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 ( 1 )
Related News Stories -
Soli Gesture Tech Will Be In Google Pixel 4
'I enjoy watching this way, but - He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.' - Philip K Dick, 1955.
Lost Language Meanings Found By Machine Learning
'The autopilot would need data before it could begin a translation...' - Larry Niven, 1970.
The Future Of Elon Musk's Neuralink
'Cerebral Electromagnetic Emmission Amplification and Relay System — call it artificial telepathy, if you like.' - Richard Meredith, 1969.
BloxVox Mutes Cellphone Convos
'had he not been talking into a hush-a-phone which he had plugged into the telephone jack...' - Robert Heinlein, 1940.
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.
Extremophile Microbe Loves Space Rocks
'... designed for rooting in the metal make-up of the asteroids for vital elements.'
Magic Mushroom Nose Spray From Silo Wellness
'I don't need help... that's not my diagnosis!'
CAV-X Supercavitating Ammo Deadly Underwater
'...in the midst of this fluid, which is very dense compared with the atmosphere, shots could not go far.'
Space Domes Over-rated? Science Fiction Authors Have Answers
'This was to be roofed over, sealed, and an atmosphere provided...'
Injectable Magnetic Fluid Slows Bleeding, Aids Magneto
'There's something different about you.'
Autonomous Wheelchairs Improve Airport Mobility
'Noiselessly, on rubber-tired wheels, they journeyed down the long aisles...'
HVSD, Kitty Hawk's Electric Plane
Very quiet commuter plane offers VTOL service.
Frictionless Toilet Could Save 140 Billion Liters Of Water
'The bowl was a frictionless surface...'
Viisights AI Hones Video Surveillance
'The math boys worked it out...'
Cybertruck The Solar-Powered Steel Tortoise
'It drew its power from... sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'
Road Noise Charges Electric Cars With Peugeot Piezoelectric Billboard
''... major cities of Earth have free electrical power conveniently processed from their own noise.'
Unsinkable Metal Latest Gates Obsession
'A metal... light as cork.'
M-Blocks 2.0 Self-Assembling Robots
'Faster the cubes moved...'
NASA 'Broomstick' Recalls SciFi Ideas
'The appearance was enough like a giant witch's broom to justify the nickname.'
Orbital Display's Low Earth Orbit Advertisements
'A vast circle of scarlet stars came up into the greenish desert dusk.'
Neuromorphic Computing Hardare
'He had constructed an organ, a brain, of metal, entirely inorganic and lifeless...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories