Headline Aug 08, 2015/ ''' YOUR INBOX ''' : AFTER YOUR DEATH '''

''' YOUR INBOX ''' : 


IN 1975,  NASA LAUNCHED VIKING 1 AND VIKING 2,   -two deep space probes to Mars.

The agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory recorded information from the mission on a magnetic tape in a format that was  state-of-the-art. But just 10 years later, no one had the skills or software to  ''read'' it.

And up to  20 percent of the Viking mission data was lost just about forever and ever.

The moral is to be sceptical of the promises of technology  Services  like  Google Drive  and   Dropbox  store all data   ''in the cloud'' . That sounds pretty numinous, but all it means is your  doc is  saved in one of many Google servers.

Now, if you end up stymied by  USB  obsolescence   -or even if you spill coffee on your computer keyboard and fry it    -as long as you can get onto Google Drive, you can access your documents.

It feels awfully secure, but there's no guarantee that it's forever, Google could go out of business or sell off servers to someone who decides to wipe them clean.

If the company were to shut down Google Drive, it would likely give customers ample time to move their  data  elsewhere. But what happens if you aren't around to follow the instructions?

Morbid as it is, imagine passing away, with your photos and files on the drive, password protected and probably forgotten.

''Who'll tend your  inbox  after your death?''

Compounding the problem, Digital Equipment, compared with clay or paper isn't very durable.

Hard, Flash drives, Floppies, and  CD-ROMs all lack serious longevity. Servers, for instance have to be replaced about every five years.

VINT CERF  is one unique thinker. No wonder he is sometimes called the  ''father of the Internet''. He helped develop the  TCP/IP   [the communications protocol for the Internet]  and-

Later became Chairman of  ICANN   [the Internet Corporation for assigned Names and Numbers,  i.e. the people who make domain names and IP addresses]. But today he worries we're heading into a  ''digital dark age''.

''People think by digitizing photographs, maps we have preserved them forever,'' he says, ''but we have only preserved them forever if we can continue to read the bits that encode them.''

Save a file   -on a thumb drive, say  -several years later, your computer  [and your friends' computers]  might not even know how to read it. 

The company that makes those  USB drives  -or the software that read them   -may long have gone out of business, the engineers elsewhere or long passed. It's happened to the best of us, and the best of the U.S or the world.

So, in consideration of all of the above, several projects are underway to build a form of storage for   digital data   that doesn't degrade. 

Peter Kazansky and his partners at the  University of Southampton, for example, are working on molding silica glass into what is, for all intents and purposes, an infinite storage device.

The glass, modified quartz , is one of   ''the most stable materials on earth,''  says Kazansky, in normal conditions, it can store data for billions of years.

The silica glass is costly, says Kazansky:
A bare 5-inch silica glass disc is about $500. The ultrafast lasers used to record the data on the disks also come with hefty price tag : $100,000.

Kazansky hopes his storage glass will eventually be produced at a commercial scale; he says the price  ''could be reduced  10 to 100 times in mass production.''

Kazansky hopes his invention will eventually be used by  ''national archives, museums, libraries, and private organizations with a lot of data.

''Companies have to back up their archives every five or 10 years because hard-drive memory has a relatively short life span,'' he says. Contrast that with the copy of the Bible and Kazansky and his team have recently recorded in glass.

Kazansky predicts the recording will   ''survive the human race.'' 

The Honour and Serving of this latest '' Operational Research on Technology'' continues. Thank you for reading and, please share forward.

With respectful dedication to all the Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all on !WOW!   -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' Data in Eternity '''

Good Night and God bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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