5D Glass Disc Can Store 360TB!

There’s a small subset of hackers out there concerned with the end of the world. What if our entire existence vanished? How would an alien race learn not to do what we did, what resulted in our demise? We’ve all heard of laser etching metal disks with the Bible, accounts of history, and even just names — pretty sure we’ve sent quite a few into space. But researchers at the University of Southampton’s Optical Research Center have come up with an even superior storage method. They call it the 5D Disc.

According to the researchers, each disc could hold a theoretical 360TB. They can withstand temperatures of up to 1000C, and it’s believe that they could last up to 13.8 billion years at room temperature without degrading — if that’s true, our sun would be long dead before the disc degraded!

Superman-memory-crystal-5D-data-storage-1The data is stored using nanoscale dots, stored in three layers. The orientation and side position make up the five dimensions in total. A microscope and polarizer are used to read data, as the dots change the polarization of light as it passes through.

The team first demonstrated this technology in 2013, but back then, the technique could only fit about 300kb onto a disc. They’ve come a long way in three years.

So far they’ve recorded the UDHR (Universal Declaration of Human Rights), Newton’s Optiks, as well as the Magna Carta and King James Bible. Time for an archive of Wikipedia!

We have to wonder though. If the dots are etched by laser, how long would it take to record a 360tb string of data?!

154 thoughts on “5D Glass Disc Can Store 360TB!

    1. Never thought about that! Unless they can somehow come up with a way to remember exactly where has been written and maybe get another chip (some flash maybe?) to tell it where it has free space, kind of like a standard hard drive FS

      1. Standard writable dvd discs do not need separate chip for remembering and you can do multiple sessions. Computer just needs to specify where is index of data (best place – center of disc) and everything can be stored incrementally. When you write first block of data, you specify how long it is. After this block you can add another index table for second block and searching for data is rather fast, you just skip to further blocks. There are more optimizations available, but it would require a course in filesystems to describe them all.

        1. Yeah but when you can’t erase you need to write an updated version of data, and then you need some index to know what the freshest most current and relevant data is, which is sort-of how it’s done with HD’s and SSD and even working RAM in computers. But to keep that index you need something rewritable.
          Or in other words it’s best used with data that is definitely not going to change. Which is old data that is well established, so either old documents or as I said elsewhere, you old phoneccalls at some NSA data center.

          And they say: ” As a very stable and safe form of portable memory, the technology could be highly useful for organisations with big archives, such as national archives, museums and libraries, to preserve their information and records. “

          1. Despite what some commentors claim here, a multi-session write-once (not rewritable) recording medium (i.e. WORM) such as non-rewritable CD or DVD does NOT need a rewritable area to hold an index. Each new recording session is appended to the end of the previous session, in a previously unused area of the recording medium (i.e. disc or ROM). Each session contains its own index, and in normal operation only the most recent session index is used (but it is also possible to mount older sessions that contain since-deleted files). Even Google’s “Big Data” distributed storage system is write-once, and “deleting” data is really just adding a new index that lacks such files (though older index versions can be mounted in special cases to recover such deleted files). These new 5D glass discs would most likely be used in a similar manner if they are indeed considered to be WORM media as described.

          2. A FS developed long ago called the “log file system” is likely the best fit.. as stated before, it simply appends any new/changed files to the end, and changes the index to point to the new location, and the old file is never deleted, just forgotten about.. (could be recovered if old index saved, of course)

          3. @Whatnot: The index does NOT need to be rewritable. A new index can be appended (in a new session) at the beginning of the unused write-once media, just like it is done now on CD-R and DVD-R media. In normal usage, only the most recent index is used (though old archived indices may be mounted instead to recover old file versions or delete files. Of course, the computer reading that WORM media needs somewhere to store the most recent index location after searching for it, though that rewritable storage in said computer could be as little as a CPU register.

          4. Thanks for your replies, and specifically Geekmaster because that would have been my retort, the knowing what the last index is.
            Although I guess you could reserve a certain position on the disk for the indexes and then read back until you find the first used spot and then know that that is the last written index. So that’s all sorted then. Thanks for setting me right people.

          1. but then you’re implying that the datarate should change over the disk, for example as a function of the distance to the center.Would that be reliable? How would you then check if it was a Cd or a DVD or even a bluray? shifting through encoding schemes would take longer time than just going to the center where index data and encoding information would be stored using the same scheme over all disc types

    2. I have other concerns: Like as you can see in the photograph, how can you protect it from dust, fingerprints, scratches, or being dropped and chipped? It is glass, so I’m assuming it will behave the same way, with its same imperfections. And I’m assuming this write process is like a CD-R, with no intentions of being modified after it is written. How many times have we had to re-burn a disc after we’ve made changes? That would be quite irritating.

      1. Make multiple copies. Use some ECC system to help deal with tiny imperfections (just like CDs and DVDs). You can also put them in some kind of caddy/cartridge to hold them when not in use.

      2. How you read the disc largely ignores surface imperfections, because you use a microscope with a very tight focus that “blurs” out anything not on the focus plane. It’s the same mechanism as used to distinguish between the three layers of the disc – focusing at different depths lets you see different data.

        It’s the reason why you can shoot a photograph through a dirty window without seeing all the dust and specs – they’re simply so out of focus that they give the image a grayish overall cast but don’t really interfere with what’s in focus of the lens.

      1. why move/ align the laser? If you get the optics of the laser out of alignment with themselves, you have a further problem. Maybe move the disc and don’t worry so much about the laser, then at least the optics are still in alignment.

        1. I believe he meant aligning the laser with the disc position that will be written, it doesn’t matter whenever it is the laser, the disc, or both which is moving
          Just like a standard CD/DVD/BD where the laser moves towards the center AND the disc spins. If you have burned one recently, you know it takes a while!

    1. Don’t forget computers still can’t whip out data that fast. Light speed may be fast but the fastest consumer level drive are the SSD and they reach around 500mb/sec Optical drive writes even slower than that. 16x DVD-R can top out at about 21MB/sec

      Writing 360TB at max SATA 6G seed would take around 10-15 minutes and that’s assuming it can be written that fast. Assuming 16x DVD-R speed you would need about 145 days to finish writing it. It’d really suck if something happened during the write process, a power hiccup, Windows forcing restart to finish update, virus, or even a slight bump as I doubt anti-coaster technology were added yet.

  1. The world is ending, we must leave our legacy for others to find and the first thing you do is put the bloody bible on there? *sigh* Oh well, I’m sure the aliens will find it hilarious and humour does have value.

    1. My thought exactly, though I suspect this was more about being a well known “crapton of data” than anything else. A dictionary would have been nice but would have copyright issues.

    2. You seem not to comprehend what the author’s point was. Read again:

      “How would an alien race learn not to do what we did, what resulted in our demise? We’ve all heard of laser etching metal disks with the Bible, …”

      He states that “the book of love” is one of the main reasons why…

    3. The Bible has significance in that it ushered in a previous method of dense storage of information and dissemination of it- the printing press/movable type. Don’t think of it solely as a religious text- think of it as the “hello world” of information storage.

      1. Not to mention that the holy texts of the major religions are hugely important for giving context to, y’know, the very history this project hopes to record.

        Don’t be dense. Talk as much shit about the bible and christianity as you want–goodness knows I do–but don’t pretend it’s not an important document that needs to be preserved as literature and a cultural artifact, independent of its truth or moral value. You wouldn’t even have an opinion about it if it hadn’t had a huge influence on the course of western civilization.

    4. When you ridicule someone else beliefs you are automatically showing intolerance. Simply put the bible of any religion is a historical document and thus deserves preservation. All documents could be stored and indexed for future use. Whether or not those same philosophies are observed in the future is irrelevant. Also with the capacity to store 360 terabytes of storage there would be the capability to store video and audio of everyone’s life and make it set for posterity’s sake. I am a self proclaimed agnostic and have even attended atheists groups, the thing I don’t do is criticize others beliefs. This is contrary to true understanding of everything and everyone.

  2. Couldn’t they come up with something a little more profound than a bible? That glossy oh so scientific shot seems ridiculous to me. And may I point out, that the title of Newtons book is spelled Opticks…

  3. Although it might outlast this phase of the sun, given it’s position on the main sequence it’s unlikely a glass disk will stay at “room temperature” for nearly that long…

    As an aside, thios is thoretic size, not proven, and withstand does no necessarily mean usable at. Read/Write times remain a mystery, however the writing apparatus appears to be moving in the mm/min range. Assuming something like 60mm/min, with dot separation by 5 micrometers and assuming a 5-bit-dot (one per “dimension”) or something like 2 full “dots” (three-layer quantum structure) per byte including some overhead (parity, store vs instruction) and ignoring addressing, then write speed is something like 250kb/s. (Forgive if erroneous)

    So, for 350Tb, that’s 3.5×10^11 seconds, or about 11 thousand years. So although it would be able to record most of human history, it would take the rest of it to record it.

      1. Yes, but the amount of information is continuously growing, so to keep up you would need to exponentially grow the number of recording lasers. And to run the lasers, you need to be able to read all that data and laser it simultaneously; reading with multimode lasers is likely to be faster than with a polarised filter and microscope, so that’s more lasers too.

        Thus, this is a tool designed to turn humanity into a great lasing civilisation. Potentially the sum of human contribution to the universe will be a pile of laser-etched discs describing how we built lasers to enscribe laser-etched discs using lasers.


    1. I’m sure it’s developed to store everybody’s phonecalls 10 years earlier and beyond at a NSA data center, and not meant to store anything useful or respectable.
      And obviously one laser can be made 5 lasers simultaneously given the right budget, or how about 10 lasers, or 20.

    2. Where do you get that data you use anyway? I don’t see a mention of mm/min, am I missing something? I see them use ‘superfast’ and ‘femto laser’. And femto is “thousand billionth” or “quadrillionth” of a second.
      And yes I do get that you need to have it be stable on not vibrating and pointing in the right spot before you can initiate the write pulse.

      1. Going deep into the source article shows a disc being written on a fairly standard laser gantry. The femtosecond is more about the laser pulse, and basically spin; that’s just how these types of fibre lasers tend to work, at tiny pulse durations and thus insanely high “power”.

        That doesn’t mean that the process is complete though – as noted above, moving the laser head or object to the next position is the time constraint here. Spen a femtosecond lasing, spend a microsecond positioning, etc.

        I also guess there would be focussing time for the three layers, and as it’s a self-organising nanostructure thet’re making within the glass, there must be some time constraints on how long between shots you can fire (to allow the glass to transition, move, alighn and then allow the heat to dissipate and structures to form in a reproducible manner)

  4. If those post-apocalyptic archaeologists find those disks with the bible on it first, I’m afraid they might find it not worth decoding any more of them. They must think we where still preoccupied with bronze age mythology and dismiss us for savages.

      1. The reason to write the bible is the fact that it’s one of the things that has been translated to all the languages, including dead and imaginary ones, so it acts as the Rosetta stone for all the rest.

    1. What is with all these people complaining about inscribing the Bible to a glass disc. It is a well known text, a standard in data storage, the text for a major religion, and there is a historical precedent for using the bible as a hello world for trying new storage methods.

      1. The point here is that any sane person would hope we soon outgrow the madness of religion and not need to keep that nonsense (and even its effects on society) for billions of years.
        The sooner we dump and forget this unfortunate incident (2K+ years of madness), the better.

        1. It is not religion that make for insanity. We invented religion because we were insane at first. We could have invented other insanities and we do. We invented Hydrogen bomb. We invented deadly chemicals, etc.

          1. Science itself is not inherently evil. Neither is religion. They are abstract concepts, tools for the mind to understand the world and, find comfort in that understanding. It’s the people who use them that (have the ability to) create evil.
            (e.g.: Einstein describe mass in terms of energy, furthering the understanding of physics. Project Manhattan created a bomb, under orders from then US government.)

        2. Have you actually read the Bible? It’s not insanity, and calling it that is showing off only your own ignorance.

          It’s a document prepared over many centuries that contains the best guesses of some very intelligent people about how the world works. Basically all of the guesses about the causes of things is wrong – “God did it!” – but that’s not their fault, it’s just a result of the actual causes being *incredibly* difficult to discern without sophisticated science.

          That said, they get the *effects* of things right a remarkable amount of the time. A good example is the section on dietary restrictions. At first glance, it looks like a lot of arbitrary restrictions made as a power play – but looking deeper, almost everything on there is there for a *very* good reason. Shellfish were prohibited because they spoil very easily: people eating them would have developed nasty diseases and it would look like they incurred the wrath of God to a society that didn’t understand bacterial infection.

          That’s just one example, but the Bible (as well as almost all ancient religious texts) are *full* of this: sensible instructions on how to live a safe and healthy life written by (very smart, very sane) people who just didn’t have access to the reasons behind things.

      1. What good is remembering the holocaust do at this point? You think any human will learn from the past? I think there is ample evidence they do not, at least not in a positive manner.
        If anything the memory of the holocaust is used in a negative way. Like make insane suggestions that somebody’s ideas or policies are similar to the holocaust when in fact there is no parallel at all. Which is done in many instances (and I don’t think we should go into specific cases on HaD).

          1. Not really, what’s the point? Do we have record of all people who died until now? We don’t even have records of all people killed in the conflicts happening the last week, nor will we ever.
            The best policy is to avoid pointless killing, regardless of indexes and records.

            Mind you I think the first few decades after WW2 it was a good thing to keep the holocaust in mind, but it was only useful while we also got the context and situation. But once it’s just a figure it’s of little use really

          2. Not by name. We just say Stalin killed 20 million, Hitler killed less than 11 million, and so on. Only in recent history has the possibility even existed to keep track. But even the world trade center has unidentified victims.

          3. The victims names make no difference in the eyes of history. Can you name all of Dahmer’s victims without looking it up?
            They are known by the event, or the cause, of their death. Not by their name.

          4. Addendum: To be fair, when [whynot] said ‘recorded’ he didn’t says ‘each individual by name’.

            Nevertheless I think I covered my view in general and perhaps [Whynot] will expand on why he feels it’s important, I might be all wrong after all.

          5. The individual names is a meaningless blur in the larger context of history. The nature and progression of the insanity that made them victims has great meaning. Unfortunately, all too many have already forgotten or never learned the nature of that insanity.

          6. I meant the event, a genocide by a fascist regime has historical importance to explain to people that bad things can happen, Hitler was democratically elected and in my opinion this is important for people to know. Crazy things can happen anywhere and there should be some explanation as to why we don’t do some things, such as fascism, and what it can lead to.

      1. No idea really what’s good to keep, maybe some good movies? Some good comedy too I would say, although after a while some might lose the effect because nobody knows the premise anymore.
        And as someone said, shakespeare and such is better than the bible, because at least the stories (and lessons we might deduce from it) are presented in a readable format.

        1. Addendum: Oh and some good music obviously, the classical music as well as collection of contemporary stuff, there’s plenty of room after all.

          And as for the bible, I wonder why they went with the king James version, would it not make more sense to store the oldest codex? I think it’s in Greek, the oldest known one. And although I complain about that specific mention and inclusion of the bile, it’s obviously a tiny file compared to the space available, and text can be compressed like crazy too.
          OK I looked it up, it’s about 5MB for the king James bible, so that makes it doubly odd to mention it when presenting 360TB of storage to the public. Although they also mentioned the human rights deceleration, that is obviously significantly smaller.

          Maybe they should mention the Apple v Samsung law records as an example, I bet that’s pretty large in comparison :)

  5. Glass is a extremely viscus fluid, this can be seen first hand in the glass of very old stain glass windows that have bulked out at the base and thinned at the top. I suspect that when this is factored in the 13.8 billion years will drop by a few of orders of magnitude, unless they are stored horizontally with respect to the ground.

    1. Archiving for the distant future an uncompressed very simple data format is favored. As well as “large print” edition instructions how to read the data that can be read without specialized equipment.

    1. CD-Rs (not to mention RWs) have a muuuuuch shorter lifespan due to differences in how the data is written. 10-15 is actually the expected lifespan for disks you burn yourself. Mass produced disks are actually stamped, and last as long as the plastic does.

        1. They cannot test it in real life and still sell it as a product unless they have a time machine. The best they could hope for are those accelerated tests.

          The problem with CDR is the reflective layer of aluminum has only the silk screen or just plain varnish for silver ones on top of it as “protection”. If that comes off, you’ll have a hard time reading the contents. I have seen cheap brands that fail this way. DVDR is a little bit better as that layer is inside the laminate.

          1. That’s the point.

            The early factory pressed CDs too had issues with rotting and turning brown, and it took about 20 years to notice that the formulation didn’t work quite as well as promised. You just can’t know that they do last, and when they break down all you can say “That didn’t work” and try something else, which is again not proven to work until 20 years hence.

            Who says that CDs pressed in the early 2000’s don’t break down in 2020 just the same as CDs pressed in early 1980’s did at the turn of the millenium? Did they really get the problems down and fix it without introducing new ones?

            And who cares, since CDs and DVDs are already obsolete.

  6. Yes, but CD’s are not from glass ofcourse but laminates of plastics. Far more influenced by light and gasses. Then there’s the difference of pre-recorded or pressed discs and the one you burn or even reburn at home. Anyway.

    I’m surprised nobody mentioned isolinear chips or rods yet. Or SG’s computer crystals. This has potential, no?

    1. Atleast the sci-fi movies/shows got it right. Many of them have just a piece of glass looking thing (sometimes in a plastic case, that works kind of a like a floppy disc) that you put on the reader, which makes the thsoosh-sound, and the movie/recording starts of a person bleeding for help/explaining things just before the monster attacks.

      1. Well they have been showing and experimenting with holographic data storage in transparent 3D medium for decades, each time it’s only a demonstration and not an actual product for the public.
        So this is more a variation on a theme, although it’s clever to step away from holographic and go back to bare bones to try a new angle like this polarization/size/position method. It’s always tricky to get stuck in a dead end, and seeing we never saw the holographic ones pan out I’m assuming it is a dead end.
        It looks like this time they used the femto-LASER as a starting point, is my guess.

  7. The article (and everyone else) is talking about if an alien race found this with the bible, wikipedia and whatnot etched millions of years into the future, they could decode the information there and learn from the human race (how to not do, apparently). My thought is, how would they do it? There are several stages of problems. I know how our technology works, so I have some reference point, but how would you decode something if you have absolutely no idea how a technology worked?
    Consider the scenario where you are a scientist (or a least really smart) and found this little disc from an alien world. You would of course study this artifact VEEEERY thoroughly. Suppose you would find that this little disc contains data and that the data is encoded in little dots etched onto the disc. I mean I myself would never do this, but for a race that could travel across the galaxy it might be possible.
    The second problem comes with encoding. That is, getting from data (ones and zeroes) to something menaingful, say symbols (letters/words). Probably they would guess something like “This string of bits repeat here, here and here. Lets call this symbol a”.
    From this you would have a string of random symbols. Now comes the REALLY tricky part: How would oyu make sense of any content from this string of random symbols? You have no reference point AT ALL of what the symbols mean or the language it is written in. Even if you could actually make out the the correct words etc, you would have no idea about what it actually says. Like “What do these word “Jesus” and “God” mean?”. Or as it would appear to the aliens “abcdc” and “efg”. It would be like if I found a book written in Arabic and trying to figure out what it says. If I’m smart, I would find repeating patterns, but that’s it.

    And don’t even get me started on decoding images or sound…

    So, basically leaving decoded information for some alien race to find is a very hard project.

    1. It’s basic cryptanalysis, for things like primitive substitution cyphers, to decode alphabets. You look at the frequency of their usage, then the frequency of particular pairs. You can figure out where words are likely to be.

      Won’t be easy, from scratch, but if they can actually get here from wherever they live, then they’re probably pretty good at science.

      Best not to compress it, since optimally, ideally compressed data is indistinguishable from noise. Although of course nobody would record 360TB of noise with expensive lasers.

      One reason the Voynich Manuscript is so hard to comprehend, is that it’s the only example of whatever-it-is that we have. The more examples of a particular kind of writing, the easier it gets to understand. Sticking every bit of writing ever onto it should help a lot.

      1. But what alphabet? even we on earth have several, kanji isn’t the same as English, nor is Greek the same as Cyrillic or Hebrew the same as Chinese.
        Such frequency analysis is useless because even if you manage to get the alphabet you’d still not know the language and the words or segments of letters would have no meaning. So we would do it the same as with the voyager spacecraft, an engraved gold plate with some basic universal symbolism (like referring to the elements) to have a baseline. then encode the actual data in an appropriate ‘language’ described using those universal standards as present in the universe.

        I’m sure there are experts for that kind of thing.

        1. Why not all of them? UTF32 can encode every existing language and you would have 360TB of room to play with. If the purpose of the disks are to preserve the culture and knowledge of Earth there’s no reason not to store everything as it was originally written. Plus the material the disk itself is made of seems to be pretty cheap so even if one 360TB disk isn’t enough, you could just pop in another. I’d probably store one or two languages per disk if it couldn’t all fit on one to minimize the chance that losing one disk loses important contextual information.

        2. With enough source text, and enough time and effort, you can theoretically extract the meaning out of any unknown language. There’s been a lot of progress in ancient Egyptian, which, far as I remember, started off with researchers knowing just about nothing. Now they can read the text and understand it’s meaning.

          These aliens would be extremely clever, and presumably well-funded and have giant computers. That’s implied just by their being able to get here, as well as having the technology to actually get the bits off the disc. If they don’t understand it at first, they will eventually. There’s no time limit on this thing, the idea here, vague as it is, is to leave something behind for posterity, for aliens or our distant descendants. There’s no desperate rush for them to find out what it says. If it takes centuries, fine.

          I dunno what it is about the periodic table you think would help in this. What about the elements? Voyager has uranium on it, so that future aliens can measure how much it’s decayed to tell them how old the probe is when they find it, but that’s all. The names of the elements are completely arbitrary. The only other quality they have is their weight / atomic number, and that’s the same everywhere. Numbers are the same everywhere.

          There’s been ideas about encoding Pi in binary, to send off to aliens, but all that says is “intelligent life probably sent this”, there’s no actual information in there.

          Picture writing might be a possible way of sending meaning, except that assumes that the things in the pictures still exist by then, that the readers will know what the pictures are supposed to be. And even then, it’s no way of explaining an alphabet.

          It’s actually really hard to encode things like that. I can’t think of any foolproof, truly culture-neutral method. Letters only “mean” anything within words, and which word means which concept is arbitrary, there’s no obvious structure in language that lets you know what a word means, based on it’s sound. Well, there is a bit, based on the roots and evolution of words, but that’s all relative, one word to another.

          The different alphabets don’t matter, one alphabet is as good as another. Possibly smaller character sets, ie Latin or Greek, would be easier to decode than, say, Chinese, where there’s thousands of ideograms for entire words, rather than just 26 in combination. Might be nice if we clearly separated the texts by whichever alphabets they use, though the aliens should be able to figure that out, when the patterns start looking different. Each language will have noticably different patterns of symbol use, each alphabet likewise.

          So we may as well just bung it all on, and rely on their superior brains to be able to figure out the meaning for themselves.

        3. Actually just remembered… there is a practical, and very important, application of this problem at the moment. The Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. It’s going to hold waste which will be dangerous for millions of years. That’s much longer than human civilisation is old.

          So they need to find ways of encoding, at least, “stay the fuck away”, in some way that whatever the hell is roaming the Earth in 25 million years will be able to make sense of. There’s experts from all sorts of fields trying to come up with something. Even a traditional skull might not be good enough, that could mean “graveyard”, and bring the archaeologists digging.

          Of course we’ve no idea if there’ll be a civilisation by then. If there is, they might have geiger counters, and it’ll be OK. Possibly worst-case, the piles of corpses of unknowing investigators around the place would act as a warning. As long as they remember to die in piles.

          1. A large carved stone would be more practical than a small glass disk that requires specialized precision equipment to decode though.

            On the other hand, people often ignore large signs.

    2. “Now comes the REALLY tricky part: How would oyu make sense of any content from this string of random symbols? ”


      You forget that the laser can be used to etch symbols and even photographs in the glass that are visible to the naked eye. Even a hologram depicting a 3D object. It’s the same idea as with the Voyager discs – they were engraved with a pictogram representation of how to read and interpret the disc into image frames.

    1. Good Sir…..I have searched this entire comment section….Simply because i was looking for a comment that mentioned porn…..

      HOW? WHY? Have the lot of u not seen the true reason for data storage…thoughts…history…Bollocks…It’s all for the sake of storing that 4k Quality Shot of *inset favorite human* privates….trust me!

  8. And a copy of the Bible in English is the logical choice for storing on it?

    I mean if this God character exists, it already knows about any Apocalypse and would be fully capable of making itself known to any new inhabitants of the planet. Perhaps if we do wipe each other out one day whatever replaces us won’t be burdened with the hatred of religion and may live together peacefully as a result.

    1. Oh you all need to get your shirts out of a knot over this, I’m an atheist and even I know the Bible has been the Lorem Ipsum for testing mass storage – it’s a large block of text that most people have a scale for and that’s why it is used.

      1. Yup. It’s public-domain, and everyone knows about it. Everyone knows roughly how long it is, if not in characters, they at least know there’s hundreds of pages of dense writing. It’s a good benchmark. And that’s all it is here, something to fill a storage medium with, as an example of how big it is. New storage media have been measured in Bibles since the first disk big enough was created.

        It’s not like anybody’s actually going to READ this Bible. There’s already paper ones for that, and they’re much more troublesome.

    2. Religion isn’t about hatred. People are about hatred and use religion to justify their hatred. You think that a race that fought a war over a stolen bucket couldn’t find something else to hate each other over?

      1. Religions seem to be an artifact of a particular weakness in the human brain. There’s many religions, developed independently, but they all seem to cover the same ground, in much the same way. We’re prone to making up particular kinds of shit.

        If there weren’t any religions, somebody would invent them. And in fact they did, and still do. It’s just one aspect of a greater fault in humanity. You can complain about the symptoms, but really the problem is bigger and more fundamental. And even more annoying.

  9. While this looks great for long term storage and online archives the fact the process isn’t RW (yet?) does limit it a bit for those hoping for a new/faster/larger main drive replacement.

    Although I do have to wonder if this process could be merged with this process here (http://www.rochester.edu/news/show.php?id=3106) so instead of etching dots in quarts the laser is instead used to create colored/polarized dots on aluminum disks. Granted it probably won’t reach 360tb densities but if the laser can be used to clear an area and apply a different color then RW may be possible.


    It’s a thought at least.

  10. This is as much 5D as using a 26 letter alphabet on a 2D sheet of paper ist 28D. The same 3D space cannot hold different information! This bullshitting the public by over ambitious scientists should stop!

    1. It’s a 5 dimensional data structure (x, y, z, size, orientation) i.e. a 5th dimensional array not a 5th spatial dimensional object from aliens.

      Ignorance of something doesn’t mean it’s bullshit.

      1. No, I agree with steve. Whoever named the rows and columns of a data array dimensions was a linguistic moron. To further compound the ridiculousness by calling size and orientation dimensions is just stupid. They were clearly geniuses in their respective fields, but linguistics is certainly not their cup of tea.

  11. “How would an alien race learn not to do what we did, what resulted in our demise?”

    For that to happen, they should include a set of language-learning books and a dictionary. English, and the rest of contemporary languages, will be pretty much unknown in a just a few millennia. Archaeologists have dug up stuff from as recently as 3000 years ago, yet no one can read a single word of it.

    Sure this data will survive billions of years, but what’s the point when no one can understand it?

  12. Tell you what…
    Get back to me when I can can buy a version that fits in a half-height drive bay, costs less than $500.US, and can be used on common OS’s without hunting for drivers.

    Better still, make it bootable, and sell the media for less than $.50/TB. I’d like to recover from a catastrophic hardware failure with only one disk, and a couple of clicks.

  13. Bender ” is equipped with a vast capacity of computer data storage, in excess of 100,001 terabytes- 1 TB for general storage and 100,000 TB for the storage of pornography…” and now we know what all that porn is stored on.

  14. Interesting how the pinnacle of science sees no issue with porn (probably because most of you all watch it & you could hardly condemn something you do?) but sees issue with the bible? Hmm strange ethics when people don’t even comment about people (even if in jest) boasting about their porn collection.
    Good news for all is that openly the bible is littered with everyday screwed up people who God doesn’t leave in their lust & filth – and other who he by his own perogative decides to not have mercy on and totals them (as they and we deserve) – have many of u actually read it for more than just seeking one or two juicy lines to add to your arsenal of ignorance?

    On a much more positive note, this is very cool, and storing influential historical literature (of any type) is pretty cool too!

    My sister has a unique role in recording & preserving certain Australian Aboriginal languages that (because culture changes for a variety of reasons) have only a few remaining speakers. She has to do translation work and preserve vast amounts of data -hopefully to be both preserved as well as accessible for a long long time. Interesting times, will be interesting to see storage methods develop this century!

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