Wii Verses… What?

I am tired of people (websites, media, etc) referring to the Nintendo Wii as a “next generation” console. It’s nowhere near next gen. As much as I hate Microshit, at least the Xbox 360 can be called a next gen system. The Wii is just a Gamecube in a new case with different peripherals. Literally. Look it up if you don’t believe me.

The first and foremost feature of a next gen console is support for high definition output, or at the very least compliance with the ATSC standards. The Wii only supports NTSC which is outdated, and obsolete. What this means is you cannot have the Wii connected to new HD television sets, without switching the set to SDTV each time you want to play. For those of you who don’t know, the NTSC format only allows a resolution of 640×480 and limited color capabilities. Whereas the ATSC format allows resolutions up to 1920×1080 and millions of colors (HD).

The second feature required of a true next gen console is online cross-platform capabilities. With a true next gen system, a gamer can play against any other player with the same game who may be on a PC or any other console platform the game has been ported to. The Wii can only utilize it’s online abilities with other Wiis on a peer-to-peer basis. That not only alienates games manufactures, but, coming from an end user perspective, it just doesn’t make sense for a console in the 21st century.

The third feature required in next gen systems is raw power. While both the PS3 and the 360 sport hefty 3 Ghz dual technology processors, the Wii is still fumbling with its measly, Gamecube innards (400-729 Mhz single core).

A forth feature, and last requirement for the “next generation’ label, is a hard drive. The Wii does not come with a hard drive. That is absolutely ridiculous.

Now, don’t misread what I’ve written, I’m not saying the Wii sucks, obviously, it’s a popular system with a load a fun games. What I am saying is that it is nowhere near “next gen” as far as it’s “competition” is concerned. In it’s own inferior way, the Wii is in a class of it’s own.

Never Say Never

I remember having a conversation with a relative some months ago concerning wireless keyboards and mouses. I have from time to time considered purchasing one or the other or both, but never have for the obvious reasons that they depend on batteries. That’s an expense and inconvenience I’d rather not have with any device that can single-handedly make or break a good computer setup. Could the pros of having wireless extremities such as those make it worth it? Absolutely not.

Nevertheless, while browsing through a secondhand store recently, I happened upon a small desktop keyboard with a much desired and sought-after layout similar to my IBM ThinkPad’s. It even had a built in cursor mover (mouse). The only thin was, as I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, it was wireless. As I’ve said, I have long wanted a keyboard like it; small, without that god-awful numpad sticking out in butt-fucked right field. (Seriously, what purpose does the keypad have on a home PC? It’s not like were checking groceries at our desktops. It’s totally redundant to have two sets of numbers on the PC keyboard. And to top it all off, it throws the whole keyboard off center, which means we have to sit with our arms unnaturally to our far left anytime we need to type. It literally does not make any sense.)

Anyway, I bought the keyboard with the intention of testing whether it worked and maybe convertinging the power source to be wired instead of battery powered. It only takes two AA’s, so it wouldn’t be hard to wire it up to a basic AC to DC power adapter. The wireless signal I wouldn’t change, the vulnerability is primarily in the power source. Anyway (again), I promptly forgot about it. Though I did make it a point to buy some batteries a few weeks later, though I could not remember for what. :”>

Enter the Sony Playstation 3. For months now I have been craving a good game console and some quality game play time, so two weeks ago, I bought a PS3. (Totally fun, way awesome system!) As you may or may not be aware, the PS3, like all next gen game consoles, comes with wireless accessories, the controller for instance. The way Sony pulled this technique off, was to have the controller rechargeable via a USB cable. Ingenious! All a player has to do is plug the device in whenever it’s convenient, we can even play while its charging.

If computer accessories used that approach to wireless extremities, I won’t hesitate to purchase them. Especially if they didn’t freeze the computer every time the power pack became too low to send signals. With the PS3, when the control doesn’t function, such as when it’s out of power or turned off, the PS3 system doesn’t freeze. That’s the ultimate hotplugger right there. Just plug it in (to charge) or turn it on, and viola, everything’s fine, no hassle, no inconvenience, no messy hard-booting, and no wasted time.

Today, I found that wireless keyboard I had bought batteries for and hooked it up. I’ve been using this whole time while writing this blog entry. Very nice. I didn’t like the little mouse thingy though, so I’m using my real mouse. It’s nice to sit back and use it’s symmetrical layout in my lap. Before, when I was always fumbling with an over-sized board which never sat right in my lap because of that blasted numpad… I think I’ll get used to this real quick. Some buttons are in new places and some others stick, but overall, its not more than I can handle. Looks like I’ve got some soldering to do in the near future because, even with all the pros going for it, it still runs on batteries.

An American Guide to Law & Statute

In a recent online conversation (chat) I was involved in, the subject turned to who was actually subject to certain licensing laws. During the conversation, I decided that the facts I was presenting should also be shared on my blog. So, after editing the transcript for spelling and clarity, I offer the following. The question I’m answering could easily be “why aren’t I required to license…”.

Because of America’s system of government. It is founded (as in the foundation of America) upon liberty, and mankind’s God-given rights (as in inalienable). What you are referring to as “law” is actually a statute which was passed by a legislature whose powers and authorities only extend to matters “which concern all the members of the republic, but which are not to be attained by the separate provisions of any”. They exist for two purposes, to govern the foreign entities who have been granted certain privileges in relation to America, and as a code of conduct for the members of the government itself, which is why it is often referred to as “code” (statutory code, United States code, Internal Revenue code, etc.).

Actual law in America is what a legal court decrees when a statute is tested through trial. It is situation-dependent and relies on the plaintiff’s ability to prove the statute is law in each particular case. Because of this, what may be found to be “law” for one person or group of people, may not be so for any other.

The key is Liberty. The right to be free from government interference (look it up). Americans, are guaranteed liberty. Any statute written, which appears to apply to everyone, must be read in light of that fact. So, where the legislature has authority to write statutes, they do not have the right to subject American Citizens to that statute. In other words, they (statutes) only apply to people under the direct authority of the legislature; civilians and foreigners.

No, not all of us are civilians. Remember, America’s government is divided into three separate parts, two parts civil (legislature, and judicial), and one part militant (executive). A civilian is a member of the civil government, officers (elected officeholders), delegates, agents, employees, and so on. Most of us (Americans) are citizens.

Furthermore, a statute cannot be enforced. Only law (judgment of the court) can be enforced. Hence the phrase “innocent until proven guilty”. And even then, only by a legal law enforcement officer. As the title suggests, enforcement “officers” are duly elected individuals empowered to enforce the law (decree, warrant). Ever seen a traffic ticket? Tickets are not law either, in fact, they are just summonses to appear in court and are themselves governed by statute.

If you looked at most licensing forms and the statutes and regulations which constitute them, you will discover that they were intended only for foreigners who wish to practice certain privileges within the States of America, or government agencies that the government has decided should provide certain services (county hospital, city fire department, etc.). Remember that all statutes are written by a legislature, with limited powers and authorities, under the assumption that those who are within their jurisdiction know they are subject to the statute.

Also, when reading statutes, you have to be able to read EVERYTHING regarding the statute you’re interested in. The reason is because legislatures use their own definitions for common terms and words, which is crucial to understand the statute as the legislature intended. Also, you have to cross reference other seemingly unrelated statutes.

For example, most statutes which govern licenses will have some connection to the Social Security Act. Many licenses require social security numbers (SSN), which can only be issued to foreigners and certain benefits receivers. The forms use the term “United States”, which is defined in the code (statute) as the District of Columbia, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, and American Samoa. Most people, including American Citizens, would have assumed the term “United States” on the form referred to the States of America (the 50 states), and would have no problem signing under the oath of perjury that they were citizens of the “United States”, when, in fact, they may never have even visited the “United States” as the term is defined in relation to that form.

Actually, statutes aren’t complicated. They are well organized and straightforward and easy to understand. Definitions like the one cited above are often found in their own section labeled “definitions” for each section, subsection, or title they apply to.

It may seem far-fetched, but you don’t have to take my word for it. The truth is indeed out there, and easier to find than one would first assume. If you stick to the statutes, their regulations, and the constitutions (state and federal) you’ll figure it out in pretty short order. It may even appear mind-boggling that more people don’t already know.