As an LED lights up, the human participant strikes the corresponding key on the xylophone. Piezo sensors are attached to each xylophone, so that they are able to sense when a note is played on the other xylophone. The Arduino for the receiving computer senses the note and then converts it back into hexadecimal code. And when the second computer sends a return packet, the order of operations is reversed.
The data can be sent at a rate of roughly 1 baud, which is still faster than the earlier, um, IP over Avian Carriers technology.
Assuming the musicians don’t get bored. It takes about 15 minutes to transmit a single packet, assuming the musician doesn’t hit any wrong notes. That’s rare, though, apparently. Geiger told NetworkWorld: “Humans are really terrible interfaces.”
Pedant note: yes, they are using a glockenspiel in the photo above, not a true xylophone, but I guess X is a cooler letter to have in your acronym…
Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology set a new record by transmitting 26 terabits of a data per second (“the entire Library of Congress in 10 seconds!” as the usual benchmark goes) using a single laser and a clever FFT and frequency comb technique to split the light into 300+ discrete colors:
The Fourier transform is a well-known mathematical trick that can in essence extract the different colours from an input beam, based solely on the times that the different parts of the beam arrive. The team does this optically – rather than mathematically, which at these data rates would be impossible – by splitting the incoming beam into different paths that arrive at different times, recombining them on a detector. In this way, stringing together all the data in the different colours turns into the simpler problem of organising data that essentially arrive at different times.
Logstalgia (aka ApachePong), a visualizer that turns Apache log file entries into an automated game of OpenGL Pong, with the server-paddle hitting requests back at the calling visitors. Pipe it through SSH and tail to get real-time infoviz. Hey, I’ve seen worse screensavers…