Articles about alistair dabbs

The two flavours of Reg Classic T-shirt

Nah, it won't install: The return of the ad-blocker-blocker

Something for the Weekend, Sir? If I give you some money, would you take your clothes off? Now that's what I call premium service. This is just my personal fantasy, of course. I wouldn't really stop passers-by and ask them to remove their apparel. Not since the restraining order, anyway. As I wander along my local high street, advertisements glare at me …
Alistair Dabbs, 27 Jul 2018

Either my name, my password or my soul is invalid – but which?

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Try as I might, it won't go in. I have entered pretty much everything else so far but this time I'm getting a definitive "no". I respect that, of course, but it leaves me jolly frustrated. Despite all my powers of persuasion, I'm left standing in the cold with one hand on my lock. Yes, lock. The site keeps rejecting my …
Alistair Dabbs, 20 Jul 2018
Woman talks into smartphone / cellphone with the device held flat

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

Something for the Weekend, Sir? I don't like to do it sideways. I won't do it at any fancy angle. Call me conventional but what can I say? I'm a straight-talking kind of guy. How hard does it have to be to get a firm grip on it… and hold it against the side of your face? Oh right. Put that yoga manual down, you might have misunderstood my meaning. I was …
Alistair Dabbs, 13 Jul 2018
Hiker checks dead battery on smartphone... against wild valley backdrop. Photo via Shutterstock

Every step you take: We track you for your own safety, you know?

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Jeff Bezos does my gardening. This was something of a surprise to me, too, as my usual gardener – who's called Geoff, eerily enough – has already visited this morning. Why Mr Bezos should now be in my back garden trimming bushes and edging the lawn is beyond me. Maybe it's a Prime Exclusive. Unfortunately, I haven't seen JB …
Fuel pump

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

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Mi dispiace, non parlo italiano. This would be easier if I'd been armed with a proper phrase book rather than a single page of everyday expressions at the back of my tourist guide. And it would be more effective if I was trying to communicate with a human. I am, of course, talking to a machine. No one else is around, which …
Alistair Dabbs, 29 Jun 2018
Wayne's World product placement visual gag (Wayne eats Pizza Hut pizza, displays branding, while talking about product placement)

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

Something for the Weekend, Sir? It's about to get wet. Have some towels ready. Indeed, I anticipate a good soaking this weekend, both inside and out. This is because Friday 8 June has been announced as World Oceans Day. Come on, you know – that famous international day of celebration when we, er, get the day off work? (no) … hold ocean-themed parties? (no …
Man looks into his cellphone/mobile - which looks back at him

Is your smart device a bit thick? It's about to get a lot worse

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Hooded eyes are following my keystrokes. Hidden ears are analysing every shuffle. Deep inside its circuitry, my laptop is tutting and rubbing its silicon chin. I am trying to write another weekly column for a notorious IT-themed scandal sheet and my computer does not like what it detects as I tickle fitfully at the keys. …
Alistair Dabbs, 25 May 2018
A man holds in his poo while looking at the toilet

Want to know what an organisation is really like? Visit the restroom

Something for the Weekend, Sir? I like to hang out in company toilets. That's not to say I linger long after the shake-off – I'm no washroom loiterer – but I do enjoy the visit. It's because I am curious. As an itinerant freelancer, my work takes me to a variety of tech-savvy business premises. And while small companies each have their own style of office …
Alistair Dabbs, 18 May 2018
Red hate key on a keyboard

Your software hates you and your devices think you're stupid

Something for the Weekend, Sir? “I want you to kill Barbra Streisand.” Yup, no problem, I’ll enjoy doing that. Anyone else? “Kylie Minogue. And bloody Madonna, I can’t stand her any more.” Consider them bumped off. It’s sounding a little misogynistic, though. Are you sure? “Leave Chaka Khan alone.” Fine, Chaka survives to sing another day. Anyone else …
Alistair Dabbs, 11 May 2018

Can't log into your TSB account? Well, it's your own fault for trying

Something for the Weekend, Sir? I am a time-waster. And I hate people who waste my time. This means I know what I'm hating – have fun, all you amateur psychologists out there. I don't want to dither about but at least it's my own time I'm wasting. I am a procrastinator. That's not really the same as a time-waster, is it? Perhaps you could spend a few minutes …
Alistair Dabbs, 27 Apr 2018
man reads tablet on the toilet. Photo by Shutterstock

Best thing about a smart toilet? You can take your mobile in without polluting it

Something for the Weekend, Sir? A man on the internet wants me to take a look at his ring. He claims his ring detects hand gestures. Apparently with one flourish of the fingers, it will open up and let you in. His ring supports input as well as output. You can store things in it. It accommodates accessories. He uses it as a means of payment in lieu of cash …
Alistair Dabbs, 13 Apr 2018
Office workers in meeting seem frustrated.

Another day, another meeting, another £191bn down the pan

Something for the Weekend, Sir? "Wow, that was quick!" Yeah, sorry about that. I don't like to waste time. I prefer to get my thrust in first and finish off straight away. "You're not joking! I barely noticed it happening, it was over so fast!" I readily admit I have a reputation as an early finisher. If I can, I'll try to get it over and done with before …

Why did I buy a gadget I know I'll never use?

Something for the Weekend, Sir? It could get steamy in here. I have stripped off the layers and am now looking to turn up the heat. I’m looking forward to an afternoon of delightful tenderness with plenty of oohs and aahs. I certainly don’t want things to be chewy. Preparing the Brussels sprouts for Christmas dinner is always a challenge. The Dabbs …
Alistair Dabbs, 19 Jan 2018

10 years of the Kindle and the curious incident of a dog in the day-time

Something for the Weekend, Sir? A little worse for wear after the first Christmas party of the season, I stagger up the driveway to be met at my own front door by... a Kindle. The Kindle is tapping one foot while gauging the weight of a rolling pin in its hands. It is furious. It demands: "And what time do you call this?" That throws me. My dad used to ask …
Alistair Dabbs, 24 Nov 2017
Una chooses the special offer

It's artificial! It's intelligent! It's in my home! And it's gone bonkers!

Something for the Weekend, Sir? I have awoken to the sounds of electronic growling. Making my way downstairs, I discover teethmarks in the bannister, a pool of oil by the back door and the remains of a torn-open jumbo box of AA longlifes in the kitchen. That damn robot dog simply has to go. I locate the chirpy little bastard sitting on the lounge sofa. It …
Alistair Dabbs, 17 Nov 2017

The day I almost pinned my tushie as a Google Maps landmark

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Facebook wants to look at my nuts. Aided and abetted by the Australian Government, the $407bn fake news disseminator is fascinated by my inseminator. By having a right old gander at my toilet duck, it hopes to stop other people from Googling my googlies. It's no game. Australia's eSafety Office has confirmed that it will …
Alistair Dabbs, 10 Nov 2017
woman drinks vile green liquid

Those IT gadget freebies you picked up this year? They make AWFUL Christmas presents

Something for the Weekend, Sir? An eerie green glow is radiating from my 1960s sideboard. Arming myself with the only weapons at hand – a TV remote control and a cushion from the sofa – I guardedly edge towards the ghastly rectangular cuboid of varnished beech. A dull, distant thumping can be heard, growing louder as I make my approach, and ultimately …

Car trouble: Keyless and lockless is no match for brainless

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Cheep-cheep-cheep. I'll try again. Cheep-cheep-cheep. Nope, that didn't work, how about this? Cheep-cheep-cheep. Or… this? Cheep-cheep-cheep. Come on, lock up, you bastard car. Cheep-cheep-cheep. I cut a frustrated figure as I skirted around the bright red vehicle I had rented just 45 minutes earlier at an airport desk …
Alistair Dabbs, 27 Oct 2017

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