Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Technical Difficulties

This is part personal and part poker.  And it’s about technology, but not really, as technology is just a fancy word for “tool.”  Like any tool, such as a hammer or a screwdriver, it can be useful in the right hands, but if misused…well, that’s not the tool’s fault.  Which is the moral of this story, but we’re not there yet.

I haven’t posted much over the last couple of weeks because my main computer decided to mimic Congress and “took a vacation.”  What actually happened was the hard drive began to fail (and was nice enough to tell me before it did, allowing a proper backup of my world).  I expect stuff to break occasionally, and I expect that most problems can be resolved in one form or another.  The key is information and communication – if you tell me what you’re going to do and how long it will take, I can make plans to use a backup computer and my saved data for that duration, and plan to do the things I needed to do at a later date.

However…if it takes longer and there are other problems AND YOU DON’T TELL ME, then, that causes more problems.  And it’s not the technology – it’s YOU.  Communication is the key, remember?  Long story short is that we eventually got the computer back and it’s working fine, but in the meantime we really did have to do what we didn’t want to do (load programs we used on the old Vista machine onto the laptop), and then we discovered that one wasn’t Win 7 compatible, and that caused other issues, but we did pay our taxes on time and did payroll for the ice cream shop and I got all my email, eventually, and now I am typing this at work waiting for the plumber to install a new toilet.

And how’s your week so far?

OK, so what does this have to do with poker, specifically, our battle to restore online poker in America?  Well, as you might have surmised, it’s not about technology.  One of the CSIG’s “talking points” of late is the claim that families are vulnerable to their kids gaining access (somehow) to gaming sites and blowing the family bankroll playing craps or poker (never horse racing or Fantasy Sports, of course).  Side note:  isn’t it funny that these whiz kids can bypass all sorts of security, yet, are too stupid to win anything?

Of course, as has been demonstrated, the LEGAL and REGULATED sites here in the US (Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware) have technology in place to prevent the very disaster the CSIG tells in its tale of woe.  If that wasn’t enough, there are software packages (more technology) available to prevent the little munchkins from gaining access from Dad’s laptop, Mom’s tablet, or Uncle Andy’s cell phone.

But again, this isn’t about technology, but communication.  In this case, it’s the fact that the messages are being ignored.  It’s damn-near impossible to believe that a sophisticated corporation like Sands Corp., one that runs its own mobile network for sports betting within Nevada, doesn’t know diddlysquat about how all this works.  And that continually pounds this myth about kids accessing gaming sites (and other falsehoods about money laundering and “preying on the poor and vulnerable”) over and over on their website and in hearings and wherever they feel necessary to convince decision-makers that online gambling is bad, evil, and needs to be exterminated.

Except, of course, those forms of online gambling that are OK, like the aforementioned Sands Corp. (Venetian) mobile sports betting, and horse racing simulcasting, and DFS, and…maybe lotteries, too?  Does one really believe that the technology for these forms of online activity are so different (and safer?) than technology for online poker?

Not if one is sane.  Or not a politician.

For this battle isn’t about technology or about communication.  It’s about politics as usual, or, in other words, money.  It’s about how many politicians Adelson can buy off so that they ignore the facts about technology and believe the fear-mongering fables that he and his coalition peddles.  We must reach out to all of those who can’t be bought and convince them that “Adelson’s bill” is nothing more than crony capitalism designed to harm his competitors while enriching one of the wealthiest men in the world. 

No amount of technology can be created that is stronger than the truth.  Oh, look, the battery in my mobile mouse is dying…at least the plumber showed up…two hours late.  Communication is the key,   Yeah, right.


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