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Fritz, Can You Hear Me Now?

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Ominous technical developments for the chess world no longer come only from Intel and chess programmers. A new breed of high-tech and micro-sized hearing aids are appearing and the prices keep dropping. Some can double as receivers. The Wall Street Journal had an article on them yesterday (subscription). Some relevant excerpts:

Computer technology is improving the sound quality of hearing aids, as well as the ability to customize the devices. Devices can be programmed to tune out sounds like high-pitched clanking of silverware and the dull hum of voices at a noisy restaurant. Some devices let users hear their Bluetooth cellphones through a hearing aid. And many newer hearing aids are so tiny as to be hardly noticeable. . . .

The geek-minded can listen to their Bluetooth cellphone or navigation system through the Oticon Epoq. You need a device called a Streamer, for about $175, which you hang around your neck or hold to your face while talking on a cellphone. Another Bluetooth option, Phonak's SmartLink, costs $1,500 to $2,000 and also serves as a radio-wave transmitter that pipes sound to the hearing aid from up to 100 feet away, for example to help a lawyer hear a witness in the courtroom.

I believe Phonak was the brand of the device some twit was caught with at the World Open last year (items here and here). ht John Henderson

This is a topic that is becoming dear to my heart these days, or at least dear to my auditory canal. My hearing in my left ear is continuing to diminish as the tinnitus increases. I don't feel the need for a hearing aid since my right ear is dandy, but if the noises and ringing get much worse I might look into one of the feedback devices that sometimes work at canceling out the noise, at least for wearing when I'm trying to go to sleep and the tinnitus is most noticeable.


Cheater One to Cheater Two, can you read me now?

As these devices continue to become more and more sophisticated, I pity the tournament directors and their staffs at swiss events where large sums of prizes are involved. Tough enough already, but for them to have to be concerned about new state-of-the-art electronics, in addition to the myriad of other responsibilities to sucessfully run an event, is becoming what could be termed an unpleasant chore. This is why the rubber meets the road instaneously with me regarding cheaters. If caught, BANN THEM FOR LIFE! It's not too harsh.

Well, maybe the prescription of hearing devices will become as common among chess players as asthma medication is among athletes.

Sad to hear that the tinnitus is increasing. What's the long term prognosis if you dont mind my asking?

Dont' believe tournament directors will have much trouble to identify cheaters. All they need to do is pay attention to boards one and two of each section during the final rounds to see if there is any unusual behaviour. The risk for the cheater is just too high.

Un-detectable hearing aids might be a blessing in disguise. Anything that contributes to the elimination of gambling in chess is welcome in my book. Yes, the World Open and virtually all big swisses in the USA are nothing but sad gambling operations that do nothing for chess and exploit the average chess player's lack of common sense.

The best way to avoid cheating is to make the prizes small enough that there little incentive to organize a cheating operation. Leave the "big" prizes to the "professionals"...

So, irv (and Michael Langer, above), are you going to answer the question I always ask whenever someone calls for lower class prizes and entry fees -- but the advocates always duck?

Are you proposing to organize (and absorb any financial losses from) such tournaments yourself?

If not, then do you have a reasonable plan to attract donors or sponsors to make up the profits that present organizers (mainly CCA) would forego if they acceded to your request to slash prizes and entry fees for the bulk of players?

If no to both -- then, why should I and the hundreds of others who enjoy playing in large tournaments, give up our source of satisfaction, just so you can have yours (the psychic satisfaction you presumably derive from seeing such events disappear)?

What compensation are you offering me for tolerating your effort to eliminate something I enjoy?

Bottom line: irv, like Josh Gutman and many others who came before, you just proposed to take something away from a significant segment of the chess community.

You haven't proposed to give anything back, or build anything different in its place. Therefore, your agenda appears to have a purely destructive character.

(Please don't make me explain the math. It may be beyond Ben Finegold's abilities, but I trust you made it through 4th grade.)

why bother when you can just hack monroi to receive moves wirelessly and display the best move for you?

thats how i won my section at the... wait, you dont think i'm dumb enough to give everything away, do you?

I think big-money tournaments are just fine. Organizers, officials, and players must cope and make the necessary adjustments vis-a-vis hightech cheating. You don't throw out the baby with the bath water.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on August 29, 2007 3:59 PM.

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