Privacy screen battle: 3M vs Kensington

About 18 months ago, I bought a 3M privacy screen for my Touch-bar model MacBook Pro 13″. It was one of the few (from a known brand) on the market for this model at the time. However, I’ve now also purchased a Kensington model – 50% more expensive than the 3M version. But is it any better?

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Farewell to Hair: a new chapter starts

Back in December I started rehearsing for Hair, which is due to hit the stage in June. A few days ago, though, I informed the production crew that I would be withdrawing. Not only that but I’ve announced my intentional to (semi?) retire from the world of musical theatre too.

But to explain why, we need to go back to the beginning…

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Warning lights on your Mazda 3? It may be nothing

I’ve owned my Mazda 3 for just under 2 years now. On cold, damp days I often find that a number of warning lights come on, related to lane guidance (Lane Departure Warning System – LDWS), automatic full-beam (High Beam Control System – HBC) and automatic braking (Smart City Brake Support – SCBS). After a while, the warnings clear.

But, yesterday, I had the same warnings come on but the lights didn’t go out, even after stopping and restarting the ignition.

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VIP return to Lisbon – a story of blood, pastries and Kombucha

It’s that time of year again when the teams within WordPress VIP have a meetup. As usual, it’s all about the food, bad flights and weird accommodation.

Last year, the Triage and Developer team went to Lisbon and this year… we’re back. With a twist. But still with lots of pastéis de nata.

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WP-CLI: Best practices for your scripts

WP-CLI is a rather splendid command-line method of interacting with your WordPress site. You can use it to automate installs, update plugins and all sorts. At WordPress VIP, clients use it, in particular, to power batch updates – maybe some image compression that they’ve not done in the past, re-categorising articles, all sorts.

If you’re using WordPress and don’t use WP-CLI, I would highly recommend checking it out (especially so if you’re looking for a job in the VIP team 😉). However, this post isn’t about using it but to give recommendations on how to best write your scripts.

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Who’d want to be a Noogler?

Did you know that new Google employees are ‘Nooglers’, that staff over 40 are ‘Greyglers’, staff that leave are ‘Xooglers’ and those that bring their dogs to work are ‘Dooglers’?

Cute names or something more worrisome?

Well, Automattic has names for its employees too, all based on variation of the company name.

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Health matters

One of the things I’ve not really written about is my physical health. Mental health, yes. Now, I’m generally in good health (despite my size – but I’ll get onto that) but have a couple of niggling issues, one of which seems to have stumped health professionals. And my DNA.

So, I thought it time to write some more and, maybe, using the power of the internet I may find a solution. Or solace. Or just pity.

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Talking support: should I switch it off and back on again?

With nearly 30 years of experience working within support, I want to share a number of simple discoveries that I’ve made about how it can be improved.

And, today, we’ll talk about the age-old IT trope… fix everything by switching it off and back on again.

the it crowd chris odowd GIF

The thing is, it works. So why should we be avoiding this?

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Applying for a job? Here’s what people often get wrong

It’s 2 years since I got my job at Automattic and now I’m part of Automattic’s VIP hiring team. And performing this hiring role has been genuinely interesting and, yes, eye-opening.

In this post, I want to give you an idea of what I look for in an application and some of the less obvious things that people often miss.

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