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Microsoft Data Storage Software

MyLifeBits to Store Every Moment of Your Life 219

Dixie_dean writes "Microsoft researchers are developing a way to enable you to capture every moment of your life and store it on your computer. The principal researcher with Microsoft's research arm, Gordon Bell, is developing a way for everyone to remember those special moments. 'The nine-year project, called MyLifeBits, has Bell supplementing his own memory by collecting as much information as he can about his life. He's trying to store a lifetime on his laptop. He's gone on to collect images of every Web page he's ever visited, television shows he's watched, recorded phone conversations, and images and audio from conference sessions, along with his e-mail and instant messages. Calculating that he saves about a gigabyte of information every month, he noted that he tries to only save photos of a megabyte or less. Bell figures one could store everything about his life, from start to finish, using a terabyte of storage." This is a project we've been talking about for a long time.
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MyLifeBits to Store Every Moment of Your Life

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 09, 2008 @07:37PM (#23019006)
    To forget is human. To be human is important.
  • by Justabit ( 651314 ) <> on Wednesday April 09, 2008 @07:38PM (#23019010)
    Just need to find a good editor for the film of my lifebits to play at my funeral and i"ll be happy.
    • by EmbeddedJanitor ( 597831 ) on Wednesday April 09, 2008 @08:35PM (#23019426)
      I predict a service selling clipart LifeBits to people who have really boring lives. It's called MyLifeStore. You upload a picture of your face and for $25 you can buy a LifeBit of you doing exciting stuff like bungy jumping while saving rain forests in the Amazon. Use it to overwrite that day when you just stayed at home and read the newspaper.
    • by urlgrey ( 798089 ) * on Wednesday April 09, 2008 @09:31PM (#23019812) Homepage
      I hate it when life imitates art like this. This sounds eerily like the Robin William film "The Final Cut" []

  • by Angst Badger ( 8636 ) on Wednesday April 09, 2008 @07:38PM (#23019014)
    Finally, technology has caught up with narcissism.
  • by SeeSp0tRun ( 1270464 ) on Wednesday April 09, 2008 @07:38PM (#23019020) Journal
    Just what we need...
    To remember what all the pr0n sites we visited when we were 15...
    at age 70.
    • Not to belittle your midget shemale porn that you watched at age 15, but let's not forget goatse, tubgirl, lemonparty, etc... ... No wait, we should forget those! shudders
    • by EdIII ( 1114411 ) *
      I was just thinking about that. Ron Jeremy is still alive, I would pay good money for a few of those bits...
  • by rsteele19 ( 150541 ) on Wednesday April 09, 2008 @07:40PM (#23019026) Homepage
    CAT: No, this isn't the one.
    LISTER: What isn't?
    CAT: I'm looking for this dream I had last month on the dream recorder.
      It was sensational.
    LISTER: What was it about?
    CAT: Me, three girls and a family-sized tub of banana yoghurt!
    RIMMER: You know, cats have a very strange attitude to women if you ask
    CAT: Say what, Goalpost Head?
    RIMMER: It's all sex, and no sense of settling down and having a long-
      term relationship.
    CAT: Hey, I want to settle down.  And as soon as I find the right small
      group of girls, the seven or eight women who are right for me, my
      wandering days are over, buddy.</pre>
    • Me, three girls and a family-sized tub of banana yoghurt!

      Dude! Now, I want to try this and it is your fault!

  • by Jamu ( 852752 ) on Wednesday April 09, 2008 @07:43PM (#23019070)
    What happens if he goes to watch a movie? If it were possible to store every moment of your life, and use it to augment your normal memory, would you need a change in the copyright laws?
    • The MAFIAA will be sending him his settlement letter soon enough I'd wager...
    • by gatzke ( 2977 )
      Exactly. Was there a Brinn vinette where the old man recorded a conversation with some kids and it got popular on the internet? This was a neat idea of shared video way back before youtube...

      I want to record my boring life in 1080p... That is about 10GB / HR, about 1 TB/week assuming you don't record yourself sleeping. 50 TB / year, a few Petabytes over a lifetime. 1 TB is now $200, so it could be done for $10k/year now.

  • Recursive? (Score:5, Funny)

    by MyNymWasTaken ( 879908 ) on Wednesday April 09, 2008 @07:43PM (#23019078)
    What about recording me watching a recording of me watching a recording of me watching ...?
  • by drydirt ( 1161445 ) on Wednesday April 09, 2008 @07:46PM (#23019098)
    ... Unless you're one of those perpetually smiling people only seen in corporate clip art, life tends to be full of more unpleasant, uncomfortable, and completely banal events than positive. I could not imagine anything worse than watching high school all over again. I would probably want to strangle myself for being such a horrible, awkward geek.

    Really... How many moments of your life do you really want to relive? And wouldn't re-watching your most pleasant memories knowing what you know now dilute just how pleasant those memories were?
    • I could not imagine anything worse than watching high school all over again

      Where did you get the impression that it is meant for that kind of thing?

  • by pembo13 ( 770295 ) on Wednesday April 09, 2008 @07:48PM (#23019108) Homepage
    Although, seeing the borg icon makes me doubtful about how long it will be optional for
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Cryacin ( 657549 )

      Although, seeing the borg icon makes me doubtful about how long it will be optional for
      I found that quite a profound statement, especially since right after reading it, I got a popup saying "Updates are ready to install"...
    • by Original Replica ( 908688 ) on Wednesday April 09, 2008 @08:48PM (#23019542) Journal
      Some aspects of this will probably remain optional, but as storage gets smaller and ID programs gain steam, the two are bound to converge. Maybe you won't be able to see photos of various events throughout your life but your: GPS location, website history, purchase history, known associates, employment record, legal history, medical records, etc. will all be recorded. Ten years from now it will all fit in your federal ID that you have to carry in order to travel or make any purchases. Regardless of who wins the next election, it will happen.
  • Not "every moment" (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jdigriz ( 676802 ) on Wednesday April 09, 2008 @07:51PM (#23019136)
    Sorry, but this is just journalistic hyperbole. It's not every moment of your life. If you were to store every moment of your life as HD video, it would consume far more than a TB. And that still leaves 3 other senses we haven't devised recorders or storage formats for. Not to mention high-resolution PET scans for internal state, brainwave records and who knows what else. This project is a cute scrapbook instead, not full-time, automagic, all-encompassing archiving of first-person experience. But yeah, we have a lot of storage and a person obsessed with scrapbooking minutiae could have a field-day.
    • Yeah, I had the same shock. My reaction was either they are using one hell of a compression method that they are keeping top-secret, or using some incredibly low quality files, or using some craptastic framerate. Shoot, Pirates of the Carabian shiped on two BluRay discs, and that is, what, about 100 gig of data (although I think the second disc was only a single layer), and you get like, what, less than a days worth of viewing material? Even in DivX or XVid low res quality, an hour long Dr Who episode is li
    • by grumbel ( 592662 )
      True a TB wouldn't be much good for HD video unless there is some really large jump in compression technique, however on the plus side that TB figure really isn't important, since the available storage we have starts to grow and grow. For as little as $100 I can buy a $500GB drive that can record a whole year, 24/7, of MP3 audio in good quality. That in turn means for as little as $10'000, giving todays prices, I can record *everything* I will ever hear in my whole life. Going from that to HD video is still
  • by s0litaire ( 1205168 ) * on Wednesday April 09, 2008 @07:54PM (#23019146)
    Google want you to store all your stuff on-line with them. Now Microsoft want to store your life off-line on your pc with them. Next thing you know your mobile provider will give you recording of all your phone calls you've ever made through them...(Well makes a change from them giving the recordings to the government!) :D
    • Nono, they'll charge you for offering you your recordings. Forwarding them to the government is a free bonus package you get anyway.
  • Do NOT want (Score:5, Funny)

    by unformed ( 225214 ) on Wednesday April 09, 2008 @07:55PM (#23019152)
    When I'm 53 years old and I'm carrying my grandkids on my lap, I want to be able tell them stories of the old days, like "You young whippersnappers think you have it tough? Back in my day, we couldn't just go out and buy unleaded gasoline. No sir! We had to scrape the lead out with our bare hands! And you think you have it tough with your complicated computers and what not. Back when I was a kid, we didn't even have computers to write with. We communicated entirely in ones and zeros ... written in PENCIL!

    Imagine what would happen if they could just look up the past and say "Ha ha, Grandma! You're lying!"

    Do not take away my golden years, dammit!
    • by garett_spencley ( 193892 ) on Wednesday April 09, 2008 @08:12PM (#23019286) Journal
      I once told my grandpa "c'mon man you old people seriously exaggerate with how bad you had it".

      Then he hit me with...

      "Yup 'cause having German snipers shooting at me on Omaha was just as much fun as tugging it to almost naked girls on Youtube".

      Shut me right up :\
    • So you think your "golden years" are when you're 53? What are you now, thirteen?
    • It's even worse. Instead of having to listen to you since you can guilttrap them with "You'll be sorry when I'm dead, since nobody can tell you that when I'm gone", they'll simply reply with something akin to "Doesn't matter if you're alive, if we should really be interested for some odd reason, we'll look it up".
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      "You young whippersnappers think you have it tough? Back in my day, we couldn't just go out and buy unleaded gasoline. No sir! We had to scrape the lead out with our bare hands!"

      What's gasoline, Grandma?
    • -Hear! Hear!


      -I said HEAR! HEAR!


      -Nevermind, grandpa.
  • Wait till he gets his first subpoena. I'd love to see a court have to go through all of that just to not find anything of value.
  • This takes the "get a life!" insult to a whole new measurable level. Soon geeks across the world will be able to win an internet forum/irc argument simply based on how much "life" they have, measured in GB or TB.

    But to make it a more useful measure, there should also be a way of adding "emotion" points to the total score (where users asign a level of emotion or fun to each event stored in their digitally stored lives) with a function such as {Adjusted true-life-years = life disk usage x total emotion poin

    • by luder ( 923306 ) *

      Soon geeks across the world will be able to win an internet forum/irc argument simply based on how much "life" they have, measured in GB or TB.
      Considering all that porn, I doubt TB is even enough...
  • by RobinH ( 124750 ) on Wednesday April 09, 2008 @08:05PM (#23019234) Homepage
    Here are some possible problems... you can have the files subpeona'd for court cases. How do you secure them against someone who wants to know anything about you? Will your employer demand you submit the recordings each day?

    I might be ok with it if the constitution was changed to make privacy an absolute right, and make the punishment for taking one of these files to be extremely severe.
  • I've already got the best storage medium possible for my life: my brain. Keeps not only video and audio, but also stores the other three senses.

    Who is this for? Those with Alzheimer's or amnesia?

    Interesting concept, but it seems to be more marketing fluff than a useful product.

    • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) *
      and the sooner we can make backups of it the better.

    • by _KiTA_ ( 241027 )

      I've already got the best storage medium possible for my life: my brain. Keeps not only video and audio, but also stores the other three senses.

      Who is this for? Those with Alzheimer's or amnesia?

      Interesting concept, but it seems to be more marketing fluff than a useful product.

      Or, for, you know, your great grandchildren. Or your widow. Or for some historian who finds your body 100 years after "The Great Incident".

      Or whatever.

      I'd love to be able to review things that I've forgotten later on, like trying to remember what exactly I was told at work, that one book I saw in passing at Borders.

    • Who is this for? Those with Alzheimer's or amnesia?

      Actually, that's a pretty intense area of research right now. We cohosted a related workshop [] last year with (you got it) Microsoft, and will likely do so again in the near future. The lab homepage [] is a bit rudimentary at present, but it should give you some idea of what exactly is going on.

      With the Baby Boomers approaching the "elderly" stage, is it surprising that there is a demand?

    • "Who is this for? Those with Alzheimer's or amnesia?"

      No, only narcissics.
      People who suffer from Alzheimer's usualy keep vivid memories of important past events long after they forgot how to manage the moment. Odds are that they will remember what they see in the archive but forgot that they already saw that archive 5 min ago.
      For people whith amnesia, it theorically could be used to remind the victim of the nature of the bounds he/she has with his/her relatives, but from that point, it is more important for
  • My Computer (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Wednesday April 09, 2008 @08:10PM (#23019268) Homepage Journal
    Anyone who ever saw that icon on their Windows desktop that says "My Computer", and picture Bill Gates saying it, not themselves, should think about giving Microsoft that kind of complete access to their entire lives.

    If the source were open, it were stored locally or encrypted at customer-selected third-party networked datacenters, this app could be wonderful, a lifesaver. But trust Microsoft with one's entire life? That sounds like putting it all in once place to be ruined or stolen.
    • by Fizzl ( 209397 )
      Thankfully, in Vista they are more open about it. There's no longer "My" computer or "My" documents, which originally , ofcourse was worded to give you the warm fuzzy feeling that they are you'r files.

      Now in Vista there's only "Computer", "Documents", "Pictures", "Music", etc.
  • by teasea ( 11940 ) <> on Wednesday April 09, 2008 @08:11PM (#23019278)
    I'm seeing more and more projects that simply have me saying, "why?"

    Seriously. I think filling my drives with random bits and seeing if there is anything readable would be more interesting.
  • This project is trivially achieved but the product is doomed to be uninteresting: "I spent all my life taking and organizing photos of myself".

    After all, the recording work must be recorded, and so must the recording work of the recording work, the recording work of the recording work of the recording work, ad infinitum. Get a life, microsoft.
  • by nick_davison ( 217681 ) on Wednesday April 09, 2008 @08:16PM (#23019320)
    "Honest baby! I'm not shooting home porn. It's a LifeBlog(tm). I film everything. No... Come back.... Come back!"

    Unless you're dating someone with the IQ of Paris Hilton... Or the exhibitionist streak of Paris Hilton... I see some problems here. And if you are dating Paris Hilton, good God man, you've got problems enough.
  • "My life has been the poem I would have writ, but I could not both live and utter it"

    Guess not anymore! Now how long until we are able to back up our brains into hard drives?

  • Ahhh once again MS changes the definition to suit their marketing needs. "Everything" now means a small selected subset of everything that they have chosen and decided is important. Does it record your mood? Does it record your vital signs? Does it record your dreams? Your aspirations? Your fears? No we're talking low res images of trivial crap like what web site you've visited. Shit I can do that now with File->Save As and get original resolution to boot. Would be nice to automate that with a firefox ex
  • how long before everyone is REQUIRED to wear one of these at all times so they can be checked on for terrorism or pedophilia 24x7x365? Microsoft can go die
  • I have a strange feeling that somebody is already documenting my life. Every page I visit, every step I make, every breath I take. And they never gonna let me down.

    All you need to do is just ask for your personal copy.
  • gods! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by apodyopsis ( 1048476 ) on Wednesday April 09, 2008 @08:39PM (#23019478)
    I would guess the people who would be interested in this would be reeaally boring.

    Ipso facto, their saved record/video/photos of their life would be reeally boring.

    I seem to remember reading once that almost nobody ever used their web browsers history, so I'm guess this will never get off the ground.

    Frankly I do not feel like I need my own black box, but I guess there will be some sound medical reasons why some people might want one (dementia?)
  • I have 36GB of digital photos and countless VHS-C and miniDV tapes lying around. I still can't decide on how to organize it.. I can't imagine having to figure out how to organize clips from my entire life....
  • WGA_LIFE has detected that your not authorized to view YOUR_LIFE; YOUR_LIFE failed Genuine Life Validation. Please contact Microsoft for a Genuine Life license fee to access YOUR_LIFE. Your access to YOUR_LIFE will fail in thirty days if not authorized via Microsoft Genuine Life Advantage.

    (EULA) YOUR_LIFE License is non-transferable to non Genuine Life supported platforms. Once you start YOUR_LIFE service with Microsoft or authorized 3rd parties, Microsoft owns YOUR_LIFE. Microsoft reserves the rights to up
  • That's all I have to say about anyone that can store then entirety of his life in one terabyte. Shit, that won't even store the copies of Windows that he has installed.

    Yes, I know that is not the kind of thing you save, but from what I've seen when people have digital space to store things, they collect more things. They never worry about space until they run out.

    "... oh, well then do you think I should get the 300GB drive?" says one little lady I know who just wants to have room for her 'stuff'. Yes, most
  • ... from Mircosoft's point of view: staring at a blue screen. Waiting for Vista to boot.
  • Bell figures one could store everything about his life, from start to finish, using a terabyte of storage.
    Hell, it would take more space than that just to record all the pron I've seen...
  • I already can replay the most embarrassing moments in my life in all the detail I care to muster, thanks.
  • Recording your life is easy. Making it easily searchable is the real technical challenge.

    "Show me that conversation from a few years ago when Kelly told the clown joke."
  • If only David Boies had been able to subpoena the MyLifeBits of all the Microsoft corporate management. Honestly, can't this crowd see fifteen minutes into the future????????
  • Nokia developed my idea into lifeblog or something, but here is how mine went: GPS Cellphone with camera and maybe video: You can then send pics/text/voice/video to your blog with your GPS coordinates showing up later when you released the security on them(in case your not home and people use it to rob you). Anyway, the storage is on a server computer instead of the cell phone, so you can basically store unlimited things on your storage place. Instead of getting every mundane detail of your life, you ge
  • Simon Illyan had one of these in Lois Bujold's Vorkosigan series. In Memories, it went bad due to a bio-weapon. The consequences were pretty well explored. In short, it's hard to function with random HD memories popping up at random moments. What's current, and what's history?
  • SciFi idea.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Datamonstar ( 845886 ) on Wednesday April 09, 2008 @10:00PM (#23019986)
    If a person using an app like this started seeing his future in it.
  • by stevejsmith ( 614145 ) on Wednesday April 09, 2008 @10:40PM (#23020190) Homepage
    Old news. The Romanian secret service was performing this service for free for most people with a university education. Now, you can apply to see the old secret service files of yourself and any of your close dead family members. Complete with transcripts of every word you utter in your own home (courtesy of bugged telephones), your radio and preferences (to make sure you weren't listening to Western subversive material), and transcripts of the twice in your life that you went out to a restaurant. And there was the added bonus of testimonials from your friends, with a special emphasis on the things that could later be used against you (extramarital affairs, unhealthy sexual preferences, subversive rhetoric, etc.).
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by stevejsmith ( 614145 )
      ...oh, not to mention records of your prostitute visits. (Prostitutes were subsidized by the government, as they were useful for gathering information.)
  • by Duncan Blackthorne ( 1095849 ) on Wednesday April 09, 2008 @11:13PM (#23020458)
    Why? So when someone steals your identity, they can steal your entire life history along with it? So the government can come along and seize it from you, tear it apart, and twist it into whatever foul thing they decide you should be guilty of? So every person who can get their hands on it can Monday morning quarterback every experience you've ever held dear and important decision you've ever made? Thanks, but no thanks. Somebody please round up all the people who think this is a good idea, put them up against a wall, and shoot them dead.
  • Just one question: unless you are Einstein or Galileo or Hitler, who cares about your life? Much better to be remembered by your good works than how you brushed your teeth in the morning every day for 90 years.
  • Microsoft has too much money, and Gordon Bell has *way* too much time. Look at what excesses of those two commodities has done for Paris Hilton.
  • Here's a link to a copy of the article in Personal Computer World magazine, November 1996 which describes the research work done by Chris Winter and others at British Telecom's Martlesham Heath research labs on such a device. []

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