We believe strongly in client education, especially when it comes to making smart purchasing decisions.  To that end we spend a lot of time writing about various topics within our industires as professional blogs.

Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are two very popular buzzwords right now.  They seem to be appearing everywhere, and are sometimes used interchangeably within various articles.  This brings about some confusion, and the question "are they the same thing"?  To answer this question it's best to take a look at just what is AI and Machine Learning.

With Google recently changing their indexing policy to downgrade websites that do not use encryption (https) we've seen a dramatic increase in domains supporting encryption.  The same can't be said of email.  Email is insecure, which seems to shock many of our clients.  Most messages are sent "in the clear", meaning with no form of encryption.  This opens up the user to having their emails intercepted by third parties, such as hackers, corporations, governments, etc.  While our servers have supported encryption since we first brought them online back in the early 2000's, many email servers still don't.  This is about to change with the Electronic Frontier Foundations (EFF) launching a new program called STARTTLS Everywhere.

Poor infrastructure design is a problem.  One that is further complicated by the very consultants trusted to avoid this very problem.  As we are currently seeing in a recent cyberattack in Atlanta, where they have to set aside more then $2.6 million for the recovery of a ransomware attack.  This attack took down a sizable portion of their infrastructure, and could have been avoided.

A study was released in May 2017 by Aspiring Minds that shows how poor the quality of programming is in India. According to their study only 36% of engineers can write compilable code. Compiling code is the action of taking source code and turning it into a program. Not being able to write compilable code is akin to a construction worker that can’t frame a wall, or a butcher that can’t cut meat. Uncompilable code is useless.

Website security is one of the most important parts of running a website, and also one of the most overlooked. Much of this has to do with the rise of modern Content Management Systems (CMS) which have enabled just about anyone with a minimal skillset to setup and post content to a website. These sites are often unmanaged, meaning security patches and version updates are not installed regularly, if at all. To make things worse, many sites are hosted by companies that have little understanding of good security practices. Companies that choose to forgo the regular updating of the systems that run the CMS.

Sometimes I really love the names security researchers come up with to label a security issue.  Todays fun sounding security vulnerability is called ZipSlip, and the name is surprisingly accurate.  ZipSlip was disclosed by the security firm Snyk and appears to be affecting thousands of projects.  In spite of the fun name, this is a serious vulnerability that could have been avoided.

It has recently come to light that the Drupal Content Management System has another large security vulnerability discovered being dubbed "Dupalgeddon 2".  This is yet another reminder how important it is to choose a Content Management System (CMS) that both fits your companies needs as well as one that is stable and secure.  Additionally it's vital to actively maintain the system, applying updates frequently can help avoid a disastrous situations. 

While Google can be rather secretive about it's ranking methods, they do share tidbits with us from time to time.  These little pieces of information are then dissected by the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) community, compared to other information as well as performance data, and on and on.  All to try to determine both what Google metrics are used for ranking, and what metrics could be used in the future.  It was recently shared that RankBrain is the third most important ranking signal.  But what is RankBrain?