Mink Machine

Storage and data overload

Each day, about 100 billion clicks are made on a web of HTML pages due to 55 trillion links. That amount of links almost match the synaptic wirings of the human brain, but unlike the brain, the web double its capacity every two years.

These days a lot of broadcasts and tutorials are available only in video format, putting further strain on bandwidth and storage needs. A large portion of the internet traffic is YouTube streaming, but unfortunately video content cannot be indexed by search engines and makes it harder to quickly browse the content.

If a typical email has the size of 1 kb, one small video has the size of 5000 emails! I heard Jeff Veen say in 2008 that “Every minute of the day, ten hours of video gets uploaded to YouTube”. Half a year ago, I read that 35 hours of video was uploaded to YouTube every minute. That number has now increased to 48 hours every minute, in these few months.

There are amazing numbers wherever I look. Facebook has reached over 700 million users and each day there are 200 million Tweets being written.

According to Go-gate, every minute over 13 000 iPhone apps are downloaded, 700 000 search queries made on Google, 370 000 minutes of voice calls are made on Skype and 168 million emails are sent.

Every minute.

Bill Gates may not have said “640K ought to be enough for anybody”, but I still remember when 1 GB was a gigantic amount of data and 1 TB was pure science fiction. In an episode of Star Trek Enterprise the ship’s main computer is erased. The display read “Total volume deleted: 19.3 XB”, as in exa-byte I suppose (10^18, so 1 XB is a million TB).

40 years ago, state of the art computers were used to place a man on the moon. Today we carry the same computing power in our pockets, with practically limitless potential for creativity and cooperation, but what do we do with it? Play Angry Birds.

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