Heartbleed: Is your online security at risk?

The short answer is yes, but there are are steps you can take to protect yourself.

Many of you may have heard in the news about the recently-discovered Heartbleed vulnerability that poses a serious security risk to many web servers around the world. JLOOP became aware of Heartbleed within the last 48 hours, and we have already worked with our hosting partner and fixed the vulnerability on our clients’ web servers. Even though JLOOP’s client sites are now protected, there are thousands of sites around the web that are still at risk.

Sites of all shapes and sizes use  OpenSSL, which is the software that is the source of the vulnerability. From online banks to social networks, this technology that is seen nearly everywhere on the web when elevated security is needed to protect your personal information. In the short term, we recommend changing your passwords on any sites that contain personal data. Like JLOOP, many popular sites have already plugged this security hole, but it is recommended that you search around to see if your most important sites (such as your bank) have put out a press release stating that they have fixed the Heartbleed issue.

If you’re interested in learning more about the impact that Heartbleed could have on your personal internet security, please check out the article below from The New Yorker that explains the origins and far-reaching effects of the vulnerability in easy-to-understand language.

For even more technical details, you can visit the official website at heartbleed.com:

Ford parodies Cadillac ad and nails it

From the first time I saw this Cadillac video, something felt off to me.  I think its because I knew that I live in an America where this type of aimless arrogance is mistaken for patriotism.  The words of the campaign are one thing.  But they are very different from the energy of the spot, and it just feels gross. To me.

Which is not to say I didn’t appreciate the ad – its well crafted and I think it will reach its audience.  I just probably am not in that audience.

And I must admit I really enjoy this parody ad that Ford delivered.

Its a bold move to spend advertising dollars on an ad that requires a direct knowledge of a competitor’s ad.  In some sense it brings more attention to Cadillac – and its a gamble.  If you take a look at the comments in this post on AdWeek, you can see that not everyone is impressed.

To make a more compelling headline, AdWeek chooses to say that this ad “trashes” Cadillac, and that “everyone hated” the Cadillac ad in the first place.  Both are egregious statements.

The beauty of the Ford ad is that they didn’t “trash” anything.  They made a direct, yet subtle, parody of the Cadillac ad, turning most of the brashness of that ad on its head – to look at America and patriotism in a completely different way.  The ad replaces bravado with heart, and still makes a compelling case that the way you think about our world and our country makes a difference.

So I say bravo.

I like both visions of America, honestly.  I like the “can do” attitude (although I’ll forego the arrogance), and I like the  belief that we can change the world through compassion and care.  Can’t we take pride in both?

Hoping blinkmail is what I want it to be

Excited to see what blinkmail turns out to be…

I’ve dreamed up a number of scenarios for how I think email could work better for me.  And I keep getting excited when new apps show up with the promise of a well thought-through “email triage” approach.  I’ve been using Airmail for quite some time now…

I really do like Airmail, particularly for the powerful search and customization options.  But I still want a simple “stop my email from coming in” option so I can still use my email as a resource without getting distracted by the constant incoming flow.

I’ve looked at many others like Sparrow and MailPilot, but they all are lacking in one way or another for me.

Here’s what I want.  I want to not be bothered every single second an email comes in.  I want to it to all sit on the server until I ask for it in a triage mode.  When I kick off this process (I’d like to be able to schedule it and/or run it on demand), I want a quick view of  each email in its entirety with simple functions to deal with it now (reply, trash, folder), or deal with it later (with quick options to send a canned response and/or set a reminder using my preferred reminder system).  I also want a countdown timer for this process… I don’t want to spend more than 10 minutes doing this… so I want to see this on my screen to encourage me not to get caught up in writing a long response.  I can do that later.

So… blinkmail looks promising for this triage part of the process.  Unfortunately I can’t set up my main account in the beta – something buggy to do with the fact that I’m on google apps while the primary MX for my domain is on Exchange… it just won’t allow me to enter the settings I need to enter.  In any case… fingers are crossed.

 

IE7 and Relative Links

Be forewarned, IE7 essentially converts all the relative links on a page to absolute ones. Normally this doesn’t present much of a problem, but we ran into an issue when trying to replace content on a page with some we had loaded in via AJAX, after the initial page load.

Since we were determining what content to load by a link’s ‘href’ attribute, we just needed to use the split method to remove any absolute linkage if the browser tried to add it.

Por ejemplo – most browsers are okay with this:

var theLink = $(this).attr('href');

For IE7, we had to do this:

var theLink = $(this).attr('href').split('#');
var cleanLink = '#' + theLink[1]; 

Hopefully this information will be helpful to somebody else!

We are hiring!

JLOOP is hiring! Want to come work with us? Have a friend that would fit our team? Please pass it along! We love to have references from valued friends like you :) We have three open positions and would love to start talking to people right away so give us a call or shoot us an email.

PRODUCER / STRATEGIC PLANNER
We are looking for a strong personality to step into our world of creative web development services. Our producers live and breathe three things: Time, Target, Budget. Your job is to strategically guide our delicate clients (and their projects) into the depths of the online world. We seek outstanding talent, big ideas, and a great desire to work and learn in a collaborative small team environment.

The Day to Day
- Guide projects through our established internal and external process
- Translate creative ideas into executable plans
- Develop wireframes and communicate to developers, designers and clients
- Manage project scope and client expectations
- Facilitate weekly planning meetings
- Occasionally crack the whip with a smile

What we are looking for:
- Strong, bullet point like organizational skills
- Attention to detail from the 30,000 foot view
- Creative and Strategic Thinker
- Extremely web savvy, understanding of social networking landscape
- Comfortable handling multiple tasks
- Excellent communication skills

We will be the most fun place you have ever worked. We have a wide range of exciting projects to work on – with fantastic room for growth. We have a ping-pong table (need we say more?)

Here’s what we ask: Know what you do well. Know what you want to learn. Get excited about the work. Have a passion for innovation. Get ready to work fast. Be agile.

Contact us if interested: sayhello@jloop.com

JUNIOR DESIGNER / PRODUCTION ARTIST
JLOOP is actively seeking to expand our interactive design team. We are looking for a talented junior designer with big ideas and a desire to work and learn in a collaborative team environment. The ideal designer has a clean/progressive design aesthetic and can work efficiently creating beautiful interfaces while remaining true to the objectives of the project. We require every member of our team to specialize in an area or two, but have experience and a desire to learn a multitude of skills. We will be the most fun place you have ever worked. We have a wide range of exciting projects to work on – with fantastic room for growth. We have a ping-pong table (need we say more?) Here’s what we ask: Know what you do well. Know what you want to learn. Get excited about the work. Have a passion for innovation. Get ready to work fast. Be agile.

Some bullet points for non-paragraph readers:
- Degree in web/interactive design or equivalent
- Eye for typography, color and layout
- CSS experience a plus
- Strong conceptual skills
- Knowledge of standards and best practices for online media

Contact us if interested: sayhello@jloop.com

DESIGN INTERN

JLOOP is seeking a design intern to join our team. We are looking for a talented designer with strong communication skills, big ideas and a desire to work,  learn, and grow in a collaborative team environment. The ideal design intern has a clean/progressive design aesthetic and has graduated in is currently in a design program with a web emphasis. We require every member of our team to specialize in an area or two, but have experience and a desire to learn a multitude of skills. We will be the most fun place you have ever worked. We have a wide range of exciting projects to work on – with fantastic room for growth. We have a ping-pong table (need we say more?) Here’s what we ask: Know what you do well. Know what you want to learn. Get excited about the work. Have a passion for innovation. Get ready to work fast. Be agile.

Some bullet points for non-paragraph readers:
- Earning a degree or new graduate in web/interactive design or equivalent
- Strong Design skills
- Eye for typography, color and layout
- CSS experience a plus
- Big thinker
- Knowledge of standards and best practices for online media

Contact us if interested: sayhello@jloop.com

Social(k)

Our great friends over at Blue Marble and EarthFolio introduced us to the social(k) 401K a number of years ago.  Its part of our benefit package at JLOOP, and we wanted to give them a shoutout today.

Social(k) is an amazing way to invest in your future while simultaneously investing in our planet and forces for social good in the world.  SRI (Socially Responsible Investing) is a legitimate and powerful force in the investing world now, and we’re proud to include it in the JLOOP benefits package for our team.  Check out this video:

Just Launched: My Haiti iPhone Apps

We’re really proud to be working with Anne Glick at Round by Design to launch a series of interactive children’s story applications.  The first two apps were launched today:

My Haiti: Valdo’s Story

My Haiti: Gabou’s Story

Anne is traveling the world and telling amazing stories about children’s lives in other countries.  From the iTunes description:

“Alo, hi!  My name is Gamenlie, but you can call me Gabou.  My parents, Manman and Papa, and I live in a village near the home of my grandparents and my great-grandmother.  It’s fun to have so many relatives nearby, especially when it’s time to celebrate.  Come, join me!”

So begins this delightful photo story app that introduces young readers to a life similar to their own and yet fascinatingly different – that of Gabou, a young Haitian girl.  Using photos rather than illustrations and first-person narration, Gabou invites readers to join her as celebrates her uncle’s wedding, feeds her family’s pig, and plays during recess at school, among other activities.

Experience cultural immersion for the youngest reader AND make an international friend!

By highlighting what our children have in common with others no matter where they live, this book lays the foundation for cultural understanding and openness among the youngest readers.

We’re looking forward to working with Anne to produce many more apps in this series.  And look for the iPad versions coming very soon as well!

SWFObject and Dreamweaver FLV Player

So Dreamweaver has some nice little built in FLV Players and functionality to insert them on a page for you. Only problem is they make use of the old ‘object’ and ‘embed’ tags. SWFObject is a much more graceful, standards-compliant method for adding Flash to your site, so why not combine the two?

I wanted to use the progressive player that Dreamweaver provides, so I generated the code, pulled out the flashvars and parameters and inserted them into the SWFObject code like so:

(Line wraps marked »)

<script type="text/javascript">
    var flashvars = {
        skinName: "video/Clear_Skin_3",
        streamName: "MyVideoTitle",
	autoPlay: true,
	autoRewind: false
    };
    var params = {
        movie: "video/FLVPlayer_Progressive.swf",
	salign: "tl",
	quality: "high",
	scale: "noscale"
    };
    var attributes = {};

    swfobject.embedSWF("video/FLVPlayer_Progressive.swf", "FLVPlayer", »
    "800", "600", "9.0.0","video/expressInstall.swf", flashvars, params, »
    attributes);
</script>

The important thing here being, that the path to the video file is relative to the player SWF (in this case ‘FLVPlayer_Progressive.swf) NOT the page calling it – Nice!