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Defrauding an Election

Wired has a fun and informative look at How to Rig a Presidential Election in 1000 Easy Steps. Basically it’s impossible — I hadn’t really thought of this before, but every precinct has its own officials from both parties that certify everything, there are just a ton of people involved at every step of the process. All that said, I would love if voting platforms were completely open source software and had paper receipts that could be verified manually.

Also speaking of politics getting dirty, the San Francisco State Senate race has had a ton of falsehoods and attacks from Scott Weiner, someone I’ve met before and previously thought was a nice guy, but the latest mailers I’ve seen have just been deceitful (especially considering the Guardian actually endorsed his opponent, Jane Kim).

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Back on Tim’s Podcast

I went back for a Round 2 answering follow-up questions from Tim’s readers on the Tim Ferriss podcast. About an hour long and covered a wide range of topics. One of these days I need to start podcasting more directly. In the meantime, please give it a listen! Already some great tweets and responses have started to come in.

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Happy Birthday Om!

Today the legendary Om Malik celebrates his 50th time around the sun. For many that know him, Om defies definition: He’s first a writer, and finally always a true friend, but in between he’s an investor, photographer, oenophile, closet Bollywood fan, critical thinker, and sartorialist. He’s also been my friend and confidant for over a decade now, and I cannot wait to see what his next 50 years bring for him and the world.

Here’s some snaps of Om over the years, from 2008 to just a few weeks ago when he was blonde for a few days. Happy birthday, buddy. 😀

MAT_2822MAT_3038MCM_5436MCM_9460IMG_4856MCM_5807FullSizeRenderIMG_8178IMG_9322IMG_2343IMG_4620IMG_9092IMG_9214OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIMG_2852IMG_4566Shot with DXO ONE CameraMCM_0056

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40 under 40

I’m still catching up with things after the Automattic Grand Meetup, but excited today to be included on the Fortune 40 under 40 list, which I’ve graduated to after being termed out of the under 30 lists. I came in at #20 and it’s great to see lots of friends on the list as well.

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Fun Shopping Finds

969D8945-1873-4C5C-AFB6-80360C430254_1024x1024.jpegIn midst of a crazy couple of weeks, some retail therapy and cool finds.

I’m most excited about The Napsack, a sleeping bag which you can also wear as a coat, from a company called Poler that has a lot of fun items, patterns, and colorways.

The Zolt Laptop Charger + Apple Macbook cable add-on is small and handy. The version I got previously from Kickstarter made a weird buzzing, this new model is quiet and works great. If you passed it before, worth trying now.

Snow Peak is an amazing Japanese camping brand. Some of their materials are so soft, and the titanium stuff is super light.

I’m always a sucker for the timelessness and quality of Will Leather Goods, some of their bags and backpacks are looking great these days, especially the Oaxacan line.

I’ve been liking this 3-port USB + USB-C charger from Aukey.

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The Meadow

Bedeviled,
human, your plight, in waking, is to choose from the words

that even now sleep on your tongue, and to know that tangled
among them and terribly new is the sentence that could change your life.

From The Meadow by Marie Howe.

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Koya Bound Kickstarter

In March I took a eight day hike in Japan with Dan Rubin and Craig Mod, which was definitely one of the more beautiful journeys I’ve taken, and I couldn’t imagine finer gentlemen to have embarked on it with. We trekked, ate, bathed, had long conversations about life, about our fathers. When I returned to Houston I was able to show my Dad some of the photos and they brought a smile to his face, a rare occurrence those days before he passed.

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Dan and Craig are both Leica heads and shot largely on a Leica Q and M Monochrom on the trip. (Bonus points if you can identify Dan’s non-Leica film camera in the above photo.) After I left they camped out in an old house and put together their best work from the trip into what looks like a gorgeous book, which there is now a Kickstarter for.

There are some very cool perks on Kickstarter if you go back the book now, including a few special editions and some photo prints. I’d highly recommend checking it out!

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Automattic

What a Week: WordPress, Maeda, .Blog

I’m still overwhelmed from last week, which was full of major announcements. Get your Instapaper / Pocket ready because I have lots of links!

It started with a very smooth WordPress release, version 4.6 “Pepper.” A week later it’s had over 4,200,000 downloads and upgrades are rippling throughout the WP ecosystem with 13% of all known installs already on the latest. WordPress 4.6 was available on release day in 50 languages, which blows my mind.
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The next big move was John Maeda joining Automattic as our Global Head, Computational Design and Inclusion. You can check out some of his talks on TED and his Twitter is always interesting. This was covered fairly well by mainstream media, especially with feature articles by Wired on the open source aspect, Fast Company on the inclusion side, and Techcrunch on the business side.

As often, the best stories are often personal ones: Om is a friend of both John and I, long-time Automattic designer Matt Miklic shared his “I will never stop learning” journey and and how he helped hire for this role, and finally John told his own story directly on Design.blog.

In the beginning days of the Web, Open Source was a human right.

You might notice something about that domain… it’s a .blog! We opened up .blog for early registrations and launched the first few founder domains like get.blog, design.blog, dave.blog, and of course matt.blog. More coming this week!

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Design.blog also launched with great essays from Alice Rawsthorn, Cassidy Blackwell, and Jessica Helfand. It will be updated every Thursday with a new home page design and new round of great voices, so bookmark it and be sure to visit again in a few days.

Huge thanks to Judy Wert who led the search for the design role. Combined with Chris Taylor starting as Chief Marketing Officer at Automattic a few months ago I think we’re well-positioned to really boost the growth of WordPress in the coming years. You may have even started to see video ads for WP.com. We’ve had 90 people start so far this year at Automattic bringing our total to just under 500 in 50 countries, if you’d like to join the family we’re hiring for over a dozen roles.

As you can tell, things have been moving at a hundred miles per hour, and the momentum is carrying through the all-company Grand Meetup in Whistler next month and WordCamp US in December. I’m going to take a few days to unplug at Burning Man next week (photos from my first year), might even take a Real Camera to capture some of the art.

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HydraulicPress

The Hydraulic Press Channel on Youtube is pretty much the best thing since, forever.

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Chip to Enhance Intelligence

“Putting a computer in your brain is no longer science fiction.” Pretty awesome work from (WordPress-powered) Bryan Johnson and Theodore Berger, (WP-powered) Kernel.

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WordPress Olympians

Many of the world’s finest athletes — from Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt to American tennis player Serena Williams — publish with WordPress. With the Rio 2016 games upon us, we turn to Olympians, Olympic hopefuls, and elite athletes who have blogged over the past year about the joys and challenges of competition at the highest level and the long road to Rio.

Fascinating round-up of some of the trials and tribulations making it to the Olympics.

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Simplenote Open Source

The first-party premier Simplenote native apps for Android, iOS, and macOS are now fully open source. I’m very proud of the team for this, and excited that the broader Simplenote community can now see behind the scenes of how things are developing with the app, which remains one of my personal favorites across every platform. What’s Simplenote? It’s the easiest way to have your plain text notes synced instantly across every device and browser you use.

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Free the Cable Box

Techdirt asks: Why Is The Copyright Office Lying To Protect The Cable Industry’s Monopoly Stranglehold Over The Cable Box?

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Wharf to Wharf Race Time-lapse Video

Caught a time-lapse from the first runners to some of the last walkers, and a cool band “The Noisy Neighbors” playing for this year’s Wharf to Wharf race in Santa Cruz. Video is about 23 seconds, if you look closely you can see the front-runners at the very beginning.

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Guest House by Rumi

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

— Jellaludin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks

I found this poem through the Search Within Yourself book, in which I’ve enjoyed learning about mindfulness in a business context. I found this poem online here.

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Asides

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.