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New disc keeps your lolcats collection safe for a millennia

One of the things that most people don’t consider when they are pouring all of their digital photos and video onto a CD or DVD to save for the future is that optical media has a finite lifespan. In as little as three to five years all those photos safely tucked away on a DVD may be unreadable.

For those needing an optical media to store data or photos for archival purposes that will last much (much, much) longer than the lifespan of conventional DVDs and CDs a new startup company called Cranberry LLC has a new DVD that promises to be usable for 1,000 years called DiamonDisc. The disc uses standard DVD format, which means any old DVD player can read the data on the disc.

The DiamonDisc stores the standard 4.7GB of data that a single layer DVD can store. What allows the new disc media to last so long is that the discs don't use dyes, adhesive layers, or reflective materials that can deteriorate over time. The discs can also stand up to temperatures as high as 176 degrees.

Cranberry gets its claims of 1,000 years of viability from lab tests using the ECMA-379 temperature and humidity testing standards. Whereas the standard DVD has a silver or gold reflective surface, the DiamonDisc is transparent with no reflective layer.

The real catch with these discs is that you need a special DVD burner to be able to author them. The DVD burner needed for writing the special DVDs sells for $4,995 and includes 150 DiamonDiscs. The burner connects to any computer via a USB port. The company will also burn the discs for you for $34.95 for a single disc, $29.95 for two or more, or $149.75 for five discs.

With that price, the DiamonDiscs aren’t going to be that appealing to consumers. However, enterprise and government users may be intrigued in the medium for archival purposes. Cranberry reports that it is in talks with the U.S. Government to use the format for archival purposes.

Joe Beaulaurier, Cranberry's chief marketing officer said, "For the military, there's no heat, light, magnetic waves, or environmental abuse that will have an impact on these discs."

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Quite true, however....
By Shadowself on 11/13/2009 11:45:10 AM , Rating: 3
However, enterprise and government users may be intrigued in the medium for archival purposes. Cranberry reports that it is in talks with the U.S. Government to use the format for archival purposes.

Believe it or not, (look it up if you don't believe it) there is a U.S. Government regulation on the books that requires the satellite remote sensing industry to archive their data streams indefinitely (effectively forever) and the same organization requires their internal remote sensing data to have the same storage maintenance. At a current generation remote sensing satellite having a downlink of 800+ Mbps (yes, you read that right...800+ Mbps) an up to 14 minute pass, done up to 30times a day, this could amount to 2.5 TB each day per satellite. Even a slow day can have half this amount. Some of these commercial organizations have multiple satellites up. And as with everything else data collection rates are only increasing.

The U.S. Government has even more. Over the course of a year these organizations are not going to add a couple HDDs per day to keep up. They are going to store it in the longest duration media they can get their hands on. If this company can get their storage per disk up to the Blu-ray densities or greater (~ 50 GB or more per disk -- or even Blu-ray's theoretical peak of ~ 200 GB per disk) then these organizations will be really interested!

With that much data and a requirement for "forever" storage (I know, such a concept and legal requirement is stupid) this type of media makes sense. You don't want to be re-writing all that media every 3-5 years (even if you keep them in a very controlled environment). After 10 or 15 years you'd spend more money on maintaining the archive than on the data collection itself.

RE: Quite true, however....
By dagamer34 on 11/13/2009 11:50:34 PM , Rating: 2
That means in theory you have a lot of data, but it's almost impossible to search through it. Great.

RE: Quite true, however....
By pkoi on 11/15/2009 12:04:57 PM , Rating: 2
We search through it everyday with google earth, WorldWind, ect , ect

Not data transmissions satellite

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
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