IBM Patents Idea of Making Your Data Crappier Over Time

IBM refers to this particular invention as an "aging file system" that simulates a natural aging process to documents printed on paper. For example this aging process could be automatically applied to .doc, .jpg or .gif files, a patent filing states. According to IBM, there is a need for a new kind of filing system that "automatically and selectively ages files contained therein such that the files themselves are caused to age with time and are not maintained in their originally stored state." IBM even says that "there is a need to provide such an aging function to apply automatically to all files stored on the filing system without requiring a continuing user monitoring effort."

Imagine your surprise when, a couple decades from now, you see your digital pictures that have been automatically exposed to an artificial aging process and now deliver only a fraction of the quality they once did. We wonder, if that aging process could also apply UV, water and fire damage to a statistically correct portion of your image data and documents. Imagine facing a tax audit a few years from now and having to tell the IRS that your documents have been aged automatically and were lost due to a statistical fire. Brilliant!

Let's not stop here and imagine the Library of Congress a few thousand years from now in the same light as the ancient library of Alexandria. I wonder if IBM could find ways to automatically decompose digital files?

You can find the details of the invention in detail here. And yes, IBM appears to be completely serious about this one and we hear that the company may already be in negotiations to sell it in the next wholesale package to Google.

  • benikens
    Why? Like seriously, who thinks of that.
  • goatsetung
    There MUST be something more to this, right?
  • ewood
    its gotta be a joke. right?
  • AbdullahG
    I swear if they actually apply this idea to computers and data (if they find a way to do so), I'm going to their headquarters and pissing on Palmisano's desk.

    Why are such ideas even patented? I know they haven't developed methods to do this, but why even think of patenting it? Just to have it? What benefit would virtual aging on personal data most people would prefer in their original state bring?

  • pythy
    This has got to be to stupidest thing I've ever heard........ The reason for having digital documents is so that they can be preserved in their original condition, not so that they can be ruined a few decades later like their paper counterparts. What is IBM thinking??
    IBM = I'm Being Mental
  • pent5ht
    Yeah that's real smart.............Let's go back in time...........*FACE PALM*
  • PrvtChurch
  • drakepandor
    I can only hope that the purpose of this patent is to prevent anyone from doing anything like this and suing the **** out of them if they do.
  • stalker7d7
    The only thing I can get out of this is to reduce the hard drive space being used by older files... But still, wtf? There is no way this can have any benefit.
  • Let's just return to analog computers altogether and be done with it.