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Sat 17th March, 2012

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blikmansch commented on Hyperkin's RetroN 5 Console Allegedly Infringe...:

The easiest way to resolve this issue for Hyperkin is probably to release the source code and encryption codes to the people who bought the Retron 5 (they don't need to put it on the internet, it is probably okay if consumers can request this from them). However, that would allow more technical owners of the device to modify it in such a way that it can load roms, which is currently being protected by the encryption keys held by Hyperkin. Releasing them is probably not that bad for Hyperkin, because someone who wants to pirate games can buy cheaper and better available devices anyway. Also, I don't see why they would ever care about having the cartridge slots.
If they want to be able to keep the encryption keys on the device, they should only use emulators licensed using the GPLv2 instead of the GPLv3.

A side note: remarks such as "the emulator authors claim their work is stolen" are really weird, as the GPL implies they don't have any issue with the fact that Hyperkin copied their code and put it on a device being sold commercially. They do have an issue with the fact that Hyperkin does not allow the consumers who buy the Retron 5 to freely modify and change the software running on the device. Basically, the GPL states that you can do anything with a piece of software (copy it, give it to other people, modify it, put it on a commercially sold device), as long as you give the same freedom to the people you redistribute it to.



blikmansch commented on Hacking Group Claims To Have Discovered Wii U ...:

StarWolf_UK was quicker than me, but he is right: this hacking group only managed to do something that the fail0verflow people already presented in December, that will not really help you running Wii U Homebrew and/or piracy. The fail0verflow people also published an interesting post where they explain why they feel that setting up a homebrew scene for the Wii U is not worth the effort (at least, for the moment):



blikmansch commented on Mathematics Proves That Mario Games Are Difficult:

It's in interesting article, but I think it is possible to give an explanation that should be a bit more clear for people who are not into computation complexity.

The question that is studied, is whether it is possible to finish a given level for one of these games. For the levels in the original games this question is not very interesting, because the games would not be very fun to play if you weren't able to finish them. But given any level, the question whether it is possible to finish such a level can be a very complicated.

Now the problem of finding the solution to such a question is NP-complete if you are able to show two things: 1) that it is NP-hard and 2) that it is in NP.

A problem is in NP if somebody who claims that the answer to a problem is "yes" can backup his claim with a proof that can be checked efficiently. In the case of Super Mario, it is quite easy that it is in NP: somebody who claims that a level can be finished, can just play the level until the end, while you sit next to him on the couch making sure he doesn't cheat.

A problem is NP-hard if you can show that your problem is at least as difficult as a problem that is known to be NP-hard. This is quite a challenge to show and it is what makes the mathematical proof so long. They basically take a well known puzzle from mathematics and show that the "pieces" of this puzzle can be translated to pieces of a level, in such a way that the complete level can only be finished if and only if there was a solution to the original puzzle. This shows that the problem is NP-hard, which wraps up the proof that deciding whether you can finish any level in one of these games is NP-complete.