Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Bigger, Better Thumb Drive

Digital storage has come a very long way in only a few years. When I was a kid, a terabyte of information would have to be etched into the freshly tanned skin of a female virgin sacrifice. It would have cost over a million dollars in development fees, hush money, and 24-hour wolf attack protection. Now, I can trot on down to Office Depot and snatch up a TB drive for under a hundred bucks. Sure, I could still sacrifice a virgin, but it would just be for a nostalgic thrill. Just because modern storage technology allows us to carry gigs and gigs of hardcore pornography on our keychains, however, it doesn’t mean our current system is perfect. Flash memory, with its solid state and rapid access, is the wave of the future, but it’s limited by the capacity of the silicon chips with which it’s made. They can only handle 10 to 100 gigabits of information per square inch, and they degrade over time. But using nanotechnology, scientists have discovered a new kind of storage that kicks silicon’s ass. Basically, it consists of an iron nanoparticle inside a carbon nanotube. The iron can be electrically manipulated within the tube with incredible precision, thus creating a new storage medium that can potentially hold a terabyte of information per square inch. Yes, that’s a shit ton of golden shower videos. Or BDSM, if that’s what you’re into. More details here.

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