Columnists

Smartphones aren't tiny PCs, but that's how we use them in the West

In China, they get it, QR codes are like money and mobile payments are everywhere
Mark Pesce, 13 Jul 06:29

You can’t sit there, my IoT desk tells me

Something for the Weekend, Sir? I can’t stand up for falling down
Alistair Dabbs, 08 Jul 09:01

A trip to the Twilight Zone with a support guy called Iron Maiden

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Something weird happened last week
Alistair Dabbs, 01 Jul 09:56

I want to learn about gamification but all I see is same-ification

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Youth culture and the iron-cladding of backsides
Alistair Dabbs, 24 Jun 09:34

BOFH: Follow the paper trail

Episode 8 What are you doing in our stockroom, buddy?
Simon Travaglia, 17 Jun 09:01

Should we teach our kids how to program humanity out of existence?

Something for the Weekend, Sir? It'd be logical
Alistair Dabbs, 17 Jun 08:29

Columnist Roll

Alistair Dabbs

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Alistair Dabbs is a freelance technology tart, juggling IT journalism, editorial training and digital publishing.

She wants it. She needs it. Shall I give it to her or keep doing it by myself?

Something for the Weekend, Sir? “Give it to me pleeeese!” she begs, staring longingly into my eyes. “I’m desperate and will do anything.” It’s 5:30am and we are the only people in the office. I stutter that I’m not at liberty to satisfy her demands right there and then. It’s too early for me. Could she wait a while? She takes a step towards me and begins …
Alistair Dabbs, 22 Jul 2016
shutterstock_238128856_phone_theft

Gaming apps, mugging and bad case of bruised Pokéballs

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Back in the 1970s, cockney actor Mike Reid’s catchphrase on children’s TV was “Runaround – GO!!!” For the benefit of American readers... oh look, it’s too difficult to explain. However I would love to hear him shout “Pokémon – GO!!!” if only to alleviate the relentless publicity over what counts as children’s entertainment …
Alistair Dabbs, 15 Jul 2016

You can’t sit there, my IoT desk tells me

Something for the Weekend, Sir? I don’t know what to do with my arse. Should I be swivelling on it? Should I do it leaning forward with pressure applied to the small of my back? Or would I be better advised to do the business standing up? For various reasons, I am in the market for a standing desk: that is, a desk that you can work at while standing upright …
Alistair Dabbs, 08 Jul 2016
Twilight Zone, 'Time Enough At Last'

A trip to the Twilight Zone with a support guy called Iron Maiden

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Thank you for submitting a support request. You can put your clothes back on now. In another dimension, logging a call could involve a full invasive strip search. Or perhaps there’d be a sado-dimensional version of Zendesk in which, having determined that a user is raising frivolous issues, sends attitude-corrective electric …
Alistair Dabbs, 01 Jul 2016
Boy with a backpack hides his eyes and cries. Pic by Shutterstock

I want to learn about gamification but all I see is same-ification

Something for the Weekend, Sir? “You don’t know you’re born,” they would say to me during my first holiday job. “You don’t know you’re a sad, blubber-arsed freeloader coasting towards retirement,” I’d reply… in my head, of course. Out loud, I would complain that they were being unfair, and I would be slapped down with that most frustrating of clichés “Life’ …
Alistair Dabbs, 24 Jun 2016
Facepalm by https://www.flickr.com/photos/the-magic-tuba-pixie/ cc 2.0 attribution generic https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Should we teach our kids how to program humanity out of existence?

Something for the Weekend, Sir? "Kids tend to spend far too much of their childhood in an unproductive way," it says here. I quite agree. It was the same when I was a child. All that counting numbers and spelling words they made me do over the years was a massive drain on my television-watching time. "Research shows that children have an increasing problem …
Alistair Dabbs, 17 Jun 2016