Very bad news. ([I]It will be much harder to get to sleep tonight.[/I] )
I was counting on Taiyo Yuden being around for a few more years, as my primary source of quality CD-R and as a backup should the quality of Verbatim’s DVDÂ±R fall to the level of their AZO CD-R.
But what really worries me is that there is nothing on the horizon to replace optical discs as a medium- & long-term storage medium.
For consumers the only other storage options are HDD or flash memory, either ones own drives or hosted by a remote service. The latter is much more profitable, but don’t assume that paying a fat monthly fee makes your data any safer.
Has anyone actually found a contract for a consumer cloud storage which grants the customer any compensation [S]if[/S] [I]when[/I] they suffer a data loss event?
And it isn’t much better in the business market. I’m not entirely sure how these WORM magnetic tapes work, but I am highly sceptical as to just how ‘write-once’ any magnetic storage medium can be, at least based on existing technologies. And magnetic tape in general has a horrible history of unreadability when used for data storage.
Heating a ferrous mineral to extremely high (moulten) temperatures for writing could be an interesting proposition. After all, the mid-Atlantic ridge has successfully stored a record of past changes in the Earth’s magnetic field for millions of years, albeit at a staggeringly low storage density and speed (hundreds of kilometres per bit, written on a geological timescale).
Replicating something similar [I]could[/I] be a very interesting proposition for long-term storage (much higher temperatures than Magneto Optical drives, and using very different materials & principle for reading). But producing a practical drive would be extremely difficult, and I am not aware of any research into the idea.