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Bit bucket is a term used to describe a logical space where lost, deleted or unrecoverable data goes. The term initially referred to the physical basket that contained the chads or removed pieces from the paper tape or paper cards that acted as programs for the earliest computers.
A bit bucket is typically an unidentifiable place where data that is lost in network transmission, data corruption or computer malfunctioning is stored. It was first used to refer to any data objects that were not where they were supposed to be. It is also used in bit shift operations to define the carry bits that are discarded by the computer in a shift operation. Bit bucket is also related to the recycle bin or trash can found in most operating systems, although the contents of a bit bucket generally represent unintentional data loss, whereas the recycle or trash bin is for the intentional deletion or removal of data.