 
  76. ^ McCarthy, Robynn; Colanduno, Derek (March 1, 2010), "#123: Imagine Science - Guest: Alexis Gambis", Skepticality, Skeptic Magazine 
  77. ^ McCarthy, Robynn; Colanduno, Derek (March 15, 2010), "#124: One Nation Under the Constitution - Guest: Sean Faircloth Secular Coalition for America", Skepticality, Skeptic Magazine, retrieved April 7, 2010 
  78. ^ "A Very Special Skepchick War on Christmas". Skepchick podcast. Skepchick.org. December 23, 2008. Retrieved December 23, 2008. 
  79. ^ "#51 Skeptics In The Pub - Cambridge - Boston - February". BowlOfCheese.com. February 28, 2009. Retrieved March 28, 2009. 
  80. ^ "Skeptical Activism with Tim Farley". Skeptically Speaking. May 8, 2009. Retrieved May 22, 2009. 
  81. ^ Snider, John C.; Driscoll, David (June 19, 2009). "Podcast #56 - Tim Farley (WhatstheHarm.net)". American Freethought. Retrieved June 25, 2009. 
  82. ^ "Episode 007". Nonsense Podcast. July 31, 2009. Retrieved August 10, 2009. 
  83. ^ Abrams, Jonathan (October 5, 2009). "The Reality Check #58: Alternative Style Auctions + Interview with Tim Farley + Flamingo Colour Myth". The Reality Check. Ottawa Skeptics. Retrieved December 5, 2009. 
  84. ^ Stollznow, Karen (June 11, 2010), "Tim Farley - What’s the Harm?", Point of Inquiry, Center for Inquiry, retrieved June 12, 2010 
  85. ^ Scheffer, Damon; Waldman, Martin (June 30, 2010). "Tim Farley interviewed on CIUT's Take 5". Take 5. YouTube. Retrieved July 6, 2011. 
  86. ^ Dunlop, Rachael; Saunders, Richard (July 30, 2010), "The Skeptic Zone #93", Skeptic Zone, retrieved October 16, 2011 
  87. ^ Brown, Christopher (February 16, 2011). "MTS: Meet Tim Farley". Meet the Skeptics. LibSyn. Retrieved July 6, 2011. 
  88. ^ Simonsen, Marit (July 5, 2011). "Saltklypa #19 - Om å brenne kalorier og wolframtråder". Saltklypa podcast. Retrieved July 6, 2011. 
  89. ^ Brown, Jesse (August 31, 2011), "Audio Podcast #101: The Story of Mabus", Search Engine, TVO, retrieved October 16, 2011 
  90. ^ Fletcher, David (June 29, 2012). "What's the Harm?". Reality Check. WPRR Public Reality Radio. Retrieved July 9, 2012. 

External links[edit]