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Storage of the future, the size of a Grain of sand!

One gram of this substance could store 887,808 petabytes, that’s the equivalent storage of more than 11 billion typical PCs!!

Data storage demand is ever increasing, Scientists are researching new ways of storing data that could solve all the problems, but is it ethically correct to store EVERYTHING?

As we dawn an era of Cameras in our streets, in buildings where we shop, eat and socialize and even in our homes, new methods of storing data is at the forefront of research. Scientists have revealed that a single Carbon Crystal edited one atom at a time by nanomachinery is capable of storing 887,808 petabytes. To put that further into context:

  • 1024 terabytes
  • 1,048,576 gigabytes
  • 1,073,741,824 megabytes

By way of comparison, in 2003 we as a species recorded 2,200 petabytes of data - enough to fill the hard drives of more than 28m typical PCs.

To read and write data on the atomic scale, you could store the sum total of all the data we recorded in 2003 on a grain of sand.

Is recording everything really necessary?

There are people who believe that if your not doing anything wrong then you have nothing to fear, and recording everything is only in the interests of the innocent, but then others believe that it is an invasion of privacy. In these turbulent times, I’m a firm believer that Cameras do help bring criminals to justice, so these new methods of data storage are extremely important for the welfare of the innocent in our increasingly hostile world.

It sounds strange right now, but there are too many uses for it to remain an eccentric niche. In the long term, almost all human experiences will be recorded. And in the very long term, they’ll be a gold mine for historians.

Lifelogs for 6 billion

Using a nanoscale diamond as data storage, six hundred grams can store a lifelog, a video and audio channel, with running transcript and search index, for six billion human beings.

Sixty to a hundred kilograms is all it takes to store an entire 21st Century of human experience.

And some time after our demise, this information will be available to historians.

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  1. Mike July 12, 2007

    Personally I don’t really care what is recorded. As my long dead grandfather used to say,

    The world is gone to hell in a handbasket”

    I tend to agree with him.
    His generation didn’t much give a damn about what they left for my generation, and apparently my generation doesn’t much give a damn about what we leave for my two grandsons. We continue to kill each other without remorse or regard……

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  3. Madnotcrazy July 12, 2007

    ummmm……….. What?!

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  5. molotov July 13, 2007

    Does editing one atom at a time allow for streaming coherent audio and video to the storage device? I think not.

    Even so, if (or when, rather) we get to that point, we’ll have an immense amount of data. Our biggest problems will then turn to parsing that data into usable information.

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  7. Adam July 13, 2007

    @Mike - Haha! Gave me a good laugh.

    Very interesting article. I think from both a philosophical and logical position, storing a ‘lifelog’ is ethical and makes sense. There are so many advantages to recording ‘all’ information, just as long as it does not create a ‘big brother’ effect.

    Id continue writing, but my brain hurts right now, long day at work.

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  9. Richard July 24, 2007

    Those who produced this study have their data estimates infinitely off. They have spent too much time in front of 320×240 web video, and believe things like digital photography end at 640×480 pixels (or maybe 320×240.) I personally find large archival storage of this magnitude a pleasant change from the volatile methods of today. Nanotechnology holds many promises, so, get on with it, boys and girls! Bring this storage to market NOW. I want one. Or ten. Make it a dozen. Then, maybe, if just for my little world, I might be able to relax a bit.

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  11. House May 27, 2010

    We are still a long way away from this technology, and by then, while the holding capacity is large, it wouldn’t be as immense as we see it now, because if we look back 15 years, a file that was just 2mb was gigantic, and a terebyte of information for a single person was extremely rare, and now, 1 terebyte isn’t all that big. There will always be inflation with these things. As our technology increases, files will get bigger and bigger.

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