Online column

A weekly tech column written for The Southland Times, a company that pays well enough to keep me in handbags and Drambuie

You’re missing the fit Russian blokes in tights

You’re missing the fit Russian blokes in tights

(This is the Online column, written for The Southland Times) Gather ’round children, as today we learn all about something from the olden days, that long ago time before Facebook and texting: how to behave like a real human being in public. I went to the ballet a couple of weekends ago and it was awesome: fit Russian blokes in tights flitting around the stage with a bunch of pretty wee sheilas, rousing music and...

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Don’t let the trolls in

Don’t let the trolls in

(This is the Online column, written for The Southland Times) All the hoo-hah that has erupted over the trolls invading the Southland Trader Co Facebook page is a good example of why we all should be careful about our online privacy. If you upload photos to a social network site such as Facebook, you need to be aware of who will see those photos. And even more importantly, who can steal those photos. I’m...

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Keep ‘selfie’ culture at arm’s length

(This is the Online column, written for The Southland Times) Do we really need an app to encourage people to take more selfies? Well, the obvious answer is no, we don’t. Unfortunately, we’ve got one anyway. Frontback combines pictures of what a person is seeing and their reaction, using both the front and rear cameras in some devices to take both shots at the same time, before combining them into one tidy little image...

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Facebook click can cook your goose

Facebook click can cook your goose

(This is the Online column, written for The Southland Times) I reckon the Government could have saved a lot of kerfuffle with that whole spy bill drama by just setting up a Facebook account and friending all of us. While we’re all up in arms – and rightly so – over the possibility of our government spying on us, we’re also keen to overshare our lives with anyone and everyone via social networking: from...

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Conspiracies made for the internet

Conspiracies made for the internet

(This is the Online column, written for The Southland Times) I enjoy a good conspiracy theory as much as the next tin-foil hat-wearing crackpot, and the internet has certainly made the sharing and perfecting of those conspiracy theories so much easier. When the news broke at the weekend that Scotland Yard was having another look at the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, it sped around the internet faster than a peanut butter, banana...

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Twitter nearly implodes with tiny arrival

Twitter nearly implodes with tiny arrival

(This is the Online column, written for The Southland Times) There are some news stories that just take over the web and this week’s arrival of the newest royal was one of those stories. As much as we try to pretend we are interested in serious, grown-up newsy stuff, there’s no denying most of us are suckers for a warm fuzzy story or a bit of juicy gossip. And I don’t know about you,...

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Gaming takes over unveilings

Gaming takes over unveilings

(This is the Online column, written for The Southland Times) Maybe I’m turning into a grumpy old woman, but I just can’t get excited about all the latest announcements and unveilings at E3. Sure, the various flavours of gamers are all a-flutter about PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but these days you’re more likely to find me doing gentle battle with Mah Jong on my iPad that mowing down nasties in a first-person shooter. Although, it...

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For those with a short attention span …

For those with a short attention span …

(This is the Online column, written for The Southland Times) I’ve had the attention span of a gnat lately and the internet is the perfect accessory for the concentration-challenged. I’m blaming my shortcomings on my recent surgery: I couldn’t stay away for the first day after the anaesthetic and during the following two weeks I went from someone who would easily read two or three books a week to someone who struggled to focus...

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Rugby World Cup: are we excited yet?

Rugby World Cup: are we excited yet?

(This is the Online column, written for The Southland Times) I know the Rugby World Cup is just around the corner but for some reason I cannot get excited about the whole thing. The hugely discounted HP Touchpads that went up for grabs on Tuesday were much more exciting, even though I didn’t buy one. When it comes to our national sport, for me, the Ranfurly Shield and Bledisloe Cup are what it’s all...

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Let’s cut northerners some snow slack

(This is the Online column, written for The Southland Times) I’m a proud born-and-bred Southlander but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel the pain of my northern countrymen and women. This latest patch of decidedly non-tropical weather engulfed the entire country and divided it at the same time. You see, apparently Aucklanders aren’t allowed to complain about the cold weather. Permission to have a wee moan about freezing your bits off is reserved for...

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