Actually, at 6:45AM by my calculations.
According to ZDNet’s Dan Farber, quoting an IBM whitepaper, by 2010, “the world’s information base will be doubling in size every 11 hours.”
Every 11 hours? That’s quite a statement. Let’s see what this means. The largest storage system in the universe is the universe. (Let that sink in for a moment). When I grew up, I was taught that there were approximately 10^79 electrons in the universe. Let’s use them all! 10^79 bits of storage, stored using the spin state of the electrons, in a giant quantum computer.
I have no idea how much data we will have on January 1st, 2010, so let’s assume, for sake of argument, that a virus wipes out all the data in the world on New Year’s Eve, and we start the year with only 1 bit of data, and it doubles every 11 hours. So after 22 hours, we have 2 bits of data, after 33 hours 4 bits, and then after almost two days we get our first byte (8 bits). This isn’t too bad, is it?
The equation is: 2^x=10^79. Solve for x, a simple exercise in logarithms, giving the answer 262.43. We can only double that many times before hitting the universal limit and we exhaust all of the storage in the entire universe on May 1st at 6:45AM. Of course, maybe we’ll just Zip it all up and last until dinner time?
I think I’ll call in sick that day.
But seriously, I wonder if this “every 11 days” figure is a typo? Doubling “every 11 months” would be easier to imagine and would give us to 2250.