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Your data storage device and wardrobe may be about to go retro

Magnetic tape might blow away hard drives; rayon gets an update

TOKYO -- Magnetic tape seems like a thing of the past. Until the early 2000s, almost every household in Japan had cassette and videotapes. Today, not even large electronics stores carry the things. Yet this outdated technology is suddenly drawing attention as a possible savior for today's bulging data problem.

Thanks to the internet of things, artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles, mankind will create an estimated 44 zettabytes worth of data by 2020, almost 10 times what we had in 2013 (a zettabyte is a billion times a trillion; 10 to the power of 21). But only 14% of the data will be preserved because of a shortage of storage media, according to one estimate.

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