The Freepik Company, known for its projects like Freepik, Wepik, Flaticon and Slidesgo, has announced the acquisition of Iconfinder.

Speaking about the acquisition, Martin LeBlanc — Founder & CEO of Iconfinder, writes:

For now, Iconfinder will stay Iconfinder, and Flaticon will stay Flaticon. My role will transition into the Head of icons, and we’ll start setting up a direction, merging the Iconfinder and Flaticon teams, and making gradual changes. Our goal is to learn from each other what we are best at and apply the practices and approaches to build the world’s best icon site, helping people around the world make beautiful designs faster.

Freepik has been a tremendous resource for designers of any kind, and similarly, Iconfinder’s vast collection of icons has been a personal favorite of mine for many years. I hope to see them collectively improve both the projects down the line.

The WordPress.org homepage and the WordPress.org/download page have just gotten a much-needed makeover.

Nicholas Garofalo, writing on WordPress.org News:

The new homepage brings more attention to the benefits and experience of using WordPress, while also highlighting the community and resources to get started.

The new download page greets visitors with a new layout that makes getting started with WordPress even easier by presenting both the download and hosting options right at the top.

This redesign follows the redesign of the WordPress News blog earlier this year.

ExpressVPN has just announced that they will be removing their physical servers located in India, refusing to comply with India’s new VPN law.

With a recent data law introduced in India requiring all VPN providers to store user information for at least five years, ExpressVPN has made the very straightforward decision to remove our Indian-based VPN servers.

Rest assured, our users will still be able to connect to VPN servers that will give them Indian IP addresses and allow them to access the internet as if they were located in India. These “virtual” India servers will instead be physically located in Singapore and the UK.

Under the new VPN law that is set to come into effect on Jun 27, 2022, the company states that they will be “required to store users’ real names, IP addresses assigned to them, usage patterns, and other identifying data” which effectively “is incompatible with the purpose of VPNs, which are designed to keep users’ online activity private.

The law is also overreaching and so broad as to open up the window for potential abuse. We believe the damage done by potential misuse of this kind of law far outweighs any benefit that lawmakers claim would come from it.

ExpressVPN refuses to participate in the Indian government’s attempts to limit internet freedom. As a company focused on protecting privacy and freedom of expression online, we will continue to fight to keep users connected to the open and free internet with privacy and security, no matter where they are located.

ExpressVPN is one of the most popular VPN services in the market today and I had been a customer for a while, only switching to Mullvad because I wanted the flexibility in billing. I am certain that other VPN companies are going to follow in the same steps. Any company that doesn’t, is a company worth staying away from.

The WordPress News website has just gotten a beautiful new design, which was led by designer Beatriz Fialho.

My favorite thing about this redesign isn’t just the boldness of the design with that striking shade of blue, it’s that the design uses the beautiful Inter family for the body text, combined with EB Garamond for the headings.

Switching from Hoefler&Co’s Cloud.Typography to Commissioner by Kostas Bartsokas

Typography

For the last 6+ years, this site has featured typography from the house of Hoefler&Co. When I redesigned the site in 2015, I was using the beautiful Whitney typeface, but ultimately switched over to Ideal Sans a few years later. Hoefler&Co.’s Cloud.Typography service that offered web fonts was priced starting at $99/year (up to 250,000 page views a month) and came with up to 5 typefaces that you could choose from the collection. This was later upgraded to allow the entire library of fonts. I was pretty happy with the service, especially considering I was able to use beautiful fonts on my websites.

A few months ago, Hoefler&Co. was acquired by Monotype. Weirdly enough, the article linked from that tweet has been deleted from the official blog. As part of the acquisition, Jonathan Hoefler was going to step away from the company “to explore new creative endeavors.” That’s never a good sign.

Fast forward to a few days ago, I got an email from Hoefler&Co that my subscription had ended. I also noticed that the web fonts on my website had stopped loading. Wanting to fix this, I logged into my account looking to renew my subscription, but couldn’t find any option that’d let me renew it for another year. There was only the option to “Start” a new subscription at $199/year. I emailed support asking for help, but after a couple of emails, got a reply saying, “We have updated our pricing and we’re sorry to say that we wouldn’t be able to offer the subscription under the old price going forward. We ask for your understanding!”

Essentially, Monotype has raised doubled the pricing of the base plan from $99/year to $199/year and even though I emailed them within a day to renew my subscription, they want me to pay the doubled amount of the new plan to continue using the service. Ha! Needless to say, I have ditched the service.

Nuclear Bits now features the gorgeous Commissioner family designed by Kostas Bartsokas.

Commissioner is a low-contrast humanist sans-serif with almost classical proportions, conceived as a variable family. The family consists of three “voices”. The default style is a grotesque with straight stems. As the flair axis grows the straight grotesque terminals develop a swelling and become almost glyphic serifs while joints become more idiosyncratic. The volume axis transforms the glyphic serifs to wedge-like ones.

Commissioner is a variable typeface and is available for free via GitHub or Google Fonts, licensed under the SIL Open Font License.

I think it looks stunning, especially here on Nuclear bits. What do you think? Lemme know on Twitter: @preshit.

Pretty nice feature introduced by the 1Password folks that allows you to share passwords or any other items from your 1Password vault with anyone, even those who don’t use 1Password.

The sharing happens over a link, and you get to control how long the password can be viewed or who gets to view it.

The folks at Cloudflare have published a fascinating look into the recent ~6 hour long downtime that the Facebook network went through, taking down not just the Facebook product itself, but also WhatsApp, Instagram, FB’s internal looks, and a lot more. It’s a somewhat technical explanation, but Cloudflare’s Tom Strickx and Celso Martinho have made it very easy to understand.

Today at 1651 UTC, we opened an internal incident entitled “Facebook DNS lookup returning SERVFAIL” because we were worried that something was wrong with our DNS resolver 1.1.1.1. But as we were about to post on our public status page we realized something else more serious was going on.

Social media quickly burst into flames, reporting what our engineers rapidly confirmed too. Facebook and its affiliated services WhatsApp and Instagram were, in fact, all down. Their DNS names stopped resolving, and their infrastructure IPs were unreachable. It was as if someone had “pulled the cables” from their data centers all at once and disconnected them from the Internet.

How’s that even possible?

It’s really interesting to see how a (possibly) minor piece of code can take down large parts of the internet like this. Honestly, it would be a good thing for the internet overall of Facebook disappears from the internet, but I feel for everyone at Facebook behind this issue. Major hugs to the people involved in bringing the network back up.

Then again, imagine messing up so bad that your boss ends up losing $6 billion.

“[…] an incredible integration of two amazing products,” I exclaimed on Twitter.

Fastmail has teamed up with the folks at 1Password to release Masked Email — a seamless integration between the two services that enables you to create unique email addresses when signing up for online services.

When you’re filling out the signup form, 1Password automatically creates a new Masked Email (email alias) for you and saves it as a Login. The good thing about this announcement is that you can manually created Masked Email aliases outside of 1Password on the Fastmail website, and if you use a custom domain with the service, your Masked Email aliases can also be created using the custom domain.

Fastmail is one of the best email services out there and I highly recommend it. As of today, I’ve been using them for 8 years and 6 months, and have been a very happy customer.