Archive for category Internet
In a word: No.
I talked a while back about how a digital attack on Iran could well be the opening of a new phase where the Internet is a battlefield as much as any war torn country. Well, that seems to have been born out this past week with a number of online attacks “originating from China”. I put quotes around that because it’s entirely possible that efforts to trace the attack have simply been fooled into thinking that the trail ends in China. With the Cloud becoming more popular, it’s going to be easier for hackers to take over your computer for their use, without you ever knowing about it.
However, that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t someone (or several someones) in China, either. There’s something fishy going on, though, because the Chinese government has denied that they were involved (check the bottom of the article). Maybe I missed it, but I don’t remember anyone else suggesting that they had anything to do with it. Sadly, it’s all too easy for anyone with a bit of programming knowledge to hack into computers these days. The odds are pretty good, I think, that the hit on WordPress was just someone making trouble for kicks, like about half of the hacking done anyway.
However, some of it looks to have been pretty deliberately targeted. It doesn’t matter whether you agree with G20 or not, you’ve got to agree that the hacking attempts against them really made a mess of things. Put together, they almost look like someone’s getting revved up (no, I don’t think it’s the Chinese government) to make a big splash in the hacking community – who, of course, is probably reading this right now and trying not to laugh too hard.
Just kidding, everyone. Most of the people in the hacking world aren’t doing it for sheer hate, although plenty of them are using it to make money. But this is another excellent example of how the Internet is turning into a new frontier for warfare, so you need to make sure that your computers and websites are as safe as you can make them. Beyond that, there’s nothing you can do but keep moving forward in your business and hope that you never have to deal with the worst of what could happen.
Ok, I know I’ve already complained about spam ads recently, but here’s something else that’s caused me great personal consternation: At some point in the past week or so, everyone seems to have decided that it’s OK for clickable ads to talk to you.
Not talk to you like “hey, here’s our ad and we’d like you to read it so that you’ll decide to give us a chance”. Instead, it’s becoming “hey, we’re loud and in your face and we’re making noise so that you can’t hear anything else that you’re actually doing – either give us what we want or we’re going to continue to hold your auditory senses hostage”.
When I’m online, I’ve usually got several browser windows or tabs opened at once, and I’m usually listening to music. The thing that’s hacking me off is that these ads with sound are usually coming up on the pages where I’m listening to something or soon will be. So, it’s knowingly stomping on what I’m doing – not accidentally, the way you’d expect with multiple pages up. When that happens, it doesn’t matter whether the ad is about something that I’ve looked at before or that I just might be interested in, it’s forcing me to drop whatever I’m doing so that I can figure out what’s happened and why everything’s being walked on by some chatty commercial that belongs on my television between show segments.
It was bad enough that these ads have been taking up more and more space on the sites I visit (do any of us really want to put up with ads being placed in the middle of our News Feeds?), why do they have to harass us when we’re focusing on some other page at the moment now? Would we suddenly put up with it if we had this same problem from our spam folders in our email accounts – you’re reading a message from your sister who’s halfway across the country and suddenly the words are drowned out by MAKE SURE TO VISIT THE BUYMORE THIS SUNDAY FOR SUPER SALES ON THE PENTON 13 VIDEO PROJECTOR! HERE’S A COUPON THAT’LL GET YOU FIFTEEN PERCENT OFF ON ALL FLASH DRIVES ON OUR TOP SELLERS SHELF – WOW!!!
I understand the importance of making sure that people know about what your company offers – heck, that doesn’t mean I want do deal with ads that are going to demand my attention with the only alternative to be that I’ve lost my concentration while I was trying to shut them up. That’s just bad business, because it gives me a stronger negative impression of whatever’s being represented than I might have ever had beforehand. There’s a place for video in helping to promote your company, but PPC just isn’t it. These people need to remember that gaining new customers involves treating them with respect. Techndu’s an SEO company, that knows exactly what it offers! It knows exactly how, where and what message is to be passed. Like the way it takes care of its own marketing strategies, it takes equal care of its clients’ marketing needs. It never spams!!
With the smart phone becoming one of the most ubiquitous pieces of personal equipment wherever you go, it’s important to make sure that your website is ready to deal with this new client base. Yes, it does count as a different demographic from people browsing with their computers. Here’s why:
You have to have a different website programming in order for smart phones to be able to read it.
Part of this is because of the differences of a smart phone’s screen from the average computer screen. The smaller size means that the pages viewed have to be formatted differently so that everything isn’t one big left-right scroll bar. Part of it is because of the basic differences in the operational computer languages of phones as opposed to “normal” computers. And part of it is because people are going to be more prone to make snap decisions when they’re dealing with you through their phones than they would over the computer.
The problem here is that, unless you know what you’re doing, you’re going to be hard pressed to make the changes you need without wrecking either the smart phone version or the main version of your website. When you’ve got everything taken care of properly, though, you’ve literally opened the door to a whole new demographic – people who aren’t using their computers to look at your website. This may not cause a dramatic increase in the amount of business you do in a short time, but it’ll still bring more paying customers to the table.
As we’ve said many times, the Internet is changing. Well, looks like part of this is that it’s just about outgrown it’s current limits. There are only about a hundred million IP addresses left on the current system (IPv4). So, major companies like Facebook and Google – and the U.S. government – are getting everything ready to switch over to IPv6.
That’s important, because adding new IP addresses isn’t the same as adding new area codes to the phone listings – which is still quite an undertaking in and of itself! Instead, a whole new system had to be written so that everything could still work properly. Most people aren’t going to be affected in their private lives, because the hardware requirements are already included in most recent technology that they’re apt to buy, but anyone wanting their companies to stay online are going to need to make some upgrades to things like their router and other networking gear.
It’s nothing to get in a frenzy about: the Internet isn’t going to collapse simply because there’s no room for any more website addresses. It’s actually going to be comparable to replacing your old car with a newer model. Some effort is involved, and you want to find the best deal you can, but as long as you get it done before your old one dies completely you’re going to be fine. And, considering that IPv4 is nearly forty years old, I’d say it’s got a pretty good track record for not dying. All you need to do is make sure that you get ready before everyone switches over, so that you aren’t left behind.
The Internet is changing. This change means new growth. Anyone who’s ready when it happens will be in a great position for taking the lead in all parts of online business. Everyone else will just have to follow their lead.
So Eric Schmidt is out, and Google’s original CEO Larry Page is back in charge. Hopefully, this will mean an end to policies like the “creepy line” that Schmidt was lampooned for so many times last year. Since Page was in no small part responsible for Google’s early success, it’s a hopeful sign that this change is going to take the company back to the kind of direction that made everyone love it in the first place.
Of course, this could mean no difference in the long run, only time will tell what Mr. Page is going to do as the man calling the shots. The company has the unofficial motto of “Don’t be evil”, though, so hopefully this change will take the company away from the invasive practices that they’ve been tending toward for the last year. Personally, I think that this leadership change is, as Schmidt said in a recent update to the Official Google Blog, for the best.
So, as long as the company stops scaring us all with the possibility that it actually is trying to become the third half of our brains, that means we can expect things to go a lot smoother for everyone. Everyone who’s trying to do honest business online may well be able to get things done more effectively in the near future.
You might have never thought about it, but a video can really help your company website a lot. From the most basic presentational slideshows to meet-and-greet clips, they tell people that you really want them to get a lot of use out of coming to your site. That’s because it’s a level of interaction beyond just having them read what you’ve written. That’s not meant as a dig at blogs, guys; it’s just a simple matter of reminding them that there’s a real human being on the other side of the web page – kind of like all the customer service people you’ll meet when you stop in at a business.
There are lots of ways that this can be done, too. There are some videos that run automatically, cycling to the start again once they reach the end, and these need to be simpler videos so that they don’t turn people off for simply making the site too busy. It’s good to have a more complicated video that people can choose to start or stop, too, because that increases the level of interaction with your site that’s going on. The ironic part is that the video with more complex content can actually be the easier one to make, because it can be the sort of thing hosted on sites like YouTube, while the simpler graphics one will pretty much need to be integrated into the programming of your site.
Whether you decide to use just one or both kinds of video for your website, it’s important to understand the differences in what they do for you and in how they need to be treated. If you’ve got something where the CEO of your company greets people and gives them the proverbial ten cent tour, you need to make sure that it isn’t going to be forced on people who don’t really want it. That would make them dislike your site, and your company by extension. If you get everything right, though, you can help to encourage people to do business with you – and you can actually improve your site’s ranking on search engines.
Of course, it’s important to remember that you don’t want any videos connected to your site to be to long. If they take more than about five minutes or so, you run the risk of people losing interest and moving on to something else – possibly leaving your site as a result. You need to be concise and interesting, and you need to make sure that your video reflects well on your site. That isn’t going to be an easy task without either boring or overwhelming viewers, but it can be done. When you succeed, you’ll be one step closer to making your site the first place that people go for absolutely everything you offer.
By now you’ve noticed how much people are starting to value to new “Cloud” approach to the Internet. It really is more advanced than the basic per-server way that everything’s been done so far. But, you might not know that the hardware used on all computers is evolving to, because that advance is coming from a sector you might have overlooked: gaming.
Everyone knows that one day, we’re going to have something that looks like the computer systems in the old Jetsons TV series, but thanks to the Xbox Kinect and a bunch of people tinkering with it on their own time, we’re actually a step closer to the day when your whole room is your computer interface. With further innovation, the technology behind the Kinect could soon replace both keyboard and mouse as the way we control our computers.
As soon as that’s combined with the new Cloud technology, we’ll be able to just turn on our monitor-televisions and control everything with a wave of our hands. It’ll be so amazingly easy to access everything we want that the way we’re surfing the web now (admittedly impressive) will seem like the crude bumbling of technological cavemen.
Of course, falling back on classic geek humor lines, it’s also possible that we’re creating our own doom here. The Cloud works byhaving computers share their resources with each other, essentially turning them into a larger hive computer. Many sci-fi stories have relied on the premise that something like this leads to computers becoming self-aware and deciding that they should get rid of humanity. If that happens, we’re giving an ideal set of eyes to something that ultimately wants to kill us.
In the meantime, we move forward, advancing ourselves toward a brighter futurewhere our lives will be a little easier and our days will be filled with easier access to the information we need. It may well be that our computing and cloud surfing will be a lot safer than browsing the Internet has ever been. Just make sure that you know how to deal with giant killer robots along the way.