Security notice about the “heartbleed” exploit

Yesterday, an OpenSSL exploit was announced, that potentially allowed attackers to read information from secured servers. As 88 Miles uses Amazon Web Services, it was susceptible to the exploit. So what does this mean for you?

Not much really.

Realistically, you would have only been at risk if you added or changed your credit card details in the past 24 hours, or if you logged in (not just opened 88 Miles, but actually used the login screen).

If someone was sniffing around on the server while the exploit was active, they could have viewed data that was being transferred. However, it would take a lot of work to reassemble all the bits to make use of that data. As such, the risk is pretty low.

If you are feeling worried about it, I’d suggest logging out and logging back in to 88 Miles. If you are really worried, try changing your password – and if you see any weird activity on your account, let us know.

We have also updated our secure certificates as a precaution. If you ever log in to one of the secure pages on 88 Miles, and you see a warning about an expired certificate, please contact support@88miles.net immediately.

Just be assured that the risk for 88 Miles is very low, but if you have any questions, please let me know.

Use 88 Miles in a team? Dealing with user permissions is about to get much easier!

88 Miles started out as a tool for freelancer developers, designers and copywriters but there is a number of you that use 88 Miles as part of an agency or in a team.

At the moment, 88 Miles gives all staff members full access to the creation, editing and deletion of all companies, projects, shifts and reports. While this can work for small teams, it gets a bit un-wieldy for larger teams, so I’m announcing a new user management system that should be launched in the next week or two!

The new system adds a new class of user called a Manager, that has the same permissions as staff do at the moment – they can add, edit and delete companies, projects, all shifts and run reports.

The new Staff class is more limited: they can only see shifts that they created, and any reports they run will only show their data.

So how will this affect you? Well, as the owner of the account, it won’t. However, some of your staff might see some slightly different options when they log in after the update. I say some, because not all staff members will stay staff members – some are going to automatically upgrade to Manager status.

Every staff member that you have that has created either a public (or shared) company or project will automatically become a Manager. You can of course override this after the upgrade has occurred by editing the user and changing their type to either “Regular Staff” or “Manager”.

The main reason I’m giving you the heads up now, and not just pushing the update straight through is I want to give you time to ask questions about the new system before it goes live.

If you do have any questions, you can email me at support@88miles.net, tweet me twitter or click the little help box inside the app.

88 Miles on your Pebble Smart watch

You may have hear about the Pebble, a crowd funded smart watch that, when it hit it’s goal was on of the first million dollar Kickstarter projects. The watch allows you to receive notifications from your phone, control your music and allows developers to write small apps.

Today, they released their shiny new app store, which allows you to discover and install apps really easily. Which is a good thing, because you’ll need that app store to install the 88 Miles Pebble app! I haven’t worked out how to link directly to the store yet, but you can simply search for “88 Miles” and you should find it.

Here is a screen shot of it’s store page, which includes a couple of screen shots:

88 Miles Pebble App

The app lists all of your current projects, and allows you to see how long you have spent. You can also punch in and out from projects all from your watch. Welcome to the future.

88 Miles for neckbeards – track your time from the command line

It's a unix system. I know this!

If you are a developer like me, and you spend most of your day in terminal, it can be easy to forget to switch contexts to do things like tracking your time. So why not do it from the command line?

Now you can – using 88 Miles gem.

Installation is simple (you’ll need Ruby installed)

gem install 88miles

 

All you do is link a directory with an 88 Miles project, and then you can run

88miles start

and

88miles stop

From with in that directory. You can also bring up a realtime clock:

88miles status -f

and dump out all the shifts for that project:

88miles log

The gem is open source – you can find the code and instructions on our github page. Find a bug, or added something that was missing? We accept pull requests.

88 Miles puts time tracking back into Basecamp

88 Miles to Basecamp

Basecamp from 37 Signals is arguably the grandfather of software as a service. It’s clean, user-centric project management tools have simplified workflows for designers and developers everywhere. A couple of months ago, 37 Signals released the reworked version of Basecamp – but with one noticeable omission: The time tracking component had been removed.

The original time tracking module was very simple – you had to manually keep track of your time, then enter it in a text box, and 37 Signals argue that is isn’t a core part of their system which is why they dropped it. However, we believe that time tracking is a core component of project management – how do you know if your quotes are accurate or if you are working efficiently if you don’t track your output? So, to plug this hole 88 Miles now integrates with Basecamp.

By using our new Google Chrome, Safari or Firefox extension, you can punch in and out of 88 Miles directly from the new Basecamp project view.

Track your time directly from Basecamp

 

 

After you have enabled one of the plugins, and linked a Basecamp project to an 88 Miles project, you will see a new “Time tracking” section, which gives you an overview of time spent on the project. When you start a task, just click the clock icon next to the task name, and click it again to punch out! For more information, checkout out support page.

It’s really simple, and you never have to leave Basecamp!

You can download the plugins here:

88 Miles plugin for Google Chrome 88 Miles addon for Firefox 88 Miles extension for Safari

Welcome back to the future…

After 749:33 hours of work over the past 12 months, the 88 Miles relaunch has been completed!

The new version has some really exciting new features, including the Business Health Dashboard that I am really excited about. As someone that has freelanced for a majority of my working career a tool like this would have been really helpful! Many of us become freelancers because we are really good at our craft – unfortunately we also need to deal with business stuff too, which is where tools like the Business Health Dashboard come into play. Being able to see the status of your business quickly will make crunching numbers much easier.

Thank you to the guys at Humaan for their amazing design work – it has really set the tone of this new release. A big thank you to all the people I have received advice from during this process. And a huge thank you to all of the beta testers who have been sending bug reports and suggestions – the response I’ve had to this release has been amazing.

So now starts the next chapter. If you are a freelancer, and you are reading this: please register and take back control of your time. If you are an existing user: thank you for your support!

Cheers guys,

Myles

PS. If you are in Perth, and you want to help us celebrate the launch, we will be at the Oxford Hotel, 368 Oxford St  Leederville WA 6007 from around 4pm this afternoon. Come and say hi!

How healthy is your business?

Give your business a check up

The upcoming version of 88 Miles has a brand new Business Health Dashboard which at a glance can tell you if you are billing enough hours and if you are making enough money.

Spend time creating awesome things that people love

…not looking at spreadsheets and profit & loss statements.

After you enter a few pieces of information like your hourly rate, how much money you want to make, and how many hours you want to work, the 88 Miles Business Health Dashboard will automatically analyse your shifts and tell you how you are doing!

Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 10.11.11 AM

Find out more information on the support page.

Friday’s Launch

Don’t forget that the beta edition of 88 Miles becomes the real edition on Friday! For the most up-to-date information on the change over, please follow us on twitter.

It also means you only have two days to get the old prices – so if you are planning on upgrading your account, now is the time to do it!

Meet our new reporting system

There is little point in tracking your hours if you don’t go back and look at them regularly. The 88 Miles tracking system is simple enough – when you start a project, you punch in; when you finish you punch out. The report system needed to be just as simple. It also needed to be powerful – a reporting system that can’t give you the information you need is pointless. So our goals for the reports: Simple, yet powerful.

With the upcoming release (13th of September – mark it in your diaries!), we have done a some re-working of the report system.

  1. We have introduced a new report type. To augment the project, staff and timesheet reports, we’ve added a company report, that allows you to see how much work you have done for each of your clients.
  2. Each report shows you a summary of billable vs non-billable hours at the top. We’ll also be adding a budget counter shortly.
  3. You have the ability to generate PDFs for each report type straight from 88 Miles. If you are a freelancer, and you need to send your clients timesheets with your invoices, you can generate a PDF, and attach it straight to your email.
  4. Advanced filtering. While the basic filtering is good for basic reports, sometimes you need to get closer to the metal. Each report has an advanced filtering mode, where you can write custom queries against our reporting engine. If you have ever done any basic programming or SQL, you should feel right at home.

To find out more about the new reporting system and learn more about our query engine, check out the screen shots and documentation on the beta site.

Launch Party

Speaking of the beta – the launch is now less than two weeks away! I’ll be pushing the big red button on Friday 13th of September – and to celebrate, we’ll be having a little launch party that afternoon. So if you are in Perth, Western Australia that day, please RSVP here. The venue is to be confirmed, but it will be around my offices in Leederville. If would be awesome if you can make it, and to help me celebrate!