[ba-unrev-talk] Fwd: [PORT-L] Ever greater storage capacities
>From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@BESTWEB.NET>
>Following is the opening sentence of a report about the
>potential for new magnetic storage capacities:
> Seagate researchers now believe they can store as much as
> 50 terabits per square inch -- equivalent to the entire
> printed contents of the Library of Congress -- on a single
> disk drive for a notebook computer.
>Other sources report the possibility of storing just one
>terabit per square inch. That would require a full 50 square
>inches to store the entire contents of the Library of Congress.
>In any case, the technology is improving so rapidly that the
>cost of storing enormous volumes of information -- such as the
>entire contents of the Internet -- is falling dramatically.
>There already are companies today that are making periodic
>snapshots of the entire contents of the Internet and archiving
>them for posterity (i.e., the next few years). Whether those
>snapshots are preserved for a longer time period depends on
>the cost of storing the data and making fresh copies from time
>That means that the preservation of the treasures of the past
>depends on the several factors: technology, cost, and the
>social structures that lead some people to make periodic copies.
>Those are the same factors that cause scribes in areas as widely
>separated as medieval Europe and China to preserve the ancient
>There is no guarantee that similar social structures will always
>exist -- in fact, there is no guarantee that human society will
>always exist. But barring some world-wide catastrophe, it is
>reasonable to assume that there are enough "pack rats" around that
>somebody somewhere will undertake to preserve the world's art and
>literary treasures as long as the technology is available.
>Unfortunately, the major obstacles to preserving the world's
>resources are the copyright laws and the idiots who are doing
>their best to make it impossible to copy data. For most of them,
>long-term preservation is the last thing on their little minds
>-- their goal is to make a quick buck as quickly as possible.
>John Sowa (01)
XML Topic Maps: Creating and Using Topic Maps for the Web.
Addison-Wesley, ISBN 0-201-74960-2. (02)