* Posts by Alistair Dabbs

860 posts • joined 19 May 2009

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Ten new tech terms I learnt this summer: Do you know them all?

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Spam

Spam is fantastic. Unfortunately for me, I'm now vegetarian.

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Alistair Dabbs

Re: Teledildonics

I watched Big Bang Theory once. It is overrated.

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Alistair Dabbs

>> Spencer Tunick

I could have painted them blue in Photoshop afterwards for a couple of hundred quid. It would have taken me 3 seconds.

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Alistair Dabbs

Re: Fibre

BT ring me on a regular basis, the caller reading from a script, to tell me that their 30Mbit shite is faster than my existing 150Mbit cable service. Even if I run a broadband speed check, while they're still on the call, that reports speeds in excess of 130Mbit, they insist 30Mbit will be faster.

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Alistair Dabbs

Re: "weaved"

Bloody hell, did I write that? The shame.

PS: no one likes a smart arse.

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On the couch with an AI robo-doc asking me personal questions

Alistair Dabbs

Woodhouse Grove

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Dead serious: How to haunt people after you've gone... using your smartphone

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Facebook...

Tell me about it. Facebook's constant nagging about Father's Day made me feel guilty for not taking the train up to Leeds and shoving a greeting card in the stream where I scattered his ashes earlier this year.

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The nuclear launch button won't be pressed by a finger but by a bot

Alistair Dabbs

Embarrassing Bodies

I wrote about this a while ago.

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The revolution will not be televised: How Lucas modernised audio in film

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Can I just say...

Watch it again. Long time ago, then fanfare, then the story so far...

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Life is... pushing all the right buttons on the wrong remote control

Alistair Dabbs

Re: For the older ones

While at Uni, I was given one of those joke foam-rubber bricks as a novelty birthday present. My flatmates discovered that they could switch off the TV by throwing it at the push-button at the front. Unfortunately, they eventually broke the button. It was my TV as well.

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Bye bye MP3: You sucked the life out of music. But vinyl is just as warped

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Jewel cases

I am told that CD jewel cases were designed very specifically to approximate the feel of audio cassette cases because, apparently, "the public loved them". The "jewel" refers to the circular arrangement of little plastic teeth in the middle that are supposed to hold the CD in position but in practice just snap into tiny pieces and end up stuck in the carpet for you to discover later while walking to the toilet barefoot in the middle of the night.

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Alistair Dabbs

My old music never reached CD let alone digital download

This is my problem: a lot of bands I used to like never attained the minimum level of success to be considered worthy of a CD release when CDs came on to the market. So I still have a crap-load of vinyl in my attic that I'd love to listen to but don't have a record player to put them on. And I am NOT tempted by those USB-connected things.

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Alistair Dabbs

Re: On air compression

>> CONSTANT PEAK LEVEL OF VOLUME

This was something else that the Abbey Road crusties were complaining about. All those audio shades of light and dark, quiet passages, etc have been replaced by a single constant level of audio volume throughout. It's not the radio, it's in the recordings now.

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Alistair Dabbs

Re: Shame

>> I'd have thought if anything the patents expiring will mean more devices offering support as I assume that means no licencing costs.

Well, you'd think so. But while manufacturers like it when they don't have to pay licensing fees for patents, they like it even more when they have an excuse to move customers on to a new format and sell us new kit to play it on.

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What augmented reality was created for: An ugly drink with a balloon

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Oh God

Don't worry, it's a cumulative AND rather than an OR. You need to be wearing a check shirt AND sport a squared-off beard AND have pockets stuffed with plenty of spare investor capital. It's otherwise known as the Hipster Perfect Storm.

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Need the toilet? Wanna watch a video ad about erectile dysfunction?

Alistair Dabbs

Re: That first video...

Yes, it's Stuart Copeland. I hoped someone would identify the Curved Air connection.

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Alistair Dabbs

Queue for the video hand dryer

If you have to queue up to use an IoT hand dryer, does that count as a DoS attack? Of course, if they're queueing up in the Ladies at the same time, it could be DDoS.

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(You can't) buy one now! The flying car makes its perennial return

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Calories (or whatever measure of energy expenditure you prefer)

Spin bikes? You go to much posher gyms than I do.

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Switch on your smartphone camera and look how fertile I am

Alistair Dabbs

>> glorified microscope

I think the real work is in the proprietary software that analyses the sample for sperm count and movement.

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Customer satisfaction is our highest priority… OK, maybe second-highest… or third...

Alistair Dabbs

>> Well I read the first half then gave up as I don't give a shit.

What a shame. You missed the oh-so-funny screenshots in the second half. And the video of me going to the toilet.

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Forget robot overlords, humankind will get finished off by IoT

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Already a solution

You will also have stolen a robot. I am told that stolen smartphones are rarely resold intact any more, thieves preferring to have them dissembled before selling on the more valuable reusable components. The same could go for stolen robots.

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Alistair Dabbs

Re: "Car horns symphonise accompanied by" arrrghhh!

"symphonise" is intentional. It's a verb. If I'd written "symphonies", the sentence would lack a main verb and therefore not be a sentence at all.

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Why do GUIs jump around like a demented terrier while starting up? Am I on my own?

Alistair Dabbs

Re: El Reg?

Try https://m.theregister.co.uk/

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The future of Not Reality is a strap-on that talks to my smarting ring

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Take, for example, Illuminated Apparel’s interactive glow t-shirt.

I know what you mean but I wasn't in the mood to run around requesting permission from hundreds of people who might be included in a landscape video.

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Alistair Dabbs

Re: The best stand was...

That's not my bag.

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Palmtop nostalgia is tinny music to my elephantine ears

Alistair Dabbs

Re: $600?

$400 if you pay up-front for the non-existent model. 600 if you wait for a real one without manufacturing snags.

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Alistair Dabbs

Re: When is the last time you decided to use your 7" or less phablet in portrait mode?

>> What means "portrait" and "landscape

These terms derive from photography. Some developers, including Adobe, also use the more sensible" vertical" and "horizontal".

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Alistair Dabbs

Re: Buyer beware

Your Nexus in landscape mode is only horrible because the on-screen keyboard is in the way. Now imagine you kept full-screen graphics, then had a smooth slide-out keyboard of physical keys of a similar size to those on your laptop keyboard but closer together. Lovely.

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I want it hot and wet – preferably with Wi-Fi

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Hoping Ultravox were under drugs..

I was always partial to Young Savage from Ultravox's John Foxx days.

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Alistair Dabbs

Monmouth Coffee

They don't open until 8am. No good to me.

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Alistair Dabbs

Re: Where was this, pray tell?

Rotherhithe.

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Welcome to my world of The Unexplained – yes, you're welcome to it

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Dictionary recommended for this man

Is there a book that tells me what "Upon really don't know" means too?

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Would you like to know why I get a lot of action at night?

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Sorry

I'll be the one sitting next to you, farting repeatedly for three hours with rancid odours. It's a medical thing, though, so that's OK, right? Just like your sniffing.

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2017 is already fail: Let’s try a Chinese reboot

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Chinese New Year

People keep referring to Year of the Rooster here in the UK, despite "rooster" being the American name. So I try to correct everyone by pointing out that it is the Year of the Cock.

"I'm a dragon," I'll say. "Are you a cock?"

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Alistair Dabbs

Re: Dabbsy,

I went off the Time Warp after Tim slagged it off in Spaced for being a naff song to play at a party. Which reminds me, I must drag up a Spaced video for next week's column. For those unfamiliar with Spaced, here's a taster.

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Alistair Dabbs

Re: Can I just mention in passing....

Next thing, you'll be telling me pizzas aren't Italian.

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Alistair Dabbs

Re: We're gonna go back... way back...

I still receive invitations to attend meetings for a project I stopped working on a year ago. They use Outlook.

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Baird is the word: Netflix's grandaddy gets bronze London landmark

Alistair Dabbs

Cite for that

I don't think Planet Earth was showing that week.

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My hole is a private thing – see for yourself

Alistair Dabbs

temporary license to listen

This reminds me of the time when I still had an office in London's trendy Hoxton and the performing rights people rang up aggressively demanding money. They seemed convinced that since it was an office and my employees were working in it, we would by default have a radio blaring out somewhere. I can only imagine that they think magazine publishing companies are run like motor garages, with our editors and salesteam walking around in oil-stained overalls and spanner in hand, while singing along to the latest hits on the radio.

When I told the woman on the phone that we didn't have a radio, she didn't even bother to threaten a surprise inspection visit: she told me outright that I would be fined. I said "go ahead" and put the phone down. Never heard a thing from them again.

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Slim pickings by the Biggest Loser: A year of fitness wearables

Alistair Dabbs

Tom Tom do GPS fitness watches, and are typical of those that cannot desensitise when being worn on the right wrist instead of left.

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You want SaaS? Don't bother, darling, your kind can't afford it

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Ah, the lure of "the cloud"...

Not at all. I can export all data to XLS, CSV and Sage. My provider adds features frequently and has an API that links into other SaaS products from other developers.

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Alistair Dabbs

Re: 'semi-automation using Zapier'

The free version supports a handful of two-step workflows, which is all my local micro-gym needs. But don't tell him I said so.

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Alistair Dabbs

>> I thought you said you were a Tech Journalist?

I can be whatever I want to be. I learnt that off Spongebob Squarepants.

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Customer data security is our highest priori- ha ha ha whatever, suckers

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Blame the (L)user

Gawd, I'm reminded of the weeks of hassle I had at one newspaper company in 2010 simply to persuade someone high up in the IT department to allow me - and only me out of thousands of employees and contractors - access to a Dropbox account from a company PC.

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Alistair Dabbs

Re: Aw poo.

I don't know why the video isn't playing - normally YouTube makes it clear when a video doesn't want to be embedded (rather than letting you embed it but not let you play it).

You can watch it here.

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A cardboard desk? I won’t stand for it (actually I will)

Alistair Dabbs

Re: More testing needed

The legs are stable and very strong: they are composed of multiple layers glued together, about 1.5cm thick. I admit it's a challenge to ensure a taut fit when slotting them in place without creasing any other part or crushing the corners of the slots. But as my mini video demonstrates, the forward-backward stability might be like a rock but side-to-side is a bit creaky.

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Any questions? No, not you again at the back, please God no

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Why Safari?

The compass icon idea was ripped off Netscape Navigator but Apple knew by then Netscape was too irrelevant to fight back.

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Alistair Dabbs

Re: Fear of flying

>> Three guys got vomitted on by some poor woman.

I hear that some men will pay for that sort of thing.

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Getting your tongue around foreign tech-talk is easier than you think

Alistair Dabbs

Re: Auld Alliance vs Perfidious Albion

I assure you if there's another Scottish referendum to quit the UK, I will be first in line to apply for a Scottish passport.

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Alistair Dabbs

Re: Bigger vegetables?

I'm a vegetarian.

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