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British Astronomers Turn To Interstellar Spam

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the mmm-chips dept.

Space 60

Barrista En Flambe alerts us to a stunt that may reflect the desperate funding crisis in British astronomy: astronomers have agreed to beam a 30-second Doritos ad to a solar system 42 light years from Earth. The transmission is being directed at the solar system of 47 Ursae Majoris, a star similar to the Sun which has planets and may have a habitable zone.

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Let me just say (3, Funny)

apdyck (1010443) | more than 6 years ago | (#22677534)

It would be a long drive to get a bag, if someone over in 47 Ursae Majoris actually wants the doritos...I rarely travel more than five minutes for a snack, let alone 42 light years!

great business plan though (1)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 6 years ago | (#22677564)

If we advertise to other galaxies, they'll start to crave our stuff, and by the time we reach them we can sell doritos to them like opiates to china.

Re:great business plan though (4, Funny)

Harlequin (11000) | more than 6 years ago | (#22678350)

Or, they'll just start to crave stuff here on earth and invade us to get it. If I've learned anything by watching sci-fi movies, it's that if an alien race travels all the way across the galaxy to get something from us, they're probably not going to pay for it.

I hope doritos put an unsubscribe link in their spam so we don't get hit with fines for violating the interstellar CAN-SPAM act.

Re:great business plan though (1)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 6 years ago | (#22679564)

I hope doritos put an unsubscribe link in their spam so we don't get hit with fines for violating the interstellar CAN-SPAM act.
After the spam wars of 1027299377 annihilated 6 interstellar routers and 8 solar systems spamming became a capital offense in interstellar law. The warships will be along shortly.

Re:Let me just say (4, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22677570)

Yeah, well, they get ripped on some pretty tasty bud in 47 Ursae Majoris. If we beam 'em something to deal with cottonmouth, too?

We'll soon have an invasion: "Take me to your Litre!"

Re:Let me just say (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 6 years ago | (#22678300)

A++ Would LOL again.

Re:Let me just say (1)

mikiN (75494) | more than 6 years ago | (#22689650)

We'll soon have an invasion: "Take me to your Litre!"
Considering the stuff of the matter, I bet they'll say "Take me to your Dealer!"

Booze and buds don't go well together IMLE. Doritos do, bigtime.

Re:Let me just say (1)

TruthfulLiar (927336) | more than 6 years ago | (#22679746)

A surprisingly long-term oriented company. Usually they don't think past what Wall Street will think of the next couple quarters... With the shipping charges and time delay, Doritos would probably be a high-society import. When I was in China in 1996, when we had fancy banquets, the table always had a couple bottles of Sprite and Coke. (1L bottles, which was a little annoying. Since there were 8 people per table, you could never drink enough to not be thirsty, and I was afraid it would be insulting to ask for more)

I for one (0, Redundant)

ZigZagHerring (1122575) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680932)

I for one welcome our new Dorito's-eating overlords!

Re:Let me just say (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22683470)

I'm beginning to suspect that Single Female Lawyer wasn't the only thing that spurred one of the earlier incidents with Omnicron Perseii Eight.

See any serious problems with this story? (2, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22677536)

Where to begin!

I previously - jokingly - believed SETI and Voyager to be like cosmic spam. Now, we are beaming to space, evidence that no intelligent life exists on Earth?

Doritos! Here's six ways to poison a carbon-based lifeform! Maybe we can beam the text of "The Omnivore's Dilemma [michaelpollan.com] ", too...

Re:See any serious problems with this story? (2)

nocomment (239368) | more than 6 years ago | (#22678410)

I'm thinking they're just going to block us anyway.

There IS intelligent life on Earth. (1)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#22679950)

But I got stuck here while researching the update for The Guide.

Sssh (2, Funny)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22677554)

Don't tell Doritos that it would be practically impossible for any aliens to reverse engineer a video codec, or that the aliens wouldn't even get the message for years, or that they wouldn't be interested in eating Doritos.

Re:Sssh (5, Funny)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#22677626)

I predict our descendants will be thoroughly confused when the first message from another intelligence is a request for some salsa dip.

Re:Sssh (1)

DittoBox (978894) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680038)

This all sounds like something Douglas Adams could be proud of having written.

Doritos: These taste almost but not entirely unlike, corn chips.

Re:Sssh (4, Insightful)

ed.mps (1015669) | more than 6 years ago | (#22677652)

If you didn't read the summary, the problem here is *not* on what is being sent to our hypothetical overlords, but the fact that they need a sponsored multi light years Ad to make a fund raising.
/rant

Not impossible... (1)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#22679980)

...just illegal under the DMCA. If any aliens did visit to buy Doritos, they'd end up getting sued and their flying saucer confiscated.

Re:Sssh (1)

Kenoli (934612) | more than 6 years ago | (#22683806)

or that they wouldn't be interested in eating Doritos.

Pfthh!

what horrible irony... (3, Funny)

verbalcontract (909922) | more than 6 years ago | (#22677556)

...if the first extraterrestrial message we get from outer space is a response to this.

And the message is, "No thanks, we prefer Sun Chips."

Re:what horrible irony... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22678596)

If they're the cheese flavored Sun Chips, I would understand, but you can't dare believe the plain ones are better than nacho doritos! Rabble rabble rabble rabble rabble!

Re:what horrible irony... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22680188)

Define better? I want to live past 40!

OM NOM NO- *realizes what he is doing and shoots meme before it has a chance to infect others*

Re:what horrible irony... (1)

Draco_Red (849561) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681432)

Wouldn't it be "47 Ursae Majoris Chips" instead?

Good new everyone... (4, Funny)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 6 years ago | (#22677588)

Doritos just doomed us all. I hope they're happy when the galactic warships move in to "de-list" our planet from the universe for spamming.

You do understand... (1)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#22679898)

...the whole bit about the hyperspace bypass was just to satisfy local galactic planning regulations. The Vogons have been aware for the past 50 Earth years that spamming space was inevitable.

Re:Good new everyone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22683648)

Fucking advertisers. Do they have no shame? Polluting the multiverse with their catchy jungles. What are they planning to do? Fatten up some aliens so they're more useless than the american army so when they attack the americans can _actually_ save the world from $EVIL_THREAT for once.

It's worked... (0, Offtopic)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#22677616)

I'm minutes away from lunch, and am now suddenly craving Cool Ranch Doritos. So Frito-Lay (or whoever makes those things) is already seeing some return on their investment in this publicity stunt -- I expect the astronomers to discover something amazing in return!

Re:It's worked... (1)

s-orbital (598727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22688138)

Yeah, I have the same craving, although I think I'll just have some plain corn chips and homemade guacamole... much better, IMHO.

Overlords (1)

Missing_dc (1074809) | more than 6 years ago | (#22677648)

what no "I, for one," comments yet?

What would the odds be that in 43 years, we are attacked by an alien race in FTL ships whose young resemble Doritos in their larval stage.

" Won't someone please think of the children? "

Re:Overlords (1)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 6 years ago | (#22677704)

What would the odds be that in 43 years, we are attacked by an alien race in FTL ships whose young resemble Doritos in their larval stage.
About the same as being attacked in 43 years by aliens in FTL ships whose young don't resemble Doritos in their larval stage. Also, I never realized Doritos had a larval stage... would those be Fritos?

Re:Overlords (1)

SleptThroughClass (1127287) | more than 6 years ago | (#22679110)

I'm more worried that we'll be seen as the demigods whose wise message of inspiration was the basis of the foundation of another world's civilization.

Re:Overlords (1)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 6 years ago | (#22679500)

And now let us give praise to the gods of the mountain who so sagely advise us, to "do the dew".

Urgent interstellar business! (5, Funny)

snarfies (115214) | more than 6 years ago | (#22677706)

Dear Sir,

I am Xorpquan, the Supreme Subcommander in charge of Auditing and Accounting section of First Xenu Intergallactic Bank of 47 Ursae Majoris with due respect and regards. I have decided to contact you on a business transaction that will be very beneficial to both of us at the end of the transaction.

During our investigation and auditing in this bank, my department came across a very huge sum of money belonging to Porshgar the Mighty who died on the 4th day of the 5th year of the rule of Lord Emperor Tashyon in a Torplack Race and the fund has been dormant in his/her account with this bank without any claim of the fund in our custody either from his family or relation. The said amount was 1,853,831,184 Credits. As it may Interest you to know, Meanwhile all the arrangement to put claim over this sum as the bonafide next of kin to the deceased, get the required approval and transfer this money to a foreign account has been put in place.

On smooth conclusion of this transaction, you will be entitled to 20% of the total Sum as gratification, while 3% will be set aside upon conclusion, to take care of expenses that may arise during the time Of transfer both local and intergalactic like Yushan Pirate Raids, asteroidal clearance, e.t.c, while %25 will be for me and my partner.

All other necessary information will be sent to you When I hear from you. I suggest you get back to me on my private e-mail address as Soon as possible stating your wish in this deal.

In the name of great Lord Emperor Tashyon,

Supreme Subcommander Xorpquan

Nacho Cheese Gives Morbo Gas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22677728)

And you wont like me when Im gassy, human vermin.

Crunchy, Crunchy... (1)

DriveDog (822962) | more than 6 years ago | (#22677792)

I don't know what that means.....

Bloody Vikings! (4, Funny)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22677796)

Spam spam spam spam. Lovely spam! Wonderful spam! Spam spam spam spam spam. Lovely spam!

I think someone hit the Python Reruns...

PAL? NTSC? (3, Funny)

ELProphet (909179) | more than 6 years ago | (#22677902)

I'm assuming that because these are British scientists, the signal will be in PAL format, but either way, how do they expect aliens that may or may not exist to magically decrypt a format that we ourselves can't use across a measly ocean?

Second question: Will Doritos still even be around in 42 years when this signal gets there? Or be able to send them some when they get an order in 84 years? Actually, that is a conversation I want to hear.

Doritos sales rep: Hello?
47 Ursae Majoris Alien: Sqwauk squelch sqee sqee
DSR: Oh, sorry, I forgot to turn on the universal translator.
UMA: Ah. Anyway, yeah, I'd like to order half a million crates of your Cool Ranch Doritos.
DSR: Sorry, we haven't made those since 2019...
UMA: What? That's it! You humans are going to die! (Fires space laser- http://blag.xkcd.com/2008/02/15/the-laser-elevator/ [xkcd.com] modulated with "Fine! We'll take Cheetos instead!)

Re:PAL? NTSC? (1)

DarthJohn (1160097) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680390)

by the time that conversation is done (42 years each hop) we may actually have the technology to deliver :)

Re:PAL? NTSC? (1)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680788)

by the time that conversation is done (42 years each hop) we may actually have the technology to deliver :)

Delivery in under 100 years or it's free!

Their 'Wow!' signal (1)

Mr. Sketch (111112) | more than 6 years ago | (#22677994)

So this civilization will get their own version of the Wow! Signal [wikipedia.org] .

Next message... (4, Funny)

jfbilodeau (931293) | more than 6 years ago | (#22678028)

UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK, EARTH, SOL

ATTENTION: THE PRESIDENT/CEO/OVERSEER/GRAND MASTER/SUPREME OVERLORD

DEAR SIR, MADAM OR DRONE,

CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS PROPOSAL

HAVING CONSULTED WITH MY COLLEAGUES AND BASED ON THE INFORMATION GATHERED FROM THE EARTH CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE AND CORRUPTION, I HAVE THE PRIVILEGE TO REQUEST FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE TO TRANSFER THE SUM OF $47,500,000,000,000.00 (FORTY SEVEN TRILLION, FIVE BILLION THOUSAND CREDITS) INTO YOUR ACCOUNTS. THE ABOVE SUM RESULTED FROM AN OVER-INVOICED CONTRACT, EXECUTED COMMISSIONED AND PAID FOR ABOUT FIVE EARTH YEARS (5) AGO BY A FOREIGN SYSTEM. THIS ACTION WAS HOWEVER INTENTIONAL AND SINCE THEN THE FUND HAS BEEN IN A SUSPENSE ACCOUNT AT THE CENTRAL BANK OF SOL APEX BANK.

WE ARE NOW READY TO TRANSFER THE FUND OVER SUBSPACE MONEY TRANSFER AND THAT IS WHERE YOU COME IN. IT IS IMPORTANT TO INFORM YOU THAT AS CIVIL SERVANTS/SLAVES, WE ARE FORBIDDEN TO OPERATE A EXTRA-SOLAR ACCOUNT; THAT IS WHY WE REQUIRE YOUR ASSISTANCE. THE TOTAL SUM WILL BE SHARED AS FOLLOWS: 70% FOR US, 70% FOR YOU AND 5% FOR LOCAL, INTERNATIONAL AND INTERSTELLAR EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE TRANSFER.

THE TRANSFER IS RISK FREE ON BOTH SIDES. I AM AN ACCOUNTANT WITH THE EARTH NATIONAL PLUTONIUM CORPORATION (ENPC). IF YOU FIND THIS PROPOSAL ACCEPTABLE, WE SHALL REQUIRE THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS:

(A) YOUR BANKER'S NAME, SPECIE, ACCOUNT, SOLAR SYSTEM AND PLANET

(B) YOUR PRIVATE SUBSPACE FREQUENCY AND ESP NUMBERS -- FOR CONFIDENTIALITY AND EASY COMMUNICATION.

(C) YOUR LETTER-HEADED CRYPTO STOMPED AND MARKED.

ALTERNATIVELY WE WILL FURNISH YOU WITH THE TEXT OF WHAT TO TYPE INTO YOUR LETTER-HEADED PAPER, ALONG WITH A BREAKDOWN EXPLAINING, COMPREHENSIVELY WHAT WE REQUIRE OF YOU. THE BUSINESS WILL TAKE US THIRTY (30) WORKING EARTH DAYS TO ACCOMPLISH.

PLEASE REPLY URGENTLY.

BEST REGARDS

Is it just me... (1)

fortunato (106228) | more than 6 years ago | (#22678532)

or does this sound like the beginning of a Douglas Adams story?

Re:Is it just me... (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680084)

or does this sound like the beginning of a Douglas Adams story?

...only if you're having trouble with your lifestyle....

No worries, though, a small dog will take care of it for us...

oblig. (1)

OrochimaruVoldemort (1248060) | more than 6 years ago | (#22678536)

this isn't the dorito ad you're looking for. move along.

Well, thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22678704)

The day we get slapped with an intergalactic 'Cease to Exist' order sent by kustom gamma glimt ray I am sure everyone will thank those scientists.

This based on the premise that a civilisation advanced enough to receive intergalactic spam will know how to deal with it.

Another prowd British first! (4, Interesting)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 6 years ago | (#22678972)

Unfortunately this is a very good illustration of the problem we have in this country with R&D/science stuff. We used to be pioneers of technology, but these days people aren't interested.

My theory is because we have no society any more. One of Maggie Thatcher's most famous quotes is "there is no such thing as society". It's true, there isn't in modern Britain. Even when British people do achieve amazing things, we don't seem to care or make a big deal of it. Thus, anything which does not bring individuals obvious and immediate benefit becomes very hard to justify.

Re:Another prowd British first! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22683958)

I'm glad there's one comment about the real subject of the story rather than Doritos.

I'm tempted to emigrate, but I'm not sure it's a good solution -- I know a fair few (qualified, educated) immigrants in London and none of them regret coming here.

Bloody spammers ruin all the fun. (1)

ardyng (973980) | more than 6 years ago | (#22679074)

It was once thought that all the TV chatter we've been putting out will actually someday make it to distant stars. It's now known that it only gets about a light year or two out before it degrades into background noise.

And now we know why.

Spamblockers.

Strangely effective advertising (2, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 6 years ago | (#22679552)

We're all laughing about how useless this is, but now Slashdot and probably half the tech news sites out there are talking about Doritos. I'd actually say this was a pretty intelligent move by their marketing department.

Re:Strangely effective advertising (1)

dmarti (6587) | more than 6 years ago | (#22684288)

mmmm...Doritos...

Translation Error. (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 6 years ago | (#22679716)

The Doritos ad is being sent to 47 Ursae Majoris. Unfortunately, to the residents of 47 Ursae Majoris, "Doritos" loosely translates to "Go and boil your bottoms, you sons of a silly person. I blow my nose at you." If we send this ad, the aliens are bound to attack us viciously with their noxious gas cannons and alien livestock catapults. When that happens, our only recourse will be to run away!

the next ad will be for a wonder pill... (1)

themushroom (197365) | more than 6 years ago | (#22679744)

...and it will get your zwinki firm.

_Killing Star_ anyone? (1)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680492)

I just finished reading this [amazon.com] and I'm thinking maybe the human race needs to just STFU?

(good luck finding a used copy, it's way out of print :/)

Great first impression (2, Funny)

whobutdrew (889171) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681050)

That's rather tasteless. And the message wasn't a good idea either.

hopefully (0, Offtopic)

OrochimaruVoldemort (1248060) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681570)

that message won't be picked up by bad tempered, bureaucratic, officious, and callous vogons. they might report us to the galactic bureaucracy for spamming without a permit, sending the message without approval forms, advertising without a good cause, and tampering with an underdeveloped planet. i guess i've been reading hitchhikers guide to the galaxy too much.

The aliens will get us back though (1)

Scoldog (875927) | more than 6 years ago | (#22683066)

They'll come to Earth, get our email addresses, send spam back to us and take control of Earth by getting Earth President Nixon to fall for a dodgy 419 scam.

Then all they need to do build a fleet of solid gold death stars and they'll be unstoppable!

(For everyone wondering what I am going on about, check out the movie length Futurama episode "Benders Big Score")

And, in 84 years we get an answer (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 6 years ago | (#22685218)

All of your salsa are belong to us!

Psh. (1)

mathnerd314 (1212880) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686430)

Undoubtedly just a publicity stunt for Doritos to advertise it here on Earth.

Offtopic, I know (1)

SigmundFloyd (994648) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686680)

Please ./ gods, I desperately need a "-1, Unfunny" moderation tag.

, for one, welcome our new ... (1)

yidele (947452) | more than 6 years ago | (#22696046)

I, for one, welcome our new doritos munching overlords from 47 Ursae Majoris ....
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