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Adventures of a multidimensional freak

This is Juan Julián Merelo Guervós English-language blog. He teaches computer science at the University of Granada, in southern Spain. Come back here to read about politics, technology, with a new twist

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    Inicio > Historias > Counting beans or counting bytes

    Counting beans or counting bytes

    With a headline as juicy as How much information? 2003 (found at slashdot and some other sites), no wonder everybody and their mother is commenting on it. Mainly wondering how come they have produced a complete CD and then some, and not have noticed, because every person in the world has produced 800 MBytes of new information.
    I think that study is fundamentally wrong. Information can't be counted in the same way as beans or sprockets or whatnots. If I take a digital picture, I'm "producing" 3 Mbytes, all by myself, but so what? I could write a 3-thousand pages novel, and producing the same. Not all bytes are born the same. So, what sense does it make to count how many bytes have been "produced"? For instance, one of the reasons of the increase in byte production is that lots of people are using digital cameras and camera phones. What, old analog pictures don't have bytes? Or they contain bytes only if they are scanned and put in digital form?
    I can't contest their figures, they're probably accurate to the best of their knowledge, but what sense do they make? The only issue I see here is that digital media is more popular than it was 3 years ago. And it will be even more.
    Meanwhile, I see a big business oportunity here. Huge amounts of money could be made by offering the information-production deprived to fill their quota for them. I'll do it, 0.1 € cent per byte. Satisfaction guaranteed, or your money back.

    2003-11-01 01:20 | 0 Comment(s) | Filed in

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