Gotta love the BBC’s tech coverage. The linked article talks about attempts at Imperial College to make an optical disk with a terabyte of storage capacity (equivalent to about 120 DVDs, or 240 DVD-Rs). The Beeb say you could fit 472 hours of video on this, equivalent to the whole of the Simpsons.

Now, there are currently 15 series of the Simpsons, each with around 24 episodes lasting for around 25 minutes each, making a total of 150 hours of telly. It’s possible the show will run for another 30 seasons (and presumably season 16 has already been made), but even so this seems a little presumptious.

More irritatingly, the article ignores the most important change in digital video since DVD launched – which is that compression technology has improved so much you can now squeeze 25 minutes of DVD quality video into less than 200MB, so you only need 72GB, nine DVDs, or 18 DVD-Rs, to store the whole of the Simpsons anyway. If you go for VHS quality instead of DVD quality, you can cut the file size down to 50MB, which gets the entire show onto 2.5 DVDs anyway. And by 2010, compression will have improved still further, by the power of Moore’s Law.

I guess the author’s suffering from DVD-price-based brainwashing (‘in the crazy future, you’ll be able to get £1000s worth of telly on a single disk… what do you mean you can do that already?’)

(via Insert Joke Here)

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5 thoughts on “Twazzocks

  1. well, you can’t blame them for TRYING to keep up with technology. And although you may know what you’re talking about, about compression software etc. the general public who will be watching/reading the beed article havent yet been exposed to such things, therefore making their report more meaningful to the majority.

    but your comments are more than fair, Id say, and I can see why it can be irritating for you. nice post though.

  2. Surely it can’t be economically viable to post comment spam manually, tailoring it to individual blog articles?

    (if you’re not comment spamming, thanks for the response and sorry for the accusation. I’d appreciate it if you could use a slightly less, err, commercial alias on any future comments. Cheers.)

  3. Spamming scum.

    But anyway…WTF? If you can’t blame people – journalists! – for speaking with authority on something about which they know nothing, and uttering utter bollocks, what can you blame them for? Yeesh.

  4. Bizarre, isn’t it? It’s sort of semi-spam. It’s relevant (if a bit content-free) but still obviously there to garner Page rank.

    When I added "captchas" to Downing Street Says to stop Movable Type spam, we still got a bit, from people who were manually filling in the bloody thing for each post. Dozens of times, in some cases. It can’t possibly be economic (even if general comment spam has an economic return, which I rather doubt), so I guess it must simply be malicious.

    I’m becoming increasingly convinced that a lot of email spam is actually malicious — after all, it’s not worth going to a lot of effort to get around people’s individual filters, since the very fact that they have filters suggests that they aren’t going to be interested in the spam anyway. And yet spammers are trying their best….

    (Yes, I know that the counterargument to this is that spam filters are also installed by the ISP. But judging by the spams I get, a lot of it now seems to incorporate tricks — not very effective ones, usually — which are supposed to fool "Bayesian" filters. "Bayesian" spam filtering is by its nature personal; you have to train the filter with your mail and your spam so that it recognises both. A user who is going to even that rather trivial amount of effort to never see any spam is really, really unlikely to buy anything from the 0.1% or whatever that get through.)

  5. aka commercial rent recovery.

    In response, not defense mind you, to the comments that followed my initial post, in particular Chris Lightfoot who said, "obviously there to garner Page Rank".

    Actually, Chris, its not.

    And to follow along Jackie D’s thread of journalists (and spammers) making comments that they know nothing about, I’d relate that to the Anti-Spammers out there, who often rebuke this method of (yes, unethical) website promotion without actually knowing the TRUE reasons why! "obviously there to garner page rank" is one such absolute rubbish comment – written by someone who doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    Therefore I shall enlighten you as to why I myself take the care, and time, to try and respect every conversation I run through, and respect its owners. I am of the opinion that if I can sacrifice my time and effort to make a meaningful post in relation to the ongoing conversation, and that is truly what I try and do, then my ‘victims’ can return a somewhat respectable favour, as the honourable john b did with regards to mine.

    Alas, to get back on track, my comment was not made to garner page rank at all, but to increase the search engine position of my site when users search for the ‘commercial alias’ I used in my post. This is an entirely seperate facet of search engines, and is unrelated to Page Rank in itself. I am not trying to justify my actions, for some they are, as you said, just one aspect that makes me spamming scum, I am merely trying to elude to the point that my actions were never intended to harm your blog, your site, in any way, and were genuinely carried out to add to the relevance of the conversation. I respect the blogs I post on, and their owners, and it is up to them to decide how to act.

    In finality, I am not a ‘malicious spammer’, but that is an opinion and I would not hold anything against anyone for thinking so. But to encourage further discussion, would you also regard this kind of ‘spam’ as malicious if the website I was promoting was the Cancer Relief Fund? Or Fathers for Justice? Or even a petition to save desperate people in dire situations? What denotes the border of respectable relevance when it comes to ‘malicious spam’?

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