Troy Hector insisted.......
Would that be one of those TELEPHONE support script that involves unplugging everything from your TELEPHONE socket and then awaiting further instruction from the person you are talking to on the TELEPHONE?
A South African IT outfit has shamed telecoms operator Telkom by sending 4GB of data 60 miles by pigeon in two hours - faster than it arrived by the ISP's broadband service. According to the BBC, Unlimited IT dispatched 11-month-old Winston from its call centre in the town of Howick to its Durban office. The bird carried its …
Hardly a surprise, clearly they were just looking for some media attention.
4gb of data is an awful lot and most broadband connections would struggle to transfer it quickly.
If I found it was quicker to knock on my neighbours door to tell him something than it was for him to receive an e-mail I don't think anyone would care.
But the A in ADSL stands for asymmetric. It's not supposed to be good at uploading data. Here in the UK we get 512K bits upload (or there abouts), which would take over 17 hours to send 4GB. If they want to send large quantities of data then they need a symmetric DSL line or dedicated leased line.
I can burn a DVD and give it to my pet frog to take it next door and it get there quicker than I can FTP it to the same place.
Completely meaningless unless we know what speed their broadband is meant to run at (I mean the service they're realistically paying for, not 20Mb for £10/month).
As in, I realise that my ADSL has limited upload speed... and I accept that, but I know people that pay for 100 or even 1000 Mbps symmetrical fibre links between cities... they obviously don't have the same limitations.
Also, if it took them an hour to read 4GB off a USB stick, I'm not surprised theire internet is shoddy - they obviously have very slow computers!
Of course, Tux could've beaten the flying rodent.
Good demo. The important part here is that the limiting portion was the uplink and these chaps were uploading data. So, as a matter of fact, a pigeon carrying a reasonable size SD card will easily outrace most UK Broadband services.
I wish one of the photo printing shops in London had a suitably located pigeon service. It would have made for a fine demo why does current Broadband suck bricks through a thin straw sidewise even for a trivial consumer app like "I would like to print my photos".
Wonder if Unlimited IT will give Telkom the bird now?
And, knowing with depressing first hand experience the advice of our own abysmal IT mob (our network would be outpaced by a lame chicken, let alone a racing pigeon), I suspect Telekom's 'suggestions' were along the lines of the following gems from our helldesk:
"Have you tried turning the computer off and on?" (and this will help with a network outage HOW?)
"There are no known IT problems in your area" (despite the fact everything other than the internet was failing to respond)
"You should schedule use of this application early in the morning and late at night" ('this application' being the mapping software required by half the department to do their day job)
"The user cannot log in? Well, can you get them to log in please?" (Um, which part of 'can't log in' did you not get?)
Right, hand me my coat - I'm off to celebrate a news tip of mine actually making it onto the Reg for the first time (one amongst many submitters, I suspect, but any excuse!)
Kicking data is faster than a corporate network? I kicked an 80GB Solid State Drive from my desk over to my colleagues desk 2 meters away.
20 seconds to remove the drive.
2 seconds to kick it over.
30 seconds to insert the drive.
52 seconds in total.
Compare that to transferring close to 80GB over a corporate network if you will!
Basically, my point is the fact they used 60 miles as a benchmark... the pigeon was incidental... they could have used a bike courier. The shorter the distance, the less 'effective' any network will be compared to traditional methods of transferring via 'physical' media. What they don't say is that the network would probably perform at an almost identical transfer rate if used over 600 miles, whereas the pigeon would take 10 times longer, if it turned up at all... and that's not even taking packet/pigeon loss into consideration! ;p
Although it does seem the service in question was poor, about half the *upload* speed I get at home in the UK, the reporting of this article from various sources fail to put the story in to context. ADSL is exactly that and you'd be hard pressed to send 4GB over anything but a business grade network.
Don't tell the UK government, they'll start putting a ban on Pigeons.
I mean it's a big risk, with pirates sending illegal copies of movies, music, software etc via pigeon and don't even get started on the child porn rings.
Actually, I'm going to see if I can train the seaguls* we have here in Torquay, I mean they're not really much use anyway, so if I can train them to send out MicroSD cards to friends with stuff on (I'm thinking copies of Ubuntu) then all the better.
* I would use penguins but they tend to waddle slowly.
Steve wrote: "Here in the UK we get 512K bits upload (or there abouts), which would take over 17 hours to send 4GB."
I don't know who your provider is but I can get sustained download speeds of 1.3Megabytes per second and upload speeds about 700. And yes, this is a home broadband account, not a commercial one.
Having said that, it obviously depends where I'm uploading things to. I suspect that these guys would have used ftp and not had to worry much about that - but who knows?
Telkom is..KREP... to paraphase my fellow south africans.
The phone call rates are amongst the highest in the world and so are the broadband charges..profits are also insanely high and customer service is well...KREP
So this excercise is more a of a protest against Telkom rather than seeing which would be faster. As usual Regheads unleased their supreme geekiness which in fact made you look rather stupid.
We all know a guy on a bike is going to be faster couriering a 1TB disk than ftp, http or whatever method of transport...to put things into perspective...40 pounds a month in south africa buys you a 2mb line with a 5gb cap, excluding line rental. Not so clever now eh?
700K BYTES upload speed is 5600K bits, and is well beyond the capacity of ADSL's up channel. Remember that we're talking ADSL here, not cable modem. The very best ADSL link you can get in the UK, providing you are on the doorstep of the exchange, will give you 2.5M bits upload speeds, which still needs 3.5 hours to shift 4GB.
Meanwhile there is no cable TV network in Durban, so there's no chance of them using that.
...can surely be minimized all along the Avian Backbone by upgrading every AtmosWeb node to VuuDuu Linux on a suitably deceased Badger, imvho. Just slip a pair of proper Gigabit ethernet cards in where the Duppy Card and Sound Cards once might have lived; the result will prove both immobile and rackworthy as well as quiet in operation.
http://www.strangehorizons.com/2004/20040405/badger.shtml for those of us who are just catching up on the Advancing RetroConceptual Edge of NeoTech these days. ;)
<<Nokia Siemens Networks breaks distance barriers for DSL
VDSL2 ‘bonding’ offers unmatched, 1.5 kilometer, reach
Nokia Siemens Networks is demonstrating DSL with download speeds of 25 Mbps at a distance of up to 1500 meters from the local exchange at Broadband World Forum in Paris this week. The VDSL2 bonding solution is a milestone in the industry. >>
Pidgeon did 60 miles. One way, natch, but....
Maybe SA should "give them the bird". I would, since the buggers made me redundant
Here's another bird.
I can't believe people leapt on this with such ferocity, it was a PR stunt and a bit of a giggle, nothing more. You sys admins can rest easy, you won't really have to share your precious server rackmounts with pigeon holes and suffer a relentless rain of droppings when monthly reporting commences. ;)
Anyone slightly technically minded knows that this is a tongue-in-cheek news story. Basically a physical object can have theoretically very high bandwidth - the amount you can fit onto a small enough object to be transported. The downside is latency, it takes the pigeon an hour to get there, whereas it takes the network less than a second. A typical ADSL network can't transfer as much at once, but it doesn't claim to be able to, that's why it's asynchronous as other people have said.
You could equally put 1000 1 terabyte hard drives in a lorry and transfer a sick amount of data that a conventional network couldn't compare to.
"Actually, I'm going to see if I can train the seaguls* we have here in Torquay, I mean they're not really much use anyway, so if I can train them to send out MicroSD cards to friends with stuff on (I'm thinking copies of Ubuntu) then all the better."
Yeah, but you'd never be sure that your data would reach the specific target you want for delivery. After all, you just have a massive cloud full of seafulls each with a specific piece of data attached. Hard to sort one from another.
What you need, really, is for each seagull to just carry a small piece of each file, and then paint them with tracker IDs so you can reassemble the files from each seagull. I reckon this kind of DSC (Distributed Seagull Cloud) is probably just the ticket for your linux distros.
You could even encrypt the packets by disguising the gulls as sparrows.....
..ok, I'll stop drinking coffee now.
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