Categories
Music

Iris (Electronic Arrangement)

Two days ago, I shared my seven-year-old Iris arrangement. As a bonus track, here’s what happens when you spend the night messing around with GarageBand’s seemingly endless synthesizer settings.

Categories
Music

Iris (Instrumental Arrangement)

Sure, I work for Automattic now, but when I was in college, I actually wanted to be a music teacher. While pursuing my degree in music education at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, I took an instrumental arranging course and one of my assignments was to arrange a pop song for an entirely instrumental group. I choose Iris by The Goo Goo Dolls, and since then, my arrangement was been played regularly by the university’s MIDI Ensemble (which I have volunteered in as a coach since graduation).

There are so many great arrangements and covers on Soundcloud, that I figured I might as well dig through my old school archives and finally put it somewhere more appropriate than a dusty CD in the corner of closet. So, without further chatter, here’s my 2006 arrangement of Iris for flute and other stuff, mechanically performed by the heartless instruments of GarageBand.

Categories
Science Video World

Earth Day, 2013

It’s Earth Day again! Time to start at least saving the environment for free if you haven’t been already, and maybe even plant some trees and donate to a worthy charity, like The Conservation Fund. If you want to know why I prefer The Conservation Fund, read this.

Want to do even more to save the environment? Start at home with this list of fifty ways to help the planet.

Now, get out of your home or office and spend some time outdoors, or at least watch this video if you can’t.

Categories
Technology

Preview the Upcoming WordPress Dashboard

MP6, the future of the WordPress Dashboard, has arrived on WordPress.com.

If you have a WordPress.com blog, visit Users -> Personal Settings in your blog’s Dashboard and check “Enable experimental admin design (MP6)” now!

If you follow WordPress development, you may have heard that this was on the roadmap for WordPress 3.6, but was pushed back to WordPress 3.7. So, it will officially become the new Dashboard eventually, but there’s plenty of time to try it out, get to know it, and fall in love with it as much as I have.

MP6 was designed to be less cluttered and more readable with clearer fonts and better contrast, and it’s fully responsive across all devices. To sweeten the deal, MP6 also makes use of icon fonts to cut down on images, thus providing a slightly improved loading time.

You can easily switch back by unchecking the box at Users -> Personal Settings, but I encourage you to give it a day or two. It’s a rather large design change, but it does retain the overall layout that you’re all used to, so I’m confident that you’ll love it too.

If you have a self-hosted WordPress blog, you can try the experimental Dashboard too with the MP6 plugin.

MP6 on WordPress.com is constantly being improved and you may notice a few spots in your Dashboard that still need to be brought up to MP6’s new design standards, but if you have any feedback, please let us know!

Categories
Technology

Two Step Authentication on WordPress.com

If you have a WordPress.com blog, now is the perfect time to make your account more secure with our new two step authentication! Two step authentication (also referred to as two-factor authentication) requires you to enter a one-time secret code from your mobile device whenever you log in, after entering your password of course, which is hopefully a strong password (and you should consider changing that if it isn’t). This means that, with two step authentication enabled, an attacker would need to both know your password and have physical possession of your mobile device to gain access to your account.

All you need to use two step authentication at WordPress.com is an iOS, Android, or Blackberry mobile device (it doesn’t have to be a cellphone, but you do need to connect to the internet once to set it up). If you don’t have either, you can also use a cellphone capable of receiving text messages.

We’re looking into ways to bring our two step authentication system to self-hosted WordPress.org blogs soon, and you’ll see an announcement on the Jetpack blog when we’re ready. Until then, try the Google Authenticator plugin with your self-hosted blog.