Heartbleed bug security update

What is the 'Heartbleed' bug?

From heartbleed.com:

The Heartbleed Bug is a serious vulnerability in the popular OpenSSL cryptographic software library. This weakness allows stealing the information protected, under normal conditions, by the SSL/TLS encryption used to secure the Internet. SSL/TLS provides communication security and privacy over the Internet for applications such as web, email, instant messaging (IM) and some virtual private networks (VPNs).

The Heartbleed bug allows anyone on the Internet to read the memory of the systems protected by the vulnerable versions of the OpenSSL software. This compromises the secret keys used to identify the service providers and to encrypt the traffic, the names and passwords of the users and the actual content. This allows attackers to eavesdrop on communications, steal data directly from the services and users and to impersonate services and users.

What does this mean for web sites in general?

The nature of the Heartbleed Bug and the fact that is has been afflicting web servers since 2011 means that in the absolute worst case scenario, all data on afflicted sites could have been accessed by unauthorized persons. This would be accomplished by using the Heartbleed Bug to retrieve the private key from an afflicted web server, capturing the HTTPS traffic, using the captured private key to decrypt the captured HTTPS traffic and then either using any contained passwords to gain unauthorized access to the site or using the data itself elsewhere (ie. credit card data).

Mobile Phone Advice for International NAB Visitors

SIM Card

I've been to NAB a number of times now. Each time I've come back with a massive phone bill for data roaming.

On my last visit, I tried to get by with convention center WiFi. That was a terrible experience even with the paid option. After numerous problems signing up and accessing the network, I ended up falling back to international roaming.

I've vowed that this year is going to be different. In the hope of saving other people some money, I thought I'd share what I've learned about the different alternatives.

Why Comcast and Time Warner's $45.2 Billion Merger is a Blow to Innovation in Video Production & Distribution

About a month ago, Comcast and Time Warner announced a $45 billion merger that they have argued is "strongly pro-competitive and is firmly in the public interest."

No doubt, you've seen numerous articles that say otherwise. This is a great deal for the two largest cable companies in the U.S., but make no mistake, this merger is a raw deal for American consumers and businesses.

Closer to home, it's a bad deal for production companies, post-production companies and anyone wanting to distribute video online. If you want develop a new web-based video service, or if you dream of editing in the cloud or archiving your media with a service like Amazon Glacier, then this is bad news.

The Tail is Wagging the Dog

The first step in understanding the impact of the transaction is to look at what's driving it.

Comcast talks about how increased scale will help it compete with Satellite companies and the telcos. As evidence of the competitive threat, it cites stats that show satellite and telco subscribers have grown by 7 and 10 million subscribers respectively since 2005, while cable subscribers have declined by 10.4 million over the same time period.

On top of this, Comcast and Time Warner mention that Google has started offering television and Internet service in a number of markets. All of this presents a picture of a cable television business that is under siege. But that's not the real issue, or at least, these aren't the players that present the real threat to big cable in the long term.

Comcast and Time Warner are joining forces to solidify their stranglehold on the broadband access market, where there is already a dearth of competition (despite Google's experiments).

Why do they want to tighten their grip on broadband access?

Merging gives the cable companies more leverage to control Internet speeds, make broadband caps a standard, impose conditions for access to their networks, squeeze out innovative new services, and exert more control on people that create and distribute video. Through these levers, they hope to neutralize (or monetize) the real emerging threats to the TV business.

Comcast and Time Warner have Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and of course, Apple firmly in their sites.

ScreenLight Named One of the Top 10 Most Promising Online Video Platform Providers by CIO Review

10 Most Promising Online Video Platform Providers

ScreenLight, and our cloud-based video review and approval platform, was recently named one of the "Top 10 Most Promising Online Video Platform Providers" by CIO Review Magazine.

The selection panel, which included VCs, media companies, and editorial staff at the magazine, recognized what our customers have been telling us over the last number of years: With increasingly global workflows, shrinking deadlines, and cost pressures, video creators need tools to simplify video production and improve the feedback process.

ScreenLight helps improve efficiency by providing a simple, private, and centralized way to share media and get feedback on video production. Instead of wasting time scheduling in-person meetings and phone calls or hunting through email threads, collaborators can go to one place where they can view media and enter their feedback right in the video timeline.

Editors, production companies, broadcasters, creative agencies, and in-house media departments appreciate how using the tool helps them capture more actionable feedback so that they can make decisions, and ultimately, finish projects faster. Likewise, their clients and other stakeholders appreciate the transparency and communication improvements that come from using our cloud platform.

ScreenLight Selected for 2014 NAB Show StartUp Loft

StartUp Loft Logo

We are excited to announce that ScreenLight has been selected to exhibit our private media sharing and collaboration service in the StartUp Loft at NAB 2014.

The StartUp Loft is a pavilion in the Central Hall of the Show that showcases innovative new companies and cutting edge solutions. It's a one stop shop where show visitors can get their first look at new products and services that are ready to transform the media, entertainment, and technology market.

We are super excited to show off ScreenLight at our first major trade show. The timing of this event is great. We've spent much of the last year working on a totally redesigned version of ScreenLight and we'll be ready to share it with the world at the event!!

The StartUp Loft seems like a great location, because it has some drawing power, that's hard to achieve on your own as a startup where you can easily be dwarfed by the massive booths of the show giants. This opportunity will help us increase awareness of what we are building and get a lot of conversations started with potential customers, strategic partners, and vendors. It also gives us a place to say thanks to all our customers that have gotten us where we are.

This is a big experiment for us and in the spirit of openness, we'll report back on how this approach worked for us compared to the mobile trade show booth that we've used in the past (read - me and a pair of good shoes with meetings spread out over all of the halls).

If you are at the show, please come by booth C2453T in the Central Hall and say hi. We would love to give you a hands on demo of the new version of our service and we would love to hear what you think!

Still haven't made your plans? Your in luck. You can get a FREE guest pass for the exhibit halls by using the code LV2926 when you register at www.nabshow.com.

If you want to pre-arrange a meeting, please get in touch via phone, email, or twitter. info@screenlight.tv, 1.800.640.9021, @screenlight.

How to Create a Unique Selling Proposition and Win More Video Clients

When a prospective client finds you online, what do they see?

Do they see someone who can deliver value to them that no other video business can? Or do they see just another production or post-production company?

Top-quality work is a must, but the way you present your business to the world is also crucial to your success. The right presentation wins over quality clients willing to pay premium rates. The wrong one just makes you blend in with everyone else.

Most Video Businesses Seem Generic to Clients

Your unique selling proposition (or “USP”) is like your business’s calling card to the world. Without one, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of video companies vying for clients.

A good USP conveys the value that only your services can offer. It’s the perfect tool to make a favorable impression on prospects and convince them to hire you because they can’t get that value from anyone else.

Domino’s Pizza is famous for their unique selling proposition: “You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less – or it’s free.” Domino’s doesn’t do this anymore for legal reasons (their delivery drivers were getting into too many accidents trying to meet the deadline), but it was good while it lasted.

The Domino’s USP helped turn a single store in a college town to the largest pizza chain in the world. The USP made it clear what the prospect would get (fresh pizza delivered fast) and summed it up in a way that was simple to understand. You can do the same with your video business.

Why Your Video Business Needs a Unique Selling Proposition

When you don’t present a compelling USP to your prospects, it’s tough for them to see the unique value you can offer. They don’t understand why they should choose you over the thousands of other video businesses online.

Blending into the background like this might get you clients here and there, but it’s ineffective because it forces your prospects to make the case to hire you. Without a way to differentiate between different service providers, they resort to factors like price or years of experience in the video business.

That’s not good for you because you can’t control some of those factors. And you don’t want to get into a battle of trying to undercut your competitors with the lowest price; most of us don’t have the resources to do that and stay profitable.

A USP helps you make a more persuasive case why prospects should hire you. You get to show them the massive and unique value you can offer them.

Finding Help For NLE Errors

Video editing is a scary thing. Something can go wrong at any time. A hard drive can fail, media goes missing or your NLE can give you crazy errors like the ones below. You can’t tell what these errors even mean so how can you get started trying to solve the problem?

Going out on your own as a freelance editor with your own gear is even scarier. There’s no other editor to ask for help and you (probably) have only one computer. Errors need to be solved quickly before they turn into crises that could ruin your business. Fortunately for video editors there are a ton of places to seek help.

How to Specialize Your Video Business for Less Stress and More Profits

Would you like to take on fewer clients and make your video business more profitable at the same time?

Who wouldn’t?

Some video businesses seem to have a magic touch. They make a lot of money, get to work with the best clients, and they’ve built their reputations as experts. But there are many others—companies that do top-quality work—battling it out for nightmare clients.

What separates these companies isn’t always talent or luck. A lot of it has to do with how they position themselves to potential clients.

Stress and Chasing Clients

Most video production and post-production companies have a tough time separating themselves from their competitors. They struggle for years to find a foothold in this super competitive market.

It usually goes like this. The production company, eager to make money and find clients, sets up a website and waits for business to roll in. Maybe they start marketing and advertising when their initial efforts don’t create the results they were hoping for.

It doesn’t take long to discover just how competitive the production and post-production markets can be. So the business responds by casting their nets wider in search of more clients. They ease up on screening prospective clients and become less selective about which projects they’re willing to work on.

This puts the business in a bad pattern. Once they start chasing as many clients as they can, they have to keep chasing new ones to stay in business.

Why we are participating in The Day We Fight Back

Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

In 2013, we learned that our governments are spying on each and every one of us.1,2 They are building massive databases of our phone calls, our location, our email, our address books and all of our other digital information.3 They have lied to us about the existence of these programs4 and they have lied about the effectiveness of these programs.5 It's not surprising that these programs are so ineffective given that so few people actually die as a result of terrorism in the first place.6 Disturbingly, these very databases are leading to innocent people being targetted by law enforcement or the military.7,8

This isn't the kind of world we want to live in. Join us in supporting The Day We Fight Back and let your elected representatives know that privacy is important to you and that indiscriminate, mass surveillance is not compatible with democratic governance.

  1. NSA PRISM Program: Is Big Data Turning Government Into 'Big Brother?'
  2. Confirmed: The NSA is Spying on Millions of Americans
  3. XKeyscore: NSA tool collects 'nearly everything a user does on the internet'
  4. James Clapper must go
  5. Wiretap Report Questions Effectiveness Of Illegal NSA Spying
  6. You’re More Likely to Die from Brain-Eating Parasites, Alcoholism, Obesity, Medical Errors, Risky Sexual Behavior or Just About Anything OTHER THAN Terrorism
  7. The terrifying surveillance case of Brandon Mayfield
  8. The NSA’s Secret Role in the U.S. Assassination Program

The Edit Bay - A Romanticized View of One Editor’s Relationship With Four Walls

Josh Short Edit Suite

For four years I worked in a glorified closet otherwise known as my editing bay. My room was approximately 6’ wide by 9’ long. It had neutral gray walls and a desk that squeezed all the way across the back wall.

On my desk sat the mixer, mouse, colorful keyboard and phone hidden way off in the corner. Whoever calls the editor for their opinion? Beside my two 23” monitors were two giant oddly colored speakers. On top of one of the speakers was a picture of my wife and I when we were teenagers sitting by a fountain. There were two fortune cookie fortunes taped to the desk. My goal of finding enough good ones to stretch all the way across was never completed.

I was seated with my back to the wooden door that I accidently got Sharpie marker all over one time when keeping track of a contest with a co-worker. This experience taught me two things. 1) Sharpies bleed through cheap paper and 2) an over-the-door coat rack hides Sharpie on wooden doors very well. I believe I won whatever that contest was.

There were overhead fluorescent lights that were never on. One of the many signals that someone had been in my edit bay was if these lights were on. There were two dimmable track lights that lit the room but not my monitors. I went a year with one of the bulbs out before my production manager turned the fluorescent lights on and fixed it when I wasn’t there.

To my left was a black filing cabinet. Paperwork gathered there to die but it was mainly used to hide snacks and the best K-cups for our coffee machine. There was a white bookshelf against the wall where you entered, which housed all the script books (in alphabetical order), change order sheets and hard drives.

Maybe I’m mildly obsessive-compulsive about my edit bay, maybe not. I could find anything in that room with my eyes closed. Anything.

The edit bay in general has a daunting power about it for those unfamiliar with it. It reminds me of the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy and crew enter Oz’s chamber. They are intimidated by what is happening in front of them. How does Oz appear like that? They are scared to touch anything (and rightly so because it’s probably expensive!). He must have magical powers. It wasn’t until Toto decides to pull back the curtain and find an old man simply pulling levers and turning wheels. “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.”