Jason Cosper

Semper fudge.

Simple Cache

Taylor has been on fucking fire lately with plugin releases. Simple Cache does one thing — caching, natch — and it does it very well:

Simple Cache was constructed after getting frustrated with the major caching plugins available and building sites with developer-only complex caching solutions that get millions of page views per day.

If you need your site to run fast, don’t have time to mess with complicated settings, and have been frustrated by other caching plugins, give Simple Cache a try.

Sounds nice. Wish I had an unmanaged site to use this on.

DuoTone Themes for Atom

While I’m normally a Solarized Dark guy — seriously, I’ve Solarized Dark’d all the things on pretty much every computer I touch — these Atom syntax themes are really pleasant.

duotone-darkduotone-dark-sea duotone-dark-space

I’ve been looking to change things up lately, so I’m going to try living with darkSea for the next month. I’ll let y’all know how it goes!

Mindfulness is Hard

Ever since I listened to this episode of The Tim Ferriss Show in December, I’ve been thinking about trying to see if I can manage to go 21 days without complaining to help improve my mindfulness.

The plan is a fairly simple one:

  1. Put on one of those silicone (or rubber) bracelets.
  2. Come up with a list of things you consider to be a “complaint”.
    • Besides outright complaints, I’ve included using curse words as intensifiers (ex: the fucking WiFi) and sighing as a response.
      • Yeah. I still sigh about stuff. Like a teenager. 😞
  3. Whenever you catch yourself complaining, move your wristband to your other wrist and reset your “days without a complaint” counter.

To prepare, I bought some unbranded, black rubber bracelets off of Amazon and set up a “No Complaints” goal in Streaks. As soon as the bracelets arrived, I started.

So. How has it gone?

Well, since Monday, I haven’t gone a single day without complaining. Which is kind of a disheartening way to start things out. But I’m not treating this as defeat just yet. Why?

This morning, while I was kicking myself for not making it past a single day, Sarah pointed out that at least I was noticing the times that I had complained. That means that something I’d been doing as an almost reflexive reaction to everything — and paying no mind to — has become something that I can’t stop seeing.

Becoming aware of just how often I complain was the first step. That’s a “no duh” moment now — what with the sharpness of hindsight and all that — but the realization was still a pretty powerful one.

I’ll be 38 next week. Sadly, I’ve been complaining about things for about as long as I’ve been able to speak. Breaking that habit is going to take a while to undo, but I feel like I’m up to the challenge.

Podcasting Preflight

After guesting on a few podcasts over the past year, I’ve come up with what I feel is a simple (but thorough) preflight checklist of the things that I like to do to before recording. These things help normalize my environment and minimize the majority of technical difficulties that I run into.

Anyway… In an attempt to be helpful, I thought I’d share them with y’all.

  • Pour yourself a large glass of ice water.
    • Don’t accidentally leave it in the kitchen!
  • Plug in USB mic.
    • Select the USB mic as your input device.
  • Plug in headphones.
    • Verify that headphones are set as your output device.
  • Manually restart your residential gateway or cable modem.
  • Manually restart your router.
    • If an ethernet connection is available, plug your machine directly into your router.
  • Run a speed test on your connection.
    • You want low latency and a reasonably speedy connection.
  • Pause syncing on Dropbox.
    • See also: Google Drive, BitTorrent Sync, etc.
  • Change Backblaze schedule from Continuously to Only when I click <Backup Now>.
    • See also: CrashPlan, Carbonite, etc.
  • Halt all Vagrant development environments.
  • Enable Do Not Disturb mode in OS X’s Notification Center.
    • Want a shortcut? Option+Click the Notification Center icon.
  • Make sure that Shush is running.
  • Load Skype or Chrome.

While I’m sure that some of this — especially the part about restarting my residential gateway & router — is just nerd voodoo, I haven’t run into any major issues after implementing this checklist.

I’d love to hear about anyone else’s pre podcast routine. If you have one, please share it!

P.S. If you’re not familiar with Shush, it’s an app that allows you to discreetly mute (or unmute) your microphone with a hotkey. Should you be recording in a location where children or pets are present, using its push-to-talk functionality can knock down a considerable amount of background noise.

P.P.S. For podcasts that are recorded via Google Hangout, I keep a clean copy of Chrome Canary installed on my machine. I run Canary separately from my main browser, and have not installed any additional extensions. While loading the Hangout URL in an incognito window might have a similar effect, I find doing this leaves less to chance.

Reasons for Custom Tables and an API

When it comes to storing large amounts of data that does not very closely mimic existing WordPress database schemas, you should absolutely use custom tables. Choosing not to use a custom table will likely cause more harm than good. While it’s possible to store almost anything you want as a custom post type in the wp_posts table, that does not mean you should or that it is even a remotely good idea.

You have no idea how happy I am that someone is finally saying this. I’m even happier that the someone saying it is Pippin.

Really looking forward to the rest of the articles in this series!

Gotta Podcatch ‘Em All

A couple great WordPress podcasts — WP Dev Table and WPwatercooler — have been nice enough to have me on as a guest recently. Instead of having you dig around each site to find the episodes, I’ll just go ahead and leave them here…

As you can see, I’m a pretty insightful guy. Humble too.

Want to have me on your podcast? Hit me up on Twitter!

The Big List of Naughty Strings

The Big List of Naughty Strings is an evolving list of strings which have a high probability of causing issues when used as user-input data. This is intended for use in helping both automated and manual QA testing; useful for whenever your QA engineer walks into a bar.

What to Expect When Expecting Content Security Policy Reports

Zach Tollman goes deep on Content Security Policy reporting in browsers.

Shortcake Bakery

Shortcake + Shortcake Bakery = Easy PDF, JavaScript, iFrame, Facebook post, Scribd & Genius embeds from the team at Fusion.

There’s also a really nice image comparison tool. If you’re into that sort of thing. Which I am.

Scaling WordPress queries with Elasticsearch

File under: Cool shit you can do with Elasticsearch.

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