WordPress Downtime

Last night, before going to bed, I noticed that WordPress was down. It didn’t just affect me, it affected 10.2 million blogs hosted on wp.com

The Memoirs Made the WP.com Front Page

Polaroid Is Back, Bottom left!
Polaroid Is Back, Bottom left! Click to make bigger

I got a strange email from a ‘bot telling me that my Polaroid Is Back post made it to the front page of WP.com. Kinda cool, as it wasn’t really intended to be a traffic generating post. I’ve actually stopped writing those years ago¹.

Since 2008, monthly traffic has started to grow. As with all blogs, there are ups and downs. It went from 44,471 back in January ’08 to 68,106 in September ’09. Naturally, some of the numbers are skewed since they don’t include the ones from my hosted site, thememoirs.org, which I abandoned in 2008. This is actually the first time in about 2 years that I checked the summary tables. I usually just check the daily hits from time to time.

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[¹]: I think I stopped writing posts to create traffic in 2007.

Checking Valuables On Flights

Matt Mullenweg of WordPress fame had a nasty surprise when coming through the Philadelphia airport. Most of his very expensive Nikon camera gear was missing from his checked luggage. Here is a list that he posted on his blog:

  • Nikon D3
  • Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D IF
  • Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED
  • Leica M8
  • Leica 50mm f/1.0 Noctilux
  • Cards, cases, etc.

That really sucks. I don’t know what I would do if someone stole my Nikon D200 and my camera gear. Naturally, my gear is worth a lot less than Matt’s. The Nikon D3 alone is worth upwards of 5000$. My camera gear in total is worth about 4000$.

Now, by no means am I a world traveler. I’ve lived in Taiwan, traveled to South East Asia and spent most of my life in Germany, France and Quebec Canada. One thing that I have learned is to never check any valuables in your checked luggage. In fact, my heaviest things, like books, laptops, camera gear, always go into my carry-on luggage. On my last trip back to Taiwan, I had two checked bags filled with clothes and the like for 50lbs each, as per Air Canada regulations. My carry-on luggage was comprised of an Osprey 35L backpack that I use as a camera back. It also had my laptop, a book, some notebooks and some pens.

My other carry-on luggage was filled up to the max with jeans and books. I know that this bag was heavier than my other two bags. It must have weighed at least 50lbs by itself. It seems ludicrous to travel this way, but camera gear and computer gear should never be checked. Most airlines aren’t responsible if they are stolen or lost.

WordPress Blocked In Brazil

WP responds to recent news that WP.com is blocked in Brazil.

Code Flickr

Flickr is publishing some of their API codes (including the flash uploader) on their new code.flickr blog. (via photomatt)

Google Summer Of Code

I’ve been pretty busy today writing up applications and proposals for the Google Summer of Code. I’ve got about four applications down. I’ll write a few more in the coming hours. I have until 5PM tomorrow to complete them. Most of the projects are above my coding expertise. However there are a few research projects that are very interesting.

I’ll be happy if I get selected, but I’m not getting my hopes up. There must be thousands of applicants and only 1500 bursars. I’m just a bit miffed that WordPress hasn’t got that many project ideas. I think that I’ll still propose an idea of mine to WordPress. Most of them involve a lot of coding. I don’t know how I feel about that. Still, I would like to work for WordPress through Google.

It’s really powerful that you can be anywhere in the world and code for the Summer of Code. I find that interesting. I wanted to apply last year, but missed the deadline. At least this time, I’ll have a few proposals submitted. I’ve checked and I haven’t found that many pure math projects either. It’s too bad. There must be a lot of ideas for that. I’ll try to pitch a few, but I think that those kinds of proposals need more time to polish.

I just ran out of time with the looming end of semester.

Speaking of code, I’m starting to really like the WP dashboard. It’s really faster and better than the old one. I’ve already gotten used to it enough to no longer miss the old one. There are tons of little new tweaks that I really like.

Writing these proposals is mentally exhausting.

New WordPress Dashboard

All of the users of WP.com were surprised with a new Dashboard today. Just remember to clear the temporary internet files and cookies before starting to use it. It looks fresh and nice. I’ll be trying it out over the weekend to see how much I like it. Needless to say that there are vast improvements.

Why Blog? Book Deals

The NYT reports on two WP.com blogs that just got 300K$ book deals.