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Digital Dark Age?

Babies born in first world countries today are typically welcomed on social media. Everything from the moment we announce a pregnancy to the baby being born- through their childhood- first steps, lost teeth, first day of Kindergarten through high school...proms and graduations- every noteworthy moment, and even the not so noteworthy ones are captured digitally, and saved to our social media profiles, on our hard drives, or even in a “cloud.”

However, Vint Cerf, Google Vice-President, says that he is worried that all of the images and documents we have been saving on computers will eventually become lost.

Technology continues to improve and change. As it changes, it is possible that the new technology won’t be able to read the old technology. He says that, “Old formats of documents that we’ve created or presentations may not be readable by the latest version of the software because backwards compatibility is not always guaranteed.”

If that is the case, it is possible that future generations would have little or no record of the entire 21st century- and that is what he describes as a “digital Dark Age.”

Cerf is working on an idea to fix all of that- a way to translate the info from one format to another.

The best way to protect yourself is to ensure that if you are storing your documents and pictures on a type of virtual storage, you are using a company that has established itself as one who has staying power. For example, if you are using Apple’s iCloud, you can be pretty confident that Apple will have the resources to provide it’s customers with the technology to convert files. If you go with a smaller company now, they may not be around or may not have the means or resources later on to convert your information- so be careful.

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