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All items from March 2017

20 Mar 2017 : Rise of the Tomb Raider #
Rise of the Tomb Raider was released for PC over a year ago now, so it's about time I got back on track with my quest to complete all the Tomb Raider games. After scouring caverns, military bases, villages and, well, tombs, for artefacts and challenges, I've finally got there again.
It was a good game as always, not as tight as the originals but enjoyable and kept me searching for treasure. Perhaps the biggest surprise was to find myself chasing chickens through tombs as the ultimate game finale.

Here it is, added to my ongoing list of completed Croft games, previously updated a few years back now.
  • Tomb Raider.
  • Unfinished Business and Shadow of the Cat.
  • Tomb Raider II: Starring Lara Croft.
  • Tomb Raider III: Adventures of Lara Croft.
  • The Golden Mask.
  • Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation.
  • Tomb Raider: The Lost Artefact.
  • Tomb Raider Chronicles.
  • Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness.
  • Tomb Raider Legend.
  • Tomb Raider Anniversary.
  • Tomb Raider Underworld.
  • Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light.
  • Tomb Raider (reboot).
  • Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris.
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider.
And, because chickens don't make for the most visually-stunning sceenshots, here's a spectacular vista from the section in Syria, including obligatory lens flare and carefully undisturbed artefact.

Classic Tomb Raider beauty
10 Mar 2017 : Minor Pico victories #
Late last night (or more correctly this morning) my SailfishOS phone completed its first ever successful authentication with my laptop using Pico over Bluetooth. A minor, but very fulfilling, victory. One step close to making Pico a completely seamless part of my everyday life.

Authentication-wrangling results
4 Mar 2017 : A tale of woe: failing to heed the certificate-pinning warnings #
As I mentioned previously, last month I discovered rather abruptly that Firefox revoked the StartCom root certificate used to sign the TLS certificate on my site. Ouch. To ease the pain, I planned to move over to using Let's Encrypt, a free service that will automatically generate a new certificate for my site every few months. Both StartCom and Let's Encrypt use a similar technique: they verify only that I have control over the apache2 user on my server by demonstrating that I can control the contents of the site. But the pain hurt particularly badly because I'd been using certificate-pinning, which essentially prevents me using any other certificates apart from a small selection that I keep as backups. Let's Encrypt doesn't give you control over the certificates it signs. The result: anyone who visited my site in the last month (of which there are no-doubt countless millions) would be locked out of it. It's the certificate-pinning nightmare everyone warns you about. So I ratcheted the pinning down from a month to 60 seconds and waited for browsers across the world to forget my previously-pinned certificate.
Today, the 30 days finally expired. In theory, my previously pinned certificates are no longer in force and it's safe for me to switch over to Let's Encrypt. And so this is what I've done.
Check for yourself by visiting and hitting the little green padlock that appears in the address bar. Depending on the browser it should state that it's a secure connection, verified by Let' Encrypt.
Does the stark black-and-white page render beautifully? Then great! Does it say the certificate has expired, is invalid, or has been revoked? Well, then I guess I screwed up, so please let me know.
I didn't really learn my lesson though. In my desparate need to get a good score on, I've turned certificate-pinnng back on (thanks Henrik Lilleengen for leading me astray). Nothing could possibly go wrong this time, right?