The Conversation: Your internet data is rotting. “Acid-free paper can last 500 years; stone inscriptions even longer. But magnetic media like hard drives have a much shorter life, lasting only three to five years. They also need to be copied and verified on a very short life cycle to avoid data degradation at observed failure rates between 3% and 8% annually. Then there is also a problem of software preservation: How can people today or in the future interpret those WordPerfect or WordStar files from the 1980s, when the original software companies have stopped supporting them or gone out of business?”
Huffington Post: Bureau Of Land Management Scrubs Stewardship Language From News Releases . “The Bureau of Land Management, the federal agency that oversees more than 245 million acres of public land, has stripped its conservation-focused mission statement from agency news releases.”
New York Times: Save the Recordings of School Shootings. “The news media has been notoriously reticent about showing graphic images of mass shootings. But the students caught in the gun violence plaguing American schools are not. Ms. [Lillian] Duarte’s videos and texts are the latest example of students documenting what it’s like to live through a school shooting for all to see online. While it is encouraging to see the news amplify the students’ accounts, there needs to be a broad effort to collect and preserve these firsthand accounts of America’s mass shooting epidemic. Otherwise the horror, as witnessed by the victims, may be lost to the digital ether.”
Telegraph & Argus: Welcome to the world…but will we treasure Instagram posts?. “These days it seems old-fashioned, sentimental, in a Victorian kind of way, to treasure momentos. People build up such detailed, filtered profiles of their lives on social media, and it’s all there – instantly available – for the world to see. But what will be left of their lives for future generations? When there are no old photo albums to leaf through, or letters or cards to read, how will our descendants, and social historians, get a sense of who we really were?”
The Narwhal: Librarian rushes to archive Alberta’s climate change data before change in government. “University of Alberta librarian Katie Cuyler says industry experts and academics have requested she begin ‘guerrilla archiving’ critical information they fear could disappear under a new United Conservative government.”
Lifehacker: How To Find Old Websites That Google Won’t Show. “As it turns out, they may only be lost to Google. Earlier this year, web developer-bloggers Tim Bray and Marco Fioretti noted that Google seems to have stopped indexing the entirety of the internet for Google Search. As a result, certain old websites — those more than 10 years old — did not show up through Google search. Both writers lamented that limiting Google’s effective memory to the last decade, while logical when faced with the daunting task of playing information concierge to our every whimsical question, forces us to reckon with the fact that, when you use Google for historical searches, there are probably more answers out there.” Decent roundup.
TorrentFreak: Reddit’s /r/Piracy is Deleting Almost 10 Years of History to Avoid Ban. “Under pressure from Reddit’s administrators over copyright issues, the site’s largest forum dedicated to piracy discussion has opted for ‘The Nuclear Option’. After voting by its contributors, all posts older than six months are now being deleted. That’s almost 10 years of data, the vast majority of it completely legal. The negative effects are already being felt.”