Stellantis announced the all-new 2024 Fiat 500e, a tiny, affordable electric car that could be the perfect antidote to all those oversized, bloated electric SUVs and trucks that are coming out soon. The tiny EV will be available in North America in early 2024.
I at all times say that what you put up on the web is eternally.
That’s why it’s essential to guard your private data. Suppose, for instance, how dangerous it could be if a risqué picture you thought was secure in your pc ended up within the incorrect fingers. Faucet or click on for my finest recommendation on storing delicate private footage.
In fact, many data you may discover on-line aren’t fairly so personal. Faucet or click on for a trick to see what your private home, or another place, regarded like years in the past. It’s a enjoyable stroll down reminiscence lane.
Talking of your private home, your handle is linked to your title everywhere in the internet — alongside along with your age, cellular phone or landline quantity, members of the family’ names, each handle the place you lived, and much extra. It’s best to delete it, and I’ll present you ways.
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Folks search websites 101
Folks search websites earn cash by amassing and promoting private data. This repository can embody your title, handle, date of delivery, gender, marital standing, members of the family, social media profiles, training ranges, property data, monetary data, cellphone numbers, police data, employment data, and extra.
The websites scrape this data from native, state, and federal public data, together with courtroom data, social media, on-line boards, and different sources. Some additionally buy data from knowledge brokers.
Knowledge brokers are loosely regulated at finest, and there’s no legislation to stop them from amassing and promoting publicly obtainable data.
Anybody can seek for details about you: A jealous ex to seek out out the place you reside or a scammer gathering data to gasoline their nefarious deeds. The extra individuals learn about you, the extra injury they’ll do.
Make each Tuesday “Decide-Out Tuesday”
I began “Decide-Out” Tuesday on Komando.com after getting requests from readers asking the way to take away their private knowledge from individuals search websites. The issue is that the elimination steps will not be at all times simple to seek out on these websites.
Each Tuesday, I decide a individuals search website and inform you exactly the way to take away your private data. So that you just by no means miss one in every of these websites, take motion now.
Faucet or click on right here now to check out my free Tech Ideas e-newsletter to get every Decide-Out Tuesday article straight to your inbox.
Listed here are a couple of extra suggestions earlier than we get began. Do not pay to take away your data from any individuals search website. The positioning should present this course of without spending a dime.
Whereas eradicating your data from these websites, you have to be cautious which hyperlinks you click on. Buttons that seem like a part of the positioning could also be advertisements that lead you to a different website that requests fee.
The High 7 Websites to Take away Your Knowledge
It may possibly shortly get overwhelming attempting to do all seven in a single sitting. Do one a day for the following week. After which drop by my web site for each “Decide-Out Tuesday.”
1. Take away your self from BeenVerified
BeenVerified lets customers seek for property data in addition to private data. Right here’s the way to take away your knowledge:
Go to https://www.beenverified.com/app/optout/search.
Enter your first and final title and choose your state from the drop-down menu. Then hit the Search button.
Choose the right match from the search outcomes and click on Proceed to Decide-Out.
Fill in your e mail handle and click on Ship Verification Electronic mail.
Open the e-mail and click on the hyperlink inside. It will convey you to a affirmation web page.
Count on it to take a number of days to weeks earlier than your data vanishes.
Now you may go on to take away your property knowledge:
Go to https://www.beenverified.com/app/optout/address-search.
Enter your handle within the search field.
Click on Proceed subsequent to your matching end result.
Tick the field on the names you wish to take away from the document, then click on Decide-out Proprietor.
Fill in your e mail handle and click on Ship Verification Electronic mail.
Open the e-mail and click on the hyperlink inside. It will convey you to a affirmation web page.
If the steps aren’t working, contact email@example.com.
For extra in-depth directions on BeenVerified, together with screenshots for each step, faucet or click on right here.
2. Take away your self from Spokeo
Spokeo boasts a database of 12 billion data. Practically 20 million individuals go to Spokeo.com every month.
Observe these directions to opt-out of Spokeo:
Go to spokeo.com and enter your data to seek for your profile.
Refine your search by deciding on a state from the Browse Areas listing. Faucet All Filters to refine your search additional.
Faucet in your title to go to your profile web page and copy the URL.
Go to spokeo.com/optout.
Paste the URL within the Enter URL right here discipline.
Enter your e mail handle and full the Captcha.
Choose Take away this itemizing.
Verify your e mail for a message from Spokeo. Faucet or click on the hyperlink under this line: “To finish the elimination course of, please click on this URL or paste it into your browser.”
You’ll be taken to a web page with the message, “We’ve obtained your request to take away this itemizing.”
Give the positioning no less than per week to course of your elimination request.
When you want buyer assist, name Spokeo at 888-558-9004. Try the contact web page for extra methods to get in contact.
For extra in-depth directions on Spokeo, together with screenshots, faucet or click on right here.
3. Take away your self from MyLife
MyLife launched in 2008 after a merger between two different search websites: Reunion.com and Wink.com. The positioning boasts a Repute Rating characteristic, which assigns a quantity based mostly on the way you’re offered on-line to anybody who cares to look.
Right here’s the way to take away your self totally from the positioning.
Go to mylife.com and choose the Do Not Promote My Private Info button on the backside of the web page.
Fill within the required starred data.
Choose Discover URL of Repute Profile by final title after which choose the first letter of your final title.
You’ll need to undergo fairly a little bit of narrowing all the way down to get to a listing of profiles that match yours.
As soon as you discover your profile, copy the URL, and paste it into the sphere marked Enter the profile URL on the opt-out web page.
Whenever you’re completed, choose Decide Out on the backside of the shape.
A message seems that states your request can be processed inside 15 enterprise days.
When you want buyer assist, name 888-704-1900 or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
For extra in-depth directions on MyLife, together with screenshots, faucet or click on right here.
4. Take away your self from Intelius
Intelius is likely one of the extra outstanding knowledge brokers on the net and owns a number of individuals search websites corresponding to PeopleFinder, ZabaSearch, and US Search.
Here is the way to opt-out of Intelius:
Go to intelius.com/opt-out/submit.
Enter your first and final title, state of residence and e mail and choose Proceed.
Discover your title on the following web page and choose Take away This Document.
You’ll be despatched to a web page informing you that an e mail affirmation was despatched.
Open the message in your inbox and scan the knowledge earlier than hitting the Affirm Electronic mail button.
You’ll be taken to a closing affirmation web page.
Your data can be faraway from the Intelius database inside seven days.
When you need assistance, contact buyer assist at 888-245-1655 or ship a message to email@example.com.
For extra in-depth directions on Intelius, together with screenshots, faucet or click on right here.
5. Take away your self from StateRecords
StateRecords guarantees prompt entry to state, county, and municipal data. Eradicating your data from StateRecords is a simple course of:
Go to staterecords.org/optout.
Enter your title, state, and metropolis.
Mark the checkbox for all entries that match your data, then choose Take away Knowledge.
Enter your e mail handle on the following display screen and full the Captcha.
Choose Submit once you’re executed.
Verify your e mail for a message from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Choose Click on Right here to verify your elimination request.
You’ll be taken to a affirmation web page.
Wait a couple of days, search the positioning to your data, and repeat the method if crucial.
In case you have any points, contact StateRecords at 855-938-5042.
For extra in-depth directions on StateRecords, together with screenshots, faucet or click on right here.
6. Take away your self from On the spot Checkmate
On the spot Checkmate boasts greater than 1.4 billion searches on its web site. Checkmate, certainly.
Right here’s the way to erase your data from On the spot Checkmate.
Go to instantcheckmate.com/opt-out.
Fill in your title, metropolis and state and hit Search.
Choose the right match from the search outcomes and select Take away This Document. Repeat this course of for every match.
Enter your e mail handle, full the Captcha, and choose Ship Affirmation Electronic mail.
Open the affirmation e mail. Verify your spam/junk folders should you don’t see it. Then choose Affirm Decide-Out.
You’ll be taken to a affirmation display screen, and also you’re executed.
Your knowledge must be eliminated in 48 hours.
When you need assistance, contact buyer assist at 800-222-8985.
For extra in-depth directions on On the spot Checkmate, together with screenshots, faucet or click on right here.
7. Take away your self from PeekYou
PeekYou advertises its providers as a handy solution to discover your pals and kin. There are a few methods to take away your data from PeekYou:
Go to peekyou.com and enter your first and final title and state. Click on the search button.
You’ll get a listing of matches close to the highest of the web page. Click on on the match that applies to you.
On the following web page, click on Decide Out within the upper-right nook of the field containing your data. It’s grey and exhausting to see, but it surely’s there.
You’ll be taken to an opt-out type with the Distinctive ID for the profile you chose already stuffed in.
Enter your e mail handle and full the Captcha.
Learn and ensure the agreements and click on submit.
You’ll get an e mail with a affirmation hyperlink. Click on the hyperlink, and also you’ll be taken to a affirmation web page.
Alternatively, you may go to PeekYou’s homepage, scroll all the way down to the underside of the web page, and choose Do Not Promote My Private Info. From right here, you may enter your data and URLs linking to any matching profiles on the positioning. Use the above steps to finish your opt-out request.
If it is advisable to contact PeekYou, ship an e mail to email@example.com.
For extra in-depth directions on PeekYou, together with screenshots, faucet or click on right here.
Reminder: In case you have not already taken the step to get my free Tech Ideas Publication to make each Tuesday “Decide-Out Tuesday,” faucet or click on right here to enroll now when you’re fascinated about it.
5 WAYS TECH CAN HELP YOU FEEL SAFER AT HOME
Hold your tech-know going
My standard podcast is known as “Kim Komando At present.” It’s a stable half-hour of tech information, suggestions, and callers with tech questions such as you from everywhere in the nation. Seek for it wherever you get your podcasts. On your comfort, hit the hyperlink under for a latest episode.
Pay attention Now: Password supervisor hacked, smartwatch burns, Model New or Not True
On this enjoyable and informative episode, Samsung’s smartwatch is underneath hearth for reportedly burning wearers, a preferred password supervisor was hacked, and why you shouldn’t depend on Tile’s new QR code stickers to seek out your misplaced stuff. Plus, the way to ask Google to take away your private data from search outcomes, flip an previous PC right into a media server, and see if Kim can idiot a Komando listener on this week’s Model New or Not True.
Discover my podcast “Kim Komando At present” on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify or your favourite podcast participant.
Simply seek for my final title, “Komando.”
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What digital way of life questions do you’ve? Name Kim’s nationwide radio present and faucet or click on right here to seek out it in your native radio station.
You may take heed to or watch The Kim Komando Present in your cellphone, pill, tv or pc. Or faucet or click on right here for Kim’s free podcasts.
Copyright 2022, WestStar Multimedia Leisure. All rights reserved. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn a small fee from qualifying purchases. I solely advocate merchandise I consider in.
Study all the newest expertise on The Kim Komando Present, the nation’s largest weekend radio speak present. Kim takes calls and dispenses recommendation on at present’s digital way of life, from smartphones and tablets to on-line privateness and knowledge hacks.
For her every day suggestions, free newsletters and extra, go to her web site at Komando.com
The Fiat 500e is a tiny, affordable EV that’s only emission is classical music
The Fiat 500e is a great example of the kind of vehicle that makes a lot of sense for cities and maybe even some suburbs. It’s electric, so it won’t spew pollution into the air. It’s small, so it takes up less space and is, on balance, less dangerous to pedestrians, cyclists, and other people who share the road.
The Fiat 500e is a great example of the kind of vehicle that makes a lot of sense for cities and maybe even some suburbs
Starting at $34,095, the Fiat 500e will squeeze 149 miles of range out of a 42 kWh battery pack, which sounds paltry compared to many long-range EVs on the market today. But when you consider the type of person who might be interested in this EV, and the type of driving, the range estimate starts to make more sense.
What the Fiat 500e lacks in range and cargo space, it makes up for in charm. The 500e apparently includes a feature called the Acoustic Vehicle Alert System, which is the standard low-speed audio warning that’s required of all EVs — with an Italian twist. The low-speed audio alert is actually a classical composition called “The sound of 500,” written by Flavio Ibba and Marco Gualdi.
“The exclusive melody gives a taste of Italian culture during the first moments of every drive,” the company said.
The Fiat 500e won’t tear up the track, necessarily, with 117 horsepower and 162 lb. ft. of torque. The little EV can accelerate 0–60 mph in 8.5 seconds — not necessarily anything to write home about, but again, perfect for what we’re talking about here.
The price might also be questionable. I can already hear Tesla fans in the comments noting that a Model 3, with over 250 miles of range and a lot more space, can be had for around the same price. But Fiat is trying to make it worthwhile by tossing in a free Level 2 home charger from its subsidiary Free2Move.
The 500e can only accept a max of 85 kW of charging, which means no ultra-fast DC charging. That translates to 31 miles of range in five minutes, or 80 percent in 35 minutes.
The most important specification for the 500e is its weight: a skinny 3,000 lbs. Stellantis predicts that this makes it “the lightest passenger [battery electric vehicle] in the segment.” That makes the 500e around the same size as the discontinued BMW i3, which for a long time was the reining champ in lightweight EVs.
EVs are generally heavier than gas-powered vehicles because of added battery weight. Automakers are making this worse by prioritizing the heaviest segments like SUVs and trucks. Smaller, more efficient EVs could help address the bloat in the segment, as well as help address other crucial issues, like battery material scarcity.
The Fiat 500e will feature three drive modes: Normal, Range, and Sherpa, which maximizes energy efficiency by limiting the top speed to 50 mph and reducing power from 87 kWh to 57 kWh. Lightweight and low speed? Be still my beating heart.
Of course, the Fiat 500e is not for everyone. And given how SUV-and-truck-pilled American car buyers are these days, Stellantis will have its work cut out for it. But the Fiat 500e may arrive at the right time. Smart cars are hard to find these days, thanks to many automakers declining to sell them in North America.
But Fiat, with a parent company that makes more than enough revenue from the aforementioned truck and SUV segments, can afford to test the waters for small, lightweight EVs. Could it be that Americans, pummeled by increasingly menacing-looking trucks and bulletproof EVs, could be ready to go small again?
The Verge’s favorite holiday gifts under $100
Apple EarPods with USB-C
Here’s a fun fact: Apple’s wired earbuds still feature some of the best-sounding mics you can get for taking phone calls outside of a professional microphone. What’s more, they’re now available with one of three connectors — 3.5mm, Lightning, or USB-C — meaning your giftee will never have to worry about them dying midway through an important conversation.
Baboon to the Moon Fannypack
You don’t need to lug around a full-on backpack if all you plan to carry with you is ChapStick, a phone, and a few other everyday essentials. Thankfully, there are space-saving alternatives like the Baboon to the Moon Fannypack, which offers three liters of space and comes in a colorful, spill-proof design that’s as unmistakable as it is durable.
GuliKit KingKong 2 Pro Controller
GuliKit’s KingKong 2 Pro Controller looks a lot like Nintendo’s Pro controller, but its Hall effect sticks are drift-proof for better long-term reliability — something that’s especially handy for those that play their Nintendo Switch while docked. The gamepad offers a rubberized grip as well, and you can even rearrange the face buttons into an Xbox layout for playing on PC.
Although you can pick up a magnetic iPhone charger on Amazon for as little as $10, chances are it won’t be anywhere near as slick as Nomad’s latest MagSafe-compatible offering. The blacked-out charging stand offers slower 7.5W charging speeds, but it also features a glass panel and a sleek metal chassis that allows it to easily level up any desk setup.
REI Co-op Wallace Lake Flannel Shirt
The dream of the ’90s is alive at REI, apparently. The co-op’s handsome Wallace Lake Flannel is a hardy button-up that’s available in an assortment of retro-inspired patterns for both men and women, all of which exude lumberjack chic without ever requiring you to pick up a splitting maul and put in the actual work.
Amazfit Band 7
The number of premium features the Amazfit Band 7 offers for the price is kind of mind-boggling. For less than $50, you get a quality fitness tracker that nails the essentials while boasting abnormal heart rate notifications, stress tracking, and a nice OLED display. Add in 18 days of battery life, and it’s easy to see why it’s such a steal.
Tekton Everybit Tech Rescue Kit
For a paltry $25, Tekton’s versatile Everybit Tech Rescue Kit provides you with everything you need to tune up your PC, iPhone, controllers, and most other gadgets. The 46-piece screwdriver kit is chock-full of tools — including a tweezer, a metal spudger, a suction cup, and a smorgasbord of quality bits — all of which lower the threshold for at-home tinkering.
Echo Show 5 (third-gen)
Amazon’s third-gen Echo Show 5 is the ultimate bedside alarm clock. The 5.5-inch smart display is small enough that it won’t commandeer your entire nightstand, yet it still lets you easily catch up on the news, check the weather, and tap into whatever white noise lulls you to sleep best. Coqui frog sounds, anyone?
Epomaker TH80 Pro
The Epomaker TH80 is one of our favorite 75 percent mechanical keyboards. It’s fantastic to type on, it supports simultaneous Bluetooth connections, and it comes with hot-swappable switches that let you nail that perfect typing feel. The step-up Pro model is just as great, too, only it offers a slightly bigger battery and a few welcome functionality improvements.
Black & Decker Furbuster
High-end robovacs with auto-empty docks and AI obstacle avoidance are great and all, but sometimes a classic handheld is all you need. Black & Decker’s rechargeable Furbuster is a great option for picking up fur, dirt, and other debris, especially since it offers a surprising amount of suction and an extra-long crevice tool for hitting those hard-to-reach areas.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
Sony’s latest PlayStation 5 exclusive is all about dizzying cityscapes, emo angst, and the kind of web-slinging antics only Insomniac can conjure up. That is to say, it’s an excellent sequel, one that places you in control of not one but two spider-men as you take on Kraven, Venom, and a who’s who of classic Spider-Man villains. It’s superhero wish fulfillment at its finest.
Jabra Elite 4
It’s easy to overlook the Jabra Elite 4 given their sub-$100 competition — which is unfortunate given the wireless earbuds offer quite a lot for the money, including both ANC and multipoint. They’re just as reliable as the last-gen model, too, and unlike other Bluetooth buds, they aren’t locked into a single ecosystem.
Fujifilm Instax Mini 12
There’s something magical about holding a photo seconds after capturing it, which is why Fujifilm’s Instax Mini 12 rules. The terrific instant camera is incredibly easy to use — just point and shoot — making it a great option for capturing card-size photos of family, friends, and anyone else your giftee wants to unwillingly subject to their artistic pursuits.
UE Wonderboom 3
Nobody should be without a solid Bluetooth speaker, and the UE Wonderboom 3 remains an excellent option. The waterproof orb-shaped speaker is remarkably loud for its size, can last up to 14 hours on a single charge, and can pair with two Bluetooth devices simultaneously. The fact that it actually floats is just a plus.
Lego Piranha Plant
Over the last few years, Lego has launched a slew of clever botanical sets for adults that can add a touch of color to any room with absolutely no maintenance. The Lego Super Mario Piranha Plant is kind of like that, only it’s a posable 540-piece replica of one of Mario’s iconic baddies instead of a Welsh poppy or your run-of-the-mill larkspur.
Govee LED Strip Light M1 Matter
If you’re hoping to brighten a drab staircase to liven up your holiday party with some colorful lighting that can sync to the latest Bad Bunny track, Govee’s LED Strip Light M1 can provide. The tunable, ultrabright LED lights are also Matter-ready, so you can use them with Amazon Alexa, Apple Home, and any other Matter-compatible platform.
L.L.Bean Wicked Good Moccasins
Frigid days call for more than a decent pair of wool socks and a warm beverage. L.L.Bean’s sheepskin-lined moccasins live up to their name, though, providing something supremely cozy to slip into when the temperatures start to dip. The treaded mocs also come in several cuts and colors, ensuring they won’t look out of touch with the rest of your giftee’s wardrobe.
Apple’s AirTags are becoming as ubiquitous as a set of keys — and for good reason. The handy ultra wideband item trackers are our go-to recommendation for Apple users thanks to their user-replaceable batteries and ability to tap into Apple’s extensive Find My network, which lets you and up to five others keep tabs on whatever belongings you can’t afford to live without.
Secretly Society subscription
Assuming your loved one owns a turntable, a Secretly Society subscription is a more tangible way to give the gift of music. Each month they’ll receive a limited edition LP from one Secretly’s superb collection of labels (Dead Oceans, JagJaguwar, etc.), providing them with a new Angel Olsen, Slowdive, or Jason Molina LP to spin when they get tired of the ol’ Spotify algorithm.
Amazon Kindle (2022)
If your giftee is a big reader, Amazon’s newest entry-level Kindle is the e-reader to buy. It has USB-C charging and a screen that’s as sharp as the display on the latest Kindle Paperwhite, yet it comes in a smaller, more affordable package. It even comes standard with 16GB of storage, which is more than enough for the average person’s reading collection.
Keith Haring Colorful Chess Set
When a board game has been around for as long as chess, style updates aren’t just inevitable, they’re welcome. MoMA’s gorgeous Keith Haring-inspired set features colorful humans, barking dogs, and other iconographic pieces adapted from some of the artist’s most famous works, all lacquered and offset by Haring’s trademark black outlines.
Backbone One mobile controller (USB-C)
The PlayStation Portal may be the hot new PS5 accessory, but the Backbone One remains a more versatile gadget for playing mobile games and tapping into Xbox Game Pass and Remote Play. Not only does the mobile controller accommodate both Android and Apple devices, depending on the model, but it also features a 3.5mm audio jack, dual analog sticks, and its own software for capturing screenshots.
A Psalm for the Wild-Built
BookTok recs can be hit or miss, but the first book in Becky Chambers’ cozy Monk & Robot series is a certified hit if there ever was one. It’s a surprisingly philosophical and optimistic sci-fi novella as told through a series of quiet conversations between a wandering monk and a sentient robot who can’t help but ponder life’s biggest questions.
Ring Pet Tag
The Ring Pet Tag doesn’t feature GPS tracking, Bluetooth, or any newfangled features. What it does offer is a simple QR code, which lets any good Samaritan who happens upon your pet start a two-way conversation with you or look up any relevant health info you want to provide on your furry friend. It even shields your personal info in the process, something traditional dog tags don’t allow.
There’s something special about gifting an analog game like Kendama in the age of Fortnite — even more so when you consider that the Japanese toy has changed little since it was first developed hundreds of years ago. The cup-and-ball game remains easy to learn but difficult to master, too, making it a good fit for anyone looking to hone a skill over time.
EWA The New MagOne
There are plenty of PopSockets alternatives out there, but we’ve found EWA’s The New MagOne to offer the perfect blend of form and function. It’s a relatively thin accessory with a built-in kickstand and a loop for your finger, yet it’s also compatible with Apple’s MagSafe tech so you don’t have to worry about tossing it on an iPhone charger.
Red/White Verge Waffle Beanie
It’s time we all admit that we’re living in the golden age of honeycomb weaves. These days, nearly every piece of clothing you can imagine is available in some sort of waffle fabric, including The Verge’s latest beanie. It’s a great little skullcap, if we do say so ourselves, with an excellent logo and a solid warmth-to-weight ratio.
Mpowerd Luci Solar String Lights: Color
Mpowerd’s solar-powered string lights are perfect if your giftee is brave enough to camp in the fall or host a backyard shindig (weather permitting). Not only can the 18-foot string dish out six different colors and last up to 15 hours on a single charge but it also doubles as a portable charger that will let your loved one top off their phone as needed.
The Diversity of Life
It’s hard to scoff at a proper collector’s edition. The Folio take on The Diversity of Life is a great case in point, one that adds an extra level of gravitas to E.O. Wilson’s thoughtful examination of the origins of biodiversity and the dangers humans pose to it. It’s loaded with stunning illustrations and blocked in iridescent foil, rendering it a great fit for any budding naturalist.
Pinecil portable soldering iron
If someone you know still uses a basic soldering iron that looks like it was bought at RadioShack to repair their electronics, it’s time for an upgrade. Luckily, the Pinecil is a fairly inexpensive gadget that heats up in seconds, has a tiny OLED display for dialing in your exact temperature, and can be powered using either a DC adapter or USB-C.
No one has time for Monopoly. Fortunately, the fast-paced Monopoly Deal takes the best parts of everyone’s favorite capitalist-driven board game and distills the mechanics down to the bare fundamentals. There are still properties to be bought and plenty of backstabbing to be had, though, this time around, the entire thing takes 15 minutes.
Le Creuset London Mugs (six-pack)
Le Creuset’s Dutch oven has been a cast iron icon for so long that it’s easy to dismiss everything else the French cookware giant has done since. That’s a shame considering the company’s hefty stoneware mugs are just as classic and far more affordable, which is probably why they’ve made the wish list of several Verge staffers this year.
This $1,000 card can store a message in DNA
DNA data storage might sound like a far-off solution. But a startup called Biomemory is bringing it a little closer to reality with the release of new DNA cards that anyone can purchase — if you have $1,000 to blow.
DNA has emerged as a theoretical alternative to hard drives, SSDs, and other forms of digital data storage, namely because of its impressive lifespan. Science estimates the technology could potentially last hundreds of thousands of years if stored in a cool, dry environment. That’s a heck of a lot longer than the lifespan of your average hard drive, which typically tops out at around five years.
Biomemory’s DNA cards promise a “minimum” lifespan of 150 years. The $1,000 price tag includes two identical cards, each of which comes with one kilobyte of storage. That amounts to around the length of a short email, according to Wired’s profile of the company, so you can’t expect to store a trove of photos, videos, and documents with the card just yet. Still, it’s the closest we’ve seen to making DNA storage available to consumers.
This storage system works by converting digital information to the elements that make up DNA: adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G), and thymine (T). You can see how this might work on the “DNA Translate” feature at the bottom of this Biomemory webpage, which shows how a line of text might be converted to a string of A’s, C’s, G’s, and T’s.
After the encoding process, Biomemory creates a unique strand of DNA by “chemically synthesizing it base by base to match the desired sequence” — a process that takes about eight hours for one kilobyte of data, according to Wired. From there, Biomemory dries out the data and sticks it on the circular chip on its DNA card, which Wired says is sealed to keep out oxygen.
We’re still pretty far away from capitalizing on all the possibilities DNA storage has to offer
When you’re ready to retrieve the data, you must send in one of the two DNA cards to Biomemory’s partners at Eurofins Genomics. You’ll then receive your string of A’s, C’s, G’s, and T’s by email that you can decode using Biomemory’s DNA translation feature. You won’t get the card back after the data has been decoded, which is why you get a copy. The card is effectively useless if you don’t send it to the lab (or happen to have a DNA sequencer on hand).
“After years of talk about the potential of molecular computing, we are incredibly proud to bring the first DNA data storage product to market, that not only pushes the boundaries of innovation but also aligns with our commitment to environmental sustainability and efficiency,” Biomemory CEO Erfane Arwani says in a statement. You can sign up for Biomemory’s waitlist now, with orders expected to ship in January.
We’re still pretty far away from capitalizing on all the possibilities DNA storage has to offer. As estimated in this report from Science, one gram of DNA can hold a whopping 215 petabytes — or around 215 million gigabytes — in a container that has roughly the same size and weight as two pickup trucks. But until we move past needing hours of lab work on both ends, DNA storage will likely be stuck as an experiment storing music videos, short clips, photos, or small lines of text.
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