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Comment Re:doesnt matter to me (Score 1) 857

Even EBCDIC will be readable in 2070. Character sets are simple substitution ciphers (albeit some with variable length characters), most of which are exceptionally well documented both electronically and in real books. Not only that, but as long as the language of interest is not mutilated beyond statistical recognition and the details of said mutilation lost in the mists of time, text of any moderate length in a character-stream format will always be readable without historical record of the encoding used. Character substitution ciphers are dead easy - elementary school kids can crack them if you can hold their interest long enough.

You could make up your own character set and never tell anyone how it works and a determined historian (at least some of whom would necessarily be passably competent with ciphers in 2070) would almost certainly crack it, at least for the letters in whatever languages you use.

Comment Re:But it still does not answer the question (Score 2, Informative) 406

What's the speed of an unloaden African swallow?

Replacing "speed" with "data rate" and making a few other substitutions, we have a question I find interesting. "What was the data rate of that particular laden African swallow?"

The story is missing an absolutely critical piece of info though - how much data there was. Without that knowledge, the story is pretty meaningless. If I transport 30 GB of data by thumb drive physically (whether by pigeon or car or whatever) in an hour, I can get it there far faster than my home cable modem. If it was 1 MB of data, it's a very different story.

Judging by the fact that the time "including download" to the destination system was about an hour longer than the time it took for the pigeon to fly, I'd say it very well could have been at least a few GB.

For sake of a wild-ass guess, giving, say, 20 min overhead for fumbling around with the data card, putting it on and off the pigeons leg, etc., and dividing the remaining time by two (1 transfer onto and 1 transfer off of the device), that puts each transfer at around 15-18 min. At 20 MB/sec, it could have been around 18 to 21 GB of data being transferred. That translates (under the aforementioned massive and barely justifiable set of assumptions) to about 2.3 to 2.8 megabytes per second moved by pigeon (20-ish GB moved in 7617 seconds).

I'm not going to waste (more) time analyzing sensitivity to changes in my assumptions, but at a guess I'd say the result is moderately sensitive to changes in both pigeon-to-computer transfer time and pigeon-to-computer data rates. In other words, take the numbers above with a pretty big grain of salt.

Comment Re:Yeah and (Score 1) 688

Actually, your blog paints a picture of your readership. Agreed, 99.997% is probably made-up. After, all, 99.997% of all statistics are made up on the spot ;). But (and I mean no offense when I say this as I don't know the first thing about you or your blog) I really doubt that your blog is representative of the market as a whole.

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