Three steps back, two steps forward.
Well, it is an improvement. Having the read links red is a sensible move. They grey sidebars are less obnoxious but I would still prefer they were used for something useful. If I maximise the web browser when displaying the register I end up with a 2x3 application window inside of a 16x10 screen. Not a sensible use of real estate.
Keep going, another couple of weeks and you may be back to something almost as good as what you started with. Meanwhile I'll stay with www.thregister.co.uk/Week because I still can't stand the homepage layout.