Heartbleed Bug

You’ve most likely heard about the Heartbleed bug by now. If not, patch your servers and then read up on it at heartbleed.com.

Amazon, RedHat, UbuntuHeroku and the majority of software and infrastructure providers have issued guidance on the issue so a quick Google search should provide a link.

You can test your servers over at http://filippo.io/Heartbleed/.

In addition to patching, some good additional steps to take are as follows:

  • Invalidated all sessions previous to the patch
  • Reissue your private key and SSL certificates
  • Reset the passwords and keys used to communicate to databases and other infrastructure

Be sure to check with your software / infrastructure providers for extra steps they’re requiring / suggesting.

HipChat vs Slack – Part 2

UPDATE – If you’re interested in the HipChat Server beta, you can apply here.

UPDATE 2 – HipChat is now free for unlimited users. Read more here.

Both HipChat and Slack continue to evolve their product offerings with the most notable improvement being HipChat’s recent beta release of video chat and screen sharing. Here’s a quick rundown of the two offerings with a few important distinctions highlighted.

HipChat Slack
Pricing $0 per user (unlimited users, no limitations)$2 per user (HipChat Plus which includes video calling and unlimited, searchable message history) $0 per user (unlimited users, but limited to searching latest 10k messages, 5 integrations, 5GB file storage)$8 per user
Contract No No
Persistent Rooms Yes Yes
Private Rooms Yes Yes
1-to-1 Chat Yes Yes
Video Chat Yes No
Screen Sharing Yes No
File Sharing Yes Yes
Search Yes (launches browser) Yes (native)
Multiple Accounts No Yes
Google Authentication No Coming Soon
Guest Access Yes Coming Soon
SSL Yes Yes
UI Language English Only English Only
Self-hosted Option In Beta No
API Yes Yes
Integrations Lots Lots
Integration Limit No Yes (maximum of 5 on free plan)
Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, Browser Mac, Android, iOS, Browser

SHA-1 vs. SHA-2 SSL Certificates

If you’re thinking about moving to a SHA-2 hashing algorithm for your SSL certificate, remember that it will break in IE6 and all versions of IE on Windows XP prior to SP3. So if you’re supporting users on older machines / browsers, you’ll need to stick with SHA-1.

More information is available here.

The Top of America – One World Trade Center

As someone who has lived in downtown NYC (Tribeca) for a number of years, the completion of One World Trade has been a long time coming. I’ve watched it rise from a hole in the ground to towering 1,776 feet above Manhattan with a spire featuring 288 50-watt LED modules that produce 288,000 lumens of light, enabling it to be visible up to 50 miles on a clear night.

But like most New Yorkers, I haven’t been in it let alone to the top to take in the view.

Using technology from Portland startup GigaPan, Time photographers took this rather amazing photo from the very top of the tower’s spire. Click through to the interactive version and you can zoom and pan around the city in beautiful high resolution.

Read more over on Time.

Panda – A Beautiful Design Aggregator

So this is awesome…


The must have app for designers. Comfortably browse Designer News, Dribbble, Behance, Hacker News and others all in one place. Never miss anything, again.

You can use it as either a web app or install the Chrome extension, but be warned, if you install the extension it takes over your new browser tab and you are guaranteed to get sucked into some amazing design content every time you ⌘-T.

HipChat vs Slack

UPDATE: See this post for details on the 3.0 release of HipChat.

UPDATE: See HipChat vs Slack – Part 2 for a feature and pricing comparison between the two products.

I’ve recently started playing around with Slack at work (we’re big HipChat users at the moment) and so far I’m pretty impressed. Tons of integrations, beautiful UI, available on lots of platforms, etc. I really like their idea of using channels for conversations rather than rooms.

My only complaint thus far is the readability of the conversation threads. In the default message theme, there’s a lot of noise around each message in the conversation: icon, name, time sent. And it’s all grouped right around the thing that’s actually important – the message. You can switch to “compact” theme but it’s still pretty noisy IMHO.

HipChat, which also features a ton of integrations as well as native support for a few additional platforms including Windows and Linux, does a very nice job of moving all of that same information (minus the icon as HipChat doesn’t use icons) out of the way. Names on the left, conversation down the center, and times on the right.

This allows you to quickly scan the conversation in whole, and then pick out the pieces that you need to know more about (i.e. who said something when). Also notice that Slack uses a black, bold font for the names in combination with a black regular weight font for the message. HipChat, on the other hand, only uses black for the conversation itself. Everything else is lighter colors. Again, this gets your eye to focus on the most important information first – the conversation.

I look forward to seeing what Slack does in future releases to address these small, but pesky UX issues.