This interesting research document (see below) was brought to the attention of our very own Eric Hunter. Although meant to be amusing it brings up the ever present question, that the old sneakernet might still be faster than transferring large documents remotely. With on-going trouble with big data servers such as dropbox, (see our KSP Blog Post) this method of technology is improving but it still has its limitations. According to Tien Anh Nguyen of OpenView Research:
“I am quite convinced though, that Big Data will continue to grow and may become a mainstream technology market by the end of 2014. More of the startups of today will likely emerge as scaled businesses offering a range of verticalized and segmented Big Data tools and services. Moreover, I’m betting additional standards and best practices will emerge that will allow customers to compare these products and adopt the ones that are most appropriate for their needs.”
In a world where time equals money, we are still not at a stage where file transfer technology is as quick as downloading to a USB hard drive and transporting it by foot, car or in this case carrier pidgeon.
Network Working Group D. Waitzman Request for Comments: 1149 BBN STC 1 April 1990 A Standard for the Transmission of IP Datagrams on Avian Carriers Status of this Memo This memo describes an experimental method for the encapsulation of IP datagrams in avian carriers. This specification is primarily useful in Metropolitan Area Networks. This is an experimental, not recommended standard. Distribution of this memo is unlimited. Overview and Rational Avian carriers can provide high delay, low throughput, and low altitude service. The connection topology is limited to a single point-to-point path for each carrier, used with standard carriers, but many carriers can be used without significant interference with each other, outside of early spring. This is because of the 3D ether space available to the carriers, in contrast to the 1D ether used by IEEE802.3. The carriers have an intrinsic collision avoidance system, which increases availability. Unlike some network technologies, such as packet radio, communication is not limited to line-of-sight distance. Connection oriented service is available in some cities, usually based upon a central hub topology. Frame Format The IP datagram is printed, on a small scroll of paper, in hexadecimal, with each octet separated by whitestuff and blackstuff. The scroll of paper is wrapped around one leg of the avian carrier. A band of duct tape is used to secure the datagram's edges. The bandwidth is limited to the leg length. The MTU is variable, and paradoxically, generally increases with increased carrier age. A typical MTU is 256 milligrams. Some datagram padding may be needed. Upon receipt, the duct tape is removed and the paper copy of the datagram is optically scanned into a electronically transmittable form. Discussion Multiple types of service can be provided with a prioritized pecking order. An additional property is built-in worm detection and eradication. Because IP only guarantees best effort delivery, loss of a carrier can be tolerated. With time, the carriers are self- Waitzman [Page 1] RFC 1149 IP Datagrams on Avian Carriers 1 April 1990 regenerating. While broadcasting is not specified, storms can cause data loss. There is persistent delivery retry, until the carrier drops. Audit trails are automatically generated, and can often be found on logs and cable trays. Security Considerations Security is not generally a problem in normal operation, but special measures must be taken (such as data encryption) when avian carriers are used in a tactical environment. Author's Address David Waitzman BBN Systems and Technologies Corporation BBN Labs Division 10 Moulton Street Cambridge, MA 02238 Phone: (617) 873-4323 EMail: dwaitzman@BBN.COM