In xkcd's series what if, an area dedicated to answering hypothetical questions with physics, examines "When -- if ever -- will the bandwidth of the Internet surpass that of FedEx?"
If you want to transfer a few hundred gigabytes of data, it's generally faster to FedEx a hard drive than to send the files over the internet. This isn't a new idea -- it's often dubbed SneakerNet -- and it's how Google transfers large amounts of data internally.
But will it always be faster?
Cisco estimates that total internet traffic currently averages 167 terabits per second. FedEx has a fleet of 654 aircraft with a lift capacity of 26.5 million pounds daily. A solid-state laptop drive weighs about 78 grams and can hold up to a terabyte.
That means FedEx is capable of transferring 150 exabytes of data per day, or 14 petabits per second -- almost a hundred times the current throughput of the internet.
|How Big Would a City Have to Be to Fit 7.4 Billion People?|
|Let's Free Congress: Infographic-Like Website on the Impact of Donations in Government's Decisions|
|Facebook is Always Watching You|
|Public Domain Super Heroes|
|"Your gateway to understanding life outside your home."|
|“Every human being on this planet will be completely redundant within a decade.”|
|“These planets are more likely to look like giant eyeballs whose gaze is forever fixed on their host star.”|
|Fake Name Generator|
|Japanese Robot Serves Ice Cream From Inside a Vending Machine|
|“A new privacy scandal that’s getting far less attention.”|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|“The Amish use us as an experiment.”|
|“Single use forever launch clock.”|
|When the Wrong Hastag Can Get You Killed by an Assassination Drone|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|“Without any security company in the world recognizing that it even existed.”|
|Amateur-Built Electric Car Going After Record Set by Tesla|