Free Republic
Browse · Search
Bloggers & Personal
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

SETI Live: How You Can Help Find Alien Civilizations on Your PC
Mashable Tech ^ | March 1, 2012 | Peter Pachal

Posted on 03/10/2012 11:59:05 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet

Got some spare time today? How about putting aside that game of Bejeweled Blitz and instead lend a hand in what could be the most important discovery of all time? It’s no joke — the people behind the Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project have partnered with TED (Technology Entertainment Design) to create a website where anyone can log on and start searching for aliens.

Called SETI Live, the new project reduces the hunt for intelligent life on other planets to a kind of game — sort of a mix between Foursquare and Where’s Waldo. Once you log on and take a brief tutorial, the site flashes snapshots of radio-signal data. Then it’s your job to identify any suspicious patterns you may spot — a straight line among a sea of random streaks could be ET trying to say hello. Do it long enough and you’ll earn special badges.

The SETI program searches the heavens for extraterrestrials via radio telescopes, examining tiny slices of the sky, one at a time, for signals that might have been produced by a civilization elsewhere in the galaxy. This generates mountains of radio-signal data to sift through — too much for the SETI program to handle itself, especially since public funding has been virtually nonexistent for the past 20 years, and securing private investment has been a challenge as well.

You may have heard of SETI@Home — an app that anyone can download that will lend their PC’s processing power to SETI when it’s not being used. Whereas that program is passive, SETI Live is a way for enthusiasts to actively help in the search for the answer to the question, “Are we alone?” It also has the bonus of not requiring any software installation.

SEE ALSO: SETI Resumes Search for Alien Life

SETI Live was conceived as part of the TED Prize program, which gives $100,000 every year to reward a specific vision from the “world’s leading entrepreneurs, innovators and entertainers to change the world.” SETI leader Jill Tarter won the prize in 2009, wishing for a way “to empower Earthlings everywhere to become active participants in the ultimate search for cosmic company.” Zooniverse, which backs several citizen science projects, also helped build SETI Live.

In our brief hands-on, we found the tutorial to be a little vague at times, but thankfully short. We got the hang of spotting patterns pretty quickly, though, and blazed through several data screens in the hunt for aliens. It gets boring mighty fast, though — it would be served better if they could somehow mix up the data or activities, or even simply change the color of some of the screens. Be warned: it doesn’t appear to be compatible with Google Chrome (Firefox had no problems).

Still, it’s a promising project, and we’re sure there are thousands of astronomy enthusiasts who will line up to participate. What do you think of SETI Live? And how could it be improved? Have your say in the comments.


TOPICS: Computers/Internet; Government; Science; UFO's; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: aliens; extraterrestrials; nasa; seti; space; ufo

1 posted on 03/10/2012 11:59:13 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

A Q-tip and a petri dish?

How about just tipping the keyboard and shaking?


2 posted on 03/11/2012 12:02:50 AM PST by lepton ("It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into"--Jonathan Swift)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

I signed up for this a long time ago when they first brought it out. Its worth it and it is neat.


3 posted on 03/11/2012 12:03:30 AM PST by U-238
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

This is how it works:

http://setiquest.org/wiki/index.php/SETI_Live


4 posted on 03/11/2012 12:10:10 AM PST by U-238
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

ping


5 posted on 03/11/2012 12:13:55 AM PST by unkus (After his discharge from the army he)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

bookmark


6 posted on 03/11/2012 12:16:55 AM PST by GiovannaNicoletta ("....in the last days, mockers will come with their mocking... (2 Peter 3:3))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

BUMP! Long-time supporter of SETI and Drs Drake and Shostak!


7 posted on 03/11/2012 12:25:54 AM PST by golux
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

Having been a ham radio operator for over 50 years, I embraced SETI as a low budget way for us to be watching for some intelligence containing signal from the far reaches of the universe.
It was maybe 1958 when Popular Electronics ran a piece about how that year was a good time to start looking, based on the fact that high power VHF TV signals had started about 22 years in the past, and the nearest star that might have planets was 11 light years away.
It was then time to be looking for some reply.

While we have yet to receive anything from ET, I think SETI is the best low budget way to keep an ear to space.

I personally do not believe in ET, at least not any of the gibberish that they are here and zipping all around Earth.
I would not, however, rule out the possibility that they exist somewhere in the universe, most likely dozens to hundreds of light years away.

My apologies to you Kook to Kook fans.
I happen to be listening to it now, as I find some interesting info there, as well as a lot of good amusement.


8 posted on 03/11/2012 12:33:33 AM PST by AlexW
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

Send more chuck berry!


9 posted on 03/11/2012 12:49:17 AM PST by Yaelle (Santorum 2012 - we need a STEADY conservative President)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

Just what is it they are listening for? How would they recognize a “message” if they found one?


10 posted on 03/11/2012 1:24:25 AM PST by circlecity
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

Now we know what Kucinich will be doing.


11 posted on 03/11/2012 1:53:25 AM PST by Berlin_Freeper (Cometh the hour, cometh the man. NEWT GINGRICH 2012)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

Being the party pooper is a dirty job but somebody’s gotta do it..... The idea of anybody using radio waves or electromagnetic radiation of any sort to communicate over stellar or cosmic distances is idiotic and nobody with any brains or talent would ever do it. That wold be like trying to communicate with Germans by splashing pebbles in NY harbor and hoping the Germans at Bremen could read the message on the ripple waves when they got there.


12 posted on 03/11/2012 3:01:18 AM PDT by varmintman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: varmintman
Being the party pooper is a dirty job but somebody’s gotta do it..... The idea of anybody using radio waves or electromagnetic radiation of any sort to communicate over stellar or cosmic distances is idiotic and nobody with any brains or talent would ever do it. That wold be like trying to communicate with Germans by splashing pebbles in NY harbor and hoping the Germans at Bremen could read the message on the ripple waves when they got there.

The alien radio signals wouldn't necessarily be communication signals (i.e. "messages") - they could instead be simply technological artifacts, e.g., unintentional by-products of some other technological activity - just as a wisp of smoke over the horizon or the sound of hammering is not an attempt on the part of your distant neighbor to converse with anyone.

Regards

13 posted on 03/11/2012 4:18:38 AM PDT by alexander_busek
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

I as a MARS Director in the late 60s. We handled many MARS messages from outta space! There was even a “FOOT” message in July of 69!


14 posted on 03/11/2012 6:12:02 AM PDT by Young Werther
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

I’m not sure that finding, or more to the point being found, by an ET civilization would be a good thing.


15 posted on 03/11/2012 6:18:42 AM PDT by rbg81 (Only taxpayers should be allowed to vote)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

Broadcast signals are finally reaching alien worlds from Earth, unfortunately, it’s “Gilligan’s Island” and “The Dating Game”....the invasion fleet is on it’s way to obliterate us before we spread.


16 posted on 03/11/2012 6:23:59 AM PDT by coolbreeze (giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teen-age boys.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

I guess it could be a fun diversion, but probably not useful to the actual discovery. I’m leery of any of the “programs” out there that want to access/use my computer for some “noble” cause. I do a lot to keep others FROM accessing me.


17 posted on 03/11/2012 6:48:36 AM PDT by trebb ("If a man will not work, he should not eat" From 2 Thes 3)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

I can find “alien” (pseudo)”civilizations” just by driving down the road. The aliens usually scatter when I roll down the window and yell, “ICE!”


18 posted on 03/11/2012 7:07:55 AM PDT by MIchaelTArchangel (Romney ruined Massachusetts. Now he wants to ruin the nation.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rbg81
I’m not sure that finding, or more to the point being found, by an ET civilization would be a good thing.

You, me and Stephen Hawking agree on this.

19 posted on 03/11/2012 7:16:27 AM PDT by Drew68
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet
There are no habitable planets within our technological reach. As for inhabitants of another planet contacting us the chances are slim. That's assuming they are an intelligent life form and highly evolved. Time travel is impossible. Space travel at or beyond light speed is incomprehensible. I don't see it.

The much more important question is and always has been: WHY are we here? Why do we exist in the first place? For what reason? Who created life forms? Why?

And an even greater question is why is OUR life span so incredibly short as contrasted with the life span of the 'known' universe??? 70 years vs Trillions? What's that about??

Even if we did or were contacted by an alien life form it still would not answer the questions above. So we're here, we exist and we die. Swell. So my ethereal soul is supposed to linger in a heavenly state for trillions of years,...and then what? The whole thing is just too weird.

20 posted on 03/11/2012 8:32:07 AM PDT by Doc Savage ("I've shot people I like a lot more,...for a lot less!" Raylan Givins)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MIchaelTArchangel

I don’t even have to leave my house. I just click over to DU.


21 posted on 03/11/2012 8:44:29 AM PDT by COUNTrecount (Barry...above his poi grade.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Doc Savage

Hey, I’m not saying this is THE answer, it’s just what works for me...maybe it’ll help, ymmv...

Speaking of Jesus, John said;
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. Jhn 1:3
He was in the world, and the world was made by him Jhn 1:10
Paul said Jesus made Worlds;
Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the WORLDS Hbr 1:2
Through faith we understand that the WORLDS were framed by the word of God Hbr 11:3

Isaiah states the reason Jesus made the world;
For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I [am] the LORD; and [there is] none else. Isa 45:18

My conclusion?
The WORLDS were not created in vain either, they are inhabited.

We have been told the manner of His return. I believe any perceived or “seeming” contact can be/ might be caused by the enemy to distract. The enemy does have the power;

And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men Rev 13:13
And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by [the means of] those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast Rev 13:14


22 posted on 03/11/2012 9:15:54 AM PDT by spankalib (The Marx-in-the-Parks crowd is a basement skunkworks operation of the AFL-CIO)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet
A few of us still like to do it the 'old fashioned' way. ;-)


23 posted on 03/11/2012 11:07:22 AM PDT by uglybiker (BACON!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

In the immortal words of Stephen Sondheim, don’t bother, they’re here.


24 posted on 03/11/2012 11:11:05 AM PDT by RichInOC (Palin 2012: The Perfect Storm.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: lepton
A Q-tip and a petri dish?

Reminds me of a "Simpsons" episode when I think Lisa was doing a school project along that line, and after a few days, looked at the dish with a magnifying glass and saw some little creature nailing a list of protests on a church door. "Oh my!", she declared, "I've created little Lutherans!" I about sprayed the coffee over that one.

25 posted on 03/11/2012 2:28:05 PM PDT by Oatka (This is America. Assimilate or evaporate.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Bloggers & Personal
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson