Torque Toons: Who Are You Wearing?

Torque Toons: Who Are You Wearing?

Of course everybody is talking about this year’s Plugin Madness competition, which kicks off on Monday March 5th, but the big question is: What WordCamp swag will the nominees be wearing as they walk the red carpet?

 

Doctor Popular is an artist and musician living in San Francisco. As a full disclaimer, he is neither a doctor nor popular.

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Doc Pop’s News Drop: 4.9.3 Breaks Auto-Updates, Browsealoud Breaks Government Websites, and WCEU Call For Volunteers

Doc Pop’s News Drop: Google Dives Into WordPress, 4.9.4 Update, and Plugin Madness!

Doc’s WordPress News Drop is a weekly report on the most pressing WordPress news. When the news drops, I will pick it up and deliver it right to you.

This week Doc talks about how WordPress version 4.9.3 breaks the auto-update feature and how 4.9.4 fixes it.

Doc also covers the recent Browsealoud plugin hack, which used a supply chain attack to take advantage of site visitor traffic for cryptomining purposes.

WordCamp Europe is looking for volunteers.

Don’t forget to nominate your favorite plugins for our Plugin Madness competition.

Love WordPress News, but hate reading? My name is Doc and this is Doc Pop’s News Drop.

If you watched last week’s News Drop then you may have noticed that as I was talking about WordPress version 4.9.3, an even newer version of WordPress came out. So I had to awkwardly add a note about the new version as I was editing the video. WordPress 4.9.4 only fixed one bug, so why was it so important that it was released within 24 hours of the previous update.

While WordPress 4.9.3 fixed 34 bugs, it ended up breaking the automatic update feature that many sites rely on to keep on the current WordPress version.

I’m a big fan of this auto-update feature and highly recommend most people leave it on. This feature only updates minor versions of WordPress by default, so if you had the feature on, it would have auto-updated from 4.9.2 to 4.9.3 last week, but that’s the version that broke auto-updates. Because of that, many users will need go in and manually update to version 4.9.4 to restore the auto-update functionality. Luckily, most WordPress sites may not be affected. If you are running a managed WordPress hosting for instance, there’s a good chance that your host would have manually updated your site to 4.9.4 for you.

If you aren’t sure if you were affected, I’d recommend simply opening your WP Dashboard and confirming you are on 4.9.4 or higher.

Speaking of updates, WordCamp Europe is looking for volunteers.
This year’s WordCamp Europe will be hosted in Belgrade Serbia on June 14th through the 16th. Last year’s event had 1,900 attendees, which is even more than WordCamp US, so it’s safe to say this is going to be the largest WordPress meetup in the world. In a recent post, the organizers put out a call for photographers to volunteer to document the event. If you are interested, you can go to 2018.europe.wordcamp.org for more info.
Our website, Torque Magazine, is actually a media partner for this event, so I’m hoping to visit Belgrade myself and share as many video interviews as I possibly can. I shot 8 interviews at WordCamp US last year.

In security news, cryptomining attacks are on the rise. On Sunday, researchers discovered that Browsealoud, a popular accessibility plugin, was compromised in a Supply Chain Attack. When installed, Browsealoud could read or translate text on your site out loud for site visitors, but the site relied on a Content Delivery System to do all the processing so your site didn’t have to. When visitors came to an affected site, the malware would use that visitors CPU to mine for cryptocurrency.

Luckily all that would have been affected is a slower computer and a higher energy bill, but apparently the hack could have been much worse. For example, it could have been collecting highly sensitive personal information.
Over 4,000 sites were affected by this hack, including the UK National Healthcare service and several Australian Provencial Government websites. Once a CDN host is compromised in a supply chain attack, sites reliant on that host, like the Browsealoud plugin, would have been affected immediately, but in this particular case the malware was detected and fixed within 4 hours of being compromised.

And just a final reminder that plugin madness is just around the corner, voting starts on March 5th, but if you haven’t yet, please be sure to visit PluginMadness.com and nominate your favorite WordPress plugins.

That’s it for this week’s News Drop, as always, I wanted to say thanks to all of you who have liked and subscribed to our videos. It’s great to see those numbers on the rise.

You can get more WordPress news from our website, Torquemag.io and stay tuned next week for more WordPress news.

Doctor Popular is an artist and musician living in San Francisco. As a full disclaimer, he is neither a doctor nor popular.

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Doc Pop’s News Drop: Google Dives Into WordPress, 4.9.4 Update, and Plugin Madness!

Doc Pop’s News Drop: Google Dives Into WordPress, 4.9.4 Update, and Plugin Madness!

Doc’s WordPress News Drop is a weekly report on the most pressing WordPress news. When the news drops, I will pick it up and deliver it right to you.

On this week’s News Drop, Doc talks about Google’s move into open source CMSs, the WordPress 4.9.4 (and 4.9.3) update and… something else.. I can’t remember… PLUGIN MADNESS!!!

Love WordPress News, but hate reading? My name is Doc and this is Doc Pop’s News Drop.

March is a month away, which means it’s almost time for Plugin Madness.

Plugin Madness is our bracket style competition where we pit 64 WordPress plugins against each other in a battle to see who’s probably the most favorite plugin of the average WordPress user.

But before we do that, we need your nominations. Throughout February, you can go to PluginMadness.com to nominate your favorite plugins. Each year we start off with 4 main categories, ecommerce, marketing, maintenance, and blogging. So pick your favorite plugins in each category then type it into the custom form.

Voting is important, but if you don’t nominate your favorite plugin, you might not even get to vote for them when the competition begins. So remember to go to PluginMadness.com

Speaking of today, WordPress version 4.9.3 has just been released. Here’s where you can find the newest update in your WordPress dashboard… and here’s a clip of me showing you where to find the update in your WP dashboard.

This maintenance release fixes 34 bugs in 4.9, including some fixes for widgets, the Customizer, and PHP 7.2 compatibility.

Now, it’s not a security update, but I’d still say today [is the greatest audio clip] day to update your WordPress.

Looking for a job? Google is hiring a Developer Programs Engineer for their Web Content Ecosystem. The position involves working with open-source CMS platforms to accelerate the adoption of web-best practices. Contributing code to and particapating in technical discussions in open-source CMS projects.

Considering that WordPress has 60% of the market share in open-source CMSs, it sounds like they are basically looking to hire a WordPress liason.

Not a surprise really, considering Google’s increased presence at WordPress events, including a large booth at last year’s WordCamp US.

In a recent article on our website, TorqueMag.io, Alberto Medina, a developer advocate at Google, states “Our goal was to engage with the WordPress community and start a discussion around the performance of the WordPress ecosystem”.

I’m guessing a big part of Google’s WordPress is going to be speeding up WordPress loading times and pushing for a wider adoption of the AMP plugin, Google’s tool for creating “accelerated mobile pages” which can be seen in Mobile search results.

Keep in mind that Google formally announced a “Speed Update”, coming in July, which will use mobile page speed as a big factor in mobile search results.

And that’s it for this week’s news drop. Don’t worry about our usual call to action, this week you need to go to PluginMadness.com to nominate your favorite plugins.

I’d say to share your nominees on Twitter afterwards, but they say Call to Actions are more effective when you only have one.

Plugin Madness.

Doctor Popular is an artist and musician living in San Francisco. As a full disclaimer, he is neither a doctor nor popular.

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Torque Toons: Are You Ready For Some Updates?

Torque Toons: Are You Ready For Some Updates?

While most folks are getting set up for Super Bowl Sunday, I’m getting ready for Monday’s WordPress 4.9.3 release.

Doctor Popular is an artist and musician living in San Francisco. As a full disclaimer, he is neither a doctor nor popular.

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