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Everything posted by Teasel

  1. Well, database admin has to be done at some time (unless Groundspeak are willing to pay for redundant servers). If this does happen again, give G:UK a try... I've just put in a change so that it will failover to a "quick and nasty" cache page, should Geocaching.com be unavailable for any reason. Of course, you take pot luck as to whether that brand new cache on your doorstep has made it into the G:UK database yet!
  2. I've not done any in that area myself, but here's a list of caches in the area which were voted in the top 20% of all UK caches. For the drive across, there seem to be a few really good ones in Cheshire (see this map).
  3. I'd say that if the wording is deliberately misleading then at best it's false advertising, and at worst fraud. In which case it would be entirely appropriate for you to warn people on these forums, email the seller, report them to eBay, complain to the Advertising Standards Authority or even report them to the Police. But if it's just that they are asking £4 for their manufacturing efforts, whereas you don't believe their time is worth that much, then I'd say leave it up to the customer to decide. For example this nanocache is cheap enough to make using a pet's name tag, a laser printer, paper, scissors, a few tins of enammel paint, a small brush and a little time and practice. But personally I'd just cough up a fiver and spend my time geocaching! It's difficult to say without seeing the advert, but IMHO it all boils down to whether you believe they're attempting to deceive people. If it's something which might appeal to geocachers, then why not create a webpage showing how to make them and publicise it here? That way everyone gets inspired, people in a hurry can go search for them on eBay, and people with a bit of time on their hands can have fun, and save themselves £4, by making their own. Everybody wins!
  4. I guess it depends heavily on the area. In the Peak District, for example, the above generalisations largely hold true. A good proportion of our callouts are either known location "snatches", or searches for "vulnerable persons". Searches for overdue parties of walkers do occur, but surprisingly rarely compared with teams in more remote areas. One problem often encountered is that of motivating a section doing a line search through dense woodland when everyone "knows" full well that the misper is either ( a ) 200 miles away drowning their sorrows with an old school friend or ( b ) going to be found dead by the other section who are: searching a footpath; less than 500m from the misper's car; with good views facing downwind; within sight of water; where they used to go as a kid! Without the same level of commitment and infrastructure enjoyed by Mountain Rescue teams, geocachers would be limited use for snatches or searches for overdue walkers. Their main use would presumably be searching wide areas for missing "vulnerables". Unfortunately these sorts of searches often do not have happy endings, so having a working knowledge of evidence preservation becomes important. As the saying goes... not just any idiot can do a search - you need a trained idiot!
  5. It doesn't appear to have a full set - GCWJJK, GCWC93, GCWV9B, GCW7ME, GCWNH1, GCW9ZW, GCW1D0, GCWQ27, GCR1TN, GCW1JF, GCWGDP, GCWMQB, GCVJ90 all seem to be missing (unless I've done something wrong, which wouldn't surprise me). There is a regularly updated list of UK event caches at the G:UK stats homepage. New event caches should show up within a few hours of being listed on GC.com. There's also the GeocacheUK calendar on the main site, which should be automatically updated with new event caches each day, and to which all G:UK users are welcome to add their own entries.
  6. Just changing the database password. But there was some sort of conflict between MySQL and cPanel, so I ended up having to delete and recreate the user, hence why an anticipated 2 sec "downtime" lasted about 10 mins! Sorry!
  7. Me! But it's fixed again now... I hope!
  8. I'd say that option 2 is always the best first course of action. But what if it fails? Option 1 may well cause bad feelings in geocachers who refuse to listen to polite requests, but failing to carry out option 1 could easily result in a blanket ban of geocaching over large areas of the UK. I know which I'd rather risk! You can bet your GPS that if we fail to self-regulate ourselves effectively, then regulation will be forced upon us. Actually hunting for geocaches may still be a "stealthy" pursuit, but geocaching is no longer an "underground" hobby. Most major landowners will be aware of it at some level, and it's even got official mentions in government policy sent out to local authorities by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. We can happily go round in circles asking whether the reviewers' opinion about DSWs is a "rule" or just a "guideline"; but just how many of us would like it to become a law?! Option 3 has been suggested before, but there was no obvious mechanism for sending out a mass email, and the geocaching community is growing so fast that it'd have to be frequently resent. So, instead, the UK approvers opted to send out this welcome message to everyone when they find their first UK cache. Over 5500 welcome messages have so far been sent out (that's about 1 welcome email every hour!), so hopefully the general awareness out there is pretty good, even amongst the vast majority of geocachers who do not frequent the forums.
  9. I think you're in danger of anthropomorphising a tupperware box! Maybe it's a disgrace that poor innocent GCPF0X was unfairly targeted by the authorities, when in reality all its problems were simply the tragic result of having an abusive father. Maybe rather than being branded as unworthy by the authorities, it just needed care and support, maybe even adoption? But, frankly, I personally won't be losing too much sleep over the harshness of the imposed sentence! Right now, we've got over 11,000 caches in this country alone, with over a quarter of a million worldwide. The figures are doubling roughly every year. So, sorry, but if that's his attitude, we can do without hadescaveman and we can do without his caches!
  10. No. My log says "A brilliant cache, spoilt only by the placement of two of the micros in the middle of dry stone walls - particularly worrying as this is deservedly a high-profile, flagship multicache", but at the time I decided not to separately report the cache to the reviewers (I have mentioned the cache on one or two subsequent DSW forum threads but, AFAIR, never directly to the reviewers). In fact, the only DSW cache which I have ever referred to the reviewers is Get Your Hair Cut. The wall in question was on an SSSI, in a National Park, on land owned by the NT, and in a wall owned by a farmer called Mr Cooper (who, given his reputation, I guessed somewhat unlikely to have given his consent). So, for "LOTR", I allowed the fact that nobody else had seen fit to log any discomfort about the placement of the caches to silence me. However for "GYHC", the easy option of keeping quiet seemed just plain dangerous to the future of geocaching, so I felt I had no option but to stick my head above the parapet! Of course, I (unsuccessfully) attempted to persuade the cache owner to relocate the cache first, before taking it to "the authorities". The reaction from the cache owner was understandably rather negative, but the consequences of inaction could well have been the combined wrath of Peak Park, the NT and Mr Cooper, which would have been somewhat worse!
  11. I allege that the cache breaches the following GC.com rule... "You agree not to: <snip> post <snip> any content that is <snip> abusive, harassing <snip> defamatory <snip> or otherwise objectionable to any other person or entity" ...because of the owner's failure to delete his log from June 11th. As you point out, the cache location does not breach the rules, only the owner's abuse of the logging facility. So if the offending log were removed, I see no reason the cache could not be reinstated. Of course, since the reason for archiving the cache was abusive postings, it could be argued that the reviewers would have been justified in completely removing the cache from geocaching.com, so that the abusive logs were no longer publically visible. But we seem to have reviewers with great maturity and restraint, who prefer their actions to remain open to public scrutiny. Personally I think that given the lack of respect shown by hadescaveman, he should consider himself lucky that he still has an account!
  12. Bottom line is: is the landowner happy? Because when an unhappy landowner starts loudly complaining about damage to their drystone wall, I expect that any squeaking from geocachers saying "but it was in the spillage" or "but it was a mortar topped wall" will get drowned out by the demands that geocaching should no longer be allowed to enjoy the benefits of being self-regulating. Forester's comments about his own walls surprise me, as I'd hitherto assumed that no sane landowner would ever give permission for a cache to be placed inside his/her wall. It's easy to come up with a list of caches placed in SAMs and SSSIs with permission, but can anyone come up with an actual example of a UK cache placed in a dry stone wall with permission from a landowner who is not themselves a geocacher? So, while Lactodorum is of course correct that this DSW cache does not directly break any GC.com rules, I would suggest there is good reason to assume that the following rule has been broken: "By submitting a cache listing, you assure us that you have adequate permission to hide your cache in the selected location." IMHO, in most cases, that's the only rule that really matters! I think it would be quite reasonable for the reviewers to unlist any cache where they believe that geocaching could be damaged if the landowner got wind of the cache!
  13. No, we can't have that! I've added a quick bodge to G:UK so that, until geocaching.com is back up, you can still see a (very!) basic cache details page.
  14. Teasel

    Unstable Pqs

    Dunno about "everybody", but I certainly am, as are at least a dozen other people that I know of. I have two outstanding from May 30th and one from May 31st. However, when I "switched on" a saved query which I don't usually run, it came through within a couple of minutes. So the PQ server is apparently still up and running; maybe it's just overloaded?
  15. Is the expectation that the 500 people will mostly already be geocachers (ie found the site through geocaching.com)? For example the HCC event in Hampshire drew in well over 1000 people, which certainly counts as MEGA in my book, yet "only" around 100 of those present were geocachers. Where would an event such as this sit?
  16. Let's hope he reconsiders the placement of the micros two of which are in dry stone walls! Such a shame as this is one of the truly great "flagship" caches, which has introduced many into geocaching.
  17. It tells you how many caches you found on a Wednesday!
  18. Unfortunately, things aren't looking too good at the moment. The main problem is with performance. When I started writing the code for the site, there were a total of 15,000 logs. Now there are 521,000. Now, that's no excuse for shoddy code, but it's an explanation for the slowness! The latest problem is that when half a dozen PQs all arrive at the same time, they all try to run at once and the entire server grinds to a halt. This happened before and I made some improvements, but it doesn't seem to have fixed it. The ISP have therefore switched off the database updates and told me to fix it properly. They have been very patient so far, but I think I've used up most of my lives, so before I switch it back on, I need to be very sure that everything's fixed!
  19. That's not entirely true. For example, cachers do not have the discretion to restrict a cache only to people willing to pay someone for the exact coordinates. However worthy that "someone" is. Unless that "someone" is Groundspeak, of course.
  20. Same goes for placed dates, I think. I once thought of placing "Shakespeare's first geocache", with a placed date somewhere in the 1600's, but then thought better of it!
  21. If the yearly cost were only £0.01, they'd still be wrong! There's no need to question whether your idea of cheap is universally acceptable... Geocaching is, and will remain, a free game. Jeremy has committed to that. Subscription Only caches commercialise geocaching by the back door. Now, servers cost money, so my £0.02 worth would be... Paying £whatever to change your forum title - great idea! Paying £whatever for PQs - yes, I see the need. Corporate sponsorship by Jeep etc - hmmm, I haven't decided yet. Subscription caches - not for me thanks, the fewer the better! That's just my opinion, out of thousands of others' opinions. I hope I won't be criticised for expressing it, but I just wanted to say that, for me at least, the question of right vs wrong cannot be measured in pounds sterling, or even dollars! Ian p.s. Yes, name and shame! I've not seen the emails ('tweren't me!) but it doesn't sound like their publication would be "breaking a confidence", so much as "reporting abuse". Allowing bullies and abusers to thrive because of a stigma against / fear of "telling tales" shouldn't be tolerated in our schools, and it shouldn't be tolerated here!
  22. I suspect that by far the majority of muggled caches were emptied by accidental finders, rather than by inexperienced geocachers. So making the cache members-only is unlikely to protect your expensive swaps very much at all. Where "unwary newbies" are perhaps a genuine danger is with coins and bugs. But as others have pointed out, any protection your TB was afforded by being in a MO cache will vanish the first time it's moved on. So rather than have your bug disappear from the first cache it's placed in, it'll disappear from the second. Is it really worth it? I am a premium member (well, a charter member actually ) and would encourage others to support geocaching.com by becoming paying members. But I cannot agree with having members-only caches and want nothing to do with them. When I found out that Fellsmanhiker had made his caches Members Only, I promptly deleted all of my logs from them. My stats went down, but then I'm not a numbers man!
  23. Magnetic North is useful if you have a compass; Grid North is useful if you have a map. But True North is neither easily measurable, nor does it correspond to the lines drawn on an OS map. So I'm not sure what use you find for it? The position displayed by a GPSr should not depend on which North you choose. If your readings change, it's either coincidence, or you have a defective unit.
  24. I've had problems with BT, Demon and PlusNet, so would like to take this opportunity to publically recommend that people avoid them. But maybe my expectations are just too high?
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