future proof file encryption

David Shaw dshaw at jabberwocky.com
Sat Feb 28 02:27:14 CET 2009

On Feb 27, 2009, at 6:25 PM, Joseph Oreste Bruni wrote:

> Okay, I've resisted getting into this discussion long enough, and I  
> can't stands no more!
> Since we're talking about photos, what would be wrong with PRINTING  
> them? I think a printed photo would last a lot longer than any  
> computer-based technology. And, you could store them in shoeboxes.

Obviously, I'm a big fan of paper (exhibit A: http://www.jabberwocky.com/software/paperkey/ 
  ), but the problem with prints is that you lose something when/if  
you scan them back into the digital space.  It's a bit like a lossy  
compression.  That said, I'd take a somewhat-degraded image over no  
image at all.

It's not completely relevant to your example, but speaking of recovery  
from paper: a lot of the early cinema was thought to be gone forever  
because the negatives and all prints were lost or had decayed over the  
years (early film was printed on a guncotton base - needless to say it  
was highly flammable and degraded quickly).  It turns out that for  
copyright reasons, some of the film companies had deposited paper  
copies (essentially a photo print of each film frame) of the films  
with the US Library of Congress.  The archivists re-photographed these  
paper prints back onto film, and managed to reconstruct the original  
movies.  See, for example, http://rs6.loc.gov/papr/nychome.html


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