Posts Tagged ‘Software’

Friendly Weekend Reminder: Upgrade WordPress!

Friday, August 14th, 2009

Security

As much as constant software updates are a pain, they’re essential in today’s digital world.  If you have a blog on the web and unless you use WordPress.com, TypePad, Tumblr, Posterous or the like – odds are you might have the nagging “update me!” notice hanging around every couple of weeks or months.

Earlier this week, WordPress announced a new security release of their popular publishing software that plugged a pretty serious hole:  one that would’ve allowed someone to gain administrator access pretty easily.  While minor software updates usually sit on the bottom of to-do lists around the web, a few of the more prominent voices were targets of attacks trying to gain access before they upgraded their blogs.

Paul Stamatiou was saved by some extra security plug-ins he has in place (ed note:  What were they?) while Robert Scoble’s blog was actually comprimised.  Robert’s logic for not updating right away is fair but “1/8th” is a risk I’ll take to make sure all of my public publishing systems are secure.

So, if you have some downtime this weekend, take a look around your web and make sure everything is up-to-date.  WordPress has automatic updating features and even if your server isn’t configured to handle that, the regular update process is easy as well.  If you’re in the agency world, the same goes for any client projects you work on as well.

Photo credit: CarbonNYC

Getting ooVoo-y

Sunday, February 17th, 2008

I haven’t written as much about ooVoo as I might have wanted to or as much as I intended to. Circumstances dictated that I was only able to do one of the two “ooVoo Day” sessions I had scheduled for last week and I’m not sure what I’ll be able to pull off this coming week considering I have some traveling coming up.

But when I did use it it seemed like a very nice software-based video chat tool. The software worked well, without many problems and without any interference in the actual chat experience, which is the key thing. I haven’t tried it on my Mac but will probably have the opportunity to do just that while on the road this week.

As I often do with such tools that I try out I try to spend time thinking about how they might be used for clients. It eluded me for a while but then it hit me.

Often we’re asked to arrange interviews with “key” bloggers in a niche area of coverage or physical location. That’s sometimes hard to do in a way that really fosters a conversation or connection between the interviewer and the interviewee.

But ooVoo could be just that facilitator. If we were able to hook up a client with five or six bloggers for an hour-long virtual roundtable we could almost recreate the idea of the deskside briefing that is pervasive in the traditional press relations media plan for new media execution. The ability to record and grab pictures of the session in progress add instant multimedia assets to whatever the writer then puts up about the interview session.

I think ooVoo is on the right track with what they’re doing. There are some upgrades and additional features that need to be added or issues that need to be resolved (from what I’ve heard and read support for the Mac is iffy at best) but I like what they’re trying to do. And if there’s some way we can be using it to further the conversation between our clients and the media, be it social or traditional, then it can truly be a valuable tool in our belt.

This Grand Central is more than open for business

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007

Earlier today, I caught this link flying by on my Twitterrific client, where the New York Times‘ David Pogue dissects – and smartly – GrandCentral, a phone service that many of us have heard about for some time now but has finally made it to “prime time” – or will now. At the moment, I figured this was definitely one of the articles we’d be hearing about for weeks to come, and I’m honestly surprised at the minimal linkage that it’s gotten so far on TechMeme, but not to worry.

While this isn’t exactly a PR or traditional marketing focused post that Chris or I would put up here, it’s something that I thought was worth pointing out to the readership here, and my colleagues. If you haven’t already read the article, or know about GrandCentral, you might be able to harken back to “hunt” phone lines, or maybe had one at one point. I, for one, had one a few years ago, two employers ago, and thought it was one of the more helpful things ever.

Here’s the quick and dirty, and then I’ll let you go read what Pogue has to say.

  • You subscribe – for $0 if you have one or two phone lines to “hunt,” $15/month for more
  • You start giving out your GrandCentral number to people
  • GrandCentral then sends the calls – according to your preferences – to your mobile phone, your office phone, your home phone, you second mobile phone, your SkypeIn number, whatever
  • You screen your calls, you have a centralized voicemail box, you are able to offer different “ringers” to your callers, and can upload your own mp3s for that purpose
  • You’re now totally reachable – or not – whenever, wherever, without a multitude of telephone lines.

Now sure, this isn’t earth-shattering for everyone, but the reason it’s tentatively important to everyone is that it’s free, if you have two or less numbers you want to have people try and reach you at. It’s feature-rich, has a great Web presence, and is something that wasn’t rushed to market. I’m very psyched to see that it’s finally made its way to the end of a public beta, and the fact that Pogue, even with a few clarifying statements at the end of his column, was so high on it I think is a really good sign.

I’ve already signed up, and will probably end up getting the pay account so I can incorporate my SkypeIn number that I’d love to start using more often, so now all I have to do is print up some more personal business cards, and I’m golden.

[update 3/15] Costa Tsiokos disagrees on the value of this, pointing out how 700 area code numbers were created back in the day for pretty much this purpose. While I think that he’s right in saying that “if you’ve got all these numbers, you should be getting rid of some,” that doesn’t mean that people can’t be “stuck” in a position to have a work phone, a mobile phone, and maybe a mobile device from work, too. Even so, I think the service is valuable for those who have two phones, if only for the screening purposes and the ability to get that “hunt” working – but point taken.

Firefox 2.0 up for download

Monday, October 23rd, 2006

As our friends at Lifehacker point out, the official “launch” of Firefox 2.0 is on Tuesday (what do the think this is, the music industry?), but you can download it now, anyway. So have fun, and don’t hurt yourselves, kids.

firefoxspellcheck.JPG[update: 2:43pm] Well, it’s pretty awesome that FF is now coming with a spell checker on, but I couldn’t help but get a kick out of the fact that RSS wasn’t included in the dictionary.

FeedDemon 2.0 up and at ‘em

Tuesday, March 28th, 2006

Just started running FeedDemon 2.0 on my work machine this morning, and so far, so good. Been having a good time with the pre-releases and betas, so I had a pretty good feel for now the newer features would roll, and this just firms it all up. Congrats to Nick and the whole FeedDemon / NewsGator crew on this version, and looking forward to more great work from y’all.