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The Weight of an e-Book

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the because-he-can dept.

Science 243

whoever57 writes "According to Prof Kubiatowicz from Berkeley, each time an additional book is downloaded to an e-reader, the mass of the e-reader increases. The effect doesn't really make the devices more difficult to carry: the professor calculates that 4GB of books would increase its weight by a billionth of a billionth of a gram— about the mass of a single virus or DNA molecule."

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The most pointless /. post evar... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37891806)

Really...

Re:The most pointless /. post evar... (2)

TheInternetGuy (2006682) | more than 2 years ago | (#37891840)

Not really.
It prevented me from posting "First Post!!! suckers!!!" and instead post something semi-meaningful.

So it turns out.... (4, Funny)

TheInternetGuy (2006682) | more than 2 years ago | (#37891814)

So it turns out, pirating is stealing after all?

Re:So it turns out.... (1)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 2 years ago | (#37891912)

So it turns out, pirating is stealing after all?

Well yes... but not because the weight of your e-reader increases. See... you're not taking the publisher's e-reader weight from them... you're merely cloning their e-reader weight onto yours.

Re:So it turns out.... (2)

TheInternetGuy (2006682) | more than 2 years ago | (#37891970)

So if I understand this correctly. If I were to copy , (using the cp or copy command) some copyrighted files from friends PC to my USB.

That would be mere cloning / copyright infringement?

While if I were to use the mv or move command that would be stealing?

OK, got it. Thanks.

Re:So it turns out.... (1)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892026)

While if I were to use the mv or move command that would be stealing?

Still not quite, as that will only remove the file's listing from the index.... the data will still be on the drive. Seems like you are gonna have some trouble legitimately stealing these files.

Re:So it turns out.... (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892296)

The obvious method is to steal the drive itsself. If you want to be a purist and steal only the data, you can leave an empty drive of the same model in it's place.

Re:So it turns out.... (2)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892344)

Not only that, even if it were deleted, then the electrons that make up his copy are clearly different electrons. He's not stolen, he's copied, and then caused criminal damage.

Re:So it turns out.... (1)

justforgetme (1814588) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892066)

real pirates use scp [die.net]

Re:So it turns out.... (2)

TheInternetGuy (2006682) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892102)

Is that some new brand of wooden peg legs?

Re:So it turns out.... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37892428)

#!/usr/bin/bash

# steal.sh

cp $1 $2

dd if=/dev/zero of=$1

Re:So it turns out.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37891930)

Atoms! One, two, three, four... Six of them! Take him away!

Re:So it turns out.... (2)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#37891954)

Not if you pay for the electricity that is used for all these writes onto the media.

Re:So it turns out.... (2)

TheInternetGuy (2006682) | more than 2 years ago | (#37891998)

My mom pays for all basement electricity, you insensitive clod!

Re:So it turns out.... (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892016)

True dat. But then, since she lets you use it, you're still not technically stealing.

Re:So it turns out.... (3, Funny)

TheInternetGuy (2006682) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892032)

You mean, she knows I'm down here?

Re:So it turns out.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37892048)

The smell of ramen and body odor can give one away... eventually.

Re:So it turns out.... (1)

matunos (1587263) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892122)

I don't know about you, but I pay my electric bill. Usually.

Re:So it turns out.... (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892520)

Only if you draw that energy you use to trap the electrons without permission. Then, while pirating, you are stealing from whoever supplies that energy. Of course that theft will remain even if you acquire a copyright license for the work.

1st post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37891824)

how is this even possible

Re:1st post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37892194)

Well, it clearly wasn't since you didn't achieve first post

Harddrives? (1)

X-Power (1009277) | more than 2 years ago | (#37891826)

Is this professor claiming the ebooks will disappear if the battery is dead and the electrons are no longer held in position?

There's always a catch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37891830)

A billionth of a billionth of a gram here and there and soon you're carrying around whole bookshelves worth of e-reader!

Re:There's always a catch (1)

justforgetme (1814588) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892080)

it's that last billionth of a billionth of a gram that I just can't loose...

Re:There's always a catch (1)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892418)

The point that they are effectively massless, though, is huge for big collectors or collectors in expensive real-estate areas (NYC or Tokyo).

Is this news? (2)

neonv (803374) | more than 2 years ago | (#37891848)

I want my 30 seconds back ...

Re:Is this news? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37891886)

Only your wife can do that, sorry mate.

Re:Is this news? (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892356)

Don't read the site aimed at nerds if you don't want to read articles that are cool, interesting, fun and ultimately meaningless. This is what slashdot is for ;).

Not true at all. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37891858)

From TFA:

Although the electrons were already present, keeping them still rather than allowing them to float around takes up extra energy – about a billionth of a microjoule per bit of data.

No matter whether any bit is currently being used or not, it still has a value. It's not allowed to "float around".

Re:Not true at all. (1)

AdamHaun (43173) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892072)

I think they're talking about flash memory, which does involve confining excess electrons in an isolated piece of material (the "floating gate") to produce zeros.

Re:Not true at all. (3, Interesting)

niftydude (1745144) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892292)

I think they're talking about flash memory, which does involve confining excess electrons in an isolated piece of material (the "floating gate") to produce zeros.

Yes - but if the flash memory is formatted - it would be all zeros already.

So if the book is downloaded - all the extra ones created should release the excess electrons, and actually make the book lighter!!!

However - if the memory was quick formatted - unwritten memory would be randomly 1 or 0, and adding an ebook would typically keep the same average of 1s and 0s - meaning the reader would on average stay the same weight.

Re:Not true at all. (3, Informative)

rdebath (884132) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892400)

Flash memory cannot be 'quick formatted' each block has to be properly erased before use because writing can only turn 1's into 0's. (Obviously, the filesystem on a flash device can be quick formatted; but a recent OS will tell the flash about this, using the "TRIM" command, and the flash will erase all the blocks anyway.)

Some flash drives even understand the NTFS filesystem well enough to erase unallocated blocks without help; but that seems a little dangerous to me.

BTW: What Kubiatowicz seems to be saying is that pulling electrons from the substrate into the gates of a flash drive makes it heavier. So erasing the blocks, ie shorting them to ground, makes them lighter. So while downloading a book could make the device lighter, erasing the device will make it lighter still.

this is the most retarded thing i've ever read (4, Informative)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#37891860)

in other news, ipods get heavier as you fill them.

maybe "the singularity" will happen when the internet gets so heavy the Earth collapses into a black hole?

Re:this is the most retarded thing i've ever read (2, Funny)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#37891876)

Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

Re:this is the most retarded thing i've ever read (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37892214)

Aren't you over your weight limit? :-D

Re:this is the most retarded thing i've ever read (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892314)

Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

Trying to accelerate the process I see...

Re:this is the most retarded thing i've ever read (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37891984)

no, you..

it's interesting that digital media have mass..

Re:this is the most retarded thing i've ever read (1)

Zouden (232738) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892136)

"in other news, ipods get heavier as you fill them."
Yes, they do. This is clear to anyone familiar with Maxwell. This professor has come to the answer a different way, via Einstein.

Re:this is the most retarded thing i've ever read (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37892172)

Surprizingly, when I piss on e-reader, it also becomes heavy.

Hmm... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37891874)

So in the far future 1 x 10^18 GB of data is a gram.

That's interesting?

Also, if the, I guess electrical signals? add mass the earth keeps getting a tiny tiny bit heavier every time new data is made?

Grasping at straws here, people. I think that's vaguely interesting though.

Re:Hmm... (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892156)

It's not that information has weight, but the fact that information has to be physically stored somehow, and the way we do it now is messing with electron states (flash memory), but there's no theoretical limit on how much energy we need to store one bit, the limit is our current technology.

This just in: Whatever... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37891900)

This just in: Whatever...

Real units? (5, Insightful)

GreennMann (1525279) | more than 2 years ago | (#37891904)

"billionth of a billionth of a gram" That is painful to read. How about scientific notation? 1*10^-18 grams Or the use of a prefix? 1 atto gram

Re:Real units? (4, Insightful)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 2 years ago | (#37891986)

Blame samzenpus. My submission said 1e-18.

Re:Real units? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37892084)

Sorry to break it to you but billionth of a billionth makes more intuitive sense than any variation of scientific notation of the quantity.

Re:Real units? (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892124)

"billionth of a billionth of a gram" That is painful to read. How about scientific notation? 1*10^-18 grams Or the use of a prefix? 1 atto gram

I don't understand, how many library of congresses is this?

Re:Real units? (2)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892250)

"billionth of a billionth of a gram" That is painful to read. How about scientific notation? 1*10^-18 grams Or the use of a prefix? 1 atto gram

I fear you have just validated the original author's choice. :-)

Where's the actual claim? (2)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 2 years ago | (#37891946)

This just links to a Telegraph article talking about something that was talked about in a New York Times article, with no link to either that or the original source. Come on, Slashdot.

Oblig (1)

AlienIntelligence (1184493) | more than 2 years ago | (#37891964)

How many Library of Congresses is that?

-AI

Re:Oblig (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37892012)

Libraries of Congress.

Re:Oblig (1)

DrVxD (184537) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892424)

Don't you people understand dimensional analysis?

LoC is a measure of information content - this guy is talking about mass. They're different.

Ig Noble (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37891976)

Already found an Ig Noble Awardee for next year...

Conservation of mass/energy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37891988)

This should be OBVIOUS, but adding energy increases mass. DUH. By a significant amount? Absolutely not. Think of the way NAND works.
(Why do you think batteries and NAND flash wear out? )

Re:Conservation of mass/energy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37892224)

This should be OBVIOUS, but adding energy increases mass. DUH. By a significant amount? Absolutely not. Think of the way NAND works.
(Why do you think batteries and NAND flash wear out? )

What kind of nonsense is this ?
Take an icecube and weight it. Heat it until it liquifies and weight the amount of water again.
Notice something ? Yeah it weighs the same.

In any case the Kindle is not a relativistic device, so the whole E=mc^2 thing goes out the window.

Re:Conservation of mass/energy (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892542)

I don't even know where to start. There is no such thing as "a relativistic device". Everything experiences relativistic effects - even your hypothetical ice cube - it's just that under most circumstances they are so small that you can neglect them. The ice cube does indeed weigh less when it has less thermal energy, albeit by such a small amount that you probably couldn't build a conventional scale to measure it.

Wait a minute... (1)

BluBrick (1924) | more than 2 years ago | (#37891992)

If I delete an e-book off my reader, I actually destroy matter? And no energy is released in its stead?



It seems that E != mc^2 after all!

Re:Wait a minute... (1)

Anonymous Cowar (1608865) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892108)

matter != mass.

energy stored (and accounted for as mass) goes to heat, as soon as your ebook reader cools down, the added "mass" is dissipated as entropy.

You're saying that because you can calculate the wavelength of a mac truck barreling down the highway, that it should behave as a wave when meeting an oncoming "wave" that is barreling down the highway. Which it doesn't, thus disproving a photon's behavior as a particle on the quantum scale.

Thus successful "troll" (attempt at humor) is successful and this reply is WOOOSHed...

Re:Wait a minute... (2)

ttong (2459466) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892154)

That's not how woosh works, you don't woosh your own reply.

Re:Wait a minute... (1)

DrVxD (184537) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892440)

If I had mod points, that'd get a +1 for the quantum Mac truck...

Apologies to Benicio del Toro... (1)

Empiric (675968) | more than 2 years ago | (#37891994)

So, at 21 Grams, how many terabytes would our souls contain? ;)

Re:Apologies to Benicio del Toro... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892530)

Bah. Your soul is weightless. It is not matter, nor energy. It exists, but is a name for something that is entirely metaphysical, rather than physical.

Your soul is your personhood... or your "youness". It is not your personality, nor any aspect of your consciousness in particular, although it is frequently thought of as intrinsically coupled with these. It exists from the time that you could be equally said to exist, and will exist eternally - it can no more be destroyed than the past itself could be changed from the perspective of anyone living in the future. Like mathematical axioms, it has no physically definable properties, but to assert that your soul does not exist is equivalent to asserting that that you don't even exist yourself, because your soul *IS* you. It can't die with your body because your death will not alter that you will have existed, and your "youness" will inherently exist into perpetuity.

Woosh (1)

walkerp1 (523460) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892004)

I think I'm missing something here. Is there a state besides 1 and 0 in the memory? A null maybe, or an "I don't care"? Suppose for example that my e-Book's memory is a random jumble. I can query it twice and get the exact same jumble yes? Now I go and publish that jumble, promoting the existing data on my e-Book to information. Does the weight suddenly change?

Re:Woosh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37892040)

I think I'm missing something here. Is there a state besides 1 and 0 in the memory? A null maybe, or an "I don't care"? Suppose for example that my e-Book's memory is a random jumble. I can query it twice and get the exact same jumble yes? Now I go and publish that jumble, promoting the existing data on my e-Book to information. Does the weight suddenly change?

Depends. Do you have a Kindle Classic or Kindle Quantum?

Re:Woosh (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892144)

The thing that you're missing is that 1s weigh more than 0s (or perhaps the reverse, I don't care enough to check). Since the memory will be initialized to all 0s, when you write some of those bits to 1, the mass increases.

Re:Woosh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37892188)

The thing that you're missing is that 1s weigh more than 0s (or perhaps the reverse, I don't care enough to check). Since the memory will be initialized to all 0s, when you write some of those bits to 1, the mass increases.

Yeah, maybe this professor will tell us that a ton of feathers is lighter than a ton of steel.
Energy and mass are EQUIVALENT, they ARE NOT EQUAL.

Re:Woosh (1)

walkerp1 (523460) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892206)

Agreed artor3, if that is the case then I can buy it. I didn't see an indication of that being the thrust of TFA though. I got the impression from this section, "Although the electrons were already present, keeping them still rather than allowing them to float around takes up extra energy – about a billionth of a microjoule per bit of data", that something rather more subtle was being discussed.

Re:Woosh (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892324)

1s are obviously skinny, and 0s fat. It should be clear which one weighs more. The 0s also use more pixels on a display, again proving they are heavier than 1s.

Re:Woosh (1)

Mia'cova (691309) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892192)

Empty space isn't a random jumble. Flash memory needs to be erased before it can be written to. So in this case, yes, there is a 3rd state. For more info, do a quick search for the trim command. Reading up on that will give you a general idea of what's going on here. That said, I don't know what makes up the difference in weight. I'm guessing either some states have a few extra electrons or it picks up a few simply by performing writes, kinda like it's getting dirty over time. I don't know enough about the physical mechanics of flash though to say...

Re:Woosh (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892328)

Sigh... Ok, in the null state, some electrons will have an up spin and others down. They will be close enough to each other in count to cancel out. BUT, when you assign a state, the electrons will have up spin. Up is away from the Earth. This force will decrease the weight of the e-Reader. Conversely, if the electron has a down spin, it will push the e-Reader towards the Earth, increasing weight. You cannot correct this as electrons are like little gyroscopes. Down spin is down spin.

Doing my best to dumb down America.

Energy is not mass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37892008)

I thought E=mc^2 was formula for energy/mass transformation. I don't believe it attributes a mass to energy. A photon has an energy but no mass for example.
The fact that the kindle uses more power (note that it's power, not energy) when there is more data stored in it (and I don't even know if that's true) doesn't mean it weighs heavier...

Re:Energy is not mass (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892528)

Mass-energy equivalence is exactly what it sounds like - the rest mass and total energy of a body are exactly the same thing. You know in sci-fi, when they convert something big into energy so it disappears into a little box and they can just carry it around? Doesn't work. The mass would stay exactly the same.

Parasite Cysts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37892010)

That's why some people call schools, parasite cysts.
Parasites like teachers who have no other job other than stealing peoples money. All in the name of garbage science like string/rope/fur theory.
    End the School

Re:Parasite Cysts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37892490)

I'm not so sure. I think we'd be better off ending paranoid idiots like you.

Science? (4, Insightful)

No, I am Spratacus! (2281684) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892030)

This belongs in the Idle section, at best, but probably not at all on /.

Does he not know how flash memory works? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37892054)

He's Probably wrong, since flash memory usually stores new bits by draining *away* charge. So, therefore the newly written bits have negative mass, since they represent a smaller total stored energy for the device. Absolute effect is still insignificant - we don't use flash memory to store energy.

Re:Does he not know how flash memory works? (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892164)

He's Probably wrong

Probably, but "Berkeley professor wrong" doesn't make as nearly as interesting a title as "E-readers get heavier with each book". Even if he's right the title is so horribly misleading that it's wrong. Next up, butterfly causes hurricane [wikipedia.org]

No Worries! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37892078)

It will get lighter as the battery wears down!

been there done that.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37892090)

the 21 grams Soul.... [wikipedia.org]

Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37892110)

Add some stuff written by Bill O'Reilly and all the other usual suspects.

That amount of hot air should easily cancel it out.

Ratio of 1s to 0s? (1)

gnetwerker (526997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892120)

Everyone knows that "One" bits are heavier than "Zero" bits. Now Amazon will have to tell us what the ratio of '1' bits to '0' bits is for any given e-book.

Re:Ratio of 1s to 0s? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37892270)

Wait. Wait. You're confusing me. I always heard that the 0's are heavier than the 1's because it takes more pixels to display them, and because the word zero has more letters than the word one.

Re:Ratio of 1s to 0s? (1)

dohzer (867770) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892282)

What about if you use an inverted logic file format? Does your e-reader get lighter when you download something?

Re:Ratio of 1s to 0s? (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892348)

And how about the evil bit? How much does that weigh?

Re:Ratio of 1s to 0s? (1)

witherstaff (713820) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892456)

that matters on the ebook and the date. If you have a copy of the necronomicon on Halloween it's going to be really heavy. Christmas? It's light reading.

Ahah! (1)

Pence128 (1389345) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892132)

Data does weight!

We need some new scientists here. (1)

Narmacil (1189367) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892198)

I'm not sure they're understanding how anything works, it seems like they just figured OH HEY ELECTRONS HAVE MASS I MUST BE SMRT. Here's why.

When you download an E-book from amazon, electrons aren't directly transferred to your tablet, a memory chip is burned, or bits are flipped, to represent the book in memory. (so either a magnetic or optical piece of information is stored by changing the configuration of mass that is already present) This would if anything remove mass from the e-reader, because electrons from the battery that are used to change the configuration of the memory would be lost as heat energy.

now when you charge the battery it might gain a little mass, but electrons don't just hang around once they flow in from the interwebs (that's not how it works :D)
I'm fairly certain some people need to go back to school, and then those people who wrote an article need to go back to journalism school.

Sincerely, your friendly neighborhood rocket engineer :D

Re:We need some new scientists here. (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892352)

But if it uses flash memory then electrons are indeed stored. It's basically a sequence of capacitors, where the right bits get charged.

abc (-1)

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0 is heavier than 1? (1)

Dwedit (232252) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892260)

In freshly-cleared flash memory, data starts out as FF bytes, all 1s. Then bits are "programmed" to turn them into zeroes. Then when you need to flip them back again, you erase an entire block of memory to all 1s again, then program new 0s onto it.

So is this just an example of 0s leaving more electrons on the system than 1s would? The only weight difference is due to number of electrons, so this is really small.

Re:0 is heavier than 1? (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892312)

No, it has to do with the idea that one state of memory has a higher energy than the other state, and that storing an e-book (or any data for that sake) on a non-volatile memory increases the energy state of that memory. And since energy is mass according to Einstein, the mass of the memory increases.

You can not just increase the number of electrons on a device, as that would result in a net negative charge. Same for batteries: there are no electrons added, just electrons are moved from one atom to another while charging, and moved back when discharging. With the same reasoning one could argue that batteries increase in mass when charged as they take up energy - a probably much larger quantity of mass as the energies involved are so much greater.

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Related article: (2)

6Yankee (597075) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892272)

Under TFA: "Amazon Kindle review: the e-reader for the mass market"

Keeping them still instead of moving around... (1)

djsmiley (752149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892384)

Well... no, because if i had electrons just "moving" around on my storage, with their varying negative and positive powers of persuasion surely I'd be experiencing data loss?

And I'm not.... therefore I can conlude that both the 0s AND the 1s aren't moving. No weight change

Someone care to explain why I'm not correct? (And do I now get to call myself a Professor too?)

Dwarfed by gesture effect (1)

mattr (78516) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892404)

For those who didn't TFA, some guy trying to be educational or humorous is reaching to convert energy to mass via e=mc^2 and say that's a significant amount of mass being used to maintain an electron in place to represent a "1" bit.

What about the weight of the energy that was stored in the battery's chemical compound and was used to power the device to download the ebook? Part is dissipated as heat and light emission. So is this scientist assuming a perfect battery, a perfect reversible computational device, and an ESP-driven interface with no visual display? Those photons are heavy too..

What I'm saying is the memory chip is not isolated from its imperfect power source and CPU, and the bits do not magically appear they have to be calculated. Besides which, all this weight is surely dwarfed by the weight of the atoms being rubbed off the device by finger gestures. And lint.

Isn't this bollocks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37892414)

The Kindle is already filled with data. It's just that most of it is meaningless and will get replaced with books.

As a physicist (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892422)

The value depends for sure on the technology used and the temperature. If you use spins aligned in a weak magnetic field which store information e.g at a transition frequency of 1GHz and accept operation at temperatures of some milliKelvins , then you will find that the same information takes only 2*10^-28g:

octave:20> 6.62e-34*1e9*(4e9*8)/(3e8^2)*1e3
ans = 2.3538e-28

This should not be confused with the fundamental limits which are involved.

But constructing the formula for an applicable system Energies as a function of required reset speed, generated field strength, readout speeds, error rates as a function of temperature and available nonlinearities would be an interesting task for an exercise in a physics course on thermodynamics (and in the limit: quantum mechanics).

Or a lot more than... (1)

v1z (126905) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892492)

say - the weight of a single fingerprint? No need to read TFA - the idea that the weight of the reader would predictably change based on the difference beteween a random pattern of bits compared to the almost-random pattern of a compressed binary file... come on!

one books weighs like a virus? (1)

gadget junkie (618542) | more than 2 years ago | (#37892516)

[...]"each time an additional book is downloaded to an e-reader, the mass of the e-reader increases. The effect doesn't really make the devices more difficult to carry: the professor calculates that 4GB of books would increase its weight by a billionth of a billionth of a gram— about the mass of a single virus or DNA molecule."

Damn. I'll never be able to take all my biblioteque with me, it would weigh a ton.
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