Holographic data storage breakthrough
The promise of gargantuan holographic storage comes closer, as scientists in Japan have discovered a way to create a holographic storage media which can hold data for up to nine hours during continuous access, or at least two years if not exposed to light. According to the article at Nature:
In holographic memory information is recorded using two laser beams. One carries data encoded in a pattern of light and dark regions, like the pixels of a black and white television screen. The second, 'reference', beam intersects the first at right angles, and interference between the two beams creates a three-dimensional pattern of light and dark. This pattern is imprinted in a block of material that acts as the storage medium, rather as photographic film records the distribution of light and dark in a scene to which it is exposed.
I guess the two-year data life isn't too bad, considering most systems run Windows and need to be reformatted every six month, anyways. Maybe by the time they perfect the technology, Microsoft will fix all the bugs in Windows and end up with an OS so big it takes up most of the storage space this new storage technology will offer.