Gigabytes vs. gibibytes class action suit nears end

A long-running California lawsuit over whether all megabytes and gigabytes are created equal may have reached its end on Friday. The class action lawsuit against Kodak, Sandisk, Lexar Media, and other memory card makers alleges that the defendants intentionally misrepresented the capacity of their flash memory devices by using decimal definitions, in which a megabyte is 1,000,000 bytes. The suit says a binary definition is appropriate, meaning that one megabyte equals 1,048,576 bytes and that the memory card sizes were overstated by 4 percent to 5 percent.

But as capacity grows, the differences become more significant (technically, the ratio between the binary and decimal representations increases). This explains why your new terabyte drive isn't as capacious as you thought it might be. A decimal terabyte is roughly 10 percent smaller than the binary equivalent of 1,099,511,627,776. Here's more background on why computers work this way.

So the class action lawyers sued five flash memory card makers, alleging breach of contract, fraud, and violations of California's unfair competition laws.

In a strict standards sense, the companies were probably right, the decimal metric prefixes were accurate when applied to removable storage, and customers shouldn't have grown used to the near-equivalence. But the attorneys decided to settle and reached an agreement: some customers would get a 5 percent refund, while all would get a 10 percent discount from the companies' online stores. Another part of the settlement was to disclose that decimal prefixes were being used.

The class action lawyers at the Pasadena firm of Kendrick & Nutley and the San Diego firm of Kendrick, Bonas & Nutley got rich, or at least richer: they got a check for $2.38 million. Four people objected to the settlement and filed appeals roughly a year ago. One claim was that the 5 percent refund amounts to only a few dollars and was insignificant. Another was that the fees handed to the class action lawyers were too high.

But a three-judge panel of the California Court of Appeal's First District rejected those arguments on Friday and upheld the settlement. At this point it's reasonable to note that there actually are terms that avoid all this confusion, and those include IEEE 1541 terms gibibyte (1,073,741,824 bytes) and tebibyte (1,099,511,627,776 bytes, or 1,024 gibibytes).

Source: CNET

Tags: Kodak, SanDisk

Add comment

Your name:
Sign in with:
Your comment:

Enter code:

E-mail (not required)
E-mail will not be disclosed to the third party

Last news

Consumer group recommends iPhone 8 over anniversary model
LTE connections wherever you go and instant waking should come to regular PCs, too
That fiction is slowly becoming a reality
The Snapdragon 845 octa-core SoC includes the Snapdragon X20 LTE modem
Human moderators can help make YouTube a safer place for everyone
Google says Progressive Web Apps are the future of app-like webpages
All 2018 models to sport the 'notch'
The biggest exchange in South Korea, where the BTC/KRW pair is at $14,700 now
The Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Review
The evolution of the successful smartphone, now with a waterproof body and USB Type-C
February 7, 2017 /
Samsung Galaxy TabPro S - a tablet with the Windows-keyboard
The first Windows-tablet with the 12-inch display Super AMOLED
June 7, 2016 /
Keyboards for iOS
Ten iOS keyboards review
July 18, 2015 /
Samsung E1200 Mobile Phone Review
A cheap phone with a good screen
March 8, 2015 / 4
Creative Sound Blaster Z sound card review
Good sound for those who are not satisfied with the onboard solution
September 25, 2014 / 2
Samsung Galaxy Gear: Smartwatch at High Price
The first smartwatch from Samsung - almost a smartphone with a small body
December 19, 2013 /

News Archive



Do you use microSD card with your phone?
or leave your own version in comments (4)