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Geocaching HQ

Release Notes (Website: Background image on cache pages) - January 14, 2020

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On 1/17/2020 at 2:40 PM, nykkole said:

 

We have rolled this update back so that we can investigate the cause for the unintended broken images.

 

No, you haven't. I just got a message about one of my puzzles with no image, and I see now that a bunch of them have been rendered useless. Your perhaps well intentioned but ill executed changes with no warning are wreaking havoc. Poor show, and certainly not very professional. :mad:  Now to see what hoops I need to jump through to salvage some of them.

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Since an early similar problem, I store my photos on the cache page, or an archived cache, or a TB page.  Well, there was an evil one, where I hid the photo on one of my sister's missing TB;s page.

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On 1/14/2020 at 3:22 PM, Geocaching HQ said:

we have made it more convenient

 

...except you can't do this step at all when you're creating the listing.  Please do this later, it says.

 

Has nobody else noticed this, or is this new today?  It's odd.

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it's a big change that deserved a discussion with users !! there may be more important things to improve on the site than that !!!

 

 

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For years, I store pictures for my listings in one dummy, unpublished listing - more precisely in my logs, posted to that listing.

This way I have everything important at one place, structured and hosted by geocaching.com - so they won't be lost or broken in the future.

Edited by Rikitan
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Basic images hosted on external servers should still be working here.

It's not about where the images being hosted in case they disappear, it's the instances where proxy-serving the files by rewriting the description HTML image SRC values is breaking its display in the listing and/or the puzzle, and having made such an impactful change without due notice to cache owners...

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I strongly rely on pictures in my listings and I always have them at my own server.
It seems that none of them works anymore.
Since I am hosting more than 100 Geocaches, it is really no fun editing each and any listing.
Please find a solution for that!
https://coord.info/GC4TCFH
 

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Could it have to do with special characters in the URL? Accented characters that are errently being translated to character codes and breaking the url?  The first looks to be referencing /gg/ as a path, the 2nd /charles/  - is the first a path with a special character?

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1 hour ago, thebruce0 said:

Could it have to do with special characters in the URL? Accented characters that are errently being translated to character codes and breaking the url?  The first looks to be referencing /gg/ as a path, the 2nd /charles/  - is the first a path with a special character?

 

No. The first is referencing to 

https://austriaka.de/gg3/matrix.png

the second one is
 

https://austriaka.de/charles/sektkuehler.jpg

 

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8 minutes ago, austriaka said:

No. The first is referencing to 


https://austriaka.de/gg3/matrix.png

the second one is
 


https://austriaka.de/charles/sektkuehler.jpg

 

 

Ok, I'm looking at the first thumbnail in the first listing which is being rewritten to the reference /gg3/0.jpg- I did miss the 3.  That image does load directly in the browser, but the proxy link is not working. And it does appear to be a JPG. Doesn't seem to be anything wrong with the JPG. So it has to be an issue with the proxy image server and its parsing of the JPG data.

 

This is a serious bug on HQ's end. Either it's extremely tight on proper image data format and errors anything that's not within its ruleset, or there is a bug that needs to be fixed because it's not accommodating a wide enough variety of JPG data and inadvertently breaking many valid images throughout the geocaching database.  It's unlikely that every broken image because of the proxy is due to people making use of a technical loophole in image data that browsers loosely 'fix' so as to not disrupt the user experience (which the proxy appears to be doing).

 

IF the proxy really is only stripping the cookies, then there should be no reason why an image should become broken when proxied from an external server since the image data itself isn't handled.

 

So, is the proxy server also sanitizing linked image data? (just looking for an official answer, because we're certainly inferring that is the case!) =/

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I have no idea what it is, since both listings link to the same server (austriaka.de). So it can't be a problem with the http -> https redirection, what I was thinking first.
I checked many listings this afternoon. Most seem to work, but some are broken and I can't imagine why.

Edited by austriaka

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nykkole posted, Jan 16:

 

Security - Allowing a background image to be inserted via an external URL can result (intentionally or not) in third-party cookies on the computers of those who view the cache page. This is a security risk that we were able to close with this release for all caches going forward.

 

I understand that this is very annoying to some users but I think, Groundspeak had no choice since new Internet security law is in affect since Jan 01, 2020:

Here is more information:  Website Cookies and Privacy—GDPR, CCPA

 

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While GDPR requires consent to place a cookie on a user’s device, the CCPA allows cookies but requires the company (i) to provide consumers the option to opt out of the sale of the consumer’s cookie-related data to third parties and (ii) if a third party places cookies on the company’s website, to enter into contracts that protect consumers’ information.

 

So why not include the option for people to allow gc.com to not prohibit 3rd party images in descriptions? If you hit Accept on the cookie popup, make that the default, noting that puzzles will work as expected.  If you deny cookies, then just as with many other aspects of general internet use, the website may not function - and descriptions may not work.

 

Note that it's only on the website where this is happening. At least so far, the API doesn't rewrite external images to the proxy server, so 3rd party apps display things properly.

 

This is getting to be one enormous mess.

 

I may as well leave my puzzle cache up, but add in the description that due to GDPR/CCP and HQ's implementation of technology to comply, the puzzle must be viewed on a mobile device (or not in the web-based listing) to work properly... :(  Or archive it.

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Thanks for all the posts identifying bugs and concerns.

 

Please note that this thread is about the release of the changes to the background image. If you have any questions, concerns or bug reports concerning images in the cache description, please post in this thread: Release Notes (Website: Reverse Image proxy).

 

Thank you!

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On 1/20/2020 at 12:02 PM, elrojo14 said:

.jpg taken from my iPhone. I resized it to less than 5 MB. It would not drop and drag nor upload link. I will try it again on the next cache I am I working on in a few minutes. I just uploaded another .jpg no problem so I think it doesn't like my iPhone photos. They are .jpg.

 

Thanks for reporting this issue. We have found the bug and released a fix. You should now be able to upload this picture as a background image without any further issues.

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Sans compter celles déjà publiées qui sont maintenant à jeter ! Comme les jeux, celles basées sur les individualités, etc !!! Vous y avez pensé HQ ?

 

Merci Groundspeack d'agir sans consultation, unilatéralement, sans avis et sans information ! Vous êtes (jusqu'à quand ?) les "rois", nous les esclaves qui vont finir par se retirer !!!!

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8 hours ago, Vagabond.fr said:

Sans compter celles déjà publiées qui sont maintenant à jeter ! Comme les jeux, celles basées sur les individualités, etc !!! Vous y avez pensé HQ ?

 

Merci Groundspeack d'agir sans consultation, unilatéralement, sans avis et sans information ! Vous êtes (jusqu'à quand ?) les "rois", nous les esclaves qui vont finir par se retirer !!!!

 

Groundspeaks will continue to be "the kings". They have a monopoly, so to speak. If they had no monopoly, they would probably have disappeared long ago. But they can basically do whatever they want, because there is no real alternative. One would wish, that they finally realize that and then handle it responsibly.

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Fini les jeux en ligne qui demandent une distinction entre les joueurs pour éviter les carambolages (Pierre qui se retrouve avec la grille de Paul, etc.). La seule distinction était l'adresse IP. Maintenant, Groundspeack nous impose la sienne, donc tout le monde a le même nom !!!! Un didact trop peu réfléchi? A moins qu'il ne corrige en répercutant à nos serveurs les adresses initiales? Mais pas dans 10 ans, c'est demain !!!

 

A-t'on les statistiques des énigmes qui ne fonctionnent plus? 

Edited by Vagabond.fr
erreur de frappe initiale

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Not sure if this issue was raised by previous posters, but it appears the recent changes to background image uploading is that there is now no way to toggle between "Large" and "Small" sizes for an image.  Previously, the URL for the image contained one or the other of these two sizes.  Made it easy to move from a background of many repeated small images to a few large images.

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Images de fond seules admises : format PNG, JPEG ou GIF, taille maxi 5 Mo, pourquoi pas ?

 

Mais expliquez-moi pourquoi une image PNG de 352 Ko, déposé dans le cadre approprié, est enregistré au format réel JPEG avec une extension JIFG ?

 

Le format PNG a des particularités qui ne sont pas respectées !

 

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Groundspeack nous protège des cookies tiers. C'est une excellente prise de position dont on ne peut que se réjouir !

 

Mais j''ai trouvé pas moins de 133 cookies de geocaching.com sur mon PC avec des durées de vie jusqu'à 2 ans ! Justification : pour mieux savoir ce que je fais, d'où je viens et où je vais !  En participation avec un certain G..... qui n'a pourtant guère besoin de çà.

 

J'ai donc supprimé les cookies mais on ne peut revenir dans le site qu'à la seule condition de les accepter ! Aucune possibilité de les refuser !  C'est çà le choix !

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14 hours ago, Vagabond.fr said:

Groundspeack nous protège des cookies tiers. C'est une excellente prise de position dont on ne peut que se réjouir !

 

Mais j''ai trouvé pas moins de 133 cookies de geocaching.com sur mon PC avec des durées de vie jusqu'à 2 ans ! Justification : pour mieux savoir ce que je fais, d'où je viens et où je vais !  En participation avec un certain G..... qui n'a pourtant guère besoin de çà.

 

J'ai donc supprimé les cookies mais on ne peut revenir dans le site qu'à la seule condition de les accepter ! Aucune possibilité de les refuser !  C'est çà le choix !

 

Sur ce site: https://www.geocaching.com/account/documents/cookies vous pouvez refuser tous les cookies (à l'exception des cookies nécessaires).

Vous pouvez plus en discuter dans le forum lié à cette mise à jour: 

 

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On 1/16/2020 at 1:28 PM, nykkole said:

Thanks for all the questions. We appreciate the desire to know more about the reasons behind this release. Here are the main ones:

 

  • Security - Allowing a background image to be inserted via an external URL can result (intentionally or not) in third-party cookies on the computers of those who view the cache page. This is a security risk that we were able to close with this release for all caches going forward.

  • Easier for non tech savvy - As some mentioned in this thread, not every player knows how to or has a server to store their own images. This type of image uploading functionality is standard on many websites and cache owners have asked us for this functionality.

  • Issues with broken images in the past - When an image hosting service becomes unavailable, cache owners don’t always notice this. This causes the image to disappear and some puzzles become unsolvable.

While we wanted to ensure that these three points are addressed going forward, we also wanted to make sure that existing cache pages are not affected. If you have a existing puzzle that relies on the background image, the puzzle is not affected by the changes.

 

The behavior for caches with existing background image is that the edit page will show a thumbnail of the image. Behind the scenes, this is still the URL you entered. You can make changes to your cache page without impacting the background image. But if you delete the existing background image, then the new upload functionality is your only option for a new background image.

 

It appears I am late to the party....

 

Someone just reached out for help on one of my caches, it involves using a background image hosted on a standard photo hosting site. Additional clues/ information were found on the photo comments in the hosting site that are required to solve the cache...

Originally in the source code the background image appeared as such:

<body background="i.imgur.com/0u38bBj.jpg" class="cache details page">

 

But now it's this monstrosity: 

<body background="https://imgproxy.geocaching.com/9660e2daac2e9e8461ceb68de1b8f1c378eb7ed1?url=https%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2F0u38bBj.jpg" class="CacheDetailsPage">
 

Now without knowing that you have to remove the "%2F" and 98% of the background html, you can no longer find your way directly to the source and solve the puzzle.

Any recommendations on how to make this puzzle "solvable" again?

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, STNolan said:

Any recommendations on how to make this puzzle "solvable" again?

How about providing the following hint:

 

%3A = :

%2F = /

 

With that the puzzle will be somewhat easier than it was, but people will still need to find the background image to begin so original the idea is preserved.

 

(Maybe manually encrypt the hint in rot47 so the non-letter characters don’t spoil it for people who don’t want hints.)

Edited by mustakorppi
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3 minutes ago, mustakorppi said:

How about providing the following hint:

 

%3A = :

%2F = /

 

With that the puzzle will be somewhat easier than it was, but people will still need to find the background image to begin so original the idea is preserved.

I think I'll just add a source code note with the original background url.

 

something like 
 <!-- Background - URL -->

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5 minutes ago, STNolan said:

I think I'll just add a source code note with the original background url.

 

something like 
 <!-- Background - URL -->

Your call of course, I just think people who can read source code notes are likely also able to figure out url encoding on their own.

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