Preserving precious data, such as pictures and home videos, on CDs and DVDs could do more damage than good in the end.
That's what the French National Centre for Scientific Research has found out after testing the longevity of the portable media.
"We were surprised to see that the lifetime of discs, some of which were designed to last for centuries, actually rarely lasted longer than five to 10 years," said physicist Franck Laloe.
"In the most severe cases, which were happily quite rare, the data on some discs lasted just one year," he said.
I wrote about this a few years back when we discovered our "lifetime" CD-Rs were erasing themselves.
Archaeologists can still read Sumerian warehouse lists written thousands of years ago, but 100 years from now, the present-day world will be a blank spot in history as all our records are dissolving except for the monuments built to the vanity of the war lords.
On a more practical level, my anger is that we were all sold CD-Rs and CD-R drives on the promise that this was a "permanent" data storage solution. Yeah, the disks come with a pretty printed piece of paper known as a warranty, but that warranty does not recover your data. The reality is that there is no long-term data storage medium available to the public. We have been sold yet another lie by computer corporations, and our lives' work is written on the sand of a beach, waiting only the next tide to vanish from memory.