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All comments by Nick Warren
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Well, as regards point 1), common practice in the U.S. may well be different to the UK where I am. All that I know is that clients are usually very touchy indeed about allowing developers to have copyright ownership here.

For sure it can reduce the price somewhat, maybe even a lot. But it also tends to imply such things as the developer is some sort of partner in the venture and has, for example, the rights to sell the product in parts of the world where the main client does not do business. But I suspect that ACBLscore has precisely no (paid for) market outside the North American area. So I am left wondering what the motive was and indeed what the fuss was about in trying to get it back.

As regards point 2) I have to take your word for it, but the program mainly used in the UK does the reporting to the EBU, knows about heaps of movements, allows new movements to be defined, can talk to the Bridgemates, uploads scores to the web, manages the club's name and address database and does the masterpoints (though that is really redundant as the EBU will redo those figures anyway). (It is, to be fair, weak on teams stuff.) How much more difficult can it be to add in a financial report or two? I am sure that the developer would be *over the moon* to have received $1,500,000 for his work

Jus' sayin'
Sept. 15, 2014
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If the write up is correct in its important points and I've understood it correctly:

1. It was short sighted, some might say negligent, for ACBL to allow Hammond to own the copyright. It was naïve for them to expect this to be renegotiable without paying significant compensation.

2. 1.5mil US sounds like an awful lot to pay for a bridge scoring program - ok with lots of whistles and bells - even if the developer had no copyright. With copyright it sounds even more like a lot. Not being from the U.S. I've never used ACBLscore, but I have seen several other scoring programs and I have been in computer industry for half a lifetime.

Some perfectly good scoring programs can even be downloaded for free (without the ACBL specific whistles and bells obviously)

3. Updating the existing ACBLscore does not sound to me like a viable long term option and just puts off the day when a new version will become necessary. It may well be viable in the short and medium term.
Sept. 15, 2014
Nick Warren edited this comment Sept. 15, 2014
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Another thought. The OP calls the fact that only 8 showed a failure. No. I don't think it was a failure. I think it was a start. The failure will be if you give up.
Sept. 12, 2014
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The main factors that made me take up the game:

0. I learned a lot of card games from my grandmother and parents - none of them bridge, but I got familiar with cards generally.

1. My mother didn't play, but mentioned the game on several occasions in a generally favourable way. This obviously didn't get me started, but it sowed a seed.

2. Friends at school played in the lunch hour. Not sure who got them going but it was almost certainly as a result of 3)

3) One of the teachers at school was a keen club player and ran the school bridge club and organised a few inter-school matches.

Once I went to university I dropped the game, but came back to it after getting married - mainly due to the fact that my wife's family play (most of them atrociously, but one OK and one quite well). Then I made it my business to seek out local clubs etc.

In short it was people I knew, many of whom were part of my generation and most of the rest only one above.

Edit. 4 of my 6 kids play. They learned from me. They did not have the benefit of school bridge.
Sept. 12, 2014
Nick Warren edited this comment Sept. 12, 2014
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I prefer not to, but as others have said, it depends on the exact situation. I am more likely to do so in the contested auction (as there are less options available and partner is less likely to hold anything in that suit).
Sept. 8, 2014
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“♠Q? No one reads Pushkin any more?”

Пиковая дама? да!
Sept. 8, 2014
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As far as I can tell, any nation that actually wants to be in the Commonwealth, can be. I say this for the simple reason that Mozambique is a member, but that was formerly a Portuguese colony (I think). So, although it is historically, or principally, former parts of the British Empire it isn't exclusively so.

Countries can be expelled and some countries that you would have thought might be members are not (for example, the Republic of Ireland). So it isn't all of what was the Empire anyway.

In the case of the U.S., many states did not exist at the point the (fledgling) U.S. left, so the U.S. (as a whole) has no historic reason to join. This would not, however, apply to the 13 original states, which certainly could join as individual states.

Generally the Commonwealth is a political talking shop without real power and an excuse for doing various sports and games (and is none the worse for that). It is said that the Queen is keen on being as inclusive as possible.
Sept. 8, 2014
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On the Concorde thing… It is, strictly speaking, a British/French example of de-evolution as it was we who produced them and only BA and Air France that ever bought any.

Unfortunately, at the time they were produced, a number of governments around the world took fright at allowing commercial aircraft to make sonic booms over their territory, so they were only really suitable for flight over water. However, although they had the range for trans-atlantic crossings, they couldn't do trans-pacific flights, which limited their potential use. In turn, that limited range was as a result of very high fuel consumption, which made the cost of running them very high.

There have been one or two proposals over the years to make a bigger super-sonic commercial jet that could do trans-pacific flight. Unfortunately nobody has had the courage (or foolhardiness?!) to actually take the designs off the drawing boards.
Sept. 4, 2014
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I'm rude when you call me rude?!

I don't eat dinner at a dinner table to ever need to ask to leave it.

We live on different planets.
Aug. 29, 2014
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Well, I don't just get up and go. I say I am going. Nobody ever says anything otherwise, so the scenario never happens.
Aug. 29, 2014
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7:30 at most clubs (in my area anyway). With a director that is on the ball, they usually finish at 10:35 or so. Some directors are a little bit too lax and then it runs to 10:45 or later - and typically that then draws complaint from at least some participants.

Personally I'd rather they played 24 boards, then one could have more time to chat if you're that way inclined or more time to think about hands if that is your bag, but too many feel that they are not getting their money's worth if the director uses a 24 board movement for that to be popular.
Aug. 29, 2014
Nick Warren edited this comment Aug. 29, 2014
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Well, assuming that you think NBOs have value at all - and I do - or that they should at least - then maybe Canada should do its own thing
Aug. 29, 2014
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Just a quick comment. “Robot” bridge is not real bridge in just the same way that an expert (who mainly plays IMPs for money in sponsored teams) will say that MPs is not real bridge - and in the same way that a rubber player will say that duplicate is not real bridge. Indeed I dare say there were auction bridge players back in the day who said that the new fangled contract bridge was not real bridge and would never catch on.

One has to move with the times or become extinct like the dinosaurs.

I think what is being said here is that the ACBL needs to change fairly radically or be replaced because it is not fit for purpose - not that is for me to say really because I don't live in the US.
Aug. 29, 2014
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I think you're probably thinking too deeply. If anything WCP was trying to be in tempo and not trying to be in anyone's head - and maybe pulled the card fast - or maybe you just perceived it that way.
Aug. 29, 2014
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Actually, from what little I know of Fred, I doubt his intent was to blast you. He could maybe have chosen other words for a couple of sentences. I think you're both voicing essentially the same concern.

I do (very reluctantly, as I enjoy F2F bridge and think online is a poor substitute) agree that more should be done to foster the growth area we do have, i.e. online.

I also think that the most comparable game today is Poker - which has at least some TV interest (over here in Europe anyway - not sure what coverage it gets in the US these days). Bridge is never going to get that coverage - unless you get some money involved - lots of it. And I don't see that happening sustainably without there being more activity and more prizes wherever Bridge already exists i.e. both F2F *and* online.

When I was a kid my mother made the point on mentioning the famous actor Omar Sharif was a Bridge player. I thought wow. Since then the only name that has had the same charisma is Zia's - but he is mainly known in the Bridge community.

Face it - money and celebrity sells. Nothing much else does today (much as I hate it to say).
Aug. 29, 2014
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Well, I don't have enough specifics on that case or any of the others that Dean has allegedly caused offence on to really make comment about that.

I do very definitely get the impression that there is a “storm in a teacup” here (you should see what goes on in other forums!) and that the only thing that is bringing it to my attention is the actions of the moderators (who IMO are making a rod for their own back with this constant advertising of the fact that they have suspended Dean, but not quietly evicted him).
Aug. 29, 2014
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I would like to say that Dean has not offended me, nor have I seen anything that I regarded as particularly offensive to others. Rather, I think someone is over-reacting and, if anything, this is reflecting badly on BW rather than on Dean.

If you run a forum (edit: or indeed are a member of a forum), then you have to expect some of the members to express views that you don't share. It is par for the course - I know - I've moderated a few in my time. Learn to live with it or stop pretending you have a forum.
Aug. 29, 2014
Nick Warren edited this comment Aug. 29, 2014
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Well, I've only been to NY for an afternoon on business once - but I didn't get the impression that US folks behaved like a tribe of anarchists. Nor is it true that all clubs here (the UK) have no issues with perceived late finishes.

What is probably fair to say from what I gather from experience and chat on forums is that the UK has no more of a problem with lateness despite generally playing 27 boards whereas 24 seems more routine in the US. But, it is also fair to say, you guys have further to drive home, in general, than we do.
Aug. 29, 2014
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Well, I've never played with those rules, so the problem doesn't arise for me. However, you're right - if you want to impose those rules, I don't want to be in that company. I'd rather give he game up.
Aug. 28, 2014
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Personally speaking, I play bridge much better if I can walk away from the table every hour or so. Same at work. I cannot work well if I am stuck at a screen literally all day. Health and safety people even recommend that you get up and move about every hour or so. I would consider having to ask permission to do this while I am dummy as an extreme imposition and I would probably not come back to that environment.

Whether I smoke, pee, drink or do nothing in particular with my couple of minutes leg stretching time is, frankly, nobody else's business.
Aug. 28, 2014
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