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I've just noticed that feature that called "consecutive" increases only after 3-4 p.m. by my local time gmt +2. I think the count of "consecutive" should increase with each day at the first login to the Stack Overflow . (Today my first login was at 10 am gmt +2.)

Is it a bug or a feature?

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migrated from Aug 12 '10 at 7:19

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The consecutive day count has been discussed before, but the basic problem is that any sliding system would easily be gamed. It would also end up being more confusing and harder to understand.

Currently the system is based on UTC. This means it will roll over for every user at the exact same (real) time. This is the most fair way. If you do not allow 24 hours to pass without checking into Stack Overflow, then you will never miss a day.

If the system was based on the locale of your IP, that would be quite problematic for users who travel, especially if the International Date Line is involved. It's possible in that case that you could "miss" a day without having even 24 hour pass. That's both unfair, and complicated.

If it goes by the time on your CPU, it would be too easy to game.

The best way is the clearest (once you know about it). The day rolls over at the same time for everyone, everywhere, always.

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Heck, I've gamed the GMT system. If I was expecting to be busy all day Saturday, I'd log in Friday evening (after 6 or 7, depending on whether DST was in force), and again Sunday afternoon. A full day missed in almost all senses of the word, but not on SO. – David Thornley Aug 13 '10 at 16:17
GMT? Or UTC? They're not the same. – Al E. Jul 2 '13 at 13:03
@AlEverett I'm pretty sure its UTC. I can't find the official documentation on this, but according to this answer ( SO is UTC-centric. – user213634 Jul 2 '13 at 13:27
@Anders: Indeed. And the dropdown when hovering the mouse over your username gives the current time in UTC. – Al E. Jul 2 '13 at 13:28

I'm not sure if I understood your question, but intuitively I would want "2 consecutive days" to mean exactly that. If I'm logged in on the 15th and then again on the 16th that would be 2 consecutive days. This should use local time zones, so that if I'm logged in at 11pm on the 15th and 1am on the 16th, that would count as 2 days.

Now, one might argue that if I didn't go to sleep until 2am that it shouldn't count. But I don't think that we should invole people's sleeping habits in this. ;)

Edit: I didn't consider the effect that using local timezone would have if people are travelling, so that part is a bad idea.

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