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posted by mrpg on Saturday June 30 2018, @04:58AM   Printer-friendly
from the 404 dept.

Vint Cerf, the godfather of the Internet, spoke in Sydney, Australia on Wednesday and issued a blunt call to action for a digital preservation regime for content and code to be quickly put in place to counter the existing throwaway culture that denies future generations an essential window into life in the past. He emphasized that this was especially needed for the WWW. Due to the volatile nature of electronic storage media as well as the format in which information is encoded, it is not possible to preserve digital material without prior planning and action.

[...] While the digital disappearance phenomenon is one which has so far mainly vexed official archivists and librarians for some years now, Cerf's take is that as everything goes from creation, the risk of accidental or careless memory loss increases correspondingly.

Archivists have for decades fought publicly for open document formats to hedge against proprietary and vendor risks – especially when classified material usually can only be made public after 30 to 50 years, sometimes longer.

From iTnews : Internet is losing its memory: Cerf


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  • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Saturday June 30 2018, @12:48PM (1 child)

    by maxwell demon (1608) on Saturday June 30 2018, @12:48PM (#700640) Journal

    A closed and unspecified digital format

    Such as encryption with an undisclosed key?

    Public domain content will much more likely be available in a well-documented, open format than proprietary content.

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  • (Score: 2) by frojack on Saturday June 30 2018, @06:27PM

    by frojack (1554) on Saturday June 30 2018, @06:27PM (#700746) Journal

    Public domain content will much more likely be available in a well-documented, open format than proprietary content.

    ONLY if it is popular and replicated widely. And even then it ends up on someone's home machine which goes poof sooner or later.

    Worse is if the public domain content is stored in, say, Some old version of Microsoft Word. Resurrecting these files can be a nightmare because the structure was never fully publicly documented. The new tendency among clueless people to trust Microsoft with all of their documents (Office 365) is even worse.

    Yet local government records tend to be stored in electronic format all the time. Paper copies take up too much room. Its all on the server. They've got backup tapes. Its been decades since they tried to read those tapes, and the hardware has been replaced twice in the meantime. What could possibly go wrong?

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