by Mike Masnick
Thu, Sep 10th 2009 11:23pm
A bunch of folks have been sending in this story about how a carrier pigeon beat a broadband line in transferring 4 gigs of data between two offices 60 miles apart. The problem with such stunts is that they're rather meaningless. All you need to do is pick a storage size for the pigeon that is sufficiently large. The speed of the broadband connection is known in advance, and so you can just pick a file size that is significantly larger. Given the right sizes, I'd imagine that flying across the Atlantic with hard drives full of data is probably faster than some trans-Atlantic fiber cables as well. It doesn't mean that the cable is necessarily slow. The point is that for some things a "sneakernet" or (in this case) "pigeon net" will be faster. It does sound like the DSL connection being used was, in fact, slow, but that can be demonstrated just as easily by, I don't know, noting the actual bandwidth of the connection. I guess, as a publicity stunt, it draws attention, but I can't see how it's really that meaningful.
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