The Information Revolution: Alive and Well
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  • C. Philips

    “The data they used … included not only text but photos and some computer code, showing the versatility of the medium.”

    Storing computer code and pictures does not show any additional versatility. DNA stores bit sequences, and there are already standard methods to represent pictures at bit sequences (just as for text), so storing text is no different from storing pictures.

  • Jim.

    Can you search it? How do you pay people to sift through that much data?

    One of my friends is the librarian at a major Midwestern newspaper. They’re having trouble finding funding to digitize their archives.

    If people aren’t willing to bother keeping pre-sorted information about important events available for posterity, who in the world is going to pay to interact with random camera fodder in any meaningful way?

  • f1b0nacc1

    Jim,

    You can search ANYTHING if you commit the time and resources to do it. I am a database architect, and the fastest growing part of my business is data mining of just this sort of data. Businesses in particular are spending very large sums on building the infrastructure for big products of this sort.

    The first part of your question though is the more important one, i.e. can you search DNA stored data. The answer is ‘yes and no’, you can search anything, but you cannot search it fast, and for masses of data such as this, fast is crucial. DNA is a write-centric storage solution…useful for archiving but little else at this time. This may change, but it is unlikely to be the case in the near to mid future.

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