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Posts posted by Teasel

  1. Don't speak too soon! :anicute: I've had to hobble the search facility quite severely while I work out how to get it to run faster. So unless you specify a search so tightly that it brings back less than 100 caches, I'm afraid you'll get a random scattering of 100 caches which meet the criteria - NOT the nearest caches to the location you asked for! In other words, not particularly useful - or at least not user friendly! :anicute: Hopefully I'll get it working a bit better soon...

  2. It does beg the question again about accepting contributions from users towards maintaining a hosting account with more "beef"

    The problem is not with the server, but with the code. I'm currently paying "mates rates" for an account on a quad processor machine. There isn't really anything with much more beef without paying serious amounts of money!


    I'm currently trying to get the latest backups running on my home machine (a not too sluggish beast, with a water-cooled E6600 dual core processor, 2GB of 800MHz Corsair RAM, RAIDed raptors etc etc), and it's not coping very well! What's really needed is for me to tune the database, migrate certain key bits onto a proper Java application server, maybe remove some of the more resource hungry features, and basically get the whole thing running at least an order of magnitude faster than it currently does.


    "it is a miracle that tolerate GeocachingUK at all." is why I suggested a feed. As I understand it GecachingUK runs on a loop polling all the Caches for new posts. This must place an enormous burden on the Geocaching.com servers. GeocachingUK is a resource well used and respected by the UK Geocaching community, have they even approached Geocaching.com?

    The vast majority of updates come via pocket queries. Of the rest, most happen when people browse cache details pages via G:UK. Neither of these methods increase the load on GC.com server at all (though admittedly the second route does make G:UK appear in the GC.com server logs quite a bit!). Finally, there is a trickle feed (the "webscraper") which does place a small additional load on GC.com (less than one page a minute), which is used for checking whether pages which haven't appeared in PQs for a while have actually been archived, or whether new caches are members-only. Generally it's for info which isn't available in the PQs.


    I'd certainly jump at a closer relationship with GC.com. However arguing that G:UK places an enormous burden on GC.com is a risky way of going about it! ;);)

  4. I've not yet heard back from DMC about why they've suspended the account. But I expect it was due to "sheer weight of traffic" (coupled with an inefficient database design!), in which case it may be down for some time yet ;) I hope to get the trigpointing site back reasonably quickly, as this is less resource hungry than the stats site. I'll keep you posted...

  5. Nothing exciting then? :) or is it something that the UK should be proud of? I imagine the USA have done this regularly, but what about other countries?

    OK then, how about...


    Will we or won't we be the first country in the world to give handicaching ratings to the majority of its caches? (We're currently up to about 48%, compared with a worldwide average of just 3%). That's something the UK should be proud of!

  6. I as the owner of logs or caches (I currently don't have any caches, but would say the same if I did) own the logs or caches that I post here.

    Errr, yes. Clearly. When have you ever seen it suggested otherwise? Certainly not by Groundspeak!...

    All comments, articles, tutorials, screenshots, pictures, graphics, tools, downloads, and all other materials submitted to Groundspeak in connection with the Site or available through the Site (collectively, “Submissions”) remain the property and copyright of the original author.

    My point is that, as the copyright holder of my Submissions, I never gave anyone permission to copy them and send them to their friends! On registering on GC.com, I granted a non-exclusive licence to Groundspeak to re-distribute my works, but you have no such licence, so please cease and desist! :)


    You seem almost to be viewing the whole body of cachers as a single legal entity who -- of course -- all share your views that their Submissions should be freely distributable amongst other users. Since you own your Submissions you, by implication, also own mine? Sorry, but no!


    Actually, I personally agree wholeheartedly with your underlying wish for Groundspeak to be far more generous regarding the sub-licensing of their users' Submissions. But their lack of generosity does not give you the right to breach my copyright!!!


    I'd be interesting to see the examples of case law you believe are applicable. Because, on the face of it, you don't seem to have a leg to stand on.


    [Edit - Of course, if the "My Finds" query were only to contain an individual user's data -- and not the cache description for example -- the I'd be more inclined to support your argument that Groundspeak can't restrict distribution by that user. They would need to prove that the file was their own substantive work, and I believe that they could not (as always, IANAL!). However, as it stands, your "My Finds" query might contain my data, and the only redistribution licence I've agreed was with Groundspeak, not you.]

  7. With all due respect, I've been on both sides of this argument and in the courtroom

    Sorry, please help me out here, 'cos I must be being thick!...


    You go into a shop and buy book -- it's a collection of short stories. Now, the individual writers hold the copyright to the stories but have each granted a non-exclusive licence to the publisher to include their stories in the collection. By analogy, you appear to be arguing that, because the publisher of the collection does not actually hold the copyright to any of the stories, they are not allowed to restrict duplication of their book, and that you can freely make copies of the stories (or even the whole book!) and give them to your friends. Despite the fact that none of the individual writers have granted you a licence to do so! If that really is what you're saying then, whilst IANAL, it sounds like nonsense to me!

  8. So as unfortunate as GC may see this, there is still a question of if GC even has the right to limit the data to start with. Unless they get the cache owners to hand over ownership, the answer is nope...


    OK, let's take this one step at a time... (stop me when I make a mistake!)


    - The data (logs, cache descriptions etc) is copyright the original authors, not Groundspeak

    - A condition of using GC.com is that the users grants GC.com a licence to distribute this data

    - If you contact all 40000+ cachers and negotiate a licence with each of them, that's perfectly legal (Groundspeak can't stop you, since it's not their data)

    - You can even store it in a GPX file, since this is an open standard

    - You may even be able to use the Groundspeak schema extensions in that GPX file (it's not clear - the last time I saw the question asked, Groundspeak initially suggested the extensions were public domain, but then appeared to retract this statement)


    - Or alternatively, Groundspeak will sell you a licence to download the data from them. This is probably easier! :laughing:


    I don't think Groundspeak are saying "we are the copyright holders and you can't have the file unless you pay us". Rather I think they're saying "we're licensed to redistribute our users' data; and, if you agree to our conditions, we're prepared to exercise this right and send you a file containing their data".

  9. geocacheuk does have this option for us. But it can be a pain navigating from one site to the other, and I don't think you can do PQ's through it?

    Technically it can (the code's been written), but we're not allowed to. Back in 2004, Elias seemed very positive about allowing G:UK to provide free services to premium members of GC.com, but sadly nothing ever came of it and I didn't want to "just do it" (the "I think Groundspeak would be happy in principle, but they can't support it openly for fear of opening a can of worms so let's just switch it on and hope they turn a blind eye" approach), in case that jeopardised our permission to provide the rest of the site.


    Any, back on topic... I also support the proposal to add UK counties to GC.com. If the county is user-selectable, rather than determined automatically by the coordinates, then it shouldn't be too politically awkward as a superset of both traditional and modern counties could be listed. So if someone wanted to list their cache in "Hereford and Worcester", or "Rutland", that'd be their choice -- meaning fewer irritating emails to contact@Groundspeak.com! :laughing:


    I'd draw the line at including unitary authorities in the list though as these are small, volatile, purely administrative, unfamiliar to 99% of the UK population and generally just plain annoying! Slough is fit only for friendly bombs and to elevate it to countyhood is somewhat offensive!

  10. Hmmm, strange! I'll take a look...

    Found the problem! The program was looking for specific colours on the map at the same time as changing them into the desired colour. That was fine for the standard colouring (with a little care over sort orders etc), but when a flat colour was introduced it was mucking things up. I've now changed it so that it works out what all the colours should be on a first pass, then changes them all on a second pass. Things now look a little more consistent.


    I also fixed the "DNF" bug, so the map now shows counties where you've found a cache, as opposed to counties where you've logged a cache.


    Still no fix for the general problem of mobile caches though :laughing:

  11. The North Wales Police and County Councils, have voluntarily raised the age limit at which knives/multi tools, lighters and similar items can be purchased.

    Which leads to the sort of nonsense that the "my first cutlery set" that I bought for my 2 year old could not be purchased by anyone under 16! Granted, the law cannot distinguish between a tool used as a weapon or a weapon used as a tool. But by deliberately encouraging the general public to fail to distinguish between toddlers' cutlery, multi-tools and fighting knives, and to fear them all, we do ourselves no favours. Frankly, any ten year old should have the skills to handle a sharp knife without hurting themselves, and the character to pick it up without turning into a knife-wielding psychopath. If not, then shame on the parents and shame on our risk-averse society!


    ...and don't get me started on the "one child risking a broken arm is one too many" idiots from the council who have systematically removed most of the equipment from our childrens' playgrounds. Grrrr! :laughing:

  12. Yes, people who are already users of handicaching.com will be presented with the cache again on G:UK. There's no way to avoid this, mainly because there's no real login system on HC.com (just an optional text field for name), however there's the "Remove" button on G:UK which allows people to remove from the list caches which they've already rated directly on HC.com.


    This probably won't affect too many people as, sadly, the remoteness of handicaching.com from geocaching.com means that not many people actually rate their caches. In the first two days, G:UK users have added 1000 ratings to Handicaching.com -- compared with only 3000 worldwide ratings in the first two years of that site! B)


    The majority of ratings will not include additional text comments. However the comments are probably more useful in many cases than the star ratings themselves. For this reason, as well as the averaging point above, I will continue the policy of seeking ratings for all caches a user has found, regardless of whether someone else has rated that cache.


    I may add an option to the preferences to restrict the list to only those caches found in the last n days. Personally I find it hard to remember whether a cache I did 2 years ago had a kerb! B)

  13. [2 at a time is a bit mean, I'd agree about it being increased if possible

    I didn't want to pester people too much on the MyStats page (and I've added an option in the preferences page for people who don't want to be pestered at all -- I know handicaching ratings aren't to everyone's taste). That's why I added a "click here for more details" link to a screen which shows 5 at a time. I could change that default 5 to a higher number, or if you wish you can modify the URL to get more -- eg...


    ... will give you twenty caches per page.

  14. You can of course still enhance this by going to the handicaching site to add more detail

    You can actually do it all on G:UK - click the "Comments" button and, as if by magic, a text box for adding a full description of the cache will appear. The only thing you can't do is choose a different name for yourself, as this is automatically filled in with your G:UK login name.

  15. A carrot is a root vegetable of the family Apiaceae. It varies from white to orange in color and is used a food plant.


    There you go, a definition......



    Didn't the EU define the carrot as a fruit, rather than a vegetable, on the grounds that some people use it to make jam -- and everyone knows that jam's made with fruit, not vegetables!

  16. As someone that as been heavily involved in OLAP data processing these PQ should not put a major strain on the GC.com empire, if their technical crew had specified the system for the job, but I have always suspected that it is a shoe string affair.

    I suspect the problem is that whereas geocaching has been growing exponentially, Groundspeak's investment in hardware has not followed suit.




    Groundspeak - we've given you easily enough money to buy a few new servers for the PQ farm; now where are they?!

  17. There are loads of messages in different threads of the forum about PQ's not working any longer.

    It is well known by the administrator of this site, I guess the real question is when will there be a real solution and not unsatisfactory workarounds..???

    Geocaching is growing exponentially. I assume that Groundspeak's income is also growing exponentially. I hope that their investment in server hardware is also growing exponentially. In the meantime, please could someone nip down to servers-R-us and throw a couple of new servers at the PQ cluster?! :( I assume it is a cluster by now, and not just the same "dedicated machine" (in the singular!!!) which has been there since the beginning?


    I'm still waiting for two PQs, scheduled to run daily which were last refreshed on 17th July. That's eight days ago! (No issues with AOL or spam filters here - they simply haven't run yet). Yes, I know all the work arounds and, yes, I know there are those who would criticise me for setting up daily queries, but that's the way I was led to believe it would work, so that's how I've set things up. It's not just me either, I know of at least fifteen other premium members who are still waiting for last week's PQs.

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