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All comments by Richard Willey
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I suspect that the author is consciously or subconciously ignoring hardware based RNGs.

FWIW, after sleeping on things, it occured to me that you could modify the audit protocol that Hans suggested to work with a hardware based RNG as well.
May 16
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> Judging from the response to this poll (and elsewhere),
> expert players do not favor a recorder system.

I don't think that you have established this at all

> There is a strong preference for telling players
> that don't understand or expect expert treatments
> to just endure their confusion as part of the learning
> process.

I'm not a fan of the recorder system (at least not in its current form), however, I think that you do it a grave dis-service when you frame it as a tool to protect novice players from expert treatments.
May 16
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The entire notion of a “recorder” system has a fundamental flaw.

The ACBL does not track when bridge players play a hand of bridge.

1. They track matchpoints (when people win)
2. They claim that they have a recorder system

However, a system that only tracks when “something weird” happens and does not have any systemic method to track what is normal seems to be of limited utility…

If people actually care about these issues then spend the time and effort to actually build something that can be used to address the problem.

What we have now seems to be a mixture of security theater and a star chamber.
May 16
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I can not help but believe that there is some relationship between

1. The definition of the action being considered
2. Whether or not that action is recorder-worthy
May 16
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@ken

I think that you are projecting here. I see NOTHING to suggest that there is an relationship between South's holding and North's decision to make this call.

From what I can tell, Jim is primarily concerned about

1. The frequency with which North is operating
2. Whether the behaviour is symmetric across the partnership
3. Whether this requires disclose
May 16
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fair enough
May 15
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Must say, I would have never drawn that conclusion from the original post…

To answer snark with snark, if you are in a position that you are able to recognize that N/S has a history of making such bids then you hardly need advanced disclosure…
May 15
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So what?
May 15
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Could not have said it better…
Congrats to you and Zia both…
May 15
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> Just asking if client pro and afternoon duplicate changes matters.

Don't see why it should…

Now, if you are claiming that the partnership in question is playing an asymmetric system and that this is a specific example what you perceive to be a long standing pattern, that is a completely different story. However, to me THIS is the central part of the claim and the information should have been presented up front…
May 15
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And if recording were free and frivolous reports didn't have the potential to bog down the system, I might agree with you…
May 15
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@jim

Do you believe that each and every psyche needs to be recorded? If so, feel free to record this one.

If not, why is this case special?
May 15
Richard Willey edited this comment May 15
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For folks interested in this sort of thing, the following might be useful https://blog.red-badger.com/2018/9/24/generate-true-random-numbers-with-a-quantum-computer
May 14
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> Aybody else not understand the “need for seed”?

Pseudo random number generators are deterministic. If you use the same algorithm and give it the same starting conditions, then it will follow the precise same path (by which I mean that it will output the precise same string of numbers in the same order). In some cases, this can be considered as a feature. For example, assume that you want to precisely replicate the results of an experiment that is using a statistical simulation. In other cases, this is a significant flaw. Perhaps you want to use a PRNG to generate bridge hands and you don't want the players to repeat the same hands tournament after tournament after tournament.

The seed for a PRNG introduces noise into the system and causes the stream of numbers that the algorithm will output to vary. However, here once again, the PRNG is deterministic. If you give the same algorithm the same seed you'll get precisely the same stream of numbers as the output. If you're doing things properly, you want to invest some time making sure that you have a good system to seed your PRNG.

Here's an example that is specific to generating bridge hands. You need to make sure that whatever mechanism that you use to generate your seed introduces sufficient randomness. (Imagine a world in which we generated the seed for the hand generator by rolling three dice, adding the numbers together, and using this. This has any number of problems. First, you can only generate a total of 18 - 3 different hand sets for tournaments. Second, some of those hand sets will be much more frequent than others)
May 14
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> Does Nic's program imply that someone could play
> three hands, transmit them to someone running
> the program, and get the rest of the hands?

Yes

Also note that the ACBL generated lots of hands at once, all from the same seed SO, if you had one block of hands for a tournament, you'd probably have all the rest.

And, of course, the ACBL also does life VuGraph will no built in delays

Please note. the ACBL switched its hand generation algorithm a couple years back
May 13
Richard Willey edited this comment May 13
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> even supposing some pretty bad problems with the
> generator (and use of it thereafter), an exploitable
> defect probably wouldn't arise in time to be detected
> by real people in a real game under real time constraints.

Nic Hammond demonstrated software that could crack the deal generator that the ACBL and the USBF were using for decades.

As I recall his implementation required three hands from a session to work on and could crack all the rest in a trivial amount of time.
May 13
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> So you think bridge tournaments competitive bridge more
> important than just players wanting to play at any level?

I never said that.

I believe that there is a role for a national organization that focuses on F2F tournaments.

I don't believe that the same holds true for either social play in the home or F2F bridge clubs. (Or, if there is a role for such an organization, it's not clear to me that the same org should try to deal with both sets of issues)

With respect to the WBF: My own belief is that the WBF has a serious problem resulting from a relatively small number of pairs that have cheated. The reason that folks care is that these individual have had remarkable success and, as such, an enormous number of results have been fouled. However, based on my experience with F2F play within the ACBL, there's enormous amounts of cheating that is tacitly sanctioned.
May 13
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On a more serious note, the first and most important thing that I would do is to commission a thorough demographic model of the membership. We desperately need to understand the issues surrounding the demographic bulge in the ACBL membership roles and how this is will impact tournament participate, club viability, and resources in the years ahead. Associated with this, it's vital that we understand what the “career trajectory” is for the new players who are entering into the ecosystem. We are bleeding out experienced talent and replacing them with social players who are no where near as committed to the game.

FWIW, I don't believe that the ACBL has the organizational competence, the time, or the resources to shape these issues. It took decades to build up to this point and it's unclear that anything would allow us to reverse these trends. Presuming that my gut is correct and that we're very close to an inflection point in which the bridge in North America will see a catastrophic decline in the number of players and clubs, the challenge for the organization is to manage its own decline. There's no way to sustain an organization of the current size / resource cost if the player base is going into a death spiral. You need to make a good guess at what things are going to look like post apocalypse, what the appropriate scope is for the ACBL in this new landscape, shed liabilities and try to get to a sustainable business model.
May 13
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Start working on my resume cause I doubt that I would last long in the job….
May 13
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I think that the ACBL is grossly incompetent and, in all seriousness, I think that the best thing that it could do for bridge would be to die a quick and ignominious death and clear the decks so something else might emerge.
May 13
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