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Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 06:26 AM PDT

Do not publish queued diaries

by augustin

Reposted from Knowledge Democrats by Limelite Editor's Note: Here's a problem that can affect many Groups. Includes comments to rectify it. -- Limelite

One of the advantages for the Knowledge Democrats to have a group at Daily Kos is that group members can help collectively edit diaries. Some diaries may be queued for review by other members: the author can ask other group members for their input on how to improve a diary, etc.

Since all members have the power to publish queued diaries, it has led to some confusions, which I've attempted to clarify in the Daily Kos group wiki page:

You can easily submit diaries by other Daily Kos members. If you stumble upon an interesting diary which you think is a good fit to the group, you can submit it following the same simple steps as below.

However: do not publish queued diaries unless authorized to do so. Basically, you can publish all the diaries that you have queued yourself. Sometimes, other authors will queue diaries for a specific reason, for example: queued diaries can be collectively edited and review by other group members. Let them take the responsibility to schedule the diary for publication. On the other hand, it may happen that a member has queued a diary but does not have the rights to publish it. You may contact that member by private message and see with her/him when to schedule it for publication.

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Reposted from Political Language and Messaging by Limelite Editor's Note: If you are a Group Founder or Admin, this is useful info. -- Limelite

Back when PCs were still pretty new, DOS users would face a blank screen with a prompt such as A:> or C:>. If we had a modem, it was connected, externally or internally to a comm port and was activated and operated by redirecting the keyboard to the comm port and entering a command such as atdt 1,,415,1234567.

There were regular bulletin boards, mega boards like The Well, networked boards like FidoNet and private nets like CompuServe. I was a moderator on CompuServe for a while and the big thing was to prevent copyright lawsuits by moving everything quoting over three paragraphs of material from the same source to a hidden section. All the FidoNet wizops enforced the same rule and, IIRC, so did The Well. I railed against it on CompuServe because it was legally wrong, but to no avail.

That rule became accepted on uunet and usenet and it is casually tossed about at Daily Kos. Did I mention that it is wrong? Follow me below the orange coprolite and I'll fill you in on the real deal.

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Reposted from elfling's Magical Mystery Tour by Limelite Editor's Note: Asimovian Times come to DK Groups. -- Limelite

I've mentioned here and there that we've been working on a new warning system. Well, kids, today's the day we welcome our new and improved robot overlord and also some better systems for the human masters that know where the off switch is.

The new robot can now issue warnings, not just ban.

How can you be the first on your block to get your very own Robot Warning?

Marvin the Paranoid Android from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
I didn't ask to be made: No one consulted me
or considered my feelings in the matter.
-- Marvin the Paranoid Android from
the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
1. Hidden comments will now generate a system warning to the user with the text of the comment. In Ye Olden Days, you could get a comment hidden and not notice. No longer. Acknowledge the warning - this is just so we know that you've seen it - and all your permissions will be restored. We are hoping this helps users know there's a problem before they get to full autoban.

2. Any user with three hidden comments within 24 hours will be given a three day timeout, regardless of mojo standing. We figure that either you're drunk or angry - either way, diminishing your reputation - and that maybe you should take a step back. Users in this state will get a little clock icon. The system will automatically restore you when the time is up.

3. Users that find themselves with multiple three hidden comment per 24 hour situations within a calendar year... will find that the length of the time escalates. Annoy the robot frequently enough and he'll autoban you.

4. Users can still get autobanned in all the old traditional ways. But in most non-spam instances, users will get some sort of warning first.

All this joshing about the All-Powerful Robot aside, really, this is a tool directed by the community. The robot listens to your collective input, 24/7, no holidays, no lunches, no sleeping, no distracting other projects. The idea here is to make moderation more consistent. This is the first update on what will be the DK 5.0 robot, not the last.

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Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 09:26 AM PST

Computer Virus Threat - Important

by Hey338Too

Reposted from Hey338Too by Limelite Editor's Note: Disable from within your computer's control panel. Then visit your browser's website and learn how to disable your browser applet. On TUESDAY should be a fix. If you trust it. . . -- Limelite

This exploit is in the wild and affects Windows, Mac, and Linux based operating systems.  It also appears that running anti-virus software or firewalls may not prevent this issue from affecting you.  The most likely way of being impacted by this virus is through your web browser.  If you are using Firefox to access the web, it appears that the No-Script add-on may provide some protection from this exploit.

Disabling the Java plug-in for your web browser will make you less vulnerable.  This document from CERT can tell you how to disable Java in your browser, and give you a little more technical information on the issue.

Oracle, the company that distributes and maintains Java, also has a set of instructions to disable Java here.

Here is what is being said about this problem:

Oracle said it will issue a patch Tuesday that contains "86 new security vulnerability fixes." It added that "due to the threat posed by a successful attack, Oracle strongly recommends" that customers update Java on their computers with the patch as soon as possible.
Via Mercury News
Note: the patch will not be released until TUESDAY - updating Java now will not resolve this issue!
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is advising people to temporarily disable the Java software on their computers to avoid potential hacking attacks.
Via HuffPost
The Department of Homeland Security noted that "reports indicate this vulnerability is being actively exploited" by cybercrooks, who could use the flaw to lure computer users to virus-infected websites. Some crooks already are selling "exploit kits" to other crooks to take advantage of Java's problems, said Liam Murchu, a researcher with Mountain View security firm Symantec.
Via Mercury News
Murchu said Symantec has determined that its Norton anti-virus software can block current versions of malware designed to take advantage of the Java vulnerabilities. So if a person has Norton installed on their computer, he said, "theoretically they shouldn't need to disable Java."

However, he said, crooks may issue new types of malware that might temporarily evade Symantec's software. "So if you really wanted to be safe," he suggested disabling Java until it can be updated with Oracle's patch.

Via Mercury News

Please heed the warnings and disable Java until this issue is resolved.  For those of you who use Thunderbird for email, don't forget to disable Java there too.


Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 08:10 AM PST

Quick Question Re: TU Status

by DianeNYS

Reposted from DianeNYS by Limelite Editor's Note: The oft recurring question on the half-life of Mojo. Refer you to comments. -- Limelite

I'm sorry to be posting this as a Diary; the only Open Thread I see here is the Night Owl one, and I'm pretty sure that no one would see my question if I posted there.

I've been a member since 2005, and within the last year or two I became a Trusted User with a Mojo of 4 bars (at least that's what it was the last time I happened to see it). Anyhow, today I went into my profile to check some things out, and suddenly realized that my Mojo has changed to 2 bars, and I've lost TU status.

I haven't gotten hide-rated ever, and though I know I don't post too often these days, I DO recommend comments and Diaries as needed, and post here and there when I feel I have a contribution to make. Do people just lose TU status and Mojo bars at some point when they aren't considered "active" enough? Which would actually be funny in my case because I'm logged in and reading and recommending and following my favorite Authors on an almost continuous basis (since the end of August especially, since I "retired" from my full-time job as the Dem Election Clerk in my local Board of Elections).

Anyhow, I guess I just wonder if this has happened to anyone else, and if my low-key participation here has caused me to finally lose my TU status and Mojo bars...If so, I'm pretty sad about it, because I really took my TU status seriously and tried so hard to be a responsible member of Daily Kos. Curiously, it was one of my badges of honor in an otherwise unremarkable life ;)

Thanks to anyone who has some kind of insight into this for me, so I can figure out how to get my Mojo back :)

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Reposted from New Diarists by Limelite Editor's Note: Compendium of hot tips for all. Archive it. -- Limelite

As someone recently pointed out, figuring out how to do things at DKos can be confusing and time-consuming, even when one knows where to begin looking for instructions! So this diary updates last June's Resources for All post to include recent efforts showing how to use HTML and other tools that the site provides to enhance our diaries. We're hoping that this updated list of resources will come in handy for experienced as well as beginning diarists.

Diaries Explaining the New Diarists Group and Offering Advice for Writers

The diaries in this chart explain how the New Diarists group works and offer a variety of perspectives regarding writing issues. As you can see, many anxieties regarding writing and posting that beginning diarists experience are shared by other kossacks.

Diary Title Topic(s) Diarist
New Diarists: How to Collaborate with Us on a Diary
Essential reading for New Diarists: explains the process for getting help on a draft from the New Diarists group
'Buddy System' another example of Daily Kos community at its best
describes benefits of the New Diarists group for new diary-writers as well as their mentors
Meteor Blades
Nurse Kelley Sez: What makes a diarist successful?
offers advice to diarists who wish to attract a broader audience
So, you are not one of the "Rec List Cool Kidz®" - Never fear, you are in the majority
offers encouragement to diarists
New Diarists: From My Back Porch... The Voice I Found
shares thoughts on writing and encourages others to take the plunge
dear occupant
New Diarists: Scratch Paper, Widgets, and Future Blues
explains various uses of drafts
ZIPs: Post Title and First Words: Apr 21-27
explains the importance of your post's diary's title and first few lines when attracting readers

Resource Diaries for Formatting and Mechanics of the Site

This list is organized to feature basic tutorials first, then increasingly geeky tutorials, and finally comprehensive how-to diaries. (The categories represent my assessment of the difficulty levels - obviously, ymmv.) Please don't allow this list to overwhelm you! Beginning diarists will probably only need to know the skills in the first two diaries listed.

Diary Title Topic(s) Diarist
New Diarists: After You Publish
Basics: explains how to edit and update a diary after it has been published (as well as how to set up a custom tip jar before publishing)
belinda ridgewood
New Diarists: Links & Blockquotes
Basics: explains how to create links & blockquotes to acknowledge source materials (edited to add: as well as how to make links automatically open in a new tab or window)
New Diarists: Formatting Text with HTML Tags
Baby Geek: explains how to use HTML tags to boldface, italicize, underline, and strikethrough text; to create headers, larger text, smaller text, superscript, subscript, teletype, and right-to-left text
New Diarists: Using Special Characters
Baby Geek: explains how to use ampersand codes to post a wide assortment of symbols (♥ © ™ ° ✲ ∞)
belinda ridgewood
New Diarists: Layout & Lists
Geek: explains how to use HTML tags for layout (headers, centering, paragraph breaks, line breaks) and lists (ordered, unordered, dropdown menu)
New Diarists: Lines & Color
Geek: explains how to use HTML to create horizontal lines as well as how to judiciously choose HTML color codes
belinda ridgewood
New Diarists: Creating Boxes Using HTML Tags
Geek: explains how to use HTML to create boxes with borders and/or colorful backgrounds
New Diarists: Tables
Advanced Geek: explains how to use HTML to create tables with multiple cells (rows and columns)
belinda ridgewood
New Diarists: Diary Layout Using Tables in Markos Markup Language ☺
Extra Geeky: explains how to create super tables using more advanced HTML to create grids and to align text and images (horizontally and/or vertically)
HTML Magic for Diarists - Image Mapping with Anchors or Links
Extra Geeky: explains how to create an image map
Diary Guide to Formatting, Linking, Images, Embedding, and Tables
Comprehensive (brief instructions): explains how to format text, create headers, blockquote, create lists, create links, add images, embed videos, create tables
The Elements of Style: Tips, Tricks and Regrouping News
Comprehensive (brief instructions): explains how to create headers, format images, format text, create tables
ePluribus Media

Resource Diaries for Posting Images

Diary Title Topic(s) Diarist
Cranky Users & KosAbility: Image Metadata
explains how to add an alt tag description when posting images and stresses the importance of doing so for those using screen readers
belinda ridgewood
Kos for Beginners: images
explains how to use Flickr to post an image
Julie Waters
New Diarists: Using Photobucket
explains how to use Photobucket to post an image
Want to use our super cool new image uploader and library? Of course you do! Find out how
explains how to use the new DK Image Library
Kaili Joy Gray
For those who may be stressing out over all of this, I always highly recommend reading BentLiberal's This is a Test Diary.

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Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 04:33 AM PDT

[New]: Daily Kos is Broken

by andgarden

Reposted from andgarden by Limelite Editor's Note: Oops! Mega-users. . .heads up if you are both a desktop and mobi-surfer of DK. -- Limelite

Last Thursday at about 1AM Eastern, the Daily Kos tech team announced a site update that fundamentally changed the way users interact with the site. Previously, information about whether you had loaded (and been able to read) a comment was stored on the server. That meant that, no matter what browser or computer you used, you would be guaranteed to have red [new] flags appear beside the comments you hadn't read. But now, after the update, this information is stored exclusively in your browser.

For people who only use one browser on one computer, this update is, at least in principle (though as some have noticed, not in practice) a transparent change. But for anyone who reads Daily Kos from more than one location (e.g., a computer at work, at home, in the kitchen, or on an iPhone), the change is dramatic, and for the worse.

We are assured that the change was made on an emergent basis, and "that we'll end up with something that will work for you and for us relatively soon, and something that is much better at guessing which are actually [new] at some time after that[,]" but it is obvious that the individuals who decided to make this change were insufficiently familiar with how essential the [new] feature was to those of us who make an effort to read and follow the discussion in the most active diaries on the site. And for us, every day that server side comments are unavailable is another day that Daily Kos remains fundamentally broken.

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Reposted from New Diarists by Limelite Editor's Note: Handy for Group Founders and Admins -- Dress up your groups' diaries. Good diary for republication. -- Limelite

On occasion, depending on the kind of diaries or comments you write, you may need to use a symbol that's not on your keyboard. Perhaps you want to give a temperature, show an amount in a foreign currency, indicate that something is copyrighted, or include a mathematical formula containing Greek letters or other symbols. Or maybe someone just said something nice to you and you'd like to leave them a little ♥ .

It's possible to copy and paste such symbols, but often that would mean you'd need to go hunt for the one you want. Today we'll discuss a way that you can create symbols using the standard keys on any computer. Please join me below the fold.

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Reposted from cassandracarolina's fossil record by Land of Enchantment

Welcome to Part 6 of our series, The Unrav'ling Thread, where we explore the many strange, beautiful, and perplexing things that happen when you hit "publish" and launch your diary from the nest, hoping that it can fly, and that it won't be scooped up by a hungry raptor.

As we've discussed in
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four and
Part Five

the comment thread of your diary can be anything from a reflective fireside chat to the wild, wild West. Part of this depends on how you "manage" the comments; part of it depends on the sort of commenters who show up.

As we discussed in Part 3 there are quite a few "species" of commenters. Today, with some help from the wonderful commenters in Part 3 who added some critters to our menagerie, we will discuss some other frequently-spotted commenters. Feel free to add any others in the comments here.

Follow along below the watering hole for more.

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Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 06:13 AM PDT

How to be a Good Diary Host

by Melanie in IA

Reposted from Melanie in IA by Limelite Editor's Note: The essence of what it means to be a Contributor is here. -- Limelite

I pop into a lot of different regular diaries that use rotating diarist duties, including WYFP, WAYWO, DK Quilt Guild, Books that Changed My Life, as well as others. Some of these regularly call for new hosts to help with upcoming posts.

People hesitate to volunteer for these, just as they hesitate to volunteer for other activities. We all do that, I think, partly hopeful that someone else will take care of things, partly out of insecurity about being able to do a good job, and partly because we don't know what will happen with our own lives in the intervening time, if we can even show up as we've said.

Sure, it would be great if there was always "someone else" who would take care of community activities, if our own help was never needed. But sometimes you need to step up and be the one. If not you, who?

And a lot of us feel insecure about being able to do a good job, especially if we've never hosted that one before. For example, I volunteered to host an upcoming WYFP. If you've ever been in that diary, you know the author's post often is a heartfelt story of a serious problem in their own life, caretaking concerns, illness, death... I don't have those issues in my life, so how can I "compete" with them? No need to. My FP may be small or somewhat trivial as compared to those, but it really doesn't matter either way. The most important part of hosting a diary like that is to be there.

"Being there" includes keeping your commitment. There are multiple times I've seen that someone volunteered to host a diary for a weekly spot, and simply didn't show. For at least one of these, there was no notice from the expected diarist. That's like calling a meeting and then not showing up to run it. Not acceptable under any ordinary circumstances.

If you DO commit to hosting, then make sure you've provided a diary, checked on what tags and banners are expected, how and when the diary is to be queued, and how to do that to make sure it shows up where it is supposed to.

As to "hosting," I think for ALL diaries, the diarist has a responsibility to be there. That means posting is not the end of their duties, but the beginning. Some people compare diary posting to hosting a party. If you are a guest, you should be polite to the host and not start a fight in their house. If you are the host, you need to make sure the guests are comfortable. To me that means the diarist should read and respond on an ongoing basis and should acknowledge comments even if in disagreement. The diarist should NOT post and run. If running is required, it's polite to include a notice, such as "I'll be out for a few hours but will respond when I get back."

Don't be afraid to take on these duties. It can be a lot of fun. For new diarists, it's a great way to get their feet wet in an established forum. And it helps ongoing series continue. Without community involvement and help (not just reading and commenting), some of these series would die.

So step up, help out, take your turn and be an active and welcoming host. Your guests will be glad you did, and so will you.


Thu Mar 08, 2012 at 05:37 PM PST

We're hiring!

by Will Rockafellow

Reposted from Will Rockafellow by Limelite Editor's Note: HELP WANTED !! Must look good in orange. -- Limelite

As you may have read a couple of weeks back, we’re looking to hire a two rails developers. Tech isn’t the only area where Daily Kos is looking to expand. We’re taking advertising sales into our own hands, expanding our organizing efforts, and looking for some much-needed administrative support.

We updated the jobs page with these positions:

Advertising Sales Representative

Associate Campaign Director

Office Manager

If you or anyone you know seems like a good match, shoot us an email at and be sure to include the job title you’re inquiring about in the subject line.

Reposted from marc_in_MD by Limelite Editor's Note: We can all benefit from considered analysis and insight. Read this and ask yourself how you contribute to the success of your Group/s. -- Limelite

"No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money." (Boswell's Life of Johnson)

Like many writers, I am adept at finding ways to avoid whatever it is that I'm supposed to be doing at a given moment.  This diary should have been about my attempts to get my gardening memoir in front of friends, relatives, critics, colleagues, and eventually, agents and editors.  But one of the commenters on the last installment of Confessions of a Blockhead gave me something to think about: is Daily Kos a model for the publishing industry, and if so, what can we learn from it?


What's your track record as a Daily Kos author?

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| 23 votes | Vote | Results

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