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OpinioNate

Geocaching.com site update Feb 14th, 2012

720 posts in this topic

It seems to me that no one except Groundspeak understands why they needed to change the maps. Groundspeak CANNOT afford to pay the price that Google wants to charge for their maps. If they could, they would not have made this change.

 

Cannot or wantnot?

 

Either way - like my post above indicates: Even if they cannot afford the prices of Google, this is no reason to benefit from serverpower of others. They can use the data of OSM for free. But what are they doing? Using the serverpower of OSM as well (which is limited and needs donations).

 

It is NOT OK that they are doing this in OUR NAME!

 

How hard can it be to set up an own server? Not at all!

And it is not expensive either, compared to the Google fees.

Even then there would be loads of money to spare - maybe to donate to OSM, if we are using their data???

 

HansHafen

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Edited by watsonic
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Hi there,

 

apart from the fact, that OSM in my area misses a lot of details, I still wonder about this fact:

 

Groundspeak whines about Android/Iphone Apps using their data by spidering (like c:geo and others)

 

But they feel no shame to put all the load map-viewing creates on a server of a non-profit organization (OSM) who only rely on donations??????????? :mad::o

 

I am happy to pay my premium-membership, but I EXPECT that Groundspeak then behaves like a fair player. OSM is a great project - if they are using it, then they should pay up. Ok, Google is to expensive? Then donate a reasonable amount each year to OSM, even if its only a half / a third / a quarter of what they'd have to pay for Google.

 

Or, AT LEAST: USE YOUR OWN SERVER!

While the map-data is free, using the servers of OSM is bound to a policy: http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tile_Usage_Policy

Right now it seems as if nobody of the GS-people read and understood what it written there?!

 

Greetings from Germany (no sat-view anymore here)

HansHafen

From OpioNate's original post on why Google Maps went away:

 

We also intend to build out our own tile server in the future which will speed up the loading of map tiles enormously.

 

Yeah, INTEND TO BUILD... IN THE FUTURE. I read this alright!

 

But is it ok then to use the resources of others in the meantime?

What do I care what they do in the future? RIGHT NOW the are using the serverpower of a non-profit-organization (maybe even without permission, see link provided above!).

 

In my opinion this is not fair. I am happy to pay the premium fees of GC. But I expect that they act fair - otherwise this drags the name Geocaching into the dirt, and all of us along with it.

 

HansHafen

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when looking where to go out caching for the day we load memorymap which displays caches we have outputted using Geoget, these are linked to offline htm files with the option to either view on gc.com of view in google maps, i suspect many members use their own database so improving PQs would be most helpfull, why you cannot download all caches in a country i dont know this would be one file generated by the server for everyone in the country rather than running loads in PQs based on this and that for each member

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Maps TOO SLOW!! and here in Nova Scotia Canada lots of secondary road Not on MapQuest.

I have confidence that this will be looked at and rectified.

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OK. So I've got OpenStreetMap, which is good — I've invested a lot of time and effort to support GC on this site. But no Google? and the other options, including satellite views??

 

Suffering withdrawal symptoms.

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Personally, I HATE the new maps. Sorry, but MapQuest, OSM, OCM are inferior to Google Maps. I use the Google Maps Satellite view every time I look at a cache's location. 1.) MapQuest Aerial view is of extremely poor quality 2.) It loads extremely slowly - it's not just via Groundspeaks interface, but on MapQuests site it's very slow to load.

 

This is a giant leap backwards IMHO. Heck, if you need to limit Google Maps to PM's do so.

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Heck, if you need to limit Google Maps to PM's do so.

Due to the costs involved, not only would they have to limit it to PMs, but PM price would double or triple or more. :yikes:

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Then Let Us download a BIG pocket querry with 5000-25 000 caches in a 300 KM area THEN we will be able to work ourself with our OWN maping software... Google Earth/ Basecamp or any other...

we live in a wide area with many caches... going to create many small pocket for a BIG area is NOT fun at all...

 

This is a sad day for geocaching. It seems that all the options have not been considered and as a result we (geocaching community) are left with a sub standard product.

 

I am a very dissatisfied customer at this moment!

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I can tolerate the map thing but would really like the scale as well on the maps. I would like even more if a map with aerial view worked as well. Many of these online maps are not accurate when it comes to roads here and I need aerial view to function to view if there is a road in the area where I'm planning to cache.

 

I too am wondering what actual benefits we get from the premium membership.

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If the calculations are right $2,880,000 per year. That means 96,000 premium member accounts, I doubt there are that many premium members.

 

That also means the money would not go anywhere else. (Programmers, customer support, etc).

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.OK....some great changes, but how can I load the options that I used to get on the maps....things like satellite, hybrid or terrain?

Les (Otter 1)

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Oh dear. Google has discovered that you are making a mint out of their excellent maps, and you can't bear to part with the profit you are making out of selling their brilliant maps as part of your 'premium' service. So you've thrown your rattle out of the buggy.

 

I will not be renewing my Premium membership.

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how can I load the options that I used to get on the maps....things like satellite, hybrid or terrain?

The map types have moved to the upper-right corner.

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how can I load the options that I used to get on the maps....things like satellite, hybrid or terrain?

The map types have moved to the upper-right corner.

And where's the sat-view? ;)

 

edit: I mean: for us in Germany (there's no MapQuest Aerial).

Edited by SammysHP
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OK. So I've got OpenStreetMap, which is good — I've invested a lot of time and effort to support GC on this site. But no Google? and the other options, including satellite views??

 

Suffering withdrawal symptoms.

 

And consider my Premium Membership cancelled ....

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no google maps no $30 from us this year

 

Hear, Hear. Bye

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Unacceptable that GS can downgrade the service so disastrously a few weeks after I've paid my subscription. How do I go about reclaiming my Premium Membership fee a s a p? What a rip-off!

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How do I go about reclaiming my Premium Membership fee a s a p?

Why doesn't anyone ever look at the Help Center? Lots of good info there :)

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Horrible. You can add all the other bugfixes and features you want, but take away real maps (other than urban areas) and you've lost me. H-U-G-E disappointment. Maybe Google needs to read this forum thread to see how they've affected the thousands of cachers around the world.

Please Groundspeak, fix this.

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Horrible. You can add all the other bugfixes and features you want, but take away real maps (other than urban areas) and you've lost me. H-U-G-E disappointment. Maybe Google needs to read this forum thread to see how they've affected the thousands of cachers around the world.

Please Groundspeak Google, fix this.

Fixed your post for ya.

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Anyway to bring back the Terrain map that used to exist? "My Topo" option is a poor substitute.

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It seems to me that no one except Groundspeak understands why they needed to change the maps. Groundspeak CANNOT afford to pay the price that Google wants to charge for their maps. If they could, they would not have made this change.

 

You will notice the default map is not pointing to OSM's tile server. They are pointing to MapQuests OSM servers. You have to physically switch to OSM's tile servers to create any load on them. What exactly is the issue there?

 

We've explained why the maps had to do the change, people have guesstimated on the attributed costs that we would incure if we stuck with Google maps.

 

-Raine

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OK. So I've got OpenStreetMap, which is good — I've invested a lot of time and effort to support GC on this site. But no Google? and the other options, including satellite views??

 

Suffering withdrawal symptoms.

 

And consider my Premium Membership cancelled ....

Oh, I didn't realize that regular members got superior mapping. I guess what you save on the membership costs will cover the increased paper costs when you print out the cache pages instead of loading them in your GPS. Sounds like a smart move.

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OK. So I've got OpenStreetMap, which is good — I've invested a lot of time and effort to support GC on this site. But no Google? and the other options, including satellite views??

 

Suffering withdrawal symptoms.

 

And consider my Premium Membership cancelled ....

Oh, I didn't realize that regular members got superior mapping. I guess what you save on the membership costs will cover the increased paper costs when you print out the cache pages instead of loading them in your GPS. Sounds like a smart move.

 

Why do you have this crazy assumption that everyone has a paperless GPS and uses PQ's or more over that they would go to printing cache pages?????

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Well removing the Google maps is rubbish for UK users as they Map Quest ones don't go down to half the scale. One of the great things about the beta maps becomes useless. Bring them back please?

It's the same in Denmark, there is no usable satellite maps, after this change :( :(

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Well, I'm not a premium member, so go ahead and increase the fees.:laughing:

 

But I can't understand the fuss! Are you really loading/planning/searching the caches with Google maps (only)?

 

I have a Dakota 20 and an Android mobile, I download a few caches into them and go get them. In the field I do not use Google maps / satellite maps at all, instead I use the maps in my GPSr units.

 

If I want to "cheat" I still can easily use Google's street view or Bing's bird's eye view to get some details of the cache surroundings.

 

I think there were some great fixes like the "1mb or the width/height is greater than 2048 pixels" photo uploading relaxation and the choice to not/view recently viewed caches.

 

:):grin::)

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im sure the Google Maps API for Business got a different price levels that the cost estimated in the posts above ;)

And we get better maps too

I'm sure a high-profile site as geocaching.com get a hell of a discount for using google services.

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If I am reading Google's new pricing structure correctly, and if Geocaching.com really uses 2,000,000 map loads per day, then the cost would be US $8-10k per day. How many premium members are there? Divide $10,000 by the members and you get the cost per member per day.

The # of PMs is Jeremy's BIG SECRET.

 

Not for us...

Go to a recent cache page (ex. event cache), count the PM attends divided by total attends.

 

For example: http://coord.info/GC35YGR

-> 131 PM : 156 total * 100% = 84%

 

There are 1,645,183 active geocaches and over 5 million geocachers worldwide.

 

Assume 84% of the active geocachers are PM -> there are 1.4 million active PMs

$10,000 : 1.4 million = $0.007/day or $2.60/year

That's some pretty suspect math.

1. Using the numbers you've assumed, you made a mistake. 84% of 5 million is 4.2 million, not 1.4.

2. You've used a single event cache to derive your numbers. That's like polling one person on how they'll vote in an election, and using that to derive all your polling numbers.

3. There are 5 million geocaching accounts that have been created. A large percentage of these were never used, or have lain dormant for a long time. I'd be very surprised if there were 1.4 million actively used accounts total, let alone PMs. According to Cacherstats.com, there are ~160,000 accounts with 200 finds or more. I'd say that's a far more appropriate number of annually-renewing PMs.

 

Using an assumed PM number of 160,000, with an increased cost of $7900 per day for map use, that would be 5 cents a day, or $18 a year. This would be a 60% increase for a single map. I can live without it.

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I think there were some great fixes like the "1mb or the width/height is greater than 2048 pixels" photo uploading relaxation and the choice to not/view recently viewed caches.

Hear, hear! There were some outstanding upgrades that came out in this update, but they've been completely over-shadowed by the kerfuffle over the map change.

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Well, I'm not a premium member, so go ahead and increase the fees.:laughing:

 

But I can't understand the fuss! Are you really loading/planning/searching the caches with Google maps (only)?

 

I have a Dakota 20 and an Android mobile, I download a few caches into them and go get them. In the field I do not use Google maps / satellite maps at all, instead I use the maps in my GPSr units.

 

If I want to "cheat" I still can easily use Google's street view or Bing's bird's eye view to get some details of the cache surroundings.

 

I think there were some great fixes like the "1mb or the width/height is greater than 2048 pixels" photo uploading relaxation and the choice to not/view recently viewed caches.

 

:):grin::)

 

And let's not forget the Google Earth viewer. It ain't perfect, either, but it is still Google sat maps.

 

Personally, I am willing to give them time to deal with the performance issues and do whatever else they need to do. I have more than 1 way to view caches on maps outside of GC.

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Bug with the pocket query maps....if you have logged a DNF or even posted a note the icons show on the map as a smiley.... Also taking too long to load....and how about allowing the icons on the map and the names off to the side to have the numbers like the old maps, lots of us still print the maps and are totally lost without the names & numbers....

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Previously you could search for a Danish postal code on the front page, the map page and the Hide and Seek A Geocache by adding a dk or dk- e.g. the Danish postal code 2100 should land you in Copenhagen, but dk2100 and dk-2100 lands you in Kattegat, same goes for any other Danish postal code, the only difference in the result is if you are using a hyphen or not. I assume it due to you moving away from Google Maps.

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OK. So I've got OpenStreetMap, which is good — I've invested a lot of time and effort to support GC on this site. But no Google? and the other options, including satellite views??

 

Suffering withdrawal symptoms.

 

And consider my Premium Membership cancelled ....

Oh, I didn't realize that regular members got superior mapping. I guess what you save on the membership costs will cover the increased paper costs when you print out the cache pages instead of loading them in your GPS. Sounds like a smart move.

 

Why do you have this crazy assumption that everyone has a paperless GPS and uses PQ's or more over that they would go to printing cache pages?????

Yes, I made the crazy assumption that it you paid for a premium membership it must be because your using premium member benefits. So if the only reason you got a premium membership is because you like spending money I don't see why a change in the maps would change that reason.

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It seems to me that no one except Groundspeak understands why they needed to change the maps. Groundspeak CANNOT afford to pay the price that Google wants to charge for their maps. If they could, they would not have made this change.

 

You will notice the default map is not pointing to OSM's tile server. They are pointing to MapQuests OSM servers. You have to physically switch to OSM's tile servers to create any load on them. What exactly is the issue there?

 

We've explained why the maps had to do the change, people have guesstimated on the attributed costs that we would incure if we stuck with Google maps.

 

-Raine

Umm, I do believe you have the wrong quote. I was talking about the people who are threatning to drop their premium membership because of it.

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Ipad support.

 

The new maps work better with the iPad2, because now they actually show the cache icons. However, when I want to view a cache by clicking on the cache icon, nothing happens.

 

With the beta maps, the cache icons didn't display. I had to use the "old maps" to browse in map view and be able to see a cache.

 

Now, i can see the cache icons, but can't view the cache details. It would be nice to be able to click a cache icon and see the cache bubble.

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My $30 investment in GC.com just went down the tubes. I often wondered where all of the premium membership fees go and now I know it is NOT into member services. An increase of fees is out of the question for me.

Edited by lzhome
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I dont see the reviewers complaining. Looks like they dont have the changes like we got. <_<

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Well... if Groundspeak is listening... I would echo support of the notion to allow premium members access to Google Maps.... and buy C:geo. As a premium member, I'm starting to wonder what I get for the premium.

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I could not be more livid right now in Groundspeaks choice in changing the Geocaching Map! It was my absolute favorite thing! I would pay double the subscription fee to have the option for Google Maps!

+3

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• Added setting choice in profile to hide Recently Viewed Caches from the private profile view

 

 

Good-bye 'recently viewed caches'.

 

We won't miss you.

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All of these people who are assuming that being a PM gives them a right to Google Maps have me scratching my head to be honest.

 

A look at the membership comparison chart clearly shows the only map related item is,

Maps

Use the map view filters to see only the types of geocaches that appeal to you or to remove your hides and finds.

 

I have only ever paid for my PM for two main reasons. The first is to allow me to seach for PM caches. The second is to receive PQ’s.

 

If you want different mapping there are lots of other options. You can even just pull the GPX file into Google Earth if you like. If you want satellite photos before searching for a cache copy and paste the coordinates into Google Maps.

 

I for one would NOT be paying for any increase to gain the Google Maps functionality.

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Not once today have the new maps actually displayed a cache. I don't understand how this is an upgrade? I agree with yxza, SwineFlew, chenks, and dcwalker30, what is my membership paying for? PM caches? I recently renewed my subscription so they got me there, this time. I don't know about ya'll but I geocache when I can which often means I am limited in available time. I am not looking for an easy hobby but I also don't have enough availability to double/triple my caching time. I will give this a chance but at this moment I am not convinced. I strongly urge GC to investigate an option that satisfies the many customers as opposed to the few profit shareholders.

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Personally, I HATE the new maps. Sorry, but MapQuest, OSM, OCM are inferior to Google Maps. I use the Google Maps Satellite view every time I look at a cache's location.

 

In my area, I actually prefer the Bing maps birds eye view. Much better to see the oblique view vice top down.

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Not having Google maps and dealing with the slow map performance is a tough sell. I'm not feeling as though it's worth renewing my premium membership right now. There is no joy in having something taken away that was good. :(

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Not once today have the new maps actually displayed a cache. I don't understand how this is an upgrade? I agree with yxza, SwineFlew, chenks, and dcwalker30, what is my membership paying for? PM caches? I recently renewed my subscription so they got me there, this time. I don't know about ya'll but I geocache when I can which often means I am limited in available time. I am not looking for an easy hobby but I also don't have enough availability to double/triple my caching time. I will give this a chance but at this moment I am not convinced. I strongly urge GC to investigate an option that satisfies the many customers as opposed to the few profit shareholders.

Groundspeak is a privately held company, very few shareholders there. The maps were changed because another company wishes to make more profit for their shareholders. Go blame Google. Do you really think Groundspeak wanted to toss a whole bunch of development time in the trash just to change to the maps they are using now? From what I know about companies and programming, that is the last thing they wanted to do if there were viable alternatives. And the ones paying for the PM caches are the cache owners, not Groundspeak. And as for spending less time with a computer and more time with productive caching, then a premium membership is just the ticket. A lot of folks missed the memo from Nate as to why the change was made. Quite frankly, I was expecting it a lot sooner than it happened. And I'm sure Raine and the crew will find the spots that need a little grease and have it working fine in a bit. I would like to have Google maps back, but I am not willing to pay and addition $20 or $30 to get them.

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Not once today have the new maps actually displayed a cache. I don't understand how this is an upgrade? I agree with yxza, SwineFlew, chenks, and dcwalker30, what is my membership paying for? PM caches? I recently renewed my subscription so they got me there, this time. I don't know about ya'll but I geocache when I can which often means I am limited in available time. I am not looking for an easy hobby but I also don't have enough availability to double/triple my caching time. I will give this a chance but at this moment I am not convinced. I strongly urge GC to investigate an option that satisfies the many customers as opposed to the few profit shareholders.

Groundspeak is a privately held company, very few shareholders there. The maps were changed because another company wishes to make more profit for their shareholders. Go blame Google. Do you really think Groundspeak wanted to toss a whole bunch of development time in the trash just to change to the maps they are using now? From what I know about companies and programming, that is the last thing they wanted to do if there were viable alternatives. And the ones paying for the PM caches are the cache owners, not Groundspeak. And as for spending less time with a computer and more time with productive caching, then a premium membership is just the ticket. A lot of folks missed the memo from Nate as to why the change was made. Quite frankly, I was expecting it a lot sooner than it happened. And I'm sure Raine and the crew will find the spots that need a little grease and have it working fine in a bit. I would like to have Google maps back, but I am not willing to pay and addition $20 or $30 to get them.

+100000000000!

 

I regard Google Earth as a viable alternative, plus it's very flexible. I have the GE KML viewer, and use a GSAK macro that adds the cache exclusion circle. (the .10th of a mile distance between caches)

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Ok, so I tried the maps at work where our connection is sometimes questionable, and they were super slow. I figured I'd give them another shot when I got home to a much faster connection, the maps are laughable at best. I used the satellite maps heavily and the closest thing we have now are the mapquest aerial maps which feature horrible resolution and painfully slow reloading.

 

Shame on you Groundspeak for thinking that this substitution would be acceptable. You have been selling memberships based on current features which included google maps, if you don't want to pony up the money to keep that feature then you need to find a suitable substitute. The current maps are FAR from suitable. It literally looks like a website from 2006. I can't imagine what a prospective geocacher would thing the first time they logged on and tried to find caches with the current maps. I'm sure they'd get frustrated and move onto another website.

 

This honestly just makes me sad.

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Ouch. Just look at the differences:

 

mapsez.jpg

 

Isn't their any way that Groundspeak can have Google Maps accessed from the user's computer, rather than from geocaching.com ? That way, Groundspeak would avoid the load on Google by distributing it.

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This is an interesting case of some of the limitations in Groundspeak's business model. They've depended on inexpensive 3rd party providers for things like maps and reviewers to make their model work. As demonstrated by Google, the value of the map set is more than Groundspeak's been paying and now they're getting bit by it. I've seen companies buy other companies just to prevent this kind of thing from happening, but they probably had more money than the frog does. I wonder what would happen to their profitability if all the reviewers decided to stop working for them for free. I tell you, that's quite a racket they have going!

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