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Old 05-28-2015, 07:36 PM   #21
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Are there high-ranking FIFA officials involved?
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Old 05-28-2015, 08:16 PM   #22
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It's hard to make any useful comments without specifics, but let me relate the following anecdotes for whatever they might be worth.

1. Many, many years ago, I was a Navy submariner. My first submarine was essentially a target. We would periodically conduct joint exercises with surface ships and aircraft, during which we would be told to cruise at a certain depth, course and speed. The ships and planes would attempt to find us. We always cheated by not staying within those parameters.

In our view, the Soviets weren't going to play by any rules, so why should we? If the surface ships and planes were good enough, they would find us, and if push came to shove, they would find Soviet subs too. If they couldn't find us, they had better improve their game, and quick.

It was also valuable for our own training. Submarines will never win a stand-up fight with anyone. On a sub, you never get wounded; if they hit you, you die. The only way to survive is to be more clever than everyone else and hit them when they don't see you coming. To that end, it is important to teach submariners to think outside the box. Following the "rules" could get you killed. Our unofficial motto was "if you're not cheating, you're not trying hard enough."

2. If you ever watched the movie Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, you probably recall the Kobayashi Maru simulator scenario, which is a test given to the young Starfleet officers to test their mettle. The test is a no-win situation - no matter what course of action is taken, the ship and its crew is lost. Ensign Saavik takes the test and, as designed, fails. For a substantial part of the remaining movie, she pesters Captain Kirk about his experience with the scenario, in which he reportedly succeeded where everyone else failed. Eventually he reveals that, prior to taking the test, he secretly reprogrammed the computer so that he could win. (Who would you want to captain your starship in a fight?)
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Old 05-28-2015, 08:16 PM   #23
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If I'm gonna play, it's by the rules. If someone else has an advantage for any reason that I can not attain, then I resign from the game and let the powers-that-be know exactly and without any uncertainty, exactly why I'm dropping out. Enough drop and I bet the rule gets updated pretty quick.
This is pretty much how I feel about it too. In a competition, I play by the rules, and if it's not fair I don't play. Even though I'm not that competitive and don't care much about winning or losing, I play for fun and if it's not fair it's not fun.

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It gets worse when you get older, and have time to see the injustices that surround us. As a citizen, you have but one vote on how our country is run, and if everything that our elected officials do, is to your satisfaction, then you are a fortunate person.
Dealing with reality isn't always easy, but paraphrasing:

"Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference."
Lord, Grant me the serenity to
accept the things I cannot change,
Courage, to change the things I can, and
Wisdom to hide the bodies of those people
I had to kill because they pissed me off.
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Old 05-28-2015, 09:05 PM   #24
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This is pretty much how I feel about it too. In a competition, I play by the rules, and if it's not fair I don't play. Even though I'm not that competitive and don't care much about winning or losing, I play for fun and if it's not fair it's not fun.

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Lord, Grant me the serenity to
accept the things I cannot change,
Courage, to change the things I can, and
Wisdom to hide the bodies of those people
I had to kill because they pissed me off.
Finally a version of the serenity prayer that works for me!
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Old 05-28-2015, 10:04 PM   #25
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Sorry but getting really specific won't help most members. Hopefully this narrow view will help:
  • There's a rule against using outside assistance (technology) in the sport. Technology has revolutionized aspects of the sport, no stopping it. The elite dinosaurs who write the rules, really don't begin to grasp the technology, it's incomprehensible magic to them. Well meaning, but they've actually made outside assistance legal to those willing to buy expensive software vs buying a relatively inexpensive online subscription service that performs the same function, which is illegal.
  • All competitors are allowed to download weather forecasts. But further analysis from weather is where the advantage comes in.
  • There's a subscription service for $79 for 3 months, that does the highly complex analysis online, but it's illegal because the analysis is from the outside (online).
  • You can also buy a functionally similar software program for $1200 from an entirely different provider that uses the same weather forecast downloads and very similar algorithms on a laptop to provide the same resulting analysis. That is legal because the analysis is done "locally," on a competitors laptop.
  • Performing the analysis manually would be impossible for 99.99735% of competitors.
The good old boys who make the rules are myopically fixated on the concept of "outside assistance," without any understanding of how their ill advised rule language plays out. I am sure they've been told in private they've messed up, but it'll be fixed when some other seemingly unrelated event gives them a reason to rewrite the rule (and incidentally correct their mistake), and not until then.

In the meantime, many low budget teams justify using the illegal subscription service because they understand the rule's intent. Again, just trust me, it would be virtually impossible to get caught cheating by using the relatively inexpensive subscription services.

Yes it would be easy to not compete, but it's not a local bowling league. It's an historically significant event, run annually for well over a hundred years, with hundreds of teams, thousands of competitors from all over the country/world.

Just venting, I know what we have to do, just sucks...
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Old 05-28-2015, 10:08 PM   #26
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Sailing comes to mind.
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Old 05-28-2015, 11:45 PM   #27
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Sailing comes to mind.
Exactly what I was thinking.....

Probably a regatta.... I know when my BIL was alive he did a few from Houston to Corpus.... he would not win, but enjoyed the cruise.... he always suspected that some people used their engine which was supposed to be limited...

If it is sailing, I would ignore the rule.... I think that whoever is interpreting it is not doing it justice....
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Old 05-29-2015, 12:19 AM   #28
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I wonder if the old-guard rule setters would still turn a blind eye if they knew that on the local laptops there was an app doing the same thing as the uncondoned "outside" website does.

OP, I'd discuss it with my team and get their input. If the group all felt indignant by this issue, I'd support pulling out and finding a more balanced arena while honing our skills. I'd also recount Gumby's awesome sub analogy and if they were all in, I'd stay with them and fight for change from within - including using the spendy custom s/w (though its nauseating to think of wasting $$ on something you arguably shouldn't have to - but that never happens, right?).

Some additional thoughts: try contacting the s/w company to see if they'll offer discounts or scholarships for low-funded clubs; maybe post info on how lesser funded teams can setup a Kickstarter campaign to pay for their licenses, then contact the local news to help "raise awareness." "Coming up at eleven, see how one local club is helping their opponents raise funds."
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Old 05-29-2015, 01:01 AM   #29
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Another thought - could you contact $1200 s/w company and ask if they would be willing to rent the software for $79 for the time of the event?
They might get some good PR out of it.
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Old 05-29-2015, 08:12 AM   #30
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Sailing comes to mind.
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Old 05-29-2015, 08:23 AM   #31
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My bottom line, cheating is cheating and it is wrong.
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Old 05-29-2015, 08:33 AM   #32
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If spending $79 improves the accuracy of weather predictions this much, why does our local weather still get it wrong so frequently? They can't give us a reliable next day forecast for outdoor concerts.

Midpack, does this weather thing ruin the whole event for you? If you're not taking advantage of it for your benefit why not just push it out of your mind and enjoy the day and the rest of the competition?
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Old 05-29-2015, 08:50 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
It's hard to make any useful comments without specifics, but let me relate the following anecdotes for whatever they might be worth.

1. Many, many years ago, I was a Navy submariner. My first submarine was essentially a target. We would periodically conduct joint exercises with surface ships and aircraft, during which we would be told to cruise at a certain depth, course and speed. The ships and planes would attempt to find us. We always cheated by not staying within those parameters.

In our view, the Soviets weren't going to play by any rules, so why should we? ...
Hope this isn't too off topic, but what you did sounds dangerous/wasteful to me.

Sure, in a real situation with the enemy, you aren't going to play by those rules (just Geneva Convention, etc). But I would assume these simulations were set up to learn from. When they set up the boundaries for your ship, their later analysis would be based on that information (can the surface ships or planes detect your sub in this area?), and you broke the rules, maybe making their analysis worthless?

I'd say wasteful, because maybe nothing was gained from the exercise. I'd say maybe dangerous, because now the surface ships and planes don't know their actual capabilities, and that might be important in a real life situation.

Or was this just for bragging rights, with no post-mortem analysis? I'd hope not, sure seems like useful information could be gleaned from an exercise like this.

-ERD50
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Old 05-29-2015, 09:12 AM   #34
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Yes it would be easy to not compete, but it's not a local bowling league. It's an historically significant event, run annually for well over a hundred years, with hundreds of teams, thousands of competitors from all over the country/world.
So.... why does the fact that it is a Big Deal mean you have to compete? Does it define who you are, or do you define who you are, instead? Personally, I'd just plan something else for that day. Do you like travel? Maybe a trip to visit relatives (or Rome? Paris? Macchu Pichu? Key West?) on that day is in order.

I am astounded that anyone, particularly a retired person, would be so hell bent on determined to continue participating in this "historically significant event" under the circumstances. I sure wouldn't, no matter how many years it has been going on. What's significant about it, IMO, is that the fun in it has been ruined for all by a bunch of jerks. Time to move on!
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Old 05-29-2015, 09:14 AM   #35
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Sailing comes to mind.
Before scrolling down and seeing this, I thought of hot air ballooning. I figured it had to be wrong because there probably aren't "hundreds of teams, thousands of competitors." I just checked, and the BFA Competition Rules don't have "outside", "application", "weather" or "technology" in the context of the OP. Two old sports that depend on wind, one with a stick up their rule book on technology. I like aviators.
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Old 05-29-2015, 09:15 AM   #36
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Some people sure are devoting a lot of energy to figuring out what the event is, without commenting on the situation at all, sorta misses the point entirely. But OK, I'll admit it, it's FIFA.

Sorry for the vent...moving on.
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Old 05-29-2015, 09:17 AM   #37
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Perhaps some civil disobedience is in order. Use the online software, you won't get caught and you can later brag about it but then deny, deny, deny and they can't prove a thing but it might prod the powers that be to make a change.

Or perhaps you could collude with a number of other teams and share the use of a copy of the $1,200 software. If you could get 12 teams together, it would be $100 a team or even less if used over multiple years (say 6 teams share it for two years, or 4 teams for 3 years, or whatever).
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Old 05-29-2015, 09:21 AM   #38
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Perhaps some civil disobedience is in order. Use the online software, you want get caught and you can later brag about it but then deny, deny, deny and they can't prove a thing but it might prod the powers that be to make a change.

Or perhaps you could collude with a number of other teams and share the use of a copy of the $1,200 software. If you could get 12 teams together, it would be $100 a price or even less if used over multiple years (say 6 teams share it for two years, or 4 teams for 3 years, or whatever).
Hot air ballooning is a pretty obscure sport, so the software is pretty specialized, hence the high price. It comes with 2 licenses, like most software companies these days, it really can't be copied - and I wouldn't copy protected software anyway.

A case can be made for civil disobedience, but in a competition I just can't live with it. The good old boys will right it eventually when they get the cover to do so (and not before) without admitting anything, but it will most likely take years and more patience than I can muster...
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Old 05-29-2015, 09:38 AM   #39
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The "cheat" would be a weather forecast? I would personally feel no qualms about getting as much outside assistance as needed to get a decent forecast. Does anyone believe that any team is using entirely their own resources to establish weather stations, develop appropriate meteorological models, and disseminating the results ONLY for their own use. That's absurd. The rules need to be updated to reflect modern technology, but meanwhile taking steps to have a decent weather forecast available seems like it should be an acceptable action.
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Old 05-29-2015, 09:45 AM   #40
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Weather seems like a safety issue. And should be allowed.

That said - I'd try to get the rule changed... But I fall into the "rule follower" mindset... where I look for exploits in the rules, but try to stay within the rules.... and feel guilty if I break them. But that's my own issue.
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