Thursday, July 26, 2018

Oh wow! Huge for Slack and Smart for Atlassian. Goodbye HipChat: Slack and Atlassian Team Up on Chat Software - Bloomberg

Goodbye HipChat: Slack and Atlassian Team Up on Chat Software - Bloomberg

Goodbye HipChat: Slack and Atlassian Team Up on Chat Software

Stewart Butterfield's startup will subsume Atlassian's corporate chat tools to take on Microsoft.

Atlassian Corp. is selling its corporate chat software to rival Slack Technologies Inc. and taking a small stake in the startup, as they face greater competition from Microsoft Corp.

Slack will pay an undisclosed amount over the next three years to acquire Atlassian's HipChat and Stride assets, chief executives from both companies said. Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield described both the payment and the investment by Atlassian in his company as "nominal" in financial terms but important strategically. He declined to elaborate on the former. 

The deal gives Slack more customers, most of whom pay a monthly service fee, and allows Atlassian to exit a business that failed to generate as much demand as expected. Combining the two businesses bolsters Slack at a time when Microsoft is pushing a rival product called Teams to some 135 million Office cloud customers. Microsoft introduced a free version of Teams this month in a bid to lure people who don't subscribe to Office 365.

Taking out a competitor is good for Slack, said Butterfield: "There's fewer choices for people."

Stewart Butterfield, co-founder chief executive officer of Slack Technologies Inc., 

Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

The deal lets each company focus on the area where they lead—Slack in chat rooms and Altassian in project management software. The two companies share lots of customers already. Hundreds of thousands of groups using Atlassian products like Jira and Trello have Slack accounts, said Atlassian co-CEO Mike Cannon-Brookes. Those include Capital One and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Atlassian, which is set to outline the agreement in a quarterly earnings report Thursday, said the impact of lost revenue will be largely offset by Slack's payments over the next three years. Although HipChat predated Slack, the younger company quickly added more features and attracted more users. "Hipchat and Stride are not doing as well as some of Atlassian's other products," said Wayne Kurtzman, an analyst at IDC. Atlassian shares jumped as much as 18 percent in extended trading following the news.

Mike Cannon-Brookes (L) and Scott Farquhar (R), co-founders and co-CEOs of Atlassian pose for a photo on October 13, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images for Fortune)

Photographer: Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images North America

Atlassian made a last-ditch effort less than a year ago to keep pace with Slack and Microsoft in chat software. In September, it tried to move HipChat customers to a new product that combined more of the features that Slack and Microsoft have been adding to their chat services. Called Stride, the app offers audio and video conferencing and project-tracking. When not enough users showed up, Atlassian entertained the idea of a sale. "We're very proud of what the team has built," said Cannon-Brookes. "But at the same time, it is a crowded space, and there's a pragmatic option there."

About two months ago, Atlassian President Jay Simons met Butterfield for breakfast and asked if he wanted to acquire the chat business, Butterfield said. The two companies had worked together in the past on software projects and shared congratulatory baked goods to celebrate product releases, said Cannon-Brookes. The agreement marks the first time Atlassian is making a strategic investment in another company, he said.

Atlassian will continue to manage the chat products and customers until the cloud services are shut down in February. Customers with HipChat installed on their own servers will be able to use it for an extra few months or as long as two years, depending on the version.

Slack and Atlassian will make it easy for customers to move, but they won't be forced to switch, Butterfield said. He expects most will transition, though, adding "single digits" in percentage of market share to Slack. Butterfield and Atlassian declined to say how many people are using HipChat and Stride. Microsoft claims 200,000 organizations use Teams. Slack said it has 500,000, totaling 8 million people who use the service every day. Three million of those accounts are paid.

(Updates with Atlassian shares in the sixth paragraph.)


Sunday, July 1, 2018

About Immigration Counseling Service (ICS)

About Immigration Counseling Service (ICS)

About ICS

Our Mission

ICS is the oldest, and only, independent nonprofit law firm dedicated to improving the lives of immigrants in Oregon and Southwest Washington for 40 years. ICS is dedicated to improving the lives of immigrants, their familes and communities by providing low cost legal services, and operates the only program serving detained, unaccompanied minors, and a full-time anti trafficking program. 


When ICS was founded in 1978, lower income individuals who needed counsel and representation with immigration matters had absolutely no where to turn for help. What began as a grassroots effort was championed and nurtured by long-time immigrant advocate, Margaret Godfrey. Over the years ICS has provided legal assistance to many thousands of individuals from over 90 countries around the world. ICS carries on Margaret's legacy, remaining dedicated to ensuring that anyone with an immigration matter has a place to come for help.

Financial Information

If you would like financial information about ICS, please contact:
Lisa LeSage, Executive Director

Looking for our Hood River office? 

ICS's regional office in Hood River is located in the Union Building at 216 Columbia Street, Suite B, Hood river, OR 97031.  Request a consultation or call (541) 399-8029 for more information. 

ICS has been serving Oregon's immigrant communities for 40 years!

Donations to ICS, a 501 (c)(3) exempt organization, are tax deductible and greatly appreciated.  Your donation allows ICS to continue these invaluable services.  Thank you for your generous support!

More ways to give

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Vegas, re:Invent and great breakout sessions

Vegas, re:Invent and great breakout sessions

Vegas, re:Invent and great breakout sessions

It's been a while since re:Invent happened, but in my defense it has been a very busy three months. Other than Christmas, New Years, taking some time off and working with clients I had the opportunity to attend the recent re:Invent held in Las Vegas. Going to re:Invent in Vegas was an excellent way to catch what's been happening in cloud technologies and what to keep an eye out from the eponymous service provider. In this post I'll start with the fun stuff like the swag, welcome reception and 5k run and finish with the breakout sessions I really enjoyed and got the most out of.


To start with here's what you're all interested in, the sweet sweet conference swag. re:Invent was brilliant. Here's a summary of my favourite things picked up while there.

Hoarding stickers like an angry dragon.

  • Joyent Trition shirt: Fancy shirt, big thankyou to the folks at Joyent.

  • re:Invent thermos: For doing a short survey of two breakout sessions you got to take your pick from a selection of AWS merch. I picked the AWS water bottle/thermos. I've been using this regularly as my day-to-day water bottle, big thanks to AWS!

  • Amazon Snowball USB drive: Although only 1/16000th the data capacity of a standard AWS Snowball (80TB Snowball, 5GB drive) I very much like this diminutive storage device. It is currently being used as a Linux Mint 18.1 "Serena" boot stick for repairing an old laptop of mine.

  • Amazon Echo dot (not pictured): On registering for the conference everyone got an AWS hoodie and their own Amazon Echo Dot. The day after I registered I immediately spent a few hours working it out, playing with it and planning a backlog of skill projects which I hope to implement and talk about here in the next year. Great little tool.

  • A ridiculous mountain of laptop stickers: Over the three days between scheduled talks I made sure I spent plenty of time jumping from booth to booth talking to vendors about the services and/or software they provide. This was a great way to know what's out there and say thanks to the companies who's tools already make your life easier. In the process I collected so many stickers. So many. My highlight was chatting to an AWS maker space developer working on a disaster sign-in system that could be deployed to key places in the event of some major event like an earthquake and based on tagging could let loved ones know you were ok if you were in range of the device.

This was all of my favourites, the one thing I regret not getting was one of the re:Play Las Vegas 2016 grid t-shirts with the compute cube in the middle, if anyone knows where I can get one let me know.

Welcome Reception

Of course all of this event swag was collected from the conference hall, much of it on the welcome reception night. There were 30,000 attendees and from the queues to enter the hall a good percentage of that number were present. There was a great vibe and you can tell that AWS really fosters fun in their community, it was also great to hear about new services vendors are promoting and see the projects AWS work on that aren't generally at the forefront.

Pictured below is the Simple Beer Service stall in the developer lounge.

5K run

I've done some running in the past so I took the opportunity to do the conference 5k run, how often do you get the opportunity to sprint through the streets in a country you've never been to before right? Something that added some extra dimension was the forecasted freeze warning of below zero celsius the night before. Luckily the day was alright temperature wise, staying just above the positive degrees and was good fun, I ended up with a time of 25 minutes, 19 seconds. 189th out of 985, not too shabby!

re:Invent Sessions

re:Invent is one of the rare opportunities where you can have a chance to see presentations by architects and developers who are on the forefront of technology and ask questions to improve your understanding of services and take home some new techniques you can use in the field. I chose a set of sessions which were a mix of the work I'm doing at the moment (AWS account compliance and security) and my personal interests (Formal reasoning, AI and the frontier of software development). Here are a summary of my favourites, I highly recommend checking out the re:Invent breakout session YouTube channel, so much win.

Another Day, Another Billion Packets (NET401)

A great 400 level talk about the networking issues AWS face with their under the hood infrastructure and the solution outcomes. As a day-to-day user of AWS you will generally not see any of this, this talk gave insight into the service history and why some of the networking services are the way they are. If you're new to networking there is a lot to digest in this talk but it's hugely worth watching, especially in retrospective after re:Invent.

Compliance Architecture: How Capital One Automates the Guard Rails (ARC312)

This talk by Peter M. O'Donnell and Kapil Thangavelu was my introduction to Cloud Custodian which I have now been using for the past two months for a compliance project, a great tool I will hopefully have time to write about as an extension on AWS account compliance work I've written about in the past. Keep an eye on this project as it takes away the necessity of building your own automated account clean up and management tool. CloudCustodian can be found here.

Amazon s2n: Cryptography and Open Source at AWS (NET405)

A great talk about the S2N project about analysing the code behind the heartbleed SSL bug of 2014, how to improve software development practices that can let bugs like this slip by and the development of vulnerability detection solutions. Also a good eye into how AWS gets involved in open source software.

Bringing Deep Learning to the Cloud with Amazon EC2 (CMP314)

This was a talk by Tom Jones and Diego Oppenheimer, Deep Learning is not specifically my field but it's great to see how AWS and Algorithmia are harnessing the graphical hardware side to perform some amazing graphical processing tasks, super interesting stuff if you have the time to watch.

The Effective AWS CLI User (DEV402)

This was another great talk, by Kyle Knapp. I walked into this one thinking I was a pretty advanced user of the AWS CLI and came out surprised, I discovered some of the newer features added into the CLI can really speed up the time to automate infrastructure tasks and help you build your own set of command primitives.


  • --generate-cli-skeleton output --query text lets you query what fields you should be asking for if you're just trying to access specific attributes of a JSON object being returned from the CLI.
  • The power of the ---debug argument, it will show you what the CLI tool as taken in, substituting any variables you have possibly passed in through Bash.
  • <command> --debug 2>&1 | less -S to cleanly check out these logs irrespective of the size of your terminal.
  • ~/.aws/cli/alias: CLI now has it's own alias file so you can build your own CLI commands that you would generally do by scripting these in bash, think your gitconfig file. Some great examples of aliases can be found on Github


In summary re:Invent was excellent, I'd highly recommend it if you're a heavy user of AWS, being surrounded by the people who build the worlds most prevalent cloud platform really made for a great week. I originally hoped for this post to be a longer one, seeing as how much happened over the week, what I took away in terms of AWS compliance checking and my extra week touring around California but it the post was already getting too long, next up I will have another compliance post.