User talk:Bob M/Archive6

From Teflpedia

Combatting spam[edit]

I was just curious if you'd considered any of MediaWiki's suggestions for combatting spam? I think a nice, easy one they recommend might by CAPTCHA. Just an opinion of mine.... Gooniepunk2005 06:38, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

Yes ....... The thing is that for every security measure you put in for spammers you also make it sligghtly more difficult for real people. I hate bloody captchas personally and I get few enough real edits as it is.
Secondly these guys usually find some sort of work-round. And if you really want to keep them out completely then you must respond to that. So your arms race with the spammer gradually makes the site more and more difficult to access.--Bob M 19:08, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
No, I get it. I hate CAPTCHA too. It was just a thought. Gooniepunk2005 21:53, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
On the other hand, contrary to the perceived waste of time, coupla weeks back a "colleague" over at Wikipedia in Spanish using a pc at the faculty library was not hindered at all - reverting up to 3 vandal edits minute despite having to fill in/out a captha for each. Obviously they're a pain (sorry Bob!) but it's like having to key in our PIN every time we draw cash - something we just have to take in our stride.
Getting things in perspective, Bob how many unregistered users make constructive edits to teflpedia? I must have made dozens from students' pcs and I would hazard a guess that those edits would make up a substancial part of 'em. So how off-putting would it really be for new users? --Technopat 10:55, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
Obviously if it keeps up like this then I'm going to have to change something as I can't expect people to contribute their time in this manner. I wonder what set this off though?--Bob M 12:59, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
The site has not kept up with the spam arms race and got found simply as a matter of course I think. I suggest doing a database backup, a site files backup, and then a careful Mediawiki software upgrade to latest version. Then install the ConfirmEdit extention and set a questy captcha. --Roger 04:15, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
Now that we have MediaWiki 1.18.1 and QuestyCaptcha and spambot edits are down to zero, it is quiet enough to hear oneself think. Imagine the possibilities! --Roger 19:29, 11 February 2012 (CST)

Another problem[edit]

Actually now we've got another problem. My stats tell me about "viewed traffic" and "non viewed traffic". Viewed is people visiting the site and "non viewed" is robots and other things scanning the site. Usually "viewed" is a bit less than a gigabyte and "non viewed" is 300 meg. My monthly limit is two gigabytes.
So far this month "viewed" is one gigabyte and "non viewed" is 880.34 mb. There are some other bits as well which take me up to 1951.16 mb. In the words of Scotty "She's goona blow".--Bob M 07:22, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
It seems to be caused by 1) these bloody spammers scanning the site, 2) the spam and our reversal thereof and 3) the fact that the site is getting a lot of real visitors this month. At least we'll be able to stop worrying about spam for a week.--Bob M 07:22, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
Bandwidth transfer allotment is now 10GB per month. No worries. --Roger 19:36, 11 February 2012 (CST)


I notice you don't have a captcha installed. If you install one, it would really decrease the amount of spam. In fact, it might eliminate it! --Onion 12:30, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

Yes, I had been attempting to avoid putting one in because I don't like them - see above. But I'm going to have to do something.--Bob M 12:51, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
I'll have to have a look at captchas later. For now I've just zapped anonymous editing.--Bob M 15:04, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
QuestyCaptcha now installed and spam near zero. --Roger 19:39, 11 February 2012 (CST)

Welcome back online![edit]

Good to see you and the site up and running again - lucky it wasn't your foot! --Technopat 11:02, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Hi TP. Ho Ho. Yes back up but I'm going to have to make some decisions. Even taking a tougher stance against spammers at the server side and removing registration for non-signed-in users, in the first third of this month we've used close to half our bandwidth. That means that we're either going to go down again before the end of the month or I'm going to have to fork up for a different contract.--Bob M 06:51, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

Deep linking here[edit]

This site seems to be taking advantage of our conversation questions in an unexpected way. It seems to me that it's a bit borderline as far as our copyright is concerned and is also a use of my bandwith. Any thoughts?--Bob M 17:19, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

Actually he sent me a nice email when I complained so perhaps I overreacted.--Bob M 19:04, 16 October 2010 (UTC)


just trying to edit a wiki on a Kindle. Possible but tough.--Bob M 10:39, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

Hi, I use my iPhone to check Wikigogy for spam and delete it without trouble. I did not know Kindle could surf the Web but I take it from your comment it can. Splendid! --Roger 23:07, 3 December 2010 (UTC) at the park on my iPhone with rather too small a screen for proper reading.
I've got an android smartphone with the same capabilities but I wanted to see if the Kindle could do it too. To be honest it's pretty clunky as a web browser though. Fantastic for reading books though and very light. It goes everywhere with me now.--Bob M 07:36, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

Greetings - long time no "speak"[edit]

Greetings Bob. Just popped in to "say" hello and see how things are ticking along. Regs., --Technopat 18:01, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

Hi TP. How are you? Last thing to happen here is we imported some articles from Wikigogy mostly lessons but also some methodology stuff. The most important article being this one. I spent a while on it but you might want to avhe a look as well. Cheers.--Bob M 19:10, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
Yep, just noticed. Will have a butcher's now. --Technopat 19:13, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

Is this OK?[edit]

Have just done a major re-vamp over at One act plays - feedback? --Technopat 21:24, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

Trial run[edit]

Greetings Bob. This is more or less what I had in mind: Direct Method. Does it click? Cheers! --Technopat 21:16, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

Hi TP. I see you have been busy! I'm afraid that I've been away for a few days on holiday so I've been out of the loop but it looks good and logical to me.--Bob M 11:04, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

Great stats![edit]

Greetings Bob. I'm not a number-cruncher, but looks good. Cheers! --Technopat 10:16, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

Yes, in terms of visits we are growing all the time. It's a shame that so few hang round to edit. The Wikogogy transfer gets us quite a few hits, a surprising number come in via google translate (why?), and last month this chap sent us about 150 visitors. The main driver is conversation questions though.--Bob M 11:41, 1 June 2011 (UTC)


I see you're getting the tinned meat-like substance quite a lot. The same problem happened over at RationalWikiWiki. They had to update to a new version of Captcha to solve it. Might that be worth doing here? totnesmartin 20:50, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

Could be. But it's only two or three a week at the moment so I'll hold on a bit before doing that. Thanks for taking an interest though.  :-) Cheers. --Bob M 05:32, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

Greetings and...[edit]

Greetings Bob M, Long time, no "speak". Hope things are fine, and that the term has taken off all right. As for teflpedia, I see that the mindless stats. are perking up after the summer hols., but I notice from the Recent pages that you've been 'aving a spot of bovver - sorry I wasn't there to help out. I'll need some time to catch up with what's been going on over at my Watchlist, but should be in action soonish. Regs., TP.

Hi TP. I've been mostly on spam watch recently. It's only a couple of minutes to roll the stuff back each day so it's no big problem.
I really need some new project to get me enthused again - though my classes are picking up again now which reduces my spare time.--Bob M 20:15, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
Spare time? What's that? Anyways, just bumped into this one when I clicked Random page - if nothing else, maybe a category. BTW, maybe we need to talk 'bout new projects. Regs., --Technopat 21:17, 16 October 2011 (UTC)

Greetings and...[edit]

Greetings Bob. Now that I see you around, thought I'd check it out with you before making a fool of myself over at the Teachers' Room. Re. IPA symbols, in my time we referred to 'em as phonetic symbols, but I keep coming across references to phonemic symbols. Is this GB vs US usage? Are we talking 'bout different aspects of pronunciation? As you've probably noticed, just to hedge my bets, I've made categories/articles for both versions, sort of hoping that someone would bring it up. How goes we? --Technopat 17:12, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

Of course, we could take the easy option and settle for the version that the British Library (the source I've been adding) uses: IPA symbols.--Technopat 17:15, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
To be honest I've been wondering recently myself about the difference (if any) between "phonetics" and "phonemics". Partly because I was at a conference recently where there was a talk on "synthetic phonemics". But that turned out to be about how to use the existing spelling of words to indicate pronunciation without using the IPA symbols. Nobody explained why "phonemics" though.
Looking at Wikipedia phonemics is a redirect to phonology which doesn't take us much further forward.....
Though reading that WP article before posting I find:
  • It (phonology) should be carefully distinguished from phonetics. Whereas phonetics concerns the physical production, acoustic transmission and perception of the sounds of speech, phonology describes the way sounds function within a given language or across languages to encode meaning. In other words, phonetics is a type of descriptive linguistics, whereas phonology is a type of theoretical linguistics. Note that this distinction was not always made in linguistics, particularly before the development of the modern concept of phoneme in the mid 20th century. Some subfields of modern phonology have a crossover with phonetics in the interface with descriptive disciplines such as psycholinguistics and speech perception, resulting in specific areas like articulatory phonology or laboratory phonology.
Not being involved in the field it looks like a fine distinction to me - at least for those of us at the chalk face. So ..... any thoughts?--Bob M 17:56, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for that. I reckon that the bit 'bout "phonetics concerns the physical production, acoustic transmission and perception of the sounds of speech, phonology describes the way sounds function within a given language or across languages to encode meaning" fits our case here, so - with your blessing - for the sake of consistency of use here at teflpedia, I suggest we/I change akll the sisting categories to "phonetic symbols". And if some Smart Alec linguist (no offence meant) appears anon to put us right, so be it. As you point out, us chaps out here on the front line can't afford to split hairs. Cheers! --Technopat 18:47, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
OK, it's not my strong suit. Here is another definition.--Bob M 20:09, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Thanx for that - it confirms the rule that, with certain noteworthy exceptions, forums are best avoided if you want to solve doubts... Cheers!