Monthly Archives: July 2008

Hundred year flash memory?

A friend of mine just told me about an article he read on Slashdot (of course) about flash memory chips that can hold data for potentially hundreds of years. These new chips, developed by Japanese scientists from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) and the University of Tokyo, use lower voltage (less than 6V) and ferroelectric Nand Flash memory cell technology which can be scaled down to 10 nm. According to the researchers, these ferroelectric Nand Flash memory cells can be rewritten more than 100 million times, compared with the 10,000 of conventional cells. They also use what is called a ‘wear leveling’ process to equally distribute the work between cells and to retire worn out cells while allowing the entire unit to keep functioning.

Here’s the link to the actual research at AIST:

Novel Ferroelectric NAND Flash Memory Cell Demonstrates 10000 Times More Program and Erase cycles than Conventional Memory Cells

I have no idea what this ferroelectric business is, but I’ll be keeping my eye on it to see if it delivers what they say it does.

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International Study on the Impact of Copyright Law on Digital Preservation

The Library of Congress National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP), Joint Information Systems Community (JISC), The Open Access to Knowledge (OAK) Law Project, and The SURFfoundation have just released their International Study on the Impact of Copyright Law on Digital Preservation [pdf].

In their own words, it, “focuses on the copyright and related laws of Australia, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States and the impact of those laws on digital preservation of copyrighted works. It also addresses proposals for legislative reform and efforts to develop non-legislative solutions to the challenges that copyright law presents for digital preservation.”

One of the major causes for concern addressed here is the fact that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act has some very negative implications for digital preservation in that, “There is no specific authorization for libraries and archives to make preservation copies of published works in their collections. Section 108(c) deals with copying for replacement and does not specifically address preservation.”

I admittedly have to spend some more time with the report, but thought that I would share it in the time-being.

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Communication Measures to Bridge 10 Millennia

Alexander Rose of the Long Now Foundation posted an interesting piece about measures to communicate the whereabouts of nuclear waste, as proposed by Thomas Sebeok for the US Office of Nuclear Waste Management in 1981. In it he proposes that we create verbal and pictorial messages not only warning of the location of the hazardous material, but also asking that the message be revisited and rebroadcast in the best means possible of the current age. He proposes that we only shoot for making the message last through three generations, or about 250 years. This is definitely one of the many methods I think we should employ when seeking to preserve all aspects of our cultural heritage for the long term.

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DNA sewing machine

Advances in DNA manipulation are important to me. I’ll explain later.. Meanwhile, this is just cool..

DNA sewing machine.

From rsc.org, originally scoped it on my favorite, slashdot.

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Tim Berners-Lee on the semantic web

This Wednesday (07/09/02008), Sir Tim Berners-Lee did a short interview with BBC’s, Today in which he gave a brief, yet easy to understand description of the semantic web. It’s definitely something that all librarians and archivists should be thinking of and planning for. We’ve done plenty playing catch-up with Web 2.0, and I think we should take advantage of the fact that our gears are running fast enough now that we can start innovating for the future.

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On the road to ubiquitous emulators?

Check this out: Running C and Python Code on The Web

Am I reading too much into this, or is this the beginning of a trend toward open source emulation on the web? If it is, boy, does it make me giddy.

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PDF is now an ISO standard

According to a DaniWeb blog post the Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) has been approved as a standard by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) [ISO International Standard – ISO 32000-1]. This bodes well for the Digital Preservation Coalition’s April 2008 report on using PDF/A as a preservation format. One of the concerns about using this format was its lack of a standard status, so Wednesday’s announcement gives the PDF format one more notch on its belt toward becoming a widely accepted standard for digital preservation.

One of my greatest misgivings about using PDF for preservation was its proprietary nature, but Kevin Lynch, Chief Technology Officer at Adobe, states that “By releasing the full PDF specification for ISO standardization, we are reinforcing our commitment to openness.” It’s a good trend and one that I hope continues.

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