The webcomics blog about webcomics

T-Minus Four Days

NEWW2 (Electric Boogaloo) is nearly upon us! Glee! Also, you have approximately 43.5 hours as of this writing to pre-order your badge, after which it’s first-come, first-serve.

  • Ryan Pequin: nascent moustache guy. Mr Pequin is growing out the facial hair for charity during the month of November (although not reekin’ of tainted CO-LOG-NUM). Which just kind of begs the question — wouldn’t a November-based moustachery effort call for The Zappa? I’m telling you nice peoples, The Zappa always gets overlooked, even when moustaches get the love (photo courtesy David Willis).
  • Spread far and wide via twittering over Halloween weekend: His Face All Red by Emily Carroll. Moody, spooky, gorgeously illustrated, and subject to multiple interpretations. This is incredibly good work and if you’re the one person that statistically hasn’t seen it yet, let me add my voice to the chorus that you really ought to.
  • The possibly-annual-again Friends of Lulu Awards were held over the weekend at the Long Beach Comic Con, and the Lulu of the Year award (“For the creator, book or other entity whose work best exemplifies Friends of Lulu’s mission statement”) went to Kate Beaton. Since Ms Beaton is ridiculously talented, and is becoming more and more widely recognized with each passing day, this seems only meet and proper. Everybody be happy for Kate!
  • If you’ve been over to the (recently rebuilt) site of Christopher Wright’s long-running (and recently back from hiatus) Help Desk, you may have noticed a series of posts regarding some technical aspects of running independent websites. Something about “encrypted cookies” and “signed certificates” and my head hurts, ouch (that last part was me, not Wright). Fortunately, he broke the issue into short sentences in an email:

    So here’s the deal. A lot of us who run our own sites don’t really have a really technical background or any deep knowledge of the finer points in securing a website. Unfortunately, the plugin I’m talking about in my post potentially hurts us and our readers more than your average web administrator because we don’t know these things, and it’s something we’re going to have to start thinking about.

    Larger sites are probably more at risk because they have users who are more likely to register accounts, but at the same time they probably have more resources (and tech-savvy assistance) to work around the problem. The rest of us either have to take the time to learn how to adapt, or to get used to driving down a back road at 150mph in a car without seatbelts that can swerve off the road without warning.

    The plugin that Wright mentioned is for Firefox, and it’s called Firesheep; in a nutshell, it allows somebody to piggyback onto the logged-in sessions of others (primarily over WiFi) by sniffing cookies out of the air. There’s a very good primer on what it all means over at El Reg, and the aforementioned series of posts (which really won’t hurt your head) detail Wright’s attempts to secure his site against the threat that Firesheep represents. The last one is pretty close to a step-by-step guide, so make sure you read it carefully even if you just skim the others.

    Bottom line (and Wright is to be commended for both recognizing the threat, and wanting to spread the word in the webcomics community), if you run your own site and have accounts, you need to re-think your processes. If you don’t run your own site and have accounts, you need to get the people that run it for you to re-think your processes. Do it now before you get compromised.

Yes, running your own site has it’s advantages and disadvantages. If you aren’t savvy about such things, finding a user-friendly ISP is useful, but hard to come by. Just as good is if you can find someone you trust who is computer savvy to admin for you.

See you at NEWW.

[…] my haste to congratulate Kate Beaton on her Lulu Award yesterday, I completely overlooked Diana Nock’s win of the Leah Adezio Award for Best Kid-Friendly Work […]

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