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Comment Re:The Wiser... (Score 1) 273

You make good points, except for the capacitive touch screen bit. The DS touchscreen already works without a stylus (at least on the DSi, dunno about older models); as I said, you can use your fingers for quick and dirty access. I've tried it with gloves, too, and it still works (but obviously you lose even more precision).

the 3DS does nothing to remedy flaws Nintendo's older hardware has in order to attract them.

From a geek's standpoint, at least one flaw is remedied: with more horsepower, homebrew will be easier to develop. I run a port of OpenTyrian and a SNES emulator on my DSi, and while they work well most of the time, things sometimes slow down to a crawl. Maybe if the DSLinux guys write a 3DS port, too, it will be more usable than on the old DS and DS Lite. This is really not important except for the guys like me who select their devices based on whether you can hack an IRC client into it, though. All the better if it runs Emacs.

Back to your and the GGP's point, of course there is still a market for alternatives to Nintendo hardware. But even if all consoles were equivalent from a hardware standpoint, the game libraries would make the difference. I don't think Nintendo is trying too hard to attract players from other systems, either; its strength really lies in the established franchises, and the fanbase they have built with them. I bought my DSi because I wanted to play Castlevania, Zelda and Mario Kart. The Castlevania and Mario games could have been written for the PSP as they don't require the touchscreen. For many people, a 3D-enabled remake of Ocarina of Time will mean a day one purchase of the 3DS. This is completely orthogonal to their purchasing a PSP: that will probably depend on the titles available there.

Comment Re:The Wiser... (Score 1) 273

3D is a neat trick, but it comes at the cost of resolution and viewing angle.

It's a handheld device... you won't be holding it at a weird viewing angle.

As for the touch pad, I was never a fan of it on the DS. Switching between the digital controls and the stylus is an awkward process and game developers can never seem to make up their minds about which set of controls their game is built for.

I'm not sure which games you are talking about, but then I haven't played all DS games... could you provide examples? All games I have played fall in one of three categories:

  • A. The touchscreen is not required, the D-pad and six buttons are enough. (Ex: most strategy games, most platformers.)
  • B. The touchscreen is the main input device. The shoulder buttons and the D-pad (or the face buttons if you're a lefty) are still easily accessible. (Ex: Metroid Prime Hunters, surprisingly playable for an FPS, the two Zelda games.)
  • C. The touchscreen is used for always on-screen menus, the buttons for most of the input. I think this is probably what you are talking about, but I find that in those cases, precision is usually not required and you can use your thumbs instead of the stylus.

Meanwhile Nintendo has inanely decided to replicate the biggest flaw in the PSP controls, only one analog stick, on the 3DS.

Well, the touchscreen serves as a second analog stick.

This isn't a technology that can be replicated on a home console well.

Oh yeah, totally. Nintendo has even announced that they don't plan on getting out a successor to the Wii for a while. This is probably why.

Nintendo's competition isn't exactly standing still here.

Certainly not, but Nintendo still looks like the big winner of E3. They've announced a new piece of hardware that has a lot of people impressed, and most importantly, titles from franchises every fanboy was clamoring for (Kirby on the Wii, Kid Icarus, Zelda, Donkey Kong, a few Mario games, Star Fox...). There's a 3D remake of Ocarina of Time for the 3DS, ffs. The only way that could have been topped would have been for Sony to announce that Square Enix would be releasing a 3D FF7 remake.

Comment Re:In Spain you pay a tax (cannon) (Score 1) 352

Do any other countries besides Spain and Czech Republic implement such system?

France does. The tax applies to blank recordable media and recording devices. It was created at the time to complement the right of making private copies of intellectual works (from books to music to movies).

The concept of private copy still exists, and it is in theory still legal to make private copies, unless it "causes unjustified prejudice to the interests of the author". Which, according to HADOPI, is basically all the time.

Comment Re:Actually many other countries have three-strike (Score 1) 288

That's why he says that it "failed a constitutional challenge".

The Conseil constitutionnel ruled that the HADOPI law in its first form was anticonstitutional in that only a judge, after a trial, could restrict freedom of speech.

Then the law was modified so that the HADOPI authority would need to send its data to a judge for an accelerated procedure (as with traffic violations).

The Conseil Constitutionnel ruled that the new version of the HADOPI law was constitutional last December, so you might want to update your sources.

Comment Backups on the DSi (Score 4, Informative) 116

The not so funny thing is, you can back up your downloaded DSiWare games to the SD slot, but you can't restore them to just any DSi, they're tied to the one you downloaded them from.

About the only use I can see for this is if you have bought a lot of DSiWare and want to free some of the internal storage. Even then, since you can re-download them as many times as you want (still on the same console), it's not very useful.

Comment Re:What a lousy translation (Score 1) 373

The French people elect their President. Then the President names a Prime Minister; the Prime Minister proposes people for the various departments and the President says yea or nay. So the French elected Sarkozy, but did not elect Christine Albanel (minister of Culture and Communication).

About the translation, I actually had to try quite hard to make it sound close to the original, where Albanel does indeed sound like a complete ninny and tosser. I repeatedly used "of course" where she repeatedly said "évidemment", stopped my sentences short when she did, and so on.

Here's a link to a FOSS blog with the clip from the Assemblée Nationale recordings, along with a text transcript, if you wish to provide a better translation: link.

The worst part is that she seems to be reading from her notes.

Comment Re:What about Linux? (Score 4, Informative) 373

We're supposed to get one of those spywares any day now, over here in France, thanks to the HADOPI legislation.

When confronted with the problem of making people voluntarily run spyware on FOSS systems, Christine Albanel (ministry of Culture and Communication, proponent of HADOPI), said (my translation):

About software... about free software, of course free software, when you buy, of course, software, for instance the Microsoft pack (this is not free software): Word, Excel, Powerpoint, there are of course firewalls, I just said that, there is security software. But on free software there are also firewalls, which by the way, of course. For instance, we in the ministry, we have a piece of free software, called Open Office and there is indeed security software that prevents the Ministry of Culture to have access, obviously, and the free software editors release firewalls, and even release free [gratis] firewalls. So that argument has no grounds. That is what I wanted to say.

And that is basically the last we heard of it, and they moved on with the project. She said that in front of the entire Assemblée Nationale to the representative who had asked her if she had considered the problem of FOSS systems, including the half-dozen "évidemment" and the unfinished sentences.

Now what happens is that when accused of infringing copyrights, it's the HADOPI authority's word against yours, and despite this being -- supposedly -- a country where you are innocent until proved otherwise, for some reason the burden of proof rests with the infringer here. So your *only* way of demonstrating that you are not guilty is to be running the government-approved spyware, which you can't, because it's HADOPI-style multiplatform, which probably means you can run it on Windows Vista *and* Windows Seven.

Before anyone storms in declaring that's what France gets for being a socialist country and that socialism inevitably leads to governments spying on their citizens: our current government is right wing (on our spectrum), and the Parti Socialiste is against HADOPI.

To conclude, the most likely answer to your question ("What are they going to do? Ban Linux?") is "no, they're just going to pretend it does not exist, and when the time comes to explain why you are not running the spyware, good luck trying to convince them it's related to ethical questions".

Comment Re:Still wrong (Score 2, Informative) 117

here (France) any citizen is welcome to participate or oversee the public counting of ballots. We use transparent ballot boxes so you are free to stay in the voting office from the opening to the counting. There are always several people there including opponents.

I can attest to that. Every time I go to vote I'm asked if I would like to help with the counting, despite the fact that I don't vote for the usual majority in my arrondissement, and that the old guy asking me does. I usually can't help, though, because of other time constraints.

I also personally know several people who regularly help with the counting. Some of them are involved in their local politics, and some of them aren't.

So basically, every time we get the election results, I am highly confident that they do in fact represent the wish of the majority of my fellow citizens. They usually elect the wrong guy.

Comment Re:Moving on to the next boogieman? (Score 1) 134

My post was supposed to be a joke, but I keep forgetting communications on the Internet tend to lose the subtle inflections that indicate that kind of things. Sorry.

Do you really think, though, that implementation problems are of any concern when they come up with these ideas? Take HADOPI for instance. They're supposed to send 10 000 emails per day, but they don't even have a reliable way of obtaining a valid email address since ISPs do not necessarily have them.

Then there's the official HADOPI spyware, which will be mandatory to regain your Internet access once HADOPI cuts it... but is also neither free as in beer nor, obviously, free as in speech -- in fact it won't even be cross-platform. To top it off, it's supposed to record "all" your connections, including private email -- and corporate email, breaching privacies and corporate secrets left and right. It took the Conseil Constitutionnel to remove the "mandatory" part of the law, but it's still "strongly recommended".

They don't care about implementation details until the law is passed, I tell you.

Comment Re:Moving on to the next boogieman? (Score 1) 134

It's working along the same channels that most illegal content travels. Hacked FTP servers, P2P and usenet.

In other news, French lawmakers intend to make all FTP, P2P and usenet traffic, as well as non-sanctioned HTTP traffic, illegal.

The Commission Nationale Informatique et Libertés' only comment on the matter was "TIMEOUT REACHED".

Seriously, don't give them any ideas.

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