Two for 2017

Instead of the standard 'year in review' post, I thought I'd so something different and create a list of "twos" for 2017. These can be 2 good things, 2 bad things or a mixture. But just two.

And, yeah, sorry it's taken a while – thinking and writing up all these things has taken some serious time to do.

And in no particular order…

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How not to do marketing… by Uber

On the 30th December I received an email from Uber, whom I'm signed up to for their taxi service, promoting UberEats…

Have your favourite food delivered to your door with UberEATS, the new food delivery app from Uber. Choose a meal from local restaurants and we’ll have it delivered to you at Uber speed. Now that's what we call a tasty evening.

Sounded good. And they provided a link to download the app too, which I did. I use Just Eat and so I thought I'd give this a whirl as well.

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The books I read in 2017

I'm not a prolific reader but I do like to have a read before settling down to sleep each night. As a result, here are the books that I read last year, in alphabetical order…

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Retailers and the targeting of gender stereotypes

The above is a picture of my 8 year-old daughter taken on the last day of 2017. Please excuse the general mess (including her hair – it was early in the day and she's a stranger to a brush at the best of times).

I took it because it's a stark demonstration on just how far retailers have still got to go when it comes to not targeting gender stereotypes – whether it's actively specifying something is for a girl or boy (when there's no need to) or use of pink and blue to separate the sexes (it's amazing that retailers/manufacturers think this is an acceptable way of doing it without mentioning the individual sexes).

Let's go through everything…

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Pings and Bells

To celebrate Christmas and our amazing remote working policy, some of my fellow Automatticians have put together this video…

Happy Christmas everyone!

Safer walking routes – a proposal to navigation software companies

I mentioned this on a post the other day but have since fleshed out the details.

After walking through the dark streets of London, using Apple Maps as a guide, and finding myself sent up dark and potentially unsafe side roads, I had an idea of a feature that would help with this. After more thought, I realised this would be an ideal project for Google, particularly with access to Street View data and DeepMind for the AI. A friend of mine just happens to work for Google (and, specifically, the DeepMind division), so I sent the idea long…

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Big WP – London Calling

At numerous locations, often in big cities, regular WordPress-themed meetups occur. Anyone can run one and those attending can be anybody from bloggers to developers, with all levels of knowledge. However, probably the biggest in the UK is the appropriately named Big WP, held in London. Less regular than some others it, none-the-less, attracts a big audience and some impressive speakers.

For this meetup, the first in a while, I’ve attended – my first Big WP.

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New WordPress plugin – add a Pride rainbow to your admin bar

I'm happy to announce my latest WordPress plugin – Pride Bar. My first plugin available, straight-away, from both and Github, this adds the Pride rainbow to your boring admin bar…

At the moment activation will add the Pride bar to all users. If you think I need to add an option where individual users of the site (and remember, this only affects those with access to the site's back-end screens) can have their own setting, then please let me know, as I'll be happy to add it as a later feature.

Please install and enjoy 🙂

So, this happened…


Yesterday I noticed that grey gradient at the bottom of my Macbook Pro screen – it's the 2016 model and just 11 months old. For clarity in the screenshot I've hidden the dock and put a white background on.

It appears over the top of anything on the screen but due to its relevatively small size it's not (yet) a bother. I assume it's backlight issue of some kind but not sure what exactly would produce that kind of pattern – consistent right across the screen.

Thankfully my employers swap out our devices after 18 months, so I've only got to live with this (if I want to) for 7 months. The majority of the time I use an external monitor and only really use the laptop screen whilst mobile. But, still, it's a little odd!

The week I was in a Russian boy band

For some reason my co-workers in Automattic's VIP team seem to be gripped by this story and thought I should share it, so here goes.

First of all, some back story. I've been performing in amateur musical theatre for about 15 years. I can single and act reasonably. I can dance badly.

Cue misty, dreamy clouds that take us back to 2013…

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