Just last week, my Jetpack support team (we’re big enough to be 4 teams now) had our annual team meetup so that we can grow as a team and build great things that could only be built in person. One of our moments away from work involved going to The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, which is a really wonderful place that not many folks outside of Southern California know about. There was a lot to cover in not much time that day, so Sarah and I went back for more later.
This definitive recording is available for a limited time, and exclusively for her Backstage Members, but don’t worry, the cost of membership is only $12/year. That’s right, for roughly the price of one album a year, you’ll get this recording and every other new album she produces!
WordPress 4.9 has been released! This release introduces some big improvements to the customizer, the code editors, and theme switching, along with a new gallery widget!
443 volunteers contributed to this release, lead by Mel Choyce and Weston Ruter. At the time of writing this, WordPress 4.9 has been out for about 17 hours, and has already been downloaded 2,075,053 times!
All users can safely update from Dashboard -> Updates or download and update manually, though you should probably backup first just in case, unless you’re already using VaultPress, which you really should be.
WordPress 5.0 is next, and it sounds like the promised fully rebuilt editor is still on schedule. If you want to try it out or contribute to its development, please feel free to start with the Gutenberg plugin.
A few years ago, I said goodbye to my mid-level digital camera and just started using my iPhone as my camera of choice. After all, the best camera is always the one that you have with you, and I always have my phone with me. It wasn’t until this year’s Automattic meetup that that I realized I was transferring photos from my phone to my computer manually via AirDrop, as if I was still treating my phone like a separate unconnected camera. “Surely there is a better way?” I thought, and that better way was right in front of my face the whole time.
Enter iCloud Photo Library, a cloud-based library which is accessible by all of your Apple devices. If you take a photo or video with your iPhone or iPad, or add one to your library on your Mac, it’s immediately sent to the library in iCloud and visible across all of your Apple devices. It’s simple, it’s magic, and it reminds me of having wallet photos. If I want to show someone a photo or get the urge to publish one online somewhere, I don’t have to explain how sad I am that I don’t have the photo on me, because I already have access to my entire library on my phone.
I had heard great things about iCloud Photo Library, but had resisted because I knew I’d absolutely have to buy more iCloud storage since the free 5GB just wasn’t going to work out. Fortunately, Apple recently launched a 200GB plan at only $2.99/month that I could share with my wife for her photo library too, and that was exactly what we needed. After buying more storage, I switched on iCloud Photo Library in the Photos app on my Mac, and the upload of everything completed in about 6 hours. Now, the 2,471 photos and videos I have worth keeping are accessible on both my Mac and my phone.
If you do choose to switch to iCloud Photo Library, and I very much recommend that you do, please keep in mind that it is not a dedicated storage solution. Deleting a photo from the library on any connected device will remove it from the iCloud Photo Library and any other device using it too. Also, keep in mind that each device allows you to choose if you want to download the originals to it. My originals are being downloaded to my Mac’s library, like a second backup, while I save space on my phone by not having it download any.
If you aren’t an Apple device user or you aren’t a fan of iCloud, there are many similar options to choose from, like Google Photos and Amazon Prime Photos. Either way, do consider some sort of cloud-based photo library, so you can always carry your memories with you wherever you go and not have to worry about how you’re going to get your new photos to your computer.
Like like last year, Automattic went to Whistler, British Columbia for our annual Grand Meetup. We had almost 600 employees spanning the globe, suddenly just spanning 2 hotels for the week. It’s great to build things in person with people you usually only communicate with via text. Sure, it’s a little bit overwhelming, but I always walk away with a few new friends.
We built and learned quite a bit this week, and though there are no specific announcements yet, please watch the Jetpack Blog, WordPress.com Blog, and WooCommerce Blog for exciting news. As for myself, and as usual, I have a fair amount of photos to share:
Matt Mullenweg 2
Automattician Band 2
Automattician Band 3
Automattician Band 4
Automattician Band 5
Automattician Band 6
Automattician Band 7
Automattician Band 8
Automattician Band 9
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Automattician Band 12
Automattician Band 13
Automattician Band 14
Automattician Band 15
Automattician Band 16
Automattician Band 17
Automattician Band 18
Automattician Band 19
In case you’re wondering, those last few photos are of our very talented band of Automatticians.
All your life you did the right thing, always putting others before yourself. This is your reward.
Reborn is an imaginative look at the afterlife from writer Mark Millar and artist Greg Capullo. We’re introduced to our hero Bonnie Black as she passes away from a stroke, only to be reborn in the afterlife, younger and apparently the prophetic savior of everyone who had lead a good life. Bonnie is joined by her battle-hardened father and war-ready childhood dog on a quest to stop the forces of darkness.
We’re all familiar in some way with stories of traditional heaven and hell style afterlives, and while Reborn certainly doesn’t deviate from that style, it refreshes it with a vibrant fantasy world and an over-arching examination of life, death, what we leave behind, and what we bring with us. My only complaint is that Millar and Capullo have constructed such a vibrant fantasy world that it seems impossible to cover in this first volume, so it’s filled with imaginative visuals that are accompanied by little to no explanation. I preferred to fill the gaps in myself, as Bonnie’s journey of discovery and acceptance makes it hard not to wonder what we’d do in the same situation.
Reborn is just one volume so far, but according to Millar, there is a strong possibility of four more volumes, a series of novels, and a television series. The first volume has a solid ending and can definitely stand on its own, but I’m excited to see the rest of this world that Millar and Capullo have built.
Net Neutrality is a big issue that everyone should be concerned about. When you request a website, or any information over the internet, you expect your ISP to deliver it as requested with no interference. This is what the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules protect. Without Net Neutrality rules, your ISP could block sites they don’t like or slow down access to sites that don’t pay a fee, and those rules are in jeopardy.
The FCC is considering repealing the Net Neutrality rules, but there’s still time to stand up for what’s right. The FCC is currently requesting your feedback, and the first comment deadline is July 17, so make sure that you send your feedback to let them know what Net Neutrality means to you. Next, join the Net Neutrality Day of Action protest tomorrow (July 12). There are many ways you can participate listed there, and if you have a WordPress site, use the Fight for the Future Alerts plugin.
Millions of people spoke out in 2014 to establish the Net Neutrality rules, and hopefully we can do the same this year to save them.