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Inside Dropbox’s Quest to Bury the Hard Drive

In the future as imagined by Dropbox, the gadgets are dumb, the features are smart, and data trumps devices. And that data doesn’t just follow us on our laptops, phones, and tablets. It’s in our cars, our fridges, our watches. Dropbox may or may not ultimately build that future. But it’s hard to imagine that someone won’t. Maybe someday a service like Dropbox will be more like a public utility, basic infrastructure for pervasive data that would be invisible, assumed, inevitable.

The genius of Dropbox is its agnosticism; it works across all Smart machines and operating systems as Internet pipes.

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HOW BING CROSBY AND THE NAZIS HELPED TO CREATE SILICON VALLEY

Bing Crosby discovered the microphone.  He was also the first American to record on tape, which basically pioneered the hard drive.    

Fast-forward into the mid-nineteen-forties. The Second World War had just ended. Americans were picking over the technological remains of German industry. One of the things they discovered was magnetic tape; the Nazis had been using tape recording to broadcast propaganda across time zones. It was a remarkable invention. Previous sound-recording technologies had used wax cylinders or discs, or delicate wires. But magnetic tape was remarkably fungible: it could be recorded over, cut and spliced together. Plus it sounded better.

There is a direct link in the Silicon Valley understanding between Bing Crosby’s crooning and the rise of the hard drive, which was designed as an improvement over magnetic tape. Or, to put it into an equation: microphones + crooning + Nazis + radio + fifty thousand dollars = Silicon Valley.

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Price of 1 gigabyte of storage over time:

1981 $300,000

1987 $50,000

1990 $10,000

1994 $1,000

1997 $100

2000 $10

2004 $1

2012 $0.10

(via James Doleman)

If you're an artist, photographer, writer, etc., I highly recommend creating your own blog and publishing something new every day (read my post on how to set up a FREE blog on Wordpress).

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