I feel like all the words are in you, you’re just blocking yourself, you’re blocking your creativity. Society has put up so many boundaries, so many limitations on what’s right and wrong that it’s almost impossible to get a pure thought out. It’s like a little kid, a little boy, looking at colors, and no one told him what colors are good, before somebody tells you you shouldn’t like pink because that’s for girls, or you’d instantly become a gay two-year-old. Why would anyone pick blue over pink? Pink is obviously a better color. Everyone’s born confident, and everything’s taken away from you. So many people try to put their personality on someone else.
Back in 1994 we launched Hotwired, the first site with original editorial content created for the web. It was a digital home for reporting on the future of science, business, design, and technology. You’ve come to trust us over the past two decades, but our growth online has sometimes come too quickly and with some pain. When I took over as editor in chief in 2012, WIRED had an archive of more than 100,000 stories. That’s good! But they were spread out over more than a dozen different databases, sections, and homepages tenuously connected by virtual duct tape and chewing gum. The cleanup process—onerous and without a shred of glamour—took almost 15 months. But finally, last year, our engineers rolled out a newly unified site architecture built atop a single streamlined WordPress installation. And you didn’t notice a hiccup. Maybe you saw that pages loaded a touch faster. Stories looked more WIRED.
The redesign gives us the third incarnation of our Curator application, which started years ago as a separate Groovy on Grails application maintained by a single Java developer. Curator once consumed articles from 35 different blogs for curation on our homepage. When we migrated our 17 active WordPress blogs into one WordPress install, we also rewrote Curator in Cake PHP to match our WordPress PHP backend. After this, anyone on our team could maintain Curator—but the architecture remained the same and lived outside of WordPress. Using this version of Curator, our web producer team manually constructed the homepage throughout each day as various stories were ready to be promoted.
Our new and improved Curator is now a custom WordPress plugin—and it’s artificially intelligent! This allows our homepage and section landing pages to be both automated and curated at the same time. Stories flow through automagically based on editorial criteria, but editors can take control of the flow by locking stories in certain slots in our card system. This means our homepage and section landing pages are constantly changing with new stories all day long.
Curator sounds cool, as does the coming “longform feature article builder.”
It’s been a long road, but the WordPress mobile apps are finally making some major strides. WordPress iOS version 4.8 includes a visual editor so you won’t see code anymore when blogging on the go. (For anyone curious at home, WordPress originally shipped with WYSIWYG in version 2.0, and it was highly controversial at the time.)
A June 1918 article from the trade publication Earnshaw’s Infants’ Department said, “The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.” Other sources said blue was flattering for blonds, pink for brunettes; or blue was for blue-eyed babies, pink for brown-eyed babies, according to Paoletti.
Great piece by Jonathan Libov on text-based messaging interfaces for everything in the future, it’s like the command line has come alive again.
It wasn’t that long ago, in the grand scheme of things, that I didn’t have any TV shows I was actively watching. Life has been busier than ever, but I’ve started catching up with shows instead of movies when flying. I’ve been blown away by the high quality of storytelling in the medium of television right now.
So I find myself actively watching a few different shows:
- House of Cards (new season out today!).
- True Detective.
- West Wing.
There are some guilty pleasures in there, and there are probably a dozen shows that friends have recommended to me as amazing that I’ve never even started. (Hence West Wing, I’m watching it for the first time, somewhere in Season 4.)
This is the first time I’m watching things that are still “on” versus something like Firefly or Sopranos which are complete already. There’s definitely something fun about discussing the latest developments with other people who are also caught up, in the zeitgeist, and the anticipation of new episodes coming out, like what I imagine it must have been like with serialized novels back in the day.
Ben Dwyer on why writing code is like solving a Rubik’s cube.