Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/09/25/comment_blurt/
Duff DAB, megamogs and ass-assassins: Your thoughts
It's like Points of View without the winking
Commentblurt It is not often that an issue will unite our beloved readers in a rousing chorus of concentrated, directed bile. If you think about the subjects that get you hot under the collar, there is always a balance, with the numbers in favour of each seemingly poised in a yin and yang-type cosmic display of karmic harmony: Windows vs Linux, Internet Explorer vs Firefox, global warming apocalypse vs global warming scaremongering, amanfrommars vs grammar - it is a ballet made up of the very stuff of life.
But an item will sometimes come along that upsets this balance, and sees everyone seemingly come together, to speak in one devastating chorus of disapproval that cannot be ignored.
One of these rare events occurred this very week. The fact that the subject in question was not war, the environment, politics or religion, but rather the relative merits of DAB radio may be an indicator of a lot of what is wrong with our society.
Basically, you really don't like DAB. You talk at length about not liking it, and you give many and detailed reasons why you don't like it, starting with sound quality:
If you're a serious music fan or audiophile (perhaps not even that serious) you know within the first few seconds of listening that UK's DAB is totally crippled in terms of sound quality. Bit rates have been squeezed harder than they ever should have been, and we're dragging around this ancient codec like a ball and chain.
The harsh words coming there from Christopher Slater-Walker. Then there is poor reception. An Anonymous Coward thunders:
I cannot receive at least two multiplexes in my home in the centre of Birmingham. I cannot receive some of the local commercial services nor the local BBC service. This is a decade or more on from launch. At what point does he propose a satisfactory service?
There is also the cost and usability to be considered, as Paul 25 points out:
Periodically I go into my local Curry's and try out the DAB sets there, few of which are less than £50, and most require mains for any sensible period of listening.
This is astonishing not so much for the financial and portability issues raised, as for the fact that any reader of The Register would admit to shopping in Currys.
Some objections were more subjective. jason 7's wounded sensibilities can clearly take no more:
All the DAB radios I see look like they were made from kitchen unit off-cuts from MFI including kitchen drawer carry handles.
Poor trembling aesthete. Not everyone was a critic, however. At least one Reg reader had a clear vision of how this problem could be taken in hand. Step forward Reg Sim:
I wonder if anybody will make FreeView Radio tuner?
Brilliant. A FreeView Radio. Patent it before Apple get there first.
Not everyone was so critical. Samuel Pickard gushed "I really love DAB", and Anonymous Hero boasted that "DAB works a treat for me... Dunno what you moaning minnies are complaining about". But then he did say that he lives in Perth, and I gather you can still gather a crowd there by rolling up your sleeve and exposing your watch.
Overall, though, your feelings were summed up by another AC, who succinctly and maturely titled his post:
DAB is wank
Another subject that aroused strong emotions was that of cats, particularly the idea that Britain may soon be overrun by huge, feral, hybrid ones. The debate here seemed more in line with our normal equilibrium, however, with half of you welcoming our purring, bewhiskered overlords and the other half wanting them drowned, shot or savaged by dogs.
The latter idea brought up an interesting, although possibly mistaken, point of law from xyz:
Did you know that the only legal way to kill a cat in England is with a dog! I'm surprised that there are not cat'n'dog fight clubs the length and breadth
I think he has forgotten the first rule about cat club.
Peter Kay would never be able to hold his own in a scrap with the sorts of cats he hangs out with:
Most people want a cat that is cute, friendly and playful. They don't want an unfriendly vicious cat.
Well xyz clearly does. They fight harder and make the bouts last longer. It seems that Marcelo Rodrigues could do with one of those cute, friendly and playful cats, though, as he seems to have fallen out with his one:
If we are good to them, they will like us. If not... well, they have 20 claws - and know how to use them.
So you're saying that cats are like a metaphor for life or something? Wow, that's deep. It probably explains why my flat smells of fish, too. And it's 18 claws, actually, as they only have four on each rear paw. Don't say I never give you anything.
Finally, there was the splendid tail [Clear your desk, Dupuy - Moderatrix] of the Saudi bum-bomber. This seemed to bring out the best in everyone, and for a brief while we were all joined by a common thread of cheerful contempt for a man who tried to kill a Saudi interior minister with an explosive hidden in his own interior.
This led to some truly magnificent puns based on terrorist arsenals, ass-assinations, pains in the ass, explosive diarrhoea, suicide bummers, excessive constipation, 'pull my finger' gags, some truly worrying speculations on what it would mean for airport security checks and even the occasional serious comment on the nature of the war on terror.
The final word on the matter has to go to The elephant in the room, though, after Lewis Page speculated on the possible detonation methods for such a weapon:
Insert finger through ring & pull!
Good advice for a whole range of situations. ®