May 20, 2016
#1683: Digital Data
[Cueball and a White Hat are walking, Cueball holds both hands in front of him palms up.]
Cueball: The great thing about digital data is that it never degrades.
[They walk on in the next panel which shows jpeg compression artifacts, as if the image had been converted from png format to a lossy jpeg format.]
Cueball: Hard drives fail, of course, but their bits can be copied forever without loss.
[They continue walking in the third panel which is now clearly pixelated, the white is slightly discolored, and it contains part of the interface of some program, probably supposed to be a screen shot from a smartphone. At the bottom there are three blue buttons and one gray. the first is a blue “<” indicating back in a browser. Then a grayed out “>” that is not active. And then three more standard buttons in blue to the right of those two. The interface matches that of an iPhone running Safari in iOS 9 (or other versions with the same Safari UI (probably iOS 7-9))]
Cueball: Film degrades, paint cracks, but a copy of a century-old data file is identical to the original.
[Still walking, now Cueball holds out both arms to the sides, and finally White Hat replies. This panel is heavily pixelated and discolored and has a distorted aspect ratio. It contains a clear watermark of 9GAG (although difficult to read all letters in the end of the first word), even more ‘frame’ elements, and text above the image at the bottom (where the last letter is obscured by the frame of the image). There is also an internet address at the bottom left, but it is not readable except for the .tumblr.com ending. In this panel it is clear that it is a screen shot from a smart phone. The frame around the image obscure the very top of Cueball’s text and the half of the last letter in White Hat’s reply.]
Cueball: If humanity has a permanent record, we are the first generation in it.
White Hat: Amazing
Watermark: Screenshotpro 2
Top border: Verizon LTE 4:45 PM
Bottom text [slightly cut off]: 9GAG
Internet address at the bottom [nearly unintelligible]: [ama].tumblr.com