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1086 Domesday Book Outlives 1986 Electronic Rival

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the word-to-the-printed-word dept.

Technology 419

mccalli writes :"Thought people might find this amusing. In 1986, the UK compiled an electronic domesday book. They used BBC Master computers to do it, and the result was put on laserdisc. I actually used this project whilst at school. This article states that nothing can now read these merely 15-year old discs. The original, written approx. 1086, is still doing fine thank you very much." Sounds like a good candidate for Bruce Sterling's Dead Media Project. (Speaking of Sterling, the "graying cyberpunk" has an interesting article in the Austin Chronicle on the upcoming SXSW Interactive conference called "Information Wants to be Worthless" -- thanks to reader ag3n7.) Update: 03/03 19:38 GMT by T : That's "domesday" not "doomsday."

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419 comments

fp (-1)

tarzan353 (246515) | more than 12 years ago | (#3101930)

fp!

I WOULD JUST LIKE TO SAY... (-1)

L.Torvalds (548450) | more than 12 years ago | (#3101969)

Fuck the native alaskans, fuck the enviromentalists, lets get more of our oil from Alaska and less from the fucking ragheads. Hell, between Alaska and Russia, we could stop buying oil from the filthy muslims!

gang fuck (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3101937)

fuck bruce sterling. fuck him in his stupid ass.

Trolls of the world unite (-1)

RoboTroll (560160) | more than 12 years ago | (#3101939)

Trolls of the world unite
Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number -
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you -
Ye are many - they are few
Kill all moderators that connive against you!

Add this to the Troll Library, fooker.

Troll 90 of 98 from the annals of the Troll Library [slashdot.org] .

Doomsday? DOMESDAY (3, Informative)

SplendidIsolatn (468434) | more than 12 years ago | (#3101940)

Domesday, not doomsday...BIG difference. Domesday compiled basically a census of 'who's who' in England. Doomsday means we all go boom or something. That's sort of an important thing to get right.

Re:Doomsday? DOMESDAY (3, Interesting)

Peyna (14792) | more than 12 years ago | (#3101980)

Yeah, this is first time editor mistakes have really mislead me, since it was something I was unaware of. Most of the time if they make a mistake, I know what is going on, and can shrug it off.

I wonder would happen to a newspaper editor that let one blatant error slide each day?

Re:Doomsday? DOMESDAY (3, Informative)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102024)

I wonder would happen to a newspaper editor that let one blatant error slide each day?

You don't read the paper often, do you? Hell, both AP and Reuters kept referring to the anthrax virus - something that I have never heard of despite many years of microbiology. The anthrax bacteria, yes... but a virus? Wow.

--
Evan

Re:Doomsday? DOMESDAY (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3101988)


Getting your money's worth out of slashdot yet?

Re:Doomsday? DOMESDAY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3102033)

I can smell a law-suit coming up...

Re:Doomsday? DOMESDAY (1)

micje (302653) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102008)

It's the same thing, only we spell it doomsday now. Timothy probably thought he was correcting someone's bad spelling.

Re:Doomsday? DOMESDAY (5, Informative)

nomadic (141991) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102060)

Actually, "Domesday" IS an old spelling of "Doomsday" (and the book was also referred to as Domesdei). It referred to the fact that the census was both unavoidable (EVERYONE was examined), and a final verdict--in other words, if the Domesday book said that Hugh de Montfort owned the castle at Saltwood (which, if anyone cares, he did), then he had the full weight of the law behind him. Any brothers or cousins who came forth to dispute that would, in theory, be ignored.

The humor of the title probably wasn't appreciated by many of the people chronicled in it, as the study was carried out on the orders of William I, who had just conquered them. It was, in many ways, an inventory of what he had just gained by beating the Saxons and taking their lands.

Re:Doomsday? DOMESDAY (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3102061)

Who's who in england? We all know they're all related to each other and those little intermixed mutts must have made it awfully difficult to maintain such a list!

In other news (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3101946)

Fake first post outlives real first post.

Oooh, the irony and the stupidy combined. Form a fetid stew of feces of which to slather slashdot for all eternity.

Why I wont pay (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3101947)

This would be one of the reasons I am not paying for /. The authors simply dont look into the news they are posting to make sure if it's valid.

I took part in this. (3, Interesting)

palfreman (164768) | more than 12 years ago | (#3101951)

I was about 10 at the time, and myself and about 3 schoolfriends survayed places like Westmarsh in Grimsby, Lincolnshire. It was quite goog really. I think it was organsied by the childrens TV programme "Blue Peter" or something. Obviously a waste of time retrospect, but still fun for a ten year old.

goog? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3102037)

or is that "jolly goog"?

Re:I took part in this. (1)

asobala (563713) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102070)

You took part in a 10th century survey? Blue Peter has been around for longer than I thought...

Re:I took part in this. (1)

Black Rabbit (236299) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102122)

Somewhere at home, I have a copy of a Blue Peter Annual that was sent over from British relatives. One of the articles in it goes on about the wedding of Princess Anne to Capt. Mark Phillips, in 1973.

Never seen the series, but from the book, it looked like it might have been a good watch. I take it it's still on!

Should have used (3, Interesting)

jsimon12 (207119) | more than 12 years ago | (#3101952)

They should have used microdots or long lived microfilm, or really anything other then electronic media. For longevity sadly uou need something tangible.

Stable media and popular references (2)

maggard (5579) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102017)

They should have used microdots or long lived microfilm, or really anything other then electronic media.
Microfilm? Walk up to any reference librarian and say "Microfilm" and watch them shudder. Unstable stuff that get's chewed up by it's readers, akward as hell to manage (all the spools look alike and the lables are traditionially 'bout useless) and generally of terrible photographic quality. The only bennie is that it is smaller then the paper documents replaced but even for old high-acid cheap newspaper it's proving to have a shorter lifespan.

Any other media? Punch cards? What's the encoding? Paper tape same thing. Clay tablets? Storage and retrieval are hell. Printed? Storage and security are difficult and expensive, just ask the folks at the old library in Alaxandria.

There ARE mediums that can be assumed to be reasonably long-lived. Text on gold foil is pretty good, there are lots of other more exotic but similar-in-concept technologies. Of course one pertinant question is if anyone *cares*. If it was just realized that the modern Domesday Book was unreadable clearly it wasn't a standard reference. Yes it might be a loss to future historians but I doubt there's much in it that isn't replacable from any of the numerous more popular references.

Re:Stable media and popular references (1)

jsimon12 (207119) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102072)

Well at least if it was on microfilm that was chemically stable you could read it with a stereoscope or something. How about they just use something like microetching on gold plated iridium tablets, that should last quite a while.

Re:Should have used (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3102021)

Didn't they back it up on a reel of tape? Just slap the sucker on a tape reader and ... what's that you say? Can't read reel tapes anymore? Oh, nevermind.

Does anybody actually care? (3, Insightful)

John Jorsett (171560) | more than 12 years ago | (#3101958)

Does it really matter if the disks are unreadable? If the data wasn't important enough that somebody didn't say, "hey, we need to transfer this stuff to new media," then maybe it's not such a big deal. At a minimum, I presume that it means that the data wasn't being used by anyone, or they'd have noticed that it was about to become unavailable.

Re:Does anybody actually care? (1)

palfreman (164768) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102016)

It seems a shame though. The way the thing was billed you would have thought it was the best thing ever: my whole school took part, they were preparing for it for months, and the the end of it they had recreated the whole of the Norman Doomsday book with modern data, and put it onto the the most modern and "useful" media of the time. Even a few years ago I had friends pirating Resoviour Dogs of imported Dutch Laserdisc versions. And now nothing.

Re:Does anybody actually care? (1)

jackb_guppy (204733) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102032)

The disk are readable. My collection of Laserdisk proves that. It is buying a reader.
I would tell them to shop ebay, they are there. Or write to Pioneer - they still make players.

It is the same issue is for old victrola or a phonograph, 8 track tape, Home Beta, CED or soon dvds. Can you still buy a player?

Did we not send into space on the side of Pioneer a laserdisk? With simple instructions to build a player, display, audio. Yes, expected someone from "2001, A Space Oddessy" to find it and not some one from "The Gods much be crazy".

Just build one.
jackb

Re:Does anybody actually care? (5, Insightful)

j7953 (457666) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102104)

If the data wasn't important enough that somebody didn't say, "hey, we need to transfer this stuff to new media," then maybe it's not such a big deal.

That's probably true in this case, but with more and more "cultural works" being stored on digital media, I suspect case like this one will become more frequent in the future.

The thing that should make you really worried, though, is that simply transferring the stuff to new media might not even be possible.

Have you copied your VHS tapes to DVD yet? Oh, wait, you can't -- it's Macrovision protected and Macrovision filters are illegal. (This is already the case thanks to the DMCA.)

Will you copy your audio CDs to audio DVDs? Oh, wait, you can't read them in a computer, a computer that could copy them will be illegal by the time CDs are outdated (thanks to the SSSCA).

Yes, sure, all of the data will still be available in some central location at the publisher. But what if Disney forgets about some movie, just like someone forget about this laserdisc? How many content has already been lost thanks to online news services going out of business or corrupting their database or whatever, simply because none of their readers stored the content on his hard disk?

I assume that a large amount of online content has already been lost. Maybe [put some failed .com here] published a great article two years ago, which is now not available on the web any more, but someone still has a copy of it. Unfortunately that someone cannot legally publish it, thanks to copyright legislation. Yes, it can be published in about 90 years, but will that someone still live then? Will he have copied the data to his new computer whenever he got one? Will it even have beem possible for him to copy the data, or will an SSSCA-like computer have prevented that?

Hello junkbuster (-1, Offtopic)

flikx (191915) | more than 12 years ago | (#3101961)

I will NEVER pay for slashdot.

Who's with me?

Re:Hello junkbuster (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3102043)

I wanted to pay but they told me it wouldn't work with Anonymous Coward, I had to register and blahblahblah. So fuck them and their inflexible slashcode.

WYSIWYG vs Plain ASCII (5, Informative)

andawyr (212118) | more than 12 years ago | (#3101962)

While I believe the main topic deals with the lack of hardware to read the laserdisk, the same applies to any document written today. Will there exist tools in 'n' years that will read Word documents written 5 years ago?

This is exactly why Don Knuth developed TeX. He was concerned about the life expectancy of documents such as this.

His idea was to write your documents in plain text (the lowest common denominator) and use a processor to convert them to whatever format you need 'today': postscript, html, or whatever.

It may not be as sexy as WYSIWYG, but it will *always* work.

Re:WYSIWYG vs Plain ASCII (-1)

OsamaBinLager (532628) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102003)

And just for the record, you retarded ass-monkey, you can place WYSIWYG data in a text document.

Fucking idiots on this site, I swear.

Unless you don't use the Roman Alphabet... (1, Insightful)

tlhf (312423) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102083)

ASCII's all well and good, but not everyone uses the roman alphabet. You honestly expect the Thai, or Chinese, or Japanese to store all their data in plain ASCII? Also, what about text data which is unable to be displayed in ASCII such as scientific equations or charts? ASCII drawings are honestly evil.

And am I the only person fed up of getting apostrophes converted to little boxes when put through various emailers? I can honestly say than I believe ASCII is a legacy format. 8 bits just simply dain't cut it no more.

tlhf

xxx

And anyway, ASCII is implicity WYSIWYG. Or did it just feel nice cussing a buzzword?

Re:Unless you don't use the Roman Alphabet... (1)

orkysoft (93727) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102096)

And am I the only person fed up of getting apostrophes converted to little boxes when put through various emailers?

That's probably because the text wasn't ASCII in the first place, but made with MS Word, which uses non-standard character codes for apostrophes and things.

Re:Unless you don't use the Roman Alphabet... (-1)

OsamaBinLager (532628) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102099)

Well, Unicode fails the 'can I read it in notepad' test, so I wouldn't call it legacy yet. And besides, Unicode has yet to settle down as a format - to my knowledge, they just recently introduced a 32-bit wide character encoding standard.

Re:Unless you don't use the Roman Alphabet... (1)

FrostedChaos (231468) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102108)

8 bits is more than enough for standard english text. It's even enough to include many foreign letters. The problem is, people have developed different "dialects" of ASCII. For example, the carriage return / line feed schism.

Re:Unless you don't use the Roman Alphabet... (3, Insightful)

mmontour (2208) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102125)

Also, what about text data which is unable to be displayed in ASCII such as scientific equations or charts?

Well, then you design some standard way to represent scientific symbols and equations with ASCII phrases. Given the wide use of TeX among scientists and mathemeticians, I would say this is a solved problem.

However, I agree with your point about foreign languages.

Re:WYSIWYG vs Plain ASCII (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3102087)

Or html. Thanks to things like google and the wayback machine, the challenge isn't preservation, but elimination. Some may have stuff out there they wish was more ephemeral.

Re:WYSIWYG vs Plain ASCII (2)

igrek (127205) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102114)

It will work, given you can read the files.
The problem here is not only the format, but the storage medium as well. My Ph.D. thesis has been stored in wonderful TeX format on those 5-inch floppy disks. They are unreadable now. Fortunately, I still have the printed original, that can be photocopied the old way.

Dead trees rule! :)

This is exactly what I was talking about.. (2, Interesting)

DennyK (308810) | more than 12 years ago | (#3101963)

...in this comment. [slashdot.org]

With more and more of our culture being created and stored exclusively on digital media, there is a real danger that future generations may have little, or even nothing, to tell them what our lives were like, because everything we've left behind is inaccessible.

(BTW, this particular work is not the "Doomsday" book, it's the "Domesday Book," a comprehensive survey and ledger of the lands and holdings of King William in the 11th century.)

DennyK

Re:This is exactly what I was talking about.. (3, Funny)

mccalli (323026) | more than 12 years ago | (#3101991)

(BTW, this particular work is not the "Doomsday" book, it's the "Domesday Book,"

Quite right. I submitted the story, and it looks my typing habits have been corrupted by too many iD games....

Cheers,
Ian

Re:This is exactly what I was talking about.. (1)

timothy (36799) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102015)

.. and I should have spotted it, too. Fixed now, thanks to both of you :)

Tim

Re:This is exactly what I was talking about.. (1)

FrostedChaos (231468) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102121)

Domesday is merely an archaic spelling of "doomsday." "Laserdic," on the other hand...

Doomsday or Domesday (3, Interesting)

palfreman (164768) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102097)

BTW, this particular work is not the "Doomsday" book, it's the "Domesday Book," a comprehensive survey and ledger of the lands and holdings of King William in the 11th century.)

Not as far as I know. William I was an extremely brutal invader, and after the Sack of Yorkshire in the early 1080s (1082?) his Doomsday book assed the value of Yorkshire to be only 5 shillings - 4 ounces of silver in other words. The invasion of England was ultimately a business venture for the feudal Normansand he needed to know just how much money he could extract from his new estate, as subdivided by his barons etc. Doomsday it was. Now the entire Anglo-Saxon land ownship sysytem was overthrown, people were precisely put into catagories such as villain (i.e. land-owning peasent), tenent (renting land), serf (land-tied part-slave, part renter), and slave. The who period was a bloody disaster for the English, basically to feed the Norman-French war machine. That was why the book was called the Doomsday book as I understood it. I think Domesday is just an archaic spelling meaning the same thing.

lifespan of cds (1)

cliche (562037) | more than 12 years ago | (#3101966)

Its not only the laserdiscs with a short lifespan, cds supposedly have a lifespan of 5 years until they start to curropt.

Re:lifespan of cds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3102000)

I've never found out who supposedly was saying that, but I've got a large number of CDs (pressed and burned) older than that and none have even a 1 bit error.

Re:lifespan of cds (2)

zzyzx (15139) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102025)

My copy of Suzanne Vega's self titled cd that I bought in 1986 still plays perfectly. One would presume that cd making technology has only gotten better since then.

Media devices not information (5, Insightful)

mgkimsal2 (200677) | more than 12 years ago | (#3101971)

"We're lucky Shakespeare didn't write on an old PC."

I can still access WordPerfect files from an old home computer from 1987. That computer still has a floppy drive which I can write files to. It still has the capability of connecting a null modem up to it for file transfer. Granted, that's not the easiest thing to do, but it's still accessible.

There HAVE to be some laserdisc readers someplace in the UK that can read this. The point they're probably making is 'be wary of putting too much faith in technology'. That's a good attitude to have, but simply putting a bit more thought into keeping the data available in multiple formats would help ensure no loss of access. Hell, this was a multimillion pound project - they couldn't burn any of this to conventional CDs too? Yes, you couldn't run out to Dixon's or BestBuy and get a CD burner for $100 like today, but I'd have thought a bit more technology was available to a multimillion pound project.

"Unfortunately, we don't know what we will do after that. We could store the data on desktop computers - but they are likely to become redundant in a few years. "

Yes, the desktops might, but the data won't. Put the data in normal, documented data formats, and put them on regular drives, CDs, ZIP disks, DVD, whatever. Don't put all your digital eggs in one basket, should be the lesson. OR, simply have a technology upgrade plan in place for data that is important enough to outlive the media on which it is contained. Data that was worth millions of pounds at one time should merit a stipend of a few thousand pounds a year to keep it accessible.

Re:Media devices not information (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3101997)

Anal Stretching: How To
BME: When did you first realize that your ass could be the source of pleasure?

While watching porno films I saw women getting dick in their ass all the time and they seemed to like it a lot, so I thought I'd give it a try.

BME: What was it like the first time you stuck anything in your ass?

I was about twenty at the time the first time I tried it. The first time -- actually most of the first year -- I took no pleasure from it. But, I knew that the porn stars seemed to enjoy it, so I stuck at it and grew to love it as well.

BME: Why did you start putting larger objects in?

I saw gay films where men who were taking whole arms up their ass were getting pleasure from it. I learned to take pleasure from stretching my ass, and the wider I opened it, the more pleasure I took.

BME: How quickly were you able to move up to bigger items? Do you have a training regime?

It took me about two years to be able to take a wine bottle, and four years to take a 32cm ball. Recently I've been able to take a big ball, much bigger than the bottle. To pass that level I had to first train my ass with bigger bottles, like 1.5L pop bottles. There were a number of painful sessions with a lot of blood and ass-hurt for about four days after each session.

Because I am not comfortable writing in English, I will tell you my personal method in French.

BME: Thanks, I'll do my best to translate it for the readers. (Note: The following answer was translated by BME -- I apologize for errors in the translation.)

When I first started, I was using small bottles of shampoo. After that, I tried small apples, and then bigger ones. At this point I'd put a year of stretching in, and bought myself a large dildo.

My method was to dilate my ass as often as I could -- every day, even if just for a short while. Before starting it's important to use a large dildo; use it to both warm up and clean your ass, so make sure you stick it up all the way. When you find that you can take this large dildo without any work-up or preparation, then you know that you're ready to take it to the next step.

Then, in each session, to get your bottom prepared, put in a big cucumber. Soon you'll arrive at a point where even the biggest cucumbers you can buy at the grocery fit easily in your ass. Now you're ready to get serious. Buy a small Coke bottle, and use that in your ass. When that passes in and out easily, move on to bottles of wine. Once you can take wine bottles easily, you can move on to even bigger things.

If at this point you're having trouble with the 1.5L Coke bottle (just try not to force it out because the bottle is very hard), you can also have slower stretching fun with candles. Try putting them in one by one and seeing how many you can fit in -- at this time I was putting in about fifteen at the same time. The candles are great because they allow your anus to stretch very slowly.

Once the 1.5L Coke bottle can enter your ass, train every day or two (use a large dildo first, then the bottle every session). Most of the time I use Vaseline, but don't do what I do in this case. I think that the best lubricants are the ones you can buy for this in a sex shop.

When the 1.5L bottle is passing easily, go out and buy plastic balls that start at a diameter a little bigger than the bottle. Play with those, and with time, and a little luck, you'll arrive at my level too. (Don't feel bad if you're just beginning -- when I first started, I could barely shove a finger in my ass).

What I'm going to tell you now is very important if you plan on doing extreme sessions and taking large gauge. Do not bandage your ass. Do not tighten your buttocks. Try not to get an erecection -- you want the blood to be in your ass lips, not in your cock. It's not easy, but it's important that you think of nothing and empty your mind. It's absolutely necessary that you concentrate on your breathing. Don't think of the pain; know that it will pass. The real secret though is to breath -- and remember, without the pain, it's IMPOSSIBLE TO TAKE THE BIG ONES!

BME: What does it feel like? Is it sort of like getting fucked by a really well hung guy?

I want to make it very clear that I'm not gay -- I LOVE WOMEN!

BME: I'm sorry -- I imagine people must make this mistake all the time?

All the time, yes. Frankly I'm getting fed up with it.

BME: But you didn't tell me you'd gotten the idea for the bigger play from watching gay porn?

Yes, but the gay aspect never aroused me -- just the ass part. The films only helped show me that men enjoyed anal play as much as the women did.

I just want to find a woman who wants to play fisting with me (to fist me, or to let me fist her). I'm searching for one or two or more women to join me in my play -- I want them to stretch my ass with four hands at the same time while my body is supported. If there are any French women reading this, please write me -- it's my dream to do this performance.

Back to your earlier question, playing with a very large object feels a lot like having to take a shit very urgently. Even though you feel like you need to shit, that's just your imagination, and you can get extreme enjoyment with your ass so full.

BME: Do you like the way your ass looks when it's all purple and blown out?

Not at all, I prefer it when my ass accepts the stretching without any damage.

BME: Have you ever bled from the bigger objects?

Maybe eight or ten times I've had blood, but it was mostly because I didn't use enough lubricant.

BME: So... how big do you think you can go?

I'm looking for a bigger ball right now. I want to push my stretching as far as my body can physically support. I go slow though, because I never use drugs or anesthetics of any kind; I prefer feeling all the pleasure and the pain!

BME: What's the difference between pleasure and pain?

When I reach the limits of stretching, the pleasure and pain merge into the same feeling -- the pleasure this brings is amazing! Just two days ago I managed to put in a ball 37cm around (that's almost 15"). The feeling of pushing that out of my ass was indescribably pleasurable. Next time I do that I'm going to be sure to video tape it -- I'm sure I could probably even make money with that one!

BME: What are some of the objects you've stuck up your ass?

I've stuck up two big cucumbers at the same time, 1.5L and 2L Coke bottles, balls of all sizes, every size of wine bottle, lots of big butt plugs, etc.

I had a lot of trouble taking the 2L bottle because it doesn't fit in the ass gently. I can take a bigger ball, but a big rubber ball deforms to fit the shape of the ass -- it doesn't get smaller, but it's an easier fit.

BME: After a session, how long does it take for your ass to go back to normal?

Just five or six hours usually.

BME: Does it hurt afterwards?

No, not at all, but for the next few hours I can feel the ass's big lips.

BME: Are there permanent effects?

Yes -- my ass is bigger than ever!!!

BME: Do you need to wear a diaper? Does everything still work?

I'm not a baby!!! Everything is normal for me. All of the "anal destruction" I've done was done by me with care, and my ass is as normal as yours is... Although sometimes when I'm taking a crap it's huge because I've now got the capacity to really stock up. My digestion is trouble free though, and I've had no problems at all.

BME: What sorts of emails do you get from your fans?

Well, I don't know that many people online, but mostly admiration, asking for advice, and I've met a few other ass stretchers who've sent me pictures of their stretching.

BME: If someone wants to starting putting bigger things up their ass, how should they get started?

Take it slow. Start with little toys, and take your time growing your ass.

BME: Have you told any of your friends or sex partners about your ass play?

Oh, no! Up until now it's been TOP SECRET!




Long Now Project (4, Interesting)

jonv (2423) | more than 12 years ago | (#3101975)

Although more well know for its clock project the long now foundation [longnow.org] is also looking at this problem.


I thought the original goal of the doomsday project was to allow every school in the UK to have a copy. So there should be a BBC Master hooked up to a laserdisc player in almost every school ?

I have a different perspective (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3101979)

Here's what I think: An electronic version of the Domesday Book compiled in 1986 is now unreadable. The computers needed to read the discs of the £2.5 million BBC Domesday Project are now obsolete. While the original Domesday Book compiled in 1086 is in fine condition in the Public Record Office, Kew. The information stored on the laser discs which is the equivalent of several sets of encyclopedia's is now impossible to access, reports The Observer. "It is ironic but the 15-year-old version is unreadable, while the ancient one is still in perfectly usable," said computer expert Paul Wheatley. "We're lucky Shakespeare didn't write on an old PC." He has now started work on Camileon, a program aimed at recovering the data on the Domesday discs. "We have got a couple of rather scratchy pairs of discs and we are confident we will eventually be able to read all their images, maps and text," he said. "Unfortunately, we don't know what we will do after that. We could store the data on desktop computers - but they are likely to become redundant in a few years. "That means we have to find a way to emulate this data, in other words to turn into a form that can be used no matter what is the computer format of the future. That is the real goal of this project."

Its DOOMSDAY you stupid dumbass (-1)

RoboTroll (560160) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102004)

Its DOOMSDAY you jackass. Just read the headline posted by the impeccable editors. They would NEVER make a mistake. Getting your moneys worth from $lashdot yet?

Laserdic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3101990)

The only laserdick I've ever seen was in Spaceballs (1987) [imdb.com]. I didn't know you could store a book on it as well. I want one.

BBC Basic.. wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3101995)

I can remember using this a primary school, I can remember finding the parish and Church (CoE school) on the book, anyone else remember the BBC Basic 'turtle'.

Re:BBC Basic.. wow (2)

mccalli (323026) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102022)

anyone else remember the BBC Basic 'turtle'.

Wasn't that Logo? Or could you control it from Basic as well?

For its time, the Beeb had a fantastic BASIC. Introduced me to the idea of subroutines, almost unheard of in a home micro at that time. Still based on line numbers, you could renumber everything with a single command (no more 10 print "hello"; 20 goto 10; 15 Err...do something I'd forgotten about")

It also had a stupidly large number of I/O ports, making it much used in scientific applications.

Cheers,
Ian

How did "Voyager" do it? (3, Insightful)

jsmyth (517568) | more than 12 years ago | (#3101996)

For Long Life (and I don't mean the clothing/hair products advertisements ;-), look to either empirical evidence, or other fields. The oldest surviving written information we have is carved in stone or drawn on stone. Cave drawings, the Rosetta Stone, various tablets and artistic carvings... I could go on.

Voyager (and Pioneer, if I remember rightly) made use of etched metal plates. None of this biodegradeable paper stuff, or indeed any other messaging mechanism that needs some middle translation layer between medium and understanding, beyond of course the natural interpretive layer we assume the eventual reader will have - the same way we can view a painting or listen to a song without understanding the language or thought flow of the originator.

Why the obsession with "new media"? The content on the internet will not remain in its current form forever, nor will CDs, DVDs, Laserdisks, 8-channel cartridges, Compact Cassettes, Vinyl LPs, etc. They're great, perfect for the here and now - but if we want to leave something for posterity, better Keep It Simple, Sirs.

Re:How did "Voyager" do it? (1)

mmontour (2208) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102036)

Why the obsession with "new media"?

Information density. Stone tablets may last a long time (or may not, depending on the type of stone and its exposure to freeze/thaw cycles, acid rain, etc) but they just don't hold enough bits per unit area to be very useful these days.

Backing it all up (1)

Xamdam_us (524194) | more than 12 years ago | (#3101998)

This points out the problem with long-term storage as we move forward into the digital age. Just think about how much data has to be backed up and stored long term. Not only do you have problems with the shelf life of the physical media but also, how long will the format it is recorded in be around? Not to mention the cost of offsite storage and rotation of the backups.

They're just videodisks (2, Informative)

david.given (6740) | more than 12 years ago | (#3101999)

Remember the old LP-sized things?

The Domesday Disc (note spelling) was a double-sided videodisk that ran into a modified videodisk drive attached to a likewise modified BBC Master, a rather nice 6502-based microcomputer. The Master's video output went through the videodisk player. What happened was the client software told the player to display a particular frame, and the Master would overlay graphics on top of it. There was also a mechanism for reading raw data from the audio portion of the videodisk. It was really quite simple (but horribly expensive).

I would have thought that a conventional computer Laserdisk player would be able to get all the data off.

A few discs were made for the system, but the Domesday Disc was the only one that was mass produced. If you're interested, there's lots of information on the Domesday Project [atsf.co.uk] page.

ITS DOOMSDAY YOU JACKASS (-1)

RoboTroll (560160) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102040)

It's called DOOMSDAY you jackass. Just read the headline posted by the impeccable editors. They would NEVER make a mistake.
Getting your moneys worth from $lashdot yet?

What is this book? (0, Redundant)

UnifiedTechs (100743) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102002)

If anyone was like me and had know idea what this book is check here: www.doomsdaybook.co.uk [doomsdaybook.co.uk]

Re:What is this book? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3102018)

Ignore this comment, Link is incorrect.

From the page: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3102006)

Unfortunately, due to server difficulties The Domesday Book Online has been unavailable for a short time. We apologise to all those who have tried but been unable to get to the site. The site as it was is now back online, but a new and much improved version will soon be unveiled so watch this space...

Oh... the irony...

Text you blithering morons! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3102007)

"That means we have to find a way to emulate this data, in other words to turn into a form that can be used no matter what is the computer format of the future. That is the real goal of this project."

Hmm, they never heard of PLAIN FUCKING TEXT?!?!?!?!?

Original article somewhat contentious (3, Insightful)

GSV NegotiableEthics (560121) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102010)

The Observer article from which this is drawn is here. [observer.co.uk]

From that article:

Betamax video players, 8in and 5in computer disks, and eight-track music cartridges have all become redundant, making it impossible to access records stored on them. Data stored on the 3in disks used in the pioneering Amstrad word-processor is now equally inaccessible.

Needless to say, the term redundant simply means that using standard equipment you'd have problems reading this data. But specialist media recovery firms maintain old machines and there are several that will convert your old 3-inch Amstrad disks or that Betamax wedding recording, for a fee.

The Domesday 1986 disks are undoubtedly difficult to access without specialist equipment, and that's the real problem--eventually any nascent technology will become obsolete and data will be lost. Eventually it will no longer be economic for data recovery companies to maintain their obsolete machines.

Paul Wheatley: "That means we have to find a way to emulate this data, in other words to turn into a form that can be used no matter what is the computer format of the future. That is the real goal of this project."

If they have any sense they'll store most of it on fiche and store that in good conditions.

Bah! (1)

FakePlasticDubya (472427) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102012)

Yeah, clearly the link says it was the Domesday book, not a Doomsday book. I was somewhat confused to read that they compiled an electronic doomsday book, as I really don't know what a doomsday book is, and furthermore I don't see why anyone would care about a doomsday book that can't be read.

I think a doomsday book from 1998 has been rendeded unreadable also, that edition of the Weekly World News is too faded and yellow to read.

The Article (Wide!!!) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3102013)

.Ancient .Domesday .Book .outlives .electronic .version .STOP .An .electronic .version .of .the .Domesday .Book .compiled .in .1986 .is .now .unreadable .STOP .The .computers .needed .to .read .the .discs .of .the .2 .point .5 .million .pounds .BBC .Domesday .Project .are .now .obsolete .STOP .While .the .original .Domesday .Book .compiled .in .1086 .is .in .fine .condition .in .the .Public .Record .Office .Kew .STOP .The .information .stored .on .the .laser .discs .which .is .the .equivalent .of .several .sets .of .encyclopedias .is .now .impossible .to .access .reports .The .Observer .STOP .It .is .ironic .but .the .15 .year .old .version .is .unreadable .while .the .ancient .one .is .still .in .perfectly .usable .said .computer .expert .Paul .Wheatley .STOP .Were .lucky .Shakespeare .didnt .write .on .an .old .PC .STOP .He .has .now .started .work .on .Camileon .a .program .aimed .at .recovering .the .data .on .the .Domesday .discs .STOP .We .have .got .a .couple .of .rather .scratchy .pairs .of .discs .and .we .are .confident .we .will .eventually .be .able .to .read .all .their .images .maps .and .text .he .said .STOP .Unfortunately .we .dont .know .what .we .will .do .after .that .STOP .We .could .store .the .data .on .desktop .computers .but .they .are .likely .to .become .redundant .in .a .few .years .STOP .That .means .we .have .to .find .a .way .to .emulate .this .data .in .other .words .to .turn .into .a .form .that .can .be .used .no .matter .what .is .the .computer .format .of .the .future .STOP .That .is .the .real .goal .of .this .project

This is what bothers me about DVD copy protection (3)

Fjord (99230) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102014)

Eventually we will move on from this format. I have about 40 movies in DVD format, and it'll probably eventually beat out my VHS collection (at ~700).

I'm hoping that once we move on to yet another larger format that there are some countries free enough that I can download a program that will allow me to move the DVDs to the new format.

Oxidization also bothers me.

The Fuck$lashdotNow Report #1 -- Nested Mode (-1)

RoboTroll (560160) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102023)

This is the first issue of The FuckSlashdotNow Report [slashdot.org], and more installments will hopefully be written on a regular basis. Thanks for reading, friends, and keep watching the skies! Permission is granted to reproduce this message in any form, as long as the entire message is kept intact, from the **BEGIN** to the *EOT*

ISSUE 1

With the announcement of Slashdot subscriptions, the question becomes "what is the most fucking effective way to fuck Slashdot out of as much fucking money as fucking possible?"

Nested mode.

Nested mode draws a monumental amount of bandwidth compared to Threaded mode, with fewer page views (for subscribers) or banner ads (for non-subscribers)

Let's say that the first page of comments on a heavily-discussed story in threaded mode is 100KB in size. A person reading that story will read some of the sub-level replies to those comments comments, but not all, so let's say he pulls perhaps 200KB of bandwidth maximum, and it will cost him many page views/banner ads. Now, someone viewing that same page in nested mode is entirely likely to pull 500-1000KB, with only a single page view or banner ad. More cost to Slashdot, less income to Slashdot, therefore less PROFIT for Slashdot.

This goes without saying, but we also need to set our thresholds to -1 (yours IS already set to -1, right?), set our "max comment size" to very high (so that gigantic garbage comments display in full), as well as setting "Limit" very high aslo. Crapflooders need to focus more on posting replies to high-rated or early-posted comments instead of (or in addition to) posting top-level comments, because many people don't bother visiting the second page of comments when there's more than one. And we all need to use unkbuster, of course.


Let's summarize:


Threaded mode:

Less bandwidth (small cost for Slashdot)

More page views/ads (large income for Slashdot)

small cost + large income = PROFIT

Nested mode:

More bandwidth (large cost for Slashdot)

Less page views/ads (small income for Slashdot)

large cost + small income = FUCKED [fuckedcompany.com]


Now, the question becomes, can we cost them more money by subscribing, or by not subscribing? I'd be more than happy to throw $50 at Slashdot if by creative page-loading I could cause it to cost them $100 -- I'd be out $50, but so would they, so I think it'd be worth it. It would definitely do more for the world than throwing $50 at those gay starving African children in Africa. But can we cost them more money by subscribing or by not subscribing?


Most large-scale bandwidth providers charge a few dollars or so per gigabyte. Let's be generous, and say that Slashdot pays $5 per gigabyte. With subscriptions, you pay $5 for 1000 pageviews. Unless your 1000 pageviews average 1.024MB each, Slashdot isn't meeting expenses, they're making a profit. Subscribers will not only be paying their own way, they'll be subsidizing non-subscribers. Slashdot is lying to subscribers, and it's important that potential subscribers know this.


So basically, if you subscribe to Slashdot it's harder to fuck them than if you don't subscribe. So don't subscribe. And encourage your friends not to subscribe


Although this particular message is aimed at trolls / crapflooders / culture jammers / anarchists / discordianists / etc, it's important that we recruit the "normal users" to this crusade without them even knowing what our true purpose is -- just educate them that they'll get better value for their money if they use nested mode (much fewer pageviews than threaded mode, thus their subscription lasts longer), without pointing out to them that this'll also spike Slashdot's bandwidth usage.


In short, encourage subscribes to use NESTED MODE and to lower their thresholds to cut down on the pageviews they spend (actually to increase Slashdot's bandwidth usage)


Once subscribers realize that they can cut their page views down to a fraction by always using only nested mode, Slashdot's bandwidth usage will start to rise and they'll be forced to use larger and more intrusive advertisements to generate more income or make the site even crappier to drive people away to reduce expenses, or both. More intrusive ads will lead to more people joinining the FuckSlashdotNow campaign, or to quit Slashdot, or to merely Junkbuster the ads, fucking Slashdot's income stream further.


Summary:


Trolls / crapflooders / culture jammers / etc / should do this:


1. Junkbuster

2. Use Nested mode, -1 threshold

3. Set max comment size very high.

4. Not subscribe

5. Load as many pages as possible

6. Consume as much bandwidth as possible

7 Load as few advertisements as possible

8. Recruit others to the cause

9. Re-post this message to every thread

10. Rate this comment up whenever you see it posted

11. Stay tuned for more updates.

We should (covertly) encourage non-subscribing normal users to do the following:

1. Not subscribe, because it's not a good value for their money.

2. Use Junkbuster to block banner ads.

We should (covertly) encourage subscribing normal users to do the following:

1. Use Nested mode for the duration of their subscription, so that they'll spend fewer pageviews and get better value for their money.

2. Not resubscribe.

Thanks for reading this first issue of The FuckSlashdotNow Report [slashdot.org]! I'm currently soliticing ideas for upcoming issues; please e-mail me (e-mail address is in profile) with any comments or suggestions!


ur VARY aprctd fr rdng ths msg, pls fix thx!!!


*EOT*

Troll 91 of 98 from the annals of the Troll Library [slashdot.org] .

Digital Domesday Book lasts 15 years not 1000 (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3102030)

It was meant to be a showcase for Britain's electronic prowess - a computer-based, multimedia version of the Domesday Book. But 16 years after it was created, the £2.5 million BBC Domesday Project has achieved an unexpected and unwelcome status: it is now unreadable.
The special computers developed to play the 12in video discs of text, photographs, maps and archive footage of British life are - quite simply - obsolete.

As a result, no one can access the reams of project information - equivalent to several sets of encyclopaedias - that were assembled about the state of the nation in 1986. By contrast, the original Domesday Book - an inventory of eleventh-century England compiled in 1086 by Norman monks - is in fine condition in the Public Record Office, Kew, and can be accessed by anyone who can read and has the right credentials. 'It is ironic, but the 15-year-old version is unreadable, while the ancient one is still perfectly usable,' said computer expert Paul Wheatley. 'We're lucky Shakespeare didn't write on an old PC.'

Nor is the problem a new one. A crisis in digital preservation now afflicts all developed countries. Databases recorded in old computer formats can no longer be accessed on new generation machines, while magnetic storage tapes and discs have physically decayed, ruining precious databases.

For millennia, men and women have used paper to create everything from the Dead Sea Scrolls to Neville Chamberlain's 'piece of paper from Herr Hitler'. In the past few decades, computers, scanners, cassettes, videos, CDs, minidiscs and floppy disks have been used to replace the written word. Yet in just a few short years these digital versions have started to degrade.

The space agency Nasa has already lost digital records sent back by its early probes, and in 1995 the US government come close to losing a vast chunk of national census data, thanks to the obsolescence of its data retrieval technology.

Betamax video players, 8in and 5in computer disks, and eight-track music cartridges have all become redundant, making it impossible to access records stored on them. Data stored on the 3in disks used in the pioneering Amstrad word-processor is now equally inaccessible.

Our digital heritage - only a few decades old - is already endangered, as broadcaster Loyd Grossman pointed out last week. 'Last year marked the 30th anniversary of email, but it is salutary that we do not have the first email message and no knowledge of its contents,' he said at the launch of the Digital Preservation Coalition. Saving Domesday Project is viewed as one of the coalition's top priorities.

It was to be the mother of all time capsules, filled with images and sounds defining life in Britain in 1986 - when hill farmers struggled to cope with Chernobyl nuclear fallout, Maradona beat England with the 'hand of God', and Michael Heseltine resigned from the Cabinet over the Westland affair.

Thousands of schoolchildren helped record festivals, events and details of ordinary life, which were stored on 12-inch laser discs.

They contained more than 250,000 place names, 25,000 maps, 50,000 pictures, 3,000 data sets, 60 minutes of moving pictures, and an unknown number of words. Around a million people contributed.The trouble was that the discs could only be viewed using a special BBC Micro computer, which cost £5,000 to buy. Few were purchased, and only a handful are left in existence. 'The information on this incredible historical object will soon disappear forever,' Grossman said last week.

In a bid to rescue the project, Paul Wheatley has begun work on Camileon, a program aimed at recovering the data on the Domesday discs. 'We have got a couple of rather scratchy pairs of discs, and we are confident we will eventually be able to read all their images, maps and text,' he said. 'Unfortunately, we don't know what we will do after that. We could store the data on desktop computers - but they are likely to become redundant in a few years.

'That means we have to find a way to emulate this data, in other words to turn into a form that can be used no matter what is the computer format of the future. That is the real goal of this project.'

It won't be an easy task. Jeff Rothenberg of the Rand Corporation, one of the world's experts on data preservation, points out: 'There is currently no demonstrably viable technical solution to this problem; yet if it is not solved, our increasingly digital heritage is in grave risk of being lost.'

funny story (1)

Ubergrendle (531719) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102038)

True story. I used to work for the defunct Computer City chain here in Toronto. One day a guy comes in with a computer where the tape backup drive is completely wrecked -- cracked from someone trying to force something into the drive. A young co-worker (about 15) comes up to me and says "How do we handle these things? He tried to play a tape in the drive, but I've never seen the format before..." I ask if it's a cassette tape, the kid laughs and says he's not that stupid. So I talk to the customer and he basically says "You can play music CDs in your computer, right, so why can't I play my 8-tracks?" $400 repair bill for "Best of ABBA"...

Slashdotting (2)

_typo (122952) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102044)

They have this at the top of their webpage:

Unfortunately, due to server difficulties The Domesday Book Online has been unavailable for a short time. We apologise to all those who have tried but been unable to get to the site. The site as it was is now back online, but a new and much improved version will soon be unveiled so watch this space...

And now they are going to be slashdotted. Ironic.

Does anyone else see the irony in this? (2, Insightful)

madmancarman (100642) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102047)

He has now started work on Camileon, a program aimed at recovering the data on the Domesday discs.

"We have got a couple of rather scratchy pairs of discs and we are confident we will eventually be able to read all their images, maps and text," he said.

"Unfortunately, we don't know what we will do after that. We could store the data on desktop computers - but they are likely to become redundant in a few years.

"That means we have to find a way to emulate this data, in other words to turn into a form that can be used no matter what is the computer format of the future. That is the real goal of this project."

How about printing it on paper? Amazingly, it seems that the best way to 'emulate' the data over the past many centuries is to use a physical medium that requires no electricity, no magnetic readers, no lasers, no pools of mercury - only decent eyesight and some light. Hell, it's even portable!

If they complain that they can't fit it all on paper because there's too much data, then they should use very small print and include a magnifying glass like my grandmother's old unabridged dictionaries. It was still possible to read them without the magnifying glass if you got your eyes really close to the paper and squinted a little.

And if they complain that printing all the data on paper is too expensive, they should keep in mind how much money (2.5M) was wasted on the previous project. Better to spend more now and have it last a bit longer than 15 years.

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Gandhi

Re:Does anyone else see the irony in this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3102082)

The smaller the print is, the faster the information is lost. Most old media that are still readable are because the information was recorded in a style with enough redundancy that minor damage didn't destroy anything.

Wow, this brings back memories (5, Interesting)

TheBracket (307388) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102049)

I remember when this was being compiled, and when my school first received one. We had a number of BBC micros and masters around the place, and I was the person they always called upon to set things up - then, as now, computers terrified a lot of people.

The Domesday Book on laserdisk was pretty neat; you could look up pertinent details for your local area, and it formed the basis of a lot of good history projects. IIRC, it had some primitive hypertext facilities.

I'm absolutely positive that this could be resurrected if needs-be. Enough copies of this went out to schools that finding a readable laserdisk shouldn't be a problem, and there has to be a working reader somewhere. I seem to remember that the data wasn't in any particularly obscure format, so mounting it on a BBC Master and sending it to a different machine shouldn't be too difficult.

If needs be, one could probably export the whole thing and mount it via a hacked BeebEm.

What will future people find of us in 10,000 years (3, Interesting)

buckrogers (136562) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102051)

Look around at what we have that will last 10,000 years... Nearly nothing will last that long. All the plastic, all the books, all the concrete will be dust. Metals will all corrode away to nothing. Even if a DVD would last that long, the encryption in it would prevent it from being read. Imagine if egyption hyroglifics had been encrypted too. We would know nothing about them at all. And most source code and data is compressed, can you imagine trying to figure out LZW compression without knowing anything about it.

We only build things to last 100 years at most anymore. And most things get torn down long before that. The only thing we make that lasts longer than that is our toxic waste.

Can you imagine how suprised a future archielogist will be when they dig into some radioactive waste that is still active in 10,000 years? Lethally suprised. *L* Maybe there will be legends of curses on people who dig in ancient sites? Kind of like the curse of the mummy.

There may have been civilizations before that were just as advanced as our own. When they collapsed they may have simply vanished with nary a trace in just a couple of thousand years. It isn't as hard as you think. A 1 mile wide asteroid hits the earth, dust obscures the sun for a few years so that all the plants die and the people fight and die for the few remaining scraps of food.

I often wonder if maybe the few real UFO's that are seen and the aliens that we hear about are visitors from space colonies that these previous civilizations managed to place on the moon or in the asteroid belt. If they aren't all the feverored imaginings of half crazy people.

Re:What will future people find of us in 10,000 ye (3, Interesting)

danheskett (178529) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102089)

Look around at what we have that will last 10,000 years... Nearly nothing will last that long. All the plastic, all the books, all the concrete will be dust. Metals will all corrode away to nothing. Even if a DVD would last that long, the encryption in it would prevent it from being read. Imagine if egyption hyroglifics had been encrypted too. We would know nothing about them at all. And most source code and data is compressed, can you imagine trying to figure out LZW compression without knowing anything about it.

Bad arguments all the way around!

A team of programmers including a 15-yr old broke the DVD encryption within a few years - I am sure that humans 10k+ years from now will be able to replicate that same type of work! Second, the Egyptian writings were in fact encrypted - ideogram languages are very effectively encypted. Essentially they many are encrypted using "one time pads" (where the "one time pads" are the language themselves. As you might know, one time pads when propertly implemented are very difficult to crack in a reasonable amount of time. This is why you will see entire ancient languages which we larely do not understand.

There may have been civilizations before that were just as advanced as our own.
Name five. Or actually, name two.

Finally, we have the ability to build structures to last thousands of years, its simply not feasible - thats all. When I build my house shall I go for the "last thousands of years" model that costs $10M or the "last a few generations with minimal upkeep" model that costs $120k. But be not decieved - go look around an upscale cemetary sometime - there are burial chambers that *will* indefinately - concrete reinforced, rebarred, marble effaced monoliths that will stand the test of time just as well as any other cave.

Information that is important will be propagated as needed.

Re:What will future people find of us in 10,000 ye (2)

jheinen (82399) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102123)

"As you might know, one time pads when propertly implemented are very difficult to crack in a reasonable amount of time."

Minor nit, but one-time pads properly implemented are uncrackable.

Hieroglyphics already look like encryption (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3102095)

If hieroglyphics is an encryption, does that mean the Rosetta stone is illegal under the DMCA?

Re:What will future people find of us in 10,000 ye (1)

mikeplokta (223052) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102116)

Can you imagine how suprised a future archielogist will be when they dig into some radioactive waste that is still active in 10,000 years? Lethally suprised. *L* Maybe there will be legends of curses on people who dig in ancient sites? Kind of like the curse of the mummy.
I think you're confusing "still radioactive in 10,000 years" and "still lethal in 10,000 years". If it's very radioactive now, it has a short half-life, and will have pretty much decayed. it won't last unless it wasn't very radioactive to start with.

if they... (1)

C_nemo (520601) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102053)

... realy wan't to have the data acsessible in 40 years, and have a large pile of money to throw at it. Whu not make a propitary computer wich only recuires power. domsdaybook-computer(tm). insert powercord and read...

Aren't laserdiscs analog? (2)

rufusdufus (450462) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102059)

My understanding is that laserdiscs are analog media, not digital. Thus, it shouldn't be surprising that the data didn't last?

Anyway, I still have a laserdisc player in my livingroom, so they aren't dead yet! hehe.

Information vs POPULAR information (3, Insightful)

phreakmonkey (548714) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102063)

Shakespeare's work was never in danger of becoming "obsolete" and "unreadable" because it was popular.

Think about it. Pick a very popular recent source of art.. say, the Beatles. How many formats is their work stored in? In how many languages? Really, this is a good argument for Peer-to-Peer media sharing systems. It takes media that society considers important and replicates and archives it all over the world..

Much how popular folk songs have been passed from generation to generation via spoken or sung words, current media is being passed around the globe and stored on everything from hardcopy to harddrives to optical media.

The only information we have to worry about losing is that which is forgotten by the masses.. for it is in danger of not being replicated and passed around.

15 years old and incomprehensible? (2, Interesting)

colindiz (162137) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102078)

... no kidding.

Digital storage *is* perfectly viable. But digital storage 15 years ago and digital storage today would be like comparing accountancy before Arabic numerals and after.

Today reliability, speed and capacity is what, 1000 times greater? No more need for weird compression techniques -- plain text (or TeX) documents can be stored. Viciously *uncompressed* graphics, too.

With 6,000,000,000 people on the planet, surely we can task a few of 'em with keeping the media current.

(Also, to be pedantic: Optical media are disCs, magnetic media are disKs.)

Somewhat amusing... (2)

instinctdesign (534196) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102079)

The information stored on the laser discs which is the equivalent of several sets of encyclopedia's is now impossible to access, reports The Observer.
And then...
He has now started work on Camileon, a program aimed at recovering the data on the Domesday discs. "We have got a couple of rather scratchy pairs of discs and we are confident we will eventually be able to read all their images, maps and text," he said.
Sorry, I thought that was ammusing. Perhaps their definition of 'impossible' simply means, 'it'll be kinda hard.'

Long-term storage (1)

kwishot (453761) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102090)

I know this is kind of "off the wall" but why not use outer-space to our advantage?
Aim some waves at a far-off planet or something, and with the right calculations we should be able to have our data bounce back to us at a predetermined time.
This may be kind of radical, but if there was data that was that important to civilization (not saying that the Domesday stuff is or isnt), why not put it in an "outer-space safe deposit box" and let it come back to us some time in the future? Even in the event of a Nuclear war, if the calculations were done right, knowledge of this data "being out there" could help preserve a lot of todays knowledge.

-kwishot

Hmm (2)

Have Blue (616) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102102)

I anticipate a day, 2,000 years hence, when a copy of DeCSS becomes a new Rosetta stone for all those DVDs cluttering up archaeological institutes :P

I hope they have the copyright owner's permission (1)

Zachary DeAquila (31195) | more than 12 years ago | (#3102130)

...otherwise this is a blatant DMCA violation. Maybe this should be used as an example of why the DMCA is a bad idea...

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