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Stealing Windows credentials using Google Chrome

Malwarebytes - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 14:00

Security researcher Bosko Stankovic recently published an article explaining how an attacker could use Chrome, the SMB file sharing protocol, and Windows Explorer Shell Command File to steal victims credentials.

The basic elements Chrome

Similar attacks have been demonstrated using Internet Explorer and Edge, but being able to do this with a (very popular) third party browser increases the chances of this being used in the wild by a lot. Chrome uses a technique called MIME-sniffing for files with a text or text-like content and downloads files that contain a non-printable character. It downloads these files to the default download folder as specified in the Advanced Settings section of the Chrome Settings.

SMB protocol

This file sharing protocol recently gained a lot of fame by being exploited to spread the WanaCrypt ransomware worm. This protocol is what Windows uses to share files, printers, serial ports, and communicate this information between computers. By intention clients make SMB requests and servers make the resources available after successful authentication. But as it turns out, this feature can be (ab)used for a lot more.

SCF files

Windows Explorer Shell Command File are basically shortcuts with a run command. A very noteworthy feature is that this extension is invisible even if you have your extensions set to show.

So you will have to take a really close look at a file that has a double extension like example.txt.scf to see the difference with an actual txt file.

 

Another thing that makes SCF files dangerous is that they are triggered as soon as the folder they are in is opened. Windows will send a request for the resource the very moment the file is showing in Windows explorer.

The possible attack

The attacker plants an SCF file containing a non-printable character on a website that he knows his victim(s) frequents (watering hole attack). Or if the threat actor is after a bigger audience he can rig a malvertising campaign or use social media.

Chrome users will get the SCF file downloaded to their default downloads folder and the next time they want to look at or move a file from that folder, the SCF file will be triggered as soon as the downloads folder is opened in Windows Explorer.

As explained, SCF files can be configured to contact a server with a request for resources (i.e. a file). There are no restrictions so this can be a remote server under control by the attacker. In order to make the resource request, it will need to send an authentication request via SMB, which can be captured on the server. The request would include the victims’ username, his domain, and the NTLMv2 password hash. This information can be extremely useful for an attacker who wants to expand his foothold on a network.

The consequences

Once the attacker has the hashed password it depends on the strength of the hash for how long it takes to find out the password. This can vary from mere seconds to a few days. In targeted attacks, you can be sure the username and hash will be checked against lists published after breaches to see whether a password has been re-used and can be matched with the hash even faster.

If the Windows 8/10 user is using Microsoft Authentication (MSA) to use Microsoft services like Office 365, OneDrive, Skype, and many others, the impact on the victims can be even bigger.

Mitigation

You probably heard this before this week, but if you don’t need SMB, disable it. This is the only part of the attack chain the end-user can easily manipulate by executing a simple Powershell command. Other options are:

  • To always use the “Save as… ” option when you are knowingly downloading something, so you’d never have to open the default downloads folder.
  • Alter the file association for SCF files, which you would have to do in the registry. Changing the default value under the key HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.scf “ txtfile” makes the files visible and opens it in notepad.

But disabling SMB is more likely to be successful and it helps protect you against other malware like the WannaCry ransom worm and the Adylkuzz cryptocurrency miner.

Summary

This article explains how Chrome users are at risk of spilling their Microsoft Authentication credentials by simply visiting the wrong site.

 

Pieter Arntz

The post Stealing Windows credentials using Google Chrome appeared first on Malwarebytes Labs.

Categories: Techie Feeds

May Loot Crate Unboxing

First Comics News - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 13:34

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

WINNEBAGO GRAVEYARD IS ONE WILD TRIP

First Comics News - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 04:00

WINNEBAGO GRAVEYARD—created by Steve Niles and Alison Sampson and first announced at Image Expo—promises to take readers on spine-tingling road-trip this June. Image Comics is pleased to reveal a selection of preview pages from WINNEBAGO GRAVEYARD #1, set to hit stores this June.

In WINNEBAGO GRAVEYARD #1, an American family traveling on vacation finds themselves stranded in a small town with a sinister secret. This horror-adventure story about a family stuck on a road trip gone terribly awry is filled with creepy fairgrounds, nefarious characters, seedy conspiracies, towns full of satanists, and a teenager. What else could possibly go wrong?

WINNEBAGO GRAVEYARD draws heavily on 1970s horror films, pulling inspiration from America’s dark heart wherever possible.

WINNEBAGO GRAVEYARD #1 Cover A by Sampson (Diamond Code APR170723) and Cover B by Mingjue Helen Chen (Diamond Code APR170724) hit stores on Wednesday, June 14th. The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, May 22nd.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

“DOTA 2” HEADING TO PRINT

First Comics News - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 01:04

Dark Horse and Valve Collect Popular Web Comics into Gorgeous Hardcover

MILWAUKIE, Ore., (May 22, 2017)—Dark Horse and Valve are excited to present a collection of comics that dive deep into the characters and history of Dota 2, the most played game on Steam. The Dota 2: The Comic Collection assembles Valve’s Dota 2 web comics in print for the first time ever. This chronicle is the perfect fit for Dota 2 fans everywhere! The publication of Dota 2: The Comic Collection follows Dark Horse and Valve’s 2011 release of Valve Presents: The Sacrifice and Other Steam-Powered Stories.

Dota 2 is a free-to-play multiplayer online video game developed and released by Valve Corporation in 2013. Dota is a competitive game of action and strategy, played both professionally and casually by millions of passionate fans worldwide. Players pick from a pool of over a hundred heroes, forming two teams of five players. Radiant heroes then battle their Dire counterparts to control a gorgeous fantasy landscape, waging campaigns of cunning, stealth, and outright warfare.

Dota 2: The Comic Collection goes on sale August 1, 2017. Preorder your copy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and TFAW. Visit DarkHorse.com for more information.

Dota © 2017 Valve Corporation. All rights reserved.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Hellboy Hell Water Cinnamon Whiskey is Now On Sale

First Comics News - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 00:54

Introducing a Small Batch, 66.6 Proof Whiskey,

based on Mike Mignola’s Legendary Hellboy Comic Book Character

May 22, 2017) The first ever whiskey based on Mike Mignola’s legendary Hellboy comic book character was announced officially today by Dark Horse Comics, XXX Distillery LLC and Prestige Imports LLC. Hellboy Hell Water Cinnamon Whiskey is a craft distilled, small batch, naturally flavored cinnamon whiskey retailing for $19.99 for a 750ml bottle. The 66.6 proof Hellboy Hell Water Cinnamon Whiskey  is available nationally and can be ordered at www.hellboyhellwater.com.

“It’s appropriate that Hellboy Hell Water Cinnamon Whiskey was made in the Smokey Mountains,” said Dark Horse Comics Publisher Mike Richardson. “At 66.6 proof, Hellboy Hell Water packs a punch worthy of Mike Mignola’s iconic creation.”

Hellboy Hell Water is micro-distilled, hand bottled and styled in the old traditional process of making Southern Corn Whiskey. Old fashioned corn whiskey uses only the finest corn, natural ingredients, spring water, glassware and craftsmanship.

“We’re very excited about the success and potential of our hand crafted whiskeys, especially that of Hellboy Hell Water Cinnamon Whiskey,” said Teddy Jones, XXX Distillery, Sevierville, Tennessee. “At XXX Distillery of Tennessee, we take great pains to ensure the quality and taste of our products are second to none. If you put Hellboy Hell Water Cinnamon Whiskey up against any other, there’s no comparison. It’s the finest cinnamon whiskey on the market, period.”

Since Mike Mignola’s Hellboy first hit the stands in 1994, it has become a cultural sensation, racking up a dozen Eisner Awards and inspiring numerous spinoffs, from a novel line, to video games, to animated films and live action feature films. Hellboy has also inspired a draft ale, a wine and now Hellboy Hell Water Cinnamon Whiskey.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Riverdale: The Complete First Season coming August 15 to Blu-ray & DVD

First Comics News - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 00:50
From The Studio That Brought You The Vampire Diaries and Gossip Girl Comes The CW’s Top New Series

 

RIVERDALE:  THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON

 

Own It On DVD August 15, 2017

 

Riverdale coming to Blu-rayTM via Warner Archive Collection

 

 

BURBANK, CA (May 22, 2017) – Unlock the mystery and dive into small town secrets as Warner Bros. Home Entertainment releases Riverdale: The Complete First Season on DVD on August 15, 2017. Premiering with 2.4 million viewers, The CW’s top new show across all major demos* is created by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Glee, Big Love), produced by Greg Berlanti (The Flash, Supergirl, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Blindspot), and stars KJ Apa (Shortland Street), Lili Reinhart (The Kings of Summer), Camila Mendes (Randy Doe), Cole Sprouse (The Suite Life of Zack and Cody), Marisol Nichols (Big Momma’s House 2), Madelaine Petsch (The Curse of Sleeping Beauty), Ashleigh Murray (Deidra & Laney Rob a Train), Mädchen Amick (Twin Peaks), and Luke Perry (Beverly Hills 90210). Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is also an executive producer, along with Sarah Schechter (Arrow, Blindspot, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow), and Jon Goldwater (Publisher/CEO, Archie Comics). The release contains all 13 gripping episodes from the first season, and includes new bonus content, and never-before-seen deleted scenes, and a gag reel. Riverdale: The Complete First Season is priced to own at $39.99 SRP. Riverdale: The Complete First Season is also available to own on Digital HD via purchase from digital retailers.

 

*Source: Nielsen National TV View Live + 7 Day Ratings, excluding repeats, specials; 16-17 Season To-Date = 9/19/16-1/29/17

 

Riverdale: The Complete First Season will also be available on Blu-rayTM courtesy of Warner Archive Collection. The Blu-rayTM release includes all bonus features on the DVD and is also arriving August 15, 2017. Warner Archive Blu-ray releases are found at Amazon.com and all online retailers.

 

Based on the characters from Archie Comics, Riverdale gives a subversive take on small-town life. Things aren’t always what you expect in Riverdale. As a new school year begins, the town is reeling from the tragic death of high school golden boy Jason Blossom. The summer’s events made all-American teen Archie Andrews realize that he wants to pursue a career in music, but his fractured friendship with Jughead Jones, and Josie McCoy’s focus on her own band leaves Archie without a mentor. Meanwhile, girl-next-door Betty Cooper is not ready to reveal her true feelings for Archie, and new student, Veronica Lodge, has an undeniable spark with Betty’s crush. And then there’s Cheryl Blossom, Riverdale’s queen bee, who stirs up trouble amongst Archie, Betty and Veronica. But is Cheryl hiding something about the mysterious death of her twin brother, Jason? Riverdale may look like a quiet, sleepy town, but there’s so much more to the story.

 

Riverdale is full of nostalgic Archie elements, but this all-new series brings viewers mystery, seduction, and corruption; and would probably make the original gang blush,” said Rosemary Markson, WBHE Senior Vice President, Television Marketing. “We’re thrilled to offer fans this dark, subversive pleasure – along with exclusive DVD and Blu-ray bonus content – just in time for the second season premiere on The CW.”

MARKETING SUPPORT

The release of Riverdale: The Complete First Season will be supported by a national media and publicity campaign.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES

  • Riverdale: 2016 Comic-Con Panel
  • Riverdale: The New Normal
  • Riverdale: The Ultimate Sin
  • I Got You – musical piece
  • These Are Moments I Remember – musical piece
  • Gag Reel
  • Deleted Scenes

 

13 ONE-HOUR EPISODES


  1. Chapter One: “The River’s Edge”
  2. Chapter Two: “A Touch of Evil”
  3. Chapter Three: “Body Double”
  4. Chapter Four: “The Last Picture Show”
  5. Chapter Five: “Heart of Darkness”
  6. Chapter Six: “Faster, Pussycats! Kill! Kill!”
  7. Chapter Seven: “In a Lonely Place”
  8. Chapter Eight: “The Outsiders”
  9. Chapter Nine: “La Grande Illusion”
  10. Chapter Ten: “The Lost Weekend”
  11. Chapter Eleven: “To Riverdale and Back Again”
  12. Chapter Twelve: “Anatomy of a Murder”
  13. Chapter Thirteen: “The Sweet Hereafter”

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

‘Pirates’ to be First Hollywood Feature Film Released in ScreenX in U.S.

First Comics News - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 00:42

“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” Set to Debut in ScreenX Format

 

Announcement Marks the First Disney Film to be Converted into the Immersive Format

 

Hollywood, CA (May 22, 2017) – ScreenX, the world’s first multi-projection system that provides a 270-degree panoramic film viewing experience within a theatre setting, announced today that the fifth installment of Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise will be available in the immersive format. “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” is the first Disney film to be converted into the format, and will be available in seven countries. In addition to opening in the ScreenX format, the film will also be premiering in CJ 4DPLEX’s alternative immersive format, 4DX. The film is set to open on 373 4DX screens in 48 countries around the world.

 

“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” will be available at a total of 83 pre-existing ScreenX locations throughout the world. The pre-existing locations include Korea, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Turkey, Indonesia and the United States.

 

“ScreenX is an exciting format that we’ve been keeping our eyes on for a while now. We’re looking forward to providing moviegoers a chance to view our film in the format and are confident that the immersive 270-degree viewing experience will be a big success,” said Jeffrey Forman, SVP, The Walt Disney Studios.

 

“Seeing our film span three entire walls of an auditorium, and to be able to have the film extend beyond the screen has been exciting. We look forward to showcasing the end product and giving fans the opportunity to experience it in ScreenX,” said Jerry Bruckheimer, Producer, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.”

“We’re extremely thrilled to be working with Disney and to be able to premiere the newest installment of the famous franchise in our ScreenX format. We truly believe the 270-degree panoramic ‘screen’ offers a beautifully immersive viewing experience,” said Byung Hwan Choi, CEO of CJ 4DPLEX.

http://www.firstcomicsnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/e14de9f3f08f0ab9689cc4a860d5a909d276ef31.mp4

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

SOULFIRE #3 preview

First Comics News - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 00:28
SOULFIRE #3 (vol 6)

JT Krul – Story / Giuseppe Cafaro – Art / Wes Hartman – Colors

 

Aspen’s premiere action-adventure fantasy epic returns in this all new jumping-on point for new readers!

 

For Malikai, this is the only existence he has known – one where Rainier is his savior and protector. But, is that the truth or just another fiction? What lies at the heart of Rainier and his agenda? Long held secrets of the Dark Lord’s past are finally revealed!

 

Nearly fifteen of the best-selling series created by superstar artist, the late Michael Turner, have culminated in this brand-new SOULFIRE adventure by Aspen’s talented creative team! Please join writer JT Krul, artist Giuseppe Cafaro, and colorist Wes Hartman as they bring readers back to the magic, myth, and everything you loved about SOULFIRE!

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Wonder Woman Day Giveaway

Cryptozoic - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 00:27

Celebrate the upcoming Wonder Woman Day with our Giveaway! Enter for your chance to win some amazing Wonder Woman prizes including original art and limited edition vinyl figures! See all of the prizes here... 

   
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Chase Poulton talks about PIZZA TREE

First Comics News - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 00:22

Ryan Onorato, Mark and Chase Poulton have a new hardcover original graphic novel coming out from Arcana Studios in their new partnership with ArtistaComics. Their project Pizza Tree is an original concept from the mind of creator Chase Poulton. Chase was nice enough to answer our questions and catch our readers up on all things Pizza Tree.

First Comics News: Is this your first published comic?

Chase Poulton: Yes, but I did a pin-up for A Cat Named Haiku.

1st: What do you love about comics?

Chase: I love stories. I would make my Dad read me stories from comic books or make up his own silly ones for me.

1st: Who are the main characters in Pizza Tree?

Chase: Chrissy, Mark and Chase.

1st: Are these characters you have based on your life experiences?

Chase: Yes, they are my Mom, Dad and me!

1st: Is Pizza Tree an actual Tree that grows pizza?

Chase: Yes. He grew from a slice of pepperoni that was planted.

1st: What is your favorite kind of pizza?

Chase: Cheese.

1st: The tree looks like it is growing pepperoni pizza, does it only grow pepperoni?

Chase: Pepperoni or cheese. Definitely no mushrooms!

1st: Why does the tree look so angry?

Chase: He’s evil. He’s part of a curse by the Pineapple God, P’thulhu, who turns your sweet dreams into nightmares.

1st: What is the main conflict in the story?

Chase: Chase becomes obsessed with the Pizza Tree and his Dad needs to find a way to destroy it.

1st: How did you and Ryan Onorato start working together?

Chase: My Dad was looking for an artist and met him through a friend.

1st: What does Ryan bring to the project?

Chase: Great art!

1st: How old are you?

Chase: 6, but I will be 7 on May 27th.

1st: Rob Liefeld was 16 when he broke into comics, Jim Shooter was 13 when he broke in. At 6 years old are you the youngest comic creator in history?

Chase: We started Pizza Tree when I was 4 and finished it when I was 6. I thought I was the youngest, but my Dad says the boy who writes Axe Cop might have been younger.

1st: At age 6, what grade are you in?

Chase: First Grade.

1st: When did you learn to read?

Chase: Last year in Kindergarten.

1st: How do you write a comic at age 6?

Chase: With help from my Dad.

1st: So was this your plot and then your Dad added dialogue, or did he just adapt your story into comic form?

Chase: I came up with the idea when we were out having pizza one night. I told my Dad pizza came from planting a slice of pepperoni and a pizza tree would grow from it. He thought it was such a funny idea that we should make it into a comic book. I would give him ideas on what should happen and he would write it out.

1st: What do your friends at school think about you writing your own comic?

Chase: They think I’m cool!

1st: Is your teacher excited about the Pizza Tree?

Chase: Yes! I brought the book in and read it to my class!

1st: What is the coolest thing about Pizza Tree?

Chase: Writing it with my Dad… and imaging to eat pizza whenever you wanted!

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

MIRACULOUS #12 preview

First Comics News - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 00:06


MIRACULOUS #12
Writer(s): Zag Entertainment
Artist Name(s): Zag Entertainment
Cover Artist(s): Zag Entertainment
Arranged and Adapted by: Cheryl Black and Nicole D’Andria

Fred Haprele was supposed to play the part of a mime at the premiere of a show, but his stand-in manages to have Fred miss it. Betrayed, Fred gets akumatized and turns into Le Mime, and he’s determined to prevent the performance from happening.

64 pgs./ E / FC $4.99

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Pix Gallery – Doctor Who – The Pyramid At The End Of The World (Possible Spoilers)

Blogtor Who - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 23:55

The BBC have a release a series of stills from next week’s episode of Doctor Who series 10. Episode 7, ‘The Pyramid At The End Of The World’ written by Peter Harness and Steven Moffat, and directed by Daniel Nettheim (Broadchurch) premieres on May 27th on BBC One at 7:45pm and BBC America at 9/8c. […]

The post Pix Gallery – Doctor Who – The Pyramid At The End Of The World (Possible Spoilers) appeared first on Blogtor Who.

Categories: Doctor Who Feeds

Deal of the Day - Gloamhold Campaign Guide (System Neutral)

Tenkar's Tavern - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 22:26

Today's Deal of the Day is the Gloamhold Campaign Guide from Raging Swan Press.

Its a setting. Its a mega dungeon. Its a mega dungeon setting.

Sixty pages. Normally $5.95 in PDF, Gloamhold is currently on sale for $1.66 in PDF. Its worth $1.66 for inspiration alone.


Glowering amid dark rumours and terrible stories of desperate adventure, death, betrayal and glimmering treasures squat the unutterably ancient halls of Gloamhold. This crumbling, benighted, haunted dungeon complex of unknown, but undeniably vast, extent is buried deep within the grim and brooding spray-drenched headland of the Mottled Spire. It is a place of legends, madness and death. Within this towering, wave-lashed shard of limestone lies the labyrinthine passageways and chambers of Gloamhold’s outer reaches and, beyond them, the benighted precincts and canals of the legend-shrouded Twilight City.I love the idea that it was written with Old School Gaming in mind (its system neutral)

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Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

FIRST LOOK: Victoria Series 2 – The Christening Scene

Blogtor Who - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 21:14

Hit period drama Victoria is set to return in Autumn 2017, starring Jenna Coleman as Queen Victoria alongside Tom Hughes as her husband Prince Albert . This first look clip shows the Christening of their first daughter, baby “Vicky”. Victoria Series 2 begins six weeks after the end of Series 1, establishing Victoria’s new life […]

The post FIRST LOOK: Victoria Series 2 – The Christening Scene appeared first on Blogtor Who.

Categories: Doctor Who Feeds

It’s still a thing

Yarn Harlot - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 19:39

A few weeks ago, it was PWA‘s 30th anniversary. This is charity I hold near and dear to my heart, as you’ve probably gathered.  I sit on the steering committee, and I’ve ridden my bike from Toronto to Montreal several years in a row to support them. The Bike Rally (It’s actually The Friends for Life Bike Rally, but we shorten it) is the sustaining fundraiser for this charity – the money we raise provides just about half of their funding each year, which is a rather amazing thing to consider, when you think about the fact that it’s a bunch of regular people getting it done, just because they care.  To celebrate the charity, the Bike Rally organized something we called 30 for 30, and we went and rode on stationary bikes (in shifts) for thirty hours straight, down at City Hall.  It wasn’t meant as a fundraiser – just an opportunity to raise awareness for what we do, and what the charity does – which is provide real, tangible, practical help for people living with HIV/AIDS.  (This help varies – from helping people with money, to providing an essentials market (that’s their dignity based food bank) to helping access medication and services, to haircuts and help with their children when they’re sick, or need to go to the doctor. They also help train medical students, and reduce stigma in the community. It’s important stuff.)

So we all went down, a bunch of us – and we each did a few hours on bikes, talking to people as they passed by, and suggesting that they consider riding with us – or finding out more about PWA.  Now, Toronto’s a big, busy diverse city – and if you’re going to hang out in front of City Hall for 30 straight hours, you’re going to meet all sorts of people – and we did. There were people interested in riding, people to cheer us on, City Councillors looking to know more. and even a few people who will end up accessing services through PWA. I want to talk about one particular moment though – one person I met.

I was spinning on the bike (well, and knitting, let’s be honest here) when a gentleman approached me, and asked what we were doing. I told him, giving him a pretty standard set of lines, and at some point he stopped me and he looked at me, and he said “Wait – People with AIDS?”

Now, there is still a lot of stigma out there. People still have all sorts of crazy ideas about HIV/AIDS, and some of them are pretty negative. A lot of people still think it’s a virus that only gay men get, or that you’ve got to be pretty stupid to get it, or that it’s a punishment, or… well. You get the idea. I braced myself, ready to counter whatever he came up with, or, I thought I was ready, but what he said just about knocked me off my bike.

“Hold on,” he said, and paused, looking sort of shocked… “Are there still people with AIDS around? I mean… ” and here he paused again, and looked around like he expected them to be descending upon him… “Is that still a thing?”

I got a hold of myself quickly, and I explained nicely that it was indeed,  still a thing, and that there were still people with AIDS around, and gave him a couple of facts, and off he went, as surprised as he could be. I rode my bike for another few hours, thinking about that, and wondering how any right minded person could feel the way that this guy did, and then I came home and I had a conversation with a friend about how wild and crazy that was. How could he feel that way? How was that possible?  My friend is a thoughtful person, and very clever and good with people and they were far, far more forgiving and understanding than I am, and they made some really good points in the guys defence.

My friend noted (correctly) that this is a cause that’s been downgraded. There are excellent drugs now, and people with HIV/AIDS are no longer receiving a death sentence with their diagnosis – provided they have access to that care.  It still claims lives, probably more than most people think, but for the most part, with good management, people live a long time. That makes this all seem less important, my friend stressed. It no longer seems like a crisis, and nobody understands how we got here, what’s still going on, and what it takes to make it this way.

They were right. Years ago, this was an easy cause to get attention for. The situation demanded attention – the depth of the crisis couldn’t be ignored, it was everywhere. The response was terrific. Drugs were developed, systems of support put in place, education programs begun, a lot of people worked hard to reduce ignorance and stigma around it, and organizations like PWA were at the forefront. In many ways, this all worked, and did a lot of good. That’s how we got where we are now – which is a place where an ordinary person could think “AIDS? Is that still a thing?”

(Ken and me yesterday, completing about 60km. In the everlasting rain.)

The problem is this – now it doesn’t seem important, it all seems like maybe it’s coming together and it’s going go be okay (as long as we don’t look at Africa or other places where people don’t have access to this stuff, because things definitely aren’t okay there) and now the natural response is to cut funding, quit supporting these programs and charities, and dust off our hands and say “Thank goodness we got that under control” without stopping to think that these programs we’re all backing away from? They’re the things keeping this okay. They’re the things saving lives. They’re the thin barrier standing between the way things are now and the way things used to be. The virus has not changed. It is as dangerous as ever – only the forces allied against it hold our gains.

We see this everywhere. Funding cuts, cuts to education, drops in fundraising… even the Bike Rally was smaller and raised less money last year – and yeah – that resulted in cuts in personnel and programs at the agency. There’s less help now. Less access to the things that save lives now, and fewer people trying to make things better. That would mean we’re going to go backwards, and the crisis is still there – it just has a very good bandaid on it, and that bandaid is threatened.

This is heartbreaking for me.  I know several people who are HIV+, and I bet you do too, whether you know it or not. (For lots of reasons, we still live in a world where there’s so much stigma around this that a very many people choose not to disclose their status.) I don’t like it- I don’t like what this trend means for their health and lifetime of well-being, and I don’t like what it says about our culture, and so.. this is all a long way around saying that Team Knit (despite 4/5 of us being rather desperately middle-aged) is getting on their bikes again this year, fundraising again this year, and that we would really, really like your help making the magic happen again, if it’s possible for you to do it.

Team Knit is:

Me

Ken

Cameron

Pato

Jen

That means that in 9 weeks and 5 days (yikes) we’ll get on our bikes, and ride about 660km from Toronto to Montreal. (For my American friends, that’s about 410 miles.) We’ll give up our weekends and some of our weekdays between now and then to train, we’ll dedicate hours to fundraising, and that’s how a week of holidays will be spent. We’re trying to make the world a place we like better, and sturdy up that bandaid.

Our decision to ride our bikes to Montreal helps nobody, and makes no difference, not without you – as a matter of fact, you’re the important part.  Once again, I’m going to try and raise a ton of money, and like last year, I have a private and deeply personal crazy-pants goal. To this end, I’m going to do things the same way as last year, because knitters, you were amazing.  We’re going to do Karmic Balancing gifts again. Once a week (or so- maybe a little more or less) between now and the Rally, I’ll choose from amongst the people who’ve helped and redirect a knitterly (or spinnerly) gift from someone else who wants to help.*

It’s going to be all about the Karma – just like we try to make it every year. We’re trying to change lives here, make things better for some people, and there’s so much more to that than money, so, here’s the thing. If you donate to anyone on our little family team then please send me an email letting me know you’ve done so. Make the subject line “I helped” and send it to stephanieATyarnharlotDOTca. (Note the .ca it’s a Canada thing.) Include your name, address, and whether or not you spin.  (For the love of all things woolly, please use the subject line. It makes your email go to a specific folder and you have no idea what a difference that makes to my sanity.) You don’t need to say what you gave, or include proof. I know you’ll do your best, whatever that is, and I know you wouldn’t lie.

Now, we know not everyone has money to help with – so we’re taking all kinds of help.  If you can figure out some other way to do that, that counts.  Maybe you can tell a friend. Maybe you can post about it to social media. Maybe you can forward the email to people in your family who will give…  There’s lots and lots of ways to help, and if you can figure out a way? Send that email, letting me know you did. No money needed. (Of course, money is always good too, and even small gifts make a big difference.)

Knitters, lets go big. Let’s fill up the world with amazing, and when everyone at PWA asks who these people are, like they always do?  Ken, Pato, Cameron, Jen and I will smile and say what we always do. “They’re knitters. We keep telling you that they’re awesome.”

*If you want to contribute a gift, I’m trying to make it easy -It’s a ton of work, and I don’t mind doing it, but I have a better shot at getting it all done if you do this: Take a picture of your gift. Email me with the subject line “Karmic Balancing” with the details, picture and a link, if you want me to use one. When one of the helpers is chosen for a gift, I’ll email you the address, and you can ship it right to them. (It’s not a bad idea to let me know if you have shipping restrictions –  I’ll keep track.) I’ll try to get through them all, though it can be overwhelming. Thank you!

Now, please find attached a completely gratuitous baby picture, because sometimes when I’m riding my bike it helps to think of someone I’m trying to change the world for, and it can’t hurt you either.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Some Commentary On ASE1: Anomalous Subsurface Environment By Patrick Wetmore & Free OSR Adventure Resources For Your Old School Campaigns

Swords & Stitchery - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 17:18
 ASE1: Anomalous Subsurface Environment By Patrick Wetmore  is one of the most seldom mentioned mega dungeons on the OSR market. This  is a great mix of the traditional old school fantasy & gonzo science fantasy adventure elements packaged around a great campaign world setting all for the Labyrinth Lord rpg system.  "Put those dark elves back in their box and get your gonzo on! Riches, glory,Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Sir John Hurt: 1940 – 2017

BBC Doctor Who - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 17:17
We’re sad to report the death of the legendary Sir John Hurt who so brilliantly played the War Doctor. 2017-01-28T10:53:07+00:00 2017-01-28T10:53:07+00:00
Categories: Doctor Who Feeds

Kickstarter - Endless RPG: A Random Dungeon Generator for Pen & Paper

Tenkar's Tavern - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 16:09


What can I say about my initial impressions of Endless RPG?

- When the creator says he needs to purchase art assets, he isn't kidding.

- Endless RPG isn't an RPG but a random dungeon generator for 5E and Pathfinder

- It will be iOS only

- Amazing instructions on "Solo Play":
- Even better instructions on "Group Play":
Certainly not meant for me nor my play style nor what I would consider an RPG. Well, it isn't an RPG.

Goal is moderate ($300) and current backing is $250 with 42 days to fund.

There obviously is a market for this, no matter how small. I think with better sample art it would have funded and then some by now.

Interesting that the app will probably be a buck when it releases, but backing for a buck is simply a tip. Backing for 10 bucks gets you a free copy, so you are paying a premium, obviously not a discount.

One thing I'll never understand - limiting backer numbers for an app or other virtual product.


Maximum backing is $550 plus tips. Or wait, is that to keep it under the Tax Man's $600s and you must report the income threshold...
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

GET READY TO RUN!

First Comics News - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 15:54

Coming 2017

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Last Chance to Order “Home with Holly!”OOPSIE $30!

First Comics News - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 15:53
Missed this Fun Exclusive book?! Did You Miss this Kickstarter Incentive?!

Our NEW comic book sized Edition of the Jumbo size- LONG sold out-
Jim Balent, Filled these 32 pages with personal sketches of Witches, sexy gals & his life with Holly and perhaps what will happen beyond life!
This Sketchbook is Exclusive to our Studio- you will not find it anywhere but through us.
Available in an Exclusive Regular Edition: $30

And in the “Shimmering Blue Ocean Pearl” Edition: Heavy Pearlized Coverstock limited to 10: $65

both editions come signed, bagged & boarded. Don’t miss the chance for this Studio Only project!
Also Available

ORDER NOW!

Only 10 Pearl Editions available

ships late July or earlier- orders close June 1st.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

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