Once again we shine the spotlight on zFire’s dodgy statistics, as he continues to fib with them. His last two sets of statistics published on his site were between 12th and 15th February. Now this is an interesting period because after I published my article “Adventures with RedZone” on 10th February, zFire reacted by breaking all inworld scanners. Literally he placed a break in the PHP back end to prevent scanning. After he rolled out his ill fated 4.1.5 on 13th February, we noted that it was now extremely difficult to get scanned by RedZone, and in support forums it turned out he had broken the “bones” used for remote sensing. 4.1.6 came out shortly after but this fixed the bones by breaking probes. Now we have 4.1.7 but that was released after 15th February, so is irrelevant to these statistics.
So what should we see? Well clearly there should not be many RedZone scans. What does zFire tell us?
Apparently avatar scans reached 9,062,891 – an increase of 149,547. Sure enough, the rate of growth slowed – but surely 150,000 based on survey estimates of just 3% of sims having RedZone seems a bit high considering how hard it is to get scanned these days.
In fact, zFire admits this is a mskey uppy figure lower down on his page. Reacting to criticism of the failure of his system for its purported use of detecting copybots, he annotates his copybots detected figure (upa grand total of 6 in 3 days) by saying this is “Unique CBs vs Non-Unique Total Scans.” Now I don’t believe the copybot figure, because I don’t actually think RedZone can detect copybots at all (unless someone is stupid to compile their client with the User Agent “copybot – please ban me”). Evidence suggests this is in fact simply 6 viewers with estoeric user agents – which would probably have been some of the adventurous readers of this blog, inserting dummy data from web pages outside of SL before zFire managed to insert the break in his PHP code.
Nevertheless his statement is telling, because here zFire admits that the 9 million figure is not actual avatars scanned – it is the number of scan returns he has received at his server.
Prior to everything breaking, Redzone sims scanned people repeatedly, and the most common setting was once every 10 seconds. Even assuming some much lower scan rates on some sims, the average RedZone sim must surely scan avatars a couple of times a minute. That 150,000 scans therefore equates to 25,000 avatar minutes per day using historical scan rates. If the number of RedZone devices is 1000 that would equate to 25 avatar minutes per sim per day. If we go for the upper estimate for the real number of RedZones in use – about 2,500 then that is 10 avatar minutes per sim per day.
That sounds too low right? But remember most RedZones were broken or scanning infrequently or in 96 metre mode in that period. Thus traffic on RedZone sims will average a lot more than 10! But the figures are about what we would expect. redZone has performed 9 million avatar scans, but the number of avatars scanned? That must be much much lower.
Meanwhile zFire continues to count each new rezzed RedZone as a new installation, so apparently his installations jumped by 565 – although in the same period he managed only one customer review on the Marketplace website – and that was a disgruntled customer giving it one star and asking for his money back, because it kept telling him he was the alt of people he did not even know.