This podcast explores the risks of humanity storing as much info as it is on digital formats. Of interesting note, when NASA turned off Voyager 1‘s camera to save on battery usage, no computer remained in existence which could decode the date from the satellite’s camera system.
It is possible for the cameras to be turned on, but it is not a priority for Voyager’s Interstellar Mission. After Voyager 1 took its last image (the “Solar System Family Portrait” in 1990), the cameras were turned off to save power and memory for the instruments expected to detect the new charged particle environment of interstellar space. Mission managers removed the software from both spacecraft that controls the camera. The computers on the ground that understand the software and analyze the images do not exist anymore.
From OnTheMedia’s website:
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On this week’s episode of On the Media, we’re engaging in some chillingly informed speculation: what would happen if we, as a species, lost access to our electronic records?