Salt: sure, you might
use it to cure meats for your latest solar-powered circumnavigation
. But hold onto your kippers, Magellan, because Singaporean scientists have found that sodium chloride -- ordinary table salt! -- can also dramatically increase storage capacity. You see, typical hard drives
have randomly-arranged magnetic grains, which allow data density of about 0.5 terabit per square inch. But a high-resolution e-beam lithography process, aided by our good friend NaCl, arranges the grains in a tighter, more orderly fashion, upping the density to 3.3 terabits per square inch. Called nanopatterning, this technique enables a 1TB drive to hold 6TB without additional platters; it also works with current manufacturing technology, meaning no expensive upgrades. If that's got you dreaming of a higher-capacity future, hit the source link for more glorious technical details. We'll warn you, though: the pictures of luscious, bee-stung lips stop here.