The internet and all of its attendant support structures are still fairly mysterious to the average person. People know how to use the web, but don’t really understand what is going on ‘under the hood’ so to speak. So, when something is either breaking down, or infected or even being upgraded it can cause alarm. The rumours of the FBI shutting down the internet or Euro-hackers infecting your computer (and millions of others) are exagerated.
Yes, there is a virus/malware/bot that has infected computers and servers.
Yes, the FBI is going to shut down some servers.
No, the end of the internet is not upon us.
So, what exactly is going on? Well, in 2007 those dastardly Euro-hackers I mentioned created “DNSChanger” - which is malicious code that targets Windows and Mac operating systems (see, Macs CAN get a virus) with the ultimate goal of changing teh ads you would see when surfing teh web. No identity theft, credit card fraud, or spying on you - but still a crime that six Estonian nationals were arrested for (and their servers/gear seized). So, to be safe, the FBI is shutting down a few servers - not the internet.
Here is an explanation from techland.time.com:
DNS-related Internet activity on infected computers, e.g. web and email, will cease to function. To be clear, your Internet service itself will be unaffected by the change: If your computer is infected with the DNSChanger malware, your Internet router will keep routing and any commands sent by your computer that aren’t DNS-related will still pass. The FBI isn’t shutting off Internet service to impacted machines, it’s just pulling the plug on a stopgap measure designed to bandaid the broken process currently facilitating DNS communication on infected machines.
Read the official FBI bulletin here:
If you want to check if your computer is infected, use the FBI tool here:
There are serious threats out there, and they do require serious measures to resolve… sometimes. But in this case the tech media has really run with a few scary facts and spun it into a Y2K red alert that is really unwarranted. Check your computer, or check it after July 9th if you have any issues. But don’t wipe your PC clean or rush to buy new anti-virus software - the story’s bark is far worse than its bite.
- Chris Elsworthy
Your Brand On The Web
If you’ve ever toured re-sale homes with a realtor you’ll agree with me. When you first walk into a house you know right away whether you’re going to put in an offer based solely on your first impression. Your decision is made pretty much instantaneously.
A web site is very much the same. When a visitor lands on your site for the first time they will take in a lot of information (whether contained in your text or not). They’ll see your logo, the background colours, the fonts on the page, the photographs displayed and how they are displayed - within an instant.
It is the right combination of all of these elements that makes a great website. Your logo is at the top of this totem pole.
If your logo demands attention, is creative, employs a great colour palette and creatively conveys the business you do, it will set the tone for the website.
Surely, like me, you have visited pages where a rookie designer has forced the logo into an image placeholder that isn’t the same size. The result is a disjointed and often fuzzy appearance – this is not to be overlooked, if a customer senses you don’t care about this element of your own site their confidence in you to care about them is diminished.
Conversely, when a great, simple logo is displayed crisply and is allowed to breathe on the canvas, the path to having a great web site is open straight ahead of you - and is yours for the taking.
This leads me to my most important word of advice… let your web site breathe. Negative space is perhaps more important than the space you have filled with content. This will allow the content you are introducing to take center stage and will eliminate competition between your core messages. There is nothing worse than a site that is designed to have every aspect attract attention. Let the most important component naturally be viewed first, non-consciously by the visitor.
Keep your logo visible and use it intelligently throughout the site to re-enforce your brand at every step through your site. The visitor may not know much about your product yet, but at least give them a feeling of comfort and ease when they land on your site and you’ll find they are staying longer and visiting more pages.
All of us have our favorite brands and many of us wear our favorite brands on our sleeve – literally! There is rarely a Saturday that you can’t drive by my house and see me out mowing the lawn in my old AC/DC t-shirt—everyone knows that logo. I wear the shirt because I associate the logo with great music, good times in past and in present, and because I like the band so much I want people to know.
In business, logos and brands are equally important as they are in music, clothing and consumer goods. Your business may not gross like Coca Cola but that doesn’t mean your brand is any less important to your success. The key is presenting a moniker that people will like and associate with your business—however, it must be noted if AC/DC was a terrible band that 4-letter logo would mean nothing. A logo is nothing without some degree of “quality” to back it up. Keep this in mind too, when the Young Brothers started AC/DC nobody knew who they were, not one single person. They built that brand the same way you are building a brand for your business now.
When used as a noun, the word “brand” can refer to a company name, a product name, or a unique identifier such as a logo or trademark.
Before the old wooden split rail fences were used in ranching to keep one rancher’s cattle separate from other cattle, ranch owners “branded” their cattle so they could later identify their herd as being theirs.
This practice later made its way through a number of facets of business and industry including handmade wares, bakes goods, and all of the goods associated with the dawn of the industrialized world. It didn’t take long for high quality products (the cattle and wares) to become identifiable in the minds of consumers by the symbols and marks placed on the goods by the creator or owner. The buying public would actually look for certain marks because they had mentally associated those marks with better beef, higher quality, and a degree of sophistication.
The modern concept of branding grew out of the packaged goods industry and the process of branding has come to include much, much more than just creating a way to identify a product or company. Branding and advertising strategy today is used to create emotional attachment to products and companies. Branding creates a feeling of involvement, a sense of higher quality, and intangible qualities that surround the brand name.
WE ALL KNOW FAMOUS BRANDS – Nike, Mac, Coke etc. A question we often hear: How can I get my business or product to become a part of the list of most identifiable brands in the world? It’s easier than you might think.
Concentrate on your cattle! Your cattle may be logo and web designs (like the work we do) or they may take the form of consulting work, retail goods, or other work. So long as your work is great and people grow to favour the work you do in your field – your “brand” will rise to the top. Now, of course, with a great “symbol” on the end of your branding iron (a great logo!) combined with great work and a great product you’ve laid the ground work to appeal to the consumers sense of emotional attachment. Maybe one day I’ll be wearing a t-shirt with your business’ logo on it while I am out mowing the lawn. I’ll leave that to you.