What is the BCGA Part 2

A few weeks back I asked on here what is the BCGA and got some interesting feedback.

One which is posted here is by the old webmaster himself. While I didn’t identify him he chose to do so himself.

I have had a conversation or two with Henry in the past about the web-page and while he admits he is not a HTML expert but a programmer for other computer languages. So Henry shouldn’t be charging full price if you are not qualified in it.
My thoughts on this have been for the last several years have been, when one is in over their head say something or ask for help. Henry didn’t do that.
Henry says “I have not ‘web mastered’ the site in 2 years.”. Really Henry did you not run the Election for the BCGA in the spring of 2014 or 2013? Sorry but that is within the two years.
So Henry here are the facts:
March 04 2013 the BCGA Executive authorized a payment to you for $303.78
September 23 2013 the BCGA Executive authorized payment to you for $731.25

Of the last amount above $157.50 was for the Election along with $45.00 for membership updates during the Election. Imagine what the cost would have been if you not given the BCGA a break? I have no idea what the membership updates were during the election. I am not sure why you were doing updates of members when the only thing you were to do was fix the voting modal if there was a problem. Look I can’t fault you for this but I fault the BCGA for not looking elsewhere.
A 3rd party voting company was around $120 when I last checked.

I suggested 3 years ago that we move to a different method by contracting to an outside company to cast the votes. This way is is fair and impartial. That was turned down because the Voting Module was considered better and cost less, I just proved above this wasn’t the case.
So Henry my head was not up my ass as you have suggested and yes I do know how to read a calendar. It would appear that you Henry don’t know how to read a calendar. So to help you understand this March 2013 would be 26 months and September 2013 would be 20 months. There are 24 months in 2 years and you said it was over 2 years ago. Does this help you now?
Oh yes by the way, you did declare this on your income tax as income didn’t you?

This brings me to the BCGA’s Newsletter yesterday. I have for three years been harping on the BCGA to go outside and use a 3rd party for voting. Yesterday the BCGA announced they have done just that with the addition of servers and the company located in Canada. This too has been a bug of mine since the USA Canned spam act of allowing the collection of information on USA based servers. It doesn’t matter where it comes from, if it is on a USA server it is fair game.
I congratulate the BCGA for taking this bold step.

It is funny how the BCGA has come around to some of my suggestions over the years.

Now I saw something that really puzzled me in yesterdays newsletter. I was looking at who is elected and not running and saw All That Glitters as a Director at large. No where on the BCGA could I find any mention of this in recent minutes nor a current list of who the Executives were. It was not till almost dinner before a post was made on the forums explaining there was a resignation and an appointment.
This should have been done prior to the news letter going out.

What I did notice in reading the many months of recent minutes there is not one report at the Executive Meetings from the Treasure. Why?

Now if the BCGA would only remove the the Drivers Licence requirement for membership this would be even better as the BC Privacy Act does not allow for this type of use.

Yesterday while doing research for the above I came upon a very troubling item with the new BCGA web-page. The new webmaster left many back doors open to the website including the ability to view the membership list to the forums which totals 5025 members.
I was able to see peoples caching names then their first and last names. This on the surface may not seam like much, but it is. The practice for registering on Forums goes back to to the start of newsgroups and forums where one uses a “screen name” to post under. This is done to stop harassment of people and to protect them.
The BCGA violated their own Privacy Policy by doing this and one can bet that even a apology will be issued.
I learned something else interesting that the BCGA Executives registered them selves differently than the rest of us on the site. I found a test membership that show they were playing around trying to hide their first/last names and just have their caching names appear. The problem with this was the webmaster did know exactly how to do this so the names of those he tried to change appeared in the URL line of the browser.
So the question is what makes the Executive so special?

I was searching on the BCGA site and it is so screwed up that I went to Google and did a search.
Let me explain how this works. Google and other search engines send out bots several times a day to search for new pages and changes and then list them on the search engine. Now there are ways to stop these bots from looking at your page by entering some code in the header to tell the bot what to do with that page. You can say no to the bot or not index links on the page to name a couple. If you do nothing then the bot defaults to look at everything.

One may not think this is a problem but here a scenario that I was made aware of today. A member registers on the site under their legal name with their geocaching name. Now they are known by a different name to the caching world to protect them selves from a past abusive relationship. Now the legal information gets snapped up and catalogued in Google. Google then marries the two names together because of the caching name. If that spouse ever does a Google search then that person has been outed.

Google provided me a link to an open directory on the BCGA site. I could see everything back to the start of the BCGA. The interesting part was being able to view files I am sure the BCGA didn’t want to be seen. What puzzles me is files that were typed one day and then back dated on the site itself. Why is this?
There is an easy way to close these directory folders and I have to say it was likely one of the first things I was taught when I built my first page.

This afternoon I sent an email to the BCGA advising them that there were problems. I advised them to take the site down and fix the problems and get the site done right before making it live again.

Early this evening I received an email from the BCGA and it said that the problems were fixed and they were not aware the membership list was view able. I was then scolded because I did not advise them earlier of this. Well I have a life and it took some time to draft the email to them to explain the problem.

Well I checked right after the email and some of the problems are not fixed.
The BCGA has locked everyone out from being able to change their personal information and how to subscribe to different things on the site. SO how do we do this now?
I had advised them not to bring the site back online till all was fixed, but hey they know best.
The BCGA has once again been advised that they still have problems.

As I told the Executive tonight sometimes they have to swallow some pride and admit they are in over their heads and ask for help.

Lets see if it is fixed by morning…

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2 Responses to What is the BCGA Part 2

  1. Henry Kamstra says:

    You can hide behind ‘identified himself’ all you want , but everyone with some history behind them in the BCGA knows I was the person behind the site for a long time, so not saying my name is kind of a mute point.

    I am a capable HTML coder, I told you I am not a graphic artist and don’t have the skills to make it pleasing to they eye. Coding HTML to a design and doing the design are 2 different things. The site did not break because it wasn’t pretty. You seem to google up your computer savvy continually I’m a bit surprised you’d make that statement.

    If you insist on disparaging my professional capabilities I can also “find a lawyer” , as you have threatened before in past dealings with the BCGA.

    The site broke because no one else wanted to tackle a new site to avert the out of date and bound to die platform, and I did not want to be slave it it any longer. I said as much to the executive, for many years. If you want to go after BCGA for how they have managed things, that is your purgative.

    Keeping the lights on , or fixing a bug, or adding some function under the direction of the Executive is NOT web-mastering. So my statement over ‘over 2 years’ holds true. A web master has overall responsibility for content delivery and offerings. I was not setting direction or making up new function or content for a very long time.

    If you want to question my capabilities, I have 1000’s of lines of code, dozens of database tables, and a plethora of complex algorithms inside that site that will prove you very long. Most of which was given to the association Free of charge, while I was on executive, and after I left those roles.

    As for “in over my head” , I really don’t recall you being included in the conversations I had with the Executive. Seriously how you make up stuff to suit your agenda is truly amazing. I did not ask YOU for help, that is for sure, so how possibly would you know what was happening behind the scenes. I was telling the BCGA for a long time that I did not want to be involved any longer, they had to get someone to take over and they had to move to a new platform as I did not want to do it any more. I was in different place in my life and wanted to wash my hands of it because it was too onerous.

    The BCGA had options, and they wanted to keep it running until they got someone else to run the site, and find a new platform. Running stuff past its due date is a chore and that is caused by platform changes (Hosting, PHP & MYSQL) not by the code that I wrote. I certainly was not going to give my time over to the BCGA to keep the lights on for something I warned about for a long time. So don’t you dare blame me for the failings of a website. You may not like how it was handled, you may not like the associations decision to compensate me, but alas, it is an elected board given the authority of its members to just that.

    Obviously the association is more than a website, and its members recognize the work it has done over the years, and the support the BCGA has given to countless events and local organizations. Yet you continue to make the BCGA = Website. A website is tool, it is not the association. As a tool it supports communication and at one time some community building functions. In any organization that is an investment, investments require time , and as they say time is money.

  2. philatsea says:

    Henry,

    The only thing I questioned was the BCGA web-page problems and the cost. I never questioned your ability to code in other Languages.
    So you decide to go into a diatribe of your ability to program in other languages and 1000 lines of code etc. I didn’t talk about this and yet you make it the core of your response. Many could really care less.
    I will agree that trying to makes things work past the due date is something that has really come to pass in the last 2-3 years. Trying to get things backwards comparable is not working. In the next year we will see even more sites with problems
    A webmaster knows when to make this point known.

    I notice you say nothing on your ability to count the number of months and I suspect you didn’t because I proved you wrong. Just man up and say you were wrong or mistaken and I would have far more respect for you for that rather than tell me where my head is and how I can’t count.

    You are right you didn’t ask for my help when the piper email program went south and sent out personal information to everyone on the list because of a setting was wrong. I have used this program since it first came out and knew what the problem was and offered my help but that was turned down. Instead we got Mad mimi.

    The reason I continue to make the BCGA = Website is because the Executive does. Just read the last years of minutes to see the Executive talk about how to promote the BCGA yet we don’t even get to see a Treasures report. Nor is the website or Facebook page use even covered in the Bylaws. Yet we have the Geocacher of the Month promoted on Facebook and thus suggested and announced on there? There is no mention of this in any minutes I have been provided.
    So it is the BCGA itself that is making the website govern things. That is the way I see it.

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