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back to article Humanity's stored data measured in CDs to the Moon

The BBC has splendidly reported that all of the data we accumulated between 1986 and 2007 on PCs, DVDs and good old-fashioned paper would, if slapped on CDs, create a megastack of discs "that would reach beyond the Moon". Yes indeed, the distance to the International Space Station measured in stacked dollar coins just doesn't …

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Data or information?

I guess it's data since they also included e.g. DVDs and there's hardly any information that only resides on a DVD. What size of a CD pile could be expected if all the redundancies were removed?

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dunno m8

but the de-dupe will take to the end of time

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@Naughtyhorse

I agree. The question though arised more in the "equivalent of 175 newspapers per person per day" which somewhat implied that all those data need to be processed (or read) in a way or the other - 'who is able to read 175 newspapers a day?'

However, the fact that we have countless duplications of data puts it into a slightly other perspective.

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Joke

glad you asked :-)

old fasioned bog standard colour tv pictures (625 line) used to hit you with a nominal 6.25 mbit/s.

no idea how many 0's and 1's you can fit in a paper.

we barely know how many private telephone voicemails it takes to fill a paper.....

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FAIL

Er, what size book?

Are we measuring in "Where's my cow?s" or "Reality Dysfunctions"? Or maybe even volumes of Britannica?

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Alert

re: Er, what size book?

kindle?

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Coat

13 Layers

Or, give or take 10%, 1 layer of books on the entire land surface of the Earth. Why pick China and then a funny multiplier like 13? How about Mongolia 79 layers deep? Anyway, what's the volume?* How about a hybrid unit of 1 Wales in area x 1 Double-decker bus in height? or 1 China x 1 Dollar Coin?

* Actually, what font size are they assuming?

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Boffin

Me dont need no stinking tittle.

indeed, this comparisons are getting more silly each day. I mean, analog music cds can contain only 80 mins, mut if u use a lossless compression format u can stores 10x more...

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Anonymous Coward

Wow! Impressive! So...

... how is that information useful anyway? How about in BluRay discs? Didn't that pop in mind because it only makes it a 50th ish (someone will correct me) of the way to the moon? Then if the whole purpose is to sound impressive, forget paper and floppies, how about calculating the volume of granite slabs carved with hieroglyphs to retain it all? Surely that's even less space efficient!

And that is why I'm happy to hear that less of our tax money will be used to fund "research".

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Erm?

11 years? Really? From 1986 to 2007? That would make me 14. Sweet!

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Anonymous Coward

And Yet

Teenagers with internet access still whine.

I'm Booooored

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WTF?

"between 1986 and 2007"

"in 11 years"

Really? I know time flies when one is having but surely not at a 2:1 rate. Perhaps if they applied the same level of compression to the CDs the stack would only get halfway to the moon?

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International Standard Areas "the Belgium"

Oh come on people, everyone knows that the "Belgium" is the standard comparative area.

Taking the area of

China at 9,596,961 km^2

Belgium at 30,528 km^2

we get a ratio of 314.365

Therefore if the layer of books is 13 deep across China it would be 4086.75 deep over Belgium.

Now the next question is how many standard trade paperbacks does it take to fill

a) the London Double Decker Bus

b) an Olympic Sized Swimming Pool

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Joke

This is a tit le.

I don't know the answer to the questions you posed, but you had me at the prospect of burying Belgium under >4000 layers of books...

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Coat

Re; International Standard Areas "the Belgium"

Taking the area of

China at 9,596,961 km^2

Belgium at 30,528 km^2

we get a ratio of 314.365

Hmmm... a ratio between China and Belgium of about 10Pi. Is this Sweet and Sour Pork Pi or Belgian Chocolate Pi? Or does it matter, since Ms Bee probably ate all the Pi.

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Thumb Up

"a zettabyte is 1000 exabytes"

Oh cool, thanks for clearing that up for me.

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Some Titel Here

Shouldn't that be 1024 exabytes...

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_prefix)

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Joke

All of humanities dara?

I'm pretty sure the amount of porn I've downloaded from the net in the past 10 years would get a fair way there!

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Anonymous Coward

I've got the same

I think they meant "without duplicates", so your pr0n only counts once even when many have it.

Now I'm intrigued on how you could store your pr0n on paper as per the article: maybe draw each frame on a page? But then they'd need to double the amount of paper needed, because surely you'll then want to use it as a flip book, meaning that only one side of each sheet can be used.

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oh no....

oh no, you can stil you both sides.. one side is one video, the other is another one.

Mine's the dirty mac.

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Pint

Nowhere near enough imagination

All this talk of books and CDs just does not get a feel for the size of that number.

If punched onto paper tape (10cpi), it would reach 80 light-years to here: http://media.caltech.edu/press_releases/13316

It would take a trillion years to read that tape on an ASR-33, which is unfortunate, since the universe probably doesn't have that long to wait.

Since normal reading speed is about the same as an ASR-33, If, since 1 AD, everyone in the world had been given a different part of it, to read out continuously their entire life, 24 hours a day, we would be finishing it around now. (Assuming an average world pop. of 300M until 1800)

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WTF?

The China?!

Not sure why they're using this stupid newfangled China measurement, when they even then have to say it would be a stack 14 books tall! They may as well say it would cover Wales in stacks hundreds of books tall instead, thereby using the standard accepted unit of measurement.

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Stop

One small question...

Does the "broadcast" volume include repeats?

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But...

... What's that in linguini?

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title

About six American portions.

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I had one 30 years ago

Interesting ... Not got figures for 1986, but a year later the entire content from the principle UK national on-line information service, would have taken up 330Mb, or about half one one CD-ROM...

http://www.viewdata.org.uk/index.php?cat=15_Prestel&page=51_General-nbsp~Images&zoom=13#zoom

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How many

How many millifortnights did it take to work that out?

I think we need to be told

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