It seems that if we were to go that route, it would be much easier to dump the waste into one of the gas giants as they are considerably easier to get to and just as permanent. Though we would still have the problem of getting the waste off of Earth in a completely safe manner.
I've never seen an SSD fail in that manner. When you get cells that no longer write, the controller still tries to write to them and the write will partially work, and you end up with massive data corruption. The wear leveling mechanisms, which often only look at how many writes a cell has had and not whether or not the cell is still writable can also make a fantastic mess of the data on the drive, even while you've got it mounted read-only trying to do data recovery..
Though the most common failure is either a controller failure, or as someone else mentioned a firmware problem that leaves you with a still functional, but suddenly blank drive.
The problem is all the updates and patches. Go install the original release of Windows XP and Office XP on something like a 1Ghz P3 with 256MB of ram. This would be a pretty mainstream machine at the time, and you'll find that it will run reasonably fast and snappy. Now, apply all the updates, patches, and service packs (note, this will pretty much take a full day!) and marvel at home the same machine will absolutely crawl and struggle to perform the same tasks.
I'm actually surprised a bit that wireless keyboards don't include a small LCD that indicates the status of the lock keys, since that would require almost no power. You still wouldn't be able to see it in the dark (though if I was to get fancy I would put a backlight in that toggles for a few seconds when one of the lock keys is pushed). Then again, few people I know use a wireless keyboard on a regular desktop set up anyway, as it's generally just an inconvenience.
Same thing around here, it's illegal to leave a vehicle running unattended (you don't actually have to be in the car, but must be close by). But I've never heard of it being illegal to leave a car unlocked.
The Kill-A-Watt probably went poof if you somehow managed to plug it into a 230V circuit.
The other thing that can happen in old engines is you'll get carbon buildups which can increase pressure in the cylinder and reduce your fuel economy, not to mention pinging and knocking. The 'easy' solution (as opposed to tearing the engine apart) is to just use higher octane gas which will make that problem go away, at least for a while. However, the higher octane gas can also cause the carbon to build up faster, so while it can alleviate the side-effects, it can also make the root problem worse in the long run. But for an old beater car that may not matter.
I'd say building your own PC is more popular than ever amongst enthusiasts. For someone who wants a gaming or a high performance system the major manufacturers really don't offer anything interesting anymore, and what they do is seriously expensive. So I see more people building their own, that way they get the video card they want or can get a SSD without paying through the nose for it. It doesn't hurt either that building a PC nowadays couldn't be easier now that all the ribbon cables are gone, no more jumpers, and the BIOS (EFI, whatever) pretty much optimize the settings for you, including automatic overclocking.
That's because the glass goes all the way to the edge with only a thin piece of metal to protect it. So yes, drop and iPhone and you stand a good chance of breaking the screen. Other phones do a better job of protecting the screen.
Yeah, but what do you think the NSA stored it on?
Actually, old X-rays can be very useful. If they spot something suspicious that looks like a tumor they like to go back to an older X-ray if available and see if it existed back then, generally with the idea that if it's been there for years (and not growing) it's probably benign.
I've found it's a crapshoot. Some CDs read just fine, and others are useless. Brand doesn't seem to matter much either, as I've seen expensive ones fail and no-name generics survive just fine and vice-versa. Actually, kind of like the hard drives now that I think about it. My advice if you wanted a burn-it-and-forget-it situation would be to get several different brands, burn the same data to each type, and hope that at least one survives.
Subaru Outbacks are SUVs, unless you mean an old one. Well, more like a CUV, but still a light truck per CAFE. There's actually very few wagons sold in the US anymore, even all the Volvo's are now classified as light trucks and not cars. The only ones I can think of are German, the Volkswagons and the Mercedes, unless you stretch the definition enough to include cars like the Scion xB.
Have you ever dealt with systems like that? If it isn't broken, don't fix it. Especially since updating the systems can be quite expensive. And it's not like the software is ever going to wear out - it will keep on working the same for the lifetime of the equipment. So what if it's Windows XP? Spending money to update the system so that it can run the shiniest new OS to do the exact same task as before is just a waste.
Of course, I've always thought it kind of strange that this kind of stuff uses Windows anyway, as opposed to something that's truly embedded. I understand why, because commodity PC hardware is cheap, it's easy to find programmers to create Windows software, plus the customers usually know how to use a Windows PC. On the downside though, the PC hardware is often a weak link with a low lifetime compared to the rest of the machine, and you get the idiot users who think that because it's running Windows it's no different than any other PC in the office.
Windows will automatically create a page file that's about the size of your ram. It can also create a hibernation file that is also the size of your ram. If you're running a larger amount of ram this can chew up a non-negligible amount of disk space. Since VMs tend to get by with less ram, this should result in a smaller image.