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Seagate Offers Refunds on 6.2 Million Hard Drives 780

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the making-things-right dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Seagate has agreed to settle a lawsuit that alleges that the company mislead customers by selling them hard disk drives with less capacity than the company advertised. The suit states that Seagate's use of the decimal definition of the storage capacity term "gigabyte" was misleading and inaccurate: whereby 1GB = 1 billion bytes. In actuality, 1GB = 1,073,741,824 bytes — a difference of approximately 7% from Seagate's figures. Seagate is saying it will offer a cash refund or free backup and recovery software."
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Seagate Offers Refunds on 6.2 Million Hard Drives

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  • by Adradis (1160201) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @11:58PM (#21207569)
    Wow, I'm surprised that actually went through, if only because the court systems seem so broken. Hopefully, other manufacturers will get the hint and start changing their plans. I could just see this going after other manufacturers too, who insist on using smaller sizes for their measurements to seem bigger.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DiSKiLLeR (17651)

      Wow, I'm surprised that actually went through, if only because the court systems seem so broken. Hopefully, other manufacturers will get the hint and start changing their plans. I could just see this going after other manufacturers too, who insist on using smaller sizes for their measurements to seem bigger.
      I bloody well hope so.
    • RTFM (Score:2, Informative)

      by Revotron (1115029) *
      Do your research - your point is pretty much ass-backwards. The manufacturers are quoting their sizes in gigabytes, which are SI units defined as 10^9 bytes. A gibibyte is the familiar 2^30, 1024MB unit that we all associate as being a gigabyte.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Ledsock (926049)

        Do your research - your point is pretty much ass-backwards. The manufacturers are quoting their sizes in gigabytes, which are SI units defined as 10^9 bytes. A gibibyte is the familiar 2^30, 1024MB unit that we all associate as being a gigabyte.

        Actually, 1 GiB=1024 MiB. That's the whole issue of this case. MB!=MiB, as with kB and KiB, and GB and GiB. The difference between a GB and a GiB is roughly 6.87%, yet when you hit the TB/TiB level, the difference is roughly 9.05%. The greater the prefix, the more the inconsistency between the two units of measurement. I view this case as preventative action for the soon coming terabyte and tebibyte hard drives. As sizes grow, so do our losses (although, technically, they are advertising correctly, an

    • by Harmonious Botch (921977) * on Friday November 02, 2007 @12:10AM (#21207685) Homepage Journal
      There is a precedent of sorts...back in the 80's at Kaypro, we had a customer threaten to sue us because some fool in marketing said that we had 65K of memory, and there was only 64K, of course. Management told him to take a hike. And that was the last we heard of him.
  • by micksam7 (1026240) * on Thursday November 01, 2007 @11:59PM (#21207581)
    File online [harddrive-settlement.com] [no cash, just software]

    Mail-in [harddrive-settlement.com] [cash or software, cash claim only if bought before 2006 & you have proof-of-purchase. 5% of what you paid]
  • SI units (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 02, 2007 @12:02AM (#21207619)
    1 GB (gigabyte) = 10^9 B
    1 GiB (gibibyte) = 2^30 B
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bh_doc (930270)
      Exactly. The information technology sector is and has always been wrong to suggest that k is 2^10. It is not, and it will never be. k=10^3, M=10^6, G=10^9, etc.
      • Re:SI units (Score:5, Insightful)

        by DRobson (835318) on Friday November 02, 2007 @12:15AM (#21207723) Homepage
        Regardless of whether the IT sector is _technically_ in the wrong it's commonly accepted that in this area we work with powers of two. The fact that people have to explicitly explain this fact shows that everyone expects it to be that way. The HDD manufacturers damn well know this and fairly blantantly use measurements which would commonly be interpreted more favourably.
        • Re:SI units (Score:5, Insightful)

          by DiSKiLLeR (17651) on Friday November 02, 2007 @12:29AM (#21207833) Homepage Journal

          Regardless of whether the IT sector is _technically_ in the wrong it's commonly accepted that in this area we work with powers of two. The fact that people have to explicitly explain this fact shows that everyone expects it to be that way. The HDD manufacturers damn well know this and fairly blantantly use measurements which would commonly be interpreted more favourably.
          Exactly.

          This says it perfectly.

          RAM manufacturers do it correctly, and Application Vendors and Operating System Vendors have been doing it this way for DECADES. SI units be damned, this is the way it has always been and there is no reason for it to be changed.
    • Re:SI units (Score:5, Insightful)

      by IWannaBeAnAC (653701) on Friday November 02, 2007 @01:14AM (#21208087)

      While I can see the technical merit in using the Ki/Mi/Gi prefix instead of K/M/G, I object to it for the simple reason that kibibyte, mibibyte and gibibyte are stupid sounding words and I refuse to use them for that reason alone.

      It might be, for a newcomer, initially confusing that a kilobyte is 1024 bytes instead of 1000 bytes, but the original scheme is a consistent exception. The powers of 2 apply to bytes and only bytes, nothing else. 1Km = 1000 meters. 1KW = 1000 Watts. 1KB = 1024 bytes. 1 KN = 1000 Newtons. Not completely uniform, but there is no ambiguity.

      On the other hand, if someone came up with a set of power of 2 prefixes that didn't suck, I'd happily switch.

      • Re:SI units (Score:4, Insightful)

        by amorsen (7485) <benny+slashdot@amorsen.dk> on Friday November 02, 2007 @01:57AM (#21208283)
        The powers of 2 apply to bytes and only bytes, nothing else

        They apply to bytes, when you happen to talk about RAM. Anything else, even flash, is in powers of 10. Sometimes, but rarely, they apply to bits as well -- 2Mbps E1 is 2048kbps. ADSL can go either way. In short, "consistent" is certainly not a good description of this mess.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by IWannaBeAnAC (653701)

          No, the word 'Kilobyte' had established a consistent meaning of 1024 bytes long before Flash existed. All you are saying is that the Flash manufactures have succumbed to the same deceptive marketing tricks of the hard disk manufacturers. It is an abuse of language for marketing purposes, nothing else. So is using 'bits' in network speeds, it is purely so they can market a number that is 8 times bigger. If you are going to download files, then you want to know what the transfer speed is in units of the

  • Seems Silly to me (Score:4, Insightful)

    by IcarusMoth (631872) on Friday November 02, 2007 @12:02AM (#21207623)
    Seriously, the blame could just as easily be laid at the feet of the OS developers. There is a long standing history of disk manufacturers using base 10 counting numbers. It would not be so horribly difficult for the OS developers to conform to the base 10 measurement. I mean what next are the consumers going to sue because the formatting and allocation tables take up room? or perhaps because it hides space for virtual memory? seriously. come on people.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gadzook33 (740455)
      Yeah, other than the fact that computers suck at base-10 counting and are really really good at base-2 counting, you're absolutely right.
    • Indeed. Wait till they go after Gigabit Ethernet... uh, oh, it's only 1000000000 bits, not 2^30 bits!
    • by DiSKiLLeR (17651) on Friday November 02, 2007 @12:27AM (#21207805) Homepage Journal

      Seriously, the blame could just as easily be laid at the feet of the OS developers. There is a long standing history of disk manufacturers using base 10 counting numbers. It would not be so horribly difficult for the OS developers to conform to the base 10 measurement. I mean what next are the consumers going to sue because the formatting and allocation tables take up room? or perhaps because it hides space for virtual memory? seriously. come on people.
      You're moronic.

      Every operating system, whether it be Windows NT, XP, or Vista, Linux, FreeBSD, or Solaris, states that 1Kb = 1024bytes, 1Mb = 1024Kb, and so on.

      Every application, does too.

      Why rewrite all software, and god forbid, patch all old software going back however many DECADES into the past to implement this change, when harddrive manufacturers could simply start labelling their drives correctly?

      Besides, when you buy a gigabyte of ram, are you really getting 1 billion bytes? or 1073741824 bytes? You tell me :)

      Last I checked, bios reported 1024Mb was a 1gb, and 4096mb was 4gb's of ram :)

      I don't see why hdd manufactureres are the ONE single exception to this long standing rule, and SI units be damned.
      • Re:Seems Silly to me (Score:5, Interesting)

        by 5pp000 (873881) on Friday November 02, 2007 @01:14AM (#21208091)

        I don't see why hdd manufactureres are the ONE single exception to this long standing rule, and SI units be damned.

        Ever hear of a "1.44MB" floppy? How many bytes do you suppose it holds? That's right... it's a double-sided version of a "720kB" floppy, so it really holds 1440KiB... which, perhaps inevitably, people started calling "1.44MB", even though that "MB" is the bastard child of the decimal and binary kilobytes, 1024000 bytes.

        Once that monstrosity caught on, I'm afraid we were doomed.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by bestinshow (985111)
          The fact that the storage of data on a floppy disc (and hard drives) is segregated into blocks that are sized in powers of two (512 bytes for most floppies) suggests that the capacity of said drives should be expressed as a number that is a multiple of said block size.

          E.g., Floppy Drive: 2 sides * 80 tracks * 9 sectors * 512 bytes = 720KB

          Any other argument is totally pointless to be totally fair. If you want a base 10 capacity for binary data that is not stored in blocks of base 2 size you use bits, e.g., 2
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647)
        Note: The following post uses SI prefixes (e.g. GB=10^9 bytes, etc.) correctly. Binary prefixes are used when appropriate.

        Every operating system, whether it be Windows NT, XP, or Vista, Linux, FreeBSD, or Solaris, states that 1Kb = 1024bytes, 1Mb = 1024Kb, and so on.

        WRONG. Use a modern Linux distro. You will find that many tools either use the binary prefixes or use SI-standard prefix usage.

        Why rewrite all software, and god forbid, patch all old software going back however many DECADES into the past to impl

    • by Solandri (704621) on Friday November 02, 2007 @12:51AM (#21207949)

      Seriously, the blame could just as easily be laid at the feet of the OS developers. There is a long standing history of disk manufacturers using base 10 counting numbers.
      It's not a longstanding history. It started in mid-1990s. In the early 1990s, if you bought a 300 MB drive, you got 300*1024^2 = 314,572,800 bytes.

      In the mid-1990s, one marketing dweeb at a low-end hard drive manufacturer (I want to say Maxtor but don't recall for sure) convinced his company to start defining 1 MB = 1,000,000 bytes. It let them sell a smaller (and thus cheaper to manufacture) drive while labeling it as the same capacity as everyone else's drives. The others resisted for about a year, then gave in and started mis-labeling their drives. IBM was the last holdout, I think they went for 3 years selling bigger drives than everyone else labeled with the same capacity. Eventually they gave in too, shortly before selling their hard drive division to Hitachi.

      Around 1998, the international standards bodies mandated that MB = 1,000,000 and GB = 1,000,000,000, while MiB = 1,048,576 and GiB = 1,073,741,824. But like metric in the U.S., these units have never really caught on in the computer industry. Personally I can see the standards bodies' point, but they're going to have to collaborate with OS, memory, hard drive, and other computer hardware manufacturers to get the change implemented. They can't just stand on a pedestal mandating that this change be made, and expect it to happen.

      The whole fiasco is an example of a class of situations I haven't found a name for but which is similar to the Tragedy of the Commons [wikipedia.org]. In these situations, one member of the group does something which gives him an advantage of the others. The others then follow suit to remain competitive, and in doing so eliminate the advantage. The end result is that the situation is now identical to what it was before the change (everyone's 500 GB drives are the same size), but now everybody is worse off because of the change (1 GB on a drive does not equal 1 GB in memory). Other situations within this class include campaign spending in politics (everyone has to spend more on advertising each year just to stay even with everyone else), and net neutrality (if everyone pays the Telecos more money for priority, they have gained nothing because the total bandwidth hasn't increased, and are now losers because they're paying more for the same bandwidth).

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anti_Climax (447121)
        Your description seems to be a hybrid of the tragedy of the commons and the Red Queen [wikipedia.org]

        I say we call this hybrid theory the Tragedy of the Queen.
    • Re:Seems Silly to me (Score:5, Interesting)

      by otomo_1001 (22925) on Friday November 02, 2007 @12:53AM (#21207953)
      Lay the blame at os developers? How about you propose changing how computers fundamentally work then?

      Oh wait, that is exactly what you are proposing. Do you know why a byte is 8 bits long? Yes it is arbitrary, but we are sort of stuck with the nomenclature now. Either memory (RAM) manufacturers are labeling their stuff right or wrong, or hard drive manufacturers are labeling their stuff right or wrong.

      Most people seem to agree with the memory manufacturers however. Sure we could have all the os tools divide by 1000 for displays of size, but that only masks the issue. And as we get to larger storage will probably cause problems. Just think of when we have exabytes of storage and are approaching some limit we currently think is insanely high. This "little" difference becomes rather substantial. And with the future of storage leaning towards flash, which follows the powers of 2 a byte scheme, hard drives become even more the bastard child of computing.

      Either hard drive manufacturers step into line with the rest of the computing world, or they learn their little trick isn't appreciated anymore. As silly as it seems it may be the only way to get this little annoyance of computing to go away.

      PS: I do think people have sued about the formatting of a drive bit. Time for filesystems like zfs methinks.
    • by nocomment (239368) on Friday November 02, 2007 @01:36AM (#21208191) Homepage Journal
      Because computers are base2.

      It might not sound like a big deal, but as HD's get bigger so does seagates 'edge' over the competition. They get to trim 73MB (or so) off every gig. This means that a 250GB drive from seagate is missing 18,435,456,000 bytes. A 500GB drive: 36,870,912,000. In the olden days, this wouldn't have mattered (much) because you weren't talking about a lot of space. People complained back then too. Now it's getting a little silly. If you need to build a 5TB array, there will be 368GB that's just missing (and that's not even counting the FS overhead).

      Seagate isn't doing it to be a champion of change for a switch to base10 counting (if they were then it would make more sense), they are doing it to rip people off on a technicality.
  • by phantomlord (38815) <slashdotNO@SPAMkrwtech.com> on Friday November 02, 2007 @12:09AM (#21207679) Journal
    I recently got a class action settlement in the mail offering money for memory that I overpaid for back in the early 2000s. The catch is, to receive anything, I need to provide detailed information about how much memory I bought from what merchant, the brand and how much I paid. To receive the hard drive settlement, they want the same info (serial number, proof of purchase, name of retailer, price paid, etc).

    I have those receipts... somewhere. Who really keeps receipts for computer parts going back a couple generations though? As an individual, I doubt the money I would receive is worth the hassle of digging up the receipts. Sure, MegaCorp may have purchased 1,000 units and have the receipt of that order and will get a hefty sum at 7% for their trouble, but most people are just going to get a couple dollars.

    I'm not sure why they don't offer a token minimum amount for those who can't provide receipts (I don't see all 300 million people in the US clamoring to get a $10 check). Of course, like most class action suits, this was probably just a way for a law firm to cash in on a settlement (they get a cool $1.8 million while you get some free backup software or a couple dollars).
  • Giga-anything is one billion exactly of that thing.

    Wikipedia notes its techie-colloquial usage, and states that it is incorrect according to the SI/metric standard.

    "The prefixes k and greater are common in computing, where they are applied to information and storage units like the bit and the byte. Since 2^10 = 1024, and 10^3 = 1000, this led to the SI prefix letters being used to denote "binary" powers. Although these are incorrect usages according to the SI standards it seems common to apply base 10 p
    • by fredklein (532096) on Friday November 02, 2007 @12:23AM (#21207779)
      Wikipedia notes its techie-colloquial usage, and states that it is incorrect according to the SI/metric standard.


      Too bad we're "techies" and not scientists. Also too bad we don't use the metric system in the USA. As a matter of fact, we wouldn't touch it with a 3.04800 meter pole.
      • by Empiric (675968)
        Not sure who "we're" refers to there, but I did enough 6502 Assembly code in the 80's to have the first 16 powers-of-two burned into my brain to this day... and still I wouldn't try to claim my binary predilictions should hold sway over the international standard in court. ;)
  • Definitions (Score:3, Informative)

    by mduke (633755) on Friday November 02, 2007 @12:19AM (#21207749) Homepage
    IANAL, but I think the reason they lost is not based on whether 1GB is decimal or binary but because they did not specify the system they used to count it. If they said it was 1GB in decimal so 1GB = 1000MB and made that clear, then they probably would have been ok. But since they did not, 1GB = 1024MB was easier to demonstrate as a better, more common, and more readily accepted definition due to the way it was shown in the OS, and there was nothing on the packaging to negate this. So make sure if you use numbers, you say exactly what they are supposed to be.
  • by Harik (4023) <Harik@chaos.ao.net> on Friday November 02, 2007 @12:21AM (#21207765)
    yeah pretty worthless, I've bought $1000 worth of drive from them, but that's after jan 1 2006. Even if if it was before that, I would have to file 10 seperate claims for ~$5 each. Meanwhile the cocksucking trial lawyers get a cool 1.8mn in cash.

    Seriously - class action lawsuits are utterly worthless. "Whoops we ripped you off by conspiring to raise memory prices tenfold. Here's a 2 dollar coupon that expires the day we get around to mailing it out and is only good at a single retailer in northern alaska. "

    Seriously - How many people here paid nearly a grand for 32 meg SIMMS? Remember the "welp we had a glue factory fire so prices skyrocketed!" bullshit? Special glue just for memory ICs - and that scaled exactly with capacity? Yeah, that "glue factory fire."

    "Oh yeah our batteries in our ipods are horribly defective here everyone who spent $300 on this shitty self-destructing rev of hardware and can cough up documentation gets 2 free songs on our own music store."

    I'd really prefer the courts just fine the fuck out of the companies and it goes to something worthwhile - letting them use legal judgements as cheap advertising is just bullshit.

    • by Bemopolis (698691)
      It's not just a valueless settlement. It was a fucking retarded case to begin with. Wait, did I say fucking retarded? Just in case...fucking retarded. It's bad enough when law firms get windfalls from class actions suits with actual merit behind them. This? This is because Americans can't understand THE FUCKING METRIC SYSTEM. Or read the side of the FSMdamned box. Or, you know, take responsibility for not reading the side of the FSMdamned box.
    • by megaditto (982598)
      I known people that mailed in rebates for $0.50; having to pay $0.32 postage didn't matter either! For a company, those class-action lawsuits could still be pretty pricey due to all the penny-pinchers claming their dimes.
    • Meanwhile the cocksucking trial lawyers get a cool 1.8mn in cash.

      Right, so everybody who feels this way needs to opt out of the settlement. There's a form letter [bfccomputing.com] on my blog you can copy and paste if you'd like.

      The real meat of the blog post is bitching about how much it'll cost the class to opt out vs. what it costs the lawyers to create the class. This is an asymmetrical attack against society. It makes it really easy for the lawyers, but hard for everybody else. I wonder who wrote those laws!
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by NF6X (725054)

      Remember the "welp we had a glue factory fire so prices skyrocketed!" bullshit? Special glue just for memory ICs - and that scaled exactly with capacity? Yeah, that "glue factory fire."

      That was a fire at a factory which made the epoxy resin used to encapsulate ICs. This wasn't "special glue just for memory ICs"; it was the black plastic stuff molded around each IC on the SIMM (or any other kinds of ICs with plastic packages, for that matter). Without that plastic overmold to protect the bond wires and support the leadframe, the ICs can't be handled, shipped, soldered down, etc. That fire messed up the whole electronics industry for a while. I'm not saying that the memory suppliers didn'

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Atario (673917)
      *SIGH*

      Ok, let's cover this one more time. Class action lawsuits are only sometimes intended to give a substantial settlement to all members of the class. The real point of them is not to get you rich, but to take down a wrongdoing company a few notches so that, with any luck, they'll know better next time — or at least think twice.
  • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Friday November 02, 2007 @12:24AM (#21207789)
    and some lawyer is going to be flushing the money on hot cars and girls or boys.

    Here is your $5.99.

    By the way.. did we mention our $5.99 price increase on our drives?

  • Yeah.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mikkelm (1000451) on Friday November 02, 2007 @12:27AM (#21207807)
    I must be eligible for at least $100 over all the Seagate gear I bought in that period, but it'll be a cold day on the sun before I demand money from any corporation for the ignorance of other people.

    Seagate has produced great drives for a long time, and they've never strayed from industry standard definitions to advertise the storage capacity. Anyone taking advantage of this settlement is either morally dishonest or technologically incompetent.
  • If only.... (Score:5, Funny)

    by MrKevvy (85565) on Friday November 02, 2007 @12:36AM (#21207867)
    "In its out-of-court settlement, Seagate proposed to pay $1000000 in damages. When the plaintiffs signed off on the agreement, Seagate lawyers indicated that this was a binary figure, paid the plaintiffs sixty-four dollars in cash and departed, apparently in some haste."
  • by frankmu (68782) on Friday November 02, 2007 @12:41AM (#21207889) Homepage
    i think Newegg can add a "class-action lawsuit" button next to the rebate button, so they can help their customers use their money responsibly. it's the only place i buy my stuff from, and they would have proof of purchase information on file. heck, they can be like Steve Jobs, and just credit me for more purchases from their store!
  • by Forbman (794277) on Friday November 02, 2007 @12:42AM (#21207905)
    Well, now someone needs to go after OS makers for "lying" because of all the wasted space depending on data block size. Sure, you can have a 1-byte file, but it'll use up 512 bytes or more space on the HD... So, which is it? Is it a 1-byte file, or really a 512-byte (or 1024 or 2048 or 4096 or...) file?

    I have a 1TB HD, and, well, I want to be able to actually use every byte of it!!!

    A gigabyte here, a gigabyte there, pretty soon we're going to be talking about some actual wasted disk space...

  • Pointless (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ewhac (5844) on Friday November 02, 2007 @12:59AM (#21208013) Homepage Journal
    Hard drive makers have, for some considerable time, have meant 10**9 (1,000,000,000) when referring to a gigabyte. They always so declare in their literature. I have some old IBM Deskstar drives with exactly this clarification.

    However, the various SI prefixes -- kilo, mega, giga, exa, and others -- were overloaded by the computer industry to refer to powers of two ("kilo" = 2**10, "mega" = 2**20, "giga" = 2**30) which were "pretty close" to their SI counterparts.

    This has actually caused some confusion as computer people speaking of "kilo" this and "mega" that have worked with scientists who have always used the traditional SI meanings. These differences in interpretation can mean your chemical process doesn't work, the patient dies, you miss Jupiter, etc.

    To help redress this problem, a new set of prefixes [nist.gov] have been coined to refer to powers of two. These new prefixes have seen uneven but increasing adoption in the industry (if you have a recent Ubuntu/Debian release, run the command ifconfig -- the byte counts have the new prefixes).

    So, the hard drive makers have been using the SI meanings for "giga" and, in case there was any confusion, explicitly printed in their literature, "One gigabyte is equal to 1000000000 bytes."

    So, at first reaction, I think Seagate got screwed here. This makes me wonder if there aren't other layers of nuance that came out in court, but are lost in these stories.

    Schwab

  • What a crock (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SurturZ (54334) on Friday November 02, 2007 @01:04AM (#21208033) Homepage Journal
    What a crock. Anyone that knows enough about computers to know that GB, MB, and KB are usually base-2 should also know enough to check whether the HDD measurement is in base-2 or base-10. Non-computer people would probably assume that they are base-10... or, more likely, merely that the bigger the number, the better. In my experience non-computer people have difficulty distinguishing between hard-drive space and RAM. Saying that they are somehow miraculously able to distinguish between base-2 and base-10 measurements is ridiculous.

    The Kilo-, Mega- and Giga- prefixes are always base-10 in SI. The IT industry should come up with different terms. Misusing them was a mistake in the '60s and it is a mistake now.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by julesh (229690)
      What a crock. Anyone that knows enough about computers to know that GB, MB, and KB are usually base-2 should also know enough to check whether the HDD measurement is in base-2 or base-10. Non-computer people would probably assume that they are base-10... or, more likely, merely that the bigger the number, the better. In my experience non-computer people have difficulty distinguishing between hard-drive space and RAM. Saying that they are somehow miraculously able to distinguish between base-2 and base-10 me
  • by joe_n_bloe (244407) on Friday November 02, 2007 @01:14AM (#21208083) Homepage
    I understand that a "gigabyte" of RAM is 2^30 bytes, but that's just because memory addresses come in powers of two. I don't expect bytes on a hard disk to be counted in powers of two, because there is no need for them to be counted that way. But apparently there are some bargain-hunters and their lawyers who have a more self-serving style of counting.

    Oh well.
    • What? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by msimm (580077)
      If a megabyte is counted as 1024 kilobytes how's your math working? Still 8 bits to a byte right? I mean I thought a byte was a byte, are you telling me a hard disk follows different conventions? Because last time I checked binary units [nist.gov] were pretty stable, not a lot of 'wiggle room' in the interpretation.
  • by PaladinAlpha (645879) on Friday November 02, 2007 @01:59AM (#21208295)
    Ok, there's people everywhere in here saying it's stupid to say 1GB = 1024 MB, instead use GiB, blah blah, but I have an honest question: if everyone did, for whatever reason, use GiB and MiB and whatnot, of what use would MB and GB be? None, right? No one in their right mind would ever measure units on binary hardware in powers of ten. Just like I don't measure grams of soup or whatever in powers of two. I guess what I'm saying is if the switch to GiB and MiB was made in earnest then GB and MB would be utterly, completely useless -- and I see that as an argument that we might as well just use GB and MB, since it involves no conflict, fewer meaningless terms, and a more intuitive, uh, interface, if you will.
  • by bangzilla (534214) on Friday November 02, 2007 @02:27AM (#21208407) Journal
    I received an offer letter for employment many moons ago that stated that my salary would be "$65k" - When they tried to pay me $65,000 a year there was hell to pay (so as to speak). We settled on $66,560 :-)
  • by fo0bar (261207) on Friday November 02, 2007 @02:42AM (#21208497)
    Base 2:
    • Operating systems/software
    • Memory
    • Flash storage (CF, etc)
    • PROMs
    • CD media
    Base 10 (LAWSUIT TARGETS):
    • Evil, evil hard drives
    • Bandwidth-related hardware:
      • Line cards
      • Ethernet interfaces
      • Modems
      • Your broadband provider's advertised line speeds
    • DVD media
    • HD-DVD media
    • Blu-Ray media
    • Most (not all) USB stick-style flash storage devices
    • Digital cameras' resolution
    • CPU clockrate (I thought the argument against base 10 was "computers" were natively base 2)
    • Latency (opposite of kilo, of course -- 1millisecond is not 1/1024 second)
    A weird hybrid between the two:
    • Floppy disks
    Units of measurement that use an international SI standard's prefix to describe something "close enough" but not equal to said international SI standard's prefix:
    • byte
    Units of measurement that use an international SI standard's prefix:
    • hertz
    • pixel
    • gram
    • meter (or metre, it's all good)
    • watt
    • volt
    • newton
    • ohm
    • joule
    • pascal
    • lux
  • i hate these suits (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Loconut1389 (455297) on Friday November 02, 2007 @08:00AM (#21210387)
    I'd love to get what I supposedly deserve, only I don't keep receipts for hard drives I bought over a year ago. What's wrong with going by serial and date of manufacture?

    The 75GXP refund bit me (I had the receipts for some reason) because I bought OEM- bastards. I've bought mostly retail seagates (about 15 maybe in the window for the suit) but I don't have the receipts.

    A few will benefit, the rest get tossed.

Recent investments will yield a slight profit.

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