Scientists use tungsten and QR codes to rethink data storage for the long term

Most hard drives store data using magnetic properties, but unfortunately those are only good for about 10 years. This might be great for your status updates, but if you’re storing photos or government documents, your best bet for a long-term future might be archival paper (or stone and a chisel). But MIT Tech Review reports that scientists have figured a way to etch data onto sheets of tungsten and silicon nitride in the form of QR codes to store data for the theoretical long term — like a million years. Whether or not we’ll have software to decode it then is another problem altogether.

What food goes well with syrah? Ask your wine bottle

Wine sellers are sticking QR codes on bottles to help customers learn about unusual European wines and suggest food pairings. QR codes aren’t very popular in the U.S., but I like the idea of using tech to make food shopping and entree selection easier.

Visting Wales? Bring your phone to the first Wikipedia Town

Planning a trip to Wales anytime soon? If so, put the town of Monmouth on your itinerary and be sure to bring your phone. On May 19, Monmouth officially becomes the world’s first Wikipedia Town and you’ll need your handset with you for the full tour.

Forget QR codes: Your touchscreen can “read” this ink

Ever since the smartphone era began, companies have looked for ways to quickly get information from the offline product world onto the phone. Barcode scanning and QR codes work, but what if we could just use a printed solution readable by our phone’s touchscreen?