Tidbits from Brian - Issue #17
The older I get, the more I appreciate the good ole days. 😅
Does anyone else feel like things move crazy fast these days? Growing up, I remember when we got our first Compaq computer. We got 10 hours of free internet a month from Netzero (yes, dial-up). After that, we couldn’t use it anymore until it reset the next month. We had to go outside and play.
Sometimes I miss the good ole days and how slowly everything moved. We didn’t have this obsession with computers, social media, phones, etc. Although, at the time, I don’t think we always appreciated how good we had it.
With that being said, I’m still a nerd at heart, and seeing all the technological advances has been fascinating. One thing we can all do is take advantage of all these changes to make our lives easier. I’ve always been what I call a “productivity hacker.” One of my favorite new Mac apps is called Raycast, and it’s completely free!
Raycast has allowed me to completely replace the following apps and speed up repetitive tasks:
Alfred (using Raycast for snippets).
Magnet (using Raycast for window management and snapping).
Amphetamine (using Raycast to keep Mac awake).
ChatGPT (using Raycast for AI lookups. This is now in beta!).
Emojis (using Raycast to find and insert emojis).
Change case (using Raycast to change case when copying/pasting).
Synonyms (using Raycast to look up synonyms).
Calculator (using Raycast to do quick math calculations).
And that’s just the beginning; I’m sure you’ll find many more extensions you can use! I highly recommend checking it out. It’s streamlined many of my workflows into one simple app.
Every KB counts these days, and we’ll never stop finding new and creative ways to shave off additional load time (even if it’s just milliseconds). Over the past couple of months (including February), we’ve spent time refactoring and optimizing the codebase in our Novashare plugin. Between the last three updates, we've managed to reduce our minified CSS by 39%! Our combined JS and CSS are now less than 4 KB on the front end. ⚡
A couple of other changes:
Added new novashare_pinterest_hidden_images filter.
Added notice to plugin update row if there is not an active license key.
Updated license key field to prevent it from getting auto-filled by browser extensions.
And don’t worry; we have a Perfmatters update coming right around the corner!
Interesting things 🔎
Is spacial audio the future? An interesting article. I love it now that I’ve moved to Apple Music.
Heads up, Stripe will increase fees for EU and UK-based businesses starting in April.
Age of Empires on Xbox is now a reality. The controls on the console are surprisingly good. They thought of pretty much everything.
Fun fact. Arizona ranks as the number one state in the US for setting thermostats to warmest temperature. 🌵 Who would have thought?
iPhone 14’s Emergency SOS via satellite feature touted as a ‘game changer’ by search and rescue teams. Pretty cool actually!
Twitter replaces its free API with a paid tier in quest to make more money. Not cool, Elon.
On a positive note, Twitter will now share ad revenue with creators for ads that appear in their reply threads.
Google has introduced its ChatGPT competitor, Bard. 🤖
Speaking of AI, have you tried the new Bing yet? I just got accepted, and I’ve had some fun playing around with it.
You can now search Reddit comments within a post on desktop, iOS, and Android.
Have you read about passkeys? Check out this new feature coming from 1Password soon as they move towards a passwordless future.
UpdraftPlus has now entered the WooCommerce space with its acquisition of WP Overnight.
Caseproof (the creators of Pretty Links) has acquired MemberMouse.
Need to test something quick in WordPress? And I mean REALLY quick... Just type
wp.new. See it in action. 🔥
Have you seen the overhauled MyKinsta UI yet? I updated my review with all new screenshots. Their team did a great job. It’s also lightning-fast now!
WordPress.com is testing AI-generated images and content. It will be interesting to see where this all goes.
Very excited about the new GenerateBlocks release!
A new proposal calls for automated performance monitoring (APM) for WordPress core. This could be a good idea if done right!
Check out some of these tips from Justin Ferriman on speeding up Elementor for mobile. Elementor can be fast; you just have to optimize every single layer.
Chrome has rolled out its memory and energy saver modes. This is great news!
In Lighthouse 10, Time To Interactive (TTI) metric is being removed. This means everyone will probably see higher scores (on average, a 5-point increase).
However, TTI's 10% score weight is shifting to CLS, which will now make up 25% of the score. 😮 CLS has always been important (both for user experience and scores), but it will be even more so now.
A Yandex leak reveals 1,922 search ranking factors. Oops! Very interesting thread from @alex_buraks.
SEO guy travels across Europe to upload photos locally to Facebook. I had a good laugh when reading this.
Your Google Docs are about to look a little bit different. This feels long overdue.
If you know what Nostr is, I’m on it! 😉 #npub1g33mzwz86unp875u66kp9nnzdazlp7wrnvfxgx9z3apzkld7y0aqmvv40q
Bitcoin (not financial advice)
Great to see some actual facts in mainstream media for a change regarding bitcoin mining (Axios + Forbes).
If you want to take a deep dive into bitcoin mining and the energy grid transition, watch this podcast with Troy Cross and Shaun Connell.
From bars to bitcoin: The story of Justin Rhedrick, a former convict turned bitcoin entrepreneur, who is onboarding the black community to bitcoin.
Strike users can now send US Dollars direct to banks and mobile money accounts in the Philippines! All thanks to bitcoin and lightning. See the announcement.
Bitcoin is hope for Africa. A very enlightening chat with Farida Nabourema, a democracy and human rights activist from Togo.
Farida also has a great post in Forbes about how regardless of price, bitcoin is a lifeline for African refugees.
The Mississippi Senate passes historic bill protecting bitcoin mining.
The Montana Senate also passed the right to mine bitcoin bill by a landslide vote of 37-13.
Wyoming lawmakers passed a bill prohibiting forced disclosure of private keys. Do you see a trend starting with some of these states?
If you don’t know what CBDCs are and why they are bad, watch this right now.
Bitcoin's price has a ceiling, but it may surprise you. An intriguing piece from Jesse Myers.
If you’re in the US, there are many easy ways to earn Bitcoin back on top of regular day-to-day activities, such as paying bills and buying groceries.
Here are 1,000 free sats for whoever reads down this far and claims them first. 💰
If you're ever in the Scottsdale, AZ area, hit me up, and we can grab lunch! 🥗👋
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Raycast - added to that, there’s a plethora of commands to choose from like typing “10am ET” and it will output your current timezone’s equivalent time... Also, type most math for estimations "1h + 30m + 2h + 1h30m", time "10am ET Washington time", date calculations "5 days from yesterday".
This is one of the things I use **daily**, and I hope that you discover more ways!