Thanks, cyn. (Now that you've explained it, I'm certain that the subject has come up before.)
It seems to me that what is a "Hot Topic" is a totally subjective matter, more to be decided by the Mods than by an objective view count (which is, I guess, a UBB.threads matter, not a local pref).
By way of example, I don't remember ever seeing the "flame" associated with a "New Malware!" thread.
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.