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MOB Caches - a new tool


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1 hour ago, JL_HSTRE said:

Adventure Lab bonus caches do not have an Additional Logging Requirement. There is no requirement to complete the AL to log the bonus cache, although that's certainly usually the easiest way to find the coordinates.

 

As fas as I know, there was no requirement to play a MOB before to sign the logbook and log it online, but now, someone has interpreted that playing a MOB was an ALR. I guess that someone has misinterpreted that solving the coordinates of mystery cache is an ALR.

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Ragnemalm said:

Where is this rule actually stated in the guidelines?

 

I guess it should be noted here https://www.geocaching.com/help/index.php?pg=kb.chapter&id=97&pgid=297

 

But it seems to be this

 

On 2/1/2024 at 5:48 PM, Keystone said:

Privately, the Reviewers have more detailed guidance, which includes advice to question links to websites that are geocaching or technology related (among other things).  We do not need to question links to websites if Geocaching HQ has indicated their blanket approval.

 

and this

 

On 2/1/2024 at 6:28 PM, Keystone said:

If I saw a cache page that links to the OP's website, I wouldn't publish it.  I would "question" it by asking Geocaching HQ if it was permitted.  I would only publish the cache page after they said "yes."

 

So it may depend on the reviewer? I have not tried to publish anything but Jigidi and Youtube links lately, so I have no experience about any changes how reviewers may react, if I would do something that I am used to do earlier.

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Although the website wasn't running for a long time, I'll keep it up until the end of the month. If you want to copy your data you left there, take your chance before the 1st March. 

Thank you for all your support given here on the forum and in private messages. I believed I could add something valuable for the community.

If the next consequence is archiving all Jigidi geocaches, it was dadgum worth it :laughing:

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This MOB cache is one of my most memorable multi-cache finds.  https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC6TWAG

 

It had seven stages and four of them were MOB, including one that was in the middle of a lake (stage 6).  Denali41 and I did this together and we had five devices between the two of us to get the MOB stages.  While there were seven Found It logs on the cache, four of them were "beta testers" that never actually worked through every stage (including one of the team cache owners), they were only present when the final was placed..  Denali41 and I were the only two true finders.

Edited by icezebra11
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On 2/17/2024 at 8:50 AM, Ragnemalm said:

If that would be the case, it would be wonderful! I don't need to collect data to make a fun myst based on an online solution.

What is a myst based game? Is this a type of home built adventure/point an click game you have created to bolt on to a cache? Sounds interesting.

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On 2/16/2024 at 3:03 PM, Keystone said:

 

You can figure out the answer by reading this page.

It is unnecessary to set up an account to solve puzzles there - unless you wish to log out and resume later for some reason - but leaving a browser tab open works fine, too.

Even after an account is set up, you can opt out of use of your data apart from what's necessary to fully use the site (as mentioned above, saving puzzle states, 'posting' puzzles for others to solve, etc.).  I don't see anything there that would run afoul of privacy requirements.

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On 2/19/2024 at 7:45 AM, icezebra11 said:

This MOB cache is one of my most memorable multi-cache finds.  https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC6TWAG

 

It had seven stages and four of them were MOB, including one that was in the middle of a lake (stage 6).  Denali41 and I did this together and we had five devices between the two of us to get the MOB stages.  While there were seven Found It logs on the cache, four of them were "beta testers" that never actually worked through every stage (including one of the team cache owners), they were only present when the final was placed..  Denali41 and I were the only two true finders.

Wish I'd been with you guys.  That said, how is it that it didn't get archived due to Stage 5 issues?

Just realized I haven't seen a CEGT cache since 2017.

 

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16 hours ago, ecanderson said:

Wish I'd been with you guys.  That said, how is it that it didn't get archived due to Stage 5 issues?

Just realized I haven't seen a CEGT cache since 2017.

 

Hey Chris,

 

That would have been a fun boat ride with you and Sherwood. :D

 

CEGT was primarily MemfisMafia and Barasaur.  Since the Mafia moved to Florida, CEGT hasn't launched any new caches.

 

Stage 5 was in a small hidden park between Pratt and Bross, north of 2nd.  It is open seasonally and with certain hours.  There was a sign with a number to call and that's how we gained access.

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On 3/28/2024 at 9:34 AM, icezebra11 said:

Hey Chris,

 

That would have been a fun boat ride with you and Sherwood. :D

 

CEGT was primarily MemfisMafia and Barasaur.  Since the Mafia moved to Florida, CEGT hasn't launched any new caches.

 

Stage 5 was in a small hidden park between Pratt and Bross, north of 2nd.  It is open seasonally and with certain hours.  There was a sign with a number to call and that's how we gained access.

Interesting.  I have a 'stage' of an adventure in the same park that I may have to adjust to another location.  It used to be open to the public apart from special events - they would sometimes rent it for weddings on weekends.  Lately, it seems to be closed pretty much 24/7/365.

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Hi all,

 

I too came up with a new MOB service right as the existing MOB event caches were being archived. I was also going through the vetting process, which I was given the thumbs down. The issue with new MOB services is that GCHQ has to follow laws by protecting online privacy. This includes any personal data that gets sent by a users device. Sent data includes live GPS coordinates. Yes the end user has to give permission to allow the sending of a device location, but under GCHQ interpretation of the law, end users giving permission to send GPS information does not constitute legality in this case. Things may change in the future, but for now we must respect GCHQ rules in these matters. 

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guh?

Does that mean no web-based 'puzzle' can be permitted to use of gps locations even if permission is granted by the user (requested by the device itself)?

What does that mean for things like Intercache? Web-based Wherigo-style web applications? In that case, what makes a 3rd party mobile app any different than a web-based gps app? Other than running of a browser instead of the OS directly? ... =/

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Good questions thebruce0!

New web based puzzle caches that use live GPS data cannot be published. However, old caches that uses live GPS data have been grandfathered, and are allowed to stay published.

 

I do not know about Intercache, but I know Web-based Wherigo-style web applications are also no longer allowed due to the live GPS data rules. I have a cache where I built a Wherigo style web app that is still allowed to be played. It too was grandfathered into allowing to stay published.

 

3rd party mobile apps that use live GPS coordinates from a users device that are being sent across the internet are only allowed if the app is on the GCHQ approved list. As far as I know, there are no longer any 3rd party apps like this on that list. The approved Wherigo apps use live GPS coordinates, but that information is not sent across the internet to a 3rd party server. A WIG cartridge is completely self contained, running on the users device, and does not require any data being sent to and from a server on the Internet.

 

Personally, I do not like Wherigo seeing how it is soooooo easy to cheat these cartridges by using online tools that reverse engineer the cartridge. Even if the cartridge was compiled using the obfuscated method, it is still quite easy to extract all the data needed to find, calculate, or even play on an emulator to find the final coordinates. It just requires a little extra work. But that is a different story and won't go into any details. LOL

 

Again, this is not the fault of GCHQ. It all just has to do with online privacy laws.

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9 hours ago, talk2azs said:

Sent data includes live GPS coordinates.

 

Why do your App send GPS coordinates to internet? If you have an App, it should be able to process the location data locally, in the phone.

 

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2 hours ago, arisoft said:

 

Why do your App send GPS coordinates to internet? If you have an App, it should be able to process the location data locally, in the phone.

 

For a MOB cache website/app wouldn't that be necessary so that the site/whatever can count how many people are at the location?  I don't see how that could be processed locally for everyone at the site to confirm how many others are there too, I guess it could be done by Bluetooth but that's probably more of a concern for most people than sharing their co-ordinates.

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If the information wether a player is on site or not is too sensitive for an anonymous participant to send to the internet, the MOB could share a password for encrypting the data trasnsfer between them so that everything is computed locally. Only encrypted data is shared by the server with this method.

Edited by arisoft
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If you process the data locally on a users device, you would have to use Javascript. Any code running on a local device can easily be extracted and seen by the end user. This opens the puzzle up to the armchair puzzle solvers. Why go onsite when you can just run the code at home and easily extract the final cache container information. I have seen too many people with web puzzles do this around the world. I have solved many web page puzzles that use Javascript at the comfort of my computer. My purpose for doing this was to let the CO's of those caches know how easy it was to armchair solve them. Javascript is great for online privacy, but not good at all for security and the never ending battle against the cheaters. LOL

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So I have been working on something new based on the original MOB event caches. I decided to reveal it to anyone reading the posts on this forum. I call it MOB Event Cache 2.0. Instead of using live GPS coordinates, it will use a question that needs to be answered about the area at GZ. Once all users enter the answer, all users must submit the answer at the same time. I have been testing this and have had great results from my experimenting. This will be VERY hard for cheaters to solve in the comfort of their own homes, as I have included security code to help prevent armchair solving. I have just created a beta website for this. If you would like to give this a shot, go to "talk2azs dot com/mob20beta". The answer to the question in the beta version is 1234.

 

Please let me know what you think.

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7 hours ago, talk2azs said:

Any code running on a local device can easily be extracted and seen by the end user. This opens the puzzle up to the armchair puzzle solvers.

 

No puzzle solver would decode the app because they can use fake gps.

 

6 hours ago, talk2azs said:

Once all users enter the answer, all users must submit the answer at the same time.

 

Good solution for not using GPS but timing is not a very good proof of location. Does this open a loophole for cheaters that they can play it anywhere?

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Good points arisoft. But I thought about those things also.

 

The original MOB by Chiliehead did not take spoofing GPS on devices into account. I have solved many MOB events using fake GPS apps using many tools I have available to me. In my GPS enabled web apps(apps I cannot use for Geocaching), I placed in some code to detect GPS spoofing. It gets quite detailed, and will not get into the details. During the time right before GCHQ was deciding what to do with all MOB caches, I had the privilege of working with a number of MOB cache owners in other countries to breath new life into and resurrect their caches from the dead. A couple of these CO's tried to use every trick in the book they could think of to try and armchair their new MOB web app. They were VERY impressed they were unable to spoof GPS my version of the MOB web app!

 

As far as my non-GPS solution to MOB 2.0 caches, YES it does open the loophole to play everywhere. But as you stated, the thing about using a fake GPS, that opens widely the loophole of playing everywhere. At least having the user answer a question about the location, pretty much closes the play anywhere loophole, if they do not have the answer. Questions have to be chosen wisely. The biggest thing here is to make sure no one can find the answer using Google Street Maps. Another is a user can try answering the question until they hit the correct answer. The solution here is to only give the user so many times they can answer the question. The penalty could be to disable the users game for 24 hours. Sure one could get around this if they knew exactly how I coded this penalty. As far as the question, hunters would have to share the question answer with others in order for the game to be played everywhere properly. The solution for this: Have rotating questions. I would find a place where I could come up with 20 or more questions. A hunter would have to dedicate MANY days and hours of their lives to get all questions. If you think someone is doing this, then go out and make changes and come up with 20 more new questions. I don't think it will ever have to come to this, but its always better of have a solution and not need it, than needing a solution and not having one.

 

So when I coded my version of MOB 2.0, I did take into account device internet latency and coded for that as well. Before coding for Internet Latency, I had many problems getting my MOB 2.0 to work properly. But with the latency coding, the app worked surprisingly well. Sure there may be a rare occasion where not all devices will be counted, but I made it easier for a group to replay the game by pre-filling the users answer into the submission field so that they would not have to type in the answer again. So when selecting a place for hunters to meet, I will make sure there are cell towers located very close, by the big 3 cell providers, drastically reducing the latency times. In fact I have a new cache almost ready for submission using my MOB 2.0 web app.

Edited by talk2azs
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