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(Science Alert)   Next planet wide apocalypse. Global warming? Giant Asteroid? Too much Netflix?   ( divider line
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638 clicks; posted to Geek » on 14 Aug 2020 at 1:54 AM (5 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook

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2020-08-13 9:22:54 PM  
In a new study - one firmly positioned in the more abstract quarters of theoretical physics, it must be said - researcher Melvin Vopson from the University of Portsmouth in the UK predicts that our ever-increasing virtual stockpiles of digital information could have dramatic, unforeseen consequences for matter on the planet.

People get paid a lot of money for this horseshiat.
2020-08-13 10:44:35 PM  
Everyone grow a gigantic tit, right in the middle of their forehead.

Coolest apocalyptic event ever - not even the most accurate of theologies predicted such a thing.
2020-08-13 11:33:05 PM  
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2020-08-14 2:22:44 AM  
FTA; In Vopson's thinking and theoretical calculations, the mass of a data storage device would increase by a small amount when loaded up with digital information, relative to its mass in an erased state. This theoretical increase in mass would be incredibly tiny, Vopson says, but still significant and measurable.

In reality; every physical drive from reel-to-reel tapes to micro SD cards have a fixed (though naturally eroding mass). Even if data did have a weight, which is a dubious claim at best, null data is still data. 00 00 00 00 00 does not weigh less than 00 00 00 00 01.

The only "change of mass" caused by digital information is in whatever fuels are burned in the process of writing or reading that data.

The only noteworthy exception to this is in CD/DVD, wherein microscopic damage is caused to the polymer surface in order to create changes in the way the light from the optical drive refracts, thereby reducing the absolute mass of the CD/DVD, but this is not because the -data- weighs differently, but because the act of writing the data was inherently destructive in that era.

" they asked me how well I understood theoretical physics. I said I had a theoretical degree in physics." - Fantastic
2020-08-14 3:18:33 AM  
imgs.xkcd.comView Full Size

(Today's edition: Exponential Extrapolation)
2020-08-14 3:42:04 AM  
Well, I'm convinced. Back to stone tablets and sheep skin it is.
2020-08-14 4:39:49 AM  
Of course, all these theoretical predictions have to be taken with a hefty grain of salt

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2020-08-14 4:43:48 AM  
It's not so much the Netflix but the chilling that will do it.
2020-08-14 6:43:21 AM  
That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Take his PhD away.
2020-08-14 9:03:24 AM  
Y'know what? No. At this point, there are enough actual threats and dangers out there. We don't need to worry about the "unforeseen consequences" of things right now. If I want to binge watch The Office for the 15th time, it's not hurting anyone but me. So Fark off. If the worst thing we all do is give up and lose ourselves in streamed content, it's probably the least damaging thing we could do to the planet.
2020-08-14 9:11:01 AM  

aerojockey: [ image 461x295]

(Today's edition: Exponential Extrapolation)

Yup. Sounds like the "No farms, No food" people who think that farmland will continue being converted and everyone will just starve to death while theyre working to develop exponential amounts of worthless residential land
2020-08-14 9:44:56 AM  
The mass of storage only increases if it is storing a 1 bit. If it is a 0 bit, it didn't gain any mass. 0's are just as important as 1's when it comes to your data. (This part isn't the funny part)

So, if you use common media math, the danger is only half as much. Any reporter will back that up. Don't ask anyone else.
2020-08-14 10:16:31 AM  
I remember like 20 years ago someone loaded up a hard drive and claimed it weighed more than an empty one. I dont know how that works.
2020-08-14 10:39:07 AM  

Marcos P: I remember like 20 years ago someone loaded up a hard drive and claimed it weighed more than an empty one. I dont know how that works.

You couldn't measure the increase in weight, but could approximate it with maths, data is stored electromagnetically, electromagnetism contains energy, e=mc^2 etc..
2020-08-14 10:41:17 AM  

Likwit: That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Take his PhD away.

This is pure maths/theoretical physics. Set your axioms right, amd you can prove anything.
2020-08-14 11:46:04 AM  
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2020-08-14 11:48:04 AM  

Marcos P: I remember like 20 years ago someone loaded up a hard drive and claimed it weighed more than an empty one. I dont know how that works.

It doesn't, as far as I know.  The two magnetic polarization states have the same energy; they're only stable because there's a large energy barrier for transitions from one state to the other.

Electrostatic media like flash memory does store a tiny amount of energy per bit, but I believe it's in the higher energy state (floating gate is charged) when erased and lower energy (floating gate is discharged) when programmed.
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