So... you're dead. All your life's wisdom is embarrassingly obscured by the trinkets and private confessions you've slyly stuffed beneath the floor boards or onto DVD-Rs tagged by a short series of scrawled "X"s. Wouldn't it be nice to explain yourself to the generations to come? Well there's hope, and of course, a patent application to prevent anyone else from pursuing the idea. It's "immortal computing" as dubbed by the Microsoft patent application. Of course, the greatest obstacle to immortal computing is the whole idea of "immortal" or eternal technology. For example, imagine the puzzlement expressed by today's tweenie when handed an IBM 80 column punch card -- the data is right there but the person is oblivious to the means of retrieval. As such, Microsoft's patent goes all Carl Sagan by creating an immortal information storage system which "can contain easy to discover information about building a decoder or providing power and interpreting the information stored therein" -- get it, just like the primer from the movie Contact? Trying to get a specific read on what Microsoft is up to is well nigh impossible. Not only is the source a patent application meant to be as broadly interpreted as possible, but it's a research project to boot. One thing's for sure though, you'd be wise to wait for SP1 before entrusting your secrets to it in your video headstone.

[Via Tech Digest]

Read -- USPTO patent application
Read -- Seattle P-I (source)

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Microsoft files for 'immortal computing' patent