Let’s face it, there are a lot of things that could bring about the end of the world as we know it – heightened political tensions, climate change, even an asteroid. In case things go FUBAR, what will happen to the masses over the masses of data and digital? thing that humanity relies on every day? If the open source coding platform GitHub has anything to do with it, everything will be stored securely on ends of the earth.
At its Universe Developer conference two days ago, GitHub announced its archiving program – its plan to preserve all of its open source software for future generations. The program will see this data stored continuously in various formats and data locations, including in the World Arctic Archives, a vault hidden 250 meters away in an arctic mountain in Svalbard. The Doomsday Seed Vault is just around the corner.
The data is stored on reels of film coated with iron oxide powder. It can be read by a computer or – in the event of a global power failure – a human with a magnifying glass. Above all, this film will last 1,000 years. Among the earliest data repositories in the vault is the source code for Android and Linux operating systems, as well as a range of programming languages, web platforms, cryptocurrencies, and tools. ‘IA. GitHub plans to store all active public repositories by February 2020.
Data will rub shoulders with digitally preserved national archives from around the world, including works of art, music, scientific breakthroughs, historical manuscripts and archaeological finds. If an apocalyptic event were to occur, all of this data could well be used to help rebuild a global society. Otherwise, it will at least act as a valuable time capsule. After all, just 20 years ago open source was a very marginal idea – now the world almost depends on it. Who knows what technology will look like in 1,000 years?
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