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!

Race Pits Pigeons Against Poor UK Rural Broadband

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the heard-this-before dept.

The Internet 298

Mark.JUK writes "Rural internet access in the United Kingdom, like many other countries around the world, is slow. So slow in fact that Trefor Davies, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at business ISP Timico, has decided to pit a typical rural broadband connection against homing pigeons (with attached memory cards) to see which can get 200MB of HD video data across an 84 mile trip the fastest. Meanwhile a farmer will attempt to upload the same video file to YouTube before the pigeons can complete their journey. The comical stunt is designed to raise awareness of the often woeful broadband speed experienced by many people who live in remote and rural parts of their country. However Davies does admit that 'there isn't a benchmark for pigeon data speeds,' yet."

cancel ×

298 comments

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

African or European? (5, Funny)

paintballer1087 (910920) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598742)

Are these African or European pigeons?

Re:African or European? (5, Informative)

SMoynihan (1647997) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598934)

European. The African pigeon [slashdot.org] beat broadband [slashdot.org] last year. Early pigeon protocol (PP) trials were also spearheaded in the States [slashdot.org] last year.

Re:African or European? (1)

grey1 (103890) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599040)

uprate the parent - it's got pointers to the benchmark (i.e. the trial in S. Africa last year) for pigeon data speeds, in contrast to the claims of the story.

Re:African or European? (4, Funny)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599398)

To be fair, Pigeon Protocol may be high bandwidth, but the latency is terrible. And Gods forbid you miss a packet.

Re:African or European? (1)

Blue Stone (582566) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599008)

And how are they dealing with the 100% Peregrine Falcon packet loss problem?

Re:African or European? (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599084)

With frickin' laser beams...what else?

Re:African or European? (0, Offtopic)

paintballer1087 (910920) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599160)

Hmm, redundant on the first post... How does that work?

Re:African or European? (0, Offtopic)

equex (747231) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599222)

Either because the pun in question concerns swallows not pigeons, or pun is just too obvious wich is my bet. How a Monthy Python joke can be redundant is beyond me though.

Re:African or European? (0, Troll)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599292)

Wow, what idiots got mod points today? A humorous on-topic post gets modded "redundant"? WTF? OK, I'm doing my part here, waste your mod points on me, because MY COMMENT IS REDUNDANT AND OFFTOPIC. Please waste your mod points modding me down; my karma remains excellent and I can easily stand a downmod.

Hopefully it won't be the people that mod a good comment down that waste their points here.

BTW, someone please mod the parent "funny". His post is on topic, NOT redundant, and smile-invoking. Oh, and if you didn't get the joke you don't belong here and you REALLY should not have gotten mod points.

Ping times? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33598748)

I bet they're lousy for gaming.

Re:Ping times? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33598990)

Well sure, since gaming relies on low latency. Pigeons have ridiculously high latency, but they also have amazingly large bandwidth since they can carry flash memory devices of many gigabytes. You may need to send two copies though as sometimes a falcon causes a "packet" to get misrouted.

It won't take long. (1)

Kid Zero (4866) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598756)

Given Slashdot, there'll be two complete and competing standards by the end of the day.

Re:It won't take long. (3, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599282)

And one proprietary one that everyone in the real world is using because unlike the free one, you don't need an honours degree in computer science just to set the thing up.

What is your name? What is your quest? (4, Funny)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598760)

What is the bandwidth capacity of an unladen swallow?

Re:What is your name? What is your quest? (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598816)

African or European?

Re:What is your name? What is your quest? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33598854)

Everyone knows an African "swallow" is roughly nine inches long and two inches wide.

Re:What is your name? What is your quest? (1)

Lucky75 (1265142) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599164)

What? I don't know that!

Re:What is your name? What is your quest? (4, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598910)

I'm guessing zero.

Re:What is your name? What is your quest? (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598998)

Right. He should have said otherwise unladen.

Re:What is your name? What is your quest? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33598940)

What is the bandwidth capacity of an unladen swallow?

I assume in this case the answer to the next question is "European".

Re:What is your name? What is your quest? (3, Interesting)

kieran (20691) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599002)

1 bit per swallow, unless being painted/dyed doesn't count as being laden.

Re:What is your name? What is your quest? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33599096)

Or about 40 million sperm...

Wait, not that kind of swallow?

oblig. Tanenbaum (3, Insightful)

martas (1439879) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599088)

Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway. —Tanenbaum, Andrew S. (1996). Computer Networks. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. pp. 83. ISBN 0-13-349945-6.

Re:oblig. Tanenbaum (1)

riegel (980896) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599366)

hurtling

?

Re:oblig. Tanenbaum (1)

thepike (1781582) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599464)

From Merriam-Webster: hurtle (hurtling, hurtled): verb: to move rapidly or forcefully

Obligatory IP Over Avian Carriers RFC (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33598766)

http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc1149.txt

Re:Obligatory IP Over Avian Carriers RFC (4, Informative)

hesiod (111176) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598788)

I Went looking for that, and found this instead [wordpress.com] .

"Bandwidth achieved by the pigeons was 2.27 Mbps."

Re:Obligatory IP Over Avian Carriers RFC (3, Funny)

hesiod (111176) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598866)

Oh, and another [wordpress.com] implementation of carrier pigeon data transfer, now in South Africa. Kinda blows that "there isn't a benchmark for pigeon data speeds" statement away...

Re:Obligatory IP Over Avian Carriers RFC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33598906)

which Slashdot covered here:
http://idle.slashdot.org/story/09/09/08/1414248/SAs-Largest-Telecomms-Provider-vs-a-Pigeon?art_pos=1 [slashdot.org]

and has pretty much nothing to do with IP over Carrier Pigeon since putting data onto an SD card makes no use of the IP protocol. These tests are kind of stupid, I mean I could load a bunch of two terabyte harddrives into a backpack and claim that I can walk faster than my internet connection (which is among the fastest consumer plans in the country), but that doesn't really mean anything.

Re:Obligatory IP Over Avian Carriers RFC (2, Funny)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599476)

It's a proof of concept. Once we have pigeon packets proved out we can give them proper packet headings and implement IP on them. We'll just have to modify the protocol standards to account for really *large* packets (16GB? 32? How big are these little drives getting these days?). Also, have you considered purchasing a sense of humor? :-)

Re:Obligatory IP Over Avian Carriers RFC (1)

thepike (1781582) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599492)

It's not really IP over pigeon, it's just data movement.

But if you coupled your pigeon distributer to a phone so you could request data and they could send it (or vice-versa) it would kind of work out, and definitely be faster than poor internet for large files. You could also just fly the pigeons back and forth, but then your requests would take a lot of time too.

And keep in mind, as data density increases, so will the amount the pigeon can carry and thus the "speed" of the pigeon network. It might actually be faster than people think.

Also it's still just a publicity stunt.

Re:Obligatory IP Over Avian Carriers RFC (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598894)

I think you want this one [ietf.org] for serious usage.

Re:Obligatory IP Over Avian Carriers RFC (1)

pacinpm (631330) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599048)

Yeah, but it's another OSI layer. I wonder what is a transfer using pidgeons over pidgeons.

Re:Obligatory IP Over Avian Carriers RFC (1)

FinchWorld (845331) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599092)

I have attempted to expand this field of research here [slashdot.org] .

dont even bother in canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33599480)

pigeons will win every time

You know life is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33598770)

When your biggest worry is not getting TV RIGHT NOW!!!! Jesus, this is what passes for important stuff that matters these days?

Re:You know life is good (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33598818)

When you hear compressed video data, you hear TV. When I hear it, I hear Angiography. When my wife hears it, she hears international video-conference. Not all of us lame around watching TV all the time. But I guess since that's what you do, it's your first response.

Re:You know life is good (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33599280)

Yes because SD cards tied to a fucking pigeon would be very useful for angiography or video conferencing. Also, it's a bit odd that you think angiography when you hear compressed video, I would feel sorry for your patients if I wasn't pretty sure you're just another douchbag on the internet pretending to be a doctor.

No standard for pigeon data speeds? (4, Funny)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598776)

There's an RFC [faqs.org] for it!

Re:No standard for pigeon data speeds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33598826)

I'm surprised Cmdr Taco didn't discuss RFC1149 in the summary. I expected better.

Re:No standard for pigeon data speeds? (1)

xded (1046894) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599104)

The problem is that there's also an implementation [linux.no] .

Pigeon bandwidth is high (2, Informative)

dk90406 (797452) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598790)

Latency sucks. It is simple to device tests like these to show bandwidth is limited. Heck, just load a truck with LTO tapes and ship them a few hundred miles to beat even very fast connections.

Re:Pigeon bandwidth is high (1)

hesiod (111176) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598828)

With tapes-via-station wagon (as your idea was originally stated), though, you have to consider the load time of the data onto tape and tapes into the vehicle, and the time to get the data back off of the tapes.

Re:Pigeon bandwidth is high (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599320)

The LTO spec is fast enough that you need a reasonably quick disk array to keep up with one single tape drive. That really isn't a limiting factor when you compare it to broadband.

Re:Pigeon bandwidth is high (2, Funny)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599018)

Here in the South Eastern US, latency is about to go down but packet loss will go up since Dove season is starting....

A significant upgrade from RFC1149 (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598796)

Although CP/IP has been implemented several times, amazingly nobody thought to improve bandwidth through the use of memory cards. I assume a new standard will be put out to take advantage of this innovation.

Re:A significant upgrade from RFC1149 (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599296)

Although CP/IP has been implemented several times, amazingly nobody thought to improve bandwidth through the use of memory cards. I assume a new standard will be put out to take advantage of this innovation.

Yeah, this isn't actually CP/IP since it's not using any of the IP protocols and not breaking stuff up into packets and the like.

This is more of a specialized case of the "station wagon full of mag tape" scenario.

It's hilarious, but it's not technically related to RFC1149. :-P

The DVDs (1)

rufty_tufty (888596) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598800)

Yes and my 747 filled with DVDs beets the pants off the latest multi-terabit cross Atlantic fibre.

Re:The DVDs (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598852)

That means nothing to me. Please use standard units like Libraries of Xongress, telephone directories, African male elephants' weight in micro SD cards.

Re:The DVDs (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599388)

That means nothing to me. Please use standard units like Libraries of Xongress, telephone directories, African male elephants' weight in micro SD cards.

New unit for data density: Libraries of Congress per Elephant

Re:The DVDs (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599472)

New unit for data density: Libraries of Congress per Elephant

But what do you use when the Democrats are in power?

Re:The DVDs (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598896)

"Yes and my 747 filled with DVDs beets the pants off the latest multi-terabit cross Atlantic fibre."

Considering 2 tb hard drives are under $100 [google.com] you'd save money by filling your 747 with hard drives since it takes 425 DVDs to equal one 2 tb hard drive.

Re:The DVDs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33599200)

A standard shipping container can carry 26600kg. I'm going to guess 650g for a 3TB hard drive, so we can put 41000 drives in a container (with loads of room for bubble wrap).

Lets have 20 of these on a train: 2,460,000TB.

Lets travel at 150km/h for, say, 150 km.

5500Tb/s.

What possible use would this have?

Re:The DVDs (2, Insightful)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598978)

"Yes and my 747 filled with DVDs beets the pants off the latest multi-terabit cross Atlantic fibre."

I rather doubt that. You seem to be forgetting that you need to burn all that data to DVDs with verification enabled, carefully pack every DVD and load them all, then unpack and manually copy the data back to a machine. Don't forget that when one of those DVDs inevitably fails to properly read on the target system you need to fly back, burn a new one, and return.

Re:The DVDs (1)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599278)

Don't forget that when one of those DVDs inevitably fails to properly read on the target system you need to fly back, burn a new one, and return.

There's nothing to prevent someone from building a little bit of redundancy into the system. Reduces your bandwidth some, but it solves that last problem.

Re:The DVDs (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599376)

"There's nothing to prevent someone from building a little bit of redundancy into the system. Reduces your bandwidth some, but it solves that last problem."

In order to implement redundancy you need to half your bandwidth and also burn twice as many DVDs, which is what takes the lions share of the time, so in fact building redundancy into the system is precluded.

Re:The DVDs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33599324)

Or he could build in redundancy by taking multiple copies of the same DVD in different parts of the plane. Reduces your bandwidth, sure, but saves in the long run.

Net Neutrality (2, Funny)

o'reor (581921) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598810)

now threatened by falcons and pigeon shooters. OTOH, how do you perform Deep Packet inspection on those ?

Re:Net Neutrality (2, Funny)

PseudonymousBraveguy (1857734) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598916)

With a scalpel?

Re:Net Neutrality (2, Funny)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599020)

I find feeding them dumps the data.

Re:Net Neutrality (1)

asliarun (636603) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599316)

All this violence for what? Just to take a byte?

Re:Net Neutrality (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33599148)

UFOs full of aliens apparently do "deep packet inspection" on rural hunters all the time.

Oh, wait, you meant on the pigeons?

This has already happened... (4, Informative)

Ecuador (740021) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598812)

The farmer was at 24% upload after 54mins when the first pigeon landed...
Now we can get back to our Monty Python / african swallow posts...

Re:This has already happened... (2)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599142)

84 mile trip, 54 minutes.

You're telling me the pigeon flew at 93 miles per hour? Pull the other one [wikipedia.org]

Re:This has already happened... (1)

the biologist (1659443) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599326)

All it would take is a favorable wind at cruising altitude.

Re:This has already happened... (2, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599344)

Depending on the roads, it could well be 84 miles by road but substantially less as the pigeon flies.

The role of stunts in public discorse (1)

koterica (981373) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598832)

Stunts like this one aren't just funny, they are sometimes effective. Case in point (regardless of how you feel about him): Micheal Moore. Sometimes, making a joke can be far more effective than, say, writing an angry letter to the editor.

Encryption (2, Funny)

Nautical Insanity (1190003) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598838)

Sure, data throughput can be pretty awesome, but exchanging public keys must be a bitch.

Re:Encryption (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599166)

On the plus side, "packet loss" can make for a tasty supper!

Quote (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33598842)

Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway. —Tanenbaum, Andrew S. (1996).

Dropped pigeon packets? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33598844)

Not good a good user experience....

Not the first time, so not that original ??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33598864)

There are benchmarks for pigeon speeds. It's not the first time this has been done. South African bandwidth was tested just over a year or two ago. In fact the whole thing got a lot of media attention. The pigeon was even named. Google "Winston the Pigeon". Plenty on it.

Unregulated and unfiltered? (0)

vvaduva (859950) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598884)

This is a ridiculous attempt to subvert government regulations...and was there a net neutrality statement issued on this transfer of data?

Never underestimate the bandwidth (2, Funny)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598888)

...of station wagon full of magtape, or so the obselete saying goes.

They considered using a station wagon for this test, but they figured the roads were as poor as the broadband, so they wouldn't have known which they were testing. So pigeons were it.

packet loss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33598938)

If the pigeon drops the SD card thats 100% packet loss. Even thats a shitty connection :)

Upload speed? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598948)

Interesting that they're measuring upload speed. My mother is on a rural ADSL connection (in the UK), and only gets 1Mb/s downstream, but she still manages to get 1Mb/s upstream, so here upload speed is actually about the same as for a lot of urban users.

Dependent on the conditions of the race (5, Insightful)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598964)

If you change the conditions of the race, you can just as well make it say just about anything.

If you give the pigeon a 512 KB message, and an identical 512 KB message to be sent via a rural broadband connection, then the rural broadband connection will win.
If you give the pigeon a 64 GB memory card, then you could say that the pigeon has a transfer speed equivalent to 104 mbps, which'll mean it's faster than most broad connections, rural or not. (Assuming an average speed of 60 miles per hour for the bird.)

Re:Dependent on the conditions of the race (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599080)

"If you give the pigeon a 64 GB memory card, then you could say that the pigeon has a transfer speed equivalent to 104 mbps, which'll mean it's faster than most broad connections, rural or not. (Assuming an average speed of 60 miles per hour for the bird.)"

Good point. Even 10mbps broadband is only 3.6 gigaBytes/hour, so a bird with a few large MicroSDHC cards strapped to them would whip the pants off broadband.

Re:Dependent on the conditions of the race (1)

ArundelCastle (1581543) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599364)

Aren't we also dependent on the definition of broadband? Which hasn't been formally defined if wikipedia is to be believed.
So why are they calling it poor rural broadband, instead of country-modem, city-modem? :)

So you moved far away (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33598968)

to get away from it all. Well guess what, that included the phone exchange too.
They also moan that it takes an hour for the Ambluance to get to them. That's because you live an hour away from the hospital!

Mind you, Sky say I'm on a 20mb line, but I never get more that 3-4mb. It's all a con.

They don't even mention the biggest advantage (5, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598986)

With the internet you just get a movie, but with the pigeon you get both a movie AND dinner delivered to your door. Talk about convenience.

only 200 mb? (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598992)

"memory cards) to see which can get 200MB of HD video data"

Why 200MB? 8gb MicroSD are only $14 [buy.com] , why did he bother with just 200MB? It's not like it was cheaper or saved any weight, wonder why he chose such a strange size for HD video since 200MB of HD video is what, a few minutes maybe?

Re:only 200 mb? (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599094)

Because then the carrier pigeon would always win.

"Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon zooming down the highway with a trunk full of backup tapes".

Same principle. You could probably attach nearly a Terabyte to a pigeon if you tried, if you had the money, etc. and pretty much wherever you sent it in Britain it would have better "bandwidth", that wouldn't prove the point at all. (However, the bandwidth might be fabulous but its latency would be atrocious).

200Mb is a not-unreasonable example - that's a single old Zip disk, and people easily have more data than that on every PC they use (as pointed out, your average camera uses 2Gb cards almost as a minimum now). By demonstrating on such a pitiful amount of data, they are providing a more far comparison. Otherwise I could easily claim that my cat has a better bandwidth than just about any Internet link in the world.

Re:only 200 mb? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33599252)

Otherwise I could easily claim that my cat has a better bandwidth than just about any Internet link in the world.

For optimal performance, you need 2^2+1 cats (something to do with parity bits, I assume). This gives rise to a popular standard networking term.

Re:only 200 mb? (1)

bigrockpeltr (1752472) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599192)

from my very quick calculations in my head if he uploaded 24% after almost an hour he is probably getting 128kbps upload. That is like ISDN or *gasp* two simultaneous dial up connections :O omg how cool is that? and yes i think ~200 IBM formatted HD diskettes are enough for a pigeon how do you expect to give it 8000?

Re:only 200 mb? (1)

Vectormatic (1759674) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599230)

the test is uploading the video to youtube, doing the same test but downloading a DVD iso from usenet obviously would draw some unwanted attention from the various groups 'representing artists and movie studios'

besides, they probably made some guesstimate as to what kind of file-size would provide an interesting match-up. pitting a pidgeon with a filled 32 GB flash card against ADSL wouldnt have been interesting

missing a vital plus in the pidgeon category (1)

eshbums (1557147) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599010)

Broadband cannot be grilled into a delicious snack once your download is complete.

Re:missing a vital plus in the pidgeon category (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599124)

The Flander's Pigeon Murderer!!!

Re:missing a vital plus in the pidgeon category (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33599298)

What is this "pidgeon category"? Does it refer to pigeons who speak pidgin?

During hunting season... (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599046)

...the network will only support UDP.

Done before (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599062)

I was looking up info on carrier pigeons and found this Homing pigeon In computing [wikipedia.org]
"The humorous IP over Avian Carriers (RFC 1149) is an Internet protocol for the transmission of messages via homing pigeon. Originally intended as an April Fools' Day RFC entry, this protocol was implemented and used, once, to transmit a message in Bergen, Norway on April 28, 2001.[16] In September 2009, a South African IT company, based in Durban, pitted an 11-month-old bird armed with a data packed 4GB memory stick against the ADSL service from the country's biggest internet service provider, Telkom. The pigeon named Winston took an hour and eight minutes to carry the data 80 km (50 miles). Including downloading, it took two hours, six minutes, and 57 seconds for the data to arrive, the same amount of time it took to transfer 4% of the data over the ADSL[17][18]"

So there you have if. Pigeon can transfer XXGB of data across 50 miles in 2 hours and 6 minutes, you're only limited by the size of the MicroSDHC you strap to the pigeon.

If you put a 32gb MicroSD on one you'd beat my 10mbps broadband because I can only download 3.6 gigaByte/hour.

upload-upload-upload...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33599118)

why are ISP allowed to use deceptive advertising?

I am sitting right now on a $110us/month RoadRunner [TimeWarner] connection.
Sales is for 6meg down [fair but home is 20meg for much less] but that is not the article - upload is.

So what do I have -------------- 0.5m average to a server located in the same city [speedtest.net] [home has 0.5 for way less $$]

Sad part is that the city has a monopoly - sorry, city fanchise [read get $$] - for TimeWarner so getting something better..........not here.

Not seeing the problem (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599150)

The comical stunt is designed to raise awareness of the often woeful broadband speed experienced by many people who live in remote and rural parts of their country.

And I should care because? I live in a rural area with woeful broadband speed. So what?

Shipping sometimes works better and cheaper (1)

pcjunky (517872) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599224)

Send 1 Terrabyte of data accross the country..... Cheapest method?...Ship a 1TB hard drive.

Data will arrive sooner and cheaper than any current broadband connection.

Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of magnetic tapes!

Pigeons always win at properly set up contests (2, Insightful)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599250)

Who wins is depending on how you set your contest. And as this is no more than a publicity stunt, it's of course set up in a way that the pigeon is guaranteed to win.

200 MB on a memory card has the same "transfer time" as 16 GB. Yet suddenly the bandwidth is some 80 times as great.

A 10 Mbit connection has the same transfer speed whether it is to the neighbour's or across the ocean. Oh wait that's downstream; upstream is always slower. On my broadband connection uploading 200 MB will take about 45 minutes - downloading the same amount of data is done within 5 minutes. No wonder you pit the pigeon against an upstream.

And why not ask this pigeon to deliver the video file actually to YouTube? Not to some other point from where it's transferred to YouTube? Is that maybe because YouTube is in the US and that's too far to fly for the pigeon?

TFA admits it: "Also the farms connection speed is just 100-200 Kbps (Kilobits per second), so it never really stood a chance of winning but then that's not the point?". It is set up so the pigeon would win. And 100-200 Kbps up is not even that bad assuming ADSL over normal copper, and farms tend to be far far away from the nearest switch. It's one of those things one will have to live with when trying to live away from the civilised world.

Re:Pigeons always win at properly set up contests (0)

smallfries (601545) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599436)

Who wins is depending on how you set your contest. And as this is no more than a publicity stunt, it's of course set up in a way that the pigeon is guaranteed to win.

200 MB on a memory card has the same "transfer time" as 16 GB. Yet suddenly the bandwidth is some 80 times as great.

No. It's 80 times less. There is no way to read what you've written that fits your argument.

Yes, it was setup to make the pigeon win. That is the purpose of a publicity stunt. But they didn't choose 200MB over 16GB to make it better for the pigeon...

bandwidth (1)

simoncrute (468690) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599338)

That reminds me of the saying "nothing beats the bandwidth of a van full of [insert media of choice] heading down the motorway at 70mph"

The thing is, you can It's much easier to boost the pidgins bandwidth than it is to boost the ADSL. a 2nd 4GB micro SDHC isn't going to slow the pidgin down much..

And the problem isn't just rural broadband. There's loads of suburban areas where you're lucky to get 1Mbit speed especially at peak times, mainly because the local exchange is so far away, and BT can't be bothered to get fiber-to-the-cabinet rolled out any quicker.

Larry is Back! (1)

deceth (1824024) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599488)

Yes! Finally Larry the remote controlled pigeon is back for another round! Can he still bypass missile defense systems? Have they taken into account the fact that he may stop to dance like in the video? Only time will tell... http://www.looble.com/have-you-met-larry-the-remote-controlled-pigeon/ [looble.com]
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>