* Posts by Alistair Dabbs

1090 posts • joined 19 May 2009

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Tinfoil hat brigade switches brand allegiance to bog paper

Alistair Dabbs

Re: you'd still struggle to get through a couple of rolls

I can only assume that water and soap in France are heavily taxed or in short supply.

Everyday toiletries are about double the price in France. A £1 supermarket bottle of cheapo shower gel costs almost €3 here. No idea why.

Alistair Dabbs

Re: you'd still struggle to get through a couple of rolls

You're clearly not a vegetarian...

I am a vegetarian. Toilet rolls are less of a problem than my frequent onslaught on the ozone layer.

Alistair Dabbs

Re: you'd still struggle to get through a couple of rolls

Back in France, there's no shortage of toilet rolls on the store shelves. Maybe everyone is stocking up on bidets instead.

Like a Virgin, hacked for the very first time... UK broadband ISP spills 900,000 punters' records into wrong hands from insecure database

Alistair Dabbs

Re: We take our responsibility to protect your personal information seriously.

"seriously", "top priority" etc...

I bet you Virgin Media's office bins get emptied every day. This means, by definition, they take customer security less seriously than emptying a wastebasket.

We regret to inform you there are severe delays on the token ring due to IT nerds blasting each other to bloody chunks

Alistair Dabbs

Space Invaders on every terminal in Bradford

When I was a nipper in the late 70s, my school had a remote terminal connected to a mainframe in town, supposedly to allow us to... well, I don't know really since all our programming lessons made use of Commodore PETs in another classroom. I never got the chance to see what this terminal did because we were banned after some bright 6th former loaded Space Invaders onto it for a bit of mid-morning playtime. The story goes that businesses around Bradford sharing the same MF were bemused to see Space Invaders on-screen instead of their management accounts and warehouse stock reports, apparently playing by itself. To this day I have no idea how that was possible.

Death and taxis: Windows has had enough of clinging to a cab rooftop in the London rain

Alistair Dabbs

A pedant writes

Licensed taxi cabs. Or is this restricted to those painted black?

Sure, check through my background records… but why are you looking at my record collection?

Alistair Dabbs

Re: I'll now be humming it for weeks.

Up voted for Thribbing Gristle reference.

Alistair Dabbs

Re: "you can no longer laugh at Dance of the Vampires" ?

It's a film made by and starring an alleged, on-the-run child rapist.

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Human League

Blind revenge on a blameless victim.

Alistair Dabbs

Re: I suppose they'd raise an eyebrow or two ...

"The Birdie Song" by The Tweets.

This reminds me of an anecdote from one of the two guys in Black Lace. He said that they were offered the Birdie Song, to which they could add their own English lyrics, but they turned it down because, obviously, it was so bloody awful. Sure enough, it then became a massively successful hit across Europe, with a different band in each country doing their own version in local language lyrics; only in the UK was it released as an instrumental.

Black Lace were so pissed off with themselves for missing out on making an easy fortune from such an audio turd, they wrote Agadoo. Prior to this, the band was known for weak pop-folk songs. After Agadoo, they went full retard and did very well out of it.

Alistair Dabbs

Re: credit rating

I intended "credit rating" to be understood in both literal and allusiory meanings for charge cards and social media respectively. Hope this is clearer now.

Alistair Dabbs

Re: And if you don't do social media?

You're right, of course, but I treat social media presence in the same way as an AmEx card. That is, you don't need one, or even need to use it, but simply having one in your name does wonders for your credit rating.

'Don't tell anyone but I have a secret.' There, that's my security sorted

Alistair Dabbs

Re: App

One report states it was "Instagram Messenger" which is ludicrous so I ignored that.

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Enlightened society

A political philosopher told Libération he thought it was because Griveaux deliberately focused his campaign on his brilliant domestic personality - family man, wonderful dad to his children, etc - rather than on LREM's unpopular policies such as stealing pensions off nurses. Take away party policy *and* the family man thing, and he had nothing left. He was standing against two strong women as well.

Can AI-enhanced virtual sports presenters do the job? It's a big ask

Alistair Dabbs

why Ossian Shine has a green face

It’s the facial map.

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Infrared? Infra-red? Luxury.

I’ve seen woodcuts of this.

Alistair Dabbs

Re: To be fair...

Genuine question on geothinging: if you're halfway home and remember that you left something really important at the office and have to go back for it, does the smart heating system switch off again? Like a car that locks itself when you walk away from it?

Hear, hear: The first to invent idiot-cancelling headphones gets my cash

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Not a lot of people know this ..

I've often wondered about the way traffic announcers on the radio blame some traffic jams on "drivers slowing down to look at the accident".

(1) Is the idea that, as soon as I see flashing police and fire brigade warning lights looming ahead through the fog and a mix of orange cones and broken glass spread across the motorway, I should keep rattling along at the same speed?

(2) If the cars in front of me have slowed down, should I bomb past them via the hard shoulder or central reservation, maintaining a level 70mph, so as to avoid the risk of looking at what might have caused them to decelerate?

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Not a lot of people know this ..

This is a Good Omens reference and I claim my €5.

Will Asimov fix my doorbell? There should be a law about this

Alistair Dabbs

>> European Rubber Duck Pool

It's a lake.

Clunk, whirr, buzz, whine. Shared office space can be a riot and sounds like one too

Alistair Dabbs

Creaks

>> I can live with rattles that I know, but get worried about new, unknown creaks.

Are we still talking about cars or have we moved on to personal health?

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Companies in France

Ah yes, the cul-de-sac.

Alan Turing’s OBE medal, PhD cert, other missing items found in super-fan’s Colorado home by agents, says US govt

Alistair Dabbs

Mrs Turing

I guess it's only normal that Turing, let alone details of his life and sexuality, is not very well-known outside Blighty, so claiming to be his daughter was a reasonable gamble. I wonder how far she might have pushed it by claiming to be Alan Turing's wife.

Help! I'm trapped on Schrodinger's runaway train! Or am I..?

Alistair Dabbs

Re: The accessible room

I had to change rooms after a couple of days as the heating system was insufficient to warm all that space. So I turned it on full, whereupon it made a sound like inserting a bookmark into an electric fan and began blasting out chilled air like an Eskimo's aircon. I'm now in a diddy little cubicle and warm as toast.

Alistair Dabbs

Re: just going to add

Also, if you see me in a queue, join the other one. Even if it's twice as long, you'll overtake me soon enough.

Alistair Dabbs

"covering your life with stale web cookies"

My contact lenses were blurring a bit when I read that and I wondered why I should want to cover my wife with stale web cookies. I mean, fresh cookies are so much better for covering one's partner in such circumstances.

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Your big mistake was to not download OUIGO app as well

"French trains are always on strike"

Well, some part or another of the train system will be on strike during the course of a year, just like in the UK, but a general strike is rare.

Flying taxis? That'll be AFTER you've launched light sabres and anti-gravity skateboards

Alistair Dabbs

Re: What we need are

The Futurama tube reminds me of Dildano’s escape chutes in Barbarella.

Alistair Dabbs

Re: "Lightsaber"

Lightsaber = someone who lightsabes.

Alistair Dabbs

I'm going to stick with the Sabre Lite version.

We live so fast I can't even finish this sent...

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Pantone Classic Blue

I can calibrate your display and give you some advice about changing all your office lighting so that you can see what Pantone Classic Blue looks like. Unfortunately, this is the kind of thing I do for a living.

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Now you know what 2020 is going to look like

I stopped buying crisps when I left school so perhaps someone here can enlighten me: do they still sell packets of unflavoured crisps that come with a little sachet of salt that you can sprinkle into the packet and shake it up?

Greetings from the future where it's all pole-dancing robots and Pokemon passports

Alistair Dabbs

Re: The Future is Now...

I'm guessing it's the Tenacious D video.

Alistair Dabbs

Re: But the drones!

I did drones last week.

A sprinkling of Star Wars and a dash of Jedi equals a slightly underbaked Rise Of Skywalker

Alistair Dabbs

Thoroughly enjoyed it, then went for a pee afterwards

It’s what I call the Dabbsy Official Seal of Content Approval (a DOSCA): halfway through a movie you want to visit the men’s room but don’t because you’d rather put up with another 75 minutes of discomfort than miss two minutes of on-screen hokum. I thought this movie was great fun. Lots of explosions and shouting so that you don’t get bored with the corny dialogue and absence of acting. I was even a bit sad when big-nose got his.

How do you ascertain user acceptability if you keep killing off the users?

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Hooray!

Thanks. Should be here again for NYD.

Why can't passport biometrics see through my cunning disguise?

Alistair Dabbs

Habitual glasses wearer

I wear glasses when I'm not wearing contact lenses. I'm likely to wear contacts for daytime travel but I will have taken them out by the evening or for a long-haul flight. So if my passport photo showed me wearing glasses and I wasn't currently wearing any during the border checks, I'd have the same problem. After some thought, I decided it would be simpler to remove my specs if necessary than have to hunt for a pair in my baggage to put them on. I also considered the unpleasant scenario of being killed during international travel and the challenge of identifying my body until someone found a pair of glasses to shove on my dead face.

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Can't you hear me knocking? But I installed a smart knocker

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Brilliant

Yes, I made it all up. I'm not even married.

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Well that was a waste...

I like in a modest terraced house. There is no easy access to the rear (unless you include "by helicopter" as easy).

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Automatic cat flaps are all the rubbish...

I had a chip-activated catflap at my previous home and it worked well enough. My cat didn't like it because the flap door was heavy with magnets in it and he sometimes got his tail pinched. So he would sit at the French back door and miaow every 10 seconds.

Here are some deadhead jobs any chatbot could take over right now

Alistair Dabbs

Re: heating engineer, plumber

My heating is electric but if you know a plumber who could replace a couple of the aircon units, give me a shout.

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Your list

>> Next you'll be claiming that the chefs at McDonalds aren't really chefs.

And you know that nice Dr Dre? Well...

Bet you can't guess what I'm wearing, or where I'm wearing it

Alistair Dabbs

Re: So, Adobe publishes your personal details and that is not sensitive data ?

It was a database left unprotected for a time, which Adobe is downplaying as unimportant. There's an Adobe blog post about it in which Adobe bullshits about "transparency" but the post is so well hidden that I can no longer find it.

I discovered the world's last video rental kiosk and it would make a great spaceship

Alistair Dabbs

Re: A brilliant start of the week-end !

Actually, I did write a bit of social commentary stuff but the Reg sub-editors chose (correctly) to cut it because it was neither amusing nor interesting. Without such quality control every week, my column would be unreadable.

Alistair Dabbs

>> Where is this thing?

Here:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/43.623555,+3.899037/@43.6234803,3.8990655,21z/data=!3m1!1e3

Alistair Dabbs

Re: ArtJl - old fires

Just to confirm, they are LEDs but bright enough to send you blind. One drawback of using an old bar heater as a lamp shade is that they don’t provide any shade.

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Lost For words

« Depths of rural France »  indeed! Harrumph. I am such a townie, I’d be one of those twerps who’d be complaining about being woken up by the cock’s crow and asking the church to turn down the volume on their bells.

Not a death spiral, I'm trapped in a closed loop of customer experience

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Signed documents

>> you can't scribble a digital signature on the PDF you've just filled

I wrote about this a while ago but Adobe itself once rejected one of their NDA forms that I'd digitally signed and sent back to them. They insisted that for legal reasons, I had to print the PDF, complete it with a black pen, sign it and fax it back to them.

Linky revisited: How the evil French smart meter escaped Hell to taunt me

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Guest column

>> ...serving behind the counter of La Poste

Ah non, lui, c'était un connard.

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