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Companies came to Ireland for the tax benefits, but stayed for the regulation. Facebook was the first to declare that users outside North America have a legal relationship with its Irish subsidiary (see section 19), not the American mothership. According to the company’s third-quarter report for 2013 (pdf), that is a total of 990 million people. LinkedIn did the same for its 175 million users, including Canadians, who live outside the United States. Adobe followed suit. Dropbox is expected to do so soon.

via How a bureaucrat in a struggling country at the edge of Europe found himself safeguarding the world’s data – Quartz.

The ebb and flow of Windows.

This is how it goes with Microsoft’s flagship OS. It hits, it misses, it hits, it misses.

Windows 2000? Hit. Windows Me? Miss.

Windows XP? Hit. Windows Vista? Miss.

Windows 7? Hit. Windows 8? Miss.

Windows 9? Well, let’s see if the trend continues…

It appears that Microsoft is currently planning to use the Windows 9 branding and vision as a way to move away from some of the criticisms of the Windows 8 operating system.

The problem with empty boxes…

The problem with empty boxes is that we — or at least I — feel this compelling urge to fill them in. These empty boxes want more stuff.

Forms want more information.

Shelves want more items.

My apartment wants more furniture.

Navigation menus want more links.

My glass wants more beer.

I had the Responsive theme running on this blog for the last several weeks because it’s a theme that I’m playing with for other, projects.

But, as soon as I activated the theme, I felt the need to add more stuff. There were so many sidebars, so many slots for navigation… I don’t have nearly enough stuff on my blog to fill all of those boxes! What should I write? What should I add? What can I make up, on the fly, to fit in there?

I don’t have the mental bandwidth for that. ;)

So, tonight, as I nurse a sore stomach and catch up on news feeds for the week, I’ve decided to kill the boxes entirely. Boom – theme is gone, now I’m running Truly Minimal.

And it brought relief! I don’t need to fill those boxes in anymore, because the boxes are gone, and the urge to fill in those boxes is also gone.

That’s the problem with empty boxes, I guess. They want more stuff, but all we end up doing is cramming them with filler and junk we never needed. :)

What’s wrong with TED talks?

YouTube – New perspectives – whats wrong with TED talks? Benjamin Bratton at TEDxSanDiego 2013 – Re:Think.

Your designs *will* be tested.

Remember the First Law of Usability: Your design will be tested by users — your only choice is whether to run the test yourself before launch so that you can fix the inevitable problems while it’s cheap instead of playing expensive catch-up later.

via QA (quality assurance) & UX (user experience) | Jakob Nielsen.

Build something.

When I am in a foul mood, I have a surefire way to improve my outlook – I build something. A foul mood is a stubborn beast and it does not give ground easily. It is an effort to simply get past the foulness in order to start building, but once the building has begun, the foul beast loses ground.

via The Builder’s High – Rands in Repose.

WordPress is free. Websites are not.

While WordPress is free and open source, the time and skill spent on building content for WordPress has a monetary value in much the same way air is free but being able to fly in the air has a monetary value.

via WordPress is not easy, and thats OK. How we speak about WordPress.

Leveling a shaman.

Leveling a shaman.

I’ve played World of Warcraft on-and-off for the last seven years or so. I usually pick up around a new expansion, play through, and then unsubscribe after a time.

With Warlords of Draenor coming later in the year (summer or fall), I caught the bug again. I’ve parted ways with my Orc warlock to level up a Draenei shaman.

Cold outside, but warm in here.

Doesn’t matter how cold it gets, I’ll try to grab a Starbucks.

Yonge & Davisville is the best; I’ve been coming here since moving to Toronto in 2010.

Happy New Year.

So here we are in the dwindling hours of 2013. Christmas is behind us, Boxing Week sales are wrapping up, and drinks will start flowing soon (if they haven’t already).

It’s been a good year. Our local WordPress group has grown; I got out and volunteered for more events; I started my own side business in May; joined a great startup team full-time; and helped organize another successful WordCamp. There was lots of learning, discovery, and new experiences.

I’m not making any resolutions for 2014. Instead, I want to just focus on getting things done… But I guess that’s a resolution, isn’t it? :)

Happy New Year.

Here we go again. ;)