BlakJak's blog

I've been dreaming about setting up a dash-cam for ages, as I get to see this sorta crap daily. Motorists, seriously, wtf?


Skype is a useful little tool. I'm sure it needs no introduction.
And for those who don't use Internet Explorer, this article probably means little...

I use Firefox as my primary browser on all platforms (Windows, Linux) that I use on a daily basis.
However I do still have Internet Explorer on all my Microsoft systems - it's shipped by default, it's not worth the drama of uninstallation, and it still has its place on the shelf.
For example, at work I use IE for a lot of my internal-use stuff as it's a) Microsoft driven and b) a useful segregation between external and internal content.
(I also have Google Chrome, as a third option, as I seriously avoid using IE to browse anything on the Internet-at-large).

Anycase. Within IE when you install Skype, you by default get the plugin which does clever things like turning phone-numbers (or things it thinks are phone numbers) into clickable links that'll encourage you to use Skype to dial them. Or even (as I discovered today), linking a name that appears on Sharepoint with a name thatappears in Skype, incase you wish to directly instant message the person you're reading about!

Fed up, I googled.
And found This very useful article.

Ultimately the 'right' way to turn off the plugin for me (IE8 on Windows 7) was to navigate to Tools -> Manage Add Ons, Find 'Skype Technologies SA' and select 'Skype Add-on for IE', and disable this. It then disabled a related plugin, 'Skype Add-on for Internet Explorer'.

Restarted IE and bang, back to normal browsing. Thank God for that.'s been having some oddball reachability issues from some parts of the NZ Internet for the last week or so.
Having sent details to my hosting provider they've been able to simulate the problem and escalate with their ISP; seems that Citylink (who're involved at some layer) made some changes in their building infrastructure recently and this coincides with the window of the fault, and a Layer 2 issue appears to have shown itself...

I'm just waiting to hear that it's finally resolved but hopefully there should be no more dramas!

Quoting from the Fire Service Act 1975 before it gets amended:

Section 33: Volunteer fire police


(1) With the consent of the senior constable in the district, any Chief Fire Officer, in accordance with the policy of the Commission, may establish a volunteer fire police unit and enrol any person as a member thereof and may in like manner disestablish such a unit or for just cause remove any person from the roll.

(2) Every person enrolled under this section shall be sworn in before a Justice of the Peace, and during the period of his service as a member of the fire police and while so acting shall be deemed to be, and shall have all the power and authority and responsibility of, a constable.

(3) In the performance of their duties at any fire or other incident to which a fire brigade is called, volunteer fire police shall carry out their duties under the direction of the person in charge of the fire brigade.

Compare: 1972 No 119 s 44

Section 33(1): amended, on 1 October 2008, pursuant to section 116(a)(v) of the Policing Act 2008 (2008 No 72).

(emphasis added)

The NZFS have circulated an internal policy that as the Policing Act apparently makes the Fire Service Act invalid.

Yet the Policing Act includes phrases like

(Section 49) (1) A person commits an offence who, without reasonable excuse, carries on an activity under an operating name that includes the word "“Police”" or the words "“New Zealand Police”", in a manner likely to lead a person to believe that the activity is endorsed or authorised by the Police or any part of the Police.

(Emphasis Added)

You've also got Section 116:

Terms relating to Police in other enactments


Unless the context otherwise requires,—

(a) a reference in an enactment other than this Act to any of the following terms must be read as a reference to a constable:

MSN/Windows Live have Changed Stuff; their SSL Cert as supplied in Pidgin (up to and including 2.7.5 which is current) no longer works.

The instructions found at work well. They also apply to Windows; in my case Windows 7.

Export the SSL cert you can export from to C:\Users\[your user name]\AppData\Roaming\.purple\certificates\x509\tls_peers and replace the old file with the new one, then quit and restart pidgin.

I assume that in versions >2.7.5 they'll have updated the SSL Cert. No idea of Ubuntu et al will supply the update via their distribution networks.'s server is experiencing intermittant loss of communications with parts of the Internet - this is being investigated between me and my hosting provider at the moment. Sorry for the inconvenience.


Yes, this is a little circular. But they're a neat idea for those with 'smart' devices capable of decoding them. :-)

The family decided to pay a visit to the Royal New Zealand Navy open day at Devonport yesterday.

Plenty of photos - Laura and I got to walk through on HMNZS Te Kaha (frigate) and HMNZS Canterbury (Landing Ship).

Check out the photos - and then there was this video of a damage control demonstration while we waited to board....

This is worth a look. Rare to see a drop of rationality in this world of polarizing, extremist views...

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