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Ring Count Protocol

Telephone: one ring = 0, two rings = 1
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While dialling a call, you aren't charged until the called party actually picks up the handset.

You can transmit data to another telephone, for gratis, by making use of this feature: dial the number, and disconnect after one or two rings, according to the bit to be sent. Repeat after a short delay.

The receiver will just have to count the rings and build up a byte bit by bit, and so on.

It might not be fast but it's cheap.

neelandan, Mar 29 2005

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       System already in use - eg, when leaving family of friends to drive home to my (distant) home its common to arrange for 'three rings' around the ETA to indicate safe arrival. I though this was just me being tight, but recently discovered most people I know do the same thing.   

       As for building up a data file / message bit by bit.... at what point does your time become less valuable than a call connection fee and five second message?
ConsulFlaminicus, Mar 29 2005
  

       I believe that in the Iain Banks book 'Whit' the Luskentarians (who were against the correct use of such modern contrivances) used a similar principle, although they also had a series of pre-arranged codes based on numbers of ring sequences.
gnomethang, Mar 29 2005
  

       One problem that can crop up is that what a caller hears played to her as ring tones, number of rings, is not synchronized to what the person being called hears. You may think you are leaving two rings when the callee hears only a single ring. It might be hit and miss.   

       For example, our line has two phone numbers and one of the numbers produces a double ring here in the house but the caller hears the same single ring tone regardless of which number was called.
bristolz, Mar 29 2005
  

       I think this is fairly common practice (the squealo) in Italy, where mobile usage costs are high.
goldilox, Mar 29 2005
  

       That would be suer slow and impractical. One call session per bit? How long does it take to send "Hello World"? Let's see, about 10-20 seconds per bit, so over a minute per byte, and assuming a couple of bytes per letter (you want unicode with that?) you're at about 10-15min.   

       Reminds me of Cryponomicon's scene where someone writes code using morse code and flying keyboard lights.
rossgk, Feb 07 2008
  

       I thought this would be about working out how old trees are.
hippo, Feb 07 2008
  

       Old trees are fine. How are you?
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 07 2008
  

       rossgk: I did say that it "might not be fast".   

       hippo: Just count the rings, and add the years the tree has been known to be dead.   

       MB: Old trees are going to be fine, decades after all of us have turned into fertilizer.
neelandan, Feb 08 2008
  

       Well why don't you just make it 1 ring = 1 and 0 ring = 0?
mecotterill, Feb 08 2008
  

       You could take inspiration from memory bandwidth technology, and double the ring data. You would have a full ring, a half ring (a rising edge), and a 0 ring. Since 0 rings takes no time, that is double the speed. I don't think you could have a dropping edge, unless you could some how start the ring halfway through.   

       But like [bristolz] says, there is a discontinuity between rings heard and rings rung; many times i've called and people have picked up before i've heard a ring on my end -- so this isn't just slow, it's not reliable at all.   

       I do find it interesting that Italians not only do this anyways on a regular basis, and give it a name ('squealo'). I guess all that organized crime doesn't pay like it should.
mylodon, Feb 09 2008
  
      
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