View Full Version : SETI
12-11-2000, 02:42 PM
Is NASA still funding SETI? Who handles performance measurement? I mean, did the originators of the program give themselves a timeline - "we predict that with $1 Billion, we will find life in 20 years" sort of thing? Congress isn't keen on open-ended funding envelopes, so does this put added pressure on the SETI team to come up with results?
12-11-2000, 03:01 PM
SETI is now searching for space aliens on your own PC. All space alien loving dopers can help find the little green men by joining up at http://setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu/stats/team/team_75327.html
You'll have to download a little program, but it's a ton o' fun.
Yup...it's neat. If you really want to crunch units, though, make sure you set the screen to blank, or use the command line version. The graphics slow down the computation considerably. On my machine, 1 unit takes: 27 hours with graphics on, 13.5 hrs with screen blanked, and 10.7 hours with the command line version. Guess you know which one I use. ;) I'm up to about 130 units right now, which is nothing compared to most people, but I'm proud of those little guys!!!
12-11-2000, 03:50 PM
I actually didn't know that SETI was ever funded by NASA. It's always been my understanding that funding would be tight for something like 'searching for alien life', since it's hardly considered a top priority in most people's lives, hence the idea of using personal PCs to look at the data.
I work at a company called Entropia that uses the same idea of utilizing personal PCs to solve complicated super-computer type problems that have been broken down and divided out over lots of lower powered machines. We use it for a pretty cool charity called FightAIDSathome (www.fightaidsathome.org) which uses the unused computer cycles of your processor to test 3-D drug designs against a model of HIV protease to find better HIV/ AIDS drugs.
It's pretty damn cool, and I recommend having a look. Of course, I'm a little biased, but I'd rather cure AIDS (a problem on THIS planet) then worry about what's going on with other planets.
12-11-2000, 03:59 PM
SETI was briefly federally funded. The funding was killed because the government saw it as a waste of taxpayer dollars and, of course, no project scientist could guarantee that E.T.s would be found.
Now, SETI is funded with private money and industry contributions (signal processing types, etc.).
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