The number one reason for data loss is human error, and one of the other major reasons is the failure of storage mediums. When examining ways to store digital photos for a lifetime back in 2009, we noted that entrusting your data to the servers and engineers of major cloud companies (e.g. Amazon and its S3) was a better option than trying to back up your data yourself. Even though Amazon’s S3 has long been an attractive option — after all, many online photo sharing services use it for storing your data — its pricing of around around $0.14/GB/month means that storing just a terabyte costs $100+/month.
That changes today with the introduction of Amazon Glacier. It’s a new uber-low-cost storage service for people who just want a place to dump their data without having to worry about it. Pricing starts at a crazy-low $0.01/GB/month.
Backing up your photos is always a good idea, but if your storage device failed and the photos you lost consisted of some very precious family memories, would you hold the hard drive company responsible? Lawyer Perminder Tung would, which is why he is currently suing Apple over the photos of his first child’s birth that were lost when his Apple Time Capsule failed. Read more…
Unhappy with Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram and want to flee the photo sharing service? Instaport is a super-simple web app that lets you download all the images on your Instagram account onto your computer as a single Zip file.
Do you use a free Dropbox account for storing and backing up your files? If so, get this: the company is currently offering up to 4.5GB of extra free space for anyone willing to help it test out the software’s new auto photo import feature. Your first photo import will land you 500MB of extra space, and every 500MB of photos and videos uploaded afterward will score you an additional 500MB. The new feature helps you automatically backup your photos every time you connect your memory card, phone, or camera to your computer, and can be download here.
Experimental Forum Build – 1.3.12 (via Lifehacker)
Apple’s doing it. Adobe’s doing it. Now Dropbox wants in. An upcoming version of the company’s popular cloud storage client will include a new photo importer feature that will automatically backup your photos whenever you connect a memory card, smartphone, or camera to your computer. You can try it out now by downloading the experimental build from this forum thread. Be sure to read the instructions to make sure you have a system that supports the feature.
Experimental Forum Build – 1.3.4 (via Caschy via Ghacks)
A couple days ago it was discovered that iPhones, iPods, and iPads running iOS 5 have a secret panorama mode that’s hidden in the operating system. The feature can be enabled, but featured either a jailbroken device or knowledge in how to edit a particular iOS 5 preference file. Luckily for non-hackers, Redmond Pie has discovered an easy way to do this by taking advantage of iTune’s backup feature. This tutorial will teach you how to get the panorama feature unlocked in 5-10 minutes.
Everpix is a new company that wants to make your entire photo collection — both online and offline — accessible from anywhere through the cloud. Introduced yesterday at the TechCrunch Disrupt 2011 conference, the service will come as a desktop client that monitors folders on your computer and photo sharing accounts on the Internet. Whenever you add new photographs, they’re automatically beamed to the cloud (i.e. Everpix servers), allowing images created using many different devices and stored in many different places to be available in one central location. Even photos emailed to your through Gmail can be picked up and back up by the service.
There’s a good chance the digital photos you’ve stored on hard drives and DVDs won’t outlive you, but what if there was a disc that could last forever? M-Disc, short for Millenial Disc, is a new type of disc that doesn’t suffer from natural decay and degradation like existing disc technologies, allowing you to store data safely for somewhere between “1000 years” and “forever”.
Existing disc technologies write data using an organic dye layer that begins to experience “data rot” immediately after it’s written, causing the disc to become unreadable after a certain amount of time. The M-Disc, on the other hand, actually carves your data into “rock-like materials” that are known to last for centuries, meaning there’s no data rot. Apparently NASA uses the discs to store data. Hopefully it becomes available and affordable soon…
Millenniata (via Engadget)
It seems like everyone has access to some kind of camera these days, but will the digital images captured survive long enough to become part of the historical record of our time for future generations? John Naughton at The Guardian writes,
[...] while digital technology has generally been very good for photography as a mass medium, it has also made the resulting imagery much more fragile and impermanent. Of the billions of photographs taken every year, the vast majority exist only as digital files on camera memory cards or on the hard drives of PCs and servers in the internet “cloud”. In theory – given the right back-up regimes and long-term organisational arrangements – this means that they could, theoretically, endure for a long time. In practice, given the vulnerability of storage technology (all hard disks fail, eventually), the pace at which computing kit becomes obsolete and storage formats change, and the fact that most people’s Facebook accounts die with them, the likelihood is that most of those billions of photographs will not long survive those who took them.
That’s a startling thought — while it’s true that digital photos can last for quite some time if you’re tech-savvy enough to preserve them well, how many people in the general population actually do so? For the ordinary photo-taker, making a print will likely last much longer than their haphazard — or non-existant — backups.
Stick your pics in a proper family album [The Guardian]
Image credit: Broken hard drive? – Day 148 of Project 365 by purplemattfish
One of the gripes some people have with Flickr is that it doesn’t offer an easy way to download your complete collection of photos if you ever want to move your images elsewhere (though, hopefully you’re not using it as your only backup). Furthermore, if your Pro account ever expires, you can’t even access more than 200 of your old images without resubscribing. Google’s Picasa users won’t ever have this problem with the launch of a new service called Google Takeout, which allows you to download all your photos (and any other data you have stored with Google) as a single ZIP file.