Following a few interesting conversations recently, I got interested in the idea of 'bit flip' – an occasion where a single binary bit changes state from a 0 to a 1 or from a 1 to a 0 inside a file.
I wrote a very inefficient script that sequentially flipped every bit in jpeg file, saved the new bitstream as a jpeg, attempted to render it in the [im] python library, and if successful, to calculate an RMSe error value for the new file.
I've not really had much time to take this further at the moment, but its an academic notion I'd be interested in exploring some more.
I'm not sure if a bit flip is a theoretical or 'real' threat on modern storage devices – in the millions of digital objects that have passed through my hands in the past 10 years, I've never knowingly handled a random bit flip errored file. I'd be interested in any thoughts / experiences / observations on the topic.
Please see the attached file for some pretty pictures.
Feel free to get in touch if you want any more data – images, RMSe data or scripts.