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174 newspapers a day?

Could you keep up with 174 newspapers a day?  A new study from the University of Southern California says that’s how much new information is sent via broadcast technology every day—for every person on the planet.  Each of us also communicates six 85-page newspapers worth of information.

“If I would store all this information in CD-ROMs, I could make a pile that goes from here to the moon and one quarter of the distance beyond,” says Martin Hilbert, who led the study.  Hilbert is a doctoral candidate at USC’s Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism.

As of 2007, each of us also had around 600,000 books’ worth of info stored in the world’s technological devices. All told, the stored data totaled 295 exabytes—or 29,500,000,000,000,000,000,000 pieces of information.  This represents about 80 times more information per person than was ever stored in the historic Library of Alexandria in Egypt, Hilbert told eWeek. The actual number for 2011 is likely to be much higher.

Each of these articles has a somewhat different slant on the study:

Welcome to the Information Age—174 newspapers a day (The Telegraph, London)

Digital world growing faster every year (ABC News, Australia)

Global storage capacity totals 295 exabytes (eWeek)

How much information is there in the world? (USC News)

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