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Everything posted by Teasel

  1. I can't even find their corporate homepage http://www.esitehost.co.uk/ in the DNS, so I suspect: i) it's serious, ii) it's got their full attention! Sorry about the instability over the past few weeks. I wish I could say that's the end of it but it probably isn't. Firstly, before Saturday, I need to move the forum, homepage, chat, gallery etc off of the old windows/access server and convert it to linux/mysql. Secondly we seem to have only been allocated 18GB of bandwidth this month and they've not yet replied to my email asking why. 18GB isn't nearly enough to run the site, even without google's "assistance", yet a standard esitehost account provides only 2GB/month, with extra costing £5.88 per GB. We're getting a fantastic deal from them, so I do hope we've not outstayed our welcome!
  2. The forums and stuff are still available at http://www.geocacheuk.org - it's "just" the main homepage and stats site which is down. (Turns out google is to blame for about 6GB of downloads in just a few days, which took us over the limit ). Hopefully things should be back online tomorrow and I've taken steps to ensure that it doesn't happen again next month. Sorry for the inconvenience!
  3. Apparently we've hit a 30GB/month bandwidth limit (first time this has happened). Partly this is due to the site being popular, but partly it's a result of all the extra backups that I took during the unstable period a few weeks ago. I'll see what I can do to prevent it happening again. The forums are hosted with a different company and I think they were having problems with their servers this morning - they seem OK now.
  4. What's amusing, though, is that on trigpointing.com there's a link to find the nearest GC.com geocaches to a trigpoint; whereas on Waymarking.com there isn't!
  5. Yes, that's a good idea. However, in the FAQ, Jeremy estimates there will "eventually be hundreds of thousands of categories", so an ignore feature isn't going to be the whole answer. Laws differ from state to state and country to country. Attitudes differ from person to person, and culture to culture. But even though tolerances to sex / violence / commercialism differ, most people are pretty-much agreed on what sex / violence / commercialism actually is. So once a good set of ranges has been defined, there should be relatively little controversy over the ratings, and relatively few which slip the net. So, nudist beaches themselves are not subective. They fall somewhere between "underwear adverts" and "sex clubs" on sex, rate zero on violence, zero on "drugs" and either "free", "members only" or "varied" on commercialism. Anyone going to disagree with that??? The only thing that's subjective is whether you wish to see flabby gonads burning to a crisp in the sun, or whether you'd be happier tightening your filters so that nothing more revealing than a "Hello Boys" billboard assaults your sensibilities.
  6. Well you didn't know it at the time, but you were actually waypointing, not geocaching.
  7. Here here! Doesn't sound silly at all (at least, not to me!). Make geocaching a hunt for boxes, and Waymarking a hunt for places. Benefits all round, I'd have thought. It'd certainly benefit those negotiating with landowners for permission to cache. Grandfathering virtuals is undoubtedly the path of least resistance, but other than the lack of a brief flurry of wailing and gnashing of teeth, what does it offer other than confusion and untidiness? ps Jeremy, you're welcome to forward all hatemail to contact@teasel.org (up to 2mbit/s dumped straight to /dev/null, at your service! )
  8. Could I request that an exception be made for Earthcaches? These are a well defined category in their own right, and it doesn't seem sensible to split them across two sites. I don't care which site they all end up on, but I think they should be removed from one or the other.
  9. Fair enough. Just be aware that they indicate your location just as surely as your GPS coordinates! Eh what? It's perfectly legal for a 16yr old to buy tobacco, or an 18yr old to buy liquor. Come to that, it's perfectly legal for a 12yr old to consent to sex. (Though homoseuality is either permitted from birth or punishable by death, depending on where you're standing.) The real question is, is this a global site, or a US site which allows worldwide coordinates? If the latter, then a simple age-banding approach will work. But if you want a global site then the system needs to be a little more flexible. Perhaps each category should have a number of ratings, for sex (none, thru underwear adverts to rape locations), violence (none, thru Tom'n'Jerry sightings to murder locations), religion (none, thru old churches to suicide bomb locations), drugs (none, thru starbucks to cocaine "outlets"), etc etc. Then people from anywhere in the world can input their cultural and personal sensitivities and be sure they're not offended.
  10. Jeremy has said previously that GC.com is short of CPU capacity, not bandwidth. That being the case, his best approach could be to provide a daily GPX file of all caches in each country (or state in the US) which could be downloaded by anyone wanting to keep a full offline database. That would free up the Pocket Query system for people wanting to do the small, complicated queries for which it is best suited. If bandwidth then becomes a problem, he could provide a weekly file, together with daily updates of just what's changed. Alternatively, of course, he could allow sites like GeocacheUK to provide GPX files to premium members, which would also take the load off his servers. But, sadly, Jeremy wants his servers to be the only ones sending data to cachers, even if they can't actually handle the load.
  11. More problems. guk2.com isn't in the DNS any more, although http://stats.geocacheuk.com appears to be working, after a fashion. All of my mailing lists have disappeared , and many of the maps, arrows and other graphics on the site are not working because they appear to have reinstalled a different version of PHP! Great timing because I'm off on holiday for a week this afternoon.
  12. Just point POIEdit's AutoUpdate Manager at http://stats.guk2.com/caches/poiedit.xml (you need to click the Set/Change password in POIEdit and type in your GeocacheUK username and password too). Due to bugs in POIEdit, make sure there are no spaces in your username or password (a new version was released last week which may have fixed the bugs, but I've not had time to check). You'll need to register on the G:UK stats pages first, and you'll need to download a file from the G:UK website manually once (just click the button on the home page and select a random file format, as Groundspeak require us to make you sign their disclaimer before providing downloads, and POIEdit doesn't provide a disclaimer-signing mechanism. You can comfortably fit all 7000-odd UK caches (and 7000 trigpoints too!) into TomTom without noticing any slowdown (don't try this with MemoryMap!), so you might as well grab the whole set every week or so. GeocacheUK should spot caches you've logged, and show them with a different icon in TomTom.
  13. You might want to take a look at Chris n Maria's Tube map, which is a great help for caching by tube. Also, here's a list of all caches near Kings Cross. The number of stars in the Rating column show how much people, on average, said they enjoyed finding that cache. (Both the above pages may be a bit slow right now - the hosting company are having problems with their servers)
  14. I understand the fear of losing such an expensive cache. But I think it's unlikely that i) all premium members are, by definition, trustworthy, ii) non-premium geocaching.com users are more likely to find and remove your cache than a random passer by who found it accidentally. The comfort blanket of being able to see who's been viewing a members-only cache is surely a false one, as the details appear for all to see in GSAK which many, if not most, premium members use. Or have I missed something? At the end of the day, only about 0.5% of UK cache owners own a members-only cache, and MO caches currently comprise less than 0.25% of the UK cache population. So if MO caches are a problem, they're a very small one!
  15. I've just heard back from DMC Internet. They've put in a "temporary resolve" for the disk problems they were having, and have allowed me to switch the G:UK and T:UK websites back on. Let's hope their sticky plaster holds until a proper solution comes along...
  16. Yes, sorry about the confusing error messages. I received the following from DMC Internet: The server was running so slooooowly that all I could do to take the site offline was to delete a critical file. Now that there aren't hundreds of G:UK queries bogging down the server, I've managed to change the homepage to be a bit friendlier. Hopefully they'll get their disks back up to speed soon and I can switch the site back on...
  17. 'Fraid so. DMC Internet relocated at the weekend to a new building and their RAID array doesn't seem to have taken kindly to bumping its way down the M4. I got an email last night saying that the machine was running slowly and that all the queueing requests from G:UK were making the machine lock up as fast as they could restart it. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to log in and switch off the site until this morning. I've not yet had an estimate as to how long it'll be before they get their disks up and running again. They say they're "preparing a replacement", but that could mean anything from "we've suspended your site while we copy the files across to the new server" to "we've placed an order with the supplier and it should be here any week now". I'll keep you posted...!
  18. The company who hosts the G:UK stats and T:UK sites is currently in the process of relocating all their servers to a new facility in Reading. They emailed me saying that they expected only about 1hr of disruption last night while they cut over, but it looks like things may not have gone as smoothly as hoped. Sorry for the disruption! Let's hope things clear themselves up soon...
  19. You certainly get sarcastic comments if you so much as power one up during a training exercise! But on a real, "known location" job, on a misty, featureless moor, you're likely to find someone striding out at the front following the GPS arrow, with someone bringing up the rear with map and compass, providing a sanity check. I guess about 1 in 4 of my team carry their own units. I don't know of any Mountain Rescue teams which provide GPSrs as part of team kit. However SARDA recently bought a number of MemoryMap equipped IPAQs and sold them to search dog handlers at a very good price. Searches are where GPSs come into their own. On a search, many sections of maybe 4 people each are given small areas to search and sent out. When sections return, the controllers must debrief the section leader to find out exactly where they did / did not look within that area. Having a GPS record of exactly what route you took can really help. And now that search controllers have MemoryMap, you can just plug your Garmin into their laptop and your route is immediately overlayed on a 1:25K map, along with the routes taken by all the other sections. Very useful!
  20. These signals are strong enough to disrupt GPS receivers as far as 70 - 350km away! Inverse square law being what it is, if I'm 30km away with direct line of site to the transmitter, won't there be such a high local signal strength that reflected signals from any nearby tree, rock, house or whatever will be just as effective at jamming reception as the direct signal? I was hoping to find the areas with line of site to Sennnybridge and automatically add a warning box to any caches in those areas (when viewed via G:UK).
  21. Mountain rescuers, on the other hand, often are fitted with GPS... but would be far too worried about the stick they'd receive in the pub (once a week for the next 25 years!) to let themselves get lost in the fog
  22. Which is where, precisely? Does anyone know of / have access to a mapping utility which can take as input a location, compare it to a relief map of the UK, and output a shapefile containing the areas which have a line of site to that location?
  23. Indeed. So the answer to the "where is the Muslim outrage?" question is "in the West". I doubt many middle-eastern Muslims will be out on the streets in tears. The issue is global politics, not religion. The attacks are being carried out "in the name of Islam", but to retaliate against muslims in the UK will only alienate that section of the population. That's almost certainly one of the aims of these terrorists. We did not bow down to attacks made in the name of Irish Republicanism; nor did we let those bombs stop us from working with Republican leaders to seek a route to peace. How is it any different this time around? But what's with all the name-calling? Equally matched enemies tend to fight by lining up two formations of soldiers on a battlefield and shooting at each other until there's a winner. Fights against superior, or physically remote, military forces require different tactics. OK, I realise that whatever the style of warfare it is, of course, necessary to invent offensive names for one's enemies. But describing our enemies as "individual murderers" and their commanders as "criminal masterminds" seems designed only to con the British public into believing that there are only a handful who would be prepared to die for their cause in this way. I strongly suspect this is not the case...
  24. You should always be nice to anyone who has the power to send you off for a cavity search!
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