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Blog Archive for the ‘Digital Dark Age’ Category

Storing Digital Data in DNA

by Laura Welcher on August 16th, 02012

Reported in Science today, scientists George Church, Yuan Gao and Sriram Kosuri report that they have written a 5.27-megabit “book” in DNA – encoding far more digital data in DNA than has ever been achieved. Writing messages in DNA was first demonstrated in 1988, and the largest amount of data written in DNA previously was…  Read More

Solving the Pioneer Anomaly With Magnetic Tapes and Punch Cards

by Charlotte Hajer on July 27th, 02012

You may dream of freaky new physics, but sometimes freaky old physics is all you need. (New York Times) Slava G. Turyshev, an expert on gravity at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, recently proved that the tried and true theories of Einsteinian physics are as powerful as ever – and he used technology from the 01970s…  Read More

Rosetta, A Documentary by Scott Oller

by Austin Brown on July 24th, 02012

The Rosetta Project was created to begin the work of filling Long Now’s 10,000 Year Library and in 02011 student filmmaker Scott Oller offered to help tell the story of the project’s aspirations and achievements. This short documentary, Oller’s senior thesis, was shot over the course of several weeks in the Spring of 02012 and explores…  Read More

Remembering our Right to Remember

by Charlotte Hajer on July 23rd, 02012

In 01994, The Economist first launched its very own website. Before long, America Online pronounced it one of the world’s best news sites, and numerous readers depended on it for their updates on current events. Yet 18 years later, this once valued page is nowhere to be found. (The Wayback Machine’s records only go back…  Read More

What could take the internet down?

by Austin Brown on July 12th, 02012

In April 02010, Dr. David Eagleman addressed the Seminars About Long-term Thinking with a lecture called “Six Steps to Avert the Collapse of Civilization.” Central to Dr. Eagleman’s proposal for a resilient global society was the internet. As a high-volume, distributed communication system, the net offers new ways to contain disease, back-up information, share knowledge, work around oppressive regimes, collaborate, and…  Read More

Bringing the World’s ~ 7,000 Languages Online

by Austin Brown on July 3rd, 02012

On July 9, Rosetta Project director Laura Welcher will be giving a talk in the Long Now museum on “Bringing the World’s ~ 7,000 Languages Online.” This talk is part of an ongoing series offered by SF Globalization, a San Francisco meetup group interested in software localization and internationalization. “There are nearly 7,000 languages spoken…  Read More

Evernote and the 100-year data guarantee

by Austin Brown on June 28th, 02012

There are many many businesses that will store your data online for you, but few that actively address the problems of the digital dark age. While many people fear that incriminating or unflattering photos will live online forever, the opposite problem also lurks – your crucial or sentimentally valuable data can disappear when servers crash,…  Read More

How Toy Story 2 Narrowly Escaped Oblivion

by Charlotte Hajer on May 30th, 02012

Have you ever accidentally dropped something out of your pocket while the toilet is flushing? That’s R-M-*. Those three little characters are more dangerous than they might look: they very nearly spelled the end of Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and Mr. Potato Head. R-M-* erases Linux and Unix drives, and in 01999, someone accidentally ran this…  Read More

Rogue Archivists Fight the Digital Dark Age

by Charlotte Hajer on April 16th, 02012

Vigilantes? Internet Archaeologists? Digital doomsday sayers? The Archive Team has been called many things. Here at Long Now we’ve been following their work, which was recently featured by NPR’s On The Media. In a brief interview for the program, founder Jason Scott talked about some of the work they’re doing, and why it’s important. Scott describes…  Read More

Long Bets Bet – How Durable Are URLs?

by Austin Brown on March 23rd, 02012

A major concern of the digital dark age is link rot – the eventual failure of URLs to point to the intended files. As website maintenance falters for any number of reasons the pages can cease to be accessible, even though their addresses may be listed on many other sites. The notion that Long Bets…  Read More