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Discussion Starter #1
I have just installed a hack that keeps track of your online time. Basically since i just installed it.. it starts now.. so no it doesnt add the time you have already spent. But it will keep track from now on..

enjoy

I wonder who spends the most time on the site :)
 

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Fred said:
I have just installed a hack that keeps track of your online time. Basically since i just installed it.. it starts now.. so no it doesnt add the time you have already spent. But it will keep track from now on..

enjoy

I wonder who spends the most time on the site :)
Will be able to turn the display off?
 

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Thank god it can't catalog all the hours of my life I've wasted away in the damn Arcade! Where will we, the users, be able to view these stats? Can we? Or, are we subject to whenever you wish to post information?

Edit: Oh, wait...never mind. Just noticed what information was on your User Panel. :)

I'm curious how this determines time. If I'm logged into the forum, viewing a thread...and leave it up in a browser for 5 hours. When I eventually return and click something else, will it assume I've been actually AT the forum for 5 hours because of a time elapsed cookie? That would lead much error to be had. What are the technical specifics regarding how it determines active time spent when HTTP inherantly doesn't retain state/session data. There is no way of determining how long I've viewed a site's pages if some mathematical calculation to determine how often some cookie variable updated, which would need to change with each page impression.

How does this hack function?

Edit again: As an example, it took me several minutes to type this post, but I wasn't clicking on any links or actively browsing. Yet, my stats are still showing < 1 second, which isn't true. I'm going to suspect this hack will be highly inaccurate. Time to review cookies, I guess.
 

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I leave the site open all day at work but only spend about 5 minutes an hour looking at the site. Will it give me 45 minutes a day or 9 hours?
 

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CasterTroy said:
WHile neat.....it's kinda annoying
And, I think its "neatness" will subside and become even more annoying if it's going to be inaccurate, which I can't help but think it will be. The time spent typing messages will not be captured. If it compares the deltas between any session login and the next re-login, or the next time your cookies update when you revisit, it will be even more inaccurate. I'd be very curious the architecture behind this hack. It would be incredibly complex to account for all possible state variables one may exist in while using a multi-featured forum.

Fred?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I am sure there is a way to turn it off.. all I have to do is put a IF command in it.. I will look it up
 

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Discussion Starter #9
/me thinks it could be just removed just as easy also
 

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Time spent in forums: < 1 sec
Average time: < 1 sec
See...it still has you listed as under 1 sec and you've obviously been active in the last 10 minutes. Of course, maybe it doesn't update on the minute, dynamically. In fact, I'd hope it wouldn't. With thousands of users, that would be some significant impact to database access and overall response of the site. A malicious user could DoS the server quite easily through seudo-HTTP-bastardized half-opened connections, much as you would any stateful TCP connection. How often are the stats updated? On what even tr*****? Give us details, man! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
i will look into it.. might just remove it.. im bored so i am fucking around with things today
 

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Discussion Starter #12
/me possibly clicks the delete button
 

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Fred said:
i will look into it.. might just remove it.. im bored so i am fucking around with things today
I think it would be a nifty feature if it was visable in each individual UserCP, not globally. And, of course, it would have to be accurate to a fairly certain degree.

By the way, I accidentally clicked "Ignore" on this post instead of "Quote", and I received a 404 error.
 

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Fred said:
* Fred possibly clicks the delete button
Before you remove it, tell me where you obtained it so I can review it's calculation architecture. I'm damn curious.
 

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Discussion Starter #15

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Discussion Starter #16
Well I see its working now. dont know if avg time is working.. but I will keep a eye on it..

I will also look to find out how to shut it off
 

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Whenever you click on a hyperlink and browse another page it updates the time spent in the forum.
Eeesh, becareful of that. You may want to watch performance measures. A simple set of perl scripts running in conjuction to refresh a set of pages, constantly, would zap availability in no time. I could see someone to go as far as to actually fabricate a wormed virus which seeks out vBulletin boards and Denial of Services them by self-sustaining page refreshes as long as the host is infected. There mere number of zombie PCs affected would determine your site's fate.

I doubt a single host or hosts with associated perl scripts could eat up enough resources to strap down the site's performance numbers.

If you don't have any activity in the forum in the same time setting that you have for your cookie expire options in the admin control panel then it stop recording the board spent time and whenever you log in/open the forum again it starts adding to the time again.
This appears to be the key. How long are our cookies good for? I'd look but I don't want to decode the hash. I will say in the AdminCP what the expiration of user cookies are set at.

As long as I'm clicking links within my cookie window, the counter is running. Once the cookie has expired for any session, the timer stops. Accuracy will all depend on what the session cookie expiration time is set for. I know certain other, non-vB packages have set their cookies to expire in 365 days, before it requires a user to re-authenticate. This would be a big problem with this hack. If this site's vB has its cookies to be set to expire every 1 hour, it would be at an inconvnience to the user as they'd have to keep logging in after each hour and the "Time Spent" would also only be as accurate to the hour.

Based on the information provided by the author, if I start browsing at 12:00 PM my cookie is established and the timer starts. Assuming my cookie is set to expire in 1 hour, if I click on another link before 12:59 PM, it will record I've been here an hour when that may not be the case. I may have browsed one page, locked my machine, went to lunch, came back and hit F5 to refresh a page to see new replies. Doesn't mean I was active here for 59 actual minutes. Invision Power Board's cookies are set to expire in 3600 seconds, or one hour, by default. I'll assume vBulletin might be the same out of the box. That would mean the timers would possess a high probably of error, suffering significant and cascading rounding errors the longer it's used, within that window.

It's a neat concept, but I see this hack as being incredibly flawed due to the nature of HTTP not possessing session state information at the packet level. And, there is nothing that could be done to combat that short of implementing some sort of java interface, whose programming could include keystroke monitoring, counting...rather, which would simply suck. And, privacy advocates would hate it, anyway.

I say, dump it. Too flawed to be of use.
 

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Man oh man,I got a head ach now.

And Fred is speaking in the third person.
 

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We will add his biological and technological distinctiveness to our own.
 
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