In fact, more technical data have been collected in the past year alone than in all previous years since science began, says Johns Hopkins astrophysicist Alexander Szalay, an authority on large data sets and their impact on science. “The data is doubling every year,” Dr. Szalay says…

Earlier this year, researchers at Keio University, Sharp Corp. and Kyoto University in Japan unveiled a memory chip designed to last for centuries. In April, physicists at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory published the design of a digital device that could store data for a billion years, at least in theory.