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Geohashing Meets an Angry Rancher With Firearms 800

Posted by Soulskill
from the viral-marketing-for-xkcd-fps dept.
katicli writes "Geohashing, an obscure xkcd pastime which involves going to random coordinates generated by md5 hashing, the date, and the opening status of the stock market, appears to have just gotten far more interesting. The official wiki reports a warning for other geohashers intending to go to the spot designated for June 14th in the San Francisco area, as several avid fans of xkcd were met by an angry rancher and firearms."
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Geohashing Meets an Angry Rancher With Firearms

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  • Re:Overreactions (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 15, 2008 @01:38PM (#23801455)
    In free countries you can []. It's one of the fundamental rights, like privacy, free speech and water. The right to roam.

  • Re:Overreactions (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <> on Sunday June 15, 2008 @01:50PM (#23801537) Journal

    the amount of FPSism that abounds in certain sectors of the geek community, you'd think that they'd be desensitized to guns by now.
    FPSes tell me that headshots are easy, and that all it takes is a moment of not listening for footsteps, or a moment's hesitation with my own gun, and I'm dead. And here I am without even a knife... You'd think FPSes would make geeks even more sensitive to guns.

    They're just there for a math joke, but for all he knows they're trying to set up the next woodstock.
    I somehow doubt woodstock would be his biggest fear. For that matter, if that's what they're doing, seems like a perfect opportunity to cash in on his previously-undervalued property.
  • Re:Culture --weird (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 15, 2008 @01:50PM (#23801543)
    BTW, how is that rash of knife crime coming out? I've noticed a lot more stories about stabbings on the Beeb.

    Don't worry. It won't be a problem once they ban knives [], too.

    Because no complex social problem is so intractable that it can't be addressed by laws against possession of inanimate objects.
  • Re:Culture --weird (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @02:03PM (#23801671) Journal
    On our side of the pond we hear that the illegal gun culture has been huge for years. One of our celebs moved over there like 10 years ago, kept having people walk into her house with guns to rob her (note: if it happens once or twice a year to the same person, it's considered chronic and excessive here; I don't know if she got hit up a couple times or if they kept showing up every month or so or daily or what), got real bitchy about it.

    Near as I can tell, the news is propaganda'd over there to suppress reports on gun crimes. Our local news over here used to emphasize every time someone showed up anywhere (private house) or got shot at with a gun, unless a gun was used by an ordinary citizen to correct the situation (i.e. remove a crazy shooter trying to gun down as many kids as he can... by shooting him a half hour before the cops show up). They don't like talking about heroes wielding weapons, only villains. We had a few minor incidents a year but the overall impression of stuff like that hitting the news every month or so is that it's happening everywhere, all the time, to everyone just because it seems "normal" with all the reporting and you know it shouldn't be a "normal" occurrence.

    As far as I can tell our rape rate here is massive. I know too many people who got raped (like, almost every girl I know?). In general this isn't considered a problem in this country; most girls simply don't talk about it, a lot of girls haven't gotten raped, but a lot have. Go outside, you don't see rapists everywhere or hear about this horrible rape culture; yet you're living in it and oblivious. Over there you might have the same sort of issue with guns-- hasn't happened to you or most/any people you know, but it's still a significant problem compared to other places. It's really hard to tell.
  • by aepervius (535155) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @02:07PM (#23801711)
    Because, you know, on this side of the pond (Europe), good guy and bad guy are virtually not distinguishable at first sight. So safety dictate that if somebody has a gun, he MIGHT be a bad guy, better play safe than sorry, especially when gun/riffle sighting are exceedingly rare. A bit like if you saw somebody with a package of dynamit or a drawn sword, you might worry a bit... Furthermore, Now, I dunno, maybe in the US the good guy are tattooed "GOOD" on their face in the USA, and bad guy are tattooed with "EVIL" or "666" or "I AM A BADDY", so you can easily recognize a bad guy with a rifle from a good guy with a riffle. The reaction of those geohashing guy is the most safest one. And the reaction of a few poster "why do you fear somebody with a riffle" is certainly not.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 15, 2008 @02:28PM (#23801919)
    If they are doing this in NorCal or Oregon, they'd best steer of even public land, lest they end up in the middle of a MJ field and some drug runner guns them down w/o taking any pictures or calls any cops...

    Don't these people know better (or have they been smoking too much)?
  • Re:Overreactions (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Firethorn (177587) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @02:40PM (#23802053) Homepage Journal
    There's a difference between carrying a firearm and having one available in the truck. It doesn't even have to be visible, it might be in a gun case or sleeve for protection behind the seats. My grandfather, who traps, keeps a .22 revolver under his seat most of the time. For a rancher or farmer, a firearm is a tool, and often thought of about as much as a cordless drill.

    There's enough gun weenies out there that it's often not worth the hassle if somebody panics when you're in town.

    All this discounts concealed carry. Not to mention that they might have been carrying and you simply didn't realize it. I'm part of the firearms community that concerns itself with self defense. This includes both concealed and unconcealed carry. People who carry unconcealed have reported that an amazing amount of people never realize that they're carrying.

    We're not normally talking about a chrome plated six shooter in a tooled leather harness with silver highlights, here. We're talking a flat black firearm in a black leather or synthetic holster. If they're carrying one of the smaller ones, perhaps with a shirt bloused a bit over the top, it can easily be mistaken for a blackberry or other such device.

  • Bacon fixin's (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mrmeval (662166) <mrmeval&gmail,com> on Sunday June 15, 2008 @03:19PM (#23802385) Journal
    It depends on the area and the farm. When I was a kid you might have had a gun handy or not. The gun really wasn't there to deter people it was there to maybe take game or put down a badly injured animal.

    In Indiana in some areas within the last few decades there have been enough incidents involving strangers that farmers do go armed for people. A farm near my parents had an incident where someone started shooting at a combine. There was no warning and no reason was ever found. There was also a sniper incident in that area recently where several people were killed. While there are hunters in that area the sniper incident encouraged a large number of people to learn what a rifle is and what it can do. I suspect there are more non-hunters who can shoot than hunters in that area now.

    If you're going to go to a rural area and be an ass expect to get cornholed. I like the comic but if it's readers are such stupid fucking morons as to trespass they can be hog feed for all I would care.
  • Re:Culture (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Zadaz (950521) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @03:43PM (#23802605)
    I was raised on a farm, and although I've been living in some of the most modern urban locations on Earth for 15 years, there's a cultural gap between me and most people.

    I remember when I was young, maybe ten years old, and I went in to town to play with some friends. They were playing some kind of neighborhood-wide hide and seek, tear-assing through everyone's backyards. I felt unable to play because the wholesale trespassing going on made me intensely uncomfortable. It still does.

    Of course I was trained to shoot at age 8 and operate heavy machinery at 12, so there were other benefits as well.

    Had these ordinary folks with an arcane hobby shown up on my father's farm he would have shot a warning shot across thier bow (12 gauge bird shot). He, however would have told them to stay where they were and to not move until the County Sheriff arrived to deal with them. At which point they'd get a free meal and room for the night in the pokey. You see my father, and every landowner in the county who had an ounce of smarts, knew the sheriff and his deputies pretty well and would be happy to do a favor for him (particularly if there would be a good story in it) and would always take his word against someone from out of the area. So even if these guys had called the law, it would have done them no good.

    Had they gone up and rung the doorbell and asked, it may have been a no problem. But then again it might have. Depends on the season and where they wanted to go. If they wanted to go in the middle of a field and there were still crops in, there's no chance in hell, they could easily cause hundreds of dollars of crop damage. And likewise in a pasture where there are animals. Just because they are farmed animals does not mean they are domesticated. Getting run over by a cow isn't fun, and a sow can and will kill you if she senses a threat to her young.
  • Re:Culture --weird (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Rakishi (759894) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @03:56PM (#23802735)
    Well unlike the UK the US hasn't killed off every animal larger than a squirrel. Not many natural predators when you've already hunted every perceivable threat to extinction.
  • Re:Bacon fixin's (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Omestes (471991) <[omestes] [at] []> on Sunday June 15, 2008 @04:15PM (#23802927) Homepage Journal
    If you're going to go to a rural area and be an ass expect to get cornholed. I like the comic but if it's readers are such stupid fucking morons as to trespass they can be hog feed for all I would care.

    Most of the ranches in the west are on public lands, so even if it is posted there is no such thing as trespassing, since all the ranchers have is grazing rights. A couple of our gold claims out here are smack dab in the middle of ranches, and the rancher can't deny access. The only time it gets iffy is on privately maintained roads, then courtesy (and often personal safety) demands that you head up to the ranch house and ask permission.

    As for cornholing... Erm... are you living in the 1800s, or in the Deliverance country? Most ranches are big businesses, with thousands of head, and tens of thousands of acres. These are run by huge companies, and the head rancher is usually financially well off, and educated. Most of the hands are either freindly half-drunk Mexicans, or friendly blue collar folk escaping from city life and complications.

    The wild west isn't that wild anymore.

    As for guns, expect them. Where we go, there are rather large predators running about, and tons and tons of poisonousness snakes. Also your 200 miles from nowhere, and there are some bad folk stomping around up there.

    This is my experience in AZ, but I'm guessing it is largely the same everywhere in the west, possibly more so in civilized CA.
  • Re:Overreactions (Score:2, Interesting)

    by clang_jangle (975789) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @04:33PM (#23803075) Journal
    Ironically, I am a natural blond and a female. And old, though people still tend guess my age as "mid 30's". No, I'm not available. :)
  • by celle (906675) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @04:35PM (#23803097)
    rewrite: Spoiled, overpaid assuming they work, young, city brats with to much time on their hands, drive out in the country on $4 gas to meet some friends in order to run back to town to drink and while out there they trespass on private property(rangeland in a drought) that is used for income by an uninitiated middle aged owner who has guns in his possession and has probably been trespassed on before. The kids then shit bricks running home to momma and whine on slashdot.

    Like you guys wouldn't get shot, or at least have the police show up, if you walk into someone else's place without permission in town so why do you think you could get away with it out here? Often the police show up after the funeral so it pays to be pro-active in the defense of your own property. For a lot of people their property is their income source (you know, livelihood) and they have alot invested and work damn hard for it. So it becomes fairly critical when people show up and drive all over their property without permission or any understanding of whats at stake.

    The long sentence is intentional indicator of how arrogantly stupid those insensitive selfish kids were.

    Short headline: City kids meet the country people that feed them and run home.

    In the kids defense: They most likely wouldn't have known who to ask as a lot of the time ownership and tenant information out here can be hard to come by. Of course, if you don't have permission, stay off still reigns.

  • Re:Irrational.. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Wog (58146) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @04:58PM (#23803275)
    It should be noted that in every mass school shooting that has occurred in the US, it has either been school policy or state law that no guns are allowed.

    Hmm. Maybe the laws only prevent the law abiding from having guns. Perhaps that gives the person about to commit a crime the monopoly on force?
  • Re:Overreactions (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kidbro (80868) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @06:26PM (#23803975)
    I'm not arguing against you, but this long discussion about trespassing made me want to post about Allemansrätten [] (Swedish, lit. transl: everyman's right). It is pretty much legal to enter private property as long as you stay out of gardens and the absolute vicinity of houses (just a clarification, as English is not my native language; when I say "property" here I speak about land, not houses). Essentially the law (which is a part of the Swedish constitution) exists in order to ensure that people will always have access to the country's forests, fields and lakes.

    In short, barring special circumstances or special permits, it is illegal for the owner to drive anybody off their property.

    I'm certainly not saying you're wrong - I just thought that people may want to know that alternative views on the concept of private property exists, and just picked one of the first posts in the discussion about it to reply to.
    Oh, and Sweden is not the only country that has this practice. The law exists in other Nordic countries, and to a lesser extent some other European countries.

  • Re:Overreactions (Score:2, Interesting)

    by iq in binary (305246) <{iq_in_binary} {at} {}> on Sunday June 15, 2008 @08:39PM (#23804793) Homepage
    You've proven my point.

    Biggest example: The UK. They are the most domestically violent country in the developed world. Their rape rate, assault rate, and domestic violence rates are EXPONENTIALLY higher than that of the US on a per capita basis.

    Thanks for backing me up ;)
  • Re:Overreactions (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mabhatter654 (561290) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @08:46PM (#23804833)
    actually states like Texas have "right to roam" quite extensively for livestock... if cattle roams into your private yard, you wouldn't be allowed to stop or hurt it, even if it starts smashing your stuff. Land owners have the "right" to "try" to put up fences and that's about it. In fact in many states if the cattle roams into a public road and you hit it, you are responsible for paying for the animal the owner didn't keep out of the road!

    Why would the reverse not be true? Why would a person not have the right to go where the cattle could go? Ranchers can't claim their property rights are "violated" when they don't respect others' in the same manor and keep their cattle on their property.

Whoever dies with the most toys wins.