It is most definitely not just about the numbers

When you place a geocache, the first thing to think about the location is “why here?”. The Groundspeak guidelines on cache placement begin with this quote:

“When you go to hide a geocache, think of the reason you are bringing people to that spot. If the only reason is for the geocache, then find a better spot.” – briansnat

Today I happened to be in London. I had already done all the local caches on previous visits but I checked the website for any recently published caches. I was pleasantly surprised to find one just up the road at Shepherds Bush Green so after a mid-morning coffee I wandered across the green to look for it.

The geocache was a nano hidden somewhere on some railings. The railings turned out to be for the protection and security of the emergency exits from the underground station and I’m being charitable when I describe them as unattractive. As I approached GZ I tried not to be put off by the down & outs sleeping around the adjacent war memorial and I tried to ignore the discarded gin bottles and beer cans which decorated the railings. The additional decoration provided by some small black plastic bags (which looked suspiciously like dog-poo bags) deserve a special mention. Nevertheless, I decided to have a bit of a search, that is until a scruffy bloke with a staffy arrived and proceeded to walk around the area inside the railings. Enough!

Now, I’m not a big fan of urban caches but I have found quite a few excellent caches in London and I consider my requirement to be both simple and fair:  there needs to be a good reason for bringing me to the location. That could be an awesome view, a site of historic, architectural, archeological, geological or scientific interest – those are good reasons to be at the location. Sticking a cache in a shitty place like this one? As they say in Dragons’ Den, I’m out.


Passwords, and when, Oh when, will they kill off Flash?

I saw this on the Ars website recently.

Good security practice

Of course, it’s not as simple as that, so it’s worth reading the article from whence it came.

Then there is Flash. Steve Jobs hated it but not because he hated Adobe. Flash was a power hungry plug-in which didn’t sit at all well with his plans for iPad (etc.). Of course, things have moved on a bit since then. Java and Flash have shown themselves to be, um, susceptible to hacking, malware, trojans, etc..

Java (JRE) has largely disappeared from our browsers and it is mainly enterprise applications which still rely on its continued availability (my daughter’s employer’s internet-accessed HR system for one).

Many websites still use Flash but they don’t need to.There is HTML5. Even YouTube doesn’t rely on it any more. So I think it is time for Flash to die. I’ll leave you to make up your own minds.


Happy 3rd birthday, R2

My Freelander 2, AKA ‘R2″, will be 3 years old this week so as a birthday treat he went in to my local Land Rover Dealership for a service and his first MOT test. Happily he passed and came back all clean and shiny.


Batteries again

Here’s the article I was looking for yesterday where it mentions how perfectly serviceable batteries get reported as dud when their voltage drops too low.

Batteriser

The main article is a “review” of a gizmo which purports to extend battery life, the article itself remains a bit suspect in my view, mainly because the writer seems to have taken the Batteriser chap’s pitch without doing any independent tests for himself. That’s something which has been covered elsewhere so I’m not going to repeat the work of others. :)


New for old?

Today I saw these:

Batteries

Hang on. So people buy batteries, when they run flat, they donate them into a suitable recycling system. Then Energizer perform some form of chemical mumbo jumbo and sell them to the same people over again.

So, do they reconstitute and repackage the chemicals? I read elsewhere that a used battery only seems dud because the EMF drops from the nominal 1.5V to something below 1.2V and that’s when the electronic device that was using the battery tells you that the battery is flat. When actually it still has about 70% of its energy left, it’s just that you can’t access it. *

So I’m just wondering if the battery company has simply found a way to “reactivate” the battery so that it can be used again at its original voltage?

Who knows? Given that these recycled batteries are still pretty expensive I wonder if they are just trying to tap into the eco warrior market. Me? I’m still using rechargeable batteries wherever I can.

* I can’t remember the article and the figures I mention are my recollection and may be a bit out. ;)


Getting all steamed up

Today we were going up towards Leicester in Bob’s Range Rover to do some greenlaning and caching.

Unfortunately at about junction 15 on the M1 we were becalmed in a huge stationary queue (due to the motorway being closed at J16). We were just sitting there, waiting for some movement in the traffic and chatting about caching when Woomph! Huge clouds of steam billowed out from under the Range Rover’s bonnet. When it had died down we investigated. Here’s what had happened:

radiator

The radiator filler plug had sheared off and blown out, taking the coolant with it. By the time the recovery chap had rescued us and the AA had effected a repair it was too late to continue our trip so we headed for home.

We did manage 4 caches on the way but it wasn’t as many as we had planned.

Oh well, there’s always another day.


FTF. Twice.

Yesterday I had an email alert for a couple of new puzzle caches. One of the COs was drsolly, so I looked at that one first. It was a typical drsolly puzzle and I immediately knew what was required. Geochecker said “Yes” so that was me happy. Except that it was Mrs. WizzardPrang’s birthday and I had promised not to go out caching, unless my caching buddy Bob contacted me first.

Luckily Bob sent me a message about a FTF attempt so…

A short while later, we pitched up at GZ and, after a short search, found the cache. Yippee, a blank log! I was really pleased as I don’t get many FTFs. For Bob it’s very much a normal occurrence.

Anyway, at that point we realised that the other new cache wasn’t that far away, based on the coords Bob had already worked out. So as we drove there, I had another look at the cache on my iPhone and, um, came up with a different location! However that one seemed nearer so we headed there. As we arrived we could hear the sounds of cachers in the undergrowth. When we got there, who should we find but 3 members of our local BBH group. Two of them (plus their Pug) make up smokeypugs and the other chap was Happy Hunter HP20. Luckily for us, they hadn’t been able to find that cache so we joined in the search. Not long after that, the cache was found by G of smokeypugs and we all agreed that it would be a joint FTF. So that was 2 FTFs in less than an hour. :)


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