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Flooding Takes Major Hard Drive Plant Offline; Shortages Predicted

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the just-when-i-needed-new-drives dept.

Data Storage 203

snydeq writes "Flooding near Bangkok has taken about 25 percent of the world's hard disk manufacturing capacity offline, InfoWorld reports. 'Disk manufacturing sites in Thailand — notably including the largest Western Digital plant — were shut down due to floods around Bangkok last week and are expected to remain shut for at least several more days. The end to flooding is not in sight, and Western Digital now says it could take five to eight months to bring its plants back online.' Toshiba's Thailand plants have also been affected, as have key disk component suppliers, including Nidec and Hutchinson Technologies."

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203 comments

Yeah... (1)

mybeat (1516477) | about 2 years ago | (#37752352)

Try to order some WD RE drives and just hope that they are in stock, or better yet email the seller in advance.

Re:Yeah... (1)

firex726 (1188453) | about 2 years ago | (#37752544)

If anything it'll probably just increase the cost of the drives, I'm sure you'll be able to find them readily available somewhere, though at a higher cost. HDD prices are already increasing due to the increasing scarcity of some rare earth magnets.

Re:Yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37752590)

So... Seagate ate Maxtor (and now they've gone to crap too). WD is KO for the next "six to eight months" (wtf? really?). Who are we supposed to use now? Hitachi? (I'm serious--I've only purchased WD drives since I had two Maxtors crap out on me).

Re:Yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37752792)

wd just bought the hitachi business...

Re:Yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37752934)

Hitachi?

which bought the IBM Deskstar series of drives way-back-when. Remember those? I had 3 (out of 3) which died in less than a year. I won't buy again.

Re:Yeah... (2)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | about 2 years ago | (#37753488)

So... Seagate ate Maxtor (and now they've gone to crap too). WD is KO for the next "six to eight months" (wtf? really?). Who are we supposed to use now? Hitachi? (I'm serious--I've only purchased WD drives since I had two Maxtors crap out on me).

Luckily, I received two new WD 3TB drives just a couple of weeks ago. Most of our drives are WD, and I have resolved yet again never to buy Seagate. I've had good experience with Samsung as well as with WD.

The only drives which died on me at home in the last 20 years years were (i) a brand new 20GB Maxtor drive died on its first power-up about 12-14 years ago and was replaced under warranty, the replacement outlasting my use for it, (ii) a several-year-old Seagate 340GB died about 3 years ago while moving house despite not suffering any mechanical shocks, and (iii) a barely 1½-year-old Seagate 2TB which I just removed. The Seagate 2TB was in a pampered location but died suddenly, and its SMART data was covered in lurid red when it was restarted. It claimed to have overheated (the drives above and below it had not), to have too many reported uncorrectable errors, to have reallocated too many sectors, and to have too many uncorrectable sectors. It's past its pathetic warranty period, so I suppose I'll have to replace it (with Samsung if I can't get WD easily).

Other disks were retired over the years due to inadequate capacity, or given away with the PC containing them, but were in perfect working order the last time I had them.

Re:Yeah... (0)

GNious (953874) | about 2 years ago | (#37753234)

Try to order some WD RE drives

Why would you? WD are quite clear that they support Windows only, and you'll apparently get craptastic performance on anything free/libre.

Re:Yeah... (1)

mybeat (1516477) | about 2 years ago | (#37753414)

Well,the two drives of three that I ordered will go into my gaming pc (yes windows) and the remaining one will be an os drive for a linux box,wish I knew better.. So what are we left with if both WD and Seagate are out of the question?

Re:Yeah... (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | about 2 years ago | (#37753464)

I don't know about what GNious is saying, but I have not had problems with hard drives from WD or Seagate in recent history (80GB + Hard drives). WD and Seagate are the top two as far as I am concerned for hard drives. They are both used heavily in all the work servers, and show a disproportionate number of times in desktop systems from HP and Dell.

Offshore (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37752376)

I thought with offshoring everything you wouldn't run into these problems.

Re:Offshore (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | about 2 years ago | (#37752776)

I thought with offshoring everything you wouldn't run into these problems.

"Offshoring" doesn't make this a problem for people who buy hard drives Using a single source/vendor makes this a problem.

Re:Offshore (0)

jhoegl (638955) | about 2 years ago | (#37752992)

If anything this will be a case study for them to artificially create shortages, much like what the drug manufacturers are doing now.

Re:Offshore (2)

postbigbang (761081) | about 2 years ago | (#37752800)

If it takes this long to bring production back up to schedule after a couple weeks delay, I'd say we're looking at a marketplace price manipulation with a convenient excuse of flooding in Thailand.

The commodity markets use weather as an excuse to try to boink up prices all of the time. Hey Starbucks-- coffee is down 23%-- are you going to drop your recent price hike? Oh, I thought not.

Re:Offshore (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#37752876)

If it takes this long to bring production back up to schedule after a couple weeks delay, I'd say we're looking at a marketplace price manipulation with a convenient excuse of flooding in Thailand.

The commodity markets use weather as an excuse to try to boink up prices all of the time. Hey Starbucks-- coffee is down 23%-- are you going to drop your recent price hike? Oh, I thought not.

Margins are so tight in the HDD market I don't think they'd get away with it, Seagate would happily take their customers.

Re:Offshore (1)

postbigbang (761081) | about 2 years ago | (#37753004)

If Seagate had such a huge presence in consumer drives, they might be worrisome, but WD and Seagate live in different sales channels, as well as different markets. Go look at a big box computer store these days and tell me about the overlap.

Drives are OEM'd. If a manufacturer has a single point of failure in their process chain, then they're in deep donuts. While I feel for the employees of the affected factories, I don't believe it's going to cause the crisis predicted.

Re:Offshore (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | about 2 years ago | (#37753500)

Really? Seagate has 44 consumer drives and WD has 144, at least on Newegg. WD has more drives mostly because they have numerous models of same size/speed (green, black, blah)

Seagate is a decent competitor to WD, but pretty much the only one worth using.

Re:Offshore (1)

postbigbang (761081) | about 2 years ago | (#37753576)

SKU quantities belie the actual drives that are manufactured and how many of *those* go inside. Hitachi, Samsung, and a bunch of others make drives. Who makes the drives that go inside those cans? Ah-- there's the interesting statistic.

Re:Offshore (2)

EvanED (569694) | about 2 years ago | (#37753252)

If it takes this long to bring production back up to schedule after a couple weeks delay,...

How long the delay is is pretty independent of the time it takes to get up to speed later. If you give me a snow globe I can break it in a couple seconds... it would take you far longer to fix.

From the second article it sounds like the plants have experienced water damage: "They asked us to speed up draining water from the plants. If it could be done in one to two months, the company expected to then take about four to six months months for repairs."

Re:Offshore (1)

postbigbang (761081) | about 2 years ago | (#37753338)

If so, then it's a disaster for them. Yet I've seen SE Asian plants go from hills near a rice paddy to full production in less time. Perhaps I'm wrong about the size of the disaster, and if so, my bad. I've also seen lots of PR and disinformation poised at market price manipulation, so I'll retain my skepticism and hope for the best outcome for all.

Re:Offshore (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37753484)

Hey Starbucks-- coffee is down 23%-- are you going to drop your recent price hike?

Starbucks, like any smart company, buys commodity futures. They've already purchased coffee until the end of 2011. They stopped purchasing more futures, betting the price will fall from record highs. A few other retailers have already lowered prices.

The Dark Side of Specialization: (2)

ThosLives (686517) | about 2 years ago | (#37752394)

you're SOL when the specialist is out of commission.

It's sort of fascinating how, despite all our technology, we still suffer from such problems. It seems we may have crossed beyond the point where gained efficiency from specialization has more total cost than slightly less efficient, more flexible (less specialized) industries. In this case the "specialist" is geographical rather than talent, but I think the concept applies well enough.

Re:The Dark Side of Specialization: (2)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 years ago | (#37752438)

> It's sort of fascinating how, despite all our technology, we still suffer from such problems.

I think it's inevitable. Commodity items are highly competitive and have razor thin margins. The manufacturing location tends to be the lowest cost location on earth, and the problem with very low cost locations is that there is sometimes a risk involved in doing business there.

Re:The Dark Side of Specialization: (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 2 years ago | (#37752658)

Are you saying that high cost locations don't suffer from environmental problems?

Re:The Dark Side of Specialization: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37752950)

No, but some low cost locations probably do!

not a lot of disasters in central north america (1)

Chirs (87576) | about 2 years ago | (#37752998)

I live in the middle of the Canadian shield. About the only natural disaster we see is the occasional small tornado. No floods, no earthquakes, no hurricanes. Nothing large-scale.

Re:not a lot of disasters in central north america (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | about 2 years ago | (#37753518)

Snow?

2 inches of snow shuts down my town, and we get that much frequently through the winter.

Re:not a lot of disasters in central north america (2)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 2 years ago | (#37753634)

If two inches of snow can shut down your town, you're not living in Canada.

Re:not a lot of disasters in central north america (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37753606)

Kelowna, BC is about the safest place in the world to have a data center. No Volcanoes, No flooding (assuming you don't build within spitting distance of the river), no earthquakes, no tornados. The only thing to happen recently is a large forest fire. Again data centers tend not to be built into the rural hillside. Pretty much I'll take earthquake or fire risk (which is 1:300 year chance) over tornados (which happen every year.) Canada isn't known for damaging tornados, but the amount of times Data centers go offline in Montreal due to power, fire and ice issues, makes me go "LOL Quebec"

Lots of data centers in the last 5 years have run into fire issues, and this has revealed weaknesses in the communication or backup systems. The common denominator? They have neighbors... on Fire.

Re:The Dark Side of Specialization: (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 years ago | (#37753278)

Nope, I'm saying that there are reasons why low cost locations are low cost. It's a tendency, not all-or-nothing.

Re:The Dark Side of Specialization: (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 2 years ago | (#37753178)

It's not despite our technology, it's because of our technology. Putting all your eggs in one basket is rewarded in tech business. The downside is that one bad event can wipe out the globe's supply of one resource.

Fascinating Risk Analysis Decision (2)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 2 years ago | (#37752424)

Giant planning failure!

I can't wait to hear who decided to put the largest HD assembly operation in a flood plain where Asian Monsoons routinely flood out large areas every year.

It is not like this is unexpected.

Restart the plant and...it happens next year or the year thereafter.

Re:Fascinating Risk Analysis Decision (1)

arkanjuca (2486784) | about 2 years ago | (#37752552)

Obviously it worked for a good time, but they didn't took in the factor that rain volumes can suffer some spikes and eventually flood places from 50 to 50 years. You don't see catrinas every year, but they do happen at times.

Re:Fascinating Risk Analysis Decision (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37752576)

Unfortunately these kinds of plants consume massive amounts of water so they need to be in areas where these things happen.
If its not floods its tornados, earthquakes, volcanos or wars.

Nowhere is safe so most businesses just go with where is cheap.

Dont worry, insurance will cover some of the losses, massive price increases until long after supply has resumed will ensure
the shareholders dont suffer.

Re:Fascinating Risk Analysis Decision (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 2 years ago | (#37752588)

This year has been the worst in half a century, if you're planning for events that infrequent you're going to have a challenge finding anywhere to build your production facilities.

Re:Fascinating Risk Analysis Decision (2)

Tomato42 (2416694) | about 2 years ago | (#37752906)

Because whole Europe (including Iceland) suffers from Monsoons and Tornadoes every year. Not to mention the monthly magnitude 9.0 earthquake... We so get used to catastrophes, that we missed the last week's Extinction Event meteorite that fell just outside Berlin, thankfully it landed on a parked 5 star NCAP car so everything played quite well.

Re:Fascinating Risk Analysis Decision (1)

dschl (57168) | about 2 years ago | (#37753870)

In many places, you cannot legally build on floodplain.

In North America, 50 years is pretty short for design standards. Bridges will normally be built for flood events in excess of 100 years. Laws where I live restrict construction inside a 200 year floodplain.

Re:Fascinating Risk Analysis Decision (1)

mjr167 (2477430) | about 2 years ago | (#37752788)

By your logic we should abandon the Gulf Coast, Tornado Alley, California, and Texas.

Re:Fascinating Risk Analysis Decision (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37752860)

Strangely enough, there is at least one prominent geologist that thinks we should stop allowing people to live on the eastern seaboard of the US for precisely that reason.

Re:Fascinating Risk Analysis Decision (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#37753028)

By your logic we should abandon the Gulf Coast, Tornado Alley, California, and Texas.

Well, Texas anyway. Who'd want to live there?

Re:Fascinating Risk Analysis Decision (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37753430)

Abandon, no. But if somebody rebuilds on the site of a natural disaster, their insurance should increase (A LOT), as a disincentive to keep rebuilding somewhere that nature obviously wants to obliterate.

Who cares? We have the cloud to save us! (1)

Snotman (767894) | about 2 years ago | (#37752426)

Need more be said. Hard drives are so last year.

Re:Who cares? We have the cloud to save us! (1)

Tweezak (871255) | about 2 years ago | (#37752512)

And cloud servers don't use hard drives?

Re:Who cares? We have the cloud to save us! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37752528)

That's the joke.
-Rainier Wolfcastle

Re:Who cares? We have the cloud to save us! (5, Funny)

Ruie (30480) | about 2 years ago | (#37752738)

And cloud servers don't use hard drives?

No, they just send data back and forth, using the Internet as a giant delay line.

Re:Who cares? We have the cloud to save us! (4, Interesting)

volsung (378) | about 2 years ago | (#37752820)

I have often wondered what the total amount of temporary packet storage in the world's routers is.... How much data can actually be in transit at any given time?

Gol dern it! (1)

Tsingi (870990) | about 2 years ago | (#37752476)

I tole 'em they shudna moved them faktrees outa tornader alley.

Re:Gol dern it! (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#37752912)

I tole 'em they shudna moved them faktrees outa tornader alley.

We have some lovely land available, on top of the Hayward Fault. It usually just creeps along, so if they build the factory on wheels it would be OK %)

Re:Gol dern it! (1)

Tsingi (870990) | about 2 years ago | (#37753006)

We have some lovely land available, on top of the Hayward Fault. It usually just creeps along, so if they build the factory on wheels it would be OK %)

Isn't that where they put the nuclear reactors?

lot of record breaking floods lately (2, Funny)

Medievalist (16032) | about 2 years ago | (#37752478)

Good thing global climate change is just a liberal hoax, or we'd be in real trouble!

Re:lot of record breaking floods lately (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#37752532)

Good thing global climate change is just a liberal hoax, or we'd be in real trouble!

But not so long ago we had to be scared of the Global Climate Warming Change Monster because it was going to cause droughts, not floods. It only changed to causing floods after floods started hitting the news.

Re:lot of record breaking floods lately (1)

pjabardo (977600) | about 2 years ago | (#37752680)

It is not possible to determine if an individual flood is the result of global warming or not. Floods have always happened and will continue to happen. But global warming tends to produce more floods *and* more droughts, often in different regions but sometimes in the same place. This is has been know for a while and nothing has changed after "floods started hitting the news".

Re:lot of record breaking floods lately (2, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | about 2 years ago | (#37752868)

But global warming tends to produce more floods *and* more droughts

I love that reasoning. It essentially makes global warming impossible to disprove or challenge. There is no evidence that can be used to argue against it. Have a drought? That's global warming. Have a flood? That's global warming. Have a heat wave? Global warming. Have a blizzard? Global warming. Have normal weather? Well, global warming only effects things in the LONG TERM, see...

There is no trend or pattern sufficient to disprove, or even challenge it. That sounds more like a religion than science to me. You know, a real scientific theory is supposed to be something you could actually *disprove* with the right evidence (like Evolution, not like Creationism).

Re:lot of record breaking floods lately (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | about 2 years ago | (#37752972)

Of course you could disprove it. It just takes more than one example to do it. We've been collecting data that suggests global warming for 150 years, if you want to disprove global warming you'd need to gather a similarly sized collection of data that did not agree with the theory.

Re:lot of record breaking floods lately (1)

Chirs (87576) | about 2 years ago | (#37753062)

I love that reasoning. It essentially makes global warming impossible to disprove or challenge. There is no evidence that can be used to argue against it.

Not so. It's fairly straightforward to look for more "extreme" weather--you simply compare the actual weather against the "average". If the differences increase over time, there's your effect.

Re:lot of record breaking floods lately (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about 2 years ago | (#37753516)

It's fairly straightforward to look for more "extreme" weather--you simply compare the actual weather against the "average".
Even the USGS cautions that we are experiencing more or less the same number and severity of geological events. However, the number of reporting stations and the spread of people to other areas make it more likely that an event will affect people and thus be noted or reported upon.

Re:lot of record breaking floods lately (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37753528)

The problem with this logic is that we have about 100 years of reliable data in Europe and North America. In the rest of the world we have much less. That is nothing in the scheme of climate cycles.

Re:lot of record breaking floods lately (1)

pjabardo (977600) | about 2 years ago | (#37753706)

Climate and weather are not the same thing. A flood, or storm does not characterize the climate. You can come up with some parameter that correlates with climate, mean annual temperature of the planet for instance. This is a number that doesn't say anything about floods, droughts, snowstorms during the year. Not only that, we can not measure this number exactly, we can only estimate it.

Now, is this number relevant? Not for local weather. Not even for a few years. It can go down or up whether there is global warming, global cooling or nothing at all. But over a long period of time (we are talking decades here) this number is useful to detect changes in climate. What are the consequences of those changes? This single parameter doesn't say but models suggest a few outcomes.

The problem is more complicated than that because even *if* some *new* equilibrium could be reached, that is going to take and, probably, until this new equilibrium is reached, extreme weather conditions could be more common whatever the new equilibrium conditions are (if we can talk about equilibrium conditions).

If your feet are at 0 degrees and your head at 200 degrees, your mean temperature is 100 degrees, but it isn't pleasant in any way.

Re:lot of record breaking floods lately (1)

LetterRip (30937) | about 2 years ago | (#37753822)

I love that reasoning. It essentially makes global warming impossible to disprove or challenge. There is no evidence that can be used to argue against it. Have a drought? That's global warming. Have a flood? That's global warming. Have a heat wave? Global warming. Have a blizzard? Global warming. Have normal weather? Well, global warming only effects things in the LONG TERM, see...

It increases intensity and frequency of both droughts and floods - it is divergence from 'moderate' climate that is what you are looking for.

If you have a basic understanding of physics it should be obvious that increased warmth would cause more floods and droughts - increased total temperature causes faster evaporation both over land and ocean - for those areas where the clouds tend to not drift (and hence low rain fall historically) this will lead to more droughts; for areas of historical high rain fall - the greater ocean evaporation leads to more rain and hence more flooding.

Re:lot of record breaking floods lately (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about 2 years ago | (#37753526)

global warming tends to produce more floods *and* more droughts, often in different regions but sometimes in the same place.
Or FEWER floods and droughts, or about the same number of floods and droughts.

Re:lot of record breaking floods lately (1)

WillDraven (760005) | about 2 years ago | (#37752926)

I don't think anybody ever said climate change was going to stop water from evaporating at all. If one place that used to get a lot of rain isn't anymore, that means that the rain is going to be falling somewhere else, which can cause floods.

Deniers seem to think that if the entire world doesn't suffer from the exact same disasters then that obviously means that scientists are either stupid or lying because they hate America or something.

It is anything they want it to be (1)

Shivetya (243324) | about 2 years ago | (#37753394)

The great thing about calling it Global Climate Change is that it is anything the speaker wishes it to be. Any condition can be ascribed to it. Any weather phenomenon that makes the news can be included.

It you make your terms generic enough there isn't much that escapes your grasp.

Re:lot of record breaking floods lately (1)

LetterRip (30937) | about 2 years ago | (#37753762)

But not so long ago we had to be scared of the Global Climate Warming Change Monster because it was going to cause droughts, not floods. It only changed to causing floods after floods started hitting the news.

Actually flooding and droughts have been expected from the beginning. There is greater total energy which results in greater evaporation both over land and over ocean. Thus those areas that recieve modest rain fall historically end up with higher rates of evaporation leading to more frequent droughts, and those areas that have high rain fall historically get more frequent and stronger rains leading to more flooding.

The only ones who thought it was just droughts that would happen had little or no understanding of the science.

Re:lot of record breaking floods lately (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37752810)

Your ignorance is showing. What people debate is whether or not humans are having a measurable impact on climate change.

People generally agree that the global climate changes, that's not much of a question.

Re:lot of record breaking floods lately (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37752892)

Attaching significance to one or more floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc just feeds the doubt machine. It turns people off because they aren't inclined to believe in climate change. Instead people need to be educated, not humiliated when they don't understand (or want to) the science behind climate change. When you take the self-righteous moral high ground and use a poor attempt at sarcasm, you also just allow people to tune you out. Instead of acting like one of the obnoxious fundamentalists, attempt to learn why people don't understand, and refute it with facts.

I realize this is difficult for leftists and neocons to understand. It's probably why you don't have any friends either.

Re:lot of record breaking floods lately (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37752984)

This would be SOOOOOOOO funny if 28% of the US voting populace (i.e. the Tea Party) wasn't taking you seriously. They really don't see the sarcasm. That's scary. Right now, 7/9 republican candidates for president in 2012 say either "the science isn't settled" or "it's a liberal hoax" and they're not grinning or holding back laughter when they say it. They genuinely believe this isn't an issue.

By the way, for those who might not realize it, the following statements ARE sarcasm:

Not to mention, one of the remaining candidates, the interweb's favorite son (despite him taking multiple stances that are anti-internet) Ron Paul has stated repeatedly that, even though he believes in Global Warming/Climate Change, he believes the US is no more to blame than any other nation. Sure, US citizens operate over 80% of the motor vehicles on the face of the planet on US soil, despite being only around 7% of the total world population, but of course, we're not 80%, 70%, or even 40% to blame for the problem!

This is where the sarcasm ends, guys. Just in case that wasn't obvious to you. Yes, I mean you, Tea Party Republicans.

So while I applaud your witty comment (and would gladly mod it up if I was willing to register...) I feel like it's worth mentioning that this is only funny in context. In the real world, crazy, insane, batshit stupid people are trying their dead level best to take over control of the government which is responsible for the single largest share of the pollution that's causing these sorts of disasters. In another 50 or 100 years, when the world has become an uninhabitable wasteland and 20 humans barely escape to the moon to wait out while the world tears itself apart and reforges itself for the next 10 millenniums, they're not going to find this humorous at all.

Re:lot of record breaking floods lately (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#37753308)

I think that countries that have huge clouds of smog are probably polluting just a tad bit more than we are. Such as China.

We might consume more energy than any other country on earth, but we do currently attempt to do it cleanly.

Re:lot of record breaking floods lately (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37753134)

Floods have always been common. That is why man has been building dams, dykes, causeways, aqueducts and and all manner of other water control systems for thousands of years.

Re:lot of record breaking floods lately (1)

SilverJets (131916) | about 2 years ago | (#37753302)

Good thing cities built on a river delta never flood or we'd be in....oh...wait a minute.

Re:lot of record breaking floods lately (1)

Funk_dat69 (215898) | about 2 years ago | (#37753598)

Not to mention the record breaking droughts in Texas and the SW.

The data does suggest a global warming trend, but some weather shifts are normal. Just because floods wiped out *your* house this year doesn't mean the world is ending and it's all Fox News fault. In this case, the Pacific has been cooler than normal, which changes the jet streams. Which pushes moisture in the air in different ways. It's happened before and will happen again.
Just don't tell that to the dinosaurs.

Talk about putting all your eggs in one basket. (0)

scottbomb (1290580) | about 2 years ago | (#37752498)

Dumbasses.

Re:Talk about putting all your eggs in one basket. (-1, Offtopic)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 2 years ago | (#37752642)

So 25% equals all now? Maybe the mirror would help you find the actual dumbass involved with your post.

Re:Talk about putting all your eggs in one basket. (0)

scottbomb (1290580) | about 2 years ago | (#37752786)

Read the article. Seagate: 60% of their manufacturing. Toshiba: 50%. Over half of their business at the mercy of the weather in Thailand. Sounds like a pretty stupid decision to me.

Dumbass.

Re:Talk about putting all your eggs in one basket. (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about 2 years ago | (#37753638)

No kidding, maybe they should keep other plants open for instances like this. Why there is a Seagate plant just about 10 miles from me that they pretty much stopped production at. Maybe they should ramp production back over there. The upside is that the people in this area will once again be able to afford hard drives.

Boost for SSDs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37752540)

Shortages usually mean higher prices. And if spinning platters become more expensive, more people will turn to solid state instead.

Seems like WD and mother nature just handed the flash memory makers a big win.

Re:Boost for SSDs (2)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#37752570)

Shortages usually mean higher prices. And if spinning platters become more expensive, more people will turn to solid state instead.

Yeah, prices only have to go up about a factor of a hundred and that 3TB SSD will finally be competitive with my 3TB HDD.

Say Hello To Eternal Price Hikes (1)

RobinEggs (1453925) | about 2 years ago | (#37752550)

Great. Another industry that can blame massive price increases on some sort of natural disaster or political instability, and conveniently leave prices there when the danger has passed.

How long do you think it will take for prices to come back down once all of these plants are repaired or replaced? Will they ever come down? Southeast asian semi-conductor manufacturing is already rife with price-fixing and other grossly anti-competitive practices. Throw in this flooding which, albeit temporarily, provides a real excuse for some short supply and weakened competition and I bet we'll never hear the end of it.

Re:Say Hello To Eternal Price Hikes (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 2 years ago | (#37752608)

Call me when you refuse a raise or bonus at work and tell your boss you'd rather work at your old salary. Prices are sticky, it's a fact of life. You are just as guilty as every other human on the planet.

Re:Say Hello To Eternal Price Hikes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37752822)

Horrible analogy. Think overtime... sometimes, certain situations occur where you temporarily get paid more. The next week when you don't go over time, you don't get to keep your higher rate...

Re:Say Hello To Eternal Price Hikes (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 2 years ago | (#37753038)

No that's not true. Gas is still selling at $3.50 a gallon (or whatever the price is in your neighborhood). The price will only come down when people actually stop buying it, not when people just complain about it.

Re:Say Hello To Eternal Price Hikes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37753624)

Call me when you refuse a raise or bonus at work and tell your boss you'd rather work at your old salary. Prices are sticky, it's a fact of life. You are just as guilty as every other human on the planet.

What's your number? I just tried to turn down 4 hours of time and a half pay, but the company wouldn't let me (something about some Law somewhere).

Re:Say Hello To Eternal Price Hikes (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 2 years ago | (#37752652)

You really think HDD manufacturers can afford to raise and keep raised prices with SSD makers breathing down their necks? Yeah, I just don't see that happening. The only advantage HDD makers have now is the price/byte ratio is so low for them. They raise that, and they will die even faster than they are now.

Re:Say Hello To Eternal Price Hikes (1)

Dwedit (232252) | about 2 years ago | (#37753426)

When SSDs get to $80 for 2TB, let me know. They are nowhere near that price/byte ratio.

Re:Say Hello To Eternal Price Hikes (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 2 years ago | (#37752742)

Did all manufacturers get hit by the flood? If not, lawsuits of price fixing might follow if they all start to increase prices for no reason.

Re:Say Hello To Eternal Price Hikes (3, Informative)

demonbug (309515) | about 2 years ago | (#37752848)

Did all manufacturers get hit by the flood? If not, lawsuits of price fixing might follow if they all start to increase prices for no reason.

Lol. You do realize that a 25% reduction in output means the same demand must be met by fewer manufacturers, right? When demand remains constant and supply suddenly decreases, the natural market reaction is a price increase until demand decreases to match supply (or until supply recovers).

Sure, the other manufacturers may be able to increase supply somewhat to counter this, but prices are bound to increase in the short term. Not due to price fixing, but due to normal market forces.

Re:Say Hello To Eternal Price Hikes (1)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | about 2 years ago | (#37753014)

But they can all increase prices in response to increased demand with no problem. As long as they don't all appear to do so in a coordinated way.

Re:Say Hello To Eternal Price Hikes (1)

bws111 (1216812) | about 2 years ago | (#37753744)

Raising prices because you can (ie there is more demand than supply) is not price fixing, no matter how many manufacturers do it. Price fixing generally happens when supply is greater than demand, and the 'competitors' agree not to compete, in order to keep the prices high. A flood wiping out 25% of production is not likely to lead to an oversupply situation, so put your conspiracy theories away.

Re:Say Hello To Eternal Price Hikes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37752764)

Who's gonna pay for the lost of money while the plants are offline if not the customers. These business need to recoup the losses so those raised prices are rarely decreased after a major event. Gradual price reduction does happen (provided enough competition) but usually too slow for anyone to notice. New products will generally replaced the highly priced products eventually anyways before loss is recouped. 5 to 8 months downtime is a hugh loss for a manufacturing plant where they live on razor thin margins. Not to mention ongoing costs and repair costs they have to pay and deal with their current workers which no longer has a place to work at (a blow if they lose current workforce training and expertise, basically experience, but a high cost to keep them as few can live without a job for that time frame).

shortage and price hike too (1)

CheshireDragon (1183095) | about 2 years ago | (#37752558)

The prices are going to skyrocket. Anyone remember about a decade ago when the earthquake knocked out the memory manufacturers? RAM shot up in price x.x

Good thing I stocked up on HDD this year. Now my dream PC can be built in Feb. =D

It is not just WD that is affected by the floods (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37752916)

There are a good number of Tech Manufacturing Plants all or partially under water in Thailand.

Nikon makes most of its Consumer DSLR's there and the plant is out of action. With thait other big plant in Sendai still operating at reduced levels after the Tsuami, quite a bit of stock is going to become hard to find.

So, this opens up a nice opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37753392)

Good excuse to change to solid state

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