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‘Rosetta Stone’ Offers Digital Lifeline

BBC News (07/27/09) Fitzpatrick, Michael

Researchers at Tokyo’s Keio University in Japan have developed what is being called the Digital Rosetta Stone, a sealed permanent memory bank that is designed to store data for more than a 1,000 years.  The researchers, led by professor Tadahiro Kuroda, have proposed storing data on memory chips made of silicon, which Kuroda says is the most stable material on Earth.  The device is capable of being tightly sealed, powered, and read wirelessly, Kuroda says.  “Archiving the mountains of digitalized cultural heritage we have amassed for the future is paramount,” he says.  The World Digital Library already is using the Digital Rosetta Stone to save the world’s digital cultural history.  Meanwhile, the U.S. Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) also is working to solve digital preservation problems.  “Be it in solid state technology, biomechanical, and other nano-technological formats, we now realize that most of our archiving for future generations will be in digital formats, and we are here to support development in both hardware and software in these areas,” says SNIA’s Rick Bauer.  He says SNIA has been impressed with the Digital Rosetta Stone, but notes that the technology still faces a major hurdle, as all digital preservation techniques are susceptible to magnetic polarity, and the Earth’s magnetic field can wreak havoc on electromagnetic storage devices.


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