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Stored Data to Exceed 1.8 Zettabytes by 2011

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the less-than-eighty-percent-porn dept.

Data Storage 143

jcatcw writes "By 2011, there will be 1.8 zettabytes of electronic data stored in 20 quadrillion files, packets or other containers because of, among other things, the massive growth rate of social networks, and digital equipment such as cameras, cell phones and televisions, according to a new study by IDC. Data is growing by a factor of 10 every five years. According to John Gantz, IDC's lead analyst, "at some point in the life of every file, or bit or packet, 85% of that information somewhere goes through a corporate computer, website, network or asset," meaning any given corporation becomes responsible for protecting large amounts of data that it and its customers may not have created. The study, which coincided with the launch of a " digital footprint" calculator, also found that as the world changes over to digital televisions, analog sets and obsolete set-top boxes and DVDs "will be heaped on the waste piles, which will double by 2011.""

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That is a lot of... (5, Funny)

sleeping123 (1109587) | more than 6 years ago | (#22726990)

Porn

Re:That is a lot of... (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727058)

, and other usenet binaries, and the world's torrents.. all downloading through your ISP, which is a corporation. Anything on the internet comes through corporations- ISPs. How is that 85% figure surprising?

Re:That is a lot of... (2, Interesting)

mikael (484) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727450)

Some of the data transfers really seems wasteful. I download a Linux DVD ISO file, burn it onto a DVD, install the system on a new hard disk drive, then download another couple of Gigabytes of updates. Wouldn't be simpler to just have an installation DVD that creates a minimal system which then downloads the latest version of each module.

And that DVD is really only used once and then forgotten about.

Re:That is a lot of... (5, Informative)

phyrestang (638793) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727534)

Try installing Gentoo Linux. The current minimal installer for x86 is about 57MB. The rest is downloaded during the installation.

Re:That is a lot of... (2, Interesting)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727612)

I remember when you could do a network install from two floppies...

Re:That is a lot of... (2, Informative)

stuporglue (1167677) | more than 6 years ago | (#22728178)

You can still do it with one floppy :

http://damnsmalllinux.org/network-install.html [damnsmalllinux.org]

  • Get TOMSRTBT and boot it
  • Configure network
  • Download install script
  • Download image and use install script
Debian has a 5-floppy installer still as well : http://ftp.nl.debian.org/debian/dists/etch/main/installer-i386/current/images/floppy/ [debian.org]

Re:That is a lot of... (2, Funny)

Fission86 (1070784) | more than 6 years ago | (#22728290)

Not to belittle your cause at all, but who still uses floppies any more?

Re:That is a lot of... (1)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 6 years ago | (#22728466)

Not to belittle your cause at all, but who still uses floppies any more?
I just picked up a 2.4Ghz Xeon workstation that my office was throwing out. It still works but the CD player has been removed for use in another machine. I want to put Fedora on it.

Re:That is a lot of... (1)

ryszard99 (1193131) | more than 6 years ago | (#22728650)

netboot assuming you have a network to boot from that is.. :-)

Re:That is a lot of... (3, Funny)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 6 years ago | (#22729194)

Umm.. CD players can be had for as little as $10.00 USD. What's stopping you from getting one?

Re:That is a lot of... (1)

darrinallen (1190379) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727256)

That is a lot of storage. I wonder how many BYTES GOOGLE currently has stored

Re:That is a lot of... (4, Interesting)

beckerist (985855) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727478)

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_platform [wikipedia.org]

# Upwards of 450,000 servers ranging from a 533 MHz Intel Celeron to a dual 1.4 GHz Intel Pentium III (as of 2005)
# One or more 80GB hard disks per server (2003)
So at least using these numbers, let's say on average they have 120gb per server (1 and a half, 80 GB drives...) That would mean they have 54,000 TBs or 54 PBs. I'm sure they have even more now, but as a point of reference! Yes, Google has a finite amount of space!

Re:That is a lot of... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22728640)

You actually have to double that to 3.6 zetabytes, seeing as how the NSA has the other half of the Internet's RAID 1 mirror :-p

Re:That is a lot of... (1)

IdleTime (561841) | more than 6 years ago | (#22728662)

54PB? Ok, make a tape copy and mail it to me so I have a local copy just in case...

Re:That is a lot of... (2, Funny)

NCG_Mike (905098) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727848)

"Documentaries".

Re:That is a lot of... (1)

u-235-sentinel (594077) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727932)

At least it would give me someplace to put all that data I downloaded from Concast over the last four years.

Let's see. My family is supposed to be consuming about 300 Gigs a month on the average according to Concast that is.

So 300gigs times 12 months over four years.... WTF!!

that's a lot of data. Where the hell have I been putting it! ;-)

Guess I should purchase the new drives when they come out ;-)

Riiight (2, Insightful)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 6 years ago | (#22726992)

"as the world changes over to digital televisions, analog sets and obsolete set-top boxes and DVDs"

That's what I plan on doing. I'm going to throw out all my DVDs and buy the Blu-Ray equivalent.

Or maybe I'll just keep the DVDs (and the player) and buy whatever cable adapters I need to get them working on these newfangled devices.

Re:Riiight (2, Informative)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727084)

What, are you kidding? Blu-ray has horrifying DRM and doesn't really look that much better than DVDs with good postprocessing. I'd never even think of supporting DRMed blu-ray.

Re:Riiight (4, Insightful)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727102)

Get a decent TV. There's a massive difference between DVD and Bluray.

DRM? Who cares. I'm not planning on copying 20gb+ disks.

Re:Riiight (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22727294)

Then you're totally fucking ghey.

Re:Riiight (5, Insightful)

Aenoxi (946506) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727408)

Please mod parent up. If I had a nickel for every person who spouted that same upscaled DVD tripe, then, then, then I'd have enough to buy a Blu Ray disk ;)

There is a world of difference between 1080p and DVD quality - but you'll never see it if your TV can't natively display 1080p (or at least 720) or you use a composite video interconnect rather than HDMI/DVI or component (yes, I know, but you'd be surprised how many people still do...)

Whilst I can imagine that a true 1080p picture might look similar to upscaled DVD on a small screen (which necessarily has very small dot pitch), the difference becomes clear as you scale up the screen beyond 30 inches or so (and bleeding obvious once you get beyond 42"). Interpolation and post-processing can only get you so far. Notwithstanding CSI, even high-end upscaling cannot create genuine detail that didn't exist in the original image - and the more post-processing you do, the more artifacts you are going to see.

I've been running a Pioneer BR player via HDMI to a 1080p 60" plasma for 6 months and whilst upscaled DVD is nice, it can't hold a candle to the 1080 BR picture. Double blind test anyone on a similar system and there's no way you'd get anything but a 100% success rate of identifying HD BR vs upscaled DVD.

Re:Riiight (1)

smallfries (601545) | more than 6 years ago | (#22728128)

You're not quite putting it in the right terms for the slashdot audience. How about:

When you download a 5Gb Blue-Ray Rip it will look much better than a 1Gb DVD rip if you play it on the right equipment. The right equipment being a display to do it justice, and mplayer to do the upscaling nicely :)

Seriously though, on reading your post I'm shocked by just how much hassle everything is using legal components. We got our TV cheaply as it wasn't "HD-Ready". Apart from the lack of sticker it does do 1280x1024 stretched onto 16:9, and mplayer can do bicubic interpolation in software, so for our purposes it was high-def. Plays 720p wonderfully.

Re:Riiight (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22728390)

Yah, blu ray is just insane. Have fun with your giant TV- my montior is higher resolution, and my thinkpad is certainly cheaper than your plasma or LCD tv. HDMI cables are crazy expensive and you don't have the freedom to run them through a tivo or STB-- seriously, running everything through a nice set top box or media PC has been de facto since the VCR days, and you're just putting up with that freedom being taken away? Also TVs suck more power than overclocked nvidia cards so there's even more cost. Why would you pay so much more for 1080p? It's the same video, and you're selling your soul for extra resolution.

Re:Riiight (1)

smallfries (601545) | more than 6 years ago | (#22728212)

Two replies, pretty unusual! Your sig is excellent. When you say paraphrased did Godel say something quite similar (which I couldn't find on Google), or do you literally mean that it paraphrases Godel's work. I'm just curious as it's a very cool quote and I was wondering whether I should attribute it to Godel, or to you.

Upscaled BR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22729056)

In five years why wouldn't we have a display with 2160 lines of resolution provided by an upscaled BR player?

There is simply more detail recorded in BR, so if the consumer wants more detail that is the logical route.

Properly Set Up TV For The Win... (1)

nick_davison (217681) | more than 6 years ago | (#22729252)

but you'll never see it if your TV can't natively display 1080p (or at least 720)
Having experienced both, I'd still pick upscaled DVD on a well calibrated, high quality 720p or 1080i TV than BluRay on the majority of 1080p TVs as they come out of the box.

Yes, extra resolution is a wonderful thing. IF you can see it.

Lousy upscaled DVD to lousy 1080p gives you lots more lousy pixels and a nice, reassuring feeling. Look how sharp the artificial edges of the overblown sharpening settings are now! Look how you can really get a sense of the edge of the large area that's lost in the shadows. Look how black that giant smudge is!

Or a properly calibrated set showing a DVD at its best will suddenly bring a ton of subtle detail out of the shadows, out of the blown out highlights. That mass of red cloth suddenly gains subtle variations that show the stitching, etc.

Given a choice between upping 50 near uniform red pixels to 300 near uniform red pixels or 50 near uniform red pixels to 50 beautifully varying ones, I'll always choose the latter.

So, yes, 1080p is always going to beat upscaled DVD on the same setup. But a good set, properly calibrated, vs. the majority of crap that's out there, is also always going to be a bigger improvement still.

If you have the money, get the 120hz 1080p set that's at the top of everyone's line. Plug in BluRay, marvel at the whole experience.

If you don't have the money and you have to compromise somewhere, you'll be better served by putting the price of the $500 BluRay player in to a better picture (note: I said better, not bigger) and the Avia Home Theater calibration DVD. You'll get a far bigger improvement from upconverting regular DVDs on a great set than you will from displaying a high definition source through crap.

Besides, three movies later at current costs, you'll have saved so much by buying regular DVDs, you can now buy that BluRay player anyway - and now it'll be plugged in to a great display.

Re:Riiight (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727480)

Some early Blu-Ray players are incapable of playing the latest discs because of DRM. Plenty of the first HDTVs will force your overpriced HD content to be downscaled to SD because they don't support HDCP, as soon as they start using ICT.

I'd say DRM matters, no matter whether you plan to copy discs or not. Probably more so than to the pirates, as usual.

Re:Riiight (2, Insightful)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727710)

DRM? Who cares. I'm not planning on copying 20gb+ disks.

I would have said that about DVDs not so long ago. Disk space and bandwidth become cheaper with time.

And besides copying, a DRM crack allows me to play discs on the operating system of my choice, to extract small parts of the feature for purposes of review, criticism or parody, and to bypass any annoying previews, trailers, propaganda, threats, or other junk that the studio may have seen fit to prepend to the show.

Re:Riiight (1, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727870)

I don't even care enough about high fidelity imagery to wear my glasses day to day. The resolution of a normal TV is plenty for me.

High fidelity audio however is an entirely different story.

Re:Riiight (1)

CaptnMArk (9003) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727312)

I'll wait until DRM is cracked (especially region coding).

Re:Riiight (1)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727420)

I was a joke. I was pointing out how dumb it would be to throw out all your DVDs and buy a bunch of overpriced discs just because they're the new thing.

*WHOOOSH*

Re:Riiight (1)

TummyX (84871) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727824)


Blu-ray has horrifying DRM and doesn't really look that much better than DVDs with good postprocessing


You are talking out of your ill-informed inexperienced ass. There is a high degree of probability that you haven't actually seen a hi-def video on a hi-def TV but let's examine your assertion anyway.

You are saying that there is not much difference between 1920x1080p and a 720x480i picture. Think about it. I'm interested to know more about this "good postprocessing" that can somehow make DVD even approach the quality of any HiDef source.

Re:Riiight (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22729176)

What, are you kidding? Blu-ray has horrifying DRM
Were you planning on storing all your blu-ray movies on a file server at up to 50GB a pop (I have a 500GB NAS box at home and I think that would struggle to contain all my DVDs - which include a few TV series' - even if they were compressed)? It's not like the DRM isn't easily cracked anyway, what are you complaining about? Plus, how exactly does upscaling a picture compare with actual extra resolution? I've yet to buy my PS3 and try out the upscaling of course, but between an anti-aliased&sharpened/whatever SD image with an original 'HD' res image, I know which I'd choose.. of course I have a full 1080p set so most 'standard' TV looks like garbage atm, but that could be down to the broadcast quality

How much data? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22727000)

1.8 whaaa? LOC convertion plz!

Y2k300! (5, Funny)

xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D (1160707) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727006)

If, like the summary (but not the article for some reason) states, total data is growing by a factor of 10 every 5 years, then somewhere around the year 2300 we'll have 10^80 bits stored. The number of elementary particles in the known universe is estimated to be between 10^79 and 10^81. Seems we're kind of screwed at that point.

Re:Y2k300! (5, Funny)

Spad (470073) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727142)

Just Zip everything, it'll be fine.

Re:Y2k300! (1, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727218)

ZIP the ZIP'd file for even better space savings.

Speaking of... (1)

justthinkit (954982) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727628)

Does this article take into account zip file contents, zips of zips, cabs, zips of cabs, files within .iso etc. -- all the files within files within files? If so, how?

Re:Y2k300! (1)

BotnetZombie (1174935) | more than 6 years ago | (#22728552)

That would be the Big Crunch then. The Big Bang should perhaps be called the Big Unzip?

Re:Y2k300! (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 6 years ago | (#22728146)

Hmmm, is Y2k300 a shorthand way of writing 2300?

Re:Y2k300! (1)

jonas_jonas (1135553) | more than 6 years ago | (#22729004)

If, like the summary (but not the article for some reason) states, total data is growing by a factor of 10 every 5 years, then somewhere around the year 2300 we'll have 10^80 bits stored. The number of elementary particles in the known universe is estimated to be between 10^79 and 10^81. Seems we're kind of screwed at that point.

And then: Wait for the absolute information meltdown!

It is in one of Stanislaw Lem's stories, where a scientist collects as much information as he can on a supercomputer, until the computer is a few microgram heavier: The Information changed into mass and destroyed itself. The human race collected information only to "inform themselves back stone age".

Unfortunately I can't remember the name of the story, probably it's one of the Star Diaries [wikipedia.org] but I am not sure...

Well yes... (2, Insightful)

theM_xl (760570) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727026)

85% of that information somewhere goes through a corporate computer, website, network or asset
That's all? I mean, a good deal will be created by corporations in the first place, all the major bits of internet infrastructure belong to one corporation (for-profit or not) or another, the post office is a corporation... 85% seems low, actually.

Re:Well yes... (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727048)

Agreed.

Well under 15% of my data is personal photos, music, and reports. Probably something like 1% of the stuff on my computer is personal (5GB)

Even my sisters computer only had a gig or so of personal data, with 8 times that is installed programs, and then the music...

Re:Well yes... (2, Insightful)

Dan East (318230) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727182)

I don't know about that. Imagine all of the digital pictures taken that never travel outside the home user's computer, memory card or CDs. Even more important, consider the amount of digital video data generated by home users with their camcorders. A single 60 minute Mini-DV tape is in the neighborhood of 15 GB. That's one single tape, and my family alone has dozens of them just from a single year. Even if those videos are uploaded to the internet, they must first be converted to some other format that has a vastly lower bitrate. So the original gigabytes of data still never touches corporate infrastructure - only the small, crappy quality encodings that end up on YouTube.
They might also be counting swap files and hibernate files. In the case of hibernate files, a computer with 2 GB RAM generates 2 GB of data every time it hibernates.

The worse part? (2, Funny)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727034)

Is that half of it will be copies of Windows Vista, XP, a few hundred Linux distro's.

that's a meagre.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22727036)

(1.8 zettabytes) / 20 quadrillion = 103.762935 kilobytes

Not that much per file really

Re:that's a meagre.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22727082)

Unless we quickly start zipping all files to reduce the number and increase size by file average.

After that we can say HA! you failed in prediction of 20 quadrillion files.

Interstitial ads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22727050)

Anyone else finding these are hanging completely, rather than just getting in the way of reading what you want? What the hell did I pay my subscription for? .js errors, by the looks of it.

But what we really want to know is.... (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727056)

...how many gigaquads [wikipedia.org] is that?

Re:But what we really want to know is.... (1)

ben0207 (845105) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727088)

More importantly, how many floppies is that (3s or 5s, if you please)?

Re:But what we really want to know is.... (4, Funny)

oni (41625) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727096)

no no no, the proper term for journalists to use is library of congresses. Even though I've never been to the library of congress and have no idea how big or small it might be, large amounts of data should always be given in those units.

Re:But what we really want to know is.... (1)

innit (79854) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727126)

> no no no, the proper term for journalists to use is library of congresses I know you'll probably flame me for this, but it's a personal bugbear. It's "libraries of congress", dammit.

Re:But what we really want to know is.... (1)

innit (79854) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727160)

Gah and there I go forgetting to select the correct formatting. I'll get my coat.

Re:But what we really want to know is.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22727220)

of the buildings which i see that are identifiably belonging to the LOC when I go to the hill, it looks to take up the better part of 3 blocks and each building is 3-5 stories tall... so, roughly the size of Rosie O'Donnell.

Which definition of a zetabyte? (4, Interesting)

EricR86 (1144023) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727078)

Since we're talking very large orders of magnitude it would help to know what definition of zetabyte they're using.

2^50 bytes or 10^15 bytes?

The former is astronomically larger.

Re:Which definition of a zetabyte? (2, Informative)

EricR86 (1144023) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727124)

2^50 bytes or 10^15 bytes?
What I really meant was: 2^70 bytes or 10^21 bytes? Pfft. Only a few orders of magnitude... :|

Re:Which definition of a zetabyte? (4, Funny)

pipatron (966506) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727190)

If by "astronomically larger" you mean 12.6%, then I'm astronomically larger than the average Indonesian male.

Re:Which definition of a zetabyte? (1)

EricR86 (1144023) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727584)

Actually I got my orders of magnitude screwed up and I replied to my own post to correct it

.

The difference in terms of ratio is actually 2^70 / 10^21 = 1.18 ish. Which may not seem too significant, but on that scale, that's a LOT of bytes.

Re:Which definition of a zetabyte? (2, Insightful)

sapphire wyvern (1153271) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727216)

At the risk of being modded down, isn't that distinction the whole point of the IEC's "zebibyte" proposal?

Anyway, most measurements of mass storage (bandwidth quotas, hard disk capacity etc) seem to measured in actual megabytes (MB), gigabytes (GB) etc, as opposed to binary megabytes (MiB), binary gigabytes (GiB) and so on. Binary byte prefixes only seem to be used for RAM and flash these days, presumably because of the convenient manufacturing realities involved - and I really wish that manufacturers of those products would get with the program and label their products with unambiguous units.

So I assume the estimate means 10^15 bytes.

Re:Which definition of a zetabyte? (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727356)

In theory, yes. In practice, the whole Zebibyte thing is complete nonsense. Everyone other than hard drive manufacturers has been using the SI prefixes to refer to power of two quantities when referring to binary data for 40 years. Attempting to redefine them retroactively just causes confusion. If I see something that says KB, and don't know when it was written, I have no idea if it pre or post-dates the KiB nonsense and so I have no idea if it refers to 1024 or 1000 bytes.

Re:Which definition of a zetabyte? (2, Insightful)

xaxa (988988) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727406)

So you're better off if someone does use the proper prefix then. Without it, KB could mean either. With it, at least you know what kiB means, so you're definitely right some of the time.

Re:Which definition of a zetabyte? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22728322)

Yeah, except you sound like a gay-wad with a mouthful of dicks when you say "kibibyte" or similar.

Re:Which definition of a zetabyte? (3, Insightful)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727832)

Everyone other than hard drive manufacturers has been using the SI prefixes to refer to power of two quantities when referring to binary data for 40 years. Attempting to redefine them retroactively just causes confusion.

No, the confusion is cause by using a pseudo-binary based number system in a world where almost everything else is decimal.

Quick question: You have a 2000 MiB video file and a 2470 MiB video file. Will they both fit on a 4.37 GiB DVD? Now you need your calculator.

It's much easier to figure out if a 2097 MB and a 2590 MB file fit on a 4.7 GB disk. You can do that in your head.

I've been burned numerous times by programs ambiguously reporting sizes in KiB and MiB causing me to run out of space on something that I'm trying to fill. All storage sizes should always be reported in decimal numbers. If RAM manufacturers want to keep using powers of two due to the implementation detail of how their chips are constructed, they should *always* use KiB, MiB and GiB.

They're same size (1)

alphabetsoup (953829) | more than 6 years ago | (#22728682)

They are almost the same.

log(2^50) = 50 log 2 = 15.0515
log (10^15) = 15 log 10 = 15

Approximately the same size, and definitely not "astronomically larger".

Zettabytes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22727154)

Man, that's a lot of Catherine Zeta-Jones pics!

PLEASE, stop this nonesense! (1)

unityofsaints (1213900) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727158)

Could everyone please stop posting stories about how much data there will be saved on earth in such-and-such a year? Firstly, it's pure speculation/estimation, secondly, who really cares? Most of it is cached google pages and pron anyway...

Re:PLEASE, stop this nonesense! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22727202)

...and useless comments...

You are answering yourself (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727270)

secondly, who really cares? Most of it is cached google pages and pron anyway...
That's why /.ers care.

Re:You are answering yourself (3, Interesting)

epine (68316) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727784)

secondly, who really cares? Most of it is cached google pages and pron anyway...
That's why /.ers care.
But actually, no. We're very close already to being able to generate pron on demand without involving any principle photography. You won't even need to say what you want, that will be ascertained on the fly by neuro-cranial-bio-feedback.

After enough of the male population has been brain mapped, it will probably turn out like spam: there's only so many unique permutations, as long as the scene is dressed up a little differently from time to time to maintain the novelty factor.

Pron seems to be a lot like Big Bertha, where each mortar round was larger than the last, to accommodate progressive barrel enlargement. Eventually the images become extremely shocking to get any response at all.

http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2008/03/mri_vision [wired.com]

The future of compression is not to send the picture itself, but the reduced specification for an image that produces the same effect on the human visual system. We're already doing this with psycho-acoustic encoding.

Once we have a sufficiently sophisticated model of human sensory perception, mental and emotional responses (which will run to TBs I'm sure), we can run a competition for the best feature movie encoded in under 4KB. Mostly it would describe desired emotional responses and cognitive states, the actual images would be back-generated to achieve this effect as determined by the human perceptual model.

Wrong metric? (3, Interesting)

guruevi (827432) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727162)

I was wondering if they weren't a bit wrong in their calculations. A Zettabyte is 1 Million Petabytes. Knowing that where I work has about 2 petabytes in a few SAN's and there are 1000's of larger institutions and millions that are smaller (that store in the terabytes range) around the world. The place I worked before had about a half a petabyte just in tape backups for credit card and other transactions, catalog and pricing information, images etc. and that was just an average clothing company, hardly rivaling JCPenney or Macy's. I'm also thinking about Wal-Mart with millions of products and thousands of stores. And we're just talking about SAN's here mainly in the US, not including desktops, laptops, camera's, personal information, Google.

On another note, how much does a zettabyte actually yield these days, drive manufacturers might just give you 700 Petabytes for it. Oblig. XKCD: http://xkcd.org/394/ [xkcd.org]

Re:Wrong metric? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22728148)

What's your point, that 1 zettabyte is too much or too little? Hard to tell because your analysis seems to confirm the 1 zettabyte value.

Also I don't understand what you have against drive manufacturers. Unlike screen inches, the quoted value is always a floor of the actual value. A 4.7 GB DVD is 4,700,372,992 bytes. A 500 GB harddrive is 500,107,862,016 bytes. People would sue them if the quoted value doesn't fit on the disk.

Re:Wrong metric? (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 6 years ago | (#22728372)

1 zettabyte is too little of an estimate. If as I said, there are about 1000 institutions the size of mine (there are in the US alone) that would take 1-5 exabytes. If there are about 1,000,000 institutions worldwide that are a bit smaller (there are a lot more hospitals, schools, research facilities and government agencies than that I think) they can take up another 1 exabyte all combined and that's just if they average a 1TB SAN per institution.

If there are about a thousand companies equal to the company I worked for (Fortune 1000), that would be another 500 exabytes. Then we haven't talked about the 1 billion desktop/laptop/tablet computers in this world that store on average 10GB that would be a zettabyte all by itself.

If you have no idea about what medical data spits out: a single MRI scan can take anywhere between 100MB and 2GB of unprocessed raw imaging data, average of about 300MB. Some facilities have 24/7 operations of 2 or 3 scanners with a scan every 30 minutes per machine. Then it usually needs processed which usually duplicates the scanning data and expands it's size further (a single researcher can take up to 2TB over the course of 1 year).

Re:Wrong metric? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22728660)

A Zettabyte is 1 Million Petabytes.

Perhaps its time to shift to some form of scientific notation because the exponent gives the reader a number to use to compare. If every increment gets a name like "zorkbytes", "gwavabytes", "snookibytes", etc. it carries very little meaning without a dictionary, and sounds funny to boot.
     

Peak data? (1)

Katatsumuri (1137173) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727166)

I wonder if we will reach some peak data level, when the amount of new data stored would be balanced by the old data rotten away.

How long can it grow by a factor of 10 every 5 years until we hit some fundamental limit?

Re:Peak data? (1)

RoverDaddy (869116) | more than 6 years ago | (#22729298)

SHH!!!! If people start believing in peak data, the price of data will skyrocket!

Signal to noise ration (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727186)

1,800 exabytes of raw data. Anyone like to guess how much of this will be useful data! Judging by some system specifications I have read 5% is being generous. A twenty page specification can be condensed to a single page of useful information, and over half is "boilerplate" disclaimers, etc. which are the same in all the company's specifications.

Re:Signal to noise ration (1)

Bad to the Ben (871357) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727288)

No kidding. Just think of all the space used to store formatting data. I just typed the expression "Blah." (minus quotes) in a .doc file, it's 19,456 bytes in size to store 5 bytes of information.

I'm not saying that formatting data is entirely without worth, but there's definitely some improvements to be had WRT efficiency.

Re:Signal to noise ration (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727438)

Just store it in XML and, at least, triple the storage requirements.

Someday... (1)

weyesone (1216104) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727204)

Somebody is going to discover that our brains are much more capable of storing infinitely large amounts of information.

Re:Someday... (1)

Locklin (1074657) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727748)

I have a ten story library here on campus for you to store and index in your head.

Wet processing is excellent for some restricted purposes, wet storage just plain sucks.

Data figures are misleading (3, Insightful)

Bombula (670389) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727214)

The interesting thing here is the part about data being relayed through third parties and the issues involved. As for the data figures themselves, those are pretty misleading because data does not equal useful information. There is far less useful information in an MS Word file than 100Kb or whatever, for example, so these zetabyte figures bandied about aren't terribly meaningful other than to draw attention to the infrastructure needed to support digital data relaying. To see my point, turn things upside down: there is vastly more data stored on an LP record or celluloid film than on a CD or digital photograph. But is that data useful information? Only a few audiophiles and filmophiles would argue that there is.

Yes, there is a lot of data in the world. But is there really that much more information out there? A zillion copies of the same song just means more data, not more information.

Re:Data figures are misleading (1)

Prof.Phreak (584152) | more than 6 years ago | (#22728196)

Exactly. In fact, as time goes on, it will be -easier- to store information, as data storage capabilities grow faster than our information creation capabilities, and our population (ie: lets say every human on the planet walks around with as many HD cameras as they can carry, recording everything in their lives... the population growth will still make it a manageable amount of information long term).

There's also a limit on how much information can be consumed per person (or searched, etc.,---beyond a certain point, there's no reason to `keep' it around). Lets say you're capable of watching and comprehending 10000 HD videos at the same time. That's still a cap on how much information you can consume in your life time.

ie: Google's job of indexing all of the worlds information is becoming easier and easier every day.

Unless of course some AI shows up and starts producing and consuming information at an ever increasing rate---but then I'd imagine it would be doing something -useful- with all that information (hopefully). Maybe it would create a simulation of the universe---where people would wonder about things.

recycling plastic (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727236)

don't worry, we can mine landfills and recycle the plastic out of them at some point. After all, the plastic isn't going anywhere, and we're only going to get more technologically advanced, so at *some* point, surely this will make sense!

2011 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22727244)

The year of Linux on the desktop?

...and by 2020, a single install of Photoshop (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727246)

Photoshop was 22,000 files last time I checked. ...and I know people who think that's cool.

Re:...and by 2020, a single install of Photoshop (1)

Sciros (986030) | more than 6 years ago | (#22728470)

22,000 files, eh? That's cool.

and 98% (1)

kannibul (534777) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727254)

and 98% of it we could get rid of due to it being ads, spam, and files from employees that are over 15 years old and/or are not relevant to the business.

Zettajillion (1)

dgun (1056422) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727272)

[Fry stands up and raises his hand.]
FRY: One jillion dollars.
[The bidders gasp in shock.]
AUCTIONEER: Sir, that's not a number.
[The bidders gasp again.]

1 billion kagilion buhgillion (0, Offtopic)

fender177 (1125877) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727370)

.....Is Austin Powers behind this recent post?

Insert Animal House reference here (1)

4thAce (456825) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727372)

Sounds like a fraternity thing.

Reminds me of AOL disks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22727490)

also found that as the world changes over to digital televisions, analog sets and obsolete set-top boxes and DVDs "will be heaped on the waste piles, which will double by 2011.""

A few years ago I recal someone predicting that AOL disks would be numerous enough to cover the globe

Personally I found them quite useful as drink coasters

I think we all know what this means. (1)

Wilson_6500 (896824) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727496)

We're gonna need more SI prefixes.

Re:I think we all know what this means. (1)

Creepy (93888) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727750)

or we're one big EMP pulse away from losing almost 2 zettabytes of data.

and technicallly, there is only one SI definition of zettabyte [wikipedia.org] , which is 10^21. The binary definitions used by the IEC like the zettabyte=2^70 are being renamed to avoid ambiguity (proposed to be zebibyte for zeta binary byte).

meh... (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#22727636)

...640k ought to be enough for everyone.

Duplicates? (1)

BigAssRat (724675) | more than 6 years ago | (#22728084)

How many of those files are duplicates?

VCR? (1)

carnivorouscow (1255116) | more than 6 years ago | (#22728692)

There are lots of people who kept their VCR and tape collection after they bought a DVD player. Why do so many "experts" assume that when a technology becomes outdated that it's immediately thrown away? I suspect that analog TVs and DVD players will hang around until they finally break, much like the current generation of HD platforms.

Re:VCR? (1)

rholland356 (466635) | more than 6 years ago | (#22728970)

Immediate or not, EVERY PRODUCT ever manufactured eventually ends up in the trash. So, whether the switch to digital creates a Rat in Snake effect at the dump, waste management types must prepare for the ultimate total amount of rubbish.

And, having gone through one 50-inch plasma, it is no simple task to haul one of those puppies. I think even the e-waste collection centers will struggle with these pigs.

4 Gigs. (2, Insightful)

Warll (1211492) | more than 6 years ago | (#22728968)

So I used their digital foot print calc, it told me mine was 4.5 gigabytes. A little on the low side I'd say, I have 1.1 TB of HDD sitting right next to me.
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