# Lamest News Article ever

mishrashubham
Lamest News Article ever....

The Telegraph said:
E-readers get heavier with each book

E-readers are meant to let bookworms carry their entire libraries with them without any additional weight – but the devices actually get heavier every time a new text is downloaded. The weight difference is unlikely to make much difference to holidaymakers' baggage allowances, however, because each new tome is about as heavy as a single molecule of DNA.

Filling a 4GB Kindle to its storage limit would increase its weight by a billionth of a billionth of a gram. Prof John Kubiatowicz a computer scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, explained in the New York Times last week that storing new data involves holding electrons in a fixed place in the device's memory.

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.
Using Einstein's E=mc² formula, which states that energy and mass are directly related, Prof Kubiatowicz calculated that filling a 4GB Kindle to its storage limit would increase its weight by a billionth of a billionth of a gram, or 0.000000000000000001g.

This is roughly equivalent to the weight of a small virus, while the equivalent number of books – about 3,500 – would weigh approximately two tons. E-readers could also become slightly heavier in the summer, because they would take on more energy from their exposure to sunlight, scientists explained. Graeme Ackland, of Edinburgh University, told the Guardian: "If Prof Kubiatowicz is really struggling with the extra weight, he is welcome to come to Edinburgh where it's cooler, and the lack of thermal energy in his Kindle will more than compensate."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/8858355/E-readers-get-heavier-with-each-book.html

Why do they suddenly seem so desperate for space-fillers?

## Answers and Replies

Jack21222

I think this is a pretty neat popular science article that might get some people thinking. Not everybody knows that energy adds to weight.

What's your specific problem with this article?

qspeechc

I'm no scientist, but doesn't the 'extra' energy come from the battery, so would this not change the weight, or what?

The Moon's further away today than it was yesterday! What does this mean for Earth's future? How will changing tidal patterns affect tide marshes and estuaries?

Is mankind doomed? Stay tuned! Tomorrow: How a dog sheds can change your life forever!

mishrashubham

I think this is a pretty neat popular science article that might get some people thinking. Not everybody knows that energy adds to weight.

What's your specific problem with this article?

The problem is that it doesn't make a point. Why not explain such things where they matters. Instead of for example telling people that living in skyscraper makes you age faster, explain how time dilation practically affects satellites.

Gold Member

I read an article a while ago talking about garbage like this. These days it's more about pumping out articles, no matter how pointless, to make for lots of 'content' instead of well-made, insightful news.

imiyakawa

I don't empathize with the view that this is crap news. I found it very interesting.. wish more news was like this.

QuarkCharmer

It might be a lame "news" article, but it's a pretty interesting "article".

Jack21222

I'm no scientist, but doesn't the 'extra' energy come from the battery, so would this not change the weight, or what?

I don't know what you do with your electronic devices, but I charge mine.

The problem is that it doesn't make a point. Why not explain such things where they matters. Instead of for example telling people that living in skyscraper makes you age faster, explain how time dilation practically affects satellites.

NO articles ever make a point. Why are you singling this one out?

If you don't like the article, don't read it. If you want to complain about things in the paper, why don't you start with the astrology section?

Jimmy Snyder

If you don't like the article, don't read it.
I didn't like the article either. But at least I had the good sense not to read it.

mishrashubham
NO articles ever make a point. Why are you singling this one out?

Actually most articles do have a point.

@jimmy - lol

mishrashubham

I wonder how all this starts. Does a journalist just randomly thinks of something like this and goes to universities searching for professors who can explain and calculate trivial things like these? I don' t think the professors take the initiative.

Jack21222

Actually most articles do have a point.

@jimmy - lol

The point is to entertain and inform the reader. This article attempts to do both. It's your point I'm failing to see, not the article's.

Proton Soup

what memory technology allows bits in unallocated memory to "just float around" randomly?

Loren Booda

A possible way to interest laymen about physics. Most articles I would find less interesting.

This article provokes such questions for me as: Is the entropy change of the system negligible?

mishrashubham

The point is to entertain and inform the reader. This article attempts to do both. It's your point I'm failing to see, not the article's.

I meant 'point' in the sense of 'A brief version of the essential meaning of something'. All I can gather from this article is that books get heavier if you store more data in it; but by an amount so small that it wouldn't matter in the slightest bit. Why not explain about nuclear energy sources and how they fundamentally utilize matter-energy equivalence. Mention Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That way, the significance of the concept would be underlined and if most people do not know that matter are energy are the same thing like you said, I'm sure they would find it pretty interesting.

Why talk about e-book reader of all things? Looks very random....

Jack21222

I meant 'point' in the sense of 'A brief version of the essential meaning of something'. All I can gather from this article is that books get heavier if you store more data in it; but by an amount so small that it wouldn't matter in the slightest bit. Why not explain about nuclear energy sources and how they fundamentally utilize matter-energy equivalence. Mention Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That way, the significance of the concept would be underlined and if most people do not know that matter are energy are the same thing like you said, I'm sure they would find it pretty interesting.

Why talk about e-book reader of all things? Looks very random....

Because so many people have an e-reader and so few people lived through a nuclear explosion. If you think you can do better, start your own newspaper or start writing freelance. As it stands, though, you're in the minority so far in this thread.

Nihilist

living in skyscraper makes you age faster,

I thought clocks in the ISS went slower than at ground level. Can someone please correct me if I'm wrong?

An increase in straight line distance from a gravitational center will increase the rate at which a clock ticks but orbital velocity will force it to tick slower (compared to Earth surface). If we had a (rigid) skyscraper the altitude of the ISS orbit (or satellite at an impossible geosynchronous orbit), its rate of time will be faster.

Sorry for straying off topic. I don't mind the original article, it's an interesting bit of info that might make someone think.

Jimmy Snyder

I meant 'point' in the sense of 'A brief version of the essential meaning of something'. All I can gather from this article is that books get heavier if you store more data in it; but by an amount so small that it wouldn't matter in the slightest bit. Why not explain about nuclear energy sources and how they fundamentally utilize matter-energy equivalence. Mention Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That way, the significance of the concept would be underlined and if most people do not know that matter are energy are the same thing like you said, I'm sure they would find it pretty interesting.

Why talk about e-book reader of all things? Looks very random....
Many people associate the equation E = mc^2 with nuclear energy sources, and it comes up a lot when discussing Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This article makes it clear that the same equation is at play in all phenomena involving energy and mass. Rather interesting don't you think? No matter, when I hear you say that this is the lamest news article ever I get the feeling that you don't read as much news as I do.

Science Advisor
Gold Member

I wonder how all this starts. Does a journalist just randomly thinks of something like this and goes to universities searching for professors who can explain and calculate trivial things like these? I don' t think the professors take the initiative.

No, universities and research institutes have KT/PR departments that are actively (more or less) looking for stories that might be of interest to the media. They tend to like "fun" research like this, mainly because results from "real" research projects tend to be too complicated.
Also, don't underestimate how important it can be for individual scientist to get noticed by a newspaper, even if it for something you did for fun one afternoon.

mishrashubham

Because so many people have an e-reader and so few people lived through a nuclear explosion.

What do you mean by "lived through'. Do you mean lived through the "era" when all this happened?

If you think you can do better, start your own newspaper or start writing freelance.
Haha I knew this was coming.

As it stands, though, you're in the minority so far in this thread.
Is that a bad thing?

I thought clocks in the ISS went slower than at ground level. Can someone please correct me if I'm wrong?

An increase in straight line distance from a gravitational center will increase the rate at which a clock ticks but orbital velocity will force it to tick slower (compared to Earth surface). If we had a (rigid) skyscraper the altitude of the ISS orbit (or satellite at an impossible geosynchronous orbit), its rate of time will be faster.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/8020988/Einsteins-theory-of-relativity-works-on-a-human-scale-the-higher-you-are-the-faster-you-age.html [Broken] article claims otherwise. I am not familiar with physics so I don't know who is right over here. Can anyone clear out this thing? Note: This would still be relevant to the discussion since it aims at judging the credibility of the article.

Many people associate the equation E = mc^2 with nuclear energy sources, and it comes up a lot when discussing Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Which is why I said
..... and if most people do not know that matter are energy are the same thing like you said, I'm sure they would find it pretty interesting.
referring to Jack's claim that some people don't know about the mass-energy equivalence.

No matter, when I hear you say that this is the lamest news article ever I get the feeling that you don't read as much news as I do.
I think you are right. I only read the newspaper twice or thrice a week and even then only a few pages each time. This could be an insufficient sample size bias.

No, universities and research institutes have KT/PR departments that are actively (more or less) looking for stories that might be of interest to the media. They tend to like "fun" research like this, mainly because results from "real" research projects tend to be too complicated.
Also, don't underestimate how important it can be for individual scientist to get noticed by a newspaper, even if it for something you did for fun one afternoon.

Thanks for the info, I didn't know that. Does PR mean Public relations or something like that? And could you tell how a scientist gets benefited by media attention? Does it mean more grants or something similar?

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Jimmy Snyder

I only read the newspaper twice or thrice a week and even then only a few pages each time.
I stand corrected. However, I still think any story about Paris Hilton has to be lamer than this one unless, of course, it involves pornography.