Fact Checking

Due to the recent decision by Twitter to fact check the President’s tweets. I thought it might be nice to review Ratburger.org’s policy. I think fact checking is okay as long as your check is made out to the proper payee. Please make sure myself or the other guy whose name is hard to remember is on the check and we will write some leftist dribble for you. We might even write, “This fact check was sponsored by Member _____.”

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New: Reading List Group

Gnome carrying pile of booksWell, it’s not really new, having been launched on 2020-05-06, but I don’t want to roll out a new group here until it’s accreted sufficient members and posts by them to be self-sufficient, and this one seems to have crossed the threshold.

The Reading List group is  a place to list the books you’ve read, as you finish them.  There’s no obligation to review them or do anything more than cite the author, title and ISBN so that others who may be interested may buy a copy.... [Read More]

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Feature: Improved Handling of “Mark all notifications read”

Mark all notifications readAt 21:36 UTC on 2020-04-29 I put a new feature into production which changes the handling of the “Mark all notifications read” item in the drop-down menu from the notifications bubble at the top right of the screen.  Previously, this would clear unread notifications and display the Unread Notifications page, which was pretty silly since you’d just asked to mark them all read.  Today’s change uses the mechanism implemented to support the “catch-up” feature introduced on 2020-04-12 to mark the notifications read via a lightweight query request which doesn’t replace the page you’re currently viewing with the (useless) Unread Notifications page.  After marking the notifications read, the number and drop-down list of notifications are immediately updated.

Before, there was a potential race condition where notifications that had arrived since the last automatic update to the page would be marked read even though you’d never seen them in the drop-down list.  This has been corrected: no notification will be marked read unless it has been presented to you in the drop-down list.  This means that when you click “Mark all notifications read” you may immediately see new notifications which have just arrived: this is not a bug—it’s avoiding one which was present in the old code.... [Read More]

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Announcing SCANALYZER

SCANALYZERThere’s a new group here at Ratburger, SCANALYZER, and it’s nothing like you’ve seen before (unless you frequent the sidebar and have noticed its appearance and popped in).

Stock cue SOUND: “Presenting SCANALYZER, Engrelay Satelserv’s unique thrice-per-day study of the big big scene, the INdepth INdependent INmediate INterface between you and your world!”... [Read More]

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The “Trumpster” was in my home town…

The only problem is my timing. We went to eat at our local watering hole at 4:15, 1615 for the rest of the world and our military friends. We were returning at 5:25, (that’s 1725), or should I say, attempting to return.

Continue reading “The “Trumpster” was in my home town…”

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Replacement for his royal highness….

Ya’ know, this has gone too far. Now he wants us to call him; “Your royal highness”! Impeachment is too good for him and if we let the democrats in this forum in charge of it, well you know how that goes, it will take forever.

I propose we just look for a replacement, and I have just the puppets in mind that will fill the bill nicely. They once stared on a segment of MTV and now they say they are ready to come out of retirement! Isn’t that great?... [Read More]

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Half a Million Spammers

Pumpkin spice SPAMEarlier today, on the last day of 2019, Ratburger.org blocked the 500,000th attempt to pollute the site with spam comments or to register new user accounts in order to make spam postings.  As of this post, the total spam blocked has already climbed to 500,254.

The site opened to the public on December 10th, 2017, and thus has been in operation for 752 days.  There have, then, been an average of 665 attempts to spam the site per day over that period.  The vast majority of these have been caught by a plug-in we run, Stop Spammers, which checks the IP address and E-mail address of users attempting to register an account against a number of blacklists of known spammers, and also enforces correct use of the HTTP protocol which some high-volume spam robots violate in order to hit more targets per second.  In addition, thousands of other suspicious attempts to access the site have been flagged and rejected manually—these do not appear in the totals above.... [Read More]

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Experimental Feature: Extracts in Post Archives

I have just made a change in the configuration of extract generation when posts are displayed in what WordPress calls an “archive”.  This includes posts displayed when you select:

  • All posts by a member
  • Posts from a specified month and year
  • Posts in a category
  • Posts with a given tag

Previously, these showed the full text of the selected posts, regardless of their length, unlike posts shown on the home page or in search results, where only the excerpt was shown if the post was longer than two paragraphs and you could read the balance by clicking a “Read More” link.... [Read More]

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Private: WordPress Color Palette Question

The other day, my computer mouse was acting a little wonky. I tried to select the menu option for my unread notifications and somehow ended up on a page with color palettes.

Now, when I go to create a new post, the page is rendered in this weird, brown color palette.... [Read More]

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Draining the agricultural swamp

Employees from two Department of Agriculture research agencies stood and turned their backs to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue at an all-hands meeting Thursday to silently protest a decision to relocate the agencies halfway across the country.

Perdue announced earlier Thursday morning that the Economic Research Service, which provides research and statistical analysis for lawmakers, and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, which allocates federal research funding, will be relocated to Kansas City from Washington, DC, the final announcement in a process that began last year.
Swamp dwellers are unhappy.   They are going to have to go to flyover country if they want to keep their jobs.   This will make it more difficult to work the system, and make it more difficult to collude with their pals in the activist community.
This is exactly the sort of remedy that I have been hoping for.
But outside observers, current employees and members of Congress have pushed back against the plan since it was first announced last year.
Kevin Hunt, acting vice president of the ERS Union, condemned the move as “cold-hearted” and that it “highlights his disregard for the rights and well-being of employees.”
The relocation plan has drawn opposition from House Democrats, who included language in their budget banning USDA from using funds allocated by Congress to relocate either agency outside the capital. A group of Democratic senators have also introduced legislation that would bar USDA from moving the research agencies.

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Experimental Feature: Liking a Post Requests Comment Notifications

Since comment notifications were added to Ratburger.org on 2018-02-20, the rule has been that when a new comment is added to a post on the site (I refer here to main site posts, not items posted in groups, which are handled entirely differently), notifications are sent to the author of the post and to all other members who have commented on the post so far (excluding, of course, the author of the new comment).  On 2018-06-10 this was revised slightly by allowing comments which contain just the text “follow” or “c4c” (an old-time bulletin board system abbreviation of “comment for comments”) to request notifications without actually appearing in the comments for the post or the “Recent Comments” box in the sidebar.

I have just revised this code so that in addition to the post author and other commenters, users who have “Liked” the post will also be notified of new comments.  It is common for posts to have a large number of likes but only a few comments, and thus for new comments to be largely invisible unless a user happens to see them in the “Recent Comments” box.  It seems to me that people who have liked a post will probably be interested in any comments it engenders, and that sending notifications to these people will increase engagement with the post and possibly stimulate additional comments.... [Read More]

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Administration: WordPress Updated to Version 5.2

At 14:13 UTC on 2019-05-09 the version of WordPress upon which the Ratburger.org site runs was updated to the newly released version 5.2.  Before installing the update on the production site, I performed a series of tests running the new version on the raw.ratburger.org test site, which I brought up with a mirror of the running configuration on the production site with the version 5.2 update kit including all of our local modifications applied.  Details of this testing process was posted on the 2019-05-08 entry in the Updates group.  (Access to the raw.ratburger.org test site is restricted to my IP address range and the site is only up when required for testing major updates such as this; it is not intended for user access.)

WordPress: Worthless, and also free... [Read More]

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