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Data Storage Hardware Science

Recording Your Entire Life 211

Posted by kdawson
from the as-we-may-think dept.
Scientific American has an article on Gordon Bell's 9-year-long experiment of recording great swaths of his life on digital media. The idea harks back to an article by Vannevar Bush in the 1940s, which arguably presaged hypertext and the Web as well. Bell, the father of the VAX computer and now with Microsoft Research, first published a paper on his experiment in CACM in 2001. The goal is to record "all of Bell's communications with other people and machines, as well as the images he sees, the sounds he hears and the Web sites he visits." Storage requirements are estimated at a modest 18 GB a year, 1.1 TB over a 60-year span. Not a lot if the article's projection comes to pass — that we will all be walking around with 1 TB of storage in our portable devices by 2015. The article is co-authored by Jim Gemmell, who wrote the software for the MyLifeBits project.
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Recording Your Entire Life

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  • by Loconut1389 (455297) on Tuesday February 20, 2007 @06:06PM (#18088428)
    "The Final Cut" I think it was called?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by dougrun (633662)
      Yes, the Final Cut with Williams and Mira Sorvino. Lions Gate Films. Not so science "fiction" now eh?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      One thing I never got from that movie was the whole "editors" concept. I mean, these recordings are 60 years long, so wouldn't it take 60 years--at the least-- to edit one person's life for their tombstone? Not to mention that nobody's said whether or not they want to watch memories of some guy.
    • by dedazo (737510)
      Yeah. That was an underrated movie. It was pretty good, but it could have been better if they had developed the story more. It just doesn't pan out with Williams' wimpy character as the "cutter". They should have hired Brad Pitt and Salma Hayek and had a couple of scenes where cars explode and toxic gas is released and the laser-equipped shark attacks the... never mind.

      It was entertaining though. Good concept.

    • I don't know about you guys but every time there was some mysterious assassin in a movie there were never any photographs of him. I always envied that.
  • You don't suspect that in a few years we won't have terabyte storage on our personal devices, do you? That would be really short sighted. If we're still here in 7 or 8 years, 1TB will probably be pretty ho-hum.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kabocox (199019)
      You don't suspect that in a few years we won't have terabyte storage on our personal devices, do you? That would be really short sighted. If we're still here in 7 or 8 years, 1TB will probably be pretty ho-hum.

      We have TB of HD space for what $700-$800? It's not quite there, yet. I get excited every time I look up the current prices/storage sizes of those USB thumb drives. When we can pick up 1TB of thumb drive space for $20-$40; this'll start happening far more than anyone previously thought.

      I could see fol
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by lindseyp (988332)
        --You don't suspect that in a few years we won't have terabyte storage on our personal devices, do you? That would be really short sighted. If we're still here in 7 or 8 years, 1TB will probably be pretty ho-hum.

        -We have TB of HD space for what $700-$800? It's not quite there, yet.

        It's not quite 2015 yet, either.

        Back in 2000 a 128MB Trek thumbdrive was $399. $3.12 per megabyte.

        OK hard drives are cheaper. here [littletechshoppe.com] is a nice historical table of the cost per gigabyte. For reference the number of Mb per $

      • by Bandman (86149)
        I don't know if you knew this, but years ago (2001-2002) Google had a widget in their labs that gave you a phone number to call and a link to follow. You called the number, and it asked you what you wanted to search for. You spoke your search, then the phone instructed you to click the link, and when you did, your search results showed up.

        I'm just saying...it's not that far off
    • I was considering the storage size of a human generic brain, about 2 Peta bytes. I figure in about 15 years, peta byte drives should be priced low enough for a dirt bag like me to purchase. Question, how can I download what I have already recorded using my brain?
  • by poptones (653660) on Tuesday February 20, 2007 @06:08PM (#18088466) Journal
    the first time he "sees" a 14 year old dancing provocatively at a street fair or public park, or changes his kid's diapers, or goes to a bachelor party without getting signed 2257 documents from the stripper...
    • I'm wondering how much a person would change their lifestyle, the things they do, watch, see, etc... if they were under this situation. Surely the person would have an understanding that the government could have a court order to seize all of this information and prosecute a person for everything they had ever done. Would they act the same under such circumstances?

      A record like this almost needs to fall under the 5th amendment of non-self incrimination for a person to actually attempt this (which it does not of course).

      It seems that it would either lead to a state of paranoia, or a person changing too much about their lives for it to be an accurate record of them.

      I'd imagine that many people would change the people they associate with (who they wouldn't want to incriminate accidentally), the drugs they tried or saw, the women they talked to, the affairs they had, how they spent their money (and did their taxes!), the website they viewed, the books they read, the people they chatted with online or the porn they watched. Otherwise, they'd be nuts.

      They would likely be arrested, dumped by their signifcant others, fired from their jobs, ridiculed by friends and family, etc..

      I think the truth of it is that people (of all religions) need to realize that no one lives without fault/sin/whatever they call it, and be ready for the real brutal truth of all a person's dirty secrets.

      I'm a musician/creative type and I know that I wouldn't want a hard record of everything that goes on around me. I'm sure that everyone else has seen/done things they wouldn't want expressed eventually to the entire world.
      • I'm not even talking about criminal behavior. US law now makes it a crime to _record_ all types of otherwise perfectly NORMAL human behavior under the guise of "protecting the children." You could be a freaking saint but unless you spent your life alone in a room (and were castrated) you would inevitably find yourself "seeing" things the nanny state wants to protect us from. Thanks to the latest bit of wonder from the 11th circuit court, you couldn't even walk the street during Mardi Gras without violating
        • "Crimes" (Score:3, Insightful)

          by TibbonZero (571809)
          You're right. I didn't mean to implicate that everyone is actually a bad person/criminal, and your example is perfectly right of how the system might abuse someone who documented too much.

          I'd hate to be arrested after being on stage (recording everything I saw) and some 17 year old girl flashed her tits at the stage. Opps, then i'd be slammed for recording child porn. And you're right. Walk down the street at Mardi Gras and opps... tits again. Maybe underage? No 2257 documentation? Slammer.

          God forbid I
          • So, What happens when the price/tech come together for this "full life recording" to become required by law? Ya know, for security. I could see this easily intgrated into the national ID, in say five years. Then the Fed can bust anyone they want for something. poof. All freedom to dissent, gone.
      • by kabocox (199019)
        I think the truth of it is that people (of all religions) need to realize that no one lives without fault/sin/whatever they call it, and be ready for the real brutal truth of all a person's dirty secrets.

        I'm a musician/creative type and I know that I wouldn't want a hard record of everything that goes on around me. I'm sure that everyone else has seen/done things they wouldn't want expressed eventually to the entire world.


        I think that it could be a good thing. I wouldn't want to be part of the 1-3rd generat
      • by dbIII (701233)

        Surely the person would have an understanding that the government could have a court order to seize all of this information and prosecute a person for everything they had ever done

        I suggest either moving to another country, changing your behaviour, or attempting to change the behaviour of your government. Personally I wouldn't want everything recorded out of embarrassment.

      • by syousef (465911) on Tuesday February 20, 2007 @07:39PM (#18089630) Journal
        I'm wondering how much a person would change their lifestyle, the things they do, watch, see, etc... if they were under this situation. Surely the person would have an understanding that the government could have a court order to seize all of this information and prosecute a person for everything they had ever done. Would they act the same under such circumstances?

        Just look at reality TV. A pretence of proprietary is there initially, then most of the retards they put on these shows either forget the cameras are there or choose to ignore them so long as they don't immediately feel the consequences of their actions. Then they come out and realise the came across as racists or manipulators or sluts or victims and realise hey there is a consequence to constantly being filmed. I suspect even non-cretins would fall victim to the same phenomenon.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by I7D (682601)
      Today on the train ride home i'll finih 'The light of Other days', a book by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter. The book is about life with wormholes, where everybody can see anything they wish at any time. Its very interesting, a good read. Somebody else on slashdot recommended it and I bought it for a penny on amazon. If you do happen to pick it up, let me know what you think.
  • by necro2607 (771790) on Tuesday February 20, 2007 @06:12PM (#18088524)
    I used to make sure all my IM software logged all my chats by default - I saw it as a form of "recording my life" (I used to chat online a LOT). Especially in the event that something happened to me (some kind of fatal accident etc.) there would be some history or leftover "data" for family/friends to keep, I guess. Honestly if people had read the chats they would think so differently of me considering the things I discussed, but regardless I felt like I would want people to know either way. I imagine other people do this as well, although maybe not neccesarily with the same reasons in mind (no, I'm not hinting at anything).
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Honestly if people had read the chats they would think so differently of me considering the things I discussed,

      Man I didn't know necro2607 was that into his wizard robe and hat.
    • by AlHunt (982887)
      How about Ana Voog? [anacam.com] She's had a cam running 24/7 in her home since August of '97. I seem to recall she once took the whole setup on a road trip back before it was convenient.
    • I don't know about you, but chatlogs are the last things I want to be remembered through.
      So I started my autobiography. I wrote over 15000 pages covering my youth. Unfortunatly the editor shorted it to one sentence: "Sat in front of computer, did difficult to understand stuff."
      Worse, the 12000 pages covering age 20 to 23 were sumerized to "more of the same" and the 9700 pages covering age 23 til present shorted to "same, but with girlfriend".
      I'm not sure, but I suspect that some people thing my life's p
  • by L. VeGas (580015) on Tuesday February 20, 2007 @06:12PM (#18088528) Homepage Journal
    Either he's asleep 23 hours a day or he spends every waking moment staring into space.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by atamido (1020905)

      or he spends every waking moment staring into space.

      If he was looking up into space [slashdot.org], he'd be getting a heck of a lot more than 18GB. The human eye gets the equivalent of around 600 million pixels. [wikipedia.org]

      The telescope will use a digital camera with 3 billion pixels to image the entire sky across three nights, producing an expected 30 terabytes of data per night.

      • by 4D6963 (933028)

        As the Wikipedia article you linked to says, it's pretty bogus to consider that the human eye gets the equivalent of 600 million pixels, since this figure is calculated by using the eye resolution in the 2 wide max resolution cone, if you really wanted to record what the eye sees (which would involve syncing with each eye movement of course) then with a varying resolution camera you would only need a few million pixels.

        I don't see what that telescope story has to do with anything tho..

  • by everphilski (877346) on Tuesday February 20, 2007 @06:14PM (#18088562) Journal
    He was the feature in Fast Company a few issues ago. It was a really good read.

    here it is [fastcompany.com] although there are a lot of pictures and sidebars that are missing from the original print article.
  • 18GB/year (Score:3, Funny)

    by brainspank (515274) on Tuesday February 20, 2007 @06:18PM (#18088616)
    pfft. I think I could top that on a weekend. Or maybe he just uses URLs.

    - 2007.02.16:20.31.19.GMT
    movie://holy-grail-dircut/chapters/3
    food://cheetos
    observe://fingers/wrongcolor/orange
    use://pants/wipe.cgi

    or maybe he just sits in a dark room. a stream of 0's would compress pretty well.
  • immortality (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 20, 2007 @06:20PM (#18088642)
    Immortality in 3 easy steps (patent pending):
    1. Record all sensory information available to your brain from conception.
    2. Grow a genetically identical clone of yourself.
    3. Boot your clone from disk. If anything goes wonky, revert to a clean install.

    Use appropriate DRM to prevent unlicensed copying.
    • by Rick17JJ (744063)

      Another alternative might be to electronically duplicate the a persons brain, memories and all. The next step would be to transplant the electronic brain into an android. Another alternative to becoming an android would be to transplant a person's consciousness into a computer generated virtual world. Other electronically cloned people could also be placed there too after they die. Of course if someone already believes in life after death, an electronically generated virtual heaven might be unnecessary

  • zzz... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by openaddy (852404)
    Most people's lives just aren't that interesting. If someone wants to do this for their own amusement, like keeping a diary, that's cool. But I really have neither the time nor the inclination to read the blogs of people I personally know -- I usually make passing glances out of politeness -- never mind great swaths of their lives in digital form.
    • If people spend craploads of money hiring people and equipment to record the most significant moments of their lives and then shelve them never to be viewed again...what the hell is the point of recording all the insignificant moments? Oh, yes, I really must relive that lunchtime subway ride back in August.
      • What if something really important happened on one of your lunchtime subway rides? You might get some enjoyment out of reviewing that, but you'd never record it without also recording all the boring ones.

        I would argue that it's still not worth it. But I'm the guy that doesn't even take cameras on vacation anymore because it started to feel like I wasn't so much having a vacation as making a vacation collage for later use.
      • Suppose AI technology eventually gets good enough, the person's personality, aptitudes, skills, etc, might be reconstructed from having a record of everything they ever said, saw, heard, or did. Even if that person was no longer physically alive. It could be a "resurrection" of sorts.

        See the Cronenberg movie "Videodrome" for an interesting take on this idea (and this film was made at least 20 years ago).
        • by C10H14N2 (640033)
          This presumes that the person in question is more interesting after their death than and to those who are alive at the time of their proposed "resurrection." This is highly unlikely.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 20, 2007 @06:22PM (#18088678)
    Consciousness is directly related to how much you participate in your life, and how much you perceive you are able to participate in your life. Memory is a direct result of that. I can remember years of my life where I was given no choice, and I would run around aimlessly like a robot doing tasks a retarded monkey could figure out, day after day. Then too much automation took root and I completely fell apart. I can remember crying because I noticed the grain in a wooden surface for the first time in ages.

    Memory depends on your perception then and now more than anything. The reason some are going headfirst into this kind of research is because the kids with technology spend all their time in meaningless environments doing meaningless things, they grew up that way. Games are meaningless, TV is meaningless, this text; it's pretty much meaningless, as is the news and slashdot. They're all virtual things with no value to us. They feel as though their life is meaningless because they do meaningless things all god damn day long, and at the end of the day, when they go home, and try to get meaning out of their lives, they find themselves unable to feel like they have meaning. Living a meaningless life leads to a meaningless past. Hence, the reason they want to record it.

    What isn't meaningless? Hugs and kisses from beautiful women. Cranking up an engine you spent 4 weeks rebuilding and taking a drive down to a pizza place 100 miles away to celebrate. Waking up in the morning after damn dear dieing the last day and taking your first breath. Sitting infront of the computer and grabbing a flab of skin and noticing you've lost a lot of weight.

    Those things have meaning, and some people may want to record them or take a piece with them to prove they were here and they did this. Some of us have meaningfull lives that go places, and for us, there's no point to record it all; we've already got what we want right here, right now and the memories can be relegated to stories you tell buddies in bars at 2 am. For the rest of us, memories of the deceased are enough to get us through the day.

    It's a technology for a sick culture.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sorabji (1066020)
      I have always wondered how anyone remembers what to remember. What subconscious sets of anxieties and biases determine what stories we tell about ourselves years later?

      I'm reminded of a story in the New York Times magazine several years ago, recounting some of the content from a release of KGB surveillance records. Every moment of Soviet suspect citizen's lives were documented, with one passage recounting how a particular citizen approached a hot dog stand, asked for a hot dog, waited as the hot dog was
    • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@@@yahoo...com> on Tuesday February 20, 2007 @07:11PM (#18089336) Journal
      In fact, everything has only and exactly the meaning you give it, and for you, no other meaning is possible. You chose to give certain situations in your life meaning, and you chose to say that others had no meaning. That was your choice. But it is not entirely up to you, your choices are never made as freely as you think. As a child you had little choice but to accept the meaning-templates that society provided you. You can choose to move on and redefine your templates, but that is a hard thing, and most never do it.

      I'm glad you've found more meaning in your life, though. That is always a good thing. Just don't shut out those "meaningless" parts, they may have more meaning than you thought at the time.
    • What isn't meaningless? Hugs and kisses from beautiful women. Cranking up an engine you spent 4 weeks rebuilding and taking a drive down to a pizza place 100 miles away to celebrate. Waking up in the morning after damn dear dieing the last day and taking your first breath. Sitting infront of the computer and grabbing a flab of skin and noticing you've lost a lot of weight.

      Well, interestingly enough, some people can find meaning in things other than spending 4 weeks getting various cuts and scrapes from me


    • your wisdom was also spoken here:

      After a few days, Willie got tired of the Water-Wheel --
      and no blame to him, for it was no earthly use beyond amusement,
      and that which can only amuse can never amuse long.
      I think the reason children get tired of their toys so soon
      is just that it is against human nature to be really interested in
      what is of no use. If you say that a beautiful thing is always
      interesting, I answer, that a beautiful thing is of the highest use.
      Is not the diamond that flashes all its colours into
    • What's your criteria for meaningfulness vs. meaninglessness? It seems like you're suggesting it comes down to a combination of hard work (building a car, losing weight) or "genuinely" good times (hanging out with a woman), but it's not clear on what basis we can say that certain kinds of hard work (the car, the weight) are meaningful and others are not (writing a reply on /., beating a video game). Is it just that you think that anything revolving around using a computer is too "unnatural" or too easy to be
    • by 4D6963 (933028)

      What isn't meaningless? Hugs and kisses from beautiful women. Cranking up an engine you spent 4 weeks rebuilding and taking a drive down to a pizza place 100 miles away to celebrate. Waking up in the morning after damn dear dieing the last day and taking your first breath. Sitting infront of the computer and grabbing a flab of skin and noticing you've lost a lot of weight.

      Funny, I consider all these things to be to a certain extend meaningless. The only meaningful things are steps you take towards persona

  • I'll love to do it. Unfortunately I also know that all governments would love to implement some law that gives them instant access to that data wherever they want. By cherry picking information in so much data you can probably accuse anyone of whatever you want just by picking events without putting them in context.
  • Thoughts (Score:3, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Tuesday February 20, 2007 @06:27PM (#18088720) Homepage Journal

    This will be highly inadvisable until such time as we are all forced to have them. At which point it will be illegal for your lawyer to advise you not to have one.

    At the point at which they become ubiquitous, you will either have a mass boycott of copyright (because people will not be permitted to record that part of their life) or a mass revolt against it causing it to be stricken down because people want to be able to record everything they see.

    I think that is only reasonable of course; why should only those with eidetic recall be permitted to remember every detail of a movie?

    • If it was actually possible to use this technology in the way it is described, a study would be completed on the effects on your memory of using this technology (think cell phones and how you probably can't remember anyone's phyone number but a decade or two ago you had your most frequent numbers memorized). Since there would be an obvious negative effect on your brain's ability to store information, it could be argued that use of such technology is a detriment to your mental health and cannot be mandatory
      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Since there would be an obvious negative effect on your brain's ability to store information, it could be argued that use of such technology is a detriment to your mental health and cannot be mandatory.

        Since there would be?

        You have apparently forgotten that sometimes things behave counterintuitively.

        That, or you have a time machine. Which is it?

        • I thought that would be obvious to most people. We can derive anecdotal evidence to support this claim by looking at how well we remember phone numbers now compared to before cell phones were commonplace. I really think that most people can recognize what's going on there. Of course, anecdotal evidence isn't proof of anything.

          With a little research, you'll find that this correlation has been reproduced in scientific studies. To sum up the results, the more our brains are forced to recall information, t
  • Like most of you folks, I started a little blog [adamandjamie.com] to document my family and my life. It makes for a pretty darn good memory jogger. I sheepishly used it to remember my daughter's birthday, my wife's cell phone number, and all manner of timeline issues.

    For the most part, I don't care about remembering everything. I want to remember the good stuff, the funny stuff, and the important stuff. The key to memory is having a good editor.
    • First, I assume your blog is secure, if it wasn't you should have corrected that by now. Second, a whole lot of you people seem to be missing one of the fundamental benefits! Being able to say "I told you so" and prove it. That would apply to auto insurance, malpractice, shoddy customer service and arguments with your oh so significant other.

      Here is how it should work:
      I wear glasses (used to have contacts) and I can easily imagine a pair of glasses where the spring in them is just a little longer and on

  • i think the real question is who's going to bother watching it?
    perhaps in the future you could record your entire life, watiching someone else's life, who's been watching someone else's life on a mac

    hmmm
    I wonder how many Gb would be taken up just taking a piss
    and how well it would compress with x264 over a period of several years
  • Perhaps most important, digital memories can enable all people to tell their life stories to their descendants in a compelling, detailed fashion that until now has been reserved solely for the rich and famous.

    But why do you think that your descendants will care? How much of your ancestors' lives would you be willing to sit through? Would you give up "American Idol" to sit through your great-grandfather's off-key redition of "A Bicycle Built For Two"?

    • by dbIII (701233)

      Would you give up "American Idol" to sit through your great-grandfather's off-key redition of "A Bicycle Built For Two"?

      Is this a trick question? I'd give it up to watch paint dry.

  • Yes, but... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BTWR (540147) <(moc.oohay) (ta) (3robignacirema)> on Tuesday February 20, 2007 @06:48PM (#18089018) Homepage Journal
    As has been asked several times before on Slashdot...

    How will he safety store these terrabytes?

    • How will he safety store these terrabytes?

      Well, if they're really terra bytes, I presume he'll simply bury them.
  • The making of... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dimeglio (456244)
    Sounds like a case when the making of will be more interesting than the actual movie.
  • by postbigbang (761081) on Tuesday February 20, 2007 @06:55PM (#18089116)
    What hubris. What self-aggrandizement! What a collosal waste of good disk space! What ego!

    Wait, buy me some Seagate stock!
  • Will I be able to use google on the collected data to find my car keys in the morning? If so, sign me up now.
  • by krotkruton (967718) on Tuesday February 20, 2007 @07:09PM (#18089314)
    To me, this project is pretty interesting, let alone impressive that the guy manages to stay committed to working at it for 9 years.

    But this idea that everyone will be doing this seems pretty stupid to me. If we recorded everything we did, without revolutionary advancements in search or data mining technology (which the article recognizes), that information would be worthless for most cases with the exception of things for which you know an exact date or time. So you want to know what you did Jan 4, 2003, no problem. Want to know the last time you saw a kid flying a kite in the park? Problem, unless you want to search the video of each time you were in the park. Want to remember that song that you liked that was playing when you were driving with your brother in the car, but can't remember when it happened? Problem unless you want to replay all the audio of you two in the car. The article discusses using metadata to "tag" events, but this is cumbersome with currect technology (as the article also recognizes). Most "tags" would need to be manually added, which would still be a problem even if voice recognition software made it easier to add the tags. We could solve the problem of remembering parts of conversations if voice recognition software converted all speech into a searchable form, but we aren't quite at that level yet.

    FTA: An ordinary notebook PC can run a database that is more powerful and almost 100 times as large as that of a major bank of the 1980s. An inexpensive cell phone can surf the Web, play videos and even understand some speech.

    Yeah, and a decade before that in 1976, the CRAY-1 [wikipedia.org] was impressive. Sorry if beating an 80s computer doesn't allay my feelings that our computers can't handle the massive amount of data that the article discusses.

    The article talks about logging health information that would allow the doctor to see early warning signs of things like heart attacks. I'm not going to preted to know all of the warning signs for heart attacks, but it seems to me that many of them are only valid when certain other factors are present as well. For example, if your heart rate is high, its probably not a warning sign if you are also running a marathon. FTA: "Sensors can also log the three billion or so heartbeats in a person's lifetime, along with other physiological indicators". Yeah, have fun running the queries to search through the roughly 40 million heartbeats you have each year while comparing that to the other important factors that determine heart attacks, and then do it again for other diseases.

    I'm sure there are a ton of great uses for this technology. I just don't think that we are anywhere near diong all of the things the article wants, and even if we were, it would end up making more work for people. With that said, consider how this might affect our brains. When I was young, I had my closest friends' phone numbers memorized, along as a few of their addresses. Once I got a cell phone, I slowly forgot every number I knew. Up until a year a year ago, my mom, who just got a cell phone 3 years ago, could remember the number of the first house she lived in. As we develop technology that remembers things for us, what happens to our ability to remember?
    • I'm sure there are a ton of great uses for this technology. I just don't think that we are anywhere near diong all of the things the article wants, and even if we were, it would end up making more work for people. With that said, consider how this might affect our brains. When I was young, I had my closest friends' phone numbers memorized, along as a few of their addresses. Once I got a cell phone, I slowly forgot every number I knew.

      The problem isn't the technology - it's you. I own a cell phone, and I h

      • You're right, there isn't much of a point in entering numbers into a fun (not meant to be an insult, just kinda funny...).

        Ok, my example was running on the assumption that you use your cell phone to store your numbers. For the purpose of that example, if you don't store numbers in your cell phone, the phone isn't any different from phones fifty years ago. Cell phones store your numbers primarily so you don't have to remember them, or so you can get them if you don't remember, which is similar to the tec
    • Would it be better with Voice Recognition?

      If "name is ..." link voice 1 or Voice 2 with data set X.

      I've thought about doing this for a while, with voip and a portable device (Think home computer linking to your phone line) it would be pretty good. It could even keep a 64kpbs buffer of a few hours... then you could erase it just before you leave :P
      • Would it be better with Voice Recognition?

        I'm a little confused, are you saying you think it would or wouldn't be better with voice recognition? Not that I disagree with you that it could be done, but I still think it would be a lot of work to do it that way. You'd still have to take them time to manually (I'm considering voice to be manual as well as typing, as opposed to automatic which could accomplished with something like recognizing voice patterns and linking them together in this case) tag infor
        • I would think that linking voices to people would be considerably easier than determining which words are spoken, though I might be wrong.

          Tag information could be done with GPS, clock or anything.

          Besides I'd rather know what people said than where or when they said it.

          As far as making conversations searchable that's exactly what I meant.

          My ICQ logs contain all the phone #'s I forgot to put in my cell phone...
          • Yes, I definitely agree that voice recognition could make things easier to search. I also think that that is one of the more feasible undeveloped technologies required in the article. I think that, one way or another, there are so many people working on voice recognition, that it is just a matter of time (probably not that long anymore) before it really works well. Things like image recognition, where it needs to determine that a kite is in the picture, is considerably harder, but that's really not relev
    • One easy indicator would be phase jitter. Contrary to what you might expect, the more regular a heartbeat is the more chance there is of heart failure. Store a standard deviation per day, search for trends: pretty small and manageable data handling problem.
      • You're absolutely right that there would be some easy ways to determine a high risk for heart attack. I didn't mean to say that it wouldn't be possible for all indications of risk. I bet it would also be pretty easy to determine if a person has a minor heart attack, since, from my understanding, this happens for some people without them ever realizing they had a heart attack. It's the tough ones that I was concerned with. I wish I knew a computationally intensive example, but I think it's fair to say th
  • It's not such a bad thing, really. Navel-gazing is, in some ways, what differentiates humans from all other species. Your dog or your cat never asks where it came from -- or where it's going, for that matter.

    The concept isn't that much different from those early web pages, where you posted pictures of your kids as though it was the most amazing thing ever. Now, there's MySpace, which just makes it easier to put your life online. Why not take it one step further, and put your entire existential experienc
  • Robert Shields (Score:3, Informative)

    by solevita (967690) on Tuesday February 20, 2007 @07:25PM (#18089494)
    This sounds almost as detailed as Robert Shields' [soundportraits.org] diary, except he did all his work on a typewriter!

    Over the past 20 years, he has typed between three and six-thousand words each day, keeping a record of everything that happens to him.
    • Everthing? Surely that's not possible:
      Wednesday: Started to type the words 'Started to type the words''Started to type the words'''Started to type the words''''Started to type the words ...
  • SenseCam info (Score:3, Interesting)

    by autophile (640621) on Tuesday February 20, 2007 @07:47PM (#18089714)

    Here [microsoft.com] is where you can get more geeky information about the SenseCam that Bell uses. It senses body heat and changes in light level to take pictures which are considered "interesting".

    --Rob

  • subpoenas (Score:5, Interesting)

    by drDugan (219551) * on Tuesday February 20, 2007 @08:31PM (#18090256) Homepage
    When I showed up in Washington for my job, I had lunch with the big boss, who was the former chief of staff to the US VP. Big big cheese in DC. The #2 to the #2. I still had on the west-coast, happy-go-friendly naiveté slathered thick.

    It was the first week, and the first time the big boss took some interest in me. Lunch was expensive - he paid.

    We chatted, dug in. He said a connection I needed to remember and follow up with.

    I pulled out 'my book', the latest leather bound notebook I had kept religiously throughout my graduate life and after. It was just the latest book, like the 4 others before it that I had filled and put on the shelf. At any meeting - the date at the top, notes in delicate print, people, emails, good points - all the things I needed to recall later. Two years later, if I needed the name of that person in the 5th seat from the right from BigCo, Inc., ... yup, in the book.

    The boss's eyes widened, his head tilted -- he said, bluntly: "What's that?"

    "Oh, I keep a book with notes."

    "Oh" he said, pausing, "we don't do that here."

    There was then an even longer, more awkward pause. I scrunched my brow furiously trying not to look too stupid. My eyes darted. "Huh?" I'm thinking, like "What? Write notes in a restaurant?"

    "That is a subpoena waiting to happen", he continued. We then talked at length about how things happen in the real world. That was 4 years ago. I learned a lot from him. I don't keep books any more...

    Since then I've quit a few times, been fired a few times, sued, been through 2 trials, won one, lost one, hired and fired a bunch of people, and now I'm running a startup. Fun times.

    Long story short: IF I ever did record anything, I'd certainly never tell anyone that I had it. There is simply too much risk of it being used against me in the current litigation-crazy world, both from other people and from the state.

    • >IF I ever did record anything, I'd certainly never tell anyone that I had it.

      Even if you got a discovery request for any and all records of something?

      Data can also be used in your favor during litigation: the downside to recording it is that whether it helps or hurts you it's expensive to copy it, review it for privileged material, and answer questions about it.

  • the signal (useful info) to noise (useless noise) will be huge.

    with that much actually EXTRANEOUS data (how many hours
    of staring at the bathroom wall do you really want to store??),
    discarding what is useless will be a huge task -- because editing
    takes lots of time -- thus...

    'As the biggest library if it is in disorder is not as useful
    as a small but well-arranged one, so you may accumulate a
    vast amount of knowledge but it will be of far less value
    th
  • by oohshiny (998054) on Tuesday February 20, 2007 @09:11PM (#18090718)
    I can't quite figure out why these people think that anybody cares about their lives.
  • by K-Man (4117) on Tuesday February 20, 2007 @09:28PM (#18090902)
    That's my life, slowed down .975%.

  • This is impressive from a purely technological perspective ... but frankly, my own life just isn't that interesting, even to me, and there's still a lot of it that I'm trying very hard to forget.
  • I've been recording everything in my life for the past 23 years. The storage requirements aren't too bad: I'm able to carry it all around with me with room to spare. Acquisition and retrieval are the real issues, as there is a lot of metadata to sort through, and not everything encodes well. For instance, there is a huge chunk at the beginning that is practically illegible, as well as a long section in the teens that seems to be recorded as a bunch of flesh-colored RLE bitmaps, followed by a few years wh

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