A wet string works, for sending information from one computer to another, says a new experiment. This adds to the list of low-tech ways to move data, the most lively method involving a hungry snail.
The string experiment is reported on the RevK’s Rants web site, with the headline “It’s official, ADSL works over wet string“:
Broadband services are a wonderful innovation of our time, using multiple frequency bands (hence the name) to carry signals over wires (usually copper, sometimes aluminium). One of the key aspects of the technology is its ability to adapt to the length and characteristics of the line on which it is deployed.
We have seen faults on broadband circuits that manifest as the system adapting to much lower speeds, this is a key factor as a service can work, but unusually slowly, over very bad lines.
It has always been said that ADSL will work over a bit of wet string. Well one of our techies (www.aa.net.uk) took it upon himself to try it today at the office, and well done. He got some proper string, and made it wet….
We describe an experiment in which a Giant African Snail, acting as a data transfer agent, exceeded all known “last mile” communications technologies in terms of bit-per-second performance, adding to the many paradoxes of broadband communications.1 We discuss the unique motivational and guidance systems necessary to facilitate snail-based data transport, and observe with satisfaction that in a society that worships the fittest, fastest, and furtherest, the meek and the slow can….
(Thanks to Dominic Dunlop for bringing the wet string experiment to our attention.)