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Gc.com Tries To Muggleproof The Listings?


geognerd
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To TeamHawaii (sorry, there are multiple discussions going on in this thread):

 

But the list includes several bookmark lists where the answer is "NO" in the shared column. If I choose not to share my list then it should not show up on the list of bookmark lists, even if people cannot access the list itself. If I have a list of the 100 lamest caches I've ever done, but SOLELY for my own reference, I would not want the public (and especially the cache owners) to know that "Interstate Exit Guardrail #38" is on that bookmark list.

Oh, ok I got your question confused.

 

But wouldn't switching around your options solve this? I mean by clicking SHARED and not clicking PUBLIC. That would make it so you can send the HTML to people and they can see it, but people cannot search for it or see it on their cache pages.

 

Those BM lists showing up on cache pages probably HAVE public checked and not shared. That is why it is saying it is NOT shared. Anyways, the lists that I have made not public, but shared aren't...I don't think.

 

Am I making sense?

 

BTW, I LOVE EXIT guardrail caches!! So dangerous, scenic, and muggleproof! Come on! B)

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But the list includes several bookmark lists where the answer is "NO" in the shared column.

Yes, but only for you because you have some administrator rights on the site. Regular users can't see them. I verified with my Jeremy account (which sadly, has no rights at all).

Thanks for clarifying. It's nice to know that my sock puppet has powers heretofore unknown to me.

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That is one benefit, but it has also been designed to combat the increased scraping abuse that we've had on the web site.

So I guess that limits the scraping to only those scrapers that can handle cookies.

and aren't afraid of getting their account banned.

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I tried this under my premium membeship and my other non-premium membership and it worked the same for both.

 

This is what the cache page looks like:

43031e5a-515f-4d9f-b4e1-9d07b60a4cf9.jpg

All those are shared, public.

 

When you go the the "more..." link you get a long list that starts with these three:

 

c7916c91-abee-4326-b159-5fe70f5ffc0d.jpg

 

Of those three only one is public, but they are all shared.

527d58a4-9232-4a64-bacf-1b077caf9189.jpg

58e21027-4ca5-451e-9c2d-73758a57ced2.jpg

f705ec62-1d0f-4416-9853-ddb35df9118b.jpg

 

It seems like I wouldn't be able to see them on this list if they are not public. They are all shown on the bookmark listings, so they have all been made public. Yes, No?

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To TeamHawaii (sorry, there are multiple discussions going on in this thread):

 

But the list includes several bookmark lists where the answer is "NO" in the shared column.  If I choose not to share my list then it should not show up on the list of bookmark lists, even if people cannot access the list itself.  If I have a list of the 100 lamest caches I've ever done, but SOLELY for my own reference, I would not want the public (and especially the cache owners) to know that "Interstate Exit Guardrail #38" is on that bookmark list.

OK, I agree 100% with The Leprechauns quote above, as if it came out of my own keyboard. I'm still not 100% convinced "Ignore list by TheWhiteUrkel" doesn't show up on a cache listing to Joe Schmuck $3 a month premium member, despite the fact this list is neither public or shared. Would any one care to test this out?

 

GCQ69H

 

GCQB8K

 

[EDIT] Had a bad waypoint name listed

Edited by TheWhiteUrkel
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To TeamHawaii (sorry, there are multiple discussions going on in this thread):

 

But the list includes several bookmark lists where the answer is "NO" in the shared column.  If I choose not to share my list then it should not show up on the list of bookmark lists, even if people cannot access the list itself.  If I have a list of the 100 lamest caches I've ever done, but SOLELY for my own reference, I would not want the public (and especially the cache owners) to know that "Interstate Exit Guardrail #38" is on that bookmark list.

OK, I agree 100% with The Leprechauns quote above, as if it came out of my own keyboard. I'm still not 100% convinced "Ignore list by TheWhiteUrkel" doesn't show up on a cache listing to Joe Schmuck $3 a month premium member, despite the fact this list is neither public or shared. Would any one care to test this out?

 

GCQ69H

 

GCQB8K

 

[EDIT] Had a bad waypoint name listed

I tried the top one: There were NO bookmark lists on that cache page.

 

But that goes with what Jeremy said. A Joe Schmuck like me wouldn't be able to see; but I bet if Leprachauns goes there he will, because he has some magical powers.

 

So it seems to work find. End of discussion, right?

 

Edit: Same with lower waypoint.

Edited by Teamhawaii1981
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Correct. False alarm and end of discussion. I apologize for confusing everyone by reason of having magical powers that I didn't even know I had.

I second that! And thanks for the help. I believe this thread was started to discuss the fact that only logged in members of geocaching.com can now view coordinates and online maps of caches, which I did actually post on topic about at one point. There are thousands and thousands of people who used to look up caches on the internet and just find them and sign the logbooks, and never log online, who are scratching their heads today.

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That is one benefit, but it has also been designed to combat the increased scraping abuse that we've had on the web site.

So I guess that limits the scraping to only those scrapers that can handle cookies.

Which is quite useful, if you think about it.

 

Now scrapers will be identifiable by their username, which can be banned, instead of banning by IP address. In order to continue scraping, they would have to obtain another username.

 

This should basically eliminate the large-scale scraping problems.

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I feel these are exellent updates! We own a lot of extreme caches and wilderness caches, and I feel the account-required feature is great because it adds one more layer of protection to keep unqualified folks browsing the web from stumbling upon our cache listings and locations (some of our more extreme caches are already Premium-member-only, but not all). This also reduces load on the servers, as it keeps out anonymous web spiders and web scrapers.

 

Thank you!

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Now scrapers will be identifiable by their username, which can be banned, instead of banning by IP address. In order to continue scraping, they would have to obtain another username.

Yes, obtaining new usernames is soooo difficult.

 

And so now, all they need to know how to do is add cookies and a proxy.

 

If they're computer-saavy enough to put together a scraper, they're probably saavy enough to introduce support for both of those things too.

 

Sign up for username, change proxy, scrape until banned, repeat.

 

You were right before, Jeremy. All this is going to do is interfere with everyone else while reducing riff raff minimally.

 

Whether it's scraping text or slamming porn sites for login/password combos or breaking into college computers, these sorts of methods have worked for a long time now.

 

I don't defend the actions of the scrapers. I could have made my own program and been doing some of the things I've wanted to see done here all along, but I play nice with other people's websites. I just don't see where this is really going to change much other than to force some of the scrapers to use Google to learn how to go around login-style blockades.

 

On a related note, Jeremy, would you mind taking a few seconds to expand on your thoughts ("...nice benefit...") about forum abusers who have now lost the ability to geocache. I really don't see how that's a very fair punishment (even if it's written into TOU, etc). Up until now, they couldn't log here and couldn't use any PM features or the forum, but could still participate in the game aspects (which they never abused and which your site has now forced a stranglehold on).

 

It used to be that you could geocache without having to Geocache. In order to stop scrapers, you've effectively eliminated that option (for greater than 90% of the world's geocaches).

 

Please make sure to announce when you implement the fee-based login system (hey, it'll stop even more scrapers! and maggots!). I know you said you'd never do that, but you know how that goes...

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On a related note, Jeremy, would you mind taking a few seconds to expand on your thoughts ("...nice benefit...") about forum abusers who have now lost the ability to geocache.

You can ban forum posting but allow an account to access the geocaching.com web site, so the point is moot.

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You can ban forum posting but allow an account to access the geocaching.com web site, so the point is moot.

For a number of ex-users, you have banned their access to both forums and GC.com on account of forum violations (I assume it was easier this way and made a more definitive statement of what you thought of them). Until now, this still passively allowed them to geocache.

 

While the system may allow for a geocacher who is not allowed to be a forum user, it doesn't seem to be the manner in which the system was used previously. The status of Banned and Forum-Banned were essentially identical prior to this latest site-change, in terms of searching for geocaches.

 

Are you willing to go back and reverse the GC.com half of any of these bans to allow them to remain useful cache finders in their local geocaching communities, but maintaining their forum revocation?

 

EDIT: killed a run-on

Edited by ju66l3r
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For a number of ex-users, you have banned their access to both forums and GC.com on account of forum violations (I assume it was easier this way and made a more definitive statement of what you thought of them).  Until now, this still passively allowed them to geocache.

When we ban people from geocaching.com we don't want them anymore. If they visited geocaching.com they were unwelcome to do so and were merely peeking in the window.

 

You can ban people from posting but give them access to the geocaching.com web site. Sometimes we decide we don't want them around anymore.

 

You really have to suck to get banned from geocaching.com, and many of those folks who did were also abusing the logging on geocaching.com. I don't have much sympathy for them. Why be so permissive?

Edited by Jeremy
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You really have to suck to get banned from geocaching.com, and many of those folks who did were also abusing the logging on geocaching.com. I don't have much sympathy for them. Why be so permissive?

Because for whatever personal animity or even "logging abuse" of the website, these same people were still contributing members of their local communities by visiting the geocaches (without need of logging in and abusing the site). Thus is one example of the paradigm shift inherent in requiring people to become members of Geocaching.com in order to geocache...and something, from all previous posts you've made, should be gnawing at your craw.

 

Leaving the coordinates available without requiring a person to become a member of your commercial site (as you say nothing is ever "free", right?) was the last vestige towards abiding by your own pledge.

 

I haven't tried to think of all of the people who will be affected by this change, but I believe it's a step in the wrong direction in an attempt to simply control site scraping.

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I haven't tried to think of all of the people who will be affected by this change, but I believe it's a step in the wrong direction in an attempt to simply control site scraping.

It'll be worth finding out, actually. It doesn't have to be permanent but we'll see how it goes.

 

It's a setting in the configuration file that can be turned on or off at will.

 

(edit: removed an actually)

Edited by Jeremy
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Leaving the coordinates available without requiring a person to become a member of your commercial site (as you say nothing is ever "free", right?) was the last vestige towards abiding by your own pledge.

You're reaching. A lot. Creating an account is free.

Yes yes creating an account is "free"* and that's all well and good...

 

*nothing is free

 

Paraphrased from here

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It's cool that I have continued to remain true to that pledge.

No, you haven't.

 

By forcing people to register an account with your commercial website to access the coordinates, you force them to be active participants in your commercial venture in order to participate in the game. The "non-commercial" aspect of that pledge is voided (and there was good reason why "free" and "non-commercial" were two seperate adjectives in your careful wording).

 

The original GPS Stash page was available sans membership of any kind. It was this openness that you were attempting to assure the newsgroup readers of when you made that pledge. That's gone. The site is a closed book for any who choose not to sign up with your site.

 

You've obviously justified this change to yourself. But as an outside observer, I see this as a point where you've ablated one of the key differences over Terracaching and lessened the veracity of your own declarations about how you make decisions in regard to our growing community. You chose an easy way out to protect your data and some fraction of the community (and/or potential members of the community) are lost/shut-out because of it.

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Jeremy, how about an Ignore User feature here in the forums so we don't have to sift through all of the crap from someone who has an axe to grind and believes logic is equally as elastic as the underwear band circumscribing his forehead? I'd even pay money for that non-commercial aspect.

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By forcing people to register an account with your commercial website to access the coordinates, you force them to be active participants in your commercial venture in order to participate in the game. 

 

No one is forcing anyone. Everyone has a free choice to participate with this listing site. This isn't the only site that helps to facilitate the game of geocaching. Anyone is free to go to another site if they don't like using this free one.

 

The "non-commercial" aspect of that pledge is voided (and there was good reason why "free" and "non-commercial" were two seperate adjectives in your careful wording).

 

FWIW, the wording wasn't really all that careful...

 

"It is in the best interest of all players that the game remain free and the non-commercial sharing of these coordinates through the web site."

 

My mother could tell me what's wrong with that sentence (english teacher)... all I know is it sounds wrong. I can't tell what he's "promising" with regards to things non-commercial. But I'm not losing any sleep over it either.

 

So what? Almost everything anyone does these days is somehow commercial in nature. Jeremy never promised us a Utopia. Big deal.

 

The original GPS Stash page was available sans membership of any kind.  It was this openness that you were attempting to assure the newsgroup readers of when you made that pledge.  That's gone.  The site is a closed book for any who choose not to sign up with your site.

 

The soda remains in the can if I choose not to drink it. The door remains closed if I choose not to open it. I don't find the cache if I choose not to search it. Sounds like an issue of choice to me. We don't have to do anything but die. Everything else is choice. Revel in it. Just don't complain that we have the ability to use it.

 

You've obviously justified this change to yourself.  But as an outside observer, I see this as a point where you've ablated one of the key differences over Terracaching and lessened the veracity of your own declarations about how you make decisions in regard to our growing community.  You chose an easy way out to protect your data and some fraction of the community (and/or potential members of the community) are lost/shut-out because of it.

 

No one is shut out. They're just being asked to leave their name (and not even their real one) at the front door when they come in. And members of a community contribute. I wouldn't consider anyone who uses this site to be a member of its community if they won't even do the courtesy of picking a fake name and logging the fact that they passed through.

Edited by Clan Delaney
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Jeremy, how about an Ignore User feature here in the forums so we don't have to sift through all of the crap from someone who has an axe to grind and believes logic is equally as elastic as the underwear band circumscribing his forehead? I'd even pay money for that non-commercial aspect.

You can disagree with a user, but there is no reason to attack them directly. Read the forum guidelines.

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Thank you, Jeremy and Crew for all the changes, updates, etc. I don't think I could have picked a better year to join as a premium member and feel that my paltry 30 bucks was truly being used to the last penny.

 

I've been using Google Earth since It was called Keyhole. It's perhaps my most utilized geocaching tool, after my Garmin. What you've done with the Networked KML is amazing. One feature I'd love to see are icons that are somehow color coded to denote found and unfound caches, or perhaps place these 2 groups into separate folders so they can be turned on/off.

 

So, are there any feature requests you didn't grant? I think you got almost all of them! B)

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So, are there any feature requests you didn't grant? I think you got almost all of them! B)

Thanks for the compliments. Oh yes there are too many feature requests to count. The next major one will be the "all finds" PQ and the attribute filter for PQ searches. But there are plenty of niggling issues with the site that need to be addressed.

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What is "scraping" is that sites like Buxley's and Navicache that use the information to have ALL caches on their site and search for them?

 

Scraping is where someon runes some sort of program that auotmatically visits the site and collects info. (hundreds or thousands of times faster than people scrolling around looking for cache pages)

 

Navicache doesn't scape this site. If they have a cache listed there, somone (the owner) submitted, just like here.

Not sure if Buxley's does. You'd have to ask him how he gets his data.

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Navicache doesn't scape this site.

That is true. Navicache doesn't scrape the web site. Many scrapers originate from folks who seem to just want all the data on the web site. And although some of them are "nice" to the machines (and database), most of them are not.

 

Buxley is working with Groundspeak to show Geocaching.com caches on the maps. I am not in the direct discussions so I don't know the details.

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By forcing people to register an account with your commercial website to access the coordinates, you force them to be active participants in your commercial venture in order to participate in the game. 

 

No one is forcing anyone. Everyone has a free choice to participate with this listing site. This isn't the only site that helps to facilitate the game of geocaching. Anyone is free to go to another site if they don't like using this free one.

That is the common myth when someone blindly defends GC.com. Unfortunately, it's very naive. There are 2 terracaches even *near* me (NH and ME). 18 navicaches (a few I know don't exist anymore and a few that are cross-posted from here). I live in Boston...hardly the middle of nowhere, either. If I freely choose not to participate here, I can freely choose to do about 10 caches in my lifetime (those totals from navicache and terracaching haven't changed in months). In other words, if I choose to geocache without using this site, I freely choose not to geocache.

 

QED, I must use this site. And now, I must register in order to do so.

 

Jeremy, himself, used to believe in the idea that the coordinates would be left available to everyone, even non-members (there's a link to his forum post from a year ago in the General forum topic). Don't speak to (or at) me like I'm being absurd to believe that he was right then and wrong now.

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Navicache doesn't scape this site.

That is true. Navicache doesn't scrape the web site. Many scrapers originate from folks who seem to just want all the data on the web site. And although some of them are "nice" to the machines (and database), most of them are not.

 

Buxley is working with Groundspeak to show Geocaching.com caches on the maps. I am not in the direct discussions so I don't know the details.

Best I can tell, Buxley has already nailed it.

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Original poster weighing in. So what if someone has to sign up with the site and log in? All Groundspeak gets is an e-mail address. And all I've ever gotten from Groundspeak are my first-time validation code, new cache notifications, cache logs from my watchlist, and my PQs. All things that I requested. So you're not losing any private info in signing up with geocaching.com, and not getting anything unsolicited.

 

Second, if anyone is serious or curious enough about geocaching, they will sign up for an account. If they want to learn more, look at the many geocaching books out there or visit some of the informational sites hosted by the more upstanding members of our forum. My local library has 3 books on geocaching. If the person signs up and doesn't like caching, no loss to us or them. They won't get flooded with e-mail from Groundspeak asking them to keep caching.

 

Third, by requiring folks to sign in to search for caches, the site is providing everyone who searches for a geocache the ability to give back to the caching community. In other words, place their own caches. I doubt there were many people who would use geocaching.com to look at listings and hunt caches without ever logging online. But let me tell you, those people did absolutely nothing for the game of geocaching. They contributed bupkus by not sharing their logs or hiding caches.

 

Signing up costs you 5 minutes of your time and nothing else. Those of us who are serious about geocaching willingly contribute $30 a year to the cause. Without the people who signed up for the site, and especially without the premium members, geocaching.com and geocaching would be non-existent.

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The issue here is not whether it is or isn't OK in general for GC.com to make people sign up to view caches. It is whether or not Jeremy is violating a pledge he made back in 2001.

 

Here's the pledge, for those unfamiliar with it:

 

jeremy

Moderator

Posts: 1094

From: Bellevue, WA, USA

Registered: Oct 2000

posted 02 June 2001 07:41 AM             

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fine.

 

I, Jeremy Irish, CEO of Grounded, Inc. will never make this a pay to play

web site for Geocaching. It is in the best interest of all players that the

game remain free and the non-commercial sharing of these coordinates

through the web site.

 

Not that I'm planning for anything, but in the case that there was some

sort of gambling cache (who knows, weirder stuff has happened), I suppose

that would be in essence a "pay to play" cache. But the traditional game

will remain purely free.

 

How's that?

 

Jeremy

 

While I can certainly see ju66l3r's point, I disagree that Jeremy has violated that pledge. The requirement to have a working email address doesn't, in my opinion, make the site "pay to play."

 

On the other hand, I find all the bashing ju66l3r is receiving over his concerns repugnant and offensive. I especially find the "go play elsewhere" comments unacceptable. His concern is legitimate, and his views deserve respectful consideration.

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.....Those of us who are serious about geocaching willingly contribute $30 a year to the cause. Without the people who signed up for the site, and especially without the premium members, geocaching.com and geocaching would be non-existent.

You paint with a broad brush. If GC.com dissapeared tomorrow, it would suck as there is a lot of history in the logs and caches. However geocacing would not die. It would continue.

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I'm not trying to be facetious here...but why don't people pay?!

 

Regardless of all the bonuses you get (PQs, BMs, etc...) I would think those that enjoy the service would want to support it to ensure it continued success in the future. The fact that a corporation is willing to offer these amazing services for free makes me want to support it even more.

 

It's 30 bucks...

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On the other hand, I find all the bashing ju66l3r is receiving over his concerns repugnant and offensive.  I especially find the "go play elsewhere" comments unacceptable.  His concern is legitimate, and his views deserve respectful consideration.

Contradiction is not "bashing".

 

It's disheartening to find that alternate points of view are considered "repugnant" or "offensive". Those are strong words.

 

Legitimacy, by the way, is also a point of view.

 

And what's to consider? Use this site or don't. If Terracaching and Navicache were 100% free and non-commercial, would those who decry the lack of those qualities at this site flock there? I seriously doubt it. They want to use this site because its the biggest and the best, but they want to do it without having to contribute. To make those other sites as great they'd have to contribute there as well, but they claim it as their right to not have to. They claim it as their right to have free and unfettered access to the hard work and contributions of all those made this the site they lay claim to. I find that to be repugnant and offensive. They want something for nothing? Well, tough nuts. Go leech off someone else.

 

Why is this site so big, with so many listings? Because enough people got involved, got their free accounts, and gave back. I did. I have friends who did. I used the site to visit listed caches, then I logged them and shared my adventures. I placed caches of my own. I maintain them. I helped make this site what it is, and I have a stake in it now. If the owners of the site decide that they now want to effectively call to account all those who haven't been contributing, you certainly won't hear me complain. They're helping to protect the stake I've built here.

 

And yes, this can all still come back to " but Jeremy broke his word!" That's only if you assume, as has already been stated, that he was right then and wrong now. What if he was wrong back then, and right now?

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