User talk:Sheldon Rampton/archive 3

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removal of redirect

Hi Sheldon How does one remove the redirect to wikipedia. I would like to create a list of "propaganda film"[s], but upon entering this in the search section one is automatically redirected to wikipedia... and i would like to remove that link. How do i do this? Kind rgds Antidotto

Hi, Paul. You're right, that was tricky. To interrupt the redirection, I had to (1) do a search for the phrase "propaganda film"; (2) make a copy of the URL to the existing article (which was a redirect); (3) paste the URL into my web browser and append the string "&action=edit" at the end. That let me edit the existing SourceWatch page, which I turned into a stub article with a "see also" link at the bottom to Wikipedia's article.
This raises the question of what our policy ought to be regarding redirects to Wikipedia. For a topic like "propaganda film," we might well want to have our own separate article, so I think redirecting to Wikipedia should be avoided for that sort of topic. Instead, it would be better to create a stub article. On the other hand, for topics that are outside the scope of SourceWatch, I think redirecting to Wikipedia is a good idea. This in turn raises the question of what is "on topic" and what isn't, but I think 90% of the time the answer to that question is fairly self-evident. An article about Burson-Marsteller is clearly on topic; an article about benzene or Pablo Pic7asso clearly isn't. --Sheldon Rampton 08:05, 31 Mar 2005 (EST)

request to install Graphviz mediawiki extension

Hi Sheldon,

Would you be willing to install the Graphviz mediawiki extension? It would let SourceWatch contributors build relationship diagrams like the example at NHS 'modernisation' relationships diagram. The diagram on that page is actually hosted at the wickle wiki, the personal wiki of the guy who wrote most of the extension (Coffman). Note that if the diagram was hosted directly in SourceWatch, the nodes (ovals) would be clickable links to the relevant SourceWatch articles. There are 3 mediawiki extensions for doing relationship diagrams that I have discovered so far:

(a) and (b) both use the open-source graphviz software to generate the diagrams as PNGs, whereas (c) uses the Graph-Simple software to generate the diagrams as HTML. These are the differences between (a) and (b):

  1. (a) is invoked using <graphviz></graphviz> tags, (b) runs within <graph></graph> tags
  2. (a) can make graph nodes into links, (b) can't
  3. (a) just provides graphviz functionality within mediawiki, (b) provides a whole host of other features, such as the ability to generate gnuplot output, music notation, etc.

The <graph> plugin (c) is still very unfinished, as is the underlying software, Graph-Simple. Given that there are two mediawiki plugins (a and b) which give access to the graphviz language, it seems to make sense to opt for it as the backend. I say this because the only thing that would need to be changed in SourceWatch pages in order to switch from using (a) to (b) would be to change <graphviz> tags to <graph> tags (I've actually tested that). However, Graph-Simple does have the advantage of being able to generate HTML rather than PNG output.

I think that the functionality of WikiTeX is overkill for SourceWatch, and the lack of clickable node names is a real showstopper. For that reason, I'd like to recommend installation of Coffman's graphviz extension, if you're willing.

Cheers, --Neoconned 10:02, 24 Apr 2005 (EDT)

Thanks to Neoconned's heads-up, I'll look into supporting clickable nodes in WikiTeX; it's really part of Graphviz' native functionality anyway. Peter Danenberg 02:59, 4 May 2005 (EDT)
Hi, Neoconned and Peter. Regarding the Graphviz extension, right now we're in the process of hiring a webmaster. Once that person is on board, I'll have him or her look into installing it for SourceWatch. --Sheldon Rampton 03:17, 4 May 2005 (EDT)


Is it okay now? Let me know, --SqueakBox 17:50, 26 Apr 2005 (EDT)

non-zero page rank :>)

Dear Bob, Sheldon,

I always enjoy being the bearer of happy news. So here it is: SourceWatch's page rank finally is non-zero again. It appears to be about 6 or 7 (depending on which estimate you believe). This must have happened in the last few days, since I last checked it about a week ago. The new PR doesn't seem to be helping the search results yet. I guess this is because it will take a while to filter through to all the data centres?

Cheers, --Neoconned 09:54, 27 Apr 2005 (EDT)

Database backup

Hi Sheldon, I'd like to download a copy of the SQL database dump, but the link on the SourceWatch:Database_download page appears to be broken... --Neoconned 21:13, 7 Jun 2005 (EDT)

Hi, N. I got your message about the problem with the MySQL dump. Just this week we finally hired a webmaster, and I'll have her take care of this. (I'm trying to transition myself out of webmaster duties as quickly as possible, and this will be a good opportunity for her to learn some of the details involved in administering SourceWatch.) It may take a couple of days for her to get around to this, but we should have it for you by next week at the latest. --Sheldon Rampton 01:34, 10 Jun 2005 (EDT)
Thanks, Sheldon. --Neoconned 06:18, 10 Jun 2005 (EDT)

Another Counterpunch article-Nice work

Nice high value (by my measurements) citation Sheldon. Keep up the good work.

Sheldon Rampton, Blaming Galloway: Rhetoric vs. Reality in London, "Counterpunch, July 9/10, 2005

--Hugh Manatee 19:19, 22 Jul 2005 (EDT)

messsage me if you can use help


if you need help on this last wave of vandalism, message me usperpage/email and i'll try to help, but it is difficult as is without knowing who is reverting properly and who is vandalising, and i am not used to, nor it seems am i capable of properly, reverting pages

cheers --Hugh Manatee 22:29, 8 Oct 2005 (EDT)

Hi Sheldon - I just wanted to thank you for giving me sysop status. I will ensure to use my new powers for good! I seriously don't understand that Pelican person's problem or obsession with the Pelican! --Ben Malcom

If Sheldon would just fill ut my interview ide leave. For a month thats a pledge. I might leave longer. -- 22:21, 4 Nov 2005 (EST)

A reason for accuracy..

Given the example of the reporting of certain members of the Italian news on the 'Yellowcake affair', it would be wise to research info from them quite well.

IMHO, James Horn

Another method of fighting spam on SourceWatch

Instead of doing the sheldon AT thing I have another solution. It's easier to read than that and probably works even better. Take a image file and put the e-mail address on it. There is a script here that automatically generates these images here and a script that ofscures the address in mailto links. Enjoy. -- 01:07, 5 Jan 2006 (EST)


oops, do you mean recurring as in: "It's punishing our server" ? --Neoconned 13:50, 14 Mar 2006 (EST)

Hi Sheldon, ok i understand what you meant by recurring, the unprotected template was throwing open the site notice to all and sundry. I was worried you meant it was somehow reincluding itself over and over! Thanks for the feedback, yes, it's a bit fiddly to maintain, although to be honest the categories don't change that rapidly at the moment... if your web admin could look at extensions to make it easier, that would be great. Cheers, --Neoconned 14:07, 14 Mar 2006 (EST)
Thinking about it a bit more... if someone creates, say, the category "Foo", then the A-F links remain accurate. The G-Z links are now out by one, but the user will not miss any categories starting with the letter that is clicked on, since the links have been pushed down. Ie. clicking "T" will give you a list of categories that starts with the last "S" category. This means it won't be necessary to constantly update the offsets in the navbar, just when they get out by more than, say 5. Given the slowness with which categories are added, i think this is not too bad. --Neoconned 15:12, 14 Mar 2006 (EST)

Site navbar

Hi Sheldon, please see Template talk:SiteNavbar - it would be nice to have feedback, especially as to whether you think it's a good idea at all! --Neoconned 14:52, 14 Mar 2006 (EST)

request for upload verification

Hi Sheldon,

Could you please do me a favour? Could you check the following screengrabs which I previously uploaded to SW:

against these pages which have for some reason survived in the cache of one particular Google server:

Please also use this NSLOOKUP to verify that the server in question is really a Google one:

Having done so, if you think that the screengrabs are accurate and non-fraudulent, could you please sign both Image pages (which can be edited like any other article) with a statement to that effect. User:Ben Malcom has challenged their authenticity, so I'd like to establish this beyond doubt.

Many thanks, --Neoconned 00:37, 8 May 2006 (EDT)

ATT/NSA Data available

ATT/NSA Docs published by Wired News

Evan Hansen, Why We Published the AT&T Docs", Wired News, May 22, 2006

--hugh_manateee 23:41, 22 May 2006 (EDT)

verisign PAC pages on vetsforfreedom website - upload verification request

Hi John/Bob/Conor/Sheldon (whoever can action this first),

Please could you verify that the following screengrabs are true and accurate?

They appear to suggest a link between Vets for Freedom and the Verisign PAC. VFF has made the usual blunder of not realizing that unlinked pages can still be indexed by Google. It's a fair bet they'll be pulled off the web sharpish now, so it would be nice to get them verified by one of you ASAP. Regards, --Neoconned 14:22, 31 May 2006 (EDT)

Hi Sheldon, thanks. You're right to be cautious. But the login and registration pages don't just have VeriSign's name on them - they are specifically for VeriSign's political action committee. (which is mentioned on both the hidden pages) is the website for VeriSign's PAC, not Verisign the corporation. If VFF were simply using VeriSign for ecommerce services, etc (a reasonable inference), why would they provide a login page to the company's political funding arm? --Neoconned 23:17, 31 May 2006 (EDT)
Yes, the idea of a web developer copying an entire site across and then modifying it for VFF, without removing some "hidden" pages, sounds extremely plausible. I'll modify the article accordingly. Rgds, --Neoconned 06:11, 1 Jun 2006 (EDT)

upload verification request

Hi Diane/Conor/Bob/Sheldon, Please could one of you verify these rather important screengrabs?

The first two contain important new information, namely that N2189M has been flying into the CIA's Camp Peary facility, and N8183J has flown to the Phillipines. The last screengrab doesn't really tell us anything new. The site requires (free) registration to view the full historical records.

I'd suggest that the best way to verify a screengrab is to put a signed statement on the actual Image page itself (which can be edited like any other article). Cheers, --Neoconned 13:32, 5 Jun 2006 (EDT)

Thanks Sheldon, yes I've been concentrating on some non-SW priorities. It's good to be back. :) --Neoconned 12:26, 13 Aug 2006 (EDT)

Hope I didnlt cut across you then

Sehldon, hope I didn't edit a page you were working on, thought you had taken a break and wanted to get it done before I knock off for the night. Apologies if I did. cheers --Bob Burton 07:01, 14 Aug 2006 (EDT)

Your email

Sheldon, got your email. Having ISP propblem with sending emails today so responding here. Will fix. --Bob Burton 23:53, 15 Aug 2006 (EDT)

e-mail failure

Hi Sheldon,

I tried e-mailing you about Mediawiki extensions, but your e-mail address doesn't seem to be working:

Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:

Technical details of permanent failure:
TEMP_FAILURE: Could not initiate SMTP conversation with any hosts:
[dev.null. (0): Destination address required]

Free feel to contact me on my talk page at wikiHow, I was just checking in to see if you had many progress into creating a central repository for 3rd party extensions for Mediawiki like we discussed at the Hacking Days at Wikimania.


####******URGENT: robots.txt is missing*****####

Hi Sheldon, I notice that is missing again.... Is this correct? In the past its accidental deletion caused a lot of problems as I'm sure you remember! Cheers, --Neoconned 23:29, 23 October 2006 (EDT)

Was the talk page prefixing bug fixed serverside?

Hi Sheldon and Patricia, Was the bug with SW/CP edit summary prefixing when the "+" button is used on talk pages fixed serverside? If so, thanks. If not, I'm slightly alarmed as I have no idea why it resolved itself! --Neoconned 00:29, 24 November 2006 (EST)

Black link

Hi Sheldon, see --Bob Burton 19:34, 18 February 2007 (EST)