My rule of thumb is that if the escape function is a method of a database connection object, such as the $conn->escape_string() of MySQLi, it's the real deal. But most of the time, I just use prepared statements, reserving manual escaping for things like the right side of operator IN that would need a large, variable number of placeholders.
There is an important distinction in that, due to the way computers access each form of media
The distinction here is between word-addressed and block-addressed memory. Cartridges were more often word-addressed, but it isn't quite a reliable predictor of this. TG16 "cards" were word-addressed and allowed execution in place. Nintendo 64 and Game Boy Advance "cartridges" had seek-and-read protocols, which were a compromise between word-addressed and block storage but allowed execution in place through caching (N64) or lots of wait states (GBA). Later systems were more likely to use block devices because RAM had become so cheap and block devices require fewer pins on the connector.
Cartridges could include hardware that extends the capabilities of the console such as the SuperFX chip, while Cards simply contain the game data and player's save data.
The "system cards" used with the TurboGrafx-CD expand the TurboGrafx-16's capabilities. And any SPI peripheral can be put on a DS Game Card. Most often it's used for a serial flash memory for save data, but the Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver Game Cards for DS also include an infrared transceiver for communication with a "Pokewalker" pedometer that the player uses to take one of his party members on walks.
In practice, there is also the distinction in that cartridge based game consoles expected a cartridge to be there, and there were no user operations permitted without one being inserted.
If no Mega Cartridge or Sega Card was inserted into certain revisions of the Master System, the player could launch the built-in Snail Maze game by holding Up + 1 + 2.
no reason to believe that we won't have more iterations in commonly available optical storage devices.. thought I doubt we'll be using them for anything other than backups
With even home Internet providers enforcing monthly caps, how will you fit your 3D 4K movies across a home Internet connection without having to take a week off surfing after streaming a single movie? (4K, or quad HD, is the next step beyond high-definition video. The consumer version has roughly 3840x2160 pixels.)
The games [for the PlayStation Vita] come on memory cards
No, they come on a "game card", like games for Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS, and TurboGrafx-16, and smaller games for Sega Master System.
and are not referred to as cartridges
You missed my point. A game card, like a cartridge, is solid-state storage on which a game is shipped. What is the essential difference between cartridges and game cards other than that game cards are thinner? Would you claim that the Master System and TG16 were not cartridge-based consoles because of Sega Card and HuCard?
the actual need for a dedicated game device is passing by.
Unless you want to play games with house guests who happen not to have brought a gaming laptop. In theory a home theater PC could serve this use, but in practice there are more consoles than home theater PCs.
And it's vastly easier and simpler to pick up an iOS device and simply tap an app to start playing.
But once you tap the app, how do you control the character in the game? A flat sheet of glass gives the thumbs no tactile feedback as to where the on-screen action buttons are. Swipes on the left third of the screen can substitute for an analog stick, as first seen in Super Mario 64 DS and Metroid Prime Hunters First Hunt, but how can the player make sure he doesn't miss the jump, fire main weapon, and fire secondary weapon buttons? What's the uptake for clip-on Bluetooth gamepads?
It will have blazing fast network access
The only thing "blazing fast" about a mobile operating system built around access to an application server through VNC or OnLive is how fast it'd eat up your monthly data cap.
In the future, you're going to get computers as prizes in breakfast cereals. You'll throw them out because your house will be littered with them.