Darn, not this time. Just when I thought we were making some progress with the SETI@home project, it comes out that the whole story of SETI finding a valuable signal was just twisted around by some reporter.
Here’s how it went down: Dan Wertheimer, an astronomer, told a reporter from KTVU that he may have heard a pulse from space. Not that he did, but that he may have. The reporter then took that tidbit, and a bunch of other loosely related information and spun it way out, ultimately publishing a story (now corrected) that made it seem like we had found and alien civilization.
Unfortunaely we didn’t, but it did renew my interest and hopes of the SETI@home project. I’ve been an active member of SETI@home since before college, and have given as much of my processing power over to the project as possible. Although I, (or anyone else) haven’t found anything yet, its still really cool to be a part of this project. Cool to be part of a mission that may be mankind’s only chance of salvation.
Anyway, I’ll keep my computer crunching radio recordings from space, and hopefully someday I’ll be able to write a much more exciting blog post…
I too share the desire to find something out there. I haven’t joined the SETI@home project but I don know of another @home project that has tremendous computing power. Folding@home has a download for the PS3 entertainment/game system which can harness the amazing processors that the PS3 has. There was a recent article about how the PS3 network for the Folding@home project just surpassed the 1 Petaflop barrier and thats not counting the PC’s and Mac’s that are running Folding@home programs too.
I’m generally concerned about the electricity usage of such networks spread across the country and the world. It seems apt that someone should measure the amount of electricity that is used while a computer is “sharing” its processor for such projects. Understanding that such electricity is generated principally from coal-fired power generation plants across the world, the networks are causing an increase in the consumption of fuel for such power plants and thereby creating greater pollution. Indeed, the irony is that while such scientific pursuits are considered necessary for the future of mankind, they may be generating unintended and negative consequences on our environment.
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