Eat Your Zettabytes. There are Kids Without PS3s in Africa.


need input!

Have you ever heard of a zettabyte? It's a billion trillion bytes of information. And we consume 3.6 of them every year.

A new study [from University of California, San Diego] finds that the average American consumes more than 34 gigabytes of video, music and words a day—and that's only on our free time.

One byte of information is equivalent to one letter of text. One gigabyte is equal to roughly 8 minutes of high definition video. Thirty-four gigabytes of data would fit on about 7 DVD disks or 1.5 Blu-ray disks.

We still spend more time consuming information from TV and radio, but the lion's share of the bytes come from computer and video game input, thanks to increasingly awesome graphic chips.

Via Seed magazine.

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  1. Damn. I knew I watched a lot of porn, but not that much.

  2. The boy recently added a graphics card and now everybody looks short and fat like the wide screen TVs that I refuse to own. Although Reason Gear Girl looks pretty ill even with cheeks.

    1. Isn’t that Lobster Girl in the hoodie? Maybe it’s been a few years since the lobster picture was taken.

      1. “Isn’t that Lobster Girl in the hoodie?”

        No. Fucking. Way.

    2. You’re probably not running in the right aspect ratio. Check the native resolution of your monitor and set it to that.

    3. That is because you don’t know how to use those TVs, lol. The problem is not them, it’s you.

  3. If only you could get a tan from flat screen monitors.

    1. There are certain people pale enough to give it a try.

      1. Most of them already spend plenty of time in front of computer screens.

  4. I for one welcome our new Zettabyte overlords.

  5. One byte of information is equivalent to one letter of text.

    On an Altair. A pixel represents much more data than that. Displaying this page takes about a zettafuckload.

    I knew I watched a lot of porn, but not that much.

    Each pube was a Library of Alexandria, wasted. That’s why ladies pave the runway now. For science.

  6. All this data flowing and we still do not have full immersion VR, what a waste.

    1. Sure we do. What do you think this crazy planet is all about, anyway? It’s clearly a game.

      1. And Michael Bay is Descartes’ Evil Daemon.

        1. That’s for damned sure.

      2. Pro, I was thinking more about a game where I could do pretty much anything I want and if there are evil entities that want to thwart that, I could just cast a lightning spell and incinerate them.

        1. That’s the next round, after you win Earth: Fucking with You Big Time.

          1. This idea gives me immeasurable peace today.

            1. Clearly, this world is totally implausible as reality. We’re easily 9-10 levels down from that.

  7. Good, we now have terminology for the 2010 federal deficit, Zettabucks.

  8. Make me King of the Internet for a single day and I will make you regret you were born with eyeballs.

    A single day.

    1. Listen to him, men! He’s just crazy enough to do it!

    2. Which is why you’ll never have the gig, SF. If it appears likely we’ll have to destroy you out of self-preservation.

      1. Somewhere well south of “likely”, I deem.

  9. One gigabyte is equal to roughly 8 minutes of high definition video

    For real? How ignorant is this author? Not even 1080p HD video will cost 1 GIG of space for 8 minutes. Infact whole 90 minute Blu-Ray movies are 3-4 GIGS.

  10. Sorry, Contemplationist, but a dual-layer Blu-Ray disk is 50 gigs. A plain-Jane DVD is nearly 5 gigs.

    1. To be fair though, the 1 Gig for 8 minute thing might be for uncompressed video…

      1. If you look at all the movie rips on torrents, you’ll see that 1080p quality HD movies are orders of magnitude smaller than the 8 mins => 1 GIG implied here. You’re right that the Blu ray disc itself is way more.

        1. That’s because of compression technology. There is a reason you need WinRar, DaemonTools, Nero, etc etc etc.

  11. I give you the latest from xkcd.

  12. I’m getting a new computer, with 8 gigs of memory and other stuff way beyond my current system, which is ag-ed. For perspective, my current system has 512MB of RAM.

    1. You were playing modern games on that?

      1. We have an Xbox 360 for the gaming.

        1. Console gaming is for people who don’t like to aim fast; i.e. losers.

          1. I might go back to PC gaming with the new system, but since we have the Xbox 360 (the kids got it for Christmas a couple of years ago), I’m okay with it. I haven’t noticed much difference in game play–my brother has the PC port of Fallout 3, and I have it for the console.

            1. The difference in game play is that console controllers are for chimps.

              1. What do you use, the keyboard and the mouse? Biofeedback?

                1. Verbal commands to a game-playing surrogate?

                  1. A penis-connected haptic interface?

                    1. You’re on the ‘bating edge of gaming technology.

              2. I have been playing Oblivion and Heroes of Might and Magic V on my PC, but I honestly prefer a controller to the keyboard, which is a pain in the ass, IMO. There is just not much further that we can go by adding RAM and video hardware towards enhancing the gaming experience. Graphics are nearly as good as they can get already. I think the next step up is something like this:


                And maybe even something like this:


                VR is the future of gaming.

                1. Full-immersion VR is the future, but it ain’t quite here yet. Back in my technology days, I encountered some really interesting VR projects, particularly as used for training and for psychology (putting people with phobias in a not-too-real simulation to help them overcome their phobias, for instance). Cool stuff. Gaming and, if I know humanity, porn, will be the drivers for really advanced VR, I’m sure.

                2. Oh, and Oblivion is a fun game. Next up in that genre for me is Dragon Age: Origins. I’m finishing up the expansions for Fallout 3, which is great fun, too.

                  1. You chumps need to play a real modern RPG. Planescape: Torment.

                    You could even run it on that 512 MB system.

                    1. I took a serious look at that one when I went for Oblivion instead. I usually rely on a friend of mine who somehow finds time to game a lot, for advice as what game to buy. His advice was Oblivion. Not disappointed, but would like to check out Planescape:Torment when I get time.

  13. James Ard would probably buy fullscreen DVD’s to watch on the widescreen LCD TV he wont buy. People don’t understand this technology stuff. The other day, I saw old people who wanted to buy a 780i/25,000:1 contrast ratio TV to a 1080p/40,000:1 contrast ratio TV, both were 27 inches and decent brands. I explained why the latter was superior to the former (plus, cheaper!), then then old lady says, “but I don’t like the metal frame on that one, what’s that for anyway? It doesn’t DO anything.”

    And then I walked away, to the Walmart ammo counter.

    1. Did they have any .380 ACP ?

  14. No question that I consume too much data. I actually recognize the guy in the photo from a 2+2=4 forum post maybe four years ago.

    Too much internet.

  15. S

  16. Have you ever heard of a zettabyte? It’s a billion trillion bytes of information.

    A billion trillion? Isn’t that the same as one sextillion? You want to go with some nerdy term like zetabyte when logically you could call it a sexibyte? You are so not cool. 🙂

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