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Pigeons' Bandwidth Advantage Quantified 462

Posted by timothy
from the breed-knoppix-pigeons dept.
An anonymous reader submits "A well documented test took place in the north of Israel, in presence of several dozen Internet geeks and experts. During the test, 3 homing pigeons carried 4 GB (gigabytes) for 100 km distance, achieving, what apparently looks as pigeons' world record in data transfer to a given distance. Bandwidth achieved by the pigeons was 2.27 Mbps...Transferring a similar volume of information through a common uplink of ADSL line would have taken no less than 96 hours..."
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Pigeons' Bandwidth Advantage Quantified

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  • It begins... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stevenbdjr (539653) <steven@mrchuckles.net> on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @07:04PM (#8730920) Homepage

    Is it already April 1st somewhere?

  • by DrWhizBang (5333) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @07:17PM (#8731076) Homepage Journal
    I can throw 10,000 DVDs in my trunk, and drive 100km in an hour

    How long does it take you to load 10,000 DVDs in your trunk? Not to suggest that you still wouldn't beat the pigeons, but I don't think your time would be as good as you are hoping.

    Would that be considered "great bandwidth"?

    Yes, but that latency would not be considered so great.

    Besides, if they can use 3 pigeons, why not compare it to 3 DSL lines?

    You could, or you could compare one pigeon with dial-up. Or you could compare with an 18-wheeler instead of the trunk of your car.
    Lighten up - this is a great hack! And better than another SCO story.
  • Re:It begins... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mr. Sketch (111112) * <mister,sketch&gmail,com> on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @07:21PM (#8731122)
    Slashdot is on GMT and this was posted at 22:58 GMT and right now it's 23:22 GMT [timeanddate.com] so we still have a few more minutes before official April 1st as far as Slashdot is concerned. However, it is already April 1st where the story originated (Israel).
  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @07:26PM (#8731166)
    What this goes to show is that a cheap and somewhat reliable technology can sometimes put our high-tech stuff to shame when response time is not a factor.

    NetFlix is the most commonly cited example, how they can send a DVD over USPS faster than that information more often than not faster and cheaper than it could have been delivered over the Internet.

    Sometimes moving the data physically is better than moving the data by wire, and this should always be taken into account when designing an information system. The Internet's great, but it's not the solution to all data transfer needs.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @07:36PM (#8731286)
    Don't be such a tool. Travel time does matter given a finite number of pigeons and/or car-trunks. Once the car goes on its way, you can't put any more information out until it comes back.
  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @07:49PM (#8731411)
    For large datafiles. You load them onto harddrives and overnight them to the destination. For large amounts of data it is -by far- the fastest.
  • by EvanED (569694) <evanedNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @09:02PM (#8731958)
    If you were sending the pigeons back and forth, and you had a finite number of them, then doubling the distance would halve the bandwidth. The pipe capacity would actually stay the same no matter what the distance; you have the same number of pigeons.
  • Re:But... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Codifex Maximus (639) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @11:32PM (#8733333) Homepage
    I figure a Denial of Service for pigeon-net would be alot of other pigeons and birds flying into the destination birdcage.

    Squawk!
  • Re:wow... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Vegard (11855) on Thursday April 01, 2004 @05:58AM (#8735044)
    I pity those who have no time to do things that are fucking useless, from time to time.

    But, as an implementor of rfc1149 (I'm in the Bergen LUG), we saw this attitude quite a lot. There was basically only two kinds of feedback, those who GOT it, and those who said a variation of the above.

    The truth is, we had a lot of fun, we still have a lot of fun, and I still see references to our implementation all over. Moreover, it is being used to freshen up network lectures all over the world , and I once toyed with the idea of making a documentary about IP networking based on it. Many of the concepts serves as good analogies and real-live, not dull "electrical signals" examples that no-one understand.

    So, rfc1149 useless? No way!

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