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New DVDs For 1,000-Year Digital Storage

kdawson posted about 5 years ago | from the you-must-remember-this dept.

Data Storage 274

anonymous cowpie sends word of a Utah startup that is about to introduce technology for writing DVDs that can be read for 1,000 years after being stored at room temperature. (Ordinary DVDs last anywhere from 3 to 12 years, on average.) The company, Millenniata, is said to be in the final stages of negotiation with Phillips over patent licensing and plans to begin manufacture in September. 1,000-year "M-ARC Discs" are expected to retail for $25-$30 at first, with the price coming down with volume. "Dubbed the Millennial Disk, it looks virtually identical to a regular DVD, but it's special. Layers of hard, 'persistent' materials (the exact composition is a trade secret) are laid down on a plastic carrier, and digital information is literally carved in with an enhanced laser using the company's Millennial Writer, a sort of beefed-up DVD burner. Once cut, the disk can be read by an ordinary DVD reader on your computer."

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274 comments

Posting.... (5, Funny)

c00rdb (945666) | about 5 years ago | (#28728335)

Posting to prevent accidental mod.

How do we KNOW that.. (5, Interesting)

NervousNerd (1190935) | about 5 years ago | (#28728339)

How do we KNOW that they'll REALLY last 1,000 years?

Re:How do we KNOW that.. (3, Insightful)

localman57 (1340533) | about 5 years ago | (#28728391)

I don't know. But it's interesting to think that people watching the DVDs 1000 years from now will probably find our speech as odd and different as we find Beowulf now...

Re:How do we KNOW that.. (5, Funny)

kannibal_klown (531544) | about 5 years ago | (#28728471)

I don't know. But it's interesting to think that people watching the DVDs 1000 years from now will probably find our speech as odd and different as we find Beowulf now...

Yeh, they'll find it odd how we call it Christmas instead of XMas. How we saw Ask instead of Aks. And these rain forests we keep talking about.

Re:How do we KNOW that.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28728647)

They'll find it odd that we stored information on shiny drink coasters and think about how stupid we were to believe there would be any device around capable of spinning and reading such ancient, quaint "optical media". Then the Capt. will ask Data to build something to read it and he will get some of the degraded information from the device.

Re:How do we KNOW that.. (3, Funny)

msormune (808119) | about 5 years ago | (#28728767)

The rain what now?

Re:How do we KNOW that.. (3, Interesting)

CarpetShark (865376) | about 5 years ago | (#28728835)

rain forests

Rain?

For rests?

Fascinating. Just 2,000 years ago, rain was a torture method. And just 1,000 years later, it seems to have developed into some the much-mentioned but never seen "rest and relaxation". So much of our past is yet to be discovered.

Re:How do we KNOW that.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28729139)

Yeh, they'll find it odd how we call it Christmas instead of XMas. How we saw Ask instead of Aks. And these rain forests we keep talking about.

Don't worry, they can look it all up on their Local Liebary device.

Re:How do we KNOW that.. (4, Funny)

notseamus (1295248) | about 5 years ago | (#28728511)

Ah, you talk like a fag, and your shit's all retarded.

Re:How do we KNOW that.. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28728635)

parent is not flamebait. people who dont understand common cultural references (idiocracy in this case) shouldn't be allowed to mod posts.

Mod parent Funny, not Flamebait (4, Informative)

bheer (633842) | about 5 years ago | (#28728651)

That's a quote from Idiocracy, not flamebait.

Re:How do we KNOW that.. (1)

pHus10n (1443071) | about 5 years ago | (#28728715)

Mod parent Funny. It's a reference from Idiocracy.

Re:How do we KNOW that.. (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 years ago | (#28728545)

Hwæt! The unauthorized recollection or recitation of this copyrighted Epic is illegal.

Re:How do we KNOW that.. (2, Informative)

AHuxley (892839) | about 5 years ago | (#28728421)

A lifetime estimation study would be done.
Extended incubation tests, at ~ 80ÂC, 85%RH ect.
Accelerated ageing should give the user some idea, not that many of us will get to ask for a 'return' for faulty goods.

Re:How do we KNOW that.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28728479)

Obviously the product was first marketed on the 17th of July, 1009.

Re:How do we KNOW that.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28728493)

They're making a black hole with LHC so they can test it.

Re:How do we KNOW that.. (3, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | about 5 years ago | (#28728503)

John Titor told us.

Re:How do we KNOW that.. (4, Funny)

A. B3ttik (1344591) | about 5 years ago | (#28728553)

How do we KNOW that they'll REALLY last 1,000 years?

People from the future told us. They also told us to bury more porn.

Re:How do we KNOW that.. (2, Interesting)

cashman73 (855518) | about 5 years ago | (#28728603)

The problem is, after we've evolved several generations, our porn won't be nearly as enticing to future generations as it is to us. They'll be wondering where the extra pair of titties is? ;-)

Re:How do we KNOW that.. (4, Funny)

A. B3ttik (1344591) | about 5 years ago | (#28728775)

Good god, I hadn't thought of that.

I'm sure the multi-endowed tentaclebeasted transfurry lolirape stuff that comes out of Japan and /b/ is _nothing_ compared to the unfathomable transdimensional Lovecraftian virtual Horror-Porn that our descendants will be fapping to in .

Re:Wondering (3, Interesting)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | about 5 years ago | (#28728889)

You mean fewer.

From the musical Big River*

She's got one big breast in the middle of her chest
And an eye in the middle of her nose
So says I, if you look her in the eye
You're better off looking up her nose

(* This post is for cultural research only. No sales of Hulu(tm) ads have been created out of contract by this post. This does not constitute a song.)

Re:How do we KNOW that.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28728819)

What else would you store on a DVD that expensive?

Nonsense. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28728943)

I'm from the future and these things started to fail after the invasion the P'tarr which brought Ma'arev plastic rot.
And holy muhummumud-iebuz-krizhn'aah, why do you bury all these DVD with acrobatics of naked people ? It's always the same, not very interesting and confuses our archeologists.
I heard a second-subsided Co-Proproffezor from the 3rd Uranian Institute for Frombetics and Timeline research claim they have something to do with procreation, a special cult or so. Which I find wacky - people come from the cloning factory, why do acrobatics or culting about it ? What's next ? Babies growing in the womb or what ?
You are a strange timeline.
And what's about these acrobatics from 2016 and the Mars bars ?

Re:How do we KNOW that.. (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 5 years ago | (#28728581)

...and will there be any DVD readers 1,000 years from now?

 

4Gb of storage is already getting quite small. By the time this gets to market it will be too late to be useful.

Re:How do we KNOW that.. (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 5 years ago | (#28728903)

...and will there be any DVD readers 1,000 years from now?

Well, maybe the next step will be to build a reader which will last 1000 years. And a computer which can last 1000 years. But how do we tell those people in 1000 years how to use a computer of today to read a DVD of today?

Re:How do we KNOW that.. (2, Funny)

Krneki (1192201) | about 5 years ago | (#28728611)

Ask Philip J. Fry.

Re:How do we KNOW that.. (1)

ReiVaX18 (884749) | about 5 years ago | (#28728615)

Probably the same way they knew cdrs were gonna last for hundreds of years when they came out

from the same consensus (1)

Shivetya (243324) | about 5 years ago | (#28728653)

that tells us global warming will doom us in one hundred years.

So, in the meantime, thank you for funding my lavish lifestyle and be happy to know your saving your data (world)

Re:How do we KNOW that.. (1)

AdmiralXyz (1378985) | about 5 years ago | (#28728657)

In the unlikely event that you RTFA, you'll notice there is an entire section devoted to that exact question.

Re:How do we KNOW that.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28728675)

We don't know they will. But rest assured that a thousand years from now, your distant descendants can file a suit in small claims court for false advertising if your home movies won't play.

The legal system works!

Re:How do we KNOW that.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28728687)

They tested it. Duh.

Simple really (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | about 5 years ago | (#28728709)

Well, we can compare with CDROMs that were rated to last for 50 years and to have excellent new-fangled error correction properties. Experience shows that an average pristine CDROM, when taken out of its lovely packaging, is, within say, around 5 minutes, royally fucked by virtue of a single hairline scrape.

So, concluding the obvious --- that a long 50-year rating is actually hazardous to the lifetime of a medium --- we can clearly see that a 1,000-year medium will, in fact, be a powerful tool. With it, we can erase from history events that have already happened.

Cryo (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | about 5 years ago | (#28728781)

How do we KNOW that they'll REALLY last 1,000 years?

They also offer a cryostasis program.

Re:How do we KNOW that.. (1)

zarmanto (884704) | about 5 years ago | (#28728803)

How do we KNOW that they'll REALLY last 1,000 years?

I dunno, but I hear they have rock-solid proof... something to do with a borrowed Delorean, if I'm not mistaken.

Re:How do we KNOW that.. (1)

stms (1132653) | about 5 years ago | (#28728859)

Not to mention the fact that DVD readers will probably not at the very minimum extremely hard to find.

Re:How do we KNOW that.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28728955)

Money back guaranteed! ...good luck finding their toll free number in July 3009!

Why mod Troll? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28729041)

It's a perfectly legitimate question.
They used to say writable CD-Rs would last 50 years, then next thing we knew, we discovered "disc rot" (or whatever it's called) in CD-Rs that were barely a couple years old.

Larger Disks (4, Funny)

A. B3ttik (1344591) | about 5 years ago | (#28728343)

Dubbed the Millennial Disk, it looks virtually identical to a regular DVD, but it's special.

These new non-degradable disks are larger, black, and made out of vinyl.

Re:Larger Disks (4, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 5 years ago | (#28728793)

+1 for Interracial Chubby Bondage reference.

players? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28728365)

As if DVD players will be around for 1000 years?

Re:players? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28728477)

As if DVD players will be around for 1000 years?

Mechanically printed books haven't been around a 1,000 years. The real point is they'll be accessible for the next 20 years so they are archival for professional and important family use. Most people don't care about anything after the next 50 years.

Re:players? (1)

jabjoe (1042100) | about 5 years ago | (#28728753)

We can't predict how they will read them, only try and help them do so.
If the shit hits the fan, they might have to rebuild a primitive dvd reader to read our old data to help them rebuild more of our technology. Or maybe in their towers of crystal they'll use some kind of insanely powerful, multispectrum digital camera and extract the data from the image. Or maybe their genetically enhanced eyes and minds do it all for them in their subconscious, so they don't even see the disc, just the data. We can't know, but we should try and make it as easy as possible for the data to be retrieved as long into the future as we can.

Re:players? (3, Informative)

RDW (41497) | about 5 years ago | (#28728915)

'As if DVD players will be around for 1000 years?'

Or even 20 years:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2002/mar/03/research.elearning [guardian.co.uk]

The situation won't be as extreme as it was with this proprietary system, of course (the number of number of DVD readers in circulation is very large, and the software that interacts with them is well documented), but in the long run the only thing that really makes sense is to make multiple copies that are shifted to new storage media as they become available.

Re:players? (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about 5 years ago | (#28729119)

They will make their money, get a few suckers, and move on. Good business for an exec to cash out basically. Meanwhile, "proprietary" is usually another word for "We haven't patented it/probably won't unless we get enough suckers".

Re:players? (2, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | about 5 years ago | (#28728981)

No problem. Store them in a vault with 10 plates of instructions for building a DVD player and 100 plates showing how to crack the various layers of annoying DRM that have been added by the Hollywood studios.

Re:players? (1)

Zackbass (457384) | about 5 years ago | (#28729157)

I'm always confused as to why people get hung on this point so often. Why would someone in 1000 years (barring some apocalyptic situation), or even 20 years need a specific player to read a DVD, floppy disk, hard disk, or anything? All of these can be examined with more generic laboratory inspection equipment now, why is it unrealistic that 10 years from now you might have an optical disk scanner that reads just about anything? Even the encoding that the disks use isn't very complicated, we crack much more difficult codes all the time.

Recall Kodak (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 5 years ago | (#28728369)

Kodak 100 year data lifetime on its CD-R Ultima media?
Sounds like someone put some effort into dvds too.

why no after all... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28728393)

I was writting a flamming "how can they prove the 1000 year thingy" when I realized thad a mere century was more than enough at this price... I wonder what are the tests though...

1000-year frisbee (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28728403)

Too bad trying to find a DVD player 1,000 years from now will be like trying to find a floppy drive 9,980 years from now.

Re:1000-year frisbee (1)

gid (5195) | about 5 years ago | (#28728671)

No way, finding a floppy drive 9980 years from now will be around 10x harder than finding a dvd player 1000 years from now. :)

Seriously though, if the archival method catches on, then many places will have dvd players for many years to come to have access to old pictures, videos and what not. No one in their right mind uses floppy disks for permanent long term storage.

Re:1000-year frisbee (1)

Talderas (1212466) | about 5 years ago | (#28728991)

What size floppy drive? 8", 5.25", 3.5"

TFA is light on technical details. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28728419)

For example, how does this laser "carve" into the substrate? Is a laser strong enough to "carve" into this subtstrate even legal to sell to consumers? If this is different from an ordinary DVD writer and discs, then how ? How do we know that these discs are any better than ordinary DVDs? After all, this company could fold in 10 years, just as it's "M-ARC" discs are failing.

Re:TFA is light on technical details. (1)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about 5 years ago | (#28728785)

For example, how does this laser "carve" into the substrate? Is a laser strong enough to "carve" into this subtstrate even legal to sell to consumers?

If it's enclosed and interlocked, yes.

Even a conventional high-speed DVD or Blu-Ray burner can run its laser at 100mW or more average power, enough to sting your skin, pop a balloon, or give you an instant (much faster than you can blink) blind spot. But since it's enclosed, and the user can't be exposed during normal operation, it's perfectly OK to sell to consumers.

It's still unclear how regulators will deal with users removing the laser diode and using it in unapproved ways.

Re:TFA is light on technical details. (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 5 years ago | (#28729013)

Probably the same way as with users removing the high voltage parts of their CRT TV and using them in unapproved ways.

Carved in (2, Funny)

The_mad_linguist (1019680) | about 5 years ago | (#28728449)

Thanks to the fact the data is literally "carved in", these discs are playable by a wide range of easily obtainable readers. Not only can you put them in a DVD player - in fact, it's possible simply to put a needle in the grooves of the disc, which gives detailed instructions on how to make a DVD player.

Trust (0, Redundant)

rhsanborn (773855) | about 5 years ago | (#28728485)

Doesn't this sound a lot like, "We have this super special material and this really cool laser, but we can't tell you what they are. But it lasts 1000 years...really...trust us."

Re:Trust (1)

NewWorldDan (899800) | about 5 years ago | (#28728713)

DVDs have tons of error correction and are designed to take a certain amount of abuse. Since that is the case, you can sample the decay after a few years and extrapolate the functional life of the disc. More or less. Either way, so long as the discs last at least 30-40 years, this company probably won't be around to sue if they start failing prematurely.

Disc Lifespan (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 5 years ago | (#28728487)

(Ordinary DVDs last anywhere from 3 to 12 years, on average.)

For those of you really concerned about optical media in your possession, check out NIST's "Care and Handling of CDs and DVDs - A Guide for Librarians and Archivists" [nist.gov] [1.24 MB PDF warning]. That guide is extremely thorough.

While it is a longer span for pressed DVDs, I'm sure the RIAA/MPAA know that the media we purchase songs and movies on has a limited lifespan that may very well be shorter than the consumer's remaining years. And it kind of upsets me that creating backups for your own personal use of DVDs or CDs is illegal (although not typically prosecuted unless copyright infringement ensues). Personally, I rip all my CDs and some DVDs upon purchase and simply never use the disc again. It goes into storage and I create digital backups and hard copy backups of the discs. It's a bit pricier and not as instant as other ways of purchasing media but it ensures I'll always have it. When I purchased the latest Cloud Cult album, I bought the CDs and was able to download unencrypted MP3s immediately after purchase. When I purchased the vinyl record of She & Him, I was e-mailed a voucher to download the MP3s. I wish the big distributors would follow what the little guys are doing and offer you the whole package up front. Saves me a lot of work.

Re:Disc Lifespan (1)

tgd (2822) | about 5 years ago | (#28728537)

Backups of DVDs and CDs are not illegal, what gave you that idea?

Re:Disc Lifespan (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28728585)

Maybe the fact that software made specifically to back up your movies has been banned and ordered to shut down (I don't remember what the software program was called but it was a big deal at the time). And maybe the fact that simply "copying" your content usually means it won't be playable. For instance, if you want to backup your DVDs you are going to need to use the DSCC code or a variation on it. Which has been classified as a crime (circumventing copy protection). As for videogames... well, it's not always the easiest thign to just copy your XBOX or PC game and start using the backup copy.

This is part of why I don't understand people who "collect" videogames. Or more, who buy "collectors editions" of videogames. Why!? Your game media is going to be dead and unusuable in as little as 3 years...

Re:Disc Lifespan (1)

Talderas (1212466) | about 5 years ago | (#28729027)

Cool stuff.

Fallout 3 Vault-boy Bobblehead FTW. I also got a lunchbox. Yippie!

Re:Disc Lifespan (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 years ago | (#28728609)

It's illegal to make backups of media if you have to violate the DMCA to do it. Unfortunately, this applies to DVDs (but NOT Audio CDs.) And of course, this is USA-centric.

Re:Disc Lifespan (2, Interesting)

tgd (2822) | about 5 years ago | (#28728699)

You don't have to violate the DMCA to copy a DVD. Just copy the files to a blank disk.

CSS is about player licensing, not copy protection. (Which there are a lot of people that *still* don't get...)

You can't play a DVD back on a player that isn't licensed by the DVD consortium. Thats what CSS prevents. (And thus, you can't format shift.)

Making a backup works just fine, and is perfectly legal. In fact, you can make a backup to a harddrive and it'll work just fine as long as the program playing it on your computer is a licensed DVD player. No decryption needed, no DCMA violation, no breaking of copyright.

DVD X Copy and RealDVD Rulings (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 5 years ago | (#28728627)

Backups of DVDs and CDs are not illegal, what gave you that idea?

Wish you were correct. But you need only look at the short history of 321 Studios' DVD X Copy [cnn.com] or Real's RealDVD [slashdot.org] whereby both ended in lawsuits where the movie studios won. Why is this? Our good friend, the DMCA.

Like I said, it's not prosecuted (when you do it in your home) but try to release commercial software that decrypts DVDs or even copies without decrypting a disc. Instant lawsuit. I'll bet if the MPAA/RIAA had a way to detect when this occurs without invading your privacy completely, we'd see a hell of a lot more lawsuits issued via the DMCA.

Re:DVD X Copy and RealDVD Rulings (1)

tgd (2822) | about 5 years ago | (#28728737)

Those were about playing back DVDs on unlicensed software or format shifting, not making a copy of a DVD.

Put a DVD in your computer. Rip an ISO. Burn the ISO to a new blank DVD. Works fine on any DVD, you can do it with command line tools if you'd like.

Now, if you want to take a 8GB DVD and get it onto a single layer disk (which is what that software was doing) by re-encoding the video or stripping stuff out, you are no longer backing up the disk and yes, you have to decrypt it, and yes that is illegal.

But backups are not.

Re:Disc Lifespan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28728851)

Keep in mind that at some point your original disc will degrade. The point of making a backup would be to get a fresh disc that will extend the time to degradation.

Difficult to calculate though since any disc you back up to is likely going to be a lesser quality than the pressed disc (ie. shorter life span). So you have to guess at when your original disc is about to go bad and then make a fresh copy on a new disc.

Here's why it will fail: (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28728499)

"...are laid down on a PLASTIC carrier,..."

Keyword for failure: plastic.

Sure. 1000 years. (5, Interesting)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | about 5 years ago | (#28728513)

And this assumes that in 1000 years there will be:

1. a player to play the damn thing
2. the resources to build a player to play the damn thing.
3. a screen to view it on
4. the resources to build a screen to view it on
5. the cultural interest in such behaviour (sitting and watching a screen)
6. the cultural capacity to decode and understand what the hell they're watching even if they do decide to watch it, assuming they have the ability to do so. For an extreme example, there is a non-zero probability that in 1000 years, the notion of "fiction" may well not exist, in which case an episode of "Friends" or "Seinfeld" become biographical portraits of stupid foolish people, as one needs to have the fictive distance to decode what is happening.
7. that anyone will give a rat's ass about us in a 1000 years. They may well be pissing on our graves for having ruined the planet, and these disks may simply be destroyed as examples of the evil Evil EVIL petroleum age.
8. Reverse engineering NTSC (SD or HD - just getting 29.97fps with rectangular pixels is fucked up enough) from a disc filled with microscopic pits strikes me as impossible and or pointless.

I can list many more reasons why a 1000 year disk is a waste of time, those are just a few off the top of my head.

Frankly, I think we are the civilisation that in 1000 years will be a great and tantalizing mystery. Their world will be filled with our garbage, telling them how we lived (like wasteful pigs at the trough) but they won't really know that much about what we think (because it was all digital and the technology disappeared in the die-off).

RS

Re:Sure. 1000 years. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28728565)

1000 years from now, watching images on a screen will be outlawed by the worldwide islamist government, on pain of being stoned to death.

Re:Sure. 1000 years. (4, Funny)

MarkGriz (520778) | about 5 years ago | (#28728701)

And finally and most importantly, Congress would *never* consider extending the copyright term to 1000 years

Re:Sure. 1000 years. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28729067)

Don't give them any ideas.

Re:Sure. 1000 years. (1)

A. B3ttik (1344591) | about 5 years ago | (#28728705)

Are you always this depressed?

Re:Sure. 1000 years. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28728729)

and if you're wrong and we don't archive stuff for them?

No real harm in doing it. Just sayin' ...

Re:Sure. 1000 years. (1)

truesaer (135079) | about 5 years ago | (#28728763)

Yes, 1000 years from now the discs may not be terribly useful. But if there was some fantastic info on them my guess is that some creative person would be willing to build a system to read them.

But really, lets put aside 1000 years. Lets just think of 100 years, or 200. DVDs now can't be relied upon to last 100 years, but I'm confident that if someone wanted to maintain an archive of info 100 years from now they would find a way to read the discs and put them on the latest generation archival material. And this seems reasonable, we still occasionally find old films from the early 20th century and we have the equipment necessary to read, restore, and digitize the info. I suspect this trend will continue. And there are lots of people interested in maintaining huge archives of information...like google, who would love to digitize every book and other scrap of human knowledge they can get their hands on.

To me, archival isn't the question anymore. No one needs to throw obscure information into a vault to be rediscovered 100 years from now, you can digitize it and have it available forever. The real risk is what happens if Google ever goes south? It would be a shame for a disaster or a bankruptcy or something to have them just shut down and throw away their data. Seems unlikely for a bankruptcy, storage is cheap enough to justify buying almost any digitized info. But it would only take 1 extremely disruptive natural disaster, or war, or cultural revolution, etc to lose a lot of info now that it is so concentrated into a few hands.

Re:Sure. 1000 years. (4, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about 5 years ago | (#28728765)

I can list many more reasons why a 1000 year disk is a waste of time

I think you are missing the point.

Let's say you are an engineer working for DiskCorp, and your boss tells you to develop a compound that will last for 100 years to sell to people worried about archival. In the persuit of 100-year life, you happen to come up with something that lasts 1000 years.

Do you: (a) decide that you failed and go back to the drawing board, or (b) tell marketing they can run with the 1000-year life?

Re:Sure. 1000 years. (4, Insightful)

Locklin (1074657) | about 5 years ago | (#28728795)

It's a psychological trick. No one will take their word for it that their disks last 1000 years. Instead, people will assume they are exaggerating, but anchor their estimate of the "real" lifetime of the disks to the 1000 year number (even though it's obviously fictitious). Half, a third, even a tenth of the advertised lifetime is still longer than a human lifetime -so people will buy it.

Re:Sure. 1000 years. (2, Informative)

Ihlosi (895663) | about 5 years ago | (#28728805)

1. a player to play the damn thing

Just stick it in the molecular scanner. This is 1000 years into the future, isn't it?

2. the resources to build a player to play the damn thing.

3. a screen to view it on
4. the resources to build a screen to view it on

Oh, you want to full old-school experience? I'm sure you can replicate a player, then. Or incorporate the molecular scan from 1. in a holodeck program that simulates a player and a screen.

5. the cultural interest in such behaviour (sitting and watching a screen)

Maybe you're interested in ancient history? Or maybe that's several orders of magnitude more exciting than what people usually do in their spare time 1000 years from now?

Re:Sure. 1000 years. (1)

Mr. Suck (62745) | about 5 years ago | (#28728813)

A wast of time from your perspective but historians and archeologists have invested generously and patiently understanding dead languages and stone carvings from thousands of years ago. If they found a shiny disc from 1000 years ago, I think they'd be all over it.

Re:Sure. 1000 years. (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 5 years ago | (#28729127)

Only until they discover that the disk was encrypted with some DRM scheme ...

Re:Sure. 1000 years. (4, Informative)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about 5 years ago | (#28729007)

8. Reverse engineering NTSC (SD or HD - just getting 29.97fps with rectangular pixels is fucked up enough) from a disc filled with microscopic pits strikes me as impossible and or pointless.

If Things Fall Apart, it'll be impossible and pointless, because people probably won't even be able to discern that there are pits. A DVD will just be another piece of godtrash, desirable because it makes pretty rainbows, but with only legends about its function.

If This Goes On, it'll be trivial, whether or not players still exist. I'm pretty sure that with a consumer digicam, ImageJ, a simple audio package and some ambition, I could recover an Edison cylinder recording without any sort of physical "player"; doing the same for a vinyl disc would be a stretch at present, but probably not ten years from now. A physical artifact with gross topographic features (as opposed to subtle patterns of charge or spin) just won't be able to retain that much mystery. The software it represents can be a bit more mysterious, but I don't think the ability to analyze a digital video stream is likely to be lost unless we lose most everything else.

Of course, if the RIAA and its minions come up with truly strong encryption and DRM, information could be lost irretrievably. But gods have always had demons to contend with.

I guess... (1)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | about 5 years ago | (#28728519)

> Millenniata, is said to be in the final stages of negotiation with Phillips over patent licensing and plans to begin manufacture in September.

I guess Phillips felt sorry for some old lady who fell for a Nigerian government scam and decided to hire her...

Anyone who buys this is an idiot.

Should there be date stamps on movie DVDs? (3, Informative)

slo5oh (1375437) | about 5 years ago | (#28728525)

If this is true then shouldn't new movies come with a date stamp on the case so you know you're buying a "fresh" copy? Sounds strange to me. I've got data and music CD's I made over 10 years ago that still work. Can't say I've been burning DVDs that long though.

I'm much less interested in 1,000-year DVDs... (1)

bwintx (813768) | about 5 years ago | (#28728559)

...than I am in seeing the cool time machine they must have employed to test them.

Only 7-12 years (2, Informative)

elrous0 (869638) | about 5 years ago | (#28728571)

I have DVD's in my collection now older than 12 years old and they work fine. Maybe they mean recordable discs?

Re:Only 7-12 years (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28728721)

I have CDRs in my collection that are now more than 14 years old, and DVDRs more than 8 years old - all working fine.

Through observing friends' and foes' constant problems with burnt discs going bad after months, weeks, days - and sometimes even hours (yes, for real) - I found that they all had one thing in common: they all burnt their discs at the fastest speed the media allowed. I have never burnt a disc faster than half its maximum speed, and so far not a single (again: not a single) disc has gone bad with time, not even discs made with the cheapest Ritek dyes.

Re:Only 7-12 years (1)

digitalaudiorock (1130835) | about 5 years ago | (#28728741)

I have DVD's in my collection now older than 12 years old and they work fine. Maybe they mean recordable discs?

Even if they do, I'd expect recordable disks to last longer than that if my experience with CDRs is any indication. I don't recall ever having one of them fail with age.

Re:Only 7-12 years (2, Informative)

jgardner100 (559892) | about 5 years ago | (#28728789)

I have 13 year old recordable cd's in my collection (I can date them based on the birth of my daughter) and dvds that aren't that much younger. The article doesn't specify where is got that time scale from so I have to put it down to they made it up.

Re:Only 7-12 years (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 5 years ago | (#28728901)

My first CDs were the "Miami Vice Soundtrack" and the "Beverly Hills Cop Soundtrack" from 1984 or 1985. Last I checked, they still play.

But first of all, they aren't talking about CDs, they are talking about data DVDs. And second, they are almost certainly referring to recordables, not pressed.

Re:Only 7-12 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28728849)

I think so. professional dvd's are made in bulk, so they are stamped media.

Re:Only 7-12 years (1)

Rashkae (59673) | about 5 years ago | (#28728929)

Common misconception,,, the 3 to 10 years is is the expected lifespan of RW media. R media, barring defects, should last over 25 years under normal storage. (Should definitely outlast our ability to find readers for them, in any case.)

At last! Long term thinking! (1)

jabjoe (1042100) | about 5 years ago | (#28728623)

Now, if everyone understands DRM and closed formats are hopelessly short sighted, maybe we can avoid the current day being the future's digital dark age. We can leave a legacy of storage media still readable in formats whose workings are widely known. Some would leave their descendants a tangled mess of data hidden with secrets on media not designed to last longer than a decade. Which is not really seeing the bigger picture.....

It's the format (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28728667)

It's not the medium that has a short lifespan, it is the format. When the DVD came out, I was working for a medical IT company. In medical IT, there is an obligation to keep the data for 15 years or so. But no one could tell whether it would be +RW or -RW that would still be known 15 years later. What use is a 100 year disk if you cannot even know that the format is still supported 5 years from now?

is it really useful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28728731)

what's the point, exactly? even today 5GB is not much for archival, and we know the pace at which storage size availability grows in time. For example, we already have tape systems of greater size and whose durability is proven.

The only (dubious) advantage would be: you'll be able to record a DVD which you'll be able to readily plug in your reader somewhere in the far future... provided that a DVD reader will still available, which I doubt.

I mean, would you care if someone in the 80's had created 1000-year-proof eight-inch floppy disks?

Not 1000 years, but... (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | about 5 years ago | (#28728749)

This is actually useful to those of us looking for a decent data archiving system. While I'm not aiming for a 1000 years of recovery, 20-30 would be decent.

To answer the next question; if enough people think the same way, yes there will be a player for them in 30 years. And many of us are thinking the same way. For reference; there are turntables with USB interfaces.

literally carved? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28728757)

"digital information is literally carved in with an enhanced laser"

Surely an enhanced chisel would be more appropriate.

So the MPAA is planning for their... (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | about 5 years ago | (#28728887)

1000 year Reich?

I *KNEW* it!

By the way: Why would anyone put a date on when their empire will die? I mean imagine the Nazis sitting together after winning. 1000 years went by. And someone goes: "Now what?" ;)

Also: Instant Godwin'd! ^^

At least make some sense! (1)

John Pfeiffer (454131) | about 5 years ago | (#28728989)

Impossible-to-substantiate claims of long-term data integrity aside, it's an absurd concept.

A 'DVD that can be read for 1,000 years'? It will be nothing short of incredible if you can even read it in a HUNDRED years. I'm not saying their uber material and process won't etch rather more permanent 1s and 0s into the disc. I'm saying that even if each one comes WITH a DVD drive to archive with it (And at that price, they could.) the chances are still pretty slim that anyone could access the data in any meaningful way down the road. (And exactly what are you going to be archiving that you think will still be relevant or usable in a thousand years?)

In FIFTY years, you're going to have future geeks taking these quaint 12cm discs, doing a 3D scan of the material's structure, extracting the binary data, and sticking it in an antique computer emulation to view the content. The data will likely hold very little meaning whatsoever. They'll do it because it's clever and geeky, and then they'll post a writeup about it to their blog/the cybernetic hivemind/whatever, shortly before forgetting all about the discs and never accessing them again.

In a thousand years, you'll be lucky if someone thinks they'd make a good wind chime or something.

3-12 years? (1)

Usually Unlucky (1598523) | about 5 years ago | (#28729019)

That seems a little low to me. I have some DVDs which are at least 10 years old and some CDs which are older than I am,(25 years), and they all still play fine.

1000 years in the future (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | about 5 years ago | (#28729059)

So long after I'm dead, my pr0n collection can be uncovered in the great garbage avalanche of 2505.

Excellent!

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