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Blog Archive for the ‘Digital Dark Age’ Category

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. . .   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. . .   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 […]

A Seed Vault for Culture?

by Charlotte Hajer on March 19th, 02012

Not sure what to do with your old paperbacks now that the latest bestsellers are available in electronic format? According to a recent article in the New York Times, Brewster Kahle would be happy to take them off your hands.

Kahle, a former SALT speaker, is undertaking the monumental task of collecting – and preserving – a. . .   Read More

The Future of Film’s Past

by Alex Mensing on February 22nd, 02012

Science fiction author Bruce Sterling, who delivered one of our earliest SALT presentations, recently shared an article about the difficulties of film preservation on his Wired blog, beyond the beyond.

In the article, Kristin Thompson and David Bordwell describe the enormous and myriad challenges that film archivists face, from physical and digital decay, multiplicity of. . .   Read More

The Archive Team

by Heather Ryan on September 8th, 02011

One of our favorite rogue digital archivists, Jason Scott, has just posted a video of his talk at DefCon 19 about The Archive Team exploits. This is perhaps the most eloquent (and freely peppered with profanity) explanations of the problems inherent with preserving our digital cultural heritage. He also describes in a fair amount of. . .   Read More

Charles Stross: Network Security in the Medium Term, 2061-2561 AD

by Austin Brown on August 25th, 02011

Earlier this month author Charles Stross gave a lecture in San Francisco for the USENIX Security Symposium. He called his talk “Network Security in the Medium Term, 2061-2561 AD” and in it he took the concept far beyond keeping your email password private or your WiFi from being hacked. Network security, according to Stross, will […]

Cure for the Digital Dark Age?

by Heather Ryan on August 16th, 02011

Real Men Don't Use Menus

*An old VisiCalc ad from the early 80’s.

The Digital Dark Age beacon has been flashing lately with some renewed frequency. It seems that articles on the pitfalls and challenges of preserving our digital “stuff” are starting to find their way back into the mainstream media. . .   Read More

New York Times Lapse

by Austin Brown on August 5th, 02011

Phillip Mendonça-Vieira captured the front page of the website of the New York Times every few hours from September 2010 to July 2011 and made a video of all those images. As far as historical documents go, it’s a hypnotic view into a particular period of time.

On what we might learn. . .   Read More

Last Typewriter Factory Closes

by Austin Brown on April 26th, 02011

After selling only 800 models last year – down from over 10,000 as recently as 02009 – the last typewriter factory in the world (according to The Daily Mail) has closed its doors and halted production. The factory was run by Godrej and Boyce and was based in Mumbai, India. The majority of the typewriters […]

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