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back to article Boffins demo new holo storage using graphene oxide

We realise at El Reg that holographic storage has been on the “real soon now” list practically forever, but it's a topic that never loses its research fascination. Especially when, as has been demonstrated by a Swinburne University research group, the data that's stored can be retrieved even if the disk is broken. That's the …

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Anonymous Coward

(YAWN)

Wake me up when one of these "new, exciting, and game-changing" technologies can actually be bought on the market. THEN I'll be impressed.

The thing about theoretical technology is that, until it becomes practical technology, it doesn't help us pay the bills.

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Pint

Yes, but...

I can't think of too many practical technologies that weren't theoretical technologies first.

So, 'Good show,' say I, and have a pint.

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Bronze badge

Re: Yes, but...

I don't know, it's all well and good storing holograms of a kangaroo but have they considered those of us who need to store holograms of other marsupials, for example a wallabee ?

It's this sort of short-sighted research that has prevented me from owning the hoverboard I was promised in the eighties....

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Headmaster

Re: Yes, but...

Is a wallabee like a wallaby with a sting in the tail?

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"Wake me up when one of these "new, exciting, and game-changing" technologies can actually be bought on the market. THEN I'll be impressed."

Well, my wife saw the headline that busted discs are no longer a big deal and despaired.

Now, she has no idea what to do, since busting my disc was one of her favorite pastimes.

Hopefully, the next discovery will be a way to proof against a nutcracker. ;)

(Never fear, folks. My wife and I have been married for 32 years. Our relationship is excellent and we talk enough that we can say anything to each other in jest without causing offense or worrying about a knife in the ribs.

Amazing what all you can get away with if you actually *talk* to the woman and actually listen (then later devekop selective hearing, well after the 20 year mark)).

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Headmaster

Re: Yes, but...

I think it's a wallaby wannabe.

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Re: Yes, but...

I was always confused by why the spice girls wanted to become romantically involved with a marsupial....

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Coat

Re: Yes, but...

"I can't think of too many practical technologies that weren't theoretical technologies first.

So, 'Good show,' say I, and have a pint."

The trouble is that you show theoretical tech that, nine times out of ten, never makes it out of the lab. This isn't the first time we've seen data-crystal tech in the lab, but in the 20+ years, how far has it gotten? Why can't we use data crystals NOW?

I don't mind all this theoretical tech. Just don't GRANDSTAND it. Save it for when your drive appears in a Best Buy or something.

Until then, I'll have that pint another time.

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Bronze badge

Everything can be summed up in the first half of the first sentence.

We hear far to often about some great new wave of research, even proven ones....but it's now been long enough for at least ONE of them to reach the populace. The arguments as to why they never do seem to fall flat after you point out that you've been reading these articles for years and years and years and NOTHING has come from any of them

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M7S
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How broken is retreivable?

Some companies put their old HDDs, once wiped, through industrial shredders.

As we're not big enough to afford that I wrap mine in a plastic bag (to prevent shrapnel), put them on the hard standing outside my office and apply a sledgehammer repeatedly before they go to the recycling bins at the local tip. If picking up any old granule means that the bin-divers with cracker friends can recover my data, we're going to have to think of a new strategy. Do these things dissolve harmlessly over time in sea water perhaps?

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Re: How broken is retreivable?

When a hologram is recorded on a glass plate and the plate shattered, the entire image can be retrieved from pieces of the plate *BUT* it is a degraded image: the smaller the fragment used to recover the image, the lower the resolution of the recovered image. Its not obvious to me how this loss of resolution would affect the integrity of any data retrieved from a fragment of a data storage hologram. Remember that a hologram of an image is an analogue recording, so if the loss of resolution in a data storage hologram translates into bit loss, the data may not be recoverable without RAID5-like checksums.

Another thought: if you smash a 2D hologram, the fragments still have optically flat sections to illuminate. But, what happens if you shatter the block containing a hologram recorded in 3D, i.e. in the body of the block? Do you have to machine and polish a fragment to recreate a smaller version of the original block's surfaces and geometry before you can recover anything?

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April Fools?

Graphene oxide - that would be CO or CO2 and a gas would it not?

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Re: April Fools?

No, because CO/CO2 molecules consists of a single carbon atom plus one or two oxygen atoms, whereas graphene oxide molecules are somewhat larger than that...

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Re: April Fools?

Sorry - did in my head chemistry and couldn't get graphene oxide to work - it seems they really mean graphene-oxy-hydride or something!

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Read the paper

The paper does not discuss these results in terms of holographic mass storage as implied by the El Reg story. The paper discusses the use of the technology for security markers - this is really should not take too much to develop it. A microscopic security tag that requires a femto second laser source to record an image onto will be reasonably hard to forge making this attractive to manufacturers of bank notes etc.

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Thumb Up

Re: Read the paper

They do briefly...

"Based on the lateral bit size of 1.5 μm and the layer separation of 20 μm by a low numerical aperture (NA) objective (NA = 0.4), the demonstrated equivalent density reaches 0.2 Tbits·cm−3. It should be noted that further increasing the capacity is possible by increasing the NA of the objective."

Holograms are cool ;-)

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Boffin

10-100x shift in refractive index.

That means spectacles with solid state zoom.

The future has arrived.

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Rol
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retro vinyl rebirth

so I take my vinyl records and coat them with graphene oxide, then scan with a laser.

Would this be cheaper than a Townshend Audio Rock Reference turntable I wonder?

Well at least there's a possibility of getting a laser turntable as nobody on the planet is willing to sell their Townshend.

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Re: retro vinyl rebirth

Perhaps you haven't heard, but there's already a few laser-based audio reproduction devices available.

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Rol
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Re: retro vinyl rebirth

Oh dear, oh deary deary me, they ARE really selling these things and have been for years.

Thank you Duffy Moon, I really should get out more.

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Unhappy

Re: retro vinyl rebirth

Rather pricy though: http://www.elpj.com/order/

I'd like to see the prices come down by an order of magnatude. I've quite a few old vinyl LPs that I'd like to play/convert to audio files.

Oh well, I guess I'll have to use my old Pioneer turntable and use Audacity to filter out the scratches!

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scintillating title

I see what you did there.

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Alien

For traditional storage there's not much point, Big Data on the other hand ... hmmmm

Interesting, but hardly a solution for traditional data protection issues. Having a reliable storage mechanism is really cool, but RAID and Erasure Coding techniques already does a pretty good job of that today, and they do it in a deterministic way. Any semi-competent data storage professional will tell you that RAID is not a complete solution to data integrity, you need to layer on things like snapshots to protect against user and application failure domains which are the major causes of data corruption, and replication to protect against site failures which are increasingly a bigger cause of data loss than RAID or storage array failures.

The other, probably more interesting question comes with the question of data integrity overall, having a picture which is 90% the same by reconstructing from a small fragment is incredibly cool, but having corporate data which is 90% the same is far less so, changing a few bits here and there in a database can have potentially devastating consequences. What could be really interesting is for non-traditional machine generated data sources where a kind of "good enough" level of eventual consistency across really large data sets is ... well ... good enough. This kind of tech combined with CAP theorem and BASE could also have some interesting implications for archiving and data cleansing at hyerscale. Imgaine simply ditching 90% of the storage medium and still retaining an overall view of the summarised data, kind of like successively saving the data as lower and lower quality JPEG images over time, but without the clunky processes.

If this really takes off, then data management needs to be rethought from the ground up.

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Black Helicopters

Rent seeking behavior

Typical "more research is needed to make it practical," PR blast. If they actually made something that was a product, it would defeat the whole purpose of grant-grubbing, wouldn't it? Next they ooze up to a storage vendor and offer to "Partner" with them, a.k.a. give us money and equipment and we'll see what we can do.

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