from the makes-you-feel-better-about-yourself dept.
smooth wombat writes "Imagine you're reformatting a hard drive so you can do a clean install but then realize that you have also reformatted the back up hard drive. No problem. You reach for your back up tapes only to find out that the information on the tapes is unreadable. Now imagine the information that is lost was worth $38 billion. This scenario is apparently what happened in July to the Alaska Department of Revenue. From the article: 'Nine months worth of information concerning the yearly payout from the Alaska Permanent Fund was gone: some 800,000 electronic images that had been painstakingly scanned into the system months earlier, the 2006 paper applications that people had either mailed in or filed over the counter, and supporting documentation such as birth certificates and proof of residence.' Using the 300 cardboard boxes containing all the information, staff worked overtime for several months to rescan everything at an additional cost of $200,000."
"Anyone attempting to generate random numbers by deterministic means is, of
course, living in a state of sin."
-- John Von Neumann