April 2nd, 2011
, Rackspace Cloud
Posted in News
, Press Releases
| 17 Comments »
Over the past few days a lot of TinyGrab users will have noticed the significant drop in our usually excellent service. Many of you are frustrated with our downtime, errors and confusing messages. A few of you have fled to alternative services, some of you have even issued death threats and have tracked down my personal phone number and address to send me abusive messages (It’s a free app, come on!), now it’s time to tell you properly what’s been going on.
First of all I would like to apologise for the lack of any clear communication. We’ve been putting out fires left, right and centre and just haven’t had time to write a post to let you all know what’s been going on. Now that we’ve finally managed to hit Inbox Zero, I can finally take some time to explain everything.
Earlier this week we were the victim of a malicious attack on one of our servers. Sadly this attack was on the server where TinyGrab version 1 was hosted. Through a security hole in our old service a user was able to gain remote access and corrupt a major and significant part of our original code base (if not all of it). No user or grab data was stolen, accessed or lost during the attack, thankfully it was isolated to only one server and our databases and files are stored elsewhere. Unfortunately this rendered TinyGrab useless, we were forced to launch TinyGrab 2.0 prematurely.
Like all premature babies, TinyGrab 2.0 just wasn’t ready for mainstream usage. We’ve been working on it for a full year now, but it still needed more time to develop properly and work out all of the bugs. Because of the security breach we had to rewrite a large part of our system and applications over night. Fortunately we’d successfully launch TinyGrab 2.0 Windows a few days before the attack, so that platform was left almost untouched. However our Mac client had to be re-written into TinyGrab Mini in 12 hours, in order for users to continue to use the service.
TinyGrab Mini for Mac is a temporary fix, it’s a band aid. In order to get the app out as quickly as possible we stripped out most major functionality and allowed it to do two things; login and auto-upload. In this age of minimalism the app’s quite chic, but it’s no where near the high standards that TinyGrab typically maintains.
You’ll have noticed that over the past few days, along with TinyGrab 2.0, new features are popping up. These will be polished and further explained later, along with the desktop app for Mac.
I want to take the time to thank all of you for your continued patience and support whilst we’ve been recovering from this almost disastrous event. I would also like to thank all of the TinyGrab team; those who have been up, with me, for the past 3/4 days straight, answering your support queries, bug quashing and developing applications for you to use. All of us here at TinyGrab work on this voluntarily, none of us do this as a full time job and we don’t see any financial return out of it. The money we gain from advertising and from sales keep the servers running. We do it because we love it.
Thank you, users, for being there and keeping us going. Without you there’d be no need for TinyGrab. Thank you, team, for powering on. Together we’ve all pulled through and ought to be back up to normal capacity in a week or two.
Because every cloud has a silver lining, especially the TinyGrab one, this attack has inadvertently meant that the incredibly delayed TinyGrab 2.0 has sort of launched… It’s a pity that it’s not as polished as we wanted it to be though.
TinyGrab Founder and Project Manager.
February 22nd, 2011
, TinyGrab Basic
, TinyGrab Free
, TinyGrab Pro
Posted in News
, Press Releases
| 3 Comments »
Yesterday I wrote on TinyGrab’s awkward position with the Apple iOS and Mac App Stores. It turned out to be a blog post which fell under a lot of scrutiny and attracted a lot of attention, something I actually hadn’t expected. In between now and then a lot has happened, including Steve Jobs making a clarifying statement on in app subscriptions.
To reemphasise my points from yesterday we have never had a problem with Apple wanting a cut of any sales that they help solicit. It’s completely fair enough that Apple should want and receive revenue for hosting our app and making the payment magic on their end. The issue that we had was that Apple didn’t make it possible for us to use their new In App Purchasing Subscription service to actually facilitate this and make it happen. When a user subscribes in an app, through an IAP, you’re blind. You’re not given any information on the user whatsoever and to try and solicit it from them also breaks another rule; it was an incredibly grey area and after talking with Apple directly things just weren’t any clearer at all. We need this information to tie a subscription to a TinyGrab account. We need to know which user has subscribed to TinyGrab in order to deliver their purchase to them, something that is not seemingly possible with the current system.
All of this was the case until MacRumours published an email from Steve Jobs this morning. The email simply stated that the new subscription rules applied only to apps which sold content; in other words newspapers, music apps, video sites etc. This clarification from above is certainly welcomed in open arms, but when I published my post yesterday it was an incredibly grey area and there wasn’t any clarification. When we had talked to Apple they weren’t able to shed any light on the topic and informed us of our almost certain rejection. Their reasoning for the TinyGrab app remaining in the store in its current form is because the current version was uploaded before the new terms came into effect. Steve’s email is the very first kind of clarification that we’ve had on the kind of apps that have to abide by the new terms. It appears as though Software As A Service has just been given the all clear. I had reached out to Apple again before publishing my post yesterday, but no clarification was given, just a link to Apple’s guidelines for app submission.
As I stated yesterday, if Apple’s terms prevented us from actually submitting our iPhone app to the iOS store we would simply stop officially developing and supporting it. Luckily for lots of TinyGrab users and fans it appears as though this won’t be the case. With Steve Jobs’ clarification on subscription terms and SaaS behind us, we will continue to develop the current version of TinyGrab for iPhone that we’re working on and attempt to get it into the iOS store.
TinyGrab is all about simple and social screenshot sharing. You can sign up for a free account today at TinyGrab.com and start sharing your grabs with the world in seconds. TinyGrab 2.0 development continues and we aim to have a stable early general release for Mac OS X users later on this week. Windows and iPhone users can download and sign up for a TinyGrab 2.0 Beta account at http://beta.tinygrab.com
TinyGrab Founder & Project Manager
February 18th, 2011
, Third Party
Posted in News
, Press Releases
| 1 Comment »
Integration is something that we’ve become very keen and focused on here at TinyGrab over the past few months. We believe that in order to be able to give you the best screenshot sharing experience around, and true value for your money, we need to be everywhere. Today sees our very first ever TinyGrab plugin for a third-party application, Courier.
Courier is one of the ultimate uploading and sharing apps for the Mac and is developed by our friends over at Real Mac Software. The TinyGrab destination plugin for Courier allows you to upload multiple photos, screenshots and other images to your TinyGrab account at once and in batch. Incredibly handy if you’re working on that new awesome web design and you have a few pages to show off.
Over the next few months we aim to open up our API to third party developers, so that they can incorporate TinyGrab into their apps and hopefully we can grow a vibrant community around plugins and extensions of our service. Courier is only the first step, if you have any suggestions as to any other services and applications you’d like to see us support please email email@example.com.
You can download the TinyGrab for Courier plugin for free at http://clydn.com/courier
TinyGrab Project Manager.