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Mortgaging Your Site’s Future

Mortgaging your site to a closed-standards vendor gives them, not you, the economic power.

Another Matt from Alley ruminates on Medium’s uncertain future for publishers. I agree that these first couple of publishers probably got a good deal: better than free, they’re guaranteed money regardless of whether Medium makes money or not.

In making the decision to hitch their horse to Medium’s wagon while fording a river, they’re probably betting on Medium not going out of business, which I agree there’s only like a 10% chance of happening. However I think there is a 97% chance that Medium’s business model will change in the future because the path they’re on and these publishers are dependent on will not sustain their current costs or the investment they’ve raised.

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Bugs Are Human

It’s an old one, but I love this story about how part of what psyched Kasparov out, and possibly turned the tide, in his famous chess match against Deep Blue was actually a bug.

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Jetpack Secure Sign In

Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 2.37.03 PM.pngI’m really happy about the feature in today’s new 4.1 release of Jetpack that streamlines logging in with your WordPress.com account. When this is finished it’ll completely protect you from brute force attacks (and server load), and you can secure one login with two-factor for all your sites rather than maintaining dozens of user/pass combinations for all your WordPresses.

Posted from the WordPress.com Mac app.

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When They Show Up with Money

It’s a time-tested strategy for social networks to pay influential early adopters to use their service, in the hopes of convincing regular folks to create content on it for free.

Mark Armstrong asks you to think about What to Consider When the Platforms Show Up with Money.

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Archiving the Internet

Jenna Wortham has a good piece on How an Archive of the Internet Could Change History, bringing together some interesting threads from Keith Haring to quantum mechanics. This is part of the reason I’ve been fascinated by the inter-planetary file system, which I mentioned on stage at WordCamp Europe on Friday.

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First Father’s Day

This is my first father’s day without my father. His memories and spirit have been very present with me the past week, but today is still tough. Miss you, Dad, and I will continue to try and make you proud.

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Human-Sized Life

Dave Winer has a great blog post, Your human-size life which covers wealth, success, happiness, and Peter Thiel. Hat tip: Toni.

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WordPress is a Teenager

Thirteen years ago, building on the work of Michel and B2, Mike and I pushed the button on the first-ever release of WordPress. That means it’s now a teenager, which is blowing my mind similar to what I imagine real parents might feel at this stage. We now have 5-7 years of awkwardness and incredible growth to look forward to.

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Illusion of Knowledge

Good to keep in mind, especially as you’re making data-informed product decisions:

The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.

— Stephen Hawking

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Cool USB-C Charger


41HooVl0BFLAnker has come out with a pretty cool new USB charger that also supports USB PD
, which is the USB-C power delivery standard which means it can fully power a Macbook. So you can take the USB-C cable that came with your Macbook and use this instead of the white brick that Apple makes and other things as well, so fewer things to travel with. It will of course charge any USB-C devices like your Nexus phone super fast as well. I really hope everything uses USB-C PD in the future

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Mom on Tinder

If you’re looking for a fun Friday read, check out this story of a young GQ writer who gave control of his Tinder account to his Mom. It’s adorkable.

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.Blog

It’s now public that Automattic is the company behind Knock Knock Whois There LLC, the registry for the new .blog TLD. (And a great pun.) We wanted to stay stealth while in the bidding process and afterward in order not to draw too much attention, but nonetheless the cost of the .blog auction got up there (people are estimating around $20M). I’m excited we won and think that it will be both an amazing business going forward and give lots of folks an opportunity to have a fantastic domain name in a new namespace and with an easy-to-say TLD. You can sign up to be first in line to reserve a domain here. If you have a trademark you can get in August, and then October for the “land rush.”

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Apple and Podcasting

Marco Arment has a great take on how the decentralized nature of podcasting is a feature, not a bug, and Apple being more proactive there would be harmful to the ecosystem. As an aside, since I’ve been in Houston more recently, which means driving a lot, I’ve been really loving his app Overcast and I opted in to the optional paid subscription for it. I just need to get in more of a habit of listening to podcasts outside of Houston.

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You Yourself

You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.

This quote is almost always attributed to Buddha. Luckily there’s a great WordPress site called Fake Buddha Quotes that tracks down its actual provenance.

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Secret History of Tiger Woods

ESPN has a fascinating longread on The Secret History of Tiger Woods, especially in the context of his relationship with and the death of his father.

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538 on Basic Income

The economic uncertainty surrounding basic income is huge, and the politics of bringing such a program about on a large scale are daunting. But something makes this radical proposal so exciting that people and governments are increasingly willing to try it. Basic income challenges our notions of the social safety net, the relationship between work and income, and how to adapt to technological change. That makes it one of the most audacious social policy experiments in modern history. It could fail disastrously, or it could change everything for the better.

From FiveThirtyEight, What Would Happen If We Just Gave People Money?

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Essays

In Memoriam: Chuck Mullenweg

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My father, Chuck Mullenweg, passed one week ago today. After over a month in ICU he had just been transferred to long-term acute care in a different hospital and we were looking forward to a tough but steady road to being back home when he took an unexpected and sudden turn. I’ve started and stopped writing this dozens of times since then and words continue to fail me.

Here’s the rememberance that ran in the paper a few days ago:

IMG_6024.JPGIt is impossible to overstate the influence my father has had on every part of my life: Why did I play saxophone? Dad did. Computers and programming? Dad did. Travel? He was frequently stationed overseas and even when we didn’t visit he would always bring back a cool gift for myself and my sister. He drove me to the HAL-PC office (local non-profit) every weekend where I’d learn so much fixing people’s broken computers and being exposed to open source for the first time. His O’Reilly “camel book” on Perl was the first scripting I learned, and he pointed me toward Mastering Regular Expressions which became the basis of my first contribution to b2, texturize.

We were in a father / son bowling league. I remember admiring his work ethic so much: he’d get up before dawn every morning and put on a suit, grab his briefcase, and go to work. He often went in on weekends and I loved to go with him because they had “fast” internet at the office and I could read Dilbert and about Babylon 5. He was a voracious reader and learner, and loved tinkering whether it was cars or networking. In the other room I can hear a bitcoin mining rig he set up a few years ago. He was independent minded and unafraid to question the status quo.

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There’s a photo somewhere of my dad mowing the lawn and me following behind him with a toy lawnmower, which is a perfect metaphor for how I’ve always followed in his footsteps.

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I’m at a loss.

Parents are there literally the day you’re born, and it’s hard to imagine a life without them. Most people reading this will outlive their parents, and deal with their mortality and often difficult and painful final days as those who brought us into this world exit it. I’ve been reading and reading all the writing I can find on this topic, but nothing really prepares you for it, and nothing makes it better to go through. It’s terrible.

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He wasn’t someone to tell you what the right way to live was, in fact he was incredibly open minded. He didn’t tell you, he showed you how he lived his life from a place of integrity and trust, how he was in his relationship with my mom, how he was in business. He wasn’t flashy and seldom talked about his accomplishments or all the people he had helped out along the way. Many of the stories of appreciation coming in I’m hearing for the first time. In getting his books and taxes together this past week I was humbled by how simply he lived this season of his life, not into material things but cherishing relationships and his quiet life in the suburbs with my mother.

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My biggest blessing has been my family. Every one is the most supportive you can imagine. So inspiring… much of what I’ve done in the world was in the context of making my parents proud, and their relationship to each other and the amazing man my dad was has set a bar I hope to approach in my lifetime. The last few years he got much better about showing his pride in my sister and I, and even more importantly saying “I love you,” the three words that are among the best gift we can give each other. Don’t forget to use them, even if it feels cheesy or embarrassing, and for those of you with parents still around please give them some extra time and a hug for me. This was unexpected, we really believed he was on an upward trajectory. You never know when the words you share with someone might be the last.

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I made a page you can see his official obituary, information about his memorial service in Katy, and leave any memories you have of him at ma.tt/chuck.

 

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Dangerous Driving

If U.S. roads were a war zone, they would be the most dangerous battlefield the American military has ever encountered. Seriously: Annual U.S. highway fatalities outnumber the yearly war dead during each Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, the War of 1812, and the American Revolution. When all of the injuries from car wrecks are also taken into account, one year of American driving is more dangerous than all those wars put together.

From The Absurd Primacy of the Automobile in American Life in The Atlantic.

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Culinary Houston

The New York Times food section has decided to “proclaim Houston one of the great eating capitals of America” and highlighted four great restaurants in town. Houston is really such a great city, it’s good to see it getting some love.

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Western Microbiome

Burgers and fries have nearly killed our ancestral microbiome.

I’ve loved reading microbiome stuff lately, here’s a good one in Nautilus, How the Western Diet Has Derailed Our Evolution. For an older look from the New Yorker, check out this older one about the fascinating journey of helicobacter pylori.