Vegard Skjefstad

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Kickstarter: The Long Overdue

In the world of Kickstarter, you win some and you lose some. And you wait some.

I’m not pledging to support Kickstarter campaigns at the same rate as I once did. But I still throw a bit of money at the odd project. So far in 2019, I’ve supported two video games, Lunark and Space Haven, and a comic, the fifth issue of Dunce. The Dunce pledge is a bit out of character for me, my modus operandi is computer game pledges. But the autobiographic Dunce comic is created by a Norwegian artist, Jens K. Styve, and I’m all for supporting local talent. That the strip is quite entertaining also helps, of course. When I’m writing this, there is still a couple of weeks left of the Dunce campaign. So why don’t you go pledge yourself?

But I digress, as I often do. This post is not supposed to be about the campaigns I’ve supported recently. It’s about two projects I supported a long time ago.

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The Darkside Detective

Join The Darkside Detective, Francis McQueen, as he investigates the bizarre, the supernatural, and those missing cat cases that keep getting dropped on his desk.

The Darkside Detective is a point-and-click adventure game featuring detective Francis McQueen, and his sidekick, Officer Dooley. They are Twin Lakes PD’s underfunded Darkside Division, in charge of investigating all the strange things happening in the city. When transdimensional doorways open up, flesh-hungry tentacles rise out of the toilets, or gremlins are on the loose, the Darkside Division is not far away.

The Darkside Detective features 9 cases. The game was originally shipped with 6, and an additional 3 bonus cases have been added later – for free. The bonus cases are unlocked when you’ve solved the first 6 cases. They can also be unlocked if you do a little detective work yourself in the game’s menus. The cases are short and sweet, and each one will only take you an extended lunch break to finish. About 4 hours in, I’ve closed six of the nine cases. That’s pretty good value for money for the asking price of $12.99.

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“The Running Man” by Stephen King

Would you risk your own life to make sure your daughter survives? Here’s my The Running Man review.

I read The Running Man well over two years ago, so it’s about time I sat down and wrote a proper review. It was the third book I read in my ongoing A Book A Month effort, and I gave it a handsome 4 out of 5 score back then.

The Running Man is one of well-known author Stephen King‘s first novels. Originally published in 1982 under the pseudonym Richard Bachman, the novel is set in America in 2025. That was the far away future for King at the time, but it’s the very near future for us now. Fortunately, the world is (probably) in better shape in 2025 than King imagined it.

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How To Stop WordPress SPAM

Is your WordPress website being flooded with SPAM? Here how to stop WordPress SPAM.

WordPress now powers a third of the web, so if you’re running a website, there’s a good chance your using WordPress. Since it’s such a popular platform, it’s also a huge bulls eye for spammers looking to promote their bullshit.

There are two types of WordPress SPAM; automated and manual. Automated SPAM is created by computer programs, or bots, that try to post SPAM to every WordPress site they can find. Manual SPAM is created by people who enter SPAM manually on WordPress sites.

CAPTCHA

A common way to stop automated SPAM bots is to use CAPTCHA. This is a type of challenge-response test used to determine whether or not a user is human. The first CAPTCHA implementations were very basic. You just had to recognize a few numbers and letters in a picture, and enter them in a form to prove you were not a pesky SPAM bot. This was a trivial task for humans, but very hard for computers.

But the spammers soon caught up with the early CAPTCHA technology, and taught their bots to solve the simple CAPTCHAs. In the inevitable game of cat-and-mouse, the CAPTCHAs then had to become more advanced to stop the bots. The result was that, more often than not, a CAPTCHA was too hard for humans to solve as well. This made the technology a less desirable way to stop SPAM since they also stopped legitimate users.

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Is WebAuthn the Key to Passwordless Authentication?

Can WebAuthn succeed where Universal 2nd Factor failed?

Back in October, 2015, I wrote about the FIDO Alliance, their U2F standard, and the YubiKey implementation by Yubico. The goal of U2F is was to describe a method for universal two factor authentication (2FA). Today, 2FA is usually done either by text messages, or by using a mobile application that provides one-time codes. U2F is aimed more at physical tokens, with the YubiKey the most well-known implementation.

I thought the idea of a physical token was brilliant so I shelled out for a YubiKey Neo. Since 2015, I’ve used it for anything practical exactly zero (0) times1.

While using a physical token like the YubiKey for 2FA is a killer concept, U2F support was only implemented in Chrome, and only supported by a tiny handful of sites. Because of this, U2F never saw any wide spread adaption, and the YubiKey on my key chain continues to be dead weight. It’s not terribly heavy, but dead weight nonetheless.

Now, a new authentication standard, WebAuthn, is seeing the light of day. And it might succeed where U2F failed.

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