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Data Storage Media

Synthetic Stone DVD Claimed To Last 1,000 Years 416

Posted by timothy
from the will-your-progeny-the-warranty dept.
Lucas123 writes "A start-up launched a new DVD archive product this week: a disc that it says will hold its data for 1,000 years. The company, Cranberry, says its DiamonDisc product, which can be used in any standard DVD player, is not subject to deterioration from heat, UV rays or material rot due to humidity or other elements because it has no dyes, adhesives or reflective materials like standard DVD discs, and its discs are made from a vastly more durable synthetic stone. Data is laid down on the platter much in the same way as a standard DVD disc, but with DiamonDisc the burner etches much deeper pits. Cranberry said it is also working on producing a Blu-ray version of its 1,000-year disc."
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Synthetic Stone DVD Claimed To Last 1,000 Years

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  • 1,000 years? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @09:36PM (#30082734)

    You know, when CDs and DVDs came out, they claimed they would last 50 years. I have yet to find one that lasts longer than 5. So I'd say, 1,000 years translates to about a hundred years, tops. Also, it may not be vulnerable to humidity in a controlled environment, but in the outdoors, a few seasons of freezing/melting and it'll be shot. Water beats rock every time.

  • First Prior Art (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bigattichouse (527527) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @09:37PM (#30082740) Homepage

    Wonder if they applied for a patent before April 22, 2004 ?

    http://www.halfbakery.com/idea/Ever-Disk [halfbakery.com]

  • Expensive (Score:2, Interesting)

    by techrolla (902384) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @09:43PM (#30082788) Homepage
    It's going to be really hard to convince average computer users who think their data will last forever that it won't. And after 50 years no one might even own dvd players.
  • Re:1,000 years? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by maharb (1534501) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @09:56PM (#30082886)

    *Currently playing an 8 year old burned CD with no issues*

  • Re:Presumably... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by glyn.phillips (826462) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @10:08PM (#30082976)

    Presumably all DVD readers made for the next 1000 years will be backward compatible. Have you tried to read an 8-inch floppy disk lately? And they're only three decades old!

    When the equipment for reading these starts to become museum pieces people will migrate the data to whatever the state of the art is at the time. Then these stone DVD's will last a long time in the landfill.

    It does raise some fun things to speculate about though.

    There are some ancient writings which no one knows how to read anymore. Will future archaeologists wonder what the microscopic pits in our coasters with holes in them are all about?

    Will they suffer from data overload?

    What will future archaeologists, with PhD's, think when they read what you, personally, wrote in a forum? Now that's scary.

  • Re:Presumably... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by QuoteMstr (55051) <dan.colascione@gmail.com> on Thursday November 12, 2009 @10:15PM (#30083026)

    Presumably all DVD readers made for the next 1000 years will be backward compatible. Have you tried to read an 8-inch floppy disk lately? And they're only three decades old!

    The nice thing about he optical disc form factor is that it decouples the encoding and retrieval technology from the moving parts involves in loading, unloading, and spinning the disc. It's very easy to support additional optical media formats by simply including another kind of laser in the read head.

    On the other hand, an eight-inch floppy needs a custom loading mechanism that isn't cost-effective to build anymore, so of course we don't have anything that's backward compatible.

    As long as we have optical media at all (and I don't see the idea fading any time soon), the readers will be backwards-compatible all the way back to Red Book audio. I would be amazed if we couldn't read CDs in 100 years, and only moderately surprised if we couldn't read them in 1,000.

  • Re:Presumably... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by QuoteMstr (55051) <dan.colascione@gmail.com> on Thursday November 12, 2009 @10:42PM (#30083230)

    There are some ancient writings which no one knows how to read anymore. Will future archaeologists wonder what the microscopic pits in our coasters with holes in them are all about?

    That's an interesting thought experiment. Let's say civilization fell and rose again, and that future archaeologists came across some of our optical discs. They wouldn't need much beyond 19th-century technology and mathematics to decipher them.

    Once cleaned, 1,000-year-old discs would still shimmer the way they do today. Under a microscope (well-developed by the 19th century), pits and lands would be visible. A pit [freepatentsonline.com] is approximately the same size as a bacterial cell [wikipedia.org], after all. The pits and lands would form a recognizable pattern. That pattern looks nothing like binary, being a clocked encoding [wikipedia.org] of it. But it's obvious that a CD would spin, so eventually someone clever will realize that information is encoded at clock boundaries.

    That having been figured out, these future archaeologists will see repeating patterns of eight units. Presuming that our language came down intact (much like Latin has to us), 19th century cryptanalytical [wikipedia.org] techniques could determine the correspondence of the mysterious 8-pit repeating units to letters. (After all, what is ASCII except a simple substitution cipher?)

    ECC information would be gibberish, but it could be ignored. (And once even one Wikipedia backup were deciphered, the ECC information would be understood.)

    Of course, there's a huge amount of information on each disc. It'd take a long time to go over even part of one by hand, but it could be done. After all, even in the 17th century, huge logarithm table [wikipedia.org] books were produced.

    Once technology advanced a bit, it'd be possible to build an electromechanical system to read and print the contents of CDs. Even Babbage had a workable printer design [bbc.co.uk], and printing telegraph machines emerged by 1910. The hardest part for our future archaeologists would be reading the discs at high speed, for which (I think) they'd need a laser. But maybe the problem would stimulate them, and they'd build lasers before we got around to discovering the things.

    Of course, this is just idle speculation, but it's fun!

  • Re:Presumably... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DerekLyons (302214) <fairwater@gmFREEBSDail.com minus bsd> on Friday November 13, 2009 @02:52AM (#30084386) Homepage

    Presumably all DVD readers made for the next 1000 years will be backward compatible. Have you tried to read an 8-inch floppy disk lately? And they're only three decades old!

    The nice thing about he optical disc form factor is that it decouples the encoding and retrieval technology from the moving parts involves in loading, unloading, and spinning the disc.

    The read/write head moves too - otherwise you wouldn't be able to read anything but the small portion of the disk directly above the read/write head. The form factor and details are different - but with the exception of 'flying' the head, the basic mechanical operations of an optical drive are exactly the same as a magnetic disk drive.
     

    It's very easy to support additional optical media formats by simply including another kind of laser in the read head.

    For certain handwaving values of 'simply', sure. In reality, as a given standard recedes ever further from the bleeding edge manufacturers are going to be increasingly unwilling to increase the cost and complexity of the read (or read/write) head in order to support formats fewer and fewer people use.

  • by PhilHibbs (4537) <snarks@gmail.com> on Friday November 13, 2009 @07:46AM (#30085550) Homepage Journal

    I read that as being $5000 for the burner and the discs.

  • Re:Presumably... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Theovon (109752) on Friday November 13, 2009 @08:46AM (#30085952)

    CDs aren't encoded in a straightforward manner. Data is stored as a composition of Reed-Solomon codes and 10-8 codes, and the RS encoded bits are interleaved. Without detailed knowledge of the encoding, it might as well be encrypted. You're expecting to see plain data interleaved with parit. You'll see nothing of the sort.

  • by xmousex (661995) on Friday November 13, 2009 @08:48AM (#30085970) Journal

    Hell is not a punishment but the state that people who refuse the ultimate good.

    And the great majority of people who are atheist do not declare themselves in any way opposed to or refusing of the ultimate good.

    They are looking at the bible and those who believe it and resolving that this religion and the book its founded on does not represent in any way, an ultimate good.

  • by MBGMorden (803437) on Friday November 13, 2009 @09:23AM (#30086338)

    According to the Christian beliefs I was taught growing up, there is not in between - it's truly a black and white issue. That said, it's also not really linked to "good" or "bad" when it comes to going to either - it's based in salvation. In the eyes of my congregation (a Southern Baptist church - views can differ between groups though) a serial killer that repents of his sins and "accepts Jesus as his savior" right before he is executed will go to heaven, whilst an atheist who devotes their life to charity and good-works who dies would go to hell.

    It all hinged on that salvation issue, or as I heard it put several times: "Man cannot be saved through works - there are many 'good men' burning in Hell.".

  • by zeropointburn (975618) on Friday November 13, 2009 @09:25AM (#30086364) Journal

    It is nothing of the sort. It is a reasonable question, founded on perceptions common to many outside of the Christian faith. One answer is that since heaven is a place of eternal happiness, no discontent is possible. The only way for that to be possible is either to revoke free will or to remake people to be incapable of negative emotions and actions (which amounts to the same thing).

"Out of register space (ugh)" -- vi

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