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All comments by Joe Hertz
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Specifically, you cannot patent an algorithm, which means software. Or not. Any steps to follow, be it by hand or having a machine doing it for you – the process itself isn't patentable.

But if you have a way to solve a problem that requires a computer (beyond following the steps a computer would), then you've got something patentable.

And yes, this makes the state of the law real messy, but that's where the line supposedly is.

So this clearly has issues in that arena IMHO.
Sept. 23, 2015
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I admit that I am curious who the third pair is, but I'm right now consciously avoiding finding out who it is until the announcement is made (yes, I thought this was it too).

Some people want to be prosecutors. Some people want to be detectives. But given that this form of justice is still quite experimental, I want to be a control-sample. The control samples are the ones you want for the jury.

I feel like we owe having people like that to the hypothetical innocent, wrongly accused pair. There must always be people who don't reach for pitchforks right away.

If I don't know enough about this level of the game to have an informed opinion yet, I might as well put that ignorance to some good purpose. Usually, that sort of thing is impossible.
Sept. 18, 2015
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3 rates to be better than 3 – He might only have 5's for that opener. If he has a game going hand with 4, he'll bid them next. If not, he'll pass clubs or return to diamonds.

I've not hand the problem over the 1-1MajorShowing-1NT auction. The response is 0-11, but 10-11 is usually unbalanced (balanced gets you a 1NT or 2NT response). Responder can bid 2 with the invitational hand or jump to to three level when the 10-11

If they were up to shenanigans in bidding, the places I'd be looking for are the (obvious) 2 opener responses, the 1NT 5332 hands with a major, but also the 6-5 hands.

Opening the 6-5 hands at the 2 level makes it difficult to show the distribution itself. Making the shape justify an upgrade to a one level opener, I find often leads to competitive auctions ending with partner trying to penalize them based on the values he thought you promised with your opening bid.
Sept. 16, 2015
Joe Hertz edited this comment Sept. 16, 2015
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I've never suffered from the 4441 12-13 hand problem. You double the opp who bids your singleton, and if youre a passed hand, when P opens at the one level, the three level responses no longer are systemic, so you can use them to show you had that hand. Bid the stiff, or 3NT when partner opened your short suit. 1C-3NT, partner has a very obvious rebid, whatever it is.

Opening it 1NT might be superior, but the situation doesn't happen very frequently.
Sept. 16, 2015
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The penalties for insufficient bids and bids out of turn are attempts to put the game right such that they never occurred.

If we could somehow make UI impossible, a healthy section of the law book would go away, and that is a *good* thing.

I think not having the referees decide who won the game is a worthwhile goal unto itself.
Sept. 16, 2015
Joe Hertz edited this comment Sept. 16, 2015
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We know when the rounds end. We'll know when the first bids are recorded. We'll have a history of everyone's times in this regard.

It's a matter of printing out the reports :-)
Sept. 16, 2015
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BTDT on the braille card thing. The trick is to buy the flimsiest el-cheapo plastic boards you can find.
Sept. 15, 2015
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Priority one is making this accessible to aunt Alice but yes, I want a way to provide textual alert data someday.
Sept. 15, 2015
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Note that bridgemates don't even use Wifi. It's some obscure (to my brain) IEEE radio standard they use.
Sept. 15, 2015
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Hey, The day will come where we get rid of duplicate boards and just have a deck of 52 little flexible LCD screens at the table. You'll never suffer because of a slow table in front of you.

No more Shuffling. Some PC will be the duplication machine.

Every session would be barometer pairs too.
Sept. 15, 2015
Joe Hertz edited this comment Sept. 15, 2015
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Like I said, you can't stop the cheaters. You can only hope to make the attempts to do so obvious.

Any route that someone might use to pass UI, we need the ability to monitor and maybe have the ability to eliminate after we consider what we should do about it.

I'm not knowledgable about what the right answers are. But I want them all to be in play, so the wiser heads can act on them.

With a smart bid box, I hope to be able to implement the possible answers. Even ones that never occurred to us today.

Don't hate any features I'm suggesting. Hate the TD's who turn them on :)

Sept. 15, 2015
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I am going to be playing it tonight. I'm going to be calling it, “The System that Must Not Be Named”
Sept. 15, 2015
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We will never be able to stop cheating. We're just going to be able to document the heck out of it, and do so effortlessly.
Sept. 15, 2015
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I have been trying to be quiet about it but I am working on this as we speak. It's an electronic bid box and the prototype is using a Raspberry Pi.

Functionality:

1) Dumps the entire auction into the BridgeMate database, including time stamps for when they were entered. No more tempo disputes. Everyone's auction is recorded at every table.

2) You can alert your own bids. Your partner doesn't see the alerts. Just like BBO.

3) You can call the director from your table, discretely.

4) Audio output for people who cannot see well. Plug in an ear bud and hear the auction.

5) No more insufficient Bids. No more bids out of turn. Even if you see someone tried to bid out of turn, you have no data about what they were going to bid, so director action of significance would be required.

I hope to have a working demo in 2 weeks to a month.
Sept. 15, 2015
Joe Hertz edited this comment Sept. 15, 2015
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Surely I can not drink the glass in front of me…
Sept. 14, 2015
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Video no….Audio no…

But there's a technical solution I've been working on though. More later I hope.
Sept. 14, 2015
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What Ben said. I play the NT as 11-14 NV but even with those, if it don't pass the sniff test (usually the rule of 20), they aren't getting opened. 4333's usually are 13, or if 12, the quacks are either part of sequences or quacks. I need a reason to open those besides it being in the NT range.
Sept. 14, 2015
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/me Goes to play a particular R.E.M. song and calls broker.
Sept. 14, 2015
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Abraham – That's not pre-arranged. One party's bad habit is being taken advantage of. Worse, it is cheating (by his partner) but he cannot prove it wasn't pre-arranged. He looks like he is in on it. I'm not willing to throw him to the same wolves. That issue is how this became a subthread.
Sept. 14, 2015
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And yes, Steve needs to bold the word “pre-arranged” too.
Sept. 14, 2015
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