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SETI Finally Finds Something

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the laptop-phone-home dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 416

QuatumCrypto writes "SETI@home is a distributed processing client from UC Berkeley that installs on the volunteers' home computers and harnesses their processing power in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. So far nothing noteworthy has comeout of this massive project... that is until today! One of the volunteers was able to track down his wife's stolen laptop using the IP address that SETI@home client reports back to the server. After getting back the laptop his wife said, 'I always knew that a geek would make a great husband.'"

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Welcome (5, Funny)

suso (153703) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104232)

SETI@home is a distributed processing client from UC Berkeley that installs on the vounteers' home computers and harnesses their processing power in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

Those of you that are visiting Slashdot for the first time and didn't know that, you might want to stick around (and scroll down) because we're going to explain what a Beowulf Cluster is next.

Re:Welcome (5, Funny)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104264)

In Soviet Russia, Beowulf Cluster explains you!

Re:Welcome (4, Funny)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104486)

In Soviet Russia, Beowulf Cluster explains you!

And Netcraft confirms it!

Re:Welcome (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18104630)

But it's dying.

Re:Welcome (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18104676)

In Soviet Russia, Netcraft confirms you!

Re:Welcome (5, Funny)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104756)

There I was thinking Beowulf was from Dark Ages Scandinavia.

Never mind, perhaps I'm new here.

Re:Welcome (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18104422)

Beowulf is a design for high-performance parallel computing clusters on inexpensive personal computer hardware. Originally developed by Thomas L. Sterling and Donald Becker at NASA, Beowulf systems are now deployed worldwide, chiefly in support of scientific computing.

A Beowulf cluster is a group of usually identical PC computers running a Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) Unix-like operating system, such as Linux or BSD. They are networked into a small TCP/IP LAN, and have libraries and programs installed which allow processing to be shared among them.

There is no particular piece of software that defines a cluster as a Beowulf. Commonly used parallel processing libraries include MPI (Message Passing Interface) and PVM (Parallel Virtual Machine). Both of these permit the programmer to divide a task among a group of networked computers, and recollect the results of processing. It is a common misconception that any software will run faster on a Beowulf. The software must be re-written to take advantage of the cluster, and specifically have multiple non-dependent parallel computations involved in its execution.

The name comes from the main character in the Old English epic Beowulf.

Re:Welcome (1, Offtopic)

franksands (938435) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104656)

Wow...someone did explained it. I'm impressed.

Re:Welcome (3, Funny)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104548)

I, for one, welcome our virginal slashdot, Beowulf-ignorant readers!

Re:Welcome (1)

Peter Cooper (660482) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104710)

It wouldn't surprise me. Whenever a story comes up about Ruby (which has been mentioned about two trillion times on Slashdot) someone always whines about Slashdot assuming everyone knows what Ruby is and that they don't know.

sETi ... (5, Funny)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104236)

phone home.

Does this mean (5, Funny)

fredrated (639554) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104238)

that there is intelligent life on Earth?

Re:Does this mean (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18104288)

Well, there is at least one intelligent life form on the planet (me). I can't speak for the 8 billion of you dumbasses, though.

Re:Does this mean (5, Funny)

EvanED (569694) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104366)

Current [census.gov] estimates [ibiblio.org] are [netlingo.com] 6.6 billion. [wikipedia.org] Where'd you get 8 from? And who's the dumbass?

Re:Does this mean (5, Funny)

VultureMN (116540) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104392)

Holy crap, he's posting ... FROM THE FUTURE!

Re:Does this mean (0)

Marcos Eliziario (969923) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104332)

For sure. This lady's laptop is the first intelligent specimen found around here.

Re:Does this mean (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104428)

Well, as Bill Watterson observed, "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us."

Re:Does this mean (1)

eiddam (669180) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104690)

bill watterson always struck me as being a nihilist

Re:Does this mean (2, Interesting)

copdk4 (712016) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104516)

i dunno, but sure there is an intelligent WIFE..
totally flattered about her statement on geeks making great husbands :)

Re:Does this mean (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18104702)

No, but it does mean the laptop was abducted by aliens!

The Search (1)

rblancarte (213492) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104242)

So does that mean we have found intelligent life?

RonB

Re:The Search (1)

ack154 (591432) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104354)

It seems the opposite actually. Since the guy that stole the laptop was not intelligent enough to turn something like SETI off... he is now minus one stolen laptop.

Re:The Search (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18104624)

Well don't be too hard on him. Seti@Home is some kind of demon; it posessed my computer. After I closed the window, it was still running!

That would be NAK Niet No (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104418)

what kind of nbrainless idiot hooks a laptop to a network connection before checking for LoJack or other checkin utils

i mean really WHAT WAS THESE MARROONS SMOKING??

Stop the headline grab-assing please (1, Insightful)

grumpygrodyguy (603716) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104262)

OK no offense, but this is bullshit.

Stop writing misleading headlines like these just to grap page-views, a lot of us happen to actually care about stuff like SETI and don't appreciate the run-around.

Re:Stop the headline grab-assing please (2, Funny)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104318)

Now now, they're just following the pros, who will stoop to the most offensive [cnn.com] shit [cnn.com] for the sake of cutesy headlines.

Re:Stop the headline grab-assing please (2, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104330)

I was about to post a snappy reply, but then I noticed your nick name. With truth in advertising like that, we can't be too surprised with your posts...

Re:Stop the headline grab-assing please (3, Interesting)

Shelled (81123) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104338)

Since the headline, uncharacteristically, closely mirrors the content of the article I can only surmise your bitterness stems from the line "I always knew that a geek would make a great husband." Cheer up bunky, it could happen to a 'Dotter. Some day. The odds are certainly no worse than finding, say, extraterrestrial life.

Re:Stop the headline grab-assing please (1)

NiceRoundNumber (1000004) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104526)

it could happen to a 'Dotter. Some day. The odds are certainly no worse than finding, say, extraterrestrial life.

Hey, maybe we could find the extraterrestrial life and marry it!...

Agreed - "finally finds something" is harsh (4, Interesting)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104352)

These are some of the greatest questions ever asked - Are we alone ? Is there anyone/anything like us in the rest of the universe ? Would it be possible to communicate with an entirely alien species ?

Quite apart from the Wow! [wikipedia.org] signal (so I guess they found something after all), there's a world of difference between the Seti@home distributed computer program, and the SETI institute - a collection of individuals who have SETI-capable telescopes [gornall.net] . The SETI institute is not at all connected with SETI@home, and it is they who are 'seti', or at least they have the greatest claim, having been 'SETI' for years previously...

It's not actually hard to make a radio telescope - get a big dish, an LNA (low-noise amplifier for the signal), a microwave receiver, and a PC (windows or linux). Oh, and lots of space for that dish :-) Total cost is ~$2000 if you buy everything. Ebay is your friend regarding getting stuff cheap, though :-) It cost me significantly less than that... So, get searchin!

Simon.

Re:Stop the headline grab-assing please (1)

h4ck7h3p14n37 (926070) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104408)

For the love of God, don't read a newspaper or take a journalism class. Attention grabbing headlines are the norm.

Re:Stop the headline grab-assing please (4, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104412)

Stop writing misleading headlines like these just to grap page-views ...

Ah, I believe you mispelled grep.

Re:Stop the headline grab-assing please (1)

joshetc (955226) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104460)

Why is this guy modded down? I personally don't care about extraterrestrial life, obviously some do. Headlines like this are the equivilant of posting that we have a Jessica Alba sex tape in the subject then putting a picture of two tapes fucking and a headshot of Jessica Alba for TFA...

Re:Stop the headline grab-assing please (2, Informative)

Megajim (885529) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104588)

After the initial rush-disappointment, I noticed that it must be an official Goofass® headline, given the official Monty-Python-foot icon, which generally denotes time-wasting non-serious ignore-this-if-you're-looking-for-useful-info after-hours filler that is occasionally found on this otherwise quite informative site. Maybe the headline would have been less horrifically offensive if it was in YRO.

Re:Stop the Princess Lea grab-assing please (2, Funny)

noshellswill (598066) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104638)

Sorry Pal: There's nothing to care about. Night. Always. Out THERE. No Princess Lea and no life, no hope no understanding. No 'people' ---no emotion. Nothing nada nix nyet. No one drop of life. Utter emptiness after 13.7 billion years and nothing to show for it, but a couple weakly bent 4-dim tensor fields and ... us. Better pop that Coors' Lite, pal, cause it's gonna be a long day.

Re:Stop the headline grab-assing please (4, Insightful)

Cheapy (809643) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104766)

That was a truthful headline. Something WAS found using SETI@home. If SETI@home had found evidence of intelligent life, the headline would've said so. As if the truth of the headline wasn't enough, the huge foot icon should've been a big indication that it's humorous. Furthermore, you are the exact kind of person who needs this kind of article. Laugh a little bit. Life's short, may as well enjoy it.

Gah! (5, Funny)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104268)

I felt a great disturbance in the force, as if millions of voices cheered and were suddenly silenced.

Re:Gah! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18104324)

I wish I had mod points...

Re:Gah! (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18104326)

Oh come on, that's 5-Funny for sure. It's the truth, but definately a 5.

Re:Gah! (1, Funny)

davek (18465) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104396)

MOD PARENT UP

I'd like to mod slashdot -9 boneheaded for that article title. Jerks.

Re:Gah! (1, Insightful)

BobSutan (467781) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104578)

You have no idea how right you are. Whoever let this article's title slip by should be tickled until they puke.

PrisonIQ++++ (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18104276)

So criminals are intelligent after all, eh?

Re:PrisonIQ++++ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18104758)

"error: invalid lvalue in increment"

I'm glad he got his wife's stolen laptop back (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18104292)

and the screenplays were intact. Even though all that has not much to do with the SETI project.


Wait... the laptop came back with 20 "rap songs" which were completely and utterly unintelligible...?

Re:I'm glad he got his wife's stolen laptop back (1)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104602)

Wait... the laptop came back with 20 "rap songs" which were completely and utterly unintelligible...?

        Ah. A vast improvement over the usual, then.

solution for everyone else (4, Interesting)

drDugan (219551) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104302)

There is a simple solution for all the MAC and Linux *NIX folks out there.

Write a small script, I call it "callhome" and a line in your crontab to have it called each hour.

~>cat bin/callhome
#!/bin/bash
rm -f ~/.locate-laptop
date > ~/.locate-laptop
w >> ~/.locate-laptop
/sbin/ifconfig -a 2>&1 >> ~/.locate-laptop
/usr/sbin/traceroute -q 1 -nP ICMP 108.169.242.00 2>&1 | head -15 >> ~/.locate-laptop
scp -q ~/.locate-laptop remote_user@108.169.242.00:~

~>grep callhome /etc/crontab
27 * * * * username /home/username/bin/callhome

You'll have to set up public key login with no passphrase for the scp
to work without a password to the remote machine

Re:solution for everyone else (1)

Lorkki (863577) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104390)

You'll have to set up public key login with no passphrase for the scp to work without a password to the remote machine

Here's hoping that you also keep that remote machine in isolation from the rest of your LAN in case the laptop is actually snatched by a random miscreant.

Re:solution for everyone else (1)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104426)

You realize that it's trivial to set up a *nix user with no permissions beyond his home directory, right? Or a user with a login shell that's just a logging script.

Re:solution for everyone else (2, Insightful)

Lorkki (863577) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104670)

This has precisely what advantage over not letting the thief access any part of your system directly?

Re:solution for everyone else (2, Insightful)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104738)

Uh...being able to track down your laptop would be the advantage.

Would it also trigger mindless fear for you if the OP used a CGI script on a web server? The potential security problems there would be slightly greater than the no-input login script.

Re:solution for everyone else (1)

NosTROLLdamus (979044) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104416)

Is linux ready for the Desktop thief?

Re:solution for everyone else (1)

rodgster (671476) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104474)

Why not just set the bios password and harddrive password on you laptop (new stuff with the security chip) which would make it of little value to all but 0.00001% of people for anything more than parts?

And what would stop someone from deleting the disk partitions and installing windows?

Re:solution for everyone else (2, Informative)

Perey (818567) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104606)

It's the difference between protection and recovery. drDugan's callhome (and TFA's use of SETI@home, of course) provides a chance of recovery but reduces protection (they can boot it). Locking down the boot sequence provides pretty solid protection, but your chances of getting it back move closer to nil.

Re:solution for everyone else (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18104728)

Bios and harddrive passwords will not stop thieves from stealing your computer. They won't know you have set a password until after they have stolen the computer and they certainly won't return it after discovering the problem. Hardware passwords only guarantee that the thieves will turn your laptop into parts. Phoning home gives you some chance of recovering the stolen computer.

Re:solution for everyone else (4, Interesting)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104476)

Better yet, have it poll a file on your web server which you can use to tell it to activate the built-in camera and send you images of whoever stole your laptop. A command-line utility exists for OSX which can simply dump an image to a file, which you can then simply |mail.

Hell, activate a keylogger while you're at it, and you'd have no trouble finding out exactly who they are.

Re:solution for everyone else (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18104754)

Uhh. The first thing any idiot thief would do would be install Windows over my GNU/Linux system, not run it happily using a login/pass they don't have until I track her down.

Re:solution for everyone else (1)

joe_bruin (266648) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104608)

scp -q ~/.locate-laptop remote_user@108.169.242.00:~

Let me get this straight: you have a machine that you're obviously worried about being stolen configured to have passwordless ssh access to your remote machine? May I recommend HTTP instead?

Re:solution for everyone else (1)

laurent420 (711504) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104652)

someone steals your linux laptop. they are either so tech savvy that they know it would be stupid to leave the current OS in tact and format it, or they are computer *nix illiterate, can't figure out this damn linux thing, and install windows over your linux. likely the reason the os was left in tact was that it was a working windows install.

having said that your script accomplishes little more than the following command would also do if put in your cron.daily wget -O/dev/null http://server/callhome [server] - i would recommend a dyndns domain in case you need to change the server your laptop is calling home to after your laptop has been stolen.

In all seriousness though... (4, Informative)

user24 (854467) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104306)

why doesn't someone do a 'phone home' laptop insurance program that provides tracking information just like this? (privacy issues aside (until the first reply to this comment; see below)).

It could be nicely open sourced, and run via a p2p network to distribute the load for the tracking servers. Obviously a lot of details would have to be worked out to avoid abuse, but it could be as simple as sending an "I'm here" message encrypted with a dedicated private key to the p2p network. The person who wants to track their stolen goods just pops the public key (stored on a CD/usb stick/online, generated on install) into the network and it comes back with the last known location. No?

Re:In all seriousness though... (3, Informative)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104464)

They exist. For instance: Lowjack [lojackforlaptops.com]

They claim their software will survive a hard drive format, but not sure how... anyone know?

Re:In all seriousness though... (1)

user24 (854467) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104510)

yeah but that's $49.99 (per year!), and if it survives formatting, it probably does that by rootkiting the box to some degree, and "We're sorry, the Computrace LoJack for Laptops self-management site does not support the web browser you are currently using." (firefox 2.0.0.1). icky.

Re:In all seriousness though... (2, Insightful)

Woy (606550) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104556)

If you dig a bit in that website you'll find your answer:

Unsupported Browser Detected! We're sorry, the Computrace LoJack for Laptops self-management site does not support the web browser you are currently using. You must use Internet Explorer 5.5 (or later) to access this site.

Don't expect magic where you can't even see competence.

Re:In all seriousness though... (1)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104502)

It could be nicely open sourced, and run via a p2p network

I've seen P2P networks proposed as the solution to everything on Slashdot. Intermittent less-than-1-kilobyte pings carrying a unique user ID are not unmanageable.

Re:In all seriousness though... (1)

user24 (854467) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104544)

no, but someone still has to manage it; p2p offers (afaik) the cheapest, most resilient way of doing something like this. If it's not done via p2p and instead involves a central host, who's going to foot the bill for the host, even it is a small bill? Much better to let the users manage the hosting.

Re:In all seriousness though... (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104522)

i could go you a couple better. 1. make it phone home on every bootup, using a signed ssl cert to authenticate that it is actually your laptop. 2. if your laptop is stolen, be able to report it on a website using a one time password/username given to you at purchase ( a new one is generated everytime you report it stolen) 3. once reported stolen on the laptops next sign in, it enables a gps system on the laptop which can be accessed by you and any other parties you nominate eg. insurance. you should also have the ability to lock the laptop if reported stolen (incase of sensitive data) note: i said this should only be an option, because if you disable the laptop there's a good chance the thief will trash the thing to prevent you tracking him down. 4. ideally this would be all done in an onboard module seperate of the OS, signing in using the phone network. that way they could format the thing and it'd still report as belonging to you. lappy makers should all make this kind of thing standard given how much of peoples lives are stored on laptops. 5. i would love to see this thing epoxied to the case in an ubder hard to reach place so pysical removal would damage the laptop, maybe even use a scheme like an ink bomb, spraying the whole thing with some kind of distrinctive ink that can't be removed and showing it up as stolen in a highly visual way.

Re:In all seriousness though... (1)

AusIV (950840) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104554)

There's a great one already: dyndns.com [dyndns.com] . It's intended as a means for people with dynamic IP addresses to be able to host websites, but it's a good way to simply register a computer's IP address with a remote server. I have one computer that runs a web-server that actually uses the dyndns address, but every computer I have has it's own dynamic address and updates when the IP changes. If anyone ever steals one of my computers and plugs it into the internet, I can find the IP address and hopefully recover the laptop with the assistance of law enforcement.

Of course, I'm not to keen on testing this plan, so I also keep locks on my laptops when they're home, or never let them out of my site when I'm out and about, but I think it's a good start.

Re:In all seriousness though... (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104582)

The problem is that such a program would become a victim of its own success. The more people who know of it's existance, the less likely that a thief would connect a laptop to a network (or even allow it to boot up) without first formatting the drive or providing other bootable media.

A homebrew solution (or hoping that something like seti@home went unnoticed) would be your best bet.

Re:In all seriousness though... (1)

troutinator (943529) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104748)

Some insurance companies do provide this. For instance I have insurance with College Student Insurance [collegestu...urance.com] and they provide a program called PCPhoneHome [collegestu...urance.com] (and they provide a Mac version also) which provides a way to help recover your computer in case of theft.

Need this capability for stolen ipods (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18104310)

There should be some way to install a program on your ipod (or option integrated with iTunes) to track down the ip of your ipod when (that is, if) it syncs with the music store. For devices with wireless point access, perhaps something like dyndns to update reveal the ip of the last wireless gateway it came in contact with...

On the other hand, I think they now sell small RFID stickers to hide on your laptop/phone/ipod which you can then track nationally...

Re:Need this capability for stolen ipods (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104380)

Actually, this gave me a great idea. Run your own DNS repeater, and log its DNS requests. Nobody but you would have a device configured to use your DNS server, and it is a location vector unlikely to be noticed - more likely to be wiped when someone formats your HD. You get the added benefit of viewing what the person who stole your equipment is doing with it ;)

ouch (5, Funny)

GlitchyBits (1066840) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104322)

Sensationalism strikes back ... and it hurts. Anyway, it proves that at least one geek in the entire world (universe ?) had sex that night.

Re:ouch (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104658)

If so, I want my CPU cycles back.

I always knew ... (1)

Ralconte (599174) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104340)

Slashdoters worldwide hope that quote gets picked up by the popular press

From the TFA: (4, Insightful)

ATAMAH (578546) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104410)

"Kimberly's writings were safe, and the thieves didn't appear to have broken into her e-mail or other personal folders."

How, exactly, do you break into a personal folder? Is double-clicking it called "breaking" in these days? I thought the conventional term was "opening"...

Re:From the TFA: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18104450)

um, Windows can encrypt user data. If it was all stored in encrypted directories, than it would be logical unless the attacker can log in he would have trouble getting the data. Considering most criminals couldn't hack a BIOS password, I don't think theres a whole lot to worry about.

Re:From the TFA: (1)

atomic-penguin (100835) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104704)

No, Windows cannot encrypt user data by itself. Simply copy those so-called "encrypted" files to a non-NTFS filesystem, and they are anything but encrypted.

Re:From the TFA: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18104752)

It depends on the context. If it's "your" computer, double clicking the personal folder is called "opening."
If it's a computer that's been stolen, then double clicking constitutes "breaking in"

duh ;-)

SETI (1)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104420)

Where no thief has gone before.

Good going (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18104434)

I clicked on my /. bookmark on my Firefox toolbar to glance at the top article before I left my desk. I glanced at the article, closed Firefox, and got up. I did a double take and sat back down and hastily opened Firefox and went to /. again. Thanks guys, now my bum hurts =(

What a crock! (4, Funny)

StarvingSE (875139) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104458)

Maaan! I was reading through that whole summary, excitedly awaiting my chance to welcome our new overlords..... and all they found was a laptop!?!??! What a crock!

Re:What a crock! (2, Funny)

NiceRoundNumber (1000004) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104572)

I for one welcome our new laptop overlords.

<ducks>

Re:What a crock! (1)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104590)

Bad news for the aliens if it was an Apple, though... Independance Day is only a few months away :P

So seti@home is spyware? (1)

mmell (832646) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104466)

Must remember that next time I'm profiled on AMW . . .

Old News (2, Interesting)

coreyfro (123833) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104490)

Here's what I did for a client. I installed the distributed.net client on all their machines with a different ID per. If one went missing, I just waited until it started posting again.

One was recovered. I don't know out of how many thefts, but it worked.

http://stats.distributed.net/participant/psearch.p hp?project_id=5&st=coreyfro [distributed.net]

Some are still posting to this day.

216264(-1) K6231862@coreyfro.com 13-Feb-2001 08-Feb-2002 361 791
218871(-1) K3342513@coreyfro.com 31-Jan-2001 20-Jun-2002 506 729
219222(-1) K4151626@coreyfro.com 29-Jan-2001 18-Jul-2001 171 721
223856(-2) K5557748@coreyfro.com 08-Feb-2001 02-Jul-2002 510 622
223908(-2) K2863155@coreyfro.com 29-Jan-2001 21-Oct-2001 266 621
224051(-2) K3456175@coreyfro.com 20-Jan-2001 31-Dec-2001 346 618
224360(-2) K4553312@coreyfro.com 22-Jan-2001 10-Jun-2002 505 612
225611(-3) K6211864@coreyfro.com 27-Mar-2001 09-Aug-2001 136 588
227645(-5) K8631173@coreyfro.com 17-Aug-2001 30-Jun-2002 318 549

Question... (1)

KeepQuiet (992584) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104540)

How do you find a computer from its IP address? I would understand MAC address but how do you do it from the IP address?

Re:Question... (1)

amlai (99096) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104644)

IP blocks are assigned to different regions and you can look it up. You can even do it for free using some online locator Tool.

Re:Question... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104668)

I think maybe you spoke too soon; the way you are thinking, they found the computer using his Seti@home user name. He looked up the ip address that was communicating using that user name and reported it to the police who then got customer information from the isp and arrested the guy.

Re:Question... (4, Informative)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104696)

Simple enough, though it generally requires a warrent.

All blocks of IP addresses are owned by somebody, mostly ISPs.

Once you have an IP address, you look up who owns it and you call them. They do their research, looking at things such as DNS records, DHCP assignments, DSLAM logs, etc... They then look up which customer that was, and there you go.

In a corporate enviroment a simply DNS lookup should give you a computer name, a little more the switchport it's connected to, and a little digging who's logged into it.

Re:Question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18104718)

How would you locate it with a MAC address? Since these are invisible outside of the local subnet they would be useless for finding anything unless you already had a pretty good idea of where it was.

Re:Question... (1)

8-bitDesigner (980672) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104744)

It's not too difficult, if you think about it. Your IP address (whether dynamic or static) is assigned to you by your ISP. Most IP addresses are dynamic, so they're assigned when you log in, or otherwise connect to the internet. At this point, the ISP has logs of the MAC address of the network interface adaptor that's knocking on its door asking to get online.

Furthermore, most ISPs have a number of sub-stations to distribute load, and so if you knew which IP address you wanted to track and knew the day and time that the IP addresse was in use, you could simply ask the ISP who would be able to report back to you what kind of computer logged in and from which region they logged in from.

Re:Question... (1)

photomonkey (987563) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104768)

Mod me offtopic/flamebait, but I bet the RIAA/MPAA could tell you exactly how to find a computer based solely on IP address. They probably, for a fee, will even provide rent-a-goons to go fetch.

Nothing noteworthy (5, Insightful)

whackeroony (240663) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104558)

"So far nothing noteworthy has come out of this massive project"

Dismissed a trend-setting project with just that one line. Of course, it does not matter that SETI@Home showed the power of volunteer computing for the first time, led to new advances in distributed computing, motivated Grid computing and PlanetLab among others and spun off BOINC, an open source project that serves as a base for similar @Home projects.

But, of course, it no find me any ALIEN!!! Bah,

This tells us something really important (1)

zakeria (1031430) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104566)

aliens don't use GPS (are they dump or what)?

SETI finds... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18104580)

... unintelligent life on earth.

What a let down (4, Funny)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104622)

Man, if I ever meet whoever is responsible for that headline, I'm going to burn down your house.
I haven't felt this let down since I walked in on my dad bangin my mom while wearing a Santa costume on Christmas morning.

stupid niggors steal laptops always (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18104636)

The laptop had a bunch of bad rap musics on it, so it was obviously stolen by some stupid niggor.

Remember the powerbook that got stolen last year? The camera on it recorded another stupid niggor stealing it, too.

If your laptop is stolen, it's probably some stupid niggor's fault.

Backups??? (0, Flamebait)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104648)

Only copies of her work was on the laptop. Someone should tell her that is she is not backed up she is fcked up. Oh and off site backups would be best, say a friends house.

And you thought (1)

mschuyler (197441) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104682)

Geeks couldn't get laid.

A good logo for SETI... (4, Funny)

Cookie_Monster_Troll (854586) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104688)

would be Linus sitting in the pumpkin patch. :)

She's in for a shock... (5, Funny)

Leuf (918654) | more than 7 years ago | (#18104750)

I always knew that a geek would make a great husband

Sure it turned out handy this one freak incident, but wait till there's smoke in the house and he looks back and forth between the plasma screen and the laptop a couple times, finally grabs the laptop and is out the door without so much as a look in her direction.

Of course, if the laptop started the fire then the choice is much easier

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