Scam Alert!

There is a new scam going around that we have been the target of personally, so I can vouch for its authenticity.

You will get a phone call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft. They will tell you that through their monitoring they have discovered a virus on your computer. If you ask “which one” they will say “all of them!”

I haven’t followed the phone call any further than this to find out exactly what they are up to, but it is either one of two things: they either want you to download some software which will most likely make your computer more infected than it wasn’t before (read that carefully) or they are going to try to get you to sign up for a virus protection service and get you to give them your credit card number. Then it’s bye bye credit score!

Microsoft is not in the business of calling individual households to tell them about computer problems, nor do they monitor your computer for viruses from their home office.

I tell them that I use an Apple computer. That usually gets them to hang up real quick. My wife says that if they call her at work, she’s going to try to get them to tell her which computer since she works in a facility with probably over 1000 of them.

At any rate, it’s a complete scam. Don’t fall for it.


Responsive Design

Back when I fist started designing websites, we had it easy. Back then everybody pretty much had 640 pixels wide monitors. You know, the ones the size of a small TV set. Maybe if you had an advanced system you had a 1000 pixels wide monitor, but those were few and far between.

Nowadays web designers are faced with having to design for devices anywhere from 3000 pixels wide monitors all the way down to iPhones which are only 320 pixels wide. And we have to use the same graphics and text and retain at least a minimum of navigation. It can be a daunting task. You can see a website designed for larger monitors on a smaller device, but it will either be scaled down so small that your customers won’t be able to read it, or it will require them to scroll up and down and left and right to see it all. And basically, web users don’t like to scroll if they don’t have to.

Luckily, a few years ago designers took on the attitude of divorcing the content of the website from the design using CSS, a process called semantic design. And further advances in CSS known as CSS3 have allowed us to create a process called responsive design.

Responsive design is a process by which your website will render correctly on any size screen; all the way from wide desktop monitors down to the smallest cell phone screen while retaining the structural integrity of your site. It uses all of the same files – graphic and text – and automatically readjusts itself to the proper dimensions.

Want to see it in action? Our own site here is a responsive design. Try re-sizing your browser and you’ll see how the elements of the site adapt themselves to the size of the browser.

Why is this important? The alternative is trying to create a different website style for any size browser. Do you want to spend four to five times as much for a single website? And when you have to update the site, you’ll have to update it four or five times over. With responsive design, it’s update once and you’re done.

However the most important reason is this: it’s estimated that by the year 2014, more than half of all web traffic will be on mobile devices. Some forecasters seeing it happening even sooner.

Is your website ready for the coming explosion in mobile web traffic? Contact us at Marshmallow Fox and we’ll help make sure your site takes advantage of the new paradigm.