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Comment Trak-Ball (Score 1) 139

Kensington

Perhaps I've been watching too many of Ashen's videos, but Ken Sing Ton just sounds Chinese to me.

Why they call a trackball a mouse, I've never been able to figure out.

They've been doing so since the Apple IIGS days. Perhaps the rationale is 1. that it replaces a mouse, and 2. not to interfere with Atari's Trak-Ball trademark.

Comment Single-screen multiplayer (Score 1) 139

Some of the games in my library will actually allow multiplayer action on a single system by connecting a controller

When I have reminded people of that, their replies have been to the effect: "But how many people can fit around one desktop PC monitor?" and "Most people prefer to play in pickup groups with strangers because they can't even schedule online matches with their friends, let alone fly them in for an in-person match."

Comment Cable poles; multicast (Score 1) 169

They should not be given access to the telephone poles to provide anything other than internet access.

I guess that's part of why some cable companies choose to put up their own parallel poles rather than lease from the telco.

there's no market-efficiency excuse for price discrimination based on content.

Digital cable TV is essentially a multicast stream, while video over the Internet is most often unicast. If the cable company can get its customers to watch video over a digital cable channel, then it needs to send a stream to a neighborhood only once instead of once for each viewer.

Comment They're for making ROM images (Score 1) 292

I don't use the screen controls on my Nexus 7. I've got a PS3 controller synched to it via the Sixaxis Controller app.

Which is fine for people who happen to already own a PS3, not so fine for those who happen to have chosen some other console years before the Nexus 7 was announced.

I have no idea what a Kazzo or a Retrode are

Do you know what a USB CF or SD card writer is? Kazzo and Retrode are essentially the same thing for Game Paks: they let you copy the program to a ROM image on your PC to run it in an emulator. Without either making a ROM image or buying an emulator that includes ROM images (like Midway Arcade Treasures or Namco Museum), you can't run a game in an emulator.

Comment Buying extra hardware for back-compat (Score 1) 292

We went from the 2600 to the ColecoVision, which could actually play 2600 games with the use of a special adapter, but having to buy an extra piece of hardware doesn't really count as real backwards comaptibility in my book.

In your book, would the Wii have been compatible with GameCube games? Someone who didn't already own a GameCube would have had to spend $30 on a used GameCube controller and memory card.

Oh yeah, and replaying old NES and SNES games. Also well handled by both the PC and my Nexus 7 :)

I tried playing an NES emulator on my own Nexus 7. The on-screen gamepad was unusably clunky in anything with fast action. My Wii Classic Controller worked with emulators until Google changed the Bluetooth stack in Android 4.2 in such a way as to break Wii Remote communication. And you still have "to buy an extra piece of hardware" (a Kazzo for NES or a Retrode for SNES) in order to load your Game Paks into a PC- or Android-based emulator.

Comment Re:Not everybody absolutely needs back-compat (Score 1) 292

PS2 playing PSX games was an incredibly awesome new feature. The fact that no other console had ever done that before was one of the selling points

Almost. The Atari 7800 could play 2600 games. The Genesis could play most Master System games with an adapter, as could the Game Gear. But the Genesis and 7800 got their back-compat the same way the PS2 got its: by using most of the previous console's hardware as an I/O coprocessor for (say) running audio. The Nintendo DS would end up doing the same thing.

And of course a confounding factor in all of this is the resurgence in PC games, mainly due to availability via Steam

There are still several genres that lean heavily toward consoles, such as sport games, fighting games, party games, or anything else with shared-screen multiplayer. It's common to see games in these genres released on Xbox 360 and PS3 with no PC port or a 2-year-delayed PC port because of publishers' fears of widespread copyright infringement. I guess I'll have to wait and see if the Steam Machine fizzles the way OUYA did.

Comment Game discs with OS updates on them (Score 1) 292

It has been commonplace since the PSP to include the latest version of the console's system software on each game disc. That way, all an offline user has to do is insert a new game disc and patch up to the version of system software that was current when the publisher submitted the game to the console maker for lot check.

Comment Old consoles become EOL (Score 1) 292

I've seen nothing in next-gen consoles which makes a compelling argument for upgrading

Other than that new games will stop coming out for the old consoles, and the console makers will pull the plug on the old consoles' online services. It happened for Xbox Live on the original Xbox, and it happened for most of the "app" channels (News, Forecast, Check Mii Out, Everybody Votes) on the Wii. At that point, if you want to continue to play online or with updated rosters and game design concepts, you'll either have to buy the new console or put a Steam Machine or other gaming HTPC in your living room.

Comment Two eardrums (Score 1) 292

Each cochlea has receptors for each frequency, doing a crude approximation to a short-time Fourier transform right in the ear. But each cochlea processes vibrations from only one eardrum, which I assume gl4ss meant. I'm under the impression that a lot of localization comes from relative delays and strengths of frequencies between the ears.

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