I suppose we're talking about the downloadable installation where the error happens?
The web site https://alpha.heatledger.com should work while the downloadable necessarily doesn't until a patch is uploaded.
Yes this error is probably due to the recent commit change, so I'm not surprised the "release" local client does not connect properly right now. It might be nice if verymuchso can push a fixed release with the changes so people can do a last minute local verification / confirm ownership of ICO address before the big genesis. Just a thought, in case others want to do verification locally instead of the web alpha wallet.
I would personally feel more comfortable entering my seed into a local client rather than a web based one.