Posted on April 12, 2014 at 9:07 am by Andrew Arnott

What the Heartbleed vulnerability means and what to do

The Heartbleed security vulnerability has been well-publicised, but advice on what to do varies wildly. We’ve been updating our clients and thought we’d publish our thoughts here.

Heartbleed Vulnerability

What is it?

Firstly, if you haven’t heard about it (which would be quite an achievement), Heartbleed is the catchy but alarming-sounding name given to an error in the code of a bit of widely-used software called OpenSSL, which encrypts data on ‘secure’ websites. OpenSSL is used on maybe around two-thirds of secure sites on the web (so that’s two-thirds of sites that start with https:// and have the little padlock symbol displayed). The error allows an attacker to trick a website’s server into giving them a small random chunk of data from the server’s memory, which could be anything – something harmless, some sensitive data, a password, or an encryption key.

Some reports imply that hackers are just taking specific data at will, but they have to go through multiple attacks, getting little chunks of random data at a time and hoping they turn up something useful. It’s still not good, but it’s not the same. And the chances that you have been compromised are probably very slim (more…)

Filed under: All, Industry news, News, Technical stuff | No comments yet

Posted on December 16, 2013 at 3:50 pm by Andrew Arnott

Gmail now showing images: good news for email marketers

Google have just rolled out a change to Gmail that has a few email marketers making ridiculously OTT statements like “Gmail blows up email marketing”. The update means that images within emails will now be displayed by default. Far from being a bad thing, as email marketers ourselves, we absolutely welcome the change. Here’s why…

Vintage envelope

Tricky Gmail

Gmail has come in for some stick from email marketers as a few of its features can make life a little difficult when you’re trying to make sure a beautifully-crafted email looks as it should and actually stands a chance of being read by the recipient. One such feature was the introduction of the tabbed inbox which has the effect of automatically filing away ‘promotional’ emails in their own special place where they can be easily ignored and may never see the light of day. In addition, Gmail also presents a number of barriers to measuring how effective a campaign is (i.e. tracking such things as who opened emails, which device or email client they used, and where they were located). (more…)

Filed under: All, Industry news, Marketing | No comments yet

Posted on May 26, 2012 at 4:24 pm by Andrew Arnott

What is the EU Cookie Law and do we need to do anything?


Chances are you’ve heard about the ‘EU Cookie Law’. If you have, you might very well be confused or worried about its implications and what exactly you should be doing about it. If you haven’t, and you own or run a company’s website within the EU, then you need to take note and you probably need to take action (but don’t panic, because it’s not as bad as you might think).

What is it?

The EU Cookie Law as it’s being called is actually part of a European E-Privacy Directive. It was brought in by those helpful people at the EU to protect your privacy.  They think people don’t know what cookies are or what they do (which is probably fair) and that the way to tackle this is to get every website to ask their users to opt in to the use of cookies. Although, browsers allow you to change your privacy settings, apparently this is not enough. There have been a lot of people throwing their toys out of the pram about it (also probably fair), because its most severe interpretation would have every website presenting new users with a big banner asking for their permission to use any cookies (and then only using them if the user ticks ‘yes’).

Read on to see how it affects you

Filed under: All, Articles, Industry news, News | No comments yet

Posted on May 6, 2011 at 6:24 pm by Andrew Arnott

Kohort – a lesson in how to create pre-launch buzz


I’ve just signed up to a new site called Kohort. What is it? Well, I’ve got no idea.

Will it be the next big thing? Who knows! But one thing’s for sure – they know how to build intrigue and create buzz, as people are scrambling to reserve their ‘handles’ despite not having a clue what on earth Kohort is.

So, how have they managed this without even announcing what the product is?

Firstly, they haven’t just popped up out of nowhere. (more…)

Filed under: All, Check this out, Industry news, Marketing | No comments yet

Posted on April 14, 2011 at 10:33 am by Andrew Arnott

Meerkat Ambassador Wanted

Meerkovo Ambassador

Aleksandr Orlov – founder of – is currently on the lookout for a UK ambassador to help raise awareness of the terrible problem facing Meerkovo.

A joke? Well, kind of, but this is actually a serious job up for grabs, which is currently being advertised on Guardian Jobs (more…)

Filed under: All, For your amusement, Industry news, Marketing | No comments yet

Posted on June 9, 2010 at 5:02 pm by Andrew Arnott

Google TV – pass the remote

google tv

You may have heard about Google’s latest venture in its quest for world domination – Google TV.

If you haven’t, check out Google’s introduction.  It integrates the web and TV programmes on your television using an interface that looks suspiciously like the old Windows Media Centre.

It got me thinking about how home entertainment is going to look in the not-too-distant future.  Are we really going to gather round our all-singing all-dancing televisions to watch TV-on-demand and the best the web has to offer? Read the full article

Filed under: All, Articles, Industry news, News | 1 comment