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Spotlight on: SETI@home - Articles

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First half guest Dr. Glen MacPherson has researched and documented a Hum heard by people all over the world. The sound is louder indoors than outdoors, and louder late at night than during the afternoon. In the more serious cases, the Hum can affect quality of life; in a number of documented instances, the torment of the noise has been life-altering. MacPherson shared the latest from his scientific investigation into the phenomenon, which seems to indicate that the culprit may be electromagnetic pollution by Very Low Frequency (VLF) waves. This was followed in the second half by Open Lines.

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Spotlight on: SETI@home

 Spotlight on: SETI@home

Want to contribute to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence? SETI@home lets you (well your computer actually) get into the act. Why, you could even be out having lunch, while your computer running a special screensaver, is contributing useful bits of data to the study. Launched in May of 1999, the program takes advantage of what is called "distributed-computing," which makes use of many separate computers each processing small "work units" which are then sent back to the SETI@home lab at UC Berkeley.

The program is parceling out data gleaned from the huge radio telescope at Arecibo, with the overall intention of detecting signals from outer space that appear to be coming from an intelligent source. Many were skeptical of how useful this group collaboration would be when it first began. But as of May 2002 there were over 3,725,900 signed-up participants whose computers had analyzed a staggering 983,487 years of computer processing time. According to one project director, the contributors are analyzing the same amount of data that it would cost them $300 million of supercomputers to otherwise obtain. While Seti@home is clearly a groundbreaking success in the field of "distributed-computing" one would hope that it might eventually yield an alien radio jingle as well. For more info check out this article(1) by Kamil Z. Skawinski.

--L.L.(2)

1. http://www.ccnmag.com/index.php?sec=mag&id=156
2. http://archive.coasttocoastam.com/info/contactus.html

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