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H2O/IP 124

AltImage writes "This interesting project uses water as an organic network between two computers. It analyzes the color of each pixel and 'prints' out pulses to the electronically controlled water valve - a different pulse pattern depending on the color of the pixel on screen."
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  • by Anonymous Coward
  • by cozman ( 610450 )
    so how long before i can use this to cool my computer and send the data?
    • Hey, you could also use this water to power your PC (it'd however require you to have a huge Hoover-Dam-sized computer room ;-)...

      After IP/Electricity you'd then get IP+Electricity/water :-)
  • This is a verry cool idea, But I can't help but think about how enviroment specific this would need.
    The signal seems like it would be way too fragile, a little movement could screw it up.
  • Now we have to worry about dumb windows users mistakingly drinking their data.
    • Hmmm, actually ...

      Would the water taste like apple when you first send a picture of an apple accross it ?
      Or like chips ? Or candy ! ...

      The possibilities !!! :)
      • >Would the water taste like apple when you first
        >send a picture of an apple accross it ?

        Knowing what makes up most of the images on the net, I'm not sure I'd want to taste it.

        In fact, I'm pretty sure the water would need to be changed FREQUENTLY.

      • The first time you taste a tarball, you won't be so happy.
  • This sounds about as funny as RFC 1149 [] IP over Pigeon []
    • by reaper20 ( 23396 ) on Monday December 30, 2002 @06:29AM (#4980607) Homepage
      Yes, except that if the IP pigeons drink the IP water, the universe will explode.
    • I am a going to get serious for a momment here and ask each and every person reading this to not write their own April 1 RFC. They had their day back in the early 90's, but it has now become sad and not at all funny.
    • On Saturday, a group of Linux enthusiasts in Bergen, Norway, succeeded in exchanging some data using the Carrier Pigeon Internet Protocol (CPIP).

      Man, I groan every time I read the phrase "a group of Linux enthusiasts." There is never any way of telling what they hell they're going to do next, but its undoubtedly going to be a really really bad idea. I mean, wasn't it a group of Linux enthusiasts who are setting up that radio broadcast of the entire linux kernel's code? I don't feel like looking up that link...

  • This seems interesting as a technology on itself. Like for scientific purposes.

    But as a Real Life application ?
    Why would we need such new and complicated technologies if the current ones just work fine ?
    I agree, new technologies might be faster and/ord better in the future, so it's defenetly worth looking into it some more.
    • Yes we need it.
      Imagine, just turn on the shower and you have a movie playing.
      Feds at your door, just drink the water.. poof
      The plus side is that now you can have internet access from your tap and finally we can stop bitching about cable companies....

      Overclocking your AMD can vaporise your data... as if burnt motherboards werent enough ;-)

    • This could be used where RF, fibre and wires dare not to tread. Like deep in a pipeline. Or a deep buried water main. Too deep for RF, say the bottom of the ocean. There are robots that go through these pipes, sort of sealing off the pipe, flowing at the speed of the fluid, coasting along. This technology could send data back in real time, instead of having to wait until the robot gets to the other end.
  • by FunkSoulBrother ( 140893 ) on Monday December 30, 2002 @06:04AM (#4980556)
    If this pans out, soon we'll be able to Surf the 'net!
  • this is just art (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hfastedge ( 542013 ) on Monday December 30, 2002 @06:04AM (#4980558) Homepage Journal
    I dont mean this as an insult. And its very good art, but observe:
    The core technology behind StreamingMedia is a new network protocol I'm developing for water transmission called H20/IP. H20/IP functions in a similar way as TCP/IP but focuses on the inherent viscous properties of water that are not present in traditional packet networks. These properties include fluidity, heat index, tri-state properties, density difference depending on state, and surface tension. Based on the OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) Model, H20/IP exists as a physical layer consisting of custom-designed hardware throughputs, a network layer used to decode incoming and outgoing messages, a transport layer between messages and communication interfaces, and an application layer that allows for connecting infinite input and output mechanisms. Depending on the design of the StreamingMedia network, the data layer can dynamically adjust to each change while maintaining the integrity of the network.

    This simply uses water as the medium instead of: fiber, wire, or air. Most likely, I would conclude that solid water is just too dynamic of a material to get anything useful out of it. For example, this display uses water drops, which are huge compared to electrons. Now, using electricity over water would be a little more interesting, but then it REALLY just becomes another medium for fiber wires. And if you want to get really creative, you can say that since there is so much matter in one drop of water, you can automagically make use of this inherent fact to send more data...then I say bah....because you can inherently make use of the quantum properties of electrons to get more out of them, and this is where we are REALLY going towards.

    Thanks for contributing to the entropy of this planet you artist!

    So: Just art...but good art. Well done!
    • Blockquoth the poster:

      Most likely, I would conclude that solid water is just too dynamic of a material to get anything useful out of it.

      I would conclude that, as solid water -- ice -- is crystalline, it isn't dynamic at all. :)
    • I dont know what artists you know, but coding a rudimentary delivery mechanism for a trans and protocol out of water drops doesn't sound very 'arty'. Just nerdy, but in a good way. Lots of interesting discoveries happen when people are just noodling around.

      Somebody above pointed out that this is the branch of science known as 'fluidics', and the equipment he used he may have gotten from any number of companies that produce fluidics instruments [].
      • Hmm, sorry, but i still view it as art.

        Why? Because crap like this has already been done looonnng ago.

        Take for example the rat and cheese computer. Thats like a decade old if not way more.

        Or The 2 RFC's on IP over avians (birds) as the medium.

        Moreover, as I said, he's simply using water in its solid form which, due to its size, is so innefficient relative to the minute size of the electron (something that we already harness quite well). Next, if you acknowledge the above argument, I reasoned that one might want to argue that to really make use out of this water as a new medium, you're going to have to look elsewhere than to its size (for communicating more information (or laying the foundations for research to do so) because smaller size = more information. Namely, you might have to look at its physicaly properties as huge bunch of matter. Well, the artist even says that he looks at surface tension, pressure....A) i highly doubt this is more than his own marketing hype. B) I've seen scientists struggle with the intracies of fluid dynamics for 40 years and they still have that much more time to go. I don't see this artist drawing, or citing ANY research on water dynamics. So, I concluded that there already is another front in science that takes something big that is composed of many parts like a water droplet, and analyzes it for its internal state, in order to make use of more information. Namely, pretend the electron is this big water droplet, and the analysis is quantum analysis, something that is well underway.

        Finally, nearly EVERY material at one time or another has been tested for its information carrying capacity. Thats all some electrical engineers/physicists do. And this includes water.

        Electrons are just so much faster than anything that water can offer. And in my first post, I already discussed that water has been tried as a medium for electrons, its just that containing this water is less feasible than simple wire/fiber/air.
  • This is cool, but a system employing a cycling loop of water would be cooler... after all water temperature could be used as an encoding medium, and peltier devices (heat pumps) to control the temperature.

    Turbulence could be a problem, but challenges is what's it's all about, right? :)
  • ..a webserver connected via on of these. You could get your page slashdotted and boil water for coffee at the same time!
  • Forgive me, but it's 2am, so one of my reactions to the article included "oooh, pictures."

    Using organic materials for data seemed to be perfect with cybernetics and other cyborg-esque technology; however, this idea is far from it. It's more closer, it seems, to Morse code - it apparently uses differing amounts and timings of water droplets to signify the color of the particular pixel.

    In addition, the packets are supported by gravity; hard to imagine how this could be done in a horizontal setting - I'm sure most of you know how fluids and pressure work. (Difficult to pass packets of water horizontally)

    So, anyone have good uses for this 'protocol'?
    • Difficult to pass packets of water horizontally

      Not to mention trying to ACK the received packets/droplets... I wonder what transfer speeds he gets, around 1 dps[1] maybe? Would it be possible to modulate the droplets to achieve higher speeds? Or add a squirt gun to pass water upwards/sideways? The possibilities for getting really wet are endless!

      [1] drop per second, of course. :-)

      • I wonder what transfer speeds he gets

        The lack of descriptive tech stuff like that really made me doubt the validity of the project. Then again, I've never seen this site before so I really can't be sure one way or another. But if it is real, I think it's pretty cool.

  • How refreshing. (Score:4, Informative)

    by jericho4.0 ( 565125 ) on Monday December 30, 2002 @06:13AM (#4980577)
    This is a cool project. It reminded me of this [] project (from this [] /. posting. A guy building logic gates with water flow.

    There was another link I can't find anymore to a lab moving microscopic drops of water around on a sillicon substrate really fast. The target apps are in biochemistry, but iirc the design used the liquid to do some logic, also.

  • Its really a .JPEG to Atari 2600 image converter isnt it?

    Come on now.. you can call it all the fancy shmancy names you like but that what it is eh?

    Cant fool us!

  • Creepy! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Subcarrier ( 262294 ) on Monday December 30, 2002 @06:24AM (#4980599)
    I put a contraption like this under my leaky kitchen tap and got...


    I keep telling myself it's just the water company messing with our heads, but...
  • ... and all its applications with packet networking, I presume we will be calling the next tsunami a waterwall? :)
  • by FyRE666 ( 263011 ) on Monday December 30, 2002 @06:35AM (#4980617) Homepage
    This is reminiscent of an idea used in the "first computer" developed in the book Cryptonomicon []. The RAM is a series of tubes holding mercury, which store values based upon waves introduced into the tubes which closed electical circuits (if I remember rightly). It'd be cool to see one actually working ;-)
    • Mercury delay lines have already been used quite succesfully in machines like UNIVAC and ENIAC. Google for it to get pictures and descriptions.
    • Want something more recent?

      Look into "nickel wire" delay line "memory"...

      I once took apart an old (early 1970s) desk calculator (to this day I wish I hadn't), which used discrete transistor logic for the ALU and nixie tubes for the display (woot!). As I was taking it apart, there was one strange item that I didn't recognise (from my then limited electronics knowlege) - a silver box, about 3 inches on a side, and about an inch tall, with four wire coming out of it.

      Being the idiot that I was, I wanted to know what was inside the box (it was sealed. A hammer, a screwdriver and some plier opened it up - and inside was a coiled wire (about three turns), and was connected at each end to what (I later learned) were piezo transducers.

      This coil of wire in the box (not sure if the box was sealed for dust protection, or if there was a slight vacuum or something) acted as the "memory" function for the calculator, using a serial style pulse train over the wire to store the numbers.

      Yeah, I got to find out how it worked, but I will never forgive myself for taking it apart...

  • This is amazing! Just look at that picture quality! It claims to be 2 bit, but I only see three colors. Can I buy one and sue for a refunt?

    Would this still be "/. worthy" if it transmitted 1280x1024 true color X sessions? Or only if a beowulf cluster was implemented through this?

    Serious: This is a neat "geek" project but nothing spectacular. Would the height difference be needed if we closed off the system so that pressure waves could transfer?
  • Why water? (Score:5, Funny)

    by coloth ( 630330 ) on Monday December 30, 2002 @06:44AM (#4980636)
    Seems to me, water was an uncreative choice for a creative project. Why not:

    Wine - An object lesson in classy networking.
    Milk - Don't have a cow, but your MOO just got creamed.
    Diesel - Oh, you knew they were going to get into high tech somehow.
    Coffee - Finally the name "Java" makes sense!
    Antifreeze - Hey, it just might work!
    Urine - For something that has pissed you off so much over the years

  • I pee after [I drink a nice, refreshing quart of]H20.

  • by torpor ( 458 ) <<ibisum> <at> <>> on Monday December 30, 2002 @06:51AM (#4980649) Homepage Journal
    ... a few years back during a LAAAATE night hacking session on a device driver for some hardware, I decided I'd had enough and needed to do something fun.

    I unglued myself from the swetty membrane that had formed between the edges of my ass and the chair, delved deep into foggy memory banks for details on how to move my arms and legs, got up and robo'ed to the kitchen with curled fingers to make pasta. It was a LOOONG code session, damn.

    Halfway back, I got the idea to use noodles to connect the device I was working on to my PC, just for fun. Easy enough to do: the serial line from my debugger to the outboard gear was just three wires.

    Some avid hacking with duct-tape, judicious use of PCB-posts, and 10 minutes later, I had things working!! I could talk to my device over the soggy noodle!

    So funny, sending commands over pasta!

    Okay, I went home after that. It didn't work so well the next day, when the pasta had dried up and stuck to the edges of the PCB ... and I got a few odd looks from a co-worker as I cleaned up, chuckling to myself, but hey...

  • IP/H20 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by chrisseaton ( 573490 ) on Monday December 30, 2002 @07:01AM (#4980665) Homepage
    That should be IP/H2O as in this case IP is running over the H2O technology, as with TCP/IP where TCP runs over IP.
  • This technique can be used to convert the movements/vibrations made by fish into some kind of visual form: and what might be the purpose? Art... beauty... abstract communication ??
  • It's the closest some geeks will get to water this year... :)
  • by alanwj ( 242317 ) on Monday December 30, 2002 @07:14AM (#4980685)
    Am I just confused, or wouldn't this be more appropriately titles IP/H2O?

    • I agree, at the very least, it should be IP/H2O. But the story also doesn't tell us if the creator actually uses IP.

      If I was making something like this, it would probably have a low-bandwidth protocol. I mean, look at that grayscale picture. That just spells "My Network Is Very Slow". I wouldn't go encapsulating the packets in IP....

      In Dutch, we would call his naming "Dichterlijke vrijheid", which translates to "Poetic freedom". It doesn't have to make sense, it should just convey the idea :). H2O/IP is probably wrong, but it conveys the idea.
  • H2O + IP (Score:5, Funny)

    by circletimessquare ( 444983 ) <circletimessquare&gmail,com> on Monday December 30, 2002 @07:18AM (#4980694) Homepage Journal
    water plus iodine phosphide is extremely explosive.

    careful, carnivore is watching. ;-P
  • the RFC for avian carrier IP! ;)

  • Wouldn't that that forever? A 10 meter drop would take approximately one second. Since several drops are needed for one byte it will take 8 seconds for one byte to be send over. If they do not use TCP/IP and just send over a RAW 320 x 256 picture (MCGA) they would have to wait : 655360 seconds. This will be: 7 days, 14 hours, 2 minutes and 40 seconds...
    • Re:Time (Score:3, Informative)

      by panurge ( 573432 )
      No, because droplets can follow one another with more than one in the channel at the time. They only need to be far enough apart to be sure they are distinguishable.

      If we assume that drops need to start off at least 10mm apart, using the high school classical equation t = sqrt(2s/g), we get about .045s or around 20 drops per second. (They will be physically much further apart at the bottom, of course, but the same distance apart in time.)

      Now assume we use classical serial communication, 1 start bit, one stop bit, one parity bit. That's 11 bits to a byte, or very roughly 2 bytes per second. The problem is mainly one of error correction. There is no back channel, so any errors cannot be corrected as there is no retransmit request. This is definitely not related to TCP/IP which was intended to be a robust protocol. It's just the equivalent of Morse code. Even so, at about 100 bytes per minute, and with the opportunity for compression, the transmission rate is about as fast as an ordinary Morse operator.

      • Not quite true. Based on the experience with similar problems inside familiar electronics (analog modems, inkjets), there is much room for improvement here. One could use phase modulation (various time between droplets) in many forms and maybe even droplet size modulation. I guess it could be made to look quite effective with bit rates around 50 bits/sec or even more...
        • I left those considerations out for simplicity, but of course you are right, although variation in droplet size would vary the terminal velocity (Stokes' Law) and would probably not work since both phase and interval modulation would fail. (large drops following small drops would be liable to overtake and absorb them). You could increase the bit rate dramatically by not relying on gravity but expelling drops at some initial velocity. If you knew the terminal velocity and could expel drops at or close to it, then drops would travel at essentially constant velocity and the bit rate might even approach a kbit/s. But this still requires a back channel to report errors and tune the transmitter for best response. Perhaps this could be done by having a back pipe going from low to high level and dripping into a receiver at the high level. Then, of course, you could have continuous circulation.

          If you want to know why I am wasting time typing this stuff, I've just finished replacing the attic ball valve, and moving between the ballvalve and the stopcock 35ft below was a real nuisance. Plumbing is on my mind at the moment.

  • Except that I wanted to use actual ping-pong balls. I'm sure I'm not the only one.
  • Shouldn't the title be IP/H20 ?

  • If someone says it's art, then I gauss it is.

    It's without a doubt poor engineering. Inefficient and error prone.
    If a hydro-exictric,mechanical means were to be used to do TCP/IP, and you chose not to conduct the electrical signal through what would probably be non-pure, highly conductive water, I would be more inclined to use water pressure to do the job rather than drops of water.

    But then that's me and I never understood the art of Yoko Ono.
  • by Spunk ( 83964 ) <> on Monday December 30, 2002 @08:19AM (#4980785) Homepage
    H20/IP functions in a similar way as TCP/IP but focuses on the inherent viscous properties of water that are not present in traditional packet networks.

    So a Token Ring system done this way would be a viscous circle?
    • So a Token Ring system done this way would be a viscous circle?

      Escher alert! Escher alert!

      computers are separated by a distance of at least 10 meters in height, such as in a stairwell.

  • You all know what kind of pictures will be sent in real world conditions.
  • Uhh...Professor, I don't have my assignment because my dog drank it...

  • DoS Attack? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Quixadhal ( 45024 ) on Monday December 30, 2002 @09:55AM (#4981016) Homepage Journal
    So if water is the media for tcp/ip, flushing the toilet would be considered a DoS attack? I imagine flushing while someone else is showering would be a DDoS, hence the screams...
  • I don't see what the big deal is here. They're using water instead on electrons..whoopie. The same effect could be made using a small child as the data carrier.

    A kid stands beside the PC. The Computer analyzes a picture, converts it to 16x16, blares out '2!', the kid runs downstairs, presses the number on a keyboard, runs back upstairs, the computer blares '0!', kid runs downstairs, presses number, etc etc etc. Voila! Greyscale image in the downstairs monitor.

    Look, an organic network!

  • I read the headline and thought IP = intellectual property - Jesus Tapdancing Christ! They're patenting water??? This project sounds cool.
  • April Fools (Score:2, Funny)

    by 2Wrongs ( 627651 )
    Wasn't this a joke in Red Herring [] a few years back?
  • Last year, Red Herring reported a fascinating tale of using the water pipes of the Netherlands [] as an IP medium. Of course, this was an elaborate April Fool's joke....

    Life really does imitate art.
  • Unless this protocol facilitates communication between networks it is nothing like IP. This is as flat as a topology gets. How would you route packets on this medium anyway? A complex set of valves?
  • Now, if THAT isn't a headline to draw out the bad jokes in THIS crowd, I'll eat my hat!

  • It's rather dissapointing what the world seems to have come to.

    Rather than look at a concept as an interesting idea, vision or technology, (as some people have regarding the topic) the majority of responses are poor attempts at witticism, declarations about the passe nature of the concept or a casual derision of any achievement followed by an audacious expression of hot air about how they could have done better.

    Perhaps a medium that allows an individual to express their opinions to such a large group of people needs to be licensed based on a system of IQ and decorum. Probably myself included.

    From a momentary snapshot on humanity's greatest communicative achievement, the future doesn't look so bright for our potential global society, nor for us as a species. This is even more disturbing coming from 'geeks' who are the supposed intelligentia of the new Millenia. To that end i'd like to express my dissapointment in the human race as a whole and go about my misanthopy in silence.

    To those people who expressed interest in the concept: I'd be interested in finding out if this is a hoax or a joke like RFC2549, and if not whether the inventor plans to register an RFC for OSI interoperability. The rest of Jonah's (i presume; the inventor) projects are awesome like Common Reference point, SpeakerPhone and especially Tele-TV. Given the design of his site i think that he is displaying his projects as a resume and not in a format that allows others to duplicate or contribute to his work, which is frustrating but given the attitude to one project in this forum alone i'm not surprised.

    Comments and suggestions of a positive nature welcome.
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