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Y&MD

[BUG]: Trackables in unpublished caches

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When some trackable is placed by cache owner to unpublished cache, so in case of traditional cache are coordinates of this cache visible at trackable before cache is published, and some cachers abuse this...

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No, as far as I know, the coordinates of the TB aren't visible, because there is nowhere that the coordinates of a TB's position are displayed. If a TB is in a cache, the cache name is displayed, not the  coordinates of the cache.

 

If I'm wrong and you're aware of a way coordinates are displayed, please explain further.

Edited by TriciaG

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33 minutes ago, TriciaG said:

No, as far as I know, the coordinates of the TB aren't visible, because there is nowhere that the coordinates of a TB's position are displayed. If a TB is in a cache, the cache name is displayed, not the  coordinates of the cache.

 

If I'm wrong and you're aware of a way coordinates are displayed, please explain further.

I don't know for sure if the coordinates of an unpublished cache are displayed this way, but if you click on the View Map link on a trackable's page and then view the page source, you can see the coordinates of all the caches that the trackable has been in.  Just search within the page source for "MapTilesEnvironment".

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Even if the TB owner can see the coordinates of a yet unpublished cache, chances are their TB is half way round the world by now, and too far for them to get the FTF, if that's what the 'abuse' refers to. Or what else did it mean?

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Fun for cache owners:

 

1.  Set up cache with coordinates at the exact center of your home area's nastiest swamp, thorn thicket, toxic waste dump, etc.

2.  Drop trackables in your unpublished cache page.

3.  Make popcorn and monitor Facebook, message center, etc. for stories of valiant, unsuccessful searches for an unpublished cache.

4.  Correct the coordinates to match the nice tree stump at the side of the trail through the nature center.

5.  Submit your cache for review and publication.

  • Funny 5

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7 hours ago, arisoft said:

Abuse?

 

Abuse in FTF hunt. Sorry, I forget to mention it.

 

And not TB owner, but anyone can see the coordinates. I'll put an example later today.

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I was surprised to get a notice on my TB that it was placed in a local cache I didn't recognize. I clicked on the cache and got the message that it was unpublished. The distance shown on the TB was .31 miles. That's all the info I got.

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4 minutes ago, Max and 99 said:

I was surprised to get a notice on my TB that it was placed in a local cache I didn't recognize. I clicked on the cache and got the message that it was unpublished. The distance shown on the TB was .31 miles. That's all the info I got.

Ha, ha, time for a walk. Draw a circle and start circling 😄😙.

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5 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

Ha, ha, time for a walk. Draw a circle and start circling 😄😙.

I considered it!

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Ok, here is an example:

  1. This is a TB that I currently hold: https://coord.info/TB62181 and I've placed it in my unpublished cache (not real, but I hope that someone will be searching there).
  2. Download .kml file through View in Google Earth.
  3. Almost last line is 14.7291,49.2215,100 that are coordinates of my unp.cache (+/- 200m).
  4. With combination of the name of this cache (that is also visible at trackable and in url) it's not hard to look in map and go to exact place.

Please do not speculate if anyone is doing it or not because the answer is YES.

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3 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

I was surprised to get a notice on my TB that it was placed in a local cache I didn't recognize. I clicked on the cache and got the message that it was unpublished. The distance shown on the TB was .31 miles. That's all the info I got.

 

When two or more TBs moved to the same cache then you have the exact coordinates. I have made this on purpose.

Edited by arisoft

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On 12/19/2018 at 1:36 PM, Y&MD said:

When some trackable is placed by cache owner to unpublished cache, so in case of traditional cache are coordinates of this cache visible at trackable before cache is published, and some cachers abuse this...

What type of solution would you prefer.  For CO's to not be able to drop trackables into unpublished caches?

If you just want the location of the trackable, and unpublished cache, to not be visible after the trackable is dropped - then that would require a bit of development work, which might not seem worthwhile compared to the minimal impact of giving someone an advantage in an FTF race.

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7 hours ago, noncentric said:

For CO's to not be able to drop trackables into unpublished caches?

 

Absolutely, that would be great and enough to solve this problem. (Fixed must be Post reviewer note, and also Write Note.)

 

By the way - hiding of name of unpublished caches in url would be also great, because that's very similar bug. I've reported it a years ago, but without any response.

Edited by Y&MD

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On ‎12‎/‎20‎/‎2018 at 12:32 AM, Y&MD said:

Ok, here is an example:

  1. This is a TB that I currently hold: https://coord.info/TB62181 and I've placed it in my unpublished cache (not real, but I hope that someone will be searching there).
  2. Download .kml file through View in Google Earth.
  3. Almost last line is 14.7291,49.2215,100 that are coordinates of my unp.cache (+/- 200m).
  4. With combination of the name of this cache (that is also visible at trackable and in url) it's not hard to look in map and go to exact place.

Please do not speculate if anyone is doing it or not because the answer is YES.

I can't see how this could viably be used so much that it could be considered to be abused. The biggest issue is that someone would need to know that a particular trackable had been dropped in the cache. Of course, the trackable's owner would know because they'd get an email notifying them that their trackable had been dropped. However, how would anyone else know? A random cacher has no way of being notified in the same way, unless they were insanely lucky enough to have that particular trackable on their watchlist. The way I see it, someone would have to browse through all trackables, looking for ones that are in unpublished caches. In the vast majority of cases, any such instances of this wouldn't be anywhere near the person, and therefore couldn't be exploited.

 

So, yes, someone could exploit this to get rough coordinates of an unpublished hide. In reality, though, this would almost never happen and would likely only happen due to dumb luck.

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35 minutes ago, The A-Team said:

However, how would anyone else know? A random cacher has no way of being notified in the same way, unless they were insanely lucky enough to have that particular trackable on their watchlist.

Not that lucky. I carry a TB and drop it in a nearby cache and decide to watch it for whatever reason. Someone picks it up from that cache and drops in the new cache they're planting down the street. Of course they file a log dropping the TB in the cache before they submit it for the same reason they put the container in position. I happen to know because this was exactly how I found out about this secret feature a few years ago. I thought it was amusing, but I didn't think it told me where the cache was.

 

Edited to add: Oh, but having said that, I agree that this isn't a serious problem. If someone is in a position to discover the unpublished cache's location, I find it only amusing that they could go sign the log before the cache was published. More power to them!

Edited by dprovan
Added a note to agree with the person I was arguing with.

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58 minutes ago, The A-Team said:

So, yes, someone could exploit this to get rough coordinates of an unpublished hide. In reality, though, this would almost never happen and would likely only happen due to dumb luck.

 

It really happens, not in theory only. Here https://coord.info/GC41X0P the first DNF was achieved before publishing. The same player found another cache at the same day before it was published. Both because trackables but my cache was much much harder to find.

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1 hour ago, The A-Team said:

So, yes, someone could exploit this to get rough coordinates of an unpublished hide. In reality, though, this would almost never happen and would likely only happen due to dumb luck.

 

I also disagree. It's rare, but it's happening, and not just to my experience. Discuss the details does not make sense. It is a bug that gives the advantage and should be removed.

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5 minutes ago, Y&MD said:

 

I also disagree. It's rare, but it's happening, and not just to my experience. Discuss the details does not make sense. It is a bug that gives the advantage and should be removed.

There's another known bug in which non COs are sent the final coords to a cache, regardless of type. Should have been fixed years ago!

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1 hour ago, Y&MD said:

 

I also disagree. It's rare, but it's happening, and not just to my experience. Discuss the details does not make sense. It is a bug that gives the advantage and should be removed.

I don't disagree that there's the potential for someone to exploit this or that it's happening, and wouldn't have a problem if this hole was plugged. I just don't feel it happens often enough or with a high enough impact for it to be very high on the priority list. Like dprovan, I'd find it amusing if someone was able to find the cache before it was published.

 

In the end, if one person was able to do it, any other person could too, so there really isn't any unfair advantage.

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18 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

There's another known bug in which non COs are sent the final coords to a cache, regardless of type. Should have been fixed years ago!

"Have you seen it happen recently?" asks someone who knows of a bug being patched, but who doesn't know for certain whether there are others which lead to the same undesirable result.

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On 12/22/2018 at 1:07 AM, The A-Team said:

I don't disagree that there's the potential for someone to exploit this or that it's happening, and wouldn't have a problem if this hole was plugged. I just don't feel it happens often enough or with a high enough impact for it to be very high on the priority list. Like dprovan, I'd find it amusing if someone was able to find the cache before it was published.

 

In the end, if one person was able to do it, any other person could too, so there really isn't any unfair advantage.

 

I respect, that in your area it happens very rarely, but in my it happens always if some CO makes this fault and add trackable to unpublished cache. There are higher tens maybe more cases. And how is possible? If you have automated system...

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Now we know how it happens. Could you tell us what is the root problem you want to eliminate. Finding a cache before someone else (like you) is the name of the game. It can not be the problem.

Edited by arisoft

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Come on. I have absolutely nothing against if someone is better runner, better mystery solver etc. and hits ftf before me, but if abuse an oportunity, that anyone else does not have, it is unfair. This oportunity is given by mentioned bug.

Publication time is the only right way, when players should know about any cache.

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15 minutes ago, Y&MD said:

Come on. I have absolutely nothing against if someone is better runner, better mystery solver etc. and hits ftf before me, but if abuse an oportunity, that anyone else does not have, it is unfair. This oportunity is given by mentioned bug.

Publication time is the only right way, when players should know about any cache.

 

I guess you'd have to explain to me this qualifies as abuse?  The cacher took advantage of something to find the cache,  Find cache, sign log, log on-line.  Works for me.

Hmm...  Cachers who find a cache before it is published should not be able to log it?  "I'm going to hid a cache there.  Oops.  There's one there already.  Found it!"  I did that once.

Nothing in the guidelines against either of these.

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1 hour ago, Y&MD said:

Come on. I have absolutely nothing against if someone is better runner, better mystery solver etc. and hits ftf before me, but if abuse an oportunity, that anyone else does not have, it is unfair. This oportunity is given by mentioned bug.

Publication time is the only right way, when players should know about any cache.

 

I am much faster to solve Jigidi Puzzle caches than others. They argued that I am cheating because they were slower.

But the game is to sign the logbook first, not to set new rules how others should play and what tools they are allowed to use to let you win in the competition.

Trackables are not inside information. Data is availabe to everyone who is interested, including you.

 

In Finland we have separate competition for finds before the publication and after the publication. Finds becore the cache is accepted for publication are marked with FBA tag instead of FTF.

 

Edited by arisoft

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44 minutes ago, Y&MD said:

Publication time is the only right way, when players should know about any cache.

Nonsense. Groundspeak does not own the caches. It just publishes the cache listings. The CO is free to make the cache data available some other way (intentionally or not).

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20 hours ago, Harry Dolphin said:

 

I guess you'd have to explain to me this qualifies as abuse?  The cacher took advantage of something to find the cache,  Find cache, sign log, log on-line.  Works for me.

Hmm...  Cachers who find a cache before it is published should not be able to log it?  "I'm going to hid a cache there.  Oops.  There's one there already.  Found it!"  I did that once.

Nothing in the guidelines against either of these.

 

Prepublication finds are absolutely ok for me, I have few of them also, but none with use of some bug in system and that is what I'm writing here about. There is a bug - coordinates of traditional are visible before publication, when CO insert trackable. Maybe for someone is it a feature, but I call it bug.

 

 

20 hours ago, arisoft said:

Trackables are not inside information. Data is availabe to everyone who is interested, including you.

 

Years ago there was another bug - you could find final coord. of mystery of multi caches when you moved coordinates on Create new cache page. I hope that you would also be against fix, because it was also available to all :-)

Edit: sorry, wrongly described bug. Below is further information.

Edited by Y&MD

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I agree with you that the bug drop into unpublished cache thing is a bug. It's an old old bug.  The mapping coords thing dates to the addition of a mapping module for  travel bugs, that happened 12 + years ago at least.  It's a less useful bug now than it used to be -  lots and lots of trackables around these days, and caches. 

Seems low priority for GeocachingHQ 😉

 

4 hours ago, Y&MD said:

Years ago there was another bug - you could find final coord. of mystery of multi caches when you moved coordinates on Create new cache page.

 

This was never true. The CSP planning map has never reacted to hidden stages of the other caches, or any part of any unpublished cache. A very persistent rumor on this for some reason. (There have been some bugs that revealed hidden stages, but not from the CSP). The first version of the planning map only showed Traditional caches, completely ignoring all other types, and the next (current) version only shows Trads and Multi-caches with posted coords as Physical. It ignores everything else, and has always been quite reliable on this.

 

 

Edited by Isonzo Karst
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4 hours ago, Y&MD said:

Prepublication finds are absolutely ok for me, I have few of them also, but none with use of some bug in system and that is what I'm writing here about. There is a bug - coordinates of traditional are visible before publication, when CO insert trackable. Maybe for someone is it a feature, but I call it bug.

I think we all consider it a bug even as we have different feelings about how important it is to fix. The question is whether using it to find a cache before it's published is ethical. Can you tell us how you found those caches prepublication? Maybe if we see some ways of doing it that are acceptable, we'll have a better idea for why this approach is not.

 

I can see considering it "sneaky" and "underhanded", but sneaky and underhanded are considered good qualities in a CO, so how can a CO complain about a seeker being underhanded? I once happened along a path and caught a local CO coming out of the bushes in a suspicious place where there weren't currently any caches. Would it be ethical for me to go into the bushes to see what he was hiding and sign the log while he went home to publish it? I didn't, but not because I thought it would be wrong. It's just another minor lapse that I would have been taking advantage of to find the cache before he invited people to find it.

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1 hour ago, Isonzo Karst said:

This was never true. The CSP planning map has never reacted to hidden stages of the other caches, or any part of any unpublished cache. A very persistent rumor on this for some reason. (There have been some bugs that revealed hidden stages, but not from the CSP). The first version of the planning map only showed Traditional caches, completely ignoring all other types, and the next (current) version only shows Trads and Multi-caches with posted coords as Physical. It ignores everything else, and has always been quite reliable on this.

 

I'm sorry, you are right. I heard about this bug from a friend and I misunderstood it. Now after phone call I know details: this bug was in Recently viewed caches, that shows distance to unpublished caches if you hit some right GC code. Moving of home coordinates and triangulation gives you the result. Of course, it works only with traditionals.

Once again sorry.

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1 hour ago, dprovan said:

I think we all consider it a bug even as we have different feelings about how important it is to fix.

 

Of course, globaly it is absolutely not important bug, I never wrote it. I just described bug in part of forum, that is dedicated for bugs, features etc. As a developer I like when someone can tell me about the bug, that I can solve.

[Locally, it is important bug, because like I wrote, it happens always, when some CO makes this mistake in our area.]

 

1 hour ago, dprovan said:

The question is whether using it to find a cache before it's published is ethical. Can you tell us how you found those caches prepublication?

 

Ok, if you want to know it. One I found when I stopped at forest, because I have to pee. Near of me was a big old cross (we have them often around village routes), so I checked caches near of me in phone, but nothing was here, even the cross was "cache-attracting". So I searched the close area and yes, cache was there. I waited then more than 6 months for publication.

Another one I found because I saw new strange birdhouse in forest, not far from main turistic route.

That's all I remember now.

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