MrTalk's blog

Systems Notice: We Added Mollum to Block Comment Spam

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This fellow from the UK convinced me to give Mollum a try: Tackling Comment Spam on Drupal.

Mollum was created by the guy who founded Drupal and Talk of the Sound is a Drupal site so this made good sense.

We also added in a module that blocks anonymous comments that contain hyperlinks (which is usually what spammers added to their comments).

Commenting may change a bit and you might occasionally be asked to complete a captcha but this should help block spam freeing us up to approve legitimate comments quicker.

What is a Blog Editor? How to Get Started Using a Blog Editor

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Blog Editor or Weblog Client are synonymous terms for software you run on your local machine (desktop) that lets you post to your blog. In some cases, the Weblog Client can even manage your weblog entries. You might think of Weblog Clients as the equivalent of email clients such as Outlook and Eudora Mail but instead of pushing "send" you push "publish". Essentially, the Blog Editor or Weblog Client allows you to write a post even if you are off-line; then, the next time you connect to the Internet, you can publish that post.

Blog Editor or Weblog Client software offers several advantages over posting directly into the blog via a web browser: the ability to save drafts, a nicer interface, fancy formatting features, features like cross-posting to multiple blogs, faster uploading and addition of photos, the ability to keep local backup.

To learn more, read What is a Blog Editor or Weblog Client?. Then read Top 5 Reasons to Use an Offline Blog Editor.

What is RSS, Why Use an RSS Reader and How to Get Started

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RSS is a family of Web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardized format. An RSS Feed includes full or summarized text or audio attachments (podcasts) and video attachments (video podcasts). By subscribing to an RSS feed readers get timely updates from their favorite websites and can aggregate feeds from many sites into one place. RSS feeds can be read using software called an "RSS reader", "feed reader", or "aggregator", which can be web-based, desktop-based, mobile device or any computerized Internet-connected device.

Wikipedia has a helpful entry on RSS that tells you what RSS is all about. Google/YouTube has some good videos that explain RSS and RSS Readers. For a quick, light-hearted overview, watch RSS in Plain English. For a rich, detailed how-to guide, watch What is RSS? from the Peoria, AZ school district.

How do I pick an RSS Reader?

There are many choices available but the first decision is whether to select a web-based or desktop-based reader. Each offers different benefits.

How to Write a Good Title for Your Blog Post

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The purpose of a blog post title or "headline" is to get potential readers to read the first line of your content. Write a captivating and intruiging title and you’ll draw people into reading it every time. Remember, just as in a traditional newspaper, blog readers tend to skim headlines to find posts that appear to be important to them. The right words in the title are the difference between being read and being ignored so don't rush.

Headlines these days are just as important as the post itself — with users skimming through their large list of RSS feeds or social media links, the headline is your only chance to grab their attention. Headlines for blog posts matter on multiple levels - they are what appears in search engine results, RSS feeds, links from other bloggers, social media sites, web site archives. Often, the only thing that people see and the sole thing that people make the decision to visit your post on.

How to Get Started with Talk of the Sound

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Due to a flood of fake registrations by spammers, we have changed our policy so that in order to register for the site you must make a request to the Managing Editor, Robert Cox, in order to be granted an account to post or comment on Talk of the Sound.

robertcox@talkofthesound.com

Westchester County Reports First Official Flu Case for 2008-2009 Season

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The Westchester County Department of Health has identified the first laboratory-confirmed case of flu in Westchester. The flu sufferer was a 36-year-old man who was treated at an area hospital on December 10 and
released that day. Prior to coming to the hospital, he had endured four days of fever, body aches, headaches, a sore throat, vomiting and respiratory difficulty – all typical flu symptoms.

Dr. Joshua Lipsman, Westchester County Health Commissioner, urges residents to get the flu shot to protect themselves. The flu vaccine is recommended for all residents over age 50, pregnant women ages 18 and older, people who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, children ages six months and up to age 19; those who are 18 years of age and older with chronic heart or lung conditions, diabetes, or compromised immune systems; and caregivers (including healthcare workers) of high-risk patients.

Each year in the U.S., more than 200,000 people are hospitalized and 36,000 die from the flu.

Westchester County Department of Health has distributed free flu doses at Sound Shore Medical Center in New Rochelle. The county also vaccinated residents at county clinics throughout Westchester.

New Rochelle School Board Meets Tonight, "Culture of Censorship" on the Agenda

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In their first public meeting since the Censorship Crisis first came to light last week, the embattled New Rochelle School Board will meet tonight from 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM in the new wing at New Rochelle High School. New Rochelle's Talk of the Sound broke the news that authorities at the school district had ripped pages out of Susanna Kaysen's memoir Girl, Interrupted in a vulgar attempt to censor a frank discussion of sexuality contained in the book. The story is just the tip of a very large iceberg, part of the Culture of Censorship that the New Rochelle School District has actively embraced in dealing with students, parents and other New Rochelle residents.

A capacity crowd is expected to be on hand. So far, 127 New Rochelle High School alumni and students have signed up for a Facebook-generated protest, 43 as "confirmed guests" and and 84 as "may be attending" Many other New Rochelle residents have indicated they plan on being there as well. Several news organizations have indicated they may cover the meeting.

Get the Lastest on Censorship Crisis Here

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Want all the latest on the censorship crisis? Bookmark newrochelletalk.com, Sign up for our Google Group Mailing List, Subscribe to our RSS Feed, Join the Cause on Facebook to keep on top of all the latest breaking news on the school district's response to the censorship crisis at New Rochelle High School. You can even receive text alerts using Google Groups.

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