Thursday, December 1, 2011

NY Times to Combat Trolls with New Trusted Commenter System

Posted By on Thu, Dec 1, 2011 at 7:00 AM

Any regular readers of BW's website are probably just as familiar with our cast of commenters as they are with our reporters, thanks to their frequent, let's say "colorful," analysis of the day's news.

In August, BW reported on how several European newspapers were eliminating anonymous online commenting after the terrorist attack by Christian extremist Anders Breivik that killed 77 people in Norway. The papers felt that anonymous commenting had allowed a forum for the proliferation of hate speech that Breivik had consumed and taken part in.

Today, The New York Times announced a slightly different strategy to deal with comment trolling, a "trusted commenter" program.

From an article on

The Times will invite any reader whose comments are consistently approved over a certain time period to become a “trusted commenter,” whose future comments go public immediately. Everyone else’s comments will be held for review by a Times moderator, as they are now.

Those who join will have to submit and verify real names, a profile photo and hometown by connecting a Facebook account. (Some people object to using Facebook, so other identity verification methods may be supported later, Koren [Sasha Koren, deputy editor of interactive news] said.)

In exchange they get instant commenting, as well as a higher profile on the site. With a special “trusted” logo attached to their color photo and full name, they stand out visually from the other commenters who usually have an anonymous username and no profile photo.

There are other changes in the overhaul, but the trusted commenter system is the most significant. More about the commenting overhaul can be read here.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

20X20 Event at Humpin' Hannah's Canceled

Posted By on Wed, Nov 30, 2011 at 3:46 PM

The Sustainable Community Connections 20X20 event at Humpin' Hannah's on Thursday, Dec. 1 has been canceled.

"We really tried to push for registrations, but we only had 15, and it just was not enough. The event may be rescheduled, we have not determined yet," said Sustainable Community Connections Executive Director Dave Ficks.

The $20 event was slated to feature tunes by Steve Fulton Music and Dan Costello, and grub from Flatbread Community Oven and Zeppole.

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Nicolas Cage on Serbian Biology Book: What's Wrong With That?

Posted By on Wed, Nov 30, 2011 at 3:27 PM

Quick, what do you think of when you hear the words "biology textbook?"

It's a safe bet that it ain't Raising Arizona, nor is it Nicolas Cage, but that's exactly what ended up on the cover of a biology textbook in Serbia. The image from the Coen brothers' film shows stars Cage and Holly Hunter holding the infant from the film. Apparently, a graphic designer thought it was just some random clip art, and once the mistake was realized, the books were pulled.

Still, you can't deny the greatness of the mistake. Read the whole story and check out the cover for yourself at

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Possum Posse: Guy On a Buffalo

Posted By on Wed, Nov 30, 2011 at 3:00 PM

The Austin, Texas-based band Possum Posse is one of the most oddly intriguing groups out there. Its recent meteoric rise in the viral video ranks came as a result of its Guy On a Buffalo series that has easily surpassed 1 million hits on YouTube.

Self-described as a "sardonic honky-tonk bluegrass band," Possum Posse is now trying to put out an album, following the huge success of their four-part parody of the 1978 film Buffalo Rider.

[ Video is no longer available. ]

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Worms Survive Space Mission

Posted By on Wed, Nov 30, 2011 at 2:58 PM


A team of United Kingdom scientists recently welcomed home about 4,000 worms from a six month orbit with the space shuttle Discovery.

The worms are part of study that aims to investigate the effect of extend periods without gravity on muscles, for full details check out the BBC New's story here.

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Changes For Wish Expo

Posted By on Wed, Nov 30, 2011 at 2:03 PM

Ish Promotions has made some last-minute changes to its Holiday Expo, occurring Saturday, Dec. 3, before its other event, the Every Woman's Wish All-Male Revue.

The expo will still include a plethora of vendors and donations are encouraged. However those donations won't be headed to the Idaho Foodbank. Instead, the event will benefit the Meridian Foodbank, according to Kevin Kellum, My Lady's Wish/Ish Promotions senior vice president.

And don't bring donations to the El Korah Shrine Center—the event has been moved to the Powerhouse Event Center. It will still occur as scheduled from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

The male revue event will occur as originally listed, at the Bouquet at 9 p.m.

Got it? Check out for all the deets and any other changes that may take place.

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Weekly Cover Art Submissions

Posted By on Wed, Nov 30, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Here's your weekly sample of cover art submissions. As we like to say every week: Submission is open to everyone.

Check out an archive of cover submission posts here.

  • Cher Sandmire

  • Lycia Egner

  • Maria Delia Carpenter

  • Sara Morrissette

  • Stephen Elliott Gray

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Bad Cartoonist Connor Coughlin Sings the Skeleton Blues

Posted By on Wed, Nov 30, 2011 at 10:26 AM

BW has been hard at work wrangling entries for our 10th annual Bad Cartoon Contest, the results of which published today.

We called up last year's resident Bad Cartoonist, Connor Coughlin, the man behind Skeleton Blues, and asked him to give us the skinny on his experiences over the last year.

[ Video is no longer available. ]

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Asian Boy BBQ Food Truck Opens

Posted By on Wed, Nov 30, 2011 at 10:24 AM

Boise’s newest food trailer, Asian Boy BBQ, had its grand opening Tuesday, Nov. 29, on the corner of Overland and Cloverdale roads in the Computer Central parking lot.

Asian Boy combines three trends that show no signs slowing: food trucks, barbecue and banh mi sandwiches. According to the trailer's Facebook page, the "simple, yet exotic menu provides customers with a fusion of American and Asian cuisine. The love of our Boise backyard BBQs along with traditional homestyle Vietnamese flavors brings a truly unique taste to the Treasure Valley.”

The truck’s menu boasts an eclectic mash-up of flavors, including dishes like the Aporkalips sandwich, which features slow-cooked, marinated pork stuffed inside two large dinner rolls; Thai-seasoned chicken wings on a stick; and an Asian Boy red burger on a sesame bun. But other than french fries or kiwi mango salsa with wonton chips, vegetarians are out of luck.

For more information on Asian Boy BBQ, visit its Facebook page or follow the truck's whereabouts on Twitter.

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Backcountry Ski Season Off and Running; Get Avalanche Training

Posted By on Wed, Nov 30, 2011 at 8:46 AM


It's official, ski season is here. While area resorts—apart from Sun Valley—are waiting for mother nature to produce a little more of what they need, Idaho's backcountry has seen just enough of the white stuff to get the ball rolling.

Chuck Rea from McCall-based Payette Powder Guides noted in a recent email that "winter has arrived! We currently have about two feet of snow up at the yurts and have managed to find a few smooth slopes to make the first turns of the season."

But don't even think about hitting the backcountry unless you have proper avalanche training under your belt.

Idaho Parks and Rec or REI in Boise, and Payette Powder Guides or the Payette Avalanche Center in McCall can get you all learned up, with a variety of classes suitable for both skiers and snowmobilers. Some of the classes are even free of charge. Check the links below for class times and availability.

Idaho Parks & Rec

REI Boise

Payette Avalanche Center

Payette Powder Guides

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