CR4 FAQ Items
Conference Room 4® (CR4) is a forum for engineers, scientists, technical researchers, technical buyers, students and folks who just like technology to discuss engineering news, seek technical help and get answers to burning questions. CR4 is a community website supported by GlobalSpec, the Engineering Search Engine. CR4 is a for-profit website that generates revenue via advertisements and sponsorships.
Click here to view the CR4 Site Use Policy.
CR4 is an engineering community website sponsored by Globalspec, Inc. Most members of the moderation team are Globalspec employees; however, CR4 in no way represents or speaks for GlobalSpec. The words of all moderators and every CR4 user are his or her own.
Registering at CR4 is easy and free. Simply click the "Register" link (Hint: It's on the right-hand side of the red bar that’s near the top of the CR4 home page). Then follow the steps.
No, you are not. The two sites are completely different in terms of registration. Both sites use separate passwords and security systems. If you register at GlobalSpec.com, you are not automatically registered at CR4. Conversely, if you become a registered member of CR4, you are not registered at GlobalSpec.com. To become a member of both sites, you must register at both sites.
Click here and follow the steps.
Email us at email@example.com
Yes. Cookies are used to track your username / password and to identify the posts you've read during your current session. If your browser does not accept cookies, some CR4 functions won't work properly.
A lot of people worry about cookies (and not without reason), but the simple fact is that cookies are how we know it's you from one click to the next.
When you register with CR4, you create an account with a user name. After registering, you can login to take advantage of CR4’s personalization features, and to have your username displayed on comments and posts. To login, look in the upper right-hand corner of the CR4 home page for the Login link. This link will take you to a page where you can enter your username and password. Remember that your password is case-sensitive. This means, for example, that 'S' and 's' are different.
Click the "Edit Profile" button within your own user profile, or choose the "Edit Profile" link at the bottom of the site-wide right-hand navigation bar. (Hint: This link is in a box labeled "Logged In".) From within the Edit Profile action area, you may:
At the top of the right-hand navigation bar in the box labeled "Got Something to Say?", click either "Ask a Question" (to ask / post a question) or "Start a Discussion" (to report / post news, tell a story, etc.). Enter a title and your message (including related links, if applicable), then select the appropriate forum for your entry. Click "Preview Thread" to see how your submission will look. If everything looks good, submit your entry; you can also edit your post within fifteen minutes of publishing it, if you find errors. Once the post is submitted, it will appear on CR4 in the forum that you selected.
If you own the copyright, then the answer is "yes".
If you do not own the copyright, then limited presentation of material is permissible via the "Fair Use" Doctrine. A reasonable rule-of-thumb is that copying three paragraphs from a normal-length news article or editorial (approximately 300 words) is acceptable as long as attribution is provided; however, this is not a hard-and-fast rule. If you’re unsure about what to do, then don’t post the material. If you do not know the copyright status of a given block of text, assume it is owned by someone else.
Copying and pasting complete copyrighted articles without permission from the copyright holder is categorically prohibited by copyright laws. Copyright infringement can expose both you and CR4 to financial liability. Please do not do this. Otherwise, the CR4 moderation team will be forced to remove your post and possibly ban you from the site.
Copying and pasting copyrighted images without permission is the same as using copyrighted text. It is a violation of intellectual property laws. If you want to use an image, get permission from the copyright holder first. When in doubt, don't post the image.
Yes, we ask that you avoid using registered trademarks, company names, your email address (or anyone else’s) or the names of real people (who are not you) in or as your username. You should also avoid using foul, unsavory or profane language that violates the CR4 site policy.
Each user is allowed to create one account. One person, one account. No exceptions.
Although you are free to post as you wish, as long as your post does not violate the CR4 Site Use Policy, we ask that you follow these guidelines when posting or commenting on CR4.
It depends on what you are writing about. CR4 is divided into 15 sections, each with at least one forum:
Report the post to the CR4 moderation team or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The moderators can move it for you. Occasionally, a site moderator will do this of his or her own volition upon finding a post that belongs in another area. This is most likely to happen in relation to items that belong in Commercial Space.
A forum is a place where any user can ask a question or start a discussion. All CR4 members can post to forums, and reply to posts within a forum.
A weblog (blog) is an online journal comprised of original, written content along with links and images. A blog is owned by an individual user or a small group of users. Only the blog owner or owners can post blog entries; however, all users can comment about these posts.
To reply to a forum post, blog entry, or comment from another user, simply click the "Reply" button associated with the given entry. Enter your message in the box provided, then preview and submit your comment.
You can rate any forum thread from 1 to 5 stars - 1 being poor and 5 being superlative. At the top of every thread are three gray boxes. Click "Rate this", select the desired number of stars, and then click "Add Vote". Your opinion of the thread will be registered instantly and added to the total. Please note: we do not display half or quarter stars. Instead, we round up or round down to the closest rating, so that an item rated 3.2 stars will display as 3 stars, while something rated 3.7 will appear as 4 stars. You are welcome to change your vote at any time, but CR4 will only consider your most recent vote for the story (i.e., if you give a story a 2, but then go back and change your vote to 4, your original vote of 2 is deleted).
Users can rate comments as "good answers" (GAs) or "off topic" (OT). Only registered members of CR4 can rate comments, and each member can cast only one vote per comment (except if you give your own comment an "off topic" vote, as this immediately relegates the comment to off-topic status). It takes a net of two positive votes (+2) for a post to be considered "good" and a net of two negative votes (-2) for a post to be considered "off topic". Comments voted as "good answers" will be ringed in green with a thumbs-up icon. Comments voted "off-topic" will be minimized. Additionally, "good answers" are noted in the user's profile as part of a running tally.
"Good answer" votes should be given only to comments that provide a valuable technical contribution. Comments should be voted "off-topic" only if they do not directly pertain to the original post.
The "off topic" feature should not be used in cases where you simply disagree with a poster's point-of-view, nor should this feature be used to punish another user. Posters who engage in such activity will lose their ability to rate comments and may have their account closed.
Over time, you may see your running tally fluctuate up or down. This is a normal occurrence as other users may appreciate the value of your posts, or feel that they lack merit. If you believe you have lost "good answer" votes unfairly, please contact the CR4 moderation team and ask them to investigate. If your case is founded, you will have your "good answers" returned. Generally, however, the greatest fluctuations occur when a user receives a "good answer" for a political comment ("Bush is an idiot" or "it's all Obama's fault"), a questionable claim (HHO/perpetual motion, anti-evolution, conspiracy theories, etc.), or a populist message ("It's all the fault of x government/business/entity"). Then someone of a differing viewpoint marks the comment "off topic". In these cases, the CR4 moderation team will not make a change, as the "good answers" were based on agreement with an opinion rather than on technical merit.
Only blog owners can post entries to a blog; however, all users can reply to entries in a blog as within a forum. Many CR4 blogs allow visitors to submit material to the blog’s owner or owners for potential inclusion. So, if you’re moved to write, use the "Contact Blog Admins" button. You are also are welcome to lobby the blog's owner to invite you in as a blog owner, but this will likely require demonstrated expertise on the subject, as well as dedication to CR4 in terms of usage, rank, and quality citizen-journalism. Note that some CR4 blogs are owned by organizations that may wish to maintain control of the blog’s ownership.
So you think you've got what it takes to be a CR4 blogger? Well, then contact the CR4 moderation team and request your own blog. Let the moderators know what you'd like to write about and your experience / expertise in the field. Be specific and be prepared to provide samples of your work. These may include your work on other blogs. Your content sample will be evaluated along with your history on CR4. Typically, you’ll be asked to write a few entries for an existing CR4 blog before being given your own CR4 blog. Note, however, that we will not accept bloggers who simply want to promote a product, service, or company. Blog entries must have technical merit and all blog owners must make a commitment to blogging.
User Groups are CR4 members who have something in common and want others to know about it. Joining a User Group causes a "badge" or image to display on your posts. User Groups can develop based on many factors, such as personal interests, similar experiences, hobbies, geographic location, career paths, etc. Some User Groups have open memberships. Others require permission to join. The list of existing user groups can be found on the User Group Index. Any registered member of CR4 can petition to join a group or submit a request to create a new User Group. At this time, User Groups do not have their own forums. They are simply groups of users based on their affinities.
Pathfinder tags are similar to keywords. They are added to a post to detail important topics within the post, and to allow users to find a post more easily. Pathfinder tags may be added by the poster when the entry is first posted and, occasionally, by the CR4 moderation team.
Registered users can tag forum posts and blog entries to make it easier to find this information again later. Unlike pathfinder tags, user tags are not visible to the general public. They simply serve to help you organize CR4 for yourself. Tagged items can be tracked and modified through your user profile.
Member titles are a fun way to track user participation on the site. The more posts you submit to CR4, the higher you'll rise along the following scale:
Beyond that, we really don't know (and we're kind of scared ...).
Member titles are simply a way to measure one’s activity on the site and should not be taken as a serious indicator of anything. A user’s title in no way reflects the quality of his or her posts, but rather (and only) the number of posts a user has added to the site. A user’s "good answer" total is a better reflection of the quality of his or her posts. You may notice a number of folks with titles who are not on this list. They are CR4 moderators and do not gain rank in this way.
There are a number of ways you can subscribe to forum threads and blog entries. You can subscribe when posting a question or story; or when replying, by making sure that the "Yes, email me as new comments are added" box is selected. You will then receive an email whenever someone responds to the post - unless you have edited your profile preferences so that this will not happen.
You do not have to post or reply to subscribe to a discussion. All forum threads and blog entries have three gray boxes over them. Click the one that says "Subscribe" and then click the "Subscribe to this Discussion" button.
You can unsubscribe from discussions by modifying your user profile and clicking "Default to 'Don't Subscribe'", or by clicking the "Subscribe" button in the forum thread and blog entry again, and then clicking "Unsubscribe from this Discussion".
All forum threads, blog entries, and user profiles have a "Report" link. CR4 members can use this to inform the CR4 moderation team of spam, inappropriate advertising messages, and problematic (harassing, fighting, or rude) posts. Please describe the exact problem in detail.
Occasionally, you may want to contact another user to discuss something in greater detail without the prying eyes of the rest of the community. CR4 members can do so by sending an internal message. Just click "Send username a message" within that user’s profile, or click "Write New Message" from within your own mailbox. Note: This is not an email, but a private message sent within CR4 to another user.
Use of the internal messaging system is a privilege - not a right. Any user who violates the Internal Messaging Code of Conduct risks losing the right to use the messaging system - or even expulsion from CR4. A quick, though not comprehensive list of unacceptable messaging behavior includes, but is not limited to:
You may unsubscribe from the CR4 Daily Digest at anytime by:
Note: Unsubscribe may take up to 72 hours to take effect. You will probably receive at least one more edition of the CR4 Daily Digest, for which we apologize in advance.