AKF Partners

Abbott, Keeven & Fisher PartnersPartners In Hyper Growth

Newsletter – Firesheep

Below is part of our Fall 2010 Newsletter.  If you haven’t subscribed yet, click here to do so.

In this newsletter:

Scalability Rules

In between working with some terrific new clients this year we’ve been busy writing the second book, Scalability Rules.  With the help of some terrific technical reviewers we feel the book is taking shape very nicely and the first five chapters are now available on Safari Rough Cuts for those interested in helping review.  Scalability Rulesbrings together 50 rules that we have gathered from our experiences working with over a hundred hyper-growth companies. This format of practical rules of scalability should make it ideal for use as reference manual in formal meetings and informal discussions.

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If you haven’t picked up your copy of The Art of Scalability or have technologist on your holiday gift list here are a couple links for you:

Putting Out Firesheep (Protecting Your Users’ Cookies)

One of our recent blog posts that we found most interesting was submitted by a guest blogger.  Randy Wigginton is a seasoned technologist who after a discussion with us about the security risks, brought to light recently by the Firefox plugin called Firesheep, came up with a solution that we thought should be shared.  Randy’s solution is ideal for companies who want to protect their user session data (login, browsing history, etc) but doesn’t want to be encumbered by the overhead of running their entire site behind SSL.

We also have a simple demo setup for those interesting in testing this solution.  The way it works is when a user logs in, TWO cookies are dropped.  In the demo, one is called “session”, the other is called “authenticate”.  These two cookies are identical except for a single attribute: “authenticate” is a secure cookie.  We authenticate users on non-secure pages by including a reference to a secure javascript at the top of each page.  At the top of pages requiring authentication is this simple line of code:

<script type=”text/javascript” src=”https://verify.akfdemo.com/authenticate.php“>
</script>

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Lot18’s Series A

Lot18, a membership-by-invitation marketplace for wine from renowned producers at fantastic values, announced that it has completed a $3 million Series A round of funding led by FirstMark Capital, a New York City-based venture capital firm. Lot18 was founded by Kevin Fortuna and Philip James. Philip was the founder of Snooth.com, the world’s largest wine website, and Kevin was most recently a partner at AKF partners.

Lot18 Screen Shot

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