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The Digital Deluge
Lecture 1
Learning in Retirement
David Coll
Professor Emeritus
Department of Systems and Computer
Engineering
Winter 2009
Welcome to “The Digital Deluge”
• My name is David Coll and
• In the next few weeks I’m going to try
and give you a feel for what’s going on in
a world awash in digital information.
• We’ll look at
–
–
–
–
–
–
the jargon,
the sources,
the volumes,
the technology,
the societal impact, and
how some are coping.
• This is a lecture series about the flood of
information created by new technologies.
• The problem in offering a course about this
subject is that there is way too much
information to handle.
• But – we have ways of coping
• For example
• Clear and simple instructions …
First - My Co-ordinates
• Professor Emeritus
in the Department of Systems and Computer
Engineering, Carleton University
• [email protected]
• http://www.sce.carleton.ca/faculty/coll.htm
• 613-225-4229
Information
• The world is awash in INFORMATION.
• Our senses: sight, hearing, smell, touch, and
taste are bombarded with inputs from all
sides
• Information is essential for our survival.
• But …
• Let’s narrow it down somewhat
• We might limited ourselves to information
that comes to us through a medium:
mediated communications
– Print
• newspapers, magazines, books, flyers …
– Posters
– Radio
– Television
– Recordings – music, images, videos
– The Telephone
• As well as through
• the Internet and
• the World Wide Web
• We will exclude information communicated to us through
spectral channels by mediums wearing star-studded gowns and
too many bracelets …
Introduction
• The rapid growth and deployment of digital
information processing and communications
technology is changing our world, the way
we do business, and the way we live.
• Information be it text, data, images, music,
speech, or television is acquired, stored,
processed, communicated, received, and
presented in digital form, i.e., as numbers.
• The resulting torrent of information is so
vast that some have dubbed it the “The
Digital Deluge”.
• del·uge
–1
• a: an overflowing of the land by water
• b: a drenching rain
– 2: an overwhelming amount or number, as
in:received a deluge of offers
The Deluge from Various Perspectives
The extent, rapidity of acceptance,
and pervasiveness of digital
technology is almost (?) beyond
comprehension.
The Digital Deluge
• “Data is omnipresent. Everywhere we go,
we encounter it, in our business
transactions, subscription lists, email, etc.”
• “To put the growth of data in perspective,
every 18 months the processing capacity of
the world doubles, but at the same time
data has been doubling every nine months.”
•
http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/datbus/article.php/1495861
The Digital Deluge
• “One of the scariest statistics in recent
memory is IDC’s prediction that the amount
of digital data between now and 2010,
reaching a whopping 988 billion gigabytes.”
• “(That’s a figure so huge, it would be
helpful to have one of those goofy yet
helpful references to put it into context. How
many football fields it would fill, for
example.)”
•
http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/tve/?p=98
ScienceDaily (Nov. 8, 2007)
• “Most people have a few gigabytes of files
on their PC.
• In the next decade, astronomers expect to
be processing 10 million gigabytes of data
every hour from the Square Kilometre Array
telescope”.
•
http://www/sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071107091524.htm
• “When the Large Hadron Collider [at
CERN] starts running in 2008, it will be the
biggest scientific instrument in the world.
• Thousands of scientists across the planet
will be clamouring for access to the streams
of data that will come out of the instrument.
• The LHC will produce about 15 Petabytes
of data every year, which is more than 1000
[times] the amount of information in book
form printed every year around the world”.
• If written to CDs, the stack of CDs would be
about 20 km in height!
•
http://gridcafe.web.cern.ch/gridcafe/GridatCERN/gridatcern.html
From IDC Report
• “With a compound annual growth rate of
almost 60%, the digital universe is growing
faster and is projected to be nearly
1.8 zettabytes (1,800 exabytes) in 2011, a
10-fold increase over the next five years
• “At 281 billion gigabytes (281 exabytes), the
digital universe in 2007 was 10% bigger
than originally estimated
• IDC’s new research shows the digital
universe is growing more rapidly than
original estimates as a result of accelerated
growth in worldwide shipments of
– digital cameras,
– digital surveillance cameras, and
– digital televisions
• as well as
– a better understanding of information
replication trends.
• They didn’t mention traffic to and from cell
phones , iPhones, Blackberries and the ilk..
• The digital universe in 2007 was equal to
almost 45 gigabytes (GB) of digital
information for every person on earth – or
the equivalent of over 17 billion 8 GB
iPhones.
• Other fast-growing corners of the digital
universe include those related to
–
–
–
–
Internet access in emerging countries
sensor-based applications
data centers supporting “cloud computing”
social networks comprised of digital content
created by many millions of online users.
The Digital Deluge
• What’s it all about and what can we do
about it?
• Maybe we can not only survive the Digital
Deluge, but use it to our advantage.
• Hey! Didn’t Noah’s kids learn to water ski
behind the Arc?
Let’s Start with Five Questions
•
•
•
•
•
Where does information come from?
How does it get to be “digital”?
How does it get to us?
Why is it a problem?
What is being done to cope with it?
Where Does the
Information Come From?
Information Generators
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Arts
Literature
History
Language
Education
Religion
Science and Technology
Government/Bureaucracy
Commerce
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Administration
Medicine and Pharmacology
Geography and Cartography
Entertainment
News
…
…
…
Traditional Sources
• Media
– Print: Books, Newspapers
– Film
– Radio and TV Broadcast
• Accumulated Knowledge
– Libraries
– Repositories
– Folk Lore
• Publications
– Books, Newspapers, Magazines,
Professional Journals
• Radio and TV
• Personal Communications and
Correspondence
• Sensors and Instrumentation
• .
• Libraries and Repositories
– Publications, Reference Material, Dictionaries,
Encyclopedia, Catalogs
• Personal Creation
– Records
• Bills, Accounts, Investments, Wills,
Warranties, Contracts, …
– Libraries
• Books, Magazines, Clippings, …
– Diaries and Writings
– Recordings
• Audio, Photo, Film, Video
• Computer Files
How Does It Get To Us?
• Purchase and Own
• Delivery Services
– Mail, Newspapers, Magazines
• Broadcast Services
– Radio
– Television
• Message Services
– Telegraph
– Teletype
• Data Communications
– File Transfers, Data Collection
– Transactions
Where did this “Deluge” come from?
• The major reason the world is awash in
information in digital form is the
COMPUTER
• Actually the ability to represent and process
information on digital form
• But, that is only half the story.
• An isolated computer is just a fancy adding
machine or typewriter with memory
• So, the deluge results from the fact that all
the world’s computers are connected!
– Well, most all.
• The ability to communicate information is an
essential factor behind the deluge, and
• Communications is done “digitally”..
What’s the Problem?
• There is so much information/data*.
– Entertainment, medical, scientific research,
educational, literature, news, personal …
• We are not always sure about just what
“information” there is in the data
*“information” often implies “knowledge” whereas
we are talking about the volumes of data that
are generated – whether they make sense or
not.
The Culprit?
• A mixture of
– The Internet
• networked computers, ubiquitous
communications,
– Applications
• the WWW, information processing
– and Smart Machines
• Enabled by the evolution of common digital
technologies throughout.
So What’s New?
• A common technological basis for the
– acquisition,
– distribution and
– handling
• of information in digital formats.
• A basis that has very recently reached
levels of maturity that have unleashed
information in a flood of incomprehensible
immensity.
• That’s the Punch Line
• But Why The Deluge Now?
• Because we can!
Enabling Technologies
ELECTRONICS
COMMUNICATIONS
DIGITAL
TECHNOLOGY
HARDWARE
SOFTWARE
• But, first
• Let us pause for a short break ….
What will we do?
• We’ll look at sources of the information
explosion in areas that affect us:
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
Mobile telephones
Digital cameras
Music: iPods, CDs, DVDs
HDTV
The Internet and Web Applications
Libraries and other repositories
Smart terminals
Home automation
Scientific Research, and so on.
• We will look at what “digital” means
– How the adoption of digital technology is used to
create information, store and process it,
communicate and display it.
• Why we are deluged with digital
information, i.e.,
– What’s behind the sudden onslaught of
information, where this surge is coming from,
how it’s to be handled, and what the future
holds.
• Then, hopefully we can discuss some ways
of coping, and even enjoying the deluge –
• Let’s start with some definitions
Terminology
• Misuse of terminology can lead to lead to
misunderstanding.
• Being precise in one's terminology can be
important.
• It is also important to understand the
historical origin of terms, to better
understand their meaning, and to realize
how different points of view can modify
meaning.
Scale and Scope of the Deluge
• How deep is the flood?
• If we are in water that is 6 feet deep we
have a feel for what sort of situation we are
facing
• But, what’s an exafoot?
• What are these funny names for data rates
and volumes?
• The basic digital (binary) unit is the bit, a
single binary digit with values 0 or 1.
• In Digital Communications, one usually
refers to data rates in terms of bits per
second, or bps.
• Data rates, often mistakenly termed
bandwidth, are expressed as the number of
bits transmitted per second
– as in 56 kbits per second (kbps) or 1.544
megabits per sec (mbps)
Common Data Rates
• Data Rate speeds derive from teletype and
telephone services
• Originally, everything was a multiple of the
telegraph speed of 75 bits per second
– 300, 1200, 2400, 4800, 9600 bps
• Then multiples of the basic telephone
sampling speed of 64,000 kbps took over,
giving services at the T1 TDM carrier speed
of 1.544 Mbps, and multiples of it.
Common Optical FibreTransmission
Rates – in Megabytes per second.
Optical
OC-1
OC-3
OC-12
OC-48
OC-192
OC-768
Line Rates
51.84
155.52
622.08
2,488.32
9,953.28
39,813.12
Optical Fibre Transmission Rates
- in Megabytes per second- MBps
• The OC192 rate is 9,953.28 megabits per
second, or almost 10,000 Mbps = 10
gigabits per second.
• This number is 192 times 51.84 mbps
• 51.84 = 810 x 8,000 x 8, or 810 x 64,000
• The number of bits per second in a basic
SONET frame used for the transmission of
810 voice channels.
Prefix
Symbol
Base 10
Base 2
yotta
Y
+24
+80
zetta
Z
+21
+70
exa
E
+18
+60
peta
P
+15
+50
tera
T
+12
+40
giga
G
+09
+30
mega
M
+06
+20
kilo
k
+03
+10
hecto
h
+02
-
deka
da
+01
-
deci
d
-01
-
centi
c
-02
-
milli
m
-03
-
micro
m
-06
-
nano
n
-09
-
pico
p
-12
-
femto
f
-15
-
-18
-
atto
zepto
z
-21
-
yocto
y
-24
-
In communications,
electronics, and physics,
multipliers are defined in
powers of 10 from 10-24
to 1024, proceeding in
increments of three
orders of magnitude (103
or 1,000).
In IT and data storage,
multipliers are defined in
powers of 2 from 210 to
280, proceeding in
increments of ten orders
of magnitude (210 or
1,024).
But, how many is that in base 10?*
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Kilo
Mega
Giga
Tera
Exa
Peta
Zetta
= 1 thousand
= 1 million
= 1 billion
= 1 trillion
= 1 quadrillion
= 1 quintillion
= 1 sextillion
= 103
= 106
= 109
= 1012
= 1015
= 1018
= 1021
* By the “US short scale”: check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_large_numbers
Computer Memory and Processing
• In digital computers, the basic element of
information storage is the byte, an 8-bit
binary number.
• The basic storage element is a word, and is
usually 8, 16, 32 or 64 bits long, or 1, 2, 4,
or 8 bytes.
• It is common to measure the size of a
computer memory in terms of powers of 2,
• e.g.
• 1 Kilobyte = 210 = 1024 bytes.
Counting Bytes
• Kilobyte: 1 KB = 210 = 1024 bits ~ 1 x 103
• Megabyte: 1MB = 220 bits, or 1,048,576 bits
~ 1 x 106
• Gigabyte: 1GB = 230 bits = 1,073,741,824
bits
• Terabyte: 1TB = 240 bits = 1,099,511,627,776
bits
• Exabyte: 1 EB =250 bits =
1,125,899,906,842,624 bits ~ 1 x 1015
• Petabyte 1 PB = 260 bits =
1,152,921,504,606,846,976 bits ~ 1 x 1018
Bits and Bytes
• Transmission speeds invariably refer to bits
per second
• e.g. 1.544 Mbps
• File sizes refer to bytes
• e.g. 1 Megabyte of RAM = 1024 Kilobytes
or 1,048,576 bits; but communications
rarely, if ever, refers to bits at all.
The “Digital” Thing: What’s the Big
Idea, Anyway?
• “Digital” is a word (mis)used to describe
information (often called data) in discrete
form, and the subsequent processing of that
information,
as opposed to information that occurs in a
continuous, or “analog” form.