Scientists use tungsten and QR codes to rethink data storage for the long term

Most hard drives store data using magnetic properties, but unfortunately those are only good for about 10 years. This might be great for your status updates, but if you’re storing photos or government documents, your best bet for a long-term future might be archival paper (or stone and a chisel). But MIT Tech Review reports that scientists have figured a way to etch data onto sheets of tungsten and silicon nitride in the form of QR codes to store data for the theoretical long term — like a million years. Whether or not we’ll have software to decode it then is another problem altogether.

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