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same topic, just after the 2012 tournament, almost three years ago, with more negative mixed in with pretty much the same positives: http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/gatlinburg-why/
April 10, 2015
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Donald Mamula,

Thanks for the information of the workings of the BoD minutes long journey through many hands and before many eyes before they are released to the public. I learned something new (to me) today. I'm sure many other Bridge Winners' readers did so as well.

Thanks,

Kevin
April 10, 2015
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Greg Humphreys,

My Apologies! Afternoon of April 10 and I see the CEO's Management Technology Committee's April 3 minutes are posted.

Impressive, only seven days – and leap-frogging ahead of the New Orleans reports and proceedings of the Board of Directors, on which Management has presumably been working there in Horn Lake since March 23 and of which I still find no trace on ACBL's website!

Thanks,

Kevin
April 10, 2015
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Hi Peg,

Playing Bridge is supposedly an activity which delays or prevents the onset of Alzheimer's. I believe that's a good part of the rationale for our involvement with The Longest Day.

:

:

errrr . . . what was I just saying?
April 9, 2015
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"ACBLscore is hard to learn. ACBLscore+ is different to learn." Excellent terse/succinct explanation of the difference, Nic.
April 9, 2015
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Good questions for Nicolas, Larry. He may not have time for his usual type of lengthy responses until April 20 or 21, if he's busy with Gatlinburg preparations and the “really big show” at the Regional there next week. I was surprised he replied to me earlier today.

Between Nic at Gatlinburg and ACBL working on New Orleans stuff, I am resigned to hearing nothing about the CEO's Management Technology Committee, and little to nothing from Nic about the situation, until the 20th at the earliest.

Ominous . . . the 20th is Adolf Hitler's birthday. :(

EDIT: Apparently Nic is as ready as he's going to be for Gatlinburg, at least until he arrives on site there, as he is commenting here on BW in his usual multi-character manner.
April 8, 2015
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment April 8, 2015
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Right on, Joe. Every tine Nic Hammond says he can wrap up the remaining work in “x” months, the caveat is that he has to have the “missing specs” before the clock starts.
April 8, 2015
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Nic Hammond,

Bridgewinners posts don't count – that's PR and CYA for Hammond Software and its principal.

Count your time only; unless the others are not donating their time as unpaid volunteers.

Videos that you have put up to refute allegations don't count; videos that are otherwise useful for training can count.

Include some ballpark estimate of your expenses and Bridgescore+-related time at ACBL tournaments where you have tested the product and trained TD's, and your support time and design/coding/debugging on the changes since May 29, 2014. Compute your estimated hours at the rate at which you billed ACBL for those hours while you were under contract. Add your travel and lodging expenses for the days you were testing/training at ACBL tournaments.

If you would put a dollar amount out in public, this public would have some idea of what you have personally invested in Bridgescore+. Of course that has nothing to do with what price you would put on the product if ACBL wanted to purchase it. It would cost them much more, we presume, to duplicate that work themselves.
April 8, 2015
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Does that work for an ACBL CEO as well?
April 8, 2015
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Nic Hammond,

Are you willing to share a guesstimate of actual time you've spent on Bridgescore+ coding/debugging since May 29, 2014?
April 8, 2015
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April 8, Management Technology Committee meeting was April 3, ACBL employees are very busy – too busy to post minutes so far. Not unexpected. 2.5 business days after meeting ended, still 2.5 business days before Gatlinburg Regional start Monday April 13.

The rest of (all of?) the New Orleans proceedings and reports will probably be posted first; I'm still looking for (and failing to find) the Board of Directors Technology Committee report (presumably delivered in electronic or scannable format and not yet posted). See http://www.acbl.org/about-acbl/administration/board-of-directors/meeting-motions-and-minutes/ where 2015 is missing.

Maybe ACBL will post April 3 Management Technology Committee meeting minutes DURING Gatlinburg Regional, but I doubt this if they have to get all the New Orleans reports and proceedings posted first. See http://www.acbl.org/about-acbl/technology-committee/ where April 3 is absent as I edit this comment.
April 8, 2015
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment April 8, 2015
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Playing Bridge is supposed to be both challenging and pleasant. When it isn't, it's no longer fun. That's when you change partners (if soon-to-be-ex pard was the cause of the unpleasantness), take steps to avoid the unpleasant opponents (play in a different club if you can't sit in the same direction as them almost all the time), or (if you are the cause of the unpleasantness) find it increasingly difficult to find partners and end up not playing for that reason.

Enforcing Zero Tolerance goes a long way – but requires the cooperation of all the Directors at the event.

Thanks, Matthew, for all you do for our game! :)
April 7, 2015
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Jeff Lehman is right, it was the lawyers.

Jay Whipple III, Florida (District 9) director, tells the Floridian Bridge players (see http://district9acbl.org/SBN/2014_11/page14.htm, left column, second paragraph):
The ACBL continues to be dogged by many questions about the failed ACBLscore+ development project. Board members have been under a gag order as legal counsel has advised us there is potential for litigation. Nonetheless, neither the Board nor ACBL members have been able to get adequate answers to many lingering issues.

Now Nic Hammond tells us:
I'm aware of at least one ACBL member (I don't know who) that has requested information from ACBL through the New York statute for non-profits. Earlier in at least one other place on Bridge Winners Nic told us he has no reason to litigate. So perhaps this "potential for litigation" about which legal counsel has warned the Board has transformed into litigation by ACBL members in an effort to break open the facts and get them out.

Too bad ACBL Management and ACBL Legal Counsel have yet to learn the lesson of Larry Lang's Pacific Northwest National Labs,
At Pacific Northwest National Labs, we had a department called “Media Relations”. They were almost always telling management and the lawyers to come clean as quickly and completely as possible. And to always be up front and honest with the employees. The worst thing that can happen is for a bad story to linger on cloaked in secrecy.

As Jeff Lehman says, certainly Fodder for further mistrust.
April 6, 2015
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment April 6, 2015
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Bridgescore+ may be impressive, but I doubt ACBL Board of Directors members or their designated informal deputies, will see any relevance to ACBL's future.

(1) If the "gag order" persists, they probably fear talking to Mr. Hammond at all; perhaps with good reason.

(2) As Greg Humphreys said far above, "Also, it's worth bearing in mind that while Bridgescore+ may do some great things, ACBL doesn't own it or have any rights to it, so even if it's amazing, it's not something that the league can currently use in any official capacity.

Alas!

All that aside, imagine a world where the ACBL Board of Directors at its Chicago 2015 meeting, says formally to ACBL Management something like: ”We have seen Bridgescore+ and it works well with what it does. Buy it from Hammond Software, rename it ACBLscore+, and get the missing pieces completed ASAP, even if that means signing another contract with Hammond Software. We don't mind that HS owns the copyright. By the way, the CEO's job security depends on the swift completion of this."
April 5, 2015
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment April 5, 2015
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Larry,

Won't happen. As David Babcock said above, "Take the number of people who have posted to any thread here on this topic even once, add to that the number who attended the committee meeting at the NABC, add to that the number who have contacted anyone at all in any position of authority to express their concerns, weed out duplicates, and I strongly doubt that the remaining list would amount to even a tenth of one percent of the ACBL membership - with almost of all those being peripheral to the decision-making process anyway. That's just not a group that it makes sense to spend time on as though they (we) were key actors. "

So far, ACBL President and other members of ACBL Board of Directors may occasionally read articles and comments here, but nothing compels them to take any action on what they read. ACBL Management says nothing about Nic's allegations anywhere, and Nic himself appears to have no intention of showing anything here.
April 5, 2015
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“If Nic's claims are true, Hartman's head needs to roll.”

Nic makes his claims in comments on every Bridge Winners article that mentions ACBLscore+. He always claims he has proof. ACBL management does nothing to refute Nic's allegations, and nothing to give him any reason to go public with his proof. ACBL Board of Directors seems (from what we have seen at Las Vegas and Providence 2014 and New Orleans 2015) to have no interest in Nic's claims.

Perhaps ACBL CEO Robert Hartman manages the ACBL Board of Directors, with a “gag order” and so-called “Star Chamber” proceedings for any who violate the “gag order.” So we've been told here, but that's all internal business, and we interested and concerned dues-paying and service-fee-paying ACBL members will see the text of the so-called “gag order” and learn the details of the workings of the so-called “Star Chamber” NOT.

Unless and until ACBL's Board of Directors investigates Nic's allegations and sees his self-proclaimed “proof,” Hartman's job and head are safe. All the hubbub here on Bridge Winners is just a tempest in a teapot, easily ignored by the ACBL's “Powers that Be.”
April 4, 2015
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment April 4, 2015
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“Does what has happened make sense to anyone?”
Obviously not! Too much information is hidden behind “gag order” (ACBL Board of Directors) and “Cone of Silence” (ACBL Management) and “lawyers' advice/too busy preparing for Gatlinburg” (Nicolas Hammond), thus readers here continue to comment with speculation, and questions.
April 4, 2015
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment April 9, 2015
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Nic,

Although you tell us, repeatedly, “If the board ever chooses to investigate I have all the emails/contracts/termination letters to back up my claims,”
you just “tell” – and don't “show.”

I'm sure you have your reasons for this.

But if Hammond Software submitted invoices to ACBL which were not paid for months, I would think that ACBL Management responsible for paying those invoices in a timely manner – and failing to do so – is GUILTY.
- of incompetence at the least,
- of unsavory business practices (dare I use the word “extortion”?)

and if they later sent post-dated checks, they are proving they knew they were in the wrong.

Is this the kind of management YOU want in charge of YOUR ACBL? If not, then YOU should not wait for the ACBL Board of Directors to come to you asking for proof; IMHO YOU should send (copies of) that proof to each member of the ACBL Board of Directors.

You've made very serious allegations here; back them up by putting the proof in the hands of those who can take action.

I'm sure I'm not the only Bridge Winners reader who is tired of your frequent “I have proof” all-tell and no-show.

I'm sure I'm not the only Bridge Winners reader who is uncomfortable with the idea that our Management is incompetent.

I'm sure I'm not the only Bridge Winners reader who would prefer to replace Management that practices coercion/extortion/whatever-you-choose-to-call-it, and then tries to cover this up.

Send the proof of your allegations to each BoD member, so they have no choice but to take action or say they are okay with how ACBL Management has treated you, and the kinds of actions they have taken.

Bring this whole situation to an end, Nic. Put up or shut up, please.
April 3, 2015
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment April 3, 2015
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(a) has long-standing ACBL BoD connections;
do we know he said “listen to me?”
(b) is much less well-connected,
is associated with unpleasant recent happenings,
is frequently outspoken in a challenging manner,
AND his advice, if taken, will cost ACBL more money and subject the BoD to yet another (arcane and confusing?) legal opinion from yet another outside (probably = unknown) lawyer.

Almost an easy slam dunk decision for many BoD members? I have no idea!
April 2, 2015
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Question 1: To whom will the ACBL Board of Directors listen?
(a) The fellow bridge-player in-house counsel they have known and worked with for more than a decade
(b) The former contractor who was involved in “the fiasco” and who was unable to deliver the software, no matter that he says others should take the blame for that failure

Answer 1: So far it's (a)

Question 2: Does the ACBL Board of Directors know the full story? We know that one side has been revealed in great detail (and unknown completeness) on the Bridge Winners site; we know only bits and pieces of the other side. Do ACBL Board of Directors members know more than the average Bridge Winners reader/commenter?

Answer 2: For whatever reason, most of them are not talking, and those that are talking are not saying enough to give us a clue as to all that they really know – and really don't know.
April 2, 2015
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