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Crowd-Funded Radio Beacon Will Message Aliens

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the is-there-anybody-out-there? dept.

Space 196

astroengine writes "In the hope of uniting people around the globe in a long-duration project to send a radio 'message in a bottle' METI (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence) signal, a crowd-funded project utilizing a refurbished radio telescope in California has begun its work. Lone Signal is a project initiated by scientists, businessmen and entrepreneurs to set up a continuous radio beacon from Earth. To support the operations of the Jamesburg Earth Station radio dish in Carmel Valley, Calif. (a dish built to support the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969), a crowd-funding effort has been set up so that for a small fee, users can send images to the stars. If you're content with sending a text message, your first message is free. The radio dish's first target is Gliese 526, a red dwarf star 18 light-years from Earth, but the project will be considering other stellar targets believed to be harboring habitable worlds."

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196 comments

I sure do hope.... (4, Funny)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#43990771)

I sure do hope they get this right. It would be a shame if it turned out they created a intergalactic message like this [shutterstock.com] .

Re:I sure do hope.... (5, Funny)

durrr (1316311) | about a year ago | (#43991241)

Don't worry. I'm just going to send a copy of the book "How to Serve Man"

Re:I sure do hope.... (1)

Molochi (555357) | about a year ago | (#43991509)

That will screw will my plans to base a cookbook on them.

Planetary Resources Arkyd-100 Space Telescope (2)

sanman2 (928866) | about a year ago | (#43991533)

It's great that Slashdot is giving coverage to the above story, but how come they're not giving timely coverage to the fact that Planetary Resources has announced a new Stretch Goal for their existing Kickstarter campaign:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1458134548/arkyd-a-space-telescope-for-everyone-0 [kickstarter.com]

They're promising that if the new $2M fund-raising goal is crossed, they'll use the extra funds to upgrade their Arkyd-100 Space Telescope to search for exo-planets. This is a fantastic idea, especially given the recent breakdown of NASA's Kepler planet-finding probe.

I hope you will all consider pledging some money to this fine Kickstarter campaign too, because finding more of those alien worlds will help to expand our horizons and our aspirations of the future.

Re:I sure do hope.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43991395)

In all seriousness, there is absolutely no danger to this. The chemical signature of tasty biology on Earth has been visible to the nearby universe for hundreds of millions of years. Even the presence of an industrial civilization has been given away by sudden changes in the atmospheric composition over the last 150 years. The radio signal merely lets nearby observers know we are advanced enough to communicate by radio, and interested in doing so. There's no reason to assume it will make us more likely to be invaded by hostile aliens, and some reasons to believe the opposite: a technologically advanced civilization is logically more likely to be able to resist an invasion, and therefore more risky as a target. The invaders would most likely prefer a planet that can not defend itself with nuclear weapons.

Re:I sure do hope.... (2)

EzInKy (115248) | about a year ago | (#43991559)

Even the presence of an industrial civilization has been given away by sudden changes in the atmospheric composition over the last 150 years.

It could be that the cleaning up of the mess industrialization caused could be the signal that our brains have ripened enough to be quite the delictable delights for the discerning alien palate. As for nuclear weapons, chances are they would be seen as the equivelant of bows and arrows to any civilazation far enough advanced.

Re:I sure do hope.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43991691)

As for nuclear weapons, chances are they would be seen as the equivelant of bows and arrows to any civilazation far enough advanced.

REally? I see this idea popping up a lot on /. why should it be true? I am a physicist and unless aliens have super lasers or anti-matter weapons, nuclear weapons are up there in terms of destructive power. I mean we (humans) possess enough nuclear weaponry to make this planet extremely hazardous to life. Given that all life-sustaining planets are probably in the same size range as Earth, that makes us a pretty formidible foe if push comes to shove.

To me the above statement just reeks of sci-fi-fan-dork...too much star trek rots the brain.

Re:I sure do hope.... (1)

EzInKy (115248) | about a year ago | (#43991733)

Though I am a believer in science, I'm not as convinced as you are that our current science has so far exceeded the limatations of our intelict that it is unfallable.

Re:I sure do hope.... (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#43992025)

You're correct that the available weapons have considerable power, and that they render the surface of the earth hazardous where used. I do wonder about the possibility of an advanced space faring civilization having weapons that are more subtle in effect that could be used to their advantage. For example, something akin to the neutron bomb: kills the people, but does far less damage to the ecosystem and infrastructure. There may well be other effects that could be harnessed to produce a similar outcome given a more sophisticated knowledge of physics, or even biology. Consider this recent story on Slashdot: 9th Grade Science Experiment: Garden Cress Won't Germinate Near Routers [slashdot.org] There is still a lot to learn about physics and biology. Hopefully humanity will survive the learning process, and won't have unexpected unwelcome visitors before we're ready.

Re:I sure do hope.... (2)

BlueStrat (756137) | about a year ago | (#43992093)

that makes us a pretty formidible foe if push comes to shove.

See, here is where I think many are either failing to see or ignoring/dismissing an important real-world factor.

Given that;

1> Unless they're in some space federation/have regular interstellar contact with others they are just as clueless as we are as to how an alien race might react to detecting them with zero data.

2> Given [1] above, there is realistically a 50/50 chance on whether or not they will react with hostility just as they see the same odds from their side regarding humanity.

3> Given [1] & [2] above, the only safe move to assure that your species survives is to launch an immediate and extinction-level attack, one possibility being accelerating several sufficient-sized asteroids towards Earth (or the alien planet) so that by the time they arrive in the Sol system (or the alien's system), they're traveling at greater than a tenth of the speed of light.

Since neither we nor they would know whether or not such an attack is on the way due to the centuries-long timeframes, logically specie survival would depend on detecting other races and destroying them first while remaining undetected.

I'm not so sure that intentionally and pro-actively revealing our presence is such a great idea.

It's like the question of what happens if someday a human starship encounters an alien starship out in space. If you return to Earth without destroying the alien ship, the aliens will know where our home system is and can launch an extinction-level attack. Same thing for them.

Strat

Re:I sure do hope.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43991671)

The nukes we have right now would only be a deterrent only to actual invaders (aliens who want to occupy the Earth while leaving humans alive, as a slave race or livestock or whatever). Against aliens who merely seek our annihilation, they are pathetically useless, due to their fragility, slow speed, short range, and lack of stealth capabilities.

However, identifying ourselfes is more likely to keep us safe in that morally upstanding aliens (i.e. probably any that have overcome their internal conflicts to the point of being able to undertake interstellar travel) are less likely to accidentally squash us in some sort of industrial process. Not that we've ever detected any such processes so far. [wikipedia.org]

Re:I sure do hope.... (2)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#43991959)

There is certainly considerable merit in what you write. But allow me to present a different perspective for the sake of the argument. Consider the Fermi paradox [wikipedia.org] and our observations of the universe so far. Although it is known that the universe is a very big place indeed, and it is thought that there must be many potentially habitable planets, in our very early and limited efforts we have yet to detect one apart from earth. It may be that they are rare, which would make life rare. If that turns out to be the case, any sort of signal created by a living intelligent being would be highly valuable in enabling other civilizations to locate the planet with life and a habitable environment, that is: earth. The fact that the civilization receiving the signal is intelligent says nothing about their values. Consider the diversity of civilizations on earth over the last 100 years. They have ranged from free and peace loving to extremely oppressive regimes that desired to commit genocide on their own population to extremely oppressive regimes that desired to commit genocide on other populations, and all manner of other combinations. The Soviet Union put the first human into space less than ten years after Stalin died and the horror [youtube.com] was still fresh in the mind of Soviet citizens. There are still cultures today that practiced cannibalism within living memory. There are still some stone age cultures on earth at the same time as the US contemplates going to Mars, and has space probes at the edge of the solar system. There is no way of predicting what the value system of that alien civilization will be. The ones that could end up contacting the Earth may be the predator species that lured the highly advanced, peaceful, defenseless race to their planet and made them the slaves of the predators. The possession of neither an advanced technology level nor an advanced culture says anything about whether their culture will turn out to be one we find to be morally good and peaceful, and their society beneficial to contact. Still, it is exciting to consider, isn't it? Maybe they would turn out to be the equivalent of the mythical Star Trek era Vulcans coming in peace, as opposed to the earlier war-like Vulcan cultures. Let us hope that if we ever do make contact, it is in peace and friendship, and to our mutual benefit.

As noted by this conservative author:

... so many people have asked how Germany, which produced Bach, Mozart and Beethoven, could also produce gas chambers -- as if producing great composers should in some way raise the moral level of that society. -- Much talent, little wisdom - Dennis Prager [dennisprager.com]

Re:I sure do hope.... (2)

nickersonm (1646933) | about a year ago | (#43991575)

Re:I sure do hope.... (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#43991967)

Insightful and hilarious. Thanks!

you joke, but... (4, Insightful)

foreverdisillusioned (763799) | about a year ago | (#43991687)

This is at best a waste of money. I know he catches some flak for this, but Stephen Hawking has it right. There's no reason at all we should expect intelligent alien life forms to deal with us as respected equals, especially if they are considerably more advanced. At the same time, it would be too much to hope for them to ignore us. Our planet would be a treasure trove of scientific interest to them, and even practical interest in the same way rainforests are useful to biochemists or bacteria are useful to genetic engineers. The altruism argument ignores how very limited it is here on Earth. Forget intercultural conflict, how many people give/gave a shit enough about dead dolphins enough to boycott tuna? Or save the poor bonobos? Their intelligence is a lot closer to ours than ours would be to any life form advanced enough to travel the stars (unless they had some kind of taboo on both genetic and cybernetic enhancement.) Overall point being: altruism isn't a prerequisite for advanced spaceflight, but relentless pragmatism is.

Fortunately, what with the speed of light being what it is, this shouldn't be of any immediate concern.

Also, I think there's a recent 'obligatory' xkcd that's quite on-topic here if anyone wants to whore some karma. In the what if section.

Alien Astronomers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43990775)

They should read the Alien Astronomers on XKCD.
http://whatif.xkcd.com/47/

Re:Alien Astronomers (1)

Somebody Is Using My (985418) | about a year ago | (#43990957)

I always preferred this [abovetopsecret.com] explanation

Anyway, I'm glad that these guys are doing this. That way when the inevitable alien invasion occurs, we'll know /exactly/ who to blame.
(cue pedants reminding us that Earth has been spewing out radio signals for over a century).

Re:Alien Astronomers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43991129)

Are you serious? You linked to a crackpot forum where someone posted quotes from a famous short film? Why?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaFZTAOb7IE

why transmit drivel? (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year ago | (#43990795)

instead of text messages which have no inherent means of even being understood, why not transmit useful information about ourselves that we would wish aliens to send to us: pictures, society structure, arts, science...this was done to limited extent with the "pioneer plaque"; that's the direction we should be thinking

Re:why transmit drivel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43990855)

Who decides what's "useful"? How do you fund it?

This project solves BOTH of those problems at once.

Re:why transmit drivel? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#43991183)

Who decides what's "useful"? How do you fund it?

This project solves BOTH of those problems at once.

The same scientist(s) who came up with the "hailing message" with enough basic information to help the Aliens decode and understand the message.

What good is sending thousands of random tweets? What are the aliens going to be with messages like "I luv aliens" and "f1rst post!". Even sending the contents of a random novel would be better since it would give a coherent sample of text that aliens could analyze to try to learn our language -- sending a large body of unrelated short messages (in multiple languages?) is not going to help.

Why dilute the value of the data by sending along so much useless extraneous data from anyone willing to pay 99 cents to send it? If you believe it's important to send a message to aliens, it should be important enough to not send "garbage". The organizers should just ask for donations without promising to send messages.

Re:why transmit drivel? (2)

snowraver1 (1052510) | about a year ago | (#43990977)

How would an alien decode the .jpeg, .bmp, or whatever else we send them. I think we should send a message like in contact. Groups of pulses arranged in prime number sequences. It's distinct, it's easy to decode, and it would be near impossible to be natural.

Re:why transmit drivel? (1)

Mitreya (579078) | about a year ago | (#43991027)

How would an alien decode the .jpeg, .bmp, or whatever else we send them.

Let's just send out BluRay streams. Everyone in the galaxy knows that these have to be licensed + players constantly updated, so the aliens will know what to do.

Re:why transmit drivel? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#43991101)

How would an alien decode the .jpeg, .bmp, or whatever else we send them.

Let's just send out BluRay streams. Everyone in the galaxy knows that these have to be licensed + players constantly updated, so the aliens will know what to do.

In the 18 years it will take for the signals to reach the alien civilization on Gliese 526, the MPAA's reach will include the entire Galaxy, and relations with the alien civilization will be soured when each member of their society is fined $150,000 and extradited to the USA for punishment after receiving the and decoding the movie stream.

Re:why transmit drivel? (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year ago | (#43991141)

You don't compress the image, you present pure sequence of pixels with scan line and frame completion markers as on the Voyager Golden Record. Have a look at it, the instructions to "play" the disk are engraved on the disk and are crystal clear even to young teen: I was 13 when I first saw it and system was obvious.

Sure, start things out with your pulses, then go to diagrams and pictures like the Voyager Golden Record

Re:why transmit drivel? (2)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#43991213)

You don't compress the image, you present pure sequence of pixels with scan line and frame completion markers as on the Voyager Golden Record. Have a look at it, the instructions to "play" the disk are engraved on the disk and are crystal clear even to young teen: I was 13 when I first saw it and system was obvious.

Sure, start things out with your pulses, then go to diagrams and pictures like the Voyager Golden Record

Crystal clear? Really?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_Sounds_of_Earth_Record_Cover_-_GPN-2000-001978.jpg [wikipedia.org]

Re:why transmit drivel? (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year ago | (#43991343)

yes, that is trivial to understand the basic binary numbering system employed, play direction, and demarcation of scan line and frames.

what would be hard to comprehend, on the other hand, is that business in lower left quadrant of location of earth by bearing to pulsars.

Re:why transmit drivel? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#43991391)

yes, that is trivial to understand the basic binary numbering system employed, play direction, and demarcation of scan line and frames.

what would be hard to comprehend, on the other hand, is that business in lower left quadrant of location of earth by bearing to pulsars.

I can't even pick out the 1's and 0's in that top waveform. Are the waveforms below it related to the top one? Why is the first part of the wave a perfect and uniform triangle wave followed by a clear and steady zero-level, then it degrades into a much noisier signal? What do I, I- and II mean? Do I rotate the disk clockwise or counter clockwise to read it?

Re:why transmit drivel? (2)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year ago | (#43991455)

oh dear.

I I- II are one, two, three. - is zero

you should now be able to answer the rest of your questions.

Re:why transmit drivel? (1)

tftp (111690) | about a year ago | (#43991807)

Why is the first part of the wave a perfect and uniform triangle wave followed by a clear and steady zero-level, then it degrades into a much noisier signal?

This knowledge is lost along with the analog television. Clear and steady zero level is blanking interval, and the "noisier signal" is the analog video of the scan line.

If you rotate the disk backward you will get the image flipped, and the sequence of the frames inverted (assuming that the recording is done in a spiral, and thus has only two ends.) An observer may be able to figure out which end is up even without hints.

We should stop this (4, Interesting)

countach (534280) | about a year ago | (#43990797)

I am hereby setting up a crowd funded effort to bomb and destroy this radio dish. I don't want any aliens appearing on my front doorstep. We've all seen the movies, this never ends well.

Seriously though, it seems to me incredibly arrogant and self centred for a private group of people to try and contact aliens, because the potential results of aliens turning up could be catastrophic, and that's a decision that all mankind should make together, not some private group.

The only reason I'm not concerned is that I think this has precisely a zero point zero chance of success.

Re:We should stop this (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43990859)

I am hereby setting up a crowd funded effort to bomb and destroy this radio dish. I don't want any aliens appearing on my front doorstep. We've all seen the movies, this never ends well.

Seriously though, it seems to me incredibly arrogant and self centred for a private group of people to try and contact aliens, because the potential results of aliens turning up could be catastrophic, and that's a decision that all mankind should make together, not some private group.

The only reason I'm not concerned is that I think this has precisely a zero point zero chance of success.

Who the hell are you to stop them?

Talk about "incredibly arrogant and self-centred"...

Re:We should stop this (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#43990897)

that's a decision that all mankind should make together

Good luck getting a unanimous vote. Aside from that's it's still one group imposing their will on another.

I still don't think opening it up for every message is a great way to run it, though.

Re:We should stop this (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#43991307)

I am hereby setting up a crowd funded effort to bomb and destroy this radio dish. I don't want any aliens appearing on my front doorstep. We've all seen the movies, this never ends well.

Seriously though, it seems to me incredibly arrogant and self centred for a private group of people to try and contact aliens, because the potential results of aliens turning up could be catastrophic, and that's a decision that all mankind should make together, not some private group.

The only reason I'm not concerned is that I think this has precisely a zero point zero chance of success.

Who the hell are you to stop them?

Talk about "incredibly arrogant and self-centred"...

What are you doing to do about the past 100 years of radio broadcasts (including high powered military radars) emanating from our planet? If the Aliens are looking for us, they don't need us to emit a beacon to find us.

Re:We should stop this (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year ago | (#43991715)

leakage is a bit different than drinking from the firehose

Re:We should stop this (1)

xevioso (598654) | about a year ago | (#43990913)

When was the last time "All Mankind" agreed on anything at all whatsoever, let alone whether or not to try to contact aliens?

We've been sending out transmissions for decades now, much stronger than this. What harm can another few do?

Most importantly, aliens won't detect us because of our signals...they will detect us based upon the signatures we've left on our atmosphere, which is how we are most likely going to detect life on other planets.

Re:We should stop this (1)

Deadstick (535032) | about a year ago | (#43991135)

What harm can another few do?

...that The Beverly Hillbillies hasn't already...

Re:We should stop this (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | about a year ago | (#43990951)

....Because of course all of mankind would agree unanimously.

Re:We should stop this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43991199)

Ok, all of mankind is called to the meeting. Item 2 on the agenda, attempt to contact aliens or not? Item 1, agree on pizza toppings for the meeting. Problem solved.

Re:We should stop this (0)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year ago | (#43990993)

Have you considered not being a cock for five minutes, that should sort out your problems.

Re:We should stop this (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | about a year ago | (#43991039)

I see someone has been reading David Brin.

Re:We should stop this (1)

Joe Tie. (567096) | about a year ago | (#43991109)

The fact that so many people base their views on bad science fiction is why private groups need to. They're walking into the 'haunted house" for the people scared of ghosts.

Re:We should stop this (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | about a year ago | (#43991151)

>> We've all seen the movies

Seen the movies? Hell, we've read the history books.

Re:We should stop this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43992087)

I was thinking the same, a group of a-holes that are trying to take advantage of the whole alien fiasco to make a quick buck.

I believe scientists already have a program like this, and it involves several countries. On top that that since radio and tv broadcasts having been in service that too is getting beamed into space. And if Aliens have been listening to those, they are pretty much going to stay away.

To go a little further if they have been visiting Earth, they've see the way we like to destroy each other and destroy our own planet, and pretty much how we hate anything we do not understand and then destroy it. To Aliens we are pretty much still idiot cavemen, who have yet to evolve.

Dangerous!! (1)

instagib (879544) | about a year ago | (#43990805)

I have an uneasy feeling with this.
OK, maybe I just read/watched too much bad Science Fiction.
Nevertheless, the message I'll send will be:

"Nothing to see here, move along!"

Re:Dangerous!! (1)

Molochi (555357) | about a year ago | (#43991127)

Howabout,

"Hi, Do you have good taste? We'd like to serve you!"

Re:Dangerous!! (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year ago | (#43991511)

I have an uneasy feeling with this.

Hook up the NSA Prism into this, that will keep the aliens away.

Good Idea, or Not? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year ago | (#43990813)

What if it turned out to be like a scantily-dressed 18-year-old female yelling "Here I am! Come get me!" in the middle of a crowd of bikers at Sturgis?

Re:Good Idea, or Not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43990959)

What if it turned out to be like a scantily-dressed 18-year-old female yelling "Here I am! Come get me!" in the middle of a crowd of bikers at Sturgis?

Well, here's hoping that we'll at least get a chance to pick one (exclusive) biker when they all show up?

I do seriously agree with you. At least when the aliens find us on their own, there is a chance they'll be sufficiently advanced that they will not be looking for slaves/delicatessen organs/etc. But calling out is just asking for trouble.

Re:Good Idea, or Not? (1)

snowraver1 (1052510) | about a year ago | (#43991019)

We are calling out every day with both omnidirectional broadcasts and high intensity beams that are aimed at satellites.

Re:Good Idea, or Not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43991085)

When the aliens come, we give them hollywood and call it even.

Something tells me... (1)

denzacar (181829) | about a year ago | (#43991177)

It will be more like a scantily-dressed 18-year-old female yelling "Here I am! Come get me!" in the middle of an ocean, with nothing but said ocean in sight.

I'm with Hawking here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43990817)

"If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans," -Stephen Hawking

i would be more impressed the other way around (1)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | about a year ago | (#43990825)

Try STOPPING the continuous radio assault the earth commits on the rest of the universe.
Even aliens can't stand the guy who never shuts up to let them get a word in edgewise.

Re:i would be more impressed the other way around (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43990891)

Try STOPPING the continuous radio assault the earth commits on the rest of the universe.
Even aliens can't stand the guy who never shuts up to let them get a word in edgewise.

Humans: the loud, obnoxious, "I'm-more-important-than-you" asshole with a cellphone in the movie theater of the universe.

Hmm, dark theater. I should just grab the phone, smash it, and run.

Re:i would be more impressed the other way around (1)

tftp (111690) | about a year ago | (#43991839)

Most of terrestrial communications on VHF and above is done with antennas that don't radiate much into space. HF and longer wavelengths reflect from ionosphere and don't leave Earth. Most unintended transmissions don't have enough power to be detected outside of the Solar system, and they don't employ noise-resistant coding.

However if you take a 60 dBi dish [setileague.org] , shove a kilowatt or ten into the feed, and slowly modulate the signal with error correction codes [wikipedia.org] , that transmission might be detectable from a larger distance - depending on how much gain the receiving antenna has.

I sure hope they moderate these... (1)

TiggertheMad (556308) | about a year ago | (#43990833)

Several ideas for my first free message: 1) Anally Probable monkeys here, $15 each. (I'll be rich!) 2) Earth thinks you are a pack of 6 eyed jerks, and challenges you to a fight. 3) WE CLAIM THE WESTERN ARM OF THE GALAXY, AND DOMINION OVER ALL WHO DWELL THERE. How is this whole project NOT a bad idea on every level?

Re:I sure hope they moderate these... (1)

xevioso (598654) | about a year ago | (#43990943)

Because other people will send out messages entirely different and opposite to that. So the Aliens will see reasonable messages and unreasonable ones, leading them most likely to do nothing more than be exceedingly amused.

goatse (2)

danlip (737336) | about a year ago | (#43990835)

enough said

Re:goatse (1)

TWX (665546) | about a year ago | (#43990869)

(translated Alien speech)

"I didn't think there was a Nebula over there... Who's sending that to us?"

Get Your Space Lizard Snacks! (1)

blarkon (1712194) | about a year ago | (#43990903)

The reason there aren't a whole lot of beacons detected by SETI is pretty clear. Every time someone lights up a beacon, the Space Lizard Starfleet turns up in orbit and it's buffet time. Beacons are like an evolutionary test. The races that send them out end up as lunch. The races that keep quiet get to live another day.

Language barrier (1)

Livius (318358) | about a year ago | (#43990905)

It's hard to see how there's anything useful in sending disjointed messages without at least providing a primer on English or whichever Earth language the messages are going to be in. Something like transmitting all of Wikipedia and Project Gutenburg so there's a big enough sample of the language so they have a chance of deciphering it.

The only creatures who will be listening... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43990921)

The only creatures who will be listening will be the NSA.

Proper lead account for? (3, Interesting)

KitFox (712780) | about a year ago | (#43990947)

Rookie error #3: Point the radio transmission directly at the star.

Unless the target is moving directly toward or away from us relatively speaking, pointing it at the star will target where the star was 36 light years before the transmission will arrive. If it -is- moving directly toward or away, are they accounting for Doppler?

Re:Proper lead account for? (3, Insightful)

Xyrus (755017) | about a year ago | (#43991097)

Of course, rookie error #1 is getting involved in a land war in Asia and rookie error #2 is going in against a Sicilian when death is on the line.

All kidding aside, I'm not sure I like this idea. It's not really a good idea to announce your presence in an area where the natives could be restless and you could be considered "tasty".

Re:Proper lead account for? (1)

dpidcoe (2606549) | about a year ago | (#43991369)

If they were advanced enough to send a ship here to fight us, they'd be advanced enough to already realize that we were here. Short of FTL (not likely), reaction-less drives (even more unlikely), or something like the park shift from enders game, any ship they send would have to spend something on the order of hundreds of years getting here. Assuming that whatever was sent arrived (and was still in fighting condition), it would be facing whatever technology we manage to develop 100 years from now. It would also have one shot at doing enough damage to kill everyone on earth. Otherwise they would be facing the threat of very pissed off remnants of humanity united in developing the technology to send their own attack back in the other direction.

Re:Proper lead account for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43991287)

If it is moving directly towards us, maybe we should get the hell out of the way.
If it's moving directly away from us... I don't know, try some deodorant?

Re:Proper lead account for? (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about a year ago | (#43991551)

Rookie error #1 - pedantic posting about stuff he doesn't understand.

Stars move slowly, and radio transmissions (even relatively tight beamed ones) spread out the farther they get from the source - and 18LY is a very long way away.

Not to mention the dangers of assuming too much from a very simple statement - like exactly where the antenna will be pointing.

Danger! Keep away! (1)

mtrachtenberg (67780) | about a year ago | (#43990969)

I'm all for METI as long as it's honest.

Let's send them (1)

TheGoodNamesWereGone (1844118) | about a year ago | (#43991031)

a cookbook!

Codebreaking challenge? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#43991043)

They should release the binary contents of the haling message and message content as a codebreaking challenge and see if anyone here on earth can decode it.

Re:Codebreaking challenge? (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year ago | (#43991901)

Here you go: 01101000 01110100 01110100 01110000 00111010 00101111 00101111 01110111 01110111 01110111 00101110 01111001 01101111 01110101 01110100 01110101 01100010 01100101 00101110 01100011 01101111 01101101 00101111 01110111 01100001 01110100 01100011 01101000 00111111 01110110 00111101 01000100 01000101 00101101 00111000 01111001 01001111 00110011 01100110 01101110 01001010 00110100

Re:Codebreaking challenge? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#43992007)

Here you go: 01101000 01110100 01110100 01110000 00111010 00101111 00101111 01110111 01110111 01110111 00101110 01111001 01101111 01110101 01110100 01110101 01100010 01100101 00101110 01100011 01101111 01101101 00101111 01110111 01100001 01110100 01100011 01101000 00111111 01110110 00111101 01000100 01000101 00101101 00111000 01111001 01001111 00110011 01100110 01101110 01001010 00110100

Those are going to be some pretty pissed off aliens, maybe they really are going to come and destroy us.

Re:Codebreaking challenge? (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year ago | (#43992107)

But who could reject such a sincere message of honesty and dedication?!

moon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43991105)

why does'nt our moon have life?

4chan (1)

reiter.john (1149557) | about a year ago | (#43991111)

And no one sees how bad this is going to be once 4chan/b/ gets ahold of this? They will be trolling the stars on day one.

Has anyone of those people ever thought about (1)

fisted (2295862) | about a year ago | (#43991131)

how much time it will take until the transmission even arrives 'somewhere'? This story is bullshit.

Re:Has anyone of those people ever thought about (1)

dpidcoe (2606549) | about a year ago | (#43991375)

Yes, it will take 18 years in the case of Gliese 526. What's the problem here?

Re:Has anyone of those people ever thought about (1)

fisted (2295862) | about a year ago | (#43991813)

Well they better be listening on Gliese 526 then, because most other targets are slightly more distant.

What if they are predators? (5, Insightful)

Rubinhood (977039) | about a year ago | (#43991197)

Can the senders please make sure that if those guys are predators, the rest of us are safe. Thanks.

As a side note, I tend to feel strangely unsure that such things are a good idea when unknown extraterrestrials receive more attention than starving 3rd world fellow terrestrials.

The jungle is a dangerous place (1)

Beeftopia (1846720) | about a year ago | (#43991219)

The deep ocean is a dangerous place. The jungle is a dangerous place.

To think whatever might be lurking in deep space is all warm and fuzzy, ready to submit to our dominion, or tenderly treat us like children, eager to school us in the secrets of the universe, seems a bit naive.

Re:The jungle is a dangerous place (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#43991267)

The deep ocean is a dangerous place. The jungle is a dangerous place.

To think whatever might be lurking in deep space is all warm and fuzzy, ready to submit to our dominion, or tenderly treat us like children, eager to school us in the secrets of the universe, seems a bit naive.

You'd have a much better chance of thrusting your hand in the ocean at random and retrieving a fish than pointing a radio telescope at a random star system and finding an intelligent civilization

Re:The jungle is a dangerous place (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#43991401)

Professor Donald Kessler: We know they're extremely advanced technologically, which suggests - very rightfully so - that they're peaceful. An advanced civilization, by definition, is not barbaric.

Martian Translator Device: We come in peace! We come in peace!

Re:The jungle is a dangerous place (1)

tftp (111690) | about a year ago | (#43991889)

An advanced civilization, by definition, is not barbaric.

So what is the Skynet, not an advanced civilization or not barbaric?

There could be civilizations that don't even realize that chemical compounds may interlink to support life. There could be civilizations to which we are microscopic creatures; or the other way around. We destroy bacteria in most places where we come across them, and if they attract our attention we just do it faster.

There may be civilizations that define the word "barbaric" differently. We had those here, on Earth - Aztecs, for example. Not even mentioning many examples from the 20th century.

The reply will arrive post singularity, if at all. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43991259)

So nothing we can say about ourselves now will be relevant unless will simply state that we expect it to happen soon. So how do we succinctly express an intelligible message that says "Hi we are an intelligence that is about to go through a singularity and that is all we will know about what we will be when your reply gets back to us."

If we do this I suspect that any reply will be, "OK, good luck with that."

Indians... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43991269)

Why do I have this indelible image in my mind... a bunch of Indians come together and crowd-source wood to build a big bonfire on the shore - hoping it may be a guiding beacon to travelers coming from far out at sea.

Anytime two societies meet, it usually doesn't end well for the less advanced one. They could possibly come in star ships...we can barely put a man in orbit.

Re:Indians... (2)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#43991285)

Why do I have this indelible image in my mind... a bunch of Indians come together and crowd-source wood to build a big bonfire on the shore - hoping it may be a guiding beacon to travelers coming from far out at sea.

Anytime two societies meet, it usually doesn't end well for the less advanced one. They could possibly come in star ships...we can barely put a man in orbit.

An Alien civilization that can cross the Galaxy in a Starship to come see us is probably not going to find any natural resources or living space that they can't already find elsewhere. There'd be little reason to take over Earth, unless they see us as a threat, and that's doubtful.

Re:Indians... (1)

Livius (318358) | about a year ago | (#43991329)

That makes so much sense...

On the other hand travelling to the New World wasn't profitable the first voyage either.

Why contact them? (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | about a year ago | (#43991421)

I thought the conventional wisdom on this is that we shouldn't be sending them messages, but we should be listening? At least that's what Stephen Hawking says [go.com] .

Aliens are not Friendly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43991495)

I've been battling the aliens using unmanned combat systems on SC2 for eons. Believe me, they are not friendly.

Dude ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43991497)

Don't give away our position !

Einstein was right (1)

slick7 (1703596) | about a year ago | (#43991561)

Einstein was right, you can't solve problems at the same level in which they were created. The greatest transmitter is the human body. It can span time distance and dimensions. All you gotta do...is get on the same frequency. Everyone.

Brilliant! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43991563)

Asks for money to fund project that can never, ever be proven to customers to justify getting there money.

Fuck Im going to start a crowd funding program where I yell into the ocean for 1 million dollars to tell sea monsters messages from my supporters.

Monsters are coming (1)

Tekoneiric (590239) | about a year ago | (#43991675)

Yea, with how crappy humanity is to each other and other species on this planet; the beacon needs to send this quote from The Doctor "Run and hide, because the monsters are coming - the human race."

be like voyager (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43991701)

put a bunch of new age mystical hippy bullshit on it

No license is trust license (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about a year ago | (#43991747)

No license means the owner concede no right at all to the user. This is in fact an unspoken trust license: do whatever with it and trust me to not sue you.

This should drive corporations away because of the legal risk and just keep end user that do not care about IP laws

Did anyone else read the title as (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43991835)

Crowd-funded radio bacon?

I feel like Frodo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43991863)

..when it comes to all of our transmissions.. PUT IT OUT YOU FOOLS, PUT IT OUT! ..It's probably too late. It's not just that they'll know we're here either. And the first thing they'll all see? ....Fucking Adolf Hitler.

Real life Battleship (1)

KVM (2949923) | about a year ago | (#43992151)

Hopefully they put the satellite dish on a satellite or another planet, else this will end up like a real life Battleship where they send out radio message and aliens comes to the dish
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