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Author Topic: Smartphones, Tablets, E-Readers Become Physically Heavier With More Data  (Read 1700 times)

wraith808

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Eóin

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Re: Smartphones, Tablets, E-Readers Become Physically Heavier With More Data
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2011, 12:02:11 PM »
Sounds suspicious to me, but if flash memory does have more energy when used then I suppose it makes sense.

Of course "used" doesn't really make much sense, memory has just as much information when empty as when full, it's just usually the empty memory isn't really of much interest to us. Rather I guess it a question of whether storing a 1 in memory requires more energy then a 0, or vis-versa.

If one of those is more energetic, does the memory usually start off predominantly filled with the other, then I guess adding the more energetic type through structured data, which on average probably tends to a 50:50 spread, would increase the mass.

Krishean

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Re: Smartphones, Tablets, E-Readers Become Physically Heavier With More Data
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2011, 12:30:16 PM »
Quote
But consider the amount of data being transmitted around the world, such as through broadband cables, datacenters and ISPs. Does this make the world substantially heavier?

No, because the energy being used to create all this data is converted from matter on earth. The only way the earth gets heavier is because of energy from the sun and stars, and matter from comets and meteorites. And every time we send up a satellite or broadcast a signal into space we slightly reduce the weight of the earth. While it may be true that the energy stored in devices makes them heavier, it has no effect on the weight of the earth.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

- Arthur C. Clarke

Stoic Joker

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Re: Smartphones, Tablets, E-Readers Become Physically Heavier With More Data
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2011, 02:23:15 PM »
Rather I guess it a question of whether storing a 1 in memory requires more energy then a 0, or vis-versa.

That's what it boils down to for me (at the platter level). It's a "magnetic" drive, so 1 or 0 is either North or South. Hence a formatted drive which is already all zeros is about as energetic as it's going to get. You can modify what's there, but you can't really add to it...as it's already full of zeros.

wraith808

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Re: Smartphones, Tablets, E-Readers Become Physically Heavier With More Data
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2011, 02:54:22 PM »
Rather I guess it a question of whether storing a 1 in memory requires more energy then a 0, or vis-versa.

That's what it boils down to for me (at the platter level). It's a "magnetic" drive, so 1 or 0 is either North or South. Hence a formatted drive which is already all zeros is about as energetic as it's going to get. You can modify what's there, but you can't really add to it...as it's already full of zeros.

Hah!  That makes a lot of sense!  My skepticism has been vindicated!  :Thmbsup:

Eóin

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Re: Smartphones, Tablets, E-Readers Become Physically Heavier With More Data
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2011, 02:56:17 PM »
Is flash memory different though? It could be?

Either way this all sounds like just an excuse for tedious people to show off when they overhear someone else suggesting that digital songs or e-books don't weight anything. Unfortunately I'm probably one of those tedious folks :D

Stoic Joker

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Re: Smartphones, Tablets, E-Readers Become Physically Heavier With More Data
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2011, 05:46:40 PM »
Is flash memory different though? It could be?

Hm... Interesting angle. From what I could get out of this apparently it varies a bit by type. Some types follow the strict (starts out with/as) 1 or 0 premise I was working off above. And... Others do mention trapping (which does sound like an addition to me) electrons which is what the article was on about.

Maybe it's like that poster they used to have in malls, where if you looked at it just right you could see a sailboat.