Category Archives: Asides

Interesting links.

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.

Did you know pink and blue implying gender is relatively new, and all babies used to just wear white dresses?

Watching Television

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:

  1. House of Cards (new season out today!).
  2. True Detective.
  3. Scandal.
  4. Blacklist.
  5. Empire.
  6. 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.

On WordPress.com and Bitcoin

There’s been some controversy and discussion about the fact that WordPress.com no longer support Bitcoin in our new checkout flow on signup. (It’s still there in some other flows.)

Since there has been a lot of discussion about it, I wanted to share directly some of the answers I had to Grace’s follow-up questions, since I’m not sure if they’ll be published and if they are it probably won’t be in their entirety.

In regards to your future plans for the currency, is bitcoin support definitely returning or is that just a possibility at this point?

We’re big fans of Bitcoin and hope to support it again in the future, for all of the reasons that we originally supported it in 2012, which you can read about here:

http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2012/11/15/pay-another-way-bitcoin/

Is there anything that will influence the outcome of this decision?

No, it is simply a matter of development resources, which are especially scarce for us right now as we’re trying to keep up with growth.

You mention that bitcoin has low volume compared to other payment methods, has this always been the case? Has its volume share changed over time?

The volume has been dropping since launch, in 2014 it was only used about twice a week, which is vanishingly small compared to other methods of payment we offer. We supported Bitcoin for philosophical reasons, not commercial ones.

What are the key aims of your checkout process changes?

Our goals are twofold: to refactor the code behind it which has parts that are over five years old and has grown very complex, and to make it faster and easier for people to buy our services.

When you first launched bitcoin payments WordPress’ blog post praised it as an inclusive payment method for those who cannot use PayPal. Do you worry that these people will now be excluded from the platform?

Of course, but either that number of people turned out to be smaller than we expected or they found other ways to pay. Since it’s so few people overall I’m happy to extend people’s subscription for a year, as I offered in your comments section.

What does being a ‘big believer’ in bitcoin mean to you?

I believe Bitcoin or some other blockchain-like system will be the basis of the majority of financial transactions in the future, from small remittances to multi-billion dollar corporate acquisitions. I think transaction costs should follow Moore’s law, and I don’t think we’re going to get there with the centralized gateways that currently account for the overwhelming majority of transactions. I also personally hold Bitcoin, I’m an advisor to Stellar.org, and my friends make fun of me for bringing up Bitcoin and the blockchain in unrelated conversations.

The bitcoin option still appears on the ‘WP Admin’ screen but not on ‘My Upgrades’. Is this part of the phase out, or likely to stay this way?

That’s on the old code base, and will be available for a short while if any current Bitcoin subscribers want to renew while the option is still available.