Thursday, March 1

Search for ET nets missing computer

Interesting news from SETI (the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence): their mass-computing project, SETI@home, helped to solve a crime.

SET@home is an attempt to get around the mass amounts of processing power it takes to analyze the data received by SETI's sensors. Instead of having an impossibly giant supercomputer to crunch the numbers, they distribute small pieces of raw data to millions of volunteers who allow their computers to participate in the analysis while their computers are on screen-saver.

Every time the computer needs a new chunk of data, it needs to access SETI's servers, and in the process of that transaction it reports its Internet address. When a computer with the SETI@home software installed was stolen, the owners were able to find it by tracking the address reported to SETI when the software asked for a new piece of data.

Details of the story are in the link below.

AP - Missing Laptop Found in ET Hunt

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The Geek Code desperately needs updating, but in any case here's mine (as of 2010-02-28):

Version: 3.12
GIT/MU d+(-) s:+>: a C++> ULXB++++$ L+++ M++ w--() !O !V P+ E---
W+++ N o++ K? PS PE++ Y+ PGP t !5 X- R- tv+@ b++ DI++++ D--- e*++
h--- r+++ y+++ G+

If you really care about knowing what that all means, you either know the code already, or you can get it decoded for you here.