DNA contains the information that defines life—but it can also be used to store digital content, too. Now, Microsoft has announced that it’s seriously investigating the technique as a means of storing data, paying a bioscience company to create ten million strands of digital storage DNA.
A few hundred feet inside a permafrost-encrusted mountain below the Arctic circle sits the seed bank that could be humanity's last hope during a global food crisis. This month, scientists suggested that this unassuming vault is the ideal space for preserving the world's data on DNA.
Data centers are boring. They have to be; these are spaces of control, consistency, security. You wouldn't expect to find much creativity inside the plain facades of these highly-regulated structures—much less hacked-together experiments involving robotic Blu-ray storage systems and thousands of Mac Minis.
Apple has begun keeping some of its Chinese users' personal data in China, Reuters revealed yesterday. That's significant because it is the first tech company to store information in the notoriously snoop-happy country, thus raising concerns that the data might be looked at by authorities.
On Monday, we learned that the NSA is recording every single phone call in the Bahamas and storing the data for a month. This news arrives just six weeks after we learned that the NSA was recording every single phone call, text, and email in Iraq. In fact, the spy agency is engaged in similar efforts in five different…
Boyers, Pennsylvania, is home to the Iron Mountain storage facility, a former limestone mine that is now the storage site of more than 15 million photographic negatives and prints, all preserved hundreds of feet underground. This documentary, produced by the Hillman Photography Initiative, takes you inside for a…
Long term data storage is tricky. Hard discs and magnetic tapes lose their charge, CDs and DVDs are easy to scratch, and forget about punch cards. Now a student at the University of Twente has developed an optical storage system he says will survive for up to a billion years — even if you barbecue it.
When I joined Gmail in 2007 the concept of eliminating deleter's regret changed how I managed all of my data. I went from keeping important things and purging everything else to implementing archive mentality in my whole life. Now I only think twice about keeping huge photo dumps or files larger than about 500MB.…
Construction is underway for a sprawling and seriously expensive National Security Agency data center in the Utah desert, and a set of floor plans just hit the web. It all looks appropriately intimidating.
At 90 million monthly users and 40 million new photos per day, Instagram's doing just fine. Terms of Service be damned.
We all ooh and ahh when lightning zaps from one cloud to another, but when the cloud that gets hit is the one where we store our data, suddenly it's not so cool.
The first hard drive, from 1956, was housed in a computer the size of two refrigerators. But in less than a quarter of the century, engineers shrunk hard drives to 5.25". The first, holding 5MB, was Seagate's ST-506.
Over at Royal Pingdom there's a fascinating little picture history of computer storage from the year dot nearly up to the present day. Who knew that hard disks were once the size of a small car? Not me, though I remember being surprised when finding an 8-inch floppy disk in an old science workstation once. And…