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  • Vint Cerf has warned that we may lose all our important data if we rely on digital storage,

  • but who is this guy and what does he know anyway? Oh he helped invent the internet?

  • Ohhh

  • Hello out there in meat space, magnetic ones and zeros decoded as the image of Julian here for DNews.

  • Doomsday prophets run rampant on the internet and usually theyre pretty easy to tune out,

  • but when the vice president of Google warns of a digital dark age

  • , it’s kind of hard not to take notice.

  • Vint Cerf, along with being vp of google and therefore having dibs on any gmail address

  • he wants, helped develop the internet in 1969. He and Bob Khan created the Transmission Control

  • Protocol and Internet Protocol for ARPANET, which allowed computers to send data to each

  • other and is the basis for the internet. I bet he tellsCerf the internet jokes

  • all the time at parties.

  • Side note, the World Wide Web was developed 20 years later by a British scientist at CERN.

  • Tim Berners-Lee’s Hypertext Transfer Protocol or Http makes accessing web sites possible,

  • but the world wide web is built upon the internet and the two terms are not synonymous. At this

  • point though nobody seems to care unless theyre arguing over who invented it.

  • Ok history lesson aside, Cerf believes that storing things digitally isn’t bulletproof

  • as you might think. And the elder of the internet may have a point. Digital mediums do degrade

  • sure, but even if the information is good there’s the problem of accessing

  • it. What’s a universal device today might be totally obsolete in a decade. It’s why

  • you don’t see floppy diskettes or laser disks anymore. What’s a floppy disk you ask?

  • Exactly.

  • But even if we keep the hardware around we still need the software to decode it. Digital

  • data are just ones and zeros but there are many different formats they can be arranged

  • in. New and better formats are developed all the time, and there’s no guarantee of backwards

  • compatibility. Without software that can interpret the information, it’s all gobbledygook.

  • That’s why you need to stay strong and keep saying not today to that Java update.

  • But you can’t hold out forever, and you’d need to keep transferring your data to new

  • mediums and formats, which sounds like a lot of effort. Plus you may miss something you

  • don’t realize is important until it’s too late. Like the very first web page ever?

  • It’s gone. CERN is trying to rebuild it. I guess they didn’t think this whole website

  • thing would take off.

  • So Cerf recommends printing and storing documents and pictures physically. But there’s a reason

  • we don’t do this already: where would you put all of it??? Paper, thin as it is, takes

  • up huge amounts of space because it’s a relatively inefficient way to store data.

  • I think however I may have found a solution. DNA.

  • For years scientists have had the idea that if DNA can save genetic information, why can’t

  • it be used to store digital information too? George Church, a Harvard professor who is

  • mapping the human genome, thought he’d try that as a fun little side project. In 2012

  • he appeared on the Colbert Report with a copy of his book, and then produced a vial with

  • a slip of paper on it. and on the paper was a tiny dot. And on that dot was DNA with its

  • base pairs of AT and GC representing 1’s and 0’s. That single dot of DNA contained

  • 20 million copies of his book.

  • So why aren’t we rocking smartphones with 20 gazillion terabytes of storage on DNA drives?

  • Well for a number of reasons, the technology isn’t ready yet.

  • First of all, DNA has issues of longevity. It reacts with its environment and errors in

  • the data are caused by heat or radiation. Dr. Robert Grass of Zurich's Department of

  • Chemistry and Applied Biosciences may have solved the problem by encasing the DNA in

  • silica spheres 150 nanometers in diameter. They tested it by keeping the glass coated

  • DNA heated between 60 and 70 degrees celsius for a month to simulate the passage of hundreds

  • of years, and when they separated the DNA from the silica with a fluoride solution they

  • found it was just fine, thank you very much. It’s also not cheap, with a megabyte costing over $12,000,

  • and it’s not easy to access quickly. But this way you can keep every single TV show

  • and Movie ever made in high definitions in a solo cup for thousands of years. So as long as we keep a method to decode

  • it, there’s no reason we should lose a thing. Maybe thatll help Cerf rest a little easier.

  • Long term storage is one of the few advantages paper has over digital. Trace explains why

  • over here.

  • Are you worried about your digital storage? What’s your strategy to keep everything safe.

  • I have a bunch of back up hard drives at home with all these episodes on it

  • because I want to make sure I’m immortal. Let us know in the comments

  • and I’ll see you next time on DNews.

Vint Cerf has warned that we may lose all our important data if we rely on digital storage,

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B1 中級

デジタル暗黒時代は避けられるのか? (Can We Avoid A Digital Dark Age?)

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    羅紹桀 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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