WOW. Imagine that - a HD that doesn't weigh anything!
Thats ingenious, I think I will throw a couple of helium bottles under the hood of my car and a few in the trunk. Then I can claim, I have a hovercraft!
And helium atoms are alpha particles which have (inevitably) captured a couple of electrons, so not silly at all!
The REAL problem is that the HDDs will float away...
The hard drives they will be putting Helium in are server class drives and will be $300+ dollars, I don't see this every coming to Desktop or Laptop HDDs. I wouldn't expect to see faster spin speeds because they will probably remove the disc separator plates to save on cost and to be able to put the higher number of discs in. Decreased turbulence doesn't mean no turbulence.
By that logic, Japan's crashed nuclear power plants are already turning the Pacific Ocean into a huge helium generation plant. Oregon, Washington and British Columbia should get together to harvest all that helium. They could ship the other spilled nuclear waste back to Japan while they were at it. Gotta say, though, the table salt idea (linked by @Guest) sounds a lot cheaper. Link goes to Tom's Hardware and it doesn't depend on any post-peak-everything depleted materials, just salt - http://www.tomshardware.com/news/table-salt-sodium-chloride-18tb-hdd-10-nm,13728.html
Helium is a by product of natural gas production, is very abundant in the universe but will run out on earth in the next 25 to 30 years.
This is stupid and selfish ...
More about Helium
Right, but is it *that* abundant on Earth? Probably not.
However, I don't buy that we're "running out" though, in the sense that my children won't have the opportunity to marvel at amazing floating balloons. The only source I *think* I know of is natural gas deposits and think it'll be awhile before we deplete those.
A little more on topic though, an interesting repercussion here is for data recovery: will labs be able to refill the drives with helium after opening the units up? Will the helium even be necessary for temporary operation?
If it took Hitachi, a major global conglomerate, 6 years to figure out, such a thing would certainly be bad news for brave do-it-yourselfers and quasi-professionals without Hitachi's (proprietary?) gear.
I've used WD almost exclusively for the last 20years, I've never had a problem with any of my drives, so you having 3 crap out, seems like really bad luck, or I've had amazing luck.
I'd say both counts are true.
Thought hydrogen was flammable only in the presence of oxygen? If you evacuate the drive and fill with hydrogen how might this be dangerous. And in a 2.5" or 3.5" drive has soo little volume.
Once scientists perfect nuclear fusion, we will have an infinite amount of energy and helium. Hydrogen is incredibly easy to extract from H2O. Now if only there were nuclear chemists out there trying to create a fusion power plant that generates helium...
What's a nuclear chemist?