Electric vehicles – It's not just about the car - "One of the key characteristics of complex systems, such as the world's energy and transport sectors, is that when they change it tends not to be a linear process. They flip from one state to another in a way strongly analogous to a phase change in material science... A second important characteristic of this type of economic phase change is that when one major sector flips, the results rip through the whole economy and can have impacts on the societal scale." (via) [more inside]
The case for optimism on climate change - "I'll finish with this story. When I was 13 years old, I heard that proposal by President Kennedy to land a person on the Moon and bring him back safely in 10 years. And I heard adults of that day and time say, 'That's reckless, expensive, may well fail.' But eight years and two months later, in the moment that Neil Armstrong set foot on the Moon, there was great cheer that went up in NASA's mission control in Houston. Here's a little-known fact about that: the average age of the systems engineers, the controllers in the room that day, was 26, which means, among other things, their age, when they heard that challenge, was 18." (via; previously) [more inside]
Since it folds in three dimensions, we could store all of the world’s current data—everyone’s photos, every Facebook status update, all of Wikipedia, everything—using less than an ounce of DNA. And, with its propensity to replicate given the right conditions, millions of copies of DNA can be made in the lab in just a few hours. Such favorable traits make DNA an ideal candidate for storing lots of informations, for a long time, in a small space.But how stable is DNA? The Reed-Solomon method, long used to error-check data transmission and duplication, is now being explored as an adjunct to the long-term archiving of information encoded in DNA. A post by Alex Riley at the PBS Science blog NOVA/NEXT.
Tesla Powerwall Battery Economics: Almost There - "Elon Musk announced Tesla's home / business battery today. [video] tl;dr: It'll get enthusiastic early adopters to buy. The economics are almost there to make it cost effective for a wide market... That said, for large scale grid deployment (outside of the home), it still looks like flow batteries and advanced compressed air are likely to be far cheaper in the long run." [more inside]
We all know printed photos, properly stored, have an extended shelf life; as many of us likely have at least a handful of family photos that are 75+ years old. Will our grandkids be able to read the DVDs they find in the attic, or the thumb drive full of jpg files that had been sitting in a box for 50 years? Will the media even be readable that far in the future? Maybe we should all be printing to paper the photos we really care about.
There are a number of grid energy storage methods, including flow batteries, which have the potential to be scaled up with increased tank sizes, but that would be expensive due to the cost of metals involved in the process. Enter a research team from Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, who have developed an organic mega-flow battery that utilize quinones, similar to those found in rhubarbs. The quinones serve as charge-carriers in chlorophyll during photosynthesis, with minimal degradation during the process, which is ideal for batteries used in large-scale energy storage and distribution. Some day, energy may be stored in "rhubarb batteries." (Abstract on Nature, paywalled article).
Sony just announced that cassette technology might be the future! With a device that can hold 185 terabytes on one tape. (that's three bluray discs worth of data per square inch.)
Installed solar capacity is growing by leaps and bounds, led by Walmart and Apple, and helped by bonds backed by solar power payments,[*] which have sent industry stocks soaring, even as molten salt and new battery technologies come on line to generate storage for use when the sun doesn't shine. Of course we could always go to geostationary orbit -- or the moon -- as well we may (if politics allow it) as thirst from the developing world grows beyond the earth's carrying capacity. [more inside]
"We live in a world where digital information is exploding. Some 90% of the world’s data was generated in the past two years. The obvious question is: how can we store it all? In Nature Communications today, we, along with Richard Evans from CSIRO, show how we developed a new technique to enable the data capacity of a single DVD to increase from 4.7 gigabytes up to one petabyte (1,000 terabytes). This is equivalent of 10.6 years of compressed high-definition video or 50,000 full high-definition movies."
Just think about it for a moment: One gram of DNA can store 700 terabytes of data. That’s 14,000 50-gigabyte Blu-ray discs… in a droplet of DNA that would fit on the tip of your pinky. To store the same kind of data on hard drives — the densest storage medium in use today — you’d need 233 3TB drives, weighing a total of 151 kilos. In Church and Kosuri’s case, they have successfully stored around 700 kilobytes of data in DNA — Church’s latest book, in fact — and proceeded to make 70 billion copies (which they claim, jokingly, makes it the best-selling book of all time!) totaling 44 petabytes of data stored. [more inside]
The artistic gas storage tanks of Japan. Some explanation Includes a NSFW image, strangely enough. [more inside]
Today, Google launched Google Drive, their long-awaited cloud storage solution. Although it's seen by many as a direct answer to Dropbox, iCloud, and Skydrive, it also offers a few novel features of its own: integration with most Google web services, like Gmail, Docs, and Picasa. And perhaps most notably in the long run, it launched with an API encouraging third-party integration. 18 apps in the Chrome Web Store already implement Drive.
As Amazon and the RIAA go head to head over the Amazon Cloud Player (esentially Dropbox with streaming) it seems like a good time to recap the turbulent history of the humble MP3, upender of the music industry business model.
Stanley Kubrick liked things just so. Including cardboard boxes. (2:05 .wmv)
I'm like a character in a dystopian science-fiction novel, holed up in a cave full of cultural artefacts, waiting for the young Jenny Agutter to arrive in a tinfoil miniskirt, fleeing a poisonous cloud on the surface, to check out my stash and ask me: "Who exactly was the Quicksilver Messenger Service? Who was this Virginia Woolf? What kind of man was Jonah Hex?" - Stewart Lee on comics, books, CDs and shelves. Many, many feet of shelves.
With 5 million square feet of leased warehouse, light-industry, and office space, and a network of more than two miles of rail lines and six miles of roads, SubTropolis is the world’s largest underground business complex. [more inside]
Petabytes on a budget: How to build cheap cloud storage disclaimer: I use Backblaze myself, but I thought this article was cool enough to share without being fanboyish
Computer data storage through the ages. From the punch card to the cassette drive to the Jaz, and much more.
Do you still have some leftovers from Christmas hiding in the back of your fridge? Are you wondering if you should eat it? This is a site dedicated to that very important question. [more inside]
Sustainability of Digital Formats : a repository of mostly technical information about digital content file formats related to storing images (moving and still), text, sound and websites
"A Smart Garage energy paradigm could simultaneously reduce the environmental impact of both the transport sector and the electricity sector. Driving a vehicle that uses electricity creates fewer greenhouse-gas emissions than driving a vehicle that uses gasoline, even if the electricity is made from fossil fuels (such as coal)."
MIT researchers have overcome a major barrier to large-scale solar power: storing energy for later use. [more inside]
An obscure 1911 British law requires a copy of every published book, journal, newspaper, patent, sound recording, magazine etc.. to be permanently archived in at least one of five libraries around the country. The British Library has the most complete collection and is currently adding about 12.5km of new shelf space a year of mostly unheard of and unwanted stuff. A new state-of-the-art warehouse is being constructed with 262 linear kilometers of high-density, fully automated storage in a low-oxygen temperature controlled environment. It is not a library, it is a warehouse for "things that no one wants." BLDG Blog ponders on what it all means.
It's called the Giant Magnetoresistive effect and it could one day allow electronic devices to hold 10 to 100 times the data in the same amount of space. "That means the iPod that today can hold up to 200 hours of video could store every single TV program broadcast during a week on 120 channels." [nyt]
raises lowers the bar. Apparently 1.5 nanometers is all that is needed for a 0 or a 1. This advance in data storage technology is a ways off from making an impact in chip construction, but allows for storage that is 1/8 the size of CMOS's wildest dreams. Neat. via ZDNet
Amazon S3, now for the masses. Amazon S3 has been discussed previously, but several user-facing services have appeared in the last few weeks that allow ordinary non-programmer end users to take advantage of it. One of the most useful of these appears to be Jungle Disk, a free front-end (free beer!) that lets you use S3 as a webdav-mounted disk drive. It works on Windows, Mac, and Linux, and there's GPL code available (free speech!) that lets other people develop alternative compatible front-ends.
Amazon launched S3: Unlimited Simple Storage. Take advantage of Amazon's global infrastructure to serve content, store data, and serve bittorrents.
Welcome to Ourmedia.org We provide free storage and free bandwidth for your videos, audio files, photos, text or software. Forever. No catches.
One Terabyte?! I remember the good old days. Back when I was a kid and Gmail revolutionized communication by offering 1 gigabytes of storage to it's users. Well step aside, G. These crazy bikers are giving away 1000 GB accounts with a whopping 500 MB limit on attachments. And no ads?! Is this really possible? Think of the bandwidth.
Music & photography. How to soup up that digital camera.(via coolios)
Feds rule that DVD X Copy is now illegal. What will become of other DVD burning software? The MPAA considers a major victory, but are the people who may use it legitimately getting the shaft, or will we see an increase in recovery outfits?
Attention data archivists... CD-R's go bad. A dutch study indicates that most CD-Recordable discs become virtually unreadable 20 months after being written.
An interactive food storage calculator comes in pretty handy when you'd rather have a little in the basement for a rainy day-but you have no idea how to get started. [More Inside]
5GB on a Credit Card. The ever shrinking world of data storage just got smaller, as a company called StorCard has apparently invented a way to write up to 5GB worth of data on to media the size & shape of a credit card. Along with the media you have to buy a USB adaptor to read, but it's a quantum leap in data storage either way. Where will this madness end? Five GB on the head of a pin???
Nüp2 Incorporated will revolutionize the electronic memory business. Using our patented memory technology and our patent-pending "Topolithographic" manufacturing process, we will develop and produce solid-state electronic memory having gigabytes of storage in a tiny package for just a few dollars per Gigabyte. Hoax? Vaporware? Revolution in data storage? You decide.
Intimate Media. As computers steadily move into every aspect of personal life, MiME proposes that instead of allowing intimate media to disappear into the computer, artifacts and systems should be designed to better promote human experiences around the collection, storage and sharing of intimate media. Interesting research by Philips. How will you share your personal artifacts in the future?
all aboard! next stop, yucca mt. the proposed yucca mt nuclear waste storage site has been approved by the senate. while only a handful of senators believe "we are being forced to decide this issue prematurely," and others are concerned with "thousands of waste shipments crossing 43 states" - most worry only about the risk of the next proposed dump site being in their state if yucca mt falls through. apparently the buildup of toxic waste at the power plants is getting pretty bad - "I believe it is a safe repository," said Lott. If the country does not find a central place for the waste, he said, "we're going to have to shut down" the nuclear industry. is shutting down the industry a bad thing? if the waste produced by these methods is so deadly and destructive... why aren't we questioning the risk/reward factor of nuclear power plants, instead of just worrying about where to stash the glowing green ooze? they've spent 4.5 BILLION dollars just researching the yucca mt site... could that money have been spent on developing clean power generation and maybe even helped fund its deployment?
I've been trying to build this computer on Dell's site for about two straight weeks now. What would you do with 6 TFLOPS?
Too Much Information? Heavy information overload: the world's total yearly production of print, film, optical, and magnetic content would require roughly 1.5 billion gigabytes of storage. This is the equivalent of 250 megabytes per person for each man, woman, and child on earth.
My Winamp Locker appears to be a free online storage space for your music files, hosted by Winamp. At 3Gb, and the offer of sharing and listening to your songs anywhere, how on earth do they expect to A) make any money back from all the server hardware they'll buy to support this, and B) not get sued by the RIAA? I thought it'd be a great service to exploit for my personal 2-3Gb collection, but it turns out you have to upload your files one at a time. ugh.
I knew hard drive storage was cheap, but I didn't think it was that cheap. Freediskspace.com is offering 300Mb of storage for pretty much anything. They integrate with PCs, Macs, and Linux boxes, in addition to PDAs. That last one I find most curious, because I've never maxed out the storage space on my 2Mb palm pilot before. [thanks bump]