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Hardware Hacking China Data Storage It's funny.  Laugh. Build Hardware

Magical Chinese Hard Drive 347

jamax writes "From TFA: 'A Russian friend .... works at a hard-drive repair center in a Russian town, located near the Chinese border. A couple of days ago a customer brought a broken 500GB USB-drive that he had bought in a Chinese store across the river, for an insanely low price. But the drive was not working: if you, say, save a movie onto the drive, playing the saved movie back resulted in replaying just the last 5 minutes of the film.' Apparently, the contents of the external HDD box included: two nuts, glued to the inner surface of the box with a 128MB flash drive wedged between them (image). And it was a clever hack, too — if ever an attempt was made to write a file that's too large, it got cycled — rewriting itself over and over from the beginning, while leaving the existing files intact. And it reported everything correctly — file sizes and all!"
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Magical Chinese Hard Drive

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  • Bloody well done. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 08, 2011 @01:48PM (#35760460)
    That is fucking magical. I dont support this rip off, but DAMN that was a cool idea and well pulled off. This was not some back town hick, but a well thought out plan, using parts brought/found locally.

    Bravo engineer/shop keep who made it!!!
  • Re:Cheating (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 08, 2011 @01:55PM (#35760588)

    To be fair, it's an integral part of business culture in the rest of the world, too. The Chinese just aren't as subtle about it.

  • by dmomo ( 256005 ) on Friday April 08, 2011 @01:56PM (#35760614)

    Clever, I agree. So clever, that I'd hardly call someone who falls for it a "sucker". Especially in that it was demonstrated to work in the store!

  • by NotQuiteReal ( 608241 ) on Friday April 08, 2011 @02:05PM (#35760746) Journal
    Not terribly funny. A little clever. Simple fraud is the most accurate.

    Think of it in these terms - the "firmware" of these devices is like a financial statement created by Bernie Madoff. The "storage area" is the actual wealth reported on the paperwork.

    Why is "fake storage" fraud any funnier than financial fraud. Hey, how about a "funny" story about some discount pharmaceuticals?
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Friday April 08, 2011 @02:08PM (#35760800) Journal
    I find that saving data is a waste of time.

    All the files I've ever created, along with all the files anyone else has created, along with all the files of finite length that nobody has ever created, are waiting right there for you in /dev/random.

    Latency is a bit unpredictable, though.
  • Re:ATP (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Friday April 08, 2011 @02:13PM (#35760878)

    Also the reason why corporations are reluctant to switch suppliers and don't do lowest-price shopping as much as you might think they should.

  • by Machtyn ( 759119 ) on Friday April 08, 2011 @02:15PM (#35760910) Homepage Journal
    As a buyer on eBay, I've been screwed. As a seller on eBay I've been raped. I no longer use eBay.
  • Re:Cheating (Score:2, Insightful)

    by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Friday April 08, 2011 @03:08PM (#35761558)

    Come on, buying a tech item in a 3rd-world country is about as wise as buying your jewelry from some guy operating his store out of a beat-up van in a back alley. What, it turned out that it wasn't a real diamond?!?!? Shocking!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 08, 2011 @03:24PM (#35761732)

    Never, ever, under any circumstances, do business with Chinese. They cannot be trusted, and this story illustrates why.

    They are lying, deceitful and untrustworthy, and think everything can be done for free or cheap, or by outright conning people.

    Posting AC because I'm a senior manager at a Chinese-owned company and I have seen all of their shit firsthand. And yes, I'm trying to leave, because I don't approve of it.

  • Re:Cheating (Score:5, Insightful)

    by smelch ( 1988698 ) on Friday April 08, 2011 @03:39PM (#35761910)
    Hey everybody on the internet, stop trying to make every wrong equal to every other wrong. Massive counterfeiting operations run by the Chinese government are totally not the same as standard political games you see everywhere. It may not be worse, it may not be better, but the point is they're unrelated. So stop being a turd.
  • Re:Cheating (Score:5, Insightful)

    by billcopc ( 196330 ) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Friday April 08, 2011 @04:15PM (#35762398) Homepage

    The only thing funny about China is if I tried to pull one tenth of the stunts they do, over here in Canada/US, I'd spend the rest of my days in court and/or jail for fraud.

    If it were just about copyright, I'd turn a blind eye, because I'm all for copyright reform, but this mentality extends far beyond the conscious disobedience of extortionary legislation. At least US corps put SOME effort into being sneaky, whereas the standard Chinese go-to is to do it all over someone's face and then state "I don't know". Struggling grocery store burns to the ground, owner says "I don't know" as he cashes the insurance cheque. Noodle house has a sudden and absurdly dramatic roach infestation, rival next door says "I don't know". Computer is brought to a shop with a virus, comes back with two more and a downgraded video card, techie says "I don't know".

    I shit you not, I've been working with asian business owners for well over a decade, and with all these stories they tell me, I can't help but distrust them because after each anecdote they say "I would do the same thing if I saw an opportunity". Sometimes I think my size and lack of morals is the only reason they haven't try to pull that bullshit on me... yet.

  • Re:ATP (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MonsterTrimble ( 1205334 ) <monstertrimble&hotmail,com> on Friday April 08, 2011 @05:19PM (#35763162)

    I wish I hadn't commented earlier because I have mod points and you would definitely get one from me.

    A large portion of purchasing is the trust aspect. Most of my job is Continuous Improvement and Quality Assurance. I work with new and existing vendors constantly trying to improve our products profitability and believe me the last thing you want is a flaky vendor who will not stand behind their product. A good example I have is a label vendor we had formerly used. Two years ago we decided to revamp the look of one of our lines of hand tools and chose to use a vendor we had been using for over a decade with no real problems due to their price and the performance of their sample labels in our application during testing. Almost immediately after receiving the first batch the labels began to fall off our products. Their first excuse was that during testing the tools we tested on had a different diameter handle then what production had. That was true, but subsequent testing showed the labels coming off irregardless or diameter. Next they blamed the finish, stating that it must have changed - it hadn't. And so on and so forth. Finally this past winter they said they would no longer accept any complaints about their labels nor would reimburse us for failing to adhere. In the meantime this is going on the salesperson for the vendor would directly contact the marketing department over these and other projects after being told expressly numerous times not to do so. they would also constantly be late with deliveries and any promises they gave could not be taken seriously. In the end we decided to pull all of the labels they produced for us from them. Even if they provided the labels for free the amount of time spent dealing with them and their performance did not make it worth while.

    In the end, it's about total cost. Not just the actual price of the product but customer service and time spent dealing with issues as they arise is a huge factor. It reminds me of an old saying which has been attributed to John Ruskin [wikiquote.org]: "It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money — that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do."

Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap; it will be dear to you. -- Thomas Jefferson