Digital Dark Age – And don’t tell me, Google is here to help?

Today we have an article about a digital dark age and how all the data stored for this generation could be lost:

Technology could mean that our lives are lost to history, according to experts.

What experts am I left wondering and what could happen that would destroy all the data? Lack of backup’s? an EMP from the sun? No.

As the way that we store information about ourselves develops, memories stored in files that use older technology are becoming harder to access

So what does that mean? The medium in which it’s stored?  If say some data was on laserdisc would future generations have issues accessing it? Of course not, it would be read and brought onto a modern medium, or it could be put onto a modern medium now.  There’s no degredation when duplicating digital, so back up as much as you like!  Or is this vague statements relating to file formats? In 1988 I used a file format called .iff – and guess what, that data can still be read today.  Emulation is the keyword here as I can run the original Amiga application which I used at the time to create the file and open it with no problems.  The ability for clever coders to write emulators or conversion tools for old file formats won’t go away and if there is a potential historical significance to data at some time in the future, I’m quite sure the problem will be solved – and very easily.

evaporated because nobody saved it, or it’s around but it’s not interpretable because it was created by software that’s 100 years old

If nobody saves it then there’s nothing anyone can do.  Just like if I think up an amazing sonet and don’t write it down.  We have no problem emulating television transmissions or technology from the very early days of TV (if we so desired) so why is it any different for data?  Unless our understanding of the universe and our technology takes a massive shift from the direction its going in, then future PC’s are still going to have RAM, they are still going to have a CPU and, shock of shocks people will still be able to write code on them.  That’s not a far fetched prediction, I think thats based firmly in reality. Then we see who makes the remark, Dr Vinton “Vint” Cerf, vice president of Google – coincidently the same company digitising just about anything that moves (and that doesn’t too) – I’m sure if Google was allowed it would sit in the sewers of the world and digitize the waste paper coming down the pipes.  I’m sure Google would very much love to offer mankind a “solution” and have all the “important” data they elude to here, controlled and stored by them. So is this a prelude to an offer to “help” by Google? Google was in court in recent years over its plan to scan/digitize books.  You can read about that here.  It should come as no surprise that Google would have comment (and I’m sure offer to help) with this “problem” its creating.

…planned to scan every book unless publishers and authors specifically objected.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19835808 No thanks Google, I’d rather have the sum of human knowledge stored on cassette tapes in a dusty warehouse underneath a large magnet field than “safe” in your hands.  Not because I think you’ll lose it, but because I think you want to own and control it. Google is rapidly falling out of favour with me.  Gone are the days where it was a trendy “be different” type firm.  Its now turning into an altogether different beast in my view.  I tolerate Google because I use the parts of its service that benefit me, but gone are the days that I support anything else the company does and I think its time people kept a closer watch on this company, lest we have another Microsoft on our hands in years to come…if they have not already become that whilst we have been distracted with the latest interactive Google logo on their search engine. This is fear-mongering in my view by Google and even if it ever became a concern, we should be looking at ANY other solution than Google.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Agent_Smith says:

    It’s way worse than that, Google has the walled garden concept from Apple, but, it sells its products cheap, like Microshaft.
    So, it combines good, quality services and products, and low cost and popular products and services, like if it was an amalgated Apple+M$.
    And worse, it has all of us profiled, and many around the world have turned all their data to Google.
    So, yes, it’s a giant juggernaut, and, worse than those two combined (because Google knows everything…)

    1. Admin says:

      The question I have now is, how did we let Google get so entrenched in probably the most precious thing we have – our data? Microsoft may have ruled with its software, but I’d suggest that Microsoft didn’t have such an intrusive hold over us as a company that owns so much data about so many people.

      Like I say, I do use Google services and its fair to say I find the one I use very good. But i’m not jumping into the Google basket blind to anything else just because the collaboration feature on Google Docs is useful or the fact that I like using Hangouts.

      I am in complete agreement with you Agent Smith!

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