Reliable timestamping is one thing today's operating systems severely fall short on. I'm talking about the timestamp for when a file was originally created, modified, etc. with a built in mechanism to verify that the file is identical to the state it was at during the timestamp. The way things are today, timestamp information can be easily altered at will.
This technology would need the kind of reliability that would hold up in court. Today, if there was a dispute on the copyright of a written work, the main method of determining the first person to create the work would be to look for the first one to publish it in some form. Whereas through this timestamping technology it would be as simple as looking for the earlier timestamp. I want this core timestamp technology implemented in word processors, blogs, digital cameras, and everything with 1's and 0's under the sun to the point where someone can know without a doubt the timeline of a given piece of data. An implementation of a technology like this in post-Vista Windows or post-Leopard Mac OS would change computing in a significant way.
It may even be able to be extended to the point where we could find out at what exact time a certain word or letter was entered into a document. I can't think of any practical use for this at the moment, but with the exponential increase in cheap storage it would easily be technologically feasible in the near enough future.1 Aug 05 | +Permalink+ | Comments (7)