Via Engadget comes word of a new breakthrough from Hitachi aimed at ensuring data sticks around:

The data can be etched with a laser in three layers on the crystals at a density slightly higher than a CD, then read out with an optical microscope, meaning that future generations could restore the info without needing a proprietary drive.

Hitachi claims this new “quartz” storage can protect data for “hundreds of millions of years.” Wow.