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Kudos0

Over reporting of IM activity

For IM activity (only) I find I get more reporting than I can handle. The reports show way too much messaging. But when I looked closely I found I was getting multiple reports of what appears to be the same conversation. As a result the reports coming back to my online account might cover many pages but actually represent a reasonable usage. But I can't see that at a glance. I have attached a snap shot showing what looks like 16 conversations. In fact, there were 4 separate conversations, I have numbered the correspondents. Wihtin a conversation every report is identical except once (marked wiht an asterisk) which is a genuine reply to the line below. I have also included (in a red box) the reported number of times this activity occured.  I don't know what this means.

David

Message Edited by dgardner on 09-29-2009 05:08 AMMessage Edited by dgardner on 09-29-2009 05:09 AMMessage Edited by dgardner on 09-29-2009 05:09 AM

Replies

Kudos0

Re: Over reporting of IM activity

Hi dgardner,

Norton Safety Minder captures all the conversations with each buddy and displays them accordingly.  Since there is no easy way to know what time a conversation starts or finishes, we display all the conversations that took place with each buddy from the beginning the day to the entry time.

 

Thanks,

Katie
Thanks Katie
Kudos0

Re: Over reporting of IM activity

Hi Katie,

Sorry but I don't understand your answer too well. Maybe I could ask some supplementary questions to help me understand:

1. Why do I receive identical multiple reports of the same conversation all timestamped at the same time? In the sample report I sent there were four identical reports for conversation 3 and three identical reports for conversation 4 all timestamped at 9.20pm.

2. The report for individual conversations states "This activity occurred X times". What is the meaning of X.

Thanks

David

Kudos0

Re: Over reporting of IM activity

Hi dgardner,

 

I'm sorry I misunderstood your previous post. I haven't been able to reproduce this issue.  Does it happen often? Is it possible you could give me some details on how to reproduce it?

 

Thanks,

Katie

Thanks Katie
Kudos0

Re: Over reporting of IM activity

Hi Katie

You said: Does it happen often?

Yes. Most of the time. I don't remember it being like this before but I cannot say when it started. These days I see this kind of behaviour a lot.

You said: Is it possible you could give me some details on how to reproduce it?

 I don't know how it is produced. I open the report on IM Activity and it is there. It does not appear to be related to external factors like the time of day or day of the week. It is not related to any particular correspondent. It is not related to a particular computer account,  I have 2 children and it is happening with both. I cannot say if it is related to particular messaging software as everyone seems to be using hotmail addresses.

I have discovered one thing that might be relevant. 

Attached is an example of an analysis of a conversation between one of my children and a friend. It shows 8 records of what is an identical conversation. The 8 reports are spread over a 10 minute period. Each report contains 62 lines of identical conversation. When reporting the number of times the activity has occurred the report is NEVER correct BUT if you add all of the reports of number of times together it equals 62 (the number of lines in the report).

   

Not sure how useful this is. 

It might also be relevant to know that while this conversation was going on my child was engaged in a separate conversation with a different friend.

 David

Message Edited by dgardner on 10-02-2009 05:16 PMMessage Edited by dgardner on 10-02-2009 05:17 PM
Kudos0

Re: Over reporting of IM activity

To follow up on my previous feedback about this problem, I have now analysed the 7 reports for the other conversation going on at the same time and the numbers work out the same. I won't struggle to get another table into this message but each of the 7 reports has a line stating: This activity has occured X time(s). None of the Xs correspond with what is in the individual reports (all have 11 lines of conversation) but when all Xs are added together they total 11, the number of lines in the conversation.

This may add a slight veneer of logic to the numbers but it does not solve the problem that when viewed individually the numbers are meaningless or the problem that there is a huge amount of repetition in the reporting which inclines me to stop trying to monitor the conversations.

Could this be related to something I have done with the settings (can't think what), or to something my kids are doing when having IM conversations (but whatever it is they are both doing it).

Is anyone else getting this level of repetition in the reporting of IM conversations?

Regards

David

Kudos0

Re: Over reporting of IM activity

Hello KatieQ,

I wonder where we are with this thread. I added some detail a week ago but see no reply.

Does anyone else get what looks like a lot of Instant Messaging activity but turns out to be the same activity posted numerous times?

I still do not understand the meaning of the number in the statement: "This activity occurred 36 times"

Can someone clarify.

Thanks

Kudos0

Re: Over reporting of IM activity

Hi dgardner,

 

Thanks for the information.  I spent some time trying to reproduce it, but had not luck if using one AIM account chatting with  buddies.  I was able to reproduce it one time (but couldn't reproduce it consistently) using  a second AIM account.  I talked with a buddy, then continued the chat with a different AIM Account, later switched back to the previous AIM account again…. Do you children have multiple AIM accounts?  Do they use multiple AIM accounts when chatting with their buddies? 

 

“This activity occurred X times” means the conversation between a kid and a buddy happened X times in the chat transcript. 

 

Thanks,

Katie 

 

Message Edited by KatieQ on 10-09-2009 06:44 PM
Thanks Katie
Kudos0

Re: Over reporting of IM activity

Katie,

I am not too familiar with the term AIM but I learned from a Google search it means AOL Internet Messenger.  I don't think that is what my children have. They both have accounts on Windows Live which gives them Internet Messenger access using their hotmail usernames. One has a "@hotmail.co.uk" address and the other a "@live.hk" address. The problem behaviour happens with both of them. I have checked the transcripts and they are not using multiple accounts simultaneously. Their correspondents seem to be all using "@hotmail.XX" or @"live.XX" accounts.

 In terms of the question about "This activity occured x times" you said:

  means the conversation between a kid and a buddy happened X times in the chat transcript.  

But there is no relationship between the number (X) and the transcript. For example I see transcripts of 62 lines (I count a line as when the turn passes to the other person, I think this is what you are calling a conversation) wiht the report "This activity occured 1 time"

Can I ask what I should be seeing if I had no problem. Let's say, for example, one of my children chats with a buddy via Internet Messenger for 5 minutes. Let's say, my child asks the buddy 10 questions one-by-one and for each question the buddy writes an answer. So, when I log on to my Online Family Account whould I see a single entry in the activity report showing me this IM activity has taken place and who with. Then if I click on it I would see a statement like "This activity occurred 20 times" (10 questions and 10 answers). and if I click to view the transcript I would see the 20 lines of questions and answers between the two children. Have I understood this correctly? that is what I thought I should see but it is not what I am getting right now. For that exchange of 10 questions and answers I can get an unpredicatable number of lines in the activity report. Each time it appears in the activity report it tells me accurately who the activity took place with and always giving the entire transcript. The "this activity occured X times" line gives me a random number not related to what appears in the transcript. BUT when I add the X from all the identical activity reports the total always accurately reflects the number of lines in the transcript (but that is not useful because I will not know the total unless I look at each identical report).

This is an intriguing problem and I look forward to a solution because currently the activity reports I see are huge but most of the content turns out to be duplicated.

Thanks for your efforts on this.

regards

David

Kudos0

Re: Over reporting of IM activity

dgardner,

 

A child could start a conversation with a buddy and it lasts for 20 minutes and done.  The conversion could go on for 2 minutes and off for a few minutes, then it starts again and so on, also depending on the network traffic volume during the conversion….so it’s no easy way to determine what time a conversation starts and finishes and how to display them in different transcripts. These could be the reason that you've seen duplicate transcripts.  

I have passed your posts and experiences to the QA team.  Thank you very much for all your input! 

 

Thanks,

Katie

Thanks Katie
Kudos0

Re: Over reporting of IM activity

Thanks Katie,

I look forward to any responses the QA team might have.

David

Kudos0

Re: Over reporting of IM activity

Is there any news on this problem?

I am still getting many records of the same conversation.

As a result when my kids get on to IM after school to catch up with their friends while also doing a bit of surfing for homework the activity report can run to many pages. It is common to see 10 records which are duplicates of the same conversation.

This happens frequently. It makes it very difficult for me to glance through the activity report because potentially important items might be obscured by too much duplication.

I think there might be some connection between this over reporting of activity and my kids having multiple conversations. Either they are holding separate IM chats with more than one person at the same time or sometimes they are involved in chats containing a group of people.

As it stands, it looks from the activity report like my kids are constantly chatting but, in reality, I think they have one or two chats open which they return to for a couple of minutes here and there over a long period of time. For some strange reason NSM/Online Family reports the same chat repeatedly and each time attaches the full transcript.

David

Kudos0

Re: Over reporting of IM activity

We are currently researching this problem. It would appear that this is some kind of bug in the way in which the records are retrieved. Nice work correlating the lines in the transcript to the total times the conversation occurred!

When a lot of message traffic is being transmitted... The safety minder can get confused in terms of when conversations start and stop, but that doesn't explain multiple reports of identical data, which suggests that there's a bug in the reporting code on the server.

It would be interesting to see if you had the same results using a different chat client, like yahoo or AIM, to see if it was related to a specific chatting client, but I suspect that it is not. 

Some changes in the way we report conversations to the back end and the way that those transcripts are displayed are coming in the next version of the client, which you can expect very soon, hopefully that will help.

Thanks for reporting this problem. 

Andrew

Andrew D. Software Quality Assurance Engineer Symantec Corp.
Kudos0

Re: Over reporting of IM activity

Thanks for the update Andrew.

I can't help with providing data for different chat clients because everyone in my family uses the same and I don't want to encourage them to branch out even further.

I look forward to seeing whether future changes to the software will affect this issue.

Regards

David

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