Redzone’s Scan Statistics

8 02 2011

Whilst we are looking at zFire’s statistics for zfRedZone, let’s look at his headline “number of people scanned” figure. Today this stands at 8,624,865. Wow that is a lot of people he is scanned.

Or is it?

Because it was less than 14 days ago that this figure stood at 7,833,410. That is an increase of 791,455 scans in under 14 days.

Why am I suspicious? Because whilst I don’t have the data from the last 2 weeks, the number of unique logins in the whole of Second Life in a 14 day period has historically remained very close to 600,000. So if that scan figure is of unique users, not only has Second life enjoyed a bumper fortnight, but every single online resident has been scanned (despite active RedZone scanning happening on only 3% of sims) – and indeed not a single one of them had been scanned before! Wow, Second Life must be bigger than I thought!

So in fact, that cannot be unique people scanned. What is more, as we know there are only in the region of 1,000 active RedZone scanners out there, this increase suggests 791 unique visitors per RedZoned sim in a 2 week period. Frankly that is a lot of sim visitors! As most redZone sims I have seen have been all but empty, some sims must be heaving.

So what is it actually counting?

RedZone sends out multiple scans. Each user who unwittingly has their parcel media exploited by a RedZone device has this done repeatedly. RedZone recommends every 10 seconds or so. What is not clear is whether each of these is counted as a new scan. But it seems likely to me, as the alternatives are:

1. Each sim really does get an average of 791 unique visitors per fortnight. Sorry, I don’t believe that.
2. zFRedZone uses a visit algorithm much like the one used on web site analysis tools, which will count a user as a new scan if they have not been scanned for a period of (say) 30 minutes. This frankly sounds like more trouble than zFire would normally take over his software.

Thus I think he takes the lazy option. In which case this figure is utterly meaningless. The total number of actual people scanned by RedZone is a fraction of this.

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