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(Ars Technica)   Might want to sit down for this shocker, but that $39 30TB "portable SSD drive" on walmart.com is a scam   (arstechnica.com) divider line
    More: Obvious, Flash memory, USB flash drive, Orders of magnitude, File system, Floppy disk, Units of information, Flash drives, SanDisk  
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1622 clicks; posted to STEM » on 28 Aug 2022 at 8:30 PM (22 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



41 Comments     (+0 »)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2022-08-28 4:40:17 PM  
Some of us are old enough to remember this exact same scam with thumb drives, many years ago. Of course, back in those days we didn't have Alibaba or Walmart.com to rip us off, we had to buy them from street vendors in Hong Kong or Seoul.
 
2022-08-28 5:15:56 PM  

HugeMistake: Some of us are old enough to remember this exact same scam with thumb drives, many years ago. Of course, back in those days we didn't have Alibaba or Walmart.com to rip us off, we had to buy them from street vendors in Hong Kong or Seoul.


And some of us are old enough to have seen this in the school computer club, taped to an alcove wall a decade or so before:
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-08-28 6:56:19 PM  
my only question is why they didn't sell it as infinity drive, or at least /dev/null turbo edition.
 
2022-08-28 7:13:48 PM  
Can we acknowledge that drive manufacturers and OS's using different measurement metrics is stupid
 
2022-08-28 8:44:56 PM  
Is it Walmart itself or outside seller on Walnart.com?
 
2022-08-28 8:45:11 PM  
Not at my house I just dumped years of spinning hardrives  tonight at my house  I have switched to  M2. tb for backup but I am weird about backups.
 
2022-08-28 8:50:01 PM  
Okay I get the joke, I dense so dense.
 
2022-08-28 8:50:32 PM  

Rattrap007: Is it Walmart itself or outside seller on Walnart.com?


It's an outside seller. Like Amazon, Walmart needs to put tighter controls on these things.
 
2022-08-28 8:56:02 PM  
Thumb drives, SDCards, ect.  It's an easy scam to do.  Shame on Wally World for letting it be sold on their site.
 
2022-08-28 9:08:49 PM  

HugeMistake: Some of us are old enough to remember this exact same scam with thumb drives, many years ago. Of course, back in those days we didn't have Alibaba or Walmart.com to rip us off, we had to buy them from street vendors in Hong Kong or Seoul.


Some of us are old enough to remember quadrophonic sound vendors.
 
2022-08-28 9:11:58 PM  
Amazon deserve a lot of criticism for the way they operate. The do something called Comingling.

Say Samsung make a 1tb sd card or USB stick. So Amazon stock it. And a bunch of third party sellers stock it as well, but some of those actually sell cheap fake units like TFA, with a fraction of the capacity but programmed to display the correct figure.
So only buy from Amazon or a known reputable seller, right?

Wrong. Amazon take all their stock bought direct from Samsung, and all those third party sellers stock, fakes and all, and throw them in one big pile in their warehouse.
So you can order from Amazon but get a cheap fake. Or you could order from the cheap fake company but get one of Amazon's genuine units.
You have no way of knowing, and neither do Amazon since they don't track the units. So genuine sellers get reviews saying they're selling fakes and there's nothing they can do about it, except not use FBA comingling, but then they don't get the cheap and fast Prime shipping and so won't sell many units.

Amazon should stop mingling and make sure if you order from supplier X you get a unit that supplier X shipped to Amazon's warehouse.

But that would cost money.
 
2022-08-28 9:30:25 PM  

HugeMistake: Some of us are old enough to remember this exact same scam with thumb drives, many years ago. Of course, back in those days we didn't have Alibaba or Walmart.com to rip us off, we had to buy them from street vendors in Hong Kong or Seoul.


Yes. I fir one often turn to street vendors in Hong Kong or Seoul for my kilobytelogical  necessities...back in the day.
 
2022-08-28 9:37:48 PM  
A reminder that Walmart and Amazon are basically Alibaba these days.
 
2022-08-28 9:39:21 PM  

Rattrap007: Is it Walmart itself or outside seller on Walnart.com?


Article indicates that it's an outside seller:

When it comes to buying storage online, common-sense advice is best: stick to name brands, buy from trustworthy sellers (not just retail sites you trust-the Walmart listing is sold by "JD E Commerce America Limited," whatever that is), and know that if a deal seems too good to be true, it almost certainly is.
 
2022-08-28 9:39:44 PM  

Carter Pewterschmidt: Amazon deserve a lot of criticism for the way they operate. The do something called Comingling.

Say Samsung make a 1tb sd card or USB stick. So Amazon stock it. And a bunch of third party sellers stock it as well, but some of those actually sell cheap fake units like TFA, with a fraction of the capacity but programmed to display the correct figure.
So only buy from Amazon or a known reputable seller, right?

Wrong. Amazon take all their stock bought direct from Samsung, and all those third party sellers stock, fakes and all, and throw them in one big pile in their warehouse.
So you can order from Amazon but get a cheap fake. Or you could order from the cheap fake company but get one of Amazon's genuine units.
You have no way of knowing, and neither do Amazon since they don't track the units. So genuine sellers get reviews saying they're selling fakes and there's nothing they can do about it, except not use FBA comingling, but then they don't get the cheap and fast Prime shipping and so won't sell many units.

Amazon should stop mingling and make sure if you order from supplier X you get a unit that supplier X shipped to Amazon's warehouse.

But that would cost money.


I'm not trying to defend Amazon, per se, but if Amazon has 400 retailers selling an identical SKEW, commingling makes all the sense in the world.  You can either have 400 individual areas. All with the exact same SKEW, or one big ass box filled with said SKEW.

There isn't enough desert outside Reno to build a warehouse that would eliminate all commingling.
 
2022-08-28 10:19:03 PM  

Carter Pewterschmidt: Amazon deserve a lot of criticism for the way they operate. The do something called Comingling.

Say Samsung make a 1tb sd card or USB stick. So Amazon stock it. And a bunch of third party sellers stock it as well, but some of those actually sell cheap fake units like TFA, with a fraction of the capacity but programmed to display the correct figure.
So only buy from Amazon or a known reputable seller, right?

Wrong. Amazon take all their stock bought direct from Samsung, and all those third party sellers stock, fakes and all, and throw them in one big pile in their warehouse.
So you can order from Amazon but get a cheap fake. Or you could order from the cheap fake company but get one of Amazon's genuine units.
You have no way of knowing, and neither do Amazon since they don't track the units. So genuine sellers get reviews saying they're selling fakes and there's nothing they can do about it, except not use FBA comingling, but then they don't get the cheap and fast Prime shipping and so won't sell many units.

Amazon should stop mingling and make sure if you order from supplier X you get a unit that supplier X shipped to Amazon's warehouse.

But that would cost money.


That's exactly why if I'm buying SD cars or SSDs these days I usually order direct from Samsung.
 
2022-08-28 10:22:47 PM  
How is Newegg for fakes/scams these days? They're doing the stupid "marketplace" thing just like Walmart/Amazon/damn near everybody, so they would likely have the same problem.
 
2022-08-28 10:24:59 PM  

paulleah: Carter Pewterschmidt: Amazon deserve a lot of criticism for the way they operate. The do something called Comingling.

Say Samsung make a 1tb sd card or USB stick. So Amazon stock it. And a bunch of third party sellers stock it as well, but some of those actually sell cheap fake units like TFA, with a fraction of the capacity but programmed to display the correct figure.
So only buy from Amazon or a known reputable seller, right?

Wrong. Amazon take all their stock bought direct from Samsung, and all those third party sellers stock, fakes and all, and throw them in one big pile in their warehouse.
So you can order from Amazon but get a cheap fake. Or you could order from the cheap fake company but get one of Amazon's genuine units.
You have no way of knowing, and neither do Amazon since they don't track the units. So genuine sellers get reviews saying they're selling fakes and there's nothing they can do about it, except not use FBA comingling, but then they don't get the cheap and fast Prime shipping and so won't sell many units.

Amazon should stop mingling and make sure if you order from supplier X you get a unit that supplier X shipped to Amazon's warehouse.

But that would cost money.

I'm not trying to defend Amazon, per se, but if Amazon has 400 retailers selling an identical SKEW, commingling makes all the sense in the world.  You can either have 400 individual areas. All with the exact same SKEW, or one big ass box filled with said SKEW.

There isn't enough desert outside Reno to build a warehouse that would eliminate all commingling.


It's SKU (Stock Keeping Unit), not SKEW.

Co-mingling would make sense if you could trust the vendors, but when it has been a known issue for years that much of of the merchandise coming in is counterfeit, co-mingling makes no sense anymore.
 
2022-08-28 10:33:38 PM  
I'd say they're marketing this device all wrong. Instead of a 30TB *wink wink* SSD they should have them report something believable (like 512 GB) and then sell them as practical joke drives instead. Think of it, someone you don't like, or for whatever reason you want to prank, needs a hard drive. You give them this one, and only once they go to read back their data will they find out it's all completely unreadable.
 
2022-08-28 10:36:42 PM  
Isn't Walmart a single source vendor?

If they are, I hope they're hit HARD by this. It's all well and good "Shop-19543" being cast with an eye of suspicion, but single source vendors should be vetting their product at least for literal scams as their brand recognition allows them to bypass a few steps of the "is this a scam" mental flowchart.
 
2022-08-28 10:37:02 PM  

LurkerSupreme: I'd say they're marketing this device all wrong. Instead of a 30TB *wink wink* SSD they should have them report something believable (like 512 GB) and then sell them as practical joke drives instead. Think of it, someone you don't like, or for whatever reason you want to prank, needs a hard drive. You give them this one, and only once they go to read back their data will they find out it's all completely unreadable.


Hell, why not loosen their lugnuts, or cut a brake line while you're at it.
 
2022-08-28 10:40:04 PM  

LurkerSupreme: I'd say they're marketing this device all wrong. Instead of a 30TB *wink wink* SSD they should have them report something believable (like 512 GB) and then sell them as practical joke drives instead. Think of it, someone you don't like, or for whatever reason you want to prank, needs a hard drive. You give them this one, and only once they go to read back their data will they find out it's all completely unreadable.


Kmart does that, except they advertise it as something believable in an attempt to literally scam their customers:
https://www.kmart.co.nz/product/18mp-digital-camera-black-43030279/

3MP camera, stretch the final image to 18MP, call it an 18MP camera even though the sensor resolution is the basis of the metric, not the output.

Stretching the image to 1000MP doesn't make it a 1000MP camera, either.
 
2022-08-28 10:40:34 PM  
There is a lot of fakes saturating Amazon and Aliexpress now.  Really have to stick with name brands to make sure you are not getting scammed
 
2022-08-28 10:58:49 PM  

kkinnison: There is a lot of fakes saturating Amazon and Aliexpress now.  Really have to stick with name brands to make sure you are not getting scammed


Not just name brands, but reputable sellers. Make sure you're checking the "Amazon.com" box under Sellers when it comes to searching on Amazon, and avoid the "stores" - some of those stores are auto-generated from brand names, and may not reflect a single seller.
 
2022-08-28 11:18:15 PM  

OkieDookie: Thumb drives, SDCards, ect.  It's an easy scam to do.  Shame on Wally World for letting it be sold on their site.


I think Wally is directly mirroring Amazon...anyone can sell any garbage and you can sort it out yourself.

Buyer beware indeed.
 
2022-08-28 11:49:06 PM  

Mad_Radhu: paulleah: Carter Pewterschmidt: Amazon deserve a lot of criticism for the way they operate. The do something called Comingling.

Say Samsung make a 1tb sd card or USB stick. So Amazon stock it. And a bunch of third party sellers stock it as well, but some of those actually sell cheap fake units like TFA, with a fraction of the capacity but programmed to display the correct figure.
So only buy from Amazon or a known reputable seller, right?

Wrong. Amazon take all their stock bought direct from Samsung, and all those third party sellers stock, fakes and all, and throw them in one big pile in their warehouse.
So you can order from Amazon but get a cheap fake. Or you could order from the cheap fake company but get one of Amazon's genuine units.
You have no way of knowing, and neither do Amazon since they don't track the units. So genuine sellers get reviews saying they're selling fakes and there's nothing they can do about it, except not use FBA comingling, but then they don't get the cheap and fast Prime shipping and so won't sell many units.

Amazon should stop mingling and make sure if you order from supplier X you get a unit that supplier X shipped to Amazon's warehouse.

But that would cost money.

I'm not trying to defend Amazon, per se, but if Amazon has 400 retailers selling an identical SKEW, commingling makes all the sense in the world.  You can either have 400 individual areas. All with the exact same SKEW, or one big ass box filled with said SKEW.

There isn't enough desert outside Reno to build a warehouse that would eliminate all commingling.

It's SKU (Stock Keeping Unit), not SKEW.

Co-mingling would make sense if you could trust the vendors, but when it has been a known issue for years that much of of the merchandise coming in is counterfeit, co-mingling makes no sense anymore.


Yeah, my brane was out for cleaning. SKU.
Sorry.

Point is still very valid.
 
2022-08-29 12:00:13 AM  
Does it come with a free copy of RAM Doubler?
 
2022-08-29 12:06:52 AM  

Joe_diGriz: Does it come with a free copy of RAM Doubler?


Just a copy of swap.avi
 
2022-08-29 12:31:41 AM  

paulleah: Carter Pewterschmidt: Amazon deserve a lot of criticism for the way they operate. The do something called Comingling.

Say Samsung make a 1tb sd card or USB stick. So Amazon stock it. And a bunch of third party sellers stock it as well, but some of those actually sell cheap fake units like TFA, with a fraction of the capacity but programmed to display the correct figure.
So only buy from Amazon or a known reputable seller, right?

Wrong. Amazon take all their stock bought direct from Samsung, and all those third party sellers stock, fakes and all, and throw them in one big pile in their warehouse.
So you can order from Amazon but get a cheap fake. Or you could order from the cheap fake company but get one of Amazon's genuine units.
You have no way of knowing, and neither do Amazon since they don't track the units. So genuine sellers get reviews saying they're selling fakes and there's nothing they can do about it, except not use FBA comingling, but then they don't get the cheap and fast Prime shipping and so won't sell many units.

Amazon should stop mingling and make sure if you order from supplier X you get a unit that supplier X shipped to Amazon's warehouse.

But that would cost money.

I'm not trying to defend Amazon, per se, but if Amazon has 400 retailers selling an identical SKEW, commingling makes all the sense in the world.  You can either have 400 individual areas. All with the exact same SKEW, or one big ass box filled with said SKEW.

There isn't enough desert outside Reno to build a warehouse that would eliminate all commingling.


That's not really how Amazon warehouses work - at least, when I got a chance to tour one in Phoenix.

There isn't one big section that's all memory cards, only memory cards, of all brands and sizes.  They purposefully keep similar items separate to avoid picking error: 128GB cards will be stored separately from 256GB cards so that the picker just needs to grab "(1) Sandisk SD Card" and not have to worry about the size.

For small items like memory cards, that scales very well to avoid co-mingling - keep seller A's 256GB cards in a different aisle than seller B's, etc.  All the decision making on where to place product is driven programmatically, so it doesn't add much overhead.

Co-mingling might make sense for other items, that can't go into their normal bin storage.  I don't know if they actually do it today for memory products, but I've bought enough Samsung and Sandisk cards and drives over the years, always "sold by Amazon", and never got a counterfeit (knowingly - everything lived up to capacity and speed specs).
 
2022-08-29 1:13:05 AM  

Joe_diGriz: Does it come with a free copy of RAM Doubler?


Can I get an add on "turbo" button. They worked so well in the nineties.
 
2022-08-29 2:24:08 AM  
Seems legit.

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-08-29 3:41:26 AM  
> This is another giveaway; Windows reports drive capacities in gibibytes (1,024 mebibytes) or tebibytes (1,024 gibibytes), while drive manufacturers use gigabytes (1,000 megabytes) and terabytes (1,000 gigabytes).

-bibytes? When did that one show up.
 
2022-08-29 4:51:22 AM  

Enigmamf: > This is another giveaway; Windows reports drive capacities in gibibytes (1,024 mebibytes) or tebibytes (1,024 gibibytes), while drive manufacturers use gigabytes (1,000 megabytes) and terabytes (1,000 gigabytes).

-bibytes? When did that one show up.


Recently, within the last 3-4 years. Basically base2 people gave up and just decided that if storage manufacturers weren't going to stop being scum, then they'd fix the problem themselves and make their own unit.

However it exclusively applies to storage and only just adds more confusion.
 
2022-08-29 5:55:26 AM  

Carter Pewterschmidt: Amazon deserve a lot of criticism for the way they operate. The do something called Comingling.

Say Samsung make a 1tb sd card or USB stick. So Amazon stock it. And a bunch of third party sellers stock it as well, but some of those actually sell cheap fake units like TFA, with a fraction of the capacity but programmed to display the correct figure.
So only buy from Amazon or a known reputable seller, right?

Wrong. Amazon take all their stock bought direct from Samsung, and all those third party sellers stock, fakes and all, and throw them in one big pile in their warehouse.
So you can order from Amazon but get a cheap fake. Or you could order from the cheap fake company but get one of Amazon's genuine units.
You have no way of knowing, and neither do Amazon since they don't track the units. So genuine sellers get reviews saying they're selling fakes and there's nothing they can do about it, except not use FBA comingling, but then they don't get the cheap and fast Prime shipping and so won't sell many units.

Amazon should stop mingling and make sure if you order from supplier X you get a unit that supplier X shipped to Amazon's warehouse.

But that would cost money.


So back in the sears catalog days was this every an issue or was what they describe in the catalog exactly what the customer received?  

it is time for buyer beware at least from actual companies to be legally over
 
2022-08-29 7:46:20 AM  
Same thing happens with batteries. 'High capacity' AA cells cut open to show genuine low capacity AAA cells inside. They work, but no for lo
 
2022-08-29 7:47:52 AM  

trialpha: How is Newegg for fakes/scams these days? They're doing the stupid "marketplace" thing just like Walmart/Amazon/damn near everybody, so they would likely have the same problem.


Newegg Scammed Us
Youtube 2fnXsmXzphI
 
2022-08-29 8:31:15 AM  
I was looking around last week to replace a 16TB RAID that's getting long in the tooth and I saw these.  My first thought was, "SSDs have gotten cheaper than I recall...", then I saw it was on AliBaba and moved on.  Ended up getting a Synology NAS.
 
2022-08-29 8:41:59 AM  

mtrac: HugeMistake: Some of us are old enough to remember this exact same scam with thumb drives, many years ago. Of course, back in those days we didn't have Alibaba or Walmart.com to rip us off, we had to buy them from street vendors in Hong Kong or Seoul.

Some of us are old enough to remember quadrophonic sound vendors.


In fairness, the people selling quadrophonic sound, gold plated digital cables, and all the other junk that hi-fi snobbery is famous for, in large part actually believe their own bullcrap.

CSB: I only heard quadrophonic sound once, at the home of a friend. You had to keep your head perfectly still to prevent the sound stage from bouncing around the room.
 
2022-08-29 11:27:05 AM  

Enigmamf: > This is another giveaway; Windows reports drive capacities in gibibytes (1,024 mebibytes) or tebibytes (1,024 gibibytes), while drive manufacturers use gigabytes (1,000 megabytes) and terabytes (1,000 gigabytes).

-bibytes? When did that one show up.


Quite a while ago. According to Wikipedia the ISO standard defining it was published in 2008. I don't know when it first showed up.

Communication speeds (modems, Ethernet) have always been base-10 and there is nothing inherently base-2 about disk capacity. The only place where the base-2 units really make sense are for RAM, because the internal structure of those chips is an array of 2^N rows and columns. Everything else including Flash (as presented to the operating system) is an arbitrary number.

Back when we were dealing with kilobytes it was reasonable to say "fark it, 1024 == 1000", but by the time you're dealing with gigabytes/terabytes the difference is large enough to matter.
 
2022-08-29 2:19:20 PM  

Enigmamf: > This is another giveaway; Windows reports drive capacities in gibibytes (1,024 mebibytes) or tebibytes (1,024 gibibytes), while drive manufacturers use gigabytes (1,000 megabytes) and terabytes (1,000 gigabytes).

-bibytes? When did that one show up.


IEC adopted the power-of-1024 prefixes in 1998.
 
2022-08-29 5:28:22 PM  

Warrior Kermit: So back in the sears catalog days was this every an issue or was what they describe in the catalog exactly what the customer received?


AFAIK Sears never had outside merchants selling through their catalog. There was no stock to mingle. They bought everything just like any other retailer.
 
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