WP Builds Newsletter #7 – Gutenberg, JetPack, WP Rocket updated and there’s a tiny camera

This weeks WordPress news:

WordPress 4.9.5 Squashes 25 Bugs
WordPress 4.9.5 is available for download and is a maintenance and security release. WordPress 4.9.4 and earlier versions are affected by three security issues. The following security hardening changes are in 4.9.5. Localhost is no longer treated as the same host by default. Safe redirects are used when redirecting the login page if SSL is forced. Versions strings are correctly escaped for use in generator tags.

What’s new in Gutenberg? (5th April)
This release introduces drag and drop capabilities for sorting blocks, various refinements to the block visual interface (including a label with block type identifier) and extensibility APIs, plus a lot of bug fixes. Thanks to everyone who contributed for all the ongoing efforts!

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WP Rocket 3.0: An Improved Experience. A New Frontier.
WP Rocket’s mission is to help you achieve faster websites and better experiences for your visitors. Over the past months, we’ve been working to provide that same care to our users. With our engines fired up, design, development, and support teams on board, our redesigned interface was specially crafted for you. In WP Rocket 3.0, the new interface is aimed to improve your configuration experience by helping you achieve awesome site performance quicker, easier and more informed.

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Jetpack 6.0 Takes Steps Towards GDPR Compliance
Jetpack 6.0 is available for upgrade. It comes with improvements to the social media icons widget, enhanced brute force protection, and better compatibility between WooCommerce and Jetpack. Its headlining features though are privacy related as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is set to go into effect May 25th. In 6.0, Jetpack has a dedicated privacy settings page that links to privacy documents and includes a way to opt-out of activity tracking.

Bridge Addons for Beaver Builder
Extend your Beaver Builder with 7 more modules for free. Includes the following modiules – Butto, Heading, Icon List, Image, Info Box, Pricing Table and Team Member.

A WordCamp for Organizers Is in the Planning Stages
Last year, Drew Jaynes and Carol Stambaugh proposed a new WordCamp event geared towards organizers to the WordPress Community Team. After fleshing out the details and discussing the idea over the course of seven months, the duo has announced that a WordCamp for Organizers is officially on the table. The goal of the event is to provide an opportunity for meetup and WordPress event organizers to share their experience with others in the community. The plan is to host a one-day event a day or two before WordCamp US in Nashville, TN, later this year.

Is Amazon Polly for WordPress the Solution for All Audio?
When I first heard about this, it was from a tweet via WPEngine, as they played a big part in engineering this plugin and technology. and I must say that it certainly piqued my interest. What is Amazon Polly for WordPress? In a nutshell, it turns your text into audio.

Non WordPress, but useful anyway…

Under a millimeter wide and powered by light, these tiny cameras could hide almost anywhere
As if there weren’t already cameras enough in this world, researchers created a new type that is both microscopic and self-powered, making it possible to embed just about anywhere and have it work perpetually. It’s undoubtedly cool technology, but it’s probably also going to cause a spike in tinfoil sales. Engineers have previously investigated the possibility of having a camera sensor power itself with the same light that falls on it. After all, it’s basically just two different functions of a photovoltaic cell — one stores the energy that falls on it while the other records how much energy fell on it.

Google is banning all cryptomining extensions from its Chrome Web Store
Google  today announced that it will ban from its Chrome Web Store any and all browser extensions that mine crypto. Mining cryptocurrencies in the browser isn’t the most efficient way for individuals to get rich, but if you are a developer and you get thousands of machines to mine for you, that equation changes in your favor. For the longest time, Google’s Chrome Web Store allowed for single-purpose mining extensions. That is, developers could publish extensions in the store that clearly stated their purpose and that had no other purpose than to mine.
Nearly everything on the Internet starts with a DNS request. DNS is the Internet’s directory. Click on a link, open an app, send an email and the first thing your device does is ask the directory: Where can I find this? Unfortunately, by default, DNS is usually slow and insecure. Your ISP, and anyone else listening in on the Internet, can see every site you visit and every app you use — even if their content is encrypted. Creepily, some DNS providers sell data about your Internet activity or use it target you with ads. We think that’s gross. If you do too, now there’s an alternative:

Goo.gl Shutting Down – These are Your Options
Google announced they are discontinuing their popular URL shortening service, goo.gl. Current users of Goog.gl can continue to use their Goo.gl console for an additional year. The Goo.gl console will permanently shut down on March 19, 2019.

Google’s Fuchsia could replace Android and unite all devices
While the creator of one of the two most popular mobile operating systems on the market, Google’s Android does not play well with its desktop sibling ChromeOS. Compared to the close relationship that can be achieved between iOS and MacOS, or the various versions of Microsoft’s Windows 10, Google lags behind its competitors in integrating all of a user’s devices together. But Fuchsia, its upcoming operating system that’s currently in development, aims to fix this.

Skype targets podcasters and live streamers with a new feature for recording video calls
Microsoft  is hoping to capitalize on the popularity of podcasts and videos to make Skype  more appealing to content creators. The company is now testing a new “Skype for Content Creators”  mode for its desktop app that will allow creators to place and record calls using Skype software, which can either be streamed live or imported into other apps for further editing before posting. The feature is currently in “preview” – Microsoft’s term for software that’s being tested with select users ahead of a broader, public release.

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Nathan Wrigley
Nathan Wrigley

Nathan writes posts and creates audio about WordPress on WP Builds and WP Tavern. He can also be found in the WP Builds Facebook group, and on Mastodon at wpbuilds.social. Feel free to donate to WP Builds to keep the lights on as well!

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