Digital Squab Line (DSL) Has High Bandwidth
Which is faster - ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) or DSL (Digital Squab Line)? If you're thinking pigeons are faster - you're right.
Networking enthusiasts gathered at Ohalo, by the Sea of Galilee in Israel. They watched a live test in which three homing pigeons were sent to Ramat Hasharon, some 100 kilometers away. Each of the pigeons carried tiny memory cards with a total of 4 gigabytes of data.
Pigeon-powered data transfer was pioneered in Bergen, Norway, using a data protocol defined by David Waitzman, an American computer scientist - CPIP (Carrier Pigeon Internet Protocol).
Pigeons have long been used for remote data transfer. In the 19th century, roving reporters used handy pocket pigeons to report back to the home office, getting around the then-clumsy fixed infrastructure of telegraph (see illustration below).
The data transfer would be timed from the release of the pigeons to the arrival of the last pigeon. Haim Sperling, veteran pigeon breeder from Ramat Hasharon, was in charge of infrastructure, supplying the three pigeons named Blue Sky, Two Colors and Dotted Light.
The results? Dividing data carried by time elapsed shows a data transfer rate of about 2.27 Mbps (million bits per second), a significant improvement over standard ADSL connections.
Drawbacks? Very large packet size, in this case a little over 1 gigabyte. This also increases the problems with lost packets. In the this experiment Dotted Light almost failed to arrive. Pigeon routing systems are poorly understood, making it difficult for engineers to correct problems. Studies on cerebral lateralization of homing are still in progress.
(See pigeon homing study.)
Also, as was pointed out in WWII, during operations using PGP (Pretty Good Pigeons), problems with hacking by the enemy were encountered.
Fans of Frank Herbert of course remember the distrans, a system of encoding messages onto the nervous system of bats. The transfer rate is not given in the books.
Read more about it at Pigeon-enabled Internet is faster than ADSL.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/5/2004)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion (Back On) ( 1 )
Related News Stories -
Rats Communicate Brain-to-Brain
'Very useful gadget, but you can communicate with a computer about as well with a good briefcase console.'- Pournelle and Niven, 1981.
Microsoft Demos Spoken English To Chinese 'Universal Translator'
Researchers at Microsoft Research and the University of Toronto made a breakthrough using a technique called Deep Neural Networks.
Kyocera Speakerless Smartphone (ala Gernsback)
For once, an sf author filed a patent on a great idea - Hugo Gernsback saw this one coming.
Wavii Follows Your Selected News
SF writers have been fascinated with the idea of personalized news for a long time.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
'Marauder's Map' Created By Carnegie Melllon
'Is that Dumbledore in his study?'
Cheetah Cub Robot From PKD's Android Dreams
'What about an exact electric duplicate of your cat?'
Dead Cellphone? Try Solar-Powered Public Charging Stations
'Then he saw the geek ... leaning against one of the slender stalks of a sunshade-photocell collector...'
Hungry? Grow Nutritious Insects At Home
'...I balked when my wife served me termites.'
Snowboarding On Mars? Heinlein Was Ready
How long ago did Robert Heinlein write about skiing on dry alien worlds?
Orwell's '1984' Hits Bestseller Lists Thanks To PRISM
'There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment.'
Roboroach Control? There's An App For That
'A cable, here, from the controller to the interface plug... wires from that to the brain.'
Court OK's DNA Collection Like 'Gattaca'
DNA sampling is not the same as fingerprinting.
Squid Vs. Whale Diorama Liked By Humans, Aliens
'Everything was ready, awaiting the Overlords' pleasure...'
Iceberg Harvesting Off Newfoundland's Coast
'Five hundred billion gallons worth of Antarctic iceberg had been towed into Santa Monica Bay.'
Sony's A4-Sized Flexible Digital Paper Notepad
'...he would plug his foolscap-sized Newspad into the ship's information circuit and scan the latest reports...'
Contact Lens Video Display Electronics Now Transparent
'He realized that it was not quite a clear lens. Speckles of colored brightness swirled and gathered in it...'
Tesla's Supercharge Station Plan
'To recharge the batteries, which can be done in almost every town and village...'
Millimeter-Scale Computing For 'Internet of Things'
'In their megalomania they thought to make the very sand beneath their feet intelligent...'
Your Own Handheld Biosensor
'I'm gonna do a hand-held Boink, real quick,' Littleberry said'
DARPA's Warrior Web
'Earth's scientists solved the problem to some extent by devising rigid metallic clothing not unlike armor...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories