The Telegraphed Gazette. 23 February 2013

Greetings ladies and gentlemen: welcome back to the Telegraphed Gazette for the 23rd of February 2013. My name is Vince, bringing you the latest round up of weekly news from Quebec, and from the games industry. I figured that since I write mostly on Quebec politics, and only some of my stories are related to Montreal, I would change up the introduction a bit to reflect the true nature of this gazette. You can leave suggestions for future editions in the suggestions tab at the top of the page. In the headlines today: OLF backs down after realizing that their inspection of an Italian Restaurant was overzealous, navy spy is eligible for conditional release after 3 years, and Sony’s new PlayStation 4 will leverage Gaikai’s cloud service.

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The Office Quebecois de la Langue Francais has backed away from their case against an Italian Restaurant for using the word “pasta.” The OQLF spokesperson stated that the inspection was based on the fact that in Quebec, at least half the text on any menus in any restaurants must be in French; however the restaurant would not face action over one or two words. An addition was later made to the spokesperson’s statement in that the OQLF will take into account the nature of the restaurant in that it offers foreign specialities to consumers, rather than local goods. Apart from the word “pasta,” the word: “bottiglia” was also noted as one of the violating words in which the OQLF was sent to investigate: “bottiglia” is used to indicate the wine selection on the menu by bottle. Since the incident, and the subsequent social media uproar over this, the OQLF have backed down and have stated that they will get back to the public once they have completed their investigation of the case. Initial thought: oh great, the language cops are at it again. This time however they are targeting a restaurant for using the word “pasta” in their menu. Does the OQLF really have nothing better to do with their time, so they go around places poking at every little detail, and drafting reports on violations that are not really violations? Now if the menu was completely in English, Italian, or Chinese, I can understand. Heck here in the lower mainland in Chinese Restaurants, they have two types of menus: one entirely in Chinese characters, and the other bilingual. Now I can see how frustrating it is when one cannot even understand what is on the menu, but a single word? The OQLF has to poke at a single word that has no significant meaning other than to denote that it is a plate of noodles? Looking on the Facebook page of the group: “Put the flag back in Quebec Assembly,” it would appear that the social media world has dubbed this the: “Pastagate” scandal; a bit of a parody of the Watergate scandal when President Nixon of the United States of America was in office. Hopefully the OQLF will drop the case entirely, or simply ask the restaurant owners to have a French equivalent on their menu: the simple most basic thing, rather than going in with guns blazing and demanding the owner remove “pasta” or face the power of the fines. The links to the stories are located in the addresses below this paragraph.

http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/sunnews/politics/archives/2013/02/20130220-135808.html

http://www.cjad.com/CJADLocalNews/entry.aspx?BlogEntryID=10506311

The Parole Board of Canada states that former naval officer – Jeffrey Paul Delisle – is eligible for conditional release in three years. Delisle, who plead guilty to charges under security-of-information laws, received a 20 year sentence by a Nova Scotia Judge; however the judge noted the time served while in pretrial custody, which brings the amount of time to be served down to 18 years and five months. The parole board mentioned that Delisle will become eligible for unescorted temporary leaves in March 2016, with day parole as soon as September 2018: whether or not the actual hearing will grant him the parole is another question entirely, and remains to be seen. Now this was a case that has brought great shame to the military community as one of their own officers would sell intelligence to a foreign nation of whom our relations with are not as – how should I word this – comfortable, as we would like it to be. Now here was the interesting twist to the story: Delisle was not conducting standard espionage operations in regards to military intelligence and government documents, but rather the clients he was spying for – the Russians – wanted Delisle to dig up information on the Russian Mafia. Now it must be made clear that this kind of action, regardless of what sort of information he was collecting, is a violation of the trust the Canadian people and the government: something that Delisle should have thought about carefully before going about conducting this sort of operations. For now though, what can be said is hopefully the parole board will deny him his request, and insist he serve his full sentence. Any other country on this earth would have hung Delisle for treason, or a similar charge; yet our courts decided to try him in a civilian setting, which went on to hand him a 20 year sentence for his actions. Now looking into the criminal code; treason under section 42 subsection 2b warrants a sentence not exceeding 14 years (in times of peace); something which I think the judges may not have chosen to enact as the sentence given to Delisle is about 20 years total and was under the security-of-information laws.

The question remains however; why not a military tribunal? Now sadly I do not have a copy of the military legal code on my desk, but would it not be in the best interest of both the military and the government to sentence Delisle to a military correctional facility? We do have those in Canada; admittedly they are rare, but we do have some in the country. Delisle should face the music in a military court, rather than receive the graces of a civilian court: this is just my opinion of course. I trust the judges made the correct choice, however disagreeable it may be, I am not in their shoes, nor do I have the training that they possess in order to pass judgement on Delisle; for in reality my statement of him serving in a military correctional facility, however supported with evidence it may be, was stated under the blanket of anger. Several legal courses have taught me never to pass judgement in a moment of passion, and I will hold myself to that statement. Anyways, let me know what you guys think in the comments section below: does he deserve to be executed? What other punishments should a spy receive? Should he even be punished at all? While you are pondering at what to say, have a look at the links related to this story in the addresses below this paragraph.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2013/02/19/ns-delisle-spy-parole.html

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2013/02/06/f-vp-stewart-russia-mob.html

The PlayStation 4 console will now utilize cloud gaming services according to an article on Gamasutra.com. The list of services that Gaikai will provide to Sony for the PlayStation 4 include storefront streaming where players can sample a game and purchase it digitally should they desire; spectating between players will also be a feature allowing players to view matches and jump in and out of spectator mode; and finally backwards compatibility whereby older games will be streamed through Gaikai’s service. Now cloud gaming is an interesting concept as the games played are running on another person’s machine and using their specs, which will answer some questions some of you may have regarding the backwards compatibility of the PS4: no the PlayStation 4 will not be able to play the hardcopy versions of PlayStation 3 games. The idea on Sony’s end is that Gaikai will provide the service for players to stream their older titles onto the PS4, but because the games are streamed, the actual hardware will not affect the game whereas if a person were to insert a PS3 game disk, it would fail to load. Now there has been some discussion amongst the games industry as to where Sony wants to bring their console; to which Sony replied that they wish to see users enter a more digital world rather than rely on hardcopies of games. The question then is raised as to whether or not the PS4 will require a constant internet connection to run: the answer is no, but you may want to keep it on to download and/or update games and hardware. However Sony stated that you can go offline totally, and you do not require a constant internet connection. Now Sony stated that it is recommended that the user keep their system on at all times for updating and downloading, but the option to do so is completely up to the user, and they may disconnect from the internet all together.

Now in terms of used games, the Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida told Eurogamer.net that the PS4 can play used games. What is interesting about this however is that Sony – while no longer opposed to the used games market – wants users to go digital with their products, which in turn makes it so that a game is permanently theirs and is not available for re-sale. The concept is of course that digital products do not come on a disk, nor do they ship a hardcopy of a game to the user. Instead what ends up happening is the game is downloaded through the users account and onto their machine, in which they can play it as many times as they like, uninstall, and re-download when they wish to play the game again. Apart from leveraging Gaikai as a means to stem the sales of used games – which they see no profit from – the cloud service also enables the user to transfer files and data from one machine to another without running into problems related to hardware such as hard drives not functioning or memory cards not reading on the system itself. What I see in all of this is that Sony will support used games but with an alternate agenda to get their customer base to switch over to digital, thereby cutting off the used games market all together. However here lies the problem: in the United States in particular, internet connections are not as powerful as some of the other nations in the world. The user experience will differ based on geography, which would mean that if Sony wishes to go all digital, it will have a bit of a rough start as many people often rely on hard copies of games rather than download as their internet is unreliable to begin with. I think Sony has its mind in the right direction, but they fail to see the reality; especially given the nature of gaming and the fact that it is a global market rather than a domestic one. The one thing that I – and many other gamers – are relieved to hear is Sony will not prevent used games from running on their consoles. Now it is up to Microsoft to announce their next generation console and what they plan to do with it. Hopefully they will allow some backwards compatibility, and used games: something that – in my opinion – will greatly benefit the console in the long run. You can find the story and related links in the addresses below this paragraph.

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/187022/How_Sonys_PlayStation_4_will_leverage_Gaikais_cloud.php#.USl3M1dWJJN

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-02-21-sony-tells-eurogamer-playstation-4-will-not-block-used-games

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-02-21-playstation-4-does-not-require-an-internet-connection

Well that concludes this week’s edition of the Telegraphed Gazette. Check back next Saturday, March 2nd 2013 for another weekly round-up of key news from Quebec, and from the games industry. This has been Vince, and I will see you next time.

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Creating articles related to the games industry and military news.

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