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locpictureGood-bye hard disks? Hello, your own Library of Congress? Well, we’re not there yet. But in the next few years, a new technology could lead to thumb-sized solid state drives storing a terabyte each. Power consumption might be one-thousandth of flash memory and costs perhaps one-tenth. Just the ticket for multimedia e-books, eh? Or even high-res movies inside them?

In between his CSSing for the TeleBlog, Jon Noring took time out for some calculations. He figured that 20 million books exist in the world and that 18,000 of these drives would do the trick for high-res images of them.

If nothing else, imagine the benefits for the One Laptop Per Child project. Even without WiFi, kids in mountains and remote jungles could enjoy immediate access to huge collections of knowledge—well, budgets and copyright gods permitting. Perhaps the already-available info would be the equivalent of a cache, reducing the need for new downloading when WiFi was available.

The gobbledygook for the technology is programmable metallization cell (PMC), and Wired News has the details, inspiring the inevitable Slashdotting.

 
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