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This news item – that thumbdrive-toting carrier pigeons transfer data faster than ADSL cable in South Africa – has already gotten lots of attention around the web. It was everyone’s favorite anecdote of this year’s Internet Hungary conference. But what I have yet to see are proposals for how this new technology, PDD (pigeon data delivery), should be employed. (Previous and competing protocols such as IP over Avian Carriers (IPoAC) are now defunct and in need of a major update … hence PDD.)

And so let me make this humble suggestion to the entrepreneurial among you based in Brooklyn, New York: a local Netflix-like movie rental service which delivers DVD-quality movies on 6 GB thumbdrives via carrier pigeon. Brooklyn hipsters would make their indie film requests over Twitter (in the same way that Houston residents order their coffeee … thus integrating marketing into the service) and an hour later a carrier pigeon is deployed to the designated pick-up location for each neighborhood. The hipster then has two days to return the video … and the pigeon … in tact.

And while I’m on the topic of pigeons in Brooklyn, allow me to make mention of my favorite film within the genre of Brooklyn pigeon documentary, Josh Levy’s Pigeon People.

Josh is someone I’ve long admired, but haven’t had much occasion to write about in these here pages. And, inconceivably in this era of crossing paths, ours have remained in parallel. In 2006, long before this became accepted practice, Josh experimented with the Bronx Blog Project, a wonderful multimedia initiative that got a class of around 20 ESL students in the Bronx to start blogging. After the project was over he eloquently summarized his lessons learned on the iDC mailing list, which prompted several interesting responses that still hold true today.

Later he would become the managing editor of Change.org where he established a team of writers to blog consistently about social justice and activist issues. He now works for Free Press, a media reform organization which promotes “diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, quality journalism, and universal access to communications.”

It is an exciting field to be in (especially these days). Personally, I think that telecom regulation is going to be one of the major issues over the next 50 years as it increasingly influences access to information, goods and services. My own feelings about net neutrality are mixed and complicated, and better articulated by Christian Sandvig. But to Josh, a comrade in hypertext, I say this: let us not fret too much about the wires; for we’ll always have the pigeons.