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Pigeons to Blog Pollution

samzenpus posted more than 8 years ago | from the 100-monkeys-with-typewriters dept.

Technology 162

Strolls writes "In an release which conjures images of avian borg, a press release tells of plans to release pigeons equipped with cellphones and GPS so that they can "blog" air pollution data. The plan is the brainchild of Beatriz da Costa of the University of California Digital Arts Research Network and is scheduled as part of the inter-Society for Electronic Arts' annual symposium in San Jose in August. Da Costa has previously been involved with RFID roaches."

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162 comments

Hmmmmm (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14622539)

Sounds more like a job for African swallows, but then again African swallows are not migratory.

Re:Hmmmmm (1)

eta526 (833281) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622664)

Sounds more like a job for light posts to me. Why do the sensors have to move? Couldn't they use stationary monitors more cost-effectively?

Why not light posts (4, Interesting)

246o1 (914193) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622685)

Pigeons cover a wide variety of altitudes far better than light posts do. This makes the data they provide potentially much more valuable.

Re:Hmmmmm (3, Funny)

Viper Daimao (911947) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622836)

pigeons equipped with cellphones and GPS

I hope they weigh less than a coconut.

Re:Hmmmmm (2, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | more than 8 years ago | (#14623382)

I hope they weigh less than a coconut.
Me too (and it's not just my pythonesque sensibilities.) Did they really need to put a camera onboard too?

My big question (not addressed in the article) is the power supply. What's the fun if each birdphone only lasts a couple days? I guess solar would be the first choice, but how about a little wind turbine or an induction coil spanning the bird's wings?

Prostitute Schedule for Feb. 1 at the MBOT in SF (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14623143)

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I kid you not.

Please establish a hypertext link to this message. Spread the word!

Blogging Quality (5, Funny)

narcolepticjim (310789) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622541)

I can't imagine they'd have anything too insightful to write in their blogs. Coooo, coooo.

Either way, their comments section will be FILLED with anti-science trolls.

Re:Blogging Quality (2, Insightful)

ToasterofDOOM (878240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622730)

That's a hell of a lot more scientific and insightful than 90%+ of all the human blogs combined already! You're off to a good start! On the other hand, if the internet had any more mindless droll I'm sure the Earth would implode into a literal black hole of knowledge and all that is good and pure.

Re:Blogging Quality (2, Funny)

nametaken (610866) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622891)


Either way, their comments section will be FILLED with anti-science trolls.


And hunters that can't afford to pass up a free gps unit and cellphone with no bill.

wow (3, Funny)

cyranthus (893560) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622544)

wow, imagine that! pigeons with cellphones!

I'm outmoded again (3, Funny)

Namarrgon (105036) | more than 8 years ago | (#14623365)

Yeah. And GPS too.

Dammit, now even pigeons have better toys than I do. I really gotta try harder to keep up.

Oh, this is good (5, Funny)

cc-rider-Texas (877967) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622548)

Now we have to worry about inattentive pigeons flying into our cars along with business men and teenage girls while they're on the phone.

This is NOT Pigeon Blogging! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14622559)

Pigeon Podcasting would be more accurate.

I hope they don't use the same pigeons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14622577)

...that Google uses.

Blog? (4, Insightful)

MustardMan (52102) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622586)

How is this blogging, exactly? It's bad enough we have eight zillion blog derivative buzzwords, but when they are completely mis-applied it's even more annoying. Next step: record dogs' farts and call it podcasting. Then again, it might be more interesting than a lot of podcasts already out there...

Re:Blog? (1)

czmax (939486) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622607)

That is the way language works. Get over it.

Re:Blog? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14622666)

yes, languages evolve, that is undisputable; but that doesnt mean you should sit back and watch it become a steaming pile of shit. blogging, podcasting, l33t, txt, and other language of that ilk at de-evolving english. "do u lke it whn i blog 2 u lke ths? y not? tlk evlvs m8, gt ovr it." you fucking retard

It could very well be considered blogging. (3, Insightful)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622651)

It depends what you define "blogging" as. Do you consider the frequent posting of short blurbs of information to a publically-accessible web site to be blogging? If so, then this would indeed qualify as blogging.

Re:It could very well be considered blogging. (4, Interesting)

Z0mb1eman (629653) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622692)

Would a PHP random number generator script count as blogging? What about a script that generates a random blurb based on a random number generator?

In terms of information, it's roughly equivalent. I'm going to go out on a limb here and, even without reading the article, assert that the pigeons themselves are not "posting short blurbs of information" anywhere.

Re:It could very well be considered blogging. (2, Insightful)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622718)

Again, it depends on what you consider "blogging" to be.

Nothing about the particular definition I supplied suggests that it has to be a human (or even a pigeon) posting the information.

You might suggest that a blog entry would have to have meaning. But that's not necessarily true. A blog in Chinese, for instance, would look far more like gibberish to somebody who only speaks English than a PHP-generated string of numerals.

Re:It could very well be considered blogging. (1)

Z0mb1eman (629653) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622775)

You might suggest that a blog entry would have to have meaning.

I think that would be overestimating blogs ;)

I WOULD, however, suggest that some level of awareness or conciousness would have to be involved. I'll go as far as saying that if a person considers that they're posting information to a blog - or at least is aware that they're selecting some information to be shared with others - then it's a blog. That's about as general a definition as you can get.

Re:It could very well be considered blogging. (2, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14623305)


Again, it depends on what you consider "blogging" to be.


Exactly. I consider blogging to be when children eat ice cream too fast and get an ice-cream headache.

Seriously, can't we all agree on some basic definition of blogging rather than play these dumb word games? You've taken the word and completely redfined it so it no longer resembles the original word. Pigeons making blog entries through data gathered from devices attatched to them? I think you've broken some basic laws of logic about who does what, since obviously the pigeon doesn't actually post any information itself. If you want to define it that way, hey great. But don't expect anyone to understand what the hell you're talking about anymore.

Re:It could very well be considered blogging. (3, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622904)

I'm going to go out on a limb here and, even without reading the article, assert that the pigeons themselves are not "posting short blurbs of information" anywhere.

And that, my friend, is why you should RTFA.

KFG

Re:It could very well be considered blogging. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14623087)

Actually, in terms of data it would be equivalent. Information content of random data is zero, which actually matches well with the intuitive idea of information.

Re:It could very well be considered blogging. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14623192)

no, i dont consider this blogging. information collected and posting online is not blogging. thats called putting something on the web.

if we use your definition, we could say that everything on the web is a blog to someone else.

a page with content updated manually, organized by timestamps, alongs the lines of a public diary, by a human would be the beginning of my definition.. maybe others can finish it.

Re:It could very well be considered blogging. (1)

Neoncow (802085) | more than 8 years ago | (#14623202)

According to your definition, this usage seems justified. I think it would have flowed better if they had used blog as a noun. "Pigeon blog probes pollution" or something.

Re:Blog? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14622964)

It's not blogging. It's datablogging.

Re:Blog? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14623381)

why the b? its just data logging. no need to gheyify it

Air time (1)

Belseth (835595) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622590)

I hope they checked. If the pidgeons are female the monthly charges are going to be murder.

Re:Air time (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 8 years ago | (#14623055)

shame on you for making such sexist remarks. My wife is so livid she's calling 15 of her friends to tell them what a male chauvinist pig you are.

Burgle their phones. (3, Insightful)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622592)

Soon enough people will shoot the birds, steal their phones, and then sell those phones.

Re:Burgle their phones. (1)

Anarchitect_in_oz (771448) | more than 8 years ago | (#14623534)

Now your talking.
I was just thinking using the GPS data to shot any pigoens in my area during sunday morning sleep in.

If i sell the phones as well i can pay my firearms charges as well.

Quality of life for the pigeons? (1)

gumpish (682245) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622593)

The article is pretty god damn light on details.

How will the equipment affect the lives of the birds they're attached to?

Re:Quality of life for the pigeons? (0, Troll)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622638)

It'd be like having a pay phone strapped to your back. Would you want to go to work like that? Would you like to try to have intercourse with your wife, only to have the phone ring as you're about to ejaculate?

It's quite obvious that this will hassle the birds.

Re:Quality of life for the pigeons? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14622698)

They already live in the shittiest shitholes of mankind. It would be the equivalent to giving a phone to a Mexican.

Re:Quality of life for the pigeons? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14622931)

who cares? they're fucking birds.

Blog? (4, Insightful)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622597)

Why would anyone use a word like "blog" when it is not needed. Especially in this case where it makes no friggen sense.

Re:Blog? (2, Informative)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622626)

Buzzwords are used to get the attention of people at large. This time they're using the word "blog", while other times people use words like "terrorist", "communist", "liberal", "synergy", "rich web application", and so forth.

Sure, the word is likely misapplied, but that's irrelevant. The main point is to get attention, which can at times lead directly to the receipt of financial support.

Re:Blog? (2, Funny)

Geoffreyerffoeg (729040) | more than 8 years ago | (#14623025)

Why would anyone use a word like "blog" when it is not needed. Especially in this case where it makes no friggen sense.

Why would anyone use a word like "friggen" when it is not needed? For the fun of it.

Re:Blog? (1)

mctk (840035) | more than 8 years ago | (#14623038)

I take issue with your blog. Blog does make sense in this blog. If you had only RTFB then you'd blog the blog-blog. Blog blog blog if you don't blog the blog. No, wait, it's gotta be your blog. Blog blog it!

Re:Blog? (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 8 years ago | (#14623224)

Well, that can be easily fixed. Just find some bored geeks, and get them to work.

Attach tiny computers to the pigeons and write a TCP stack for it, as well as some code to implement HTTP to submit the data to livejournal. Then implement IP over avian carriers (with QoS) to transport the data. And voila, blogging pigeons!

FIRST POST (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14622604)

Benefits o7 being it simple,

Misused terms (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14622612)

The pigeons will be podcasting their blogs via TCP over powerlines.

Re:Misused terms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14622648)

I assume then that TCP is short for Taking a CraP.

Blogging is for the birds! (5, Funny)

xdc (8753) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622625)

Man, I knew blogging is for the birds! Now this proves it.

I suppose if any pigeons reply to this, they will be posting nested comments. <gr&d>

Upcoming Headline: (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622640)

Scientists monitoring air quality in California are baffled by an alarming rise in the amount of bird dander in our atmosphere.

Re:Upcoming Headline: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14622729)

Shot the birds! Which is the human response to anything.

Finally! (4, Funny)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622650)

Finally! A blog that rivals MySpace and LiveJournal! And with the camera, we're sure to get photos of some hot chicks...

Pigeon Assimilation (2)

lifeisgreat (947143) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622859)

I'm actually not sure what I'd do if I was feeding pigeons in the park, and one flapped down next to me with a Borg-like attachment on its back and a camera pointed at me.

Smile? Give it my lunch?

How convenient! (3, Funny)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622662)

Letting all those pigeons get cell phones makes it easier for them to let each other know when some sucker in the park is feeding them. I'm sure Tom Lehrer [tinyurl.com] would be thrilled.

call charges (1)

sharksfin (812261) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622669)

Who's gonna pay for the call charges? I don't suppose the pigeons have jobs to pay for the calls they'll make.

and just what is the cargo capacity of a pigeon? (1)

NiteShaed (315799) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622717)

A camera, a cell-phone, a GPS unit, an air-quality sensor package, a battery to power the aforementioned gizmos and a backpack. Are these birds actually going to be able to fly once all this junk has been strapped to them?

Re:and just what is the cargo capacity of a pigeon (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622800)

I ain't sure if I've seen a park pigeon fly anyway.

They already hefting all that seed around in their guts.

How will I be able to trust search results??? (3, Funny)

tomhuxley (951364) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622755)

Oh Noes!!! What effect will that have on PigeonRank [google.com] ?

Re:How will I be able to trust search results??? (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#14623082)

well, google is supposed to be rolling out Big Daddy soon, it might actually be big brother and the pigeons are going out spidering the world!

Monitor air pollution! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14622772)

Monitor air pollution not blog! For god sakes stop misusing this stupid word.

mod Do3n (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14622794)

Towels on the Floor today. It's about RAM) for about 20 reasons why anyone

In Soviet Russia Virtual Pigeon sell Tshirt to you (0, Offtopic)

absurdhero (614828) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622807)

In Soviet Russia, you buy Soviet Russia Shirt [cafepress.com] !

As a fellow karma pwner, you will surely relate to this pigeon pwning soviet russia shirt. And being a karma whore in a previous life time, You can probably understand if I troll slashdot with slashdot jokes! 0_o

here pigeon pigeon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14622881)

Kill a pigeon, get free activated cellphone with minutes and GPS!

Avian Borg (1)

armanox (826486) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622905)

Avian Borg? I can see it now: A flock of birds calls your cell:

We are the borg
You will be assimilated
Resistance is futile


Followed by the collective of birds swarming down upon the vehicle.

STOP USING BLOG FOR EVERYTHING (2, Insightful)

jigjigga (903943) | more than 8 years ago | (#14623012)

They will submit data, they wont blog. I guarantee the data collected wont be posted in threads like blogs. 1 pigeon won't post "ZOMG teh air is teh bad!" with another saying "its teh worse next door" It will be collected and processed. If it ins't, its useless. I am not trying to be a troll, just someone who is getting sick of the word blog. I am happy the masses have discovered that they too can contribute to the internet, but they need to realize there is more going on than blogging! ZOMG T3h BLOG!!!ocho!

Going to troll their blog (3, Funny)

toupsie (88295) | more than 8 years ago | (#14623032)

I bet someone is just going to release Peregrine Falcons to troll the Pigeon blogs.

While you're at it.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14623099)

those scientists might as well collect statistical data on pigeon excretory habits...

Obligatory (1)

tropicdog (811766) | more than 8 years ago | (#14623132)

Pidgeons with cell phones and GPS!
Where's the Sharks with Friggin lasers on their heads ! ! !
Dammit! and where's my flying car while you're at it.

Monitoring pollution with Pigeon? (1)

layer3switch (783864) | more than 8 years ago | (#14623292)

Considering pigeons' poop carries over 60 diseases, and not to mention toxicity. It's like letting Exxon to oversee EPA. Was a rat on the list of animals to monitor pollution as well?

Is blog really the right word? (1)

Hack Jandy (781503) | more than 8 years ago | (#14623325)

According to the W3 Buzzword definition, these birds should clearly be Podcasting the pollution by now, not blogging it.
1994: Pigeons to Browse Pollution
1996: Pigeons to Bookmark Pollution
1998: Pigeons to Download Pollution
2002: Pigeons to Download Pollution Wirelessly
2004: Pigeons to Blog Pollution
2006: Pigeons to Podcast Pollution
Or we could just call it what it is....

HJ

Re:Is blog really the right word? (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 8 years ago | (#14623542)

"podcasting" has been out for a while now. Surely there is a new trendy hip term floating about that we're not yet aware of.

I am SO SEVERELY disappointed (1)

xIcemanx (741672) | more than 8 years ago | (#14623336)

I totally thought this story had to do with scientists dispatching pigeons to attack the severe problem of blog pollution.

I was looking forward to a lifetime of never reading another xanga crammed full of MySpace quizzes. DAMN YOU MISLEADING SYNTACTICAL NATURE OF ENGLISH! =(
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