"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


faster than traffic, too

"Pigeon Transfers Data faster than South Africa's Telecom":
"Local news agency SAPA reported the 11-month-old pigeon, Winston, took one hour and eight minutes to fly the 80 km (50 miles) from Unlimited IT's offices near Pietermaritzburg to the coastal city of Durban with a data card was strapped to his leg.

"Including downloading, the transfer took two hours, six minutes and 57 seconds -- the time it took for only four percent of the data to be transferred using a Telkom line.

"Internet speed is expected to improve once a new 17,000 km underwater fiber optic cable linking southern and East Africa to other networks becomes operational before South Africa hosts the soccer World Cup next year."

Didn't that pigeon make it from PMB to Durban in better time than one could physically move the data oneself? Wow. If anyone knows a supplier, I've got a friend in Dar es Salaam who's looking to rent a carrier pigeon.


Blogger Adam Hooper said...

This is a long-standing joke in geek communities, who try to calculate bandwidth, in Month Python style, by determining the amount of memory a swallow can carry (which depends upon the wingspan, which depends on whether the swallow in question is African or European...)

More practically, the fastest way to transfer massive amounts of data (i.e., the highest bandwidth) is to load hard drives onto a train or truck.

Saturday, September 12, 2009 11:12:00 AM

Blogger texasinafrica said...

Right, but I think in this case, it's actually faster to use the pigeon, given the level of traffic between PMB and Durban. Of course, that limits your quantities somewhat...

Saturday, September 12, 2009 8:33:00 PM


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