Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Pigeon Turns Out To Be Faster Than S. African Net

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the fast-and-pigeon-fast dept.

The Internet 406

inject_hotmail.com writes "The results are in: it's faster to send your data via an airborne carrier than it is through the pipes. As discussed Tuesday, a company in South Africa called Unlimited IT, frustrated by terribly slow Internet speeds, decided to prove their point by sending an actual homing pigeon with a "data card" strapped to its leg from one of their offices to another while at the same time uploading the same amount of data to the same destination via their ISPs data lines. The media outlet reporting this triumph said that it took the pigeon just over 1 hour to make the 80km/50mile flight, whereas it took over 2 hours to transfer just 4% of that data."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Pigeons RULE! (4, Funny)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 5 years ago | (#29376801)

Suck it, non-pigeons.

Re:Pigeons RULE! (0, Offtopic)

joaommp (685612) | more than 5 years ago | (#29376981)

Dear Sir

I'm contacting you in the name of the office of the Ministery of Transport, Pidgeons and Communications of South Africa. Recently, the former minister has been abducted by aliens and therefore considered Missing In Action. He has left a huge fortune that is to be placed in a bet in a pidgeon running against a telecom. For that, we come asking for your help, as we need a second bank account to transfer the money, since we are unable to do it directly because the minister used strange passwords. I kindly request your account number so we can the amount needed. In the process, you will receive 10% of the amount, making you a turkish millionaire.

In WEB we believe. Best regards.

(PS: yes, I know "turkish" and "South Africa" have nothing to do with each other.)

Re:Pigeons RULE! (4, Funny)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377047)

If you're asking for me to pay the up front fee, I will do so. Via avian carrier. A recent experiment shows that it's more effective than internet based communications.

Re:Pigeons RULE! (5, Funny)

dintech (998802) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377059)

For the love of God, just don't try to send any data throgh it's secure socket...

Re:Pigeons RULE! (1)

moon3 (1530265) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377243)

Pigeon broadband (only in Africa).
Just do not try to play Quake over it.

Re:Pigeons RULE! (0, Offtopic)

joaommp (685612) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377077)

These guys have no sense of humor. Since when making a joke about the context of the story is offtopic? Besides, pidgeons can carry 419 spam too.

But it still does not answer the question (3, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#29376811)

What's the speed of an unloaden African swallow?

Re:But it still does not answer the question (1)

Sinn3d (1594333) | more than 5 years ago | (#29376845)

30-40 mph .. oh wait thats the european swallow.

Re:But it still does not answer the question (1)

M8e (1008767) | more than 5 years ago | (#29376931)

The european swallows what?

Re:But it still does not answer the question (3, Funny)

plover (150551) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377033)

The european swallows what?

Loads.

Re:But it still does not answer the question (0, Offtopic)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377081)

The european swallows what?

Loads.

Your mom is European?

Re:But it still does not answer the question (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377247)

According to some of the films I've seen, she swallows ANYTHING...

Re:But it still does not answer the question (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29376883)

UnlAden

Re:But it still does not answer the question (2, Informative)

mokus000 (1491841) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377103)

What's the speed of an unloaden African swallow?

Replacing "speed" with "data rate" and making a few other substitutions, we have a question I find interesting. "What was the data rate of that particular laden African swallow?"

The story is missing an absolutely critical piece of info though - how much data there was. Without that knowledge, the story is pretty meaningless. If I transport 30 GB of data by thumb drive physically (whether by pigeon or car or whatever) in an hour, I can get it there far faster than my home cable modem. If it was 1 MB of data, it's a very different story.

Judging by the fact that the time "including download" to the destination system was about an hour longer than the time it took for the pigeon to fly, I'd say it very well could have been at least a few GB.

For sake of a wild-ass guess, giving, say, 20 min overhead for fumbling around with the data card, putting it on and off the pigeons leg, etc., and dividing the remaining time by two (1 transfer onto and 1 transfer off of the device), that puts each transfer at around 15-18 min. At 20 MB/sec, it could have been around 18 to 21 GB of data being transferred. That translates (under the aforementioned massive and barely justifiable set of assumptions) to about 2.3 to 2.8 megabytes per second moved by pigeon (20-ish GB moved in 7617 seconds).

I'm not going to waste (more) time analyzing sensitivity to changes in my assumptions, but at a guess I'd say the result is moderately sensitive to changes in both pigeon-to-computer transfer time and pigeon-to-computer data rates. In other words, take the numbers above with a pretty big grain of salt.

Re:But it still does not answer the question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29377177)

The story is missing an absolutely critical piece of info though - how much data there was. Without that knowledge, the story is pretty meaningless

" to see which can deliver 4GB of call centre data logs quickest over a distance of around 80km (50 miles)."

There. I did four seconds of research for you. To what address should I send the invoice?

Re:But it still does not answer the question (1)

mokus000 (1491841) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377207)

Maybe you missed the "Idle" tag. I'm *not* gonna research an "Idle" story. If they can't put it in the article, I'll make it up like everyone else will.

Re:But it still does not answer the question (1)

mokus000 (1491841) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377193)

Update: I see from elsewhere in the comments that the previous /. article had that info. It was a 4 GB stick, so assuming it had about 3900 MB of data, the data rate was about 512 kilobytes per second.

Re:But it still does not answer the question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29377253)

never underestimate the bandwidth of a station-wagon loaded with tapes running down the highways.

love, Tannenbaum

Old News (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29376817)

Re:Old News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29377173)

That's the specification. This was the implementation test case. There's a world of difference between saying it will working and showing it to work.

In defense of the cable... (1, Interesting)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 5 years ago | (#29376821)

A couple of important things were omitted that are important to the pigeon - in particular the time and money that went into training the bird to make that flight. They didn't exactly just reach out of their office window and grab any pigeon that happened to be nearby.

One would hope (4, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 5 years ago | (#29376839)

that training and money went into creating this network that cannot keep up with a pigeon.

Re:In defense of the cable... (5, Insightful)

kick6 (1081615) | more than 5 years ago | (#29376851)

A couple of important things were omitted that are important to the pigeon - in particular the time and money that went into training the bird to make that flight. They didn't exactly just reach out of their office window and grab any pigeon that happened to be nearby.

I don't think thats important at all. Its not like they reached out the window, and grabbed any phone line either. This was simply comparing quality of service between two provider's networks. Telekom lost.

Re:In defense of the cable... (1, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377223)

A couple of important things were omitted that are important to the pigeon - in particular the time and money that went into training the bird to make that flight. They didn't exactly just reach out of their office window and grab any pigeon that happened to be nearby.

I don't think thats important at all. Its not like they reached out the window, and grabbed any phone line either. This was simply comparing quality of service between two provider's networks. Telekom lost.

My point is that the time and money invested in the bird is not trivial. If the pigeon is to carry something to point B from point A, someone needs to deliver the pigeon from point B to point A in order for that to happen. And that person will then themselves return to point B (if they live or work at point B) or else they originated at point A (if they live or work there). Hence there is a round trip by car (or other vehicle) for someone between A and B that should be considered. That round trip took time and money for someone. And the bird likely wasn't free either.

Though nonetheless, the data transfer rates over cable were atrocious, as shown in the summary.

Re:In defense of the cable... (4, Informative)

Ma8thew (861741) | more than 5 years ago | (#29376901)

Homing pigeons are not trained. Their ability is innate [wikipedia.org] .

Re:In defense of the cable... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29376959)

Somehow, I don't think that flying from one specific Unlimited IT office to a specific other Unlimited IT office is an innate ability.

Re:In defense of the cable... (1)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377125)

Actually, it is. If they nest in one office, then returning to that office (from any starting location) is innate. Training helps with speed of transit, but they do it of their own accord. Of course, to make the trip again, they need to be boxed up and shipped back to the starting office.

Re:In defense of the cable... (3, Insightful)

Fleeced (585092) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377041)

Homing pigeons are not trained. Their ability is innate [wikipedia.org] .

Kind of true, but training helps, that's why pigeon racing is a sport - different training methods produce different results (though breeding helps too, of course). In war, they were often trained to find a "moving home"... an ability that is certainly needs training

Re:In defense of the cable... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29377227)

The innate ability mentioned is just the pigeons ability to return to it's home ('nest'). But these pigeons need to be domesticated so that they allow people to actually catch them and stuff the data card/ letters into the sheath/container that they carry. Training these is not a easy task or an overnight task!! (Training pigeons (ehow) [ehow.com]

Re:In defense of the cable... (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#29376927)

What a pigeon does is that it finds back its home. So what you usually do is breed some pigeons in your dovecote and give some to the people who need to send you messages. Not a lot of training is required but you need a way to deliver a pigeon to the sender of the message.

In defense of the pigeon (1)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | more than 5 years ago | (#29376985)

How about the time and money spent deplying this piece of crap network??

Besides, I'm sure you can just buy a carrier pigeon nowadays... this is not the 15th century anymore you know...

Re:In defense of the pigeon (1)

Darth Sdlavrot (1614139) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377145)

Besides, I'm sure you can just buy a carrier pigeon nowadays... this is not the 15th century anymore you know...

You're right, you can't, because they're extinct, and they're also not the same thing as Homing Pigeons.

Re:In defense of the cable... (1)

amn108 (1231606) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377089)

You are saying it as if if you had to snap a random group of IP packets you actually knew what to do with them? Infrastructure always has to be in place.

Re:In defense of the cable... (1)

dsginter (104154) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377119)

Not to mention that pigeon bittorrent implementation is a bit cumbersome.

Not a fair comparison (5, Funny)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 5 years ago | (#29376825)

Fine. So your data rate is higher. But the fact is, a carrier pigeon is only half-duplex, whereas your network connection, though slower, is full-duplex. I bet your carrier-pigeon vendor didn't talk about that part, did he?

Re:Not a fair comparison (5, Funny)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#29376897)

I bet your carrier-pigeon vendor didn't talk about that part, did he?

Not only that, but his assistant kept touching my wife's ass, and after he wrapped up his sales presentation and left, we noticed all the silverware was gone. I'd advise all to keep well away from these carrier pigeon vendors, even if they seem slick.

Re:Not a fair comparison (1)

ryanov (193048) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377085)

I wish I had mod points. It's not every day I can laugh before 9:00a.

Re:Not a fair comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29376991)

Perhaps half duplex, but for the cost (~70-90$ a 32Gig reusable) per packet it's quite perfect for them. I just hope they'll continu this way :)

Re:Not a fair comparison (2, Insightful)

mokus000 (1491841) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377117)

Huh? You can't send pigeons both ways at the same time? As far as I know, you can pipeline pigeons too. I guess if you're talking about the one pigeon it's not gonna "home" both ways, but one data packet doesn't go both ways on an electronic network either.

Cloud computing (5, Funny)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 5 years ago | (#29376827)

This give a new meaning to "cloud computing". Just look at the clouds to see the results coming in!

Re:Cloud computing (1)

ruiner13 (527499) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377255)

You only HOPE those are "results" coming in while looking up, with pigeons, you never know.

Take that! (5, Funny)

palemantle (1007299) | more than 5 years ago | (#29376833)

They forgot to mention that they also got the pigeon to stop and poop all over the Telkom bosses enroute.

Re:Take that! (4, Funny)

muffen (321442) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377079)

They forgot to mention that they also got the pigeon to stop and poop all over the Telkom bosses enroute.

It's the logfiles!

My professor used to say (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29376847)

Never underestimate the datarate of a truck loaded with CDs. The latency is a bitch, though.

Seems the same applies to pigeons with flash cards.

Re:My professor used to say (1)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377149)

Pfffttt... Snail based networking [boingboing.net] is the way to go... But yeah, the latency characteristics are even worse.

Latency (1)

tecnico.hitos (1490201) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377169)

So I guess I can't play Quake Live in it, am I right?

Re:My professor used to say (1)

zmnatz (1502127) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377197)

Funny my prof said the same thing

Pigeons may be fast but... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29376853)

Negros could carry a lot more weight. With twenty or thirty 1GB hard drives in a backpack, I'm sure one of them could better the pigeon quite easily.

Re:Pigeons may be fast but... (1)

esocid (946821) | more than 5 years ago | (#29376989)

Am I missing something? Who modded this bigotry informative? And who in that state of mind gets mod points?

Re:Pigeons may be fast but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29377105)

Am I missing something?

A sense of humor, maybe?

Re:Pigeons may be fast but... (1)

ryanov (193048) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377135)

I would except the gentleman with mod points was being ironic. Whoosh.

Re:Pigeons may be fast but... (1)

Stuckey (1613949) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377075)

Negros could carry a lot more weight. With twenty or thirty 1GB hard drives in a backpack, I'm sure one of them could better the pigeon quite easily.

Maybe, but the pigeon might be a little more reliable. At least it wouldn't think of stealing your data medium (i.e., hard drives, USB sticks, etc.) and selling them on the black market.

This is useless reporting (0, Troll)

azav (469988) | more than 5 years ago | (#29376863)

The size of the data file is not mentioned nor is the upload speed. Was the pigeon carrying a terabyte of information or 4K? Who knows? Incomplete and useless reporting.

Re:This is useless reporting (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#29376971)

I was 4 gigabyte on an USB key.

Re:This is useless reporting (2, Funny)

tom17 (659054) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377141)

No, *I* was 4 gigabyte on an USB key! And so was my wife.

Re:This is useless reporting (4, Informative)

Calydor (739835) | more than 5 years ago | (#29376975)

From the /. article also linked in the summary:

"Just a few days after this Slashdot article, South Africa's largest telecoms provider, Telkom (which has been taking flak for years for its shoddy and overpriced service), is being pitted against a homing pigeon to see which can deliver 4GB of call centre data logs quickest over a distance of around 80km (50 miles). According to the official website, the race is set to take place September 10."

You can calculate the speed and it's damning (5, Informative)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377215)

Actually, we know it was 4 GB and that in 2 hours the Telekom transferred only 4% of that data. Let's say approximately 4000 MB for ease of calculation. A whole 4% of that is 160 MB transferred in two hours.

Now bytes are not bits, and network speeds are usually specified in megabits per second. Allowing for handshake, headers, etc, and again going just for a rough ballpark figure, I'll take x10 for the bytes to bits conversion.

So it's 1600 megabits in 7200 seconds. 1600 / 7200 = 0.22 megabit / sec.

Honestly, even ADSL upload speeds in the western world tend to be better than that.

Underwater Fiber (4, Insightful)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 5 years ago | (#29376875)

From TFA:

Internet speed is expected to improve once a new 17,000 km underwater fiber optic cable linking southern and East Africa to other networks becomes operational

I thought this "contest" measured the speed of an internal data transfer within SA.

Re:Underwater Fiber (1)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 5 years ago | (#29376997)

More to the point: I'd like to see that pigeon deliver a single byte of information 17,000km away!

Re:Underwater Fiber (1)

Jamamala (983884) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377235)

Perhaps the network is congested with traffic going to other continents travelling across the same networks as used for this experiment. Once the fiber is installed then this international traffic will be routed more efficiently to the outside world, lowering network congestion and allowing higher speeds to transfers between peers in SA.

That was no ISP (2, Informative)

Darth Sdlavrot (1614139) | more than 5 years ago | (#29376887)

That was Telekom, the government owned telephone and internet semi-monopoly.

They don't have to compete.

40 years ago it was put your name on a list and wait up to five years to get a (wired) phone.

Now it's put your data on the wires and wait for it to get delivered.

But I wonder why I can get to SA web sites and search engines like brabys.co.za and ananzi.co.za fairly quickly.

Cleaning time? (1)

realsilly (186931) | more than 5 years ago | (#29376895)

But they didn't mention how long it took to clean off the pigeon droppings. Eeeewwwwww!!!!

Seacom (1)

nicc777 (614519) | more than 5 years ago | (#29376899)

For those who don't know about Seacom yet, look here [blogspot.com] for a quick intro video.

This is however still no silver bullet, as the local Telkom exchanges (where our 4MB lines plug in) can not yet handle higher speeds. Apparently they tested 8MB ADSL earlier and found some issues (I'm too lazy to goole it now...)

Its official... (4, Funny)

dreemernj (859414) | more than 5 years ago | (#29376903)

They've been Pigeowned.

Re:Its official... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29377035)

Okay, this comment is Funny. Someone please mod up

Re:Its official... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29377071)

No it isn't.

Not really all that surprising these days (5, Insightful)

Bicx (1042846) | more than 5 years ago | (#29376921)

with the size of USB drives you can buy for under $20, I would dare to say that the same experiment would probably have the same results over here in the states (at least with cable and DSL). If I strapped just an 8GB USB drive to a pigeon's leg and had it fly the same distance in around an hour, there's no way my internet connection could beat ~8GB/hr, or approximately 18Mbps (if I calculated correctly).

Re:Not really all that surprising these days (1)

delt0r (999393) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377147)

Well its not bad here. I just downloaded the slackware 13.0 iso (3.5GB) in 8 min from Switzerland to Austria. Faster than a pigeon.

Re:Not really all that surprising these days (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377225)

According to the story the ISP delivered only 4% of the data in the one hour the pigeon took to deliver all of it. That would be 720Kbps by your figures.

Never thought the day would come... (1)

muffen (321442) | more than 5 years ago | (#29376925)

... when I had to move this RFC [ietf.org] to the "useful RFC's" bookmark folder

Next up in news... (1)

castironpigeon (1056188) | more than 5 years ago | (#29376933)

ISPs hire snipers to defend themselves from homing pigeon carrier competition.

Well of course it's faster (4, Insightful)

jabjoe (1042100) | more than 5 years ago | (#29376937)

A trained pigeon with a large enough capacity USB stick stuck to it will be faster than the internet in almost any country. It scales great too, just add more pigeons. It's a pipe. The problem is the latency sucks. The post office (or in this case pigeon army) has unlimited bandwidth, but terrible latency. If you want to send some one a few blue rays' worth of data, do you email it? Then your fired. Just put them in the damn post, it will get there much faster.

Re:Well of course it's faster (3, Insightful)

Pulse_Instance (698417) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377231)

If you want to send some one a few blue rays' worth of data, do you email it? Then your fired. Just put them in the damn post, it will get there much faster.

If you email it most likely your email server rejects it, at that point you try FTP which sucks because the remote office around the world has a terrible link speed and your outgoing FTP is throttled so you suggest to your IT department that you set up bittorrent at the offices with fast connections because this data must be transferred weekly. Finally after 3 weeks of back and forth you settle for the post office because while everyone including your boss has come up with 5 better solutions than mail the IT guys refuse to implement any of them.

Tighten the darn string between the tin cans that' (1)

GarryFre (886347) | more than 5 years ago | (#29376941)

Tighten the darn string between the tin cans that's all they have to do!

But was it African or European? Oops, wrong skit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29376943)

But was it African or European? Oops, wrong skit.

Loss (3, Insightful)

Bibz (849958) | more than 5 years ago | (#29376945)

It's a nice demo of pigeon power, but did they think about pigeon packet loss ? I'm sure it'll be a little more important than cable packet loss

Re:Loss (2, Funny)

LaminatorX (410794) | more than 5 years ago | (#29376977)

You mean hawks?

Re:Loss (4, Funny)

muffen (321442) | more than 5 years ago | (#29376987)

>> but did they think about pigeon packet loss ?

The carriers have an intrinsic collision avoidance system, which increases availability.
Because IP only guarantees best effort delivery, loss of a carrier can be tolerated. With time, the carriers are self-regenerating. Audit trails are automatically generated, and can often be found on logs and cable trays.

Re:Loss (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29377107)

Wait a minute! Suppose *two* pigeons carried it together?

Pigeons Vs. The Clacks (3, Funny)

CapnYarrrrrr (1092907) | more than 5 years ago | (#29376953)

Excellent proof of concept by Lord Vetinari. I do hope Moist Von Lipwig gets this contract as well. Increased pigeon poo fertilizer along the main trunk lines should help agriculture in the region as well. Remind me to participate in the subsequent land-snatching.

Newegg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29376969)

Newegg lists a 4GB flash drive for $10 (I'm sure you can do better on specials and such). I very much doubt that many people could download 4GB in under an hour, or even two.

too bad animaniacs is off the air (4, Interesting)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377011)

Would have made a good premise for a Goodfeathers episode.

Ironic /. Quote (1)

Faizdog (243703) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377017)

Interestingly, the /. quote at the bottom of the page when I was reading this story was:

It's not against any religion to want to dispose of a pigeon. -- Tom Lehrer, "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park"

PTAM (2, Informative)

Rick.C (626083) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377023)

Back in the day (mid 1970s) when IBM appended "AM" (for Access Method) to all of their protocols, we had BTAM (Basic Telecommunications), TCAM (TeleCommunications), and VTAM (Virtual Telecommunications, which is still around today) to move data. It was widely acknowledged that when it came to raw bandwidth, even over long distances, PTAM (Pickup Truck Access Method) beat them all. You load up a pickup truck with hundreds or thousands of 200MB tapes and drive it across the country.

With 16GB micro SD cards, the statement holds true even today.

Ostriches (1)

GNUThomson (806789) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377025)

That's nice, but ostriches are far better for that purpose. They are robust, immune to falcon-in-the-middle attacks, does not generate ocassional unexpected drops and can carry much heavier traffic. The only downside is that they require bridges between separated domains.

fortune cookie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29377039)

Anybody else find it funny that the current quote at the end of the page reads:

It's not against any religion to want to dispose of a pigeon. -- Tom Lehrer, "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park"

So... (1)

ThoughtMonster (1602047) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377045)

...according to the numbers, the pigeon transferred about 4194304 kilobytes (for the sake of argument, the BBC article says it transferred a 4GB Memory Stick, which I'll assume was filled up and that it can actually hold that much of data) in 7617 seconds, which is about 550 kilobytes per second in normal transfer speed. Not an unreasonable speed, a decent 6Mbps connection should be able to do that much.

The most expensive ADSL program advertised by Telcom is a 4096/512kbps program, which I think (at least in Greece) would get you speeds up to ~400 kilobytes per second. In NORMAL conditions.

But that is download speed. And the test measured upload speed. So the real figure they should be testing against is about 50 kilobytes per second in upload speed (at least in Greece it does, if uploading with a 512kbps upstream connection).

Still, 4% completed in 2 hours, 16 minutes and 57 seconds is about 22 kilobytes per second upstream, which is about 50% lower than what it should be. Still a very large margin.

That is all.

Yes, if latency is not a factor (3, Insightful)

amn108 (1231606) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377051)

What about latency? Surely it is orders of magnitude larger with pigeons than with even worst possible fiber connections? We are talking minutes versus tens to hundreds of a second. Something anybody with knowledge on networks knows already. Then again, since for most IT companies bandwidth is more important than latency, I guess pigeons make more sense to them. In fact, that is what I would have used. Every time I had to send a gigabyte of media data back when I was in advertisement media business, I wish I had remembered about pigeons. So, for any case where latency is not a factor, pigeons rule. In all other cases however we need any kind of fiber.

Re:Yes, if latency is not a factor (4, Funny)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377143)

Well, yeah, you're not likely do do VoPTP (Voice over Pigeon Transfer Protocol) or play an online game using pigeons as packet carriers. The latency is bad. But this was a POC (Pigeon of Concept) that will lead to an RFC (Request Flying Carrier) and eventually it will go Beta (Birds Enabling Telecommunications Applications).

Re:Yes, if latency is not a factor (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377187)

play an online game using pigeons as packet carriers.

      You can if you're a falconer...

Re:Yes, if latency is not a factor (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377251)

They generally use motorbike couriers for that sort of thing. They can carry about 10TB or so of data. Time taken depends on traffic and distance.

Haha (2, Funny)

kieran (20691) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377055)

50 Win points (TM) to whoever tagged this "half-duplex"

Bollocks (1)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377099)

Apparently it took about 57 minutes to get the data off the card onto the recipient computer. So it was hardly a trivial amount of data. Maybe they confused mega bits with mega bytes like so many other ignorant lusers.

In a (very) rough calculation I worked out that if they sent an 8GB card, then their net connection was a little over 43Kbps. I don't think even SA has stuck to modem implemented internet, so I would say they were probably sending more than 8GB.

Never underestimate... (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377127)

... the bandwidth of a truck full of magtapes.

Brute force wins again (1)

zmnatz (1502127) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377153)

Sounds like a competition one of my professors told us about when I was at school. He said they had a competition at school about sending data from point A on campus to point B. I supposed the idea was to test compression algorithms or something on the data and who could send the most data. My professor said they just started copying files on to a bunch of hard drives. Went to the bar and had drinks while they copied. Then came back, put the hard drives in the car and drove to point B. They won but were disqualified because it wasn't in the spirit of the competition.

Just an improved version... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29377157)

Already been tried and tested....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IP_over_Avian_Carriers

Hawks (4, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377171)

A major source of packet loss...

The pigeon is faster? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29377185)

You lie!

African or European? (1)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 5 years ago | (#29377249)

You've got two empty halves of coconuts and you're bangin' 'em together!

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?