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Creative Sued for Base-10 Capacities On HDD MP3 Players

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the basic-math dept.

Data Storage 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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50%? (1)

Jizzbug (101250) | more than 6 years ago | (#23270978)

50% off for less than 10% less space?

Re:50%? (2, Interesting)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271030)

they misrepresented the capacity of their products knowingly, this is a warning to any other company stupid enough to lie like this.

Re:50%? (5, Funny)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271044)

...they misrepresented the capacity...
I'm sure they thought they were just being creative.

Re:50%? (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271262)

If they wanted to be creative, they should've used octal base.

Re:50%? (3, Interesting)

iamacat (583406) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271052)

According to the most accepted definition K == 10^3, M = 10^6, G = 10^9, T = 10^12. Why should consumer product manufacturers use definitions only understood by technical professionals, that will confuse their average customer and are unflattering to the product?

Re:50%? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23271102)

Because it is part of the trade, and if you don't understand the rules and definitions in the trade tough shit, you should learn them before getting involved.

Nobody is suing lumber manufacturers because 2x4s aren't 2 inches by 4 inches. Everyone in the trade understands the real dimensions. If you want to get involved in construction you have to learn things like that.

Deprecated for quite a while now (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271198)

"part of the trade"? The use of metric prefixes for binary powers of two has been deprecated by professional standard bodies for almost 10 years now! [wikipedia.org]

That doesn't mean that I don't agree that the manufacturers shouldn't have to print the full number, and it's representation in both SI and binary prefix units. If they did that, then people like you might start to become aware that the misuse of SI prefixes based on context is stupid.

Re:Deprecated for quite a while now (2, Insightful)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271298)

Yeah, but honestly, everybody ignores the standard bodies on this issue. Does your computer have 512 megabytes of ram or 537 mb? It's very rare that anybody refers to a memory measurement based on a power of 10, and it's obviously going to be pretty unanimously misinterpreted if printed that way on product labeling.

Printing both clearly would be fine, though.

Re:50%? (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271380)

I was under the impression that 2x4s are, in fact, actually 2in by 4in when cut wet, but shrink to the standard size when seasoned. Or, at least, did at some point in their history of manufacture.

Re:50%? (4, Insightful)

aleph42 (1082389) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271112)

Because when your OS displays the empty space on your device, it uses powers of 2.

You don't have to be a "technical professional" if you OSãtranslates for you.

Well you can argue the OS is wrong (3, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271370)

The metric prefixes predate OSes by a long time and as the GP pointed out, they are very well established. Computers decided to coopt kilo and use it to mean 2^10 instead of 10^3 since they were close. However now that we are dealing with 2^30 vs 10^9, the difference is quite a bit bigger.

Personally, I think the things like HDs, network gear, and such are correct. We need to use the metric prefixes for base 10 for base 10. If we want to talk base 2, use the base-2 prefixes.

Re:50%? (1)

BigAssRat (724675) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271374)

No, my computer has 3.25GB of RAM because I installed two 2GB sticks. I should be able to get one hell of a discount from MS then heh?

Re:50%? (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271386)

Nah, you just need to fork over some more cash for the 64-bit version.

Re:50%? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23271142)

They should use those definitions because they are definitions. A kilobyte is not 10^3 bytes, so they should not say it is. For memory sizes, K = 2^10, M = 2^20, G = 2^30, T = 2^40. If the manufacturer actually put 2^30 bytes in a 1 GB product, the packaging of that product could remain the same, the average customer would not be any more confused, geeks would be satisfied, and no body would go wtf? when they plugged in their drive and it says it is 954 MB.

Re:50%? (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271268)

A kilobyte is 10^3 bytes. You are thinking of a Kibibyte (kilo_binary-byte) where kilo_binary takes advantage of the fact that 2^10 is very close to 10^3. Unfortunately it gets worse for mega, giga, etc, which is why SI finally ruled on the standards.

I believe it's customary to include a relevant xkcd [xkcd.com]

Re:50%? (1)

d0mokun (1227718) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271118)

they misrepresented the capacity of their products knowingly, this is a warning to any other company stupid enough to lie like this.
Stupid enough to lie? Don't jump the gun or anything! What if they actually did make a mistake? Hey.. even NASA made mistakes with thier calculations.. It can happen..

Re:50%? (1)

Grant_Watson (312705) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271170)

Don't jump the gun or anything! What if they actually did make a mistake?

Drive makers have been doing this for a long time-- it's not an accident.

Heck, the drivemaker's kilobyte shrinks four bytes each year [xkcd.com] for marketing reasons. :-P

Stupid liars (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271178)

Misrepresented? - I thought this had all been settled in the early 90's and the entire industry knew it was base 10. To emphasise this point can you (or anyone else) find a HDD manafacturer who still advertises in base 2?

I don't think anyone is lying and I'm not sure who's 'stupid' here, is it the courts, the plantifs, or the manafactures? In any case uninformed is a much better word to describe leagal pedants who complained.

Re:50%? (1)

PAjamian (679137) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271372)

What kind of "warning" is that? That if you misrepresent your product you might have to sell another product to affected consumers at around the wholesale price (where the manufacturer still makes a profit)? And that people might flock to your online store to buy loads of stuff because they think they're getting a great deal with a 20% discount? The only real fine here is $5000, pocket change.

Re:50%? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23271202)

50% off for less than 10% less space?
Think of it this way, they're getting 50% off of 1GB players which Creative probably has a hard time giving away.

Re:50%? (1)

beav007 (746004) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271356)

Yes, but is it a 1GB player in Base2 or Base10?

Re:50%? (1)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271364)

I'll pass. The prescribed relief for having bought crap is a discount on more of the same company's crap? No thanks, I'll just buy from somebody else next time.

First! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23270984)

Anonymous coward strikes first!

Re:First! (1)

Jizzbug (101250) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271000)

Anonymous coward loses! (#23270978)

"creative sued"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23270996)

Shouldn't the title be more like "Creative settles"? After all, that's the news. Not the lawsuit.

What's 73MB between friends? (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#23270998)

Although I think it is a stupid abbreviation scheme, "mebibytes" and "gibibytes" as represented by "MiB" and "GiB" could really catch on due to this kind of confusion. In every industry except computing, base-10 is assumed to be the standard. It is basically only in this industry that base-2 is the standard, and the confusion over storage sizes becomes an issue.

So either the general public needs to learn about MiB and GiB or storage makers need to start labelling their products as holding amounts measured in base-10.

The former probably won't happen, so we'll most likely see tons of ink wasted on the longer small print.

Re:What's 73MB between friends? (1)

anethema (99553) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271184)

Mebibytes and gibibytes will NEVER catch on. The geeks would have to spearhead something like this, and they never will because the words sound stupid and you sound stupid and unprofessional using them.

Storage makers ALWAYS label their products as base-10 amounts.

My 74GB WD Raptor HDD is 69.2 GB. They are getting sued because for 40-60 years now, maybe longer, storage/ram etc in computing has been base-2 (it being a binary system). Now they are switching to base 10 because they can advertise a higher space than what is actually sold. They are getting sued for this and rightfully losing. Seagate lost a similar law suit and now creative. The companies are going to have to learn to ignore the dolts in marketing and just tell the truth or start losing money through similar law suits.

One judgement and one settlement in favour or the plaintiff starts setting a pretty big precedent and future judgements will now almost certainly go in favour of the plaintiff.

Re:What's 73MB between friends? (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271306)

Your right, it hasn't happened already so it probably won't. Instead of a bunch of legal ink they could simply write out the whole thing.

Eg: Instead of 250GiB they could write something like : 2.0^E13 useable magnetic toggles : and let the consumer translate it into what they see in the O/S.

Re:What's 73MB between friends? (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271396)

Or the HDD manufacturers could just,oh I don't know,actually give them a little extra instead of screwing them? My last Maxtor was advertised as a 200Gb and it came out as 203Gb when formatted. needless to say I had no problem with getting an extra 3Gb. With the stuff getting so cheap would it REALLY kill them to actually let the consumer come out ahead by some tiny amount?It would be smart if for no other reason than to ensure that they don't have to deal with stupid lawsuits like this and would have the side benefit of letting the customer feel like they got a good deal. But that is my 02c,YMMV.

Bonanza (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23271002)

Allright all you penny-pinching jews, it's time to buy Creative(tm)!

Let me get this straight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23271004)

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 ripped lots of people off, and as punishment, they get lots of almost guaranteed sales? Sure, it's at a discount, but factor in all the sales they gained from lying about the capacity, the margin between the original drives and the cost of drives that actually had that capacity, the economies of scale guaranteed sales bring, and it's hard to believe they've actually lost much at all.

Not quite. (1)

raehl (609729) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271096)

Creative didn't rip anybody off, but some snarky lawyer thought he could make some legal fees by suing them for using standard definitions.

So they decided to make some lemonade and sell some units.

Not losing much is only fair when they didn't do anything wrong to begin with.

Re:Not quite. (1)

anethema (99553) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271210)

These definitions haven't been 'standard' in this industry for over half a century now. Just because some storage company's marketing departments have now decided otherwise, does not mean this is legal. Every piece of software including the OS (not to mention all software system requirements, oops!) measures in base 2.

Companies are unsurprisingly getting sued, and equally unsurprising, are settling these suits as quickly as they can because they know they will lose.

http://www.betanews.com/article/Seagate_Settles_Suit_Over_Gigabyte_Definition/1194025700 [betanews.com]
http://www.harddrive-settlement.com/notice.htm [harddrive-settlement.com]

Ughh.. again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23271008)

G, M and K are SI units.
G = 10^9
M = 10^6
K = 10^3

Just because your industry decided to overload (and this confuse) them, doesn't change the fact that they are SI units.

If you want them to be base 2, use the Gi, Mi, and Ki SI units [nist.gov] .

Re:Ughh.. again... (1)

packeteer (566398) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271146)

We don't use the Si"ssy" system in the god damn US of A.

Re:Ughh.. again... (1)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271166)

What is wrong with saying that there are "2 kilomiles" between Chicago and Los Angeles?

Re:Ughh.. again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23271308)

Where the SI system is used, the typical prefixes for units in a given context are chosen so that there are no awkward numbers in common usage. The prefixes are not chosen to denote the level of accuracy or to minimize the length of the number on a case by case basis. 2kilomiles would only be used for comedic effect or in a context where distances are usually given in multiples of 1000 miles. Since there are very few contexts where such distances would be useful and not touch metric territory, "kilomiles" would rarely be used.

Re:Ughh.. again... (1)

hobbesmaster (592205) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271274)

Yes, [nist.gov] we do.

Re:Ughh.. again... (1)

TypoNAM (695420) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271332)

Nearly every programmer, network administrator, and what have you I've talked to in this I.T. industry do NOT recognize IEC has an authority figure over redefining of nearly forty years of well known and understood meaning of byte size modifiers (kilobyte, etc..) as a base of two, not base of ten. It was the marketing departments of various storage vendors that started this confusion mess and for IEC to basically give in to these vendors (I wonder how much it cost them to pay off IEC) and IEC's reason of "confusion" is not founded and they can basically go fuck themselves as for as we care.

That's all I have to say about it.

1 GB drive? (1)

icydog (923695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271012)

"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"

Is anyone else wondering how many bytes are in this thing?

Seriously though, it would be nice for storage vendors to use binary prefixes rather than decimal. We probably don't mind too much other than for the sake of being pedantic, but it must be pretty annoying to Joe Sixpack who buys a 1 TB drive only to find that he's missing one hundred billion bytes!

Always thought.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23271014)

.. advertising capacity using base-10 was stupid, and I assume, like myself, many here had acclimated to taking that into account whenever purchasing new hardware, but I had never dreamed they would be legally liable for such a thing.

Did they stop using a disclaimer along the bottom stating base-10 megabyte/gigabyte usage?

how about dell dj's? (1)

neersign (956437) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271018)

the dell dj's are just rebranded creative mp3 players, so are they covered?

GB is Base 10 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23271020)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't Gigabytes (GB) meant to be base 10?
It's Gibibytes (GiB) that are counted in Base 2

Re:GB is Base 10 (1)

ghostdancer (72944) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271292)

Byte is just another form of measurement for storage.

Commonly, 1 Byte = 8 Bits.

Gibibyte. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23271022)

I will die stubborn and proud before I use this term in any other context than this post.

Re:Gibibyte. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23271242)

Those binary prefixes have been standardized for about a decade now by IEEE, IEC, BIPM, and CENELEC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_1541) but few know they exist (including most electrical engineering and computer science students I know).

If Creative was going to be sued for anything, it should have been under-representing how much space is free in the software display (assuming they display the inappropriate unit for their conversion factor like most consumer software)

However, it seems more likely that even if the software and marketing material correctly used the correct units (GB or GiB) they'd get sued... ...they'd just get sued because the amount of marketed space would be the storage capacity of the disk rather than the space available for storing music (file-system overhead).

People can get away with suing for just about anything these days because going to court to prove the claim frivolous is just too cost-prohibitive compared to paying a relatively inexpensive settlement to people who don't deserve the settlement in the first place.

Re:Gibibyte. (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271314)

Good for you. I'm teaching my children to never use the term, also. Not that they would.

Hard Drives (1)

BillOfThePecosKind (1140837) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271026)

So can I sue Samsung or whomever for doing the same thing? Or is this different?

Re:Hard Drives (1)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271050)

Of course it's different. they haven't been sued yet.

Re:Hard Drives (1)

wal9001 (1041058) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271108)

Seagate was. The rest still haven't, so you're free to go after WD, Hitachi, or whoever else seems like they might have some money for you.

Re:Hard Drives (1)

anethema (99553) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271220)

Seagate settled and it was a class action suit. If you havent made any claims against the class action settlement, you are also free to sue Seagate for the same reason.

Punish corps by giving them money... (4, Insightful)

pintpusher (854001) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271034)

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>

Re:Punish corps by giving them money... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23271328)

Exclude yourself from the class and sue them yourself or don't complain when you are poorly represented by someone who is only using you to get more money out of the company.

Re:Punish corps by giving them money... (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271392)

"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!"

ok (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23271036)

ok

Innumeracy (2, Funny)

Detritus (11846) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271040)

The court should have awarded each of the plaintiffs a calculator and a boot to the head.

Re:Innumeracy (1)

statemachine (840641) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271388)

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] .

1GB = 10^9 Bytes (1)

phizix (1143711) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271054)

1GB = 10^9 bytes, by definition. It is ridiculous Creative Labs has to pay this settlement.

Except when it doesn't (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271130)

When dealing with RAM, for decades KB has meant 1024 and MB 1024^2 and so on.

It's been a bit fuzzier with hard disks, since the hard drive manufacturers have actually gotten away with claiming 1MB=1 million for so long.

If the MP3 players were solid-state, the rules of RAM apply.

When it comes to lawsuits over advertising, the rule of thumb is "what would the average consumer believe."

Well, if you don't count the average non-techno consumer who is only concerned about how many songs or how many minutes of music he can fit, you are left with techno consumers who will look at the device, think "solid state," and assume 1 GB=1024^3 bytes.

If the manufacturers would list the actual usable capacity in bytes they would be in the clear. By "usable" I exclude hardware-overhead for spare blocks and the like but include "filesystem overhead" since the space could in principle be used for user data if the device were used as a raw device.

Re:Except when it doesn't (1)

phizix (1143711) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271194)

When dealing with RAM, for decades KB has meant 1024 and MB 1024^2 and so on.
Creative Labs should not have to pay for decades-old abuses of SI prefixes.

Re:Except when it doesn't (1)

jhol13 (1087781) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271230)

If the MP3 players were solid-state, the rules of RAM apply.
No, they do not. There is no "raw" device in a MP3 player. Just for an example even my USB memory stick has "only" 4073432 usable 1024 byte blocks.

I would assume that the manufacturers cannot state the actual usable capacity as it vary between devices ("bad" blocks).

The lawsuit is completely idiotic. Well, it would have been anywhere except in the USA.

Re:Except when it doesn't (1)

anethema (99553) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271232)

Every software lists their requirements in base 2 and even your OS shows it in base 2. It has been an SI prefix for a long time granted, but it HAS been industry standard to use base 2 in this industry for over half a century.

I wouldn't say these suits are meritless.

Re:Except when it doesn't (1)

prockcore (543967) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271284)

My OS gets it right. GB = base 10, GiB=base 2. Pretty much all linux tools use SI prefixes.

You're using base-10 numbers when you say "20 gigs".. you should use base-10 prefixes.

I know it's an unpopular viewpoint here, but we programmers are *wrong*. The user should NEVER be exposed to base 2.

Re:Except when it doesn't (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271290)

And their usage as such has been deprecated for the last decade by the relevant standards bodies.

Your point being what exactly?

they don't think anything of the kind (1)

HappyEngineer (888000) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271280)

The average non-techy person isn't going to assume 1GB=1024^3 bytes.

They're going to look at the 10GB one and think that it's twice as large as the 5GB model which is 5 times the size of the 1GB model which they currently own.

If they currently have X songs filling up the 1GB model then they'll look at the 10GB model and think "wow! X*10 storage!"

The whole GB vs GiB thing is an argument that is relevant only to geeks and lawyers. The only important thing to average consumers is that all MP3 players be consistent with what a GB is so that they can make a relative comparison.

I personally happen to think that RAM should simply be labelled as GiB instead of GB. You may think it looks weird, but we'd all eventually get used to it just like everyone soon (within weeks) got used to the name "Wii".

Re:Except when it doesn't (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271334)

It seems to me that it would be more proper to be upset at the OSes because they have been misrepresenting the size of our drives. Not that anyone could sue any of them over it. Maybe the drive makers can.

Oh for fuck's sake... (2)

NonSequor (230139) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271060)

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.

Re:Oh for fuck's sake... (0)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271190)

Ok, how does it make anything clumsy, except when hard drive manufacturers insist on using base 10 instead of base 2?

For what it's worth, I think it's perfectly fine to label something as a billion bytes, as long as there's actually a conversion table somewhere. Wouldn't hurt to also include a disclaimer that your OS is going to use different units.

Re:Oh for fuck's sake... (1)

NonSequor (230139) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271224)

The fact that this thing still lingers in end user software after decades of usability research is two-thirds of what makes this so annoying.

The other one-third is the people who keep on defending it.

Re:Oh for fuck's sake... (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271350)

Wrong question. Why is it that everyone assumes the hard drive manufacturers are doing the dumb thing. They are using the prefixes as SI intended, after all.

They should really sue the OS distributors for under-reporting both the size of the disk, and the size of the files on the disk.

Re:Oh for fuck's sake... (1)

nmb3000 (741169) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271226)

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 the SI prefixes were applied to a binary system. The only reason ambiguity entered into it is because of marketing. By playing pretend and going against decades of precedent they realized they could sell less bang per buck without consumers knowing the difference.

This thread [slashdot.org] from the other story does a great job of explaining this idea. In the computer industry, K, M, and G stand for slightly different values than their normal SI meaning. That's just how it is and snobby new prefixes (that are still ignored in all practical use) won't change it. I'm glad we're finally sticking it to manufacturers (though I hardly think Creative was punished here) for intentionally misleading consumers.

Re:Oh for fuck's sake... (1)

prockcore (543967) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271300)

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.

Re:Oh for fuck's sake... (1)

NonSequor (230139) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271400)

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 things that are organized into 1024 byte units, but please just let the rest of us who are working with data in all sorts of odd sizes call a million bytes a MB.

Re:Oh for fuck's sake... (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271266)

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.

Re:Oh for fuck's sake... (1)

MortimerV (896247) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271368)

I have a problem with disks being sold in base 10 but my OS displaying everything as base 2. It's just confusing. I look at the solution from the other side, though: Why doesn't my OS display everything in base 10? As a basic end-user, it makes no difference to me.

Instead of 5MB mp3s I could have 5.24. Instead of a 3GB collection, it's 3.22. And now my 100GB drive really is 100GB, rather than 93.13.

People selling memory get to use their inflated numbers, all of our files get bigger, and the confusion is gone for the basic user.

Re:Oh for fuck's sake... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23271376)

So the exact same file should change sizes depending on if it is read into RAM or not?

SI (0, Redundant)

SoapDish (971052) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271066)

So, these companies are actually losing court cases for using the proper units? That's up there with robbers suing the house owners for injuries they get while breaking in.

Everyone knows (at least outside of USA) that M = Mega = 1000000, and so on. This is standard for all units of measurement, even bytes (yes, I know that's less well known).

I'm outraged.

Re:SI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23271340)

I am outside the US, and I know that M = Mega = 1,000,000 when applied to physical measurements.
On the other hand, I also know that M = Mega = 1,048,576 when applied to digital measurements.

got wood? (2, Insightful)

unt0ld (1282914) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271088)

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.

Contents may have settled during shipment (1)

ihatethetv (935399) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271140)

Right on! Can I sue McDonalds for not filling my "44oz" soda to the top?

Re:got wood? (1)

Raineer (1002750) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271246)

lol, very good point actually.

I wonder if the rep. plaintiff will complain... (5, Funny)

harmony7 (1140759) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271104)

... upon receiving his $5k, that he should have gotten $5,120 ?

gibibytes? (1)

ihatethetv (935399) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271120)

I got a card in the mail for this yesterday. I personally feel its ridiculous. Sure they're using the industry standard way of marketing hard disks...every other company does the same thing. Why does creative get hit with this? Why not sue apple for it...they certainly have more money to win. Are they going to go on to sue all the hard disk manufacturers too? Are we going to see federally mandated explanations of digital storage capacity? Will they use gibibytes? btw: I've been very happy with my creative muvo^2 mp3 player. It's ugly, but sounds great and still works perfect despite two years of abuse...has a standard dc 5v jack on it so i can continue to use it after the lion dies...

Re:gibibytes? (1)

anethema (99553) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271244)

Cant sue everyone! And this is a start.

Good I can sue Dell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23271138)

Should I sue Dell for my 2 GigaHertz laptop only providing 2x10^9 Hertz instead of the advertised 2147483648 Hz?

In everything non-IT, kilo-anything always means 10^3, mega-anything always means 10^6, giga-anything always means 10^9

This is Stupid. Is it a hoax?

It's not geeky, its simply correct (0)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271152)

How would you feel if you bought a 2 litre bottle of milk, only to find out that the farmer actually filled it with 1.9 litres of milk becuase "he counts litres differently to the normal method". Wouldn't stand up would it?

(For any folks used to gallons, replace litres with gallons if you feel at all confused by this article)

Re:It's not geeky, its simply correct (1)

NonSequor (230139) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271206)

If something says a file is n GB then in a just and reasonable world the actual size of the file would always be a 10+int(log n) digit number that is closer to n*10^9 than it is to (n+1)*10^9 or (n-1)*10^9.

I do not think I am unreasonable for expecting this and by extension, I believe that you are unreasonable for suggesting that this should not be so.

Re:It's not geeky, its simply correct (1)

Asmor (775910) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271276)

You know, I've never actually measured the amount of liquid in a gallon of milk (or water, or any other product, for that matter). It's entirely likely that the unopened gallon of milk in my fridge right now is only .9 gallons, for all I know.

base-10 (1)

dazlari (711032) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271162)

Class Action to Creative: All your base-10 are belong to us.

Apple is next... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23271186)

The alleged 1GB iPod Shuffle is really 967MB.

The alleged 32GB iPod Touch is really 29.96GB.

So.... (2)

Donniedarkness (895066) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271192)

Now that I've bought an MP3 player from Creative, I can get a discount on an MP3 player from Creative...

slashdot broken... again (1)

Hans Lehmann (571625) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271228)

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?

Getting sued for profit? (1)

Paranoid times (1223056) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271236)

I have some trouble seeing why Creative would be unhappy about all of this. So they pay out a million dollars for court fees (Maybe). But how much do they get back in all that free advertising? And of course there is the detail of they don't pay anything out to most people.

already happen? (1)

conan1989 (1142827) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271250)

didn't something similar already happen to seagate and WD?

Crappy settlement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23271254)

So the settlement is discounts on more Creative products? How about a partial refund instead? Who says I want more of their junk?

I'm all for sticking it to the Man (1)

vsage3 (718267) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271286)

...but these settlements seem to come down to stupidity rather than a legitimate claim. This claim only extends back to 2001; I'm fairly sure I knew about this discrepancy the first time I booted up my first 386 computer in '95 when I noticed that 500 base 10 megs was actually 466 base 2 megs, and that was FAR before 2001.

Mark me redundant, but I just don't feel like these lawsuits represent a good use of the legal system.

What kind of punishment is this? (1)

ryanisflyboy (202507) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271304)

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 good lawyers.

They should have offered to settle for $10000 (1)

MrSteveSD (801820) | more than 6 years ago | (#23271342)

...in base-2 money :)

OS's fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23271394)

It could just be that all of you "common" people need to learn what giga and mega mean or need to pipe down. I think the ruling in favor of these ignorant fools is a good one; it shows just how foolish they are as so many have pointed out.

Furthermore, it isn't some corporation's fault that some OS programmer can't cause the OS to convert something in base to what everyone uses in base 10. A giga-anything means billion, not 2^30, period.
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