The webcomics blog about webcomics

Because I Know You’ve Been Wondering

Randall Munroe is not just terribly clever, he’s an absolute genius at explaining complex ideas simply. The Heartbleed bug has been all over the news for the past couple of days and almost nobody — either reporting on it or consuming the reports — really knew how it worked or why it was bad. For the definitive translation from geekspeek into human, I refer you to today’s xkcd.

  • Speaking of computing, it appears that comiXology is getting bought up by Amazon; I don’t really have a dog in this fight in that I don’t buy through comiXology, but I have to wonder about a few things.

    Will Apple still get their cut of comiXology sales, or will Amazon (maker of the Kindle) sunset those contracts in favor of their own file formats and standards? If so, will we see fewer comics being rejected by Apple’s content police? After all, Amazon doesn’t appear to have a problem with smut, no matter how wacky. Most importantly, is it a good thing to go from a dominant player in a niche industry partnering with a (indeed, the) megacorporation to that dominant player in a niche industry being owned by a somewhat-smaller megacorporation while partnering (perhaps temporarily) with the other?

    Answers: Dunno, Very possibly, and Hard to say but I’m reflexively against media consolidation and concentration.

    For anybody that’s been selling through comiXology, your best strategy remains the same it was before yesterday’s announcement: get what you can from providers, but be ready to shift to another channel if you need to. I suspect that Gumroad and Sellfy may be accelerating any strategic plans they had to deal with this sudden shift in the centers of power.

  • Speaking further (probably) of computing but who the heck knows, hotel reservations for SDCC went out yesterday, and a casual inspection of Twitter seems to indicate a lot fewer people getting in than usual. I was tweeting about being done with the process around three minutes after the rodeo opened, and I got my sixth (of six!) choice. I’ve seen reports of people in well under the three-minute mark being told nothing was available.

    For the past three or four years I’ve had no problems getting my first choice, which was a somewhat-smaller, somewhat-off-the-radar, and somewhat-pricey hotel conveniently located in the Gaslamp, even when not so fast on the draw as I was this year. Weirdest of all, my confirmation email tells me:

    You were booked into this hotel because you chose “Book me into any downtown hotel.” when asked what we should do if none of your 6 choices were available.

    … but the hotel I was booked into was one of my six choices.

    That makes me wonder if the choices I made (and the email confirming my request matches my prepared list) actually were the hotels the system looked for. It’s almost behaving like I requested hotels A B C D E F, and the system read my request as B C G M Q T, then just happened to have space at F. I suspect there’s no way to tell, and maybe it’s just some faulty logic on when that You were booked into this hotel because … message got generated. But still — damn peculiar.

  • Speaking furthest of computing, those of you on WordPress, have you noticed that since the latest patch to version 3.8.2, the Quick Drafts feature doesn’t work? Just me?

The Apple charges come from in-app purchases, not a contract. If you buy your comics in an app on an Apple device, Apple gets paaaaaid no matter WHO owns you. I always buy on the site, then open the app to download to get creators more money.

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