* Posts by John Dann

9 publicly visible posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Where's my opt-out link gone?

John Dann

Not for me thanks, now that the old design has gone - the proverbial last straw. The new design - image-lite or not - just doesn't communicate well. So bye and thanks for all the interesting content in the past.

El Reg gets schooled on why SSDs will NOT kill off the trusty hard drive

John Dann

Surely another dimension is whether the technology to build/operate FABs more cheaply is evolving too? No idea of the answer, but if it were possible to build NAND that's maybe a generation or two old, but at large scale and at eg 1/3 of the current price then the picture would change again.

Five Eyes nations stare menacingly at tech biz and its encryption

John Dann

I need educating

What am I missing about this encryption jamboree? If I happened to be involved in any nefarious activities then I guess I'd only use a properly (I think!) encrypted email service like ProtonMail, which the ISP wouldn't/couldn't provide any way of decrypting (though maybe GCHQ could via brute force etc). What more is there to understand?

British defence minister refuses to rule out F-35A purchase

John Dann

Here's an idea for El Reg: Employ a correspondent to write on defence matters who has half a clue what they're writing about.

El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

John Dann

I'm no expert web designer so I can't comment with precision on design matters. But I'd be interested to know what the readership of The Register is nowadays. I'm probably not typical, but I've certainly gone from being a very regular reader to a barely once a day glance.

Why? Because:

1. The information content 'above the fold' has been slashed. It used to be easy to glance over a set of maybe a dozen stories in one gulp, but no longer.

2. The eye just doesn't know where to look now - it's just frustrating even to try.

Toyota Prius fourth-generation e-car

John Dann


'but all you get is a head-up display that projects the speed onto the windscreen - a distracting toy best left switched off. '

Each to their own I guess. The HUD is the one feature is that actually makes me inclined to buy a Prius. I can imagine this being a really valuable driver aid - much more likely to enourage me to keep (close at least) to any speed limit and the satnav-linked turn indicator personally I found very useful during a test drive. Far from being a distraction, having a couple of items of useful info just a half-glance away was definitely appealing.

Certainly the Prius could do with more power - that's its main failing currently. Just needs a bit more oomph mid-range when you press the pedal. Let the CO2 get to 99 say - at least as an option - and give me a little more go in return.

Smut page ransomware Trojan ransacks browsers

John Dann

Reg - take note

'The ad for a pornographic website covers parts of the original webpage, making it even more annoying. '

This sounds just like the current Cisco ad that plasters itself across most Reg pages at present, thereby 'covering parts of the original webpage'. There must be a word in media circles for an ad that is actually counter-productive. Guess why I've taken the pledge not to buy any Cisco-branded parts for the foreseeable future.

UK boffins roll out video periodic table

John Dann

What about caesium??

Reminds me of the OU broadcasts on alkali metals. See eg:


The caesium one is slightly more dramatic than potassium!

New taskforce to discuss why more people aren't turning to digital

John Dann

DAB problems

Main problem for people like me outside of the main metropolitan areas is that the signal's too weak. The first (small) DAB radio I tried at home could pick up literally nothing. A second more costly and mains-powered model works OK provided it's in a window on the right side of the house, but otherwise gives useless reception so pretty inconvenient in general. Do I live in the back of beyond? Not really - 15 miles from Cambridge.

Another problem is the battery appetite if the radio is not mains powered. People just aren't used to needing a new set of chunky batteries every few hours to listen to a radio. If I ran Roberts etc I'd make a mains-powered DAB base unit that could sit in a window and rebroadcast at least one channel at a time eg via Bluetooth to a cheap & compact audio-only (ie no DAB tuner) repeater unit that would have a long battery life. That's the only way I can see to get around the weak signal in many parts of the country which presumably won't improve materially for years to come.

There are other parts of the DAB experience that are either poor or unfamiliar. There's no instant-on for example - the radio takes several seconds, subjectively a long time, to scan the channels after switch-on or when changing channels. And the fact the very few cars - probably where people listen to the radio more than anywhere else - have DAB means that most people aren't familiar with how DAB channels work.