Effects Of Bit Rot
Here is a simple BMP file that is just 9 pixels wide and 7 pixels high. This BMP file is a blank canvas - only the white background and nothing else. This file is then loaded in Microsoft Paint, zoomed in to make it easier for you to see. At 100% this bitmap is extremely small, on a typical 1920 x 1080 screen this bitmap will only take up about 3% of the screen.
A single bit is then flipped in the file - and saved as Corrupted.png. The file is loaded and again zoomed to the maximum. The corrupted file shows a clear yellow spot in the top left corner. This yellow spot is just from a single bit change.
At the original resolution this yellow spot will be very difficult to spot indeed.
The above is an exaggerated example that makes bit rot easier to spot . The resolution of this example is a mere 9 by 7 pixels (total of 63 pixels). The resolution of a modern cameras like the Canon 1Dx is 5184 by 3456 pixels, that’s 17,915,904 pixels in total.
Imagine trying to spot about 3 pixels of error from a picture with a pixel density of nearly 18 megapixels. The error(s) will be impossible to spot indeed - in most cases these errors will look like digital noise.
Comment from: Frank Collins Visitor
I don’t believe bit rot is a problem and the Red Book standard copes with missing bits, to a point.
I store all of my music (FLAC, level 8 compression) on a NAS, using FreeNAS. It does a four-weekly scrub which detects and corrects bit rot on the whole file system. While bit rot isn’t a problem for me, it never will be.
It does a four-weekly scrub which detects and corrects bit rot on the whole file system. While bit rot isn’t a problem for me, it never will be.+1. FreeNAS for the win.
A "single-event upset" was also blamed for an electronic voting error in Schaerbeekm, Belgium, back in 2003. A bit flip in the electronic voting machine added 4,096 extra votes to one candidate. The issue was noticed only because the machine gave the candidate more votes than were possible. "This is a really big problem, but it is mostly invisible to the public," said Bharat Bhuva. Bhuva is a member of Vanderbilt University’s Radiation Effects Research Group, established in 1987 to study the effects of radiation on electronic systems.
Here is an interesting YouTube video about bit flipping.