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Are We Ready For a True Data Disaster? 113

snydeq writes "Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister questions how long we can go before a truly catastrophic data disaster strikes. 'The lure of potential profits in the information economy, combined with the apparent ease with which data can be gathered and a lack of regulation, creates a climate of recklessness in which a "data spill" of the scale of the Deepwater Horizon incident seems not just likely, but inevitable.' Witness Google mistakenly emailing potentially sensitive business data to customers of its Local Business Center service, or the 1.5 million Facebook accounts and passwords recently offered up on an underground hacking forum. 'These incidents seem relatively minor, but as companies gather ever more individually identifiable data and cross-reference these databases in new and more innovative ways, the potential for a major catastrophe grows.'"
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Are We Ready For a True Data Disaster?

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  • by modmans2ndcoming ( 929661 ) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @05:42PM (#32368818)


    We are never ready for any major disaster. It is silly to think we ever will be given our inability to agree on such major planning initiatives.

    • by Monkeedude1212 ( 1560403 ) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @05:56PM (#32368998) Journal

      I think more accurately, if we were prepared for it, it wouldn't be a disaster.

      • by grcumb ( 781340 )

        I think more accurately, if we were prepared for it, it wouldn't be a disaster.

        Not entirely true. Cyclones are largely predictable and (in my part of the world, at least) we do take steps to prepare for them. They are, nonetheless, disastrous when they strike.

        But what I'd like to know -and what McAllister conveniently forgets to mention- is: "What, exactly, constitutes a 'True Data Disaster?"

        Are we talking about a data leak that effectively kills a company's credibility dead? I don't think so, because if incompetence or data mismanagement had any kind of real-world relationship with

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by darkpixel2k ( 623900 )

          "What, exactly, constitutes a 'True Data Disaster?"

          Are we talking about a data leak that effectively kills a company's credibility dead?

          No, we're talking about a massive sunspot that destroys the interweb.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          I'm sorry, perhaps you need to qualify disaster. Prior to my reading this, I thought the 100 million (now estimated) accounts compromised in the TJX breach or the approximately 100 million in the Heartland Payment Systems breach, were just that - disastrous.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            "I'm sorry, perhaps you need to qualify disaster.

            A disaster qualifies itself by the loses it induces. Take an earthquake, a tsunami, a stock crash...

            "I thought the 100 million (now estimated) accounts compromised in the TJX breach or the approximately 100 million in the Heartland Payment Systems breach, were just that - disastrous."

            So you thought, uh? What exactly were the loses? Specifically, what were the loses for those responsible of the incident? Because if there were no loses, then there's no disa

        • "What, exactly, constitutes a 'True Data Disaster?"

          It's when all your donkey/midget pr0n - and all three backups - gets deleted.

        • What, exactly, constitutes a 'True Data Disaster?

          Maybe not a disaster, but this [amazon.com] is pretty bad.

        • by jgrahn ( 181062 )

          "What, exactly, constitutes a 'True Data Disaster?"

          Hal Draper, MS Fnd in a Lbry, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, December 1961.
          http://home.comcast.net/~bcleere/texts/draper.html [comcast.net]

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by SEWilco ( 27983 )

        I think more accurately, if we were prepared for it, it wouldn't be a disaster.

        I'm ready. I have a very large stock of data dispersion chemicals.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Afforess ( 1310263 )
      If we were ready, no one would run stories on whether we are ready or not. Duh!
    • Offshoring (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Travoltus ( 110240 )

      We farm the processing of a great deal of data to low-wage countries that don't even like us. To be managed by guys whose entire year's pay is the same as what you're paid for a week. Which means they are very easy to bribe. Oh and they also think we Americans are evil lazy shits who deserve the pain and suffering we get.

      What I am saying is that a disastrous data breach involving millions of Americans' financial or medical data will happen more likely overseas than it will happen anywhere in the U.S. And wh

  • Dataspill? (Score:5, Funny)

    by ChrisMounce ( 1096567 ) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @05:42PM (#32368824)
    The question is, will we go for a top kill on the data leak, or will we first attempt more risky solutions which profit the data miners? What kind of concrete do you use to seal a data leak? And what's the conversion factor between the scale of an oil spill and the scale of a data spill? In other words, how do we get from m^2 to BAU (Bad Analogy Units), so we can compare them?
    • by K. S. Kyosuke ( 729550 ) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @06:05PM (#32369098)

      What kind of concrete do you use to seal a data leak?

      Data leaks are sealed by abstract, not by concrete. Interfaces, traits, the works.

    • Yes, we should kill the top offender(s). And using concrete (shoes) to do it should suffice.

    • And what's the conversion factor between the scale of an oil spill and the scale of a data spill? In other words, how do we get from m^2 to BAU (Bad Analogy Units), so we can compare them?

      The real question is how does this convert to Library of Congress Units, and can it then be reworded as a Car Analogy?

    • What kind of concrete do you use to seal a data leak?

      The quick-drying kind, that's useful for custom-fitting a pair of "shoes".


    • Every time ANY "disaster" hits there will always be people who want to use it as an analogy for something else.

      And those people usually have no idea what they're talking about.

      But they use the current disaster to grab headlines.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      how do we get from m^2 to BAU (Bad Analogy Units), so we can compare them?

      Easy. We take a Car analagy, and use the units (CAU), divide by 1 Bad Analagy unit, leaving 1Car over 1Bad.

      Next, we know Microsoft is bad, and their current market cap is 227.86 Billion Dollars. One of the most popular cars to make fun of in Analogies is a Prius, so you can turn your 1 car into 49miles per galon. Gas is averagely priced at 3.1 dollars per gallon, so you can multiply the miles per galon by that amount to get miles per dollar. So we have 15.8 miles per dollar. Units cancelling out, we get abo

    • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Friday May 28, 2010 @09:37AM (#32375292) Homepage Journal

      There's already a data disaster. I'm drowning in data! Somebody throw me a lifeboat, quick!

      *blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb*

  • Facebook users? (Score:4, Informative)

    by dave420 ( 699308 ) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @05:43PM (#32368836)
    I read that the facebook users in question seemed to be automatically-generated bogus accounts [nytimes.com], if they ever existed at all.
    • Re:Facebook users? (Score:4, Informative)

      by seanvaandering ( 604658 ) <(sean.vaandering) (at) (gmail.com)> on Thursday May 27, 2010 @06:47PM (#32369530)

      Facebook accounts are attractive because of the higher level of trust on the site than exists in the broader Internet. People are required to use their real names and tend to connect primarily with people they know.

      That's true for anyone who doesn't play games. For those who do play the games from Zynga and other gaming houses, you'd be amazed at what people will do to get to the next level, or getting that rare item. I play the games as well, but to keep the game essentially free, you have to add "neighbors" or your progression stalls. What's the solution? Join an "ADD ME" group, or check the gaming group and troll the comments, adding people every day.

      I'm not kidding when I say about 10% of my Facebook friends, actually know me, which makes my profile almost useless, unless you want to be Level 70 in Treasure Isle!
    • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Friday May 28, 2010 @01:47AM (#32372432) Homepage Journal

      Just because the creator(s) of the accounts can't pass the Turing test doesn't mean they're bogus :-)

  • by bi$hop ( 878253 ) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @05:43PM (#32368840)
    This topic has been covered on slashdot before, but running out of addresses will be a "data disaster" in its own right for many companies. Heck, even CNN is talking about it: http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/05/27/internet.crunch.2012/index.html?hpt=T2 [cnn.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 27, 2010 @05:45PM (#32368866)
    So I'm thinking about powerful solar flares wiping out all magnetic storage on the day side of the earth. Trillions of dollars in lost research data, crippled communications, you know, a catastrophe. Turns out this asshole is talking about compromised facebook pages.

    Get a grip, drama queen.
    • by thms ( 1339227 ) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @06:18PM (#32369234)
      Now THERE is an argument for SSDs and punch cards if I ever heard one. And paper, there will always be paper.

      But the suns magnetic field can't just increase by a few orders of magnitude, so it has to be induced by a solar flare. A hemisphere sized geomagnetic storm [wikipedia.org] however first has to hit the power lines quite hard to produce strong magnetic fields, and then humanity will have other problems.
      • Hey man, if the cosmic rays are making Toyotas drive themselves, I sure wouldn't trust them to leave my SSDs alone! They might spontaneously populate with hundreds of gigs of pr0n!
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Uhh, no. Unless SSDs are properly shielded (faraday cage), and EMP will fry just about every gate on the silicon chips. At that point, kiss your data goodbye and all server equipment for that matter!!!

        You may not have realized it yet, but a high altitude nuke over a city will fry just about every microchip in range. Ponder that for just a moment...

      • Punch cards. Kids these days! I want a cuneiform printer that imprints my data into clay tablets. That stuff last for millennia!
    • For some reason your comment makes me want to do a backup of my data on CDs all of the sudden...
    • by Yvanhoe ( 564877 ) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @06:57PM (#32369670) Journal
      There is an ongoing data disaster : infinite copyright. We are loosing all the collective memory of the 20th century, save for a few blockbusters and famous books. All these data are stored on fragile medium and are forbidden to distribute in order to save them. Oh, and it has happened already : the musicals of ye old late 19th century were already overprotected by copyright, and many were never "saved" into film in the beginning of the 20th century, not wanting to be pirated...
      • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

        We are loosing all the collective memory of the 20th century

        If only that were true, but far from loosing it, they're tightning their grip on it.

        Oh, you meant losing. That changes the meaning completely -- my bad.

    • ... and every PXT a goatse.

      Now that would be a catastrophe.

    • by ka9dgx ( 72702 )
      If you had a strong enough magnetic pulse to wipe a hard drive through 93 million miles, I don't think that survival of our way of life is really likely. It would completely fry pretty much all of our electronics and power grid. The Amish might make it, if their neighbors didn't loot them to starvation.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I spilled hot grits down my pants this morning and when I flinched from the pain, I accidentally emailed a photo of a nude and petrified Natalie Portman to everyone in the company.

  • Cue Morbo (Score:5, Informative)

    by 0racle ( 667029 ) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @05:45PM (#32368872)
    Ya, I sit every day in fear that one day my database systems will open up and spew ones and zeros all over gods creation, poisoning all nearby networks and data stores. Oh wait


    Article talks about things that already happen. He just tries to get page views by putting a stupid but referencing something completely different instead of what he is actually talking about, business continuity plans. He doesn't even seem to have any good insights on the matter either.

    The only thing that it was missing was a reference to hurricane Katrina. Sorry, Neil McAllister, but you're apparently an idiot.
  • If we had all the security and privacy elements in place that we should, there would be no such thing as a "data disaster". There's no real limit to the degree to which we can secure personal (or other) data, if we actually put some effort into it. We just don't right now, because it's not on enough peoples' radars yet. Once the girl you met in the bar last night cares enough about her privacy to use, say, Diaspora*, then there won't really be such thing as a privacy disaster, because everything will be cry
  • In the spirit of letting no crisis go unused, we should have a new privacy law crafted and ready to pass when the next Data Valdez strikes.

    The Patriot Act was mostly a pre-existing fairlyland wishlist for law enforcement that was sitting on the shelf when 9/11 struck.

    I don't know if pro-privacy advocates are that organized, but EFF and others should have legal language already formed into a bill, IMHO.

    • by mlts ( 1038732 ) *

      What would happen if there was a disaster is that there would be laws that would be ineffective like Sarbanes Oxley, but would require companies to have a lot of internal stuff for it. Sarbanes Oxley was a boon for storage providers, as relevant E-mails and messages have to be archived for 7 years.

      I'd love to see some actual privacy laws, but I'm sure there won't be -- so many businesses make so much cash tracking everything they can on a person in the US. If laws get passed, they likely would be toothles

      • Being cynical to that degree will just render you powerless.

        Consider some small-scale successes, like the California law that requires customers to be notified when their private records are breached. Not hugely burdensome, and it is actually useful (it helped me personally in one case).

        Also HIPAA, while seemingly toothless and flawed, has had positive impacts in *some* areas. (Notably at hospitals which have been able to implement privacy protection through their standard training and other polices, but

  • movie where the premis is they need to transfer a few billion in cash.

    The reason being that electronic banking had become to easy to break.

    While the movie was bad, the premise is interesting.

  • by geekoid ( 135745 )

    that's why we use distributed systems.

  • Don't you think the governments already have enough data to count as a catastrophic, worldwide privacy breach with as much as they can cross-reference? Don't tell me that certain three-letter folks can't also just talk to their contacts inside Google/Facebook/Skype/etc and get whatever info they might not already have.

    The only difference is that it's not a for-profit corporation with that amount of reach into the data, it's the for-power structures.

  • ...Yep!

    My identity was comprised once, and since then I've hardened my security and never put all of my financial eggs in one basket.

    I host my own data in an encrypted online backup, and make quarterly physical encrypted backups (stored in two cities 1,300 miles apart). Several trusted parties each have a piece of the keys.

    Hell, I was stranded in the Canadian wilderness for 3 months in the winter (-40 degrees) and survived that quite easily.

    I crave this world wide total data disaster! (Which will never happ

    • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

      That which doesn't kill me makes me harder, better, faster, smarter...

      That which doesn't kill me may put me in a wheelchair or cause severe brain damage. You'll have a hard time being faster without legs, better without arms, or smarter after a stroke.

  • by gbutler69 ( 910166 ) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @05:57PM (#32369018) Homepage
    We're so desperate to suck the last gallon of oil out of the earth that we've reached our technological limitations and soon peak-oil will devastate the modern world and you have the gall to call data-loss a "DISASTER"! Perspective man. Perspective.
  • by pankajmay ( 1559865 ) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @06:05PM (#32369114)
    I will only partly agree with Mr. McAllister's assertion about the potential for catastrophic loss via an inadvertent leak. However, I do feel that much of this stuff go packaged as half-truths and half-fear mongering.
    There are a few facets to the issue - let me try to dissect them:
    • Immense amount of data being collected: Very true. Everyday people are generating information that when cleverly pieced together can unravel every minute of their life. However, the caveat is that there is such a huge amount of information. Today we are at a position where the inflow of data far exceeds our capacity to process it. Most regular people aren't interesting enough for someone to worth wading through the muck to piece together coherency. Yet, there are people who will be subjected to such attacks and hopefully they are already taking precautions. For the rest of us mere mortals, no matter how significant we think our precious little existence is, the fact remains that largely we are all mostly just statistical data points -- white noise.

      Just like in statistics -- corporations are not looking for a particular person, but they are trying to aggregate it all and derive a trend or more accurately a statistical model. And just like in statistics -- the outliers will stand out.
    • The Valuable data is the Aggregate, not the actual data point: This is where the line becomes gray. Is it alright to zealously collect every dimension of data available to derive a meaningful aggregate? We are all understandably uncomfortable having our menial contributions, measured and carefully cataloged. However, if there is a way where important data about you is handled for only a brief while -- converted into something that retains the meaning of that data point but loses the association with you, I have a feeling then that would be classified as legal. Of course, active research is being done today in this area.
    • Data is unduly important today because we have (stupidly) delegated our identity amongst few numbers: I heard on NPR yesterday about how people's health insurance is being stolen. And do you know why such a fraud occurs? Because, no one conclusively establishes the patient's identity. They just ask for the card and done. They don't ask the driver's license nor put a simple photograph of the patient on the file to check. We have done the same thing with other such numbers -- Social Security, Date of Birth have all been used conclusively to establish a person's identity. True - it may have been a simplifying solution when Computers were not advanced. But the real travesty is not the availability of our data out there - which in this modern age is inevitable -- but that we are not switching to more robust methods of establishing people's identity. One of the ways could be to check finger prints (finger print readers are mighty cheap) or other such biometric data that cannot be easily faked.
    • Everyday people are generating information that when cleverly pieced together can unravel every minute of their life. However, the caveat is that there is such a huge amount of information.


      I heard on NPR yesterday about how people's health insurance is being stolen. And do you know why such a fraud occurs? Because, no one conclusively establishes the patient's identity.

      Now imagine a criminal organization that is interested in collecting that information and sorting it into personal profiles. Start with

      • by MikeFM ( 12491 )
        So unimaginative. With the same amount of effort you could create a successful business. Crime really doesn't make sense for the most part. The easiest way to get private information from people is to offer them free, or cheap, stuff. Amazing what people will tell you out of greed. No stealing information, no breaking in, etc. Just let people tell you for themselves.
    • biometrics is harder to maintain than one would think (and therefore harder to use). in my experience, once enrolled onto a system, BOTH, a system hardware change and a system SOFTWARE change, can corrupt the file(s) holding the biometric data. The fix is easy for me, -just turn off the biometrics BEFORE making such changes. But for Jane and Joe user, who don't understand how or why to control 'automatic up-dates', biometrics become just too much to deal with. (this is posted before I look at anything alre
    • There is no real legal right to privacy, in the US at least, and IMO that is a good thing. There is nothing about you or me that is very unique and worth hiding. For the mere issue of people being embarrassed by their own actions or existence it is not worth removing all the great uses of collected data. Obviously collecting publicly exposed data is different than invading a user's personal space. If I take a photo of someone on the street it's okay. If I sneak into their bedroom it's not. If I pick up thei
  • I'd figure it be a series of data centers blown up by some event, but in the summary it hints at identity theft. I'm not sure if any data that can be taken that easily in so large amounts can qualify as a disaster.

    I don't think I even own or have any data that could undergo a disaster. The worst that could happen is that my work computer gets misplaced or destroyed somehow, but it's almost all backed up somewhere else, so no disaster, not even a personal one.

    My private data, well, what I haven't backed up,

    • Stocks will crash and burn because they're way freakin' overvalued. Why the F#@! would someone go nuts buying a company that LOSES money or is trading at 50+ times earnings??? It's because they're using other peoples money and they're outlook is short.
      • Or because they'll bounce back eventually after stockholders get new management and overcome the bad press they got hit with that caused them to devalue. The rebound from that doesn't always last long though, so it's good to get out soon as you get your money.
    • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

      I honestly don't care about stocks, btw.

      I do. Whenever the stock market goes down the price of gasoline goes down with it, and it benefits me and every other working person. I cheered the "flash crash" and was disappointed when it recovered so quickly.

  • ... to have a data disaster happen, one that was not recoverable.

    This would be like the biblical tower of babel falling and as a result this would help push us to our next stage of evolution.

    It is society, population that pushes us to resolve bigger and bigger social problems.

    What we need is a global data disaster effecting everyone, including military.

    Such as what a massive solar flare could cause.

    Should such a thing happen, then in order to just maintain some level of society, alot of dishonesty and decep

    • Oh yeah that'd work! Put the whole system into shock and massive stress; I'm sure that will bring out the best in people, and make sure they mend their wicked, wicked, much-wickeder-than-the-old-days ways! I'm sure people wouldn't just cobble together whatever shit works kinda works -for now- in a mad scrabble.

      Seriously, why do you think a disaster would improve the way people do things?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

      This would be like the biblical tower of babel falling and as a result this would help push us to our next stage of evolution.

      Nope, it would be a de-evolution. It would set us back. If you realized how far we've progressed in the last fifty years (let alone the last 100) you'd understand this.

      Should such a thing happen, then in order to just maintain some level of society, alot of dishonesty and deception will have to be put aside.

      Oh, the naivete of youth! With such a disaster the dishonest among us would h

  • Fry: "Bender what's wrong?!"
    Bender: "It was horrible ones and zeros everywhere, and I think I saw a two."
    Fry: "Its OK Bender there's no such thing as two."

  • There is far too much redundancy. So much data unwittingly gets duplicated by one way or another that I doubt we would ever face such a disaster.

  • by petes_PoV ( 912422 ) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @06:54PM (#32369628)
    The first thing we need to do is change some of the descriptions. My data is stored on my computers. If some personal information is stored on your computers, that's your data (even if it refers to me, or other people). And being your data, you are responsible for its safe keeping, its security and (as with oil spills) for cleaning up and making good any lapses it it gets out.

    So, for example when a bank says that my identity has been stolen and my bank account drained, what they're really saying is some data they held became insecure and they let an unaurthorised (i.e. not me, or someone I have power of withdrawl to) person take it from them, and that lack of care on their part allowed someone to take money from them (but not from me).

    it's only after these sorts of ownership and liability factors are widely accepted and written into law, that we can start to assign responsibility for information that people or organisations hold regarding us. I fully expect that once organisations are deemed liable for any damage or loss that occurs because they lose or fail to secure their data, the problems of identity theft, data loss and security will solve themselves.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      An anecdote:

      One day, my bank (Chase, for the record) started repeatedly threatening to shut down my account if I did not confirm that "suspicious activity" on my account was legit. I wasn't doing anything out of the ordinary. I started getting multiple threats a week, and when I once traveled and lost cell service for a week, they disabled my account.

      When I pushed them on the issue, they confessed that my account was on a list of potentially compromised accounts. They told me that some entity had
      • by dbcad7 ( 771464 )
        Yep they should have forced you to get a new card.. That's what happened to me, way back when, with Wamu.. I had sent some money using my card via Western Union (and it wasn't even online).. well Western Union got hacked and gave Wamu a list of card numbers they thought might have been taken apparently.. Wamu just deactivated my card.. no warning.. had to call and find out that a new card was on the way. (had about 3 days with no card).. If I had been traveling, I would have been pissed.. but it was a minor
    • This is an excellent point. I hope to see this implemented by law some day.
  • If I have to start over at level one again my girlfriend will KILL me!!
    • Anyone without backups today is crazy. I switched my laptops to SSD and all other systems are at least RAID 1, all backup to NAS (that is again RAID), and critical data gets backed up remotely. If we didn't have such crappy bandwidth here in the US I'd say everything should be remotely backed up (encrypted and saved to the cloud). I think it's only a matter of time before the average home has it's own cloud server. Something that securely stores and backs up data both locally and remotely as well as offeri
  • Got my bunker filled with canned food, fuel, ammo and shotguns. Now I just need to wait untill the data zombies stop roaming Earth.
  • I can't really think of many examples, and the article certainly doesn't provide any examples.. Not even a "worst case scenario" type of doomsday prophecy. And only one of the things I can think of amount to a "leak"...

    If all the worlds' financial data suddenly became truly public, or disappeared entirely (they amount to the same thing, either was they would have to start all over) could be bad, I suppose.. at least for a lot of people. Good for others.

    If all of the weapons data in the US ("ICBMs for Dummie

    • by Chrisq ( 894406 )
      A true disaster would be a retail bank losing all its records. A perfect storm hits the backup data-centre at the same time. In effect millions of people will lose savings, have unpaid bills - companies will go under. There would probably be rioting if it happened to a major national bank.
  • Windows was released years ago and we managed to survive. What can be worse?
  • I've always been curious as to how the world would behave if it lost the Internet for a while. A lot of people I work for go spastic if they lose their connection for more than an hour, I can't imagine what they would do if they lost it for a week.

    Despite the fact the Internet was conceived of as a decentralized network, it's actually quite centralized. It would only take a few well placed attacks to bring it to its knees. Think of the Northeast Blackout of 2003. That wasn't even an attack, that was jus

  • You see, we've been preparing for that since a long time ago. The day we all lose our valuable data, we just need to pay a reasonable amount of money to all those cybercriminals who hack our systems and steal our data in exchange for a ransom. See? With enough money, the system works!

  • Are we going to lose all the great music that was made in the last third of the 20th century? NO, Because hundreds of millions of people refuse to obey the law as brought down from Mt. Sinai by the RIAA. By making millions of bootleg illegal MP3 copies of the our generation's music, we ensure that it will be around through any data disaster that could befall any centralized data storage depository.

    The more widespread data is; the more protected that it is.

    It's the culture of

    • by mlts ( 1038732 ) *

      I'm sure the music from the 1970s to the mid 1990s will be preserved because most "rock" radio stations only play from that span of time, ignoring anything in the 21'st century.

      Probably one of my biggest gripe of almost all today's radio stations, they effectively have 100-150 songs on shuffle except for some random special programs, and nothing really new out of that. The independents are hard to find.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        The independents are hard to find.

        By design even. Distribution is the primary thing that keeps the cartel's thumb pressed down upon artists. Pandora helps a lot, but lately they seem to be fallible even. I can't seem to get them to stop play Coldplay for example. I finally thought I voted down every Coldplay song in the collection, and then they started springing LIVE versions on me. I kind of thing they're getting paid to push it at this point.

    • That's true, filesharing will often preserve much more than the industry itself will. But not always in a high quality or original format. And even if we have it all uncompressed, we're likely only preserving the product, without the methods (designs, blueprints, etc.) of how it was produced (for music, all the instruments or tracks, etc. For games only the binaries, and we won't be able to read those on just any system. As time passes and hardware and software changes, it'll become more and more difficult

  • by Anonymous Coward

    .. that we don't know what data we do have, what data we should have, why we have it, what we want to do with it. Data itself is the problem we are collecting collating, storing this crap, if I collect and store enough tires they will eventually catch fire and burn things and poison people, I done know how you really go about estimating the cost of what has already happened, which seems to me to be disastrous, but things like 10 million CC number released, or 10's 100's of millions of Social security/bank a

  • A true 'data disaster' would have to be defined to include: 1) loss of data (including minor and major losses)[data is gone]. 2) loss of integrity of that data [the current data cannot be authenticated]. 3) loss of use of the data, even temporarily [loss of access]. 4) loss of the confidentiality of the data [unauthorized exposure of the data, including unauthorized capture]. 5) Unauthorized USE of the data. --->> whether the loss is for an individual or a larger organization can not be a considerat

If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith. -- Albert Einstein