Each week, we spotlight a cool innovation recommended by some of the industry's top tech writers. This week's pick is an advancement in data storage.
Microsoft has created a way to store data for thousands of years in a square of quartz glass, said Marc DeAngelis at Engadget. The Project Silica glass plates, etched with infrared lasers, remain readable "even after baking them in ovens, dunking them in boiling water, heating them in microwaves, and scratching them with steel wool." The glass may be an ideal medium for "cold storage" of data that needs to be kept for a long time but rarely accessed.
As a proof of concept, Microsoft partnered with Warner Bros. — which, like other studios, has struggled with ways to maintain archival copies of its recordings — to etch a digital version of the original Superman film onto a single glass plate. The process took a week, and "the technology still needs to mature" as engineers build a standard device to read and write the data.