July 25, 2007

SETI@Home Improvements

I think SETI@home is a very cool project, and I have come up with a simple tweak that will vastly increase their chances for success.

Just to quickly bring you up to speed, "SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) is a scientific area whose goal is to detect intelligent life outside Earth. One approach, known as radio SETI, uses radio telescopes to listen for narrow-bandwidth radio signals from space. Such signals are not known to occur naturally, so a detection would provide evidence of extraterrestrial technology."

The SETI@home Project allows people around the world to download a screensaver that will enable their home and office computers to help analyze those radio telescope signals. By harnessing this grid of personal computers across the internet, greater frequency ranges can be covered with more sensitivity.

The bottom line here is the more people they have running the software, the more data they can crunch.

I've sent the following email to the Director of the SETI@home project:

Dear Mr. Anderson,

I'm very interested in the SETI@home project and have been a supporter of it for years. I'm writing because I have an idea that I believe will bring SETI@home to a much wider audience, thereby increasing its scope and efficiency.

The idea is simple: If your computer is the first one to locate extraterrestrial intelligence, you win a valuable prize.

I was thinking First Prize could be something like: Dinner with the Aliens. All expenses paid. This could be either here on Earth or on their home planet. (Assuming. A: Their planet can support human life, and B: They're not hellbent on the cataclysmic destruction of our entire race.) If it is here on Earth, it should probably be someplace nice, but not so upscale that the extraterrestrials think we're all snooty. I STRONGLY suggest The Outback Steakhouse. (But none of this is set in stone.)

Second Prize: 6 free months of DSL

Third Prize: Maybe a phone call from Lou Ferigno.

Please let me know what you think. I'm ready to promote the new SETI@home prizing structure on my website as soon as you as you give me the official go-ahead.


P.S. I realize my immediate family should probably not be eligible to enter the contest, just to keep things fair.

I await his reply.

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Posted by Steven | Archive