by Leon Rosenshein

Innovative Data Transfer

While we're on the subject of moving things over the interwebs, it's not just copper wires or fiber that can be the backbone of the internet. Have you ever heard of IPoAC? There's IETF RFC 1149, A Standard for the Transmission of IP Datagrams on Avian Carriers. And if that's not good enough there's also IETF RFC 2549, IP over Avian Carriers with Quality of Service, so you can ensure you get enough bandwidth for your VOIP data. And these aren't just jokes. A group in Norway was able to issue a ping command via carrier pigeon. This was a little more complex as it involved some OCR, and it was pretty slow (64 bytes/42 minutes), so probably not something Nexflix will be using.

Of course, avian data transfer isn't always slower than traditional copper. Many moons ago I did a campus interview with a candidate who had worked at South Africa's Telekom the previous summer and learned about Winston, an 11 month old pigeon that was able to transfer a 4GB memory stick 60 miles in just over 2 hours (25x faster than the local ISP), including local upload time.

And remember, there's an XKCD for that.