What is SLOOT DIGITAL CODING SYSTEM? is this power of memory storing from future?


Romke Jan Bernhard Sloot (27 August 1945, Groningen – 11 July 1999, Nieuwegein) was a Dutch electronics engineer, who in 1995 claimed to have developed a revolutionary data sharing technique, the Sloot Digital Coding System, which could allegedly store a complete movie in 8 kilobytes of data — this is orders of magnitude greater compression than the best currently available technology as of 2019. He died suddenly on July 11, 1999 of a heart attack, just days before the conclusion of a contract to sell the invention. The full source code was never recovered, and the technique and claim has since never been reproduced or verified.

Sloot was born the youngest of three children. His father, a school headmaster, left his family quite soon after Sloot's birth. Sloot was enrolled at a Dutch technical school, but dropped out early to work at a radio station. After fulfilling mandatory military service, Sloot settled in Utrecht, Netherlands with his wife. He worked briefly for Philips Electronics in Eindhoven, Netherlands but left this job in 1978 after a year and a half, starting his next job in Groningen at an audio and video store. A few years later he moved to Nieuwegein where he started his own company repairing televisions and stereos.

In 1984, Sloot began focusing on computer technology such as the Philips P2000, Commodore 64, IBM PC XT, and AT. Sloot developed the idea of a countrywide repair service network called RepaBase with a database containing details on all repairs carried out. This concept was the motivation to develop alternative data storage techniques that would require significantly less space than traditional methods.

In 1995, Sloot claimed to have developed a data encoding technique that could store an entire feature film in only 8 kilobytes. For comparison, even with the most modern techniques, a very low-quality video file normally requires 10,000 times more storage space, and a higher quality video file could require 175,000 times more data.

Roel Pieper is quoted as saying (translated from Dutch):

"It is not about compression. Everyone is mistaken about that. The principle can be compared with a concept as Adobe-postscript, where sender and receiver know what kind of data recipes can be transferred, without the data itself actually being sent."In 1996, Sloot received an investment from colleague Jos van Rossum, a cigarette machine operator. The same year, Sloot and van Rossum were granted a 6-year Dutch patent for the Sloot Encoding System, naming Sloot as inventor and Van Rossum as patent owner.

Despite the apparent impossibility of the encoding system, there were investors who saw potential. In early 1999, Dutch investor Marcel Boekhoorn joined the group. In March 1999, the system was demonstrated to Roel Pieper, former CTO and board member of Philips. Pieper resigned from Philips in May 1999 and joined Sloot's company as CEO, which was re-branded as The Fifth Force, Inc. The story—including an account of a believable demonstration of the technology—is told in modest detail in Tom Perkins' 2007 book Valley Boy: The Education of Tom Perkins.

Perkins, the co-founder of the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, had agreed to invest in the technology when Sloot died. Perkins and Pieper would have proceeded after Sloot's death, but a key piece of the technology, a compiler stored on a floppy disk, had disappeared and, despite months of searching, was never recovered.

What's my opinion on this?

He talked more about encoding, not compression.
Not really. Call it what you want, but the claim was that you could fit many movies in the same space as one small one (by today's standards), presumably based on similar content shared across multiple movies. Suppose I record a movie of me walking through my city for an hour, and you record one of close-ups of surfers. I find it highly unlikely that you could find a non-trivial amount of duplicate frame content between the two.

I think the system was entirely within information theory laws. To see this, we look at a former invention of Sloot. As a TV-repair man he had to buy the schematics for the TV's he was working on. These schematics came on a CD or floppy disk. Sloot patented a device that had all the schematics of every TV already on it in a heavily compressed form. To "unlock" a schematic, one could call a phone number and receive a small keycode that one would enter. This would remove all the hassle of individual data carriers like CD's and floppies, which was a huge market at the time.

I believe the Sloot Digital Coding System was to be a setup-box for media and software. A commercial PirateBay of sorts. You would download (or bring in your device to a local shop) encrypted versions of the latest software and movies. Then you could simply call a number or buy a chip card to unlock a movie you wanted to see. A CD-I Netflix 10 years before Netflix.

This would have made the DVD market redundant. Like a Dolby Surround chip build into all sorts of electronics, so would this technology be licensed to other manufacturers.

The only (and very big) problem was that Jan Sloot did not get to really finish his update-code. How to efficiently and automatically update the database of these devices? A team could have probably worked around it, but Jan Sloot kept to himself and was enormously paranoid. He did not allow Faraday cage tests to rule out suitcase transmitters. He claimed they could be used to reverse engineer his simple invention.

The source-code for the device was never found. In the locker that PI's expected it to be, they found a John Grisham novel, and the only device ever opened after Sloot's death, contained a simple harddrive.

Jan Sloot's attic room was cleaned the day after he died. All his papers, chips and devices were taken. The widow of Jan Sloot and her son have no clue were it went.

Comment down below what you think about it....

Klok, Peter (September 20, 2004).
Bartels, Vladimir (2001). De Broncode Deel (Video Documentary).
Smit, Eric. Der SuperCode [The SuperCode] (in Dutch). ISBN 978-3431036329.

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