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All comments by Richard Willey
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Could have sworn that the K+R evaluator was intended for unbalanced hands and that the authors prefered HCPs for their NT ladder
June 5, 2015
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I'd go with

“C”: He really should have figured out whether he can pull down a real salary before deciding to have a kid.
May 22, 2015
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There are good arguments in favor of taxation but no representation…
May 7, 2015
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FWIW, I think it is a mistake to require the new version of ACBLScore to maintain an active connection to a database.

I currently work for a company called Akamai within the companies Information Security group. I spend most of my day trying to come up with new an better ways to harden our systems against various types of external adversaries.

I don't know any reason why anyone would direct these sorts of attacks against a hypothetical ACBL database. With this said and done, the world is full of petty destructive individuals, one of whom might decide that it would be amusing to DDOS the ACBL database during nationals.

It would be nice to minimize the consequences of such a event…





May 5, 2015
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I think that you are confusing the game of bridge with the ACBL. I am all for promoting the former.

I think that the latter needs a stake through the heart forthwith before things in North America pass the point of no return. In all seriousness, if I look at the ACBL, I see

1. An organization that has pissed away generation after generation of prospective players. The success of collectable card games like Magic the Gathering clearly show that younger generations like to play cards even in the age of video games. What they don't like to do is play bridge (which I largely attribute to the stupefying nature of the game in North America)

2. A group that lurches from financial crisis to financial crisis. (The recent ACBLScore idiocy is but the most recent in long series of cock ups)

2. A organizational structure that is grossly incompetent at codifying and legislating the game. (Compare how the game is managed in Great Britain with the idicoy that we need to put up with)

I love the game of bridge as much as anyone. However, from my perspective, the complete and utter collapse of the ACBL is the best thing that could happen to us. Worst comes to worst, we can petition to join the EBU and piggyback off a group that is actually able to publish a rule book.




May 3, 2015
Richard Willey edited this comment May 3, 2015
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I am not offering the ACBL a solution. I am stating that I don't think that the organization deserves to expect our continued support.
May 3, 2015
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> Methinks the real question might be: what are “you”,
> meaning whoever the commenter of the moment might be,
> doing about the matter personally?

Praying that the ACBL enjoyed a quick and peaceful death as to allow something better to emerge in its place.

In all seriousness, the existing organization is too dysfunctional to deserve to survive.

May 3, 2015
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I don't think that one needs any particular expertise with survey design to note an obvious source of bias…
May 1, 2015
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I've only skimmed the thread, so I apologize if someone else has raised this point:

How was the survery conducted? In particular, did the organization use an internet only survey to ask about internet usage?
May 1, 2015
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The question is moot.

Let's back away from the question of regulations and consider instead the fundamental Laws of the game. In theory, those are supposed to be universal and inviolate. (I am well aware that North American doesn't work and play well with others, but that only involves a couple minor discrepancies).

More specifically, let's consider the question of the right to psyche which is enshrined in said laws. Even so, multiple national organizations ban players from make psyches at all levels of play.

Universal laws or regulations are meaningless unless one has the ability to enforce compliance.

We obviously can't enforce compliance for the laws. Why would we expect to be able to do the same for regulations? Moreover, given that the regulations actually impact players directly and will force them to change their hidebound ways, people are going to be much MORE resistant.


April 29, 2015
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Why not just run your trials online using BBO?

You'd need to have good proctors available to make sure that not one was cheating, but this has to be better than cancelling the event.



April 28, 2015
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It's hard to imagine a more important issue.

Please note: The dynamics of a sudden unexpected decrease in membership can be really ugly. Consider the following:

1. The ACBL books its Nationals several years in advance
2. As I understand matters the ACBL promises the host hotels a certain amount of business and is liable if people fail to show up.

The membership loss is going to be a double whammy. Not only are you going to have a sharp decrease in revenue, some of your expenses are going to starting increasing…


April 24, 2015
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I'm now going to bring up what might be the elephant in the room…

Is it more cost effective for the ACBL to be hiring permanent programs or re-contracting with Hammond to complete ACBLScore+? (I honestly don't know the answer, but I think that it needs to be asked)

Don't get me wrong: I think that the ACBL desperately needs to have better technical staff available. However, I don't know the right way to bootstrap this process. I wonder whether it might not be better to get a storng CTO in place before adding permanent employees.

April 24, 2015
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Well done. Sounds like a good path forward.
April 24, 2015
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Because failures in the system provide as much information as anything else.

Personally, I find it interesting that the ACBL is (allegedly) doing a major mind course correction before the members of the Technical Committee have made an official recommendation.

(Meant to say mid course correction)
April 23, 2015
Richard Willey edited this comment April 23, 2015
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I recommend reading the following comment from Don Mamula which offers some perspective on why the BoD voted down the motion in question.

http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/april-3-technology-meeting-minutes-are-out/?cj=180732#c180732
April 15, 2015
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My comments about “rich old white folks” was not meant in jest.

With respect to the DDOS comment, I wasn't suggesting launching an attack against the local PCs, but rather against the ACBL database back at Horn Lake. I'm not in any way experienced with ACBLScore, but I have to believe that there is someway that the local copies of ACBLScore are able to synch with the ACBL database. In turn, this means that other things can do the same…
April 11, 2015
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Greg, I am probably one of the most vocal public critics of Hartman and even I am not saying that he should be fired. With this said and done, I do have grave reservations regarding actions that he has taken and do believe that an open investigation is necessary.

Please note: I don't believe that this investigation should focus on the original decision to abandon the ACBLScore+ project. Even if this turns out to have been a “bad” decision, I recognize that mistakes happen.

What does concern me is the potential that Hartman is trying to cover up the background behind this decision and prevent open discourse around this topic. People make mistakes. Organizations can and should be able to cope with this. However, organizations can't function when the free flow of information is being curtailed.

It is for this reason that I believe that the next step needs to be a narrow investigation focusing on a few simple factual questions, the first of which should be whether there is indeed a gag order in effect that blocks members of the Board from discussing the copy right question with the ACBL's legal team and between themselves. If this is indeed true, that the organization responsible for oversight is blocked from discovering and exchanging information, then we have a very severe problem.





April 11, 2015
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> A cost benefit analysis would look something like this.
> Projected Cost of new ACBLScore = $2.5 M (I suspect closer
> to $3M when all done). Direct cash benefits to ACBL = $0.
> In the hey day of computers, investments had to pay off in
> 2 to 4 years or they weren't even considered.

This is why a real cost benefit analysis needs to consider issues other than direct cash benefits.

I've been hesitant to discuss issues surrounding security, however, now seems like as good a time as ever to introduce some of these considerations.

I question whether the ACBL wants to be in a position where

1. It is storing personally identifiable information (PII) in a mission critical obsolete database that the organization neither understands, nor has the ability to modify in a timely manner. I know that the ACBL is forcing clubs to be much more conscious with their membership lists and one hope that the organization is conscious of how tempting a target ACBLScore would be to an identity theft ring. (What, there is a data base of rich old white folks with laughable security?)

2. I wonder what would happen if someone decided to launch a DDOS against ACBLScore during the nationals or some such. (Anyone out there willing to speculate what the impact of losing the access to the database for a couple weeks might be?)

Having old, mission critical code that you can't modify isn't a good thing. Its true that this types of considerations don't show up in a typical cash flow analysis. It is something that smart companies pay attention to. (I know that the one I work for does)



April 11, 2015
Richard Willey edited this comment April 11, 2015
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FWIW, I have already contacted Suzi Subeck asking that a secondary investigation be launched to determine whether Hartman should be dismissed. I encourage others to do the same.
April 10, 2015
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