back to article Facebook's request to the flash industry: 'Make the worst flash possible'

Flash-memory designers may currently be focused solely on improving speed and endurance, but Facebook's director of capacity engineering and analysis wants something completely different from them. "The Facebook ask of the industry is make the worst flash possible," Facebook's Jason Taylor told his keynote audience at the Flash …

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I'd buy that

...gods only know how many GB cold storage I have sitting around in my closet, on spindles that are old, slow and outdated - but I don't dare throw away, because I might need that data someday.

It would make the missus happy too.

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Happy

Re: I'd buy that

(something caused that to get cut short)

It would make the missus happy too, seeing as how much closet space would be recovered.

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Coat

Re: I'd buy that

"but I don't dare throw away, because I might need that data someday."

No need to worry, 1980's porn has evolved, today we have moving pictures........

PS : I have upgraded, replaced all of my drives, work and home, with SSDs. ( Well except for the the USB archive/backup attached to the NAS). I don't even remember the sound of the click, click, scratch, screech as data is being trawled from the anals of the highly defragged IDE 30 Mb "whopper" of a drive......

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Paris Hilton

Re: I'd buy that

"anals of the highly defragged IDE 30 Mb "whopper" of a drive......"

Hmmm anals and whopper eh? Maybe use annals and big next time...you got Paris all excited.

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Joke

Re: I'd buy that

> (something caused that to get cut short)

It was probably the full stop.

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Re: I'd buy that

"Hmmm anals and whopper eh? Maybe use annals and big next time...you got Paris all excited."

Lol, The spell checker was feeling horny....

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Re: It was probably the full stop

Or a period. That usually causes those kinds of activity to stop for a few days.

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Windows

Lolita on my drive, oh my!

> 1980's porn has evolved

At least the women back then looked like women.

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Anonymous Coward

Let's grumble about the 80s...

"At least the women back then looked like women."

No, that was the 70s. The fake, over-made-up look was already becoming dominant by the 80s, and ironically the overstyled hair and makeup styles of 80s porn look *way* more horribly dated nowadays.

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WTF?

Re: Lolita on my drive, oh my!

"At least the women back then looked like women."

No they all looked like failed Cybil Sheppards, too much make-up, big hair and half the vaseline budget went on covering the camera lens for soft-focus shots!

Now they don't even bother with all that guff, drug up a couple of 15 year-old runaways on Sunset Strip, get them to "act" in a hastily rented house, set up a Nikon D3/Canon 5D3 on a stready-cam shoulder mount and start shooting HD porn! (*)

(*) Note that I'm not an expert on shooting low-budget adult fare, regardless of the investigation I've done when I'm bored!

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Re: I'd buy that @ObSolutions

Tell me, how do you attach a ST-506 or ST-412 drive to a modern machine? You can't even plug in the ISA controller card into any machine built in the last 10 years or so.

I mean, even EIDE and SCSI are disappearing rapidly.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'd buy that

Many years ago, I went through all my old hard drives, user-created CDs and DVDs, SD cards, and USB flash drives, and basically just dumped their contents onto my (at the time) extremely large 1TB hard drive and then erased them and donated them to charity or threw them out, as appropriate.

After the most rudimentary de-duplication by hand (i.e., only copy my user folder from old hard drives, and try not to end up with 18 copies of my entire MP3 collection), the entire unorganized collection ended up being less than 200GB. The process required an adapter to mount a bare hard drive via USB ($20) and maybe 2 afternoons at most. I made a big directory called "backups" with a bunch of subdirectories called e.g. "White SanDisk 2008" and then just copied away.

The benefits are obviously less clutter, plus now I only have one main drive with all my data to secure/back up, plus I can search for documents from 15+ years ago in seconds, plus I'm not worried that if somebody breaks into my home they might find a loose unencrypted drive with valuable personal information. Highly recommended.

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So what he's asking for is...

Write Once, Read Few. These WORF drives could be the Next Generation of backups, reducing the constant trekking from one format to the next, and could be quite good for Enterprise.

Right, I'll go now.

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Go

Re: So what he's asking for is...

Indeed they could, we have a fair bit of rarely used Data we just have to Klingon to.

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Re: So what he's asking for is...

"Write-once, read-never is probably the spec for a lot of this

It's called /dev/null.

Snarky comments aside though, intriguing article.

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: So what he's asking for is...

I'll bet that WORF joke's been in cold storage a while. Maybe in the transporter buffer? Beam ... up Scotty!

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Re: So what he's asking for is...

Make it so...

Yeah I'm leaving now as well...

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Devil

Re: So what he's asking for is...

Good idea. But I think Paramount has a trademark on the name, so you'll need a new one.

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WORN

Write Once, Read Never - I have a stack of these tapes at home - I believe that the complete source code to RSX11-M 4.3 is on one of them.

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Re: WORN

I thought that was mounted at /dev/null.

I put the JBoss logs there, and anything else that wants to write megabytes of garbage I'm never going to look at.

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Re: WORN

My thoughts precisely. Read WORN's datasheet here.

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Re: WORN

Great datasheet, pity it's going to be blown away by modern virtualization technology.

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Isn't it already ?

For a minute I thought this was a dig at Adobe ...

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Re: Isn't it already ?

Yes, it's the return of Punch the Monkey!

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I'd buy that for a dollar!

I have an immediate use for such tech. Has to have long store times and high density, but not at all fussy about speed or re-writes above a few hundred cycles.

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Black Helicopters

Re: I'd buy that for a dollar!

So will the NSA ...

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Holmes

Re: I'd buy that for a dollar!

So will the NSA ...

Erm isn't that what the article was about?

Facebook does with consent what the NSA does without? One and the same............

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How long do you want to keep that data ?

Because, just like magnetic media slowly loses it's magnetic polarisation due to the earths magnetic field,

flash-memory loses it's electrical charge over time.

Okay... it may take 10 to 20 years but still... the data may need to be read and re-written every 5 years or so...

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The BOFH is precognisant

I remember him talking about the magic of WORN drives may years ago

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So he wants write-only memory?

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Holmes

"Write-once, read-never"

But think of all the thousands of pictures of teh kitties!!!

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"The majority of that data will probably be written once and read never – really, it's sad."

You can say that about pretty much all user generated content on the web - Facebook just happens to be storing by far the most of it this write-only shite.

I'd describe the whole of Facebook itself as "very sad", but then I never saw the point of it when it first appeared, and still don't today.

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Re: "The majority of that data will probably be written once and read never – really, it's sad."

You heard 'em, it's the shite pile of stuff you don't want to toss but also never want to deal with.

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Pint

Re: "The majority of that data will probably be written once and read never – really, it's sad."

"I'd describe the whole of Facebook itself as "very sad", but then I never saw the point of it when it first appeared, and still don't today."

Well aren't you the cool one for avoiding it. Here, let me get you started:

- No longer a need to stand and pose while 17 cameras are used so everyone gets a picture of an event

- No need to hope your mates will share pictures of events

- One update and everyone knows the plan, no need to call around, text around etc.

- If plans change everyone sees immediately and nobody is left out of the loop (except you, you're not on FB)

- I don't need to travel 10,000 miles a week or spend hundreds on phone bills to keep in touch with friends

- My photo album is enormous, and I know who is in the pics because they are all tagged, and I can contact them immediately when reminiscing over the photos

- After Uni everyone went separate ways and contact is easily lost. Facebook means I always have an up to date phone directory and email address

- FB groups have replaced Yahoo groups for communities and clubs. It's amazing the people you meet online when you share interests

- Sharing an interesting link with friends

I'm sure there are more, that was just off the top of my head a few things to help you see the point. Of course you're one of the cool kids so will now explain how you can do all of that but using email and ICQ chat in twice the time with half the friends...

Also worth noting that a friend of mine back home often gets left out of things because someone needs to remember to call or text him - everyone else just sees the broadcast and comes to the pub.

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Windows

Re: "The majority of that data will probably be written once and read never – really, it's sad."

@Lusty - I'm old, very old - possibly enough to be your granddad but me and my mates use FB in that way - and its a damn sight easier to get every one to arrive at a damp field somewhere in Europe (either to climb a lump of rock or look at each other's cars) than any other method.

Sorry if I have now made it uncool for you as well.

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@ Zola

Fashionable to hate Facebook, isn't it.

If you've tried it, genuinely don't like it, then fine, I respect that. But, there are about a billion of us (I guess you'd call us idiots) who do have a use for it.

If, however, you're just an old miser who likes to moan about everything, then fuck off back to the good old days of the 19th century, where women and the poor knew their place, England ruled the world, and the only content which was "user generated" was quite literally shit.

(Twitter, on the other hand, even I don't get...)

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@ Timmay: Re: @ Zola

If you've tried it, genuinely don't like it, then fine

Yes I tried it, recently in fact (earlier this year) as I recalled a lot of friends that were raving about it way back in 2010, so I looked up their entries and guess what - not one of them has posted a single update since about 2011/2012.

I looked up about two dozen people and there's just tumble weed rolling through their pages.

I'm sure Facebook has its uses, and appeals to certain groups, but like the guy from Facebook said - "The majority of that data will probably be written once and read never" - which chimes with my personal experience, nobody (I know) is using it any more. They've all moved on, Facebook for them was just a fad.

(Twitter, on the other hand, even I don't get...)

I actually find Twitter quite useful, following people (not necessarily friends) that have interesting opinions or commentary. Although anyone posting more than half a dozen tweets a day will usually get the chop in no short order.

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Just to be clear

The Director of Capacity Engineering at the largest social site on the planet, a company which not just begs to have people constantly upload stuff but actually does everything it can to tie everything about you in a single location has just said that most of it is crap that no one will *ever* see or care about.

The takeaway from this for FB users should be "No one cares. Really, they don't."

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Re: Just to be clear

Upvoted. It makes sense, who the heck has the time to look at all the pictures that all "friends" are uploading like crazy? What matters for Facebook is that the user feels he/she is important and keeps uploading pictures and so on, seeing ads in the same time.

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Re: Just to be clear

"The Director of Capacity Engineering at the largest social site... most of it is crap that no one will *ever* see or care about."

My first though was "oh noes, another Gerald Ratner!"

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Re: Just to be clear

He didn't say it was crap - he actually said it was sad that this stuff was rarely - if ever - viewed.

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Re: Just to be clear

He said nothing to be ashamed of, but I do not quite get what your point is.

Unless you thought FB to be the gold standard of user generated content, in which case I do understand your disappointment.

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@RedneckMother

"sorry, but I STILL miss Gilda Ratner."

Radner. Me too.

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Re: Just to be clear

Some content is temporary in nature.

E.g. two weeks ago I posted a picture of a burger with a note that says "and this joint have wi-fi". I knew that a friend of mine would be travelling the same way a week later and my picture gave him a feel for what kind of food to expect and what other services were available. And sure enough, a week later he made a stop at that location. I had also tested a shortcut which I told him about and he subsequently followed.

So a week ago my silly burger picture had value, but now it has become largely irrelevant and a year from now possibly just garbage. For all I know, the burger joint that opened in 2012 could be closed by the end of this year or they could radically change their menu or discontinue their offer of free wi-fi. The shortcut that was good this year might be terrible road work infested territory next summer. (in that area of the country they don't mess about -- they completely remove the asphalt leaving only large pebbles around that threaten to punch holes through your car)

In short: What has value today might be worthless next month. Someone might find my hamburger post (w/comments) worth a peek five years down the road, but I agree it is doubtful. Maybe I'll drive through there again some day and look at my posts from around that time to refresh my memory? Either way, why not store it in a sensible fashion?

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MnM

Why not just

not save it at all?

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Re: Why not just

It's a corollary to Murphy's Law: if you throw something away, you will need it later.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why not just

because 50 million plus users...

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Re: Why not just

"not save it at all?"

Same reason you don't bin your family photo albums which are also pretty much write once, read never as he said. One day you'll look back and smile, but that may not be for 20 years by which time the album will at the very least be a bit dusty.

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Re: Why not just

"because 50 million plus users..."

...suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.

Yes, the brown robe --------->

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