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Digital Cable HDTV Tuner Card Reviewed

ObviousGuy pwned (193 comments)

The 10,000,000th post, and all I got was the lousy cracker who has control of my account. Maybe I should change my password?

more than 10 years ago


ObviousGuy hasn't submitted any stories.



ObviousGuy ObviousGuy writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Sometimes it's just too easy.

Hint for the rest of you, don't leave you account wide open for hacking.


New Hamas leader

ObviousGuy ObviousGuy writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Just a thought about the new Hamas leader.

He has gone on record and stated plainly that the U.S. is not going to be a target of Hamas attacks. This is a very astute move.

The patience with Israel around the world is growing very thin. This is not mere anti-Semitism that many Jewish leaders automatically rail against every time the Jews are criticized. There is a growing disgust with the manner in which the Israeli government treats the Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza. This disgust is a direct result of our concepts of Western democracy and equal rights. Since the victory of Israel against its neighbors decades ago, the Jewish population has oppressed the Palestinian refugees in a system akin to apartheid in South Africa.

For a while here, since the beginning of the second intifada and significant increase in civilian bombings, the Palestinians were losing a lot of credibility. Of course the Israelis have the right to crack down on terrorists!

Even in the Yassin killing, Israel is fully justified in the eyes of many to have undertaken the operation.

But now the new leader of Hamas has done something very smart. He has focused his war onto a single opponent - Israel. This changes the dynamics of the war from one of Hamas vs. Israel/U.S. to only Hamas vs. Israel. The U.S. is now given the chance to disengage themselves from Israel. It also forces Israel to deal with Hamas as an opponent in a civil war rather than as part of an overarching War on Terrorism.

Bush has already taken the position that a Palestinian homeland is inevitable and desirable, and this is Hamas giving the U.S. the chance to push that position. If the U.S. is able to make Israel realize that they will lose American support unless the Jewish population stops treating the Palestinian refugees as interlopers, then we may see significant progress towards peace in Israel.

OTOH, we may see Israel lash out uninhibitedly against the Palestinians. However, the international backlash, including the possible invasion of Israel and arrest of Israeli leaders for violations of international human rights laws, would most likely put a damper on such a large Jewish offensive.

It doesn't look like the U.S. has any inclination to take the chance to disengage, if the public statements of American diplomats are any indication, though. It's too bad. This could have been a way of protecting the U.S. from increased terrorist attacks coming from opponents of Israel.


Anyone else getting logged out?

ObviousGuy ObviousGuy writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Aside from having my Karma stomped down to Terrible and being completely blocked from posting comments, I'm also being automatically logged out after viewing several pages.

If this is another problem, I'd like to begin the count of issues I've encountered so far.

1) Moderation weightings have been skewed such that a negative moderation affects karma significantly downward while positive moderation barely affects karma upward.

2) The new comment history page is completely fucked.

3) New cookie? New security? WTF?

4) Automatic logging out.

Anything else?


Moderation/Karma weightings?

ObviousGuy ObviousGuy writes  |  more than 10 years ago

What is the weighting of Moderation to Karma?

It is common knowledge that a +1 Funny is worth 0 karma, but are there other values that are not commonly known?

I currently have Bad karma. However, looking over my recent posts, I have many +5 Insightful/Interesting posts and have a positive moderation balance despite several downmods.

However, my karma has steadily declined. Likewise, my karma barely moves at all from Positive to Good even though I have received a moderation balance of +20 as evidenced by the daily moderation totals.


Impending unemployment

ObviousGuy ObviousGuy writes  |  more than 10 years ago

I was given notice that this Friday will be my last day at this company. The notice actually came at the end of January, so it is no surprise. My company is finally closing the Japanese office. I was given the chance to transfer back to the home office or to another office in nearby Taiwan. I chose to remain here in Japan for the sake of my family.

For years the Japanese office have been a drain on capital never having reached profitability, but also it has been a source of several very big name customers in the consumer electronic space. Unfortunately with the prolonged downturn in the economy, the home office has scrutinized the various divisions within the company and has decided to lop off those unprofitable parts. I don't blame them for the decision and I have been treated more than fairly, though my experience seems to have been out of the norm.

The company tried their best to place me elsewhere in the company because I am an expatriot specifically for them, so they felt that they had an extra responsibility to at the very least to bring me back to the U.S. I simply couldn't accept though. Aside from my suspicion that I would have been laid off after two months or so back in the U.S., I have actually just gotten settled here in Japan. I bought a car and renewed my apartment lease for another two years. I'm just not at a point where I can up and move again.

I mentioned earlier that the layoffs were actually announced at the end of January, but my last day will be this Friday. The Japanese employees, for the most part (there are still a couple people like country manager and office manager still around to help with the closing), had their last day back in January. I have had my employment extended in order to handle visa transfers and to handle other things that are required for living here that were handled by the company previously.

I've been doing that for a couple weeks now and I'm just taking a little break today. I've been running all over the place for my visa. I've been to a couple interviews which I'm still waiting on. And just last Friday I found out that I'm supposed to be working on wrapping up development for one of the customers for whom we had to cancel a project on. It gives me a chance to polish my programming a little more before being hurled into unemployment, so that's a plus. But I would have much rather had this week to finish what I need to finish in terms of things that are important to me, not for some ex-customer.

So I am going to be employment-free next week. I've talked to a few recruiters and have gone to a couple interviews through them. The companies seem cool, and I'm definitely qualified for the positions that I'm seeking (Lead QA engineer, Junior developer, or FAE). I'm not worried about finding a new job. There are plenty of jobs out there for developers, but there aren't as many for QA engineers. There is no premium nor respect for QA in Japan, it is seen as an expense only and it's engineers are no more than trained monkeys, so companies end up hiring part time workers to perform QA for less than 1000 yen an hour typically. It's a little disheartening to say the least. But I'm looking for something a little more involved than button pressing.

I've got 5 and a half years of experience at this latest company. 1 of that was as a developer, just before I moved to Japan 2 years ago to help with the Japanese QA team as a technical lead which they desperately needed. After the other members of the QA team finally left after the PM mismanaged them for the last time, I was left as the sole QA engineer. I named myself QA manager and hired on two interns (at 1000 yen per hour) and trained them to do QA while I handled the customer contacts and project scheduling. I tried my best to give them some grounding in C because they could then become much more useful to my QA team and also to any future engineering job they would get. It's funny, neither of them had any computer experience when they came in, but they left able to write simple tests in C. They were really great, for the most part. Having to fire them in November due to cost cutting was tough, though.

Now I'd like to find a position that I can grow in. QA in Japan was really a dead end because of the inability to move upwards. Becoming the QA manager is like becoming the top monkey, you're still a monkey. That's why I'm looking for stuff in development if possible. I've got development experience, but that was two years ago before I moved to Japan. I'm doing my best at interviews to emphasize that most of what I did in QA was development of test cases so I'm not rusty. That's my biggest challenge in the interviews now.

I did finally receive the results of my Japanese Language Proficiency Test last weekend and I am officially a Level 2 certificate holder. There is only one more level to go and that is Native Speaker status, so I'd like to think I've come a long way, but I know there's still quite a bit to go. I'll need to update my resume...

Heh. If you've know any positions for a Japanese-speaking American who's got several years of experience in Development, QA, and Management, please drop me a line at my email address. I'd really appreciate it.


FreeBSD loader niggle

ObviousGuy ObviousGuy writes  |  about 11 years ago

The FreeBSD bootloader does not seem to talk to my USB keyboard, so I have to sit through 10 seconds of 'devil menu' every time I boot up.

It would be nice if this were configurable, skippable, or if the loader would just talk to my USB keyboard so I could skip the menu manually.

No update on the DHCP issue. The machine still isn't talking to the Internet.


FreeBSD, my LAN card, and my router

ObviousGuy ObviousGuy writes  |  about 11 years ago

This weekend I downloaded the FreeBSD 5.2 .iso and tried installing it on my new used PC. I'm having some trouble with setting up the DHCP client.

The LAN card is a 3Com card that is detected properly by the FreeBSD installation script. During installation, it asks me whether the card will use IPv6 or DHCP and I choose DHCP. The script then goes off to contact the DHCP server and retrieves what appears to be an appropriate IP address. 192.168.xx.3. The router is 192.168.xx.1, and my other PC (Win2K) is 192.168.xx.2 and works fine. So the .3 IP seems to be correct.

However, when the OS boots up, I am unable to make contact with anything. I can't ping the router, much less anything on the internet.

I went through the installation again and tried to install via FTP rather than from CD. That didn't work either, though the DHCP client seemed to retrieve an appropriate IP address from the router.

Besides a network connection, I seem to have everything installed correctly. My video needs a little tweaking, but I'm not sure how much I can do with that, it's an old system.

What can I do to get DHCP working?


Search.pl? Comments.pl?

ObviousGuy ObviousGuy writes  |  about 11 years ago

What happened to Search.pl and Comments.pl? They don't seem to be keeping up with the front page at all.


Nation States: Kingdom of The Obvious

ObviousGuy ObviousGuy writes  |  about 11 years ago

Yes, if everyone else jumped off a cliff I would too.

The Kingdom of the Obvious

Motto: "Prima Facie"

UN Category: Capitalist Paradise
Civil Rights: Very Good
Economy: Thriving
Political Freedoms: Excellent

Location: the West Pacific
The Kingdom of The Obvious is a tiny, economically powerful nation, remarkable for its absence of drug laws. Its hard-nosed, hard-working, intelligent population of 5 million are either ruled by a small, efficient government or a conglomerate of multinational corporations; it's difficult to tell which.

There is no government in the normal sense the word; however, a small group of community-minded individuals is effectively ruled by the Department of Commerce, with areas such as Law & Order and Religion & Spirituality receiving almost no funds by comparison. Income tax is unheard of. A large private sector is led by the Information Technology industry, followed by Cheese Exports and Basket Weaving.

Crime is a serious problem, and the police force struggles against a lack of funding and a high mortality rate. The Obvious's national animal is the dog, which teeters on the brink of extinction due to widespread deforestation, and its currency is the Value.



ObviousGuy ObviousGuy writes  |  about 11 years ago

Slashdot ran a story about Knoppix yesterday and it piqued my interest. So I went ahead and downloaded the latest ISO and burned the CD.

I'm impressed at the automatic support of all my devices without any user input. It, as they say, "just works". All Linux installations ought to be this easy.

I have some gripes with the system, though.

The first is that Knoppix doesn't make it obvious how to complete the Linux installation. I understand that Knoppix is designed to be a distro on disk, but such a distribution is only a stepping stone to actually putting the OS on the disk for permanent installation. Why, then, doesn't Knoppix have an option under the Knoppix menu to prep and install the OS to the hard drive?

Another complaint is the lack of device control. Specifically I cannot figure out how to adjust the mouse sensitivity. The mouse pointer for my USB mouse flies across the screen at the slightest touch, and I can't figure out where the mouse applet lives. There doesn't seem to be any consolidated device control area, so I'm sure I just haven't hunted enough for the right applet. I would really like it if the device settings were all in a easily accessible and obvious place.

A very small thing I noticed and thought strange was that the KDE 'Start' button isn't activated by the Windows key.

I really don't like transparent system menus. I guess some people like it, so I don't begrudge them that. I just want to know how to turn it off. Where is this setting? It sure as hell isn't in the Desktop settings applet.

Why is the documentation so lacking? There seems to be a concerted effort to put the least amount of effort into writing the help documentation. I started Frozen Bubble, which I think is a game, and it hung when I selected the 1-player mode. So I clicked the 'X' and...nothing. So I right click Frozen Bubble in the task bar and select Close and...nothing. Now I'm stumped. It seems to me that the OS should realize that the application isn't terminating and do what it can to shut down the process, ideally it would prompt the user before it sent the final kill signal. There was simply no response from the application or any acknowledgement from the OS that the application was hanging.

Then I remembered, hey, this is Unix. There's got to be some manual way to kill processes. So I opened up bash and tried to figure out a way to kill the hanging process. The kill command needs a process number, so how do I get a process number? bash help doesn't help. This is where my documentation complaint really started to kick in. Why wouldn't the bash 'help kill' documentation have a pointer to whatever the command was to list running procs? I'm not asking for a hyperlinked set of docs, just a simple 'Also see: WHATEVER THE COMMAND IS TO GET THE PROC LIST'. Finally I found Kkill in the application menu (of all places) which proceeded to kill the game of Mahjongg I had to minimize to get to the hanging Frozen Bubble.

In general, I get the feeling of a very good OS from Knoppix, but it lacks the polish of Windows 2000/XP or MacOS. I'd like to get to know it more when I have more time. I really want to figure out what the attraction is to this OS. Windows has come such a long way since the nightmare days of Win98. Windows 2000 and XP are approaching the point of perfection from a user perspective and stability standpoint.

Is it my preconceived notions of how smoothly and comfortably an OS should work that turns me off every time I boot Linux?


Starvation in Ethiopia

ObviousGuy ObviousGuy writes  |  more than 11 years ago

I am watching CNN and a London-based reporter is spending a month with an Ethiopian village to document the life of a starving people. He is large in size, probably 250 pounds or so and taller than most of the Ethiopians he lives with.

He wants to discover for himself the reasons behind the famine and starvation.

On his first day he accompanies his host family to the 'church' which is nothing more than a small clearing with seats out in the open. Upon his arrival several of the congregation become possessed with fear. They spring out of their seats and shake all over, dancing around like people possessed in voodoo rituals. They scream and cry out at his large appearance. One old village leader sums up for me the primary problem of this village's starvation which isn't simply lack of food. He stands before the congregation and proclaims loudly that he "heard that the man eats other humans". The problem is lack of education and a culture based on superstition.


Funny thing happened on the way to meet Dr. Cocteau

ObviousGuy ObviousGuy writes  |  more than 11 years ago

So everyone ought to know who won the Franchise Wars. You know, where Sylvester Stallone gets treated to dinner in San Angeles by the evil Dr. Cocteau.

Wrong. Not Taco Bell. Pizza Hut. It was the weirdest thing. I was watching the lips say Taco Bell, but the words were Pizza Hut. Even the sign outside the restaurant said Pizza Hut. In fact, every single Taco Bell artifact was relabeled with the Pizza Hut logo.

It seems Tricon has gone and changed the outcome of the Franchise Wars on us.

I expect that KFC wins the Franchise Wars a few years from now...


Beaujolais Nouveau

ObviousGuy ObviousGuy writes  |  more than 11 years ago

I can't imagine a worse wine.

Nah, that's a lie. I've had worse.

At 13% alcohol content, it really makes watching the MTV Music Awards bearable.

Justin Timberlake won Male Artist of the Year? Did I drink too much, die, and wake up in Hell?

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