An unorthodox race in South Africa has revealed that it's quicker to transmit 4GB of data via pigeon than it is to send it over the country's main ADSL services.
An IT company in Durban decided to hold a competition to test a theory once discussed over the watercooler. Would it be faster to use a carrier pigeon to send data than to use the country's biggest web firm, Telkom? Bad news for Telkom - yes, it is.
In the race held Wednesday between Howick and Hillcrest, a pigeon named Winston managed to transport a 4GB memory stick 60 miles in just two hours, the same amount of time it took the firm's web connection to transmit just four percent of the data. Of course, Telkom said that slow speeds at its customer end have nothing to do with it.
Overall though, estimates suggest that it would have taken days to send the data, which would have given Winston the winged rat loads of time to 'decorate' many statues of military heroes before finally turning up to claim his victory bread crust.
Like Telkom we can't be sure what is wrong with the firm's web connection, but old school methods of delivery have long been favoured by those in the know. Some people still use the old practice of moving files between machines on floppy disks - remember them? And way back in the 1970s, Dr. Warren Jackson said: "Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes." Nothing has changed, actually.
Winston the pigeon already has over 3,000 friends on Facebook. We don't imagine that anyone at Telkom is one of them.
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