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All comments by Richard Willey
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> But may be it’s not a bad idea for ACBL to
> have additional screening for people from
> countries where the virus has made
> deeper inroads.

I don't believe for a moment that the ACBL could execute on this sort of policy with any degree of effectiveness.

I worry that it would devolve into a combination of security theater and ethnic stereotyping…
8 hours ago
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The “real” issue with coronavirus is the uncertainty around it.

For the most part, influenza is a known quantity. Influenza kills a bunch of people each year, but the right hand tail of the distribution is fairly well known.

Even if Coronavirus currently doesn't look as dangerous on average, we really aren't in a good position to know how bad it might get, especially given the relatively long incubation time and the potential for mutation.

Combine this with small sample sizes and what appears to be a whole bunch of disinformation and its really hard to know what's what
11 hours ago
Richard Willey edited this comment 11 hours ago
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My impression is that it is too early to make an informed decision about any of this.

There's way too much conflicting information out there and active attempts to spread disinformation (both trying to downplay the risk and exaggerate it).

Like Nigel commented above, at the moment, I think that risks have more to do with responses to the infection than the disease itself. I'm not sure that I'd want to travel to Asia right now because I'd be worried about travel disruptions and stuff being closed.

I do know that the attendance at a whole lot of bunch of large trade shows (RSA) and gaming conventions (PAX East) is being impacted
18 hours ago
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Between the Open, the Womens, the Senior, and the Mixed event that's an awfully large number of laptops…
Feb. 24
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> It is very easy to put a hub (USB or Ethernet)
> under the table to connect them.

No doubt

But what does that hub connect to and how is that hub communicating with it?

Unless you're running a server process on one of the four tablets at each table or some kind of peer to peer system, you need something more…
Feb. 24
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> although wifi has become more and more reliable,
> I’m still not ready to be completely reliant on it,
> which is why the hard-wired alternative is
> attractive if the physical issues (both set
> up & use) could be worked out.

From the looks of things, the USBF is running four different events at once (Open, Womens, Mixed, Seniors) and you probably want to be planning for at least 16 teams per event.

Trying to mesh together 256 tablets with RJ45 or some such is going to be a logistical nightmare. You're going to have cables running everywhere. Hubs, chained into hubs, chained into hubs. (Think of all the fun that people used to have troubleshooting strings of Christmas lights looking for bad bulbs)

There are some cases where a wired network is going to be more reliable than wifi. (Think an office, where stuff gets done right). However, even these situations require a bunch of troubleshooting when they are first getting started.

I think that WiFi is going to win out every day here.

If you need back up…
Well, folks can always fall back to physical cards.
Feb. 24
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I think that there are far too many variables at play here to answer with a simple yes or no.

FWIW: I think that there would be value in having a timer system if this were done “right”. To me, this means

Individual clocks for each player
Having clocks networked together using WiFi
Having appropriate software in place to track how time is being spent

I can easily see this being integrated with a system of tablets that is being used to for bidding / play.

If such a system were to exist, I can see a lot of value in mandating its use in tournaments. I can imagine a world in which club owners might choose to adopt this as well. I'm not sure that I would want to mandate that individual clubs be required to adopt this.

I would not trust the ACBL to develop such a system.

I'm not sure that it would be efficient to develop this as a stand alone project (To me, at least, this feels more like a feature that one would find in a more comprehensive electronic playing environment)
Feb. 24
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> How can you expect someone to be prepared for
> strong club or weak NT if they never have a
> chance to play against it?

Alexander, from the sounds of it, you're living in a bridge backwater, where the game has degenerated completely. This is neither here nor there. I'll simply note that your own experiences in the wilds of Idaho (hopefully) aren't representative to areas where the game is a bit healthier.
Feb. 23
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This seems like a reasonable critique

> I have minor issues with increase major issues with timing.

<Second half deleted cause I didn't read carefully enough>
Feb. 23
Richard Willey edited this comment Feb. 23
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So, on average, the CAGR is roughly 5%
At a time that inflation is running about 2.0 - 2.5%

Yawn
Feb. 23
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Out of curiosity, when was the last time that these fees were increased?

FWIW, my cleaning service recently upped their rate from $110 a visit to $150. While I wasn't thrilled about this, this was the first time that they had raised their rates since 2007, so I didn't get too worked up about it.
Feb. 23
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> you cannot make an informed decision about
> the action to take if you do not know the
> meaning of a call.

Let's assume an auction like the following

1 - 1
1 - 2
2 - 3

where 1 is strong, 1 and 2 are relays

I don't think that you need to know precisely what 3 means to assign a meaning to double
Feb. 23
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> And if I may want to make a double or a bid over
> their call IF it means “x” but not if it means “y”?
> I'm then supposed to guess?

You're supposed to have decent enough meta agreements that you neither

A. Need to ask about every bid in an auction
B. Provide your partner with unauthorized information by selective asking questions
Feb. 23
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> you still haven't made any statement about how
> in pair games, people are supposed to know in
> advance what the systems of 5-6-7 or more
> pairs are where many wouldn't know the system.

As I noted earlier in this thread, the ACBL directly states that

“Players are expected to be prepared for the vast majority of systems that they may encounter at the bridge table.”
Feb. 23
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> we would suck the humanity right out of the game.

Yes.

Fantoni and Nunes, Fisher and Schwartz, B+Z, the Doctors are all too human….

Bridge went through a 20+ year period where most every major team event has been spoiled by cheaters. And is almost certain that the rot goes back much much further…
Feb. 23
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Hi Jan

Once again, I would strongly suggest kicking off a separate thread to discuss this topic in more depth.

There are a wide variety of ways to configure a local area network and there is no “right answer”. Your choice on how to do so will very much depend on a wide variety of design requirements such as

1. Security model
2. Budget
3. Ease of transport


So, start by describing your design goals / requirements and then see what people suggest.

As an example: if you're seriously worried that people might be sniffing the wifi, one obvious thing to do would be to run whatever application you you are using over HTTPS rather than HTTP. Everything is encrypted. Life is good. You get to go back to using wifi…

I suspect that you could get Uday to agree to add this functionality to BBO pretty easily, especially since it means that Vugraph for the team trials would be run over BBO…

From my perspective, the single most important decision is whether you want to be running the game off some server that is located on the Internet or whether you want to be hosting it locally.

Also, please note: If you actually use the tablets for the play as well as the bidding, you don't need any Vugraph operators any more and you don't need to rent PCs from the ACBL….
Feb. 23
Richard Willey edited this comment Feb. 23
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> then HOW are we to a) learn a system in advance
> of a tournament when we don't even know who
> will be in our section, what their system is, etc?

Well, the first thing to do is realize that bridge players in many other parts of the world face precisely same problem and, somehow, are able to play the game and enjoy the game.

Being able to compete against systems that you haven't seen before is a skill that can be developed like any other.

The second thing to do is recognize that players who are playing “natural methods” have all sorts of idiosyncratic treatments and special meanings to their bids.

> isn't bridge built on the premise that it's
> not a guessing game, not poker - and that
> we are entitled to know the meanings
> of our opponents' bids?

That doesn't mean that you can or should be asking about each and every bid the opponents make. If the opponents have a long relay auction to 6, perhaps you should at the close of the auction.

If YOUR pair is much slower and handling the opponent's system than other pairs, then the onus is on you…
Feb. 23
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Once again, there is a difference between a situation in which

1. All pairs playing against a “complex artificial system” end up playing usually slowly
2. A small number of pairs playing against a “complex artificial system” end up playing slowly.

> “the opponents simply have to learn the
> systems that people are playing in a pair event”
> seems wacko to me

Bridge is a game of skill. And, this includes time management AND perhaps even learning legal bidding systems that the opponents are using.

No one is saying that you have to do so.
Just don't insist that you have a right to score as well as people who do.
Feb. 23
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> Time is still required for delivering the
> explanation. When a bid is alerted, an
> explanation will always be required.

As I mentioned before, this can / should be measured.

If some partnership is consistently sitting at a table where there are time issues AND it turns out that all of that pair's opponents are taking much longer to bid, then it might be worth looking at what's going on.
Feb. 23
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> But casual or non regular partnerships will not be
> able to do this and nor should they be expected to.

I would say that causal partnership that are competing in games of skill against established partnerships will not score as well. Nor should they expect to.
Feb. 23
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