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Sun's Twin Discovered — the Perfect SETI Target?

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the do-they-have-oil dept.

Space 168

astroengine writes "There are 10 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy that are the same size as our sun. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that astronomers have identified a clone to our sun lying only 200 light-years away. Still, it is fascinating to imagine a yellow dwarf that is exactly the same mass, temperature and chemical composition as our nearest star. In a recent paper reporting on observations of the star — called HP 56948 — astronomer Jorge Melendez of the University of San Paulo, Brazil, calls it 'the best solar twin known to date.' Using HP 56948 as a SETI target seems like a logical step, says Melendez."

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Exo Plant first (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39827603)

It would be a good target to look for an Exo plant first. Then from spectral measurements see if it has the elements necessary for life (water, oxygen, etc...). Then it makes a good target for SETI to scan.

Re:Exo Plant first (4, Funny)

siddesu (698447) | about 2 years ago | (#39827689)

Wrong, then it makes a good colonization target. Fill the barges with androids and seeds NOW!!1

Re:Exo Plant first (2)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | about 2 years ago | (#39828213)

Wrong, then it makes a good colonization target. Fill the barges with androids and seeds NOW!!1

But leave the sex-bot androids behind. I've been waiting for them to show up on the scene and would hate to see them all shipped off 200 light-years before I can even own one.

Great. So scan it. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39827647)

Tell us what you find. Until then... who the fuck cares?

Re:Great. So scan it. (5, Insightful)

BradleyUffner (103496) | about 2 years ago | (#39827967)

Tell us what you find. Until then... who the fuck cares?

Astronomers, people who like astronomy, and people interested in science, just to name a few.

Re:Great. So scan it. (2)

bhagwad (1426855) | about 2 years ago | (#39828113)

For starters, I do. Some of us like to keep track of endeavors as they happen and not merely be at the receiving end of a "finished product" announcement.

Re:Great. So scan it. (3, Funny)

Gilmoure (18428) | about 2 years ago | (#39828259)

Exactly! What was the score from last nights game and what has Britney Britney been up to this week?

Maybe I'm paranoid (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39827671)

If there is a lifeform advanced enough to pick up the SETI signals, chances are they've had the technology for thousands of (earth) years. By contrast, just a couple hundred years ago we were reading books by gas lamps and traveling and sending messages by horse and carriage.

Maybe they could organize an expedition to colonize this fertile planet 70 percent covered with liquid water, only 200 LY away? Of course, by that time the original SETI people would be long dead, having gone to their graves happy in the knowledge that they've advanced understanding between alien species...

Re:Maybe I'm paranoid (1)

siddesu (698447) | about 2 years ago | (#39827739)

What would be the incentive to organize such an expedition? Even if they are way ahead of us, it will be an enormous enterprise. I'm sure if they are so advanced, they would have to compare it with much better alternatives.

Re:Maybe I'm paranoid (5, Informative)

mswhippingboy (754599) | about 2 years ago | (#39827941)

Hopefully they will be advanced enough to know that SETI listens to signals, it does not send anything!

Re:Maybe I'm paranoid (4, Informative)

Kozz (7764) | about 2 years ago | (#39829199)

It's great to go back and watch this particular episode of Carl Sagan's Cosmos: Encyclopedia Galactica [hulu.com]. He goes through the basic idea of the Drake Equation, opines on listening/detecting life elsewhere in the galaxy. It's really great stuff, and worth watching whether you've seen it before or not.

Re:Maybe I'm paranoid (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 2 years ago | (#39829315)

Hopefully they will be advanced enough to know that SETI listens to signals, it does not send anything!

Who knows? Maybe they are so advanced that they can listen to those who are listening !!

I think we're one of the first intelligent life (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39827969)

The Universe is what 13 Billion years old? The only elements at the beginning were Hydrogen, helium, and lithium.

First generation of stars create some heavier elements but still nothing for building life. They go nova and what have you. So after the first generation of stars, we're not at what? 5 Billion years?

Now we need a second generation of stars for the heavier elements like iron and carbon. So, now we're at 10 billion years?

Now come our generation of stars with elements in their planetary disk that can build life.

I think we are very much alone and eventually, WE will be the super advanced being that space faring future of aliens will be in awe of.

Re:I think we're one of the first intelligent life (4, Interesting)

Chris Burke (6130) | about 2 years ago | (#39828063)

First generation of stars create some heavier elements but still nothing for building life. They go nova and what have you. So after the first generation of stars, we're not at what? 5 Billion years?

Massive stars create elements all the way up to iron in their normal life span and all the heavier elements when they go supernova. They have lifespans measured in tens of millions of years.

It doesn't necessarily take a long time to go through several generations of stars. I thought I'd read recently that we'd found extremely old metal-rich stars indicating that they had in fact gone through several generations rapidly.

Re:I think we're one of the first intelligent life (1)

bhagwad (1426855) | about 2 years ago | (#39828139)

Yup - the bigger a star is, the faster it burns through its fuel.

Re:I think we're one of the first intelligent life (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39828225)

But is tens of millions of years enough to create those heavy elements?

And were there enough of them early on in the Universe to have created enough heavier elements so that life - especially intelligent life - is relatively common?

The numbers in the GP were averages of total star populations and Scientific American had an article on stars were the one with a lifespan of 5 or so billion years were the ones that created the heavier elements and went super nova - IIRC. I can't find the issue right now.

Re:I think we're one of the first intelligent life (3, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | about 2 years ago | (#39828455)

But is tens of millions of years enough to create those heavy elements?

Yes. It is the same fact of being extremely massive that causes them to burn through their hydrogen fuel quickly that allows them to subsequently fuse additional elements up through iron until they undergo a core-collapse supernova.

And were there enough of them early on in the Universe to have created enough heavier elements so that life - especially intelligent life - is relatively common?

Actually the theory is that there were much more massive stars, and more of them, in the early universe, than form today.

Whether that results in sufficient density of heavy elements in some parts of the galaxy to support early development of terrestrial planets, I just don't know.

Re:I think we're one of the first intelligent life (4, Interesting)

Algae_94 (2017070) | about 2 years ago | (#39828137)

There has been close to 4 billion years of life on Earth. All it would take is another world that started that chain of evolution just a few hundred years earlier, or to have, by chance, evolution form sentient life a few hundred years faster, or one of countless other variable changes, and we are not the first sentient life in the universe. When time lines are that long, you can't just hand-wave and say, "yeah, there was enough time for humans to evolve, but no way could it have happened already"

Re:I think we're one of the first intelligent life (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39828681)

And all of that didn't happen in the rest of the universe why?

Re:I think we're one of the first intelligent life (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#39829677)

First, a second generation star could have planets that support life.

Second, the stars that form supernovas don't last long, millions of years, not billions. Many generations of heavy stars had time to form and die before our solar system was formed. A system with similar elemental composition or even heavier could have formed billions of years before ours did.

Third, even if it did take ten billion years before conditions were right for the formation of a star system that could support life, that formation happened all over the galaxy. There's nothing peculiar about our sun. It has many thousands of peers in the galaxy, and our planet has many thousands of peers -- sort of earthlike mass planets of similar composition residing in an earthlike irradiation zone around their stars.

There's no reason at all to think we're the first. We just don't know enough to say that. Maybe life is kind of unusual even on planets that can support it. Or maybe every planet that can support it has life after a few million years. Maybe life almost never evolves to complex forms or maybe it almost always does, given a billion years or so.

Re:Maybe I'm paranoid (5, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | about 2 years ago | (#39827971)

Maybe they could organize an expedition to colonize this fertile planet 70 percent covered with liquid water, only 200 LY away?

If they're advanced enough to do that then they're advanced enough to have detected our planet and its composition long ago. If they wanted to colonize Earth then the plan would have already been put in place and SETI would have nothing to do with it.

So don't worry. It's only a problem if these aliens are for some reason willing to travel 200 light years just to acquire a bunch of slaves. Maybe we should make it clear in our SETI broadcasts that we are very inquisitive creatures, but also lazy and difficult to train?

Re:Maybe I'm paranoid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39828141)

The abstract says this star is 1 Gy younger than the sun. That other "earth" doesn't even have dinosaurs yet.

Re:Maybe I'm paranoid (3, Interesting)

hawguy (1600213) | about 2 years ago | (#39828313)

If there is a lifeform advanced enough to pick up the SETI signals, chances are they've had the technology for thousands of (earth) years. By contrast, just a couple hundred years ago we were reading books by gas lamps and traveling and sending messages by horse and carriage.

Maybe they could organize an expedition to colonize this fertile planet 70 percent covered with liquid water, only 200 LY away? Of course, by that time the original SETI people would be long dead, having gone to their graves happy in the knowledge that they've advanced understanding between alien species...

I doubt there are any resources a spacefaring civilization could find on Earth that they couldn't find much closer to home. Asteroids and comets good sources of water and many metals and other elements. Unless they want fresh meat.

Probably the only reasons to travel 200 light years to visit a developing culture are to study it, befriend it, or annihilate it so it doesn't become a threat later when it becomes more advanced.

Re:Maybe I'm paranoid (0)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#39829707)

I doubt there are any resources a spacefaring civilization could find on Earth that they couldn't find much closer to home. Asteroids and comets good sources of water and many metals and other elements. Unless they want fresh meat.

Probably the only reasons to travel 200 light years to visit a developing culture are to study it, befriend it, or annihilate it so it doesn't become a threat later when it becomes more advanced.

Lebensraum.

Re:Maybe I'm paranoid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39828691)

Why does everyone assume that alien species must be so much more advanced than us, technologically? Your logic is immediately flawed in that WE can pick up the SETI signals and we haven't had the technology for thousands of Earth years, so why must every other species? And, the idea that any species that wasn't a very, very near neighbor to Earth would invade Earth, a populated and defended planet, for anything aside from the biomass itself, seems completely illogical to me. Many, many other planets have exactly the same resources as Earth. Hell, we just discovered that the moon and Mars have ice, so the assumption can be made that a comparable number of planets in many other solar systems do as well. Besides, the resources and energy required to travel even short distances in space are so astronomical, it doesn't seem economically likely that a species would make the trip just to fight a species over resources it could get elsewhere.

Star count (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39827763)

Yes, Wikipedia is not the be all end all of information but it estimates between 200-400 billion stars, at least that many planets and 10 billion habitable planets.

Re:Star count (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39827803)

TFS clearly says "the same size as the sun", dippy. Learn to read.

Yeah (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 2 years ago | (#39827765)

"Only" 200 light years. Sigh.

Re:Yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39827869)

That's practically next door.
200 ly as percentage of our galaxy radius. [wolframalpha.com]

Re:Yeah (3, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | about 2 years ago | (#39828599)

Comparing something incredibly huge to something several orders of magnitude bigger might make the first seem small in comparison, yet it's the mathematical equivalent of a straw man argument: the fact remains that 200ly is an impossible distance, not "practically next door". In fact the first man-made radio signals haven't even reached it yet, assuming they were powerful enough to be detected. And those are travelling at the speed of light, not some miniscule fraction of it.

Re:Yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39829323)

There is nothing straw man about it. In terms of extra solar system travel those are the relevant scale sizes.

Pointless? (4, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | about 2 years ago | (#39827813)

Unless we think a civilization is intentionally sending out beacons to the universe, isn't SETI pointless?

As our communications technology improves, it becomes lowered powered (unlike my old 3W car phone, my curren cell phone only puts out 300mW of signal max) and the leakage from hundreds, or thousands, or millions of point sources of RF signals becomes more and more like "white noise" to someone that doesn't know how to decode it thanks to spread spectrum signals and high bandwidth data encoded in the streams.

The days of 100,000+ watt AM radio transmitters will likely end soon, so there won't be nearly as much leakage to the cosmos.

So there's probably a 100 year window in a civilization's development where its unintentional broadcasts are detectable.

Will we ever intentionally send out a beacon advertising our existence, knowing that it would likely take 100 years or more before any potentially inhabited planet would receive it? And if we do think there's other life out there, do we really trust it enough to tell it where we are?

Re:Pointless? (5, Informative)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | about 2 years ago | (#39827903)

don't know how to break this to you so i'll just say it... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyager_Golden_Record [wikipedia.org]

Re:Pointless? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 2 years ago | (#39827965)

don't know how to break this to you so i'll just say it... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyager_Golden_Record [wikipedia.org]

I think it's safe to say that Voyager (or Pioneer) probes will never be found. Space is big. Very big. Voyager is small. Very small.

I think the Star Trek scenario of a Voyager probe being used as target practice by a Klingon warship is equally likely as it being found at all.

Re:Pointless? (2)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | about 2 years ago | (#39828051)

ok, but that's not what you asked.

Will we ever intentionally send out a beacon advertising our existence, knowing that it would likely take 100 years or more before any potentially inhabited planet would receive it? And if we do think there's other life out there, do we really trust it enough to tell it where we are?

the answer is yes. a long time ago.

Re:Pointless? (2)

hawguy (1600213) | about 2 years ago | (#39828191)

ok, but that's not what you asked.

Will we ever intentionally send out a beacon advertising our existence, knowing that it would likely take 100 years or more before any potentially inhabited planet would receive it? And if we do think there's other life out there, do we really trust it enough to tell it where we are?

the answer is yes. a long time ago.

Well, that's not really what I asked. A small piece of low speed space junk that has no chance of discovery is not the same as a radio beacon.

Bonehead's response below is exactly what I asked about, but it's interesting that they directed it at a star cluster 25,000 light years away knowing that in 25,000 years it will no longer be there.

Re:Pointless? (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | about 2 years ago | (#39828395)

it is precisely what you asked. i quoted you word for word.

Will we ever intentionally send out a beacon advertising our existence

not the same as a radio beacon.

you didn't say "radio" beacon. and yes, that is interesting. makes you wonder why we can't see our own earth in near-distant space, if we're actually looking at objects in the past.

Re:Pointless? (3, Informative)

bonehead (6382) | about 2 years ago | (#39827973)

Don't forget this one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arecibo_message [wikipedia.org]

There have been many intentional messages sent.

Re:Pointless? (4, Insightful)

Algae_94 (2017070) | about 2 years ago | (#39828267)

I like how they mention that the 23 row by 73 column interpretation is "jumbled garbage". The correct image also looks like jumbled garbage. I especially like the image of a human. How the hell is an alien supposed to figure out what that is without having seen a human before?

It is really expecting a lot out of an alien to receive this signal in all the space they could be looking at, determine that the modulation of the signal corresponds to binary digits, then determine this number of bits is semi-prime and can be arranged in a grid to pictorially represent the data, make sure they arrange it correctly, decipher what is essentially a cave drawing made by a species that may have close to nothing in common with them, and actually care enough to write back.

Re:Pointless? (2)

hawguy (1600213) | about 2 years ago | (#39828337)

I like how they mention that the 23 row by 73 column interpretation is "jumbled garbage". The correct image also looks like jumbled garbage. I especially like the image of a human. How the hell is an alien supposed to figure out what that is without having seen a human before?

It is really expecting a lot out of an alien to receive this signal in all the space they could be looking at, determine that the modulation of the signal corresponds to binary digits, then determine this number of bits is semi-prime and can be arranged in a grid to pictorially represent the data, make sure they arrange it correctly, decipher what is essentially a cave drawing made by a species that may have close to nothing in common with them, and actually care enough to write back.

It would be interesting to release that radio stream in some code breaking challenge to see how easy it is for an earthling to decode the message. Though most of the people that would participate in such an event probably already know about this message.

Re:Pointless? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39827979)

Active SETI

Re:Pointless? (1)

tboulan (266562) | about 2 years ago | (#39829223)

Will we ever intentionally send out a beacon advertising our existence, knowing that it would likely take 100 years or more before any potentially inhabited planet would receive it? And if we do think there's other life out there, do we really trust it enough to tell it where we are?

Every time we fire up a powerful military radar we intentionally send out a beacon advertising our existence.

Re:Pointless? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39829709)

Great post.. SETI is indeed pointless

Re:Pointless? (1)

arthurpaliden (939626) | about 2 years ago | (#39829733)

They will be detected by the gamma ray bursts emitted by the nuclear warheads used in their epic space battles because we all know if an intelligent being is not war like they will never develop past being food.

Would be AWESOME... (5, Funny)

oliverk (82803) | about 2 years ago | (#39827845)

...if what we were seeing was actually ourselves, just 400 years ago. A wormhole, acting as a mirror...floating at the point they're looking at?
C'mon...you can dream, can't you?

Re:Would be AWESOME... (5, Funny)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | about 2 years ago | (#39827989)

Oh shit, warn them about Germany.

Re:Would be AWESOME... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39828097)

Better yet, warn them about George Orwell and civilized countries :P

Re:Would be AWESOME... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39828699)

Do you ever wonder what they talk about warning US about in the future?

Re:Would be AWESOME... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39828731)

The feedback loop would "instantly" render a temporal wormhole useless/unstable/collapsed, as I understand it...

Re:Would be AWESOME... (1)

jamesh (87723) | about 2 years ago | (#39828797)

I had the same thought. A giant mirror in the middle reflecting everything (not just light). And if the planet appears 200 light years away then the mirror is 100 light years away and we are seeing ourselves 200 years ago, it should start getting noisy fairly soon!

Re:Would be AWESOME... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39829897)

You fucking idiot. We don't know where they'll be in 200 years because we're moving and they're moving, plus getting a mirror to hit a planet that far away is fucking impossible. Learn something about optics.

Re:Would be AWESOME... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39828847)

Or worse/better, 400 years in the future. Turns out, we don't really exist - we're just some temporal reflection.

it's actually the same sun in a funhouse mirror (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | about 2 years ago | (#39827851)

there's only one star in the whole universe. the universe appears to have more stars because it is has a multi-faceted inside wall -- like an inside-out disco ball -- with each facet being a crazy, warped funhouse-style mirror. this happens to be one of the few mirrors with the least amount of warp. ain't that a bitch?

Re:it's actually the same sun in a funhouse mirror (2)

dgatwood (11270) | about 2 years ago | (#39827937)

Close. It's our sun, but in the evil twin universe. Or are we the evil twin? Hard to say, really.

Re:it's actually the same sun in a funhouse mirror (4, Informative)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | about 2 years ago | (#39828243)

Close. It's our sun, but in the evil twin universe. Or are we the evil twin? Hard to say, really.

Hoping that we are the Evil Twin. The women are always better in the Evil Twin Universes.

Hmmm (1)

koan (80826) | about 2 years ago | (#39827857)

That's an 800 year round trip for information exchange, I wonder how many other intelligences would be spewing radio waves willy nilly not to mention we haven't even been using radios long enough for that star system to receive anything from us.

Re:Hmmm (1)

bonehead (6382) | about 2 years ago | (#39827995)

200 light years away would make it a 400 year round trip for radio communications.

Where did you come up with 800?

Re:Hmmm (5, Funny)

SomeJoel (1061138) | about 2 years ago | (#39828083)

1) Send a message, "Hello, are you out there?"

2) 200 years later..., "Yes we are, is there something we can help you with?"

3) 200 years later..., "Can you give us the secret to faster than light travel?"

4) 200 years later..., "Obviously not."

Total time: 800 years.

Re:Hmmm (1)

SomeJoel (1061138) | about 2 years ago | (#39828109)

1) Send a message, "Hello, are you out there?" 2) 200 years later..., "Yes we are, is there something we can help you with?" 3) 200 years later..., "Can you give us the secret to faster than light travel?" 4) 200 years later..., "Obviously not." Total time: 800 years.

I forgot (5).
5) 200 years later..., "Ok, never mind then."

Now the total time is 800 years.

Re:Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39828277)

1) Send a message, "Hello, are you out there?"

2) 200 years later..., "Yes we are, is there something we can help you with?"

3) 200 years later..., "Can you give us the secret to faster than light travel?"

4) 200 years later..., "Obviously not."

Total time: 800 years.

I forgot (5).

5) 200 years later..., "Ok, never mind then."

Now the total time is 800 years.

No, still wrong. From our perspective:

1. "Hello are you out there?"
2. 200 years later, they receive message, send "Yes we are, how can we help?"
3. We receive first response (400 years total now)
4. We send "Can you teach us FTL travel?"
5. They receive the additional response (600 years total now)
6. They reply "No, sorry"
7. We receive their message (totaling 800 years now)
8. We reply "OK nevermind"
9. They receive the message, for a total of 1000 years

Re:Hmmm (3, Funny)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | about 2 years ago | (#39828677)

No, still wrong. From our perspective:

1. "Hello are you out there?"
2. 200 years later, they receive message, send "Yes we are, how can we help?"
3. We receive first response (400 years total now)
4. We send "Can you teach us FTL travel?"
5. They receive the additional response (600 years total now)
6. They reply "thank you for holding, can you verify your phone number please"
7. We receive their message (totaling 800 years now)
8. We hang up in a panic, realizing our entire planet has been outsourced.

Re:Hmmm (1)

belthize (990217) | about 2 years ago | (#39828573)

1) Receive a message "Yes we do"

2) 5 years to decode and decide to send a message "Hello we heard you"

3) Receive a message "clearly not"

4) 5 years later to decode and send a message "It seems you are out there"

5) Receive a message "Stop and think"

6) Ponder 20 years and send "Do you have time travel"

7) Few weeks later "and do you think we'll invent it"

8) 700 odd years later send "why did you stop sending messages to us"

Re:Hmmm (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 2 years ago | (#39828745)

1) Send a message, "Hello, are you out there?"

2) 200 years later..., "Hello, my name is Julie. Is there something I can help you vith?"

Re:Hmmm (1)

koan (80826) | about 2 years ago | (#39828685)

You have to say hello first, it's only polite.

*think about it*

The truth I read 400 instead of 200.

Re:Hmmm (0)

PPH (736903) | about 2 years ago | (#39829297)

I wonder how many other intelligences would be spewing radio waves willy nilly

Rush Limbaugh?

Yeah, lets try to talk to them. (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about 2 years ago | (#39827899)

"Hey Meepzorp, those creatures orbiting Zfeskew 73875.24543 are trying to communicate with us."
"Man the relativistic bombs."

Smell this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39827983)

Network Cards & PCI Cards Firmware: No protection or detection of rootkits / malware, & AMD CPU issue

# Designing and implementing malicious hardware

"Hidden malicious circuits provide an attacker with a stealthy attack vector. As they occupy a layer below the entire software stack, malicious circuits can bypass traditional defensive techniques. Yet current work on trojan circuits considers only simple attacks against the hardware itself, and straightforward defenses. More complex designs that attack the software are unexplored, as are the countermeasures an attacker may take to bypass proposed defenses.

We present the design and implementation of Illinois Malicious Processors (IMPs). There is a substantial design space in malicious circuitry; we show that an attacker, rather than designing one speciïc attack, can instead design hardware to support attacks. Such ïexible hardware allows powerful, general purpose attacks, while remaining surprisingly low in the amount of additional hardware. We show two such hardware designs, and implement them in a real system. Further, we show three powerful attacks using this hardware, including a login backdoor that gives an attacker complete and highlevel access to the machine. This login attack requires only 1341 additional gates: gates that can be used for other attacks as well. Malicious processors are more practical, more ïexible, and harder to detect than an initial analysis would suggest."

https://db.usenix.org/event/leet08/tech/full_papers/king/king_html/ [usenix.org]

# Attacking network cards

"I've reached my goal of writing a totally transparent firewall bypass engine for those firewalls which are PC-based: you simply overwrite the firmware in both NICs and then perform PCI-to-PCI transfers between the two cards for suitably formatted IP packets (modern NICs have IP "offload engines" in hardware and therefore can trigger on incoming and outgoing packets). The resulting "Jedi Packet Trick" (sorry, couldn't resist) fools, amongst others, CheckPoint FW-1, Linux-based Strongwall, etc. This is of course obvious as none of them check PCI-to-PCI transfers. "

https://lwn.net/Articles/284162/ [lwn.net]
http://www.links.org/?p=330 [links.org]

# 'Super-secret' debugger discovered in AMD CPUs
# Password-protected feature goes beyond x86

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/11/15/amd_secret_debugger/ [theregister.co.uk]

# Super-secret debug capabilities of AMD processors !

http://www.woodmann.com/collaborative/knowledge/index.php/Super-secret_debug_capabilities_of_AMD_processors_ [woodmann.com]!

# Hidden Debug Mode Found In AMD Processors

http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/10/11/12/047243/Hidden-Debug-Mode-Found-In-AMD-Processors [slashdot.org]

# A microcode reliability update is available that improves the reliability of systems that use Intel processors

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/936357 [microsoft.com]

# Google: attacking network cards malware, PCI rootkit, PCI rootkits, rootkit firmware, etc.

Seriously? (3, Funny)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | about 2 years ago | (#39828195)

Seriously, there are 10 billions stars essentially equivalent to our Sun, but you have to go 200 light years to find the closest one?

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39828467)

It's like the universe is really big or something, right?

Re:Seriously? (2)

Soralin (2437154) | about 2 years ago | (#39829125)

It's just a matter of how high your standards are for something to be essentially equivalent. I mean, Alpha Centauri system is about 4.37 light years away, Alpha Centauri A is about 10% more massive than the Sun, Alpha Centauri B is about 10% less massive than the Sun. I say "Eh, close enough".

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39829175)

Most of them must much closer to the core ... I mean if the galaxy is 1000 light years thick by 100000 light years in diameter, then there are an average of 100 stars like our sun for every cubic light year, and our closest neighbor star is 4.6 ly away.

Seems to me given the relative vacuity of our arm of Ole Milky 200 ly away is probably close to median expectations.

Wrong name (4, Informative)

gvanbelle (1400327) | about 2 years ago | (#39828227)

The star's ID isn't HP 56948, but HIP 56948 (from the Hipparcos satellite catalog), aka HD 101364, SAO 15590...

Re:Wrong name (2)

Tablizer (95088) | about 2 years ago | (#39829423)

The star's ID isn't HP 56948, but HIP 56948

No, it's really a giant HP printer. It's where all your lost print-jobs have been going.

Same Age? (1)

hemo_jr (1122113) | about 2 years ago | (#39828591)

If it is the same age as well as chemical composition, both our sun and HIP 56948 may have been born out of the same stellar nursery. This would make it an even more amazing find.

But, unless it has terrestrial planets in the Goldilocks zone, it is unlikely to to be a real prospect for SETI.

Re:Same Age? (2)

slew (2918) | about 2 years ago | (#39829003)

...But, unless it has terrestrial planets in the Goldilocks zone, it is unlikely to to be a real prospect for SETI.

If you actually read the paper, it appears from the spectral analysis, the authors conclude that HIP56948 should have about 1/2 the "rocky" material formed around it than our sun, and radial velocity measurements seem to exclude giant plants in the inner planetary region. So, although they cannot be sure there are or are-not rocky planets that are terran like in the Goldilocks zone (we don't have a reliable way to figure that out yet from ground based observations), the available evidence seems to indicate that at least the prerequisites are there this would have been a reasonably good bet for the Kepler planetary survey (but it's not part of the mission). However, they are looking forward to seeing more Kepler results to verify if their spectrographic measurements technique on stars that predict the amount of rocky material is consistent with actual Kepler planetary observations** which would increase the chance that there might be Goldilocks planets circling this star and make it possible to select really good candidate star that might have rocky planets from ground based telescope spectrographic data.

**FYI. The technique that the Kepler survey telescope uses is to actually look for photometric image of a planet transiting the star as viewed from the telescope to confirm actual planetary existance and infer it's size and distance from the star from the duration of the transit by Kepler's law (hence the name of the mission).

Unfortunatly, although this star is similar to our Sun, this star is quite a bit younger than our sun (by about 1 billion years and our Sun is about 4.5 billion years old). As a result, we may not have a really good chance with SETI on this system (even if planets exists). It's also really hard to tell which stars come from the same stellar nursery as stars drift quite a bit after formation, but there is apparently some evidence that our sun was part of a very large nursery by dating the remanents of supernova that hit our solar system when it was probably just formed, but a billion years is a long time...

Schematics (4, Funny)

guttentag (313541) | about 2 years ago | (#39828611)

I worry that China is broadcasting the source code for Windows Vista, and 200 years from now some alien civilization will receive it and think they're schematics for something great. They'll build it, nearly destroy themselves and then come looking for us.

Hodgkin's Law of Parallel Planetary Development (2)

VanGarrett (1269030) | about 2 years ago | (#39829801)

Think we'll go over there and find a planet just like Earth, but Rome never fell? Or maybe they had an experiment in causing immortality go horribly wrong?

Hurry (1)

MrJones (4691) | about 2 years ago | (#39829903)

Why are we wasting time talking, just SETI it! How long could it take to find out if there is a signal??

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