The highlight of this week is that our “returning to work” plans00Yes, they’ve said “returning to work”, not “returning to the office”, as if we haven’t been working for the last 18 months…

have now changed to “maybe March”, which is better than the “maybe September” we had previously. I’m in no rush to start commuting again.

On the authentication front, this week I got vectors of trust (RFC 8485) mostly implemented, after doing a bunch of refactoring and simplification of how we previously handled differing levels of authentication. I just need the other team to confirm that I’m using the right query param, and then I can merge it and we’ll be one step closer to the migration being done.

There’s not much left to go now. There were meetings about the two big outstanding topics (user migration and cookie consent), and we have a path forward for those. I don’t think there are any unknowns remaining, just a series of tasks to complete over the next month. Unless something unexpected comes up, I think we’re in a petty good place.

I’ve also been helping out with a new GOV.UK ITHC (IT Healthcheck; pentest). We have these quarterly, and I helped out with the previous one too. I think there were plans to rotate the responsibility, but that’s not happened yet.


This week I read:

  • Forge of Darkness by Steven Erikson, the first of the Kharkanas Trilogy.

    It’s been really great to get back into some High Fantasy, and to learn more about the origins of the Malazan world. While reading the book I had a lot of difficulty figuring out the geography: it takes place in Kurald Galain, but the lands of the Jaghut are only a few weeks away by horse, and Omtose Phellack is just one city in those lands. But in the main series, Kurald Galain and Omtose Phellack are Elder Warrens, and not so easily connected that you can just walk between the two.

    I think the answer is that the story takes place around the time of the birth of the warrens, and so these ancient places have not yet become the magical realms present in the main series. Towards the end of the book, magic starts to run more rampant, with the opening of the Gate of Darkness (and, in response, other gates), and the beginning of Hood’s crusade against death (which, as we know from the main series, will ultimately end with him as god of death). So I expect the rest of the trilogy to be not just the origin story of the Tiste subraces, but also the origin story of the warrens and the first gods.

RPG Blog

I forgot to mention it here at the time, but earlier this month I posted an article on dice rolls in Traveller.


My oven stopped working this week. On Monday I was cooking something, and suddenly the main breaker cut out, plunging my flat into darkness. I wandered around with a torch, turning everything off, then flipped the breaker and gradually turned everything back on. Nothing seemed obviously broken.

Then on Tuesday I discovered that, while the oven turned on, it didn’t heat up. I didn’t realise on Monday because it was still hot enough to finish cooking my jacket potato. So I got in touch with the letting agency to deal with it.

They were impressively quick, I got a phone call on Wednesday morning, and by the end of the day had arranged for a new oven to be installed on Friday afternoon (because they no longer made spare parts for my old oven).

I guess this is one of the advantages of renting: if something breaks I just need to send an email, I don’t need to actually go out and buy replacement appliances myself. Though, on the other hand, this is the first broken appliance in all my years of renting, so the convenience doesn’t really feel worth the extra cost.

Roleplaying Games