Friday, December 11, 2009

How big is a zettabyte?

How big is a zettabyte and why might you care? Calit2's Doug Ramsey recently wrote a story that looks at how much information Americans are taking in. It also explains just how big a zettabyte is and what zettabytes have to do with you. (The New York Times and many other outlets covered the story this week.)

"The average American consumes about 34 gigabytes of data and information each day — an increase of about 350 percent over nearly three decades — according to
a report published Wednesday by researchers at the University of California, San Diego," the NYTimes wrote.

In the Calit2 story
, Larry Smarr says:

"What is clear is that we consume orders of magnitude more information than can be stored on hard drives or transmitted over today's Internet," said Internet pioneer Larry Smarr, Director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) and a computer science professor at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. "Even small changes in how Americans consume information would have serious implications for network planners and require large-scale investments."

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