WP Builds Newsletter #50 – WordPress 5.1 RC, multiple vulnerabilities and AI gets scary

This weeks WordPress news – Covering The Week Commencing 11th February 2019:

WordPress 5.1 Release Candidate
“The first release candidate for WordPress 5.1 is now available! This is an important milestone, as the release date for WordPress 5.1 draws near. “Release Candidate” means that the new version is ready for release, but with millions of users and thousands of plugins and themes, it’s possible something was missed. WordPress 5.1 is scheduled to be released on Thursday, February 21, but we need your help to get there—if you haven’t tried 5.1 yet, now is the time…”

WordPress 5.1 Field Guide
“WordPress 5.1 is officially the best WordPress 2019 has seen yet! Users will see block editor improvements while developers will see PHP version upgrade notices and will be able to take advantage of 165 enhancements and features added. Let’s look at the many improvements coming in 5.1…”

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Gutenberg Blocks Design Library Offers Pre-Built Page Designs Using Existing Core Blocks
“Gutenberg Blocks Design Library is a new plugin that provides pre-built page designs, including demo content, using only the default core blocks that come with WordPress. The free version comes with 50 different designs that users can import from the growing Gutenberg Blocks Design Library…”

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WordCamp Nordic to Host Workshop for Kids on March 7
“WordCamp Nordic, a new regional WordCamp taking place in Helsinki, is just 23 days away. Organizers have published a list of 26 speakers and their sessions this week. Topics include content design, entrepreneurship, security, leveraging AMP, WooCommerce, internationalization, Gutenberg, and general WordPress development…”

Speaker Applications Now Open for 2nd Annual JavaScript for WordPress Conference, July 11-13, 2019
“Last year Zac Gordon organized a free virtual JavaScript for WordPress conference and the event drew 1,200 live attendees. With attendance numbers higher than most WordPress conferences and hundreds more views on the videos published afterwards, Gordon considered it a success and committed to organize another event this year…”

Matt Mullenweg Publishes TED Talk on the Future of Work, Prepares to Launch New Distributed.blog Website
“Matt Mullenweg is teasing out a new website at distributed.blog with the tagline “The future of work is here.” It’s not clear yet whether subscribers to the mystery blog will be on board for blog posts, a new podcast, or a book promotion, but the site has piqued curiosity…”

Vulnerabilities Patched in WP Cost Estimation Plugin
“At the end of January, Wordfence security analysts identified attackers exploiting vulnerabilities in outdated versions of the commercial plugin WP Cost Estimation & Payment Forms Builder, or WP Cost Estimation for short. These flaws were found and patched by the developer a few months ago, but no official public disclosure was made at the time…”

WPBrigade Patches Critical Vulnerability in Simple Social Buttons Plugin
“WPBrigade, the developers behind the Simple Social Buttons plugin, have patched a critical privilege escalation vulnerability. The security issue was discovered by the team at WebARX. Developer and researcher Luka Šikić summarized the vulnerability in a post published this week…”

Forms 2.3 and Views 2.7.3 bring drag-and-drop form editor and more
“This Toolset release introduces a completely new drag-and-drop editor for your front-end forms. It also adds a Loop index feature to Views for creating beautiful sliders and enumerating your table rows. We also improved the interface and usability for conditional displaying of content, and more…”

Ultimate Blocks Plugin Adds Schema-Enabled Review Block
“Ultimate Blocks, one of the many Gutenberg block collections that have sprouted up, launched before WordPress 5.0 with eight blocks. The collection has since doubled in size, adding features like accordions, social sharing buttons, tabbed content, a progress bar, and star-ratings…”

What Rank Math can do for you?
SEO plugin. Don’t shoot the messenger, just heard about this one, so I thought that I’d bring it to your attention!

On the corporate takeover of the cathedral and the bazaar
“We need to have a conversation about Open Source and equity. Particularly, we need to talk about how “decisions are made by those who show up” should be amended to read “decisions are made by those who can afford to show up” and what that means for our industry…”

If we can do it, so can you: Start measuring your organisation’s carbon footprint
“As an ethical web design agency, Wholegrain Digital adopts a multi-stakeholder model in addition to delivering high quality websites for our clients. Through this approach, we consider the needs of a network of stakeholder groups as core to our mission, and seek to understand the impact of our work on society and the environment…”

Ultimate Blocks – Custom Gutenberg Blocks
“Ultimate Blocks is a collection of custom Gutenberg blocks for bloggers and marketers. Our goal is to make it insanely easy for you to create better and engaging content with Gutenberg…”

WP Builds – 115 – The client is always right, we just need anger management
Are you the type of person who always does what your clients ask of you, or do you get angry with them? It’s hardly a binary answer is it, but it certainly feels like it is sometimes! We’ve all been there… you’ve worked really hard on their WordPress website and you think that you’ve done everything right, but then the client comes back to you with a difficult email and your serenity is blown out of the water! What should you do…?

Amazing WordPress plugins that use artificial intelligence
“WordPress might be one of the only CMSs to date that has a broad utilization of AI-controlled modules. These aren’t ongoing augmentations — AI has actually been around in WordPress for functionalities, for example, content curation, suggestion and accelerating the planned procedure, among others. Be that as it may, it’s going even further in finding ways to optimize for AI…”

Non WordPress, but useful anyway…

New AI fake text generator may be too dangerous to release, say creators
“The creators of a revolutionary AI system that can write news stories and works of fiction – dubbed “deepfakes for text” – have taken the unusual step of not releasing their research publicly, for fear of potential misuse…”

Russia considers ‘unplugging’ from internet
“Russia is considering whether to disconnect from the global internet briefly, as part of a test of its cyber-defences. The test will mean data passing between Russian citizens and organisations stays inside the nation rather than being routed internationally. A draft law mandating technical changes needed to operate independently was introduced to its parliament last year. The test is expected to happen before 1 April but no exact date has been set…”

Amazon wants Alexa to read blog posts and broadcast church sermons
“Amazon’s Alexa Skills Blueprints are free online templates that let you create custom Alexa tricks without needing to code. Now, the online retailer is giving those blueprints some new tricks of their own…”

Firefox Has a Rebrand in the Works
“n recent news, Firefox has a complete rebranding in the works. We’re not just talking about a new logo and a catchy phrase or two, we’re talking a complete overhaul of the name and what it represents as a whole…”

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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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