* Posts by Alistair Dabbs

995 posts • joined 19 May 2009

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Bombs Huawei... Smartphone exploded in my daughter's pocket, seriously burning her, claims dad in lawsuit

Alistair Dabbs

Explosion in my pocket

I’ve experienced an explosion in my pocket. I also own a Huawei smartphone. The two are not related.

How many Reg columnists does it take to turn off a lightbulb?

Alistair Dabbs

Re: 80's Cyber-something

Bubblegum Crisis... I have all those on DVD in the attic. I know this because I wrote the sleeve notes for Manga Entertainment for that particular set repackaged in the mid-Noughties.

What happens when security devices are insecure? Choose the nuclear option

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Hmmm. I'm not getting the images just placeholders and titles, so I can't see...

Right-click and choose Show Images? Disable Hide Images or whatever in your ad blocker?

Why are there never free power sockets when my Y-fronts need charging?

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Clothing generated electricity

I like to imagine there exists a "lost" photo of Nikola Tesla striding across carpet tiles while reaching towards a metal door knob as sparks explode spectacularly around his fingertips, his face contorted and his mouth expressing "...UUUUCK!!!"

Not so smart after all: A techie's tale of toilet noise horror

Alistair Dabbs

Toilets, health trackers, sexual innuendo

Isn't this one of my columns?

Return of the audio format wars and other money-making scams

Alistair Dabbs

Tracks nearest the centre sound worst

There's a Radio 4 series of music documentaries on BBC Sounds podcast now, one of which retold the history of the 12in single. A vinyl mastering engineer explains how the audio quality on a gramophone record worsens as the groove nears the centre of the disc, which is why most 12in singles never bothered to use the full surface space available but left lots of empty unetched plastic near the label. It also explains why the last track on either side of an album always sounds muffled and a bit crap.

Alistair Dabbs

Re: What?

The point of the article is to trick you into posting a comment.

How I got horizontal with a gimp and untangled his cables

Alistair Dabbs

Re: GIMP is hard to master

OK I'm going to let you into a trade secret here: it's all in the adverbs. And I sympathise: Mme D also risks being rounded up into an internment camp on 1 April.

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Pictures or it didn't.......

Not cycling shorts. Full length leggings. For winter.

Using WhatsApp for your business comms? It's either that or reinstall Lotus Notes

Alistair Dabbs

PC internal speaker

This was 1992, remember. Some of us also worked on Macs (QuarkXPress was Mac-only at the time) and we used ResEdit to change the Lotus Notes notification sound to explosions, Terminator movie audio clips, etc.

Data hackers are like toilet ninjas. This is not a clean crime, you know

Alistair Dabbs

Re: But...

>> Alistair seems to have been getting his inspiration from somewhere in his recent articles

I'll have you know I write about toilets every other week.

CES flicks the off switch on massager award… and causes a buzz

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Geordie?

It's a story that makes early reference to a remote control feminine personal massager. The photo is of an open-mouthed woman using a smartphone in bed. Do I need to explain further? Good job I didn't use the photo of the cat...

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Nudist restaurants

>>

Isn't the point that nobody really wants to get undressed to eat somewhere like Paris which on the whole is cold and rainy?

>>

I suspect it was an indoor restaurant rather than nudist streetfood. Now *there's* a concept for Shoreditch.

My 2019 resolution? Not to buy any of THIS rubbish

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Any computer game after 1994...

It's a question of semantics. You call it a foolish dismissal of post-1994 video games. I call it "initiating UGC".

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Road rash

You're talking about investments. I'm talking about currencies. I'd argue that instability is bad for both. You may have earned 7x your initial investment. Someone else may have list two-tbirds of theirs. It's a conman's dream.

Racing at the speed of light, Sage superhero bursts through the door...

Alistair Dabbs

Let's split

I worked with a guy who turned up late one morning because he had to go shopping for trousers, having split the ones he was wearing during the commute. Half-asleep and trying to look cool, he had been keeping his hands in his pockets as he took a seat on the London Underground. Unfortunately it was a seat with armrests.

Could you speak up a bit? I didn't catch your password

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Backdoor man - pedantry alert

Explained in Since I've Been Lovin' You.

Corel – yeah, as in CorelDraw – looks in its Xmas stocking and discovers... Parallels

Alistair Dabbs

Oh no!

Corel *used* to be famous for CorelDraw, then it became notorious for turning everything it purchased into bloatware, complete with day-long installations that included millions of irrelevant utilities and other such digital litter that you didn’t ask for. Parallels already nags me to extend licences for add-ons that it inserted secretly and I never knew were running, and I expect this is going to get much, much worse.

The Palm Palm: The Derringer of smartphones

Alistair Dabbs

Oh dear

Sorry, Andrew, but this product looks like such an utter first-world pile of steaming fad.

Expired cert... Really? #O2down meltdown shows we should fear bungles and bugs more than hackers

Alistair Dabbs

No Plan B

I keep banging on about this to customers and get ignored every time. For printed newspapers, there is a retainer contract with a backup printer in case the normal presses catch fire, break down, go on strike etc. For their app editions, there's bugger all: when the tech falls over, that's it. I think the problem is that having a Plan B is extremely unfashionable at the moment, in business as in politics.

Oh, I wish it could be Black Friday every day-aayyy, when the wallets start jingling but it's still a week till we're paiii-iid

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Scottish passport

And Tunnock’s Caramel Wafers.

Alistair Dabbs

Re: @ Dabbsy

I’m not sure how I feel about “nationality”. I was born and brought up as an Anglo-Scot and even though I suppose I’m a bit of a Francophile, I’d only be pretending if I acquired a French passport. It’s a bit like those annoying men and women you meet from time to time who evidently benefited from a comfortable middle-class upbringing but pretend to be working-class heroes.

Where to implant my employee microchip? I have the ideal location

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Sounds like someone

Hence the Soft Cell video at the bottom of my column.

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Implanting chips in employees

>> you could get it built in to a ring

In the hand is painful enough, thank you.

My hoard of obsolete hardware might be useful… one day

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Vinyl

>> If you ever do get round to ditching your 1970's vinyl

Never. In my final year as a student (1985-6) I had to sell half my record collection in order to buy food. The remainder must not be touched, by anyone, ever. Which is funny because I don't own a record player.

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Guilty!

LapLink, bloody hell. Memories. Not good ones.

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Iomega Click of Death

>> Your 300dpi TIFF for print was not going to fit on a floppy, it would take you a day to send it over the 56k modem or ISDN line

A freelance programmer I was working with in the 1990s sent me 10 CDRs by post along with a note asserting, with calculations, that Royal Mail was demonstrably faster than ISDN.

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Thank you !!!

>> I must confess that I'm not a huge fan of your column but I always read it.

I think I've spotted what you're doing wrong here.

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Surely no one needs any of that Firewire gear any more?

What if it breaks? Better keep TWO of everything.

Nikola Tesla's greatest challenge: He could measure electricity but not stupidity

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Noted scientists

OK there’s some synchronicity here. My visit to Belgrade was for an IEEE meeting and now you’re all talking about Maxwell... for whom the UK & Ireland Section of IEEE installed a double history milestone plaque nearly 10 years ago. One is at Castle Douglas, the other at King’s College London. If you’re interested, here are the details and location maps: https://ethw.org/Milestones:Maxwell's_Equations,_1860-1871

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Aggh, it burns!

All museum websites outside the UK and US are like this.

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Anti-intellectual?

>> Michael Gove saying "we've had enough of experts"

To be fair, he was specifically referring to political pollsters when he said this. For once in his miserable existence, he was right about something.

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Nice to Have almost Seen You

It was so good, I wished I could have stayed another week or more.

Alistair Dabbs

Re: OMD

No, not “Tesla Girls”. Because it was a shit song.

Sorry friends, I'm afraid I just can't quite afford the Bitcoin to stop that vid from leaking everywhere

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Racist?

>> Shouldn't your editor have worried that before the column was published?

He did, and as a result the Father Ted clip I'd included was cut. You know the one, where he's doing a coolie impersonation for Dougal, only to notice that some Chinese people are watching him through the window, appalled. Ted then has to spend the rest of the episode trying to convince everyone he's not racist.

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Obvious fake news

I beg to differ. I can sing along to Every Day is Exactly the Same.

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Racist?

>> You seem to be making fun of a Chinaman. That is not cool dude.

I believe that's what the problem was. I hadn't intended to make fun of the scammers for having Chinese ethnicity. For all I know it could be Russians claiming to be Chinese. BTW I thought "Chinaman" was an outmoded term with Empire-drenched connotations, so I avoid using it. Maybe I am mistaken about this too.

Alistair Dabbs

Racist?

My editor is worried that this week's column is a bit racist. This wasn't my intention. Is it racist? Let me know.

Take my advice: The only safe ID is a fake ID

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Whenever I got to Starbucks...

Once when I was visiting a Costa the barista was a man called Jesus. How I wish I'd taken a photo of the till display: "You are being served by Jesus."

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Silly first name.

So-called gaelic spellings = affectation. I have no problem with that but recognise it for what it is: play-acting at being ethnic. It's no different than spelling your name in emoji. As for pronunciation, who cares? If Americans say Stooart, all the better! My in-laws address me as Aleess-tear. I pronounce my own name as Allister.

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Silly first name.

All spellings of Alistair are gaelic: the name is gaelic for Alexander. Hence my Starbucks name is now Alex, which every barista can spell flawlessly. It still amazes me that Aleister Crowley chose the name deliberately to create an air of mystique. His first name was Edward.

I want to buy a coffee with an app – how hard can it be?

Alistair Dabbs

Re: The best solution seems to be Starbucks

I tried the Starbucks order-ahead facility once. I duly chose a drink, picked a cafe from their location list, and ordered. When I arrived later that morning, the cafe was shut. It took another few days and lots of emails to get my money back. Never again.

How an augmented reality tourist guide tried to break my balls

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Knot

I grappled with that fucking thing until my fingernails tore off. It wouldn’t budge.

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Palais des Papes

Try the new Roman archaeological museum in Nîmes. Some very impressive tech in there, applied intelligently and very effectively IMHO.

What if tech moguls brewed real ale?

This post has been deleted by a moderator

No, seriously, why are you holding your phone like that?

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Slow

to realise this isn't a news story but a weekly humour column that's been running for years.

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Back in the day..

Topic = Bill Oddie's last hurrah before turning into a grump.

Automated payment machines do NOT work the same all over the world – as I found out

Alistair Dabbs

Re: English?

We experienced almost the opposite in Andorra once. Shop assistants kept turning their noses up whenever Mme D spoke to them in French, so she tried Spanish, and even Catalan, to no avail. It was only when I spoke up in English that they fell over themselves to serve us. They must assume all French and Spaniards are local cheapskates on a weekend outing but someone speaking in English must be a tourist with cash to spend.

In defence of online ads: The 'net ain't free and you ain't paying

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Computer Life

Yes, I was CD editor at the time and sysop for the CLIFE Compuserve forum. The former was well-paid but a legal nightmare. The latter was barely paid but enormously fun.

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Computer Life

Was the Doom issue the one where we put a video on the CD of one of our writers running around the office at night, filmed from a first-person viewpoint?

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