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Friday, May 13, 2005
The Total Information Available In The World
Michael Lesk writes that the Web may be as large as the Library of congress. The Web has been growing 10-fold each year. Current estimates of the number of Internet users run in the tens of millions, perhaps 50 M, and this might grow to one billion; thus a factor of twenty is available by increasing the number of people on the Web. If assuming that people put more and more of their life online best estimated to be a factor of 20.This suggests that the amount of Ascii on the Web might increase to 800 terabytes. The 20-terabyte size of the Library of Congress is widely quoted is derived by assuming that LC has 20 million books and each requires 1 MB. Of course, LC has much other stuff besides printed text, and this other stuff would take much more space.
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