How do files on Usenet “decay”?
March 18, 2013 11:56 AM Subscribe
Large binaries on Usenet are often distributed in pieces, with parity archives included to fix bitrot. Very old files often require substantial repairs, and sometimes can’t be salvaged. I’m curious about the actual mechanism by which this decay takes place: lossy copies? Encoding errors? Solar radiation? How many network hops and transfers do messages typically undergo from their pristine original state to too-far-gone? Why would a digital file “go bad”?