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Creative Sued for Base-10 Capacities On HDD MP3 Players 528

Dorkz brings news of a class-action settlement from Creative Labs over the capacity of their HDD MP3 players. Evidently they calculated drive capacity in base-10 (1,000,000,000 bytes per GB) instead of base-2 (1,073,741,824 bytes per GB). The representative plaintiff is entitled to $5,000, and everyone else who bought one of the HDD MP3 players in the past several years gets a 50% discount on a new 1GB player[PDF]. They can also opt for a 20% discount on anything ordered from Creative's online store. Creative has made available all of the necessary legal forms. Seagate lost a similar lawsuit late last year.
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Creative Sued for Base-10 Capacities On HDD MP3 Players

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  • the dell dj's are just rebranded creative mp3 players, so are they covered?
  • by pintpusher ( 854001 ) on Friday May 02, 2008 @12:18AM (#23271034) Journal
    Completely orthagonal to the whole stupid debate over base10/base2 gi(bi|ga)bytes or whatever....

    I really hate this trend. A corporation loses a case and the punishment is that consumers get to spend more money with them. I fully believe that they will at least break even if not make money on this settlement. WTF. They should be forced to refund everyone who bought one of these players an amount equivalent to the proportion of storage space the "lost".

    I'm a class action settlement "Winner" in my business and my prize? I get 20% off products that are outside my usual purchase contract with the company. How lame is that! They get to keep charging me the same ripoff prices as before *and* I get to spend more money with them. And if I mess up filling out the little coupons, then they are invalid, no recourse. </rant>

    • "I really hate this trend."

      Ditto! However since the base10 thing has been standard industry practice for eons I think that in this case that type of 'winning' is entirely appropriate.

      I'm waiting for the spam headline - "Disk prices double, get a 50% discount by signing up now!"
  • Innumeracy (Score:3, Funny)

    by Detritus ( 11846 ) on Friday May 02, 2008 @12:18AM (#23271040) Homepage
    The court should have awarded each of the plaintiffs a calculator and a boot to the head.
    • The court should have awarded each of the plaintiffs a calculator and a boot to the head.

      It's been quite a while since I've heard that skit [youtube.com].
  • by NonSequor ( 230139 ) on Friday May 02, 2008 @12:23AM (#23271060) Journal
    When will we computer geeks get over this obsession with binary memory measurements.

    Using the binary units makes referring to RAM capacities easier and makes many other things (storage capacities and file sizes) clumsier to deal with. I suppose that OS internals also use 1024 bytes as a basic organizational unit, but that hardly seems relevant to the issue of whether a file labeled as 8GB should actually be 8 billion bytes or 8.6 billion bytes.

    Everyone around here seems to hate tradition for tradition's sake unless it's a computer related tradition. Congratulations, you've become what you hate and you didn't even realize it.
    • by nmb3000 ( 741169 )
      Everyone around here seems to hate tradition for tradition's sake unless it's a computer related tradition.

      I don't know if that statement is accurate as "get off my lawn!" posts are so common, but in any case I think change for change's sake is worse.

      The usage of K to mean 1024 has been around the computing industry essentially since there was a need for the term. It was simply understood that because computer hardware doesn't do base 10 (it can, but just creates waste) in computer circles and reference th
      • In the computer industry, K, M, and G stand for slightly different values than their normal SI meaning.

        Except when it doesn't. Network speed is always base10. So is CPU speed.
        • Except when using Vista.
        • You obviously didn't read the thread that GP linked to. Things that computers address are measured in powers of 2, like RAM. Measurements of things like network speed or CPU frequency can use base-10 because computers don't need to address every bit in a network transmission or every cycle in a CPU clock. Read this post from that thread [slashdot.org] if you're still confused.
      • I understand that internally many things are aligned along 1024 byte boundaries. I don't see why that should be considered relevant to the end user. The machine exists to serve me and any time it displays information in a format that is inconvenient for me, the machine has failed.

        I'll only change my opinion on this if it can be demonstrated that displaying file and storage capacity sizes in binary measurements benefits the user.

        People can call 1024 byte units whatever they want when they are working with th
    • I don't hate tradition for tradition's sake. And I don't think its done for tradition's sake either. Its easier to count things based on boolean logic with a base two system. Its not like they made it base two because they didn't know any better. Its not the equivalent of defining current as the flow of positive charge and then discovering years later that its usually the negative charges that move.
    • Everyone around here seems to hate tradition for tradition's sake unless it's a computer related tradition. Congratulations, you've become what you hate and you didn't even realize it.

      That's because consistent use of units of measurements is not tradition for tradition's sake, it's so that we can tell how much stuff will fit on a storage device. As luck would have it, we have a decent system for that, and it's based on round numbers in base 2. I don't think the system has any real drawbacks, although apparently you find it somehow clumsy. But as soon as you introduce a second system, suddenly it becomes difficult to tell how many bytes a 120GB drive will hold, unless you happen to ke

    • by Oggust ( 526634 )
      Exactly. The only thing that ever used the base-2 units was memory, because it actually made sense back when. (Since memory capsules come in base-2 sized units.) And the error was small.
      • * All the ethernet (and other networking)standard use real (base-10) megabits/gigabits.
      • * Disks, DVDs and tapes. Yes, they all do this. Because it makes sense.
      • * CPU frequency. I get 3.6 GHz, and those are real "G"s.
      • * Some of the stats on memory chips are even base-10, like the latency and clock rate, for example.


  • got wood? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by unt0ld ( 1282914 )
    Does this mean I can sue Home Depot because 2x4 studs do not measure out to be exactly 2 inches by 4 inches? They are actually 1.5 x 3.5. That's a lot of missing wood.
  • by harmony7 ( 1140759 ) on Friday May 02, 2008 @12:31AM (#23271104)
    ... upon receiving his $5k, that he should have gotten $5,120 ?
  • by Donniedarkness ( 895066 ) * <Donniedarkness AT gmail DOT com> on Friday May 02, 2008 @12:47AM (#23271192) Homepage
    Now that I've bought an MP3 player from Creative, I can get a discount on an MP3 player from Creative...
  • 37 comments, my threshold's set to 3, and only one comment shows up. Hey Taco! What's the deal with the new code? Forgot to beta test it first?
    • by Tacvek ( 948259 )
      No, slasdot is not broken. There was only one post rated 3 or higher at the time of your post. There are only a few more than that at the moment
  • Let me get this straight. If you got "screwed" (somewhat debatable), you get a choice between 50% off a 1GB MP3 player (so it'll cost you about $30), or you can get a coupon for 20% off at the over-priced company store? What's to stop creative from upping the prices 5% to offset the 20% 'discount'? This isn't a punishment, it's a marketing campaign. You get a better deal going to their sales and clearance sections!

    http://us.creative.com/shop/shopcategory.asp?category=720 [creative.com]

    Go Creative Labs. You must have very

Thufir's a Harkonnen now.