Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Hitachi Creates Quartz Glass Archival Medium

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the hand-me-that-data-crystal dept.

Data Storage 116

guttentag writes "Hitachi has announced (original press release in Japanese, translated to English) a new storage medium that uses a laser to imprint dots on a piece of quartz glass that correspond to binary code. The dots can be read with an optical microscope and appropriate software. The company says this medium is resistant to extreme heat, radiation, radio waves and should still be readable after a few hundred million years. It's intended as an archival format with data density similar to a music CD (40MB per square inch with 4 layers)."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Connect the dots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41453203)

resistant to extreme heat, radiation, radio waves

But not stray lasers, so watch out for cat owners.

Re:Connect the dots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41453599)

Yeah, and don't drop it.

Glass is an amorphous solid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41453223)

Glass doesn't sag.

No better way (4, Funny)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | more than 2 years ago | (#41453277)

Finally, a long term solution so that my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandkids can see my baby pictures, listen to my Fallout Boy CDs, and watch my disturbing pr0n collection. I'll order a dozen!

Re:No better way (5, Funny)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#41453365)

Finally, a long term solution so that my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandkids can see my baby pictures, listen to my Fallout Boy CDs, and watch my disturbing pr0n collection. I'll order a dozen!

***DRM ERROR - Could Not Contact Authentication Server***

Re:No better way (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41453495)

LOL. Couldn't have said it better myself.

Re:No better way (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41453511)

Finally, a long term solution so that my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandkids can see my baby pictures, listen to my Fallout Boy CDs, and watch my disturbing pr0n collection. I'll order a dozen!

***DRM ERROR - Could Not Contact Authentication Server***

That makes me a sad panda.

Re:No better way (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#41453571)

It won't get that far because it will require an app for some proprietary long-dead OS first. Apps are the future ya know!

Re:No better way (2)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#41455655)

You you just virtualize an OS that virtualizes an OS that virtualizes an OS and so on and so forth. Eventually, I'm sure you'll get there.

Re:No better way (1)

ZeroMS (2725031) | more than 2 years ago | (#41458013)

And in the end get a BSOD in Windows 27

Re:No better way (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#41459169)

Isn't nostalgia wonderful?

Re:No better way (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#41453785)

***DRM ERROR - Could Not Contact Authentication Server***

Assuming the person who finds it realizes its a storage device, and not just a pretty rock...

Re:No better way (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 2 years ago | (#41453995)

Assuming the person who finds it realizes its a storage device, and not just a pretty rock...

Society will just label them as a dangerous schizophrenic [wikipedia.org] .

Re:No better way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41454655)

Thank you, sir. This is why I come here. I will refrain from posting insulting trolls to this article.

-Paul

Re:No better way (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#41456543)

You win link of the week. That was awesome. Someone needs to publish a collection that guy's stories.

Re:No better way (1)

RoverDaddy (869116) | more than 2 years ago | (#41454511)

The Rosetta Disk http://rosettaproject.org/ [rosettaproject.org] is actually designed to give future humans some hint that the object contains microscopic data. Yes people have actually thought about these issues.

Re:No better way (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | more than 2 years ago | (#41453893)

It's just Fallout Boy, no big loss. However, my Lisa Ann video collection needs to be preserved for all eternity.

MOD PARENT INSIGHTFUL. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41454063)

Mmm, Lisa Ann...

Re:No better way (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#41454409)

It's only 40MB each. You might need to leave out the baby pictures and Fallout Boy CDs.

Re:No better way (1)

Cute and Cuddly (2646619) | more than 2 years ago | (#41457097)

Nope, it is 40 MB per square inch. Increasethe square inches of quartz, have more storage....

The first thing to record (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41453285)

Dear Hitachi,

please record the video "Never Gonna Give You Up", so that all future generations are able to get rick-rolled. And label the disc "soft porn" to ensure they'll work at decoding the data.

Re:The first thing to record (4, Funny)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 2 years ago | (#41453637)

Careful, what people consider sexual varies culture to culture - you're going to start a future where everyone masturbates to the video.

Re:The first thing to record (3, Funny)

modecx (130548) | more than 2 years ago | (#41455307)

You mean to tell me nobody else does that now?

Re:The first thing to record (1)

bobcat7677 (561727) | more than 2 years ago | (#41454161)

Pretty sure Superman already has prior art on the whole data on a crystal thing...

Re:The first thing to record (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41456501)

must resist... V2UncmUgbm8gc3RyYW5nZXJzIHRvIGxvdmUNCllvdSBrbm93IHRoZSBydWxlcyBhbmQgc28gZG8g SQ0KQSBmdWxsIGNvbW1pdG1lbnQncyB3aGF0IEknbSB0aGlua2luZyBvZg0KWW91IHdvdWxkbid0 IGdldCB0aGlzIGZyb20gYW55IG90aGVyIGd1eQ0KSSBqdXN0IHdhbm5hIHRlbGwgeW91IGhvdyBJ J20gZmVlbGluZw0KR290dGEgbWFrZSB5b3UgdW5kZXJzdGFuZA0KDQpDSE9SVVMNCk5ldmVyIGdv bm5hIGdpdmUgeW91IHVwLA0KTmV2ZXIgZ29ubmEgbGV0IHlvdSBkb3duDQpOZXZlciBnb25uYSBy dW4gYXJvdW5kIGFuZCBkZXNlcnQgeW91DQpOZXZlciBnb25uYSBtYWtlIHlvdSBjcnksDQpOZXZl ciBnb25uYSBzYXkgZ29vZGJ5ZQ0KTmV2ZXIgZ29ubmEgdGVsbCBhIGxpZSBhbmQgaHVydCB5b3UN Cg0KV2UndmUga25vd24gZWFjaCBvdGhlciBmb3Igc28gbG9uZw0KWW91ciBoZWFydCdzIGJlZW4g YWNoaW5nIGJ1dCB5b3UncmUgdG9vIHNoeSB0byBzYXkgaXQNCkluc2lkZSB3ZSBib3RoIGtub3cg d2hhdCdzIGJlZW4gZ29pbmcgb24NCldlIGtub3cgdGhlIGdhbWUgYW5kIHdlJ3JlIGdvbm5hIHBs YXkgaXQNCkFuZCBpZiB5b3UgYXNrIG1lIGhvdyBJJ20gZmVlbGluZw0KRG9uJ3QgdGVsbCBtZSB5 b3UncmUgdG9vIGJsaW5kIHRvIHNlZSAoQ0hPUlVTKQ0KDQpDSE9SVVNDSE9SVVMNCihPb2ggZ2l2 ZSB5b3UgdXApDQooT29oIGdpdmUgeW91IHVwKQ0KKE9vaCkgbmV2ZXIgZ29ubmEgZ2l2ZSwgbmV2 ZXIgZ29ubmEgZ2l2ZQ0KKGdpdmUgeW91IHVwKQ0KKE9vaCkgbmV2ZXIgZ29ubmEgZ2l2ZSwgbmV2 ZXIgZ29ubmEgZ2l2ZQ0KKGdpdmUgeW91IHVwKQ0KDQpXZSd2ZSBrbm93biBlYWNoIG90aGVyIGZv ciBzbyBsb25nDQpZb3VyIGhlYXJ0J3MgYmVlbiBhY2hpbmcgYnV0IHlvdSdyZSB0b28gc2h5IHRv IHNheSBpdA0KSW5zaWRlIHdlIGJvdGgga25vdyB3aGF0J3MgYmVlbiBnb2luZyBvbg0KV2Uga25v dyB0aGUgZ2FtZSBhbmQgd2UncmUgZ29ubmEgcGxheSBpdCA=

Problem... (1)

BeerCat (685972) | more than 2 years ago | (#41453287)

It's all very well having something that can be read "with an optical microscope and appropriate software", but if the planned life is in the millions of years, then you have to hope that the science of optics hasn't been lost. And as for software, that will be hard to read far, far sooner (see the Domesday Project as an example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC_Domesday_Project [wikipedia.org] )

Re:Problem... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41453429)

The solution is obvious: put the software, along with the datasheets of the ICs and schematics of the hardware for building the required computer on a quartz glass disc.

I have only done this once before. (2)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 2 years ago | (#41453795)

IBM 5100, futar-proof.

Re:Problem... (2, Interesting)

Spy Handler (822350) | more than 2 years ago | (#41453625)

Thousand years from now, someone looking at computer data storage devices might be completely oblivious to what they were meant for.

"Ah, those crazy ancient people, obsessed with making ornamental plastic/metal boxes!"

I would say from an archeological perspective, any digital archive that requires a computer to read is a big no-no. Stone tablets are good, as even in the worst dark ages people will understand their purpose (even if they can't decipher the text). However stone tablets are limited in data density, so you can't write much on them.

I propose writing on titanium or aluminum sheets. Most of the writing would be in tiny microscopic font to get some decent data density -- like microfilm of the 80's, but with better long-term durability.

On the first page we could put normal-size writing as sort of a primer. Then the text would get progressively smaller until it's microfilm-sized, so the reader would get the point that the rest of the tablet is in tiny letters. We could put a diagram explaining the properties of a magnifying glass, and how to make one.

Re:Problem... (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#41453787)

Thousand years from now, someone looking at computer data storage devices might be completely oblivious to what they were meant for.

"Ah, those crazy ancient people, obsessed with making ornamental plastic/metal boxes!"

Kinda makes you wonder about our own civilization's archaeological endeavors, doesn't it? How many odd looking "stones" have been discarded whilst in pursuit of other, more museum-desired items like clay pots and gold jewelry?

Re:Problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41453951)

This was a distinct problem during the early days when places like Greece and Egypt got ransacked for anything that could be displayed or sold "back home".

Re:Problem... (1)

BeerCat (685972) | more than 2 years ago | (#41454145)

I propose writing on titanium or aluminum sheets. Most of the writing would be in tiny microscopic font to get some decent data density -- like microfilm of the 80's, but with better long-term durability.

On the first page we could put normal-size writing as sort of a primer. Then the text would get progressively smaller until it's microfilm-sized, so the reader would get the point that the rest of the tablet is in tiny letters. We could put a diagram explaining the properties of a magnifying glass, and how to make one.

A bit like the plans for the Rosetta Project: http://rosettaproject.org/disk/concept/ [rosettaproject.org]

The text begins at eye-readable scale and spirals down to nano-scale.

Re:Problem... (2)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | more than 2 years ago | (#41454389)

if we put them on metal someone will come along and melt them down and make a cooking pot or frying pan out of them. never under estimate the the ability of anyone to not give a crap about history and knowledge. what you need is a Indiana Jones like temple/datacenter/library that will kill anyone not very determined to get at what the ancients left behind built in a geographically stable area that will anything sort of a direct extinction level meteor strike. fill it with books to teach them basic english and then books to teach computer design and programming and the function/use of all of the equipment contained inside give them the language specifications for every programing language used, along with all of source code for the compliers as a reference. fill it to the brim with as much as you can to communicate how to use your acrival media

Re:Problem... (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 2 years ago | (#41454897)

I'd come up with some way of hinting at and explaining the encoding. Here's an idea:

The surface starts with a visible circle, 1 mm in diameter. The next circle is a bit smaller. The next is smaller still, and so on until the size of the bit is reached. This would draw somebody examining the device to trying to see where this detail ends.

Next to this there's a visible, etched ASCII table, with the binary representation for each letter, and an example text that's unlikely to be lost to time, with its binary version.

In the real size bits, there is a progression of: 0, 1, 10, 11... This illustrates how data is encoded. At this point, the etched alphabet should make sense.

Next there is a diagram showing how the data is organized in blocks.

Then there's a diagram highlighting the location of error correction data, and the way it's calculated.

Then there are more diagrams of the logical structure -- a simple filesystem, maybe just a tar file, with one file after another.

After all this, there's finally the data. To make it extra obvious, the blocks can be made to have visible separate, so that the grouping is obvious.

The idea is that you could start looking at the visible details, get drawn to the hidden ones, and have plenty clues along the way to figure out what it all means. And all this could be on every device with plenty room to spare for the real data.

Re:Problem... (0)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#41455031)

And, as an archeologist, I'd just throw that into a junkpile with the modern version of 'tl;dr'.

Re:Problem... (2)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 2 years ago | (#41456279)

Are you sure you're a real archeologist?

Any interesting artifact these days is obsessed over to an incredible degree. It gets x-rayed, carbon dated, chemically analyzed, stuck in a MRI machine, looked at with a microscope, and the debates about the conclusions that can be drawn from those things last for decades.

Re:Problem... (1)

DrVomact (726065) | more than 2 years ago | (#41457881)

Maybe sheer quantity will take care of providing a "Rosetta Stone" for the future. If only a single product label survives, then our descendants will have a record of about a dozen major languages instantiated in texts with identical meaning, and a fairly clear understanding of our major obsessions and legal system in the bargain.

Long term data archival (4, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#41453297)

The problem with long term data archival isn't just the storage medium -- it's being able to recreate the reader mechanism from scratch. Tomorrow world war 3 happens. We're bombed back to the stone age. Thousands of years from now, humanity has returned to the level it is today, but with no knowledge or intact examples of previous technology. How do you explain how to build something, when the language, the words, and the understanding of physics and technology are all different (and possibly wrong or incomplete)?

We've been trying for a long time to come up with a universal language; Partly in case we ever contact E.T., but also because of the problem of language fragmentation. Human language tends to diverge, not converge. How do you manage to tell someone how to construct a complex device from scratch, without any linguistic foundation and scientific understanding to build from?

Civilization in a bottle: Not as easy as it sounds.

Re:Long term data archival (2)

alexgieg (948359) | more than 2 years ago | (#41453531)

The problem with long term data archival isn't just the storage medium -- it's being able to recreate the reader mechanism from scratch.

These are two different problems. One is how to archive things assuming the future will be technologically proficient, another is how to archive things assuming it won't. This technology is clearly geared towards the former. In a technologically proficient future, historians will certainly love having full access to the tons of small details and day-to-day stuff that can be made available for them with this, things we wouldn't dream even trying to archive in something geared towards a technologically backwards future.

The nice thing is that it isn't an either/or proposition. We can easily target both goals with different methods. Done right, the small but important stuff archived for a technological deficient future can include instructions on how to unlock the other, larger archive, even if it takes centuries for them to achieve the level of proficiency required. And then you get the best of both worlds: a retechnified future plus very happy historians.

Re:Long term data archival (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41454513)

In the year 1.002.2012:

Decodng Binary is easy,
Deconding Ascii / utf8/16 is hard,
Decoding Docx is impossible.

Openoffice is easier, but they need to provide format descriptors / source code. Although they probably won't be able to compile it.

Re:Long term data archival (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41458491)

What the hell is the year 1.002.2012

The people on this planet can't even fucking agree to use a normal format for dates (YYYY-MM-DD) and you think we can agree on a format for thousand-year storage?

Re:Long term data archival (2)

virgnarus (1949790) | more than 2 years ago | (#41453567)

Duh, they just store it in the crystal as a README.

Re:Long term data archival (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#41453753)

Duh, they just store it in the crystal as a README.

They saved the file in UTF-16. Also, in the future, the use of English is illegal. Historians believe that a catacalysmic nuclear event several thousand years ago was what caused the Great Warming. Records show a language known as "english" was prevalent in the worst-affected areas. It was retroactively banned by the 320th High Pope of the New New Pastarastafarian church. It's believed the language itself was what caused the problem. Your argument is invalid.

Re:Long term data archival (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41453791)

Don't ever try to write a Sci-Fi book, please.

Re:Long term data archival (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#41453867)

Don't ever try to write a Sci-Fi book, please.

Timey whimey, wibbly wobbley...

Re:Long term data archival (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 2 years ago | (#41454125)

Aw, the Pope's Tits they'll outlaw Engrish. If they do, it'll become the cool underground language spooky books are written in.

Re:Long term data archival (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41453639)

We're bombed back to the stone age. Thousands of years from now, humanity has returned to the level it is today, but with no knowledge or intact examples of previous technology.

And you expect your storage medium has survived that?

Are you a wizard?

Re:Long term data archival (1)

pod (1103) | more than 2 years ago | (#41454945)

The point is, _someone_ wanting to read your archive in the future (or a completely alien civilization) cannot do so if they can't make sense of the data. You assume the media will survive. That's why you're worried about this in the first place. If not, then you assume the reader will share your fundamental knowledge, concepts and technologies, in some form.

The whole point is, it's 1,000,000 years later. We've gone to the stoneage and back twice. Who knows what happened. You can include plans and blueprints and primers, but building something you've never seen before, like an optical drive or a display or a binary computer requires a massive amount of fundamental technologies and understanding. It's a whole way of thinking. For example, we use electrons to power and operate computers, and convey information via a flat image in the visible spectrum to perceive with our eyes. Even math, who's to say it is the universal language? We assume it is, but maybe we just don't know any better, maybe our math is too primitive, or makes assumptions that are cultural, not natural.

Re:Long term data archival (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41453763)

Have a magnifying glass etched on that shows bits of data getting smaller and smaller as it comes out the glass to show the data is really small.
A species smart enough to figure out how to make one will eventually understand how to read it.

As to understanding it... well that is solved by creating a very basic bridging language that can lead to learning what the other language says.
Have some plates hold a format that the files are encoded in so they know how to arrange the data.
Very good example for some initial ones is to create a pictographic bridging language with some basic math and go from there.

Re:Long term data archival (3, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 2 years ago | (#41453773)

Civilization in a bottle: Not as easy as it sounds.

I don't know about bottles, but Sid Meier can put Civilization on a plastic disc.

Re:Long term data archival (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#41454059)

Did you miss the part where the reader is a microscope?

Re:Long term data archival (1)

Taibhsear (1286214) | more than 2 years ago | (#41454147)

Just make IKEA instructions for it.

Re:Long term data archival (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 2 years ago | (#41454383)

We've been trying for a long time to come up with a universal language; Partly in case we ever contact E.T., but also because of the problem of language fragmentation. Human language tends to diverge, not converge. How do you manage to tell someone how to construct a complex device from scratch, without any linguistic foundation and scientific understanding to build from?

Cuneiform and clay tablets!

Re:Long term data archival (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 2 years ago | (#41454527)

Despite numerous cataclysms in the past, most languages remained intact. The Rosetta Stone is basically the way forward, a translation key with all languages represented, as at least ONE modern language is sure to be comprehensible in the very distant, post-apocalyptic future.

And it's an easier problem today than ever... We can print innumerable color pictures, labeled with the appropriate words. That wasn't so easy when craftsman were hand-carving stone tablets.

Re:Long term data archival (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#41455105)

Despite numerous cataclysms in the past, most languages remained intact. The Rosetta Stone is basically the way forward, a translation key with all languages represented, as at least ONE modern language is sure to be comprehensible in the very distant, post-apocalyptic future.

Sounds like every 16 language foldout instruction sheet for various little electronic gizmos.

We're saved.

Re:Long term data archival (1)

einar.petersen (1178307) | more than 2 years ago | (#41454703)

Given humanity is again advanced to a reasonable technical level a simple illustration aka this one from my children's fairy tale could work. http://einarpetersen.com/doku.php?id=fiordlings_imageexample [einarpetersen.com] Naturally a more stylistic approach with regards to what is drawn light source / a looking glass effect drawing, the media etc. but I'd think something like that should do it, maybe throw in a few 0 and 1's / images or whatever information is recognisable so that an experimenter would recognise artefacts ... Well just a thought - after all the human creature is one with imagination so whatever we'd try someone ought to be able to figure it out...

Re:Long term data archival (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41454965)

The answer is a monolith with 1x4x9 proportions.

Re:Long term data archival (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41456593)

What they need to do is make something like a fairly idiot-proof laptop powered by a Baylis generator (wind up spring driven dynamo) with a pictogram of how to start it. Have it setup with a simplified OS and some kind of menu that appears on startup that covers at least 100 different languages. Then store that in watertight container sealed in some other container that acts as a faraday cage. Along with that, you have your container full of archival disks. Then that way you have the hardware needed to get at the data archived in the same manner.

Either that or intentionally place some archival artifacts on the moon. (Not just some landers which are already up there, but something like a vault full of goodies and an encyclopedia containing current knowledge.) If we ever screw up badly enough, if anybody left develops the tech again to get at it, at least they should know enough to find it interesting and/or useful.

Crystal Skull time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41453323)

Break out the crystal skull!

In other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41453333)

Superman Sues Hitachi over intelectual property infringement on kiptonDrive TM.

Shatter-proof? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41453377)

...just don't drop it!

Re:Shatter-proof? (2)

mark_osmd (812581) | more than 2 years ago | (#41455599)

Yeah, although more expensive, synthetic sapphire might be better

A few hundred million years later (4, Funny)

ByteSlicer (735276) | more than 2 years ago | (#41453387)

Scientist 1 : Look! We found these crystals with dots on it. We believe they're some ancient data storage discs.
Scientist 2 : Cool! What do they say?
Scientist 1 : We don't know, we need the software to decode them.
Scientist 2 : And where is the software?
Scientist 1 : We're pretty sure it's on one of the discs...
(Scientist 1 : Also, we need a running DRM server, whatever that may be)

Re:A few hundred million years later (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41453477)

Record a label with the information as plain text, readable by microscope, for the file system and the data structures. Use simple, open formats so that there's no problem accessing the data. Store images as plain 24-bit TGAs, for example.

Re:A few hundred million years later (1)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 2 years ago | (#41453557)

Surely at least one copy of _The TeXbook_ and the other volumes of _Computers & Typesetting_ will survive:

http://www-cs-faculty.stanford.edu/~uno/abcde.html [stanford.edu]

which is why I've never understood why Project Gutenberg handicapped itself in its beginning w/ no tagging at all.

dead langauges (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 2 years ago | (#41453877)

But how will fuchur generashun tranzlate English into global unified LOLSpeak?

Re:A few hundred million years later (1)

mareacaspica (1271938) | more than 2 years ago | (#41453649)

They'll be quite surprised to find out Spartacus' pron collection

Re:A few hundred million years later (3, Funny)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | more than 2 years ago | (#41454151)

I am Sparticus and my collection is amazing.

Re:A few hundred million years later (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41454483)

I am Spartacus, and MY collection is amazing.

Re:A few hundred million years later (1)

fa2k (881632) | more than 2 years ago | (#41455255)

This problem is overblown for hyper-long term storage. It wouldn't be too hard for someone to reverse-engineer the x86 instruction set if they really wanted to. (server-based DRM is a bigger problem, but they may be able to crack things like AES-128 in the far future)

readable after a few hundred million years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41453455)

prove it

This great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41453499)

What happens if it gets dropped?

ridulian crystal paper (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41453535)

God Emperor of Dune is pleased.

Re: ridulian crystal paper (1)

harlequinn (909271) | more than 2 years ago | (#41457415)

I was thinking along similar lines.

Most Excellent! (3, Funny)

carrier lost (222597) | more than 2 years ago | (#41453581)

100 million years, right?

' That means I can use this to store my music collection until I finally have time to categorize and playlist it.

Re:Most Excellent! (4, Funny)

Malizar (553281) | more than 2 years ago | (#41453687)

And it may be out of copyright by then.

Re:Most Excellent! (1)

carrier lost (222597) | more than 2 years ago | (#41453965)

Ha!

Re:Most Excellent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41457275)

100 million years, right?

' That means I can use this to store my music collection until I finally have time to categorize and playlist it.

And it may be out of copyright by then.

My less cynical side wants to point out you are an optimist. My more cynical side wants to point out that to be in copyright, at least one copy must exist.

Re:Most Excellent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41453737)

or enough time for the copyright to finally run out on it and you can give it away :)

Where's the Rosetta Stone? (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 2 years ago | (#41453651)

I hope there is a human-readable "Rosetta Stone" to convert binary information to human-readable information. Better yet, record as much as possible in human-readable form to start with.

Heck, for pictures, dispense with the binary and store them as psuedo-analog, color-separated red, blue, and green "black and white images" with "pixels" of various sizes using artificial halftones. Next to the "red" picture, put a label indicating that this is "red" or a specific reddish wavelength of light. Ditto green and blue.

For text, have an ascii table or draw out the letters like a dot-matrix printer would. OK, so they don't speak English 10 million years from now. Put in a dictionary with all known human languages along with pictures and the like. Hopefully they'll figure it out.

For sound, carve an analog or pseudo-analog sound track similar to a record-player sound track.

Sure, this may not be space efficient, but the goal is longevity and understandability, not space-efficiency.

Yes, there will be things that are best stored digitally, but even for those you can and should have human-readable instructions to help make sense of the ones and zeros.

Re:Where's the Rosetta Stone? (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | more than 2 years ago | (#41453793)

Check out the Long Now Foundation. They have already produced Rosetta stone-like discs for languages. Their clock is very cool too.

Re:Where's the Rosetta Stone? (1)

fikx (704101) | more than 2 years ago | (#41453823)

just make a library of these crystals and then have the decoding info visible if you overlap them under a light....efficient in multiple dimensions...

Much more practical: 100-1000 years (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 2 years ago | (#41453759)

"Archival" storage has much more use for the 100-1000 time frame than for the million-year-plus time frame.

For time frames of less than 1000 years and assuming no major disruption like a nuclear war, we can assume that people will know what binary code is, what the English language is, have bodies that have eyes and ears that respond to light and sound much the way ours do now, etc. This makes deciding how to store information much, much easier.

Try storing the Declaration of Independence, the Koran, or Homer's great works in a form that beings 1M years from now are likely to be able to understand.

For the M-year-plus time frame... (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 2 years ago | (#41453807)

The kinds of messages that will last 1,000,000 years will be things like "we built cities," "we traveled in space," "we lived in an era with rapid climate change," "we used fire, tools, and medicine," and the like.

The only deliberate messages that may last this long will be things like "DANGER! TO PROCEED IS TO DIE!" near our nuclear waste dumps. Or maybe we won't be leaving these messages after all [slashdot.org] .

Re:Much more practical: 100-1000 years (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | more than 2 years ago | (#41453885)

Well, we've been able to read the human genetic code, see distant galaxies, and explore other planets with robots so I'm pretty certain that future humans will be able to read a Rosetta stone, which is built expressely for the purpose of being read by humans. Unless the future of humanity is a bunch of idiots they'll have little difficulty.

Infoworld's Take (1)

dskoll (99328) | more than 2 years ago | (#41453891)

Infoworld had an article on this [infoworld.com] in which the reporter wrote: It was unclear whether the optical microscopes needed to read the storage medium will still be available in the year 100002012.

Still, I hear that Hitachi is offering 10x your money back if the data is unreadable 100 million years from now.

Re:Infoworld's Take (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 2 years ago | (#41454443)

With interest?

Fortress of Solitude!!! (2)

Blackdragonpkj (941850) | more than 2 years ago | (#41453907)

When can I use these crystals to send my baby to another world where he will have super powers and build a fortress of solitude when thrown into the ocean?

Long Now: Rosetta Project (4, Interesting)

handy_vandal (606174) | more than 2 years ago | (#41453935)

The Rosetta Disk fits in the palm of your hand, yet it contains over 13,000 pages of information on over 1,500 human languages. The pages are microscopically etched and then electroformed in solid nickel, a process that raises the text very slightly - about 100 nanometers - off of the surface of the disk. Each page is only 400 microns across - about the width of 5 human hairs - and can be read through a microscope at 650X as clearly as you would from print in a book. Individual pages are visible at a much lower magnification of 100X. The outer ring of text reads "Languages of the World" in eight major world languages.

Link [rosettaproject.org]

Re:Long Now: Rosetta Project (1)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | more than 2 years ago | (#41454251)

Yes, and you can have one for the low low price of $10,000. Which is nice and all, and if I had stupid money, I'd buy one, but come on.

Ok, Hitachi will probably sell quartz data writers for that, to start with, and possibly they won't ever get much cheaper, but then again, they might. I can see there being a market for that sort of thing.

And yes, I understand digital data and the Rosetta Disk printed in standard human scripts are two rather different things, but consider this: if quartz disks are anything like CDRs, written data is visibly different from unwritten sections of the disk. Want to bet someone can figure out how to replicate a human-readable script using a quartz writer, writing digital data? Do it cleverly and the quartz disk can be read with either a digital reader or a microscope. And I'm a little surprised the Rosetta Disk project didn't give some thought to that themselves.

Re:Long Now: Rosetta Project (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | more than 2 years ago | (#41454763)

That's what you get with a $10,000 donation. I guess you also think that a $5,000 charity dinner is a crazy amount to charge for food on a plate.

Re:Long Now: Rosetta Project (1)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | more than 2 years ago | (#41454909)

Yes. Yes I do. In fact, I think a $5000 charity dinner is far worse than the Rosetta Disk donation. Like I said, I'd cough up $10k if money was no object to me. But I wouldn't pay a nickel for a charity dinner. If I'm going to donate to charity, I'm going to donate to goddamn charity. Don't make me put on a monkey suit and sit around all evening in an uncomfortable chair listening to a bunch of self-satisfied pricks tell me how wonderful they are (oh, and me too, of course).

Hmmmmm (1)

kiriath (2670145) | more than 2 years ago | (#41454101)

Fortress of Solitude anyone?

Duration is great, density needs work (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#41454327)

They mention is has the storage capacity of "about a music CD".

I would love some kind of archival medium I could trust for 1000 years. Then I could really back up something in a form I knew would last "forever" and keep it offsite without ever having to refresh it.

But I have way too much data to make using something with the capacity of a normal CD practical for use in this way.

So I still wait for a technology to come that can really store a lot of data for a long time... I agree with all the people bringing up issues of readers, but I figure I can store a spare reader too and that's close enough for me.

The Song Remains The Same... (2)

Xin Jing (1587107) | more than 2 years ago | (#41454333)

Great, now I have to buy my music all over again.

Re:The Song Remains The Same... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41456967)

+1 User RIAA likes this post.

Just how big of a laser? (1)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | more than 2 years ago | (#41454653)

And how long does it take to write data? Can we assume the laser required to deform quartz glass requires more power than a typical household even has available? Or is there some specific frequency that glassine quartz is peculiarly susceptible to? There isn't a lot of data I can think of that I'd like to have available from a single piece of media for the rest of my life (and the life of my species), but there is some.

One hopes there will be more details on the 30th, as one of the articles mentions.

Re:Just how big of a laser? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41455721)

Just how big of a laser

I'm not sure. But you better get started in breeding those sharks...

How many hours... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41455785)

... of Nyan Cat pse?

Analog still best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41459077)

I'm a computer geek as much as the next guy, but the best medium for long term storage is still "analog", at least where text is concerned.

Hundreds of years later, we can still read books. Need it to last longer? How about stone tablets or something. Want to open a computer file from the 70's? Good luck.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?