Historical Currency Exchange Rates

Usually when I need to get a bunch of past exchange rates I use the GOOGLEFINANCE function in Google Spreadsheets. Something like this…

=GOOGLEFINANCE("EUR", "price", DATE(2016,1,1), TODAY(), "DAILY")

It’s quick and easy, but once in a while you’ll run into a currency where this doesn’t return enough precision, compared to the value you get when using Google’s currency converter. Even worse, today it was giving me a bunch of data that was quite different from what Google Finance showed for the current and historical data.

I found a site run by the University of British Columbia that’ll give you whatever data you need. It’s not pretty but it does the job. Those Canadians are always so generous!

Virtual vs. Distributed

At the Future of Work Summit there were many discussions about remote workers and teams, in the sense of people working from wherever they are in the world. I heard several people call these virtual teams, which is a description we try not to use at Automattic. In a world dominated by the traditional office culture, it’s already hard enough to explain to people how working from home as part of a team/company actually works. Using the term virtual doesn’t help drive the conversation it the correct direction.

If you were to ask people to name something described as virtual I bet one of the most common answers would be virtual reality. One of the definitions of virtual as it relates to computing is

Not physically existing as such but made by software to appear to do so.

A definition used for English language learners is

Very close to being something without actually being it.

Having met several hundred other Automatticians and knowing other people who work remotely, I can tell you we definitely exist in the physical world and we are real.

We prefer to describe Automattic as a distributed company. It fits in well with this definition of the word distribute

To disperse through a space or over an area; spread; scatter.

How to Refresh YouTube Subscriptions on AppleTV

Caches are great for speed, but when they don’t update often enough, it’s a confusing experience in an app or on a web site. I use YouTube Subscriptions almost every day on my AppleTV and it rarely shows me the latest videos, which I can see when browsing my subs on youtube.com in a browser. There’s no obvious way to force a refresh in the AppleTV app, but I found these tips in the Google Forums.

Restart the app:
  • Double press the Home button on the remote (The TV icon).
  • Swipe up on the YouTube app to force quit it.
  • Reopen the YouTube app.
Refresh the page:
  • Due to caching, you might need to navigate away from the Subscriptions page and back to it a couple of times.
  • For example, if you’re currently on Subscriptions, go to Home, then back to Subscriptions, then back to Home, then back to Subscriptions. The Subscriptions should be refreshed to reflect your current account.
This is the type of problem that’s confusing when we have new-ish user interfaces like the AppleTV and its remote. Think back to the first time you learned about swiping down from the top of the screen in most iOS apps to force a refresh or tapping the top of the screen to jump to the top of a scrolled page/list.



This is the repeat workout for the year, which was 16.4 last year. Compared to last year my tiebreak off the rower was 13 seconds slower, but I was able to do an extra 5 handstand push-ups for a PR.


It’s important to keep a certain ratio of cereal to milk. Too little cereal makes each spoonful a disappointment. Not enough milk is fine as long as your cereal has had time to soak up some.